Digging For Bones

Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

Review: Switched

In Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal, Review, Young Adult on January 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Switched (Trylle Trilogy #1) by Amanda Hocking

Published 2012 (first published 2010) by Macmillan Publishers Ltd,
Paperback, 238 pages
Source: Received from PanMacmillanSA for a honest review.

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn’t until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might’ve been telling the truth.

With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed – and it’s one she’s not sure if she wants to be a part of.

– From Goodreads
 

7/10

From the beginning of this novel I was hooked! It starts out with a bang that carries right through. The storyline was unique as well as the paranormal element.
Wendy gets thrown into this very interesting world of “Trylle” with their fascinating mythology and ways of life. Wendy is temperamental, entertaining, unpredictable and real. With a whole host of diverse and remarkable characters to complete this fascinating world.
The novel reads very quickly and you can easily read it in one sitting, forgetting about the world around you. The writing flows and the story includes everything you need in a YA novel – fun, excitement, romance, intrigue and action.
I can’t point at anything I disliked about this novel, I just wanted something more.
But I can’t wait to read the sequel to see where Ms. Hocking takes us!

“Did you think you could treat me like shit at a dance, then sneak into my room in the middle of the night and tell me that I’m a troll with magical powers, and I’d just be like, yeah, that sounds right.”
Amanda Hocking, Switched

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Review: Azuri Fae

In Fairies, Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Review on January 6, 2012 at 9:45 am

Azuri Fae (Caledonia Fae, #2) by India Drummond

Published November 20th 2011 by Trindlemoss Publishing
Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Source: From the Author for a honest review

Book 2 in the Caledonia Fae series.

A faerie prince disappears in the borderlands, and his father enlists the help of outcast Eilidh and her bonded druid, Quinton Munro. Tantalised with hints of a lost and ancient magic, they learn that time is working against them every step of the way. Is the prince’s disappearance related to the vanishing of an entire Scottish village?

Faced with deception, assassination attempts, and a mad queen who would sacrifice her own child to keep a dreaded secret, Eilidh struggles with an impossible situation. Her people demand she commit treason and betray the man she loves. Will she do what duty requires, or throw away the chance to reunite the kingdom in exchange for the life she hadn’t dared hope for?

– From Goodreads
 

9/10

This series right here is the reason I accept Author request books. Every now and then you find a gem like this!

Ms. Drummond does not disappoint. The world of Eilidh and Munro is explored even more and you get to see the Fae side of life. It is fascinating! 

While creating a world of mystery and romance with epic fantastical proportions Ms. Drummond does not loose sight of her characters. She has a way of giving uniqueness to each character and making their decisions and actions seem natural.

Once again I stress the importance of uniqueness in novels and the ability to take me by surprise! Check and check.
  
Eilidh has quite a few paths to choose from in this novel and you will be on the edge of your seat! The Fae way of seeing things, their traditions and even their royal intrigue does not disappoint and will leave you begging for more! 

Read this series if you want something different and even more so if you don’t like Faeries/Fae! I never have and Ms. Drummond has made me a convert.

“”When I was her age,” Munro said to Eilidh, “I was chasing frogs.”
Oron Chuckled. “When I was your age, I was chasing frogs. Come. We have things to discuss.””

Book 3: Enemy of the Fae (Coming 2012)
 

 

Review: Once a Witch

In Fantasy, Paranormal, Review, Witches on September 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Once a Witch (Witch #1) by Carolyn MacCullough

Published September 14th 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover, 292 pages
Source: Borrowed from a friend that bought it at Bookdepository

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin’s magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

– From Goodreads
 

6/10

Although this was a very enjoyable read I felt a bit disconnected from the story at times. There are definitely parts that you can relate to and laugh out loud to, I just felt that the story line was a bit forced at times.

This novel reminded me a lot of the movie Practical Magic, which I thought was great! Tamsin has a very dotty family that will make you wish you grew up in a house with a bunch of witches and wizards!

If you like adventure, mystery and some magic thrown in then you’ll enjoy this! There is even some romance, even if I think Tamsin and Gabriel don’t really gel all that well.

