På bloggen her kan du finde anmeldelser af alt fra fantasy, science fiction, kærlighed, chicklit, YA og NA til historiske romaner, krimier, spændingsbøger, og hvad jeg ellers lige falder over, der ser spændende ud. Herudover er der bl.a. Book Hauls og Kommende Udgivelser, samt Månedlige Opsummeringer. Occasional posts/reviews in English.
~ Iben
Bibliotekar, bogblogger & boganmelder


The BoB Awards 2011

And so 2011 is coming to an end and we're making out way into the dreaded 2012 (if you're supersticious and believe the prophecies at least).

It's been quite a year for me what with buying an apartment and moving out, living on my own for the very first time and getting established. It's been a big experience but thankfully mostly a good one.
I've been single since Easter and though I definitely wouldn't turn down Mr Right I'm also greatly enjoying the company of my friends whom I can bond much more with now that I live so much closer to them all.
I got my Bachelor degree this summer and started right away on my Masters, I'm now almost done with the first semester and things (grades) are looking good.
To my great surprise and joy I got a job just few weeks after applying for one and I'm now more or less financially secure and pleasantly surprised over how many nice coworkers and potential friends I've gotten at IKEA.
I have been a bit slow with BoB ever since the move but my reading is picking up again now and now that I'm finally done writing my final paper for this semester I can focus on getting some reviews written.
All in all it's been a good year and I look forward to the next.

In regards to reading goals, I will once again have a go at the 100+ Reading Challenge in 2012. I made it all the way and above this year, reading a total of 103 - at least, according to GoodReads. According to my own list I've read 106..

It's always difficult to pick and chose between the best reads of the year, but looking at the list, there are really a lot of dystopian novels this year, The Hunger Games, Matched, Insiders, etc. I've also been leaning heavily on the YA novels (which may be why I'm now starting to get desperately fed up with them) as well as some of the more epic fantasy books.

And now for the BoB Awards!
(based solely on the books I've read this year (2011), not on the year they were actually published)

Book of the Year - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Most Awaited Book - A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin

Best New Idea - Inside Out (Insiders #1) by Maria V Snyder

Best Writing - Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Best Series - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Best Epic - The Mistbory Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

Best Historical Novel - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (okay so it's not historical I suppose, it's a classic. Still, it's awesome)

Best YA Novel - Amber Frost by Suzi Davis

Best Fiction Novel- This Bird Flew Away by Linda M Martin

Best Travelogue - Best Foot Forward by Susie Kelly

Best Mystery Novel - Cedardale Court by Nathan Lee Christensen

Best Character - Shadow from American Gods by Neil Gaiman

*~*~* A Very Happy New Year To You All! *~*~*


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, seasons greetings, all that jazz.

In Denmark we celebrate on the Eve of the 24th so we're all done here and now it's just a few lunches today and tomorrow. It was a mostly nice evening, but as we (my parents and I) celebrated in their house, joined by my sister, her wife and their 3 year old son - things often got very loud. The kid is .. 3 and every bit as undisciplined, annoying and high pitched as these can be. When it was time to exchange gifts he was a regular menace and insisting to "help", he grabbed and ripped the paper of them, making it a bit hard to enjoy unwrapping. As such I lacked the Christmas spirit by the end of the night as everything just centred around him and his tantrums. Maybe he'll have grasped some basic manners by next year. Maybe I'll have developed some patience for his antics. Maybe Santa is for real.

For now I have a paper to finish due the 3rd of January (1300 words to go) and a single shift at my work place from 8-15 on the 30th and a hopefully awesome New Years Eve party with my friends.

I hope you all are having a pleasant time and get into the new year safely.


Stormglass by Maria V Snyder

As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed…powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.

It took a pretty long time to really get into this one. I read the Study trilogy a while back and as you may recall (or can read about here, here and here) that started out great but ended up being a huge disappointment.

Storm glass centres around the girl Opal who's introduced in the third book of the Study trilogy and I really struggled to even remember what her role was and what was significant and what wasn't. The general plot is all over the place like spilled milk and it isn't engaging enough at all to cry over.

I never felt close to any of the characters and their doings just seemed too plot devised - rather than the flow of a good story, this felt choppy and too conveniently timed.

Over all it was a sort of decent read, but I don't think I can be bothered to read any more by this author.

488 words / published in 2009
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


Angel by LA Weatherly

Angels are all around us: beautiful, awe-inspiring, irresistible.
Ordinary mortals yearn to catch a glimpse of one of these stunning beings and thousands flock to The Church of Angels to feel their healing touch.But what if their potent magnetism isn't what it seems?Willow knows she's different from other girls. And not just because she loves tinkering around with cars.Willow has a gift. She can look into people's futures, know their dreams, their hopes and their regrets, just by touching them. But she has no idea where she gets this power from.
Until she meets Alex…Alex is one of the few who know the truth about angels. He knows Willow's secret and is on a mission to stop her.The dark forces within Willow make her dangerous – and irresistible.In spite of himself, Alex finds he is falling in love with his sworn enemy.

This is the book that inspired my previous post Reading from experience, and though Weatherly tries to hide it a tiny bit, it fully earns the label "yucky love at first sight". I'm not a fan of two people meeting each other and finding each other so breathtakingly beautiful, that you, the reader, just know that they're gonna end up together, raising 5 kids and a puppy. I'm honestly sick of this over the top infatuation and looks-fixation that so many authors push, like some addictive drug.

Regardless I actually really enjoyed Angel, but the ending kicked one star off it's final score. I just thought it was too much of a let down after such a build up.

