Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bloody Jack

Now, I know that the whole pirate thing is sort of trendy now, but Bloody Jack, by L.A. Meyer was written before all of the hullaboloo. The kids at my school are crazy for it, and now I know why.

Mary Faber was left out on her doorstep on that dark day that every last one of her family was killed by the sickness and hauled away in Muck's barrow. Alone and in the streets, Mary is cornered by a gang of kids, ridded of her skirts, and given a smelly shift to wear. "Come on", they tell her, and her new family is found. She is a girl in Charlie Rooster's gang now. They beg and have some other tricks to get pennies for food, and kip down underneath the old bridge. They look out for each other, and keep each other alive.

One night, Charlie doesn't come home. It's up to Mary to find him, and find him she does. Prone in an alley with his head smashed in. She takes his clothes and his trusty shiv. She cuts off her hair, and heads out. She has always dreamed of taking to the seas, and knows that a girl never could. She is finding life much easier as a boy.

Mary makes it down to the piers and scrambles up with a mob of boys who want to be taken on one of the King's ships. Calling out the reasons they should be on the ship, Mary pipes up, "I can read!". She is taken aboard, and when asked her name, replies "Jack". A new life is found.

Jacky and the other ship's boys form a brothership, and wonder about the first time that they will track down the pirates. Jaimy brags about how he'll be the first over as he swings his imaginary sword. Then the day comes when they do find the pirates...and Jacky earns her nickname.

But, how long can she keep up this deception?

A fast-paced adventure story that will thrill boys and girls alike. There's action, adventure, mystery and a little romance as well. A nice angle to historical fiction, and with the current pirate craze, very likely to fly off the shelves.

I loved it!

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Last Days

So, my love affair with Scott Westerfeld is over. Sniff. We will still be friends, but I am no longer the gushing fan that I once was. Don't get me wrong, The Last Days was was good, but it left me a tad underwhelmed. I guess that is the risk you take when you write a bunch of FABULOUS books in a row.

Moz is walking along the street after coming home from band practise with Zahler. All of a sudden he notices a crowd gathering. Some girl is going nuts and throwing everything out of her window...CDs, clothes, and then the mid-seventies Fender Strat. There was noway that Moz was going to let that beauty smash on the sidewalk. Miracle upon miracles, it snags on the fire escape and some girl in the crowd helps Moz catch its' inevitable fall with a blanket. And a friendship and bandship is formed.

We follow Moz, Zahler, Pearl, Alana Ray and the freaky Minerva in a Peeped out NYC try to make it into the music business. Each chapter is told from one of the character's point of view, and alternates in no set pattern. The character I find most interesting is Minerva. I got a real sense of her off kilter-ness.

If you haven't read Peeps you CAN read this title and you will probably enjoy it. Westerfeld simply seems to assume some knowledge from his readers, and true, much of it you can figure out from context.

I guess I can use a Buffy example for how I feel about this book. You know that episode with the creepy smiling floaty guys who steal all of the voices and souls. Well, that episode FREAKS me out, yet I cannot take my eyes off of it. Other episodes are enjoyable, but nothing measures up for me.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Blog Block

So I have been reading! But not blogging. Hmmm. Curious.

I just read a horror book that I have to review for VOYA, and boy oh boy. Cannibalism. Torture. Abuse. It's got that 364 feel to it, if you know what I mean.

Maybe tonight I will be able to get The Last Days down for you all.