Friday, October 31, 2014

Carnival Of Souls

Being the awesome person that I am, occasionally somebody will randomly buy me books, or lend me books, or chuck books at my head that they think I might find interesting.  Usually this is accompyyed by, "hey this book sounds really weird, I think you'll like it."  I'm not 100% sure what to make of this, but I have gotten several good books this way, so I'm not gonna knock it.  One book I aquired in such a manner is Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard.  As I was looking for one last October book and I had looked at this one several times, I was a happy girl.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Johannes Cabal is a necromancer.  He aquired these powers for a purely scientific purpose and sold his soul to Satan to obtain the secrets of bringing the dead back to life.  As with all deals with the devil, this one is imperfect and Cabal is stuck trying to perfect the process.  He soon realizes that his lack of soul is hindering his expermentation and so goes to Hell to make a deal with Satan.  After a bit of haggeling, Satan gives him a Diabolical Carnival, a ball of his blood to create and control it and a year to get 100 souls in exchange for his own back.  Cabal goes and releases his brother Horst from an old crypt after an incident turns him into a vampire.  Horst is able to actually understand humans and is able to help Cabal put together an appealing, if insane event.  Several little events happen along the way, but the majority of the story follows Cabal and his quest for souls.  For the most part Cabal only collects the souls of people who were probably headed for Hell anyways, and as long as this is the case, Horst holds his tounge.  Along the carnival route, Satan throws a couple of curve
balls just for fun, but Cabal overcomes them and continues to collect souls.  The carnival finally arrives at the last stop, an idyllic town that is harder to woo then previous ones.  Cabal has only two souls left to collect and is feeling pretty good.  Things start to go very very very wrong when instead of his normal bad soul collecting, Cabal pushes a young woman who has been sleep deprived and exhausted by her new baby to kill it.  In exchnge for her soul, Cabal brings the baby back to life. This henious act disturbs Horst to the point that he starts to oppose his brother.  At the last moment Cabal aquires the soul of a good woman who volunteers to give it up in exchange for her fathers life.  Enraged over this apparent lack of humanity, Horst reveals that he stole a form and that Cabal only has 99 out of the 100 souls Cabal needs to reclaim his soul.  Horst then walks out in the sun, ending his life.  Cabal heads back to Hell to deal with Satan once again.  Noting that he is desperate for the souls of the two women, Cabal makes quit a sneaky trade and recieves his soul back.  His cleverness works and he is able to keep the souls of the two women out of Satan's hands.  He goes home to continue his necromancy research and we see that he has kept the body of what I assume was his wife or girlfriend preserved, giving us the reason he is so obsessive.  A sequal is obvious, but the story is complete.
This was a fun and fairly quick read.  It was a bit scattershot, but got the story across, especially in the second half.  Some things of note.  What I think I liked the best was the fact that Johannes Cabal was technically a Satanist, but not for any religious reasons, it was just the only way he felt he could get what he needed.  He deals with all of the incantation, summonings, ghosts, demons, and other otherworldly things with a detached and logical manner that completley belies most stereotypes we have seen in the past.  Cabal also showed a degree of humanism through out the book that was at odds with his supposed villiany.  Many times through out the book he showed a compassion, that though it was tempered with logic and saracasm, was always present.  This helped with the sheer
horror I felt when he encouraged the young woman to kill her baby, and was a very effective writing tool.  I like stories like this where good and bad is not always cut and dry...does it count as stealing a soul if it was going to Hell anyways?  Do the ends justify the means?  What is the difference between magic and science?  All great quetions brought up by this book.  The writing itself tried a little too hard to be humorus and was at its best when the author just wrote the story, not trying to force the clever humor that only works on occasion.  There were a few bits, especially in the beginning that did not seem to fit the story as a whole, but like I said earlier, this seemed to resolve itself later in the book.  I loved the solution to Cabal's issues with Satan at the end of the book, and I really loved that although Cabal got what he came for, his life is still very far from perfect and he still had to live with the consequences of his actions.  I wish we could have seen a bit more of the carnival, mostly because I LOVE LOVE LOVE circus's and carnivals, especially ones with a supernatural twist.  Overall I reccomend this book to anybody who saw The Devil's Carnival and enjoyed at least certain aspects of it, enjoys a good deal with the devil, or just likes a nice story about the harvesting of souls.  I give this book 7 out of 10 Latex Ladies and will probably pick up the sequal at some point.
What would it take for you to sell your soul?  Do you like books that combine horror and humor?  Why does everybody think I like weird things?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Scent's For The Bookish

