October 20th, 2010


# 64 Angelica

< i>Angelica</i>

Arthur Phillips

Angelica is a Victorian ghost story with some very dark disturbing psychological themes.

The title character is a little girl who seems to be the focus of hauntings by an evil entity who wishes to harm her and take her innocence.

Thr hauntings are tied to the conjugal relationship of her parents; the overwrought emotions of her mother and the suppressed emotions and urges of her father.

Narrated in turn by four of the key characters at the center of the hauntings, the story is revealed one piece at a time, like a paneled mural - each panel complete in itself, yet each revealing only part of the whole.

I'm left, at the end of this book, definitely not feeling enthusiastic about it. On the other hand, I liked it well enough to finish it.

I'm very glad that my next planned read is something entirely different. Angelica left me feeling the need for a complete change of pace.


Book 104: The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

Book 104: The Heretic Queen
Author: Michelle Moran, 2008
Genre: Historical Romance. Ancient Egypt.
Other Details: Hardback. 383 pages.

My love is unique - no one can rival her, for she is the most beautiful woman alive. Just by passing, she has stolen away my heart." - Ramesses II, poem for Queen Nefertari.

Following the death of Nefertari's family in a fire, she is left to grow up in the palace of the new Pharaoh, Seti I. She is constantly over-shadowed by her family's past, especially her aunt, Queen Nefertiti. She finds herself falling in love with her childhood companion, Prince Ramesses. His aunt, Woserit, takes Nefertari under her wing to educate her and promote her as the future Chief Wife for the prince. However, Ramesses has already married Iset.

Although Iset is not a princess by birth, she is very beautiful and has the favour of Ramesses other aunt, Henttawy. There is a long history of bad blood between the two sisters and this plays out in the rivalry between Iset and Nefertari. When Ramesses declares his love for Nefertari, the way is still not clear for her being declared Chief Wife and Queen over Iset. First she must win the approval of the people of Egypt who associate her with Nefertiti, the Heretic Queen.

I enjoyed this book and it was an easy read though I had to put aside my quibbles with this particular take on Ancient Egyptian royal life.

Moran does include a number of historical incidents from the early years of Ramesses II's' reign and certainly she is not imagining that he and Nefertari were a love match as poetry and buildings remain as a testimony to this love. However, she does exercise considerable artistic license with Nefertari's ancestry. Even though a cartouche of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Ay was found in Nefertari's tomb, which may suggest a connection to that royal family, there is no definitive proof of this. So making her the daughter of Nefertiti's sister Mutnodjmet, the narrator of Moran's first novel, Nefertiti, is a plot devise upon which hangs the entire issue of Nefertari having to deal with disapproval about her connection to the heresy practised by Queen Nefertiti.

I also felt that the constant concern about what the people thought about her suitability as Chief Wife was out of keeping with the society of the time. The Pharaoh and his family was considered more than royal, they were divine incarnations. The kind of worry about 'the people' felt more in keeping with the sensibilities of post-Enlightenment Europe or even today than this era. She also introduces the story of Moses petitioning for the release of his people, though in a modified form. Again, there is no evidence of this and you can't really count Cecil de Mille's The Ten Commandments, which featured Ramesses and Nefertari, as historical fact.

In the final analysis I considered this novel more in the spirit of the epic films about Ancient Egypt that were produced in Hollywood during the 1950s such as Howard Hawk's Land of the Pharaohs. Something to enjoy for the spectacle and romance but not take too seriously.
Caleb- snug as a bug!

Book #40: The Accidental Werewolf

The Accidental Werewolf
Dakota Cassidy
Fiction; fantasy; chick lit
326 pages

When Marty Andrews gets bitten by a mangy mutt while walking her teacup poodle, her blond hair darkens, the hair on her legs starts growing at an alarming rate, and her mood swings put her dream job as a sales rep for Bobbie- Sue Cosmetics in serious jeopardy.
Then a drool-worthy man shows up at her door claiming that he accidentally bit Marty. And since he's a werewolf, she is now, too. Thinking Keegan Flaherty is clearly insane, Marty refuses to believe a word until a kidnapping makes her realize there's more at stake than just her highlights. And she must put her out-of-control life in the hands of the man who makes her blood run wild in more ways than one...

I thought that this book was more of a guilty pleasure read than anything else. It was pretty good fluff though. It is definitely not a young adult read! There were so many sex scenes in there that it started to take away from the story. I am not a prude by any means, but it seems like some of the scenes towards the end could have been omitted. Anyways, I thought it was a fun read, but I think I will probably eventually read the rest of the series.

***Next read: I am about to start A Cry in the Night by Mary Higgins Clark

Book 38

Title: Ethan Frome
Author: Edith Wharton
Themes: Tragedy, Love, Toil

It took me a while to get into this book, this might just be because I was in the middle of a move at the time and pretty busy.  Once I really had time to sit down I couldn't put it down because the characters and storytelling were so compelling.  Wharton might be moving up the ranks as one of my favorite authors because of the way she can spin a tale.  It was so heartbreaking and very beautiful.
Dean Glory

No. 41 for 2010

Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Rating: 5/5
Book: 40/50 (82% completed)
Pages: 391 pgs
Total Pages 15,343/15,000 pages Completed the 15000pages challenge!
Next up: Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

There is not enough words to describe how much I am loving this series! I stand by what I said when I read The Hunger Games in that this series is the single most disturbing thing I have read but yet, this series is definately in my top ten reads.

The cliffhanger at the end of this book makes me want to speed read through the rest of my library books so I can move on to Mockingjay! I need to know what happens next!!!

This is a great series. It's YA but definately worth a read. If you like 1984 by George Orwell(which I didn't but perhaps I should give it another try as I was forced to read it in school and naturally, I hated almost everything that I was forced to read in English class in high school) or The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, you definately need to read this series!

xposted to 50bookchallenge, 15000pages and bookworm84

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