Monday, September 27, 2010

Review: The Merchant of Death

The Merchant of Death by D.J. McHale

September 1st 2002 by Aladdin 
Word Count: 117,136
Series: Pendragon, book one
Source: audiobook

My Grade: A

Synopsis from GoodReads: Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy. He has a family, a home, and even Marley, his beloved dog. But there is something very special about Bobby. 

He is going to save the world. 

And not just Earth as we know it. Bobby is slowly starting to realize that life in the cosmos isn't quite what he thought it was. And before he can object, he is swept off to an alternate dimension known as Denduron, a territory inhabited by strange beings, ruled by a magical tyrant, and plagued by dangerous revolution.
If Bobby wants to see his family again, he's going to have to accept his role as savior, and accept it wholeheartedly. Because, as he is about to discover, Denduron is only the beginning....

This book is great. The premise is unique. The action is compelling while not over-whelming. The storytelling gives you just enough to leave you craving more at each turn. However, this book was written for Middle Grade boys. And as most of you book bloggers out there are not Middle Grade boys, it may not appeal. But for it's target audience I think it was spot on.

The book is told through long letters Bobby writes to his friends. The letter idea works where you'd think it wouldn't. The large chunks of Bobby's first person narrative that switch to Mark and Courtney's third person when they are not reading Bobby's letters actually gives the reader a refreshing change once in a while. It's not distracting because McHale makes it clear that this is Bobby's story, so the parts with Mark and Courtney do not threaten that or bore us by taking us away from the main storyline.

I liked Bobby's character. He felt very real, like how an actual kid would reaction to the situations he was in. McHale does a great job of giving Bobby a very specific and age-appropriate voice. And I would think he would be good at this, seeeing as how McHale was a screenwriter for such TV shows as Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Ghostwritter (among a ton of other things) both of which I absolutely adored as a kid.

I wonder at the name "Press." At first I thought it might be short for something more revealing that would later tell us something about Bobby's mysterious uncle, but that never happened.

A few issues I had with it:

When you see the name "Pendragon" sprawled across the cover of a book in big block letters, what do you immediately think of? I don't know about you, but I think of Arthur Pendragon, Camelot, Merlin, Guinevere, Lancelot, etc. This book, however, had nothing to do with Arthurian legends and that put a big of a sour taste in my mouth. Yes, I know, authors use names from other literary works or from folklore as an allusion to characteristics that name invokes, but the Pendragon name is so unique and so iconic (at least to me) that it is just not believable as anyone else's name. I don't care if your story is amazing enough to be able to support the weight that name holds. But maybe McHale thought using the name was a clever allegory to the fact that Bobby, like Arthur, was a wimpy little boy plucked from seeming obscurity to rescue a whole nation of people. But even I think I'm stretching a bit to make this comparison work, so I don't think that was the case. So sorry, but I think it's a bit presumptuous to use a name like Pendragon and not even acknowledge it's prestigious origins.

There were alot of unanswered questions at the end of this book, and alot that was simply not explained about the nature of travelers, their skills, their origins, their purpose, etc. Also, the "Earth" Bobby and his friends live on is referred to as "Second Earth" throughout the book. I'd liked to have discovered what the deal with that was, and even Bobby wonders what happened to "First Earth." But I as this series has ten books in it, I suppose the author couldn't give away everything in the first book.

If I was a twelve year old boy, I would definitely be excited to read the rest of the books in this series, and I just might recommend it to some young men I know...

Find it on Amazon: The Merchant of Death (Pendragon Series #1)

Visit the author's website:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Blogger Hop!

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books. 
Click the button below for rules on how to participate in this fun Book Party!

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question is:

When you write reviews, do you write them as you are reading or wait until you have read the entire book?

