Monthly Archives: May 2014

Review: Vampire World by Rich Douglas

Standard

Vampire WorldVampire World by Rich Douglas

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

–I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review-

I remember being told by someone, much younger than me once that they didn’t read young adult fiction because a lot of it treated young adults like they are idiots. While this book doesn’t necessarily do that it is certainly something else, and definitely not my cup of tea.

The main character was so irritating in the beginning I almost put the book down and refused to pick it back up again. She, in the beginning of the novel is vapid and self centred, two traits I don’t appreciate in a protagonist even though I’m definitely one of them myself.

The world that we are tossed into, with only little explanation is confusing and some of the character names simply made me cringe. Vampire World felt like a parody of vampire novels at times, as opposed to an actual vampire novel which I’m not sure was the intent of the author. It was however what I started thinking of parts of the book as and that’s when they were able to take a little more of a humorist twist.

Some of the characters are typical of the setting, the jock becomes a vampire, vicious and twisted and wanting what he can’t have. The mentor is now an adopted father, rather horrendously named FreeCut, but is one of the few likeable characters in the book and the concerned boyfriend, ne’er do well is now basically the same as in many other teen novels with the added bonus of fangs.

The description of fashion in the novel was awful, but in a very intentional “look how ridiculous the people in this world are” kind of way which makes me wonder if the author intent was to have Vampire World represent the worst part of our world or if I am reading too much into it.

The beginning of the book is a typical horror movie/book genre scenario, the big strong boyfriend going out there to protect his girl and getting killed for it.

Some of the slang was just bad, but in the same way it reminded me of my younger cousins and some of the terms they use in their vocabulary when I’ve spoken to them so that wasn’t too far off.

There were a couple things I took issue with and a lot of it had to do with being shown things but not seeing them in my imagination. Also, sometimes the language was a little bit too simplistic.

That’s not to say that I think there will be people who would not enjoy this book, because I’m certain there are. The world build is pretty in depth, even with a sport created to keep things a little bit tense and there is an edge of mystery involved I just believe there could have been some improvement.

Bad Descriptive Moments:

“I stepped groggily out of my bed and looked around the strange room. It was a huge dormitory with at least fifty other beds, all of them containing pale looking kids and teens. Not only couldn’t I remember who I was, I also felt very odd.”

“My bed was basically a flat rock with another rock on top of it as a pillow.”

“The smell of blood was so strong, I felt like a heart surgeon.”

It should be said as well that most of these examples were from the beginning of the novel, and not the end by which the pace, description and writing seemed to pick up.

View all my reviews

“Emancipation Day” by Wayne Grady

Standard

emancipation dayEmancipation Day by Wayne Grady

How far would a son go to belong? And how far would a father go to protect him? 

With his curly black hair and his wicked grin, everyone swoons and thinks of Frank Sinatra when Navy musician Jackson Lewis takes the stage. It’s World War II, and while stationed in St. John’s’, Newfoundland, Jack meets the well-heeled, romantic Vivian Clift, a local girl who has never stepped off the Rock and is desperate to see the world. They marry against Vivian’s family’s wishes–hard to say what it is, but there’s something about Jack that they just don’t like–and as the war draws to a close, the new couple travels to Windsor to meet Jack’s family.

But when Vivian meets Jack’s’ mother and brother, everything she thought she knew about her new husband gets called into question. They don’t live in the dream home that Jack depicted, they all look different from one another–and different from anyone Vivian has ever seen–and after weeks of waiting to meet Jack’s father, William Henry, he never materializes. 

Steeped in jazz and big-band music, spanning pre and post-war Windsor-Detroit, St. John’s’, Newfoundland, and 1950s Toronto, this is an arresting, heart wrenching novel about fathers and sons, love and sacrifice, race relations and a time in our history when the world was on the cusp of momentous change.

This ensemble narrated book, based in the 40s and 50s really hit something inside of me, surprising me and pulling me in. Each character, given their own narrative had their own unique point of view of events that happened, giving a full fleshed out picture of what happens when someone might not be willing to accept who they are. It reflects the length we go to as people, to possibly escape our pasts, but inevitably some pieces of it end up engrained in our future.

It is easy to tell that this book, in some ways is autobiographical, and it is so well written that all of the characters become people to sympathize with.  Whether it’s Jack, who really is a little boy lost, not matter what decisions he tries to make. Or Vivian who is so naive and yet one of the warmer characters in the novel. William Henry was the one who I felt the most sympathy for, as he made wrong decisions, left and right and didn’t quite know what to make of his son until it was far too late.

It was also a good, albeit sad reflection of racial relations in both the U.S and Canada which really fleshed out the realism in the book.

This book also made me fall in love with it because it is a Canadian novel, with settings so close to me, and the area I live in. It was simply a well written, well woven tale.

Good for:

Those who love a good historical book with a strong basis in reality.

 

 

Five Books That Have Changed Me

Standard

I wasn’t always a reader. In fact, as a child there were so many more things I would have preferred to do then sit down and read a book.

My sister, and my mum were both so concerned about this. And so, one of my most vivid bookish memories is my sister, nine years older than me reading a book by my bedside while I was suffering from some sort of sickness. Knowing me, it was probably pneumonia. That book? The Magicians Nephew. Definitely one of the books that changed me.

