Wednesday, 31 October 2012

"Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins

If we burn you burn with us.

Mockingjay is the final instalment in the Hunger Games trilogy and I wasn't really looking forward to reading it and the only reason I did was so I could say I've read them all. All in all I would say I was right in not wanting to read it as I found it to be quite disappointing.

Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But she;s still not safe. A revolution is unfolding, and everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans - everyone except Katniss. And yet she must play the most vital part in the final battle. Katniss must become their Mockingjay - the symbol of rebellion - no matter what the personal cost.

The third instalment definitely kept up the writing quality of the last two, willing me to read on; even if it was just to see if anything exciting happened next. The plot seemed too obvious and too perfectly planned to actually be thrilling and suspenseful as everything that happened was ridiculously predictable. A lot happened and not a lot happened at the same time, the 'war' was too hyped up in the beginning of the book when not a lot actually happened - it was quite disappointing to say the least, as they made it out to be the biggest battle that Panem had seen in a while and that it would be devastating - nothing happened and most of all Katniss, this great Mockingjay, did nothing.

Collins' characters were the biggest disappointment of them all however; Katniss changed from headstrong to deranged and easily led, Gale had a massive change and he was portrayed as being a really nasty person in my opinion by the end of the book. The only decent character developments were Prim and Peeta - Prim has grown up throughout everything that has happened and has essentially become what Katniss should have been in this book. Peeta was the best character out of everyone, he was believable and had the best development that seemed realistic with the plot that surrounded him - he always kept something of himself. I know that you could argue that the reason these characters changed so drastically is due to the horrendous circumstances that they have been thrown in to, but I don't believe this to be the case, I just think they were poorly executed characters and got thrown into the stereotypical ground of how people should react in those situations rather than what they would react to.

Please don't get me started on the ending, it was probably one of the weakest most pathetic endings I think I have read in a while - it just ended. It's as if Suzanne Collins couldn't be bothered to write an exciting dramatic ending and just played it ridiculously safe, and when I say ridiculously safe I mean it. However much the ending was awful, it contained the best, if not only, twist in the book and I must say, I was thoroughly shocked when it happened - although the aftermath continued the pathetic ending. To top all of the negatives off, I need say only one word - epilogue. WHY?!

All in all I didn't like this book, it was okay if you like cheap thrills and predictable circumstances but I definitely would swerve someone reading the series off this book. Worst book of the three.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

"A Long Long Sleep" by Anna Sheehan

I don't even think I knew anything about A Long Long Sleep when I first decided to get it for my kindle, I just knew it had some kind of 'Sleeping Beauty' twist to it. I was expecting it to be filled with action, excitement, twists, turns and romances - it ticked all of those boxes with an added shock element which deeply surprised me.

Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for sixty-two years when she is woken by a kiss. Locked away in the chemically induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten subbasement, sixteen-year-old Rose slept straight through the Dark Times that killed millions and utterly changed the world she knew. Now, her parents and her first love are long gone, and Rose -hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire - is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat. Desperate to put the past behind her and adapt to her new world, Rose finds herself drawn to the boy who kissed her awake, hoping that he can help her to start fresh. But when a deadly danger jeopardises her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes - or be left without any future at all.

I definitely was not expecting what I just read. This was anything but a fairytale of a beauty who has just awoken from a long slumber - this was the darkest book I think I have ever read and I'm still in a state of shock of the reality of it all. It's not just what's said in this book that is dark but almost just as much what is not said - it's the horrors of Rose's childhood, the naivety of not realising the depths of the situation and the point where it's finally sunk in what's happened and the repercussions of it.

This book is set in the future, but it doesn't rely on the use of fancy gadgets, hover cars and retinal scans to give depth to it, in fact the idea of the future is mentioned so casually that it doesn't even seem strange to be reading about it in this day and age. The flashbacks of Rose's haunted childhood is what gives body to the book, and through this, a lot of controversial yet relevant subjects are addressed. Sheehan's book doesn't necessarily follow a plot, instead it mainly follows the way Rose has her eyes opened to the tragedies that did indeed happen in her past, thread by thread removing the wool from her eyes. The only 'plot' was, as the blurb describes it, 'the deadly danger' that is after her which I thought wasn't really needed in the story. It was an unnecessary add on for such a strong emotional tale to start with and it seemed to me as if it was only added to give it some action and fast paced chase scenes which the majority tend to enjoy. I, however, felt it was irrelevant and that the story held it's own just on the emotional ground as on that level it was very heart wrenching and deep.

I found myself getting extremely attached to the characters. They each had their reasons for being the way they were by themselves and around others. I've read a few reviews about the fact that Rose is wimpy and falls in love too easily, but however much these facts are true, the reasons behind those characteristics are very prominent throughout the book and no character has feelings and emotions that don't have some consequence from something that has happened to them in the past.

If I would have known that this book was as deep and dark as it was I don't think I would have picked it up. I am so glad that I did as it's a well written piece of writing and so emotionally draining that I don't think I will forget this book in a hurry.





Monday, 22 October 2012

Future Plans For The Blog

In the past I have made about a dozen different blogs, and each one started with a brief summary of what I wanted to do, how I wanted to achieve it and that this time it would be different. Each of those different blogs started and ended with that very post. Due to this, if you would have asked me last year if I thought I would have been running and posting regularly on my very own blog I would have indeed laughed in your face.

I am extremely happy at the moment, primarily due to the fact I'm actually giving something a go for once instead of starting it and then thinking that I can't do it or that I'm not good enough. The saying "You don't  know unless you try" is an extremely relevant quote and it is in fact rather true - how can you fail if you don't even try, life is full of failures, but it's how you get past them that makes you a better person and make you grow and get better.

I primarily love design and I want this blog to coincide with that as well as my love of reading - I want to create alternate book sleeves and art work based on the books that I have read and create a whole world of different designs to do with books and other stuff. I am, however, going to take this one step at a time - firstly with the design of this blog. It's a bit simple to start with but I am currently just messing around with all the coding (which is extremely confusing and took me a good couple of hours to find one simple thing) and the sizings of all my designs. I have a basic layout up at the moment but this most definitely isn't the finished article.

