Seraphina is working at the royal court when a prince is murdered. Even though her country has been at peace with the dragons for decades, many people...moreSeraphina is working at the royal court when a prince is murdered. Even though her country has been at peace with the dragons for decades, many people believe a dragon killed the prince. Tensions start rising in the city just as the dragon ruler is due for a state visit to celebrate the signing of the peace treaty. Seraphina starts investigating what happened to the prince and following up on rumors of a rogue dragon in the countryside. But can she hide her own secrets while ferreting out someone else's?
I honestly hadn't heard of this until my husband decided to buy it for me for my birthday last year. He's a brave man; choosing books that I haven't asked for can go terribly wrong but he picked a winner!
I really liked Seraphina. She's trying so hard to do the right thing for everyone and the secrets that she's keeping are some big ones. She feels bad for lying all the time but she doesn't see any way around it. In her shoes, I wouldn't either. She's a smart girl though and she's much braver than she gives herself credit for. She might not decide to be brave on her own behalf but she's a lion when it comes to looking out for the underdog. I love that about her.
Of course there's a love interest. I'll keep his name to myself. But I loved him too. He's also brave and curious and trying to do the right thing. He has some major twists and turns to deal with and I found his reactions to be pitch perfect. Not immediately accepting but not close-minded either. I like him a lot.
I did not see the ending coming at all! I'm so happy nowadays when I can say that! There's enough closure at the end to satisfy most readers but there's definitely room for a sequel. I've gotten sick of cliffhangers recently (mostly thanks to movies) so that was a relief as well. I'll be eagerly awaiting the next in the series.
Ruby McMillan's husband announces out of the blue that he's leaving one morning. She has her initial meltdown, of course, but then she starts getting...moreRuby McMillan's husband announces out of the blue that he's leaving one morning. She has her initial meltdown, of course, but then she starts getting on with her life. Walter has left their finances in a shambles and Ruby has to scramble to hold everything together as he sails off into the sunset with his new lover.
I had a blast reading this book. Even as I knew I should be feeling bad for Ruby, I would have to laugh as her neighbors kept her apprised of Walter's latest exploits via his Facebook poetry. Oh, it was bad. I wanted to slap his face just for the poetry! She tries her best, finds her new groove as a single woman, and has some encounters with some seriously steamy men. What's not to love? While I felt that Ruby moved on awfully fast, the author explains that by saying that Rational Ruby rationally chose Walter as her husband; she was never head-over-heels for him. It was still a little hard to buy. That aside, I enjoyed watching Ruby expand her limits and learn to believe in love.
The one thing I felt was really missing from the book was a recipe section. Ruby is a fabulous baker and it's just not fair to describe all her mouth-watering creations without giving me a chance to try them for myself!
If you're looking for a bit of escapism, Ruby and her kids and friends definitely fit the bill. Give this a try when you need a pick-me-up.
Thanks to the publicist for sending me a copy for review.(less)
Elisa is a Bearer of the Godstone. Born to the royal family, a bright light engulfed her on her Name Day and left her with a Godstone in her navel. Be...moreElisa is a Bearer of the Godstone. Born to the royal family, a bright light engulfed her on her Name Day and left her with a Godstone in her navel. Bearers are marked to carry out a special act of service and they're only born about every hundred years. Unfortunately, they don't tend to live long enough to complete their service.
Elisa doesn't really fit into her own home. Her sister is the one being groomed to rule. Elisa just likes to study her books and, honestly, eat her sorrows. When she finds herself suddenly married off to a neighboring king, she has no idea what to expect. She sets off to be Queen of a country she's never seen. A mutual enemy is threatening their borders, her new husband doesn't seem to know what to do, and since he's decided to keep their marriage a secret, she has no idea what she's supposed to do here either.
I really liked this. Elisa was by no means a perfect heroine. She struggles with her weight and with her own emotional insecurities. But she's an intelligent woman and she's always willing to try her best. She might not be the most charismatic princess but she has an honesty about her that tends to resonate with people once they stop judging her by her weight. I knew there would have to be more to her than what she appeared to be at first glance but the amount of her growth was astonishing. I was incredibly proud of her as she came into her own.
Her story took many twists and turns that kept surprising me. Just when I thought she would settle into one place/story, everything would suddenly change and I would read along anxiously to see how she would handle this new challenge. Through insecurity, heartbreak, physical trials, and mental challenges, Elisa consistently rose to the occasion and kept me interested in her story.
