Rikuo is challenged by Gyuki if he wants to be the next leader. After accepting Gyuki as a member of the clan t...moreReason for Reading: Next in the series.
Rikuo is challenged by Gyuki if he wants to be the next leader. After accepting Gyuki as a member of the clan those who are not loyal to Rikuo are exposed and again another clan comes along from the West to take out the leaders of the other clans so they can be the ruling clan. This time it is not Rikuo who is in danger but the Supreme Commander himself who reveals his real magic power.
Another good entry in the series. Lots of new yokai are introduced and while Rikuo's schoolmates make appearances only Yura plays a major part. This volume concentrates more on the politics of the yokai clans and finally sets Rikuo up in his place as a candidate for the future leader. Several new characters on the Yokai side are introduced and plenty of action is found in the very cool battle scenes. (less)
In four days, someone is going to kill me. But the son of a bitch has gotta catch me first."
Acquired: Received a review copy from Penguin Group (Canad...moreIn four days, someone is going to kill me. But the son of a bitch has gotta catch me first."
Acquired: Received a review copy from Penguin Group (Canada).
Reason for Reading: Next in the series.
Tremendous! I just can't wait reading a new Lisa Gardner, some are better than others but I've never been disappointed! This latest volume in the DD Warren series does not disappoint. First off, little time is spent on DD's personal life but we get enough to know the latest details and how she is adjusting to the new changes in her life. Fed up with the downtime she is quite excited to get back on a case and while working one, another case finds her. Of course, it's obvious to any serious crime reader that the two cases will somehow be related to each other which indeed they are, with the first leading to a much larger, more intricate case. The book alternates between the points of view of both D.D. and her team investigating the crimes and the woman who feels that she is the target of a murder. This woman, Charlie Grant,comes across as determined, full of fight and an equal in personality as to how we're used to finding DD herself. A great thriller with many twists and turns. Some interesting people become suspects and knowing who can be trusted is an open question. I sped read this one to the end and am glad to say I am all caught up with this series now! Looking forward to a book next year, Ms. Gardner! Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook(less)
Reason for Reading: I'm visiting family in Edmonton and I asked my 14yo niece if she had any graphic novels I hadn't read and she pulled out the first...moreReason for Reading: I'm visiting family in Edmonton and I asked my 14yo niece if she had any graphic novels I hadn't read and she pulled out the first three books in this series. This is the next in the series; unfortunately I won't have time to read the third book before I go home :-(
I love this graphic novel series! Even better than the first volume! The fantasy/quest becomes much more involved as two very important characters are introduced, the wizard Quinton who has been mentioned in the first volume but is missing, and his apprentice the young girl Heath Wingwhit. Rubel's story and Quinton & Heath's are separated by 1,000 years introducing a time paradox element to the tale. One character common to both stories is the Shadow Lady and much information is slowly revealed leaving the reader curious, confused and scrambling to piece the mysteries together. I had started to form an idea as to who someones true identity might be but was proven wrong towards the end of this volume when a particularly splendid reveal caused the story to become even more engaging. The new character's are funny, Quinton is a boy but someone who is thousand's of years old and is the quintessential bumbling and mumbling albeit incredibly intelligent wizard. Heath is a girl with no fears and a take no prisoners attitude who is loyal to her mentor, even when everyone else is positive he is off his rocker. Great dynamics between these two make for fun reading. I still think the story is suitable for middle grade and up, though unfortunately the word "d*mn" has been added to the vocabulary and overused without any need except to perhaps make the story appear more grown up to older readers. I'd label the story for YA but suitable for older and younger. I can't wait to continue on with this series and hope once I get home my library will be able to supply the remaining five volumes for me. (less)
Reason for Reading: I'm visiting family in Edmonton and I asked my 14yo niece if she had any graphic novels I hadn't read and she pulled out the first...moreReason for Reading: I'm visiting family in Edmonton and I asked my 14yo niece if she had any graphic novels I hadn't read and she pulled out the first three books in this series which I eagerly accepted after giving them the once over.
I have never heard of this series or author before and feel like I've discovered a hidden gem. Canadian cartoonist Mark Oakley has been independently publishing this delightful series since 1996 and I'm surprised it hasn't become one of those cult hits. It is simply splendid! Unique in format this book is what I believe is being called a "hybrid" (a combination of text and sequential art). The book is text heavy, especially at the beginning with long graphic sequences interspersed between these sections. The graphic sections become more frequent as the novel progresses but it is still about a 50/50 presentation.
