Monday, April 30, 2012

Why Can't People Make Up Their Mind?

One Dance with a Duke by 

Summary: A handsome and reclusive horse breeder, Spencer Dumarque, the fourth Duke of Morland, is a member of the exclusive Stud Club, an organization so select it has only ten members—yet membership is attainable to anyone with luck. And Spencer has plenty of it, along with an obsession with a prize horse, a dark secret, and, now, a reputation as the dashing “Duke of Midnight.” Each evening he selects one lady for a breathtaking midnight waltz. But none of the women catch his interest, and nobody ever bests the duke—until Lady Amelia d’Orsay tries her luck.

In a moment of desperation, the unconventional beauty claims the duke’s dance and unwittingly steals his heart. When Amelia demands that Spencer forgive her scapegrace brother’s debts, she never imagines that her game of wits and words will lead to breathless passion and a steamy proposal. Still, Spencer is a man of mystery, perhaps connected to the shocking murder of the Stud Club’s founder. Will Amelia lose her heart in this reckless wager or win everlasting love?

Review: A romance with a stupid premise, a jerky male character, and a female character who can't make up her damn mind. 

Stud Club? What a horrible name and what a silly premise for a book. Yeah, it brings the hero and heroine together, but there could have been an easier, less silly way. I really did like Amelia at first. I loved her banter with the duke during the waltz. I wish she would have stayed that way. Another equally silly thing is how Spencer decided that he wanted to marry Amelia. I don't remember the exact reasons (I should have written this review sooner), but it was idiotic. 

As for Spencer, he's an ass. There is no getting around that. He's selfish and is used to getting what he wants. Why, oh why, are women attracted to this in romance stories? He does comes to care for Amelia and shows that he isn't a total ass, but it doesn't help his case. Amelia fluctuates between wanting to care for Spencer and wanting to hate him. They got into the stupidest arguments and they were usually caused by Amelia. She had blinders on and couldn't see the wisdom of Spencer's words when it came to her brother. Of course there is a happy ending, but I really didn't care.


Recommendation: I would recommend this to those that have to read everything Regency romance.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

All Your Wildest Dreams Come True

The Concubine's Gift by K. Ford K.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. 

Summary: Bernice Babbitt, a sexually inhibited, thirty-nine-year-old woman, leads a peaceful life in the tiny resort town of Valentine, Nevada. Living only two miles from the famed bordello, The Honey Bunny Ranch, she can’t imagine what goes on behind its closed doors. 
Things begin to change when Bernice buys an old, black-lacquer makeup case in an antique shop. The case once belonged to Blissful Night, the most famous and powerful concubine in Hong Kong. According to legend, Blissful Night could give a man more pleasure in one night than he would have experienced in an entire lifetime.
Inside the makeup case, Bernice discovers a forgotten jar of face powder, the secret to Blissful Night’s success. Thinking the face powder is an herbal concoction that will beautify her skin, Bernice begins to use it, only to find that the powder causes her to see visions of other people’s sex lives.
Bernice is horrified to discover that the only way she can rid herself of the visions is to blurt out sexual advice. Soon the entire town is in an uproar. But it isn’t until Bernice learns more about Blissful Night’s past that she knows what she must do.
The Concubine’s Gift is a delightfully sexy novel in which Bernice Babbitt is drawn into a seductive world she never knew existed. A provocative and entertaining Pandora’s Box of a tale!

Review: A novel that explores sexuality and the contrast between being afraid of sex and embracing it.

Valentine, Nevada is a contrast between the sexually strait laced and those who embrace sex. Prostitution is legal in Nevada in some counties, but it's still crazy to imagine living in a small, probably rural, town with a brothel in it. The history of the town is fascinating along with the reaction of the citizens. It brings people together and drives them apart in the same stroke. My favorite character was Trinket. She was a wonderfully over the top character. 