The overall story is quite compelling, and I loathed to put it down during the read, but now, a few days later, I can't really recall what the actual draw was. It's well written, and I did like the characters. I missed most of the hype about the book, so I don't know how others reacted to it. I'm a big fan of angels, I love the medieval lore about them and the modern interpretations, and I think Angel was a really interesting take on the subject. In it angels are these non-divine pretty evil creatures that basically brainwash and kill people and obviously our heroine and hero are out to save the world. The fact that they're both 16-17 years old is a bit of buzz kill to me, I don't know, I just feel so old lately, reading about all these young people having all these adventures and finding eternal love like there's no tomorrow. Maybe I just need to lay off the YA genre for a while.

506 words / published in 2010
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


Reading from experience

I was about to thrash yet another book for the whole "OMG you're beautiful." "Hey, so are you! Let's fall madly deeply eternally in love." but then I got to thinking. Are we, the readers, bound by situation? Do our personal lives reflect on how we experience a book? Of course they do. How often don't we hear people saying that they read to escape, read to experience adventures and so on and so forth.

My point is, I think the same applies to the 'romantical' aspect of a book. I'm not just talking about girls falling in love with Edward/Jacob, but how we actually react to a couple falling head over heels for each other.

Personally, I love a good love story - when it's executed right. However added to my rant on people who just happen to be stunningly good looking and also always happen to be the main characters who seem to fall in love for mainly that reason (though the authors will usually throw us a few extra carrots in the form of good manners or good with children etc), I can get really frustrated with some couples on paper. And I think, maybe that's because I'm single. I'm not a bitter old crone who hates happiness, I'm simply just not in love. And I think some authors actually describe the stages of teenagers in love pretty well, but because I'm neither, I don't get it. I don't have butterflies and tingling sensations of my own at the moment, and thusly it feels off reading about it, like it's way overdone. And sure sometimes it definitely is, but I think, other times it's actually pretty accurate, it's just reviewed by single people, who can't properly put themselves in the characters shoes.

It's something to think about.


Cedardale Court by Nathan Lee Christensen

Cedardale Court is a neo-gothic murder mystery with enough fools and old flames to keep you happily mixed up for most of a long weekend. When Canner Connelly and his daughter, Chloe, move in with their Uncle Henry, and a simple drainage problem turns a normal Sunday morning into a slightly darker affair, it's not easy to tell where everyone might end up, or if they'll even make it at all.

I didn't know what to expect when I started to read Cedardale Court. The author emailed me a while back and something about the way he wrote just that captured my interest. Here was something different.

I've come to love these amazing books that rather than whisk you away into some magical world filled with unicorns and double rainbows, it just gives you life. Ordinary albeit slightly off-the-rocker life. The fact that I've become addicted to crime shows like CSI kinda helped too.

Cedardale Court is about the life of a man and his daughter who suddenly find themselves in the midst of the most weird situation and in the span of just a few days their lives are changed completely. Christensen portrays the different characters magnificently, right from the elders to the mental neighbours. Like some of those films they always release up around the holidays, this book show you the happenings of a bunch of different people and it all ties up neatly in the end. Unlike most of those films, this book does it really well. If I wore a hat I would take it off, instead I'll just recommend this book to you all.

It's really good. Do yourself the favour and read it.

Approx 94000 words (kindle) / published in 2011
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey

The Harper Hall #1

Forbidden by her father to indulge in music in any way, a girl on the planet Pern runs away, taking shelter with the planet's fire lizards who, along with her music, opens a new life for her.

I first read the Harper Hall trilogy when I was in my early teens and back then I loved it endlessly, so much in fact that when at a library sale and I came across 3 battered copies I bought them immediately.
I've since them read the books numerous times and even got my hands on the prequel disguised as a sequel, the Masterharper of Pern. I've never read the many books that came before these, but have always intended to.

Very recently Anne McCaffrey passed away and I picked up the first book once more. I was a bit surprised at how much things have changed. Reading with a more critical (and adult) point of view, I found the main character Menolly far too whiny. I'm so used to strong female heroines, that her poor confidence and her lack of ability of stand up for herself took me aback.
I also thought the general language of the book had a very childish tone. Menolly is 15, but is more immature than the 10 year olds from Tamora Pierce's books.

Wikipedia will have you believe that fixed gender roles make Menolly an outcast, as she is unskilled at tasks which are regarded as women's work on Pern and excels in the male-dominated field of music. She chooses to live alone in the dangerously unprotected world outside the Hold instead of allowing her natural talents to be suppressed. Personally I think that's giving the girl far too much credit for an impulse decision, but eh.

However those things aside, the story still held me as firmly as it once did, and I still want a fire lizard of my own.

208 pages / published in 1976
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce

Circle Reforged #1

I've just had something akin to a Tamora Pierce Read-A-Thon. I read the series Circle of Magic which consists of 4 books about 4 young mages age 10-11. Really, the books are also aimed for that age group, but I still greatly enjoy reading them.

Pierce is a master in her field and the characters are and their achievements magical. I can't press enough how much I wish for all youngsters to read these books, they are a big part of what really sparked my joy in reading when I was a kid. This however is a review of the book that comes after those 4 AND the 4 that came after those (The Circle Opens).

The four mages of Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens books are together again, but things aren't what they used to be. Daja, Briar, Tris and Sandry have grown up and grown apart since their days together at Winding Circle, and Sandry's especially disappointed with the change. When Sandry's uncle requests that her three old friends accompany her on a visit to Sandry's vast lands within the Empire of Namorn, the young mages discover that they've landed in a trap. Namorn's iron-willed Empress has plans for Sandry and her companions, and she has wily and powerful mages to help her. But so, of course, does Sandry - if only she can get them to work together...

