Friday, April 29, 2005

REVIEW: Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book by Terry Jones, Brian Froud

Date Started: Thursday, April 28, 2005
Date Finished: Thursday, April 28, 2005
My BookCrossing Rating: 9 out of 10 stars
This book was so neat! The pictures were beautiful. I have another of Froud’s Fairy books and the artwork in this one didn’t let me down. I feel there was a lesson to be learned from the story though, and after reading one of the reviews at Amazon, I’m not sure whether I got the lesson right or not. Someone there mentioned a more sinister plot in which the fairies wanted revenge. However I didn’t get that from the story. Granted they pulled their usual trickery later on as Angelica got older, such is their way, but I instead saw their actions as a way to get her to enjoy life more. I don’t want to go into more detail than that to give the story away but suffice to say, the underlying story can probably be taken in more ways than one. Your own outlook will probably color whatever lesson there may be to learn. :)

I’ll be having some friends over this weekend that will also appreciate looking through this book. How perfect, Beltane (May Day) and all, and we’re even doing the Maypole on Saturday (or Sunday if it rains out on Sat). And then this will be heading out to icanfly (another appropriate name to be receiving a fairy book, no?) sometime next week after I get her address. Thanks again to Firegirl for sharing this beautiful book!

See the BookCrossing journal page for this book for more reviews and related links.

View at Amazon

Thursday, April 28, 2005

REVIEW: Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson

Date Started: Saturday, April 23, 2005
Date Finished: Wednesday, April 27, 2005
My BookCrossing Rating: 8 out of 10 stars
This book was cute and funny. Betsy (Elizabeth) Taylor is so not like any other vampire you’ve ever met (or read about). Holy water, crosses, even sunlight cannot hurt Betsy, and as she learns to come to terms with her newly undead life, she learns the ropes of Vampires 101 from the tall, dark, and gorgeous Sinclair, whom she both lusts after and despises all at once. The other vampires she’s met have begun to notice these differences in Betsy as well and claim her to be their prophesied Vampire Queen, a job which Betsy vehemently denies. A battle ensues in which the tyrannical Nostro, who has ruled the vampires for hundreds of years, must be overthrown in order to return peace to the vampire community.

The quirkiness of this book had me laughing out loud at times, and I’m looking forward to reading Undead and Unemployed, the next in the series. The short story by Mary Janice Davidson in the Cravings anthology, Dead Girls Don’t Dance, takes place between the events of Undead and Unwed and Undead and Unemployed. Betsy and Sinclair only make a minor appearance in that story, with the focus being on Andrea, a vampire making her way from Chicago to St. Paul to pay homage to the new Vampire Queen.

See the BookCrossing journal page for this book for a more information and related links.

View at Amazon

Saturday, April 23, 2005

REVIEW: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Date Started: Sunday, April 17, 2005

Date Finished: Friday, April 22, 2005

My BookCrossing Rating: 10 out of 10 stars

Wow, this was a fantastic book! I went into it not knowing what to expect. Despite the good reviews I’d heard about it, I thought it would have a strong pro-Christian slant, and thus wouldn’t be the right book for me. However, the premise of the story strongly disputed the entire basis of modern Christianity—which meshed quite nicely with my own way of thinking. As a Goddess worshiper, I already knew and understood a lot of the stuff about the Goddess that was discussed, and the stuff that was newer to me was how it tied in to Christianity. Most likely, I was coming from the opposite side of the coin as so many other readers, to whom the Goddess-aspect is the newer concept rather than the more familiar. Nevertheless, I can honestly say that even from the standpoint of a practicing Pagan and Wiccan, the story held my interest right up until the very end, and I had no qualms with the way the author handled the feminine divinity at all.

The entire book, with the exception of the epilogue, takes place within the course of a single day. Thinking back on that, I found it amazing that I didn’t find the story to lag in any way, and that the author could spread an entire 24 hour period over 454 pages. Unlike a previous reviewer who claimed that the short chapters made it harder to read, I found just the opposite to be the case. I was continually saying to myself, “I can get in just one more short chapter before bed.” Which in turn made it impossible to put down. :) And the flashbacks to past memories… I didn’t find too excessive at all. Perhaps that opinion is tempered somewhat by the book I read right before this one, Minion by L. A. Banks, in which the excessive rambling of the characters’ long thought processes was driving me crazy. But I digress…

I told my partner that he simply MUST read this book, so I’ve put it on reserve at our local library for him. He usually doesn’t read all that much, but with all the hype surrounding this book because of the film and all, and the fact that I’m sure the book was better than the movie as is usually the case, I’m hoping I can get him to read it within the allotted time once it’s available to us. It’s the kind of book I want everyone I know to read. If they haven’t already… I’m interested in hearing what some of my other Pagan friends have to say about it too, particularly with regards to the Goddess aspect.

See the BookCrossing journal entry for this book for a more information, reviews, and related links.

View at Amazon

Sunday, April 17, 2005

REVIEW: Minion: A Vampire Huntress Legend (#1) by L. A. Banks

Date Started: Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Date Finished: Saturday, April 16, 2005

My BookCrossing Rating: 5 out of 10 stars

I’ve had my eye on this book for awhile before I finally decided to buy it. It had a good amount of negative reviews at Amazon, but I simply couldn’t keep myself from getting involved in another vampire hunter series. grin So when I saw this redone edition, I thought I’d finally pick it up, along with the sequel, The Awakening which got much better reviews. (As did The Hunted and The Bitten, books 3 and 4 of this series.)

