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!