Monthly Archives: September 2012

Lorien Legacies, Book Three: The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore

The wait is finally over: The Rise of Nine is here! This is already the third installment in the Lorien Legacies series and I’m so eager to get my hands on it.

Here’s the plot description from the back cover of the book:

THEY know the charm is broken.

THEY know we’re all in danger now.

THEY are determined to find us before

WE find each other.

WE must come together.

WE are Lorien and Earth’s only hope, and

WE are prepared to sacrifice everything.

POWER IN NUMBERS WILL SAVE US ALL.

I’m almost on the brink of forgetting the things that happened in the previous books given the fact that each book is being released only once a year, but thankfully, some details in this book help me refresh my memories and recall significant information that will be crucial in the plot. And as expected, The Rise of Nine did not disappoint me.

From afar, the book cover design is already too impressive to ignore. But wait until you get a hold of the book. The front cover amazes me as it has a different texture than the normal book cover paper. Since the cover depicts a symbol engraved in the sand, the surface has a sandy feel on it, too. Cool, huh?

Moving on, The Rise of Nine is told in three different alternating point of views – through Four/John Smith, Seven/Marina, and Six’s. Surprisingly, one can easily distinguish whose POV it is at every chapter because of the varied fonts used. To give you a short gist of the story, Sam and Four goes into the base of the Mogadorians to retrieve his Chest and that’s where they meet and rescue Nine. However, Sam is unable to escape the Mogadorian base and Four and Nine start to dislike one another due to personality dissimilarity. Meanwhile, Six, Marina, Ella, and Crayton travel to India to find another member of the Garde, who is alleged to be the god Vishnu, but turns out to be Eight. And their adventures begin from there. They have to work together to defeat the Mogadorians, especially Setrákus Ra, and save Earth from destruction.

Others might ask what happens to Sam. Sadly, though, he is only mentioned in the book. I do hope he’ll appear in the next book. On the brighter side, we now know that he’ll play an important role in the story, as proven by the role of his father to the Lorics. As for Sarah Hart, well, who won’t be angry at her for what she did on the previous book. I’m a bit annoyed by how John can’t seem to move on, that he’s still blinded by his love for her. But then again, I’m open to giving her the benefit of the doubt.

What amazes me more is the Gardes’ Chests. The Chest holds something special, an inheritance from the Elders and everything in it has a purpose. Readers get to see the powers of some objects in the Chests of some Gardes. They haven’t been fully utilized yet, but I’m definitely looking forward to the moment where all the things in the Chest will be maximized.

Plus, the Gardes Legacies! All the members of the Garde have not completely developed their Legacies yet, but we get to see some powerful Legacies emerging from each member. I’m eager to find out what all of them are capable of. On the other hand, I’m very much interested in the powers of Ella. She’s the youngest of the Garde, as well as the tenth member, so her powers are still slowly being developed. I’m really curious about how powerful she’ll become. And since one of them will possess the power of Pittacus Lore, I wonder who would that be? Do you guys have any idea? I’m rooting for Ella! Hihi!

Overall, the pacing of the story is just right. Full of thrills, suspense, and actions, the book keeps me interested and hooked, turning page after page after page, never wanting to put it down. It’s like once you start, you can’t stop. And I feel that I’m inside the book as well. When the characters are tense, I also feel the same way. I want to fight with them and help them in ways that only readers will know, like a shared secret between them and us, the readers.

As always, the ending leaves the story hanging. There are still questions left unanswered and I so want to get my hands on the next book already. Sadly, I have to wait for another year before it’s released – if the next scheduled release date is next year. I guess I’ll just have to be patient.

Advertisements

I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Legacies by Pittacus Lore

I’ve heard of I Am Number Four: The Lost Files before, and as I remembered, it was only available in ebook format. At that time, only Six’s Legacy was released. I didn’t attempt to look further into this anymore, but recently, when I was browsing through a bookstore, I discovered that it got published in paperback format already – containing three stories which completes The Lost Files. With no hesitation, my sister and I bought the book.

