Friday, August 26, 2011

Bloodlines - Review

Bloodlines (Bloodlines, # 1)

By: Richelle Mead

Published: August 23rd 2011 by Razorbill

421 pages

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Vampires

Source: Own/Personal Library

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Goodreads description--Blood doesn't lie...

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning...

So 4 stars.

Why is it that the best parts about a book are always spoilers? I really want to spit out spoiler free reviews as much as possible, but it leaves me feeling like I’m missing half the fun. I want to give informed reviews without ruining the book for someone who hasn’t gotten to it yet, because I truly believe a book should be experienced as it’s meant to be by the author—which is page 1 to the end, experiencing it all moment by moment. It’s tough because the spoilers are the most exciting. That being said, Richelle Mead is known for her twists and turns and so, let me just say, “Expect them—twists and turns, that is.”

I really feel like most of the book at this point is just build up for the rest of the series. Just laying the ground work for the really fun things to come. It wasn’t that this book didn’t have its own story or excitement, but with the way she ended it, it just seems like the best stuff is yet to come. Especially considering Richelle posted on Facebook that she said in an interview that book 2, The Golden Lily, has an ending that makes you want to throw the book across the room. Sounds like good—frustrating—things for the future of Bloodlines as a series. Lucky for me, Richelle Mead can spit books out (with extreme quality) at the same rate that most people go to the dentist each year (that’s once every six months incase that didn’t make sense). And lucky for me, I’ve read enough of her writing to trust her.

That leads me to predictions. I wont go into detail about what my predictions were before reading Bloodlines and which came true and which didn’t. But I will say that a prediction I made about Adrian before starting Bloodlines is in the process of coming true. And a prediction I made about Adrian shortly (and I do mean shortly) after starting Bloodlines came true. Both came about in ways that didn’t leave me feeling like I could figure the entire book out before really getting started. And neither were the major plot lines for this book which is why I’m not annoyed that I figured them out. I won’t go into my predictions for The Golden Lily, but they’re already starting to develop. Going to be a long wait until June—when The Golden Lily is set to release. Good thing I’ve got a backlog of books to keep me busy until then.

I guess for now, that’s all I’ll say. A solid read, but complete setup for the really good stuff. Does anyone know how many books she plans to be in this series? Just curious.

*Updated: September 6, 2013

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Power of a Praying Woman - Review

The Power of a Praying Woman

By: Stormie Omartian

Published: July 1st 2002 by Harvest House Publishers

255 pages

Genre: Christian, Nonfiction, Spirituality, Self-Help, Religion, Faith

Source: Personal Library

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Goodreads description--In The Power of a Praying "RM" Woman, Stormie's deep knowledge of Scripture and candid examples of her own struggles and epiphanies in prayer provide reassuring guidance for those who seek a greater sense of God's presence in their lives.

Women will discover how to:
-- Trust God with deep longings, not just pressing needs
-- Pray when life seems out of control
-- Effectively cover every area of life with prayer
-- Maintain a right heart before God
-- Rebuild a faltering prayer lifeWomen wanting a strong and fruitful prayer life will find the means to that end in this new edition. Each segment of the book concludes with a prayer that women can follow or use as a model for their own prayers.

Women of all ages will find hope, purpose, and stability for their lives with The Power of a Praying "RM" Woman.

5 Stars...did you hear me? * * * * * Stars! I LOVED this book. I've read The Power of a Praying Wife before this and was expecting this book to be very similar. Now don't get me wrong, The Power of a Praying Wife is also a very good book, but this book, this book breaks the mold. It's so much more.

Stormie Omartian goes to the heart of the woman's soul and speaks to the very things that I think women all struggle with. This is probably the best supplemental book to the Bible that I have ever read

I really don't know how else to praise this book. Get it! Get it! Get it! And then read it and read it again. I took this book slowly. My goal was to read this book one chapter per week in order to allow myself time to really soak up the information. My personal experience in doing it this way was that the exact thing I was struggling with and needed to read happened to come up in the exact week that I needed it. I can't say anything more about it. This book has transformed my prayer life. Seriously, check it out.

*Updated: September 6, 2013

Game of Thrones - Review

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, # 1)

By: George R R Martin

Published: first published August 6th 1991

835 pages

Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Source: Personal Kindle Library

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Goodreads description--The first volume of A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. GAME OF THRONES is now a major TV series from HBO, starring Sean Bean.

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.

The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.

4 Stars - Enjoyed this book. I've always liked this time period of castles, knights, war, and kings. This is outside of the genre I've been reading most frenquently, but I didn't love it any less because of that.

George R.R. Martin writes from a variety of perspectives. These voices range from male to female, from child to adult, and from noble to bastard. The only negative comment I have about the narration is that having just finished the Wolves of Mercy Falls series where Maggie Stiefvater always writes from the character with the most interesting point of view, it was alittle frustrating to go back to an author that swaps view points just when the story gets interesting. George R.R. Martin doesn't always do this--swap just when it gets interesting. But I did find myself being disappointed when the narrators swapped, especially depending on which voice I was coming upon. It wasn't that any of the narrators were boring or I didn't like any of them. I'm not quite sure how to explain it.

It's obvious that George R.R. Martin spent a lot of time creating this world and an intricately interconnected cast of characters. I was also excited when I got to the end of the book and found the appendix containing a break down of each of the seven major house families.

Overall pretty impressed. I have already started book two, A Clash of Kings, and I am anxious to see what's going to happen with the characters I'm growing to love--though people have warned me not to get too attached.

*Updated: September 6, 2013