Joana R. (Joanana) - Reviews

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The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, Bk 3)
The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, Bk 3)
Author: Philip Pullman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 3/6/2007


This is the third book in Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy.


The Becoming (Anna Strong Chronicles, Bk 1)
The Becoming (Anna Strong Chronicles, Bk 1)
Author: Jeanne C. Stein
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 249
Review Date: 3/6/2007


Follow the tale of a sexy bounty hunter who has been recently turned into a vampire by one of her collars that got away. If you like a blend of humor and sexyness in your book this is definately one for you.


Beyond the Pale (Darkwing Chronicles, Bk 1)
Beyond the Pale (Darkwing Chronicles, Bk 1)
Author: Savannah Russe
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 250
Review Date: 3/6/2007
Helpful Score: 1


Fans of Laurell K Hamilton, Charlain Harris, and Kim Harrison will find this book entertaining. The author choses a rather fresh approach to the concept of vampires and an original plot. To be honest though I found her writing style lacking.


Butcher
Butcher
Author: Gary C. King
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 23
Review Date: 10/2/2009
Helpful Score: 2


When I pick up a true crime novel there are certain elements that I expect it to consist of. I expect it to be an accurate recounting of the events surrounding the incident that is being chronicled. I also expect the book to contain pertinent information on the case, the victims, and hopefully it will provide a bit of insight into the criminal's mind. It's not a lot to ask for in a true crime novel, is it? Yet, strangely enough, there seem to be quite a few true crime authors who routinely miss the mark. Gary C. King is, thankfully, not one these authors.

King's accounts were clear and left no room for hiding facts or twisting the truth. Instead he presented the facts of the story, and a great deal of information as well, and let the readers come to their conclusions. As a result I could finally understand just how a killer like Pickton could hunt in the same grounds for over and decade and continue on with seeming impunity. I found myself becoming disgusted with the obvious disregard that law enforcement viewed the continued disappearances of Pickton's victims and their bumbling attempts at investigation. Their interrogation was truly laughable and the way he was eventually caught was purely luck. Very saddening.

Despite enjoying the book there were enough flaws present that kept me from awarding it a four-star rating. The biggest detracting factor was the way the book started off. While I thought it was wonderful that King fleshed out the stories of Pickton's victims, thus making them real and human for readers, the way in which their stories was strung together and presented was initially jarring and confusing. The time line that the author attempts to build during the first ten or so chapters comes off choppy and can make it difficult for the reader to keep everything in focus. Especially since there is some chronological jumping around. While discussing the victims, specifically the older ones that have not yet had charges brought against Pickton for, King makes comments and references facts and later events that those not entirely familiar with the case will find confusing.

Given the fact that the Canadian authorities did a spectacularly awful job interviewing and interrogating Pickton, I'm not entirely sure why the author felt the need to dedicate so many chapters to the interrogation. I felt it would have been much better for King to give the readers brief glimpses of the interrogations, for the sole purpose of viewing the authorities poor abilities, and then conveying the information discovered in the author's own words. The authorities' methods and attempts read like a badly written B-movie and there was just no saving that section. As a result it dragged the novel down and detracted from King's otherwise wonderful writing.

I must confess that I was also disappointed with the photos included in this book. The book is billed as having â16 pages of disturbing photosâ and yet there wasn't anything truly disturbing about the photos provided. The courtroom sketches of Pickton were haunting, yes, and the photos of some of the victims was saddening, but there was nothing out and out disturbing about them. In fact, they were all photos that could have been safely used on the front cover of a newspaper and probably have been. Not what I would expect to see in a true crime novel that purports to have âdisturbingâ photos.


Cat Toy
Cat Toy
Author: Illian Obsidian
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 11/21/2007
Helpful Score: 2


Upon completion of this novel I was sorely tempted to dangle my copy above some candles and watch it burst into flame. I suspect that would have been more entertaining than reading it proved to be. The pyromaniac temptation, no doubt, was inspired by the candle pictured on the cover. I'm really not sure what the other item on the cover is supposed to be however. A cat paw maybe? The ambiguity of the second item is reminiscent to how I felt when I thought about what the author's purpose in writing this book might have been.

