Entering My World

Books I've read, am reading and won't ever touch!

A Secret Identity (Amish Farm Trilogy Series #2)

A Secret Identity - Gayle Roper I actually really enjoyed this one. The character is lovable, and I can rather identify with her early on. (The reclusive writer type who'd rather stay indoors with her characters than 'go find a life' like other people try to push one into).

The whole book is written well, and with enough humour to keep me snickering. It is well expressed and has plenty of interesting ways of putting things. I also enjoy the 'touch' of Amish, without it being smothering - and the questions it brought up about the whole Amish thing.

I did find the ending a little odd. As in the 'culprit/villian' seemed to come out of nowhere, not really giving the reader a chance to 'solve' the mystery. However. . .the characters didn't know either, and it gets revealed to readers and characters simultaneously, so in the end it still works.

All in all, a fun read and very well done.
Mastiff - Tamora Pierce As always I enjoyed this book immensely. There are very few by Tamora Pierce that I dislike, ever since I picked up Alanna, way back when. And all in all this 'prequel' to the world of Tortall was as satisfactory as the rest.

I like how the story finishes up with a touch of romance as satisfying as any 'adult' novel. The general adventure was equally fun, and satisfying. Although a little draggy at points, it was never hard to read past those, gathering the 'flavour' of the world while you're at it. (And lets face it, if those parts were cut out, the whole 'hunt' would have progressed a bit TOO fast)

Again, loved the characters, Pounce in particular, but he's always been a favourite. Even Achoo seemed to have more personality this time, perhaps aided by the occasional 'translation' by Pounce.

My only 'gripe' about this book is the end. The traitor turning up was NOT a happy point for me. After getting used to this character all the way through book one, I was not a happy reader to see them turn traitor, and come to a bad end. Although, perhaps that is kind of the point that while we get a happy ending, they don't always come without a bit of bitter to throw in the mix. I just have a hard time thinking that the traitor would have been so stupid as to fall into the whole plot like that. Then again, even in real life, good, smart people do idiotic - and sometimes terrible things in their blindness.

But yeah, while I loved the book over all, the whole traitor bit at the end sort of left me with a not-so-satisfied feeling at the end. Still a good addition to the collection of books by this author, though.
The House on Durrow Street - Galen Beckett Wish I could give this one two and a half stars. I am caught between "Didn't like it" and "liked it."

Over all, the story was interesting. We get to revisit the characters we met in the first book. However, the momentum of the story really lacked in this one. There was a lot of 'waiting' for something to happen.

Mr. Quent was rarely in the story, and hardly seemed part of the family. Same with Mr. Lockwell, whom, while the issue was semi-resolved, was mostly left to languish in the sanitarium unvisited. Rose and Lily, while present also posed very minor roles, even when present they were barely on the periphery.

The story mainly focused on the three main characters, but their parts seemed very repetetive. The gatherings Ivy attends, and the endless compliments she receives, and yet seems at a complete loss as to how to deal with. The mystery which takes nearly the entire book to build - until it actually *starts* you could not really say what the big issue and mystery is going to be. Except that we knew the doors would play a role.

Mr. Raffirdy's part was mostly the same. The few parties he attends, then his musing about the assemblies he had to attend or about how he feels he has to avoid Mrs. Quent. He doesn't DO much until she retrieves him at the very end.

Of all this, though, I would say Garritt's part was the worst. Not only is it repetitive on his job, and him constantly musing over how he's going to get more money and do what he plans to do, and even when he starts doing it, he's wish-washying around about whether he SHOULD be. But the homosexual aspect which came out of nowhere (no warning for the reader if they should choose to avoid it!) completely ruined any appeal of reading his parts. I mostly ended up skipping or barely skimming his sections entirely. I have seen other books with gay characters, and they at least do little more than mention they are. This took it farther and was not only uncomfortable to read, but quite unnecessary.

