Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thank you everyone!

Hello :D

Well I'm still alive! okay, let's be serious. First, I'd like to thank everyone who wish me good luck, it's always heart-warming to know that ppl care. So:


How did it go? Well. Well at least, that's what everyone told me... cos standing in front, I have no idea. For sure, I was nervous and I thought that it came out a bit wrong, hesitant and there was a lot of pause, but it seems it sounded good. As for the questions, I was able to answer every one of them. So I'm glad... All my labmates took the time to come to see me, so it was really nice of them and my supervisor seemed happy. My friend told me that he was quite proud (cos she overheard him talking to another prof) and that the other prof was quite impressed that I was able to achieve so much in such an short amount of time. My immediate supervisor (the one in France) also sent me an email to wish me good luck and to give me some advices. Although it came in too late, I was glad that he cared enough :) To tell the truth tho, I was quite nervous, because on Tuesday night, I was trying to practice and I think I only got the whole presentation twice... So I was quite worried and woke up at 5am to practice some more, but was interrupted by my parents... But yeah, this part is now over and I'm really glad. Soon, I'll be writing my report. Soon.

The cool part was after the presentation tho. I took the day off and hang out with my friends... it's been such a long time! And I had a great time. In addition, to celebrate a bit, guess what I did? Bought books of course! I used my mysterious card and got 5$... What pissed me off tho was that apparently, if you bought more than 50$, you got another card with a rabate of 10$... but I didn't get that. How unfair really!

I'm sure you're dying to know what books I bought! So here is my new purchases:

My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (anthology): couldn't resist after reading the review at Ames'
Bad Girls Don't by Cathie Linz: currently reading
Drop Dead Gorgeous by Linda Howard: I didn't enjoy the first one that much, but it's Howard, so it deserves another try.
Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara: It sounds good. As you know, i'm trying series by the Luna Harlequin and this one is one. The cashier girl told me it was a good book, so great :P
Eragon by Christopher Paolini: Well, I remember seeing the blue cover with the dragon on it for such a long time and I remember Mailyn saying something about it. I didn't know the author or the title, so when I went to the library last week, I didn't find it.... It's only when I bought it yesterday that I realized that it's Eragon, the one coming out as a movie soon. Yeah, I know, I'm clueless. Anyway, I got the book, the version with the dragon on it, in trade paperback format.

and that's it :D The only book I didn't find and that I wanted was Eye of Heaven by Marjorie Liu. Apparently, this one is good.

So that's pretty much for yesterday and today. Right now, I'm debating what to do after work... Going out with friends again tonight and I have about 2 hours to kill... so my choices are:

1) Going to Zellers and see if they got Eye of Heaven
2) Going to UBS
3) Going to buy manga
4) Going rental store.

hmmm, tough choices... I also have to come up with a wish-list of books. The trouble is that when I'm trying to figure out which book I want, well, I want it right... so having the list urges me to go buy the book right away and so I don't have any wish-list anymore.... but guess I'll try :P

Okay, that's it for today folks!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Almost the big day...

Hey everyone,

I really should be practicing my presentation, but my mind is numbed with stress... so I'll try to relax it with this review (I would start to read, but then, I'll never practice and going to sleep is unfortunately, not an option either)... So this is the book I read yesterday night and I really enjoyed it :D and it made me cry... I think that I needed to cry.

The Return by Dinah McCall (Sharon Sala): 4.25/5

I can't do a coherent synopsis, so here are the main facts that I would put in my summary if I write one:

- the Blairs and Joslins families have hated each other for years. Not ordinary hatred, a hatred so profound that they find ways for the other family members to have "accident"
- Fancy Joslin and Turner Blair fell in love when they were kids. When Fancy got pregnant, they married in secret and planned to run away and start a new life.
- Few hours after Fancy gave birth to Catherine, she entrusted her baby to the witch (Annie Fane) and then died, killed by dogs. Tragedy ensued and the three Blair sons are murdered, and another disappears. The only survivor is paralyzed by a stroke.
- Annie Fane runs away with Catherine and raises her.
- 25 years later, Catherine comes back to Camerune to bury Annie and faces the suspicions and supertitions of a whole town. Only Sheriff Luke DePriest is one her side.

All right, so where to start. Seriously, the beginning was so tragic that I couldn't help and cried. I don't want to give it away, but it's really poignant and touching. I liked both Luke and Catherine and I enjoyed how their relationship happened. Both characters are strong and good and everything, but Sharon Sala doesn't overdo it. You know how sometimes, a book has strong characters which override the story/plot... well here, it's really not the case. There is a great balance between characters and story...

Ok, seems my review isn't that great... All I can say is that I've always liked Sharon Sala's books and this is no exception. So if you like her style, don't miss this one. I guess what I like about her books it's that, the romance is subtle and there's always something happening. It's really not characters-driven and you know, it's plausible and no attempt to be extremely funny and so on.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Reads of the week-end

Hey everyone :D

So is everyone alive? It's been real quiet on blogland this week-end, but I guess that's because everyone's personal life is catching up + Thanksgiving. However, I do hope it comes back to normal soon. Oh and I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving :D and for non-US folks, I hope you had a nice week-end!

So guess what? Yeah, I finished my presentation! well at least the slides... now, I have to figure out what to say... and stupid as I am, I just realized that my results were the opposite of what I was expecting. Euh, really not fun!!! Anyway, I'm pretty proud of myself for the slides (I did very little powerpoint presentation)... So today, I have a practice... okay, that's not going to go well... The worst thing now is that my shoulders hurt as if there's a huge weight that sat on them, plus I'm always sighing... Another sign that I'm stressed. It's as if I need more air in my lungs and when I exhaled, it comes out as a sigh. Annoys my mom a lot :P Anyway, my torture is almost done! almost! Can't wait for it!

So, having to do my presentation didn't stop me from reading... Far from it. I finished two books over this week-end and here are the reviews:

Stuck in Shangri-La by Kasey Micheals: 3.5/5

Darcy Reed was once engaged to Cameron Pierce; however, all this is over. At least, that's what Darcy thinks... Until her uncle Horry dies. In his will, Horry leaves everything to Lucky, the 20 pounds bad-tempered cat that Darcy has given him 3 years ago, and stipulates that Darcy and Cameron have to co-habit in Shangri-La, his huge Victorian house, for a month if Darcy is to inherit the house or else, everything will be left to Uncle Edwin (who's never been part of the family). Of course, not everyone is happy, esp. Lily, Horry long-time housekeeper.

Okay, another synopsis that doesn't make sense. I think it's because my brain is tired. Basically, here is the break-down: Darcy is 26 y.o. and Cameron is 34. Cameron is ready to settle down and thought that Darcy wanted the same; however, Darcy just graduated from school and she wants to discover herself, see if she can do it on her own and stuff like that. So during an argument, Darcy blurts out that she has a 5 years career plans and only after that, will she settle down to have kids. This lead to an even bigger argument and when the next day, Darcy comes too Cameron's office to apologize, she sees him kissing his ex-gf. Of course, she blows up thing, break the engagement and moves to Pittsburg for her new job. Cameron wants to go after her, but Uncle Horry tells him to wait, that she needs space. Horry is an eccentric man and he changed his will as part of a plan to bring back Cameron and Darcy together... unfortunately, he never expected to really die. So now, he "haunts" his house and keeps Lucky company and see how all this mess is turning out.

