This just popped up on my timeline and I thought, Ye gods, THAT book! Wow, I haven't thought about that book in ages! What a STINKER.
I've never read aThis just popped up on my timeline and I thought, Ye gods, THAT book! Wow, I haven't thought about that book in ages! What a STINKER.
I've never read any of Melanie Rawn's other solo books, but I did thoroughly enjoy The Golden Key, which she co-wrote with two other authors. So I picked up this one in 1994, right after it came out, and I did not enjoy it. Here are two reasons why I give this book one star, and why I still own The Golden Key, but took The Ruins of Ambrai to the first paperback exchange I ever encountered.
1. I was more than halfway through this extremely wordy book, with its florid descriptions of every room in every palace and every item of clothing every person is wearing, when I realized that all this talk about men wearing "coifs" over their hair and having embroidery contests was supposed to mean that they lived in a matriarchal society. You would think that in a book set in a matriarchal society, there would be more female characters than male, and at least some of the women would be likeable, and some of the men would conform to said matriarchal society, instead of them all bucking convention at every turn. You'd be wrong.
2. It was shortly after that point when I also realized that the reason why all the coiffed menfolk were fawning over the extremely obnoxious teenage girl, with her improbably golden hair and improbably black eyes and perfect figure was because she was actually the main character. Honest to goodness, she was like one of Heinlein's busty, bitchy bimbos, tamed only by the love of a roguish, handsome man, and I just thought, well, it was really more of a sound of despair that I emitted, which was roughly like this: uuuuuuunnnnnnngggghhhhhhh. ...more
Got to read an advance copy of this, and thoroughly, THOROUGHLY enjoyed it! At first I was a bit wary, thinking, If this turns out to be another HungeGot to read an advance copy of this, and thoroughly, THOROUGHLY enjoyed it! At first I was a bit wary, thinking, If this turns out to be another Hunger Games thing, Imma throw something! But Jenkins has made her own world, and has created a cast of great characters to stick in it. Really loved (or loved to hate) the characters, and really loved her writing. I don't want to ruin anything by saying more, so all I'll add is that society depicted is based on ancient Sparta, which is cool and different, and Zo (the main character) is a healer, which is an interesting job to have in a world full of guys who constantly have to prove how tough they are.
I do wish someone had told me that it was the first book in a series, though! Yeeesh! It's even worse because it's an advance copy! I'll have to wait YEARS to find out what happens next, dang it!
My toddler is obsessed with this book. We have to read it every morning as soon as he wakes up. He's three, and he's been going through that phase wheMy toddler is obsessed with this book. We have to read it every morning as soon as he wakes up. He's three, and he's been going through that phase where they won't sit still and you can't read to them, and then suddenly WHAM he loves this book and can't get enough. I usually have to read it, then Little Owl Lost, Sheep in a Jeep, and then Little Blue Truck again. And that's okay! All the rhymes scan, I love the art, and it's not annoying! Hooray for board books that a mommy can read over and over without becoming stabby!...more
Well, the description says it all: Henry spends years trying to get rid of Catherine so he can have Anne, only to find that Anne and her family are hoWell, the description says it all: Henry spends years trying to get rid of Catherine so he can have Anne, only to find that Anne and her family are horrible and greedy, and there is still no heir. Cromwell brings her down, and with her the people responsible for the downfall of his old master, Cardinal Wolsey. This was even more fascinating because I always assumed that Anne Boleyn was tried and condemned by Henry. But Henry is a spoiled man, a king used to getting his way. He has but to say he wants Jane Seymour, and Anne gone, and a score of men leap to make it so. Henry knows nothing of the details. He doesn't even know how they're going to get rid of her until it's a done deal, nor does he care, as long as his "problem" is dealt with.
Fascinating stuff, richly detailed. This one moved faster than the first, since there's almost no backstory and it takes place, not over years, but over months. I would love to have Mantel go on (I don't know if she's planning to or not). I would love to know what happens to Cromwell, and have his take on the rule of the meek Jane Seymour, and those who came after her!...more
I'm laughing so hard right now. Ortberg has managed to capture the essence of dozens, DOZENS of works of literature and authors in a few choice texts.I'm laughing so hard right now. Ortberg has managed to capture the essence of dozens, DOZENS of works of literature and authors in a few choice texts. Everything from Jane Eyre to Fight Club can be found here. The Babysitters' Club. Medea. William Blake texting his wife is freaking hysterical. "I already have so many watercolors of flayings." Absolutely hilarious, and a must-read for anyone who considers themselves well-read!...more
Just as charming as the first! These little stories (each chapter is a separate adventure) are so sweet and funny, and the perfect length for a bedtimJust as charming as the first! These little stories (each chapter is a separate adventure) are so sweet and funny, and the perfect length for a bedtime read aloud! The kids are still giggling (days later) about the Bonfire Night episode....more
Different from what I was expecting, and just different in general. You have definitely never encountered a paiFascinating, and very, very different.
