Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday 9/29

Hello, and welcome to my blog.  I'm still new at this, but please feel free to have a look around and don't forget to enter my Halloween Giveaway.  Also, if you are interested, tomorrow I shall be posting a review of the first the Gaurdains of Ga'Hoole books by Kathryn Lasky, and in the next few days I'll also be posting a review of Time Stranger Kyoko and Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan.

Now on to what you are all here for, this weeks Waiting on Wednesday
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where book bloggers share what books they can't wait to come out. 

This week my selecion is "The Gathering" by Kelley Armstrong.  This is going to be the first book in her second YA series "Darkness Rising", and since I love her adult series (Women of the Otherworld), and loved her YA series (Darkest Powers) even more (so much so that I'm giving away the first book this month so that I may share that love).

Here is what Amazon has to say about this book:
Maya lives in a small medical-research town on Vancouver Island. How small? You can't find it on the map. It has less than two-hundred people, and her school has only sixty-eight students — for every grade from kindergarten to twelve. Now, strange things are happening in this claustrophobic town, and Maya's determined to get to the bottom of them. First, the captain of the swim team drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. A year later, mountain lions start appearing around Maya's home, and they won't go away. Her best friend, Daniel, starts getting negative vibes from certain people and things. It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret — and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy: Her paw-print birthmark.
The Current release date for this book is April 12, 2011.

Teaser Tuesday 9/28: The Invisible Order: Rise of the Darklings.

Hello and welcome.  While you are here, please feel free to have a look around, and don't forget to take a look at my Halloween giveaway.  Also, if you're interested, came back in the following days to check out my coming reviews of Time Stranger KyokoThe Guardians of Ga'Hoole, and The Red Pyramid.

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!

My Teaser is from The Invisible Order: The Rise of the Darklings.
Grubber stared in horror as the dress he had thought empty filled out, white-green arms appearing from beneath the water to push the sodden mass upright.  The seaweed which wasn't seaweed at all, but really was hair, hung lank and dripping, framing the pale skeletal face of a young woman.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Halloween Giveaway. Signed Copy of "The Awakening" and more!

Giveaway Closed
The Winner was Len of Musings of a Happy Reader!
Ok, this is my first blog giveaway, and I decided what better way to start things off than a Halloween giveaway.

First, one of my favorite books, by one of my favorite authors:  "The Summoning" by Kelley Armstrong.  This is the first book in her Darkest Powers series, and follows 15year old Chloe as she discovers she has the ability to see dead people and gets sent to a group home because she is diagnosed with schizophrenia.  While there she meets and befriends some of her fellow housemates.  Set in the same world as Kelley Armstrong’s adult series, Women of the Otherworld, but a complete stand alone series, this is great for new fans or old alike!  As a great bonus I was able to buy a signed, paperback copy of this book!

Second is a brand new Arc of Clare B. Dunkle's "The House of Dead Maids."  I haven't read this one yet, but thought it was perfect to pass along for Halloween.  I received this book at a giveaway from my local bookstore.  This is a store about a maid brought to Seldom House to take care of a young Heathcliff, long before he becomes the man he is during Wuthering Heights.  The maid must deal with not only her troubled young charge, but also the ghost of his previous maid, and others.

One winner will receive both of these books, plus an Emily Strange notebook, some Halloween pencils and erasers, and some Halloween candy, as well as a the dog pictured, since I believe everyone of my giveaways must include a reading companion!  I might even throw in some extras, and if I reach 125 followers, I'll even throw in a copy of "The Awakening" the second book in Kelley Armstrong's Greatest Powers series. If lucky, I will even be able to get a signed copy of that book as well. 

Now on for the rules.
This Contest starts on 9/27/10 and will run until 12 midnight on 10/18/10.

Only US/Canada addresses for this one, sorry, I have two giveaways planned for November and at least one will be open to international.

You must be a follower (old or new doesn't matter, especially since my blog is so new)
You may enter up to two times a week, every week of the giveaway, but they must be at least two days apart. 
You may also tweet about the giveaway twice a week, but again they must be at least two days apart.