As you learn more of Blissful Night's story, you cannot help but feel sorry for her. She never truly got what she wanted and her face powder did make her truly happy. It was both a blessing and a curse, which is what   Bernice discovers as well. Though this story contains a lot of sexually explicit situations, I don't consider it erotica. This story does a very good job of showing the range of human sexuality and how sex is not something to be afraid of, but is something that should be embraced. I'm glad Bernice got her happy ending and I must imagine it would fun to listen to her show.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those interested in human sexuality.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Earth to Solve the Problems of Physics

The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth's Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Anil Ananthaswamy

Summary: In this deeply original book, science writer Anil Ananthaswamy sets out in search of the telescopes and detectors that promise to answer the biggest questions in modern cosmology. Why is the universe expanding at an ever faster rate? What is the nature of the "dark matter" that makes up almost a quarter of the universe? Why does the universe appear fine-tuned for life? Are there others besides our own? Ananthaswamy soon finds himself at the ends of the earth—in remote and sometimes dangerous places. Take the Atacama Desert in the Chilean Andes, one of the coldest, driest places on the planet, where not even a blade of grass can survive. Its spectacularly clear skies and dry atmosphere allow astronomers to gather brilliant images of galaxies billions of light-years away. Ananthaswamy takes us inside the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope on Mount Paranal, where four massive domes open to the sky each night "like dragons waking up." He also takes us deep inside an abandoned iron mine in Minnesota, where half-mile-thick rock shields physicists as they hunt for elusive dark matter particles. And to the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, where engineers are drilling 1.5 miles into the clearest ice on the planet. They’re building the world’s largest neutrino detector, which could finally help reconcile quantum physics with Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The stories of the people who work at these and other dramatic research sites—from Lake Baikal in Siberia to the Indian Astronomical Observatory in the Himalayas to the subterranean lair of the Large Hadron Collider—make for a compelling new portrait of the universe and our quest to understand it. An atmospheric, engaging, and illuminating read, The Edge of Physics depicts science as a human process, bringing cosmology back down to earth in the most vivid terms.

Review: A nice mix of physics and scientific experiments.

This book does some physics in it, but it has to have some to explain why the experiments are being performed. The author does a nice job of explaining complex physics concepts although he does not go into too much depth. Some of the physics might be confusing even though the author explains it well because of the more complex nature of some of the concepts. Still, the book is mainly understandable. I had personally hoped for more physics and the experiments than a lot of back story about the place and the people running the experiments. 

Despite that, I still did enjoy learning about the experiments and how they came to be. I just did not need so much back story. It really is fascinating to what extremes of the earth we have to go to discover new things about the universe. And those places are slowly disappearing. Luckily, we still have space left as long as Earth's orbit is not too cluttered up with space junk. The author seems to have visited these sites over a few years and did not have much in the way of experimental results, which was disappointing. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those interesting in science, physics, or space. 

Black Oil, Red Blood Tour: Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Author: Diane Castle
Genre(s): Murder Mystery, Legal Thriller
Published: 2012 by Wishlist Publishing
Book Synopsis: The thing about cancer is it’s hard to prove somebody gave it to you on purpose—but Chloe Taylor can prove it. In fact, she proves it for a living. She sues oil refineries that would rather save a buck than comply with safety regulations designed to do important things like, you know, keep people alive.
Chloe had a successful career until circumstances forced her to move to the bass-ackwards town of Kettle, Texas (human population: 4,000; gun population: 34,356). Big Oil industry giant PetroPlex employs half of Kettle’s population, and there’s no question the judge in the town’s got oil stains on his hands. It’s no wonder she’s been on a losing streak lately. She suspects she’s been litigating on an uneven playing field, but when her star expert witness turns up dead less than 48 hours before a make-or break hearing, she knows.
What she doesn’t know is the key piece of information that got her expert killed. It turns out PetroPlex is harboring a shocking secret—one that has the potential to skyrocket gasoline prices, spark an energy market meltdown, and trigger riots, chaos, death, and destruction on a global scale. Chloe must discover the secret and expose the villains before she is permanently silenced, all while juggling a troublesome ex-fiancĂ© and a tantalizing new flame along the way.

