December 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday : A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted at Breaking the Spine.
Waiting on Wednesday
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan

Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, readers have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over forty million copies in over thirty languages.

When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork. With The Gathering Storm (Book 12) and Towers of Midnight (Book 13) behind him, both of which were # 1 New York Times hardcover bestsellers, Sanderson now re-creates the vision that Robert Jordan left behind.

Edited by Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s books, A Memory of Light will delight, enthrall, and deeply satisfy all of Jordan’s legions of readers.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass.
What was, what will be, and what is,
may yet fall under the Shadow.
Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

December 22, 2012

On My Wishlist : Next in my Series Addiction #2

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. . . .

But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others--a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords. . .

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

It seems too good to be true. After centuries of bitter strife and fatal treachery, the seven powers dividing the land have decimated one another into an uneasy truce. Or so it appears. . . . With the death of the monstrous King Joffrey, Cersei is ruling as regent in King’s Landing. Robb Stark’s demise has broken the back of the Northern rebels, and his siblings are scattered throughout the kingdom like seeds on barren soil. Few legitimate claims to the once desperately sought Iron Throne still exist—or they are held in hands too weak or too distant to wield them effectively. The war, which raged out of control for so long, has burned itself out.

But as in the aftermath of any climactic struggle, it is not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters start to gather, picking over the bones of the dead and fighting for the spoils of the soon-to-be dead. Now in the Seven Kingdoms, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed, while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—are seen emerging from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges ahead.

It is a time when the wise and the ambitious, the deceitful and the strong will acquire the skills, the power, and the magic to survive the stark and terrible times that lie before them. It is a time for nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages to come together and stake their fortunes . . . and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests—but only a few are the survivors.

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance once again--beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has three times three thousand enemies, and many have set out to find her. Yet, as they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

To the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone--a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge yet. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

And from all corners, bitter conflicts soon reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all. . . .

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Halfblood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six--who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?

The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land to find the Doors of Death. What exactly are the Doors of Death? Much of the prophecy remains a mystery. . . .

With old friends and new friends joining forces, a marvelous ship, fearsome foes, and an exotic setting, The Mark of Athena promises to be another unforgettable adventure by master storyteller Rick Riordan.

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.

December 14, 2012

Review : The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Title : The Son of Neptune
Author : Rick Riordan
Reading Dates : 14 Nov - 15 Nov 2012
Total Pages : 511

From Amazon :

Percy is confused. When he awoke after his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain-fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight. Somehow Percy managed to make it to the camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he had to continually kill monsters that, annoyingly, would not stay dead. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him.

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. When the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now, because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother claims he is descended from ancient heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery—although not good enough to help the Fifth Cohort win at war games. His big and bulky physique makes him feel like a clumsy ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely—enough, even, to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the “other” camp for half-bloods and extending as far north as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment in the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all of whom are destined to play a part in the most important quest of all: the Prophecy of Seven.

Heroes of Olympus
  • The Lost Hero
  • The Son of Neptune
  • The Mark of Athena

Book Review of The Son of Neptune.

I loved parts of The Son of Neptune while finding other parts a bit boring. The parts I loved almost always involves Percy Jackson while the boring bits are the ones focused on the other 2 new demigods, Hazel Levesque and Frank Zhang.

Percy shines as a character. I supposed in part this is because I already know him from the Percy Jackson series but mostly its the character himself. His reactions to what’s going on around him is funny. One of the things I like about Percy is that he’s never mean but he makes you see how ridiculous the behaviour and customs the other characters accepts are. And that he’s never afraid to make his feelings known, even to an all-powerful goddess. How he handles meeting Juno again at the end of The Son of Neptune is one of my favourite parts in the book.

On the other hand, Hazel and Frank are boring. Even by the end of The Son of Neptune, I couldn’t understand why these 2 particular demigods should be included in the team of 7 most powerful demigods. Hazel’s powers aren’t that powerful when I compare it against some of the other demigods. As for Frank, the emphasis here are the abilities he inherited from his Greek ancestor rather than his Roman parentage. This, I think is an extraordinary waste because the story has them fighting as individuals often rather than the team they’re supposed to be.

What I really loved about The Son of Neptune though, is the return of the humour and wit which had me falling for the Percy Jackson series. A few of their encounters had me laughing hysterically. Why shouldn’t a Greek goddess believe in Feng Shui or a gorgon offer free samples while attempting murder?

Oh, I wish I had The Mark of Athena now. I can’t wait to have Percy and Annabeth together again saving the world.

My verdict : I loved it.

If you're interested to buy the book the Amazon, you can find it HERE.

December 13, 2012

Review : The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Title : The Lost Hero
Author : Rick Riordan
Reading Dates : 11 Nov - 14 Nov 2012
Total Pages : 551

From Amazon :
This is the number one, bestselling title in this new spin-off series from Percy Jackson creator, Rick Riordan.

Old enemies awaken as camp half-blood's new arrivals prepare for war. When Jason, Piper and Leo crash land at Camp Half-Blood, they have no idea what to expect. Apparently this is the only safe place for children of the Greek Gods - despite the monsters roaming the woods and demigods practising archery with flaming arrows and explosives. But rumours of a terrible curse - and a missing hero - are flying around camp. It seems Jason, Piper and Leo are the chosen ones to embark on a terrifying new quest, which they must complete by the winter solstice in just four days time. Can the trio succeed on this deadly mission - and what must they sacrifice in order to survive?