This book wrapped up pretty nicely but there's plenty of room for sequels. I'm starting to really hate gaping cliffhangers, so that was a huge plus for me! I'll keep reading Elisa's story.(less)
Just finished a re-read for my book club. I didn't fall quite as head-over-heels in love with these characters, but I stand by my 5-star rating. Absol...moreJust finished a re-read for my book club. I didn't fall quite as head-over-heels in love with these characters, but I stand by my 5-star rating. Absolutely wonderful book.(less)
In this very, very dark telling of Peter Pan, Peter is abused and unwelcome everywhere he wanders until he stumbles onto the island of Avalon. There,...moreIn this very, very dark telling of Peter Pan, Peter is abused and unwelcome everywhere he wanders until he stumbles onto the island of Avalon. There, he finally carves out a home for himself, although not without a certain amount of danger. As conditions on the island deteriorate, Peter recruits children from the world of men to come live on his island and help fight the battle to save Avalon and his Lady.
I haven't read Peter Pan and I only have vague memories of the Disney movie, which I didn't care for. So I can't say anything about how this compares to the original source.
I can say that it worked for me.
Peter's mother is a human and we only get a vague hint that his father is some sort of forest spirit. He lives up to that lineage admirably. He can be serious, playful, deadly dangerous, funny, loyal, and unforgiving in the space of a few heartbeats. His temperament can only be described as mercurial. As such, I was never entirely sure whether I should be rooting for him to succeed or not. I could tell he definitely had an ulterior motive or three but I didn't know if I should sort him out to be a hero or a villain. It was nice to be kept on my toes! Honestly, I still don't know what to think of him. I guess he's more like a force of nature--he just is.
The children he recruits to come to Avalon call themselves Devils. They were heart-breaking. The first chapter is very disturbing, with Peter saving a little girl from another night of being molested by her father. Holy cow. That was not what I expected from Peter Pan! But once I thought about it, those are exactly the children who would give up their homes and follow a strange boy into the mists--the ones who have nothing to live for here, the abused and neglected children, not the ones who have a "Mother Darling" waiting for them and worrying for them at home.
The conflict on Avalon is only slowly revealed so I won't say much. I did find it to be all too realistic, even if this is a fantasy book. It arises from people who are unyielding in their beliefs and who refuse to really sit down and speak to each other. They even want the same thing to happen, they're just too stubborn to work it out. How familiar does that sound?
I believe author Brom is primarily known for his artwork. Each chapter opens with a full-page illustration in black-and-white and there's a center section of color portraits of the main characters. They might be a little dark and disturbing for some people, but I thought they fit the mood of the novel perfectly.
The book has a definite ending that I'm not entirely happy with, but there's room for a sequel too. After all, the boy who never grows up will always have another big adventure waiting.(less)
Professor Gary Fuller sets out to fill in the gaps in your geography knowledge.
I would guess that I know a little more geography than the average Amer...moreProfessor Gary Fuller sets out to fill in the gaps in your geography knowledge.
I would guess that I know a little more geography than the average American but I'll be the first to admit that I'm still woefully lacking. I downloaded this book on a nook Free Friday (I believe), thinking that I might learn a thing or two.
I sure did! I wish more of it had stuck with me, but I now know that camels originated in North America, the first country you come to if you go directly south of Detroit is Canada (I'm ashamed that I didn't know that one) and if you go directly south of Chicago, you'll run into the Pacific ocean, not South America (again, I'm ashamed that I didn't know that). There were lots more facts packed into this little book, all presented in a fun, entertaining way. I actually had a hard time putting the book down!
The format of the book worked really well for me. The chapters were short and began with a series of questions. That's the one thing I didn't like. By the time I got to the answer, I'd forgotten what the question was and there often wasn't much of a contextual clue. I would have had an easier time with a physical copy, just marking the question page, but I wasn't willing to go clicking back through the pages on my nook.
Trivia lovers should really enjoy this book, and I highly recommend it!(less)
Adam Snow gets lost in the countryside on a drive back to London one evening and finds himself at a derelict house. He gets out of the car to look aro...moreAdam Snow gets lost in the countryside on a drive back to London one evening and finds himself at a derelict house. He gets out of the car to look around and feels a small hand slip into his. There's no one else there. He takes the memory of the hand with him and remembers it as a comforting presence. But then he starts to have panic attacks, near misses, and inexplicable urges to harm himself. The small hand obviously does not bear him good will.
