January 19th, 2010

Books!

The Book Thief

Markus Zusak's The Book Thief, which is narrated by Death, is the story of Liesel as she lives goes to live with her foster family just prior to and during World War II. The story centers around Liesel learning to read, making friends, growing up, and dealing with the effect World War II has on her foster family in friends. She is a girl who lives through nothing but tragedy but still has an open heart and clear head on her shoulders, well, at least most of the time.
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As always more can be found at my LJ or here
Gaga - V Shoot

Books involving the internet?

I have an interesting question :)

Anyone know of any good fiction books about/involving the internet? Mainly things like mysteries, thrillers, police procedurals, forensics, etc. Or even books in that genre that are about computers, or nerds, or geeks.

For example... Maybe a book about a serial killer who is stalking his victims on website or something xD

If you even know of one book involving these things, but it's part of a series worth reading.. please go ahead and recommend it to me! :) I really enjoyed The Blue Nowhere by Jeffrey Deaver. I also just finished reading Roadside Crosses... I must admit, some parts were difficult to read (The various internet memes and 'sayings'.. some of them just.. weird haha), but I still enjoy books based around the interwebs!

Thanks in advance if anyone can fulfill this wish of mine ;)
Carnival

#9 Angelic by Kelley Armstrong (+ notes about Subterranean Press)

Due to spoilers for Armstrong's Haunted, the review section will be under a cut. My notes about Subterranean Press do not have spoilers, so they're not under the cut.

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Note on the publisher: Angelic is not published by Armstrong’s normal publisher, but by a small press called Subterranean Press. Being my first experience with SubPress, I was a little confused with the way they did business, and thought that I would share my experience with people interested in purchasing from them. The purpose of Subpress is not to create bestsellers but collector’s items. As a result, Angelic had a very limited press run of 2000 copies. The book itself if very short (98 pages), illustrated, and steeply priced at $20 (there were 200 additional copies that were signed and even more expensive). As a small press, Subpress does not have an official publishing date but instead gives a month and a year, and can often be late. For example, Angelic was supposed to be published Dec 2009, but copies were not shipped until Jan 8th 2010. When you preorder a book from their website, they charge your credit card on the day you order, not the day the book ships. I didn’t like this, but would still recommend buying from the Subpress website instead of from other sites like amazon.com. This is because sites like amazon cannot advertise “out of print” on an item that has not gone to press yet. As a result, many people (about 1000) pre-ordered copies of Angelic on amazon but were unable to get copies. If you pre-order from SubPress’s website, you will get a copy.

Despite a somewhat confusing way of doing business, I was happy with the product, so I will be buying from them again (Armstrong will be publishing another novella with them in 2010). Due to the high price, I will only be doing this with my favorite authors.

Rating: four stars
Length: 98 pages
Source: Subterranean Press
Challenge: This book is not part of any challenges
Similar Books: Looking for more books about genies? Check out Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden Series (which I'm not fond of, but other people are) and Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Raises Hell (
my review). It is necessary to read Armstrong's Haunted before Angelic.
Other books I've read by this author: Bitten, Stolen, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Broken, No Humans Involved, Personal Demon, Living with the Dead (my review), Frostbitten (my review), Men of the Otherworld (my review), The Summoning (my review), The Awakening (my review), Exit Strategy (my review), and Made to be Broken (my review). I've also read the novella "Chaotic' from Dates from Hell, and the short story "Kat" from The Eternal Kiss (my review)
bookish  and temporaryworlds 

Book Recs

Last year I read a auto/biography once a month, this year I'm going to try one every 2 weeks, does anybody have any recs? The most important factor is flow, not subject matter. I can get into any book, as long as it is written well.
And also, anything humorous? I've read all of Christopher Moore's books and I'm searching for something to giggle to. Doesn't have to be fiction, it can be anything. Thanks in advance guys!
Kitty: Angry Calico

Andrews, Ilona: Magic Strikes

Magic Strikes (2009)
Written by: Ilona Andrews
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 310 (Mass Market Paperback)
Series: Book Three

The premise: ganked from the author's website: Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with these days. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.

But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games--an invitation only, no holds barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament--she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community . . .


My Rating

Worth the Cash: not quite as strong as Magic Burns, but still good. Kate's slightly more bitchy in certain places, but her devotion to her friends definitely outweighs any bitchiness that isn't deserved. The book definitely catapults the series into more urgent territory, which makes me glad that I don't have to wait too long for the fourth and newest book in the series, Magic Bleeds. I still really enjoy and marvel at the world-building at work here, and I especially enjoyed the various forms of myth and legend that are brought to life within the pages, because it's not all fangs, fur, and fey. Anyone who's on the fence about the first book, Magic Bites, should take a deep breath, finish it, and read Magic Burns to redeem the series, which is solidly enjoyable. Magic Strikes, as I said, isn't quite as good as book two, but it's still a lot of fun, and Ilona Andrews starts handing out the answers readers have been looking for. Can't wait for the next one!

Review style: definite spoilers, so don't click for the full review if spoilers bother you. If they don't, or you've already read the book, then feel free to check out the full review in my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome!

REVIEW: Ilona Andrews's MAGIC STRIKES

Happy Reading! :)

ALSO:

Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!

January: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
February: Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Kobato - Say what?

Fantasy/Romance books?

One of my resolutions for 2010 is to read 110 books (10 down, 100 to go), and recently I've been having an intense craving recently to get my hands on some new delicious novels (an ideal meal for a bookworm starting a new semester, eh?). But honestly I'm kind of stumped and thought you guys could help me?

I'm a hopeless romantic and I've been going insane to find books that have similar romantic qualities to Shannon Hale's novels (witty and cute romance) or Graceling (more intense). I'm also a fantasy/magic addict (most, if not all, of my books have fantasy/magical elements to them). I'm a biggie on anything that has to deal with history like kingdoms, kings/queens, sword fights, medieval thieves, and all that good stuff (throw some romance, a war, and some magic in and BAM! The perfect novel for me!). Oh, Greek mythology is bloody awesome. And I thought I should add in, nothing like Twilight, please =X.

Some of my favorite authors: Shannon Hale (I love her!), Rick Riordan (he's the man), Oscar Wilde, Alison Goodman, Jerry Spinelli, Paolo Bacigalupi, Tamora Pierce
Some books I thoroughly enjoyed: Eon: Dragoneye Reborn; Percy Jackson & The Olympians; The Goose Girl (and the other Bayern books); Ship Breaker; Graceling; Artemis Fowl (series), Stargirl (and its sequel), Song of the Lioness (series)

I'm in highschool and I prefer reading young adult novels, but nothing too sexual please. And for some reason I find it hard for me to stay hooked on anything that goes past a trilogy (unless I'm in love with it like Percy Jackson and Artemis Fowl), but I'm always willing to give everything a shot!

Any recommendations? Please and thank you in advance!
rock paper sissors lizard spock

A Song of Fire and Ice

Recently I've been hearing a bit about George R.R. Martins A Song of Fire and Ice Series. I was wondering if anyone here would recommend it or has anything really to say about it. I'd just like to know if it's worth my time and money before I go and pick up the first book.
Typing
  • ed_rex

Review: Galileo's Dream, by Kim Stanley Robinson

Renaissance genius meets the distant future —
But is the author's heart in his own conceit?

Portrait of Galileo Galilei by Giusto Sustermans. (Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Galileo Galilei by
Giusto Sustermans (Wikipedia)

"If I have seen less far than others," Galileo complained in irritation to Aurora, "it is because I was standing on the shoulders of dwarfs."
— Galileo Galilei explains his limitations in Galileo's Dream.

Is Kim Stanley Robinson getting tired of science fiction?

In the five novels since the final book in his already-classic Mars trilogy was published in 1996 and the North American release of Galileo's Dream just after Christmas, Robinson sojourned in alternate history with the excellent stand-alone novel, The Years of Rice and Salt and the very near future, with the not-entirely-successful "Science in the Capital" series; not quite abandoning the field, but staying on its peripheries.

