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Month in review

Reviews
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat
Ash by Malinda Lo
Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rift, Part 3 by Gene Luen Yang
Aya: Love in Yop City by Marguerite Abouet
Bad Machinery 2: The Case of the Good Boy by John Allison
Bumperhead by Gilbert Hernández
The Croc Ate My Homework: A Pearls Before Swine Collection by Stephan Pastis
The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Hot Air Baboons by Maxwell Eaton III
Fullmetal Alchemist 27 by Hiromu Arakawa
The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks
Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist by Tim Federle
Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse by Torben Kuhlmann
Lord and Lady Bunny—Almost Royalty! by Polly Horvath
Meeting Cezanne by Michael Morpurgo
Oz: Ozma of Oz by Eric Shanower
Potential by Ariel Schrag
The Printmaker's Daughter by Katherine Govier
Quest by Aaron Becker
Red Eye, Black Eye by K. Thor Jensen
Rain by Amanda Sun
The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures by Dave Stevens
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett
Shackleton's Journey by William Grill
The Swallow: A Ghost Story by Charis Cotter
13 rue Thérèse by Elena Mauli Shapiro
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
Thursdays with the Crown by Jessica Day George
Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle 08 by CLAMP
Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle 09 by CLAMP
The Weapon from Beyond by Edmond Hamilton

Miscellaneous
Bloggiesta Mini Challenge — Digital Photography
My Bloggiesta To Do List
Bricks, bricks and more bricks

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Thursdays with the Crown: 09/19/15

Thursdays with the Crown by Jessica Day George: What is the truth behind the beloved castle?

Thursdays with the Crown by Jessica Day George is the third Castle Glower book. Celie, Rolf, his girl friend Lilah, and her brother Lulath are transported with the castle to its homeland. They need to figure out where they are and how to get home. Celie also wants to understand what's wrong with her beloved castle.

There are three parts to this book: exploration, discovery of other people, the flight home. Celie and the others end up hearing two completely different stories about the castle and the land they've been sent to. The land itself provides yet another version.

Celie and the others need to piece together the truth from all the versions in order to find their way home. If they can't, they're likely to end up either prisoners or casualties.

While I normally love this type of story, I found the pacing lagging, especially at the beginning. The adventure and mystery is hindered by Lulath's dialect. Lulath and his sister are from a far away and their foreignness is emphasized through their goofy grammar and weird idioms. The problem is, Lulath actually has the most relevant experience to the situation they've now found themselves in. So we have to sit through page after page of his goofy pseudo-accent.

Why does Lulath sound like Balki?

A little of these fake accents go a long way, especially in a novel where all of the characters are now foreigners in a land they've never seen. Why don't any of the people they meet on their adventure have an accent? Why is it just Lulath who talks weird? And why does he have to sound so much like Balki from Perfect Strangers?

I'm only taking one star off for the pacing and idiom problems because the rest of the novel is so strong. While the first two books were rather fluffy adventures about a magical castle and a baby griffon. This one takes the back story we've been given and explodes it open. It also poses a bunch of tough, uncomfortable questions. This book covers similar themes to the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series by Hiromu Arakawa. Gower is a kingdom built on a foundation of genocide — a real world, harsh reality detail, that I've never seen in a fantasy book aimed at elementary school aged readers.

Four stars

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