So, so, so. Let's start with: I liked Cameron and I really wish I could meet a guy like him :P He really loves Darcy and he's making efforts to get to know her (because in Darcy's opinion, he doesn't) and he was going to make even more efforts to have a long-distance relationship once Darcy went back to Pittsburg and wait for her to be ready to settle-down. I mean, the guy is almost the dream guy... Okay, he does assume a lot of things and he's a guy, but if she talked to him instead of arguing, always jumping and taking everything as a criticism, I'm sure Darcy and Cameron could have work out something. Which brings me to Darcy. She's not bad, but she's annoying. She accuses Cameron of not listening, but she's not doing any efforts either. She says that she doesn't know herself and she needs to discover who she is... but in that case, how can you blame the guy for not knowing you? Also, I'm sure that she could have figured it out while still being engaged to Cameron. Man, I mean, they had a comfortable relationship. Anyway... I liked Uncle Horry and Lucky, Lucky was so damn sarcastic that it was funneh :D I gues this was meant to be a light comedy as the secondary characters are really exaggerated. Anyway, the story wasn't bad overall, but because I found the conflict avoidable and Darcy annoying, it did damper a bit the enjoyment. I also thought that some things were left unexplained: why was Cameron kissing his ex? Why did Uncle Horry not leave his house ever? Little details... So not a bad book, but Everything's coming up Rosie was better.

The Invisible Ring by Anne Bishop: 4/5

Jared is a Red-Jeweled Warlord that has become a pleasure slave. Because he has killed the Queen he was servicing, he is now sentenced to the salt mines where he will suffer and suffer and suffer. However, for some unfathomable reasons, the Gray Lady (who everyone fears) has bought him at the slave auction saving him from the salt mines... But Jared is afraid, because of the rumors he've heard. No slaves that the Gray Lady has bought have ever returned.

At the same time, Dorothea SaDiabolo wants the Gray Lady dead, because she is one of true Queen and standing in Dorothea's way. So she gives this mission to her new Master of Guard with the threat that if this mission isn't successful, he'll suffer a very very sad and bad and painful fate.

Well, well, well. This is not part of the Black Jewels trilogy; however, the story occurs in the same world. Only two characters from the Black Jewels trilogy makes an appearance tho: Dorothea (who cares about her) and Daemon! Youppi! It was kind of cool to see Daemon in this story, because by the way, the story happens before the Black Jewels. So Daemon is real suave and all. The nice thing is that you don't really get to know what Daemon is thinking, but you get to see how others see him. So that was cool. As for the story itself, well Jared and the Gray Lady were nice characters. Strong and all. It had an interesting secondary characters cast as well and I did enjoy the book :P It's in the same vain as the Black Jewels trilogy really. Basically, the Gray Lady is going back to her territory along with the slaves she bought; however, she knows that there is a certain wrongness in the group and so she is making detours and all to figure out what is the wrongness and at the same time, avoid whoever wants her dead. If you liked the Black Jewels trilogy, you'll certainly enjoy this book as well.

The only thing I'm still figuring out is what does The Invisible Ring mean really?

So I'll go back to figure what I'm going to say for my presentation :P See you all later!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Reads of the week

Hello :D

Happy belated Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrated it yesterday :D

nothing much to say, still working on my presentation... it's going slow-motion... extreme slow-motion :P

anyway, here are my reads of the week:

Good Girls Do by Cathie Linz: 2.75/5

My initial intention was to get Bad Girls Don't, but I didn't find it (would have had to go to another bookstore and I was lazy), so I got the first book of the "series" instead which is Good Girls Do.

Julia has been a librarian in the small-town Serenity's Falls for the past 3 years. She likes it there, actually love it as it provides her the stability that she lacked when she grew up with her New Age mom and little sister, always moving. However, her peaceful heaven turns into hell when the town bad boy, Luke Maguire, comes back after his father's death to settle family business and when Angel, Skye and Toni, respectively Julia's mother, sister and 4 y.o niece, show up at Julia's door. So in this little town where everyone knows everyone's secret, Julia and Luke have sparks, Julia's family is disrupting her life and in addition, Julia learns that her father is not dead.

Well the book wasn't bad per se, but I don't know... I found it a bit boring. Julia and Luke's characters were kind of bland... Luckily, Julia's family and the town's wackos kind of save the book with comedy relief. See, Julia has never fit in and she wants to fit in. Although she feels guilty about it, Julia can't help but think that her family is a disruption and that's pretty much the part I didn't like. The book pretty much focus on Julia and so, you don't really get to know Luke that much. I don't really know what to say... it wasn't bad, just bland. The book happens on a timeline of 6 months and too much things that aren't important happen and too little important things don't happen. I'm still planning to get Bad Girls Don't and I bet it'll be better, based on Sandie's review :P

Everything's Coming Up with Rosie by Kasey Micheals: 4.25/5

Douglas has enjoyed his bachelor life... a lot. However, now that he's just turned 40, he has some questions and some wonders. Does he really want to be nominated as Most Eligible Bachelor of Philadelphia again? Douglas is going to his second cousin's daugther's wedding... with the wedding party during a week. Already, he is dreading the matchmaking that his second cousin has in mind... However, the moment he shows up to the wedding, Rosie Kilgannon walks in his arms and asks him to kiss her like he means it. From here on, Douglas' life will never be the same.

When I read the synopsis of the book, I didn't realize that the wedding party would be a week-long... and so I was wondering, "yeah, Rosie is gonna kiss Douglas, they're going to feel an attraction for each other and what after? Go back to their regular life where they'll be pining for each other and then, call each other for dates and all" not that it would have been a bad book... but having the wedding party a week-long where Douglas and Rosie will spend almost every minute wit each other is a better idea. Basically, Rosie is just outrageous, but in a good way. She's 32 y.o. and very straightforward and honest. She tells what she thinks and likes to meddle in others' business. What I like about her is that she's very confident in herself and knows herself well. As for Douglas, well yeah, at 40 he's starting to ask himself some questions. It's time for him to change some things... Basically, I like Douglas and Rosie's interactions and their conversations :D

Aside from Rosie and Douglas discovering each other, what else is happening? Well plenty... to start with a groom that was bought to marry the bride... a bride that is not in love with the groom but goes on because if not, her mother will have a cow.... The mother who is obsessed with appearance and prestige... A father that at this point just doesn't care... Lots is happening and I doubt you'll find any of this boring :P

I got this book because of the great review at All About Romance and I agree with it (which I rarely do:P) Seriously, this book is worth it :D

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

a little of everything...

Hey everyone!

So it's Thanksgiving this week for the US right? I've been wondering if it was last week or this week :P Does that mean that US folk will have more time to blog or that you'll be too busy? (just curious :P)

All right, so little update on me... The good news: my supervisor finally emailed me back! Youppi! However, he's been having difficulty to adapt and all, so he might not have time to help me for my presentation... too bad. Talking about presentation, I still haven't done anything... 1 week to go, but I'm sure I can do it. There's such a difference between knowing when it's going to happen. remember at the beginning of the month? I was freaking out because I thought there was 2 weeks before the presentation, but I didn't know when exactly the presentation would be. Now, I don't feel nervous about the presentation, so I guess that's good. I have the presentation in my head, the analysis is 95% done... so now, just have to complete the 5% which is like statistic (beurk) and make some slides...

So that's the boring personal stuff in my life. Book-related now. Hmmm, the new Indigo store was a disappointment to me. Yeah, sucks no? Been waiting so long for it and it sucks. The store itself is really nice, but the arrangement of the shelves is no good. The separation between section isn't clear either. The romance section is pitiful... it's about 1/3 or 1/4 of the romance section at the Chapters or Indigo downtown. I guess it's the lack of space... the Indigo and Chapters downtown have 2 floors (Chapters even have 3) while this one only has 1 floor. So they're trying to cram everything together (English + French books) and so, they have to cut some corners... I guess it'll be good for the new releases... but if I want some older books (like 3-4 months old), I'll have to go in downtown still. Anyway, you can guess that I didn't spend the Customer day there... Instead, I drove downtown (hey, it was one day only, had to enjoy it!) and bought a couple of books:

- Conspiracy Game by Christine Feehan (rec. by Kris)
- Good Girls Do by Cathie Linz (Sandie rec. Bad Girls Don't, 2nd book of the series, but it wasn't there)
- His Dark Kiss by Eve Silver (Canadian author, so I wanted to try her out)
- Major Crush by Jennifer Echols (rec. by Dancechica)
- House of Gaian by Anne Bishop (remember, I bought the first 2 books at UBS)
- The Glasswrights' Apprentice by Mindy L. Klasky

and I think that's it... but I can't be sure ^^; You know, been buying a lot of books lately, hard to keep track ^^; Not bad right for a girl who didn't have much a specific book in mind.

