Monthly Archives: December 2013

Rise by Anna Carey

In the third and final installment of Anna Carey’s intense Eve Trilogy, we catch up with our heroine as she is plotting to escape the City of Sand (and her father’s control) for good. The rebels are uprising and she wants to be right in the middle, especially after her honey-poo’s untimely demise.

Unfortunately, this much-anticipated number three was more like a Taco Bell number two. I enjoyed the story while it was happening but when I got to the end I was kind of like, “Hm… Maybe I shouldn’t have done that.”  rise

Honestly, I think Carey could’ve just added an extra 50-75 pages each to Eve and Once and just completely skipped this weak last book. I get that the first two were tough acts to follow, cause let’s face it, they were fucking awesome. But, the couple particular plot twists that Carey used were pretty predictable, and frankly kind of annoying.

Also, I didn’t like the fact that her and Charles’ relationship was never resolved AT ALL. I mean, she spent the better part of two books being a total douche-nozzle to him and for what? Nothing! He did nothing but help her and she didn’t even try to get along with him or to at least appreciate him as a friend or a confidant. I didn’t like that.

I also didn’t like that the last page left me feeling SO unfulfilled. It should’ve been the end of one of the final chapters, not the end of the entire trilogy. Like seriously, what the fuck? Are you trying to give me a case of literary blue balls, because you have succeeded, my friend!

3 sore uteruses of 5

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It’s a Tom Robbin’s Kind of Day…!

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What if you lived in a land that executed its rulers at their first sign of old age. A wrinkle? Poison it is for you! A grey hair? Down falls the axe! Luckily, unless you’re a professional super model, this doesn’t really apply to you. What if you were a king who defied these laws and escaped–only to spend the rest of your magically LOOOOOONG life seeking immortality. And messing around with Pan. Yep, the goaty one. That’s Jitterbug Perfume for you.

“The unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up, because that means he has to stop dwelling on himself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence. When you’re unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. You get to take yourself oh so very seriously.”

Or, in the case of Still Life with Woodpecker, you are a lovely redheaded princess in modern day America. You live in a moldering old house with your doddering sovereign parents and your batty old nursemaid. Then, during a vacation to Hawaii, you fall in love with a self-proclaimed outlaw. A snaggle-toothed ginger terrorist with dynamite strapped to him. Seriously.

My dear friends Merri and Peter introduced me to Tom Robbins, and out of all the books I’ve adopted from them, TR is by far my favorite author. His unusual and sometimes vulgar writing style is vastly entertaining and his metaphors are so strange yet so… right…that you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of them yourself.

Jitterbug Perfume was a pretty dense read compared to Still Life with Woodpecker, and had a few more dry spots. However, that being said, they both earn 4 out of 5 Camel cigarettes and drops of horny goat elixir.

Baaaaaa….

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The Rising by Kelley Armstrong

Ahhh, Kelley, you’ve done it again. Somehow you’ve managed to make the third book in a trilogy better than the first two while simultaneously intertwining two parallel story lines. Phew. I’m tired just saying that.

The Rising wraps up the Darkness Rising trilogy, which follows Maya, a mountain lion shapeshifter, and her band of genetically modified friends. They’re on the run from some of the most dangerous cabals in the supernatural underworld and have recently learned that the sleepy life they were accustomed to was all a lie. 11864728

Much to my delight, while on the run, they meet up with the teens from Armstrong’s Darkest Powers trilogy and kinda wrap that whole situation up too. I enjoyed this series wholeheartedly–probably for its simplicity. Everything was as it seemed for the most part and for ONCE an ending didn’t piss me off. Things were as they should be. And this love triangle ended the right way.

Reading these books was like dipping my toes in a lukewarm pool. It was pleasant, relaxing, and I didn’t have to get soaked. Some books cause me so much anxiety that I almost stop reading them out of enjoyment and read them to relieve the nervousness they cause. Like I said, these are easy reading.

Keep up the good work, Kelley!

3 birth marks of 5

Also, I highly recommend reading The Darkest Powers bonus pack one and two. They each contain two or three stories out of the DP world and they are definitely worth your time. They fill in a lot of gaps and add a lot to the overall trilogy and are super cheap for the Kindle. (I actually think KA posts them for free on her website but takes them down as new ones are written…)

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And as another, probably useless, sidenote– I also happened to download her other short story Hunting Kat. As far as I know it’s a stand alone, and hopefully it stays that way. The new vampire/genetic vampire/bitten vampire on the run thing was way too contrived. KA has some awesome work out there and this comes no where close to representing her talent. Skip it.

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Unsaid by Neil Abramson

Have you ever wondered what would happen if a first time author had a REALLY good concept for a book, but the whole first time author-thing really tripped him up?

This is what happens. 9628203

Unsaid is the story of the late Helena Colden, a veterinarian who just died of breast cancer. It’s told from her perspective, looking down on the animals and people she’s left behind. And the terrible secret she took to her grave.

I honestly thought that we’d be lucky enough to get a version of The Lovely Bones with a pinch of James Herriot and a dash of Jane Goodall.

Nope.

Helena’s husband David spends a good portion of the book fighting for Cindy, a four year old chimp. He’s a lawyer that’s taken this nearly impossible case as a tribute to his dead wife. While I liked watching David heal and come to grips with his loss, the whole courtroom scene was really cheesy. It read like an old Law and Order re-run from the early ninety’s. Yeah.

Plus, the little autistic boy (I forgot his name) had “visions” in the beginning, but that was dropped off after a while and never explained or examined more closely. Also, SPOILER ALERT! When Helena’s dog Skippy dies of his heart condition, didn’t we all expect some sort of spiritual reunion and/or joyously tearful Touched By an Angel scene?? Way to let the ball drop, Mr. Abramson! 

All in all, I think this is definitely one worth skipping.

It’s too bad, because I had high hopes for Unsaid.

2 paw prints of 5


Super Freakonomics by Steven D Levitt & Stephen J Dubner

I read the first Freakonomics two years ago under the duress of a now ex-boyfriend. It was one of the only positive things I got out of that relationship. 

I never thought I’d have an interest in “social economics” until I got my hands on Levitt & Dubner’s brainchild. I mean, with questions like: why do drug dealers still live with their moms? (in the first book) and why are mall santa clauses and prostitutes alike? (in the second)… How could you not fly through the pages? bookpic

While I absolutely LOVED the first book, I felt that the second was a little thin and lackluster in comparison. I liked the more global hypotheses, like how to combat the greenhouse effect and all that jazz, but it wasn’t as dishy as the first. Before it felt almost like a guilty pleasure. Now it’s kind of old hat. 

If you enjoyed the first, however, there’s really no reason not to continue with the next installment. Hopefully next time L&D can devote some brainpower to answering questions like: why do TVs keep getting flatter when we don’t even have a tortilla chip with a guacamole-supporting infrastructure? or why do teenagers put cases on their phones but don’t use condoms??

Alas, the world will never know!

4 Forth of July hookers of 5