Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison
Like Zoo Story, we received this book (and the second, Shadow Fall) as an ARC (Advance Reader Copy). When I first saw it in the breakroom, I didn't give it too much thought. I was already reading oodles of Karen Marie Moning, so more urban fantasy with romance involved would sort of make my cup spill over. That and I admit, I'm not too fond of specialized institutes (government or otherwise) that seek to root out/understand/destroy strange things in our world. I've seen plenty of those.
But when I saw that Jessica Faust, agent for BookEnds LLC, was representing this book, I had to go back and get it. Why? I'm also a writer, and I want an agent, and what better way to understand agents than to understand what books they represent? No offense to Erin Kellison. After all, since I'm working my way toward the middle of the book now, I enjoy her character Talia and her intersting powers. I hope to see more of the strange world of Twilight (no, not that one), and see how all things end up connecting - and just what the hell happened to Custo for him to get his own book after this one. We shall see...
Read the Epinions review here!
Notes from the playlist: "Cry Little Sister" by Gerard McMann
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Honestly, I should have saved the money I intended to use on all 10 of my Calvin & Hobbes books and bought the huge massive all-inclusive set they have now. But what's done is done and I don't have any regrets anyway. I love Calvin & Hobbes. Even if when I was a kid I didn't always understand what the heck Watterson/Calvin was talking about. Hah. Still, I loved Calvin's imagination - Spaceman Spiff, T-rex dinosaurs flying fighter jets, his mother's cooking trying to eat him, among other things - and how much fun he and Hobbes had together. I once even tried to recreate Calvinball but it didn't really work. My books are all dog-eared and have been read over and over. It's hard not to smile when Calvin & Hobbes are around.
Maybe someday I'll buy the fancy complete version...
Posted by Nicole at Saturday, July 24, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Posted by Nicole at Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Pros: A fantastic mix of story, comedy, and somberness
The Bottom Line: This novel surprised me in many ways and I enjoyed every second of it.
I shouldn't, I really shouldn't, but I have an image in my mind of what a science fiction novel includes. I'm a total moron for thinking that, but at least I know it. Suffice to say, I expected something completely different when I finally got around to reading Old Man's War by John Scalzi. I'd been told to read it several times and it's been on my reading list f o r e v e r, but I've only just finished it a few days ago.
What a chump I've been.
In a nutshell, protagonist John Perry has decided to join up with the Colonial Defense Forces, and once he's 75, he's ready to go. They want people to be older for a reason, but you don't stay old once you're up there. You never get to come back to Earth, and you have to fight anywhere from two to ten years, but you get to be younger and you get to live happily ever after on a new planet. That is, if you live that long. And what's out there waiting for Perry? Just about everything he can imagine - and everything he can't.
While it is a little Starship Troopers, that's fine with me. Scalzi got this down, ace in the hole. From what I can tell, his science is solid and his military goodies are believable (though you can pretty much make up anything you want once you've escaped Earth rules).
Honestly, what I didn't expect in the least was the humor. Never in a million years did I ever expect this book to be funny. The protagonist tells his story in first person and he's just a guy. That's it. He's not super special or anything, he's just a guy who misses his dead wife and is tired of being old. I laughed out loud several times during the first half of this book, before they head off into battles with strange beings and with souped up technology and hardware I half wish existed now (the other half of me is glad it doesn't).
I mean, I had a really good time reading this. I liked Perry a lot. I wanted all his friends to survive, even if just for his sake, and even though I knew they wouldn't. Scalzi threw me for a loop numerous times too, from the number of creatures the CDF soldiers have to fight to the sneaky science he uses near the end to what Perry finds out there in all that black space. The second half of the book focuses on the battles and Perry dealing with the fighting, but it never loses it's edge, it never slows down, and even though you won't be laughing out loud anymore, you'll probably crack a grin or two because Perry just can't stop himself from making snarky jokes.
The battles are well thought out, fairly easy to visualize, and in some ways, I wondered if maybe James Cameron read this book and used bits of it to influence his Avatar movie (though considering time tables, probably not). Another thing that truly surprised me was how new this book is. Ok, so it was published back in 2005, but for some reason I was under the impression that it was much older, as in before 2000. I look at that actually and think that maybe my story has hope.
But if you enjoy science fiction and don't want it to be too hard (as in, too much science dumped in your face), you'll find this to be a good balance. It's got humor, friendship, fierce battles in space and on the ground, strange planets with strange creatures, loss, and the shock of finding something you'd never thought you'd find again. I read this in a day and know that in the future I'll probably have to read it again.
Originally posted on Epinions.com
Notes from the playlist: "Invincible" by Adelitas Way
Posted by Nicole at Friday, July 16, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
I Spy Treasure Hunt by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick
Yay! More I Spy books! This one takes you from one place to another as you hunt for treasure and look for all sorts of little goodies along the way. From shiny coins to shadows on the walls, you never know what you'll have to look for, and you never know where it might be. I think there's at least one thing I have yet to find in this book. And I've found everything in all the other books, but for the life of me, I cannot find...
...the lady in The Cave. I just found it. Haha. I love these books.
Read the Epinions review here!
Notes from the playlist: "The Kraken" by Hans Zimmer
Posted by Nicole at Monday, July 12, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Zoo Story by Thomas French
One of the great things about working at a bookstore are the ARCs. ARC stands for Advance Reading Copy. These books aren't proofed, don't always have the same covers, and may have other tweaks that the publisher will adjust before shipping out the final product. Frankly, I kind of like the cover on the copy I have better than this one. Hah. The point of these is so booksellers like me will read it, enjoy it, and then talk people up about it to help sell the book. Sometimes it works. A book like Zoo Story is one I would be comfortable telling people they ought to read. French uses his journalistic skills to bring out the dichotomy of the zoo to the reader as well as the lives (human and animal alike) within the zoo. It's a fascinating read so far, and one I don't doubt will end up in a Staff Recommends spot in the store.
Notes from the playlist: "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas
Posted by Nicole at Thursday, July 08, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Notes from the playlist: "Black Roses Red" by Alana Grace
Posted by Nicole at Sunday, July 04, 2010