Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Midnight Written by: Dean Koontz

Change is good right readers? I'm changing my life and in doing so I've changed the course of not only my own but slightly other's lives as well. No, I do not have a GOD/GODDESS complex just even when we make a small decision it impacts those we might not have thought of, but... not all change is good. Also, what if you decide to make a change and that change though well intentioned is quite evil, or what if you have horrible intentions, but the change is even worse even though it could have been good.... We readers, could go on with this discussion forever! So, let's discuss bad change a change that goes by a different name "metamorphosis" and I am not saying metamorphosis is a bad thing, but for me this word always has a negative association first before I let a positive thought in. I blame one too many Greek stories and a certain story teller named Kafka, but I'm going off base here. I just had the horrible pleasure of finishing listening to a man whom I know loves to scare us, creep us out, and leave us wanting more even though we'll be horrified and uncomfortable. I am speaking of Dean Koontz readers. In this recent book I had the pleasure of listening to Mr. Koontz takes us to a place called Moonlight Cove. A nice town with a gorgeous view and beach one would enjoy running on be it day or night. That is... DUN DUN DUN! Until NOW! The citizens of Moonlight Cove are changing...(Ah see what I did there readers) Some citizens are metamorphosing in certain ways; some lose touch with their deepest emotions, others are surrendering to their wildest urges, and others yet are becoming just downright freaky. Then there are those citizens who remain "unchanged," and they readers are absolutely terrified even those who do not fully understand what is happening have it seems a sixth sense that something is not right in the town of Moonlight Cove. People are vanishing and some are turning up brutally murdered in the dead of night, but the bodies are quickly cremated and none are the wiser. But, you can only have so many "accidental deaths." And, you can only have so many bodies vanish before someone takes notice. This is not a curl up and enjoy yourselves readers it is a gut churning clutch a flashlight to yourself book as you look over your shoulder periodically. (Pause for dramatic effect) Koontz it seems had a pattern to some of his earlier book and though this one is written somewhat later Koontz it seems has decided to draw upon a bit of his earlier creations and look to both past and future to have written Midnight. The story itself follows four distinct perspectives and it read by J. Charles whom was quite talented readers and captured Koontz's characters voices quite impressively. J. Charles had a talent for sounding like four different readers as the tale was told. This is a story that will have you feeling squeamish and perhaps question which is worse... moving forward or moving backwards? A tale for those of you who can picture the old clay animation and its grotesque yet realistic affect it had on you.

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire Book 5) Written by: George R.R. Martin

Hola readers, que pasa? Phew, I made it! (SPOILER ALERT POST) A Dance With Dragons, the last available book! Oh My STARS! This finishing and catching up with all of my friends who are also Game of Thrones fans is bitter sweet... on the plus side I KNOW! Well, I know as much as they do, but now... NOW... I HAVE TO WAIT! AHHH!!!! I mean how this book ended is just... woah! Okay, settle... settle... settling... settled... BUT OH MY STARS! No wonder fans are so afraid Martin will pass on before he finishes this series, I've read a lot of books readers, and to have a series take so long to complete and to leave on such a cliff hanger, well that's just... woah. So it is obvious I enjoyed this book, I was a little afraid I wouldn't since I was told numerous times how the book backtracks quite a bit and tells a few stories over again, but honestly it didn't bother me at all, the only thing that bothered me was that there wasn't more. To be given so much plot and still have so many questions is well... Impressive. I listened to this book over 48 hours in total and Audible decided to go back to the original reader Roy Dotrice, which I was fine with I enjoyed the other reader, but Roy Dotrice is quite enjoyable though he changed a few of his female voices and sadly not for the better, but I tuned them out and pictured the TV series leading ladies and inserted their voices for my amusement, and that helped quite a bit. So, Martin once again transports us to his vast world. We are taken to the Wall, Across the Narrow Sea, Slavers Bay, And The North and South in the Seven Kingdoms. On the Wall the story is told from John Snow's point of view for the most part. And, SPOILER ALERT! Young Lord Snow has been elected the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. But, John snow has many enemies and is playing a dangerous balacing act