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Category Archives: 1 Treasure Box

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Wedding Night: 1 Treasure Box
Publisher: Random House Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 13 hours and 13 minutes (464 pages,) ASIN: B00CAZKFJ4

Lottie is convinced that the man she has been dating for four years is going to ask her to become his wife. Fliss, the older and wiser sister, is going through a divorce. However, things do not go as expected, so when Lottie ends up engaged to an old flame, someone she has not seen in fifteen years, Fliss does everything she can to stop the marriage from becoming official

Madeleine Wickham is the author of this book written under the pen name of Sophie Kinsella. She has written numerous books under this name, including the  Shopaholic novels.  Please see my other reviews at Sophie Kinsella reviews. All of these novels including Wedding Night are considered chick lit. The story is told in the first person narrative alternating between two sisters. 

Wedding Night combines and interweaves two story lines and is told in the alternating voice of these two sisters, showing their different perspectives.  I l

iked Lottie’s character, but I found Fliss annoying at times. The story had no suspense or sense of mystery and I knew after the first third of the book what was going to happen. I also found the story unrealistic and trying. Especially all the scenes concerning Lottie and Ben’s wedding night experience. Although I think the biggest flaw in the book was the lack of romance.

There were a few funny scenes in this book, but overall I found it rather lackluster and disappointing. I did finish the book, but I could only rate it as okay. Not good, not bad, just okay. Overall, I was disappointed because it was not what I had come to expect from this author.

To Purchase: “Wedding Night” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

This entry is part 7 of 4 in the series Outlander
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of An Echo in the Bone: 1 treasure Box
Seventh Book in the Outlander Series
Publisher: Recorded Books, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 45 hours and 58 minutes, ASIN: B002RCJ9LA

The Declaration of Independence was signed July 4, 1776 and Jamie Frazer is fighting on the side of the Rebels, but his son William is an English solder. Jamie’s greatest fear at the Battle of Sartoga, where they are both fighting on opposite sides, is that he will shoot his own son. An Echo in the Bone continues the adventures of Clare and Jamie Fraser and starts in 1776 in America. The book follows several separate storylines and moves between 1776 and 1980.

There are currently seven books in the Outlander series and book eight, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood is expected to be released in the fall of 2013. These books are all considered historical fiction, but they also include some of romance. The majority of the story is told in a first person narrative by the main protagonist, a English woman, Clare, who has time traveled over 200 years into the past. The story moves back and forth through time depending on the characters and at times is told in a third person narrative from the point of view of some of the other main characters including Jamie, Claire’s husband; Brianna, Claire’s daughter; Roger, Brianna’s husband; and William, Jamie’s son.

There are three plotlines running simultaneously in 1776, one revolves around Clare, Jamie and Ian as they deal with the repercussions of the American Revolution; another follows Lord John, and his stepson, William, who also happens to be Jamie’s secret illegitimate son; another follows a couple of new characters, the Quaker Doctor Denzell Hunter and his pretty sister Rachel. When the story moves to the 1980s, it revolves around Brianna, Roger and their two small children who all live in Lallybrock, Scotland.

The book was really slow, particularly the first half and spent far too much time on Sir John and William. I found all the prose concerning Sir John rather boring, as well as the first half of the book when William was on his own. I enjoyed the scenes with Claire and Jamie as well as everything that occurred in present day. I also liked the new characters who were introduced, the Hunters. Not much really occurred to more the plot forward, but I am curious to find out what will happen to Brianna and her family.

Additionally, the book did not have an ending, did not have a cliff hanger, it just stopped in the middle of the tale. I had a hard time trying to decide if it should be an OK book or a good book, but for me it fell closer to OK than it did to good. The book was too long and did not have a proper ending.

To Purchase: “An Echo in the Bone” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Book Review: 1 Treasure Box

Book Review

Book Review of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed: 1 Treasure Box
Publisher: Random House Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 13 hours and 6 minutes (336 pages), ASIN: B007MIWUG0

After Cheryl lost her mother in a viscous fight against cancer, she started spiraling out of control and as she began to hit bottom, she realized it was time to take her life back. She did this by hiking alone 1,100 miles up the Pacific Crest trail. This book is the story or her journey, both on the trail and through the mire her life had become.

Cheryl Strayed, whose birth name was Spangler is an American author, and she has written a couple of books, all in the memoir genre as well as several essays, and she writes an advice column: Dear Sugar for The Rumpus. “Wild” was recommended by Oprah, which helped to push it to number one for nonfiction on the New York Times Best Seller list for seven consecutive weeks.

