Cora R. (corar) - Reviews

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Baby Einstein: Babies (Baby Einstein)
Baby Einstein: Babies (Baby Einstein)
Author: Julie Aigner-Clark
Book Type: Board book
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 6/27/2008
Helpful Score: 1


My children loved these small Baby Einstein board books when they were 1 year old. They are the perfect size for little hands to look at the books by themselves and they fit in the diaper bag great. The Babies book was very cute with pictures of all kinds of babies. My children loved looking at pictures of other babies. There are cartoons, line drawings, art, and photographs of all kinds of babies.


The Black Company (The Chronicle of the Black Company, Bk 1)
The Black Company (The Chronicle of the Black Company, Bk 1)
Author: Glen Cook
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 88
Review Date: 10/11/2009
Helpful Score: 1


The Black Company is a fresh perspective on a typical fantasy story. Like most fantasy, there are evil villains and rebel forces that are trying to overthrow an evil sorceress that is ruling the land as a tyrant. What makes this book different is that it is told from the point of view of a member of a group of mercenaries that is working for the evil sorceress. The story takes place in the trenches and the reader does not know any more about what is going on than the main character knows (the story is told in first person). I found the new (to me) point of view interesting. I liked many of the characters in the black company and I found myself rooting for them, even though they were on the bad guy's side. The book was a slow read for me. I think this is because it was written from this perspective. At times it was frustrating that there were holes in the story, but that is because the character telling the story did not know what was going on either. Overall I am glad I read the book and I will be picking up the next book in the series soon.


Black Magic Woman (Quincey Morris, Bk 1)
Black Magic Woman (Quincey Morris, Bk 1)
Author: Justin Gustainis
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 35
Review Date: 2/11/2011


I found this book very entertaining. Most of the characters were interesting, although I felt the author developed Quincey the least. The chase to stop the evil doers was suspenseful, but the conclusion was a little bit of a let down. Overall, it was a quick enjoyable read that fans of supernatural investigators will enjoy.


The Book of Lost Things
The Book of Lost Things
Author: John Connolly
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 73
Review Date: 6/26/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I loved this book. I liked how Connolly uses the dark versions of fairy tales to populate the world, yet there are also good friends for David to rely on. I also enjoyed how the character grew throughout the book, from a kid that needed protecting to a young man who was able to protect himself and others. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys dark fantasy or Grimm's version of fairy tales.


The Boy In the Striped Pajamas (Movie Tie-in Edition)
The Boy In the Striped Pajamas (Movie Tie-in Edition)
Author: John Boyne
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 47
Review Date: 2/11/2011
Helpful Score: 2


This book was an interesting perspective on the horrors of concentration camps and the Holocaust. Bruno is unaware of the true nature of his father's job and the people on the other side of the fence, but the reader is not. As the story unfolded, I found myself bracing myself from the inevitable conclusion. The author's message that this will happen again and has happened since in other parts of the world is one that is definitely worth remembering.


Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 3)
Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, Bk 3)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 2697
Review Date: 8/11/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I really enjoyed reading this book. In fact I think it has been my favorite Southern Vampire novel thus far. The characters were fun and the story was not too confusing. Unlike the last book, this time Harris stuck to one clear mystery so it did not seem as random. I liked the new characters introduced, especially Alcide, and I liked that Harris is still letting the read learn more about the culture of supernatural creatures. I will definitely continue reading the series.


Dawn (Xenogenesis, Bk 1)
Dawn (Xenogenesis, Bk 1)
Author: Octavia E. Butler
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 55
Review Date: 8/23/2009


I really enjoyed this novel. It raises a lot of questions about identity, both individual and as a species. It was interesting how Butler predicted how different types of people would react to this extreme situation and what her characters reveal that she thought about human nature. I will definitely read the rest of the Xenogenesis series.


Death Masks (Dresden Files, Bk 5)
Death Masks (Dresden Files, Bk 5)
Author: Jim Butcher
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 477
Review Date: 10/29/2009


Harry Dresden is back in this novel full of non-stop action. Not only is Harry dealing with the war with the Red Court Vampires, but some bodies have shown up that have been killed by a force stronger than anything he has ever faced. Throw in Susan showing up again and a missing religious artifact and you have a book that barely gives Harry or the reader time to catch their breath. The multiple story lines and non-stop action left me a little dizzy and confused at times. However, I was impressed with how Butcher was able develop more depth to some of the peripheral characters amidst all of the action. That is what keeps me coming back to the series and looking forward to the next book.


