Posts Tagged ‘Sunday Salon’
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.
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?
Sad to say that I’m going through a reading rut. I’m not sure why. Perhaps I needed to take a reading break for a couple of days. I did earlier this week, and am starting to get back into the swing of things. I will have to warn you all ahead of time; once Call of Duty Black Ops comes out reading may take a dive. A real nose dive. I’ve been anticipating this game for quite a while now so I’m counting down the days until its’ release. However I’ll try and divide the time between reading and gaming.
Anyway! my progress on reading this week? I finished Paranormalcy and …despite all the raving reviews I was sort of “meh” about it. Not sure why. Perhaps it was Evie’s obsession with pink. I hate pink. The color makes me vomit. It blinds me like sunlight blinds vampires. I literally avoid any clothing or accessory that has that color when I go shopping. That is how much I detest the color. Plus Evie mentions it all the bloody time and I’m a thinking she’s a Barbie. Argh. I did go through the book though. I’ll be posting a review this week about it once I’m done getting that bloody color out of my head.
Now I’ll be working on The Haunted and Rival to the Queen. If pink is mentioned in there I’m going to scream. Until then, next week. Help yourself to some butter tarts.
Okay it seems I hardly got any reading done this week. Shame on me. I’m not sure what it is, I do go through phases were reading slows down a bit and I think that’s just my brain telling me to take a break from it all and just vegetate for a moment (ie; playing facebook games for an hour, watching youtube stuff for an hour until your brain starts to empty out). So..that’s what I’ve been doing, emptying my brain of all its’ content as it’s dangerously getting full (it might explode!)
Anyway I’ve been focusing on A Vicious Circle by Mike Carey (Felix Castor no 2). I’d have to say at the moment it’s exciting and I’m pleased with how far I’ve been reading this one. It’s been pretty good and I’m halfway done and it’s so much better than the first book (refer to my review of The Devil You Know).
Progress on Mockingjay has been slow. It’s not Gale anymore it’s bloody Peeta. Who the F is this cold blooded jackalope and what has he done with Peeta??? where was the Peeta that I knew and loved more than Katniss ever did??!!!! where the hell is he???? bring him back this instant! I’m nearing the end of this book and I’m dreading it. I already made my prediction and if I’m right I’m not going to be very happy with this book. You’ve been warned.
Okay! that’s it for now. I am going back to A Vicious Circle. It certainly fits into Halloween and the spooky rainy windy weather
Happy Halloween and here! have some chocolates!
I know, I know. You’ve probably heard enough about Mockingjay and is probably sick of hearing all about this book. This isn’t a review though, it’s just my first thoughts on the book. So if you’re sick of it, have a cookie and move on, but if you want to sit down and listen have some cake and have a seat (watch the kitty).
I’m about 137 pages into the book and so far, it’s not what I thought it would be. Here I was, all excited, (even counting down the queue of people in line on twitter) and I have the book in my hands and started reading it. Hrm. My excitement and hype just died. I’m not sure why. It’s off to a bit of a slow start but it’s slowly building momentum. Katniss is even growing on me (I stated that I didn’t really like her as much, I was Team Peeta all the way) (still am in fact).
You know who bugs me?
Gale; I don’t like you. Why? I don’t know but somewhere deep down inside of me you just scream “loser”. Your attempt so far at being a badass isn’t working and it’s making me dislike you more. Not to mention the fact that I think you’re a total homewrecker between Peeta and Katniss. They belong together and you’re just a bloody third wheel. On top of that, I still fail to see what Katniss sees in you? is it because you’re a total pushover and she can step on you and you’ll still lay in a puddle face down so she can step on you some more? argh go away, I really don’t like reading about you.
Perhaps he is the reason why Mockingjay isn’t doing so well with me.
Or…perhaps it’s because a great wonderful trilogy is about to come to an end and I don’t want it to.
Okay! thoughts? concerns? more dessert?
Reading has gone to a slow halt. (Damn you hockey. Damn you.) Then my social life decides to take over. I don’t like it when that happens. Not that I mind being out with friends. However when there’s books needing to be read and distractions are happening right left and center, it starts to get annoying. Then I start developing dangerous tics and then I evolve into this big red eyed man-eating dragon (I say man-eating because it’s usually the hombre that starts all these distractions!).
Anyway! Saturday I went to a library book sale! and I did manage to buy myself a large paper bag filled with books. It’s not a bad result, only that I wish I could go today (however social life is in the way and I must attend to that first.) So, while I was examining the shelves for anything that might have caught my eye I suddenly zoom in on a book which I’ve been curious to read for a while. Yet when I picked it up, it says in big bold letters: “ADVANCED READERS COPY”. Hrm.
Here’s what got me “hrmming”.
