Bookends Archive: 2007


Bookends -- my chance to tell you what I (the young adult librarian) have been reading. See Bookends on a daily/weekly basis on the FPL YA blog! For lots of tips from previous years, see the Bookends Archives for 2006 and for 2004-2005.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
(2007 Michael Printz Award Honor Book)
Colin Singleton has a tough life -- another Katherine has just dumped him (the 19th Katherine to do so!) and he believes he has grown out of his child-prodigy status. Nursing his wounds, he calls his friend Hassan, who has the perfect solution -- road trip! So off they go, in Colin's huge grey Oldsmobile, from New York to a landing in Gutshot Tennessee, where the real adventure begins -- vicious feral pigs, a dead archduke, the Theorum of Underlying Katherine Predictability (to predict all future relationships), a factory that makes string -- it's love, friendship, and the all traumas of a teenage prodigy life.
Such fun! The characters were fabulous, the story was real (enough), and I loved all the random footnotes that litter the book with odd details. Though completely different in flavor than Looking for Alaska, this is definitely worth the read!

The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey by Steve Scheinkin
This book touts itself as a "graphic novel of Jewish wisdom and wit in the Wild West" -- and it pretty much holds true. After finishing school, Rabbi Harvey heads west in hope of finding a job and hopefully a little adventure, too. He makes his way to a small town in Colorado that is being ruthlessly governed by a trio of outlaws. He outwits them, becomes the town rabbi, and soon becomes known as one of the wisest men in the west. In this collection of stories, Rabbi Harvey retrieves stolen money, outwits outlaws, assists a child who thinks he's a chicken, and deals with other amazing challenges.
This is a humourous graphic novel, based on Jewish tradition against the backdrop of the Wild West -- a seemingly flawed juxtaposition that works amazingly well. Very fun stories....
Y GRAPHIC NOV Scheinkin 

American Born Chinese by Gene Yang
(Winner of the 2007 Michael Printz Award!)
ABC -- three stories, apparently unrelated, come together to present this look at Chinese culture and America. Jin Wang, the only Chinese student in his school, only wants to fit in, but making friends with the new student from Taiwan doesn't help; and then he falls for an American blonde. The monkey wants to be a god and vows revenge after being kicked out of a party of the kings and gods, so he begins training and masters the arts of kung-fu to reach a level of power surpassed only by the original god; but the king of the monkeys is prideful and rebellious and curses himself to 500 years trapped under a mountain. Danny is a popular student and plays basketball, but every years his cousin Chin-Kee comes to visit and causes him no end of embarrassment; and every year, Danny changes schools to avoid the reactions of his could-be friends.
I almost got lost at the beginning of the book -- it starts with the fable of the monkey king, and I was waiting for the story of Jin Want -- or so I thought. But I persisted through the first couple of pages and soon began enjoying the tale. Well-written and illustrated (and in full color!) ABC tells what it's like for one Chinese-born American who wishes he were more like someone else. A coming of age story, an enjoyable piece.

The Adventures of Michael MacInnes by Jeff Carney
Michael MacInnes: orphan, trouble-maker, poet enthusiast. On scholarship to a new private boys boarding school, MacInnes doesn't fit in with the other students -- but that doesn't keep him from challenging the regulations and traditions at his new school -- and breaking many of them while angering students and administration. He starts an underground literary magazine, destroys an illegal stash of whiskey, steals a car, breaks into the girls' school across the way, argues with the teachers, and rooms with another campus misfit. All daring-do and adventures!
I had quite a bit of fun reading this book -- it's a great comedic twist on historical fiction (1924, Prohibition Era) and a great ready for guys. There is a bit of sexuality in the content.

The Astonishing Adventures of FanBoy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga
Fanboy: a high school comic book geek with one friend, a horrible stepfather, and chapters written of his own graphic novel Schemata. He wants to finish school, get out of town, meet Brian Michael Bendis, and publish his graphic novel (not necessarily in that order). His best friend, Cal, is a jock, but a smart one who likes comic books. Life for Fanboy is miserable life, day to day, doing homework, working on Schemata, arguing with his mom, IMing Cal, getting punched at school. And then one night he gets an IM and email from an unknown person, whom he soon discovers is Kyra, a Goth Girl with a chip on her shoulder, self-destructive tendencies, and a leaning towards Neil Gaiman and fast driving. Fanboy can't resist her -- she seems to understand him so well. But their relationship backfires, and Fanboy's world crumbles at the comic con, and suddenly his once reliably unpleasant life seems completely messed up; it's going to take a little work to get things back in order again -- a little work and a kiss from the most beautiful girl in school....
I enjoyed this book, but for all the hype it's been receiving, I thought it a fairly typically good YA novel -- especially with the tidy half-resolution at the end. Don't get me wrong -- I loved the graphic novel details (authors and illustrators and titles thrown around) and the characters make great connections to each other, life, art, and angst. Hope you enjoy it. (Good book for guys.)

