Theme Song Saturday (51)



Welcome to Theme Song Saturdays, a new weekly meme, hosted by yours truly, in which we share our love of music and books! Since I love books and music, this meme is for fun to try to incorporate those two loves! Whenever I read a book, a certain song -- kind of like a soundtrack or theme song -- plays through my head.

Want to know how to play? Head over to the Theme Song Saturday introduction post to read the rules and get the code.

Here's my song this week:









Cego Hill Rambler by The Natchez Shakers just came to mind while I was reading this book.  Honestly, there is not real rhyme or reason to it.  The sound just reminded me of Mardi Gras in 1800s.  By the way, this group is awesome in concert ^_~






What's yours?  Leave a link in the comments to your post ^_^

Much love, Sinn

Book Review — Persistence of Vision

Title:  Persistence of Vision
Author:  Liesel K. Hill
Genre:  Sci-Fi/dystopian
Pages:  Oversize paperback, 386
Published:  January 29, 2013
Publisher:  Tate Publishing
Rating:


"A flash of purple light.  A rock formation.  Brown boots walking across a room at eye level.  Two large hands covering hers.  A woman standing in front of a broken lighthouse.  Blood on her hands.  A whisper of a voice.

"These are the images that haunt Maggie. One afternoon a year ago, Maggie blacked out inexplicably. now a man with a spider's web tattooed on his eye has attacked her in her home. Things only get more confusing when Marcus, a man she vaguely remembers from her black out, show sup to take her away.

"Marcus is from the future and is a member of the Brain Chemistry Optimists (BCO). And so is Maggie. Her black out was actually a year's worth of time she spent in the future, fighting against collectives—people who have linked their minds together and given up individuality. The collectives are working to bring down the few individuals left, and Maggie learns that she is supposed to play a crucial role in these efforts.

"The members of the BCO explain that in battle, her brain was attacked, and she lost all of her memories of her time in the future. All she has left are flashes, afterimages, Persistence of Vision. Now she must relearn everything about this different world, harness mental powers beyond anyone's imagining, and navigate what was once a romance with Marcus. On top of all of that, she begins unraveling the mystery of her lost memory. However, for every answer she finds, it seems that another, more complicated questions arises. Will she be able to remember enough to help the BCO?"

~ Jacket copy



Thoughts: During the process of reading this book, I was looking at reviews on Goodreads. All of them say that it is Earth shattering, mind blowing, life changing, and so on. For me, that really gave the book an air of authority. However, even from the start of the book, I found that I really had a hard time getting into it. While it was obvious that it was the author’s first book—she just lacked a maturity in her craft that authors get with time and experience—it felt like it just wasn’t my type of book. It wasn’t speaking to me, I found myself skipping over sections, and even going to the point of bargaining with myself to read it. At the get go, I told myself that, once Maggie started to figure things out, the book would pick up and things would become less hazy. Unfortunately, the further I went into the book, the more and more I found myself disliking it.

First of all, I never liked Maggie. I felt she was a pretty immature heroine, rather dimwitted, and completely unsympathetic. After losing a large amount of time and waking up in a hotel room with mysterious old wounds on her body, it seems to me that she would be distrustful of people. Granted, I understand that Marcus saved her from the man that broke into her house, but I don’t know if I would automatically rush off with him. And, even if I did, I might have been more insistent about answers. In addition, she seemed to trust the people at Interchron too easily. Even though I have no real area to point to, to me, she felt like the classic damsel in distress that needed a guy to save her.

The fact that Doc was so secretive really drove me nuts. Many times he claimed that he either had to do research or it wasn’t important to the team at the time; however, from his reaction, it was obvious that he was deceiving the team or making an excuse. Considering the people they were going up against, I couldn’t understand why he was so quick to keep things from everyone. Furthermore, I’m not sure why the team didn’t just sit him down and try to force the information out of him. Some of the stuff he kept from the team felt like life and death information. At various points, the characters even mentioned the fact that they didn’t appreciate how secretive he was. If that’s an issue, why didn’t they confront him?

