29 April 2011

Review: Eldest | Christopher Paolini

My enthusiasm for The Inheritance series continued straight into the second book Eldest, where the adventure penned by Christopher Paolini picked up exactly where Eragon left off.

Again I was instantly gripped and entranced by the story taking place in Alagaesia and I loved following Eragon's training to become a Dragon Rider.

I was impressed by Paolini's writing and relieved that Eldest was just as magnificent as Eragon. Even though it had been a few years between the publishing of the two novels, it seemed to me like no time at all had passed between the writing of the books

I couldn't recommend this novel highly enough, however you do need to have read Eragon beforehand as this is not a stand alone book. Enjoy!
"May good fortune rule over you, peace live in your heart and the stars watch over you" - Elven greeting.
My rating = *****

Carpe Librum!

21 April 2011

Review: Eragon | Christopher Paolini

It's hard to believe Eragon was written by Christopher Paolini when he was just 15 years old. Paolini was home-schooled by his parents and after deciding to write a book that he would like to read; it was later self-published by the family. After promoting the book at libraries, schools and various other events throughout the USA, the book was finally picked up by a publisher and Eragon has now sold millions of copies around the world.

Eragon is the first book in the Inheritance series and 3 years after the book was published by Knopf, a movie adaptation was released (2006). Eragon is incredibly popular with readers although I was a little apprehensive about reading it just in case the fantasy element overwhelmed me. Boy was I in for a pleasant and shocking surprise!

I was hooked from the second chapter and I knew then that this was going to be a magnificent reading experience and an instant 5 star rating. I haven't been this excited or as surprised and gripped by a book from the fantasy genre since Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Having attempted to read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings when I was much younger and not being able to keep up with the numbers of creatures and the plot lines, I thought that fantasy was beyond my reading enjoyment. I definitely need to question that now.

For those who don't know anything about the book, it's about a boy - Eragon - who finds a dragon's egg which triggers a series of events and launches a dangerous quest full of danger and adventure. Set in Alagaesia, the novel's characters include: dragons, dwarves, elves, spell casters and many more residents of the Empire; however, the book is very readable and easily within reach for readers of all ages who haven't ventured far into the genre of fantasy.

I absolutely and thoroughly enjoyed Eragon, and couldn't recommend it more highly.

My rating = *****

Carpe Librum!

02 April 2011

Review: The Build Up | Phillip Gwynne

Set in Darwin, The Build Up is a crime novel with a distinctly Aussie feel. Penned by successful Australian author Phillip Gwynne, The Build Up has been so successful that it's being made into a 13 part TV series scheduled to air on SBS later in 2011.

Detective Dusty Buchanon is a tough no-nonsense woman helping to police the Top End when a body is discovered following a wild party at a Vietnam Veteran's camp site. Dusty has just been pulled off a high profile case she's been working on for 2 years and busted back to uniform, so she decides to focus her attention on this case instead.

Having spent 12 months in Darwin, I really enjoyed the author's authentic recreation of the setting, the weather during the 'build up', the culture of the town and the people in it - locals and tourists alike. His ability to effectively capture realistic and distinctly Australian dialogue was impressive, and the characters were occasionally very funny.

A washed out AFL player named Trigger was one of my favourite characters in the book; the author nailed his character development so well, he was just so, well, Australian!

I was pleasantly surprised at just how much I enjoyed this Australian made crime novel, and will be recommending it to everyone who enjoys the genre. (In fact, I've already purchased another copy as a gift). Phillip Gwynne has written six other books, received numerous awards and I'll be looking out for the TV series later in the year.

My rating = *****

Carpe Librum!