As the days grow colder and colder I love to burn a candle or ten to make the house smell cozy...and also I like fire.  Check out these awesome candles from the Etsy shop Frostbeard.  I totally want all of these!!!!
Smells Like: Scotch pine and firewood
Smells Like: Fresh roses with a hint of lilac and hyacinth.
Smells Like: Sweet pipe tobacco, cherry wood and fresh rain
Smells Like: Cedarwood vanilla, fireplace and lemon
Smells Like: Oakmoss, clover, aloe, with a hint of sweet cherry pipe tobacco

There are a ton more of these on their site, so go check it out.  Also if you see a bedraggled bookworm panhandling by the side of the road, it is because I could not resist buying all of these...or I can just go bat my eyes at all my peeps and see if I can't get them to buy me some.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

All Booked Up

As Halloween approaches I thought it might fun to put out some costume idea's for those of us that wait until the last minute.  And what better costume then a book?!?  Here are some of my favorite book costume idea's for this year.
Book Fairy
Book wings, tutu, and wand, it doesn't get much better.
Kid Book
Cute, quick, and awesome!
This has got to be one of the coolest bookworm costumes I have ever seen
Book Cover
You could get a group of friends together and go as a series
Book Shirt
This is perfect for somebody who does not want a full blown costume.
I would love to see pictures of all of your book inspired costumes, so send them on over!  Happy Reading Everybody!  (Also can somebody make me a book shirt and a sparkly book fairy costume).

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Schizophrenic Writing Of The Dead

In case you all haven't noticed, I love atmosphere.  I love to read just the right book, at the right time, in the right place, for the right mood and no month is more atmospheric then October.  To this end I picked up the book Death Watch by Ari Berk because both the cover and the description sounded perfect for a dreary October afternoon.  Unfortunately a lack of focus made this book less then it should have been, but first as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
I will do my best with this synopsis, but I have to warn you that this book was all over the place.  As best as I can tell there is a town called Lichport that has some sort of deal where the dead wander all over the place in various forms.  We get zombie like creatures, ghosts, ghouls and people who just refuse to be dead.  Enter the Umbers, an old family from Lichport who take on the role of Undertaker, who's job it is...well...I'm still not 100% sure what their job is.  I think an Undertaker is their mostly to help the dead along, fix troublesome dead people, and chit chat with the dead who hang around and are helpful.  The story part comes in when we meet Sila Umber, a teenage boy who just recently graduated from high school.  Silas is an odd duck, there is no real reason given, other
then he is weird.  Silas's mother has done her best to force his father to appear to lead a normal life.  The family lives in Saltbridge, a town close to Lichport.  Silas's mother insists that no word about his fathers real work be told to him, and Lichport is rarely mentioned in their home.  One day Silas's father does not come home.  Silas's mother does her best to keep things normal, but her excessive drinking and inability to understand her son makes her mean.  They move back to Lichport to live with Silas's rich Uncle (who is brother to his father) and right away he senses something is wrong.  He eventually discovers the house that his father worked out of while he was in Lichport and is given the keys and free reign to it by Mrs. Bowe a woman who helps the Undertaker with his ambiguous work. Silas finds a watch in his father's belongings that when stopped allows him to see the dead in their spirit forms.  The watch is called a Death Watch and is one of a zillion partially explained artifact that an Undertaker can use in his work.  About 37 different storylines appear and disappear through out the book.  In the end I guess part of what happened was that Silas's Uncle had a son who died and he has spent the last couple of years killing people to try and appease his ghost, including his wife, and Silas's dad.  He wanted to figure out a way to keep Silas with him, thinking that giving his ghost kid a "brother" would some how make him happy.  Uncle is chased out by assorted ghosts, ghouls, living, dead, zombies and birds that had something to do with the story and he eventually was trapped aboard a ghost ship of evil people...which also had its own partial storyline.  Silas takes up his dad's work and there are two more books to confuse us with.
This book took me forever to get through. It was long, meandering, and never really went anywhere. The overwhelming feel of the book was that the author had all of these ideas and stories and really wanted to get every single one of them into the book.  He also seemed to want to get every type of death ritual ever performed in the whole entire world a bit of spotlight.  All of this combined with the feel that the author was trying to keep us in suspense through out the whole book made it fell very muddy and boggy.  All of this could have actually worked if his editors had made him flow the story a little more.  I think the main story needed fleshing out and to flow beginning to end, with the rites and stories put in as vignettes or prefaces to the different chapters.  Instead it was all mixed together until you could not tell if what you were reading was part of the story, or a separate story, or if they had anything to do with each other at all.  These little mini-stories were not even kept together, even these were broken into pieces and scattered through out the other stories, so I spent a lot of time trying to piece everything together, with no real pay-off.  The town of Lichport itself caused me a lot of problems.  I think the author was trying to make the town its own character, which I have seen
done very well before so it is possible.  Unfortunately the town did not make a whole lot of sense.  It also suffered from way too much going on.  In some places old houses were inhabited by zombies that were not zombies, other places had crumbled into ghoulish unsafe place, there are random ghosts, some friendly some not, there are marshes that are haunted by mother/bird combo's, a pond that has a very frisky ghost that may or may not have anything to do with the story, there are random undefined beings that are helpful sometimes...or not.  There are also a very few living people who all except Uncle are keen to help Silas in his undefined work.  There are no rules at all for this town, there is random tidbits of history, but nothing to actually tell us what the heck is going on.  You also get the feeling that the undead WAY outnumber the living, and that the living are all leaving at some point anyways...which makes me ask what you need an Undertaker for if you are all on your way out?    The most frustrating thing about this book is that it could have been really cool and perfect for Halloween/Fall.   If the author had done better organizing the various stories, maybe added an appendixes for the parts that were not easily explainable in prose, and limited his stories to a few well told ones, instead of a zillion fragments I think it could have been a great book.  Alas as it stands this book is a great idea, but way to scattered and nebulous to be read with any real enjoyment.  I will have to give this book 5 out of 10 honey preserved bodies.  I do however seem to be in the minority as I know there have been several glowing reviews, which is awesome.  This is the best thing about books, I can think one thing, you can think another and we all get to decide for ourselves, YAY BOOKS!
What makes or breaks a book for you?  Is there such thing as too many stories?  Am I just not smart enough for this book?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Literary Allusions In A Haunted Forest

