Velkommen

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

30/03/2011

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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Narnia... a land frozen in eternal winter... a country waiting to be set free.
Four adventurers step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia - a land enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change... and a great sacrifice.
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Having only ever seen the films and heard others opinions, I didn't quite know what to expect from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

It's a quick and quite enjoyable read. It's very obviously a children's book, but you can feel its relations to the grandness of Lewis' good friend Tolkien. If it was published for the first time today, it wouldn't receive any recognition, but in 1950 it was ground-breaking and fantastic.

I was quite surprised at how strong the religious/Christian parallels are in the book. I had heard of it, but seeing very little of it in the films I didn't think any more of it. In the book, Aslan is very much painted as the saviour, but thankfully the book is still readable*, and overall I liked the story.





203 pages (ePub) / published in 1950
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


*You must forgive me, but I do not appreciate reading religious literature. I do not mind religion in books at all, as it can be a big vital element for a story and its characters. However, I will close a book if it starts preaching.

28/03/2011

Inkspell by Cornelia Funke

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Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of the extraordinary events of Inkheart, and the story whose characters strode out of the pages and changed her life for ever.
But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater, torn from his world of words, the need to return has become desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller with the magical ability to read him back, he sets in motion a dangerous reversal that sees the characters of Inkheart transported to a charmed Inkworld, about to be fought over by rival rebels and princes.
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A pleasant surprise.

Far better than its predecessor Inkheart, Inkspell managed to draw me in despite pools, elephants and the Indian Ocean (I was in Kenya). Particularly the end of it was captivating, and I almost regretted not bringing the third and final book in the trilogy, Inkdeath.

The characters have evolved, and Meggie and Farid are growing up and turning into very interesting characters to follow. Dustfinger is back in his natural element, and Mo is as strong as ever.
Fernoglio is one of the most horribly arrogant characters I've ever read about and I loved it. In-story he's the author of Inkheart and now he's *in* the actual book and he thinks himself Godlike over the rest, having created them with his pen, back in the real world - it's a bit Inception like, really.

I always did love the notion of being able to read a story to life, and it is taken to a higher level in Inkspell, as they must use their abilities to try and alter the story they find themselves in after having been read into it.




682 pages / published in 2005
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

25/03/2011

This Bird Flew Away by Lynda M. Martin

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What is real love? The whole world wants to know. They should ask Bria Jean, because she has it all figured out. Opinionated, stubborn and full of woe, Bria would tell you real love is having one person you can always count on through thick and thin. For her, that's Jack. And it doesn't matter to her that's she's nine and he's twenty-tree - not one bit.
When, at the age of twelve, Bria disappears, he and his Aunt Mary searches for her, and when she surfaces, injured, abused and traumatized, Jack fights to become her guardian with no idea of the trials ahead of him. By then, Bria is thirteen going on thirty, full of her own ideas of how her life should run and with some very fixed notions about who is in charge.
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An amazing book - I couldn't put it down.

When the author, Lynda M. Martin contacted me and asked me to review her book, she warned me it wasn't quite what I usually read and I wondered what I had gotten myself into. It turned out I'd gotten myself into reading one of the best non-fantasy books I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

It is extremely well written and the 3 main characters and point-of-views Bria, Jack and Mary are fantastically alive and real. Set in the real world it starts out in 1967, with Bria age 9, and follows her life up to 1986, where she's a grown woman and a survivor.

Bria's story of horrors is one of the most real things I have ever read and I felt with her every step of the way. It is no surprise how many victims of child trafficking, rape and abuse have taken this story to heart as it hits the nail right on the head - though without ever becoming unreadable, graphic-wise. It was very gripping to see how her life choices deep down evolves around her past and her desire to do better.

I loved everything about this book, and am very much looking forward to the next Bria Connelly novel, Fly High, Fly Blind.




304 pages (ePub) / published in 2010
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

Many thanks to Lynda M. Martin for supplying me with a copy to review.

22/03/2011

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

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T'Telir, capital of Hallandren, is a colourful city by the sea where gaily dressed crowds bustle through sunny streets and worship heroes who have been reborn as gods. Ruled by the silent, mysterious God King, the pantheon is nourished by offerings of Breath, the life force that keeps them alive and youthful.
Exiled in Idris, the former royal family reluctantly betrothed a princess to the God King. Arriving in T'Telir, she finds both the city and the marriage are not at all what she expected. Her only ally is Lightsong, a god who is sceptical of his own divinity, who  fears that war with Idris is inevitable.
Meanwhile, another new arrival in T'Telir, one who bears the sentient sword Nightblood, makes cunning plans based on the unique magic of Hallandren, which uses colour to focus the power of Breath - plans that could change the world.
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Just when you thought you had it all figured out, things change and you're back to square one.

Warbreaker is so rich in elaborate plot, background, history and characters. The concept of Breaths, the details, the history, it has all been thought through to a fault and it sucked me in completely.

