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Monday, 31 December 2012

Mr. Mailman: SECOND GRAVE ON THE LEFT & LOST GIRL

A huge THANK YOU to Close Encounters With The Night Kind and BTS Virtual Tours for hosting a contest which made it possible for me to win a $90 Amazon Gift Certificate!! And I was therefore able to buy Second Grave On The Left by Darynda Jones audiobook CD and Lost Girl Season 1 dvd boxset!!

Couldn't wait to find it in my mail!! *big smile* This wait is worth another Mr. Mailman feature!

About Mr. Mailman:
Mr. Mailman is a kind of "blog meme" started by Juju over at Tales Of Whimsy to feature books which one is anxiously waiting to arrive in the mail!
Second Grave On The Left by Darynda Jones
Book 2 of the Charley Davidson series

About Second Grave On The Left:
Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper Extraordinaire, is back in this sexy, suspenseful novel of supernatural shenanigans.

When Charley is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by her best friend who tells her to get dressed quickly and tosses clothes out of the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously? Cookie explains that a friend of hers named Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she just got a text from her setting up a meet at a coffee shop downtown. They show up at the coffee shop, but no Mimi. But Charley finds a message on the bathroom wall. Mimi left a clue, a woman’s name. Mimi’s husband explains that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old friend of hers from high school had been found murdered a couple weeks prior. The same woman Mimi had named in her message.

Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He’s left his body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty. Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Will Cookie ever get a true fashion sense? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel them as they do?

Here is your signpost for the most hilarious read of the summer: Second Grave On The Left.
Source: Info in the About Second Grave On The Left was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9565045-second-grave-on-the-left on 27/12/2012.

Lost Girl TV series
Season 1
DVD box set

About Lost Girl TV series:
Lost Girl focuses on the gorgeous and charismatic Bo, a supernatural being called a succubus who feeds on the energy of humans, sometimes with fatal results. Refusing to embrace her supernatural clan system and its rigid hierarchy, Bo is a renegade who takes up the fight for the underdog while searching for the truth about her own mysterious origins.
Source: Info in the About Lost Girl TV series was taken from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1429449/plotsummary on 27/12/2012.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Review: THE HUNGER GAMES

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Book 1 of the The Hunger Games series
Narrated by Carolyn McCormick
Genre: post-apocalyptic urban fantasy, YA
Format: paperback, (unabridged) audiobook

About The Hunger Games:
Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before — and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Source: Info in the About The Hunger Games was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2767052-the-hunger-games on 14/07/2012.

Review:
This is my first book-to-movie where I saw the movie first before I read the book. And I still like the book better than the movie, however the movie is not half-bad. In fact it was well done! I would still have preferred it if they stuck to the book religiously but I do recognize that once adapted to movie they have to modify to make it possible to shoot into a movie.

It took a couple of chapters before I could get into the story but once I did, it was smooth sailing and the pace getting quicker towards the end. Having said that, I could only listen as fast as the narrator reads so for the audiobook, the pace could not really be rated for this reason. However, for the paperback, I imagine that the pace could be said to be good with a rating of about 4 out of 5.

Now, I love this book! However, maybe because I enjoyed this book so much that I am now apprehensive that the next book would disappoint me having raised the expectation bar high up.... and maybe because I have read a review in the blogosphere somewhere that the finalle of this trilogy did not live up to expectations. Which is a real bummer! And now I like to keep my happy thoughts of this book a bit longer and decided I'll stop reading here and delay the disappointment and read the rest of the books in this series later rather than sooner... Besides, they did a great job in making the movie of this book, maybe they'll do it again in the next two books, so I'll wait for the movie to come out instead of reading Catching Fire and Mockingjay even though I already got them in my TBR shelves.
Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4.5
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = N/A (11 hrs and 14 mins audiobook)
Plot = 3.5
Narrator = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Review: ALL SEEING EYE

All Seeing Eye by Rob Thurman
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback

About All Seeing Eye:
Picking up a small pink shoe from the grass forever changed young Jackson Lee’s life. Not only did its presence mean that his sister Tessa was dead—murdered and stuffed in the deep, black water of a narrow well—but the shoe itself told him so.

Tessa’s death triggers an even more horrific family massacre that, combined with this new talent he neither wants nor can handle, throws Jack’s life into a tailspin. The years quickly take him from state homes to the streets to grifting in a seedy carnival, until he finally becomes the cynical All Seeing Eye, psychic-for-hire. At last, Jackson has left his troubled past behind him and found a semblance of peace.

That is, until the government blackmails him. Helping the military contain the aftermath of a bizarre experiment gone violently wrong, everything Jackson knows about himself will change just as suddenly as it did with his little sister’s shoe.
And while change is constant...It’s never for the better.
Source: Info in the About All Seeing Eye was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13260196-all-seeing-eye on 19/08/2012.

Review:
This book made me cry buckets! Specially towards the end. So make sure you got a box of kleenex handy, just in case. Rob Thurman brought into this book the fantastic story telling quality that I've come to know of her with the Cal Leandros series. And I think, because of that, this book is very fast-paced indeed! Read the book in one day. I got a few nitpicking issues with the reincarnation subject matter but I am willing to let it slide for now for the wonderful reading time that the book gives! I also like the twists in the plot. Things I never saw coming... That was a true bender! Just to add to the creepy factor, here is a screenshot of Jack's house where it all started (a still shot from the trailer)... No, this book is not horror, it's urban fantasy. And the bestest best thing about this book? You don't see any TSTL (too stupid to live) protagonists! The plot does not depend on the characters behaving stupidly in order to create a story! And that is a real gem indeed!! I am not having a dig at Charlaine Harris and other authors like her, because she is a wonderful story teller, am just appreciative of books that does not have TSTL characters in it. This is a stand-alone which I am kinda hoping would have follow-up books because I really like to read more of this world and of Jack! So am keeping my fingers crossed for more books in this series...

