Book Review -- Ghost Trackers

Title: Ghost Trackers
Authors: Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson with Tim Waggoner
Genre: Horror
Pages: Paperback, 369
Published:
2011
Opening Lines: "Running down a narrow dark corridor, trailing her fingers along the walls to guide her. Heart pounding in her chest, a frightened bird desperate to be free of its cage."

"For fifteen years, Amber, Drew, and Trevor have barely been able to recall -- let along explain -- what happened the terrifying night they decided to explore the old, abandoned Lowry House. According to local legend, the house was cursed by a dark past and inhabited by evil. It burst into flames on the night of their visit, leaving the friends traumatized and nearly dead with only vague memories of the frightening events they had witnessed inside. Now, on the eve of their high school reunion, they have gathered to reopen their investigation and figure out, once and for all, what took place that fateful night . . . before the supernatural entity they escaped threatens to overtake them again."
~Jacket copy


Thoughts: I admit it, when I saw the authors of this book, I was more inclined to buy it. Having experience being ghost hunters, I figured Grant and Jason would have a good idea what would make a pretty good ghost story. I'm not sure whether it was the mood I was in or the story itself, but the book really, really creeped me out!

The story follows Amber, Drew, and Trevor reconnecting after a scary night 15 years ago. After all three connected in high school over a joint fascination with the paranormal, the three were inseparable. However, after investigating the infamous Lowry House, all three drift apart and lose their memories of the house and chunks of high school. When Amber is contacted by her old friend Greg Daniels, all three of the friends decide to reconnect at the 15 year high school reunion. Deep down, they all hope that getting back together will help them recover the memories they lost and find some closure. However, they are in for a more sinister reality.

I liked how seamlessly the three friends were able to fall into old routines after so long apart. The three characters were well thought out, and I felt they had their own unique stories. Even though he wasn't fully revealed until the end, I liked the growing mystery around Greg. It was obvious that something was up with him, and the mystery made it all the more creepy. However, I felt that Amber's depression and Drew's work as an author should have been fleshed out a little more. Due to Drew's occupation, I felt that it was really played up while the others were kind of lost.

The missing memories, not thinking of each other while away, etc. really reminded me of It by Stephen King. Also, the children coming back together as adults to face something they didn't conquer when they were young rang true with Stephen King as well. However, I felt that the authors did a good job making it their own story.

It was obvious that this was their first work of fiction. A lot of places the story kind of halted, the diction was awkward, too many adjectives, and a few other things. Aside from that, the story worked very well. My reason for giving it less than five stars is because of the ending. I really didn't like it. I felt it was kind of anti-climatic and a cop out. It was as though they built and built the story and had no idea where to go once it got to the end.

I'm really curious how they are going to build future books.

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: The Lady of the Rivers by Phillipa Gregory
Current Pages: 22687
Current Progress:

63/50 books



Sinn

Book Review -- Hammer of Thor

Title: Hammer of Thor
Author: S. Evan Townsend
Genre: Urban fantasy/historical fantasy
Pages: Oversize paperback, 376
Published: 2011
Opening Lines: "I stood erect despite my fatigue, sweat forming a puddle in the small of my back, running down into my eyes, beading on my arms. I was breathing hard, sucking in the cool air, and grinning from ear to ear."

"They live among us. We know they are there. No government can stop them. Some are evil. Some are good. All are powerful. They inhabit our myths and fairy tales. But what if they were real, the witches, wizards, and fairy godmothers? What if they were called "adepts" and used talismans to increase their power? The most powerful talisman in the world is The Hammer of Thor and Hitler stole it from its rightful owners, the Valkyrie. When American adept Francis Kader is reluctantly drawn into the effort to retrieve the Hammer from the Nazis, he begins a journey that leads him to a confrontation with Thor himself. Can a mere human hope to defeat an immortal god?
~ Jacket copy


Thoughts: I keep coming back to this trying to compose my thoughts, but everything is just jumbled. I guess, to start, I don't like Kader. While it seems to be his character -- and maybe the author's attempt to show the adepts feelings towards "lesssers" -- I found Kader to be extremely arrogant, an unsympathetic character, and an asshole. If the author really was trying to show the contempt adepts felt towards "lessers," I think he did an excellent job in Kader. That being said, Kader is a very strong character, well thought- and fleshed-out, and realistic. Even though I found him to be unsympathetic, I could easily see him a a real person. Of course, the rich landscape of the book also helped with this.

