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

29/04/2011

Danish Recommendations: Lene Kaaberbøl

Thanks to everybody who voted for me to do a monthly recommendation of a Danish author / book. Now, a problem with my own little cleverness there is the often lack of Danish authors being translated. However I will do my very best to feature authors who you actually have a chance of reading even if you don't read Danish, and I will also describe a bit of what else they've written. Maybe if it gets enough attention, the publisher will decide to have it translated.

April's featurette is:
 Lene Kaaberbøl, born in 1960, she is a Danish bestselling children's and YA literature author. She's written close to 30 books and she's an author from whom you're almost always guaranteed a good read.

- Her official website
- Goodreads

(She's also got a wikipedia page but it looks to be badly outdated)

Beneath the cut you can find recommendations of a selection of her books; The Shamer Chronicles, the W.I.T.C.H. series, The Trilogy about Katriona Teresadatter, The Gate of Shadows and Wild Witch: Trial of Fire.


26/04/2011

Dreamwalk by Sarah MacManus

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After the death of her mother, eighteen year old Chloe Hawthorn is haunted by terrifying nighttime hallucinations. Determined to take control of her dreams, she uses them to find Shane Anderson, a charming and troubled musician whose online videos have been holding her in thrall. She finds him in the Dreamtime, sweating out heroin detox in a run-down rehab center.

Chloe sets out to find Shane in the waking world and discovers her dreams have been taking her into the past. Horrified, Chloe realizes Shane doesn't survive his addictions. In order to save him, Chloe must master her Australian mother's legacy — the secret of walking the Dreaming through time. But what price will Chloe pay for this Dreamwalk and will she save Shane only to lose him forever?
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Taking sleepwalking to a whole new level.

It's overall well written and was a bit hard to put down. I wish there was more to the ending of it as I'm not a fan of open fade-outs. The general wrap up was also a bit vague and it did lose me at some point with all Australian mysticism. It's what allows the story to takes place, but it's also very difficult to understand and I ended up giving up understanding and just read on, hoping I'd catch up.

Chloe is an engaging young woman and Shane was nice enough. Not my kind of guy with the whole emo, broken-hearted, having a hard time, drug-story past. However they work well together and their meetings as she sleep and he assumes he's finally lost it are very interesting. She takes on the role to be his saviour, and boy, does he need to be saved.

It's a good book. A bit vague concerning the whole dreamwalking and how that works, but the story still works out well.




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

Many thanks to the author for supplying me with a copy to review

22/04/2011

The Ghost Hunter by Lori Brighton

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When Ashley Hunter inherits the Inn where her father mysteriously vanished years ago, she jumps at the chance to finally uncover the truth about his disappearance. But soon after taking ownership of the decrepit building, Ashley realizes she’s in for far more than she bargained. Not only has she inherited answers to many sought-after questions, she’s also inherited spirits, demons and even fallen angels! Then Cristian arrives, a gorgeous man who insists he merely needs a room to rent. She believes him, until one by one her ghosts start disappearing...
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Could have been so much more.

It's a bit of a shame with this book, because it could have been really good. Unfortunately it can't quite decide what to be. Fantasy mystery horror? Paranormal romance erotica? There are too many questions left unanswered and too many loose strings dangling in the wind. It's a well written book and I loved the concept, I loved the ghosts, the paranormal activity and the good vs. bad - angel style. Truly loved it. And though I'm not a fan of erotica that too was well-written. But it seemed thrown in there at random, breaking the flow of the story. Sudden very explicit sexual adventures, where, had it just been a cuddle and a kiss, it would have worked much better with the rest of the pacing of the plot.

I liked the characters, they respond quite well to the settings and situations they find themselves in, but again, there are so many things I would liked to have known about them both. Things that would have made me feel more for them and ultimately understand their actions.

All in all it's still an enjoyable read, I just think had it been more focused on the mystery paranormal plot it would have been a much stronger book.




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

Many thanks to the author for supplying me with a copy to review 

19/04/2011

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

WARNING: This review contains slight spoilers for Twilight and the series in general, but I'm assuming here that most people have already read these books, so this is mostly just me saying what I think about the whole thing 3 years late.

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When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret.
What Bella doesn't realize is that the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And it might be too late to turn back...
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Many things have already been said about Twilight, both good and bad. It comes down to individual taste.

All in all I like the book. I have read the series many times now and still the story captivates me. It's far from the best of all books and it's not even the best in the series, but I do think it contains an overall good story. Many people have spent an incredibly amount of energy and time pointing out all the flaws and whatnots in the book, and honestly, though I can agree with some of their points, I don't understand why anyone will waste so much of their life on something they don't like (I especially don't understand people who haven't even read the full series yet still rant and rave - but that's an entirely different matter and I plan to return to the subject of hate culture in a later article - maybe).

