Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jackson Pearce's April Contest

For the past several months, Jackson Pearce has been holding contests to win a copy of her upcoming novel Sisters Red. Now, if you're like me, you are wicked excited for this book. It comes out June 7, 2010, but if you want the chance to win an ARC of it now (along with other goodies), then check out the video below and make sure you head over to jacksonpearce.com


If you've never watched any of Jackson Pearce's Youtube videos, you are seriously missing out. Her videos always make me laugh.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby

Title: Zombie Queen of Newbury High
Author: Amanda Ashby
Publisher: Puffin
Paperback, 199 pages
Date Published: March 5, 2009

Description (Taken from Goodreads) 
Quiet, unpopular,non-cheerleading Mia is blissfully happy. She is dating super hot football god Rob, and he actually likes her and asked her to prom! Enter Samantha--cheerleading goddess and miss popularity--who starts making a move for Rob. With prom in a few days, Mia needs to act fast. So she turns to her best friend, Candice, and decides to do a love spell on Rob. Unfortunately, she ends up inflicting a zombie virus onto her whole class, making herself their leader! At first she is flattered that everyone is treating her like a queen. But then zombie hunter hottie Chase explains they are actually fattening her up, because in a few days, Mia will be the first course in their new diet. She's sure she and Chase can figure something out, but she suggests that no one wear white to prom, because things could get very messy.  
Mia Everett has just been crowned queen; zombie queen that is. Mia was once a regular, happy, blissfully unaware teenager living a life full of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, hot boyfriend/football god Rob, and best friend Candice, but that all changed when pom-pom waving Samantha decided to steal her boyfriend. Following Candice’s advice, Mia casts a love spell that horribly backfires and turns the entire school into flesh-eating zombies and Mia just happens to be their queen…the first person they plan on eating. With the help of new boy Chase, Mia just might make it through prom in one piece.

Zombie Queen of Newbury High is an exciting and fun read. It isn’t all that original, but Amanda Ashby makes up for it with her witty dialogue and pop-culture references. Mia is my kind of girl in the sense that she is obsessed with Buffy and not too big a fan of cheerleading. She is easy to relate and funny. At times she can be more than a little clueless, but it’s almost endearing. Candice had me laughing throughout the book, particularly when she decides to lick Mia’s arm. The tertiary characters are also amusing and pretty much brainless (hello zombies!!), but Chase really steals the show. It amazes me how long Mia remains clueless to how much he likes her. There’s a good amount of action, especially towards the end as well, so it definitely kept me entertained.

This one is a very short read and is great for a quick, fun read. Even though it’s not the most memorable book, it is still very enjoyable and worth the read.

Opening line: Mia Everett was doomed. ~ pg. 1

Favorite line: “And by ‘outside the box,’ you mean in a weird shop that’s run by an old woman who looks like she was shipped over on the Mayflower?” ~ pg. 16
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Vacation Time

EDIT: I have internet here in Florida, so I'll try to get at least a few posts in this week

I'm leaving today for a vacation in Florida so I can't guarantee I'll be posting anything. I don't know if we have internet connection where we are staying. I have a few reviews I meant to post this past week, so I'll attempt to get them up while I'm away if I can.

Have a great week everyone!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Prophecy of Days, Book One: The Daykeeper's Grimoire

 
Waiting on Wednesdays is an event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

I haven't done a WoW in a while, but I had to spotlight Prophecy of Days - Book One: The Daykeeper's Grimoire by Christy Raedeke.

PROPHECY OF DAYS, BOOK ONE: THE DAYKEEPER’S GRIMOIRE is the story of Caity Mac Fireland, a girl from San Francisco whose parents drag her to an isle off the coast of Scotland to manage some family property. Caity finds that a Mayan relic is concealed there, intentionally left centuries ago by Mayan Daykeepers in an attempt to keep their profound knowledge about the year 2012 alive into the current era.