The reviews will still keep coming, but I just wanted to let you know that I intend to take this blog in many a direction over the up and coming year so be on the look out.

Thank you for reading.

Katie

Saturday, 20 October 2012

"Cinder" by Marissa Meyer

 When I first heard that Cinder was going to be a fairytale retelling, I immediately thought that it would be predictable and boring to read. Everyone knows the story of Cinderella, how can you possibly make it unique. Well I'll be the first to admit I totally and utterly judged the book before it had even begun and I can't even begin to tell you how undeniably original this novel was.

We set the scene in New Beijing after World War IV, the deadly plague of letumosis is spreading across the commonwealth, and with the Emperor sick with this life threatening disease, New Beijing is in a state of panic. Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living with her two step sisters and her stepmother, who will stop at nothing to make her life a living hell because of the resentment that lies below the surface. It isn't until the infamous Prince Kai turns up at Cinder's market stall that her life is turned upside down and she finds her self stuck in the middle of an intergalactic struggle for peace.

Right from the first page in this book, you take a plunge into the deep end of New Beijing and you're instantly surrounded by the fantastical futuristic world that Meyer has developed. A world where pretty much everything is computer based; from ID chips to hovercrafts and androids - the imagery is close to perfect, and I found myself caught in the book from the off. The pacing was spot on for me, it had enough tension but didn't keep you waiting for too long until another twist came or something unexpected happened. No one part lingered on a little longer than needed, and most importantly at no point did I get bored of reading this book.

Now on to the most amazing thing about this book; the plot. Personally, I have never read a retelling before, but if this is anything to go by then it has set the standards way up there. The story of Cinderella was still lurking there beneath all the uniqueness, you got hints of it every now and then to remind you that this was a retelling when you got too comfortable in its originality. The history of the world that was told through this book added another dimension to the novel - the ongoing war and struggle for peace with the Lunars on the moon was believable and the way the characters described them and had their own opinions on them created a view of the way they were seen from the off which they succeeded in presenting. There was one thing in the plot which was a bit of a downfall, and that was the ending and the fact that it was quite predictable. That however, is the only negative thing I have to say about this book.

The characters were unbelievably relatable and believable, and I felt as though I connected with each and every one of them in the way that is expected with regards to the original Cinderella story. I didn't like the step sisters, (well I did and I didn't, but I can't explain that without spoilers), and I absolutely despised the stepmother beyond any other hatred I've ever had for a character in a book - she wasn't 'evil' but she was just so sly and subtly dark. Prince Kai was so, normal, well for a Prince anyways. He had a modesty about himself wherein he didn't take his fame and fortune for granted, he didn't really see himself as anything special despite the thoughts of the swooning girls throughout the city. He was naturally charming and mischievous without even knowing and he was a wonderfully likeable character. Lastly Cinder, she was most definitely a strong minded character, but she had a tendency to doubt and belittle herself just due to the fact that she is a cyborg. Even when put through some hardships she always tried to keep her head held high even if it only looked as though her pride was being kept in place. She was a wonderful protagonist and I felt as though I really got to know her throughout the entirety of the novel.

I could not put Cinder down, and even when I had to, I was still thinking about how amazing a book it was - I kept on telling everybody I knew how much of a brilliant novel this was. I am super excited with the sequel to come out and I'm just angry I need to wait till February 2013 to read it. I'm a little worried however, with what I've heard of the sequel, that it won't be as good as it doesn't necessarily carry on with Cinder but with 'little red riding hood' instead. But I'm open to give this book a chance. Anyways, I highly recommend Cinder to anyone and everyone and give it the biggest 5 stars of the year so far.




Monday, 15 October 2012

"Matched" by Ally Condie

Watched by society. Trapped by rules. Freed by love.

Matched by Ally Condie wasn't the most disappointing book I have read all year, or at least attempted to read as I could not finish it if you paid me, but it was in fact the worst book I have read all year by a country mile.

Cassia lives in the society where everything is basically dictated for you; your daily activities, your work, your food, when you die and most importantly who you love. Everyone at the age of 17 gets the chance to be paired up with someone who is their designated 'match', who they will spend the rest of their life and start a family with. Cassia gets matched with her best friend Xander and everything's perfect until another face appear and then fades to black - who is her true match?

I was totally hooked on the storyline of this book when I first read what it was about, I thought it was wonderfully unique and Condie could do a lot of good work with a starting point such as this. I was totally totally wrong. It starts off by pushing you straight into the deep end, surrounding you in 'society' terminology which isn't even explained at all, I felt extremely confused from the off. This book has no storyline whatsoever, it just plods along with nothing really that interesting ever happening.  Cassia's life just seems to be one paranoid day after another, repeating her woes and thoughts on practically every single page. I got bored very easily of reading about how she was worried about this, that and the other, and there seemed to be more time explaining how Cassia felt about everything that was going on in her life (which wasn't a lot) rather than building a decent plot.

The writing was horrendous, and I felt as though I was reading a toddlers book for the majority of what I read. It was ridiculously basic beyond compare, describing mundane things with a list of verbs and repeating 'x says' every time somebody spoke. All she kept going on about was the colours of things, how they were the same as her pills and her dress and other things nobody really cares about. I don't particularly care that the colours of the sky match your pills or the grass matches the colour of your dress, get some storyline and plot and get to the point already.

Another thing that really bugged me, was unnecessary flashbacks. These were added every time something happened, and it was very disconcerting to read as half of the time I didn't know what was and wasn't a flashback to the past. It just wasn't needed in the book and it's as if Condie thought all of the characters motives had to be drawn from something they'd said or done in the past. This brings me to the actual characters, they were boring, lifeless and one dimensional - I didn't feel one iota of anything for them at all. Quite frankly they annoyed me to the bone.

I'm not sure if I'm writing a book review or a rant any more, but I'm pretty sure you get the idea that I absolutely hate this book to the very core of me. It was so bad I couldn't, and didn't want to finish it - I tried my hardest to get past everything but it just wasn't happening.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

"Knife Edge" by Malorie Blackman

When truth and justice are no longer black and white issues...

Knife Edge is the sequal to Nought and Crosses in a trilogy of books, they deal with issues of racism and prejudice in a strangely relatable dystopian world that of which could be our own world in the future if we don't stop it.