While I was at the bookstore, I took a look at Shattered Dance by Caitlin Brennan, which is one of the sequel to Mountain's Call. (it's the third book in the series so far... not sure if they'll be more). I was hesitating whether to continue the series or not and so, I went and read the ending. You know me, if there's no HEA then, it's not worth to read... Spoilers (highlight to see) well, Valeria and Kerrec don't end up together. Kerrec end up marrying someone else and Valeria, for some reason, at the end end of the book, has decided to become the Barbarian Queen. End of Spoilers. So yeah, I'm going to sell Mountain's Call to UBS, unless anyone here wants it... Ames? since you already have the second book...

So what else, what else... Oh yeah! Remember, I was reading London's Perfect Scoundrel by Suzanne Enoch? Well, it might take awhile before I finish that book... I went and skimmed through another of her regency book that I've bought during McGill charity book fair and well, I have a problem with her books. It's the way the brothers treat the heroine... They can't stop giving orders and be-littling (in my opinion) the heroine. That gets annoying. I'm pretty sure that that's what really happened in those time, instead of the heroine being allowed to do mostly what she wants, but in today's time, it's you know, insulting for a woman. I like Suzanne Enoch's contemporary, but I'm not so sure about the historicals... and it seems this happen in every of her historicals... too bad for me I guess.

So well, that's it... Now, i have two reviews! :D so what new books did I read? The lucky winners were Major Crush by Jennifer Echols and Conspiracy Game by Christine Feehan.

Major Crush by Jennifer Echols: 4/5

Virginia Saunter is 16 years old and the co-drum major of her school marching band. She shares the position of drum major with Drew Morrow, a senior and her crush. Drew was drum major last year and so, Virginia is having difficult to ascertain her authority within the band. It doesn't help that their first show was a complete disaster. Now, Mr. Rush, the new band director, is giving Drew and Virginia the choice: work together or he'll have someone else replace them.

What to say? This is a young adult novel, which explains why the H/H are 17 and 16 y.o. However, it is still a very cutsy story :D I did enjoy it, with all the drama and stuff... however, probably not as much as DC did. See, there's a lot of thing I didn't know and so I can't relate to... My school didn't have a marching band and actually, I don't think that many school in Quebec province has one... it's just not popular here. Also, we don't have the SAT exam here, so that's also something I cannot relate to. It's nice though that teenagers can find love... I've always liked the high school sweetheart romance :D

The only major problem I had with this book is that, well it's a young adult novel... these characters have their whole life in front of them. Sure, the ending of the BOOK is HEA, but for how long? Are they going to be together still in 20 years? Well, yeah, I'll never get the answer. I hope so too, but might not happen right? Anyway, good story. I'm wondering if the other from the series are as good... For a better review, you should go to DC's blog.

Conspiracy Game by Christine Feehan: 4.25/5

Jack Norton is a GhostWalker, i.e. that he's been enhanced physically and psychically. He leads a mission to Congo, to go rescue his twin brother Ken, whose been captured on a mission. Ken is saved, but it is now Jack who's been captured. Jack successfully escaped, but is severely injured. Luckily for him, he runs into Briony Jenkins... a woman who has also been enhanced physically and psychically.

Briony Jenkins is a very strong empath and being in large crowds hurt her... but that doesn't stop her from being part of the Flying Five and performing their flying act, because above all, Briony loves her adopted family. For some reason, the Flying Five (Briony and her 4 brothers) have been paid a huge amount of money to perform at the Music Festival in Congo. There, Briony runs into Jack and saves his life. Attraction sizzles between Briony and Jack; however, for Jack, ppl he loves and cares for are a liability and so, Jack leaves... hoping it'd be better that way for Briony... That is, until Briony is pregnant and someone is after her, but more importantly, after her baby. Having no choice, not wanting to endanger her brothers and also wanting to learn some skills to be able to protect her baby in the future, Briony turns to Jack.

As a rule, I'm not a big fan of Christine Feehan... Never got into her Dark Series and the only books that I've really read were Shadow Game and Mind Game, the 2 first book of the well, Game Series. I've actually given up on the Game series... Basically, what you need to know about the Game series is that you had a mad scientist, Dr. Peter Whitney, with a lot money experimenting on humans to give them or enhance their natural psychic powers. He did many experiments, but 2 stood out. His first experiment was on very young girls whom he got from orphanage in Europe. Because he couldn't keep all the girls at one point, he adopted them out, but kept one, Lily. Then, he started experimenting on soldiers (SEALS and another group)... so basically, what's been happening is: soldier meet orphan girl in dangerous situation and fall in love. It's basically the same thing happening over and again and that's why I decided to save some money. However, Kris said this one was good and I should give it a try and so I did and bought it during the week-end. She was right, this one is indeed pretty good.

So, I did really enjoy the book. I guess I liked the characters, Briony and Jack as well as Ken. I thought Briony's brothers were jerks at first, but then, they redeemed themselves a lot. I'm happy that we didn't get to see too many characters from previous books, but then at the same time, their little appearance was a bit too short.... so it makes the book unbalanced I think. Anyway, Briony is not your usual heroine... She's tough, but always afraid... what's make her stand out is that she learnt how to deal with her fear. She's strong and she's trained, but she's never been in a situation where she needed to use her training. In short, a nice heroine... not a TSTL and not a too tough character either. As for Jack, well he's tough and very controlling. He also has a dark monster in his past. He's the type of alpha that you usually like.

The plot was a good one, the way it was told was enjoyable as well. If I had a problem tho is that it seems the novel is not complete. Briony came to Jack's house for protection. They're safe for awhile, but then, gets attacked. The trio runs away and manage to escape, kill the most threatening man and then, that's the end of the book. Okay... There's just a lot of thing unanswered. Of course, you do get the answer in the next book which is Deadly Game and features Ken as the hero, but still. So that's the only major complain I have... Now, I'm still not decided though if reading Deadly Game is going to be good... seems like it's going to be a repeat of Conspiracy Game...

oh well, that's enough for today :D Have a nice day everyone!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

no, tell me it's a lie!

Shoot me now and end my suffering please!!!!!

I can't believe this!!!

So after being disappointed by Mountain's Call, I went to re-read Poison Study and Magic Study. Just out of curiosity, I went to see on Maria V. Snyder's website  if an except was out... After all, that's usually what happens, excerpt of the sequel is posted when the book comes out. Well, I wasn't disappointed, here is the excerpt for Fire Study.

But guess what I discover besides the excerpt? Sit down fans and start bawling. So Harlequin has moved the Study series from LUNA to MIRA. So, what's the big deal? Well, Mira wants to re-release Poison Study and Magic Study in trade paperback format... they will be out in March 2007 and September 2007 respectively, both with new covers... So this means that Fire Study will be coming out in.... March 2008. 2008!!!!!! Are you freaking playing with me? That's like 1 year 1/4 to wait, after I've already wait 2-3 months already!!!!!!!!!

You're being very very cruel Mira. Couldn't you just release Fire Study in hardcover when it should be released and have it re-released later on in trade paperback? I never thought I'd be asking for hardcovers, but yeah, I am. Anyway, this is crushing news to me, because I bet the book is already completed and everything... Boohoohoo T_T

Anyway, here are the new covers... I prefer the old ones, but at least, they are not ugly. Boohoohoo T_T

Friday, November 17, 2006

tired of checking emails...

