Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Book - Storm of Visions

Knowing that she is suppose to be some great psychic and that she is expected to become part of the ‘Chosen Ones’ didn’t mean that Jacqueline Vargha had to like it. She had had enough of (her mother) Zusanes control, so she ran away from it until Zusane sent her top body guard (Caleb D’Angelo) to bring her back. Loving Jacqueline had not been easy for Caleb. First his loyalty to Zusane was all that stopped him. Now going back to her, loving her the way he wanted to would have to be on mutual terms. Meeting the newest of the ‘Chosen Ones’ and finding out that they were in danger would only complicate the relationship, if there was one at all.

Book 1 ….. All about the set up. As a romance this one fell a little short, mostly straight to it, down and dirty sex, even though it was called love making . The relationship had already started, I didn’t feel the connection to the love affair, even with the memory flashbacks - is was a pre-existing condition. There were a lot of characters introduced, the larger concept of the ‘Chosen’ vs. the ‘Others’ and all of their gifts. The main characters didn’t stand out to me (maybe that was because the book was all about the set up). Christina Dodd is a new author for me, so I am interested in reading another (maybe book 2 of ‘The Chosen Ones’ series), just to see if it is the writers style or because it is just about the set up for the rest of the series.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Book - Darkest Prison

Spending some much time trying to escape his prison, the Titan God of Strength Atlas was prepared to do anything, even seducing several of his jailors, including the Greek Goddess of Strength, Nike. After the Titans were freed and in turned imprisoned the Greek Gods, Titan found his mind returning to the one Goddess that had marked him with her own name, as punishment for seducing others as well as herself. Now with the hopes of getting her out of his thoughts for good, he turned her own action on her, he marked her with his name.

A mini - story in between the Lords of the Underworld, gives a little more insight into Cronus and his world. The banter between Atlas and Nike is great, the additional information about Sienna is fabulous and gives hope for Paris’s (Keeper of Promiscuity) story to be told after all. As with most of the Lords (even though this isn‘t about one of the Lords), this one got me caught up in the story and gave us more great characters to add to the list of Gods to watch for in the coming stories. ( )

Young Adult - Battling the Unknown

Battling the Unknown: The Last Rawl Trilogy by Meg Christian
After doing the same thing everyday for several years with plans of doing the same thing for the rest of her life, Katrina Rawl was surprised to find a note written by her mother requesting her to find a Amile the Warrior. Under the Emperor of Umberodia’s current laws that no one was suppose to be able to read, she knew not to let on that her mother had taught her, but now that she was set in her new path, of finding Amile, she found herself being pursued by the Emperor’s men. Not truly understanding the Emperor’s reasons, Katrina fled Umberodia and soon found an unlikely travel companion in the form of a little bird. Later she would meet several other helpful people on her continued search for Amile and the answer to the mystery surrounding her mother.

Marked as book 1 of the Last Rawl trilogy, this book leaves with a great set up for at least the second book. Written by teen, it is about a teen on an adventure. Well done, all though it is short, this book shows great creativity and is well organized in the delivery. The characters have enough personality to draw the reader in, explores their weaknesses, get you to care what happens to them and then lets their strengths shine through. This story has well timed humor, some basic drama and enough action to keep the story progressing at a quick pace. There are a few things that are not stated out right, they are implied, but that may be part of the suspense of the story. The intrigue of the character not knowing much about herself or her mother, while the reader is given more information, it is still leaving holes to either allow the reader to speculate or build the suspense even more until a later date when in another book, it might be spelled out even more so for everyone to say ‘I knew it was something like that’. Those are always fun too, and this book was fun for a young fiction novel that has been a good start to The Last Rawl Trilogy. ( )

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Book - Dark Slayer

Dark Slayer (Dark - Carpathians, book 20) by Christine Feehan
Ivory Malinov was thought dead for centuries, while all five of her brothers chose to become a part of the enemy (vampire), that caused her death. Finding out she is alive only raises suspicions that she may be in league with the last of her brothers. Razvan was a Dragonseeker and everyone knew him to be the worst of traitor’s to the Carpathian people, but after escaping his long captivity by Xavier the most evil Mage anyone had ever know, he was determined to walk into the dawn. The warrior in Ivory couldn’t let the man she found unconscious in the snow face the dawn, especially after realizing that he was her lifemate. As his healing progressed, new information was uncovered that would help Mikhail (Prince of the Carpathian people) and Gregori (their healer) believe that to defeat the Carpathians greatest enemy, they needed the help of this unique couple. Could they be trusted with the fate of the entire species?

Book 20 ….. ai kucak! (oh stars!) I had forgotten in the past several months (while impatiently waiting for this to be published) just how much I enjoy these Carpathian men and women. To be thrown back into it, such a great continuing story, it only took a minute to recall how last Razvan had been portrayed and I wondered for so long, how this character was going to be redeemed enough to be worthy of his own story. I get it now. Both of these characters are strong and they just drew me in. The back story, tragic and pain filled for both, allowed me to see why they desired solitude (and then only each other) but it also showed the strength, courage and patience that they both possess. (As usual) I really enjoyed seeing so many of the other characters from previous books, seeing their continued support and happiness with each of the couples. Not many new characters, a couple of bachelors (I don’t even remember their names). I wish there had been more of a reunion with the DeLaCruz brothers and Ivory - I hope their will be more of this series.