Note: This may contain spoilers of 'Noughts and Crosses'

This carries on a few months after Noughts and Crosses finishes - Sephy, a dark skinned Cross, privileged not only by the colour of her skin is with her baby daughter, whom has a pale-skinned Nought father. Jude, Callum's Nought brother, is on the run and in need of money and will stop at nothing to get what he wants and bring down any Cross that gets in his way. When their two worlds collide, Sephy is put under immense pressure to bring justice to the judgemental world, but will it pay off for her in the end?

I read Noughts and Crosses earlier on in the year before I started this blog, and I was extremely blown away by the strength and power that one book can have - in Knife Edge, the writing was no less captivating and powerful. Blackman deals with some very controversial issues to do with racism and prejudice, and I believe she handles them extremely well, it's thought provoking but not to the extent of being preachy. She deals with the subject in a matter-of-factly way, laying out some of the home truths of what people can be like and how it effects those who it is aimed at. Grief, however, was a secondary issue that was dealt with in this book - it was looked into very carefully and subtly and wasn't overused or blindingly obvious to the extent of being over the top. Everyone has their own way of grieving and with every character came a different way that they coped with the loss at hand.

This novel stripped down real people in the real world to what they have the potential to be or not to be, or even of what some people think but do not voice. It is shocking to know that this type of behaviour does exist and this book highlights and draws your attention to the reality of this growing situation, it makes you step back from your life and view it from a different perspective in many ways.

The characters, however, seemed to be put into slightly outlandish settings which seemed a bit unbelievable with the situations that they were in. It wasn't the point of the scenes however, as it was highlighting the issues of the book but I believe it was a bit unnecessary - Sephy joined a band was the main one and I don't think it was needed at all other than the reactions it provoked to the secondary characters in the book. The few scenes regarding this situation seemed a bit like a filler to me.

Sephy and Jude as characters were thoroughly believable in every chapter that they were in. Sephy's emotions and thoughts were unbelievably well written, it was as if they were a real persons thoughts and you could sympathise with her entirely even when she was being irrational towards people that were just trying to help her. You were able to see the reasoning behind the behaviour she was exerting and putting yourself in her shoes was something that you wouldn't want to do. Jude on the other hand went by these 'rules' of life which are stated throughout the book, he seemed to be trying to convince himself more than anyone else that these are the rules he needed to live by to get on. There were glimpses of another side of his personality which was intriguing to read and it truly made you think that there's always two sides to a story. He was also another believable character because he isn't like your usual bad character and you find him to actually be human. I was glad that Blackman decided to put half of the story in Jude's point of view because you got to see what he was really like instead of seeing him from another persons perspective.Another refreshing change in Knife Edge was the idea of seeing the whole story from Meggie and Jasmines perspective (Jude and Sephy's respective mothers), how they felt about the situation at hand and how they felt towards their family members and how they were each dealing with everything that was going on.

This has definitely been my hardest review to do so far, and even I'm not sure I've done it enough justice, due to the tough issues that are being raised in it. Malorie Blackman is an absolutely superb writer, and this is definitely not a let down at all after the phenomenal Noughts and Crosses. I thought it might be a little bit repetitive to in prequel in the way of dealing with the issues but I was thoroughly glad that I was proved wrong. Absolutely brilliant.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

"Graceling" by Kristin Cashore

In a world where people born with an exceptional skill, known as a Grace are both feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of a skill even she despises: the Grace of killing.

When I first picked up Graceling, I was not expecting a kind of 'medieval-esque' storyline filled with Lords and Ladies at all as I was hoping for something different seeing as I'd only read Eragon a couple of books ago with the same kind of theme. However, I was truly, utterly blown away with the direction this book took a very stereotypical theme.

Feared by the court and shunned by those her own age, the darkness of her Grace casts a heavy shadow over Katsa's life. Yet she remains defiant: when the Kind of Lienid's father is kidnapped she investigates and stumbles across a mystery. Who would want to kidnap the old man, and why? And who was the extraordinary Graced man whose fighting abilities rivalled her own? The only thing Katsa is sure of is that she no longer wants to kill. The intrigue around this kidnapping offers her a way out - but little does she realise, when she takes it, that something insidious and dark lurks behind the myester. Something spreading from the shadowy figure of a one eyed king.

This book was an absolute pleasure to read, and this definitely distracted from the writing that has left something to be desired. Now I'll admit I'm not the most amazing writer ever, (but I don't plan on writing a novel anytime soon) but the grammar in this book wasn't as good as it could be. Don't let this put you off though, as the story definitely takes precedence in this amazing book. The twists and turns, the action, and the originality of the abilities of the characters created a world that I could not put down.

Our heroine Katsa was a difficult one, I didn't despise her and I didn't like her either. She's a strong, quite emotionless character that knows what she wants and does everything in her power to see it through. The fact that I have no preference of opinion over whether I like her or not makes Cashore's character development all the better as that is the type of character that I imagine she wanted to create - one of mystery, one that you didn't know quite what she would do or how she would feel and one that would surprise you sometimes with her actions. Her relationship with Po the Lienid prince was a joy to read - he had the presence that could calm her but could also infuriate her which made this relationship turbulent at times and this is what made it all the enjoyable.

I felt that the character development between Po and Katsa was well written, as it was a believable realtionship between characters of such different personalities and in some ways relates to the idea that opposites attract in many ways of life. I felt the relationship between the two characters to be so real that at one point I became emotionally attached to the book, and I admit a tear almost fell - this is something not many authors achieve with me as it takes a lot for a book to affect me emotionally (not with movies, I'm a complete emotional wreck in those).

The pace of this book was brilliant, time was spent well on each section of the book and not one in particular scene was spent too long on in comparison to the others. It wasn't a boring book in the slightest and my attention was always fully on the story at hand and wondering what would happen next.

When I was getting towards the end of the book I thought the ending was a little disappointing, but this was because it seemed to end a little bit too soon for my liking. I was proved totally wrong however, as the main ending would just be the beginning of the end - feeling the consequences of what had happened and an even bigger twist that shocked me completely. It ended brilliantly and I am so glad that the next book in the series doesn't carry on from this as I think that it held enough finality in the last few pages that it didn't warrant a sequel.