My birthday weekend rocked.  I have to say I have the best friends and family on planet earth and having a birthday in the middle of fall/near Halloween is just icing on the really yummy molten lava cake they bought me for my birthday.  The weekend started with a two hour Skype with the Mamma, followed by phone calls, video's and cards from all of my nephews.  A quick check in with Daddy and the siblings and I was ready to party.  Baby Sis and her husband came down from PA to party with me, the Hubbin and some very close friends in my favorite Irish pub.  I love the feel of this pub, it is an old in with all these little tables tucked away and you can just imagine your favorite author jotting down his/her story with a glass of Irish whisky in hand.
Saturday started out at my favorite used book store 2nd & Charles and between me and Baby Sis we may have filled up the trunk of the car with books...we may never be allowed to go back.  Dinner with friends and then on to Markoff's Haunted Forest.  The whole event was based on Dante's Inferno with the attractions being named and themed after the seven circles of Hell.  I do not scare easily, but the people I was with do, so I was thoroughly entertained the whole time (all right I admit it, I did my fair share of screaming too!).  We rode the zip-line, which in the middle of the night is the best feeling in the world.  There were bon fires, food, music, and a ton of demons to keep us on our toes.  The best part of the night was the actual trail itself.  You get to wander through the woods, through various vignette's all while clinging tightly to your group.  Six of us ended up going through together and you could tell we were all book geeks by our numerous references to books through out.  One girl got "volunteered" to be tribute (as in Katniss volunteering in The Hunger Games).  There was a swamp that instead of scaring us, led to a five minute discussion on how it reminded us of the Dread Marshes from the Two Towers...until the scary monsters asked us to kindly move along.  One of the sections contained a combination of human and dragon bones that looked like it could have come straight out of Game of Thrones, complete with a GIANT dragon skull that nearly knocked one of our own into the swamp.  Overall the scares were great, the night was perfect and I could not have asked for better people to spend my birthday weekend with.  I hope you all had a great weekend too and can't wait to get some of my ramblings up this week.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, October 24, 2014

