Sunday, 30 June 2013

Review 17: 'Under the Jolly Roger'

I loved this one, the tale of a young girl, repeatedly getting herself in over her head, but always just managing to just stay afloat (sometimes literally). Her adventures on the high seas at times reminded me of Hornblower (a TV show I used to watch - yes I know it was a book first, shh), though less.. Something.. Maybe just different because the main character was a girl.

I can't make up my mind about Jaimy. I feel like he's a jerk for leaving her originally, but he did try to write, even though he wasn't getting any letters in return (Curse you Jaimy's mother!). In the end I pretty much decided that he was an okay guy.

The book I read was partway through the series, and I had to catch up on the history of her life, but the author did well in revealing her past gradually, in a way that felt natural as she recalled the events. I enjoyed the story of her life though found it a bit fantastic at points (yes, I know that it's fiction, but still...)

I'd recommend this series to a slightly younger (say highschool) audience, or to those enjoy teen books, like Em and I do. I will probably be finding the rest of the series eventually, though I have quite the stack of books to get through before I do.

This is Luke, signing off.
I look forward to the next challenge.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Challenge 17: a Bloody Jack Adventure

First of all, I cannot believe Luke DNF'd on Code Name Verity, of all books! I really thought it would be right up his alley, and I flew through the reading of it, so I am just astounded that he could leave it unfinished. Especially since - spoiler! - the end is where all the major stuff happens. Sub-challenge: finish it by the end of this year.

Second, I got a tablet for Christmas. Yay! The main reason I wanted one was to use as an e-book reader, but I only just resumed catching public transport to work, so I haven't really needed it until now. I found out that you can borrow e-books through the SA Libraries service, and while browsing through I came across the Bloody Jack series.

I had heard of this series before - which begins with Bloody Jack: being an account of the curious adventures of Mary 'Jacky' Faber, Ship's Boy - but I wasn't sure if it was maybe a bit young for me. But it was free and I wanted to test out my tablet.

I read the first eight books in under three weeks. (That's a lie; I didn't read the first one because NO ONE HAS IT GRRR.) I even read the books - gasp! - at home, even though books are clearly FOR THE TRAM RIDE. Yep, I smashed them out good, and now am only two books from the end. Oops.

I took Luke to the (actual physical) library and picked out the one I thought he would like the most out of what was there. Luke: your Challenge is to read one of the Jacky Faber novels, if not all of them.

Third, and finally, I have Some Thoughts:
- The whole Cockney accent thing that is prevalent in the first couple of books is basically non-existent by the later ones, so don't let that put you off if it's not your cup of tea.
- I am not sure what age group I would categorise this as. I would say late primary school, for the pirate themes and fun adventures, but there are frequent references to more adult topics so I would probably have to say late high school. I worry that those people might not be into pirate stories, but then I am 27 so I guess you're never too old.
- I would like to hear people's thoughts on Jaimy, mostly whether or not he is an oppressive patriarchal imbecile who is not worth a minute of Jacky's time. I have to say that the latest book I've read has mostly swung me around to him, but I would still like to hear what you think.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Challenge 16: 'White Tiger'

Continuing our recent string of strong female protagonists, I present to you:

 White Tiger 

 This is another of those books which I had kept seeing on library shelves and thinking to myself "That looks kinda cool, maybe I'll borrow it." And then never doing so. Eventually I did get around to it, and stayed up 'till about 4am. It was quite good. Reasonably action-y, but delving a lot into chinese mythology White Tiger has a very different setting from most of what I have read, and it takes a bit of time to adjust to that. Emma (Woo! and she's Australian, Woo more!), the protagonist, explains the differing culture well.

And then we get to the part where she learns that the Gods and Demons she loves reading about are real, and has to learn martial arts to defend herself. Yeah, she kinda kicks demon butt.

If you aren't excited to read it after that, I don't know what more I can say, except: Go read it, you'll see.

 - L


DNF Review 15: 'Code Name Verity'

I honestly have no idea why I didn't like this book. It sounds cool, is similar (sort of) to other books I love, and should be right up my alley with hot chicks starring. But no. For some reason I just couldn't get into it. I think it was a combination of me not really liking the main characters (even stranger, 'cause I'm usually happy with anything), and the fact that the narrator seemed to ramble on a bit (Again, I'm usually fine with that, this time it just irritated me).

I feel that I should try to read this again sometime, if only to finish it. The plot was solid and I did enjoy some parts. Maybe I was in a bad mood for a week or something, but when I put it down to read something which I'd been waiting to get for a while, I just didn't pick it back up.

Sorry for not finishing Code Name Verity Em, I'll try again later.

 - L.