Review: Amulet Volume 4: The Last Council (Amulet #4) – Kazu Kibuishi


Amulet Volume 4: The Last Council (Amulet #4) – Kazu Kibuishi

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Title: Amulet Volume 4: The Last Council (Amulet #4)

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Release Date: September 1, 2011

Publisher: GRAPHIX

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 209

Source: Library

Emily and her friends think they’ll find the help they need in Cielis, but something isn’t right. Streets that were once busy are deserted, and the townspeople who are left live in crippling fear. Emily is escorted to the Academy where she’s expected to compete for a spot on the Guardian Council, the most powerful Stonekeepers. But as the number of competitors gets smaller and smaller, a terrible secret is slowly uncovered–a secret that, if left buried, means certain destruction of everything Emily fights for.


4 out of 5 stars

I think that this book has been my favorite out of the Amulet series thus far. It was fast paced, entertaining, kind of creepy, and beautifully drawn and written. I love the Elves who are traveling with the group. The two of them have so many redeeming qualities, I mean I’m sure the point of them being in the group is to show sides of people/creatures that get overlooked by outward appearances. I do believe that by the end of the series, the Elves will be allies with the Stonekeepers. That is my prediction, let’s see if I’m correct.

The premise behind this volume was the beginning of the journey through Cielis with the other Stonekeepers Emily meets while she’s there. There was somewhat of a plot twist at the end, but now that I look back at it all the clues were there. I cannot wait to continue on with this series. I highly recommend reading this graphic novel series if you’ve never read graphic novels or want to get into them. It’s, again, fast paced, and very easy to read. It is a middle grade series, but it will give you an idea of how you feel about reading graphic novels. I also recommend getting graphic novels from your local library; graphic novels are very expensive, but they’re worth the read.

I would choose to be Emily still. I love her and her brother Navin, the two of them are helpful and will actually be beneficial to one another. It isn’t very common that you read a book with a strong family element. It’s nice to read about a family who gets along and loves each other. I am so excited to finish this series in 2016! Let me know what your favorite graphic novel was of this year in the comments below!

Series:

The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1)

The Stonekeeper’s Curse (Amulet #2)

The Cloud Searchers (Amulet #3)

Prince of the Elves (Amulet #5)

Escape from Lucien (Amulet #6)

Firelight (Amulet #7)

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Review: Amulet Volume 3: The Cloud Searchers (Amulet #3) – Kazu Kibuishi


Amulet Volume 3: The Cloud Searchers (Amulet #3) – Kazu Kibuishi

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Title: Amulet Volume 3: The Cloud Searchers (Amulet #3)

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Release Date: September 1, 2010

Publisher: GRAPHIX

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 199

Source: Library

An impossible journey with danger at every turn…

Emily, Navin, and their crew of resistance fighters charter an airship and set off in search of the lost city of Cielis. There they hope to find help from the Guardian Council’s powerful Stonekeepers. It’s a mission that Alledia’s survival depends on, and time is running out–Emily’s got to find Cielis before the Elf King finds her.


4 out of 5 stars

I am really loving this series! Like I said in the review of The Stonekeeper’s Curse, they’re so much fun to read. I am excited to start the next book because they finally got to the destination they were trying to get to, and they met a few new characters. The plot of this volume of Amulet was about Emily and Navin and their mother traveling to the floating city of Cielis so they can further Emily’s journey as a Stonekeeper. Again, I love this series; they’re fun, easy, and colorful. I haven’t read a lot of graphic novels, so it’s like a breath of fresh air to finally read a good series. Emily and Navin are nice to eachother, and they don’t fight. They’re like normal siblings in a supernatural world.

I can’t wait to see where the rest of the series takes me! I am very excited to read the seventh installment that comes out in February. I really hope that my library has the rest of the series, though. The one thing that I don’t like about graphic novels is that they’re expensive, and you don’t get as much story, but I’m happy to read them from the library.

I would choose to be Emily still. I love how she’s not being controlled by the Amulet and how she’s trying her best to learn. The next book will be about her education in Cielis, because she’ll be training to be part of the Council. Gosh, I can’t wait to finish this series.

