Category: Other Staff's Reviews
Courtesy of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy blog:
Dragon Moon by Rebecca York
Shauna's Review: Psychic Kenna is sent to Earth by her master from a parallel world. Yet she eventually finds the secrets that she is keeping from her earthly friend Talon are no greater or graver then the ones that he holds himself. One an other world slave, one a werewolf, they are both powerfully drawn to the mysterious other and must learn to trust one another to quench their desire and to combat all threats from beyond.
More than anything else I enjoyed the vivid characterization throughout this novel. From dueling dragons to shape shifting demons to portal traveling lovers, the characters were crisp, colourful and engaging, the mood atmospheric. My favourite character was Vandar, the shape shifting demon from another dimension , though the enigmatic Randall was interesting as well. Yet the romantic tension that underscored the relationship between Talon and Kenna made these supernatural figures seem all too human and recognizable, authentic to their angst filled cores.
With lots of dramatic tension and a fast moving story line, the reader’s interest was easily piqued and held. Yet it’s also York’s writing style that makes the novel so enjoyable. Simple yet elegant and haunting prose make it both accessible and enjoyable for the reader. A strong blend of romance, fantasy and science fiction, the story is muted and can be enjoyed on a variety of levels, transcending genre for naked plot it seems.
The latest in her Moon series, the eleventh installment, Dragon Moon is somewhat of a departure from the other selections that drew heavily on crime, mystery, serial killers and the like. More paranormal in nature, yet as compelling as any other of her works, it is a must read for all fans of York and fantasy fans in general.
For those wishing to check out York's Moon series, here are the titles in order:
* Killing Moon
* Edge of the Moon
* Witching Moon
* Burning Moon in anthology titled Cravings
* Crimson Moon
* Shadow of the Moon
* New Moon
* Huntress Moon in anthology titled Elemental Magic
* Ghost Moon
* Eternal Moon
Benny and Shrimp: Not Your Typical Romance Novel
For those of you who want to take a break from the traditional bodice rippers and want to read something more literary with a romantic element, check the following book...
Note: This review is courtesy of the FictionFiles blog.
Benny and Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti
In this quirky and engaging love story we meet Benny, a lonely dairy farmer who tends his parents’ grave near the resting place of Shrimp’s husband. Shrimp tries to grieve as she sits on a bench during her breaks from her library job, and Benny finds these visits to be his only break from the constant demands of his farm. It is inevitable that they should meet, and we are delighted when they begin a passionate courtship. But they are from different worlds, and bring different expectations to the relationship.
Benny’s attachment to his parents’ farm is strong and emotional, while Shrimp is attached to the conveniences of an urban lifestyle. Both are driven by the need for connection, and by the ticking of the biological clock. Each character speaks in alternating chapters, and it is often hilarious to discover the different interpretations Benny and Shrimp have of the same event. As they walk a tightrope of emotions, we are reminded of the choices we have made and the directions these choices have taken us.
The funeral of a neighbor was the inspiration for this novel. It is Mazetti’s first adult novel. It was adapted to film, and won the Swedish equivalent of the Oscar.
Canadian author scores big with touching debut
The Gargoyle: a novel (2008)
The Mad Hatter says:
At its core, The Gargoyle is a love story. The narrator begins his life as a stunning Adonis and star of pornographic pictures. He is an addict, alcoholic, and seducer of women. In other words, a morally bankrupt jackass and an all-around cad. Just when his life cannot possibly become more hedonistic, our narrator is horribly burned and disfigured in a car accident. For him, life is over, and while the doctors work to keep him alive, he can only contemplate his suicide. Then he meets Marianne Engel...who is perhaps schizophrenic, maybe manic-depressive, but clearly unhinged in some way. She insists that they were once lovers in medieval Germany and spins him many tales to convince him of their past life together. Marianne's storytelling efforts slowly draw our narrator back to life and towards a love he has never known. He and Marianne share a tumultuous, fiery, passion that is a true meeting of minds and souls, rather than mere physical bodies.
There is no doubt that Andrew Davidson is an extremely talented writer. His description of what it feels like to be engulfed by flames and burned all over your body is one of the best pieces of writing I've read in a long time. His characters are sympathetic, eccentric, and immensely likable. Marianne Engel is unforgettable. The historical vignettes that pepper this book all the way through are also immensely enjoyable (and obviously well-researched showing a keen eye for detail). However, I did feel the book began losing its momentum by the end. Rather than savoring every last word I was skimming paragraphs and pages. How it ends should not come as a surprise, and even though Davidson played fair (it couldn't have ended any other way), I found the outcome unsatisfying. In spite of this I still highly recommend it, and it gets my vote as one of the most beautiful covers in recent memory. (This review originally posted to RPL's FictionFiles blog).
Now a RPL Popular Pick Look for it at your local library!
Anna Maxted: fun, funny, fabulous
If you have not heard of Anna Maxted then you are in for a real treat. Her books are filled with heart and humor, her heroines are wonderfully, believably flawed with redemption just around the corner. This is the best of chick lit adorned in wit and three dimensional characters that you cheer (and sometimes cry) for. Goes beyond formula to achieve fabulous.
If you like Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes, you will love Anna Maxted.
Find Anna Maxted in the RPL catalogue
A Tale of Two Sisters
Two sisters, Lizbet and Cassie, are at a crossroads in their lives and at odds with one another. The novel alternates back and forth between each sister's point of view, which really helps give the story dimension. Lizbet is the plainer, dreamier of the two, a mid-level journalist for a men's magazine and in a stable relationship with her partner Tim. They are struggling financially in a disorganized, chaotic home. Cassie is the posh, put-together barrister, absolutely beautiful and seemingly has it all, including a GQ husband. The two sisters are as different as can be, and have always desired very different things from life. Until now. When one sister gets pregnant, the other is devastated by jealousy and resentment. Then tragedy strikes and throws the sisters' lives into a tailspin, throwing a spotlight on everything that is wrong in their relationship with each other, with their parents, and with their mates.
From The Washington Post's Book World:
"Maxted is a terrific writer with a droll comedic voice. She excels at creating vivid, believable protagonists, and even her minor characters are full of life....Not yet out of her thirties, Maxted seems to be evolving stylistically, with this effort being sharper and more emotionally complex than the early books that established her name. Already something of a grand dame of the genre, she probably doesn't waste much time fretting about the musings of industry trend spotters, or the sorts of labels that are slapped on her books."