The Genesis of Shannara series is dark and depressing. Humans continue to fight each other as well as the demons and once men and the humans are clearThe Genesis of Shannara series is dark and depressing. Humans continue to fight each other as well as the demons and once men and the humans are clearly losing the battle. The elves have internal political workings that could cost them their chance at survival as well. It seems the fate of both the humans and elves lie in the hands of two Knights of the Word and the children they protect. One magical creature, disguised as a human teenager, must gather the survivors and lead them into their next world.
Although the action slowed a bit in The Elves of Cintra, Brooks keeps the stakes high as each group must fight for their own survival and to accomplish the task they have been sent to do. Doubts creep in for many and the way is nearly lost yet somehow most keep going.
Anyone who has read the Shannara books already knows where the Genesis of Shannara story must end but Brooks has captured my attention in taking us there....more
Ill Wind is fast paced and chaotic. The story zooms from present to past and back again as Joanne attempts to put all the pieces of the puzzle togetheIll Wind is fast paced and chaotic. The story zooms from present to past and back again as Joanne attempts to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. The writing mirrors Joanne's frantic emotional state and I could strongly feel the sense of urgency that she was facing. At the same time, Joanne seems to take time out of her flight for survival to indulge her sexual nature by fantasizing about the man she picked up by the side of the road or remembering past encounters with various men. These fantasies seem trivial considering the gravity of her current situation.
Although Joanne has some control over the weather, she believes that a storm is following her with malicious intent. Until some very specific evens occur, she is unsure if this is a natural storm or one created by another Weather Warden to end her life. I think I was expecting Joanne to have much more control over the weather than she seemed to at times based on her title of Weather Warden.
Without giving anything away, I will say that the ending confused me a bit because I am unclear how it is going to lead the story into a series.
Overall, I found Ill Wind to be an enjoyable read, although not one of my favorites. I am interested in continuing the series to see where it is going....more
Spoiler Alert: Please do not read this review unless you have already read the first book in this series, Ill Wind. The events of this book are strongSpoiler Alert: Please do not read this review unless you have already read the first book in this series, Ill Wind. The events of this book are strongly based on the ending of the last and I would hate to give anything away. I do have a review of Ill Wind that I posted in July.
Heat Stroke essentially picks up right where Ill Wind left off. Joanne Baldwin was transformed from a human Weather Warden to a Djinn in order to preserve her life. Now she must learn to use her new abilities while navigating in social circles where she does not understand the rules. There is also a new, unknown rift threatening to tear the world apart.
Heat Stroke is another fast-paced book. Joanne barely has time to cope with one crisis when another strikes. She is again unable to gain her footing and often acts impulsively on whatever little information she has to go on at the time. Joanne is definitely not a big-picture girl and fails to see how all the pieces fit together until it is nearly too late. In this, she is a very flawed heroine. However, without this impulsive nature most of the action in these books would not take place.
I am enjoying the Weather Warden series as quick, entertaining reads. I am not strongly invested in the characters, although I am hoping to see some growth from Joanne in future books. Although both books in the series so far have focused on disasters of large scale significance. the books have enough light moments to keep from becoming too heavy....more
Chill Factor follows Joanne Baldwin, Weather Warden, as she attempt to fix the mess created at the end of Heat Stroke. Kevin, an angry teenager with aChill Factor follows Joanne Baldwin, Weather Warden, as she attempt to fix the mess created at the end of Heat Stroke. Kevin, an angry teenager with a lot of power, has control of the most powerful Djinn and is keeping all the Wardens out of Las Vegas. The Djinn have been disappearing and the Wardens cannot combat the unusual weather changes without them. Joanne, who is now human again, has been sent in to try to get Jonathan away from Kevin and restore order before the world is destroyed.
As in the previous books, Joanne doesn't fully understand the situation she is placed in. She is being used by others who either have more power than she does or at least think they do. Although Lewis is weakened because Kevin stole his powers, he still feels that he has the moral high ground and can use Joanne to his own ends. The Wardens also feel that they know how the world should be and that their control over the elements is saving humans from nature instead of destroying a delicate balance.
The events of this book also tie into events from Joanne's past. This leads to sections of the book featuring her memories. The majority of the time, I was able to keep straight what was in the past and what was currently happening, although there were a couple of times when I did get confused. The addition of past events solidifies Joanne's connection to current events and gives a reason why Joanne must be the one to diffuse this situation rather than one of the other Wardens.
Joanne is feisty, impulsive, stubborn, and determined. Despite the risks to her own life, she knows she cannot walk away from the situation and leave the world in peril.
I continue to enjoy this series, although I would not say it is one of my favorites. I am certainly understanding more of Joanne's character as the books progress and am beginning to like her a bit more than I did in the first book....more
Lissa is Moroi, vampire royalty. Her best friend and Guardian, Rose, is Dhampir, a human and vampire mix. Together they ran away from St. Vladimir's ALissa is Moroi, vampire royalty. Her best friend and Guardian, Rose, is Dhampir, a human and vampire mix. Together they ran away from St. Vladimir's Academy two years ago but now they have been found and taken back. Now they must navigate the treacherous social scene, protect Lissa from danger coming from an unknown source, and try to figure out what is going on with Lissa's growing powers.