Series:

The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1)

The Stonekeeper’s Curse (Amulet #2)

The Last Council (Amulet #4)

Prince of the Elves (Amulet #5)

Escape from Lucien (Amulet #6)

Firelight (Amulet #7)

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Review: Amulet Volume 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse (Amulet #2) – Kazu Kibuishi


Amulet Volume 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse (Amulet #2) – Kazu Kibuishi

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Title: Amulet Volume 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse (Amulet #2)

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Release Date: September 1, 2009

Publisher: GRAPHIX

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 224

Source: Library

In this thrilling sequel to AMULET #1: THE STONEKEEPER, Emily and her brother Navin head for Kanalis, a beautiful and mysterious city of waterfalls, where they hope to find the antidote for the poison that felled their mother. That cure lies in the eggs of a giant serpent atop Demon’s Head Mountain, but the kids’ archenemy, Trellis, is headed for the peak, too. A battle that will engulf all of Kanalis is looming. It’s up to Em to triumph over evil while controlling the amulet’s power . . . without losing herself!


4 out of 5 stars

Gosh, I’m really loving this series! It’s so much fun to read; it’s been a while since I’ve had a completely fun read. I liked this volume better than the first. Emily and Navin had to go underground with the animal people from a city with the best doctors. They went there in the first place to help their mother find a cure for the poison she got poisoned with in the first volume. Emily knows that the amulet’s power is growing, so she has to stay in control. The more she uses the power, the stronger the amulet gets, and the harder it is for her to control it. Her main struggle throughout this book deals with her ability to control the stone that she’s now cursed with. Emily had quite a bit of character development in this book compared to the first, so it was cool to see her growth through the book. I love Leon; he’s the fox/person who is the trainer for Emily. Both her and Navin learn so much from him and his abilities.

I’m very excited to continue on with this series; it’s been a lot of fun to read so far, and I am extremely excited to see what happens next. I also love the fact that this series is for middle grade. I love middle grade novels because of the simplicity in them; they don’t have romance, you don’t have to worry about reading something that makes you uncomfortable, you just get to have fun. It’s always nice to have a fun book to read.

Series:

The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1)

The Cloud Searchers (Amulet #3)

The Last Council (Amulet #4)

Prince of the Elves (Amulet #5)

Escape from Lucien (Amulet #6)

Firelight (Amulet #7)

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Review: Amulet Volume 1: The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1) – Kazu Kibuishi


Amulet Volume 1: The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1) – Kazu Kibuishi

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Title: Amulet Volume 1: The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1)

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Release Date: January 1, 2008

Publisher: GRAPHIX

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 192

Source: Library

Graphic novel star Kazu Kibuishi creates a world of terrible, man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a giant robot—and two ordinary children on a life-or-death mission.

After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids’ mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals.

Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.


4 out of 5 stars

The first thing I want to say is that this book was super fun. I love reading graphic novels because they’re easy to read, they have color, and have beautiful artwork. My younger brother read these books a couple years ago, and I just never got around to reading them. I went to the library before going to work this morning, and picked up the first four volumes in this graphic novel series. I started and finished this first one within the span of half an hour total. The story was cool, and the artwork was gorgeous. I love this art style; the colors are really nice to look at.

The whole idea behind the books is that Emily and her brother Navin have to live in an old house that they just move into. Their mom decides to take them to this new/old house because their dad died, but anyway… Emily and Navin find out that it is their great grandfather’s house, and find a lot of his old things. Emily starts reading a book on a pedestal, and when she closes the book there is a spot perfect for her hand. Of course she presses her hand into this imprint, and then a magical necklace flips out at her; the amulet is what the series is about. They start hearing noises in the basement, so naturally they go and look to see what it is, and then they get taken into this other world that her grandfather took part in creating. They make friends with some of the creatures of this new world, and go on trips to help their mother, who had an unfortunate event happen to her.

The concept is really awesome, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. I plan on finishing the next three tonight and tomorrow :)

Series:

The Stonekeeper’s Curse (Amulet #2)

The Cloud Searchers (Amulet #3)

The Last Council (Amulet #4)

Prince of the Elves (Amulet #5)

Escape from Lucien (Amulet #6)

Firelight (Amulet #7)

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Review: Queen Song (Red Queen #0.1) – Victoria Aveyard


Queen Song (Red Queen #0.1) – Victoria Aveyard

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Title: Queen Song

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Release Date: September 1, 2015

Publisher: HarperTeen

Format: eBook

Page Number: 55

Source: Barnes and Noble

In this 55-page prequel novella set in the Red Queen world, Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.


