Friday, April 8, 2011

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

"Alanna: The First Adventure" is book one in the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. In it we meet Alanna and her twin brother, neither of whom are satisfied with the traditional roles they are expected to fulfill. Fortunately (and sadly) their father doesn't pay much attention to them. So Alanna manages to take Thom's place to go and study to be a knight, and he is able to go work on becoming a sorcerer.

Alanna becomes Alan as she works her hardest to become a knight. I think I'm a sucker for stories like this, because while it's not an original concept, I still loved it! Alanna faces many challenges in her journey, especially because she is naturally the smallest and weakest among those in training because of her sex.

Thom may be the one studying to become a sorcerer, but Alanna also has magical ability, and her talent with healing is strong. This becomes vital when a sickness sweeps through the castle and the Prince's life is threatened! She shows her strength of personality as she manages to manipulate her way into the sick room where she does battle for his life.

While the battle for the prince's life is a significant one, it's by no means the only most major one she will fight in this book. No, at the side of the prince she is called to fight and even greater foe. One no one could imagine they'd have a chance against.

The writing in this book is a little simplistic and at a young reading level, but it's still a lot of fun to read. My elf-sister, who recommended the series to me, says that as the series goes along it becomes more "grown-up." I'm glad, because if this is the first adventure, I'm looking forward to seeing what else Alanna gets herself into!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Judas Strain by James Rollins

"The Judas Strain" is another fast-paced action-thriller from the series "Sigma Force" by James Rollins. The Sigma Force is a covert field arm of DARPA, and they work to either neutralize or safeguard new technologies all around the world. This gets them into lots of tight situations, and this time is no exception!

The story of the "Judas Strain" traces back to Marco Polo. He and his crew encountered something deadly that they were never willing to talk about, and now it looks like that something has been unleashed on the world. At Christmas Island there has been a massive wave of death, and the most frightening part is that it looks like it was released intentionally. This could be the most terrifying biological weapon yet!

All of our old friends are in this book, and the situations they face are extreme. Commander Gray Pierce wasn't even originally involved in the situation, until his old nemesis shows up at his door step offering to help, and his parents are kidnapped to stop the two of them. Monk and Lisa find themselves in the middle of the ocean with a diabolical mastermind who is intent on destruction. And we even see our old friend Monsignor Verona from the Vatican!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Turned Upside Down and Inside Out

Did you know it's National Poetry Month? I've been writing a lot more poetry this year, so I decided that I would see how many poems I can write this month! I probably won't post most of them on here, but I'll post some of what I think are the "better" one's. I started this one last month, but edited it, wrote the last first, and changed up some stuff today, so I'm counting it. It's about my brother's fight with cancer.

Turned Upside Down and Inside Out
By Ruthie Stickney, 2011

It used to be…
That the sun shined in the day,
And the moon ruled the night.
White was simply white,
And black was the darkest color of all.
I drank coffee in the mornings,
And slept in my bed at night.

But nowadays…
The sun has taken over the night,
And now the moon rules the day.
White’s been overcome by black,
And Black has become a rainbow.
I drink coffee all day long,
And sleep whenever I can.

The world used to…
Revolve around my needs and hurts,
Others came second not by choice,
But because I had not strength to care.
Nothing left after the doctors appointments,
And the medications I had to take.
Lost in a world of one, others need not apply.

But now my world…
Is still centered around doctor’s appointments,
But they are not my own anymore.
Chemotherapy, IV’s, and follow ups,
Ambulances, ER, and hospital rooms,
Even a few surgery’s thrown in,
Watching his pain and hurting along.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wow! I read a lot of books this month!

It's April 1st - and other than being April Fools - it's also time to share my book list for this last month! I was really sick this whole last month so I got a lot of reading done... Wayyyyy to much.

In case anyone wonders - yes - I'm massively behind on book reviews. It's a chronic problem because I always have way to many things I want to do! Right now I'm both behind on writing them and posting them. Honestly? I have a big file of them going back to March of last year - I need to get on top of posting them again huh? I also have about about 30 piled up by the book case to review. Aiy yi yi. I'm working on catching up - on both of them. I have some strategies planned for blogging more regularly - and the pressure of books needing to go back to the library should get be catching up on the writing of the reviews :)