“You never laugh,” she was saying. “You behave as if everything is funny to you, but you never laugh. Sometimes you smile when you think no one is pay“You never laugh,” she was saying. “You behave as if everything is funny to you, but you never laugh. Sometimes you smile when you think no one is paying attention.”
Why do we always seek to understand those who refuse to be subjected to it? Maybe it is indeed the bad boy persona which piques one's curiosity, maybe not. But what if that person does not want to be understood, most of all by his very self?
Title: Clockwork Angel: Deleted Scene (The Infernal Devices Shorts, #1.6) Author: Reviewed By: Purplycookie
The way that Cassandra Clare would describe a place--no matter how short a description--would always create a yearning in me to see it. Case in point would be Yuánmíng Yuán or The Gardens of Perfect Brightness.
Title: Clockwork Angel: Will and Tessa Escaping From The Dark House (The Infernal Devices Shorts, # 1.2) Author: Cassandra Clare Reviewed By: Purplycookie
A very melancholic and heart pinching letter of a son to a family he has left behind. Gave the reader inklings and foreshadowing (had it been published) of the truth behind what makes Will what he is and why he pushes everyone away.
It is very sad indeed to be thought of as dead by one's own family while one is still alive. But oh, how we punish greatly ourselves more than the powers-that-be ever will.
Title Clockwork Prince: Will's Love Letter to Tessa (The Infernal Devices Shorts #2.3) Author Cassandra Clare Reviewed By Purplycookie
"I played it for my bride, and one day, you will play it for yours." Never did I see Jem's character as weak or drug dependent, most probably because I always think of him as a Shadowhunter first. Plus there was my belief that he will not die since Will shall always be there for him. And now he has Tess.
Title Clockwork Angel: Burning Bright (The Infernal Devices Shorts, #1.3) Author Cassandra Clare Reviewed By Purplycookie
I like these quick but revealing peeks into the lives of our steam-punk Shadowhunters: gives one a sense of their vulnerabilities and actual lives.
Still seeing a glimmer of Cassandra Clare's Harry and Draco characterization from the "Draco Trilogy" though. I can't decide whether or not that's a good thing until I finish "The Infernal Devices" book series.
I do wish that this scene was not deleted when the book was published.
It gives the reader a glimpse at who Magnus Bane was via a little teaser of hisI do wish that this scene was not deleted when the book was published.
It gives the reader a glimpse at who Magnus Bane was via a little teaser of his background concerning the Silent Brothers. But ultimately what the reader became deprived of was a chance to see Isabelle in a new light and not just that of a bitchy glamourous Shadowhunter. Kudos for standing up to the Inquisitor's verbal onslaught!
Title City of Ashes: Deleted Scene Author Cassandra Clare Reviewed By Purplycookie
I admit that at first I didn't like much the idea of Magnus and Alec as a couple. I guess it's just that Alec seems so young and innocent compared to eons' worth of lives that Magnus has lived (re-read the scene in "City of Fallen Angels" wherein Alec becomes unreasonably jealous of all of Magnus' past lovers).
But now this little story just fills that gap within the story--the part where I found myself caught off guard upon finding out they were an item. I'm obviously aware of Alec's sexual orientation (who wasn't?) and Magnus couldn't be more flamboyant than what he has already presented.
To know of Alec's coming to terms with the fact that he'll be forever treated as a brother by Jace is a part of that coming-of-age thing. At least now we applaud him for taking that emotionally healthy step towards finding somebody else to turn his affections to (even if Jace shall continue to exist on that pedestal Alec has built in his heart).
Title City of Ashes: Kissed Author Cassandra Clare Reviewed By Purplycookie
"I don't know how to be without you."
Why is something forbidden always taste the sweetest?
It's always a welcome change for me whenever I read something from the POV of Jace; maybe it's the rawness of his view on things that makes his interpretations all the more real. That in itself should indicate how much I liked this deleted scene.
I wouldn't label this as that of just bitterness, even if the emotion gushes out of Jace and wafts from Clary. I think it's also a mixture of indignation at the unfairness of their predicament which propels this scene: since Jace and Clary both realized that what they desire was expressly forbidden to them by society (to be free to love each other) then lo and behold, an opportunity to communicate Jace's innermost feelings presents itself. "Be with me. Want me. Stay with me."
When first we met Harry Potter, he was "The Boy Who Lived", with an address of "The Cupboard Under the Stairs". Who could help but bleed sympathy forWhen first we met Harry Potter, he was "The Boy Who Lived", with an address of "The Cupboard Under the Stairs". Who could help but bleed sympathy for Harry, treated abysmally -- abused, really -- by the only blood relatives (in fact his mother's very own sister) and forced to live under said stairs by those awful Muggles, the Dursleys? And yet, at the time when the old magic over his Muggle residence would break on the eve of his coming-of-age, there was a resolution of sorts. I did not hold out for a reconciliation between Harry and the elder Dursleys since their prejudices have seeped a long time ago to the core of their beings, but I did not expect the bridging of a gap between Harry & Dudley. "Don't these people realize what you've been through? What dangers you are in?" "Er -- no, they don't," said Harry. "They think I'm a waste of space, actually, but I'm used to --" "I don't think you're a waste of space."
