Sunday, July 31, 2011

Is it just me?: Reading in the bath...

So the other day I discovered something wonderful!

I was reading Dead as a Doornail (review went up yesterday) by Charlaine Harris, and as many of you may have noticed...once you get into them, they are very addictive!

I only had a few more chapters to go and I couldn't stand waiting until after dinner to finish it.

I was in the middle of running a bath and I thought to myself...might just as an idea I snuck my book in with me.

It was AWESOME!!

Now I always thought that this:
Would inevitably lead to this:

But it was absolutely fine! And it was so relaxing!

I haven't felt so clean after a bath, probably because I haven't soaked in one for that long in ages. I am still more of a shower person than I am a bath person but baths just got that much more inviting!

I would say that if you are going to try this, make sure to keep a towel handy and to not use your most favourite can't stand to see the pages creased book but rather a well used paperback until you get the hang of reading in the bath.

But I can guarantee you it will be the most relaxing thing you do all day. Plus you're multi-tasking! Reading whilst getting clean!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book Review: Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

Review: Dead as a Doornail
Series: Sookie Stackhouse – Book 5
Author: Charlaine Harris
No of Pages: 295
Release Date: 25 April 2006

Sookie Stackhouse enjoys her life, mostly. She’s a great cocktail waitress in a fun bar; she has a love life, albeit a bit complicated, and most people have come to terms with her telepathy. The problem is, Sookie wants a quiet life – but things just seem to happen to her and her friends. Now her brother Jason is about to turn into a were-panther for the first time. She can deal with that, but her normal sisterly concern turns to cold fear when a sniper sets his deadly sights on the local shifter population.

She’s afraid not just because Jason is at risk, but because his new were-brethren suspect Jason himself may be the shooter. Sookie has until the next full moon to find out who’s behind the attacks – unless the killer decides to find her first.

My Thoughts:

This series just keeps getting better.

Sookie has more than one mystery to solve this time around with not only someone murdering shifters and seemingly blaming Sookie’s brother Jason for doing it, but an appeal from Alcide the werewolf also arises to help his father in his bid for pack master.

Sookie just keeps getting better and better, and she is so real as well. I was a little disappointed in her when she considered being with Bill again – I mean come on, he cheated on her! – But in a way, it was her first love; there is a bond there that for her at least, will never be broken. Her jealousy over Bill’s new girlfriend was hilarious, and I am sure that many have felt the exact same way when we were confronted with ex’s and their new partners as well.

Although I loved Alcide in Club Dead and really wanted him and Sookie to get together, in this I was really disappointed with him. He was manipulative, pushy and just plain rude at times. There was no courtesy regarding what Sookie might be feeling or if she really consented to being involved with the pack like she was, he only cared about his father. Which is far enough in a way, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of those you supposedly care about. He came on way too strong in Dead as a Doornail, sure Sookie was in need, but wanting her to live with him and barely knowing her is a bit much, even for a supernatural creature. I am proud of Sookie when she kept her head straight with regards to Alcide and his advances, people may think Sookie to be dumb, but she is actually incredibly intelligent when she has her moments, which only adds to her character.

Eric was as lovably scary as always, doing favours for Sookie in exchange for information about their time together when he had amnesia. He may be a conniving, manipulative fiend but as he plainly stated to Sookie, unlike others at least he’s honest about it. It’s what makes his character that much more likable, sure he’s a bad guy in some ways, but he’s upfront about the fact and he’s not afraid or ashamed of getting what he wants by using any means necessary.

This series is consistently good. Going in you know what to expect, you know there will be vampires, werewolves, death and a lot of blood, but Harris writes this series with a light heart. You don’t go into Sookie’s world and come out feeling like crap because of all the bad that’s happening. You come out with Sookie’s attitude of keeping a smile on your face and continuing on, but this series isn’t heavy anyway.

For the massive amount of death and destruction you don’t get depressed, you just keep reading and know somehow it will be better. It’s comforting and safe and that’s why I love this series so much.

I cannot wait to get into Definitely Dead, the next book in this series.

Others in this series:
Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse
Dead and GoneDead in the Family
Dead Reckoning

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday 56: 29/7/2011

Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin
Page 56, 5th Sentence

Together we swept through the night like a couple of phantoms, Vayl's power pushing us so our feet barely touched the ground.

How cool would that be, so light you're feet don't touch the ground...confidence boost much!


* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Freda's Voice.
*Post a link along with your post back to Freda's Voice.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Two Cents: Audiobooks

What is your stance on Audiobooks?

Mine is simply this: I'm not going near them, because listening isn't reading.

Now usually I am very open minded about pretty much everything; genres, formats, publishers but when it comes to the audiobook format, I just can't do it.

The Taste of Apple review recently went up and it was a multi-media novel, with music accompanying the words and occasionally, the words being read too. Now as you know I really enjoyed the experience, the added dimension of sound with the visual created by the words on the page, but it got me thinking about audio books as well.

And I came to this conclusion: Listening isn't reading. Listening to a story is fine, I'm not saying that it's wrong, but I just can't do it. If I'm listening to something I have to concentrate on I will usually close my eyes to visualise, so as soon as there's a lull in the story...I'll probably go to sleep.

Harry Potter for example was and still is one of my favourite series of all time, I will never get sick of it even during the many re-reads and movie marathons. But when I had a copy of the audio books as a young teenager I used to literally use it as my bed time story to help get past my insomnia.

I couldn't listen to it for more than 10 minutes without going to sleep.

I suppose for me sound isn't a strong sense in the way of visualising things. Being a muso of sorts and having very accurate pitch when I think sound, I think music...not stories.

