Dragon's Lair

Dragon's Lair
Picture is from Marc Adamus

Michael's bookshelf: currently-reading

Pandemonium
0 of 5 stars true
tagged: currently-reading

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Monday, September 24, 2012

The Last Grimm

The Last Grimm: Red's HoodThe Last Grimm: Red's Hood by H.L. Wampler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really did like this book, though it seemed to be more of a chick book then I am used to reading. This book did seem to be generic as an overall theme of the last Grimm who needed to save the real world from the fairy tale world. There is a television show about that subject but I do think that this gives the tale a very good presentation. The story is presented through the eyes of the last Grimm, Abbigal Grimm. She learns of this after an attack on a coworker and learning that the eye candy she has at her office is actually from the Fairy Tale world and is here to help her stop the evil that is spreading. In my opinion it really is this perspective that helps to save this story from being bland and cliche. The struggles of being a freshman in college, having a full time internship, dealing with a relationship, trouble-ish at home, all the while having to save the world, make for a very tense situation but Abby does very well at handling all of these things. Though she grows as a person and a character she does not change her attitude or her personality. This was refreshing to me because I know that in many cases the person would crumple and become someone that they are not, instead of growing as Abby does.

The writing style is also very good, with plenty of humor, action, and suspense. The language that is used is that which an eighteen year old would use, particularly the language that is used when describing Abby's thoughts. This was another aspect that helped the book to be better than what it could have been.

The characters on the other hand, didn't really seem that real to me. The relationships were real but the characters themselves did seem to be more generic: snooty assistant replaced by the bubbly one, the jealous best friend who ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the hot guy that everyone wants but only wants the MC, the estranged mom struggling to come to grips with reality.

I hope that in the next book the characters do evolve and become more real and they gain a "flesh" you could say. As for the story I do want to see where the author takes this story and see how the tales will be entwined and how the real world will be effected.

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Within the Shadows

Within The Shadows (Shadow World, #1)Within The Shadows by Julieanne Lynch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is in the air for me. There were many parts of it that I liked but there were also many parts that I did not like.
Pros
I liked the idea behind the book, that there are multiple types of Vampires in the world. That there are those that are humans who were turned, there are those who were born with a Vampire “gene” I think it said, and then a new breed that is the focus of this novel. At least for me this is a little different and gives life, pun intended, to a genre that is starting to get very stale very fast. Probably the best part about this is that the new breed is a group of vampires that maintain their soul, so they are in a sense humans with vampire powers and curses, and they must feed on not only the blood of a victim but also the soul, which is a new concept for me. I found the writing was very good, the action flowed from one event to another quickly and keep the reader guessing as to what was going to happen next, but more on that later. I did think that there was adequate detail for the events that occurred and I could envision the events clearly. I also liked Giselle, I liked the development that she underwent, even if I thought she made some drastic jumps in choices, but given the circumstances and information available to here I don’t blame her in the least. I also liked Antione, he was the mental relief for me in this book. By that I mean I could always rely on him to be up front with Giselle even though you could tell that he was still holding information from her. I felt he interacted with Giselle the best out of every character in the novel and that he was probably the best character.
Cons
Ok, there are roller coasters that have highs and lows, twists and turns, excitement and heart break. ………. Not this one. This novel starts at the top of the lift hill and drops you, quite literally into a free fall for about 60%, gives you another hill to go up and you start to think, things may get better. Then after about 5-10% the bottom falls out worse than at the beginning. This is my main problem with the novel, Giselle is thrown from one bad situation to another with not one chance for her to make her own choice in anything save what happens at 60%, granted reading on my kindle so I can’t really give you a page number. One, like most I suppose, she is forced into becoming a vampire while under the “pretext” of choice. The same happens for her innocence, which made me very upset personally. Then she is forced to become a test tube for the vampires and sees how much of a traitor her “friend” was and is to her. She gets out when she learns that she can go home and you think things may start to look up for her. Nope, she is caught up in the drama again, after being home 24 hours. She then has one night to do what she wants and then is taken back to the vampire drama, where she is forced, again under the pretext of choice, do be a pawn in the vampire’s schemes. After that she tries to get out and be on her own and quite literally goes to hell, which she does escape to go back to a figurative hell. Then a random parallel world is thrown in with no real explanation as to why, and even there she is followed and attacked. The book ends with her being knocked out and probably kidnapped. So you see this plot does not let up for one second and that rubbed me the wrong way, granted it may not for others but I would have at least liked a little more of a light at the end of the tunnel ending. As for the characters, pretty much hated their guts by the end save for Giselle, Antione, Leonid, and Marc. Every other character is either a backstabber or just a devil with no real redeeming quality.
So I can’t say that you will not like this book, but I do believe that if you read this novel be ready for a very large drop that doesn’t really stop till the end.


