Rss Feed
  1. Title: Alanna: The First Adventure
    Series: The Song of the Lioness Quartet
    Author: Tamora Pierce
    Publisher: Atheneum
    Release Date: September, 1983
    Source: Library

    From the Back Cover:
    Disguised as a boy, Alanna sets out to achieve her ultimate ambition: to become a knight. The struggle to prove she is as strong as the other young men demands all her determination but the need to cover her growing femininity is an entirely different challenge. And while the court magician may be her most dangerous enemy, the possibility of love may be her undoing...

    My Thoughts:
     This one is a reread for me as part of a recent desire to revisit some childhood favourites. I think I first stumbled upon this gem around the age of ten or eleven. It was my first Tamora Pierce book and ever since this series has remained my favourite of hers.

    As a ten year old I loved Alanna and her commitment to reaching her goals and the easy to read nature of the books. As a twenty-one year old I still enjoy Pierce's writing style, world building, and characters but wish that the books were longer.

    Oh, sure, maybe I do now look at The Song of the Lioness Quartet with "rose coloured glasses" so to speak. Reading this first book in the series again was most certainly a nostalgic experience and I found myself thinking "I remember this bit!" and "oh, this scene used to be my favourite!" quite often. I believe that, more than anything, it goes to show how enjoyable a read it is for the target age group and that I do consider it to be one of the influential and memorable books that I was discovering at that time. I feel that many of the books, including this series, that I enjoyed at that age had great influence on the development of my taste in fiction right up to this day.

    If you have never read any Tamora Pierce then start here! If you are looking for a good fantasy series for a preteen then start here! Yes, it has its flaws including clichés and definitely a need for more detail but I consider this to be one of my treasured childhood favourites and I just have to share it. I'm not entirely sure if this is really a review or really just biased raving in disguise.

    Also Check Out:
    Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

    Terra
    | |


  2. Dear November...

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Please be merciful.

    Today I started my new full-time job, which I think started off well. I'll be spending the next six (6) months working in an university library so it's all very different, new, exciting, and occasionally confusing and exhausting. When I got home today I promptly collapsed in a heap on the couch and immersed myself in Battle for Middle-earth II for several hours.

    As a result I have not written a word for NaNoWriMo and I have for you no witty post or insightful review planned for NaBloPoMo. November is always my favourite month for creativity but it just isn't going to happen today. In fact...

    Dear November,

    Would you mind maybe going away and coming back later?

    Kindest, yet somewhat frazzled, regards,

    Terra
    | |


  3. Teaser Tuesdays

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010


    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!
    "I'm king here - more king than the man who sits atop the big hill. My people wouldn't give him a word in passing, but they follow my slightest wish."

    From page 61 of Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce.

    I've been revisiting some of my childhood favourites recently. I think I must have been maybe ten years old when I first read this book.

    Terra
      | |


    • 1. What are you reading right now?
      Food for Life: Lifelong health from the food you eat by Michael Van Straten.
      2. How many books have you read so far?
      This is my first.
      3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
      Probably Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as I haven't read it for a couple of years now. Mind, I was just thinking that maybe I should add John Dies at the End to my reading list.
      4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
      Nope. It's a glorious work-free Sunday here.
      5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
      Sleep, which I learned last Read-A-Thon is important.
      6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
      That I have run out of pocky. Also, this post not formatting itself the way I tell it to. :(
      7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
      More pocky. Oh, wait. You mean suggestions for the event planners? None. It's great as always.
      8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
      Maybe go to be sooner so that I'd get up earlier to start reading.
      9. Are you getting tired yet?
      Nope. I'm am now awake and refreshed.
      10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?
      Sleep is important. So is pocky.

      Terra
      | |



    • Read-a-thon! Wait for meeeeee!

      Better late than never I an scrambling to get a start on Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon.

      I live in Australia so the starting time was late here and I was already so tired so I figured that it was better to get some sleep. So, here I am, now awake and refreshed and ready to get some ready done.

      In these last twelve hours of the Read-a-thon I will be trying to get through...
      • Food for Life by Michael Van Straten
      • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
      • Hell Island by Matthew Reilly

      If I actually manage to get through those then I will continue on with The Passage by Justin Cronin.

