rxelyn: (Default)

Karen Chance's Touch the Dark is another one of those typical urban fantasy books that you see alongside Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, Rachel Caine's Weather Warden, etc. It's nothing mind blowing, but it's still pretty interesting, in the sense that we have the main character Cassie, being raised by her enemies, thrown right from the start into the dark side, she is more understanding of the monsters then other similar characters.

The plot is pretty decent, but the writing could be improved upon. Nothing wrong with grammer or such, just the style. Some parts of the story didn't flow very smoothly, the writing was too choppy in the sense that the scenes didn't have proper transitions... which made it quite hard to follow properly.

Cassie Palmer is able to see ghosts as well as glimpses of the past/fpresent/future. Her talent makes her very useful to Antonio, a money grubbing vampire who makes use of her visions to earn more money. Knowing Antonio's role in her parents' death, Cassie runs away and hides, for a few years, until now, her past has caught up with her.

She's dragged into a 'confrontation' in which she starts to gain even more powers, from travelling in time to possessing people. Which makes her even more powerful than Anita Blake. *sarcastic tone* at least Anita Blake takes about 2-3 books before she starts gaining new powers...

The characters are basically not used properly, even the 'twist' in story was silly... and they all seem very cliched. I mean, even the sex scene was boring... and sort of unnecessary. I mean, look at Cassie, who seems to be freaking out over the stupid stuff, she doesn't even channel the 'fuck you, I'm in charge' attitude that Anita Blake has. While I know that comparisons are unfair, but it is hard not to draw such parallels when writers keep rehashing the same issues in the same genres. I don't expect mind blowing new stuff, but more originality?

Okay... I don't exactly like this series, but I think it'll be quite easy to read as light reading material.
rxelyn: (lol)
[Error: unknown template qotd]1. Brad Warner - Sit Down and Shut Up

2. Scott Lynch - The Lies of Locke Lamora

3. Natsume Soseki - I Am a Cat

4. Haruki Murakami - The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

5. 金庸 - 天龙八部

Currently, these books are what I haven't been able to complete recently, and... they are quite different in terms of genre and content, I believe, but still, they somehow do overlap.

Alternatively, I could always bring Meyers' Twilight series, so as to provide handy firewood when the island gets dark or chilly, as suggested by another person. :D

rxelyn: (Default)
... I find myself falling asleep on trains so normal an occurrence that I don't even bother to find seats whenever I get on. I'll just pick a corner that I can lean against and shut my eyes. Even when my iPod is blasting hardcore metal, stuff like Helloween to Dir en Grey's screamy vocals, I can manage to sleep without interruption. That is until my knees buckle and then I jerk away. The feeling of being rudely awakened is sort of... fun? I mean, you're like a kite drifting aimless across the sky, then someone comes along and tugs sharply so that you are reorientated somehow? Pathetic analogy. Whatever.

tgif )
Came back and started reading Dominic Smith's The Beautiful Miscellaneous because it was taking up card space and I wanted to return asap. I'm about three quarters into the book and well... it started out pretty decently, an interesting premise, even though it wasn't anything new.

So I'm taking a break to type this out now.

The entire science thing going on in the book sort of reminded me of today's GP lesson with Mr Ang. Whose explanations actually made me interested in science, okay, only certain topics though. (I seriously couldn't care less about pressures and forces and all that, but when it comes to genetics and astronomy and time/space, I can get pretty keen on them.) Why couldn't I have a science teacher who could make these dry topics appealling?

The word rehabilitated swept across the room - it was a streak of mercury-colored lightning, but it had no taste.
- pg 98; the beautiful miscellaneous: Dominic Smith
rxelyn: (writing)
Finished reading Murakami's South of the Border , West of the Sun on the train while heading towards Hilton Shopping Gallery for another caroling session.

The writing was simple and sparse, there weren't any unnecessary sentences clogging up the flow of the entire book, and the storyline was equally straightforward, depicting the life of an ordinary man, Hajime who enters into various relationships with different women throughout the stages of his life. There's the mysterious Shimamoto who was a childhood friend of Hajime and seemingly influenced him quite greatly, for he never forgot her and shared common interests in music and books. Hajime met Izumi during his high school years, whom he hurt deeply, by having a torrid affair with her cousin. After this last serious relationship, he then moves onto short meaningless flings, attracted to not beautiful women, but instead, a sort of magnetism that he senses from them. Involved in a dead end job and a meaningless existence, it is here that he meets Yukiko, his wife. It is then when his life takes a turn for the better, quitting his boring editing job and setting up his own jazz bars, having a lovely home and family. He is relatively well-to-do, healthy and frankly, quite a satisfactory life on the whole. But Hajime isn't contented, he still feels as if something is missing within him. And it seems that this easy life is broken when Shimamoto reappears in Hajime's bar. He hasn't forgotten her, as depicted in the various scenes in which Hajime looks out for women with lame legs (Shimamoto had a lame leg), hoping to come across her someday.