The whole business on the island was rather unbelievable. When Marcus, Nat, and Maggie are completely at Colin’s mercy, her comment was so stupid, ludicrous, and asinine, I couldn’t believe the author actually wrote it. If you and your loved ones are held captive and one of them has a gun to their head, when the guy holding you hostage demands a kiss, will you say the following: “Really? Really? You have us at your mercy, and this is what you decide to do with that kind of power?” Yes, yes, Maggie, let’s taunt the lion. And, on top of that, I couldn’t understand why the team didn’t see that whole fiasco coming. From the minute David came to Interchron and told them about the island, I knew what was going to happen. For all the intelligence they profess to have, they certainly were pretty stupid or just lacked common sense.

To be fair, I think the author has an interesting idea and could develop it into something really, really neat. Even though I couldn’t help thinking of the Borg, attacking things like the hive mind can yield some amazing subject matter and cause in depth discussions. Unfortunately, the last third of the book I skimmed. Once the book ended, I felt as though I hadn’t missed anything. I admit, some of it had to do with the fact that it just wasn’t my type of book. That being said, I also felt that it wanted me to suspend my disbelief for too long. Yes, it is a world set in an alternate reality, but that doesn’t mean that people will act outside of their sense of self preservation.

*Note:  I received this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.  I would like to thank Liesel for the opportunity to read the book and take part in her tour.  It was an honor to work with her!*

Current Pages: 2821
Current Progress:



Much love, Sinn

Book Review — White Night

Title:  White Night
Author:  Jim Butcher
Genre:  Urban fantasy
Pages:  Hardback, 404
Published:  2007
Publisher:  ROC
ISBN-13:  978-0-451-46140-7
Opening Lines:  "Many things are not as they seem: The worst things in life never are."
Rating:


"Someone is targeting the city's magic practitioners, the members of the supernatural underclass who don't possesss enough power to become full-fledged wizards. Many have vanished. Other appear to be victims of suicide. But the murderer has left a calling card at one of the crime scenes—a message for Harry, referencing the book of Exodus and the killing of witches.

"Harry sets out to find the killer before he can strike again, but his investigation turns up evidence pointing to the one suspect he cannot possibly believe guilty: his half brother, Thomas. Determined to bring the real murderer to justice and clear his brother's name, Harry attracts the attention of the White Court of vampires, becoming embroiled in a power struggle that renders him outnumbered, outclassed, and dangerously susceptible to temptation.

"Harry knows that if he screws this one up, people will die—and one of them will be his brother . . ."

~ Jacket copy



Thoughts:  Even though this book was engaging, I had a hard time getting traction to finish it.  If my review is a little scattered, it is due to this long period spent reading this book and lots of sleepless nights.

If you've read Butcher's books so far, White Night is more of the same.  Harry is called in to investigate a series of suicides that are not sitting well with Murphy.  However, once he starts to dig into the deaths, he realizes that they are no mere suicides—they are elaborate murders made to look like suicides.  At the scene he is able to investigate—and one of the bodies his apprentice is able to look at—Harry discovers that there is a secret message: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."  In typical Harry-style, he sets off to determine who is killing these weak magic practitioners, why it looks like Thomas is involved, and try to keep people safe.

There was little to no character development in Harry; however, I'm not sure how much further Butcher can go.  Adding Molly into the series has given it a different element.  Further, Harry has something more to focus his attention on.  She is also starting to grow up, and she is struggling with whether this is a world she wants to be a part of.

Harry's constant complaining about his four years without getting laid is getting more than a little annoying.  After it was made clear that he and Murphy would never be an item, he seems to spend more of his time whining about no physical contact.  In addition, Elaine coming into town makes it worse.  At some level, I found myself wanting him to just tumble into bed with her or Lara.

Since Thomas' falling out with the Raith family, it was obvious that they would come back into the picture.  It was interesting to see the internal vampire politics and how they might be helping with the Black Council.  That being said, the beginning and ending of the book felt rather disconnected.  At some place between the killings, the Malvora, Vittorio, and all of that, something got lost in translation.  In addition, I have to wonder whether Harry will get in trouble for throwing down with the vampires while in his Warden's cloak.  Granted, Ramirez helped him, but I doubt it was sanctioned by the Council.