      Terra
      | |


    • Feed by Mira Grant

      Thursday, October 7, 2010

      Title: Feed
      Series: Newsflesh
      Author: Mira Grant
      Publisher: Orbit
      Release Date: May 1, 2010
      Source: Library

      From the Back Cover:
      The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

      Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will out, even if it kills them.

      My Thoughts:
      Four words: New. Favourite. Zombie. Book.

      Feed explores the impact of a zombie rising far beyond the initial fear and chaos, looking at the long term influence on media, politics, security, and medicine. Mira Grant (pseudonym for Seanan McGuire) shows us the world in 2040 - a whole 26 years after the Rising. The panic has passed and the walking dead wanting to take a bite out of you is just another fact of life. The Rising catapulted bloggers into the spotlight as the only reliable news resource during a time when conventional news providers where under the thumb of censorship.

      I fell in love with the cast of characters that Grant put on the page. Georgia and Shaun Mason are siblings by adoption who are closer than most brothers and sisters. They run the news blogging site, After the End Times, along with their friend Georgette "Buffy" Meissonier, winning themselves the career making opportunity of a lifetime - exclusive access to Senator Ryman's presidential campaign. Georgia is the "Newsie" with a passion for truth. Shaun as their "Irwin" brings in the ratings by pulling risky stunts like poking zombies with sticks. As the "Fictional" Buffy writes stories and poems to entertain the masses. Together they create a dynamic team and I enjoyed Georgia's unique voice as the narrator.

      Feed has the perfect balance of political conspiracy and zombies along with plenty of tension, action. humour, and tears that kept me up into all hours of the night unable to set it down. I eagerly await the next book in the series, Deadline.


      Also Check Out:
      The Zombie Hunters by Jenny Romanchuck
      The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

      Terra
      | |


    • Teaser Tuesdays

      Wednesday, October 6, 2010


      Technically fifteen minutes into Wednesday... -_-

      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!
      "Actually, I decided to skip the weapons." Picking up the other two kits, I brushed past him on my way up front. "If we meet any zombies, we'll pacify them with Hostess snack cakes."

      From page 265 of Feed by Mira Grant.

      Either there is an ongoing joke in the upper half of the world about the power of Hostess snack cakes to repel all sorts of things that go bump in the night, or Mira Grant listens to the Geek Survival Guide.

      Terra
      | |


    • Title: Life As We Knew It
      Series: Last Survivors
      Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
      Publisher: Harcourt
      Release Date: October 1, 2006
      Source: Library

      From the Back Cover:
      It's almost the end of Miranda's sophomore year in high school, and her journal reflects the busy life of a typical teenager: conversations with friends, fights with mom, and fervent hopes for a driver's license. When Miranda first begins hearing the reports of a meteor on a collision course with the moon, it hardly seems worth a mention in her diary. But after the meteor hits, pushing the moon off its axis and causing worldwide earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, all the things Miranda used to take for granted begin to disappear. Food and gas shortages, along with extreme weather changes, come to her small Pennsylvania town; and Miranda's voice is by turns petulant, angry, and finally resigned, as her family is forced to make tough choices while they consider their increasingly limited options. Yet even as suspicious neighbors stockpile food in anticipation of a looming winter without heat or electricity, Miranda knows that that her future is still hers to decide even if life as she knew it is over.

      My Thoughts:
      Although Life As We Knew It is about the chaotic side effects of a meteor knocking the moon into orbit much closer to the Earth don't  be too hasty to label it as "apocalypse" fiction so much as "survival" fiction. Much of the book is set inside Miranda's house as her family struggle to survive within without the 21st century resources that they are used to. Miranda only hears about the massive tsunamis and volcano eruptions and is spared from experiencing them. In Life As We Knew It you won't see an informed overview of the world falling apart so much as the very personal story of Miranda and her family's struggle against starvation and the cold. Some readers may be dissappointed at times to miss out on the big action but I really liked Pfeffer's appoach of focusing everyday survivalism and family.

      There is one thing that I think that Pfeffer does very well and that is to make me feel hungry and then to make me feel immediatel guilty about it. It really is amazing how little people know about how to survive in an emergency situation. We all like to think that we would be prepared but in reality we are so used to depending on electricty, gas, plumbing, and supermarkets to provide us with heat, running water, and food that who among us are trualy equipped to survive long term? Especially when your home environment suddenly turns so hostile.

