I’ve always been curious about Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen) because a friend of mine from college (hello, Tintin!) has been raving about it since we were in school — I remember her sneak-reading it in class, and I remember she even bought the cassette audiobooks and we listened to it in her car!

I’ve had the set sitting in my TBR pile for ages; I’ve always thought it was a bit too high fantasy for my taste. As you might have read in past posts, I balk at fantasy with unpronounceable names, made up languages, and maps; I usually prefer fantasy with some semblance of reality in it. But I listed Garth Nix in my A-Z Challenge purposely so I would be forced to read at least the first book of the trilogy, and I’m so glad I did.

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Bartimaeus is back!

I loved Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy! While I was deeply satisfied with the series, I was really sad (read: in tears!) to see it end!

This morning, a friend of mine (thank you, Cecille!) tagged me in a Facebook post announcing something I did not see coming — another Bartimaeus novel! Squee!

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Back to the Underland

Last month, I blogged about how much I loved Suzanne CollinsUnderland Chronicles after I read the first three books right before Mockingjay was released. I must confess the series took me by surprise; way before I discovered the Hunger Games series, I’d been seeing the Underland Chronicles in the bookstores and never really thought of picking them up. Then I managed to forage two books out of the bargain bins, and when I finally decided to read them, I found them utterly engrossing!

I read straight on from books 1-3: Gregor the Overlander, Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane, and Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods. I had trouble finding copies of the next books in the series, Gregor and the Marks of Secret and Gregor and the Code of the Claw so I momentarily had to stop reading the series, but some wonderful friends at Scholastic (yay, thanks Ms. Joyce and Ms. Roselle!) gifted me with books 4 and 5, and as soon as the craziness of the past couple of weeks subsided, I happily dug into the remainder of the Underland Chronicles.

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Suzanne Collins Marathon

Still counting down to Mockingjay!

In an attempt to slake my excitement over Mockingjay, I brought out all the Suzanne Collins books in my possession (and bought one more) and have been reading voraciously for the past five days. I started with Gregor the Overlander, the first book of the Underland Chronicles last Friday, but I didn’t have book 2  yet so I decided to reread Hunger Games and Catching Fire on Saturday. By Sunday, I was already reaching for the copy of Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane that I’d bought the day before. And then I started reading Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods yesterday, and now I’m out of the Underland Chronicles, so the marathon’s on hold (at least until I can find myself copies of Gregor and the Marks of Secret and Gregor and the Code of the Claw).

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Rum-pa-pum-pa-pum-pum! Rum-pa-pum-pa-pum-pum! The drumming sound was driving me crazy. Maybe it was a combination of the heat and the fact that I’d been walking frantically for the past half hour, but the faint drumming I’d heard as soon as I stepped into the used bookstore complex was getting louder by the minute.

I rounded the corner and found a bookshop I hadn’t noticed before, small and cluttered, with a labyrinthine arrangement of tall shelves. The Hindu storekeeper beckoned with a smile, so I ventured inside. Instantly, the drumming escalated into a frenetic rhythm: Pum-ba-da-bum-ba-da-pum-ba-da-ba-da-bum! Heart pounding, I backed into a shelf, causing a stack of books to fall on the floor in front of me. On top of the pile was book covered in snakeskin, with a strange word emblazoned on the cover: Shamanka.

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