Hey girls :D

nope, no book review, no new books to share :P I've started London's Perfect Scoundrel, but I'm not done yet :P Probably this week-end.

No, this post is going to be a mini-rant... I'm thinking maybe I should get a personal blog, but don't really feel like it... and anyway, this is a bit book-related. So, what's been up? I've been checking my emails a gazillion time/day this week. Why? Because I'm waiting an email from my supervisor... I sent him an email on Tuesday, and still haven't gotten a reply. Guess what, my presentation is in 2 weeks. Sigh. Major SIGH. I mean, I do understand I'm at the last minute and yeah, he's in France, so there's the time difference... but 3 days! Well according to my prof who got news from my supervisor last week (so I'm guessing he didn't die in the past week), my supervisor found a house... Grr, does this mean he's in the process of moving and he doesn't have internet connection? I hope not.

In addition to this, I went to see if the new Indigo has opened yet. Guess what? It's opening today!!! Youppi! I really got lucky. After seeing that the Indigo wasn't opend yet, I went to eat in a cafe and then, when I came out, I caught 2 employees and asked them. They told me it was opening today, but they were having an event on Sunday where everything in the store will be 15% off. Did I want an invitation? Hell Yes! So the girl took my email, told me that she would send the invitation tonight and I would have it. Guess what? Still didn't get it... now, I'm wondering if you really need the invitation or not? What if I show up on Sunday? Anyway, I'm going to pass by tonight and see if I can get someone to send me another invitation. This really sucks....

Oh by the way, I need some books suggestion :D Everything at 15% off and I'm hoping that with the I-rewards card, I get an additional 10%... that would be 25%!!! with a vast variety of books... so guys, any book I should really invest in? I'm thinking the third book in the Tir Alainn trilogy by Anne Bishop... going to see if they have manga too. Oh, and anyone who read Glasswrights Apprentice by Mindy Klashy? Saw them at the UBS, but wasn't sure if it was good.

anyway, that's it for now... so I'll see you guys latah :D

ps - what does skanky mean?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Review: Mountain's Call by Caitlin Brennan

Hey everyone :D

So wassup? I'm still in procastination mode concerning my presentation, but please, don't urge me to go work on it. My mood's been a bit gloomy lately - nothing to be happy, but not depressed or down. Work has been boring... and I miss my friends. Should call them up and go out...

So as I said, I've been reading Mountain's Call by Caitlin Brennan. I've been really curious about this book, because basically, I've seen it everywhere since September. Mountain's Call was reprint in paperback format and released in September and at the same time, she had 2 sequels (Song of Unmaking and Shattered Dance) coming out in tradepaper format almost back to back. The ick is that she really has nice covers and it's from Luna. I mean, Poison Study and Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder are also from Luna... See where I'm getting at? So I finally broke down last week and bought the first volume... I was a good girl and went: I'll see if I like it before buying the series. Smart no? So here is my review...

Mountain's Call by Cailtin Brennan: 2.75-3/5

In this world, magic and gods co-habit together. Gods being horses... but not any horses: white stallions and their Ladies. Young men who may become the white stallions Riders are "called" to the Mountain. "Called," you cannot deny it, your whole body has the urge to go to the Mountain. However, in a 1000 years, never a woman was called.

Valeria has been "Called" and so, she starts her journey to the Mountain, disguised as a boy, and abandoning her family. On the way, she's robbed and almost raped, but luckily is saved by Kerrec, a First Rider. Kerrec doesn't reveal that she's is a girl and so, Valeria passes the testings and has even become the Champion of the testing; however, her glory is short-lived as she is discovered. Not knowing what to do with her, i.e. kill her or send her away, she becomes Kerrec servant so he will be able to train her. Ah, and let's not forget the conspiracy of a prince to overtake his father's throne...

I guess I was expecting something like Poison Study and Magic Study and that's why I've been so disappointed. The beginning wasn't bad; although I found that the world building was not as well-explained as I would have wanted.

See, what makes a fantasy book a good book? Good characters, good plot, enough information on the world building and because these books often contain a quest of some sort, camaderie. The characters weren't bad, but I didn't like them. Not enough info and no camaderie... so what's left? Yeah, the plot was promising, but it wasn't supported well. So let started by the characters... Main character is Valeria... it reminded me of Valek :P Anyway, I don't even know what I feel about her character. Perhaps she was smart, but in my opinion, it's more like she's very intuitive and that helps her with her magic and the horses. She's strong-willed and determined. But emotionally... It's interesting because over at McVane, she brought up the subject of Mary Sue readers. Anyway, I'll admit that I have things that I like my characters to do and things that I don't like... one of them is sleeping with many persons in one book... Unfortunately, this happens in Mountain's Call and well, it made me like Valeria a little less... So Valeria discovers the pleasures of sex with Eun, the barbarian prince. Well that's fine. But then, when she realized that she was in love with Kerrec, I would have appreciated that she stopped having sex with Eun. In my mind, this speaks of morals. I might be old-fashioned, but well that's me. I mean, she knew that she didn't love Eun - it wasn't even undecision - she just craved sex... well that girl, is what usually breaks a relationship nowadays. So yeah, not a good point in her favor. Onto Kerrec now... well the man is okay, you don't really get to know him very much. He's very much like ice, very cold and arrogant. He's mind is flexible, apparently because he's the youngest Rider. You don't really get to know him very much throughout the story... once he starts to show emotions, it's to tell readers right away that he's in love with Valeria. All right, that's fine with me. Then, a chapter later, he hates her because she's a traitor. I guess the problem here is that although Valeria and Kerrec fell in love with each other, they didn't know each other that well and sure didn't understand the other. Kerrec thought that Valeria was a traitor and that was it, he despised her, hated her. Not once did he doubt that perhaps, Valeria had a motive behind. Even when later, it showed that perhaps Valeria wasn't a traitor, he denied it. I guess it boils down to, there was no trust between them.

What else? The writing style... I thought the whole story-telling was very passive. You were told what was happening and it seems to me, on a very monotonous tone.

So yeah, that's it. Perhaps I'm not very objective with this one and I set the bar quite high, expecting something similar to Poison Study... but I just can't help it. Maybe the rest of the story is better, but I don't really feel like buying it, since it's in tradepaper... Ames! read it and tell me if it's better! :P next book is probably going to be London's Perfect Scoundrel by Suzanne Enoch.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

some reviews...

Hey everyone!

Wassup? It's already mid-november. Time flies way, way, way too quickly!! Does someone know a way to stop time? Please, please, pretty please!

I just got Born in Death in the mail yesterday - how is it that everytime I'm the one picking the letters, there's NEVER anything interesting? How come my books always get in when my mom's the one picking up the letters? Can someone explain that to me? Cos, well my mom still frown at me when I get the new books through mail... altho it's cheaper. So, I have to admit, I haven't been that excited about the Born in Death... I mean, it's not a book that I was like: oh my god, must read it as soon as it arrives... but that's what happened. You know, when you've followed a series of more than 20 books, then you don't just stop buying them or reading them. It's really like manga actually. Would you stop a series just because the last few volumes suck? Hell no! Best example: Detective Conan. It's a detective (duh) manga and I have more than 50 volumes... So what if the latest are redundant?!? The good thing tho with manga is that the series might go in a little slump, but it always get interesting again. Anyway. Born in Death, yeah... I'm not totally finished with it, but I've read enough to have a review.

