Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review: A Discovery Of Witches and Wishlist Wednesday

Happy Wednesday my little book elves!

I really want to get straight on to the review, so not a lot of prefacing today!

Though, I do want to say that because I was so excited about posting this review up, I went ahead and decided to skip MY Wednesday Wishlist post today in favor of the review.

However, I will still participate in Pen to Paper's "Wishlist Wednesday" below.

Enough chatter! Review!

REVIEW:
A Discovery of Witches
by Deborah Harkness
      
Title: A Discovery Of Witches
Author:  Deborah Harkness
Genre: Modern Paranormal
Publication:   2011
Pages:   579

Synopsis:
 

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.


I picked up this book and read a few pages. Then I put it down. I left it for a long time, and it waited for me patiently. I picked it up again. I read a few more pages. Then I put it down again and left it for a long time. Still, it waited.

Finally one day I picked it up and when I began to read I just couldn't stop. It stayed by my side for days, happily keeping me company during break-time and keeping me awake at night. The book had me in its grasp. Finally, at the halfway mark, I couldn't bear the little-by-little anymore and I spent 6 happy hours finishing up the read.

I honestly wish I could tell you that I will be able to even begin to give this book the review it deserves. It has been a long...oh so long... time since I have fallen so absolutely head over heels in love with a book. 



It took me 5 books into the series to love Sookie Stackhouse as devoutly as I do now. 



Cinder was great and is surely one of my recent favorites, but it didn't rock my world. 



The last time I remember feeling this strongly about a book was Harry Potter, and you fans out there know what that feeling is like. 



The tingling in your fingers when you feel the weight of the work in your hands. You flex your toes in anticipation when you open the pages back to your marker (the one you put in when the world got in the way). Other than the necessities, such as breathing, you avoid all other involvement with life just so you can finish the unfathomably spectacular literary journey you've embarked on.

*sigh*



Diana is a 30-something witch. We're speaking literally here. The woman is brilliant (it really helps that the AUTHOR is brilliant because the intelligence really translates), of decent good looks, and of a mind set that includes "I am queen over my own life, body, and mind".

She's a human-wanna-be. She won't use her magic. Period. She wants a normal life with no magical ties. Why? Because her parents were brutally murdered when she was 7 years old, and she grew knowing that magic was the reason they were taken from her.

So she contents herself with the dull routines of life, throwing herself into academics to become a professor of alchemical history.

But, oops! Diana is exceptionally powerful, and she's leaking magic. And... another big oops here... she unwittingly calls up a manuscript that hasn't been seen in hundreds of years that is said to hold the key to "creature" creation. Think The Origin of Species for paranormal beings.

Now everyone's eyes are on her, including those of a handsome, ancient, vampire named Matthew.

Matthew's got a few things going for him (okay, try everything) but he's SOL in love. When he joins the band to meet Diana and find out about the Manuscript he ends up with more than he bargained for in the feelings department.

Now they're on a quest to get their hands on the manuscript before anyone else and they've got an army from all sides after them because of their involvement with each other. Apparently Witches and Vampires are never supposed to mix. It's socially taboo.

This book is full of history, random/obscure knoweldge about pretty much everything, a fantastic romance, a great moral about love crossing all boundaries, and finally a masterfully developed plot line that keeps you turning the pages.

The characters are colorful and tangible. In the nearly 600 pages of this book, the reader will REALLY get to know Diana, Matthew, and the slew of family and friends that gather to stand up for them against the face of an impossible enemy... prejudice. 


I found myself reading and rereading the paragrahps because there was so much going on in each and every little exchange. Gobs of information is present in pretty much every corner of the story and the exchanges between characters are often so erudite that I have to take a moment to absorb everything being said. 


That, however, is not a negative to this work. The presentation of all of this information doesn't make the author come off pretentious at all. I get involved in the learning, and the knowing, and the discovering the story through references to historical figures that I had no idea existed.

The philosophy and psychology in this book are also phenomenal. "Group Think" is touched upon, along with the concept of ancient laws still governing modern people-groups.

This would be such an incredible book for a book-club, especially one that is very discussion oriented because I believe that there's a lot there in the work that can't be drawn out just from reading it to yourself. I wish I had the opportunity to really sit down with another reader and hash out all of the intricacies of this work. 


It may have vampires and witches in it.... and it may contain a lot of the romance novel aspects... but GEEZ is it a treasure trove of discussion topics!