It is great that Cheryl realized her life was out of control and she made a decision to make a change. But she jumped into this journey, like she did most things in life, without really preparing or knowing what to expect. The journey was difficult and she had plenty of challenges, but for maybe the first time in her life, she did not quit. My favorite character was Cheryl’s mother, because she seemed liked a real nice, down to earth type of person who always tried to do her best despite the circumstances. 

I did not really care for either the style or the pacing of the writing in this book. I felt that Ms. Strayed told us what was happening, but she did not really draw the reader in, she did not show us, although there was a lot of potential for this tale to be really truly spell binding. 

I would not recommend this book, and although I thought it was ok, it was not great. Ms. Strayed is not my favorite author and I probably will not read anything else that she writes. Although, I do think that her writing about the Pacific Crest brought more awareness to this wonderful trail.

 

To Purchase: “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series The Southern Vampire Mysteries Series

Book Review: 1 Treasure Box
A Sooke Stackhouse Novel (The Southern Vampire Mysteries), Book 10
Publisher: Ace Books; 1 edition (May 4, 2010), Hardcover: 311 pages, ISBN-10: 0441018645, ISBN-13: 978-0441018642

Eric and Sookie are now married and Eric’s sire is in town.  Sookie has to deal with her vampire father-in law and her crazy, vampire brother-in-law. At the same time she is recovering from the ordeal she went through in Dead and Gone.

Dead in the Family is the tenth book in The Southern Vampire Mysteries series (also known as A Sooke Stackhouse Novel), and currently there are a total of twelve books. The thirteenth and final book is going to be released May 2013. All the books are contemporary fantasy but are also known as urban fantasy. They also fall into the romance genre. The story is told in the first person narrative with Sooke’s voice and thoughts as we follow her around.

Not too much happens in the beginning of this book because Sookie is recuperating from being captured and tortured.  Eric’s sire is in town making life difficult for the couple.  There are a few problems which crop up surrounding the werewolves and there are still some lingering faerie problems. This book continues to examine prejudice showing the damage it can cause. The end of the book was exciting and had plenty of action.

Previously, I had found this series to be one of the better in this genre, but now I am questioning if that is still true.  While reading Dead in the Family, I found some of the writing to be trite and rushed with a story that was not very well formulated. I also thought the book lacked its usual exciting pace. However, I still enjoyed reading Sookie’s thoughts and I still really like all of the characters.

This is a standalone book that continues immediately after the events in book nine, and since there are going to be three more books in the series, I know that there is more to tell in Sookie’s story.  I have read all the previous books in the series and I have enjoyed them all, but I found Dead in the Family to be underwhelming.  I thought the book was OK, and I am planning to give the next book in the series a read.  I am hoping it will pick up some speed.

 Favourite Quote:

 “I love spring for all the obvious reasons. I love the flowers blooming (which happens early here in Louisiana); I love the birds twittering; I love the squirrels scampering across my yard. I love the sound of werewolves howling in the distance. No, just kidding. But the late, lamented Tray Dawson had once told me that spring is the favorite season of werewolves.” Page 37

 

To Purchase: “Dead in the Family” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Angelic by Kelley Armstrong

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series An Otherworld Tale

Book Review: 1 Treasure Box
An Otherworld Tale
Publisher: Tantor Audio, Listening Length: 1 hour and 35 minutes, (104 Pages), ASIN: B0034DGXEM

Eve Levine is an angel, who needs a vacation, but the Fates are determined to keep her at work. After Eve died several years ago, she became a celestial bounty hunter. She is effective at her job because she is part demon and with her partner is a ghost.

Kelley Armstrong has written numerous contemporary novels, 11 books in the Women of the Underworld series, plus several other books, series, anthologies and novellas, including Darkest Powers & Darkness Rising and Nadia Stafford series. Angelic is told in a first person narrative by the main character Eve Levine, who, now that she is dead, works for the angel corps. The story is a contemporary fantasy, also known as urban fantasy.

The story started without much explanation and it took me a while to figure out the parameters of the world and the characters.  However, I was intrigued by the little bit of back story that was revealed. I did not think the story flowed very smoothly, because the characters seemed to jump around from place to place, although the novella did come to a good conclusion.