Very much the beginning of a tale the reader can tell we've only just hit the surface of an epic tale, a quest, a journey. Standard fare of two siblings both claiming to be the rightful heir of the throne. However, here we only get the background story and this volume is very much the story of Rubel, the thief, who meets Princess Katara in the woods and becomes bonded to her as the Princess' Thief. It has been some years now and he is on his way to her to be of service; along this journey he is hunted by soldiers, captured and fights with pirates, gains an imp for a companion and is constantly followed and threatened by the Shadow Lady of the Sleeping Wood, the woods where once upon a time Rubel was born. An exciting tale full of derring-do. Rubel is a fun character with a sense of humour and adventure, ready to take on any challenge yet victim to human foibles such as fear, though he is very brave. At the end of the book we are treated to an extra of a short story published in an anthology which stars the princess giving us a delightful taste of her feisty personality while telling what happened to her after the fateful meeting with Rubel. I can't wait to read the next book!(less)
Satisfying conclusion to this 2-volume manga series. Lots of cool battle scenes but also goes into Astro's background fleshing out his character quite...moreSatisfying conclusion to this 2-volume manga series. Lots of cool battle scenes but also goes into Astro's background fleshing out his character quite nicely for such a short story. The overall theme is one of morals and ethics, having the potential to do either good or evil depending on your own choices. I really enjoyed the characters, they were your usual over-the-top emotional manga but lots of fun. I especially enjoyed the sole female Tiko, who though drawn rather scantily is a fierce personality. Again nothing content-wise to make this rated T, except for the appearance of two mild curse words. My about-to-turn 13yo loved this series and has claimed it for his shelves. Fun short series, best to read both volumes back to back.(less)
This is an absolutely wonderful history book for young people and I highly recommend it for Christian homeschoolers. They just don't write them like t...moreThis is an absolutely wonderful history book for young people and I highly recommend it for Christian homeschoolers. They just don't write them like this anymore. Written from a point of view which naturally assumes that God created the world, the Bible is a true record of history and the reader is a Christian; it interweaves Biblical history with other ancient history seamlessly from Mesopotamia to the Roman emperor Constantine. The book begins with these sentences: ""And they said ... let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven." So begins the Bible's story of the Tower of Babel. This tower wasn't just a legend..." and ends with this sentence: "But the empire of Christ with its center in Rome, the "eternal city," went on to conquer the Western world." Refreshingly written in a storyteller's narrative the book is interesting and informative. Published by mainstream Random House, the book is not overly Christian but will appeal to today's Christian looking for a history book which does not take the "His" out of HIS-Story. Of course, ancient history is ancient but some of the geographical information is outdated and modern discoveries would need to be supplemented with other material but this is a delightful overview of the anicient world. I've read a lot of such books over the years and this one is going to be a keeper on my shelves. A caution that some may find objection with the illustrations which do show nudity when it is applicable. Men are shown from a profile revealing one b*tt cheek and women are shown topless but seldom have visible n*pples. There is a combination between illustrations and actual archival photographs. The copyright page also boasts that the book was fact checked by a professor at Columbia University. A delightful find to be read aloud to youngers or read by up to early teens.(less)
Reason for Reading: I am very strong in my faith and have a profound interest in moral theology and ethics.
Sometimes I feel like I've got in over my h...moreReason for Reading: I am very strong in my faith and have a profound interest in moral theology and ethics.
Sometimes I feel like I've got in over my head when I set out to "review" a book and this is one of those times. Of course I'm not going to actually "review" this as I am nowhere near as intelligent or learned on this subject as the authors. That's one of the reasons I read it! So these brief musings will be my description and notes on this book, to perhaps help another reader decide if it is the book for them. First of all this book is what one would call a textbook; I would presume it is used in colleges, etc, however it is not written in a dry, hard to understand voice, nor is it extremely technical nor does it require complex reading skills. Rather, written for the laymen who is ready to study the topic at a further advanced level beyond an "off the shelf" layman's book. The book does require some thinking and effort but it is by no means unapproachable and at times the reading even flies. But the material is so interesting, inspiring, reaffirming, and possibly life-changing, that one will want to read passages over and over again before moving on.