Excerpt: I didn’t even know how to use a gun before yesterday, and I certainly hadn’t become a
crack shot overnight. That didn’t bode well for my chances of survival at the moment —
especially since I was currently staring down the wrong end of somebody else’s barrel. What
was I supposed to do? Duck? Shoot first? Run?
Maybe the decision would have been easier if I hadn’t loved the guy pointing the gun at
me. I watched his trigger finger tense as the smoky, toxic air around us seemed to grow even
thicker. Walls shook and the floor rolled beneath me as an explosion thundered through the
building. The PetroPlex flagship oil refinery was fast on its way to becoming nothing but a
The doorframe buckled before my eyes—my only means of escape. Sharp orange
tongues of flame lapped at me from above, sending down a rain of fiery particles as acoustic
ceiling tiles disintegrated overhead.
That’s when I knew that gun or no gun, I was going to die.

You can win a copy of the book below and an Amazon gift card!

Stay tuned for my blog tour post on May 4th! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey. This meme lets you show fellow readers what you have read, what you are reading, and what you will be reading.

Recently Read:

Currently Reading:

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

So You Went Back In Time And...?

Fate's Monolith by 

Summary: Arianna Broun, a Scottish born colonial American has been haunted by the reoccurring dream of a phantom Scottish warrior. Her infatuation with the dream intensifies until All Hallows' Eve, when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. After several bizarre encounters she runs to her safe haven deep in the woods. When dawn comes too early, Arianna is eager to go home. But fate has other plans. Laird Iain Mac'Lomain has long awaited the arrival of his promised bride. She claims to not be the woman intended for him but she fits the description given him of her, all fire and defiance. That defiance will end up costing them everything and rips them apart. However, a Scottish Chieftain with magic at his disposal is capable of most anything. Will he hold Arianna in his arms again or is she lost to him forever? Only time will tell.

Review: A time travel romance with some magic thrown in for good measure. 

I'm fine with time travel in stories, but I personally prefer it in science fiction. I honestly prefer my romance to be time travel free. I am a sucker for Highlanders so I read this book anyways. The time travel would have been enough, but there was magic thrown in for good measure too. I understand that the time travel was caused by magic, but the magic was cheap and nothing special. It often functioned as a plot device.

Arianna manages to go back to a time when their is a laird who happens to have a bride named Arianna coming to him. How terribly coincidental. There was plenty of the I like you I hate you I can't love you going on between Arianna and Iain. Arianna starts to care for Iain, but still wants to leave because he has another wife coming for him. Hello! He's already married to you and how do you expect to travel back to the future? So there's some more time traveling, declarations of love, and happy endings for everyone. The ending was pretty messy and wrapped up way too tidily. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that are big fans of time travel romance or romance with Highlanders.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Greed and Jealousy On the Hill

The Rower on the Bluff by Lawrence Seinoff

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review.

Summary: An out-of-control feud on a private road pits spoiled socialite, Marisa Holden, against Mark Archer, her ex-con neighbor. After Holden hires one-time, local bad boy Rick Jones to clear trees on Archer's side of the bluff they share, the treasurer of the road association is brought into the fight as well as Jones' teenaged daughter Kim, who will do anything to protect her father.

Review: A psychological thriller that shows how far people will go to get revenge.

This book switches from first person (Kim) to third person (everyone else), which was a bit odd to get used to at first, but it does make sense in the telling of the story. It seems like the perfect neighborhood, but not all is bliss and the grass is certainly not greener on the other side. It was an interesting contrast between the have and have nots. Everyone was portrayed as a human being with their own desires and problems. 

I can't believe how much Marisa and Archer hated each other. Marisa just couldn't leave well enough alone. I never did figure out what Archer went to jail for, but he just wanted to be left alone and Marisa would not give him that. Marisa was my least favorite character. Archer did do some unpleasant things, but I had sympathy for him while I had none for Marisa. Their battle slowly grew and involved many people. It finally came to a climax, which I can only assume was violent, but I never did really know exactly what happened and what came after. The book ends after that and the epilogue doesn't explain much and has Marisa in a happy time in life, which I didn't like since she didn't deserve that. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this to those that enjoy psychological thrillers (although it's a bit light on the thriller part). 

