Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

What do you get when you cross the cogs of steampunk with the gruesomeness of zombies? You get The Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. Haven’t heard of it you say? Well foolish mortal, now you have. Here is a book to fulfill your steampunked dreams, with excellent writing, superb machine craftsmanship, and zombies.

Here’s a brief synopsis:

Briar Wilkes (Blue) was once married to the man who created The Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine. It was commissioned to dig deep into the Klondike for gold, but on its initial test run something goes terribly wrong. Several blocks of Civil War era Seattle are collapsed and destroyed as the machine digs its way through both foundations and rock, including those in and around Seattle’s financial district. But, the worst of the destruction comes from the bowels of the earth as a poisonous gas, known as The Blight, rises up, slowly killing all who breathe it, only to come back as zombies. Fifteen years later, the wall that was originally built to keep The Blight from spreading, also hold secrets that Briar’s fifteen year old son Zeke, wants to know about. The boy finds his way into the decimated walled-up inner city and begins his search for answers his mother never gave him. Briar follows her son in order to save him from dangers he could never have imagined, with the help of Captain Cly and his dirigible, and with the help of several characters who chose to live within the desolate walls. During her search for Zeke she must live through attacks by rotters, and the fiendish manipulations of Dr. Minnericht, who may or may not be her husband, all in order to find her son.

Sound good? It really is for several reasons.

The quality of the steampunk gadgets is believable. Electricity was still in its infancy and Priest shows this through some of the workings of the inner city. Power to operate most equipment has to be generated from steam, billows, pulleys, or static electricity. Items (with one exception) don’t magically operate on command, with no explanation as to how it is even possible. Priest shows the reader how modified weaponry and specialized ventilation systems work in her story, but the reader is not bogged down or overwhelmed by complex technical jargon. The fantastical devices are not the whole story either, but inanimate characters who add to the overall setting.

Another reason this was such a great read is that Priest did not fall into the trap of romanticizing Seattle that once was, and what it has become, or any of the characters. It was gritty and dirty with very few reminders of Seattle’s former glory during the 1880’s. The inhabitants don’t wax poetic over what once was, because they are forced to live in the very real and deadly present, in order to make it to tomorrow. Sentimental tripe is no where to be fond. She also did not feel the need to add any romantic attachments, which was wonderful, as too many books these days rely on that at some point in order to move a story along. Admittedly, this may have led to the lack of development in regards to some of the characters.

Finally, there are the zombies. In this book they are referred to as rotters, and I loved them. The explanation as to how they came about is plausible, poisoned by The Blight gas, and they are not all slow moving and mindless. These stinking rotting walking corpses can move it when they sense fresh meat, even going so far as to climb in one chapter, in order to get a tasty morsel. They can be killed in the time honored zombie way, by destroying the brain, but they are so aggressive and numerous, that for the few humans who live within the dead city it is usually more important to run away.

Cherie Priest has created a novel that is a must have in any steampunk and zombie library. While she played loose with the history of Seattle, it was not done in manner that became distracting. Her use of newly imagined machines and weapons adds to the overall story, instead of being the whole story. The people who inhabit her world are not idealized caricatures. And, the zombies, they are now longer human, just walking nightmares.

To Buy or Not To Buy, That is The Question:
Absolutely, Positively BUY THIS BOOK! Even if you know nothing about steampunk and/or zombie this is a great read.
If you enjoy this novel by Priest be on the lookout for her next Dreadnought, which releases September 28, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dead Eye:Pennies For The Ferryman by Jim Bernheimer

Dead Eye:Pennies For The Ferryman by Jim Bernheimer

Gryphonwood Press

This book has proven to be a pleasant surprise. I have tried and tried to come up with something witty and clever to introduce it, but I think the first statement says it all. I actually finished this book weeks ago, and have been pondering how to review it ever since.

Synopsis: Mike Ross has returned home from Iraq where he suffered both physical and emotional losses. He wants to get his life back together and find a direction by going back to school. In the meantime, Mike is trying to adjust to life with a new eye, provided by a donor, a donor who just happened to be a medium. Now that Mike is starting to be able to see through the donor's eye he sees ghosts, and is able to communicate with them. Some are good, and some are really really bad, bad enough that they want to possess him. Mike's adventures with the dead lead him to communicate not only with the recently dead, but those much older, some of whom have more to do with the world of the living then anyone ever knew.