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Monday, September 10, 2012

Within the Shadows Blog Tour

~sorry for no images, blogger is being stupid atm for me~

Within the Shadows By J.A. Lynch

Published July 18th 2012
Vamptasy
ASIN: B008MZJB3W

“Living on the razors edge, Giselle Burgman's life is torn apart by her cheating boyfriend. Little does she realise that he is the least of her worries when her long term friend Alex introduces her to his family and a new, darker world. A world of lies, deceit and corruption. Thrown from one problem straight into another, the razors edge gets thinner and sharper, testing Giselle's sanity and vitality. Not even she can hide when living within the shadows.”

“The story is a page turner. I had to keep finding out what happened next and normally, I don't like vampire novels. Ms. Lynch has given me a new love for vampire stories with this gem.” Erin Miller

“It is not your average vampire story and brings a refreshing new take to the world of vampires. The characters are well developed and intrigue from the word go and the story doesn't stop for you to catch your breath. It will astound, amaze and bewitch you.” Stacem

“I would recommend this book to everyone that enjoys a great book with the ability to keep you guessing. I will have to say this is one of my favorites!” Gale Nelson

About the Author:

Fiery Librian Julieanne Lynch is an author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Julieanne lives in Northern Ireland, where she works on her Shadows Trilogy and other series full-time. Before becoming a writer, she considered a few different career paths, a rock star being one of them. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at The Open University, and considered journalism as a career path. However, she decided writing was the way for her and believes all of her education and reading prepared her for it.

An avid reader, Julieanne has always had an encompassing fascination with folklore. When not writing, she enjoys crime series such as Criminal Minds, CSI, NCIS and Cold Case, and loves anything with Vampires, listening to metal, meeting new people, drinking lots of green tea, and sharing her dreams with her children. She is a self-professed goth wanna-be, and is happy when left to write into the early hours of the morning.

Julieanne's YA series, The Shadows Trilogy, is published by Vamptasy Publishing and thus far contains In the Shadows. It follows the war between vampires and shadow creatures. Giselle Bergman, an 18-year old human girl, falls victim to a scheme by one of her closest childhood friends, and embarks on a journey that sees her become the centre of a battle between good and evil.

Find Julieanne online:

http://www.julieannelynch.co.uk

http://www.julieannelynch.blogspot.com#

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJulieanneLynch

Where to purchase Within the Shadows:

http://www.amazon.com/Within-Shadows-Shadow-Novels-ebook/dp/B008MZJB3W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1345464957&sr=1-1&keywords=j+a+lynch

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008MZJB3W

http://www.freewebstore.org/storepage1218883.aspx

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hunger, Rider of the Apocalypse

Hunger (Riders of the Apocalypse, #1)Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is honestly very intense. With that said, I am glad to say that there is light at the end of the tunnel for this novel. As Lisa grows as the Horseman Famine she also grows as a person and is able to make choices that she probably should have made earlier but were still good for her to make. I like the interactions between the horseman, and each one does have his or her own personality that goes with what they are in charge of. This book is very short, only 180 pages, but the author addresses all of the needed plot elements to make this a great story. She could have extended this book a bit and added more periods of growth for Lisa, but the way it is is more than sufficient for the book.