It’s taboo to sell ARC’s. I know it. Most of you should know and shame on you if you don’t *smacks hands with a wooden pointer* *that hurt didn’t it? good*. So now I’m wondering..does this taboo rule apply to libraries?
The book clearly reads: ‘Not for sale’ however, the proceeds do go to a good cause (the improvement of libraries). Should we as good book bloggers even donate these ARC’s to the library when they’re selling them once we turn around to read the next ARC?
Think about it. Let me know.
It certainly has!!!!! I haven’t posted a real proper post for The Sunday Salon in a while! so what have I been up to lately?
Reading, naturally, lately I’ve picked up Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. So far, it’s certainly a different novel and it’s NOTHING of what I expected it to be. However I’m still at that point where I’m thinking; “So what’s the big deal about this book that everyone’s been raving about” and I’m more than halfway through the novel. Is it because it’s so different from other books out there? hrm. Do I like the book: so far, yes, it’s interesting. However it’s not “oh wow omg omg omg”. Yet.
I finally picked up Mockingjay from the library!!!!! am excited to get that one started soon, among other books that are piling up here at a rather alarming rate. I think it’s time to become anti social and say “no” everytime a friend wants to do something.
Anyway! what to expect from me this week:
A review on the book: The Book of Unholy Mischief by Ella Newmark (goes live tomorrow)
and several more reviews of books such as; The Dead Boys and The Secret Life of Josephine. No guarantees! but I’ll try and post those up as well!
Anyhow! that’s really what I’ve been upto and what I plan to do. Now I’m going to try and finish Incarceron and from then on…well I’m not sure. It’s always hard to decide which book to read next isn’t it?
Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadian Book Bloggers!!!!!
Sorry I haven’t been posting up reviews like I usually do. Don’t get me wrong, I have been reading. Quite a lot actually but I haven’t had the time to post the reviews as I have had lots of books to catch up on so the reviews are all lined up ready to be written and posted. So the reading is getting along well, it’s the posting that hasn’t. Anyway! today’s review features After by Amy Efaw.
Devon Davenport was a straight A student, and a top soccer athlete. Yet she does something that is totally out of character for her; she dumps her own baby into a dumpster. No one except her knows why she did this. In fact, Devon is in denial herself. Yet when she’s sent to a juvenile detention facility, reality crashes all over her.
I normally don’t read these types of books. It’s not my type (even though I love young adult fiction). Yet I was drawn to the book, and have heard good reviews on other book blogs I follow. When I started reading this book, for me, it started off a little slow, yet as you go with Devon through her issues and what she goes through in the juvenile facility, the book started to get more interesting and I couldn’t let it go.
I had issues with Devon. I couldn’t believe she was that stupid to deny her pregnancy and I hated her attitude towards her lawyer who was only trying to help. It just seemed as Devon wanted to dig a hole deeper around herself and I almost wanted to give up on her for being this way. It actually got to the point where I nearly put the book down and walked away because I got so angry at her. Yet as the story progressed, you see changes in her, and it’s as if she started to “grow up”. I started feeling sympathetic towards her, and eventually at the end, I noticed that I actually did like her. She got herself up and tackled her issues eventually leading to an ending which I really did not expect.
I enjoyed reading this book. It was fast paced, and Devon’s development as a character was excellent! it was interesting how your attitude towards her changes and I ended up applauding her. Although the story revolves around Devon, the plot is all right and she does meet other characters – however none really do stand out except for one named Karma (whom I thought Devon was going to punch in the face – if only she did). The relationship between Devon and her mom is mentioned and indeed interesting and you have to wonder if that may have anything to do with Devon’s present situation.
If you were to ask me what I didn’t like this book (besides Devon’s attitude in the beginning), I’m not sure. I suppose the plot could use a little more work. It does tend to run flat and dry at times and if you’re used to books with a lot of characters, this one may take some time to get used to. There’s not many as the story does revolve around Devon.
Otherwise, it’s a great book that tackles the issue of teen pregnancy. It was realistic, and straight to the point. It’s a fast read so I advise to give this book a try. You’ll see what I mean from hating Devon, to supporting and liking her in the end.
I give it a 8 out of 10.
Wizard’s Funeral is book two of the Red Pavilions series by Kim Hunter. It’s one of the lesser known fantasy works out there (that I know of) and I picked up the first book by chance at the local library book sale. I read the first book before I started this book blog, however if you want to know more about it, my review for it is here (Caroline C is my name under the review). It is greatly recommended you read Knight’s Dawn before you jump into Wizard’s Funeral.
The King Magus has been declared dead, and his sucessor is a young boy whom Soldier had met in his previous adventures. Yet there have been some that would prefer if the young boy would be dead. Soldier decides it’s his responsibility to protect the boy and his mother, yet also he has other problems of his own when his wife goes missing and Zamarkand is left in a political chaos.
