Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Book Review 7: "Warriors" series by Erin Hunter

The Warriors book series is written by Erin Hunter, which is actually a pseudonym used by six different authors. The series follows the lives of four cat clans. The cat clans include Thundeclan, Shadowclan, Riverclan and Windclan.

The first Warriors book (Into The Wild) starts off with Rusty, a beautiful ginger "kittypet" (housecat) who decides to leave his warm comfortable home to become a "warrior" (feral cat). Once he meets the rest of the warrior cats, adventure ensues.

When I told my husband about these books, he asked me if the cats fought with swords and weapons. Although the cats in the book(s) have been personified, they behave like regular cats. They are often described bathing, purring, growling, and hissing just like any other cat.

The terminology in the book can be quite amusing. They use words like "kittypet" to describe a housecat, "thunderpath" to describe the main road, and "monster" to describe the cars that drive through the "thunderpath."

Though these are children's books, don't be mistaken; they are not for the faint of heart. Due to the nature of feral cat colonies, these books are true to their behaviours and the cats can be very violent. The violence often leads to graphic and untimely deaths of some of the characters in the book. I shed a few tears for some of the cats who died.

The books were overall enjoyable, and I read most of book 6 (The Darkest Hour) in one sitting. It was really hard to put down and I wanted to see how the story played out. However, the story has way too many characters to follow. Since the cat's names are so unique, it can get very confusing at times, and it's hard to remember which cat belongs to which clan, or which kits (kittens) belong to which queen (mother). Furthermore, the cats' names change as they get higher up in the warrior hierarchy. For example, "Rusty" the kittypet becomes "Firepaw" the warrior, and he proceeds to become "Fireheart" and then "Firestar" as the story moves along. Another thing I didn't like about the series was that it ended really abruptly.

About 3/4 way into The Darkest Hour, the book takes an unexpected turn, which is why my eyes were glued to the book. The story doesn't end the way you'd think.

Despite it's downfalls, I would still recommend this series to anyone who loves cats and adventure. They are full of love, cuteness, betrayal and honour. If you are not a cat person, you can also try Erin Hunter's other book series' Seekers (which is about bears) or Survivors (which is about dogs.)

Please Note: The series I read is only the first series of Warriors books. They are followed by three more Warriors series', each consisting of six books.

Happy Reading! =)

Some of the many Warriors books. There are also standalone Warriors books, mangas and Warriors guides.

Firepaw is the protagonist in the series and definitely my favourire character. Graypaw is his best friend in the story and they have the cutest kitty bromance ever.
Quoted from book 2 (Forest of Secrets).

My own kittypets striking their Warrior pose! =)

Saturday, 15 November 2014

From Twilight Fan Fiction to Fifty Shades of Shame

I am getting really tired of my twitter feed and youtube homepage throwing "50 Shades of Grey" in my face. I am extremely disgusted by this book/movie phenomenon. I have not read these books, nor do I have any interest in even coming within a mile of any of them. I don't understand why or how they suddenly became so popular. As far as I understand, it is a story about a young girl named Anastasia, an older man named Christian Grey, and a whole lot of pornographic content.

There have been many book/movie fandoms in the past decade or so which included Twilight, Divergent, and Hunger Games to name the few known ones. Although I have not read The Divergent or the Hunger Games series, I can understand their appeal. I, myself, am not interested in reading them because it's not a genre I normally read. I keep hearing mixed reviews about both series, and a few people have told me that the ending(s) to both books are disappointing. If I'm going to invest my time reading 3-4 books, then it better be worth it in the end.

I will admit, I did read the Twilight series (out of curiosity). I thought the series was overrated and I didn't enjoy them as much as I expected. First of all, the writing style was not for me. And second, I wanted Bella to marry Jacob, but she ended up marrying Edward instead. This conclusion to the Twilight saga was disappointing. I thought Bella made a bad life decision when she decided to become a vampire and leave her potential future behind. She was a really bad female role model. As if this wasn't bad enough, Twilight spawned Twilight fan fiction, which somehow became the book series "50 Shades of Grey" by E.L. James. The protagonist in this book was/is a far worse female role model than Bella Swan.

I don't understand why women are reading this "50 Shades of Grey" book series. I have read an excerpt or two and they are terribly written. More importantly, these books are doing nothing but glorifying a sexually abusive relationship, making women everywhere think that Christian Grey is the "man of their dreams." There is nothing romantic about this relationship, and Anastasia should not be seen as a good female role model. As an avid reader, I know these characters are fictional, but we really do end up getting attached to them. Sometimes it happens without us even realizing it. That's why I strongly encourage women everywhere to read books about female characters who are headstrong and know how to kick a little butt! Please do yourself a favour and choose class over trash.