Yes! The Werewolves Did It!

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Summary: Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.

Review: A decent paranormal read with an interesting take on werewolf mythology.

Just how naive can Grace be? And why does she have such a bad tendency to blame herself for things absolutely beyond her control? She also can't manage to see what it's front of her face. We are given so many hints about the big secret (it's werewolves, but all people except Grace know that), but Grace never seems to get it. Once she figures out the secret, she suddenly decides that it's her purpose in life to help Daniel, but she doesn't actually know the secret. I was shocked that she was shocked when she was told the truth truth. How did you miss that?

Daniel does have a bit of "I'm a bad boy! Stay away from me!" going on, but he is actually a decent guy. Having known Grace beforehand and the back story with her brother make his actions make more sense. I liked the mythology of the werewolf in this book. I really liked Don. He was such a sweet guy. I was surprised by the truth of that night. It honestly wasn't something I saw coming, but made a lot of sense thinking back. The ending didn't make too much sense and was too easy.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those who enjoy werewolves or young adult supernatural fiction. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tasty Highlander Action

In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks

Summary: Ewan McCabe, the eldest, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his—until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him. Mairin may be the salvation of Ewan’s clan, but for a man who dreams only of revenge, matters of the heart are strange territory to conquer.

The illegitimate daughter of the king, Mairin possesses prized property that has made her a pawn—and wary of love. Her worst fears are realized when she is rescued from peril only to be forced into marriage by her charismatic and commanding savior, Ewan McCabe. But her attraction to her ruggedly powerful new husband makes her crave his surprisingly tender touch; her body comes alive under his sensual mastery. And as war draws near, Mairin’s strength, spirit, and passion challenge Ewan to conquer his demons—and embrace a love that means more than revenge and land.

Review: A fun romance with a strong female character and sexy Highlanders.

Mairin is a very strong character. She is courageous, smart, and stubborn. Luckily Mairin is not stubborn beyond belief like some romance characters and knows when to back down. She is cool under pressure and has a big heart. I love how she was willing to protect Crispin even though she had no idea who he was. Ewan is a bit of a hulking he man and I do not like how he orders Mairin around, but he is a decent man. I liked the brothers too. They warmed up to Mairin fairly quickly. 

Duncan is evil (but of course he would be) and tries to obtain Mairin's dowry. She escapes of course, but Duncan continues to be a thorn in their side. Her dowry, being a daughter of the king, and Duncan seem like very big plot devices to bring Mairin and Ewan together. One or two would have been fine, but all three is a little much. I liked the romance between Mairin and Ewan. Ewan was a bit of an ass at times, but they both did truly come to care about each other. I am eager to read the next two books about the brothers. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to fans of historical romance or romance involving Highlanders.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another Incredible Ellen Hopkins Read

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins

Summary: Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there. Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never have understood. Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect? A riveting and startling companion to the bestselling Impulse, Ellen Hopkins's Perfect exposes the harsh truths about what it takes to grow up and grow into our own skins, our own selves.

Review: Another emotional roller coaster ride by Ellen Hopkins.

This is a sequel of sorts to Impulse, but it is not necessary to read Impulse first. Hopkins does such a good job portraying the four characters. Each character is a unique person with their own wants, desires, and needs. Like her previous works, there are unpleasant topics that are dealt with including alcoholism, racism, eating disorders, and sexual abuse. Throughout my reading of this book, I found myself hoping that each character would get their happy ending, would find their own perfection. This book was very bittersweet and full of ups and downs. 

The characters were all connected in some way, but it felt a little silly and hard to believe that these connected teens all had major issues. It felt a bit like a soap opera. Regardless, this book still packed a big emotional wallop. Everyone has different ideas and concepts of perfection. The most important thing to take away from this book is that people are not perfect and no one can ever be perfect. You can try to get as close as you can, but perfection is never attainable. In the end, some get what they wanted and others came crashing down to reality. A very moving book.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those who enjoy poetry, novels told in verse, young adult fiction, or fiction about tough issues.

