Friday, February 4, 2011

Abhorsen by Garth Nix

Abhorsen is the third book of Garth Nix's best selling series. It continues off from where Lirael left off. Lirael and prince Sameth are desperately trying to stop Orannis's. Lirael has just found out she is the abhorsen in waiting and Sameth is starting to conquer his fear of the undead. Nix states, "Sam had been open about his fear of Death and the Dead, and his desire to hide out here in the heavily protected house. But he had over come his fear, at least for now."(28).

The two travel from the abhorsen's safe house to the battles of war. They are alone in their conquest, and more then likely they will be killed trying to save both the old kingdom and the new one. Lirael and Sameth eventually find Nick, Sameth's friend who has been possessed by the evil Orannis. The two manage to drag him away from the undead however he is captured by the undead again and they travel to the new kingdom.

There they find out that the place is swarming with the undead armies, and they are preparing a way to unleash the Destroyer, Orannis, on the world. Nix writes, "She's waiting for the second lot of Dead. Close to a thousand..."(350). The two fight a desperate battle and finally meet up with prince Sameth's parents, who they were told had died before. Several other people from their journey appear as well. As Orannis is being unleashed they prepare a binding spell to control him. Eventually they succeed, but they almost lose their lives. Lirael is cost her friend and her hand in such a risky endeavor. However she knows she has done the right thing.

1) If you were told that you were the only hope for defeating a monster that destroyed worlds, what would you do? Do you think you would have enough courage to complete your task at such a young age even if it meant you might die in the process?

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay is the third and final book in the "Hunger Game" series. Previously, Katniss' district, the seam, was burned to the ground because of her inevitable role in an uprising that was catching fire. After the horrific end to the quarter quarrel Katniss is rescued by rebels of District 13, which was said to have been destroyed many years ago. She reluctantly agrees to become the Mockingjay, the symbol of the rebellion towards the capitol. She tries to make the best of her stay at District 13 but finds it difficult to cope with when her "significant other", Peeta, appears on television looking very deranged and unlike himself. Sometime later Peeta is rescued by rebels, and when Katniss goes to see him, he tries to kill her. Not able to deal with what happened, Katniss hastily agrees to kill President Snow herself, and she takes a team to start fighting within the Capitol. Once they reach the square, Katniss sees her sister Prim, and tries to signal for her to get away from the parachutes, but it is too late and she, along with many other children, are killed. Snow is captured and on the day she is scheduled to execute him, she unexpectedly kills Coin, the president of District 13. Snow is said to have died, either by choking on his blood or getting trampled by the crowd. Katniss and Peeta eventually live happily ever after and have two children...

1.) If your boyfriend or girlfriend was "captured and brainwashed" and tried to kill you, would you abandon hope or hope for the best?

2.) Coin suggested that they have a hunger games for the children of the capitol (notorious for wrongdoing) but the hunger games is what this war is trying to end. Do you think Katniss killed Coin instead of Snow for this reason?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Witch and Wizard ~James Patterson

The book, Witch and Wizard, by James Patterson, follows the events in the lives of Wisty and Whit Allgood after they are dragged out of their house in the dead of night.
This book takes place in the future, after a new government takes over America. This new government calls itself the New Order. The New Order is lead by an extremely powerful man, who calls himself the One Who is One. The One Who is One, bans all forms of creativity and originality. Nearly all books, movies, poems, and music are banned because they supposedly pollute the minds of the people and prevent them from doing good for society. Including all the bans on music, anyone with special talents, is taken away from others. Some are killed, but others are taken to corrective facilities. Either way, people disappear and are never seen again.
Wisty and Whit are a young pair of twins, who have such talents, even though they do not know yet. One night, when everyone is asleep, agents from the government come to take everyone away. The family has been declared dangerous to society, and they are going to be put on trial for crimes against society. Wisty says, "It's quite hideous to get kidnapped in the dead of night, right inside your own home," (14). It is at this time, when they are trying to escape kidnappers, that they find out something very special. That they are a witch and wizard and are incredibly powerful.
Unable to control their powers or anything around them, both of them are forced to go to jail awaiting their trail. This is an unusual jail though. It is only for other children who are deemed as a threat to society. Whit says, "It looked like this whole jail was full of kids, nothing but kids" (42). All of these young kids are left in squalid conditions with no light until their trails, which likely mean death.
Whit and Wisty have to stay in the jail until their trial, which will likely end in a verdict to kill them. In order to keep from spoiling the plot, I cannot say any more.

1. Is creativity really important to life as Whit and Wisty believe? Or does it hinder efficiency as the One Who is One believes?
2. If you were in the position of the twins, would you try to escape from the jail or would you simply await for your trial and accept your punishment?