Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blog Change

For a long time I've wanted to change the name of my blog, so I finally went ahead and took the plunge. I also wanted the url to match the name, so I had to switch my blog over completely. So, I'd much appreciate if any of my blog readers and followers would head on over to my new blog, become a follower, update your subscriptions to the new link, and all that good stuff. Thanks!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Oracle's Legacy: Dawn of Illumination

Book Details:
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Page Count: 448
Publication Date: Oct. 3, 2010
Why I read it: received for review
Grade: B

The plot:
The Board Is Set… The dying Oracle can no longer protect her Structure. Moon has exposed it from the shadows in hopes to bring ruin to the world. Thousands of years of lies and secrets have given birth to fear and mistrust. The cycle of Moon’s plots have only begun to spin. The Pieces Are In Place… Pillars want to recreate the world, but in order to do so they must first destroy it. The Structure looks to their new leader, Augustus Granger, to take over and stop the devastation. However, Demon’s Wrath refuses to let anyone stop his plan of total annihilation. The Game Has A New Player... The plots, misdeeds, and fighting gave rise to Chaos. Now no one can stop her. No one is safe. No one can hide.

My review:
This was a pretty good conclusion to the Oracle's Legacy trilogy. I have to say I didn't like it as well as the first two. In all of these books there have been times when I had no idea what was going on, but I felt like by this third book I should have a better grasp on the story and everything happening, but I just didn't. Also, as someone who goes as far as correcting the grammar of characters on TV, I'm still very annoyed with the editing here. There were commas all over the place where they shouldn't have been. It didn't make the reading as smooth as it could have been.

Still, I was satisfied with how the story ended. I still really like Ollie, as messed up as she is. The writing continues to have that "tough" feel to it, sometimes a little too much, to be honest. What I really liked about this trilogy, though, was that it's just so different. I'm not sure how the author came up with her ideas, but her world is very detailed and quite interesting. I haven't seen any other books like this, which is refreshing. I sometimes get tired of the same types of characters that you usually see in fantasy books.

The first book in this trilogy will always hold a spot on my list of favorites, and I would (with reservations) recommend this trilogy to fans of fantasy and science fiction. I look forward to seeing what R.B. Holbrook does next.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball

Book Details:
Genre: Christian Romance
Page Count: 226
Publication Date: Oct. 5, 2010
Why I read it: received for review
Grade: B+

The plot:
In a sleepy, snow-covered city, Cora Crowder is busy preparing for the holiday season. Searching for a perfect gift, a fortuitous trip to Warner, Werner, and Wizbotterdad’s (a most unusual bookshop) leads to an unexpected encounter with co-worker Simon Derrick. And the surprise discovery of a ticket for a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas Ball.

Every year, the matchmaking booksellers of the Sage Street bookshop host an enchanting, old-fashioned Christmas Ball for the romantic matches they’ve decided to bring together.

This year, will Simon and Cora discover a perfect chemistry in their opposite personalities and shared faith? Or will the matchmakers’ best laid plans end up ruining everything this holiday?

My review:
I've only ever read fantasy books by Donita K. Paul, and she's one of my favorite authors. This book was another hit for me. It was a sweet romance that was perfect for this time of year. The thing I love most about this author's books are that they are just so cozy. They're just right for reading while cuddling under a blanket with a cup of tea or cocoa.

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball wasn't very fast paced. It seemed to cover a very short amount of time, and honestly not a lot happened. I really would have liked to see the story a bit more fleshed out and more things explained. It was pretty short, and had a bit of an abrupt ending. We never really got to know exactly what was going on or why or how. That being said, I think that it was meant to be a quick holiday read, not a long detailed story.