I enjoy the way that Lisa has mental arguments with herself, and how the author portrays them to the reader. Not only does it literally get you into Lisa's head but it does also allow you become more attached to Lisa, and if you are like me, you will just want to hold her and help her in whatever way you can.

My only problem with the story is that I, probably wrongly, went into this book thinking that it was during the apocalypse or at least bringing it in. Now this book is not but i think that it is a great format to allow the character to grow and become a better person. So with this said, I do not think that this is a christian fiction book in any way. Yes the horseman of the apocalypse is a Christian concept but there is no mention of the horsemen being sent out by the Christian God. Instead they are seen as gods in a way as they are simply entities in charge of their respective domains.

I can't wait to read the rest of the books in this series and see what the author does with the other horseman.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Goddess Test

The Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book, and was mildly surprised with how good the book was. The writing style was the first thing that caught my eye, there was the right balance of detail and drama to ensnare you in the story from the beginning. The plot flows from one event to another without having the snags that occur in many YA, or NA books. (NA is New Adult for those who don't know or haven't heard of it.) The premise of the book was very good, though I did catch on before the end of the story. Granted many of the Gods were very transparent, Ava for one. But most others I was not able to determine who they represented, and that is good, at least to me. I was also intrigued by the varying stages of death there were presented in the book, and the concept of death presented. The book presents death as that which the person believes in, so a person who thinks that death is a field of daisies then that is what you will experience when you died. I also enjoyed how the gods were presented, that they are immortal beings that can also have physical mortal bodies that can die. If their physical bodies die then they spend time in a semi-death until they chose to retake a physical form or they pass into true death.

Now for the setting, the book takes place in Eden, which is clearly stated to be a reference to the Garden of Eden. This is not portrayed as the Biblical Garden, as it has direct references to the entryway of the Underworld from Greek Mythology, mainly the river Styx. Along with the actual underworld being the beauty the person believes it to be, this Eden is very beautiful and the author relates this beauty to the reader very well. But Eden plays a role in the plot, aside from what it represents. This Eden is the sight of the tests for Kate, and the Gods, through the author, make the town very real, despite what Kate believes, though clues are given from the beginning of the story.

Now for the tests, I do think that incorporating the Biblical into the story here was a very good touch. This brings the polytheism of Greek Mythology into a unity with the morals and beliefs of Christianity. I think the test was very well done, and as it was not revealed till the end of the story it was not forced on the reader as a religious view they must follow to understand the story. I think having a background in Christianity as well as a good understanding of Greek Mythology help to understand the story and to allow the reader to catch the subtle messages present in the story.

As for the characters, I really enjoyed reading about each and everyone of them. They were all clearly gods and goddesses but for many the ones that they were was unclear. The only ones that I was able to discern were Diana, Walter, James, and Ava. Many I had switched, while others I had no idea. As for their characters i enjoyed seeing and learning more of them and can't wait to find out more about each and every one.

I greatly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs a quick read, or wants to read a book that deals with Greek Mythology

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Seraphina

Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ok this was one of the better Dragon books that i have read, I enjoyed the differences between the dragons and the humans, especially in their mentalities. The dragons are much more mathematical and scientific in their thinking, liking themselves to the great intellectuals of the world. The humans are on the other end of the spectrum, expressing a love for the arts and abstract ideals of philosophy. Granted when Seraphina begins to express those Dragon traits the reading does become tedious, and there are not that many action scenes early in the book to get you through the tediousness of the writing. That isn't to say that the writing is not rich with detail, but to me there needed to be more action in the early parts of the book to help the reader get into the action. But that may also be because the book plays out like a mystery in many ways as opposed to most fantasy novels where the villain is clearly seen from the beginning and the story is the build-up to the final conflict. So with that said, this was a very good mystery. It provided many twists and turns, some I did expect, some I didn't; and the ending twist was one that came out of left field, the author did a very good job of leading you away from the "culprit". Even though the reader has to assume that is the overall culprit of the murder before the start of the book, and is something that i may like to hear or read more about in the next book, though that seems unlikely as how this book ends.

