Sunday, April 7, 2013

2013 YALSA Hub Reading Challenge - Update #8

Due to my participation in Camp Nano, I didn't read as much as I would have liked. However, I did pass 11,000 words of writing in my as of yet untitled novel. Yay me!

Page by Tamora Pierce

Tortall Universe -- Protector of the Small, #2.

Keladry of Mindelan made it through her first year as a page, but unfortunately, her life has not gotten easier as her training continues. She has a full schedule trying to balance schoolwork and physical training. As if that isn't enough, she puts in extra training sessions every day, patrols the halls to keep bullies at bay, and attempts to overcome her debilitating fear of heights. Kel has a strong sense of right and wrong and her actions always reflect that. She rescues a dog who "adopts" her, and keeps him even though pages are not allowed to have pets. She also takes on a timid maid, Lalasa, and teaches her to protect herself from the unwanted advances of both nobles and other servants. 

While Kel may be a bit too perfect to be believable at times, she is an excellent role model and a strong female character who always strives to do the right thing. 

This is an excellent series for middle grade readers.

In preparation for book three of the Monstrumologist series, which IS on the YALSA list, I read the first two. 

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

The Monstrumologist, book one.

After the deaths of his parents, Will Henry is taken in by his father's employer, Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, a scientist who studies monsters. Will Henry has become used to visitors in the dark of the night, but when a grave robber stops by with some especially gruesome cargo, Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop embark on a terrifying quest to find and kill the rest of the monsters before they kill again.

Very well done gothic horror set in Victorian England. Gory details and high-level vocabulary make this one a good choice for more mature readers.

The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey

The Monstrumologist, Book two.

The leader of the Monstrumology Society, inspired by a young upstart named Stoker, is trying to convince his colleagues to include mythical monsters (like the vampire and the wendigo) in their studies. Warthrop sees this as the downfall of the science of monstrumology.

But when the woman he once loved asks him to rescue her husband (who was also once Warthrop's best friend), who disappeared while searching for a wendigo, Warthrop reluctantly accepts. This new quest turns out to be gorier and more horrifying than anything Will Henry has encountered before.

This book is much more character-driven than the previous one, and we learn more about the backstories and motivations of our main characters. But it feels even gorier than the first, perhaps because the people who die aren't random strangers.

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