Heroes of Olympus
  • The Lost Hero
  • The Son of Neptune
  • The Mark of Athena

Book Review of BookTitle.

I enjoyed The Lost Hero, not as much as I loved the Percy Jackson series, but good enough to have me continuing with the next book in the series immediately.

Jason Grace, The Lost Hero in question is in a different mould from Percy Jackson. More responsible and obedient to the orders and whims of the gods he serves. And while this doesn’t make him a wimp, it does make him less interesting as a character. Also, the way he handles his memory loss, taking everything in stride, doesn’t seem very plausible to me either. I wouldn’t think it unreasonable if he threw some temper tantrums at the cause of his problem.

The other 2 new demigods introduced here however make up for whatever complaints I had about Jason. Piper McLean and Leo Valdez both need time to grow into the responsibilities thrust onto them. And the quest they’re on, to find and free Hera certainly gives them plenty of chances. I really enjoyed how both of them grow into the potential hinted at the beginning of the quest and how by the end of their journey, accept their own strengths and weaknesses. The responsibilities they take on at the end is the best indication of this.

My favourite part in the story though is Leo’s first meeting with the mechanical dragon he names Festus. Leo’s reactions was totally unbelievable and incredibly sweet. Its no wonder that Fergus forgoes snacking on him.

Other than that, The Lost Hero is not as funny as the Percy Jackson books. I’d enjoyed how Rick Riordan mixed ancient myth with modern technology in the earlier books. Here, sadly the same flair is missing.

A good start, but what I really want now is to read about Percy Jackson again.

My verdict : I liked it.

If you're interested to buy the book the Amazon, you can find it HERE.

December 11, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays : George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted at Should Be Reading.

Teaser Tuesdays

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

George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

From Page 14

I know exactly what I'll do. I shall make her a new medicine, one that is so strong and so fierce and so fantastic it will either cure her completely or blow off the top of her head.

December 7, 2012

Review : The Devil's Bones by Jefferson Bass

Title : The Devil's Bones

Author : Jefferson Bass

Reading Dates : 3 Nov - 8 Nov 2012

Total Pages :309

The Body Farm
  • Carved in Bone
  • Flesh and Bone
  • The Devil's Bones
  • Bones of Betrayal
  • The Bone Thief
  • The Bone Yard
  • The Inquisitor's Key
From Amazon :
A woman's charred body has been found inside a burned car atop a hill in Knoxville. Forensic anthropologist Bill Brockton is on the case, torching bodies to research how fire consumes flesh and bone. Days later, he receives a mysterious package - a set of cremated remains that seems entirely unreal. As Brockton investigates, he uncovers a truth too horrifying to believe Meanwhile, disgraced medical examiner, and Brockton's nemesis, Garland Hamilton, has escaped from custody. A deadly game of cat and mouse begins, with Brockton's life at stake. Finally running Hamilton to ground, Brockton finds only the incinerated remains of his enemy, or does he? Before he finds the truth, Brockton will face his ultimate test.

Book Review of The Devil's Bones.

Of the 3 Body Farm mysteries by Jefferson Bass that I’ve read, The Devil’s Bones is probably my favorite. Which is not saying much, considering the reason I prefer it to the others. Its not so much the story or characters which I like, as the description of Miranda’s reconstruction of a skull that I enjoy.

Watching a skull reconstruction on television isn’t as satisfying as reading about it. At least, this was the feeling I got while reading The Devil’s Bones. On television, its like watching a jigsaw puzzle coming together. While you know its more than that, the knowledge is something more on the periphery. Reading about it though, the expertise and skill involved is inescapable.

Apart from that though, the story wasn’t much to talk about. In fact, I have complaints regarding the storyline and pacing. The plot seems to meander quite a number of times. This is most likely due to the fact that Dr. Bill Brockton is investigating more than 1 case at once and the author can’t seem to decide which should be the focus of the story. Then, there are moments when the characters actions seem to contradict each other. One moment, we have people running crazily to escort Bill Brockton to safety when an enemy of his escapes incarceration. The next, we have him going happily off on his own without anyone showing more than a modicum of concern for his safety.

All in all, I think this ends my experiment with The Body Farm thriller series.

My conclusions :

  • Would I re-read the book ? Not really.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series ? No.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? No.
  • Who would I recommend this too? Thriller or mystery readers.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? Borrow it.

December 4, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays : Changeling by Philippa Gregory and The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted at Should Be Reading.

Teaser Tuesdays

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

Changeling by Philippa Gregory

From Page 17

"Perhaps I am sending out a changeling to map fear itself," he said to himself, as he tidied the papers together and pushed back his chair. "What a joke for the worlds seen and unseen! A faerie child in the Order. A faerie child to map fear."

The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

From Page 59

"Sure sounds like another curse to me," said McCorkle.
"I would guess it's merely an obscure quotation from the Book of the Dead. The bloody thing runs to two hundered chapters and nobody's figured all of it out."
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