I've read The Will of the Empress once before and back then I wasn't all that impressed with it. Sandry, Daja, Tris and Briar are now 18 years old and full of anger, angst and general grouchiness. The 3 others return to Emelan, which Sandry never left and they've all grown up and seen and done things they would have rather been without. Soon after though they set off to Namorn together where Sandry is in fact a duchess (or something like that, I forget the details).

The empress, Sandry's cousin, turns out to be a ruler you're not supposed to cross and she wants to press the 4 mages into her service. Obviously they aren't having any of that and thus things turn bad. The book also deals with several issues such as women being forced into marriage and mistreated as well as homosexual love. In the previous books it's been hinted that a couple of characters were gay, but only in this one is it full out described as being such (nothing erotic, simply a matter of feelings and acceptance). It's as such a really good book, and though I quickly got annoyed with their inability to talk to their supposedly very best friends about their issues, I really enjoyed reading about them all again and I think I understood it better this time (I was too young to fully grasp it, the first time around). However the book lacks the more innocent and the more aw inspiring magical touch the story has in the first four books. Now they're all pretty much invincible and you never really feel even remotely worried for them.

560 pages / published in 2006
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


Mail Box News

Am super excited, just got home from visiting my parents (and working at my old job back home) and in my mail there was a lovely package from one of my favourite online book stores.

Angel by L.A. Weatherly

10 days ago I belatedly celebrated my birthday and my new apartment and my amazing friends bought me some lovely gifts. One of these were Angel Fire (#2 in the series). My friend Maria told me she did intend to get me the first one too, but just couldn't find it, but thought book 2 looked so good, I had to have it no matter what! I've been wanting to read Angel, like, ever since it first came out, so couldn't be happier for the opportunity to finally get my hands on it (since I've got a handful of unread books lying around I couldn't justify before now to buy the book).


The Hulk about Twilight

I just read this and it kind of blew my mind. It's really long and in all caps but he's got a lot of really good points -

As you probably know I'm a big fan of the books, but he so perfectly explains why - it's the utterly overwhelming infatuation. He explains all the issues and without being condescending his point is basically awareness - we need to be more aware of what we read and how books like Twilight are just empty calories.


Breaking Dawn pt. 1

Last night I watched Breaking Dawn pt. 1 and holy hell did I enjoy it!
I think mostly they hit it head on, really nailed it.

My only beef with it was Bella looking terrified rather than nervous but happy walking down the isle, the lack of background info on Leah and her and Jacob in wolf form and him being more RAWR-F-U-ALL. I did love the added wolf action, there was so much more tension and drama than in the book.

I love how they made Bella look while preggers and I love that Edward looked.. less.. stupid. His hair was more controlled and his lipstick less painfully obvious.

The honeymoon was great, though a bit too "yes you're having sex, we get the point, move on." However, her attempting to seduce him was brilliant!!! I love the humour they incorporate in these films, it's great :)

The film lasted 2 hours or so and I think they could easily have made it 20-30 min longer just to add in some extra details and stuff, but I guess I can just look forward to the extended and deleted scenes when it comes out on bluray.

I just reread the entire book series before watching the film, and i was really into the whole mood of it, and the film didn't disappoint. All in all, a great experience and I can't wait to go watch it again.

Also, be sure to stay put in the cinema when the credits are rolling, there's more!!!


Best Foot Forward by Susie Kelly

Sorry about me repeatedly falling off the grid here, I've been so busy with school and everything.

Why would an unfit, 50-something Englishwoman embark on a solo walk across France from La Rochelle on the west coast to Lake Geneva over the Swiss border? And why would a total stranger from San Antonio, Texas come to live in her crumbling French farmhouse to house-sit for a multitude of boisterous and unpredictable animals? With no experience of hiking or camping, not to mention using a compass, Susie Kelly found out the hard way that it is possible to be overloaded and ill-prepared at the same time. Scorching days, glacial nights, perpetual blisters, inaccurate maps, a leaking tent and an inappropriate sleeping bag were daily vexations, but as she hobbled eastwards, the glory of the French landscape revealed its magic and the kindness of strangers repaid her discomfort in spades. While Texan Jennifer Shields copes heroically with lost dogs, erratic electricity, old men hiding in bushes, and a language she cannot speak, Susie doggedly tramps 500 miles over unknown terrain, frequently lost and either too hot or too cold. This is a tale of English eccentricity, the American pioneering spirit, and of two women old enough to know better.

A few weeks back I was contacted by Black Birdie Books, wondering if I would be interesting in reading a new book by Susie Kelly. After reading her The Valley of Heaven and Hell - Cycling in the Shadow of Marie-Antoinette and absolutely loving that, I didn't hesitate to accept this one.

Let me start out by saying - it did not let me down! I love Kelly's style of writing, she's so much fun to read. I laughed and cried along with her and it's just so easy to be caught up in her journey. She's so easy to relate to as she suffers but keeps on going. I love the travel descriptions and though it's not as heavy on the information about the areas she passes through as The Valley of Heaven and Hell book, I still feel like I've learned a lot about rural France and am once again inspired to want to go there myself.

My only beef with this book, are the parts where we hear from Jennifer. It feels like she wrote them rather than Susie Kelly, and it is jarringly different. Much of it feels like she's basically just reciting what happened, whereas Kelly has much more of a natural flow to hers. Thankfully those passages were very short and did not disrupt my overall feelings for the book.

Again I highly recommend this book (like the other) to everyone who, well likes to read. It's such a positive experience and for me it was also a much needed break from all things fantasy and over the top YA.

