Book Review: Habibi by Craig Thompson

Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world (not unlike our own) fueled by fear, lust, and greed; and as they discover the extraordinary depth — and frailty — of their connection.

At once contemporary and timeless, Habibi gives us a love story of astounding resonance: a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling

This one was the assigned read for my book club this month and I wish I had liked it better. The subject matter was pretty tense for a lot of it but overall I just felt kind of “meh” about the book. Maybe it is just because I am not a graphic novel reader?

The drawing and images were well done and you could really see the beauty in it but for me the story was just kind of meh. I think a lot of the Orientalist things brought about in this novel are what set me to not enjoying that much. I struggled a little but the beauty in the drawings can’t be missed either so 3 gemstones for this one mostly because of the beauty of the art.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #10) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Hamilton’s vampire-hunting Anita Blake faces a plethora of foes in her tenth outing. Just returned to St. Louis after six months away, Anita is still no closer to choosing between her lovers–Jean-Claude, a vampire, and Richard, a werewolf. But she has to rely on both for help after two of the wereleopards that she has been watching are abducted at a seedy club called Narcissus in Chains. Anita and her boyfriends rescue the wereleopards from the sinister people holding them, but Anita is wounded in the fight and put at risk of becoming a wereleopard herself. Richard angrily captures the wereleopard he believes is responsible and threatens to execute him. Anita must now rescue that wereleopard from Richard and the werewolves he leads, even as she mourns the apparent end of her relationship with him. Then she realizes that those who kidnapped the first two wereleopards are targeting other lycanthropes. Maybe she will be next. With plenty of steamy sex and graphic violence, this is engaging reading for vampire cultists.

Alright, I love this series. I have loved that Anita is a kick ass and ask question later kind of girl. I love that she doesn’t give into things easily and she is her own woman. With that said this has so far been my least favorite book in the series. It is not the sex, I have not issues with sex scenes in books. It is how much is going on, how much Anita seems to have no control and some of the reasons for the sex and how the scenes are.

Honestly there does not seem to be a whole lot of plot to this book, there are some bad guys and they are attacking as usual but the bulk of the book is spent fighting the Ardour. Having sex with people or close to sex with people, my least favorite is Micha. Anita was for all purposes raped. She said no. No many times and never actually said yes and they had sex anyways. I mean seriously? COME ON. Just seems very not Anita like to me. Richard needs to just be kicked in the face I am tired of his complaining. Who stands out for me as someone who grew in the right direction in this book? Nathaniel. He seems to be starting to get some back bone and be a bit of a man. Good for him.

Bottom line is I don’t hate the book but it was not my favorite at all either.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Prince Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #11) by Anne Rice

The novel opens with the vampire world in crisis…vampires have been proliferating out of control; burnings have commenced all over the world, huge massacres similar to those carried out by Akasha in The Queen of the Damned… Old vampires, roused from slumber in the earth are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto, and San Francisco. As the novel moves from present-day New York and the West Coast to ancient Egypt, fourth century Carthage, 14th-century Rome, the Venice of the Renaissance, the worlds and beings of all the Vampire Chronicles—Louis de Pointe du Lac; the eternally young Armand, whose face is that of a Boticelli angel; Mekare and Maharet, Pandora and Flavius; David Talbot, vampire and ultimate fixer from the secret Talamasca; and Marius, the true Child of the Millennia; along with all the other new seductive, supernatural creatures—come together in this large, luxuriant, fiercely ambitious novel to ultimately rise up and seek out who—or what—the Voice is, and to discover the secret of what it desires and why…

And, at the book’s center, the seemingly absent, curiously missing hero-wanderer, the dazzling, dangerous rebel-outlaw—the great hope of the Undead, the dazzling Prince Lestat

I was excited when I heard that Prince Lestat was going to be published and yet I was also on the fence. The Vampire chronicles were my first big introduction into the world of vampires they got me involved with them and made me enjoy the genre. It was because of them and the bar that was set so high I did not read other vampire novels for a while. The reason I was on the fence however is because the last few chronicle books fell short for me and I feel as if there was some betrayal that happened within them. That aside I have read everything else by Anne Rice so I had to read Prince Lestat.

