Monthly Archives: April 2014

KayKay #CRB6 Review #16 King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

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This is the second book in a series of three.  The story of King Jorg continues as he struggles to hold the land that he gained in Prince of Thorns.  I will read the third book in the series, but I definitely need a break from Jorg’s world.  I am going to give this book 3 stars.

Here’s a breakdown…

**SPOILER ALERT**

My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement.  Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers.  Continue on at your own risk!

What is this book about?

Jorg has taken over his uncle, Count Renar’s lands.  However, the new hero of the land The Prince of Arrows, is at his gates with an army that seems insurmountable.  This book is (generally) structured so that it presents a problem in the present, and then flashes back to Jorg’s past where he has worked out a potential solution.

He is basically able to section off the Prince of Arrow’s army and whittle away at his numbers.  He does this a rock slide, an avalanche, trolls and an alliance with his new bride’s family.  Jorg also conquers Sageous (who has been using dreams to direct Jorg’s path):

  • Sageous made Katherine think she was pregnant by Jorg, then she aborted a baby (she wasn’t even pregnant with) which made her infertile, and unable to have a child with Orrin (The Prince of Arrows, whom she marries).
  • Sageous influences Egan to kill his brother Orrin
  • Sageous influences Jorg to kill his baby brother, (due to a prophecy about “two Ancraths joined together will end all their power”)

As in the first book, Jorg wins with ruthless strategy, sacrifice and Builders Technology (in this case he shoots Egan with a gun- which reminded me of the scene in Indiana Jones).

The good news is that Makin makes it through the second book (although several other brothers do not…).

What did I think about this book?

As in the first book, it seems this is our world after a nuclear war, but with the addition of magic.  I continue to enjoy the setting and the flashes of “our” technology.

The style of this book was a little different from the first, I feel this one was more visual than the first, and would make a good TV show/movie, but at times tedious to read.  You have to go with the flow while reading, because you get statements without explanation until much later.  For example, there is a dead child’s ghost following him around during the book, but you don’t know the story behind that until much later.

I also did not care for Katherine or her journal.  But his new wife (at the age of 12) seems to be a good match.

Favorite Lines?

“There is something brittle in me that will break before it bends.”

“I hated him for being so openly the better man.”

“Some pain you can distance yourself from, but a headache sits right where you live.”

“A dark time comes.  My time.  If it offends you.  Stop me.”

Final Thoughts?

-I’m curious to know what type of leader Jorg be as the emperor (as I doubt anyone can stand against him)?

KayKay #CRB6 Review #15 The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

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This was the second unlikely romance for me.  This one was about a grumpy burn victim and a free spirited carver.  The protagonist has a wonderful tone and his description of the opening scene did pull me into the book.  I give this book 3 stars.

Here’s a breakdown…

**SPOILER ALERT**

My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement.  Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers.  Continue on at your own risk!

What is this book about?

The nameless narrator (a porn director / actor / producer) is in a car accident and burned to a crisp.  In the hospital he meets someone (Marianne Engel) who claims they were together in the past.  An unlikely romance occurs.  She visits him and cares for him, but claims she is centuries old and that he is a re-incarnation of her true love.  Although the narrator feels some guilt at allowing the relationship to continue (as he questions her sanity), he does (probably he has no other friends).

Marianne takes the narrator home to care for him (against the doctor’s recommendation), and she breaks him of his morphine habit (he was a former coke addict).  She goes through periods where she carves gargoyle’s out of stone, and she believes that when she has finished the last one she will die (and she does walk into the ocean and disappear).

There are several ‘side’ stories that Marianne shares with the narrator: “The Good Ironworker”, “The Woman on the cliff”, “The Glassblowers apprentice” and “Siguror’s Gift”, and to be honest, I can’t remember what all of them were about.

What did I think about this book?

It seemed to go on for longer than I would have liked.  According to my Kindle app the book was 468 pages, this is way too long for this type of story…

I did enjoy the main character’s voice, but some of the side stories lost me.

