Apathy & Rhetoric


Leave a comment

Book Review: Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull

trio

Sky Raiders Review

Official Overview:

Cole Randolph was just trying to have a fun time with his friends on Halloween (and maybe get to know Jenna Hunt a little better). But when a spooky haunted house turns out to be a portal to something much creepier, Cole finds himself on an adventure on a whole different level.

After Cole sees his friends whisked away to some mysterious place underneath the haunted house, he dives in after them and ends up in The Outskirts. The Outskirts are made up of five kingdoms that lie between wakefulness and dreaming, reality and imagination, life and death. It’s an in-between place. Some people are born there. Some find their way there from our world, or from other worlds.

And once you come to the Outskirts, it’s very hard to leave.

With the magic of the Outskirts starting to unravel, it’s up to Cole and an unusual girl named Mira to rescue his friends, set things right in the Outskirts, and hopefully find his way back home before his existence is forgotten.

4 stars

My Review:

When I started Sky Raiders I was worried it was going to be a little too fantastical for me, but the more I read the more I enjoyed it.  The world Mull creates is amazing.  The Five Kingdoms is a combination of originality and the dreams and imaginings we all had as children. Was it weird sometimes? Yes, but only when it was meant to be weird.

My biggest issue with the book was I felt the plot kept getting in the way. (I am aware this is a weird issue, and I may be the only person who suffers from it). This isn’t to say I thought the plot was bad, it was just I got introduced to this great culture of the Sky Raiders and wanted to spend the entire book exploring the world and lifestyle, but wasn’t able to because the plot took me forward to a different part of the Five Kingdoms.  It was like reading Harry Potter, but not being able to explore Hogwarts. My favorite parts of books are the characters and the world building, and while I was able to learn more about the characters, I felt I never got enough of the world, which in all honesty, is probably a sign that the world was amazing. A book that makes me want more is usually a good thing.

I’m definitely looking forward to continuing the series.

*********

Two Side Notes:

1. This book isn’t due to come out until Tuesday, but I’ve seen some stores putting it out early, so you may be able to get a hold of it today if you so choose.

2. Brandon Mull will be visiting the bookstore I work at on March 18! 😀 This will actually be the second time I get to meet him. He is an incredibly nice guy and takes the time to talk to each person who comes to get a book signed. I’m not sure how much time he’ll have to answer questions, but if there is anything you are dying to know about him or his writing process put it in the comments and I’ll see what I can do. 🙂

Brandon Mull


Leave a comment

Book Review: The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison

trioUndead Pool Summary

Official Overview:

Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering.

Rachel must stop the occurrences before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war. However, the only way to do so is through the ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils.

4 stars

My Review:

I love this series, but at the same time always feel a little bored when I read it. Unfortunately, I can’t pinpoint why. The books have excellent plots, wonderful characters, and great writing. They just never seem to move as fast as I want them to. Perhaps I’m too impatient.

In any case, The Undead Pool is of the same caliber of quality as all of the eleven previous books, which means all you super fans out there should be very excited. While maybe not my favorite of the series, I definitely think Undead Pool is one of the better ones. The sad news is there is reportedly only going to be one more Hollows book after this one, which surprised me because I felt this one ended with enough new intrigue to keep the series going for awhile. 😦

One of my favorite things about this book was the character interaction. A key part to this series has been the trio (Rachel, Ivy, and Jenks) working together and helping each other. Each character had a unique skill and role to play. I’ve felt as though that element had disappeared in recent books, but am happy to say it makes a comeback. This of course means we see more of Ivy again, who seemed to have disappeared in the last couple of books. I missed her. The way she interacts with (and intimidates) people is always fun to read. Now, if only we can get back Glenn…

I also liked the development of Trent’s storyline, but I won’t give any details on that because of spoilers. I’m just happy that certain actions finally take place.

The second thing I really loved was the elven magic and the direction Harrison took with it. It opened up whole new realms of possibilities. I’ve always liked that in this series the magic has a clear method about it and seems almost scientific. Elven magic, on the other hand, breaks that mold. It follows completely different rules (which is probably why it gets called wild magic), and that excites me. I don’t know how to say more without giving away spoilers. Let’s just say the next book should be interesting.

There were a lot of key things that happened in this book (some subtle, some major) to progress the overall arc of the series. I was happy to see some of the loose ends that I felt were dragging the series down finally get resolved in this book. There was also a lot of new avenues opened, which left me (and will probably leave you, too) eagerly anticipating the next and final book. Let’s hope it comes quickly.