I wouldn't have been good around the times before books, when stories were passed down by word of mouth...I would have been asleep through most of them.

What about you?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Review: Fatal Embrace by Aris Whittier

Review: Fatal Embrace
Author: Aris Whittier
No of Pages: 251
Release Date: 2 October 2005

Several years ago, Michael Craven gave up his career as a detective when his fiancé was killed and her killer never caught. Living with the guilt, he throws himself into his Montana ranch and his solitary existence. But, when a serial killer starts making his way through a nearby town, Michael is asked to come back and help a good friend and fellow detective, solve the crime. In doing so, he must hire someone to take his place on the ranch.
When horse trainer, Jess Stanson shows up, it takes Michael by surprise. Jess turns out to be Jessica. Jessica convinces him to let her stay. Over time they established a fragile friendship. Although, on the inside both feel more but, Michael's past prevents him from being anything but distant and serious.

As Michael works diligently to track down the killer he finds that Jessica is the only witness to the case. Vowing to protect her with his life and keep his growing feelings separate is no easy task. When Jessica becomes a target it becomes personal for Michael and he can no longer deny his love for this spirited woman. He will do anything to protect her, including giving his own life.

My Thoughts:

Fatal Embrace was nothing if not predictable.

Jessica Stanson is a horse trainer, a female one, and when she shows up at Michael Carven’s farm for her first day of work, he flips. He doesn’t want a girl running his stables let alone a woman living in his house.

But they grow closer as Jessica helps Michael finally get past his traumatic loss and simultaneously fight the common enemy in the form of a serial killer that is after her.

Jessica was a nice enough character, feisty and intelligent, but iin many ways she was also extremely stupid. If there was a serial killer after me I would barely want to leave the house let alone go flouncing around by myself for drives out to other farms or going into a not very busy town by myself.

Michael was a complete contradiction of himself. One minute he is angry at Jess, the next he can’t stand to be without her, but before even finishing that breath he is pushing her away again. He just couldn’t make up his mind and his emotions were all over the place, but not in a good way. Michael was not an asset to this story, no matter how major his part was.

The writing in Fatal Embrace, for me, was very frustrating to read. Facts didn’t add up, leads weren’t followed up and obvious clues were completely looked over. Basically I had the killer worked out as soon as all of the main and secondary characters were laid out on the table, which wasn’t that far in.

Then we have the writing itself, which was jerky and badly formatted. Most formatting errors I can overlook but words were in the wrong place and the wrong “there” was used a couple of times. But what killed Fatal Embrace for me completely was Whittier never seemed to know whose head she was in. The POV would jump from Jessica to Michael in a sentence, no breaks or obvious change overs, it took a lot of re-reading on my part to keep up with whose head we were in at any one time and even after you thought you had it figured out, you still weren’t right.

I also had a lot of trouble with some of the major details in Fatal Embrace, Michael might be working on the investigation, but he isn’t a cop, he’s just a ranch owner, he used to be a cop, but he quit the force, and yet he is questioning people, knocking on peoples doors and acting like he is the chief without so much as a flash of a badge? Women are scared of what’s out there and yet here they are letting a strange man who claims to be a cop, but has no idea, into their house while they are alone? It doesn’t make sense.

My other pet peeve for Fatal Embrace was the sex break we took right towards the end, instead of finding the serial killer Jess and Michael decided to bed down for the last ten to fifteen pages so we could cram the climax into two pages of broken action.

Fatal Embrace had a pull over me, because I wanted to confirm that I was right. Other than that it was a very frustrating and predicatable read.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: 26/7/2011

Currently Reading: Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris
I didn't appreciate you dragging me into it cold last week at the funeral. You should have let me decide.
Teaser Tuesday is the brainchild of Should Be Reading

Monday, July 25, 2011

I am going on a holiday!

So it's rolling around to that time of year again when I need a holiday. Now being me that holiday will be very long, secluded and relaxing.

My view for 7 weeks will be something like this:

But with everything good there always comes some bad...

I will not be accepting ANY ARCs or review books from now until the end of my holiday.

For the simple reason that I will not be anywhere near my mailbox for 7 weeks. I am stopping requests now though just in case of delays in mail and what-not.

I will be leaving in late August (look out for that squee happy post) and returning mid-October, so I won't be accepting any ARCs or review books until mid-October.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Book Review: Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany

Review: Secrets and Shadows
Series: 13 to Life – Book 2
Author: Shannon Delany
No of Pages: 304
Release Date: 15 February 2011

Nothing’s simple when you run with werewolves. Jessie Gillmansen thinks she’s seen it all, but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she’s ever suspected. Thanks to Jessie’s startling revelation about the Rusakova’s mother, the group’s choices become harder – and trust is more important than ever. But the dramatic change Pietr’s going through may shake the trust he’s built with Jessie to its very foundation. As the broken Rusakova family struggles to come together to face what may be their greatest challenge, the people Jessie believed were normal show themselves to be much, much more…

My Thoughts:

Ms Delany seems to have a serious Twilight complex and it doesn’t bode well with this book.

Jessie is still struggling to come to terms with how her life has been flipped on its head in the past year. Now she also has to deal with the increasing distance Pietr is putting between them whilst still agreeing to help the werewolves release their captured mother.

Jessie seems to have had a complete character change from how I remember her in the first book. She went from being a likeable, seemingly intelligent character to this clingy, whiny schoolgirl who is having a breakdown every other day and unable to handle her life at all. She went from being well-adjusted considering her situation to a total mental wreck in the space of the couple of weeks between books. She became Bella, basically.

