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Få inspiration til din næste læseoplevelse og læs mere om alt lige fra kærlighed, krimi, YA og historiske romaner til fantasy, science fiction og gys. Alt er på dansk - på nær de anmeldelser, jeg har lyst til at skrive på engelsk. Occasional posts/reviews in English.
~ Iben
Bibliotekar, bogblogger & boganmelder

30/07/2011

Marina's Tales by Derrolyn Anderson

This is a double review and features books 1 and 2 of the YA series Marina's Tales. My apologies for posting it so late, meant to have it up Friday, but life got in the way and here we are 1½ days later and I'm nursing a hangover and a sunburn.

Between the Land and the Sea

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Something extraordinary is lurking in the deep ocean waters off the coast of Aptos, California. In just a few weeks after moving to the small beach town, sixteen year old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can only manage to survive her increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might just be able to unlock the mystery of her past to learn how to appease the mysterious forces that seem to want something from her...and maybe even find true love along the way.
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With the exception of some goofy films here and there I haven't seen or read anything mermaid related since HC Andersen's tale of the Little Mermaid (Danish, by the way) and Disney's much more child-friendly version. Between the Land and the Sea was a very sweet return to the mermaid genre and works really well as a YA book about a girl who comes to face with her own identity and despite the very generic Goodreads summary, the love story in it is very sweet and believable. It's not all sticky sweetness though, not at all, there's both action and adventure beautifully woven into the threads as Marina steps into character.

Marina's discovery of her mermaid ancestry is quite gripping and her way of dealing with it as well as finally being in a proper school surrounded by people her age after years of travelling with her dad, was enjoyable to follow. Though a bit too easy, the friendships seem genuine and I grew to care about all the main characters.

Marina is in many ways your typical heroine; she's good and selfless, loyal and brave - sometimes to a fault. Her sidekicks Megan and Cruz are both enjoyable and though they aren't delved much further into, I came to like them. Ethan is a steaming hot hunk of *ahem*... Ethan is really nice too.The characters are a tiny bit too generic, the main ones each being amazing in his or her field of interest, but overall the story and their places in it works out very well.

The take on the mermaids was great. I loved how feral they were, so untouched by the oblivious humans, albeit some of them might feel the lure of a mortal life with all its ups and downs.

All in all, as the plot graph below also shows the story had me hooked all the way through and it was a quick but very enjoyable read. I don't think mermaids will become the new vampire black, but so much the better. The ending was predictably sweet and very much left me wanting to read on.




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



The Moon and the Tide

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Just when things seem to be all figured out, Marina discovers that there's a lot more going on behind the scenes than she ever imagined. When a terrible accident exposes her secret, she discovers that her whole life has been one big lie, and has to cope with more than one kind of betrayal.
A dangerous enemy arrives on the scene, putting her bravery to the test and forcing her to use all of her new-found talents to protect her family. Will good win out over evil? Can love triumph over jealousy?

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Marina's tales #2, The Moon and the Tide, picks up the story shortly after we left it in the first book and despite a slightly rocky start I was soon fully engrossed in it yet again.

I had a few misgivings in the first book but they were mostly explained and eradicated in the second. It carries on the story of Marina coming to grips with her ancestry and who she is and what she can expect and it holds a substantial larger amount of action than the first book. Like the first book though there is still a heavy amount of surfing and though I wouldn't know one end of surfboard from the other Anderson manages to describe the sport so well that I can easily imagine the water, the colours and the pure energy.

My one pet peeve is Ethan whom I just don't like. I can't put a finger on it precisely, he's just too protective, too soppy, too sweet and too much (but maybe I'm just a bitter old crone ;)

I really enjoyed the book and will recommend it to all that enjoy YA literature and would like a great series with a great handle on mermaids, the sea and a strong capable heroine. I truly can't wait to get my hands on the third book in the series, The Fate of the Muse, which is expected in the summer of 2011.




