Book Review: The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #2)

Harold Gaynor offers Anita Blake a million dollars to raise a 300-year-old zombie. Knowing it means a human sacrifice will be necessary, Anita turns him down. But when dead bodies start turning up, she realizes that someone else has raised Harold’s zombie–and that the zombie is a killer. Anita pits her power against the zombie and the voodoo priestess who controls it.

In The Laughing Corpse Anita will learn that there are some secrets better left buried-and some people better off dead..

So we see an increase to 4 gems from the second Anita Blake book for me that will please a friend of mine.

Anita spends the whole of the book swimming in Alligators as she says and the danger is ramped up even more. This time however the danger does not come from Vampires, granted Jean Claude could be a danger but he is far to cute and rather fancies her so don’t think we have to much to worry about there at the moment. No the danger is from Vodoo and Zombies! Now I am not on the whole Zombie band wagon and Zombie Apocalypse and all of that, but I like a well written plot involving dark magic and boy there was some dark magic going on in this one. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but this was a nice fun read, and when Anita fully embraces her power over the dead well, watch out everybody. She knows how to command her Zombies and even gets the attention of the “undead” as well. I will be looking forward to the next read in this series, maybe she will put on some heels again!

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Three angels – Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human – are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.

Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong.

The angel’s mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?

This was an impulse get from the library and turned to be out one of those, backfires of when I think a cover looks cool. Boy was I wrong. This book was complete and utter drivel I wanted to hide it so that no one would check it out again, but then I did not want to have to pay the fee for a lost book. So it went back. The plot is not original at all not one iota Two people fall in love only one is not a person yada yada.

The other reason besides the utter drivel? Well Angel from heaven gets drunk and contemplates sex before marriage. Nuff said. Hey everyone knows I am a Pagan but I was raised Catholic and I know the rules. So unless we are going the Loki and Bartleby route knock it OFF. Like seriously.

Gave it two gems (stars) for the cover.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Faerie Wars (The Faerie Wars Chronicles #1) by Herbie Brennan

When Henry Atherton helps Mr. Fogarty clean up around his house, he expects to find a mess and a cranky old man; what he doesn’t expect to find is Pyrgus Malvae, crown prince of the Faerie realm, who has escaped the treacherous Faeries of the Night by traveling to the human world through a portal powered by trapped lightning. An egomaniacal demon prince, greedy glue factory owners Brimstone and Chalkhill, and the nefarious Lord Hairstreak, leader of the Faeries of the Night, all dream of ruling the Faerie realm and are out to kill Pyrgus.

Enlisting the help of his sister, Holly Blue, and his new friend, Henry, Pyrgus must get back to the Faerie world alive before one of his many enemies gets to him instead. But how many portals are open, and can Pyrgus find the right one before it falls into the wrong hands?

Conjuring scenes filled with vivid color, unforgettable detail, and fearless characters, author Herbie Brennan brings readers to the Faerie world, where nothing is ever what it seems and no one can be trusted

I am very glad that I got this one at the library because if I had spent money on it I would have been very disappointed. This book was just pretty bad. Now I know it is a young adult novel but I actually think to get enjoyment out of this one it would have to be geared even younger, and even then I am not sure.

The first many chapters run very slow and I mean like a frozen river in the middle of a Minnesota winter. Most younger readers I know like things to be a bit more up tempo then that. Some of the humor was pretty good and that is why I plugged along and why it got two stars.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) by Richelle Mead

Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose…

It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks… This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…

This one started off really a little bit slow for me. I don’t know if it was my mood or the book or what it was but the first few chapters were a little ho hum to me. However it did pick up and I enjoyed it when it did. Rose is of course having all sorts of teen angst problems between her want for hunky Russian mentor Dimitri and then to make matters worse for her Mom shows up.

Along with everything else royal clans are being slaughtered. Not a good thing at all. I won’t give spoilers but let us just say things end with a very big bang kind of moment and Rose comes into her own. Not bad not bad at all.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle by Amy Fecteau

Matheus Taylor didn’t ask to be murdered.

To be fair, the percentage of people actually asking to be murdered is probably small enough to be safely ignored, but he felt it was worth stating regardless.

His life might have been ordinary, but it was his life and he wasn’t done with it yet. Quin didn’t care. A seventeen-hundred old Roman, Quintus Livius Saturnius had a different view of morality than most people. Killing Matheus and hijacking his undead existence seemed perfectly acceptable to him.