I desperately adore this book and I'm on the waiting list to get the second book in the trilogy, "Shadow of Night", at my local Library.

Part history book, paranormal field guide, romance, and mystery this book will appeal to a vast number of people.

Maybe you!
Age Group Rating:

There's only one moment in the entire book, a page or two, that might be a little on the rated R side, but nothing graphic. So I would say this book is good for ages 16+.

I HIGHLY recommend "Discovery of Witches" to you and I say...

READ READ READ!!!


 

That's all for today's review, my loves.

Below you'll find "Wishlist Wednesday". As I stated above, I was so anxious to get this review posted that I went ahead and bumped my "Wednesday Wishlist" 5 book post this week. 




* Wishlist Wednesday *
(Pen To Paper)  
I participate in this fantastic little meme hosted by Pen to Paper.

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.
CURRENTLY my most wished for book on my wishlist is :







Soulless


Title:  Soulless
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: Historical/Supernatural
Publication: October 1, 2009
Pages: 365

Synopsis:

First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire - and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?



As I said during my last Wednesday Wishlist post... Vampires and soulless women in a steam-punk England? Well, Yes please. I'm especially intrigued over the 'soulless' part, and I can't wait to find out how the author plays that one out. This one seems fun, energetic, and mysterious so I'm all in. 

I've seen this book listed as a wish-list item, or a favorite item on a few other blogs... so I'm really hoping to get my hands on this one soon!


I hope that everyone has a very happy Wednesday!

6 days until Christmas!

Until Next Blog,

Read On!

Review: The Rebel Bride

Hello my dolls! 

The following review is not intended for all audiences. No gory details, but this book was pretty bad and there was a particular reason why,  which I'm going to discuss openly. So if the discussion of forced intimacy bothers you, just skip this one.

ROMANCE  REVIEW
"The Rebel Bride"
Catherine Coulter
      
Title: The Rebel Bride
Author:
 
Catherine Coulter
Genre:
Historical Romance
Publication:
  March 7, 2006
Pages:
  384

Synopsis:
 
THE UNLIKELY YOUNG LADY

Clearly young Lady Katharine Brandon was a beauty, with her rich auburn hair, striking green eyes, flawless face and form. But a beauty was one thing Katharine clearly had no interest in being.

She dressed in a young man's breeches, practiced dueling with pistol and rapier, gambled with cards, defied her father's commands and evaded all suitors.

Imagine Katharine's surprise when the fabulously wealthy, notoriously pleasure-loving , Julien St. Clair, Earl of March, demanded her as his wife. Imagine her dismay when her father asked and received his pricefor yielding her to this man. But no one in all of English society could ever imagine what could happen when a lord who would not be denied and a woman who refused to be mastered turned marriage into a game in which it took far more than love to conquer all ....




 


In general... it was slow, predictable, and aggravating. Not to mention that it is downright offensive to have a the main male character rape his wife... and then that be okay later.

There you go. I think that aside from the fact that it was pretty slow and the story itself wasn't that interesting... I just had a really big problem with how domineering and overpowering the main male role was. It wasn't endearing, he wasn't being overprotective... he actually destroyed his wife emotionally in some grand master plan to get her to love him. Wow.

Not to mention that this woman didn't want to get married in the first place. So now she's been forced into marriage and she's been forced into the marriage bed (okay, might I also add that the husband pretended to be a stranger and ABDUCTED her? So the main female role had NO IDEA what was going on. How is that sexy?)

Oh, and we find out towards the end that that our main character had been raped as a child, but the author makes sure that the "husbands" actions actually help her heal from her past trauma. Uh... What?

I wanted to slap the main male role throughout the entire book.

Ok, but see.. you know what makes EVERYTHING better? A baby. She's pregnant and now the whole world is happy.

Ah, but wait. Because her husband is an ass, she ends up running her horse right into a bush (or something, can't recall) and flies off, causing a miscarriage. ALL OF THIS HAPPENS and the book ends happily with the two goopily in love. Right.  

I guess I just can't get past how unlovable the main male role was. He didn't just posture... he was legitimately a jerk. At least he had the decency in the end to fell bad about his behavior, but I say damage already done.

It's just not believable that a woman could still fall head over heels in love with a man that put her through that kind of misery.

