Saturday, October 31, 2009

R.I.P. IV --book #6


This is my final R.I.P. IV Challenge book. I finished it on Friday, but we've had a busy weekend, so I'm just finally getting around to this.

YA reformed vampire us big

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks was a definite change of pace. It takes the whole idea of the sexy, powerful, romantic vampire and turns it on it's head. What if vampirism was more of a disease... a debilitating disease? And, what if you and your fellow vampires were trying to not suck human blood, you know, so no one would stake you? There are other problems to, such as how would you earn a living? What do you eat?

Catherine Jinks takes the idea of the hero in spite of themselves and runs with it. Nina, the heroine of the book, is a vampire. She was bitten in 1973 when she was 15, but because she still looks 15 she still lives at home with her Mom.  She is also the author of a popular book about a kickass...... vampiress. She often wishes her life was more like the books she writes, instead of the boring (slightly sickly) one she has. When one of her fellow support group members is killed, she sets out to try to find out who did it, and to prove that vampires are not useless.

I enjoyed this book. It was a little different than the usual vampire book. For instance, how does one go about 'fanging' a Guinea pig? What do you do when your newest pal turns out to be a werewolf? How do you dispose of all of those little Guinea pig bodies....And, how exactly did a priest get involved in all of this? If you like the absurd, you will get a kick out of this book, and you will find yourself cheering Nina and her friend Dave on. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the absurd

So, that brings my total books for this Challenge up to 6. I'm already looking forward to doing this again next year!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

R.I.P. IV -- Book #5



Having completed the Perils of R.I.P. IV with time to spare, I was hoping to finish the last book I was reading before the deadline, and I did. However, when I went to put it away (and, incidentally pick up my next book to start from the never ending TBR pile), I realized that I missed doing a review on one of the books I had intentionally gotten to read with this Challenge in mind. But, I guess, better late than never!


I had been meaning to read this book for some  time, but like with many books, it kept getting pushed back for one reason or another. The R.I.P. challenge was the perfect excuse to pull it out and get it read.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. This is the story of Bod. Bod is a pretty normal little boy except for one thing.... he lives in a graveyard! Some pretty scary circumstances bring about this unusual living arrangement, and because of that I wouldn't recommend this book for a young child or one who is easily scared. However, for the older child, young adult (or young at heart older reader!), this book offers many delights.

Bod comes to the Graveyard as a toddler and is taken in by the residents to be raised under their protection. He has a set of ghost parents, and several of other denizens of the Graveyard become his friends, teachers, and social outlet. He also has a guardian who can come and go from the Graveyard (thus providing sustenance and other things that the ghosts cannot provide the child) and although we are never told exactly what kind of creature Silas is, we are given plenty of hints to make an accurate guess.

Bod has many adventures growing up and meets many creatures, including ghouls, werewolves, dead witches and even a little girl. But, the mystery of how he came to the Graveyard and why hangs ever present until the exciting finally when we find out exactly who Jack is.

I really enjoyed this book, and would definitely recommend it. I have added it to my list of books to be sure to pass along to my Grandson when he is old enough for it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

R.I.P. IV -- Book #4

Book #4 completes Peril the First and I am still 5 days from the deadline! Go Me!


Peril the First:

Read Four books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories that you choose.

I obtained Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong from my local library and just couldn't wait to dive in. I have enjoyed all of Ms. Armstrong's books in the Women of the Otherworld Series and was looking forward to learning a little more back story on the men  in the series!


This book is actually a collection of short stories, some from Ms. Armstrong's website, along with a new story. It did not disappoint. If you have ever wondered about the reasons behind Jeremy's coming to power in the American (Werewolf)Pack, his uncanny knack for knowing his 'family' is in danger, or how Clay came to be his ward.... even an insight into Jeremy's past and his relationship with his own father and grandfather, this is the book for you. I absolutely enjoyed learning about Clay's early 'taming' and why he is so protective of Jeremy.

The first three stories in the book give you details and background from the time before Elena and the first book in the Otherworld series (Bitten). The fourth story is a new story and is narrated by Jeremy and is a story giving you a little more insight into his relationship with Jaime Vargas. All in all a very enjoyable romp.

I don't usually enjoy short stories. I tend to like to get to know the characters better than can usually be accomplished in such a short space. These stories are the type that I usually consider exceptions to that rule. Short stories about characters in a book or series of books that I already enjoy. Short little nips of stories, that are great for giving you a little extra insight into those characters you already like, but aren't quite enough for a whole book.

My recommendation is that, if you already like this series, you will definitely enjoy getting to know these men of the American Pack a little better.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Prime Meridian is 125 Years Old this week...

Why am I bringing this up? Because I love odd things... and because I believe anyone who reads here probably does too!

This week marks the 125 anniversary of a meeting of 41 delegates from 25 different nations to decide just where 0°,0' would be. They gathered in Washington D.C to decide just where time and space should be measured.  Why and how did Greenwich win out over places like Washington, Paris and Berlin? It seems 72% of the world's shipping already used sea charts that used Greenwich as the Prime Meridian... Still, it was a drawn out and difficult summit that finally decided with a vote of 22 to one with San Domingo against it, and France and Brazil actually abstaining from the vote.

