Posted on 30-Jul-15 15:21
Stolen Songbird, author Danielle L. Jensen’s first novel, takes place in a historical fantasy setting in which trolls exist but were cursed by a witch to live underground in secret. The protagonist is Cécile de Troyes, a farmer’s daughter with a lovely voice who is kidnapped, brought to the city of Trollus under the mountain, and sold to trolls who intend to marry her to their troll prince, Tristan. This element of cursed creatures abducting a beautiful human bride and taking her below ground reminded me of the 1991 animated movie The Princess and the Goblin, but after that, there are fewer similarities. Contrary to popular belief, Stolen Songbird explains, trolls aren’t ugly; they’re “more like beautiful things that have had the misfortune of being broken.” Most of the troll characters in this novel have various misfortunes like no limbs, misaligned halves of their face, or being conjoined twins. However, the book misses a potentially interesting element in exempting Prince Tristan from the difficulties of living with an unusual body. Instead, he is tall and beautiful, though cold and sardonic.
Posted on 21-Oct-14 13:41
Thanks in part to a very successful movie adaptation, I’m sure you’ve heard of this dystopian novel in which children are forced to fight to the death in a televised gladiatorial arena. Some have even called it the “next Harry Potter,” so I was very excited to read this first book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. For me, at least, while the book is quite entertaining and certainly addicting (I literally couldn’t stop reading and had it finished in a day), it’s not as special as I would have hoped. Certainly no Harry Potter, at least for me, largely because I wish the author had paid more attention to the world-building and characterizations. I was pretty disappointed that with all this new technology, what the game-makers chose for the arena was essentially a glorified forest. I wanted something more exciting, like that barren wasteland mentioned where everyone either froze or starved to death in a few days. Good luck hiding in trees there, Katniss! Speaking of Katniss Everdeen...
Posted on 19-Sep-14 13:11
One of my favourite novels is Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, so I eagerly picked up his Pathfinder hoping for the same kind of experience as I had with Ender’s Game. However, I ended up having mixed feelings about Pathfinder: enjoying some moments but disliking others.
Posted on 26-Aug-14 13:50
If there’s something I adore in a young adult novel, it’s a misunderstood hero. Well, that and great world-building—oh, and perhaps a romantic sub-plot with a wickedly awesome heroine. And maybe throw in a jaw-dropping twist, just for good measure? Fortunately, this series has it all.
Posted on 26-Aug-14 13:28
In this young adult fantasy novel, The Girl Who Never Was, Selkie Stewart thinks she’s a normal Boston teenager being raised by her eccentric aunts because her father is in a mental institution and her mother abandoned her on the doorstep when she was a baby. When she turns seventeen and goes searching for her long-lost mother, though, things really start getting weird, and Selkie discovers her connection to a magical world of faeries, ogres, wizards, and the dreaded Seelie Court. And meanwhile, there’s a very special boy in her life…