Friday, October 28, 2011

Michelle Zink's Guardian of the Gate

Hmmmmm.... this one is a thinker.  The plot line is fairly simple.  Lia and her twin sister are pawns in an ancient prophecy designed to bring the apocalypse and end the world as we know it.  Lia, born as the Gate but Guardian by nature, is on a quest to end the prophecy and prevent Satan himself from entering Earth.  Along the way, Lia is reacquainted with the super sexy and oh so virtuous Dimitri who will help her no matter the cost.  In the back of her mind she is thinking about James, her boyfriend that was left behind....

To me the complexity arises in the relationship between the sisters.  In The Prophecy of the Sisters, we learn that Lia and her twin Alice were very close and loving.  After their father's death, the sisters learn of the prophecy and their roles, and ultimately that they can no longer put trust in each other.  I think of sibling rivalry to the extreme, and my heart breaks for Lia.

I was fully engaged throughout the entirety of the novel, and I will be reading the third and final installment of the series.  I am curious to know how the prophecy ends and how Lia handles the love she has for James and Dimitri.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I can blog about my own blog, right? -Addendum to Love is Darkness Review

When I write a review for a novel, I try to do it immediately after I finish reading.  I do this because I feel like I can better capture the novel's essence; in this case, Valerie's humor and desire.  In being caught up in Valerie's emotions, I didn't share what makes this novel good.

First of all, there are some interesting historical references that I feel could and should be explored in later novels.  Hanson suggests that fairies were involved in the historical disappearances of the colonists in Roanoke.  I'm totally a sucker for historical fiction.

Hanson stays true to the monster that is vampire.  I think the desire to be loved and taken care of by someone who is a predator and dangerous is built-in, deep within the human psyche.  Valerie fears, and I could argue loves, Lucas.  He doesn't sparkle of feed off of rats.  Lucas is visceral.  Not only does the reader get to fantasize about being in bed with a sexy monster, but you could also have a "book talk" about human psychology.

Read it.  Enjoy it.

Caroline Hanson's Love is Darkness- Not for kids!


Seriously, when I downloaded this novel I didn't know what to expect.  I read the synopsis of the book, and it looked delicious.

Perhaps I had too many of glasses of wine when I started reading, but I was a bit confused at first.  I didn't feel like I knew Valerie very well, but that all changed when she decided to leave her family in search of a 'normal' life.

As the plot unfolded, I became more and more attached to Val and Lucas (a really old and totally bone-able vampire).  I wanted to know more about them, and I wanted them to finally do it already.  The novel really fits into the genre of paranormal romance, but within the novel are elements of drama, comedy, and erotica.

Now I just have to find out what happens to Valerie and Lucas, and whether Val can get into his sexy pants AND his heart.

And I'm sucked into another freakin' series....

Monday, October 17, 2011

Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters

To quote the front cover, this book is "absolutely un-put-down-able."  Zink has written a story about two twin sisters that take part in an ageless prophecy.

The author has made this story successful because of her uncanny ability to build characters quickly.  The reader must love the protagonist character, and I did after the first chapter.

I also feel the need to compliment the way the author has revealed at the perfect time, to keep suspense going.  Sometimes authors lack the ability of suspense and brevity at the same time, but Zink does it well. 

After reading series after series, I must say I'm turned off to novels that end without resolution.  I will purposefully avoid series books, and Zink has sucked me into another.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Darren Shan's The Thin Executioner

Shan creates an entire world with various cultures, religions and villains in his archetypal tale, The Thin Executioner.  Inspired by the country of Jordan, Jebel Rum sets out on a quest to gain superhuman strength and get his honor back.  Throughout his journey, our young hero learns to believe in himself and consequently learns what it is to be kind and humble.

In the dedication page, the author thanks the country of Jordan for his plot and setting inspiration.  What I want to know is WHEN does this story take place?  Some of the practices of Um Aineh are rather primitive and barbaric, but the weapons are extremely advanced and futuristic.  Whenever a character is introduced, the author is careful to mention the color of the character's skin, and his religious beliefs.  Ironically, characters with monotheistic beliefs are light skinned and enslaved.  Polytheistic characters are dark skinned, and rule the world.  Jebel Rum is worships many gods and dark skinned, whereas his enslaved companion, Tel Hasani, is light skinned and worships one god.  When Tel Hasani speaks of his religious beliefs, they sound much like Christian doctrine.  Could the setting of the story be from a distant time in the future?