Nov. 3rd, 2010 12:11 am
fiveforsilver: (YW [Did I do right?])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
95. So You Want to be a Wizard by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 1
Young Adult, Fantasy, 226p

Nita Callahan, perennial geek on the bad side of the school bully, runs across an unusual book while hiding in the children's section of the town library: So You Want to be a Wizard. She thinks it's a joke until she starts learning real magic (or rather, wizardry) from it. But it's not all fun and games when Nita and fellow wizard Kit accidentally end up in an alternate universe that's not at all friendly to humans.

Duane's fantasy (with a sci-fi twist) is a joy to read and only gets better as the series goes on. What other system of magic uses terminology like temporal-spacial claudication instead of magic door? The writing is clean and crisp, the worldbuilding is fantastic, and the characters are wonderful and come in ever-expanding varieties. This series is a yearly-reread.

96. Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 2
Young Adult, Fantasy, 272p

Having survived their Ordeal, Nita and Kit are on vacation with Nita's family when they are put on call. They meet up with some friendly local sea life in time to participate in a large-scale wizardry set to save the whole east coast and North Atlantic.

Deep Wizardry is one of my favorite in this series. The story is heartbreaking, the additional characters are wonderful with surprising depths and the undersea setting has both beautiful descriptions and incredible dangers.

97. High Wizardry by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 3
Young Adult, Fantasy, 269p

Nita's little sister Dairine becomes a wizard, steals the new family computer, and starts jumping around the Solar System all in one day.

The story moves between Dairine testing her new powers and Kit and Nita chasing after her. Dairine was portrayed as a precocious brat in previous books, but now we get to see deeper into her character and also (as usual) meet exciting new additions to the cast.

This was actually the first book in the series that I ever read. It was confusing (I recommend starting with book 1) but I liked it enough to seek out the rest of the series and I'm glad I did.

98. *Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Young Adult, Science Fiction, 400p

Mockingjay is a fantastic conclusion to a fantastic trilogy. The world, the plot, characters, everything is spot-on. For all her flaws - and she has many - Katniss is a relateable character whose reactions to the situations she's thrown into are totally believable. It's heartbreaking and amazing.

99. A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 4
Young Adult, Fantasy, 332p

100. The Wizard's Dilemma by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 5
Young Adult, Fantasy, 403p

101. A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane
Young Wizards, book 6
Young Adult, Fantasy, 320p

101 / 160 books (63%)
54 / 80 *new books (68%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
25730 / 48000 pages. (54%)
Audiobooks: 54h19m


Oct. 3rd, 2010 11:04 am
fiveforsilver: (Books)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
88. *The Boneshaker by Kate Milford
Young Adult, Fantasy/steampunk, 372p

A strange medical fair comes to town and unlike most of her neighbors, Natalie is not convinced that they are really there to help people.

The Boneshaker is well-written with an intriguing plot and Natalie is a great character, but I'm left a bit disappointed at the end of the book. There are too many loose ends, too many things that were superficially explained but never really explained. It's a fun book but ultimately unsatisfying.

89. *Doctor Who: Cobwebs by Jonathan Morris, read by Peter Davison
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 2h19m

Excellent story.

90. *Doctor Who: Apollo 23 by Justin Richards, read by James Albrecht
Science Fiction, Audiobook, 5h31m

The American English (dialogue and accents both) was not very good.

91. Deerskin by Robin McKinley
Adult, Fantasy, 320p

92. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Young Adult, Fantasy, 471p

93. Fire by Kristin Cashore
Young Adult, Fantasy, 461p

94. *Omnitopia Dawn by Diane Duane
Adult, Science Fiction, 352p

Excellent new science fiction novel by one of my favorite authors. I didn't even know she had a new book out until I happened to see it in the store! I can't speak to how realistic the MMPORPG or hacking is, but the characters are fantastic and the story is intriguing. Although it reads as a stand-alone, it is the first in a trilogy and I eagerly await the upcoming books.