between his new duties, A Certain crotchety Baratheon first name Stanis and his party, the Free folk, and the rest of Westeros. It is a very dangerous balance Snow is trying to achieve and there's a lot that he has against him, but he is a strong character and is growing I think into a very mature and powerful person, but will he be given the chance to show everyone else this? Further North, Bran Stark (Almost a man grown, I get it already!) has finally been thrown a bone and it seems his journey or at least his present journey is at an end as he finds what he has been seeking, but it is a tad bitter for Bran and his party members. There's a lot of magic here, and oh boy I just might have a few theories about how Master Brandon Stark will be used, but Martin is keeping quiet... so quiet. Tyrion! There's a fellow who never keeps quiet, and it seems my beloved Tyrion has found himself located accross the seas and in the care of someone we are already acquainted with, no I'm not going to tell you, this journey though is not an easy one. Tyrion is suffering for his sins and it almost seems as if he is cursed, and when he begins to relax a little and dish out some rather well... maybe not quite wise advice. Tyrion is put into new hands that will take him on the seas and that too it appears is cursed and collar bound. Still Tyrion is crafty and it seems might be gaining allies and it seems is looking to support a certain Silver Haired Queen. In Bravos well... a girl once known as Arya Stark is training and readers... ew! I won't spoil this at all, but I so love Arya and she readers is a girl to be feared I can only imagine the woman she will grow into. Daenerys Targaryen, bestill my heart you are trying so hard. The mother or Dragons she last of the Dragons... or is she? Ruling Meereen is proving to be harder than conquering cities and Daenerys is rejecting her heart's desires in favor for peace and her floppy ears. Dani though a Queen and grown quite a bit has much to learn and with her Dragons growing bigger and more dangerous by the day will this mother be able to control her children and unite the seven kingdoms? There's a line of suitors going all the way to the seven kingdoms too readers and they're all determined to win or claim her hand....what a mess. I loved Dani's story and how her tale ended in this book.. well... AWESOME! But, a cliffhanger all the same too shrouded in mystery. Now, back to the more "Civil" world of the seven Kingdoms the North...Winter is coming and the armies of Stanis, Frey, and Bolton understand this perhaps more than most, and still these families including the Lanesters continue their war in many ways. Stanis readers knows about The White Walkers! Yet, he is still intent on conquering the 7 Kingdoms and taking his rightful place so he can save everyone... does anyone else see the fault here?!? Armies are fighting one another these men are dying and they are consuming food! Precious food! Food that will be needed during the winter and to fuel everyone if they are to survive the coming winter and perhaps... White Walkers? So much plotting and loss all over blood ties... makes you wonder why these families were ever given power to begin with. Theon appears again too readers and :shiver: he is a broken thing and twisted... his captor the Bolton's are even more twisted, and it seems coming apart at the seams. Quite a dark story this part of the tale. Cersei, my, my, my, how the crafty have fallen. I despise Cersei for all that she has done, but how she was able to manipulate so much and succeed in achieving so much power, I must admire that, but.... her fall, now that was something. The former golden Lioness is being made to pay and her claws just might be gone for good, or are they? This story was rough even having no love for Cersie I don't think anyone deserves that, but then again what she has done has sparked several wars and who knows how many have died because of this Queens greed? The trial for both Queens should be quite enlightening I think, especially since Cersei's first choice of a champion is still missing...her brother Jaime has vanished last seen with a certain Beauty Knight. Still, Cersei's new champion is shrouded in mystery which is impressive since they're over 8ft tall. These fights and the Game of Thrones seems so petty compared to the threat we the readers see coming, but the epilogue reveals so much about why these Lords and Ladies seem so bent on blood and destroying themselves and those around them, and oh readers, what an ending! Winter readers... Is Here.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Poison Pen A Forensic Handwriting Mystery Written by: Sheila Lowe

