Sunday, September 24, 2006



This has echoes of the Pied Piper but only to a lesser extent. The children who follow the piper are escaping the destruction of their settlement by bandits. Not really my favourite of hers it's still an interesting read and well worth the time. It's told from a first person point of view by the eldest of the children who doesn't sound all that young, but then again lives on a colony planet as a first wave of settlement so may have more responsibilities settled on his shoulders earlier and if it's written by him later, the more adult attitude may be excused as filtered by this.
Not one of her best but does display a lot of her typical themes, children taking responsibility, questing, etc.


I'm very glad I intercepted one of Justina Robson's books en route to another library becasue this too was a very good read.

In a near future England where clever children are sent to a school to learn faster, Anjuli O'Connell is an exception, among all the exceptionally bright she's different, she has perfect recall, a memory that logs everything (would have made an exceptional librarian!). Her school friends carry over to her working life, partially because she can decode what they're talking about into understandable English.

WHen on of her friends dies while apparently trying to upload himself into the network, her world starts crumbling around her. There are secrets within secrets and the AI's are getting to an independant age.


Not as good as the first book but still readable. The next crystal artifact has to be found and it's up to Chief Warrant Officer Vickey Mabrey, her partner in this job is Griff Hutchinson, who was involved in a campaign to have her dismissed when she was in training. Now she has the superior position. Will she use the situation to get revenge or will she act on her other feelings for him.


A not bad but pretty typical Vampire Romance. So not in the Horror genre, there was no real horror or sense of doom in it mostly because the main character, Nell Harris, has a great sense of humour about the entire thing and really doesn't take anything all that seriously.

When she's asked to look into a kidnapping because of her ability to work charms and defuse them, she finds herself in cahoots with a man who is considered one of the ultimate evil.

Owes a fair bit to the likes of Christine Feehan (who has a blurb on the front) but honestly I found it more readable than hers.

The author would have done well to talk to people recovering from strokes and long-term disability tho, cause apart from some comments by Nell about her disabilty I really didn't get a feeling that it got in the way.


Pretty standard fantasy fare with bards and true names and a root language. The setting of it in a pseudo earth past is a little too much really and the story would have worked as well without that conceit.
Maerad starts off as a slave and is rescued by the Bard Cadvan, one of the great bards of Lirigon. As they journey together they find that her gifts are mighty indeed and she has potential to change the course of the world.


On a quest to save the crystal mask of the Cherokees' Kai Alseoun works with Jake Carter. Jake loved Kai when they were young, but life has embittered Kai.

Interesing and readable. A little bit too much angst occasionally but overall worthwhile.


It's been done before. Group of women who are genetically engineered to be better than most, secret project with dead mothers, one escapes with her child and goes into hiding. Girl grows up, finds she's different, is found by others of her group.
It's not a bad example of this genre, quite readable, and at first the policeman is quite hostile to Faith and he behaves in a way that makes him very believable. I'm not sure the sudden conversion from dislike to love is as believable but is part of the Romance novel convention.
The killer is also interesting and quite well fleshed out. A little more fleshing out and this book would work as a pretty mainstream thriller. In fact it's better, in my eyes, than many of the thrillers going around.


The Story of Kelric and his trying to survive being sold as a slave/provider to Aristos and his failing health. On some levels it's an interesting read but on others it's a bit so-so. Not a book to introduce yourself to the series but an interesting look at the psychology of the Aristos and some of the other things going on in Catherine Asaro's world. There's a bit too much angst to make it good and some of the escapes were a bit silly. Some of the places seem to have existed purely for CA to describe them and have him escape from them, despite his continuing and failing health.


At first this seems pretty cliched, youngish woman being chosen by a goddess to do a certain job, changes tack because of a push by the said goddess and I was thinking ho-hum, here we go another quest novel. Amusing but pretty predictable.
I was wrong, this book does suffer from first book syndrome but after the first about 150 pages it actually started to really engage me. I had and still have a few quibbles about some things in it but still a lot of what went on was actually interesting and made me want to hunt up book 2.


A sometimes interesting, sometimes laboured story of coffee trading in Amsterdam as coffee started to become popular and one man who tries to make a profit amidst intrigue. When there are a lot of people against you, who do you trust?
Honestly it passed the time but didn't impress me greatly.


Con ap Ifan left to find his fortune years ago, now he's back to visit Enid of Glyneira and his heart is conflicted between a future with her or a future in the Norman world, however there's something about her firstborn son she's not telling.
Pretty predictable but readable.


In a future earth where disaster has ruined our civilisation sander smith is in search of more information about smithcrafting. when he meets with fanyl who is searching for some answers about her family they join to search. norton takes an interesting look at our modern infatuation with machines and portrays very well the confusion of people not exposed to this kind of information. interesting and well written.


cassidy st john,an aspiring writer,loses her job and finds a job modeling for the artist colin sullivan. while modeing for him she finds herself attracted to him. a pretty predictable read.


Caroline Malone is a heart surgeon who suffers a hand injury that threatens her career. She's sent to heal in a remote texan mountain community where she finds Diego Montalvo who is healing from his own wounds and trying to help take over the role of his grandmother as local healer, as well as using the skills he learned as a special forces medic.
Fun, light read.