Shimamoto's reappearance isn't really properly addressed, like the smoke of her cigarette, she doesn't reveal much about the years after losing touch with Hajime and her motives for her actions are unclear as well, but it seems that she is still quite attached to Hajime who is so deeply affected by her that he puts his marriage at risk.

I feel that the title of the book itself, South of the Border, West of the Sun, reveals one of the main theme in the book, which is elusiveness/illusion. Sort of like a unspoken promise of something more in that far away land. There is also the idea of fiction versus reality, as seen in little scenes in the book, like Shimamoto's appearances and disappearances, Through the writing style, one could wonder whether she really did reappear in Hajime's life or the entire debacle was merely wishful thinking on his own part.

It's really quite amazing how one's actions can affect someone, whether in a small way or change their lives completely. Izumi never got over the hurt from Hajime and lived out her life in loneliness and emptiness, while Hajime, after Shimamoto's final visit, seem to have come to terms with his life and decides to start anew with Yukiko.

It's a story about love, about memories, about relationships, but mostly what it means to be human. We inadvertably hurt others throughout our course of life, and it's impossible to go back, because time only moves forward. There isn't any fantasical elements in this story, but nevertheless it's quite the compelling tale about the lives of the ordinary.
rxelyn: (writing)
Met up with Faza after choir ended. In which I was pretty snappy with her due to lack of food since last night, one heavy stack of overdue books, and life in general. Immediately reprimanded myself because you don't take your exasperation out on others.

Borrowed a few books only this time, since I still have some at home that are not done yet. So I managed to locate: Soseki Natsume's I Am a Cat in which I wanted to read ever since I read Shige's jweb :D. Diana Wynne Jones' House of Many Ways, Mercedes Lackey's One Good Knight which isn't very interesting and Murakami's South of the Border, West of the Sun. I'm still very intrigued by Murakami's writing, ever since I finished Hardboiled. This book seems pretty promising.

Had lunch at Pizza Hut after that, in which I had pasta. Again. Yeah, I forgot I had that on Saturday already. Crapped a lot with Faza, we'll good at talking about nothing, mostly about nonsensical stuff, our specialty. :)

Then we ended up walking around aimlessly, browsing through racks of fashion disasters mostly, and test sprayed perfumes in shops, Haha, think we made a nuisance out of ourselves?

Ended up having coffee at McCafe because it was cheaper than Starbucks, the oreo cheesecake was nice, but the one that Amanda made the other time was better. :)

I bought The Body Shop's Cassis Rose spray in which I paid, got back my change and forgot to take the product. Until the cashier alerted me. Smart, aren't you?

Well, Faza's coming over to hang out tomorrow, since her tv broke down and all, she's bored and my Wii is apparently a novelty. Lol. Not that I have better things to do anyway... *shoves homework into the shadows under the table innocently*
rxelyn: (writing)
So, for the past two days I have been deprived of the internetz, due to repainting of the house meaning unplugged modem meaning no wireless meaning no internet meaning I has time for books. :D

Therefore I conclude:
My inability to complete Neil Gaiman's Anansi's Boys was most likely because of my preoccupation with my computer rather than a real lack of interest in the story because it was actually pretty fascinating. The twists in the story was expected but different from my original thoughts. The characters are highly vivid and quite fun, I especially like Spider. :D It's also a sort of bildungsroman for Charlie in which he evolves from his old shy self to a more self aware person. It's not as colorful or epic as American Gods, but it sort of describes how your life can suddenly be turned completely upside down without you even being aware. However, I didn't really like the way Charlie and Rosie's relationship was depicted, it was a little too... neglected, that Rosie cheats on him and dumps him and Charlie basically just accepts it and moves on. Maybe the whole point is to bring out his passive personality but really, shouldn't there be more action even for a normal human? All and all, I really like the way Gaiman blends myths and legends into his own stories.

