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Neverwhere: A Novel

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Having heard Neil Gaiman praised many times as a master writer by friends and critics alike I decided to pick up one of his books. Neverwhere was my first Neil Gaiman novel and, though I would like to say I loved it, I was a bit disappointed. There is no doubt that Gaiman is a magnificent writer, his prose are lyrical and engaging. However, I found Neverwhere difficult to get through. Try as I might to fall in love with the story of Richard Mayhew I found myself getting bored as he tagged along with the Lady Door and her companions. Though I did enjoy the book it was certainly not what I had hoped for from someone who came as well recommended as Neil Gaiman. Though the story dragged in several places I did enjoy the ending and Richard’s great character arc. All in all, the story was amusing enough but it didn’t nab a spot on my favorites list. Still, I will give Gaiman the benefit of the doubt and try one of his other novels.
Feast of Fools

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When I first started reading the Morganville Vampires series I fell in love with it immediately…or it could possibly have been that I fell in love with the rebelliously sexy Shane Collins immediately—but that’s beside the point. I very much enjoyed Glass Houses and there rest of the series. I bought Feast of Fools the day it came out, but it somehow ended up being set aside and never picked up again until this week. Now that I have devoured the novel I regret that I did not get back to it sooner. In the series’ fourth installment things really begin to get interesting in the vampire infested town of Morganville when Amelie’s “father” shows up in town and begins making demands. Though I spent most of the read in frustration with was the sort of frustration that keeps you turning pages to find out what will happen next. Rachel Caine is, admittedly not the most talented writer but her story is engaging enough—though because of a certain book we all know and…well we all know vampires have become dangerously cliché. For fans of the series I definitely recommend Feast of Fools!
Lord of Misrule

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I have to say that I was a bit frustrated with this book because it isn’t really a novel at all on its own. I don’t really like it when authors don’t give any kind of closure to their novels. Lord of Misrule picked up exactly where Feast of Fools left off and leaves off in the middle of the story for Carpe Corpus to pick up. If Rachel Caine felt the need to make this segment of the story longer she should have combined Feast of Fools, Lord of Misrule and Carpe Corpus into one novel, because on their own none of them are really full books, they’re merely parts. But anyway, now that I’m done complaining, I did think that the story was very good. Morganville is becoming more dangerous by the minute and the action is building as never before into the other novels. I do like the fact that Caine isn’t making her books short little episodes anymore but is really getting into the story. She may not be the greatest writer but she has a strong voice and an interesting story to tell. My frustrations are mostly the result of one of my own pet peeves rather than any fault with the novel so I would still recommend it to Morganville fans.
Dead Man's Song

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The second installation in Jonathan Maberry’s Pine Deep Trilogy continues the story with the same magnificent lyrical flow. I was surprised to find that I enjoyed Dead Man’s Song even more than I did the first novel in the series, Ghost Road Blues. Though the first novel was good it barely scratched the surface of Pine Deep’s supernatural nature, focusing instead on the chaos caused by three dangerous criminals stranded in the small Halloween town. This second novel delves deep into Pine Deep’s past and its terrifying future. I found myself getting much more involved in Dead Man’s Song as I became more attached to the characters and as the action built to an intensity that made it impossible to put the book down! I absolutely love Crow; he is funny and can kick some major ass if he needs too! For anyone who has read Ghost Road Blues I would definitely suggest reading this book! I can’t wait to read Bad Mood Rising!
City of Glass

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The amazing third novel in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, City of Glass, was the perfect conclusion to the enchanting tale! I was so excited for this book to come out that I dragged my dad to the bookstore the day it came out as soon as the store opened even though we were on vacation. Despite all of the excitement I built behind City of Glass’s release I was not disappointed, I was entirely satisfied in my lust for more of Clare’s enthralling world of demons, Shadowhunters, Downworlders, and forbidden love. I tried to pace myself reading this book and it still seemed to go by too fast. This book is amazing and I would definitely recommend it!
The Vampire Armand