New Books!

My online book order has arrived! They came a lot faster than I had anticipated. I placed my order last Friday, and they arrived yesterday (Friday); in exactly a week. I was under the impression that online orders take 3-6 weeks to reach their destination, so I was pleasantly surprised!

Here are the three new books I added to my home library collection.

The Enchanter Heir (book 4 from the Heir Chronicles), The Sorcerer Heir (book 5 from the Heir Chronicles), and Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows (book 7 from the Harry Potter series.)

My parents bought me the first 6 Harry Potter books many years ago, before the 7th and final book was released, but I never got around to buying book 7 until now. My Harry Potter series is finally complete! Although I've read these books before, I will definitely re-read them again one day. Now that Bloomsbury came out with these new covers, my Harry Potter book covers are all mismatched. But I still think it gives them character and I absolutely love all seven of them!

The Enchanter Heir and The Sorcerer Heir are the last two books in the Heir Chronicles series by Cinda Williams Chima. The First book by Chima I ever read was The Wizard Heir, which is actually book two in the Heir Chronicles, and then I proceeded to read The Warrior Heir (which is book one!) All was well though, because The Warrior Heir and The Wizard Heir are actually companion novels that follow completely different characters. The main characters and storylines from each of these books don't come together until The Dragon Heir (book 3.)

I don't have any of Cinda William Chima's other books, so now that my Harry Potter series is complete, my Heir Chronicles series is not! My next mission is to add The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir and The Dragon Heir to my book collection! I also want to buy The Seven Realms series, also by Cinda Williams Chima because I think her books are all brilliant, and love both series'!

Happy Reading! =)

Monday, 10 November 2014

Buying Books

Most of us readers know the struggle of buying books and never getting around to reading them because we keep borrowing books from the library and neglecting the books we own. OR, we buy more new books which just keep adding to our TBR pile. One of my good friends came up with a good solution for this dilemma: Alternate between reading a library book and an owned book. I just started doing this recently, and it seems as though my owned books are slowly making their way down my "books I've read" list. I bought the Chronicles of Narnia series a few years ago but never completed it. I just finished reading Prince Caspian last week, now I have three more Narnia books to go until I finish the series!

As if owning 20 unread books wasn't bad enough, I just bought a few new books last week! My friend (the same one who suggested the alternate reading pattern) sent me a Chapters Gift Card for my Birthday a couple of weeks ago, which I used to make an online purchase. My books should come any day now. I won't reveal what books I bought until they arrive in the mail.

Normally, I like buying used books for two reasons: brand new books can be expensive. If you are patient and look really hard, you can find used books at thrift shops and/or libraries for really good prices. The second reason is because I often buy them from libraries. I know libraries normally do book sale fundraisers to help with the cost of the library, and I absolutely love supporting my local libraries.

What kind of books do you usually buy? Do you buy brand new book, or used books? Do you prefer paperbacks, hardcovers, or e-books? Please share in the comments section below.

Happy Reading! =)

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Incomplete Book Series: The Golden Cat

A few years back, I had splurged on some used books at my local library book sale. Many of these books have remained untouched over the years. I may have read one or two of them, nevertheless, there's still many unread books on my shelf.

In an attempt to read some of the books I own, I picked "The Golden Cat" by Gabriel King off my shelf as my next read. I kept thinking this lovely little gem was a standalone and was in the mood of reading something fun and easy. Nothing too dramatic, and I am definitely not in the mood for a tear jerker right now. To my surprise, it turns out The Golden Cat is book two in a series of four books. So I began going on a hunt to find Book 1 (The Wild Road) at my local libraries, to see if they have either physical or electronic copies. Unfortunately, living in a small city, with not too many libraries around, this book was nowhere to be found. Grrr.

I am still trying to find book 1 to the series (but am having no luck whatsoever.) One of the previous libraries I used to go to would do Interlibrary loans. If they did not have any copies of a book someone wanted, they would "borrow" it from another library within the province. If I get lucky, I may be able to find "The Wild Road." on an interlibrary loan. I love reading series' but I also hate the feeling of wanting to read a not-so-well-known series, because they are so much harder to find than the mainstream ones. Has this ever happened to you? Did you finally end up finding the book(s) you were looking for?

