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  1. Goodbye 2009...

    Thursday, December 31, 2009

    Wow, what a year it has been! I cannot believe that it has come to an end already. 2009 saw me begin this blog at the end of July and it really has taken my love of books to a whole new level of appreciation. So here is my "year in review" post.

    This year I discovered the Study series by Maria V. Snyder and fell in love.



    I also read and loved Skin Hunger and now cannot wait to read the rest of the A Resurrection of Magic trilogy. What an amazing start for Kathleen Duey's first venture into YA fiction.



    I also went outside of my comfort zone with Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden... and loved it!



    Of course, not every new venture ended with praise. I honestly tried to get into faerie fiction only to be  disappointed with Tithe by Holly Black and struggling to finish Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr.



    Regretfully, while I really love Australian youth author, John Marsden, I found that his take on Shakespear's Hamlet did not live up to my expectations.



    I saw some fantastic movies this year, including District 9. I am so getting this one on DVD! The other day I also saw Avatar and, boy, what an amazing film it is! Look out for my review of it in the coming days! Also, even though I never got around to reviewing it, I really enjoyed the film adaption of Mao's Last Dancer. I must try the book sometime!




    I also got to share my love of some of my favourite web comics, including The Dreamer by Lora Innes, The Zombie Hunters by Jenny Romanchuk, and Earthsong by Crystal Yates.



    But the very best thing about this year was discovering all of the awesome blogs out there, the wonderful people that put them together, and my awesome followers! Writing this blog would not be the same without you guys so thanks for a great 2009!

    See you in 2010!

    Terra
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  2. Happy Holidays!

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009



    Whatever you may happen to celebrate at this time of year, I hope that all of you are having a crazy, wonderful time. Yesterday I was finally able to complete my own gift shopping when the present that I had ordered for my brother finally came in. What a relief it is to finally have everything all bought and wrapped! Tonight I am going out for dinner with friends to exchange gifts. While I am not religious, on Christmas day I get to catch up and exchange gifts with family members that I pretty much only get to see on Christmas.

    This blog is going on hiatus until the end of the year. I may slip in a post or two but no reviews. But fear not, part of the reason for this is so that I can spend the time that I might usually spend working on this blog blasting through my reading pile instead. I have some great books sitting on my bedside table right now which I am really looking forward to sharing reviews on come the start of the new year.

    Have a safe and happy holiday season, everyone!

    Terra
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  3. Wishful Wednesday

    Wednesday, December 16, 2009


    Wishful Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bluestocking at The Bluestocking Guide.

     Is there any one else out there who cannot wait to get their hands on The Dead-Tossed Waves, the sequel (or companion is it?) to The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan?

    From GoodReads.com:
    Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

    The Forest of Hands and Teeth was the very first book that I reviewed for this blog! Feel free to read my first ever review right here!

    Terra
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  4. Teaser Tuesdays

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009


     Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

    "With all due respect to your father's beliefs," she replied evenly, "we have found nothing in our extensive studies that suggests the phenomena of the of the differently biotic is a sign of the Apocalypse. Of course, we could be wrong, but we prefer to look at the phenomena as a scientific puzzle to be answered rather than a metaphysical conundrum."

    From page I-just-accidentally-closed-the-book-without-checking-the-page-number of Generation Dead by Daniel Waters.

     Terra
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  5. Vlad Mezrich, a centuries old vampire, has decided to bestow us mere mortal young women with much needed advice to help us snag and keep a hot vampire boyfriend, and, even more importantly, to recognise when he has grown so bored with you that he begins contemplating turning you into a meal instead of taking you out for one.

    If you are still looking for a good gift to give to that vampire loving friend of yours this Christmas then look no further than The Vampire Is Just Not That Into You by Vlad Mezrich. I picked up this absolute gem of a book as a gift for a friend of mine. Yesterday I sat down with some newly bought wrapping paper, with the all too cute slogan "no peeking" printed all over it, with the full intention of getting a head start on some gift wrapping. Instead, what started off as an innocent glance at the index of this book was then followed by my reading the introduction and then the first chapter and then the next. Before I knew it I was on the final page while trying to be really careful not to leave any evidence that the gift has now been read from cover to cover. (And no, I didn't get around to wrapping a single gift!) Please tell me that I am not the only one guilty of doing this!