In a complicated family where Rebecca Ryan's brother Jonnie was kidnapped and found dead; panic strikes when her nephew Todd goes missing and the bodies of some witnesses start mounting. Her nephew's fear is affecting her. Her childhood sweetheart, now a doctor in the local hospital, Clay, is trying to help as well.


Lila Black has had an interesting history with Elves. Magic, elemental energy, demons and technology exist side-by-side in this alternative version of our world. A little Shadowrunish, or maybe TORG, there was a Quantum Bom and the spaces between the different dimensions were pulled together, or ripped apart.
Lila Black was put back by technology after the Elves damaged her, she hasn't quite got used to the implications of her new body and it's limitations. The AI that co-exists with her is also not a completely known quantity. When she's assigned to guard an Elf magician she's dragged into the games Elves play and their politics.
I'm looking forward to checking out more of this series to see what happens next.


A fun read. Chasidah (Chaz) Bergren is on a prison planet having been wrongly accused and court-martialed. Killing a prison warden in self-defence, the man who she loves and thinks is dead turns up, Gabriel Sullivan. He has secrets and she has to wonder does he love her or love what she can do to help him. Through romance and intrigue they find out about each other and where they are going.


The last imperial dragon is being barely cared for by Master Lan, most of the duties fall to his slave girl - Ping - a name we don't find out till later as he doesn't bother using her name and she doesn't know it either it's on a necklace she wears. She rescues the dragon from certain death and they go on an adventure to the ocean where the dragon needs to go to for healing.
They fight through necromancers and the dragon hunter who has claimed that Ping is an evil sorceress!
An interesting story that has a great character in the Dragon with Ping as an interesting secondary character, missing some depth but that's probably because it is intended as a children's book.


Apt that I'm listening to a welsh piece of music while writing this cause it has a lot of influence from welsh legend. The second book in this series this does develop the characters and bring them through some tribulations which developes them and leaves a lot of openings for the next book.
Both Gwenlliant and Tryffin find themselves in the otherworld, seperately, both in search of different things but finding that their paths have some parallels. It's interesting to see them develop as characters and I do want to see what happens next.


Harmless predictable medical romance between two doctors.


Travelling through space to another world humans find themselves in a world abandoned by another people. These people have left legacies of energy and gods that now have to be dealt with by the humans. Elron the Clanless and Gathea the wise woman find themselves exploring this realm and find out more about themselves in the process.

A history of the Witchworld and a very interesting and compelling read. I did really want more!


So Jo is dead and she needs to learn what being a Djinn means. David is keeping her alive and she's trying to work out what's attacking the worlds. Meanwhile some of her enemies are trying to take over the world again, this time she has more and less power than she did at the beginning. An interesting story with plenty of twists and turns but definitely the middle of a series.


Second book in the series and Maelen is trapped in the body of what looks like a pet and Krip is trying to work out the effects of his new body. Meanwhile they land on a planet that has inhabitants who want to continue what they started centuries ago. It was a very good example of Andre Norton's work and I really got involved with the characters and their lives.


Fun sequel to A.K.A. Goddess. This time involves Egypt, the Isis Cup and some parental kidnapping. It was fun to see the relationship between Maggie and Lex develop and how they had to learn to trust each other to survive.


I know that I read a chapter or two of this one before but the book was an interesting one. More of a romance with a thriller thrown in than a completely thriller novel it was a good read, quick too.

David Ransom is a Lawyer with a bit of a problem with incompetent Doctors. When Kate Chesne storms into his office to demand that he listen to her side of the story he starts to question her guilt. As the bodies mount they start to wonder when she will be next. In order to save her life they have to work together and find out the who and why of the murders.


This one is concentrated in the otherworld of Faerie. Ruth finds her way into faerie through a gate in the basement of the library she's working in. This book works as a bridging novel to the rest of the series and you can see where the setups are for conflict and where there are going to be issues that will have to be worked out before the characters achieve their goal. I liked Nic tho!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006



A story about two children and their young nanny/au pair who is swept into another world where some of the inhabitants used to be human. By eating the available food in this place the people transform to become more mythical beasts, like fauns etc. Although the Au Pair, Kilda, is tempted she fights the temptation to find her way out of this.
It's wonderfully evocative of older mythical stories and although it has an overlay of science fiction, which adds to the confusion of the characters the core story is a very interesting quest story. The love story is also logical and makes sense in the context without feeling tacked on and silly.


Stephanie is back, being chased by a woman who claims to be Ranger's wife. As the body count mounts it looks like it could be Ranger doing the killing, or someone suspiciously like Ranger. Meanwhile they need a new bounty hunter in the office. Some seriously laugh out loud moments with her grandmother as usual. Also the love triange between Stephanie, Ranger and Morelli gets more and more complicated. Stephanie is still having problems choosing between the two of them.


A bit less pain and a little more plot. Phedre follows the plotters to La Serenisima to try and stop them from doing more damage to the land of Terre d'Ange, along the way finding allies and friends. Interesting but I find it somehow lacking. Maybe it's just that pain isn't my path

Sunday, August 13, 2006



an interesting children's book about a group of talented children who fight evil elsewhere in order to save several worlds including their own.


Selena Jones sees her husband in the arms of another woman when he should be on assignment in another country she decides that a foreign post is the way to escape some of her feelings. She then finds herself in the middle of a hostage crisis, chaos and confusion with her trying to convince the powers that be that she is serious. The only person who will help or listen is her husband, but she doesn't know if she can trust him.
Readable but nothing spectacular.


