Monthly Archives: December 2011
Title: Dark Shadows: The Original Series Story Digest Interrupted Voyage
Author: D.J. Arneson
Illustrated by: Joe Carta
Genre: Supernatural, Horror
Pub. Year: Feb. 15, 2012
Purchase: B&N /Amazon
I received this book free of charge from Netgalley in return for an honest opinion.
What I will remember: A great mix of supernatural creatures.
I had to get this book from Netgalley, it’s Dark Shadows. It was a gothic drama on daytime TV in the late 60’s -70’s and again in the late-90’s. If that doesn’t captivate someone, Johnny Depp is playing Barnabas in the new Dark Shadows film by Tim Burton. My favorite combination, Depp and Burton.
I absolutely love the artwork that accompanies the book. The art has an old feel to it which I love. It has very dark tones and shades. The best part is that it accompanies the storyline so the pictures capture moments in the story. Plus, all the characters are drawn there so there is no need for a physical description of them. It may have to do with the fact the story was written while Dark Shadows was on TV. I wished I knew what the art style was called so I could better explain it.
Story wise, I love it. It is a gothic tale through and through. We have Annabelle as the ghost, Barnabas as the vampire turned human, Angelique as the evil sister of Annabelle, and Calandra the witch. Oh, and Michael the zombie as well. The setting also contributes to the gothic feeling. It is a shore city where the inhabitants don’t trust strangers and are into burning at the stake. Plus, it is a tragic love story where the lovers (Annabelle and Michael) are both dead and are trying to reunite with each other in the afterlife. A very lovely story.
The bonus features at the end is something that I really enjoyed. It mainly consists of the photographs of the original Dark Shadows with Jonathan Frid as Barnabas. Some photos are of the cast posing for pictures and a few screenshots. Most are in black and white but some are in color.
Final thoughts on Dark Shadows, it is awesome. The artwork reminds me of the style use in comic books. It has an eclectic mix of supernatural creatures and somehow it makes sense for a witch to control a zombie. It is a gothic tale. Plus, Johnny Depp is going to be in the film adaptation and so is Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix from Harry Potter and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd) but more important, Tim Burton is directing it. I totally have to see this film. The only thing that would make this film even more exciting would be having Alan Rickman in it. Oh, I love him. Hmm, getting off topic. Um, this is a five for me because I’m a huge fan of Dark Shadows and the movie has me pretty hype up.
Blurb from Amazon:
On a six-mile hike on the Maine-New Hampshire branch of the Appalachian Trail, nine-year-old Trisha McFarland quickly tires of the constant bickering between her older brother, Pete, and her recently divorced mother. But when she wanders off by herself, and then tries to catch up by attempting a shortcut, she becomes lost in a wilderness maze full of peril and terror.
As night falls, Trisha has only her ingenuity as a defense against the elements, and only her courage and faith to withstand her mounting fears. For solace she tunes her Walkman to broadcast of Boston Red Sox baseball games and follows the gritty performances of her hero, relief pitcher Tom Gordon. And when her radio’s reception begins to fade, Trisha imagines that Tom Gordon is with her–protecting her from an all-to-real enemy who has left a trail of slaughtered animals and mangled trees in the dense, dark woods…
Thoughts to ponder on: Is it really possible to survive that many bee stings?
I adore Stephen King, I have a lot of fears to blame on him. Fear of clowns, fear of big dogs, and fear of creepy houses. He is a fantastic writer; The Stand and IT are amazing. This is why it is so hard to rate this book properly because I’m completely biased towards him but that being said, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is not his greatest work. It is good, really good but not great.
King’s writing is flawless (I tend to perceive his writing right on the mark most of the time). The story is well-detailed, great imagery of the forests and Trisha’s emotion are captured on paper beautifully. So, why does this book leave me semi-disappointed? For starters, it wasn’t really scary. Trisha’s was definitely afraid of being in the forest alone (and who wouldn’t be) but her situation is more of a lone stranded survivor where the danger lies on what she is going to eat and her cleanest source of water.
The enemy that is hunting her is something I should have seen coming. When the stalker was revealed, it was a “Duh” moment. She is in the forest, what could possibly be hunting her? It is moments like these where I realize I probably have read too many serial killer books. It was a little disappointing because I was expecting a little supernatural involvement with the whole “subterranean” speeches. At the same time, it is a great twist because it misleads the reader. Urgh, so hard to decide whether I love this because it is a great twist or hate it because it makes me feel stupid for not seeing it sooner. That’s how brilliant Stephen King is.