    The Vampire Is Just Not That Into You is clever, witty, and filled with plenty of jabs and references to Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer, of the sort that will make both self-claimed Twihards and Antis chuckle. After all, as Mezrich reminds us, it is romantic when your vampire love interest stalks you and watches you when you sleep but when a human guy does these things it just becomes plain creepy. There are also plenty of references to the more classic style of vampire but most certainly this book takes its lead from the modern day trend of wanting to turn the vampire into the perfect "seventeen forever" boyfriend with a healthy side serving of angst.

    To help us in identifying our relationship status with our vampire potential love interests The Vampire Is Just Not That Into You has plenty of fun quizzes, charts, and diagrams. Did you know that there is a much wider variety of vampire males than there are humans males? When it comes to human males .0005% are Barack Obama, another .0005 are Johnny Depp, and the remaining 99.999 are "thoughtless guys who are too full of themselves to care enough about you, or even call you back in a timely fashion." Vampire males, on the other hand, come in a wide variety of track/baseball stars, novelists, world leaders, and more! Oh, how I love pie charts!

    Okay, so maybe you have done all of the quizzes and have studied the diagrams but you still are not sure if when he goes in for the big bite that he plans to turn you or drain you dry. Maybe you need to read these things in context? Well, fortunately, Mezrich has gathered testimonials from both human females (the ones who survived anyway) and vampire males about their relationship experiences. Do these make you think that he plans to drink you dry? Luckily a vampire slayer, Greta, also gets to slip in a few words of advice.

    This little article over on Publishers Weekly, in an interview with Scholastic editor David Levithan, reveals how The Vampire Is Just Not That Into You all came together after the title came to them. From there the book was a team effort. (You didn't really need me to point out that "Vlad Mezrich" is a pseudonym, did you?)

    I hope that my friend enjoys this book as I know that I most certainly did. Whether you have followed the current vampire trend with delight, horror, or a mix of both (as I have), this one is definitely worth giving a try.

    Terra
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  6. What's On the bookshelf

    Sunday, December 13, 2009

    I am really excited about the books that I picked up when I popped in at the library the other day!

    The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett
    This one has been catching my eye at the bookstore so when I spied it on the library shelves I jumped at the chance to take it out.

    The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
    This book was actually looking out to be my featured title for this coming Wishful Wednesday. Lucky me that I get to start reading it instead of wishing for it!

    Considering the covers of these two books and the cover of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, my brother now thinks that I have an obsession with guys in hooded cloaks.

    Procession of the Dead by D.B. Shan
    I had not heard of this one before and grabbed it on a bit of whim. It has been around for awhile though, having been first published in 1999 and this edition in 2008.
    I have just started this one and it is looking out to be quite interesting.

    In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Go here to find out more.

    Terra
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  7. This Holiday Season...

    Friday, December 11, 2009


    This is completely off topic from books but I think that it is a very important subject that more people need to be discussing, especially at this time of year.

    This holiday season, as many of us join the maddening dash to find the perfect gift, I would like to ask that this year, if any of you are considering giving a pet as a gift that you give it some long thought and discuss it with the intended gift receiver first.

    The purchasing of a pet should never be something that is done on a whim. Taking responsibility for the life of another, including an animal, is a big decision that deserves time and thought. Time must be taken to consider what animal and then what breed is suitable to the lifestyle of the would-be pet owner. Do they have time to walk the pet, to play with it, exercise it, and groom it? Can they afford regular visits the vet, to worm and neuter their pet, and be prepared to go that extra mile if their pet becomes ill? Far too many people do not consider these issues and as a result far too many pets are abandoned shortly after Christmas.

    Pets are also NOT fashion accessories. I was reading just today about how the number of chihuahuas being abandoned has sky rocketed after the breed becoming fashionable thanks to the film Legally Blonde and Paris Hilton toting one in her purse only for people to lose interest in them after purchase. I was also horrified to read in another article that some people, in the face of financial difficulty, would rather abandon their pet than cut back on buying Christmas presents and holiday treats. That materialism could take priority over the love and care of a member of your family absolutely stuns me.

