Jul 10 2013

Short Break

Sorry for the lack of updates here, but I’m afraid it may have to continue for at least another week.

I’m in the middle of a major costuming/cosplay project that is taking up what little free time I have after work. And work has been so busy I haven’t been able to take a lunch break away from my desk and tasks in several weeks.

Leaving me sadly little time to write up reviews I still have pending much less the energy to read.

May 28 2013

Review – Rebel Fire

 

Title: Rebel Fire
Author: Andrew Lane
Publication Info: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012
ISBN: 9780374387686
Target Audience: Teen

B

 

Rebel FireThe sequel to Death Cloud, we continue to see the growth of the teen that will, as an adult, become the most famous detective in fiction.

Sherlock’s American tutor Amyus Crow discovers that a number of the conspirators involved in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln are in England, but preparing to return to the United States. And they have with them the assassin himself, John Wilkes Booth.

Now Sherlock, Mr. Crow, and his daughter Virginia are racing to America in the hopes to catch up with the before they can escape justice again. And before any harm comes to Sherlock’s young friend Matty, who was kidnapped as the conspirators fled England.

May 09 2013

Review – Spirit’s Princess

Title: Spirit’s Princess
Author: Esther Friesner
Publication Info: Random House, 2012
ISBN: 9780375869075
Target Audience: Teen

B+

 

spiritsprincess

A new installment to Friesner’s addictive Princesses of Myth series, this one now brings us to ancient Japan to delve into the legends of the woman who would become Japan’s Shaman Queen.

Himiko is the only daughter of the Matsu clan’s leader. Privileged and cherished by her family, Himiko comes to understand by a young age that the things expected of her because of her gender and social standing are precisely not the things she wants out of life. When a tumble out of a tree leaves her with a broken leg, Himiko is forced to spend a great deal of time with the village’s elderly shaman Lady Yama. In that time Himiko discovers that she has a talent for the shamanist arts, but her father refuses to allow her the lessons. So Himiko begins her lessons in secret, telling her family that she is helping the older woman with simple chores.

But when her father discovers the truth, a wedge will grow between Himiko and her family. And when rival clan attacks their unprotected village, taking the women and children hostage Himiko alone will have to find help.

Apr 22 2013

Review – The Invaders

 

Title: The Invaders
Author: John Flanagan
Publication Info: Philomel, 2012
ISBN: 9780399256202
Target Audience: Younger Teens

B+

 

The InvadersThe second book in Flanagan’s Brotherband Chronicles, this picks up right where The Outcasts left off. Despite winning the brotherband contest, Hal and the other Herons must flee Skandia after the precious relic, the Andomal, is stolen while the team was supposed to be on guard duty.

Rather than simply accepting their new status Hal and the other decide that they must restore their honor by tracking the thieves and reclaiming Skandia’s treasure. Fortunately the boys will not be attempting this alone. Thorn, their mentor has basically invited himself along on the quest.

It will take all of Hal’s inventive ingenuity, the daring of his crew, and the help of new friend Lydia to survive the coming battle at sea.

Apr 19 2013

Review – Cinder

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication Info: Feiwel & Friends, 2012
ISBN: 9780312641894
Target Audience: Teen

A

 

Cinder

Earth has gone through many changes, countries and governments collapse and new ones spring up to take their places, but a threat has literally hung over the world for decades.

The streets of New Beijing within the empire of the Eastern Commonweath are crowded and busy. Linh Cinder is one of the city’s most gifted mechanics, but she is considered a second class citizen at best. Cinder is a cyborg, and she has little memory of her life before becoming a cyborg. Forced to run a table at the street market by her less than tolerant stepmother, Cinder is absolutely floored by her newest customer – Prince Kai, next in line for the throne!

His android has broken down and she had been looking for information that Kai needed, but he has been unable to retrieve. Important information about the Lunar despot and warmongering Queen Levana. Information that could maybe force the Queen to admit that the horrific plague cropping up all over Earth is her doing and to hand over the antidote.

And with that Cinder is swept into political schemes and a regicidal mystery that has gone unsolved for more than a decade. She will have to do everything in her power to protect and help Kai, and try to avoid catching the attention of Queen Levana who just happened to show up for “goodwill” visit.

The first book in the Lunar Chronicles quartet, this was a wonderful surprise. A scifi retelling of Cinderella, Cinder had the right blend of action, romance and science fiction to keep me reading.