Plus, I don't like the way he yells at her and gets away with that kind of behavior. He's always raising his voice and demanding that she do this or that, and regardless of the fact that she's supposed to be stubborn and strongwilled she still gets jerked around. Bravo for such  an inspiring love story  Ms. Coulter. Bravo indeed.

I haven't read any of Coulter's other books. Honestly, I plan on picking up a few others. I doubt that this woman's Romances became so popular if they were all that bad.

Every author with long series will have one or two duds, surely. So, I cast no judgement on Ms. Coulter as an author. I just didn't like this book very much. Hopefully the next one will change my mind about her writing.



Anyway. I don't recommend this one. Try one of her others, and I will too.



Okay, not the most pleasant of posts today. I just had to rant about this.

Alright. So that was our Tuesday Romance post. I'm not going to keep the Romance reviews confined to just Tuesday but at least you'll know when exactly you can expect one.

Well my love doves! You all have a great Tuesday and come back tomorrow for WEDNESDAY WISHLIST!

Until Next Blog,

Read On!


Auggie-Talk Romance Ratings: 

Soul Mates:
A spectacular romance! A Must Read!


Forever Love:
One of the goodies! Highly Recommend!

Puppy Love:
Enjoyable, but a dime a dozen.
No Chemestry:
A blah read. No spark.

The Dud:
Waste of time. Not Recommended.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Follow Friday and Review: "Real Murders"

Glorious Friday to you, my readers!

Phenomenal birthday yesterday, I'm still tingling with newness!

Today we have a REVIEW of "Real Murders" by Charlaine Harris.

For those of you who don't know (living under a rock, are you?) Charlaine Harris is author of the SOOKIE STACKHOUSE series which the HBO series "TrueBlood" is loosely based on. The "Aurora Teagarden" mysteries were part of her first series of books written back in the 90's.

Not paranormal and not as interesting as the Sookie Stackhouse series, but if you enjoy her writing style as I do then these books will work for you. 

Anyway, on to the review! Followed by a "FOLLOW FRIDAY".




* REVIEW *
*"Real Murders"*
*Charlaine Harris*
 *******************
  
Title: Real Murders
Author:
Charaline Harris
Genre:
Mystery
Publication:
  December 1, 1990
Pages:
  175

Synopsis:
 


Though a small town at heart, Lawrenceton, Georgia, has its dark side-and crime buffs. One of whom is librarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden, a member of the Real Murders Club, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases. It's a harmless pastime-until the night she finds a member killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss. And as other brutal "copycat" killings follow, Roe will have to uncover the person behind the terrifying game, one that casts all the members of Real Murders, herself included, as prime suspects-or potential victims.





*************************
Auggie-Talk Quill Rating
*************************

******************
4/5
******************

To start off, this rating might be a little higher than what it would have been normally based on content and character dimensions... but Charlaine Harris is one of my favorite authors and I pretty much love her work regardless. Yeah... that's what happens.

Anyway. Aurora Teagarden is NOT Sookie Stackhouse, but that's refreshing. Roe is a bit more on the dull side but she can still be a spitfire and she's just as independent as her literary sister Sookie. The other characters in the book were not really up for getting to know. The reader catches just a glimpse of the surface of each of these characters because Ms. Harris focuses all the attention on the main character, who in all honesty seems kinds of frumpy. 

I can not deny, though, that I read through this book and enjoyed it. The mystery was not epic, but it kept you guessing and thus kept you reading.

Roe is a young woman living under the shadow of her mother, quietly working as a librarian and acting as a landlord to her mother's townhouse tenants. Her best friend is gorgeous and spunky... and miles and miles away and her love life is defunct. The only thing interesting happening in Roe's life now is her meetings with "Real Murders", a club that focuses on true crime.

The motley crew is turned on their heads when Roe discovers the body of one of their members, killed in a too familiar way. 

Suddenly Roe's life is turned upside down and within pages there's a handsome cop and a famous writer vying for her romantic attention. She must not be THAT frumpy after all!

There are definitely some moments where you have to give Ms. Harris credit for going there. You know where there is. That place that makes the reader's muscles draw up somewhere.

Anyway. All in all this book kept me reading and I must admit...normally would have gotten a 3/5 for lack of super spunk, but I just can't do it. I'm riding on the fumes from the last Sookie Stackhouse Novel.

Anyway it's a good read ESPECIALLY if you're a Harris fan! 
***************************************



Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by parajunkee and alisoncanread! I hope you'll join this great little Find and Follow party!