Hello there fellow book buddies. Wow, so...I downloaded this book at the suggestion of Book Bub and I was not disappointed. The book title alone was intriguing Poison Pen, okay that's catchy, but the rest of the title a Forensic Handwriting mystery... wait a minute here.. really? I've heard of the study of Handwriting and it is quite fascinating especially since people change a lot and I know over the years some people's handwriting changes. Mine, changes daily I'm sure it might give regular people some trouble, but would  forensic hand writer expert know it was me every time? Interesting... so this books plot starts off as most Mysteries do, with MURDER! Yes MURDER! (Sorry, been watching Clue the Movie again way too much.) So, before her untimely death Lindsey Alexander had few friends, but plenty of lovers. Lindsey was also a pretty lousy friend, I wouldn't want her as a friend personally readers... to her ex-friend forensic handwriting expert Claudia Rose she was a ruthless, back stabbing, manipulator to the extreme. Still, Claudia is shocked to learn Lindsey left a suicide note, one that is quite cryptic: "It was fun while it lasted!" Now, it would be easier on everyone if Lindsey's death could be written off as a suicide, but it seems Lindsey's partner in her business thinks otherwise. And, it seems Claudia's own instincts are pushing her to investigate even further than it might be warranted. Soon Claudia finds herself in the middle of a bigger dark mystery than she thought were possible. Now Claudia is trying to identify a killer, and shortly after finds she has a price on her head. People are breaking in, people are dying, sleazy documents are surfacing, more seedy characters are also popping up, but it seems Claudia's personal life might just get an uptick. Claudia is a person who loves what she does for a living and she lives for her work, but it does get lonely, and maybe just maybe a certain police detective can give her some comfort during this trying time and some professional help. But, will this detective be enough help to keep Claudia alive long enough to solve this big cluster of death, murder, and money? A very fast paced read this book just flows and builds, it is very interesting and good book to curl up with and enjoy with a good stiff drink or a relaxing cup of tea near an open window with the morning or night breeze to keep you company. So, readers, I hope to be able to keep reading a lot of books, but I am making some changes in life, after having read so many books and been apart of so many characters lives and living their hopes and dreams, well I decided let's take a risk in the real world. So, after 8 years of being an administrative assistant/accountant I have had it, it's not me. I'm going back to school and hopefully soon I shall have a new skill set and career and full fill one of my life's dreams. Wish me luck? This book's character made her work dream come true, so hopefully I can make mine too.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Darkness, Take My Hand Written by: Dennis Lehane

Well readers, I needed to come back to reality a little, with the fantasy books I've been reading lately I found myself beginning to speak, think, and plot a bit like a certain other series I had been reading, and well... this was a fabulous book, and it was like a bucket of acid into my face that woke me up and made me realize once again... Reality isn't all that great. I've read a few Dennis Lehane books now readers and I must confess I am never disappointed in Lehanes stories be they in the past or present. This particular story is about two characters I am somewhat familiar with now. Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, these two have a new client a Boston psychiatrist who is running scared from an vengeful Irish mob. Kenzie and Gennaro were born and bred on the streets of blue collar Dorchester, the streets are mean and they've seen much and had darkness touch them personally before. These two are tough, and have a friendship that many of us would envy. But, it appears they are about to face an evil they are unprepared for and it is an evil that will dredge up secrets long forgotten (intentionally buried) and these secrets will set off a chain of events that are violent, bloody, murderous, and will cause these two to wonder if they are actually themselves in possession of clean souls anymore. Fellow readers, this book was very engaging and kept me enthralled with the story and its characters Lehane really knows Boston, her suburbs, a lot of the culture both classy and seedy. This plot is gruesome really gruesome and introduces us to many insane characters who it seems are just bred in this world. Lehane is a writer that gives us the readers pretty good clues and knows how to spin them to keep us guessing even when we think we've figured out just what is going on. Kenzie and Gennaro are very real characters who are given life's they didn't quite choose and though they might want to go the world around them even if given a choice won't let them go. Someday I will have to read these books in order, but this is the first series I am reading out of order and okay with that, because each book is so good just on its own.  At the end a question is asked and readers it is one I have asked myself and you many times, and the answer I think is sadly yes, but at least for some of us (I wish it were most if not all) we have someone or some people to help with that yes.

