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    In Other Spaces and Places

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    2011 Reading Challenge

    Fiendishly Bookish has read 3 books toward her goal of 250 books.
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    Sunday
    Nov272011

    Fiendishly Reading: "Legend" by Marie Lu

    Book:                   Legend

    Author:                Marie Lu

    Publisher:           G.P. Putnam and Sons

    ISBN/ASIN:         9780399256752

    RELEASE:              Nov 29, 2011

    Back Cover Blurb:

    “Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a military prodigy committed to her country.

    Born in the slums of the Republic’s Lake Sector, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal.

    From different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths-until the day June’s brother Metias, is murdered. And Day has become the prime suspect.

    Now, caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival while June tries desperately to avenge Metias’ death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together and the sinister lengths to which their country will go to keep its secrets.”

    Wednesday
    Nov232011

    Fiendishly Reviewed: A Perfect Blood is romantically charged and brimming with action

    Book:                   A Perfect Blood

    Author:                Kim Harrison

    Publisher:           Harper Voyager

    ISBN/ASIN:        9780061957895

    Rating:                  5 Stars

    Release Date:     Feb, 2012

    Courtesy of Amazon Vine

    Check out Kim Harrison here.

    At the end of Pale Demon, Trent sagely outlines to Rachel the danger of rendering herself helpless in the midst of so many enemies. Brought back from the brink of death after kicking Ku’Sox’s butt, and nearly losing her aura by unwittingly carving out a new ley line that has devastating effects in the everafter, Rachel has some tough choices to make. Will she try to live her life without her demon enhanced abilities? Can she? Can she even go back to being an earth witch?

    Harrison smartly leads with this thought in A Perfect Blood where Rachel will reap the consequences of her all decisions…good and bad, to finally realize that with great power, comes great responsibility. With one charmed Elven bracelet, Rachel chooses to effectively cut herself off from the scrutiny of the demon collective, ley lines…even Al thinks she’s dead. After the fracas in San Francisco, even the Inderlander government has her declared dead. But has she chosen wisely?

    When a deep-seated cell of HAPA (Humans Against Paranormals Association) embarks on a sinister quest to tinker with witch blood carrying the Rosewood syndrome and develop an unearthly weapon against all Inderlander species, Rachel and the gang are up against a foe that will stop at nothing to bring humans back on top of the food chain.  While Rachel’s past incursions have mostly been personal, HAPA’s threat spells doom for all Inderlanders and if they succeed it would make the Elf/Demon war look like a walk in the park compared to the death and destruction that would reign down in the Hollows and everywhere else.

    This pronounced intensity rages throughout A Perfect Blood, honing the point home that everything is at risk, and Rachel’s final decision about her destiny will be the ultimate game changer. Even the schisms between the I.S. and F.I.B. have to be put to rights-inter-agency cooperation is absolutely essential in combating HAPA. 

    In order to make this happen, Harrison has introduced a few peripheral characters and situations that makes the mix more interesting, the mysterious vamp Felix (head of the IS) who creatively “borrows” Nina’s body (reminiscent of Ghastek in Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series) and Wayde, Rachel’s new were bodyguard makes an appearance, bringing the were contingent into battle by proxy. Even Glenn has a hidden agenda but is playing nice. And there is also the suspicion that HAPA might already be entrenched in either the I.S. or F.I.B…or both.

    A Perfect Blood is also about integrating normality into Rachel’s rather abnormal life. Harrison sets a few homey scenes in between battles that relieve some of the tension, and we get a few appearances of Ceri, her new daughter Ray, and Trent’s daughter Lucy, billiard scene with Wayde. Ivy and Jenks have even seemed to move out of their transitional phase…Ivy now in a relationship, and Jenks interestingly enough could be enamored by Belle (Sidereal’s daughter, the fairy, from Black Magic Sanction). This only puts the focus more on Rachel as she tries to suss out her romantic life and its uncertain future.

    Though fans might have been expecting a love connection with one particular character (Trent), instead we find a true burgeoning friendship developing between them that doesn’t disappoint.  To what end…we shall see. Rather, it more than whetted my appetite. Harrison is smokingly seductive, as she taunts us page after page with their interactions.

    First Trent and Rachel must learn to be friends, learn to trust before anything else can happen and that means that Rachel has to forgive Trent and drop the animosity she has for him.

    The newfound playfulness between Rachel and Trent is refreshing and intensely appealing. Rachel finds herself musing more and more about Trent (and his hair!), unable (or unwilling) to recognize what those feelings really mean. He continues to prove himself yet again as he protects her from Al, HAPA, and even herself. He is instrumental-absolutely key in helping Rachel grow into who she is (he admits it to her and Al). He even alludes that he is her S’han. Come on…he made her a ley line pinky ring…there is obviously more there than meets the eye, but Harrison is playing it close to the vest.

    Besides Trent being absolutely fantastic in A Perfect Blood…sexy…single-minded, and just plain delicious-I honestly don’t think Harrison is going to abandon this yummy loose end. There’s too much invested in it and it seems pretty clear that Harrison is building a foundation…will Rachel end up taking the plunge?  I would have definitely liked to have seen a repeat of that smoldering kiss in Pale Demon, but still readers will raise eyebrows over and over again at the delicious hints that Harrisons scatters throughout the book. It’s simply tantalizing, but looks like we’ll have to wait to see what happens in Book #11.

    Once again, Kim Harrison stole my sleep because I simply could not put it down. Was it worth it? Hell yeah. Harrison never disappoints and the quality of A Perfect Blood was consistent with all her previous novels, energetic and romantically charged. Hands down…I loved it.

