I had lots of fun reading this book so I intend to have a good time with the review as well. I got my copy as a kindle freebie thanks to my Wigs telling me about the deal. Thanks Wigs!!!
This review is brought to you by the Godking himself! He is ever so excited to be involved in a review of a book that is about his absolute favorite subject... himself.
Let me start off by saying Mike Vasich has truly captured the unique flavor of Norse mythology that is adventurous and fantastic, but at the same time quite bizarre. The Trickster figure that spans across multiple mythologies and belief systems has always fascinated me and Loki is no exception. This short story collection recounts many of Loki's most famous tales, and opens up a whole new perspective on the god of mischief's reasoning. If you are not familiar with Norse legends let me give you a quick lesson on the general structure of your classic Norse myth.
Yes, Loki my love. That is the injustice you are faced with. Take comfort in the fact that your fangirl army is strong and keep reminding yourself that...
Whether you love him or love to hate him, Loki is without doubt one of the most fascinating characters to come out of mythology in general. This shapeshifter and master of magic spans genders and even species (sometimes both at once!) in order to perpetuate his trouble-making and, more often than not, to save his own ass from pissed off Norse gods. Oh and he's sexy as hell.
This short story collection advertises itself as "naughty" and indeed there are some delightfully indecent tid-bits, but it wasn't quite up to my wicked standards. I'll be the first to admit I'm a perv having enjoyed my fair share of bawdy fiction, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I was hoping for some decidedly more steamy Loki time. I mean, the man is just scintillating with unbridled sex appeal!
Of course my king! After the review...
Despite my disappointment in this area, I enjoyed this collection a great deal. Vasich's characterization of Loki is devilishly charming. I think I should note here that, while I've been using Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Loki in the visuals, the Loki readers will find in this book does not resemble him in physical appearance nor does he suffer from major daddy issues. The core personalities are fairly similar, but in Nine Naughty Tales of the Trickster you get a much broader picture of Loki's character arc. In fact, I was massively impressed with how the sequence of the tales shows the evolution of Loki as the Trickster figure from playfully mischievous to spitefully destructive. Vasich stays true to the essential classic depiction of the trickster while putting his own spin on why Loki did the things that he did.
Ok Loki... not helping.
While the sequencing did wonders for the character development of our favorite mischief maker, it flubbed quite a bit in its consistency. Loki's monstrous children are actively present in one story, but then they are suddenly just born in the next? I think this will be terribly confusing for readers who are not familiar with Norse myths.
And Hel being depicted as a dark beauty from the waist up? Not quite accurate, but I assume the author was taking some artistic license with this detail. While these flubs were distracting for me, I did appreciate the author's note at the end of the book that gives readers a bit of an explanation for why he took that particular path.
Finally... THAT ENDING! This was by far the most creative and risky interpretation that Vasich throws at us. I will not go into it in order to avoid spoilers, but I will say the risk definitely paid off in my opinion.
Nope, sorry you're just going to have to go check it out for yourself!
If you have any interest in Loki or Norse mythology at all, I would highly recommend this book, although I think brushing up on some of the actual myths first would be beneficial. Marvel Loki's fangirls should do their research on the trickster's origins and exploits if they haven't already. Marvel has taken some heavy liberties with this character and assuming they are generally the same would be a mistake.
Looking forward to reading Mr. Vasich's full length Loki novel for sure! Thank you kind sir, you have indulged my Loki fascination with your writing. Now! All of you reading this review, go pick up your copy and...
"If you wish to know how it is that you can dismantle the undead, laugh maniacally, and continue about your existence, then please continue on."
This has been by far the most informative and concise zombie read I've come across. Pretty much everything you could want or need to know about surviving a potential zombie apocalypse is right here within ZAP's pages. I don't care if you don't subscribe to the whole idea of a zombie apocalypse being a potential threat. The ideas, advice, practical information, and tactics presented in this book are potential life savers in virtually any major natural disaster, terrorist attack, or crisis that could happen within your lifetime. While reading, I began to seriously consider getting some of the suggested supplies together in my house as a disaster kit. Do I sound crazy right now? Maybe, but when that mega, California sinking earthquake we've all been hearing about since elementary school finally happens and you run out of food, fresh water, and a power source, I guess we'll know which one of us was the crazy one. But seriously people, I don't necessarily believe that some vicious virus is going to turn us into rabid flesh eating monsters, but I"m not ruling it out either. Better to prepare and be wrong than call everyone crazy now and be the first to get chomped on.
