Sunday, November 28, 2010
Everyone tells Isabel that she is the Shifter - the ancient shape-shifting creature who has protected the kings of Samorna for centuries. They need her to be the Shifter. Prince Rokan risked everything when he rode into the Mistwood to summon her to his side; Ven, the magician's apprentice, has devoted his life to studying her legend; and even Princess Clarisse, who fears and hates her, depends on Isabel's powers to further her own plans.
But Isabel doesn't feel like the Shifter. She feels like a lonely human girl, beset by flashes of memory that do more to confuse than to help her. If she is the Shifter, why can't she change her shape? Why doesn't she remember what made her flee the castle so many years ago? As she is drawn deeper into a web of magic and assassination, Isabel will have no choice but to look for answers. But her search will lead her to the one question the Shifter hasn't faced in a thousand years: where does she come from, and what does she really want?
I won this book over at The Spectacle and was seriously happy, as I've seen it several places and really wanted to read it! (Dang grad school--I hate being so poor! And my library is closed for another few weeks... Okay, okay, I'm not going to die or anything, but sometimes I have serious book-related woes!) Anyhow, yes, I was stoked to win this, and very stoked to find it signed for me. Totally awesome! And this past weekend turned to be perfect for reading and I ripped through this book in a sitting. LOVED it. I adored all the intrigue and double-crossing and questions about loyalty and identity. Several of the twists caught me by surprised, which was an added bonus--that doesn't happen all that often :) Isabel was a very complex and interesting character and I loved reading about her. I do wish she could have shifted more--that sounded flat-out awesome, in the I-wish-I-could-do-that kind of way. Anyhow, I just found out there's going to be a companion book, Nightspell, coming out in May of next year. Looking forward to it! And go check out this book!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Frannie Cavanaugh has always been a bit of a loner. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance, even her closest friends. That is, until Luc Cain enrolls in her school. He's hot, sarcastic, and dangerous—and Frannie can't seem to stay away.
What she doesn't know is that Luc is on a mission. Because Frannie isn't exactly ordinary. She possesses a skill so unique that the king of Hell himself has taken notice, and he's sent Luc to claim Frannie's soul. It should be easy: All he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come.
Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and he's just started making progress when the angel Gabriel shows up. Gabe will do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for, and his angelic charm might just be enough to keep Frannie on the right path.
It isn't long before Luc and Gabe find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie's soul. But if Luc fails to win her over, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.
First off, yay for NorCal writers! (Okay, so maybe central Cali, but still. Makes me grin :) Anyhow, this was a great book, with lots of action and other yumminess. I really enjoyed the world Desrochers has created, and I must admit Luc was who I found myself totally rooting for. He made the book for me, really. I'm not usually the time to go for the dark and dangerous guy, but he was funny and interesting. Of course, this might have something to do with the fact that we got his side of the story here, with Gabe being relegated to the background somewhat without a portion of the book told in his words. I hope the rumors are true that this will be different in the next book! Anyhow, Frannie was also an intriguing character, but about half-way through she gains some distance from the reader. As in, she no longer is expressing herself as clearly, making the reader unable to fully understand her reasoning/feelings. Other than that, this book was HOT, and quite enjoyable. Can't wait for the next two!!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
And then? I join the vast fields of over-educated unemployed folk, who won't be able to get a job at Target or a University. Dang, really looking forward to that!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
Nicole Krauss's The History of Love is a hauntingly beautiful novel about two characters whose lives are woven together in such complex ways that even after the last page is turned, the reader is left to wonder what really happened. In the hands of a less gifted writer, unraveling this tangled web could easily give way to complete chaos. However, under Krauss's watchful eye, these twists and turns only strengthen the impact of this enchanting book.
The History of Love spans of period of over 60 years and takes readers from Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe to present day Brighton Beach. At the center of each main character's psyche is the issue of loneliness, and the need to fill a void left empty by lost love. Leo Gursky is a retired locksmith who immigrates to New York after escaping SS officers in his native Poland, only to spend the last stage of his life terrified that no one will notice when he dies. ("I try to make a point of being seen. Sometimes when I'm out, I'll buy a juice even though I'm not thirsty.") Fourteen-year-old Alma Singer vacillates between wanting to memorialize her dead father and finding a way to lift her mother's veil of depression. At the same time, she's trying to save her brother Bird, who is convinced he may be the Messiah, from becoming a 10-year-old social pariah. As the connection between Leo and Alma is slowly unmasked, the desperation, along with the potential for salvation, of this unique pair is also revealed.
