Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Book review: The Cave Girl is fun, but misleading

Hi everyone. I finished this book earlier this week and that means it's time for another review. Today's lucky story is The Cave Girl by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Waldo Emerson Smith-Jones is swept off the ship he was traveling on and washes ashore on an uncharted island. Due to the fact that he is a bookworm and was helicoptered-parented by his mother all his life Waldo is a coward. He soon finds out that the inhabitants of the island are Paleolithic-era people who are intent on killing him. He meets and befriends a beautiful cave girl named Nadara who teaches him her language and how to survive in the wild. She names him Thandar, which translates as "The Brave One." She clings to him in the hopes that he will rid her village of two antagonistic cavemen who are making life hard for everyone. However he flees the first chance he get. As time goes by Waldo gets stronger and braver, and starts to fit into a better role on this island. Will Waldo be able to face his fears and his many enemies and get back home?
I have enjoyed the stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs because I enjoy the places he comes up with and the loyalties the characters develop for each other. When I learned of this title I was hoping for more prehistoric-themed stuff. The story is still fun even if it goes with a lot of Mr. Burroughs story stereotypes. I was disappointed when I was reading that there weren't other Paleolithic inhabitants on this island. Also the story seemed a little fast paced. When it comes down to some of Waldo's health problems I'm not sure that living out in the wild and becoming another Tarzan would cure them. Also I was disappointed with the abrupt ending of the story. Still, I think Mr. Burroughs managed to recreate a nice little paleozoic community in the pages of this book.
Many characters, male and female, wear only a loincloth (no further detail is given), though this is probably to recreate the authenticity of the prehistoric people. A woman takes a bath in a stream but nothing is seen. Some blood is mentioned during fights with cavemen and panthers, but nothing graphic. Two people kiss.
Our weaknesses can be made into strengths. Men and women are supposed to come together as husband and wife.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Two Book reviews: Gods of Mars is out of this world and Magic of Oz is magical

I guys. I got two books that I'm reviewing today. They're a little older than what you might be used to, but if you enjoy reading you won't care. The first is the second book chronicling adventures on Barsoom, The Gods of Mars:
Rating: Four out of Five stars
John Carter finds himself back on Barsoom/Mars, except he's come to a heavily forested area. He meets up with the Green Martian Tars Tarkas while fighting off plant men and white apes. John learns he is in the valley Dor, which lies at the end of the river Iss, which all Barsoomians make a trip down when they are ready to die. While fighting his way through John learns of the mysterious but dangerous Therns, while encountering their enemies the Black Martians. Along the way John learns the truth surrounding the religion and superstitions of Barsoom and must expose it before it takes away everything from him.
Edgar Rice Burroughs is always creative with his adventures and his stories. I like how he used religion as a theme in this book and the warning of how people can use ideas and beliefs to manipulate others. It is not meant to demote religion, but to warn that people will try to use it to hide evil intentions. Racism is used as a tool to show the pride of various Martian races. Readers will find themselves with John Carter on a while roller coaster ride.
It is mentioned that Barsoomians don't wear clothes, but that is not focused on. Characters are in constant peril. Some Martian races are described as being cannibals. Monsters attack several people, which may scare some readers.
We should not esteem ourselves as better than others. If we give in to pride, it will prove to be our ruin. We shouldn't be close-minded to new ideas. People may claim to have good intentions when they are hiding sinister purposes.

The next book to be reviewed today is The Magic of Oz:
Rating: Five out of Five stars
Excitement is in the Land of Oz as Dorothy and her many friends are getting ready to celebrate Ozma's birthday. However unknown to them in a corner of Munchkinland a Hyup boy named Kiki Aru has discovered a magic word that allows him to change his form as well as the forms of others. While flying around the countries that surround the Deadly Desert Kiki encounters Rugeddo, the former Nome King, who makes a deal with him for help to conquer Oz. Meanwhile Dorothy and the Wizard are making plans for a special cake for Ozma while her friends Trot and Cap'n Bill seek another gift. Along the way all parties will encounter unexpected magic and one will be wondering if this will all be fixed before Ozma's birthday.
While not as action packed as most stories, L. Frank Baum has certainly not lost his creativity when dealing with the magical land of Oz. Around the corners are characters and places you wouldn't expect. The magic used in this book is fun, but it is also dangerous as well. Truly reminiscing of the wonders and perils of the classic fairy tales, The Magic of Oz is definitely one for fantasy fans.
Characters are transformed into animals, but this is more humorous than scary. A couple of characters are trapped on a magic island.
Wickedness never was happiness. We find greater joy when we help others instead of using them for our selfish gain.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Late Review: Air Keep literally blows you away.

Hi Everyone. Sorry for the lack of blogging, but school has started and I've been trying to make sure I do a good job in my classes. Anyway, I decided to do a review for a book I read last week in one day, Farworld: Air Keep.
Rating: Five out of Five Stars
It's been six months since Marcus and Kyja have stopped the Keepers of the Balance and gone their separate ways. Both have hoped that the wizard Master Therapass would've found a way to allow Marcus to safely pass through the mysterious Realm of Shadows into Farworld by now. When an unexpected chain of events send Marcus into a place where the four aspects of time are shown to him, he unwittingly sets off a chain of events that could prove devastating. Kyja, against Master Therapass's orders, senses Marcus is in danger and pulls him into Farworld. However things are not well for the magical world. Blizzards, droughts, and floods are wrecking havoc, and no one has seen the water or land elementals for months. Could they be behind these disasters? Could the unthinkable have happened and they've joined with the Dark Circle? In order to find the answers Marcus and Kyja must find the elusive Air Keep and gain the help of the Air Elementals, but can they do it in time? And will what Marcus set off come to pass? Could this be the end of Farworld?
J. Scott Savage never ceases to amaze me with his creativity and imagination. The world of Farworld is always impressive and magical. He always manages to find some way to make the adventures to find each elemental fun and dangerous at the same time, and the elementals are not always what you'd expect them to be. His characters feel realistic, and sometimes do or act in a way you don't expect. His stories can take really unexpected turns, and when you think all is well something unexpected occurs. If you have not read the Farworld series yet I highly recommend you do.
Children are in peril constantly. A monster summons an undead army. Bloodless action against an invading army. Puns are used a lot, though some might be inappropriate.
We should not keep secrets from those we love. It's good to have a healthy sense of humor. There are events in life that we cannot control or change, no matter how hard we want to. Prejudice can lead to terrible consequences.