Miss Possum

Miss Possum
Pale but dynamic

Friday, 25 May 2012

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

4 of 5 stars false

Love the Ancient Egypt themes and characters even better than the half-blood heroes in the Lightning Thief. Love how humour is used to lift a slightly sagging middle storyline! The animal characters are very appealing and funny - it all makes me feel like a puzzled teenager doing his and her best in a most confusing world. Laugh out loud stuff, here.

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Golden Door by Emily Rodda

The Golden Door by Emily Rodda

4 of 5 stars false
Recommended to Maryanne by: For newspaper review

In the first book of her new trilogy, master storyteller Emily Rodda weaves her magic once again. The Golden Door introduces Rye, youngest of three brothers. His brothers, and others, have vanished one by one while seeking to stop the deathly flying skimmers which attack and kill the citizens of The Weld.
Rodda unfolds a story full of magic, danger, chance encounters and strange characters who offer assistance at critical junctures. Accustomed to thinking less of himself than his heroic sporty eldest brother, and his clever, quick, second brother, Rye must somehow face hazards, battle evil-doers, trust his instincts and new abilities, and find the hero within himself.
Rodda’s language is simple and clear, her writing is assured, the plot is fast paced and yet allows us to get to know Rye and his assorted friends whom he collects along the way. Rye is an immensely appealing character – unassuming, loyal and courageous when it matters.
Emily Rodda has won the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award for a record five times. Many readers will be familiar with Rodda’s best-selling Deltora Quest series, and this trilogy promises to be another extraordinary adventure.
Highly recommended for readers 8+
Also published on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/336692919 and in the Ballarat Courier 02.02.12 http://www.thecourier.com.au

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Puzzle Ring by Kate Forsyth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars false

 My introduction to Kate Forsyth's wonderful children's fantasy writing - after which I gulped down 11 more of her books in row.

The Puzzle Ring has elements of history, of magic, of mystery and a quest. The plot is tight and satisfying, and the writing is as magical as any of Kate's own inventive magical creatures or objects. Like most of her stories, the character, Hannah, learns much about her own courage, kindness and persistence, and makes surprising friends and allies in the least expected places. She also discovers where she really belongs.

Kate Forsyth's stories always have the child or children driving the action and solving the mysteries, and The Puzzle Ring is another terrific offering.

Why have I not discovered this author earlier?

Also posted http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6889348-the-puzzle-ring

The Starkin Crown (The Starkin Crown #3) by Kate Forsyth

My Rating:  4 of 5 stars false

Recommends it for: everyone; middle grade children

The gripping final in the Starkin trilogy, with a prince on a quest, his devoted friend and a snooty princess-turned ally. As always, the humbler characters are wonderfully drawn and very appealing. 

The snooty princess gradually becoming a friend device, echoes and reflects each layer in the trilogy.

In this third installment, the lovers didn't ring quite true for me - perhaps they were not tested as much, or they became aware of their mutual attraction too soon; the mutual attraction gradually unfolding by the characters in the Starthorn Tree was beautifully done, by contrast. 

Overall, the writing is as beguiling, the scenes and landscapes as fresh and wonderful and the storytelling as magical as all Kate Forsyth's Children's fantasy.

Also posted on http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12078852-the-starkin-crown

The Wildkin's Curse (The Starkin Crown #2)

4.0 of 5 stars

Gripping continuation from The Starthorn Tree. Engaging characters, thrilling new developments and another quest. The prophecies work well to add mystery, magic and suspense. Imaginative fantasy creatures add richness to the story; Kate Forsyth's compelling narrative style hooks the reader in and keeps us glued to the page.

One star off for quite a graphic evil scene in the middle of the book - too graphic for many children (and for me). There is sufficient light and shade in the characters and in the plot - this was a little too much.

Also posted on http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8045971

Review: Starthorn Tree by Kate Forsyth

5 of 5 stars false

4 1/2 Stars.

This book is full of wonderful and surprising characters, intriguingly named fantasy creatures, and Kate Forsyth's familiar themes of finding friends in least-expected places and revealing undiscovered strengths and talents through dangers and challenges faced. 

The story races along with suspense, action, emotion, danger and cliff-hanging excitement. 

The baddies are satisfyingly bad, a prince needs rescuing by a princess, in a more modern twist on the fable and sacrifices must be made to gain the reward. 

I love the names of the creatures - hobhenky, boo-bogey, wildkin, grogoyle, as well as more familiar creatures, such as wood-sprites and river-roans. 

Also posted  http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/331857879 

****WARNING a bit of a SPOILER****

I've taken off half a star for the fate of one of the characters, which I thought was unnecessarily harsh for a children's book.

Review: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan


The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
5 of 5 stars false
5 Stars
recommended forEveryone
reviewRead this book! It is funny, has an ordinary hero on an epic quest, with endearing friends, exciting challenges and terrible monsters to overcome. The story is a very modernised version of Greek myths, with Gods, heroes, a little magic, gifts to help on the quest, obstacles, betrayals and terrible decisions.
The story is narrated through Perseus, or Percy, a twelve year old with ADHD, a very wry sense of humour and a big heart. Some of his teachers turn out to be guardians and monsters in disguise, still containing recognisable traits they had as teachers. Other monsters respond well to a very human approach. The battles and disasters accidentally caused or faced by Percy, are satisfyingly large-scale, destructive and cataclysmic; his pitfalls are exaggerated modern dilemmas and his friends and helpers come in a variety of forms, as is appropriate for a hero's journey.
The writing is direct and the narrator's voice is a slightly confused and funny teenager's. The descriptions and modern take on the mythic Gods is really wonderful. I am just happy I only discovered the series now, so that I get to read all the books as fast as I can digest them.

Also Reviewed in goodreads