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is definitely a book about the journey of Trisha through the forests, that is the main focus. The stalking, the searching of Trisha, her parent’s reaction are really secondary features to the book. I found the journey to be tedious because I’m much more used to intense moments happening at a faster pace than they were happening in this book. It was a good journey, very descriptive but not for me. It is just one long journey of a little girl lost.
The final rating of this book is 4 black butterflies. It is a great journey told. It has its cringe-worthy moments (not many but they are there), and while it may not be the horror or thriller I’ve come to associate with King, it is a good suspense book.
(and that is as large as my font can go)
I hope you have all have a joyful evening with family and friends. It’s Christmas and what better way than to celebrate with the Hetalia men.
I love Germany in his bunny ears.
Sweden wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Malora knows what she was born to be: a horse wrangler and a hunter, just like her father. But when her people are massacred by batlike monsters called Leatherwings, Malora will need her horse skills just to survive. The last living human, Malora roams the wilderness at the head of a band of magnificent horses, relying only on her own wits, strength, and courage. When she is captured by a group of centaurs and taken to their city, Malora must decide whether the comforts of her new home and family are worth the parts of herself she must sacrifice to keep them.
Blurb from Goodreads:
I was worried about reading this book because I don’t know much about centaurs and have never read a book with centaurs as lead characters. It was intriguing and entertaining to read. A bit slow to start and some questions were left unresolved. This is the first book in the series so I hope in the future certain questions are answered. That being said, I liked the book in totality.
Malora is a great main character. She cares a lot for her horses and remains true to her nature for most of the book. Malora is driven into the wild when Leatherwings (bat-like creatures) annihilate her village and she finds refuge with wild horses. She is later rescued from a flash flood by the centaurs, specifically Orion (who I thought might be a love interest for Malora as weird as it might seem). She is the first of the people that centaurs have ever seen since the great massacre where the centaurs nearly cause the extinction of humans. The centaurs are fascinated but scared of her until she saves a Twani who happens to be a cat person. Aw, the Twanis in my head look like Puss in Boots and the Twani are refer like that. So cute. They also remind me of house elves from Harry Potter but seem way cuter than house elves.
She is taken to their city and properly educated meaning she learns to read. And this is where I have problems with the setting and time. I have no idea what time period this is. I do know that they have Shakespeare’s work as well as Stephanie Meyer so I see a problem. Not with Meyer but her stuff is pretty recent and humans have stopped writing for quite awhile. The book is set in the distant future but humans are pretty primitive and there is no advanced technology. The medicine consists of herbs and salves, carriages not cars, and handmade items. All that comes into mind is The Planet of the Apes movie. I would feel so much more comfortable if there was date on the book. Not that a date would help the book but it would make the book feel more grounded.
Going along with the Planet of the Apes dystopia feeling, the book would be better if it contain an explanation as to how the centaurs, the twani and a half-goat man came into being. This book is set in the distant future so some evolution or medical achievement gone wrong helped give birth to the new creatures that proceeded to eradicate humans. I like to know what it was since it would bring realism into a fantasy setting.
Most of the characters were likable, there wasn’t much ambivalent about their personality. Orion has a good heart but there might be some hidden darkness within him that he is afraid to reveal. Nathan, another centaur, still keeps in touch with Orion even though they claimed to no longer be friends. There is an interesting back story between them that has yet to be told.
The politics of the book is very interesting. There are Highlander Centaurs and Flatlanders Centaurs. The Highlander are essentially the rich people and people with skills versus the Flatlanders who are simple people and workers. There is a growing dissatisfaction with the Flatlanders with the system that treats them as second class citizens. Nothing serious happens in this book but there is always the next book. Another distinction is the Edicts that Highlanders maintain, basically the Ten Commandments except the Edicts are taken more seriously by the Highlanders than the Flatlanders. The women have to cover their hair in order to not entice the males and all Highlanders are forbidden from eating meat and drinking alcohol. Overall, the Highlanders act like nobles, very conservative, and are squeamish about most things while the Flatlanders are portrayed as more common people. Neither of the centaurs are like the Harry Potter centaurs.
In the end, the book is an interesting read. At times, the book feels jumpy. One moment, the horses are training for the Golden Horse race and the next moment, they are in the stadium. There was no gentle transition or warning. Some characters were introduced and then just completely forgotten. I hope this was for a chance at in-depth character look in the second book. This book is a set up for future books since it gave multiple plot bunnies for the next book. There could be rouge centaurs attacking the city, people attacking the city, the intro of Lume (Malora’s dream boyfriend), an uprising by the Flatlanders and so on. It could go in any direction. There is promise for the second book.
