29 April 2011

Review: Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Eldest by Christopher Paolini book coverMy 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 by Christopher Paolini

Eragon by Christopher Paolini book coverIt'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 by Phillip Gwynne

The Build Up by Phillip Gwynne book coverSet 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!