Interesting book that's all about parallel lives in this generation and a few generations earlier during the Huguenot opression in France.
An American woman, Ella Turner, moves with her husband to France and tries to find her feet there. Her ancestors were Tourniers and they come from somewhere pretty close to where they're living now. This searching for her roots cause her to ask questions about her relationship with her husband and whether or not he's the person she should be with.
At the same time it tells the story of Isabell du Moulin, known as La Rousse because of her hair. Trying the best to live her life but trapped in a marriage that is breaking her spirit.

This one left me with a feeling of incompletness. Maybe it would have been better if she had employed the same technique as in her later novels where she writes totally in the past. The connection to the painting was a bit more tenuous than in the others but still it's an interesting read. I just didn't find myself caring much for the characters or what happened in their lives, it was all quite abstract, I didn't get involved. It's interesting but in ways just not interesting enough for me.


Offlas Kiel is looking for forerunner artifacts. On Clio he has a hope of finding some, it's a closed planet. Set up as a Psychocrat experiment it's an almost medieval world. When Offlas' niece, Roane gets pulled into the local politics, she has to choose between family and friends. She also has to choose between leaving the world as it is or helping it change.

An interesting read but not one of her best.


Doing these two as one because they came bound as Truly Madly Manhattan, which is possibly the easier way to find these two.

Contains the two books Local Hero and Dual Image

The First of the two, Local Hero, has a comic book writer as the hero. A fun engaging book. Mitch Dempsey lives downstairs from the single mom Hester Wallace whose son, Radley, is one of Mitch's biggest fans. She's a little marriage and relationship shy from having Radley's Father walk out on their marriage. 4/5

The second is weaker but also fun. An actress who is a force of nature meets a director who has been badly burnt by a previous relationship and has written a film about it. Fun and interesting. 3/5


Having heard people talk about the series I decided to start at book one. An interesting mystery all about a murder being investigated again when the person convicted of the offence gets out of jail. I would be curious about the rest of the series but wouldn't be running to try to find them. You do find out at the beginning of the book that she's killed someone but you don't find out who until nearly the end of the book. Which does keep you guessing. Not all the evildoers get the conventional end, which is as it should be, however none of the ends are unbelievable.

Kinsey is an interesting character and I'm sure if I had met her when this series was in it's infancy, in the late 80s, I would probably have been very impressed with this matter of fact female dectective who doesn't take any prisoners. However at this stage I'm used to that kind of female decective.

The binding on this edition is quite poor.


Told from the point of view of a career soldier this is an interesting look at a possible future. The diatrabes against certain social phenonema is interesting but to me kinda boring, although it does allow you to get into the society depicted. It's not a society I'd like to live in but horses for courses.
It's a society where military gets kudos and the vote once they retire but as the Bug war is eating people and the training washes out a lot of people it's getting harder to get trained people out there.
I don't regret reading it but it's not a book I'd have any great enthuaism about re-reading.


An interesting collection of fairly dark fantasy stories all illustrated by different artists. In some instances the artwork was better than the stories but they're not bad as a whole.


Captain Kallista Varyl is engaged in a siege and it looks like the enemy is going to win when she calls on the One for aid and her call is answered. However along with aid comes power, power she can barely contain, there's also companions for her who help her and hold the power like wells. In this country people can join in marriages that contain between 2 and eight people. All of these people are joined to her in marriage. Not only does she have to deal with the magical relationships but also the interpersonal relationships.

Weak in parts but also interesting in others. This actually deals with people who have compulsions and powers that are very strong and unavoidable. It also has enough secondary plots and backbiting to keep me very interested.


An interesting set of stories, not necessarily the best Mercedes Lackey story but not bad, a good Tanith Lee story and the C E Murphy made me want to read more of her books.
Mercedes Lackey's story Moontide had only a very small amount of magic in it. A story of a sea-hold where the daughter of the ruling family returns after education to see what happened while she was gone and what the future holds for her and the keep.
Tanith Lee's The Heart of the Moon tells the story of a woman who has to overcome betrayal by her boyfriend with her best friend. Add to that her best friend's curse and she really needs to find peace and maybe romance (look, it's a romance compilation, predicting romance isn't a spoiler)
Banshee Cries by C E Murphy is however the best of the lot. A bridging story between Urban Shaman and Thunderbird Falls, this story had me start to curse once I finished reading it. I so wanted those books in my hands immediately. If they're half as good as the novella they'll be great! I enjoyed this story about a patrolwoman who finds that what she knows about her mother isn't necessarily the truth. That she has to hunt evil using the powers that she has and that despite this being in a fantasy/paranormal romance that there isn't really all that much romance there. Lovers of EARLY Anita Blake might like to wander this way.


Brian Duffy, an Irish soldier of fortune, finds that Venice isn't that healthy for him and when he's offered the job of bouncer for a tavern in Vienna that brews it's own, along with a healthy wage, he jumps at the chance.

Unfortunately for Brian, what he thought would be a retirement turns out to be a war between, not only the physical armies, but also the forces of good and evil and he has a pivotal role in this fight.

Interesting look at the war in Vienna between Austria and Turkey with reincarnated heroes and the people of the time trying to be themselves and resist the overshadowing by the archetypes. Although more mythic than fantastic (that border is kinda fuzzy in my head) I found Ash (by Mary Gentle) better book of this type.