Being by Kevin Brooks
What are you? What's really inside your body making you go, holding you together? That's a question Robert Smith begins to ask after he wakes up from sedation during what was supposed to be a simple routine examination and hears the doctor ask "What the hell is that?" Scared by the people in operating room and by how they react to what they find inside him, he takes control of the situation, steals a gun, and gets himself out of that hospital. Now he's on the run from the men in black suits who want to capture him and from the police who want him for murder. And he still doesn't know what he is -- even after cutting himself open and seeing things that resemble circuit boards, filaments, plastic. Plagued with questions and in need of help, he teams up with Eddi, a thief and a forger, and together they run, disappearing into a small town in Spain where they hope to hide undiscovered for the rest of their lives....
High action with the barest whiff of science fiction -- if you enjoy the Bourne Identity movies, spy shows, action books, and the like, this book may be right up your alley. Fast-paced, a bit bloody (gunshots, self-operations), with a few sexual situations, this is an impact story especially good for guys. Read it and hope for a follow-up book.
(What is Robert?)

Blade of Fire by Stuart Hill
Like the prequel Cry of the Icemark, this is a war-torn, high-energy fantasy of a small remote country in the northern lands. Twenty years after Thirrin and her allies defeat the armies of the Polypontian Empire, their commander is back with more armies and a desire for blood. It takes all of Thirrin's skills to fend off the attacks. Meanwhile, she sends her son abroad with an exile group of her people and is being attacked from within her own fortress.
Again, a gripping story, full of action and feeling -- and the power of the story helps make up for the writing, which is somewhat weak with the subjective voice of the author coming through frequently. Nevertheless, a great read for fantasy lovers or those who just love big action.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Narrated by Death, this tells the story of a young girl living with her foster family during World War II. Despite not knowing how to read (at the start), Liesel is fascinated by books. With the help of her accordian-playing foster father, she learns letters and words and sentences and eventually discovers that she cannot resist a book -- even to the point of stealing it. But in the meantime, in between book thieving, she plays soccer on the street, helps hide a Jew in her basement, delivers her foster mother's ironing, attends school, joins a Hitler Youth division, has a best friend, steals apples, and begins to understand the importance of human life and the difficulties of war and race. It's a meager existence, but one that Death finds fascinating.
This hefty book may put a few people off by its shear size and the strange opening chapter, or maybe the style of writing. But soon into the book, the flow appears and creates a definite charm of style. Observations by Death make for interesting asides; the everyday conflicts of a young girl in Hitler Germany make for interesting stories. I loved that the focus was on her and her life, influenced by the war but not overrun by the war. Simply a great book, and runner up for this year's Printz Award.

Candy Darlings by Christine Walde
Lollipop sweet with an undercurrent of sour.... She swore she would never eat candy again after her mother died with a glucose drip attached to her arm. All she wants is to forget her dead mother, fit in at her new school, be popular -- be normal. Things seem to go as planned -- until Megan Chalmers arrives at school. She is all sugar, all candy. Lollipops, bubblegum, chocolates, licorice, ring pops... the candy sticks to her teeth, sticks to her fingers, and takes the main role in the stories she tells. Soon, with candy infiltrating every aspect of her life, the narrator gives in, breaks her promise, and envelopes herself in a candied life. But there are lies, and tales, and threats, and sometimes candy is the only thing to make life sweet.
I like the writing of this book and the reality of it, even though there were so many secrets and lies -- maybe they made it more real. The ending wimped out a little bit, but made the story reminiscent of "Simple as Snow" by Greg Galloway. It was quite an enjoyable read with some sexual language, school bullying, and swearing.

