February 26, 2011

On My WishList #13 : Neil Gaiman books

On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted at Book Chick City.



On My Wishlist

Do you have any books that you desperately want but haven't bought yet? The books can be old, new or forthcoming.
***

This week I'm listing the books I'm looking for from one of my favourite authors. Some of which I've actually read, but don't own a copy of my own.



Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
InterWorldMirrorMask (children's edition)The Wolves in the Walls
Odd and the Frost GiantsAbsolute DeathStories: All-New Tales

February 24, 2011

Reviews : Illusions by Janet Dailey

Title : Illusions
Author : Janet Dailey
Reading Dates : 25 Jan - 27 Jan 2011
Illusions
Aspen
Books in the series :
  • Aspen Gold
  • Illusions
From goodreads :
Delaney Westcott is a security guard for the rich and famous who falls for a handsome cowboy named Jaret. When it ends suddenly, she throws herself into her work, vowing never to fall in love so deeply again. That is, until she finds herself in Jared's hometown on a dangerous job. Is she strong enough to refuse him now?


Book Review of Illusions.
Illusions has always been a very strange read for me. I don’t love it nor do I like it exactly. But there’s just this one particular character that I love and is the reason I re-read the book occasionally.

The favourite character I mentioned is Riley Owens. And the reason I love his character is because of the loyalty and devotion he has for Delaney. I mean he’s been in love with her for years and he’s also the one she depends on, but Delaney never sees him as anything more than her best friend because he’s never said anything. And the reason he hasn’t said a word, it’s because he’s giving her time to heal from a broken heart. On the one hand, it seems rather foolish. And on the other, it’s very sweet.

Unfortunately apart from Riley, I can’t say I care very much for the story or the other characters. I might have mentioned this before but I don’t like characters who can’t seem to decide who they’re in love with and Delaney’s vacillating between the men in her life was rather irritating. And as for the story, well a first time reader would probably be surprised at the twist in the story. I certainly never expected that what appeared to be a minor back story could be an important part of the ending. Knowing the end however lessens the impact as most of the story simply deals with Delaney’s current job.

My conclusions :
  • Would I re-read the book ? Maybe, but not frequently.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series if there were one? No.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? No.
  • Who would I recommend this too? This is a bit difficult because it doesn't quite fit into the romance or suspense category.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Borrow it.

February 21, 2011

It's Monday What Are You Reading ? #12

It's Monday What Are You Reading ? is hosted at Book Journey.
It's Monday What Are You Reading?

Where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.
***

What I Read:
  • The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
The Pillars of the Earth [Mass Market Paperback]


What I Reviewed:

What I’m Reading:
  • World Without End by Ken Follett
World Without End


What I Plan to Read next:
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman

February 20, 2011

In My Mailbox #13

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted at The Story Siren.
Anyone can participate. IMM is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week.
***

Won from Fresh Fiction: Signed copies of
Dragon Actually (Dragon Kin, Book 1)About A Dragon (Dragon Kin, Book 2)What a Dragon Should Know (Dragon Kin, Book 3)


For Review:
By Fire, By Water

February 19, 2011

Review : The Violet Keystone by Garth Nix

Title : The Violet Keystone
Author : Garth Nix
Reading Dates : 23 Jan - 26 Jan 2011
The Violet Keystone (The Seventh Tower, Book 6)
The Seventh Tower
The books in the series:
  • The Fall
  • Castle
  • Aenir
  • Above the Veil
  • Into Battle
  • The Violet Keystone
From Amazon :
The extraordinary conclusion to Garth Nix¹s best-selling fantasy epic. The veil has been lifted. The Dark World is on its way to destruction. Can Tal and Milla restore order in time?


Book Review of The Violet Keystone.
First off, I’d like to say that I would probably have loved the book more if I’d read it immediately after the previous one. The Violet Keystone is good but it doesn’t stand well on its own since I’m basically starting in the middle of a battle and am seeing out the end of it. Plus the necessarily fast pace doesn’t leave much time to get to know the main characters again and I took some time to recall where the story had stopped before. So, the next time I read this (and I will definitely re-read it), I’ll be borrowing the entire set and re-reading it at one go.

With that said, I think it’s pretty obvious that I enjoyed it. Both Tal and Milla have grown. While, I don’t quite “feel” this, I did note that the both of them are more willing to trust and depend on others as compared to the past.

Aside from that, I got to see more of the Castle and Aenir. Enough for me to wonder about what happened in the past and imagine what might happen next. The creatures or inventions which were left behind and only recently rediscovered hints at an extraordinary civilisation in the past, and with all the difficulty that the protagonists had, I can’t help but speculate on how their predecessors managed. And what about the new responsibilities and difficulties that Tal and Milla now have ? At the end of the tale, I definitely had a yen to read more stories set in this world.

My conclusions :
  • Would I re-read the book ? Definitely.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series if there one? Yes.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? Probably not. I enjoyed it but not so much that I'm thinking to re-read it often.
  • Who would I recommend this too? Fantasy and adventure readers.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Borrow it.

February 17, 2011

Review : Crooked Hearts by Patricia Gaffney

Title : Crooked Hearts
Author : Patricia Gaffney
Reading Dates : 19 Jan - 22 Jan 2011
Crooked Hearts
From goodreads :
When Grace and Reuben meet, she's dressed as a Catholic nun; he's posing as a blind Spanish aristocrat. But he gets an eyeful when the pretty sister lifts her skirt to adjust the little silver derringer strapped to her thigh. So begins this sexy, rollicking ride through the gambling halls and sinful streets of 1880s San Francisco, as an unusual pair of con-artists become partners in crime--and love.