My answer:

I'm inconsistent - I know, shameful. Sometimes I wait til I'm done reading, sometimes I jot down thoughts while I'm reading because I'm afraid I'll forget it by the end, especially if the thought has something to do with the beginning. Another thing I do is write down questions about what will happen, or comments on what I think is going to happen. That way I sort of have a 'journal' of my journey through the book, and it gives me a perspective on how I might have seen the book differently in the beginning as opposed to when I've finished it. So for the most part, I write the review as I'm reading. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review: The Sorcerer of Sainte Felice

The Sorcerer of Sainte Felice by Ann Finnin
Published: June 1st 2010 by Flux Word Count: 89,175
Series: n/a
Source: library paperback

My Grade: B+

Synopsis from the paperback back cover: Condemned to death by the Holy Office for sorcery, fifteen-year-old Michael de Lorraine is rescued from the flames by Abbot Francis and granted refuge at the Sainte Felice, a Benedictine monastery in fifteenth-century France. Michael learns that this strange and wonderful place, famous for its healing wine, harbors renegade monk-sorcerers, enchanted gargoyles, and a closely guarded secret that could spell violent death for the Abbot.

As the church intensifies its cruel pursuit of Micheal, Abbot Francis and the wizard monks find themselves grave danger. Michael will do anything to protect his mentor, but are his own magical powers great enough to save the monastery from the merciless, bloodthirsty Inquisition?

As urban fantasy is the the craze right now, I think some young readers may see a book about a fifteenth century monastery as backwards and out of touch. As a reader I think you really have to be able to appreciate the historical period in this book to find it interesting, so it may not be for everyone. But for what it was, I enjoyed it. And I think I might have enjoyed it even more if I had read it when I was younger.

The blurb on the back cover of this paperback made me think that the monks at this monastery had found a way to amalgamate the Christian faith and belief in the teachings of the Bible with the magical arts like astrology and medicinal herbs and the like. However, once I started to read, it sounded at first like the monastery was simply a cover for the 'monks' to practice their sorcery unhindered. However at the same time, Abbott Francis says he is truly a monk and that the vows he took mean something. But the confirmation that the monks truly did believe in God and prayer didn't come until late in the book when the reserved Brother John speaks up:

"John turned on all of us with a rare flash of anger in his pale eyes. "Have our hearts become so hardened and so cynical that we so totally discount the power of prayer?" he demanded. "If so, then we are no better than the pompous and hypocritical Church from which we have fled. Which one of us, in his darkest hour, did not raise his voice to heaven and have it answered by the hand of the Almighty, leading us to this door? And now we dare to look down our monkish noses at the sincere prayers of the townspeople who want not their own succor but that of our abbot? We ought to be ashamed."" p. 266

There is significant discussion about the difference between a saint and a sorcerer. Is Abbott Francis one or the other? He certainly started out as a sorcerer, but through his genuine concern and charity for the people of Sainte Felice, has he indeed become a Saint while still practicing magic? Can he be both? I think the point is that it all depends on how you look at it. The term Sacred Magician is also mentioned a few times, and while this title is not fully explained, I think it supposed to encompass both sorcerer and saint.

Michael sums up the happy coexistence of magic and spirituality when he comes to a realization about Abbot Francis here:

"I realized then why they revered him so. It was not just the bleeding statues or the vision of angels. He lifted their spirits and offered them hope for a better life in this world, not just salvation in the next. He had cast a magical spell on them, but it was a spell of comfort and love that enveloped all the bodies packed like herring into the tiny stone church, a spell like a blazing fire warming the hearts and souls of all those who had ventured forth on this bitterly cold midwinter's morning. I found that I too was moved." p. 252

I really like that.

This book comes full circle from Michael being burned at the stake to Francis being brought to the pyre. I appreciate the symmetry of that.

What I didn't like:

Micheal calls the pious townsfolk superstitious on more than one occasion, and I think it's a bit modern for Michael to think of the Christian faith as superstitious nonsense. Absolutely everyone was influenced by the Church back then, and even if he had an aversion to the establishment, I don't think he would have simply swept the whole religion aside as superstition.