Relieved that there are no deaths in the Weasley family even with almost everyone of them members of The Order of the Phoenix (and the rest making up the bulk of Dumbledore's Army), events proceeded as planned culminating in the joyous occassion that was the wedding of Bill to Fleur. It was a treat to be able to read about a witch and a wizard getting married. I couldn't think of anyone else more well-suited to marry the eldest Weasley son than Fleur -- who displayed her love for him even when Bill was bit by the werewolf Greyback. Unfortunately this was also the time when Harry can no longer dodge the murky background that was Professor Dumbledore's younger life, what with his earnest conversation with Elphias Doge and Great-Aunt Muriel about his mentor, and the expose book written by Rita Skeeter. The wedding proved to be the jumping point as well of a glimpse of two factors that will play a bigger part later in the book: the introduction of Xenophilius Lovegood and the sign signifying the Deathly Hallows (adopted by Grindelwald as his sign according to Victor Krum) as well as Harry's realization of who Gregorovitch is.
But not everything relies on one's age but the level of maturity attained. The heart of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is a hero's mission--not just in Harry's quest for the Horcruxes (and overcoming his desire of seeking the Hallows), but in his journey from being a boy to manhood--and Harry faces more danger than that found in all six books combined, from the direct threat of the Death Eaters and Voldemort, to the subtle perils of losing faith in himself. "Harry, I'm sorry, but I think the real reason you're so angry is that Dumbledore never told you any of this himself." "Maybe I am! Look what he asked from me, Hermione! Risk your life, Harry! And again! And again! And don't expect me to explain everything, just trust me blindly, trust that I know what I'm doing, trust me even though I don't trust you! Never the whole truth! Never!"
Nobody was even more surprised than they were we presented with Professor Dumbledore's will as personally delivered by then Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour. I think every reader felt a modicum of respect towards him when he refused to reveal Harry's whereabouts when the Ministry was taken over by the Death Eaters. The Last Will of Albus Dumbledore left Ron his Deluminator (remember this one from "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"?), Hermione his copy of the book "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" and to Harry "I leave the Snitch he caught in his first Quidditch Match in Hogwarts, as a reminder of the rewards of perseverance and skill." Who knew that snitches have flesh memories? Or that young generations of witches and wizards grew up with children's stories such as "The Fountain of Fair Fortune," "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot," and "Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump"?
Harry then embarks on the quest to find the remaining Horcruxes based on his knowlege of Voldemort's early life as Tom Marvolo Riddle, with his two bestfriends at his side. Knowing that Harry would refuse for them to place themselves in mortal danger for him, they have already devised plans to stem off any arguments. Ron (with the help of his Dad, Fred and George) has made The Burrow's resident Ghoul dress up in his pajamas and pretend to be him with spattergroit so as not to endanger the rest of the Weasleys if he should disappear. As for Hermione, it must've pained her greatly the necessity of modifying her parents' memories to forget that they have a witch daughter, and thus, protect them from Voldemort's interrogation. You can't help but admire her for such courage and how she was able to always be organized (even bringing along Dumbledore's book 'Secrets of the Darkest Art') and stay on top of things when the time came for the three to hastily depart The Burrow.
The journey proved to test not only the trio's faith in the task left behind to them by Professor Dumbledore but also to test their friendship. Their stay in Grimmauld Place proved to be advantageous, not only for the fact that Harry was able to discover Sirius's old bedroom (and its Muggle decor) and see an old photo of the Marauders in their Hogwarts days, but also a precious letter written by Lily Potter to Sirius, decribing Harry's birthday present from his godfather. It is also during their stay here that they have been able to plan how to best infiltrate the Ministry of Magic and discern the horrors of the newly-instituted Muggle-born Registration Commission headed by that soulless Umbridge, figure out the what the new regime is all about ("Magic is Might") and their efforts in capturing Harry, now known as "Undesirable Number One", knocked over by the news of Professor Snape becoming the new Headmaster of Hogwarts and Death Eaters talking total control of the entire school, convince Professor Lupin not to abandon his new bride and soon-to-be-born son, and to find out the identity of R.A.B. (Regulus Arcturus Black) who has robbed Voldemort of his Horcrux hidden at the cave. It was Kreacher -- through his obedience of the highest law that a house-elf must obey above all others -- that they were able to piece together the story and to finally understand the deplorable situation of house elves serving their masters.
Harry friendship with Ron has never been as sorely tested as it was then, aided by the evil residing in Slytherin's locket. "I..." She looked anguished. "Yes -- yes, I'm staying. Ron, we said we'd go with Harry, we said we'd help --" "I get it. You choose him."
Am I relieved when it was resolved; when Ron's fears of losing Hermione to Harry was out in the open. "She's like my sister," he went on. "I love her like a sister and I reckon she feels the same way about me. It's always been like that. I thought you knew."