Born in Death by Nora Roberts aka J.D. Robb: 3.75

Hmmm, want a synopsis? I don't think I can write a coherent one, so here are the main facts:

- two accountants who happen to be a couple very much in love with each other are murdered, the woman; tortured before dying by suffocation.
- Eve has to confiscate documents at the accountant firm; ppl fear that Roarke will have access to the documents and use the information to have the upper hand in business competition. Whithey shares concern; both Eve and Roarke pissed.
- Mavis is having her baby in a few weeks, so both Eve and Roarke have to go to birthing class. In addition, Eve is to host a baby shower.
- One of Mavis' pregnant friend, Tandy Willowby, disappears.

Now, link that all together, add a couple of murderers, suspects and you have the story. I'm not saying the book was bad, but that it was too complex for me to summarize it coherently. And also, I luv point-form... comes from years of study :P Anyway, I was sad that the couple was killed... I don't know, I like the victims... going to sound stupid, but yep. I mean, sometimes, in this series, victims deserve to die or they are random kills by psycho... In this case, there was a really good reason why the couple was killed, but the couple wasn't evil, wasn't bad. They were actually well-loved, very much in love with each other, and yeah, good I guess.

Anyway, I really liked the beginning of this book. You have a dead couple whose deaths shake up the whole firm with grief. Then, you discover that something in the accountants weren't right. I think that if Nora Roberts would have pursued that aspect and strictly that aspect, the book would have been better... more unique/original and less likely to be lumped in with other In Death books. However, she decided to add a series of murders of pregnant women... and the two are related it. That's what I didn't like... doesn't it seem too coincidental for you? I mean, what's the probably of international fraud has to anything to do with the death of pregnant women? I mean, yeah, Ms Roberts is able to link it nicely, because she's good at writing... but if it was anyone else, I don't think it would have work. I mean, it's just too coincidental and far-fetched in my opinion. So the beginning was good, but when Ms Roberts start to focus on the second end of the intrigue, I start losing interest and I thought the book started dragging.

The rest of the novel is typical In Death book. You have cynical Eve Dallas with charming mogul Roarke both scared to death of childbirth. Really, I think this was a bit hint that Eve is not going to get pregnant anytime soon and perhaps never. So readers who were hoping that, you can scratch it. I really think that it's more likely that one day, Eve and Roarke might adopt a baby... but Eve pregnant, seems unconceivable for me. You get to see a bit of Feeney, Peabody, McNab, Mira, Mavis and Leonardo... I miss Louise and Charles T_T

I think that the book was solid... Not the best, but not the worst either of the In Death book.

Venetia by Georgette Heyer: N/A

Well unfortunately, this one is not getting a grade, because it would just be unfair. I'm sure that this book is good, I mean Jennie loved it as well as Mailyn.

I've said in previous posts that I was having a hard time with the language, that didn't really change while I was reading. The writing style is quite "old" or perhaps "traditional." For a girl that's used to contemporary and whose English is not first language, I found it quite distracting. For some reasons, the whole while, while I imagine the characters... all their expression and action as well as the way they talk were exaggerated. I mean, when Venetia would say"Stoopid", I would imagine her eyes wide and with an emphasis on the "stoo"... you know, like in a comedy where characters exaggerate.

I have to say that I did like Venetia's character. She's strong, mature, happy, with a head on her shoulder. I liked Aubrey and Damerel too :) So the characters were a plus, that I can tell.

I guess that's it.

I'm reading Mountain's Call by Caitlin Brennan right now. Anyone who has read her books yet?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

to Kris...

Happy birthday Kris!

I hope you had an extraordinary day!
May all your dreams come true, may you get all the books you want!

For you, I have a cutie to offer!

Art by Yetichan

Monday, November 13, 2006

to mailyn...


Wish you the best this year. May all your dreams come true.
Hope this will cheer you up :D

click for bigger version

Art by Yetichan

Another gloomy week-end

Hey ppl, wassup?

You really want to know? Weather is again crap... it's been raining and raining and raining... I'm surprised nothing has flod yet. At this point, I almost wish for snow... (not slush, just white snow). In addition, it's been cold... so all I've been really wanting to do is snuggle in my blankets to stay warm... and then, I fall asleep... must be hibernation hitting me.

So, so, so... what did I read over the week-end? 2 books:

Still Lake by Anne Stuart: 3.5/5

20-something years ago, Thomas Griffin was accused of murdering 3 teenage girls and sent in jail. He knows that he hasn't killed 2 of them, but isn't sure about the third girl... All he remembers is arguing with her because she's been sleeping with another guy and waking up with blood all over him. Luckily for Griffin, he got out on a technility after 5 years. Now a successful lawyer, he wants to know what happened and return to Colby, Vermont.

Sophie is finally going to realize her dreams: opening a bed-and-breakfast in a little and quiet town. Ever since her father died, Sophie has been raising her half-sister, Marty. Now 17 y.o., Marty has been getting in trouble constantly. In addition, Sophie's mother hasn't been well after her battle against breast cancer and Alzheimer. However, the new neighbor might just ruin everything ...

First, I'll say that I did enjoy the book, but I also thought that it didn't go deep enough and I guess, not much happened. I mean, Griffin didn't really investigate the murders... He was almost handed the answer. Actually, he didn't realize who was the killer till the last minute, it was Sohpie's mom who figured it out. I mean, his whole point was to find the killer, but he didn't do much. I can understand his reluctance to go into the town and he got distracted by Sophie, but he could have done much more. If Sophie and Marty hasn't been targeted by the killer, he would've never found out who the killer was.

As for the love story, well it happened pretty fast. Sophie and Griffin are attracted to each other and they don't really know why, they don't really like each other and they are constantly fighting, but they keep going back for more. What I dislike is that it seemed they didn't have time to get to know each other. In addition, Sophie annoyed me a tiny bit... She was very fast to jump to conclusion and think bad of Griffin, even not knowing that he was accused of the murders in the past. I mean, if she knew he was a possible murderer, what would she have done? Does she treat everyone the same way? I hope not.

The only interesting secondary character was Sophie's mom, Grace. I thought that Marty's story was a bit dull... I mean, I've read better teenager love story as side story in books.

So conclusion, I think that the book would have been better... but it was still enjoyable.

Must Love Dragons by Stephanie Rowe: 4.25/5

Theresa Nichols is a dragon, a real one: scales, tail and fire breath and all. She's been a dragon for the past 200 years, unable to change into human form. In addition, she's the assistant guardian of the Goblet of Eternal Youth (Mona) and must protect it at every cost. So ever since she and Justine had relocated to New York, Theresa has been hiding, depending on Justine for food. The problem is that Justine is gone on a honeymoon and is starving. In addition, Zeke - her cybersex partner- has been wanting to see her and has given her an ultimatum... Either she shows up for their date or he'll move on. So what is a dragon to do in that kind of situation?

Zeke Siccardi is an EX- dragon slayer, big emphasis on the EX. 180 years ago, he was the one who plotted the Cleansing in which most dragons were eliminated. However, the Cleansing was also a reality check for him and it changed him... so he's been trying to suppress his slayer instincts, take a non-violence path, become a vegetarian and etc. Now, Zeke specializes in finding missing person and he's been given the task to find Theresa Nichols. He has found a Theresa Nichols, now all he has to do is confirm that it's the right one.

This novel is as crazy as the previous one, but I thought it was better. I think I enjoyed it more. I really liked Theresa and Zeke's characters... I guess I found that Justine and Derek were a bit dull. Also, there was a lot of Becca in this book and she's really awesome. So let see, let me try to be a bit coherent here. In order to go on a date with Zeke, Theresa makes a deal with Satan... Of course, in exchange, Satan demands Mona. By having Mona and not using her, Satan wants to prove to Iris, previous Guardian, that he loves her. Back to Theresa, she has an old enemy after her life as well as Zeke's old team of slayers. The writing is basically all over the place, but you don't have a boring moment at all. If you liked Date me, Baby, One more Time, you'll probably enjoy this one as well.