Angelic is a stand-alone novella and a quick read. I thought the book was OK, but not great but I was not clear about the world, so perhaps if I understood the world better I would have enjoyed the book more.

To Purchase: “Angelic” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

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The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Earth's Children

Book Review: 1 Treasure Box
Book Three of The Earth’s Children Series
Publisher: Brilliance Audio, Listening Length: 31 hours and 48 minutes (768 pages), ASIN: B001F5IKCO

Ayla and Jondalar along with their beloved horses have ventured out from Ayla’s valley. They have decided it is time for Ayla to meet more of her own people. Before long they run into the Mamutoi, the Mammoth Hunters.  Ayla’s different and unique ways attract the interest of these people who soon come to love the unusual new group, but there are also many challenges that the group must face together.

The Mammoth Hunters is the third of six books in the Earth Children’s series. This is a fictional story that takes place at the dawn of time, over 30,000 years ago and examines the practical and spiritual life of Cro-Magnons, the first early modern humans. Ms. Auel has done extensive research on this time period and her books have a wonderful historical quality. The story is told by a third-person omniscient narrator centering primarily on the main protagonist, Ayla, a young Cro-Magnon woman who was raised by Neanderthals and is now trying to reintegrate back into the society of her birth.

There are several themes running throughout this novel.  The story looks at surviving within an environment where people are closely confined and in order to thrive they must live with co-operation and consideration. Yet it also examines discrimination, the harm that can come from it as well as the strength that is required to overcome it. I did enjoy the story, but I also thought it dragged and most of the dialogue was weak. There was too much detail given towards everyday living and not enough given for the development of the characters. I also felt that Jondalar’s conflict went on too long and became rather tiresome.

This standalone novel concludes a portion of Ayla’s journey, but her story is not yet over. Overall, I thought the book was OK, and I am not sure whether I am going to continue with the series.


To Purchase: “The Mammoth Hunters” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Book Review: 1 Treasure Box
Publisher: Hay House; 1 edition (December 15, 2005), Paperback: 272 pages, ISBN-10: 1401902162, ISBN-13: 978-1401902162

This book keeps the reader focused on their thoughts. It is a reminder that the thoughts you think influence how the world around you reacts to you.

The name of the book is a bit misleading. At first glance you think that if you have an intention it can create a power in your life to bring it into manifestation. However, Dr. Dyer changes the meaning of intention to become another phrase for God “In a universe peopled by a creative, divine, organizing intelligence, which I’m calling the power of intention…” “Since intention is being presented in this book as an invisible energy field that is inherent in all physical form, intention, then, is a part of the inexplicable, nonmaterial world of spirit.”

Dr. Wayne Dyer has written numerous books in the new thought or new age genre of self help. He is a teacher, author and speaker.

I really like how he summarizes each chapter and gives practical steps to help implement the information in the chapter. At times I felt that the information he was supplying was just guess work on Dr. Dyer’s part. “I’ll give you my concept of what I refer to as the seven faces of intention. These points represent my imagined picture of what the power of intention looks like” and “again, I’m deducing this from the opposite”.

I found the last chapter to be disappointing and full of platitudes. To summarize how the power of intention can improve your life, Dr. Dyer was using as an example a perfect person. Someone who does not exist and as such this example becomes meaningless as a method to provide help to the rest of us who are struggling through life as best we can.

To purchase: “The Power of Intention” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

 

Posted by on January 15, 2012 in 1 Treasure Box, In Library, Non-Fiction

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Reunion in Death by J. D. Robb

This entry is part 16 of 26 in the series In Death Series

Book Review: 1 Treasure Box
In Death Series, Book 16
Publisher: Brilliance Audio (November 28, 2007) 11 hours 21 minutes (320 pages), ISBN-10: 1423317483, ISBN-13: 978-1423317487

A black widow type murderer, who Eve previously tracked down and convicted, is released from the jail. But now she is killing strangers in Eve’s back yard and her ultimate goal is Roake. Eve must find and stop her before it is too late.

Reunion in Death is the sixteenth instalment in the In Death series by J.D. Robb. To date she has written 40 books in the series, with two more expected to be released in the fall of 2011.  These are crime drama, suspense and romance because they focus on the case Eve is currently working on as well as her and Roake’s personal relationship. This is a futuristic suspense that takes place in 2059 in New York City. The books are told in a third person narrative that focuses primarily on Lieutenant Eve Dallas, but at times the story is also told through some of the other characters including the murderer. They are written by Nora Roberts under the pseudonym of J. D. Robb.

