Book Review – Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

Title: Dead as a Doornail

Author: Christine Harris

Format: Hardback

Published: 2005

 

When I pick up a Sookie Stackhouse novel, many time I feel like I’m putting on warm fuzzy bunny slippers.  There is a familiar comfort to the cadence and the flow of these books that I simply enjoy.  When I read Charlaine’s books I simply just sit back, enjoy the ride and maybe live a little vicariously through Sookie seeing as she gets to be around the types of beings I only get to dream of, vampires and werewolves and the like.

 

While I enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse books and they all have that familiar comfort this book felt a little outside of the norm.  I enjoyed the read and it was just as cozy as I described above but it was lacking at the same time.  In picking up one of these novels I’ve come to expect a good bit of mystery and intrigue, Sookie’s life to be in danger on more than one occasion and for there to be some rather sexy moments between Sookie and a supernatural male of choice.  Sadly this was not the case with the book. It had promise it had intrigue – Sookie’s life was in danger but not in such thrilling ways where I was on the edge of my seat.

 

Sookie also spent most of her time swinging from one even to the next trying to keep her head afloat and not really digging into any mysterious events or deaths even though there was a serial killer roaming around trying to kill shifters.  It was kind of clear at least to me who did the shooting long before Sookie even pieced any of it together and honestly the discovery of who did it was merely by chance.  Additionally the only sexy moment was when Sookie was getting her leg licked by a newly introduced shifter.  It sounds kinky and weird I admit but given the situation it was less kinky and more logical and a bit sexual.

 

Honestly this book in the series was akin to the second movie in a trilogy, lot of important information and filler but a bit lacking in the action.  I will admit it made a lot of sense for Sookie as a character to not get too romantically involved with anyone given everything that had happened in her life.  She had recently been through a lot of drama in the previous books and most people like Sookie would need a break and would sort of swing from event to event as it played in the book – so I can credit Charlene Harris for her use of character development in this book but it was still highly disappointing when you are expecting something a little more both romantically and mystery wise.  I am hoping the next book will pick back up with the romantic interludes and mysterious intrigue.  With that said I’ll have to give this book a 3 out of 5 pages – it is not worth skipping but you don’t want to expect to get much out of this book.

Book Review – Club Dead by Charlaine Harris

Title: Club Dead

Author: Charlaine Harris

Format: Hardback

Published: 2003

 

It’s been a while since I’ve read another Sookie Stackhouse Novel, or at least reviewed it.  After one horrific novel that plays at Vampires I decided to chase that off with something a bit better.  Now I’ll be the first to say that I don’t find the Stackhouse novels to be the end all of Vampires, but they do a better job than the book that shall not be named or as I like to call it ‘the book of dimples’.

Club Dead is the third book in at least a nine book series (I haven’t looked to see if there are even more or not).  This book take a different turn than the first two and wasn’t a classic murder mystery romance story of Sookie with her Vampire boyfriend Bill.  In this book (sorry I will spoil you some)  not everything is perfect in paradise for Sookie and Bill.

In the story we learn more about the Vampire world and the world of Werewolves an shifters as Sookie travels with a Werewolf named Alcide to Mississippi to save Bill’s life as his vampiric life is in danger and she is the only one who can possibly save him by using her mind reading abilities to find him.  Of course, she is having to enter dangerous waters as it is most likely the Vampire King of Missippi that has Bill.   Louisana vampires cannot help as they are tied with the Vampire Queen of Lousiana and a war would break out if things get too involved.  Thus Alcide is hired to help Sookie.

Over all, the tension of the book was decent from the worry and conflict over Bill, as he was ready to just up and leave Sookie high and dry without even properly breaking up with her to be with an old lover.  To a lot of the sexual tension felt as Sookie found herself highly attracted to Alcide and his animal magnetism as a werewolf.  I admit while very little occurred between Sookie and Alcide, it was very appealing to me to read as I have always been quite fond of Werewolves.