Catherine Gilbert Murdock's Princess Ben reminds me of Levine's Ella and all those other gutsy heroines out there. (I vaguely remember Wrede's princess in some dragon series.) There seems to be a whole mesh up of fairy tales inserted in it, but although, the entire story is pretty original. :) Princess Ben is most definitely not your ordinary princess, she can't do much, is too greedy and maybe a tad too childish, but she's highly individualistic and brave. Queen Sophia may seem to be overly harsh and mean at first, but in the end, you see that her heart is in the right place. The other characters are also not set in black and white, instead everything is subjective in the book. However, I'm a little... irritated with the way she wrote off the misunderstanding that Ben makes at her father's death site. >.> The mistake she made was just plain dumb. I believe that Murdock could have come up with a better plot than just that...
rxelyn: (writing)

Completed Hero in 2 hours plus, it's a short decent read that's mainly targeted at youths. It's quite fast paced and reads very smoothly. (though I'm irritated by the typo of Snake... I hope it's not just my copy only...)

The story begins with Thom Creed who is the son of a fallen superhero. The story is easy to follow even though I would have liked it better if Moore had elaborated on the background of where and how the superheroes come about. Even though he is close to his father after his mother's disappearance, there are just some things that he can't talk to his father about, his developing superpowers as well as his orientation, as his father is not exactly accepting. I like the way Moore uses these obstacles as a way to bring across character development, as well as driving the plot forward. There are some parts where Thom is exceedingly childish though.

The superheroes in the League are a little too cliched for my liking... Isn't Justice's story too familiar? But I like the twist in the end, I actually thought that it was the father who was behind all the murders, or even the mother, under Justice's orders. So... yeah. Some parts were a little predictable, like Goran's double identity as well as Snake's. But I think they were meant so on purpose. Just to prove to us that Thom's dumb. Lol.

There's a lot of subplots going on, but they are sort of underdeveloped, and a little rushed, but still, they join up nicely enough. The supporting characters are pretty interesting, I especially like Ruth's personality.

Moore could have afforded to give us more details and such, but overall, I quite like it.

rxelyn: (distracted tesshi)
Lux Aeterna makes everything sound epic, even walking down the street. Seriously, I had it blasting on my earphones and suddenly felt a pompous sense of grandeur, like... I'm some important quest or what not.

Anyway, spent an entire afternoon proving to the world just how indecisive I can be. Yes, I was at Kino. Yes, I wanted to buy a lot of stuff. In the end, I got Machiavelli's The Prince and Perry Moore's Hero (paperback version even though kino was supposed to order the hardcover one for me. If they call, I'm just gonna act dumb. Heh.) Was going to buy this book called How to Be Idle. But... my brain decided to be rational for once, it asked me whether I really need to be more idle. I think I'll never accomplish anything then.

Random decision: I want my bookshelves to be as extensive as this!

Had random luck today, it stopped raining as I reached Orchard which was good because I don't ever bring umbrellas. I managed to find the books I wanted. And my bus came right after I reached the bus stop. :D Seems like someone up there likes me today.
rxelyn: (writing)

spent like an entire hour updating my book list on goodreads.com
lol, I'm such a typical nerd, spending Friday night on books. D:

found tons of interesting new stuff to read.
that is if I can find them at the library, since I'm a little cash-strapped at the moment.
returned half of my debt to my brother already...
and then Ati and Ami's birthdays are coming up.
and I want to buy so many new things; life is hard being a materialistic brat. XD

finally got off my butt and watched season 3 of Heroes.
aren't you proud of me, Faza?
I still adore Sylar
but the entire storyline of Heroes seems pretty whacked now.
it's a little hard to come up with a decent plot when you have god-like characters like Peter.
and... it's really annoying to have new minor characters, but... I guess it can't be helped.

Season 3 of Dexter is also out! XD
I love Dexter and I'm glad to say that this season looks intriguing as well
though the series has stopped following the books.
well, it works as a stand alone.

also caught an episode of Extras, pretty good, except that the heavy English accents threw me off sometimes.
and am downloading Supernatural and Reaper now. Think... might have to wait a bit.
new season of Pushing Daisies out soon, I think :D
and I just borrowed this Korean drama from Jaclyn.
rxelyn: (bleach ichigos)

Felix Castor returns to us in Mike Carey's second book in the series. Intense and edgy, it is a good read and I finished it in one shot because I was too impatient. The plot was tight, and loose ends were tied up, and there were quite a few unexpected twists even though some parts were a little predictable. But it's due to a variety of such techniques that keep readers reeled in.

In The Devil You Know, the world was relatively newish, and it has been widely expanded upon in Vicious Circle. The complex world was set out nicely with vivid descriptions, which somehow made the book seem like a graphic novel. I think that another factor that created the graphic novel feel was due to the jump of times. Throughout the book, I was unable to figure out just how much time had passed, not counting the times Felix passed out, of course, but as he goes around sleuthing, I find myself unable to tell how long exactly had he been on the case and such.