259 pages / published in 2003 (re-published in 2011 as a digital version)
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


Apartment :)

Apartment is a bit of a mess right now but thought it was time to show it off :)


Interview with Patrick Rothfuss

Yesterday I got an email from the Science Fiction Book Club regarding a youtube video they thought I'd appreciate - they were right!

The video is an interview with Patrick Rothfuss (author of the great books The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear) at WorldCon 2011. Rothfuss among other things talks about why book 2 took so long, what we can expect from book 3 and just generally shows what a cool person he seems to be. Down to earth and a smile on his lip :)

In other news, I've moved in and though it's quiet and a tiny bit lonely I'm happy and enjoying it. I'm still unpacking and keep having the feeling of drowning in cardboard boxes, but thankfully today I've emptied enough that I can't start to unfold them and put them away! Will post pictures once it's all done :)


Moving and working my butt off!

I'm moving :)

Saturday we drove up two cars and a trailer full of all most of my stuff and unloaded it into my new apartment. We then drove to the nearby IKEA (my favourite store ever) and I went mad. I'm telling you my credit card cried blood - thank god I've been saving up for a few years!

The kitchen was a pitiful thing and I had decided to get a brand new one. After spending more money than I've ever spent before in one go, we once more loaded the trailer and took it over to the apartment and once more carried it all in. At this point my arms were about to fall off! (and my apartment living room looked like a cardboard monster had vomited in it)

Sunday my dad and I went back up there and started to work on part of the kitchen. Basically we're making the hallway part of the kitchen in order to give me more table room and room for both fridge/freezer and stove. We completely finished the hallway Sunday.

Today we got to work on the original kitchen, we've got a lot of tearing down to do! We also built _all_ the other pieces of furniture I bought in IKEA in order to be rid of all the cardboard packaging. I've got 4 bookcases, 2 for books and 2 featuring glass doors (1 small, 1 big) for kitchen stuff.

As you can see in the video below it's all pretty messy right now, but hopefully you can also see the potentially awesomeness lurking right around the corner!


A Dance of Blades by David Dalglish

Book 2 of the Shadowdance Trilogy

“Veldaren aches for a purge, and I will be the one to deliver it. Cry out at me if you wish, but it will change nothing. The gold is spent, the orders are given. Let the blood flow.”
It’s been five years since Haern faked his death to escape the tyranny of his father. He has become the Watcher, a vicious killer who knows no limits, and whose hatred of the thief guilds is unrivaled. But when the son of Alyssa Gemcroft, one of the three leaders of the powerful Trifect, is believed murdered, the slaughter begins anew. Mercenaries flood the streets, with one goal in mind: find and kill the Watcher.
Peace or destruction; every war must have its end


It took me quite a while to get into this one, it just didn't appeal to me right away and I spent nearly the first half of the book, wondering who was who, unable to identify them as characters from the first book or remembering what exactly went on with them back then.

The book returns to Veldaren five years after the end of the first book and there are both new and old faces - and I really don't think we're properly introduced to any of them which was a real shame. Some characters, like Deathmask (*snort*) just seem too much, too overdone and is too much of a special unicorn. Otherwise Dalglish has portrayed relatively human and faulty people, but this guy excels at his work and no one can touch him.... come to think of it, just like MC Haern.

Haern's battle against the thief guilds and all evil is basically just him slaughtering at random and the big plot ... surprise (tadaa) of them wanting to make the thieves into the city's body guards instead was just downright dumb. Furthermore on reflection Haern is a very shallow paperthin main character in my opinion.

Over all I was disappointed by this book. Dalglish is quite good at action sequences but the rest of the book just drags it down.

348 pages / published in 2011
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


To Be Read

So, according to Goodreads I've got a total of 61 books in my to read pile and it just keeps on growing!
It's quite a daunting list really, some I own and are staring at me from the shelves (well actually right now they're muttering and gasping for air as they're all packed into boxes and ready to be moved to my apartment) and some I will either buy or borrow from the library.

Obviously there are many many more books that I wish to read, even a lot I own, that I just haven't registered any where other than my head.

Those marked with bold are the ones I own either in hard copy or digital version.

