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25 Nov, 2015

Working for Bigfoot by Jim Butcher

/ posted in: Reading Working for Bigfoot by Jim Butcher Working for Bigfoot by Jim Butcher
on June 30th 2015
Pages: 136
Length: 3:47
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Three novellas allow the reader to encounter Dresden at different points in his career as a wizard-for-hire.

Goodreads

It is no secret that I love the Dresden Files.  Harry Dresden is a wizard in Chicago.  In these three novellas we see how Harry met River Shoulders, a Forest Person who has a half human child that he wants Harry to watch over.

In the first story the child, Irwin, is an elementary school student being tormented for being big and gentle. Harry goes undercover as a janitor in the school to meet him and finds that his tormentors are also supernatural.

In the second story Irwin is in high school and has become ill. According to River Shoulders that should never happen. Harry goes to visit Irwin to see what has happened.

Irwin is in college in story three. He is having his first love affair but his girlfriend is not what she seems.

I love the whole fresh mythology of Big Foot that Butcher has built in these stories. It isn’t necessary to know the rest of the series to enjoy these stories. This could serve as a great intro to the character. As always, I recommend the audio version. James Marsters voices Harry perfectly.

24 Nov, 2015

Andy and Don

/ posted in: Reading Andy and Don Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show by Daniel de Visé
on November 3rd 2015
Pages: 320
Length: 9:29
Genres: Nonfiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)
Set in North Carolina and California

A lively and revealing biography of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts, celebrating the powerful real-life friendship behind one of America's most iconic television programs.
Andy Griffith and Don Knotts met on Broadway in the 1950s. When Andy went to Hollywood to film a TV pilot about a small-town sheriff, Don called to ask if the sheriff could use a deputy. The comedic synergy between Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife ignited The Andy Griffith Show, elevating a folksy sitcom into a timeless study of human friendship, as potent off the screen as on. Andy and Don -- fellow Southerners born into poverty and raised among scofflaws, bullies, and drunks -- captured the hearts of Americans across the country as they rocked lazily on the front porch, meditating about the simple pleasure of a bottle of pop.
But behind this sleepy, small-town charm, de Vise's exclusive reporting reveals explosions of violent temper, bouts of crippling neurosis, and all-too-human struggles with the temptations of fame. Andy and Don chronicles unspoken rivalries, passionate affairs, unrequited loves, and friendships lost and regained. Although Andy and Don ended their Mayberry partnership in 1965, they remained best friends for the next half-century, with Andy visiting Don at his death bed.

Goodreads

 

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts are icons of American television.  They met while on Broadway and then reteamed in the 1960s on The Andy Griffith Show playing a small town sheriff and his deputy.  They both went on to have careers in individual projects – Don in Three’s Company and a variety of movies and stage productions and Andy in Matlock and many TV movies – but they were always best together.

This book is a story of their lives and friendship.  Both were awkward kids from the south who tried to make in it show business and failed.  They tried again and became stars.  Their friendship survived three marriages each, alcoholism, drug addiction, and affairs.

Andy was groomed to be the star but he recognized Don’s brilliance and let him shine.  He won 5 Emmys and Andy never won any acting awards.  He was always proud of Don.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t as nice to the women in his life.  This book glosses over his domestic violence in an era when it wasn’t taken all that seriously.  He was brutal to people who he felt had betrayed him and he held grudges that went on for years.

Don seems like the nicer guy.  He was a lifelong hypochondriac with symptoms that got worse whenever he had to perform live.  He was addicted to sleeping pills to help control his anxiety.  Women loved him.  This book was written by an investigative reporter who was his brother-in-law in his third marriage.

If you are a fan of any of the TV shows that they were on, you will probably enjoy this book.  Just be prepared for the parts of their lives that don’t bear any resemblance to the clean cut characters that they played on TV.

03 Oct, 2015

Sisters in Law

/ posted in: Reading Sisters in Law Sisters in Law by Linda Hirshman
on September 1st 2015
Pages: 416
Length: 13:29
Genres: History
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

The relationship between Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, western rancher's daughter and Brooklyn girl—transcends party, religion, region, and culture. Strengthened by each other's presence, these groundbreaking judges, the first and second women to serve on the highest court in the land, have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women.
Linda Hirshman's dual biography includes revealing stories of how these trailblazers fought for recognition in a male-dominated profession—battles that would ultimately benefit every American woman. Hirshman also makes clear how these two justices have shaped the legal framework of modern feminism, setting precedent in cases dealing with employment discrimination, abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and many other issues crucial to women's lives.
Sisters in Law combines legal detail with warm personal anecdotes, bringing these very different women into focus as never before. Meticulously researched and compellingly told, it is an authoritative account of our changing law and culture, and a moving story of a remarkable friendship.

Goodreads

I went into this book having read Sandra Day O’Conner’s book but I didn’t know much about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

O’Conner is from Arizona. She grew up on a ranch. She went to Stanford Law School where she didn’t experience much discrimination for being a woman because Stanford was a fairly new school that just needed bodies. However, when she graduated near the top of her class, the only job she was offered was as a legal secretary. She became a Republican state senator and eventually a judge.

Ginsburg is from Brooklyn. She went to Harvard Law which was much more set in its discriminatory ways. The women in her class were invited to attend a dinner where they were forced to explain how they justified taking a seat in law school that should belong to a man. She went on to argue six major cases in front of the Supreme Court that helped establish legal equality for women in the 1970s. She then became a federal judge.