Harry is much stronger when he is with Ron and Hermione, of that there was never a question. He needed all the emotional support and outpouring of friendship most especially when they finally found out about "The Tale of the Three Brothers", further explained by Mr. Lovegood, which spoke of the three Deathly Hallows. The Elder Wand, The Ressurection Stone and The Cloak of Invisibility combined makes one the Master of Death, which now seeks to create a huge chasm between Harry from the other two. Yet nobody could blame him of thinking of these great magical implements as a way not only to finally defeat Voldemort but to also bring back what he misses the most: his parents.
Encouraging was the knowlege that the three of them are not alone in this fight, that there are others like the 'Potterwatch' who fully support them without question. Kudos to the Weasleys and Lee Jordan for continuing the fight through an alternative medium. What happened next could not be helped -- what with the utterance of the Taboo -- ending in their capture (along with Dean Thomas and Griphook) into the dungeons of Malfoy Manor. It was there that Wormtail was able to finally repay the life debt he owed to Harry in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." We also get to find out what has happened to the captured Luna & Mr. Olivander. It is also through the wandmaker that we get exposed to the obscure branch of magical study: wandlore. From here on, more clues are scattered for the reader to pick up on; as well as the precarious relationship existing through thousands of years between wizards and goblins. Like Harry, I also rekindled the hope that it may be the twinkling blue eyes of Professor Dumbledore which showed itself on the sliver left of Sirius's mirror and responsible for sending the aid in the form of Dobby.
Hard to read through was the death of Dobby, the house-elf who hero-worshipped the ground Harry walked on. He would undoubtedly sacrifice all that he is to be able to save Harry and Dobby's death proved instrumental in the raw pain experienced by 'The Chosen One' to enable him to re-focus on the destruction of the Horcruxes and abandon the search for the Deathly Hallows. I cried when Dobby died; when Harry dug his grave near Shell Cottage. All he cared about was that a dark stain was spreading across Dobby's front, and that he had stretched out his thin arms to Harry with a look of supplication. "Dobby, no, don't die, don't die -- "
Not everything is about death in the last book of the series. How ecstatic are all readers upon hearing of the greatest news to befall Professor Lupin and Auror Tonks. "It's a boy! We've named him Ted, after Dora's father!" Hermione shrieked. "Wha -- ? Tonks -- Tonks has had a baby?" "Yes, yes, she's had the baby!" shouted Lupin. All around the table came cries of delight, sighs of relief; Hermione and Fleur both squealed, "Congratulations!" and Ron said, "Blimey, a baby!" as if he had never heard of such a thing before. "Yes -- yes -- a boy," said Lupin again, who seemed dazed by his own happiness. He strode around the table and hugged Harry. "You'll be godfather?" he said as he released Harry. "M-me?" stammered Harry. "You, yes, of course -- Dora quite agrees, no one better -- " "I -- yeah -- blimey -- "
Included is a change within the characters, helped along by the circumstances surrounding them. Those whom we thought would instinctively cower are the ones who proved their mettle. It is those who were left behind in Hogwarts who sought to fight the battle against the takeover of their beloved school. "Gran's on the run. She sent me a letter," he clapped a hand to the breast pocket of his robes, "telling me she was proud of me, that I'm my parents' son, and to keep it up." Neville may have finally lived up to the reputation of being the son of his famously courageous parents and proved that he is indeed a true Gryffindor to be able to wield Godric's sword to later slay the Horcrux residing in Nagini.
It was also the time for the return of the son who has seen the error of his ways: "I was a fool!" Percy roared. "I was an idiot, I was a pompous prat, I was a -- a --" "Ministry-loving, family-disowning, power-hungry-moron," said Fred. "Yes, I was!" "Well, you can't say fairer than that," said Fred, holding out his hand to Percy. Mrs. Weasley burst into tears. She ran forward, pushing Fred aside, and hugged Percy into a strangling hug, while he patted her on the back, his eyes on his father. "I'm sorry, Dad," Percy said. Mr. Weasley blinked rapidly, then he too hurried to hug his son.
The Weasley family are once again all together; all was forgiven and forgotten between their family members. Equally lucky was Ron, and were it not for the change in his outlook towards the welfare of the downtrodden house elves, I don't think that Hermione would've had the push she needed. "No," said Ron seriously, "I mean we should tell them to get out. We don't want any more Dobbies, do we? We can't order them to die for us --" There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione's arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet. "Is this the moment?" Harry asked weakly, and when nothing happened except that Ron and Hermione gripped each other still more firmly and swayed on the spot, he raised his voice. "OI! There's a war going on here!"
While fans will find the answers to hotly speculated questions about Headmaster Dumbledore, Professor Snape, and Voldemort, it is a testament to Rowling's skill as a storyteller that even the most astute and careful reader will be taken by surprise. It all draws to a near close when we all troop back to the place that both Harry and Voldemort considered as their 'true home': Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Both are bent on acquiring the lost diadem of Hogwarts Founder Rowena Ravenclaw and trust Voldemort to be overbearingly confident as to completely discredit that others would be able to penetrate the secrets of Hogwarts as well as he did. I was relieved when Professor McGonagall has finally realized that indeed Harry's the only one who can defeat Voldemort. 50 points to Gryffindor House for her dig at Harry regarding the professors' capability of safeguarding the school. "You're acting on Dumbledore's orders?" she repeated with a look of dawning wonder. "We shall secure the school against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named while you search for this -- this object." "Is that possible?" "I think so," said Professor McGonagall dryly, "we teachers are rather good at magic, you know."