I don't know much about 1930s, 40s, or 50s San Francisco, England, France, Korea, Japan, Iceland, or Norway, but it was evident that the author did his research! He was able to paint a very rich picture of the landscape, culture, and the turbulent times.

The concept of adepts and the originals coming from Atlantis was a very neat idea! However, I wish he would have spent a little more time exploring that. In addition, the use of talismans to enhance pre-existing talent is something I really haven't seen before. The concept that an object, given enough time and proper stimulation, could become a talisman really made it more interesting. I liked the fact that Kader's letter from Meyoung held the potential to become a talisman.

The thing that caught me was the author's knowledge of Japanese. I studied Japanese as my foreign language at the University, so I was happy to see that the author appeared to take the time to understand the language and culture. I especially liked how he showed the Yakuza. I caught myself smiling when the Japanese lady said, "biiru"! It brought back fond memories of silly times in my class!

My biggest problem with the book is that it felt as though it just drug on. While I really enjoyed the story, at times I felt really bogged down in the details. However, since the book spans many years, that could contribute to the boggy feeling. Further, with a name like Hammer of Thor, I was sad that he didn't play a bigger role in the book. I found myself frustrated that he doesn't enter until about page 340 or so. Having a little more Nazi Germany would have also added another element to the book. Since the Nazi regime under Hitler has long since been known for their interest in the mystical, it would have been nice to see this side of the novel fleshed out. Even though I was bogged down in the details, I also felt like the book rushed through a lot of things. In some ways, the name and swastika on the front of the book is almost a misnomer.

That being said, I did enjoy the book. The author definitely spent a lot of time writing the book, fleshing out Kader, and the spaces where the book takes place. It is apparent that this is the author's first book, and I am very curious to see where he goes with the series and how he matures as an author.

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: The Lady of the Rivers by Phillipa Gregory and Ghost Trackers by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson
Current Pages: 22318
Current Progress:

62/50 books




Interview with author S. Evan Townsend



1. How did you start writing?
I can't remember a time I didn't want to be a writer except maybe when I was five and wanted to be a fireman. I started writing when I was 12 and taught myself to type (on a typewriter) using my sister's typing manual from school. I've been writing ever since so that's going on 40 years.

2. What was the inspiration behind the novel?
Hammer of Thor had a complicated beginning. I'd written a short story set in the near future with fantasy elements in it (something I'd never done before). It was there I developed the "adept" universe. It was about a wizard (or as I call them, "adept") who uses technology to fool another wizard. And I remember I was doing my two-mile walk and was thinking about World War II and I suddenly had the idea of putting these adepts into World War II. How would they handle the threat of fascism? And the story grew from there into a full-blown novel that covers 18 years from the early Depression to the Korean War.

3. I've always been interested in Nazi Germany and Norse mythology, so this was a clever mix. Why did you decide to tackles these two beasts in one book?
You never know when inspiration is going to come. Originally the book was going to be about World War II alone and that brought in the Nazis (First outlines it was going to be the Japanese but I found information about Nazis easier to come by than about Imperial Japan). But when I started writing Kader’s history (as I do when I develop major characters) I thought, “This would make a good beginnings of a story” and decided to add it to Hammer of Thor and decided on an ending. When I decided to bring the Valkyrie into the novel, that dipped my toe into Norse mythology. And it sort of snow-balled from there. As I did research on Norse mythology, I decided to have a Norse god as Kader’s ultimate enemy.

4. How much research did you have to do in order to prepare yourself to write this book?
A lot. I read a book on Norse mythology, a book on the Korean war, two books (fiction) about Korea during the Japanese colonial days, a book on Korean history (I was just going to read the parts pertaining to this novel but found it so interesting I read the whole thing), and did a lot of internet searches on the Nazis and mysticism. I’ve also, thanks to my father, have seen every World War II movie ever made. I found an oral history from a B-24 crewmember and that help describe Kader’s trip to England. I talked to a cousin of my father who was stationed in Japan during the Korean War and he gave me ideas for those scenes.

5. What was your favorite part of the book?
My favorite part of the book is the air chase over a fog-enshrouded San Francisco in Chapter Sixteen. It was a challenge to write because I didn’t know what buildings would stick out of the fog. I found a website that listed buildings’ age and height so I figured out which ones would have been around in 1943. But San Francisco is hilly so I had to find out what elevation the buildings’ bases were at. I found a topographical map of downtown San Francisco and used it to figure out the elevation and added in the height of the building to get the height of it over sea level (I used a spreadsheet to keep it all straight). Then I knew which buildings would protrude from the fog bank and where approximately they were. I used that information in writing the scene. The reader probably doesn’t know how much work I put into trying to make that scene accurate, but I think it paid off. Plus it’s was just a fun scene to write with lots of action. Where else to you get to write about a chase between a woman on a big black bird and a man on a flying carpet over a modern city?