Cat Toy revolves around four characters, primarily Yai (John) a human space pilot who crashed on a planet inhabited by Cat People, of which the population seems to be made up primarily of men. Tryl is the cat man who found John, named him Yai, and took him as his slave.

Initially, the story's synopsis sounds promising. Science fiction meets romance, right? While there is space travel, planets inhabited by strange creatures, and some interesting technology, by way of the shuttles and the translating devices, that's about it for the science fiction aspect of it. There is no real character exploration, no real discernible plot, and a complete lack of depth. The story itself is roughly eighty-plus pages in length; the author could have really used another eighty pages to flesh out her characters and plot.

Full review: http://review.nanashi-inc.net/?p=81


A Charmed Death (Bewitching, Bk 2)
A Charmed Death (Bewitching, Bk 2)
Author: Madelyn Alt
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 339
Review Date: 3/6/2007
Helpful Score: 1


One of the better mystery books I've read recently, made especially so by the interesting blend of magic and intrigue. My main criticism is that the author seems to depend on her supporting characters too much to carry the main character and the story. Other than that a definate must read.


How To Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake, Bk 1)
How To Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake, Bk 1)
Author: Kerrelyn Sparks
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 639
Review Date: 3/28/2007
Helpful Score: 22


When I initially picked up this book I anticipated a humorous vampire novel. I expected it to have its serious moments but overall I expected to find a light, funny, and entertaining book. The title of the book alone is enough to make you want to laugh after all. I was glad to see that I was not disappointed in that aspect.

Kerrelyn Sparks does a superb job of taking every stereotype of a vampire novel and turning them on their heads. Roman Draganesti, the hero of the tale, might be tall, dark, handsome, and brooding but thats where the typical vampire cliche ends. Roman might be a millionaire and the owner of Romatech but hes not exactly your typical millionaire either. Hes a total nerd, a former monk, and hell bent on saving the lives of mortals everywhere. Hes the creator of synthetic blood and hes even developed a line of flavored blood for vampires to savor. Flavors include Chocolood (chocolate blood), Blood Lite (a fat free blood formula) and several others.

Then there is the heroine, Shanna Whelan, a dentist and a part of the witness protection agency after witnessing and testifying against members of the Russian mafia. Did I mention that this dentist has a blood phobia as well? Shes a bit corny and campy and these two characters are bound to give the readers a non stop laughfest that will leave your sides hurting and tears rolling down your cheek.

If that doesnt do it for you then Im sure the kilt wearing bodyguards or even VANNA, the sex toy for vampires will do it for you.

The one major criticism of this book and the factor that kept me from giving it four stars is the unbelievably predictable plot. There wasnt a single thing that came as a surprise. As each event unfolded you knew how the next few pieces were going to fall into place. Even if, by some odd chance, you didnt manage to suspect how the next events were going to unfold then the authors corny one-liners at the end of each scene would clue you in. While humor and an easy to follow storyline are great it is also helpful to leave the reader somethings they need to figure out for themselves. After all, who likes to be told every single detail? Isnt the fun in reading a book the chance to step into an imaginary world and to piece it together step by step?

Things also tended to fall into place a little too easily and some characters were just plain corny. This might irritate people who like to see characters struggle along and grow as they overcome tribulations. If you take the book for what it was meant, a light comedy and parody of typical books in the vampire romance genre, then youll enjoy it. Though I must confess, even I was gnashing my teeth at the way the author quickly and poorly tied everything up in two pages.


James Herriot's Cat Stories
James Herriot's Cat Stories
Author: Lesley Holmes (Illustrator), James Herriot
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 128
Review Date: 3/7/2007
Helpful Score: 4


A must read for all cat lovers. Multiple short stories of the adventures of cats told by a veternarian.


Possession (Blood Ties, Bk 2)
Possession (Blood Ties, Bk 2)
Author: Jennifer Armintrout
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 278
Review Date: 3/24/2007


The story takes place two months after the events of the first book, The Turning, and they start off with a shocker. Cyrus has been resurrected-as a human and Nathan has been possessed!


Vamps : Deadly Women of The Night
Vamps : Deadly Women of The Night
Author: Martin Greenberg
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 3/6/2007


This is a compilation of several different short stories by different authors and they all revolve around vampires. Great for a quick read.


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