    This year, one London animal charity is refusing to let people take pups from them after Sunday, December 20. Anyone wishing to adopt one of the pups must wait until January 2nd to take it home. This is a move to stop people thoughtlessly giving pups as gifts for Christmas only for them to abandoned on Boxing Day and I could not support it more.

    If you must purchase a pet this Christmas, do not look to the pet stores where your cute new kitten or puppy may have well come from the cruel conditions of a puppy farm (also known as puppy mills), but consider going to the local animal shelter and adopting a pet that really needs that second chance. Pets adopted from, for example, the RSPCA, will have already been checked by a vet to assess their temperament, and will have been desexed and microchipped as required!

    Please also be mindful during your seasonal celebrations, to safely secure your pet so that it will not become spooked and escape only to be hit by a car or end up in a shelter itself.

    Please, feel free to check out the links below for more information.

    Terra

    Resources:
    Chihuahuas a 'victim of celebrity culture'
    Don’t buy a dog for Christmas, Isle of Dogs MP urges
    RSPCA condemns pets as presents
    RSPCA NSW Website
    ABANDONED: Animal rescue centre is full and it needs your support Can you give these pets a loving home
    Animal abandonment rising, RSPCA says
    Companion Animals Fact Sheet
    Leeloo Dog Blog
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  8. Fifty Followers!

    Thursday, December 10, 2009


    Yesterday I logged on and low and behold, I have fifty followers! Okay, so I know that some people might say that fifty is not a very high bench mark but it's my first really notable bench mark and it sure does give me a serious case of the warm fuzzies to know that fifty people have looked at my blog and have liked something about it enough to think that they would like to see what else I post in the future.

    I also just want to say thank you to everyone for your thoughts, feedback, awards, and just for making my getting this blog started to be such a blast for me.

    I would sometime in the near future like to hold my first contest to celebrate but I am not going to announce anything yet. I might wait and see how devastating the holiday season is on my wallet first and decide how exactly I should go about doing it. I do like the idea I have seen around of purchasing something from the Book Depository. Cutting out the middle man (me) means minimizing the amount of travel for the book and hence increasing the chance of a book arriving on someone's doorstep in shiny condition.

    Terra
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  9. Wishful Wednesday

    Wednesday, December 9, 2009


    Wishful Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bluestocking at The Bluestocking Guide.

    I hear so many good things about Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
    Want, want, want!

    From GoodReads.com:
    Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight--she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.

    When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po's friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace--or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

    Terra
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  10. Before I get in to the review I just want to apologise for the delay on getting this review out. I had to give priority to writing out some job applications as I would really like (read need) either some part time or full time work, which, unfortunately, is not very easy to come across at the moment. Much to my frustration, today the Word document for my selection criteria for one position was somehow corrupted beyond recovery and I now have to start over from scratch meaning I will probably be fairly quiet over the coming few days as well as I try to catch up.

    Now, on with the review.

    The Midnighters of Bixby finally have some of their hard sought answers about the secret hour in their town. But the answers have come at a price - Rex is left damaged, somehow different, after his horrifying experience in the desert at the hands of the Darklings and the delicate bond in the group is strained after Melissa's violation of Dess's mind. With the Greyfoot's ability to communicate with the Darklings severed the Midnighters might finally be safe enough to spend time to recuperate and regroup. Except, history may not be as black and white as they thought and then comes the day when the blue time arrives in the middle of the day.

    Soon the Darklings will once again be free to prey upon humans - unless the Midnighters can find a way to stop the secret hour and real time from crumbling.

    What an amazing end to great series. Blue Noon really sees the characters of the Midnighters series fulfill their potential. Rex struggles with the Darkling part of himself and Jonathon, even though he knows that it is wrong to want it, cannot help but wish that the Darklings plan really does become a reality so that he can have the freedom of being able to fly all of the time. Dess cannot forgive Melissa for violating her mind while Melissa begins a transformation into an entirely different person as she finally acquires the knowledge to be able to deal with her Midnighter ability. In some ways, this book is the opposite of the first in the series, The Secret Hour, and Jessica is the one that is left behind a bit on the development scale. Rex really becomes the most fascinating character to follow here. He is in conflict with the Darkling part of himself, a part of himself that might even want the Darklings to succeed, but also in the changes in brings in him he is finally able to question the Lore which he had previously regarded so highly. He is finally able to question the history of Bixby as written by Midnighters past and realise the bias there.