  1.  To Kill a Mockingbird - Lee, Harper
  2. The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time - Jordan, Robert
  3. Paradise Lost - Milton, John
  4. The Taste of Lightning - Constable, Kate
  5. Viridians blod (Vildheks #2) - Kaaberbøl, Lene                       
  6. A Job From Hell (Ancient Legends, #1) - Scott, Jayde
  7. Last of the Wilds (Age of the Five, #2) - Canavan, Trudi
  8. Voice of the Gods (Age of the Five, #3) - Canavan, Trudi
  9. Coraline - Gaiman, Neil
  10. Precious - Sapphire
  11. New Spring (Wheel of Time, #0) - Jordan, Robert
  12. Genghis: Lords of the Bow (Conqueror, #2) - Iggulden, Conn
  13. Genghis: Bones of the Hills (Conqueror, #3) - Iggulden, Conn
  14. Khan: Empire of Silver: A Novel of the Khan Empire (Conqueror, #4) - Iggulden, Conn
  15. The Passage - Cronin, Justin
  16. The Colour of Magic (Discworld, #1) - Pratchett, Terry
  17. The Boy in the Suitcase - Kaaberbøl, Lene
  18. The Time Traveler's Wife - Niffenegger, Audrey
  19. Water for Elephants - Gruen, Sara
  20. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Grahame-Smith, Seth
  21. Wuthering Heights - Brontë, Emily
  22. Eragon (Inheritance, #1) - Paolini, Christopher
  23. Marked (House of Night, #1) - Cast, P.C.
  24. The City of Ember (Books of Ember, #1) - DuPrau, Jeanne
  25. Eat, Pray, Love - Gilbert, Elizabeth
  26. The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #1) - Scott, Michael          
  27. The Children of Húrin - Tolkien, J.R.R.
  28. Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) - Mead, Richelle
  29. City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2) - Clare, Cassandra
  30. City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3) - Clare, Cassandra *
  31. Sense and Sensibility - Austen, Jane
  32. Spoiled - Cocks, Heather
  33. Blood Magic (Blood Journals, #1) - Gratton, Tessa
  34. The Daylight War (Demon Cycle, #3) - Brett, Peter V.
  35. Brayan's Gold - Brett, Peter V. *
  36. The Great Bazaar and Other Stories - Brett, Peter V. *
  37. De ti herskere - Moerk, Christian
  38. Darling Jim - Moerk, Christian
  39. Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3) - Stiefvater, Maggie *
  40. Ultraviolet - Anderson, R.J. *
  41. The Maze of Bones (39 Clues, #1) - Riordan, Rick
  42. Mastiff (Beka Cooper, #3) - Pierce, Tamora
  43. What Were We Thinking?: Bicycling the Back Roads of Asia - Sathre-Vogel, Nancy R
  44. Sweet Venom (Medusa Girls #1) - Childs, Tera Lynn
  45. Witch Song - Argyle, Amber
  46. The Lady of the Rivers - Gregory, Philippa
  47. A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5) - Martin, George R.R.
  48. Storm Glass (Glass, #1) - Snyder, Maria V. *
  49. City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4) - Clare, Cassandra
  50. City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5) - Clare, Cassandra
  51. City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6) - Clare, Cassandra
  52. Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales - Pierce, Tamora                    
  53. The Innocent Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker, #1) - Miller, Karen
  54. The Name of the Rose - Eco, Umberto
  55. Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) - Erikson, Steven
  56. The Way of Shadows (Night Angel, #1) - Weeks, Brent
  57. Divergent (Divergent, #1) - Roth, Veronica 
  58. The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive, #1) - Sanderson, Brandon
  59. Elantris - Sanderson, Brandon
  60. The Alloy of Law (Mistborn, #4) - Sanderson, Brandon       
  61. The Scorpio Races - Stiefvater, Maggie
  62. Don Quixote - Saavedra, Miguel de Cervantes


Uninspiring reads

I've really hit an unlucky streak of books lately.

It started out several weeks ago when I found a book in a book store that I initially thought would be just my type of book. However as soon as I started reading it, it soon became clear that The People's Queen by Vanora Bennett is really not my type of book. It should be, considering it's based in England in the 14th century and has its focus on the monarchy.

What's my problem then? It's utterly and completely dull. 298 pages in, with over 200 to go, nothing has actually happened of any even mild interest and the two main characters, Chaucer (poet and spineless) and Alice (money-grubbing mistress to the king) just go on and on about their boring lives. I've more or less just given up on finishing it it.

My advice to you all: Don't read this book.

Whilst reading the above abomination dullard, I started and finished City of Bones, which as you know (well you would if you've read my review) didn't really impress me much.

After that I got started on A Dance of Blades by David Dalglish (book 2 of the Shadowdance Trilogy - my review of book 1, A Dance of Cloaks, can be found here). Lucky me, this book is almost as uninspiring as the rest of them! The first 60% of the book (according to the kindle app) I've spent wondering who's who and why they're doing what they do. It jumps around and even started to ignore the timeline and sprang back and forth. Now at 79% I'm really just looking forward to the end of it.


Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson

Here follows my thoughts of the 3 Mistborn books. I have put books 2 and 3 under the cut, so that you don't get spoiled if you haven't read any of them yet.

TL:DR? : Summary for all 3 books: READ THEM, THEY'RE BRILLIANT!! - don't make my mistake though, don't read them all in one go.

Mistborn #1 - Mistborn: The Final Empire

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison. Kelsier "snapped" and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.
Kelsier recruited the underworld's elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.
But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel's plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she's a half-Skaa orphan, but she's lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

The first half, maybe even two thirds of the first book didn't quite capture me. Though very well written and interesting it was just a tad too easy to put it down, even mid-chapter. The final part though hooked me completely and I loved how things turned out.

The two kinds of magic, though interesting and original, are often a bit hard to follow. Allomancers fighting with all the mental pushing and pulling and jumping and falling - it's hard to really envision. The fero-somethings' powers of storing both data and various strengths and senses was even more obscure and it was hard to understand how it really is supposed to work for them.

Despite the slow start and the slightly confusing powers, the book held me tightly by the end and looking back I overall enjoyed it immensely. It is an intricate plot with more than meets the eye and the characters are both likeable and relatable. Vin was my absolute favourite from the very beginning and she only became even better.

 541 pages / published in 2006
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments #1

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....

The Mortal Instruments seemed to be all the rage at one point. They were everywhere and everybody apparently loved them. Well, I don't. Having read the first one now, I have no desire or need to read the next in the series. The characters didn't appeal to me, nor did the story. The whole thing seemed bloated and though I can't put a finger on it, I feel like I've seen it all before.

A few hundreds pages in I discovered that Clare started out writing Harry Potter fan fiction and suddenly it all made sense. The mundanes (the muggles), the Steele (wands) and Clarissa (Cassandra)'s centre role as oblivious to everything magical till the day she's revealed to be special. I don't mind fan fiction at all, but in my eyes, City of Bones, seems very much like a piece of fanfic rather than a truly original piece of fiction. And it's not that all good.

