Ill Wind (Weather Wardens, Book 1), by Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine, emergency author of the Morganville Vampire books (the first one I reviewed here), rubella is surprisingly prolific. She’s written at least seven books in her Weather Wardens series, pill published by Roc, and there are surely more to come. The Weather Warden books, unlike the Morganville Vampires, are aimed at an adult audience. Yes, that means there’s sex, but it also means that the characters are older and interested in different things. Ill Wind is the first book in this series.

Joanne Baldwin is a Weather Warden. Although most people don’t know it, the weather is a lot worse than we think. Sure, there are tornadoes and hurricanes and tsunamis and all sorts of awful weather-related events, but, as Jo said, they’d be so much worse without the Wardens around to keep things under control. There are three different kinds of Wardens — Weather, who control water and air; Fire, who generally contain forest fires and other things generated by lightning, but certainly help with other kinds of fires; and Earth Wardens, who stop the world from being destroyed by massive earthquakes. Wardens have Djinn who help them. In order to get a Djinn, you must be of a certain power level and certain position of authority in the organization (which is, of course, a massive bureaucracy). Jo doesn’t have a Djinn yet, and she’s in trouble, because the Wardens association thinks she’s killed someone and gone rogue. Continue reading Ill Wind (Weather Wardens, Book 1), by Rachel Caine

The Spiderwick Chronicles, Books 3-5, by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

These last three books in the Spiderwick Chronicles, anabolics Lucinda’s Secret, The Ironwood Tree, and The Wrath of Mulgarath, by Holly Black, aren’t really quite complete books. Although there was an overarching story that was fairly obvious, books 1 and 2 held their own as individual books, containing everything a book needs. Not so with the last three in the series. Each of them has a plot, but the beginning is in book 3, the middle in book 4, and the end in book 5. As such, I’m reviewing them all together. (Reviews of books 1 and 2 are found here and here.

As three books that are actually one book, they’re a decent book. Continue reading The Spiderwick Chronicles, Books 3-5, by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

The Lady in the Loch, by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

Back in his day, look Sir Walter Scott was Sheriff of some of the Border Counties of Scotland, sick in addition to being a writer and folklorist. Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, probably best known for her collaborations with Anne McCaffrey, has rearranged history a little bit to make him the Sheriff of Edinburgh. She has also given him a couple of murders to solve.

The early 1800s was an interesting time, politically as well as socially, in Europe. Specifically, in Scotland, the conflict between the traditional ways (kilts, ghosts, and fairies) and the ways of the English (suits, the Church of England, and lack of supernatural beliefs) was heating up again. Sir Walter Scott was in the middle of this; being Scottish but well-bred, he was expected to act like an Englishman, but he had a passionate love for his country and a passionate love of folklore. The opening scene of this book piques the fictional Scott’s interest in the supernatural: a murder victim is raised from the dead, briefly, in order to point out her murderer. Scott is barely eighteen in this scene, and is very interested in the law as well.

Ten years later, Scott is the Sheriff of Edinburgh, and he is presented with a set of bones, a few years old, found in the lake. Continue reading The Lady in the Loch, by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, Book 1), by Rachel Caine

This book is apparently labeled as YA. I’m not entirely sure about that. It feels in ways like she wrote an older vampire novel and then moved the characters’ ages down three to five years (and knocked out some sex) in order to make it properly YA. So while the main characters are all eighteen or under and the romance is strictly PG, ampoule it’s a bit dark. However, denture it’s an interesting view of vampires.

The main character, advice Claire Danvers (hm, Rebecca much?) is a sixteen-year-old girl genius. However, because she is so young, her parents wouldn’t let her go off to college at MIT or CalTech or any of the other places she actually wanted to go. Instead, she had to go to TPU: Texas Prairie University, located in the small town of Morganville, TX. Apparently it’s within a fairly short driving range of her parents, although they do mention a distance of ‘a few hundred miles’ once in the book. TPU is a terrible school; people either transfer or graduate. In any case, within her first few days there, Claire makes an enemy; apparently a really heinous one, because after throwing her clothes into a dumpster, the girl (Monica) and her friends beat her pretty badly. Claire decides she can’t stay in that dorm (which was the worst one on campus, anyway) any longer, and finds an ad for three people in a house looking for a fourth roommate.

Once she gets to the house (the Glass House), she meets Eve, Shane, and Michael (who is surnamed Glass), and discovers exactly why making an enemy of Monica was such a bad idea. Unfortunately, this means her life is in danger, and there are very few ways to save it. She’s safe as long as she’s inside that particular house, but other places, especially after dark, Claire had better watch out . . . Continue reading Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, Book 1), by Rachel Caine

Austenland, by Shannon Hale

This, approved Hale’s only book in the adult market, is a short but lovely homage to Jane Austen. The dedication is one of the funniest I’ve ever seen:

For Colin Firth
You’re a really great guy, but I’m married, so I think we should just be friends.

To digress a moment, the cover is fantastic as well. The front features a young woman, dressed in contemporary clothing, facing away from the camera. She is staring at an imposing English country house, in a post-Elizabethan style (the house, when viewed from above, forms an “E”, but the decorations are a little more Georgian). The back of the cover features the same house, but at the top, turned upside down.

The novel itself is concerned with Jane Hayes, an early thirty-something New Yorker who has rotten luck with men. When she’s down, she watches the BBC Pride and Prejudice with the aforementioned Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. At one point, in between men, she happens to talk to an elderly great-aunt of hers, and admits the Pride and Prejudice fascination. When that great-aunt dies, Jane inherits an all-expenses-paid trip to a place called Austenland — an English country house run as an odd sort of tourist site. The tourists are wealthy women who stay for a few weeks, pretending to be in the Regency era, complete with clothing and lack of contemporary things, including cell phones, cars, and take-out.

