"A room without books is like a body without a soul." - Cicero

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Heroes Die Young by T.M. Hunter

While on a standard cargo run, space pirate Aston West comes upon a derelict freighter, fresh out of a recent battle. He can't fight the urge to pilfer a valuable cache of highly illegal weapons. While on board, however, one last stowaway attempts to kill Aston, thinking him part of an earlier boarding crew. Attack craft return to finish the ship off and Aston has no choice but to save her from certain destruction.

That's when all the trouble begins for Aston. Soon, he finds himself in the middle of a Torian War, a place where he does not want to be. He never gets involved, that's his motto, but with every blind turn, he gets himself more tangled up in this mess. And when he finds out that the cargo he was hired to deliver was used against Torian freedom fighters in the war, all bets are off.

I usually don't read sci-fi/space age type books, but I must admit that this book piqued my interest. Even then, I thought that once I began to read it I would get bored or not understand what T.M. Hunter was talking about. I was completely wrong! This book is awesome. I love Aston West, he's a very realistic hero, I think, because at first he didn't want to get involved. He has this "sucks to be you but it's not my problem and I value my life" attitude but he's still a good guy with a conscience and the more he gets involved, the more personal things become until he feels he needs to help. And isn't that how real heroes are? Nobody walks around looking for people in need of rescuing.

On top of that, the book is pretty damn funny. It's one of those books where you don't see it coming and next thing you know you find yourself laughing your ass off.

Heroes Die Young is a great book. A great story with great characters in a great setting (then again, I'm a sucker for talks of planets, galaxies, and binary stars). I really enjoyed myself and wish I would have read it slower. I'll definitely re-read it at some point when my TBR pile isn't so large.

I gladly give you my stars! 5 for T.M. Hunter and 5 for Aston West.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Girls-Only Dirty Joke Book by Karen S Smith

The Girls-Only Dirty Joke Book is a funny little read. It's full sexual jokes (my favorite kind of humor) and they can get pretty crude at times. I had a blast reading them, I laughed my ass off. So if you like jokes about blondes, penis sizes, comparisons, pick-up lines, funny stories, and one-liners, then you should pick this book up.

Four nuns die and go to Heaven. At the Pearly Gates, Saint Peter stops them. "Before you enter Heaven, you must be completely pure," he says. "Sister Mary, have you ever had the slightest contact with a man's penis?" "I must confess that I have," says Sister Mary, "I once saw a man's penis." "Wash your eyes out with holy water and pass into Heaven," says Saint Peter. "Now, Sister Martha, have you ever had the slightest contact with a man's penis?" "I must confess that I have," says Sister Martha, "I once stroked a man's penis with my hand." "Wash your hand in this holy water and pass into Heaven," says Saint Peter. But before he can get any further, the other two nuns have started pushing and shoving. "Sisters!" says Saint Peter sternly, "There is room for all in the Kingdom of God-what is the meaning of this unseemly scuffling?" "If I'm going to have to gargle with that holy water," says the fourth nun, "I want to get to it before Sister Catherine sticks her fat ass in it."

The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers by Angie Fox

Demon slayer Lizzie Brown is back in the sequel to The Accidental Demon Slayer. No time to rest or train, Lizzie, Dimitri, Pirate and the Red Skulls head to Vegas to rescue her fairy godfather from the clutches of a succubus named Serena. But before she can even enter Las Vegas she must take her demon slayer license test, something she didn’t even know existed. And if that weren’t enough, she’s about to walk right in the middle of a succubus invasion. With 25 succubi in the area and Dimitri slowly being eaten alive (Dimitri may have forgotten to mention that griffin happens to be a favorite among succubi), Lizzie must rely on her new demon slayer powers and whatever help she can find to rescue the people she has begun to see as family.

