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review 2015-08-13 09:21
Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre
Viper Wine by Eyre, Hermione (2014) Hardcover - Hermione Eyre

 

Notice my start to finish date? Yeah. It seriously took me THAT LONG to understand what I was reading. It wasn't necessarily challenging but I kind of felt like I was reading on an acid trip. IF I were to go on an acid trip, it'd be similar to this. *Cue Twilight Zone music now*

Venetia Digby is infatuated with her beauty. Poets write sonnets about her. Artists beg to paint her delicate features. Men long to touch and kiss her. Women want to be her. Is it any wonder she's so overly obsessed with her looks? Sir Kenelm Digby, her husband, is an adventuring alchemist. He's enamored by his lovely wife just the way she is. It is true that she has aged and her beauty is fading. Venetia has also become pleasantly plump. So she asks her husband to whip up a potion that will help restore her beauty. Beauty defines Venetia. It's who she is and without her trademark glamour, Venetia feels she won't be loved. Sir Kenelm, of course, refuses to concoct a potion. He tells her the remedy she requests is too dangerous. Venetia wants Viper Wine and she'll do what she must to get it, even if she has to find another alchemist. Enter Lancelot Choice. He's the equivalent of today's callous, local drug pusher and he'll do what it takes to sell his poison. It's a tragic tale. Sir Kenelm is wrapped up in his own world of adventure, explorations, and book hoarding. (My kind of man!) He's too busy doing his thing and fails to notice his wife's descent into madness and addiction. Obviously, the Viper Wine drug contains opiates AND paralyzing snake venom but, like today's cosmetic procedures, it's what all the lovely ladies of the King's court are secretly drinking. 

Bottom line is this, when the story concentrated on Venetia it was rather good. When Sir Kenelm entered the picture it was just plain looney. What's going on here? The story takes place in 1633, based on actual folk. One minute I'm reading about Kenelm giving a speech to a crowd and the next Marilyn Monroe is in the audience of attendees. WAIT. What?! Did I drink Viper Wine? Kenelm also gets radio transmissions from the future. In his head. That he talks to. Come again? Yes. That's right. I was clueless at times and would shake my head in confusion and begin flipping backwards in the book to find what I'd missed. Was Sir Kenelm Digby a seer? I'm just going to say I was immensely confused. This book had some weird stuff going on that I could make zero sense of. I barely understood the conclusion. Again, to recap, Venetia's story was great. Sir Kenelm's part was way out there. Way, way out there. Sorry. I almost didn't finish this one. Good thing I'm completely anal. Two stars for making me dazed and confused. 


*Thanks to Blogging for Books for sending me a beautiful hardcover copy in exchange for a review.

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review 2015-01-08 01:30
Childish and annoying
The Chosen Prince - Diane Stanley

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Now that some of my rage has cooled off, I can say with certainty that this is by far one of the most disappointing books I’ve read this year. When I first saw it on Edelweiss, I was so excited! Greek Myth combined with Fantasy sounded like a dream and I was excited to dive in. I was let down on so many accounts, it’s not even funny. Although I imagine that if anyone had been watching me while I was reading the book, they might disagree.

For starters, this book has almost no elements of fantasy. It reads like historical fiction that’s set in a time when people still believed in the greek gods. That was slightly disappointing but I loved greek myth enough to  let that one pass.

The POV this book was written in made it a lot harder for me to stick with the book. It’s written in 3rd person present tense which is just awkward. I kept on thinking it would change at some point but it didn’t and it just kept on throwing me off. At first, I felt like I wasn't being open enough to the idea of another POV and that it would become easier to read once I got used to it but I never did. I continued to look for things about this book that would make it stick out or would be even a shadow of what had been promised by the blurb.

The main character Alexos was actually pretty decent. I liked how he seemed to continue to push through in spite of all the misfortunes that befell him and while he was brave, smart, kind and giving, he also knew when he had to be a leader. Of course, sometimes I wish he would be a little bit more child-like considering he was just 13. Except when he wasn't. About half way through the book, there was a 7 year fast forward.

