Friday 11 December 2009

Book review: Goblin Quest

Today I'm reviewing:
'Goblin Quest' by Jim C. Hines

What is it about:
Jig is the runtiest, most pathetic goblin in the whole mountain. Just his bad luck that he's the one who runs into a party of heroes who think he can guide them to the treasure buried deep in the mountain.

What did I think of it:
This story is both funny and compelling. Jig might be a pathetic excuse for a goblin, but he's a hero in my book and I rooted for him throughout the story. Being a fantasy role player, this story was also very recognisable for me. Hines gives a funny and accurate view on the traditional fantasy (roleplay) party of heroes and gives a new view on the monsters that those heroes have to face.

Why should you read it:
If you ever played fantasy roleplay you must read this book! You'll love it. For those who never roleplayed in their life: I still advice you to go read it. It's a great and funny story even without catching the roleplay references.

Other Goblin books by Jim C. Hines:
Goblin Hero (book 2)
Goblin War (book 3)

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Double Book Review

I felt like rambling about book today, so I decided on doing two book reviews!

First off:
'Zombie Raccoons & Killer Bunnies'
Edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Kerrie Hughes

What is it about:
It's a book with 15 stories about 'creatures - some alive, some not - who may be prowling right outside your door...'

What did I think of it:
Again a book that I just had to get if only because of the cover and title. The good thing about anthologies in my opinion is that there is always bound to be a couple of stories that you will like and it gives you a chance to test drive some new writers so to speak. This book is no exception to this rule: All in all there were 10 stories that I liked if not loved and just 5 that couldn't grab my attention. I will certainly check out other works of some of the authors.

My favourite stories from this book:
'Death Mask' by Jody Lynn Nye - A tale about why you should treat raccoons with respect
'Bone Whispers' by Tim Waggoner - A very sad, but also beautiful story featuring a giant groundhog
'Ninja Rats on Harleys' by Elizabeth A. Vaughan - The title of this story says it all!!

Why should you read this book:
If you (like me) are always on the lookout for new writers and love stories about animals that are a bit different if not flat out scary, this is your book!

On to book number two:
'Bloody Good' by Georgia Evans

What is it about:
German agents have infiltrated the English countryside during WWII - nazis who can fly, read minds and live forever. They're not just fascists: They're vampires. and it's up to Dr. Alice Doyle to save the day.

What did I think of it:
The idea of this book is cool: who can resist reading a story about nazi vampires!? I couldn't anyway. But it turns out an idea is not enough. The story is too easy in my opinion, there's hardly any real struggle. Now don't get me wrong: I like a happy ending as much as the next pig, but I want the characters to sweat at least a little along the way to that happy ending. And there were way too little nazi vampires in this book too! There's two more books in this series, so maybe there will be more of them in one of the other two, but the chance that I will pick up either one of them isn't very big.

Why should you read this book:
If you want a relaxing read without having to worry about anything, this might be your book.

Saturday 14 November 2009

Movie review - Autumn (the beginning of the end)

What is the movie about:
A mysterious virus kills off most people on earth and only a few people survive. While they are trying to figure out what to do next the corpses suddely rise again.

What did I think of it:
You'd think that with a basic plotline like the one sketched above you couldn't go wrong. Well, it turns out you can! The lead characters keep contradicting themselves with their actions, which makes it hard to feel for them and when even the zombies contradict themselves you know it's bad! Add some annoying camerawork and weird scene switches in the name of art to that and it gets even worse. And I don't need a story when it comes to a zombie movie, but only if I get some serious zombie mayhem in return, but even that was too much to ask.
All in all I didn't like this movie at all!

Why should you see it:
You shouldn't actually.

Thursday 12 November 2009

Movie Review - Surveillance

What is the movie about:
Two FBI agents have to question three witnesses who may lead them to a serial killer, but all three witnesses have a different story to tell.

What did I think of it:
I loved this movie! It's directed by Jennifer Lynch, the daughter of David Lynch and I can tell you she sure paid attention to how her father does things! There's action, atmosphere, cool characters and a pace to the story that is just right in my opnion. It doesn't have a clear cut storyline, but it isn't totally out there like some of David Lynch's movies so it doesn't leave you flabbergasted in the end like Mullholland drive for example.

Why should you see it:
If you're a fan of David Lynch, you will also love this movie. I should warn you that it's not a movie for the faint of heart though, it's quite disturbing at times.

Friday 6 November 2009

Queen Victoria, Demon Hunter

Today's review is about the book 'Queen Victoria, Demon Hunter' by A.E. Moorat.

