Another Day, Another Dungeon (Book Review)

DayDungeon

Another Day, Another Dungeon is a hilarious book by Greg Costikyan that describes a treasure hunt in the legendary Caves of Cytorax. Timaeus De’Asperge, a fire mage, and his companions fight Rog, a huge beast, and get its “nice comfy pile of gold”. They proceed to find a life-sized statue of a man in the altar of an evil temple. It is made of solid athenor, the most valuable metal in the world due to its ability to store mana. They bribe the guard to get in, but nothing of that value can be kept secret and soon their home is a battlefield, their friend kidnapped, and the statue gone — but only they know that. They find out that the statue depicts the last human king, Stantius III, and that the scepter of Stantius is glowing — the sign that a new king has arrived.

Suddenly, they are on a quest to not only find the statue, but to bring it to Arst-Kara-Morn, where the people will do anything to destroy them. They must somehow reverse a spell at Arst-Kara-Morn that has entrapped the soul of Stantius III inside the statue, preventing any more human kings from coming. This series is a great one to read and one I would highly recommend.

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The Year of the Hangman Review

Cover of the book The Year of the Hangman by Gary Blackwood

Review by shipperprincess52

Stars- 2/5
Summary- In 1776, the rebellion of the American colonies against British rule was crushed.  Now, in 1777—the year of the hangman—George Washington is awaiting execution, Benjamin Franklin’s banned rebel newspaper, Liberty Tree, has gone underground, and young ne’er-do-well Creighton Brown, a fifteen-year-old Brit, has just arrived in the colonies.  Having been shipped off against his will with nothing but a distance for English authorities, Creighton befriends Franklin, and lands a job with his print shop.  But the English general expects the spoiled yet loyal Creighton to spy on Franklin.  As battles unfold and falsehoods are exposed, Creighton must decide where his loyalties lie…a choice that could determine the fate of a nation. (Goodreads. Been a while since I read this book and I didn’t like it so I didn’t want to write my own summary for this one.)

Thoughts- I didn’t like it. The characters weren’t interesting and there wasn’t really any action. Creighton was annoying and bratty, he didn’t know how to do anything on his own and that made him extremely unlikable. The whole thing was twisted and boring. It was practically a Revolutionary War AU Fanfiction. It’s the complete opposite of the real war. I really couldn’t stand any of the characters and the plot bored me to tears. (I won’t say anything about the plot just incase I spoil anything.)

Read it at your own risk. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Age- 12+

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Cover of the book The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Review by fmarie0122

Eddie is a grizzled war veteran who feels trapped in a meaningless life of fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. His days are a dull routine of work, loneliness, and regret.

Then, on his 83rd birthday, Eddie dies in a tragic accident, trying to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakens in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a lush Garden of Eden, but a place where your earthly life is explained to you by five people. These people may have been loved ones or distant strangers. Yet each of them changed your path forever.

One by one, Eddie’s five people illuminate the unseen connections of his earthly life. As the story builds to its stunning conclusion, Eddie desperately seeks redemption in the still-unknown last act of his life: Was it a heroic success or a devastating failure? The answer, which comes from the most unlikely of sources, is as inspirational as a glimpse of heaven itself.

My mom actually recommended this book to me and one day on a trip to the beach I decided to give it a shot. Through Eddie’s encounters in heaven his life is pieced together, and it allows the reader a deeper insight into the hardships that Eddie has experienced throughout his lifetime. All the people that he meets along the way played a part in his life and they had a story to tell, along with a lesion to be taught. With this Eddies is able to come to terms with what has happened in his life so that he can be truly at peace in heaven. This is a beautiful interpretation of heaven created by Mitch Albom and I would highly recommend that you give the book a chance.

Umberland( Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

Umberland, the second book in the Everland series, by Wendy Spinale is a remade version of Alice in Wonderland. This series is about the deadly Horologia virus ripping through the world. The English were working on the virus in a lab but the Blooded Queen of Germany strategically bombed this lab so that the virus got released into the air. Everyone is falling ill and there is no end in sight.

In this book, Doc finds the Professor’s journal that includes a missing ingredient of the virus. This ingredient is a poisonous apple from a tree that supposedly no longer exists. With this new information, Doc realizes they aren’t sick at all – they are poisoned. He needs this apple to make an antidote. Countless people are depending on it and he must enlist the help of someone crazy to retrieve the apple. Since Doc needs to stay and care for the ill, Duchess Alyssa of England goes to the Maddox Hadder, who knows how to get the apple. The apple tree is in the middle of the Bloodred Queens labyrinth. This is already extremely dangerous, but with two of the Bloodred Queen’s men looking for the same thing, it is even more so. With the Duchess gone and the Queen too ill to rule, England goes into chaos.

I liked this book because it was a twist on regular fairy tales and it combined a lot of different fairy tales into one interesting story. I recommend this book because it is very interesting and you will not be able to put it down.

Harry Potter and the Protective Parents

Harry-Potter

The Harry Potter series is one of the biggest hits in our world today. It has been read the world over and kept bookstores in business for another ten years. J.K. Rowling, the author, has become extremely rich and need not ever pick up the pen again. This happy story has a seemingly sad lining. Many parents have seen the back of the book, seen the words “witchcraft and wizardry”, and deemed the fantastic series inappropriate for their children.

This is one of the saddest true stories in the history of books. I even have a friend going into high school who says her parents won’t allow her to read them. The reason this story is so sad isn’t just because they’re missing out on the wonderful, moral books about Hermione, Ron, and Harry. The saddest part is that these children have not been introduced to reading in the unique way that authors such as J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan present it.