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
A satire on the faith-science conflict of the modern world, Cat's Cradle is an apocalyptic tale featuring the ghastly Ice-9, the illicit Bokononist religion, nuclear scientists, a town in New York, an island in the Caribbean, and the eventual destruction of civilization as we know it.
An entertainingly philosophical read -- especially for this current period of history. This is at least the second time I've read it, and I enjoyed it just as much this time (maybe even more -- I think I even laughed out loud a couple of times -- possibly in disbelief). Balance it off with A Brave New World and Are We Feeling Safer Yet? for some interesting conversation.
FICTION Vonnegut

CHERUB: The Recruit by Robert Muchamore
CHERUB is a division of MI5 -- orphaned or abandoned children and teens trained in espionage, charged with the responsibility to hack computers, bug homes, download documents, infiltrate the enemy. James is new on the CHERUB compound; his mother recently died and he's been suspended from a number of schools. Now he's been recruited by CHERUB. He survives basic training, barely, and is sent out on his first mission -- to befriend and gain the trust of members of a hippy camp suspected of threatening and plotting against members of a gas & oil convention. It's an unpleasant and dangerous assignment, and it nearly ends in his death.
Another teen spy novel coming out of England (see also the Alex Rider series and Young James Bond) with lots of action. The writing isn't superb, and for all the discussed danger, the plot wasn't all that extreme. But for lovers of adventure and spies, this may be a promising series.

Clay by David Almond
On the "Best Books for Teens" list.
When Stephen Rose moves into town, Father O'Mahoney asks Davie and Geordie to befriend him -- he's had a tough life, with his dad dead and his mom in a mental institution, and now he's living with his crazy aunt. Stephen is a talented sculptor and can create tiny life-like beings out clay -- and then one day shows Davie that he can even bring these little clay creatures to life. Troubled though he is about Stephen's talents and desires, Davie is enlisted to help Stephen with his greatest creation of all -- a life-size man of clay, which together they will bring to life. But Stephen has definite plans for the creature, and monstrous plans they are....
Judging by the cover (yes, I do often judge a book by its cover -- who doesn't?), Clay is not a book I would choose read; I hate to say it but the cover just isn't very appealing. But I have enjoyed some of David Almond's books in the past, and this was on a top picks list. The book is a bit creepy; not dark, but shadowy. It plays at the supernatural while running along the cusp of sad and depressing -- it weighs heavy, but was well done (think Frankenstein); the writing is good and the premise is strong.

Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill
When King Redrought is killed by an invading army in warfare, Princess Thirrin, 14, must take charge of the kingdom and save her subjects from imminent destruction. Forming new alliances with the were-folk, the vampires, and the forest kings, she and her warlock advisor battle for their lives and the lives of their family and friends.
While I thoroughly enjoyed this page-turner (it has a little something for everyone -- magic, vampires & were-wolves, war, adventure, a bit of romance...) and am absolutely looking forward to reading the next in the chronicles, I found the writing to be a bit weak at time with unnecessary comments and extra subjective adjectives. Nevertheless, a grand story with definite richness!

Death Collector by Justin Richards
The London fog hides many a pickpocket, many a thief and thug -- but it when Eddie spies a dead man walking and is chased by a monstrous gigantic creature, he realizes that the fog that hides him hides others as well. After stealing a wallet with a grave secret, Eddie must join forces with George, Elizabeth, and Sir William to confound the dastardly plans of a wealthy madman who is using the bones of the dead to create living beings.
Quite an adventure! Set in Victorian England, this is a classic mix of mystery, action, and suspense, all stirred up with dinosaurs, museums, thugs, and madmen. After the opening chapter, which is a touch on the slow side, the story picks up and is great fun.
Y MYSTERY Richards

Death Jr. by Gary Whitta & Ted Naifeh
When Death Jr (DJ) and his friends wind up at a museum for the supernatural and Pandora opens a box hidden away in storage, they let loose the demon Moloch -- who just happens to be DJ's uncle. When Moloch starts giving DJ the attention he's always wanted, Death gets imprisoned and the world goes completely awry with spirits rebelling and corpses dragging. It's up to DJ and his friends to rescue his father -- using every bit of cunning reaping they can!
I seem to have hit a reading theme -- the last four books I've bookended have featured death -- either as a main character or a plot theme. Hmmm... I wonder what that says about me these days. This was quite enjoyable. A quick read for all ages and illustrated by one of my faves.

Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley
When Jake goes out on his first solo overnight in Smokehill National Park, he hopes to find some trace of dragons. What he doesn't expect is to find a dying mother dragon and dead dragonlets -- and one lone live dragonlet in need of a mother. Jake picks up the dragonlet, hides it in his shirt, and gets it back to his camp, exhausting himself in the process. But in a country where killing a dragon is illegal, keeping one alive is also illegal, so despite the fact that he and his father live on a dragon preserve, the secret of the little dragon must be kept from as many people as possible. Recounting his own experiences of finding and raising a baby dragon (dragonlet) on the preserve where his father works, Jake shares a story of loneliness, intelligence, and dedication.
I'm a huge fan of Robin McKinley, and I was completely excited to read her newest book, but I admittedly had a difficult time getting through this one -- it's totally different than her retellings and high fantasies and anything else she's written -- a complete turn from what she's written in the past, but a worthwhile read -- especially if you're not expecting one of her classics. Dragonhaven has an environmental twist to it -- the preservation of animals and land and how easily humans destroy the natural wonders of the earth -- and will be good for dragon lovers and environmentalists and realistic fiction readers alike.

Dreamhunter Duet by Elizabeth Knox
I have just finished reading two of the most engrossing, intriguing, original, and well-written fantasies that I've read in a long time -- the Dreamhunter Duet by Elizabeth Knox.
In a world not so very unlike our own, a new place has been discovered -- a place where those with the talent can enter, catch dreams, and share them with audiences. The dreams are a source of comfort, adventure, contentment, and pain -- depending on the dream. There is power in the dreams, too, and when the discoverer of the Place disappears and the government claims he has died, his daughter Laura finds reasons to be suspicious. Following directions on a note from her father hidden in a man made of sand, Laura catches and sends a nightmare out across a large audience of dreamers, striking fear and terror into people of influence and officials. With the help of her cousin, her suitor, and her own man of sand, Laura uncovers a plot to use the dreams to control the citizens of the land. Together they set out on a daring mission to right the wrongs and save their country.
I tore through these two books, hungry to continue reading and glad that I could read them one after the other. Fabulous and full of flavour, I highly recommend this duet. Friendships, dreams, conflict, struggle, joy, pain, family magic, coming of age, music, alternate realities, and a touch of romance mark these books. (There are some allusions to sex.)

Empire by Orson Scott Card
Today -- or tomorrow -- the United States, sparked by the assassination of the president and vice-president, erupts into civil war. Terrorists had gotten a hold of anti-terrorist plans and used them against the nation, while a group of citizen took advantage of the confusion to launch their technology weapons and take over whole cities and states of the union. The major who had written the anti-terrorist plans and his assistant are present for the bombing of the White House and together form a small group of elite soldiers. They work undercover and pit themselves against the confusion and the turmoil of the nation, the weapons and technology of the civil war proponents, and the dissension and treachery within their trusted group.
Intriguing possibilities emerge in this story -- and yet, they seem not far from the realm of possibility. Good for readers interested in political fiction, war fiction, and contemporary fiction of America.

Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
A retelling of Sleeping Beauty, this story is a time-traveling fantasy of a young Jewish man (Ivan) who returns to his Russian homeland to do research for a paper he's writing and rediscovers a clearing in the woods -- with a circular pit and a woman asleep on a pedestal and a giant bear guarding over it. When Ivan leaps the chasm, wakes the woman with a kiss, and then (at her command) asks her to marry him, they start on a life that neither could imagine. He comes from 20th century America, where there are cars and; she comes from 12th century Russia, where her village is being threatened by the power-hungry witch Baba Yaga. Together, they must save themselves, their families, and their friends in true fairy tale style.
Quite an intense telling, long and detailed but well done, as Card will do. A bit on the more mature lilt.

Epic by Conor Kostick
Hundreds of years into the future, people are scraping out a poor existence on a new world. A rich and powerful government rules over the poor working class -- they withhold basic necessities and require citizens to slave for hours a day to scratch out a living -- penny by penny -- in a virtual fantasy world called Epic. When Erik and his friends seek revenge for grievances against his parents, they succeed in undermining some of the basic principles of the game and destabilizing the virtual world -- only to find themselves up against the most powerful and merciless players -- the Committee who rules New Earth.
A fantasy wrapped in a speculative fiction with all the feeling of a video game. This is a great book for fantasy game players, for readers of dystopic futuristic fiction, and for those who just enjoy an energetic adventure plot. It was written by one of the writers of the first online virtual world, so the author definitely knows what he's writing about.

Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks
Life is tough when you're a young genius. There aren't many things that hold a challenge for you -- home security systems hold no challenge, computers are cake, failing an entire class of students at school is child's play, and wreaking havoc on the highways is merely a week's work. Such is the life of Cadel Piggott, adopted young genius until he enters the Axis Institute -- a college designed specifically for him by his jailed father. With courses like Cultural Appreciation (Forgery), Personal Presentation (Disguise), Computer Science (Infiltration), and Accounting (Embezzlement), Cadell has very little time for boredom -- especially since he's decided to make use of the computer lab to tap into all the campus communications. But pretty soon students begin to go missing -- or show up dead, and Cadell begins to wonder -- is it all his fault? And then he discovers some dangerous secrets, and he winds up kidnapped....
An entertaining enough book; I was quite excited by the title and description, and got off to a rip-roaring start (I mean, really -- who hasn't wanted to take over the world!?). The characters were fun, but a little flat and stereotypical of villainous folk, and it's hard to even worry too much about Cadel. Nevertheless, if you're out to take over the world, this is a good place to start.

Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
After following a hart into the woods bordering her town, Keturah is faced with Death. But known as a storyteller, she charms Lord Death with a story of a girl seeking her own true love -- but the story has no ending. Lord Death makes a bargain with her: she has one more day of freedom to find her love, but if she doesn't, she must return to him and become his bride. Thus begins Keturah's search for her one true love and the salvation of her beloved town.
This was a wonderful story -- beautiful writing that portrays kindness, love, sorrow, fear, superstition, and passion. (Also a National Book Award Finalist). Spellbinding, just as Keturah's stories would be to her townsfolk, and highly recommended.

Larklight by Philip Reeve
A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space
Philip Reeve of Mortal Engines fame (I've bookended that one before) takes a trip into past Victorian England -- but not the Victorian England we have come to know. Instead, it's a tale of gravitational pull, planet colonization, space pirates, angry spiders, and a battle to save the universe from certain destruction! Art and Myrtle Mumby live with their father in a space house, far from the reaches of earth. One exciting day, they are to receive visitors -- Mr. Webster and company. But when Mr. Webster arrives, he doesn't merely want a cup of tea. Art and Myrtle have to escape -- and fast! -- and so their adventures begin, taking them to the farthest reaches of space and back home again, with certain death charging behind them.
This was a delightful book with plenty of action, illustrations, and amazing fun. A great choice for humourous science fiction in the British language and good for the younger set.

Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip by Tove Jansson
Moomin.... He's an interesting hippo-like creature who simply wants to live in peace, plant potatoes, and dream. And yet, he is constantly getting into scrapes -- housing his relatives, meeting snork-maiden, getting rich, going broke, helicoptoring, meeting pirates, camping out, and so on. He lives quite a bewildering life, considering he only wants a simple life.
A delightful fare of imagination, charm, wit, melancholy, and fantasy, this classic from the London Evening News is a lovely read.
Y GRAPHIC NOV Jansson Oddly Normal by Otis Frampton
When your father is human but your mother is a witch, you have green hair and pointed ears, and your name (somehow) is actually and truly Oddly Normal, it's a sure thing that your life isn't going to go smoothly. And if on your birthday, you wish away your house and your parents and suddenly become a citizen of Fignation to live with your aunt while she tries to track down your missing parents, it's another sure thing that life will never be normal. And if you discover that the teacher in your new school actually knew your mom and is the essence of evil, well surely there are secrets and puzzles to be solved.
Delightful! This is great graphic novel for the preteens and the tweens. I can't wait for the next volume! Oddly and her friends make up a great menagerie of characters in a great tale of magic and mystery.

The Naming by Alison Croggon
Maerad, a slave living a poor excuse for an existence, is discovered and rescued by the wandering bard, Cadvan, when he perceives something special about her. As he begins to learn who she is and discover her powers, he becomes convinced that she is a necessary player in defeating the Dark, one of whom legend foretold. He takes her to a barding city and school, where for a short week she is taught in the ways of the Bards. But there is trouble, distrust, and divisions among the bards, and they leave, on their way across the perilous land to Norloch to meet the head Bard and be given her bard name so she can be truly trained in all of her powers. It's a journey full of danger, desperation, and hidden truths, and Maerad begins to learn the extent of her powers and, her true history, and part of what her future holds.
The first of a coming quartet (three have been published so far), this is a wonderful introduction to a very promising epic fantasy. The writing is lyrical, the adventure is intense, the battle between Light and Dark is dangerous, and everything else is honest and magical. Anyone who's been following the blog will know that around the holiday season, I love to curl up with heavy, engrossing epic fantasy tales -- this one did not disappoint. Good vs evil, magic, creatures and beasts, music, learning, danger, questing.... I've finished the first and can't wait to begin the second, have the third on order, and hope that Alison Croggon gets the fourth published soon!