Anyhoo, I liked the premise of the story, but I got aggravated with the writing so many times. Certain sequences would seem to drone on and on, boring me, so that I’d tune out and have to reread it to understand what I read because it was causing me to tune out. There were a few parts of the book that were like that. Which was funny because there were some other action scenes that made me feel the complete opposite! I felt that the author didn’t pay much attention to detail and how it all would sound to the reader by reading it back herself. Certain facts were repeated as if they were being introduced for the first time… perhaps that was simply a side effect of the added scenes or something… I don’t have the original version to compare it against to know for sure.

So that’s what I didn’t like, and where this book lost the most points for me. And though Damali’s character is okay, she hasn’t endeared herself to me the way Anita Blake has, but maybe that will come with later books. :)

All that said, I liked the premise of the story, the cliffhanger ending, and the high action scenes. The plot wasn’t predictable at all, and I was surprised at some of the “turns” that were taken. ;) I’m anxious to read the The Awakening to see how things turn out with Damali and the gang.

See the BookCrossing journal entry for this book for a more complete description and related links.

View at Amazon

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

REVIEW: Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer

Date Started: Sunday, April 10, 2005
Date Finished: Tuesday, April 12, 2005
My BookCrossing Rating: 8 out of 10 stars
I liked this one even better than the last. In contrast to what I said in the review of the first book, this one actually did have multiple plot lines, just two actually, but it made for a more interesting story nonetheless.
I also started to like the character of Artemis better than I did in the first one. And it’s not just that he’s growing on me, but in this book, he actually displayed compassion and feeling towards his comrades.

See the BookCrossing journal entry for this book for additional comments and relevant links.

View at Amazon

Sunday, April 10, 2005

REVIEW: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Date Started: Wednesday, April 6, 2005
Date Finished: Saturday, April 9, 2005
My BookCrossing Rating: 7 out of 10 stars
A pretty good read, even if a little less intricate than what I’m used to. But I guess that’s probably because it’s a children’s book, a la Harry-Potter-esque, so the author might not have wanted to convolute the story with too many subplots and such.

I couldn’t really bring myself to like the character of Artemis all that much, though I did like the fairy Holly Short. In any case, I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series, Artemis Fowl, The Arctic Incident, which I’ve got here as well, to see where things go with these characters. Especially since Holly is supposed to be teaming up with Artemis in that one too.

See the BookCrossing journal entry for this book for more comments and information.

View at Amazon

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

REVIEW: The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore

Date Started:  Sunday, April 3, 2005

Date Finished:  Wednesday, April 6, 2005

My BookCrossing Rating:  9 out of 10 stars

Woohoo! Another great read in the realm of Moore’s Pine Cove characters. I liked this just as much if not more than Practical Demonkeeping and The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Grove, but perhaps that’s simply because it’s more recent in my mind. In any case, I whipped right through it… reading that is. :)

I hadn’t read Island of the Sequined Love Nun yet which would’ve filled in the blanks a little more on the story of Tucker and his fruit bat Roberto. But I think having read Demonkeeping and Lust Lizard prior to this one definitely added to the story since I was more intimately familiar with certain characters through their tales in those novels.

See the BookCrossing journal page for this book for more information and links.

View at Amazon

Monday, April 04, 2005

REVIEW: The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison

Date Started:  Monday, March 28, 2005
Date Finished:  Sunday, April 3, 2005
My BookCrossing Rating:  10 out of 10 stars
Awesome, awesome, awesome! I liked this book even better than the first one, and that’s saying A LOT since I already thought that one was great.

This book continues the story of Rachel Morgan, her pals Ivy the Vampire and Jenks the Pixy, and her arch-nemisis Trent Kalamack. Having first read the first book in this series, Dead Witch Walking, definitely adds a lot of much needed background history to what’s happening in this one and even ties up a few loose ends that were left dangling (on purpose) in Dead Witch Walking. Though the author does a good job of filling in the blanks and providing a glimpse into past history and events from book 1 as needed in the story, I can see where not having read the first book would’ve left you not feeling as strongly about certain events or characters in this book. So I’d definitely recommend the reading Dead Witch Walking first if you can.

Rachel Morgan is a Witch, but in this world, Witches, Vamps, Weres, Pixies, all live among humanity and are part of a separate species known as Inderlanders. Witches look almost just like humans, but for some important differences in their DNA composition such that the 2 species cannot cross-breed.

In this book, Rachel continues her quest to try to bring down Trent Kalamack and is given the opportunity when she’s asked to help the FIB (Federal Inderland Bureau) to solve a series of Witch murders taking place in the Cincinnati area. Ivy’s struggle to remain a non-practicing live vamp continues as a strong subplot, as does Rachel’s relationship with Nick (a human, who Rachel met in book one when he was transformed as a rat and she as a mink).

I’m looking forward to book 3 in this series, Every Which Way But Dead, to be released July 1, 2005.

See the BookCrossing journal page for this book and all the great Amazon reviews for more information and links.

View at Amazon