We don't do stars...
We don't do thumbs...
We read children's books and grade them in 10 categories:
literary quality
descriptive ability
humor (if attempted)
illustrations (if present)
believability of characters
believability of situations
overall reading enjoyment

There is no grading curve. There are no points for classroom participation. There is no extra credit.
If you disagree, come speak to us after class.

The Grading System

A+.....this means (guess what) we think it's great. So great it surprised even us.
A.....this means it's pretty darn good. A book we'd recommend to just about everyone we know.
B.....better than most. Not exactly Shakespeare for kids, though, if you get our drift.
C.....mediocre. Like the color beige, it didn't stand out.
D.....we didn't like it. There were more bad aspects than good ones.
F.....it reeked of badness. We read it over and over when we are in dire need of hysterical laughter.
F-.....We're pretty sure Dante had a circle of hell for the people who wrote these...and a lower circle for those who published them.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reporter's Review: DREAMDARK: Silksinger, by Laini Taylor

Penguin, October 2009
Overall Grade: A+

Whisper Silksinger is the last of her clan, the brave Silksingers who protected their Djinn and their city when its appointed guardians, the Mothmage, failed at their post...and her last mission is to set the Djinn once again on his throne.
Hirik is the first of a shamed clan to rise above his reputation and become a true champion...
And Magpie Windwitch is still at work, capturing devils, seeking out forgotten magic, and restoring the fraying tapestry of the world.
Evil forces work against all three...will the three of them together be able to overcome the most daunting of obstacles?

Laini Taylor is a rare find in an author: she has masterful plotting and world-building skills, she crafts every sentence with skill, fluidity, and subtlety, and her characters are unforgettable, lovable, and completely unique. Fans of epic fantasies would be more than remiss to overlook this amazing specimen; the omniscient narrative viewpoint may at times be difficult for a reader not accustomed to fantasy to follow, but it is well worth the effort it may take to "get into" the first few chapters. I can promise you that the action, intrigue, world-building and relationships will pull you into this fascinating story, whether you usually enjoy fantasy or not.

(Note: This is a sequel to DREAMDARK: Blackbringer, and will probably be more enjoyed if you have read that first book already. However, it does stand on its own as well.)

Literary Quality: A+
Plot: A
Voice: A-
Originality: A+
Descriptive Ability: A+
Humor: A
Illustrations: A
Believability of Characters: A+
Believability of Situations: A+
Overall Reading Enjoyment: A

Possibly objectionable topics*: violence; demons; a fantasy world in which there are multiple "gods" (Also, there is some slight ambivalence surrounding the world's "heaven" as everyone goes there after death and can be killed--thus unmade--there...the book's only plot weakness as far as I have seen).

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