The Dragon King's Palace (Sano Ichiro, Bk 8)
The Dragon King's Palace (Sano Ichiro, Bk 8)
Author: Laura Joh Rowland
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 42
Review Date: 8/23/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I had a really hard time getting into the book. Part of the problem may have been that this is the eighth book in the series and I have not read any of the others. While the earlier books weren't necessary, I think that having a familiarity with the background and animosity of Sano Ichiro and Chamberlain Yanagisawa might have made the political maneuvering and forced partnership more interesting. I found that the characters were not fleshed out as much as I would like, and I think that is because the reader is expected to have a lot of the characters' background information from previous novels in the series. Overall the book was just OK, I am not sorry that I chose to read the book but I will probably not read any of the other books in the series.


Elantris (Elantris, Bk 1)
Elantris (Elantris, Bk 1)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 139
Review Date: 4/2/2010


Elantris is a story about a land in turmoil. Once Elantrians were like gods in the country of Arelon. They had magic that allowed them to do miracles. No one was hungry, wounds could be healed with the wave of a hand, and the Elantrians literally glowed. One day the Elantrians gifts changed into a curse. Instead of magical godlike beings they became walking corpses that lived in perpetual pain. The political and religious structure of the country was destroyed. Ten years later, a king has become a tyrant and a foreign religious leader has decided the country must convert or be destroyed. The book is told from the point of view of three different characters: Raoden, prince of Arelon who woke up one day with the Elantrian curse; Hrathen, high priest of Fjordell who is given the task of converting Arelon, and Sarene, princess of neighboring Teod who comes to Arelon to marry Raoden but finds out she is a window instead of a bride. There is alot of political maneuvering in this book, which I really enjoyed. I also appreciated a fantasy novel with a strong female protagonist. The mystery of what happened to the Elantrian magic was interesting and different than what I have read in the past. I found myself cheering on the characters, even some of the "bad guys." I recommend this book to fans of fantasy, especially those that don't mind a lot of politics in their books.


Ella Minnow Pea : A Novel in Letters
Ella Minnow Pea : A Novel in Letters
Author: Mark Dunn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 203
Review Date: 12/22/2009


This is a clever little tale about the small island nation of Nollop. When letters start falling off a monument to the man who came up with the sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" the council decides to outlaw the use of the letters. It demonstrates how a government can go too far and how the citizens could let it get so bad. This seemingly simple book is one I will ponder for days. I found many of the things that happened in Nollop have a truth in our world too. I also liked the word play in the book. It could not have been easy for the author to keep writing as more and more letters became taboo.


Equal Rites (Discworld, Bk 3)
Equal Rites (Discworld, Bk 3)
Author: Terry Pratchett
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 251
Review Date: 8/23/2009


I really enjoyed this Discworld book, even more than the first two I read. While there is a feminist undertone to the story, it is done in a fun and playful manner, which is refreshing in a book that deals with women's rights. I liked how Pratchett had the characters in the book realize on their own that Esk should be a wizard despite all of their feelings otherwise. I wish that more people in the real world were open to reexamining their beliefs when faced with evidence that they may be wrong. Overall the book was a fun easy read and I look forward to continuing reading novels set in Pratchett's Discworld.


The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next, Bk 1)
The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next, Bk 1)
Author: Jasper Fforde
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 714
Review Date: 5/14/2008
Helpful Score: 2


I really enjoyed this book. I like to read about unique worlds that are similar to our own with a twist. In this case, the twist was the porous nature of the separation between reality and fiction. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.


Fated
Fated
Author: S. G. Browne
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 4/25/2012


Fate, also known as Fabio, is bored with his job. It seems like humans always make decisions that change their path for the worse and all he can do is observe over and over again as people destroy their life. But then he starts to break the rules. First, he falls in love with a mortal then after accidentally influencing the outcome of a human's path he decides that rules or no rules, he needs to make a difference in his humans lives. But he is not going to be able to keep his transgressions secret for long. I thought that this book was OK, it was hard for me to like any of the characters. I think that the humor did not speak to me. It seemed like it was trying to go for the kind of humor that Moore was successful with in Lamb, but it fell short for me. However I am a sucker for books with personifications of immortal concepts and there were times that the authors musings on the differences between Fate and Destiny and what it means to be human were interesting enough to bump up the rating half a star.


