Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween and a Blessed Samhain to all!!

There are a lot of great contests and book giveaways going on this weekend, sadly not any from me but a lot of my friends are giving things away so I'll point you to a couple of posts that'll get you on the right track.

Amberkatze's Book Blog - A Little Round-up!

Bitten by Books - Haunted Bloggy Carnival

On another note, if you're on Facebook, be sure to join the CheriePie's Books blog network to follow and support me out there too.

Have fun, and be safe! :)

#33 Vampyres of Hollywood by Adrienne Barbeau & Michael Scott

My Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

I'll be sticking with the author's convention of spelling vampyre with a y instead of an i throughout this review.

A serial killer is knocking off some of Hollywood's hottest celebrities in gruesome attacks worthy of a Hollywood horror set. Unfortunately, this is no set, and the slain celebrities all have one thing in common: their connection to scream queen and studio head, Ovsanna Moore.

Beverly Hills police detective Peter Moore is on the case. He has pieced together the clues which inevitably lead him to the sexy and seductive Ovsanna Moore. But what he doesn't know is that Ms. Moore is actually a 500-year-old vampyre, and the Chatelaine of Hollywood in charge of all the vampyres residing there: the Vampyres of Hollywood.

Despite her vampyre heritage, Ovsanna is actually one of the good guys, and very much wants to help Detective King and the BHPD find the killer that the tabloids have dubbed the Cinema Slayer. But can she do this while still keeping her true identity under cover?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which I'd probably place in the mystery or thriller genre, even though it was light-hearted and funny at the same time, all while still being paranormal due to the inclusion of vampyres. The dialog was quick, snappy, and very action-oriented, which kept me reading into the wee hours of the morning. ;)

Another unique element was the use of two different first person point of views telling the story, such that one chapter would be told in the first person by Ovsanna, while the next was told by Peter. Though you might think this would get confusing, it didn't at all. Besides staying consistent in the switch between characters, each chapter heading was also denoted with either a gun or a set of fangs. (Cute, huh?)

The ending did get wrapped up rather quickly, though I wasn't necessarily disappointed by it either. Actually, my only real disappointment was that it was the end of the book.... and I wanted more! This was a great read and I'd certainly love to read more like this from Adrienne Barbeau and Michael Scott in the future.

BookCrossing journal page for this book

Thursday, October 23, 2008

#32 The Princess Bride by William Goldman

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince in the world—and he turns out to be a perfect son of a bitch?

Well, you get a tale of high adventure, full of (in the words of the author) "fencing, fighting, torture, poison, true love, hate, revenge, giants, hunters, bad men, good men, beautifulest ladies, snakes, spiders, beasts of all natures and descriptions, pain, death, brave men, coward men, strongest men, chases, escapes, lies, truths, passion, and miracles". ;)

This book is a timeless classic that can be enjoyed by any age child or adult. Though I'd already seen the movie a few times, my friend Leilani insisted that I read the book and then watch the movie again, after which I'd appreciate it a lot more. Several others agreed and you know what? They were right! So thanks Leilani and other BookObsessors for introducing me to his fact. :)

As is the norm with most book to movie translations, the book goes into much more detail on the characters than the movie, so you get to know the characters a lot better than you would had you simply seen the movie alone. I particularly enjoyed the characters of kidnappers Inigo and Fezzik, played by Mandy Patinkin and André the Giant respectively, as the book really added a lot to their characters by fleshing out their background story. So they were actually very likable characters. Whereas their leader, Vizzini the Sicilian, was kind of a jerk, and the book reinforced that notion as well.