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Feast for Crows A Song of Ice and Fire Book 4 Written by: George R.R. Martin

That's how it ends!?! Right, that's exactly how I am feeling right now readers, I mean, that's not any way to end a book, but still... at least there was promise of a next one... Granted I thankfully won't have to wait like other readers had to in the past, but still, wow would I have been angry. Not because the book wasn't any good readers, on the contrary I thought A Feast for Crows was quite excellent. The book once again picks up rather interestingly as we are introduced to entirely new Points of view from characters and introduced to some new and old characters. The War of the Five Kings is it seems finally coming to an end. The Nights Watch needs aid and mayhaps a new learder, perhaps someone we've all come to love regardless of his follies? Stannis Baratheon has decided he must go to the Wall, and him and his Fire Priestess hunger for the blood of Kings... There are white walkers, and still these two are looking for the rule of man spouting prophecies that it is clear Stannis might just not believe himself. Sam, oh I have grown to care for you and yet his journey is really just beginning and even he is clearly more important than previously thought. Then we go to King's Landing where there is King Tommen Baratheon causing all kinds of trouble even though this poor boy king desire nothing more than to play with his little kittens. Tommen is watched by his mother the Queen Regent Cersei Lannister, and this Queen is a Lion who is determined to rule. Her Father Tywin is gone and so is her brother Tyrion, and with her son Joffrey gone the Seven Kingdoms needs a ruler. She is again readers a Lion and as such she was meant to rule....or was she? Her brother Jaime has changed, the King Slayer she finds is weak, one handed, and should have been the maid in her eyes. Jaime though find old oaths coming back to haunt him. To try and make amends the King Slayer is trying to honor his vow to Catelyn Stark by making sure her daughters are safe and so he entrusts Lady Brienne, the Maid of Tarth to find Sansa Stark. Brienne too wishes to honor her oaths made to lady Cately, but giving an Oath is so much easier than keeping it, especially when certain events transpire that will test the Lady Knight like she has never been before. Sansa, well there is no Sansa now, she is now Petyr Baelish's natural daughter, and she has witnessed quite a bit herself and so she must hide in the Vale and keep her future husband safe. It's a huge mess readers, just so much criss crossing with families, houses, characters, and whole continents becoming entangled in multiple plots and schemes. The Iron Blood have finally become a big part of this tale, and readers, I'm scared! I really hope their schemes don't come to bear fruit because well.... I don't! WAAAH! (Forgive the drama, but c'mon!) I love sailors and the Sea, but these plunderers and thief's just don't leave me with a good feeling at all. Then there is Arya Stark, or is it Harry, or mayhaps Nimeira, or whatever name she is being called by at the moment. Arya readers, is one of my favorite characters, she adapts, she deals, and she never gives up. This kid has guts, and now she it seems finally has a path, but... well is the Kindly man really all that kind? All men must die, even little girls. Further along in the east we are introduced to more of the residents and royalty of Dorne. Doran Martell must face off with his own kin who take him for weak seeing as he hasn't sought justice for the death of his brother Oberyn. War, that is what the Martell kin are calling for and these women are fierce and cunning. Or are they? Again readers, layers upon layers... Winter is coming and snowflakes it seems are only a matter of time with all of this waring and all of these cast of characters all fighting over an Iron throne no one it seems except the Knights Watch are really paying much attention to the threat of the White Walkers and Winter. Mayhaps even the Gods and their servants will be of no use when the time comes. The world it seems has a grave future ahead, but... then again... this is only half of the Story. I was quite happy with this book readers, at times it was very long winded and very wordy and holy hell must families have so many legal and natural children and then multiple marriages... my stars! How on earth can the author even keep up with his characters! The narrator for this book did change readers, I was quite heart broken in the beginning because I really enjoyed the previous narrator. Then I listened and well, I wasn't disappointed John Lee the new Narrator did quite a good job I think, somehow he just entered his new role and it worked. Lee didn't attempt to mimic the previous narrators voices, but make them his own and I think he did a rather good job of it, where the other narrator had a very character actors voice one that was quite theatrical Lee had a more subtle and naturally spoken voice. I'm absolutely floored with the writing of Martin, I love this series, and find myself unable to stop listening, I must know! Even though, readers, I have one more book and then I will have to wait to see what happens... just like everyone else. So there you have it a Feast of Crows a fitting title to be sure, so what are your thoughts? Anyone?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Storm of Swords A Song of Ice and Fire book 3 Written by: George R.R. Martin