This book takes the Sookie character in new directions and really develops her as a person and I admit I’m intrigued to see how much of that will carry into the next books.  Over all the book was a decent read.  The mystery wasn’t too heavy this time around like it was in past books but there were a few driving questions that helped pull the book together.  In the end I will say that while the writing may not be to perfection for some people Charlaine Harris has a way of drawing you in as a reader and making you not want to stop reading till the end.  With such a writing style and ‘romance’ found in the book I honestly enjoyed myself with the book.  As such I will have to give it a 4 out of 5 pages.  If I was rating the story on mystery though I would have to knock things down a peg as again the mystery aspect of the story wasn’t as strong.

Book Review – Batula by Steven T. Seagle

Title: Batula

Author:  Steven T. Seagle

Illustrator:  Marco Cinello

Format: Hardback

Published: 2012

 

Tomorrow is Halloween so I figure this is probably the most seasonably appropriate book I shall read. While it is seasonably appropriate it is not scary in the least.  It’s all about a fruit bat turned vampire.  Yes you read that correctly.  A fruit bat who has been bitten by a vampire.  Okay with that out in the air, I would like to back track into how I came to read this book.

 

It was a while back from now that I found myself perusing the comics at my local shop when I found the book.  It hat my attention at the title.  I mean really what is there not to love about bats?  Yes I am fond of the little winged rodents of the night.  Not my favorite critter in the world but a fascinating creature all the same.  Of course the title alone speaks of Dracula so I was intrigued further to the point of reading the back of the book.  It was at this point that I found myself having the need to possess this books at it makes many a promise that was just too good to pass up.  Generally speaking when we hit the three win mark I know it is a book I’m interested in.  This book promised me more than 3 win points, and I shall list out the win points this book has beyond the fact of being a children’t comic (which is a neutral point as this can be both a good and bad thing depending on the content).  Win 1 – The story is about bats,  Win 2 – The story is about Vampires  Win 2.5 – The story is  about a bat that is turned into a vampire (I mean really that has to count for something!  Win 3 – There is a ‘werewolf’ in the story (really for me this should count as a double win as I love werewolves even if this ‘werewolf’ is a werewolf spider named Wulf).  Win 4 – This book was published by Image Comics which is a publisher I generally trust as most everything I’ve read produced by them has been quite good.  Win 5 – The back cover is enticing in format Win 6 – The cover is really cute/good in my opinion.  (See image bellow.)

 

Needless to say 6 wins told me that this as a must own book! Of course, there is the adage of never judge a book by it’s cover and honest to goodness I didn’t judge on cover alone – I did use the blurb on the back as a guide as well.  Now I will say now that book isn’t bad but it doesn’t deliver on the promises it makes or at least the immense potential that this story could produce.

 

To be honest, the story was very direct and straight forward even for a children’s picture book.  It told a rather bland story about Livingston the fruit bat who was turned into a vampire bat met the spider Wulf and stopped an attack on his orchard all the while garnering attention and adoration from the other bats who didn’t notice him much because he learned to like himself.  Yet, while the story was lacking the pictures held up very well, a lot of the images were adorable and I loved looking at them, even as I write this post I’ve flipped through the book a few more times taking the time to examine the pictures and appreciate the art work for what it is.  In looking through the book a second time it has won and charmed me a bit more than the first time through.

 

Also, I feel it should be noted that while this book was done by Image Comics and was in the comic book store, it is not fashioned like a comic book, it is more fashioned like a children’s picture book.  In the end, the book wasn’t quite what I expected and didn’t live up the the win score it promised me from the start but it was still a decent read, I still love the art work and if there were to be another Batula adventure I would probably read it as this story was still something of an introduction to the character and there is a lot of potential when it comes to the character and the stories one can tell with him.  So because of the adorable artwork I think this book can come in at at 4 out of 5, particularly for a children’s book.  If you judge it on story content alone (which you can’t really and shouldn’t as the art tells a story too) or on a book among all books the story would be a 3 out of 5 for me.