Cashore, despite the little issue of the grammar, is a spectacular story teller and I loved this book to the core. When I thought it would play out differently I shocked to see she took another turn for the characters. Brilliant.




Tuesday, 9 October 2012

"Insurgent" by Veronica Roth

One choice. A choice becomes a sacrifice. A sacrifice becomes a loss. A loss becomes a burden. A burden becomes a battle. One choice can destroy you...

...And one choice can be the most idiotic choice a character could ever make.

Just a quick note, this may contain spoilers on Divergent depending on how you look at it.

Insurgent is the second in a series of what it seeming to be three books, and following it's predecessor Divergent it had a lot to live up to. I do not believe that Veronica Roth achieved that at all with this sequel to an amazing book.

Roth's sequel carries straight off from where Divergent ends, it could literally be the next page in the book. This is one of the only things I loved about this book, just the fact that it started as action packed as the other ended and it made an exciting start for a new book. There's a war between the factions, sides are being formed, and everything seems to be in pieces. In Insurgent Tris is out to stop all of this happening and finds out along the way it isn't as simple as it first seems and there are some truths that need to be uncovered.

I loved Tris in Divergent, she was strong and brave yet vulnerable and naive at the same time which added to her good qualities as she wasn't perfect or down right dumb like a lot of protagonists I have read about. However, in this book Tris became the biggest idiot I have read about in a long time - now you can't call this character development at all because it was just ridiculous. She was just irresponsible and quite frankly acting her age, making rash decisions and not caring for the consequences. She would on several occasions be told to stop being stupid yet she would carry on doing the most annoying things and putting herself in needless danger thinking it was for the sake of everybody else. No, Tris, you're just a stupid little girl who for one thinks before she acts and two doesn't think at all or at least logically or thoroughly like any sensible person would do in that situation. I could go on but I'll just say that her character thoroughly frustrated me throughout the entire book.

The storyline was very haphazard and I blame this on Tris' character mainly due to her stupid behaviour. It just seemed to chop and change every few pages, stupid situation after stupid situation, each being caused by one of Tris' many bad choices. Obviously there were a few amazing scenes where I was on the edge of my seat and at one point I actually laughed at some of the twists they were that unpredictable, but unfortunately this was a minority of the book and I felt the majority to be very disappointing storyline-wise.

The one thing I loved about this book however, was the fact you see how the other factions live. Even Tris was caught up by the stereotypes of the different units and was surprised when they acted like normal human beings. It was a wonderful insight into the dystopian world which I felt was greatly needed to carry on from the prequel as they weren't examined as deeply in Divergent. The carefree nature yet efficient of the Amity, the sternness of truth yet accepting of Candor and the intelligent and well though through (and not all bad) nature of the Erudite - the Abnegation and dauntless you saw more in Divergent.

The end of the ending was amazing and shocking and left me excited for the third instalment of the series no matter how awful Tris was in this book. I can tell that the third book will answer all of the unanswered in the second book, unless a fourth book is planned of course. I just hope above all hope that Veronica Roth thinks twice about the stupidity of Tris.

All in all I thought this was the biggest disappointment for me of this year and only a few factors bring up my rating and that's the explanations of the factions being one of them. I'd only recommend reading it if you want to read all of the series but as a stand alone book this was awful.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

"Eragon" by Christopher Paolini

One boy...One dragon...A world of adventure.

Eragon has been one book that had been in my to be read pile for a while because I was curious as to how it would turn out and how it would be different to any other fantasy novel. Upon reading various reviews on this novel, I have found that many people have stated it has similarities to J R R Tolkein's Lord of the Rings series, some people even going as far as to say that it's a complete rip off of the infamous series. I, however, have had the pleasure of reading this book without reading Lord of the Rings first to judge, so I have a non-biassed view of this novel.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realises he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands...

After reading "The Knife of Never Letting Go" with its awful (for a reason) writing, it was such a relief to finally be reading some decent fiction. It was extremely descriptive and I found myself imagining, even in the poorest of environments, the most wildly vivid places that were depicted in this story. This didn't, however, go so over board that it took anything away from the storyline whatsoever, in fact it was the descriptions of the tiniest of things that probably made the most difference. I felt truly and wonderfully engulfed in the land of Alagaesia and the many cities and towns that lay in it.

Although not the best set of characters I have ever read about, I found them to be entirely believable. They didn't get on like a happy family all the time - there was uneasiness, arguments, love, hate and admiration to name but a few and when you spend a long period of time with certain people you don't always get along and I found that Paolini hit this on the head. What I found most wonderful was the relationship between Eragon and his dragon, whom he could speak to via thoughts, it was great how they blossomed together, they learnt from one another, took advise, trusted and most of all loved each other as the book went on. It was a bond that grew stronger throughout the course of the book and this was brilliantly portrayed as the dragon cared for Eragon as much as he would for her.

On the other hand, it seemed that although Eragon was supposed to be the 'mighty dragon rider' (albeit a new one), he always seemed to predictably get himself into trouble that he wouldn't be able to get himself out of. He was always the one being saved instead of being the rescuer, even when he did save somebody he was in the process of being saved himself. Sometimes I found him to be a bit of a dependant character as well as he was often wondering what to do without somebody to teach him or tell him what to do. Nevertheless, he did grow as a character and quickly learned from his mistakes but I just hope that he learns slightly better in the next book.

I found this novel to be amazingly action packed. Something new was happening everywhere he went and when something seemed to be getting a little on the boring side, something would happen to turn that right around and create the action and the suspense needed to carry on the book. I was hardly ever bored whilst reading this book and found myself not wanting to put this book down because of the fact that it was so filled with adventure and thrills.

I did find the ending to be a little bit weak, I found myself drifting in and out of thoughts whilst reading it instead of being totally focused. It was just not very easy to imagine what was happening as everything was happening so fast and although I knew the basis of what was happening I didn't know exactly what the characters were doing themselves in the whole situation, (I'm trying to get across my point alongside not giving any spoilers which is proving to be rather difficult). I got it after a few tries of reading it but it isn't great if I'm having to do that in the first place.

Eragon was fast paced, action packed - brilliant. I never had the chance to read this when I was younger, and now that I'm older I'm glad I've gotten around to it. It doesn't matter what age you are with this book, whoever reads it should thoroughly enjoy it.



"Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins

If we burn you burn with us.

Mockingjay is the final instalment in the Hunger Games trilogy and I wasn't really looking forward to reading it and the only reason I did was so I could say I've read them all. All in all I would say I was right in not wanting to read it as I found it to be quite disappointing.

Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But she;s still not safe. A revolution is unfolding, and everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans - everyone except Katniss. And yet she must play the most vital part in the final battle. Katniss must become their Mockingjay - the symbol of rebellion - no matter what the personal cost.

The third instalment definitely kept up the writing quality of the last two, willing me to read on; even if it was just to see if anything exciting happened next. The plot seemed too obvious and too perfectly planned to actually be thrilling and suspenseful as everything that happened was ridiculously predictable. A lot happened and not a lot happened at the same time, the 'war' was too hyped up in the beginning of the book when not a lot actually happened - it was quite disappointing to say the least, as they made it out to be the biggest battle that Panem had seen in a while and that it would be devastating - nothing happened and most of all Katniss, this great Mockingjay, did nothing.

Collins' characters were the biggest disappointment of them all however; Katniss changed from headstrong to deranged and easily led, Gale had a massive change and he was portrayed as being a really nasty person in my opinion by the end of the book. The only decent character developments were Prim and Peeta - Prim has grown up throughout everything that has happened and has essentially become what Katniss should have been in this book. Peeta was the best character out of everyone, he was believable and had the best development that seemed realistic with the plot that surrounded him - he always kept something of himself. I know that you could argue that the reason these characters changed so drastically is due to the horrendous circumstances that they have been thrown in to, but I don't believe this to be the case, I just think they were poorly executed characters and got thrown into the stereotypical ground of how people should react in those situations rather than what they would react to.

Please don't get me started on the ending, it was probably one of the weakest most pathetic endings I think I have read in a while - it just ended. It's as if Suzanne Collins couldn't be bothered to write an exciting dramatic ending and just played it ridiculously safe, and when I say ridiculously safe I mean it. However much the ending was awful, it contained the best, if not only, twist in the book and I must say, I was thoroughly shocked when it happened - although the aftermath continued the pathetic ending. To top all of the negatives off, I need say only one word - epilogue. WHY?!

All in all I didn't like this book, it was okay if you like cheap thrills and predictable circumstances but I definitely would swerve someone reading the series off this book. Worst book of the three.

"A Long Long Sleep" by Anna Sheehan

I don't even think I knew anything about A Long Long Sleep when I first decided to get it for my kindle, I just knew it had some kind of 'Sleeping Beauty' twist to it. I was expecting it to be filled with action, excitement, twists, turns and romances - it ticked all of those boxes with an added shock element which deeply surprised me.

Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for sixty-two years when she is woken by a kiss. Locked away in the chemically induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten subbasement, sixteen-year-old Rose slept straight through the Dark Times that killed millions and utterly changed the world she knew. Now, her parents and her first love are long gone, and Rose -hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire - is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat. Desperate to put the past behind her and adapt to her new world, Rose finds herself drawn to the boy who kissed her awake, hoping that he can help her to start fresh. But when a deadly danger jeopardises her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes - or be left without any future at all.

I definitely was not expecting what I just read. This was anything but a fairytale of a beauty who has just awoken from a long slumber - this was the darkest book I think I have ever read and I'm still in a state of shock of the reality of it all. It's not just what's said in this book that is dark but almost just as much what is not said - it's the horrors of Rose's childhood, the naivety of not realising the depths of the situation and the point where it's finally sunk in what's happened and the repercussions of it.

This book is set in the future, but it doesn't rely on the use of fancy gadgets, hover cars and retinal scans to give depth to it, in fact the idea of the future is mentioned so casually that it doesn't even seem strange to be reading about it in this day and age. The flashbacks of Rose's haunted childhood is what gives body to the book, and through this, a lot of controversial yet relevant subjects are addressed. Sheehan's book doesn't necessarily follow a plot, instead it mainly follows the way Rose has her eyes opened to the tragedies that did indeed happen in her past, thread by thread removing the wool from her eyes. The only 'plot' was, as the blurb describes it, 'the deadly danger' that is after her which I thought wasn't really needed in the story. It was an unnecessary add on for such a strong emotional tale to start with and it seemed to me as if it was only added to give it some action and fast paced chase scenes which the majority tend to enjoy. I, however, felt it was irrelevant and that the story held it's own just on the emotional ground as on that level it was very heart wrenching and deep.

I found myself getting extremely attached to the characters. They each had their reasons for being the way they were by themselves and around others. I've read a few reviews about the fact that Rose is wimpy and falls in love too easily, but however much these facts are true, the reasons behind those characteristics are very prominent throughout the book and no character has feelings and emotions that don't have some consequence from something that has happened to them in the past.

If I would have known that this book was as deep and dark as it was I don't think I would have picked it up. I am so glad that I did as it's a well written piece of writing and so emotionally draining that I don't think I will forget this book in a hurry.





Future Plans For The Blog

In the past I have made about a dozen different blogs, and each one started with a brief summary of what I wanted to do, how I wanted to achieve it and that this time it would be different. Each of those different blogs started and ended with that very post. Due to this, if you would have asked me last year if I thought I would have been running and posting regularly on my very own blog I would have indeed laughed in your face.

I am extremely happy at the moment, primarily due to the fact I'm actually giving something a go for once instead of starting it and then thinking that I can't do it or that I'm not good enough. The saying "You don't  know unless you try" is an extremely relevant quote and it is in fact rather true - how can you fail if you don't even try, life is full of failures, but it's how you get past them that makes you a better person and make you grow and get better.

I primarily love design and I want this blog to coincide with that as well as my love of reading - I want to create alternate book sleeves and art work based on the books that I have read and create a whole world of different designs to do with books and other stuff. I am, however, going to take this one step at a time - firstly with the design of this blog. It's a bit simple to start with but I am currently just messing around with all the coding (which is extremely confusing and took me a good couple of hours to find one simple thing) and the sizings of all my designs. I have a basic layout up at the moment but this most definitely isn't the finished article.

