Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday's Mailbox

There are several book bloggers that track what books they buy or receive in the mail. While mine may not be as interesting (still haven't figured all the coding used on the site), it would be a nice way for me to track when things came in and who sent them.

Lucky in Love by Carolyn Brown (won from Drey's Library - thank you)
Perfect Timing by Jill Mansell (won from A Bookworm's World - thank you)

From the store (I went a little nuts this week)
Luxe by Anna Godbersen
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
The Rapture by Liz Jensen
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K Le Guin
The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K Le Guin
The Farthest Shore by Ursula K Le Guin

Now after this week I have had to make a vow to myself to try and make sure that at least every other book (or at least series) I buy is from my TBR list, which has been growing at quite an astronomical rate. I spend too much time perusing when I'm at the book store.

Does anyone know a place where I can get a nice cheap bookcase or six?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dragons of Winter Night by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

In the second book off the DragaonLance Chronicles, the companions continue on their mission to find out what has brought the evil dragons back, and try to bring the world's races togethers. This is proving harder than anticipated because of centuries old prejudices and hatreds that have festered causing rifts in any defences that may have been put together.

As the evil dragon army advance across the face of Krynn, the companions are forced to split up. The author does a very good job of staying with both groups without splitting the story too much. Unusual heroes emerge making and acting on the hard decisions that many would never be able to make. The companions continue to grow and develop in unique and often fascinating ways.

We are left with quite a cliff hanger that drives the reader into the next book as if this one had never ended.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Grave Goods by Ariana Franklin

A wonder third book in the series. As Adelia uncovers one mystery after another as she becomes caught up in the possiblity that the legendary Arthur's bones have been discovered. But this is only the tip of the iceberg, we have at least 4 separate mysteries ongoing that all seem to be related somehow.

How Adelia ever figures these things out, I'll never quite know. I was guessing on a couple of them up until the very end.Even though the reader is presented with a lot of information, Franklin manages to weave the story together in a way where no one mystery really out shines the rest in the end. She shows us yet another side of all the characters, including the young Allie, as her observations actually help solve a mystery.

Adelia and Rowley are thrown together once again as well, with yet a different outcome from previous books. I truly enjoyed the way all the characters are developing. I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Red Sorghum by Mo Yan

This is supposed to be on of the great works by a Chinese author but I could just not get into it. The time line jumped in odd ways introducing people without telling the reader who they were. There was too much graphic violence, which I understand is what really happened, but it made me skip large passages to not have to read it. I couldn't quite finish the book. I put it down about 2/3 of the way through. I only got that far because the reading was for a class. I just didn't get the book at all.

Surprising enough, once the essays were all turned in our professor told us she really doesn't like the book either. Makes me wonder why she couldn't select a more enjoyable title.

1/5 stars

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

42. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie MeyerThe final volume in the Twilight Saga was a page turner. There were only a handful of things that I expected and even those happened with an odd little twist. Bella seems to get all she wished for, and then some. Edward and Bella become protectors of a strange little being that no one knew could even exist. The animosity and rivalry between Jake and Edward evaporates as he finds his place with the strange little creature. We see the return of the Volturi and through this situation learn the full extent of the types of devastating special abilites that tend to pop up among the vampires. And the biggest surpise of all is the one Bella herself has.

This series just moved up a level because of this book. It went from mediocre, but entertaining, to suspenseful and so interesting that I read this 754 page book in one afternoon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dragon's Dower by Catherine Archer

Simon has been accused of being a traitor to the crown. The only way to save his neck is to marry the daugher of his worst enemy. The man that killed his foster father when he was younger.

Isabelle has been raised under her father's thumb and is obedient to him in all things....or else. When she is told to marry Simon she obeys, but will it the marriage be anything she hoped it would?

Simon returns to isabelle's home with her father under the king's orders. But something is not as it seems. Will Isabelle and Simon be able to figure it out before it is too late? Will they learn to trust each other so both can escape from the same man?

I fell in love with characters in the Medieval Harlequin Historical. They are very real and lifelike as the author lets you into their inner thoughts and motivations. They react to each other is a very human way that causes you to start rooting for them to succeed and fall in love from the very beginning.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer

Somehow this series keeps me just interested enough to want to keep going. This book ties up several loose ends that are left gaping in the first and second book. It also forces Bella to make the hard decision between Jake and Edward. The author's style of writing is either getting significantly better, or I'm just getting more used to reading it. The story flows much nicer than it did before. I'll be picking up the fourth book soon. Once I start a series, I just have to finish it.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

I didn't read this book until after I saw the movie, and I must say that it is much better (big surprise). I have read several reviews that criticized Meyer's writing style, but I found that it fit the story and the target audience quite well. Yes, there were times it was choppy, but any high school aged person tells stories that way.

On to the plot. The plot was somewhat predictable (but I saw the movie first). I enjoy the setting a lot. It's a fitting location for all the characters. The characters seemed stagnant to a certain degree. Bella never stopped getting hurt, never stopped whining about the weather or how much life sucked in Forks. Edward was the typical good guy trying to show he was dangerous.

Overall it was a fun read. I've started the second book in the series, and I'm hoping that not having seen that movie yet, it will leave a more lasting impression. Because even though the story and the characters aren't the best I've ever read about, I still want to know what happens next.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

The story of a group of friends reunited after 5 years. Hoping for a peaceful homecoming and reunion they are shocked to find trouble literally on their doorstep. Enter some entrancing new friends to add plenty of extra story and crazy magician to liven things up. Throw a few dragons, and plenty of icky baddies into the mix for an epic tale of good vs evil, where the difference isn't always so easy to see.

The characters all take turns being your favorite, they are not just fictional names, they are brought to life in full color. The good, the bad, and the parts we just aren't sure about yet. They interact with each other and people outside the group in ways that only enhance their personalities. Characters are dynamic, constantly changing, but doing it slowly enough that the reader is able to follow and understand every new trait that emerges. Even the dragons, while each is only shown for a short period of time, scream into the story larger than life (which they should be).

This is a series I come back to every couple years and each time I read it I find myself locked to the pages in suspense, devouring words to see what is going to happen next.

This is a must read for any fan of high fantasy and epic tales. I'll be starting book 2, Dragons of Winter Night, as soon as I can find my copy!!!! I must be in one of the "lost" boxes that are still in my car trunk.