WEEKLY QUESTION
Q: Do you mind books with similar ideas to other books? Similar concepts, backgrounds, retellings or pulled-to-publish fanfic?


I normally don't enjoy fanfiction, usually because it's poorly written or based on sexual encounters between particular characters. However, books that are off-shoots of other stories or are twist stories that give the original a bit of a new color are fantastic to me. It takes creativity to take an already awesome original and turn it into something ELSE like "Pride Prejudice and Zombies". Though I haven't read that book, and don't really plan on it, it's a novel concept to change a classic up with paranormal modern-ness to make it new.

Books with similar ideas to other books? Well, take Harry Potter. I love those books. Millions around the world love the Harry Potter books. There were some concepts in Harry Potter that were very very similar to stories previously written by Diana Wynne Jones, years before Harry was even a twinkle in Ms. Rowlings eye.

I do get tired over particular concepts being used over and over and over again, but then there's always that one person that manages to do things a little differently.

You also have to consider the writing style. Sometimes just the style of writing is enough to make a difference between two similar books.

All in all I would say that this is a very GRAY area, and that there is no 'Yes' or 'No' answer that covers all the bases.

***************************************



That's all for this Friday my dears!

Everyone have a happy end of the week and I'll see you tomorrow for STARDUST SATURDAY!

Until Next Blog,

Read On!

~A.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood

Happy Tuesday love doves!

This is such a busy busy week! November is off to a great start and Auggie-Talk is getting itself straightened out and I'm finally back in the swing of things.

I've got another review for all of you today in a genre that's a little different than what I've picked up in the past. Genre hopping is GOOD! You do manage to sometimes come across something great that you never would have considered before so I highly recommend the practice.

Now, on to the review!


* REVIEW *
*"Anna Dressed in Blood"*
*Kendare Blake*
 *******************
 
Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author:
Kendare Blake
Genre:
Supernatural Horror
Publication:
  August, 2011
Pages:
  316

Synopsis:
  Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.



*************************
Auggie-Talk Quill Rating
*************************

******************
4/5
******************
I had a feeling this was going to be a good one when I first read the synopsis. As all of you know (as of yesterday's post), I'm a big Supernatural fan and this book read like an episode to me. 

I wasn't disappointed at all when I started reading. The gory descriptions were pretty heavy, but they read more like over-the-top action movie than stomach clenching gore fest... which is fine with me.  I'm not a fan of blood and gore ever, but I can stomach it in rare cases. I can watch movies like "Kill Bill" and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" but I have to cover my eyes during body-scenes on NCIS or Criminal Minds.  Something about the "This is so fiction" vs. "This could actually happen"sense of each movie/show/book. 

Anyway. I felt sorry for Anna in the very beginning, because I already had a pretty good idea about what was going to be happening with her. A charming little girl spirit trapped in a vengeful ghosts body. Well, I was somewhat correct. While Anna feels bad for her actions she can't control them and the truth about her life before death turns out to be pretty dark. Anna's character is a strong young woman vs. the weak "Save me! Poor little ole' me is cursed!" I was expecting. 

The main character Cas is your general jaded, not-looking for love, probably going to die doing his dangerous job but he doesn't care type guy. Except he's a teenager. Ouch. I guess someone's got to do it. Cas' teenage perceptions

This book is full of all kinds of violence, so if you're not a fan of horror or bloody-ickyness I would say that you could possibly read this book, but maybe not. The horror aspects were not intense enough to warrant a full out warning.  I mean, this is still a Teen Fiction we're talking about here. 

In the end, I must remind myself that this is actually a LOVE STORY

The ending left plenty open to be expounded upon and I actually have the second e-book ready to read. I'm kind of curious over what's going to happen to Cas, Anna, and their newly acquired friends (one with Witching abilities!)

A sure 4/5 and definitely worth a read especially if you're interested in ghosts and a paranormal plot lines.    



Amazon: $9.99
Kindle: $9.99
Nook: $9.99

Well guys and dolls, that's all for this Tuesday!
See you tomorrow with WISHLIST WEDNESDAY!
Until Next Blog, 
Read On!
~A.  


Friday, July 13, 2012

"Enchanted Glass" Review and Follow Friday

Giveaway Reminders: 200 Follower Giveaway and "Pledged" Giveaway

Hello my little sunflowers!

Happy Friday to all of you. I'm very glad that this week is coming to a close. Not that it was a bad one! It just seemed so long. I'm happy for this weekend to be about.