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




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

25/07/2011

Changing back and forth

I'm once again changing my posting schedule. After a few weeks worth of 3 times a week I've now run out of reviews - mainly because I've been busy overdosing on the Harry Potter series in celebration of the final film coming to the cinemas.

I've got a whole bunch of books waiting to be read and reviewed, the immediate on the list being,

Derrolyn Anderson's Marina's Tales #2

George RR Martin's A Dance of Dragons

Maria V Snyder's Outside In (Ironically enough the library sent me book 2 before book 1. Hopefully book 1 will turn up before I have to hand back book 2!)

Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver (book #2 of The Wolves of Mercy Falls)

Neil Gaiman's American Gods (couldn't resist getting this for the kindle after reading so much about how they're making it into a tv series)

Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn Trilogy (again a kindle book - that 1-click-to-purchase button is really dangerous!)

Marina's Tales (a review of book 1 and 2) will be up on Friday the 29th and hopefully I'll then manage a review for next Friday and so on and so forth till I've caught up with my reading again.  I will also be going on holiday in the 3rd week of August, but there's ages till then.

22/07/2011

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1

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Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will left howling alone at the lonely moon. A stirring supernatural teen romance.
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When a girl loves a wolf boy...

Stiefvater presents an entirely new take on werewolves and does so in a very sweet story of two young lovers. It's difficult to elaborate further details without spoiling you, because of the way the book is built up, taking it slow with revealing things creating a build-up. You'll just have to trust me on this one, if you have the slightest fondness for either YA / paranormal romance / werewolves / good writing or all, you'll just have to read this one.

Grace is a very likeable character, and Sam too, though he is a bit more distant (and I did find him and his lyric writing a bit silly). It is most of all a love story between the two of them and it does get a bit sappy at times, but I overall enjoyed it, and I found both them and the other characters believable. You don't hear much about what the others are up to as it's completely focused on Grace and Sam, but I discovered I didn't mind that one bit.

Looking at Goodreads, Shiver seems to very much be a love it or hate it book, it's been compared to Twilight and as such there seems to be a lot of trolling going around. I can see the similarities, but also think it's a bit ridiculous. Just because a book contains a love relationship between a werewolf/vampire and an ordinary girl, you can hardly claim it's a Twilight-rip off.

Following Shiver, comes Linger (#2) and Forever (#3)was published just this month and appears to a hit.




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

19/07/2011

Bookly News #2

Jane Austen's unfinished manuscript The Watsons from 1804 has just been sold at an action for the staggering sum of £993,250 - more than triple the expected price.


Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, consisting so far of 7 books mixing the Wild West with fantasy and horror, was due to be adapted for the big screen, but the project has now been put on hold indefinitely. 3 films starring Javier Barden in the lead had been planned as well as a tv series and production was planned to start in late summer this year, but Universal Studios have due to budget difficulties pulled out for now.
Personally I haven't read the books yet, not being a huge King fan, but I had been looking forward to seeing this, so am hoping Universal Studios will get their economy back on course. This isn't the first film project they've cancelled due to money problems.


Borders, the second largest bookstore chain in the USA, has after 40 years on the market declared bankruptcy. Recent changes in shopping with people buying books online (both digital and physical copies) rather than going to the stores have led to the chain's downfall. Barnes & Nobles, the biggest chain, is also struggling.
My thoughts and best wishes go out to the many many employees who are now facing unemployment.

