Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Mammoth Book of Vampires edited by Stephen Jones

The Mammoth Book of Vampires edited by Stephen Jones was pretty good as far as story collections go. Some of the stories weren't really what I would consider to be vampire stories, and some just didn't make sense, but there were some stories that were true vampire stories. I mean, they gave me nightmares at night. Which is pretty much my idea of a good horror story. So if you're looking for good horror stories to keep you up at night, or just different variations of the original vampire myth. Then this book is perfect for you. Some of the authors include Edgar Allen Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Anne Rice, and many other notable authors. I highly recommend this book!

Blast From the Past Giveaway

Congratulations to Shawna for winning last month's Blast From the Past Giveaway! If you could contact me with your mailing information that would be wonderful. I'm sorry to everyone who entered for the long wait, I was on vacation with no computer for a while. But the next giveaway will be up shortly!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What-The-Dickens by Gregory Maguire

What-the-Dickens by Gregory Maguire is an interesting spin on the classic story of the tooth fairy. Orphaned at birth, a young skibereen named What-the-Dickens doesn't know who he is or where he came from. In his wanderings he meets another skibereen, Pepper, who takes him back to her colony to learn who he truly is.

It was a very interesting book, however it was not one of Maguire's better works. It was a good read and kept me captivated, but some parts were repetitive and childish which made it boring at times. All in all, however, a very enjoyable book I would recomend to anyone who likes to put a twist on a conventional story.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blast From the Past Giveaway

Alright everyone it's time for this month's Blast From the Past. This book is The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. Here's the description of the book:

Matteo Alacrán was not born; he was harvested. His DNA came from El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium -- a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt's first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster -- except for El Patrón. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself. As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters, including El Patrón's power-hungry family, and he is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. But escape from the Alacran Estate is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect.

I read this book for the first time when I was in eighth grade and I thought it was wonderful. Now, to enter this give away you must do one or all of the following:

+1 For commenting on this post
+1 For following (+3 if you are already a follower)
+3 For posting about this in your sidebar or on your blog (you must show proof)
+2 For the first person to tell me another book by the author
This giveaway is open in the US and Canada only for shipping reasons and it will end on:

August 1, 2009

The Broken Window by Jeffery Deaver

The Broken Window by Jeffery Deaver follows the famous detective Lincoln Rhyme and his sidekick Amelia Sachs on their newest adventure, tracking a killer who uses the broken window theory to murder people and frame innocents. When Rhyme's cousin Arthur becomes a victim, Lincoln drops everything to prove him innocent and uncovers a series of murders with the perfect evidence... too perfect for Rhyme. This book was very interesting and used everyone's worst nightmare, identity theft, to create a tale of mystery and murder that is all too real in today's society. I would definently recommend this book to all mystery lovers and anyone who has read the Lincoln Rhyme novels. Deaver did an awesome job with this book and is remminisant of Stephen King's ability to weave a tale so life like and real that you think it was a true story.

Scarlet by Stephen R. Lawhead

Scarlet by Stephen R. Lawhead is the thrilling second book in his King Raven Trilogy which follows the adventures of the legendary Robin Hood. After losing everything he owns, forester Will Scarlet embarks on a search for none other than King Raven, whose exploits have already become legendary. After fulfilling his quest--and proving himself a skilled and loyal companion--Will joins the heroic archer and his men. Now, however, Will is in prison for a crime he did not commit. His sentence is death by hanging--unless he delivers King Raven and his band of cohorts. That, of course, he will never do. Wales is slowly falling under the control of the invading Normans, and King William the Red has given his ruthless barons control of the land. In desperation, the people turn to King Raven and his men for justice and survival in the face of the ever-growing onslaught. From deep in the forest they form a daring plan for deliverance, knowing that failure means death for them all.
This book was very good and kept me interested so I never wanted to put it down. The beginning was slightly confusing as it started out in the middle of the story with Will Scarlet telling his tale from prison to a monk. But this is a series I would recommend to anyone familiar with the original tale of Robin Hood or anyone who loves fantasy.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Winner Blast From the Past

