Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Against All Things Ending by Stephen R. Donaldson

A big apology to all the Donaldson fans out there. I just really didn't like this book. I was so monumentally disappointed. I love fantasy and had heard good things about this series, so I entered to win it for a goodreads firstreads give away. A couple of gripes I had (feel free to disagree, this is only my opinion):

I jumped into the story in the third book of the third linked-series. Probably about the worst place a person could start, I know. But the book gave a pretty detailed synopsis of the preceding series and books to catch the reader up to the present story.

Maybe if I had started from the beginning I would have liked it better, but I'm inclined to think not. Just the descriptions of the previous books was a turn off to me. This is not the kind of fantasy I was hoping for. Darn. Oh well, I'll give it a try anyway.

Next, I was completely put off by Donaldson's writing style. The word "snootitude" comes to mind. Again, big apologies to people who find his style poetic and sophisticated. I found it uppish and pretentious. I recently read a reference book on writing in the legal profession that was easier to read than this epic fantasy.

I really wanted to give this one a good review, but I just can't do it. I leave this story (I confess only partly finished because I just can't take it any more!) with a measly one star and the promise to avoid Donaldson in the future.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pride and Prescience by Carrie Bebris

(or a Truth Universally Acknowledged) A Mr & Mrs Darcy Mystery

I looked up prescience;noun, knowledge of things before they exist or happen; foreknowledge; foresight.

I really enjoyed this book. It did not have the kissing and other intimacies that the other Darcy versions had. It definitely followed the Regency etiquette. I liked it because most of the original characters were represented. It starts on the double wedding of Jane and Elizabeth. This version doesn't change the originally story like the other versions.
The same banter between Darcy and Elizabeth continues which is always fun. There are several mysteries and many possible villians.
It was a book that I found so pleasurable I didn't want it to end and longed for a sequel. I recommend this book to any readers, not just Janites. This is a 4 1/2 or maybe even a 5 star.

The Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter (I read it, too!)

The Light in the ForestThe Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a really quick read. I actually really enjoyed it, but I only gave it three stars because the ending was so completely unsatisying. It's one of those open ended stories. It resolves one main conflict, but leaves a hundred other loose ends. If I were at all into writing fan-fic, I'd feel compelled to finish this charcter's story. If this story went to a publisher today, it would probably be rejected. That said, there was a lot that I liked as well.

The writing was top notch. Even during the narrative (note: I generally don't like much narrative), it was alive and in motion. I loved how the change in point of view changes your sympathies throughout the story. In the end, when True Son comes to sympathize in some degree with both the white man and the Indians, you would think he should be able to live peacably in either world, but just the opposite is true. During that time, sympathy was treachery, so both sides saw him as a traitor. A very sad story, made sadder in that he really had no choice in any of it.

View all my reviews

Friday, October 8, 2010

Impulse and Initiative by Abigail Reynolds

This version of Pride and Prejudice is nicely written. It is the same author as Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, just a different twist to the story.

After receiving Elizabeth’s refusal of marriage in Kent, Darcy follows up by coming to Longburn to court her. It is so sweet and at times comical to read the banter between the two of them. It was beautiful reading about their budding romance grow and to see the changes in both characters.

SPOILER ALERT – They end up having to get married which is a great disappointment to me. I understand that youth nowadays are in to that kind of thing so maybe this version is a lure for more teens to read Austen.

There is more of Darcy’s sister Georgianna and his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam in this version and we get to see how Darcy thinks and understand his original actions.

I enjoyed this book. I feel it is a romance novel and I usually avoid them but I was actually ok this time. There is intimacies throughout this book also but they are not as detailed as the Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy novel. I give this book a 4 star and suggest it to other Austen fans.

Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy by Abigail Reynolds

The author changes the story line so Darcy kisses Elizabeth when he asks her to marry him in Kent. People see the kiss, so Elizabeth is compromised and feels she has to marry. Elizabeth marries Darcy even though she hates him.

I loved the story. . It was well written and sweet, although the romantic scenes are too intimate for me. But for those who read Romance Novels, they might be fine with it.

Except for the intimate scenes I would give this a 4 star, but with them I would drop it to a 3 star. It was fun to see the different version of the story.

Pride and prejudice and zombies Seth Grahame-Smith

I hadn’t read Pride and Prejudice yet, I thought I had. So I read the original P&P at the same time I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It was nice to be able to see exactly where changes are made to the new story. The author stuck to the story and basically put the “zombie” parts are just tucked in here and there. At times they stick out like a sore thumb.

For 50 years England has been fighting a zombie making disease. The Bennets have sent their daughters to China to be taught how to fight. The have a dojo and spend much time practicing. The King has sworn them to the duty of fighting the Zombies. This does give a reason for why the military are posted in their town. Elizabeth and Darcy are both well trained killers and it is comical to read about their walks and then they stop to kill zombies then go right back to the stroll and conversations.

I thought of bringing cauliflower to the book club this month as this is the book we read for the month. The zombies would find fields of cauliflower and devour them, thinking them were brains. Yuk huh? The gruesome details are not that bad. Of course during the time reading it I started having nightmares from all the YA vampire books I had been reading. So I ended the book having difficulties with the yuk.

I would suggest this book for others to read, as long as they are prepared for the gore. I would give this book a 3 star. It is very comical.