      One of my few complaints is that sometimes, especially at the start, the writing style felt a bit much like it was listing things but it is hard to say if this was intentional as Life As We Knew It is in the format of Miranda's diary and the everyday venting of a seventeen year old girl can't be expected to always be a piece of art. I also felt like there were a few lose ends left open that I would have liked to see tied up.

      That, and I am always a bit disappointed in survival stories when they scabble for can of foods to stock up and no one makes a point of saying: "Can openers! Grab as many can openers as you can!" It's just my pet survival thing. I mean, wouldn't it just suck to starve to death despite having all that food because something happened to your only can opener?

      Also Check Out:
      The Road by Cormac McCarthy

      Terra
      | |


    • Teaser Tuesdays

      Tuesday, September 28, 2010


      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!
      It felt weird, though, seeing them all closed, the same kind of weird when you see the moon and it's just a little too big and too bright.

      I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald's would still be open.

      From page 47 of Life As We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer.

      Terra
      | |


    • What's On the Bookshelf

      Monday, September 27, 2010

      Considering my usual reading habits, it seems strange for me that I did not get that much reading done while I was on crutches, instead I pulled out some old PC games and allowed my mind to be consumed by Assassin's Creed and Battle for Middle-earth II.

      John Dies at the End by David Wong
      I was thrilled when this finally turned up on my doorstep. I'd been hanging out and counting down waiting for the paperback to be released so that the Book Depository could finally ship me my pre-order. If the title sounds familiar to you it may be because it started out online as a web series. After a few years it caught the attention of indie horror publisher Permuted Press and eventually came to the attention of St. Martin's Press. Not at all bad for a story that started out online.



      The Passage by Justin Cronin
      Is this book in high demand right now or what! It took forever to get to the top of the library waiting list for The Passage and there are more in line behind me. I just hope that I can get through all 766 of its pages before I have to pass it along! I look forward to reading a vampire story that isn't set in the school yard.

      Terra
      | |


    • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

      Saturday, September 25, 2010

      Title: Shiver
      Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls 
      Author: Maggie Stiefvater
      Publisher: Scholastic Press
      Release Date: August 1, 2009
      Source: Library

      From the Back Cover:
      The Cold
      Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.


      The Heat
      Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.

      The Shiver
      For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.


      My Thoughts:
      I had recently been feeling rather jaded with YA Paranormal Romance but in one fell swoop Maggie Stiefvater has redeemed the entire genre.

      Shiver is beautifully written. More than the romance, more than the unique werewolf mythology, Stiefvater had me entranced with her poetic prose. The pace is slow but steady enough that it kept me hooked. The narration passes between Sam and Grace and I came to enjoy both characters dearly. Grace is independent and level headed for her age yet a part of her still wishes for her parents to step up to the plate. The "beautiful and sad" Sam reads poetry, writes songs in his head, and struggles to come to terms with his past and impending future. Together they strike a beautiful balance. I feel like the candy shop scene captures the feel of their relationship and of this book perfectly - it's like mug of hot chocolate during the winter.

      Stiefvater's mythology behind werewolves is refreshing and unique. It is the onset of winter that triggers the change from human to wolf and eventually, after a number of years of change, they will remain a wolf for the rest of their lives. Each chapter starts with the temperature. Although Fahrenheit is not used where I live, the significance of impending change was never lost on me.

      I only wish that I had not waited so long to read this beautifully written book. I will not wait so long to pick up the next The Wolves of Mercy Falls book, Linger.

      Also Check Out:
      Fallen by Lauren Kate


      Terra
      | |


    • Vampires Suck

      Friday, September 24, 2010

      Title: Vampire's Suck
      Director: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
      Release Date: August 26, 2010
      Source: Movie Theatre


      From the Back Cover:
      (Or in this case, imdb.com)
      A spoof of vampire-themed movies, where teenager Becca finds herself torn between two boys. As she and her friends wrestle with a number of different dramas, everything comes to a head at their prom.

      My Thoughts:
      I went to see this with a mixed group of people, including Twilight fans, people who think that the series is okay but are basically indifferent when it comes down to it, and myself who doesn't like the series so I feel that this review can come with the benefit of their opinions too.

      Vampires Suck is brought to you by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer - the same guys behind Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet The Spartans, and Disaster Movie. Vampires Suck is a send up of Twilight and that is the film's first flaw. Often "spoof" movies target a specific genre and make fun of a few current popular films within that genre. Vampires Suck sticks to Twilight though to the point that you may begin to feel that you have seen this film before.