As she delves into this world of secret knowledge, Caity is helped along by a visiting family friend and Feng Shui master, Uncle Li; a Mayan elder named Bolon; and Mr. Papers, her pet monkey that communicates through origami. A handsome Scottish lad gets pulled into the intrigue, as do several other people with questionable motives and loyalties. Caity must weave together a tapestry of information in order to make her radical discovery, a mystery protected by an elite coterie of power-brokers who influence world events. Caity’s twenty-first century mind is put to the test as she tries to uncover the answer to an ancient riddle while trying to outwit this powerful group that will stop at nothing to control the secret, and her. 

Prophecy of Days will be released May 1, 2010


Monday, April 19, 2010

Music Mondays - (4/19/10)

Music Mondays spotlights a band/artist that I particularly enjoy. I'm not sure who started it, but I know that Reverie Book Reviews does the same thing.
 
Some of you may know that I currently live in NH and I have for more than half of my life now. I recently saw an article about these NH people making a NH-based rap to the Jay-Z song "Empire State of Mind." It is hilarious and I though I'd share it with everyone.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pretty Little Liars


Pretty Little Liars is a book series by Sara Shepard. The series follows 4 high school girls after the disappearance of one of their friends. ABC Family is now making the series into a TV show and I'm debating whether or not I should read it.

The PLL series seems to have a very Gossip Girl feel to it and I wasn't all that into those books. The series has pretty good ratings on Goodreads, but I'm not completely sold on it. The preview for the show looks decent and sort of reminds me of Gossip Girl meets Desperate Housewives. I'll give the show a try, but I haven't decided on the books.

So, has anyone out there read any of the PLL books? Are they any good? Should I at least read the first one before the show debuts?

Anyway, here's a sneak peak at the show:




Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones

Title: The Owl Keeper
Author: Christine Brodien-Jones
Publisher: Delacorte Press
ARC, 306 pages
Date Published: April 13, 2010

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
Maxwell Unger has always loved the night. He used to do brave things like go tramping through the forest with his gran after dark. He loved the stories she told him about the world before the Destruction—about nature, and books, and the silver owls. His favorite story, though, was about the Owl Keeper.

According to Max’s gran, in times of darkness the Owl Keeper would appear to unite owls and sages against the powers of the dark. Gran is gone now, and so are her stories of how the world used to be. Max is no longer brave. The forest is dangerous, the books Gran had saved have been destroyed, and the silver owls are extinct. At least that’s what the High Echelon says. But Max knows better.

Maxwell Unger has a secret. And when a mysterious girl comes to town, he might just have to start being brave again.

The time of the Owl Keeper, Gran would say, is coming soon.


Years in the future, the world we all know has been transformed and the High Echelon is in charge of everything. The citizens are assigned to jobs and lives and the once beautiful land and wildlife is nonexistent. The silver owls that once roamed the skies are said to be extinct and both their song and their magic is gone. Max Unger is an often scared, frail eleven year old boy who has lived much of his life in the dark. Max is told that he is allergic to sun particles, so the majority of his time is spent indoors. His nights give him freedom and he roams the land around his home. One night, Max discovers a beautiful silver owl. Several nights later, a bossy, wild-looking girl by the name of Rose comes into Max’s life and changes it forever. Max and Rose set out on an adventure that tests their character and hope.

The Owl Keeper is an exquisite story of the hope that children can cling to. The start is a little slow, but once I hit page 70 or so, the action was non-stop and I couldn’t even put the book down. The beginning really builds the story and since there is so much to know about this world that Max is living in and the mythology surrounding it, the build up is necessary. Once the lore is set in place, we begin to see the cracks in the High Echelon's society turn into fissures. Max quickly realizes that maybe all is not as it seems and he begins to blossom as a character. It is impossible not to love Max and I was completely devoted to everything he is going through. When Max was younger, he did everything with his grandmother and that’s how he discovered his love for the night. He used to go exploring with his Gran and spend hours learning about the silver owls, but when Max is 7, his Gran dies and everything changes. Little things remind Max of his Gran and you can really feel that loss and despair radiating off of him.

