Thursday, May 30, 2013

Book Review: Fall of Night – Rachel Caine

Fall of Night (The Morganville Vampires, #14)
Claire never thought she’d leave Morganville, but when she gets accepted into the graduate program at MIT, she can’t pass up the opportunity.  Saying good-bye to her friends is bittersweet, especially since things are still raw and unsettled between Claire and her boyfriend, Shane.

Her new life at MIT is scary and exciting, but Morganville is never really far from Claire’s mind.  Enrolled in a special advanced study program with Professor Irene Anderson, a former Morganville native, Claire is able to work on her machine, which is designed to cancel the mental abilities of vampires.

But when she begins testing her machine on live subjects, things quickly spiral out of control, and Claire starts to wonder whether leaving Morganville was the last mistake she’ll ever make…

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I always look forward to reading a new Morganville book and this book does not disappoint.  Claire is in a new town and when she thinks she’ll left all that vampire business in Morganville she is wrong.  She is living off campus with a friend from High School who has changed and not in a good way, with a stalker ex-boyfriend.  Also without her knowledge, Shane follows her to Boston.  I loved seeing Claire adjust to her new environment but yet her that Morganville paranoia intact.  We also did not leave our favorite Morganville vampires behind because they follow Claire.  Also a new bad guy or is it a good guy arrives in Morganville.  I’m looking forward to what the next book will bring.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Club: Stuck In Neutral – Terry Trueman

Stuck in Neutral
Shawn McDaniel’s life is not what it may seem to anyone looking at him.  He is glued to his wheelchair, unable to voluntarily move a muscle—he can’t even move his eyes.  For all Shawn’s father knows, his son may be suffering.  Shawn may want a release.  And as long as he is unable to communicate his true feelings to his father, Shawn’s life is in danger.

To the world, Shawn’s senses seem dead.  Within these pages, however, we meet a side of him that no one else has seen—a spirit that is rich beyond imagining, breathing life.

2/5 stars (it was OK)
I think the idea of this book was great but the delivery not so great.  So his dad only wants to kill him because he thinks he’s suffering.  By the end it comes down to will his dad do it or not and Shawn is just helpless and can’t tell anyone that he is not suffering.  I thought the book was too short and it ended abruptly.  

Book Review: The Stone Demon – Karen Mahoney

The Stone Demon (The Iron Witch, #3)
After being tricked into opening the doorway to the Demon Realm by Aliette, the Wood Queen, Donna Underwood is faced with a terrible ultimatum from the newly released demon hordes.  They demand that the alchemists deliver the Philosopher’s Stone, or their reaper storm will plunge the world into a devastating modern-day Dark Age.

Donna is sent to London, England, where she must complete her alchemist’s training and learn how to recreate the Stone.  But time is running out.  Between facing the vengeful demon king, Demian, and collecting the Stone’s elements, Donna realizes she must give her own life in order to succeed.  And this time, even braving death may not be enough to save the world.

2/5 stars (it was OK)
I did not really remember what has happened in the previous books and so I had trouble with the beginning.  I did not like that there really wasn’t enough Xan in the story.  Also I found the story a little boring.  Overall by the end of the book I did not care too much if the characters lived or died.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Book Review: The Resurrectionist: The Lost Works of Dr. Spencer Black – E.B. Hudspeth

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black

Philadelphia, the late 1870s, a city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages—and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black.  The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis:  What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs—were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?

The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one.  The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses through his medical training, his travels with carnivals, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life.  The second book is Black’s magnum opus:  The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts—dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus—all rendered in meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations.  You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman.  The Resurrectionist tells his story.

This book was received as an ARC from Quirk Books.  Upon receiving it I paged through it and was very intrigued at the detailed drawings of the skeletal and muscular figures of these mythological creatures.  I am very interested in mythology so of course I was fascinated.  I read the story of Dr. Black’s life and work.  The life of Spencer is amazing with all the things he believes to be true and the lengths he went to prove it.  The descriptions of the way he “made” these mythological creatures are not for the weak of stomach as they were very descriptive.  Even myself not being grossed out by details was a little grossed out a the idea of someone doing this.  Thinking back to all the things that were truly done in the name of science back then I could very much picture a scientist doing these things.  I love the mystery of Black’s disappearance and even how his work affected his oldest son.  I would definitely read any follow up book to this.  The illustrations almost made me believe that mythological creatures were real.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Book Review: Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan – Robin Maxwell

Cambridge, England: 1905.  Jane Porter is hardly a typical woman of her time.  The only female student in Cambridge University’s medical program, she is far more comfortable in a lab coat, dissecting corpses, than she is in a corset and gown, sipping afternoon tea.  A budding paleoanthropologist, Jane dreams of traveling the globe in search of fossils that will prove the evolutionary theories of her scientific hero, Charles Darwin.

When dashing American explorer Ral Conrath invites Jane and her father on an expedition deep into West Africa, she can hardly believe her luck.  Rising to the challenge, Jane finds in Africa that is every bit exotic and fascinating as she has always imagined.  But she quickly learns that the lush jungle is full of secrets—and so is Ral Conrath.  When danger strikes, Jane finds her hero, the key to humanity’s past, and an all-consuming love in one extraordinary man:  Tarzan of the Apes.

Jane is the first version of the Tarzan story written by a woman and authorized by the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate.  Its 2012 publication will mark the centennial of the publications of the original Tarzan of the Apes.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Having never read any Tarzan book and the only movie I have seen is Disney’s version of Tarzan I really did not know what to expect.  I like that the story is told from Jane’s point of view rather than Tarzan.  Although we do find out how Tarzan got where he was through his father’s journals.  Jane taught Tarzan how to speak and he in turn taught her his own language.  Also the “apes” that raise Tarzan are the missing link in the evolutionary world and that makes a lot more sense than him being raised by actual apes.  The ending left me hanging a little bit as things were not explained.  I am hoping for some sort of follow up book to tell us what happened after Jane left Africa.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Book Review: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3)
In the concluding volume of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy, Lisbeth Salander lies in critical condition in a Swedish hospital, a bullet in her head.

But she’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll stand trial for three murders.  With the help of Mikael Blomkvist, she’ll need to identify those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence.  And, on her own, she’ll seek revenge—against the man who tried to kill her and against the corrupt government institutions that nearly destroyed her life.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I thought the first two books in the trilogy were really good but this is by far the best one.  I could not put the book down.  I love the writing style and how the author gives me so much information on characters.  People and stories that I would never thing would fit together do and it works.  I really liked the conclusion to this story and how things actually did wrap up.  Great book!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Book Club: One Day – David Nicholls

One Day
It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met.  But after one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another.  Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day –July 15th—of each year.  Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears.  And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.

I did not care too much for this book.  I read the first chapter and really found myself not liking Emma or Dexter.  The chapters really did not give me much insight to the characters and I was never rooting for them to have a happy ending.  By the end of the book I was glad that the book was over.  I think this book would have worked better if the author hadn’t focused so much on seeing where they were on July 15th every year for 20 years.  I feel like the characters were not developed enough for me to really know them.  Also the ending was very surprising but did not inspire much emotion for me.

Book Review: Blood Fury - JR Ward

Blood Fury - JR Ward A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his cl...