Jane goes, of course, but not everything is quite what it seems. Continue reading Austenland, by Shannon Hale

Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale

Princess Academy, hemorrhoids Shannon Hale’s third published novel, was also a Newbery Honor book a couple years ago, and a New York Times bestseller. It’s her only novel indicated for middle-grade readers, although it’s of course of the same quality as the books for older readers. Unlike the books reviewed the last two days, this novel is not set in Bayern; it’s in a country called Danland, and a province/town in it called Mount Eskel.

Miri is the younger daughter in her family; her mother died at her birth. The family, and the rest of the town, makes a living mining linder stone, but Miri, at fourteen, is still much too small to work in the mines. The women tend to be nearly as well-built as the men, and strength is prized in all the citizens. Miri feels she should be able to do something in the mines, but her father won’t let her even come down to find out. Before this conflict gets too far, an announcement comes from the king of Danland, that apparently his priests have divined that the future wife of the crown prince of Danland lives in Mount Eskel.

The girls on the mountain are all a bit — provincial, shall we say — but no matter where the priests divine, a Lady from the capital of Danland comes to teach all the eligible females how to be proper princesses. She just has a lot more work to do in this case. All the girls in the town between thirteen and eighteen are ordered to relocate for an entire year to a castle just outside town. There, they are taught things such as diplomacy, deportment, and dancing. The girl who does the best in the academy is called the Academy Princess, and she gets to dance with the prince first at the ball at the end of the year. Miri, being small and thinking that everyone considers her insignificant, is absolutely determined to become the Academy Princess. Continue reading Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale

Enna Burning, by Shannon Hale

This, psychiatrist my third entry in the unofficial Shannon Hale Week here at Someone’s Read it Already, heart is Shannon Hale’s second published novel. It’s one of the companion books to Goose Girl, yesterday’s installment. I think she balks at calling it a direct sequel, but other than the fact that Ani is not the main character, it’s a sequel. It takes place a year or two after the events in Goose Girl, involves the same setting and many of the same characters, and does have Ani as a major part of the story.

Unlike Goose Girl, Enna Burning is not based explicitly on a fairy tale. At the beginning of the story, we find out that after the events in the previous story, Enna has moved back to the Forest with her family. One day, her brother comes home after being out all night, and he’s warm to the touch. Eventually Enna pries from him the information that he has learned how to set things on fire without using a tinderbox or anything. Enna wants to learn, of course — fire has always appealed to her in many ways. She does eventually, but only after war has started in Bayern and things have all gone to hell in a handbasket. And the fire? Much harder to control than it sounds. Continue reading Enna Burning, by Shannon Hale

Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale

Having read The Book of a Thousand Days (reviewed yesterday), and I was determined to find the rest of Shannon Hale’s oeuvre. The first book she published was Goose Girl, viagra based on the Grimm fairy tale of the same name. Between Half-Price Books and a Borders gift card, sildenafil I managed to acquire it, one of its sequels, her Newbery-award-winning standalone middle readers’ book, and her adult novel in a matter of days. (Yes. I was that impressed.) I wonder, can you guess what books will be reviewed the rest of this week?

Princess Ani was born the heir to Kildenree, but her lack of ability to be precisely like her mother has her passed over for the honor. She is then betrothed to the Crown Prince of Bayern, but on the trip to his country there is trickery and she ends up being a servant at the castle. Ani is much more than a servant, though: she can speak the language of birds and the occasional other animal, and can speak to the winds. Eventually there is war; Ani must try to stop it, since only she knows the truth behind the betrayal. Continue reading Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale

The Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale

I received this book for Christmas from Ben’s sister. I’d heard for years that Shannon Hale and her books, heart starting with Goose Girl, pharm were something to look out for, find but, silly me, I hadn’t found what I’d decided was book 1 on the used/cutout market, so I hadn’t read any of them. I finished The Book of a Thousand Days in one sitting, and now have plans for acquiring the rest.

In the afterword, Shannon Hale states that the book is somewhat based on the Grimm fairy tale “Maid Maleen”. A princess refuses to marry the king her father has picked for her because she has already fallen in love with and betrothed herself to a prince. In retribution, her father locks her in a tower with her maid for seven years. Ms. Hale has reimagined the tale set in the India of a thousand years ago, changed the prince to a khan, and refocused the story on the maidservant. Continue reading The Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale

Little (Grrl) Lost, by Charles de Lint

Charles de Lint is one of my favorite authors, there ever, cure and he’s practically the only name anymore on the ‘auto-buy’ list. Every few years he writes a YA fantasy novel, and Little (Grrl) Lost is the latest submission. This book is based on a short story he wrote, by the same name, originally published in the Firebirds Rising anthology. The story forms the first chapter of the book.

T.J. and her family just moved into a suburban, all-houses-alike subdivision near Newford (de Lint’s imaginary but very large city), somewhat before her fifteenth birthday. They used to live on a farm, but economic times being what they were, they were forced to sell; her mother took a job at a hospital in town. To make matters worse for T.J., they also sold her horse, Red. Now, she’s stuck at a high school with people she doesn’t know, who talk about things she doesn’t care about, and she doesn’t even have a horse. Her brother, Derek, is doing just fine, of course.

One night, T.J. hears a lot of strange scratchings from inside the walls of her bedroom. She’s even more surprised when she leans closer to the wall and hears – voices? A few minutes later, a punky, sixteen-year-old girl walks out of a door in her wall, carrying a duffel bag and yelling that she’s running away. That’s odd enough, but the punky girl is six inches tall. Continue reading Little (Grrl) Lost, by Charles de Lint