Size Doesn’t Matter (27): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger

Size Doesn’t Matter (27): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket
Narrator: Tim Curry
Length: 6 hrs 30 mins
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #12
Published by Harper Audio on October 12, 2005
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Humor
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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After any harrowing struggle, it is nice to consider checking into a hotel for a rest. In fact, this might be just the break Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire could use after their wearying deep-sea adventure. A hotel can be a good choice for any family vacation. With so many floors, such a variety of rooms, and a curious array of guests, spending time in the safety of the right hotel can be the perfect learning environment for children of any age. A keen researcher like Klaus, an adept inventor like Violet, and a sharp-toothed culinary master like Sunny are all sure to find engaging diversions during their stay. Regardless of how they pass their time while at a hotel, the three siblings will be sure to take in all the interesting sights and sounds--and write them down--just in case this episode turns out to be the darkest yet in a series of unfortunate events.

Well, I can now give this series its due props. In this book, every single plot line has become important. All the repetitive shuffling did serve a purpose, even though it felt like it didn’t.

The Penultimate Peril is by far the best in the series so far. I mean, almost everyone is here, and, best of all, justice is becoming complicated. The good guys are trying to support them but things are a mess and it’s become nearly impossible to tell good guys from bad, partially because this universe breeds so many triplets. The fact that it ends with View Spoiler » is my favorite thing to happen in the series so far.

Sunny has also started speaking in ways other humans can understand, and I guess it should surprise no one that I really like her now that she’s no longer a baby.

Size Doesn’t Matter (27): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerMistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Series: Mistborn #1
Published by Tor Books on July 31, 2007
Genres: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Adventure
Pages: 643
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land.

He failed.

For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably.

Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and even the Lord Ruler himself. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one built around the ultimate caper, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine, a street urchin who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a Mistborn.

I read Mistborn a couple years back, and I LOVED it. Refer to the original review for more cohesive thoughts, since on the whole I feel the same. I read the whole thing in one frenzied day, completely obsessed. This time, I took my time. Mistborn was a five star book for me the first time, and I do stand by that, but I have some additional thoughts this time. Mainly, it bothers me that there’s basically one female character the whole thing. I mean, it’s great the chosen one is a girl, but the next most important female character is basically a bitchy mean girl and she’s evil. Like, really?  This is a known weakness of the series, but it’s not something that really registered to me the first time I read it.

Elend remains perfection. And I still love this book. This time, I’m actually going to keep going with the series, rather than getting distracted by review books.

Size Doesn’t Matter (27): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe End by Lemony Snicket
Narrator: Tim Curry
Length: 5 hrs, 52, mins
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events #13
Published by Harper Audio on September 27, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

Dear Listener,

You are presumably looking at the back of this audiobook, or the end of the end. The end of the end is the best place to begin the end, because if you listen to the end from the beginning of the beginning of the end to the end of the end of the end, you will arrive at the end of the end of your rope. This audiobook is the last in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and even if you braved the previous twelve volumes, you probably can't stand such unpleasantries as a fearsome storm, a suspicious beverage, a hear of wild sheep, an enormous bird cage, and a truly haunting secret about the Baudelaire parents.

I also shouldn't mention the interactive features of the CD, which include:
Perplexing word games
Photos from The Lemony Snicket Archives
Art from The Brett Helquist gallery

It has been my solemn occupation to complete the history of the Baudelaire orphans, and at last I am finished. You likely have some other occupation, so if I were you I would drop this audiobook at once, so the end does not finish you.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

*sighs* Well, I’m a bit disappointed. While The End is still one of the better books of the series, and it was really nice to see some of the series’ tropes overhauled here at the end (like everyone seeing through Olaf’s disguise with ease, it also wasn’t totally satisfying.

The Penultimate Peril was my favorite in the series for sure. A lot of the end of The End made me go WHUH? Like, sure I didn’t predict it, but um that’s because it was imo the bad kind of weird. View Spoiler »

Ranting in the spoiler aside, I enjoyed it on the whole, and it’s better than many of the books in the series, but like seriously what the fuck was that ending? Then again, what do I expect from such a strange series? Maybe I should have seen this coming.

