01. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Tammy

Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time Volume 1 by Scott Tipton, read by Tammy, on 05/06/2014

doctor who prisonersVolume one in a special 50th anniversary comic book series featuring Doctor Who, all 11 of him. You get to experience an adventure with each of the first five Doctors and their companions in this volume.

01. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Tammy

Batgirl, Vol. 2: Knightfall Descends by Gail Simone, read by Tammy, on 05/10/2014

I didn’t enjoy this one a much as volume one. One of the plot batgirl 2lines seems to just stop and then pick up later. I’m wondering if I’d have to read a comic in the Batman series to get my answers.

01. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Tammy

Batgirl, Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection by Gail Simone, read by Tammy, on 05/04/2014

batgirl 1Volume one of DC Comics “New 52″ event that started in September 2011. Darkest Reflection starts a new vision of the Batgirl story after her back injury. Barbara Gordon has to deal with secrets from her past and determine if she can still be Batgirl. Her first major challenge comes in the form of a brute named Mirror. This volume collects issues 1-6 of Batgirl.

01. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Tammy

A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 2 by George R.R. Martin, read by Tammy, on 05/30/2014

Continuing story of the seven kingdoms of Westeros. I don’t want to give any details away. So, I will just say, a fast-paced fantasy story that pulls in and keeps you wanting to know what happens next.

01. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Tammy

A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 by George R.R. Martin, read by Tammy, on 05/27/2014

game of thrones 1A comic version of the Game of Thrones novel. As the author explains: this is the same story as the novel but it may be slightly different, just as the TV show is different. He feels each medium has it’s own challenges and rewards and as long as the main core is the same it is the same story. This shorter version has made me even more curious about the popular novel series.

01. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Tammy

Hedge Knight (The Tales of Dunk and Egg vol 1) by George R.R. Martin, read by Tammy, on 05/25/2014

hedge knight gnA Pre-story to the Game of Thrones series. This tale follows Dunk, a squire as he tries to became a Hedge Knight and his squire, Egg. Set in Westeros there’s plenty of adventures and a lively joust.

27. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fantasy, Fiction, Teen Books

Unthinkable by Nancy Werlin, read by Angie, on 05/26/2014

Fanella has been trapped in Faerie for 400 years. The curse on her family has finally been broken, but she finds she is under another curse and she cannot die. Because Fanella started the curse on the Scarboroughs and doomed each generation of Scarborough women to be sent to Faerie, she feels she should die now that the curse has been broken by Lucy. The Faerie queen tells her she too must perform three acts in order to break her curse. Fanella jumps on the chance before she is told the acts must be of destruction and on her family in the human world. Fanella will do anything for the chance at death so she agrees. Then she is also told if she doesn’t complete the acts the original curse will be reinstated. Fanella goes to her family and convinces them she has been freed from Faerie. She begins her acts of destruction; first destroying safety, then love, then hope. All the while she is trying to work through her feelings for her family and her new feelings for Walker, the handsome friend of the family who has taken an interest in her. 

I didn’t love this book. Perhaps if I had read the first book where Lucy broke the curse I might have been more invested in it. I found I got really frustrated with Fanella’s tendency to just jump into things and not think them through. I loved her Faerie companion though. The Queen turns Ryland (her brother) into a cat and sends him into the human world to advise Fanella. He is full of snarky comments and truly adds a humorous touch to the book. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed in the ending as well. Fanella spends all her time working towards her death, but in the end chooses to live out her life (with Walker of course). I found it typical and not surprising but a bit of a muddle to the story. Not a bad book, just not my favorite.

21. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Eric, Fantasy, Fiction

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett, read by Eric, on 05/10/2014

A new era is arriving on the Discworld, in the form of a steam-belching engine running along tracks. When Mr. Simnel begins demonstrating his new invention, even Lord Vetinary is surprised by the inexplicable draw Iron Girder has on the populace. One thing is for certain- the city needs to be part of this enterprise, and the Patrician believes Moist von Lipwig is the right (if not upright) man to oversee things. Meanwhile, dwarfs are revolting, and so the new train is tasked with getting the Low King of the Dwarfs to Schmaltzberg in time to put things right.

This is the 40th book in the Discworld series, which I adore. Unfortunately, my reaction to this entry is similar to the one I had for Unseen Academicals. All the familiar faces are here, but the Pratchett magic is a faded shade of octarine. There are plenty of dwarfs doing dwarfish things, and an interesting new invention for the world, but it simply isn’t as humorous or satirical as usual. Even the footnotes seem a shadow of their former selves. I will continue reading every bit of output Sir Terry manages to produce before being unable, but also hope for a bit of the old spark next time.

20. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction

The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett, read by Angie, on 05/19/2014

The Carpet People was first written by Terry Pratchett when he was 17 years old. He reworked it and reissued it a few years ago. You can see his progression as a writer and a satirist in this early work. It has the beginnings of the depth and humor as his early Discworld books. You get a good idea of where his leanings lie and what message he wants to send out into the world through his books. I would be interested in reading the original version of this book just to see how it was finessed for the reissue.

The Carpet People tells the tale of the land of the carpet. It is populated by different groups of people, animals, monsters, kings and emperors. The Munrungs are a simple people led by Glurk. They are part of the Dumii Kingdom, but only in the sense they are counted and pay taxes. When The Fray destroys their village they take off across the Carpet. Along the way they discover the monsterous Mouls are ravaging the land on their vicious snarls. They help free the Deftmene people and they meet a mysterious Wight who sees all possible futures. Together they all band together to free the land of the terrible Mouls and to come up with a better system than kings and emperors. This story is part adventure, part fantasy, part political satire and all fun. Fans of Terry Pratchett will not go wrong with reading this early work. 

A fairy tale-like story.  The rulers of Montagne have been rumored to possess and use magic.  But this has been only a rumor.  Grandmonther (queen mother) Benificence, her two daughters Wisdom and Temperance, along with an orphan named Fortitude and a miller’s son Tips all end up at Wisdom’s wedding to the neighboring and coveting kingdom.  Its a pretty fast paced, fun tale, written mostly in letter, epistolary format. wisdom's kiss wisdom-s-kiss

14. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Kira

MirrorMask by Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean, read by Kira, on 05/13/2014

index mirrormask-drawing    mirr  MirrorMask,ChildrensEdition_Hardback_1185587477Circus daughter Helena says she hates her life and wants to have an ordinary “real” life, and that she hates her mother.  Her mother falls ill with mirrormask2cancer.  In an alternate reality – a dreamy Alice-through-the-Looking-Glass world – Helena has to set things right, in order to return to her original world. I choose this title because its a graphic novel, which is this months challenge.  It was interesting, kind of showing teen rebellion and growing up.  I didn’t really care for the artwork.

I wish they could get someone like Laurel Burch to do the artwork in these Graphic Novels – please add this kind of color graphic novelists!images

14. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Kira · Tags:

House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple, read by Kira, on 05/13/2014

Jo Hemlock has spent her life hiding, hiding the fact that she’s a witch, and hiding from the evil clan of witches that killed her mother, that are now pursuing her and her grandmother.  Now that she’s about to have a regular boyfriend, is when the evil clan strikes again, sending her innocent father (whom she had never met) searching for her Mom and then for Jo.   Fast paced, and engaging book (not deep though).  house ivy s grimoire House-Ivy-Sorrow-BannerI would enjoy a sequel.

14. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Kira · Tags:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, read by Kira, on 05/13/2014

 

The book starts out slow.  It is the story of 2 youngsters trained in the magical arts as opponents in a challenge.  The venue for competition is the Night Circus.  Their respective masters omit informing them of important rules of the game, like how a winner is determined.

night_circus___celia_and_marco_by_acbunny-d60u8rythe_night_circus___celia__s_library_by_sombrewood-d5e00xk01a624d91a48461261ac67cdfc3c6a88AlemanhaI found timeline a night_circus__the_clock_by_thesearchingeyes-d5laf5vbit cos-NIGHT-CIRCUS-large640Night_Circus_Hero_groupnfusing.NightCircus_AFthe_night_circus___widget_and_poppet_by_eizurin-d4i1ce0Night Circus 0911  But once I got into the book, I found it magical, very atmospheric and a bit mysterious.  I like the way the different story-lines blend together.

10. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Teen Books

The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman, read by Angie, on 05/10/2014

Timothy Hunter is approached by four strange men. These men talk of magic and offer to show Tim the magical world. He is sent to the past with the Phantom Stranger. He learns about magic in the present day with John Constantine. He travels to other realms with Dr. Occult. And he is taken to the end of the universe with Mister E. Along the way he is pursued, tempted, tricked and educated. All of this is to give him the choice of a life of magic or a life of science. But does he really have a choice? I enjoyed this book and its look into the world of magic; however, I do think I would have gotten more of the references if I had been reading other comics related to this one. It seems like many of the characters are drawn from other stories, which I haven’t read, so I didn’t get as excited by their appearances as I would have if I knew who they were.

06. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Lisa

Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman, Skottie Young (Illustrator), read by Lisa, on 04/15/2014

“I bought the milk,” said my father. “I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: T h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road.”

“Hullo,” I said to myself. “That’s not something you see every day. And then something odd happened.”

Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.

02. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Eric, Fantasy, Fiction · Tags: , ,

Bad Unicorn by Platte F. Clark, read by Eric, on 04/19/2014

Princess is a bad unicorn. That’s why she is called the Destroyer. When unicorns are bad, entire worlds tremble at the thought of the carnage to come. Accompanied (reluctantly) by Magar, her wizard, Princess is crossing worlds and time in order to track down the Codex of Infinite Knowability, give it to an evil sorcerer, and eat Max. Max is a rather geeky human middle-schooler, completely unaware that he is a descendant of the greatest wizard of all time. Soon, thanks the Codex, which only he seems able to read, his lineage is revealed, and Max, his friends, and a cranky dwarf are in training with frobbits on a future world, preparing to face down Princess. It all makes sense, right?

Obviously inspired by the likes of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, Platte F. Clark starts his humorous fantasy trilogy with a bang (and possibly a large belch). There are several groan-worthy moments when the jokes fall flat, but otherwise, I can’t imagine why middle school readers wouldn’t eat this up. Peppered throughout the book are excerpts from the Codex, one of which (concerning screaming trees and druids) makes it all worth while on its own. Onward to Fluff Dragon!

30. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Courtney, Fantasy, Graphic Novel

Lucifer, Vol. 2 by Mike Carey, read by Courtney, on 04/27/2014

Book Two of the Lucifer series begins with Lucifer creating an entire universe outside of our own, complete with his own Adam and Eve. Universe building is cool and all, but there are parties in our universe that seek control over the new one. Mazikeen raises an army, which actually comes in handy. The Angel Michael’s daughter has a score to settle. Another angel takes out a contract on Lucifer.
A lot happens in this volume, but various story lines from the first book are starting to come together.

30. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck, read by Angie, on 04/28/2014

This is a story about a little mouse with no name who lives under the Mews at Buckingham Palace. Everyone is getting ready for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee including the mice. Of course our little mouse gets into a bit of trouble and finds his way out of the Mews and into a bunch of adventures. By the end he has discovered who he is and where he belongs in mouse society. I really don’t enjoy animal books that much and I found this one incredibly slow and predictable. There just wasn’t anything exciting or unique about the story. While I did enjoy the set up of the different mice societies throughout Buckingham Palace I thought the rest was a bit dull and predictable.

30. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Dystopia, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, read by Kira, on 04/25/2014

Ready Player One Paperback Covertumblr_m6agh9Kd9O1rvnsrpo1_500

What a delightful and fun read.  Teenager Wade is living in the US about 2014′s, in a post energy world.  He lives in the stacks – stacks of trailers/mobile homes linked together with steel poles, and whatever jetsam is lying around, his trailer is on the 32nd level, and actually receives a little sunlight.  His aunt steals his food vouchers.  He has found a safeplace at the bottom of a mound of abandoned vehicles (no gas left), which he crawls into every day hooks into the Oasis (FB on steroids) with a visor and haptic glove and goes to school.  This is the environment.  The multibillionaire, James Haliday who invented the Oasis and numerous other internet games died 5 years ago and set up a series of challenges, the winner will inherit the billions.  Wade is one of several hunters searching for the 1st key.  Haliday loved the 80′s so the hunters as well as the readers get to share in 80′s culture.  Personally, I don’t think I’m very in touch with pop culture, but was amazed at all the culture references I caught – Blade Runner, LadyHawke, War Games, John Hughes movies, Excalibur, Gary Gygax, D & D, etc.

I REALLY enjoyed this book! and have recommended it to all  sorts of people.

 

 

antisixers    tumblr_mxs80pnIbe1qjp0avo1_500ready_player_one_by_zippo514-d6v1zjc tumblr_m44pazkStP1qjp0avo1_1280 tumblr_m3esfbFSDf1qjp0avo1_500 Tomb of Horrorssmall_background

28. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Tammy · Tags:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gamain, read by Tammy, on 04/14/2014

ocean at the end  A haunting tale set in Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home for a funeral and finds himself drawn to the farm at the end of the lane. He suddenly begins to remember what happened to him in this place when he was seven and the most remarkable girl he met there, Lettie Hempstock. He is joined at the edge of a lake by Lettie’s mother and grandmother who haven’t changed at all even though it’s been forty years. This is his story and Lettie’s and of what happened that day long ago when Lettie promised to protect him, no matter what.