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey. This meme lets you show fellow readers what you have read, what you are reading, and what you will be reading.

Recently Read:

Currently Reading:

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Anne Boleyn As You've Never Seen Her Before

To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn

Summary: Meg Wyatt has been Anne Boleyn's closest friend since they grew up together on neighboring manors in Kent. So when twenty-five-year-old Anne's star begins to ascend, of course she takes Meg along for the ride.

Life in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling... at first. Meg is made mistress of Anne's wardrobe, and she enjoys the spoils of this privileged orbit and uses her influence for good. She is young and beautiful and in favor; everyone at court assumes that being close to her is being close to Anne.

But favor is fickle and envy is often laced with venom. As Anne falls, so does Meg, and it becomes nearly impossible for her to discern ally from enemy. Suddenly life's unwelcome surprises rub against the court's sheen to reveal the tarnished brass of false affections and the bona fide gold of those that are true. Both Anne and Meg may lose everything. When your best friend is married to fearsome Henry VIII, you may soon find yourself not only friendless but headless as well.

A rich alchemy of fact and fiction, To Die For chronicles the glittering court life, the sweeping romance, and the heartbreaking fall from grace of a forsaken queen and Meg, her closest companion, who was forgotten by the ages but who is destined to live in our hearts forever.

Review: A new take on Anne Boleyn that paints here in a different light than what she is traditionally viewed.

The author's view on Anne Boleyn is that she is a strong willed person that is inherently seductive, but who honestly loves the king. She is also quite religious, which is something that is shown a little in other fiction books about her. Anne is viewed as very innocent and innocent of the wrong doing that she is accused of. I know that she couldn't have done all that she was accused of, but she certainly could have done some. In short, I prefer reading about an Anne Boleyn who is conniving and scheming. 

I liked the character of Meg. She was sympathetic and kind. The only issue with the story being told from her point of view is that you don't see much of the action related to Anne and the king. It doesn't have as great as an impact. She was very unlucky: an abusive jerk for a father, one jerk brother, a mother who dies, an arranged marriage (which turns out to be not so bad), and an attempted arranged marriage to the man's son. She couldn't catch a break. I am glad she did not lose her head over her friendship with Anne and that she finally had her happy ending. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this to fans of historical fiction, especially the Tudors.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Paranormals and Hot Pink Boots

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Summary: Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Review: An enjoyable young adult supernatural book, but it still felt somewhat generic.

Paranormals aren't too exciting if they are just being bagged and tagged. The vast majority didn't feel dangerous, mysterious, or alluring. The vampires especially felt just like humans. Even the hags, who were supposed to be scary, were damn boring too. I only really enjoyed the faeries. They actually felt dangerous and mysterious. I did find it disappointing that one faerie was tricked into giving up its true name with caffeine and thereby giving up all the true names of the other faeries. 

Evie did grate on my nerves at time. She felt incredibly immature. Some of that could be attributed to living for so long at IPCA and not having a normal life. Also, if Evie was always cold, she should have bundled up by wearing long pants, long sleeves, and sweaters, not tank tops and short dresses. I liked the Evie was smart enough to leave Reth although I believe that there might be a love triangle involving him and Lend. The romance between Lend and Evie was sweet and believable. Evie happens to be super special, but there is a logical reason for this so I can look past the super specialness. 


Recommendation: I would recommend this to fans of young adult supernatural books. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The World's Largest Set of Coincidences

Reamde by Neal Stephenson

Summary: Four decades ago, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa family, fled to a wild and lonely mountainous corner of British Columbia to avoid the draft. Smuggling backpack loads of high-grade marijuana across the border into Northern Idaho, he quickly amassed an enormous and illegal fortune. With plenty of time and money to burn, he became addicted to an online fantasy game in which opposing factions battle for power and treasure in a vast cyber realm. Like many serious gamers, he began routinely purchasing virtual gold pieces and other desirables from Chinese gold farmers—young professional players in Asia who accumulated virtual weapons and armor to sell to busy American and European buyers. 

