Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January Book Reviews

I have been reading like a mad woman, mainly because I am in way to many swaps on PBS but also because I have needed a bit of a break from art. Some of the books I have read I really enjoyed, other's not so much, here is a brief summary of what I have read so far in 2009.

If you are looking for an old fashioned mystery with a splash of romance and a new twist then this is it!

I am not a huge mystery fan, normally because they don't have enough romance or the mystery is flawed. But La Vida Vampire did not have these problems. The sexual tension between the two main characters is fantastic and the mystery is well mapped out and very plausible, if you can call anything to do with Vampire's believable.

I thought it was a bit slow to begin with but by the end I realized that Nancy Haddock was laying down the foundation for strong, well developed characters that would carry a series off easily.

What I really liked about this book was the nice neat story line the was wrapped up and the fact that the author gave you just enough insight into what is to come to make you want to read her next book but not want to throttle her for leaving too much of a cliffhanger.

A friend of mine told me this book was a Da Vinci Code esk novel about Dracula. She got one thing right, it is about Dracula but as for being exciting and fast moving. Well it is anything but.

I read a lot of historical fiction so I know that some of it can be a bit dry but this one takes the cake. I might as well have been reading a non fiction book where the author didn't do any research. The manner in which Elizabeth writes is so dry. Yes, there is potential but she misses when she made the decision to write everything as if it was a letter, it drones on and on and on for 700 plus pages I might add.
And the real kicker, after drudging through the 700 pages it just ends. 650 pages of the slowest chase ever written across the world and Kostova wraps everything up in an unbelievable fashion and then leaves it open for a sequel. There is no way if she ever does write one that I will read it.

I can't believe this book got such rave reviews, a total let down in my opinion.

Christi Phillips debut novel is a delight.

At first I was a bit lost in the 1618 story, there were lots of characters and for a while when it switched back to the historical line, the story did not seem to go together. However, this is my only critique of Phillips novel. And after a few trips back in time everything did come together very nicely.

Normally I find the historical story more intriguing but in this book I kept longing to read the present story line. This is not a romance by any means but the undertones of romantic relationships are fabulous. Also, I really liked the fact that the main character was chaperoning a typical teenager, something you don’t see in these types of books.

Phillips characters are very believable and the manner she build her story keeps you enthralled, a very quick and pleasant read. I fully intend to read her next novel.

Betrayed is book 2 in the House of Night Series.

I really enjoyed book 1, Marked, I thought it had some great lessons for teenagers that everyone faces. But what I found really intriguing is that the lessons are written in a manner that does not scream “hey you, this is what you should do” but are couched in a fun fast paced story that teenaged girls will enjoy.

In Betrayed the lessons are continued, I thought the ones in this book were better than in Marked (all about being different and not giving into what the “in crowd when you know they are wrong). This book explores what it feels like to like more than one boy at a time, and how one should appropriately handle it. Once again it does not scream or preach the correct action. Betrayed also lets the reader in on the fact that not everyone is who they appear and how to guard yourself against this.

The hardest lesson this book looks into is the loss of a loved one. This particular story line (lesson) looks like it will be continued into book three which I am very anxious to read.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Dear Caroline,

I'm Nancy Haddock, and I want to thank you for the lovely comments about La Vida Vampire.

You have a busy and most artistic life, and I appreciate the time and energy you took to read and review my book! Thank you, and have a wonderful year!