Book Review- Bloodthirsty by Flynn Meaney

Title: Bloodthirsty
Author: Flynn Meaney
Format: Paperback
Published: 2010

It has been a while since I’ve actually gone out and bought a book for myself. It’s what happens when you are ‘poor’ you don’t buy books you borrow them from the library. Of course you borrow them even when you can buy then because sometimes you pick up a book not knowing if you will like it and would rather not spend money on a book you may not like. Still one day I happened to actually go to a book store. It is a place I have to avoid because there are so many pretty books that call my name.

On a lark I actually stopped and looked at the bargain books, the ones that sit on racks outside the book store and you feel like it is far too easy just to walk away and steal the books. (I didn’t steal any books of course.) Usually the cart is filled with weird children’s picture books, cook books and failed self help books. There is some fiction but most of it is bad fiction. Yet, I looked I was curious and that is where I saw Bloodthirsty, a vampire novel, judging by the title and the cute little smiley heart with fangs. It was enough for me to look at the blurb. I admit I have a thing in some respect for vampires. I actually prefer werewolves but there is a sad lack of those and more vampire books so I’ll get my supernatural creatures of the night fix where I can. Of course with the huge vampire craze that is out there, one has to be careful as there are a lot of terrible vampire books out there.

Still I’ll give a book a chance to hook me with the blurb and the first page or so of the book. Bloodthirsty intrigued me. On the cover it has the tagline of “Some vampires are good. Some are evil. Some are faking it to get girls.” In an instant I knew that this could be amusing and not your everyday classic vampire novel. As I looked over and considered the book the price of less than $3 dollars had me and it was the first book written by Flynn Meaney and being an aspiring author myself I suddenly felt bad that her book was on it’s way out. So all factors combined I bought it. It was nice to buy a book potentially support an author and have a cheap book that might be a decent read.

It took a while before I could get around to reading the book, and at first I wasn’t sure about it. The start while interesting wasn’t really the start of the story, it was the hook so to speak. It starts with a girl asking the main character to turn her into a vampire like him – the problem being he really wasn’t a vampire. From there the book digresses as Finbar (the main character and narrator) starts to tell about his life and background which eventually lead to his becoming a vampire or rather a fake vampire. In some ways it annoyed me at the start along with the idea that he had a twin brother named Luke. Twin brother? Fine? Twin brothers names Luke and Finbar? Not so much. It always annoys me a little when two characters in the same family have opposing first names unless an explanation is given. Like a blended family where they agree to name one child based on one ethnicity and another for another ethnicity or even a terrible family name has to be passed down so one child get cursed with that name while the rest of the family gets average names. I know they are weak excuses but something rather than what Flynn did. It was all a matter that Finbar was named such because it was very vampire like.

Still despite my pet peeve coming into play in this novel, I continued to read and before long Finbar’s story captured my interest and I was looking forward to my lunch break where I could take more time to read the book. While the book seems comedic in concept it wasn’t exactly a dead set comedy based on the style, yet, I found myself snickering and laughing and even pausing on occasion due to the humor. I loved it.

Overall the story as a whole is simple and straight to the point, pale, super thin, quiet, geeky Finbar struggles to get the girl and is fed up not being noticed at all. Through a serries of odd weird little events a girl mistakes him for a vampire and then eventually the idea hatches and forms and follows Finbar as he tries to survive life at a new high school and pretending to be a vampire. In the end the story has a moral to it. Not the whole classic moral like the little boy who cried wolf but the story has a point and tells it amusingly with some great amusing twists at the end.

I admit I was sad when I finished the book I was dreading the end for the last fifty or so pages, because I didn’t want to fun and magic to end. It was a good read and I’m certainly intrigued by the author and her second novel The Boy Recession. Of course my luck with repeating an author isn’t strong but I’ll still give Flynn Meaney another go as this book was a solid 4 out of 5 pages. It is a book that caters to a certain audience the ones who like vampires but don’t demand a serious vampire novel. If that is you, then I think this might be the right book. (Also the geek references are a lot of fun too!)