For Richard, the game was the perfect opportunity to launder his aging hundred dollar bills and begin his own high-tech start up—a venture that has morphed into a Fortune 500 computer gaming group, Corporation 9592, with its own super successful online role-playing game, T’Rain. But the line between fantasy and reality becomes dangerously blurred when a young gold farmer accidently triggers a virtual war for dominance—and Richard is caught at the center. 

In this edgy, 21st century tale, Neal Stephenson, one of the most ambitious and prophetic writers of our time, returns to the terrain of his cyberpunk masterpieces Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon, leading readers through the looking glass and into the dark heart of imagination.

Review: Terrorists, MMORPGs, guns, Russians, and one Uncle Richard.

I was really excited for this book because I love Neal Stephenson. I must admit that I was disappointed. I still thoroughly enjoyed the book, but it wasn't as good as I had hoped. I enjoyed the video game parts of the book more than the terrorist parts. The video game of T'Rain was fascinating along with all the associated history, characters, and people. It also made me want to play World of Warcraft very badly. I did enjoy the terrorist parts of the book and I liked the characters, but I felt that it was full of coincidences and chance meetings.  

Zula was my favorite character. She experienced a lot of trauma, but still managed to keep it together enough to eventually escape the terrorists. I also really liked Richard and his Furious Muses. He was a good guy even though he might not admit it. I didn't feel too much sympathy for Peter even after what happens to him for he was the one who started the whole mess. The final shoot out was a bit confusing and I wasn't able to keep track of who had lived and who had died. The ending wrapped up a bit too nicely and had a number of happy endings.


Recommendation: I would recommend this to fans of Neal Stephenson, fans of thrillers, and anyone who enjoys video games. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey. This meme lets you show fellow readers what you have read, what you are reading, and what you will be reading.

Recently Read: 

Currently Reading:

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

An Incredible Blend of Science and Magic

The Darkness by Crystal Connor

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review.

Summary: Artemisia, a scientist who also practices alchemy, is wealthy beyond imagination. She is one of the founding members of the Skyward Group, a privately funded, secret, research facility conducting experiments that ease what tradition has established as the boundaries separating the realm of man from the realm of God. Artemisia has everything she wants - money, fame, knowledge and power - except for a child. Inanna is a powerful and dangerous witch, also wealthy beyond imagination. Her powers are greater and more deadly than any in the long tradition before her. Inanna has everything she wants - money, knowledge and God-like power - except for a child.The Child has nothing. At three months of age, he knows only what he has experienced through the bars of his locked cage. He has nothing. He doesn't have a mommy. He doesn't have a daddy. He doesn't have a name. The scientists who created him do not handle him, because they know The Child is dangerous.In The Darkness, Two women clash in a vicious battle that has been fought since the days of King Solomon - the fight over a child. One woman unleashes the nightmarish arsenal of modern science while the other dispatches the weaponries of witchcraft. And as The Child grows up, his love for one and resentment for the other will change the fate of both these women, forever.

Review: A book that blends science and magic seamlessly and has a gut puncher for an ending.

I loved the premise of this book and The Darkness balances magic and science perfectly. I had this quote in the back of my head while reading this book: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke. It took me a little to get used to the switching first and third person perspectives. The first person was told from Artemisia's view and the third person involved Inanna. At first I thought that the scientist and Artemisia were different because Artemisia focuses on how she is an alchemist and a jeweler. I had a tendency to want to think of Inanna as evil due to her dealings with dark magic, but I couldn't manage to think of her that way for long. 

This book does a very good job of painting everything in shades of grey, especially with Adam. He is incredibly powerful and does some terrible things, but he is just a child. Despite his physical age, mentally he acts like a young, spoiled child. You want to hate, but you just can't. This book did lose some steam in the middle of the book although it was still a good read. The ending was utterly unexpected and had me exclaiming in shock and surprise. I loved this book and can't wait to read the second.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to fans of fantasy and science fiction.