Sunday, June 26, 2011

Angel Reviews: Z for Zachariah

Z for ZachariahZ for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My 15 year old daughter recommended this book for me, and to be honest i was scared to read it. You see my daughter normally reads things like Twilight..and I am very sorry but, that's just not my cup of tea AT ALL! So I opened this book with a lot or trepidation.

This book was amazing. I read it in something like 3 hours from cover to cover. I could not put it down. Very suspenseful! I can see why it was part of her school curriculum. It is well worth the read, not only for the story but also for the life lesson it teaches. I think everyone should read this book.

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Angel Reviews: The Dream Crystal (The Dream War Series, #1)

The Dream Crystal (The Dream War Series, #1)The Dream Crystal by Mark O'Bannon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It took me longer than I thought it would to finish this book. this is no fault of the authors, just due to life in general. So I apologize for this review coming so late!

This was a good read. Well written and very descriptive and intriguing. One problem I did have was, from the very beginning it grabbed my attention. However, about halfway through it seemed to drag a bit, thankfully a little while later the plot picked up speed again.

Also, I realize this is a YA and I think maybe that's why I didn't relate to the characters very well, I can see my daughter (15) relating to these people though , they were very giggly and a bit materialistic at times, but then again aren't most teens?

The fantasy story itself was what saved it for me. The world the author created was full of imagery and twists and it was very very captivating. I love stories like this but based on more mature charecters.

This does not mean the book was bad cause it was NOT it was just not what I would call age appropriate for ME.

I recommend this for young teen boys and girls who like sci-fi , fantasy and magic!

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Kobra Kid Reviews: Duma Key

Duma KeyDuma Key by Stephen King

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Excuse me, Mr. King, but what the hell is this?

Jesus, what a mess. Duma Key is the worst Stephen King book I've read since Lisey's Story. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's even worse than Lisey's Story, because while that book was, frankly, retarded and had the absolute WORST plot resolution of any book EVER, it at least had the benefit of suspense. There was a clear and present danger throughout, there was a recognizable Bad Guy (along with a few other things that go bump in the night, as you would expect from Stephen King), and even more important than the fact that you had at least a vague notion of where all this was going was the fact that you could be almost entirely sure that it was going somewhere. In other words, it was what a thriller should be, at least in that respect. Duma Key, on the other hand, was...about a dude painting.

No, really.

This Freemantle dude gets maimed in an industrial accident, moves to Florida, and paints a bunch of pictures. Oh, and he meets this guy who speaks Spanglish even though he's a white dude from, like, Omaha or somewhere, and also an old lady with Alzheimer's. Aaand...yeah, that's about all that happens for almost four hundred pages; Freemantle paints, and everyone is just amazed by how good he is. You only faintly have a sense that some weird shit is going on, and that mostly just because it's freakin' Stephen King, come on. Nothing scary or even particularly interesting happens until about two-thirds of the way through the book, when some fucking creepy undead kids finally show up to scare the bejeezus out of this asshole. Unfortunately, that still doesn't save the reader the horror of what comes next.

Edgar's Big Damn Art Show.

Oh lord.

Maybe I just have no stomach for a bunch of over-educated, over-privileged, pontificating, pretentious fucks standing around jerking each other off over art--or anything, actually--but the whole thing was nigh on painful for me, particularly when Elizabeth showed up and everyone was lauding the Great Patron of the Arts, and then she started giving this horrible, stilted, over-the-top art critique. Ugh. I was actually, literally rolling my eyes by that point. I mean, it all struck me as the sort of thing you'd find in some horrendous dime-store novel, the author of which clearly wishes this would happen to him or her, and who has always dreamed of being the recipient of this brand of exaggerated praise and adoration. Gross. I expect better of you, Stephen.

After that, the real story finally gets underway and King starts elucidating his convoluted plot. Like he could have done TWO HUNDRED FUCKING PAGES AGO. Seriously. And I could have excused the amount of time and unnecessary word-count it took to get there, because I feel like King could have salvaged the book at that point, but instead he chose the single STUPIDEST method of exposition EVER. EVER. And that's what pisses me off more than anything else about this book, to be honest; Duma Key COULD have been good. Perhaps not great, but it could have been pretty damn interesting. A casual inspection of the copyright page reveals the band Shark Puppy as consisting of R. Tozier and W. Denbrough. As in Richie and Bill of the Losers Club. A clear nod, I should think, to the idea that Perse is of a similar nature to Pennywise, the Awful Monster of Awfulness from It. It is one of my very favorite King novels, though I feel there was room for more explanation about the origins and nature of Pennywise, so I was extremely disappointed by what I see as a missed opportunity here to get really meta and expatiate on an existing mythology.

So, in short, unless you're a hardcore Stephen King fan, I would steer clear of this one. The writing isn't up to King's usual quality, and considering that, in most of the book, nothing happens, and the rest of the book is blindingly stupid exposition, Duma Key isn't worth your time.