You see, when I was seven years old, my father read me the first book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was so delighted with it that I promptly read the second book. And the third. In fact, by the time I finished fourth grade, I’d finished the whole series… multiple times.

The point of this anecdote? The Harry Potter series caused me to fall in love with reading for the first time. It made me want to be an author. Thanks to Harry Potter, I started writing fanfiction and short stories, and discovered what would become my passion and dream: writing children-to-young-adult-level novels… just like my heroes, Rick Riordan and J.K. Rowling.

Now, I am a Christian girl. My parents are very devout. But they read the whole series and knew that it wouldn’t cause me to become a real-life, demonic witch. They knew that it would foster in me a love of reading, and it did! It made me look upward and onward, going on to read books in elementary school that kids in middle school would hesitate to crack open. Harry Potter did this. I have J.K. Rowling to thank.

So, please, please, parents, if you’re reading this, give Harry Potter a chance. It’s a moral, wonderful book that’s totally clean even on Catholic standards (which isn’t always easy to reach, believe me!) that won’t teach your children to worship demons. Some lessons in this series include: Don’t focus on yourself. Be selfless. Think of others before yourself. Be a good friend. Don’t kill people (an obvious one). If you treat others the way they want to be treated, most likely they’ll treat you with respect. Justice is good, but mercy is important too, even if you don’t always get something from it.

Harry Potter made me turn to my parents eagerly, and ask, “What else can I read?” One of the best moments, I’m sure, in parenting, is fostering a love of something good and beautiful, such as reading. Do your children a favor and let them read Harry Potter.

An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet

Marthe leveled a cool stare at James Blakely. “The Wicked God’s dead. You were all at least willing to tell us that. If the Twisted Things are still loose on the countryside, don’t you tell me it’s not certain and we should just be afraid when you tell us to. I paid too much for that.” Her hand drifted to her belly; made a fist. “It was too much to have bought nothing.”

Six months ago, the men of the Lakelands marched south to fight a dark god.

Weeks ago, a lowly soldier named John Balsam stabbed it in the heart.

Hallie is just trying to save her farm. Marthe, her sister, is waiting for her husband to come back. They cover their fears with arguments that snap like a taut bow. The family is slowly crumbling, even as Hallie’s friends Nat and Tyler pitch in to help the farm survive.

What nearly breaks their relationship for good is Hallie’s decision to take on a worker – Heron, a scarred young veteran a long way from home. But what results from that decision is much more catastrophic than an ended relationship.

A Twisted Thing – one of the unnatural, acid-and-ashes monsters that burn everything they touch – crashes through Hallie’s window. Cryptic messages are written in the stones on the riverbank. The mayor of their village tries to take the farm.

Heron is hiding something important, the Twisted Things are arriving in greater numbers every day, and Hallie and Marthe must fix their family in time to fight the last battle of their war.

An Inheritance of Ashes is a story of the aftermath of war. There is nothing cheerful about the men who come home missing limbs, with their eyes blasted pale by the Wicked God’s fall. But the mending of the relationship between Hallie and Marthe gives readers hope that something can be salvaged – and many things are. (There’s even a little bit of sweet, slow-building romance.)

The intricate relationships between the cast, and a thoughtful portrayal of their flaws make this book realistic and touching. They come together to fight the Twisted Things despite their peacetime differences, standing up to soldiers who don’t understand how to stop the invasion. Even the main Big Bad is made… if not necessarily good, then understandable.

As the story moves on, it’s clear that the book is set in a post-apocalyptic America where technology is gone, but the people still have the same problems we have. In the prologue, it’s made clear that Hallie and Marthe have an abusive father. He’s dead by the time of the main story, but his influence rings in the sisters’ relationship.

What I loved is that the story is not focused on the invasion, but its results in the families of the village, the injuries of the characters, and the lives of the soldiers who came home.

In all the books I’ve read before An Inheritance of Ashes, the aftermath of the war was a side issue. The hero was in the limelight. Nothing was given to the side characters besides a few passing mentions.

Here, the real heroes are on the home front.

Thirteen Reasons Why by: Jay Asher

Summary: Hannah Baker has recently committed suicide. She recorded on thirteen cassette tapes the thirteen reasons why she committed suicide. Clay Jensen, the main character had feelings for Hannah shortly before she passed and found that he was one of the reasons that she committed this horrible act. Thirteen Reasons Why is an emotional, hard-hitting book that takes you through Clay and Hannah’s perspectives, telling why she committed suicide.

Writing: This book is so unique because it is in two different perspectives. It tells you about Clay’s motions while listening to the tapes and Hannah’s perspective on people and the world. Asher did an amazing job at keeping things realistic and like you were sitting right next to Clay, hearing Hannah’s voice through his headphones. Though the two perspectives were interesting, there are some parts where you are reading a slightly intense part and then the perspective switches to Clay watching water condescend off of his cup in a diner… A tad bit distracting and unnecessary when I’m trying to read an intense part.

Rating: 4/5

Characters: There were not many active characters in this book other than Clay and Hannah. Most of the other people take place in Hannah’s tapes in acts of the past. All of the characters in these tapes, you will find yourself to loathe because of their actions and how they messed Hannah up and ultimately made her kill herself.

Rating: 5/5

Overall: Although I was distracted at moments, I found this book extremely hard-hitting and I would find myself almost in tears while reading this book. Amazing book, I definitely recommend it.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Jasmine

Grade 9