Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Ferragost


Ferragost
Ferragost by Melina Marchetta

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Melina Marchetta: Thank you for giving us this juicy taste in between Lumatete books. I can now be a little more satisfied while waiting for Quintana. Ferragost is simply wonderful. Lady Celie of the Flatlands deserves a book of her own. And I pledge myself to read it now!! Yes, please? Melina, I will send you a box of cookies every week if you decide to make it happen :)
Sorry folks, this is more a personal rant than a review. I have a Melina Marchetta's book obsession and I can't help it!

You can purchase this short e-Novella HERE
for $2.99


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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Review: Skinned


Skinned
Skinned by Robin Wasserman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



What makes you human? The capacity to understand your uniqueness, in comparison with others? Your capacity of abstract thought, free will or to have an opinion? How about learning the use of tools or objects? Maybe have feelings: love-hate-friendship, a name, a gender - or the ability to identify oneself as a person who has the subjective experience of identifying with gender-, exploring senses... Okay, at this point, you know, or could have a better view of what I'm trying to refer to. However, what if all the above were experienced with a body that is not made of flesh, blood and bones? Will this being still be considered human?

These and more questions are asked in Robin Wasserman's Skinned. The premise of this story is about a girl, Lia Khan, who suffered an accident leaving her human body unsalvable. Her brain gets scanned and downloaded in an artificial body. We follow her story and the range of events, emotions and thoughts that occur after this. It is set in a very likely future dystopian world.

I simply loved this book. I was not expecting it at all and gave me lots of food for thought. Specially the bioethical explorations of medical advancements and the preservation of human life at all costs. I wish many more Young Adult fiction stories focused on these philosophical and more mature themes. I admire Robin Wasserman for this; specially after having previously read her The Book of Blood and Shadow: a story that is skillfully told, which begins with a murder.

Skinned's tone is dark, layered with loss and resilience. Interestingly enough you don't entirely like the main character, but you certainly end up trying to understand and sympathize with her.

I am so glad I re-discovered Robin's work! I will certainly look forward to read the next installments of The Cold Awakening trilogy.

The idea of life ad infinitum reminded me of Andy Warhol's soups!


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Review: Touch of Power


Touch of Power
Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



3.5 Stars
---
10 hours and 9 minutes after opening this book... I can honestly say Maria V. Snyder you make me happy!! I am really looking forward to continue reading more of this series. Maria is a skilled fantasy-action-world building author. I really enjoy her books.

Having read the Study series and the Insider books, I was very ready to dive head first into a new series and this one has proved so far to fill all my expectations.

Avery is a healer in a world that persecutes them. The world changed after a plague that decimated the 15 realms, whose survivors became weary of healers, and their lack of active action to prevent this widespread disease. We are introduced into this world when Avery finds herself in dire circumstances after healing a child. She is turned by the very parents of the child whom she healed to be executed. However, her life takes an unexpected turn when a band of mysterious wanderers offer her an escape from certain death.

There are politics, intrigue, action and lots of creative descriptions of plants, sceneries and companionship. As usual, being a Harlequin book, the romance was an underlying part of this plot. My only critique was that many of the character's crossings and motivations were not very hard to guess, and expected betrayals and changes of heart were just too obvious. However I really found this book a fun one to read (yes, after reading it through in one day).

One image that I carry in my head are these fantastic flowers which are constantly appearing in the story. The Death and Peace Lily. As such, my dear readers I will leave you with the best image that I can conjure open for creative minds

description
(With thanks to Abi who kindly lend me this picture he took)


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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Review: In a Fix


In a Fix
In a Fix by Linda Grimes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



3.5 Stars
---
Ciel is trying to position herself as an independent autonomous woman with a business of her own as a 'Facilitator' or in lay words, as per her quick description a 'life coach'; who strives to maintain her profesional shores outside of her close knitted family. Yes, this sounds very mature, simple and straightforward... Think again!

She has the ability to transform into anyone she touches. A trait that is comon in her family and close circle wich renders her uniqueness of her buisness. She can be literally on anyone's shoes (or socks) playing the part -or rather being them- in multiple jobs she is hired. We meet her in the Bahamas, where her simple task of securing an engagement becomes rather an international adventure. Accompanied by her friend Billy and her long time unrequited crush Mark, who happens to be a CIA agency field agent.

This is a quirky funny novel that brought some laughs in my life. It is light, fast paced whose main character will grow on you. Ciel's best skill is not her wits, rather her determination: her need to finish what she starts no matter what as well as her perseverance. She is not very dependable on doing what she is told (why should anyone?), but truly devoted to her family and friends.

The world building and logic behind some actions, specially the Viking's intentions is at times a bit fuzzy, but it will keep you entertained all the way through. I recommend it for those who are looking forward to immerse in a new humorous Urban Fantasy world.

I can only say I will not see champagne glasses with the same eyes EVER again! I am still laughing whenever I remember that scene.

***
Thank you for providing this copy for an early read: Tor/Forge and NetGalley!



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Review: Magic Bites


Magic Bites
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Fun fun fun.
Review to come :)
I have a soft spot for UF + female kick-ass main characters + paranormal world. As such, I was not surprised in the least bit when I started reading this book and found myself enjoying it every step of the way!

I am so used to bigger, bulkier and heavier reads and this series brought a lot of fresh air in this department! It's a book that you can read in an afternoon and has more character growth, key descriptions, less repetitions and funny moments than many of the UF reads I've had lately (*wink wink* Frost, Saintcrow and Kenyon). However the magic world and how it is presented brings positive resemblances to those series I cherish: Stacia Kane's Downside Ghosts and the YA Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver.

In an imagined world, I can see Kate Daniels discussing magic use and spells to counteract disasters with Cesarian Putman and them trying to tutor Riley Blackthorne who wants a bit of advise on independence and kickass looks, all while she shows off to them on her awesome fighting demon skills!
Oh I wish I could read this!!!



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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Review: Born of Shadows


Born of Shadows
Born of Shadows by Sherrilyn Kenyon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I really enjoy the world in which these stories are set and the inhabitants of these planets. There are many familiar places, people and gadgets; as well as crazy loyalties and the Sentella's wonderful power. This is a world that has spawned wings in my imagination. And for that I truly enjoy reading Kenyon's work. However, don't expect a witty literary masterpiece. If you are, stop right now and search for another author. Kenyon's books are very predictable and share similar storylines between them. The only "hidden" surprises are the people and actions behind all the ploys crafted upon the main characters.

This latest book from the League contains a lighter read and a straight forward romance. The MC are less dark and tortured than the previous 3 installments. But they surely follow the same pattern of relationship building. Yes, this is expected, but why else would you dare to read these books? I found this particular book more involved in the building of the relationship and character's adventures and with only one *gasp* yes, 1 masterfully (Kenyon's style) described sex scene. Wow, I did not see that comming taking into consideration the tally of its predecesors (not that I'm keeping tabs ir anything), and the length of this book (+400 pages). But don't get me wrong. I really did enjoy this book. Specially all the familiar people I have met before.

My biggest dislike is perhaps the assassination plot and how it is unravelled since it really did confused me quite a bit.

I will however continue forward reading the stories of the League. It is simply a great fantasy spacy world to get lost in readerdom :)



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Sunday, August 5, 2012

A puma upcoming golf

So I have a stuffy nose and I was bored, so I asked Siri (my non too helpful personal assistant on my iPhone): can you cure a common cold? And this is what she understood...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mix and Match: lunch break!

This song+a quinoa bowl+a funny tweet that made the most interesting impression in my brain.

*sigh* another one of those 'I can't wait to read you book' day