I will definitely be reading the next one in the series!

For those who have read it:

Aunt Beatrice was definitely my favorite!

“Okay,” I gasp. “I can’t really breathe, but other than that, okay.”
“Breathing’s overrated,” Gabriel advises me.”I’m discovering that right about now with this damn tie.”

Review: Spiral X

In Fantasy, Paranormal, Review, Vampires on September 4, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Spiral X by J. J. Westendarp

Published October 29th 2010

Kindle Edition 200 pages
Source: Received from the Author for a honest review.

Cheryl Erikson is a Vampire Hunter with a problem. A dangerous new drug named Plast has found its way onto the streets of Dallas. She would prefer to let the DEA and local law enforcement handle everything, but since the dealers also happen to be vampires, she has no choice but to step in and put a stop to it.

With the help of her best friend Virgil and a fellow Hunter named Tank, Cheryl must work to eradicate Plast from the streets of Dallas. It’s a task that becomes more difficult as she comes under the gun, quite literally, from a contract out on her head. Coupled with a nosy police detective looking to peg her for a triple homicide, and a sudden interest in her activities from a powerful vampire recently arrived in the area, it’s enough to force her to accept help from the least likely of sources, a mysterious Hunter named Rev. Through him, everything she thinks she knows, and everything she stands for, is challenged in ways she never imagined.


– From Goodreads
 

8/10

Never has a book deserved the words “action packed” more! What a roller-coaster of events!

What I enjoyed about this novel was the fact that it played in my head like a movie. The characters were believable, mythology understandable and there were twists and turns around every corner.

The Author being male only helped this novel. He made fight scenes and car chasing scenes believable and understandable. How many times have I read a fight scene where you are not sure what is happening and just go through it to see the end result? Too many to mention. But not this one!

Definitely a must read if you are tired of paranormal romance and love triangles of which this book has none. Thank the heavens!

It has a kick-ass heroine that has lost some motivation along the way, which only makes her human. She makes mistakes which is always a welcome change from the “I am the perfect heroine” scenario. Each character has depth and they are all fascinating!

I can’t wait to find out what happens to Cheryl and I hope we get to see more of Rev.

Keep an eye out for “Lauren and Lu’s Review” on this novel.

I looked at him, and asked, “What have I gotten from you?”
Without missing a beat, he said, “A well defined fashion sense.”

“I give to you the breath of life, so that you may live to fight on.”

Lauren and Lu review A Game of Thrones

In Fantasy, Lauren and Lu's Reviews, Review on July 5, 2011 at 7:15 am
Lauren from Violin in a Void and I are very different readers. I’m easygoing, she’s demanding. I love YA and paranormal romance, she doesn’t. She loves sci fi and dark fantasy, I just dabble. She wants good writing and interesting ideas, while I’m happy with a great story, interesting characters and a few twists. Together we’ll argue our conflicting points of view in joint reviews and you get the benefit of two perspectives instead of just one.
Title: A Game of Thrones
Author: George R.R. Martin
Published: 1996
Genre: Fantasy, epic fantasy
Please note: the following discussion is for those who have already read the book and contains numerous SPOILERS!

General impressions

Lauren: I realised that this is actually an odd book to start our feature with, because rather than having a major difference of opinion, we both loved it!

Lu: So true Lauren, but with out initial discussions it sounds like we have some conflicting character views!

Lauren: As I said in my own [review], I tore through this baby in three or four days, despite its length. It’s simply one of the best reads I’ve come across in a long time – entertaining, intriguing, emotionally engaging. It has everything I love in a book – good writing, interesting characters, an amazing world and a riveting story. The only reason it lost one rating point with me is that this medieval England setting is a huge cliche in epic fantasy. Nevertheless, it’s the kind of book I got completely immersed in – it just feels so real, and I cared about the characters, whether I loved them and was worrying about them and cheering for them, or hated them and wanted them to to be eaten by ice zombies.

Lu: I knew this was going to be good because everyone I know who read it raved about it. But I never expected it to be a masterpiece. I have only given one other book a 10 out of 10 – Pillars of the Earth – but this epic novel joins its ranks, if not trumps it.