Although his newest novel is an unabashed return to centre of science fiction, that the historical sections of Galileo's Dream are both more convincing and more interesting than those set in the 31st century, suggests that return is premature.

The novel opens in the late 16th century when a professor of mathematics at the University of Padua — as you may have guessed, none other than Galileo Galilei himself — is approached by a mysterious stranger who (I give away nothing that isn't on the dust-jacket) is a visitor from the far future. The stranger tells Galileo of a remarkable Dutch invention, a device which magnifies objects seen from a distance — a telescope, of course.

Intrigued, Galileo returns home to attack the problem and, in so doing, begins the process of invention and discovery that will lead to his eternal fame and to his eventual disastrous run-in with the dreaded Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church.

Robinson is probably the best writer there is when it comes to dramatizing not just the discoveries of science but the processes by which those discoveries are made. The sections which focus on Galileo the scientist are fascinating and brilliantly alive. And he proves he is just as good at historical fiction, clearly and engagingly showing us the intricate politics of late-Renaissance Italy.

It is the conflict between science and religion, faith and empiricism, which is at the heart of the novel and that, perhaps, is why those sections set in the future don't fully succeed.

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han shot first

Fool by Christopher Moore

What can I say about Fool without going on about how funny and endearing Christopher Moore’s writing is? His take on King Lear is almost as good as his take on the Bible (Lamb)--with, dare I say, even more toilet humor and dirty sex? The jokes are non-stop, but so is the emotion. How can it not when Moore is working with Shakespeare’s arguably most tragic play?

In the actual play, the Fool (unnamed)--if I remember right--acts as the voice of the play, commenting on what is happening through humor that’s both entertaining and useful. He puts the characters actions into perspective (and keeps Lear in check), which is a great tool to orient readers who might get a little lost in all of the drama (oh boy, is there drama). Where he is absent from the text Moore built a presence and filled the gaps to bring us Pocket and his bawdy commitments. So how does Fool differ? It’s a different perspective. It still opens (more or less, Pocket need to have a flashier entrance) with Lear dividing his kingdom between two ungrateful daughters and one very honest one. When Lear gets angry and disowns Cordelia (the honest one) he lashes out at his best friend Kent (who only wanted to defend her) and banishes him, too. There’s some son-in-laws involved, a bastard, and in this case, a ghost (as Moore reminds us, “there’s always a fucking ghost.”). This book even has a map with all sorts of helpful labels to explain all the “norths” and “souths” that people seem to be going to or coming from. Unfortunately, there is no explanation for Lear’s downward spiral into madness. I think that’s best left to speculation.

( Read the rest! )
  • quippe

Triumff: Her Majesty’s Hero by Dan Abnett

The Blurb On The Back:

Vivat Regina!


It is the year 2010, Her Divine Majesty, Queen Elizabeth XXX sits upon the throne.

Great Britain’s vast Empire is run by ALCHEMY and SUPERSTITION. Now Sir Rupert Triumff, dashing swordsman, has uncovered a vile plot to dethrone her glorious majesty.

For the honour of the nation: to arms!


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The Verdict:

This novel is perhaps a little too short to give it full justice and at times, it’s uncomfortably close to Terry Pratchett’s work to be original. However, it’s written with humour and pace and there’s enough sheer likeability to keep the reader engaged. Worth checking out.

Cross-posted to books and bookworming.
  • quippe

Sixty-One Nails by Mike Shevdon

The Blurb On The Back:

There is a secret war raging beneath the streets of London.

A dark magic will be unleashed by the Untainted.

Unless a new hero can be found.


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The Verdict:

A well researched urban fantasy, this makes excellent use of faerie folk lore and London’s geography, it’s let down by over-writing and poor copyediting. Nevertheless, it’s well worth a look as Shevdon promises a sequel that further explores the seven courts of the Feyre.

Cross-posted to urbanfantasyfan, books and bookworming.