I'm still not sure how I feel about Lasciel/Lash issue.  While I understand that she, the being in his head, is only a mirror image/fraction of the whole; however, everything surrounding what happened feels unbelievable.  But we shall see in later books.

Butcher presents a couple of interesting concepts in this book and some things that will definitely come into play later.  I'm curious to see how he plays with the peace with Lara, Marcone's new status, Mouse's continued abilities, and so on.  However, even though the book was entertaining, I have to wonder how long Butcher can continue Harry's story. 

Current Pages: 2821
Current Progress:

9/50 books


Much love, Sinn

Theme Song Saturday



Welcome to Theme Song Saturdays, a new weekly meme, hosted by yours truly, in which we share our love of music and books! Since I love books and music, this meme is for fun to try to incorporate those two loves! Whenever I read a book, a certain song -- kind of like a soundtrack or theme song -- plays through my head.

Want to know how to play? Head over to the Theme Song Saturday introduction post to read the rules and get the code.

Here's my song this week:



 


The World Spins Madly On by The Weepies always makes me think of Harry.  After everything he has done, all the things he has lost, the injuries he's received, and so on, the world keeps spinning and still needs him. 






What's yours?  Leave a link in the comments to your post ^_^

Much love, Sinn

Theme Song Saturday (49)



Welcome to Theme Song Saturdays, a new weekly meme, hosted by yours truly, in which we share our love of music and books! Since I love books and music, this meme is for fun to try to incorporate those two loves! Whenever I read a book, a certain song -- kind of like a soundtrack or theme song -- plays through my head.

Want to know how to play? Head over to the Theme Song Saturday introduction post to read the rules and get the code.

Here's my song this week:



 



Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival represent Harry's life.  Everything always seems to go from bad to worse, and he never gets a break.






What's yours?  Leave a link in the comments to your post ^_^

Much love, Sinn

Book Review — Jennifer Blood

Title:  Jennifer Blood (vol. one: A Woman's Work is Never Done)
Author:  Garth Ennis
Genre:  Graphic novel
Pages:  144
Published:  2012
Publisher:  Dynamite Entertainment
ISBN-10:  1-60690-261-X
Rating:


"Meet Jen Fellows, your average suburban housewife. Every day she lives out your normal suburban life. She makes breakfast, takes the kids to school, cleans the house, cooks dinner, kisses her husband and children goodnight, and hopes that the drugs she gave them in their dinner keeps them asleep until morning.

"Meet Jennifer Blood, ruthless vigilante. Every night she stalks the underworld on a personal vendetta against organized crime, determined to obliterate the parasites and scum who run the city's rackets.

"But can she keep her dual lives separate? Can she protect her family from the terrible world she now finds herself a part of? And will the budget stretch to new cushion covers for the new couch and six more cases of .45 hollow points?"

~ Jacket copy



Thoughts:  Honestly, I don't remember when I picked this one up.  The cover, art, and storyline really caught my attention.  However, I guess it just got lost on my shelves.

After her father, a ruthless gangster, is killed by his brothers, Jen is forced to fake her own death and go into hiding.  She decides to use her father's money to get trained as an assassin in order to seek revenge for her father's death.  However, while doing this, she has to balance being the perfect housewife.

The only redeeming quality in this graphic novel is the art.  The whole storyline is tired and boring.  Jen is the perfect assassin.  Even though she has issues with recon, everything still works out for her.  All of her jobs go off without a hitch.  The people they hire to kill her are little more than jokes.

Aside from starting Preacher, I don't have any experience with Garth Ennis.  So I cannot compare Jennifer Blood to his other stuff.  That being said, from what I've heard about him, this just falls short.  It lacks creativity and follow through.

If you're looking for a tired story of the perfect assassin/mother/housewife, this is the graphic novel for you.  If you want something with more substance, close calls, and so on, stay away from this one.      

Jennifer Blood, Volume One: A Woman's Work is Never Done


Current Pages: 2417
Current Progress:

8/50 books


Much love, Sinn

Persistence of Vision Book Tour: Guest Post by Liesel Hill





My Path to Writing

Hello Everyone and thanks for dropping by! I would like to thank our friendly neighborhood Bibliophile for hosting me here today! I’m so glad to be here!