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review

    Monday
    Oct102011

    Fiendishly Reading: The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark

    Book:                 The Demon Lover

    Author:              Juliet Dark (Carol Goodman)

    Publisher:          Ballantine

    ISBN/ASIN:        9780345510082

    Release Date:    December 27, 2011

    Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of her having written the bestselling book The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she’s found herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.
     
    But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: Her incubus is not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the demon, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this supernatural lover from her heart”. (from www.amazon.com)

    Sunday
    Oct092011

    Frodo Lives...err...Long Live Parzival!

    Book:                  Ready Player One

    Author:               Ernest Cline

    Publisher:           Crown

    ISBN/ASIN:         978-0307887436

    Release Date:    Out Now

    Rating:                  Five Stars, Top Eleven of 2011

    Read an Excerpt

    Is it the lure of nostalgia or simply the epic feel of Ready Player One that makes it so deliciously entertaining? It is perhaps, a bit of both. Ernest Cline playfully reminisces while offering up a heady eighties banquet in his futuristic piece about a quest to end all quests that jet-propels the minds and hearts of readers from the very first page.

    I can still remember the very first time I saw Star Wars and Tron, the first time I delved into books that epically moved meWatership Down, The Hobbit, Neuromancer, Holy Fire, Heart of Darkness, even Harry Potter…diving into Ready Player One, with my haptic gloves, visor, and OASIS immersion rig was no different-an absolutely electrifying and unforgettable experience.

    Cline manages to convey a bit of prescience in his portrayal of the world that Wade Watts lives in…a virtual world that is more comforting than a bleak future, where millions grow up in the OASIS, through its schools, its libraries, and its simulated cities and towns-all digitally recreated-its seamless worlds-within-worlds offering up a never-ending adventure. Sound familiar?

    Clines’ futuristic grail quest takes off when the creator of the OASIS and owner of Gregarious Simulation Systems James Halliday dies, thrusting the entire planet into a frenzy (much in the same way Steve Jobs’ demise did). 

    Within the OASIS, Halliday has programmed clues to unraveling a treasure-his treasure-roughly two hundred and forty billion dollars’ worth and a controlling interest of the most powerful company on the planet. All are at stake and up for grabs. One only needs to have an excellent knowledge of the eighties, the background of Halliday’s life memorized, and an unbeatable strategy to unravel the scavenger hunt-like clues hidden within the OASIS.

    Cline plays up his inexhaustible eighties references, as Wade Watts does his pasty-white-best to unravel the clues to three keys left by his idol Halliday-whether it is acting out the scenes in War Games, playing Joust, Dungeons of Daggorath, or playing a perfect game of Pac Man (which is still on my bucket list) on top of competitively racing against thousands of gunters bent on finding the keys for themselves. At their heels an evil multinational company lurks in the wings willing to do anything, include kill, to get at all three keys.

    Cline manages to craft a formidable opponent out of the Sixers, those cretinous suits from innovative Online Industries (IOI) bent on sussing out the keys for their own motely gain and the inevitable control and monetization of the OASIS. 

    With the emergence of the Sixers, Wade must pit his smarts and knowledge against them, and band together his friends and fellow gunters worldwide. With Wade’s selfless perseverance to save the spirit of the OASIS from the Sixers, Ready Player One becomes ceases to be a quest and morphs into a worldwide mission.

    Instead of the billions at stake, the very life blood of the OASIS is threatened and the unified front that Wade and his teammates drum up conjures up visions of every epic fictional battle fought: the war of Middle Earth, the Battle of Endor, Luke Skywalker launching his torpedo into the Death Star’s reactor…to Cline’s Battle of Chthonia and Castle Anorak all thrust the reader from apathy to become a part of something greater. Cline has managed to imaginatively deliver the most essential ingredients to a great story or movie in a shiny, new, wrapper: charity, hope and faith.

    Ready Player One is striking, unstoppable and epically good. There are so many good and genuine aspects to Cline’s novel that I don’t even know where to start.

    Cline’s peak at the future is believable at times with a hint of wry humor (i.e. the Portland Avenue Stacks where Wade lives…is freakishly comical…and yet just a bit sad) Who could imagine poverty-stricken families scraping out a meager existence in RVs stacked high in the sky? Visually it’s like the Jetson’s in HELL or the great garbage avalanche of 2505 in Idiocracy (2006).

    As is his reference to a C-section (cutting an OASIS user out of their apartment and haptic chair) nearly made me roll on the floor laughing and Wades’ stint as an IOI indentured Tech Support employee was insanely good, (almost as good as his maniacal plot to somehow crack the hold of the Orb of Osuvox over Castle Anorak).

    After reading Ready Player One FIVE times, I have to say without a doubt it’s been the best book I’ve read all year. Hopefully, Ernest Cline will channel Yoda’s last words “…there is another Skyw-…”  and deliver an equally geek-worthy sequel. Bravo! Frodo Parzival Lives!

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review


    Sunday
    Jul312011

    Currently Reading: "Blood Rights" by Kristen Painter

    Book:                   Blood Rights

    Author:                Kristen Painter

    Publisher:           Orbit Books

    ISBN/ASIN:        9780316084772

    Release Date:     September 27, 2011

    Check out Kristen’s website

    The lacy gold mapped her entire body. A finely-wrought filigree of stars, vines, flowers, butterflies, ancient symbols and words ran from her feet, up her legs, over her narrow waist, spanned her chest and finished down her arms to the tips of her fingers…

    Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle’s body bears the telltale marks of a comarré—a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world…and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.

    Now Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign. (from www.orbitbooks.com)