Cold Fire by Kate Elliot

    For my first review, I didn’t really choose to do Cold Fire, but it was what I was reading that was current.  I’ve been trying to think of a good way to write about it and decided it is better to just write and see what the readers that my review needed or lacked. So here it goes..
    Cold Fire follows the continuing story of Kat and Beatrice as their world gets ever darker and more complex. Kat goes through a series of swift, life-changing events and emotions that permeate the story. Kat is like any girl her age: she does stupid stuff. I like to think that in this book she does mature through her mistakes though still remains a little naive, which is strange considering how stubborn and intellectual she is. However, for me, this makes her character easier to relate to. Beatrice isn’t featured in this book as much, but still more than the first one in my opinion. She is also naive, but more politically and I love her quick tongue. I hope she plays an even bigger part in the next book.
     It differs greatly from the first book, Cold Magic, in that it is much more fast paced and fraught with politics. The setting is opened up by the cousins traveling and Elliot does a wonderful job of setting the scene. Elliot also offers up a new kind of magic and zombies. It seems like everyone loves zombies these days, but I guess whatever sells. Elliot also introduces new characters that are realistic, interesting and entertaining i.e. Camjiata, a general who wants desperately to become emperor with Marxist views. Overall it is a great read, presenting slightly steampunk (but that isn’t focused upon), fantasy with a realistic heroine who makes mistakes.If you, like steampunk, zombies, British Mythology, and romance, this book is definitely for you.
    I will probably edit this as I’ve probably forgotten something and it seems too short to do the book justice, but please make suggestions so that I might better review and share with you the books I feel you should or shouldn’t read.

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors and I have once before compared her to Shakespeare of the modern novel. She understands the complexities of human emotion and asks questions that most wouldn’t dare ask. She is, however, probably considered a “woman’s” author, though I don’t see her that way. Her characters are unfathomably layered and so realistic, it is painful. Also, like Shakespeare, Picoult’s happy endings aren’t always happy and yet satisfying. That being said, this book does not have her touch at all.

It is, of course, her daughter’s story and while I’m glad Picoult supports her daughter’s endeavors, I don’t see any of Picoult’s talent in Samantha. The plot is simple enough. A lonely girl finds a fairy tale in which the characters have a separate life from the story. One of the characters is a prince who desperately wants out of the book. Unfortunately, this plot isn’t all this new to me having read a similar story in middle school. This book was called The Great Good Thing. It actually became a really intriguing series and would recommend it to anyone who likes fairy tales or imagines talking to characters or just a bibliophile.

I realize that Samantha Van Leer is only a junior in high school, but this book is not fit for the Young Adult genre. It is more of the children’s book and I don’t mean that as an insult, but simple truth. I feel like through out the story they underestimate the emotions of teenagers and young adults. Maybe it’s just too rose-colored through out and and the end I was left feeling like there were things unresolved or resolved too simply.

I promise I went into this knowing it would not be like Picoult’s other books, but I can’t help feeling disappointed as well as bothered by the fact how greatly their names overwhelm the title. I know that it helps that she is a well-known author, but it saddens me how much they throw it in your face. I won’t say that I’m not bias. But at the same time I do feel like I’ve read enough to confidently say this isn’t the best read, except maybe if you are in 7th or 8th grade, even then you might have a higher level than I do for all I know.

One last thing before I go, I just read The Rise of Nine but wasn’t going to review it having not reviewed the previous books. However, if you want to know my thoughts on it, please let me know!