That really got me. What more was that the story wasn’t even being told from his POV anymore after that 7 year skip even though he was supposed to be the main character. A 20/21 year old main character for a middle grade book is a little awkward. What more was that this book some very predictable turns and there was a VERY AWKWARD romance thrown in that pissed me off so much. It’s not that the two characters weren’t compatible, it’s just that they don’t actually know each other. They meet and then BAM. Okay. I need to calm down a little because the romance still bothers me, as you can see quite clearly.

This book was lacking in the world building department as well. We are provided with the bare minimum which is basically some details on the gods that have any influence on the outcome of the story. We are thrown into a world with no other details which is why I said it read more like a historical book than fantasy. As someone who LOVES world building, I was heartbroken! Here we have such great potential yet it’s wasted. It’s barely brushed. I can only imagine the rich world that could have otherwise been created had the potential been utilized.

However, the worst thing about this book was the way in which the conflict was resolved. That broke my heart into pieces. It’s the kind of resolution you expect from picture books, not a novel. Not a novel where there is so much build up and the character goes through so much as a result of his ‘destiny’.  We have a build up for nothing because when it comes down to the actual resolution, nothing happens. It’s like when you light a firecracker that you expect to explode but all you get is a tiny crackle.

Throughout the first 60%, I kept making excuses for the book because I expected to get better, I wanted it to get better. I wanted it to blow my mind. I wanted it to be everything it had promised. The last 40% opened my eyes and by the last couple of pages I was craughing and really just wanted the book to end. So much disappointment is not good for the soul.

One might attribute the simplicity of the book to the fact that it’s middle grade. I am obviously not the intended audience but if I had read this book in middle school, I would have been heartbroken because it would have made me realize that not all books are great (I never really read a bad book as a kid… yes I am boasting. A little bit. COME ON. My bubble has already been burst.). Plus, as a kid (and almost adult))who loved adventures , it would have bothered me that something that promised to be a fabulous adventure wasn’t one.

My childish aspirations aside, it's clear that I wasn't the intended audience but I don’t know who this book is aimed towards. I suggest that if you’re thinking about reading this one yourself, you may want to skip it unless childish is exactly what you’re looking for after being fed up of everything else.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-10-13 17:38
I just want to forget about this.....
Unmade - Sarah Rees Brennan

How to wreck an amazing series: A recipe for Disaster

 

Leave a love triangle simmering in a tasteless broth. When it looks as if the thing may not have a single reason to exist, turn the power up all over again!

 

Insert about 20% cringe jokes so that it may help downplay all the emotional drama happening.

 

Add close to none character development, so that the characters don't have to...I don't know?

Grow up?

 

Kill characters at discretion...you will determine when enough is enough _apparently never :/ _ by the cries of former devoted readers...

 

Angst, angst, and more angst....when in doubt add more.

 

Let the characters behave as idiots as much as possible, without no regard for logical reasoning...

 

Kill one of your favourite , FAVOURITE, character, in a move completely illogical (according to his personality) and very faith oriented...

 

Leave the readers _who are reading fantasy _  upset with the somewhat preachy tone of the thing...

 

"There were marks of pain on his face, but no anger and no fear. He looked a little sad."

(..)

He stayed like a shadow in every corner of our home, stayed a stain on our hearts. I felt it. I can’t believe that good will leave us when evil remains. I will not. I do not.”

 

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

 

Some people will probably say:

"Oh, she's mad because ______ _______ was killed, so she's taking it out on the author and on the story."

 

I am not.

 And I am not mad...reading this, left me somewhat empty of emotions. .. I may think about it once in awhile, and question what possessed  me to read this volume _ the fact that I loved the previous two volumes may have had something to do with it _ but I don't feel angry enough to be...screaming or ranting :/

I am just sad.

 

The beginning was good, and I was looking forward in seeing Jared being rescued.

 

Unfortunately after that, things went into a carousel of ya "love triangle mess" angst fest    that was just _as other reviewers have mentioned it before _ prone to a lot of headesking.

The angst!

The idiocy!

Yes, we all know that Jared is a special flower with whom we need to have a lot of patience dealing with, but c'mon!

No one's that stupid! And clueless!

And Ash?

Ash?

Who cares about Ash?

 

Between the number of things that I just couldn't understand are:

Jared is being held prisoner at Aurimere. His aunt who is a sorceress can cross the "magical" fire, and blend into the shadows...