Why was this an important thing? Up until then, time was often based on the passage of the sun across the sky and anyone could decide what time it was in a certain place. Many countries and sometimes even individual towns would set their own arbitrary times. With the advent of things like railways, factories and widespread communications networks, it became important for a standard global time to be set so everyone would know what time it was both where they were and anyplace else.

O.K.... I admit it, I am a Geek and the oddest things fascinate me. However, if you want to see more about this and other related things, I recommend looking here on BBC News, and also here, and, of course, Wikipedia also has an article

You may now thank me for filling your head full of another piece of trivia you probably didn't need. Bwahahaha!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

R.I.P. IV -- Book #3

Completing Book #3 puts me halfway thru Peril the First.


Peril the First:

Read Four books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories that you choose.


For Book number 3, I chose (Or the library chose, I had requested several books. This was the first to arrive.) to read the fourth and final book in the Twilight Series, Breaking Dawn. While I have enjoyed this series, and think Stephenie Meyer did a good job, I do not find myself quite as crazy about it as some people are. It was a good series and I am glad I read it, and I would even recommend it to certain people, who I know would enjoy it.... but it is not my absolute favorite Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and it is not my favorite book by Ms. Meyer. I happened to pick up The Host not long ago, and I think it edged these books out just slightly as the book by Ms. Meyer that I would recommend.

This book finds Bella making a compromise with her Edward. She agrees to marry him, and he agrees to fulfil her wish of joining his family. Bella doesn't feel she will be missing anything by leaving her human life behind to join the Cullen Family as a full Vampiric member. She realizes she will miss her family, and that some things won't quite feel the same to her. Still, she has one wish that she wants fulfilled before she 'turns', and Edwards agreement to this causes the central problem in this book. Seems that while Vampire woman can't get pregnant, Vampire Men, on the other hand, do still have active little swimmers!

In addition to the Cullen family, including my very favorite Alice, we get Jacob Black back. I have to say that I actually would have rooted for Jacob if I hadn't known from book #1 that he would only get to be the third wheel. Still, he and Alice are my favorite characters... which is sad since they are both secondary ones. While the book ends with the very predictable 'happy' ending, it does have you wondering a little there in the middle.

Bottom line. If you liked the other books, go ahead and read this one for closure. If you were already getting a little tired of the characters... then you may not want to bother. This is not a series where you can just jump in anywhere. If you are going to read them. Start with Twilight and read them in order. I'm not sorry I read these. They were good, light fun, but I don't see me giving them a second read.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Zombie Chicken Award

This is such a perfect award for the month of October... I mean, Zombie Chickens!


Gayla has moved her blog over to Unfussy Living, and she passed this super cool, seems made for October, award on to me. The description of this award is as follows:

"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken--    excellence, grace, and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all."

So let me see who should I pass this on to? I definitely don't want 'the wrath of the zombie chickens', but still, this award must be passed on to people who will appreciate Zombies in general and Zombie Chickens in particular. On the other hand, I'm betting that anyone who follows my silly blog would probably appreciate Zombies Chickens just 'cause. Anyway, I pick these 5 for my victims recipients.

Rebecca at Provocation of Mine(d)

MissHeather at Singing With My Heart

Indigo at Shattered Prose

Rachel at Life 'N Stuff

and finally Dan at Slapinions

If you don't already read these people, you should. I would definitely wade thru the Zombie Apocalypse to be able to read whatever they have written.

Wordless Wednesday



Saturday, October 03, 2009

R.I.P. IV -- Book #2

Having completed Peril the Third with my first book, I have now completed Peril the second with this one.



Peril the Second:

Read Two books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories that you choose.

For my second book, I chose Living with the Dead by Kelley Armstrong. This is the 9th book in her Women of the Otherworld series.


One of the reasons I really like this series is that it doesn't just follow any one character from book to book. Rather, Ms. Armstrong has chosen to create a wonderful world for her characters to inhabit, then with each book gives us a story centered around one (or a group) of characters. A character who is a the main character in one book will show up in the next as a minor character. Often you will see an event from a previous book only this time thru the eyes of a different character. This tends to keep the stories and world fresh.

This book, while good, wasn't quite as sharp as some of the others in the series. It tells a story while also exploring love-- what it means to find it, and to lose it. If you have read any of the other books in the series, you will be thrilled to find Hope Adams (the half-demon) and her boyfriend Karl (werewolf AND jewel thief) are in this up to their eyeballs.

The story is about Hope's friend, Robyn. Robyn is a regular human and has no idea that the 'Otherworld' exists, but she is about to find out! A PR rep for a 'celebutante' named Portia Kane, who is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect for the murder. In clearing her name we will get to meet a Necromancer (someone who can see/speak with the dead), who doesn't know that is what he is (he just thinks he has this odd family 'gift'), Robyn's dead husband, a whole clan of clairvoyants, and a psychopath.

While I am glad to have read this book, I would not recommend it as a starting point for this series. While for the most part this series does not require you to read them in a certain order and allows you to just jump into whichever book you pick up, this book is not one of those. You do need a little background from the other books for it to really work. If the books sound interesting, I would recommend starting with either Bitten or Dime Store Magic. However, be warned, once you dip into these books you will want to read them all to find out what happens to your favorite characters.