Here’s the plot description from the back cover of the book:

You know we’re out there, living among you.

You know we’re waiting for our day to come.

You have seen the power of our legacies.

You know this is why they hunt us.

You may think you know our stories.

You are wrong.

We each have our own story.

We know the time has come to share them with you.

Our legacies are your only hope.

I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Legacies consists of three short stories: Six’s Legacy, Nine’s Legacy, and The Fallen Legacies. To better elaborate my review, I’ll be talking about each short story.

Starting with Six’s Legacy, the story happens years before Six meets Four. Readers are introduced to Six’s life with her Cêpan and how they cope to stay hidden from the Mogadorians. Six is only thirteen years old here and her legacies haven’t yet been fully developed. Even though I am not a Garde or someone who is being chased by villains, I still understand their situation. I’m amazed by how they are able to naturally tell convincing lies to prevent their identities from being revealed. If I were in their position, I wouldn’t have succeeded telling convincing lies. Moving on, as the story progresses, I slowly start to comprehend Six’s personality in the major series I have come to know her from – the experiences she encounters in this short story greatly influence her as a person.

The second story, Nine’s Legacy evidently talks about Nine’s life right until he meets Four and Sam. By far, I think he is the only one who succeeded in staying in one place for a long period of time. Plus, he has the best gadgets ever! Sandor, his Cêpan, customizes their home that’s good for training and he also invents impressive devices such as the iMog to detect nearby Mogadorians. Everything would be fine if he hadn’t met Maddy. I guess most guys find their weakness in girls. On the other hand, though, I wouldn’t blame Maddy for her actions. She is forced to do things just to save her loved ones. After reading this, I would definitely want to read more of Nine.

Lastly, the third and final story, The Fallen Legacies, is the most unique story among the three. It’s written in one Mogadorian member’s point of view, namely Adam. When One was killed, Adam is chosen to be part of an experiment where One’s memories will be accessible to the other party. This becomes a significant process for the Mogadorians in order to find the location of the other Gardes. The experiment receives both good and bad outcomes. Furthermore, Adam becomes torn between two sides. The story becomes more interesting when Adam slowly has a change of heart and feels empathy towards the Gardes. With this said, readers will further be enlightened now that they entered the minds of both the Gardes and Mogadorians.

Moreover, I guess the third story also has its depth. The concept of war in this last story comes into place as it undeniably applies in real life, too. The war, however, is rooted in something deeper and The Fallen Legacies somehow gives us an idea of where and how these things originated.

Even though numbers One to Three are killed since the first book of the main series, I’m glad that this last story introduces us to them. In a way, their deaths are somehow justified as it gives readers an opportunity to get to know a little bit of them at the least. One thing I’m curious about, though, is whether Adam is seeing the real One when she talks to him, or it’s just his inner consciousness talking to him and mistaking it for One as a sign of denial from the fact that he’s starting to change.

Overall, this book is definitely a page-turner. I do hope I get to read more of Adam in the next books. I somehow want him to play a significant role in the series. And now I’m off to read The Rise of Nine.


Matilda by Roald Dahl

Book Hoarders Anonymous (BHA) is an online book club hosted by Alison over at The Cheap Reader (Click here for more info).

The book that got picked for September’s BHA is Matilda by Roald Dahl. I haven’t read this book yet, so it’s about time I read it and at the same time, participate in BHA for the second time. Here’s the plot description from the back cover of the book:

“The Trunchbull” is no match for Matilda!

Who put superglue in Dad’s hat? Was it really a ghost that made Mom tear out of the house? Matilda is a genius with idiot parents — and she’s having a great time driving them crazy. But at school things are different. At school there’s Miss Trunchbull, two hundred menacing pounds of kid-hating headmistress. Get rid of the Trunchbull and Matilda would be a hero. But that would take a superhuman genius, wouldn’t it?

I’m very much familiar with this book’s film adaptation since it’s one of my favorite childhood movies. I used to watch it several times while not getting tired of it. In fact, it is only recently that I found out that the movie Matilda is based on a book (shame on me). But anyway, I’m still glad I’m not too late and too old to revisit my past.

