This book is a solidly researched book that retells and embellishes on some of the racier Old Testament stories. It doesn't add any smut or violence,This book is a solidly researched book that retells and embellishes on some of the racier Old Testament stories. It doesn't add any smut or violence, though - the Old Testament is so jam packed with genocides, mass murders, rape, incest, human sacrifice (no, not the famous almost completed one featuring Isaac and Abraham, the completed one featuring Jephthah and the nameless daughter he sacrificed to God)and it needs nothing added to it to make it wholly over the top on the violence and sex scale. I enjoy books that flesh out old testament cultures and people to make them more three dimensional, and I enjoy books that are thoroughly well researched. This book is both....more
A sumptuous enticement of a book; lovely prose that dovetails nicely with the food and nature theme, and a touch of the supernatural without going allA sumptuous enticement of a book; lovely prose that dovetails nicely with the food and nature theme, and a touch of the supernatural without going all heavy handed Goth angst. Set in the south, the book is just a little Faulknerian in the insular and quirky population of the small town. Certain families have particular traits - Hopkins men always marry older women. Clark women are always good at sex. Waverly women always have gifts that seem odd and a little intimidating even to a town that accepts other oddities as part of the normal rhythm of life.
The main characters are lovingly drawn and appealing, and the minor characters are just as quirky and likable.
At the center is a betrayal that affected 2 women very differently, and the magical apple tree that has a definite personality, tending to toss apples at people in an attempt to get them to partake of the tree's own form of magic.
This is not a complex book, it's light, fast reading, but still enjoyable and certainly worth the short time it will take to read it....more
Not just another Anita Blake wannabe - this one is worth your time but you have to somehow manage to find a sense of humor while reading it. Start witNot just another Anita Blake wannabe - this one is worth your time but you have to somehow manage to find a sense of humor while reading it. Start with a heroine named Sookie and the brooding vampire love interest named Bill. Bill the Vampire? I'm convinced that Ms. Harris is poking jest a lil bit of fun at the oh so mannered writers who first made vampire fiction so very popular.
If you aren't familiar with Charlaine Harris' other works, you owe it to yourself to try her Aurora Teagarden mysteries and her Lily Bard mysteries. All of her series are good mysteries and good fiction and they are all very different. It takes a lot of talent to go from genre to genre like Ms. Harris has.
The Sookie Stackhouse series is good for people who find the other vampire fiction just a little too silly for taking itself so seriously. But don't let the humor fool you - there's good plot in these books....more
After Laurell K. Hamilton hit the scene with Anita Blake, authors suddenly realized there were actually people out there who wanted to read about occuAfter Laurell K. Hamilton hit the scene with Anita Blake, authors suddenly realized there were actually people out there who wanted to read about occult heroines. This started a positive rash of Anita Blake wannabes, none of which are anywhere as well done as the original in the first half of the series. This is yet another one of the wannabes. If you want a great alternate culture that's nicely detailed and intriguing, try Laurell K. Hamilton. She far outdoes her copycats....more
The evil genius was foiled in Prayers for the Assassin, but just like in those epic movies featuring Jason....He's not dead yet!!!
He's back and he's pThe evil genius was foiled in Prayers for the Assassin, but just like in those epic movies featuring Jason....He's not dead yet!!!
He's back and he's pissed at being thwarted by the handsome young elite warrior and his side kick, the brilliant, compassionate and lovely (in a properly modest Muslim way) scholar.
Rakim has fallen prey to that oldest of chestnuts - "if you kill the killer, do you somehow start to become just as bad as he was" - except in this case, it's a little more tangible. Darwin is somehow still half alive in Rakim's head and Rakim can access some of Darwin's skills. Suspiciously like half a dozen other protagonists in fictional works who manage to defeat a powerful enemy - Anita Blake comes to mind, as just one example.
Standard action adventure plot with the addition of an annoying new sidekick who smacks of Westley Crusher since the female genius scholar is sidelined taking care of the adorable offspring.
Not bad, but the alternate history is by far the most interesting thing about the book....more
Action adventure with some nice twists. It's several decades in the future, a couple suitcase nukes went off in D.C. and New York and the Mossad got bAction adventure with some nice twists. It's several decades in the future, a couple suitcase nukes went off in D.C. and New York and the Mossad got blamed. The United States has split into an Islamic Republic and the Bible belt in a bloody civil war. To the south, the Aztlan empire has laid claim to Texas and Florida and some of southern California. To the north, Canada is trying to get its hands on some of the great lakes states.
Toss into this mix a Fedayeen shadow warriar (elite spy trained to study and blend in with any culture) who's had a little DNA tweaking, the niece of a high ranking State Security officer who's bright enough to do a little more research into the history of the Muslim Republic, and the "Old One", a mastermind genius of a villain who's been pulling strings behind the scene for decades trying to topple the old regime and replace it with a new Muslim one and you have an interesting piece of fiction. Toss in an assassin as finely trained as the shadow warriar and you have the perfect nemesis. Throw in the fact that the Catholics are the wild and partying bunch who still indulge in shocking things like alcohol, half naked women, and pork, and it starts to get humorous.
While its accuracy may not be flawless and the plot is just a bit farfetched, it was refreshing to see action adventure from a Muslim point of view. Both the male and female protagonists are Muslims (moderate Muslims, not the fundamentalist black robe kind, where all women who are outside of the house need to be in a burqa and carry a card that says their father or husband gave them permission to be out of the house without a male escort).
Jews are pretty much hated by everyone since they were the ones who blew up New York and D.C.......or did they?
Harlequin romances for those who thought harlequin romances were just a little too....fluffy....frilly....and had too many women in them and way too mHarlequin romances for those who thought harlequin romances were just a little too....fluffy....frilly....and had too many women in them and way too much of that icky kissing stuff and not nearly enough macho men swaggering around impressing other manly men with their manliness. Testosterone poisoning at its finest. Writing at its....well...not so finest. ...more
Melinda is having a hard time with her social life, and it's more than the fact that every teen ager, without exception, has a hard time with a socialMelinda is having a hard time with her social life, and it's more than the fact that every teen ager, without exception, has a hard time with a social life. There's something more here, and the "what" is not at all hard to figure out. How the main character reacts to trauma and how it impacts her relationships with her family and her peers is where the title comes from; Melinda finds it increasingly difficult to express herself verbally and there is some nice although a bit obvious play with this theme starting with the fact that she tried to talk about her trauma only to be shut down completely by her friends and ostracized, and her family's idea of communication is all through post it notes left on the frig.
This is a solidly good book and the protganist is refreshingly acerbic - Disney won't be picking this story up any time soon. But along with the angst there are some gut wrenchingly hilarious scenes scattered throughout the story that at first seem at odds with the tragedy but which are a nice touch showing that life goes on even when a teen is in the middle of a severe trauma. (After all, isn't the state of being a teen a severe trauma?)
I think it earned its reputation and its place on book lists for schools....more
Someone played a dungeons and dragons game (which is based heavily on Tolkien's books) and then decided to write down what their characters did and puSomeone played a dungeons and dragons game (which is based heavily on Tolkien's books) and then decided to write down what their characters did and publish it. And while dungeons and dragons is great fun for those playing it, everyone has had to suffer through players who labor under the mistaken impression that their adventures are just as interesting to everyone else as they are to the player...
"So then, like, you know, this Orc came out of the weapons room but I rolled a 20 and I threw my +5 sword and it went right through his shield and practically killed him. And so then, like, Arabella threw a level 23 fireball spell at him while Tantros cast an ice spell at the Orc's feet, and so he was, you know, frozen to the floor, like, when the fireball hit him...."...more