The next book will be Becca's.

I've also started reading Venetia by Georgette Heyer, but I'm having a bit of a hard time because of the way it's written - not used to it.

By the way:


Hope everything goes well, the job is good and the co-workers, nice.
Let us know how it goes :D

Friday, November 10, 2006

Books, books and more books

I swear, I think I'll never be able to stop myself from buying books... I guess buying books make me happy and cheer me up :D I mean, I was able to refrain myself one week... one tiny week... 7-8 days... but what's the point if when you start buying books again, you double the amount of what you really should be buying?

anyway, to satisfy Kristie's curiosity, here are my new possessions:

(ARGHHH! I hate Internet explorer and work... wouldn't allow me to put up the covers! So I'll do that once I get home)

- London's Perfect Scoundrel by Suzanne Enoch
- Venetia by Georgette Heyer
- Must Love Dragons by Stephanie Rowe
- The Mountain Call by Caitlin Brennan
- The Untamed Heiress by Julia Justiss

Those are the books I bought yesterday at Indigo :D I got London's Perfect Scoundrel because of Romancelover's recommendation and Venetia, because of Jennie (as well as Kristie and Mailyn in the comments)... Must Love Dragons was kind of a no-brainer and The Mountain Call, well I've been very curious about it... You know that I've bought books by Marie Brennan recently (Doppelganger and Warrior and Witch)... guess who's books are next to Marie Brennan? Yep, you guess right... Caitlin Brennan :D and I mean, her covers are really nice!!! and I got The Untamed Heiress because it looked interesting... So yeah, that's for Indigo.... Now, onto the UBS.

- Drop Dead Gorgeous by Jennifer Skully
- The Chosen by Sharon Sala
- Pillars of the World by Anne Bishop
- Shadows of Light by Anne Bishop

Got Drop Dead Gorgeous because it seemed funneh... The Chosen because it's from Sharon Sala and I've been wanting to read it for awhile... and well, it's used, so cheaper. As for the two Anne Bishop, well it's Anne Bishop. Loved her Black Jewels trilogy so I wanted to try those two... turns out it's from the same series (lucky me)... Anyone knows if there's another volume to it tho?

And from Zellers?

- Love at First Bite (anthology)
- Tin Box by Holly Kennedy
- Knight of Darkness by Kinley MacGregor (well, really Sherrilyn Kenyon)
- Valley of Silence by Nora Roberts
- The Rules of Seduction by Madeline Hunter
- An Unexpected Pleasure by Candace Camp
- Fools Rush In by Kristan Higgins

So the break down... well, I wasn't planning to buy Love at First Bite or Knight of Darkness... however, I found them at Zellers for relatively 25% cheaper, so I cave in. It's that easy to get me buy books. I mean, Love at first bite contains a Dark-Hunter story... (I know, I know... why do I keep reading them? Habit I guess... or because it's a series and I don't want to stop). As for Knight of Darkness, well, really, dunno. Didn't even finish the first one of that series... but hey, cheap right? Tin Box sounded good and pretty serious which I haven't read for awhile. Valley of Silence, well to complete the trilogy, because at this point, I really don't care about Moira or Cian. Well, maybe a bit about Cian... AS for An Unexpected Pleasure, well at that time, I was reading Winterset by Candace Camp... and both male characters are brothers... so I wanted to give it another go. As for Fools Rush In, it seems like a cutsy one. Oh, and let's not forget The Rules of Seduction... I've been wanting to try Madeline Hunter's book and I remember seeing this cover either on Sybil or Romancelover's blog...

Hmmm. 2 things I realize after writing this post... 1) well, I might not be uploading all the covers, but probably a couple of them :P cos all, well that would be a lot. and is there a limit to how much pics you can upload in one post? or maybe the sidebar... 2) I'm really an impulsive buyer ^^; but I guess that I knew. Sorta.

So now, my estimate is that the new Indigo is going to open either next week-end or near the end of the month... I really think they're going to have something special for their grand opening so hopefully, by that time, I'll have more titles in mind to buy :P

so what do you think? Should I do another self-imposed ban on buying books if the "after the ban" is like this? hmmm....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Chapters online...

Quick, quick question fellow Canadians: did Chapters/Indigo online take down their "availability in store" feature? Cos unless I'm blind, didn't find it! No!! Why did they do that?!?!?! It was working so well!!! What am I going to do? and wassup with websites today?!? My website to check if manga has arrived is also down. GRRRR... I smell conspiracy :P

Oh, about Indigo... You know, I told you guys that an Indigo was opening soon near my house... WEll I went last Friday, went yesterday... and they're making progress... I think they'll have everything shelved by next week. Which is way too long to wait for. So I'm breaking down my ban on books and I'm going to Chapters later today to buy some :P Actually, to be truthful, I already broke my promises and bought more books... turns out that similarly to Walmart, Zellers also have new books at 25% off and they have a great selection (well better than Walmart)... so of course, couldn't resist.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Hey everyone :D

Wassup? My day didn't start really well: 1) the weather is crap, 2) my sis stayed in my room till 4.30am this morning to work on her project, so I didn't get good sleep, 3) she needed my helped this morning with her poster, so I ended up late and jammed in traffic, 4) I wanted to be smart and skip work so I could stay home and work on my project - yeah, presentation is at the end of the month, and since I didn't have that much work, I thought, well why not? Why not? Because my father took the day off to go to a doctor appointment and he's like: no way, you can't stay home because you don't have much work at work... only if you're sick... (he was pretty angry, cos he thinks I'm lazy - I didn't tell him about the presentation, cos he'd be even more on my back... Then, 5 minutes later, he came back to me and he was like: Did you get lay off? Answer: Of course no!) 5) Spent an hour in traffic, came to work and guess what... yep, I don't have any compounds to screen... even worse, I have less. Urgh.

by the way, love my dad :D He's the sweetest guy on Earth, but sometimes, he worries too much :P and even sweet guy can hit a nerve sometimes.

so that's my life ^^; and it seems that I'm slowly catching the reading slump (pls someone, save me!)...

anyway, here are what I've been reading for the past 3 days...

Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie: 3.25/5

So I thought that I was catching the reading slump-syndrome and to avoid it, I bought this anthology, thinking that a Jennifer Crusie is what I needed.

On Christmas Eve, Trudy Maxwell is stucked in a toy store looking for an action figure, sorreh, can't remember the name, that is able to spit toxic waste :) Unfortunately, the action figure has been sold out since Thanksgiving, but Trudy is not giving up. She absolutely needs to find one for her nephew, Leroy, because his bastard father has not kept his promise and Trudy and Leroy's mother, Courtney, don't want Leroy to be disappointed. So she starts looking in other aisle for the action figure. Unlucky for her, Nolan Mitchell shows up... Nolan is a chinese literature professor and has stood up Trudy a few months ago. Still angry at him, Trudy tries to ignore him and lucky her, she finds the action figure that she was looking for, only the previous generation... But what's weird is that suddenly, everyone is after her action figure...

Okay, so this is a novella and it's short. I knew that, but still I find it disappointing, cos well, it was too short. By the way, did Trudy Maxwell ever showed up in Crusie's previous books? The name doesn't ring a well, so I wonder, but it seems like I was supposed to know her. Anyway, I like Trudy and Nolan :D The only thing is that well, the story is a bit far-fetched... but I guess that's okay :) It wasn't hilarious, but still pretty fun (as in, I did laugh out a couple of times)... Anyway, I'm still waiting for a full Jennifer Crusie book (and her only, no co-writing)... It's been 2 years since Bet Me.