What is it about:
When a young Victoria becomes queen of the United Kingdom she soon discovers there are creatures she didn't even knew excisted who are bend on causing chaos and destruction. Can she cope with hunting these demons, ruling a country and still manage to spend time with the man she loves?

What did I think of it:
Who can resist a book with the tagline 'She loved her country. She hated zombies'.
This book might have been the worst written book ever and I still would have loved it just for this.
As it is I really loved the story. It is well written, funny and captivating. Add zombie mayhem to this and you got me hooked! The only thing I could critisize about this book is that there's a lot of jumping back and forth in time in the first part of the story which can be a bit confusing if you're not paying attention. All in all I put this book on my 'must read it again sometime real soon' list.

Why should you read it:
Zombie Mayhem!!!
Need I say more!

Monday 12 October 2009

The Hippopotamus

Todays review is about 'The Hippopotamus' written by Stephen Fry, who you may know from things like the Blackadder series, 'Stephen Fry in America' or such movies as 'Wilde' or 'Gosford Park' to name just a few of the many series and movies he starred in.

What is the book about:
It's about Ted Wallace, an old, sour, cantankerous, nasty drama critic who on request of his god-daughter pays a visit to the country mansion of an old friend where miracles seem to be happening and his god-daugther thinks Ted, with his scepticism, is just the right man to discover if what's happening there is the real deal or not.

What do I think about this book:
To be honest, I had problems getting into this story. It's not because it's not well written, because Fry writes excellent. It's not because the story isn't good, because it's a great story. No, it's because Ted Wallace is the nastiest, most awful lead character I've ever come across in books. He is small minded, sexist and unpleasant and I had a hard time at first to see beyond his behaviour to the story behind his rather large ego (hence the hippopotamus). Once I got used to Ted the story was very good, it's got lots of things I love in a story: well written characters, a very good plot and topics that make you think about things not only in the story but outside of it.

Why should you read it:
If you want to like the lead character in a book, don't read this book as I can tell you it's very, very hard to like someone who acts and thinks like Ted. If you however like to read a story that challenges you to think and is also really well written you should try to read 'The Hippopotamus' some time.

Tuesday 22 September 2009

The Complete Winnie-the-Pooh

Today's review is about a classic: The Complete Winnie-the-Pooh.

What is it about:
It's about a bear who lives in a forest and has many adventures together with his friends.

Why do I like it:
It might be a children's book, but it has everything you could want from a book: interesting characters with whom you can relate (aren't we all a bit of an eyeore, a piglet or a rabbit from time to time?). It has funny stories, moving stories, weird stories and best of all: Winnie's best friend is a pig!!

Why should you read it:
Ever read these stories again since you were a child? No? Get it now and read it, you will be surprised by how much it still relates to you and the people and situations around you. It's no coïncidence that there's books about Taoism, management and such using Pooh to explain things to you.

Saturday 15 August 2009

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - the Movie

What's it about:
A flighty cheerleader is chosen to become a vampire slayer. Reluctantly she takes on her new job and tries to save her school from hordes of nasty vampires.

What do I think of it:
Move over Sarah Michelle Gellar, the one and only Buffy in my book is Kristy Swanson!
I love this movie. It's funny, doesn't take itself seriously for even one minute and has some great actors in it like Donald Sutherland and Rutger Hauer (who btw is from Schiermonnikoog).

Why should you watch it:
If you like vampires and don't mind that this movie is making fun of itself and other vampire and teen movies this movie is for you. Be prepared for lots of sillyness.

Wednesday 29 July 2009

Enchanted and Addams Family Values

Voodoo Bride and I watched two movies yesterday and today we're going to review them both.

First: Enchanted
What's it about:
It starts out as a disney animated movie where Giselle, a sweet young woman who talks with animals meets a prince who falls in love with her. His wicked Stepmother doesn't want them to marry so she arranges for Giselle to end up in modern day Manhattan and from there on the movie turns from animated to a normal movie.

What did I think:
Sugary Disney rubbage....

What did Voodoo Bride think:
A romantic movie that is not taking itself too seriously which makes it the perfect movie to watch if you want to be entertained and be sure of a happy ending for all but the bad guys.

Why should you watch it:
When you're in the mood for something light, funny, romantic and not too thought provoking, this is your movie!

Next up was:
The Addams Family Values
What is it about:
There's a new addition to the Addams family, Fester gets married and Wednesday and Pugsley go to summer camp.