Now for the characters, all of them work and blend together perfectly to tell this story and make it rich and real. Few of the characters are one dimensional and as such the reader can see the growth and development of the main characters through the story.

Of all the characters my favorite would have to be Lucian Kiggs, probably because he is the most like me: both intellectually as well as parentage. He is someone who is in the pursuit of truth, no matter how much it will hurt him to discover it. He is loyal to those that he loves and will do anything for them. With that said he does have his faults, that anyone in his place would make, as i have made many of them myself.

The main character that I did not like was Lady Corongi. maybe it was her elitist attitude or maybe there always seemed to be something wrong with her that caused me to not like her, but I did enjoy her final twist, and needless to say that made me very happy, but you will have to read the book to figure out what it is :).

Well that is all that i have, so I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dragon novels, but also i warn you that if you do not have a very very very orderly, scientific, logical mindset you may have trouble reading this novel.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Empyreal Fate

Empyreal FateEmpyreal Fate by Rachel Hunter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok I loved and hated this book. I loved it because the plot engrossed me from the start even though it took time to get into the main plot and how everything tied in together. Everything about the story was real to me, the characters were real, the events were real, the twists were real, everything was real. That is also why I hated this book, i am sucker for having a good ending or at least a decent ending for the main character, and you do not get that in this book. I will not divulge what happens but I will say i was left screaming at the book as I finished. Now with that said, and as i said before this is one of my favorite books now, and I am very glad that I was able to read this book. I felt that the writing style fits perfectly, even if in many ways it is archaic. Also the length of the stor is perfect, I honestly am not sure i could have read much more than the 244 pages without having to walk away from this book. But I think that makes this a great book, that it is effecting me so much and I am having such a reaction against the characters goes as a credit to the author. Now granted not all books that make me hate the characters are 5 stars, but because this one made me want to keep reading and figure out what was going to happen next instead of just put the book down and walk away as other books have.

As to the setting and races present in this story, I think all are well done and express the prejudices and insecurities of all the races involved, granted the reader only really sees the interactions of the elves and humans. I think the limited landscape allows the actions to flow well and quickly especially when the two races do interact. This also helps with the reduced size of the book, the author does not have to spend a great amount of time explaining where the characters are going and why they are doing what they are doing. And actually this author provides all of the needed back story and scenery needed for the rest of the story, which is something that is very rare in the novels that I have read.

Now for the characters, this will not be pretty so I am going to spoil this part, granted this is for the characters that i DID NOT like. spoiler contains some severe language (view spoiler)[ Ok i had my severest reaction against Laervyen. The main reason for this is that he is a bastard and a rapist. I can not respect him as a character no matter how much i have to respect that the author has him fill the role he is playing perfectly. So for the character that he is supposed to be he fits it, but as a character i still do not think I could ever like him because of the actions that he takes, he has no redeeming value. I also have problems with Drevon but i also understand that he is simply misguided in what he thinks is right, even if he believes that he is right with all that he has, but he does what he does to help his family. Laervyen on the other end does all that he does for pure ambition and doesn't care for anyone other than himself. (hide spoiler)]

I found that i loved both Darrion and Amarya, and wanted them to come through at the end so much that i was screaming about the ending. I love that even though there was a love at first sight aspect to them, I still think it works given that she is an elf, and is supposed to possess supernatural beauty. All in all I loved both of these characters and hated what happened to them in the end, I only hope that the author can find a way to not have it end the way that it did.


So i highly recommend this book to any reader of fantasy novels, and it is a very quick and easy read that will refresh you when you are getting bogged down with the 500+ page epic, not that i am complaining about them, lol.

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