I've been a book worm for pretty much my whole life. I've read many types of books over the course of my life, but currently the sorts of books I enjoy the most are fantasy and science-fiction. I particularly like it if these genre's are mixed with comedy like the style of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. I definitely can enjoy more serious fantasy and science-fiction though. I also enjoy vampire books, but not quite as much as I did when I was younger.

This blog is mainly for my book reviews, but I also post quotes and other random book related things. If you'd like to know more about the books I've read and am planning to read, I'm a member at several different book sites, and links to my profiles are listed under My Pages.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review of The Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchett

The Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchett is the story of a young man named Dom who has been appointed to a powerful position on his planet, but unfortunately there have been multiple attempts on his life. It has been foretold that it is his fate to discover the world of the race of beings that seeded life in the universe and there are those that would prefer that this information not get out. This book follows Dom's adventures as he sets out on his quest to find answers and fulfill his destiny.

I have to say that I honestly didn't enjoy this book very much. It was completely different in style to everything else I've ever read by Terry Pratchett and if it weren't for the use of some terminology that was also used in his Discworld series, I wouldn't have even known I was reading one of his books. The humor that I've come to know and love in his writing just wasn't present in this book. There were some things that seemed like they were meant to be funny, but really just weren't. I did try to be open-minded about reading something more serious by Pratchett, but the lack of humor in the book wasn't the only thing wrong with it. I just found the book very hard to follow and I found myself feeling lost and confused at least a third of the time when reading it if not more. I think it would have helped if the author had spent more time explaining the various alien races in more detail as well as the technology used. I also felt the ending to the book was weird and really not that satisfying. It's a shame because the premise of this story was interesting and I did like how ancient alien theory was worked into the story, but it could have been done so much better than it was. At least it was a fairly short read so I didn't waste too much of my time on it. I really wouldn't recommend this book unless you're a hardcore Pratchett fan who absolutely has to read everything he's ever written.

Review of A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle

A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle is the fourth book in the Austin Family series. This is a hard summer for Vicky and her family. They are spending an extended vacation with her grandfather who is dying of leukemia, but as if that wasn't enough to deal with, one tragedy after another strikes the community. Vicky tries to keep herself busy helping out with a dolphin communications experiment, but all of the horrible things that are happening definitely take their toll on her. On top of the various tragedies, she's also got three different guys vying for her attention and she has to figure out who she really wants to be with. She spends a lot of time with her grandfather and in his illness he imparts a great deal of wisdom to her. Even that isn't enough to heal her soul though, and she can only find comfort and solace in the dolphins that she has come to know and care for.

This is a very sad book, but it's also probably my favorite in this series and I'd highly recommend it. I just love reading about the spiritual connection that the main character has with the dolphins and with the guy leading the experiment. This book can probably be read as a standalone, but would be a good idea to read the previous books in the series plus The Arm of the Starfish for background story.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Review of Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett

Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett is the second Discworld novel featuring the Night Watch of Ankh-Morpork. There is a string of mysterious murders and the victims were killed by a strange new weapon. It's up to the Night Watch to investigate these murders and figure out how they were killed and by whom, all while the captain of the Night Watch is getting married and retiring and new recruits are being trained. This was quite a humorous murder mystery novel and I think I liked it somewhat better than the first Night Watch book, Guards! Guards!. This book takes place after Guards! Guards! and while it's not strictly necessary to read that book first, it does provide background on the characters.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Review of The Young Unicorns by Madeleine L'Engle

The Young Unicorns by Madeleine L'Engle is the third book in the Austin Family series. After moving to New York city, Dr. Wallace Austin begins research on a new device that will pave the way for major advancements in the field of medicine. Though he is unaware of this, there are those that would want to misuse this technology and his children are put at risk by people who want to get their hands on it. One friend to his children finds himself caught up right in the middle of this conspiracy with both sides vying for his assistance. He's not sure who to trust and by the time he figures it out, it may be too late.

This book is mainly a mystery thriller with some light science fiction mixed in and I thought it was an ok read. I think I did enjoy it more than the first two Austin books, though those two were more realistic fiction. It's not necessary to read the first two Austin books before reading this one unless you want some background on the characters. This book does connect with The Arm of the Starfish though and has a bit of character crossover so I'd recommend reading that book first, but again it's not entirely necessary. This book is in fact very similar to The Arm of the Starfish. Both books feature the head of the family making some sort of scientific breakthrough that ends up putting their family at risk as well as the world at large and someone connected to the family ends up caught in the middle of it and playing a major role. I should note that there aren't any actual unicorns in this book or anything in the book that would give me a clue as to why it was titled the way it was.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Review of A Book of God's Love by M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

A Book of God's Love by M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen is a short book discussing spiritual topics such as unconditional love, forgiveness, and others. Some parts of the book definitely resonated with me more than others, but I didn't find it too hard to take the wisdom that was meaningful to me and discard the rest. Even when reading parts of the book that I didn't particularly resonate with, I still felt a sense of peace when reading it. One thing I particularly liked about the book was the theme that one should forever be a student and never stop learning and questioning the world around us. I think that people who have more traditional spiritual beliefs would get even more out of this book than I did.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Review of Return to Avalon by Jennifer Roberson

Return to Avalon edited by Jennifer Roberson is an anthology of Arthurian short stories. With the exception of Lady of Avalon(not to be confused with the novel by the same name), none of these stories have anything to do with Marion Zimmer Bradley's Avalon. Lady of Avalon is set some time after the events of The Mists of Avalon and tells the story of the current high priestess being captured and turned into a slave by a Saxon king. It was a pretty good story and I enjoyed reading it. Most of the other stories I'd rate as three stars with some four star ones scattered throughout the book. Of the other stories there weren't any that stood out as particularly good or particularly bad. One thing that was curious is that a lot of the stories in the book I would hesitate to classify as Arthurian fiction. There were many that had more the feel of fairy tales to them and didn't seem to have anything to do with Arthurian legends as far as I could tell. There was also one Shakespearian short story that seemed really out of place. I thought it was a good story and I did enjoy it, but it just really didn't seem like it belonged in this collection. Overall I'd say this book was an ok read and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes Arthurian and medieval fiction, though I think I liked the Out of Avalon anthology better. To anyone wanting to read this book just for the Lady of Avalon story, it's probably only worth it if you can borrow the book or get it for a low price unless you are a really big fan of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Avalon series.