MINI-REVIEWS: Love Among the Chickens, The Explosionist, The Warrior Heir

36. Love Among the Chickens by P.G. Wodehouse
Publication: originally published 1906, ebook published 2003
Genre: Fiction, Humor

Rating: Borrow it
Read: April 13-15, 2011

Source: Project Gutenberg

Review

I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed by a Wodehouse book, and I’m not really disappointed with this one. But I AM underwhelmed. This is, I feel, one of his more lackluster books, with more fluff than wit and entirely forgettable characters. It’s a funny story and it’s a good book to read if you’re bored on a train somewhere, but it’s definitely not up to the level of Mr. Wodehouse’s other, more popular books.

40. The Explosionist by Jenny Davidson
Publication: HarperTeen (July 1, 2008), Hardcover, 464pp / ISBN 0061239755
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy, Action

Rating: Borrow it
Read: April 20-30, 2011

Source: Borrowed

Review

This book is so interesting. I love alternative histories, and stories that mix science with magic (or spiritualism, I guess). This one is particularly good because it’s got so many important parts of history running around inside it: the battle of Waterloo, spiritualism, women’s rights, the Industrial Revolution, and so on. I also loved the protagonist, Sophie, and the mystery/thriller bits were very entertaining. However– the end. The ending killed it for me. The last two chapters or so were just so boring and obvious and blah, and it really left me with a sour impression of a book that really deserves more. I understand those chapters setting up the plot for the second book, but I wish it had done it in a more vibrant way.

41. The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
Publication: Disney Hyperion (September 23, 2009), ebook, 448pp
Genre: YA (Urban) Fantasy

Rating: Borrow it
Read: May 1-2, 2011

Source: Bought

Review

I so wanted to love this book. Instead I’m left feeling like I just stepped in cow poop after a fun day at the county fair. You know what I mean? I like CWC’s writing voice and I like the world The Warrior Heir resides in, but it’s just so full of the same ol’ fantasy tropes I’ve seen over and over again that I couldn’t stand it. If I hadn’t been focusing on those (or if this was my first ever fantasy book) I probably would have enjoyed the book more, but all I could think the whole time I read it was “and then I bet THIS is going to happen”– and it did.

At least it had plenty of strong female characters! And I also really liked the friendship element running heavily throughout, and how Jack actually learns more than just how to swing a sword (I mean emotional stuff, yeah). I just wish it had tried to do more new things than just doing the same old things everyone else already did. Still, I’ve got the next book already and that one might have something going for it, so I’m going to go ahead and continue the series.

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