There will be a few posts covering several books in each post for the next little bit as I try and catch up on all the reviews I did not complete this year!

Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia Wrede
Book One in the Cecy and Kate Series

A great deal is happening in London and the country this season.

For starters, there's the witch who tried to poison Kate at the Royal College of Wizards. There's also the man who seems to be spying on Cecelia. (Though he's not doing a very good job of it--so just what are his intentions?) And then there's Oliver. Ever since he was turned into a tree, he hasn't bothered to tell anyone where he is.

Clearly, magic is a deadly and dangerous business. And the girls might be in fear for their lives . . . if only they weren't having so much fun!
I had this book on my wish list for quite some time. I usually really like books that are told in diary or letter format, provided I am a bit picky with what I choose. Lots of people said that this was a good book, and it received great reviews on Amazon, but I just did not like it. I could not get involved with the characters and I actually found them annoying at times. The story did not capture me in at all. It was torture to finish this book. I am not sure if maybe it was my mood at the time, or I just am not a fan of this series. It made me sad, though, because it was a book I had looked forward to reading, and it just left me disappointed.

Mirror Universe: Glass Empires by David Mack, Greg Cox, Mike Sussman, and Dayton Ward
There are moments glimpsed only in shadow, where darkness rules and evil incarnate thrives. You hope against hope that in your lifetime, evil is relegated to the shadows. But what if it wasn't?

What if you lived in a universe where your life was measured only by what you could do for the Empire? What would you do to survive? Would you sell your soul to free yourself? If you were offered the chance to rule, would you seize it? If you could free your universe from the darkness but only at the cost of your life, would you pay that price?

Star Trek: Enterprise® She seized power in a heartbeat, daring to place herself against all the overlords of the Empire. Empress Hoshi Sato knows the future that could be; now all she has to do is make sure it never happens. For her to rule, she must hold sway not only over the starship from the future but also over her warlords, the resistance, and her Andorian husband. As quickly and brutally as Hoshi seized power, imperial rule is taken from her. Her only chance to rule again is to ally herself with a lifelong foe, and an alien.

Star Trek® One man can change the future, but does he dare? Spock, intrigued by the vision of another universe's Federation, does what no Vulcan, no emperor, has ever done: seize power in one blinding stroke of mass murder. And at the same instant he gains imperial power, Spock sows the seeds for the Empire's downfall. Is this a form of Vulcan madness, or is it the coolly logical plan of a man who knows the price his universe must pay for its freedom?

Star Trek: The Next Generation® Humanity is a pitiful collection of enslaved, indentured, and abused peoples. No one dares to question the order, except at peril of their lives. One man survives by blinding himself to the misery around him. However, Jean-Luc Picard resists, just once. And in that one instant he unlocks a horror beyond the tyranny of the Alliance. Can a man so beaten down by a lifetime of oppression stop the destruction?

When I decided that it was time I restarted buying Star Trek books, this is one of the first that I picked up. I am not a big fan of short story collections. I read them from time to time, but they are not my favourite thing in the world. That may have affected my response to this book, because while I liked it, I did not love it. One of the minor problems is that I was never a big fan of either The Original Series or Enterprise, so to read books set in those worlds left me trying to remember who was who. I really like books set in the Mirror Universe, though. Those were always some of my favourite episodes because they take everything you know and play around with it. It sorts of makes you wonder if there is a Mirror Universe really and someone sort of like you is leading a very different life. It is interesting to think about. I look forward to reading the next book in the New Year.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Winer of the Hugo and Nebula AwardsIn order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut-young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.
It was probably not the best timing when I read this book. I had started it right before Sandy got really sick, so I was finishing it up right around the time she died. This is when my really good reading year sort of slowed down, and I even almost lost interest in reading in the first place. The period in which I read this book does not leave a great impression behind, though. I think it will always be the period that I read it in more than the book that will stick with me. That being said, I was not a huge fan of this book. I have to be frank, I have been noticing a pattern this year. I am just not a big fan of books narrated by children. Sometimes they work for me, but many of the books that I really did not like this year, that was why. Does that mean this was a bad book? Nope. I still intend to read more from Card in the New Year. Will I be able to reread this book in the future and get a different impression of it is anyones guess, but for right now, this book did not capture me like it did so many others.

What is Un Lun Dun?

It is London through the looking glass, an urban Wonderland of strange delights where all the lost and broken things of London end up . . . and some of its lost and broken people, too–including Brokkenbroll, boss of the broken umbrellas; Obaday Fing, a tailor whose head is an enormous pin-cushion, and an empty milk carton called Curdle. Un Lun Dun is a place where words are alive, a jungle lurks behind the door of an ordinary house, carnivorous giraffes stalk the streets, and a dark cloud dreams of burning the world. It is a city awaiting its hero, whose coming was prophesied long ago, set down for all time in the pages of a talking book.

When twelve-year-old Zanna and her friend Deeba find a secret entrance leading out of London and into this strange city, it seems that the ancient prophecy is coming true at last. But then things begin to go shockingly wrong.
China Mieville has been a fantasy/science fiction author that I have been interested in for quite some time, but this was my first attempt to read him. I liked the cover for this book, and the illustrations were very appealing for the simplistic nature. They added to the story. I received this book when it first came out, but when I tried it the first time it did not interest me. I put it aside for a few months to go back to when the mood was right. When I reattempted a couple months ago, I found that it was actually a fun book.

Un Lun Dun is sort of like the mirror universe to London. When people in London try to get rid of things, Un Lun Dun is where they go. They are in trouble, though, and they are waiting for their saviour to come and make things right. They have a book that has outlined everything that will happen when their saviour arrives, but when Deeba and Zanna find their way over there and appear to be the prophecy coming true, the citizens of Un Lun Dun soon learn that things do not always go the way they are supposed to. These are their adventures to save Un Lun Dun from those that wish to bring about its destruction.

This book is a magical adventure for young readers everywhere. It has its awkward moments where I found that I just wanted to skip ahead, but overall it was an enjoyable read. I think it was a promising first look at China Mieville, and I look forward to reading more from him in the future. The paperback is coming out in January, so it is just in time to purchase it with your Christmas money. I recommend this book for a fun read with illustrations.

To read more about it, head over to Random House, where it is published.

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About Me

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Since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with books. Early photos show me with a book in hand, even if it was not exactly my reading level... My first word was a made-up word meaning 'book', actually. I suppose I had my priorities at an early age... Over the years my interest in books has become one of the defining features of who I am as a person. You can probably call me a bookworm. While I have other interests, reading will always be the one I talk about the most, even if I am not focusing on it as much as I used to.