I should it be known that I won an advanced reader copy of this book from a Goodreads First Read contest. I won one of the twenty-five copies offeredI should it be known that I won an advanced reader copy of this book from a Goodreads First Read contest. I won one of the twenty-five copies offered in the contest and had it delivered very quickly after I was notified that I was of the winners.
First things first, if you're looking for a direct Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter sequel you will not find one within this book. This tale focuses on Henry Sturges, the vampire who taught Abraham Lincoln how to hunt. It's chronicles Henrys experiences from when he was made into a vampire, to almost present day 500 years later. It covers the highs and lows of his life highlighting his relationships, his inclusion in wars and dealings with the United States government throughout. He meets and befriends several historical figures from John Smith of Pocahontas fame, Bram Stoker, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Tesla, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Teddy Roosevelt to name a few.
This book was fun and full of pulp, just like ALVH. Grahame-Smith took a more expansive approach to this novel, it covered so much time and space. The amount of world events and historical figures he weaved into the story made it evolve constantly, it also moved the story along quickly. I enjoyed this as much as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. While the book doesn't focus on Abe, it does feature him and give you a bit of closure.
If you're looking for a book, that moves fast and doesn't take itself too seriously, check this one out....more
In this inverted detective story we follow Richard Papen, a California transplant, as he lands in Vermont and settles into Hampden College. Richard waIn this inverted detective story we follow Richard Papen, a California transplant, as he lands in Vermont and settles into Hampden College. Richard wants to study Ancient Greek, but he must convince the eccentric professor Julian Morrow to allow him to study under him. Morrow accepts him with the condition that Richard drop most of his classes to exclusively study with him. He joins a small group of others already under Morrow's study, twins Charles and Camilla, Francis, Henry, and Bunny.
This is no secret, but the book explores the reason and story behind Bunny's murder. Donna Tart does a wonderful job with this story. There is so much going on between the characters before Richard become involved with the group. She explores their dark secrets from incest, alcoholism, controlling nature, homosexuality, and murder. It also looks at the relationships, trust, fear, and allegiances between them as Richard integrates in the group. I like how someone else explained this story, it's not really a who done it, but a why done it.
This is not necessarily the happiest thing I've read, but that doesn't matter. It reads like a Greek tragedy and didn't disappoint, it was beautifully written. I hope to read some of her other works, including the The Gold Finch soon....more
I'm an Amazon Prime member so I picked up The Fire Seekers as a part of the Kindle First program. This story is published by Skyscape which is Amazon'I'm an Amazon Prime member so I picked up The Fire Seekers as a part of the Kindle First program. This story is published by Skyscape which is Amazon's imprint for young adults and teen fiction.
This tale features Daniel Calder, a globetrotting teenager, who's a master chef, diver, emergency helicopter pilot, climber. Actually there really isn't anything this kid can't do, at least according to him. His father is the head of linguistics at University of Washington and his mother is the billionaire inventor of DNA based encryption. Daniel and his sudo sister Morag try to crack a mystery involving the Seraphim, a potential higher power how may or may not be out to doom us.
I like the description for two stars, It was ok, which is spot on. Daniel, the protagonist, is too good and too cool, he doesn't seem foul-able at all. [author: Richard Farr['s writing was fine, I just had issue with the characters, their perfection, and the ending. I guess this is going to be a trilogy, but I'll pass....more
One more Amazon First Read to write about, this one's also from Amazon's Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror imprint 47North.
This story is the firstOne more Amazon First Read to write about, this one's also from Amazon's Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror imprint 47North.
This story is the first in a planed trilogy, Ceony Twill is finished with magic school and is off to meet Emery Thane at his home. Ceony isn't happy about this as she wanted to work with metal, but instead will be working with paper. In this world once you're bound to a material you can't work with others. As Thane begins to teach her paper magic she learns that it has much more to offer than she could imagine. As you can guess something bad has to happen, an Excisioner, a practicer of blood magic, invades Thane's cottage and pull his still-beating heart from his chest. Ceony must thing fast in order to save her teacher while she chases after very dangerous Excisioner.
This was a quick read, simply because it was very short. It seemed like it could have developed more, but I"m assuming that's what will be happening in the rest of the trilogy. I enjoyed the paper dog, but that's just the kind of guy I am. She talked some about the magic school, but didn't get to crazy detailed about it which I liked. We've all had to many Harry Potter like books out there, no need for another. This student of Brandon Sanderson wrote a good story, though I'm not a huge fan of the end....more
Artful is the second Amazons First Reads books I tackled on my recent vacation. It's also published by 47North, Amazon's Sci-Fi imprint.