6. What was the hardest part to write in the book?
The climax. It took me six months to come up with the climactic scene. Usually when I can’t write a scene, it’s because subconsciously I know there’s something wrong with it. Then I realized what the problem was: my protagonist was going to stand by and watch it happen. When I figured out how to make him part of the action, it finally worked for me. But still, I’d set him up with an almost insurmountable task. When I came up with the solution, I was finally able to finish the scene. The other difficult scene for me to write (but for other reasons) was the love scene in Chapter One. I wanted it to be sweet but not trite. I’m not sure I accomplished that.

7. What did you wish was different about the book?
I wish I could have traveled to Iceland to get it absolutely accurate. I had to use the internet and magazine articles to get the feeling of Iceland. One thing I’m torn about in the book is because it’s set in the first half of the 20th century, it’s not very politically correct. The language and the prejudices of the characters, including the hero, might grate on modern sensibilities. But I decided to be accurate with language and attitudes.

8. What are your favorite authors/books? How did they inspire you to become a writer?
My favorite author is Robert Heinlein. He was primarily a science fiction writer but did write some fantasy. When I first read his books (and I inhaled them in about a three year period, only slowed by not being able to find them), I thought, “If I could only write this well.” It became my goal to try and write as well as Heinlein (I’m sure I don’t, still). I read that he would type out his manuscript once (he did most of his writing before computers), go through it and slash out what he thought was unneeded, type it up again, and send it to the publisher. Think about that. It had to be spelled correctly, punctuated correctly, and have no typos. All that plus they were invariably great stories. His novel, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is still my favorite. My other favorite write if Poul Anderson. He was more varied and prolific than Heinlein. I’m still trying to get through his oeuvre. His Flandry stories and novels are great fun escapism but still intelligently written. Reading great writers inspires me to write and become a better writer. Sort of like a runner beating a personal best because he was trying to keep up with a faster rival.

9. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I’ve always admired George Washington. In reading biographies of him, you find out he was not only a brilliant soldier, statesman, and politician, but he loved a good joke and was quite flirtatious with the women who were happy to chat with a national hero. We all have this idea he was rather dour because of his portraits. But his artificial teeth were probably killing him (they weren’t wood, by the way). I think it would be fascinating to talk with him about the Revolution and the formation of the country.

10. What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Never give up. I’ve been trying to get published since I was in my 20s. I’m now 51 and a published author. As someone said, “What do you call a writer who never gives up? Published.” And while writing is a solitary, introverted activity, be sure to keep up with your friends and your friends’ friends, and co-workers and anyone else. You never know who might know someone. But perseverance will separate you from the herd.


Sinn

Book Tour -- Children of Paranoia

Title: Children of Paranoia
Author: Trevor Shane
Genre: Dystopian fiction
Pages: Hardback, 371
Published: 2011
Opening Lines: "Dear Maria,
"I doubt you expected this journal to amount to much when you gave it to me, but here it is."

"Since the age of eighteen, Joseph has been assassinating people on behalf of a cause that he believes in but doesn't fully understand. The War is ageless, hidden in the shadows, governed by a rigid set of rules, and fought bt two distinct sides -- one good, one evil. The only unknown is which side is which. Soldiers in the War hide in plain sight, their deeds disguised as accidents or random acts of violence amid an unsuspecting population ignorant of the brutality that is always inches away.

"Killing people is the only life Joseph has ever known, and he's one of the best at it. But when a job goes wrong, and he's sent away to complete a punishingly dangerous assignment, Joseph meets a girl named Marie, and for the first time in his life, his single-minded, bloody purpose fades away.

"Before Maria, Joseph's only responsibility was dealing death to the anonymous targets fingered by his superiors. Now he must run from the people who have fought by his side to save what he loves the most in the world. As Children of Paranoia reaches its heart-in-throat climax, Joseph will learn that only one rule remains immutable: The only thing more dangerous than fighting the War . . . is leaving it."
~Jacket copy


Thoughts: I've read a lot of reviews about this book before I got it in the mail for the book tour, and I was extremely excited to read it. The premise really caught my attention, and I'm a sucker for dystopic novels. Once I started reading the book, however, everything just changed. I had an exceptionally hard time getting into it. Honestly, I dug my heels in and forced myself not to pick up another book because I had to read this for a book tour.