What did I think:
This movie is even better then the first and has everything I want from a movie (except Zombies). The scenes at the summer camp are brilliant and I will never be able to see 'The Sound of Music' again without thinking of Wednesday smiling.

What did Voodoo Bride think:
She's still crying as it reminded her of her weddingday.

Why should you watch it:
If you like the Addams Family and don't mind that the movie had different actors then the tv series and if you like dark comedy, this is your movie.

Thursday 2 July 2009

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Todays review is about 'Moon Called' by Patricia Briggs.

What is it about:

Mercy Thompson is a Volkswagen mechanic and a 'walker', which means she can turn herself into a coyote. Allthough she lives close to the leader of a werewolf pack and is friends with a fairy, she tries to stay out of supernatural politics. But then one day a young werewolf knock on her door for help and trouble begins...

Why do me and Voodoo Bride think it's good:

Moon Called is a suspenseful, action packed book. Briggs really read up on wolf behaviour which makes her werewolfs the best I've come across in supernatural stories sofar. Mercy is a strong character who doesn't need a man to save her without becoming an over the top indestructable bitch; she's actually human and therefor far from perfect.

Why should you read this book:

If you like werewolfs this is the book for you. Don't expect this book to be a supernatural romance or you'll be disappointed, there's some romance, but luckily Briggs chose to keep it in the background to give the story more room.

If you've read this book and liked it, there's more books in this series:
Blood Bound (with lots of vampires)
Iron Kissed (lots of fairy stuff)
Bone Crossed (vampires again)
And more to come...

Or you could try the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs.
A werewolf series which starts with the short story 'Alpha and Omega' which is in the anthology 'On the Prowl'. It's followed by 'Cry Wolf' and in august there will be a new book in this series called 'Hunting Grounds'.

Tuesday 23 June 2009

The Island by Victoria Hislop

Today I'm reviewing a book that is among Voodoo Bride's favourites:
The Island by Victoria Hislop.

What is it about:

The story starts in the present as a young english/greek woman named Alexis tries to learn more about her Greek heritage and then the story goes back to tell the tale of her great grand parents and their daughters who live in a small village on Crete across from an island that holds a leper colony. They are a loving family, but when Alexis' great grandmother Eleni is diagnosed with lepracy and send to the island their lives are forever changed.

Why Voodoo Bride thinks it's good:

The story is dramatic and yet also filled with happiness and hope. You can't help but love some and loathe other characters. While following the lives of the characters in this story you learn a lot about lepracy and the fight to find a cure for this disease. One thing that Voodoo Bride particularly loved in this story is that it turned out mostly ok for her favourite characters. (She usually has the bad luck to like the ones who die a horrible death.)

What did I think:

This is definately a book for women. Too much drama and love and that sort of stuff to appeal to me. When my owner and Voodoo Bride cry when reading a book it usually means it has too little zombies in it.

Why should you read this book:

If you love a tragic story about family, friendship and love this might appeal to you. It also gives an interesting view on how lepers were treated even in the 20th century.

If you liked this book you might also try 'The Return' by Victoria Hislop which is a family history set in the Spanish Civil War. I must warn you though that 'The Return' is much more a history lesson then a novel. Although interesting to read it isn't as alive as 'The Island'.

Sunday 21 June 2009

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

My first review on this blog will be about one of the best books I've ever read: American Gods.

What is it about:

Shadow is only a few days away from being released from prison when he gets the message that his wife has been killed in a car accident. As he gets out of prison one of the first persons that he meets is the mysterious Mr. Wednesday who offers him a job. When Shadow reluctantly takes this job he meets some strange individuals and is pulled into a series of even stranger events of which no one seems to know the outcome except that it might get very ugly indeed.

So why do I think it's good:

Gaiman mixes a suspenseful story with mythology and fantasy. I learned a lot of history from this book without having the feeling that someone was trying to teach me something.
The way he writes his characters made me want to keep reading to learn more about them, they feel lifelike even those that aren't quite human. The story itself is intruiging and beautiful. It has a good pace and everything fits. And it even has a sort of zombie in it!

Why should you read it:

If you like a well written story that challenges you to think about certain things and makes you curious about other things, this is the book you should read.
And if after you read this book you think: Hmmm... that Anansi guy was a cool character, don't hesistate to pick up a copy of 'Anansi Boys'.

What this is about

Well, I decided to make a second blog on which I'll post reviews about books and movies. Voodoo Bride will be helping me out with some of the reviews (especially when a book or movie is a bit girly). I'm not sure yet how often I will post a review, but it won't be daily I think.