Welcome to my train of thought. Just a warning, there might be turbulence. I'm a little eccentric, but hopefully you'll find something here that'll make the crazy worth it. Stay tuned for book reviews, ramblings on random things, and all sorts of stuff that tickles my fancy. But keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times. My brain is a scary place!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

(Originally published on my blog Your Rainy Day Reading List on 2/25/2013)

I enjoyed the first book, Beautiful Creatures, immensely.  It was an enjoyable romp through a magical small town with characters that, while stereotypical, were also quite lovable.

As much as I enjoyed it, I think I enjoyed book two, Beautiful Darkness, more than the first.  The teen love story side of it is a backburner issue in this novel.  Focusing less on the RELATIONSHIP between Ethan and Lena and more on ALL of the relationships in the story -- friendship, rivalries, great evils, powerful goods, family, sacrifices for loved ones, etc.

As the small group of tiny Mortals (Ethan, Link, and adorable new character Liv) and one special kitty (Lucille Ball) follow Lena to the ends of the magical world to save her, deep within the Caster Tunnels, bonds are explored in a much deeper fashion, and Ethan connects more people to the Caster world than in previous books. Apparently his life, family, and destiny has been intertwined with this world long before he was born, and he discovers that his fate is that of a Wayward -- a mortal with the uncanny gift of leading Casters (and sometimes Mortals alike) to their own destinies.

Looking forward to reading the rest of the series!  You can pick this one up here: Beautiful Darkness.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Charla by Alexander Beresford

(Originally published on my blog Your Rainy Day Reading List on 2/24/2013)
How far would you go to attack those you resent?  Does your past define your future?  Is the pain you receive an excuse for terrible deeds?

Charla, Alexander Beresford's first novel, takes these questions, asks them, and answers them in revoltingly, disturbingly fun fashion.

Charla is a woman deranged.  Sure, she may seem sane, but her broken past, her shattered marriage, and her resentment of the perfect, easy life that her daughter Amelie dances through have corrupted her to the core.  She HATES her daughter for the goodness life has shown her.  After Charla's marriage is broken and over, she decides that since she has nothing to lose, she will follow the one path her twisted heart leads -- the torturous suffering of her daughter and the destruction of the life that Amelie holds dear. She does something drastic -- she calls forth a creature of the depths of evil and sets it loose on Amelie's world.

Beresford has crafted an interesting tale of betrayal and lust.  It plays on the simplest of fears -- that thing you see out of the corner of your eye, that thing lurking in the shadows, that howling more-than-wind, that thing your pet freaks out to when there's nothing visibly there, that presence that invades your space but doesn't reveal itself fully.

Aside from a few grammatical errors and a run-on or two, the writing and pacing are in good form.

I very much enjoyed Beresford's tale.  My only complaint is the ending, as it leaves much to the imagination (which I also really like! open-ended!) and the random and unnecessary mention of demon sperm in a drink at one point in the story.  I thought maybe it would have an importance later in the book, but it didn't.  It felt put in for the sake of something gross, and wasn't needed.

I would like to thank Mr. Beresford not only for the intriguing and enjoyable read, but for gifting me the copy for an honest review.

I look forward to seeing him write another creepy tale.

Want a copy?  Check it out at Amazon: Charla.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Under the Dome by Stephen King

(Originally published on my blog Your Rainy Day Reading List on 2/20/2013)

Under the Dome, huh? Interesting concept, right? A restricting dome falls over Chester's Mill -- right on the legal city limits, all the way around. No one can get in. No one can get out.

A manipulative self-righteous city leader finds it the perfect time to seize more power. A jaded ex-military man, determined to move on from his past, has a new destiny thrust upon him. A twisted young man and his friends do despicable things. A small-town reporter seeks truth, and finds more than she bargained for. A teen computer genius and his skateboarding friends prove to be more heroic than the town's "religious" leadership. A phsyician's assistant capable of much, much more than even he anticipates.

Kids. Dogs. Drugs. Death. Power. Murder. Riots. Fires. Secrets. Lies. Maybe something even worse... Evil. All can be found Under the Dome.

Stephen King has crafted another masterpiece, complete with political and social commentary, along with compelling characters driving the story forward.

I have to admit, the first chunk of the book after the intro moved slowly for me. I blame outside forces, as so much was going on that I couldn't really get into it. Once I hit the 40%ish mark, however, I was lost in the story. Sucked in. Completely.

The story is simple. When there is no threat of real punishment, people's true natures will arise. Some will shine with heroism, while most will prove man's deepest darkest sides exist, with dire consequences for any who stand in their way.

