Saturday, 30 January 2010

Mystery on the Moor

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle is an exciting mysterious story. It's about Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. I saw them in the film that was a different story but it was still good. Then my dad suggested reading this book.
The mystery is about a man whose ancestors are cursed because when the Baskervilles crossed the moor at nighttime it said that people die. After the mysterious death of Charles Baskerville, Henry Baskerville takes over the Baskerville Hall. Watson goes in with Henry while Sherlock Holmes secretly goes with him too, yet Henry and Watson don't know it yet.
Many exciting events happen in Baskerville Hall. Some bits are slightly scary but then you find out that they're not actually that scary. It's clever because you think you know something but it's not actually happened.
Sherlock Holmes was a clever and unpredictable character. My favourite character was Watson, because he seemed to be the main person in the action and we saw everything from his point of view. He's cool because he did all the planning without even knowing he did it.
Stapleton starts out as being a friend to Henry and Watson however he pulls tricks and is very clver. He is an evil genius.
My favourite bit was when Watson went into the hut and he thought it was a convict however he then found Sherlock Holmes had been secretly hiding on the moor to find out for himself.
I would read another Sherlock Holmes book and there are lots of them.
I give this book five out of five. It is good for nine plus because some of the storyline plot was a bit complicated. Tha language was a bit old-fashioned, it was helpful to have my dad read it to me.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

A Man Who Has the Gods Against Him

The Odyssey retold by Robin Lister is a fantastic, amazing, exciting book.

It the sequel to The Illiad which I have not yet read, but am going to read soon. However you could read The Odyssey on its own.

It is about a man who is coming back from the Trojan war. His name is Odysseus. Odysseus has many adventures against the gods. He has got onto the wrong side of the god Poseidon, god of the water, and faces many battles. They include him meeting ghosts and meeting a cyclops. A cyclops is a giant with one eye.

He gets ship-wrecked a couple of times, however he still manages to make new boats.

The book is a retelling of an ancient Greek poem written by someone called Homer. I loved the way Robin Lister rewrote it, because he made everything seem so real. It had a lot of description of the characters so you really got to know them well. Every word was so well chosen.

The Odyssey is a book that it's worth reading a couple of different versions, you could never get bored.

My favourite bit was when all the suitors - the people who had been trying to marry his wife - held a competition where they had to string Odysseus's bow and shoot the arrow. None of the suitors could do it, but he could. It proved that Odysseus, even though he was undercover pretending to be a weak old man, was still the strongest.

I learned about the Trojan War from this book and how the Trojans stole someone's wife called Helen.

I also very much liked the illustrations which were done by Alan Baker. They helped you understand the story.

I give this book five out of five stars and recommend it for seven plus. I read it by myself. Some of it was a little bit difficult but I did understand it.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The Tricks of Milady

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas is a thrilling story that is a little bit gruesome however still a brilliant story.
It is a story all about a young man named d'Artagnan who meets Monsieur de Treville, captain of the king's musketeers to try to become one. The book is set in France and was written in 1844 but is set in 1628. D'Artagnan meets three musketeers who he duels with and then becomes friends with. His friends, Porthos, Aramis and Athos join d'Artagnan on his adventures. D'Artagnan, Aramis, Porthos and Athos along with their four servants Mousequton, Planchet, Bazim and Grimaux fight in many battles with the famous criminal Milady or Lady d'Winter.
Lady d'Winter is a cunning mysterious woman who is full of tricks. She sends wine that has been poisoned as one of her tricks. She also kills Madame Bonachere, d'Artagnan's mistress for revenge. D'Artagnan is as sad as sad can be that his lover is dead.
I think personally that Madame Bonachere was cheating on Monsieur Bonachere, her husband and I think it was very wrong of her.
D'Artagnan faces many clashes with Lady d'Winter who also has married someone and then married someone else which makes her a bigamist.
D'Artagnan gets mixed up in the arguments and political debates between the supporters of Cardinal Richelieu and the supporters of the king. This was all very interesting for me because it was interesting to see which side he'd take.
I liked how the names were really cool like Grimaux for example especially when you say them with a French accent. He was my favourite character because of his name. I liked how I learnt things about France for example about the Bastille which is a prison that you have to get branded for, a terrible place to be.
I give this book five out of five stars and recommend it for nine plus. The language was medium difficult and I needed a bit of help from my dad who was reading this book to me.