    Blue Noon is packed with action and suspense but goes above and beyond being merely a "final battle," going on to ask further questions. I really liked how Westerfeld chose to end the series and how the extent of their possible success was uncertain and that no matter what their would be consequences. Right up to the end of the book the characters were continuing to develop and be impacted on by events, setting them up for what directions they choose to take after the story comes to its close. I also liked how some seemingly insignificant idea that he had slipped in over the course of the past two books turned out to be very significant in the end. Something that was previously just seemingly a little something to ponder suddenly becomes the big "aha!"

    My one complaint, might be the overuse of certain similes throughout the course of the series. This is particularly in reference to the 'tastes' that Melissa picks up using her psychic ability. For example, things are often described as being like a battery or the tip of a pen or lead pencil pressed against the tongue. Did Westerfeld go around licking pencils and batteries in preparation for this book because he sure seemed to reference it quite a bit?

    Midnighters has been a great series and Scott Westerfeld really is just a wonderful young adult author. I definitely recommend that you give this series a try.

    Terra
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  11. Teaser Tuesdays

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009


    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
    Then he began to sing softly, the tune lilting and strange, almost a lullaby:
    'How odd to watch a mortal kindle
    Then to dwindle day by day.
    Knowing their bright souls are tinder
    And the wind will have its way.
    Would I could my own fire lend.
    What does your flickering portend?'

    From page 41 of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

    Okay, so yeah, that is a mite bit more than two sentences but I could not possibly write only half of the song.

    I may be only ten chapters in, but I can tell you already that this is turning out to be an amazing book.

    Terra
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  12. What's On the Bookshelf

    Sunday, December 6, 2009

    I got home from a long shift at work today to find this delightful package from Nancy who runs the fantastic blog Tales of the Ravenous Reader. Nancy hosted a great zombie themed contest for Halloween.


    If you cannot tell clearly from the photo, I recieved:
    Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
    Never Slow Dance With A Zombie by E. Van Lowe (ARC)
    Zombie Blondes by Brian James
    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
    Breathers: a zombie's lament by S.G. Browne

    And let's not forget the zombie mints with brain flavour! They taste... slightly disturbing. A kind of meaty taste. I have been sharing them around the house with some great mixed reactions.

    A massive thanks to Nancy for hosting her zombie competition and for sending this awesome prize my way. Such a great selection of zombie books! How can I possibly choose which to read first?

    Furthermore, looking at the prices on some of these books, Aussies pay so much more for books in comparison to prices in the US. Hence why I heart the Book Depository. As I understand it, we pay a lot more for video games too.

    I think that I have recovered from November now. I have some job applications (eeek!) to work on but I will try to get my review of Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld written up tomorrow.

    In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Go here to find out more.

    Terra
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  13. Wishful Wednesday

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009



    Wishful Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bluestocking at The Bluestocking Guide.

    I absolutely loved the Study series by Maria V. Snyder, so I am really looking forward to the day that I get my hands on Storm Glass, the first book in her Glass series.

    Summary from Snyder's website:
    As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it’s time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan’s glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal’s unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap into a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she never knew she possessed... powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she’s ever known.

    Terra
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  14. Teaser Tuesdays

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009


    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
    As the words passed the mindcaster's lips, a tremor rolled across the room, the shudder of the spinning earth halting in its tracks. The roar of the cafeteria was sucked away all at once, leaving the five of them surrounded by almost two hundred stiffs, faces blue and cold and waxen, caught throwing food and picking their noses and chewing with their mouths open.

    From page 133 of Blue Noon, the third and final book in the Midnighters trilogy by Scott Westerfeld.

    This one was hard to find a teaser for. Lot's of the pages I let the book fall open to seemed too spoilerish as opposed to teaserish. It doesn't spoil anything that the blurb on the back cover hasn't revealed already. Well, except for the fact that some people are massive pigs. Throwing food? Chewing with their mouths open? Nose picking? Eeeew!

    Terra
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