Rose is the complete opposite of Max. She’s fearless and outspoken and a rough and tumble kind of girl. She drives Max crazy, but he still adores her and the reader will too. Their friendship grows so much throughout the novel and their layers are peeled away perfectly. The world of The Owl Keeper is expertly crafted with so many interesting creatures and places. Christine Brodien-Jones has created an entirely new world with mythological creature and prophecies. It is absolutely absorbing and a refreshing dystopian novel. I will say that it feels much more like a MG novel than a YA novel, but I still loved it. The ending leaves it open for a sequel, but could also be an open ending that lets the reader imagine what could follow.

Opening line: When Max first saw the girl that night, standing beneath the owl tree, he thought she was ghost or a vision, or maybe a comic-book character come to life. ~ pg. 1

Favorite line: Absolute Dark, he realized, was here. ~ pg. 117

*This is the ARC version and words, sentences, cover art, etc. may have changed before official publication

4.5
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Music Mondays - (4/12/10)

Music Mondays spotlights a band/artist that I particularly enjoy. I'm not sure who started it, but I know that Reverie Book Reviews does the same thing.
 
I just discovered Charlie Mars, but I absolutely adore his music. I also absolutely adore the show Weeds, which just happens to star Mary Louise Parker, who just happens to star in Charlie Mars' music video for "Listen to the Darkside." 


Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus by R.L. LaFevers

Title: Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus
Author: R.L. LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
ARC, 375 pages
Date Published: April 12, 2010

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
Being able to detect black magic isn’t all tea and crumpets—and for Theodosia Throckmorton, it can be a decidedly tricky business! When Sticky Will drags Theo to a magic show featuring the Great Awi Bubu, she quickly senses there is more to the magician than he lets on, setting in motion a chain of events she never could have bargained for.

Meanwhile, back at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities, Henry is home for the spring holidays and makes an accidental discovery of an artifact that alchemists have been hunting for centuries. Soon, every black-cloaked occultist in London is trying to get their hands on it...

Theodosia is on another adventure in this third novel in the series. Theodosia visits an Egyptian magician’s magic show along with Will and his brothers and learns that the Great Awi Bubu may be more of a magician than he lets on. After Theodosia discovers the Emerald Tablet, an artifact which is rumored to hold the secret to turn ordinary metal into gold, Awi Bubu pays her a visit, along with the Arcane Society of the Black Sun and the Serpents of Chaos.

More secret societies abound and once again, 11 year-old Theodosia is the only person with the power and the knowledge to defeat the bad guys and save the world from potential chaos.

Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus is another action-packed story full of mystery and intrigue. Theodosia discovers the mythological Emerald Tablet and every worshiper of dark magic comes running her way. The Great Awi Bubu claims he is a member of a secret society that is in place to protect artifacts like the Emerald Tablet. The Serpents of Chaos want it to wreak havoc across the globe, the Arcane Order of the Black Sun wan it for their own personal means, and the Brotherhood of Chosen Keepers refuses to acknowledge that the Tablet holds any sort of power. That leaves Theodosia in quite a pickle. She has no adults to turn to and her suspicions of Clive Fagenbush are as strong as ever. Without any adults she can trust and depend on, Theodosia turns to her younger brother Henry and her friend Will. Will Theodosia be able to save the day or will she perish like so many artifacts lost over time?

R.L. LaFevers gives us another strong adventure novel starring the one and only Theodosia Throckmorton. The opening to Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus was a bit slower than the previous two novels, but the once the action picked up a bit, it went non-stop. The mythology behind the Emerald Tablet and the secret societies that are vying for it is original and interesting. I was captivated by the Great Awi Bubu and I only wish he was more central to the story. The integration of several secret societies can be a little tiresome, but the unusual and varied characters move the story along nicely.