Following Vivenna and Siri's developments as they grow to learn about the world, trying to keep up with Lightsong, a God convinced he is no God, and slowly discovering who Vasher truly is, one Breath at a time. The story is so well written and you can just see it before you.

Warbreaker is an amazing book. Sanderson is without doubt one of the most talented authors I've ever had the pleasure to read, and I look forward to reading more of his creations.




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

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Note: Warbreaker can be downloaded for free at Brandon Sanderson's website - I'd recommend buying the book though, because of the stunning cover

18/03/2011

Give-Away! The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton

Did you like what you read when you saw my review of The Mind Readers? Here's your chance to get hold of the book yourself, there are 2 copies up for grabs!

Lori Brighton is most generously offering 2 copies of her ebook and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment below with your name and email address! *
 
( Not required, but muchly appreciated would be a twitter or facebook update linking to Borough of Books )


The give-away ends the 31st of March, the winners will be contacted by email and announced here.

*If you are uncomfortable leaving your email address here, you can also mail me it, my mail is found in the top right hand sidebar.

EDIT: Ooops I forgot to add, yes, this give-away is international.

The give-away has now ended, thank you very much to all who participated!

Interview with Lori Brighton

Lori Brighton, author of The Mind Readers has most kindly agreed to do an interview about her books and how she finally got there.

My review of the book can be found here. Also, check out the give-away!

1. Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?
I went to school for Anthropology and did a little Archaeology. After college I worked in a museum as a Natural Science Curator. But I’d always had a huge imagination and loved to make up stories as a child. I started reading romance when I was a teenager and became addicted. When I was in my twenties I decided to try and write my own. As of right now I have two historical romances published with Kensington. But I wasn’t content to write in only one genre. So just a few months ago I published my first young adult novel, The Mind Readers.

2. What inspired you to write about the ability of mind reading?
I remember seeing a Buffy The Vampire episode in which Buffy (the main character) could read minds. She almost went insane because of the constant thoughts bombarding her. That stuck with me. But it wasn’t just that show that inspired me. How many times have you wished you knew what someone was thinking? It was one of those times, while wishing I knew what someone was thinking, that I said to myself, really? Would I really want to know? You’d hear every horrible thought a person had about you and society in general.

3. The Mind Readers ends with quite the cliffhanger - will there be a sequel?
Yes, there will be 3 books in all. I’m working on book 2 right now. Book two starts off with a lot of action. Fight scenes and suspense always slip into my books. My favorite movies growing up were Indiana Jones; it’s not surprising that there tends to be a lot of adventure and suspense in my books. So if you don’t care for fighting and action, you might want to skip book 2.

4. You've published a fair few books now, but you also dealt with some rejection from the publishers at first - what kept you going?
Sadly, I still deal with rejection! Even after you get a deal with a N.Y. publisher, you still deal with rejection. It took me seven years of rejection before I got a contract with Kensington and only with a contract in hand was I able to get an agent. The agent didn’t work out and the Kensington contract was over and I, silly enough, thought I would easily get another agent and publisher. Nope! I got neither. Fortunately Self-publishing Ebooks started becoming popular, which allows the writer to publish his/her own books in Ebook format.
But even after you’re published, you then have to deal with rejection from readers; people who don’t like your book. And it hurts; I’m not going to lie. I know of N.Y. Time’s Bestselling Authors who don’t even read reviews of their books because it hurts too much. Writing is not for the weak!

5. Do you have any suggestions for aspiring authors in how to approach getting there and back again? Publishing is a jungle after all.
Of course it sounds simple and silly, but don’t give up. If you truly want to be an author, keep trying. It took me seven years to get published, but I know writers who wrote for twenty years before they got a deal! Who knows, you might be the lucky one who gets a contract immediately, but in reality for the majority of authors it takes years. So if you really love to write, then you have to settle in and be prepared.
Also, find good critique partners who help and don’t make you feel worse. And send out those query letters! I’m always amazed when I hear of writers who work forever on that book then are too afraid to send it out. What’s the point? If you’re content to just write for yourself, then great. But if you want to be an author, you have to send that book out.
And finally, keep an open mind and don’t judge how other writers become authors! I never, ever thought I would publish an Ebook. I sure as heck didn’t think I’d self-publish because it had such a negative reputation. Yet here I am doing both and so far it’s working out great. So you never know what will happen or how your writing career will take off.

Thank you so much for your time and your advice! - I can't wait to read the next in the series

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

06/03/2011

Kenya!

I'm going to Kenya! I cannot believe my luck and I can't thank my parents enough for inviting me to come with them. I've travelled most of Europe, but have never been to Africa before, so this will be quite the adventure.

I think it's safe to say you can expect a little photo post on Northern Tower once I get home. The trip consists of a 3 day safari and 7 days lying by a pool. Goodbye cold and snowy Danish spring, hello 35+ degrees Celsius and Simba!

