Garth Nix

Frogkisser! By: Garth Nix

Frogkisser! By: Garth Nix

Plot:

Poor Princess Anya. Forced to live with her evil stepmother’s new husband, her evil stepstepfather. Plagued with an unfortunate ability to break curses with a magic-assisted kiss. And forced to go on the run when her stepstepfather decides to make the kingdom entirely his own.

Aided by a loyal talking dog, a boy thief trapped in the body of a newt, and some extraordinarily mischievous wizards, Anya sets off on a Quest that, if she plays it right, will ultimately free her land—and teach her a thing or two about the use of power, the effectiveness of a well-placed pucker, and the finding of friends in places both high and low.

Review:

I’ve been excited about this book since I saw the cover. How could I not be? That is such an awesome cover. Sadly for me the book didn’t quite live up to it.

It took me two weeks to finish which never should have happened considering it’s a middle school read. I just couldn’t get into it. It was slow up until the end and even then it was light on action.

All the things I like about Garth Nix were missing. The world was kind of interesting, but not really. I liked that Anya was a strong princess that rescued herself, but didn’t really like anything else.

It was a disappointment, but I’m still excited for anything that Garth Nix comes out with.

2/5

Goldenhand (Abhorsen #5) By: Garth Nix

goldenhand

Goldenhand (Abhorsen #5) By: Garth Nix

Plot:

For everyone and everything there is a time to die. Lirael is no longer a shy Second Assistant Librarian. She is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, with Dead creatures to battle and Free Magic entities to bind. She’s also a Remembrancer, wielder of the Dark Mirror. Lirael lost one of her hands in the binding of Orannis, but now she has a new hand, one of gilded steel and Charter Magic. When Lirael finds Nicholas Sayre lying unconscious after being attacked by a hideous Free Magic creature, she uses her powers to save him. But Nicholas is deeply tainted with Free Magic. Fearing it will escape the Charter mark that seals it within his flesh and bones, Lirael seeks help for Nick at her childhood home, the Clayr’s Glacier. But even as Lirael and Nick return to the Clayr, a young woman from the distant North braves the elements and many enemies in a desperate attempt to deliver a message to Lirael from her long-dead mother, Arielle. Ferin brings a dire warning about the Witch With No Face. But who is the Witch, and what is she planning? Once more a great danger threatens the Old Kingdom, and it must be forestalled not only in the living world but also in the cold, remorseless river of Death.

Review:

I love this world.

After reading Clariel I meant to go back and read the first three but I didn’t get around to it before reading Goldenhand, because of that I think it took me a little while to remember certain things about the characters. It’s been close to ten years since I read them though.

It was like returning to old friends once I got there. Everyone makes an appearance and the story was building up to be as epic as the last. I told my husband when I had less than a hundred pages to read that the book was going to be a cliffhanger because I couldn’t see it reaching a satisfying conclusion in time. I was sure that’s what was going to happen and I was kind of excited, but then everything was neatly wrapped up. It was disappointing and felt rushed. Everyone was paired up and allusions to the future were made and then the end.

I don’t know if Nix is just tired of writing Old Kingdom books or was under deadline or what, but I wanted more. Kind of sad. I’m still rating it four out of five because the rest of the book was awesome, it was just the ending that left me dissatisfied.

4/5

A Confusion of Princes By: Garth Nix

a-confusion-of-princes

A Confusion of Princes By: Garth Nix

Plot:

A grand adventure that spans galaxies and lifetimes, A Confusion of Princes is a page-turning thriller, a tender romance, and a powerful exploration of what it means to be human. includes exclusive bonus Garth Nix short story ‘Master Haddad’s Holiday’. I have died three times, and three times been reborn, though I am not yet twenty in the old earth years by which it is still the fashion to measure time. This is the story of my three deaths, and my life between. My name is Khemri. Taken from his parents as a child and equipped with biological and technological improvements, Khemri is now an enhanced human being, trained and prepared for the glory of becoming a Prince of the Empire. Not to mention the ultimate glory: should he die, and be deemed worthy, he will be reborn…Which is just as well, because no sooner has Prince Khemri graduated to full Princehood than he learns the terrible truth behind the Empire: there are ten million princes, and all of them want each other dead.

Review:

It took a while for me to get into this book, mainly because it had a teenage boy as the protagonist. I’m trying to steer clear of books with teenage boys as leads because I seriously cannot relate to them at all, but this was by Garth Nix, I had to read it.

The space setting was really cool and there was a LOT of tech and politics and stuff going on. The world was interesting, though, a bit more hopeless than I like.

Khemri was everything that I hope my children aren’t. Thankfully he grew as a character and that’s what made this book worthwhile. If he’d stayed how he was or only slightly changed it wouldn’t have been worth it, but he did.

Not my favorite Nix book, but it wasn’t bad, it’s also a standalone which feels rare now a days.

3/5

Newt’s Emerald By: Garth Nix

Love this cover

Love this cover

Newt’s Emerald By: Garth Nix

Plot:

Lady Truthful will inherit her family’s most valued heirloom on her eighteenth birthday. Until the Newington Emerald is stolen.

Lady Truthful, nicknamed “Newt” by her boy cousins, discovers that to her horror, the people closest to her have been framed for the theft. But Newt won’t let their reputations be damaged by rumors from a false accusation. Her plan is simple: go to London to recover the missing jewel. Despite her best intentions, a young lady travelling alone is frankly unacceptable behavior. So Newt and her aunt devise another plan…one that entails men’s clothing and a mustache.