Theodosia often works alone and rarely seeks assistance, but this time she needs the help and finds it in the form of her friend Will. It was great to get more depth to both Will and Theo’s brother Henry, as they both play a much larger role in this one. Will is ever loyal and even though Theodosia views Henry as an annoying younger brother, you can truly see how much she cares for him. Theodosia is a mere 11 years old, but it feels like she has grown a great deal with this installment and I look forward to seeing where her adventures take her in the future. Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus delves into Theo’s rare and startling ability to detect black magic. She doesn’t understand it, but she may soon get some answers. I have a feeling the next installment will tell the tale regarding exactly how Theo came to have the powers she possesses.

Opening line: I hate being followed. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines: A wave of longing for those simpler days swept through me, leaving me nearly breathless. I missed that innocence, that special alone time with Mother. Instead, here I was pinching her perfume so I could prevent a fake mummy’s very real ghost from haunting my younger brother. ~ pg. 226

*This is the ARC version and words, sentences, cover art, etc. may have changed before official publication 
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Devouring by Simon Holt

Title: The Devouring 
Author: Simon Holt
Publisher: Little, Brown
Paperback, 231 pages
Date Published: September 1, 2008

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
When Reggie finds an old journal and reads about the Vours, supernatural creatures who feast on fear and attack on the eve of the winter solstice, she assumes they are just the musings of some lunatic author. But soon, they become a terrifying reality when she begins to suspect that her timid younger brother might be one of their victims.

Risking her life and her sanity, Reggie enters a living nightmare to save the people she loves. Can she devour own her fears before they devour her?

Bone-chilling, terrifying, thrilling...what are you waiting for?

Sorry Night comes but once a year and when Reggie discovers a strange journal describing monstrous beings called Vours that steal the bodies of the fearful on that night, she can’t wait to scare herself. Reggie and her best friend Aaron have a fearful night, but it’s Reggie’s 8 year-old brother Henry who is really terrified. Henry believes in the Vours and that belief gives them power. Henry’s fear, combined with Sorry Night, results in Reggie realizing that some monsters are real. And the Vours have taken her brother. Reggie lives for horror, but what happens when the horror becomes real life and Reggie must fight her deepest fears to save the person she loves most?

Reggie is a horror movie buff with an incredible love for her younger brother Henry. She is only 15, but after her mother walks out on her family, Reggie basically becomes Henry’s mom. She does everything a mother and housewife would do, while attempting to maintain her own identity and be a teenager. There are some great scenes where Reggie’s frustrations boil over and she just explodes at her dad. The responsibility that is thrust at Reggie is too much for such a young girl to handle. Reggie is angry at her mother for leaving, but at the same time, she is absolutely desperate for her to return. Everyday, Reggie cries in the shower because she has to put on a brave face and be the strong one for Henry. Her only reprieve and outlet for a normal teenage life, comes in the form of Reggie’s best friend Aaron. Aaron is a caffeine junkie who also has a love for anything to do with horror. They watch the movies, read the books, and their self-declared geekdom works for them. Together, they make quite the team and when they think they can save Henry from the Vour who has his body, Reggie’s bravery and Aaron’s wits are all they have to depend on.

The Vours have the ability to take over the body of the most fearful people. Henry is a naturally skittish child, so when Reggie reads from the journal, he is 100% convinced that Vours are real. The day after Sorry Night, Henry is no longer the sweet child that he once was and it soon becomes clear that he has been taken over. The Vours are made of smoke and cannot stand the cold. They prey on a person’s deepest, darkest fears and once they have you, your soul could be lost forever. Reggie is able to connect with Henry’s soul through his body and she is thrust into his most potent fears. This place is called a fearscape and it could very well hold the secrets to saving Henry.

The Devouring seems to have gotten a lot of mixed reviews and I began reading it with no expectations at all. Let me just say that I was amazed. Simon Holt has created a fearful, bone-chilling story that could easily become a terrifying horror film. It also happens to have what may be the best prologue I have ever read. I was instantly sucked into the story and there was no letting up. The story is based on fear and supernatural creatures that lurk in the night, but it also focuses on the real, human issues that Reggie faces without her mother. Both Reggie and Henry adored their mother and without her, they depend on each other. Their devotion and love for one another is so passionate and true. Reggie would do anything to save her brother because she loves him.