Eh. This was more Gothic than horror so I feel that it was too short to really work up some good suspense. Gothic novels are such a slow burn that they almost have to be chunksters to really pull me in and get my nerves on edge. At less than 200 pages, the events of this book happen relatively quickly and feel rushed and even a little obvious. The basic premise is very solid though and I think I would have enjoyed a longer book much more than I did this one.
Being so short, it is worth a try if you're interested or if you're in the mood for a little Gothic fun though.(less)
In a dual narrative, author Sena Jeter Naslund explores the lives of a modern-day fictional author, Kathryn Callaghan--a "woman of a certain age,"--an...moreIn a dual narrative, author Sena Jeter Naslund explores the lives of a modern-day fictional author, Kathryn Callaghan--a "woman of a certain age,"--and artist Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, famous for painting portraits of Marie Antoinette. Both women are looking back over their lives, evaluating their choices and reflecting on their losses.
2.5 Stars but I'm generously rounding up.
I am not the greatest audience for this book. I hesitated before requesting a review copy. I really, really, really disliked Ms. Naslund's last book, Adam & Eve, and I disliked Portrait of the Artist of a Young Man when I read it in college. I've never done well with stream of consciousness. If I'm going to follow random thoughts down the rabbit hole, I'd rather follow my own; they're more interesting. But. I really, really, really loved Ahab's Wife, also by Ms. Naslund. It has a firm place in my personal top ten list. It was a toss-up so I decided to go for it.
The modern-day story just dragged on and on and on. I mean it when I say I don't do well with stream of consciousness. I could not care less about every little thought that crosses a character's brain. That said, it felt right. I have the feeling that if I were closer in age to either of these two characters, I might have loved this book. The reflections, the difficult choices that are made about aging parents, children as children and when they're adults, marriages, it all rang true and I feel that Ms. Naslund captured it perfectly. As a 35-year-old married woman with no children and parents who are still (knocking on wood) working and in decent, if not perfect, health, I couldn't find the kind of bone-deep connection I think I would have needed to really appreciate this novel.
I did much better with Madame LeBrun's story. It was much more structured with a beginning, middle, and end, and I liked reading about her life just before and after the French Revolution. The "during" years were a bit glossed over, but she got safely out of the country before everything got really bad, and anyone wanting to read more about that era should read Ms. Naslund's excellent novel about Marie Antoinette, Abundance. Her parts were very short though and before I knew it, I was mired back in the one never-ending day in the life of modern Kathryn Callaghan.
As always, Naslund's writing was beautiful and I loved the sense of place in both stories. I want to see Kathryn Callaghan's old Louisville neighborhood and Élisabeth's apartment in Paris and her cottage at Louveciennes.
Otherwise, this book was mostly forgettable for me. Readers who do better with stream of consciousness or who are more contemporaneous with the two main characters will enjoy it more than I did.(less)
Cassandra Moon, firmly in her 40s, is finally getting married. She's been taking care of others all her life and now she's looking forward to having s...moreCassandra Moon, firmly in her 40s, is finally getting married. She's been taking care of others all her life and now she's looking forward to having someone else take care of her for a change. All she has to do is walk down the aisle and say "I do." So why does she find herself in her wedding dress, driving like a bat out of hell in the honeymoon limo and heading for the coast, still a single woman? She must be crazy.
She ends up staying with her Aunt May and Uncle Walton in Salter Path, NC. She loved visiting there as a child and she's hoping to get some time to herself to figure out what she really wants. Everyone else is always telling her what she should want and she's tired of it. She just needs some downtime to get things straight in her own heart and mind.
I have enjoyed all of Pamela Duncan's books but this one is my favorite. Cassandra first showed up in Moon Women. In my review of that book, I wrote, "Poor Cassandra. I wasn't entirely happy with her story, but there's a glimmer of hope for her. I'll have to dive into The Big Beautiful soon to see how she ends up." I am much happier with her story now. She does a lot of growing up and thinking and gets a stronger backbone. I want to start praising her to the skies but I don't want to spoil anything. Her development and her reactions all felt real and right. She has a great big heart and I think she finally starts to focus on her strengths and blessings rather than her shortcomings. I just love books where women make that journey successfully.
The other characters in the book were a hoot! Aunt May and Doris were hilarious. They sparred all the time but their love for each other was apparent. Uncle Walton was wisely quiet and always there. Young Annie Laurie gave Cassandra someone to love on and look out for. Dennis and Hector were good foils for each other and for Cassandra. When I wasn't irritated with this bunch right along with Cassandra, I was wishing I could meet them in real life. They felt like family.