What surprised me the most about this book was it's overall simplicity. There are paranormal happenings going on throughout the story, but they are not the whole story. It is the character interactions that takes center stage. Character development happens slowly over the course of the book, as the reader gets to know the leads and their motivations. Emotional motivation is kept to a minimum, while more common issues (i.e. money or lack there of) are what keep things moving.

The plot is simply as well. The course of actions taken by the characters to get to the end is not always straight forward, but it makes sense as Mike is trying to figure out what he can and can't do with his new gift. Bernheimer does not overlook the importance of a few good plot twists though. That being said, I had a problem with the ending feeling a little forced. The last few chapters do not complete the story, but set it up for sequels.

Finally, it was refreshing to read a ghost story with the lack of a real love story. Romantic love is not what pushes the characters or the plotline along. Too many paranormal novels rely on this emotion to keep the reader going. If done well, it can make a good read, if not, you get sentimental poop. Bernheimer avoids this trap. There is a potential for one, but the way he avoids it makes made this a better read for me.

What it all comes down to:

What I liked?

1. It was a really easy and enjoyable read. I found that when I stepped away from the book I wanted to get back to it to find out what was going to happen to Mike next, or what he might discover about his new gift.

2. Cheesey romance has nothing to do with this novel.

3. The reader learns along with Mike what he can and can't do. He doesn't just accept what he is and run with it. He tests it, as much as it tests him.

What I disliked?

1. I have to wait for a sequel.

2. There are a few places where I don't agree with the choice of how important plot information is given. They come across as clumsy writing.

3. I really don't have one.

To Buy or Not To Buy, That is the Question: Buy. It is a clean simple read for a paranormal book. The reader is not overwhelmed with information all at once, making discoveries as Mike makes discoveries. Personally, after coming off a very complex read I really enjoyed this story.

Okay, so that is what I think, but remember folks it's just an opinion.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Android Karenina by Ben H. Winters

Android Karenina by Ben H. Winters

Quirk took a chance with me reviewing another literary mash-up of theirs, Android Karenina, and I will admit that for the most part I actually enjoyed reading this novel. But let me start with the fun contest that Quirk is running.
Once again there are some really great prizes:

o Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls
o Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Journal
o How to Survive a Horror Movie by Seth Grahame-Smith o Dracula’s Heir, an Interactive Mystery by Sam Stall
o Extreme Encounters by Greg Emmanuel
o How to Tell if Your Boyfriend is The Antichrist by Patricia Carlin o An Android Karenina poster
o A Night of the Living Trekkies poster

All you have to do is follow the link at the end of this review tp enter.

The story still follows the original drama and romance of Anna Karenina & Count Vronsky, and Kitty Shcherbatskaya & Konstantin Levin. Unlike the original though, this newly imagined world is full of androids and technology that makes all their lives easy. That is until an evil underground group of Russian scientist begin attacking all that they hold dear. Will their government protect them and theirs, and what happens when truths are revealed about their very own characters?

Ben H. Winters first showed up on the Quirk scene when he co-wrote Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Now he has taken on the challenge of a Tolstoy mash-up all by himself. Instead of monsters taking on pivotal roles, there are companion androids and an overwhelmingly large assortment of advanced technology.

Okay, first let's talk about the really big pink elephant in the room - Tolstoy. The original novel is over 800 pages long. Tolstoy loved words and loved description. He wanted the reader to understand every little idiosyncrasy of his characters. Winters has done away with about half the story, rewritten it with inventions that weren't even conceived of back then, and still maintained the integrity of the original. He uses Tolstoy's own words and then weaves in the impossible. Most of the time it is well done, but there are moments when the original wording is dense and hard to digest, but it can be slogged through, and it is worth it.

