Friday, 31 July 2015

Book reviews: Fantasy

I must confess that I struggle writing book reviews. It's mostly because I try to do something that I'd be expected to do in English, which is definitely different from writing a review for a blog. My reviews usually end up too long with waaay too much theme analyzation. However, I do love reviewing books (even if I suck at writing longer reviews), so I thought I'd try to make a happy medium and list books I've enjoyed in a certain genre and give a few sentences of a review (but I'll limit my list to five books because if I don't have a limit then I can go all day). I'll update my lists as I read more books. So in alphabetical order, here are five fantasy novels I've enjoyed. 

Dragonskin Slippers by Jessica Day George - Creel's aunt attempts to set her up with a knight by sacrificing her to a dragon, and her plan goes a little haywire when Creel befriends the dragon, falls in love with the prince and tries to take down the princess of a neighbouring country. I've loved this book for years because the Creel knows exactly what she wants and isn't afraid to get it. The world-building is amazing, the characters even more so, and the plot is fresh and exciting. There are three books in the series. 

Ingo by Helen Dunmore - set in today's time, Ingo is about Sapphire and her brother trying to come to terms with their identity as part mermaid, as well as save the world from the threats lurking deep in the ocean. The novel is beautifully written and you feel like you're part of the intricate world that the author has created. The characters are incredibly complex, and throughout the entire novel you can feel the characters' struggle, as changing as the tides, to accept both the sea and the earth as their home. The first book in a series.



Knight and Rouge by Hilari Bell - high fantasy, snappy dialogue and a mystery. In a world where knights and honour aren't celebrated and are actually laughed at, a lone knight works to bring the old traditions back. He saves a thief who becomes his squire and friend and together they solve mysteries in the name of honour. I didn't particularly enjoy the mystery aspect of it, but that might just be my personal aversion to mysteries (I read way too many Nancy Drew books when I was younger). The main character's friendship felt real and was the best part of the novel, however, it did lag a bit in the middle (but that might be my aversion to mysteries). This novel is the first in a series. 

Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron - an urban fantasy retelling the story of Frankenstein's monster and his genius coding son, who creates a monster all by himself. I've been obsessed with Frankenstein since reading the original novel by Mary Shelly, and this novel did an excellent job of combining the themes and ideas of the original while breathing new life into the classic story. We also get to see the other myths (like Medusa, for example) come to life and see how they survive in the 21st century. 

The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull (author of Fablehaven) - this one leans more towards MG but it's still fantastic. There's a new candy store in town, and the sweets are anything but ordinary. The main characters are soon pitched against characters with magical abilities, but who's telling the truth? I've loved this book for years because of its world building (the fudge makes you obsessed getting more fudge while you ignore the rest of the world, and the moon candy changes your gravity to make it more like the moon) and twisting plot. 

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