This tale pickArtful is the second Amazons First Reads books I tackled on my recent vacation. It's also published by 47North, Amazon's Sci-Fi imprint.
This tale picks up after the end of Charles Dickens Oliver Twist and features Jack Dawkins, otherwise known as the Artful Dodger. He's pulled into the world of vampires when he happens upon a young women on a street corner who's arguing with a lady of the night. The young woman is obviously out of place, he befriends her and takes her in off the street. This story features Mr. Fang and Fagin from the Twist novel and gives us a look a vampire power grab that threatens England's royal line. We briefly see Oliver Twist, if only momentarily.
It was a quick read, something I was able to knock out in a couple of hours. It had some action, pesky vampires, and that dirty old London feel to it. It was one of the better Amazon First Read books I've read. To be honest, I wouldn't have paid for it from store be it digital or otherwise, but it sure is hard to pass up free....more
I wanted shorter books to read while traveling to and from Niagara Falls where I was going to be running a marathon. This was the ideal time to actualI wanted shorter books to read while traveling to and from Niagara Falls where I was going to be running a marathon. This was the ideal time to actually read some of the Amazon First Read books my wife and I had chosen since it's a perk of being Amazon Prime members. These books all appear to be from one of Amazon's own imprints, this one was published by 47North which deals specifically with fantasy, sci-fi, and horror titles.
Ania Ahlborn brings us The Bird Eater, a story that falls squarely in the horror genre. It starts dark and that darkness continues throughout. We follow Aaron Holbrook, who's trying to piece his life back together after his son is killed in a car accident, he slips into the quagmire of drinking and drugs while his marriage falling apart. Aaron is straight up flawed, he's been through much even before these events, his mother and his aunt both died tragically and mysteriously.
The house Aaron was raised in, the same house his Aunt died in needs to be sold. He moves back to a town he was taken from by child protective services after his Aunt died. He returns a haunted man cover in ink, which happened to be various birds. Soon after he arrives he's menaced by a creepy kid, the menacing later turns into terrorizing. Aaron rekindles relationships with a past love interest who's now married, which can only end badly and a long lost friend who now run his fathers grocery store. He also has a video recorder, something his therapist suggested as a form of therapy by keeping what is essentially a video journal. He learns the house he's living in has a name, The Devil's Den, and is supposedly haunted.
Bad choices are made and the situation spirals to a dangerous place, shadows, nightmares that seem too real. The house and creepy kid are attached, evil permeates through them and feeds off each other drawing others in. Bad things happen and a cycle starts over.
I gave this book a pretty low rating, two stars which when you hover on them says it best: it was ok. I didn't love the story, especially how it ended. The ending was rushed and cheesy, there were a lot of stereotypical bump in the night "scary" things happening in the book. The story felt like it was missing something, like certain parts just needed to be tweaked to make it better. I applaud the program Amazon has put together and will be happy to keep reading these books in the future....more
I'm not going to try and detail the differences and similarities between the six similar yet different narratives that encompass the Cloud Atlas. DaviI'm not going to try and detail the differences and similarities between the six similar yet different narratives that encompass the Cloud Atlas. David Mitchell must have had a crazy map of how all of the interactions and mentions between the stories. The overlapping conscientiousnesses between characters, the shared birthmark and the sometimes remembered memories from a past life.
The stories are unique and they each have their own time frame and dialect. The major characters were Adam Ewing, Robert Frobisher, Luisa Rey, Timothy Cavendish, Sonmi, and Zachary. The story that followed Zachary in the far future was the hardest for me to read. I probably enjoyed the stories of Robert Frobisher and Luisa Rey the most, Timothy Cavendish and Sonmi followed closely behind. I liked the stories arrangements, you went form the furthest in the past to the furthest and future and back again. You end where you began.
It was lovely written and complex, just what I needed....more
New Crobuzon certainly was an interesting place. The Namesake of the book, Perdido Street Station, is the city's transportation hub. It also houses thNew Crobuzon certainly was an interesting place. The Namesake of the book, Perdido Street Station, is the city's transportation hub. It also houses the embassy building and the Spike, the headquarters for the dreaded Militia. The city is ran by Mayor Ruttgutter, he's the epitome of corruption and he has bad eyes that need to be replaced regularly. New Crobuzon also has its fair share of bad guys like Mr. Motley, a gangster who's used the weird art of "remaking" to alter his body by adding additional parts twisting his appearance into something grotesque. The city is also broken into other sections, including slums and affluent areas. Most of the first half of the book took part in Brock Marsh, the scientific district.