The reviews will still keep coming, but I just wanted to let you know that I intend to take this blog in many a direction over the up and coming year so be on the look out.

Thank you for reading.

Katie

"Cinder" by Marissa Meyer

 When I first heard that Cinder was going to be a fairytale retelling, I immediately thought that it would be predictable and boring to read. Everyone knows the story of Cinderella, how can you possibly make it unique. Well I'll be the first to admit I totally and utterly judged the book before it had even begun and I can't even begin to tell you how undeniably original this novel was.

We set the scene in New Beijing after World War IV, the deadly plague of letumosis is spreading across the commonwealth, and with the Emperor sick with this life threatening disease, New Beijing is in a state of panic. Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living with her two step sisters and her stepmother, who will stop at nothing to make her life a living hell because of the resentment that lies below the surface. It isn't until the infamous Prince Kai turns up at Cinder's market stall that her life is turned upside down and she finds her self stuck in the middle of an intergalactic struggle for peace.

Right from the first page in this book, you take a plunge into the deep end of New Beijing and you're instantly surrounded by the fantastical futuristic world that Meyer has developed. A world where pretty much everything is computer based; from ID chips to hovercrafts and androids - the imagery is close to perfect, and I found myself caught in the book from the off. The pacing was spot on for me, it had enough tension but didn't keep you waiting for too long until another twist came or something unexpected happened. No one part lingered on a little longer than needed, and most importantly at no point did I get bored of reading this book.

Now on to the most amazing thing about this book; the plot. Personally, I have never read a retelling before, but if this is anything to go by then it has set the standards way up there. The story of Cinderella was still lurking there beneath all the uniqueness, you got hints of it every now and then to remind you that this was a retelling when you got too comfortable in its originality. The history of the world that was told through this book added another dimension to the novel - the ongoing war and struggle for peace with the Lunars on the moon was believable and the way the characters described them and had their own opinions on them created a view of the way they were seen from the off which they succeeded in presenting. There was one thing in the plot which was a bit of a downfall, and that was the ending and the fact that it was quite predictable. That however, is the only negative thing I have to say about this book.

The characters were unbelievably relatable and believable, and I felt as though I connected with each and every one of them in the way that is expected with regards to the original Cinderella story. I didn't like the step sisters, (well I did and I didn't, but I can't explain that without spoilers), and I absolutely despised the stepmother beyond any other hatred I've ever had for a character in a book - she wasn't 'evil' but she was just so sly and subtly dark. Prince Kai was so, normal, well for a Prince anyways. He had a modesty about himself wherein he didn't take his fame and fortune for granted, he didn't really see himself as anything special despite the thoughts of the swooning girls throughout the city. He was naturally charming and mischievous without even knowing and he was a wonderfully likeable character. Lastly Cinder, she was most definitely a strong minded character, but she had a tendency to doubt and belittle herself just due to the fact that she is a cyborg. Even when put through some hardships she always tried to keep her head held high even if it only looked as though her pride was being kept in place. She was a wonderful protagonist and I felt as though I really got to know her throughout the entirety of the novel.

I could not put Cinder down, and even when I had to, I was still thinking about how amazing a book it was - I kept on telling everybody I knew how much of a brilliant novel this was. I am super excited with the sequel to come out and I'm just angry I need to wait till February 2013 to read it. I'm a little worried however, with what I've heard of the sequel, that it won't be as good as it doesn't necessarily carry on with Cinder but with 'little red riding hood' instead. But I'm open to give this book a chance. Anyways, I highly recommend Cinder to anyone and everyone and give it the biggest 5 stars of the year so far.




"Matched" by Ally Condie

Watched by society. Trapped by rules. Freed by love.

Matched by Ally Condie wasn't the most disappointing book I have read all year, or at least attempted to read as I could not finish it if you paid me, but it was in fact the worst book I have read all year by a country mile.

Cassia lives in the society where everything is basically dictated for you; your daily activities, your work, your food, when you die and most importantly who you love. Everyone at the age of 17 gets the chance to be paired up with someone who is their designated 'match', who they will spend the rest of their life and start a family with. Cassia gets matched with her best friend Xander and everything's perfect until another face appear and then fades to black - who is her true match?

I was totally hooked on the storyline of this book when I first read what it was about, I thought it was wonderfully unique and Condie could do a lot of good work with a starting point such as this. I was totally totally wrong. It starts off by pushing you straight into the deep end, surrounding you in 'society' terminology which isn't even explained at all, I felt extremely confused from the off. This book has no storyline whatsoever, it just plods along with nothing really that interesting ever happening.  Cassia's life just seems to be one paranoid day after another, repeating her woes and thoughts on practically every single page. I got bored very easily of reading about how she was worried about this, that and the other, and there seemed to be more time explaining how Cassia felt about everything that was going on in her life (which wasn't a lot) rather than building a decent plot.

The writing was horrendous, and I felt as though I was reading a toddlers book for the majority of what I read. It was ridiculously basic beyond compare, describing mundane things with a list of verbs and repeating 'x says' every time somebody spoke. All she kept going on about was the colours of things, how they were the same as her pills and her dress and other things nobody really cares about. I don't particularly care that the colours of the sky match your pills or the grass matches the colour of your dress, get some storyline and plot and get to the point already.

Another thing that really bugged me, was unnecessary flashbacks. These were added every time something happened, and it was very disconcerting to read as half of the time I didn't know what was and wasn't a flashback to the past. It just wasn't needed in the book and it's as if Condie thought all of the characters motives had to be drawn from something they'd said or done in the past. This brings me to the actual characters, they were boring, lifeless and one dimensional - I didn't feel one iota of anything for them at all. Quite frankly they annoyed me to the bone.

I'm not sure if I'm writing a book review or a rant any more, but I'm pretty sure you get the idea that I absolutely hate this book to the very core of me. It was so bad I couldn't, and didn't want to finish it - I tried my hardest to get past everything but it just wasn't happening.

"Knife Edge" by Malorie Blackman

When truth and justice are no longer black and white issues...

Knife Edge is the sequal to Nought and Crosses in a trilogy of books, they deal with issues of racism and prejudice in a strangely relatable dystopian world that of which could be our own world in the future if we don't stop it.

