Mini Reviews: The Undomestic Goddess, Merchant of Death, Magic Kingdom For Sale– Sold!

Undomestic GoddessThe Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
Publication: The Dial Press (July 19, 2005), ebook
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
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First sentence: I am intending to begin a regular regime of swimming. When I have time. Work’s been busy lately, it’s a blip.

In one sentence: Disappointing book from one of my favorite authors.

See, here’s the thing. Nearly the entire premise of the book seems impossible to me, and so I didn’t really enjoy reading it. Grown woman who can’t even do her own laundry? Can barely make toast? I mean, it’s one thing entirely to be too busy at work to have time to do any of that stuff (which is Our Heroine’s case), but what did she do in college? Surely she didn’t just send her clothes to the cleaners every time she needed them, er, cleaned? How could she have afforded it? I’m normally better at setting aside my disbelief than this, and the truth is that I was kind of able to once she met her future love interest, but the situation was so absurd plus I didn’t really like Samantha (the woman in question) anyway. So it was really tough to get through the book and arrive at the happy ending, and so I was really disappointed with The Undomestic Goddess.

Pendragon #1Merchant of Death (Pendragon #1) by D.J. Hale
Publication: Simon & Schuster (January 7, 2004), ebook
Genre: Fantasy, YA
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First sentence: I hope you’re reading this, Mark.

In one sentence: Decent start to a series with some really interesting ideas, but suffers from lack of je ne sais quoi.

I’ve been seeing the Pendragon series on book store shelves for a few years now, but the covers put me off it so much I didn’t even try to read them until I got the first book for free about a month ago. I assumed it had something to do with the King Arthur legend because of the whole “Pendragon” thing, but, er. Apparently not. At least not from anything I read in this first book! (It’s actually one of the main characters’ last name. His first name is Bobby. Seriously.) It’s a time-travelling, space-travelling, world-travelling kind of book, with plenty of adventure and action and not at all any knights or reincarnation business. The characters are okay, the story was exciting and interesting, but it lacked that sparkle that I need in my YA fantasy books. I don’t think I’ll be reading any of the other books in the series, and I still have no idea what that Pendragon business is about.

Landover #1Magic Kingdom For Sale– Sold! (Landover #1) by Terry Brooks
Publication: Del Rey (December 17, 2008), ebook
Genre: Fantasy
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In one sentence: Pretty good fantasy, though lacking in decently likable characters.

Really interesting idea– a magic kingdom buyable by anyone with a million bucks. And then that buyer gets to be king! Except, uh, there’s some problems, namely that the kings don’t last so long, the land is falling apart, demons and witches and dragons are aiming to usurp him, and no-one except the court wizard actually believes the new king will stick around. This first book sets up the basic storyline, and get the new king on his way to rebuilding the kingdom, and it’s a good start to the series. I didn’t particularly like the characters, but I didn’t hate them, either. The writing was fine, except it got a little preachy and over philosophical in parts. All in all, it’s a pretty typical fantasy with some interesting parts to it, and I might read at least the next book. I won’t be rushing out to buy it, though.

It’s currently for free practically everywhere, but the formatting is HORRIBLE. It looks like it was created through OCR, and then someone neglected to go through and correct things like “FU” for “I’ll” and characters’ names being rendered nearly unrecognizable. The book is still readable (though sometimes confusing due to the errors), but it might be more enjoyable in paper format.

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0 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: The Undomestic Goddess, Merchant of Death, Magic Kingdom For Sale– Sold!”

  1. I’ve been reading the Pendragon series. Not the all time best, but my niece likes them and I like to talk books with her. They get better as you move along, but they are really geared to upper-middle readers. I wouldn’t call the series a dud, but I can totally understand why you don’t want to continue with it.

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