Book Reaction: H.P Lovecraft Omnibus One

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From Goodreads: A complete short novel, AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS is a tale of terror unlike any other. The Barren, windswept interior of the Antarctic plateau was lifeless–or so the expedition from Miskatonic University thought. Then they found the strange fossils of unheard-of creatures…and the carved stones tens of millions of years old…and, finally, the mind-blasting terror of the City of the Old Ones. Three additional strange tales, written as only H.P. Lovecraft can write, are also included in this macabre collection of the strange and the weird

So it’s Halloween and I thought I would write a post about one of my favourite newly discovered authors, H.P Lovecraft.  This is the first of three omnibuses of his work and it consists of a group of longer short stories (bar one).  My favourite in the collection was ‘The Case of Charles Dexter Ward’ because it was creepy and awesome at the same time. At the Mountains of Madness is also really good and it sends a shiver down your spine for sure.   I thought the book was very enchanting and Lovecraft’s prose is amazing to read – it is simple yet elegant.   If you are looking for something to read this Halloween I would give H.P. Lovecraft a try because you won’t regret it.

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Review: The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

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From Goodreads: Once an aristocrat in the heady days of pre-revolutionary France, now Lestat is a rock star in the demonic, shimmering 1980s. He rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his terrifying existence. His story, the second volume in Anne Rice’s best-selling Vampire Chronicles, is mesmerizing, passionate, and thrilling.

The Vampire Lestat continues on from Interview with the Vampire, this time following the story of Lestat.  My review of Interview with the Vampire is here.  The Vampire Lestat is a very exciting book.  A lot happens within five hundred and fifty pages.  It is sometimes hard to believe that it happened in a short number of years before Interview with the Vampire. The mythology that is introduced in this book adds to the atmosphere and excitement.   It is very complex, and is expanded on in the follow-up book ‘Queen of the Damned’.

 Lestat is more comedic character than Louis, but at the same time by the end of this book you will see Lestat differently than his portrayal in Interview with the Vampire.  He isn’t as sad as Louis and his sense of humour permeates his point of view.  It is a joy to follow him around really!  I’m giving this book and eight out of ten because I loved it.  It was awesome and I think it is my favourite in the series.

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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From Goodreads: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Cinder is a cool, futuristic retelling of the cinderella fairytale within the young adult genre. The world building is detailed and I thought that it was one of the highlights of the novel – you really get sucked into Cinder’s world.  I really liked Cinder as a character – she was smart and funny and kind.  The book itself is quite good and is action packed.  The plot is a bit predictable, but overall it is good.  I liked that the characters were not all carbon copies of each other.  Without spoiling it, one character in particular was very questionable in his methods and whether it was right or wrong what he did.  I would like to see more of that in the future.

The burgeoning relationship between Cinder and Kai was very fun to read.  It was more realistic than most YA romances, in that they developed crushes on each other but weren’t sewn to each other’s side from the moment that they met.  They were very cute and I couldn’t help but ‘ship’ them.  I would give this book a seven out of ten, because it was an enjoyable book and I have already read the sequel, Scarlet.  I can’t wait for the rest of this series to come out!

Review: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

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Interview with the Vampire follows the story of Louis, a vampire made in the nineteenth century by the vampire Lestat in New Orleans.   It begins the series known as the Vampire Chronicles. Interview with the Vampire is a very enchanting book.  You get sucked in (no pun intended) from the very start by Rice’s fantastic prose and world building.

One of the things that I love about this book is the atmosphere.  It is dark as expected (it is about vampires) but it also seems to capture the essence of America and New Orleans.  If you read this book you will probably want to visit the place because the book really just makes you want to.

An interesting twist in this book from the normal vampire spiel, is the story of Claudia, a vampire made when she was five years old.  She is Louis daughter/best friend and as she gets older as a reader you really feel her pain, of being an adult trapped inside a child’s body for eternity.

The ending is fabulous.  I don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t say much, but it does leave you feeling for Louis.  The characters introduced in this book are so charismatic that you want to find out more about them, but at the same time that doesn’t make them all good guys.  I really liked that.

Overall I would give this book and eight out of ten because it is really good and this was my second time reading it and I loved it even more than the first time.

Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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 DSC00182This is the story of Santiago, and Andalusian shepherd boy who dreams of travelling the world in search of a treasure as extravagant as any ever found.  From his home in Spain he journeys to the exotic markets of Tangiers and then into the Egyptian desert, where a fateful encounter with the alchemist awaits him.

The Alchemist is a transforming novel about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path and above all following our dreams.

