First off, if you've never ever been over to Pajamas & Coffee (lovingly known as PJ&C) you haven't lived or laughed properly. BUT WAIT! Don't go there, yet, stay here and read my review of MaryMac's hilarious new docu-novel ebook called the Hump Day Diaries because it's just that freaking great.
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The Hunger Games (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sometime last week I grabbed a copy of The Hunger Games to read and watched the movie. I wasn't sure how it would be with all the extreme hype about the book I'd never heard of and all of a sudden it has a movie. This sort of appearance generally puts me in the whole 'it's going to be bad bad bad' mindset and while it wasn't overall bad, it wasn't good either.
The book was rushed and in my opinion, poorly written. Nowhere near as bad as some young adult books I have read previously. For example, I tried reading a series that made it feel as if though the oxygen were being sucked from the room. This was every thought and conversation the teenager had, a runaway train and oxygen deprivation. I stopped reading when my daughter started speaking that way to get a break.
Most of Hunger Games was a fast read, there were some slow parts where you wondered if Katniss was actually capable of making it, but then again, she's the main character and killing off main characters in books and movies tend to get you blackballed from your readers so you know she makes it. Trying to figure out how.. well that's where reading it makes it interesting. She spends a lot of time up trees, sleeping in trees, belting/tying herself into trees, climbing down the trees.
The best killing ability she has is killing when she doesn't think about it. Katniss automatically kills a little boy who killed Rue, no thought, no processing, she did it and it was over. I don't recall if she retrieved the arrow that killed the boy, but if she did then you know she was over the whole 'I have to kill people to live thing'.
If you are able to ignore the blatant disregard for grammar and style, you can read this book. If you're going to pause every time and have the urge to throw the book or kindle (or whatever you use) then you're going to want to read it fast and do your best to disregard the grammar. The book still wasn't good and the writing style made it worse the best way to get through it if you really want to read it is as fast as possible.
The movie wasn't all that great either and the thing was 132 minutes long! That doesn't even include the credits! The best parts of the movie were watching Haymitch work getting sponsors for Katniss and the Gamemakers. I don't think Haymitch even bothered to try for Peeta, but then again all he seemed to do after saving Katniss was hide. It was probably the best idea he had since he wasn't sure if he would make it or not. The Gamemakers were so cold and calculating. These people are killing children for a living and they are just going about their business, starting wild fires and building killing machine animals as if it's just another day at the office. For them, it is. You see absolutely no remorse on any of the gamemakers, only the Game Master himself when he realizes he's about to lose the game to a witty, sarcastic hate-filled 16yo girl who outsmarted him.
I truly enjoyed how they portrayed the people of the Capitol. They were outlandish and fabulous and absolutely insane. How else could you think of them? They were not only OKAY with killing children but made it their lifes work to dress them up for the world they knew to see, to send them to their deaths looking fabulous and nothing like who they really truly are. Do they ever stop to think 'this could be my child?' No. Because if they did stop and think such things they would never be capable of doing what they have decided to do in order to get paid and be famous. To be famous you have to send children to their death. They are okay with this, it's sickening and the movie makes you want to shake each and every one of them for accepting this.
Now, my total opinion of both book and movie together. If you read the book and then watch the movie (which is always **always** the best way to go) you'll actually find it enjoyable. This does not include you morons who were shocked that Rue and Thresh were black, either. This is for people who actually READ the book, not leaf through it and say 'oooh it's so fantastic, I must see the movie' then make an idiot of yourself by throwing tantrums.
Reading the book puts you inisde Katniss' head which is exactly where you want to be. Watching the movie gives you an advantage because as you are watching you know each and every thought that is flowing through her brain. They did fairly well sticking to the storyline. I was upset that Madge didn't make an appearance. I think it would've been so much better, it's not like they couldn't have worked it in with how much time they already had in the finished product! The characters looked (for the most part) the way I pictured them in my head. I was unsure of how to picture Cinna because I just wasn't sure which way to go, how to make his voice. I kept getting Prince believe it or not. (I know, I know!)
I really think the movie and the book go hand in hand. They show you what you aren't sure how to picture. You get to see what happens to the Game Master when everything goes down. When you start the second book you can visualize who you are reading about by taking it from the movie that much easier.
So, finally, while I dislike them apart and on their own, they do compliment each other quite well. Don't read the book and not see the movie and if you haven't read the book forget even bothering with the movie. Got it? Good. And... may the odds ever be in your favor. (Second and LAST time I use that line.)
I know that I haven't done a book review in... well who knows how long... but it's been killing me when I haven't been doing them. I've been consuming books as if they were keeping my life sustained here and there. A couple of weekends ago I read 2.5 books. So, let me open my Adobe Digital Editions thingie and let you know what I've been reading.
