Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kobra Kid Reviews: The Camelot Caper

The Camelot CaperThe Camelot Caper by Elizabeth Peters

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was cute. It wasn't cutesy, thank god, just cute. And it was much better than I honestly expected it to be. Maybe I'm a book snob--okay, no, there's no maybe about that--but in my experience, this kind of book isn't exactly the best of style and subtance, which is why I typically avoid them. There are too many books, too little time, and I don't have nearly enough patience to waste what little time I have on reading books that are essentially empty and, in the end, impart nothing to the reader.

However, I found The Camelot Caper in the backseat of my aunt's car one day and started reading it, for lack of anything better to do at the time. (The back of one's aunt's car is not, after all, a very exciting place to be.) So then, of course, I had to keep reading to find out why this broad was being chased about England. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the author is actually a decent writer. Not amazing, by any means, but decent. She writes clearly and concisely; she's brief and subtle in the right places, while in others she paints very vivid images without being too verbose, too elaborate, or god forbid, purple.

I was a little disappointed with the ending. The premise just really fell apart, in my opinion, and I had a hard time believing that either side would simply let things go that easily. I feel like maybe Peters had an idea what she wanted to do with this book, but didn't put very much thought into it beforehand, then just tried to wrap up the loose ends as well as she could at the end. However, I enjoyed all the dry, sarcastic repartee so much, and the book is so full of little humorous bits and general snarkiness, that it more than made up for the plot holes. For me, at least. And while there was, in fact, an element of romance, it was very understated and did not gross me out at all. A-plus, Peters.

All in all, an enjoyable read for when you want something quick and light, maybe on a rainy day or when you're sick in bed.

Kobra Kid, signing off.
[You can't stop the signal.]

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Follow Friday #1

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
(Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
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Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Q. It's circle time. Time for us to open up and share. Can you tell us FIVE quirky habits or things about you? We all have them...

My Answer:

1. I can quote way too many lines verbatim from Stargate SG-1
2. Potty humor is highly amusing to me.
3. The stranger the book, the more I will like it. Dark, twisted or downright unthinkably evil plots and sex scenes are totally my thing.

4. I randomly break out singing " IT'S THE FINAL COUNTDOWNNNN DO DO DO DOOO" For no reason whatsoever.

5. I am a hard person to get to know. I am very cautious and a bit reserved at first. But, once I know someone and trust them, I will go out of my way to help them. No matter what.

So that's my 5 quirks what's yours ? I'm new at the Follow Friday so bare with me.

More Upcoming Reviews!

Angela's bookshelf: currently-reading

Soujon's JourneyAn Angel for EmilyAlwaysForever and AlwaysForeverSomeone to Love

More of Angela's books »
Angela Hupp's currently-reading book recommendations, reviews, quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Kobra Kid Reviews: The Horse and His Boy

The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #3)The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this book better than its predecessor, largely because it felt like more of a proper story than, "A girl goes through a wardrobe to a magical land, and here, have some Christian allegory. And how about a bit more Christian allegory, with a side of Christian allegory, topped with Christian allegory?" Aslan is still Jesus, obviously, but he only shows up toward the end of the book, so you don't get overwhelmed by the religious message.

The rest of the book is a fun, fast-paced little adventure with interesting characters to meet and places to see. It sometimes requires a suspension of disbelief, and also suffers throughout from POV issues (I usually loathe third person omniscient, which reads like exactly what it is: a spastic writer with the neurotic compulsion to tell the story from every single character's perspective), but since this is a children's book, rather than something really intended for the more discerning adult, I'm willing to overlook that. Mostly.

Kobra Kid, signing off.
[You can't stop the signal.]

View all my reviews

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Author's Spotlight -- Marlee Morgan --Interview

I'd like to thank Marlee Morgan for taking the time to answer our questions!I hope you all enjoy this interview and please pick up a copy of Soujon's Journey.

Tell us about you! where are you from? Family?

I was born and raised in Southern California. I have 2 children, my son in a doctor with the Air Force, my daughter - in - law is a veterinarian. My daughter is a RN working in the pediatric emergency room here in Las Vegas. I have 2 grandchildren, my grandson is 10 years old and my granddaughter is 8 years old. I am owned by very spoiled animals 3 dogs and 3 cats. The two fish behave themselves very well.

How long have you been writing?

I have always written little short stories for just myself. But when I turned 50 years old, I finally sat down and began Soujon's Journey. It took awhile, between working, and regular old life, but she finally got finished.

Who are your influences?

I love Leon Uris, James Clavell, Sue Grafton, Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Lewis Carroll and of course J. K. Rowling. I also love the way Rita Mae Brown, Harper Lee, and Margery William write.