The characters felt very real and were well fleshed out people with motives and problems and their lives got complicated by action or inaction.

This is the second Tim Powers I've approached with an intention to read, this is the first one I've finished, it wasn't bad I just left it with no enthuaism to hunt up more of his books, now if I happen on them I'll read them, but I won't actively hunt them up.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Luna, some comments

Luna is an interesting idea, a romance publishing firm notice that there's some romantic fantasy going around and it's selling so they bring out their own line. They also get some pretty big names in the fantasy world to include some of their books in the range, Mercedes Lackey and Tanith Lee, to mention just two that come to mind. They also afford some other authors an opportunity to try this field out.

And some of the books are actually quite good. I've read a few and I'm almost tempted to subscribe to get them as they're published, getting them here is a little the other side of complicated for my comfort (a little complicated from here but eh, why not occasionally splash out on little things) but some of them really need more work. They need critical editors who know a bit about Fantasy and will hit the authors for abusing fantasy, particularly fantasy cliches.

Still I will keep giving some of the authors a chance to impress me. Quite a lot of it is actually urban fantasy, which I really do like, but often authors get one strike and then they're out.

Michele Hauf is getting a second chance with Seraphim, mostly because it involves one of my favourite characters, Joan of Arc.


Gossamyr has been brought up by her Faery father, half-mortal and half-faery she's caught between the worlds and when The Red Lady is draining all Faery who wander into the mortal world someone has to try to stop her. Gossamyr is chosen. This is based in pseudo-medieval France where the characters have Medieval attitudes when it's plot-important.

She finds Ulrich who comes with her to help her, he strayed into a faery circle 10 years ago but to him it's only been a few hours. He's searching for his daughter (Rhiana - oh look sequel!) and is trying to come to terms with the world being different than he left it.

The very worst thing I can say about this book is that I didn't care. I had absolutely no emotional involvement in the book and really didn't care what happened to anyone. It possibly could have done with some editing and some more work.

It's not totally a bad book, it's just not a good book and I nearly abandoned it a few times because I didn't really care what happened next. I'm sure the author is capable of more and better.

Sunday, August 06, 2006



In a world where the gods battled and five gods established themselves as the one true gods what happens when in another country there are another batch of gods who are claiming superiority?

The main character is Auraya and she's learning to deal with her place in the world as an immortal servant of the gods. What she has to do in the world and how she is going to help the world. The one think no-one really knows is the motivations of the Gods, and whether the gods they're fighting for are the good guys.

Not a bad read but not the best thing I've read. I'm not sure that it really was as good as she could write.

Thursday, August 03, 2006



I read some of this series when I was younger and really enjoyed them, however I found that this felt a bit forced. In his Author's Note he said that he had an idea for a computer game and this is the partial expression of his concept of the game.

I've read worse but I have to say that I've read better, and in this series too. The constant preoccupation that Nada Naga seems to have with her own body just grates, and comes across as being more than a little sexist and out of place.

Dug and Kim seperately get into the life-like computer game of Xanth from the mundane world and find themselves very involved in it to the point of stepping into the game. The find themselves occaisionally tripping over the pun-laden world of Xanth, and the social formulae of the world as well.

Again not the worst book I've read but nothing spectacular. Sorry Piers you didn't win me back to hunting down the rest of the series to read it again.


The story wasn't bad but the enviromental/scientific lectures almost made me want to drop the book on Mr Crichton's head.

Taking a Lawyer, John Evans (why they took him along is never really clear) on a roller-coaster ride to try and stop some radical enviromentalists from causing a catastrophy to highlight the perils of ignoring the greenhouse effect. It questions the reality of received science and perception of problems. There's also a love interest in there somewhere and enough twists and turns to almost make you forget about the lectures.

Not the worst book I've read but honestly could have done with less data and more plot.


The story of three generations of women and how their lives mirror each other, yet stay different. What they are all looking for is love and a home but the searching doesn't always find what they're looking for. The echoes of Graineuaile and mermaids in the story were well done as well. The different way that people deal with grief is dealt with quite well and in an sympathetic manner.


This is one of the few books I've read by someone from the US that doesn't make me want to get annoyed because they dwell on comparing Ireland to the US. This just describes how things are and lets the reader decide.

I really did enjoy the story, I'm glad that my curiousity about some LibraryThing Authors made me hunt it up and read it. I would recommend it as a read.


An interesting story, partially for the entire story itself but also for the interwoven myth and historical interpretation of it in later years. How centuries later the story is twisted by the perception of the writers. It was funny to see how the most discredited writer was actually closer to the truth than the more academically accepted writers.

Jenna's life is haunted by a prophecy. Everything she does seems to fulfil this prophecy and sets the wheels in motion to change the world she lives in. With a patriarchy meeting a matriarcy this is going to be an interesting fight for the future of this world. Set in a pseudo earth with some roots in this one it's an interesting read.


An interesting story about revenge and overcoming blindness with the help of faerie at a time when faerie was starting to leave England. Quite a good read but in some ways left me wanting more and wanting a little less of the archaic.

Thursday, July 27, 2006



A pretty standard Anne McCaffrey story, actually the bugs as villans appear elsewhere in her series. Readable tho.