We're skipping FEATURED FRIDAY today since we skipped TRILOGY TUESDAY this week due to the Read-a-Thon.


* REVIEW *
*"Enchanted Glass"*
* Diana Wynne Jones *
 *******************
Title: Enchanted Glass
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Genre: Middlegrade Fantasy
Publication: April 6, 2010
Pages: 332

Synopsis:
Something is rotten in the village of Melstone

Aidan Cain has had the worst week of his life. Creepy, sinister beings want him dead. What's a boy to do? With danger nipping at his heels, Aidan flees to Melstone, a village teeming with magic of its own. There he is taken in by Andrew Hope, the new master of Melstone House, who has some supernatural troubles too. Someone is stealing power from the area--mingling magics--and chaos is swiftly rising. Are Aidan's and Andrew's magical dilemmas connected somehow? And will they be able to unite their powers and unlock the secrets of Melstone before the countryside comes apart at the seams?






*************************
Auggie-Talk Quill Rating
*************************

******************
5/5
******************
Pure Diana Wynne Jones! An absolute delight! This book did not fail to impress me, enthrall me, and take me straight out of my own world and into a new one. Jones' books never do. The style is both eloquent and distinct. This work is proof that she was one of the best authors of our time.

The story is shared between Andrew and Aidan, a man and boy who share much more in common than they think. Aidan is a runaway. He left his foster family suddenly, pursued by phantoms, shadows, and social services. Something isn't right and he needs help. Andrew's grandfatherwas Aidan's only hope but upon arriving at Melstone Aidan finds, to his great sorrow, that the old man is recently deceased. But it seems that Andrew may be able to help after all.

A cast of fantastic characters makes the story fully enjoyable. The cranky Mrs. Stock, the gruph Mr. Stock (not related), the beautiful Stashe, Rolf the loyal were-dog, Tarquin the jovial one legged wise man, Shaun the simple minded but determined mechanic, Groil the vegetarian giant, Andrew the absent minded professor magician, and Aidan the orphan boy with curious abilities.

The antagonist? Oberon. Yeah. THAT Oberon. You know... Titania's husband, the
cranky king of the Fae. Titania makes an appearance too. Don't worry.

Anyway. This book, just as much as any other Diana Wynne Jones book, is full of rich imagery deserving of making another Ghibli film (PLEASE MR. MIYAZAKI! PLEASE!).  It is so easy to imagine the vast and beautiful landscape of Melstone. The forests, the hills, and even the silly Fete.

"Enchanted Glass" is a stand-alone book by Jones and a great start for any who haven't read her books before. It is a great addition to any library of a Jones fan and I HIGHLY recommend this book.






This was fun to do last week, so I'm looking forward to the fun hop again!

Q: What drove you to start book blogging in the first place?

Like many other bloggers out there, I'm a writer. I love to write. I'm the annoying woman that responds to a 3 sentence e-mail with 5 pages. I'm "long winded". Comp classes? Shoot. I could write a 10 page paper on the topic of "chalk". During the time when I had writers block I searched for an outlet. I'd always liked the idea of blogging so I messed around with personal blogging for a little while, though it never did me any good. I never really felt fulfilled by it and I didn't feel like I was accomplishing anything.  So, I started searching for a way to really bring something to readers...something that could make even a small difference to someone... Something that I personally LOVED. Then it struck me. A book review. Surely people read.

So I did a book review on my personal blog and really enjoyed it. Then I did another book review. The topic of books just kept coming up until I realized that this was it! This was the project I'd been waiting for!  I dove right in. It wasn't until after I'd already started book-blogging that I discovered that authors and publishers were actually interested in bloggers writing up reviews for their works. I hopped on board and got sucked in to a whirlwind of new books, new authors, and fun tours, hops, and challenges. Complete with a great group of other bloggers who are both supportive and encouraging.

Finally all of that time spent at the bookstore and local library was really paying off!

Now I can't believe it took me so long to do this and I'm fantastically glad that I finally started. I intend to keep it going, to help Auggie-Talk grow and evolve, and to enjoy every step of the way.

How about you?

That's all for this Friday's post dearlings!

See you tomorrow for Stardust Saturday!

Until Next Blog,

Read On!

~A.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: "Once Upon a Time Machine"

Giveaway Reminders: 200 Follower Giveaway and "Pledged" Giveaway

Happy Thursday lovedoves!

