Archive for November 2010
I’ve read 2 books already by this author (Infected and Contagious). Both I have immensely enjoyed. There’s a third book to that series but I’ll have to wait. In the meantime, I turned to this book because I found it on the shelf by chance at the library and also I’ve been hearing so much about it since it’s offered as a podcast on the Scott Sigler’s website. Since I’m not a podcast type of girl, might as well get the book (plus it was a brand new hardcover, and I like the smell of them) (yes, that’s a dirty little secret.) (stop smirking).
Every five minutes, a transplant candidate dies while waiting for a heart, a liver, a kidney. Imagine a technology that could provide those life-saving transplant organs for a nominal fee … and imagine what a company would do to get a monopoly on that technology. On a remote island in the Canadian Arctic, PJ Colding leads a group of geneticists who have discovered this holy grail of medicine. By reverse-engineering the genomes of thousands of mammals, Colding’s team has dialed back the evolutionary clock to re-create humankind’s common ancestor. The method? Illegal. The result? A computer-engineered living creature, an animal whose organs can be implanted in any person, and with no chance of transplant rejection. There’s just one problem: these ancestors are not the docile herd animals that Colding’s team envisioned. Instead, Colding’s work has given birth to something big, something evil. With these killer creatures on the prowl, Colding and the woman he loves must fight to survive — even as government agents close in to shut the project down, and the deep-pocketed company backing this research proves to have its own cold-blooded agenda. As the creators become the prey in the ultimate battle for survival, Scott Sigler takes readers on the ultimate thrill-ride—and offers a chilling cautionary account of what can happen when hubris, greed, and madness drive scientific experimentation past the brink of reason. (Taken from Amazon.ca)
I am amazed and wowed again by another one of Sigler’s books. This one will definitely be on my favorites list. Not only did it have a perfect blend of science, horror, and action, but it was well written and it definitely grabbed my attention from the very start of the book. I really liked how there was a buildup of suspense throughout the first parts of the novel. Obviously, something didn’t seem right from the start but the suspense was very well done and everything just exploded (literally and figuratively).
The science used in the book was a little more complex than the usual novels I’ve read that are science fiction. Yet what I like about the writing style is, although complex, Sigler provides enough information so you won’t feel confused, or easily intimidated with all the scientific terms. The subject matter (harvesting organs) is also very interesting and may come across as a really good idea although there’s lots of violation of moral and ethical codes that go along with it. The scientific idea may or may not seem possible, but it’s such a fascinating yet horrific idea.
I absolutely loved the characters in this book. The villains in it are extremely nasty, brutal, and people you just don’t want to be near to or mess with. Especially Magnus. Nasty bugger. Yet so well written that he could very well go as most nastiest villain I have ever read in a book. Naturally though, one of my favorites would be Sara. She’s tough, and not about to back down from a fight but I liked her personality too. She had her girly moments too. Then there’s Mookie the dog. Whoever thought a character with a minimal role in the book would come out looking like such a grand hero? I was cheering for Mookie all the way! Colding, being the main character of the book is all right. I didn’t like him, but I didn’t hate him either. Although at first I thought he was just some sort of whimpy scientist. Eventually he did manage to grow on me though. A little.
I also liked the little “poke” at the Twilight series. Although I haven’t read that series (yet), I thought it was a small jab, but nothing too offensive (well, maybe for some people?) yet entertaining and funny nevertheless. This book does contain a lot of graphic gore and violence so it may not be for everyone. However I do urge first time readers to seriously pick this one up. It’s a got a perfect blend of comedy, action, horror, and a bit of romance. There’s definitely going to be a sequel for this one (though I’m not sure about the release date)
I really do recommend this book to all readers out there. Whether they’re into science fiction, or horror, or both. It’s definitely worth the read. The reader will be in for a fast paced book, filled with explosions, mutated monsters, dastardly villains, and a dog hero. What more could you ask for?
I give it a 10 out of 10.