The characters are so rich, so detailed and the twists and turns make you gasp!
I could go on and on about how fantastic, amazing, brilliant and satisfying this book was, but you will only understand if you read it yourself.

Favourite characters
 
Lauren: Dany. Arya and Tryion.

Arya is my feminist rebel hero. She doesn’t want to practice her sewing, she wants to play outside with the boys, go riding and learn to use a sword. She’s smart and bold, and although her feisty spirit sometimes causes trouble, I understand where she’s coming from and I’m always on her side. She’s also a class hero; while others observe the social boundaries between nobility and servants, Arya will make friends with anyone.

Dany too is a wonderful feminist figure, but unlike Arya she’s incredibly regal. She goes from being this timid young girl who has learnt to live with the loneliness of exile and accepts her brother’s cruelty, to being this otherworldly leader who will one day raise an army and cross the ocean to wage war for her throne.

As  a hideous, crippled dwarf, Tyrion is a complete underdog. However, since he’s not good looking, physically fit and thus not destined to be a great warrior or anything, he’s not the stereotypical underdog (that role goes to Jon Snow). Instead he gets by on his wits, so he won me over by being funny and smart. Unlike the other Lannisters, he’s kind and good, but he’s cunning too. Because of his looks he’s had to endure a lot of torment during his life, (and still does), even from his own family. He’s dealt with it admirably, but he still has some emotional vulnerabilities that serve to soften his character and make him more endearing.
 
Lu: My favorite was Dany because she showed such heart and courage and is utterly fascinating! I also love how she accepts her fate and then tries to make the best of it. And at first I was worried that Khal Drogo would abuse her, but he turned out to such a nice character who I think really loved her. I think he would have given her the world if he’d lived.

But I also like Catelyn Stark. She’s ballsy and has real fight in her! She might not like Jon so much, but hey if my husband had a child with someone else I wouldn’t be happy about it either.

I disliked Arya however, and sort of liked Sansa a bit more than her. Don’t shoot me now 😛

Lauren:  Dany’s adaptation to Dothraki culture is incredible, yet another sign of her strength and endurance. However, I feel that the way she simply accepts what is imposed on her is characteristic of the early, weak Dany; she has to rise above that to become a leader and a potential queen.

I can’t believe you didn’t like Arya! it’s just bizarre! However, since I’m sure you’re one of very few people who will take Sansa’s side over Arya’s, you’ve got an interesting point of view…

Arya Stark

Lu: I found Arya very annoying and opinionated. I also got really mad over the Joffrey situation, where the butcher boy and Lady ended up getting killed.

Lauren: For me, Arya being opinionated is very good, not bad. If she were well-behaved, she’d just be like her sister Sansa, and she wouldn’t be interesting. I was very surprised that you didn’t take Arya’s side in the incident with Joffrey and the butcher’s boy. There are so many things in that scene that make Arya heroic. She’s not like her silly sister, sitting around waiting for a gallant prince to sweep her off her feet like girls are supposed to do. She wants to learn to fight, so she takes the initiative of befriending the butcher’s boy and getting him to help her. Arya steps in to defend her friend when Joffrey threatens him, even though Joffrey’s got a real sword and can hurt her.

Lu: I fully agree with you about her being a boring character if she was like her sister, but she’s still a bit over-the-top for me. As to the incident with Joffrey, these aren’t modern times; she lives in an age where royalty must be obeyed. I understand she has a mind of her own and doesn’t bow to anybody, but she needs to realise that things might not go the way she wanted. Sure she protected the butcher’s boy, but I think there was a more diplomatic way to do it. And what happens? The butcher’s boy and Lady get killed. About her not being a dreamer and waiting for a prince to sweep her of her feet – I understand where Sansa is coming from here. She was brought up with stories of princes and castles, and there is nothing wrong with wanting that.

