Friday, April 19, 2013

Dodger By: Terry Pratchett

       Meet Dodger, a young street urchin with a pure heart, a cunning whit and a talent for finding beautiful things in the muck of Early Victorian London. One dark and stormy night, he sees a girl leap desperately from a horse drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Dodger immediately helps the unknown girl, and unwittingly stumbles into a world where murdering barbers, news paper reporters and mysterious screeching carts can send the world spinning, and where a keen boy with good instinct and an uncanny ability to dodge, might just find a place for himself. Sir Terry mixes fact and fiction as Dodgers adventures lead him to meet Charles Dickens, Sweeney Todd, Henry Mayhew, and perhaps even Queen Victoria herself.

     The Disc World books, Pratchett's award winning series, have been my favorite books for years. So, naturally I had high hopes for this, one of Pratchett's few non-disk books. I was not disappointed. This clever romp through Victorian England was an absolute joy to read. Dodger is a fun, quirky main character, with a refreshing knack for accepting new circumstances, and an absolutely beautiful soul. Pratchett's portrayal of historical and well known fictional characters was phenomenal, and the plot was thrilling and fun. Readers used to the disk books may find it jarring for a bit, but will soon get used to the lack of wizards and may just find a commander of the watch quite similar to our dear own Vimes. For some, the complete immersion into Victorian underclass culture may be disconcerting, but I don't think it takes away from the narrative. Over all a wonderful adventure told by one of the best story tellers of the age. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban By J.K Rowling

Harry Potter grew up with his horrid aunt and uncle thinking he was a normal boy. This all changed when a letter came for him, informing him he had been admitted to Hogwarts School of Which craft and Wizardry. Suddenly Harry is thrust into a world of monsters, magic and danger, where he learns the truth of his parents death, and just how he got his mysterious lightning scar. 

In this, the third of the Harry Potter series, Sirius Black, servant of the dark lord and Harry's dads old childhood friend,  has escaped from Azkaban and is supposedly after Harry. Harry and his friends must deal with homework, drama, time travel, and possibly death, perhaps learning a bit more about Harry's parents on the way. 

This story has such twists and turns that, even if you've read it before, you're flipping through the pages late into the night. Harry and the others really start to develop as characters in this book, and some of the history behind Harry's parent's death if revealed   I guess for some it might be a little confusing because there is so much going on, but as long as you keep your head on your shoulders and your wand in your hand, you'll be fine. 

The Language of Flowers By Vanessa Diffenbaugh

        Victoria, who has spent life in and out of foster care, has developed a passion for flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what’s been missing in her life, and when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.  

       I loved everything about this book. This story of resilience had a beautiful message portrayed through poetic writing.  The vulnerable but strong female character was refreshing and wonderful. There is honestly nothing I didn't like about this book.