At the heart, The Devouring is a blood-curdling YA horror novel. The story is quite graphic and that may turn many readers off, but it works so well here. The gore and the blood aren’t overdone and they help to create a perfectly creepy atmosphere that will have you turning on every light and looking under the bed. The Devouring is a chilling tale with a piercing cold that tears the skin and penetrates the heart. This is a horror story and it will shake you to the core and make you ask, ‘what am I really afraid of?’

Just a side note: This is the first in a series, so the ending is left open for more.

Opening line (from Prologue): On Sorry Night, just a few days before Christmas, you have to snuff the lamps, douse the flames in the fireplace, and spend the night in the cold and dark. ~ pg. 1

Opening lines (from Chapter 1): “Stop Reggie!” Henry barked from beneath his quilt. “Don’t read anymore!”

Favorite lines: “Because if you bury your nose deep and breathe through the life of a rose, through the flesh and the earth and the beauty, you smell the death inside…It doesn’t think, not like humans, but it feels. And it fears. A rose’s perfume is the terror of its own approaching death.” ~ pg. 201
Definitely a 4.5
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Reminder about Princess Bookie's Contest Craze


Just a reminder that Princess Bookie's Contest Craze is still going on. Tons of contests have been posted today, so make sure you check it out. 

Most (if not all) of the contests end tomorrow, April 11th, so don't forget to head over there.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Think About It Thursday (5): Blog Hate

Image used under Creative Commons - Original belongs to Salady
This is my first Think About It Thursday in a while, but I felt it was necessary to make this post.

Earlier today, Reggie from The Undercover Book Lover made a post about some comment hate that she received. I've only been blogging for less than a year, so I'm relatively new to this entire online community, but I've seen other book bloggers who have gotten the equivalent of hate mail in the form of comments on their posts.

In my own personal experience, I have only found other bloggers to be completely supportive and more than kind. Obviously, there are going to be angry and bitter? people out there who have the sole purpose of tearing another person down, but does it happen often? In your experience, have you seen/gotten rude or hateful comments or emails?

In my opinion, if you don't like someone's blog or your upset with something they have done, then don't follow them. Why would you traffic a website that you don't enjoy? If I didn't enjoy a site, I wouldn't visit it to leave comments that are intended to hurt.

From one blogger to another, grow up. It's unnecessary and rude to leave hateful comments on someone else's hard work. If you have that much of a problem and you absolutely need to get it out, email them. If  it happened to me and it was a legitimate comment/email, I'll respond. If it's just to hate on me, I'll delete it and forget about it.

Blogs are created for a creative and enjoyable escape. We use them for our own personal means and just hope that others enjoy them. If someone happens to receive many ARCs for review, it just proves how much work he/she has put into their blog. I hope to reach that point someday, but for now I'm content with what I'm doing. If someone else is upset over another blogger receiving ARCs then that person needs to seriously reevaluate his/her priorities and values. Why get upset over someone else's blog?? It boggles my mind.

Anyway, feel free to sound off on the subject and head over to Reggie's blog and leave her some <3 love <3


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Title: Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Paperback, 331 pages
Date Published: April 9, 2006


Description (Taken from Goodreads)
"Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell." Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive "ship of fools." It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act - in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.
An unexpected bend in Jacob Jankowski’s seemingly straight road makes him abandon the only life he ever knew and start anew with a second-class circus that is barely managing to make it from city to city. The 23 year old Jacob lands aboard a train housing The Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth and the experience is something he’ll never forget. Fat ladies, dwarves, lions, and Rosie, an elephant that manages to find a way into Jacob’s heart, give the newcomer a lifetime of memories. As the new circus veterinarian, Jacob falls in love with the amber-eyed Rosie. The majestic animal carves a place out in his heart and he can’t seem to let her go. The same is true for Marlena, a beautiful equestrian rider, who happens to be married to August, a man with a temper and a severe case of mood swings. The Benzini Bros circus is run by Uncle Al, a man who is more than willing to get his hands dirty during this Depression era tale. Jacob learns firsthand what Uncle Al and August will do and his tale on the traveling circus has just as much pain and anger as any circus has joys.