Winterset by Candace Camp: 2.75/5

Reed Moreland had a dream where Anna Holcomb seemed to be in danger. Although it's only a dream and even if Anna has turned him down, Reed sets out for his Winterset estate to make sure that the love of his life is all right. Ever since turning down Reed's proposal, Anna knew that she'd never be happy, but she could at least be content with her life. However, Reed's return is making it difficult to be content... At the same time, the Beast, who've been responsible for murders decades ago is back.

I thought the book was long. The beginning was quite entertaining, but near the middle, it started to seriously drag. Anna, if you cannot marry, then stay away from Reed. I know, if they stayed away from each other, there wouldn't be a story... but after the third eps. of Anna and Reed kissing or starting to get intimate and then, Anna stepping back and saying that she can't and running away, I was seriously bored. Anna and Reed were all right characters... I guess that I would consider Reed as a beta male... as for the reason why Anna couldn't marry Reed, I thought she should have told him, not just drive him away. Anyway, characters were all right, story was okay, but a bit draggy.

Billionaires Prefer Blondes by Suzanne Enoch: 4/5

The best book I've read since the week-end... This is part of a series, after Flirting with Danger and Don't Look Down. Although the last book bored me, I still decide to give the series another go and I think this one is the best so far.

Samantha Jellicoe is an ex-cat burgler... Yep, she's retired after hooking up with British billionaire Rick Addison. Now, she owns a security company... but troubles still follow her. It starts with the reapparence of her father, who supposedly died 3 years ago, followed by the robbery of Rick's latest art acquisitions... then, Sam is in more trouble than she'd wished for. Stuck between Martin, her father, and Rick, her lover, Sam is in an impasse... but she has to make a choice.

Lots of ppl have compared this series with the In Death series by J.D. Robb where basically, Sam is the equivalent of Roarke (seedy past) with Rick/Eve as the moral compasse. Although I don't think that this seires come close to the In Death, it is still rather enjoyable. I like Sam's character... she's bold, sassy and sexy and she knows her stuff when it comes to burglary. Rick is well, the richissism guy that's found his soulmate, you know, he's a bit cliched, but what can you do? Those are the ones readers swoon for. I guess what this series lack is good secondary characters. Anyway, I think that the three books happening on a timeline of 5 months is also a bit exaggerated... It would have been better if the story would've been spaced out a bit. The storyline was quite good, the action continued... the story flowed well and the pace was good. The characters were in-characters and still entertaining. So no major complaints except for the fac that the characters kept thinking: it's been 5 months we've been together and I'm still in lust and combust automatically. Hello, so what if it's been 5 months? 5 months is nothing... Of course, if you've changed months for years, than yeah, I would have understood why the characters were surprised... but again, 5 months, *insert roll eyes* that's nothing. So why keep repeating it? Also, I've always been a sucker for father-daughter happy reunion, but this one wasn't, so I was kind of bumped out. But definitively worth reading if you enjoy the previous 2 books.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Week-end reads

Hey everyone :D

So how was your week-end? must have been busy or relaxing, since blogland was real quiet :P My parents woke me up at 7am on Saturday, so we could go line up at Costco to change our tires (ugh - you know, I really don't care whether I'm driving with winter or summer tires at that hour)... however, afterwards, didn't do much except reading. However, either I'm coming down with the reading slump syndrome (god, I wish not!) or all the books I've read were meh to bad ^^; So here we go with some quick reviews:

The Dare by Susan Kearney: 2/5

I really had a hard time getting into this book and finally, I decided it wasn't worth it and so, I skimmed through the ending...

Dora is a sentient computer who wants to become human in order to have sex with Zical, the only human being she found special among a billions. Dora gets her wish (as in, she becomes human), but adapting to life is not as easy as she thought...

And that about sums up the book. I don't know, after reading the blurb on the back of the book, I was really interested... but once I start reading it, it just lost me. Perhaps because this is the second book and I'm missing info on the world building. It just confused me a lot. Also, dare I say it's pretty stupid for a computer to become human simply because she wants to experience love-making?!? I mean, if she wanted to become human because she was in love, that would have been more interesting... in this case, she's so dense (so much like a real human) that she doesn't realize that she's in love with the guy. Euh, hello!!!! As for Zical, well he's well bleh... Didn't really like him, I mean, he's not very memorable, he doesn't sound yummy... he has some personal issues that keep getting in the way with his relationship with Dora, but at the same time, I thought the issues weren't that important and he was just running away... and there was all this mission about saving their planet that I really didn't get... sad no? Anyway, didn't really enjoy the book nor the characters... the story basically didn't grab my attention.

Nine Lives by Sharon Sala: 2.5/5
**EDIT on April 1, 2012: Jeez, I think I was really harsh on that grade. Because I actually really enjoyed the story and the book from what I remember, and I did get the rest of the series. I think a fair grade would be 4/5 (B).

I'm a fan of Sharon Sala ever since I read Out of the Dark. I usually really enjoy her books, but it seems to me she usually has better characters...

Cat Dupree lost her mother at the age of 6 in a car accident, and her father at the age of 13 when he was murdered. In both events, Cat was present and could have died as well... However, she survived and decided to become a bounty-hunter in order to avenge her father. Cat has only one close friend which is Marsha whom she met in a forster home, but when Marsha disappears and Cat suspects that she's dead, Cat becomes obsessed... Luckily for her, there is fellow bounty-hunter, Wilson Mckay, to help her out and support her.

Can I say I was majorly disappointed with this book? Really, first I thought that the book would focus on Cat finding her father's murderer, but it wasn't. Then, Cat as a character is not very likeable. Basically, Cat is this tough chick and is socially inept. She's been on her own for a long time and is pretty independent. I mean, I get that her past is a sad one and I understand why she's tough, but that's really not a reason to treat Wilson like crap. Poor Wilson, but then, the guy is really looking for emotional torture. He's quite okay as the male lead... I mean, a man that's thoughtful, protective and caring... What I didn't understand is why Wilson kept coming back? I guess he's really smitten, but still... *shakes head* The romance was kept minimal and at the ending is an open one. I mean, Cat is still pushing Wilson away, so you don't really know if it's a HEA. I'm trying to think whether or not there'll be a sequel to this book... I'm not sure I would want to read it, unless Cat really makes a 180 degree turn-about. What I did like about this book is the villain... He's quite the everyday man who commits a murder, because he's afraid that Marsha will ruin his life, and think he can walk away without being discovered. I also liked the fact that both Cat and Wilson kept bringing in bail-jumpers (altho it looked so easy) and didn't drop everything to investigate. All in all, the story was quite okay, but it's Cat character that ruined it for me.

A Holiday Spirit by Kay Hooper: 3.5/5

Two years ago, Antonia broke her engagement with Richard, heir to the Duke of Lyonshall, creating quite a scandal. No one knows why, except for Antonia. Two years later, Antonia's grandmother creates an opportunity for both Antonia and Richard to reconcile in the Castle of Ware...

As you well know by now, I'm quite a fan of Kay Hooper... so when I saw this anthology coming out, I jumped on it. This story was nice, but there's one problem: too short. Well that was to be expected from a novella. Although I find it stupid for Antonia to have ended her engagement that way, without confronting Richard, I can understand. I didn't thought much of Antonia, but I really liked Richard :P For once, someone's that is not a rake!!! Quite refreshing :P Anyway, if you're a die-hard fan of Kay Hooper, get it. If not, you can skip.

Surrender by Lisa Kleypas: DNF

It's quite sad really... the prologue was so promising with Jason Moran determined to get Laura Prescott as his wife as soon as she would be grown up enough... but then, when the first chapter started, I was like put off. Jason acted like a primitive man and Laura was, well not whiny, but weak and a coward. Obviously, both of them love each other, but they just didn't tell each other... So Laura thinks that Jason bought her (well he told her that... her father needed money) and Jason thinks that Laura married him out of family duty. So both are disatisfied and added to that Jason's inferiority complex because he's a Scot and came from a bad background... I might have read it if Jason wasn't acting like a brute. I can handle cold and calculative, but not brute.

