Very fast and easy read, where vampires existing outside your front doorstep is a fairly well acknowledged fact. Claire Danvers is new to Morganville,Very fast and easy read, where vampires existing outside your front doorstep is a fairly well acknowledged fact. Claire Danvers is new to Morganville, so she's not up with the whole Vampire thing, but it doesn't take her long to get into the groove and realize her life was pretty much forfeit the day she corrected a stuck up preppy girl at college about the location of the second world war.
Now she's hiding out in the Glass House, but it has secrets of its own.
I liked this story, despite the fact that it was quite limited in character depth and direction. It really seemed more like the first chapter - which it kind of was. Apparently the Morganville Vampires is a whole continuous series, which would explain the massive cliff hangar at the end of this instalment.
I'd recommend not to start this unless you have the located the next one first - I am currently hunting through my local libraries for a copy that isn't 'on loan' until after Christmas!...more
Wow. Seriously the most beautiful, compassionate characterization of someone who is deaf. I loved how Jordan captured his frustration and innocence -Wow. Seriously the most beautiful, compassionate characterization of someone who is deaf. I loved how Jordan captured his frustration and innocence - and the joy of discovering communication. If I can ever write half this well, I'll feel I've achieved something spectacular!...more
With a subtitle like "He awakens something within her...", I guessed that this book would probably be thin on plot and thick on juicy sex scenes. I waWith a subtitle like "He awakens something within her...", I guessed that this book would probably be thin on plot and thick on juicy sex scenes. I wasn't too far wrong, but I admit I was pleasantly surprised by the realism of the location - New Orleans, post 'Katrina'.
The book was dark, smokey and intriguing enough to carry me to the end within a couple of hours. The erotic content was probably R18 (if books had classification) but not uncomfortable or overdone. It was, however, a little random. Like Bella and Edward of Twilight fame, most of the way through, I found myself wondering what exactly attracted these two people to each other. It seemed like he was playing her to get to her sister but at the same time, honestly and dare I say 'irrevocably' in love with her, while she, just like Bella, seemed high on Supernatural Creature pheremones which completely overrode any instinct for self-preservation.
The fact that our heroine, Anne, was a Private Investigator, did lead to some amusing trips away from her amor's bedroom in order to try and find her 'long lost sister', though most of the time, I think she forgot she even had a sister.
By the end of the book, I felt that the threads had been tied up in a way I had pretty much guessed from the pitch and a couple of clues along the way. This is very much a heat of the moment story which benefits from not too much analysis. Having said that, I felt that Lori Handeland did some excellent research into New Orleans and Voodoo magic which made the whole story seem a lot more grounded.
A good read if you're looking for a more 'adult' paranormal romance - sexy and definitely minus the adolescent pining....more
Reading Pilgrim was heavy going for the first half, with demons ravaging the land and the future looking extremely bleak - I had to force myself to piReading Pilgrim was heavy going for the first half, with demons ravaging the land and the future looking extremely bleak - I had to force myself to pick up the book and read the next chapter. But Drego gradually transformed into a hero I really cared about, pulling tricks and powerful magic out of his cool cloth sack and bringing hope and love back into the story.
This is becoming a common pattern with the Sara Douglass books I have read so far. I get to a point where I am just about to give up on the book and then she pulls out an amazingly likable and truly awesome character and suddenly I can't put it down.
Pilgrim has set this trilogy up to be epic, moving and truly satisfying, and I know that Douglass will deliver on that promise in the final instalment. Her work is complex and layered, meaning you have to expend some effort in the beginning, but it certainly pays off. I look forward to seeing how she ties all the pieces together in Crusader....more
Well having read the Twisted Citadel (Book 2) first by accident, it was a very different experience reading this first book than it might have been otWell having read the Twisted Citadel (Book 2) first by accident, it was a very different experience reading this first book than it might have been otherwise. I was hooked the whole way through, knowing where people would end up but desperate to know how on earth they got there.
It was a morbid sort of fascination, as book two begins in a rather dark place, thus book one was inevitably spiralling towards disaster, and yet the ride was thrilling and I actually finished this monster of a book in two days.
Upon reflection, I have concluded that I rather like this trilogy and I am looking forward to the final book. I strongly recommend reading the books in the correct order, however. There are many intertwining paths that are richly rewarding if understood - and horribly confusing if you come in part way through.
