Mini-reviews: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater; Sailor Twain: Or, the Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel; and Always Emily by Michaela MacColl

dreamthievesTitle: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA paranormal fiction
Publisher: Scholastic Audio
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from my personal library
Audiobook reader: Will Patton
Audiobook length: 12 hours and 45 minutes
First line: A secret is a strange thing.

Goodreads blurb: Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same.

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life.

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

I haven’t felt giddy and over-the-top about a series in a really long time, but this series by Maggie Stiefvater is bringing out my inner fangirl. I LOVE the writing, I love the setting (I’ve always loved Southern fiction), I adore the characters. And the narrator, Will Patton, is abso-freaking-lutely awesome. (See, I’m even writing like a teenager!) You might know the actor from movies and the series Falling Skies. I would never have pictured him as an audiobook narrator, but he was the perfect choice for this series. I only wish I didn’t have to wait for book three!

sailortwainTitle: Sailor Twain: Or, The Mermaid in the Hudson
Author: Mark Siegel
Genre: Graphic novel, fantasy
Publisher: First Second
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Number of pages: 399

Goodreads blurb: One hundred years ago. On the foggy Hudson River, a riverboat captain rescues an injured mermaid from the waters of the busiest port in the United States. A wildly popular—and notoriously reclusive—author makes a public debut. A French nobleman seeks a remedy for a curse. As three lives twine together and race to an unexpected collision, the mystery of the Mermaid of the Hudson deepens.

This graphic novel had so much potential, and it makes me sad that I didn’t love it more. The story was interesting, and the writing was good, but the art was a detriment, in my opinion. I usually love charcoal drawing, but there was too much of the story left up to illustrations only, and the illustrations were indistinct and difficult to interpret. I found myself getting lost as to what was happening, which was very frustrating.

alwaysemilyTitle: Always Emily
Author: Michaela MacColl
Genre: YA historical fiction, mystery
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: ARC from the publisher
Number of pages: 282
First line: The minister pronounced the final benediction for Elizabeth Bronte, aged ten.

Goodreads blurb: Emily and Charlotte Brontë are about as opposite as two sisters can be. Charlotte is practical and cautious; Emily is headstrong and imaginative. But they do have one thing in common: a love of writing. This shared passion will lead them to be two of the first published female novelists and authors of several enduring works of classic literature. But they’re not there yet. First, they have to figure out if there is a connection between a string of local burglaries, rumors that a neighbor’s death may not have been accidental, and the appearance on the moors of a mysterious and handsome stranger. The girls have a lot of knots to untangle — before someone else gets killed.

This gothic mystery starring two young Bronte sisters is completely enjoyable. It’s not earth-shattering, but makes a delightful read. I liked the way the author used real facts from the Brontes’ lives, mixed with the seeds of their novels, to create the mystery. The contrast between the wild and willful Emily and the dutiful and practical Charlotte was a little too extreme, making them a bit stereotypical, but that didn’t make me enjoy the story less. And while I hated Wuthering Heights when I read it, I am feeling a strong inclination toward a Jane Eyre reread.

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11 Responses to Mini-reviews: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater; Sailor Twain: Or, the Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel; and Always Emily by Michaela MacColl

  1. I have only heard good things about Maggie Stiefvater’s books. I am glad to hear the audio versions are good as well.

    Always Emily sounds like something I would like. I saw mention of another mystery recently featuring Jane Eyre. I’m not sure I’m ready for that, but I can read a book with Charlotte and Emily as the protagonists.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Wendy – I was pleased when I read the author’s note to see how closely she adhered to the Brontes real history. Of course, the mystery was fabricated, but it was fabricated from events that really occurred in their area. So interesting!

  2. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread
    says:

    I feel the same way about The Raven Boys series. I think I may have liked the first one just 2% more than the second, but I just don’t want them to end. Such amazing writing, character development and chemistry in these novels. She is one talented woman. And if they get another narrator I will be devastated. Will Patton is THE VOICE.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Sandy – I know! I would hate it if he couldn’t finish out the series.

  3. julie
    Twitter: aprilmom00
    says:

    I adore Maggie’s books and I haven’t heard her audio yet but I know the actor. Also I think I will check out always Emily :)

  4. Vasilly
    Twitter: Vasilly
    says:

    I REALLY need to listen to Dream Thieves soon. Everyone loves this book. It’s too bad that Sailor Twain was a disappointment. You’re right, the story is interesting though I wanted more from it myself.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      V – Listen to The Raven Boys first – it’s the first one in the series. :)

  5. Pingback: The Sunday Salon – May 4, 2014 (plus, wrapping up April’s reading) | BOOKS AND MOVIES

  6. Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
    Twitter: myeclecticbooks
    says:

    Love Maggie’s new series too. Can’t wait for the next book.