Reading Twilight I'm mostly just reminded of my boyfriend as we're still in the gooey newly-in-love stage. Because that's what Twilight's all about. Love. Edward is often accused of being a possessive stalker and Bella an annoying empty headed goose who's far too fond of being a house wife. Personally I don't really mind either of them - because it's fiction and it's an idealized story about two soul mates finding one another. I'm not very fond of the ending of the book, mostly because it seems forced. Almost as if somebody stepped in and *demanded* some action.

Another thing many have argued about is the sparkles. Again, it's fiction and Meyer is perfectly allowed to make her vampires be exactly as she wants them. It can't all be Vlad Dracul. I'm not saying that I didn't choke on popcorn laughing when I first saw the film and he sparkled (with added sound effect bonus!) but still. Creative freedom and all that - at least she was somewhat original about it.

The writing style of Twilight is a bit clumsy, but Meyer improves throughout the series. I enjoyed the portrayal of the other characters through Bella's eye, and though a bit too spelled out, quite realistic in how teenagers act around each other. It's an easy and relatively quick read and even after having read it several times now, I still struggle to put it down during the really good bits.




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


__________
After reading Twilight, I read the unfinished draft of Midnight Sun which is available for download on Stephenie Meyer's website. It is Twilight - just from Edward's perspective. I thought it was a very interesting read, quite fun seeing it all from through his eyes. It seemed to contain a bit more humour and it tied up nicely with Twilight explaining and elaborating some things and just in general painting a bigger picture of who the Cullens are.
I'm not reviewing Midnight Sun as such, as it's an unfinished book. It was leaked back while she worked on it and she didn't feel like continuing on after that. It doesn't make much sense to read it on its own, but reading the two right after each other was quite fun.

15/04/2011

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

My review of The Name of the Wind, The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One can be found here.

The following review contains the tiniest spoilers possible for The Name of the Wind.

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Picking up the tale of Kvothe Kingkiller once again, we follow him into exile, into political intrigue, courtship, adventure, love and magic . . . and further along the path that has turned Kvothe, the mightiest magician of his age, a legend in his own time, into Kote, the unassuming pub landlord.
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The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two) is an excellent  sequel to The Name of the Wind.

It's just as incredibly well written as the first and I loved it. Most of the time. Just like the first book it suffers some very long rather dull paragraphs. Where most authors might just skip a time period saying "time passed, certain stuff happened", Rothfuss tells us what happens every. single. day.

I love Kvothe. He's a brilliant character. I love Kote even more and I can't wait to find out what's going on. We aren't told exactly what, but everything is definitely not as it seems!

It's a gripping book and I had a hard time putting it down. I love the background details, I love the land, I love the history. I love books that are so well made. Thank you Mr Rothfuss! (now hurry up and finish the third and final book. Please.)




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

12/04/2011

A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin

In honour of the upcoming television show and in honour of the soon to be released 5th book in the series (and because I feel wrong not to not have any sort of tribute to one of my all time favourite authors), here's my post and thoughts about why you should read the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin.

The series consist of
A Game of Thrones (1996)
A Clash of Kings (1998)
A Storm of Swords (2000)
A Feast for Crows (2005)
A Dance with Dragons (forthcoming, July 12, 2011)
And further two books are planned.


 

Set firmly in the fantasy medieval genre these books are brutally realistic. War, intrigue, back stabbing, rivalry and, shortly put, the game of thrones, is a bloody mess and Martin isn't afraid of writing it so.

All of the books are incredibly well written and the characters are beautifully portrayed and seem incredibly real. There are several point of views that evolve throughout the books and all are an exciting read. There was never a dull moment reading these and I can whole heartedly recommend them.

Personally I can't wait to get my hands on the fifth book, A Dance With Dragons, and I really should reread the other four again before that, but I'm not sure if I have the time, as they are very long books and not of the kind that you can burn through in a day or two. If I were to rate them right here and now I'd say they're all somewhere in the 4-5 stars category. Martin is a superb author and his books loved around the globe.

08/04/2011

An Apple For Zoë, The Forsaken by Thomas Amo

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The City of San Francisco is locked in a grip of fear. A series of occult murders has led Inspector Thomas James to a crime scene similar to a murder committed 90 years ago in the once grand Aleris Hotel. A place where power barons of the early 20th Century engaged in witchcraft. And silent film stars indulged in the most wicked of sins.

A place where no one questions the black smoke the rises from the hotel's incinerators in the middle of the night.
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This one requires an explanation.

I have a habit of not reading the back of a book too carefully. Mostly because I don't like having the book spoiled, which the back cover sometimes does. As such I didn't actually quite know what I was reading when I got started on An Apple for Zoë.

