26 December 2012

Review of Windrider by S.A. Bolich

Windrider (Masters of the Elements, #2)Windrider by S.A. Bolich

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just as wonderful as Firedancer. I blew through it in a couple of days and I want more.

I love how, while the Firedancers use dance to control the Flame, the Windriders use song to control the Wind. I'm intrigued to see how the Seaborn work. (Gotta wait until spring. Boo.)

Like the previous book, the world and characters are wonderfully real. I especially enjoyed getting into Sheshan's head this time, and learning more about Clan Heshth, and by extension, what it means to be a Windrider, and how they are treated by those they try to protect. Some thought-provoking stuff here.

The writing is clean and mostly free from errors, which makes for an easier read. I highly recommend this book. Although, for continuity, I would read Firedancer first.

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21 December 2012

Review of Firedancer by S.A. Bolich

Firedancer (Masters of the Elements, #1)Firedancer by S.A. Bolich

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I devoured the pages like the Ancient fire devours all in its path. When I finished reading, I immediately bought the sequel Windrider.

My only gripe, and it’s a small one, is that Jetta gets startled a lot and she “jumps” or “freezes” every time. I think those two words were overused a tad.

The world is rich and layered, and every character feels real. I laughed and cried over their joys and sorrows. Character names follow patterns depending on whether the person is a Firedancer(Jetta, Settak), a Windrider(Sheshan, Ayesh), or a Delver(Rununn, Anual), but no two names are so similar that I ever got confused.

In this world, fire is an enemy that needs to be tightly controlled or it will destroy everything in its path. Firedancers are trained to fight fire that has broken free, and they do this by dancing. I have always been fascinated by the idea of dancing to create magic, especially since I have seen so few stories that use this idea. It is done very well here. S.A. Bolich is a master at describing just enough that we get a picture of the dance without giving us every detail and boring us to tears.

If you like fantasy, and you’re up for something different, you’ve got to give this book a try.

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14 December 2012

Review of Hard Time by K.J. Blaine

Hard Time (Book 2 of the Phoenix Chronicles)Hard Time by K.J. Blaine

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The sequel to Telepaths and Traitors and even more confusing.

The plot made very little sense to me. It seems that the author must have read somewhere that she should throw as much crap at her characters as possible in order to keep the reader's interest. It's just too much. I was overwhelmed and then I became numb and disinterested. So many times, hope is held out that they'll get out of the situation they're in, then that hope is snatched away.

The ending of the first half is anticlimactic; it seemed too easy to me after all the lead up and false hope. It's almost a deus ex machina.

The second half of the book is a completely separate story that reads like it should have been a whole other book. However, the story here is much stronger. Finally, the characters have some control over their own destinies; they are acting instead of being acted upon.

The writing is much better throughout than it was in Telepaths and Traitors. While I rolled my eyes at the time travel and the over-the-top torture scenes, it was still much more realistic. And the spelling and grammar was cleaner.

However, I couldn't feel for the characters as well as I did in the first book. There's just so much going on, and it's so overdone that I lost empathy for them. This is sad, as I loved the characters while I was reading the first book.

When I got this book, it was a free download on amazon.com. If it's still free, it's worth picking up if you like sci-fi.

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07 December 2012

Memories of Mother

Today, I am driving up north to where my mom lived. Tomorrow is a Celebration of Life memorial for her at the church she attended. I have been trying to write something to say about her, and this haiku was born.

Trying to write my
Memories of my mother
Tears blur my vision

03 December 2012

And You Are?

1. How many speeding tickets have you gotten?

None. Seriously, I've been lucky.

2. Can you pitch a tent?

Yep. I sure can. I've done it a few times.

3. What was your worst vacation ever?

I don't think I've had a bad vacation. Wouldn't that be a contradiction?

4. What was the last thing you bought over $100?

A Google Nexus 7 Tablet. So worth it.

5. We're handing you the keys to what?

This. Yes, please.

6. What was the last meal cooked that made even you sick?

Who cooked? I cooked? I'm a good cook. My meals make people happy.

7. Fill in the blank: Oh my gosh! Becky, look at her butt! It is so big. She looks like _____?

A Mumakil.

8. What was your first car?

A 'Vette. (With 'chev' on the front, not 'cor' unfortunately)

9. Your best friend falls and gets hurt. Do you ask if he/she's okay or laugh first?

I don't laugh at all. I help her up and dust her off and check if I need to call 911.

10. What's the worst song ever?

John Lennon's "Imagine." Because it sounds all nice and pretty, but if I imagine all that stuff is true, I get really miserable and sad and angry.

This was fun. Click on David to go to the list of all the other blogs participating today.