Sunday, January 28, 2007

Week 4

Week 4 ~ Jan 22-28, 2007

This Present Darkness

by Frank E. Peretti
(Christian fiction)

Normally I avoid Christian fiction. I have read some well-received Christian novels in the past, and felt them to be too preachy, as if the authors felt they had to show how pious or prayerful they were. As a Christian myself (though one whose beliefs are less - shall we say - strict than those who gave me the other books) I felt like those authors were preaching to the choir. So I was a little leery when my boyfriend recommended Peretti.

However, I needn't have worried. Yes, prayer and God were prevalent in the book. It wouldn't really have been a Christian novel if they weren't. But it was prayer as a part of certain characters' personality and beliefs. Prayer for the sake of other characters, not because the reader necessarily needed saving. Many times, it felt as if I was reading one of the paranormal books I'm fond of, only instead of good magic vs. bad magic, you have good spirits vs. bad. Instead of normal humans fighting off magic-induced possession, the possession is demonic. It often read very like a religious-based paranormal book, and I enjoyed it very much.

One thing that I found especially appropriate was the way swearing was handled. Some of the characters swore. They are humans, and humans do that. But the profanity wasn't actually written in the book, just spoken of. It was well done, and it took me a little while before I even realized it.

People who are anti-Christian will probably not appreciate this book. But for those who are Christian, or who are willing to give something different a try, this might be a good one to pick up.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Week 3

Week 3 ~ Jan 15-21, 2007

No Rest for the Wicked

By Kresley Cole
(fantasy, romance)

This book follows up A Hunger Like No Other, a paranormal romance where the more “traditional” werewolves and vampires are joined by other mystical beings that show up less often in fiction – things like Valkyries and sirens.

In this book, the hero is a vampire who starts the book wanting to die, and the heroine is the Valkyrie who intends to kill him. Both, however, make the other feel alive again, and the book deals with how they manage to cope with their new feelings and old hurts that come from broken families.

This is definitely a romance. Very steamy. Do not read it if you don’t want to read about sex. (It’s also not necessarily advised to read this without your significant other in reach.) However, if you want sex to go with your plot, this is a good choice. I was impressed with AHLNO, and this sequel follows the tradition very nicely. I think I prefer this one to the first, but for all the same reasons I liked AHLNO in the first place. They don’t have to be read in order, but will undoubtedly make more sense that way.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Week 2

Week 2 ~ Jan 8-14, 2007

The Mislaid Magician

By Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer
(fantasy, YA fiction)

This is the third in the series of "letter game" books written by the two authors. (The basic idea is that each writer has a character, and the book plot progresses in a series of letters that the authors write to each other in character. The result is a book with two different voices told in a very amusing fashion.) The first book is Sorcery and Cecelia, or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot.

This book isn't quite as good as the first one, which had the element of novelty and budding romance to make it all the more enjoyable. However, it is quite fun, and I enjoy it better than the second book. (In book 2, the characters are traveling together and instead of letters they write journal entries. I prefer having them write letters. The plot is equally enjoyable in each of the books.)

There isn't much that I can say about this book without ruining the plot of the first two for everyone, but I can say that the series is set in an alternate Regency England, where magic is an acceptable vocation. The two main characters are young ladies of quality, and while the books may be billed as young adult fiction, they have a freshness that adults will be able to enjoy just as much as teens. I really enjoy the series, and would love to see it continue.


Sunday, January 7, 2007

Week 1

The Vagina Monologues
by Eve Ensler

I read this book because my boyfriend wanted to discuss it with me. (We talk about lots of things, and have some really great conversations. Lots of depth. Very nice... but off track. Sorry.) I had seen it (and the video of the performance) on the library shelves for a long time, and always avoided it. I figured that it would be written merely for the shock value, that the whole point would be to see how many times "vagina" would show up in the book.

I am pleased to report that I was - partly - wrong. There is a shock value to the book, and after reading the introduction I understand why. There is still much sexual repression and misunderstanding, and the author wants to change that. However, I was expecting a more graphic and, well, icky book. This is well done, with enough shock to get the point across, and yet not so much that I was ever tempted to stop reading. It's almost poetry.

I would rate this a good read, though not a must read. I plan to watch the (taped) performance as well, as I think that it might be better seen than read.