Overall, a very enjoyable read, and the humor in Goldman claiming to keep only the "good parts" in his version of the tale added to the overall fantastical and humorous tone of the book. :)

BookCrossing journal page for this book

Monday, October 13, 2008

#31 Pandora's Box by Alice Thompson

My Rating: 6 out of 10 stars

Looked at from a literal sense, Pandora's Box seems like some kind of wild mushroom trip. However, when perceived from the allegorical sense from which it was intended, we see the myth of Pandora molded into a chilling and spooky tale, quite appropriate for the season too. ;)

One dark and stormy night—LOL don't you just love it when stories start that way?—Dr. Noah Close opens his door to find a beautiful woman standing within a circle of fire on his doorstop. As he discovers, though surrounded by fire, her skin is actually quite cool to the touch. She is without voice or any discernible history, but Noah takes her in, nurses her back to health, and performs the necessary surgery to regraft her skin, for even much of her facial structure was lost to the fire. He names her Pandora and she becomes his wife. Though mute, they communicate through actions alone, and Noah finally believes he has found true happiness and bliss.

But a year later things start to fall apart. Strange, mysterious letters begin to arrive in the mail for Pandora, each saying the same thing, a single sentence: Do not be afraid of what you want. So begins the downward spiral....

One night, several weeks after the letters stop—just as mysteriously as they'd started—Noah wakes to find Pandora's bloody corpse lying next to him in bed, her breasts cut off, blood running over and between her legs and all over the sheets. Noah leaps from bed to call for emergency services but upon returning to his bedroom with the police, he finds the corpse gone!

So begins Noah's search for answers. Leaving his ordered existence behind, he begins his life on the run, abducting a strangely odd private investigator with a penchant for mystic visions to aid him in his search. Pandora's uncertain past doesn't leave much to go on, beyond the odd murmurings of the psychic Venus, but their trip leads them from the city to the lush depravity of the desert and Las Vegas, where they meet an even stranger man named Lazarus: a sculptor who is able to mirror the features and expressions of others on his own face. And Noah is certain that Lazurus holds the key to Pandora's mysterious disappearance.

Though fairly short, this haunting story will will stay with you long after you've put it down. But I do recommend taking the time to understand the deeper meaning behind it. Yeah, it's pretty freaky at face value, but even more so when you relate the whole thing to the mythical Pandora of legend. :)

BookCrossing journal page for this book

Saturday, October 04, 2008

#30 The Dracula Dossier by James Reese

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Though this book may have fell a little bit outside my usual genre, I feel it will stay with me for awhile to come. In addition, I think I learned a thing or two about some significant figures in literary history to boot. ;)

The story takes place in the late 19th Century, during the Victorian Era in England, and is written in the form of journal entries and letters written by the late Bram Stoker, author of Dracula and a few other novels that never really garnered much recognition. Stoker tells the story of his employ with the actor Henry Irving, and his relationships with many other famous people of that time.

As the letters and journal entries which make up this Dossier indicate, it was Thomas Henry Hall Caine who first introduced Stoker to Dr. Francis Tumblety—the American doctor who later become known as Jack the Ripper. And it is to these relations that much of this Dossier relates. Upon meeting Tumblety, Stoker realizes that something is not right with the man, a fact later confirmed by Caine. And with the help of Lady Jane Wilde, mother to author Oscar Wilde, the three dub themselves the Children of Light and set out to catch Tumblety in the act and prove to the men of Scotland Yard who it is committing all these gruesome murders.

Though one might think this a paranormal book because of the title, that isn't really the case. Though there is much about "Jack the Ripper" that defies explanation, this novel is not a vampire novel, as a quick look at the title might lead one to believe. Instead, it's the notes, journal, and letters of the famed Dracula author, and at various points in the narrative, footnotes are given that point out similarities between the events taking place in Stoker's life at that time and characters and events in Dracula.

Overall, a very interesting read, well suited to literary fans, fans of historical, mystery, and thriller genres, maybe even horror fans too due to the violent and graphic nature of the crimes committed by the Ripper and described herein. (Though the author does go into explicit descriptions about some of the mutilated bodies, I found much of it to be somewhat clinical in nature so I didn't quite "lose my lunch" over it so to speak. LOL)

BookCrossing journal page for this book