Mishap & Mayhem by M.M. Shelley

Volume 1

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For centuries magical beings have hidden in the darkness, waiting. Some good, some evil. A battle is brewing, and only twins, Grasiella and Tatiana, have the power to stop it. It’s the summer of the year 2045, and sixteen year old Grasiella, along with her twin sister, Tatiana plan to visit their grandmother in Hawaii. They have no idea that when they arrive on the island of Kauai, they are about to be drawn into a secret, the secret, of their family’s dark origins and magical powers. On the first day of their arrival, their grandmother is accused of a horrible crime involving a faerie. Whispers have spread throughout the islands about the disappearance of a faerie named Sita Knook and her connection to a mysterious group known only as the Cinerians. Before long, Grasiella and Tatiana are doing battle with ancient races and magical beings. All the while trying to retrieve an ancient stone of power and impress a couple of local surfers, Kana’i and Kye, cousins who have some pretty exciting family secrets of their own. It’s pretty serious stuff for two girls who were planning to spend the summer at the beach getting tans, but then that’s the trouble with secrets, sometimes they just don't stay buried.
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Messy, poorly written and completely pointless.

The book has no redeeming qualities beyond the fact that it's thankfully short and thus quickly done with. It's a mess through and through, mixing in bits of this and that from Hawaii, magic, faeries, aliens, a dash of Greek mythology for no apparent reason, futuristic notions and an alternative historical past.

I never did figure out what the girls are doing there in the first place, as the initial storyline of them being sent to their grandmother on Hawaii for some mysterious magical testing, is thrown out the window the second they get there. Who G (for Grandmother apparently) is, we never learn, and whatever family relationship they are supposed to have is pitiful. A word that actually also aptly describes all character interaction. The alternative historical past fits in absolutely nowhere, the Greek mythological characters are thrown in there just for the hell of it and is yet another giant plot hole of which the story is full of.

None of the characters are in anyway endearing to the reader and I would have been happy to see them all chucked into a volcano - at least that would have put an end to it. Unfortunately the story rambles on and the poor red thread attempting to imitate a credible storyline is a tangled mess. What more is, the plot, characters and their dialogue and actions often had me rolling my eyes as it's so filled with bad clichés and just unbelievably bad examples of writing. (Also, if I read the "dialogue" >>Wow, crazy.<< one more time, I'm going to scream.)

All in all, I took a bullet for you, my dear reader. You have been warned.





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

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Many thanks to the author for supplying me with a copy of the book, my apologies for being less than grateful in my review of it.

18/07/2011

Book Haul #1 - A Dance with Dragons

Look what just arrived!!


A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin, the 5th book in one of the most epic series.

Containing more than 1016 pages, this long awaited brick of a book weighs 1.5 kg! I can't wait to get started on it and hope that my memory will catch up as I read as I don't have the time nor willpower to reread the 4 books that came before it.

15/07/2011

HP7pt2

I just came home from watching the final film and the end of an era.  

Harry Potter 7 pt. 2 opens at the close and dear lord was it good. This is not a review, I don't review films, this is me telling you WOW. I loved it. I cried, I laughed and I urge you to watch it too. Obviously it changes a few things (how can it not?) but overall it follows the book very closely and as a book fan, I was more than happy with it.

I'd like to thank J.K. Rowling for writing something so amazing that it has had me spellbound for more than 10 years now, the various directors and actors for bringing the books to the big screen (with various degrees of success), Yates for sending them off with a big bang, and finally my parents for buying me the first few books and taking me to see the films and always encouraging me to follow the magic.

Firesong by Aaron Lazar

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What would you do if your country church was hit by a rogue tornado during services? What if the shrieking winds unearthed the bones of a missing parishioner in a nearby wheat field? Now add the discovery of heroin in your elderly minister’s bloodstream. When Gus LeGarde is thrown into the middle of the mess, he knows life’s finally gone berserk in East Goodland, New York.
The Genesee Valley is in chaos. Strangers drive panel vans through the countryside at weird hours of the night. A new batch of drugs is on the street, endangering local. The local salt mine collapses due to illegal mining practices. Gas fires burn in wells. Watering holes turn to brine. Crops are dying. Tempers are short. To top it off, the new salt mine lies directly over ancient Indian burial grounds, bringing anguish to local tribes.
While Gus faces ordeals delivered by nature and man, his wife Camille discovers a hidden room in their house. She digs through historical archives to learn that the 1811 original homeowner, Mary Hill, may have had connections with the Underground Railroad. When local grave robbers begin to loot historic coffins, they find an empty coffin. Who killed Mary? How did she die? Where is her body? And where will this two-hundred-year-old mystery lead?
Join Gus as he’s lured into a bizarre network of underground tunnels to expose the most shocking discovery ever to rock the Genesee Valley.
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The fifth instalment of the Gus LeGarde series.

