Monday, November 20, 2017

The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel

The Land of Painted Caves

Author: Jean M. Auel
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (Random House)
Year: 2011
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age: Adult 18+

This is book #6 in the Earth Children series. I had to attempt to read this book because it is part of an Adult STEM Discussion at my library this month.

This review will be very short...I only ready about 200 pages of this book & I hated every minute of it.

Overall the story line isn't bad, but that being said there is way to many characters & the book is very descriptive. The author spends whole chapters describing landscapes & introducing dozens of characters that you are expected to remember. She also goes into great detail the customs, clothing, food, etc of the people. That content is interesting but the way it's presented is to difficult to read. I know I'm not the only person to not enjoy this book because it has an average 3 star rating on Goodreads. If there was less description & more focus on the story I feel like the book would be better. Needless to say I will not be finishing it.

I'm hoping that the discussion goes well because the person leading it is also not liking the book. Let's hope some people come that do???


Likes: -

Dislikes: All


Monday, November 13, 2017

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

Midnight Crossroad

Author: Charlaine Harris
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Year: 2014
Genre: Fantasy/Mystery
Age: Adult 18+
Welcome to Midnight, Texas where the heat is dry & the residents are an eclectic bunch of folks.

There's Fiji Cavanaugh who is a real witch, she runs a store for herbal remedies & talisman's out of her house but she could freeze you faster than a bolt of lightning.

Bobo Winthrop is a handsome thirty something man who owns the pawn shop in town & he is dating Aubrey Hamilton.

Joe Strong & Chuy Villegas are partners & they own the Tattoo Parlor & Nail Salon. They live there with their dog Rasta.

Madonna Reed & her husband Teacher just had a baby & they own & run the Home Cookin' Restaurant.

Then there's Emilio Sheehan who is the town reverend & he oversees the pet sematary & weekly services, plus the occasional wedding.

Olivia Charity has a mysterious job that everyone thinks involves finding & killing people. She lives in the basement below the pawn shop with Lemuel Bridger who is a vampire that siphons energy instead of drinking blood.

Then there is the Lovell family. Shawn is father to Creek & Connor. Creek is college age & Connor is 14. They are not native Midnighters, they moved to the are to escape a mysterious past so they fit right in.

Finally there is Manfred Bernardo. He is a psychic who makes his living on the internet through his many reading sites. He's also new to town & isn't sure if he fits in yet.
In this first book in the now finished trilogy Manfred has come into town at just the right time. Aubrey has gone missing & Bobo has no idea where she could be. Her dead ex-husband Chad Lowry, was killed robbing a bank & he was a member of the Sons of Liberty, a white supremacist group. Bobo & the rest of the town suspect that their leader Price Eggleston was behind her death.

After Aubrey's body is discovered down by the river the investigation & trouble begins. The Sons of Liberty start coming to Midnight to check up on Bobo since he too has a dark & complicated past that is similar to theirs. Bobo & Manfred are jumped one night, 2 men go missing after they come into the pawn shop, & then Fiji is taken as bait. Olivia & Lemuel are very useful in the cause because of their unique backgrounds & skills.

Mean while the rest of the residents of Midnight are spending their nights eating at Home Cookin' & trying to live their lives as normally as possible. But did Price really kill Aubrey or was it one of their own from Midnight?
There is a show that premiered in early 2017 on NBC based on these books. It features some new faces to television as well as some old favorites like Arielle Kebbel from The Vampire Diaries & Peter Mensah from Spartacus.

I watched the entire show on HULU since it had already aired. It was 10 episodes & I was sad to see it end. I won't go into too much detail but I know now after reading this first book that the show must include events from all books.

In short the show was very good & I enjoyed it. I watched all the episodes in about 2 days. It is well worth the time & it increased my desire to read the books. There are several very large differences between the 2 but I enjoy them both a lot.
Likes: The book had a great mix of characters & the story itself evolved quickly & kept my attention. Of course from watching the show I knew how it would end but I wasn't disappointed.

There wasn't as much romance going on in the book, so far at least, as in the show. I liked the mystery & all the diverse characters over wanting the romance. I'm hoping to see more but I wasn't upset by the overall lack.

As usual Harris takes supernatural characters & plants them in our world which creates an interesting mix. There are traditional details like vampires drinking blood but she introduces fun new elements like Lemuel's ability to take in energy from others.

I discovered I like mysteries. My usual genre is YA fantasy so this was new for me & I really enjoyed it. I have read several of her other books from the Sookie Stackhouse series 7 really liked them as well.

I listened to this book & plan on continuing through audio. The read has a good mellow voice with a slight Texas accent that keeps your attention.