An avid fan of his movies, this is my first trek through a King novel.  While it started off rocky, I will definitely be reading more.  There's a reason he's classic, and why he's made it to film so many times.  His stories reach into your mind and pull out the truest parts... and sometimes, the scariest parts.

Read this book. It's long... practically an epic by modern-day standards. Trap yourself under the Dome. If you experience the drag that I did at the beginning, push through anyways -- you won't regret it when the last page turns.

Check it out: Amazon.com's Under the Dome by Stephen King.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

(Originally published on my blog Your Rainy Day Reading List on 2/15/2013)

I really enjoyed this book.  It's the second in the chronicles of the Kane family and their Egyptian godling adventures.

This story expanded on the events of the first book without rehashing the whole story or giving TOO many details away for those who didn't pick up The Red Pyramid.

The gods, as usual, are very entertaining, and the alternating narration is well done and not as distracting as it has the potential to be.

The story splits up a few times, and follows the main characters on different tasks.  The whole world is fair game in this adventure to reawaken Ra before Apophis (Chaos) is released upon the world.

Looking forward to reading the third (and final book) of the series, The Serpent's Shadow.

Get your copy of The Throne of Fire on Amazon.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

In the Tall Grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill

(Originally published on my blog Your Rainy Day Reading List on 2/12/2013)

I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed at the authors' ability to weave such a completely disturbing tale in such a short amount of time.

Worth a read, and a great story.  I actually wish it had been longer.  Certainly needs to have a lower price for how short it is, considering I could get a full-length novel for a dollar or two more most of the time.

The two sneak peaks were good too, and that helped make it a little more worth it!

Creepy, disturbing, horror fun.

I think the team of Stephen King and his son, Joe Hill, could produce some great novels if they'd put their mind to it.  I do enjoy their short stories though! :)

In the Tall Grass on Amazon, for your reading pleasure!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Debt of Bones by Terry Goodkind

(Originally published on my blog Your Rainy Day Reading List on 2/11/2013)

I enjoyed this brief little introduction to Zedd and the tiny glimpse at the D'Haran war and the erection of the boundaries.

I must say though, that it does feel more like scenes that didn't make it into the first book and were left on the cutting room floor.

However, it was a quick read, and was entertaining, and was still a good little story.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

(Originally published on my blog Your Rainy Day Reading List on 2/11/2013)

Don't even know where to start with this one...

I picked this book up because this year I'm trying to read the books that have movies coming out, even if it's not something I'm usually interested in (ie my biggest exception -- the Nicholas Sparks' Safe Haven), to branch out more.  Well, the commercial for this movie definitely appeared to be right up my alley.  After finishing this book, though, I'm more excited for the movie (and have already purchased book two, Beautiful Darkness). I just hope the movie does the book justice.

We start this little voyage into Beautiful Creatures by following the main character, Ethan Wate, through a town event -- the arrival of a new girl into town.  As the storm that is Lena Duchannes blows into town, Ethan's small-town life is blown away to reveal the world of magic (called Casting) that actually exists, even in the smallest-of-the-small-Southern-towns Gatlin.

The writers have created a fantastic world of magic that blends with reality, just like in Harry Potter, where the magic exists and all you have to do to see it is peel back the very thin veil of disbelief.

As enthralling as Twilight and its ilk was, and as gripping as the Hunger Games, this novel will draw you in on Ethan and Lena's terrfyingly roller-coaster countdown towards Lena's 16th birthday, which, because of a family curse, will leave her forever claimed by either the Darkness or the Light.

Do yourself a favor.  Pick up this book, read it to the end, and claim yourself. :)

Beautiful Creatures on Amazon.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs

(Originally published on my blog Your Rainy Day Reading List on 2/6/2013)

While completely different than the Dr. Temperance Brennan from Reichs' foray into television on the hit FOX show BONES, Reichs has woven a complicated web of murders.  Are they connected?  Are there multiple twisted killers, or is there one masterfully demented and disturbed mind behind all of the seemingly random slayings?

Reichs' Tempe Brennan is a likeable character, with clear strengths, endearing weaknesses, and is enough of an "every man" for any reader to relate to her.

Reichs also succeeds in recreating a mental Montreal and French Canadian setting, complete with the occasional French phrase, the cultural melting pot, and even the seedier "red light district."

Pick this one up if you like a thriller/mystery. You won't be disappointed with this well-crafted suspenseful murder mystery.

Go to Amazon for a copy of Deja Dead.