      I had a few problems in regards to the continuity due to how they cut up and rearranged the plot from the first two movies/books. For example, you have the scene where Edward breaks up with Becca and she begs him to change her into a vampire before James attack then after she has been bitten by James she pleads with him to suck the venom out.

      I also didn't like how there were times where they just couldn't help themselves but to spell out the joke to the audience. For example, in biology their teacher tells them to pull out their copies of The Vampire Diaries and Becca asks why they are reading vampire fiction in biology class. This leads Edward in to an unnecessary and long explanation into how it is because vampires are what are in right now. Later, during the thirty or so second that she appears on screen, a poor parody of Buffy (from Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer) can only be identified due to her name being printed on her chest.

      On the more positive side of things, Jenn Proske as Becca Crane gets a mention for the way in which she perfectly mimics the facial ticks, excessive blinking, awkward body language, and stuttering of Kristen Stewart as Bella. On her first day of school, Becca Crane receives the kind of reception that would have actually made Twilight's Bella Swan's attitude of "woe is me" justifiable although, as she points out, despite being moody and supposedly unpopular every single guy in the school is going to lust after her.

      Overall, I didn't hate the film and I will admit that it did get a couple of chuckles out of me but I think that there are vastly better parody films out there. Two of my friends, however, walked out of the theatre praising the film and pledging to buy Vampire Sucks on DVD when it is released. From this I can only gather that the movie may go down well with Twilight fans but if you haven't latched on to the vampire craze you will do just as will giving this one a miss.

      Trailer:

      Also Check Out:
      Evernight by Claudia Gray
      The Awakening by L.J. Smith
      Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

      Terra
      | |


    • Musing Mondays

      Monday, August 30, 2010


      Musing Mondays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

      This week, MizB asks:
      "How often do you actually put into practice what you learn from reading nonfiction books (if you read nonfiction, that is)?"

      Yes and no in a round about kind of way. Most of the non-fiction that I read is related to health and fitness. I get out these books specifically to study and learn the stretches within or for nutrition tips. However, I am mostly putting what I learn from non-fiction into practice when I acquire them with the intent to apply the given knowledge in my own life.

      I also enjoy pop culture non-fiction but I don't think that it has as much impact on my daily practices. For example, as much as I was moved by the passion of the Sea Shepherds when I read The Whale Warriors by Peter Heller I have not stopped eating fish. (Just for the record I would never eat whale but I would hope that was considered a given.) I do not consider Mark Thomas' Belching Out the Devil: Global Adventures with Coca-Cola to be responsible for my giving up drinking all soft drink (fizzy, soda, pop, whatever people are inclined to call it in your neck of the woods) but it did come to mind when I made my decision. That decision was more financially and health motivated. (Nearly three months soft drink free now!). I had already long gone off fast food by the time I picked up Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser.

      I don't think that every piece of non-fiction that a person reads needs to be personally useful or applicable to their life in some way. It can be just as rewarding to read something because you find the knowledge intellectually enriching or just plain fun or maybe you hope that it will pop up during a game of trivia sometime and you can impress everyone with your vast mental treasure trove of otherwise useless knowledge. That said, I probably should be trying to apply more of what I learn from the non-fiction. I would probably be a healthier and more environmentally friendly person if I did.

      Terra
      | |


    • What's on the Bookshelf

      Sunday, August 29, 2010

      It has been a quiet week for me, both in terms of blogging and book collection, largely due to my recovering from recently dislocating my left kneecap. It is rather difficult to get down to the library when one has a massive brace on their leg. The good news is that I was allowed to take the leg brace off today, although I am not allowed to bend that knee much for a few more weeks but it is quite stiff anyway.

      Feed by Mira Grant
      More zombies this week! Look out  and get your survival plans ready because the zombies are set to rise in four years time! This is the first book in the Newsflesh series. It would be great to have a really good zombie series going at the moment.

      The Tudors, Season Two
      I absolutely loved season one and I will get a review up of it soon. I wish that I had discovered this show sooner! In the meanwhile, I will get started nursing my wounds with the second season.