Book Review – Fables: Legends in Exile, Vol 1 by Bill Willingham

Title:  Fables: Legends in Exile, Vol 1

Author:  Bill Willingham

Illustrator: James Jean and Alex Maleey

Published: 2003

 

To start this review I have to make it known that I am a huge fan of werewolves.  You tell me a book has werewolves in it and you have my attention at the very least.  So when I heard about fables it was Bigsby who drew me in.  Bigsby is the Big Bad wolf from the fairy tales turned human and working as sheriff of the fair tale community known as Fabletown, which is located in New York.  When I first heart about Bigsby and Fables was actually via the video game series the released.  I have only played a demo of it but I fell in love with the concept, the story and the character Bigsby as he is a no nonsense kind of guy.

 

Though the story in the game is different than the story in the books it was still interesting as we follow Bibsby as he tries to solve the mystery of the murder of Rose Red the sister of Snow White. The story serves as a great introduction to the situation that is found in Fabletown, how the residents of Fabletown known as Fables. The mystery and intrigue keeps pace as the reader learns of the world and how Fables hide their true nature and how they came to be in our world, as they were forced out by one known as the Adversary.

 

The end revelation is rather good and the character are vibrant and real and the relationships between them are most intriguing.  This is a world I can happily get lost in.   Though, I think my favorite part of the book was a small section in the back that was in all prose.  It told of the life of Bigsby before he came to our world and gives some interesting insight into what happened to certain characters before the created Fabletown and why Bisby does some of the things he does in the main story.  The story crafted in prose is compelling and heart warming in some ways.  I would love to read more and will look forward to when my pocket books can afford me the next installment, or I can bum it off a friend who bought it recently.  Till then I shall wait and leave this review stating that this comic is a solid 4 out of 5 pages, with nothing but promise for future installments.

Book Reivew – A Practical Guide to Vampires by Treval Vorgard

Title: A Practical Guide to Vampires

Author:  Treval Vorgard (this is a pen name)

Illustrator: (22 different Illustrators) directed by Kate Irwin

Format: Hardback

Published: 2009

 

Never thought you would see a regular book review from me?  Thought you were doomed to read reviews of comic books and Manga?  Well dear readers I grant you a small reprieve with an actual book!  It is a small thin book but it was a pleasure to read all the same.  Though this is being presented to you mid November this book was actually picked up by me and read in the middle of October so the season was calling for such a book as this.  Not to mention my brain has been itching to write an idea I have with werewolves and vampires but that is another store for another time – literally.

 

Anyway this book was sitting on the main display at the library and it with another book drew my attention in and I decided to grab this book.  I have done my fair share of research on vampires and werewolves and the various legends and I’ve decided it was high time I look a little deeper.  Now I will tell you right off that this book did not take me much deeper.  Though it is classified as a non fiction book it is more fiction than not.  Though the book had its short comings it was still an amusing read.  At the very least I decided to keep reading it when a friend was asking me to play a game with her.  I am a fiend when it comes to games particularly puzzle games and that was the type of game I was being offered.  (I muliti- tasked and read and played at the same time.)

 

Over all it was a quick read and gave you a glimpse of vampires and what they are like but nothing in particular detail, the drawings were quite nice and really for a children’s book it was quite good.  I will also admit that this book introduced me to some added monsters I did not know about such as the Illithid and I was amused at the vampire games listed in the book.

 

So if you are looking for a light read, want a basic gasp of vampires or have a kid that is intrigued by the creatures of the night this book is the place to go.  It  is easy to read and follow and the side notes from the author who is just as much a character of the book as the fiction and story that is created in this non-fiction format are somewhat amusing.  Over all I would give this book a 3 out of 5.

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