So after waxing poetic and all that gushing you might wonder why only 4.5 and not a 5? Well, it's the cover art that brought things down. What can I say? It's NOT a selling point...

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 5
Ending = 4.5
World building = 4
Cover art = 3
Pace = 5
Plot = 5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries


Book Trailer:

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Review: SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS

Shakespeare's Christmas by Charlaine Harris
Book 3 of the Lily Bard mysteries
Narrated by Julia Gibson
Genre: murder mystery
Format: paperback, audiobook

About Shakespeare's Christmas:
Even in a sleepy Arkansas town, the holidays can be murder.

Lily Bard is going home for the holidays. More comfortable in baggy sweats than bridesmaid's frills, Lily isn't thrilled about attending her estranged sister's wedding. She has moved to Shakespeare, Arkansas, to start a new life, cleaning houses for a living, trying to forget the violence that once nearly destroyed her. Now she's heading back to home and hearth--just in time for murder.

The town's doctor and nurse have been bludgeoned to death at the office. And Lily's detective boyfriend suddenly shows up at her parents' door. Jack Leeds is investigating an eight-year-old kidnapping and the trail leads straight to Lily's hometown. It just might have something to do with the murders...and her sister's widowed fiancé. With only three days before the wedding, Lily must work fast to clean up the messy case before her sister commits...marriage!
Source: Info in the About Shakespeare's Christmas was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32513.Shakespeare_s_Christmas 06/05/2012.

Review:
In this book Charlaine Harris veered off the usual main story line which is a small time murder in Shakespeare (though there is still small town murder) and more into the realm of family issues as the backdrop of the murder investigation. This provided a nice change in pace and kept the series from getting boring. While still adhering to the series' main theme which is small town murder. Here we encounter a bit thicker plot than the rest of the series thus far. Though for a murder mystery book, I would still consider the plot a bit thin on the ground. And the cover art continues to fail in it's function as a marketing tool. The main selling point of this book is that, one, it got Charlaine Harris' name on it. And second, it is part of the Lily Bard series which the fan base of the series will surely buy.

A nice little christmas read to remind us of the things which are actually in our lives that we ought to be thankful for!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 2
Pace (audiobook) = N/A (6.5 hours listening time)
Narrator = 3

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries


Thank you to the RCT Library for letting me borrow this book!!

FTC Disclosure:
This audiobook was borrowed from the library. Tha print edition was purchased with private funds. No money received for this review.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

WW28: COLD DAYS

WW28 book offering: Cold Days by Jim Butcher

She came slinking over to me in the silence, her green eyes framed in the quasi-mask of gemstones and some kind of henna inking, and she absolutely smoldered with sex.

That is our hero against villains way above his pay grade... out-gunned, out-powered, and out-numbered with only the world to save... and yeah, he's still alive.

About Cold Days:
HARRY DRESDEN LIVES!!!

After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. Because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard.

He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long. And now, her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter where she wants him to go, and no matter who she wants him to kill.

Guess which Mab wants first?

Of course, it won’t be an ordinary, everyday assassination. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. No problem there, right? And to make matters worse, there exists a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could land Harry in the sort of trouble that will make death look like a holiday.

Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own…

His soul.
Source: Info in the About Cold Days was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12216302-cold-days on 30/11/12.

WW28
A chance to showcase your favourite!
  • First you grab our Wicked Wednesday pic.
  • Then you grab a book. Turn to page 28. Take the first sentence. And then you post it in your site with a link back to WW28.
  • Come back to Cherry Mischievous - WW28 and give us the url of your post (in a comment at a WW28 post) so that other WW28 readers can find your WW28 offering.

Friday, 14 December 2012

TV Series Review: GRIMM (Season 1)

GRIMM
TV series starring David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby and Silas Weir Mitchell.
Season 1
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: DVD box set

About Grimm:
Homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt of the Portland Police Bureau learns he is descended from a line of "guardians" known as "Grimms", charged with keeping balance between humanity and the mythological creatures (called Wesen, pronounced as "vessin") of the world. Throughout the episodes, he must battle against an assortment of dangerous creatures, with help from his friend Monroe (who is a reformed creature), and his partner Detective Hank Griffin.
Source: Info in the About Grimm was taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimm_%28TV_series%29 on 20/11/2012.

My Thoughts:
I like the premise of this show. I think they got that one right! It's like a police Harry Dresden! The urban fantasy geek in me is ecstatic! I also had to give the cinematography lots and lots of kudos for a flawless mixing of fantastical elements with live actors. Excellent digital arts team!! It makes the werewolves and witches and what-nots come alive on the screen and I like that very much! Safe to say that the world building is fantastic! Holey, but fantastic! I am going to reserve judgement about the holes in the world building and keep my fingers crossed that they would do a better with the script in Season 2. Another thing that really bugs me about this series is that this is an american TV show. That means we get it here in the UK a YEAR after it airs in the US! WTF!! *sigh* But that is not the worst part about Grimm Season 1. It's the Season finale which is one whoopping cliffhanger that has me pulling my hair out! I hate cliffhangers!! But because I really, really like the premise I would still buy the Season 2 dvd box set (when it eventually gets here).
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

 
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