The Firebrand
The Firebrand
Author: Marion Zimmer Bradley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 31
Review Date: 2/11/2011


I loved the spin that Bradley put on the famous story and its characters. I like how she was able to have fantasy elements, such as the Gods being real with the ability to take over a person's body when they want to directly influence events and Kassandra's true visions, yet she made some other aspects of the mythology more grounded in reality. For example, the Kentaurs were not really half man/half horse. They were tribes of men that rode the plains on horses. Since they almost never got off their horses, their legs were bowed and the color of their skin matched that of the horses people often mistook them as being part one entity. Like many of Bradley's novels, this one had a feminist take on events. Kassandra often wishes she could live with the Amazons or in Colchis (where the city is ruled by queens) instead of a society where women are slaves to their husbands. The story did drag a little in the middle for me, knowing the story and the fate of Troy, I began to tire of reading about the siege and was ready for the horse to appear. I definitely would recommend this book to others interested in a retelling of the Fall of Troy.


Gossamer
Gossamer
Author: Lois Lowry
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 2/27/2010


Gossamer is a charming book about dreams. Dream-givers are fairy-like creatures that use fragments of memories gathered from personal items to bestow dreams on people (and sometimes pets). Unfortunately, there are also creatures that inflict nightmares. This book tells the story of a woman, a boy, a dog, and two dream givers. When the boy is targeted for an onslaught of nightmares, the dream givers assigned to the house must use all their abilities to strengthen him and help him overcome his fears. I felt that the book was a sweet story with some dark undertones (the boy is a foster child with a history of abuse), but I also felt like it was unsatisfying. It had great potential, but in the end I felt as if I would liked the story to feel deeper. Perhaps I am expecting too much of a book written for children.


The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
Author: Robert Rankin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 95
Review Date: 8/31/2009


Jack decides to leave his small factory town and go to the city to make his fortune. The city he ends up at is Toy City where toys are alive and nursery rhyme characters are real. Jack meets Eddie Bear, a live teddy bear, and agrees to help him investigate the murder of Humpty Dumpty, one of the city's citizens that made his fortune with his nursery rhyme. Soon more of the city's old rich nursery rhyme characters start to die in gruesome ways and Eddie and Jack realize that they have a serial killer on their hands.

The story was OK, Jack annoyed me but I liked Eddie's character. How can you not like a teddy bear that sits on his head at a bar so the alcohol will stay in his head instead of settling into his legs? I appreciated the humor at the beginning of the story, but the recurring jokes began to get old very quickly. The more I got into the story, the harder it was for me to stay interested in what was happening. I preferred Jasper Fforde's The Big Over Easy to this novel if you are looking for a nursery rhyme murder mystery book.


King Solomon's Ring : New Light on Animals' Ways
King Solomon's Ring : New Light on Animals' Ways
Author: Konrad Lorenz
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 3/7/2010


King Solomon's Ring is considered a classic on the subject of animal behavior. Konrad Lorenz was an ethologist (someone who studies animal behavior) who raised many animals at his home to study. Although he raised the animals and kept them at his home, he gave them free range of his home and the world around him in order to get a more realistic view of their behavior in their natural environment. In this book, Lorenz tells the reader about his observations of a number of animal species. The writing of the books is observational rather than scientific and very accessible to someone without a science background. One thing I found especially interesting is how World War II seemed to have affected Lorenz. He was German and much of his research was done in the 1930s and beyond. Although the book is about his observations of the animals, there are times when he allows how the war affected him to seep into the writing. For example after observing two doves tear each other apart in when he put them together in a cage for breeding purposes he writes, "Only in two other instances have I seen similar horrible lacerations inflicted on their own kind by vertebrates: once, as an observer of the embittered fights of cichlid fishes who sometimes actually skin each other, and again as a field surgeon, in the late war, where the highest of all vertebrates perpetrated mass mutilations on members of his own species." I would recommend this book to anyone interested in animal behavior or animals in general. There is a fun section on dogs and how their behavior is influenced by their wolf or jackal ancestors.


The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards, Bk 1)
The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards, Bk 1)
Author: Scott Lynch
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 137
Review Date: 2/11/2011
Helpful Score: 2


I enjoyed reading this debut fantasy novel. The characters were fun anti-heroes that I was routing for the entire book. It took awhile to get used to the author's use of flashbacks and unconventional timeline, but once I did I appreciated how the background information was being revealed only when necessary to have a deeper understanding of the character's actions in the story. I look forward to seeing what Lynch has in store for Locke in the next book.


Moloka'i
Moloka'i
Author: Alan Brennert
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 397
Review Date: 2/11/2011
Helpful Score: 3


I learned a lot about Hawaiian history from reading this book. I love how the novel showcases the humanity of those struck by this horrifiying disease. I shows both the beauty and ugliness of the colony and makes the reader laugh and cry along with the main character, Rachel. After reading this book, I decided that I want to learn more about Hawaiian history and I have added Michener's Hawaii to my TBR.


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