Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quick Reviews: City of Masks, Darkhenge, and The Foreshadowing

I have read these months ago, but only managed to type my thoughts about them recently. I did forget many of what I comment about on them, but I remember how much a book has impressed me and also how much I liked it. But of course I wouldn't be able to comment much, so they'll just be in quick reviews~

City of Masks (Stravaganza, Book 1) by Mary Hoffman
A boy is suffering from cancer . . . but one day a mysterious book transports him to an enchanting Venice-like city . . . and over there his body's perfectly healthy!
I got interested on this because of the alternate reality travelling thing. The story was okay . . . there are some cliches and predictable events . . . but there had been interesting twists and I find the characters likeable. But hhhmmm . . . I think it wasted too many paragraphs emphasizing how pretty the enchanting city is (the city, the people, the boats, EVERYTHING IS PRETTIER IN IT COMPARE TO ITS COUNTERPART IN REALITY FINE I GET IT ALREADY SO STOP REPEATING HOW PERFECT IT IS ALREADY!!!!) and I think the story would've been more interesting and . . . challenging to the main cast if the Duchessa was the villain.
Rating: B- (NICE! It had been really fun!)
Favoritism: 3 Hearts ---> LIKE

Darkhenge by Catherine Fisher
A boy's sister is in a comatose, but later finds out that she's actually staying in a different world . . . and he'll do anything to get her back.
The plot promised me sibling love . . . and it did! However, it was one-sided.
I'm actually disappointed in this. So many things there only had little or incomplete explanations/backgrounds. I honestly still don't know much about the characters in this series, except for the leading boy and his sister . . . but their character development hadn't been enough either. I'm alright with fast paced stories, but things just happened here . . . I didn't feel the continuity . . . the connections. I didn't get into the story.
Aside from the little brother to sister sibling-love moments (most of them didn't feel real either . . . I can't believe I'm saying this . . . but I think it lacked angst), the only thing I appreciated from this is that the girl to be rescued is actually pretty evil. The one who took her hostage even became under her command. Now I find that awesome~
Rating: D+ (REALLY DISAPPOINTING! How could you do this to me?!)
Favoritism: 2.5 Hearts ---> NEUTRAL

The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick
During the first world war, a girl with the power of premonition journeys to find her brother who is in the army to stop his death that she had foreseen.
World war historical fiction . . . . seeing the future . . . . sibling love . . . how could I resist this???!!!!
It was a page turner! I got so hooked to it that I couldn't let it down! Okay, the ending might be a little . . . "DUH" . . . it felt like all that she did was a waste in the end, but putting that aside, it had been really good!
I admit that I was most delighted on the sibling moments in this. They had been so sweet, they made me teary~ But I really like the leading girl in this story. All those things she did for her brother's sake was wow! A girl doesn't need to be a fighter to be awesome. Doing something like helping people by being a nurse and searching for her dear brother at the same time had been really remarkable. I was also amused on the part when people thought she was insane. Haha!
I love this so much. There wasn't any romance, and though there was sibling love, fortunately it ain't incest. Hooray!
Rating: A- (OH MY GOD! Amazing, fantastic, oh really wonderful!)
Favoritism: 4.5 Hearts ---> ADDICTION

I found the three Stravaganza books for a low price, so I bought them all. I thought I would get addicted to it because the second book had a pegasus in the cover. *loves magical horses* Unfortunately, the first book didn't meet my expectations. But I still liked it. Good thing I got it cheap, it was worth for that price. Hopefully the next books won't be the same.

The plots of the books by Catherine Fisher caught my interest a lot! So I bought several of her books, and I'm sad that the first book that I've read by her didn't impress me much. Hopefully the other books I bought that are written by that author won't be that bad.

But I got very very addicted to Foreshadowing that I bought as many books by Marcus Sedgwick that I could find! I managed to get three more of them (aside from Foreshadowing). Hooray!


  1. LOL I understand exactlyyyyyy what you mean when you were talking about the Venice part of City of Masks. I think our author here is a bit too in love with the series... I read it this summer and I get this feeling that if only I read this when I was younger, I would have enjoyed it. Now I just notice all these little bits about the story that take away from the magic wonder of children's fantasy. =/

    hmm, I'm on the fence about trying out Darkhenge. I mean, I'm all for sibling stories but do I really need to read another novel on the evil!sister? Well, as long as she doesn't die at the end or something... Does she? -__-

    Foreshadowing looks really, really awesome though. I've seen Marcus Sedgwick around but was never sure which book I should try out first. Now I know. >D

  2. @ Ah Yuan
    Someone agrees on me on the Venice part! Yay xD The author seems to be so enchanted with the world she created that she has emphasized so much on how pretty it is o_O But same here, I might have appreciated this more if I was younger. Hehe.

    On Darkhenge, should I spoil you?
    ===== SPOILER STARTS =====
    Well, she changes in the end. And now, she doesn't die in the end. I prefered she did though . . . that would make things dramatic~ Hehehe
    ====== SPOILER ENDS =======

    I think the other Marcus Sedwick books are better than this one, but this had been a good start for me that I started hunting for his books *_* I have five of them now (including Foreshadowing) xD Yay!