I'm reading Winterset by Candace Camp right now... Actually, I was going to review it now, but realized that I only read half and I should continue before reviewing it (bright no? :P)

So yeah, didn't read anything really interesting this week-end (well except for Kay Hooper novella, but it wasn't enough)... By the way, I'm proud to announce that I haven't bought a book for a week! Personally, I think it's quite an achievement... but it'll be nothing compared to Jennie if she really doesn't buy anymore new book till 2007 :P Still waiting for the new Indigo to open, sigh.

Have a nice day :D

Friday, November 03, 2006

Review: Doppelganger by Marie Brennan

So, it seems that it's going to be a quiet week-end :P to start the week-end, here is another review :P I don't really remember where I first saw the book cover of Warrior and Witch, but I thought it was really a nice cover and I was curious :D This is the blurb on Chapters/Indigo online website:

When a witch is born, a doppelganger is created. For a witch to master her powers, the twin must be killed. But what happens when the doppelganger survives?

It wasn't much, but it still sounded interesting. So I got the book and at the same time, I went to look for the first book, Doppelganger (because, yes of course, it's a series). It took me awhile, but finally got my hands on it and for once, decided to read the series in order. Good decision :P so here is my review...

Doppelganger by Marie Brennan

Plot: 3.75/5
Enjoyment: 3/5

So where to start? Mirage is a Hunter that is often mistaken for a witch because of her red hair. Hunters are mercenaries trained in different schools, each with their characteristics and specialities. Their jobs range from being courrier to bodyguard to investigators to assassin. Her year-mate, Eclipse, has received a commission (which are very rare missions and reserved for the best) which requires 2 Hunters to investigate the death of a high-ranking witch. Reluctant to work for witch, Mirage still accept because she is bored.

Miryo has been studying all her life to become a witch. The day has finally come, but she must pass the Test. Although she succeeds, there is only one problem: her doppelganger still exists. When daughters of witches are born, a ritual is made where a doppelganger is created. Doppelgangers are basically a void shell of the infant that must be killed. Once doppelgangers are exposed to the starlight, they obtain a soul. If the doppelgangers survive, it would endanger their witches, as the witch would be unable to focus and utilize her magic. So if Miryo wants to become a witch who can use magic, she must kill her Doppelganger... the problem is... her doppelganger is Mirage, a hunter.... would Miryo has the skill? Or can they come up with another solution?

The plot is pretty clever and well constructed. Although WHAT the conspiracy is is easy to guess, how the story unravels and how the Hunters figure it out is quite unique. I mean, it makes sense for the Hunters to figure it out, because that's their job and their life... Normally, if it would have been a cop or PI in a contemporary novel, it wouldn't have work, so kudos to the author on that point... so she got the Hunters aspect very well... Unfortunately, she didn't succeed as well for the witches side. I mean, you barely get any info about what they do, why are they so feared and all. As for characters, there's basically three: Mirage, Miryo and Eclipse. I liked Mirage character, she's quite the typical tough girl, but at least, she really has the skills to back it off. She's strong and agile, she's smart and she's reckless, but she knows her strengths... Definitively not a TSTL heroine... I guess she's the one who saved the story :P As for Miryo, I found her too weak... she kept worrying and it was pretty annoying. Understandable, but still annoying. Eclipse is the guy of the story and well, you get very little info on him. In a way, it's quite sad, because he's really overshadowed by Mirage... she's the one who leads and he's the one who helps. By the way, if you're expecting romance, there's null. I guess there was no place for romance in this book. That's one reason why the enjoyment grade got bumped down.

The second reason is that, I thought the story was complicated and confusing. Part of the problem is the world building - not enough information. You're given very little bits of information and they're scattered in the story. Yes, you don't have the tedious first chapter that feed you so much information that you can't process it, but instead, you're lacking. I kept wondering if I missed a book and that the Doppelganger was perhaps not the first book. Luckily, there was a glossary, but still, having to go back and forth everytime to look at the glossary, it breaks your pace. How the witches are divided and function was also difficult to assimilate. Basically, there are 5 elements that the witches revered: Air, Void, Water, Earth and Fire... and so the witches are divided in 5 groups... Groups are called "Ray" and within that group, you can either be a Hand, Heart or Head (I don't remember the definition)... each function is call Path. Then, you have the leader of each path which are Keys and then, leader of each Ray, which are Primes... Confused? well I am... especially when it wasn't really explain. Then, to confuse you further, there's a whole bunch of Japanese names and honorific names... You know, the -san that Japaneses tag to the end of almost everyone's name... well here, you have an honorific tag for normal witches, for each different leader and so on. Enough to get lost.

Oh, I've skimmed through Warrior and Witch, although I don't plan to read it right away (need a break to relax my mind). Plot still sounds complicated and unfortunately, no romance T_T

Thursday, November 02, 2006

October TBR challenge

Well I wanted to read this book for the October TBR challenge and well, I did... altho it's already November, I think that no one would mind... anyway, here it is:

Title: No Rest for the Wicked

Author: Kresley Cole

Year published: Oct. 2006

Why did you get this book? Personally, I have no idea. Maybe because I was giving a chance to the series.

Do you like the cover? I like the colors, but I could have passed on on the models :P

Did you enjoy the book? It was meh... I was expecting a bit more from the sneak preview, so I'm a tiny bit disappointed.

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? Nope, the author wasn't new to me. I've read the first of the series which was No Hunger Like Mine, or something like that...

Are you keeping it or passing it on? Not sure yet. probably keeping it till I have no more space and have to cut down on my books.

Anything else? I bet you actually dying to know more... so here it is... My formal review:

No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole: 2.5/5

Sebastien Wroth was turned into a vampire 300 years ago by his two elder brothers, because well, Sebastien was dying and his brothers didn't want him to. Angry at his brothers to have gone against his will, Sebastien has been sulking in one of his castle in Scotland and is awaiting death. Finally, appears Kaderin, a Valkyrie whose sole purpose in life is to kill vampire. Sebastien believes that he can die, but Kaderin hesitates... and suddenly, both characters get a bad case of lust, because apparently, Sebastien's Bride is Kaderin. Once a vampire finds his Bride, he can "lives" again, but well he's still dead. Anyway, Bride are important to vampires... Well it seems that Sebastien is not the only one affected by their connection, as Kaderin, in the presence of Sebastien, starts to feel again (see, she was turned emotionless by the Gods)... so Kaderin runs away. Sebastien pursues her and finds her at the Goddess Riora's temple where the creatures of the Lore (the otherworld) have gathered to participate to the Hie. The Hie is a competition among the representants of each race and basically, Riora gives a list of objects she wants and an amount of points that go with the task and well, the first 2 to reach 87 points get a place in the finale and the winner gets a price. Kaderin has been winning the competition for the last 5 times (the Hie happens every 250 yrs). Anyway, Kaderin and Sebastien both participate: Kaderin is even more eager than previous years because this year, the price is a key that allows to go back in time and as a result, she could save her triplet sisters and avoid a 1000 years of guilt, and Sebastien, to win the key and give it to Kaderin. However, another dangerous participant is present this year, Bowen, a werewolf, who wants the key to bring his mate back to life.

So yeah, sounds exciting? Not really. I guess the author wanted Sebastien to be a tortured hero, but his characterization doesn't turn out so well. Actually, I guess my problem is that this story is so deja-vu... it's been written and you don't bring anything new to it. It's nice to see other creatures aside from vampire, werewolf and witch, but I find the Valkyries not very interesting... Bunch of hyper girls that want to look tough. Kaderin wasn't an entertaining heroine either and I actually thought that the plot was weak and boring. So yeah, I don't know what to do anymore with this series? Give it another go or not... I guess not.