I quite liked the characters here, and would love to read more about them. I didn't want to the story to end. There is definitely a Christian message in the book, and religion is sprinkled throughout. Pretty much what you'd expect from a Christian publisher and author. All in all, I would definitely recommend this if you're looking for a sweet holiday read that you can squeeze in between all your busy times. This is an author that I'll continue to read.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones

Book Details:
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Count: 322
Publication Date: Nov. 1, 2008
Why I read it: 2nd in series
Grade: B

The plot:
In this second Alcatraz adventure, Alcatraz finds himself on a mission to meet Grandpa Smedry when he gets swept up by a flying glass dragon filled with his unusual and mouthy Smedry cohorts.

Their mission? A dangerous, library-filled one, of course!

They are on their way to the ancient and mysterious Library of Alexandria (which some silly people think was long ago destroyed!) where they must find Grandpa Smedry, look for clues leading to Alcatraz's potentially undead dead father, and battle the creepy, dangerous soul-sucking curators who await them.

My review:
I think that my sense of humor meshes pretty well with Brandon Sandersons. It would have to, otherwise I'd find this book incredibly annoying. There is humor throughout, and sometimes I think it's almost trying too hard to be funny. But at the same time, I think that's part of the charm of this book.

There isn't a ton that happens here--it's really just one adventure, but I didn't feel like the book lacked plot at all. It was actually really interesting, and not at all predictable, which is nice. The story always seems to be going in one crazy direction after another. I honestly think it might be a bit much for some people. I can easily see how people could find the writing over the top, especially the humor. But it was right up my alley, and it was a quick fun read, especially for someone in a book slump.

I think if you had teen boys who wanted to find something to read, they would love this series. It would also be a fun bedtime story to read with your kids, if you like to do that kind of thing. This is nothing like Brandon Sanderson's other fantasy novels. It seems like whatever he writes is good, so as long as he keeps writing, I'll keep reading.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Book Details:
Genre: non-fiction/self help
Page Count: 247
Publication Date: April 1, 2010
Why I read it: review copy from Tyndale
Grade: C

The plot:
Once upon a time, Michelle McKinney Hammond’s lifestyle centered around the finer things in life—designer clothes, five-star restaurants, and bag after bag of high-end nonessentials. Then one day, like many people, Michelle awoke to find herself on the losing end of a most unwelcome and unexpected financial downturn. In response, she quickly went from “spoiled” to “fabulously frugal,” and with courage and a sense of humor, she made the necessary adjustments in her life.
Now, Hammond, a self-proclaimed DIVA (Divine Inspiration for Victorious Attitude), shares what she learned about her own spending, desires, and needs and how she adjusted to life during an unpredictable economy. Divanomics is filled with money-saving tips on fashion, beauty, home decor, entertaining, diet, housing, and more.

My review:
I'm not sure that I'm really the target audience for this book. Yes, I'd like to budget better and get tips for spending less money, but this book seemed to be more for people who had expensive tastes (something I've never had) and it seemed to be geared more towards single woman. Since I'm a married mother of three, my life looks a lot different than the authors.

I think if you're looking for a good book on budgeting and financing, check out something by Dave Ramsey. In fact, the author even suggests his books in Divanomics, so I think she's aware that she's not an expert on finance. What this book reads more like is sitting down for a cup of coffee with a girlfriend who found herself in financial trouble, figured out how to help herself, and wants to give you her advice and experiences.

I think what I liked best about the book were the little snippets at the end of each chapter called "What's a diva to do". These were basically a summary of the chapter, but in the form of a list of things you could try. Since I'm all about lists, these were good for me. This is a fun book about spending less, but a lot of the time I felt like she was too focused on getting stuff--like what she could get out of other people for free. There were times that it wasn't in a bad way, like trading clothes with your friends, but there were other times where it seemed like she was giving pointers for getting men (or others) to buy you things or give you things. It rubbed me the wrong way a little bit.

All in all, this was a quick read (when I actually picked it up and read it), but definitely not the best if you're looking to get your finances in order. If you're looking for something lighthearted about finances, though, this may be a good option. You can visit the product page for this book at Tyndale here.