Lauren: I actually do think there’s a problem with what Sansa wants, but more on that later. If you are willing to to blame Sansa’s point of view on her upbringing, then you also have to acknowledge the fact that Arya has grown up in the Stark home, where Ned is a kind, just patriarch and Catelyn is a good mother. When the Barantheons come to Winterfell, the Stark children get their first taste of noblity as cruel and irresponsible people. Joffrey’s behaviour isn’t typical of royalty either; he’s a bully, and he’s always been allowed if not encouraged to be a bully. Arya’s outrage is justified.

I think it’s also unfair to ask her to be more diplomatic. Firstly, she’s just a child. Secondly, she’s a better person for acting passionately – if your friend was being attacked it makes sense for you to act boldly out of a sense of loyalty. The injustice of Joffrey’s actions should also evoke anger. And finally, if Arya tried being diplomatic, do you think Joffrey would have paid any attention to her? Sansa begs him to stop, but even though she’s his future wife he ignores her.

Yes, Arya’s actions have terrible consequences, but you can’t blame her for them. Sansa lies to protect Joffrey (in my opinion, one of the worst betrayals in the book, which made me hate Sansa even more than Joffrey), Cersei is especially cruel in demanding blood, and both Robert and Ned are totally spineless. Robert, lazy drunkard, just wants the whole thing to be over. Ned, true to his character, is so focussed on being honourable and diplomatic that he won’t stand up to Robert and Cersei. In fact, based on that I’d say hats off to Arya for doing what was right instead of doing what was diplomatic. It’s more than her father could do, and look where all his honour and diplomacy got him.

Lu: I get what you’re saying, and I understand why she did what she did; I’m just upset about Lady and I don’t think Arya should be surprised at the outcome of her actions. Sure it was unjust, but I think here we can see she is really like Sansa, as she is a dreamer too. She thinks justice will prevail.

Sansa shouldn’t have lied. But I think she was just so mad at her sister. She just wanted Arya to play nice and visit Cersei with her. Sure Arya wants to do what she wants, but I think it’s selfish she didn’t help her sister. And then the Joffrey thing happens. Sansa is trying so hard to hold onto this dream and all she sees is her sister taking it away from her.

I in no way think Sansa is right though. I can just see why she acts like she does. To be honest, I think they are both annoying and I would rather read from someone else’s perspective.

Oh, and I fully agree about it being the parents’ fault. They’re awful role models.

Lauren: Ok, I concede that Arya could have been a little nicer and tried to help Sansa (although it would have been dead-boring), and I also found Lady’s death very upsetting. However, I would say that Arya is still being more realistic – unlike Sansa she can see what horrible people Joffrey and Cersei are. That’s why she runs away, and why she chases Nymeria away – she knows they would harm or kill her direwolf. So she doesn’t expect justice to prevail, but she can’t anticipate that Cersei will be even crueler than expected.

And if Arya should support her sister’s dreams, why shouldn’t Sansa show some support for Arya’s ambitions?

Lu: Well because Arya’s only ambitions seem to bring shame to their house. It is uncharacteristic for the time they are in. Sansa probably thinks Arya is only there to cause trouble, and she can’t see that Arya really wants to break free and be her own person. Its sad because they are sisters and should really support each other.

Lauren: Arya doesn’t bring shame! She’s unusual, but that’s what makes her so wonderful. At least she doesn’t betray Sansa; she would have told the truth about Joffrey, or leapt in to protect Sansa if she were attacked. Meanwhile, in the chaos after Ned’s arrest, Sansa completely forgets about Arya until much later.

Lu: I have at agree with you. How the hell did Sansa forget about her sister after the Ned thing? 
 
Sansa Stark
 
Lauren: So it seems like we can both understand why Arya and Sansa act the way they do, but you can’t forgive Arya while I can’t forgive Sansa. Yes, her upbringing has made her look at the world in a delusional way, but what I can’t stand about her is that she won’t think for herself and see that the real world is not romantic. Arya turned out differently, and Catelyn is nothing like Sansa.