Alright everyone... the moment you've all been waiting for. The winner of this month's Blast From the Past is:

Congratulations Laina. You have one week to e-mail me your contact info so I can send you your book. Thanks to everyone else for playing and I hope you enter the next Blast From the Past giveaway!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Blast From the Past 2

Alright everyone it's time for another Blast From the Past. This month's book is The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. Here's the description of the book:

Orphaned Kit Tyler knows, as she gazes for the first time at the cold, bleak shores of Connecticut Colony, that her new home will never be like the shimmering Caribbean island she left behind. In her relatives' stern Puritan community, she feels like a tropical bird that has flown to the wrong part of the world, a bird that is now caged and lonely. The only place where Kit feels completely free is in the meadows, where she enjoys the company of the old Quaker woman known as the Witch of Blackbird Pond, and on occasion, her young sailor friend Nat. But when Kit's friendship with the "witch" is discovered, Kit is faced with suspicion, fear, and anger. She herself is accused of witchcraft!

I read this book for the first time when I was in sixth grade and I thought it was wonderful. Now, to enter this give away you must do one or all of the following:

+1 For commenting on this post
+1 For following (+3 if you are already a follower)
+3 For posting about this in your sidebar or on your blog (you must show proof)
+2 For the first person to tell me another book by the author
This giveaway is open in the US and Canada only for shipping reasons and it will end on:

June 2, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Night World Vol. 3

Night World Volume 3 by L.J. Smith was just as amazing as her last two volumes. The Night World is a secret society of vampires, werewolves, witches, and other creatures of darkness that live among the humans. In the third collection in the series, the Night People are preparing for the apocalypse to destroy the human world and to do this they are looking for the four Wild Powers that will help them.

In Huntress, a vampire named Jez finds out that she's half human and half vampire, something unheard of in the Night World. She leaves her home and lives with her human relatives to join Circle Daybreak and meets her soulmate and the Wild Power in the process.

In Black Dawn, a human girl named Maggie is kidnapped and sent to a secret Kingdom of the Night World where humans are slaves. There she meets Delos Redfern, a prince and Wild Power who proves to be a powerful ally.

In Witchlight, Circle Daybreak hires a shape shifting Panther named Keller and her team of misfits to guard the third Wild Power named Iliana. Iliana is a lost Harmon witch, the legendary Witch Child, and a Wild Power. But will Keller's love may destroy everything.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The Phantom of the Opera is set in late nineteenth-century Paris, France. Within an opera of Paris, there is a legend of a phantom - even more so, a myth. The proprietors of the opera believe so deeply in this phantom that they always leave a specified sum of money for the ghost and its own box for every show, though there is no evidence of O.G. (Opera Ghost) ever appearing. Despite the lack of evidence, it has been discovered that any failure in accomadating or displeasing O.G. leads to it wreaking chaos and havoc taking appearance in an unexplained accident or occurance. When the two new proprietors arrive, they discount everything the employees say about the Phantom, and refuse to give in to seemingly empty threats.

The protagonist of the novel is Raoul, the Vicomte de Changy, and who has been in love with Christine Daae since childhood. He has one older brother, Phillipe Georges Marie Comte de Changy and two sisters who are mentioned once. While Raoul seems to act on impulse, his older brother acts on reason and logic, and tries to restrain his younger brother on sometimes rash decisions.

When Raoul and Christine Daee meet again, Christine is an opera singer, and she is instructed by an “Angel of Music”, which she does not tell to Raoul until later. When Christine was growing up, her father often told of an “Angel of Music” that was to come to a promising person at some time of his life, and teach him about music. The “Angel of Music” in question gives her lessons through the walls of her dressing room and Christine rapidly develops her voice skills and becomes prominent on stage when she is selected to replace the currant prima donna Carlotta, whose act is sabotaged by the Phantom. Christine out-sings Carlotta and wins the hearts of the audience, including that of Raoul.