Books have always been a large part of my life. When I was a kid, I would lie on my mom’s bed with her for hours while she read to me. We did that every single day! One of my earliest memories is of my dad, sitting with his back against the door frame of my room and telling us The Lord of the Rings stories. He didn’t recite them verbatim or anything, but he’d read them enough to know the plots by heart. I was three or four years old at the time. At that age I was falling asleep to stories of Frodo and the Ring.

When I was in the fifth grade, my teacher told my mom that my vocabulary was good enough to write a book. I didn’t write a book at that age, but I thought about doing it all the time after that.

I often wrote stories in my spare time, though I was generally too afraid to let people read them. I got more chances to write in junior high and high school, and though I was pretty good at it, I didn’t think of pursuing it seriously as a career. I always thought I’d go into health science.

When I got to college, I started taking science classes, and my GPA promptly dropped. I was miserable and hated my courses. Eventually I realized science, though still fascinating to me, was not my path. At that point, I felt lost for a while, not sure what to do with myself. Then it occurred to me that I should put all my energy into my dreams of writing novels on the side.

Once I did, my whole life changed. I suddenly loved my classes (English and writing, now) and couldn’t wait to get to work on things. There are many professions out there that are considered callings by those that follow them. Things like police work or philanthropic work. For me, writing was the same way. And trust me, when it calls to you, there’s simply no denying it. ;D




"A flash of purple light.  A rock formation.  Brown boots walking across a room at eye level.  Two large hands covering hers.  A woman standing in front of a broken lighthouse.  Blood on her hands.  A whisper of a voice.

"These are the images that haunt Maggie. One afternoon a year ago, Maggie blacked out inexplicably. now a man with a spider's web tattooed on his eye has attacked her in her home. Things only get more confusing when Marcus, a man she vaguely remembers from her black out, show sup to take her away.

"Marcus is from the future and is a member of the Brain Chemistry Optimists (BCO). And so is Maggie. Her black out was actually a year's worth of time she spent in the future, fighting against collectives—people who have linked their minds together and given up individuality. The collectives are working to bring down the few individuals left, and Maggie learns that she is supposed to play a crucial role in these efforts.

"The members of the BCO explain that in battle, her brain was attacked, and she lost all of her memories of her time in the future. All she has left are flashes, afterimages, Persistence of Vision. Now she must relearn everything about this different world, harness mental powers beyond anyone's imagining, and navigate what was once a romance with Marcus. On top of all of that, she begins unraveling the mystery of her lost memory. However, for every answer she finds, it seems that another, more complicated questions arises. Will she be able to remember enough to help the BCO?"

Persistence of Vision


Author Links:


Website: Interchron.tateauthor.com
Blog: musingsonfantasia.blogspot.com
Facebook: facebook.com/interchronseries or facebook.com/lieselkhill
Twitter: twitter.com/lkhillbooks 
Pinterest: pinterest.com/lkhillbooks
Goodreads Author Page: goodreads.com/lieselkhill
Goodreads Book Page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15982000-persistence-of-vision


Stayed tuned for my review of Persistence of Vision!


Much love, Sinn

Book Review — Partials

Title:  Partials
Author:  Dan Wells
Genre:  Post-apocalyptics
Pages:  Hardback, 468
Published:  February 2012
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray
ISBN:  978-0-06-207104-0
Opening Lines:  "Newborn #485GA18M died on June 20, 2076, at 6:07 in the morning.  She was three days old."
Rating:


"The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. our time is running out.

"Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of the battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew where there."

~Jacket copy



Thoughts:  This was one of those treasures I found while cleaning my house!  This book has been sitting on my wishlist since I first saw it advertised.  First of all, post-apocalyptic books are a weakness of mine.  Second, I loved the whole concept behind the book.