All in all, Sara Douglass has written the beginnings of an epic, sprawling fantasy masterpiece with the Serpent Bride, and despite its intimidating size, it is a good read. I highly recommend it....more
If you like to write, and want to write better, this is definitely the book for you. Stuffed full of exercises to stretch all different sorts of writiIf you like to write, and want to write better, this is definitely the book for you. Stuffed full of exercises to stretch all different sorts of writing muscles, from point of view to vivid description, interview and voice, Brian Kiteley has genuinely delivered on the tagline promise - writing exercises that transform your fiction.
No. 1, for example, is to write 500 words in first person while only using the personal pronoun 'I' twice in the whole piece. Surprisingly hard and really rewarding. I feel like my writing has matured twenty or thirty fold and I am only up to exercise 11 so far (check them out on my blog - http://3amepiphanyproject.blogspot.co...). Great for getting those creative juices flowing when you get stuck.
Highly recommend owning your own copy as the explanations and examples that go with each exercise are pure gold....more
And so closes the story of Tencendor, begun in 'BattleAxe' Trilogy and continuing into the Wayfarer Redemption, Sara Douglass managed to fill six bookAnd so closes the story of Tencendor, begun in 'BattleAxe' Trilogy and continuing into the Wayfarer Redemption, Sara Douglass managed to fill six books with an epic, twisting tale that introduced and made me care about many different characters and their intertwining lives, all pummeling toward an inevitable show down and an even more inevitable conclusion - I always knew how this story would end (I had the unfortunate privilage of having read the Darkglass Mountain books before these), but I still enjoyed the journey, for the most part.
This final book, Crusader, did not, unfortunately, break the mould of Douglass' previous works and I still struggled through the first half, wishing the characters wouldn't mope around in despair quite so much. Many of the 'heroes' of the previous stories ultimately proved quite emasculated and almost entirely useless which, while highlighting the depths of the demon's power and evilness, did not help for readability.
Faraday, particularly, who had started out so bold and powerful in Sinner, was quickly reduced to a rather lame and fatalistic damsel in distress - something I cannot quite forgive, given Douglass' normally powerful and admirable female characters. Her portrayal of Faraday in this final book was probably what disappointed me the most.
The Wayfarer Trilogy was certainly a sweeping epic, and a satisfying conclusion for those who wished to know 'what happened next' following the events of the BattleAxe Trilogy, but, on its own, it struggled with the number of characters and points of view it was trying to portray. I liked the characters in a blanket sense, but no one really stood out as particularly impressive, except perhaps Gwyndelyr - a relatively minor witch who is so organized and calm in the face of the demons that I couldn't help laughing whenever she turned up.
In the end, I am left somewhat ambivalent. I would definitely recommend the series to anyone who has read BattleAxe (you will get all the references), and if you like the epic 'save the world' style fantasy, then this has all the elements and is very intelligent. However, I will warn that it takes a certain level of effort to get through and the end result may or may not be quite what you were hoping for....more
Having read the first two books of the Darkglass Mountain Trilogy by Sara Douglass (a subsequent series), it was a fascinating leap to jump back intoHaving read the first two books of the Darkglass Mountain Trilogy by Sara Douglass (a subsequent series), it was a fascinating leap to jump back into a time when Tencendor had not yet vanished beneath the sea and many of the characters who had been only legends were suddenly alive and 'breathing'.
'Sinner' is a book that can stand alone, but I suspect appeals far more to an audience that has already read Douglass' first 'Battle Axe' series because this set deals with the children and aftermath of that saga. I particularly enjoyed the characters of Zenith, Axis SunSoar's youngest girl, and Faraday, his ex-lover, for their tenacity and compassion. It was only a pity that Faraday turned up so late in the book, because she was by far my favourite character.
In a world where everyone is making bad choices and destroying themselves through misunderstanding and terrible communication skills, Faraday stood out as a calm, confident presence. Her experiences in her previous life left her without fear of dying and with a power that was beyond any magic weilded by the winged Icarii race.
