Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cole Dust by Micheal Maxwell


Out of all the computers in all the world, this book had to download onto mine...

No I have not watched Casablanca recently, but I did watch the second movie in The Librarian series and I thought that the quote above kind of fit how I feel about this book.

I have read all the Cole Sage books so far and if I had to compare each one, I would say that this one has to be my favourite so far, mainly because it allows us as the readers to delve more into Cole Sage's family history. It also allows Cole to be able to grow more as a writer.

Throughout the book we learn about Cole's grandfather. A man who Cole does not know much about. His is a tragic story, one of a lost dream and love, one of heartache and prejudice, and Cole is going to be a better man for learning about him. He'll also find solace in family he never knew he had, and there will also be a chance for him and a certain someone to grow relationship-wise.

This is actually quite a beautiful story in this series. It allows us to take a breather from the cases Cole normally covers and lets us see a little bit more into his soul.

Cole is going to learn a lot about himself in this one. Because it is the past the truly influences our future.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Roc Isle: The Descent by Alex James

I absolutely adore novels of fantasy. Stories of kings and queens, lords and ladies, knights and the honor that so defines them. And to me, any great fantasy novel has a certain feeling to it. It is an elegant feeling, a regal feeling. One that makes me sit straighter and hold my head high. One that makes me feel as if I have awakened in the land itself and have become one of its very characters. It is a feeling that is indescribable at best and which, when experienced, is never forgotten for the rest of one's life. And this book definitely brought that feeling out in me...in bits and pieces...but nonetheless I did feel something, and that is a start.

Roc Isle: The Descent focuses mainly on the lives of two characters. The first one introduced to readers is a boy named Ankah, who lives in Clenly Village with his father. When an honorable decision on Ankah's part turns into a ploy to steal money from a champion Knight, opportunity will arise for Ankah to leave his village and possibly become a Knight himself. But he will realize in his learnings that he wants something more...

The second one is a boy no older than 14 at his introduction. His parents are slaughtered and his temple attacked, causing him to take his father's place as Lord of his people. He will be faced with disdain and mocking, and in his years as a man, traitors and enemies who want him gone.

Both will be united in a war that could either end in substantial good or disheartening peril. And both most certainly will find their true allies during the fight.

While the storyline was very good, quite exceptional really, I felt there were times in the beginning where things didn't mesh well. To me, good transitions are everything in making a story flow beautifully, and sometimes I felt that the writing was a bit choppy. I also felt that while many parts did have that regal, elegant feeling that I mentioned at the beginning of this review, there were parts that could have been reworded or maybe a sentence or two added to enhance that feeling in the rest of the story.

This book is wonderful and well worth the read.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

An Unexpected Performance by Kim Smith

When I first read the blurb of this book, I was excited to read it. I mean come on, who doesn't love a theater or play aspect in a story. Especially one where the main characters are transported to another time where they actually have to bring their characters to life in a true setting and not just on the stage.

So initially I was quite intrigued as to what was going to happen to the main characters when they were transported. Who would they encounter, what would they do, how would they act? At first, both acted as I would expect. They were confused and a little in disbelief as to what happened. And of course once they met some people of that time they struggled just a bit to make themselves sound like they fit in. But after awhile I kind of expected them to acclimate at least somewhat to their surroundings. I mean, until they found out how to get back to their own time they would have to pretty much make the best of things. However, that took a little bit longer than I expected, well at least for CJ. Sometimes I felt she was a bit whiny, as if she was so used to our world that she really could not get used to theirs. Apart from her and Josh eventually being separated and her horror at being alone, but the people of that time treated her quite nicely. Well, those at the house she stayed at anyway. So I just felt she could have acted with a little more grateful of that fact and, again, made the best of things. However Josh, on the other hand, I kind of felt that he was right in his emotions. I mean the boy went through...well...you'll just have to read to find out.

But despite the excess emotions, the story was really good. I loved how detailed it was in regards to the Civil War Era portion. I also loved that there was kind of a story in a story. One that I believe connected both CJ and Josh's time with the time they are sent back to. I kind of want more now, because this story kind of left me hanging a little bit. I can just feel another story coming on, and I hope the author does too.

The Aquatic Labyrinth by Alastair Fontana

I love any book with a puzzle in it. Something that must be figured out in order to see the whole picture. So it was definitely a no-brainer when I saw this book that I must pick it up and read it. And all in all, I was quite happy with the read.

For some reason, to me the beginning kind of scrambled in my head, making it hard to follow. But as I kept reading things became clear and I actually enjoyed the story. In fact, it was quite exquisite. The pictures were breathtaking, and I loved the use of Italian in this. Even though I do not understand it, and the translations are put in the back of the book to let the reader know what he or she is reading, I felt that the use of English would have dimmed down the whole experience of the book. The parts in Italian are so much a part of the story as the rest of the book is. They add to the exquisiteness of the book, and they made me feel as if I was truly there in the story listening the lines being said.

The concept of the story in itself was phenomenal, and I loved the characters and their backstories and even their memories of other characters and influences of the past. I loved the individual character chapters, giving us parts of a whole to create the whole picture, because of the fact that they did just that. They gradually pieced together the whole story bit by bit and revealed how each character was connected to each other. Because they all influenced each other's personal stories.

I would definitely read more work by this author. I was so impressed by this book and its story and just everything that it was about. The world was created beautifully and the characters were each given a voice with which to speak.