You can gain one extra entry for posting this giveaway in your blog.
You may gain 5 extra entries for posting this button on your blog.
All you have to do is fill out this FORM, comments are great, but only the form will get you entered.
Don't worry if you accidentally enter too many times, I will only count two per week, and will just discard the others; you won't get disqualified.
I will contact the winner on 10/19/10, and they will have 48 hours to respond before I pick a new winner.
Good luck to everyone.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blog Hop and Follow Friday

Hello, and welcome to my blog.  I'm still new at this, but please feel free to have a look around, take a look at my recent reviews, like Mirrorscape by Mike Wilks, and please come back on Monday because I will be posting my first giveaway in honor of that most hideously wonderful of all holidays, Halloween.

The Book Blogger hop is an weekly event hosted by Crazy-for-books, as a way for bloggers to meet each other.
Today's question: When you write reviews, do you write them as you are reading or wait until you have read the entire book?
Granted I'm still new, so maybe things will change in the future, but right now I write my review when I'm done with a book, since my opinions on a character and a story plot can change as the book progresses.  Sometimes characters start out behaving in a way I find unbelievable until the author reveals their true motivation, other times a character can seem strong and likeable and then the author starts making them do things that just don't fit.  I'd rather my review reflect my overall opinion rather than appearing too wishy/washy.  As I progress as a reviewer though, I may take some notes on the book to help my review, but I'm not so sure. I always want reading to be about the pleasure of disappearing into a story, and not like work.  The Review is just a way for me to share my joy with others. 

I have also joined Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee's View.

This Week's Question is: what is your high fashion book? --- translation --- best book cover ever.

Such a complicated question as I have a lot of books that I adore the cover art, but there are two books that I will admit I bought largely because of their cover (though I do love the story inside them as well)

First there is Mirrorscape (which I reviewed here Thursday).  I love the hill of houses that you can look at, and notices differences every time.  (I just couldn't find a picture on the internet that did this book justice.)

I also fell in love with the cover of The Ruby Key, and couldn't resist buying the book.  Its sequel, The Silver Door was just as beautiful both inside and out (I actually liked the story in The Silver Door more).

Mirrorscape by Mike Wilks

I bought Mirrorscape for one reason, and one reason only; the cover art.  I was completely fascinated by the cityscape that it depicted.  In truth, the description on the back would have had to be completely out of my realm of interest (which can be pretty broad) for me to not buy this book.  Thankfully, what was inside was as artistic and unique as that cover.

I really don’t want to give away too much of the plot away, since I found find that so much of the pleasure is learning about the society and its secrets along with Mel.  Therefore, I’ll try to keep this vague, yet informative.

Mel loves to draw and through a series of events, both fortunate and not, he ends up apprenticed to the best artist in the land.  There he meets and befriends a young maid, named Wren, and a fellow apprentice named Ludo.  The group of friends discovers how to enter the Mirrorscape and quickly find themselves forced to hide there, search for those who are missing there, and use the Mirrorscape to save their own world. 

I loved the world that this story took place in from the layout of the city to the structure of their society.  The worlds of the Mirrorscape are even better.  I love how each world were immediately made different and identifiable. 

Mel is exactly what a hero should be.  He wasn’t perfect, but he was dedicated, a good artist though not perfect, and a good friend.  Wren is a girl who wants to be more than society forces her to be, and she’s a good enough artist to do it.  Ludo is the skeptic, but what’s more I found him a bit annoying.  At one point someone tries to blackmail him, and I was greatly disappointed with how he responded.  I’m still unsure if I think his behavior was simply a character flaw or if I find it a flaw in the story. 

I enjoyed the plot of this story.  My one complaint is the ending.  I think that it may have wrapped up things a bit too easily.  While this is the first in a series, it ends in such a way that it could easily stand alone.  I hope only that the future books show that the quick wrap up wasn’t as clean as it seemed.  That said, the ending isn’t disappointing, and it’s not without a great climax.  The problem comes in that it resolves more than I initially thought that it should have. 