Apr 08 2013

Review – Sword of Fire and Sea

 

Title: Sword of Fire and Sea
Author: Erin Hoffman
Publication Info: Pyr, 2011
ISBN: 9781616143732
Target Audience: Adult

C

 

The Sword of Fire and Sea

Captain Vidarian Rulorat has been hired for an unusual task, to escort the young fire priestess Ariadel to the security of a water temple far to the south. The journey is not without risks, the best route is through pirate-controlled waters and Ariadel has been targeted due to witnessing a secret ritual of the dangerous and violent magic users, the Vkortha. Unfortunately Vidarian can’t refuse the job, because of a deep social misstep by his great-grandfather all the following generations have been bound by the Breakwater Agreement, a treaty with the fire priestesses.

But there is more going on that simply avoiding the Vkortha. Vidarian and Ariadel must contend with pirates that may or may not be allies, griffins, and Imperial influence and secrets. They must also deal with their own families’ legacies, legacies that could change the very fabric of their world.

I’m not sure if it was me or the book, but I found myself utterly lost sometimes during the course of the story. Mostly during the explanation of the Breakwater Agreement and some supposed genetic disease (which was mentioned on the back of the book), it never quite made sense and I feel that a little more time explaining things would have gone a long way for me. Also I felt that some important plot moments; in particular the action scenes; were rushed and incomplete. I know that action scenes are some of the hardest to things to write, but sadly those moments felt disjointed and out of place in a book that was otherwise quite well written.

Apr 04 2013

Review – Tricked

TrickedTricked by Kevin Hearne

Atticus O’Sullivan has gotten himself into an unpleasant situation. In ‘Hammered’ he helped group of little known gods, a werewolf and a vampire bust into Asgard to take out Thor, all around godly pain in the rear. The battle ended with more than one god dead and a massive target on Atticus’ back.

With the help of the trickster god Coyote and the Morrigan, Atticus is able to fool a godly hit squad long enough that he, Granuaile and Oberon can go into hiding until Granuaile can finish her training to become a druid.

But Coyote has a favor to cash in for his help and what seems like a simple task turns deadly overnight. Atticus must find a way to fight and kill a pair of skinwalkers, dangerous shapeshifters with a taste for blood.

An excellent addition to Hearne’s series, but definitely recommended for more mature readers as this series progresses.

Mar 26 2013

Review – The President’s Vampire

The President's VampireThe President’s Vampire by Christopher Farnsworth

For 140 years Nathaniel Cade has been the government’s most guarded secret. Bound to the office of the President through a voodoo ritual, Cade is a vampire sworn to defend and obey who ever holds the office. He is the last line of defense against incursions from the Other Side, monsters and creatures from our deepest and darkest nightmares.

Years before Cade dealt with an outbreak of creatures he refers to as ‘snakeheads’; horrifying fusions of man and reptile, they are extraordinarily difficult to kill, even for Cade. When signs point to a new outbreak overseas Cade and Zach Barrows; Cade’s handler and liaison; must work with the mysterious Colonel Graves and his team of government contractors to track this new batch of snakeheads. With Zach handling the paper trail and Cade tracking the monsters it becomes quickly apparent that there is something different about these snakeheads, they are evolving rapidly and growing more intelligent with each evolutionary leap. And they both know the only group capable of this is the Shadow Company, the ones responsible for the recent attack on the White House.

Now Cade and Zach must find the source of the outbreak before the infection of snakeheads reaches critical mass. But they’ve multiplied in such numbers that even Cade may find the mission too difficult to complete alive.

The sequel to Blood Oath, The President’s Vampire is more of the super-secret agent (like the Bourne series) but with the addition of vampires of the non-sparkly variety. The book definitely ramps up the monster on monster violence from the first book with reptilian monsters that infect new victims at a rate that even inhuman Cade has trouble keeping up. The series should definitely be marked as for more mature readers due to considerable content, violence and language. But worth the read for older teens and adults looking for supernatural action books.

Mar 05 2013

Review – Voice of the Undead

The Voice of the UndeadVoice of the Undead by Jason Henderson

Alex Van Helsing is trying so hard to balance his normal life as teenager stuck at a Swiss boarding school with the truth that he really is a descendant of the famous Abraham Van Helsing and the vampires are very, very real and very, very keen on making Alex very, very dead.

The vampires have called in Ultravox, a vampire that specializes in assassination by using his voice to control people. Making them do whatever he wants, making them either kill someone else or kill themselves, he never has to lift a hand to reach his target. But who is the target? Alex must find out the plan before he or his friends end up as collateral damage.

An excellent addition to the series, Henderson keeps the pace from the first book going. And personally I found this one to be a little more enjoyable than the previous, either from familiarity with the characters or general improvement from the author. I look forward to picking up the third book soon.

Feb 28 2013

Moved!

I’m moved to here now!

Originally part of another review blog, I’ve moved my reviews here as part of a continuing personal project.

Book Lounging is not 100% operational yet, I’ve also got a number of site upgrades for the others I run in the works. Not to mention the bazillion craft and sewing projects I start whenever I’m busy with other things.

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