What do you like to read?

I read all sorts of fiction when I have the time. The Oddkins by D. R. Koontz; the comics For Better for Worse by Lyn Johnston; The Pelican Brief by John Grisham; Rebecca, and My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier; and Tai Pan by James Clavell.
Plus so many more

Do you have a favorite author?

Harper Lee, J. K. Rowling and Lyn Johnston. (can't have just one). Their writing really grabs me.

What is the hardest part about writing?

Sitting myself down at the laptop. Ignoring the laundry, dishes, and regular housework.

What is the most fulfilling part about writing?

Actually seeing my story complete. It plays out like a movie in my head, and seeing complete and the story the way it should be it fantastic.

What advice would you give young kids today who aspire to becoming authors?

Keep writing whatever comes into your head. Whether it makes sense or not.

What are you working on right now?

The second story related to Soujon's Journey. Kender's Story is just about complete.

What future works do you have rolling around in your head?

Many. The Teacup Detectives, Melvin and the Toothbrush Room. Plus, something else, but not too sure what it will be

Where can we find out more about you and your works?

I have a website;

Angel Reviews: Soujon's Journey

Soujon's JourneySoujon's Journey by Marlee Morgan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's been a long while since I've read anything in the YA genre, so I picked up Soujon's Journey a little hesitantly. Was I too old to enjoy a book geared toward the younger generation? Would it seem too simple? Predictable? I honestly had no idea at all as to whether I would enjoy it even a little bit.

I am happy to say that I was almost immediately sucked into the world of Soujon and The Sky Mountain People. Soujon's world is what I wish our world was, pristine beauty and harmony but like most young folks, she wants more. Following her youthful heart and what she thinks is love she makes a decision to leave home with a man who is not as perfect as she thinks he is. What ensues is a story that I think almost any young girl can relate to. (even us older girls too) Growing up isn't easy, love hurts and we can't change past mistakes, only learn from them and hopefully not repeat them.

This is a heart-warming story that I would recommend to anyone needing a lift of spirit in this world full of anger and violence. Soujon and the Sky Mountain People are what we should aspire to be.

I will definitely be reading this gem again!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Teaser Tuesday # 2

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Every Breath You Take by Judith McNaught

Walking beside Kate, he tried to recall how many times during his boarding school years he'd been asked by a classmates family if he was any relation to the "Chicago Wyatts" How Ironic that he'd answered no all those times. Which suddenly explained why he could barely force himself now to acknowledge that the answer was actually yes.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Madness-- Upcoming reviews.

SO I have had a lot of crap going on IRL lately and it has seriously made a dent in my relaxing reading time! Sorry for being so inconsistent!

I have a few reviews coming up!

Soujon's Journey by Marlee Morgan

Set in the mystical village of Sky Mountain and the city of Cyane, SOUJON'S JOURNEY is the tale of a young girl growing up and discovering life. Finding her gifts and the inner strength that allows her to stand up to adversity and overcome obstacles in her life.

In the mystical city there are four basic laws--(1) if harm it does none, do as you will, (2) be kind in spirit, (3) be in harmony with your surroundings, (4) be clean in body, mind and spirit.

Soujon embraces the new world around her and finds joy in life beyond her wildest dreams. This is a magical growing up, coming of age tale that will grab the reader from the very beginning.

Every Breath You Take by Judith McNaught

Unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and riveting suspense: These are the trademarks of beloved author Judith McNaught. With millions of devoted fans and ten New York Times bestsellers to date, McNaught is a writer whose work just gets better with each new novel–and Every Breath You Take is the book readers have been waiting for. Returning to the lavish Chicago setting of her popular novel Paradise, and revisiting some of that book’s characters as well, this story will captivate in inimitable Judith McNaught style.

High atop a snow-covered hill, the stately old Wyatt mansion is perched like a crown, its stone spires pointing upward, its stained glass windows glowing like colorful jewels. Such opulence means success and, surely, happiness. But on the eve of wealthy philanthropist Cecil Wyatt’s eightieth birthday, all the money in the world won’t bring back his missing grandson, William Wyatt. The only thing for certain: Foul play was involved.

The family, the police, the media–all have tried in vain to discover the young man’s fate. Now suspicion has turned shockingly toward William’s own half-brother, the rather distant and enigmatic Mitchell Wyatt.