Bottom line is, I don't understand all the hype about the book, it didn't appeal to me and it was too full of clichés and things you've seen in films since the 90's. 2 stars for all that, but an extra 3rd star for at least being somewhat well written.

442 pages / published in 2007
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


I'm back, baby!

Who am I kidding? I can't stay away!

After 10 days of break from BoB I've got two reviews lined up and will try and give it a go with updating every Friday. Posts may be sporadic though depending on school work and moving.

Upcoming reviews are City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson.

I redecorated the place by the way, any thoughts?

Many thanks for the supportive comments on my last post. <3 you all!


Taking a step back to admire the view

Hi all,

I'm afraid I'm going to have to hold a rather unwanted hiatus for a little while. University is grinding us hard against rough stone and mountains of reading material and I find that I barely have the energy to read fiction let alone review it. On top of that I'm also in the middle of buying an apartment and holy cow I did not see that coming!! (I was just planning on renting).

Point is, as much as I loathe to take yet another break, BoB only gives me a guilty conscience right now and that sucks! I will still be around, reading and commenting, I just won't post for, well, until I'm settled in at the new place (a month and a bit?)

Lots of love to all readers and lots of admiration for all of you who makes this seem like the easiest hobby ever :)

- Iben


Vampire for Hire, books 2 and 3, by J.R. Rain

My review of Vampire for Hire #1 - Moon Dance - can be found here.

Vampire for Hire #2

Now in VAMPIRE MOON, sequel to MOON DANCE, private investigator Samantha Moon finds herself hunting down a powerful crime lord and protecting an innocent woman from her ruthless ex-husband — all while two very different men vie for her heart. And as the stakes grow higher and her cases turn personal, Samantha Moon will do whatever it takes to protect the innocent and bring two cold-blooded killers to justice — her own brand of justice.

Vampire for Hire #3

Now in AMERICAN VAMPIRE, sequel to VAMPIRE MOON, private investigator Samantha Moon receives a heartbreaking phone call from a very unlikely source: a five-year-old girl who's been missing for three months. Now on the hunt, Samantha will use her considerable resources - including her growing supernatural abilities - to locate the missing girl before it's too late. And as she gets closer and closer to the horrible truth, she receives devastating news on the home front. Now with her world turned upside down, Samantha Moon is forced to make the ultimate choice of life and death.
And through it all, she discovers the identity of one mysterious man...a man she has grown to love.

First off, it's annoying how short the books are and how up to 20% of the kindle book is actually just spam for other books by the author. Book 3 ended at 80% !!!! ( location 3769 of 4686 -- that's a damn short book)

I bought book 2, Vampire Moon, on a whim, was hooked and because of Rain's constant (over)use of cliffhangers I just -had- to buy book 3, American Vampire, immediately. Neither were very expensive (book 3 was the least cheapest at $4). However though I'd love to read book 4 immediately as I'm extremely annoyed because of yet another really frustrating cliffhanger ending in book 3, book 4 is simply way too overpriced right now at almost $7. Considering how short these books are and how very likely it is, that this isn't anywhere near the end of the series, (and let's face it, how bad this book series really is, my brain just won't admit it) I'm not paying that much for it. A ton of short books at an increasing, but still small price can become far too pricey for any reader in the end!

The books are captivating though and quite hard to put down and a very fast read. Problems with them, includes but aren't limited to, how Sam falls for any man she comes in contact with, how she keeps commenting on how cute she is, how little there is to many of the characters and their relationships, how little sense some of Sam's actions make, how things seem to turn into a somewhat Sookie Stackhouse series rip off, how things and "facts" are repeated endlessly AND how little she still knows about her vampiric condition despite having been one for more than 6 years.

I think a lot of the problems comes down to bad editing or the total lack of it. However, I'm still completely hooked, and the series have become a very guilty pleasure for me.

I'm reviewing the books together (well, I'm rambling anyway) because basically the whole series so far just reads as one long never-ending not-always-very-exciting tale of what goes on in the life of mother-and former-federal-agent-now-turned-vampire-working-as-a-private-investigator-but-still-quite-clueless Samantha Moon - a.k.a. Sam. She's battling her scumbag of a cheating husband, she's struggling to be a good mother, she pretends to have a skin disease as a cover for not being able to tolerate sunlight, she's constantly focused on how much of a freak she is and how good she makes freakish look and last but not least, she's kind of dating a werewolf. And then there's the mysterious Fang, whom she chats with online and tells *everything* despite usually keeping her supernatural state a secret.

Like I said, guilty pleasure.

short and shorter (no page number given) / published in 2010 and 2011
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


Summary - August

I totally forgot to sum up August! But then again it was a brief month for me and BoB as I held a week's break while on holiday in Turkey.

I read approximately 9 books and reviewed 5.

Below is a summary of August. 7 posts in total!


Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Firelight #1

A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.
Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.
Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.
Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

I wasn't terribly impressed by Firelight. Jacinda is an incredible annoying main character and I really struggled to like her - now I finally understand the harsh words some have said about Bella from Twiligt. Jacinda is a whiny little brat and rather than do anything about anything she just whines and moans in silence. Even when she occasionally attempts to stand up to her mother, her sister, and all the others who expect her to roll over and be quiet, she does it so half-heartedly, it downright pisses me off.

She also spends *ages* moaning about how she can't be with him (Will - the almost, but not quite Edward) but how she absolutely must, but she really shouldn't, but oh to hell with it and does it anyway. Their instant deep love (*sigh*) is of the worst YA kind and I dread to think that any young adult will think such "love" is in any way depicted realistically.

