Friday, July 25, 2008

Review: _Blood Rites_ by Jim Butcher

From the first book I read with Harry Dresden I was hooked. Every book in this Urban Fantasy series about the private investigator wizard in Chicago is entertaining and interesting. Blood Rites by Jim Butcher continues the trend. This book’s characters and plot keeps readers hooked with change and mystery.

First, the changes in characters keeps this book in the series interesting. Growth in the main character helps. Harry Dresden changes a little in each book instead of remaining static. He overcomes difficult circumstances as in previous books and this time deals with loneliness and lack of family. Readers and Harry learn something new about his life by the end. Harry’s police friend Murphy changes a little too from her dealing with supernatural criminals. Other secondary characters add to the entertainment of the story. Mr. Butcher deepens his characters with interesting situations.

Next, the plot creates a strong mystery to keep readers hooked. Harry is asked by the White Court vampire Thomas for a favor. He tries to find out who is cursing an erotic move maker, which kills the women around the film maker in disgustingly spectacular ways. The investigation brings him into a clash with dangerous Black Court vampires and angry magic users. Along the way Harry makes a discovery that changes his life for the future. The author keeps the plot tight and suspenseful with plenty of action making the book hard to put down for readers.

Blood Rites by Jim Butcher is another exciting book in the series about wizard private investigator Harry Dresden. Change and mystery occurs in the characters and plot to hook readers for an interesting, entertaining read. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next volumes in the series.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Review: _Summers at Castle Auburn_ by Sharon Shinn

Growing up is a hard part for young people. Trying to understand the world of adults is difficult enough without having to deal with politics. Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn tells the story of a young girl navigating her way through such a fantasy world. The book is an entertaining read due to the setting, characters and plot.

First, the setting helps to keep the book entertaining by creating a realistic sense of place. Set in a Medieval like kingdom of different provinces, the central power of the realm is at Castle Auburn. A regent keeps the kingdom running until the young prince comes of age. Within the kingdom there is a large forest inhabited by the Aliora, a magical people that resemble fairies. The setting is brought to reality my Ms. Shinn’s wonderful descriptions.

Next the characters in the book makes it entertaining for readers. Coriel is the main character who tells the story. She is fourteen and an illegitimate member of the nobility, living with her grandmother and training to be a healer. Spending her summers with her half sister at Castle Auburn, Corie comes of age around court intrigue and romance. Kent is the son of the regent. He tries to keep the prince from causing scandals for the kingdom. His kind nature and maturity throughout the story helps Corie grow into a strong, independent woman. Ms. Shinn brings the characters to life with snappy dialogue and action.

In the end, the book remains entertaining due to the plot, which keeps the story moving. The story begins with Coriel going on a hunt with her uncle Jaxon to catch Aliora. Corie learns of the Aliora queen and her uncle’s obsession with catching the queen. Every summer. Corie returns to the castle a little older, with more skills as a healer and learns more about life. Watching Corie grow with each new visit keeps the plot going to a satisfying end. Ms. Shinn weaves a good story with interesting twists to the plot.

Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn is a fun read. The setting, characters and plot combine into an entertaining Fantasy book. Ms. Shinn is a talented author who provides fun and thought provoking stories for readers. Her talent grows with each new book.