What I noticed over and over in this book was that even though they were discriminated against as women they had extraordinary privilege otherwise. Each of them had connections with several prominent politicians and/or political advisors who they lobbied to advance their careers. They have stories that prove that success is based a lot on who you know.

Of the two stories I found Ginsburg’s life more interesting. It is good to remember what rights we take for granted now that were so controversial in my lifetime. The importance of diversity on the court becomes apparent in discussions when male justices reveal that they think the lives of most women are similar to the lives of their wealthy wives and daughters. Later they were unable to sympathize with a 13 year old girl strip searched at school.

This author did a good job of making fine points of case law accessible and understandable for non lawyers.

10 Sep, 2015

The Bane Chronicles

/ posted in: Reading The Bane Chronicles The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Cassandra Jean
on November 11th 2014
Pages: 528
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.
This collection of eleven short stories (10 in the audio version) illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Goodreads

I had a really hard time reading Cassandra Clare’s two series about Shadowhunters who fight demons.  I couldn’t keep them apart in my head.  One was set in England in the 1800s and one was in New York in present times but I still don’t know which series title refers to which.  I didn’t know they had different locations either.  I was reading them as they came out intermingled and with time in between.  I was never clear on who the bad guy was supposed to be in each series.  Everybody had the same last names in both series so I kept waiting for characters that I thought were in one book to show up in another only to realize halfway through that they were in the other series.  The only character I could keep straight was the warlock Magnus Bane because he was in both series because he was immortal.

I downloaded the audiobook version of the stories from the library.  These were really good.  They are co-written by several authors and read by different actors including David Oyelowo and Gareth David-Lloyd (I went to his shrine!). 

What Really Happened in Peru? –  Magnus convinces his warlock friend Ragnor to accompany him on several trips to Peru, none of which end well.

The Runaway Queen – Magnus tries to help Marie Antoinette and her family escape from Paris.

Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale – The Shadowhunters and the Downworlders are trying to make a peace agreement but neither side can trust the other.

The Midnight Heir – Magnus meets the son of the protagonists of the first Shadowhunter series.

The Rise of the Hotel Dumont – It is the 1920s in New York and an ancient warlock is playing with humans for his own evil plans.

Saving Raphael Santiago – Magnus is hired to find a young man who went hunting a vampire.

The Fall of the Hotel Dumont – Vampires are acting strangely and Magnus needs to figure out what’s wrong before they are all killed.

The Last Stand of the New York Institute – This chronicles the rise of the villain who is in the second Shadowhunter series.

The Course of True Love – Magnus takes a Shadowhunter on a horrible first date.

What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything – Magnus tries to figure out a birthday present while summoning a demon for a client.


I actually understand what happened in the series now.  Seeing it in chronological order helped.  These stories made everything else fit together.

When I read both Shadowhunter series I kept thinking that the Shadowhunters were pretty horrible people.  The nice thing about this book is that Magnus has pretty much nothing but contempt for them either.  He likes a few individuals here and there but as a race, he despises them.  That’s a risky choice for the author to make in writing a book about a minor character.  It is hard to cast your heroes as the bad guys.  I like it.

 

 

 

08 Aug, 2015

Armada

/ posted in: Reading Armada Armada by Ernest Cline
on July 14th 2015
Pages: 368
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Length: 11:58:00
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible, Owned
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he's spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure. But hey, there's nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don t get chosen to save the universe. And then he sees the flying saucer.

Goodreads

When Zack sees the spaceship during math class he is excited until he realizes that it is a Glaive fighter.  Glaive fighters are enemy ships in his favorite video game, Armada.  Now he knows he is going insane.  This isn’t the first time he’s thought about his mental health.  Zack’s father died when he was 19 and Zack was 1.  Zack has spent his whole life watching his father’s VHS tapes and listening to his music.  He has also read his notebooks, one of which contains a paranoid theory that he was formulating before his death.  Zack’s father thought that the increase in alien invasion stories in movies and video games since the 1970s was part of a government conspiracy to prepare the Earth for an encounter with hostile aliens.  It sounded like the rantings of an unstable mind to Zack and he’s worried that he might have inherited the same tendencies.

Now that he’s hallucinating Glaive fighters, he’s sure of it.


This author’s previous book Ready Player One is my all time favorite audio book.  I was so excited when I heard that this one was coming out and that Wil Wheaton was doing the narration again.  I had a few day delay between the publishing date and when I could start it.  In that time I started seeing twitter messages pop up about people who loved Ready Player One abandoning this book.  They said it was too geeky for them and they couldn’t get into it.  I got scared.

I loved this book!  It is a very different book from Ready Player One.  Where that book delved deep into 80s pop culture, this one focuses on science fiction movies and video games.   I know way more about the 80s than I do about video games but I was able to follow along with Armada just fine.

There is a long section in the beginning that serves to explain the game play of the game Armada and its companion game Terra Firma.  This is a little slow if you aren’t a gamer but it is necessary information to understand the rest of the book.