It's My Birthday I'll Read If I Want To

Happy Birthday to MEEEEE!!!!!  Yep today it's all about me (and tomorrow and Sunday too :-) )
My day is already off to a fabulous start.  I am now going to go read my new books with my new snuggly blanky until it's party time!  Happy Reading Everybody!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

And Everybody Dies

I love a good scary story.  I love the chill that goes up your spine, the jumpiness when a door creaks, the urge to turn on a light after you have read a particularly spooky story.  This year I have been searching for a good collection of scary stories and one of the books I read in the never ending quest for a good scary story was Uncle Montegue's Tales of Terror by Chris Priestley.  It is a book of short stories, tied together by the over all story of Uncle Montegue and the stories he tells his nephew.  Here are some of my favorites in the collection.
Climb Not - A boy finds a strange tree on his new estate, and against all warning climbs it.  He is chased by an unknown presence and is ultimately killed.  This is the kind of story that I find scary, one where force is never seen, leaving me to imagine the worst.

The Un-Door - This story features the classic twist of the con-woman becoming the victim when a face seance team discovers that ghosts are real.  Our fake assistant/thief becomes trapped in a doll-house when a supposed fake seance becomes very real.

Offerings - Every parents worst nightmare comes true in this story of a sweet little boy who befriends a deamon.  When a preacher and his family move to a new town, their little boy turns from an innocent lad into a demon influenced killer.

The Gilt Frame- A story about a girl who finds her wishes are coming true in the most horrible of fashions.  This realization becomes even more horrific when she realizes that it is she, and not the girl in the mirror who is bringing this awful events about.

The Path - A boy who is becoming a man decides to leave his small village.  As he is walking up the hidden path, he realizes he is being followed.  He tries to out run this apparition, only to realize it is a bloody, injured, ruin of himself...which turns out to be a terrible foreshadowing of his own fate.
I read a couple of these stories to my Hubbin as we drove through the back roads in the middle of the night and the atmosphere was fantastic.  I found these tales to be moderately spooky, but at the same time a bit predictable.  I found it a bit crazy that in every story somebody died a horrible death...or became a monstrous killer...or both.  Over all the atmosphere, illustrations, and the writers tendency to kill people made this a decent Halloween read.  I give it 7 out of 10 demon bench ends.
What makes a story scary for you?  How do you feel about everybody always dying?  How dangerous is it to scare the person driving you around?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I Can Quit Any Time

This sounds about right.
If you need me...I'll be buying books :-)
Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ghosts and Pumpkins

I have been inspired by my own blog to make myself some spooky literary decorations.

It's a little hard to tell from my amature photography, but I made these out of heavy card stock that I had printed lines and lines of my favorite book quotes.  I have to say I am quit proud of my artistic prowess and may quit my job to sit around making arts and crafts out of quote paper :-)  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bitter Blue Wind

