Tag Archive | reviews

Nothing Like Starting Your Day With …. A NEW BOOK!

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

It’s been so long since my last post on here, you probably assumed that I fell into a black hole, got lost inside a laboratory, befriended a strange cube covered in hearts, and went stir crazy because the cake was a total lie! Rest assured, I am safe and sound, and there is cake a plenty ^_^

The reality of the situation is that I have been working really hard to get my two other blogs up and running, which I have been partially successful in doing. My News blog – MyInquisitiveCerebrum – is ready for viewing and following, although knowing me there are bound to be hundreds of changes made in the near future. For the time being, though I am fairly content with the results. My other blog – The Nerdtastic Life – is still in its initial stages, and probably will be for the next couple of weeks; you never realize just how busy your summer will be until it gets here, and then all that free time fly’s right out the window.

To welcome myself back, and as a present for all of you avid readers, I present to you yet another book which I have decided to add to my collection. Okay, I wasn’t exactly intending on purchasing another book, but when it’s only five dollars and sitting on the shelf right in front of me …. how could I resist? Unfortunately, I’m currently in the process of reading two books simultaneously, so I probably won’t get around to  it for quite some time. In the meantime, though, here is a brief synopsis of the book and what previous reviewers have had to say about it!

12book The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Legend Begins…

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks” – strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess – Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine – much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins the cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice…

Reviews

“At once a scholar’s homage to the Illiad and a startilingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist” – Ann Patchett

“Mary Renault lives again! Ravishingly vivid” – Emma Donoghue

“I loved this book. The language was timeless, the historical details were slipped in perfectly.” – Helen Simonson

“Miller’s prose is more poetic than almost any translation of Homer” – Guardian (UK)

I have always been a big fan of the legends and heroes which were bred out of Ancient Greece. I once did a project for the science fair which was all about comparing how ancient civilizations explained certain natural phenomena, like the sun and rain, and how we explain those same phenomena today with science. It proved how creative the mind can be when it seeks an explanation for something which they would otherwise not have due to their limited knowledge of the world or ways to observe it.

If you have read this book already, feel free to leave your thoughts on it in the comments below, but do try to avoid any spoilers if possible. Also, feel free to check out my News blog and even follow it if you find a news story which interests you. I look forward to hearing what you guys have to say, and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

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One Book Closes, Another Book Opens

Hello All!

You will be happy to hear that I have finally finished reading The Third Twin by Ken Follett, and have now moved on to something else. First, however, I’ll give you a little bit of my feedback.

The first books I read by Ken Follett were historical fictions that took place back in the 1100’s or 1300’s, and they revolved mostly around certain characters trying to make a living. In the first one, it was about a man trying to build a cathedral, and the second one featured the construction of a bridge, as well as the reconstruction of certain parts of that same cathedral. In other words, they both followed similar story lines that made it easy to transition from one story to the next, but still allowing you to find something new and exciting by having a whole new cast of characters.

The Third Twin

“The Third Twin” is completely different. It’s a more modern style novel that focuses on a cover up of genetic experiments that were performed back in the 70’s, where they tried to breed humans with the desired physical and personality traits, and how one woman studying at a university funded by the business behind these experiments, Genetico, ends up unearthing their little conspiracy entirely by accident. It has a completely different feel than all of the other books of his I have read, but trust me, it is just as good. In fact, in many ways I liked it better, but mostly because it is easier to relate it back to modern society and our current scientific progression.

I said this before, but I will say it again now that I’ve actually finished reading it: I recommend this book to everyone! Okay, maybe not everyone. Just like in all of his other books, there are some rather descriptive sections that are not meant for everyone. Personally, I think it makes the story all the more believable, but if you become squeemish when faced with highly descriptive violence or sexual content, then you should probably find something else. Otherwise, this book is amazing. If you’re into law, science, cloning, genetics, and huge business cover-ups, then this book is definitely for you.

Now, on to the new book!

I only started it today, but already I’m hooked. What can I say? I become hooked on any book that’s written by John Green! That’s right, it’s another teen fiction novel full of witty humor, clever anecdotes, and a great assortment of characters, each one of which you cannot help but get attached to.

An Abundance of Katherines

This one is called “An Abundance of Katherines“, and it’s about a high school teen named Colin Singleton who has been dumped 19 times, each time by a girl named K-a-t-h-e-r-i-n-e. I have only just begun to read it, and already I feel like I know Colin Singleton. I would say he’s your typical teenage boy, but he’s actually a bit of a genius. His smarts came at the costly price of his social skills, which you will come to understand as you read his story. Oh, and I should mention that he is obsessed with anagrams, which I just find thoroughly amusing.

I’ll fill you in a little more about the book once I’ve had a chance to read it from cover to cover, but trust me when I say anything written by John Green is a must read!

Cheers 🙂

 

“The Amulet of Samarkand” by Jonathan Stroud

Hello all!

Today is Book Recommendations for You day, and do I have an excellent one for you!

WARNING: I WILL TRY TO REFRAIN FROM REVEALING INFORMATION THAT WOULD SPOIL THE STORY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE YET TO READ IT AND ARE PLANNING TO, BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THERE WON’T BE SOME SPOILERS IN MY REVIEWS AND/OR SUMMARY OF THE BOOK. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE SPOILERS, DO NOT READ!!!

theamuletofsamarkand

If you like demons, wizards, magic and a battle between good and evil, then The Amulet of Samarkand is probably the book you’re looking for. It is the first in a trilogy, and although it is meant for younger readers, there is something about the writing style and the character dynamics that make it enjoyable for all ages. The characters in this book are able to summon demons to do their bidding, but not without a price to be paid. The main character, Nathaniel, summons a 5000 year old Djinni so that he can steal an amulet from a ruthless and cruel magician known as Simon Lovelace. It’s interesting to follow their adventure, and to see if any kind of friendship develops between Nathaniel and his demon, since it is made quite clear in the footnotes that the demon could care less about his masters well being. Oh, I suppose I should note that many of the main characters’ thoughts and snide remarks are written in the form of footnotes on each page, which is just another aspect of the book that makes it so interesting.

Here is a brief summary I found for the book:

Nathaniel is a boy magician-in-training, sold to the government by his birth parents at the age of five and sent to live as an apprentice to a master. Powerful magicians rule Britain, and its empire, and Nathaniel is told his is the “ultimate sacrifice” for a “noble destiny.”

If leaving his parents and erasing his past life isn’t tough enough, Nathaniel’s master, Arthur Underwood, is a cold, condescending, and cruel middle-ranking magician in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The boy’s only saving grace is the master’s wife, Martha Underwood, who shows him genuine affection that he rewards with fierce devotion. Nathaniel gets along tolerably well over the years in the Underwood household until the summer before his eleventh birthday. Everything changes when he is publicly humiliated by the ruthless magician Simon Lovelace and betrayed by his cowardly master who does not defend him.

Nathaniel vows revenge. In a Faustian fever, he devours magical texts and hones his magic skills, all the while trying to appear subservient to his master. When he musters the strength to summon the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus to avenge Lovelace by stealing the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, the boy magician plunges into a situation more dangerous and deadly than anything he could ever imagine.

 

I read this back in high school, so I can’t say whether or not it would have the same appeal to me if I read it now, but let me tell you this; I read the harry potter books in high school and I still love reading them now. It’s an interesting story, loaded with plot twists, and the main character is one that you alternate between hating and loving, and an incredibly witty demon who is completely unpredictable!

I hope you enjoy this book, and as always, feel free to go to the Book Recommendations from You page in the top toolbar and leave the name of one of your favorite books in the comments.

 

Cheers 🙂