I'll be gone from the 7th till the 16th, so there will be no updates in that time. Normal schedule resumes on Friday the 18th, where I have a great interview with Lori Brighton, author of the Mind Readers, for you along with a giveaway!

04/03/2011

White Fang by Jack London

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He was three quarters wolf and all fury. Born in a cave, in famine, in the frozen Arctic. Born in a world where the weak died without mercy, where only the swift, the strong, the cunning saw each dawn. It was White Fang's world - until he and his mother were captured by the man-gods.
Men and their dogs taught White Fang to hate. He was beaten and abused. Bought, sold, tortured, and trained to kill in blood sports. Knowing no kindness, he became a mad, lethal creature of pure rage.
Only one man saw White Fang's intelligence and nobility. Only one had the courage to offer the killer a new life. But can a wolf understand the word hope? Can a creature of hatred understand the word love?

White Fang is one of London's classic tales of survival and one of his most popular stories. White Fang is part dog, part wolf, and in his lonely world, he soon learns to follow the law of the North - kill or be killed.
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One of the classics for a reason.

It took me a little while to get into this book. I didn't really know what exactly, it was about and was quite taken aback at how bleak and horrid the tale starts out.

Cold, famine, abuse, death and the survival of the fittest all play a very predominant role in the book, and it was just so brutal. I felt so sorry for that poor animal. Thankfully his luck changes and the ending was so sweet.

Though I had to put it down once in a while to take a breather after all the brutality, I was quick to pick it back up and read on. London wrote an amazing book, almost all of it from White Fang's point of view and we are shown ourselves through the wolf's eyes. The book paints quite the picture of man's cruelty against animals and the wolf's mindset. It also shows man's kindness though and how it doesn't have to be that way. London also brings up some interesting descriptions of how we are moulded by our origins and our upbringing to become who we are.

White Fang is one of a kind and it's a classic I'd recommend people to read and learn from.




203 pages (ePub) / published in 1906
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

01/03/2011

A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris

WARNING: Below there will be slight spoilers for some of the happenings throughout the Sookie Stackhouse series as the short stories take place at various times before and after the different books.

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A Touch of Dead collects together all 5 of the Sookie Stackhouse short stories in one book, previously otherwhere published, and I will go through and review the stories one by one.


Fairy Dust (2004, from Powers of Detection, 30 pages)
This short story didn't work for me at all. It takes place after the events in Dead to the World and is about the murder of Claudine and Claude's triplet sister, Claudette. Sookie is taken to their house where she must use her mind reading abilities on 3 captives to point out the murderer.
The story dragged on and there was absolutely no suspense whatsoever. It tries to pretend that it's a Sherlock Holmes novel, but alas, it is not.

Dracula Night (2007, from Many Bloody Returns, 32 pages)
This story takes place before Dead as a Doornail and in it Sookie is invited to a party at Fangtasia in celebration of Dracula's birthday. Eric is all over the place, fervently hoping that Dracula will make an appearance.
This was quite a good little story, far more interesting than the first and more captivating. The ending was a bit weak, and it feels more like the chapter of a book than a (more or less) independent short story, but still a good read.

One Word Answer (2005, from Bite, 35 pages)
This one baffled me a bit because [SPOILER WARNING - Definitely Dead] it tells of how Mr. Cataliades arrives to inform Sookie her cousin Hadley has died. It took me a little while to remember that we are only told in hindsight of that meeting in the 6th book.
It was well enough written, and especially in the first part I almost felt like I was back in the book series and was quite happy to be so.

Lucky (2008, from Unusual Suspects, 39 pages)
Lucky is another wannabe Sherlock Holmes story. The plot and action taken, however, is far more imaginative and entertaining to follow. It doesn't have much to it, but it's good. Set after All Together Dead, we follow Sookie and Amelia on the hunt to find whoever is sabotaging the town's insurance agents.

Gift Wrap (2008, from Wolfsbane and Mistletoe, 31 pages)
This particular story takes place before Dead and Gone and is a somewhat firm reminder that these books are labelled as paranormal romance for a reason. It's Christmas and Sookie saves a wounded werewolf who in return gives her a satisfying "gift". Now I'm not a fan of that stuff but as usual it's only implied, and I actually really liked this short story - right up until the last few pages which not left me sitting there with one eyebrow going up.

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I think, in summary, that it can be said, that some of these could have been done without really. They seem like chapter drafts that didn't make the cut. Some are quite interesting and it's both fun and nice to revisit the inhabitants of Bon Temps. Some can be read almost independently of the books, and some make no sense without having read the series.

To quote Harris from the introduction of the book:
"Some are totally lighthearted, and some are more serious, but they all shine a light on a little facet of Sookie's life and times that I haven't recorded in the books. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them."




 192 pages, illustrated / published in 2009
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011
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On another note, my thoughts on the book's original cover and the rest of the illustrations and artwork of the Sookie Stackhouse series can be found here.
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My review of Dead in the Family (book 10) by Charlaine Harris can be found here.