Archive for May, 2009

Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary by Brandon Mull


Finally had a chance to sit down and finish this fantastic book this morning.  The fourth in Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven series, Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary follows route in being bigger and better than its predecessors.  I really cannot rave about this series enough.  Once again, Seth and Kendra Sorens0n have serious challenges and adventures and manage to prove themselves in the process.

I really can’t say all that I want to about this book because it would spoil the pants off of anyone who hasn’t read the series!  But I can say that these books are ridiculously inventive, completely understanding of kids’ intelligence—and completely appealing to the kid inside each one of us.  There’s really nothing I can compare this series to.  It’s not a Harry-Potteresque allegory, it deals with real-life ch0ices and consequences, and real-life challenges… it just does it with a cast that includes dragons and satyrs and giants and trolls.  That said, it is also something completely fantastical.  It’s something akin to mythology, where the heroes are just normal people, standing up against enormous (sometimes literally!) odds.  And through it all there is a sense of humor, danger, intrigue… even the smallest shades of romance.

As always, there’s also masterfully subtle lessons built in to the stories about teamwork, taking chances, being honest, and accepting responsibility for your actions.  Meanwhile, Mull has gotten better and better at conveying emotion and (admittedly) whopping the reader over the head with unexpected twists and turns.

I’m already ready for the next one – or maybe I’m not, since it’s the last one planned for the series.  The last one!  What am I supposed to do to get my fantasy kick after this?  Why must I be so series-prone, and love characters so much?  While I’m the first to admit that a story that last forever is a story that lasts too long, I hate to say goodbye to them, too.  Then again, I could certainly do with a re-read… once I get the books back from my brother, that is!

Fablehaven is also published by Shadow Mountain, the very publisher I’m eyeing myself.  I would love to see my books up alongside the likes of the Fablehaven series.  Someday, they just might be.

Anyhow, go grab these books!  The first three are already in paperback, and so, so very worthy of being added to your personal library, and once you pick the first one up, you’ll just want to keep on reading.

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California Sun

Today was a perfect California day.  Pristine blue sky, hot sun, and a cool, lovely breeze.  What can you add to a naturally perfect day to make it even better?  How about an enclosed pool, friendly people, and maybe a book?  Also time, blessed time.

Today I went to a barbeque for the volunteer staff of the Anime Expo.  I’m not on the volunteer staff of the Anime Expo – in fact I haven’t even been to the expo—but I have friends in interesting places.  Really I don’t know much Anime beyond Studio Ghibli productions—but who doesn’t at the very least, love Totoro?  (So long as it’s not being voiced by Dakota Fanning?)

It was a lovely day, anyhow.  I hadn’t been actually swimming in a swimming pool for I don’t know how long.  And the best part is laying out in the sun afterwards, drying off and reading a book.  It was the longest block of straight reading time I’d had since I had to report for jury duty about a month ago – and sadly I am still reading the same book.  Making my way slowly through the latest Fablehaven.  My lack of speed has nothing  to do with the pacing of the book, which is fantastic once it gets going, but I just have not been able to stop and read lately, except for a chapter here or there while I’m taking a bath.  Writing time has been sadly even less.

What I have been able to do is work on my alternate personality a little bit.  Not much, but then it doesn’t take as many big blocks of time as writing does.  Mainly I’m focused on this move.  I have a good deal of stuff I need to get rid of, one way or another.  Places like Ravelry and Plurk keep me sane in the process.  Today was a fairly perfect day, though.  Tomorrow I’m back to the grind, though.  And the way I’m feeling right now, tomorrow might come on pretty fast, because I am worn out.

Goodnight, y’all.

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Book #10 – finally.

I did something today that I haven’t done in quite a while now—I finished a book.  Not even a book, book, really.  One of those little positivity self-help-like books.  But I’m going to count it, because I’m too far behind not to!

I’ve never read anything by Anna Quindlen before, and this is a scant fifty pages – not even that, because the type is big, the margins are big, and more than half the pictures are pages.  But I’m still counting it. 😛

Actually reading it was quite nice.  It reminded me of what my professor said reading an original copy of Pride and Prejudice felt like.  You know how Austen’s books are divided up into volumes?  Well when they were first published, those volumes were actually seperate books, and from his description, were a breeze to read through because of their big font and wide margins.   This was a quick flip through and a rather nice one, too.  While not all of this is immediately acknowledgeable today (this was published in 2000) as there is not really “an embarrassment of riches” at the moment for some of us—many of us—just the unfortunate consequence of such, there was a lot of good things to ponder in this little book, mainly enjoying the journey, rather than looking forward to the destination, etc.  Nothing you haven’t heard before… but we can all do to hear it once in a while, hm?

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Still on Vacation

Grand Canyon

It’s been a busy few weeks for me.  I went to Las Vegas, then Los Angeles, then yesterday I went through the Grand Canyon and am now in Las Vegas again (I also stopped in Salt Lake City for a little today!) and tomorrow I’ll be headed back to Los Angeles, then finally, finally home.  So apologies that I’ve been falling behind in the blogosphere, but I’ve had a lot of great experiences and just no time to blog about them!  I wanted to share a little nudge with you, though, so here’s a picture I took at the Grand Canyon, playing with my new camera.  I’ve been here half a dozen times, and it never, ever gets old.

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