The Iron Trial

Author: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Series: Magisterium, Book 1
Publisher: Random House
Star Rating: 2/5
Date Read: September 8th to 9th, 2014
Read Count: 1
Review:
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.

The Iron Trial is the first in a new five book series for middle grade readers. It is the story of a boy named Callum Hunt, or Call, who knows he has the potential for magic but his father has told him that he should want none of it. The Magisterium, the school for young mages, is the reason Callum’s mother is dead and his father has never recovered. But all potential mages must attend The Iron Trial, whether they want to or not, to test their abilities for acceptance into the Magisterium. While trying to throw his chances, Call, despite his father’s protests, is chosen to attend the Magisterium and is taken under the wing of Master Rufus, along with two others, Aaron and Tamara. Call enters a world where he is finally accepted, makes friends and uncovers the secrets of his past and that of the Enemy of Death, the cause for unrest in the magic world.

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The Hood With No Hands

The Hood With No Hands

Author: CS Boag
Series: Mister Rainbow, #1
Publisher: Black Prints
Star Rating: 2/5
Date Read: August 14th to 17th, 2014
Read Count: 1
Review:
 Thank you to Goodreads and the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not alter my review in any way.

Ahhh. I always feel bad when I’m given a book for review and I just…don’t like it. It’s not the genre’s fault – I’ve read a lot of detective and crime novels so the problem’s not there. I know where the problem is and unfortunately it is with the writing and the main character. Me and this book just did not get along.

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A Child Called ‘It’

Author: Dave Pelzer
Series: Dave Pelzer Trilogy, Book 1
Publisher: Orion
Star Rating: 2/5
Date Read: May 28th, 2014
Read Count: 1
Review:
A Child Called ‘It’ is the story of child abuse survivor, Dave Pelzer. It is a grim and horrific read that makes you sick to visualize what’s occurring. It is not without hope, as we find in the opening chapter how Dave escapes the torment he has suffered for eight years. But it seems to be without credibility.

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The Global Suitcase

Author: Mary J. Dinan
Publisher: New Holland
Star Rating: 2/5
Date Read: April 30th to May 5th, 2014
Review:
Thank you to Goodreads and New Holland publishers for providing me with a copy of this book.

I love to travel and I love to read about travel in all its forms. I love journeys into the unknown and I love exploring my own backyard. You would think this book, a collection of interviews with people who have done exactly that, would suit me perfectly. You would be wrong.

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Moby Dick

Author: Herman Melville
Publisher: Readers Digest
Star Rating: 2/5
Date Read: September 2nd to 16th, 2013
Review:
What a crazy old bugger that Captain Ahab was!

It has taken me so long to finish this book that I’m glad I can slam it shut, put it on the shelf and write this review. But where to begin?

I don’t want to slam the whole thing. Really, I don’t. Because I was quite looking forward to reading it, and the first few chapters where we meet Ishmael and Queequeg got me quite interested in the story. The they got on the ship and it all kind of slowly went downhill from there.

Being on a whale ship, in between when you are actually chasing whales, must get pretty boring for the whalers. That’s how this part of the book seemed to me. A lot of philosophizing about … stuff? … and then scientifically inaccurate (they probably seemed right at the time) descriptions of the whale as a ‘big fish with lungs’. It floated in and out of the actual story (which I was more interested in) about the madman Ahab and his crazy quest to find and destroy Moby Dick (who does not appear until the 466th page, in my edition!) and the philosophy and musings and explanations from Ishmael. As the story went on I felt we lost Ishmael’s point of view and it became more of a third person narrative. That was too bad – I liked Ishmael and his story. But I get that his story is a mere part of the whole adventure.

I enjoyed some of this book, but mostly I was just glad to finish it!

Save Yourself

Author: Kelly Braffet
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Star Rating: 2/5
Date Read: December 21st to 24th, 2013
Review:
I felt absolutely nothing reading this book. I wanted to, but there was nothing. Just 300 pages with words on them. Oh, there was a story. Not a great one, bit of a weird one actually. But I didn’t feel ‘breathless’, ‘shaken’ or ‘moved’. Ah damn.

I read this in 2 days, found it pretty easy to fly through, but that doesn’t mean I was addicted to it. I had some time and I used it to read this. I was even able to put it down halfway through the suspenseful conclusion to watch the Carols on TV and wasn’t in a particular rush to get back to it. I didn’t care about the weak-willed characters who had very little depth. Two scared sisters and a lonely, broken older guy, both with damaged families and hurting under the weight of the past, present and future. There’s a lot going on here but I wasn’t particularly interested by it. Another one to put up on the shelf – I’m such a book hoarder!

The Moriarty Papers

Author: Colonel Sebastian Moran
Publisher: New Holland Publishers
Star Rating: 2/5
Date Read: February 9th to 11th, 2014
Review:
I wouldn’t recommend reading this book if you haven’t read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock stories…and I’m not sure I would recommend it if you had. To read this, you need an understanding of the cases but also to remember: it’s not ‘canon’. It’s written by a third party and while it is supposed to add to the understanding of Sherlock Holmes’ great nemesis Professor James Moriarty, it’s not an understanding that’s given by Doyle as he wanted to portray the character. A lot of other characters get caught up in this too and I would have thought they are being misrepresented.

Some of the little tantrums Moriarty has because of Holmes are giggle inducing but this collection of papers and things from Moriarty’s desk is not well laid out or convincing the way the original Sherlock stories are. The font used, meant to represent handwriting, is also at times hard to read at times and that seems to me to defeat the purpose.