Thus the fast-paced, not-to-be-missed Battle of Hogwarts has began. This proved to be the most action-packed portion of the book, as students from all Houses defended Harry from any underhanded plan of Slytherin House to gladly hand over Harry to the Death Eaters. It was revealed that the decor of Hogwarts of which we as readers have been familiar with all this time are actually concealing their purpose: "Hogwarts is threatened!" shouted Professor McGonagall. "Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to the school!" Clattering and yelling, the horde of moving statues stampeded past Harry: some of them smaller, others larger than life. There were animals too, and the clanking suits of armor brandished swords and spiked balls on chains.
I must've read the sentences regarding Fred's death several times to make sure I understand that he has indeed been killed. It just seemed so heartbreaking... "No -- no -- no!" someone was shouting. "No! Fred! No!" And Percy was shaking his brother, and Ron was kneeling beside them, and Fred's eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face.
This was exactly what any mother would've needed as a reason to kill off Bellatrix, and who best avenge such deaths than Mrs. Weasley? "Not my daughter, you bitch!" "You will never touch our children again!" screamed Mrs. Weasley. Molly's curse soared beaneath Bellatrix's outstretched arm and hit her squarely in the chest, directly over her heart.
With the death of Professor Snape, the truth of who he was and what he was ready to sacrifice in order to protect the memory of Lily Potter through her son was finally revealed. Nobody could've possibly seen that coming. We knew, at the end, that Harry himself was ready to make the same sacrifice in order to protect everyone and everything that he loves: 'I open at the close' Harry pressed the golden metal to his lips and whispered, "I am about to die." Lily's smile was widest of all. "You've been so brave." "You are nearly there," said James. "Very close. We are... so proud of you."
I was shaking my head at the thought of Harry dying unarmed and defenseless at the hands of Voldemort were it not for his meeting afterwards with Professor Dumbledore and the sincere apology and regret expressed by his mentor of all that has happened. "Can you forgive me?" he said. "Can you forgive me for not trusting you? For not telling you? Harry, I only feared that you would fail as I had failed. I only dreaded that you would make my mistakes. I crave your pardon, Harry. I have known, for some time now, that you are the better man." "Master of death, Harry, Master of Death! Was I better, ultimately, than Voldemort?" "Not the way he did," said Harry. After all his anger at Dumbledore, how odd it was to sit here, beneath the high, vaulted ceiling, and defend Dumbledore from himself. "Hallows, not Horcruxes." "Hallows," murmured Dumbledore, "not Horcruxes. Precisely."
How does it all end? Who should be triumphant in the ultimate face off between Harry and Voldemort? The truth of Professor Dumbledore's plans shake Voldemort to the core, he realizes that there was a solid reason why Professor Dumbledore was "the only one he ever feared". In the face of Harry Potter, so similar to him in many ways, Voldemort realizes that this is indeed the end no matter how much he believes and relies on his own powerful brand of magic. "I don't want anyone else to try to help," Harry said loudly, and in the total silence his voice carried like a trumpet call. "It's got to be like this. It's got to be me." Voldemort hissed, "Who are you going to use as a shield today, Potter?" "Nobody," said Harry simply. "There are no more Horcruxes. It's just you and me. Neither can live while the other survives, and one of us is about to leave for good..."
"Aren't you listening? Snape never beat Dumbledore! Dumbledore's death was planned between them! Dumbledore intended to die, the wand's last true master! If all had gone as planned, the wand's power would have died with him, because it had never been won from him!"
"So it all comes down to this, doesn't it?" whispered Harry. "Does the wand in your hand know its last master was Disarmed? Because if it does... I am the true master of the Elder Wand."
Words cannot describe how every fan and supporter of "The Boy Who Lived" must've felt over the utter defeat of Voldemort. Harry knew that he had made the right choices and decision upon entering the Headmaster's office. All around the walls, the headmasters and headmistresses of Hogwarts were giving him a standing ovation; they waved their hats and in some cases their wigs; they reached through their frames to grip each other's hands; they danced up and down an othe chairs in which they have been painted. But Harry had eyes only for the man who stood in the largest portrait directly behind the headmaster's chair. Tears were sliding down from behind the half-moon spectacles into the long silver pride, and the pride and the gratitude emanating from him filled Harry with the same balm as phoenix song.
The war has ended; the Battle of Hogwarts finished. Voldemort's folly of not believing the powerful magic that is love caused his own downfall. Harry's belief in himself and the enduring love and support of everyone around him enabled him to win. We now bid our sad farewells to those who have fallen; goodbye Hedwig, Auror Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, Ted Tonks, Dobby (Here lies Dobby, a Free Elf), Fred Weasley, Professor Remus Lupin, Auror Nymphadora Tonks, Colin Creevey, Professor/Headmaster Severus Snape.
