erincathryn

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The Name of the Wind

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I had a really hard time putting this books down. It was a really hard book to test my commitment to stopping at the stopping points for book club with.

I have so many questions... He sums it up best at the end. This is a foundation for a story. Oh sure there is a story in itself there. There are tense moments, and moments of adventure, and moments that make you laugh. But there is no big "this is it" moment that defines the story. Even in most other serials I have read, each novel has their own climax within the larger scope of the story. This novel lacked that.

That said, it is a wonderfully written novel. I want to know more about... everything! I can't wait for the second book to come from the library.
No Plot? No Problem! Revised and Expanded Edition: A Low-stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days

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Not a reference book for everyone, but definitely had some great tips for completing NaNoWriMo.

Also written in a way that had me giggling out loud a lot.
The Screwtape Letters

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I think that maybe as a non-Christian I missed a lot of the subtleties and enjoyment this book had to offer. I feel like I read it in a glazed-over state where nothing really penetrated or stuck with me. That said, it wasn't horrible.
Days of Blood & Starlight

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book.The first thing that grabbed my attention when I started to read was that Laini Taylor is a true wordsmith. She has a way with words that very few authors do, and she can make even mundane grousings about ex-boyfriends seem fantastical. Nothing was ever dull.The story itself was a fairly classic good vs. evil, main character doesn't know who they are story. But it is so beautifully written, it takes on a whole new life and becomes "something else" entirely.A few plot points/minor negatives about the book. I found some aspects to be very obvious. As in, see them coming from a mile away... and there is a teensy bit of an info-dump near the end.I can't wait for the next one to come out!!! And I look forward to exploring this author's other works.
Soulless

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I quite enjoyed this book.

I am not going to lie, it took about 40 pages for me to really get into it. There are a lot of descriptions of clothing and food. The humor alternates between dry wit, tongue in cheek and downright silliness. And I think I liked Lord Maccon so much because he reminds me quite a lot of Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series.

Our female main character, Miss Tarabotti, is quite self deprecating at times, and it can wear a little thin. But you really only have to look at what she is surrounded with (society, family, etc) and it makes a little more sense. She is also not the guns-blazing Buffy-the-vampire-slayer type of main character, but more of a stubborn woman who just wants to do things her own way with no real care for the consequence of others. But can you blame her? She has no soul.

I found it really nice to read a book where vampires and werewolves are not forced into the shadows, but are prominent members of society. I use the word society a lot because the book IS set in Victorian times. Love it. Anyways... it is refreshing to not have every single character fighting to keep their supernatural state a secret. I also find the whole soul theory quite intriguing.

The plot line was a little bit predictable, but at the same time not entirely so. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Moloka'i

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I might be giving this one a 2.5 stars, but I am not sure...

The writing style left something to be desired. It was almost as if it had been written in another language and translated to English, but I don't think it actually was.

Some semi-spoilers: The story didn't seem to have much direction, and I am not a huge fan of strange gaps in time... I don't mind a good human interest / suffering story, but there just didn't seem to be much TO this one.

I don't know... I am just really not excited about this one.
Poison Study

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I would have given this book five stars, except for a few minor details.

One was some of the repetitive prose. I know it is supposed to be more like speaking, but reading how the main character really really really didn't want to do something got really really really annoying after it happened the third or fourth time. There are other ways to convey the same urgency.

I also didn't like that we don't get a sense for Yelena or Valek's age. And their romance seemed a little abrupt and somewhat of a secondhand thought.

I didn't get amazingly attached to Yelena. She was kind of whiny and weak, though she did kick major ass a few times. Yet, oddly enough, I put the book down and I immediately wanted to read the next one, so the writer did something right, obviously.

After about 20 minutes, I thought of this... I am totally fine with a gender identity conundrum, but I felt like the Commander's issue was just randomly thrown in out of the blue. It would have made more sense to me if Brazell's magician had locked him inside his own mind instead of this gender identity issue serving to imprison him.
In Search of the Rose Notes: A Novel

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This was a fast and fun read for me. It read similarly to The Lovely Bones, except you don't really get the insight into Rose and her life/death (until the end) that you get throughout Lovely Bones. I shelved it as mystery, but it is definitely a subdued mystery, not a high tension everything-at-stake mystery.

I read this fairly fast, and I found myself really wanting to know what happened to Rose. I formed theories and most of them were wrong.

The characters of Charlotte and Nora were real and believable in how they interacted with each other. Charlotte is bossy and overbearing and Nora is very withdrawn. Both are flawed and neither is particularly endearing, but overall it works.

I also shelved this as young adult, though it is kind of an in-between book, as it utilizes flashbacks quite heavily.
Spellbound: Book 2 of the Spellwright Trilogy (The Spellwright Trilogy, Book 2)

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I dithered between rating this as a 4 stars and a 5 stars. In the end I settled on 5, because I really thoroughly enjoyed the book.

First, some cons.
The book doesn't have much exposition in it. You are launched immediately into a world where language is magic and expected to just get it. At the beginning the timeline is a little confusing. The prologue makes it seem like the first murder happens some time in the past, but it doesn't. The story is very complex and a little convoluted at times. And the story is somewhat exhausting. There were times when I looked at my progress and went "Dude, that is seriously all I have read???". The last con is that despite everything that happens near the end, the actual ending of the book didn't instill me with an immediate need to get the next one. It wasn't a cliffhanger ending. It was just an ending that left me to pick up the next book at my earliest convenience.

The story is also edited a little strangely with breaks in it that don't make much sense as there isn't a change in perspective or time. It utilizes visual breaks in the pages where either a further break (swapping POV, ending the chapter) would have been more effective, or a lesser break (new paragraph instead of such a visible break) would have been sufficient.

A note on the characters in the cons category. I like that Nico is of limited/different ability. I like Shannon's ability to see magical text. I didn't like Nico's attitude through a lot of the book... he seemed stubborn when he didn't need to be. And I feel so bad for poor Dierdre. SAVE HER NICO!

Now, some pros.
The book, for a first novel of a non-literary major, is fantastically written. It is not bogged down by a lot of useless exposition, though it does border on too-sparse at times. The story is fantastically in-depth and the literary-based magic system with a dyslexic hero (who isn't really THE hero as we find out at the end) is unique. While the ending itself doesn't have that sense of urgency to dive into Book 2, there were plenty of jaw-dropping moments that kept me reading past my bedtime. Blake Charlton knows how to drop a bomb, he just needed to drop one near the end as well.

I feel really attached to some of the characters in this book. Especially the nightmares. I want them to not be completely gone.

I might come back later and edit this to add more, but for now that is it.
Fugitives: Escape from Furnace 4

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***SPOILERS***I think I fell out of love with this series in the last book, but I want to see it through to the end.Writing reviews of books in a series has always been tricky for me, so this will be short.I think the thing that irked me most was the language. This is obviously a young adult book, but it is also obviously meant for boys. Also, the descriptions are off-kilter. Mainly, how Alex is described, post transformation. In earlier books we are lead to believe that the blacksuits are barely human, but Alex is still taken as a human. It is frustrating.Also, everything is "a million times worse" or what have you.One thing I did like was that the relationship was a) only just budding and b) wasn't between Alex and Lucy, but rather Zee and Lucy.I have checked out of the story, but I will read the last one just to see it through to the end.
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