94 / 160 books (59%)
53 / 80 *new books (66%)
3 / 7 ^non-fiction (43%)
23508 / 48000 pages. (45%)
Audiobooks: 54h19m


Apr. 10th, 2010 07:52 am
fiveforsilver: (YW [Did I do right?])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
41. *Doctor Who: The Doctor Trap by Simon Messingham, read by Russell Tovey
Adult, Science Fiction, Audiobook, 2h24m

42. The Wizard's Dilemma by Diane Duane
Young Wizards series, book 5
Young Adult, Fantasy, 403 pages

43. A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane
Young Wizards series, book 6
Young Adult, Fantasy, 320 pages

44. Wizard's Holiday by Diane Duane
Young Wizards series, book 7
Young Adult, Fantasy, 416 pages

45. Wizards at War by Diane Duane
Young Wizards series, book 8
Young Adult, Fantasy, 551 pages

My favorite Young Wizards books are actually the first three, but the rest of the series is excellent as well.

45 / 160 books. 28% done!

22 / 80 *new books. 28% done!

3 / 7 ^non-fiction. 43% done!

12848 / 48000 pages. 27% done!
Audiobooks: 16h31m


Mar. 30th, 2010 06:19 am
fiveforsilver: (YW [Did I do right?])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
38. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Adult, Fantasy, 615 pages

I really enjoy this book; the characters have depth, the plots intertwine convincingly, and the resolutions are satisfying on all levels.

39. *A Wizard of Mars by Diane Duane
Young Wizards series, book 9
Young Adult, Fantasy, 550 pages

A Wizard of Mars is a fantastic addition to the Young Wizards series. The story is tight, the characters are wonderful as always, and it's just a great read.

A more complete review will have to wait until I've reread it.

40. *A Girl's Guide to Guns and Monsters edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Kerrie Hughes
includes Vicki Nelson story by Tanya Huff
Adult, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Short Stories, 299 pages

This book has a great title, doesn't it? It does. Unfortunately, the title is the best part of the book. I love good short stories, but these stories are mostly on the mediocre side.

40 / 160 books. 25% done!

21 / 80 *new books. 26% done!

3 / 7 ^non-fiction. 43% done!

11158 / 48000 pages. 23% done!


Sep. 1st, 2008 06:13 pm
fiveforsilver: (Xmen [Angel])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Last books of August:

104. *Enchantment Place by Denise Little (ed) (338)

I like short stories as a rule. I really like a well-written short story. The premise of this anthology is fantastic - from the cover, "the mall where vampires, were-creatures, sorcerers, witches, elves, and other fey beings go to shop". How much fun does that sound?

Unfortunately, most of the stories fall a little flat. I think a lot of them could have been great fun if they'd been fleshed out more, but as it is they mostly seem rushed or like there are missing pieces. My favorites are the companion stories "Out of the Frying Pan..." by Diane Duane and "...And into the Fire" by Peter Morwood.

105. The Sagan Diary (audio) by John Scalzi (1h18m)

A fabulous book written as the inner thoughts of Jane Sagan, major character in the Old Man's War series. This novelette is set between The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony and listening to it made me want to read The Last Colony again.

106. The Last Colony by John Scalzi (316)

Having just read Zoe's Tale, which is the same timeline as The Last Colony but told from Zoe Boutin's perspective, it adds this whole new dimension to the story. Fantastic.

106 / 110 books. 96% done!

48 / 75 *new books. 64% done!

3 / 10 ^non-fiction. 30% done!

29245 / 33000 pages. 89% done!
Audiobook time: 27h7m


May. 6th, 2008 07:23 pm
fiveforsilver: (P&P [Darcy])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
First books of May:

48. Sunshine by Robin McKinley (405)

Still my favorite book. It's funny, because all the things that so many people dislike about it - the informal, somewhat scattered narrative, the random bits of information that aren't really related to the plot, the shadowy half-defined secondary characters that nonetheless are important parts of the story - are all things I love about it, that makes it perfect for me.

I heard an interview with Salmon Rushdie that likened oral storytelling to a juggler that keeps throwing more and more balls into the air and how you're just watching to see how they keep them all in sync, and I think that's the kind of story Sunshine is - not a straightforward, beginning-middle-end story but a meandering, sidelining, keep-adding-another-ball kind of story.