Outside of its survival merits, ZAP is honestly an immensely valuable resource for writers looking to put out some well researched apocalypse fiction. In all likelihood, your zombies will be unique and many of the zombie facts here won't apply, but the basic weapons knowledge, supply lists, shelter acquisition, offensive and defensive tactics, and terrain survival portions of this book will indeed help you not only shape your fictional world, but also teach you how your characters can survive. As a person who doesn't know much about firearms, (I'm more of a Dragon Age kind of girl), I was excited by the plethora of practical knowledge I got out of reading up on each type. I now know what each type of firearm is best suited for. I know this may be obvious to many, but I grew up in a part of California where we had no need for guns and therefore lacked the necessity for such an area of study. I must say as a fan of science fiction, horror, and dystopia novels this came back to shame me in my adult years, but thanks to ZAP, I now have a general idea of how this stuff works.
If these reasons aren't enough for you to add this book to your shelf of apocalypse fiction essentials, I think it is important to mention the overall irreverently funny tone of this guide. Do you enjoy sarcastic, dark humor with a generous dose of geek? If your answer is yes, this should be a no brainer for you. Houchins and Thomas have infused this zombie survival extravaganza with more references to popular nerd culture than you can shake a stick at! When you're not considering taking copious notes, you will be chuckling to yourself and freaking out the people next to you.
Recommendation: I would honestly say if you have any interest at all in the reading or writing of zombie literature, you should seriously think about checking this one out. All levels of zombie lovers will learn something new and yes, Have fun Doing It....more
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland meets Greek Mythology when Teenager Cora Alexander falls through a sinkhole during her abusive father's funeral and finds herself in the Underworld! Together with her strange and not entirely trustworthy guide, Minotaur, Cora must navigate the Underworld to find her genius brother Lucas. But what's a living girl to do in the land of the dead?
The White Oak suffers from a raw narrative riddled with short, choppy sentences. However, there is an undeniably captivating quality regardless of the overall unpolished feel. From start to finish I was pulled into the strangely wonderful world White has created. The chapters are a reasonable length making it easy to read one chapter at a time during a busy schedule, but you may find it difficult to stop. Cora's surroundings are so unique and fantastic that you will devour many chapters at a time just to see what comes next. Despite its obvious Alice roots, the entire reading experience fondly reminded me of Jim Henson's movie Labyrinth with all the bizarre and fiercely beautiful creatures and locations.
My main problem with The White Oak is that it felt more like half of a book than a whole one. Just as the conflict with Minos began to reveal itself, the story ended. I felt like the moment I began to truly love this tale, it was over and I was left feeling like I had been majorly jipped! There was just not enough actual story and there is no real character development in sight. I never felt like I got a chance to really know Cora as a person. I understand this is going to be a series, but this felt more like a novella companion than an actual first novel in a set. I really would have liked it to be much longer
Although this book didn't match up to my standards with length and polish, I still can't deny there is something magical about this book. An immense potential lingers in the background showing itself in brief spurts throughout the novel. I kept waiting for it to reveal itself during my read, but just as I thought, "Yes! Here it is!" the book abruptly ended. Regardless of my disappointments, you can bet I will be reading the next book in this series. This author has the potential to be amazing, and I want to be reading her books when that happens. ...more
The intriguing first installment of the Veiled Isles Trilogy gives readers a taste of its rich world and the cataclysm to come. Jianna is the spoiled daughter of Magnifico Aureste Belandor. While on her way to a new land and a future husband, Jianna is kidnapped by an enemy her father discounted long ago. Jianna must overcome her pampered upbringing and naivety of her father's past deeds in order to escape the fate that awaits her.
