Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shades Of Dark by Linnea Sinclair

Linnea Sinclair’s Shades Of Dark is a space opera, but with strong romantic elements as well. Chaz, a former Fleet captain, has been unfairly stripped of her rank and is now a fugitive from the toppling Empire. She is brought out from hiding when her brother is falsely arrested. There is a lot of adventure as Chaz and Scully fight to save her brother, and keep the Empire from unleashing jukors into the general populace. What are jukors you ask? Monsters with razor sharp claws that rip anyone who comes to close to them to shreds, painfully. My imagination went wild with the description Sinclair gives of these abominations.
Chaz and Scully are already established as lovers when the novel begins. Sinclair does a marvelous job in the character development; you’ll find yourself rooting for the couple, even if romance isn’t your thing. You’ll learn (immediately) that Scully is a human Stolorth, a powerful psychic despised for his ability to read minds, even with an unwilling subject. I loved the space opera adventure storyline far more than the romance, and the romance was great. This should appeal to science fiction readers, romance readers, and adventure fans. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann

Describing this book as a German mystery novel with a quirky sense of humor does not do it enough justice. Three Bags Full by Lenoie Swann follows a flock of sheep as they try to solve the murder of their beloved shepherd. This novel differs from other mysteries with animals acting as detectives in that the sheep act like sheep, and not miniature humans. They get distracted by the smell of sweet grass, their memories are short, and humans can be very confusing, especially the “God” human.
The shepherd had names for all nineteen sheep but there were some who stood out more than the others. Miss Maple is considered the smartest, Mopple The Whale is the one with the best memory, Sir Ritchfield is the lead ram, and his brother Melmoth who has recently reappeared after a mysterious disappearance. I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery which had me guessing until the very end. A funny, endearing read that amused me greatly – I highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Favorite Series for Adult Readers

So the series I've been reading lately that I just cannot get enough of is the
Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. The books are originally published in Swedish. The first book is: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and book two is: The Girl Who Played with Fire.

Both books are currently avaiable in the U.S. with the third book: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest coming out in the U.K. in October. I'm so obssessed with this series that I've purchased the book via Amazon UK so I can have it before the U.S. publishers release it.

The books include action-packed investigations, violent behavior, adult language, sex, and sexual violence. There are several scenes that may be uncomfortable for the average reader, but if you enjoy thrillers, mysteries, and a lot of suspense, these books will knock your socks off!!!

"A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue.It’s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, Henrik, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.And it’s about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired by Henrik to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old, pierced, tattooed genius hacker, possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age—and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness—who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, an astonishing corruption at the highest echelon of Swedish industrialism—and a surprising connection between themselves.A contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of whom must face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives."

"Mikael Blomkvist—crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium—has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered. But perhaps more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander. Now, as Blomkvist—alone in his belief in her innocence—plunges into his own investigation of the slayings, Salander is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all."

The above descriptions come from the publishers of the U.S. release.

Happy Reading!!!

My Favorite Book: Lord of the Rings

When Elizabeth asked us a while back to think about our favorite book to write about, a few different ones came to mind: there's the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (good - but the last two/three books weren't as GREAT as the first ones), Ruled Britannia by Harry Turtledove (alt-history asking what if the Spanish Armada had beaten back England), The Freedom Writers Diary and Teach With Your Heart by Erin Gruwell (a great, recent read)... but then I thought to the world of Middle-earth that I have loved for the past couple of years.

I was a bit late in my discovery of Professor J.R.R. Tolkien's works. It was after the first movie came out that I cracked open FOTR. It took a few tries for me to get into Fellowship, but once I got to the Council of Elrond, I was set. After gobbling up TT and RotK, I wanted more and there was more to be had: The Silmarillion! Being a history and mythology junkie, it was neat seeing the story of Arda from the creation all the way to the Third Age. After that I went to The Hobbit, which I didn't enjoy quite as much, as it was a bit more juvenile.

  • Favorite Character: Gandalf the Grey/White ("You... shall... not... pass!")
  • Favorite Location: Minas Tirith (Imagine the library there...)
  • Favorite Quote: `Take now this Ring," he said; "for thy labours and thy cares will be heavy, but in all it will support thee and defend thee from weariness. For this is the Ring of Fire, and herewith, maybe, thou shalt rekindle hearts to the valour of old in a world that grows chill."` (CĂ­rdan the Shipwright to Gandalf, The Silmarillion)

I'll leave you all with a picture of the Shire, homeland of the hobbits, from Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online.

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"Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It'll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they'll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields... and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?"