September 19, 2009 (*****)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Book - Finding the Moon in Sugar

Drug user and part time dealer Andrew Nowak never expected anything unusual to happen to him the day he went to the laundry mat to sell some stuff. When the beautiful Audra walked in and asked for him by name (his dealer name anyways), he found that he couldn’t say no. He followed her where she wanted him to go, he did what she wanted him to do, then he couldn’t get his mind off her till he saw her again. Becoming friends, he ended up following her to her home town of Vilnius, Lithuania. Because he didn’t know exactly how to find her, he began by finding a place to stay, a place to drink, and people to hang out with (and do some drugs with). Finally tracking each other down, Drew watched as Audra spiraled out of her mind. She did a lot of drinking, a lot of drugs, but it was more than that and after the death of her father, she lost it completely. Witnessing all this and more, Drew decided to go home - but that is not the end of this strange and unpredictable story.

Goodness, that was a difficult book for me to read. I really tried to like some of the characters, any of the characters (ok, I did like grandma - kind of), but I found them to all be written (best way to describe it ) too quickly, too much happened in too short of time - it just kept moving. There wasn’t much depth to any of them. Some of the characters had back stories, memories of the past or quick little tales of ‘how come’, but I found no way of connecting with any of them on any level. I have to point out that it had nothing to do with the complete submersion of cultural slang’s, the extreme use of profanity, the graphic sexual descriptions, or even the heavy drinking and drug use. This is suppose to be a fictional novel, it has the feel of a guy retelling the tale of the strangest couple of years of his life. The narrative is written in the same trash-talking crude vernacular that the main character (and nearly everyone else) speaks. While some places in this book show how misunderstandings or miscommunications can lead to the strangest situations, most of the book came across as a poor representation of some people and places in parts of both Illinois and Lithuania. While a persons mental state is usually a touchy subject, this book dove right in letting it show that, to some point, everyone has a mental limit for good or bad, it is there. This story did have an interesting concept, I enjoyed the quick trip to Lithuania (never been), the use of foreign languages, the accented pronunciation of names (Endee for Andy), and the dog. But, with the writer being an English teacher at a college level, I guess I was expecting - different. (**)

September 13, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Book - Daddy

The perfect life - the job, the wife, the house, the kids, the loving parents - Oliver Watson had settled into a life that was exactly what he wanted till the day his wife decided to return to school without any of them. Now Oliver had to be the sole source of income for the family, the supportive son to a mother with Alzheimer’s, the single parent to all of his kids and deal with the loss of his partner and friend of about 20 years. Learning to respond as both parents was a test for this new single father and deciding where the family should go from there now fell on him alone.

A tender and heartwarming story, as many of Danielle Steele’s are, it was written as a modern enough story that it is still possible, actually probable in today’s life, very realistic. The connections between father and kids was the best for me. The moment of realization, for any parent really, that makes you say to yourself, ’I did ok’ is all that any of us can ask for. While the romance was encouraging, it was standard, the family dynamics of this story is what sets it apart. ( )

September 5, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Book - Darkest Whisper

Ever since the Budapest and Greek warriors had mended fences and decided to work together to defeat their common enemy (Galen the keeper of Hope), find the missing relics and secure Pandora’s box, Sabin the keeper of Doubt had wondered at the addition of the women. It seemed to make Maddox the keeper of Violence, Reyes the keeper of Pain and Lucien the keeper of Death weaker. Finding a group of women locked in glass cages did peak his interest as to why the Hunters would keep them. After finding out she (Gwen Skyhawk) was a Harpy, he could understand why the locked her up, he just found himself not liking it. Timid, she had always been, and scared of nearly everything, but after the warriors rescued her, she still had trouble trusting that they would not hurt her as the others had done. The violence she witnessed at the Hunters hands and the pain she felt at her own lack of ability to help them, even though she was feared by so many, still shamed her.

Book 4 …. Another wonderful Gena Showalter, I have missed these demons and their keepers. This book had so much in it from new characters to great fights. Action packed from the beginning. The characters return book after book and just get better and better. The new characters, have so much character to start with this time, all of them are quite impressive. This book gave more of a glimpse into the rest of the Keepers also, very nice to see things from the point of view of Gideon (Lies), Strider (Defeat), and even Torin (Disease). We also get to see possible set ups for future books (anxious to see who is next) over and above the continuing quest for the relics, Pandora’s box and the capture of Galen. Luckily I don’t have to wait too long, the next Lords of the Underworld book (Heart of Darkness) is due to be released January 2010, yeah! ( )

September 3, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Book - Smitten

Knowing she needed to find a way to support herself and her children, Lizabeth Kane made the rounds applying for jobs. Majoring in history was not a big help, so she took a chance and decided to apply for a job as a carpenter at Matt Hallahan’s construction site. Matt knew she wasn’t qualified or built for the job, but he couldn’t find it in himself to tell her no. He quickly found himself completely consumed by her, her kids, her frustrating dog Ferguson, and even her ever observant Aunt Elsie. The presence of a neighborhood ‘flasher’, that seemed to take special interest in Lizabeth, gave Matt the excuses he wanted to become more a part of her life.

Classic early Janet Evanovich, sweet and touching while still fun and sexy (and I am not talking about the flasher). Just the right combination of macho garbage and sissy stuff that make these characters realistic enough to be any ones neighbors. The addition of the sons (10 and 8), was also well done, sometimes kids don’t get written in the right age group, but these did (I have a 10 and an 8 yr. old), right down to their reaction to Matt’s kitchen ‘re-model’ project.
September 1, 2009 ( )