Book Review of Crooked Hearts.
Crooked Hearts presents an interesting conundrum. On the one hand, I thought the plot was rather boring and presented very little surprises. On the other hand, I loved the characters and the way they related to each other. So, I both like the book and am bored by it at the same time.

In any case, the opening starts off well with the introduction of the main protagonists. Grace and Reuben’s first meeting is very funny and sets the tone for the rest of their dealings with each other. Neither of them has an ounce of trust for the other, yet that’s what makes them so right for each other and so wonderfully fun together.

And some of the supporting cast were hilarious too. My personal favourites were the Croaker brothers, Reuben’s unsavoury creditors. I loved how they could be such tough guys and yet have “principles” at the same time.

In the above character depictions, the story works because it’s so tongue-in-cheek. But at the same time, the antagonist of the tale was so ridiculous that I didn’t feel as if the protagonists would have any trouble outwitting him. Thus, making the later half of the book rather predictable.

Overall, an okay break and nice change of pace after the Millennium books.

My conclusions :
  • Would I re-read the book ? Maybe.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series if there were one? No.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? No
  • Who would I recommend this too? Romance readers.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Borrow it.

February 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays : World Without End by Ken Follett

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted at Should Be Reading.

Teaser Tuesdays

Share 2 teaser sentences from your current read. Be careful not to include spoilers
***

"The French attack us, so we attack the French," said Mother. "What is the sense of it?"
"Women will never understand," Father replied.
"That's the truth," she said crisply.
World Without End

February 12, 2011

Review : The Girl who Kicked the Hornets' Nest by Stieg Larsson

Title : The Girl who Kicked the Hornets' Nest
Author : Stieg Larsson
Reading Dates : 15 Jan - 18 Jan 2011
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (Paperback)
Millennium
The books in the series :
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • The Girl who Played with Fire
  • The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
From goodreads :
Lisbeth Salander--the heart of Larsson's two previous novels--is under close supervision in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She's fighting for her life in more ways than one: when she's well enough, she'll stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will have to prove her innocence, and to identify the corrupt politicians who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse. And, on her own, she will plot her revenge--against the man who tried to kill her and the government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Lisbeth Salander is ready to fight back.


Book Review of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest.

Like the earlier books, the final installment of the Millenium trilogy starts off rather slowly and bored me with too many details which never seems to have any bearing on the story. However, once the story proper starts, I become too engrossed to care about minor irritants.

What’s different about this last book is that it seems to be more a game of counter espionage mixed with a little courtroom drama. The tension and suspense as the cat and mouse game is being played out makes the book virtually unputdownable. But my favourite part is probably the little courtroom drama that I mentioned. There was something really satisfying in reading how one of Salander’s persecutors is finally taken apart.

The other parts I enjoyed was the introduction of the exclusive hacker community which Salander belongs too. The possibilities for a story there seemed endless and it was kind of sad to realize that there never would be more.

What was disturbing though was realizing that there were still people who might have repeated the same travesty visited on Salander before. And these people were supposedly on her side. Once again there were those who seemed to believe that there might be more important things than one person’s innocence and were it not for those few who were firmly in her corner, a repeat of the past might have been inevitable.

The ending though was less satisfying than I like. For a book which is fulled of details, the ending seemed lacking in particulars. It would have been nice to know a bit more of what happened afterwards with regards to both the antagonists and protagonists of the trilogy.

Still, I wouldn’t have miss this one for the world.

My conclusions :
  • Would I re-read the book ? Yes.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series if there were one? Definitely.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? Yes.
  • Who would I recommend this too? Lovers of intrigue and suspense.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Buy it.

Read another review on the book by :

February 10, 2011

Review : The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Title : The Girl who Played with Fire
Author : Stieg Larsson
Reading Dates : 12 Jan - 15 Jan 2011
The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium Trilogy)
Millennium
The books in the series :
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • The Girl who Played with Fire
  • The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
From goodreads :
Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposeƩ on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel. Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander's innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.


Book Review of The Girl Who Played with Fire.
Like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, my complaints regarding the second book is the same. The book starts too slowly and seems filled with plenty of inconsequential details until the actual murder investigations starts up.

However, I loved how we are given different perspectives into the murder investigation and how the pieces are eventually tied together. The case was made more interesting because I couldn’t be sure if Salander did or did not commit the crime in question. Like Blomkvist, I wanted her to be innocent but I was also well aware that Salander was quite capable of killing someone. More than half the fun was in watching the mystery surrounding the case and Salander being uncovered bit by bit as well as seeing Salander run circles around everyone else.

The other was the sense of a grave injustice being done and wanting to see the real criminals in the story pay for it. From the time that Salander’s name is made in connection with the case, it was almost as if the main purpose of the official investigation was to find evidence to convict her rather than run the risk that the murderer might be one of their own.

I’m definitely looking forward to reading the final book.

My conclusions :
  • Would I re-read the book ? Yes
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series ? Yes
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? Yes
  • Who would I recommend this too? Everyone who loves a good mystery.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Buy it.

Read another review on the book by :

February 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays : The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted at Should Be Reading.
Teaser Tuesdays

Share 2 teaser sentences from your current read. Be careful not to include spoilers
***

"What she needs," Tom said aloud, "is a husband."
Agnes said crisply: "Well, she can't have mine."
The Pillars of the Earth [Mass Market Paperback]

February 7, 2011

It's Monday What Are You Reading ? #11

It's Monday What Are You Reading ? is hosted at One Persons Journey through a World of Books.
It's Monday What Are You Reading?

Where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.
***

Unfortunately, I've been stuck on the same book for the past week and am still reading it ...

What I Reviewed:

What I’m Reading:
  • The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
The Pillars of the Earth [Mass Market Paperback]


What I Plan to Read next:
  • World Without End by Ken Follett
World Without End
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