Now, Matheus spends his nights running for his life, questioning his sexual orientation, and defying a mysterious new threat to the vampires within his city. Not that he set out to do any defying; he just wanted to be left alone.

Unfortunately, that was never going to happen.

This book was fantastic. I laughed, I worried, for the most part I did not want to stab anyone for getting Vampire mythology wrong. I did however want to stab the bad guys and I did have a little bit of a fit when the book ended. Not because the ending was bad mind you, but because it just dropped off and I wanted more. I hope there will be another book.

It is hard to say who I love more, Mat or Quin they are both sarcastic humor kind of guys that just make you laugh as they banter with one another. If I was forced to pick one I think it would be Quin because in many ways he reminds me of what Marcus Antonius might have been if he was a vampire. A killer at destroying those who need it, a man with rules (no feeding from women who are pregnant) and sarcastic as the day is long when the occasion calls for it.

Love this book, because guess what? Real Vampires don’t sparkle.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Published over ten years ago by Ace, Guilty Pleasures marked the debut of a series that was destined to grow from cult favorite to a major New York Times bestseller. Now, for long-time Anita Blake junkies and newfound fans, Guilty Pleasures makes its trade paperback debut. Readers will learn how Anita Blake started raising the dead-and killing the undead. And how she met Jean Claude, the master vampire destined to become not only her biggest nemesis, but her greatest lover..

There are somethings I loved about this book and somethings that I just kinda went Meh about. That said it was enough of a decent introduction to make me want to read the next book in the series, so for a First series book that is not to bad. I have had friends trying to get me to read this book since it was first published, so success there right?

Anita well she did grow from the start of the book to the end of the book. She is a bit Buffy like although naive season 1 Buffy and well I am not so much a fan of how much see seems to sweat. I mean I get it scared is scared but the author could have found another way to talk about it I think. I also knew who the Vampire murderer was about 150 or so pages before Anita did, so that takes a little of the fun out of it.

Jean Claude I like over all but, I think I need to see more of him to know for sure if I like him or not. After all he has been locked in a box for most of this book. Edward now there is a guy I can like. A killer yes, but hey that is his job, he is good at it, loves it and makes no apologies. So at the end of the day I will be reading the next book, it was a fun enough book not my favorite but not a stinker.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison

Ailsbet loves nothing more than music; tall and red-haired, she’s impatient with the artifice and ceremony of her father’s court. Marissa adores the world of her island home and feels she has much to offer when she finally inherits the throne from her wise, good-tempered father. The trouble is that neither princess has the power–or the magic–to rule alone, and if the kingdoms can be united, which princess will end up ruling the joint land? For both, the only goal would seem to be a strategic marriage to a man who can bring his own brand of power to the throne. But will either girl be able to marry for love? And can either of these two princesses, rivals though they have never met, afford to let the other live?

I wanted to love this book. I loved the idea of the different magics and the royal court and all of that. Unfortunately I just could not connect with any of the characters in this book and so just could not fully connect with the book. It was not that it was badly written at all, there just to me seemed to be something missing.

Also why the magic system is cool the Taweyr and Neweyr are never really explained fully to you. Without having that information of back story and importance of the magic’s you can not fully connect with that part of the story either. So over all it just kind of falls flat. I think if you have enjoyed this authors work in the past you will enjoy this one too, but I for one just could not connect with it.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Queen of Kings by Maria Dahvana Headley

A thrilling, chilling reimagining of the story of the most famous woman in history.

Once there was a queen of Egypt…a queen who became through magic something else…

The year is 30 BC. Octavian Caesar and his massed legions are poised to enter Alexandria. A messenger informs Egypt’s queen, Cleopatra, that her beloved Mark Antony has died by his own hand. Desperate to save her kingdom, resurrect her husband and protect all she holds dear, Cleopatra turns to the gods for help. Ignoring the warnings of those around her, she summons Sekhmet, goddess of death and destruction, and strikes a mortal bargain. And not even the wisest of Egypt’s scholars could have predicted what would follow…

For, in return for Antony’s soul, Sekhmet demands something in return: Cleopatra herself. And so Egypt’s queen is possessed. She becomes an immortal, shape-shifting, not-quite-human manifestation of a deity who seeks to destroy the world. Fighting to preserve something of her humanity, Cleopatra pursues Octavian back to Rome: she desires revenge, she yearns for her children…and she craves human blood.

