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review 2017-06-09 00:27
Review: The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales
The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales (Knickerbocker Classics) - Wilhelm Grimm,Jacob Grimm

I started reading this book on January 2 of this year and I’ve been slowly, slowly working my way through it.  It’s 752 pages and contains 211 stories.  I think, if I had tried to read this book all at once, I probably would have given up on it.  As it is, I’m not sure finishing it is the wisest thing I’ve ever done.  It was entertaining at first, but it grew increasingly repetitive and tiresome.  It was tolerable in small portions, though.  It also made pretty good bedtime reading.  I usually started off reading my regular book before bed but, if I wasn’t feeling tired as bedtime approached, I’d pull up this one and read a couple stories.  More often than not, I was feeling quite sleepy after that. :)

 

The repetition cannot be understated.  There were some stories that were nearly identical, with small changes to the details.  In other cases, part of one story was cobbled together with part of another story to make a new story.  In yet other cases, the story was more changed, but the underlying plot elements were very similar to that of other stories.  As far as general themes and character types went, those were repeated constantly.  Similar stories tended to be grouped together, which made the repetition that much more obvious. 

 

I’m probably making it sound a little worse than it actually was.  There were some entertaining stories and some funny stories.  It was particularly interesting to see older versions of some of the modernized fairy tales that are well-known today. A few of the stories were so bizarre that I just started at my Kindle in puzzlement for a while before shrugging and moving on. 

 

The stories are over 200 years old, and they very much reflect the morals and attitudes from that time.  In particular, there is an awful lot of racism.  Although I never lost sight of the fact that this was a product of the times in which the stories originated, I think the repetition made it more difficult for me to just acknowledge it and then move on. 

 

I would like to leave you with a handful of the oft-repeated lessons that I “learned” from this collection:

  • Pretty girls are always pure of heart.
  • Ugly girls are always wicked.
  • Princes are randomly wandering around all over the place, particularly in the forest, and they’ll marry the first pretty girl they see.  Immediately.
  • Your chances of being married by a prince are greatly increased if you’re poor or if you’ve been mistreated by your family.
  • If you’re one of three brothers and you’re not the youngest, you’re arrogant and you’ll likely fail miserably at everything you do because you’re rude to people.
  • If you’re one of three brothers and you are the youngest, your family will think you’re stupid and make fun of you.  On the bright side, you’ll likely obtain a kingdom or at least great wealth just by accurately and politely answering nosy questions from random people you meet.
  • There’s no need to plan ahead for any quest or trip you take.  Just take off when the mood strikes, and you’ll meet creatures along the way who happen to have exactly what you need, sometimes before you even know you need it.
  • If things aren’t going well on your quest, just stand around and look despondent.  If you’re a girl, maybe shed a tear or two.  Somebody is bound to show up and do all of your work for you.
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review 2017-04-11 23:57
Beyond Reach
Beyond Reach: The Search for the Titanic... Beyond Reach: The Search for the Titanic - Jacob Grimm,William Hoffman

It's hard to imagine a time before we knew where the Titanic rested. But for more that 70 years it slept in the North Atlantic without a soul knowing it's true location. I was drawn in immediately by the prologue of Thomas Andrews, the designer of the Titanic, and his heroic final moments trying to save as many lives as possible while his precious ship foundered. This book, despite being full of science terms I am unfamiliar with, was well written and compelling. It gripped me. I cried, I got goose bumps, I felt for these people- both the Titanic passengers and the Gyre passengers alike. Wow. I am so pleased with this read. They were pioneers in trying to locate the grave of the Queen of the Ocean.

 

 

RIP Thomas Andrews

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text 2017-04-10 18:42
Remembering the RMS Titanic
Beyond Reach: The Search for the Titanic... Beyond Reach: The Search for the Titanic - Jacob Grimm,William Hoffman
The Night Lives On - Walter Lord
The Discovery of the Titanic - Ken Marschall,Rick Archbold,Robert D. Ballard,Walter Lord
LIFE Titanic: The Tragedy that Shook the World: One Century Later - The Editors of LIFE

This week marks the 105th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. While it's Easter weekend, I will be delving into some very old original texts from the 80s my father gave me so I can learn to tell fact from fiction in this massive world tragedy. From Walter Lord to Robert Ballard, I've got the best and brightest here. Over 2200 set sail and only 706 survived. I'm eager to learn what historians and scientists believe truly happened to this beautiful, doomed ship. Once I'm done with these, I may then read The Sinking of the Titan to see the eerie similarities. 