Water for Elephants is an exquisitely written tale set during the 1930’s Depression. Sara Gruen has crafted an unforgettable story through Jacob and The Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Jacob is such a flawed character with so much confusion, sadness, longing, and joy; it is impossible to not be taken by him and invested in his tale. The chapters cut back and forth between a 23 year old Jacob learning the ropes as a new vet for the Benzini Bros and a 90-something year old Jacob, These alternating chapters were so meticulously weaved together and flowed so well that it was nearly impossible for me to stop reading.

After the unexpected death of his parents, Jacob becomes the accidental veterinarian to the Benzini Bros menagerie. Jacob’s position in the circus lies somewhere between the working men and the performers, so he is able to see how both sides live. Marlena comes into Jacob’s life and he is instantly taken. His on again-off again friendship with Marlena’s husband, August, forces Jacob to hold his feelings back, but one slip changes everything. August is an easily angered man and the elephant Rosie has already experienced his brutality. After a celebratory night turns into a misunderstanding, Jacob comes to some life-changing realizations. The young man must then think of how best to save himself, his Rosie, and so many others aboard this second-rate traveling circus train.

Sara Gruen has done something incredible with Water for Elephants. She has managed to create a vastly rich and vivid world that hosts delightfully riveting characters. August is sometimes charming brute with a mean streak and an even meaner fist. Uncle Al looks the part of a ringleader, but behind the scenes he is more than willing to ring a few necks. Walter comes off as angry, uncaring dwarf of a man, but his soft side is so much bigger than he lets people see. Marlena is an astonishingly beautiful woman who has a fire burning in her eyes. And then there’s Jacob. He is witty, loving, angry, na├»ve, but above all else, he is passionate. Jacob is young and he has no idea where his life is going or what he’ll be doing in years to come, but he knows what type of person he wants to be. His passion for life and for Marlena and the animals on the circus radiates right off of the page.

Water for Elephants
is not simply a story about a circus traveling Americana. It is a story of a man who just happens to be a part of a traveling circus and how 3 months shaped the man he would become. Jacob Jankowski was planning on becoming a veterinarian and at the ripe old age of 91 (or 93), he is able to recall how those 3 months and the people he met, changed his life forever.

Sara Gruen has amazed me with Water for Elephants. It's been a long time since I've read such an engrossing and unique story with an unforgettable backdrop to even more unforgettable characters. At times, the story can be unexpectedly cruel, but those moments are countered by incredible kindness and overshadowed by beautifully honest and realistic characters. Water for Elephants has a magical aura that leaps off each and every page and I recommend that everyone open the book and “Let the show begin!”


Opening line (from the prologue): Only three people were left under the red and white awning of the grease joint: Grady, me, and the fry cook. ~ pg. 1

Opening lines (from chapter 1): “I am ninety. Or ninety-three. One or the other.” ~ pg. 5

Favorite lines (I couldn’t pick just one): So long ago. So long. But it sill haunts me. ~ pg. 4

In seventy years, I’ve never told a blessed soul. ~ pg. 4

“For this old man, this is home.” ~ pg. 331

*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Music Mondays - (4/5/10)

Music Mondays spotlights a band/artist that I particularly enjoy. I'm not sure who started it, but I know that Reverie Book Reviews does the same thing.

I've been really into Neon Trees lately, so here's their single "Animal"



Sunday, April 4, 2010

In My Mailbox - (4/4/10)

I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter!

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is a list of any of the books you may have received in the past week from bookstores, libraries, authors/publishers, trades, etc.

