Saturday, June 12, 2010

Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

Let me start by saying I waited, and waited, and waited for this book.  I didn't even pick it up when it first came out b/c she was going to be at BEA.  So I waited, got my signed copy, and dug in.  I think I overhyped it to myself.  How sad for me.

Most of our regular Wicked Lovely characters make a cameo, but this book is all about a halfling named Ani. and her troubles fitting in.  She's more faerie than mortal, more leader than follower, more trouble than the High Court is looking for.  She's sentenced to death by the High Queen, but a bodiless spectre convinces Devlin to let her live. Rae, our spectre, turns out to be a dreamwalker.  I won't tell you what Ani becomes, but will tease you that she gets a steed that turns itself into various cars and a new court is introduced.
I had a lot of trouble getting into this one and I'm pretty sure I did it to myself.  The writing's just as good, the characters and plot twists just as fun. So it's me.  If you've been waiting to read it, why?  Pick it up, go in with no expectations and enjoy the ride.

The next one's gone to the editors and there are some Wicked Loveley stories too.  Check out for all the updates.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Too Much Bow-chica-wow-wow and Not Enough Plot

Bullet by Laurell K. Hamilton

If you have been reading this series then you understand the direction that it has taken. The books have moved away from an actual story line and into porn. I had hopes with last years Skin Trade that the books had gone back to the original direction, however the latest in the series has proven that wrong.  

I feel that with some major editing this book contains less than a novella worth of story. It is simply two chapters of ideas with sex as the fill-in content. Now I have nothing against some bedroom action in my stories but there has to be something to back that up. 

Now the plot,  the big bad (mother of darkness, first vampire, mommy dearest, whatever) that they thought they killed last time is really not dead and looking for revenge. She has now made her presence known and the fact that she wants them dead or under her control. Anita and her men decide they need to build their power-base to defend themselves against the darkness. This of course means sex. And this is where the book ends.

Even with my disappointment in this book, I am still looking for more. Possibly with the Nightseer world (as it remains my favorite of her books) as long as it doesn't go the same direction.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ophelia by Lisa Klein

Do you love Shakespeare as much as I do? Well, of course you don't!!!  You wouldn't be trolling the internet if you did.  Wait, I troll the internet.  Never mind.  It is unlikely though. And yes, I loved Will before Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing ever hit PBS. Now, just because you might not like the Bard is no reason to be scared of Ophelia by Lisa Klein.  You know Ophelia as Hamlet's lover/friend/suicidal chick.  Or is she?  Ms. Klein's take on the least discussed character within the entire play is a fairly unique one. (It's long, trust me.  Rent Branagh's version and count the cameos or watch the David Tennant one from PBS.  Avoid Ethan Hawke's at all cost.  Not that he's not cute, but because it sucks and it's set in NYC which is weird.)  One I think Shakespeare would have proud of if he were writing today.

I know, you can't stand the whole Elizabethan English thing with its thine, thou, m'lord-ing.  It's ok, there's none of that here.  Sure, if you have a grasp on it, some of the phrases sound better in your head.  And having even the basic knowledge of the iambic pentameter in which Shakespeare wrote only enhances this story.  Ms. Klein is not the first to take on minor characters from Hamlet, but she might have one of most intriguing takes on the side plots.

What if I told you Ophelia never lost her senses? What if Polonius was more of a stooge than we all thought? What happens after Horatio fulfills his best friend's dying wish? What if Fortinbras has a challenger to the crown of Denmark?

All of these questions and more get their due.  Ophelia is no wilting daisy in this take on the great Dane and his family's demise. She's strong enough to live through assassination attempts, the realization that her dad sucks, the torture that being the new girl in court brings.  "Hey, this sounds like high school" you might be saying.  It's true, there are events within the book that everyone can relate to.  Who cares if you don't like Shakespeare (besides your English or Drama teachers of course)? You're going to love this book.  With the exception of good Queen Bess herself, it's rare that stories set in this era have strong women in positive roles, But Ophelia is chock full of them.

Can't wait to read Lady Macbeth's Daughter just as soon as my local bookstore gets it back in. Until then, I fully hope you give Ophelia the chance she deserves. Now, go read it!!! I'm waiting to hear what you think of it.  And if you disagree, all the better.

Available now from Bloomsbury Publishing. 352 pages, paperback.
It's summer, escape into the pages of a good book. Your messy room and pile of laundry will be there when you get back.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Back with lots of Books!!

Ok, so now that I'm back from Book Expo we have lots of new books to review. I have listed several books for June 1st and 2nd. These are books that have already come out but we are just getting to review now. The books on our calendar will be linked to the reviews for each one. So feel free to look through and see what is coming out.

fortunate harbor, a happiness key novel by Emilie Richards

So, while one of us headed to BEA, the other one put her nose in a book (or 3) and tried not to cry with jealousy.

First up for review: Emilie Richards' fortunate harbor, a happiness key novel.

I have to admit, I wouldn't have picked this book up in a store.  It's not my typical cup of tea, but I really enjoyed it.  Sure, it's kinda predictable and feels like most of the chick flicks I've watched. Sure, I could put certain actresses in each of the lead characters roles.  But i really had a good time with it and didn't want to put it down.In fact, I would get upset when I had to.  The women who make up this fantastic beach read are pretty funny, amazing, sarcastic....heck they could be my friends. 

There's Tracy, the landlady and most fish out of water.  She's recovering from her husband's imprisonment and the subsequent loss of all of their earthly belongings.  Well, all save a run-down plot of land known as Happiness Key. She's gone from the highlife in California to trying to figure out how to fix a roof on a budget in Florida.

There's Janya, who's trying to get pregnant with a nagging mother (who calls from India) and an absent husband.  Which would make it all the more difficult to get pregnant.

There's Wanda, the waitress/crazy lady.  She gives up her less than stellar waitressing career (helped along by the yuppie scum changing the family restaurant into something too chichi) for her true passion: pie baking.  of course the bakery in town is none too pleased to have the competition.

There's Alice, the grandmother thrust back into parenting when little Olivia comes to live with her.

And finally, there's Dana. She's hiding something.  Something big.  And it somehow involves her daughter.

Throughout this book, there's drama mixed with comedy: there's the return of someone thought long gone, there's the competition doing whatever necessary to best the new guy, there's the handsome handyman with a dark past of his own.  There's even a treasure hunt....of sorts.

So while not necessarily what I would have chosen for myself, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would highly recommend it to EVERYONE looking to escape for a bit.

This book will be available on June 29th.