The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers is just as great as the first part. I love the characters Angie Fox created, they are so unique! I absolutely love the relationship between Lizzie and Dimitri, it’s so beautiful, especially towards the end of the book. I cried! I’m still a big fan of the coven, those are some crazy ladies! I’m glad I got to see more of her grandma since she was stuck in hell for a big portion of the first book, but I missed Ant Eater, I think she’s my favorite biker witch. I also loved Phil and I cried my eyes out in the end. Such a great character, I think everytime I pass a Cinnabon I’ll think of him. LOL.

Angie Fox has great ideas and I can’t wait to see what else she comes up with. So go out and buy The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers and if you haven’t yet, buy The Accidental Demon Slayer (click here for my thoughts on the first book).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Nightfall by L.J. Smith

Eighteen years after Dark Reunion, L.J. Smith returns to Fells Church and her characters to bring us the first in a new trilogy within the original Vampire Diaries saga. The Return: Nightfall continues the story a week after Elena comes back from the dead. She is no longer a spirit, nor a vampire, but not quite human either; with powers unlike anyone or anything has ever seen.

The only thing I can say to describe this book is that it's intense. So many things are happening at once, obviously since it's the first in a new trilogy not everything gets resolved in this book. Which makes Smith a tease. The best kind of tease there is! This book revolves more around Damon and we get to see parts of him that are new to us.

I've been having an ongoing discussion with my roommate about Damon v.s Stefan. The roommate prefers Damon, and she wants Elena to choose him (after I told her she couldn't choose herself). I want Elena to end up with Stefan. That being said, I LOVE Damon. (Something I realized this week: L.J. Smith has this tendency of creating villains that I love and root for, something I usually never do). And I want badly for Damon and Bonnie to get together. Which of course is difficult because this series is supposed to be about two brothers fighting for the same woman...but...I think Smith could slowly move away from that and have Damon fall for Bonnie. Just saying. :D

Sorry Mutt, but you get nobody!

I can't wait to see what happens next. Seeing as (SPOILER ALERT!!!) Elena takes off with Matt and Damon to rescue Stefan from the Shi no Shi. And I really want to know if things between Bonnie and Damon progress because the kiss, and that whole bathtub scene was great! And that free read over on her site, Bonnie and Damon After Hours, didn't help my obsession.

I know this wasn't much of a review, as it was me squealing rather girlishly, but it's hard to talk about this book when I don't want to spoil the first four parts for people that haven't read it yet. I will say that this book has a new villain and many minions. And a lot of twists that will have you second guessing yourself. Oh! and Caroline is a BITCH! Just thought I'd reinforce that statement. You'll know why as soon as you finish reading this book.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith

Elena Gilbert, Queen of Robert E. Lee High is back from her summer in France. The last year of high school begins and Elena feels a weird energy in the air. Something is going to happen, something bad...but exciting. Maybe it's that elusive thing she's been searching for. Because though Elena has everything, she is not satisfied. She does not feel like the other girls her age, she feels she's meant to do or be something else...

A cryptic premonition from her best friend comes true, and when Elena sees the dark and mysterious Stefan Salvatore, something inside her screams. She needs to have him, he's what she's been looking for and she'll stop at nothing to get what she wants. She always gets what she wants.

But when the quiet town of Fells Church becomes a dangerous place full of random attacks, mysterious shadows, and weird animals, the people of Fells Church point their fingers at Stefan. Now it's up to Elena and her friends to convince the town of Stefan’s innocence…the problem is, he’s not as innocent as they want him to be…he’s a creature of the night. A vampire. (Dum Dum DUM)

Sorry I had to throw the Dums in there. Moving on…

The Vampire Diaries trilogy is an old read for me. I read the original four books (don't ask me why it's still called a trilogy if it has four books, I'm not smart.) about ten years ago, and even back then they were already a bit old. Lisa Jane Smith is the person responsible for my book obsession and I read this series towards the beginning of said obsession. I think she’s one of the best writers, the best storytellers I have ever read. I have always loved the worlds and the characters she creates. Mainly because she writes real people in paranormal circumstances. Elena Gilbert is not this perfect little high school student. She’s a selfish bitch, using her friends to get what she wants and never appreciating them for anything. At least that’s how she starts. As the series progress, she begins to grow, to see the kind of person she is, and to tweak it. That’s what I like most about her characters, their realness and the different types of personalities she throws together to make and unstoppable team.