My computer has finally decided to behave...sort of, but it is working well enough to hopefully get this blog back on track.  To kick of my birthday week I thought I would start with a rambling about a book that I've had on my list all fall.  The book is The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente.  This is the third book in my beloved Fairyland series and with the other two I had to wait for the perfect weather to read this.  Before we get to my thoughts on the book, here is my attempt to summarize the plot, such as it is.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Our girl September turn 14 in this book, and has grown much since we first met her.  She has survived her father gone to war, his return as an injured veteran, her mother working on planes, school and of course overthrowing not one, but two despotic rulers in Fairyland.  September is longing to go back to Fairyland and counting the days until the year is up and she can return.  This of course makes her "real" life seem dull and unbearable by comparison.  To keep herself from going crazy, she works hard to save up money so that she can have some resources of her own when she finally gets back to Fairyland.  She learns to drive an old car, and makes money doing delivery's,
mending fences, taking care of animals and so forth, all very grown up.  September is finally taken back to Fairyland by the Blue Wind, a Wind unlike her Green Kin, is a wild, bitter, cold wind who has none of the kindness September had from her friend the Green Wind.  September ends up as an Official Revolutionary and Criminal and is given clothing to mark her as such.  She is given a task to deliver a box to the Whelk of the Moon.  She travels up to the moon in her little car that also got transported to Fairyland and meets all sorts of creatures.  She eventually ends up in front of the Whelk of the Moon and learns that the giant city of Almanack, which is contained in a shell is how the Whelk keeps all of her people safe.  She can't open the box and sends September to a library to open it and lo and behold, she finds her beloved friend A-L (known as Ell) her Wyverary.  They open the box and find the Sapphire Stethoscope and we learn the story of the Yeti's Paw.  September is reunited with her Marid Saturday, and discovers she has some new feelings about this friend of hers.  A whole ton of stuff happens, as it does in these books and in the end we discover the moon is having a baby moon and this is the reason behind a lot of the goings ons.  September feels the sensation that happens when she has to leave Fairyland and begs to stay.  The Blue Wind, shows just how devious she is when she lets September stay in Fairyland.  Meanwhile back in our world Septembers parents frantically search for their girl.
As long as that synopsis was it really does not do the book justice.  As with the first two, trying to summarize all the little bits and pieces and story lines and characters and vignettes is pretty impossible.  That being said, one of the reasons this one was harder to summarize was because it seemed to be less of a story and more of a portrait of emotions.  There are a lot of concepts in this book that seemed to be a bit old for the middle grade reader that this book is supposed to be targeted towards.  I know the author stated that she wanted September to grow up through out the books, and in that regard she has succeeded, but this book felt more like it was focusing on what the author felt were growing up teenage feelings and less on the adventure of Fairyland.  All of the really amazing pieces were there, the author still has a fantastic imagination and knows how to utilize it, but for me it felt like every little vignette came with either some moralizing, or long drawn out emotional struggle or some other esoteric bit that seemed to slow the book down.  Of all the locations we've seen I found the Moon to be the most bleak and barren, I almost felt like I needed to read it in winter instead of the vibrant fall of the first two.  This is not a bad thing, as the contrast of the Moon to Fairyland and
Fairyland Under was pretty cool and added some great dimension to the overall world building.  As always the sheer originality of the characters, places, and objects leaves me wanting to just curl up and see how crazy I can let my imagination go.  I love how the author does not constrain herself by the laws of physics or probability or convention at all, it adds to the sheer fantasy of the book.  The word usage was fabulous as always, making me so glad that I am a logophile (somebody who loves words).  There seemed to be a bit of an obsession with currency, and having babies.  September has a hard time with the fact that she and Saturday will have a daughter together, part of her issue is the inevetableness of it (which is understandable), but childbirth is brought up alot.  The whole the moon giving actual birth to a baby moon, complete with labor, blood, and an umbilical cord was kind of weird.  I also found that you had to have read the first two books for this one to make any sense at all. Overall I liked the book, but did not feel the same kind of overwhelming love that I did for the first two.  There was a feeling of melancholy, which while I do remember from being a new teenager, made this book a bit of a slow read. I give this book 7 out of 10 fizzy orange drinks and recommend it to anybody who has started the series.
Can you keep up the crazy expectations through out a whole series?  How do you feel about characters growing up through out a series?  Where did you want to run away to when you were growing up?  Is it strange that I still want to run away to a fantasy land?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

ARGH! (Insert Colorful Swear Words Here)

I have a zillion cool posts, but after fighting with my stupid computer for three hours I am about ready to SCREAM.  So instead of smashing this stupid thing to bits with a sledge hammer I am going to go read a real book!
Hopefully I can get this issue resolved and get out some great posts. Until then HAPPY READING EVERYBODY!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Little Ghosties

Awwww how cute are these little guys?  I shall name them Bob and Charles...for no other reason then that is what I want to call them.
Book Ghosties
Ok I have to go make a bunch of these for my bookshelves.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Cloned Blogger