Shamelessly throwing herself at a guy who doesn’t want her then going and making out with his arch enemy to get back at him. Then wondering why he still doesn’t want her and not listening to him after he tells her something is too dangerous, she stubbornly tags along anyway. What is wrong with these humans who seem to think they can match a supernatural's healing abilities?!

Pietr went from an arrogant semi-likable character because of his hotness appeal, to well, Edward. Tortured teen who thinks the world will never understand his predicament, wanting to ”protect” those he loves by distancing himself from them but still keeping an emotional hold over them so they can never move on.

Secrets and Shadows was a train wreck in every sense of the word. The story is a bad copy of Twilight even going so far as to say that the male lead doesn’t think he has a soul anymore because of what he’s become and what he has done and then to say that maybe the family should leave town and everyone they know behind to keep them safe from themselves.

The romance between Jessie and Pietr is becoming laughable now. Jessie pushed Pietr into the arms of another girl and expects him to treat the other girl, Sarah the former Queen Bee, like dirt because Jessie can’t stand the thought of them being together.

I will admit up front that I could barely remember anything from 13 to Life, and Delany’s lack of any form of backstory until three quarters of the way through the book had me scratching my head at times. It goes to show that either I’m losing my memory or that no matter how much I liked 13 to Life, it just wasn’t memorable.

The writing in Secrets and Shadows is engaging once again but the plot is all over the place. There’s trimming down unnecessary detail and then there’s butchering your story. A werewolf got turned back into a human, end of chapter; do we see how said werewolf is faring? How said werewolf feels or is coping with this massive change in their life? Of course not. Vital details were missing; Jessie was at her house one minute then in the car the next. She was possibly borderline date-raped (hmm, I’m seeing more Twilight here) but that doesn’t get explored at all.

I said in the first book that there was a severe lack of information, that pattern continued in the second book. It was a complete mind-boggling circle of the mess Jessie has made of her non-existent love-life and any interesting parts of the story were overlooked because Jessie was too busy panting after Pietr – and quite literally sexually harassing him, I’m sorry but shoving your tongue down someone’s throat who has expressly asked you not to do so is harassment in my book - to notice anything else that may have been going on around her.

Secrets and Shadows was a big disappointment for me. It was a bad copy of the Twilight Saga and the writing was so jumpy it literally gave me headaches to read. I kind of want to know what happens in relation to the Rusakova’s mother but I am wary.

Others in this series:
13 to Life
Bargains and Betrayals

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Book Review: The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton

Review: The Laughing Corpse
Series: Anita Blake – Book 2
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
No of Pages: 293
Release Date: 2 August 2005

Vampire Hunter is about to discover that some secrets are better left buried – and some people are better off dead…

My Thoughts:

Back into the world of Anita Blake and it was just as good the second time around.

Anita is still holding down two jobs, her animating job working with raising zombies for people and as insider knowledge for the police department. Anita gets offered a job that she doesn’t want to accept though, she has been requested to raise a 300 year old corpse which involves human sacrifice, not something she is comfortable with.

Anita continues to be a complete kick-ass heroine. I really cannot fault her. She hates vampires and is continuing to struggle with her feelings for Jean-Claude, she is blossoming into a powerful necromancer, which is completely cool, and she is a smart and sarcastic. The cast of characters once again was well put together and completely fit with the story.

The Laughing Corpse is gory and horrific, perfect in my opinion. It deals with the deeper side of Voodoo, delving into darker techniques and giving us an insight into the hierarchy of the Voodoo community, which Anita wants no part in. The Laughing Corpse details stomach churning monsters put together with all sorts of spare parts, human and animal included. It also deals with what happens to our souls after we die, and what happens if people steal them.

The ideas presented in The Laughing Corpse and in Anita Blake in general are nothing like I have ever seen. I absolutely loved the gory details of this book. Who even comes up with putting a soul inside a zombie? Or putting together a multi-limbed multi-mouthed beast.

Laurell K Hamilton is a master when it comes to the weird and wonderful world of paranormal horror and I cannot wait to continue what is shaping up to be a fantastic series.

Also in this series:
The Killing Dance
Burnt Offerings
Blue Moon
Obsidian Butterfly
Narcissus in Chains
Cerulean Sins
Incubus Dreams
Danse Macabre
The Harlequin
Blood Noir
Skin Trade
Hit List

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: 19/7/2011

Currently Reading: Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany
Smith cracked his knuckles, the sound reminding me of the noise Pietr's joints made sliding from their sockets during his change.
Teaser Tuesday is the brainchild of Should Be Reading

Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Review: The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen

Review: The Fallen Star
Series: The Fallen Star – Book 1
Author: Jessica Sorensen
No of Pages: 447
Release Date: 9 April 2011
For eighteen year-old Gemma, life has never been normal. Up until recently, she has been incapable of feeling emotion. And when she’s around Alex, the gorgeous new guy at school, she can feel electricity that makes her skin buzz. Not to mention the monsters that haunt her nightmares have crossed over into real-life. But with Alex seeming to hate her and secrets popping up everywhere, Gemma’s life is turning into a chaotic mess. Things that shouldn’t be real suddenly seem to exist. And as her world falls apart, figuring out the secrets of her past becomes a matter of life and death.

My Thoughts:

The Fallen Star didn’t live up to my expectations at all; it was an extremely frustrating read.

From since before she can remember, Gemma hasn’t been able to feel emotion of any sort, she has gone through life with no friends and no family she can talk to. Until one seemingly unimportant day, when she feels her first emotion ever, and things spiral downward from there.

Gemma was an extremely stupid, naive, boring character, she encompasses everything that is – stupid teenage girl. From day one she made inappropriate decisions that simply cannot be passed off as adolescent immaturity.

