The publication of this book has been delayed indefinitely. I pre-ordered in May 2013 from Amazon, and Amazon notified me of the delay in July 2016. CThe publication of this book has been delayed indefinitely. I pre-ordered in May 2013 from Amazon, and Amazon notified me of the delay in July 2016. Current publication estimate is December 2030, per information listed on the publisher webpage.
What I enjoyed the most was pretty much Lena’s backstory, which had been scattered flashback-like throughout the rest of the book. Midway through, I sWhat I enjoyed the most was pretty much Lena’s backstory, which had been scattered flashback-like throughout the rest of the book. Midway through, I starting skipping the main plot just to keep reading the flashbacks. Three stars....more
Historical romance riff on the Cinderella fairy tale. I particularly liked the secondary couple's pregnancy and 'we need to get permission to marry --Historical romance riff on the Cinderella fairy tale. I particularly liked the secondary couple's pregnancy and 'we need to get permission to marry -- right now' angst. Cute. If I can find some more of these at the library, I'll read them right up....more
Very cute regency novella set at the point of the Victorian divorce laws of 1853. Extra star added to rating in favor of the heroine have been introduVery cute regency novella set at the point of the Victorian divorce laws of 1853. Extra star added to rating in favor of the heroine have been introduced in the act of smuggling her father's body in order to conceal his ruinous suicide. As is par for Milan's work, the plot is intelligent and notably well done. Excellent as a library read....more
Readable but ridiculous. I couldn't help but be taken aback by the introduction of the heroine, the virgin spinster fashion designer raised with stricReadable but ridiculous. I couldn't help but be taken aback by the introduction of the heroine, the virgin spinster fashion designer raised with strict morals by sheltering yet loving missionary parents and whose quirky, sexy designs are only sold by exclusive boutiques and have gathered enough success that she owns a second cottage in Jamaica wherein to rest and renew her artistic sensibilities when she's not living with her parents in their shared Miami home. All right, then; it's one of the those sorts of books. Enter the disturbingly attractive neighbor (half Indian, half white oil baron from the next-door villa -- this book was originally published in 1987 but it feels even more old school than that) and brace yourself, because the fluff is just getting started.
It has all the all the literary merit of a bag of potato chips, but there are worse ways to kill a couple hours.
One and a half stars. Best for persons who enjoyed the 80s, or at least can look back on their fashions and particular word choices with nostalgia.
I have to admit I'm a little apprehensive seeing a children's series titled, The Chronicles of 'Letter', when there is a prominent and widespread erotI have to admit I'm a little apprehensive seeing a children's series titled, The Chronicles of 'Letter', when there is a prominent and widespread erotica publication titled, The Story of 'Letter'....more
Sadly, I wasn't charmed by this one. I was particularly disappointed to find that the striking title and cover illustration had practically no relatioSadly, I wasn't charmed by this one. I was particularly disappointed to find that the striking title and cover illustration had practically no relationship to the contents of the book -- there were no poems to explore the theme of Einstein or of cats; the interior illustrations were single-color sketches. I did enjoy the author's notes placed just after each poem, but the poems themselves felt off to me. And I'm very uncertain as to how the intended post-literate child audience is going to relate to types of lettuce and plays on Usain Bolt's name.
My biggest problem with this book is that I'm not in love with it. In fact, I've yet to fall in love with any Valente's books and I've read a couple aMy biggest problem with this book is that I'm not in love with it. In fact, I've yet to fall in love with any Valente's books and I've read a couple and tried several more. I've enjoyed the ones I've read. I didn't close the DNFs out of any sense of dislike, more with an air of 'I'm gonna get back into this later when I'm more in the mood.' Valente is an extraordinarily imaginative author capable of truly breathtaking prose, and even more than that she writes exactly along the genres closest to my taste. By all rights, I should adore her. I don't.
Six-Gun Snow White started brilliantly for me. I loved the historic western setting and the Native American elements, how the Snow White tale was adapted to this setting and how it fit in that setting so well. But my fascination fell apart in the last third of book. The Deer Boy element, Snow White's brother that she barely kind of maybe met, seemed rough and without much purpose. For all that Snow White was half Crow, she was raised without any influence of Native American culture and seemed to exist in a world solely populated by white people, which seemed like a big wasted opportunity to me. Coyote had been touted on the back-flap; he never appeared. The sudden appearance of the taxidermied horse and such details at the very end seemed nice touches as far as details go, but also seemed invented on the spot, grounded neither into the given narrative or traditional story elements.
