Archive for June, 2013

23
Jun
13

Bunnybean (Review 6) and Joemyjoe (Review 1) #CBR5: Deadweather and Sunrise — The Chronicles of Egg by Geoff Rodkey

Unknown-2A conversation between Bunnybean and Joemyjoe upon finishing Deadweather and Sunrise, the first book in the Chronicles of Egg series.

B: I liked Egg (the main character), Millicent (the girl Egg loves), and Burn Healy (a notorious pirate who helps them on their adventures).

J: I liked Guts. He was a pirate who helped Egg on his journey. I liked Egg, too. Egg was smart because he liked to read.

B: Egg’s family lived on an island called Deadweather. His dad sailed them over to another island called Sunrise one day, where they met a rich family, the Pembrokes.

J: The dad, Roger Pembroke, was a greedy businessman. He found out that Egg’s dad had a treasure map. Then he killed Egg’s family (but not Egg) to try and get the treasure.

B: Egg immediately fell in love with Millicent Pembroke, Roger’s daughter. They were very much alike and the both loved reading books. Plus, she was really pretty, but not too girly.

J: The Pembrokes were really rich and ate jelly bread all the time. Egg loved it.

B: The Pembrokes celebrated Egg’s birthday — the only time he had ever celebrated his own birthday. Mr. Pembroke was trying to be really nice to Egg, to try and adopt him. But all he really wanted was the treasure. He was going to adopt him and then kill him and inherit Egg’s treasure.

J: I felt really bad for Egg that his family died and he had to fight against the Pembrokes without them.

B: Egg and Guts stand up to Roger Pembroke in the end, and go off on a ship to try and find his family’s treasure. It made me want to read the second book. There were a few unsolved mysteries at the end that I want to know more about.

J: Burn Healy was supposed to be notorious, but he was actually nice. He saved Millicent from some other pirates because he didn’t think anyone should hurt children.

B: Roger Pembroke wanted Burn Healy to kill Egg, but Burn wouldn’t do it. Ripper Jones was a much worse pirate.

J: I think there will be more about Ripper Jones in the next book. And I think Roger Pembroke will keep trying to steal the treasure.

B: I bet their next adventure to the new lands will be dangerous. I hope they find the treasure. I hope Egg and Millicent get to see each other again.

J: I hope Roger Pembroke doesn’t get their treasure. I hope Egg and Guts are safe.

 

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17
Jun
13

Scootsa1000’s #CBR5 Reviews 24 & 25: Double Feature by Owen King and NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Unknown-1I didn’t plan to read these two books right after one another. And I didn’t originally intend to compare them to each other, but really, I couldn’t help it.

Stephen King’s sons are both fine writers, and they each have a certain gift for storytelling. Joe has proven in his earlier works (Horns, 20th Century Ghosts, and Heart Shaped Box) that he’s practically a chip off the old block –he takes some horror, mixes it with real life, and often has trouble wrapping it all up in the end, just like dear old dad. But I didn’t mind, because usually (although I must admit, I barely remember Heart Shaped Box) the first 2/3 of the story was worth it. Owen was more of a mystery to me, as I hadn’t read his previous book of interconnected short stories.

Both books had one thing in common: a main character who proved themselves VERY difficult to like or care about. But other than that, they completely stand on their own.

I think of the two, I slightly preferred Double Feature. DF is the story of Sam Dolan, son of B-movie actor Booth Dolan. Sam has lived his entire life resenting his father and attempting to step out of his shadow and make his own name in film. As the story begins, young 20-something Sam writes and directs his first movie. Its a terrible experience for Sam, one that ends up changing his life forever in many ways. I wasn’t too invested in this part of the story, and when King suddenly jumped plots and timeframes, I welcomed it. The book continues along, telling the story of Booth and Sam’s mom, Sam’s childhood, and Sam’s life 10 years after his disastrous film project. We meet a cast of outlandish characters: a crazy (literally) assistant director, a construction contractor who can’t stop adding on to his own house, Sam’s insane step mother, Sam’s teenage half-sister, his sloth-like roommate who won’t go outside the apartment, a lunatic catcher for the NY Yankees, a former college girlfriend, and a college janitor who becomes famous for all the wrong reasons.

The book was well written and I enjoyed the time and POV changes. While it wasn’t a laugh-out-loud book, there were parts that made me smirk and smile…I might classify it as a satire.

On the other hand, we have NOS4A2, Hill’s huge vampire novel. I didn’t dislike it, but was surprised that I kept putting it down and wondering what else I had to read instead.

Teenage Vic McQueen has a special bike that takes her to a magical bridge that doesn’t exist. When she crosses the bridge, she can find things. Her mom’s bracelet, her friend’s cat, or even answers to the questions she’s beginning to have about her sanity. On one of her final trips across the bridge, she comes across Charles Manx, an ageless monster who has a magic trick of his own. Manx uses his Rolls Royce to drive to Christmasland, where children live forever in complete innocence. He abducts them from their parents (who are then usually raped and murdered by Manx’s lackey), and drives them to Christmasland on the roads of his imagination. Vic and Manx cross paths and she becomes the first child to ever escape from him, which he doesn’t forget — even after he’s dead.

Of course, Vic grows up and has a child of her own. Vic battles addiction and sanity, always wondering if the trips she took over the bridge in her youth ever actually happened. When she finally feels she’s getting her life back together, Manx comes looking for her and her son, so that he can take him to Christmasland. And finally, that’s when the book started moving for me. Too bad that it was about 2/3 of the way through. And the ending was great, too (unlike Horns and many of daddy’s books).

Hill is a great storyteller. But I think his little brother is a better writer. And I’ll keep reading whatever the family writes (I just got Joyland and will be reading that soon) to see how and if they continue to influence each other.

 

 

 




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