Friday, March 30, 2012

Mockingjay Review

Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: Hunger Games #3
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction


Mockingjay is the final installment within the Hunger Games Trilogy series. The tale starts with the particular dreary results of "Catching Fire's" ending line, "Mockingjay" starts with Katniss Everdeen wandering with the wreckage on her District 12 local, tripping more than skulls and getting the ashes in the incinerated bodies that is used to be her neighbors.

Difficult as it would seem to top the ingenuity and action-packed, edge-of-your-seat storyline of "The Hunger Games," or the continued, in-the-ring thrill ride of its follow-up, "Catching Fire," "Mockingjay" leaves the government's kid-on-kid hunting grounds and heads into the destitute reality of the districts, which have come under heavy fire from the Capitol for rising up against its superficial and oppressive leadership.

The final plot is not surprising at all as with the previous books. Nonetheless, Suzanne Collins seems to keep us visitors entertained as well as appalled during the entire inevitable revolt and ending. There is a good surprise twist in the end, the particular moral that is buying and selling in one master for another isn't a stepping-stone on the path to freedom. Mockingjay may not have the accolades simlar to Tolkien's "Return of the King" but a great one nevertheless.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Turn Coat Review

Title: Turn Coat
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: Dresden Files #11
Genre: Detective, Private Investigator, Urban Fantasy, Wizards, Faeries, Demons, Vampires, Skinwalkers, Werewolves, Skinwalkers

I considered "Turn Coat" Jim Butcher 11th installment another turning point into the series as a whole as this story involves Morgan, Harry personal rival in the White Council, asking for Harry help as he is being frame of killing a high ranking member of the White Counciland is being hunted down by the same Wardens who he is a member too. Despite their differences, Harry voluntarily helps Morgan find the real culprit to the murders as he firmly believe that Morgan can never kill someone without probable cause and he is too righeous to do so.

Harry suspects that there's mole within the White Council and with the aid of the Alphas and the White court vampires, Harry was able to uncover the mole and its sinister plan of destroying the council from within clearing Morgan's name and cutting the Red Court's tactical advantages in the war. There's a lot of revelation being reveal which would really affect the future of the series as a whole.

Despite the book being a bit more serious, Turn Coat still has lots of action, conspiracy theories and we get to see the other "good guys" join in to help Harry in his investigation. As with the previous books, I would recommend getting the audiobook version too as James Marsters did a good job narrating. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Catching Fire Review

Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: Hunger Games #2
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction


Catching Fire is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed "The Hunger Games". Like the Hunger Games, Catching Fire has an undercurrent of impending rebellion. It has action, death, deceit, loyalty, love, abuse of power and much more. In some ways, it is as good as The Hunger Games. In other ways, it falls short or exceeds the first novel.

Catching Fire held its own in comparison with its predecessor. The pace of the story was initially a shock from the cliffhangers and action that concluded the previous book, but the unfolding of events allowed for a natural, engaging continuation.

The story begins in District 12 where Katniss and Peeta are preparing to tour the 13 districts and Capitol City to celebrate their victory at the Hunger Games. There is an element of wariness and disdain about the whole process. Katniss is being pressured by President Snow, who sees her past actions in the arena as subtle rebelliousness. Katniss wants to protect her family by doing as Snow says. However, from the beginning, the reader gets the sense that Snow is not to be trusted and that things will not go according to plan. Throughout the book, the plot progresses very quickly and there are multiple instances where some events are merely skimmed over

The one area in which Catching Fire exceeds its predecessor is the ending. A surprise twist followed by a cliffhanger was the perfect way to keep readers rabid for more. By the end of this book, it is easy to be curious about what Katniss' fate will be.

In short, Catching Fire was a page-turning follow-up to an extraordinary novel. As with any good series, you have to ready the next book to enjoy the whole series and I expect the final book, "Mockingjay" to be a good finale.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Web of Lies Review

Title: Web of Lies
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Elemental Magic, Assasins, Vampires, Giants, Dwarves.