Kate Donovan never dreamed that a chance romantic encounter on a tropical island paradise would tag her as a suspect in a high-society murder case. But after Kate tangles with the darkly charismatic Mitchell Wyatt, she finds herself cast in a shadow of guilt and mistrust. As the Chicago police tighten their net, it will take all of Kate’s ingenuity to clear her name. With her calm, cool wit, and the help of a man who may or may not be a dangerous catch, Kate vows to claim the life and love she desires

Life is Not A Candy Store, It's The Way To The Candy Store by Tal Yanai

The book LIFE IS NOT a CANDY STORE; IT'S THE WAY TO THE CANDY STORE is a short, 34 pages spiritual guide for teenagers and young adults. It highlights the problem of people who look for instant gratification and the lack of awareness of the pain they cause to others. The book reminds the reader that life has a higher purpose, and together, the author and the reader, travel on the road of life, exploring different situations, and the lessons which come with them.

Each chapter in the book is a road sign which calls the reader to be aware of elements we face in life, and ways to deal with them. The book also provides the reader with useful tools to overcome daily problems, and live a better, more spiritual life. From dealing with the problem of lying, in the chapter Dead End Roads, to providing useful tools in the chapter Roadside Assistance, the reader explores life's journey from a new prospective, knowing he or she is not the only one struggling, and trying to find a higher purpose in life.

The unique format of this book cannot be found in other spiritual books. Also, given the fact that teenagers and young adults are constantly in a stage of doubts and confusion, I was surprised to see how little spiritual guidance is available to them. The book's format makes it easy to follow, and gives the reader useful tools for spiritual growth. This book was written from personal experiences, and it is my hope that it will serve as a lighthouse for many souls.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Angel's Random Sunday Rant -- 5/15/11 -- Real Books

Hi ya'll, Angel here with your first Random Sunday Rant.

Since i seem to take so long reading books and reviewing them, I figured that maybe I'd start blogging about other stuff too. Hope ya don't mind, and if ya do...well, you know where the back button is right? Clickit!

So, what am I ranting about today? BOOKS! Real books. A lot of my friends are jumping on this new nook, kindle whatever band wagon. Well I've taken a look and even downloaded a kindle for PC program and gave it a whirl. Eh,I guess its ok but seriously, it's just missing something. Strange cause, it's portable just like a good old paper book. You can take it outside and sit on your porch swing and read, you can take it to the DR office and read it in the lobby, you can basically do anything you can do with a real book but still, to me it's just not the same.

I love the weight of the book in my hands. The smell of the well worn pages. Even the crisp sound when you eagerly turn a page. Maybe i'm stuck on nostalgia, I don't know but I think I will will be one of the last to go kicking and screaming into the world of e-books.

how about you? what are your thoughts? I'm interested to hear!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kobra Kid Reviews: Pride and Prejudice

Pride and PrejudicePride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen owned a thesaurus.

I know I'm supposed to love this book, both as a woman and as someone who's had a lifelong love affair with classic works of literature, but honestly, I found it only just tolerable enough to keep reading to the end.

The language is extremely heavy, at times even daunting, due to Ms. Austen's apparent neurotic compulsion to use only four or five syllable words wherever possible. It's not that I'm afraid or unappreciative of big fancy words, but sometimes? Simple is better. Writing isn't about cramming as many big words as you can into your story; there is ease of reading too, a lyricism and flow to your narrative to keep in mind. That's why it's ART, damn it. Furthermore, I find it extremely hard to believe that people actually talked like that. The 18th century has never been a particular area of interest for me, so for all I know, they did. I'm just saying, the idea makes me a bit dubious, and also makes my head hurt to imagine.

Aside from that, Pride & Prejudice didn't even really get interesting until Kitty [ETA: It was Lydia. Oops. Whatever, they're basically the same character] ran off with what's-his-face. Wickham, I think. She should've stayed gone, if you ask me. I would kill my sister, if she acted like that. In fact, I'd kill her if she acted like any of the characters in this book. What a bunch of vain, self-obsessed, self-important ninnies, all preoccupied with wealth and prestige and the mindless indulgences of the rich and idle. Even Elizabeth isn't exempt, though we're apparently just supposed to love her to pieces, or something, and we're supposed to believe that Mr. Darcy does too, despite the fact that she spends the first two-thirds of the book doing everything in her power to mortally offend him and snub him and make him dislike her. She doesn't return his affections until around the last third of the book, yet we're led to believe, through Eliza's own convictions, that she and Mr. Darcy will be the paragon of marital bliss. Oh, please.

Despite these complaints, however, I think the book is actually rather interesting as a window into the social conventions of the time. There are probably better books for that, I admit, but if you want a little fiction (and maybe a supposed love story) to go with your history, and if you can hack Austen's blatant thesaurus abuse, it's worth a read.

Kobra Kid, signing off.
[You can't stop the signal.]

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