Dislikes: -


Friday, November 3, 2017

November 2017 TBR

I'm hoping to catch up on my reading this month since we have a three day weekend for Veteran's Day. If I don't finish I HAVE to at least get one book read for an Adult STEM Discussion we are doing at the library at the end of November. So here is my November TBR:

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Origin by Dan Brown

Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly
Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead

Darker by E.L. James

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Treasure Hunters by James Patterson

Stay tuned for review throughout this month!

October 2017 Wrap-Up

This month I managed to read 4 books although I was hoping to read a lot more. My work had a HUGE Halloween carnival & I had some special projects going on so that delayed me a little. I'm hoping November will be better between this weekend & Veteran's Day weekend I should be able to get a lot of reading done. So these are the books I read in October: 

The Nighty-Nightmare by James Howe 
My review is here.
This was the fourth book in the Bunnicula series.

Return to Howliday Inn by James Howe
My review is here.
This is the fifth book in the Bunnicula series. 

Bunnicula Strikes Again by James Howe
My review is here.
This is the sixth book in the Bunnicula series.

Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allen Crow by James Howe
My review is here.
This is the seventh & final book in the series. I'm happy to have finished the series. This final book had quite a gap between it & the last one so there was a little bit of a disconnect but I still enjoyed it. 

Stay tunes for my November TBR!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow by James Howe

Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow

Author: James Howe
Publisher: Aladdin Books
Year: 2006
Genre: Mystery
Age: Juv 8+
This is the last book in the Bunnicula series.

Pete & Toby have been reading a book series called FleshCrawlers by their favorite author M.T. Graves. So when there is a contest to write about why you love the books & win a visit from the author, Pete is all over it. Of course Pete wins & the family starts prepairing for the visit. However the author has some very strange requests & wants to meet the families unique pets like Bunnicula the vampire rabbit. The visit doesn't go as planned & the author is weirder than anyone imagined. Graves also has plans for Bunnicula that could put the whole family in jeopardy. Can Chester, Harold, & Howie save Bunnicula before it's too late?
Likes: This is the last book in the series. I really enjoyed them but I'm ready to move to something else.

Although this book was not as funny as the others it was still good.

The pictures are illustrated by a different person & the book overall was different from the others. But there was also a significant gap between this & the last one.



Bunnicula Strikes Again by James Howe

Bunnicula Strikes Again

Author: James Howe
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Year: 1999
Genre: Mystory
Age: Juv 8+
This is book #6 in the Bunnicula series.

Bunnicula is back to his old ways-sucking the life out of vegetables. That is until Mother's Day passes and he starts getting sick. The big question is, where is Bunnicula's mother? Since he was found at the movie theater in downtown Centerville years ago could she still be there after all this time? Or is she gone forever?  Chester leads Harold & Howie on a daring adventure to try & find her before something awful happens to Bunnicula. Can they find Bunnicula's mother before the old theater gets demolished?
Likes: There is only 1 more book to go in this series!

Once again it was a fast funny read

At one point Chester calls Bunnicula a spinach sucker &  I was dying laughing

Howie is up to his usual puns & they never get old

Dislikes: -


Monday, October 9, 2017

Return to Howliday Inn by James Howe

Return to Howliday Inn

Author: James Howe
Publisher: Avon Books
Year: 1992
Genre: Mystery
Age: Juv 8+

This is the 5th book out of a total of 7 books in the Bunnicula series.
Our old pals Harold, Chester, & Howie are back at Chateau Bow-Wow or Howliday Inn as they named it from their last trip. This time there is a group of new friends joining them. Jill the vet's assistant is being helped this summer by a girl named Daisy. There are several dogs including Linda a West Highand White Terrier, Bob a Cocker Spaniel, a Great Dane named Hamlet, a weasel, a parrot named Ditto, & 2 cats who are trouble named Felony & Miss Demeanor.

Not too far into their stay the group hears a voice coming fro the dirt. They discover a pink collar with the name Rosebud on it & a pile of bones. Apparently the ghost of Rosebud has come back to warn them & share her tragic story. She fell victim to the secret of Chateau Bow-Wow, hidden behind the door of Dr. Greenbriar's office. The others must discover what the secret it before it's too late & they all suffer the same fate as Rosebud.

The group must also reunite Hamlet with his owner who is a Shakespearean actor. Using Chester's reading skills they figure out where Archie lives & bust out of Howliday Inn. It turns out to be an eventful trip & a happy ending for everyone.
Likes: This story was a little less creepy than the others. It turns out that the ghost of Rosebud isn't actually talking to them. Hamlet is playing a trick on all of them.

The ever present humor is still going on in this book just like the others.

It was a quick easy read at less than 150 pages.

I'm happy that I only have 2 books left in this series. I enjoy it but I'm ready to know the end & move onto another series or book.

Dislikes: -