A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett. Summary: There’s a werewolf with pre-lunar tension in Ankh-Morpork. And a dwarf with attitude, and a Golem who’s begun to think for itself. But Commander Vimes is more concerned about the crime that’s happened. He’s got to find out not only whodunit, but howdunit too. He’s not even sure what they dun. But as soon as he knows what the questions are, he’s going to want some answers. (Published summary.) Content Review: Sexual content: Minor innuendo. Language: 51 d***, 13 derogatory terms, 11 bloody, 5 hell Violence: Ghost complains about how it was beaten to death with a loaf of dwarf bread. Three thieves try to take a werewolf girl hostage – there are screams out of sight, then the girl re-enters and says they have flesh-wounds only. Golem commits suicide by laying its head under an automatic hammer. One man killed by a cross-bow bolt to the head. Second-hand account of an old woman and baby dying of second-hand arsenic poisoning.
Alcatraz #4. Author: Brandon Sanderson. Summary: Alcatraz Smedry, the boy with the incredible Talent for breaking things, has a lot to prove and little time in which to do it. In this adventure, Alcatraz faces an army of librarians–and their giant robots–as they battle to win the kingdom of Mokia. If the librarians win the war, everything that Alcatraz has fought so hard for could end in disaster. Alcatraz must face the robots, the evil librarians, and even his own manipulative mother! But will he be able to save the kingdom of Mokia and the Free Kingdoms from the wrath of the librarians before everything comes crashing down? (Goodreads summary) Content Review: Sexual content: One character stripped naked by magical bomb. They don clothes as fast as possible. Language: None Violence: Part of an airplane explodes and it’s forced to land, but except for minor bruising everyone’s fine. Multiple soldiers are struck and knocked out by martial arts/bad dancing (they’re sort of the same thing). There’s hand-to-hand fighting with soldiers, and some are knocked out.
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians #2. Author: Brandon Sanderson. Summary: In his second skirmish against the Evil Librarians who rule the world, Alcatraz and his ragtag crew of freedom fighters track Grandpa Smedry to the ancient and mysterious Library of Alexandria. Hushlanders―people who live in the Librarian-controlled lands of Canada, Europe, and the Americas―believe the Library was destroyed long ago. Free Kingdomers know the truth: the Library of Alexandria is still around, and it’s one of the most dangerous places on the planet. For it is the home of the scariest Librarians of them all: a secret sect of soul-stealing Scriveners. Can Alcatraz and his friends rescue Grandpa Smedry and make it out of there alive? (Published summary.) My Thoughts: If anything, more engrossing than the first. Not only is the narrator in top form, an irrepressible, exasperating, hilarious presence in the story, but the writing-balance is so good I’m actually getting sucked into the ridiculous plot. (Also, Sanderson has finally admitted the truth: It’s a law of nature that all books he writes are awesome.) Content Review: Sexual content: None Language: None Violence: One aerial fight, in which a plane is shot down. All occupants survive, but there is…
Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians #1. Author: Brandon Sanderson. Summary: A hero with an incredible talent…for breaking things. A life-or-death mission…to rescue a bag of sand. A fearsome threat from a powerful secret network…the evil Librarians. Alcatraz Smedry doesn’t seem destined for anything but disaster. On his 13th birthday he receives a bag of sand, which is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians plotting to take over the world. The sand will give the Librarians the edge they need to achieve world domination. Alcatraz must stop them!…by infiltrating the local library, armed with nothing but eyeglasses and a talent for klutzines (Published summary.) My Thoughts: Alcatraz knows his life is ridiculous. But what can he do about it? Since the day his inheritance (a small bag of sand) showed up, things have just gotten weirder, and there’s no backing out now. Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians is quite a departure from Sanderson’s usual work, and the plot is clearly middle-grade. But the story’s well-written, balancing on the fine line between amusing and just silly (at least I thought so) and the sarcastic, self-aware narrator is wonderful. A little like the narrator of The Name of this Book is…
Author: Patricia C. Wrede. Sumary: This short-story collection is composed of ten fantasy short stories, ranging from humorous to bitter-sweet. Unicorns, magic swords, curses, chipmunks and more populate the pages of these tales. My Thoughts: As always with short story collections, the tone and quality of individual stories fluctuates a bit. As a whole I found the book lighthearted, fun, and leaning towards the younger side of the audience. All the stories are set in a classic medieval fairy-tale setting, with the exception of two modern-day stories. Patricia has a wonderful sense of humor, keeping even the silliest stories interesting enough to hold the attention; but she is quite capable of writing a more serious fairytale, as shown in The Lorelei and The Earthwitch as well as others. My single favorite story was Stronger Than Time, a bittersweet retelling. Content Review: Sexual content: A man tries to marry his daughter off without her consent. Language: 2 d*** Violence: One rabbit is killed and eaten by werewolves. An invading army is killed wholesale, but very little description. A man cuts off his own hand.
