Book Review of Dead and Alive: 1 Trash Can
Frankenstein, book 3
Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (July 28, 2009), (352 pages), ISBN-10: 0739317172, ISBN-13: 978-0739317174
Dead and Alive continues the story of the modern day Doctor Frankenstein. The premise is that Doctor Frankenstein, now known as Victor Helios, has created a way to prolong life, including his own and that is why today he still appears to be relatively young. Not only has he created a way to prolong life, but he is also creating an army of genetically modified humans.
I was not able to finish this story. I found the writing atrocious, and the story improbable, as well as gruesome. But what I disliked the most was how undeveloped the characters were, especially Victor Helios, who was one-sided, all evil. I do not recommend this story, I thought the book would be better used as tinder.
Reverb is a story of redemption, healing, and love, with a twist of foreboding. The majority of the story takes place in Greece and revolves around James, a musician in hiding, and Elizabeth, a young mother recovering from the death of her husband.
The book captured my interest from the first page. The story was well told, and I liked all the characters, who I found to be well-rounded and complex. I enjoyed how the tale unfolded, and many parts I found original, although I did think the ending was a bit abrupt, and perhaps a tad too concise. Overall, I enjoyed the story and I recommend this book as a very good read. To Purchase Reverb from Amazon, click here or on picture above
Book Review of Longbourn: 3 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Knopf (October 8, 2013), Sold by: Random House LLC, File Size: 1708 KB, Print Length: 353 pages, Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385351232, ASIN: B00CCPIITQ
Longbourn is a look at the world of Pride and Prejudice from a different point of view, from the view downstairs. It is the story of the servants who work at Longbourn, the home estate of the Bennets. The author, Jo Baker, has created interesting backgrounds for the lives of these people.
I really enjoyed the book. I thought it was well written and I liked the characters. I enjoyed tying the story into Pride and Prejudice. I thought it was an interesting look at the separation of class, especially in England during this time. I recommend this book as a very good historical read.
“She was as sweet, soothing and undemanding as a baked milk-pudding, and as welcome at the end of an exhausting day.” Page 50
“A blur of rich colours—one green velvet coat, one blue—and the soft creak of good leather, and a scent off them like pine sap and fine candlewax and wool. She watched their glossy boots scatter her tea leaves across the wooden floor. The two gentlemen were so smooth, and so big, and of such substance: it was as though they belonged to a different order of creation entirely, and moved in a separate element, and were as different as angels.” Page 195
“Fear now was a creature; it slithered around him, covered his face and got in amongst his hair and he could not breathe and he could not think, and he just stared across the wide poor land, and along the empty road, then spun to look back off the way they’d come from.” Page 236
“ It was not the end, of course; it was just an end. Mrs. Hill’s thread may have become snarled up into an intractable knot, but others were still unspooling. One had wound all the way out through the wild Derbyshire hills, and then along the gentler lanes of Cheshire, and then drifted across to the flat lands by the sea.” Page 328
Power Vs Force is a fascinating look at how spiritual power is superior to physical force. Dr. Hawkins backs up his book with thousands of tests to support his position. I recommend this book as a very good read, it is interesting and informative. Plus I like the way Dr. Hawkins shows how good will always overcome evil in the end.
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd is the next book in our Online Book Club. We are reading this book from February 22 until March 31. This should be a great book, because it is by the same author who brought us The Secret Lives of Bees and it is a story about two incredible women. This looks to be an uplifting story, and if it is anything like The Secret Lives of Bees.
“A remarkable novel that heightened my sense of what it meant to be a woman – slave or free. . .will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled to find her power and her voice. . .Sue Monk Kidd has written a conversation changer. It is impossible to read this book and not come away thinking differently about our status as women and about all the unsung heroines who played a role in getting us to where we are.”—Oprah Winfrey, O The Oprah Magazine
This is a summary of the book from Sue Monk Kidd’s website:
The Invention of Wings
Published by Viking, January 7, 2014
Selected for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0
A New York Times #1 Bestseller
From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees: a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.
Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimkes’ daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women. Continue reading The Invention of Wings is the next book in the Online Book Club→
Book Review of The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood: 3 Treasure Boxes
Second Book of the MaddAddam Trilogy
Random House Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 14 hours and 4 minutes, ASIN: B002Q1IUNK
The Year of the Floodbegins in a post-apocalyptic world with Snowman living alone and yet somehow connected with a group of human-like creatures. As Snowman stumbles through his life, the events that lead up the ruination of the world are slowly revealed through flashbacks. Snowman is the same character as Jimmie from Oryx and Crakeand both stories run in parallel. I liked how The Year of the Flood explained the ending of Oryx and Crake, because I felt that ending was a bit too open.
Margaret Atwood is a famous Canadian writer born in 1937, and she has written numerous books, short stories, books of poetry and essays. She has won more than 55 awards, both Canadian as well as international. The Year of the Flood is speculative fiction and the story is told in the first person narrative by the main protagonist, Snowman.
