Follow Friday & Blogger Hop



Follow My Book Blog Friday is hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee's View. The point is to follow as many book blog as you can and make new friends! As part of the adventure, she gives a weekly question. Here is this week's question:

Inspired by the inane twitter trend of #100factsaboutme, give us five BOOK RELATED silly facts about you.


  1. My favorite reading escape is in a hot bathtub followed by my cozy bed. I cannot sleep without spending at least 15min in the pages of my current book.
  2. I will NEVER become a Kindle/Nook reader. Something about cracking the spine of a book for the first time and smelling that new-book smell has powerful sway over me.
  3. Even though I have a degree in English, I would rather read a novel than spend time pouring over tomes like Paradise Lost.
  4. Currently, my TBR pile is taking up several shelves on my bookcase and scattered throughout the house. However, even with this large number, I keep acquiring more books. My husband losing his job at the end of January has curbed my book buying; however, I have 5 books on hold at the library and my reading-crazy bro keeps bringing me piles of new books to read ^______^
  5. Quality time with my hubby is spent with both of us nose-deep in a book. We also like to read to each other.



Book Blogger Hop


Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy For Books. It is another cool way for readers and bloggers to connect. It is help Friday-Monday. Here is her weekly question:

"If you could physically put yourself into a book or series…which one would it be and why?"

  • Man, that's hard to answer! Missing technology aside, I would like to by in Mercedes Lackey's world of Valdemar. Being a herald/herald-mage and having a Companion would be awesome! I love the rich scenery, the characters, etc. Plus, I admit, I still kind of hold out for Van becoming straight *innocent smile*
  • If we place it in modern day, I would go for Kim Harrison's Rachel novels. If you read them, you will understand the "why" ^_~

Sinn

Book Review -- Curse of the Wendigo

Title: Curse of the Wendigo
Author: Rick Yancey
Genre: YA/horror
Pages: Hardback, 424
Published: 2010
Opening Lines: "The reader was a retired middle school English teacher whose mother had come to live at the facility in 2001."

"As apprentice to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, Will Henry has a life dedicated to the pursuit of monstrumology: the study of monsters. But when Dr. Warthrop is informed that his old mentor Dr. von Helrung is trying to prove the existence of the mythical Wendigo, He Who Devours All Mankind, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, Will's world is plunged into fresh turmoil.

"Will and Dr. Warthrop must traverse the desolate wastelands of Canada . . . and in the process may discover a truth far more terrifying than even they could have imagined."
~ Jacket copy

Thoughts: After getting this from the library, I was sad to discover that it is the second in a series. However, unwilling to wait until April for Monstrumologist to be returned to the library, I decided to read it anyway. And, honestly, I didn't feel as though I was missing anything. The first book might have given some back story to Will Henry, but I never felt lost.

After reading the prologue, I was not sure what to expect with this book. Either way, I was extremely surprised! The book follows Will Henry, who is orphaned and left to live with his father's mentor. The doctor is a monstrumologist and studies "mythical" creatures. Even after reading the book, I'm not quite sure how the doctor differentiates between the myth of the Wendgio, vampire, werewolf, and zombie and actual creatures. *shrug* After being approached by an old friend, the doctor and Will set out to Rat Portage to find the doctor's best friend, John Chanler.

This book was creepy! I'm not sure any other way to describe it. It was good, enthralling, riveting, engaging, and very, very creepy. Not only does it delve deeply into the myth of the Wendigo, but also into human nature. I'm excited to read the Monstrumologist, but I'm afraid it will not be as good as this book. I hope Rick has more books in the works, but I guess it depends on the folios left.

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison
Pages: 6023
Horror/Urban Fantasy Challenge: 13/24
Current Progress:
19/50 books


Sinn

Teaser Tuesday

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, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:
"That night I saw the yellow eyes for the first time. I attributed it to my fevered imagination, overheated by the conversation earlier in the day -- a trick of the firelight, I thought."
Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey, pg. 115


Sinn

Book Review -- This Side of the Grave

Title: This Side of the Grave
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Genre: Urban fantasy
Pages: Paperback, 357
Published: 2011
Opening Lines: "The vampire pulled on the chains restraining him to the cave wall."

"Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they've triumphed over the latest battle, Cat's new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance . . .

"With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous "ally" -- the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price for her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war . . . to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined."
~ Jacket copy

Thoughts (contains SPOILERS): As with the previous books in the series, I really enjoyed it.