I read and reviewed this book as part of the Pump Up Your Book! blog tour. Why did I choose The Portrait even though it was a romance book (and I “supposedly” ran away from romance?). Well, there’s a few reasons for that actually. 1. I felt like something light. 2. I love anything to do with Regency England. and 3. It’s published by Avalon books. Who specialize in romance novels but they keep it “clean”. (ie: no body fluid swapping). I’d have to say it was reason number three that got me the most. (Okay so I’m a prude!! I like my romances clean!) Anyway. Thank you for providing me this book to review.
Severely injured at the battle of Salamanca, Edward Thurston, the new Earl of
Sinclair, returns home to his beloved Fly Hall. Determined not to present his
prospective bride with the wreck he believes himself to have become, he decides to end his betrothal, unaware that Lady Jennifer, for vastly differing reasons, has reached the selfsame decision. Throughout the campaigns, Edward was often seen relying greatly on a miniature he carried, and it is to this token he clings upon his return. Will he eventually find happiness with the girl in the portrait, or will he remain firm in his resolve not to
wed? Reason dictates one course, his heart another. (This was provided by Cheryl at Pumpupyourbook.com) (thank you!)
The plot was a little slow going, but within were plenty of events that kept me interested. It’s a short book but because there was quite a bit going on it felt as if the book was longer. I thought for the length of the book, there were just a few too many characters and I had a bit of trouble trying to keep track of who was who. It wasn’t overwhelming and it becomes more clearer as the novel progresses and you get the hang of who is who (and who is related to who).
The two main characters: Edward and Jennifer were excellently written. Edward is your typical gentleman and despite his war wounds he’s still strong and able. I liked how he got everyone around him to treat him as if he didn’t have the wounds at all. I thought that showed he was determined to keep going on with his life and showed his strength and determination. Something I thought was very admirable. Jennifer the most fun to read in the book. I loved her personality. She was a complete contrast to Edward, but it was that type of personality that made her all the more likable. I was glad she wasn’t made out to be a typical damsel in distress or a total girly girl. She had a sense of adventure and acted out of her own accord and the best part was, Edward was respectful of that.
So, when you put these two together as a couple, it wasn’t super intense (although there were times when there was tension) but it felt like a very comfortable warm feeling. They made a great couple who complimented and suited each other. I enjoyed the moments where Edward got a chance to poke fun at Jennifer, and vice versa. They had their playful moments, and the moments of uncertainty were just that. You could most certainly feel their emotions and at times it was almost heart wrenching. I really felt for Jennifer at times especially when she thought there was another person involved in the whole scheme of things. I also liked it when both Jennifer and Edward would bicker. It was funny to read and the more they argued the more I enjoyed reading when they’re both together.
How would I describe reading this book? I would say, it’s like watching an old classic film (the romantic black and white ones from the 30’s-40’s) and feeling as if your heart would burst (which it did, in a good way). It has all the characteristics of a classic romance and provided me with a very nice enjoyable read. Do pick this romance up if you feel like something light. The romantic chemistry is definitely there and the featured couple are excellently well written and fun to read.
I give it a 9 out of 10.
Today’s Question: “What is your favorite book cover?”
- Believe it or not this one is an easy one to answer:
When I got this from Penguin (thank you!) I was in love with the cover. It’s even more beautiful up close and personal in your hands.
What about you guys? I’m looking forward to seeing very pretty covers!
Note: This is the third book in the Dante Valentine series. So yes you have to read them in order. I think you’d be pretty confused if you didn’t. Start with Working for the Devil and follow up with Dead Man Rising.
Dante Valentine, the necromancing, half-demon bounty hunter, returns for a third installment in this entertaining series from Saintcrow. This time out Dante is summoned, along with her demon lover Japhrimel, by Lucifer himself, who makes her an offer she can’t refuse: it seems that four demons have escaped from hell, and Lucifer wants Dante to track them down and return them to his dark domain. Though there isn’t much negotiating room when dealing with the Devil, Dante strikes a bargain and accepts the assignment. With the help of Japhrimel, she recruits a posse of supernatural beings and sets out to accomplish the Devil’s dangerous mission. Of course, not all is what it seems-the Devil isn’t called the Prince of Lies for nothing-and soon she and her crew find that their souls are at stake. (Taken from Amazon.ca)
This was a much better improvement from the second one. (I found Dante to be a little whiny). She still packs a punch with her wit and literally kicks butt in the action scenes. Although she’s still emotional at times, and Japhrimel doesn’t really help her much (at least it seems like it). I’m glad Dante got back on her feet and is somewhat back to her normal self.