One other thing I should mention is that there is quite a bit of artistic jargon thrown in.  You don’t necessarily need to know what they are talking about, but if you want to, there is a glossary in the back of the book.  There may be some readers who are thrown off by this, but for most I don’t think it will be an issue.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a great new fantasy. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday 9/22

Hello, and welcome to my blog.  I'm still new at this, but please feel free to have a look around.  Also, if you are interested, tomorrow I shall be posting a review of Mirrorscape by Mike Wilks, and on Monday I will be posting my first giveaway in honor of that most hideously wonderful of all holidays, Halloween.

Now on to what you are all here for, what is this weeks Waiting on Wednesday?

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where book bloggers share what books they can't wait to come out. 

This week my selection is Faerie Winter by Janni Lee Simner.  There isn't any info out on what this book is going to be about yet, but it is the sequel to Simner's 2009 book Bones of Faerie, which I absolutly adored.  Faerie Winter is curently scheduled to be released on April 11th.  

Since I can't give you any info on this book, if you haven't read Bones of Faerie here's the blurb for it from Amazon.  You may want to check it out, it truly is worth the read!

It has been 20 years since the war between faeries and humans destroyed everything. Liza, a teenager living in what was once the Midwest, has always been taught that magic kills. When Lizas mother gives birth to a faerie baby with hair clear as glass, her father abandons the infant on a hillside to die; Lizas mother then runs away, and Liza begins to have magical visions of her own. Petrified that her powers might cause death, Liza flees into the woods with her friend Matthew, only to be attacked by deadly trees and rescued by a woman with magic. The plot quickens as Liza realizes that the woman is connected to her mothers past, knowledge that propels Liza into a dangerous journey into the land of Faerie, in search of her mother. Debut novelist Simners style is poetic (A land of steel and glass, of towers and sharp angles. A sky the color of dried blood), but she only vaguely describes Lizas world. Its hard to understand how, for example, a faerie differs from humans with magical powers, or what triggered the cataclysmic faerie war. Despite the murkiness, the plotting is strong, and readers will want to stay with Liza until her questions are resolved

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Joy of Alphabetizing

I'm sure this is something that many of you have had to deal with as well...the joy of alphabetizing your books. 

I adore my book collection.  Almost every book I get, I keep unless I truly dislike it and/or see no value in it for my future children (If you've read my Peter and the Starcatchers review you may have seen I hate Peter Pan, but I kept my copy of it, because it is a classic).  When it comes to storing them, i can't bare to have any of them locked away in boxes, which can definitely be a challenge living in an apartment, with limited space for bookshelves.  One thing I've done to help maximize my usage of space, is to divide my books into three sizes, Trade Paperbacks, Traditional hardcover, and then those that fall midway between these sizes, which includes most of the children and teen books.  Then, when putting the books on the shelves, I pile them on their sides to make maximize the use of space.

Now, this post is not about shelf organizing, but Alphabetizing, which has always been my favorite task. This love of alphabetizing was truly cemented in my a few years back when I was the librarian for my university's anime club, which meant I kept the fan-subs of everything the club owned, so I constantly got to organize that.  Now all that I have left to organize and alphabetize is my book collection and my manga collection.  This is no small task; with nearly 600 books and over 1000 manga it can take me hours just to get them all in the right order, and then there's putting them on the shelves (or in their piles, since there simply are not enough shelves for my manga...)

Because it can be such a monumental task, I often wait until the new books and those that were removed from the shelf overcrowd the living room before I decided to reorganize.  Today was a day for reorganizing.  Over the summer I went to my parents and finally took the books that I had left when I moved ten years ago, and those combined with my new books and others that ended up off their shelves has truly become overwhelming.  Now, who among you is surprised that, even though I enjoy alphabetizing, I have chosen to avoid it by instead blogging about it? 

A sample of what I need to work into the rest of the books!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday- Sept. 17

The Book Blogger hop is an weekly event hosted by Crazy-for-books, as a way for bloggers to meet each other.

This week's question is:
What are your favorite book blogs to visit.

I'm still really new to this whole blogging thing, both the writing and the visiting. So the first of my favorite blogs will have to go to Little Squeed cause we've known each other for years, enjoy many of the same books, and she is the one who convinced me to finally start my own blog.
The second one I really like is Happy Birthday Author, because I absolutly love their concept of vocusing on an Author on their birhday.