Title Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Author J.K. Rowling Reviewed By Purplycookie...more
Even after a decade, I love that Pike was still able to capture the spirit of the series.
When I found out that ""The Last Vampire 7: The Eternal Dawn"
Even after a decade, I love that Pike was still able to capture the spirit of the series.
When I found out that "The Last Vampire" series was being re-released as "Thirst" I just had to reread the series from the start. My big concern was getting through "The Last Vampire 6: Creatures of Forever" again. It had always felt forced to me--like Pike was told he had to conclude the series and move on--or that someone else had written it, except for the epilogue. But then one has to admit that the last book in the series supposedly closed off any continuation of the story in a very final way (even for a vampire story).
After over a decade long absence of Sita's story, I'm relieved that she is still the same character many of us have grown to love over the years. The story picks up 15 years after the conclusion of the last book and this time we are treated to a completely new and engrossing tale following Sita and her friends. To those of you baffled on how there could possibly be a new story, when the last one tied all the loose ends up and ended so well, you will be pleasantly surprised how well Pike is able to continue the series. The characters feel very consistent with the previous books (this is something a lot of authors seem to have problems with when revisiting old characters).
To bring some interest to the story, Pike has to invent even more lethal enemies than the ones in the previous books--and in most authors' hands the power level would have been ludicrous. However I feel Pike pulls this off without any problems whatsoever, and just like in the previous books Alisa/Sita is both hunter and the hunted.
Pike has fleshed out this character more than I ever thought was possible. I love Sita for her toughness. I love her for her ability to love. I love how she can boast so easily about herself, yet it does not come off as bragging, it is just fact. She may just be the most interesting and amazing character out there. She is not perfect, she makes tons of mistakes and we love that about her.
"Thirst: Volume 3 (The Eternal Dawn)" is not without its flaws but they are far and few in between. Pike is known for his amazing plot twists and surprises and this time around he does not disappoint. It ends with a shocking twist and a cliffhanger that's left me haunted.
Whether you are a fan of this author or not, the majority of the audience will have a very hard time waiting in anticipation for the follow up, "Thirst No. 4."
After five thousand years, Sita/Alisa is finally human again. And pregnant. But will it be an angel or a demon?
With the i"The Last Vampire 4: Phantom"
After five thousand years, Sita/Alisa is finally human again. And pregnant. But will it be an angel or a demon?
With the introduction of Kali/Kalika the reader may make hasty judgements as to her purpose in being born. Indeed, exactly what kind of creature can be conceived from the womb of a vampire? It is interesting to watch Sita's daughter grow and interact with society--leaving you wondering what she might be or do.
Perhaps it's the undercurrent of Eastern philosophy, the paradoxical dualism Pike presents in nearly every story but one does conclude that in Pike's world, the situation often (at least at the outset) seems to be one of good versus bad, just like most children's stories. But this is soon shattered by the complicated truth that situations and people aren't usually good "versus" bad. It's that the good is the bad, and the bad is the good, which cancels them both out and thus we see gray.
"The Last Vampire 5: Evil Thirst"
The agony of fulfilling one's purpose without outside thought interfering with ones ego, is hard--most especially if it is your own daughter you're trying to kill in order to save humanity.
The conflict between mother and daughter is completely gripping: you learn to hate Kalika although at the same time you love her. The more you hate her the more you'll learn to love her. For the reason that she takes almost totally after her mother.
This addition to this series would've been quite exceptional where it not for the inclusion of the barely believable introduction of the Sethians from the time of Ancient Egypt. Oh if Pike had only decided to cut that from the storyline and left it with only the predictions of Suzama as the supernatural element!
"The Last Vampire 6: Creatures of Forever"
I started reading "The Last Vampire" series when it first came out, and I remember checking the bookstore every time the next installment was going to be available. Although I'm an adult now (but I was a preteen when the series started), I've still re-read most of the installments. It's truly amazing how Pike manages to flesh out such a complete characterization.
Another amazing thing is how each installment ties in so fluidly with each other and yet they stand alone with their own plot, be it her story with Ray or Joel, or her daughter.
I haven't re-read this one, "The Last Vampire 6: Creatures of Forever", in awhile, but I was a bit disappointed at the end. Although it was a very well-written book I wished it wouldn't have ended the way it did. I don't want to give it away, but I did get the feeling of "she went through all of this then for what?" I wish the last paragraph was left out, basically. Pike probably ended it the way he did because it was the only way to end the series without being tempted to continue on. Still, it's great escapism. If you're a young woman, you will identify with Sita, and it's incredibly easy to imagine yourself in her situation.
I love the wit and humor Pike uses. He doesn't pander to the lowest (or youngest) common denominator plus the writing is every bit as good as any "adult" novel I've read.