Does it not have the cutest name ever? I had to join. Plus, the image is really nice.
Details: Hosted by Missy at The Unread Reader
Runs: January 1, 2012 -December 31, 2012
Rules: Read a minumum of 12 legally obtained FREE e-books and must disclose where the book was obtained from.
ARC/Galleys, library books, and books won do not count.
Missie has a great selection of sites where we can legally obtained Free books.
Coupon Clipper: 12 Books
Penny Pincher: 24 Books
Super Saver: 30+ Books
I’m going for Penny Pincher so 24 books.
- Cameron’s Law-Mia Darien
- Trouble Brewing-Edward Winslow
- Hollowland- Amanda Hocking
- Killing Faith-Eric Meyer
- Dark Visions-Jonas Saul
- The Secret of the Scarlet Stone- T.L Clarke
- Awakening- Karice Bolton
In the meantime, enjoy this picture of Hetalia.
(By the way, can anyone tell whose head is in the Yule log? The jacket reminds me of America but there are no glasses) In any case, HAPPY HOLIDAYS and I hope everyone has their Christmas shopping done (cause I don’t)
Where Are You Reading? is an interesting challenge that every book can be included in if it has a valid location in the world. I’m really interested in seeing where my book travels will take me.
Details: It is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey
Date: January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012
Goal is to read one book per state in the USA. Countries that are not the USA will be counted as well. This challenge will be documented on a Goggle map so all the locations we have read will be pinpointed there.
This is My Map.
Arizona- Wasteland by Lynn Rush
California: Hym and Hur by Philip Frey, The Flower Bowl Spell, Night Rising by Olivia Boler, Night Rising by Chris Marie Green
Colorado:Cameron’s Law-Mia Darien, Awaited by Lynn Rush
Florida: Wandering Stars by Marlon Pierre-Antoine
Illinois: Halo of the Damned by Dina Rae
Louisiana: Hurricane by Jenna Lynne-Duncan, Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy
Massachusetts: Deadtown # 1 by Nancy Holzner, All’s Fair in Vanities War by Elizabeth Marx, The Faustian Host by Dave Becker, Cin by Christina Leigh Pritchard, Waiting For Daybreak by Amanda McNeil
Michigan: Finding Alice by Andrea DiGiglio
Missouri: Dreamwalker-Andrea Heltsley
Montana: The Z Word by Bella Street,
Nevada: Hollowland by Amanda Hocking
New Jersey: Guy Langman: Crime Scene Procastinator by Josh Berk
New York: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians # 1)
Ohio: Farsighted # 1 by Emily Chund, Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows # 1) by Kim Harrison,
South Carolina: The Earth Painter by Melissa Lee
Tennessee: Kiss Me, I’m Irish (Time For Love # 1) by Bella Street
Texas: Glass House (Morganville Series # 1) by Rachel Caine, The Corpse Goddess by Kristi Jones
Vermont: Intangible by J. Meyers
Virginia: Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klaus
Washington: The Emerald City by J.A. Beard, Spirits in Trees by Morgan Hannah MacDonald
Wyoming: The Rising Moon by Nilsa Rodriguez
Australia- Dead Tropics- Sue Edge
Canada- Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
England- Killer Bytes by Alan Williams
Germany-My Immortal by Lee Rudnicki
Japan- XXXHolic Vol. 1 by Clamp
New Zealand- Trouble Brewing by Edward Winslow
Russia- Killing Faith by Eric Meyer
Scotland- The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle
A Quick Glance Review is meant for short stories. This is not a full-length novel.
I received this book from Amazon free of charge in exchange for an honest review. It still is available free of charge on Amazon and B&N.
Blurb from Amazon:
Hera, member of the Gultur race governing the Seven Islands, thought she knew right from wrong and what her future held in store. A chance meeting with a lesser mortal, though, will turn her world upside down and force her to see her race and the laws with different eyes. For Hera, knowledge means action, so she sets out to put things right and change her world.
Taking place in the World of the Seven Islands almost three years before the events in Rex Rising, this is the story of Hera’s first confrontation with the truth.
I usually don’t go for prequels unless I have read the first book but it was named Hera so I had to show love to another Greek goddess. That being said, I love this short story/novellete. It was awesome.
It is very short, very fast paced, and very entertaining. The best way to describe it is as a war between Gultur, genetically-enhanced humans, and regular humans as an enslaved class. It reminded me of Stargate SG-1 with the Tokra species. The Gultur are like the Tokra (parasites that inhabit a human as host) and the Gultur have to inherit Regina, the parasite. That’s why I viewed them as similar but not completely alike.
