Sep. 4th, 2010

Louisa May Alcott - A Long Fatal Love Chase


A Long Fatal Love ChaseA Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My love for this book really knows no bounds. It was recommended to me by a very good friend and I can now see why. This is the kind of story other gothic romance / thrillers strive to be but fall short of becoming. The villain is crafty and cruel, selfish and truly evil. The heroine is very brave and strong without it seeming unnatural or impossible for the time she lives in. The side characters are memorable and used well without taking away from the main characters.

What I found really fantastic about the side characters were the strong women shown who weren't made out to be jealous or petty toward Rosamond, but were shown to help her be her friends. It's something you don't really see enough of in stories, so it adds a wonderful and unexpected dimension to an already deep story.

The weakest part of the story, in my opinion, is the sub-plot of Ignatius' love for Rosamond. However, even this serves the purpose of clearly defining her choices. There's Tempest representing the temptation to give in to pleasure and the easy path and there's Ignatius who, by his own struggle between love and duty, represents the more difficult but ultimately right path of forgoing temporary happiness and pleasure.

Now, while being the representations of these two choices could lead to the characters being cardboard cut-outs, they are instead skillfully given depth by Alcott. Even Tempest, who could be nothing more than a caricature, is given a bit of humanity in that he did love his son and was thankful the boy was alive. Ignatius could have been represented as almost saintly, but we do have some human moments, such as when he slips up during the confrontation in the moor and attacks Tempest for insulting Rosamond.

To be honest, the icing on the cake –what really tips this story from 4 stars to 5– is the small and subtle foreshadowing we have for the ending given at the very beginning of the story when Tempest talks about the vision he saw in a mirror. Add to that the ending which was so perfectly dramatic and dark and I can't help but love this book.

View all my reviews

This entry was originally posted at dreamwidth. Please feel free to comment there using OpenID. comment count unavailable

Aug. 31st, 2010

And 3 More Reviews.

Yes, I did get stuff done today besides read and post reviews, but I like the reviews! This time, it's the first three books in the 'Accidentally Friends' series.

The Accidental Werewolf (Accidental Friends, #1)The Accidental Werewolf by Dakota Cassidy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While this is far from emotionally or mentally deep, it's the literary form of cotton candy. Sometimes, that's all we need. The main character is a ditz, which would get annoying in a longer story, but is cute in the comedic setting.
Accidentally Dead (Accidental Friends, #2)Accidentally Dead by Dakota Cassidy

Where the first book in the series (The Accidental Werewolf) was quirky and cute with annoying but lovable characters, this book is annoying and boring with bitchy and unlikable characters. This is truly sad given that a lot of them are the same characters. And the love interested also comes off very bad and unlikable as well. The foul language is also something you'd expect to see from teens on a internet forum, not from a grown woman. I was hoping for at least mindless fluff, and I was sorely disappointed.

I think what annoys me even more is that they take a character who is supposed to be strong, and let her get verbally assaulted by everyone while thinking to herself that she deserves it. Seriously?

I'll still be reading this series, but mostly because I find it hard to fight the compulsion to finish a series I've started.
The Accidental Human (Accidental Friends, #3)The Accidental Human by Dakota Cassidy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book made trudging through Accidentally Dead so worth it. It was slightly less quirky and exaggerated than The Accidental Werewolf, but it was so very enjoyable and I found parts of it very very moving. It also made me like the characters again. Hopefully, the next book will continue this trend!

View all my reviews

This entry was originally posted at dreamwidth. Please feel free to comment there using OpenID. comment count unavailable

Aug. 30th, 2010

I had a bit of a glut on paranormal/fantasy books the past few days. You wanna see what I read?

Cut to be considerate )

Aug. 28th, 2010

Diana Rowland - Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian #1)

Mark of the DemonMark of the Demon by Diana Rowland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I went into this book expecting a decent read and got better than what I expected. The main character is flawed and lonely and the author shows this without letting it overwhelming the story. What I also like is that there is some romance and sex shown in the book without it becoming the sole focus. What can I say, I prefer my paranormal with a touch of romance, not the other way around.

View all my reviews

This entry was originally posted at dreamwidth. Please feel free to comment there using OpenID. comment count unavailable

Aug. 22nd, 2010

Charlaine Harris - Shakespeare's Landlord (A Lily Bard Mystery)

Shakespeare's Landlord (A Lily Bard Mystery, #1)Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was recommended to me by a friend and I'm truly glad I read it. The main character is a strong woman who, while she has been shaped a lot by her past, is not broken by it and has found a way to cope. I really appreciated how it showed, not only told, how Lily kept people at a distance and was distrustful of the world around her. As the book progressed, I found it easier and easier to connect with Lily as she became slightly more open and started to deliberately interact more with the people around her.

One thing that struck me odd when I first read the description of the book was Lily's job. I didn't know how Harris would write her as a maid (and so much more) and not let that part of the story just fade away into the background until you began to wonder if she ever actually went to work. I've seen this happen with a lot of books. However, I was impressed with how we're not only shown Lily keeping up with her job, but how it really helps move the story along.

Another thing that I enjoyed about this book was that clues were given to who committed the murder in a way that the reader could pick up on them and possibly figure it out before Lily without making her look like an idiot. Also, I really liked a lot of the other characters in the book and I really cannot wait to start the next one!