Most of McKinley's novels are like that, actually.

49. So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane (226)
50. Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane (272)

One of my favorite YA series, although that's becoming a long list. Deep Wizardry is without question my favorite book in the series. My only problem with it is that the whalespeak is inconsistent - sometimes S'reee understands and uses human terms for things, sometimes she doesn't.

51. *The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler (250)

I'm glad I bought this, because I definitely will have to read it again before I can really make a judgment on it. I love the movie. I mean, I love the movie. I don't think it's the best movie ever or anything, but I'm not sure when I last saw a movie that really got book people, especially such a variety of them. I adore movie-Grigg, the geeky sci-fi guy. The conversation between him and Jocelyn where he says he thinks she would like Ursula Le Guin is so perfect, so realistic, so exactly how that kind of exchange really goes. As are the other conversations they have about SF books (well, I can't speak to the last one personally, but I'm sure it's happened somewhere).

Um. The book. I'll have to not watch the movie for a while, and then reread the book, I think. I liked it, I liked it well enough to reread it, but I keep seeing scenes from the movie when I try to think about what happened in the book.

51 / 110 books. 46% done!

19 / 75 *new books. 25% done!

2 / 10 ^non-fiction. 20% done!

15593 / 33000 pages. 47% done!

Currently reading: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (yes, for exactly the reason you're thinking)


Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:21 pm
fiveforsilver: (Scientology [Zapped])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted in June of 2007 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver (accidentally numbered two books 71):

71. A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane (332)
72. The Wizard's Dilemma by Diane Duane (403)

The 4th and 5th books in the Young Wizards series. In the former, Nita is sent to visit family in Ireland and is put on call there. In the latter, she faces a terrible choice.

73. *Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (448)

I was surprised by this book. I'd heard a lot about it, but nothing really specific, and I hadn't really heard how good it is. If this one book is anything to base my opinion on, that Scott Westerfield really knows how to write. I'm impressed and I look forward to reading the other books in the trilogy.

74. A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane (320)

The 6th book in the YW series. This, along with the first three, is one of my favorites. It deals with the aftermath of Wizard's Dilemma, along with new problems, and very realistic tension between Nita and Kit.

The books in this post and the next one are not in order, because I remember what books I've read but not what order I read them in.

75. Wizard's Holiday by Diane Duane (416)
76. Wizards at War by Diane Duane (551)

Currently the final two books in the Young Wizards series (although there is a 9th book in the works). Holiday is a fun book. Because of all the stress and issues in the previous couple of books, Dairine decides to sign herself and her sister up for a sort of wizardly student exchange program during spring break. She gets in trouble for signing them up without asking anyone first, so instead of her and Nita going, Nita and Kit go, while Dairine stays home to help her dad deal with the exchange wizards that come to stay at her house. Hijinks ensue...and some saving the world, too.

Wizards at War is a lot more serious, although there are less-serious bits to lighten the mood. This is only the second time I read this book, and I liked it better this time, but part of it still reminds me too much of another book related to the series, and that bothers me.

77. *Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (384)
78. *Specials by Scott Westerfeld (384)

Sequels to Uglies, which I read not too long ago. I was at first turned off by the titles, and even the plot, of these stories, but it turns out that they are extremely well-written YA science fiction books, with interesting characters, engaging plots, and a credible world. I was impressed by the writing in the first book and am still impressed; I plan to read more of this author's work.

79. The Android's Dream by John Scalzi (394)

This is a very funny humorous science fiction novel that is actually has nothing to do with Philip K. Dick or has any references other than the title (in fact, it is becoming a trilogy, each of which will have a Dick-ian title). It's about...well, saving the world. And the girl, too. Through unconventional means.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 79 / 100 books (79.0%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 39 / 50 *new books (78.0%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 25,415 / 30,000 pages (84.7%)


Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:17 pm
fiveforsilver: (Pluto)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted in May and June of 2007 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

64. Teklords by William Shatner (293)
65. Teklab by William Shatner (308)

I left the book I was reading - Deep Wizardry - at home when I went to visit my parents, and I saw these books on the shelf when I was looking for something to read. They are fairly mindless entertainment and it's been at least 10 or 12 years since I read them. I actually remember the movies better than the books (as I recall, they were about the same quality - mindless entertainment).

