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Joe Williams (Plano, Texas)

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Endymion Spring (Puffin Fiction)
Endymion Spring (Puffin Fiction)
by Matthew Skelton
Edition: Paperback

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bleah Painfully awkward, 26 July 2006
I am not certain where the stellar reviews of this book are coming from unless they are friends of the author. This book is painful in its clunking language, its stressed sincerity and the attempts to channel Pullman and other greats into a sappy story of obnoxious characers. Sometimes word of mouth is the best way to judge the merits of the book. When the hype is as loud as it has been on this book, it sometimes shows how flawed the actual text is. Neither my 12 year old super-reader nor I enjoyed it, and feel cheated that there is such a chorus of praise for such a genuinely mediocre book.


The Floating Island (Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme (Hardback))
The Floating Island (Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme (Hardback))
by Elizabeth Haydon
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sparkling, magical CLASSIC for young and old alike, 18 May 2006
I got an advance copy of this book at a recent library meeting, along with several others, and read it cover to cover on my way home on the plane. And in the cab. And once I got home, to the annoyance of my wife and kids, until it was done. This book is amazing. Finally there is a new Young Adult classic in the making that really captures the magic of storytelling. I haven't been this excited by a book since the first Harry Potter, and readers who enjoy that series will love this one. Young Ven Polypheme is a boy itching for adventure, even though he is from a race of people that hate to travel and like to keep to themselves. He gets his wish in an unfortunate way, following a spectacular pirate attack, and finds himself in the midst of a magic-filled and threatening world of gigantic sharks, floating islands, gypsy-like Rovers with secret boxes, spice folk, mountains that act as guardians, ghost wolves and an endless amount of danger and intrigue. Haydon's world, an earlier era of the masterful creation in which her adult series THE SYMPHONY OF AGES is set, is so real that one can almost believe that archaeologists really DID find these ancient journals from a more magical time in history, as she claims. I am especially impressed with the characters in the book. Ven is a terrific hero, plucky and curious but with many of the doubts and issues of a real-life teenager. He and the other young characters in the story are complete people, with flaws and strengths and the ability to screw up, as well as to come through heroically. The girls in this tale are especially wonderful for all that I love Harry Potter, it suffers from a lack of interesting female characters other than Hermoine. Haydon treats us to a host of them, from a mermaid-like creature called a merrow who has a sea-dweller's odd perspective on the world, to a snotty thief, a boisterous den-leader type and a tiny, shy creature who speaks by making flowers grow. The boys are awesome as well. I'm very fond of the cook's mate, Char, who has a miserable life and really resents anyone feeling sorry for him because of it. The messages in this book are some of the healthiest I've seen in a long time, but they don't compromise the sheer fun of the story. This is an utterly wonderful book, and I cannot wait to read the next one. With any luck, it will fill the void that the upcoming ending of the Harry Potter series will leave with a story every bit as compelling.


Elegy for a Lost Star
Elegy for a Lost Star
by Elizabeth Haydon
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The saga continues and gets better, 21 Feb. 2005
This review is from: Elegy for a Lost Star (Hardcover)
The vast majority of the fantasy epics out there lose steam completely after book 3. Blessedly, The Symphony of Ages is not one of them. Elegy for a Lost Star takes turns that have never before been scene in the genre, and demonstrates Haydon's astonishing skills at their best. The characters change and grow as real people might, love as real people might, argue as real people do. How refreshing that we are not seeing the same story played out over and over again *coughGoodkindcough* but rather discovering more and more the beauty, the horror and colours of Haydon's endless imagination.


Elegy for a Lost Star (Symphony of Ages)
Elegy for a Lost Star (Symphony of Ages)
by Elizabeth Haydon
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent continuation of a stellar series, 5 Oct. 2004
I have enjoyed Elizabeth Haydon's work in all its forms, including her short stories in the LEGENDS 2 anthology and Andrew Greeley's EMERALD MAGIC. I think she is at her best with long fiction, and so was somewhat shocked at the thinness of this volume. The story, however, is deceptively complex and rich, and moves at a very fast pace. In defence of the book's length, I would say that it is precisely the right length, and I recommend it highly.


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