View all my reviews

This entry was originally posted at dreamwidth. Please feel free to comment there using OpenID. comment count unavailable

David Wellington - Monster Island: A Zombie Novel

Monster Island: A Zombie NovelMonster Island: A Zombie Novel by David Wellington
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I ended up being really disappointed by this book. It read like two different books, one trying to be Dawn of the Dead the other Shaun of the Dead, thrown together and not blended properly. It basically reads like a rough draft that could do with some major going-over. I've seen some people hand-wave this because it's a online serialized novel. However, given that I've read some really good online serialized novels and stories so I'm not inclined to forgive some of the more glaring problems with the book.

However, I do want to give it two stars because it has some definite potential not only with the basic premise, but also with the glimmers of characterization that can be seen in places.

View all my reviews

This entry was originally posted at dreamwidth. Please feel free to comment there using OpenID. comment count unavailable

Aug. 21st, 2010

Lilith Saintcrow - Dante Valentine 01: Working for the Devil

Working for the Devil (Dante Valentine, #1)Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cut for Spoilers )

View all my reviews

p.s. Yes I did stay up until @ 2:30am reading this. I'm too old for that shit!

This entry was originally posted at dreamwidth. Please feel free to comment there using OpenID. comment count unavailable

Aug. 17th, 2010

I Finally Read It!

"I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun."

Pride and Prejudice (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I began reading this, I wasn't expecting to actually like it all that much. Given the time period it was from, I expected to hate most, if not all, of the characters. Instead, what I found was a lead character who was strong and independent without being anachronistic. I loved the language and the flow of the story itself, and can see how it has stood the test of time. It doesn't fall back on the easy crutch of people just not talking, but actually uses the character's personalities to create drama.

I've heard a lot about Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, however, what really stuck with me is the lovely relationship between Elizabeth and Jane. In the early part of the story, I only felt Elizabeth's love for Jane, and how she acted toward her saved her from being a totally arrogant and self-congratulating character.

Speaking of, I actually enjoy that Elizabeth started out that way (IMO). She was shown with this major flaw, shown to not even realize it, yet it was acknowledged (in a very loving and soft way) by Jane. It was very satisfying to witness Elizabeth's evolution, as well as the evolution of her relationship with Mr. Darcy.

While I'm very happy Elizabeth and Darcy got their happy ending, I'm also glad that there wasn't a magic 'everyone's happy' ending. I'm also glad to see that, through Charlotte and Mr. Collins, we're shown that there is more than one way for a marriage to be happy.

All in all, I get the hype and find that the book is more than worth it.

View all my reviews >>

This entry was originally posted at dreamwidth. Please feel free to comment there using OpenID. comment count unavailable

Jul. 27th, 2010

Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln Vampire HunterAbraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Had this book's main character been just about anyone except Lincoln, I probably would have given it 4 or 5 stars. While the way his losses and reactions to those losses as written were very moving, the story cheapens his role in freeing the slaves by making it all about vampires and not at all about the slaves themselves.

As I said, if it had been about anyone else, I probably would have adored this book.

View all my reviews >>

This entry was originally posted at dreamwidth. Please feel free to comment there using OpenID. comment count unavailable

Jul. 20th, 2008

Review [sorta]: My Name is Earl & Lick of Frost

Okay, so my husband rented the first season of My Name is Earl last night. I had never seen this show because it looked about stupid. Well, we ended up watching the first 14 freaking episodes last night. It was freaking hilarious. It's like a Kevin Smith movie in a way: on paper it seems like the kind of thing I would absolutely hate, but when put into action, I love it.

Now, for a little secret [nothing to do with My Name is Earl]. I read Laurell K. Hamilton books. You see, I got started on the Anita Blake series back when I was a teen walking to the nearest library and borrowing as many books as I could fit into my deep coat pockets [10 average size paperbacks, if anyone's interested]. Does anyone remember those first few books? They had plot, and Richard didn't make ya wanna slice and dice a fictional character? So do I.

Now I read because it's a compulsion. I started the series and got more than 3 books in, so I have to complete it. Just like if I own two or more seasons of a show, I must own them all. Anyway, I started the Merry Gentry series because... I was desperate for something to read. Anyway, it had plot at the beginning.

Guess what? I found plot again in Lick of Frost! Granted, it's not a great plot, and Merry is even more of a Sue than ever [who doesn't want her now?], but there is a shred of a plot.


Should the presence of plot in a LKH book be considered a spoiler for those who haven't read it?

May. 14th, 2008

Book Review: Twilight

Cut to save you from the annoyance of SPARKLY VAMPIRES. )

Will I be reading the rest? You know I can't resist a fantastically horrific train wreck!

Making a Loud Noise Until Rescued

"I thought," said Piglet earnestly, "that if Eeyore stood at the bottom of the tree, and if Pooh stood on Eeyore's back, and if I stood on Pooh's shoulders----"

"And if Eeyore's back snapped suddenly, then we could all laugh. Ha ha! Amusing in a quiet way," said Eeyore, "but not really helpful."

"Well," said Piglet meekly, "I thought----"

"Would it break your back, Eeyore?" asked Pooh, very much surprised.

"That's what would be so interesting, Pooh. Not being quite sure till afterwards."

Icon Projects

AtS season 1
AtS season 2
AtS season 3
AtS season 4
AtS season 5
Battlestar Galactica miniseries
Battlestar Galactica season 1
Lost season 1

Layout Credit

Layout code from nameless_layout, original artwork by Ernest H. Shepard


October 2011