Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest Book 3: Written by: Stieg Larsson

Stieg Larrson, first may he Rest in peace, I had no idea that this author shortly passed away after having handed in the manuscripts for the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, and the final book which I just had the sheer pleasure of reading. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest. His death was a loss in the writing community. This author was so detailed so meticulous in his writing that I just loved reading this book. It seemed like a well written and engaging report from start to finish. The tales he chose to separate the sections of the book were very interesting and made me want to research the facts he gave us the readers. I love how his main character was a strong woman who though she was petite and small packed a hell of a punch.  He kept most of his characters and even evolved them in this last book. True Lisbeth Salander would be hard pressed to ever change or even want to change as she does everything for a reason, but even she grows a little, at least I thought so. I would like to think of her as the personification of karma is a bitch. Mikael Blomkvist what a lovable Tramp he's charming and a gallant knight who once something is finished just feels empty and seems to either look for his next woman or next mission, sometimes both. Do not get me wrong, I loved the Mikael character and could totally relate to the women in falling love with this intelligent rogue. It is interesting what an impact these two characters had on one another from start to finish and yet how little interaction they had with one another. I admire their moral codes as opposite as they are they are still loyal people to the core of their souls. I enjoyed the "good" police officers and the private security firm characters. It was nice to see that a cops gut instinct can count for something, and in the end fix some of the mistakes they had previously made. There's just so much I loved about this book, of course I was ready to throw my E-reader across the room a few times with the trap that those devious clan of Salander's father's keepers from the past had created. Thankfully, I refrained and was able to calm myself and remember if I break my book I will not know what happens. Then you have the dark side of the authors writing the sheer evil that his cast of deviants presented and acted out in their lives. So many corrupt groups and individuals a few times I found myself grossed out and appalled at how such evil could exist, and what is more scary is this is not a tale of supernatural, these things do happen, these men, people do exist. These crimes do happen. Even though this book Trilogy is an act of fiction I can only hope the good guys in the real world fight such things with as much conviction and passion as the characters Mr. Stieg Larsson had his characters show. I loved these books and found the conclusion very agreeable and left open enough to know it is not a conclusion for these characters, but for some a new beginning and just another day for others. Granted a very exciting day, but life goes on.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Shantaram Written By: Gregory David Roberts

I warn you ahead of time. I will quote this book a lot. And any review I write will never do this book justice. Out of all the cultures in the world out of all the people they all have a story. Some create stories and yet out of all these stories and peoples lives this story made it to me. It is a long story over 900 pages, but it's just fantastic. I'm talking about Shantaram, truly a remarkable tale. It is a true story, and even if it is not if a fraction of it is true then this truly is some amazing writing. I am at a loss for words. I know I read a lot of books, but this book brought me into the world of Lin an escaped convict from Australia who finds himself in Bombay India.He's not a really good guy, he is decent in his own way and by his own code and the code of those outside society. His story is very romantic, but also very dark and screwed up. The people whom he meets only enrich the world he dives into. India, I have read some books about it, and never has any author created such a vivid world. I saw Lin walking and going about his business, I smelled what he smelled, and found my emotions tied in with his and those around him. I fell in love with him and mourned with him. I did cry a few times in this book. The words and way this story was told was so beautiful a beautiful tragedy, but also a tragic beauty. Where something wonderful happened there was also something that almost canceled out that beauty.

 I must reference some of the phrases written by Mr. Roberts. He writes quoting his friend Didier (I am sure you will all love this French scoundrel) "They are not perfect, of course. They know how to fight and lie and cheat each other, and all the things that all of us do. But more than any other people in the world, the Indians know how to love one another. India is about six times the size of France, but it has almost twenty times the population. Twenty times! Believe me, if there were a billion Frenchmen living in such a crowded space, there would be rivers of blood. Rivers of blood! And, as everyone knows, we French are the most civilized people in Europe. Indeed, in the whole world. No, no, without love, India would be impossible." I can almost believe this, almost. After having read this book and all that occurs in the story that I almost can believe Indians truly do love one another, I almost feel like I have been in this wonderful country and culture.

To quote Vikram a cowboy Bollywood friend of Lins I found myself somewhat in agreement with him. "The facts of life are very simple. In the beginning we feared everything animals, the weather, the trees, the night sky, everything except each other. Now we fear each other, and almost nothing else. No one knows why anyone does anything. No one tells the truth. No one is happy. No one is safe. In the face of all that is so wrong with the world, the very worst thing you can do is survive. And yet you must survive. It is this dilemma that makes us believe and cling to the lie that we have a soul, and that there is a God who cares about its fate. And now you have it." It's very cynical, but there is a lot of truth to his words and again from the story and their experiences you can understand why such a man as he at such a young age would believe such things.