Douglass is an excellent writer who delevops her worlds and her stories so dynamically that you really need to read them in order to get the full impact. She skillfully manages transitions between different character points of view such that you are not tempted to 'skip ahead' and find out what happened next to the person you were reading about. I hope that the trials of the next book will draw out the strengths of the characters to the point where they are as admirable as Faraday; she made reading this book worthwhile....more
**spoiler alert** A good sequel to Mortal Engines, Predators Gold picks up about five years from when the last book left off and we discover that Tom**spoiler alert** A good sequel to Mortal Engines, Predators Gold picks up about five years from when the last book left off and we discover that Tom and Hester are now a couple - though Hester is convinced that she's just gotten lucky and eventually, Tom will realize he's with a monster and leave her for some prettier girl. Cue soaring adventure, airships and lost boys, plus the ressurected ghost of an old friend.
I found this one a little slower to read than the last, possibly because I am not huge on a story that starts with an insecurity you just know is going to be fulfilled. You keep waiting for the inevitable disaster to strike.
On the other hand, I really liked that Reeve did not need his characters to be all 'good'. Hester, for example, realizes who she really is and that she is capable of necessary evils, if they serve to protect Tom and those Tom cares about.
The only slightly awkward thing about this story is that it is gritty enough in the violence to be a book for say, fourteen year olds (beheading, skewering, stabbing etc), the relationships between the three main characters are limited to jealousy and the occassional stolen kiss, making the off hand-note about Hester's pregnancy in the final page a rather massive surprise. (I remember thinking 'huh'? When did that happen?)
Still, it is a good book and I have just begun reading the next - Infernal Devices - about Tom and Hester's daughter Wren, so I suppose that final note was sort of important....more
The Luxe was an interesting enough story. Good enough for me to read the whole thing at any rate. Yet when I got to the end I felt strangely let down.The Luxe was an interesting enough story. Good enough for me to read the whole thing at any rate. Yet when I got to the end I felt strangely let down... like I had spent several hours of my life that I couldn't get back.
I'm not sure if this is what happens every time one reads a soap opera... I admit I have not read many... but the lives of stuck up rich kids who are imprisoned by their privelage didn't quite interest me as much as I thought it would. I put the book down feeling drained.
The characters were all very dashing, and very, very, shallow. I wished, as I continued to read (praying something would magically become more meaningful), that a character would jump out of the pages and actually come alive. The best character, by far, was Diana - the young rebel sister - but even she just wanted the attentions of her older sister's fiance.
My conclusion, in the end, was that I should stay far, far, away from American historical novels about upper class teenage girls. And I should thank all that is good in this world that I was not born two hundred years ago and doomed to live such a mindless existance....more
Arrant is on his own in a homeland he barely remembers with a father he has only met once, and somehow, he has to overcome his flawed magic to becomeArrant is on his own in a homeland he barely remembers with a father he has only met once, and somehow, he has to overcome his flawed magic to become Mirager-heir.
Add to that, the whole family of children trying to discredit him and taunt him into making a fatal mistake...
I enjoyed reading this final instalment of the Mirage Makers series because it focused almost exclusively on Arrant, a character who has made many mistakes but always had the best of intentions. He and his half-brother Tarran are adorable together, especially as Arrant begins to enter adolescence and Tarran constantly teases him about girls.
As the stakes increase, and the mirage looks like it may be about to disappear completely, it is Arrant's courage and honour that shines through. Ligea and her husband, Temellin, take a definite back seat in this story as the next generation ploughs ahead to try and save the day.
A satisfying conclusion to an excellent and intricately detailed story. Glenda Larke is a master telling epic fantasy with plenty of heart and real characters....more
Demitra Ligea was stolen from her home as a child and then sent back, many years later, to destroy them. Unfortunately for her captors, things didn'tDemitra Ligea was stolen from her home as a child and then sent back, many years later, to destroy them. Unfortunately for her captors, things didn't exactly go according to plan and now, in book two, Ligea is looking for revenge - and her unborn baby is along for the ride.
The second instalment of the Mirage Makers trilogy focuses on Ligea's rise to power and the gathering of her army to mount a huge rebellion against the dictator of Tyr. It is a very personal journey, filled with self-doubt, determination and a good sprinkling of very cool magic.