After the initial exciting scene that draws you into the book, the story progresses slowly and a bit monotonously for a while. But I suppose it's hard to keep the action up when the setting of your book is a serene monetary. Mealtimes are the markers by which she measures all events that take place, and in fact much of the book takes place at supper and dinner, as that is where the monks primary dialogue lies for the first two-thirds of the book - and the endless and repetitive manner of these mealtimes makes the days seem like they are in an endless loop. I think this also contributes to the strange sense of pacing. The conflict that serves as the climax for the book is not introduced until page 290, and up to that point the pacing is very slow.

This book really hits it's stride in the last third when the conflict that leads to the climax is introduced. This part is so much better than the rest of the book that I would guess Finnin wrote this first, and filled in the rest later with less skilled storytelling. The Cardinal's visit to the monastery especially stood out as feeling labored and filled with unnecessary detail.
I've never heard of Flux publishing before, and maybe this is just a fluke, but there are so many typos and mistakes in the text that it does not even seem like it had a final edit before going to press. Dropped prepositions, doubled pronouns and mismatched tense are common throughout the book. These mistakes are prevalent enough to be distracting, but what's worse, is fumbled key plot-points. For example, when the monks perform their first magical summoning in the Tabernacle, they invoke the spirits of the four elements - Air, Fire, Water and Earth - to protect them from evil. But the typo fudges up part of the explanation, listing air twice and earth none. That's a big boo-boo.

Overall I liked it, (even though I know I sound very critical!) but I wanted to delve more into the meat and potatoes of this book: the magic. I wanted more of Antonin's astrology, more of Francis's sorcery past and secrets of the grimoire, more explanation as to why the wine has miraculous healing properties. Just more. There was too much hum-drum and not enough titillating tidbits that would make me want to devour this book.

Get it on Amazon: The Sorcerer of Sainte Felice

Visit the author's website:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Book Blogger Appreciation Week


So I'm a little late for this, but there are still three days left in the week so it's still worth it!

Thanks to Amy et al from the Book Blogger Appreciation Week blog for creating this event!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Remember When.... meme

Remember When….

This is a new occasionally occurring meme I am starting because of my love of nostalgia. Feel free to play along if you like, just leave a link to your "Remember When..." in the comments section.

"Remember When..." will showcase a book that I read as a child or young teenager and remember fondly. I'm doing this to highlight some of the great older books out there that perhaps don't get the spotlight in the blogosphere because they were written before it's advent. When most book blogs are reviewing and hyping the newest books on the market, which is great, I would like to take a moment every once in a while to look back on what shaped my reading interests.

So, without further ado, here is my book selection:

The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli

What a great little book! I can't say that I remember the story line well, but I do remember it very fondly, and that's the point! For some reason I am drawn to books set in monasteries in Medieval times. I don't know why. The book I am currently reading, The Sorcerer of Sainte Felice, made me think of The Door in the Wall because of its similar setting. This is a gem of a book - check it out!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: Sept 10-13, 2010

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books. 
Click the link for rules on how to participate in this fun Book Party!

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question is:

Post a link to a favorite post or book review that you have written in the past three months.

I am linking to my book review on Breath by Donna Jo Napoli. It's the only book I've given an A+ to so far, and I think all this author's books are amazing! She mainly writes novels based on classic fairy tales like Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel, The Little Mermaid, and more. Hope you like my review!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Review: Hush, Hush

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Published: October 13th 2009 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Word Count: 85,363
Series: n/a

Source: library book, hardcover

My Grade: A-

Synopsis from GoodReads: For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

I love the prologue in this book. Very mysterious and intriguing. It hooks you immediately by virtue of it's historical time period, the enigmatic figure involved, and the oath sworn that leaves the reader wondering how it will play into the main thread of the novel.

The opening chapter, however, is another matter. The excitement I received from the short prologue fizzled as I started on chapter one. First off, the setting is a high school biology lesson on the reproductive system. Yawn. Can't authors come up with something a bit different from the worn out 'sex lesson' gag? I mean, come on, it's been done a million times. But, maybe if you're a budding teenager and haven't read a ton of books, this will be a new subject for you. So fine, but it seems worn out to me.

