Saturday 27 November 2010

Sucks To Be Me - Book Review

Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe) by Kimberly Pauley

What is it about:
Mina Hamilton's parents want her dead. (Or undead to be precise.) They're vampires, and like it or not, Mina must decide whether to become a vampire herself. But Mina's more interested in hanging out with best friend Serena and trying to catch the eye of the too-hot-for-high-school Nathan Able than in the vampire training classes she's being forced to take. How's a girl supposed to find the perfect prom date and pass third-year French when her mom and dad are breathing down her neck—literally?

What did I think of it:
A very funny and enjoyable read. Mina is a typical teenager, but the light, humorous tone of the story makes you like her and keeps her from turning into an annoying brat. The story isn't too complicated, but that's no negative thing I think. There's tons of other interesting and cool characters too and the whole story idea is fun and original. The one negative thing I encountered was Mina's (and therefor probably the author's) negative view on Goths, which was totally uncalled for and not necessary for the story.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun YA Vampire story.

Friday 26 November 2010

Children of the Night - Book Review

Children of the Night by Mercedes Lackey

What is it about:
Rock band Wanderlust is about to hit it big, guitarist Dave Kendall is sure of that. They're playing better venues, in front of bigger crowds-and the people showing up at the after parties are increasingly good-looking and cool. Some even radiate power, like "Master" Jeffries, the tall, saturnine man who seems to have some sort of weird control over Dave's fellow bandmates.
But Dave's too tired to pay much attention to Jeffries. He's tired a lot, lately, and making music isn't as much fun as it used to be. Probably he's just working-and partying-too hard.
Luckily, Dave has a friend who takes what's happening to him very seriously. Diana Tregarde is a practicing witch and a Guardian of the Earth. It's her job to keep an eye on innocents like Dave and make sure they stay out of trouble and don't become someone's lunch.
Jeffries has been on Diana's hit list since she first spotted him pursuing a young Romany. Di wasn't fast enough to stop him, but the Rom have their own protector-a dashing, charming, very attractive vampire named Andre Le Brel.
Together, the witch and the vampire face Jeffries and his evil minions in a battle for the soul of rock 'n' roll.

What did I think of it:
I think this was the first Lackey book I read that wasn't set in her Valdemar setting and it was when I read this book that I discovered that no matter what Lackey writes, (Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Edwardian Fantasy) she knows how to write a compelling and suspenseful story if she sets her mind to it. I adore Diana and I love the world Lackey creates in this book. Her vampire lore is divers and well researched I must say and one of my favourites so far. It is the second book in a series, but it can be read as a standalone just as well. I myself only figured out this actually was the second book long after I read all three books in this series.

Why should you read it:
It's a very original UF story with a cool heroine.

Monday 22 November 2010

might be MIA for a few days

The move back to our house is tomorrow and there's still lots to do both there and in the temporary house.

So I will probably be offline for a couple of days!

See you all soon I hope.

Saturday 20 November 2010

Another Book I Couldn't Finish

Sometimes you read a book and it doesn't really grab you, but it's just interesting enough to keep reading to see if it will be more engrossing later on in the book and then.....

you encounter one of those annoying things that make you lose your patience and throw the book out!

In the case of www:wake it was Canada bashing.

The lead character of the book is an American teenager who moved to Canada with her parents. She kept on dishing Canadian things like Canadian literature and art. The third time this happened I put down the book and decided this wasn't a book for me.

Now either Sawyer - who's Canadian as far as I could figure out on wikipedia - is someone who doesn't like his own country, or he thinks Americans think negatively about his country. Either possibility puts me off of this book I must say.

Now don't get me wrong:
The writing was good and the story idea interesting enough to have me kept reading if not for the Canada bashing, so if you don't mind that it is probably a good book.

How about you:
Any pet peeves that make you put down a book?

Wednesday 17 November 2010

The Lord-Protector's Daughter - Book Review

The Lord-Protector's Daughter (Corean Chronicles) by L. E. Modesitt (Jr)

What is it about:
The Lord-Protector’s Daughter is a standalone fantasy novel that takes place in Tempre, the capital city of Lanachrona on Corus, the world of Modesitt’s Corean Chronicles. Mykella, the eldest daughter of the Lord-Protector of Lanachrona, discovers that someone is diverting significant sums of money from her father’s treasury. One of the ancient soarers appears to Mykella, telling her that she must go to the antique stone Table in the cellars of the Palace and find her Talent in order to save her land and her world.
From there, matters become more perilous. There are attempts to remove Mykella and her sisters from Tempre by marrying them off to lords in neighboring lands, and fatal and near fatal accidents occur to members of her family and trusted retainers. While Mykella develops a solid idea of who stands behind it all, every attempted solution is used to discredit her. How can she save their father and land?

What did I think about it:
This was one of the most boring reads ever I must confess. Don't get me wrong: this book has its merits: It's nicely written and the characters and setting are intriguing. The story itself however drags endlessly, not only because there's too much telling instead of showing, but also too much showing of things that don't matter. Almost every chapter began with telling that Mykella got up, got dressed, washed up and went to breakfast. I don't need to read something like that more than twice at the most unless it's important to the plot. The cool things that do happen are over much too soon after which there's much blah inside Mykella's head again. If not for the pointless hope the story would eventually take off after an event that's named on the backcover (and which happens in one of the last couple of chapters...) I'd have tossed it away long before finishing it.

Why should you read it:
I'd advice trying one of the earlier books in these Chronicles in the hope those are more interesting.

Teaser Tuesdays - FEED (2)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Not much time to read at the moment with all the moving house stuff so I'm still reading FEED.

"Hang on while I check your records," said the hotel. It fell silent. I rolled my eyes.
(page 310, FEED by Mira Grant)

Sunday 14 November 2010

*Award: Life is Good*

Meghan gave me the Life is Good award!
Thanks Meghan

This is what it is all about:

1.Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
2.Answer the following 10 survey questions mentioned below.
3.Pass it on to another 15 Blogs that are fairly new and interesting to you.
4.Contact the bloggers so they know they've been chosen.

On to the questions:

1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?

Well, I'm on almost every picture I post, so I'm not anonymous and I like being recognised by people. My owner on the other hand is more of a private person and is perfectly ok with me getting all the attention.

2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:

I'm never stubborn!! *cough*

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?

A handsome pig with green trotters.

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?

Cherry flavoured Milkshake

5.When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

Read, watch movies and play computergames

6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?

Visit Paris and London

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever , the shy person, or always ditching?

Pigs don't have to go to school.
My owner tells me she thought she was the shy kid in the background, but years after leaving school she still got recognised as the 'The Cure fan'.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?

Me meeting Midas Dekkers, my favourite Dutch author. And I hope to meet other authors in the future.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?

On this blog I post reviews and such, but on my other blog everything is about me!


Hey where's question number 10?!

And now for breaking the rules:
As I'm very busy at the moment I will skip rule 3 and 4!!

And just so you know:
If I'm following your blog or am a frequent commenter it means I think your blog is worth reading!

Saturday 13 November 2010

Anansi Boys - Book Review

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

What is it about:
Fat Charlie Nancy's normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn't know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother.

Now brother Spider's on his doorstep -- about to make Fat Charlie's life more interesting... and a lot more dangerous.

What did I think of it:
Some of you may know that American Gods is one of my all time favourite books. So when I heard that Anansi Boys featured one of the gods from that book I just had to read it.

And Anansi Boys doesn't disappoint.

It's well written and has all the wit I've come to expect from Gaiman. Charlie is a great character and very likeable. This likeability made that I despised his brother Spider who makes Charlie's life hell and I cheered every time Charlie managed to overcome the obstacles he encounters in this story. The stories about Anansi that are told throughout the book may be old to those people already familiar with Anansi, but as I only heard of him in American Gods the stories were new to me and I was intrigued by this trickster deity.

Why should you read it:
It's well written, fun and witty!

Thursday 11 November 2010

Warrior - Book Review

Warrior by Zoƫ Archer

What is it about:
The vicious attack Capt. Gabriel Huntley witnesses in a dark alley sparks a chain of events that will take him to the ends of the Earth and beyond - where what is real and what is imagined become terribly confused. And frankly, Huntley couldn't be more pleased. Intrigue, danger, and a beautiful woman in distress - just what he needs. Raised thousands of miles from England, Thalia Burgess is no typical Victorian lady. A good thing, because a proper lady would have no hope of recovering the priceless magical artefact Thalia is after. Huntley's assistance might come in handy, though she has to keep him in the dark. But this distractingly handsome soldier isn't easy to deceive...

What did I think of it:
A nice, pleasant read. The writing is a bit awkward and stiff from time to time, but the no nonsense adventure story makes up for that. The characters aren't terribly original, but (again) the story and the events make up for this flaw. I would advice this book to anyone looking for a nice, uncomplicated adventure story with a romance mixed in.

Why should you read it:
It's got adventure, romance and a tiny dash of something steampunky.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - Feed

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"What's going on out there, Chuck? No more zombies, I hope?"
"No, sir - not so far. It's the screamer."
(page 173, FEED by Mira Grant)

Monday 8 November 2010

Downsiders - Book Review

Downsiders by Neal Shusterman

What is it about:
Meticulous 14-year-old Lindsay isn't exactly thrilled about moving to the chaos that she believes is New York City. Her flighty "career college student" mom, now divorced, has dumped her on her city engineer dad, "a man who lived his life twenty minutes behind schedule and in a perpetual state of apology." Lindsay is certain that nothing better awaits her than prep school boredom and constant battles with her evil stepbrother Todd. But she is wrong. Quite by accident, Lindsay discovers an unusual boy named Talon who resides in a secret city beneath New York--a kind of underground Oz called the Downside. Talon and Lindsey are fascinated by the differences in their dual worlds and soon grow equally fascinated with each other. But when Lindsay's dad's construction project hits a snag that reveals the Downside, it is not only the blooming relationship that hangs in the balance, but the entire future of the Downside as well.

What did I think of it:
I must say that I did start this book with some reservations. Even though the story sounded intriguing I was a bit suspicious of it after reading 'Neverwhere' by Neil Gaiman and 'Mind the Gap' by C. Golden and T. Lebbon, both books that also feature a sort of hidden world below a city, but that failed to make those worlds feel real to me. I was afraid Downsiders would fail to deliver as well.

And I was so wrong!!

This book is brilliant!! I love it with a passion! The whole Downside world, the characters, the use of language: they're all absolutely amazing. The Downside and it's inhabitants feel so real I would almost keep an eye out for people watching me from a drainpipe from now on. The book is so well written I felt myself pacing myself in my reading to enjoy not just the story, but also the flow of writing. At the end of the book I felt so connected to several of the characters I wanted there to be more and I will most certainly read more books by Shusterman besides rereading this one regularly from now on.

Why should you read it:
It's a brilliant YA read!

* I won this book at Shredded Cheddar and want to say a big THANKS to Enbrethiliel for recommending this book!

Saturday 6 November 2010

I got tagged

I got tagged by Nina

Rules of the game:
1) Accept the tag and link to the tagger at the beginning of your post.
2) Answer the questions honestly in your post by listing four things.
(3) Pass on the love by picking four other people to tag and listing them at the bottom of your post. Notify them that you tagged them.)

4 Things That Are In My Handbag:
I do not have a handbag, but I'll name 4 things I always take with me

- a cellphone with camera
- a pen
- a notebook
- a book

4 Favourite Things In My Bedroom:
In the middle of a renovation so the bedroom is a bit empty at the moment, but these are a must:

- my green security blanket
- lots of books
- a purple desk lamp
- lots of books (yes, even more)

4 Things On My Desk:

- a computer
- lots of pens
- a scanner
- notepads

4 Things I've Always Wanted To Do (but haven't yet):

- Visit Highgate Cemetery in London
- Go to Paris
- Visit Egypt
- Write and publish a book about zombies

4 Things I Enjoy Very Much At The Moment:

- Reading
- Playing Plants vs Zombies
- Blogging
- Chocolate

4 Songs I Can't Get Out Of My Head:
I do not want to be reminded about those horrible songs that get stuck in my head so I'm listing songs I really like right now.

- Addicted by Blutengel
- How Soon Is Now by The Smiths
- I Don't Wanna Grow Up by Tom Waits
- Der Wachter by Tanzwut

4 Things You Don't Know About Me:

- I'm afraid of spiders
- I do not like books with menages in them
(ok, some of you may know that already)
- When not blogging I fight crime as Doctor Swineberg!!
(ok, that might be a lie)
- I'm bad at thinking up facts about me that people dont know yet

Anyone who thinks they can do this meme better than me can consider themselves tagged

Friday 5 November 2010

The Iron Duke - Book Review

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

What is it about:
After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power — and fear — of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

Mina can’t afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and despite the nanotech enhancing her body, she barely scratches out a living in London society. Becoming Rhys’s lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him…and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.

But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans — and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

What did I think about it:
For a story that is promoted on the back of the book with the description 'zombie-infested wastelands' it had very few zombies I must say. Do I hold that against it?

Absolutely not!!

I loved this book! The world Brook created is wonderfully gritty, grim and fascinating. She knows just how to make a world truely Steampunk, instead of it just having a few steampunky details. And it's not just the setting I fell in love with: her characters and the story are amazing as well. The story breathes the same grim and gritty atmosphere as the world where it takes place and even the romance was affected by it, which made it stand out from other romances in my opinion. It did have the over-used 'I love you, but as I'm a macho guy I'm not going to say it or even explain my actions, so you will misunderstand me' moment, but as it was used to keep an action storyline going in the right direction I won't hold that against Brook much.

My final verdict:
Great storytelling and superior worldbuilding. Keep the books coming in this series and I'll be reading them even when there's only a few zombies in them.

Why should you read it:
It's got Steampunk, (Ex)Pirates, Mercenaries and other cool stuff!

This review is entered in vvB32 Reads Iron Seas Challenge
(And I won this book at the same challenge as well :-D )

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Wolf Tracks - A Book Review by Voodoo Bride

Wolf Tracks by Vivian Arend
(ebook, novella)

What is it about:
TJ Lynus is a legend in Granite Lake, both for his easygoing demeanor—and his clumsiness. His carefree acceptance of his lot vanishes, though, when his position as best man brings him face to face with someone he didn’t expect. His mate. His very human mate. Suddenly, one thing is crystal clear: if he intends to claim her, his usual laid-back attitude isn’t going to cut it.

After fulfilling her maid-of-honor duties, Pam Quinn has just enough time for a Yukon wilderness trip before returning south. The instant attraction between her and TJ tempts her to indulge in some Northern Delight, but when he drops the F-bomb—“forever”—she has second thoughts. In her world, true love is a fairytale that seldom, if ever, comes true.

Okay, so maybe staging a kidnapping wasn’t TJ’s best idea, but at least Pam has the good humour to agree to his deal. He’ll give her all the northern exposure she can stand—and she won’t break his kneecaps.

Now to convince her that fairytales can remake her world—and that forever is worth fighting for.

What did Voodoo Bride think of it:
Just as all the other three Granite Lake Wolves novellas this story was fun, romantic and hot. It's the most fluffy of the four as it focuses mainly on the romance where the other stories have a bit of an action storyline going as well, but I can't say it bothered me and I really enjoyed this latest addition to this series. I do think if you aren't familiar with this series you can better read Wolf Signs first though as it will introduce you to TJ and it will make you love him even more than you will by reading this story on it's own. I do hope Arend will continue to write new stories in this series.

Why should you read it:
Clumsy sidekick finally gets the chance to show he's just as cool and sexy as the other wolves!

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - Downsiders (2)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I'm still reading Downsiders. apart from having little time to read, I think this book is so beautifully written it deserves to be savoured.

A single sentence was engraved on the wall of the Brass Junction:


(page 116, Downsiders by Neal Shusterman)