The descriptions for this book call it a steampunk inspired novel. I will agree with the inspired part, but Winters takes the mechanics way beyond simple steam driven engines. Everyone in high society has a companion android who anticipates the character's needs physically, mentally, and emotionally. The humans are completely dependent on them for every little thing, and this technology has been forced into every part of the story (i.e. robotic dice), which pushes the boundaries of reasonability with me. In the end, he makes use of these gadgets, and uses them or the lack of them to advance the story. Employing the androids as both characters and plot devices was successful, but reading the names of all these special gadgets was a tad burdensome at times, as I feel they were used with a bit of a heavy hand. It wouldn't have been so tedious at times if each mechanical device did not have a three part nomenclature. Luckily, Winters did not stick with just machines in this retelling of a classic.

There are a few other surprises in the new novel that I am choosing not to disclose as I found them to be interesting and surprising. When I thought I could predict where Winters was heading with a certain storyline he surprised me. What can I say - I like surprises, and I have read so much that that is very hard to do. Let go of all realistic expectations in Android Karenina and enjoy the ride.

What it all comes down to:

What I liked?

1. I always enjoy when someone thinks outside of the box, and Winters went way outside of the box with this one.

2. The basic essence of the original story is still intact with the twin love stories.

3. Winters' imagination did not wane, and he was able to carry this new Russian world to the end.

What I disliked?
1. The new technology was way too much at times.

2. Tolstoy is dense and really tedious at times. *Note - Please don't blame Winters for this, as very few people feel Tolstoy is an easy read.

3. ***Spoiler Alert ... I am not sure I agree with sending the characters all the way into space for certain chapters was necessary. The first time was distracting, but the second time was more palatable.

To Buy or Not To Buy, That is the Question:

I would have to say buy, especially if you enjoy books with heavy handed sci-fi elements.

Okay, so that is what I think, but remember folks it's just an opinion. Now click on Quirk contest and enter to win some great prizes. And for more information on Android Karenina published by Quirk simply click her name.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Something I never dreamed of having to deal with

Everyone has something that they never dreamed that they would have to deal with. For the past few weeks I have been dealing with one of these instances. I have been dealing with cat zits. That's right people, I have a zitty kitty with feline acne.

YES, cats can get pimples. Who knew? I certainly didn't. There is no general cat literature that says "Oh by the way, you may have to pop your cats zits."

It started out with an overwhelming amount of black flakey dandruff on an her chin. The vet said to just keep combing it out with a flea comb and keep an eye on it. I read up on it on the web and began following some of the more natural suggestions. Then the day came when one exploded, and things came out that even freaked me out. Know this, I am the person in the movie theatre that laughs hysterically when gross things happen on the screen. But what came out of my cat's face that day, made me shudder, and not in a good way.

So, off to the vet's we went. We did a round of oral antibiotics and topical, because it has gone beyond just acne and into the realm of folliculitis (infected hair follicles). I thought that they were going away, but they seem to be coming back again. Witch Hazel has helped a lot, but not enough. I mistakenly put tea tree on the worst of them one day, before I new it was bad for kitties, and what do you know - it cleared up and is the one that hasn't come back. Great, the one thing that worked, and it is bad for cats.

So here I am, dealing with blackheads and whiteheads on my cat's chin. The blackheads aren't bad. It is the nastiness and hard white rocks that come out of the others that is really gross. Oh, and did I mention that the area has lost most of it's fur. Greeaaatt.

So that's what I have been up to. Fun huh?

Monday, May 17, 2010


Back from Fanaticon. This was an extremely well done CON. Highly recomend for next year. A lot if things are going on and waiting to hear back about some writing gigs. Trying to figure out Wordpress. Still dealing with a zitty kitty. Broke beyond belief. Tired and exhausted today.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

So behind

I have fifteen million things to do and I am so behind on my blogging. This is coming in low on the prioity poll. I decided to take a minute to jot down a could of words. I working on a article review for Geeks Dream Girl in hopes of being hired on by them as a writer. Thus my book reviews have been nonexistent. My computer was down for several days as the fan blew out and in order not to fry the hard drive I had to leave it off and work off another computer. (Hated it, as I love my War Horse)
Also started another project,but will not discuss it. But will say that my periodic lapses in writing actually hwlp it. Okay back to work.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Dragon Factory - Reveiw

The Dragon Factory
By Jonathan Maberry

Awesome! Fantastic! And every other word or phrase that goes along with those sentiments. Maberry knows how to write a thriller.

