Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Affliction by Laurell K Hamilton


"I made a small, helpless noise of happiness, and he laughed so deep a sound that it should have had teeth and claws around it."

Goodness, there was a moment there where I would never have believed that I would stick out the journey with necromancer, serial polyamorous lover of all things were , vamp and the like. Nevertheless, here I am about to wax lyrical about my latest interlude with Anita Blake.
Perhaps I need to get out more...

I think this particular outing represents a return to force. Ms Hamilton has managed to combine all the good bits and the story has a pace that entices. Did I mention stinky rotten zombie vampires? They make for some evil villains. Not to mention, a good dose of Micah, Nathaniel, Jean Claude, and a whole load of darling Nicky.

Anita gets to meet the parents when it comes to Micah’s family unit, but not in the way you might imagine. His Dad is rotting away and only Anita and one of my faves, Ed/Ted, and the rag tag gang can save the day.

I'd love to tell you more, but come on.. you know this is a guilty pleasure best experienced solo.


5 out of 5 hot, sweaty vampires ( can vampires sweat?)

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Thirteen Roses Book 1: Before by Michael Cairns

"There were roses, the most beautiful red roses that smelled like a holiday, and were the colour of romance and belonged on a table in a tiny cafe in Paris."


A mysterious flower seller seems an unlikely entree into an apocalyptic zombie tale, but this one doesn't disappoint. I was fortunate to receive a copy from the author and I'm really pleased that I got the opportunity to post this review.

I think what makes this particularly intriguing is the quality of writing and the unexpected take on a rather familiar genre. I had to read this one on my mobile while enduring a particularly crazy working week and I think it says a lot about the writing that it held my interest despite the less than helpful interface and the distractions of competing deadlines.

A number of disparate characters linked by pungent flowers, mysterious figures and the threat of an apocalypse, well that certainly sounds like something that might draw you in, doesn't it?

5 out of 5 red roses by the dozen, unless its a baker's dozen.


Monday, 9 March 2015

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham



“A bird in the hand was worth two in the bush, he told her, to which she retorted that a proverb was the last refuge of the mentally destitute.”

W. Somerset Maugham is one of those authors I tend to have a distinct response to, either positive or negative. For instance, I was deeply frustrated by Of Human Bondage  and yet loved Ashenden and The Razor's Edge.  That being said, I was a little ambivalent towards seeking out this particular novel.

I do love a good book recommendation and this one came from an Internet friend from far, far away.He clearly has impeccable taste and a weirdly accurate radar as to the kind of anti-heroine I would relate to. Kitty perhaps  will draw a response from all women, she is our frivolous dark side, bored by dull men; eager for adventure and yet ultimately somewhat trapped by convention.

She represents the last, best hope of her parents. The burden of expectations all built around the fleeting drug that is youthful beauty. Life, as it often does, gets in the way. Enter an unfathomable choice, a devastating realisation and a journey that appears to be the path to suicide.

I think the quote above exemplifies how gorgeous and clever the prose is and this is definitely a classic worth exploring. As per my friend John's recommendation, I'd urge you to check this one out too.

5 out of 5 girls would think twice about an affair with a toupee.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder by Evelyn Waugh"


"Their passion frightened her, and she came back from the confessional one day determined to put an end to it."

So this is one of those rare occasions where I've watched the movie before reading the book  and look how appropriate, my copy of the book is a movie tie-in.This one has been in my to read pile for an absolute age and going on my previous love of Waugh's other novels like Vile Bodies, I think I'd been saving it to savour.
That being said my praise is not completely effusive here. There are moments that are sublime, but it lacks the bite of some of his other works. This is more sad and reflective as, during the war, Captain Ryder revisits the scenes of his youth through his station at Brideshead as per the title.

As in Vile Bodies, Dipsomania raises its ugly head in the persona of Sebastian and his tragic story. My recollections, perhaps tainted by the cinematic excursion were more around the romantic tale and indeed the interlude of Julia and Ryder is rather fleeting but memorable.
For me this one seemed more about faith and love and relationships and frustration and guilt seeped out of the pages.

I think this one is a slow burn.

5 out of 5 memories fade.


Kiss the Dead by Laurell K Hamilton

"It took me a sec­ond to re­al­ize that he had just quoted Star Wars to me. It made me smile, and in that mo­ment I loved him, just for that."

Who doesn't love a Star Wars quoting man - yeah, I'm a nerd. So, it has been a really rubbish week at work and , apparently it is only Wednesday, anyway back to the book.
I was needing a little time with Anita and her menagerie of hot men, because my dating life took a turn for the non-existent courtesy of cancelled flights, crazy storms, a trip interstate and a random lack of water - long story.

 There's another crisis for Anita to sort out with little baby vampires going crazy and let's not even get started on Asher's jealous lunacy. Poly amorous relationships seem even more fraught than your usual type, particularly when they involve ancient vampires and other supernatural types.

Anita gets a guilt complex about Cyn being too young for her, but she gets over it in her usually effusive fashion. Oh to be Anita, surrounded by all the hotness.

4 out of 5 times this one returns to form.

Monday, 23 February 2015

The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead



“It was shocking to me, so I could only imagine how Sydney must feel.”


I have a guilty confession, I can’t resist the YA outings of Richelle Mead. I loved Vampire Academy, let’s face it I wanted to be Rose! The only draw back was choosing between Dimitri and Adrian and then that caring author that she is, she created the Bloodlines offshoot with extra Adrian Ivashkov. All guilty pleasures must come to an end, and in that vein (get it – vein), this enjoyable treat delivers its final instalment.

When last we left Sydney and Adrian, they had gotten married. It has been about a year hasn't it since I read the last volume. I devour them in a night, a bit like a packet of peanut M&Ms, although without the calorie count. The path of true love between supernatural hunters and vampires never did run smooth and there are some final shocks in store.

Dream walking, the dangers of spirit over use, magical spells, missing people and road trips to Canada, no wait, it just seems like Canada, it is all here.

For those Bloodlines tragic, I'm doing this spoiler free. Was the ending neat? Yes. Did I want more, naturally. Did it make me feel older.... you betcha Even the YA kids are growing up - don't do it kids - grow old disgracefully, YA fiction in hand.

 5 out of 5 magic spells keep your heart young

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

"He had a demon on both  shoulders, urging one another on"

I have to say I'm usually quite a fan of Mr Pratchett's work but this one left me cold. Certainly i read it in fits and starts and perhaps that is the reason why I struggle to recount exactly what happened.
Apparently a bit of time travel, the odd titter of an amusing bon mot and heck maybe I just need to read this one again but I have little to no interest.
Also, not enough appearances from my favourite character, Death, but when he did appear in his capitalised gloriousness it did make me one happy reader.

3 out of 5 sometimes I should pay more attention.