My biggest pet peeve with her was her constant running to Alex and her non-committal statement confirming that she shouldn’t be doing it but she just wants to have a bit of fun after so many years of not feeling blah blah snore. Alex lied to her, kept things from her, deliberately distracts her and is obviously using her for not only selfish but dangerous purposes.

Gemma never followed anything up, Alex would let something important slip about her past and Gemma would constantly make a point of saying “you are not going to get out of telling me this”, but does she ever follow through? Of course not, which gives Alex the go ahead to continuously lead her on without telling her anything and lying to her the whole way.

Even after confirmation that she was being lied to and a perfectly good reason not to go with Alex, she still chased after him.

Gemma was a weak character and extremely dull. Sorensen tried to make her witty by talking to the reader even going as far to say “oh, don’t look at me like that” but it just didn’t work. Gemma was not only boring, but extremely dumb. After seeming to develop visions of the past and possibly the future, Gemma is given all of the pieces of the puzzle about halfway through the novel to piece everything together, even after the reader was told what was going on at the end of the story, Gemma whose POV we are in, still didn’t seem to know what was going on.

I’m not quite sure what Sorensen was trying to achieve with the character of Alex, but whatever it was, she didn’t pull it off at all. Alex was a complete tool. He was not a handsome broody guy, he was a complete wanker, there is absolutely nothing to like about him, he is a brainwashed, pathological liar. He tries to hide behind the “I’m just a moody guy” excuse but no, he is just a malevolent character. At one point I actually swore out loud at the book because he promised Gemma that he “would tell her everything” my kneejerk reaction to that was bulls***!

I also found it hard to get through The Fallen Star because of the horrible editing. Usually a few mistakes here and there don’t bother me, but whened a sentencing is contantly reads like this and these author seems to haves no concepts of the correct uses of the word “there” it becoming very frustrate.

It read like a first draft basically, errors were everywhere and the book probably could have been at least fifty pages shorter if you simply took out the amount of times certain facts were repeated, sometimes the same line used consecutively over the course of three chapters.

The Fallen Star was a big disappointment for me, the characters had no life and were complete contradictions of themselves, the story line relied too heavily on the characters so it never seemed to move and the book was so badly edited that I was tempted to line edit it myself.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Book Review: Cleopatra's Men by Eve Langlais

Review: Cleopatra’s Men
Author: Eve Langlais
No of Pages: 97
Release Date: 14 January 2011

One former Egyptian queen plus two vampires equals a threesome with lots of bite.

I’ve paid my dues in Hell for my mistakes, but Satan thinks I’m too dangerous to keep around so he’s kicked me out into the modern world for a second chance.

Ambushed by a pest from my past, I’m rescued by a seriously hot vamp. I vowed to not allow men to use me anymore, a pledge forgotten with Michael’s first kiss. And when Julius, my first love, shows up bitter and angry, I can’t help but want him too.

Maybe I do deserve the nickname Whore Queen, for I’ve decided I shall keep them both—naked in bed.

My Thoughts:

Cleopatra’s Men was yet another hot exhibit of Langlais’s writing ability.

Cleopatra is alive and well in modern times, having been kicked out of hell for nearly forcing Lucifer to marry her, Cleopatra is now fending for herself in the real world once again. She is immortal, powerful and currently blonde.

But Cleo has made many enemies in her time, one of those being Antony, her ex, who has an annoying habit of continuously trying to kill her by sending demons her way. On her first night out, these demons attack her and things are looking bleak if not for Michael, the mysterious dark stranger who jumps from a building to save her.

Cleo is definitely my kind of chick, I would have preferred more actions behind her words though as she seemed to be playing damsel in distress too much, but for a quick, hot story like this, I didn’t really mind. Cleo was not only tough and sexy but she also had an added element of wit that kept the story light.

Michael was everything and more, sexy, powerful and a gentleman. Michael was everything Cleo wasn’t used to after being used for most of her life and although it made for some questioning on her part as to his intentions, it also made for some really hot sex and quite a few swoon moments.

Cleopatra’s Men was a quick hot dive into the world of a paranormal Ménage a trois with the addition of Julius Caesar, Cleo’s first love into the mix it made for some comical but very hot reading. I loved Cleo’s dissection of her feelings for each man and how she didn’t try to hide behind an equal love excuse for her actions.

The massive deux ex machina at the end did put a slight dampener on the rest of the story. It was expected, but I was hoping it wouldn’t happen.

Cleopatra’s Men was another excellent example of Langlais’s incredible writing and has left me wanting even more of her yet again.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday 56: 15/7/2011

Take Me There by Carolee Dean
Page 56, 5th Sentence

Your world becomes a much smaller place if you can't read.

You're telling me...I wouldn't have a world at all.


* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Freda's Voice.
*Post a link along with your post back to Freda's Voice.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Question of the Week: Paperbacks differing from hardcovers?

Books for thought is hosted by Eleni at La Femme Readers
These are my answers to the questions she asks.

Question: What do you think about the publisher's choice to sometimes change a hardcover's cover when it comes out in paperback?
My Answer: It doesn't really bother me because I buy all of my books in paperback anyway. It kind of annoys me when the hardcover is prettier though. But I always get different covers anyway because I am Aussie and I buy mostly UK which is generally the same as here anyway.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book Review: Talon, come fly with me by Gigi Sedlmayer

Review: Talon, come fly with me
Series: Talon – Book 1
Author: Gigi Sedlmayer
No of Pages: 220
Release Date: 14 January 2010

Nine-year-old blond Matica lives in a remote little village on a dry plateau in the Andes of Peru. She moved here with her Australian missionary and schoolteacher parents when she was five years old. Ever since she could remember she faced cruel rejection because of her growth handicap. She is trapped in a body the size of a two year old. Because of that the local Indians wouldn’t accept her into their community or allow her to play with their children. Under the watchful eyes of her parents who understand her, lonely Matica explores the plateau for entertainment.