Hera is a Gultur who is a strong-willed character and definitely did not go with the ideology that is being imposed on her. She doesn’t blindly believe what she is told and searches for an undiluted version of the truth. I found that to be very compelling in her that she was horrified at what her people were doing even though she was raised to believe that the Gultur’s actions were correct.
I will be purchasing the first book, Rex Rising so this novellete earns 5 Black Butterflies. Why? Because it did its job in appealing to me to buy the first book. I want to know what does Hera do after she meets with the Resistance, why are all the young girls separated from their mothers and why are they not allowed to see their mothers. Interesting questions that may be answer in the first book.
Book Blurb from Amazon:
Cross Adademy is attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to their dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class on their way to school. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school, protecting the Day Class from the Academy’s dark secret: the Night Class is full of vampires!
Yuki Cross has no memory of her past prior to the moment she was saved from a vampire attack ten years ago. She was adopted by the headmaster of Cross Academy, and now works alongside Zero to guard the Academy’s secret. Yuki believes that vampires and humans can coexist peacefully, but her partner has different ideas…
What I will remember: Headmaster Cross, I love you for being funny
I’m a huge fan of vampires so I was easily captivated by this manga. I love the artwork, especially the buildings. They have so much details. The uniforms are easy on the eyes but I really like the artwork that accompanies the chapter divisions. Really pretty. That being said, the story line does raises a couple of questions for me. Such as why do vampires attend school where they are not biting anyone? That’s the only reason I could think of for vampires to be attending school. Unless they are really there to learn but learn what exactly.
The manga is surrounded by cliches but the book is entertaining. The basics consists of what the blurb mentioned. Day Class and Night Class attend the Academy. But more importantly, the vampires are all drop dead gorgeous looking. The Guardians are Yuki Cross (daughter of Headmaster Cross) and Zero (stepbrother to Yuki). They are supposed to keep the Day Class safe from the Night Class but their skills should be in question. Yuki, who is trained to do her job, has a hard time actually doing her job. She let Aido, a vampire, licked her bloody hand when she knows that vampires are not allowed to drink blood on campus.
And of course, we have the lovely love triangle between Kaname, Yuki, and Zero. I’m a supporter of Yuki and Kaname, not Zero. Kaname is apparently the supreme leader of the vampires in the academy and Zero is a descendant from a vampire slaying family. To add a cliche and a spoiler (I’m sorry), Zero is slowly becoming a vampire, the one thing he detests with a passion (and he does have a reason). And both, Zero and Kaname, are in love with Yuki but won’t admit it to her. Plus, Yuki is a little naive when it comes to both of them.
I am giving this manga 4.5 butterflies because I like vampires and the book is entertaining (even if its full of cliches). The artwork is decent on the people but better on aesthetics. The main point of this volume is to introduce the characters and reveal the love triangle. I had laugh-out moments when I was reading such as when Headmaster Cross comes into the picture and Aido. They are both hilarious and steal the scenes they are in.
I am proud to say I’m a TV addict. Oh, I love TV. I’m not fond of reality shows but I love a multitude of series. Totally addicted to Ringer, Once Upon A Time, Grimm, Revenge, NCIS, Castle, Psych, Warehouse 13..name a show, there is a good chance I may have seen it.
Details: Hosted by Belle’s Bookshelf
Runs from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012
The idea is to read the books that TV shows are based on. Where it’s a series, read the books that correspond to the TV seasons available (read the whole series if you want to, of course!). What you do from there is up to you: review the books, do book/show comparisons, review the TV shows, do recaps… whatever tickles your fancy!
- Single play: Read the books that correspond to ONE TV show.
- Mini-series: Read the books that correspond to TWO TV shows.
- Series: Read the books that correspond to THREE TO FOUR TV shows.
- Soap opera: Read the books that correspond to FIVE OR MORE TV shows.
I’m going to go for Series so four books.
1. Rurouni Kenshin (manga) = Rurouni Kenshin (anime) (4 books)
2. Death Note (manga)=Death Note (anime) (12 books)
3. Storm Front by Jim Butcher= Dresden Files (1 book)
4. Wolf’s Rain (manga)= Wolf’s Rain (anime) (2 books)
Death Note Vol. 1: Bordeom by Tsugimi Ohba
Death Note Vol. 2: Confluence by Tsugumi Ohba
Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 1 by Nobuhiro Watsuki
Wolf”s Rain Vol.1 by Keiko Nobumoto
Wolf’s Rain Vol. 2 by Keiko Nobumoto
1st in a Series Challenge is the challenge to read the first book in a series. I like series so I figure I would join this challenge. It’s too bad I already read three books that could have counted for this challenge. That means I get to discover more book series. Yay!
