Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Review: The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey

The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey
The first in the series The Elemental Masters.

Small sample of the beginning of Chapter 1:
Rosalind Hawkins answered the door with her entire being in a knot of anxiety; expecting yet another aggressive creditor, she schooled her face into a calm she did not feel. Outside, the dreary, drizzling day was giving way to another dreary night. The home that had once been her sanctuary was now under siege --- and no longer hers.

Rosalind Hawkins is a medieval scholar from a fine family in Chicago, unfortunately, her professor father has speculated away the family money and died, leaving young Rosalind with no fortune and no future. Desolate with grief, forced to cut her education short, she agrees to go West to take a job as a governess to a wealthy man in San Francisco.

Jason Cameron, her new employer, is a man with a problem: An Adept and Alchemist, Master of the Element of Fire, he had attempted the old French werewolf transformation, and got stuck in mid-transformation. Trapped halfway between wolf and man, over the centuries he has been slowly losing his humanity, and with it his ability to discover a cure for his condition.

Thoughts, Feelings & More

This book begins in a time period in which I am glad I was never born. Women are mere shadows of what they are today. "Rose" is left to fend for herself after her father dies. I am glad that Rose is not left to immediately find a husband to take care of her and that she did go take a job somewhere (even though something like that may happen later *wink*). My most favorite character out of this book is Jason. Who doesn't like a half man half wolf?

What would have happened differently if Darth Vader from Star Wars had been a mysterious man with a magical shop that the main character could visit to grant one wish?

In accordance with not giving too much about the plot away, Rose would have protected Jason from harm and asked Darth Vader where his face mechanism came from, after all, the time period in which The Fire Rose was written was during a time when electricity had barely been invented.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Series Review: The Elemental Masters by Mercedes Lackey

Hello world out there! I will be reading and reviewing the wonderful world of Mercedes Lackey and her series called The Elemental Masters. I have read a couple of other Mercedes Lackey titles, but never a complete series and never in order in which they are supposed to be read. So! With that being said, I am going to start from the beginning and capture the real essence of Mercedes Lackey's work. The list is as follows!
  1. The Fire Rose
  2. The Serpent's Shadow
  3. The Gates of Sleep
  4. Phoenix & Ashes
  5. Wizard of London
  6. Reserved for the Cat
  7. Unnatural Issue
Beginning with The Fire Rose I will post my review on each book along with answering one question at the end of the review that is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! than what most people would ask of a story of such a genre. The question is.... drum roll...

What would have happened differently if Darth Vader from Star Wars had been a mysterious man with a magical shop that the main character could visit to grant one wish?

Let's find out!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Review: Valiant: A modern Tale of Faerie

Book Review
Valiant: A modern Tale of Faerie
By Holly Black

Back Cover Description:
When seven-teen year old Valarie runs away to New York City, she's trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city's labryrinthine subway system.

But there's something eerily beguiling about Val's new friends. And when one talks Val into tracking down the lair of a mysterious creature with whom they are all involved, Val finds herself torn between her newfound affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.

Amanda's Description:
After catching her mother doing something unspeakable, Valarie ends up at a cafe in New York City where she meets a girl with blue hair and a boy with dreadlocks. She follows them to their hideout where she discovers that Faerie really do exist. After finding a creature that is feared by Val's new friends, she discovers that she cannot resist this strange new creature and lifestyle.

A mysterious murderer has appeared in the city and it is up to Val to clear her new found obsession's name. With a glass sword in hand, she is determined to take what is hers; his heart.

Thoughts, Feelings & More
At the beginning of this book I was unsure of where it was going. Valarie seemed like one of those girls that just needs to let loose a little bit and enjoy life until I read what her mother did to her. My jaw literally dropped and I said, " Oh no she didn't!" That immediately gainI gied my attention and I couldn't put the book down after that.

Surprisingly, the unlikely love pairing between Val and the creature was heart warming and I am glad that Holly Black created a match that most people wouldn't expect. I expected Val to fall for Dave or Luis, or even Lolli by the way Lolli was hanging all over Val. The dark factor in this book was done fantastically; not too dark, but not too whimsical. I can only find one downside to the book and that is that the Unseelie and Seelie Courts weren't explained very well, I personally would have liked to learn more about the other Faerie people, but it wasn't that big of a deal.