I felt this book recycled material from some of the previous stories.  We have already seen this storyline played out. However, the parts that examined Eve’s past were interesting and covered new material.  Eve must go to Dallas to find clues on the killer and in the process face her past.  Although, there is no sex in this book, there is a really sweet moment between Eve and Roake when they exchange their first anniversary gifts. We also get to meet Peabody’s Free-Ager parents which include some interesting moments.

For In Death fans, Reunion in Death is a necessary read since it moves Eve’s personal story forward and we learn more about Peabody’s background.  If you a just looking for a good crime drama story though, this one is pretty mediocre.

Question to Ponder: Did you think the crime drama portion of this book was recycled, or did you really enjoy the story?

To Buy: “Reunion in Death” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series The Sevenwaters Trilogy

Book Review: 1 Treasure Box
The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Book 1
Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (April 1, 2010), Format: Kindle Edition, File Size: 805 KB, Print Length: 560 pages, Language: English, ASIN: B004VMWAZQ

 


This is a book of magic, deception and redemption. Sorcha is the young daughter of the widowed Irish Lord of Sevenwaters. She is kind, caring and has her own magic. Her and her six brothers are put under a spell by their wicked new stepmother. It is up to Sorcha to save her brothers and this is the tale of her journey and her growth.

The Daughter of the Forest is the first book in The Sevenwaters Trilogy, but there are five books in total in this series. It falls into the historical fantasy genre, although I did not really feel it was very historical but rather more fanciful. It could also be considered a romance. It is told in a first person narrative from Sorcha’s point of view, she is also known as the daughter of the forest.

I did not think the story was very original and since it is based on the fairy tale of The Six Swans I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything different.  At times I thought it really dragged on, especially in the middle when Sorcha is first on her own trying to survive while toiling on the shirts. The story was transparent and did not leave much for the reader to anticipate. I did enjoy the romance part of the book and once Sorcha went to live with the Britons, things started to pick up a bit.  The characters were pretty much one sided, either all good or all bad. The story did not really explain why the wicked stepmother did what she did, but I think she wanted to have the seventh son of a seventh son. This is someone who can become very powerful with the use of magic.

The Daughter of the Forest is a complete story and it has a nice ending. I thought this book was okay, but I am not intrigued enough to read the next book in the series. If you enjoy reading a book that takes place in ancient Ireland and has a romance story in it, then you may enjoy this book.

To Purchase: “Daughter of the Forest” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin

Book Review: 1 Treasure Box
The Inheritance Trilogy, Book 1
Publisher: Orbit; Original edition (February 25, 2010), Sold by: Hachette Book Group, Format: Kindle Edition, File Size: 544 KB, Print Length: 432 pages, Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316043915, Language: English, ASIN: B002ZDJZO2

What if Gods were used as weapons and could be controlled by humans? This is a story of a world where there were once three omnipotent Gods, but now there is only one.  One is dead and the other and their semi-godlike siblings are held as slaves to be controlled by the ruling class of citizens known as Arameri. Yeine Darr is a half-blood Arameri who has been brought back home and pulled into the politics of who will be the next head of the Amareri.  The most powerful and influential person on earth.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is N. K. Jemisin’s debut novel. This is the first of three books in The Inheritance Trilogy. The second book The Broken Kingdoms was released in 2010 and the third book The Kingdom of Gods is expected September 1, 2011. These books fall into the fantasy genre. The story is told from a first person narrative by the protagonist Yeine Darr, a mixed-blood princess.

I didn’t think that the story was flushed out or explained very well.  I know that Itempas, the God of Light murdered his sister, Enefa, the Goddess of Dawn and Dusk.  But I am not sure exactly why he wanted her dead. I feel that books where gods have unlimited power yet also human tendencies like selfishness and human emotions that include hate and jealousy are not believable. I prefer a deity that has grown into their power and has proven they have what it takes to wield such power. This book shows how absolute power corrupts absolutely.  I had a problem with the logic of the story and felt that there were several big plot holes.  Right up until the end I was not sure where the story was going so it kept me interested. I liked the visual discriptions used in the book.

This is a stand alone story which I appreciated and it has a satisfying ending so I could put the book down and not be too concerned about what will happen next.  I know there is another book in the series and I am not sure where the story will go with the next book and I am not sure that I will ever be compelled to pick it up to find out.

 

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