SO WHY DIDN'T SHE TRIED TO FIND THE POOR GUY??

 

Also, you're caught in a town controlled by raging lunatics.

People are being killed as flies.

You have no power with which to fight the bad guy..what do you do?

 

A) Try to leave the city as soon as possible

B) Make up another crazy plan that will probably end up with another person being killed..

 

Yes, Kami went with option B, which is only natural, because the story takes place in Sorry in The Vale.

 

BUT, I really think that the option A should at least have been mentioned as a possibility: maybe they were magically locked  in there. Fine. But at some point people, logical, sensible people, like I don't know...Rusty? Should have mentioned it....and at least tried to do something about it.

 

The statue scene...I found it too..."Disneylike" especially after what had happened with you know whom...

There where characters who were brought into the story apparently for only sacrificial purposes...

Kids were being constantly kidnapped...  

People kept crossing magical fires that no one should be able to cross ..

Rescue attempts were done involving a great, great number of people: It was like seeing a bunch of tourists in a place where they shouldn't be.

Stealth, people!

 

The last part of the story, and all that happens _and not only that "specific killing" _ didn't work out for me.

The battle was....meh..

 

The relationship between Angela and Holly that was placed on hold for what felt like forever...and then dealt in a time and place, in which most readers probably didn't care about anything else at all.

 

And the last pages were really too lame to talk about.

 

A sad, and bloodthirsty story... yes.

Creepy and romantic, not really. Unless you're considering the definition of new adult's romance.

 

Best characters in the book?

Jon, Lillian ( I KNOW!!)...and Rusty.

 

Author's Official Site

 

Buy ( o_O):

Unmade:

@Bookdepository.com

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-01-11 00:37
Aeralis (The Frost Chronicles) (Volume 5) - Kate Avery Ellison

Keeping it short and concise:


I regret the time that i wasted on this series.


This turned out to be one of the most absurd, boring, convoluted, time wasting things i've ever read! I kept hoping that this would get better, and it never did!!

 

SPOILER:

 

   

We're told in the end, that adam and Lia get married, and live together for about twenty years, and then he catches pneumonia, and dies. And that's it...let's bring the other contestant: HERE'S GABE!! Wait a year..okay, you can get married..[/spoiler]

 

[spoiler]

(spoiler show)

 

 

I'm mad like... O_O!!!!

 

 

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review 2014-01-07 17:23
no...no...just no...
The Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick

In case you're wondering....i really didn't enjoy this...

 

This said, this doesn't mean that i didn't enjoy the book because it was supposed to be sad...and deep...

 

No, i didn't enjoy it, because what was original was just too convoluted...and what wasn't original, had it's foundations on the same old cliches that abound in contemporary romance.

 

Problem number one: Way too much sports descriptions....maybe if i were a guy, an Eagles fan (as if i could ever be a fan of anything with wings!) i would be okay with it.

Not being: this was just boring and repetitive. A lot of guys screaming and bounding over sports...who cares?

 

Problem number two: The repetitions in Pat's speech. Who wants to be reading the same old thing? Over and over?? That doesn't make Pat deep! That makes him annoying!

 

And in what way, does that have anything to do with his problem...which i would have liked, to have seen being thoroughly discussed. He doesn't have OCD...or any learning problems..in fact i don't even know what the hell he has!!


In this point, i couldn't help feeling that the author was trying to turn Pat into Harrison's Ford character "Henry's" ( in Regarding Henry).


Also the way Tiffany deals with her husband's death, and her reactions....well, i

%#&"$$%%&//&%"#!!!! ....so please, don't try to write about it...

 

Problem number three: The whole Kenny G's situation...oh, please..

.

Problem number four: Sexism, amazingly that for such an optimistic/ easy going person, Pat is pretty harsh on some comments about Tiffany..

 

Problem number five: Racism, Pat only refers to his friend Danny as being

black...constantly. Yes, we heard it the first time...he's very tolerant and all that....also there's the "Asiatic invasion"...


I get it. The author was trying to be multicultural...it didn't work. Not with Pat's "naive" voice....

So, join all the above with the normal dynamics of everyday families: abusive father, abused mother and we get..this.
I imagine that the movie was way better..but the book?
Honestly, i don't understand the hype...

 

 

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