Web of Lies, Jennifer Estep's second installment of the Elemental Assassin series has become a landmark of various patterns in the succeeding books starting with Gin in action (in the book a botch holdup in the Pork Pit which involves the son of Mab Monroe's top lieutenants as one of the assailants), to a lot of coincidental incident ( Violet Fox one of the customers in the Pork Pit during the botch holdup who is the daughter of Warren T. Fox who is also a very close friend of Fletcher Lane AND Donovan Caine.. with this number of coincidence to we can create a "spider web" now.). Lots of flashback during Gin's teenage year while training under Fletcher Lane and the now famous phrase "sloppy, sloppy, sloppy" and this is also her very first "probono" work since she considered herself retired anyway.

My initial impression is that this book is quite the same as as Spider's Bite but as I read a long it become more interesting. This is the also a first for Gin gets "sidetrack" during her jobs as she attempts to assasinate the target a dwarven stone elemental in Tobias Dawson (and as a bonus gets to kill Jake McAllister for being such as hot headed jerk) but failed to do so as the Dawson has identified Gin as the one who attempted to crack his safe in his office.

Dawson, who has a penchant for elemental duels challenged Gin to a duel of Stone Elementals not knowing that Gin also has Ice Elemental powers too. She defeats Tobias Dawson by burying him under the mining tunnel they are dueling in and cutting his vein using her ice elemental knife. Another change in the book is the transition of Gin love life from the moral superiority Donovan Caine into the more open minded and caring Owen Grayson.

Web of Lies is a must read for every Urban Fantasy fanatics out there and I'm sure you'll get a hang of Gin Blanco's and his company's wit, sense of friendship and of course a lot of action.

Monday, March 26, 2012

My Top 5 Audiobook Narrators

I have been listening to several audiobooks for now and so far I have compiled the top five book narrators

  • James Marsters (Spike on Buffy The Vampire Slayer) on all Jim Bucther's Dresden Files books:
    James Marsters fit his role as narrator for this books series to a "T". His vocal talents are great specially when he does the accents and all the comedic snarks by Harry Dresden and of Bob The Skull. It would be a great disappointing if Marsters will not be the one to narrate the next Dresden Files books.
  • Roy Dotrice - George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire books:
    Roy Dotrice's voice for me is best epic fantasy book reader. George R. R. Martin should also keep Roy Dotrice as narrator for the next two books of this series.
  • Elisabeth Rodgers - On Richelle Mead's Georgina Kincaid series:
    Elisabeth Rodger exudes the sexy but great voice of Georgina Kincaid and I was happy Richelle Mead stick with her 'til the end of the series.
  • Wil Wheaton on Ernest Cline's Ready Player One:
    For a uber geek book Ernest Cline did hire the best narrator in the person of actor Wil Wheaton. Wheaton did a great job or narrating that you would think that Wheaton was the one who wrote the book itself.
  • Robertson Dean on William Gibson's Neuromancer:
    My first impression listening to audiobook version of Neuromancer is that the narrator sounded like Dennis Haysbert (of 24 and The Unit TV series) only to find out the narrator was Robertson Dean. His voice was great and I was dissappointed that he was not hired to narrate the next two books of the Sprawl trilogy. I also learned he narrated the Richard Matheson classic I am Legend audiobook.

Small Favor Review

Title: Small Favor
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: Dresden Files #10
Genre: Detective, Private Investigator, Urban Fantasy, Wizards, Faeries, Demons, Angels,


Jim Butcher's tenth installment to the Dresden Files series is as usual a treat for every fans of Harry Dresden as we get a healthy dose action action, magic, faery politics and fallen angels and countless number of humorous sarcasms.

Small Favor is one of my favorite of the Dresden Files book as get to battle yet again Nichodemus and the rest of the Blackened Denarians in order to rescue Gentleman Johnny Marcone at the hands of these afformention fallen angels as one the three favors Harry owed from the Winter Court Queen Mab. Another twist came in the form of the Summer Court faeries trying to prevent Harry from complying favor. Joining the fray are the Knights of the Cross, Captain Luccio and the rest of the Wardens and of course Harry's family (his half brother Thomas) and friends the Carpenters, the Alphas werewolves and of course, Karrin Murphy.

The White Council - Red Court war was put in a background at this time but a new threat slowly creeping in to form (the Black Council as dubbed by Harry). This won't be the last book we that we read about Nichodemus and his cohorts as Jim has stated that the Blackened Denarians will "show up" on every 5th book, so we will be expecting them on "book 15".