Things I Loved

  • The story isn’t going where you thought it was.  This isn’t a typical alien invasion story.  Does the fact that you probably know what I mean by that indicate that Zac’s dad’s theory was right?
  • The characters are complex.  No one is completely good or bad.  People are capable of change and nuance.
  • The Raid The Arcade mix tape.  Am I the only person who wants to make a copy of this playlist?  The songs are listed at the end with the Bonus Track – Snoopy versus the Red Baron.  That bonus track is not optional.
  • I absolutely LOVED the inscription on the headstone at the end.  (There is a war.  Lots of people die.  I’m not saying whose headstone it is.)  It is PERFECT and made me laugh and then have all the feels.
  • Wil Wheaton did a great job with the narration.  In this book there are references to several famous voices and he did a very good job with them as well as the whole book.  I think he adds a whole other dimension to the story so I’d recommend this one on audio over any other format.

The ending leaves open the possibility but not the necessity of a sequel.  I’d love to hear what happens next.

 

About Ernest Cline

ERNEST CLINE is a novelist, screenwriter, father, and full-time geek. His first novel, Ready Player One, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, appeared on numerous “best of the year” lists, and is set to be adapted into a motion picture by Warner Bros. and director Steven Spielberg. Ernie lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, a time-traveling DeLorean, and a large collection of classic video games.

22 Jul, 2015

The Wright Brothers

/ posted in: Reading The Wright Brothers The Wright Brothers by David G. McCullough
on 2015-05
Pages: 368
Genres: 20th Century, Biography & Autobiography, History, Nonfiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Owned

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did? David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly human story of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, who encouraged their studying. As individuals they had differing skill sets and passions but as a team they excelled in any given task . That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no patron to open doors to their desires, never stopped them in their goal to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed, or, at the very least, maimed. In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers' story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.

Goodreads

Everybody sort of knows the story of the Wright Brothers but in listening to this book I realized that I didn’t know much about them as people.

They were the youngest sons of a preacher who traveled widely.  They were very well read and educated.  Even their sister graduated from college but Wilbur and Orville did not attend college.  They started a printing business and then moved to bicycles.

They had been fascinated with flight since playing with some flying toys as children.  To get started with real flight experiments they wrote to the Smithsonian and asked for copies of all the research papers they had.  From there they experimented.

They decided to go to Kitty Hawk North Carolina because of the constant wind.  They first built gliders that could replicate some of the wing movements of birds.  It didn’t flap but they could steer by slightly changing the angle of the wings.

They would spend the fall at Kitty Hawk and then go back to their store in Dayton Ohio to make enough money to finance the next year.

Eventually they were able to fly with a motor. They then moved everything back to Ohio and tried to convince the world that they could fly. No one would believe them. Local reporters wouldn’t cover the story and said they were cranks even though people went out to watch them fly all the time. They tried to get a contract with the government but the government said they couldn’t do that because there was no proof they could fly. No one from the government would come out to see. I was super frustrated for them while listening to this part of the story.

Eventually, they made contact with the French government and Wilbur and a plane went to France. Again, no one believed they could fly. French aviation was considered the best in the world so they couldn’t fly yet so there was no way some backwoods Americans were going to be able to. Public demonstrations were made and finally, the officials believed. Wilbur became a star in France.

Orville was doing similar demos in Maryland for the U.S. government until a crash that killed a passenger and critically injured Orville.

I’m impressed with the imagination it took to figure out how to do something brand new and then explain it to the world.

 


This book made me understand this other book better.

One Summer: America, 1927One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this book there is a lot of talk about the supremacy of French aviation. Now I know why they were so into it. Wilbur Wright was a sensation and he taught some pilots before he went back to the U.S. The French aviation industry was energized in the year Wilbur spent there.

08 Jul, 2015

Queen Sugar

/ posted in: Reading Queen Sugar Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile
on February 6th 2014
Pages: 384
Genres: Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

A mother-daughter story of reinvention—about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana. Why exactly Charley Bordelon’s late father left her eight hundred sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her eleven-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles. They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that’s mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the overwhelming challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and troubled brother, and the startling desires of her own heart.

Goodreads

I’m not normally a fan of books that use extensive descriptions, especially on audio.  However, this book used descriptions to firmly root you in Louisiana and the cane fields.

Charley Bordelon’s father grew up poor in Louisiana.  His dream was to escape to California.  Right before he planned to leave he impregnated the girl he was dating.  That child’s name was Ralph Angel and he grew up with his mother in Louisiana.

Mr. Bordelon did go to California and became wealthy in real estate.  (I wish the book had explained how that happened.)  He married an upper class woman and then had Charlotte, who they called Charley.  She grew up privileged in California.  Ralph Angel came to live with them but was sent back to Louisiana after making several attempts to hurt baby Charley.

Now their father has died and Charley and Ralph Angel are reunited in their grandmother’s house in Louisiana.  Charley is there because her father left her a sugar cane farm that she didn’t know he had.  She is an art teacher and knows nothing about farming.  She is a widow and has a daughter.  She needs to start her life over and thinks that this farm may help.  She doesn’t realize that her father’s absentee landowner status has allowed the manager to get out of keeping up the farm.

Ralph Angel was living in Arizona with his son following the death of his wife.  He is broke and drives a stolen rental car back to Louisiana to stay with family.  He is furious that his father cut him out of the will and is determined to get his share from Charley.


Charley – She’s a hard worker and is willing to throw herself into whatever needs to be done for the farm.  Sometimes she’s a frustrating character because she doesn’t always listen to the advice of people she should and sometimes she lets herself get pushed around by people she shouldn’t.

