Friday, March 12, 2010

Blog Block! Ugh!! Book Reviews!! Yay!

I spent the last few days trying to write a blog post that will probably end up deleted. It's a great idea to write about, but I can't seem to mold the words into coherent sentences. Last night, I sat down at my desk primed and ready to tackle the post one more time and my mind shut off. So I played Farmville instead!

Today, during my break, I prepped myself to dive in once again and ended up clicking on "new post" instead. I'm declaring the other half-written post dead in the water.

So instead of writing about the value of finding a good community of writers to offer guidance, advice and support as you try to shape your career, I'm going to just share quick reviews of the two books I recently read.

David Dunwoody Scares Me
I recently purchased Unbound and Other Tales. The second Dr. Pus of the Library of the Living Dead Press announced it on his forum, I rushed over to the estore on Createspace (the publishing on demand printer Doc uses for his books) and snagged a copy. I am so glad I did. This book is truly awesome. The first story (and the one that takes up most of the pages of the book) is a gruesome, horrific tale that just snags you instantly and keeps you in its evil clutches. I really loved it, despite the nightmares it bestowed upon me. The rest of the tales are shorter, but just as horrific and intense. "Clowns" made my skin crawl.

I sincerely feel that THE DUNWOODY has elevated himself to a whole new level with this collection. Frankly, he reminds me of the very best of Stephen King.

Buy this book!

Kim Harrison Thrills Me, Yet Guts Me
I will admit that I was slow to become a fan of the Rachel Morgan novels. I stopped reading the first one after a few chapters and didn't return to it until I literally had nothing else to read. I pushed my way through the novel and was surprised at the end to discover I had fallen in love with The Hollows, Rachel the witch, Jenks the pixie and Ivy the living vampire. I didn't love the book's plot or pace, but I loved the world building and the characters. I slogged through the second book, still not in love with the plot, but in love with the promise of the world and the characters. It was the third novel, Every Which Way But Dead, that pulled me firmly into The Hollows fandom. I stayed firmly a fan, snatching up all the novels and becoming a hard back cover fan (those of us who buy the book the second it hits the shelves), until book six or seven. My annoyance with Rachel's character was reaching epic proportions by then and I seriously considered abandoning the series like I had the Anita Blake series.

Kim brought me right back into the fold with the next book, pushing Rachel to take another step in her evolution. For the first time ever, I pre-ordered a Rachel Morgan book when I heard
Black Magic Sanction would soon hit the shelves.

What I like about the Rachel Morgan series are the following:

1. The world building is well done
2. The magic system makes sense
3. The characters are well developed
4. Jenks the pixie is just funny as hell. I love his curses. "Tink's a Disney whore!" is my fav.
5. Ivy is a tragic, beautiful heroine. A living vampire, she is doomed to lose her soul when she dies and become one of the cruel "dead" vampires. She hopes Rachel can find a way to save her soul and is in love with the redheaded witch.
6. Rachel..sometimes. She sometimes does things that makes me want to strangle her. And that is okay as long as she evolves and grows. This doesn't always happen book to book, but I do like her...most of the time.
7. Al, the bastard demon. He's just...EVIL. And funny.
8. The passionate, yet denied love between Ivy and Rachel. There one kiss was the single hottest moment in all of the books. I've been waiting for Rachel to get over her "but I'm straight" protest for books.

In the new book, all the elements I love are present and accounted for except for Ivy and the smoldering undercurrents in her relationship with Rachel. After great advances in their complicated relationship in previous books, Ivy is suddenly seeing another character (which makes zero sense) and Rachel is mooning over a new guy. Pierce feels like a character created ONLY to keep Ivy and Rachel apart. His presence in the world just doesn't ring true.

BUT..the plot as a whole was very good and I enjoyed the story immensely (except for Pierce, who sucks). If you like the Rachel Morgan series, make sure to catch this one. If you like urban fantasy, you'll probably love this series, but you may have to shove through the first book. A lot of other fans have often said the first one is the weakest.

So, there you go! Two books that rocked my world this last week!

Now, hopefully my blog block will be over!!!

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