Friday, April 17, 2015

the cousins o'dwyer trilogy

dark witch
shadow spell
blood magick
nora roberts
published 2013-2014

With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance.  From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends. 


With the legends and lore of Ireland running through his blood, falconer Connor O'Dwyer is proud to call County Mayo home.  It's where his sister, Branna, lives and works, where his cousin, Iona, has come, and where his childhood friends form a circle that can't be broken.

County Mayo is rich in the traditions of Ireland, legends that Branna fully embraces in her life and in her work as the proprietor of The Dark Witch shop, which carries soaps, lotions, and candles for tourists, made with Branna's special touch.  Her strength and selflessness hold together a close circle of friends and family - along with their horses and hawks and her beloved hound.  But there's a single missing link in the chain of her life: love.

This is one of those trilogies that just felt kind of like the same book over and over again.  Not that they were boring reads.  They're quick and fun and full of Irish.  It's just that everything was pretty predictable.  I mean, they're fighting an evil witch and there's three books so you know the first two times they try they're going to fail so.....not much to guess at.  It did get a little too repetitious by the third book and I just wanted them to get on with it.  To be honest, the story of Sorcha and her children was more interesting than the present day witches.

Not my favorite trilogy from Nora Roberts, but let's not kid, of course I would have read them no matter what!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

the vanishing season

the vanishing season
jodi lynn anderson
published 2014

Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter's come to lay a white sheet over the horror.  Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt.  From beneath the house on Water Street, I've watched the danger swell.  The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs.  I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar.  I'm tied - it seems - to this house, this street, this town.  I'm tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don't know why.  I think it's because death is coming for one of them, or both.  All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig.  I am looking of the things that are buried.

The only other book I read by Jodi Lynn Anderson is Tiger Lily, a dark retelling of Peter Pan from the perspective of Tiger Lily.  It was beautiful and so, so dark.  I expected a murder mystery with The Vanishing Season, something also a little dark and brooding with a bit of magic.

I did not get what I expected.

I spent most of the time wondering how everything connected, or what the outcome would be.  In the end I was so flabbergasted.  After two books I've come to realize that Jodi Lynn Anderson does not write happily ever afters.  Her books are sad and unfair and beautiful.  There is no way to talk more about this book without ruining it for you so I will stop now.  Read it and it will be hard to forget.

ready player one

ready player one
ernest cline
published 2011

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place.  The only time teenager Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS.  Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines - puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.  But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize.  The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win - and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

Ready Player One is like a geek version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory drenched in 80's nostalgia.  I read a review that said something about the book being 'sprinkled' with 80's references, but I really feel that no, it was drenched.  You cannot find a page in the book that does not bash you over the head with it.

Now, I love my 80's stuff and geek culture is where my heart is.  This book would have been lovely, but it was sooooooooo 'let me explain every reference to you'.  There was a part where two characters are looking at a scene and one says, 'It looks like Rivendell.' to which the other character responds, 'It looks like Rivendell, from Lord of the Rings.'  Oh, I'm sorry, was the first character talking about a Rivendell from another book?

It was stuff like that that began to get on my nerves.  I listened to the book because it was read by Wil Wheaton, and hello! Wil Wheaton.  But even he couldn't make me not want to scream out loud when 2 and a half hours into the book I've listened to listings of nearly every movie, tv show, band and book that existed in the 1980's.  I almost gave up on the book, but friends assured me that there was a story yet to come.

Once things did get going it was somewhat better.  I don't think I really got into the book until near the end at the final hunt and the epic battle that hopefully will translate to screen very well.  I think that this is one of those books that could possibly make a better movie than a book because it will be forced to edit down quite a bit and this book needed editing.

Disqus for know-it-not-so-much