Overall "Small Favor" is a great blend of action, humor and emotional struggles and as with the previous books, I highly recommend it that you include this on your "must read" list. If you can get the audiobook version the better as James Marsters did a superb job of narrating.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ready Player One Review

Title: Ready Player One
Author:Ernest Cline
Version: Audiobook
Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
Genre: Science Fiction, 80's Pop Culture,Video Games


"A Future Wrapped in 1980s Culture"

Ready Player One is one unique sci-fi adventure, Set in a distant future wherein the real world is so desolate place that most of the people has chosen to live their waking existence in a virtual world called "The Oasis". My first impression of the world is like It's like a mashup of Tron and Angelina Jolie's Hackers and the Matrix but in a much lighter setting.

The story is a about an 18 year old kid name Wade Watts who spends his life in the OASIS as his means to learn (via virtual schools) and play until he discovered the the items needed to unlock the "keys" to the puzzle to find the Egg which the creator James Halliday to which the price is to inherit Halliday's fortunes.

I really enjoyed Cline's extensive reference to the 80's pop and geek culture from movie lines of Monty Python to the cryptic lyrics of Rush's 2112 to the variety of vintage games and gaming consoles. With Wil Wheaton narrating for the audiobook version was like icing to a cake making Ready Player One by far the best science fiction book I ever read.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spider's Bite Review

Title: Spider's Bite
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assasin #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Elemental Magic, Assasins, Vampires, Giants, Dwarves.

"My name is Gin, and I kill people"


Spider's Bite introduce us to Gin Blanco, a strong,brunette girl with a heavy southern accent who works as a waitress for a restaurant in the fictional city of Ashland called Pork Pit but moonlights as an assasin with stone and ice elemental skills. The restaurant is owned by an old man named Fletcher Lane whom was also a former assassin named "Tin Man" who is also Gin's mentor.

The story starts with Gin on job to which give us reader a glimpse of how Gin works his assassin jobs: swift, precise and brutal. After successfully killing the target, she was advised by his mentor to retire for from the assassin business which she still can. She was finally given a new job which requires her to kill a CFO of big company who was suspected of laundering money from the company accounts. When the time for her to do the job, she soon encounters another assassin who was contracted by the same client to eliminate Gin and pin her as the fall guy.

This begins a series of events that lead to murder of her handler/mentor at the hands of an Air Elemental, Her rescuing detective Donovan Caine and finally killing the Air Elemental. Sexual tension between Gin and Donavan Caine reached it's peak as they engaged into "one-hour" stand despite Donovan Caine's moral reluctance.

Overall, Spider Bite is a great introduction to this great urban fantasy series. I would recommend listening to the audiobook while reading as this will enhance the reading experience. The narrator Lauren Fortgang did a great job conveying the "southern gal" vibe of the main character.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

White Night Review

Title: White Night
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: Dresden Files #9

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Wizards, Faeries, Demon, Ghouls, Vampires, Ghosts

White Night is the 9th installment of the Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, following (Proven Guilty). Despite the war between the White Council of Wizards and the Red Court Vampires is still ongoing, this story is more of an interlude completely self-contained as a mystery for Harry Dresden to solve.

In this story, Harry was called on a case of series of suicides by a number of women. Upon further investigation of the crime scenes, Harry and Murphy deduced that the women are murdered. Later it was learn that majority of the victims belong to a witch group known as Ordo Lebes, which Dresden translates in his correspondence course Latin as "Order of the Cauldron". He discovers that his brother Thomas is involved. Not only him, but others of the White Vampire Court which complicates matters.

Like in most of the books in this series, someone is trying to kill Harry and this time, this somewhat a personal vendetta against him. He just can't figure out who it would be. One thing is for certain though, he has to find the killer of the women before its too late and expose them for who they are before more women die. Another twist in the story is that the other remaining members of the order hired Elaine, Harry's former girlfriend as a consultant wizard to help them with defend against the killer.

This story ended in an awesome amount of epicness as the author likes to do great fight scenes and dramatic finales. As usual this a must read for every Dresden Files fans despite the slow progress with the main plot.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Hunger Games Review

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: Hunger Games #1
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction


On her first young-adult novel, Suzanne Collins has mixed together elements both classical and modern to produce a story that, if not entirely new, nevertheless bears her unique imprint. Beginning with elements of the Theseus myth, she mixes in a large dollop of Battle Royale by Koushun Takami, elements of Richard Bachman's The Running man and Alan Moore's V for Vendetta and an extrapolation of current social and political trends. But she makes it her own, and the book avoids feeling derivative through her complex and impressive characterizations of both lead and supporting characters, and the bewildering interplay of personal emotions and political conspiracies.