The “Angel of Music”, Christine discovers, is nobody but the Phantom of the Opera. She learns this when the Phantom takes her to his underground lair out of jealousy of her relationship with Raoul. During the construction of the opera, it became necessary to pump underground water from the foundation pit, which created a huge subterreanean lake. Christine is naturally terrified especially as she finds that Erik is not angelic at all - indeed, he is physically deformed as well as malicious, volatile, and dangerous, and a brilliant genius as well as being the best ventriloquist ever, as demonstrated. She discovers Erik’s physical defomities when she removes his mask out of curiosity. Erik is outraged at first and threatens Christine that he shall keep her in his lair forever, however, he does forgive her somewhat and he releases her, promising that she can come back whenever she wishes to.

Meanwhile, Raoul has become suspicious of Christine and her “Angel of Music”. He is also envious when, after her performance, he hears her succumb to a disembodied voice in her dressing room, and suspects another man has taken advantage of Christine’s innocent belief in the “Angel of Music,” and is using it to seduce her. Accordingly, he begins spying on her in her dressing room to learn who the mysterious person is and where the disembodied voice comes from.

Raoul suspects the action to be the Phantom’s doing and goes to Christine’s rescue, being guided by another mysterious character only known as the Persian Daroga Nadir, who had saved the ghost's life once. Together, Raoul and the Persian go into the dark depths of the underground of the opera. Unfortunately, the route that they took leads them to the torture chamber, which they become trapped in.

While in the torture chamber, they learn that Erik has made a deal with Christine: that he will kill everybody and himself with everybody unless she consents to being his wife. It is a terrible decision and she only has until the next evening at eleven o’clock to decide and in the meantime, Raoul and the Persian are to be silent lest they are discovered in the torture chamber…

Hood by Stephen R. Lawhead

Hood by Stephen R. Lawhead is the classic story of Robin Hood with a celtic twist. For centuries, the legend of Robin Hood and his band of merry men has captivated the imagination. Now, the old familiar tale takes on new life, fresh meaning, and an unexpected setting.
Hunted like an animal by Norman invaders, Bran ap Brychan, heir to the throne Elfael, has abandoned his father's kingdom and fled to the greenwood. There, in the forest of the Welsh borders, danger surrounds him--for this woodland is a living, breathing entity with mysterious powers and secrets, and Bran must find a way to make it his own if he is to survive.

This book is steeped in Celtic mythology and the political intrigue of medieval Britain and conjures up an ancient past that holds a mirror to contemporary realities. Prepare yourself for an epic tale that dares to shatter everything you thought you knew about Robin Hood.

I am a HUGE Robin Hood fan, and this is one of the best tellings of the story I have ever read. I can't recomend this book highly enough.

Blast From the Past Winner... finally!

I'm sorry about the delay in this competition, but school and sports have been crazy. However, I am happy to announce that this month's Blast From the Past winner is:

Congratulations! Please contact me by midnight tomorrow with an address I can send the book to. And please check back soon for the next month's Blast From the Past.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

West Side Story on Broadway

I wish my schedule wasn't so busy so I could update this more, but right now I have softball everyday and jazz band on Monday and work on the weekends... ugh. Oh well. Yesterday was an awesome day and, as you can tell by the post title, I went with my school band to see West Side Story on Broadway. IT WAS AMAZING!!! It was easily one of the best musicals I have ever seen and it is definitely one I would want to see again. The music was fantastic and the dancing was phenomenal. The movie just doesn't do it justice.

The only problem was the annoying people around us! I was sitting right above the doorway to the balcony right below us and people kept coming in and out during the play and standing right in the middle of the aisle so I couldn't see. And then this group of people were waving a flashlight around trying to read their prompt and someone's cell phone went off in the last scene. For anyone who's seen the play or knows it, you know that it's dead silent and horrible and sad and it was ruined by someone's cell phone. But other than stupid people I would recomend everyone go and see the play or at least see the movie!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Bodies Left Behind Review

Finally I can post my review for this book! I've had no time to read between SAT's and school papers and work, but now it's done!