The Dragon Factory is the second in the Joe Ledger series. The first book, Patient Zero dealt with viral engineered zombies. This second novel deals with genetically engineered animals and humans. Here’s a brief synopsis:

Joe Ledger has joined the DMS (Department of Military Sciences) team full time, and together they have been out saving the world unbeknownst to the general public. Now, there is a new threat that must be eliminated, all while certain people in the government are trying to bring the DMS down. Joe, his team of specially trained soldiers, and all the other
members of the DMS will have to go against the NSA, the Russian mafia, Nazi’s, a mad scientist, and creatures no one could have imagined, in order to stop a clock that is counting down to the time when life as we know it would be changed forever.

Dragon Factory is well crafted and planned out. The chapters are broken up into a juxtaposed time line. If the reader pays attention to it they will see that there are times when multiple events are happening at the same time. In the hands of a lesser writer this could become a cluster bomb, but with Maberry it only enhances the story.

Then there is the complexity of the subject matter, genetic theory and engineering to the extreme, that has been very well researched. Too many authors of late have dealt with complex subject matter and obviously not understood what they have been writing about. JM may not himself understand everything that he wrote about, but he new enough to fake it well and make it believable.

Finally, there is the hero Joe Ledger. He is actually one of many, but he is the main protagonist. What makes him so great. He has all the ideal qualities: smart, funny, and sexy. His character is written with flaws that make him human and accessible. He reminds me a lot of Cussler's Dirk Pitt character, but less of a dog. Joe is the type of guy, that guy's would form a guy crush on.

What does it all come down to:

What I liked?

1. Joe Ledger. This character just rocks. I'm female; I want to make all his booboo's better one way or another. Guys will want to be him or work with him.

2. This is a science fiction thriller. The research and understanding of the material it took to put this story together in a plausible package is complete.

3. Genetic theory and science is overwhelming to a layperson, but JM makes it digestible and enlightening.

What I disliked?

1. The fact that I have to wait for the third installment The King of Plagues until next year.

To Buy or Not To Buy, That is the Question: Buy, Buy, Buy

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Where you can find me now

There has been a new developement in my life. I am now a writer for the Charlotte Examiner, the Geek Culture Examiner. My first article is up and available. Just follow the link: http://www.examiner.com/x-39546-Charlotte-Geek-Culture-Examiner

The next article will be out tomorrow. Please check it out. Subscribe if you like it.

My next review will be soon, but definitely check out my review for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls on March 3rd. There is also a contest sponsored by Quirk publishing with all kinds of fun goodies.

See you there.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls
by Steve Hockensmith

Quirk Classics has decided to take a new approach to getting the word out to readers that their new book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls is hitting the market. Bloggers from all over the world were given advanced copies of the novel, asked to review it, and add some great prize links via Quirk. It is a massive blogger storm of zombies. Woohoo!

There is an online contest going on for a chance to win one of fifty Quirk Classics Prize Packs. I want one of my readers to win so I am posting the link first http://quirkclassics.com/index.php?q=QuirkClassicsContest_DOD_Reviews . The prizes are really cool:

  • An Advanced copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls.
  • Audiobooks of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.
  • A Dawn of the Dreadfuls poster.
  • A Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Journal.
  • A box set of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies postcards.

This is some really fun stuff of you are a zombie fan like me.

Let's get on with the review, which is probably not going to win me any brownie points, but it is my honest opinion. Note - there are some spoilers below.

This, I'm am sure, started off as a really great idea that everyone jumped onto, but in the end the product is not as good as the original.

Hockensmith had a very hard job going into this project. He had to learn how to write in the style of Jane Austin herself and that is no easy task. Capturing the tone and style of the iconic author was achieved in bits and pieces by him, but not with any consistencey.