With patience and a sense of adventure she befriended a pair of condors and named them Tamo and Tima. A strong bond and love developed between them.

Having and egg, Tamo and Tima try to fight off a couple of poachers but they succeed in stealing their egg from it’s ledge. Eventually Tamo drives them away but the poachers leave the egg between some boulders on the plateau. Being unable to bring it back to the ledge, Tamo and Tima make it clear to Matica to take care of the egg, so she does.

Exactly on Matica’s tenth birthday, the condor fledgling ‘Talon’ hatches. The book then describes in detail how Matica helps Talon grow into the majestic bird he was meant to be.

Two months after confidently flying, the most unbelievably amazing thing happens. What Matica had dreamed of ever since she first befriended the condors, actually unfolds. That changes her life so completely that she can now see a positive side to her handicap. The Indians then fully accept the new Matica into their community.

This is the beginning of a time of incredible adventures with Talon and Matica, which is carried on in subsequent Talon books.

My Thoughts:

Talon, come fly with me had an ok start, but went downhill from there.

Matica is a 10 year old girl with a growth disability, after being shunned by the Indians in the village that she lives in, she finds her own place to play, by herself and away from their harsh comments. In the process she befriends a condor whom she names Tamo. They become so close that Tamo gives her his mate’s egg to raise because of the danger surrounding it with poachers.

When Talon is born Matica becomes his surrogate mother; feeding, caring for and raising him where Tamo and his mate, Tima, cannot. Talon and Matica become if possible closer than Tamo and Matica were and it’s with the help of Talon that Matica’s dreams of finally being accepted start to come true.

Talon, come fly with me has a good premise. When I read the summary, when I read what I just wrote, I wonder how it could be that a bird could give that much hope to a child that she could overcome the stigma of her disability. What I got was a far-fetched and poorly put together fairytale that has very little logic driving it.

Talon, come fly with me raises a lot of questions with me. If a village shuns your daughter to the point that she has no-one¬ to talk to or play with for five years, why don’t you move? If your daughter has a disability that stunts her growth, why are you letting her run around a forest without supervision? If you see your 10 year old daughter befriending a bird that you are scared of and that has the potential to kill her, why don’t you intervene? If you have been living in a village for five of the most formative years of your life, how can you not know the language? And finally, since when do condors have the intelligence to understand and communicate with people?

Now, the first few of my questions stem from the complete lack of parental support or supervision that was shown to me by Matica’s parents. My mother would have never let me run around without supervision when I was 10 years old, especially not if I had a growth disability that left me the size of a two year old, because logically, that kind of problem would cause issues elsewhere, with bones and organs.

She definitely would not and probably still will not let me go and hang around with a dangerous wild animal that is bigger than me and has the potential to claw my face off and eat it. If my mother does not think something is safe for her to do, she would definitely not let any of her children go anywhere near it, especially if it was alive and had a mind of its own.

My second issue is with Matica herself, she came across to me as a wilful, selfish child that has been spoilt in all the wrong ways throughout her life. She has been living in a village since she was five, and she still doesn’t know their language? How does that happen, her brother was born there and he doesn’t seem to know the language either. Matica expected the birds to give her their egg, Matica expected the egg to hatch on her birthday, and Matica expected her parents to be okay with a metre tall, talon footed animal running around their house crapping on their beds, eating from their table and knocking everything down.

My third issue is with the complete lack of logic contained within the pages of Talon, come fly with me. I was so inflamed by the sheer absurdity of this book that I actually did research into condors and their habits. Condors have never seemed to show above average intelligence, and yet both Tamo and Talon answer Matica’s questions with complete understanding, my cat is an intelligent creature, I have lived with her for 13 years and been talking to her for that long as well and no matter what kind of question I ask I have never and will never get a definitive yes or no answer from her, a grunt maybe but not a shaking of the head. Condors also lay two eggs, if the first one doesn’t survive the condors will instinctively lay a second, it’s how we are boosting their numbers in captivity the handlers take the first egg and hand raise it so the condors will lay a second one, was there any mention of that here though? Of course not, because that wouldn’t fit in with the overall plan of Matica saving the day and becoming a hero.

Talon, come fly with me hasn’t got any redeeming qualities for me, it reads like a first draft, jumpy and poorly written. Nothing is detailed and everything within it only serves to meet Matica’s needs and to make her seem a hero. The entire time we are spoken at and not to, we are being told that Matica is happy, but we never actually see it. All of the secondary characters are only there to boost Matica’s own opinion of herself and come of one dimensional and poorly created.

Talon, come fly with me was a complete train wreck, the idea was poorly constructed and the writing was poorly formed. I didn’t come away with anything from this other than mounting frustration and a new found knowledge of condors that I researched separately because of the absurdity surrounding the main character and her completely irrational relationship with a bird.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: 12/7/2011

Currently Reading: The Mark of the Vampire Queen by Joey W. Hill
It was the easiest thing in the world to simply put a hand on the wall and vault stylishly over it. He was glad the boots he was no longer familiar with didn't trip him up and shame him.
Teaser Tuesday is the brainchild of Should Be Reading

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Two Cents: Do you ever forget that you like a book?

Picture this:

You are part way through a book, you put it down for a couple of days because you're busy, bored, its the weekend, whatever...