66. *The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (525)

This, on the other hand, was actually pretty good. It's a YA book that also includes drawings and pictures, and it's an intruiging story as well as compelling pictures.

I did think that the end came too quickly, though - everything was figured out and tied up all at once, and then suddenly it was over.

Last books of May:

67. The Ogre Downstairs by Diana Wynne Jones (182)

A fun YA book.

68. Tek secret by William Shatner (292)

The third of the three Tek books that my parents have. I think there are two others that they don't. Again, mindless fun.

69. So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane (226)

First books of June:
70. Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane (272)
71. High Wizardry by Diane Duane (269)

This series includes some of my favorite books and I reread them probably once a year at least.

I may have forgotten one or two books, since this is a lot longer than I usually take between updates, but, well, whatever. Not a big deal.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 71 / 100 books (71.0%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 36 / 50 *new books (72.0%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 21,783 / 30,000 pages (72.6%)

Currently Reading:
A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane

71, 72

Dec. 30th, 2007 08:47 am
fiveforsilver: (Bantock [shattered glass])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted October 15, 2006 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

71. *The Door Into Sunset by Diane Duane (382)

Much more "traditional" fantasy than Duane's other books. It's actually the third in her "Door Into" series, but the local libraries (wonderful as they are) didn't have the first two. Only the third. Because that makes sense... Anyway, my point is, there was a lot I didn't understand because I haven't read the first two books. I'll probably have to either read them at the bookstore or maybe buy them in order to read them.

72. *Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb (809)

A lot of people have talked about Hobb, both liking and disliking, and I figured it's time I step out of the YA fiction and into the Adult section (the Duane books are Adult fiction, too, but she's already a loved author).

I mostly liked it. There were some things I had trouble with - for example, it often takes a sentence or two for there to be a clue who each section is talking about (between the 6 or 8 or whatever main characters the book flipped between). As in, it's something like "He walked down the street..." Ok, which he? It could be any of three or four or five male characters, mostly in different cities. It's a little frustrating to have to go back and reread the first sentence(s) of the section to understand what was going on, because it started with "He" instead of the character's name and oh, now I know how it's talking about, so what was that again?

Other than that stylistic quirk, I liked it. I enjoyed most of the storylines, I cared about many of the characters, and I want to know what happens enough to go get the next books out of the library. I was surprised when some of the stories intersected and with some twists (not all - most I saw far in advance - but some).

*New reads (I believe this is my first post only of new reads!)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
72 / 100 books

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
18 / 30
(60.0%) new books

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
27,323 / 50,000
(54.6%) pages


Dec. 30th, 2007 08:44 am
fiveforsilver: (Trumpet)
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
Originally posted October 10, 2006 in [livejournal.com profile] fiveforsilver:

68. *Stealing the Elf-King's Roses by Diane Duane (401)

My first non-Young Wizards book by DD. Based on the title, I expected it to be more fantasy related, but I should have known better. It's actually an SF book. It was...a pretty good book, but it didn't grab me the way the YW books do. I'm trying the "Door Into" series (same author) but having trouble finding the first two books.

69. Quest for a Maid by Frances Mary Hendry (270)

This is an older book - the bad writing in the cover says I got it in 1994 (not that I have all that much better handwriting now, but I wouldn't write my name in a book in pink highlighter these days). It's historical fantasy, about the kings of the British Isles and what might have happened if magic existed. And it's a good story, about a young girl with more compassion and strength than she realizes - she runs around willy-nilly saving lives and befriending outcasts, not even realizing that she's doing unusual things.

70. Sunshine by Robin McKinley (389)

Some previous words.

*New reads

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
70 / 100
(70.0%) books

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
16 / 30 new books

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
26,132 / 50,000 pages


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