Michelle’s First Three Reviews Ever: Nervous Conditions, The Chronicles of Pern: 1st Fall, and Mariel of Redwall

I joined Goodreads in 2010 but didn’t automatically begin reviewing books. Even then, I wasn’t quite sure how much detail I wanted to delve into. You’ll see in these three reviews that they were little more than a few sentences on my thoughts on them. Perhaps some wouldn’t consider them reviews. But as I’ve stated before, reviews are really my way of documenting that I actually read a book. Can I remember the details of these books close to five years ago? Little bits and pieces. But these little sentences are a testament to my thoughts directly after finishing them.

And considering that I don’t want to lose my reviews, here they are. Feel free to make fun of them or take heart that everyone has to start somewhere and just a few sentences can still get a point across.

Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembganervousconditions

Published:  January 10, 2004 by Ayebia Clarke Publishing Ltd
Format: Purchased paperback
Originally reviewed: May 2010

Tambudzai dreams of education, but her hopes only materialise after her brother’s death, when she goes to live with her uncle. At his mission school, her critical faculties develop rapidly, bringing her face to face with a new set of conflicts involving her uncle, his education and his family. Tsitsi Dangarembga’s quietly devastating first novel offers a portrait of Zimbabwe, where enlightenment brings its own profound dilemmas.


Read it for an English class. Wonderful story with lots of depth. It sticks with you once you finish it.

4/5 stars

The Chronicles of Pern: 1st Fall by Anne McCaffreyfirstfall

Published: August 1st 1994 by Turtleback Books
Format: Hardback from public library
Originally reviewed: November 2011 (I think I edited it over a year later after initially reviewing it)

For use in schools and libraries only. A collection of short works about Pern features five tales of the time of Pern’s exploration, original Dragonriders, and first Threadfall.


A collection of stories that fills in the holes of the beginnings of Pern, it was entertaining. Some stories were better than others; I did not enjoy Rescue Run. It was frustrating to me. Sometimes the stories could be a little redundant, but it was enjoyable. That said, it makes me look forward to see how Pern continues to evolve…or see if it devolves!

3/5 stars

Mariel of Redwall by Brian Jacquesmariel

Published: March 1st 2000 by Ace
Format: Purchased paperback
Originally reviewed: January 2010

In the fourth volume of the epic Redwall saga, a mouse-ship is attacked by the pirate rat Gabool and his heinous band of cut-throats. Hapless voyagers Mariel and her father Joseph the Bellmaker are mercilessly thrown into the sea by the pirates. Mariel washes ashore, starved and near death, and is taken in by the hospitable inhabitants of Redwall Abbey. Sure that her poor father is dead, Mariel swears an oath of vengeance against the filthy pirates who killed her father. With he help of a motley band of animals, Mariel leads the charge to recover a bell and avenge her father.


Let it be known that I have read most of the Redwall series before in my childhood. This past summer I challenged myself to read them all again in the order in which they were written.

I recently finished Mariel of Redwall. It is different than the previous three in that a portion of the plot is set in the Isle of Terramort, an island separate from the land mass Salamandastron and Redwall are on. It’s the first (in publishing order) to deal more in depth with searats. It is also the first to have the main character as a female.

I have come across a few typos (Bladegirt v. Bladegrit) as well as character switches. The plot and characters are predictable with an understanding of the series. But if you’re just looking for a fun read about heroes, battle, adventure, and the pursuit of peace, I’d highly recommend this book.

4/5 stars

pj - michelle

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