And two days later you are reluctant to pick up the book again. You're thinking to yourself "why am I bothering? I kind of want to read something else..." or "it's too this or that, badly written, poorly executed...not funny"

I had all of these thoughts about my current read the other night when I picked it up do my teaser tuesday post. I literally thought "it's not as funny as what people make out" and "she's trying a bit too hard to be funny, where is she even going with this, it doesn't have a point"

I picked it up at lunch today and read a hundred pages just like that...I am thinking to myself now "where did I come up with that? This is so funny!"

But the stupid part about the whole thing was, everytime I have picked this book up, I have always enjoyed it, so where did I get this complete misconception that it was bad? How did I forget that I liked it?

It is very odd for me. Often I give a book too much leniency and continue to think "it's going to be better this time" but never have I forgotten that I liked a book...

This is weird!

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever formed an opinion about a book or anything for that matter that was so totally off that it made you reluctant to go back? Even after it being fantastic?

I don't know where it came from...I honestly don't know how I convinced myself that I wasn't enjoying it...maybe I'm in shock after having read so many great books last month that it would be too good to be true if I got another one...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bookie Brunch: Schedule

So this is the Bookie Brunch schedule. If you would like to join in with the Bookie Brunch and become a guest blogger (or if you really love Bookie Brunch and would like to host) any dates in this colour are still available.

Please send me an email at for any queries about Bookie Brunch or if you would like to guest or host, please try to make sure you put "Bookie Brunch" in the subject line so I can pick up your email quickly.

July 10 - Complete

Host: Natalie of Songs and Stories (@LiederMadchen) (confirmed)

Guest: Lucy (Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf) (confirmed) (@MoonlightGleams)
Guest: Irena (This Miss Loves to Read) (confirmed) (@MissIrenne)
Invite blogger
Invite blogger

Question: Are books better with or without love triangles?
Related topics to consider: Do you root for a particular character in the love triangle and why? What is your favorite literary love triangle?

July 17 - Complete

Host: Lucy (Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf) (confirmed) (@MoonlightGleams)

Guest: Giada (Dr. Stravagante) (confirmed) (@hatshepsut0011)
Guest: Misha (My Love Affair With Books) (confirmed) (@Misha_1989)
Guest: Velvet (vvb32 Reads) (confirmed) (@vvb32reads)
Guest: Janine (The Book Nerd - vlogger) (confirmed) (@CurlyGirl11)
Guest: Jodie (Books for Company) (confirmed) (@BooksForCompany)

Question: Do you prefer e-books or print copies of novels, and why?
Related topics: Do you have a specific e-reader that you prefer? Why did you choose that particular e-reader, did you try any others, and what were your experiences with them?

July 24 - Complete

Host: Irena (This Miss Loves To Read) (confirmed) (@MissIrenne)

Guest: Jennie (Jennie's Corner - vlogger) (confirmed) (@joaniefontana1)
Guest: Jo (The Fluidity of Time) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)
Invite blogger
Invite blogger

Question: Do you think people only read classics because they are classics or because they are actually enjoyable?
Related topics to consider: Is there a classic that you don't think should be a classic? Why do you think that?
Question suggested by: Natalie

July 31 - Complete

Host: Pepca (confirmed) (@StrangeNewWords)

Guest: Christina (The Book Addict – vlogger) (confirmed) (@christina_622)
Guest: Books for Company (confirmed) (@BooksForCompany)
Invite blogger
Invite blogger

Question: People often tackle the issue of characters or plot being unrealistic or not possible in real life. Are you on the-book-must-be-believable/realistic side or not? Why or why not?
Related topics: N/A

Aug 7 - Complete

Host: Amanda-Lee (Story Wings) (confirmed) (@StoryWings)

Guest: Pepca (confirmed) (@StrangeNewWords)
Guest: Tina (Tina’s Book Reviews – Willowdust Reviews) (confirmed) (@BooksAtTinas)
Guest: Ruby (Ruby's Reads) (confirmed) (@Rubysreads)
Guest: Yiota (Splash Of Our Worlds) (Twitter @SplashOOWorlds)

Question: Do you prefer hardcovers or paperbacks and why?
Related topics to consider: Would you consider buying a book that wasn't in your preferred format (hardcover vs. paperback) - if so, what would be your reason for doing so?
Question suggested by: This Miss Loves to Read

Aug 14 - Complete

Host: vvb32 Reads (confirmed) (@vvb32reads)

Guest: Jo (The Fluidity of Time) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)
Guest: Natalie (Songs and Stories) (confirmed) (@LiederMadchen)
Invite blogger
Invite blogger

Question: Are you likely to read an e-book with an appealing cover or does the description/synopsis of an e-book weigh more heavily?
Related topics to consider: Please show us or link to 2-3 e-book covers that captured your attention recently, and tell us why.

Aug 21 - Complete

Host: Jo (The Fluidity of Time) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)

Guest: Kiwi (Assortments) (confirmed) (@Chumbwa)
Guest: Velvet (vvb32 Reads) (confirmed) (@vvb32reads)
Guest: Carin (Caroline Bookbinder) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)
Guest: Gabriel (Gabriel Reads) (confirmed) (@gabrielreads)

Question: Have you ever stopped reading a series due to unexpected or disappointing changes in the characters, writing, etc.? Do you consider going back, or do you give up on the series?
Related topics to consider: Do you think series should be never-ending (going well past 10 books), or do you think it keeps it fresher for an author if they stop after a certain number of books in a series?