You might be disappointed after reading this, if only because you'll wish there were more to the series. Although it was terribly sad story, I felt happiness for Sita at the end, for she got what she wanted. I think that its brilliant that in a way the ending is the beginning.
"I am a vampire, and that is the truth. But the modern meaning of the word vampire, the stories that have been told about creatures"The Last Vampire"
"I am a vampire, and that is the truth. But the modern meaning of the word vampire, the stories that have been told about creatures such as I, are not precisely true. I do not turn to ash in the sun, nor do I cringe when I see a crucifix. I wear a tiny gold cross now around my neck, but only because I like it. As to blood--ah, blood, the whole subject fascinates me."
I just finished reading "The Last Vampire" again after having read it about 17 years ago. I without a doubt enjoyed it even more this time as I was too young to appreciate it before. What I love most about the book is that Pike tells the story through the eyes of the vampire herself. Throughout the narration, Sita debunks many of the myths and stereotypes associated with vampires and reveals the true nature of this extraordinary being. And because she is as old as history itself, Sita recounts major historical events and points out some inaccuracies in the written tradition.
Yaksha, the very first vampire and the embodiment of all that is evil, changed Sita and hundreds of others into vampires in India 5,000 years ago. But Krishna, who embodies all that is good, outwits Yaksha in combat (almost killing him) and makes Yaksha vow that all the vampires will be destroyed and no more will ever be created. Yaksha hunts down and kills all the other vampires as he vowed to do, and later is killed and burned in the witch trials of the Middle Ages. This leaves Sita as the sole remaining vampire.
Now Sita is living in Mayfair, Oregon, calling herself Alisa Perne, secure in the knowledge that she is the last vampire. Yet, someone is hunting her...and only another vampire would be capable of hunting a creature as powerful, fast, and ruthless as Alisa. But there are no other vampires, so Alisa must find out who or what is after her.
Sita/Alisa is a creature who has managed to witness firsthand 5,000 years of humanity's history, and has a lot to say about it. We understand what we always have: what it feels like to love, to lose, to fear, to hate. Sita/Alisa is delightfully human, in her capacity for all these things. Her pain is real, and her dilemma is an arduous one. As far as I am concerned, this is one of the best literary examples of the origin of vampires being explained in a fashion both comprehensible and believable.
Pike's story flows like water--you can easily visualize what is happening--marvelously violent, and quite bloody. Not only does it manage to give you a compelling and gripping story with characters that are both real and complex--it's actually refreshing.
"The Last Vampire 2: Black Blood"
"Then you should never have been born."
Sita had thought that she and her companion, Ray, were the last vampires on Earth. However, a murderer who favors dismembering and draining the blood of his victims is stalking Los Angeles, and Sita realizes that her assumption is incorrect. Only she has the power to stop this creature from his evil path but he's much stronger than she expected, and she finds herself in a life-and-death struggle.
Occasionally the narrative digresses to discuss Sita's dreams and visions of her original life in India eons ago in an effort to lend spiritual purpose to her actions; this comes across as a somewhat obvious attempt to link the tale to legitimate mythology. I loved it with or without the digressions. The story is seen through not only her eyes, but her thoughts, her dream, and even her imagination.
What I liked most about the sequel is of course Sita's slyly appealing humor. It never fails, whether she's dealing with the new characters introduced in this sequel or engaging in playful yet edgy banter with Ray or Simon.
"The Last Vampire 3: Red Dice"
Sita/Alisa and her male partner are vampires; but the FBI is on their trail, seeking their blood in order to study and duplicate it. One is captured, and it's up to the survivor to keep the FBI from learning their secret and turning the world into vampires.
She attempts to keep her DNA from the hands of someone who would test it and use the results to gain immortality. Indeed she runs into an old "friend" who's involved in the series is more ways than you can imagine.
Unfortunately, the reader does get the nagging thought that Sita throws away lovers like paper. It was sad how Joel wanted to die in peace but Sita made him into a vampire against his express wishes. She tried to make him take Ray's place.
Like his other books, Pike goes into great depth, throws in romance, lots of violence, and some blow-'em-up scenes.
A man takes umbrage with a young girl ogling his outrageous hairdo, and tells her in a series of increasingly ridiculous rhymes all the things that caA man takes umbrage with a young girl ogling his outrageous hairdo, and tells her in a series of increasingly ridiculous rhymes all the things that can be found in the stupendous swaths swirling upon his head “Hunters send in expeditions, / Radio back their positions / Still, we’ve lost a dozen there / Lost inside my crazy hair.”
Each page is a veritable feast for the eyes, with frazzled clumps of hair competing for attention with outlandish elements—carousels, pirate ships, blue octopi, comb-eating bears—incorporated into the frenzied mix.
Taken from a poem that Gaiman wrote in response to his daughter's comment about his "crazy hair's" behavior in humidity, he has applied his trademark ear for delightful, offbeat descriptions and, in this case, unusual rhyme. McKean's art is dark, lovely, and fantastical and enhances the text.
I will say that it is just a tad creepy that this guy's hair abducts the little girl. But it's also just a storybook, right?
