Archive for October, 2010

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

[openbook booknumber=”9780385736817″][rating:4/5]

In Mary’s world, there are simple truths.

The Sisterhood always knows best.

The Guardians will protect and serve.

The Unconsecrated will never relent.

And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown in to chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.

Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?

I think that The Forest of Hands and Teeth works out as a fantastic and well written introduction to post-apocalyptic zombie fiction. It was realistic, engaging, horrifying and managed to both keep that realistic and well done horror and be accessible to a young age group. I absolutely loved it.

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The Painted Boy

I have been a huge fan of Charles de Lint for years. I was introduced to his work through his various short stories that he wrote for the Bordertown series. You can find some of them published in his short story collection Waifs and Strays, a book dedicated to urban fantasy stories about teens lost and on their own. He really captured my heart later when I started to explore his other work and read his book Memory and Dream, a fantastical book about an artist who can bring her paintings to life.

His newest work, coming out November 11th, has really caught my eye though. I love reading stories about dragons and they seem to be experiencing a resurgence recently. So I was psyched to hear about The Painted Boy.

The Painted Boy by Charles de Lint

Jay Li should be in Chicago, finishing high school and working at his family’s restaurant. Instead, as a born member of the Yellow Dragon Clan–part human, part dragon, like his grandmother–he is on a quest even he does not understand. His journey takes him to Santo del Vado Viejo in the Arizona desert, a town overrun by gangs, haunted by members of other animal clans, perfumed by delicious food, and set to the beat of Malo Malo, a barrio rock band whose female lead guitarist captures Jay’s heart. He must face a series of dangerous, otherworldly–and very human–challenges to become the man, and dragon, he is meant to be. This is Charles de Lint at his best!

Not only is it a dragon novel but it’s a non-western dragon novel. I look forward to being educated.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 12

[openbook booknumber=”1421508397″][rating:5/5]

In an alchemical ritual gone wrong, Edward Elric lost his arm and his leg, and his brother Alphonse became nothing but a soul in a suit of armor. Equipped with mechanical “auto-mail” limbs, Edward becomes a state alchemist, seeking the one thing that can restore his and his brother’s bodies… the legendary Philosopher’s Stone.

The hunters become the hunted when the Elric brothers and Prince Lin set a trap for the homunculus with the insatiable appetite – Gluttony! On another front, state politics are shaken up when a horrifying truth about Fuhrer President King Bradley is revealed – and Colonel Roy Mustang is right there to capitalize on the situation.

New truths are learned about the power of the homunculuses, both in strength and in just how far their reach goes. It turns out things are even more sinister than originally thought. And who would have thought that? The power and strength of alchemy as a result also is being re-evaluated. How much is the alchemy and how much is just the people that wield it?

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[openbook booknumber=”0020421907″][rating:5/5]

His name is West. Her name is Cally. They speak different languages and come from different countries thousands of miles apart, but they do not know that. At a certain moment in their lives, catastrophe wrenches each of them out of reality and into a strange, perilous, astonishing world through which they must travel – together. Together they confront mystery and danger, knowing only that their journey must end at the sea. They learn to survive and to love – and, at the last, learn the real secret of their seaward traveling.

This is a book about growing up. Magical echoes of myth and legend are woven into a driving, dramatic narrative that seizes the reader and will not let go until the final page. Interweaving life and death, love and hate, courage and fear, Seaward is filled with the emotional depth and power and complexity that distinguish Susan Cooper’s widely acclaimed five-book sequence The Dark Is Rising; yet it takes the reader through a wholly different landscape, beyond the realities of everyday life, into an experience that will not soon be forgotten.

I was one of those rare children that came to Seaward before I came to The Dark is Rising. So, years later, when I did an internet search with a few vague keywords during the dark hours of a read-a-thon to try and re-find this childhood novel that I half remembered I was shocked (no, seriously, shocked) to discover that it was by none other than Susan Cooper. And then… I wasn’t shocked at all.

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Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 11

[openbook booknumber=”1421508389″][rating:5/5]

In an alchemical ritual gone wrong, Edward Elric lost his arm and his leg, and his brother Alphonse became nothing but a soul in a suit of armor. Equipped with mechanical “auto-mail” limbs, Edward becomes a state alchemist, seeking the one thing that can restore his and his brother’s bodies… the legendary Philosopher’s Stone.

Ed returns to Resembool and meets his father Hohenheim for the first time in many years. Although his father is happy to see him, Ed harbors intense feelings of resentment for being all but abandoned many years ago. However, anger gives way to intrigue as Ed and Al discover an important fact about the human transmutation ritual they attempted years before. What they thought was a partial resurrection of their mother was something else entirely – a revelation that could change their destiny forever.

Confrontation! If volume 11 was going to have a one word title that would be it. This entire volume in the Fullmetal Alchemist series deals with various characters finally confronting some demons whether real, imagined, imminent or distant. Edward confronts his father on abandoning him, his mother and his younger brother ten years ago. His father confronts Edward about the human transmutation he attempted and Ed and Al’s decision to burn down the house. Colonel Mustang and his officers confront the reality of Havoc’s paralysis from the waist down. Al confronts the possible loss of his metal body once it eventually rejects his soul and the brothers both confront the reality of what they really brought back from the other side when they attempted to transmute their mother back to life. Finally the brothers prepare to confront Scar, determined that no one else will be hurt in their quest to get their original bodies back.

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