This trilogy presents a grim view of the havoc that genetic engineering could cause. I thought the characters were great and I liked where the story went, but at times I thought it was a bit too much preachy. I was listening to the audio book and didn’t care for the religious songs. I am looking forward to reading the final book in the series to see where this trilogy is headed.
I recommend this book as a very good read, but it is important to read Oryx and Crake first.
Favourite Quote: “But I prefer to say, ‘We are what we wish’. Because if you can’t wish, why bother?”
Book Review of Revolutionary Road: 2 Treasure Boxes Revolutionary Road is really well written, but I am finding it quite depressing. I find it difficult to pick up the story to read it, due to the bleakness that emanates out from within the pages. Additionally, I do not really like any of the characters because I found them unlikable. Frank, the husband is cheating on his wife and for me this is a real turnoff. The story revolves around an unhappy couple.
The story addresses mental illness, and brings awareness to this issue. Revolutionary Road was released as a movie in 2008, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. I saw this movie in the theater, so I knew what was going to happen, and because I knew where it is going I was not able to fully appreciate the novel.
The writing was amazing and I give Revolutionary Road 3 treasure boxes for the writing, however the story was depressing and I did not like any of the characters so I give the content 1 treasure box, which leaves me to give the overall book 2 treasure box rating.
I have written an interesting essay about Revolutionary Road called The Fragility of Masculinity. Please click on this link to read the essay.
Revolutionary Road Characterizes the Fracturing of the Male Identity in the 1950s
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates takes place in 1955, in the
suburbs of America, and examines the inner life of an unhappily married, middle-class couple—Frank and April Wheeler. This novel highlights some of the key issues of this era; including the need for perfection within the American family, the shift to life in the suburbs, as well as the changing face of masculinity. Throughout the story, Frank purports to disdain the traditional American suburban lifestyle: where each family is expected to be identical, they dress the same, live in the same style of home, do the same things, and each aims to appear perfect. However, his outward contempt is actually a camouflage to hide his lack of confidence in his own masculinity and deflects his fear—his inability to fulfill his role as a man within the traditional family. Frank is insecure about his own manliness, but he is not experiencing this doubt in isolation; instead his reactions and responses reflect the prevalent uncertainty about masculinity during this post-war era. The suburban lifestyle and male expectations were encapsulated in television shows during this time with the longest running show being The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Both Frank’s and Ozzie’s struggles with their masculinity embody the changing face of masculinity in the 1950s.
Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
First Book in The Abhorsen Trilogy
Publisher: HarperTeen; First Edition edition (August 23, 1997), Paperback: 496 pages, ISBN-10: 0064471837, ISBN-13: 978-0064471831
Sabriel is a necromancer, but instead of raising the dead, she returns the dead back into the grave.
Garth Nix has written numerous young adult fantasy novels and series, including: the Old Kingdom series, The Seventh Tower series, and The Keys to the Kingdom. Sabriel is the first book in the Abhorsen Trilogy and it is told in a third person narrative from the perspective of the main protagonist, a young woman who can control the dead. The story takes place in a world filled with magic that can be controlled through sound. Particularly the sound created by whistling or bells.
The story was intriguing from the first page. The characters were all interesting and the concept of the world was unique and captivating. I was never too sure where the story was going but I was anxiously turning each page to find out what was going to happen next. There was plenty of action during the fight scenes against the dead.
“Sabriel” is a standalone novel. There are two other books in the series, but each has its own characters and storyline, which only lightly touch each other. I recommend this book as a very good read.
Book Review of The Wyrmling Horde: 3 Treasure Boxes
Runelords, Book 7
Scions of the Earth, Book 3
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc., Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 11 hours and 38 minutes, ASIN: B008S7BBU0
Fallion, the son of the Earth King and a powerful fire wizard, has bound two shadow worlds. One shadow world, the world of Gaborn Val Orden and the place we have come to know from the previous Runelord books, has amalgamated with a dark version of itself. With the combining of the two worlds, there has been a combining of the two versions of the people within, as well as a combining of the land and the magics.
However, the darker shadow world has a ruling class of evil wyrmlings. These creatures are actually loci, sinister parasites that feed on human souls. The wyrmlings are powerful and plentiful. They have created a self-serving, cruel society that seeks to dominate and destroy the world. The wyrmlings have devised a new form of forcible, one of compassion, and it is used to transfer pain. Fallion is captured and has received hundreds of endowments of compassion. He is made to continually experience the pain of others; pain of torture, dismemberment, and despair.
This was a well told story and picks up right after the end of Worldbringer. New characters are added, and some of the older characters have changed and morphed with the combining of the worlds. We learn more about how the one true world split into thousands of shadow worlds, and we learned more about the netherworld. This is a story of good versus evil, with the underlying message that evil can only be destroyed through love.
I really enjoyed the story, but I was shocked when it ended. I did not feel that the story had come to any kind of a conclusion. It felt more like the end of a chapter than the end of the book. Luckily for me the next book, Chaosbound is available. I will be picking it up in the next few days because I am anxious to see where this story is going.
I highly recommend The Wyrmling Horde and all the Runelord books, but they do need to be read in order. These books are all very good reads, and anyone who enjoys fantasy with enjoy these stories.