The Bodies Left Behind by Jeffery Deaver was actually not as scary as the title sounds. The most interesting part of the book happened rather quickly, which was disappointing, and then the bad guys were caught on flukes. No gun chases or epic revenge scenes, it was disappointing! This book was definitely not the best Deaver book I have ever read, but it was still good. And it's a good mystery book for people who like suspense but don't like really scary books.

There was another part in the book that bothered me towards the end, I almost stopped reading after this part it bothered me so much. The main bad guys, who turn out to not be bad guys, get a file on the heroine that would end her career and put her off the case. It's the perfect black mail scenario and they don't do anything with it! I was practically crying at how stupid it was! It was a sad moment for Deaver's books, but his others are awesome so I am forgetting this book.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blast From the Past Giveaway

So last night I was searching through my old book shelves when I came across some books that I hadn't read in AGES. And that's when I had an idea, Blast From the Past. Every month I will post a "blast from the past", a book that came out years ago, for review and giveaway. Someone else is probably already doing this somewhere, but I haven't seen it anywhere so I can't give them credit for it (sorry).

This month's Blast From the Past is: *drumroll* Coraline by Neil Gaiman. This book won an ALA Best Book for Youbg Adults Award, among others, when it first came out and now they have a movie. The story is about a girl named Coraline who finds a secret passage out of her flat into the "other" world where her other parents live. But they want her to stay forever by sewing big black buttons on her eyes and she doesn't want that, not after the mice told her not to go through the door.

Now, to enter this give away you must do one or all of the following:

+1 For commenting on this post
+1 For following (+3 if you are already a follower)
+3 For posting about this in your sidebar or on your blog (you must show proof)
+2 For the first person to tell me another book by Neil Gaiman
This giveaway is only open in the US (sorry) since it's my first giveaway and it will end on:
April 18th

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Friday the 13th!

So I was going to post a review for Jeffery Deaver's The Bodies Left Behind today... but, alas, there is no review. I've been cramming for SAT's tomorrow, so it's going to be a little while longer.

But, becuase it's friday the 13th, I'm going to give you a preview of the book by posting the description from Enjoy and happy Friday the 13th!

When a night-time call to 911 from a secluded Wisconsin vacation house is cut short, offduty deputy Brynn McKenzie leaves her husband and son at the dinner table and drives up to Lake Mondac to investigate. Was it a misdial or an aborted crime report?Brynn stumbles onto a scene of true horror and narrowly escapes from two professional criminals. She and a terrified visitor to the weekend house, Michelle, flee into the woods in a race for their lives. As different as night and day, and stripped of modern-day resources, Brynn, a tough deputy with a difficult past, and Michelle, a pampered city girl, must overcome their natural reluctance to trust each other and learn to use their wits and courage to survive the relentless pursuit. The deputy's disappearance spurs both her troubled son and her new husband into action, while the incident sets in motion Brynn's loyal fellow deputies and elements from Milwaukee's underside. These various forces race along inexorably toward the novel's gritty and stunning conclusion.The Bodies Left Behindis an epic cat-and-mouse chase, told nearly in real-time, and is filled with Deaver's patented twists and turns, where nothing is what it seems, and death lingers just around the next curve on a deserted path deep in the midnight forest.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gaslight Grimoire Review

Gaslight Grimoire: Fantastic Tales of Sherlock Holmes definitely lives up to it's name. I would say that fantastic is almost stretching it. For avid Sherlock Holmes fans who want everything perfect, I would not suggest reading it. But for anyone who just loves a good mystery/thriller/supernatural story it's a great choice.

Throughout the book, which as it's name suggests contains many tales, you encounter all sorts of supernatural beings. You get djinns, ghosts, aliens, vampiric squid, Count Dracula, monsters, dinosaurs, and common criminals all rolled into one book. The stories themselves were strange and very un-Doyle-ish, but very good nonetheless. The writing was very well done, but very graphic in some stories to I guess go with the mood. Some of the main characters die that would completely ruin the canon and any sane Holmesian, as well as some character defects not found in the original canon. I prefer books of this short to at least try to be a good representation of the author's original work, but this was not. However, the stories themselves were good for a horror story and putting aside the characters, the ideas expressed were very creative and sometimes humourous.