I loved the location! My family used to go on vacation every summer to Emerald Isle, NC and Salter Path is just up the island from there. I have a lot of great memories of that little town and long summer days with my extended family. It brought a smile to my face when I realized where Cassandra was.
The family and friends have formed a book/poker club (don't ask) and they read Persuasion with Cassandra. If you've followed my blog at all, you know that I love Captain Wentworth. There are parallels between spinster Anne Elliot and Cassandra. And there's a scene where the book club is reading "The Letter" out loud. I melt inside whenever I think of that letter. This isn't a huge part of the book but it only added to my enjoyment.
It helps a little to have read Moon Women before reading The Big Beautiful but I don't feel that it's necessary. If you do read them out of order, you'll come across some spoilers if you're really paying attention. Since the focus has shifted to the family on the coast, you would really have to have a good head for characters to really remember and connect them together though.
I highly, highly recommend this book. It was a joy to read and it left me with a huge smile on my face.(less)
Alexia Maccon, nee Tarrabotti, is back in residence at Woolsey Castle. She's gloriously pregnant, not very happy with the way the infant-inconvenience...moreAlexia Maccon, nee Tarrabotti, is back in residence at Woolsey Castle. She's gloriously pregnant, not very happy with the way the infant-inconvenience is trying to slow her down, and firmly resolved to keep on with her daily business as usual. When a ghost appears to her and manages to gasp out a warning about a plot on the Queen's life, Alexia starts trying to stop events before they get out of hand.
Alexia is back and how I do love her! I haven't reviewed Blameless because I was a little disappointed in it. Not that it wasn't good--it was--it just didn't live up to the incredibly high expectations I have for this series. With Heartless, I feel that we're back on track.
What I really love about this series is the characters. They are all just so memorable! We're getting up to a pretty big cast now and I have no trouble keeping track of them. Of course soulless, pragmatic Alexia is far and away my favorite, but Lord Maccon, Lord Akeldama, Madame Lefoux, Floote, Biffy, Ivy--I just love them all. I sit reading, grinning like an idiot, with the occasional giggle (Zombie porcupines? Really?) and laughter (There's a new character at the end whom I just can't wait to see more of).
This being a book about Alexia Maccon, the action is of course practically nonstop, if leaning a bit more toward waddling than striding. I would snatch it up every chance I got just to read a few more lines. The climax has to last 50 pages but it never flagged; it just kept getting better and better. By the time things wrapped up, I was delighted with how thoroughly Ms. Carriger had managed to shake up London's supernatural scene.
Read this series for smart, tongue-in-cheek humor with characters whom you will immediately love.(less)
Rosemary Bliss feels incredibly guilty; she lost her family's magical cookbook to her evil Aunt Lily and now everything in their hometown of Calamity...moreRosemary Bliss feels incredibly guilty; she lost her family's magical cookbook to her evil Aunt Lily and now everything in their hometown of Calamity Falls just feels drab. To make matters worse, Aunt Lily is everywhere Rose turns--on the TV, on the radio, and now on the grocery store shelves with Lily's Magic Ingredient. Something has to be done.
Rose and her older brother Ty sneak onto the set of Lily's TV show, where Rose challenges Lily to a bake-off. Basically, whoever wins the prestigious Gala des Gâteaux Grands in Paris gets to keep the magical Bliss Family Cookery Booke. With an assortment of Bliss family members, talking animals, and magic ingredients, Rose flies off to Paris to do her best in the world-class competition.
I still love this series! I hate to cook, but I have a sweet tooth that won't quit, so baking is right up my alley. The Bliss family are all so quirky and endearing that I just have to love them. Earnest Rose who feels more responsibility for everything than she should; charming Ty, trying to win over all the ladies; funny Sage with his microphone hoping to mine his conversations for hstandup comedy gold; and little bewitched Leigh, spouting off Lily's praises at every turn. They're funny and adorable and so loyal to each other. I just love them.
The other characters are great too. Balthazar Bliss, a many-times-great grandfather, is roped in to help and he's cranky and funny. His talking cat, Gus, is delightfully sarcastic but comes through when he's needed. A talking mouse, Jacques, finds himself involved as well and discovers that his bravery is much bigger than his tiny body. They all add to the fun of this magical little book.
The Blisses need magical ingredients if they're to have any hope of beating Aunt Lily, so they set off to search through some of Paris's most well-known landmarks. The Louvre, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the catacombs... I enjoyed reading about The City of Light through young Rose's eyes. And meeting another great cast of characters. What is the secret behind Mona Lisa's smile? What do Notre Dame's gargoyle's get up to at midnight? You'll know after reading this.