I’ve been recommending L.J. Smith’s books to just about everyone I’ve ever met since I read The Forbidden Game trilogy ten years ago, and I’ve never stopped.

I was always disappointed because she seemed to just fall off the face of the earth. She didn’t write anything new, and the book in her Dark World series that was supposed to come out never did. I don’t know how many times I tried searching for her on the internet, and all I found was fan sites with the same information I had, nothing.

But she’s back! She has her own website and even has a myspace page. I couldn’t be happier. And she has returned to this wonderful series. The first book in a new trilogy within the original trilogy (which I will review after this and is the reason why I’m reviewing all four books in this one review) came out this February.

And if that weren’t enough, due to the Twilight phenomena, the CW has picked up The Vampire Diaries and will be a series this coming fall. Thursdays at 8 p.m. from what I hear.

So if you love vampires, romance, sibling rivalry, the paranormal, or if you just like to read good stories, The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith is the series for you!

Book order: The Awakening, The Struggle, The Fury, The Dark Reunion.

Five Stars for each book.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Last Look by Mariah Stewart

When a body of a prostitute is found murdered, she is identified as Shannon Randall. This particular news stuns the FBI, mainly Special Agent Dorsey Collins. Why? Because twenty-four years ago, Eric Beale was convicted and later executed for Shannon’s murder. The agent in charge of that investigation was Dorsey’s father.

Now, there are two cases that need to be solved: what happened on the night of 1983 and who killed her and why.

FBI Special Agent Andrew Shields is questioning everyone, filling in missing pieces, and connecting the dots. But it won’t be easy; especially after all these years. Dorsey shadows Andrew’s every move and together they unravel a mystery that will shock everyone.

Okay, so that’s the short version of this story. I loved it. There was so many twists and it just got better and better. It’s actually really frightening because this particular situation where an innocent person is executed happens in everyday life.

I liked the characters – there were a lot of them! But, they all had a purpose. I was almost tempted to write down every character to keep track. All my questions were answered; I enjoyed it!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Guilty by Karen Robards

Can you honestly ever escape your past?

Kat Kominski was fifteen years old and in foster care when she decided to sneak out of the house and join her friends for a late night drive.

While in the bathroom, she heard gunshots and rushed out. Her friends were running back to the car, a friend, holding the gun. A guy lay on the ground in a pool of blood. Everyone fled the scene and no one was caught.

Thirteen years later, Kate White, once Kat, has come a long way: single mom with a nine-year-old son and works as a prosecutor.

When shots are fired in the courtroom of where Kate is, she is taken hostage and she comes into contact with one of her old friends from that terrible night. He is demanding something from her… or else he will confront authorities about that particular night long ago.

She is now in a predicament. If the truth gets out, she can lose everything’s she’s ever worked for, including her son. But how can she possibly do what he has asked?

Threats, blackmailing, and terrorizing her, Kate knows not only is her life in danger, but also her son’s. She must turn to Detective Tom Braga, the one taking the lead of the courtroom investigation, for protection. But, he suspects her of something. And when he beings to search through her background… “Kat” has a lot of explaining to do.

I really liked the whole idea of this story: Teenage girl witnesses and keeps her mouth shut about a murder, she ends up being a prosecutor, and a long time friend comes along and screws up her life.

But I have to say, it wasn’t what I expected. It took me forever to read, and I guess it was because of the way the author wrote. I’m not totally sure though. There were too many characters that come into play and I forgot who was who – so that might be the reason why the “bad guys” confused me. I couldn't keep up with names. I was just lost.

I'm still trying to figure out if I liked the main character. She lies too much, lol... and I mean, she had to, but at some point it was getting a little ridiculous; it was like, enough with the lying!! You're caught out, admit it.

I have another book by this author that I read a few years back so I can’t remember it – I might want to read it again to see if this author is worth reading again.