Friday, January 30, 2009

The Fetch

by Laura Whitcomb

When souls make the decision to leave this Earth, they need a guide to the above. That’s where Calder comes in; he’s a Fetch, a being similar to the Grim Reaper or an angel. His job is to answer the souls’ questions, guide them through the Aisle of Unearthing, and then take them to his Captain. He is never to upset the earthbound, nor interfere with the duties of another Fetch, but as usual with “nevers,” that is exactly what Calder does.
Falling in love with a woman he calls Glory, Calder breaks many of the Vows of the Fetch by jumping into the dying body of Grigori Rasputin to be near the woman whom be believes to be the nursemaid of Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich.
With Calder’s selfish act, the whole spirit world is thrown into chaos, and Calder, who is trapped in the earthly turmoil of the Russian Revolution, must fix it.

Okay, my thoughts on this. I have a lot of mixed feelings about it, that’s for sure, and I don’t think The Fetch is for everyone. The start of this book was odd, I will admit. All the concepts were so foreign that I felt like I had to stop and dissect every one in order to understand what was going on. I felt like I was watching the whole story through a pane of old glass, with foggy patches and bubbles. Even once the story smoothed out into having one main plot, it took me some time to put everything together in my mind, such as the fact that Calder was using Rasputin’s body and so was seen as him, except for by Ana and Alexis, who saw him as he was when he died at nineteen.
All that said, I did like Ms. Whitcomb’s descriptions, and over all I think the book was a worthwhile and interesting read, it’s just that it took quite a lot of thought. I believe it might be one of those books that is a lot easier to understand the second time around, but on the other hand it might lose its magic.

Recommended for ages sixteen and up not for content, but for enjoyment. I doubt younger readers would have the patience to understand and like this book.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce

"Waiting on" Wednesday was created by Jill of Breaking the Spine, and is a way for bloggers to share the upcoming books that they're longing for. This week I'm waiting on...

by Tamora Pierce
Released April 28th, 2009
Sequel to: Terrier

Beka Cooper is finally a Doga full-fledged member of the Provost's Guard, dedicated to keeping peace in Corus's streets. But there's unrest in Tortall's capital. Counterfeit coins are turning up in shops all over the city, and merchants are raising prices to cover their losses. The Dogs discover that gamblers are bringing the counterfeit money from Port Caynn. In Port Caynn, Beka delves deep into the gambling world, where she meets a charming banking clerk named Dale Rowan. Beka thinks she may be falling for Rowan, but she won't let anythingor anyonejeopardize her mission. As she heads north to an abandoned silver mine, it won't be enough for Beka be her usual "terrier" self. She'll have to learn from Achoo to sniff out the criminalsto be a Bloodhound....

Why I'm waiting:
Because it's been too bloody long since the release of the first one and I want to read it, by gosh! And this had better be the actual release date, Random House! I think I will have to re-read Terrier before this one, though, so I have some clue what's going on because it's been SO LONG! Whoa, a lotta exclamation points there. Too bad the new cover looks so weird, eh? I liked the old one so much better.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Princess of the Midnight Ball

by Jessica Day George

What?! Can it be? I think it is! A review! I'm quite amazed that I actually managed to write something, although it was quite easy because my thoughts on this are well defined already. So, without further ado...

Galen is an ordinary soldier returning from the war with no claims of fame or heroism. But when he meets an old woman by the side of the road and she gives him a marvelous cloak of invisibility, his fortunes are about to change. Although he is only an under-gardener in the royal gardens, Galen befriends Rose, the eldest of the twelve princesses.
It’s not long before the princesses are suffering from an illness that confines them to their beds—and yet the girls are still exhausted each morning, their dancing slippers worn to shreds. Galen knows that he must save his lovely friend and her sisters—though numerous princes have tried and failed (and then died through questionable circumstances)—and he thinks the invisibility cloak will be just the thing to solve the mystery.
But it’s not that easy—Galen soon learns that there are darker forces at work than spoiled princesses sneaking out to dance for a lark, and he must use his wits.... Or watch the entire kingdom crumble.

Jessica Day George’s books are always really good; they’re happy without being corny; the plots are just right, being neither too complicated or understand nor too simple; they’re mature enough for anyone to read, but yet are entirely clean, and they’re just delightfully fun every time. Princess of the Midnight Ball does not disappoint in any regard, and though it is a retelling of a common fairytale (The Twelve Dancing Princesses, in case you hadn’t figured it out), it still managed to be suspenseful enough that I read it in one day. If you enjoy this book, check out the author’s other books: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow (a retelling of the Norwegian fairytale East of the Sun, West of the Moon) and Dragon Slippers, Dragon Flight, and the forthcoming Dragon Spear.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Library Loot: January 14-21

A little late here, but here's myfor the week of January 14th - 21st. I have sporadic library habits! I went on the 8th, and got...

The Fetch by Laura Whitcomb
Because I loved the author's first novel, A Certain Slant of Light.

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
Jessica Day George's books always have just the right amount of everything.

Sharpe's Enemy (DVD, Sharpe Series #4)
The same reason as I got the last one, although they are getting better and better with each movie. Most of the characters are solidly there, and Sharpe is growing more likable.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry

"Waiting on" Wednesday was created by Jill of Breaking the Spine, and is a way for bloggers to share the upcoming books that they're longing for. This week I'm waiting on...