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
"I know this is going to sound strange, but would you mind being my girlfriend for the next five minutes?" That's Nick's question to Norah when he sees his ex-girlfriend approaching him in the club where his band just played with her new guy. Norah's response? The best kiss either one of them has ever experienced though they don't necessarily realize it at the moment. Thus begins their long night together, a first date in and out of music clubs, trains, hotels, restaurants, and bathrooms; a first date of love and hate, confusion, certainty, laughter, tears, anger, fun, and more. Told by Nick *and* Norah.
So, I admit I loved this book, despite myself and my regular reading tastes. Nick and Norah were fabulous, so real that I continued thinking about their frenetic, confused plights even when I didn't have the book in hand; and the supporting cast was great. It's a thoroughly enjoyable read -- fast-paced and totally engaging. But, for those of you who need to know, be aware of the swearing (the f-bomb goes off every couple of words) and the sexuality in this book.
Visit the website.
Be sure to catch Cohn's and Levithan's newest collaboration Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List.

Ophelia by Lisa Klein
A telling of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark -- yes *that* Hamlet -- and Ophelia.
Ophelia, sent to the castle to become a lady in waiting by her father, is alone except for the woman Elnora, a healer in the castle. And lonely she is, because ladies in waiting embroider, gossip, and flirt -- all things that Ophelia find boring and dull. She would rather study and read and swim and discuss. When Prince Hamlet notices Ophelia and encourages her wit and intelligence, she begins to fall in love. Hamlet courts her in secret, donning peasant clothes to hide their identities. And then they wed. But like Romeo and Juliet, this is a star-crossed love. Deaths and murders and trickery begin to plague the castle, making Ophelia an orphan and turning Hamlet a vengeful man. Forced to admit that her new husband has gone mad and no longer loves her, and after discovering that she carries Hamlet's heir, Ophelia fakes her own death to escape the castle and head to the safety of a convent in France.
A well-written and enjoyable tale. I began this book with great anticipation -- I am quite a fan of Shakespeare, and this reimagined tale had garnered good reviews. And until halfway through I enjoyed it, eagerly turning each page. And then the sadness struck, and I wasn't sure I wanted to finish it -- I was in no mood for a sad ending. But I pushed through and by part three was glad I did -- Ophelia's life in the convent was intriguing and uplifting. The ending is left somewhat open, somewhat sad, and somewhat happy -- just like life.
Recommended. One or two allusions to sex.

The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison
Prince George, heir to the throne, cursed with powers of forbidden animal magic; his mother dead, his father ill, he has the responsibility of a kingdom on his shoulders. Princess Beatrice, betrothed to George, unwanted by her father, her only friend a hound from the wilds... but the hound is more than a friend. They both have secrets that must be hidden -- at great cost to themselves.
I have been looking forward to finally getting this book at the library -- it had received some respectable reviews, and it sounded like just the kind of fairy-tale romance I enjoy -- and it was definitely that. One of those rare books that kept me reading even after I was too tired to keep my eyes open!
Y FICTION Harrison

White Tiger: A Hero's Compulsion by Tamora Pierce, et al
After her FBI partner is murdered, after her superhero uncle is killed, after she is compelled to leave the job she loved, and after her mentor is jailed, Angela del Toro feels lost -- but she is still determined to bring law and order to her new neighbourhood. When she mysteriously receives the mystical amulets that made her uncle the powerful White Tiger, she discovers that she has new strengths and prowess. With a new costume and a new investigation, Angela soon becomes the new White Tiger, set to bring down a powerful criminal
I picked this up mostly because I'm a fan of Tamora Pierce, but it wasn't anything like what I was expecting -- mostly because of the heavy tie-ins with many Marvel characters (DareDevil, Spider-Man, Cobra, and others) and Marvel storylines. I wasn't convinced at the start that I would like it, but as the plot moved on and the story developed, I started enjoying it more and more. I didn't get a strong flavour of Pierce from the writing, except for the personality of a strong female character who defies the odds to put good over evil and take down the bad guys. Overall, I liked it -- it was a good reminder that I enjoy a good superhero comic/gn.
Parental Advisory on the back cover; there's definitely violence.

December 2007

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