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

      Terra
      | |


    • My giveaway to celebrate my reaching 100 followers and one whole year of blogging has come to a close. Having used random.org to generate a winner, I am glad to be sending a copy of one of my all time favourite books, Bram Stoker's Dracula, to...

      Darlyn!

      Darlyn, I have sent you an email regarding your prize. Please get back to me ASAP.

      Thanks go to everyone else who entered and those who swung by to congratulate me on reaching these landmarks.

      Terra
      | |


    • I missed What's On the Bookshelf (IMM) last week due to the fact that I was rather busy dislocating my left patella and being taken in an ambulance to hospital to get it put back in. In case you are wondering, yes, it hurt like hell and I screamed a lot... Unfortunately, I am now stuck wearing a big brace on my left leg and may have to miss as much as a month of work! I am very much not happy. I actually like being able to go to work and I do not enjoy the idea of having to sit around doing nothing while I recover. I suppose that in the very least I am going to get a lot of reading done.

      Anyway, here is the stash from the past fortnight:

      Walking the Tree by Kaaron Warren
      This book is by an Aussie author who I actually wasn't familiar with but the premise certainly grabbed my curiosity. From the back cover, there is an island on which grows a massive tree. At the age of 18 people leave their homes to travel around the island.


      Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
      I am pretty sure that we have all heard of Shiver. After hearing all of the hype I can only hope that it will live up to my expectations. The blurb sounds promising, though, telling of a story about Sam, the werewolf, and Grace who has grown up watching the wolves in the woods from the safety of her house. Even the blurb seems so... atmospheric!

      The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman
      I've been spotting this title around in the shops and have heard mention of it here and there. It caught my eye awhile ago and it sounds like exactly what I am in the mood for right now.

      A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
      When I speak to people who loved The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss as much as I did, Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire keeps on creeping in to the conversations. A Game of Thrones is the first book in the fantasy series.

      Plague of the Dead by Z. A. Recht
      I had never heard about this book before but I am always willing to give a zombie story a try. Plague of the Dead is the first book in the Morningstar Saga. I say, bring on the zombie hoards!

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

      Terra
      | |


    • Hourglass by Claudia Gray

      Saturday, August 21, 2010

      From the Back Cover:
      After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school where they met, Bianca and Lucas take refuge with Black Cross, a fanatical group of vampire hunters. Bianca must hide her supernatural heritage or risk certain death at its hands. But when Black Cross captures her friend—the vampire Balthazar—hiding is no longer an option. Soon Bianca and Lucas are on the run again, pursued not only by Black Cross, but by the powerful leaders of Evernight. Yet no matter how far they travel, Bianca can't escape her destiny. Bianca has always believed their love could survive anything...but can it survive what's to come?

      My Thoughts:
      I wasn't that into the first book in this series, Evernight, but I thought that the second book, Stargazer, wasn't too bad so I started the latest instalment in the series with the hope that it would show further signs of improvement. Unfortunately that was not the case. I really had to force myself to read Hourglass through to the end.

      I continue to be unable to feel the relationship between Bianca and Lucas. Having ended up accidentally inserting more chemistry in to the relationship between Balthazar and Bianca, Gray frequently has Bianca remind the shippers out there that she and Balthazar really are now just friends.

      I also didn't like the pacing. Some parts dragged while the ending in particular seemed rushed. As in Stargazer, Bianca remains an irritating character by continuing to make bad choices and failing to figure out what the readers probably all figured out about a book and a half ago.

      Overall, I found Hourglass to be the worst book in the series to date. My exploration of the Evernight series ends here.

      Also Check Out:
      Evernight by Claudia Gray
      Stargazer by Claudia Gray
      The Awakening by L.J. Smith

      Terra
      | |


    • The Vampire of Ropraz by Jacques Chessex

      Wednesday, August 18, 2010

      Title: The Vampire of Ropraz
      Author: Jacques Chessex
      Publisher: Broche; Bitter Lemon Press
      Release Date: 2007; 2008
      Source: Library

      From the Back Cover:
      1903, Ropraz, a small village in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland. On a howling December day, a lone walker discovers a recently opened tomb, the body of a young woman violated, left hand cut off, genitals mutilated and heart carved out. There is horror in the nearby villages: the return of atavistic superstitions and mutual suspicions. Then two more bodies are violated. A suspect must be found. Fevez, a stable-boy with blood-shot eyes, is arrested, convicted, placed into psychiatric care. In 1915, he vanishes

      My Thoughts:
      The Vampire of Ropraz is not about a literal vampire story. Rather, it is a novella about how the community of Ropraz reacts to a horrific crime.