Overall, the Hunger Games had it's impressive early run I was disappointed on how the story ends. I was expecting a much better ending but since this is a trilogy, I would hope the series would end in a much better note.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Proven Guilty Review

Title: Proven Guilty
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: Dresden Files #8
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Wizards, Faeries, Demons, Vampires, Supernatural.


After the events in "Dead Beat", Harry Dresden is now a Warden of the White Council, the first official task was to bear witness to the execution of a young warlock, corrupted by his own arcane powers. Harry despised that act of killing children as they should be guided to the ways of the arcane.

And then there's issue about the Faerie Summer and Winter Courts. When Harry is asked to investigate why the Fae haven't come to help the wizards in the war against the Red Court, and is also warned that black magic is being worked in the city you know it's going to be a difficult week. Especially when it starts right out with someone trying to run Harry over while he's in his VW bug. Another issue came when Molly, Michael Carpenter's eldest daughter was revealed to use magic on her friends.

The book is a bit shorter compared to the previous installments, which only means Butcher decided cut out a lot of loose talk and got right too it. He manages to fill in detail after detail without getting over saturated.

As with the previous books, I like the humor that Jim Butcher infuses in this series. It now becomes a signature style of Jim Butcher to at least balance the humor and the seriousness in the story even though these the humor is somewhat of a "comic relief".

Proven Guilty did not give us that feel of time running out and the world would end soon. It forshadows things in Harry's world that are more dangerous in the near future. As again the traitor in the White Council seems to strike, the Vampire War takes another turn, the affairs of the Sidhe are revisited with catastrophic consequences for those involved.

This is also the first book that Murphy was not present (as we all know that she was in a long vacation in Hawaii with someone which we later learn to be Kincaid).

As with the previous books, Proven Guilty is one book that every Harry Dresden fanatics should have in their collection. The story is more straight forward and there are a lot of things that could affect the main plot of the series as a whole.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Audiobooks Are Growing in Popularity

Audiobooks are no longer just for preserving children entertained whenever going on holidays and for keeping them coming from whining on the extended drive to grandmas. Given that 1980 the Audiobook marketplace has taken off greatly especially when the creating industry started documenting the most popular best sellers. After that Audiobook sales get steadily increased now are growing with an enormous rate. This kind of increase has also occur thanks to the modern technology such as digital players as well as computers.

Audiobooks are very an easy task to download to a PC, laptop or portable device like the iPod or the iPad or any tablet PCs to be enjoyed over and over again. You may make several copies from the one file to help you listen to it on various other devices at any time. Replicating it onto an electronic digital player allows you the opportunity to listen to it outdoors exactly where you go.

Audiobooks are also increasing in popularity and gathering far more fans because of renowned narrators lending their sounds to read them. Numerous leading authors may also be putting they speech to their own books because they know how popular Audiobooks are getting to be.

Audiobooks sales are beginning to be able to climb thanks to the world wide web. The internet has been useful in making these revenue go to the top of the maps. There are loads of websites which now offer Audiobooks; many of these are read with the fans rather than the best name people.

Even as we step into the new age group many more people across the world are turning to personal development. This has seen a growth popularity for on the web self help Audiobooks. Since Audiobooks appear in MP3 or WMA formatting it makes it easy for individuals to listening to as they definitely do virtually anything at all like sitting in public transit, jogging in the park. Individuals can learn and grow inspired by paying attention to an Audiobook instead of sit and change pages.

Audiobooks are also wonderful for people with visual problems or for people who are impaired. Instead of sitting down you just read a book in Braille nearly all publishers are making individuals books available in Mp3 audiobook format. Most, newspaper publishers are making their particular monthly publications for sale in Audiobook format so that people with vision troubles can subscribe and also have their subscription substance delivered every month within Audiobook format.

Audiobooks may also be gaining in popularity as they are important for children in their studying. Children can start playing books at an grow older when they have no looking at ability. Many informative publishers are now documenting books for young and younger age groups. Children and children along with learning difficulties can engage in listening to their favorite novels like Harry Knitter without any need to be capable to read written text message.