She tries so hard to make everything fit the delusion she believes in that she even hurts her family. I love Arya’s intelligence, sense of justice and fighting spirit; Sansa is the opposite – she’s naive, stupid and her sense of morality is distorted. And if it can be said that Arya got Lady and the butcher’s boy killed, then it could also be said that Sansa gets their father killed. She betrays him by telling Cersei his plans because she wants so badly for the Queen to like her, and because in her romantic world, Cersei is the beautiful, kind queen. Then Sansa convinces Ned to falsely confess to treason because, again, she trusts that Cersei and Joffrey will be as noble, but Joffrey has Ned beheaded.

Lu: I agree she is naive and stupid at times. But remember she did try very hard to get Cersei to save her father’s life. It was Joffrey the idiot who just killed him anyway (I hope he dies painfully). Anyway I still feel sorry for her, she is thrust into this untrusting gray world and all she wants is her fairytale ending. I have high hopes for her though, I think she’ll see the light and bring them all down! Just like I think Catelyn will take revenge on them all for killing Ned. I think she is probably my second favorite character.

What did you think of Catelyn?

Lauren: Hmph, it’s Sansa who gets Ned imprisoned in the first place. Arya argued that Lady shouldn’t be killed either. If you can give Sansa credit for trying to save her father, why not the same for Arya and Lady? And everybody wants a fairytale ending but I hate Sansa for thinking it’s actually going to happen and for being so mean to Arya because she’s not a fairytale girl.

I think Sansa will eventually change and I might even come to like her, but by then I think she’s going to be a very damaged person.

Lu: True Arya tried to save Lady, but once again she didn’t do it Arya style. She sort of went too quiet in my opinion. I agree Sansa has some rough times ahead!

Catelyn Stark

Lauren: I agree with you: Catelyn is ballsy, and I admire her courage and practicality. She’s not just a glorified housewife but is adept at politics and not afraid to get her hands dirty. However, I can’t help holding a grudge against her for the way she treats Jon. She has every right to be angry that Ned fathered a bastard, but Jon himself has done nothing wrong. He loves his family very much, and bears his status as a bastard well.

Catelyn can also be extreme. After Bran’s fall she’s hysterical with worry and refuses to leave his side, even though little Rickon needs her. She keeps Bran’s direwolf away not realising how good he is for Bran, and she’s lucky he managed to get into the tower to save them from the assassin. She’s so clingy that it’s destructive. Then, after she recovers from the assassin’s attack, she’s suddenly very business-like again and heads out on a quest without being too concerned about Bran and Rickon. Later, for all her good intentions, she creates trouble when she falsely accuses and kidnaps Tyrion, a character I like very much.

So, while I empathise with and even admire her, I don’t really like her much, and in general she’s not exactly heart-warming.

Lu: Yeah, I agree she should be mad at Ned and not Jon. I think she just hates the fact that he is there to remind her of the betrayal. I think she wants to feel like a strong woman that a man would love to love, but Jon reminds her that she couldn’t be enough for Ned.

Lol, yeah, Catelyn went a bit psycho when Bran fell. I was actually mad at her for letting her crazy sister take over too. I would have taken my prisoner and left.

But despite all of this I still like her a lot!

In closing

Lauren: The ending was one of the best I’ve read in a long, long time, but even before that there was absolutely no question of going on to the next book in the series A Clash of Kings. I finished that and enjoyed it just as much as A Game of Thrones, even though things are getting rather bleak and there are so many characters I can’t keep track. And now it’s on to the third, A Storm of Swords. I should pace myself though – I don’t want to run out of books and then have to wait for the next one to be published!

Lu: Wow the ending! I was really sad about Khal Drogo and Ned! But I can’t wait to see what Dany does and how she tries to reclaim her throne.

Lauren: I think it would be totally awesome if Dany flew into King’s Landing on the back of a dragon. And hopefully the dragon will burn Joffrey to a crisp.

Lu: Yes that would be brilliant!!!

Review: A Game of Thrones

In Epic, Fantasy, Review on June 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin

Published March 22nd 2011 by Random House Publishing Group (first published 1996)

Mass Market Paperback, 807 pages
Source: My boyfriends copy

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective wall. To the south, the King’s powers are failing, and his enemies are emerging from the shadows of the throne. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the frozen land they were born to. 
Now Lord Eddard Stark is reluctantly summoned to serve as the King’s new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder not only his family but also the kingdom itself. A heroic fantasy of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and evildoers who come together in a time of grim omens. The first volume in George Martin’s series.