Aug 28 - Complete

Co-Hosts: Yiota and Nina (Splash of our Worlds) (confirmed) (@SplashOOWorlds)

Guest: Black Plume (confirmed) (@blackplumetwits)
Guest: Ashley (The Bookish Brunette) (confirmed) (@BookBrunette)
Guest: Phanee (Funny Wool) (confirmed) (@funnywool)

Question: What's the most important part of a book for you, the characters or the plot?
Related topics: Would you consider buying a book because you liked the character, even though you disliked the plot, and vice versa?
Question suggested by: @Misha_1989, at MyLove Affair with Books

Sept. 4 - Complete

Host: Natalie (Songs and Stories) (confirmed) (@LiederMadchen)

Guest: Irena (This Miss Loves to Read) (confirmed) (@MissIrenne)
Guest: Mariah (A Reader's Adventure) (confirmed) (@ReaderAdventure)
Guest: Black Plume (Black Plume) (confirmed) (@blackplumetwits)
Guest: Melody (Book and Music Lover - vlogger) (confirmed) (Twitter - N/A)

Question: What is one book that made you cry, and what was it that affected you about that particular story? (Suggested by: Sasha Soren, author of Random Magic)
Related Topics: Are you a Happily-Ever-After kind of person or do you like tragedies more?

Sept. 11 - Complete

Host: Janine (The Book Nerd - vlogger video channel - blog) (confirmed) (@CurlyGirl11)

Guest: Kiwi (Assortments) (confirmed) (@Chumbwa)
Guest: Jo (The Fluidity of Time) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)
Guest: Lorren (The Story Girl) (confirmed) (@LLthestorygirl)
Guest: Liddy (Lovely Lil Bookworm) (confirmed) (vlogger - TheEBookMonster) (Twitter N/A)
Guest: Bonnie (A Backwards Story) (confirmed) (@abackwardsstory)

Question: What are three songs that remind you of your favorite book?
Related Topics: Why do they remind you of that particular book?

Sept. 18 - Complete

Host: Natalie (Songs and Stories) (confirmed) (@LiederMadchen)

Guest: Amanda-Lee (Story Wings) (confirmed) (@StoryWings)
Guest: Christina (The Book Addict – vlogger) (confirmed) (@christina_622)
Invite blogger
Invite blogger

Related topics:

Sept. 25 - Complete

Host: Lucy (Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf) (confirmed) (@MoonlightGleams)

Guest: Pepca (Beyond Strange New Words) (confirmed) (@StrangeNewWords)
Guest: Chrystal (Snowdrop Dreams of Books) (confirmed) (@snowdropdreams)
Invite blogger
Invite blogger

Question: Discussion of all things magical within the book world (would like to take time to include ‘Random Magic.’).
Related topics: TBD

Oct. 2

Host: Irena (This Miss Loves To Read) (confirmed) (@MissIrenne)

Guest: Kiwi (Assortments) (confirmed) (@Chumbwa)
Guest: Yiota (Splash Of Our Worlds) (Twitter @SplashOOWorlds)

Invite blogger
Invite blogger

Related topics:

Oct. 9

Host: Amanda-Lee (Story Wings) (confirmed) (@StoryWings)

Guest: Jazmin (Books!!!) (confirmed) (Twitter @JazminLabrada)
Guest: Emma (Book Angel Booktopia) (confirmed) (@BookAngel_Emma)
Invite blogger
Invite blogger

Question: Are you a book buyer or a book borrower? Why?
Related Topics: Do you lend books or are you too possesive? Do you buy books after borrowing them if you like them?

Oct. 16

Host: Velvet (vvb32 Reads) (confirmed) (@vvb32reads)

Guest: Sarah (Sarah Says Read) (confirmed) (@SarahSaysRead)
Guest: Christina (The Book Addict) (confirmed) (@Booklover_622)
Guest: AimeeKay (How Can You Help?) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)
Invite blogger

Question: What are your thoughts on books that are an unusual size? (i.e. coffee table books, larger than mass market or trade paperback or hardback, miniatures, non-rectangular, pop-up books)
Related topics: Do you own any unusual-sized books? If so, what was it about them specifically that appealed to you? If you don't own any, do you have any on your wishlist? Please provide title and author.

Oct. 23

Host: Jo (The Fluidity of Time) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)

Guest: Ashley (The Bookish Brunette) (confirmed) (@BookishBrunette)
Guest: Pabkins (Mission to Read) (confirmed) (@Pabkins)
Invite blogger
Invite blogger

Related topics:

Oct. 30 - Complete

Host: Misha (My Love Affair With Books) (confirmed) (@Misha_1989)

Guest: Amanda-Lee (StoryWings) (confirmed) (@StoryWings)
Guest: Jo (The Fluidity of Time) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)
Guest: Christina (vlogger), The Book Addict (@christina_622)
Christina's YouTube channel: I Love Books + Tumblr
Invite blogger

Related topics:

Nov. 6

Host: Giada (Dr. Stravagante) (confirmed) (@hatshepsut0011)

Guest: Kiwi (Assortments) (confirmed) (@Chumbwa)
Guest: Emma (Book Angel Booktopia) (confirmed) (@BookAngel_Emma)
Guest: Stevie (vlogger) (Sable Caught) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)
Invite blogger

Related topics:

Nov. 13 - Complete

Host: Jo (The Fluidity of Time) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)

Guest: Sarah (Sarah Says Read) (confirmed) (@SarahSaysRead)
Guest: Melody (vlogger) (Book and Music Lover) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)
Invite blogger
Invite blogger

Related topics:

Nov. 20

Host: Jo (The Fluidity of Time (confirmed) (Twitter N/A

Guest: Amanda-Lee (StoryWings) (confirmed) (@StoryWings)
Guest: X
Invite blogger
Invite blogger

Related topics:

Nov. 27

Host: Kiwi (Assortments) (confirmed) (@Chumbwa)

Guest: Jodie (Books for Company) (confirmed) (@BooksForCompany)
Guest: Lizzie (elizzie books) (vlogger) (confirmed) (@elizziebeth)
Lizzie's YouTube channel: elizzie books + Tumblr
Guest: Christina (vlogger), The Book Addict (@christina_622)
Christina's YouTube channel: I Love Books + Tumblr
Invite blogger
Question: Are relationship-oriented dilemmas (girlfriend-boyfriend relationships, to be specific), important for the success of a novel?
Related topics to consider: Can you think of an example of a book without this particular type of twist, that’s still a page turner of a story?