The fourth book in the Acorna series some of the backstory is filled in within the first chapter so you don't really have to have read the rest. Acorna is a very beautiful half-unicorn half-humanoid being who was brought up by some humans and thinks she's the only one until she finds more of her kind. She has to work out a way of fitting into society.

In this one she goes in search of a new home and when they hear a distress call they find a world that's lush, when they're attacked by the insectile Khleevi, when searching for a refuge they make a Khleevi ship crash and when chasing them they accidentally discover a way to fight them. They race against time to produce the solution before the Khleevi decimate as many races as they can reach.

I wasn't incredibly impressed but it is quite readable.

Monday, July 24, 2006



Best part about this book? The cover without a doubt.
I'm sure there are women who like the idea of a strong man who takes over and makes all the decisions but I'm not one of them and really Tempest isn't either. It's better than the other ones I've read, but honestly that doesn't move it much further up my ratings than to "readable".

Tempest ran away when very young to escape abuse and meets a group of carpathians including Darius, who discovers that she's his soulmate and procedes to insist that she should become his mate.

Honestly if I was Tempest I'd still find the overbearing and irritating and would want more freedom. I wouldn't find it romantic or appealing, I'm sure there are people who do but I'm not one of them.


Valentine's Day is Killing Me

I started reading it today and I have to say half-way through the second story it's not exceptional.

Mary Janice Davidson is capable of so much better actually, without trying to force the laughs.

Sunday, July 23, 2006



notes while reading:
I'm found it a strange book to read, one minute I'm facinated and reading it with very few breaks and then in the next breath I'm wondering why I'm reading it and putting it down wondering if I should continue. The sun is calling and I'm going to bring it into the back with a cup of coffee and see where that takes me.

It would probably appeal to a lot of people I know who are into linguistics - it's about a jesuit linguistic making first contact.

Though I do like the quote in it, which occurs quite early, about learning language

"'Sometimes,' he told her... I begin with songs. They provide a sort of skeleton grammar for me to flesh out. Songs of longing for future tense, songs of regret for past tense, songs of love for the present.'
...
"'Isn't that interesting,' she said..., 'I do the same thing. Have you noticed that llullabies nearly always use a lot of command form?'"

I'm a bit ambivalent about this book, it is quite a good read and I'm not sorry I did but it's a bit of a trudge through some parts, although those parts are actually plot-important.

A worthwhile read, just not something I'd probably read again, tho it is going into a pile to reconsider after I read the sequel.


While this couldn't be described as a very deep book it does bring up some interesting points, what happens to people when they lose cases, particularly when the issues aren't necessarily obvious.

Kendra Ballantyne was a high flying litigator until scandal brought her down, now she works as a pet-sitter. When some of her clients start dying she's an obvious suspect. Fans of Janet Evanovich will like this, excepting that Johnson has given us only one choice for her main character, and it looks like she's rolled both of Evanovich's love interests into one.

Fun and undemanding.


Honestly not as good as The Birth of Venus. But interesting.

Told from the viewpoint of Bucino, the companion of Fiametto, the courtesan of the title. The story opens in a besieged Rome, which the two of them escape to go to Venice, where Fiametto once again sets up a career as a courtesan. Interesting view of the sexual politics in Venice in the renaissance


The first of the Gardening mysteries and a good read. Rachel O'Connor is dealing with setting up her landscaping business and trying to convince her family to let her do her own thing, when one of her clients dies it looks like her employee may be responsible so she gets involved in the mystery to help solve it. Things get interesting when the detective turns out to be her ex-boyfriend for whom she still has feelings.

Cosy, lightweight and interesting.


An interesting, opinionated, literate view of Science Fiction, scarily enough now 20 years old. It examines the history of SF and then goes into a decade by decade examination of SF since about 1890. The chapter on the future of SF was extremely interesting, notably when you look at what actually happened in the late 80's and early 90's. A bit of a plough through book but interesting and well written with a lot of examples.

It was funny for me to read it in light of the fact that I've read such a chunk of the authors mentioned, particularly when I was younger. Now that I'm older I prefer Fantasy to SF but still this book made me want to revisit some of my teenage favourites.


Book two in the series and Emma is trying to find a way to save her mother, still wondering who to trust, it's a slow burner that gets more interesting towards the end, I am interested in reading the rest of the series but I'm still holding fire on whether or not I'm going to keep this series, it all hinges on the next two books.


Elena is pregnant and having to deal with the men in her life fussing around her when she accidentally gets her blood on the "from hell" letter, which opens a portal for some zombies, and a man. Murders in the style of Jack the Ripper start up and Elena has to try to solve this and keep the babies alive.

Interesting and quite fast paced this is quite a good read and I liked how Elena is developing.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

FAQ

Why do some books get priority over others?

You know I'm not sure, some days I feel a need for shorter books, books around the 200 page length rather than the huge tomes of 400+ pages. It's just me. Sometimes my hands have problems with bed and larger books and I just want to enjoy a book not have my hands twitching so badly that I can't read the book due to the shaking. That is sometimes quite a shame really cause some of the better books are where the author goes to a lot of trouble to get into the characters and just write. On the other hand sometimes brevity is the soul of a good read!

I have been known to take a longer book and alternate it with a shorter book, almost as a prize for getting through so many pages.

