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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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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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dragon's Teeth

Dragon's TeethDragon's Teeth by Suzanne van Rooyen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ok, I am posting this a day early, hope that will be fine with all of you :). First off, this book definitely starts out a little differently than I expected it to. We do follow the story of Cyrus, but it seems as if we should be following the story of Benji, at least from how the prologue plays out. Even with that little shift I think this book does very well in explaining the events that are going on, why they occuring and giving the back story as to how they got to the point they are at. The book is separated into three parts, which I think helps group the content of the book better, but I do think that the way in which the story was told could have been more linearly, as well as allow you to focus on a single character, as opposed to jumping between the three that it does. The way the parts are told though does help with the mystery aspect of the story, but does give away the ending revelation if the reader is paying close attention. With that said, the author does very well in keeping the story consistent and flowing. She could easily have gotten caught up in any part of the story and neglected the overall plot but does well not to do that. I did think that some of the plot twists were a little transparent and were easily discovered many many pages before they were revealed while others were concealed very well and as such gave the reader a shock when they were revealed.

The actual plot of the story interested me very much as I am a biologist so the genetic modification and manipulation was very cool to me. I felt that the views on the modification were fairly limited in this novel, and possibly showing a side that was more against the the modifications would have interesting, but that does not detract from the overall plot as that isn't a main theme of the novel, more like a general subject a story is set in. I think that split between the northern Theocratic dictatorship and the southern-ish capitalistic society has interesting points. I do think that more of a conflict between the two would have been good, as it was you really get the feeling that they are two separate worlds and have no real connection to one another. Granted there are a few instances where the reader is reminded that they are existing in the same world and time, to me it was lost amid the rest of the story. As a whole i thought the story was very good but I think the author could have done a whole lot more with it and am curious if she chooses to do so.

Now for the characters, all were good but none were really spectacular save the twin sister. She was the one character that really stuck out to me and made me cheer for her. I don't know if it was that she was the first to step out or if it was just the way that she did it, but i was hoping that she would have a good ending, which she did and didn't in the same way. Again I think the author could have done a lot more with this character and am curious to see how the archetype will be used in her future works.

As with a character to like, i didn't really have any character that i just despised. It isn't that there aren't characters to despise, it was just that there wasn't that constant evil or negative presence, instead it was the concepts and ideas the people followed/were forced to follow. I guess the closest thing that there was to an evil character was the priests of the northern religion that ordered the heinous actions to be carried out.

So all in all, I do think the book is good, with a very good writing style and story progression, I think the characters are a little lacking but it is not so much that it takes away from the story. I recommend it for any sci-fi dystopian reader.

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Dragon's Teeth Blog Tour


Please check out this blog tour, I am going to be posting mine on August 12th

Monday, August 6, 2012

Vortex

Vortex: Return of the Effra Vol. 1Vortex: Return of the Effra Vol. 1 by Lindsey J. Parsons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this book. I love the take that it gives to everything, you start in the fantasy, go to the real and then back to the fantasy which in some ways is more real than the real world. The writing style hooked me right away, though i did have to get used to the British grammar. I liked how the author meshed the two worlds together while focusing only on one at any given time. That is another aspect of this book that I enjoyed, though there were two worlds you are only in the world that the main characters are in at any given time, you don't see what is going on in the other world. In some books this gets annoying as it makes you wonder what is going on and how things are changing but the author gives you enough information in the characters' story that tells you what is going on in the fantasy world, which drives you to see how events unfold there. And once they do start to unfold, things get heavy quickly and with plenty of action sequences. And as the action scenes go they are very well done, with the right mix and depth of description as well as dialogue. There was one thing that made the book slightly less in my opinion and that is that the story takes place in the course of a little more than 2 weeks, and that seems to be way too little time for all that is shown to have occurred, though it is probably expected that some events have happened before the current story even if they are not expressly stated to have been in the past. And one thing in particular that i don't think should have happened as fast as it did was how the love between the two characters was built so rapidly, granted it developed slowly over the course of the book but when examined it only took about a week for some things to start happening between them.

Now to my analysis of the characters, I did like both Sam and Damian though I can't say that either popped out of the page at me. Damian did a little more than Sam but I think that is because he has a mysterious back story that i would like to know more about, but other than that he didn't have anything that made him seem over the top, which in many ways i liked, it made him seem more real that way. The same can be said for Sam, she does have an intriguing back story but aside from her expertise with weapons there isn't anything really extra-ordinary about her, and again that is what makes her seem so real. So it is their ordinarity, i know that isn't a word lol, that makes them so good as the hero and heroine of this book. (side note, I know Damian is far from normal but take away that aspect and look at his personality and he is very normal and low key)

I didn't really have many characters that i didn't like save for the elves in this novel. That has to deal with how they interact with Damian even though the audience knows they are not being fair to him. All of the other characters, save for the villain who I am supposed to not like, I like and see how they play the role they are designed for.

The setting of the story is interesting. As I stated before it is a split world setting, with one taking place in a fantasy kingdom while the other taking place in modern England, at least that would be my best guess. Another part that I like is the alternate POV that the story is told in, switching between the two characters and allowing the reader to see each's reaction to the events that are transpiring. I have only read one book like this book and it is everything that I the other was.

So i would recommend this book for any reader of fantasy and of an older young adult audience.

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