Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dragon's Keep

Dragon's Keep by Janet Lee Carey was another of my Chapters finds. It sounded like an intriguing tale: a princess is born with a dragon claw. Only her mother knows about it. The princess is kidnapped by a dragon, and she is forced to come to terms with herself, dragon parts and all.
Intriguing idea, but I didn't think it was very well carried out. The problem was the whole book seemed so slow. Princess Rosalind meets a dragon near the beginning of the book, but isn't captured until half way through. And once she is captured, the tale seems to ramble on for another hundred pages before eventually coming to an end. Even the events at the end seemed to ramble on unnecessarily.
The one thing the book had going for it were the interesting main characters. I liked Rosalind. She was an interesting character who always tried to do the right thing, even if it didn't always work out. She wanted to live a normal life but was so mired down in ancient prophecy that this was impossible. Lord Faul, the dragon who eventually kidnaps her, was also great. And so were his little ones. But a lot of the other characters seemed to fall a bit flat. Or, in the case of Kit, they were just getting to be interesting and then they are gone.
So all in all, I don't really recommend this book. It had a neat idea, and some good characters, but overall it didn't feel worth reading.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Interlude: Breakfast of Champions

My brother lent me Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions. I decided to read it so I could give it back to him once he is back home from school. I read most of it yesterday while hanging out in various waiting rooms, but finished it today.
Breakfast of Champions reminded me of Mordecai Richler's Cocksure. Both books are satires. And both have a certain fascination with male anatomy. But I have to say, I enjoyed Cocksure more than Breakfast of Champions.
Vonnegut's book tells you what is going to happen pretty much from the get go. Two of his characters, the writer Kilgore Trout and the car dealer Dwayne Hoover, meet. Dwayne learns about one of Kilgore's books which causes his already unstable mind to go over the edge into insanity, and he hurts a number of people before being caught and sent to the psych ward of a local hospital. So while we already know the ending, the book takes us on the journey, showing what leads up to their fateful meeting and Dwayne's insanity.
Now, Kilgore Trout is an awesome character. He was invited to be a guest speaker at the opening for an Arts centre in Dwayne's town. So after initially refusing to show up, he decides instead to appear as the most destitute old man he possibly can. He finds an old tuxedo and hitchhikes across the US, staying in old movie theatres and having a grand adventure in his quest to show the uppity Arts people what it's really like.
Another feature of the book that I enjoyed were the illustrations. Vonnegut drew all of the pictures himself. While they aren't exactly the greatest pictures ever, they are extremely entertaining.
So overall, this book had some great things going for it. But I always felt like it was building up to something big that never really seemed to happen.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Iron Kissed

Well, here I am. It's almost 5am and I just finished the last of my three Mercy Thompson books. Like the first two, Iron Kissed was awesome - so awesome that I couldn't put it down!
Iron Kissed picks up where Blood Bound left off. To deal with the Vampires, Mercy had needed the help of the fae. So in return for their help, she now owes them a favour. So Mercy's mentor, Zee, calls her in to help them investigate some murders on the local fae reservation. But Mercy has to walk a fine line. The fae are extremely secretive, and will kill to remain so.
After investigating, Mercy is shocked to discover that Zee has been arrested for murder and no one is willing to help him even though he is innocent. And so it is up to Mercy to clear his name while avoiding the wrath of the powerful fae lords.
As is fitting for a story that deals with fae, Iron Kissed is, in many ways, a lot darker than the previous two novels. While it deals with some rather tough subjects, it was still a really good read and I highly recommend it! Now I can't wait to get my hands on Bone Crossed...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Blood Bound

I finished Patricia Briggs' Moon Called last night and immediately started reading Blood Bound, which continues the story of Mercy Thompson. This time, Mercy gets asked to help her vampire friend Stefan out, as payment for his help from Moon Called. Mercy accepts, and finds herself the coyote accessory for Stefan's intimidating costume as they investigate an unknown vampire in the area.
But this vampire is not just a vampire; he is a demon possessed sorceror. With him rampaging around the Tri-City area, the werewolves agree to help the vampires stop him. But as the mayhem escalates, and the demon-hunters are M.I.A, Mercy refuses to sit on the sidelines any longer. But what can a lone coyote do against the powerful vampier-sorceror?
Like Moon Called, I couldn't put Blood Bound down! I wanted to know what happened to everyone, especially those who were taken by the sorceror. This was another good read, and I can't wait to start book 3!
(On a side note though, I think these books are okay as stand alone novels, so I should be okay if I wait awhile before getting a hold of book 4. This also means that while it's better to read them in order, it's okay if you don't).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Moon Called

As is tradition, after my final exam I had a book waiting for me in my car; when the exam was over, I read the first page before heading home. This year, I chose Moon Called by Patricia Briggs for the honour. I bought Moon Called back in March; while at Chapters I skimmed the first page and found it really interesting, so it seemed like the logical choice. So true to tradition, I read the first page. . .and then didn't touch the book for a couple of days! I'm not entirely sure what happened, but my best guess is that I just really needed a break from reading after all of the English books I've read over the last few months. But then I brought Moon Called to work with me, and got hooked!
Mercy Thompson is a mechanic who works in the Tri-City area. Recently, the Lesser Fae have revealed their existence to the world, but a lot of supernatural still have not. Mercy is working on a vampire's VW, and her neighbour is a werewolf. Mercy knows all this because she's not human herself - she's a walker, a shapechanger who can turn into a coyote. She was also raised with a pack of werewolves, so she knows their ways.
Mercy decides to hire a newly made werewolf in order to help him out. But some men have come looking for the kid, seeing him as their valuable property. After things go horribly wrong, Mercy has to take her neighbour, the local werewolf Alpha, to her foster family for help.
I absolutely loved this book - the characters, the plot, the world, everything! This is the first book in a long time that I couldn't put down! In fact, I loved it so much that I went out and bought the next two earlier today! I can't wait to read more!