Friday, December 19, 2014

Doctor Who: Silhouette by Justin Richards

Doctor Who: Silhouette (New Series Adventures, #53)Doctor Who: Silhouette by Justin Richards

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was excited to see some Doctor Who books available on Blogging for Books, and was intrigued by the Carnival setting of Silhouette.

I have only seen the first episode of the Peter Capaldi season, but I think it was enough to give me a good feel for the characters.  A weak area of Silhouette is that it depends a little too much on the reader already knowing who Madame Vastra and Jenny are and doesn't explain their true relationship with each other.  Madame Vastra also doesn't seem to have much personality here, I would have liked to see her do a little more. Strax was very well done, and easily steals his scenes.  The Doctor seems very like what I remember from the show, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes crotchety, very much not interested in being detained (that's a funny scene, but no spoilers!).  Clara too seems true to form, though strangely missing from the cover.

The Carnival of Curiosities is an intriguing backdrop to the mystery to be solved, and I enjoyed how the performers talents were utilized.  To say a lot more would be too much and make it less enjoyable I think.  I was in the mood for a Doctor Who story, and this did fit the bill.  I think those not already into the show might find it a little flat, but fans will easily be able to fill in the gaps with their knowledge of the show and characters.

I give it a 4/5 based on Strax's character and the Victorian carnival setting.

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane by Alex Irvine (Sleepy Hollow TV Tie In)

I enjoy Tom Mison's portrayal of Ichabod Crane on the TV show Sleepy Hollow, so when I saw that The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane was available on Blogging for Books I was happy to give it a try! I hoped that a written version could live up to the personality that Tom has infused the character with, a noble, resourceful and intelligent man who is baffled by the modern day yet also intrigued with it. He is also very opinionated on the things that seem ridiculous to him, offering historical refutations on why those things make no sense. These diatribes are always a humorous highlight. Those characteristics are what interest me, and what would have to carry a book purported to be his journal.  I'm happy to report that it did this!

The Secret Journal... is a great review of the first season of the television show, as Ichabod relays the story of his awakening, meeting Abigail, and coming to understand that they are the two witnesses that must save the world from Moloch and the Four Horsemen.  It is also filled with interesting historical happenings that were going on in Ichabod's own time and of course all the asides on modern things that we've come to expect and love from him. The internet, cell phones, current fashion and clothing styles, cars, movies, all of these things he embraces or rejects to varying degrees and brings back to mind those funny moments in the show.  There are many "taped in" articles and other findings, drawings of maps and puzzles, and some explanations of different ciphers that may have been used at the time.  I can't speak to the validity of any of these historical facts and secret codes, it is a supernatural/fantasy show after all, but in the fantastic there is perhaps a grain of truth at times, and it fits in well with the story. His affection for Abbie and her sister and all their companions comes through, making him that much more real and human.

All in all, I feel that fans of the show will definitely enjoy this addition to the world of Sleepy Hollow, that recounts the first season from Ichabod's point of view without just being a retelling of what we've already seen.  The Secret Journal... would likely be confusing for those who have not watched the show, but may just be interesting enough to prompt them to give it a try, if for no other reason than to see our hero in action, in spite of (or maybe because of) his clothes and mores being hopelessly out of date!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Dalai Lama's Cat by David Michie

The Dalai Lama's Cat is a sweet, gentle and humorous book that I truly enjoyed during a very difficult time, it was exactly what I needed. I adore the cover!  I've had a passing interest in the Dalai Lama, mostly just seeing snippets of wisdom here and there attributed to him, but would really never have thought about him having a pet, so even the title grabbed my attention.

HHC - His Holiness' Cat actually acquires many names in her tenure at Jokhang, not all of which she is amused by.  Saved from certain death as a tiny kitten, this is her story, told from her point of view of her time there, and how she grows and tries to apply the Dalai Lama's teachings to her life.  She is first and foremost a cat, however, and is subject to a cat's whims, follies and attitudes.  The result is a delightful and amusing story that weaves the occasional  Buddhist precept into it, leaving me more interested in the Dalai Lama and Buddhism than I was before.  It seems like such a gentle philosophy of life, and many of the ideas could be used as guiding principles, regardless of your beliefs.

I highly recommend The Dalai Lama's Cat to cat and all animal lovers of course. I always enjoy stories told from the animal's point of view. I would also encourage anyone who is curious about the religion to give this a try. It is a very beginning introduction by way of the setting and is very non-judgemental in the presentation of ideas. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dewey's 24 hour Read-a-thon October 2014 Edition

It's time for the Fall Edition of Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon!

*throws confetti, shakes pompoms, puts on a tiara*

This year I booked myself for a 5K before I knew when the Read-a-thon was, but that's okay, there is time before and after, and I'll be getting colorful with a friend, so it will be an awesome day!  I just couldn't skip a Dewey's!