I still like Yolen's "Snow in Summer" best.
Recommended reading to any fan of fairy-tale retellings or even of westerns, but not likely to be a story I'll reread. Between three and four stars. I'm actually leaning more towards three.
I agree with another reviewer: these poems are definitely goofy. Best recommended for very young children who seem predisposed to such goofiness, andI agree with another reviewer: these poems are definitely goofy. Best recommended for very young children who seem predisposed to such goofiness, and for parents to read aloud rather than for the child to read themselves.
Straightforward, introductory text. I know practically nothing of ninjas, and so the information was all new to me and uniformly fascinating. I preferStraightforward, introductory text. I know practically nothing of ninjas, and so the information was all new to me and uniformly fascinating. I preferred the history of the ninja clans over the strength exercises (which I didn't try to do) and weapons techniques. It would have been happier if there had been more extensive reference list (citations in this were completely lacking) as well as some recommended titles for further reading, but as it was this seemed like an easily accessible work for persons casually interested in the subject material. I could see it being particularly helpful as a preliminary resource for writers.
However, I'm knocking a star off my rating due to the stated list price of this book -- Amazon prices it at about $6, currently on sale for $4. This book is 28 pages long, or 22 pages if you don't count the title page, author bio, contents, etc. That's not a six-dollar book. That's a 99-cent short story.
Favorite typo, from the copyright notice:
"No part of this book may me reproduced" [p. 4, ISBN unknown]
Excellent debut, but flawed. I absolutely loved the setting of this, and the mythology and ghost culture was fascinating to me. Slightly less fascinatExcellent debut, but flawed. I absolutely loved the setting of this, and the mythology and ghost culture was fascinating to me. Slightly less fascinating to me was the heroine – I really liked how she started off, even in the first-person narrative which is generally not my style, but she later stalled for me while navigating scenes with her various potential husbands, floundered about solving mysteries, and never really regained steam. I ended up liking the idea of the novel better than execution.
Three and a half stars. I’d definitely read more of Choo’s works, and it seems like she’s setting Li Lan up for continuing novels... which I may or may not read.
I was predisposed to be charmed by these stories. Look at the cover artwork with the tiny princess having tea with the dragon! Look at all the story tI was predisposed to be charmed by these stories. Look at the cover artwork with the tiny princess having tea with the dragon! Look at all the story titles about grumpy dragons and precious things! The stories themselves feel traditional and modern all at the same time, and Price's hand on the writing is sure and smooth and fun.
Five-year-old me would have demanded this book be read to her every night at bedtime.
Ten-year-old me would have pulled this out concurrently with volumes of Brothers Grimm and other folklores and sincerely try to read all of them at the same time.
Seventeen-year-old me would have stumbled upon this while reorganizing her bookshelves with a Huh, I remember this. and spent the next 30 minutes rereading it without a trace of shame.
Sadly, disappointing. The heroine read like a Mary Sue caricature and there was never a shred of explanation as to why the hero was so taken with her.Sadly, disappointing. The heroine read like a Mary Sue caricature and there was never a shred of explanation as to why the hero was so taken with her. The horror aspects began and ended with the demon hero character; I never found any part of the novel chilling,* or even mildly thrilling, although one or two parts of it were rather gory.
* Unless you count the speed at which the characters' relationship progressed.
I had quite high hopes for this one -- Rich Hautala is a new author to me but has a solid bibliography and reputation in horror and speculative fiction. And it's worth pointing out that The Demon's Wife is a posthumous publication. For all I know, Hautala had this book finalized and completely edited well before his untimely passing, but I suspect that was not the case here and I'm rather regretful I didn't start reading him with any other of his published works instead.
Best recommended for the horror-fond YA crowd. DNF at the 50% mark. Two stars.
I very much enjoy fairy tales and retellings and I'm fairly well-read in them, but despite George MacDonald being one of the classic names in that genI very much enjoy fairy tales and retellings and I'm fairly well-read in them, but despite George MacDonald being one of the classic names in that genre, I'd never read anything by him. His writings are openly acknowledged as having influenced the work of many authors I admire — C.S. Lewis, E. Nesbit, Madeline L'Engle, G.K. Chesterston, Mark Twain, et al. — so when I realized that Project Gutenberg has several of his out-of-copyright publications up for free access, I downloaded them once and prepped my ereader for some serious reading.