My biggest problems with the book surrounds Cat drinking Marie's blood. I liked that the author thought about whether Cat would also gain abilities from a ghoul after drinking their blood; however, I felt that the 2 day shagfest after consuming Marie's blood was really, really over the top. I can understand being taken over by the hunger of the Remnants and the ghosts, but this overpowering lust seemed too forced. Also, it felt too much like slutty-Laurel-K-Hamilton filler.

In addition, I continually kept wondering what I missed in the previous book. Frost kept dropping all these tidbits about Denise and Mencheres' new lover/wife as though the reader should already know the back stories. After digging into it, I figured out that all of this lead up she alludes to is contained in the spin-off novels, which happen between the Night Huntress #4 and this book. However, since the spin-off series is not considered part of the Night Huntress series, I was unaware of the fact that I would need to read these in order with the other novels. Frost really needs to rethink this.

I also felt like it was a little rushed when she finally confronted Apollyon. It took awhile to get to the confrontation. It was also extremely short. The way she wrote it, it makes complete sense, but I felt it needed to be a bit longer. Sometimes it feels as though things come way too easily for Cat. I hate to say it, but I would like to see her get beaten down a couple of times before she is finally able to overcome the bad.

Aside from these issues, the story was good. I don't have too much to say. I tear through these books like there is no tomorrow and enjoy every minute of it!

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: Undecided
Pages: 5599
Horror/Urban Fantasy Challenge: 12/24
Current Progress:
18/50 books


Sinn

Teaser Tuesday

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, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teaser:
The grin Bones flashed me was quintessential cat-that-got-the-cream, though that expression was probably better suited to me at the moment.

"I know," he said, the words drawn out with the warmth of remembrance.

This Side of the Grave
by Jeanene Frost, 24t


Sinn

2 Book Reviews

Title: The Sandman vol. 9: The Kindly Ones
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Graphic novel
Pages: Hardback, 352
Published: 1996

"Distraught by the kidnapping and presumed death of her son, and believing Morpheus to be responsible, Lyta Hall calls the ancient wrath of the Furies down upon him. A former superheroine blames Morpheus for the death of her child and summons an ancient curse of vengeance against the Lord of Dream. The "kindly ones" enter his realm and force a sacrifice that will change the Dreaming forever."

Thoughts: While this is the second-to-last in The Sandman series, I would argue that it actually brings everything full-circle and wraps up the series. In some ways, the series doesn't always seem to follow one storyline; however, The Kindly Ones brings in threads from several of the previous volumes. In that way, I feel that it is truly the end of the series. Gaiman takes a lot of the loose ends in previous books, brings them together, explains them, and ties them up nicely for an end.

This is the longest of The Sandman series sitting at 352 pages. But it also encompasses several sub-plots. Unlike the previous books where it is sometimes hard to see the connection between the disjoint plots, Gaiman does a wonderful job of showing the interplay between everything. Even the simple boon asked by Nuala is shown to have serious consequences.

The Kindly Ones was amazing! I had a hard time putting it down. If it wasn't obvious that Gaiman is a master storyteller, I feel that this graphic novel really showcases that. And, unlike previous volumes, I felt the art style was able to lend to that. Normally, I would not appreciate Marc Hempel's style, but something about it really worked for the story.

"The Kindly Ones was obviously meant to be the grand finale that capstones the Sandman experience and it succeeds on every level."

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: This Side of the Grave by Jeanene Frost
Pages: 5242
Horror/Urban Fantasy Challenge: 11/24


Title: The Sandman vol. 10: The Wake
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Graphic novel
Pages: Hardback, 192
Published: 1997

"The King of Dreams is dead -- long live the King of Dreams. Now ancient gods, old friends and enemies gather to pay tribute and to remember in the strangest wake ever held.

"The echoes of the death reverberate in the final volume in the story of The Sandman: we see them touch a man who will not die, and a Chinese sage whose path into exile takes him through a desert of dreams. And, at the end of his life, William Shakespeare fulfills his side of a very strange bargain."
~ Jacket copy
Thoughts: As far as The Sandman series goes, this was a disappointment. The first part of the graphic novel follows a wake for Morpheus. It is attended by all of the dreamers, gods, some old enemies, and The Endless. At some level, everyone knows him and remembers him. While it is strange, I would argue that it is typical for a wake. However, Dream -- the new Dream King -- cannot attend the wake.