I'm not sure how I feel about this title. It's sort of like Twilight (again) in the sense that it doesn't have anything to do with the book, and just sounds enticing to draw readers in. And I don't normally comment of cover art but man, what a photo! I've seen a lot of bloggers write they picked up this book for the cover alone, and with this one, I really can't blame them.

I really like the relationship between Nora and Vee. It felt like a realistic teenager friendship between two girls. They got pissed at each other, they had each other's backs, they fought about things and they joked about things. However, I would just like to know what sort of name Vee Sky is. Frankly, it sounds kind of like a hooker name. Just sayin'. But another reason why I liked this relationship is because Nora's best friend is a GIRL! Too many YA books I've read lately feature a female protagonist with a male best friend. And honestly how common is that? Not very. So thank you, Ms. Fitzpatrick, for writing this relationship into your book.

I liked the twist at the end. I could see it coming, but not in the exact form it took, so that was nice. But I also feel like it was over too soon and I didn't get enough back-story to feel satisfied with this ending. I hope there will be more back-story in the sequel, Crescendo, as it's one of my favorite parts of a story and I would like to see more of Patch's history.

The main thread of the mythology tying this book together - concerning the Book of Enoch, what happened to other Fallen Angels, etc. - was a bit confusing to me and it made me uncertain of Patch's motives. I think this is because he is debating between two paths he can take and it is unclear at points if he has chosen one path over the other or if he is still considering what to do. I can't explain it much more than that without totally giving everything away. But lets just say the hotel room scene was a little confusing. I had to go back and read the flashback scene with Dabria's 'real' introduction to really understand what was going on, and even then I wasn't sure until later.

Patch was channeling Edward Cullen here. The way he guides Nora through murky waters of concealment, giving her just enough to keep her chomping at the bit. Also the way he almost commands her to do or not do certain things, and she blindly obeys because of her infatuation with him. Oh, and also the fact that she is scared of him yet drawn to him at the same time. Totally Twilight. And of course girls love the bad boy. This is not a judgment, merely an observation.

My favorite quote:

"You're impinging on my private space," I said, inching backward.

Patch gave a barely-there smile. "Impinging? This isn't the SAT, Nora."
(p. 339)

Love it! Mainly because I have gotten similar reactions when using uncommon words in regular speech, and also because I am currently studying for the GREs and trying to memorize loads of vocab words!

Overall, it wasn't what I thought it was going to be, but I wasn't disappointed.

Find it on Amazon: Hush, Hush

Visit the author's website:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: Keturah and Lord Death

Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

Published: November 28th 2006 by Front Street BooksWord Count: 51,513
Series: n/a
Source: library audio book

My Grade: A-

Synopsis from GoodReads: Martine Leavitt offers a spellbinding story, interweaving elements of classic fantasy and high romance. Keturah follows a legendary hart into the king's forest, where she becomes hopelessly lost. Her strength diminishes until, finally, she realizes that death is near. Little does she know that he is a young, handsome lord, melancholy and stern. Renowned for her storytelling, Keturah is able to charm Lord Death with a story and thereby gain a reprieve -- but only for twenty-four hours. She must find her one true love within that time, or all is lost. Keturah searches desperately while the village prepares for an unexpected visit from the king, and Keturah is thrust into a prominent role as mysterious happenings alarm her friends and neighbors. Lord Death's presence hovers over all until Keturah confronts him one last time in the harrowing climax.

I read this book on the recommendation of my cousin's friend, and I'm glad I did. I never would have heard of it otherwise!

This book reads like an old English fairy tale. It is beautiful in its innocence and quaintness. You really believe the protagonist, Keturah, is a sweet and naive sixteen-year-old girl from a small sheltered village in maybe the twelfth century. At first the setting may seem like the Middle Ages, but from the way the characters talk about their land as Angle Land, the easy belief in fairies and the superstitions of the townsfolk, it makes me think the time period is earlier. I love how the author creates a setting in which belief in fairy lore and superstitions is not only plausible, but downright palpable. The story is also redolent of The Arabian Nights, with Keturah forestalling death (literally) just as Scheherazade did, by telling him a story that breaks down his cold fearful exterior and makes him fall in love with her.