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After the horror that was Memnoch the Devil I was looking for Anne Rice to redeem herself in The Vampire Armand. In some ways I was gratified in this hope while in others I was utterly disappointed. Though The Vampire Armand echoed back to the magnificence of Anne Rice’s earlier work which I so loved and longed for it also incorporated Memnoch the Devil and all the vices of the Christian religion. Though this novel is in many respects a retelling of past events already relayed by Louis and Lestat I still found myself captivated by the beauty of Armand’s tale told from his own point of view. It has been years since I read the novels in which the vampire child Armand first appeared and I was delighted to revisit the tales that had so enchanted me, however, all this was so besotted with religion and theology that the enjoyment was somewhat diluted. Unlike most people who seemed to dislike the rampant sexual scenes that permeated the first half of the novel as Armand luxuriated in Marius’s lavish attentions, I was entranced. I did not merely enjoy it for its eroticism but for the passion and love which blossomed from Armand and Marius, so uninhibited by societal judgments of gender or age. After these happy years spent in Venice the novel seemed to decline into another ludicrous argument of theology and worship of Christ. I found myself agreeing with the words spoken by Pandora near the end of the novel: “Christ was never my god”. I do not believe in God or Jesus and I do not believe that I ever have or that I ever shall. For me all of this talk of “Our Living Lord” was offensive and rather dull. I am sure that many Anne Rice fans will find The Vampire Armand captivating but I myself was inhibited by my own personal beliefs from enjoying this book thoroughly. In the end it did surpass Memnoch and it was not without its charms. If you are a fan of Anne Rice this is still a must read.
Charles de Salaberry: Soldier of the Empire, Defender of Quebec

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I’m sad to say that this is the first Anne Rice book that I REALLY disliked. From the first moment I picked up Interview With the Vampire I became a crazy Anne Rice fan and I loved every one of her books that I read since. It took me forever to get through Memnoch the Devil; I started reading it about a year ago and then put it down because I couldn’t stand all of the religious drivel. I finally decided that I had read enough of the series that I needed to finish it no matter how painful it was. I personally don’t want to read a story that revolves so entirely around the Christian religion, as I happen to be an atheist. Putting my dislike for religion aside, this book felt preachy. Memnoch talked for far too long about his speculation on evolution, the nature of human beings, theology, and every other monotonous detail of the Christian religion. My only consolation was that by the end of the book Lestat still hated god and the devil though I would have preferred that they had remained out of the story altogether. I only read this book so that I could understand the rest of the story, even though I thought it was extremely boring. I makes me truly sad to know that Anne Rice has since gone on to become Catholic and write about Christ in earnest. I would definitely NOT recommend this book even for Anne Rice fans, it isn’t worth it!
American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel

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My first Neil Gaiman novel was Neverwhere, which I found to be very disappointing. I thought maybe Neil Gaiman was just another overrated writer but I decided to give him one more chance. I’m really glad I didn’t write Gaiman off after just one novel because American Gods was everything I was hoping Neverwhere would be and wasn’t. American Gods surprised me with sheer creativity, surprising me with something I had never considered before: what happened to the gods when people from other countries immigrated to the United States? I was fascinated with the way Gaiman pitted the gods of the old world against “new gods” such as TV and internet. This is not merely fiction; Gaiman truly has something to say about American culture in relation to religion and our rapidly changing society. It is difficult to find books where you find yourself thinking: wow, this isn’t like anything I’ve ever read before, but this is one of those books. American Gods is a rich folklore which draws the reader into a world of warring gods and self discovery. Despite my disappointment in Neverwhere I could still appreciate Gaiman’s talent for writing, which shone through even more strongly in American Gods. Every sentence is dripping with powerful description and detail that paints a vivid picture in the mind of the reader. I also enjoyed the outlandish characters that pop up throughout the novel as well as the stoic Shadow. There are several little twists that make this book interesting and addictive. I don’t recommend that you read this book; I demand that you read it…now!
Sunshine

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Sunshine by Robin McKinley was a book that was recommended to me when I asked for suggestions of great vampire novels and after reading the description I was immediately intrigued. Sunshine takes a different approach to the vampire genre, spinning a world both like and unlike our own where vampires lurk in the shadows of a world battered by the “voodoo wars”. Sunshine is a seemingly ordinary young woman but she soon discovers that her talents go beyond creating killer cinnamon rolls and “bitter chocolate death”. I loved how McKinley wove the story together, filling this book with sunlight and cinnamon rolls along with vampires, demons, magic handlers, and the like. There is something about this book that I found captivating and soothing, it somehow has a therapeutic effect for me. Sunshine has become one of my favorite novels. If you love vampire and you’re looking for something different rather than the same old tired vampire romance try Sunshine!
Ghost Road Blues

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Jonathan Maberry is an amazing writer; he definitely deserved the Stoker award for Ghost Road Blues! I’ve always been really into vampires but I was look for something different that was still horror when I picked this book up and I certainly found it. Ghost Road Blues reads like a horror flick about a sick serial killer at first but as the novel progresses it becomes obvious that there is more to the little Halloween town of Pine Deep than a renegade murder. A lot of people thought that this book was long or that it dragged but I enjoyed every moment of it. Maberry has this perfect quality that I so love in authors: his prose is lyrical and beautifully written with rich descriptions that paint brilliant bloody pictures in the mind of the reader. The main characters were quirky and easy to like, especially Malcolm Crow. I loved this book and I would definitely recommend it!
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