Initially it is just a crime story. Quite macabre, but also very interesting. It then turned... weird, for a lack of better word. Holy Cow - weird. Crime, horror, a dash of fantasy, superstition and action - they're all there.
About halfway through the book I looked up and confessed to my mother I had no idea what on earth just happened to the story. I can't tell you much without spoiling it, but I can tell you this: Once I read on and accepted that this was something very different from my usual choice of book, and the story kept going in this track, I got used to it and I found that I liked it. It's somehow so far out that you at some point accept it and are able to see past the surface and into the deeper pits and intentions of the story and its characters.

The book could have used one last look through as I spotted a few mix-ups between your and you're, some missing punctuation marks, as well as some sentences that could have used a bit of rephrasing. However, it is only a scattered handful and nothing that seriously disrupts the flow of the book.
At the beginning of the book a few of the characters seem a bit stiff and their actions and dialogue seem a bit forced. It loosens up throughout the book though, and although we're not given much background information about many of the characters I found I quite liked them. I also loved all the historical elements and twists of these.

Overall the book is well written and engaging. It was to me a fairly quick read as it possesses one of my most favourite qualities in a book - I couldn't put it down. Even when I thought it most absurd and way off, I read on because I was hooked. I wanted to know where Amo was headed with all of this, but I also wanted to learn more about the murders and the story.

It's book 1 of a trilogy and I must read the next to find out what happens.




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

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Many thanks to author Thomas Amo for supplying me with a copy of the book to review.

06/04/2011

Borough of Books

Now with a fancy domain!


It's still fully available through http://boroughofbooks.blogspot.com/ but now a simple http://boroughofbooks.com/ can also take you there here.


~Iben


Domain change aborted. It's acting up a lot. More news later (tm)

04/04/2011

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

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In a darkened room a young man sits telling the macabre and eerie story of his life... the story of a vampire gifted with eternal life, cursed with an exquisite craving for human blood.
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In which Louis whines a lot.

The above was said to me by a friend on twitter when I announced I was reading Interview with the Vampire. Now after finishing it, I can only agree.

Rice/Louis spends a lot of time philosophising about the nature of evil, death and God. Created by Lestat, "father" of the vampire Claudia, Louis is a mess psychologically, full of love, hate, fear and angst.

Claudia,a girl of barely 5 years when turned,  is fully dependent on Louis and Lestat. Her body is not strong enough, and she is an adult woman forever trapped in the body of a small child. She has next to no human nature and is a ruthless hateful creature of the dark. She is in my opinion by far the most interesting character. Louis on the other hand clings to his human emotions, hating himself for what he is and what he has done and does every single night when he feeds on innocents. Lestat is, in short, a nutcase and quite delightful.

Though it was interesting finally reading Anne Rice's version of what vampires are supposed to be like, the story never truly appealed to me and it was far too easy to just put the book down and do other things. The long winding paragraphs of dream-like state bored me and though I can easily understand the story's appeal to others and why Rice became the Queen of Vampires at a time when she was the first to go there, the book does very little for me.





 368 pages, published in 1976
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011

01/04/2011

Give-away - The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton

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

The winners were chosen using Random.org's True Random Number Generator.

The winners are:

*drumroll*


Congratulations you two :) You'll be contacted by email shortly.

The Blood that Bonds by Christopher Buecheler

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Two is trapped: hooked on heroin, held as property, forced to sell her body to feed the addiction. Time brings her ever closer to what seems an inevitable death and Two waits, uncaring, longing only for the next fix.
That’s when Theroen arrives, beckoning to his Ferrari and grinning his inscrutable grin. He is handsome. Confident. Eager to help lift her out of the life that’s grinding her down.
The only problem? Theroen is a vampire.
His blood can cure her addiction, grant her powers she has never had, change her forever into something greater than she was. But when he sinks his teeth into her neck, Theroen also thrusts Two into a world of danger, violence, madness and despair. The powerful, twisted elder Abraham will use her arrival to shatter the uneasy peace that exists in his mansion, bringing an end to the dark game he has been playing for centuries.
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A mixture of True Blood and Twilight with a dash of something new.

I quite liked this book for what it is. It brings the horror and brutality from True Blood and it brings the sparkle (indirectly) and the romance from Twilight. Buecheler also manages to add in just enough of his own to make it his creation and make it into something quite credible. His vampires and their stories, the different breeds, the way of transformation and even returning to human state was very interesting and refreshingly  new.

The Blood that Bonds is, overall, well-written and I enjoyed it, but the romance, the undying love, is to me incredibly annoying as there is never any basis for why. We are never told why the two main characters love each other with such passion. Having never met before, he kidnaps her and boom, eternal love.

The book however also contains more than its share of typos, errors and inconsistencies, which disrupted the flow several times and when debating whether or not to give it 3 or 4 stars, these annoyances pulled it down to 3.




265 pages (ePub) / published in 2009
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011