As stated in the jacket copy, the rest of the graphic novel briefly follows Hob at a renaissance faire, a Chinese sage going into exile, and Shakespeare completing his final play for Morpheus. I could understand and see the connection between all of these stories and the final wake/funeral of Morpheus; however, I felt that they did nothing for the story. The opening part was really interesting, but everything following was boring. At several points, alluded to Dream bringing everyone together to formally introduce himself to his siblings. I wish this had happened.

It just fell short.

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: This Side of the Grave by Jeanene Frost
Pages: 5242
Current Progress:
17/50 books


Sinn

2 Book Reviews


Title: The Sandman vol. 8: The World's End
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Graphic novel
Pages: Hardback, 168
Published: 1994
Opening Lines: "Looking back on it, the thing that still surprises me is my own reaction to it all."

"When Brant and Charlene wreck their car in a horrible snowstorm in the middle of nowhere, the only place they can find shelter is a mysterious little inn called World's End. Here they wait out the storm and listen to stories from the many travelers also stuck at this tavern. These tales exemplify Neil Gaiman's gift for storytelling--and his love for the very telling of them. This volume has almost nothing to do with the larger story of the Sandman, except for a brief foreshadowing nod. It's a nice companion to the best Sandman short story collection, Dream Country, (and it's much better than the hodgepodge Fables and Reflections). World's End works best as a collection--it's a story about a story about stories--all wrapped up in a structure that's clever without being cute, and which features an ending nothing short of spectacular."
Thoughts: Wanting to go into Medieval Studies, I really enjoyed the "Chaucerian" element behind this graphic novel. I really like the concept of several strangers meeting in an inn and telling stories to pass the time.

I enjoyed this book. It didn't seem connected to the previous volume. A few times, The Endless make appearances throughout the book, and it ends with Brant seeing them in a procession across the sky. For the most part, I really liked the art style. To me, poor art can take away from the story.


Rating: 5/5
Currently: The Sandman vol. 9: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman
Pages: 4698
Horror/Urban Fantasy Challenge: 11/24



Title: Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Graphic novel
Pages: Hardback, 128
Published: 2009
Opening Lines: "Where am I?"

"Following the death of Bruce Wayne in last year's Batman: R.I.P. arc comes Gaiman's loving eulogy not just to Batman but to the Batman of each era since the character's debut. Bolstered by slick art from Kubert (Batman; Captain America), Gaiman's lyrical chops are in fine form, weaving a surreal wake in which characters from Batman's history take turns relating what he meant to them, and their takes on the Dark Knight and the dangerous microcosm he fought for and eventually purportedly died to protect. Although this is obviously a love letter from one of the comics medium's premiere talents, the volume will appeal more to readers well-versed in Batman's continuity than Gaiman's normal legion of fans As the finished story only amounts to two issues of material, this hardcover is padded out with lesser—though not badly written by any means—stories teaming Gaiman with Simon Bisley, Mark Buckingham, Kevin Nowlan and Bernie Mireault, plus a sketchbook by Kubert."

Thoughts: Wow. I'm not sure what I can say about this novel. It was . . . Wow.

At first, it was a little confusing. After reading Cat Woman and Alfred's story of Batman's death, it is kind of hard to understand what it going on. In addition, it seems as though Bruce is there wondering what is truly going on. However, as the story progresses, it is very obvious and makes perfect sense.

This is a very philosophical view of Batman and the role that he plays in Bruce's life. Gaiman suggests that Batman is not merely an alter identity, but Bruce's actual identity. A few years ago, I wrote a big conference paper on the nature of Batman, and I really wish this had already been written. It would have added a different depth to my paper.

Anyways, I love Batman. I wanted to read this as soon as I saw Gaiman wrote something about him. The sketchbook in the back is really cool! Also, the mini comics are also a nice addition. However, the art style is no impressive! After looking at Andy Kubert's take on Batman legacy, the mini comics are painful and juvenile at best in their style.

Rating: 5/5
Currently: The Sandman vol. 9: The Kindle Ones by Neil Gaiman
Pages: 4698
Current Progress:
15/50 books


**Note: I did not finish Ill Wind by Rachel Caine. It was hard to get into, the writing style was not anything to write home about, and I was not enjoying the story. I might try to pick the book up again in a couple of months. Like Butcher, I might need to re-approach it at a different point.



Sinn

Update & 2 Book Reviews

It has been a long time since I last posted. I'm sorry for the long delay. My husband and I came down with a really nasty virus. It knocked us down for about 2 weeks. It took nearly 5+ days for me to even be able to eat much of anything, and nearly a week to eat somewhat normally. I lost my voice for 3+ days, and it has barely returned. It still is not normal. Needless to say, I lost my desire to read. My days were mostly spent laying on the couch in front of the TV moaning due to the pain and alternating Advil and Tylenol to keep my fever at a manageable level.