When I read the info about the book, I did not expect it to be a journal. In some ways, I was a little taken aback. It is an interesting concept. However, after several pages when the main character addresses the person he's writing it for, it really breaks the story. To me, even though it was hard to get into the story, it just brought everything to a shuddering halt. I felt as though I had hit a brick wall.

In books, it is nice to have a far amount of detail to set the stage for the reader. It allows the audience to fully immerse themselves into the world of the book and form a connection with the characters. While I felt that, in some cases, the author did a good job of doing this, overall I felt the huge blocks of text for pages on end was daunting. I found myself reading through it quickly just to get to sections where Joe was interacting with other people. If the author wanted the reader to feel isolated in an attempt to form some sort of sympathetic bond with Joe, then he did a good job. However, after awhile, I just felt bogged down and bored.

I loved the relationship with Maria. Near the beginning of the book, Joe is already starting to question what he truly believes, and I feel that Maria made him finally answer those questions for himself. While Jared's answers give a philosophical answer, they were still steering him in a desired direction. Maria forced Joe to start opening his eyes and really think about things. Also, his conversations with Dan helped as well.

I hated the ending of this book. Hated it. However, I completely understand why the book ended this way, considering that it is in a series. That being said, it should have ended on page 347. I'm not always the sappy-ending lover, but I really, really desired it in this book. To me, it was beautiful and well written. Plus, I'm not sure if I like Maria's voice.

After giving the book a day to stew in my mind, I still have mixed feelings. I'm not sure what I think about it. There are parts I loved and parts I hated. Parts of the book worked really, really well, but there were others that just fell flat. I still think the concept is interesting. At this point, I'm waiting to see what the other books are like. This is a first book in a number of ways -- for the author, in the series, etc.

Rating: ☆ ☆
Currently: Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane
Current Pages: 21168
Current Progress:

59/50 books






Note: I asked the author several questions concerning dysptoic fiction and the rise thereof for his guest post; however, the following post is how he chose to answer.



Sinnful Books Guest Post

There’s a scene in Children of Paranoia about homing pigeons. The main character is being chased from his home in New Jersey and is driving his car through the Delaware Water Gap. He feels safe for a few moments and starts to think back to when he was a little kid and he spent at the Delaware Water Gap with his grandfather. He and his grandfather used to drive down to the Water Gap to release his grandfhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifather’s homing pigeons. Then they’d drive home, stopping on the way for big breakfast of pancakes and scrambled eggs. During those five or so pages, Joseph, Children of Paranoia’s protagonist, is me. When I was a kid, my grandfather and I used to drive down to the Delaware Water Gap to release his homing pigeons before heading back to his house to track their return. As I watched those pigeons return to their wire coop, I always wondered why they came back.

When you publish a novel, especially one like Children of Paranoia that is centered around a big, unique idea (in Children of Paranoia’s case, a secret war that has been raging in the shadows of society for hundreds of years), people always ask you what inspired you. Readers want to know where you got this crazy idea. For Children of Paranoia, the first chapter, where the protagonist follows a woman he doesn’t know home from her job and strangles her in front of her house, really did hit me like a bolt of lightening as I was walking down the street. The idea of the secret war and the war’s rules (which have been a big part of the Children of Paranoia marketing campaign) shortly followed. As a writer, what I think is equally as interesting as the big inspiration for the books that I read, is what inspired the details.

When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a writer but I believed that I needed some life experience to write about first. So, I had a dream of becoming a carpenter (like Jesus or a pre-fame Harrison Ford) and, like Jesus or Harrison Ford, moving on to a different career once I absorbed what carpentry had to teach me. The summer after my freshman year of college, I got a job working for a builder, helping him to build a new house on top of an old foundation. It was grueling work, the hardest job I’ve ever had. I was always tired and my forearms were constantly sore from hammering. To the annoyance of my boss, I looked at everything that I learned in that job as some sort of grand metaphor. A good example is when I was taught to use the circular saw. My boss taught me that you always have to the width of the blade of the saw into account or you’ll cut the piece of wood too short. That’s because you lose the width of the saw blade whenever you saw a piece of wood. I always assumed this had some sort of grand metaphorical meaning (even if I’m not sure what it is). All of this made it into Children of Paranoia in one form or another.

