Monthly Archives: February 2012

Review: Shadow’s Edge by Brent Weeks

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Holy mother, this book was good. I thought The Way of Shadows was good, but it was nothing compared to this one! Weeks really hit his stride in this volume of the story, and I absolutely loved every minute of it.

It’s been a long time since I got really emotionally drawn into a good old fashioned fantasy trilogy. I don’t know when exactly it happened, but this series definitely broke that dry spell. I don’t remember feeling quite so emotionally attached to the characters while reading The Way of Shadows.. And I’m not quite sure when exactly I became attached to them. I didn’t even realize I was attached to them until… Well I can’t say what it was, because that would spoil it, and I’d determined to make this a spoiler free review. But the thingy thing I’m talking about? I did not see it coming at all, and my heart was instantly broken. That’s when I realized this characters had become real to me, and there was no turning back.

And damn. The twist in the epilogue? Did not see that coming either. There was just so much good in this book.. I want to gush and gush about all of the things I loved about it, but I don’t want my review to be full of spoilers, so I’m forcing myself to hold back.

Bottom line – if you liked the first book, you won’t be disappointed by this one. In fact, I think you’ll be pretty damn impressed by it. It’s not often that I end up rating the second in a series higher than the first in the series, but it’s happening with Night Angel. Five stars…. And now I have to wrap this up, so I can get to reading book three!

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Review: The Troll Hunter by Keith C. Blackmore

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A warrior with a secret. A band of cutthroats. And a monster of legend.

A morning that no one wanted. Battle rusty from the war infirmaries, a company of Sujins are ordered to march north through a war torn country, guarding a mysterious koch. They are whipped by the murderous Rusk the Two Knife and led by the enigmatic Bloor, the only cavalier to survive the Field of Skulls.

Together, they will march into the unknown, and arrive at the teeth of hell.

And only one man will possess the skills necessary to bring the survivors back.

A tale of heroic fantasy. Some graphic violence and language.

Trolls – mindless, destructive monsters, driven by their hunger and willing to eat any living thing – especially humans. Terrorizing the countryside and any towns they cross, trolls kill and eat all the humans they can. From far and wide, people travel to locate The Troll Hunters – the only men able to track and kill these man-eating beasts. How did these men become Troll Hunters and what motivates them? This is their story.

That little summary above is a lot closer to what the book is about than the actual blurb. But even then it really doesn’t tell the reader what the book is about before the reader picks it up. And that is the major problem I had with this book – the description of the book does not give the reader any real clue as to what is going on. A friend recommended this book to me – telling me that it was very like David Eddings (one of my favorite authors).

If I had to try to compare this book or author to anyone I would say that Keith C. Blackmore and The Troll Hunter is a lot closer to Glen Cook and The Black Company. This is Military fantasy without any magic…just a really big and really bad troll. Not an evil troll, just destructive and hungry. So, I really wasn’t expecting Military Fiction…and I’ve been a bit of a moody reader lately. I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book. The book is very well written and I did enjoy it…I just wasn’t expecting it.
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Quickie: Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

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People with parental issues should stay away. It’s full of bad parents who are forcing themselves on their traumatized adult kids – with overtones of the kids should just forgive all the crappy parenting (or lack thereof) simply because the parents are now “better.” Fuck that.

The ending was exactly what I was fearing. Everyone resolved all their mommy and daddy issues and became a happy family.

Those of us with families know that family issues don’t just get resolved like that. I was kinda annoyed with how easy it was for the HEA for everyone.

The beginning was rather funny but as more asshole parents and family members showed up, I stopped having so much fun.

But I did love Nina. She was great.

So. The book was ok. A lot more fun for other people than for me. I think I can see this one going to my mom.

I keep asking myself why I gave this three stars. Maybe I should lower the rating? hmmmm….

Review: Always by Carol Rose

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Always (or “The Angry Heroine”) by Carol Rose

The Blurb:
Elinor Prescott has come home at last…to Oakleigh, the gracious antebellum mansion that was home to generations of her Southern family. But the beautiful old house is a near-ruin and she can’t afford to restore it. Elinor hopes to find a buyer who will cherish the home as she does. But she has one rule–she won’t sell to handsome, self-made millionaire Cole Whittier.