      I have seen some claims that the book is based on actual events although my little bit of research hasn't actually brought up anything to do with any actual event so I cannot comment on the historical accuracy here. That said, Chessex does a wonderful job of cementing the story in reality, of making it feel like you are reading an account of actual events. There is a strong sense of the bleakness, fear, and superstition rampant at the time and the macabre nature of the events.

      The perspective in The Vampire of Ropraz seems strangely unique. It is journalistic and yet feels somehow personal, absorbing the horror of the citizens of Ropraz. It is a novella that I am sure would probably have read even stronger in its original language but is a great little Gothic piece in English as well.

      Terra
      | |


    • The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

      Tuesday, August 17, 2010

      Title: The Awakening
      Author: Kelley Armstrong
      Publisher: HarperCollins
      Release Date:  May 1st 2009
      Source: Library

      From the Back Cover:
      If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organisation called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

      Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.

      My Thoughts:
      I really enjoyed The Summoning, the first book in the Darkest Powers Series. The second book in the series, The Awakening, is just as strong. Kelley Armstrong is such a talented Young Adult author.

      I really enjoy Chloe as a narrator. I love how she frames things with how these events would play out if she were a character in a movie. Armstrong enhances Chloe's unique character voice by giving her an interest that plays an active role in her thought and decision making process while at the same time using it to pretty much "hang a lampshade" on what conventions and techniques she plays along with and which ones she breaks away from and why.

      I know that Derek has a few fans out there and they will be pleased to hear that he gets plenty of screen time (or should that be page time?) in this instalment. We also get a bit more insight in to the character of Tori but it was perhaps a bit lacking on the Simon front.

      Looking back, The Awakening strikes me as a transitional book, setting things up from the major events of The Summoning for the third book in the series, The Reckoning, yet it remained well paced, action packed, and incredibly enjoyable.

      Also Check Out:
      The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

      Terra
      | |


    • Terrible news! I dislocated my left knee cap and everything hurts and I'm stuck on crutches!

      Great news! Author Lauren Kate will be chatting and answering questions with fans on the Dymocks Facebook page This Friday at 10am (GMT+10)! Lauren Kate has penned hit books The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove, Fallen, and it's upcoming highly anticipated sequel, Torment. So far, I have only read Fallen but I am definitely keen to read some more of her work. You can check out my review of Fallen here.

      Dymocks Booksellers is an Australian chain so I will forgive international followers for not yet being familiar with them. However, now is the time to mosey on over and "like" their Facebook page to ensure that you don't miss out on chatting with Lauren Kate!

      Terra
      | |


    • What's on the Bookshelf

      Sunday, August 8, 2010

      Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder
      I love reading me some Maria V. Snyder. I fell in love with Snyder's Study Series and I really enjoyed the first book from the Glass Series so I am looking forward to reading this second instalment. While waiting for me to read Sea Glass, why not check out my review of Storm Glass here.

      Life As We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer
      I have heard some good things about this first book in Pfeffer's series. I am always up for a good end-of-the-world scenario so I am looking forward to cracking this one open.

      Only Revolutions by Mark Z. Danielewski
      Slenderman and Marble Hornets put Danielewski on my radar. I wanted to read his book House of Leaves but nobody around here has it but the library did happen to have another one of his books, Only Revolutions. Only Revolutions looks like it is going to be one of the more bizarre books that I have ever read.

      The Tudors Season One
      I know quite a few people who are already in love with this television series so I nabbed season one from the library. I started watching yesterday and I am pretty sure that you can already count me in as part of the fan club.


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

      Terra
      | |


    • Blogoversary + 100 Followers Giveaway

      Thursday, July 29, 2010

      CLOSED
      WINNER TBA


      Wow! A year ago today I started blogging about books. Coincidentally, today I also reached and surpassed one hundred followers! To celebrate I have installed a new blog layout but I also want to give away one of my all time favourite books.

      The budget is tight and it is not a flash prize but Dracula is a Gothic classic book that I love and want to share.

