Sunday, May 22, 2005

REVIEW: The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

The Colour of MagicDate Started: Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Date Finished: Sunday, May 22, 2005
My BookCrossing Rating: 8 out of 10 stars
I really enjoyed this, my introduction to Pratchett, and have now decided I’d like to read the whole Discworld series.

There were times during reading that I thought it was going to get all dry and philosophical, but fortunately, the author never took things fully in that direction. And those philosophical discussions would instead take some kind of wacky turn. The writing style seems genuinely British, and the satire is more subdued than say, Christopher Moore’s style.

I enjoyed Rincewind’s character, and look forward to finding out what becomes of him and Twoflower (and the Luggage) in The Light Fantastic.

Besides the list of books available at and FantasticFiction, I found another useful reading order guide, with graphics, that breaks down the Discworld books into the individual mini-series at

See the BookCrossing journal page for this book for more reviews, info, and relevant links.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

REVIEW: Bite by Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, MaryJanice Davidson, Angela Knight, Vickie Taylor

Date Started: Tuesday, May 3, 2005
Date Finished: Monday, May 16, 2005
My BookCrossing Rating: 7 out of 10 stars
(overall average based on all stories)
Since I’ve been reading the stories from this book in between other full-length reads, I should’ve been making notes on each story as I went along. That said, today I just read the Laurell K. Hamilton contribution, which was pretty short, only 30 pages, and previously, a couple of weeks ago, I read the Charlaine Harris and MaryJanice Davidson stories.

The Girl Who Was Infatuated With Death by Laurell K. Hamilton
Unlike her contributions in other anthologies, this was actually an original short story instead of the first few chapters of her next-to-be-released Anita Blake book. It was only 30 pages long and takes place between the events of books 8 and 9 of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, Blue Moon and Obsidian Butterfly.

There wasn’t a lot of substance to the story itself. If anything, it probably only serves to introduce those unfamiliar with the Anita Blake series to Anita’s world. That said, though I love LKH’s writing, I found this story kind of flat in comparison with the other Anita books, and more like a filler. If you’re an Anita fan and miss this one, don’t fret as it doesn’t really add anything new to the Anita Blake storyline.

Rating: 7 stars

One Word Answer by Charlaine Harris
Another story I felt was more of a filler to introduce new readers to Sookie Stackhouse and the Southern Vampire series. This one only 23 pages in length, we’re actually introduced to one new fact, that Sookie had a cousin who was a Vampire living in New Orleans. The events which transpire in this story, though not significant to the series in any way, take place after the 4th Sookie novel, Dead to the World. (There’s actually another Sookie story in Powers Of Detection: Stories of Mystery and Fantasy, also published in 2004 and edited by Dana Stanebow, which takes place around this same timeframe.)

In any case, I also found this story rather boring as it didn’t really contain any substance either, and was more of just a single event that occured in the course of one night. A definite fluffer!

Rating: 6 stars

Biting in Plain Sight by MaryJanice Davidson
I liked this story so much better than the previous two. It was 69 pages in length and did contain more of a story. Granted it’s still considered a short story, but there were some new characters introduced, and of course, the old favorites, Betsy and Sinclair and the others. Granted the story and mystery behind it isn’t too deep, you simply can’t go to the depths in a short story that you can in a full-length novel. However, it was meaty enough to let me actually enjoy it.

A rogue vampire is killing innocent young girls. Well, not directly, but he plays mind games with them until they eventually commit suicide. Dr. Sophie Tourneau is a veterinarian in Embarrass, Minnesota, a very small country town where the town knows what she is deep-down, but they don’t discuss it openly, and don’t seem to mind. Dr. Sophie is the first to suspect that these suicides are somehow vampire-related. She enlists the help of Liam, who’s been a silent admirer of Sophie for many years, and they head out from Embarrass to bring the news to the Vampire Queen (Betsy) and ask a few questions of the latest victim’s parents. There’s a bit of a love story underneath it all, as a relationship develops between Sophie and Liam. And of course, Betsy still hates and strongly denies her attraction to Sinclair.

Since it’s a short story, there’s not a whole lot of clue collecting and detective work to the mystery of figuring out whodunit, but the quest to discover the truth and find the rogue vampire is a funny story in itself and does contain a sufficient story line, and even a subplot. :)

Rating: 8 stars

Galahad by Angela Knight
The reviews at Amazon indicated that most of the reviewers liked this story the best of all. I must be very different from the other readers because I hated it! The author tries to mix the world of Vampires with that of King Arthur and his knights, and it just didn’t work for me. Their dialogue seemed completely inappropriate for either group. The author seemed like she was trying to hard and all the references the characters made to pop culture, like being voted off the island, or to Lord of the Rings, was just sad. It felt like some wanna-be writer trying to write her first short story and falling short.

I actually did find the explicit sex scenes rather interesting, but unfortunately they didn’t really seem to mesh with the rest of the story. Sir Galahad as a womanizing vampire? Puh-leeze!