I'd like to mention that "Catholic Sexual Ethics" is not all about the sex. The last three chapters focus exclusively on sexuality, however the rest of the book concentrates on other topics which are more important than sex and then brings in how sex is related to that topic. One thread that runs through the book is that humans are sexual beings nature but sexual lust & pleasure does not define who we are as humans. Our relationship with God defines us, and how we express ourselves sexually needs to be with the presence of the Holy Spirit in mind.
Following ethics and morality as taught by the Church is a most glorious and wonderful thing. One cannot imagine the beauty of this life unless one has experienced it and this book attempts to take all the high-faluting language down a few notches so the reader can understand what it means to respect the God-given body, yours and others.
First this book takes us through the history of sexual teaching in three chapters: first the Church's teachings, the Bible's teachings, and finally Catholic Traditions' teaching. These three are all one-in-the-same only with different degrees of clarity and one defines the other to the point of no misinterpretation. These chapters set a foundation on just what sex is, and why it is. The answers are very contradictory to modern society's hedonistic nature, but if one can read this for the true beauty of what the relationship is between God and his gift to us of sex, then you will be prepared for the rest of the book.
Follows are chapters on patterns of thinking in moral theology, Conscience: it's meaning and formation and finally Chastity, Virginity & Christian Marriage (three things which some may be surprised to find do walk hand in hand with each other). This is the first chapter that solely concerns itself with sexuality.
The last two chapters concern Chastity and it's Obligations first for the Married Person and lastly for the Unmarried Person.
Christian Catholic Ethics are not a book or list of rules. They are an explanation of what God expects from us when we are living mature Christian lives; we put God first, we invite the Holy Spirit in us to participate in all we do. This isn't easy, but it isn't any unnatural hardship either. The outcome is beautiful. This book shows us where modern society and biblical (traditional) ethics parted and the damage it does to the soul. If you are anything like me, you will be thinking about how you live your life and possibly making some adjustments. Highly recommended for those teaching this subject, working with youth on the subject and anyone ready to dig deeper into how they can live their life closer to God, while reaping the rewards.(less)
I have been reading a lot lately on the topic of near-death experiences and people who come back to tell what they experienced in Heaven. When the pub...moreI have been reading a lot lately on the topic of near-death experiences and people who come back to tell what they experienced in Heaven. When the publisher offered me an ecopy of this title (it is only available on ebook) to review I was intrigued as it visited that topic but branched out mainly onto deathbed visions and other experiences of the dying and also those of friends and relatives of those who had recently died. While the book did not state it had any Christian content I was hoping to find some by the nature of the topic and the fact that all subjects interviewed for this book were Irish. While the author makes a point of noting that these experiences are found among all peoples, regardless or creed, sex, age, or heritage I was pleasantly surprised to find the majority of the accounts were given by Catholics, of varying degrees of practice. Their religion was never mentioned but the accounts would mention going to Mass, saying the Rosary, praying to the saints, etc. Also while not all accounts were given by Christians almost all of them were, if not Catholic, then another denomination, so I was pleased the book proved to be what I was hoping for.