The main protagonist of the book, Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin a human, lives in the Brock Marsh and is love with Lin. This is a dicey subject in the book since Lin is a Khepri, which is an insect-like race. The females have more humanistic bodies than the males, but insect heads. The two keep their romance a secret as it's not normal in their society.
The story picks up the pace when Issac is approached by Yagharek, a garuda which is a bird like race who have upright human-like bodies, wings, beaks, and feathers. Yagharek has asked Issac to help him fly again, Yagharek has been de-winged and cannot fly. He has committed something called choice theft and as been exiled from his nomadic people. Issac takes on the challenge and in his research acquires a multicolored caterpillar, which turns out to be very bad. It sets into motion all manner of bad stuff, so bad that the ambassador of Hell doesn't even want to be involved. This isn't a terrible thing though, it allows us to meet the Weaver and the Construct Council, who's avatar is mighty creepy.
I enjoyed this story, the process of reading it wasn't a chore like some I've read. I liked that it was Steampunk, but not too Steampunk. What I mean is that it wasn't over the top like a bunch of geeked out cos-playing nerds at a convention with top hats, googles, vests, monocles, and gears affixed to everything. Yes, I'm totally judging the vendors at conventions like GenCon who sell all that crap. I would have rated the book a five, but the ending threw that out the door. It wasn't a bad ending, it just wasn't what I expected and it sort of let me down. Sometime in the not too distance future, I will finish out the series and read The Scar and The Iron Council....more
My wife had read this and wanted to see the movie, so I picked up our copy, before we put it in the "Half Price Books" pile and made my way through itMy wife had read this and wanted to see the movie, so I picked up our copy, before we put it in the "Half Price Books" pile and made my way through it quickly. Me meet Thomas, who's disoriented, has he's raised up in a cage that's essentially in a hole. Once he reaches the top he doesn't know where or who he is. He quickly learns he's in the "Glade" with several other young men. Thomas is a catalyst for change and once he arrived things start changing, and not for the best.
The book was ok, not my favorite, but I didn't hate it. It read fast, as most young adult fiction does. I probably won't read the remaining books in the series, but I'll probably see the movies, if they're made. I'd would have been ok not reading the book and seeing the movie, I probably would have enjoyed the movie more if I didn't pick out the differences between the two....more
I'm catching up on my simple reviews I've read in recent history.
I couldn't find a reason to like this book, it was far too schizophrenic. It took meI'm catching up on my simple reviews I've read in recent history.
I couldn't find a reason to like this book, it was far too schizophrenic. It took me quite a while to read this book, I would pick it up and put it down quickly after reading a few pages. I couldn't get into the story, it didn't feel fluid it actually felt like it was a series jumbled thoughts broken into fragments and stretched over several hundred pages. At least I made it through this beast, it was a struggle but Its done....more
I received an e-mail from an online retailer about this book, the blurb about it cause my eye and I decided to borrow it from the library. Who wouldn'I received an e-mail from an online retailer about this book, the blurb about it cause my eye and I decided to borrow it from the library. Who wouldn't want to think straight while in the vast ocean of information overload?
First and foremost, this book hold a lot of scientific information and if you can't hand that, then don't even try. The content is really interesting, he goes over all types of subjects related to the mind. My two favorites were the sections about multi-tasking, specifically how harmful it is, and why we can't keep track of things like if we've taken our daily medicine.
The book was interesting, but got dull after the half-way point. It was so fact driven that portions of the flow sagged. I was looking for something earth shattering to help me with my mental organization, when all I really got was some neat things to think about....more
Quentin is still kicked out of Fillory, a Narnia like world made famous in a series of children's books, and he's still dysfunctional. Like a lost pupQuentin is still kicked out of Fillory, a Narnia like world made famous in a series of children's books, and he's still dysfunctional. Like a lost puppy he makes his way back to Brakebills, the hidden school of magic which he graduated from, where he finally figures out his magical specialty, rebuilding things. We meet back up with those left in Fillory, Eliot, Janet, Poppy, and Josh, who discover that things in their world are slightly off and quickly sliding towards apocalypse. Along the way we meet up with a new face, Plum, and some old faces from the previous novels, while learning about Rupert Chatwin, the older brother of Martin.
Lev Grossman wraps up The Magicians series in a neat little package. No loose ends, no questions outstanding. I felt like this novel was a little more well rounded than the first two. The others were fantastic, and this one is no different. Grossman took a genre, magic, magic schools, and magicians, which has been stretched thin in the Young Adult arena and made it fresh with an adult twist.
I'm looking forward to seeing what Grossman writes about next. I like his tone and style and hope to keep reading his work in the future....more