Cheryllynn Dyess has undertaken an enormous task in her "Jein's Journey" series; creating an alien world in words. The trick with this sort of thing iCheryllynn Dyess has undertaken an enormous task in her "Jein's Journey" series; creating an alien world in words. The trick with this sort of thing is to make it exotic enough that readers find it strange and wondrous, but not so weird and invented that the reader can't picture what's going on or what the environment looks like.
Fortunately, Ms. Dyess excels at description. She provides detailed images for the reader of the surroundings and characters so that we know Calastan as she sees it.
Jein is on two journeys; a physical one exploring the Unknown, and an emotional one to find her place in her tribe outside of the normal expectations for a young woman of her station.
"Calastan" is the first book of a three-part series. Those who finish and find themselves wanting more, there are "Resolution" and "Kyluna" to complete the trilogy. ...more
"Infected" by Jessica Gomez is a paranormal romance with a nod to "The Walking Dead" and "The Lord of the Flies." Our heroine is Lillie, a former fost"Infected" by Jessica Gomez is a paranormal romance with a nod to "The Walking Dead" and "The Lord of the Flies." Our heroine is Lillie, a former foster kid who figures she's tough enough to handle anything life throws at her, but no one is prepared for The Flash; a chemical explosion that, if one is not immune, either kills or mutates humans. Lillie has a child, Azami, born of rape (and there is explicit sex in this novel, including that scene). That's as much as I'm going to say so as not to provide spoilers.
There is a good story in here. There are solid, workable storylines in here for number of full-length books. However, the author has compressed them into one book, and in doing so, glossed over things that would make for compelling reading (Lillie going from foster child to new mother: what she learned, how she coped, giving birth by herself, etc.) Ms. Gomez plans a series with "Infected" as the first book. I would like to see her 1) "apply the brakes" and develop one story (with foreshadowing and hints at what's to come in the future books) rather than compress something that could be Harry Potter series length into one book, and 2) go back to Lillie's origin and write that out as a full-length book. I'd look forward to reading that....more
Reading it right now; it's going fast and scaring the hell out of me. You have a good "gumshoe" set up with a supernatural element. The setting is curReading it right now; it's going fast and scaring the hell out of me. You have a good "gumshoe" set up with a supernatural element. The setting is current day Southern California, so the fact that I recognize some of,the areas he's talking about adds to the " I am taking a baseball bat to bed with me tonight" feeling I'm getting from reading.
I had to keep reminding myself that I was not reading fiction. Before I read it, I was familiar with the "broad strokes" of Mr. Northrup's story fromI had to keep reminding myself that I was not reading fiction. Before I read it, I was familiar with the "broad strokes" of Mr. Northrup's story from the publicity surrounding the movie. Mr. Northrup's story provides insight into the daily realities of being someone's chattel. One owner even had to take out a "chattel mortgage" (think car loan) to buy him. Mr. Northrup endured and was able to return to his rightful place as a free man.
It's written in 19th century English which is more formal than the English we speak and write. If you're unfamiliar with Dickens, Melville, Alcott, Douglass, etc., it may make for tough going. This is not a novelization of a movie, as some seem to think. The book came first, about 160 years ago, give or take. ...more
Kim does it again. This is the fourth of her books that I've read (by coincidence, it's the fourth one she's written) and like her others, it is FUN.Kim does it again. This is the fourth of her books that I've read (by coincidence, it's the fourth one she's written) and like her others, it is FUN. We follow Nic, Seema and Mel from "There's Cake in My Future" to Seema's big day. The story moves quickly, the relationships among the women are warm, slightly snarky, and caring without sap, without bitchiness and you'd give your best bottle of wine to be their friend. Not often you get to have this much fun reading a book. Go, get it. Read it....more
One of the pleasures of sitting down with a Kim Gruenenfelder book is the knowledge that you're being treated to good writing, especially dialogue. I'One of the pleasures of sitting down with a Kim Gruenenfelder book is the knowledge that you're being treated to good writing, especially dialogue. I've read three of her books, al written in first person. "Cake" takes a slightly different route by breaking the narrative down among three best friends, one of whom is about to get married. She manages to give each a distinct personality and these are women you'd like. Nicole is the bride to be, Seema is the arts professional in love with her best friend and Melissa is the owner of a stable, or stale, relationship. The catalyst for the action is a bridal shower complete with cake pull: charms hidden in the cake are symbols of your future. Nicole has rigged the cake for certain people and yet, somehow, the "wrong" charms get pulled.