Today I've got a review of a bit of a different color.

When I received this book for review I wasn't aware that it was a comic. At first I was wary, but it was actually very entertaining and spectacularly well done.






* REVIEW *
*"Once Upon a Time Machine"*
* Lee Nordling*
*Jason Rodriguez*
*Tara Alexander*

 *******************

Title: Once Upon a Time Machine
Authors: Lee Nordling, Jason Rodriguez, Tara Alexander
Genre: Futuristic Fable-Twist
Publication: October 10, 2012
Pages: 432

Synopsis: Fairy tales have fueled our dreams and fired our imaginations for centuries. Step inside a time machine built by a collection of today’s finest storytellers, and enter a range of futures where familiar tales are reimagined in an astonishing variety of styles. Editors Andrew Carl and Chris Stevens bring you the next wave of leading writers and illustrators working alongside superstar creators like Farel Dalrymple (Pop Gun War), Ryan Ottley (Invincible), Khoi Pham (Daredevil), and Brandon Graham (King City) to deliver a reading experience that will delight generations young and old.





*************************
Auggie-Talk Quill Rating
*************************
******************
4/5
******************
 
Without giving too much away, as this great title doesn't actually release until later this year, I want to tell you what a fun read this was! I was skeptical at first when I realized that it was a comic book. Not that I dislike comics. I used to read them all the time when I was younger, I just wasn't in the mood for one and wasn't sure how they were going to pull that one off...

But they did! I zoomed through the 400+ pages of AMAZING illustrations and FANTASTIC fable twists. It took a creative bunch of people to come up with such different perspectives on such old fables.

I can't tell you how impressed I was with the presentation of these stories. Just as the synopsis stated this comic is for both young and old. There is nothing particularly disturbing drawn so parents should have no problem with youngins picking it up, but there's enough meat in the story that older readers will find enjoyment just as readily.

Every fable rewritten is set to take place in the future. Very futuristic settings, very tremendously imaginative landscapes and backgrounds for the stories that most of us already know by heart. It gives you an idea of how strong a fable/legend is, how long lasting, how powerful it is even in its age. These are stories that are known throughout the world and ones that will probably not soon be forgotten. "Once Upon a Time Machine" seems to be a guesstimate of just how strong and timeless these stories really are.

I have to tell you my favorite story and my favorite depiction. My favorite story in the bunch was "Rikki Tikki Tavi" (I watched that movie over and over and over again as a little girl) and my favorite depiction was "Little Red Riding Hood."

While I was extremely pleased with this comic there were a few stories that I found to be rather on the boring side, but that's only because they weren't my setting preference. That doesn't mean that another person won't LOVE the stories I didn't enjoy as much. I know almost certainly that my younger brother would gobble up the stories that I didn't prefer.  "Once Upon a Time Machine" has something for everyone.

I do very much recommend that you snatch this up when it becomes available in October.
PRE ORDERAmazon: $13.99

I hope all of you have a fantastic Thursday! See you tomorrow with another FEATURED FRIDAY!

Until Next Blog,

Read On!

~A.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Once Upon a Readathon Kick Off and "Masque of the Red Death" Review

Hello my little sunflowers!

Today is a special post because today is the first day of the 3 day ONCE UPON A READ-A-THON.





Once Upon a Read-a-Thon



This fun little adventure is hosted by Lori at Pureimagination, Angela at Reading Angel, and Candace at Candace's Book Blog.

My personal challenge is 3 books. 1 book per day. Normally this would be easy, but this year's Once Upon a Read-a-Thon falls right on a few days where I'm doing wedding things the majority of the day. That leaves little time for reading, which means that 3 books will be pushing it. But I'm going to try!

Anyway, the three book that I'm going to tackle during this Read-a-Thon are:

UPDATE: This one is slow going. Had to go pick up my wedding dress, write Thank You cards, do a few things at our new little house (like feed Ms. O'leary), and otherwise just get stuff done! But now it's almost 10pm and I'm ready to settle in and get this one read!
Update: I didn't realize this was a comic! Well, it's interesting anyway and an easy read! Almost done!



If I'm able to get to more (which is, of course, the goal since this is a self-challenge!) I'll be sure to post them up as well.

Alright *claps hands to get everyone's attention*. Here we go love doves!

First off! There are MINI CHALLENGES! The mini challenge I will be participating in today is hosted by IB Book Blogging.

For this challenge I have to answer two questions regarding covers. Here we go!


