Please Pass the Prozac (ydnimyd) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Please Pass the Prozac
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Books 32 - 39

#32 - Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko (2006, 455 pages)

Anton Gorodetsky may seem like a normal guy...until you factor in that he is a light magician working for the Night Watch organization, helping hold the balance between light and dark. In one of his first major cases, he finds himself embroiled in the middle of a battle for a boy's destiny as well as trying to stop the world from being destroyed by a cursed woman. Helping Anton are the Others Olga, a woman forced to live as an owl after an unmentionable crime; Simeon, a wise magician with a mischevious side; Bear and Tiger Cub, two shape shifters; and Gesar, Anton's wise boss and head of the Night Watch.

I love how seamlessly Lukyanenko ties our world to Anton's magical world and how such magical beings seem so natural. Reading this, I wished that this were real and that I would one day be discovered as an Other. The story combines great action with thought-provoking situations, leaving you to wonder what you would do if you were so fortunate as to become an Other.

The book is told in three tales, and if you have seen the Night Watch and Day Watch films, they are told using the three stories in this novel. This is an English translation from an original Russian novel, but I think everything translated very well. I give this book a very, very strong five out of five light Others.


#33 - Day Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko (2006, 453 pages)

The stories of the Light and Dark Others introduced in the novel Night Watch are continued in this book. Lukyanenko provides readers with three stories from the point of view of the Day Watch. The stories are not quite as fluid as the ones in the first novel, but they still tell a fascinating chronological tale.

First, Dark Other Alisa finds herself being sent to a childrens' camp in an effort to restore her powers. While there, she falls in love with a Light Other, a situation with brings about disastrous consequences. Next, a young man mysteriously finds his way to Moscow at the same time an ancient artifact is stolen. The two situations seem to be concidental, but as time goes on, they are intricately entwined. Finally, the two stories are wrapped up as Anton and a member of the Day Watch are called to serve as lawyers in the trial of Alisa's lover Igor. It's a nice conclusion to the book.

While this novel is not quite as strong as its predecessor, it still is an amazing book. Again, the worlds flow seamlessly together, and Lukyanenko's story is so creative. I give this a great four out of five witches.

#34 - Twilight Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko (2007, 405 pages)

Anton is back as the narrator of the series. In these three tales, he finds himself forced to leave his family vacation to help solve a mystery of a stolen book. The book was believed to have been a fairy tale...until it was stolen. The book, if used, could lead to the destruction of the human race, and as a result, the Others.

The three tales in this book all tell the tale from Anton's discovering a plot for a human to become an other, to finding an ancient witch who is hell-bent on staying hidden from the Watches to finally discovering who exactly took the book. The path is dangerous, and at time, no one, not even Anton's family, who are also Others, are safe.

I love the action in this book. While the second dropped off a little, the third is back in perfect form. I absolutely love this book, and I give it a powerful five out of five great sorceresses.

#35 - Last Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko (2009, 370 pages)

Anton's work in the third book continues. Although he found the stolen book and solved the case of who was trying to destroy the human race, he finds that things have not ended. Following the murder of a young Russian in a haunted house in Scotland, Anton is sent to help solve the case.

The three stories in this book follow Anton's work, and things become even more dangerous for Anton, who is now a Higher Magician. At every turn, someone is trying to kill him and those who help fight on his side. As the case winds on, Anton finds himself seeking the help of a former great magician, one of a few who managed to switch from Light to Dark, the great Merlin. Anton must unravel a riddle Merlin created that has baffled members of the Day and Night Watches for centuries and stop the world from being destroyed.

As with the first and third books, this one has a great deal of action. Though it may seem trite that Lukyanenko entwined Merlin's tale into this series, he does it so deftly that it works perfectly. I cannot give this book a stronger five out of five Higher Magicians.

#36 - The Road
by Cormack McCarthy (2006, 241 pages)

In a post-apocalyptic world, a man and his son find themselves trying to move south toward safer territory and warmer climates. Along the way, they battle not only the weather but sadistic humans who will do anything to survive and entirely at the risk of others.

There are so many things that I love about this novel. The narrative is simplistic but haunting at the same time. The grammar used adds to that haunting detail. What I also really appreciate is how Cormack McCarthy doesn't outright say what exactly has happened to the world. You're given hints, but it's left ambiguous, which I think helps, because you're focused on the boy and his father, not on what happened before.

I admit the preview for the film drew me to the book, along with some great reviews by some of my friends. I really am fortunately to have read this, as it is a beautiful and haunting novel. I give this five out of five pathways.

#37 - Tombs of Endearment by Casey Daniels (2007, 307 pages)

I've been reading this series out of order, first reading book four, then book one and this is book three. But, fortunately for me, the stories, while intertwined, are each individual stories so I don't feel completely lost.

In this third installment of the Pepper Martin mystery series, Pepper is asked by the ghost of rock star Damon Curtis to help prevent his ghost from being channeled by a former band mate. But the mystery of this case does not end there, and it is up to Pepper and Damon to figure out what is keeping his ghost on Earth.

This is one of the most fun books of the series, though I did feel that it faltered slightly at the end. The story had a lot of great twists and turns, but the end just kind of fell flat, leaving me asking, "That's it??" The case, though, is intriguing and the situations Pepper faces mix comedy and suspense quite well. It's not my favorite in the series, but it is toward the top, which is why I give this three and a half out of five specters.

#38 - Hellboy: Wake the Devil by Mike Mignola (1997, 144 pages)

I admit it, while I can't stand most graphic novels, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Hellboy series. In this second edition of the series, Hellboy once again finds himself on the tail of Russian terror, Rasputin. Adding to the mystery is a vampire tale of Guirescu, who was once recruited by the Nazi forces as part of their reign of terror. Hellboy and others from the bureau travel to Europe trying to find Guirescu and stop him from being reanimated. Tension is added to the tale in a situation in which Liz is nearly drained of all of her power by a mysterious being.

I really enjoyed this particular Hellboy tale, and it pushed me to get my hands upon the third graphic novel in the series, which I fortunately read immediately after putting this one down. I give this particular Hellboy graphic novel a delighted four out of five Bureaus for Paranormal Research and Defense.

#39 - Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and Others by Mike Mignola (1998, 168 pages)

Hellboy's adventures continue in this series of short tales based upon various European folklore. The stories range from a Christmas story involving werewolves and how Baba Yaga lost her eye in a battle with Hellboy to how Liz regains her powers and how Hellboy saves a young child from certain doom.

I like that short story format, as I feel I get more Hellboy due to each story featuring different aspects of Hellboy and his adventures. I also like how well Mignola tied Hellboy's history into some fairly common tales like Baba Yaga. The situations are fun and really inspire the reader to enjoy what's presented. I give this a fun four and a half out of five Right Hands of Doom.

Total Books Read: 39 / 50 (78 percent)
Total Pages Read: 11,197 / 15,000 (75 percent)
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