It is a journey that will take her from the tombs of the Pharaohs to the great amphitheatres of imperial Rome and on, to Hell itself where, it seems, the fate of the world will finally be decided.

Blending authentic historical fiction and the darkest of fantasy, Queen of Kings is a spectacular and spellbinding feat of the imagination that fans of Neil Gaiman, Diana Gabaldon, George R.R. Martin, Patricia Briggs, Philippa Gregory, and Ridley Scott’s Gladiator won’t want to miss.

Alright this book has me all conflicted and irate and I may have to go back and read it at a later date when I can separate myself a little bit better. Or maybe the book just was not nearly as good as I had hoped it would be there was so much hope for it. Queen of Kings has all the right stuff, Ancient love story, Ancient battles and Ancient Magic. So why does it flop?

First of all it jumps around to much. WAY to much. You get the story through way to many pairs of eyes and characters and you can simply not feel connected to any of them. Secondly there really is not much of Cleopatra for a book that was supposed to be about her. Then for me the biggest botch of them all was how many times they brought Antony back and then shoved him back into the land of the dead. Antony is by far the historical person I most enjoy, I even call myself a fan girl. It is hard enough to always read of his death the way it is said to have happened. But to endure it several times? It is to much. The first time is when Cleopatra makes her deal with the Lion Goddess of Old for his Soul. Antony is brought back and he lives and begins to heal under her hands, sadly before he can fully recover he is killed again with a sword skewer. I mean really..similar things happen again and again with his shade and such.

I will try this one again maybe next year. For now it is a two star.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Girls and Monsters by Anne Michaud

Release Date: April 30th 2013

This dark but uplifting collection of five Young Adult novellas includes:

Death Song: Liz is in love with Joe, but the monster of the lake has other plans for them.

Black Dog: Scarlet is engaged in a struggle for her sanity, but according to the voice in her head, she may be too late.

A Blue Story: When Katherine’s beloved dog goes missing, she fears her strange new neighbor might be involved.

Dust Bunnies: Christiane faces her childhood arachnophobia and ends up confronting even greater fears in this test of sisterhood.

We Left at Night: Brooke and her family must abandon their home and their lives to make it out of a disease-plagued town overrun by zombies.

Girls & Monsters is for everyone who has ever been brave enough to confront their childhood fears…and lived to tell about it.

Overall this book was just okay. Several of the stories just kind of lacked for me, We left at Night and Death Song for me stick out as the ones that just kind of sat there for me. However I really enjoyed A Blue Story and Dust Bunnies was a fast section to read. It is not a terrible book I think a little refining and it would be a really good book. But it is not a great book either. If you like Angsty stuff that has little monsters here and there you will like most of it at least.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray

Heiress of one empire and prisoner of another, it is up to the daughter of Cleopatra to save her brothers and reclaim what is rightfully hers…

To Isis worshippers, Princess Selene and her twin brother Helios embody the divine celestial pair who will bring about a Golden Age. But when Selene’s parents are vanquished by Rome, her auspicious birth becomes a curse. Trapped in an empire that reviles her heritage and suspects her faith, the young messianic princess struggles for survival in a Roman court of intrigue. She can’t hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her hands, nor can she stop the emperor from using her powers for his own ends. But faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined to resurrect her mother’s dreams. Can she succeed where her mother failed? And what will it cost her in a political game where the only rule is win-or die?

So those who know me best will know why I both loved..and tossed this book across the room several times (yes I mean you melda, Legolas..ect).

I am firmly Pro Antony and Cleopatra and Anti Octavian and I love to read about this period in time it feels like going home to me. Stephanie Dray introduces us to the children of Antony and Cleopatra just after Antony has killed himself and Cleopatra is not yet dead. An emotional ride by any stretch of things. We see this book and the events that happen through Selene’s eyes, she struggles, she blames her parents, she blames herself all of those things you would expect. But she does have her twin Helios and her younger brother to give her some sense of family still left. A sense of purpose.

I really did enjoy the book it got many of the historical facts completely correct down to the golden chains they were marched through the streets of Rome in. Many of the Egyptian traditions are spot on and everything. There is of course creative license taken on some parts. We can not possibly know what happened completely in those years because the winners write the stories not those who lost. I am looking forward to getting my hands on the next book in the series. Hopefully there will be less Octavian so I can more than happily give it a five. I know terrible reason to give this one a four but that is how much I truly dislike the guy. I do strongly recommend this read.

My Gemstone Rating:


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