Micah – Charley’s daughter is horrible.  I get that she is mad because she’s gone from a rich life with her grandmother in California to backwoods Louisiana but she’s a brat.  I think that she is a realistic portrait of a girl that age though.

Ralph Angel – Oh, I hated him!  He thinks that he is entitled to everything with no effort of his own.  He refuses several jobs because they are beneath his inflated opinion of himself.  He has no skills and no work ethic.  He is mean to everyone but his son.

Miss Honey – She is Charley and Ralph Angel’s grandmother.  She helped raise Ralph Angel and will hear no bad spoken of him even when it is a truth she should be facing.

 


Overall, I really liked this book.  I know more about sugar cane farming than I ever expected to know!

Feature photo from here

About Natalie Baszile

Natalie has a M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA, and is a graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers where she was a Holden Minority Scholar. An early version of Queen Sugar won the Hurston Wright College Writer’s Award, was a co-runner up in the Faulkner Pirate’s Alley Novel-in-Progress competition, and excerpts were published in Cairn and ZYZZYVA. She has had residencies at the Ragdale Foundation where she was awarded the Sylvia Clare Brown fellowship, Virginia Center for the Arts, and Hedgebrook. Her non-fiction work has appeared in The Rumpus.net, Mission at Tenth, and in The Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 9. She is a former fiction editor at The Cortland Review, and is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Natalie grew up in Southern California and lives in San Francisco with her family.

02 Jul, 2015

Shifting Shadows

/ posted in: Reading Shifting Shadows Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs
on September 2nd 2014
Pages: 450
Length: 16 hours
Genres: Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible, Owned

"Shapeshifter Mercy Thompson has friends in high places--and in low, dark, scary ones. And in this must-have collection of stories, you'll meet new faces and catch up with old acquaintances--in all their forms... In a time of fresh starts, Mercy is asked to use an old talent--ghost hunting--in the all-new story "Hollow." You'll learn what happens when an ancient werewolf on his last legs befriends a vulnerable adolescent ("Roses in Winter") and how Mercy's friend Samuel Cornick became a werewolf ("Silver"). The werewolf Ben finds "Redemption," and Moira, a blind witch, assists on a search in "Seeing Eye." From Butte, Montana, the copper-mining town that vampire Thomas Hao calls home ("Fairy Gifts"), to Chicago, where the vampire Elyna buys and renovates the apartment she lived in while human ("Gray"), you'll travel the roads that originated with Mercy Thompson and the fertile imagination of Patricia Briggs. Roads that will lead you to places you've never been before..."--Provided by publisher.

Goodreads

I’d seen this book around at the library and was waiting to read it when I ran out of the Mercy Thompson series and the Alpha and Omega series.

I finally decided to listen to it when I realized that it has “Alpha and Omega” in it. That is the story that starts the series and isn’t included in the books.  I’m not usually a big short story fan but I really like this world.

Some of the stories aren’t directly related to the book series.  Some look at the world from the viewpoint of minor characters.

“Seeing Eye” tells the story of how Seattle’s white witch Moira meets Tom, the werewolf who will become her mate.

“Silver” tells the story of how Bran and Samuel became werewolves and how they met Arianna, the fae woman they were made to torture and finally rescue.

“Gray” is the story of a vampire who buys and renovates the apartment she was living in when she was turned and has to confront the ghost that lives there.

“In Red, with Pearls” is a story about Warren, a werewolf who has become a private investigator for his boyfriends law firm.  He has to investigate why a zombie was sent after his boyfriend.

“Redemption” is from Ben’s point of view.  He’s a British werewolf who was sent to the U.S. because he was in trouble with the law.  He hates women so he doesn’t understand why he feels like he has to help protect a secretary at his office.

There are also a couple of outtakes – deleted scenes from some of the published novels.

This is a great book to read if you’ve read all of the other novels.  The only exception to that is maybe reading Alpha and Omega before starting that series.

About Patricia Briggs

“Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series, lives in Washington State with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses. She has written 17 novels to date. Briggs began her career writing traditional fantasy novels, the first of which was published by Ace Books in 1993, and shifted gears in 2006 to write urban fantasy. ” from her website

10 Jun, 2015

Soulless, or Why I Can’t Show My Face Around Audible

/ posted in: Reading Soulless, or Why I Can’t Show My Face Around Audible Soulless by Gail Carriger
on February 9th 2010
Pages: 400
Narrator: Emily Gray
Length: 10:52
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible, Owned
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Alexia Tarabotti is labouring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire - and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Or will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart? SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

Goodreads

Somehow I missed that this was about werewolves.

Yeah, I know, it is prominent in the description and it is on the cover.  In my defense, I hadn’t really read the description because I had just heard that the series was good (Joy, I blame you. LOL) and I had downloaded the audio from Audible and didn’t really see the cover.

I started listening to this right after binging on Written In Red and Murder of Crows.  I was deep in that world with very particular rules about shifters.  Any other book was going to suffer by comparison but trying to go right into another werewolf world that is so different was a disaster.  So, I did something that I had only done once before.  I returned the book to Audible.

Did you know you could do that?  If you hate the book you can return it and get your credit back.  That’s pretty cool.

I moved on with my life and listened to a few totally different werewolf-free audiobooks – A Path Appears and Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.  When I finished the last one, I was driving around and I hadn’t deleted Soulless from my ipod yet and … I listened to it.

