Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Longbourn by Jo Baker

LongbournLongbourn by Jo Baker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm very hesitant to read any books that claim to continue stories by Jane Austen, but were not written by dear Jane herself. I like reading her original works without alteration, continuation, or even being finished at all because I like the work of Jane Austen.

It was with some reluctance that I took the recommendation of a friend and decided to read Longbourn. One reason I was willing to read it is because it's different. It's not continuing a story but rather supporting the story of Pride and Prejudice with another story. The story of the servantry "downstairs". Events in this book parallel events in Austen's original work.

The main character is Sarah, a young housemaid who desires to experience the world rather than stay trapped in hard work at Longbourn for the rest of her life. The other main characters are the rest of the servants of the Bennet household with supporting characters from servants of the Bingley and Darcy households. Characters readers will recognize from Pride and Prejudice show up in various forms, from brief appearances to having life-changing interactions with the servants.

The author, Jo Baker, seems to have a very realistic perspective of what servants (and soldiers)may have experienced at that time. In comparison to the writing of Austen, Baker uses very graphic language and explicit images at various points throughout the book.

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sky Raiders (Five Kingdoms #1) by Brandon Mull

Sky Raiders (Five Kingdoms, #1)Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first book in Brandon Mull's latest series is as enjoyable as his other epic adventures.

This time a boy from our world, Cole, and his friends are kidnapped and taken to a different world as slaves. Of course this is Mull's imagination we are delving into, so these slaves will be used for a type of magic called shaping or to be thieves that steal from castles that float in the sky.

If you love Mull's other tales of strange creatures and magical worlds, then you'll love this as well. If you aren't familiar with the writing of Brandon Mull, I would suggest reading the Fablehaven series first to get a taste of his style and imagination before getting into the more complex story lines woven into the Five Kingdoms series.

Whether you are familiar with the books of Brandon Mull or not, if you love fantasy, this is an author you definitely want on your "to read" list!

Highly recommended.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Size Matters Not: The Extraordinary Life and Career of Warwick Davis (Autobiography)

Size Matters Not: The Extraordinary Life and Career of Warwick DavisSize Matters Not: The Extraordinary Life and Career of Warwick Davis by Warwick Davis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved reading about the life and experiences of Warwick Davis. I love Willow and thought he was fantastic in that film.
I've thought how amazing it is to be the only major actor to play multiple roles in BOTH of the major film movements that are Star Wars and Harry Potter. I had no idea of all the other movies and projects in which Davis has been involved.
I also enjoyed hearing his positive voice throughout the book. He and his wife have had some very difficult life experiences, but their love of life and each other is repeated over and over. Reading this book gave me very positive vibes and I don't feel ready for this reading journey is over!

Highly recommended!

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