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A Stack of Books, Part 6

Hey, all! September has rolled around, and while it is sad to be seeing the summer fade, I am not sorry for the coming season of brisk mornings and sweaters and good reason to wear my boots without suffocating (because some of us, as it happens, breath through our feet).

Today is super special because we’re having the neighbors over for a smoked turkey, and the scent of charcoal is already permeating the air. It incurs a real festive feeling in me that I want to savor all day long . . .

In any event, the past few weeks have been busy as usual, but I still got to squeeze in some reading. Half of the books on this list are audiobooks, and one of them I read cover to cover on a Sunday afternoon. Two were series conclusions, and one embarks on a whole new adventure. So really, one can say that aside from preserving our garden harvest and baking for the farmers market, I’ve also saved the world from a hostile alien invasion, fought a war against Darkness, found a magical land in the woods, crossed the country with a pair of hopeless lovebirds, and awakened the lay lines.

Oh my!

And now, without further adieu, here are the books. Maybe you’ve read some? What did you think of them?

The Fate of Ten ─The Lorien Legacies is drawing to a close. On one side, I’m a little sad, because I’ve gotten familiar with these characters and have enjoyed hearing their stories, but on the other side, I’m glad it’s almost over. I really do think that three is the prime number for a series. This installment follows the events of what happens after NYC is destroyed, and the levels of ‘worse’ do just continue to escalate. In that way it’s a masterpiece of dumping a Mary Poppins bag of garbage on top of these kids, one thing right after another. And yet they keep pushing through, finding strength where there was none before. At this point I have no idea how this next and last chapter is going to play out, and how all these scattered people are going to be united as one.

From Darkness Won ─ I can’t remember how long I’ve had Blood of Kings on my to-read list, but it is good that I finally got my hands on and sunk my teeth into it. The story has a great, classic model that I loved, and was a pretty awesome conclusion to the trilogy, with strong action, vivid imagery, and powerful faith moments. You can read my full review of the story here.

United as One ─ At last! The conclusion! Things finally got just about as bad as they could get, and with all the trauma I’m about as ready for a vacation as the characters. It was wild, and I have to say, Neil Kaplan does a splendiferous performance. He really sold it, voicing John, because not only does he just read the words, he gives them personality, and I loved that. This finale really tied everything together, what with the new legacies appearing in humans, the final boss battle with Setrakus Ra, the mountains of stress weighing on John in particular, and the emotional rollercoaster that is . . . well, everyone. (Teenagers . . . what can you do?) I enjoyed every minute of it.

Fire Falling ─ This is a romance. I find these two characters exhausting, and just want to shake my head and smack them, and at this point my opinion of Vhalla isn’t very high. There is so much talk about strength, but her state throughout the entire book was constantly ‘broken’, ‘woe is me’, ‘if I’m by myself I can’t do anything’, etc. I just wanted to yell at her to grow a backbone and get over herself. Romances aren’t my cup of tea, but I didn’t pick it up for the romance, and I’m hoping the plot will strengthen as the stakes escalate.

Bridge to Terabithia ─ Years ago when the movie first came out I loved it. It was beautiful and enchanting and sad. So when I found the book I had to read it, and I loved it, too. It was beautiful and enchanting and sad. I knew what was going to happen and I dreaded it throughout the entire story, but it was still fun and quirky. Jess is really a good kid, and it’s a good story about not letting your circumstances or situation define and control you, and of taking the courage to move forward from our sorrow into a new light.

The Raven Boys ─ I’ve had this book on my TBR list for a while (although that seems to be a recurring event, as most books sit on a list for ‘a while’ before they actually get read). So I found the audiobook version and proceeded to finish the eleven hour book in two days. It’s one of those books that I would devour hungrily were I reading the hard copy, and I’d like to someday. What I loved best are the characters, those five kids are so great, each one unique and so vastly different from each other, yet they fit together like the pieces in a puzzle. The story, in both the plot and writing style, pulled me along like the lazy river in a water park, steady and constant with twists and turns in the current that made things interesting. I thought the narrator did a bang up job with his performance, too. And when you add ravens, Welsh kings, and mysterious lay lines, what’s not to love?

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