As for the book, the plot may seem relatively straightforward, and the banter between characters are pretty witty even though it may be a little expected after playing in the urban fantasy genre for quite some time. But still, I like it. The thing about this genre is that there are no entirely happy endings, innocents still get hurt and not everyone gets the ending that they deserve.

In short, if you can't wait for the next Dresden book, or you need something even harder than a shot of Dresden, take Castor.

XD. Bad commercial tag line? Haha.

rxelyn: (meaningless)
This is too true. And ironically I found myself unable to even finish reading the darn article. I basically just scrolled through the entire article after reading 3-4 paragraphs. And I find myself unable to read any book that is more than a few hundred pages unless there is plenty of quick action one might compare to the book form of a movie.

And I just realised that I don't exactly have any soothing music. Unless you count soundtracks. Which may have soothing music (Pride and Prejudice) or not (The Dark Knight) Noticed this because I was pretty much very annoyed with my mother and her incessant nagging.

Just completed another one of Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson books, Blood Bound. Quite riveting since I completed it within a seating, unable to stop myself. (has never been this bad since Anita Blake or Harry Dresden) I don't know why but I was pretty freaked out while reading this, I mean, I didn't exactly feel safe in my own house when the lights are turned off in a room. >.> Paranoia? Yeah. I was creeped out by Littleton and Wulfe actually but Wulfe is actually pretty cool a character. And it seems that everyone loves Mercy in their own way. There's Adam and Sam and Warren and Stefan and Zee and  Bran and Kyle and that's a pretty long list already given that almost everyone has power to command. Well, can't wait to start the third book, Iron Kissed which is currently sitting in my bag beside Lilith Saintcrow's Night Shift, a new series or something.

rxelyn: (undone work)
... I think I need an icon for book reviews XD

Just done with Patricia Briggs' Moon Called.

It was pretty interesting, nothing too ground breaking, but still a good read. Most urban fantasy books are like that. Especially the first book or so.

Our main character is certainly unique, she's a walker, which is basically a shapeshifter that seems to have its roots in Native American tradition. Quite different from your run of a mill job, like vampire, werewolf, necromancer, wizard. The action within the story seems a little weak, and there were some parts that were pretty dull, but Patricia Briggs has set up several plot threads in just this book, and I'm pretty tempted to go hunt down the other two books tomorrow when I 'mug' at the library.

Mercy Thompson seems to be just like your other ass-kicking, mouthy defiant female leads. Which is a bit cliche. But when you're writing an urban fantasy with a female as your main heroine, she's usually got to be stereotyped as one of those fierce, independent woman who isn't afraid of playing with the big boys. On the other hand, I can like name you at least five of such characters, which makes it a little boring after a while. There's Anita Blake (Laurell K. Hamiliton's poster girl for fierce female leads), Buffy (Joss Whedon most likely started this entire shindig.) Dante Valentine (Lilith Saintcrow's. But she does seem quite vulnerable after losing Japhrimel) Joanne, Weather Warden (Rachel Caine's. Not much details since I stopped around the first book) And the list goes on.

Sadly, we don't have enough kickass male leads. There's Harry Dresden, Felix Castor, John Taylor... and I think that's all. =_= Bah. Generally, not to be sexist or what, but I find that the books with these male leads are more intruiging. Most likely due to the fact that they concentrate more on the damn plot. Rather than the subtle romantic tension.

And now... back to pretending to do work while I drink tea and surf the net.
rxelyn: (undone work)
The title sums it all up, man. Just what I have been doing in the past two days only. Reading. Heh.

Things that I wanna read:

Might be updated from time to time. Depends on how OCD my mood is on a particular day.

rxelyn: (Default)
G.A .Aiken - Dragon Actually
Because dragons = guh! melty brain. And when they are the heroes in the story, even more irresistable to me XD

Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Truth to be told, I had a hard time choosing between Alice in Wonderland and Don Quixote. But Don Quixote was too expensive for my budget...

Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray
Because who can resist a tale of decadence and Victorian eras and frivolous lifestyles when it's written by someone who knows it all too well?

Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
... this is the lamest reason: I need this for lit class, one to take into the exam hall, and one to annotate in. Frankly, while I did enjoy the book when I was younger, it's not appealing to me anymore...