The whimsy of this book caught me right away with the prologue and the humorous banter between Grix Orlazu and his automaton I never felt forced to read this as the style and quality of writing were wonderful, however I felt like there was a veil between myself and the characters. Although I wanted to get to know them better I could never really connect or relate to any of the character except Jianna. Jianna annoyed me at first with her bratty attitude and complete dependency on her father to rescue her, however as the story progressed and it become more and more clear that her father would not be coming to her rescue, I was pleasantly surprised at Jianna's development. . I especially enjoyed her nursing of the patients with Falaste Rione. Instead of complaining and getting grossed out, she rose to the challenge and helped heal the battle injuries of her patients. I loved her growing sense of responsibility and her eventual willingness to devise her own way of escape. It was nice to read about a heroine who tries to save herself rather than just waits for someone else to do it. I look forward to seeing how much she grows in the next book as well.
There was were very little romance elements in this book. You could tell the author is setting up Jianna to have feelings for Rione, but instead of focusing on a romance, the Paula Brandon focuses on her world building, characters, and story. Although I felt the chapters focusing on Vinz Corvestri slowed down the pace of the novel quite a bit, I still enjoyed getting to know the characters. Rione was my least favorite character in this story, mostly because he was a complete and utter wimp until the last couple chapters. I absolutely hated that he just stood around and let Jianna be hurt and treated as a prisoner. If Jianna does develop feelings for him and he becomes the love interest, I hope the author gives Rione a way to redeem himself because he is still on my shit list.
Readers will find this first installment to be more of a precursor to the main story which seems to be set to unfold in book 2. While reviews I have read complain about this, I was compelled to find out more and actually excited by the way it all ended. The end perfectly sets up book 2 for readers and gives them a pretty good idea of what is happening to the world around its characters. As a zombie fanatic, I am not completely convinced about the zombies of Brandon's world, but am looking forward to finding out more about them. I think Brandon had the right idea when she set up The Traitor's Daughter to mostly set everything up so that she could get into the meat of things in book 2 The Ruined City set to be released February 28th of 2012.
Recommendation: Fantasy fans will recognize the elements of an epic tale, but will want more clarification. Not for readers looking for a romance novel, this is pure fantasy and adventure. ...more
I need to clear something up in response to all the negative reviews.
This is not a book you can read without having read the first one! The world is intricate and fantastic just like any other deep fantasy book. The Ice Song books are also very dark and at times strange, but no less beautiful for these elements' existence. If that is not something you are into, and you are not a fan of deep fantasy then you probably won't like this book. So before you make a harsh 2 star or lower judgment on it, I suggest you take the time to read book 1, it is only fair to this amazing author's hard work.
With that out of the way,Tattoo is a beautiful follow up book. The characters and the morbidly beautiful world are just as wonderful and developed as you remember them. My only complaint is that the plot wasn't as well fleshed out as Ice Song. I felt like book one had a solid plot. We knew what the objective was and we were emotionally invested in the outcome. In book two, it is less clear what exactly is the objective. Soryk wants his own life free from his primary Sorykah who just wants to live a quiet life with her children.
Readers get a better understanding of some of the supporting characters like Sidra the Lovely and Dunya the dog-faced girl. We also get lessons in some of the more concrete mythology of the world. I found these aspects very enjoyable and a nice distraction from the uncertainty of the major plot line.
Overall, it is worth a read for those who have read the first book. Laying the groundwork for other prospective installments, Tattoo will continue your journey through this vividly strange world. ...more
Chloe Duncan is your average teenage girl who has found herself living a life she has always dreamed of. Everything seems perfect with her dreamy boyfriend Evan and close friends as the new school year opens, however the addition of a new student to the mix, Logan, sends Chloe reeling. Whenever Logan is around, she sees visions of another life, and when these visions start seeping into her dreams, Chloe starts to seek answers.
Dreaming of Beauty is the shockingly good indie retelling of the tale of Sleeping Beauty accompanied by a cast of wonderfully colorful characters. This was by far the best young adult book I read last year. The majority of the mainstream titles were extremely disappointing, lacking in quality and substance. Dreaming of Beauty is smart, funny, and offers a realistic portrayal of teens and their families. You know how in many YA books the parents seem to never be around, allowing their teens to have adventures with vampires, faeries, angels, and the like? Well the parents here are actually very involved and extremely likable.