If you have read my shelfari review on Knight’s Dawn, I wasn’t really expecting much from this book. I decided to keep going with the series because there was an element of political intrigue that was interesting, and also I was curious as to the mystery behind Soldier’s past and who he really is. It wasn’t a bad book, but there were a couple of things that I didn’t like. Yet let me get to what I liked about Wizard’s Funeral.
The funeral of the King Magus described in this book was very unique and different. It was a meeting of creatures from every myth and legend you could think of, yet instead of making it sound like a total chaotic mess it was an interesting mixture and blend. It was also interesting as Soldier was the only human invited, and the other creatures thought he was the oddity in the funeral instead of the other way around. I thought that was the most interesting part of the book and have never read anything like this in any fantasy novel I have read. This definitely stood out.
Another thing I liked are the characters, there’s a bit of a witty black comedy involved and sometimes it comes when it’s least expected. I did jot down quite a few memorable quotes that I thought were well written and got a chuckle out of me. Aside from the previous characters mentioned in Knight’s Dawn, there are some new ones involved in this book but it’s a healthy amount so the reader is not confused. Soldier’s new friend Goldgath brought more to the plot, thus making it more enjoyable to read. Also, I enjoyed the giant cliffhanger ending. I wasn’t about to give up on this series, but it was not going to be in my top priority list to read either, but the ending changed things and now I want to know what’s going to happen.
The plot and storyline was all right, but still not great. There’s one part of the plot where Soldier arrives at a certain destination, only to go back to Zamarkand ONLY to find out he wasn’t needed there in the first place! then he makes the trek back to where he originally wanted to go to. What in the world was that all about??? and what a waste!! I didn’t know what was the point of that! there wasn’t any big revelation, or anything that is character revealing, or anything to advance the plot. I thought it was strange and extremely unnecessary.
At times I sometimes reflected back on my reading, and wondered where is this plot going to? it just seems so haphazard and to me, it feels as if this series is just going nowhwere. What seems as if Soldier is going in the right direction, something else distracts him. Also, it seems as if he doesn’t really care about his past and is not even making an effort to find out. It’s odd and not what you’d expect from a behavior of a normal human being. What I also don’t get is some of these character names. They are the most odd and most obscure ones I have ever read so far and are just beyond strange.
Overall, still not the greatest of fantasy series I’ve been reading. However I am not going to give up on it. The ending of this book caught me off guard and although there are a lot of unanswered questions, I am hoping the third and final book of this series will provide a lot of closure. It’s not the greatest, but it’s not a terrible read either. I give it kudos for making such a unique and different plot with very different characters with their own unique personalities. Do pick this trilogy if you want something different, but don’t expect a lot either. It’s definitely not your average fantasy.
I give it a 5 out of 10.
Lord Loss is the first in the Demonata series by Darren Shan. It is the story of a boy named Grubbs Grady, whose life is turned upside down when he encounters demons tearing his family to shreds (literally). Living with his Uncle Dervish, he soon finds out who these demons really are and what they have against Grubbs and his family.
Without really giving anything away as it is a short novel, this one really did blow me away in the beginning. When I read the first forty pages into this book I didn’t realize how bloody and gory it was going to be. It was pretty graphically violent and I was wondering to myself if I really did pick up a young adult book. Anyway, if you can read through it, I really did like how the demons were described. They were very different and it read like something out of either the short stories of HP Lovecraft, or out of just a very wild imagination. It was good though as it made the demons seem more evil looking, macabre, and scary. I found it a little hard to picture them at first, but Darren Shan made such wonderful descriptions that it was if these things could only come from nightmares (and they do get really creepy once you finally pictured them).
The storyline is really good and it’s short, and to the point which makes it a fast and engaging read. The characters are few so it’s very easy to keep track of them, although the story centralizes on Grubbs. The character names in this book are rather strange and odd (Grubbs and Dervish to name a few examples) but it adds more quirkiness to the book and it makes it a different read. Although the names are funny and strange, I find them much better than the names you find in other young adult novels that seem to name their characters names that celebrities would give their kids (rather stupid names too). The names just seem to fit this novel more.
The only criticism I can find in this novel is towards the end, where Grubs can “suddenly” do things he could never do. I found it as an easy way out of finishing the book and a little too convenient. Everything ended just a little too quickly and the ending, well, all I ask is: “how did he wake up??!!!!” leave me with asking more from this series. Also, please note, this book is not for those that aren’t into gore. Coarse language may be an issue to some, I expected it, and it does add a bit more realism to Grubb’s character (since when did teenagers never swear in real life?)
Overall, a fast engaging read, with creepy descriptions of demons, and enough action to get you to read the rest of the series of The Demonata. This is a great beginning of what seems like a great series.
I give it a 9 out of 10.