Book Review- The Fellowship of the Ring

Sunday, 25 November 2012
Title: The Fellowship of the Ring
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Publication Date: 1954
Publishers: Unwin Paperbacks
Pages: 529
Series: The Lord of the Rings #1
Genre: Fantasy, Classics

Rating: 5/5

Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power except one -- the One Ring that rules them all -- which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. Young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task when Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.-Goodreads

Before I started this review, I really had to think about it, how do you review such a book? This is a classic, one third of one of the most famous series in the world, and is loved by many many people.
I am one of these people, I really really enjoyed this novel, it is a great novel on its own, but also a good beginning to the series.
I watched all the movies in a weekend earlier this year, and I worried that this might hinder my enjoyment of the novel, but the opposite is true. Seeing the movies actually increased my enjoyment of the novel. It made keeping track of all the hundreds of characters easier, as I imagined the actors as their characters, and it helped with remembering who was who.
The plot of this novel is long, very long, and isn't exactly quick paced. The thing that makes it so long paced is the inclusion of lots of great descriptions. For example:
"Looking ahead they could see only tree-trunks of innumerable sizes and shapes: straight or bent, twisted, leaning, squat or slender, smooth or gnarled and branched; and all the stems were green or grey with moss and slimy, shaggy growths."
The large use of description does at times get tiring however, especially after long periods of it, but the imagery it creates is pretty spectacular.
One small negative to this book is the large cast of characters Tolkien has created. Although I completely understand why he did this, with such a diverse world, and many races of creatures, many characters was inevitable, it was perhaps too many.
My favourite characters were; Tom Bombadill, Sam and Aragorn. I thought Tom was a great character, and it's a shame he isn't featured in the movies. He was a really mystical and magical character that I just thought was cool. I liked Sam because I really valued his loyalty to Frodo, no matter what Frodo did, Sam stuck by him. He is brave too, which will appear more later in the series. Aragorn is the action hero of the book. He is a mysterious stranger that the Hobbits meet, that is very handy with a sword. He is basically just awesome and super kick-ass.
The setting is a great part of the novel, Middle Earth, is a completely unique setting, which must have taken some imagining to come up with. The world is very detailed, the addition of maps at the front of the novel help to increase the detail. The setting adds to the novel, it's definitely part of the appeal of the book. Middle Earth seems colourful and well crafted, with a nice diversity to it.
The novel focuses around Frodo. which help to increase your understanding of the main character. It is told from a 3rd person point of view though, so you still enjoy all the action from other characters too.
Overall I really enjoyed this novel, I am now officially a Lord of the Rings fan. I would really recommend this novel, even if you have been a little cautious about starting it, its definitely worth it. I can't wait to get started on the next novel. 

Shelf Candy Saturday #1

Saturday, 24 November 2012
Shelf Candy Saturday is a meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at Five Alarm Book Reviews. It's purpose is to showcase cover art that we find beautiful/interesting/unique/intriguing, etc.

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout. This is the first novel in the Covenant series, published on the 20th September 2011. The paperback version has 281 pages and is a YA novel.
Genres: Action, Paranormal, Vampires

The reviews on this novel are mixed, a lot of people say it is very similar to the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.
I chose this book because I think the cover is really pretty. My favourite colour is purple, so it really caught my eye on Goodreads. I love the typography of the title and the author name. It really adds to the mystical sense of the novel. I also love the flower, I like the way it looks like its made of wisps of smoke or cloud.

WWW Wednesdays #1

Wednesday, 21 November 2012
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?
  • I'm currently reading The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger
  • I recently finished The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien
  • I will probably read A Thousand Suns by Khaled Hosseini next

Fall Into Reading 2012 Update

Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Hello, after doing the Fall Into Reading challenge for 2 months now, I thought I would give an update to how I'm getting on. From my list of 13 novels, I have only read 4! I have some serious reading to do!!
The list now looks like this:
  • A Game of Thrones- George R.R Martin
  • Great Expectations- Charles Dickens
  • Perfect Storm- Sebastian Junger
  • At the Going Down of the Sun- Elizabeth Darrell
  • The Woodlanders- Thomas Hardy
  • Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte
  • Winter in Madrid- C.J. Samson
  • The Shipping News- Annie Proulx
  • Timbuctoo- Tahir Shah
The 4 novels I have read are:
  • Last Bus to Woodstock- Colin Dexter
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams
  • The Fellowship of the Ring- J.R.R Tolkien
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde- Robert Louis Stevenson

Book Review- Fateful

Title: Fateful
Author: Claudia Gray
Publication Date: 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 325

Rating 3/5

A tragic tale about falling in love on the world’s most infamous ill-fated sea voyage as heroine, Tess, discovers darker secrets that lie beneath the doomed crossing… and a hidden brotherhood that threaten to tear her lover from her forever.

The RMS Titanic is the most luxurious ship ever built, but for eighteen-year-old Tess Davies it’s a prison. Travelling as a maid for the family she has served for years, Tess is trapped in their employment amid painful memories and family secrets.

When she meets Alec, a handsome upper class passenger, Tess falls helplessly in love. But Alec has secrets of his own… and soon Tess is entangled in a dangerous game. A sinister brotherhood that will do anything to induct Alec into their mystical order has followed him onboard. And Tess is now their most powerful pawn.