The pacing feels a bit strange as it is split up into three sections, and each section feels like a new story. However, I was so taken in by the story and interested in finding out what was really going on, it didn't slow me down significantly. By the time I was half-way through section two, I was so enthralled in Camille's side of the story that I stayed up until 1:00 am to finish the book.
I very much enjoyed the juxtaposition between what was happening in Chloe's present day lifetime, and the events that happened to her as Camille. The backdrop of France was described in lovely detail and the bittersweet tale that unfolds there will capture your heart.
Overall, a fun read to cure your YA blues. I'm very much looking forward to a sequel which appears to be featuring a different fairytale princess.
Recommendation: A must read for YA fans and lovers of fairy tales and happy endings. ...more
No review until I have a chance to read this again, but it was definitely one of my favorite books as a preteen. Lots of wonderful memories associatedNo review until I have a chance to read this again, but it was definitely one of my favorite books as a preteen. Lots of wonderful memories associated with this one. ...more
When I first started reading this, I was a bit put off by how rushed it felt. Much of the time the characters spend together is off page leaving weeks unaccounted for. I felt disoriented, almost like there wasn't enough thought put into the actual events of the book, but once I hit about a third of the way through, the story really opened up to me. Details about the world, the catastrophe it has suffered, and its characters are revealed slowly as Avry travels, a bit against her will, to heal a sick prince who could save the fifteen realms, but has left a scar on more than one aspect of Avry's life. Her traveling companions must convince her that Prince Ryne is worth saving, and worth giving up her own life for.
I was intrigued by the magic woven throughout Avry's world and ultimately how the rare healers came to be. The mystery of the Death and Peace Lillies kept me interested, and when I finally found out what they had to do with the overall plot, I was pretty impressed. Some aspects of this book were easy to anticipate, but I seem to get that with almost every book I read.
The thing that really makes or breaks a book for me are its characters and Snyder does not disappoint. Avry's band of misfits were so endearing, especially Poppa Bear. Their interactions with Avry and slow but satisfying development are what really invested me in this story.
What I genuinely appreciated about this book is that it wasn't focused on forcing the romance between Avry and Kerrick. It just fell into place while Snyder focused on the goal of saving the realms, introducing fantastic characters, and offering the reader a genuinely enjoyable experience. Although the book could have stood on it's own, I can say that I am truly looking forward to further installments of this series. ...more
David and Danielle James are your everyday brother and sister; they argue, David bugs the crap out of his big sister, Danielle treats her brother like a nuisance, and underneath it all they really love each other. What these two don't know is that their normal lives are about to be turned upside down as they discover their hidden roots.
Shrouded Secrets reminds me of an old school fantasy book in that McGrath takes his time building up his characters so that you notice the subtle changes they go through that foreshadow the kind of person they will end up being. The world and culture of Eruditus are carefully constructed and introduced to the reader as if they too are a passenger on this fantastical ride. The problem I had was that I felt like this was a draft rather than a final product. Some of the dialogue and description was a bit wordy and could do with an edit. Shrouded Secrets has the potential to stand up there with titles like The Lightning Thief, but lacks a certain sparkly final coat.
This is a book parents will want their pre-teens to read. The situations and characters are very YA, but unlike other YA titles, you can trust that your kids are getting something really good out of their reading experience. The dialogue is relate-able, yet wholesome and the underlying messages of self-awareness and responsibility wrapped in a sci-fi fantasy package will leave them with concepts they can use in everyday life.
Overall, Shrouded Secrets is a heartfelt first installment to a series that has the potential to become a classic. Certain scenes really grabbed me on an emotional level. Without spoiling the main plot points, McGrath creates such a innately evil, totally dislike-able character in Madison that I whooped when she finally got what was coming to her. Also, I cried when I thought my favorite character was going to die. The character really became that real for me that I feared for his/her life. So now Mr. McGrath, you can say you made me cry, which is a difficult thing to do when it comes to books and movies. You see, McGrath's debut novel is no mindless read like most YA books today, which is why I recommend it. However, it may not appeal to more adult minds until it gets that final coat. ...more
I figure I will just have to explain my feelings about this book without including anything that actually happened. I wouldn't want to spoil anything for those of you who haven't yet read A Clash of Kings. It is better just to experience it for yourselves. Actually I would even recommend not reading the descriptions of the books in this series you are not immediately about to read, otherwise you won't be able to sleep until you find out exactly what happened.