I have also joined Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee's View
 This weeks question for Follow Friday is: favorite YA, or do you stick to the adult reads?
At this point, I honesly read way more YA than I do adult reads.  I have a few favorite adult authors, but most of my favorites are YA.  In particular right now I am really liking Carrie Ryan (Forest of Hands and Teeth) and Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson).
Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog.  If you like anything that you see I'm really glad, and I hope that you come back soon to see my upcoming reviews of the books Mirrorscape by Mike Wilks, Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan, as well as the manga Time Stranger Kyoko, and my adventures of book gathering. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where you tell others what book you are currenlty waiting to come out.

A new adventure from Camp Half-blood.  A new bunch of demigods, and maybe some returning favorites.  i can't wait!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Peter and Starcatchers

Ok, I can’t review this Peter Pan prequel without first mentioning my complete and total dislike of the book Peter Pan.  I read Peter Pan a few years ago and was left disappointed and down right angry.  I found Peter unlikable; he was spoiled and self-centered, and what was worse was that Barrie explained this behavior as how a normal child would act.  Then, all the most exciting adventures they went on were mentioned as a sentence in passing.  I honestly thought I might be reading an abridged copy, but nothing I could find indicated that.  My takeaway message of the book, though, was that as you grow up you stop believing in dreams, and I found that just sad. 

I could continue to rant about Peter Pan, but this is a review of Peter and the Starcatchers.  I was honestly unsure about reading this book, but I was going on vacation to Disney World and looking for a book to take with me that fit with the whole Disney theme, and this was my best option.  I am so glad I chose it.

This is more than the story of how a young orphaned boy named Peter became the legendary Peter Pan.  It is even more than the story of a how a pirate called Black Stache became the infamous Captain Hook or how Mollusk Island becomes the enchanted island known as Neverland. 

This is about Peter’s very first adventure, as he and 4 other orphans are taken from their orphanage and placed on a boat heading to a far away country where their fate is uncertain.  On the ship, he meets a young girl named Molly who is an apprentice to an organization that protects starstuff, a mysterious substance that falls from the sky, from an evil organization called the Others and returns it to those it belongs to.  Since Molly is the only member of her organization on the ship, she enlists Peter in helping her protect it from all those who want to take it for themselves.

Unlike in the original book, I found this Peter very likeable.  He doesn’t follow the rules, he has a bit of an attitude and he has a very good heart.  Peter tries his best to help others and do what needs to be done, though he sometimes acts impulsively.  Molly is a good girl who has issues trying to decide whether her mission protecting the starstuff is more important than Peter and his friends.

The narrative of this book goes back and forth between Peter, Molly, Black Stache (the pirate), and Slank (the second in command of the ship Peter is on).  The fluctuation between narrators works surprisingly well.  Even though you know what both sides are planning at times, you can never guess how it’ll turn out and other times they purposely don’t tell you what a character is doing so that they can show up and surprise you.  I’ll admit that Black Stache and Slank do use more adult language and talk about adult situation, but it’s always more like they hint at it.  They tell you just enough that adults know what they mean, but most children probably won’t get all of it (they won’t be lost, just not read into it what is being hinted at). 

This was a very well thought out story.  Even though we know many of these characters all ready, the story manages to keep us guessing on how they get from the start of this book to the people we know that they become.  At times I found myself asking “is this when that happens” but of course it usually wasn’t.  They found a masterful way of weaving a unique plot with the “birth” of classic characters.  Loved it and can’t wait to read the rest of the books.

Teaser Tuesday - The Guardian's of Ga'Hoole: The Journey

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  1. Grab your current read
  2. Open to a random page
  3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  4. 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!)
  5. 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 currently reading the 2nd book of the Guardian's of Ga'Hoole, The Journey, by Kathryn Lasky.  For me, this series was suprisingly deep, for what I expected to be a rather light children's story. 

