27 December 2009

The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes

The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes
The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (New Edition)


Not your child's comic --

I admit it, I like a few comics. Superman. Batman. V for Vendetta. The rare Manga. I'm no comic book addict, but, I'm also not embarassed to dig through the comic book aisle at the local book store now and then trying to see if any there interest me. Which is how I ended up with this book. I like Neil Gaiman, I'd vaguely heard of this series -- why not try book one and see how it goes?

First off, if you're on the fence about whether or not to buy it, allow me to help you -- if you're really sensitive about graphic material, then the answer is no. If you think comics should be light and fluffy, again -- no. But if you'd like to visit with the Lord of Dreams and his sister Death, then you're at the right place.

I can't speak about the whole series, having read only this book thus far -- but it's an interesting enough read that I do plan on buying the next book. Mainly because of the last section of the book. After meeting Death, I almost felt as though the whole book to that point were the "Prelude" if you will. I thought I really like the story up until that final chapter and then, ohh it's only getting good now. Looking back I realized that compared to the final sections, actually the first sections were actually somewhat slower in spots, maybe disjointed here and there. Yet still, I did like them. It did take me getting to the end of the book to realize they weren't as good as they could have been. Which says a lot for Gaiman and the artists. It's clear they got better and better as time went on. When I do finally get around to picking up the next one, I have high hopes for it.

4/5 stars

26 December 2009

I got a Kindle!

So I got a Kindle 2
for Christmas. This is a big yay as my bookshelves this year took a beating. Now I only need to buy comic books and art books with tons of pictures in hard copy. Of course I still have a stack of to read to catch up on to finish, but otherwise -- e-books for me. I knew I'd be getting it so the last book I bought at a store was a comic, which I'm reading now The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes. It appears I'm muti-tasking when it comes to reading as I also have another hard copy of a book I'd started before getting the Kindle and am continuing it (Moonshine (Cal Leandros, Book 2)). AND if that's not enough I started one on the Kindle, to start using it (Rapacia: The Second Circle of Heck (Circles of Heck)). I'm just switching, depending on my mood when I go to read.

Now my real dilemma. I don't travel, etc so I don't need a Kindle case designed for that. BUT, we do have cats. Cats who already did things like scratch my tablet, decide that my couch is better than their scratching post, and who think they're at war with a toy mouse so they tear through the house and over the couch in the middle of getting worked up over said war -- where I read most often (I have battle wounds to prove it). Sometimes I set my book down next to me, usually safe from the cats but it could end up caught in one of their odd kitty attacks anyway. So what I need is a cover that just acts as good screen / case protection. Easy to open and close. That sort of thing. The kind of thing where I won't have to take the Kindle in and out of all of the to read. Not a travel case, but an every day cover.

I think I've narrowed my search down to a few. Let me tell you -- there's some cheap ones that look good and some expensive one that look like crap.

I'm leaning towards these:

Holiday Sale! JAVOedge Cherry Blossom Book Style Case for Amazon Kindle 2 (Cocoa Brown)
JAVOedge Cherry Blossom Book Style Case


M-Edge Latitude Kindle Jacket (Fits 6" Display, Latest Generation Kindle), Orange w/ Grey
M-Edge Latitude Kindle Jacket, Orange w/ Grey

And this Oberon one.

Ahh, choices. I'll make up my mind... someday.

07 December 2009

Kindle in my future?

In case it's not obvious, I'm an Amazon addict. I've asked for a Kindle for Christmas as my bookshelves, which are limited, went from happy to sad this year. I figured with a Kindle I could keep them happy. I'd only have to buy comic books and other image happy books in hard copy (art books, etc). What I didn't realize until now is that Amazon also has Kindle for PC so that you can just download Kindle books on your PC. And if you look at the Kindle Bestsellers page you'll often find free books. Sure many are books in the public domain. But many are also books by authors who seem to just want to get you hooked on them, a series, etc. So w00t! One there is a book that's gotta be about 9-10 years old or so. I have the hard copy and never got around to reading it, oops. I bought it back when I was in school and up to my ears in legal papers so I downloaded it. I'm not a fan of reading THAT much on my computer screen, but I figured if I do get the Kindle for Christmas, I'm ahead a few books. It might be the incentive for me to read some classics I've never read too. I'm actually debating between it and the Nook. But I'm such an Amazon girl, I'll probably stay true to them. Though I like B&N as a real world store, they're convenient where I live. I like that their reader has a replaceable battery and expandable memory. But, I dunno I think Kindle with be the one I ask for as Amazon as always been so good to me and has saved me a fortune.