Beyond all that it's not a book where you're supposed to contemplate the setup or the surroundings. Full of holes and unanswered issues, it's left floating in the breeze, while all attention is focused on Jacinda and her... issues. I think this would have been an amazing book if it had centered around an adult rather than a teenager, provided that the adult didn't throw herself into the most vain love affair ever, of course. The whole Draki thing is really rather interesting and I would have loved to know more about the Pride and well just the whole magical part of it, as well as the Hunters. But Jacinda only gives us a very superficial I don't really care view of it and that's a real shame.

I give it 3 stars because despite Jacinda tempting me to strangle her through the pages, it's moderately well written (but in first person and present time which very few authors manage to pull off successfully) and the cliffhanger ending did leave me wanting to get my hands on the second book in the series, Vanish.

336 pages / published in 2010
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


Inside Out by Maria V Snyder

Insider, #1

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

Inside Out contains a well written great concept. Because I'm vehemently against spoilers there are so many things I can't tell you, but having finished it, despite the thrill and despite the oooh- factor I somewhat feel like I just read through the script of yet another sci-fi run-of-the-mill Hollywood film.

It's decent entertainment but you just kind of feel like you've seen it all before and there isn't a horrible much to the characters. Like in a film, rather than really giving us a in-depth look on who they are and why they do what they do, you're supposed to just emphatize with them through their actions. Though I like Trella, I found her initial reasoning for what sparked the entire rest of the plot so diffuse that I had to end up just outright ignoring it. Because of Trella's handy "I don't care about others" stanza Snyder doesn't even have to properly introduce all the other characters, and with most of them you're left with only the vaguest most stereotypical clue as to why they chose to get involved rather than just spill the beans to the authorities, and a lot of things just seem to happen a bit too smoothy.

Despite my complaints though I was still enjoyed the book and I found it difficult to put down. Because of my ambivalence I hovered somewhere between 2 stars and 4 stars and ended up on the lather, because... It's worth the read and I must also say my opinion of Inside Out rose considerably when I read Outside In immediately after (review to come). As a whole the story the two books contain really works and I enjoyed it a lot (They are also both so relatively short the publishers could easily just have published them as one rather than two books).

315 pages / published in 2010
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

I think this review comes off harder than I meant it to be, mostly because there's so much going on in my life right now that I don't feel like I have energy to dedicate to writing really good reviews. Hopefully once I get back to school (going back to University in next week to start on the path to get the cand.scient.bibl degree (that's the Danish name for it in my field of study (library information etc), what comes after a Bachelor degree in the UK/US?) I'll be more in the zone for writing and thinking and spouting smart stuff.


The Last Olympian

Percy Jackson and the Olympians, book 5.
Reviews of books 1 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4

Most people get presents on their sixteenth birthday. I get a prophecy that could save or destroy the world. That's how it is when you're the son of Poseidon, God of the Sea. According to an ancient prophecy, bad things will happen when I turn sixteen - because I'm the one who gets to decide the fate of the entire world. But no pressure. This is the one where Kronos, Lord of the Titans, is beginning his attack of New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Oh, and the dreaded (and not to mention enormous) monster Typhon is also heading our way. So it's me and forty of my demigod friends versus untold evil... Can Percy stop the rampage of the titans, to save Olympus - and himself?

The final instalment of the Percy Jackson series went down with a bang. It's crammed with action and witty comments that had me giggling throughout the book. The entire series has received 3-4 stars pr book - they are by no means great pieces of literature, but I've truly enjoyed reading them and following the characters - many of these I didn't even like originally, but I think they just grew on me.

In this 5th and final book it's the big showdown between Kronos and Percy - a build-up that started all the way back in book 1. Though I'm a bit sceptical concerning many of the heroic feats the kids pull off, sometimes you've just gotta go with it. Some things are a bit too easily avoided and I must say, it bugs me how often Percy has a chance to find out something vital, but can't be bothered to press the issue, and as such it's a big cliffhanger by the end.

I'm happy to have read the entire series, but am also happy it's over now. It was getting a bit thin, but book 5 is at least much better than the rather thin cup of soup that was book 4.

361 pages / published in 2009
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


Rushing a read

The "classic" mistake of enjoying a book so much that if you have it there you immediately carry on reading the next in the series rather than stepping back and thinking about the book you just read, thinking it through, contemplating what you thought about it, what it meant for you.

While in Turkey on holiday, I finished the first book in the Mistborn trilogy (The Final Empire) by Brandon Sanderson. Because the ending was so compelling, against my better judgement I carries straight on reading book number 2 (The Well of Ascension) which I devoured in a matter of few days. I then proceeded to book number 3 (The Hero of Ages) and here I hit the wall. Suddenly I am struggling through the book as if wading through mud, I lack the motivation to read and generally just can't be bothered to make the effort. To make matters worse, I don't even feel like reading something else.

What happened was that I've overdone it. I've read a vast amount of great pages all on the same subject, the same people, the same big events and plots, and now my brain just needed a break, plain and simple. The fact that the third book starts out rather dullish certainly doesn't help, but I guarantee you, it would have happened almost no matter the level of interesting things taking place in the plot.

Thinking about it, I think it's a very common thing to be completely submerged in a book series, and after reading who knows how much of it, it's suddenly just *too* much. I actually prefer and strive to read only one book out of a series and then wait for a while before reading the next. I think it generally allows me to get a much better picture, an overview, of the actual bigger plot, and I'm able to, shall we say, digest it more completely. With this series, though I've certainly enjoyed it so far, I've maybe rushed through it. Maybe I've missed out on important clues, who knows?

