Thursday, July 9, 2009

Back in the Trenches

Ok so after a much to long hiatus, and many computer troubles I'm back. So expect some new reviews soon and for this poor blog of mine to get a little less ugly ;).

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Overdue Review

Well here it is the long over due review of Manda Scotts The Crystal Skull. Reviews should be up more regularly in future with some great books being reviewed soon. I will say that due to a lack of money not all the books I review will be brand new, I also plan on brushing the dust off a few older but great novels and to introduce you to some authors you may not have heard of, mainly Australian ones. We can also look forward to a video blog in the near future...IF I can get it to work :p and now I'd like to give a shout out to my teacher Sally and all the gals in my Womens Ed class (lol thats you to Stargate)


FACT: Five thousand years ago, the Mayans carved thirteen crystal skulls

FACT: To protect humankind, they sent them to the four corners of the globe

FACT: They gave precise date for when they thought the world would end: 21 December 2012

FACT: They said that this time the destruction will be of man's making

FACT: Only when all thirteen skulls are reunited can the world be saved from its fate

For the last 500 years one skull has been missing. Now it's about to be found...

Hidden for four centuries, a crystal skull of exquisite beauty has just been found by Stella
Cody, who also inherits its legacy of dark secrets, intrigue and murder.

Facing and increasingly implacable enemy, Stella and her lover, Kit struggle to crack the code that hides the skull's intended resting place.

But time is against them, and they have only days – hours – left to uncover the secret that may yet save the world.

The Crystal Skull is a race against the clock. Based on the Mayan predictions of 2012 and the myths and legends of the crystal skulls the novel contains two main characters and two distinct timeframes, Stella Cody of the 21st century and 16th century Cedric Owen. The story alternates between the two as Stella rushes to uncover the secrets Owen left behind. Stella and her husband Kit, having cracked the cipher Owen hid in his ledgers centuries before discover Owens lost treasure the blue heartstone, and the danger that comes with possessing it. They have only days to unlock the skulls secrets and save the future of humankind, but an unknown and dangerous enemy also has his eye on the skull.

I was excited when I stumbled across Manda Scotts The Crystal Skull. The cover was great and the blurb compelling, yet it unfortunately failed to deliver. The switching back and forth between past and present makes what should be an exciting race against time, slow and a little tedious. After reading a few hundred pages I still felt as though little had actually been accomplished. Astrology also plays a big part in The Crystal Skull, and it is interesting but it can also be confusing especially if you know little about it. The author leaves many questions about the skull unanswered and the relationship between Stella and Kit feels rather shallow. However its not all bad, while the modern characters and events are pretty bland those of the Owens time are much better.

We get to see Owen interact with some historical figures, such as Nostradamus and Catherince de Medici and watch as he evades Sir Francis Walthsingham spymaster to Elizabeth the first. Follow him across Europe and the ocean as he travels to South America. All as he quests for the final resting place of the heart stone, and a way to hide his secrets, so only the one who is meant to uncover them will. Owens best friend and self appointed protecter Fernandez de Aguilar has to be the most intriguing character, and the best part of the novel. He is a well written and lovable character, if all the characters were as well done as him the story would be greatly improved.

The Crystal Skull is far from the best book I've read but it does have some redemable qualities and if you can look past the slow pace and slightly boring 21st century characters, then I say go for it. I'd rate The Crystal Skull as a borrow book, I wouldn't be forking money over for it without reading it yourselves first and deciding how you feel about it. After all thats what libraries are for.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Back on Track

Well I've got my essay under control now so I can finally start on those reviews. Which means it should be up in the next day or so....its been a while so I'm going to be making a mental stretch to write them..should have taken notes. So keep checking and I'll also be doing a shout out, so people (you know who you are) keep an eye out. Adios for now I've got a date with Guitar Hero ROCK THOSE DRUMS!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Upcoming Reviews

Well I've just finished reading The Crystal Skull by Manda Scott and Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange. Reviews for them all should be up soon, but I will be busy I have an essay that I need to research and write so if reviews are a little slow that's why.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Way of Shadows Book Review


For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art. And he is the city's most accomoplished artist, his talents required from alleyway to courtly boudoir.
For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums, and learned the hard way to judge people quickly – and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.
But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins' world of dangerous politics and strange magics – and cultivate a flair for death.

For Azoth life in the Warrens, is a life filled with misery and violence. The slums of Cenaria, the Warrens is a place where murder, rape and child abuse is a fact of everyday life, and survival means joining one of the guilds that operate within the city. But one guild member has ambitions to take over and a confrontation causes him to single out Azoth as an example. Afraid for himself and his friends, he decides that the only way to put an end to his fear and protect his friends, is to apprentice himself to Durzo Blint, Cenaria's foremost wetboy (wetboys are magically talented assassins). Yet before his apprenticeship can begin Azoth must make a choice, and realise the cost of hesitation.

The Way of Shadows is an incredibly immersive read, the characters are intriguing, realistic and very human, which is a credit to Weeks considering the proffesions of many of them. Weeks has done a great job fleshing them out, so much so that it feels wrong to refer to some of them as secondary characters. The first book in the Night Angel Trilogy, The Way of Shadows takes place in Cenaria, a city headed by a weak King and ruled by the corrupts Sa Kage and their leader the Shinga(the Cenarian underworld leaders). The story focuses on Azoth as he becomes Kylar, learns what it is to be a wetboy, and is entangled in the future of Cenaria.

Weeks has done a phenomenal job and raised the bar when it comes to debut novels. An intricately written tale, filled with fast paced battles and more betrayals than I can count on my fingers, and the villains are deserving of the title. One thing Weeks is not afraid to do is kill off his characters, which makes for a tense read when you dont know if someone is going to live or die. He also does not gloss over the reality of wetboys and what they do.

The Way of Shadows is a gritty and exhilirating read that I recommend to anyone who enjoys darker fantasy. And I mean dark, murder and rape are some of the ways used to develop the characters, if you're sensitive to descriptive gore and violence you may want to give this book a pass. Due to a marketing move made by Orbit the final two books in the trilogy, Shadows Edge and Beyond the Shadows are already released.
visit Brent Weeks site here