Unfortunately, all in all, I really would have rather left MacDonald entirely unread. He seems to be an author far too fond of his own voice. I found his fairy stories to be ponderous moral tales, which I'm sure are fine if you like that sort of stuff: I don't. The gender and race relations made me cringe, and the introduction of Chinese buffoon characters 'Hum-Drum' and 'Kopy-Keck' nearly made me stop reading then and there. In the entirely of "The Light Princess," I found one single passage I enjoyed:
The forests are very useful in delivering princes from their courtiers, like a sieve that keeps back the bran. Then the princes get away to follow their fortunes. In this they have the advantage of the princesses, who are forced to marry before they have a bit of fun. I wish our princesses got lost in a forest sometimes. [p. 15-16]
The character names in "The Giant's Heart" stopped me dead as well: 'Tricksy-Wee' and 'Buffy-Bob,' seriously? "The Golden Key" was better, but I didn't like the creepy, directly stated plot point that eating sentient fish was perfectly okay because the fish turn into angels afterward.
I can't speak for MacDonald's other publications, but The Light Princess and Other Fairy Stories was to me an example of Victorian literature at its worst. I need to go off and reread Wee Free Men as a palate clenser. Two stars.
Quote pulled from unknown edition. Three stories made up this edition: "The Light Princess," "The Giant's Heart", and "The Golden Key."
Radford is a capable writer. Her stories are imaginative and well crafted. And I genuinely don’t like any of them. I read about five of the stories inRadford is a capable writer. Her stories are imaginative and well crafted. And I genuinely don’t like any of them. I read about five of the stories in this collection, and maybe two others from a previous anthology, and I actively disliked each one. The stories she tells just aren’t ones I want to hear. INYIM. YMMV. DNF. Two stars....more
**spoiler alert** Terrible. And horribly, horribly dated. I picked this up after spotting a positive review online that mentioned the novel’s equestri**spoiler alert** Terrible. And horribly, horribly dated. I picked this up after spotting a positive review online that mentioned the novel’s equestrian plotline. Equestrian plotlines being not so thick on the ground that I can chance to pass one up, I checked it out from the library with thoughts of horses! eventing! Olympics! running happily through my head.
It lost my interest by p. 17, or 10 pages into Chapter 1, which coincidentally is when the hero met the heroine. Those 10 pages establish the heroine as a dedicated professional gearing up for competition. Those 7 preceding pages establish the heroine’s father as a high-ranking anti-terrorist strategist who has set his most trusted agent to lead a protection team to keep the Games secure from an imminent terrorist attack. Yet somehow this crack strategist failed to provide the agent with an accurate photo ID of his daughter, leading to the introductory scene where he tackles the heroine face-down in the desert, convinced that she is planting bombs while she’s scoping out an early look at the eventing grounds. The heroine, whose crack strategist father never bothered to inform her of this security detail, reacts to this introduction not by screaming or fighting back with all her strength gained from years of controlling 1200 lb beasts in competitive riding, like a sane woman would, but by reflecting on how warm and juicy she feels being laid upon by a stranger who's just attacked her. The hero, who is going by a different name than the one by which he was introduced in preface, frisks, interrogates, engages in meaningful conversation, and kisses away her tears in the next 11 pages, while keeping her pinned to the dirt. And on that 11th page, the heroine apologizes for being such a weak child.
This is not how you introduce a hero. This is how you introduce a villain planning a Stockholm abduction.
The heroine doesn’t get to sit up until the 12th page, then spends the next 3 pages brushing her hair, then several pages after that having her bloody friction abrasion tended. Standing upright doesn’t get to happen until p. 37, and that’s the point where I began skipping through this book in 50-page chunks.
I still got to read such gems as the hero being better at handling the heroine’s wondrous, man-hating horse than the heroine herself is; the heroine taking until p. 172 to realize her involvement in professional sports could be used as a way to draw her father into the open for an assassination; the heroine failing to shed her childhood nickname of ‘Baby;’ the hero riding the Olympic-caliber stallion bareback with lasso in a fight for dominance that involves the hero being described as a ‘shaman’ and a ‘cougar;’ the heroine’s riding team taking the gold metal (apparently she wasn’t attempting any individual medals); the hero’s apparent death and re-entry upon a black helicopter; and the heroine deciding to retire and raise foals and babies.
Recommended instead: any Anne Stuart book, if you want to read about black-ops agents falling ill-timed into love, or Ride a Storm, if you want to read an equestrian-themed romance with believable and actually likeable characters. But for the love of god, pass on this one. One star.