Vampire Academy begins with a lot of action. The reader doesn't know why Lissa and Rose are on the run or who is after them but can sense their fear of being caught and taken back. This sets the tone for the entire book. Mead does a great job of giving the reader bits of information about the past as it relates to the current events of the book. The reader is then able to put those bits of information together with the current information to understand the situation in the same way that the characters are beginning to understand it.
For the most part, dialogue, description, and action are all well-written. The only confusion that I had was with the first use of the terms Moroi and Strigoi as I did not find them to be clearly defined. The same was initially true of the term Dhampir, although I did know that term from other vampire stories. Of the three terms Dhampir was the one eventually given the most thorough explanation. My understanding of Moroi was that it was a term for vampire royalty, although it may encompass more than that. Strigoi seemed to mean a vampire who was truly undead. The unfamiliar terms did not hinder my understanding of the main events in the book.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to continuing the series. ...more
n an effort to add more fruits and vegetables into our diet, I've been looking at smoothie recipes. My chiropractors really recommend them as an energn an effort to add more fruits and vegetables into our diet, I've been looking at smoothie recipes. My chiropractors really recommend them as an energizing breakfast, packed with nutrition. I think this can be true if the smoothie recipe focuses on healthy ingredients without added sweeteners.
The Ultimate Smoothie Book contains a lot of great information regarding the best ingredients to use in smoothies and what nutritional benefits each food adds. It is well-organized with informational sections before you actually get to the smoothie recipes. The smoothie recipes are also organized into categories which makes it easy to find the type of smoothie you are looking for. I love that each smoothie recipe also has a nutritional breakdown per serving.
I was a bit thrown off by the book beginning with a section on juicing. I wasn't looking for a book on juicing - I was looking for smoothies! Calbom puts a great emphasis on using fresh fruit and vegetable juices in her recipes, which would unfortunately necessitate another piece of kitchen equipment which I am not interested in purchasing at this time. Calbom also uses ice frequently in her smoothie recipes and claims that a regular blender will be able to handle this. Maybe some blenders can handle ice well enough to make a truly smooth smoothie but I know mine cannot.
The majority of the recipes included in The Ultimate Smoothie Book look really tasty. Unfortunately, I've decided that I'm going to need to wait until I have a better blender and warmer weather to actually try them out. Smoothies in the middle of winter just don't sound very appealing!...more
50 Shades of Frayed is a humorous, honest look at sex from the perspective of three married women with children. I could relate to nearly every essay50 Shades of Frayed is a humorous, honest look at sex from the perspective of three married women with children. I could relate to nearly every essay in this book and often found myself nodding and chuckling in agreement.
I think this book should be required reading for husbands and wives as it could open up a unique marital dialogue. I know the next time my husband wants to have sex but I don't (which, lets face it, will probably be tonight) I'm going to hand over the Kindle and say "read essay number (insert appropriate essay here)" and leave it at that because these women explain it much better than I ever could....more
We are heading to Walt Disney World at the end of January 2015 and have been working with a travel agent to plan our trip. Even though much of our plaWe are heading to Walt Disney World at the end of January 2015 and have been working with a travel agent to plan our trip. Even though much of our planning has already been done I still found this book helpful in understanding how things have changed in the three years since we were at Disney last.
Walt Disney World can be very overwhelming in the number of choices that need to be made before you even arrive in order to have a pleasant stay. This can be tricky even if you haven't been there before but nearly impossible if you have no idea what hotels or travel around the Orlando area can be like. The Fodor's 2015 book breaks down each choice into manageable options and describes things well enough that people should be able to feel comfortable with their decision. I absolutely LOVE the simple lists that break down hotels, restaurants, and attractions in an easy to compare format.
Although this information is available online and through a travel agent, it is nice to have it all gathered in one place and in a grab and go format. I know I can find the list of rides that have height restrictions online but I have to hunt for it every time. Fodor's provided it on one page of this book. I also love the lists of rides that have Fast Pass available in each park, although I did notice that the Frozen Sing A Long is missing from the list for Hollywood Studios. There was also no mention of Wandering Oaken's Frozen Snowground but this may be only a temporary attraction.
I also appreciated the chapters on other Orlando attractions including both of the Universal Studios parks and Sea World. We have always been Disney people but have tossed around the idea of adding Universal Studios to a trip at some point. Now I can tell we want to wait until the kids are older for that.
Overall Fodor's Walt Disney World with Kids 2015 is a great resource for both new and seasoned Disney planners. I would recommend this book even if you are working with a travel agent because it will give you a better handle on how to navigate the World for a truly magical time....more