November 1st, 2010

Garden

Well she turned me into a newt!

--Sorry is this is a repost. If so could you link me? Thanks--

Hey guys. I sumbled across an article on the Salem witch trials and wondered if there were any particularly thrilling depictions of the event in Adult or YA fiction? I absolutely love the movie with Winona Ryder and Daniel Day Lewis.

Any suggetions are most appreciated.
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{books} ...and coffee

Book Reviews


Title: Velocity by Dean Koontz [New York 2005]
Summary: Bill Wile is an easygoing, hardworking guy who leads a quiet, ordinary life. But that is about to change. One evening, after his usual eight-hour bartending shift, he finds a typewritten note under the windshield wiper of his car. If you don’t take this note to the police and get them involved, I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher. If you do take this note to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work. You have four hours to decide. The choice is yours.

It seems like a sick joke, and Bill’s friend on the police force, Lanny Olson, thinks so too. His advice to Bill is to go home and forget about it. Besides, what could they do even if they took the note seriously? No crime has actually been committed. But less than twenty-four hours later, a young blond schoolteacher is found murdered, and it’s Bill’s fault: he didn’t convince the police to get involved. Now he’s got another note, another deadline, another ultimatum…and two new lives hanging in the balance.

Suddenly Bill’s average, seemingly innocuous life takes on the dimensions and speed of an accelerating nightmare. Because the notes are coming faster, the deadlines growing tighter, and the killer becoming bolder and crueler with every communication—until Bill is isolated with the terrifying knowledge that he alone has the power of life and death over a psychopath’s innocent victims. Until the struggle between good and evil is intensely personal. Until the most chilling words of all are: The choice is yours. [Source].
Review in 5 words or less: Very suspenseful. Likable characters. Clever plot.
Personal Rating: ◊ ◊ ◊ of 5.
Link to Review: Find the review here!




Title: Death Masks by Jim Butcher [New York 2003]
Summary: Harry Dresden is not having a good day. A vampire named Ortega is hunting the beleaguered wizard, intending to challenge him to a duel that, Ortega claims, will end the war between the vampires and the wizards. Harry has almost no hope of winning the duel, but soon he is preoccupied by another problem: Father Vincent, a priest, needs Harry's help in finding the Shroud of Turin, stolen by a trio of thieves. Harry traces two of the thieves to his hometown, Chicago, but when he finds them, he learns that he isn't the only one after them. A group of terrifying demons wants the shroud, and its leader is interested in Harry's soul, too. Harry must call on all of his friends, including three brave knights, his police-officer friend, and even his half-vampire ex-girlfriend, Susan. [Source].
Review in 5 words or less: Great pacing. Complex plot. Mix between „noir“ and humor. Many references to his old books. Not to be taken too seriously.
Personal Rating: ◊ ◊ ◊ of 5.
Link to Review: Find the review here!
  • valca85

Snakewoman of Little Egypt by Robert Hellenga

Synopsis from Goodreads:

On the morning of her release from prison, Sunny, who grew up in a snakehandling church in the Little Egypt region of Southern Illinois, rents a garage apartment from Jackson. She's been serving a five-year sentence for shooting, but not killing, her husband, the pastor of the Church of the Burning Bush with Signs Following, after he forced her at gunpoint to put her arm in a box of rattlesnakes.

Sunny and Jackson become lovers, but they're pulled in different directions. Sunny, drawn to science and eager to put her snake handling past behind her, enrolls at the university. Jackson, however, takes a professional interest in the religious ecstasy exhibited by the snakehandlers. Push comes to shove in a novel packed with wit, substance, and emotional depth. Snakewoman of Little Egypt delivers Robert Hellenga at the top of his form.


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  • quippe

The King’s Bastard by Rowena Cory Daniells

The Blurb On The Back:

Only seven minutes younger than Rolencia’s heir, Byren has never hungered for the throne. He laughs when a seer predicts that he will kill his twin. But the royal heir resents Byren’s growing popularity. Across the land the untamed magic of the gods wells up out of the earth’s heart. It sends exotic creatures to stalk the wintry nights and it twists men’s rights, granting them terrible visions. Those so touched are sent to the Abbey to control their gift, or die. At King Rolen’s court enemies plot to take his throne, even as secrets within his own household threaten to tear his family apart.

Political intrigue and magic combine in this explosive first book in an exciting new fantasy trilogy.


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The Verdict:

This fantasy, the first in a trilogy, is a competent affair that mixes sword play, magic and politics well enough to offer something to traditionalists. Personally, I found the story too predictable and some of the plot moving devices were used too often. However there is no faulting the ambition and while I’m undecided on whether to continue with this trilogy, I would check out the author’s next series.

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

Cross-posted to books, bookworming, booky_talk and fantasywithbite.

Also (with apologies if this is not permitted), I'm doing an ARC give-away on my RL blog which includes the middle grade fantasy Bartimaeus: The Ring Of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud here if anyone is interested.