Like the previous two novels, the action scenes never disappoint me. They’re well written and very descriptive and it really does feel as if you’re watching a movie instead of reading a book. I still think Dante still needs to develop a bit more. It’s like she’s stuck in a rut and can’t seem to get past the emotional stage of her development. It’s developing, but I think it’s developing a little too slow. Yet as I mentioned above, I’m glad she’s back to her butt kicking ways. She still has some issues to resolve, and hopefully they’ll get solved soon to get the plot moving faster.
The relationship between Dante and Japhrimel seems strained and tense. Although there’s a lot of love, there’s also a very deep sense of mistrust between the two of them as Japhrimel still hides a lot of secrets. I like them as a couple and they both compliment each other well.
Plot-wise, the book was good. Although it was slow at first to get into. The action does pick up and some twists were revealed to keep the story interesting. I still feel as if the story is missing something though, but it could be because I just don’t like the way Dante’s character is developing. The twist in the end was good and I’m looking forward to picking up the next book to read the series further.
Dante Valentine fans will be happy that she’s back to her own self (somewhat) and Japh is still sexy as ever. The action and plot twists will keep us coming back for more. Let’s hope with this new twist, the plot will be taken further and will be an enjoyable read like this book.
I give it a 7.5 out of 10.
What is Most Wanted Monday?
Most Wanted Monday is a weekly meme hosted by WellReadWife.com every Monday. The purpose of Most Wanted Monday is to post on your blog regarding an *ARC (or even a book that’s already out) that you cannot wait to get your hands on. Hopefully, this will generate lots of hype for books that we are excited to read, and maybe it will up our chances of getting our hands on that coveted ARC!
- I thought this was a most interesting meme and thought I might help out in getting it out there to grab some exposure!
The ARC that I have been coveting for would be:
Oh I can just FEEL the eyes rolling and the groaning. Quit it. *pokes with stick* I like these types of novels. Trying to picture Elizabeth slaying vampires is difficult so I’m curious as to how this novel is written. Can’t wait until it comes out. Am definitely going to give this one a look see!
So! what are you guys waiting/wanting for?
Up until now, I have not read a Tudor hist fic novel that includes Lady Jane Grey. From the books I’ve read, she’s only mentioned sparingly if hardly ever and she’s reduced to maybe a page or two. I’m glad I found a book that finally covers her life. (Even if it is a historical fiction novel.)
The child of a scheming father and a ruthless mother, for whom she is merely a pawn in a dynastic game with the highest stakes, Jane Grey was born during the harrowingly turbulent period between Anne Boleyn’s beheading and the demise of Jane’s infamous great-uncle, King Henry VIII. With the premature passing of Jane’s adolescent cousin, and Henry’s successor, King Edward VI, comes a struggle for supremacy fueled by political machinations and lethal religious fervor. (Taken from Chapters website)
Innocent Traitor was excellent. I could not put the book down and was glad I took the time the read it. Since I knew very little about Jane Grey, it was as if I got to know her a bit more throughout this book. My heart went out to her as although she tried hard to please her parents (her mother in particular) but never received the proper love and support except only when it suited them. It was only too late when her parents actually came to fully appreciate and love her. I really felt for Jane especially in her early childhood years. Her mother was just plain awful and only really cared for Jane (if you could call it that) when it suited her purposes (i.e. mostly for political gain and ambition). There were times when I thought Jane had what it took to stand up to her mother, but she backed down whenever she tried. It got frustrating and I thought Jane was never going to have her own personality and she’ll just be a puppet for everyone. Yet past the midway point of the novel Jane does take a slight turn for the better and eventually stands up for herself (particularly against her husband). Towards the end, Jane becomes a much stronger woman and despite her circumstances, maintains her strength. I loved that. She became such a strong character that I loved her even more than I did in the beginning.