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review 2017-03-30 20:13
This is definitely not Puff the Magic Dragon...
On Wings of Thunder - M.D. Grimm

There's a dragon in my story!!! So you know I'm already a happy, happy girl...but damn, this dragon is HOT!!! He's big and black and has piercing blue eyes and if he says he's going to set the world on fire...than you can be sure things are going up in flames. I know I damned near did.

 

"On Wings of Thunder" was my first time reading this author and quite honestly they impressed the hell outta' me. Not only was there an amazing dragon in the story. A dragon who was suppose to be 'the bad guy' but we've got angels and while I like angels...I mean they're not as cool as dragons...or should I say hot. Since in this story it's the angels who are cold blooded...whatever, angels are ok, dragons are amazing!!! I have to admit while I'll jump into a dragon story without hesitation, I am usually a little more reserved when it comes to angels. I like my angels to be the angels of fantasy and not theology and happily they were.

 

Asagoroth was imprisoned by the angels but what no one knew was that he cast his own spell one that would eventually free him when the right time came. It is Trystan one of the 'unchosen' who unknowingly sets events in motion that bring about Asagoroth's freedom. The angels are ready to go to war and Asagoroth tells them 'give me the one who freed me and we shall leave you alone'. The angels refuse, but Trystan has his own ideas about this and he chooses to go with the dragon.

 

While the sex between these two was scorching hot and I totally approve. The one thing I do wish was that there'd been a little bit more story because what we got was awesome and I admit I'm being greedy when I say that I would have been willing to sacrifice a itsy, bitsy amount of the sex if it would have gotten me a tiny bit more story. Not because I didn't enjoy that part of the story trust me...I did, I was just really, really into this story and these characters...so yeah, it just comes down to "Please sir, I want more."...did I mention I'm greedy that way, when it comes to an awesome story?

 

This may have been a story about 'angels' and 'demons', but, what it wasn't was your typical...'angels good, demons bad' concept. There really wasn't a clearly defined good and bad here...more like a lot of misguided souls. People who believed what they were doing was the right thing but sadly their beliefs were also based on some bad information. This story was like catnip for me...dragons, demons, angels, fantasy, battles, love, passion...serious catnip here folks.

 

Add in Pavi Proczko, a narrator who totally rocked that dragons voice. Don't get me wrong I liked all of the books narration but the dragon's voice for me was absolute perfection...it was deep, gravelly, filled with power and passion, fearless...see totally a dragon's voice, I loved it. This was also my first time listening to this narrator and I was impressed. I found that his narration of this story contained the elements that I've come to look for and enjoy in an audio book. The reading was well paced, his voices were distinct and consistent, they conveyed the characters emotions whether it was happiness, sadness, anger, passion, love, etc. The continuity of what I was hearing and how well it blended with the words of the story simply made my audio experience with this new to me author and narrator a total pleasure.

 

All in all I'm definitely putting this one firmly in the win category...awesome story, excellent new author and narrator. If you like fantasy and dragons as much as I do...check this one out. I think you'll be impressed.

 

 

********************

An Audiobook of "On Wings of Thunder" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2017-03-07 23:12
The Woods are Grimm
Grimm Woods - D. Melhoff

Grimm Woods started out pretty benign, a busload of kids and counselors on their way for a week at Camp Crownheart in the Michigan woods. Scott Mamer, a guy who needs a job, decides to take this one for the summer. Pretty easy gig for him he thinks. He meets the owner of the camp, Charlotte and the maintenance guy, Bruce along with the other counselors. The counselors all have their issues and reasons for wanting to be at the camp, some have been working at the camp for years. The kids are your typical camp goers, rich kids, underprivileged kids sent for some learning and fun activities.

 

We learn about Scott and his past and about a little girl named Desiree and what happened to her. The first night at camp there is a get together with all of the counselors at the lake. There is alcohol, drugs and sex which kind of surprises Scott, but he joins in. The first night, two of the counselors go missing and are found dead. That starts the murder spree that continues through the next few days and what a spree it is.

 

I found that the book started out a little slow, but I think that was to set the scene and timbre of the story. Then it took off and I had a hard time putting the book down. I have not read a horror story in a long time and this is definitely a readable story. Makes me glad that I never went to summer camp! The writing was easy to read and I came to really feel for the characters and I usually figure out who the bad guy is but I was not able to until the author lets the reader know. I really enjoyed the book!

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