This series pulls me in deeper and deeper with ever page. The characters have become as real to me as my own friends and the need to find out what happens to each and everyone of them is overwhelmingly intense. George R.R. Martin has indeed set a new standard for epic fantasy.
When I began reading this series, it was out of an almost obsessive need to find out more about the world I was viewing in the HBO adaptation. Now, as I move on to book 3, this obsession has become a full on love affair. I hold my least favorite characters close to me in pure hatred just as much as I hold my favorite characters to me in deep adoration. Even the slowest parts of these books hold interest for me as they are an opportunity for deeper insight. Honestly I'm almost convinced George R.R. Martin fell into a portal one day that shot him out into the land of Westeros. I can't see how he would be able to come up with a world this intricate with characters as complex any other way. ...more
I started reading this book because I wanted to have more information on the characters and events of the HBO series, Game of Thrones. I enjoyed the show and felt it stayed pretty true to the book all for a few inconsequential scenes. While reading the book, I got a look into what the characters were thinking and feeling when they made their big decisions and went through their coming of age trials. I really enjoyed that aspect of it.
Now, setting aside the HBO series altogether. This is the start of what I can only refer to as Epic Fantasy. I have many good memories of my childhood days of adventuring in Narnia, accompanying a hobbit to the dragon's lair, and racing across icy battlefields on polar bears with a brave young girl. All these wonderful experiences reading brought me as a child came rushing back as I read through A Game of Thrones. The characters are so real you can't help but love certain ones entirely and hate others bitterly. You can't help but hold your breath in fear at their trials and cry out in victory for their triumphs.
Each chapter is told from a different point of view, focusing on one main character or another, giving us deep insights into their inner workings. This style brings the reader so much closer to the story, connecting them to the characters and making them as real as their loved ones.
This first book can be slow at times, but I believe that is mostly due to the fact that this is the first book, and the author is trying to establish a relationship between reader and character. He is trying to pull us into this lush, wonderful world before he truly shows us the big guns.
The next installment, A Clash of Kings, promises to be insanely epic. This is one girl who has fallen for fantasy all over again. ...more
Dragonfly in Amber is the continuing story of Claire and Jamie and they adventure into 18th century France in an attempt to prevent Charles Stuart from fighting his famous battle for Scotland. Claire and Jamie must do their best to prevent the battle from taking place, and wiping out the highlanders for good.
This one was super long like the first one, but took me much longer to read. I felt much of the excitement and allure of the first book was lost in the great detail. It dragged on at times, stuck in describing daily routines and custom of the time.
Despite the incredible length and slow pace, this installment in the Outlander series was still memorable. The return of many of the characters we love and those we love to hate, will keep you determined to finish. The events in the lives of these characters are still very much emotionally engaging and there are by no means lack of plot twists. I would keep this one at your bedside and suggest that you enjoy it chapter by chapter as they are pretty long. This one may take awhile to get through, but it is well worth the time. ...more
I actually liked this a lot more than I was expecting.
Dead Witch Walking starts out slow, and I mean very slow. It takes about the first 100 pages for the plot to begin in earnest and another 50 for the action to start. Once the action gains some momentum, it doesn't stop until the end of the book.
There are many negative reviews for this book here on Goodreads, and I have to agree with most of them that it suffers from the "first book in the series" syndrome and has some issues with the character development and relationships. However, even though the story takes a bit to get started, once it does it is hard to put the book down. I had to finish this last night to find out how it ended. Now, the ending is a bit lack luster, but there is a hint of promise for following books to be exciting. I have also heard that the rest of the series is amazing and this is just one of those books you have to get through to get to the good stuff.
Don't let the slow beginning and lack of hottie love interests deter you form giving this series a try. Near the end we get a glimpse of future interests for Rachel so do not fear!
I will definitely be giving the rest of the Hollows series a try. The lush world and engaging companion characters are well worth it. ...more
This book started out really promising, but got confusing towards the end. There wasn't enough explanation of the world and the rules of the magic within it. Andrews just throws us into Kate's world with no idea of when or where she has sent us.