I've officially finished the Georgina Kincaid (Succubus Series) by Richelle Mead. If you lost yourself somewhere in this saga, pick it the hell back up. The ending is worth it. It's the best ending to a love story that I have ever read in my entire life. If this were my life, I would want this ending, I would fight for this ending and I would kill anyone in my way to get the ending. Oh, yes, I *still* want Carter to be my Guardian Angel, no one else will do.
I am currently caught up on the Sookie Stackhouse saga by Charlaine Harris. I know, I know, I should've been caught up ages ago. But now I'm really caught up. I'm truly impressed with Sookie. With everything that she has been through regarding her fae family and the vampires, the weres and some psycho trying to kill her, she gets up every day and goes to work. She gets up every day and takes care of business, does her job, takes care of her house, deals with her family, plans and throws a baby shower for her best friend. If anyone is running for their life as much as Sookie is, it would be Cassandra Palmer from the Dark Magic saga by Karen Chance, which I previously reviewed as "a rollercoaster ride of almost dying and almost sex".
Even though I skim the sex scenes because sometimes they are too much or too often (Sorry, Laurell) I have caught up on the Anita Blake saga by Laurell K. Hamilton. Hit List was pretty damn good. The Harlequin have been ... well, I'm not sure if they are officially absorbed into their Kiss or what. The Mother of Darkness has been... consumed. You have to read it, just do it, skim the sex scenes like I do.
I read Unearthly by Cynthia Hand in one day. ONE DAY. It's Young Adult and all but I don't recall the last time I read a book in one day. It was interesting to say the least, a whole new type of supernatural. A teen girl is quarter-angel and she is given a purpose, as are all those who have enough Angel DNA in them are and her family moves several states over in order for her to fulfill her purpose. It turns out she's supposed to save someone. It turns out all backwards though when she falls in love with someone and their life is in danger at the same time she's supposed to save this other person. She meets others of her kind who know a lot more than she does about the whole 'being an angel' gig and tries to learn what's going on. I actually can't wait to see the next book come out.
I've gotten to book 15, yeah FIFTEEN, of the Stephanie Plum saga by Janet Evanovich. Badly though, I read it in my head using a horrible Jersey accent and I'm so excited about this being on the Big Screen. I can't wait to see One for the Money! Although, the guy who plays Ranger... doesn't look like the ranger in my mind dammit. Anyway, with all the trouble that Stephanie finds herself in it's probably a really good thing that these are non-supernatural books. Probably the first I've read in a long (very long) time.
Don't let me forget about the Vampire Academy spin-off of the Sydney Sage series by Richelle Mead. If you haven't read Vampire Academy, do not read these novels until you do or you'll have no idea what Sydney's history is with the Moroi and Dhampirs. Just trust me, okay? Sydney is amazing. Intelligent, beautiful, a lover of knowledge and learning. Unfortunately, her family history is full of dogma and they are a very controlling lot. She's an Alchemist (not like Full Metal, okay?) and helps by disintegrating Strigoi when they are staked. She's also discovering more about herself now that she's away from her overindulgent family once again. Sydney has to be careful though, she may be the current heroine thanks to the good she did in Bloodlines but she doesn't want to do anything that will end up getting her sent to a Re-Education Center. I can't wait to read The Golden Lily!
I've finally gotten my hands on the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, so I've started that. I'm not entirely sure about them just yet but I will try to get back to you. So, yes to all of these, even the Karen Chance novels if you like rollercoasters (see, there's always a catch) and the Anita Blake series if you can skim through the sex scenes like I can (or hey, maybe you like tons and tons and TONS of amazing scream inducing sex - even I need it now and again).
Bottom line, though? Go grab a book, even an audio book and start reading. If it weren't for books I would definitely be in a padded room. So thank you to each and every one of the authors for every book I've ever read.
I know I haven’t written in forever and ever and EVER.. and I have no real excuse for it either. Nothing much has been going on lately other than work, house cleaning and the occasional adventure. I haven’t even felt the stirrings of a need for a new layout, which could mean one of two things (or both). My creative muse has taken a very long (or permanent) vacation or I’m just too damn tired after work, making dinner (most nights) and whatever else I try to get done. I’ve also been devouring the Stephanie Plum saga by Janet Evanovich and I’m on book 10 - Ten Big Ones. I also read the latest Anita Blake novel by Laurell K. Hamilton - Hit List in under 24 hours.
My biggest issue though is the time I wait at work for reports to run. The system we use runs just fine. It’s some issue between Excel 2003 and Windows 7 and there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it. It takes anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes for excel to respond once the report is open. I won’t have to deal with that today, which hopefully means I’ll get the reports done today (I’ll be covering the front desk - yay me…) and I won’t have to do anymore.