The summaries at the beginning of each chapter make me grin, because they are reminiscent of old novels written in the eighteenth century and probably before. For those of you unfamiliar with this style, they are a few short statements summarizing the events in the story that the chapter contains. Here is an example from the start of chapter four:
"What happens when I test the charm's power -- I ask Cook for a lemon -- an unexpected visitor --  John Temslin says: "We are doomed."

The summaries also hit their mark in their attempt to make us feel like we are reading an old story, as least they did for me. But maybe that's only because I was familiar with this practice from other old books I've read? I wonder what someone who had never come across this technique would think of it.

I've read some other reviews that say they don't like the ending. But honestly, what other ending could there be? I think the whole book would have seemed pointless if it had gone the other way, even though she accomplished what Lord Death asked of her. And speaking of Lord Death - what a unique take on this classic archetype! Making Death a young Lord, fearsome and apathetic, yet vulnerable and ultimately lonely puts new spin on the grim reaper figure. And thoughts of Hades taking Persephone as his bride inevitably come to mind.

The lemon theme ran quite prominently through the story, and I'm not aware of any lemon folklore or medicinal properties, but perhaps the lemon theme has a deeper meaning than I am able to see. Or perhaps it is just a story-telling tool. But in any case, I like how it highlighted how different this world is from ours. When lemons are a rare and privileged treat and even the manor's cook doesn't know what one looks like, you can clearly see the time period. In fact, the historical setting seemed almost to be a character itself, as a lot of the story only seems credible when the time period is taken into account.

This book, despite what it at first may appear considering the apparently morose subject matter, actually has many pieces of good, sound advice and also portrays a strong moral message. For example, Keturah's grandmother gives her a lesson it would be wise for most people to heed: "Now I will tell you a true thing, child, and if you are wise, you will remember it. The soul, it longs for its mate as much as the body. Sad it is, that the body be greedier than the soul. But if you would be happy all your days, as I was with your grandfather, subdue the body and marry the soul. Look for a soul and heart love." (disc 2 track 2)

What I didn't like:

I didn't like that Keturah had such a hard time finding her true love. Chalk it up to her innocent nature and sheltered life, I suppose, but the fact that it was John Temslin seemed to be staring her right in the face, and I just kept getting frustrated at her for not realizing it and not even considering that it could be him! I suppose it was necessary for her to have this revelation later in the story for pacing reasons, but I feel that this element could have been a bit less obvious.

I don't like this title, and I think the author could have come up with something more enticing. First of all, Keturah. I don't like it when made-up character or place names are in a title. (Example: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) It's immediately foreign to the eye and therefore right from the get-go it's hard for the reader to connect with it. Secondly, Lord Death. The 'Lord' title could be construed as a figure to be worshiped (instead of the title for English gentry), especially when paired with 'Death.' Then you get the whole Satan worship connotation and it's just messy. So no, I don't like the title, sorry.

Overall, a sweet enchanting tale that has a lot of interesting things to say about the nature of love, death, and life.

Find it on Amazon: Keturah And Lord Death

Visit the author's website:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teasers:
           We stood in silence, cowls thrown over our faces and hands tucked into our sleeves, as we began the ritual. I trembled with excitement at the commencement of my first real magical operation. This was precisely what I had taken my vows to God for, and God was honoring His side of the bargain.

   ~  p. 143 The Sorcerer of Sainte Felice by Ann Finnin

I just started this, but what a passage to happen across! I look forward to reading this and I hope this sparks your interest as well.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz
Published: May 1, 2006 by Hyperion Word Count: 60,918
Series: Blue Bloods, book one
Source: audio book

My Grade: B

Synopsis from GoodReads: When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart...Indeed, they were not even human...Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.

Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school [in New York City]. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner...and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn't know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?

Welcome to my first ever vampire book review!