So without further adieu, my list. (In no particular order to be honest, how can I put one beloved work of fiction above another?)

509797 5. The Magicians Nephew by C.S Lewis

The second last book published in The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew is the first chronologically and the first book I read (or was read to me). At the peak of my sickness, my sister sat down next to my bed, and began verbally weaving a tale so magical that I wouldn’t be able to recall if the memory was real in later years. Or at least not until, in my haste to read more Lewis, I happened to pick up this very book.

This book was the gateway to fantasy for me, and it was so very wonderfully detailed that I would practically clutch it to myself as I savoured every single word on the page. It changed the thought I had in mind, that books had to be boring, and were all based in reality.

Favourite Quote:

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”

Read the rest of this entry

001: Out, In and On the Way

Standard

Books I’ve already read this month:

dragonflyDragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

The second in the series, this one is a little bit of a slower read than the first book, Outlander, or at least it was for me but that didn’t mean I didn’t love it any less. Reading my sister’s super well read copy, the pages beneath my fingertips, and the characters leaping off the page. Jamie remains one of my favourite male characters, though he still often does the wrong things for the right reasons and vice versa. Claire is daring, courageous and often foolish.

Good for: Those who like time traveling or historical fiction, because this book has the best of both worlds.

Gabaldon-Voyager-220x332Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

The third in the series, this book didn’t capture my attention as quickly as I wanted it to. But the mystery, intrigue and conflict soon did. With Claire apart from all she knows, in so many different ways, and Jamie’s life changing rapidly it makes for a truly good read. The introduction of newer characters, such as Roger make it all the more interesting.

It was great, exploring other parts of the world with the characters.

This book allowed me to avoid reality for a little while, and enjoy a world completely apart from our own.

1_wYRb6TDnjrDrums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

This is a book I absolutely tore through, the fourth in the series, and the last one I own. I ended up kicking myself when it was over, fully aware that pay day, and the money I needed to buy books was so very far away.

Brianna’s character grows, and in some ways resembles Jamie’s so strongly that there’s no doubting, even in literature they are father and daughter. Roger’s trials were treacherous and yet wonderful, and so detailed and well written.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series, and find out what else will happen to the characters.

Read the rest of this entry

Welcome!

Standard

IMG_1445Hello everyone, and welcome to my book blog, where I’ll discuss anything and everything bookish. Whether it will be reviews or books that I am simply quite excited about.

 

I have a few books currently down the pipeline, some that I am getting ready to read, some that I’ve pre-0rdered and really just can’t wait to have in my hands.

I will also plan on having themed reads based on my future travels which can be found on A Broad Canuck as I find the literary spots of the world.

If you have any recommendations let me know, or there’s something you would like to see let me know about that too. I’m open to any and all suggestions, so bear with me as I figure out what exactly it is that I’m trying to do here. Because let’s be honest, everyone has to start somewhere, right?

Thanks!

Quick Reviews

Standard

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon ★★★★

This book was a little hard for me to get into at first, given the different setting in the beginning but I soon found myself once again falling down the veritable rabbit hole, nervous for the characters and enjoying every minute of it.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon ★★★★

This book, the fourth in the series was definitely not hard for me to get into, as I slid right in and began reading (and sometimes researching) about the different locales, characters growth which is aplenty and enjoying the pleasure of being safely in this time while traveling through a time very different from our own. I was very sad to realize I was unable to yet get the next book in the series.

Must Love Otters by by Eliza Gordon ★★★
This book was very cute, and a fun, funny read. There were more than a few times I found myself laughing out loud at Hollie’s antics, and found myself falling a little bit for Ryan.

CSI: Where are our characters?

Standard

The fourteenth finale for CSI aired tonight, and above all else I felt disappointment. As much disappointment as I’ve felt for the last few seasons.

Somewhere along the line, whether it was Grissom leaving, or Warrick dying, or Langston entering and exiting something in this show was truly lost.

The characters.

It used to be, that CSI was a crime drama, powered by characters, and this show did it best, along with CSI NY. However, the characters, and their personalities seem to have dropped away into nothingness.

And in all honesty? It kind of hurts.

I won’t stop watching though, I’m loyal to this show.

But the small glimpses we get of Nick’s loyalty, or Greg’s self-deprecating, goofy nature, or Sarah’s messed up history are too few and far between.

I don’t resent the new characters, in fact DB is one of my new faves, but now…I’m left wondering. As we say goodbye to one of the original cast members, with no fan fare, drama or thanks.

Was that a finale or was it, for some viewers, the final straw?

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Standard

Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2)Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first book had captured my attention so quickly, that I was a little surprised and dismayed when this one didn’t as well. It was a slow burn for me, as the story and characters slowly wrapped themselves around me and pulled me in.

Jamie is as conflicting as always for me, often doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, or the right thing for the wrong reasons. And his actions sometimes, even in the historical context have been known to make me wince.

Claire is daring, and courageous and similarly so heartbreakingly wonderful and yet flawed.

In this world Diana Gabaldon has created something that can suck you in, whether it’s gradual or not. She has created characters that are never perfect, never without flaws and will not hesitate to make you care for at least one of them.

View all my reviews