January 30th, 2011

Eric in Robe

No. 8 for 2011

Title: Evernight
Author: Claudia Gray
Rating: 4/5
Book: 8/50 (16% completed)
Pages: 327 pgs
Total Pages: 2,864/15,000 pages (19.09% completed)
Version: Book
Next up: A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton

I enjoyed this book. There's definate potential for this series. I really like Lucas and Balthazar. I hope we get to see more of them in the other books. They both seem like interesting characters. Especially Lucas as he's particularily angsty. I will definately read the rest of the series.

xposted to 50bookchallenge, 15000pages and bookworm84

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forbidden fruit - icon_goddess

(no subject)

Title: Halfway to the Grave
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Genre: Urban fantasy/paranormal romance
Pages: Paperback, 358
Published: 2007
Opening Line: "I stiffened at the red and blue lights flashing behind me, because there was no way I could explain what was in the back of my truck."
Favorite Line: "Charlie whistled 'Amazing Grace' as he drove. It was all I could do to no whip my head around and snap, Are you kidding me? Couldn't be pick something more appropriate like 'Shout at the Devil' or 'Don't Fear the Reaper'? Some people had no sense of the proper music for kidnapping." (179)
Theme Song: Tears Don't Fall by Bullet for My Valentine

"Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father -- the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bone, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

"In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't en up as his dinner -- are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat."
~ Jacket copy

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Rating: 5/5
Currently: One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Pages: 2019
Horror/Urban Fantasy Challenge: 6/24
Current Progress:
7/50 books


Book 9: The Nature of Blood by Caryl Phillips

Book 9: The Nature of Blood.
Author: Caryl Phillips, 1997.
Genre: Historical Fiction. Holocaust Fiction. Race. Literary. Post modern.
Other Details: Hardback. 213 pages

The Nature of Blood is a slender novel that is quite extraordinary in its power and scope. Embedded within are a number of individual stories that illustrate the larger history of racial politics in Europe.

It opens with Stephen, a doctor and militant, living in Palestine just before the creation of the state of Israel. Part of his work involves visiting the relocation camps where Jews wait to be allowed entry to Palestine. The novel then jumps back in time to an unnamed Nazi death camp on the day of liberation and we are introduced to Eva, a young survivor. It is Eva's story that forms the heart of the novel as we see glimpses of happier times with her family before the war as well as her time in the camp and the aftermath. Her father's break with his brother Stephen over the issue of Palestine highlights how after many centuries in Europe how strange the idea of settling in the desert "amongst Arabs" seemed before the Holocaust.

The novel also travels further back in time to late 15th century Venice to chronicle a case of 'blood libel' as a group of prominent Jews are accused of the ritual murder of a wandering Christian boy. Alongside this is the story on an African general who has been hired by the Doge to lead the Venetian army. Acutely aware of his outsider status, he wanders the streets of Venice and visits the original ghetto where the city's Jewish population resides. Although never named in the text, it is fairly clear who he is, even before the revelation of the name of the beautiful Venetian woman he has married. An elderly Stephen closes the novel as he meets Malka, an Ethiopian Jew who has also come to Palestine, only to find that the colour of her skin is held against her. It is a painful irony.

There are certain post-modern elements that in less skilled hands would have made this novel harder for me to engage with; such as unannounced shifts in time between the twentieth and fifteenth centuries and an anachronistic rant from the universal narrator accusing the African of being an 'Uncle Tom'. Its descriptions of Eva's life in the death camp are deeply disturbing as Phillips uses short, sharp sentences that cut to the quick.

The novel is melancholic in its examination of how the fear of the other has fuelled racism and intolerance throughout the centuries. Our awareness of history and Shakespearean tragedy overshadows the narrative so there is a sense of predestination of how things will turn out even if not spelt out.

The Holocaust and historical anti-Semitism in Europe is not a subject usually expected from an Anglo-Caribbean writer and yet creating a parallel between the persecution of Jews in Europe and the legacy of the African slave trade works extremely effectively. I was captivated by the elegance of Phillips' writing and certainly plan to seek out more of his work.

Book Number Four - The Perfect Woman by James Andrus

Published: 1 April 2010
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 384
Medium: Kindle e-book
Acquired: Free Download
Normal Cost: 4.39

This is a police thriller that at times seems choppy but is generally a good read. Andrus does a good job fleshing out the characters on both sides. The hero, Detective John Stallings, is still reeling from his daughter's disappearance. His partner is adjusting to life on the police force. Lead Detective Tony is more than just an obnoxious glory hound. And the villian of the piece is fully developed. With all of these characters, as a reader, I was drawn into understanding their motivations, their fears and their dreams. It was interesting to watch the villian escalate his killing spree and plan for the next one. He was not portrayed as insane but as a lucid and methodical killer - one who understood that his need to kill was escalating. The book details the investigation but is not bogged down with technical jargon that makes it hard to understand. While its plotline is fairly predictable, it is a fast paced and enjoyable read.

Books Read: 4/50
Pages: 1480
Money Saved: 35.39
El Corazon

16. Blood Meridian...

Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West
by Cormac McCarthy

January 26, 2011
Finished: January 30, 2011

I really respect the skill that it took to write this book, but I don't know if I really liked it. Very violent, which I didn't mind so much, but maybe I'm just too dim to really get whatever deeper meaning there was supposed to be behind all the violence. Oh well, I'm glad I read it once, but I'll probably never do so again. 337 pages. Grade: B-
Total # of books read in 2011: 16
Total # of pages read in 2011: 4,137



That's a hyperbolic way to introduce Book Review No. 6; on the other hand one keeps waiting for Paul Clemens to work a "forgive them for they know not what they do" into Punching Out:  One Year in a Closing Auto Plant.

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Detroit, nay, large parts of the Rust Belt, will continue to lose ground as long as the remaining thinking people cling to their old ways.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)