The book continues many people and cultures clash. Lin continues to travel throughout much of Bombay's society not all of it I agree with, but he believes in the people he immerses himself into their culture he wants to learn he wants to do something. However, he is never free. He always fears his freedom being taken away time and time again. He learns not only Hindi, but the local language spoken for generations, Marathi. This wins many of the peoples hearts. It is interesting at one point in the book out of all the love songs he would choose to sing "Ye doonia, ye mehfil Mere ham, ki nahi..." All the world, all its people mean nothing to me. Which, is so opposite of what Lin is, his friends are his family he thinks of his friends in his home country and family constantly, and devotes himself to his friends in Bombay. If you read this book Part Four chapter Twenty six there is a grand and very amusing opening argument. I think you all would enjoy it. There is one person in this story who I love more than all the others. He is Prabaker a wonderful Indian man who smile and personality are just so pure so wonderful I could only wish I would someday get to meet this person or know more about him. He lived simply, but he was fun and good. He lives in the illegal slums, and I am so fascinated by how people freak over in America now of days when someone sneezes in their hands and only uses a tissue. Yes the people of the slums, my gosh the squalor those people live in, but yet how what a tight community who takes care of one another. I invite you to read and ask yourself if you could be described as so good? I hope someday I have even half the radiant and good smile and could as good a friend as this little fellow was. The story takes place over a long time, no review would ever be able to show my great love for this book or for the people in it. I found myself having to read this story. Yes, the man who wrote it and is in it is a criminal, but I felt connected to him, like if his life hadn't gone certain routes he may have become some great philosopher or even healer, but perhaps not. Lin is a jack of all trades, perhaps that is why I connected to him in some ways. Then again I am not a criminal who kicked a heroine addiction, or ran with a mafia. Okay, I liked him. I can't say if this guys life was 100% true, but it was again just perfect. The story ends at an interesting point, I won't spoil, in fact I have given nothing away about this story. It was just a very amazing truly fantabulous book. I have to thank my father in law for giving me this book, it was educational both in the world and spirituality. I sadly let go of it now, but I cannot wait to hear what you think.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vampire Knight Volume 13 Written and Drawn by: Matsuri Hino

Volume 13...I cannot believe this Manga has gone on for 13 volumes. Why? Well... the story was fairly typical in certain aspects in the beginning. Human girl is secretly in love with perfect immortal Vampire, but not just any Vampire a pure blood, a king amongst vampires. Well, the story was cool in the beginning and Matsuri Hino's art is just amazing! I mean it! The way she shows emotions and tells a story wtih her art is just incredible. It seemed like the manga would wrap up three volumes ago. I really thought this is it! Finally! We know everything! No more secrets! Well,....it seems Matsuri Hino just had more to tell us and at the same time not tell us. The art and fashion is still 100% awesome, but the story this volume was so mysterious. Yuki the main character feels so different now as do the other main characters they're all so sad and broody, and everyone has a second or third agenda going on in the background. So... I have no idea what is going to happen in this series! In the beginning I predicted a lot of things, but now...I am forced to submit to the autor's whim and timetable to figure out where the heck this manga series is going. The anime wrapped up a while ago, and though that was pretty good. I really want to know what will happen according to the original author/artist. I do not agree with the description of this manga anymore seeing as Cross Academy is no longer in the picture for the main chracters, but for those of you who haven't read a manga yet and are interested here is the description of this series from the very first book to now.

Cross Academy is attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to teir dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class on their way to school. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school, protecting the Day Class from the Academy's dark secret: the Night Class is full of vampires!

So, did I enjoy this volume of Vampire Knight? Yes, and No... the anticipation of where this series may just kill me... probably not, but when I turn that page and it says "Vampire Knight end" it drives me nuts, because no end! It didn't end! There's more to come I know it! why not "To be continued...?" So there you have it.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Night Eternal Written by: Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan

Soul Crushingly Fabulous! The end, the final part of the trilogy and all pieces of the puzzle finally fall into place.  This book was just well... dark and hope kept being ripped away. It was different than both the Strain and the Fall. Where the Strain lead us through the pure horror of all things that could be possible and turns vampires back into creatures of pure terror. Then the Fall took us into a more suspenseful epic tale where we had a glimmer of hope to prevent the end of the world we had come to know and basically love. Now, the Eternal Night shows us there is no hope, no light, and the book lacks a very special voice we all became so close to in the previous books. I was still slightly disturbed, scratch that, I was still very much horrified. But, this book and its world that Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan created is familiar to me. They did such a great job creating New York and then destroying it, making it the perfect place for a post Apocalypse base, and room for a new world order. Where the other books I sometimes found myself wishing to not turn the page fearing the oncoming  horror, I found myself like the characters having absolutely no choice but to go on.  It has been a long but beautifully executed Journey the authors have taken us on. The science and mysticism and pure faith that are in this book are at times simply exquisite. We lost some amazing characters in this book and all could very well have ended. I won't spoil the ending. I know most of you are thinking well..."We either win or we lose." But let's be honest this is Del Toro and Hogan and they're writing about humanity versus monster. Is there really going to be a clear cut winner and ending? I loved the Trilogy and now as I write this I find the echoes of the characters voices within my mind, and I wish them all the best of luck. It was refreshing to have a series where the vampires are not beautiful sadly tormented souls, but as what people of old world cultures believes them to be evil and just plain blood suckers. The Stigoi. I put this book on the shelf with its brothers, they are put on the shelf read, but not forgotten.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Eternal Garden Seasons of Our Sexuality Written by: Sally Wendkos Olds