The poetry of her prose, along with an uncanny ability to embody two completely original characters, is what makes Krauss an expert at her craft. But in the end, it's the absolute belief in the uninteruption of love that makes this novel a pleasure, and a wonder to behold. --Gisele Toueg
So, I've been attempting to read more "adult" books lately, just to keep more well-balanced in terms of my reading, but I must admit that I like my YA :) Anyhow, this was an interesting and at times very funny read, and falls into the "deep" category, too. But the ending totally killed it for me. I am fine with somewhat ambiguous endings, but I don't like being left totally hanging, which is what I felt like this did. Or maybe I'm just missing something? Anyhow, an interesting book, but I have a few YAs to check out on my new iPad. Dang do I love this thing!
Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.
But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.
This book was so bleeping good! I totally read it in about one sitting (well, I started it in Borders, then finished it today, so close :) and it was seriously fun, entertaining, and delicious. I'm very much looking forward to the next two books in the series, as I'm still a little confused about what's going on with Evie, but in a good way. Sometimes, if it's done right, it's okay to be left with questions from a book. Let's me think about them for a while longer, which I rather enjoy. If I can find myself wondering about something I read while I'm running, that is always a good thing, and this book has managed to pass that test. Anyhow, my only thing that kind of bothered me a bit was the emotions Evie felt. It was almost like there was a barrier there that kept them from shinning through as much as the author intended. I'm not really sure how to describe this properly, but that was something I noticed. Oh well, I loved it, and it was great fun. Go, check it out!
Saturday, November 6, 2010
In medieval Cambridge, four children have been murdered. The Catholic townsfolk blame their Jewish neighbors, so to save them from the rioting mob, the Cambridge Jews are placed under the protection of the king. King Henry II is no friend of the Jews-or anyone, really-but he believes in law and order, and he desperately needs the taxes he receives from Jewish merchants. Hoping scientific investigation will catch the true killer, Henry calls on his cousin, the King of Sicily-whose subjects include the best medical experts in Europe-and asks for his finest "master of the art of death," the earliest form of medical examiner. The Italian doctor chosen for the task is a young prodigy from the University of Salerno, an expert in the science of anatomy and the art of detection. But her name is Adelia; the king has been sent a "mistress of the art of death."
In a backward and superstitious country like England, Adelia faces danger at every turn. As she examines the victims and retraces their last steps, Adelia must conceal her true identity in order to avoid accusations of witchcraft. Along the way, she's assisted by one of the king's tax collectors, Sir Rowley Picot, a man with a personal stake in the investigation. A former Crusader knight, Rowley may be a needed friend...or the fiend for whom they are searching. As Adelia's investigation takes her along Cambridge's shadowy river paths, and behind the closed doors of its churches and nunneries, the hunt intensifies and the killer prepares to strike again...
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Okay, so for those of you who haven't seen it, there's going to be some utter awesomeness at Miss Snarks First Victim in December. Do go check it out. That should give all the pertinent info :) So, I really, really want to take part in this, and entered my logline in the first go-round of Authoress' crit-fest. It did okay. I had some tweaking to do. Here's what it was originally posted as:
Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident--sort of. In order to save her best friend's life she's going to have to face her past, but her ghosts won't make it easy, especially his.This is a bit more of a tag-line than a logline, I guess. Short and to the point, with little details. It lacks the consequences of what happens if Julia fails. This is where things get kinda tricky--how do I explain this whole world in such a short space? Well, about a hundred drafts later, this is what I've got:
Julia killed the guy she loved. It was an accident--sort of. The ghosts of her past aren’t about to let her forget it, even when it puts the life of the girl she’s been assigned to protect in danger. Losing her friend is the fastest way to losing the only good thing she has left in life: her work. If Julia has any hope of saving her friend’s life, or her own, she's going to have to face her past, but some memories are better left buried.It's longer. I don't know if it's any better. Anyone have any suggestions? I'd be eternally indebted :)
Yay for awesome comments! Here's a newer version (a little shorter, hopefully less awkward):
Julia killed the guy she loved. It was an accident--sort of. The ghosts of her past aren’t about to let her forget it, even when it endangers the girl she’s been assigned to protect. If Julia has any hope of saving her friend’s life, or her own, she's going to have to face her past, but some memories are better left buried.
All of you who have left comments totally rock! Here's take #3:
Julia killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of. In order to save the life of the girl she’s been assigned to protect, and her own, she must face her past, but her ghosts won’t make it easy. Especially his.