This is a great book for young people looking for more like Harry Potter. Although this is a lot less dark than Harry Potter.
Molly is a sensible 12 yeThis is a great book for young people looking for more like Harry Potter. Although this is a lot less dark than Harry Potter.
Molly is a sensible 12 year old girl from a loving family. She just happens to have a twin who is obviously the good twin, which means Molly has to be the evil twin. Well, not exactly evil, just a little bit wicked. Molly likes bats, and wears black, and has a silver vulture pendant. She also has a small talent for magic. She can make herself invisible if she holds her breath, and she can dance with her shadow. Which is why she thinks she can be the perfect new master of Hangnail Castle. Unfortunately, if she fails to secure the castle the Magic Board is going to decertify the castle and kick all of the minions out of their home. And what is a 12 year old girl supposed to do when the boiler brakes and it will cost eighteen hundred dollars to fix it. Magic is easy compared to maintenance on an old castle.
Ok so maybe this is for those of us who were Molly when we were young. I know I enjoyed it. I like Molly and I hope Ms Vernon writes another story about her. ...more
I have official read this book. I may have read it before but I don't remember when. Nothing in the book surprised me because I have read so many otheI have official read this book. I may have read it before but I don't remember when. Nothing in the book surprised me because I have read so many other stories based on this one. But I can't remember actually reading this book before. But now I can say I definitely have read it.
Boy, that Bram Stoker is wordy. And the story ended so abruptly I keep forgetting how it ended. I have a better memory of Dracula's death scene from "The Dracula Tape" by Fred Saberhagen.
Anyway. This is the Mother and Father of all vampire stories so it worth reading. There are older vampire novels ("The Vampyre" (1819) by John William Polidori, "Varney the Vampire" (1847) James Malcolm Rymer, and "Carmilla" (1872) by Sheridan Le Fanu) but none more influential. ...more
I liked it better than the first book. There was more Lena Greenwood.
Each chapter begins with a section by Lena telling the story of her past beforeI liked it better than the first book. There was more Lena Greenwood.
Each chapter begins with a section by Lena telling the story of her past before switching to Isaac talking about the current plot. Which involves mechanical bugs, werewolves, and wendigos.
I still think Isaac is a bit superficial. But I'm really liking Lena and Smudge.
This book definitely sets up a sequel, and I'm going to keep reading.
The only real problem I have with this book is the cover. Lena is supposed to be a "heavyset Indian girl". I wish I could find some fan art where she looked like she is supposed to. Apparently Jim Hines feels the same way. http://www.jimchines.com/2012/09/code......more
It was OK. I will read the sequel. I love Smudge, the fire spider, and I'm arachnophobic.
I like the idea of using books for magic, and the many referIt was OK. I will read the sequel. I love Smudge, the fire spider, and I'm arachnophobic.
I like the idea of using books for magic, and the many references to popular SF&F are fun. The plot was good. It kept me guessing till the last moment.
I had some problems with the writing and characters.
The main character, Isaac Vainio, seems like a Gary Stu an avatar for the author to live out his fantasies. I was disturbed by the character of Lena Greenwood. She was created in a book as a sex slave. The character Isaac agonizes over getting into a relationship with her because he doesn't want to be an abusive jerk. He eventual decides that it isn't his fault she is what she is, and since she is acting as much as she can according to her own will, it is OK for him to be in a relationship with her. While it isn't Isaac's fault that Lena is a sex slave, it is Jim C. Hines fault for writing her that way. I can't stop feeling that Hines is just trying to justify having a fantasy sex slave.
There are some other ethical problems. Lena Greenwood frequently questions Isaac about the ethics of his choices. But these ethical problems are never addressed in any depth. The biggest failure of this kind was when they go to the vampire day care center. The vampires run a day care center for human children over their nest to protect themselves by using the children as human shields. Isaac needs to talk to the head vampire to get information but he takes the time to make vague unsupported threats that he will destroy them if they hurt any of the children. This might be justified if he was just learning about this scheme, but he has read the reports and already knew about the day care center. If he was really worried about the children he should have dropped by earlier. And this was a really bad time to threaten them, he is looking for information and needs their good will. The only reason he does it is because the author wants to assure us that he is a moral person. And he utterly failed. This scene just felt fake, a show put on for the reader.
Over all the writing felt immature, like a first novel, written by someone with little experience in developing characters or dealing with moral ambiguity. I usually prefer more depth in characters.