I'm not quite sure what to label this book as. It's a mystery book, but I would have thought that such a genre would include some sort of detective work one way or another. In this, the main character Gus just happens to always find himself where things happen and stumbles upon the mysteries *and* their solutions.

Except for a fair amount of plot triggers (happenings that could evolve into something major), the first 120 pages are mostly about Gus' idyllic family life and him cooking. Don't ask me to clarify who's who and how they're related, because I'm rather lost in the midst of names and characters who's all got some very heavy back story, which was elaborated in the earlier books (which I haven't read). On top of that the following massive amount of different story lines were a bit of a mess and some of them a bit too much.

About halfway in, I finally got a better grip on what this book's main plot actually was (though I still found it pretty vague) and from then on things moved quickly - and to be honest too many things happened. I don't think a day goes by without some natural disaster, murder or other criminal event taking place and it just seems a bit over the top. It's an unfortunate thing,  where I shook my head and went "yeah, right." and the story lost credibility. Gus and his family, if not the entire community, have to be the most unfortunate people ever with all the things they go through, yet still they always come out (mostly) unharmed.

The book is well written though and is a fairly quick read, but I never really felt truly engaged in it and Gus just didn't appeal to me much. Because of the overflow of dramatic events I felt that the tension completely evaporated, but it makes it ideal as a feel-good, stress-free book for a warm summer day, and despite all my complaints I did still enjoy reading it.




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

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

13/07/2011

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

The Cousin's War #2

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The second book in Philippa's stunning new trilogy, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series - The White Queen - but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses. The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England. Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth's daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty
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Another fantastic book by a master of the genre.

The Red Queen basically tells the same story as The White Queen*, but this time from a polar-opposite angle. Here, Margaret Beaufort of Lancaster House is the narrator and she is utterly mad, zealously devout and painfully bitter about her lot in life - a huge difference from the charming and rather successful Elizabeth Grey who got intimate with the House of York in its glory days. (Quick history lesson here, York & Lancaster, the white and the red rose, are bitter enemies and compete for the throne of England. They both descend from Edward III and are thus all cousins).

Where The White Queen finds herself in the midst of things, The Red Queen is far more detached and watches from afar as things unfold. Convinced of her own importance and connection to God (surely she is chosen and thus her will is his) she plots and schemes and is the ultimate cause of many wars and deaths. Margaret is determined to regain the throne from the usurping House of York and claim the throne for her son.

Gregory paints yet another amazing portrait of an era and of a woman who never gave up fighting for what she believed to be rightfully hers. The characterization of Margaret is so perfect and particularly her religious devotion and reflections are brilliant.

In short, I loved it, but because it feels a bit more distant from the actual happenings of the time and thus less fast-paced I can't quite give it a full 5 stars.



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


*Just realized now that I never reviewed that book, because I read it before setting up Borough of Books. Will get around to doing that soon (tm).

