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Archive for November, 2007

I found this book as I was reading and was struck by the cover.  So I read it.  It is the story of Anna Commena, first born child and heir to the Byzantine Empire.  Anna is a bit pompous, but good hearted.  She learns early of court intrigue and plotting, but is still shocked when her grandmother and brother plot to have her family name him as heir rather than Anna.  Unfortunately, it works.  This is not a happy in the end type of book, but rather shows a realistic picture of what can happen in ruling families when someone usurps the throne.  Anna is a strong character and Barrett creates a rich view of what life was like for her. 

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In The Reincatnationist, Rose looks into a mystery that is thousands of years old.  But unlike other books dealing with ancient historical mysteries, she focuses on an ancient pagan mystery.  It was a refreshing change from all the Christian and Knights Templar stories that have proliferated in the past decade.  It centers around a dig site outside of Rome where the last Vestal Virgin was buried alive after she breaks her vows and becomes pregnant.  The book’s main character, Josh Ryder, has been having flashbacks to past lives for the past few years after a near death accident.  Upon visiting the site, Josh knows he has been there before and believes that he knows who the woman’s skeleton they found is.  She holds the secret of the Memory Stones.  Death, thievery, and mayhem follow and soon Josh is intent on helping people that he believes he knew in previous lives.  There is a madman who wants the stones and though he does not want people to die, getting the stones is more important that everyone.  The present day story is interspersed with flashbacks of Josh and a few other characters to ancient Rome and to the US in the 1880s.  It is a gripping tale although some of the plot lines were left dangling at the end of the story.  Yet it does all come together to make a complete picture surrounding past life regression and the memory stones.  The premise was interesting and delves into an area not often discussed in Western literature (or at least not that I have read).  I hope that this will spawn other stories of its ilk. 

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  So once again I have missed the first book in a series and jumped right into the second.  This was a very gritty, urban magic book.  It reminded me of Shadowlight by Bradley and the Harry Dresden series by Butcher (although our heroine does not have nearly as many accidents as Dresden does in his books).  This is the story of Harper Blaine (love the name!) who is a PI and had a near death experience that has essentially changed the way she looks at the world.  Now she can move in the realm of ghosts and see magic around her otherwise know as traveling through the Grey.  It is a fascinating premise and is very well described (so often the author has a clear view of things that does not translate well to the reader).  So Harper is hired to find out who in a group of people is faking paranormal phenomena.  They are part of a study being done at a college and the professor cannot believe that the results they are getting are real and so, hence, someone must be faking the data.  Of course it is a real poltergeist that plays all sorts of havoc and whatnot on the town before things are resolved.  Harper while trying to solve the crime is still trying to figure out how all this greywalker stuff works.  The stories are more realistic because she does not know everything and did not have this near death experience only to be given knowledge of how it all works.  So she is slowly learning and I think will grow as a character in a much more believeable fashion because of it.  I definitely have to go back and read the first, but I will have to wait for the leaning tower of books to shrink a bit.  I look forward to seeing more about Harper Blaine.   

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It has been a bad week for books.  For the most part the ones I have read have been very uninspired.  I plug along though and know that eventually this dry patch will clear up.  And it has, at least briefly, in the form of A Lick of Frost.  I have been dedicated to Hamilton even when her books were suddenly really raunchy and had no plots.  I know she is a good writer.  I have read most, if not all, or her books.  So I patiently waded through the last couple Merry Gentry and Anita Black books.  I knew she would come back and she has!!!!! This latest entry in the Merry Gentry series is exactly what I love about Hamilton.  It is a stirring tale of love, loss, anger and betrayal with mystery and intrigue thrown in for good measure.  And no, they do not spend the entire book in bed as they have in the last few books.  Yippee!! Merry’s men are up on some trumped up rape charges.  In a meeting with the lawyers, they all go to talk to her uncle, the kind of the Seelie court.  But it turns out he has gone stark raving mad and wants Merry (yes exactly like that).  Needless to say things get a little harried.  But hten one of the court members offer Merry the thrown.  So she is in a quandary, plus she thinks she is coming down with something.  Meanwhile, her nearest and dearest, Doyle, is in the hospital, but she has a duty to perform with some goblins.  More magic follows and suddenly Merry is once more wielding more power than a half mortal half faery should.  It all turns out right in the end (well not really, but then there wouldn’t be more to write about)  This book was an emotional roller coaster at the end of which we find out Merry is (FINALLY) pregnant.  Yeah!  So not she has to pick between two thrones: seelie or unseelie.  Easy choice right?  we’ll see. 

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The first book in a series, this sets the stage for time traveling done by a teenager.  Sam’s dad has disappeared and when Sam goes to his bookstore to find out if he left any clues behind, he discovers a hidden room with a statue.  Taking a coin and placing it in the center transports him to another time and place.  Soon he is hopscotching through history, but still no sign of his dad.  Not overly exciting, this is a more current time travel book than has been seen in awhile and so will appeal to kids who like that.  I can only hope the next few get better. 

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Typical fluff fare.  Girl who can see ghosts and Boy who doesn’t believe her get into a sparring match and are spurred on by publicists to live in a supposedly haunted hotel for two weeks together.  Let the steaminess begin!  This is pretty typical fare and while I was not disappointed, I was also not overly impressed.  You can guess what happens when they start living there.  Sparks fly between the two of them and before you know it they are doing a tango in the sheets.  And of course there are lots of heated arguments because each believes they are right about the whole ghost thing.  Suffice it to say that our darling boy learns that there are ghosts and all ends happily. 

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I keep reading these books forgetting that I am not all the fond of them.  Well this is it…I am putting my foot down and forbidding myself to read anymore.  I love vampire books, but these are just too depressing.  The Carpathians lose all emotion and feeling until they find their soul-mate.  I guess it is just too dark and disjointed for me.  I like the characters, but don’t care about the plot and feel like it doesn’t go anywhere.  There is no over arching theme to bring it all together.  So that’s it ….I’m officially done!

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