Tess and Alec fight the dark forces threatening to tear them apart, never realising that they will have to face an even greater peril before the journey is over…

This novel, as you can tell if you've read the summary above, is set on the Titanic. I thought this was a really cool and unique setting for a novel, as I haven't read any fantasy/paranormal novels set on the Titanic. The author has obviously spent some time researching this, as the historical accuracy was impressive.
The novel revolves around a girl called Tess who is a ladies maid to the Lisle family, who are travelling to America. The plot was ok, it wasn't anything wonderfully special, nothing very unique about it. It was quite fast paced, however, I started and finished it in one day. The descriptions were ok, not too frequent as to break up the flow of the novel, but enough to make sure you knew what was going on.
The main character is Tess, who was an ok main character. She was quite practical and wasn't as weak as normal YA female characters tend to be. She was sensible and quite brave and level headed. The only problem I had with her was how easily she coped with seeing boys turn into werewolves right infront of her. If that had been me, I would have been freaking out, but she hardly batted an eyelid.
The romantic love interest in this novel was Alec, an upper class passenger, that saves Tess from another werewolf. He again was an ok character, but he doesn't reallystand out in my mind thinking back on the book.
The villain of the novel was Mikhail, another werewolf. He was a pretty cool baddie, he was quite menacing but again he wasn't anything special.

The ending of this novel really annoyed me. I felt it was really cliched, I would have prefered it if she hadn't put in the "happily ever after"


I felt that some of the things the two main characters, Tess and Alec said were sickly sweet, and not things that a normal teenager would say, even taking the time period into account.
This novel is written from Tess' point of view, which allows us to read exactly what she is thinking, and I think the author made good use of the reader's intimacy with Tess' thoughts and feelings to really develop the novel.
Overall I thought this was an ok novel (apparent by the number of times I've said "ok" in this review! 4 times if you're interested!), I gave it 3/5 stars.

Teaser Tuesday #2

This weeks teaser is from The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger.
"Hey Charlie,look at this! he shouted to another crew member who was down below. Charlie sprinted up the companionway but didn't get to the wheelhouse in time; the wave bore down on them, slate-coloured and foaming, and blew the wheelhouse windows out."

Enjoy! :)

Musing Mondays #2

Monday, 19 November 2012
Is a weekly event where MizB will ask a book/reading-related question, and you answer with your own thoughts on the topic.
Todays question:

Do you read the ending before you start a book? Do you ever skip ahead to read the ending?

Yes I have to own up and say that I quite often read the last page of the novel, just because I'm impatient, and I just want to know. Normally the very last page doesn't give away that much of the novel, but still it does spoil it but I can't help myself!

Friday Finds #2

Friday, 16 November 2012
Friday Finds is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
Just share what books you added to your TBR pile lately.
Post your link in the comments at Should Be Reading
and you are good to go!
  • The Universal Mirror- Gwen Perkins
  • Stupid Perfect World- Scott Westerfeld
  • The King's Sword- AJ Searle
  • The Chronicles of Narnia- C.S. Lewis
  • Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy
  • Slaughterhouse Five- Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Host- Stephenie Meyer
  • The Outsiders- S.E Hinton
  • Emma- Jane Austen
  • On the Road- Jack Kerouac
  • Lonesome Dove- Larry McMurtry
  • The Grapes of Wrath- John Steinbeck
  • Of Poseidon-Anna Bank

Book Review- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Title: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Author: Douglas Adams
Publication Date: 1979
Publisher: Pan Books
Pages: 199
Series: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1
Genre: Science Fiction, Humour, Fantasy

Rating: 5/5

On 12 October 1979 the most remarkable book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor (and Earth) was made available to humanity — The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

It's an ordinary Thursday lunchtime for Arthur Dent until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly afterwards, to make way for a new hypersapce bypass, and his best friend has just announced that he's an alien. At this moment, they're hurtling through space with nothing but their towels and an innocuous-looking book inscribed with the big, friendly words: DON'T PANIC.

The weekend has only just begun...

This is probably one of the most famous sci-fi novels ever written, and after I watched the film with Martin Freeman and Zoey Deschanel, I couldn't wait to read the novel.
My favourite part of this novel was definitely the humour that ran through the novel. I was grinning my way through, and actually laughed out loud more than once! Adams' style of writing means everyone can get the jokes.
The plot revolves around our main character Arthur, and a bizarre day which involves having his house bulldozed down and being teleported onto a spaceship. Although the plot wasn't full of action, the humour of the novel, made up for this.
The characters are a really strong part of this novel, and the series in general. Arthur is a great main character, he reacts just how a normal person would react to the crazy situation he finds himself in. The rest of the characters in the novel are great too, Marvin the depressed robot is hilarious, and his sarcasm is really funny.
Basically this is just as good a novel as I hoped it would be, and didn't disappoint at all. I would recommend this novel if you enjoy sci-fi novels, but also if you just want a really funny, light read.

Friday Finds #1

Friday, 9 November 2012
Friday Finds is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
Just share what books you added to your TBR pile lately.
Post your link in the comments at Should Be Reading
and you are good to go!

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz.
Invisibility by Andrea Cremer.
Crash by Lisa McMann.
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole.
Hold Me CLoser, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Glamorous Illusions by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
Live and Let Die by Ian Flemming
Heaven by V.C. Andrews
Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby
Twelve Months by Steven Manchester
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Faithful by Janet Fox
City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte
The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab
Yesterday by C.K. Kelly Martin

Teaser Tuesday #1

Tuesday, 6 November 2012
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Fellowship Of The Ring-J.R.R Tolkien
Pg 56:
The wizard's face remained grave and attentive, and only a flicker in his deep eyes showed that he was startled and indeed alarmed. "It has been called that before," he said, "but not by you."
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