The plot of this novel was well written and very interesting. It follows Jane all throughout her life and it highlights moments of interest such as the marriage of Katherine Parr and Thomas Seymour, and its’ failure. The addition of something like this is a little strange considering this should have been told all in Jane Grey’s point of view. I’m not really sure why this was added as it really had nothing to do with her (except maybe because she was around Katherine a lot around the time?) yet it was a small but well done way to take a break from the main plot and add in a mini story arc to it. I’d have to say the ending was one of the most dramatic. Jane stayed true to herself and that makes her all the more admirable. I absolutely hated the way everyone around her just started using her as a political pawn and her parents are just as bad as parents today who live through their small children and use them for their own gains. I really disliked her mother though. She was horrible! and she didn’t gain any sympathies from me at the end. Her emotions and “love” came way too late to even make a difference. I’m not sure what to say about Jane’s father. It looked like he was the “better” parent of the two, but his love was misguided and ambition just went in the way. It was sad to see that, as I thought he loved Jane more than her mother did.
I thought this was a great novel featuring Lady Jane Grey. It’s a tragic story but her strength is strong throughout the entire novel it’s hard not to admire her. This is definitely a worthy read for Tudor fans.
I give it a 8 out of 10.
Today’s question: “Since Thanksgiving is coming up next week, let’s use this week’s Hop to share what we are most thankful for and what our holiday traditions are!”
- Thanksgiving is long gone for me (I’m in Canada). However! the usual tradition of turkey and family dinner always happens when it comes around.Things I am thankful for:
1. Loving friends and family.
2. Loving hombre and kitty.
3. That I have a job, and a place to live in, with plenty of food.
4. All those lovely books those creative authors have written in order for me to enjoy myself and read until I die happy.
So! what are you thankful for? and if you’re from the Hop, well hello! have a seat and read some books and relax!
First I have to add, this is one of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen. It definitely caught my eye and I was drawn to it. I recently picked up the second book of this trilogy: The Haunted (which I have yet to start!)
When Abbey’s best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead…and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen’s funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey’s life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he’s the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again…but also special. Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen’s betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity. (Taken from Amazon.ca)
I will warn you all ahead of time: be prepared for a VERY LONG novel. Although 544 pages may not seem big, the book is filled with endless descriptions of sounds, sights, and smells. The plot is quite slow moving. In fact, it’s very slow moving. I was about halfway through the novel and I was still wondering where this was going. I don’t really recommend this to people who just want a fast moving plot to read through in one sitting. It’s just not done with this book. This book was meant to be slowly read, taking in the setting, and the descriptions but at the same time reading a slowly evolving plot.
So then we ask; did I enjoy this book or not? I’d have to say despite the slow moving plot and there were a few times here and there where I almost gave up reading it. However I really did like how the scenes were described, the smells were so well written I could almost literally smell them myself. It felt as if you were there, as the descriptions were rich and filled with the Legend of Sleepy Hollow references. I thought Sleepy Hollow was a nice quaint little place to live in and just the way it was described really took me there. (I wouldn’t mind living there myself!)
There is a sense of mystery throughout the novel, regarding Kristen’s death and it still remains unsolved. I thought Abbey was a likable character although she did not stand out as much and could be considered “normal” (as opposed to characters we are used to reading). I did like reading about her hobby on making perfumes. I thought that was interesting and haven’t read a character that’s set in present day who is into that sort of thing. It’s definitely different. Abbey’s relationship with Caspian is nice to read, although I wish more was added to it. The story behind Caspian is a bit obvious and easy to guess but it was still an interesting read. I wanted to know more about Kristen and her secrets. There was so much more to go into but not much has been revealed.The mystery surrounding Caspian, Nikolas, and Katy was interesting, however it was a little predictable. It was well thought out though, and it ties nicely with the Sleepy Hollow legend.
