Wednesday, May 26, 2010

(From my Goodreads) I promise that within the next few weeks I will have something new and sparkly for you but until then:

Touched by an Alien - Gini Koch

Ok, so first off based on the cover and the back description I wasn't expecting much.

I was wrong.

This book was not only surprisingly funny and fast-paced, it was semi-plausible and steamy.

I thought Kitty was going to be TSTL and that the romance was going to be by-the-numbers and blah blah blah blah I'd fall asleep in the middle. Nope. Kitty is smart, realistic, brave and flawed. A marketing manager who happens to be in the wrong place at the right time (depending on how you look at it), Katherine 'Kitty' Katt witnesses a man kill his wife but here's the kicker, he's not a man. He's a thing with wings. Using her fancy pen, she stabs it in the right place (which is not as crazy hand of the author as you'd think) and the next thing she knows all these great looking men in custom tailored suits show up out of thin air and whisk her away to a secret area.

Being that she's quick, she grasps all the information that they are part of the government and that there are things called super-beings and she's just killed one and 'hey, would you like to be recruited'? On top of that, Jeff Martini, the one who does the whisking, is already telling her he wants to marry her. Is he kidding? Kitty decides that yes, he's gorgeous but there are more important things to worry about right now. Namely, how did she get in this mess and wait, what do you mean super-beings and aliens?

As a comic-book geek (something I do happen to have in common with Kitty besides also working in marketing), Kitty can't help but make a few analogies which will help those that are fans and possibly confuse those that aren't but the point will get across because this book will dumb it down for you as the information gets disseminated by different characters.

Speaking of, we find out that the secondary characters (while not as fully-fleshed out) are very interesting in their own rights. There are some surprising secrets about Kitty's parents, Jeff & Christopher's (Jeff's surly cousin and partner who has a few surprises of his own) origins and as the plot and the mystery unrolls we get to see what these characters are made of.

While the villain is exactly that, a villain, you get the sense that though he's sort of like a typical comic book villain, it's not about him. It's about the damage he's caused and how it effects the characters and less about trying to humanize him.

Fast-paced and funny, this book borrows from several genres but in the end manages to still end up unique. It never takes itself too seriously, which is maybe why it doesn't fail. It's refreshing and a good read.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Darkly Luminous Fight for Miss Persephone Parker - Review

First of let me just say that Leanna Renee Hieber is a magical writer. While the prose in this book could've been tighter, it still contained an ethereal quality that both moved the reader and the plot.

Percy is back in this installment as Mrs. Alexi Rychmann, the wife of her beloved from the last book. Alexi is also her destiny. Unfortunately one cannot succumb to the joys of marital bliss when a dead God wants to take you back to the Underworld as payback for a Goddess' actions. You see, Percy is kind of sort a Goddess or at least a mortal carnation of one. Except she's also not. She has no memory of anything that Persephone did, has no wish to be pulled and poked by a story that should have ended long ago and frankly she's a little scared and tired of the visions that she keeps having.

But with the War between the Whisper-world and reality inching ever so closer, Percy, her husband and their friends have little choice in whether or not they want to comply. They were born to stand at the ready and unfortunately happiness has to take a backseat.

But it is something to fight for.

This book seems like the conclusion of the Percy books - making it two in total, and it was a nice ending. The battles and the war were big and the depth of emotion at things lost, betrayed or gained was almost tangible. Percy also grew a spine in this book, which is perfect because her husband could be quite overpowering and bossy, not to mention that in order for her to win the war, Percy needed to grow a pair.

This book is a 4.59 because again the prose could have been tighter and some of the story lines (early on) could've been less vague. Over all, it's a good ending to Percy and The Guard's fight.

When the limitations of publishing beat you to the punch

I have always hated looking at the stacks at Strand or going to B&N and seeing a book that looks interesting but never bought it due to price or unsure interest level.

As I was looking through sci-fi books to recommend to my husband I came across an Anne McCaffrey book that I saw in the store a few years back that I thought would be interesting:

From B&N

Her name was Killashandra Ree. And after ten grueling years of musical training, she was still without prospects. Until she heard of the mysterious Heptite Guild who could provide careers, security, and wealth beyond imagining. The problem was, few people who landed on Ballybran ever left. But to Killashandra the risks were acceptable....

And because I was stupid I didn't buy it when I saw it. So of course three years later when I'm looking for a book to read and I'm searching my bookstores I find part two. I don't know about the rest of you but I have to read a series in order.

Anyhoo, it happened to me with Dawn Cook, Anne McCaffrey and it's happening to me now with everyone from Merline Lovelace, Kathryne Kennedy and Victoria Thompson.

Thank goodness for Amazon.

However, the pain of realizing about three months down the road that you were actually interested in that random book that you saw but didn't think it would make sense to buy is actually gone and the sequel is coming out- ugh ick eep. Pain.

Any pain points of ya'll out there?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The first list - yes, the first- Fairy Tales part One

Yes, this picture has very little to do with actual books but I couldn't resist. Any receipt (the old-time term for recipes) that tells me to bake candy on a sunshiny day is a keeper in my book.

Anyway, I came across a list of fairy-tale imaginings on Sur La Lune and thought to myself, FABLES should be prominent on this page. So, I took up on myself to come up with a list of a few good Fairy-Tale re-tellings that are worth your time and effort.

Please allow me to direct your attention to the below list of Fairy-Tale Re-Tellings. Part One.


Bill Willingham and his crew of amazing pencillers, artists, letterers and the lot bring new life to the world of Fairy-Tales. In this re-imagning, the Fables are on the run from the "Adversary" after their Homeland has been razed, destroyed and subjugated to his blind, arrogant hateful whim. Fables such as Snow White, Rose Red, Bigby (the Big Bad Wolf), Boy Blue, Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, the witch from all those scary Hansel and Gretel type stories (Frau Totenkinder if you please) and Jack of all Fables, are now nestled into NYC, living on a peaceful stretch of Manhattan and hoping for a day that they can reclaim their homelands.

There are several rules in which one must abide by in order to be accepted into Fabletown but one glorious caveat to joining  - all your past sins are erased and you can start anew; Tabula Rosa.  Of course, there are those that just don't understand what it means to not commit crimes and intrigue and the first installment deals with the 'death' of Rose Red.

For those that aren't human enough to dwell within Manhattan, there is the Farm in upstate NY. Further adventures happen up there and animals such as the Three Blind Mice, the Goose that lays the Golden Eggs and the Cow that jumped over the moon are all hanging out up there. Sure, there are times of unrest but what unites them all is the constant threat of the Adversary on their new home and the thirteen installments (thus far) deal with the war, the characters and the intrigue that lies behind every Fable door.