Ah! Readers! I just, I just can't, words, fail, me! Betrayal, alliances, friendships, magic, love, lust, murder, games, weddings, and curses.... just wow! George R.R. Martin in book three of his series really knows how to keep causing we the readers mild heart attacks and bits of shock. And, readers, this cast just keeps growing even as those that we love and loathe alike pass on, there's always more characters waiting to swell the ranks of the Kingdom of Westeros. The great, major, minor, and small houses are all fighting amongst themselves and still trying to seat their chosen king, and become as rich and powerful as they can along the way. This book begins exactly where Clash of Kings left off. The kingdom of Westeros is still in the grip of the battle of the Five Kings, but it seems this is quickly becoming a tad smaller war... in the ways of kings at least, or is it? This is definitely a cut off one head, and just mayhaps two others will grow in its place. The loss of heads, honor, hands, eyes, innocence, and kingdoms are just a few continuing themes in this book, and if you think you know who is safe from Martin's pen strikes, think again! The best way to break up this book without giving away anything and to not write a book myself would be to break it up into several parts.  To start we see what is happening in Kings Landing and all of those Golden lions and beautiful flowers, and those that travel amongst them these are also most of the South lands. Then you have the North where war wages and the Starks continue to swell and keep their words, or do they? A Stark it seems readers, must keep their word, hubris cannot be tolerated perhaps this is a gift or curse from the Old Gods? Then we have those who are Iron blooded, who do not believe in working the lands, but taking what they would have, and what they want..well you shall see readers. The Trident and other river lands are no longer safe it is easy for a boy or young girl to be snatched up, for people to be placed into service no matter who they are, and their lives no longer are their own. Then we travel North again, and find ourselves at that Vast Wall which no man would've made by themselves. This wall readers sees quite a bit of action and it seems that even the Night's watch don't remember everything about its secrets and as events unfold it seems the Night's watch also knows quite a bit of secrets that the men of Westeros have forgotten and it is time to dredge up old knowledge and lure as another battle is coming, one where just by dying you give up your vows to those you pledged yourself to. Weather, you mean to or not, there are things beyond the wall that will cause you to turn cloak... even if you lived to not. There are smaller quests here at and beyond the wall and more is learned about the world beyond the wall and what is coming for the men South of it. Lastly, we have lands quite removed from the Seven Kingdoms, we have the East. Slaves readers, their stories are not for those who are gentle of heart their lives are hard and their stories run deep with blood saturated over generations, and what will happen when someone decides it is time to change all that? There are Dragons readers and there are even more prophecies to add to those in the North and South, it's definitely connecting and connected. The vocal talents are once again tip top as Roy Dotrice gives a stunning performance, his vocal talents had me at times weeping and turning my hands into fists ready to fight as I clenched my jaw fighting the urge to scream my frustration. Dotrice gives each stories narrator their own voice and does such a good job of keeping them as their own person plus add Martin's other characters and it is truly unbelievable that this narrator can keep so many voices and personalities so distinct. I wish I could share my theories and what I've learned reading these books so far, especially since I am now caught up and passed a bit of the HBO show, it really is quite amazing these books. What is Marting getting at? It seems that the Iron throne needs a master and who will that be exactly in the end? It appears readers these people playing the Game of Thrones need to wake up, the world is awakening its own natural defenses it once used long ago and it  seems readers this world is preparing to fight and its inhabitants should do the same, because readers.. "Winter is coming." I cannot wait to read book 4 and I know I'll be looking up characters left and right, but I don't care, I am completely hooked.