The Alchemist follows the story of a boy named Santaigo as he goes about fulfilling his destiny; finding buried treasure.  I thought that this was a very inspirational book.  There are ups and downs on Santaigo’s path, but he remembers to never give up.  The cost of never trying to find the treasure is higher to him (and everyone) than failure.  This is a very well written book, and I read it pretty fast.  It is under two hundred pages in length.  I enjoyed it and from time to time I felt like it was on the verge of being mind-blowing.  I liked the spiritualism of the book and how it was about never giving up.

Overall I would give this a six out of ten.  I liked it a lot, but for me there was just something missing.

Halloween Reads

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If you have been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I love fantasy and anything in that kind of vein.  So, I figured I would do a post on some cool books to read coming up to Halloween.

  • Anything by H.P. Lovecraft.  By ‘anything’ I mean any of his books.  I have read his first omnibus and it is awesome.  The tales are creepy, but never gory or over the top.  He is a legend in the horror genre, so is totally worth checking out.
  • The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.  The first three – Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned are fantastic books, the rest not so much Imo.  These books are dark and twisted and very well written.
  • I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett.  I know I mention him in like every single post I do but his books are some of the best out there.  Any in the witches/ Tiffany Aching series would be great for getting a person in the Halloween spirit.
  • Grimm’s Fairy Tales.  These are pretty gruesome if you read them as an adult/teenager.  There is one story in there that is about a girl accidentally walking into a den of murderers! Plus if you have a Kindle or other E-Reader, the book is free.

Where to start with the Discworld

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The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett numbers close to forty books by this point.  It is a funny, exciting and sometimes profound series of books, but starting out it can be a bit daunting.  So, here is my guide, as a fan, to where to begin with the Discworld.

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1.  The Colour of Magic/ Light Fantastic omnibus.  This is a little obvious being the first two books in the series.  I started here and I think that it does help to give the reader an idea of the setting of the books and the tone of the early ones.

2. Guards! Guards!.  This is the best ‘early’ book that I have read and it introduces the Watch to the Discworld, who go on to have their own series of books.  I should say ‘mini’ series, because the Discworld series is made up of different ‘mini’ series and standalone novels.

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3. Soul Music.  This is not the first book in the Death series, but I think it serves as a good introduction to Death and Susan.  This also leads into the Hogfather book, which was adapted by Sky a few years back.

October TBR

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I am a big fan of booktube and enjoy watching such and such a month’s to be read posts, so I am going to do the blog version here.  In October I want to read

1. Dagon and Other Macabre Tales by H.P. Lovecraft

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2. Nightwatch by Terry Pratchett

3. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

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4. Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

I don’t expect to get them all done, but a girl can hope right?

PS – I know my pictures are pretty bad – I have a really old camera.

Books I have been Reading 2013

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So it is pretty obvious that I took an extended break from book blogging on here.  I had my reasons, but ultimately they don’t really matter.  This isn’t me coming back to book blogging or anything, but I am still an avid reader and want to share my passion with the world.  Here are some of the books/series of books that I have gotten into in the past year or so.

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  • Cinder and Scarlet both by Marissa Meyer – if you haven’t read it already you should.  Though the premise of a twist on the traditional fairy tales is not original, the books themselves are quite interesting and unique.  Cinder is a cyborg living in a futuristic Asia.  She is really good with machines and technology.  I was really pulled into the story and I have to say that the hype did not disappoint.  I wolfed (pun intended) down the second book in the series Scarlet which is a retelling of little red riding hood and was good in its own right.  Check them out if you like Young Adult Fiction or just want to read something light but good..
  • Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut – this is a modern classic and it totally deserves that title.  It is kind of a hard plot to put into words but basically it is about this guy who was a soldier in World War Two and he perceives time during and after it.  It is incredibly readable and it definitely made me re-evaluate my ideas on warfare.
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – like Cinder I had seen a lot of talk about this one online.  The Night Circus is about these two people who from a very early age are made to take part in a deadly competition between two masters with very different ideas on how one should learn magic.  The book is interesting, but at first I thought it was a bit too sparse on the details.  Overall I really enjoyed it though, and it is a good story with a good resolution to the plot.

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  • Lorna Doone by R.D Blackmore.  This is another classic, but it isn’t as well-known as many other English classical novels. It should be though.  It really should be.  It is about this guy (John Ridd) who is a farmer in rural england, and he is a bit stupid and totally undervalues the women around him.  Until he falls in love with the mystical Lorna Doone, who is basically a lady living with a bunch of blueish blooded bandits.  It is pretty funny in places – like when people point of things to Ridd that he never even thinks about.  I liked I think because it has a lot of charm in it, and a good twist as well.
  • The Earth by Emile Zola.  Another classic, this time by a French author.  The Earth  is chilling and nasty and gritty and the end will surprise and destroy you.  It is about this quaint little farming village in rural France and it should probably be classed as a horror.  Just awesome is all I can say.