Ian D Scofield, Writer

Fantasy/Science Fiction/Thriller and Freelance

Category: Book Reviews (Page 1 of 3)

Eilis O’Neal’s The False Princess

Before I go into my review I first have to say I love this author’s name.  It is spelled Eilis O’Neal, but is pronounced A-lish.  That isn’t all though, her middle name is Arwen.   And according to her those have both been her names since birth (a.k.a. she hasn’t changed it).

The False Princess is Eilis’s first book.  I read it on Kindle so I am sure it is not the same as paper edition, it usually isn’t.  The reason I mention that I read the Kindle edition is that there were spelling errors and grammar errors.  They didn’t detract from the story – most of the time.  There were several times when I would be reading and the words would be out of order then I would have to read it again a couple times to get it right in my head.  This is a problem I have heard of being common in Kindle books, they don’t get as good of an editing job before they get published as the paper edition does.  It would be interesting to see if this was the case here too.  Other than these spelling errors I would give the book a 4.5 stars out of 5.  The story was a fun read and got done with it in three days.

The False Princess tells the story of a sixteen year old girl that finds out that she is not the real princess.  When she gets banished to a small village away from the palace she discovers she has magic and moves back to the capitol city.  Once there she discovers that her replacement might not be what everyone thinks she is and decides that she must figure out what is going on.  With out of control magic, friendships on the brink of being lost, and a crazy mentor, will Sinda be able to save the kingdom?

Find out for yourself at http://www.eilisoneal.com/the-false-princess/ or http://amazon.com.

Christopher Nuttall’s Bookworm

Christopher Nuttall’s book Bookworm is an interesting tale of a librarian who does not know her parents.  When the Great Sorcer dies and Elaine opens a book that deposits the whole Great Library into her head, including the forbidden books.  At the same time as Elaine fears for her life she finds a new bravery that allows her to hunt for clues as to what happened to her which leads to political mischief that she never would have guessed.

Bookworm has elements of both science and magic intertwined in the story.  Magic leads to all sciences in the book.  Magic appears as a shortcut to what can be otherwise achieved, therefore those with magic are higher in society.  I cannot help but feel the work is a comment on society today.  This is one of the reasons I have chosen not to read another one of Nuttall’s books for the time being.  When I go to read I want to read something that is fiction and if it has comments on society I want to be able to read over them instead of being reminded of them.  I like the idea of reading transporting me to a new world.

The Hunger Games Trilogy

I decided to read the Hunger Games Trilogy on a recommendation from a friend and based on the fact that I liked the movie.  After watching the movie I was not prepared for the darkness that appeared in the books; the death, the political commentary, the torture.  Even Katniss has been made into a brighter character in the movie.  Where she is always pretty in the movie and not very timid, she appears timid and not the prettiest in the book.   Despite the darkness, Suzanne Collin’s does a fabulous job at writing this series.

The series is about a girl, Katniss Everdeen, who is pitted against 23 other opponents in an arena known as the Hunger Games.  To survive she must kill of the other contestants, and no this isn’t some video game.  When winning with the other tribute from her District (hometown), she angers the game makers and the President.  What will she do to survive?  Run and hide or become something closer to the character we see in the movie?  Smart, calculating, and not scared.

Here is the trailer for the first movie:


Here is the Trailer for the second movie:

I recommend this book as with most of the books I read and review; however, I suggest that it not be given as a gift to kids who can’t stand dark stories.  So pick up a copy at your local book store or on your Kindle (like I did) and read it.  Remember, may the odds be forever in your favor!

The Graceling Realm Series

Today I finished Bitterblue, the last last book in Kristin Cashore’s Graceling Realm Series. I started on book one and read straight through.  The series was great.  Author Cashore managed to start a series very much like Tamora Pierce where every book is about the same land yet stars a new character.

In the first book, Graceling, Katsa rebels against being a tool.  Graced with the ability to kill or maim anyone Katsa feels like that isn’t all she is good for.  True to her feelings she finds that the world holds more for her.  On her journey she meets people who are to be intertwined into the next two books.

The second book focuses on a kingdom Katsa only thought was a dream.  The Dells is a kingdom of Monsters, creatures we know with abnormal colors and mind control.  During the time period of the book the kingdom is on the breach of war, and the last human monster is the only one who can save it.

Bitterblue, the last book features a Queen that Katsa once helped aptly named, Queen Bitterblue.  The Queen is taking over a kingdom that was previously ruled by a mind reader and is in shambles.  It takes help from all of the characters from past books to get this kingdom where it needs to be.

The series is full of ever evolving secrets that keep the reader moving.  It isn’t a book for the youngest teens but anyone old enough to know about sex who enjoys fantasy will enjoy this series.  My one criticism being that at times Cashore seams to bring in  modern day terminology and few things that just don’t fit with the time period but this goes mostly unnoticed.

Pick it up, read it, enjoy it.

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