January 21st, 2010

books

Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampires, Book 4) by Rachel Caine

Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampires, Book 4) by Rachel Caine

Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Pages: 256

SPOILERS for previous books!

Summary:
In the town of Morganville, vampires and humans live in relative peace but Claire Danvers has never been convinced - especially with the arrival of Mr Bishop, an ancient, old-school vampire who cares nothing about harmony. What he wants from the town's living and its dead is unthinkably sinister.

Thoughts: I love the Morganville Vampire series, and while this book is no exception, it wasn't quite as extraordinary as Midnight Alley.  ( read the rest of my review here )
Book Marks

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K Hamilton



Title: Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Supernatural/modern fantasy
Pages: 272
Rating: 4/5
Summary (from Goodreads):  Anita Blake may be small and young, but vampires call her the Executioner. Anita is a necromancer and vampire hunter in a time when vampires are protected by law--as long as they don't get too nasty. Now someone's killing innocent vampires and Anita agrees--with a bit of vampiric arm-twisting--to help figure out who and why. Trust is a luxury Anita can't afford when her allies aren't human. The city's most powerful vampire, Nikolaos, is 1,000 years old and looks like a 10-year-old girl. The second most powerful vampire, Jean-Claude, is interested in more than just Anita's professional talents, but the feisty necromancer isn't playing along--yet.

Review:Collapse )

Books this year:
3/75
Currently reading: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
This review and all my others can be found at im_writing  and my Goodreads Account.
fuck the mcu

Review: The Thorn Birds

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Author: Colleen McCullough
Published in: 1977
Pages: 591
Rating: 4/5

On the back cover of the edition that I borrowed from the library, a quote from The Guardian describes this book as "The Australian answer to Gone With The Wind". In some ways, there are similarities - at heart, it's a complex and multi-themed love story. It's also an epic that spans many years and generations, and it's largely historical in nature as it centres on the Australian Depression during the 30's, the country's involvement with World War II and towards the end the Cold War also makes its appearance. It also deals with the changing attitudes towards various social issues throughout the years: the roles of men and women in society, religion and its potential to separate and destroy lives versus its power to unite and heal, and male and female sexuality. The title of the book refers to a mythical bird that searches for thorn trees from the day it hatches; when it finds such a tree it impales itself on a thorn and, while it dies, sings the most beautiful song in the world.

It's the story of Meggie Cleary and her love for a handsome Irish Catholic priest, Father Ralph de Bricassart - a man whom she first meets when she is just nine years old, making the age difference between them around eighteen years. I'll admit that when I first heard about it I was a little put off, but McCullough actually deals with it really well and does not overly romanticise or idealise it too much, although there are quite a few passages describing Ralph's beauty over and over again that I admittedly could have done without. However, although it's at the heart of the story, the book goes beyond Meggie and Ralph; it begins in 1915 with Meggie as a four year old in New Zealand before she moves with her family to Australia, and ends in 1969 with the story of her 30 year old daughter (who ended up being my favourite character).

The prose is wonderful even if it ventures into purple territory at times, and the characters warm, sympathetic and vibrant. It's quite a lengthy but easy to read and I managed to finish it within three days. In fact I think The Guardian's comparison was not too far off; if you enjoyed Gone With The Wind it's safe to say that you'll like The Thorn Birds. Meggie and Ralph are quite different from Scarlett and Rhett, but like their American counterparts, their emotional journey is as riveting and gripping as it is doomed and tragic.
bear jew

(no subject)

Title: Heaven Sent
Author: Montre Bible
Year of Publication: 2005
Genre: Religious (Christian)
Pages: 281
First Line: "'Hurry! Get in the car!' She yells at the top of her lungs."

Summary: Andrew Turner seems like your average small-town teenager. He struggles with his grades; he helps his mother make ends meet; he longs for the prettiest girl in school to see him as more than a friend. But when his mother succumbs to a mysterious disease, this quiet teen discovers his life--and his family--are anything but ordinary. What are at first frightening visions reveal that he has spiritual gifts--and that his mother's illness is part of an unholy plan that will test his faith and everything he loves. Now an untried warrior in a centuries-old battle, Andrew must also deal with the pain and anger he feels about his long-lost father's sudden return and strive to rescue the unsaved brother he didn't know existed. And if he is to become am an and accept his extraordinary legacy, he must also stand strong in the Word and rely on God's almighty strength and unlimited love.

Source: Back of book



Review: You know, I hesitated getting this book. I picked it up once and then decided not to buy it and then I saw it again the next time and I bought it. Big mistake. I don't mind preachy-ness in Christian books. I understand that that's what they're all about. But when you write a book for the sole purpose of preaching and totally disregard the quality of the plot, characters and writing in general, that's just wrong. Characters were flat and pretty stupid, the plot was way underdeveloped and unfinished, and the writing style was obnoxious. One thing I found really annoying was, sometimes, the word "ass" would be written as "a**" other times, it would be fully spelled out. This happened with a few other words, as well.

The big scene at the end was stupid and SPOILER the character they made such a big deal about throughout the entire thing didn't even show up/END SPOILER. The last sentence threatens a sequel.

Seriously, unless you really want to be preached to and not even bother trying to read anything remotely enjoyable, don't come near this book.