I've also been known to do the maths on a book and work out what percentage I've read. Sad I know but sometimes my inner maths geek flares.

How come you have so many books out from the library?

I work there. There are certain privileges to working in a library!

Do you really read all those books?

Yup. See reviews on Bibliophil.org, see wyvernfriend as number 2! See wyvernfriend in awe of number 1! I also have a listing on LibraryThing.com, not quite as impressive as some others. But I am the third most prolific reviewer.

Tho there have been a few books that have, well, been abandoned. Sometimes I have read bad books because there was nothing else but, really, there have been some that have just been plain too bad to finish. I clock them on Bibliophil as unfinished and note why in the comments. These would come off the count and if I owned them would end up bookcrossed, hoping that there would be someone out there.

There have also been a few that have been a bit trainwreckish. So bad that I couldn't stop reading but I wanted that time back when I was finished.

Where do you get the time?

Work sometimes is pretty slow, and lunchtime, breaks and bed. I have to read for at least 15 minutes before going to sleep and I have quite a quick reading speed.

Do you re-read?

Sometimes. Some of my books are very tatty from re-reading. There will be a spate of re-reading when Harry Potter comes around.

You read several books at a time?

Yup. I'm easily distracted, and I usually have a few books on the go at any one time. There's a forest of bookmarks in books under my bed.

Books under your bed?

Many. Lots. Not as nicely organised as when we used to sleep over the bookshelf (a bed my husband made) but all there all the same. Occasionally they get pulled out and some discoveries are made but there are some books that have found rabbit holes in my house.

the links, why do you choose particular books?

The Links are to amazon.co.uk I'm an amazon associate, so far I've earned 0.00 from this. I do this more for the buzz of having a bookblog. I pick the link based first on availability and picture availability, and then I pick the cheapest. That is of course provided that there's actually a link at all to them. I read some old books and sometimes they're kinda rare.

Thursday, June 22, 2006



The last in the series and what a finale, Kitty learns how to wield magic, Nathaniel learns more about himself and Bartimaeus learns more about humans.

Complicated politics and interesting characters makes this story live and breathe and be infinitely interesting.

Sunday, June 18, 2006



Enjoyed this one, Soz's earlier years, when she has to fight for the right to go for training, almost losing her family. This was more concerned with events rather than a romance proper and I really enjoyed it.


Not as good as a Fragment of Time this is the story of Rosie, evacuated to the US during the war she returns to England to find that things have changed and that her sister envies and hates her. The people she knew then aren't the same either.

This book fell down mostly in not having a greater range of names within the main characters, I kept getting Joe and Jack mixed up in my head.

Having read two of this woman's works I don't know that I would have very much enthuaism for reading more, they were okay but didn't fire me with enthuaism for finding more by her.


The story opens with Helen snatching freedom from her opressive mother by marrying Heine Weber, a young greman, who is in England to escape the growing Nazi threat. When war breaks out tho Helen's world starts falling apart, particularly when Heine ends up in an internment camp. Then she loses her son Christophe to evacuation. How she copes with all this is the book's story.


Although this is book 1 of a series, the rest weren't published. I'm not sure that it isn't because it's not the best book and often reads like it was an exercise in writing fantasy. I found it at times tedious and at other times laughable, there was potential there but it failed.

It was readable but just barely and I wouldn't have hunted up the sequels to be honest. Several of the characters were paper thin and the bad guys had absolutely no redieming features.


Good but really not my kind of read. I'm not sure that expectation spoiled it for me but it was underwhelming.

Cara does magic that turns her into a warrior so that she can avenge her family, during her quest she has to make some very hard choices. A mythic story that has a lot of depth.

Thursday, June 08, 2006



This series seems to be losing some of it's spirit. It just seemed to go on for a bit too long and felt almost like an excercise in writing a series rather than a serious inclusion in the series.
The fight between the magi and the jousters and the other magic users intensifies and starts to get serious. More and more children are turning up dead or drained. The Magi are planning to do more damage.

It is a problem sometimes with Mercedes Lackey that her bad guys rarely seem to have shades of grey involved.


Part of the Full series by this pair and it's a fun romp, however it would possibly be a better read if you read it with the rest of the series.

Maggie's ex-boyfrined is a psycho who just broke out of jail and is looking for her, or more accurately looking for the cash he stashed in her house (unknown to Maggie); Zach is an FBI agent who is assigned to care for her, add in the characters in Beaumont, South Carolina and you have a light, fun, read. Not as good as her other works but fun.
*

A great story. A wonderful character in Fiametta who is a strong-willed daughter of a magician-goldsmith whose father doesn't want her to be an apprentice, more because of her gender than any ability. So Thur Ochs is recruited as his apprentice, however evil magic gets in the way and they have to work together to defeat the evil and free her father's soul.

Friday, May 05, 2006



An interesting story about secrets and murders. Elves are dying of a plague and humans are dying while trying to be elves, where are the plagues coming from and why is the evidence being hidden as Finder looks for it.


Queen Aeron is now fighting for her empire and goes to find the legendary treasures of the empire.


fun, slight romantic comedy with superpowered people.

Jason can talk to fish and transform into a dolphin. He went missing after getting Lane pregnant, now he's back but will she take him back as a boyfriend.