11/07/2011

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Pride and Prejudice has delighted generations of readers with its unforgettable cast of characters, carefully choreographed plot, and a hugely entertaining view of the world and its absurdities. With the arrival of eligible young men in their neighbourhood, the lives of Mr and Mrs Bennet and their five daughters are turned inside out and upside down. Pride encounters prejudice, upward-mobility confronts social disdain, and quick-wittedness challenges sagacity, as misconceptions and hasty judgements lead to a heartache and scandal, but eventually to true understanding, self-knowledge, and love. In this supremely satisfying story, Jane Austen balances comedy with seriousness, and witty observation with profound insight. If Elizabeth Bennet returns again and again to her letter from Mr Darcy, readers of the novel are drawn even more irresistibly by its captivating wisdom.
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What a love story

It's taken me a long time to write this review, as the book gave me a lot to think about and reflect upon. After reading it I watched both the film from 2005 with Keira Knightley and the BBC mini-series from 1995 with Colin Firth. Both, but particular the first, intensified the emotions and clarified some of the meanings. I struggled a bit whilst reading the book, particularly with the first half as some of the often long dialogue is obscure for a modern reader with no particular scholarly education in such literature. The language Austen used is flowing and intricate and though I loved it, it was also often difficult to follow and truly comprehend the very delicate hints and manoeuvres in society.

Pride and Prejudice is in my eyes the ultimate love story and I can't help but sigh and wonder where my very own Mr. Darcy is hiding. I love how they never get physical. Modern love stories, like predator and prey, seems to circle one thing and one thing only - lust and eventual sex. Here, they talk and argue, debate and dance and ever so slowly do their eyes open to see the other clearly.

Having always been a fan of the film from 2005, Keira Knightley's portrayal of Elizabeth is fixed in my mind, but I loved the layers the book added to her and I came to know her thoughts and reasoning so much better. She is a truly amazing character and Austen was a master at portraying multi-dimensioned characters.

It's very clear why Austen became such a successful author, but if you look at her own life it's actually rather depressing.* Born in 1775, she died just 42 years later, unwed. She lived by her pen, and it seems that she gave all her female characters what she never achieved; After some hardship they find true love in wealthy man and have all they could ever have wanted. I don't mean to demean her works, she also aptly portrayed how women of that time were forced to depend on men and her social commentary and realism is magnificent.




333 pages / published in 1813
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011



*on that note, Becoming Jane is a frightfully bland film and it's pretty sad how her life turned out.

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Should you wish to read something completely different, I recommend reading Mr Darcy, Vampyre.

08/07/2011

Amber Frost by Suzi Davis

The Lost Magic, Book One

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Grace Lynn Stevenson is an eighteen year old girl who recently moved with her wealthy, but busy parents to a new city. She's popular, pretty and rich - what more could a girl want? But deep down, she's sad, lonely and plagued by nightmares.
When she meets Sebastian Caldwood at her new private school, she's inexplicably drawn to him and his strange tattoos. Sebastian always gets what he wants - he simply has to wish it; but he's fighting his own inner demons, and struggling to remember a past that eludes him. When he remembers that he is much older than he looks, he realizes that he's seen many people live and die, including Grace.
Once Sebastian realizes his true nature and finds what he has been searching for the past hundreds of years, he also realizes that it is now up to him to protect Grace from the dangers that have plagued them throughout eternity.

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I was fully captured by the story and the love. Unlike so many other paranormal/YA romances this felt so real the way they meet and how they slowly develop first a friendship and then a relationship.

Basically I'm just in love with the whole thing, I could fully connect with Gracelynn and I love how easy it is to feel with her as she struggles against this fake high-class life she's forced to live. Sebastian was so much more lovable than the usual "gorgeous" heroes (though I do believe that he's also described as rather easy on the eye), there seems to be more to him and it's not just all about falling head over heels and forgetting about everything else.

My only complaint is that it becomes a bit fuzzy around the lines towards the end, there's so much we suddenly need to know and after a long story that's fully about love and not much else, we're suddenly introduced to an actual element of danger and I'm very curious to read the next book and see where Davis takes them. Furthermore the magic element is a bit too simplistic to my taste, but what can you do?

Amber Frost is Suzi Davis' very first book and she did one hell of a good job. What the cover and the title actually have to do with the story I have no clue, but regardless, the story is great and well worth a read.