However, I am back! Even after all that, my desire to read has finally returned! While hardly able to leave the house, I ran over to Hastings and bought the newest Jeaniene Frost book when it came out, and I also grabbed onto Feed. This past weekend my brother brought me the complete Harry Dresden series, so I don't have to pinch together a coins and scour the library for copies of the books. It is nice to have family who are also bibliophiles -- even if some of them are turning to e-books merajuk Without further ado, here are 2 book reviews.



Title: Storm Front
Author: Jim Butcher
Genre: Urban fantasy
Pages: Paperback, 322
Published: 2000
Opening Line: "I heard the mailman approach my office door, half an hour earlier than usual."

"Harry Dresden--Wizard
Lost items found. Paranormal investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, Parties, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he's the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the "everyday" world is actually full of strange and magical things--and most of them don't play too well with humans. That's where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a--well, whatever.

There's just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry's seeing dollar signs. But where there's magic, there's a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry's name. And that's when things start to get... interesting.

Magic. It can get a guy killed."


Thoughts: I picked this book up a couple of years ago, and I couldn't get past the first few pages. It just didn't catch my interest, and it felt as though Butcher was copying every urban fantasy that came before him. It didn't feel original. However, after my brother pestered me for months, I decided I would give it another go. I guess this book is just one of those I had to come back to. I didn't have the same issues, it read really quickly (aside from the reading hiatus I took being sick), and it was really engaging!

Butcher put a lot of thought into Harry's world. The problems wizards have around electronics was really original and gave extra dimension to the character. I enjoyed Harry's poignant observation that many wizards only rely on magic and fail to see anything outside of that.

I really don't have too much to say about Storm Front. The book was enjoyable. I felt Butcher did a good job fleshing out Dresden and making the world believable. There was never a dull moment. The serious nature aside, the book was also full of laughs!

Rating: 5/5
Currently: Ill Wind by Rachel Caine
Pages: 4402
Horror/Urban Fantasy Challenge: 11/24


Title: The Sandman: Brief Lives
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Graphic novel
Pages: Paperback, 256
Published: 1994
Opening Line: "It is, of course, a miracle."

"In BRIEF LIVES, Delirium, youngest of the family known as The Endless, prevails upon her brother Dream to help find their missing sibling, Destruction. Their subsequent odyssey through the waking world, and their final confrontation with Destruction -- as well as the resolution of Dream's painful relationship with his son, Orpheus -- will change The Endless forever."
~ Jacket Copy

Thoughts: I have loved this series from the beginning! There is nothing I would change.

Since I first saw her picture and her introduction in the vol. 1, I have been extremely fascinated with Delirium, who used to be Delight. Something about her nature always seemed different than the other Endless. Imagine my excitement when I discovered that vol. 7 followed her!

After years as Delirium, The Endless decides that she misses her brother, Destruction, greatly. Being unable to hold her attention for too long, she approaches her siblings Desire and Despair to help her on her quest. Both of them say "no"; however, Despair secretly desires to to follow her. After this setback, Delirium hesitantly approaches Dream. Against the advice of Desire, he chooses to follow her. He claims that he has no wish to find his brother. He is just accompanying her for "something to do."

During their adventures and travels, Dream is changed. When questioned, Despair makes it clear that Delirium herself has not changed due to all the change she has seen in her young life. However, the audience is shown snippets of who Delirium truly is and what she might have been like as Delight. In addition, Gaiman drops little clues as to why she decided to become Delirium.

There isn't much I can say about this graphic novel. The storyline was amazing. The character development and the parable Gaiman gives is simply astounding. In the whole series, the only thing I would change would be some of the art styles. While the artists do a good job of capturing The Endless, using their speech fonts/bubbles to give them depth, I tend to not like the chosen art style. I admit, I tend to be an art snob! Aside from that . . . Wow!

Rating: 5/5
Currently: Ill Wind by Rachel Caine
Pages: 4402
Current Progress:
13/50 books


Sinn

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    "If you’re a freak like me, Wave your flag! If you’re a freak like me, Get off your ass! It’s our time now, To let it all hang out!" I am a recovering English major, closet bibliophile, breve addicted, zombie lover with a rockabilly and heavy metal fetish.