Entering My World

Books I've read, am reading and won't ever touch!
Trading in Danger - Elizabeth Moon Actually, as science fiction goes, this was a really enjoyable story. I opened it. . .only meaning to see if I wanted it to be my next book or not. . .and fell in. First few pages had me caught and I didn't stop until I had finished it.

The story dives right in, and while there is a lot of 'boring days' passing on, the author manages to make the business descriptions and passage of time interesting. You KNOW things aren't going to be easy - and when they finally start complicating, the pace picks up fast.

This is a science fiction, and therefore doesn't take place on earth or the 'known area', but doesn't bog you down in history or scientific explanations, either. You basically dive right in, and learn of the setting as you need to know.

I did find the lack of explanation a little confusing at first. The different worlds were easy enough, but Ky's 'planet of origin' was not clear until the last few books. The name of the place did not seem like an actual name of a city, much less a planet. And its only later that one starts to figure it must be a planet. The other worlds were somewhat less confusing since she actually travels to them, but no huge explanation of any place is given either. Brief descriptions of clothing styles, and an amusing scene involving a local taboo is about the extent of it.

All in all, I can't wait to get to the next book.
Limits of Power - Elizabeth Moon What can I say, but that I really enjoyed this one? Its sort of like the story is heating up as it goes - each book is better than the last. First book was a bit of a slow starter - second book ramped things up - third book really deepens the mystery. . .fourth book, I hope starts giving us some answers! I found myself 'living' in the world while reading this and coming out of it as I hit the end of the book was a bit of a shock. -sigh-

That said, some parts of the story did seem a little rushed. Some parts of it explained by the flow of time - the characters had more time to do things than the readers did in absorbing it. But things like Arcolin's hunt for a wife seemed like we could see a bit more of it. Its hard to imagine that 'love' could come out of a scenario like that so easily. On the flip side, given the situation, it was sort of an arrangement, as opposed to a romance, and with both parties willing and already 'liking' each other, love could still grow out of it. Its not entirely clear how much time between his marriage and Paks' arrival at the stronghold.

All in all, a wonderful read - lots of mystery building up and I can hardly wait for the next one to come out. Do you think if we shook the author she'd drop the story faster? No? Well, drat. I guess we just have to wait, then. :)

Echoes of Betrayal - Elizabeth Moon It's easier to say what I don't like about this book... It is a cliffhanger. Argh! On the flip side, I have the next book waiting so it's not too bad.

It's still hard to give my overall thoughts on this book... Or the previous two because it very much feels like all four (soon to be five) of the books in this series feel like they should be in one book. Sort of like the omnibus of Paksenarrion was when I first read it. But I am not willing to wait that long to read these.

All in all, I am enjoying this story nearly as much as Paks' story. I am sorry not to see her more, but the characters that dominate this story are at least somewhat familiar from the other books and is good to get back to this world and find out what happens after the other story ended. Wish I could rate this as a series instead of single books. It's sort of like reading each chapter as you progress instead of the whole book.
Wake (Watersong, #1) - Amanda Hocking Not the best read I've ever encountered. Personally, I found the story really slow for the first half of the book. Once 'the event' happened, things picked up a little, but by then, it was hard to really *care*.

The characters tended to be a little flat, and I found the writing very. . .amateur. Sort of like reading something on fanfic.net or some similar site. I kept wondering who this author was and why the book had gotten published at all. I was a little surprised to look her up on Goodreads and find she had quite a list under her name.

All in all, the story had potential, but it was not really carried out. The writing was flat, there is absolutely no imagery in the writing and getting a 'feel' for these people never happened. By the time the book ends - on a cliff hangar - I never really cared about any of them.

Hopefully she warms up in later books, but yeah, I doubt I'll bother with the sequels.
The Rocketeer - Peter David Pretty much like the movie was, with a few minor changes in dialogues. The writing seems a bit rough and awkward in places, but over all, the pacing is much like the movie and its a quick, fun read.

What I DID like about it was that it lets you get into the characters' heads a bit more, gives them a little bit more depth and motivation.

Could use another rewrite or two, but all in all, I did enjoy reading it for the second time.
The Measure of a Lady - Deeanne Gist This is the fifth book of Deeanne Gist's I've read and I think its probably my least favourite so far.