My final comment? Now I'm really itching to get myself a tattoo (you've got to read the book to understand ;)




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

07/07/2011

The Plot Graph

To better show you how I felt a book, I've added the plot graph (any suggestions for a cooler name?)

It (sort of) maps out the events of a book and how interesting they were. It's in no way accurate, it doesn't follow chapters or pages (= a dot is not a chapter, it's a happening. That happening could be something huge like a death or a proposal or just a sentence that for me meant something big)


In the above graph you can see the 5 different zones.
  1. is basically boring or bad
  2. that state where it could go either way
  3. is quite decent
  4. is pretty good
  5. is so awesome you can't put it down
As such the graph depicts a book that starts out okay, then rockets up to something amazing only to  plummet down into something really bad, but it ends up gradually pulling itself up again.

On the actual reviews I won't be including the numbers nor an explanation of the graph, because I don't want this to be super strict. It's merely just about getting a feel of it.

EDIT: on further thought, I should also mention that most good books will hover around 3 and 4, peeking into 5 for the really good bits.

06/07/2011

inSyte by Greg Kiser

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It’s Tampa Bay and the year is 2020. Ex-Navy SEAL Mitch Double Downing discovers how to tap into the internet with his mind. His new inSyte provides transparent access to the sum of all human knowledge recorded since hieroglyphics. More than mere information – Mitch can see into men’s hearts and be all places at all times (easy in an ‘always on’ surveillance society with fourth generation tweets). Sort of like God.
If knowledge is power, Mitch just became the strongest man in the world.
Mitch wants to market his discovery to cure blindness, solve poverty, and prove something to his mother. But inSyte has ideas of its own as the software exposes a politician’s “divine” plan that will unwittingly slaughter millions of people. Is killing the man the only way to prevent Armageddon? The politician’s daughter would probably disagree. And she happens to be the love of Mitch’s life. Losing Kate would be too damn much collateral damage.
At the centre of the conflict is a wolf-like killer who will stop at nothing to murder the ex-Navy SEAL. And Mitch must come to grips with inSyte’s dark side – a dominating addiction that soon controls his thoughts and places him on a steep slide to self destruction.
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inSyte was a bit of a tough nut to crack for me. It took up to 100 pages before I was really into the story, but after that I really enjoyed it.

The writing style is a bit off for me at times, I think it's a bit more modern than I'm used to, and the sometimes needless cursing annoyed me the (thankfully) few times it appeared. I have no problems with characters swearing their heads off, but when the narrator starts to do it, I think it's out of place (example (from memory): "she picked up the fucking cup"). However, the writing and narrating also really added a certain pace to the story and after thinking about the book for over a week before writing this review I've realised the depth of the actual plot and the hint of doom day that lies in technology and evolution.

My only real problem with the plot is the random supernatural element of the wolf-like killer. It seems rather off in an otherwise futuristic sci-fi novel to throw in something that belongs in a paranormal horror story.
I also lacked a bit further delving into the main characters. We learn about Mitch's past and personality gradually throughout the story, but Woody just seems to be there as a plot device as well as the two girls. Furthermore it bothered me a bit that the only two women we meet in the story besides Kate and her friend, are painted as utter slags with no redeeming qualities. Same as with some of the menfolk who are also just a bit too stereotypical.

inSyte takes place some 10 years in the future and technology has taken yet another quantum leap and though I was at first a bit dubious I later on realised that it is quite possible for everything in the book to transpire. Humans are a terrible species and technology will no doubt cause many issues (and already is). It's not all bad though, as the book also paints a picture of hope and good. Particularly during the last 150 pages or so I had a tough time putting it down, I could almost see the motion picture in my head.

A recommended read if you enjoy futuristic novel with a slightly dystopian twist and a heavy dose of technology - or if you simply have read enough about fancy vampires and want something a little more heavy.




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

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

05/07/2011

The Aftermath of a Good Book

I've noticed that I have a hard time getting into a new book after reading something brilliant. A 5 star book is hard to follow up on, and it gets even worse if you don't have high expectations for the next book.