Once Upon a Read-A-Thon Mini Challenge!

Question 1:
What is your favorite cover that has been revealed this summer and why? Post a link or picture of the cover if you want.

Answer:

Let's see,  suppose that I'll probably have to go with "BITTERBLUE" the 3rd book in the Graceling series. All of the Graceling book covers have been fantastic.  I like this on in particular because of the style, colors, and lack of a solid human form. Yes, you can see the girl's face, but just barely and at first all you can see is her eye through the keyring.

This cover looks magical, mysterious, and exciting. If I found this book while running my fingers across a book shelf I would feel compelled to pick it up.



Question 2:
Do you rely on the cover to help you choose whether you want to read a book or not?


Answer:
I'm afraid that I can't help but pass miniscule judgement on a book by the cover that it boasts. If the cover is really poorly done, I have to wonder what the author was thinking and whether or not that taste for style is going to be represented in the book.

However, I know that there are plenty of writers out there who have a better skill in judging beauty than they do of writing a book. So just because the cover is lovely doesn't mean the book is good... but a nice cover helps.

I rarely ever pick up books with covers of teenage girls/boys embracing, looking at each other longingly, or with their actual faces on the cover at all. Honestly, I find these books repellant personally because I feel that all I'm going to find is a story of a young girl falling in love with a young boy, woohoo, done. No other plot. Now, I know that's not always the case! That's why I love reading other people's reviews! If a reviewer I trust says the book was good, I'll pick it up anyway despite.

* REVIEW *
*"Masque of the Red Death"*
* Bethany Griffin *
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Title: Masque of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Genre: Dystopian
Publication: April 24, 2012
Pages: 319

Synopsis: Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.


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Auggie-Talk Quill Rating
*************************
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3/5
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This one was a hard book to rate. There are so many reasons why I think this book deserves a 2/5 but then I actually think I'm going to pick up the next book in this series when it comes out. Not excitedly necessarily, but the ending was good enough that I'd want to read the next book.

So, I have to find myself at a 3/5 for this one.

A couple of things...

The main character of this book, Araby, is boring, flat, dull and completely lifeless. There is nothing interesting or unique about her at all. If I met someone like her, anywhere, I would NOT want to be around her. She would make me extremely uncomfortable with her listlessness. She's only interesting because of the surrounding characters and her qualms with the two love-interests.

There were unnecessary moments of weirdness. When I say "weirdness" I'm referring to a raunchy scene that Araby witnesses in a club that was barely a few sentences long and to me... completely unnecessary to the plot or the circumstance the characters were in at the time. I don't know if the author thought she'd be gratifying the raging hormones of the readers or what but I thought it pointless. I'm no prude, and I enjoy some romance just as much as the next girl, but  "We haven't mentioned sex in a while, let's just throw it in somewhere!" should never be a factor in constructing a paragraph, especially when no other part of the book has included that. That's my humble opinion, so take it or leave it as you will.

It just keeps coming back to Araby... I don't like her as a character. She wouldn't have been able to stand alone in any way. She has to have the constant uphold of her fellow characters or there's no spice at all.

What I liked:

Griffin's dystopian world is pretty intense. I can feel the desperation of the landscape in her imagery. She manages to put quite a bit of creepiness in just the right places.

Griffin also did a tremendous job in making the two love-interest situations really awkward and hard to deal with. There will definitely be a TEAM ELLIOT / TEAM WILL thing going on with this book.

The betrayal part, that was pretty good. Added a bit of needed "oomph" to the dwindling story line.

I was bored through 60% of this book. The 40% that was not boring to me was close to the end when everything was actually happening. I read the last 60 or so pages in a rush because it was actually getting interesting. Then it was over. Pretty good construction of the ending on the authors part though, because it did get me wanting to read the next one.

Oh. And the cover is fantabulous!

Anyway. This book wasn't terrible. Definitely readable. Most of my opinion about the main character is... well... my opinion, so remember to read the book for yourself if you were interested. You may not agree with me! If you don't, I'd love to hear why!  I enjoy good book discussions you know.

Well, then!

Masque of the Red Death
by Bethany Griffin
Powells.com
Powell's Books: $17.99
Amazon: $10.98
Kindle: $9.99
Nook: $9.99


That's all for today my bonnie readers!

I'll see you tomorrow for another TRILOGY TUESDAY!

Until Next Blog,

Read On!

~A.