Another problem was the research and/or the lack there of. If the book was researched, it was not fully comprehended as to what would have been accessable to the Bennet girl's at the time. Example, without giving too much away, country girls did not play with make-up, even those of some standing and money did not play with make-up, nor would they have had the means to buy it. Emphasis at that time in England was on natural beauty. This is but one small example, but there were enough that it was distracting. I can suspend disbelief, but if specific references are going to be used make sure that they are used in proper historical context. This should also be the case with the artwork involved, but due to oversite they are equally distracting if not more so at times.

The biggest problem of all was the addition of the character of Captain Cannon and his Limbs. It was preestablished in the first book that if you are bitten by a zombie, you are infected, and therefore must die. Now reader's are introduced to Captain Cannon and his Limbs. How did he lose his original limbs? That's right zombie bites! His limbs were subsequently cut off to save the rest of him. Why would a writer set a new precedent when in the original, and technically sequal establish that this action was of no use?! Hostile about this? You betcha. I threw the book accross the room several times over this ridiculous issue.

Was there anything I liked about this book? Actually yes, the zombies themselves. They moaned. They groaned. The walked, ran, slithered, and crawled. The age old question of do zombies poop in the woods was answered. The dramatic tention that was written when they were present was quite well written.

There are other characters that are in the novel that I liked as well and thought were quite interesting and plausible.

What does all this boil down to though:

What I liked:

  1. The basic concept of going back and seeing how the Bennet girl's began their training.
  2. The zombies themselves. Hockensmith writes a good zombie.
  3. The fact that Quirk is willing to take chances on outside the box ideas.

What I disliked:

  1. The lack and understand of reseach.
  2. The creation of certain characters and situations that go far beyond the ridiculous and ludicrous.
  3. The lack of any editorial influence. A good editor would not have left half of the errors found happen.

To Buy or Not to Buy, That is the Question: If you are zombie fan/collector then absolutely buy. If you are reading it simly because it is the sequal, go to the library and borrow it, or borrow from a friend.

Check out other titles from Quirk Classics.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why I feel my opinion is important?

I have had several emails and conversations lately as to what I used to do in the book business, and why I started blogging my opinions on books. I have written a short piece below and added some of it to my About Me section. If you have any other questions just ask.

Why do I feel my opinion is important?

I used to be a top selling book seller with sales well into the seven digit range. When I took over the place was running six digits in the red. That was changed in a very short amount of time. I loved my job. I knew the reading market inside and out and I knew all of my customers.

Several big publishing houses took notice and started sending me my first ARC's (advanced reader's copies) for reviews. Later, when they grew to value my opinion I received first run galleys to review. I became quite good at picking out bestsellers, in many genres, especially for first time authors. I became familiar with what publishers were looking for, and the common mistakes of first time writers. Essentially, I was used as a predictor. This is not something that every reader or bookseller can say.

I left the business foolishly, and am trying to get back into it, which is extremely hard. With the encouragement of some friends I am getting back into the reviewing side since I can easily blog about the books I read. So, if you are a writer and have read this send me your books, please. I am honest, but fair in my assessments.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shadow People: Quickening of the Wicked

Shadow People: Quickening of the Wicked
by Stacy Stephens & Cindy Jackson

First and foremost, it is a zombie novel. I had my eye on it for a while and by chance won it. Thanks Ladies! This does not however mean that I am going to go easy on my review.

Synopsis: The Wraith is a malignant shadow that is out to destroy as many souls as possible. It infiltrates humans all over the world who then do the same to fellow humans, creating a massive army of zombies. Aeden is a seemingly special young man out to save as many as he can in his own special way. Grace and Lily are innocents who must be saved in order to serve a higher purpose. They all have choices to make and they are all trying to find a way to survive.

So...This time around zombies are born out of pure evil and not out of some arrogant and nasty human plan to make the human race better or control it, or plain old stupidity. I honestly like the idea. Was it well executed? It could have been done better.

This is the first book of what I believe the authors plan on being a series. It was a good attempt, but there were some rookie mistakes that I have seen time and again, that are holding this novel back from being bigger. They are mistakes a good editor should have helped them clear up.