I liked it. 

Now I feel like a horrible human.  Probably the only recourse is to rebuy it from Audible because I sort of want to listen to more of them.  I feel like the Audible police will come to my house if I buy the second book after returning the first.

About Gail Carriger

Bestselling author Gail Carriger writes to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning. Ms. Carriger then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She resides in the Colonies, surrounded by fantastic shoes, where she insists on tea imported from London. – from her website

13 May, 2015

Just Take My Money Then

/ posted in: Current EventsReading Just Take My Money Then A Path Appears by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
on September 23rd 2014
Pages: 400
Narrator: Olivia Wilde
Genres: Nonfiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library

An essential, galvanizing narrative about making a difference here and abroad--a road map to becoming the most effective global citizens we can be. In their number one New York Times best seller Half the Sky, husband-and-wife team Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn brought to light struggles faced by women and girls around the globe, and showcased individuals and institu­tions working to address oppression and expand opportunity. A Path Appears is even more ambi­tious in scale: nothing less than a sweeping tap­estry of people who are making the world a better place and a guide to the ways that we can do the same--whether with a donation of $5 or $5 mil­lion, with our time, by capitalizing on our skills as individuals, or by using the resources of our businesses. With scrupulous research and on-the-ground reporting, the authors assay the art and science of giving, identify successful local and global initia­tives, and share astonishing stories from the front lines of social progress. We see the compelling, in­spiring truth of how real people have changed the world, upending the idea that one person can't make a difference. We meet people like Dr. Gary Slutkin, who devel­oped his landmark Cure Violence program to combat inner-city conflicts in the United States by applying principles of epidemiology; Lester Strong, who left a career as a high-powered television anchor to run an organization bringing in older Americans to tu­tor students in public schools across the country; MIT development economist Esther Duflo, whose pioneering studies of aid effectiveness have revealed new truths about, among other things, the power of hope; and Jessica Posner and Kennedy Odede, who are transforming Kenya's most notorious slum by ex­panding educational opportunities for girls. A Path Appears offers practical, results-driven advice on how best each of us can give and reveals the lasting benefits we gain in return. Kristof and WuDunn know better than most how many urgent challenges communities around the world face to­day. Here they offer a timely beacon of hope for our collective future.

Goodreads

Don’t read this book if you don’t want to spend money.

The book takes a hard look at aid organizations around the world to see if they are doing what they set out to do.  Then they look at the reasons for the successes and the failures.

I had not heard of most the organizations that are profiled here.  I was looking for a new organization to support and I found one.  Shining Hope for Communities uses their girls’ schools in Kenya as a hub for community services.  It shows that the school for girls is an important place.

“From the school, SHOFCO extends holistic community services beyond the families of students to the entire community. We identify the services people value most, like clean water, quality health care, and economic empowerment opportunities.

SHOFCO raises the overall health of the community by providing access to free health care, clean water, sanitation education and toilet facilities. We empower the community through valuable public resources including computer and library access, adult education, and group savings and loans. We foster community fellowship though soccer teams, youth programs, and women’s empowerment groups. Today, these integrated services transform urban communities.”

from the website

The book also looks at why people give to charities and uses that research as a way to entice people to give more.  It looks at the issue of whether charities should be run like businesses and whether charities that are run like that are punished.  There was a 3 part PBS documentary featuring several of the organizations featured in the book that is available online.

take my money

 

 

 

About Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Sheryl WuDunn

Sheryl WuDunn, the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize, is a business executive, lecturer, and best-selling author. Currently, she is a senior managing director with Mid-Market Securities, an investment banking boutique, helping growth companies, including those operating in the emerging markets. She also worked at The New York Times as both an executive and journalist: in management roles in both the Strategic Planning and Circulation Sales departments at The Times; as editor for international markets, energy and industry; as The Times’ first anchor of an evening news headline program for a digital cable TV channel, the Discovery-Times; and as a foreign correspondent for The Times in Tokyo and Beijing, where she wrote about economic, financial, political, and social issues. She is co-author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.

Nicholas Kristof

Nicholas Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times since November 2001, is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who writes op-ed columns that appear twice a week. In 1990, Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, previously a Times journalist, won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square movement. Kristof won a second Pulitzer in 2006 for what the judges called “his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur.”

22 Apr, 2015

A Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

/ posted in: Reading A Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop
on March 4th 2014
Pages: 448
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Length: 14:13
Series: The Others #2
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible, Owned
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Also in this series: Written in Red, Marked in Flesh

Return to New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop’s “phenomenal” (Urban Fantasy Investigations) world of the Others—where supernatural entities and humans struggle to co-exist, and one woman has begun to change all the rules…After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more. The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murder of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard—Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader—wonders if their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or a future threat. As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now, the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet—and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

Goodreads

I loved listening to the audiobook of Written in Red so I immediately started listening to A Murder of Crows.  The world building in this series is amazing!  When humans started to expand from their origin points around the Mediterranean, they met the Terra Indigene – shapeshifters who are the dominant species on the planet.  The Terra Indigene control all the resources of the planet but allow humans to build some cities and use some materials in exchange for technology.  The alliance is very fragile though and now humans are starting to push for more.

Two drugs have appeared.  Gone Over Wolf causes increased aggression and Feel Good causes passivity to the point of not defending yourself if attacked.  Both drugs have been used in attacks against the Terra Indigene.