Any thoughts? 


American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Shadow is a man with a past. But now he wants nothing more than to live a quiet life with his wife and stay out of trouble. Until he learns that she's been killed in a terrible accident. Flying home for the funeral, as a violent storm rocks the plane, a strange man in the seat next to him introduces himself. The man calls himself Mr. Wednesday, and he knows more about Shadow than is possible. When Wednesday offers to hire him as a bodyguard, Shadow reluctantly accepts. But the journey they face turns out to be more dangerous and dark than he could ever have imagined. For unbeknownst to him a war is being fought -- and the prize is the very soul of America.

Having previously read Nevermore, Stardust, Anansi Boys and Good Omens (co-authored with Terry Pratchett), American Gods was a welcome return to the utter madness that characterises Neil Gaiman's books. Despite its often absurd detours and mishaps, it had me quite hooked right from the beginning.

The many gods were a pleasure to read about (mostly), some I knew, most I didn't and one I recognised from a previous book of Gaiman's. The characters are in general a bit smoky and hard to make out with the exception of Shadow, whom I grew to care for greatly. I truly felt I could understand the path he chose.

I did find the ending a bit anti-climactic, a bit ordinary somehow, and some of the final events a bit too much like a balloon from which the air had gone out - it is a fairly long book after all. A number of scenes in the book contain some very graphical scenes of a sexual nature and to my surprise the language was briefly very crude and explicit. Something I didn't expect from Gaiman.

As you can tell, my plot graph was not the easiest one to draw. The story mainly follows Shadow and what he's up to and put through, but several times a chapter or section takes a detour to fill the reader in on an entirely different story, background or something more obscure and it became hard to keep up with all the impressions it left me with. About halfway through, after reading a particularly long chapter detailing the story of two African slaves (a story that didn't seem to fit in anywhere and characters I didn't expect to read about again), I did feel a slight urge to just close the book and put it down. However, my interest for Shadow's story overcame my more negative thoughts on the matter and so I kept reading. I can completely understand why so many people only gave this book 1 or 2 stars. It is a very odd book with an often confusing drawn-out plot. Myself I debated between 3 and 4 stars and ended on 4 because I think it deserves it in the end. It is not my favourite of his books, but it was worth the read and I can now look forward to the tv series they're making based on it.

624 pages / published in 2001
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

The Kindle book also includes an extra snippet which is Neil Gaiman's "On the Road to American Gods." It's basically just some journal entries he wrote during the, shall we say, post-production of the book (copy-editing etc.) The entries are both interesting, fun and educating (on the subject that is being an author and publishing stuff).


Back from Turkey

After a week's holiday in Marmaris, Turkey, I'm now back online!

It's been nice to take a complete break from basically everything, and the weather was very nice. Up to 43 C !!

Marmaris as such isn't my kind of place though -  it's too much of just a big touristy city. All you could really do was sunbathe and spend money in the bazaar. I prefer more calm and cultural venues and the only things even close to Marmaris was the ruins of Ephesos and Pamukkale and I've seen both on previous holidays in Turkey.

All the sitting by the pool did allow me to read a lot though, have read the first 2 books of the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson and am halfway through the third and final one. This is definitely a book series I recommend!

Looks like I got a visit from Russia while I was gone. Over 1000 page views 1 day from a Russian ISP o.O

Anyway, it's good to be back, I hope you all are doing great and that I didn't miss out on too much :)


The Hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu

Vimbai is a hairdresser, the best in Mrs Khumalo's salon, and she knows she is the queen on whom they all depend. Her situation is reversed when the good-looking, smooth-talking Dumisani joins them. However, his charm and desire to please slowly erode Vimbai's rancour and when he needs somewhere to live, Vimbai becomes his landlady. So, when Dumisani needs someone to accompany him to his brother's wedding to help smooth over a family upset, Vimbai obliges. Startled to find that this smart hairdresser is the scion of one of the wealthiest families in Harare, she is equally surprised by the warmth of their welcome; and it is their subsequent generosity which appears to foster the relationship between the two young people. The ambiguity of this deepening friendship - used or embraced by Dumisani and Vimbai with different futures in mind - collapses in unexpected brutality when secrets and jealousies are exposed.

The Hairdresser of Harare depicts the life of single mother Vimbai, who lives in Harare in Zimbabwe. Vimbai is queen bee at the hair dressing salon where she works and she knows it. One day the most unexpected and unlikely competitor walks in the door - the young man Dumi, a natural talent at styling hair, who charms everybody but Vimbai, who is both jealous and ill-at-ease over the newcomer.

We follow the entire story through Vimbai's eyes and I love that woman. I was very dubious at first, but once I realised how realistically the author depicts her, her situation and her surroundings, I couldn't help but fall for her. She is a strong woman, proud of her independence, but not too proud to not accept good help when offered. The book tells her story through her eyes and we follow her as she grudgingly accepts Dumi's friendship and discovers that so much more is within reach, but also realises that not all is at it appears and is forced to make a decision that can have dire consequences.

As mentioned above the setting is very realistic. The poverty, the corruption, the question of race and culture - it all paints a very clear picture: Zimbabwe is not an easy country to live in. Having recently been to Kenya, I felt I had an even deeper insight in the happenings, having seen just how poor some are and the miserable circumstances they live under - and just how richly others live in stark contrast.

The book is really well written and I strongly recommend others to give it a read. It is much more mature than my usual YA genre, but I truly enjoyed it and wish more knew of this African jewel - it truly deserves much more attention.

196 pages / published in 2010
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

Many thanks to the author for supplying me with a copy of the book