Like I said, Ms. Gruenenfelder's characters come across as genuine, likeable without being saccharine or perfect and sane (although Melissa wanders a little too close to Bridget Jones unreasonable craziness).
This is a book to buy, kick back and read. Time spent with Kim Gruenenfelder is not time wasted. ...more
What I learned from this book is how to build a Gothic cathedral.
Actually, this book reminded me of "Sarum,' and my favorite section, the building ofWhat I learned from this book is how to build a Gothic cathedral.
Actually, this book reminded me of "Sarum,' and my favorite section, the building of Salisbury Cathedral. This is the first Ken Follett book I have ever read and I'm chiding self for having missed out all this time.
At 900+ pages (a little pink wine and the typing goes), this is not a "finish in one day" endeavor unless you're an Evelyn Woods graduate. However, once in, you stay engrossed. I am a student of the medievel period and this story fed my addiction. I cannot wait until I get my hands on "World Without End."...more
After I finished "Total Waste of Makeup," I couldn't wait to get hold of "Misery Loves Cabernet." In the "chick lit" stable of heroines, Charlie EdwarAfter I finished "Total Waste of Makeup," I couldn't wait to get hold of "Misery Loves Cabernet." In the "chick lit" stable of heroines, Charlie Edwards was definitely preferable to most of the inhabitants, being strong enough and self-confident enough not to constantly fret over her romantic status (of course, baby-sitting her boss, Drew Stanton, took a lot of time and energy).
I didn't find Misery as much fun as Makeup. In the span of weeks between the end of one and the beginning of the other, Charlie started to veer towards the Desperate Ditz territory owned by Bridget Jones. Why? She has a boyfriend, he's off in Europe and all of a sudden, her being is consumed with whether or not their 3 week old relationship will last and whether or not he's going to cheat. In other words, what endeared Charlie to me was toned way down and I got somewhat annoyed with her in her obsessive moments. Another man comes on the scene and now we're dangerously close to ol' BJ and her damned diary. (There's talk of another Bridget Jones movie. Have we offended God that much?)
I continue to enjoy seeing the surrounding nuttiness through Charlie's eyes. I realize Drew Stanton is a caricature, but how many Sexiest Men Alive rescue hippos? The interplay among the generations of the Edwards family is hilarious and I want to adopt Mauwv.
I recommend "Misery Loves Cabernet" to those seeking a lightweight, fun quick read....more
I came upon this book accidentally, having bumped into the author at a Border's book signing. I was lured in with the phrase "Stephanie Plum." Okay, II came upon this book accidentally, having bumped into the author at a Border's book signing. I was lured in with the phrase "Stephanie Plum." Okay, I thought, this needs to be seen because one does not take the name of Plum in vain.
Man, am I glad I did.
Kim Gruenenfelder has created really good chick lit.
Although popular, Bridget Jones and Rebecca Bloomwood (Shopaholic) are a couple of neurotic nitwits and popular culture being oriented on the "monkey see, monkey do" model, so-called chick lit is filled with clones of these two-bit Cinderellas pining for a rescue and filling the time with self-obsession. (Hey, girls, wanna guess why he's not showing up?)
Charlie Edwards has a brain and uses it. She makes a few comment about her weight compared to those around her (she's a movie star's assistant, so the Size Two Zoo figures prominently in the calculation. And Kim, that's MY phrase!). Her younger sister is getting married in 3 weeks, a situation that does tend to weigh on the mind of an unmarried sibling. And Charlie does investigate the possibilities of a couple or three potential men; sometimes comically, sometimes he's the prototypical lying dog and sometimes, it'll break your heart.
One of the things that really caught my attention was how great the secondary characters were, including the whacko movie star boss. I didn't find any cardboard cutouts (well, okay, the grandparents were two-dimensional, but fun). These were complex characters with good and bad characteristics, like the television version of "Sex and the City". I was braced for Drew Stanton to remain a total fruitcake, but he had moments of genuine caring for those around him that mitigated his flakiness (some of which includes an elephant. Just buy the book). I adored Charlie's great grandmother Mauwv. 95 years old and taking no prisoners.
A note on the blurb compares Charlie to Stephanie Plum, as I mentioned. In my mind, she skewed more towards Cannie Shapiro and Jennifer Weiner's characters; sane people surrounded by lunatics. Charlie is a great connoisseur of Merlot and like one of the better ones, she contains notes of Cannie, certain Plummy depths and a hint of Elizabeth Bennett (the first chick lit heroine). I didn't read the jacket for "Misery Loves Cabernet" (is that a great title or what?), but if Charlie's on board, then so am I. And if Charlie's not there, I'm sure it'll still be a great read....more