The world as we know it and the Wraith that wants to take it over and destroy it are the work of great imaginations. We are shown how the Wraith operates. We learn over time what makes Aeden special. We are introduced to the innocents Lily and Grace, and given a glimpse into their daily lives. And, we meet several other characters along the way that I hope to read about again if these authors pursue another book. Sometimes, there was just a little too much. There are few chapters where some fat could have been trimmed from the story and nothing would be lost. An example of this are a couple of characters that are introduced in one chapter, but their story is never completed or even left in a place of satisfaction. They are left hanging and incomplete. Sometimes, ideas that a writer believes will add to the story can cause distractions if they are not fully fleshed out, or trimmed properly.

This novel also contains a great deal of spirituality that relies not too heavily on one particular religion, but a conglomeration of all. No one religion is right, no one religion is wrong. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Too often when zombies are born out of evil it is Christianity alone that comes in and saves the day. That being said, for those who are not accustomed to this way of thinking broadly it might be overwhelming and disconcerting. The material involved with this idea is digestible, the reader needs to go in with an open mind. The writers may want to consider feeding it to the readers in smaller doses next time around.

Let's talk about the zombies now. I really really loved them. The concept the authors came up with to explain the existenceof these horrific creations works. They are fully developed from start to finish. They followed the general rules of zombie etiquette, but they are unique enough in their own personal design that when one appeares in the story I was engrossed in its horror. Big thumbs up and a happy dance.

But, with the sweet comes the bitter. My biggest pet peeve with this novel was the over use of hundred dollar words when a ten dollar word would have sufficed. Don't get me wrong, I love big words, but not all readers do, and this can be very distracting. There were times I felt the authors were sitting with a thesaurus looking for smarter ways to say things. Never underestimate the value of simplicity, especially in your words. It is also important that if you do choose to use complex wording use the words correctly. A room cannot be elucidated, beings within a room can be, but not the room itself.

What it boils down to:
What I liked:

1. The zombies were very well executed in every way, shape, and form. And as we know I love zombies.

2. The spirituality that is in the novel is broad and inclusive. It perpetuates the divine belief in the self and all it's possibilities.

3. The story has really good flow for the most part. There were only a few times where it slowed, but it picked back up again. The chapters always left me wanting to keep going to find out what was going to happen next.

What I disliked:

1. Overuse of big words and one time in particular, inappropriately.

2. There are some places where editing could have been better in order to tighten up the story.

3. The explanation of the ancients needed to be broken up. It felt a little forced and some readers may find it more palatable in smaller doses.

To Buy Or Not To Buy, That Is The Question: Buy if you are a fan of zombie novels.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Book Contest

Ms. Sidhe Viscious is having a book contest. Below is the link to it. She reads and reviews Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Light Fantasy, Light Horror, Young Adult and Graphic Novels in said genres. http://sidhevicious.wordpress.com

It is a fun little blog for brain candy.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Flirt by Laurell K. Hamilton

Flirt is the eighteenth installment of the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton.

Premise = What happens when Anita tries to flirt on her own? Nothing really good, a smaller body count then usual and only one real sex scene (short).

I have been reading about Anita Blake since about 2002 and and it started off hot and heavy. The minute I put one down I would have to pick up the next. I only took a few breaks in order to catch up on the series which started in 1993. Anita has been through her ups and downs over the years, as has her creator. Reading Anita is a habit that I cannot break even though the series is not all that any more. With the past two books it has started to get better, but nothing like it was. Now we have Flirt, and it is a short take on a brief moment in the life of Anita Blake. It worked. It has it's problems, but it worked much better then quite a few of her other books over the past few years.

My biggest problem with the Anita series is the fact that forty-eight hours in the life of Anita Blake was taking 400ish pages to get to the end. Sex scenes, while very very good, could run eight pages. Silent tension could run upwards of ten. This is not James Joyce's Ulysses and thank God for that, so let's move the story along please.

Then there is Anita's whining over the state of her life. She's got a gazillion men in love with her and are okay with one another (with the exception of one and he hasn't been around much), hot sex whenever she wants, people who just want her to be happy, and the only one really complaining is her. Stooooopppppppp the whiiiiiiiinnnninnnggg!!! Pleeeeeaasseeeee!!!