01 December 2009

Rosemary and Rue: An October Daye Novel


October "Toby" Daye has a bit of a problem. She's been trapped as fish in a pond for fourteen years. As a changeling (half-human and half-faerie) it seems that her faerie friends were more than willing to accept that she's come back, even as she's shunning them. The human husband and daughter that she'd had before her stint in the pond? They're not so welcoming. They don't seem to care whether she'd been kidnapped, left them by choice, or had hit her head and lost her memory for all of these years. We never really meet them. They accepted her death long ago and would apparently prefer to go on pretending that she's still dead, even after they learn she's been found.

This leaves Toby feeling as though she has no home and no purpose -- Unless you consider working the late shift in a grocery store, while refusing everyone's calls a purpose. And then one day while checking her answering machine Toby receives a message which will give her a reason to live, whether she likes it or not. Solve a murder, or die of a curse.

I was torn between four and five stars. It's a really good book. But it also felt as though several of the characters in Toby's world were somehow lost in the story, even though it's clear they'll be important in the series. I suspect that the next book might be the five star one for me -- as we see more character development.

4/5 stars

Fire (Graceling)






I'd finished Graceling the same day that I had started Fire. So I jumped right into this. And yes, we meet a young Graceling, first thing. However, this book isn't really about Gracelings. The review blurbs peg it as a prequel to Graceling. Time wise this may be true. It would almost be more true to say that while written first, Graceling is a spin-off of this story.

In this story, the Graceling is almost irrelevant. At the times he makes his appearances, he seems pivotal to the story, but truth be told, this story could be told without him. It's more a story of a land of monsters. A land where a Graceling fell through a mountain and made cameo appearances.

Fire is the main focus in this story. She's half human, half monster -- literally, her father was a monster. Being what she is, causes her to be so beautiful that everyone is drawn to her. Monsters want to eat her. Humans just want her. Her flame red hair is something she hides, as it amplifies this effect. She attempts to cover her body. But nothing she does can truly hide who she is, they all know. She's essentially alone, despite everyone knowing her, as she's the last human-monster being in existence. Her parents dead. All she has is her best friend Archer and his father, who helped to raise her. And her music.

And then one day, she's called away to help the Dells, the land of her mother, the land which her father nearly destroyed. Fire, she has the power to get into people's minds. The royal family in the Dells fear a war is brewing and they need Fire to get into the minds of prisoners, for they want to try to get insider information.

Fire has trouble with this, not wanting to become a controlling, manipulative monster as her father had been. But could she do this? Make up for what he once did to them? Show their prince (whom she's started to fall for) that she's not her father? Help him save his land? Save her new friends? Or does she just let the war happen naturally? She'll have to decide, before it's too late.


Fire was a good novel, but because I had Graceling so fresh in my mind, I can't help but compare the two. For me Graceling was 5/5. I think I'd recommend reading Fire first. It technically being a prequel. It's the weaker story. 4/5. It's good, just not as good as Graceling.

4/5 stars

Beautiful Creatures

Oh I know, I'll start using this blog for my Amazon reviews. Since it's just sitting here.


My Review for the book: Beautiful Creatures

Ethan lives in the small town of Gatlin. The kind of town where everyone knows everyone else's business. Where nothing much happens. Except for dreams. In Ethan's case dreams of being the one who finally gets out of town. And dreams of a girl. Nightmares actually. Since he's always trying to save this girl and she's always slipping out of his reach.

And then, along comes Lena. The new girl in town. Niece to the old shut in. You know, the one who lives in the haunted house. The one that everyone whispers about. Because of who she is, this automatically makes her the outsider. Trouble. Ethan is drawn to her because of or in spite of this.

And that's when they start to discover that perhaps Gatlin isn't quite as dull as Ethan has always suspected it to be. It had a history well beyond what he's always heard. There's a whole 'nother side to it. And before Lena's sixteenth birthday Lena and Ethan need to figure out just what's going on in the town, or they may not have a future -- not together, not even separately.

While it's not about vampires, nor is about wizards I'd almost call this a cross between Twilight and Harry Potter. If you like the two of those, this is probably perfect for you. It was left wide open so I can image a sequel in the works. 4/5 stars
 

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