While in disguise, Truthful encounters the handsome but shrewd major Harnett, who to her amazement volunteers to help find the missing emerald under the assumption that she is a man, Henri de Vienne. But once she and her unsuspecting ally are caught up in a dangerous adventure, Truthful realizes something else is afoot: the beating of her heart.

Truthful has far more than romantic complications to worry about. The stolen emerald is no ordinary heirloom-it is the source of the family’s luck and has the power to yield vast magic. It would be completely disastrous if it fell into the wrong hands. The fate of England depends on Truthful securing the emerald.

Review:

This was very much a Regency romance with a few fantasy elements thrown in. Honestly, it wasn’t what I was expecting at all from Nix. The only similarity between this and his Abhorsen series was how well written it was.

The fantasy took a back seat to the romance and the period. There were little bits of magic thrown about but they weren’t used in much detail, though, magic did come into play throughout, it just wasn’t as prevalent as I had expected.

Truthful was a great character and similar to a Julia Quinn heroine. She was a lady, but she easily disguised herself as a man to get stuff done. She and the hero were a good match and fun to read.

It was a good book and I enjoyed it, but really the only remarkable thing that it brought to the table was that Garth Nix wrote it. I would very much enjoy more and if he’s trying to mirror the Regency series he had plenty more characters to work with, but I haven’t been able to find anything online about a sequel so we’ll see.

4/5

Side Note: This was marked as YA, but the heroine is eighteen and even though it’s a romance the most that happens is a kiss. I would have no problems recommending this to any age group

My 2015 Favorites

Movies:

2015 was not a good year for movies, for me at least. Of course, I’ve yet to see Star Wars so that could certainly change. I gave only two movies 5 stars, Tomorrowland and Mockingjay. I had several 4 stars that I remember very fondly though. Anyway, the following is a list of the movies I enjoyed the most, star ranking be damned.

    1. Tomorrowland– I was not expecting to love this movie as much as I did and I’m so thankful that I rented it. Literally the day after I watched it I went out, bought it, and watched it again. I have it downloaded on all of my devices and will just randomly watch parts of it. I love it and I could easily see this movie becoming one of my all-time favorites
    2. Jurassic World– This movie is another one that I bought, but I haven’t actually watched it yet. Thinking back to the theater I really loved it and I’m excited for more in the franchise like this. Also, Chris Pratt is awesome.
    3. Kingsman: The Secret Service– I think this movie was so great because I wasn’t expecting it. I went in with very little expectations and was pleasantly surprised.
    4. Parallels– I hesitate listing this because, while I liked it, it doesn’t feel complete. I really hope there’s more to come because the world created was very interesting.This was the year of books. I read over 100 books and so many of them were good. I did of course read a couple I absolutely loathed (I’m looking at you Fable: Edge of the World and Murder is Binding) but the majority of what I read I really enjoyed.

Books:

 

    1. Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond– I gave this as a Christmas present, that should really tell you how much I enjoyed it. I can easily see this being the first book in a series I absolutely adore.
    2. Justice Calling by Annie Bellet– This is the first book in the Twenty-Sided Sorceress series and one of my favorite discoveries of the year. Great series and I’m looking forward to reading the most recent installment.
    3. Anything by Jenn McKinlay- I read several McKinlay books this year and I loved almost all of them and the one I didn’t love I still liked. If you’re looking for a cozy mystery I highly recommend anything she’s done. She writes great characters and her stories are light and fairly believable.
    4. Clariel by Garth Nix- Even after all this time Nix stayed true to the world and showed us a great character.
    5. Magic Breaks & Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews- It’s Ilona Andrews, of course these books were amazing.
    6. Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs- Just like Ilona Andrews, Briggs never fails to give me a book I love.
    7. Cinder by Marissa Meyer- Really liked the unique take on fairy tales this series has brought. I haven’t yet read the final installment, but I’m looking forward to it.

TV:

 

I don’t write as many TV blog posts as I should, probably because I watch too much damn TV, but here’s a list of my favorites for the year.

    1. Sense 8 on Netflix– This show suffered some pacing issues, but it didn’t affect how much I loved it. Season 2 can’t come out fast enough.
    2. Marvel’s Agent Carter on ABC– Loved this show. Really loved this show. I want to be Agent Carter when/if I grow up. She’s such a great character and I’m really looking forward to season 2 which starts in January.
    3. Jane the Virgin on CW– When I’m watching this show I’m in freakin love. When I’m not watching this show I can’t really understand why I liked it so much because it sounds so crazy. Every episode delivers and it has continued into the second season, there has been no dip in quality. Highly recommend, more people should be watching this.
    4. Daredevil on Netflix– Episode two has one of the best fight scenes of the year from movies or TV, it was that good.
    5. Jessica Jones on Netflix– I didn’t think it was possible, but this was darker than Daredevil. Not really a huge fan of dark, but they did this very well. I thought Jessica Jones was a realistic portrayal of an abuse victim that happens to have some superpowers. She was rarely likable, but I never hated her, you could always understand why she acted the way she did. Actors were spot on as well, it was freaky seeing Tennant be so evil.
    6. Dark Matter on SyFy– I found this show on Netflix and was pleasantly surprised. It takes a couple episodes to gather steam but when it does it becomes an interesting Sci-Fi tv show. Nice female lead and an interesting story.

 

This has been my 2015 year in review. What did you enjoy most this year?