Meg is a prophet and the visions are coming more often.  She isn’t the only one.  The other blood prophets around the continent are seeing visions of blood and destruction.  War is coming.


The first book in the series was very insular.  It happened in the small community that Meg found herself in.  This book looks at the bigger picture.  At first that was a bit distressing.  I liked the insular story and wanted to know what was going on there.  But, seeing how Meg’s escape from the institution where blood prophets were kept caused ripples that are affecting the whole world was interesting.

We meet the Intuits, a subset of humans who have strong reactions when something bad is about to happen.  We learn how blood prophets are bred and controlled.  We see how the Humans First and Last movement is growing and how some people are taking it to violent extremes.

The Lakeside Courtyard now has a few trusted humans besides Meg working with them.  These people are now being attacked by other humans for being traitors to their kind.  At the same time Terra Indigene leaders from other areas are starting to come to Lakeside just to see how it is possible to deal with humans on an everyday basis.  Maybe there is hope for understanding after all.


I love this series so much that I had to force myself not to get the next book immediately.  There are only three out right now and I want to space them out a bit.  It isn’t fair to the audiobook I’m listening to now because I’m mad at it for not being this series!

About Anne Bishop

“New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop is the winner of the RT Book Reviews 2013 Career Achievement Award in Sci-Fi/Fantasy. She is also the winner of the William L. Crawford Memorial Fantasy Award for the Black Jewels Trilogy. Her most recent novel is Vision in Silver, the third book in Anne’s urban fantasy series set in a re-imagined Earth. When she’s not communing with the Others, Anne enjoys gardening, reading, and music. ” from her website

10 reasons to love written in red
07 Apr, 2015

10 Reasons to Love Written in Red

/ posted in: Reading 10 Reasons to Love Written in Red Written in Red by Anne Bishop
on 2013
Pages: 433
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Length: 18:32
Series: The Others #1
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible, Owned
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Also in this series: Murder of Crows, Marked in Flesh

No one creates realms like New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop. Now in a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans. As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg's Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others. Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she's keeping a secret, and second, she doesn't smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she's wanted by the government, he'll have to decide if she's worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

Goodreads

Why You Should Love This Book

1. A werewolf and a vampire manage a bookstore.

2. A human gets a job sorting mail. I’ve always been fascinated with mail sorting. Honestly. It seems like magic to me that mail gets where it is supposed to go. I would love the job of sorting mail.

3. The Ponies! The ponies deliver the mail if they feel like it. They come and get baskets full of mail. They are described as having grumpy faces. I love grumpy-faced ponies. The human started giving them treats. More ponies come and some try to get more than their share of treats. When they think the treats aren’t as good as yesterday, they get sassy. This was every day of my life with my grumpy-faced pony.

4. The narrator has a strange combination of little girl and very soothing qualities to her voice. I want her to narrate ALL THE BOOKS!

5. The names of the stores owned by the Others are great. Howling Good Reads, A Little Bite (coffee shop), Run and Thump (gym), etc.

6.  The Others can appear human but they don’t understand humans.  They base their interactions off what they’ve seen in books and movies.  They have to learn firsthand that things like “Is it that time of the month?” are not appropriate.

7.  The wolves learn to appreciate dog beds and treats even if they don’t want to admit it.

8.  The crows are gossips who don’t give correct change because they don’t want to give away shiny things.

9. Seriously, don’t mess with the ponies.  Angry ponies are destructive ponies!

10.  There is some great world building here.  Humans are not the dominant species on the planet.  They are allowed to live places through agreements with the Others and those agreements can be revoked at any time.  Human cites have been wiped out when the Others are angered.

About Anne Bishop

“New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop is the winner of the RT Book Reviews 2013 Career Achievement Award in Sci-Fi/Fantasy. She is also the winner of the William L. Crawford Memorial Fantasy Award for the Black Jewels Trilogy. Her most recent novel is Vision in Silver, the third book in Anne’s urban fantasy series set in a re-imagined Earth. When she’s not communing with the Others, Anne enjoys gardening, reading, and music. ” from her website

02 Apr, 2015

Somewhere Inside by Laura and Lisa Ling

/ posted in: Reading Somewhere Inside by Laura and Lisa Ling Somewhere Inside by Laura LingLisa Ling
on May 18th 2010
Pages: 336
Narrator: Laura Ling, Lisa Ling
Length: 10:16
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Nonfiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible, Owned
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