      Author: Bram Stoker
      Title: Dracula
      Publisher: CCV
      ISBN 13: 9780099511229
      Short Description:
      A young lawyer on an assignment finds himself imprisoned in a Transylvanian castle by his mysterious host. Back at home his fiancee and friends are menaced by a malevolent force which seems intent on imposing suffering and destruction. Can the devil really have arrived on England's shores? And what is it that he hungers for so desperately?
      Further details here.

      How to enter:
      • The contest is open internationally to all countries that the Book Depository ships to. Check that your country is on this list.
      • Be a follower. If you are not yet a follower, find the follower button in the right sidebar and click it!
      • Comment below. Remember to include an email address by which I can contact you if you win.
      • All entries must be in by 9PM August 20th 2010 GMT+10.
      • It is one entry per person. You don't have to jump through hoops to enter or increase your chances of winning. You are not required to tweet, link, or blog about this contest but it is appreciated if you do.
      The winner will be chosen at random using random.org and then contacted via the email address provided for a shipping address. The prize will then be purchased by me from the Book Depository and shipped to the winner.

      Terra
      | |


    • Title: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
      Author: Beth Fantaskey
      Publisher: Harcourt
      Release Date: February 1, 2009
      Source: Library

      From the Back Cover:
      The undead can really screw up your senior year . . .

      Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancĂ©. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war — and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.

      My Thoughts:
      Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is actually a YA Paranormal Romance book that gets it right. In Fantaskey's portrayal of the relationship between American Teenager (and secretly Romanian vampire princess) Jessica Packwood and the mysterious foreign exchange student (and secretly Romanian vampire prince) Lucius Vladescu there is an understanding that physical attraction is natural but actual love takes time. There is a great element of push-and-pull between them. At first Lucius pursues Jessica, feeling bound by duty to fulfil the pact that their parents committed them to, but Jessica resists. The logic loving Jessica is convinced that Lucius must be mad, vampires don't exist, and she most definitely is not a vampire princess. But Lucius can only take so much of being forced to futilely pursuing an Americanised teenage princess and as he discovers the freedom of choice he has in the United States his attentions wander elsewhere. Only then does Jessica realise her feelings of possession and attraction for Lucius, and maybe even love.


      Fantaskey leads the reader to wonder whether or not Jessica and Lucius will end up together. Can the local boy, Jake, win Jessica's heart or does "nice" just not compete with handsome, brooding, vampire royalty? Will Lucius continue his pursuit of Jessica or will his new found freedom of choice prove to be all too tempting leading him to choose the likes of Faith Crosse instead?

      Jessica greets the news of vampires by throwing up a wall of logic. While it was great to see a balanced and intelligent female lead who is very well grounded in reality, this also becomes one of her most frustrating qualities - that girl wouldn't recognise a vampire if one jumped up and bit her on the neck! Although told from Jessica's perspective, we get a streak of humour and a great insight in to Lucius' view via his letters home to his uncle, reporting on his progress.


      Fantaskey slips in some great humour and isn't afraid to make fun of the genre that she is writing in - there is definitely a hint of satire in there - overall making for a great read.

      Also Check Out:
      The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
      Evernight by Claudia Gray
      The Vampire Is Just Not That Into You by Vlad Mezrich



      Terra
      | |



    • Closed
       
      Who wants 10% off from the Book Depository? The Book Depository is currently celebrating its sixth birthday and to celebrate they have given people the opportunity to send vouchers for 10% off to their friends! I've decided that I would love to share this opportunity with my followers here On the Bookshelf!

      I will send in for the first ten followers who leave a comment below with their email address to receive vouchers for 10% off. If you are not already a follower, please click follow down in the right side bar. Let me know if you want one by 08/08/10.

      If you are concerned about spam, The Book Depository promises that once they have emailed you your voucher they will discard your email and bother you no more.

      The Book Depository ends the offer on August 31st 2010.

      Terra
      | |


    • Teaser Tuesday

      Tuesday, July 27, 2010

       



      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!


      "And it's only a matter of time before they kill us all. Mwah-ha-ha! You really do watch too many movies, don't you?"

      Page 58 from The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong.

      Terra
      | |


    • What's on the Bookshelf

      Sunday, July 25, 2010

      I am so excited about the books that I got this week - all courtesy of my library! If you aren't already taking advantage of your local library then you need to get down there right now and sign up!