Different from what I was expecting, and just different in general. You have definitely never encountered a pair of characters like Ollie and Mo, who live thousands of miles apart, and may never be able to meet. Oliver is allergic to electricity, but that's really just the surface of what's going on. And Moritz? Saying he has a pacemaker, so he is toxic to Ollie, well, again, that's glossing over things. Moritz has some crazy $#!% going on, frankly. It was all very cool and mysterious and strange and yet somehow fun, because of the way the boys talked, or rather, wrote to each other. Each chapter is a letter, from Ollie to Mo, from Mo to Ollie. They talk about their lives, their pasts, their hopes, their families. Sometimes it's funny, and sometimes they can be a bit annoying (what teenager isn't at times, amirite?), and sometimes it's quite, quite heart-breaking. The voices were very well done, very real and distinct. And even though I think this qualifies as science fiction (though it's really science fiction lite, or science possible, if you will), what they were going through was still very real and relatable.
I'm not giving this 5 stars (though I wish I could give it 4.5), just because every so often there was something that didn't quite work for me. I won't go into details, because these little things may not bother anyone else, and I read the ARC, so some things may change. There was just a couple of times where I was like, Um, ew, that's a bit extreme, or someone acted out of character, when their characters were so perfect otherwise. ...more
Good gravy but something was wrong with Hans Christian Anderson. If household objects aren't chatting about their social status, then people are dyingGood gravy but something was wrong with Hans Christian Anderson. If household objects aren't chatting about their social status, then people are dying in the streets of Copenhagen! I mean, seriously. I knew the original story of The Little Mermaid, but my kids didn't. The horror on their faces was priceless. I also knew the basic story of The Snow Queen, mostly from the Faerie Tale Theatre version. I'd never read the whole thing. I think the best part was when Gerda asks the flowers if they've seen Kai, and they all reply with weird, existential imagery, and Gerda says, "Well, that's not at all helpful!" HILARIOUS.
This is a beautiful edition, though. Color and black-and-white illustrations, gilt-edged, rich paper. Very nice!...more
An excellent space adventure for kids! Reminded me of di Terlizzi's Wondla books, but instead of having the creatures and robots described to us, we cAn excellent space adventure for kids! Reminded me of di Terlizzi's Wondla books, but instead of having the creatures and robots described to us, we can look at Hatke's wonderful pictures, and so the story just zips along. Really creative and fun, perfect for kids who like adventure, science fiction, or even just want to try their hand at reading comics!...more
I'd heard about this book from Laini Taylor, and thought, Hm, that might be nice. And then an editor friend sent me an ARC, and I thought again,DAYUM.
I'd heard about this book from Laini Taylor, and thought, Hm, that might be nice. And then an editor friend sent me an ARC, and I thought again, Oh, how nice, I'll have to give it a try. Then I flipped through it and realized that not just the first couple of pages, but the entire book consisted of emails, texts, transcription from video and audio recordings, and other media, piecing together a story that is a mash up of Battlestar Galactica and 28 Days Later. So, yes, that had my attention, and I decided to take it on vacation . . .
Terrifying. Fascinating. Beautiful. Twisted. Amazing. I was laughing and crying and just freaking the frak out for the entire book. I couldn't put it down! Absolutely brilliant. I could not get enough of this book. A lot of times when I read the first book in a series I think, Ugh, I liked this just enough to read the next one, but I'm in no rush. With this book I'd like to sneak over to the authors' houses and try to steal their computers in order to get my hands on the next installment.
Just a fabulous book, I cannot wait for more! And I've decided that I'll need the real copy as well. The ARC was missing some art, like space ship schematics that I waaaaant. ...more
This is a precious and lovely book, with a sweet surprise twist to the end! I loved the pictures, which reminded me of the kind of illustrations thatThis is a precious and lovely book, with a sweet surprise twist to the end! I loved the pictures, which reminded me of the kind of illustrations that were in vogue when I was a kid, and seriously, the story is adorable! Not just a must-have for those of us who love dragons, but for anyone looking for a tender bedtime story to read aloud. ...more
OH MY GOSH! This was my FAVORITE in high school! I read every Marion Chesney book I could get my hands on, and loved them all, but this one was a stanOH MY GOSH! This was my FAVORITE in high school! I read every Marion Chesney book I could get my hands on, and loved them all, but this one was a standout for being both weirder than most and yet satisfyingly true to the formula. I had forgotten the title, though, and haven't been able to figure it out until now!
I must find myself a copy to cherish!
I shall say no more about it, except that if you love Chesney's Regency romances, which are full of heaving bosoms, daffy humor, historical tidbits, and frequent cases of murder, this one is a must have!...more