Saturday, September 29, 2012

Recommended for Thrills and Excitement

 Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

I'm surprised to see I haven't recommended this yet.  Especially since I actually enjoyed this book more than what Dan Brown is most known for, The Da Vinci Code.  It's more action packed page by page and has a lot more at stake.  Robert Langdon is needed to help track down prominent Cardinals that have been kidnapped and are due to be exterminated by the Illuminati, an organization that was long since thought to be gone.  Making matters worse is a bomb unlike anyone has ever seen - and it's hidden somewhere in Vatican City.  No pressure, right?  It's one of those books that's hard to put down, and there are plenty of clues and unique things to follow along as you read and attempt to guess what's going on and what's going to happen next (good luck).  In fact, I've been meaning to pick this up again and give it another read.

 Notes from the playlist: "Imagine the Fire" by Hans Zimmer

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Recommended for Serious SF Fans

Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Required reading in my graduate school meant a genre book every semester.  Science fiction was up to bat my first year, and this was the book that ended up being chosen.  Hyperion was the sort of book that people either absolutely enjoyed or totally hated.  Obviously I ended up in the former group.  It is indeed like a futuristic Canterbury Tales that include everything from world-connecting portals to high functioning AI.  Then of course there's the Shrike, but I'm not telling you about that particular nightmare creature.  Each story is in some way connected as seven travelers hope to find answers to the questions in their lives on the planet Hyperion, where structures move backward in time and the Shrike waits for them all.  Some readers may find it slow, but I found it fascinating.  The scope of the universe that Simmons creates, as well as the powerful language and images he creates, is inspiring.  There are plenty of questions you will have yourself as things progress, but they may only be answered in the next book, The Fall of Hyperion.  And yes, I read that too.

P.S. I don't know what it is, but I totally love this cover.

Notes from the playlist: "Numb" by Alanis Morissette

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Book of the Night by Pearl North - My Brain is Pudding

Pros: Talk about world building! It's wild world building in a microcosm!
Cons: Only that Haly got the short end of the stick here.

The Bottom Line: If you haven't read the first two books recently, then you really ought to do that first and then brace yourself for this last one.

Holy cow, where to start. I really should have reviewed this book while it was still super-fresh in my mind. But I’ll see if I can still do it justice. If you have not already read Pearl North’s first two books in this trilogy (Libyrinth and The Boy From Ilysies), then you need to go about doing that.

Queen Thela has Endymion’s Rose, a pen that gives her the power to unmake the world and craft a reality to her liking. She has kidnappedPoas well, and it may be that only he can keep her from using the pen. Meanwhile, Haly does everything she can to keep the inhabitants of the Libyrinth from starving, and that means traveling to a city that is no longer what she thought it was. It is there that she will discover the legendary Book of the Night, and the truth in its pages, as well as the truth of her world and everyone in it.

So that’s only a super tiny snippet of the fractal that is this book. Honestly, this one could easily have ended up in the adult section for a myriad of reasons. This book somehow manages to make it beyond imagination to stuff that I never expected, nor would I have ever expected even if given years and years to try. This book starts off simply enough, with a small quest to go on and the hope of finding some food – and then it just spins off into this bizarre story of a future so far ahead I think only The Doctor (for us Dr. Who fans) would understand and be able to manage it. It’s like swimming around in a pool and then deciding to go off into the deep end – only to realize that once you’ve reached the deep end you’re not in the pool anymore, but swimming in the middle of the ocean.

And I mean all of that in a good way.

Each character is trying to accomplish a goal, whether it’s just to get home, find food, or survive, and the stakes keep getting higher and higher as the pages turn. Clauda is back with her Wing and I’m surprised that some of the things she saw didn’t scramble her brain like an egg. It was nice to see her and Selene finally work things out. The dynamic between Queen Thela andPowas undeniably interesting. He and Clauda took the brunt of the book on their shoulders while Haly seemed mostly in the background despite some of the things she found. In the end, I was disappointed that Haly felt more like a side character than a main protagonist. I had thought the story would return to her, but in the end she kind of got screwed the most which was a bit bummy.

This book has elements of The Matrix, The Thirteenth Floor, Fushigi Yuugi, (and I know you pulled a Wash!), and all sorts of stuff that will make your brain twist in ways you weren’t sure were possible. It’s a book that will demand at least one repeat read – preferably with the first two books being reread first.


Review originally posted on

How about an interview with the author?  Visit my other blog to find out all about Pearl North!

Notes from the playlist: "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Contest Winners!

Aaaaaaaaand the winners of the giveaway are: Kevin, anonymous (also known as tom), and thelittlefluffycat!  Congratulations!  Your books will soon be on their way!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September Book Giveaway!

Yep, it's been a while since I've done a giveaway, but this time I've got some help.  I have 3 - count 'em - 3 copies of Pearl North's The Book of the Night to give away!

Now if you've read Libyrinth, then you've got to be ready to finish off this trilogy with a bang!  You might want to be ready to have your mind twisted a little too because I'm about halfway through my copy and whoa-hey Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku would flip out if any of this were really out there (...then again, who's to say it's not?  o_O).

If you haven't read Libyrinth...well...I recommend picking up a copy.  If you think you've been to enough imaginary places, trust me, you have not been to the Libyrinth of any of its surrounding areas.  So, how do you get in on the giveaway?  Easy.  Just leave a comment and some way for me to reach you (email is best) in case you win.  Sharing this blog post with others is encouraged - in fact, tell me how you've shared (Twitter?  Facebook?  Your blog?) and I'll throw in an additional entry for you!

The closing date for entries will be September 10 at midnight, so get your entry in and find out what's inside of The Book of the Night!

(Please note, this giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only.  Sorry!)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Whoops! I completely forgot to mention this. Last month I reviewed Stephanie Garber's amazing book Caraval for the web blog I curre...