Size Doesn’t Matter (27): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Dragonet Prophecy by Tui R. Sutherland
Narrator: Shannon McManus
Length: 8 hrs, 32 mins
Series: Wings of Fire #1
Published by Scholastic Audio on July 1, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

A thrilling new series soars above the competition and redefines middle-grade fantasy fiction for a new generation!

The seven dragon tribes have been at war for generations, locked in an endless battle over an ancient, lost treasure. A secret movement called the Talons of Peace is determined to bring an end to the fighting, with the help of a prophecy -- a foretelling that calls for great sacrifice.

Five dragonets are collected to fulfill the prophecy, raised in a hidden cave and enlisted, against their will, to end the terrible war.

But not every dragonet wants a destiny. And when the select five escape their underground captors to look for their original homes, what has been unleashed on the dragon world may be far more than the revolutionary planners intended . . .

Initially, I wasn’t totally sure about The Dragonet Prophecy. I’m not hugely into the whole prophecy thing in fantasy anyway, because it often feels like lazy writing. However, The Dragonet Prophecy is actually set two years before the prophecy is due to be fulfilled. I’m not sure how I’ll feel in the end, but so far I’m really enjoying this.

The Dragonet Prophecy runs rather dark, with lots of fighting, blood, and even death. One of the characters that’s clearly going to become important verges on evil in this book, and that’s super fascinating. I’m really excited to see what becomes of Peril. This is the sort of middle grade I enjoy. Also, there’s a a burgeoning middle grade dragon love triangle or square or something burgeoning and I am totally here for that.

Unfortunately, I failed to make sure that they’d made audiobooks of the whole series, and this is the only one. I’m going to have to switch to print to read more, which will take me a bit.

Size Doesn’t Matter (27): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
Narrator: Corey Allen
Length: 7 hrs, 48 mins
Published by Recorded Books on January 6, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

Just when seventeen-year-old Matt thinks he can’t handle one more piece of terrible news, he meets a girl who’s dealt with a lot more—and who just might be able to clue him in on how to rise up when life keeps knocking him down—in this wry, gritty novel from the author of When I Was the Greatest.

Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died—although she did, and it sucks. But he wears the suit for his gig at the local funeral home, which pays way better than the Cluck Bucket, and he needs the income since his dad can’t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. So while Dad’s snagging bottles of whiskey, Matt’s snagging fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad. But everything else? Not good. Then Matt meets Lovey. She’s got a crazy name, and she’s been through more crazy than he can imagine. Yet Lovey never cries. She’s tough. Really tough. Tough in the way Matt wishes he could be. Which is maybe why he’s drawn to her, and definitely why he can’t seem to shake her. Because there’s nothing more hopeful than finding a person who understands your loneliness—and who can maybe even help take it away.

After loving Jason Reynolds’ When I Was the Greatest, I had big expectations for The Boy in the Black Suit, which it lived up to admirably.

My favorite thing about Reynolds’ books, I think, is how understated they are. There are dramatic things going on, for sure, but they’re not handled like melodrama. It all just feels real. He’s not playing things up for extra intensity or whatever, but just letting them be real, and letting the characters react to that.

Matt Miller’s a bit of a quiet type, and I thought he made for a really interesting MC, because he’s just very not the sort of kid who usually gets a book. He’s not an outsider, but he doesn’t quite fit in. He’s smart, but not to an incredible degree. He’s not absurdly attractive. Matt’s just this regular kid dealing with his mom’s death.

The burgeoning romance between Matt and Love is super duper cute, in a real life kind of way, which means it’s awkward and weird much of the time. I like, though, that other people don’t always get why they work, but it works for them so they don’t care. It’s not something you see much in YA, because everyone’s so gorgeous that like obvi they’re perfect for each other.

Reynolds does a great job with the characters and their interactions all around, and I did really get hit with some family feels in this one. Highly recommend to people who enjoy atypical contemporary novels.

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