Spent about 40 plus on these books and wishing I had gotten more!
I wanted to get Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dance with the Devil because Zarek makes me melt literally.
And also the companion's guide to Dark Hunters or something. And Acheron, the newest release about the engima who is the only one that can pwn Artemis.
rxelyn: (Default)
Hana Yori Dango and Kurosagi! XD
Respectively showing on 4/9 and 18/9
(be there or be square, lol.)

And to make this post less bimbotic, let me review the book that I just finished reading, Sherrilyn Kenyon's Fantasy Lover.

You know, if I had picked up Fantasy Lover instead of Dance With the Devil, I might not have been converted into a fan of Kenyon. While Fantasy Lover was interesting and a complete universe away from the cliched romances that I have read, there wasn't enough action to keep me hooked for good. Indeed, while I do feel intrigued by Julian's fascinating life, the way that he is written makes him seems too much of a Larry-Stu.

Julian, born of Aphrodite and a Spartan general, was originally a fierce general that nearly brought Rome to her knees. Were it not for the intervention of the gods. His eldest brother, hating him, betrayed him and he ended up locked away in a book, only to be released for the pleasures of others. Indeed, he became a love slave that is made to pleasure the summoner for a month before he is locked back into the book until the next summoner comes. (He's super lucky that all his summoners are female, lol)

Grace summons him on a drunken whim, thanks to her friend, Selena. And even though she dearly wants to, she doesn't jump his bones and instead refuses him at every turn. (gee, are you a woman or what?) Julian is astounded at her different attitude and basically, we see how they slowly fall in love with each other. It's so... gentle and sweet and fluffy that I would have been turned off immediately were it not that I like her other works. Fantasy Lover is just too tame, as compared to the others in the Dark Hunter series.

Dance With the Devil had bad assed Zarek who sports wolverine-inspired claws, headbanging metal music, sinful leather pants and a vicious streak. He had a truly traumatic past, he has a mean tongue and enough enemies that line all the way to hell just to send him to hell.

Besides, any story that has medieval/historical settings can always get me. Though I'm more partial to Greek/Roman periods with the involvement of the residents of Olympus.
rxelyn: (undone work)
I don't know why I didn't read Jonathan Stroud's The Amulet of Samarkand until now. I mean, compared to the other newer stuff on the market, this trilogy beats them hands down. *cough Meyer cough* Yeah, I know this book has been out for some time already, so why the heck should I be squeeing over it? But I really like Bartimaeus, his dry wit and sarcasm and liberal sprinklings of footnotes. Reminds me of Susannah Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. And both of them are set in London though different time periods. But of course, Jonathan Strange is so much cooler. I neglected my prelims while devouring that book. :D I'm only midway through the book, considering that I only started a while ago while having dinner alone. But I'm liking what I'm reading now.

On contrast I haven't really touched Lillith Saintcrow's Saint City Sinners even though I borrowed it earlier and was desperate for it weeks ago. But the fact that I only got it now... sort of lessened the burning desire to read it immediately. Same with Mike Carey's Vicious Circle. And I still haven't cracked open the new book I bought, Hunter's Moon. It's sitting innocently above my pile of comics.

And I finished up to book 10 of Nodame Cantabile. Kim, I want the rest! XDDD
rxelyn: (Default)
The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed. Well, let's see.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicise those you intend to read
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

I sort of feel that this list is biased towards the classics as well as genre I don't exactly enjoy, but well, it shows just what I have not or have been reading over these many years. I think I read the most during my upper pri- lower sec years because that period was the time where I have less of an opinion on reading materials and would just devour whatever that catches my fancy, as opposed to now, I'm more set in my ways, sticking to my comfort zone and rarely going out to read other genres of books.
rxelyn: (thinking)
... I have no frigging clue why I decided to write this. Good going, brain.

+ )
rxelyn: (crowned)
Okay, so I rushed through the entire book in just one sitting because I freaking couldn't put it down. Yes, it was that compelling. Seriously, the Dresden series is one that I would never get tired of. This has been proven because I picked up this series as well as Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series at the same time. And while I have gotten mightily sick of Anita Blake and her Mary-Sue-ish tendencies as well as the pron disguising as prose, Harry Dresden never fails to amuse me. He doesn't waste time emoing over whether it's right to be fucking monsters that you're supposed to be killing, he just kills them. He doesn't waste time over relationships and hang ups, he does his job which is a lot more than Anita could be doing, what with her harem of men.

Anyway, back to the book before I start ranting off my mouth about how badly the Anita Blake series have fallen.

And because my brain is shorted out after imagining all the explosions and the fighting scenes going on, I shall stop here.




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