As you can see Audiobooks are rising in popularity for lots of reason. They're not only great for learning, multi-tasking, but also due to precisely how easy they make existence since they are easy to acquire and you can listen to these people no matter where you are as well as what you are doing. Whether you are a fan of Audiobooks you aren't it's hard not to agree actually increasing in popularity at a fast rate.

Become A Great Fictional Book Writer

Do You Dream Of Like a Good Mystery Article writer?
But Don’t Know Where To Begin...

Let Me Help Switch Your Dream
Into A Reality...

Creating a mystery is exciting. Your imagination may soar. You can enjoy your readers, intrigue these people, twist their minds along with your plotting and then whizz them with an exciting puzzle ending. What fun!

Problem is, mystery viewers are pretty sensible characters themselves. They’re not necessarily easily fooled : and their continuing interest requires your 'forensics' to be accurate, your plot to make perception, and your characters to adjust to the role you’ve made for them.

OK, which means you really do have to work at it!

Ask any mystery writer however - writing secrets really is fun! However it does require a great deal of resources and background information to make the tales real for your viewers. So where do you find facts about forensics, plotting, as well as character creation?

Possibilities are hours and hours online looking for information. You can spend added time and hours searching for experts in forensics or someone over a police force that will help you.

As well as
You can simply look up your resource you need in Murder By Proxies.

Knowledge Is Just A Mouse Click Here!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Name of the Wind Review

Title: The Name of the Wind
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Series: Kingkiller Chronicles #1
Genre: Epic Fantasy, Magic, Assassins, Action, Adventure

In "The name of the Wind" is a breath of fresh air for me in terms of the fantasy genre after being saturated with J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Margaret Weis/Tracy Hickman's Dragonlance and I think Patrick Rothfuss hit a the mark on this initial installment of the Kingkiller Chronicles trilogy.

The Name of the Wind tells the story of the notorious Kvothe (pronounced as "quothe"), the red-haired man who ended his adventuring days to live incognito as an innkeeper. But when a historian called the Chronicler appears on his Inn, Kvothe accepted the opportunity to tell the story of his life.

As he goes on telling his story, it was reveal that Kvothe has a tragic childhood as his parents where murdered by a legendary dark wizard. After his parent's death he spend years as a street urchin to which he develop is "streets smarts skills". Seeking to avenge his parent's death, he enters a school of magic and developed his skills.

An interesting concept that I think Mr. Rothfuss has introduced on this book was the how he change views from a first-person narration (during Kvothe's recollection) to the third-person views (interludes at the inn) which has a similar feel to George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series. Despite this impressive writing innovations, there are some flaws that I think hurt this books rating for me (too much redundant description of small things (Kvothe's penchant for describing how many coins he own, etc.) which could have been summarized.

Overall "The Name of the Wind" is a good first installment to a great series but will hold off my final judgement until I have read all of the books, but this book is good on it's own but it might get better if we can read the whole series (like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings). 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dead Beat Review

Title: Dead Beat
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: Dresden Files #7
Genre: Detective, Private Investigator, Urban Fantasy, Wizards, Zombies, Necromancy, Vampires

Jim Butcher is at it again as he was able to produce another Harry Dresden hit in "Dead Beat" his 7th installment of the Dresden Files series.

"Dead Beat" opens up with Harry agreeing to take care of his cop-friend (who could be more) house while she goes away on a vaction to Hawaii with another man. Harry suspected it to be Kincaid and tried to stop her but but he resisted.

Then he was contacted by Mavra, the Black Court vampire he thought he'd killed during "Blood Rites". Harry was ask to look for "The Word of Kemmler" and then goes on to black mail him that if he doesn't get her the "Word of Kemmler", Murphy will loose his job as a police officer using some seriously incriminating pictures.

So, the chase for the elusive "Word" begins. In the process, Harry discovers that Kemmler was a black wizard sho specialized in necromancy. With Kemmler dead, his disciples are looking for the Word, too, competing with each other, hoping to gain the power the "Word" provides.

It's a fast-paced story with some really good messages within, particularly relating to Waldo Butters and courage.

This is also the first book on which Harry was appointed to be a Warden (spoiler alert) due to a shortage of Warden because of the war of the council against the Red Court.

DEAD BEAT is must read for every Dresden Files fans out there as we got to read about the evil side of BOB the Skulll and Harry gets to control a big prehistoric creature in battle.
Other Related Post Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...