I find Rachel, the main character a little stuck up. On the other hand, she is 'nice', and even while she's stuck up, she is seeking to understand what she is doing so wrong. She's not 'stubbornly doing her own thing', she just 'doesn't get it.

Her sister seems really. . .trampy right from the start, and I don't see how a properly raised young girl from that time would so deliberately step into a life like she chose. From what I understand, most of the 'working women' got into it less deliberately then got trapped. I really wanted to smack her. Right from the start Lissa seemed like a lazy, spoiled little brat.

Her brother also was in want of a slap upside the head. He seemed more interested in taking off and doing his own thing than helping his family stay together. Then again, maybe that is inherently normal for 14 year old boys.

All in all - the story itself was good, and resolved well. But I found it frustrating to read. From Rachel's stubborn outlook about the other women in town (though historic, I think), to the fact that EVERYONE who was *SUPPOSED to love her just abandoned her. They didn't agree with her so they just dumped her?? What happened to family and sticking together in a tough time? And the guy who supposedly loved her, didn't bother coming around to help her sort it out. What?? I understand he didn't agree with her - but you can still stay around and show you care for the person.

I don't know. All in all I found this one frustrating and not entertaining. I hope the next one is better!
This Dark Endeavor - Kenneth Oppel This book was a bit of a balancing act with me. I am not sure what I expected, starting it. I have never read Mary Shelley's original novel (and knowing it has a tragic ending, I probably never will!), though I am aware of the gist of the story. (Who's not??)I do, however LOVE LOVE Oppel's "Airborn" series so picked this up fully expecting to love it as well.

Well, all in all, I DID like like it. It had great pacing, lots of adventure (some of its a little cliche, but it was interesting to read so I'm not complaining. Cliche doesn't mean bad!), and I loved the overall 'gothic' atmosphere. It was enough to be a bit broody and gripping but not enough to be 'dark' or 'depressing'.

The only problems I had was the whole sense of 'something bad is going to happen' that sort of seemed to loom over Victor. Maybe it does, eventually - in the classic novel? But yeah, Victor sort of seems set up to doom - mostly by his own attitudes and choices, granted. Though he was doing a more or less heroic thing trying to save his brother.

I also HATED HATED the fact that the cat was killed. And in such a horrible fashion too. I LIKED the cat. Probably more than any of the people characters. )(Ok, I did like Elizabeth too - and Konrad seemed nice, though he's sort of out of the book most of the time. But that cat. . .I loved it!!) I sort of get why it had to go - but surely that scene could have ended better??

Other than those two points I rather quite enjoyed the book. It did leave me feeling a little...indignant at the ending. But I believe this is only book one, so a sequel might help wrap things up a trifle. Or at least not leave us feeling quite so much up in the air. (or maybe I really do need to read the original classic? . . .nah! Think Ill find a spoiler for that instead.)
Maid to Match - Deeanne Gist Quite enjoyed this one. The pace is easy to read and makes it hard to put down and the story definitely keeps you coming back to see what happens, even though you sort of already know. I did find the difference between what I know of the 'downstairs' and what was written here a bit odd - but as the author noted in the book, this was in the US, not Britain.

All in all a very interesting read, with a satisfying end. I look forward to reading more by this author.
StarCrossed - Elizabeth C. Bunce I actually quite liked this one. It was a little slow getting started, but all in all an interesting read.
The Queen of Attolia - Megan Whalen Turner An enjoyable read. I got a little bogged down in all the political machinations and a lot of talk about armies and such. I tended to skim those parts a little more than I should.

The book starts with a nice piece of action. . .and some rather devastating results to the hero. The rest of the book is -mostly- about him learning to cope, and pulling himself together again, while the countries prepare to go to war with each other.

I did find the ending a little. . .twisted. For a romance its. . .probably one of the odder ones I have ever read. Though I can see how it stretches back even to the first book, its definitely a little strange.

Still, an interesting read and I'm curious to see what happens.
The Thief - Megan Whalen Turner I actually rather enjoyed this one. I had no idea what to expect when I picked it up - just started reading and while it was a bit slow to get started - I mean, lets face it, a history lesson about the prison and the area surrounding it is not exactly the greatest hook in the whole wide world - it soon picked up the pace and I had trouble putting it down.