The Iron Tree by Cecilia Dart-Thornton is an okay read. I think though that she tries too hard to evoke the legend quality in her work. Yes I know, and yes I reade the article by Ursula Le Guin about using a more mythic and mythically evocative language in fantasy to imbue it with difference and a feeling of otherworldliness but it sometimes just isn't right. I've read books, hell I used to read legends like they were going to disappear when I was younger and I'm actually used to the languge they use but this just falls flat, and I'm not sure why.

I have to admit that I also found the names to be a bit offputting and in once instance caused me to laugh out loud. "King Maolmordha O Maolduin of Slievmordhu" (there were accents in the original but I'm a bit lazy). Now, the O in that name means "of" so that name has two of's instead of maybe a Mac which would be "son of" which would be a bit better, (we won't go into the no "v" in irish issue). Then there's the marshdwellers one example of which is "Earnan Mosswell", pardon? Oh yes, celtic derivative first names, every single one, and English derivative surnames. Uh huh, that so works.

A typical few paragraphs read:

"Just as the fray reached its height a man, tall and lithe, came running out of the hovering haze of dust that still filled and obscured the defile. Uttering a crazy war whoop he rushed at the ambushers, his scimitar upraised. He moved like a peasant dancer - not with consummate sill but with supremem confidence. Striking to right and left, feinting, parrying, his eager blade slashed the air like a whirling, silver-spoked wheel. The edge bit into flesh like the north wind in Winter and dripped crimson with gore.

"The lunatic disarmed an adversary with a cunning stroke of his scimitar, then upheld his foe's chin on the point of his curved blade. The ill-matched eyes of the terrified bandit glazed over: behind his conqueror's shoulder he could see Death walking down the road to fetch him.

"'Avaunt thee, dog!' shouted the madman in his foe's face. 'I grant thee mercy. But never trouble us again!'"

Oh yes that's typical of the dialogue, high Shakespeare, even in the midst of crisis or fight. It just doesn't work, nor does the over purpled prose.

I'm sure she has fans and this is the fourth of her books that I have actually read. I did actually like the first one, but partially because I made allowances for "first book" this time I really didn't care if her characters lived or died, I have no urge to read the next one, not even on a curiousity to see what happens next.


This book was quite a fun read, if occasionally it did drag. Another story of romance with one of the knights of the round table, including adventures with the faerie world.

Thursday, April 27, 2006



An interesting book with an interesting world that is slightly hard to get into but then becomes an interesting book as it goes on. Setting up Max Silverskin for his quest almost took too long but the pace gets better as he goes along his quest and then it stops.

There's probably a sequel, I don't know if I'm motivated enough to hunt it up. Not that this is a bad book, no, it's just that it wasn't all that special. The world is interesting, where families are associated with metals and some of the minor families have their names because they were marriages between specific houses. A brilliantly concieved world with a lot of interesting issues going on. Very steampunk lite but with a very mythic feel.


If I come across book two in the library I'd consider reading it, but I would have no real enthuaism for the hunt.

I didn't care about the characters, nor did the story of a war of gods being played on a human level move me. It was readable but not memorable.

An interesting exercise in using the viewpoint of the bad guys but it just doesn't seem to work quite right for me.


Not a book to read if you're new to the series because a lot of the events follow on from the previous book. Eric and Magnus are trying to get Magnus free from their parents. Their parents have joined forces with Ace's and things are getting worse whien some of the Unseighle join in.


I found it difficult to get into this one but at around page 150 it started to drag me in and then took me on a rollercoaster of a great sf detective novel. It takes voodoo, AI and psychology and creates a great read.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006



A bunch of friends decide to go across europe following lines of energy which seem to follow a fair amount of Michael sites. Interesting but sometimes they make leaps that are just too much for my poor mind to accept.


Interesting read to work out what you really want and need from your wardrobe rather than relying on fashion and trends to tell you what you should be wearing. Concentrates on getting you to think about your clothes rather than relying on someone else to tell you. Requires a lot of work, which I didn't put in but it did make me think about my clothes.

One of the big things I got from it was not to buy something because I need the clothes or because someone else thinks I should but because I feel comfortble and confident in them.

Friday, April 14, 2006



A fun Russian fantasy romp that captures the spirit of some Russian fairy tales. Magic, shapeshifting, love twarted and a beauty and the beast storyline weaves through this to provide a really great read.

Thursday, April 06, 2006



Damiano Delstrega is an interesting character. His dog talks to him, the Archangel Raphael teaches him music and the beginning of the book sees him being left behind by his fellow villagers while they run away from an invading army. Through the trilogy he learns about life and love from a variety of people, not all of whom want to seem him alive and lives through plagues, wars and starvation.

Sunday, April 02, 2006



Left Hand of Darkness is an interesting book, seminal and of it's time and yes it is a classic,however the message seems to overwhelm the actual story. I didn't really care for the characters and didn't really mind what happened to them.


This is a good starter on reincarnation. However if you've read anything about this before this really isn't anything new. Don't get me wrong, the story of a psychiatrist finding out that examining the past lives of a patient of his would help her in her present. During the sessions he gets messages about being nicer to people and by being better to people we help ourselves.

Does it add anything to the existing corpus of stuff about reincarnation. Not really, it does though show a professional changing his mind when he's faced with the evidence

Sunday, March 12, 2006



To me it read like a long-term role-playing campaign and despite the plaudits I was quite unmoved by the entire thing. Not even curious about the rest of the series. That having been said it wasn't the worst thing I've read in a long time, just not really what appeals to me.