Note: This may contain spoilers of 'Noughts and Crosses'

This carries on a few months after Noughts and Crosses finishes - Sephy, a dark skinned Cross, privileged not only by the colour of her skin is with her baby daughter, whom has a pale-skinned Nought father. Jude, Callum's Nought brother, is on the run and in need of money and will stop at nothing to get what he wants and bring down any Cross that gets in his way. When their two worlds collide, Sephy is put under immense pressure to bring justice to the judgemental world, but will it pay off for her in the end?

I read Noughts and Crosses earlier on in the year before I started this blog, and I was extremely blown away by the strength and power that one book can have - in Knife Edge, the writing was no less captivating and powerful. Blackman deals with some very controversial issues to do with racism and prejudice, and I believe she handles them extremely well, it's thought provoking but not to the extent of being preachy. She deals with the subject in a matter-of-factly way, laying out some of the home truths of what people can be like and how it effects those who it is aimed at. Grief, however, was a secondary issue that was dealt with in this book - it was looked into very carefully and subtly and wasn't overused or blindingly obvious to the extent of being over the top. Everyone has their own way of grieving and with every character came a different way that they coped with the loss at hand.

This novel stripped down real people in the real world to what they have the potential to be or not to be, or even of what some people think but do not voice. It is shocking to know that this type of behaviour does exist and this book highlights and draws your attention to the reality of this growing situation, it makes you step back from your life and view it from a different perspective in many ways.

The characters, however, seemed to be put into slightly outlandish settings which seemed a bit unbelievable with the situations that they were in. It wasn't the point of the scenes however, as it was highlighting the issues of the book but I believe it was a bit unnecessary - Sephy joined a band was the main one and I don't think it was needed at all other than the reactions it provoked to the secondary characters in the book. The few scenes regarding this situation seemed a bit like a filler to me.

Sephy and Jude as characters were thoroughly believable in every chapter that they were in. Sephy's emotions and thoughts were unbelievably well written, it was as if they were a real persons thoughts and you could sympathise with her entirely even when she was being irrational towards people that were just trying to help her. You were able to see the reasoning behind the behaviour she was exerting and putting yourself in her shoes was something that you wouldn't want to do. Jude on the other hand went by these 'rules' of life which are stated throughout the book, he seemed to be trying to convince himself more than anyone else that these are the rules he needed to live by to get on. There were glimpses of another side of his personality which was intriguing to read and it truly made you think that there's always two sides to a story. He was also another believable character because he isn't like your usual bad character and you find him to actually be human. I was glad that Blackman decided to put half of the story in Jude's point of view because you got to see what he was really like instead of seeing him from another persons perspective.Another refreshing change in Knife Edge was the idea of seeing the whole story from Meggie and Jasmines perspective (Jude and Sephy's respective mothers), how they felt about the situation at hand and how they felt towards their family members and how they were each dealing with everything that was going on.

This has definitely been my hardest review to do so far, and even I'm not sure I've done it enough justice, due to the tough issues that are being raised in it. Malorie Blackman is an absolutely superb writer, and this is definitely not a let down at all after the phenomenal Noughts and Crosses. I thought it might be a little bit repetitive to in prequel in the way of dealing with the issues but I was thoroughly glad that I was proved wrong. Absolutely brilliant.

"Graceling" by Kristin Cashore

In a world where people born with an exceptional skill, known as a Grace are both feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of a skill even she despises: the Grace of killing.

When I first picked up Graceling, I was not expecting a kind of 'medieval-esque' storyline filled with Lords and Ladies at all as I was hoping for something different seeing as I'd only read Eragon a couple of books ago with the same kind of theme. However, I was truly, utterly blown away with the direction this book took a very stereotypical theme.

Feared by the court and shunned by those her own age, the darkness of her Grace casts a heavy shadow over Katsa's life. Yet she remains defiant: when the Kind of Lienid's father is kidnapped she investigates and stumbles across a mystery. Who would want to kidnap the old man, and why? And who was the extraordinary Graced man whose fighting abilities rivalled her own? The only thing Katsa is sure of is that she no longer wants to kill. The intrigue around this kidnapping offers her a way out - but little does she realise, when she takes it, that something insidious and dark lurks behind the myester. Something spreading from the shadowy figure of a one eyed king.

This book was an absolute pleasure to read, and this definitely distracted from the writing that has left something to be desired. Now I'll admit I'm not the most amazing writer ever, (but I don't plan on writing a novel anytime soon) but the grammar in this book wasn't as good as it could be. Don't let this put you off though, as the story definitely takes precedence in this amazing book. The twists and turns, the action, and the originality of the abilities of the characters created a world that I could not put down.

Our heroine Katsa was a difficult one, I didn't despise her and I didn't like her either. She's a strong, quite emotionless character that knows what she wants and does everything in her power to see it through. The fact that I have no preference of opinion over whether I like her or not makes Cashore's character development all the better as that is the type of character that I imagine she wanted to create - one of mystery, one that you didn't know quite what she would do or how she would feel and one that would surprise you sometimes with her actions. Her relationship with Po the Lienid prince was a joy to read - he had the presence that could calm her but could also infuriate her which made this relationship turbulent at times and this is what made it all the enjoyable.

I felt that the character development between Po and Katsa was well written, as it was a believable realtionship between characters of such different personalities and in some ways relates to the idea that opposites attract in many ways of life. I felt the relationship between the two characters to be so real that at one point I became emotionally attached to the book, and I admit a tear almost fell - this is something not many authors achieve with me as it takes a lot for a book to affect me emotionally (not with movies, I'm a complete emotional wreck in those).

The pace of this book was brilliant, time was spent well on each section of the book and not one in particular scene was spent too long on in comparison to the others. It wasn't a boring book in the slightest and my attention was always fully on the story at hand and wondering what would happen next.

When I was getting towards the end of the book I thought the ending was a little disappointing, but this was because it seemed to end a little bit too soon for my liking. I was proved totally wrong however, as the main ending would just be the beginning of the end - feeling the consequences of what had happened and an even bigger twist that shocked me completely. It ended brilliantly and I am so glad that the next book in the series doesn't carry on from this as I think that it held enough finality in the last few pages that it didn't warrant a sequel.