A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett. Summary: The Color of Magic is Terry Pratchett’s maiden voyage through the now-legendary land of Discworld. This is where it all begins — with the tourist Twoflower and his wizard guide, Rincewind. On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There’s an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet… (Published summary.) Content Review: Sexual content: Three instances of innuendo. Passing mention of young women and dryads wearing next to nothing. Language: 7 hell, 5 bloody, 4 d***, 1 derogatory term Violence: A tavern fight takes place. Two instances of characters being knocked unconscious. One character receives minor burns from a dragon.
A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett. Summary: There’s been a murder. Allegedly. William de Worde is the Discworld’s first investigative journalist. He didn’t mean to be – it was just an accident. But, as William fills his pages with reports of local club meetings and pictures of humorously shaped vegetables, dark forces high up in Ankh-Morpork’s society are plotting to overthrow the city’s ruler, Lord Vetinari. Content Review: Sexual content: 6 instances of innuendo. Language: 36 d***, 9 hell, 8 bloody, 5 derogatory terms. One character keeps saying “—ing” as though it were a blanked swear word, but a few chapters in it becomes clear it’s printed as is: “Why does your partner keep saying ‘ing’?” Violence: Vampires punches four men unconscious. Second-hand account of a man being stabbed. A dog bites a man. Burning oil splatters multiple people. One man shoots another with a crossbow. Character accidentally stabs another with a spike, the second man dies.
A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett. Summary: There’s big trouble at the Unseen University, Ankh-Morpork’s lone institute of higher learning. A professor is missing—and the one person who can find him is not only the most inept magician the school ever produced, but currently stranded on the unfinished down-under continent of Fourecks. As the UU faculty tries to bring him back, Rincewind is having troubles of his own, thanks to a pushy mystical kangaroo trickster named Scrappy and a mob of Fourecks hooligans who are out to hang him. All his problems would be solved if he could just make it rain . . . for the first time ever. And if the time-traveling professors can get to the right millennium . . . (Published summary.) Content Review: Sexual content: A man has to try and explain how elephants procreate, very awkwardly. Three instances of innuendo. Language: 32 bloody, 27 d***, 12 derogatory terms, 7 hell Violence: There is a traffic pile-up in which some people are probably hurt (probably because we don’t see them.) A man dies abruptly of spider-bite.
A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett. Summary: Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Ankh-Morpork, where we lay our scene…’ Football divides the city. Each area has its own team – and rivalry means supporters never mix. Until a Dimwell fan falls for a Dolly Sisters girl. And now an ancient bequest means the wizards of Unseen University must win a football match, without using magic. Luckily they’re coached by the mysterious Mr Nutt (and no one knows anything much about Mr Nutt, not even Mr Nutt, which worries him, too). As the match approaches, four lives are entangled and changed forever. Because the thing about football – the important thing about football – is that it is not just about football. (Published summary.) Content Review: Sexual content: 5 instances of innuendo. Young man remembers being told that love-poems are a means to an end – getting a young lady to take all her clothes off. He is still confused over this. Football team the night before is ordered that “there will be no sexual congress”. Language: 27 bloody, 15 d***, 14 derogatory terms, 11 hell, 3 scatological terms Violence: Character hits another in the chest with a club….
A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett. Summary: There are many who say that the art of diplomacy is an intricate and complex dance. There are others who maintain that it’s merely a matter of who carries the biggest stick. The oldest and most inscrutable (not to mention heavily fortified) empire on the Discworld is in turmoil, brought about by the revolutionary treatise What I did on My Holidays. Workers are uniting, with nothing to lose but their water buffaloes; warlords are struggling for power – and what the nation wants, to avoid terrible doom for everyone, is a wizard. Rincewind is not the Disc’s premier wizard – in fact, he can’t even spell ‘wizard’ – but no-one specified whether competence was an issue. And they do have a very big stick… (Goodreads Summary) My Thoughts: An intriguing premise as usual – and a little variety of scene, as most of the action takes place in a new continent well away from Ank-Morpohk, even if the central city is still heavily premised. Content Review: Sexual content: “I keep telling him, it’s rape the women and set fire to the houses.” (Neither of these actually take place.) Describing a man’s innocence/naiveté, “He…