September 5th, 2010

Carnival

#71 Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn

This review has spoilers for previous books in the Kitty Norville Series, but no real spoilers for Kitty Goes to War.

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Rating: four stars
Length: 334 pages
Source: Lewiston Public Library
Challenge: This book is not part of any challenges
Similar Books: For other books about werewolves, check out Kelley Armstrong's Bitten, Stolen, Broken, and Frostbitten (my review) and Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series (my reviews)
Other books I've read by this author: Kitty and the Midnight Hour, Kitty goes to Washington, Kitty takes a Holiday, Kitty and the Silver Bullet, Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand (my review),Kitty Raises Hell (my review), Kitty's House of Horrors (my review), Voices of Dragons (my review)

xposted to temporaryworlds , bookish , and goodreads
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Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy

The Blurb On The Back:

You’ve seen it all before: some bad guy wants to bring about the end of the world, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie fight valiantly to stop it happening. A few people get hurt, sure, but everything’s all right in the end.

Well, not this time.


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The Verdict:

This is the third nail-biting, laugh-out-loud, imaginative and dark instalment in what is one of my all-time favourite Middle Grade fantasy series. Although it may be a little too violent for more sensitive readers, there’s plenty in it for child and adult readers and the cliff hanger ending has me panting to get hold of the next book.

Cross-posted to fantasywithbite, kiddie_lit and middlebooks.
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Day By Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile by J. L. Bourne

The Blurb On The Back:

START INTERCEPT
Armies of undead have risen up across the U.S. and around the globe: there is no safe haven from the diseased corpses hungering for human flesh. But in the heat of a Texas wasteland, a small band of survivors attempt to counter the millions closing in around them.
INTERCEPT COMPLETE


SURVIVOR.

Day by day, the handwritten journal entries of one man caught in a worldwide cataclysm capture the desperation – and the will to survive – as he joins forces with a handful of refugees to battle soulless enemies both human and inhuman from inside an abandoned strategic missile facility.

BUT IN THE WORLD OF THE UNDEAD, IS MERE SURVIVAL ENOUGH?


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The Verdict:

Although there isn’t a huge amount of emotional depth to the story and the plot is a simple one, this is an absorbing story of survival against incredible odds and the author’s military background gives it great credibility. With the book’s climax promising a switch of location to China and a hunt for the cause of the outbreak in the concluding volume of this trilogy, I will definitely be tuning in to see how things turn out for the unnamed hero.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for the free copy of this book.

Cross-posted to books, bookworming, booky_talk and horror_novels.
inverarity

I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson



One-sentence summary: A plague turns everyone on Earth into vampires except for one man.

Vampire lovers, reclaim the night! Throw off the chains of shitty YA romances, cast off your sparkly blinders, and see these creatures for what they really are: literary representations of humanity's oldest fears. Start with the original vampire apocalypse, Richard Matheson's I Am Legend.

From Goodreads:


One of the most influential vampire novels of the 20th century, I Am Legend regularly appears on the "10 Best" lists of numerous critical studies of the horror genre. As Richard Matheson's third novel, it was first marketed as science fiction (for although written in 1954, the story takes place in a future 1976). A terrible plague has decimated the world, and those who were unfortunate enough to survive have been transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Except, that is, for Robert Neville. He alone appears to be immune to this disease, but the grim irony is that now he is the outsider. He is the legendary monster who must be destroyed because he is different from everyone else. Employing a stark, almost documentary style, Richard Matheson was one of the first writers to convince us that the undead can lurk in a local supermarket freezer as well as a remote Gothic castle. His influence on a generation of bestselling authors--including Stephen King and Dean Koontz--who first read him in their youth is, well, legendary.


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Verdict: This is a classic for good reason. It's a quick and entertaining read that tells far more story in far fewer pages than its imitators. Anyone who likes science fiction, horror, or vampires should read it.
Kitty: Angry Calico

Collins, Suzanne: Mockingjay

Mockingjay (2010)
Written by: Suzanne Collins
Genre: YA/Science Fiction
Pages: 390 (Hardcover)
Series: Book Three of Three

The premise: ganked from BN.com: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

My Rating

Worth the Cash: This book is utterly and entirely different from The Hunger Games and Catching Fire that it's not even funny. It's a helluva lot darker too on many levels and really ramps up the fact that this is science fiction dystopia. Bad things happen to good people, and there's a war that Collins doesn't flinch away from. There are heart-breaking moments in this book, and Katniss really takes a beating psychologically. It's a good read, but I have to say I wish I'd had some time to process Catching Fire before jumping right into this one. First because of the pain meds I was on while reading both, but second so that I could've solidified my thoughts on the second book before having them warped by the third. Still, it's a very satisfying conclusion, and while this trilogy isn't an OMG-I-LOVE-IT type thing, I'm still glad I got on board, even with the hardcovers!

Review style: once again, this was read early in the painkiller stage, and to be honest, I kind of wish I hadn't read Catching Fire and Mockingjay back-to-back. I'll talk about why, talk about why Collins simply can't convince me that she's given me a real love triangle, as well as how romance works in general for this series. I'll talk about how this book differs from its predecessors and why that's a good thing, and touch on the epilogue that has so many readers up in arms. Also, there's either an intentional nod to Stephenie Meyer's Eclipse in this book or I'll eat my hat. Spoilers? Yes. and one more warning--in the course of talking about love triangles, I'm going to spoil the hell out of Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn. Why? Because I can.

If you want to read the full, SPOILERY review, just click the link below to go to my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)

REVIEW: Suzanne Collins's MOCKINGJAY

Happy Reading!

ALSO!!!

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

September: So Long Been Dreaming edited by Nalo Hopkinson
October: Feed by Mira Grant

Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
Page Count: 360 pages
Summary:When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.


(Review @ Read Sam, Read!)
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Mediated by Thomas De Zengotita

The Blurb On The Back:

Here is the world we think we know presented to us as if for the very first time. From oral sex in the Oval Office to cowboy politics, from Homer Simpson to O. J. Simpson, from Princess Diana’s funeral to the aftermath of September 11, from reality TV to hip-hop nation, Mediated takes us on a provocative tour of our media-drunk society. It is a brilliantly satirical treatise on our culture – the real and unreal times in which we live, the cult of celebrity and our own narcissistic response to it. Read this book and nothing that you see or hear can any longer be taken for granted.

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The Verdict:

An accessible if at times jargon heavy and slightly dated examination of the influence of the media on our lives and how we perceive both society and our place in it, this is an interesting read that will make you re-evaluate whether you are consuming the media, or whether the media has consumed you.

Cross-posted to books and bookworming.