I’m hoping Microsoft knows about this horrifying issue. I mean, I can’t really do anything else while the report is opening in Excel… I was given another task I could do but for some reason Outlook tells me I don’t have access. (This seems to happen a lot lately… and then access is usually granted if possible.)
So now you know what’s been going on… lots of work, lots of reading, lots of waiting for a program to respond. I had thought about writing a post here and there while waiting or hell, writing a freaking saga (ok, maybe not…) but I haven’t. I don’t know why. I suppose I could just do it in a notebook instead of digitally… I should just do it. I doubt I’d get in trouble for it since I bust my ass every day trying to get all of my work done (except filing… it’s been getting horribly neglected but the people I file for are VERY understanding when deadlines are placed on me that I need to focus on that task and nothing else).
Alright… my rambling for today is done. I make no promises about more posts. But hey, if I come here and just rattle off now and then it’s an effort to get me back into blogging, right? Right! I hope anyone who stops by has a fantastic day. Later!
So I’ve finally gotten around to continuing through the world of magic Kelley Armstrong has created. Werewolves, Vampires and Half-Demons oh my! The world she has created is filled with magic and adventure, love and strife, making it feel as if you could simply step through and be there, experiencing every detail for yourself. Kelley Armstrong has not only written this amazing saga, but along with it, several short (and not so short) stories to supplement the details of the characters backgrounds. Such as how Hope and Karl met, in Chaotic, or the details about how Paige and Lucas came to have their own office to start their dream business given in El Chupacabra. Don’t stop at reading just the series, get behind the scenes and find out more about the characters you love.
Industial Magic features Paige and Lucas as they are sucked into helping the four Cabals find a serial killer murdering the teenage children of their employees. Jaime Vegas helps by contacting the deceased to find out what they remember, if anything, about how they died. In order to solve the distressing case, they have to bring in other members of the council and during the case realize that even Savannah is in danger. The Pack help out by taking Savannah in during the time Lucas and Paige are trying to find out who is tracking down and killing supernatural teens. During this novel you’ll find out more intricate details about Cabal families and their lives, how difficult it is to be in such a family for many children and how hard it truly is for Lucas when working with his father. You’ll get to see Cassandra and Aaron as well as a few other members of the council helping to find the murderer as quickly as possible. There’s quite a few adventures in this novel, including an accidental trip to the otherside - the Afterlife.
Haunted takes you into the Afterlife, a dimension where the dead continue their ‘lives’ - usually doing something they are good at. Eve Levine on the other hand, Savannah’s mother, is more concerned with finding a way to watch her daughter, and even be a part of her life, until a crazy Nix decides to induce people to start killing. This story originates in medieval times when a Nix accidentally traps itself in a human host and dies. The Nix has already trapped an angel - whom no one can find where - and driven another angel literally insane. It’s up to Eve to trap the Nix and put her back where she belongs, but she can’t do so without earning her wings. Can you imagine? Black Witch to Angelhood for Eve Levine? Using her afterlife, and even some living, contacts she gets the facts, tracks down and kicks ass. She’s heavy on the snark and the attitude, which may be off-putting to some, but when it comes to getting the job done, Eve is your witch.
Broken revisits Elena and the Pack. I normally dislike Elena, but I have gotten used to her jumping to do whatever she see’s fit to get the problem solved. I’ve even started to like her and feel bad about her having to endure a Toronto summer heavily pregnant while they try to find Jack the Ripper. You read that right. Jeremy, Clay and Elena take on a job from Xavier - a malicious half-demon who helped kidnap her previously - to steal the infamous From Hell letter. In retrieving the letter they accidentally open a portal which brings out two zombies and (possibly) Jack the Ripper. During this time Elena has been struggling with being pregnant and has been having nightmares regarding it. She’s capable of shifting into her wolf without complication, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t scared like most new mothers. Elena has even more fears. What happens if the baby is a girl and thefore not a werewolf? What happens if it’s a boy and is a werewolf? Fears most new mothers don’t need to worry about. Her nightmares continually plague her, and by extension, Clay. As overprotective and controlling as he usually is has multiplied tenfold during Elena’s pregnancy. Being as there have never been two werewolves documented in their past to have children, this is a new one for the entire Pack.