I believe the real mystery of the story (at least to me) is whether Marianne Engel’s story was real.  She claimed to be centuries old and serving penance by giving away multiple hearts, her last which is for her true love, which she claims is the burn victim.  It all sounds crazy, even to the narrator.  In my opinion, given this is a fictional story, I do believe her story.  I believe that in this world, she is centuries old and he is a reincarnation of her true love.

Favorite Lines?

“You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.”

“The irony was not lost on me that after making all my money in the skin trade, I was now trading all my money for skin.”

“Heaven is an idea constructed by man to help him cope with the fact that life on earth is both brutally short, and paradoxically, far too long”

“The mouth is the front gate to all misfortune”

“I can state with some confidence that I hate fewer people than I used to.  This may seem like a weak claim to personal growth, but sometimes these things should be judged by distance traveled rather than by current position.”

Final Thoughts?

-If you like unlikely romance novels, you will probably enjoy this book.

KayKay #CRB6 Review #14 Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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An unlikely romance between a quirky first time caregiver and a quadriplegic.  It made me smile, it made me cry.  I give this book 3 stars.

Here’s a breakdown…

**SPOILER ALERT** My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement.  Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers.  Continue on at your own risk!

What is this book about?

A rich, active, world traveling handsome man (Will) is in an accident and becomes a quadriplegic.  After an attempted suicide he agrees to live 6 more months and his mom hires a quirky care giver – Lousia Clark.  Clark has a unique fashion sense and has never left the small town they live in.  Despite Will’s abrasive personality, they develop a relationship and fall in love (of course). Despite Louisa’s best efforts, Will decides to go through with assisted suicide.  (Which had me in tears).  The experience teaches Louisa how to live and after Will’s death she expands her experiences.

What did I think about this book?

I really liked this book.  It was a little predictable, but I like how she didn’t shy away from the ending.  Will still goes through with assisted suicide.  It’s a hard topic, and hard to judge unless you are in it.

Certain chapters are told from different characters views and I didn’t like that as much.

Favorite Lines?

“It always does feel strange to be knocked out of your comfort zone.  But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too…live boldly.  Push yourself.  Don’t settle….Just live.”

Final Thoughts?

I was in tears at the end of this book, but it was enjoyable.

KayKay #CRB6 Review #13 The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

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This is one of those compilation stories where several women’s lives intersect.  There are three main women, two of them who have husbands with secrets.   I gave this book 2 stars.

Here’s a breakdown…

**SPOILER ALERT**

My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement.  Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers.  Continue on at your own risk!

What is this book about?

The book opens with Cecilia finding a letter from her husband, only to be opened upon his death.  (she opens it about halfway through the book).  There is also the story of Tess, who is constantly with her cousin Felicity, to the point where her husband’s secret is that he is in love with Tess.  The third main character is Rachel (her husband is dead and without secrets), but is still processing the grief of her daughters murder.  So the big reveal is that Cecilia’s husband John-Paul is the one who killed Rachel’s daughter (technically, because of a insufficient autopsy, they never realized that Rachel’s daughter died from a health complication).

What did I think about this book?

I liked the occasional ‘what-if’ flashes. (If Rachel’s daughter would have lived, she would have fell in love with John Paul, etc.)

For me, these books are character driven.  Unfortunately, I didn’t like any of the characters.  I can’t stand weak female characters, and this book was full of them.  Not one of them were free to be who they wanted to be, but they all just worked within the confines of societies expectations.  Cecilia- I hated that she didn’t open that letter immediately.  She reminded me of a caricature of a real person- she may have been entertaining as a background character, but I didn’t feel she could carry a story line.  Tess was so close to her cousin, I’m not sure she had her own original thoughts.  When she found out her husband and cousin were in love, she ran home to her mom, to give them time to get the affair out of their systems.  And she got back with him…

Favorite Lines?

(Describing Cecilia)- She was a far better mother when she had an audience.

Final Thoughts?

– It wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t recommend it.