Cashore, despite the little issue of the grammar, is a spectacular story teller and I loved this book to the core. When I thought it would play out differently I shocked to see she took another turn for the characters. Brilliant.




"Insurgent" by Veronica Roth

One choice. A choice becomes a sacrifice. A sacrifice becomes a loss. A loss becomes a burden. A burden becomes a battle. One choice can destroy you...

...And one choice can be the most idiotic choice a character could ever make.

Just a quick note, this may contain spoilers on Divergent depending on how you look at it.

Insurgent is the second in a series of what it seeming to be three books, and following it's predecessor Divergent it had a lot to live up to. I do not believe that Veronica Roth achieved that at all with this sequel to an amazing book.

Roth's sequel carries straight off from where Divergent ends, it could literally be the next page in the book. This is one of the only things I loved about this book, just the fact that it started as action packed as the other ended and it made an exciting start for a new book. There's a war between the factions, sides are being formed, and everything seems to be in pieces. In Insurgent Tris is out to stop all of this happening and finds out along the way it isn't as simple as it first seems and there are some truths that need to be uncovered.

I loved Tris in Divergent, she was strong and brave yet vulnerable and naive at the same time which added to her good qualities as she wasn't perfect or down right dumb like a lot of protagonists I have read about. However, in this book Tris became the biggest idiot I have read about in a long time - now you can't call this character development at all because it was just ridiculous. She was just irresponsible and quite frankly acting her age, making rash decisions and not caring for the consequences. She would on several occasions be told to stop being stupid yet she would carry on doing the most annoying things and putting herself in needless danger thinking it was for the sake of everybody else. No, Tris, you're just a stupid little girl who for one thinks before she acts and two doesn't think at all or at least logically or thoroughly like any sensible person would do in that situation. I could go on but I'll just say that her character thoroughly frustrated me throughout the entire book.

The storyline was very haphazard and I blame this on Tris' character mainly due to her stupid behaviour. It just seemed to chop and change every few pages, stupid situation after stupid situation, each being caused by one of Tris' many bad choices. Obviously there were a few amazing scenes where I was on the edge of my seat and at one point I actually laughed at some of the twists they were that unpredictable, but unfortunately this was a minority of the book and I felt the majority to be very disappointing storyline-wise.

The one thing I loved about this book however, was the fact you see how the other factions live. Even Tris was caught up by the stereotypes of the different units and was surprised when they acted like normal human beings. It was a wonderful insight into the dystopian world which I felt was greatly needed to carry on from the prequel as they weren't examined as deeply in Divergent. The carefree nature yet efficient of the Amity, the sternness of truth yet accepting of Candor and the intelligent and well though through (and not all bad) nature of the Erudite - the Abnegation and dauntless you saw more in Divergent.

The end of the ending was amazing and shocking and left me excited for the third instalment of the series no matter how awful Tris was in this book. I can tell that the third book will answer all of the unanswered in the second book, unless a fourth book is planned of course. I just hope above all hope that Veronica Roth thinks twice about the stupidity of Tris.

All in all I thought this was the biggest disappointment for me of this year and only a few factors bring up my rating and that's the explanations of the factions being one of them. I'd only recommend reading it if you want to read all of the series but as a stand alone book this was awful.

"Eragon" by Christopher Paolini

One boy...One dragon...A world of adventure.

Eragon has been one book that had been in my to be read pile for a while because I was curious as to how it would turn out and how it would be different to any other fantasy novel. Upon reading various reviews on this novel, I have found that many people have stated it has similarities to J R R Tolkein's Lord of the Rings series, some people even going as far as to say that it's a complete rip off of the infamous series. I, however, have had the pleasure of reading this book without reading Lord of the Rings first to judge, so I have a non-biassed view of this novel.

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realises he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands...

After reading "The Knife of Never Letting Go" with its awful (for a reason) writing, it was such a relief to finally be reading some decent fiction. It was extremely descriptive and I found myself imagining, even in the poorest of environments, the most wildly vivid places that were depicted in this story. This didn't, however, go so over board that it took anything away from the storyline whatsoever, in fact it was the descriptions of the tiniest of things that probably made the most difference. I felt truly and wonderfully engulfed in the land of Alagaesia and the many cities and towns that lay in it.

Although not the best set of characters I have ever read about, I found them to be entirely believable. They didn't get on like a happy family all the time - there was uneasiness, arguments, love, hate and admiration to name but a few and when you spend a long period of time with certain people you don't always get along and I found that Paolini hit this on the head. What I found most wonderful was the relationship between Eragon and his dragon, whom he could speak to via thoughts, it was great how they blossomed together, they learnt from one another, took advise, trusted and most of all loved each other as the book went on. It was a bond that grew stronger throughout the course of the book and this was brilliantly portrayed as the dragon cared for Eragon as much as he would for her.

On the other hand, it seemed that although Eragon was supposed to be the 'mighty dragon rider' (albeit a new one), he always seemed to predictably get himself into trouble that he wouldn't be able to get himself out of. He was always the one being saved instead of being the rescuer, even when he did save somebody he was in the process of being saved himself. Sometimes I found him to be a bit of a dependant character as well as he was often wondering what to do without somebody to teach him or tell him what to do. Nevertheless, he did grow as a character and quickly learned from his mistakes but I just hope that he learns slightly better in the next book.

I found this novel to be amazingly action packed. Something new was happening everywhere he went and when something seemed to be getting a little on the boring side, something would happen to turn that right around and create the action and the suspense needed to carry on the book. I was hardly ever bored whilst reading this book and found myself not wanting to put this book down because of the fact that it was so filled with adventure and thrills.

I did find the ending to be a little bit weak, I found myself drifting in and out of thoughts whilst reading it instead of being totally focused. It was just not very easy to imagine what was happening as everything was happening so fast and although I knew the basis of what was happening I didn't know exactly what the characters were doing themselves in the whole situation, (I'm trying to get across my point alongside not giving any spoilers which is proving to be rather difficult). I got it after a few tries of reading it but it isn't great if I'm having to do that in the first place.

Eragon was fast paced, action packed - brilliant. I never had the chance to read this when I was younger, and now that I'm older I'm glad I've gotten around to it. It doesn't matter what age you are with this book, whoever reads it should thoroughly enjoy it.