I was a little underwhelmed with this one, a book that comes with a lot of recommendations from people all around the place. I dunno, I never really connected with all the characters and I felt myself almost wanting to skip specific chapters.

Monday, March 06, 2006



To be honest it was a readable book but compares unfavourably with David Weber's Excalabur Alternative which has largely the same premise but I found it a better read.

Friday, March 03, 2006



A very readable georgian style period piece. Enjoyable characters with believable characters that made me want them to succeed or not succeed. The minor plot device of having different periods of time going on simultaneously didn't really work for me but I can understand how the writer wanted to explain what was going on but sometimes it jarred a little and I had to re-read parts in order to get what was going on. It was very good at showing how secrets can lead to confusion about motives and come between people.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Finished 13/2/6


Well I've got through the Andre Norton section, being an fan it was for her I really bought the book, the others aren't bad either. Arthur C Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Alfred Bester and Ray Bradbury feature. Interesting and varied stories.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

finished 11th February 2006
An interesting mix of stories with an average of 6 pages per story, many much shorter. Some Urban Fantasy, some horror, some quite ingenius some very cliched.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Interesting if bitty fantasy that left me with no urge to find the sequels, in fact it almost works as a standalone. There's almost too many characters and they all seem to have no issues with being thrown into unusual circumstances. There is a lot of acceptance of the strange without wonder.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Just Finished



Thoughts: the first 100 pages were quite hard to get into, and I nearly abandoned the book but now I'm just flying through it.

It's pretty much an Alien living hidden in human society story. R'shiel is different, feels different, her mother is a political animal who won't let anything, even her children stand in the way of her ambitions. Her son, Tarja, is a captain on the front-lines, protecting the Sisterhood's society from the god worshipers. The gods have plans tho and they involve both of these people, who turn out not to really be brother and sister. Yeah kinda spoilerish but it's pretty telegraphed from the start.

Obvious first novel, screamingly obvious, and possibly a good editor would have tightened the first few chapters up to make it flow smoother and got the punters into the story quicker. Also the relationship developing into love between Tarja and R'Shiel, WTF? I have a foster sister, now granted she is my cousin but NEITHER of my brothers would even think of someone brought up from early on as ANYTHING other than a sister. Shame on the Goddess of Love for that squick.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Books Borrowed from Kieran






Bookcrossing Books

12/9/04 Spell in your Pocket - K West - need to find this!!
26/10/04 Czechoslovak Cookbook - J Brizova
26/10/04 Famous Australian Recipies - D Dasey
26/10/04 Pen Lettering - A Camp
26/10/04 Classic Origami
5/1/5 Eric - T Pratchett
21/3/05 Green Witchcraft - A Moura
21/3/05 Crafty Cats
31/3/05 Aquitaine Progression - R Ludlum
26/4/05 Alias Grace - M Atwood
30/4/05 Murder Room - P D James
31/5/05 Julius - D Du Maurier
31/5/05 Iron hand of Mars - L Davis
31/5/05 Phantom Pain - A Grunberg
31/5/05 Mariana - S Kearsley
25/6/05 Moonstone - W Collins
25/6/05 Woman in White - W Collins
25/6/05 Middlesex - J Euginides
25/6/05 Elf Queen of Shanara - T Brooks
25/6/05 Talismans of Shanara - T Brooks
25/6/05 Scions of Shanara - T Brooks
06/7/05 Lesser Kindred - E Kerner
14/7/05 This Immortal - R Zelazny
14/7/05 Beast Master Arc - A Norton
19/7/05 Dictionary of Imaginary Places - A Manquel
19/7/05 Green Darkness - A Seyton
19/7/05 Killer's Wake - B Cornwell
19/7/05 A man Betrayed - J V Jones
20/7/05 That eye, the sky by T Winton
22/8/05 Your Home must-do's for 2004
22/8/05 The GI Diet - extracts
22/8/05 The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines - P Monaghan
22/8/05 Whispers in the Wind - M Ryan
22/8/05 On another man's wound - E O'Malley
22/8/05 Master and Fool - J V Jones
23/8/05 On Another Man's Wound by E O'Malley
27/8/05 The Telling of Lies by T Findley
27/8/05 Swann by C Shields
28/8/05 Babylon 5:Clark's Law by J Mortimore
27/9/05 Obsession by S Lewis
27/9/05 Parallel Journeys by E H. Ayer
27/9/05 Simisola by R Rendell
27/9/05 The time to eat cookbook (Weightwatchers)- S Davies
27/9/05 Philosophical Investigation by P Kerr
27/9/05 The King's Bishop - C Robb
20/10/05 A Fragment of Time - The future is ours by M Graham
20/10/05 Battleaxe by S Douglass
20/10/05 Burglars Can't Be Choosers by L Block
20/10/05 Cartomancy by M Gentle
20/10/05 Cordelia's Honor by L McM Bujold
20/10/05 Dragonlord of Mystara by Thorarinn Gunnarsson
20/10/05 Empress Orchid by A Min
20/10/05 Garden of Beasts by J Deaver
20/10/05 Hold the Dream by B T Bradford
20/10/05 The War of the Lords Veil- A Nichols
20/10/05 Wiccan Spell a Day - S Knight