The Amaranth Enchantment
by Julie Berry
Released March 3rd, 2009

A delightful fairytale by a lyrical new voice.
When Lucinda Chapdelaine was a small child, her parents left for the royal ball and never returned. Ever since, Lucinda has been stuck in perpetual servitude at her evil aunt’s jewelry store. Then, on the very same day, a mysterious visitor and an even more bizarre piece of jewelry both enter the shop, setting in motion a string of twists and turns that will forever alter Lucinda’s path. In this magical story filled with delightful surprises, Lucinda will dance at the royal ball, fall under the Amaranth Witch’s spell, avenge her parents’ death, and maybe—just maybe—capture the heart of a prince.

Why I'm waiting:
The storyline looks interesting, although somewhat cliché, and I rather like the cover. But for some reason I'm expecting this to be a lot like the Study series--maybe in part because of the dark-haired young woman with an exotic flower--which isn't a bad thing if it's as good as Poison Study.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why I Haven't Been Posting

...or at least, why I haven't been posting anything besides Waiting on Wednesdays and Library Loot.

It's because I'm working again--at Borders! Well, it's not as a bookseller, but as a barista in the Seattle's Best Coffee café. It's only part-time, but it cuts into my reading quite a bit with working and then when I get home sometimes I just feel like doing nothing, not even reading.

Everyone says working retail sucks, but so far (only a week, though) it hasn't been too bad. Yesterday I got my first snarky customer, but also my first share of tips from the tip jar ($2.09 or something like that--and most of it in change, oooh!). Even though I work with SBC, I still get an employee discount and the option to "check out" up to two hardcover books at a time as long as I return them in very good condition.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know why I've been a little bit absent and that I still love all of my readers. Expect more reviews in the future, just not quite so many sometimes.

Happy inaugeration day!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: The Singing by Alison Croggon

"Waiting on" Wednesday was created by Jill of Breaking the Spine, and is a way for bloggers to share the upcoming books that they're longing for. This week I'm waiting on...

The Singing: The Fourth Book of Pellinor
by Alison Croggon
Released March 10th, 2009
Sequel to: The Naming, The Riddle, and The Crow

The climactic volume of the epic quartet follows the Bards of Edil-Amarandh on a vital quest to merge their powers against a nameless evil.

In an increasingly battle-ravaged land, Maerad, Cadvan, and Hem desperately search for one another as they make their separate journeys. The Black Army is advancing north, and even as Maerad faces a mighty confrontation with the Landrost to save Innail, all of the Seven Kingdoms are threatened with bitter and devastating defeat. Yet in Maerad and Hem lives the secret to the mysterious Singing, and legend holds that if they release the music of Elidhu together, they have the power to defeat the Nameless One. Can brother and sister find each other in time to fight this all-powerful enemy, and are they strong enough—even reunited—to defeat him before all is lost?

Why I'm waiting:
I've loved the Pellinor series since I first read them. The idea is original, and the writing is very well done. The second and third books were, in my opinion, even better than the first, and I can't wait to see how it all ends.
Also, this isn't the new cover, I just couldn't find a picture of it anywhere. But the new cover is the same, only the background has randomly been changed to an orange-ish color instead.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Library Loot: January 7-13

Eva over at A Striped Armchair and Sarah from Behold, the thing that reads came up with this great idea: posting what you got at the library each week. I might not go every single week--and I might sometimes go twice!--but I'll definitely be participating. See the first Library Loot post to join in!

I happened to go to the library yesterday and picked up these books (and a movie):

Always going left to right, top row:
All We Know of Heaven
by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Because I thought it looked interesting

Identical by Ellen Hopkins
I've really liked some, not all, of the author's other books

Kingston by Starlight by Christopher John Farley
Back to that nautical/piratical stuff again, big surprise!

Sharpe's Company (DVD, Sharpe series #3)
Because I loveeee Regency-era stories and while Sharpe's character--and sort of the movie series in general--has yet to compare with that of Mr. Hornblower, they are good enough to continue watching

The Smile by Donna Jo Napoli
I felt like reading this one. I've really liked some of Ms. Napoli's works, and others I haven't, so I'm not sure what to expect

You Know Where to Find Me by Rachel Cohn
This has been receiving rave reviews, so I finally got my hands on a copy

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: The Season by Sarah MacLean

OK, I (Tyto Alba) am jumping in to take my turn. "Waiting on" for this week...

The Season
by Sarah MacLean
Released March 1st, 2009

Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get herself into what may be her biggest scrape yet When the Earl of Blackmoor is mysteriously killed, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. But will Alex's heart be stolen in the process? In an adventure brimming with espionage, murder, and other clandestine affairs, who could possibly have time to worry about finding a husband? Romance abounds as this year's season begins...

Why I'm waiting:
Even though this sounds like it might be kind of predictable and/or cheap-romance-novel-ish, I'm so in love with the Georgian/Regency eras that I simply can't resist! Hopefully Alex, Ella, and Vivi will kick some butt along with possibly "having their hearts stolen."