Why do I still read the Anita Blake novels if these things make me nutty? I feel like I have invested so much of my time in them that to stop now would be akin to quiting a sport because I wasn't willing to put in the time and effort for the inevitable pay off in the end. I feel that I might miss something really good in Anita's world that I have been waiting for for a really long time = Her to just be happy. I feel like she is so gloom and doom that she invites trouble, granted her conflicts are what keeps the books coming and moving along, but simply being happy would be nice once in a while.

Small Spoiler Coming

Guess what? We got it at the end of Flirt and I was so happy about it. This Anita novel is short (about 150 pages), which means all the tasty fat that both helps and hinders the much larger novels is all but extinct in this one. Thank You! It only covers about a 36 hour period, and Hamilton didn't waste Anita's time on annoying indecision. Yea!

The other interesting thing about this book is that at the end Hamilton explains how she came up with the idea of the novel, and how she fleshed it out, and what helps her write. She kept that section short, but it was actually quite interesting and insightful as to how her mind works. Oddly, I felt some strong similarities between her thought process and mine.

Enough though. Let me get down to the basics.

Things I like:

1. It was short and sweet. The was no real trimming of the fat needed.

2. I enjoyed the afterward at the end explaining her process in regards to this novel.

3. Anita didn't whine as much. Woohoo!

Things I didn't like:

1. There was some dialogue in the beginning that was exactly the same between two characters who were asking Anita for help. I understand that they had many similarities between them, but they would not have the exact same words.

2. It was predictable. Maybe it is because I have read all the other novels, but I new who the bad guy was. I knew who was going to do what and when, a little boring.

3. Fear that Bullet won't be as good.

To Buy or Not To Buy: Don't buy if you have been dissappointed in the last few Anita novels. Borrow from the library or someone you know, or wait for paperback. Buy if you are invested like I am. It does give an insight into Hamilton and how she works which is really pretty interesting.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham and Lan Medina

How could I have passed this series over over the years? That is what I keep asking myself. I have only read the first one and I am soooooo hooked, and I hear it only gets better. Sweet!

Premise: Fairy Tale and Fable characters living in our world after having to flee theirs years ago. Who's in charge? Who's still married? Who is still trying for a fairytale ending?

Things I like about it:

1. The storyline did not insult my intelligence. It held my interest through decent plotting and and decent use of timeline.

2. The characters are well written out with enough of their past written in to make me curious to read more.

3. Artwork - for the most part really good. The cover was really deceptive and I think that this was the main reason I passed it over since it came out.

Things I don't like:

1. Obviously, the cover. Now that I read it I understand it better, but it was a turn off and yet again... a lesson in never judging a book by it's cover.

2. Some of the artwork inside seemed a bit inconsistent. One view would have men with five o'clock shadows, the next nothing. Their placements and POV were different, but it was something that bothered me. It also happened later on with a woman's dress.

Now for my absolute favorite thing about the volume - I loved the short story at the end. I am not going to go into details about it because I don't want to give spoilers. But, it was incredibly well written, giving the whole thing even more depth. It provided a wonderful insight into the two main characters, and introduced one that I very much look forward to reading more about.

To Buy or Not To Buy: Absolutely Buy if you like graphic novels.

Special Thanks to Ian at Rebel Base Comics & Toys www.rebelbasecomics.com

Monday, February 8, 2010

Figuring this all out.

Dear Lord

I have just spent the better part of the last hour trying to figure out how to make changes to certain things. Here's something you have to know about me if you are going to follow this. What I am thinking and trying to write does not always come out right on the page. There are what appears to gaps in thoughts and flip flopped letters in words. I can read it again and again ten times over and not catch the mistake until days and weeks later. In other words, if you can't understand what I am trying to say just ask, because to me it reads just fine.

Initial thoughts

Okay. I have now set up my blog. Woohoo for me. Not I just need to fill it with things from my verse. Where to start. Hmmmm. Let me think about this.