The author does a lovely job at the subtly with which she approaches the revelation of who these people really are. (Unfortunately the cover art practically gives it away. But then again this book was plastered all over the book stores in the wake of the Twilight phenomena, so it was hard NOT to know what it's about. And I'm sorry that's the case, because spoilers stink, and the book would have been much more enjoyable if I didn't know what was really going on as I was reading.)

I really liked how the book combined historical fiction and fantasy fiction together, incorporating real historical figures from the Mayflower, Plimoth and Roanoke, and giving a fantastical explanation of what happened to these people. This book has its own very specific vampire mythology which is quite different from the other vampire mythos out there in the YA fiction universe right now. It combines vampire myth and another myth growing in YA fantasy popularity right now: fallen angels, with a very different take on that mythology as well. In this book, Blue Blood isn't just a term for a social class. It signifies a very specific type of person. One can also be a Red Blood or a Silver Blood. I wonder if the author had the 'Blue Blood' term first and came up with her book idea from that, or if the term came in later after she had already started writing. That would be interesting to discover at least for me, as I'm interested in the writing process in general.

What I didn't like:

It puts me off a bit that all the synopsizes I read told me this book was about a girl, as in one girl, named Schuyler (pronounced Sky-ler) Van Alen. However, the narrative gives as much time to Mimi Force and Bliss Llewlyn as well - two other girls who go to Schuyler's school, Duchesne. While these characters are richly developed and the author is able to shed a sympathetic light on the 'mean girls,' I think it ultimately displaces the reader from the book's emotion. I, as the reader, wanted to follow Schuyler's story, and instead kept hearing about Mimi and Bliss. Knowing these character's thoughts and vulnerabilities detracts from their impact on the storyline. For example, I was much more intrigued with the character of Mimi's twin brother, Jack, not because he is a boy, but because I didn't know everything about him.

I wasn't thrilled with the storyline because, well, there didn't appear to be one. Stuff happens, sure, and Schuyler, her friend Oliver, and the other characters all go on a self-discovery journey or the equivalent to find out who they really are and all that. But there wasn't really a climax. It was almost as though the whole first book was the build-up, and the climax will happen early in the second book (I can't say for sure, not having read the second book). I know I recently made this same criticism on The Ruins of Gorlan, but at least in that book there was a climax, however disappointing. This book didn't have one. It just ended. It's all well and good to set up stuff for the next book(s), but each book needs to have a beginning, middle and end!

In summary:

This book wasn't bad, it just wasn't for me. I can only take so much of descriptions of Penthouses and Prada and handsome Italian boyfriends wrapped in expensive sports cars. Ick. If this book didn't have the fantasy elements in it I would have stopped listening/reading a while ago and cast it off as superficial frivolity. Also, it just doesn't have the universal appeal of teenage innocence and romance that Twilight has, and perhaps that is why it is only next to the Twilight books on the vampire bookstore display, and not center stage.

Find it on Amazon: Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods, Book 1)

visit the author's website:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

As I am new to this blog thing and have never participated in any of these inter-blogging activities, I am not sure exactly how this works, but I am going to give it a try! (Mostly because I liked the question in the Book Blogger Hop that I saw on another blog)

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books. 

Book Blogger Hop 

This week's question is: Do you judge a book by its cover?

My answer:  
It’s hard not to, as it’s the first thing we see. The book cover is the publishing house’s greatest marketing tool, as it is the most visual, and therefore often the most memorable part of a book. It’s interesting to compare book covers for the same book in different countries. Sometimes I like the US cover better, sometimes not, and the variance in covers can make the character of the book seem so different. If I was in another country and saw a different cover on a book that I had been attracted to with the US cover, I may have the opposite reaction and never read it. In fact, this happened to me when I was living in Scotland. My reaction to the US and UK covers of a certain book was very different.  So yes, the cover matters immensely, which is a shame, because the author seldom has any say in what his or her book ultimately looks like.

Books on this blog

  • City of Bones, Book One of The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare
  • Eighth Grade Bites, The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer
  • Evermore by Alyson Noel
  • Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
  • Magyk, Book One of the Septimus Heap Series by Angie Sage
  • The Alchemyst: Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott
  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy: The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud