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Showing posts from November, 2009

Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

It's one roller coaster ride reading all these Vampire Academy books back to back like this. I'm actually starting to have trouble keeping the events separate and compartmentalized in my head. It all feels like one headlong rush to me. I maintain that the world itself is the real draw. I like how cold it feels, how dangerous and yet limned with the hint of hope and possibilities. The characters are full of potential and somehow keep their hooks in me despite the fact that I still feel parched in the depth department. Shadow Kissis the third installment in Richelle Mead's very popular Vampire Academy series and, though it's taken me awhile to get around to reading them, I have blown through them without a backward glance.
Rose isn't the same girl anymore. Having bagged her first Strigoi and watched her friend die at their hands, she endures the ceremonial tattooing process with an almost detached stoicism. The moment was in no way, shape, or form the way she imagined…

Frostbite by Richelle Mead

I'm really not sure about these two on the cover. The only conclusion I can come to is that it's Christian and Lissa, though I'm sure it's supposed to be Rose and Dimitri. And while I can buy that that girl could be Lissa, the dude is definitely not Christian. Or Dimitri. Ah, well. So I picked up the second Vampire Academy book hoping for more standout world building and perhaps a little more in-depth character development. I finished Vampire Academyenthused about the series' possibilities, but a little disenchanted with the characters as well as the info-dump climax. The villain starts monologuing and I'm rolling my eyes. I do enjoy Richelle Mead's smooth writing and the upfront approach she takes to running her characters through the mill and seeing what comes out on the other side. So I went into Frostbitewith an open mind.
Life at St. Vlad's has entered a sort of holding pattern. Rose and Dimitri have agreed to stay away from each other "sociall…

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

You know how if you don't start a series it can never let you down? I'd been avoiding Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy books for that very reason. I kept reading encouraging reviews from reliable sources and just not following through on picking up the first book. Then the Cybils rolled around and Blood Promise, the fourth Vampire Academy book, was nominated. And since it's almost physically impossible for me to read a series out of order, I decided it was time to jump in. I'd managed to avoid knowing much of anything about the series, so it was quite fun to be immersed in a completely new world. This was also my first Richelle Mead book and I was interested to get a feel for her style.

Rose and her best friend Lissa are on the run. For two years they've been traveling from city to city, posing as college freshman. Rose is determined to fulfill her duty and protect Lissa at all cost from the danger pursuing them. Lissa is a vampire princess and Rose is a half-hum…

The Dead Travel Fast Cover

Hold the phone. I just now came across the cover for Deanna Raybourn's upcoming standalone novel--The Dead Travel Fast. They've clearly designed this cover to match up well with Mira's re-issues of Raybourn's Lady Julia Grey novels. What do you think? I love the title, which is a line from Bram Stoker's Dracula. Interestingly, when he says it, Jonathan Harker is actually quoting an even older source--a poem by Gottfried Burger entitled "Lenore." I am such a huge fan of Raybourn's Lady Julia Grey mysteries and I'm very excited to see what happens when she ventures into all new territory. All I knowis that it follows a British woman, takes place in the 1850s, and is set in Transylvania. Those three things, combined with the fact that it's written by Ms. Raybourn, mean I absolutely cannot wait to read it! The Dead Travel Fastis due out March 1st.

Retro Friday Review: Kingmaker's Sword by Ann Marston

Several years ago, while wandering through the science fiction and fantasy section of the local Media Play, I crouched down to see what was on the bottom shelf in the M section. My eyes caught on a book that was faced out and that featured two warriors, one red-headed and one blonde, both of them sporting copious amounts of cloudy hair and swooping kilts, clutching swords in their hands. I'd never heard of Kingmaker's Swordor author Ann Marston before, but I decided to pick it up based on the fact that it was a mass market paperback (and thus inexpensive) and that I liked the colors and the soft, matte finish to the cover. I noted that it was the first in a trilogy--the Rune Blade trilogy--and that the other two books were on the shelf so I could easily come back for them if the first book entertained.
Mouse is a slave. Dubbed Foxmouse because of his flaming red hair, he is now known as just Mouse and he is about to make his escape. Two nights ago his sole friend in the world w…

Top Ten TV Couples

This meme's been floating around for ages now and it's very simple. Compile a list of your top 10 favorite television couples and pass it on. I have to say this was one of the funnest memes I've filled out if just for all the memories it dredged up. I find the breakdown interesting: four sitcoms, four dramas, one supernatural drama, and one science fiction/space western. Hehe. These aren't in order of favorites, but rather in the rough order in which the series came out. Angela and Jordan I knew right away these two would be on my list as they've got to be the first TV couple that really captured my attention as a teen. I mean I was just a little younger than Angela when I discovered My So-Called Life. We shared a name, a penchant for slumping, and an intense longing for something--we weren't even sure what it was. Maybe it wasn't really Jordan Catalano after all, but he sure was worth hanging around to find out. I'm in love. His name is Jordan Catalano. H…

I Dare You

Today I would like to direct your attention over to The Book Smugglers site, where Thea and Ana have posted their joint review of The Road Homeby Ellen Emerson White. Awhile back the Smugglers dared me to read Mr. Impossible--my first romance novel--and, since turnabout's fair play, I decided to dare them back. I went with one of my all-time favorite authors and books and hoped for the best. So head on over and see what they thought of it!

Epic Pretties

These three make me rather weak in the knees. You can just tell by looking at the covers that these pretties pack a punch when it comes to fantasy and epic tasks/quests/journeys, etc. I'm looking forward to each one with incredible amounts of anticipation and I've only read one of these authors before!
Finnikin of the Rockby Melina Marchetta Ever since coming up for air after finishing Melina Marchetta's Jellicoe Road, I have been impatiently waiting for Finnikin of the Rockto be released. Already published in Australia, *pout* it's taken its sweet time making its U.S. debut. But I have it on good authority it is going to be well worth the wait. In a world of fever camps, wandering exiles, and cursed kingdoms, young Finnikin joins forces with the reckless Evanjalin in a bid to save the land of Lumatere from the evil that threatens to swallow it. This could be a novel about paint drying and, after the wonder that was Jellicoe Road, I would read it in a heartbeat. Due out …

Retro Friday Review: The Lily Bard "Shakespeare" Series by Charlaine Harris

A few years ago I was twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the new Sookie Stackhouse book to come out, when I decided to see what else Charlaine Harris had written. Turned out she'd written a lot of other books, including three other mystery series featuring similarly intrepid heroines. My eye immediately settled on the Lily Bard series of mysteries also known as the "Shakespeare" mysteries because main character Lily lives in the small town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, and because each book has the word Shakespeare in the title. Up until recently all five of the Lily Bard mysteries were out of print, but then Berkeley Prime Crime re-released the entire series in very attractive mass market editions. My mom gave me the first one, Shakespeare's Landlord, as a Christmas present and I started tracking down the other four before I was even twenty pages in. A big fan of the Sookie books, I was instantly drawn to this darker, less humorous but no less compelling series. Since I r…

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

So I'm working my way through all the CybilsYA Fantasy/Science Fiction nominees, whenGirl in the Arenashows up on my doorstep (thank you, Bloomsbury!). Truthfully, I'm a little supernatural creatured out just about now and so this dystopian, neo-gladiator, fight to the death novel seemed made to order. I remember seeing it at BEA and somehow not snagging a copy. I'd read a few reviews here and there, some favorable, some middling, and I knew I loved the cover. I mean, look at that. It's awesome. Admittedly, I could do without the cheesy tagline and the "Fight to the Death!" sign in the background. And, having read the book, a certain aspect of the cover is sort of glaringly inaccurate. But somehow I was able to overlook these minor quibbles, because that's simply one sweet cover. In retrospect, I think it's a good choice as that particular inaccuracy should be part of the reading experience and not ruined by the cover art.
Lyn is known as the Daughter …

Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris

So ever since my decadent little re-read of FireI've been in a reading slump. One foul doozy of a slump. I restlessly picked up and put down a handful of books, all of them full of potential, none of them able to hold my attention. Fortunately I'm still thinking clearly enough at this point to know it's me with the problem, not them. And I carefully set them aside on the nightstand to be picked up in a later, more amenable mood. But desperation was setting in and my family was starting to feel the effects. And then a friend saved the day by reminding me the new Harper Connelly book was out! The fourth installment in Charlaine Harris' "other" series, I'd been looking forward to the release of Grave Secretever since finishing the excellent An Ice Cold Gravetwo years ago. Entirely different from her Sookie Stackhouse series, the Harper books are gritty mysteries with just a hint of the paranormal. I absolutely love them.
Harper and her stepbrother (and manage…

Blogiversary Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is . . . Jessie Sams!
Please contact me with your mailing address and I'll get your prize pack mailed out shortly. Thanks to all of you who shared such fun (and often quite hilarious) anniversary memories in the comments. Some of them were hysterical, some sad, some embarrassing, some touching, and not a few of them involved kidnappings and police! Why don't I have an anniversary that exciting? You guys rock. Thanks for making my blogiversary a hoot. Don't be strangers.

Retro Friday Review: The Grey King by Susan Cooper

Seeing as how I've already written Retro Friday reviews of both my favorite Robin Hoodretellings, it was really only a matter of time before I started in on my favorite Arthurian novels. Somehow the two have always gone together in my head--Robin Hood and King Arthur--the best of the best when it came to British mythology and lore. Truth be told, I've been mildly obsessed with both ever since I was a girl and I have a soft spot in my heart for the first encounter I had with each in novelized form. As far as Robin Hood goes, that was Robin McKinley's The Outlaws of Sherwood. With Arthurian lore, it was Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising Sequence. The sequence is actually a five-book series following two groups of people embroiled in the centuries-old conflict between the Light and the Dark. The first group are the three Drew children--Simon, Jane, and Barney--who become involved through their connections with their mysterious Great-Uncle Merry. The second is a long line …

Linger Cover + First Paragraph

Maggie Stiefvater has revealed the cover for her upcoming Wolves of Mercy Falls novel, Linger, along with the first paragraph as a teaser! As you probably know, this is the sequel to Shiver and it follows Sam, Grace, and the whole crew as they find out what happens after. And here it is: grace This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who was becoming one. Just a few months ago, it was Sam who was the mythical creature. His was the disease we couldn't cure. His was the good-bye that meant the most. He had the body that was a mystery, too strange and wonderful and terrifying to comprehend. But now it is spring. With the heat, the remaining wolves will soon be falling out of their wolf pelts and back into their human bodies. Sam stays Sam, and Cole stays Cole, and it's only me who's not firmly in my own skin. So what do you think? I love the first paragraph and like the consistency of the covers. I confess to being pretty intrigued to find out where she'…

Jedi + Kiss