Good luck everyone!
Updates: (See what I'm reading at the bottom)

Wrapup - I actually ended up having a family emergency and never really got more read during the read-a-thon, but thank you to everyone that commented, and I hope to see you all in April!

11:00 am - Done with Foundation, it was a quick prequel to the Enclave series, and time to head to the races!  I will be out until this evening, so I hope everyone enjoys their day and I'll see you later!  Next up, The Dalai Lama's Cat.

9:00 am - first read done!  I really enjoyed Silent Blade and highly recommend it!  Next up Foundation by Ann Aguirre another fantastic author, her Sirantha Jax series is one of my all time favorites!  Also time to start getting ready for the day!


7:00 am - Good morning everyone! My cat Fergus wanted to make sure I didn't miss the read-a-thon (he wanted to eat), so he kindly woke me up 15 minutes before my alarm went off!  I'm going to start off with Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews and see if I can finish it up before needing to get ready for my Color Run 5K today.

Opening Meme:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Kansas, USA

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I've got a bunch of novellas ready to work through today, but I have one called the Dalai Lama's Cat that I'm interested to get into.  I've also got Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to read, season appropriate, and I've never read it before.
 
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?  I think we're going out for fish and chips after our 5K so I'm definitely looking forward to that, but I may need to secure myself something decadent for later tonight!  A chocolate, peanut butter, Butterfinger concrete sounds pretty good!
 
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!  I started doing the Read-a-thon in April of 2010, so that makes this my tenth one!  *throws more confetti* I have 3 cats, several giant fish (goldfish/shubunkens) and a very tolerant husband who is amused by my bookish insanity. I am on the board of my company's employee funded charity foundation, and was able to bring in our local library foundation to them for some funding.  Did I mention I love books?  Yeah, I kinda do. ;)

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?  As I realized in the last question, this is my tenth time for the read-a-thon, so I've done a few different things, one of the ones I'd recommend, if you haven't ever been awake at the end of the read-a-thon, trying getting some sleep in the middle so you can be awake at the end at least once, because it feels really awesome to be there at that finish line, but not so special to feel exhausted the rest of the day!  Get up at least an hour maybe two before the end, then you can go back to sleep when it's over! ;)

Alrighty, back to reading, trying to knock out Silent Blade before it's time to get read for the 5K!


Currently Reading:



Finished:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon - October 17-27th, 2014

October is a super busy month for me, but that doesn't mean I can't squeeze in four more read-a-thons. Yes, I said 4. Quatro.  Dewey's 24-hour Read-a-thon is October 18th, and then two more take place in other reading groups I'm a part of in Bookobsessed and Bookcrossing.  All between October 17th and November 4th!

The first of these is the Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon hosted by our friends at My Shelf Confessions from October 17th -27th.  Head on over there to see what all they have planned and sign up to join us!  We'll be using #WWReadathon to chat on Twitter.

Let's get some TBR's knocked out, shall we?

Currently Reading:



Finished:



That's it for this time around! Thanks to our hostesses! I'm looking forward to the next one!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution by Keith R.A. DeCandido

Sleepy Hollow: Children of the RevolutionSleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution by Keith R.A. DeCandido
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was excited to find out I had won this through Goodreads Giveaways, I enjoyed the first season of the show and was interested to see how a novel would compare.

I was pleased at how the author portrayed Ichabod's personality because that is the highlight of the show for me, how he deals with the modern day. I wasn't disappointed, he continues to be thoroughly confused and frustrated by how we do things, why we've named them what they are, and delights in informing Abbie and the crew of their misinformation. He is somehow endearingly arrogant, noble, sarcastic and witty, and that's why we love him.

The plot was also interesting, bringing in many historical facts (and fictions) which is the other draw to the show for me. I always like it when the author details at the end which portions of the story are historical fact and which were added for the story.

It was a good supernatural, historically based story and I would definitely recommend it to fans of the show. Those who have not watched it may be somewhat confused or not as drawn in without that background information as a starting basis, but that's to be expected in a tie in novel.


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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Seriously Series - 3rd Quarter Check-in



    It's time for the 3rd quarter Seriously Series Check-in!  Let's see how I'm doing. 

    Declared Levels:
    Series Started Before 2014: Seriously Spectacular Series Star - 2nd level achieved "Seriously Serious"
    Series Started in 2014: Semi-Serious  - not even sorta serious at this point.
    Series Re-Reads in 2014: Semi-Serious - 100% Done!

    Books since last check in - 8 - I really thought I'd done more than that!
    Series since last check in - 4

    So how am I doing total series and total book wise?

    Total Series 12/22 = 55% 
    Total Books 26/44 = 59%


    It's pretty clear I'm behind, and I thought about paring my list down, but I kind of felt like that was cheating, so I'll just keep going and see how far I get. Anything is more read than I had before I started, so I win no matter what!

    Into the Home Stretch!

    Here are my 8 from this check-in:


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