Cole has the locals upset over his plans to build a factory nearby and Elinor’s leading the opposition. He’s got a fight on his hands to convince the stubborn beauty of the merits of his plans–and of everything else he discovers he wants to offer her.

It’s up to Cole to persuade Elinor to see things from his perspective. The sexy industrialist is convinced that Elinor is well worth winning over.

I had a lot of problems with this book. There are a lot of good ideas but the bad execution destroys a lot of that promise. The story should have been right up my alley…but I found myself wanting to toss this book across the room on several different occasions. I also found myself putting it down and not coming back for long periods of time. In fact, I had to force myself to finish. That’s never a good sign. This book is in need of a good editor, STAT.*

I think that a lot of my issues with this book deals with characterization and the lack of character growth. Elinor was just too…angry throughout the entire book. She was mad about this, mad about that…yelling and screaming and flinging accusations left and right. With all of her explosions…I never once thought of her as feisty or as a spitfire – she was just plain annoying as hell and slightly unlikeable. I’d see her as more of a nag and really couldn’t understand why Cole liked her. I felt sad for him that he was dating her.

There was very little emotional or sexual tension between the hero and heroine. I saw Cole try and try with her…but all I saw from Elinor was anger and reverse snobbishness. In fact, by the end of the book I was so sick and freaking tired of her money issues that I wanted to shove some money down her throat so she could choke on it. Most people – especially Americans – respect riches that are the result of hard work. Cole came from nothing and did it all himself…but the reader is subjected to Elinor’s angry money issues time and time again.

While still carping on Elinor’s anger issues, lol, I wanted to say that her anger made it hard for me to believe the story. WHY would Cole want to marry her?? WHAT had she done beside be a bitch? I never saw any real growth in their relationship that would make me feel that leap was possible. I can’t even remember Elinor instigating affection between the two of them.

The only point that Elinor had in her favor was that Cole lied to her – by omission – about being the anonymous buyer of her grandfather’s house. And then he kept up that lie throughout the entire book…which – of course – clues the reader in to the final “big misunderstanding” that the couple will have (much too early).

And the ending. Wow. It just made me so angry. Wow, so angry.

*Note: a good editor is NOT a proof reader.

Review: Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding

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I was pretty bored during the entire first third of this. I almost gave it up several times, just because it was taking me so long to dredge through it. I wasn’t digging the plot or the characters, I just didn’t think the premise was “my thing”. Science fiction, sky pirates… Sounded weird to me. But I’m really glad I stuck with it. The characters grew on me, the plot stepped it up, and I got sucked in. Hell, I got so emotionally attached to the characters that I almost teared up in one spot. I’m not a crier when I read books, so almost tearing up is a pretty big deal.

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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This book was nothing at all like I expected it to be. I’ll admit that I thought it was going to be a kind of ‘carnival-freak’ book, where all the weirdness is exploited and glamorized into something sexy and cool, but it wasn’t like that at all. And I’m very glad that it wasn’t.

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Review: The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach

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Imagine spending your entire life devoted to the creation of one thing, just one item.

Your every moment spent hunched over, toiling away on it every single day. Every aspect of your life, your wife and children, all are dedicated to this one single endeavor. Your town, your nation, your entire planet geared towards this undertaking.

And when you’re done, when you’ve completed this lifelong task, you give the item to your son to sell. The money he makes from that sale go towards his own lifelong quest to do the same thing you’ve done and create his own lifetime-spent masterpiece.

And this goes on for untold generations. Never changing, never varying, never getting easier. Day in and day out, toiling away the hours and devoting an entire life to a single item.

All in the name of your God-Emperor, for what you create is for his glory and happiness.

The item in question? The one you and your ancestors for generations have each spent entire lifetimes creating? What magnificent masterpiece could ever require such a devotion of each persons entire existence?

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