I liked it. The opening was solid and enjoyable. It was fun checking in with Lestat again and Louis and Armand. I truly enjoyed revisiting characters that I have loved for so many years. However, things started to fall apart. The story being told from so many points of view was just to much. There were to many new people introduced, voices that we did not need to hear and for my personal preference did not want to. I wanted to stay with those I already knew and get more from them.

The book jumps around rapidly from time period to time period from point of view to point of view and really at the end of the day it ended up being to much. I did not hate the book by any means but as much as I wanted to love it I couldn’t and if I am truly honest it was in the end a bit of a struggle to finish. Not the best start to a new year of reading but it could have been worse.

My Gemstone Rating:


Year in Review & the 2015 Challenges

Happy New year very soon! I am just getting this post going along so I can be ready and prepared for a whole new year. I admit I did not meet all of my goals this year for reading. I do however have a very good reason why. Divorce and a cross country move will do that to you. However there is no reason to be let down and stay in the dumps about it. No 2015 is a new year with new goals.

So here is how this year shook out with the reading challenges:

On goodreads I set out to read 75 books I read 57.

I did not complete my goal of 25 historical fiction books.
I smashed my Witches and Wizards goal of 10 by reading the entire Dresden series.
I completed half of my goal of 10 vampire books by reading 5
I completed 2 of 5 of my net galley challenge
TBR goal was 21 I completed 11
Historical romance was only 3 books completed
8 letters left from the Alphabet soup challenge
5 completed for the read my freebies challenge
7 of 12 done for the British book challenge

All in all could be worse but could be much better. So here we go for the challenges for 2015

Goodreads: 60 books
Historical Fiction Challenge: Victorian reader – 5 books
Witches & Witchcraft Challenge: Maiden: Read 6 – 10 Witchy Books
Fur & Fangs Challenge: 10 books
British Book Challenge: 12 books
Read your Freebies: Coupon Clipper: read 12 ebooks
Historical Romance: 1–6 books
TBR Challenge: 1-10 A Firm Handshake
Alphabet Soup Challenge: A-Z

For links to each sign up page for the challenges please hit the Challenge page!

Here is to a great 2015!

Book Review: Passive Aggressive Notes: Painfully Polite and Hilariously Hostile Writings by Kerry Miller

Part voyeuristic entertainment, part group therapy, Passive Aggressive Notes offers a fascinating look at the all-too-familiar frustrations of embattled office drones, apartment dwellers, parents, and pet owners everywhere.

This curated collection combines dozens of outrageous, never-before-seen notes as well as favorites from Passiveaggressivenotes.coma 2008 Webby Award Winner and the official “Best Blog” of the South by Southwest Interactive festival

This was just a short and easy read sent to me by a dear friend when I was going through some very icky stuff. I loved this little romp through passive aggressive notes and I can remember seeing ones like this back when I worked in an office environment. If you want something fast and easy that will just make you laugh while you are reading it I would recommend this one. If you are easily offended by a bit of snark it might not be for you but heck I had a lot of good fun with this one!

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera #1) by Jim Butcher

In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies-elementals of earth, air, fire, water and metal, fifteen-year-old Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. But when his homeland erupts in chaos-when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies-Tavi’s simple courage will turn the tides of war.

I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. I am just kind of meh about the Furies of Calderon. I really wanted to love this one since I love the Dresden Files so much, but I felt the throw into this new realm was a bit to heavy and fast. There was no leading up into it just plunk here you go good luck. I could not connect to any of the characters either. What I did like was the sword battles and the usual fantasy fun that you can enjoy. I will try the second Codex but overall just a little meh on this one. Which makes me a sad Panda.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Changes (The Dresden Files #12) by Jim Butcher

In Changes (The Dresden Files #12) by Jim Butcher we are reminded that Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden’s lover—until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it.

Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it—against Harry. To prevail this time, he may have no choice but to embrace the raging fury of his own untapped dark power. Because Harry’s not fighting to save the world…

He’s fighting to save his child.

Holy crap Harry has a kid. Holy crap Harry has a kid. Is what went through my head from the moment that we find out that Harry has a kid. I mean seriously, holy crap. From there I can honestly say I enjoyed the book. Harry has to make a lot of tough choices in this book and while I won’t give it away by saying what all those choices are but trust me in this they are big. This is perhaps the biggest adventure yet for Harry and what he has to take on to get his child back.

The ending will rip your heart out it surely did mine but it had its good spots too. The world of Harry is getting darker by the chapter and pretty soon I would say something has to give. The question is what will it be? Another solid installment of the series, Jim Butcher keeps on giving.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Turn Coat (The Dresden Files #11) by Jim Butcher

When it comes to the magical ruling body known as the White Council, Harry keeps his nose clean and his head down. For years, the Council has held a death mark over Harry’s head. He’s still thought of as a black sheep by some and as a sacrificial lamb by others. But none regard him with more suspicion and disdain than Morgan, a veteran Warden with a grudge against anyone who bends the rules.

Like Harry.

So when Morgan turns up asking for help, Harry isn’t exactly eager to leap into action. Morgan has been accused of treason against the White Council, and there’s only one final punishment for that crime. He’s on the run, he wants his name cleared, and he needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog.

Like Harry.

Now Harry must uncover a traitor within the Council, keep a less than agreeable Morgan under wraps, and avoid coming under scrutiny himself. And a single mistake may cost someone his head.

Like Harry…

This many books into a series you expect to see stories being reused or that the books will just start to be lack luster overall. That is not the case with Harry at all! Once again we get a big delivery with a fresh story and new twists that I can say had my mouth hanging open. Not only that but by the end of this one, I had a respect for Morgan I did not before.

As a reader I disliked Morgan because of his dislike of Harry, but this explained a lot more to us as well. The action in this one is great and Harry is running around being Harry. I love this book. Another win for the Dresden files I highly reccomend Turn Coat.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book review: The Widow of Larkspur Inn (Gresham Chronicles #1) by Lawana Blackwell

When Life Seemed Its Worst, Gresham Awaited

Julia Hollis’ opulent life in Victorian London crashes to pieces when her husband passes away. Worse, she is told by his bankers that he gambled away their fortune. Now, the family’s hope rests on The Larkspur, an old abandoned coaching inn in the quaint village of Gresham.

Driven by dread and her desire to provide for her children, Julia decides to turn the dilapidated inn into a lodging house. But can she–who was accustomed to servants attending to every need–do what needs to be done and cope when boarders begin arriving? And then an eligible new vicar moves into town..

The Widow of Larkspur Inn was a decent story. I went in knowing it would have a fair amount of God refrences as it was Chrisian Lit but towards the end of this book it got to be a bit much, very preachy. With that said the begining was a bit slow and there were the problems in the end, however the middle was good.

I enjoy watching the growth of the family once they move to the Larkspur and seeing how each member changes. The grow and get stronger. The cast of characters that come to live in the Inn are funny and watching them grow is interesting as well. It almost made me want to go and have a bed and breakfast myself! Overall this is a good read and if you can get past the slow points and the preaching I think you would enjoy it as well.

My Gemstone Rating:


Review: Long Time Waiting by Michelle Bennett

In a rare chain of events, a young man is allured by the beauty and passion of one of the most beautiful woman in his city. She surrenders to his desire and shows him things he has never experienced before. Long Time Waiting is guaranteed to get you aroused,and keep you intrigued to the last page.

So this book was guarenteed to get me aroused and it just didn’t. Have you ever had one of those books that is nto good and not bad it just is meh? It does not have anything overly memoral about it? Sadly for me that was the case with long time waiting. The writing was not bad, but not hot and just not memorable for me.

My Gemstone Rating:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...