Thursday, February 26, 2009

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Hi, all! Here's another review for ya...

Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

Originality- 9/10
Characters- 19/20
Remembrance- 9/10
Setting- 18/20
Plot- 16/20
Ending- 8/10
Recommend To Read- 10/10
Total- 89/100
Grade- A

Another great book with a tough and leading heroine, a fantasy world, a really hot prince, and super-powers! (Sort of.) I mean, out of all of that, what would you want to take out? None of it. Of course, this is just the basis. When I actually read the book, the emotions and plotline really took over my senses and I felt like someone just hovering over Katsa as she acts like her goddess-like self.

The beginning of the book really hooked me in--the situation they were in, with that reconnaissance mission, and all. I felt like Katsa really is trying to be a good person--that she's trying her hardest to do all the kindness she can, how she's trying to seperate herself from her uncle. It just happens that you'll meet a major character in this very part of the book. But we'll get back to that.

Disregarding the ridiculous names, the characters really did have emotional struggles and I just felt so proud of Katsa when she becomes more of the person she wants to be instead of her uncle's tool.

And Po. Oh, Po. (Hehe.) It figures that he'd rename himself because his original one is pretty ridiculous, but I'm not so sure that I'd choose Po as a good alternative to the original. At first, I thought that Po would just be Katsa's shoulder to cry on, but I'm happy/depressed that I was wrong. I didn't like his problems. They made me feel bad. Like, I thought that his Grace sounded amazing, but it was so strange and terrifying to him, that I couldn't help but feel guilty. Especially at the end. I know that I didn't give the ending a very good score, but it isn't because it isn't good. I just feel sad about it.

Po and Katsa are odd friends--and an even odder couple, though they make sense. Apparently, Katsa is beautiful--though scary...--and Po is hot-stuff, too, so if they just made an effort to look better... No, I'm kidding. That's not why they work. It's just...more of that emotional stuff, y'know? It's hard to explain it--I wish I could. It's just one of those inexplicable things that feels so real. I didn't want the book to end. Even if it was long. I wanted to stay in that wonderful world forever! But, alas, I could not.

So, watch out, people with complete heterochromia! Steer clear of me, of else I'll be bombarding you with questions about how it is to have a Grace. Oh...I wish I had heterochromia. Just one of those urges to have something different about you, y'know?

Eh, anywho, bye-bye!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

City Of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Okay, apparently it's my one-month anniversary since I've last blogged. Hurrah!, wait, that's wrong, right? *Scratches head bashfully and nudges ground with toe* Soooorry, guys. I've been all in my fanfiction stage--which I still am in, thankyouverymuch, and have 5 stories complete, two still in the workings--and other stuff, so, blahblahblahexcusesramblingsblah. You get the jist of it.

City Of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

Originality- 10/10
Characters- 20/20
Remembrance- 9/10
Setting- 18/20
Plot- 19/20
Ending- 7/10
Recommend To Read- 10/10
Total- 93/100
Grade- A

I remember, looking back, seeing these books on the shelves and thinking they kind of looked...macho. So, I wonder if it's strange, that these books are probably my second favorite series of all time? ...Maybe.

The one problem in this book that surrounds my brain like a crazed little fairie trying to stab my brains out is how Clary is so, how I like to put it, "Bella-Retarded". She isn't as tactless and innocent as Bella is--or was, but now is not the time nor place--but she still does stupid things, and I mean stupid, to help out. Unlike Bella, though, it actually works sometimes. What can I say? It must run in the Morgenstern blood, because Jace can be as much of an idiot.

Another thing that bothers like a tiny dull ache instead of a full blown mythological-creature's assault on my cranium is how I feel about Jace and Clary's relationship. I'm...okay with it. Maybe it's because I've been increasingly accepting of relationships of all types lately, or maybe it's because Jace and Clary are so good together. I mean, it would be better if they weren't (sorry, spoiler-alert, but you should know this information already as this is the review for the second book), y'know, siblings with both parents. It would screw up the plotline and angst hugely, but wouldn't it be better is they were only half-siblings or something? I dunno. Just my opinion. Either way, they should just get over being so "Bella-Retarded" and go suck face or whatever Shadowhunter couples do. A passionate demon killing pree with a view? Um...yes...?

This series continues to blow my mind in the most awesome of ways. Also, there was a quote in there that I am in love with--and I don't mean a character quote, sorry--that was, I think, the quote for the first part of the book, "I believe I am in Hell, therefore I am"? Yeah, I think. I don't know if there are deeper meaning for that but it sort of reminds me of, "You are what you eat".

Sorry, off topic. What I was trying to say is that I truly don't think that I have read any books as creative as this series. It never ceases to amaze me how real everything is, and whoever the POV is in, I feel like I'm a part of them and I understand most things they say or do, though I know that I could never be that smooth or cool. Darn Shadowhunters and Downworlders get all the fun.

If you love fantasy and/or romances with a tad of incest--though that makes it sound dirty, when it's not...--then I guarentee that no matter how much you resist or hide away in a cave, this book will follow after you and you'll fall head over heels in love with it.

Love you all!
Tay-Toe (a.k.a. on, the mighty Balandria!)