I had lunch with a friend of mine today. He’s an attorney and a Buddhist and wanted to take me out to lunch because he had finished reading Children of Paranoia and had some questions. One of his questions was, “Are you Joe?” (Children of Paranoia’s protagonist). The answer I gave him was “sometimes” like when Joe is thinking about racing pigeons with his grandfather or working as a carpenter’s assistant “but not others.” The fact is that, as an author, you can never completely write yourself into your work because every character has to be a little bit of you or they will end up being totally flat characters. If you use up all of you on one character, there won’t be anything else to give to the other characters.

The goal I had when writing Children of Paranoia was to write a conceptual, thrilling novel which eschewed the idea of the self-acknowledging bad guy (did anybody in the old west actually where a black hat or were the all simply brown?) The secrecy of the war and the rules (Rule #1 - No killing innocent bystanders; Rule #2 - No killing anyone under the age of 18; etc.) grew out of this goal. The details, however, which come to all of us every single day, are what make the story come to life.

Author Links:
Website: http://www.childrenofparanoia.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/childofparanoia
Trevor Shane on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Trevor-Shane/150972244938983
Children of Paranoia on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=151640338211999
Read an Excerpt: http://www.childrenofparanoia.com/excerpt.html








Children of Paranoia Book Tour


















10/11/2011 - Kristin @ Kritters Ramblings - http://www.krittersramblings.com10/12/2011 - Lauren @ Ravishing Reads - http://ravishingreads.blogspot.com
10/13/2011 - Maggie @ My Utopia - http://myutopia36.blogspot.com/10/14/2011 - Laurie @ Reader Girls - http://readergirls.blogspot.com
10/16/2011 - Christa @ Mental Foodie - http://mentalfoodie.blogspot.com10/17/2011 - Gwenyth Love @ Rants~N~Scribbles - http://rantsnscribbles.blogspot.com
10/18/2011 - Sinn @ Sinnful Books - http://sinnfulbooks.blogspot.com10/19/2011 - Meg @ A Bookish Affair - http://abookishaffair.blogspot.com/
10/20/2011 - Louise @ Between the Covers - http://www.betweenthecoversblog.net/10/21/2011 - Christie @ The Fiction Enthusiast - http://thefictionenthusiast.blogspot.com/
10/22/2011 - Heather @ Proud Book Nerd - http://proudbooknerd.com/10/23/2011 - Julie @ Book Hooked - http://www.bookhookedblog.com
10/24/2011 - Stacy @ Girls in the Stacks - http://www.girlsinthestacks.com10/25/2011 - Nicole @ All I Ever Read - http://books.nicoleabouttown.com


Sinn

Book Review -- Stolen Innocence

Title: Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs
Author: Elissa Wall with Lisa Pulitzer
Genre: Non-fiction
Pages: Hardback, 431
Opening Lines: "I clutched the delicate silk nightgown and embroidered robe of my bridal gown as I hurried to the bathroom. Though it was just a few feet from my bedroom, the bathroom seemed like a sanctuary, the one place I could be alone."

"In September 2007, a packed courtroom in St. George, Utah, sat hushed as Elissa Wall, the star witness against polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, gave captivating testimony of houw Jeffs forced her to marry her first cousin at age fourteen. This harrowing and vivid account proved to be the most compelling evidence against Jeffs, showing the harsh realities of this closed community and the lengths to which Jeffs went in order to control the sect's women.

"Now, in this courageous memoir, Elissa Wall tells the incredible and inspirational story of how she emerged from the confines of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and helped bring one of America's most notorious criminals to justice. Offering a child's perspective on life in the FLDS, Wall discusses her tumultuous youth, explaining how her family's turbulent past intersected with her strong will and identified her as a girl who needed to be controlled through marriage. Detailing how Warren Jeffs's [sic] influence over the church twisted its already rigid beliefs in dangerous new directions, Wall portrays the inescapable mind-set and unrelenting presure that forced her to wed despite her repeated protests that she was too young.

"Once she was married, Wall's childhood shattered as she was obligated to follow Jeffs's [sic] directives and submit to her husband in "mind, body, and soul." With little money and no knowledge of the outside world, she was trapped and forced to endure the pain and abuse of her loveless relationship, which eventually pushed her to spend nights sleeping in her truck rather than face the tormentor in her bed.

"Yet even in those bleak times, she retained a sliver of hope that one day she would find a way out, and one snowy night that came in the form of a rugged stranger named Lamont Barlowe. Their chance encounter set in motion a friendship and eventual romance that gave her the strength she needed to break free from her past and sever the chains of the church.