But otherwise, it was an action packed romp with a intriguing plot. ...more
This generally classed as a paranormal romance, but this particular story doesn't have much romance. I'm Ok with that because I preferGood fast read.
This generally classed as a paranormal romance, but this particular story doesn't have much romance. I'm Ok with that because I prefer the paranormal action adventure with a female protagonist plot line.
For a book with a female lead I'm surprised it doesn't pass the Bechdel test. Mercy doesn't have many female friends and she doesn't talk to them about anything but the men in their lives. Most of the women she knows don't like her and most of her friends are male.
Mercy is surprisingly submissive for a woman who runs her own business and can kick ass as well as she does. Makes me miss Anita Blake, there's a woman who is secure in her own power. I guess the submissiveness is part of the romance genre. Meh. I'd rather read about strong women. That Jesse character might be able to kick some ass when she gets older. ...more
An alien race that has three sexes. Any sort of exertion can cause the male and female sexes to lose their minds. So all heavy and outdoor work has toAn alien race that has three sexes. Any sort of exertion can cause the male and female sexes to lose their minds. So all heavy and outdoor work has to be done by the neuters while the males and females stay inside and try not to sweat. They all go through puberty twice at which point they can change sex in any direction, or not.
This is a short story about a girl who changes to neuter at her first puberty.
It's a coming of age story with not much plot. I liked the main character and would like to read more about its adventures.
Danny's annoying cousin Spencer has been kidnapped by knights and is being held hostage in a castle. DannIf you like Dragonbreath you will like this.
Danny's annoying cousin Spencer has been kidnapped by knights and is being held hostage in a castle. Danny, Wendell, and Christiana have to go rescue Spencer before his mom finds out and throws a fit. It's a good thing the local bus system serves Austria (when Danny is involved). ...more
This is Alison Bechdel's memoir about her father and her coming out. How she discovered that her father was gay shortly after she came out and shortlyThis is Alison Bechdel's memoir about her father and her coming out. How she discovered that her father was gay shortly after she came out and shortly before he died.
I wish I had read this before "Are You My Mother?" There are a lot of call backs in that book to this one. "Are You My Mother?" gave me a lot of insights into my own relationship with my mother. I learned very little about myself from this book. This book is very much about Bechdel. The only point of similarity I could find was the tall ships. I remember them. And my family also visited New York City when I was young.
I'd gotten the impression from her second memoir that her father had killed himself. But she is honest in this book that it is not clear that he killed himself. His death might have been an accident.
There are a lot of things about her father that she never resolves.
It's a very interesting book. Now I want to go read all my copies of the "Dykes to Watch Out For" strips.
This is a romance novel. It's not bad. It's a fast read.
I read this for Sci-Fi book group.
Some of the other reviews have compared it to Ursula K LeGThis is a romance novel. It's not bad. It's a fast read.
I read this for Sci-Fi book group.
Some of the other reviews have compared it to Ursula K LeGuin. But it is not in LeGuin's league at all. Some of the reviews have compared it to Star Trek. I can see it as fan fiction of the Star Trek reboot with the Sadira as the Vulcans after their planet is destroyed.
All the races are variants on human and can interbreed. There are only minor differences in hair, skin, eye color, and psi ability.
All the flora and fauna are also the same as earth. And they have access to all of Earth culture, despite not having access to the actual earth, for some reason that is not explained very well.
I thought the world building was lazy, uneven, and not very well thought out. The author apparently had an idea she thought would be interesting to explore. Then she just went an wrote a romance novel that really didn't need the idea, and she decided to throw in Elves, Shangri-La, a murder attempt, slave trafficking, amnesia, and a cave rescue just to keep things from getting boring. And wrapped everything up with a deus ex machina.
The romance story was predictable. But pleasant. The psi variants were handled well.
She threw in one person of deliberately ambiguous gender, and made the main character's mother gay or possibly just bi, for no particular reason. Which was nice.
I found the few references to religion to be totally ignorant and very much of our current times. I don't think this book will age well.
If you want to read a good sci-fi story writen by a woman, with political commentary, non-white characters, and sexual diversity try "The Summer Prince" by Alaya Dawn Johnson....more
A father goes to the corner store to get milk for his two daughters and comes back with an amazing story about what hapThis was a clever little book.