I've done an excellent job not spending my money on books. The past several weeks, I haven't bought any books, but there are so many I want now, so I don't think that will last much longer.
 Won:
Num8ers by Rachel Ward from All Things Urban Fantasy

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris by R.L. LaFevers

Title: Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris
Author: R.L. LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Paperback, 387 pages
Date Published: November 18, 2008

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
Theodosia Throckmorton is in a fix. Allowed to attend a reception given by one of the directors of her parents' museum, she stumbles across Mr. Tetley of the British Museum—in most unusual circumstances! Since Theo has last seen him in a showdown in an ancient Egyptian tomb, his reappearance could mean only one thing: the Serpents of Chaos are back. Once again Theodosia will have to take on secret societies, evil curses, and dark magic too sinister to imagine, especially if it falls into the wrong hands. Blocked at every turn, Theodosia will have to rely on her own skill and cunning—along with a little help from the most unexpected places. 
Theodosia Throckmorton, the 11 year-old daughter of the head curator of the Museum of Legends and Antiquities, is at it again in this fun, action-filled second installment. Theodosia is once again faced with squaring off with the Serpents of Chaos, a secret society bent on spreading chaos throughout the world. This time around, the Serpents of Chaos are focused on the Staff of Osiris, a mythological artifact that is said to have the power to cause instant death, as well as the ability to raise the dead. Theodosia comes to discover the staff, brings some mummies back to life, turn a statue of Anubis into a living jackal, and lose all three soon after. How will Theodosia get the staff back, clear the suspicions that her father is behind the mummy thefts, and manage to deal with several secret societies while attempting to save the world…again?

Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris is just as entertaining, and even more action-packed, than the first one. It is a fun adventure that will have the reader snooping along with Theodosia as she trails secret societies and attempts to escape her Grandmother’s attempts at making her into a proper young lady. Theodosia longs to assists her parents at the museum and when her father asks her to catalog the items in the basement, she is more than a little apprehensive. Theodosia discovers the Staff of Osiris down in the catacombs of the Museum of Legends and Antiquities and after she accidentally activates it, all of London is plagued with wandering mummies that are drawn to the staff. After the staff is stolen, Theodosia is tasked with locating it and stopping the Serpents of Chaos from using it to start a war. At the same time, she must deal with governess after governess, as well as the discovery of yet another secret society that wants to worship her because they think she is the reincarnation of the goddess Isis.

Throughout the story, Theodosia must use her wits, her knowledge about Egyptian history and artifacts, and her extensive knowledge about ancient magic to put a stop to the chaos that looms over London. Her suspicions about Clive Fagenbush linger, but the arrival of new First Assistant Curator, Vicary Weems, gives her a new opponent in the museum. The mummies that are raised by the staff began wandering to the museum, that is, until the staff is stolen. Theodosia’s father is accused of stealing all the mummies, so while Theodosia must deal with the crisis at hand; she must also find a way to clear her father’s name. On top of all of her other problems, Theodosia finds that her friend, and former pickpocket, Sticky Will, has been acting more than a little strange. He is moody and secretive and Theodosia can only believe the worst.

Once again, R.L. LaFevers does a wonderful job of creating an intelligent and enjoyable adventure for Theodosia. The action is non-stop and the Egyptian history is dispersed so well throughout the novel that the reader will be yearning for more. The red herrings had me going for a while and there were a few characters that surprised me in the end. All that being said, it is more than a little unrealistic for an 11 year-old to hold both the necessary intelligence, bravery, and piece of mind to be able to get through these life and death situations. Theodosia's loving, but oblivious parents can also be very frustrating and could easily be up for the worst parents of the year award. They love their daughter, but it feels like she is just their duty. They had a child (two actually, since Theo has a younger brother as well) and now they have to fit her into their lives somehow. Still, it is refreshing to have such a strong-willed, intelligent young heroine who is able to go on the kinds of adventures that used to be reserved for the boys. I look forward to seeing what else Theodosia has up her sleeve (or in her sarcophagus).

Opening line: The lace on my party frock itched horribly. ~ pg. 1

Favorite line: “Why does any man turn bad? Greed, sorrow, bitterness. A combination of the three? We will likely never know.” ~ pg. 382
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.
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