Monday, April 16, 2012

Twin-Bred by Karen A. Wyle

Mara Cadell is a human scientist on Tofarn. Like every other human, the Tofa, Tofarn's indigenous inhabitants, are a mystery to her. But it's become clear that humans and Tofa are on the path towards conflict if a way of communicating and mediating disputes isn't found. She begins the LEVI project, named after her long-dead twin (who she has kept alive in her mind), in attempt to forge a bridge between species. Human and tofa children will share a uterus and be raised together, in an attempt to create mutual understanding.

Twin-Bred has an interesting premise, but that's where my appreciation of the story ends. Each chapter opens with a snippet of one of Mara's reports on the LEVI project, but Karen A. Wyle may as well have written the whole book in report-form for all the excitement it engenders in readers. The book is written in such a flat, clinical way that I was unable get excited about anything that happened. I was praying for war just so some suspense would be created.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Battle of the Labyrinth
by Rick Riordan

It's the day before Percy leaves for Camp and he's already being attacked by monster-cheerleaders. He fights them off and escapes with the help of Rachel Elizabeth Dare, a mortal who can see through the Mist. Annabeth's not happy about their new friendship, and gives Percy the cold shoulder when they get to Camp. He doesn't have much time to ponder her response before he, Annabeth, Grover, and Tyson are sent on a quest to find Daedalus, the creator of the Labyrinth, before Luke and his cronies do. An attack on Camp Half-blood by Kronos's army is imminent, and finding Daedalus may be the only way to save it. But Annabeth has been given a secret prophecy, and refuses to share it in its entirety. All Percy knows is that the last line rhymes with breath, and he's pretty sure its not "meth."

Thursday, April 05, 2012

When the Morning Comes
by Cindy Woodsmall

Hannah Lapp has left her Old Order Amish community and ex-fiance behind to live in the Englischer world with her aunt Zabeth. She finds the difference in culture, the moral ambiguity, and the complex demands of her new world distressing, but tries her best to cope. She finds a new friend in Zabeth's quasi-son Martin, and develops a protectiveness for Martin's nephew and niece. Meanwhile, back in Owl's Perch, Paul Waddell, Hannah's ex-fiance, is waiting for her to come home. Sarah, her sister, suffers a mental break, and Mary, her best friend, gets married against doctor's orders. Will Hannah be able to stay away when she learns what's happening back home?

When the Morning Comes is the second book in the Sisters of the Quilt series by Cindy Woodsmall. The first book in the series, When the Heart Cries, was my book club's pick for March, and I liked it enough that I decided to finish the series and find out what happens to Hannah. Until we read Heart Cries, I had no idea that the Amish romance sub-genre even existed. I was half-expecting rushed couplings in the hayloft, or lusty beaus tearing off prayer kapps and aprons in fits of passion. Instead, what I discovered was melodrama, and When the Morning Comes is a continuation of the dramatic events of the first book.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

Life takes another turn for the worse for Percy during a run-in with a manticore. The manticore's target is two young demigods, and during the battle, he reveals some disturbing new information about Kronos's growing army. The hunters of Artemis turn up just in time to save Percy, Grover, and Thalia, but Annabeth disappears with the retreating manticore, and the heroes are forced to return to Camp Half-blood without her. A quest is quickly dispatched to find Artemis, who's gone awol since the manticore battle (Annabeth is presumed dead). Rejected from the quest team, Percy trails them in secret, hoping to find Annabeth on the way. It becomes progressively clearer that Artemis is in the West, and that her disappearance is tied to Kronos's gathering army and its new General.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Suggested book for April 2012

The First Adventure 
by Tamora Pierce

Alanna of Trebond wants to be a knight. But, her father intends to send her to the convent to learn to be a lady and wife. With the help of the village healing woman and her man-at-arms, Alanna trades places with her twin brother: he will travel to the convent and study sorcery, while she will go the castle as "Alan" and train to be a knight. In the first book of Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet, readers will discover a spellhinding adventure where mystery, magic, and chivalry meet.

Along with The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley, I can credit this book with setting me on the path to lifelong reading. Reading about Alanna not only captivated my interest, but helped me appreciate from a young age that the difference between men and women, both in their abilities and the activities they enjoy, is negligible. 

View my suggested books by Tamora Pierce