The twist at the ending was not only unexpected, but rather gratifying. It was obvious on retrospect, but on the first read it was not a direction I was guessing at.

I found the main character both obnoxious and likable. Perhaps because you could see the obnoxious behavior was somewhat deliberate and not necessarily his real self. By the end I almost liked him.

I did find it a bit confusing - the main character's age is never specified, but there is an odd balance with his age. In some places he seems no more than a boy (12-14ish), what with them holding him down to whip him, being carried up to bed, the way he needs to sort himself out with the apprentice, the general way the magus talks to him, as if to a child - and in other places it seems as if he should be older (18-19-20ish), his ability to fight, talk of his marrying, etc. But nowhere is it actually specified how old he is. It is a trifle confusing.

All in all, it was a very interesting read and I am looking forward to the rest of the series.
Mockingjay - Suzanne  Collins Really did not care for this one.

Katniss seemed more like a sulky, spoiled brat than the strong, resourceful heroine of book one. She spends most of her time skulking around sulking or being told what to do by other people than actually DOING anything for herself. And the few times she does do something for herself, people are killed or she ends up in the hospital - again.

One can understand that this is war, and people are fighting for freedom from a sick situation. But I found when the author started killing people it was too much for nothing. Killing off most of the team was no particular problem. We never got to know them. Killing Finnick? There was no real point to that. A few people survived, he could have too. Prim's death was pointless. It was done so quickly and out of the blue, it lacked any real impact. . .and then, once again, Katniss fades to black and finds herself in the hospital. If it was supposed to have an impact, we did not get to know Prim enough - but it seemed pointless to kill the girl Kat worked so hard to keep alive to start with. I actually felt more for the cat in the end than I did for the death of Prim. Poor kitty missed his mistress.

I also found Katniss' 'romances' more irritating than anything. I had no preferences for who she ended up with, but the fact that she kept jerking them around, and in the end didn't even choose. . .she only ended up with Peeta because he didn't fade off into the background.

All in all? I have read better war stories, and had more satisfying conclusions. I can only hope the movie handles this book better than the author did.
Catching Fire - Suzanne  Collins Not bad. I felt it was a bit repetitive, echoing a lot of book one. But it was still an exciting read and heated things up enough to keep me riveted until I was done.
The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins Well, I can't say I really *LIKED* this book. The concept is really quite dark, though not terribly 'new'. (Definitely sick, mind you. THough I suppose no worse than 'The City of Ember', in its dark concepts.) I also 'guessed' at the basic plot just going by the title. I've heard the title around, and had this general idea of the semi-futuristic setting and the weird game for survival type thing. Odd how close I got.

However, new concept or not, this book was well written, and engrossing. While a rather grim tale, it was HARD to put down, and harder to shake the 'atmosphere' off after you did put it down. You get to like the characters (the main ones, anyway. . .the rest of the world seems a bit mad, but ok!), and find yourself rooting for them even though they are in a pretty nasty situation.

I also found I liked the fact that while the tale is quite violent, none of the violence was hugely described. You get enough to know whats happening, but we don't hear about things graphically.

All in all, a good book, and well done.

Thank GOD its complete fiction, though!!!
Beauty and the Werewolf - Mercedes Lackey This one was actually quite fun. A very different take on Beauty and the Beast, with Red Riding Hood thrown in for good measure. A little predictable outcome, but over all, I quite enjoyed the read.

A Rose Revealed (The Amish Farm Trilogy)

A Rose Revealed - Gayle Roper A lovely conclusion to the series. (At least I think its the conclusion. It wrapped up as if it was.)

Picking up with two of the characters introduced in the first book, but Rose was not explored until now.

A lovely, light-hearted, humourous read, though with more serious overtones as well. (Well it can't ALL be funny! :))

All in all, I loved the characters. The situation was a bit understated, but added enough action to keep things rolling and ended very satisfactorily.

Currently reading

Brian Jacques
Death of a Schoolgirl
Joanna Campbell Slan
To Whisper Her Name
Tamera Alexander
Mercedes Lackey