      Drood by Dan Simmons
      I have seen some good reviews of Drood and I have high hopes for it. Drood, as I have been told, is a sort of historical science fiction-fantasy horror mystery novel starring non other than Charles Dickens. I am definitely looking forward to cracking open this one.

      The Alchemy of Murder by Carol McCleary
      Yet another historical novel. I am really interested in exploring historical fiction at the moment. I recently read a really good review of this book and I wish I could remember which blog it was on so I can credit the review writer. Anyway, having spotted The Alchemy of Murder while filling the new arrivals display at work, I was convinced that I should give it a try. While Drood lays claim to Charles Dickens, The Alchemy of Murder hosts in its cast of characters the likes of Jules Verne, Oscar Wilde, and Louis Pasteur. 

      The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett
      Happy dance time! I loved Brett's novel The Painted Man (also published as The Warded Man) and I have been keen to get my hands on The Desert Spear ever since its recent release.

      In the meantime, you can check out my review of The Painted Man right here.




      The Vampire of Ropraz by Jacques Chessex
      Next to the other tomes that I picked up this week, this book by Swiss author Jacques Chessex sticks out as being only 110 pages. Set in 1903, The Vampire of Ropraz is not a literal vampire story but is about how a superstitious and downtrodden village in Switzerland reacts to a series of brutal mutilations of the bodies of dead women as well as the man that the identify as the "Vampire".

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

      Terra
      | |


    • Title: Wildthorn
      Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
      Release Date: 6th March 2009
      Source: NetGalley.com

      From the Back Cover:
      They strip her naked, of everything-undo her whalebone corset, hook by hook. Locked away in Wildthorn Hall—a madhouse—they take her identity. She is now called Lucy Childs. She has no one; she has nothing. But, she is still seventeen-still Louisa Cosgrove, isn't she? Who has done this unthinkable deed? Louisa must free herself, in more ways than one, and muster up the courage to be her true self, all the while solving her own twisted mystery and falling into an unconventional love ...

      My Thoughts:
      From the very first page Wildthorn drew me in. It is an engrossing read that I had trouble putting down. Eagland draws readers in with the compelling mystery of first unravelling which is Louisa's true identity and who is responsible for sending her to Wildthorn Hall. Is she Louisa Cosgrove or is she, as she is told, Lucy Childs? Is there a conspiracy to see her locked away or is she nothing more than a paranoid mad woman?

      We seek answers to these question through Louisa's memories of her past. Louisa is a complex and unconventional girl with ambitions beyond what society allows a young woman of her station. She longs to study medicine, wishes to marry no man, and struggles to come to terms with her desire for a forbidden relationship.

      Louisa endures terrible conditions in the asylum and it is heart-wrenching to realise that Wildthorn only begins to scratch the surface of what horrors asylum patients would have experienced and the general ignorance of mental conditions that prevailed at the time. Louisa finds comfort in her plans to escape and the kindness of only one of the women working at the asylum. Eagland handles the tentative romance that blossoms from this kindness with a subtlety that works well with the characters and the times.

      Wildthorn is a captivating historical young adult novel. Readers will be drawn in by Louisa's plight and unravelling the mysteries that surround her.

      Terra
      | |


    • Teaser Tuesday

      Tuesday, July 20, 2010



      Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

      And that is how a teenager who claimed to be a vampire came to reside in our garage at the start of my once-in-a-lifetime senior year. And not just any vampire. My arrogant, overbearing vampire betrothed.

      From page 33 of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.

      I grabbed this one at work today and am already well and truly stuck into it.

      Terra
      | |


    • What's on the Bookshelf

      Sunday, July 18, 2010

      Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
      I have finally picked up a copy of Hush Hush. To be accurate, one of my friends is about to take a holiday to Bali and I helped myself to her bookshelf seeing as she won't be needing it while she is away.

      I have seen so many good reviews of this book. I hope that it lives up to expectations!


      50 Facts That Should Change the World by Jessica Williams
      A bit of non-fiction this week and a bit of food for thought. I grabbed 50 Facts from the library where I work. Inside is fifty facts about major issues around the world and a brief essay accompanying each one, expanding on the issue. This is the 2007 edition.

      Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
      This is my second read from NetGalley. I have been wanting to try some historical fiction lately and Wildthorn sounded like an excellent place to start. I've actually already finished reading Wildthorn now so look out for my review very soon!

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

      Terra
      | |


    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...