A father goes to the corner store to get milk for his two daughters and comes back with an amazing story about what happened on his way home. Fortunately the milk remained undamaged by the journey. ...more
I like this book. It made me laugh. Humor is subjective. If you enjoy Jenny Lawson's Blog http://thebloggess.com/ then you will probably enjoy this boI like this book. It made me laugh. Humor is subjective. If you enjoy Jenny Lawson's Blog http://thebloggess.com/ then you will probably enjoy this book. If you don't enjoy her blog you will probably not enjoy this book. I'm fairly sure at least one of the chapters was a blog post.
Reading her blog I often wondered why she stayed with her husband Victor. He didn't seem very supportive. Now that I have read the book I understand, and can see that he really is very supportive.
I also learned a lot about general anxiety disorder. I suffer from social anxiety myself and it really helped to read about her experiences.
There is a lot of unnecessary swearing and vaginas. I could have dome with less swearing but the vaginas were pretty funny.
One reviewer complained that they expect a book to be more coherent than a series of blog posts. Well, that was their mistake. This book is exactly like a series of blog posts.
Another reviewer complained about the "parenthetical ramblings and anxious Turrets-style outbursts". Those were my favorite parts. Humor is about surprise and her wild digressions are part of why she is so funny. ...more
A bit depressing really. I think this collection had more darker stories than he usually includes in his collections.
I had already read most of theseA bit depressing really. I think this collection had more darker stories than he usually includes in his collections.
I had already read most of these because I'm a long time fan. But there were a couple that were new to me. (I didn't know he wrote vampire stories.) And all of them were worth reading again.
These are fan favorites so I recommend them to anyone who is just checking out Charles de Lint. It gives you a good overview of his style and subject matter.
Introduction In Which We Meet Jilly Coppercorn Coyote Stories Laughter in the Leaves The Badger in the Bag And the Rafters Were Ringing Merlin Dreams in the Mondream Wood The Stone Drum Timeskip Freewheeling A Wish Named Arnold Into the Green The Graceless Child Wintere Was Hard The Conjure Man We Are Dead Together Mr. Truepenny's Book Emporium and Gallery In the House of My Enemy The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep Crow Girls Birds Held Safe by Moonlight and Vines In the Pines Pixel Pixies Many Worlds are Born Tonight Sisters Pal o' Mine That Was Radio Clash Old Man Crow The Fields Beyond the Fields Copyrights & Acknowledgements About the Author Memory & Dream excerpt...more
This was my first Scalzi book. I had heard a lot about him and was expecting to be impressed. So I was a bit disappointed. I liked this story. It wasThis was my first Scalzi book. I had heard a lot about him and was expecting to be impressed. So I was a bit disappointed. I liked this story. It was Ok but it wasn't brilliant. There are some interesting ideas and interesting characters. I enjoy detective mysteries so that was fine. The mystery plot was good. But the writing was a bit cliched and forced in spots.
Good but not great. I'm willing to give him another shot. I'd even read another book about these characters.
The main character is black but it doesn't come up in the story until almost the end. And I assumed the main character was male until someone pointed out that the story never says what gender Chris is, never. Both those facts made me give this story an another star. ...more
This book contains some stories about Allie Brosh's childhood, some stories about her battles with depression, and some stories about her dogs. It conThis book contains some stories about Allie Brosh's childhood, some stories about her battles with depression, and some stories about her dogs. It contains the infamous cake story, the "parp" story, and the explanation of what it's like to be depressed. Unfortunately it doesn't contain the famous Allie Brosh pain scale, or the "alot".
It is printed on heavy shiny paper. Probably because of all the color illustrations. And every chapter is on a different color paper. (Except for the Depression chapters, they are both the same.)
I finished this book in a few hours. Probably because of all the illustrations. If you've seen her blog you know what her illustrations look like. They are crude. Some people don't like that.
She is usually funny. The final chapter is a bit of downer though. She is a bit hard on herself for not being as good of a person as she would like to be. But it reminded me of the first episode of the podcast "Invisibilia: The Secret History of Thoughts" http://www.npr.org/programs/invisibil... People who are upset by their negative thoughts are good people. They wouldn't be bothered by the bad thoughts if they weren't good people.
I always called the source of those negative thoughts the "Imp of the Perverse". Being tormented by the imp of the perverse does not itself make you a bad person.
I want my therapist to read this book. In the hope that it will help him understand depression. ...more