Dec. 4

Host: Amanda-Lee (StoryWings) (confirmed) (@StoryWings)

Guest: Jazmin (Books!) (confirmed) (@JazminLabrada)

Guest: Jo (The Fluidity of Time) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)
Guest: Melody (vlogger) (Book and Music Lover) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)
Invite blogger

Related Topics:

Dec. 11

Host: Amanda-Lee (StoryWings) (confirmed) (@StoryWings)

Guest: Misha (My Love Affair With Books) (confirmed) (@Misha_1989)
Guest: Lizzie (Video: elizzie books) (Blog: elizzie books) (vlogger) (confirmed) (@elizziebeth)
Guest: X
Guest: X

Related Topics:

Dec. 18

Host: Jo (The Fluidity of Time) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)

Guest: Melody (vlogger) (Book and Music Lover) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)
Guest: Stevie (vlogger) (Sable Caught) (confirmed) (Twitter N/A)
Invite blogger
Invite blogger

Related Topics:

Dec. 25

Host: Jennie (Jennie's Corner - vlogger) (confirmed) (@joaniefontana)

Guest: X
Guest: X
Invite blogger
Invite blogger

Related Topics:

Be a guest at an upcoming brunch: @StoryWings
Bring goodies for a giveaway: @StoryWings
Suggest a question: @LiederMadchen
Browse Bookie Brunch discussions (after July 2011, archive): The Fluidity of Time

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Book Review: Defense Against the Dark by Emily Carlin

Review: Defense Against the Dark
Author: Emily Carlin
No of Pages: 208
Release Date: 15 March 2011


When we lie awake at night listening to mysterious sounds, we imagine all the things that could be making those strange noises.

The rumbling is the sound of the refrigerator; the knocking is from the old furnace; the creaking is nothing more that the house settling...isn’t it? Although the modern world has denied the existence of things that go bump in the night and has taught us that the occult couldn’t possibly exist, we know there are things that science has yet to explain.

Defense Against the Dark introduces you to many of those unsavoury magickal creatures and occult happenings that exist outside of fairytales. Our ancestors knew these things were real, and took precautions to protect themselves from whatever evil was lurking in the shadows.

Defense Against the Dark will teach you:
• Common lore and mythology of predatory entities such as goblins, vampires, imps, and ghosts.
• How to identify malevolent spirits and understand how curses actually work.
• How to master different protection methods, including shielding, banishing, and hex breaking.
• Easy, concrete methods for protecting yourself in everyday situations.

My Thoughts:

Defense Against the Dark asks one to go in with an open mind, but even the most open of minds you will come out slightly disturbed at the content you just read.

Defense Against the Dark is a collection of folk lore about the various creatures that inhabit our surroundings, whether they be ghosts, faeries, vampires or werewolves they are all real and Carlin gives us a way to identify them and either rid ourselves of them or keep them from becoming a problem.

In part two of Defense Against the Dark we learn about certain protective rituals and spells that we can cast to help us rid ourselves of the various nasties that are out there to get us. Whether they be elemental circles for protection, hex-breakings or house cleansings, you will be able to find it here.

For me, Defense Against the Dark was just too far-fetched, and too hypothetical. Part One I rather enjoyed, being an avid reader of paranormal books hearing the true lore behind the stories was an extra step into the genre, but it wasn’t really lore as we know it, it was lore stating that people turn into wolves once a month, it was lore that told us vampires were real, whether they be the non-dangerous blood sucking kind or the bad energy sapping kind.

There were disclaimers with everything though, if you think things are moving around your house by themselves, it might be a boggart, or you may have rats. If you think you’re being possessed, it may be an evil demon, or you may be schizophrenic. If you attempt a cleansing ritual, it may work, or you may just not be doing it right, or you may not have enough belief in what you are doing.

I did enjoy some of the lore, most of which was in the faery chapter. Instead of thinking that I’m forgetful, it would be nice to think that it was a pixy moving my objects around. There was no real evidence to back up what she was saying though, no stories, no re-telling, and no crazy cat ladies swear that they have ghosts in their houses, just what Carlin decided to look up on the internet one day and compile.

But the believability ended there. When reading up on Black Ladies (the children eating kind) we were advised as adults to show force or to create an energy ball full of “let me go” energy. At that point I had to put the book down and walk away for a little while. My open mind suddenly pushed the pretty faeries to the back of my mind, and logic started creeping back in, but I kept going and still quite enjoyed the rest of the lore.

In Part Two though, Defense Against the Dark started to lose all credibility, just because the spells didn’t follow through. For example:

By my will the circles are sealed.
My circles of protection will hold until I get up tomorrow morning.
So mote it be.

Really? “Until I get up in the morning”? Carlin really couldn’t follow through with something a little more in character? First sentence is very Wiccan like, third sentence also follows the same pattern but the middle? What happened there? Was her mojo just not working that day?

Defense Against the Dark was definitely an experience, but not the best one to convert a logical mind. I don’t think that there’s nothing out there, but I want a bit more evidence than just “it could be the end of the world as we know it, but it’s probably you just going insane.”


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