An Awfully Beastly Business
Ulf is a young werewolf. He lives at the RSPCB, a rescue centre for rare and endangered beasts, such as giants, rocs, fairies, kracks etc. under the guidance and tutelage of Dr Fielding, the RSPCB vet.
One day a dead baby dragon is brought to the centre. It’s mother is missing and after an autopsy, Dr Fielding discovers that the baby was killed by a cannonball. Murdered. Something dastardly is going on and Dr Fielding calls in the authorities – The Department for National and International Criminal Emergencies. Inspector Black arrives forthwith and Ulf is given the job of showing the Inspector around the Centre. But all is not as it seems… with the help of ghosts and his fairy friend, Tiana, Ulf must solve the mystery and save the day!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ulf is a like able young werewolf and the creatures at the centre are fascinating!
The Hunger Games
This book has been around for a while now, ans was on my list of books to read… but not a high priority. I wish I had made the effort to read it early as it is a thoroughly entertaining book!
Reality TV has taken a turn for the bizzare! Set in a bleak future where the city dwellers have it all and the residents of District 12 have little to live on and even less to look forward to, The Hunger games follows the fortunes of Katniss Everdeen. She illegally hunts for food in the Meadow, a restricted woodland surrounding District 12, keeping her sister and mother fed after the death of her beloved father.
Each year the names of all 12 – 18 year olds are put into a barrel with 2 names pulled out to compete in the Hunger Games, a televised competition where to lose is to die an often horrible death and to win is to gain riches beyond your wildest dreams.
Katniss’ sweet younger sister’s name is pulled out of the barrel, so Katniss immediately volunteers to take her place. Peter is the other contestant and things go down hill from there. The games are quite complex and political – strength and ability are not enough. It’s all about the ratings.
Katniss is often abrasive and rude. She is a survivor who has given up almost everything to keep her family alive. She is also stunningly naive about the relationships of those around her. In the games she must kill or be killed, even taking the life of her District 12 partner…
This book reminded me a lot of Stephen King’s The Running Man, which he wrote under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Reality TV shows that pit contestants against each other in a battle / race to the end where winning is the only option other than death.
I think Suzanne Collins has written a fantastic novel. The action is almost non stop. The characters are continually thrown into new and unsettling situations, while still keeping faith to the underlying beliefs of the story. Katniss is very empathetic. She does her best to deal with the situation while trying to stay true to herself. Manipulated and attacked from all sides, she never gives up and in the end outwits the situation, to a degree. Gripping reading – I couldn’t put the book down!
I originally picked up this book because the cover image of an angel intrigued me… didn’t I read somewhere that fallen angels were the new vampires? Then this book must have it all… fallen angels, vampires and the occasional werewolf to top it all off. Who knew that vampires could have their own guardian angel…
Zachary was Miranda’s guardian angel, who made the major mistake of interfering in her death, thereby leaving her vulnerable to vampire attack and undeath. Miranda is your average left of center, not quite fitting in and prone to obsess about it teenager. She loves Shakespeare and musical theatre and has a major crush on the school hunk, who ignores her in favour of the cheerleader bitch queen. She follows her best friend into a cemetery in search of a boy and winds up undead, the new vampire princess, turned by the King of the vampires.
Zachary is cast down and given a mysterious task to complete is he wants to win back his wings. He thinks he is there to protect / save Miranda… or is he?
Miranda goes through a stage of being a bit painful as she struggles to fit into her new life as Vampire princess, but overall I really like this character, and forgave her the brief foray into blood drinking. I loved Zachary. His humanity and just plain goodness in the face of evil is refreshing and oddly cheering. In the end you cheer for him and Miranda.
The ending is not necessarily happy, but it is right. I’ll say no more.
Living Dead in Dallas
Dead to the World
I know I have already posted a review of the first book in the series, but since I have now officially become a True Blood devotee – the TV series as well as the books – I thought I’d share my thoughts… just this one last time. I promise, I won’t post any more reviews for this series… unless someone asks for it!
Since I read the first book, Dead Until Dark, I have watched the DVD of the first series – slavishly – and continued to read the books. Love the show – HBO have done a great job, and though there are marked deviations from the story, I don’t think these detracted at all from the shows or the books. Who can resist Ryan Kwanton, right?!
As for the books – I don’t think they have tapered off at all. I thoroughly enjoyed each book, and I feel that the characters have developed and the relationships in particular have changed in very believable ways – given that half the characters are dead and many of the others can shape shift!
I have the next book on my shelf waiting to be read, and Season 2 of True Blood is out on DVD soon… can’t wait!