"But though she was out of the FLDS, Wall would still have to face Jeffs -- this time in court. In Stolen Innocence, she delves into the difficult months on the outside that led her to come forward against him, working with prosecutors on one of the biggest criminal cases in Utah's history, so that other girls still inside the church might be spared her cruel fate."
~Jacket copy


Thoughts: Working as a copy desk editor at our local paper, many articles came across my desk when this case hit the papers. I admit, that I have always been curious about the FLDS lifestyle, and I wanted to know the outcome of the trial. As with many people, I was happy to see Warren Jeffs punished. It's one thing to desire to follow your own religion in freedom, but it crosses a line when it forces little girls into situations of marital rape, abuse, etc. I was drawn to this book after looking up Under a White Flag, which was mentioned on Dr. Phil. I remembered Elissa from the various AP articles in the paper, and I was very curious about actually reading her memoir.

While the story was exceptionally hard to read, it was an interesting look into the FLDS community. It is also interesting to compare these women to "modern" polygamists like the Browns or the authors of Love Times Three. Elissa Wall is very well spoken, a good writer, and really thinks deeply about the religion she was raised in. Even though she was mentally, emotionally, and physically abused by the system, she is still able to see the religion itself as something other than the people. She is also able to have a large amount of grace and mercy for the people still in the religion. I was also surprised at how she was able to star to feel a stirring of compassion for Allen during the court case.

I felt the book was well paced. It never felt as though it was dragging. In fact, I read this dense book in a manner of days. It was very, very engaging. I really enjoyed the pictures that her included in the book. In a lot of ways, it made the book more real and accessible. And, at some level, I felt sorry for Allen and the position he was put in by Warren Jeffs.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a deeper looking into FLDS.


Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: Hammer of Thor by S. Evan Townsend and Kitty Raises Hell by Carrie Vaughn
Current Pages: 21942
Current Progress:

61/50 books


Sinn

Book Review -- The Replacement

Title: The Replacement
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Genre: YA supernatural, fairytale
Pages: Oversize paperback, 343
Published: 2010
Opening Lines: "I don't remember any of the true, important parts, but there's this dream I have. Everything is cold and branches scrape the window screen."

"Mackie is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement -- left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, he is slowly dying in the human world.

"Mackie would give anything to live a normal life, play his bass, and find out more about an oddly intriguing girl named Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, he is drawn into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the slag heap and find his rightful place, in our world -- or theirs."
~Jacket copy


Thoughts: I've wanted to read this book for a long time, but they never seem to have it at our local bookstores. One night, while trying to find a movie, I saw it sitting on the shelf at our local Hastings. And, to add wonder to merriment, it was on sale!! There was no way I could resist! Even though we were really strapped for cash, my hubby told me that we had enough to spend $7. w00t!

The concept behind this book really caught my attention. I've always been interested in the faeries, the Celtic Otherworld (COW), the supernatural, etc. In some ways, teenagers already feel as though they don't belong. I felt that taking the Changeling story and putting it into a modern day setting with young adults was perfect! Also, the darker elements of the story caught my fancy as well. Although I'm not sure how you can have this type of story without that ^_~

I felt that the author tried to stay true to the legends of the fae. It really struck me that Mackie had extreme issues with metal (however, I always learned that it was an aversion to iron not all metal, but, hey, I went with it). She really played it up, even having blood cause him serious issues.

The way she portrayed the Morrigan was a little weird to me. The Lady kind of addresses the change, but never really goes into any detail. I'm used to the Morrigan appearing on the battlefields and such; however, in the book she appeared as a little child. When she crawled into Mackie's lap, I was completely weirded out! I also thought her requiring him to play with the band as payback for his sister seeking favors was a little weird.

Along those lines, I really wish the author played with that a little more. I felt a big deal was made about the band, Carlina, Mackie playing with them, etc., but then it kind of dwindled. I also wonder how much she truly knows about some of the music she is writing about. For example, the words to Yellow Ledbetter are extremely controversial since Eddie Vedder changes the discernible lyrics at every concert, he has never been forthright with what the lyrics actually are (in fact, he jokes about whether there actually are lyrics to the song!), etc.

Aside from some of my little soap boxes, I really liked the book. Admittedly, it has taken me awhile to get through it . . . Playing Arkham Asylum before Arkham City comes out *sheepish grin* But, on the whole, I think this book would be a pretty quick read. It's not complex, but it doesn't lack. I'm really excited about the author's new book, The Space Between!

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: Hammer of Thor by S. Evan Townsend and Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wood
Current Pages: 21511
Current Progress:

60/50 books




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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.