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2007 Reviews

See index of all past Customer Reviews

Legend of Holly Claus - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 10
The Legend of Holly Claus
by Britney Ryan

I really like this book because I find it very thrilling! It is full of hatred and evil, but it is mostly filled with love and kindness. I think anyone with a good imagination would love this book. Its basic message is keep on trying, no matter what, help those in need, and never, EVER, give up hope. One of my favorite parts is where Holly makes the thousands of dolls, the snowflakes fall from the toy store ceiling, and where she discovers the little band of homeless children living in Central Park. Kids who are poor would DEFINITELY like this book! There is an evil sorcerer who is trying to kill Holly! When she is a baby, he turns her heart into ice! If she gets too warm, her heart will melt, and she will die! What can she do?!?

Score - 10
reviewed by Elanor J.
9-year-old patron of the Bennett Martin Public Library
December 1, 2007

for additional material appropriate for kids visit Linc for Kids!
for additional material appropriate for teens visit the Teen Cafe

The Red Dahlia - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 7
The Red Dahlia
by Lynda LaPlante

An engrossing read, with a well-plotted murder patterned after the 1940s' Blue Dahlia murder in the U.S. A girl has been tortured, murdered and dismembered but this time the body's near the Thames and English DCI Anna Travis and her boss -- and ex-lover -- DCI James Langdon are on the case.

While I couldn't put the book down due to the storyline, I thought most of the dialogue was banal and the police work plodding, to be generous about it. (Reginald Hill's Andy Dalziel of the Yorkshire Police, would have kicked you-know-what and taken names while these two seemed to sit around and wait for the clues to come to them.) Anyway, a great 300-page mystery in a 416-page book. Skip over the dull parts and enjoy the story.

Score - 7
reviewed by Barbara R.
patron of the Gere Branch Library
November 3, 2007

Eragon - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 8
Philosophy Made Simple
by Robert Hellenga

Middle-aged Rudy is recently widowed, with grown daughters, so he decides that an avocado farm in Texas is the place to be. It certainly is a different life. His new Russian friend owns an elephant named Norma Jean, after Marilyn Monroe. One daughter needs a Hindu wedding. His farm help need "cultural Fridays" at the local, mmm, house of pleasure. To get him through all of it, he takes along a slender book called "Philosophy Made Simple," which highlights the ideas of philosophers from Plato to Sartre and in-between.

What does philosophy have to do with running an avocado farm, love, high-priced Hindu wedding feasts and a very personal elephant? Read and find out. Enjoyable and fun, particularly for those who read Hellenga's Sixteen Pleasures, about one of the daughters featured in this book. .

Score - 8
reviewed by Barbara R.
patron of the Gere Branch Library
May 14, 2007

Eragon - Cover
Average Score:
Score - 4
Eragon
by Christopher Paolini

In a realm protected by an ancient order of warriors with mystical powers, one of them turns to evil and sets himself up to rule over the Empire. Many years later, a young hero is raised on his uncle's farm, knowing nothing of his parents. Coming home one day to find that the Empire's evil servants have burned the farm, he --

Wait a minute, this sounds a little too familiar. Let's try again:

A young hero sets out with an older guide, a aged man with mystical powers, who smokes a pipe from which he blows multi-colored smoke rings --

Hmmm, that sounds familiar as well. How about this:

An underground kingdom of dwarves is hidden under a mountain range; its entrance is a concealed doorway in a cliff face by the side of a lake --

That doesn't help much either, does it?

The truth is that while Christopher Paolini's Eragon can be an entertaining read at times, and is an impressive achievement for a teenage writer, it lacks something in the way of originality. All writers have their influences, to be sure, but Paolini wears his on his sleeve. The writing, for the most part, is fairly pedestrian, and the plot sometimes meanders aimlessly, coming across like a transcription of a "Dungeons and Dragons" session. Popular as this book may be, there are far better fantasy novels to be read - this one should hardly be considered required reading.

Score - 4
reviewed by Dragon Slayer
patron of the Bennett Martin Public Library
February 12, 2007

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