Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie

Lies dieses Review auf Deutsch
Title: The betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie (AUS)
Alternative: Becoming Bindy Mackenzie (UK), The murder of Bindy Mackenzie (USA)
Author: Jaclyn Moriarty
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publishers Australia Pty Limited
Price: 9.99 $
Source? bought
Pages: 494

The betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie follows Bindy, the cleverest student at Ashbury High and, if you ask her, the nicest one aswell. The school introduces a new mandatory course called Friendship and Development (FAD), which obviously Bindy is not okay with since the students only talk about themselves and there's no new subject matter to be learned. In this course she finds out that everybody at her school dislikes her, so she seeks revenge, but it only results in more dislike (which is hardly possible), worse grades in school and a strange illness. So she decides to climb the problem-mountain from another side which is becoming a better person and changing her character to become liked. Finnegan Blonde, her FAD partner is the first one to discover her new character and presents a possible lov, also the other FAD-classmates get along better with Bindy (and her beloved grades get better aswell). But then Bindy's illness gets worse until she even faints in a school office. Her family finds out that she suffers from an arsenic poisoning and the book takes a sudden twist...

Personal Opinion:
It's been a while since I read this book, but I remember really enjoying it, I had read it on one weekend which doesn't happen that often to me. The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie was written in a very thrilling way, not as one continuous prosa text but as a collection of diary entries, leaflets and other documents that would have existed if this were a true story. I had to guess a bit every now and then that couldn't be told because of that, but considering all, it was written coherent.
The con of this way of writing is of course, that a few details or strands of plot had to go in there that weren't neccessary to the whole story.
Mrs. Moriarty did good work with this book, especially with the sudden change of plot: first it's all about the dislike against Bindy and then the arsen poisoning moves into the center of plot, but there have been a few subtile clues that introduced that, but you'd only realize that after you read far enough.

I recommend The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie to younger girls, up to the age of thirteen or fourteen, obviously, also "older" people can read it, but they might not enjoy it quite as much since they might put the stress more on love which is more in the backround here.

by Cecile

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Clockwork Angel

Lies dieses Review auf Deutsch!
Title: Clockwork Angel
Series: The Infernal Devices
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry/ Simon & Schuster (USA), Walker Books (GB)
Price: 19.99 $ (USA), 9.99 £ (GB)
Source: bought
Pages: 496 (USA), 476 (GB)
Series: Infernal Devices
Books: 1. Clockwork Angel, 2. Clockwork Prince (September 2011), 3. Clockwork Princess (December 2012)

The book 'Clockwork Angel' takes place in the victorian era in England, following 16-year-old Miss Tessa Gray as she comes from New York City to England to find her brother Nate. She gets inprisoned by the Dark Sisters, Miss Black and Miss Dark, who teach her to "Change", meaning she can change into any human (dead or alive) and touch their minds by holding one of their items. After about six weeks in the Dark House, a handsome guy with black hair and blue eyes, William 'Will' Herondale, frees her. She learns that Will is a so-called 'shadowhunter', fighting demons to protect normal people, the mundanes. He takes her to the Institute (an old church used as shadowhunter base in London) where Tessa makes a deal: she helps the shadowhunters with fighting potential danger (using her talent to Change) and they help her find her brother.
Besides that, she also gets to know Charlotte and Henry Branwell who run the London Institute, Jessamine Lovelace who doesn't want to be a shadowhunter and hates being with the others and James 'Jem' Carstairs who actually has an illness...
Tessa agrees to Change into the vampire Camille to expose London's vampire clan leader de Quincey of breaking the law. During that event she finds her brother and everything seems to end well, but this is only the beginning... (otherwhise there wouldn't be 3 books, duh!?)
Also Tessa develops a little bit of intimacy with one of the guys, you're gonna have to read the book yourself to find out with whom (huge spoiler: it's not Henry!).

Personal Opinion:
I really liked this book, especially that it was set in victorian times, it actually makes me want to live during that time period, obviously as a mundane, I'm too much of a coward to face a demon or vampire. The way Mrs. Clare wrote 'Clockwork Angel' made me think I was actually there with Tessa experiencing what she did, the only thing I couldn't understand was the way Tessa Changed, but that might be a consequence of me being German and not understanding the words properly %D.
I bought the book in September and didn't read it until christmas, so I was pretty spoilered by Twitter and I had thought it was the same concept as the Mortal Instruments: girl misses a family member, tries to search it, finds help with the shadowhunters, a love triangle develops, but this is not entirely the case, considering that I didn't see a love triangle at all - obviously people compare Jace-Clary-Simon to Will-Tessa-Jem, but in my opinion, there was too few Jem-Tessa interaction to judge wether it's team Jem or team Will.
I personally have the feeling that Jem is a part of Will, the good part, like - if you're familiar with classic German literature - Mephistopheles being a part of Faust, with Mephisto being the bodily driving side and Faust the academic side. Transfered to Clockwork Angel Jem would be the 'human' side and Will the one driving everything to its extreme.
Clockwork Angel also provides some historical facts and how the world was back then, even Tessa critizising emancipation.
The only things I don't understand are what these cogs really are and what the carriages really look like, but that's based on my being German.

I recommend Clockwork Angel to everyone who is a fan of fantasy, Cassandra Clare's shadowhunter world and especially everyone who wants to read a book that contains love and action, without too big stress on one of them. Now even though this is a Young Adult book, I also recommend it to historians interested in the victorian era since CA has much information how people behaved back then. I'm sure even my dad would read Clockwork Angel if it were already out in German and he's one to only read enciclopedia an non-fiction books and he seemed pretty interested when I told him about the story.

by Cecile