5 out of 5 stars

I was just browsing through my Goodreads friend updates, and I saw this book! I had no idea that it existed. Um. How did I not know about this?! I loved Red Queen and read it back in April with my book club. I couldn’t wait to dive back into this series, so of course I purchased it on the Barnes and Noble website with some gift cards I got for Christmas. I immediately told my best friend, Brooklynn, about it because she also loved this book. (her review) She read this short novella on my Nook account, and then wrote her review and was telling me that I had to read it, so I started it last night and finished it this morning. I loved this novella. I have always been a huge fan of novellas; I love getting the extra little pieces to stories. I love the world Victoria Aveyard has created, and can’t wait for Glass Sword to come out. It is seriously going to be so great.

This book was basically about Queen Coriane and her relationship with King Tiberius. When you’re reading Red Queen you don’t see the vulnerability that Queen Coriane has; it’s really great to see that side of her. The way the relationship progressed was adorable, and it was completely different that what I thought it was. If I remember correctly, in Red Queen it isn’t said how Coriane and Tiberius met. I thought that she just won the Queenstrial thing that they do, but he actually picked her. I also liked how Coriane wrote in a diary every day, and towards the end it was more of a worry journal. She wrote everything she didn’t want other people to know in this journal. It was also quite adorable to read about Cal when he was just a little baby. He sounded like he was so cute. :) There were definitely some ‘aww’ moments in this novella.

I would choose to be Queen Coriane, because I saw her vulnerability throughout this. You wouldn’t think you could get that much information from a 55 page book, but you definitely can. She had a decent childhood, and ended up marrying for love, which doesn’t happen in this society. I really enjoyed reading from her perspective, and seeing her side of things. Victoria Aveyard has a gorgeous writing style that I can’t wait to continue reading about in the next novella, Steel Scars.

Series:

Red Queen (Red Queen #1)

Glass Sword (Red Queen #2)

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Review: Almost A Millennium – Jeanbill


Almost A Millennium – Jeanbill

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Title: Almost A Millennium

Author: Jeanbill

Release Date: January 31, 2015

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 204

Source: Publisher

Almost a Millennium is an eclectic novel about the unlikely connection between an English monk and an American physician that lived nearly 1,000 years apart, one of today and one in the medieval period. It begins at their birth, traveling through time to their adulthood.

Paul, a monk at Llanthony Abbey in Wales, begins writing in the scriptorium using cryptography, knowing that the abbot might frown upon some of his comments about the crusade and his contact with God. In addition to his criticism of the crusade, he had added a short autobiography into the three-page document. He decided to keep this manuscript near his desk until the time he would be close to death and would pass it on for safekeeping to one of his fellow monks. No one would ever know what he had written unless the person deciphered the code.

After the death of his parents, Fred finds himself struggling with his faith and questioning the presence of God. He is introduced to an ancient manuscript, written by a monk who lived one thousand years ago. Through his readings, he deciphers the coded text and it completely changes him.

Separated by time and geography, Fred and Paul develop a connection that defies logic and physics.

Interspersed are brief sketches of portions of history during the medieval period, mostly in England, and there is also romance, rape, and murder as well as the substantive issues of modern and medieval times, including religion. The historical fiction breathes life into historical and modern figures and events, bringing readers into the real world – of the past and the present.


2 out of 5 stars

Plot:

There were two different stories to this book. The first dealt with a man and woman in this time period, and the second was in the early 1000s. Both were about couples who had their issues, but I was very confused throughout this whole book. I don’t really know what happened, honestly. The stories were all over the place, and I didn’t understand the connection between the two. It was hard to connect with the characters because of the different story lines. The first story dealt with a man who’s parents died, then he had to work his way through medical school, so instead of getting a job he used a girl for her money. They ended up not falling in love, but got married anyway. The guy fell in love with a nurse at the hospital and ended up marrying her. The second story was about a man who works for a family and falls in love with the daughter. They end up getting married against her parent’s wishes and then they leave the area her parents are at. Not much happened in this book, and there was a lot of pointless death. I didn’t get the random history lessons in the middle of the chapters. Parts of this book read somewhat like a research paper. I did like the idea behind it, though. It is cool that the stories from different time periods some how connect.