All in all, it was nice to see the characters of this book again and the somewhat Jane Austenish style. But this book was *not* particularly worth the time. All in all the story could have been summed up in a couple of chapters and would have saved the reader a lot of effort to get to the main plot. Between the draggy story, and the gay aspects, I would not recommend this book at all.
The Lady in the Attic - Tara Randel Nice 'gentle' NON-murder mystery. It was rather refreshing to read a mystery that was NOT about someone dying for a change. Interesting read, and it was a bit hard to put down though not much truly 'exciting' happened. Was fairly well written and intriguing. A little predictable near the end, but not in a bad way. Did seem odd that people got so 'fixated' on this image. Then again, sometimes odd things capture the imagination and anything is a break from the routine.

Lionheart's Scribe: The Third Book of the Crusades

Lionheart's Scribe: The Third Book of the Crusades - Karleen Bradford Very interesting read over all. Gives you a look at the Crusades from a viewpoint near some of the battles, but not overly focused on the war itself. Nice bit of 'historical' without dropping massive details on one. And, for a young adult book, thats not a bad thing.

My only real complaint would be the end of this story doesn't really 'finish' up. We know the 'general' ending, more if you know anything of that period of history, but for the main character himself. . .there is no wrap-up of any sort. We don't know if he goes back to England or returns to his old home. NOTHING is said about what becomes of him after the story. . .which is really quite annoying.

Granted, this is the third book of a series, and while the story generally stands alone - it may or may not continue in the next book. As this is the only book I have ever seen by this author, I have no way of telling how it fits in with the overall series.
The Magicians and Mrs. Quent - Galen Beckett Found this one a little odd to start with. I expected a fantasy novel and got. . .Jane Austen with fantasy elements. I spent the first third of the book just trying to figure out what the heck I was reading. . .the second third caught up in the gothic mystery, and settled back to enjoy the final third.

Despite all that, by the time I was done I can say I really did enjoy the book. It was definitely Jane Austen-ish, with a whole gothic mystery smack in the middle of it (compelte with creepy children!), before it returned to Jane Austen. And in the end, the fantasy elements came together.

The only thing I really didn't care for was the odd day/night cycle (lumbrals and umbrals) which were never really explained and just sort of . . .weird.
Stargate Atlantis: The Chosen - Sonny Whitelaw, Elizabeth Christensen I actually fairly enjoyed this one. Quite a bit of action and while I didn't care for so much tension between the team members. . .it was sort of inevitable. Also, while things were tense, it never felt like they were going to 'split up'. More like they were just annoyed at each other, and stressed by the situation.

The plot is not a 'funny' or 'feel good' plot. Its a bit heavy-handed on the political/religious theme, and yet I could see it. Its surprising they don't hit more situations like this.

The big thing I did not care for, is the whole 'its our fault' theme that ran so long with the team. THey kept blaming themselves, despite evidence they just had bad timing, right through the end. Yet, as the reader, I did not see any way that it was 'their fault'. They might have made it a little worse than it might have been just by bringing something new into the mix. . .but they did not know, and couldn't know when people were not being straight with them. And in the end they did a LOT to help the people of Dalera. For all they were thanked.

I did find Rodney excessively arrogant in this one. . .but at the same time he's shown flare ups of it in the shows too, and he did eat a bit of humble pie through the whole thing so he wasn't terrible about it either.

So, yeah, a bit heavy handed, but all in all an interesting story and a good addition to the SGA pile.

Silent Order

The Silent Order - Melanie Dobson Very interesting novel. Lots of gangsters, a car chase, secrets and sneaking around. :)

For once I actually really liked a book with the Amish included. (None of the main characters were, however.)