Details: Hosted by Kathy at A Few More Pages/Challenges
Runs from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012
- Series Novice: Read 3 books that are the first in any series.
- Series Lover: Read 6 books that are the first in any series.
- Series Expert: Read 12 books that are the first in any series.
- Series Fanatic: Read 20 books that are the first in any series.
I’m going to go for Series Fanatic so 20 books.
Glass Houses- Rachel Caine ( Morganville Vampire Series)
- Hollowland- Amanda Hocking (Hollows Series)
Dead Witch Walking- Kim Harrison (The Hollow Series)
- Cameron’s Law-Mia Darien (Adelheid Series)
- Wandering Stars- Marlon Pierre Antoine (Wandering Stars Series)
- Fury- Elizabeth Miles (Fury Series)
- XXXHolic Vol.1 -Clamp (XXXHolic Series)
- Killing Faith- Eric Meyer (Gabriel De Sade Series)
- Across the Universe- Beth Revis (Across The Universe Series)
- Finding Alice- Andrea DiGiglio (Alice Clark Series)
- All’s Fair in Vanities War- Elizabeth Marx (Seer’s Seven Deadly Fairy Tales 1)
- Farsighted- Emily Chand (Farsighted Series)
- Dark Visions- Jonas Saul (Sarah Roberts Series)
- Death Note Vol. 1: Boredom – Tsugumi Ohba (Death Note Series)
- Intangible- J. Meyers (Intangible Series)
- Thoughtless- Jacqueline Gardner (Thoughtless Series)
- Halo of the Damned- Dina Rae (Halo of the Damned Series)
- No Remorse- Marylynn Bast (Heart of a Wolf Series)
- Dead Man Walking- Marty Shaw (The Infected Series)
- Vala: Agenda- J.F Jenkins ( Vala: Agenda Series)
- Kiss Me, I’m Irish-Bella Street (Time For Love Series)
- Hurricane- Jenna Lynne-Duncan (Hurricane Series)
- The Secret of the Scarlet Stone- T.L Clarke (Gabby Girl Adventure)
- Memento Nora- Angie Smibert (Memento Nora Series)
- Wasteland- Lynn Rush (Wasteland Series)
- The Earth Painter- Melissa Lee (The Painter Series)
- Awakening- Karice Bolton (The Watchers Trilogy)
- Dreamwalker- Andrea Heltsley (Persephone’s League of Immortal Series)
- The Faustian Host- Dave Becker (Apocalypse Signs Series)
- Bizenghast Vol. 1 – M. Alice LeGrow (Bizenghast Series)
- Night Rising- Chris Marie Green (Vampire Babylon Series)
- My Immortal- Lee Rudnicki (The Vampires of Berlin Series)
- Spirits in the Trees- Morgan Hannah MacDonald (Spirit Trilogy)
- Cin- Christina Leigh Pritchard (Cin Series)
- Guardian of Fate- L.J Kentowski (Guardian of Fate Series)
- Zan- Dayla Moon (Spiritdell Series)
- Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 1- Nobuhiro Watsuki (Rurouni Kenshin Series)
- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Vol. 1- Ichiro Okouchi (Code Geass)
- Wolf’s Rain Vol. 1- Keiko Nobumoto (Wolf’s Rain Series)
- Trigun Maximum Vol. 1: Hero Returns- Yasuhiro Nightow (Trigun Series)
I will add more to the list as I go through my bookshelves and the ones I will buy eventually.
2nds Challenge is the follow-up to the challenge above and it is hosted by Katy as well.
- Just a spoonful - Read 3 books that are 2nd in a series or the second time you’ve read the author.
- A few more bites – Read 6 books that are 2nd in a series or the second time you’ve read the author.
- A full plate – Read 12 books that are 2nd in a series or the second time you’ve read the author.
- All you can eat – Read 20 books (or more) that are 2nd in a series or the second time you’ve read the author.
I’m going for All You Can Eat so 20 books again.
- The Dead Girl’s Dance- Rachel Caine
- The Apprentice- Tess Gerristen Rizzoli and Isles
- Dearly Devoted Dexter- Jeff Lindsay Dexter Series
- Vampire Knight Vol. 2-Matsuri Hino Vampire Knight Series
- Awaited- Lynn Rush Wasteland Series
- The Z Word-Bella Street Second time reading the author
- Wolf’s Rain Vol. 2 Wolf’s Rain Series
- Death Note Vol. 2: Confluence Death Note Series
More to be listed