Worst part: Gag me. Uh. . .probably the spoiler I mentioned above. The end of the build up didn't even equal the build up. Very poorly balanced.

Best part: I guess Courtney was okay. Probably the best part of the book, though totally unrealistic.

Grade: F

Other Books by This Author: None.




5 / 50 books. 10% done!
Carnival

#10 Mouse Guard: Autumn 1152 by David Petersen

Mouse Guard: Autumn 1152 tells the story of three mice, Liem, Kenzie, and Saxon, members of the Mouse Guard. While on a mission to find a missing grain merchant, they come across evidence of betrayal. The three travel back to the capital to warn Gwendolyn, the matriarch of the guard. On the way the three will encounter legendary warriors, and face dangerous traitors before they hope to save the city of Lockhaven.

As someone that reads more fiction than comics, when reading a graphic novel I mainly look for a good story. The art is very secondary, and I often don't pay as much attention to it as I should. This was not the case with Mouse Guard. I couldn't help but notice how different it was from everything else I've seen in comics. These differences start with the unique shape of the book, and extend to the artwork inside. Petersen's illustrations of the mice are more similar to what I've seen in picture books than in comic books. The fact that a lot of the story is told in pictures without much dialogue, puts even more emphasis on the artwork. Another thing that impressed me about the art was the fact that it improved from issue to issue, meaning it was even more beautiful and detailed by the end than it was in the beginning.

The story draws heavily from high fantasy, making me recall the Redwall Series, which I was obsessed with in middle school. This gave the comic a bit of a nostalgic spin (and made me itch to pick up Mariel of Redwall again). One thing I really liked about the three main characters is the fact that they had three distinct personalities, despite the fact that so little time was spent on dialogue. The only thing that disappointed me a bit was the pacing of the book. I felt that more time should have been spent focusing on characters (especially the secondary ones) and world building. Things are fine the way they are, but I couldn't help but wish I had gotten a little more time to get to know the characters before the action kicked in. This was the most obvious with the “traitor” character. Because so little time was spent on developing the character, when the reveal occurred, I felt it didn't impact me as much as it should.

Mouse Guard is a unique graphic novel filled with an exciting fantasy plot and beautiful artwork. I'm glad I picked up this volume, and plan on picking up the second one (Mouse Guard: Winter 1152) when it's released in paperback.

Rating: four stars
Length: 200 pages
Source: Barns and Noble
Challenge: This book is not part of any challenges
Similar Books: The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques, Poppy by AVI, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C O'Brien, Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies and Watership Down by Douglas Adams,.
Other books I've read by this author: this is my first.

xposted to bookish  and temporaryworlds 

So, Annotations...


I'm re-reading The Picture of Dorian Gray and I'm making an active attempt to annotate it/highlight it/ make notes in it to the best of my ability. Up until now I've been unhappy with the idea of writing in my books since I like to keep them as pristine as possible.  However, I like the idea of leaving behind your own thoughts and marks and ideas in a novel. I've taken baby steps into the world of annotation by writing a note here and there or underlining a sentence that I like whilst reading but Dorian Gray will be my first full-frontal annotation attempt.

So how many of you annotate your books? What sorts of things do you highlight/write? Which of your books have you marked up the most?
Roxy

Outlander Series

For Christmas I got the newest book in the Outlander Series - An Echo in the Bone. Its been SO long since I read them, I started again at the beginning. Its slightly daunting, but I've made it to the 4th book in the series, Drums of Autumn. What I'm wondering is if anyone has read the Outlandish Companion, its supposed to be more of a Non-Fiction read, about the research from what I understand. Is it worth the read? I'm not sure where I would get it, but I've seen it mentioned online.
I was also wondering about the Lord John series that I believe is related but not part of the Outlander series. I haven't read them at all, so I'm looking for an opinion on them too.
Thanks a bunch!

Fallen by Lauren Kate



Synopsis (from bn.com): There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

My Opinion: I had trouble starting this book. I kept starting it and then putting it aside. I decided to read at least the first three chapters before bed one night (around 10:30) and simply couldn't put it down (I finished around 3:30 am). The writing is very vivid and has great pacing. Even though I knew what the big reveal would be (the title is Fallen after-all), I liked the characters so much that I wanted to see how all of them would be involved. Sadly, I didn't like the ending. It was too vague for my taste. It's obviously set up for a sequel, because it poses more questions than it answers at the end. I'm all for sequels, but I felt like this first book relies too heavily on you having to read the next one to understand anything. I feel like I've been hustled; lured in with the promise of knowledge, and then told that I can have that knowledge AFTER I shell out another $17.99.

My Grade: Torn. I want to give it an A because I really loved the meat of the book, but I want to give it a C- for the dirty trick the ending pulled.
reading

#19 & 20 of 2010: Body Type and Scott Pilgrim Vol 1



If you're a fan of words, tattoos, or both, this should be the perfect book for you. I've been a member of literarytattoos for quite a while now, and I watch Contrariwise, too, so I was amazed that I could find a book about text tattoos! This is mostly photos with captions of what the tattoo represents/why the person got it. It's split into chapters by tattoo theme: literature/poetry/lyrics, typography, self-expression, self-love, love, politics, religion, belief systems, and homage.

5/5

Also, Body Type 2 is coming out this March!

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