So here's my teaser from page 29 of this book:

They were, of course worried they might have lost the Hoole, but if they had their doubts, they dared not even think about them for a sliver of a second.  For doubts, each one feared in the deepest parts of their quivering gizzards, might be like an owl sickness - like grayscale or beak rot - contagious and able to spread from owl to owl.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Today, Monday is for Manga

Here, Kuroneko is characteristically surprised by my recent purchases, after all my vows to save money to start Christmas shopping now that I'm back from vacation.

This past Saturday and Sunday, my local bargain bookstore was having a "25% off everything in the store" sale, so I could not resist going in to buy something. What I came away with was Flora's Dare by Ysabeau S. Wilce (even though I don't have the 1st book yet, I couldn't resist a good deal on the 2nd; it just encourages me to by the first book) and Skinned by Robin Wasserman because I've been thinking about reading it for a bit now. I then vowed no more books until Thursday.

Then, today Heather at Little Squeed told me that another local bargain bookstore had their manga half off for the whole month of September. Since September is nearly half over, I decided that I had to go take a look at what they had. I'm rather proud of myself, at one point I had 20 volumes in my basket, but I managed to leave with only 6, and the promise to be back before the month is over. Today I left with 4 volumes of Love Com (volumes 7-9 & 11) to add to my collection, and both volumes of Sugar Princess I've been considering this one for awhile, but didn't want to pay full price.

Now, no more buying till Thursday when I order The Replacement and Rot and Ruin from Amazon...except that I'm going to the book store tomorrow, so we shall see.

As a final note, my promised review of Peter and the Starcatchers will be up tomorrow, it sadly got delayed while I looked through all the blogs participating in Blogfest; and keep an eye out for some upcoming monthly giveaways.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Anya Bast Kindle give away

Anya Bast, the author of The Dark Magick series is having a give away on her blog for a kindle with a 2nd place winner receiving copies of her books.  This is an awesom giveaway and if you are interested in entering, just click on this picture:

Bitten By Books Kindle Giveaway

This is a completly amazing giveaway and everyone should take a look at it. 

Bitten By Books is giving away a Kindle wireless reading device, WiFi.  Follow the link below to check it out.

Blog Hop & Follow Me Friday

This weeks Blog Hop is posting a link to your favorite post or review you've done in the last month.  For me it would have to be my review of "Birthmarked"

I have also joined Follow Me Friday:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Library Wars Love & War

This manga is actually based by a light novel series, but sadly they are not bought for American release at this time. It is about a future where the central government has created a military force to confiscate books that they deem unacceptable, which brings ones minds to Fahrenheit 451 and it’s more extreme destruction of all books. In Library Wars, the local governments and library's band together to save books, creating their own soldiers who make sure that the library's able to keep their books safe, and get a small amount of all the books that the federal government tries to destroy. The main character decides to join the library defense force after the military tries to destroy a fairy tale she wanted to read and a member of the library defense force saves it. This is a shojo manga, so of course it also focuses on her relationship with her commander and a fellow recruit.

I picked up this book largely because of the title and premise of the library having soldiers to protect books. This part of the story is more a setting for our main character's growth and relationships than the focal point of the story, but that doesn't mean it’s not important. I liked the connection I was able to make with the banning of books that happens today and the main character's frustration when she read a fairy tale that had been banned and realized that there was no real reason it should have been banned in the first place.

The main character, Iku Kasahara, is a very likable character. She is athletic and not the best student, but thankfully they don't overplay either. It’s more important that she wants desperately to live up to the "prince" who saved her book when she was younger, by saving all the books, even when she shouldn't. Also, she gets very upset with herself when she pulls others down when she can't perform as well as they can. Her interactions with her commander are cute, as this is where the main love focus of the story is, though, at this point its more subtle "like." Then their is the conflict with her team mate, because he can't figure out why she is there when she's not as good as him.

This book was adorable and is a good set up for the start of a series. This is this author's first manga after spending 10 years as an assistant, so while some may not think the art is the greatest (I liked it but I saw some reviews that complained) it is not as bad as some new artists. If you like shojo manga (stories written for girls) and books, then I highly recommend this story.

A Give away at Little Squeed!