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

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kobra Kid Reviews: Why Is Murder On The Menu, Anyway?

Why Is Murder On The Menu, Anyway? (Harlequin Next)Why Is Murder On The Menu, Anyway? by Stevi Mittman

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I picked this up and started reading it before I realized that it was freakin' Harlequin. Oy. Definitely not my cup of tea. But the first page and a half or so seemed rather amusing, so I kept reading, because hey, I'm not such a book snob that I can't try new things sometimes. I like to keep an open mind. Unfortunately, my mind isn't so open that I could keep reading past the first chapter. The problem is this: the book reads more like an outline than a novel. I can't understand how Mittman sent this in to her editor and actually got it published. How do these things happen? I mean, it's got potential, yes, and it's funny, but it requires a lot more fleshing out before it can call itself anything more than a rough draft.

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

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Kobra Kid Reviews: Book of Dreams

Book of DreamsBook of Dreams by Jack Kerouac

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have a confession to make: I didn't enjoy On the Road quite as much as everyone else seemed to enjoy On the Road. I'm not sure whether it's because people had forever been telling me how oh-my-god-amazing it is, and thus I went into it with really high expectations--too high, in fact--or if it's because I'm just not a fan of Kerouac's style. Either way, I'm sure it makes me a terrible person, but there it is.

So it begs the question why I didn't simply pass on by when I spotted Book of Dreams on the shelf while raiding my local library. The thing is, I love the idea of other people's dreams. They fascinate me. Myself, I dream almost exclusively about people who never were and places that don't exist, or places to which I've never been (which amounts to about the same, in the end), whereas other people tend to dream about those around them, their loved ones, about the things going on in their lives. They dream about their hopes and their fears and their desires. To experience another person's dream is like having a window into their soul.

Book of Dreams does indeed offer the reader a window into the very private world inside the mind of Jack Kerouac. (Or not so private, perhaps, all things considered.) But that's about all the book can boast, unfortunately. One would expect someone's dreams to be written in stream-of-consciousness or similar style, naturally, but this goes right past SOC into a poorly punctuated, run-on, rambling mess that is extremely hard to follow. Reading it actually gave me headaches until I realized that the trick is to skim through the lines really quickly and just get the gist of the material. Focus on the shape of things, the feeling of it, not the finer details.

Because of this, however, I only really learned two things from this book:

1) Jack had a lot of dreams about failed or abortive trysts with women.

2) Jack had a lot of dreams about queers. (His word, not mine.)

Paging Dr. Freud...

So anyway. Unless you're a dedicated Kerouac fan, or really into dreams and dream interpretation--even more so than I am, that is--I would recommend leaving this one on the shelf. If you must, read On the Road instead; it's about basically the same exact stuff, except it makes more sense, is marginally less rambling, and is easier to follow.

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

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Angel Reviews: A Shot of Poison by: Christopher Long

A Shot of Poison: An Insider's Tales of One of Rock's Most Outrageous BandsA Shot of Poison: An Insider's Tales of One of Rock's Most Outrageous Bands by Christopher Long

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was for me, a blast from the past. Having lived my life around the "rock star scene" since the age of 15, nothing I read really surprised me...much.

I expected to find out that every guy in Poison could be an asshole on any given day but also that each one had very very endearing points. I think some people: the die hard "My favorite band is ultimate perfection in every way" crowd, may actually be offended by the God's honest truth the writer spouts.

Does he talk smack? Well yeah, he does. But. knowing the scene as well as I do from years as a wanna-be groupie, I believe every word written in this memoir.

If you're looking for sordid tales of sexual debauchery and drug abuse and just flat out mayhem, this book is not for you. If you are looking for a book that shows you the not so glamorous side of the road, the harsh truths of how chaotic and emotionally and physically draining it is for not only the band but the road crew as well, then I suggest giving this a read.

Chris Long shows the band in a very human light, imperfect, egotistical at times but yet very very HUMAN.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and will probably read it again and again.

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Angel Reviews: Every Breath You Take by Judith McNaught

Every Breath You TakeEvery Breath You Take by Judith McNaught

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book and i don't normally read books set in current times, not romance anyway I'm more of a historic romance kinda girl or fantasy. That being said, this book was really good to me. The characters were vibrant and full of emotion. The man was sexy, even if he was a bit of a cocky asshole and the woman I could really relate to. Her feelings of despair, her lack of trust, the whole emotional roller coaster really touched me on a personal level.

The authors way of writing was very easy to comprehend, very descriptive without being to colorful. Even int he sex scenes, which were just the right amount by the way, she was descriptive without being overly raunchy or cheesy.

There was raw emotion, plot twists and intrigue that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

All in al this book is great for just about anyone who loves an angsty love story.

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