I want to be clear. I really did like this book, but there just wasn't enough world building and character development for me. Kate is a great character. Strong, smart, and intense, Kate handles everything that is thrown at her with a punch in the face, however she seems to be in the same place attitude wise as she was at the beginning of the book.
I will be trying out the next books in the series to see if they clear up the inconsistencies and holes that lost me in this book. ...more
I feel really strange writing this review. With all the positive feedback on this book and the high ratings, I can't help but wonder if I missed something the rest of the readers saw. I just really didn't enjoy this. I could not for the life of me get into it no matter how hard I tried to like it. The potential for a really great book and the beginning of a really great series was there, but I felt it was poorly executed. The writing, at times, was poor quality, and others was intriguing leaving me with a feeling of, "Am I reading the same book? And if so, is there more than one author?" The style of writing varied so much and so often that I was constantly lost.
I really wanted to like this, but it just didn't happen. I will say however that the concept of the Psy-changeling world was so interesting that I will more than likely read the next book and give this series a second chance. There is definitely something great here waiting to come out, but it just didn't happen in this book. ...more
Simply amazing! I was completely engrossed from the start and finished this in only a couple of sittings. I have found a new favorite series from an author I never expected to try again. I was so incredibly disappointed with Slave to Sensation that I just figured that Nalini Singh was not the author for me. Boy how wrong was I! Maybe it was a matter of not being able to identify with the forced, emotionless character of her Psy-changling series, or the fact that a lot of great series' start out with a not so great first book. Whatever the case, Singh has redeemed herself in my eyes with Angels' Blood. I loved the characters, especially suffocatingly hot, dom Raphael. The plot and world development were engaging, the writing gripping, and the tension between Elena and Raphael blistering. I can't wait to read the second book! ...more
This second installment of the Study trilogy very much mirrors it's predecessor. In fact the whole experience of reading this book felt almost identical to my experience with Poison Study. The book is slow to start, a bit more so than the first book, and introduces quite a handful of new characters. Once I did get into the meat of the story though I got caught up pretty quickly and soared through large chunks of chapters at a time. Just like the first book, this was an overall enjoyable, adventurous read.
My problems with this book revolve around the great many times Yelena gets captured, beaten up, bullied, tortured, etc. I understand she has made herself an impressive following of enemies, however abduction isn't the only plot device there is to hammer this point home. You cannot base your entire story on and carry the plot solely on having your heroine abducted three to four times throughout the length of your book. It just gets annoying! Yelena is by no means a wimpy heroine! We know this girl can take care of herself! This stops being an exciting, "Oh no, Yelena!" moment the second time around. There are so many ways Snyder could have carried her plot. I guess she was just really feeling the whole "Yelena get's kidnapped by a disgruntled acquaintance" thing while writing Magic Study.
The other thing that really irked me was that Yelena seems to think she doesn't need anyone's help and can solve the world's problems all on her own. Even after being expressly told numerous times by Irys and her other magical superiors to ask them for help, she just surges on ahead alone constantly. This really isn't one of those things where you agree with the hero/heroine of the book and feel they are just being held back. No, Yelena is just being stupid half the time, continuously putting herself and others needlessly in danger. WTF Yelena? Help is literally a telepathic signal away and she just decides, "Nah! I got this!" By the end of the book, I was shaking my head and sighing. I have definitely lost some respect for Yelena because of this.
Something interesting I noticed throughout my read was that many of the magical elements of this story, including Poison Study, seem to appear in Snyder's new Healer series. The ability to heal a person by taking the damage onto your own body is the power of the heroine of the Healer series and also makes a substantial appearance in Magic Study. Snyder also used the same romantic development from Poison Study in Touch of Power. I just thought this was interesting as the comparisons are starting to pile up the more I read the Study series. Many authors use the same formulas in their books, but in this case, I was stuck by the more substantial resemblances. I guess what I'm trying to say here is I'm not sure how I feel about this yet, but it definitely hasn't deterred me from continuing to read Snyder's books.
Even though there were two major things that got under my skin, Snyder again wowed me with her masterful world building, rich characters and strong narrative. Yelena's ability to connect telepathically with horses was another delightful addition to the mix, and an appearance of our favorite assassin does not disappoint! I look forward to wrapping up this series with Fire Study....more