Harris revisits characters from 1999's bestselling "Chocolat" in this equally delectable modern fairy tale. More than four years have passed since ViaHarris revisits characters from 1999's bestselling "Chocolat" in this equally delectable modern fairy tale. More than four years have passed since Vianne Rocher pitted her enchanted chocolate confections against the local clergy's interpretation of Lent in small town France; since then, Vianne has renounced magic, changed her name to Yanne Charbonneau and moved with her two daughters to Paris's Montmartre district. There, Yanne embraces conformity and safety, much to the dismay of her increasingly troubled older daughter, Anouk. She wants a stable life for her daughters and is determined to put aside the supernatural gifts she inherited. She's determined to forget "the magic we'd lived with all our lives, my mother's magic of charms and cantrips, of salt by the door and a red silk sachet to placate the little gods. . . . The wind just blew a little harder, tugging at our clothes, sniffing at us like a hungry dog, moving us here and moving us there."
The second voice is that of Yanne's daughter Anouk/Annie, who is now 11 and growing up fast. For the first time, she goes to a regular school but is tormented by her classmates for somehow not belonging. She turns to her only friend, an imaginary rabbit named Pantoufle, whom we met, often crouched on her shoulder, in "Chocolat". And she begins to think about using her own magic to defend herself.
The third voice is that of Zozie de l'Alba, a lovely, gifted young woman who mysteriously shows up one day and volunteers to help in the store. She moves into the spare room and sets out to entrance Anouk. She gives her a pair of magical red lollipop shoes "that could take you anywhere; shoes that could make you fall in love; shoes that could make you someone else."
The plot is complicated, and the cast of supporting characters extensive, but each one is a treat: Thierry Le Tresset, the wealthy stuffy suitor for Yanne's hand, just doesn't get strong women; shy Fat Nico, mainlining macaroons, and elfin Alice find each other over cups of hot chocolate; hostile Laurent, a competitive café owner, is won over. The store is crowded with customers looking for something more than chocolates.
The novel is a torment of mouthwatering descriptions: rose creams and sour cherry gobstoppers; lunes de miel, "little disks of chocolate made to look like the waxing moon, with her profile etched in white against the dark face"; mendiants with "chocolate thin enough to snap but thick enough to satisfy; a generous sprinkle of fat raisins; a walnut, an almond; a violet; a crystallized rose."
Let these horror masters take you and do their worst---with their best:
Collect Call Part I & Part II by Christoper Pike >> About two girlsLet these horror masters take you and do their worst---with their best:
Collect Call Part I & Part II by Christoper Pike >> About two girls who drive home after a party, except they get into an accident and one of them dies. Then the remaining girl starts receiving messages on her answering machine from the dead girl. Pike's a wizard at chronicling the soft underbelly of the high school social scene. The first part is better, but the second is necessary to completely understand the story.
Lucinda by Lael Littke >> 16-year-old girl and her older brother return to their hometown to investigate the six-year-old death of his girlfriend. I really liked the original setting; it gives the whole story a remote, ghost town quality.
The Guiccioli Miniature by Jay Bennett >> Set in Venice, Italy, a young college student is approached by a poor painter to buy one of his copies of the Guiccioli miniature. This 8-paged story is not your typical horror fare; it kind of sticks out because of its more "intelligent" horror and open ending.
Blood Kiss by D.E. Athkins >> Elizabeth and her two girl friends fall for the new boy who everybody thinks is a vampire. The one story in this entire anthology that seems like it was written down to its audience. Hated it.
A Little Taste Of Death by Patricia Windsor >> A genuinely original idea, but imperfectly developed. Restates the obvious: Never take candy from a stranger.
The Doll by Carol Ellis >> After moving in to her family's new home, 16-year-old Abby finds a doll in the attic that tries to harm Abby's friends and family.
House Of Horrors by J.B. Stamper >> This falls into the fairly narrow subgenre of wax-museum horrors (either the wax coming alive or the living turning to wax -- I won't tell you which this is), but there are plenty of chills nonetheless. Readers will certainly be able to relate to Mark's claustrophobia.
Where The Deer Are by Caroline Cooney >> to school one day with her four friends, Tiffany has a premonition that Nature (which consists of the nearby deer, woods, and cliff known as Dead Kid Curve) has decided to claim one of them after 25 years. But who will it be? This story might be better if made into a short film.
The Spell by R.L. Stine >> A young girl's boyfriend gets interested in hypnotism and uses his new talent to get even with his friends who had teased him about it.
Dedicated To The One I Love by Diane Hoh >> One by one, three friends hear a radio dedication to them, made by their three-timing) ex-boyfriend Richie -- and one by one, each girl has a tragic accident. This one gets better as you read; there's a twist halfway through it.
Hacker by Sinclair Smith >> A young student becomes a serial killer's next victim when she starts receiving messages from him on her class computer. This one was rather disappointing because of how easy it is to guess the killer.
Deathflash by A. Bates >> Has a vague, eerie telling combined with the pseudo-scientific premise. Implausible ending.