Characters:

Again, these characters were very hard to connect with. I didn’t like very many of them, but I feel like the characters from the 1000s resonated more with me. One thing that made this book harder to get into was the fact that at the beginning of chapters with new characters, there was a written out list of the new characters. I didn’t really get the point of that, but I guess it did make the book shorter. Also, all the characters had very common names, so it was hard to differentiate who was who. Overall I didn’t hate the characters, but I couldn’t really connect with them.

Who Would I Be?:

I will choose to be Fred (the man from the “now” time period). Even though he divorced his first wife for the new girl, he did have character development. His parents died when he was in college, so he found a way to cope. He was very smart and got great grades throughout high school and college, and he ended up decoding a large part of Latin text in the end. He was a very dynamic character; he had development from beginning to end.

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Review: The Mine (Northwest Passage #1) – John A. Heldt


The Mine (Northwest Passage #1) – John A. Heldt

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Title: The Mine

Author: John A. Heldt

Release Date: December 6, 2013

Publisher: John A. Heldt

Format: eBook

Page Number: 291

Source: Publisher

In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.


5 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Joel Smith, the college senior, is about to graduate but decides to explore a little bit on a small trip with his best friend. Joel winds up in an abandoned mine in Montana with a flashlight and curiosity. He followed the mine shaft until he sees glowing blue stones in the wall. His immediate reaction shows his love of geology, but he’s startled by a rattle snake close behind him. He drops his flashlight and runs as quickly as he can out of the mine. On his way out, something odd happens. The college boy runs and hits his head on a low ceiling, and when he wakes up, he’s in 1941. Joel walks out of the mine completely clueless, and sees that his best friend isn’t there, so he starts walking towards town. On his trek toward the nearest inhabited land, Joel gets picked up by a man in a nice, new, old car. When Joel gets into the car he asks what year it is, and gets the answer he fears. He went back in time 59 years, and doesn’t know how to get back to his time. He doesn’t have any cash with him, and has no idea what to do. He ends up going to his hometown, and sleeping on a bench outside a bar. One night he sees his future best friend getting beaten up by guys their age asking for money. Tom, the boy getting beat up, gets help from Joel, and soon takes the future-naut into his home. Tom and Joel become the best of friends, and Tom introduces Joel to his group of friends. Tom talks about his girlfriend and mentions some of her friends; Joel ends up falling for a girl named Grace. Does Tom ever get back his time period? Does falling in love with a girl from 45 years before his birth ruin anything?

OH MY GOSH I LOVED THIS BOOK. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. The concept was great, and I loved the setting and the characters. I can’t believe that it took me this long to actually read this book. Huge huge thank you to John for sending me this book. I loved it so much. The romance was adorable. The friendship was perfect. I really don’t have any complaints about this book at all. I cannot wait to read the rest of this series, because it ended on an amazing cliffhanger; I will definitely be picking up the rest of these books in 2016. This was the perfect time travel book, because he wasn’t looking to specifically time travel, and made the best decision in the end. He wasn’t selfish, and he acted very maturely. He fell in love and lived his few months in the 1940s with his best friends. I loved this book. I highly HIGHLY recommend this to everyone.

Characters:

Joel was witty, sarcastic, and loving. He was perfectly flawed. He knew where he needed to learn more about the people around him, and about himself. Joel knew the right thing to say, and when to say it. Tom was a wonderful best friend to Joel, and went through rough times, but understood why he had to. Grace (even if I am a little biased to the name… one of my favorites of all time) was beautiful, and tender. She was delicate, but still understood how the world worked.

These were some of my favorite characters. I loved the feeling I got while reading this book; the writing was beautiful. Again, I thank the Lord that he created people who know how to create stories.

Who Would I Be?:

I would choose to be Grace; she was gorgeous, smart, and sensitive. Grace loved books, I love books. It’s meant to be. She also got to spend the last few months she had with Joel creating memories to last a lifetime. I love Joel, and she loves Joel. Again… we’re basically the same ;)

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