No Humans Involved features your favorite celebrity necomancer (that’s right!) Jaime Vegas! The sexy redheaded celebrity has been picked to join two other mediums on a tv-reality show called Death of Innocence and they are put into a house in L.A. to live. Jeremy Danvers takes time out of his busy Alpha schedule to visit with her and in turn help her solve the murder of 6 children who are unable to speak or otherwise communicate with Jaime. All they can do is touch her and speak in whispers that even her power cannot make out clearly. Jeremy is a great help during this novel with his werewolf skills to aid Jaime in finding out who murdered the children and how to possibly free them from their in-between state. You also get to meet Hope Adams and Karl even makes an appearance. The intriguing piece in this book is that it involved humans, despite the title. A group of humans are trying to find the link between themselves and magic and how to give it to themselves. They don’t believe the paranormal exists and some people in the group chase down and prosecute paranormal scammers. During their search to track down and put these people behind bars they find information that may lead them to bringing magic into the human world. The way they are going about it is the reason that Jaime and Jeremy have to stop them. Jaime may not be strong in physical sense but she is quite a huge help to the council in other ways and does know how to put her ‘flighty, flaky celebrity’ personality on the sidelines when working such a horrific case. If you’re someone who wants Jaime and Jeremy to get together, this is definitely the novel you don’t want to skip. You’ll find out what they decide to do about their feelings for each other and what Jaime decides to do with her insecurities and her life.
Personal Demon takes you on a thrill-ride only a Chaos Half-Demon could truly capture and enjoy. Hope Adams is featured in this novel and she’s not your normal half-demon. Most half-demons gain powers and none of the chaotic thrill that their fathers enjoy. With Hope she got the reverse. Being Lucifer’s daughter is hard enough (and he’s just another demon like Satan) but when the bliss of chaotic distress takes over you and blinds you completely as to what’s going on as you drink it in, you could not only endanger your life but the lives of those you love. Hope is trying still to learn how to control her need to feed that chaotic demon. You originally meet her in No Humans Involved trying to help Jaime and Jeremy find out who killed the children and what they need to do to keep it from happening again. In this novel Hope decides to pay her debt (If you read the short story Chaotic, you’ll read about the favor owed) to Benicio Cortez by infiltrating a gang trying to cause issues for the Cortez Cabal in Miami. Not only does Hope allow herself to enjoy the chaos thrills she’s experiencing by infiltrating the gang but she also decides to enjoy a little personal time with Jaz, one of the gang members who’s sexy smile and outgoing personality are exactly what she feels she needs to get over Karl Marsten. Eventually Karl finds out where she’s at and what’s going on and comes to Miami, which makes things all the hotter and more enjoyable to read. In this novel Hope is able to expand her control over her powers and use them to her advantage. With all the strife that happens in this thrilling page-turner Lucas and Paige have to step in and help Benicio run the Cortez Cabal. That’s right, Lucas steps in and turns to the dark side for a few moments, not because he has to but in order to help the father that he does truly love, even if he doesn’t want anything to do with the Cabal itself.
Living with the Dead features Karl and Hope back in L.A. helping Hope’s friend Robyn after losing her husband in a misunderstood shooting. Robyn is human though and has no idea what Hope and Karl really are, supernatural. This novel needs to be read slowly, as it tends to change point of view often and may cause confusion. There are other new characters introduced as well, who we’ll probably never see again, such as Finn. Finn is a detective on the LAPD who can see ghosts. He’s a very weak necromancer but has never known the term. Finn simply knows that his family line carries some strange anomaly that allows some of them to see ghosts. You’ll also get to meet several clairvoyants, who were supposedly a very rare race. I enjoyed the story because Hope and Karl were in it and I enjoy their characters because they are such a complicated pair. Karl struggles with his overprotective, controlling, oh god I have to sniff the ground behavior and Hope struggles to not be needy. I consider Hope a strong character but she does not consider herself strong. She dislikes asking Karl for his help let alone needing it. I like the fact that Karl is there, and will stand back, until she asks for his help. I’m not sure why she has an issue with that. I know they will make it as a couple if they stand back and look at how well suited they are for each other. Robyn may enter into later novels, but simply as a secondary character. I can’t quite figure out why Kelley Armstrong decided to ‘let a human in’ to the supernatural world. Perhaps this is a step to having them come out to the human population who outnumbers them exponentially? Let’s hope not, I’d see widespread extermination and genocide if that happens. I know this isn’t much of a review on this book, but you have to read it in order to continue the series, and with the constant change in view points it may be something you’ll want to read when you are waiting somewhere for something or want to get it done and over with to move onto the next novel.
Make sure you take the time to go behind the scenes and read the short stories. You can find them at Kelley Armstrong’s website for free. Some of them are (I feel anyway) long enough that they could stand as a novel. These stories are great if you’ve gone through the series and want something more about your favorite characters to read or if you’re biting your nails waiting for the next novel to come out. I am enjoying her novels more and more, even though I started out disliking Elena, even she has grown on me and I can’t wait to see her again. Enjoy!