I think this is a perfect novel to read around Autumn/Halloween. The setting is perfect and suits the season, and although the plot was slow moving, and reading the book felt like a very slow walk in the park, I suggest to stick with it and read it through. It’s a beautifully written book and certainly deserves to be read.
I give it an 8 out of 10.
Argh…I just can’t seem to get into a book lately. I really can’t. I started reading Rival to the Queen by Carolly Erickson. I knew it was a risk. I hate anything to do with Robert Dudley because I just can’t stand him. Yet I decided to go with it anyway because I felt like reading something historical. Argh.
120 pages in, I couldn’t do it. First, well..it’s Robert Dudley. There’s nothing great about him. He’s not God’s gift to women. Lettie (main character) put him on a bloody pedestal and practically worshiped this SOB. FFS. This is the LAST thing I needed to read.
There’s nothing I hate more than having a main female character gush over the object of her desire and affection. It’s almost to the point where it’s gets repetitive, sickening, and really really silly. This is one of the main reasons why I hated Memoirs of a Geisha. Yes. I HATED the book. The Geisha wouldn’t shut up about her stupid Chairman and I felt like smacking her silly, and throwing her into the ocean for being a lovesick cow. Argh. I hate characters like that. I made a vow to myself if I came across another stupid character that behaved like that I wouldn’t read it from cover to cover. Once was enough for me.
To add more to the misery, Rival to the Queen has a bear baiting scene. I know that sort of sport was popular during that time but I really didn’t need to read about it. It had nothing to do with the plot and it was just a meeting place..of ALL PLACES in England you chose a bear baiting spot??? WTF?
So, sorry to say, I had to close this book and not finish it. It’s one of the rare moments but I can’t stomach this kind of thing. Definitely not what I was looking for in this book.
So those of you that have read of Rival to the Queen did you like it? or not?
Eleven year old Isabelle is a lacemaker in the town of Versailles. One day as she delivers lace to the palace, she is almost trampled by a crowd of courtiers — only to be rescued by Marie Antoinette. Before Isabelle can believe it, she has a new job — companion to the queen’s daughter. Isabelle is given a fashionable name, fashionable dresses — a new identity. At home she plies her needle under her grandmother’s disapproving eye. At the palace she is playmate to a princess. Thrown into a world of luxury, Isabelle is living a fairy-tale life. But this facade begins to crumble when rumors of starvation in the countryside lead to whispers of revolution. How can Isabelle reconcile the ugly things she hears in the town with the kind family she knows in the palace? And which side is she truly on?(Product description from Amazon.ca)
I thought this was a great novel for younger readers who are about to be introduced to the history of the French Revolution. It’s fitting for younger readers, as the main character and narrator is a child.
Isabelle’s naivete really shows, she’s happy to be a playmate of the Princess and prefers to be there instead of back at the shop making lace while her Grandmother makes snide comments, and her mother who is sick also tries to help out (with little success). Isabelle doesn’t really realize the severity of the situation happening in France until her brother points it out. Then as the story develops, Isabelle’s eyes open and they do see what’s really happening outside of the palace. Isabelle also gets another reality check when she comes home to find it in disrepair
I had no sympathies for the Grandmother, she was mean and although it’s true that earning money was the main focus and priority, she belittled Isabelle and her mother and didn’t treat them so nice. To me, she was just a bitter old woman who needed an attitude adjustment.
The plot was well written and an easy read. I liked the relationship between the Princess and Isabelle. The Princess does shed a few secrets of her own, mostly on how she feels about her mother, the Queen (Marie Antoinette). Although she might act like a typical Princess, spoiled, selfish, and self centered. She’s also a young girl who just needs a bit of love, care, and decent friends who are not friends with her just because of her title and status. I thought Isabelle was a good friend, who not only was supportive and caring but also gave the Princess an eye opener or two about how life was really like out there outside of the palace.
Overall, it’s a great novel for younger readers to introduce them to this aspect of history. Those who love historical fiction will also enjoy reading this quick read.
I give it an 8 out of 10.