Friday, May 30, 2008

# 24 - The Dollmaker

Book No:24
Title: The Dollmaker
Author: Amanda Stevens
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Published: 2007
Obtained: 2008/Paperbackswap
Completed: 4/13/05
No. of Pages: 376
Rating: 3/5*****

Clare and Dave’s young daughter disappeared seven years, without a trace. Dave found his solace in a bottle, leading to the end of his marriage. Claire has remarried, but that marriage is falling apart. When she sees a doll in a shop window, a doll that looks remarkably like her missing daughter, Clare turns to Dave, who is now sober and a private investigator, to find out what the dollmaker knows about their child’s disappearance.
Although the book has a good premise, and the characters of Clare, Dave and others are well developed, this book was for me neither suspenseful nor thrilling. I found it a solid read, but figured out the mystery fairly quickly and found nothing too remarkable about the book, I never felt that edge of the seat excitement I look for in books of this kind. A good, but pedestrian thriller.

#23 - A Great and Terrible Beauty

Book No: 23
Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty
Author: Libba Bray
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2005
Obtained: 2008/Paperbackswap
Completed: 4/11/08
No. of Pages: 403
Rating: 3/5*****

A Great and Terrible Beauty is the story of Gemma Doyle, a high-spirited 16 year old girl who is living in India with her family, and longing to go home to London, a place she has never been but desperately wishes to go to. After a tragedy strikes the family, Gemma does go to London, but to Spence Academy, a place where young Victorian women are taught all the things necessary to be the perfect wife. Gemma struggles to fit into this much regulated world, but has trouble with the clique’s of girls who have been there for years, as well as the rigidity of the curriculum. Eventually making friends and finding her way Gemma must also deal with the awakening of supernatural powers within her, including crossing over into a land of magic called The Realms. Soon it becomes apparent that Gemma may not be in control of the magic she and her friends have unleashed.
I found this to be an okay read, nothing outstanding. I felt that the book is obviously a set up for a series. I also don’t think that the plotlines were fully developed. There was no reasoning for the existence of this other world, what its purpose was, the ‘villain’ is never fully delineated, in fact most of the characters seemed underdeveloped to me. I also found the friendship of the four girls at the core of the story problematic. These girls were often very cruel and vicious, yet Gemma seems to forget all this as soon as she is one of the popular girls. Also the language and some of the girls’ ideas were very modern sounding and not at all Victorian. Parts of the book were very good, in particular the increasing sense of danger is very well done, and the last several chapters fly by in a whirl of activity, but the ending is ultimately unsatisfying because almost nothing of Gemma’s situation is resolved, quite obviously another book is in the wings, hopefully it will resolve some of the loose ends.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Crazy Busy

I haven't been here to check in for ages! I haven't stopped reading, just haven't had time to write and post reviews. I have about 15 reviews to get up here, I'm hoping to get to it today. I've also joined a new challenge, the Reader's in Thongs Alphabet Challenge, plus Play Book Tag as been having a Survivor type reading game that has kept me so very busy. I've made it through 17 rounds, but expect to be knocked out soon, as there are people in the challenge that read 2 books a day, just crazy :)