This book was an amazing one. What got me was the first sentence in the jacket cover was, "Are we ever too young or too old for sex?" Well, I consider that a good opening line. This book took me from the beginning of sexuality throughout the human life. The author really did her research, though this book is a little out of date. The book was published in a very good year even. 1985. A time when the country was just getting out of the sexual awakening time, the horrors of HIV and when elders were from a time so different from the current young adult culture. For things I never knew, well, I had no idea that babies and children actually experienced their bodies in a physically sexual way. Not in a sensual way, but in a way that they touched themselves and go. "That feels good." So, now I know babies and young children masturbate. I couldn't contain my curiosity because I had no idea babies/children do this. Well, I ended up asking everyone I know, and low and behold yes they do. One of my favorite stories about children and these experiences and how children's parents handle this. One women's response to her daughter and the classic playing Dr. came up. It was amazing, and every parent should check it out. I only hope I someday can be so understanding and not come off as creepy or judgmental. This book was not only research and facts, but had a very human aspect to it. The author interviewed people from all ages and backgrounds. It was very fascinating to learn about peoples sexual awakenings weather they be bad, good, delayed, or experienced again and again. The author took us into this world where we should not judge ourselves or others as when it comes to sex. "There is no standard." The book continues throughout the teenage years, the young adults, to adults, to middle aged, to the golden years, and even the twilight years. There's just so much that this book covered I can't even begin to cover how amazing it was. A fun statistic for both men and especially women. 72 percent of women over seventy with a partner are still orgasmic with that partner. The author blew away the mold that old people are put into and confined to a no sex life. This book was not all rainbows and sunshine or wonderful orgasms. Rather there was a lot of infidelity and adultery. So many marriages and relationships failed in this book, and so may poor spouses were left in the dark when it came to the fact their wives and husbands were cheating on them. Others were left speechless when they were divorced or widowed. Still, so many in the end realized that sex was a big part of their lives and that sex in all its forms from a simple cuddle to an evening of debauchery. One last quote. "Sex isn't something we do or have but is intrinsic part of our very natures, we are set free from the notion that we have to express our sexuality in certain circumscribed way with certain partners in certain circumstances." This book had me examine my own life to the possible future I may or may not have. I vote for no cheating and no being a widow. I hope to find a book written in the present time and seeing how specialists and statistics have changed and what has stayed the same. This book was educational and freeing. Hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

White Night Book 9 Written by Jim Butcher

Happy New Year everyone! Well, it's 2012 and time to start anew. I thought the best way to do that was tapping into Jim Butcher's world of Harry Copperfield Blackstone Dresden. Read by James Marsters. Chicago is to this day a wondrous cit with a dark underbelly, and even the topside world is filled with horrible things that go bump in both day and night. But, in Jim Butchers world things are always taken a bit further. This book was like the ocean in the way it came slow at times, and kept right on rolling up on the beach and steadily became harder until it would ebb back only to crash into the shore again and again. A human can only take being rolled over and smacked so many times, but it seems in Harry's case he just keeps taking more on and becomes even more bad ass. I use the term bad ass, but Harry is also amazingly crazy and has a very special sense of humor in even the darkest situations. Again the classic characters and newer characters come into play as do many adversaries. The enemy of my enemy comes into play a lot during this book. There were some very memorable moments in the book and some very scary moments which I found myself going. "Oh No He Didn't!" This time things were a bit sadder as poor mortals, a lot of them fell before the Vampires and other supernaturals. They were helpless and due to the ongoing war felt like they had nowhere to go, even their minds were not to be trusted. And yet, Mr. Butcher still has time to make us laugh over the classic banter between Harry and Bob the Skull, Murphy Chicago police, Mouse a more than average dog, Ramirez fellow warden, Butters city mortician, Molly wayward pupil, and of course Thomas his sexy brother. There are of course more, but why spoil it for you? These moments between the characters are gems that highlight the story and show even in the oddest and scariest times humor can be found. There was so much back plot and speculation the conclusion obviously left me with more questions. My husband and I are still trying to put the puzzle pieces together. What is going to happen to Harry and the mortal world? What will happen to the magical community and even the supernatural community? I only wish certain descriptions would not have to be repeated so often. We know Harry is raw power rather than subtle and elegant with his magic. In fact we see it all the time.  What the hell does Jim Butcher think he's going to do, especially with what has happened with a certain targeted brain failure and alternative persona. I loved this book and am still amazed how truly scary and awesome Harry and company can truly be. What now Harry?