"The beginning and end of this book were captivating. The middle was tedious. The major revelation found in the last few chapters screams the questions of God and prayer that book 1 only whispers. 7/06"
"Balliett creates an interesting world for a couple of atypical 6th graders. Kudos for individualistic characters and challenging subject matter. The plot is engaging, but the denouement is too steep."
"I listened to the AUDIO BOOK read by David Ian Davies. Listening helps get through the dated language easier and Davies' voice of Esmerelda alone is enough to experience the book this way. The novel is an engrossing tale with action, suspense, love, and an interesting view of the human condition. I did not like the ending, however, I believe the story is continued in other volumes. 1/07"
"This book contains all of the elements a reader wants: srong characters, beautiful symbolism, and an engaging plot. However, there is a secret that the protagonist keeps from other characters for a long time. I realize that this tension is what powerfully drives that plot, but I think it was drawn out too long for my taste. Still worth a read. 2/07"
"This is one of those great young person books that adults can also enjoy. If you read this book, DON'T TALK TO ANYONE ABOUT IT! I was halfway through and mentioned it to someone who promptly revealed the major plot twist and ruined the ending for me! This is one you don't want ruined! What I loved about this book is the way Paterson gives the kid who gets picked on a voice t. 3/07"
"I couldn't help an overwhelming sense of sympathy for the people of Afghanistan. Hosseini wants the reader to know the country of his childhood. He paints it as such a beautiful and mysterious time. War obviously ended all of that. It not only killed the people of this land, but it also is killing the dreams and aspirations of its people. 7/07"
"I tend to agree with some of the other reviewers who say the W. w/out E. seemed too much like Follett trying to re-invent the magic of Pillars. I will say that I finished the 1000+ page tome in just a few days. So apparently it was engrossing enough that I WANTED to get to the end. I just didn't keep caring and talking about this one as I did its predecessor. (4/08)"
"Here is Lewis' Creation allegory. This is a great, quick read. It contradicts Mr. Beaver in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when he says "But there's never been any of your race here before." Is Mr. Beaver ignorant of Polly, Diggory, and the first king and queen of Narnia, or did Lewis slip up? (5/08)"
"This book has so much insight about love and forgiveness. Some of my favorite quotes are: "I will use every choice you make for the ultimate good and the most loving outcome." and "To you it seems like a mess, but to me, I see a perfect pattern emerging, growing, and alive.""
"Here is another great work of Historical Fiction. I had heard of the legend of Pope Joan, but Cross does a great job of helping bring the legend to life. I'm a believer! Once again, the "Author's Note" gives such a wealth of History to balance the Fiction. This book is well-researched and delightful. 8/10"
"Boooo. I HATED the ending! It seems that Collins just got tired of writing. The conflict that began the action in the first book is DASHED at the end. I generally can say that I liked the series as a whole, but I'm not a fan of how she ended it."
"This should be required reading for all Western North Carolinians. I love how McCrumb develops these almost mythic characters. It's evident that she did her research and the explanations at the end are fascinating. Fans of historical fiction: read this book!"