For all the light-heartedness, I like that there is a message hidden within these pages. Rose learns a lot about self-confidence and the value of family as she competes and I think a lot of girls will learn something right along with her.
This series is funny and magical and I highly recommend it. Middle grade girls should definitely enjoy it, but I think interested boys would find it entertaining as well.
Thanks to the author for sending me a copy for review.(less)
Mitch Moxley hits a personal low in his mid-twenties. His career is pretty much nonexistent and he's tired of the cold, gray Toronto winters. He start...moreMitch Moxley hits a personal low in his mid-twenties. His career is pretty much nonexistent and he's tired of the cold, gray Toronto winters. He starts looking for jobs overseas and stumbles on a job working for a state newspaper in China, the China Daily. He applies and lands himself a one year contract.
He heads on over, knowing that he isn't really prepared for life in Communist China but not really understanding what that means. He has issues with censorship at the paper almost from the beginning and quickly gives up trying to change anything or doing any actual reporting. He makes some friends, offends some people, drinks a lot, and starts heading down that tired old expat path.
Luckily, he does change directions. He finally goes into life in China with a bit of a Yes Man attitude and finds himself in some unbelievable situations. He watches all the buildup for the Olympics. He starts doing some serious reporting. Through it all, he slowly slides closer to the Chinese side on the Foreigner/Chinese scale.
I like reading books about people who are brave enough to pack up and move away from everything they know, not just to another city, but to a whole different country. I can't even begin to imagine the culture shock, especially going from Canada to China. I have been disappointed a couple of times in other books when the author chooses to write about his or her experiences partying and drinking. That is not even remotely what I'm looking for when I pick up this kind of memoir.
Mitch started down that path and I got worried but then he turned himself around and started writing about life in China, not life in bars. He started getting out and experiencing things that I can't even conceive of from my armchair in the States. "Rent a White Guy." Seriously? They do that? Human trafficking. Chinese dating shows. The Beijing Olympics. Chinese music videos. I found it all fascinating, occasionally scary, and sometimes hilarious. I learned a lot about a country that is very much a big unknown to me. This was what I was hoping to find when I requested a copy of the book for review.
If, like me, you love to experience other cultures from the safety of your home, go ahead and give this a try. (less)
It's been two years since the events of The Lincoln Lawyer and Mickey Haller is not on his game. His...medical problems... at the end of the first boo...moreIt's been two years since the events of The Lincoln Lawyer and Mickey Haller is not on his game. His...medical problems... at the end of the first book have left him addicted to painkillers. He's done a stint in rehab, he's taken time off work to get himself together, and he's starting to think about taking on a case or two. He wakes up one day to find that 30+ have landed in his lap.
Haller and a colleague, Jerry Vincent, have backed each other up a few times in court. Now that Vincent's been murdered, Mickey finds out that he's inherited the man's law practice. In the mix of all these new cases is another franchise case, L.A.'s "Murder of the Decade."
Movie studio mogul Walter Elliot is accused of shooting his wife and her lover in a fit of rage. Everyone agrees that he probably did it; isn't it usually the husband? But it's still Mickey's job to get him off, while protecting attorney/client privileges and helping the cops, including Harry Bosch, solve Vincent's murder. So much for easing back into things.
It's not The Lincoln Lawyer, I'll just say it up front. It is still good though. I kept hoping for that twist that made me sit up and say, "Holy shit!" but it never came. There were twists alright, but nothing like what I hoped for.
I haven't read any of the Harry Bosch novels and if that left me in the dark a little here, I wasn't aware of it. I've actually been putting off reading this for that very reason, but I don't think it matters. This is Mickey Haller's story, not Bosch's. If you've been hesitating like me, stop waiting and go for it.
Now that that's all out of the way, let's get on to this book.
I still like Mickey Haller. He is what he is. It's easy to blame defense lawyers for getting criminals off, but he does have a point when he says that he plays his part in the justice system. By keeping law enforcement and the prosecution on their toes with the constant threat of letting someone walk on a technicality, Mickey and others like him help ensure that every step made in a case is done legally. At least in theory.
I was worried about him at first. He's obviously coming up from rock bottom. He's had a rough couple of years and it sounds like he was almost down and out there for a while. That's not the Haller I liked. But as the story goes on, he starts to get his mojo back. I enjoyed seeing it happen.