I would read this book again as I felt it was very good, but if you like the way Doyle writes and want to keep the canon intact I wouldn't suggest reading this book ever.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Almost Time for a New Review

Hey everyone. I'm almost done with Gaslight Grimoire and then it's time for a new review! And for the two people following me... I wonder if anyone else knows about my blog... how to fix this dilemma???? Oh well, it's sad and depressing but I'll live... for the moment. Anyway, check back soon for my newest review!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Night World Vol. 2

This book is the sequel to Night World no. 1, and includes the stories Dark Angel, The Chosen, and Soulmate.

In Dark Angel, Rashel watches as her mother and little brother are eaten by a vicious vampire. Now she is the most feared of all vampire hunters... The Cat. But everything goes wrong when her soulmate turns out to be the most feared of all the vampires in the Night World, Quinn. This story is less romantic than the others in the previous book, but still very touching and well written.

In The Chosen, an ordinary, unpopular girl named Gillian dies after falling into a frozen river. But it isn't her time, and her guardian angel, Angel, comes back with her to help her try to become what she's always wanted to be... popular. But there is something wrong with Angel, and after he almost kills two people Gillian knows she has to stop him. This is another story with a soulmate, but you don't find out about it until almost the end so it's more of a traditional teen-trying-to-find-acceptance story than a romance novel.

In Soulmate, Hannah believes she is going crazy when strange notes in her handwriting appear in odd places around her room. The problem is, she doesn't remember writing them and they are all warning her of her death. When she goes to a psychologist, he recommends hypnosis and what she discovers plunges her headlong into the Night World and her soulmate, Thierry. This is a very romantic story and has a lot to do with forgiveness and trying to find the best in the person you love.

All-in-all a very well written book and a good sequel. I can't wait for the third volume to come out!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Night World Vol. 1 by L.J. Smith

The Night World is the secret world of Vampires, Witches, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters. They can be anyone, anywhere, and the Night World has only two laws. One: don't fall in love with a human, and two: don't tell anyone about the Night World. The penalty... death.

Night World is basically three stories in one book. The stories are all interconnected, but can be read separately if need be. However, there are references to previous stories and characters that won't make sense unless read in order.

In the first story, Secret Vampire, Poppy discovers that she has an incurable disease known as pancreatic cancer. The only way to save her is for her life-long friend, James, to change her, but can she make that sacrifice?
This story is told from the perspective of Poppy and is basically a classic love story. The beginning reads like a Twilight knock-off, but it gets a lot better after the first couple of pages.

The second story, Daughters of Darkness, is the story of three vampire sisters trying to escape the mediocrity of living on an all-vampire island. They travel to a small out-of-the-way town where their Aunt lives only to find her dead. Now someone wants them dead as well and the only ones who can help them now are two humans, Mary-Lynn and her brother. This is told from the point of Mary-Lynn and, although there is a very large romantic piece to this story, it isn't your typical love story. It also introduces the main aspect of the soul-mate principle which is mentioned in Secret Vampire, so it's kind of the opposite version of a love story.

In Spellbinder, two witches fight each other for a human. One to save her sister from certain death, the other for love. Thea and Blaise Harmon are the last of the famous Harmon witches, but Thea has found her soulmate and he's human. This story is told from the perspective of Thea Harmon and is similiar to the first story in this volume, except that she spends almost the entire story trying to fight her destiny. The story shows the power of the soul-mate principle and the fact that nothing can stop it once it has started.

The stories are excellant in my opinion, but very romantic and they all follow the same basic principle of a Night World person finding their soul-mate in a human. But very well written and there are some definant twists and turns in each one that make them unique. I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes supernatural stories or romantic novels.

First Post, FTW!

Hey everyone! Now that my blog is cooperating and my template works (thanks to my sister, Willowe), I can finally start posting my reviews... YAY!!