– From Goodreads
 

10/10

I knew this was going to be good because everyone I know who have read it raved about it. But never did I expect it to be a masterpiece. I have only given one other book a 10 out of 10 (Pillars of the Earth) but this epic novel joins its ranks, if not trumps it.

The characters are so rich, so detailed and twists and turns make you gasp at every turn!

I can’t even begin to go into the story; there are so many points to discuss. And I think this is a novel that can keep any book lover up till late in the night.

What I loved about this book is how nobody is sacred, your favourite character can get killed at a moment’s notice, your most hated character can become an ally and finally children can and have to become adults.

I feel that after this, the bar has been raised. A novel has to really do a lot to get into my 10/10 list.

I could go on and on about how fantastic, amazing, brilliant and even thirst quenching this book was, but you will only know if you read it yourself.

Stay in touch for an in-depth joint review in the next few weeks.

Now for those who have read it:

I absolutely loved Dany, she is by far my favourite character. I also enjoyed Catelyn Stark as I think she really has a lot of courage!

I must say I was upset about Khal Drogo and Ned. But hey not everyone could have made it out alive.

And the ending! The dragons… now that my friends was a wow!

What’s lurking behind the wall? Find out for us Jon!

“If I look back I am lost.”
 
“Winter is coming.”

Review: Avalon High

In Fantasy, Review, Romance, Young Adult on March 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Published 01 July 2007
Paperback 288 pages
ISBN: 0060755881
Source: Bought at Bookdepository for $8.09
To newcomer Ellie, Avalon High seems like a typical American high school, complete with jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, and even the obligatory senior class president, quarterback, and all-around good guy. But it doesn’t take Ellie long to suspect that something weird is going on beneath the glossy surface of this tranquil hall of learning. As she pieces together the meaning of this unfolding drama, she begins to recognize some haunting Arthurian echoes, causing her to worry that she has become just a pawn in mythic history. A powerful novel by the author of The Princess Diaries.
 

6/10

This was one of those feel good, easy to read, fast paced young adult novels that you should definitely read when looking for something light and fun.

Don’t expect a in-depth Arthurian novel, but rather a entertaining and “clean” read. I loved the whole re-incarnate characters thing and I also really enjoyed Ellie’s parents.

I also like when a twist happens and I didn’t see it coming! I’ll watch the Disney Movie although I hear its nothing like the book.

I can’t say much more, as its not really a novel that can be discussed to no end, but I suggest you read it if this sounds like your type of thing 🙂

Be Warned! I here the Disney movie and the book are completely different! But here it is:

None 😦

 

Review: The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories

In Fairies, Fantasy, Review, Short Stories on March 3, 2011 at 9:21 am

The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna Clarke

Published September 3rd 2007 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published 2005)
Paperback, 228 pages
I
sbn: 0747589364
Source: This was a gift from a friend
You can also buy it at Bookdepository for $11.57
Following the enormous success of 2004 bestseller and critics’ favorite Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke delivers a delicious collection of ten stories set in the same fairy-crossed world of 19th-century England. With Clarke’s characteristic historical detail and diction, these dark, enchanting tales unfold in a slightly distorted version of our own world, where people are bedeviled by mischievous interventions from the fairies. 
With appearances from beloved characters from her novel, including Jonathan Strange and Childermass, and an entirely new spin on certain historical figures, including Mary, Queen of Scots, this is a must-have for fans of Susanna Clarke and an enticing introduction to her work for new readers. Some of these stories have never before been published; others have appeared in the New York Times or in highly regarded anthologies.
 

7/10

This collection of Fairy Tales was quite a treat! Each one was so different yet pleasing. I went on several adventures in this novel and felt like each one was told at exactly the right length to keep one entertained with just the right amount of leaving you wanting more.

One of these fascinating stories is a retelling of Rumplestilskin and one of the stories is set in Neil Gaiman’s town of Wall!

Brilliantly written in a period style these stories will tickle you leave and you enchanted!

http://www.contemporarywriters.com/authors/?p=auth519D18CE02e1d16A2CSmOkDB9E4C

“Magic, madam, is like wine and, if you are not used to it, it will make you drunk.”
Susanna Clarke (The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories)

“The governess was not much liked in the village. She was too tall, too fond of books, too grave, and, a curious thing, never smiled unless there was something to smile at.”
Susanna Clarke (The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories)

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Review: Wind And Fire

In Fantasy, Review on March 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Wind and Fire by Cheryl Landmark

Published May 1st 2010 by Asylett Press

Paperback, 232 pages
I
sbn: 1934337706
Source: I received a copy of Wind and Fire in exchange for an honest review, courtesy of Cheryl Landmark. This has in no way influenced or affected my review and opinion of the book.
You can also get it on Bookdepository for $13.62

Zardonne, Master of the Dark Rift, has ripped a hole in the fabric of Tellaron and invaded with an army of hideous demons. Oblivious to the dangers and evil brewing beyond the borders of the quiet Ardis Valley where she lives, nineteen year old Tenya toils through a life of dreary loneliness and drudgery plagued by strange, disturbing visions, yearning desperately for the beautiful mother she had not seen since she was three.

Her life is abruptly turned upside down when she is abducted in the middle of the night and sent on a perilous journey that will test her courage and the fledgling powers buried deep within her. For not only does she discover that her missing mother, Elea, is a powerful sorceress able to control the forces of the wind, Tenya also learns that she herself possesses a singing power that manifests itself as white fire throughout her body. Can she find her mother, and the strength to use her own powers, in time to save Tellaron from the evil Demon Master? Her world depends upon it.”

 

6/10

This was an epic tale of a young girl learning that she is not so normal after all and that everything is not what it seems. She steps into a magical world that was put together very well by Cheryl Landmark. The story was action packed and it flowed nicely.

If you like fantasy, action, heroines and villains then chances are you will like this!

This was one of those novels that you shouldn’t judge by its cover. It was a great début novel and I look forward to seeing what Cheryl Landmark will do next!

Mild Spoilers:

I don’t have many complaints, except that I felt that Tenya came into her powers a bit too fast and that her mother speaking to her and helping her through tough situations was just too convenient.

http://www3.sympatico.ca/cheryl.landmark/

“Tenya tingled all over and, still with that same strange sense
of detachment, she saw a soft white light suddenly outline Sindril,
the murbeest, and herself. A rush of adrenaline–and something
else she could not define–pervaded her body.”
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Guest Review: The Angel Experiment

In Fantasy, Guest, Review, Young Adult on January 13, 2011 at 6:58 am

The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride #1)by James Patterson

As Reviewed by my Guest Reviewer Lauren

Published 2007 by Little, Brown (first published 2001)
Paperback, 422 pages

The Angel Experiment was advertised as “the ultimate action-packed adventure full of humour and suspense” I unfortunately was very under whelmed. 

The plot was very basic- most of the book was just the children running away, getting caught and running away again. And to be honest their was no definitive ending, conclusion or revelation in the book. In fact nothing was explained. 

I realize that this is the first in a series of books, but I felt cheated that I read the whole book waiting for something to actually happen and nothing really did (except for the constant fly away/they have found us deal). 

Another problem with this book and I know I’m not the first to mention it, is the characters do not speak like children/teenagers. I was willing to forgive this as 1) They were raised in a lab so can be forgiven for not being your average adolescents and 2) Because to be truly authentic Patterson would probably have had to write all of the dialog in “text” speak and who in there right mind would want to read that!? 

But come on, what 14 year old, no matter the circumstances refers to people as bozos’ and yoyos!! In fact I don’t think that anyone under 70 has used those phrases in more then 50 years. All in all this book wasn’t terrible just a bit of a non starter, but at least the fact that it was a quick, easy read stopped me from becoming too bored and putting it down before I reached the end.

2/5 Stars

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