Just so everybody knows, I was originally going to call this book incestuous necrophiliac, but decided I would probably get the wrong kind of audience :-)  What the heck am I talking about you ask?  This is the post where I ramble about Blackout, the third book in the Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant.  It has taken me a while to finally finish this series, but here we go.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
We left our group being chased by zombie virus infested mosquito's.  Florida has essentially fallen to the zombies and the country is once again in chaos.  Shaun has been bitten by a zombie, and has recovered, make him immune to the Kellis-Amberly virus.  He and his team decide to go and find out just what the heck happened with the mosquito's, as they suspect that they were released on purpose as a distraction from the news story the crew was going to break about the intentional killing of the reservoir condition people, and the attempt to infect people with a stable strain of the Kellis-Amberly virus.  If this is all a bit technical and confusing...well that's how I felt too :-).  Meanwhile Georgia wakes up in a secure CDC facility and learns that she is the most recent in a line of clones that the CDC has produced to try and control Shaun and his crew.  The plan is to make a stable version of Georgia and then mess with her brain enough to control her.  Part of this plan involves surgeries to make the clone Georgia more like the original as they cannot make a clone with the retinal reservoir condition the original Georgia had.  Eventually Georgia II as she calls herself is rescued and finally gets to meet up with Shaun.  Understandably the team, Shaun and even Georgia herself have some reservations about just how much of Georgia is left in the clone.  According to the scientists who created her Georgia II is a 97% match for the original.  After some questions and such they all end up at the White House where President Ryman and his vice-president, the former Newsie Rick attempt to use Georgia against Shaun and his team to repress the news that there will never be a cure for the zombie disease, just a treatment.  The CDC, apart from wanting to keep all the power, believe that the general public will freak if they know there is no cure.  They want Shaun and his team to essentially be the mouth pieces of the government, to only put out what the CDC wants them to, and they are willing to threaten everybody including the president to do it.  Luckily for our team, vice-president Rick has other plans and helps take down the CDC guy and with the help of some friends restores the truth.  The story breaks and everybody who didn't die goes back home to try and live the rest of their lives.  Georgia and Shaun reveal that they are lovers as well as brother and sister (hence the incestuous necrophiliac makes sense in the book, I promise) and disappear, presumably to Canada.  Life continues and our trilogy ends.
Where to start, where to start.  In the first book we had Georgia as our narrator, in the second book Shaun took over, in this book they switch back and forth.  I have always liked Georgia's voice better, I'm not sure if it is because Shaun is a bit more emotional and broody, or I prefer Georgia's more factual take, but in this book I liked her chapters best.   I also liked Georgia's chapters because they seemed to go somewhere, where Shaun and his team seemed to be going around in circles alot.   You definitely need to read the first two books to understand this book, and for a couple of things relating to why the CDC was after Shaun and his team I had to go back and look up.  For Shaun, I liked that the Georgia in his head did not go away when Georgia II showed up, showing us just how far gone he had been.  I do wonder however why when he saw the Georgia in his head manifest, he saw her without the retinal Kellis-Amberly when he had never seen her without it.  I liked following Georgia II as she learned she was one of several clones, was experimented on, and eventually came to grips with what she was.  I was not a huge fan of the whole lover thing between Georgia and Shaun, even though I saw it coming in the first book.  I know they are not technically related, but...I don't know I still found it a bit icky.  I liked the questions raised with both the scientific and emotional
ramifications of cloning.  I liked how they acknowledged that Georgia II was NOT Georgia, but for some purposes, especially for Shaun, she was good enough.  Overall I liked this book better then the second one, but not as much as the first.  Now that I have finished it, I would like to talk over the series as a whole.  I love the world the author has created, I like that it is not your typical survivalist, living in the woods, shooting zombies to survive type of world, but more of a continuing life with zombies, but I still want my Starbucks type of world.  It is still a unique take, and I really like it.  I also still appreciate the "science" (I put that in quotes, because it is fictional) that the author used to make the virus plausible to those of us who are super nit-picky.  I did find that the three books had a bit of lack of consistency as far as the story line went.  The first book was so focused on the campaign, that when it was barely acknowledged in the second book, and only really brought in at the end of the third book, it felt a bit disjointed.  I know the real story was about the virus conspiracy with the CDC, but that felt scattered to me as well. To me it felt as if each book was telling a different story without it being successfully tied together, but that may be just me.  I also felt that when dealing with Shaun and his crew, it took a really long time for them to get anywhere, it felt like they did a lot of hurry up and wait while the rest of the story caught up or progressed.  I did like the series as a whole, and think that the author is a superb writer.  I enjoyed all three books to varying degrees. I give this book a 7 out of 10 zombie clones and give the series as a whole 7 out of 10 virus tests.
What do you think about unrelated siblings getting it on?  What series have you read that is better when looked at as a whole?  Should I have tempted fate and used incestuous necrophiliac as a post title?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fairytale Horror

I have heard a couple people talk about how a lot of the new re-tellings of the classic fairy tales are so much darker then the originals.  I guess they must think that the Disney versions, or the little pretty picture books are the originals, because seriously, the original tales could almost all be part of a Halloween Horror Fest.  For example
Cinderella - A tale of a girl who works hard and finally gets the prince and palace she deserves...or is it a tale of how even after getting her prince and crown, a flock of birds comes and pecks the step-sisters and step-mothers eyes out.  This of course after the step-mother aids her girls in mutilating their own feet for a chance at the prince.  That's happily ever after for you.

