Review: Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl #1) by Eoin Colfer

I give this book a 5.

LoveIt

Every now and then I’m curious to see what I’ve been missing in children’s fictions, and since, I’m very particular about my selections, I’m seldom let down. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from this series.

Artemis is a young genius who also happens to be the heir to a criminal dynasty that’s going broke. So Artemis decides to save the family business in the only way he can think of, which is ripping off the fairies that no one believes really exist.

I really liked Butler and Holly. The whole story was really cute, and if you don’t over think it, the little things shouldn’t get you down. I like the idea that the bad guy in this story is a little boy, but I must admit I kept hoping someone would stop to spank him at some point. (Oh no, wonder who I offended with that statement?)

In any case, I don’t think Artemis is a bad boy. I just think he’s a product of his environment, who happens to be desperate and willing to do whatever he thinks is necessary to save his way of life. The story is full of adventure, magic, and oddly enough a little sci-fi.

I recommend this to anyone willing to give it a try.

This review has been posted to GoodReads. If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Review: Death of the Mad Hatter

Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah J. Pepper

I give this book a 3 and a ½, but am indecisively bumping it down to a 3.

Okay

I’m not a traditionalist in the basic sense of the word. I appreciate things for what they are, but I was disappointed in this reading experience and probably not for the reasons you may think.  Overall, I commend this author for the ingenuity of taking a classical, commonly known, story and turning it into something completely new, but beyond that, I have issues.

First off, I was expecting this story to be more New Adult than YA (not a big fan of YA, but was willing to give New Adult a try). I had so much trouble taking, what I believe was supposed to be, the serious aspects of this story seriously because of all the high school banter. For YA fans I’m sure this isn’t a problem, but for me it was.

There is more than a good amount of crazy in this story and the added darkness was great, but some of the repetition came off as annoying, and I think it was supposed to be mysterious or add to the “crazy”. Crazy I get, but sometimes even that didn’t seem to quite hit the mark. In the story, we are supposed to have an understanding that Al is tortured, but it just comes off as silly and weird playtime to me, most of the time.

The best part of the story development, to me, was the notion and significance of the “sweets” being the link to either sanity or insanity. As far as logic goes, I know it’s Wonderland and there doesn’t necessarily need to be any logic, but there were some things that either did or didn’t happen that really didn’t make sense to the overall goals of the characters.

I loved the rummperrabit and the spiders! I was not disappointed that I read this book; it really wasn’t that bad. I’m just disappointed that I didn’t like it more. I’m such a fan of all things Wonderland, but this story was only okay.

Still, I’d recommend this to anyone who likes Wonderland tales, fantasy, and or YA fiction, with the mention that this is a little dark.

This review has been posted to GoodReads. If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Review: The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss

I give this book a 5.

LoveIt

This is the story of Kvothe, who also has many other names, as told by the man himself. He is a wizard, but he’s something else too. He is powerful and defiant and “the stuff of legends”. This story beckons to a time when stories were told as song or poems, like the Iliad, but it goes far beyond that.

The Name of the Wind is one of those stories that I think people will either love or hate for two reasons. 1, the story of a wizard in this day and age can’t escape a comparison to Harry Potter. You either like the differences or not. 2, this is not a typical high fantasy tale of a wizard. Kvothe is a multifaceted character that doesn’t fit neatly into any specific category and readers will either appreciate that or not.

This story is crammed full of themes and elements that trigger excitement and emotion in my heart and mind, and I’m not just talking books. There are orphans, criminals, outcasts, demons, common folk, royalty, drug dealers, fairies, actors and there’s ageism, racism, classism, religion, and magic and more.

Having this story be told from Kvothe’s point of view is also atypical. He goes out of his way sometimes to down play or up play certain parts of his tale, but he can only fool half the people half the time. He tells his tale with such realism that you forgive the times when he goes off on an exaggerated tangent. Reading the part where Kvothe tries to describe the beauty of woman speaks volumes to perception versus reality, and the notion of telling people what they want to hear versus telling them what you want them to hear.

Now that I’ve gone and thoroughly confused you, let me say this. I love this book and will be glad to read the next installment.  While this is probably not a good bedtime story, it should be suitable for most teens, but this is definitely a story any adult with an interest in fantasy and or adventure will appreciate.

This review has been posted to GoodReads. If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Review: The Woodcutter

The Woodcutter by Kate Danley

I give this book a 5.

LoveIt

The Woodercutter is tasked with keeping the balance of the Fae World and the Human World while he, himself is something a little different. In efforts to keep the balance, The Woodcutter must now take on the mantle of detective in order to solve, and hopefully prevent, the murders of young people in his woods.

I am not familiar with the story of a woodcutter and for me, this was an entirely new look into the typical fairy tale world.  It was a little confusing and off-putting at times to see how the many old and new tales intermingled, but in the end I liked it. It can sometimes be risky to mix stories (especially fairy and folk tales) and genres, but I like the way Danley has done it.

The slow pace of the story, I feel, added to the suspense that would build up from time to time and capture my heart. The Woodcutter is reminiscent to an investigative noir character trying to solve a case but with sprinkles of magic all around him. That is, however, when he isn’t taking on the role of nurturer. It’s not unusual to see men as father figures, but nurturer is a little different. The way he is connected to the trees and the way he seeks to help the fairies and the children make him a very unique character that I’ve grown to love.

I think this is a good adult and teen read.

This review has been posted to GoodReads. If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Review: Grimm’s Fairy Stories

Grimm’s Fairy Stories by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm

I give this book a 4.

LikeIt

This is one of those cases where you’ve heard of something for so long that you think you’ve already experienced it, but then you realize that you haven’t so you give it a try and it’s not what you expected…Does that make sense?

Everyone is familiar with some aspect of the Grim Fairly Tales, but how many of us have actually read any of the original stories. A fan a fairy tales for as long as I can remember, I decided it was time for me to right a great wrong I had committed against myself. I had never read any of the Grim stories until recently and I was shocked, amazed, weirded out, and a little disappointed.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved these stories, they were awesome, but they were not what I think of as fairy tales. I have been so brainwashed by mainstream modern thinking that I almost wouldn’t allow myself to enjoy these stories for what they truly are, brilliant.

I think the main two reasons I didn’t give this book a five is: 1. that I would never actually read these to any child under the age of 10. If a nine-year-old happened to pick these up and love them, good for them, but I’m not planting crazy dreams into the minds of any kids anytime soon…oh and fables these are not; not many good lessons to be learned here. 2. Some of the stories seemed to overlap or repeat. I know that in this day and age, everyone borrows ideas from everyone else, but I figured back then, these guys should have been able to come up with a collection of stories that didn’t all sound the same…but of course, I’m exaggerating. Most of the stories were quite original, but the little bit of repetition there was, drove me crazy.

I must give the brothers Grim and whoever influenced them, some French guy I can think of, a clap of praise for inspiring and influencing storytellers for centuries beyond their time. I might, just for fun, one day write my own versions of these wonderful stories. I mean, they are now permanently stained onto my brain, I might as well do something with them…Truthfully, I’d recommend this to anyone ten or over, but a mature adult mind may appreciate them better.

This review has been posted to GoodReads. If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords