Shadow and Bone Book Trailer

Full review of Leigh Bardugo’s debut novel Shadow and Bone will be up next week! Until then, enjoy the trailer. :)

Susan Cain and the Power of Introverts

A few months ago I picked up a fabulous book called Quiet by Susan Cain. Dedicated to the trait of introversion (which should not be confused with shyness), Quiet details the power of those who enjoy solitude and flourish well when working autonomously. It also questions why, in modern Western society, quietness, especially in children, is considered maladaptive and something to be hurriedly corrected.

Although I had originally planned to do a full review of this book, I unfortunately do not have the time. Instead, I will leave you with a short blurb, a video, and my urgings to pick up this book, even if you don’t typically read non-fiction (like myself!). It is really enlightening, for both introverts and extroverts.

It is in many ways an important book – so persuasive and timely and heartfelt it should inevitably effect change in schools and offices. It’s also a genius idea to write a book that tells introverts – a vast proportion of the reading public – how awesome and undervalued we are.–John Ronson

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/mar/22/quiet-power-introverts-susan-cain-review

The Talisman of El

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One Planet. Two Worlds. We’re journeying to the center of the earth for today’s LibriCritic review. (Please try to contain your excitement. :P)

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The Book

Talisman of El
by Alecia Stone
Centrinian Publishing
Published May 20, 2012

When 14-year-old Char­lie Blake wakes up sweat­ing and gasp­ing for air in the mid­dle of the night, he knows it is hap­pen­ing again. This time he wit­nesses a bru­tal mur­der. He’s afraid to tell any­one. No one would believe him … because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago – the day before his dad died. Char­lie doesn’t know why this is hap­pen­ing. He would give any­thing to have an ordi­nary life. The prob­lem: he doesn’t belong in the world he knows as home.

The Review

No, it turns out Charlie Blake does not belong in the same world as us surface dwellers. He belongs in Arcadia, the mystical land of angels which just so happens to exist smack dab in the center of our earth (via an inter-dimensional portal, of course). Arcadia isn’t an easy place to get to, though. Charlie has to recruit a band of misfits–including the feisty, but sheltered Alex, fellow orphan Richmond, and the oddly-aging Derkein–to track down Arcadia’s entrance, and, ultimately, the fabled Garden of Eden, said to grant any wish.

There’s a lot to like in this fantasy-adventure debut. Stone has taken the angel concept, which has been done to death in YA romances, and transformed it into an adventure story complete with dragons, phoenixes, and some really awesome shape-shifters. Plenty of detail has gone into the land of Arcadia, so much so that at times Stone has difficulty getting it all out through the narration. More than one long conversation is held between Charlie and the Arcadians, trying to nail down the finer points of angel society. This will delight readers who enjoy complex worldbuilding, but may frustrate others who just want to action to move along.

Unfortunately, the same attention to detail doesn’t seem to have gone into the development of the main characters. Charlie came off as a bit stale and, sadly, boring. It was difficult to relate to his life of woe and his desire to find family when he seemed rather hoe-hum about it himself. In fact, what should have been the big thrust of the story–Charlie obsessing over finding the Garden of Eden to make his wish–was only occasionally brought up in the midst of his thoughts.

The other characters suffered a similar fate. Alex–Charlie’s first friend and love interest–falls out of the story about halfway through, while Richmond served no practical purpose past providing some comic relief (and being a person Charlie must constantly rescue from danger). Derkein is perhaps the most well-rounded of the three. The strange curse which prematurely ages him, combined with some serious father issues, cast him with much more complex shadows than on any of the others and opens the door to some really neat philosophical dilemmas, should Stone choose to go there.

Also lacking was a bit of polish to the writing style. Some transitions were odd or confusing. A few fight scenes came off as disconnected or jarring. The ending in particular lack continuity, with the plot’s climatic showdown literally disappearing at the best point, only to be recounted later at Charlie’s bedside.

Despite my complaints, I feel Charlie’s story has a lot of potential. With a bit of growth and some smoothing of the edges, Stone could turn out novels similar to Percy Jackson or early-days Harry Potter. I just hoping the sequel works out the pitfalls of Talisman of El and just keeps getting better.

The Rating

Readability:         
Originality:           
Believability:        
Thematic Quality:
Connectability:     

Overall Rating:

The Recommendation

A good read for younger audiences. Reminiscent of Percy Jackson, but without Riordan’s flare. Read if you love worldbuilding.

Talisman of El Book Trailer

Working on my review of Alecia Stone’s debut novel The Talisman of El. Here’s the book trailer to whet your appetite :).

LibriCritic:

Just in case you haven’t heard the buzz, the official trailer of the last Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn Part 2, has hit YouTube. (I can still hear my roomie squeeing her delight.)

Originally posted on YA Book Bridges:

View original

My Summer Reading List

I’m thrilled to have a lot of debut authors on my reading list this summer! Aside from the continuing chronicles of the Loriens  in The Rise of Nine and the finale of Lauren Kate’s romantic Fallen series, I am indulging in all new faces–and writing styles–these next few months. Here’s a preview of what’s in store:

Talisman of El by Alecia Stone

A journey to the center of the earth
gone horribly awry.

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The Rise of Nine by Petticus Lore

The war between alien races the
Loriens and Mogadorians gets serious.

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Rapture by Lauren Kate

Luce and Daniel’s tragic love story comes to an end.
I love finales.

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Crewel by Gennifer Albin

A girl that can weave time and matter, but will
it be enough to escape life with the Guild?

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Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

Computer chips wipe humans of their humanity
…except for one glitch.

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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

The monster-filled Shadow Fold threatens to envelop the nation of Ravka. Only Alina has the power to save them. (WARNING! Contains a kick-butt heroine)

I’m also hoping to run a few contests this summer (my ARC pile has been taking over my living room; time to disperse the wealth), so stay tuned! Keep up-to-date by subscribing to LibriCritic or by following me on Twitter. Both links can be found on the right sidebar.

See you all soon!

Elementary Preview

Holmes in New York? Dr. Joan Watson? Guess we all knew it was coming, but here’s the official preview of CBS’s take on Sherlock. Airing this fall.

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