Rating: 4 stars

Blood Lust by Vickie Taylor
I found this to be a good story and I enjoyed the characters too. At 77 pages, it’s long enough to allow for some character development as well as an interesting story.

Daniel wants to become a vampire so that the stakes are even for him to go after Garth La Grange, the Vampire who stole his research, his house, his woman. What follows is the the tale of his hunt, joined with the vampire that converted him, in which he learns more about his new powers. He also discovers some new things about the love he held for his former fiancee, plus the true extent of what his research means to the rest of the vampire community.

Rating: 7 stars

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

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

REVIEW: Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich

Metro Girl by Janet EvanovichDate Started: Friday, May 13, 2005
Date Finished: Sunday, May 15, 2005
My BookCrossing Rating: 9 out of 10 stars
A great read for sure! Sometimes while reading, I’d start laughing out loud and Mike would look at me like he missed something! Heh, of course he did, he’s not reading along with me… :)

Anyhoo, I really enjoyed the characters. Barney, Hooker, Judey and Brian… all favorites. Though I’ve only read the first two Stephanie Plum books so far, in my opinion, this one ranks right up there with them. (I’d heard that some of her other works outside of SP weren’t nearly as good.)

yllus, thanks for sharing yet another great book. I can pretty much be assured that any bookring you start will be a great read! (Though being a bunny person, I couldn’t bring myself to try out that Bunny Suicides book. My poor wittle buns would get so mad at me if I dared bring the subject of suicidal bunnies into the house!)

See the BookCrossing journal page for this book for more info, reviews, and relevant links.

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Friday, May 13, 2005

REVIEW: Murder With Peacocks by Donna Andrews

Murder With Peacocks
Date Started: Monday, May 9, 2005
Date Finished: Thursday, May 12, 2005
My BookCrossing Rating: 9 out of 10 stars
I loved this book! I read the 4th book in the series, Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon back in February via a bookring started by yllus and I found this one even better than that.

Meg Lanslow, a 30-year-old blacksmith, heads back to her home town of Yorkstown, VA for the summer to be the maid of honor in 3 weddings, her mother’s, her brother’s, and her best friend Eileen’s, all within 2 weeks of each other. After a few days, the mayhem begins with the first dead body found on the beach behind her mother’s house. Of course, this wouldn’t be a Meg Lanslow mystery if the conditions and circumstances surrounding the murder weren’t zany and bizarre.

As Meg and her Dad go sleuthing to uncover the culprit, they unwittingly become the murderer’s next victims, presumably because they’re getting too close to the truth. Aided by Meg’s new friend Michael, the dressmaker’s son, hilarity ensues and a few more bodies are found, fortunately of characters that you’ve come to dislike anyway.

Even when you think you’ve got it all figured out, some new twists are introduced that cause you to rethink your suspicions. This book kept me enthralled from the first page to the last, and I found myself laughing out loud numerous times. I’m eagerly anticipating reading the 2nd book in this series, Murder With Puffins, which I’ve requested from my local library because I simply couldn’t wait for it to find it’s way into my hands via other methods. :)

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

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Monday, May 09, 2005

REVIEW: Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore

Date Started: Wednesday, May 4, 2005
Date Finished: Sunday, May 8, 2005
My BookCrossing Rating: 7 out of 10 stars
A fairly good read, though definitely not my favorite Moore book. It didn’t seem as satirical as his other books, perhaps because the subject matter was a bit more serious, and I didn’t find myself laughing out loud as much as I have in previous Moore stories. It got off to a slow start and it wasn’t until really part 2, about page 100 or so, that it became more like a typical Moore book.

That said, I did like the book overall, and in a strange twist of fate, I actually learned a thing or two about whales in the process. (Moore includes some notes at the back stating which parts of the story were and were not based on truth and fact.) As I mentioned above, it became more zany and typical Moore in part 2, and I found myself liking the book a lot more after having reached that point. :)

The quote that BlueAmazon pulled out about “can I get an amen”... that was pretty funny! BlueAmazon, if you liked this book, you’ll LOVE Moore’s other stuff! He’s definitely one of the most zany, satirical authors of our time.

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

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Monday, May 02, 2005

REVIEW: Undead and Unemployed by MaryJanice Davidson

Date Started: Friday, April 29, 2005
Date Finished: Monday, May 2, 2005
My BookCrossing Rating: 9 out of 10 stars
Another funny read. I liked this a little better than Undead and Unwed. Betsy has settled into her role as the Queen of the Vampires a bit more, though still not completely, and she’s still learning new things about herself in the process. She’s still trying to deny her attraction to the gorgeous Sinclair, but does wind up having another sexual interlude with him later in the book. :)

This second installment in the Undead series adds a bit of murder mystery to the whole vampire twist, which I believe adds more to the book and story itself. A group of vigilantes is going around staking vampires, and Betsy is on the hit list! Soon enough, the vigilante group is discovered but who’s their anonymous donor, sending them the money and weapons to do their dirty work?

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

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