Divided into sections on deathbed visions, near-death experiences and other visitations which don't fit the other two categories such as relatives being visited the moment a loved one dies across the country or on the other side of the world, the book contains a diverse selection of accounts yet they all have one thing in common, all the participants are Irish born. Keane has written two previous books on the topic of deathbed visitations and he lets us know this book is the result of an accumulation of significant accounts which didn't fit into his other books, simply because he ran out of space or because they didn't fit the specific theme of those other two books. As such, what we get here is account after account which starts off truly fascinating but by its nature starts to become monotonous as the same but different experiences are recounted over and over. My favourite section was the one where my personal interests lie, the near-death experiences, but I did enjoy reading the whole book until at a point in each section, repetition bred a certain monotony. I'd recommend reading in small doses to avoid this. The accounts are written in the words of the participant or the one recounting the event for another so one gets a certain feel for each individual case and I truly believed some while having doubts about others. All the information that I've read on this topic, that there is an afterlife, a Heaven and that we will meet our loved ones again was confirmed by these accounts; there was no new information, merely a atmosphere that so many experiencing the same thing cannot be wrong. I also enjoyed the last chapter in which Keane takes all the common scientific "explanations" for death and near death phenomena and scientifically (or by reason) refutes them. A short and interesting read for those interested in the topic.(less)
When I think of Imperialism, Colonialism and empire building, the last country that would have come to mind is The Netherlands. But they did indeed ha...moreWhen I think of Imperialism, Colonialism and empire building, the last country that would have come to mind is The Netherlands. But they did indeed have colonies such as Dutch Guiana, Gold Coast, Mozambique, South Africa, and many others including Dutch New Guinea where this book takes place. I found this story entirely fascinating and in more ways than I had expected. The author goes back to track Michael's footsteps,read the now public access records and talk to natives who knew Michael or their relatives. Probing into the stone age culture that still practiced headhunting and cannibalism at the time of Rockefeller's death was fascinating. The government played a large part in convincing the world that these people, the Asmat, no longer practiced these atrocities. While I'm usually not interested in obscure country's politics, what was going on behind the scenes with the Dutch government who at the moment Michael disappeared were trying to convince the UN they should be allowed ownership of the colony, was stimulating. While Michael Rockefeller was presumed drowned at sea after an extensive public search, the real search for the truth wasn't started by the Dutch authorities until everyone had gone home and what they discovered was shared with few and silenced to secrecy. The author uncovers the truth fifty years later for the public, but questions will always remain. (less)
Well, I feel a bit guilty not giving this book a 5* rating but I must be honest, we were somewhat disappointed....moreReason for Reading: Next in the series.
Well, I feel a bit guilty not giving this book a 5* rating but I must be honest, we were somewhat disappointed. For those not sure how this series works. It is made up of picture books and chapter books which in the long run are related to each other, same characters, but supposedly could be read apart from one another. The picture books are called "The Guardians of Childhood" while the chapter books are called "The Guardians". We are reading all the books in order as they are published and *highly* enjoying this series: the writing, the world-building, the plot and the illustrations. We came to this book, looking forward very much to the picture book format again, expecting to be taken back to the world of "The Man in the Moon" and perhaps a small insight into the continuing storyline as we know the next chapterbook is titled after the Sandman as well.
First, our disappointment came in that this story is very much a stand-alone. Yes, the man in the moon (MiM) is briefly present but this is "Sandy's" story of how he came to be in the "Golden Age", a time far in the past before the events taking place in the chapter books. None of the chapter book characters are mentioned except of course the villain Pitch, neither is any of that plot, nor is the story advanced in anyway. In truth, while the Sandman is an interesting character, his story is rather boring and feels out of place within the context of the overall series. Some sort of continuity for readers of the entire series (picture & chapter) would have been appreciated.
On the other hand, William Joyce is an illustrator extraordinaire. He should be remembered as one of the greats of our time to follow in the footsteps of the likes of N.C. Wyeth and the Hildebrandts. This book is exquisite. Each page is simply beautiful and the story, as it is, is fully realized with the fantastical, otherworldly illustrations which use a dark palette of blues, purples and browns contrasted with the bright glimmering yellow/gold light of the sandman, his sand, his star and the moon. Beautiful, beautiful! Recommended age is 5+ for reading aloud but quite a bit older for individual reading, perhaps 9/10+. Not what we had expected storywise, but nonetheless a gorgeous book.(less)
Review written in 2007: I've been reading this aloud to my 7yo for a month or so, reading one story every now and then. The stories are presented here...moreReview written in 2007: I've been reading this aloud to my 7yo for a month or so, reading one story every now and then. The stories are presented here in chronological order as published with 4 unpublished works at the end. The stories are wonderful, darling tales of anthropomorphic animals. Once she married in 1913 she didn't have as much time for her painting and writing and I think it shows as the stories in the first half of the book are much more enjoyable than the latter ones. The stories are somewhat didactic but not overly so. They are also much more violent than I would have remembered them to be. Naughty children are spanked frequently and Potter presents as a matter of fact that animals are often killed by hunters, farmers and other animals.
The 7yo really enjoyed the stories, especially the ones in which Peter Rabbit or members of his family appeared. Also, while each story stands alone there are references to prior events and characters and this was fun to notice when reading them in order. This edition itself includes a brief biography of Beatrix Potter at the front and prior to each story is a short introductory paragraph detailing connections in the story with Potter's real life. All the original illustrations, including the original front covers illustrations, are included and this is a book that can be browsed through just for the gorgeous watercolours and sketches.(less)