Sleeping Beauty - A lovely story of a princess woken up by true loves kiss...awwww.  Wait, there is more.  Yep the rest of the story is about how the princess Ogress of a mother attempts to eat Sleeping Beauty's children, and not being happy with that, tries to eat her too!  Yay cannabalism.

Hansel and Gretel - Speaking of cannabalism, what is with fairy tales and child eating witches hmmm?  Here we have two sweet innocent kids, who not only get abandonded, but then live through the terror of the witch's house, where one child has to sit by helplessly as her brother is fattened up to be eaten,  Talks about your dread and horror.

Rapunzel - Rapunzel, Repunzel let down your golden hair...ooops another evil witch, and depending on the story several princes died, or in a "happier" version the poor princes gouges his eyes out on thorns.  Of course we then have the requisite wandering in the desert wilds until they find each other, and hopefully a good phsyciatrist.

The Red Shoes - If  you want a good old fashioned horror story, look no further then this moralistic beauty.  The poor girl in this story is punished for her vanity by being forced to dance with no rest, and then to try and get some relief she chops her own feet off.  She then in pennance allows her self to be viewed and humiliated as a lesson to the other until she dies.  Happy Times.
These are just a few examples of stories that have every element of horror in them.  Death, ghosts, witches, warlocks, evil parents, torture, pain, loss.  Seriously I don't know why we don't get out the old Grimm's Fairy Tales as our traditional book of horror every Halloween. Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, October 10, 2014


Ok folks, I have a confession to make.  Sometimes when I've have a really long shift and I am just to tired to move...I steal post idea's from my Mamma. Like this super awesome cool picture.
Yep, any time I'm stuck I go running to my Mamma, who has a whole stash of perfect SBWG idea's that totally sum up me.  On the plus side she knows I do this and she is a willing accomplice, I just thought it was time to come clean and share the credit...except for the really cool posts, those are all me :-)  Ok time for bed.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Dryad, A Wizard And A Burning Spider Walk Into A Mess