Little Squeed is having a giveaway for the book Flora Segunda. Follow the link to her blog to enter a chance to win this book.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Birthmarked: - Caragh O'Brien

I bought “Birthmarked” for two reasons, the cover fascinated me (probably because I majored in bio and loved the DNA strand image on the cover, sometimes I’m easy to please) and I was looking for a new book about a dystopian future. After, I gave serious debate over how much I wanted to read it, but when I went on a trip with some friends I took it with me, and spent much of the trip telling them about the story as I uncovered more of the plot. I was so intrigued by the plot, and wanted to know where the author was going with it.

The main character is fifteen year old Gaia, a budding midwife who’s just starting to deliver babies without her mother’s help. In this society, there are those who are privileged enough to live within the walls of the city and those less fortunate who live outside of the city. It is the job of a midwife to give the first three babies that they deliver each month to those within the walls to be raised. Right after Gaia completes her first solo delivery, and takes the baby to the city gate, she goes home to find her parents arrest and she is quickly drawn into the mystery of what it is her parents were hiding from those that run the city, and more importantly, what it all means.

Gaia was a likeable character, she believes in what she was taught, and wants to do what is right even when everything tells her that she shouldn’t. I also like that she’s not an all knowing character, she’s a good person and smart, but she has things to learn, and that is important, especially when your main character is young.

The story unfolded nicely for me. I actually laughed at myself when I realized what a Tvaltar was (it may seem obvious, but seriously, I just thought it was a made up word). I really liked this connection to their past, and how they came to tell you how the world came to be the way it was. More importantly, though, was how the mystery surrounding her parents arrest unfolded. It was slow, but believable, as you learned everything as Gaia did. I also liked that I could not immediately solve the mystery when they presented it, so I didn’t sit there going “why can’t she get this, it’s so obvious.” Instead, I actually had to go back and look at it a 2nd time to see what she found.

The major plot point was solved, though not exactly happily, but some may not like the ending of this book, as some of the plot points are left opened for a sequel. I’d be thrilled if there was, but my enjoyment of this book will not be lessened if there isn’t one.

If you enjoy reading books about dystopian futures, I highly recommend this book. If you are thinking of reading a book about a dystopian future for the first time, this wouldn’t be a bad one to start with. If you don’t like a slightly sad story, though, stay away, because there is a plenty of sadness here.

Please look for my next review, coming Thursday of "Peter and the Starcatchers"

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Birthmarked" - Caragh O'Brien

Review Coming Sunday 9/6 (delayed from 9/5 due to renfest)

Book Blogger Hop

I have seriously wanted to start a book blog for months and a friend finally talked me into it. She then directed me to the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Crazy For Books (click the picture at the side to go to their blog). I was totally excited about this fun way to meet other bloggers.

This Weeks Question is:

Do you judge a book by its cover?

I totally do. When I go to a book store, or even search the recommendations that Amazon has for me, there is just so many books to look through, that I look first at the cover art, then the title, and finally the description of the book. I don't really dig books that are mainly about romance, so I have typically avoided books that depict characters that look all lovey. Some of my favorite books I bought because they had a totally awesome cover. I wasn't even sure I'd like them based on the description on the back, but I just couldn't get that cover out of my head. I've had only one or two bad experience, and thankfully in those cases the book wasn't horrible, it was just ok.

Now, let me clarify this, if a book has an ugly cover, it is not enough to prevent me from reading it. If I see it enough as a suggestion, either constantly being faced forward at the book store or constantly recommended to me on Amazon or by friends, then I will always look at the book and give it serious consideration. After all, what is really important is what is inside those covers; the outside just helps to draw me in faster.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Waking The Witch

Before I start this review, I’m just going to put this out there: I am a fan of this series, but I am still objective. It is my believe that being a fan of an author does not mean you should blindly love everything that they write or that being a fan of a series means you have to love every book in that series. As a fan you should be able to know what is possible and be disappointed when it doesn’t happen. I enjoyed this book, but if you need proof that I truly do believe this, look for my review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s “Bullet,” where I shall probably sadly mourn the continued destruction of a once beloved series.