On March 17, 2009, Laura Ling and her colleague Euna Lee were working on a documentary about North Korean defectors who were fleeing the desperate conditions in their homeland. While filming on the Chinese–North Korean border, they were chased down by North Korean soldiers who violently apprehended them. Laura and Euna were charged with trespassing and "hostile acts," and imprisoned by Kim Jong Il's notoriously secretive Communist state. Kept totally apart, they endured months of interrogations and eventually a trial before North Korea's highest court. They were the first Americans ever to be sentenced to twelve years of hard labor in a prison camp in North Korea. When news of the arrest reached Laura's sister, journalist Lisa Ling, she immediately began a campaign to get her sister released, one that led her from the State Department to the higher echelons of the media world and eventually to the White House. Somewhere Inside reveals for the first time Laura's gripping account of what really happened on the river, her treatment at the hands of North Korean guards, and the deprivations and rounds of harrowing interrogations she endured. She speaks movingly about the emotional toll inflicted on her by her incarceration, including the measures she took to protect her sources and her fears that she might never see her family again. Lisa writes about her unrelenting efforts to secure Laura and Euna's release. Offering insights into the vast media campaign spearheaded on the women's behalf, Lisa also takes us deep into the drama involving people at the highest levels of government, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, Senator John Kerry, and Governor Bill Richardson—intense discussions that entailed strategically balancing the agendas and good intentions of the various players. She also describes her role in the back-and-forth between North Korea's demands and the dramatic rescue by former President Bill Clinton. Though they were thousands of miles apart while Laura was in captivity, the Ling sisters' relationship became a way for the reclusive North Korean government to send messages to the United States government, which helped lead to Laura and Euna's eventual release. Told in the sisters' alternating voices, Somewhere Inside is a timely, inspiring, and page-turning tale of survival set against the canvas of international politics that goes beyond the headlines to reveal the impact on lives engulfed by forces beyond their control. But it is also a window into the unique bond these two sisters have always shared, a bond that sustained them throughout the most horrifying ordeal of their lives.

Goodreads

I liked this book. I found Lisa’s story to be more interesting than Laura’s.  That’s probably because Laura was in a room with her guards and there is only so much that happens.  Lisa was negotiating with the media and the government.  I did find their relationship a little uncomfortable after a while.  I guess that’s because my closest relationship is with my husband and not a sibling.  I couldn’t relate to the desire to speak or see a sibling being as important as a husband.


 

To me this will always be a story about ulcers.

A few weeks before I started listening to this book I think I got a mild ulcer.  It really hurt for a few days until I modified my diet and drank pepto bismol to get through the work day.  Right as I was getting better, a coworker started having stomach pain.

“I’m listening to this book..”

“Oh God, what now?”  (Yes this is the coworker from the banana book conversation and yes, I think she does thank the universe EVERY DAY that I share my random insights with her.)

“I’m reading this book about a woman who was in captivity in North Korea and she had a history of real bad ulcers and she is having a hard time getting medicine.”


A few days later she texted me at home to tell me that her pain had gotten a lot worse and she was now dying.  I pointed out that she had contacted her vet instead of a human medical professional and promised to work that into my speech at her funeral.  I reminded her that she was lucky because she was not in custody in North Korea so she should quit whining.


I kept her updated when it turned out that Laura Ling’s ulcer kept her out of a labor camp.  The North Korean authorities decided she was too sick to go to the camp and they were rescued before she recovered fully.  We decided that if we were ever captured we would try to activate our ulcers to avoid a work camp.  It is good to have a plan.

Speaking of having a plan

When Laura and Euna were flown back to the U.S. (on a private plane – I would have been excited about not having to fly commercial across the Pacific) their reunion with their families was in front of the press.  I’m not having that.  I marched into the house and told the husband.

“If I am ever captured by the North Koreans, our reunion will not be as I get out of the plane in front of all the press.  You can climb the stairs your ownself and come see me in the plane.”

He looked at me for a minute and then looked back down at his book.  “I wouldn’t recognize you.”

“What?  Why?”

“You’d be like 120 lbs.”  He had the nerve to smirk but not to look me in the face.

“Point 1 – F#$@ you.  Point 2 – They fed them because they were high value American prisoners that they were trying to keep healthy.  Point 3 – F#$@ you and Point 4 – F#$@ you again.”

This is why I don’t understand why people think reading nonfiction is boring.  It engages you with the world around you and encourages you to dream up new places to hide the body.  I don’t think my ulcer will keep me out of American prison though.

 

 

 

fair game patricia briggs werewolf
19 Mar, 2015

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

/ posted in: Reading Fair Game by Patricia Briggs Fair Game by Patricia Briggs
on 2012
Pages: 308
Narrator: Holter Graham
Length: 9:57
Series: Alpha and Omega #3
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible, Owned
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Also in this series: Hunting Ground

Set in a world of shifting shapes, loyalty, and passion- brings werewolves out of the darkness and into a society where fear and prejudice could make the hunters prey. They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind. Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack's help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer's sights.

Goodreads

The werewolves are out of the closet.

Now that humans know that werewolves exist, there can be no ugly incidents that can turn into a public relations nightmare.  Bran (the leader of the North American werewolves) has increased the punishments for many offenses.  Many of the alphas of local packs are rebelling against the harsher policies, including death sentences for several offenses by younger wolves who don’t have great control yet.  Charles is sent in to kill when the alphas refuse.  This is wearing on him.  The ghosts of the wolves he has killed are following him around, attracted to his guilt.  He has shut out his wife for fear that the ghosts might latch onto her too.

This is where the story picks up, a year after the last book.  Anna has tried everything to convince Bran that Charles is breaking under the strain of constant executions.  When he finally sees a bit of she has been seeing, he sends them to Boston to help the FBI track a serial killer.  He hopes that the chance to hunt something that he doesn’t have to execute and the chance to be a good guy for once will help.

Liked

  • The law enforcement officials are getting their first contact with werewolves and learning how to deal with another species.
  • The public is learning too and wants to take pictures with them.
  • Peter!  There is a little dog named Peter who is not going to let the wolves anywhere near his person and acts like he is going to tear them apart.  The werewolves think he is cute and pretty brave since he’s only 10 lbs.  I happened to see a little dog named Peter at work the day I listened to this part.  He was pretty tough too.
  • It explains why the Fae disappear into their reservations.  The Mercy Thompson series discusses the ramifications of this decision but not the reason for it.