Friday, 21 March 2014

Book Review 6: The Seven Realms Series

I have previously reviewed "The Demon King" but now that I've completed all four Seven Realms books, I thought I'd do a overall review of the entire series. Let me start off by saying, the first time I was introduced to Cinda Williams Chima was a few years ago, when I got my hands on "The Wizard Heir" which is book two from her other fantasy series, titled "The Heir Chronicles." When I learned she wrote another series, I knew I had to read it. The Heir Chronicles are set in modern day times, while The Seven Realms is high fantasy.

As soon as I started reading The Demon King, I just fell in love with it and it became one of my favourite book series'. It had everything in it that I wanted in a book; magic, betrayal, romance, and twists and turns that leave you at the edge of your seat. The two main characters are Raisa Ana Marianna and Han Allister. Raisa is heir to the throne to her mom's Queendom. She is stubborn, headstrong, causes trouble, and you can't help but love her for it. Han Allister is a former streetlord who often tries to do the right thing, but trouble seems to find him wherever he goes. We follow their journeys as individuals and their worlds eventually collide.

As the story progresses, so does the character development. Chima does a great job of keeping you interested and getting you emotionally attached. Without giving away any spoilers, I will say this; you may get attached to some characters that don't make it till the end. Having previously read The Heir Chronicles, I knew to expect some gore and deaths. There was one particular character which I expected to die early on, but he/she (surprisingly) survived .

The series ended very well. It left me satisfied, and I felt like it tied up all the loose ends. I was happy with the way things turned out. However, I am sad that there will no longer be any future Seven Realms for me to look forward to! On the contrary, I still have to read Chima's most recent book, The Enchanter's Heir. And if memory serves correctly, There will be one more book in the Heir Chronicles after the Enchanter's Heir. I really do hope Cinda Williams Chima decides to write more books in the future, because I absolutely love her!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Finished my First "E-Book"

I finished reading The Gray Wolf Throne on my e-reader a couple of nights ago. I had a hard time putting it down. Cinda Williams Chima has that charm on me. I love all her books and love her writing style. I found myself staying up late at night, telling myself, "just one more chapter, then I'll go bed!" Raisa Ana Marianna (who is the protagonist in the story) always puts a smile on my face when she says something witty and makes everyone well aware that she can't be bullied into doing things she doesn't want. She's headstrong and stubborn and that quite often gets her into trouble with her enemies, and even within her Queendom.

The e-reader wasn't half as bad as I expected it to be. I still stand by my opinion that I prefer real books over e-books. However, since the book sucked me in to the story so well, I didn't even remember I was reading an electronic book half the time.

Now that I've completed book three, it's time to read the fourth and final chapter in the series, "The Crimson Crown." I can't wait to see how Chima ends the series, and am anticipating some untimely deaths along the way! (There were quite a few heartbreaking deaths in Chima's other book series, "The Heir Chronicles." *tear*). Keep your eyes open for a book review on this wonderful book series in the next few weeks!

Happy Reading! =) 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Liking my E-Reader more than I expected

I've been reading on my e-reader for the last couple of weeks now. I am firm in my belief that real books are way better. However, it's not as bad as I was expecting it to be. I am enjoying my book so much, that sometimes I even forget it's not a "book." I understand why so many people like e-readers. It's so convenient to have a thin device with endless books downloaded on to it, as opposed to carrying them all in your backpack. This convenience would be most applicable to students or people who travel a lot, I would imagine. Furthermore, maybe I am just old fashioned, but I love the feel of pages through my fingers, and an old book smell. There's just something magical and wonderful about it. The book I downloaded is The Gray Wolf Throne. I've previously taken this book out of the library a few times, but never ended up finishing it. It's book three of a series of four, so I can't wait to find out what happens!

What book are you currently reading?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Books Vs. E-Readers

So I finally caved in and got myself an e-reader. Not because I wanted to, but because I had to. Let me explain. Nothing beats the feeling of a real book; running your fingers through real pages, and reading a book with a real book smell. However, living in a small town, my public library does not have a lot of books available on loan. Although, they do have the ebook versions of some of those unavailable titles. Since there are a handful of books I want to read (which they don't have) the only choice I had was to take out an ebook! I have not started using my e-reader, so I can't say whether I like it or hate it yet. However, I have already downloaded some books that are waiting to be read!

What do you prefer? A physical book or an e-reader?