“Waking the Witch” is the 11th book in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series. For anyone unfamiliar with this series, first of all let me make it clear, these are NOT romance novels, even though relationships to appear, they always take second seat to the actual plot. The series takes place in our world, but werewolves, witches, necromancers and the like exist, normal people just don’t know it. Instead they have a strong underworld community (think mob, not hidden fairy mounds). Different books are narrated by different characters (sometimes one and sometimes multiple) and often take place years apart as apposed to days or months apart like a lot of series in this genre. This is done in such a way that a new reader shouldn’t be worried about being lost if they pick up this book; a decent job is done of giving necessary background information about the main character to let new comers know what is going on, without making returning readers feel like they have to wade through too much they have already read.

This is the 1st book to focus on 21 year old Savannah Levine, who readers first met as a 12 year old in the book Stolen. She is the daughter of a two powerful practitioners of dark magic, but was raised since the age of 12 by two parishioners of white magic who use their magic to help those in need. All of this means that Savannah has tons of power which she tries to use for good, but she is willing to do things her foster parents would not consider. In this book, she decides to finally get them to treat her like an adult by taking on a case for their PI firm, without telling them.

Savannah often came across to me as younger than a lot of the other women featured in this series, even though many of them were a similar age when they first appeared. This is probably because she just barrels headfirst into things, and the author goes out of her way to point out how reliant Savannah is on her magic (to an annoying degree at times). Also, Savannah talks about how she’s in love with this guy, but wastes no time starting to date a guy she just meets, while still talking about the other guy; it made it hard to believe her. Overall, she’s an ok main character, though not as likeable as others in this series.

The plot of the story moved nicely, and while some of it was indeed predicable, there were some real surprises thrown in to keep you guessing, and change things up a bit. Also, between the way the book ended, and the fact that the author has said the next book in the series will also be about Savannah, it’s obvious that at least parts of this storyline will continue.

This series is a fun read. If you are looking for a book that makes you sit down and think after you’ve read it, then this isn’t the one for you. If you are looking for a book to read for a quick escape and harmless fun then this totally fits the bill, though as a fan of the series, I’d strongly suggest starting with Bitten, unless you like really prefer the dark rebel, Savannah.

This was my first book review. I hope to see you again for my next review in a couple of days. For those of you who want a book that really makes you think, I will be reviewing Caragh O’Brien’s “Birthmarked.”

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Introduction to being dreamy

Let me start this by introducing myself. I am a thirty-year-old woman, with 4 cats, no children, and a boyfriend who totally gets me.

I like books about vampires, and therefore HATE the Twilight series, preferring adult series like Kelley Armstrong’s "Women of the Otherworld." I also enjoy fantasy novels, including, but by no means limited to, Harry Potter, though I don't go all fan-girl for it. Lately I've been delving into books about dystopian futures to mixed results. Finally I don't really care to read non-fiction, though I'm not completely opposed to it from time to time.

For me reading is all about the story, and I don't care how old a book is or what age it is written for as long as the story appeals to me. I often buy books just because the cover draws me in, and so far I've had good luck with them. That’s not the only way I chose books though. I visit the book store at least two or three times a week, looking through the young adult titles and reading the backs of any new book I see, and I visit Amazon even more frequently, looking at what it suggests to me based on the books that I currently own. I do tend to focus my book buying on young adult titles because I find the stories as engaging as adult books, but often with less sex or unnecessarily long descriptions about pointless parts of the story. Some of my favorite series are adult titles though, and I buy these whenever they come out. Regardless of age or content if a friend strongly suggests a title I'm more than willing to try it out.

Hopefully this has given you a bit of an idea about me, and I'll have some interesting reviews up for you to read soon.

I will start by reviewing the following books/series, so please look for them in the coming days, in no order:

Kelley Armstrong: "Waking the Witch"

Caragh O'Brien : "Birthmarked"

Susan Beth Pfeffer: "Life as we Knew it"

Rick Riordan: Percy Jackson series

Rick Riordan: "Red Pyramid"

Carrie Ryan: "The Forest of Hands and Teeth"

Thomas Wharton : "The Shadow of Malabron"

Mike Wilks: "Mirrorscape"