I think it stems from being so immersed in either a spectacular story, some fantastic characters or maybe even just the magical surroundings - or all three. Point is, you're utterly captivated and you don't want it to end. So when it does, and you're forced into an empty void, and you pick up the next book to fill out the silence, you, or I at least, find that unless the book is equally amazing and engaging I spend a few days not reading as much as usual, but instead grumble about how it isn't as good - basically mourning the previous book.

In the last few days I've read first Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and then The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory and both are absolutely amazing. Pride and Prejudice is a literary masterpiece and The Red Queen is a historical novel by a master of the genre. I then went on to read a self-published YA novel and I'll be frank with you here, I was less than impressed (the review will be up Monday the 18th). I wonder now if my dislike for it was strengthened because I'd just read two amazing books and it couldn't measure up in any way. It was a bad book regardless but it would be interesting to know if I would have been quite so hard on it if I'd read something less impressive beforehand.


04/07/2011

The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan

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If you're reading this book, your life is about to get a lot more dangerous.
In these top secret files, Rick Riordan, Camp Half-Blood's senior scribe, gives you an inside look at the world of demigods that NO regular human child is allowed to see.
These highly classified archives include three of Percy Jackson's most perilous adventures, a Spotter's Guide to Monsters, a Who's Who in Greek mythology, Percy's Summer Camp report and much more.
So, if you're armed with this book, you'll have everything you need to know to keep you alive in your training. Your own adventures have just begun...
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The line between fantasy and real life is blurred as Riordan steps into his own little fictional role and takes us on tour through the camp. We're shown a map of the camp, character sheets of the main characters and information about various monsters and gods.  There is even a couple of quizzes and puzzles (which I were unable to do as writing in library books is a big no-no!)

The three short stories are stand alone adventures that to avoid spoilers can be read once you've finished the fourth in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (Battle of the Labyrinth). They are a quick and enjoyable read and pretty much saves the little book. Everything else in the book is written in this annoying wannabe young language. It is incredibly annoying to read and below are a couple of examples.
" Like, really, really old, man! "
" I'm gonna give you a massive heads-up here. All you need to know about Clarisse is that her father is Ares. Who's he? Only the GOD OF WAR! "
There isn't a lot to any of it, mostly just stuff we already know through the main books, but I suppose for young fans it's fun. I appreciated the three stories, but note that once again it's all action and no everyday life.




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

01/07/2011

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

The Sookie Stackhouse series, book 11

Review of book 10, Dead in the Family, can be found here

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With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. But Sookie suspects otherwise and she and Sam work together to uncover the culprit - and the twisted motive for the attack. But her attention is divided. Though she can't 'read' vampires, Sookie knows her lover Eric Northman and his 'child' Pam well - and she realises that they are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, she is drawn into the plot -which is much more complicated than she knows. Caught up in the politics of the vampire world, Sookie will learn that she is as much of a pawn as any ordinary human - and that there is a new Queen on the board . . .
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It's basically your run-of-the-mill Sookie Stackhouse book. It takes place over the course of a few days and an awful lot happens, but at the same time it's pretty shallow and you don't really feel a big dramatic change.

Some loose ends are taken care off and baddies die - as they always do. Looking back there wasn't actually a whole lot going on. Instead of a huge plot and many subplots all over, it's really just a couple of days in Sookie's life where things happen and she has to deal with them - again.

Dead Reckoning is definitely better than the previous, which I was so disappointed about, but all in all, the series is beginning to feel thin and stretched (like too little butter scraped over too much bread). Maybe Harris is running out of things to write about. Sookie has been through pretty much everything and it's hard to see where things will go now without them being too far-fetched or put things at an ultimate stand-still.

Regardless of it all though I greatly enjoyed returning to the Sookie universe and couldn't put this book down once I started on it.



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