I tore through this pretty quickly. I started it on a Monday night and had read about 80 pages before I looked up. I had to go ahead and put it in my car to read at lunch the next day because I knew if I didn't, I would be up all night finishing the darn thing!
As I mentioned before, there were twists and turns, they just weren't as mind-blowing as I found them to be in the first book. I knew where the case was going as soon as Haller did. Maybe I was supposed to, I don't know. I was surprised to find out who was behind everything but that was over and done with so fast, I almost felt like it was a footnote. There was one last thing at the end that might have been a bigger deal if I had read the Bosch books as well, but coming from the Haller side of things, I was just kind of lukewarm about it.
If you go into this expecting a solid mystery with a great main character, you won't be disappointed. It was a page turner and I will be continuing with any future Mickey Haller books. I'll be very curious to see what he does next.(less)
Charles Vess's fantasy artwork has been collected in a beautiful volume.
I love just about every piece of art in this book. The few that I don't like a...moreCharles Vess's fantasy artwork has been collected in a beautiful volume.
I love just about every piece of art in this book. The few that I don't like are probably the few that are science fiction. I am not at all knowledgeable about art so I can't write in any kind of meaningful way about it. I do know what I like and I most definitely like this.
I tried hard to take my time poring over this book. I can flip way too fast through illustrated books, focusing too much on the words. I knew that Vess hides a lot of details in his work and it would be worth the time to look carefully at every page. It was. The vibrant colors, the classic fantasy elements with the occasional modern twist thrown in, this collection was all that I expected it to be and more.
The problem is that now I want to add all of the books he's worked on to my wishlist! He's been a busy man! I already own quite a few of them because he tends to collaborate with authors I love in their own right, such as Charles de Lint and Neil Gaiman. I did not realize that Vess had worked on an illustrated edition of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series but now that I do, I feel the burning need to own it. Unfortunately, it was apparently a limited edition and is now pretty much unavailable or way beyond my means. Here's hoping for a wider release.
Fans of fantasy art and/or writing will love this collection. It will be displayed proudly in my home.(less)
Dr. Spencer Black was a brilliant doctor whose career was derailed by an obsession with mythological creatures. He believed that anatomical deformitie...moreDr. Spencer Black was a brilliant doctor whose career was derailed by an obsession with mythological creatures. He believed that anatomical deformities were not so much mutations as throwbacks to earlier days in the evolutionary timeline. He believed he could prove this by recreating creatures from fable and myth. If he could make them viable, they must have existed, right? He left behind a body of work that is incredible for its detail of beings that have only been seen in imagination--for centuries anyway, if Dr. Black's theory is correct.
I want to give this 5 stars, I really do. I gravitate more toward words than pictures though and the story in this book was not quite as strong as the art. I feel like I fumbled through my synopsis but that's because I was never entirely clear what Dr. Black was supposed to be trying to do with his work. It was a bit awkward and flimsy but I was mostly able to let it go because I knew there had to be a payoff in the illustrations.
There were some genuinely creepy moments though. The part where Dr. Black's wife and brother find out what he's up to left me worried that I wouldn't be sleeping that night. It was that disturbing. It had a Frankenstein feel to it without Victor Frankenstein's histrionics and hysterics so I really liked that aspect as well.
The last--oh, let's call it 2/3--of the book were gorgeous anatomical illustrations of mythical creatures. I tried hard to take my time through them and look at them closely and fully appreciate them. I can sometimes tear way too fast through pictures in a book.
These were genuine works of art. I was amazed at the amount of detail that went into them. I was left wondering if the author was a science illustrator as well. My favorite drawings were of the mermaids. They were just gorgeous. He has put a lot of thought into how these beings would actually work. The minotaur has a tremendous support system holding that big bull head up. The mermaids have dorsal fins to help them stay oriented correctly in the water. I could go on, but I won't.
There's a part of me that wishes the illustrations were in color. Not necessarily the anatomical drawings, but definitely the full rendering. They're amazing either way though.
I also loved the scientific names he came up with. From the fairly obvious Sirenus oceanus for mermaids to the more subtle but pleasing Pegasus gorgonus, I loved all of the ones that I understood....
I just googled all of the ones that I didn't immediately understand and they are all perfect. It's a small, nerdy thing but it appeals to me.
Lovers of mythology and fantastical creatures should adore this book. I intend to put it out in October as my spooky coffee table book. I'll probably reference it when I come across these beings in my other reading as well. It is definitely a book to be dipped into again and again.
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy for review!(less)