After Arrant's birth, the narrative shifts to include the young boy and we begin to see a very different side of Ligea, through her sons eyes. His connection to his half brother is probably my favourite thing about this series. Tarran is joyful, innocent and also, somehow, very old and wise. As the reader, you completely understand what Arrant is going through, especially with his jealousy over his mother's 'new' lover and when his decisions lead to disaster, it is hard to blame him as much as he blames himself.
I was impressed by the scope and weight of this fantasy. Glenda Larke has built a solid world and populated it with real people I both believed in and cared about. The Shadow of Tyr is both an excellent second instalment and a thrilling prologue to what will, no doubt, be a rather dramatic conclusion in Book 3: Song of the Shiver Barrens....more
This is by far my favourite Dr. Seuss book of all time. I bought my own copy with money from my 21st birthday and read it to everyone I could get to sThis is by far my favourite Dr. Seuss book of all time. I bought my own copy with money from my 21st birthday and read it to everyone I could get to sit and listen for the five minutes it took to reach the end. I love the easy rhythm, the memorable phrasing and the inspirational message. Life has its ups and downs, but in the end, you will succeed, because you're that kind of guy (or girl).
Actually, I think the only criticism I have for this book is that it is quite obviously aimed at boys. Not only the 'that kind of guy' comment, but also the names listed at the end (which are all obviously male). A young girl can get the message too of course, but it is a little sad that they couldn't have made it more gender neutral.
Still, I love this book to pieces and read it whenever I am feeling in a seussian 'slump'. It really is an excellent tool for getting perspective and picking oneself up!...more
I should mention to begin with that I have not yet read the first book in the Darkglass Mountain Series (The Serpent Bride) so things were a little chI should mention to begin with that I have not yet read the first book in the Darkglass Mountain Series (The Serpent Bride) so things were a little chaotic jumping straight into book two. Having said that, the beginning was definitely interesting enough to keep me going. I enjoyed the character Ishbel and liked watching her grow from a needy and suddenly discarded wife into a very powerful woman who won her husband back without even meaning to.
Being a middle book, the Twisted Citadel didn't really go anywhere for a very long time (that's 500 pages of things being 'developed'). But when it did (page 560 to be exact) it REALLY did! I was so impressed that the final pages of the book flew past in a blur (all thirteen of them).
I think that if I had known more about these characters from the first book, this one might have been a little easier going... then again, the characters seemed to have improved immeasurably from where they had once been, so it's equally possible that reading the first book would just have been annoying.
From a purely technical point of view, Sara Douglass is an excellent writer and skillfully juggles a great many character's points of view throughout the story. It was actually a lot easier to read than I had expected when I first saw the size of the beast.
Very good, solid fantasy. I strongly recommend you read book one first though....more
I have often heard it said that the destination is not the point, it is the journey that matters... I have even read books like that, so thrilling inI have often heard it said that the destination is not the point, it is the journey that matters... I have even read books like that, so thrilling in the telling that the conclusion can be whatever seems appropriate. This is not one of those books. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
My experience of the Mortal Engines series has been one of 'this should be good, but I have trouble picking it up again', yet when I got to the last quarter of the final book, I was hooked through the the thrilling and, dare I say, moving conclusion. This is one of those rare examples where the end really justified the journey.
All through Reeve's Mortal Engines series, he has been dealing with big questions - 'What would the world be like many millenia after a nuclear war?', 'What is right and wrong?' and most interestingly, 'How does one end war and make the world green again?'
His characters are all intentionally flawed and his themes resonate both with young adults (the target audience) and with adult readers alike. There are no characters that one purely dislikes, they all have their redeeming factors, but equally, there are things about all of the 'heroes' that make them in some way annoying.
I have been trying to work out why I have found reading this book so difficult when I know, intellectually, that is it well written and the story excellently crafted. I kept falling for minor characters throughout the books - characters like Theo, Shrike, Dr Zero, Fishcake etc and quickly coming to dislike the ones who were supposed to be carrying the story. Perhaps if they had been flawed in less annoying ways? Then again, I get the impression that their flaws were the point. They were never designed to be heroes in the traditional sense, but rather people you would never expect to end up being the ones to save the world. The ones who mean well are usually too scared to act and the ones who act don't give a damn - only together do they manage to 'save' anything.
For all that it was a slower read than I am used to, being immersed in Reeve's world is an experience I will not quickly forget. I am glad I pushed through to the end, because the destination really was worth it....more