The Boy Next Door by Ellen Emerson White >> A young girl working in an ice cream parlor (during winter, of all times) is robbed and threatened by one of her childhood friends. It's suspenseful and has an unexpected ending.
Title Thirteen: Thirteen Tales Of Horror By Thirteen Masters Of Horror Author Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, et. al. Reviewed By Purplycookie...more
I loved this story especially when it came out in a graphic novel of the same title (loved the illustration of the Silver City). Is"Murder Mysteries"
I loved this story especially when it came out in a graphic novel of the same title (loved the illustration of the Silver City). Is it possible to kill or murder an angel? If yes, then how was it done? If yes, then what is the reason for it? If yes, then will God punish the evildoer? The story is an account of the first murder in the history of the universe, before even Cain and Abel, told from the viewpoint of Raguel, an angel whose function is to be the "Vengeance of the Lord."
The Lord: "Poor sweet Lucifer. His way will be the hardest of all my children; for there is a part he must play in the drama that is to come, and it is a grand role." Raguel: "Perhaps it is true that all that happens is in accordance with Your Will, and thus it is good. But sometimes You leave blood on Your instruments."
I gained a totally new perspective on angels because of this great story. Thank you, Gaiman!
"Snow, Apples, Glass"
You will never think of the fairy tale "Snowhite and the Seven Dwarves" the same way again, especially when one hears the story from the stepmother's perspective. Creepy, disturbing and gory.
Title Two Plays for Voices CD (Audio CD) Author Neil Gaiman Reviewed By Purplycookie...more
"Stories are webs, interconnected strand to strand, and you follow each story to the center, because the center is the end. Each person is a strand of"Stories are webs, interconnected strand to strand, and you follow each story to the center, because the center is the end. Each person is a strand of story."
"Fat Charlie" Nancy leads a life of comfortable workaholism in London, with a stressful agent job he doesn't like much, and a pleasant fiancée, Rosie. When Charlie learns of the death of his estranged father in Florida, he attends the funeral and learns two facts that turn his well-ordered existence upside-down: that his father was a human form of Anansi, the African trickster god, and that he has a brother, Spider, who has inherited some of their father's godlike abilities.
Spider comes to visit Charlie and gets him fired from his job, steals his fiancée, and is instrumental in having him arrested for embezzlement and suspected of murder. When Charlie resorts to magic to get rid of Spider, who's selfish and unthinking rather than evil, things begin to go very badly for just about everyone. Charlie fights back with assistance from other gods, and that's when the real trouble begins.
I thought "Anansi Boys" started off a little slowly. Fat Charlie was such a drab anti-hero, but I found myself wondering how this guy was going to become interesting, because I genuinely liked the character despite his awkwardness. Gaiman does a fantastic job pacing this story. We get sucked into the eccentricities of Charlie's brother, Spider, right along with Charlie. I found myself getting frustrated with Spider, much as I imagine Charlie was.
By the second half of the story, you could see the brothers' relationship changing. They were feeding off each other in a way, taking on characteristics of each other. Brilliantly done.
Shadow gets out of prison early when his wife is killed in a car crash. At a loss, he takes up with a mysterious character called Wednesday, who is muShadow gets out of prison early when his wife is killed in a car crash. At a loss, he takes up with a mysterious character called Wednesday, who is much more than he appears. In fact, Wednesday is an old god, once known as Odin the All-father, who is roaming America rounding up his forgotten fellows in preparation for an epic battle against the upstart deities of the Internet, credit cards, television, and all that is wired.
Shadow agrees to help Wednesday, and they whirl through a psycho-spiritual storm that becomes all too real in its manifestations. Armed only with some coin tricks and a sense of purpose, Shadow travels through, around, and underneath the visible surface of things, digging up all the powerful myths Americans brought with them in their journeys to this land as well as the ones that were already here. Gaiman tries to keep the magical and the mundane evenly balanced, but he is clearly more interested in the activities of his human protagonists: Shadow's poignant personal moments and the tale's affectionate slices of small town life are much better developed than the aimless plot, which bounces Shadow from one episodic encounter to another in a design only the gods seem to know.
Gaiman's protagonist always seems to get shoved, manipulated or dragged around in the story without ever exhibiting much control. Like in this book: eventually it becomes clear that Shadow is the hero because of his remarkable capabilities, but emotionally and mentally, he remains passive, directionless and often--whether literally or figuratively--completely in the dark.
This aspect of the book, while very effective for those readers familiar with various mythologies of the world, is sometimes over laden with references to events and symbols of the various deities. It's admirable to include such a wide variety of worldly figures, but somewhat detracting from the story if as a reader, too much extra research is necessary to understand the associations. The stories range from African gods to creatures from Oman to a woman from Cornwall, England who worships piskies.
The problem is that I was expecting an epic. The book's subject matter, length, awards, and reviews all scream epic. I was expecting something deep, meaningful, and memorable. Gaiman's writing talent teased me nearly all the way through that this was indeed what I was reading, yet it never quite delivered. Instead of a memorable epic, what I finally discovered in American Gods was a well-written and enjoyable pulp novel.