Didn’t Like

  • There is a really awkward sex scene.  I’ve already established how much I hate sex scenes in audiobooks and this one was cringier than most.
  • I figured going in that Anna would manage to get herself kidnapped by the bad guys but it looked like it wasn’t going to happen.  I was happy about that.  Then she got kidnapped.  Seriously, how many times can this happen to one person?
  • The bad guy was pretty easy to figure out this time.

About Patricia Briggs

“Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series, lives in Washington State with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses. She has written 17 novels to date. Briggs began her career writing traditional fantasy novels, the first of which was published by Ace Books in 1993, and shifted gears in 2006 to write urban fantasy. ” from her website

12 Mar, 2015

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

/ posted in: Reading Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs
on 2009
Pages: 286
Narrator: Holter Graham
Length: 8:25
Series: Alpha and Omega #2
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible, Owned
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Anne Latham didn't know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son--and enforcer--of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn't know how dangerous it could be either... Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran's controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan--and it seems like someone else might be, too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all--or risk losing everything...

Goodreads
  • I like the developing relationship between the main characters.  In this series only a few months have gone by since they met and were put into what was basically an arranged marriage.  They are still learning about each other and how to live together.
  • Charles has been an assassin for his father for over a hundred years.  He is good at his job so everyone is scared of him.  It is an interesting dynamic to pair him with a woman who met him when he saved her so she isn’t intimidated by him.  She is trying to be his kinder, gentler side to the public.
  • Anna is also tough though.  She is the Omega part of this series.  That means that she is able to step outside werewolf pack dominance fights and calm other wolves.  That gives her the perspective to tell when everyone is acting stupid and then bang their heads together to get them to act right.
  • Both the Mercy Thompson series and this series have been focused on the lives of the werewolves in the western U.S.  It was nice to see the author’s take on the European wolves and the different struggles they have.
  • I’ve come to the realization that one of the reasons I like these books is that they remind me of my husband and myself.  He’s paranoid and hyperaware from his military time and I pet him on the head and say, “Isn’t that sweet” and then tell him to knock it off and act right.  I’ve even been known to growl at him but that’s because I spend most of my time interacting with dogs and some things rub off.

About Patricia Briggs

“Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series, lives in Washington State with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses. She has written 17 novels to date. Briggs began her career writing traditional fantasy novels, the first of which was published by Ace Books in 1993, and shifted gears in 2006 to write urban fantasy. ” from her website

02 Mar, 2015

The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison

/ posted in: Reading The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison The Witch with No Name by Kim Harrison
on September 9th 2014
Pages: 480
Narrator: Marguerite Gavin
Length: 17:28
Series: The Hollows
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Urban
Published by HarperCollins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible, Owned
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

All good things must end . . .After ten years and thirteen adventures, at last the triumphant conclusion to Kim Harrison's #1 New York Times bestselling Hollows series!The Witch with No Name In 2004, Kim Harrison made her debut with Dead Witch Walking, an electrifying urban fantasy novel full of action, mystery, romance, and humor, which introduced bounty hunter and witch Rachel Morgan. Over the course of twelve books, Rachel confronted numerous threats, vanquished a range of cunning and powerful enemies, risked her heart, suffered haunting loss, and nearly lost her life. Now, in The Witch with No Name, Kim Harrison brings back her wildly popular heroine for one final, epic battle.Rachel Morgan's come a long way from the klutzy runner fleeing a bad job. She's faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She's crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She's lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has become something much more.But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price.That time is now.To save her best friend Ivy's soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever-after and our own world from utter destruction at the hands of fanatics, Rachel Morgan will risk everything.

Goodreads

Liked

  • I love the world building of this series.  This all happens because genetically – modified tomatoes wiped out most of the humans in the 1960s allowing other species to come out of hiding.
  • It is a great big reunion.  Lots of characters that haven’t been seen since the beginning of the series are brought back.  I love Rachel’s mom.
  • The narration of the series is very good.  I especially like the voices the narrator uses for the pixies.

Didn’t Like

  • Wimpy vampires – I hate vampires that react to stress by sitting down and crying.  Vampires should be tough.  There were a lot of sobbing vampires in this book but the ones that annoyed me most were the living vampires in the beginning.  See also – vampires who react to danger by cowering and screaming.
  • It is a bad sign when the book starts with the near-death of a major character and I’m hoping and praying that she dies because she’s been annoying for the last few books. I shouldn’t be chanting, “Kill her!  Kill her!” in my car.
  • Angst – Rachel feels guilt that she has pulled Trent into her problems and she feels like she is bringing him down.  Do you know how I know this?  Because it is repeated over and over and over and over and then again in case you didn’t get it.  Seriously, at times it was discussed every 15 minutes or so in the audiobook.  I understood it the first twenty five times.  It was starting to seem like she needed to keep saying it to get the word count up.
  • Elves smell like wine and cinnamon.  This was also worked into the books way too many times.  I get it.  Move on.
  • The ending!  They went and hit on one of my personal hot button issues so maybe this is just my thing but I’m going to go off on it on the SPOILERS page.

Overall

Love the series – this book wasn’t great but I really, really, super, duper hate the ending!  Read the series and skip this book.

 

 

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