Hello All, how is your week going?  I'm a wee bit exhausted, but hey I'm still alive and kicking so there is that.  How about a rambling?  Cool.  Today let's ramble about Codex Born, the second book in the Magic Ex Libris series by Jim C. Hines.  You may remember my absolute geek out love of the first book in the series, so you can imagine my excitement to start this second book.  Unfortunately, while still a good book, it did not live up to my admittedly over the top expectations.  But first, as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
We left our intrepid Libriomancer Isaac being reinstated as a researcher for the Porters and tasked with finding an ancient evil that seems to inhabit whatever realm it is that libriomancers pull from.  He is happily...if awkwardly in a relationship with Lena the dryad, and by proxy with Lena's other lover the psychiatrist Nidhi. At the start of each chapter, we get a bit of Lena's history.  From her "birth" as a tree, to her meeting various lovers and seeing how it affects her personality.  Isaac is working with Jeneta, a teenage girl who has shattered the notion that libriomancy does not work with e-readers.  While working with her he gets a call to investigate a potential wendigo murder.  While investigating, Lena's tree (which she lives in) gets attacked and infested with magical, mechanical bugs.  After some investigating they discover that a former colleague, who was a mechanical genius, created the bugs and in some way sent them to his abusive father when he died.  His father August Harrison is a bit of a sadistic freak, and has been recruited by an ancient, pre-Porter libriomancer like group to help return the souls of their leaders, who were imprinted in books hundreds of years ago for their own safety.  This leads to Isaac and his team investigating a group led by a person called Bi Sheng, who was able to use and teach a form of libriomancy before the Porter leader Gutenberg
started using it.  At some point Gutenberg decided the group was dangerous and attacked them, to save the teachings a group of students essentially imprinted themselves into specially prepared books to hopefully be retrieved at a later time.  This is where August comes into play.  The group who has been guarding the books recruited August and his mechanical bugs to kidnap Lena, after they learned of her potential ability to use her tree to create new bodies for the trapped souls.  Lena does this for one of the book's and the result is a body for the soul, but it is soon discovered that the soul was corrupted by the same dark entities that Isaac was researching.  During the battles we continue to learn that Gutenberg is much more of a dictator style leader then anything and he is willing to go to great lengths to protect his wizardly arts.  He says he has to be so harsh as to protect the world from the dark entities that are always looking to come through.  Chaos and death and fighting and geeky references occur and Isaac burns himself out in the final battle.  While this battle is happening he hears/sees an entity calling itself Meridiana before being overcome.  The good guys win, albeit at a high cost and we end with Jeneta apparently being infested by entities from her e-reader, setting up the second book.
Ok, so first the good.  Lena's story and how it unfolded was my favorite part of this book.  It was great to see where she came from and how she got where she is.  I enjoyed the concept of taking two lovers giving her a form of freedom.  If you remember in the last book we learned that she takes on the personality of her current lover and will do whatever it takes to keep them happy, so the idea of having two lovers with different personalities gives her some choice in who she is and what she does.  I liked the addition of Bi Sheng's group and their history, it adds an international/historical spin I find is lacking in many European centric fantasy stories.  I liked that the group was also not inherently good or bad, they just were and wanted a way to survive and return their long lost leaders. Also the burning spider Smudge will forever be AWESOME!  Now what I did not enjoys so much.  In the first book, the rules of the magic seemed fairly clear cut and made sense.  In this book (and I realize it is part of the story) the rules kind of explode and are altered to fit what needs to be done.  I get it in
some ways, Isaac is supposed to be a bit of a rouge and able to research and find new ways to use his magic...which is a pretty realistic idea, it just seemed he found ways around pretty much anything that got in his way with very little issues.   In general it seemed that "magic" and it's "rules" were played with fast and loose in this book, depending on the person magic could pretty much be used as a pat answer for almost everything, which to me gets a bit annoying, and I feel a bit of a cop out.  I also found the story to be a bit more muddled then the last book.  The histories don't seem consistent and their is a lot of vagueness about the "bad guys".  I'm not sure if this is to make a big reveal in later books, or the author does not have a clear idea of who the bad entities are or how they work.  Gutenberg is a big bully, and I am never sure why this group of obviously smart and talanted people follow him no questions asked.  I understand that he is the founder, has hundreds of years more experiance, and is a bit scary, but there is a lot more of them.  This is definitely a book in a series, and if you have not read the first book you will be hopelessly lost (in fact I had to go back to the first one to remind myself of what was going on), which is fine if the whole series ends up being a big cohesive story.  Overall it was a solid book, and I think if I did not fall so head over heels with the first book, I would have not been so nit picky about this second one.  I give this book 7 out of 10 enchanted acorns.
What is the feeling between love and dissapointment?  Can a 10 out of 10 book ever be followed?
How badly do you want the power libriomancy?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Here is a picture of the awesome present my Mamma got for me as an early Birthday present (because SHE knows how to celebrate a birthmonth).
Yep that is a painting of a shelf full of books.  It is a little weird to have a picture of a bookshelf full of books, when I have stacks and stacks of books that don't fit on my shelf, but it is so cool.  Thanks Mammasan!  Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pumpkin Pages

In case you havn't noticed I LOVE FALL!!!!!!!!!  My favorite part is pulling out all of my fall decorations and completly covering the house in red, gold, yellow and brown leaves and PUMPKINS!  Every year my sweet Hubbin get's me a new pumpkin and it becomes part of the traditional fall decor.  Here are a few book inspired pumpkins I would not mind adding to my collection.
Key and Book Pumpkin
I love how this combines my love of books, keys and pumpkins all in one awesome package
Moss and Page Pumpkin
I like the woodsy, natural feel of these pumpkins
Orange Pumpkins
Digging the traditional look of these classic pumpkins
Illustrated Pumpkin
A little font variety and illustrations make this a very customizable project
Real Pumpkin
This one is pefect for people who only like the genuine article...with a bit of literary bling.

I realize I post the same type of stuff every year, but I can't help it, I love fall, I love pumpkins, I love books, it's my blog.  Best thing about all of these is that they are fairly easy and fairly cheap so really you have no excuse not to make me one...after all it is my birthday month :-)  Happy Reading Everybody!