Eleven years ago, a biological weapon was released on the human race that killed nearly everyone.  The primary suspect was the government engineered cyborgs, Partials.  The Partials were created to fight a war with China and Iran.  However, when RM was released, it was feared that they finally decided to turn on their human creators.  Now, after the majority of the human race has died, the survivors are still struggling with the effects of  RM: every baby dies after a few days.  In order to save the human race, the Senate, the ruling body, enacts the Hope Act—a law the forces all women eighteen years and older to have as many babies as possible.  However, even while the Senate is trying to save the human race, the Hope Act threatens to split the people in half and cause a civil war.  After witnessing the death of several infants—and fearing that the Senate will lower the required age on the Hope Act—medical intern, Kira, decides that she needs to try and find the elusive cure for RM.  This sends her on a journey to find a Partial and reveals secrets that nobody is willing to accept, including her.

From the first lines in this book, I was hooked!  After reading many young adult books with insipid heroines who are completely overcome with sexual angst, Kira was refreshing.  She was smart, on an amazing career path in the medical field, and had depth.  Even though she was in a relationship with Marcus, they had a casual ease about them.  There was no sexual tension or angst in their interactions.  It was obvious that they have been together for a long time and had the relationship of adults.  It was nice not to read the angsty drivel that is usually found in young adult books.

In addition, I felt that most of the main characters in the book had a lot more depth than is typically seen.  Granted, I wished the author had spent a little more time with specific characters.  That being said, it was obvious that they all had a back story that helped to create who they were in the present.  Even if the author never gives the back story, as long as he knows what it is, it will come out in the writing.

The world building was simply amazing!  I was totally engrossed in the Long Island of the future and the Partial inhabited Manhattan.  The little touches the author used (clothes, iPods, and so on) helped develop the world further.  Honestly, when the teens came across the panthers and antelope, I was instantly reminded of I Am Legend.  In some ways, that was able to lend credence to the story. 

The author tackled some hard issues in this book.  I felt that he didn't make the subject matter easy or dumb it down for young adults.  The whole concept behind creating the Partials and then forcing them to live in pseudo ghettos, limited their jobs, cutting their wages, and that they could only shop at certain stores reminded me of the Jews in Nazi Germany and how the former slaves were treated in the United States.  Further, the forced pregnancy and experimentation on the babies is another big issue.  These concepts are heavy hitters!  They force the reader to sit down and think about the world they are in.  Also, Kira's willingness to die for the cure asks people how far will they go for something that they know is right.

It was rather interesting to see that most, if not all, of the adults in the book were all about control and rather dimwitted.  Honestly, this didn't bother me too much.  First of all, the adults were still stuck in the old world.  Change was hard for them; however, it was forced upon them with the onset of RM.  They were afraid to look at other possible solutions.  For me, the fact that they called all of the teens plague babies was very poignant.  Sometimes it takes an outside prospective to find the solution.  Granted, I found it hard to believe that some of the adults weren't a little more understanding or ready to think outside of the box.  That being said, it wasn't too far outside of a possible reality.

This book was an amazing read!  It was one of those books that you never want to end.  I found myself slowing my reading down while struggling at the bit to read faster.  Honestly, when the new book comes out later this month, I will have to scrape together enough money to buy it. 

Partials (Partials, #1)


Current Pages: 2273
Current Progress:

7/50 books


Much love, Sinn

Theme Song Saturday (48)



Welcome to Theme Song Saturdays, a new weekly meme, hosted by yours truly, in which we share our love of music and books! Since I love books and music, this meme is for fun to try to incorporate those two loves! Whenever I read a book, a certain song -- kind of like a soundtrack or theme song -- plays through my head.

Want to know how to play? Head over to the Theme Song Saturday introduction post to read the rules and get the code.

Two songs this week:





Hand That Feeds by Nine Inch Nails & Night Bus by Lucy Rose represent different aspects of this book.  For me, they are both poignant.  The first song makes me thing of Kira's desire to buck the system, her overwhelming convictions to find a cure, and the fact that she doesn't care about the consequences.  In some ways, it is also a challenge to Marcus and the others in the society.  The song by Lucy Rose is kind of the way I see Marcus looking at Kira.  He loves her, but, at some level, I think she confuses him.  She was the girl he thought he knew, loved, and wanted to be with the rest of his life; however, her desire to act outside of the Senate shakes everything he thought he knew. 



What's yours?  Leave a link in the comments to your post ^_^

Much love, 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.