Matilda is such an extraordinary and brilliant child. However, it’s a disappointment that her parents don’t see her as such. I can’t quite imagine a child having to be brought up by parents like hers. They would even go too far in underestimating and criticizing her, not even allowing themselves to have time to notice what Matilda is capable of. It’s unimaginable. If I were in their position, I would have been the proudest parent of all. And I really wonder where Matilda’s brilliance comes from, certainly not from her parents.

One thing I learned from this book is that it’s one’s knowledge that people can’t steal from a person. That’s what Matilda proves throughout the book. I’m very much fascinated in her, as a matter of fact. Despite her age, she has a brilliant mind, mature, and holds strong unimaginable power. She may not fit in in her family and she may have been one of Miss Trunchbull’s sources of anger, but she still stood on her ground with confidence, not taking pride of her gift. I would definitely want to meet such a person, if a person like her were ever to exist in this world.

It’s amazing to read about someone who is very much interested in words. The amount of time Matilda spends reading and devouring book after book makes me want to spend my day just to myself reading books, too – savoring every word and taking them in slowly. Just as one of the statements I found in the book, I yearn to “sit back and allow the words to wash around you, like music.”

Moving on, having to look deeper into the story, I find some things that are useful for discussions. The monetary condition of people in England, especially the poor, is explained through Miss Honey’s situation. Even margarine is a symbol of consumption for the less fortunate people. It’s remarkable how Matilda could see all these things through. Moreover, the concept of inheritance after death is also mentioned in this book.

Overall, I love this book! Reading this feels nostalgic as it brings back my childhood memories when I used to watch its film adaptation numerous times before. And frankly, I’m tempted to relive that moment again. The movie might not be completely the same as the storyline of the book, but the theme remains the same.


The Witches by Roald Dahl

Here I am again, finished with another Roald Dahl’s book, The Witches. Evidently, just as the title suggests, it’s about witches. This is the plot description from the back cover of the book:

This is not a fairy tale.

This is about real witches.

Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There’s nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma’s stories — but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!

We never get to know about name of the grandson because he’s the narrator of the story. After his parents died in an accident, he starts to live with his grandmother who is very much knowledgeable when it comes to witches.

Before the story begins, readers are first introduced to the nature and physical appearances of witches. The narrative description of Roald Dahl about witches gives us a vivid picture of how they look like and what they do. It’s hard to immediately recognize a witch because she disguises as a human. As the story progresses, the grandmother further elaborates on the characteristics of the witches.

An unfortunate incident happens when the grandson encounters the witches, including the Grand High Witch Of All The World – he turns into a mouse after being forced to eat a chocolate which has a droplet of Delayed Action Mouse-Maker. Speaking of which, that potion surely has odd ingredients. Readers will be surprised what items are needed to make the potion.

Anyway, moving on, the grandson’s transformation into a mouse compelled him to contemplate whether being a mouse would suit him better than being a human. This makes me wonder if we are really better beings than animals because it has become prevalent that most humans tend to act like animals. Furthermore, it has become a wonder, too, that instead of dreading on what happened, the grandson ends up having a positive outlook of the incident.

All in all, I enjoy the book. I just love the conversations going on between the grandmother and her grandson. The dialogues are quite funny and I couldn’t imagine my grandmother to be like that. The grandmother is so young at heart, which makes her and the grandson maintain a strong and inspiring relationship. Their liveliness and imaginativeness combined make them a good team to plan to eradicate the witches.

It’s also fun to look at the illustrations as they perfectly capture and reflect the description of the story. The book may be simple, but it still has a lot to offer. I like how Roald Dahl uses the grandson as the narrator because readers get to look into the mind of the child. And just like any other children books, lessons can be learned. On one hand, readers will come to a realization that size doesn’t matter because it’s the mind or intelligence that will determine one’s character. On the other hand, this book will also give readers a certain amount of confidence that appearance doesn’t matter as long as one loves the other, and vice versa.