The Stolen Lake

The Stolen Lake - Joan Aiken Interesting read. A bit odd. . .stranger than the others. Not sure if I liked it as well, though it was not bad either.
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase  - Joan Aiken I picked up 9 of these books yesterday at the recycling centre. They looked kind of interesting, though these editions don't have any real synopsis on the covers. I could not tell if they were fantasy or contemporary, childrens or adults. It was only when I got them home and looked it up that I realized I had the first 9 of the series. (Gotta love those free book shelves! :D)

Read the first one last night and I've got to say it was a pleasant surprise. While the story is clearly intended for children - albeit children of another age - it was a fun read for an adult as well, full of that childhood adventure of kids getting out 'on their own', everything going badly, then coming home again and all coming right in the end.

All in all, it was a pleasant evening's read and I look forward to reading the next one and am rather glad of having these added to my library.
The Husband Tree - Mary Connealy Another fun, easy read. Almost laughable in places, but in a good way. Some interesting turns of phrases that make the entire scenario a little comical. :)
Montana Rose - Mary Connealy Amusing read. Light and easy to get into. It keeps up a good pace and is very hard to put down.
David and the Phoenix - Edward Ormondroyd, Joan Rayso Quite enjoyed this one. Read the 'Gutenberg' version on my Ereader. Its a child's book, so a very quick and easy read for an adult. The story is light and rather humourous. The Phoenix is a bit of a dope, but amusingly so. His boastfulness and pride more a cover, without overshadowing the child character. (Although for a creature of 500 years old, he doesn't seem to know much). They get into some amusing adventures and out again.

My only 'real' complaint about the book is the VERY abrupt ending. It hits the climax, then just. . .stops. There is absolutely no wind-down or wrapping things up. You have no idea what happens to the boy - or if he gets into any sort of trouble afterwards. It just. . .cuts off.

Over all, though, apart from the very ending, this was a fun, fanciful read.

Even got a giggle out of me, which is rare. (The banshee wail just got me. The image of everyone being so spooked by the noise is really quite funny.)
Courting Miss Amsel - Kim Vogel Sawyer Quite enjoyed this one. Easy to read and with a fast enough pace that its hard to put down.
Winter's Awakening - Shelley Shepard Gray I really don't enjoy Amish-themed novels much. However I did actually enjoy this book. It does not push the Amish religion/beliefs much, nor even shove their 'simplistic' lifestyle on the reader. While things from both lifestyles are mentioned, of course, the story focuses more on the people, the similarities of dilemmas faced by both lifestyles and in general, how people deal with their relationships, decisions, etc.

It was a simple read. Nothing particularly convoluted or involved. It took me nearly half the book to settle in with the author's style of writing, but when I did I found I quite enjoyed the read, and enjoyed the characters.

All in all a very good series to curl up with for a cold evening's read. (Best read in front of a fire, with a cat in your lap and a cup of hot chocolate and a plate of fresh-baked cookies. :D)

Doctor in Petticoats - Mary Connealy All in all I enjoyed this one. It was a light-hearted story (mostly). It was fast paced and action packed, and did not really give the reader a chance to be bored.

I did have a few complaints with it, however.

Given the title, I expected a story about a woman doctor. Instead, she had 'medical training', but was not much more than a nurse and not once was she allowed to practice without the aid of a real doctor - and a man - in the vicinity. Rather disappointing, given the expectations of reading of an actual doctor.

I also found the book a bit 'goofy' through much of it. In some ways the tone just didn't ring quite true. The way the women were so ready to bash and crash and shoot better than any man sort of had me raising an eyebrow at the whole thing. It wasn't *bad*, but it did sort of lend a silly feel to things.

The hero of the story, Alec Buchanan, sort of struck me as a wimp. I mean, he was rather traumatized, but he didn't seem to have any real. . .pride or strength. He seemed a bit too dependant on Beth and without her in the story, he would have just slid into a useless puddle. None of the men seemed particularly strong, when it comes down to it. The father coming closest, but he was still out-gunned by the women who didn't seem to particularly need any help from anyone to look after themselves.

I don't know, it was an interesting read, and I would not mind getting my hands on the second book to find out what happened with the sister who moved away. . .but. . .well, yeah, just seemed kind of a goofy story to me. Not one to be taken seriously.

Nice, light read.

Currently reading

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