Saturday, November 29, 2014

Jack Of Fables: Jack Of Hearts

There are two parts to Jack in this book. One part is about Jack's past and explains his secret former relationship with the Snow Queen. It is during this relationship he gains the name Jack Frost, and the powers that go with that character. The second part is about what Jack is up to currently in Las Vegas. He finds a directionless heiress and gets married to her. Could this be Jack's happily ever after?

This is the second volume in the Jack Of Fables series that is a spinoff from the Fables series. You should probably read this book after the first book The (Nearly) Great Escape to fully understand what is happening. I would also recommend reading through Fables volume six Homelands before tackling this book if you want to avoid any possible spoilers.

I did not really care for this volume, largely because I do not care for Jack's character. There is really nothing redeeming about him to me. He is a womanizing jerk that always will look out for himself, and there is no effort to make him appeal in any other way. His humor does nothing for me, so this spinofff series is not my cup of tea. I only continue to read it because I am a major fan of the Fables series and do not want to miss any information that pertains to the larger story. I did like that this story did follow one of Fables major themes of combining fairy tale characters into one person, so Jack The Giant Killer is also Jack Frost. It is always managed in a fun, clever way, so that was awesome. Other than that, not so great.

If you are not a fan of Fables or Jack's character, I would not recommend reading this book.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Bone Season


In the year 2059, several major cities have come under the control of the Scion. Paige Mahoney is part of the criminal underworld of London Scion known as the Seven Seals. She scouts for information by breaking into other people's minds. She has this power because she is a dream walker. Simply by being this type of clairvoyant is considered treason punishable by death. She is arrested and sent to a prison meant for her kind, and she discovers it is controlled by the Rephaim, who want voyants such as her, as soldiers in their army. Paige must struggle to survive and find a way to regain her freedom.

I really liked the world building. There were a lot of layers to this world, and I found it very interesting. I kept reading to learn more about this new and exciting world. It can seem like there is a lot of information coming at you, but keep reading it is well worth it. There were a few times that I thought the background information was a little awkwardly inserted, but on the whole, it was a well written novel. The characters also kept me interested. They were complex, and I liked several of the personalities a lot.

This was the first book in a series that is planning to have seven books. While a sequel does not surprise me, I am a little curious to see what happens to keep the series going for six more books. Clearly there is more to be revealed, which as a reader, I find exciting. My curiosity will definitely keep me reading this series. I think there is a lot of potential for this series, so I hope it stays strong for the next six books.

I recommend reading this book.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Poincare Conjecture

Henri Poincare was a mathematician in the late nineteenth early twentieth century. He revolutionized the field of topology--the study of geometric configurations that are unchanged by stretching or twisting. Poincare's conjecture states that there is only one shape possible for a finite universe in which every loop can be contracted to a single point. His conjecture is one of the seven millennium problems that carries a one million dollar reward for the person who discovers the solution. Gregory Perelman has offered a proof for this conjecture. O'Shea explores the Poincare conjecture, and what led up to Perelman's proof of this conjecture.

This book was recommended to me by my husband. Wanting to understand more about his work as a topologist, I agreed to read this book. I found it very interesting. I liked learning about the history of this conjecture, and how Perelman came up with his proof. I found most of the information presented in a way that allowed for a non-mathematician to understand what was being discussed. I admit, some of the math was beyond me, but on the whole, it was understandable. While I preferred the history portion of the book, I thought there was a good balance between the history and the math used to explain the conjecture.

I liked the way O'Shea explained the math. I thought he did a decent job making it understandable to the average reader without making it seem too dumbed down or over the top popular science. I found much of the material interesting, and I liked that it would bring up a lot of fascinating thought and discussion points. There is also a great section of notes in the back if you desire to learn more about some of the topics discussed in the book.

If you are interested in the Poincare conjecture, math, or know a topologist, I recommend reading this book.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Girls At The Kingfisher Club


Jo Hamilton is the eldest of twelve sisters. Their mother died while they were young, and their father wants nothing to do with them. Jo teaches her sisters to dance, and she is the one who gives the signal at night to sneak out to go to the speakeasy. It is their only freedom. One day, their father tells them he will begin marrying them off to men of his choice. The girls sneak out more, knowing this joy might soon be denied to them. They are caught in a raid one night, and everything changes.

I thought this was a fun and unique retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I liked the use of the prohibition era as the setting for the story. It worked really well with this story. I had initially been a little hesitant about reading it. I was wondering how a modern retelling of the tale would be pulled off, but it actually worked really well. The writing pulls you in, and there is never a dull moment.

I found myself absorbed in this tale. I loved the personalities of the different sisters. I also liked that we did not get to know as much about some of them. I have heard some complaints about this. I thought this was actually very good for the story as it would have either made it very long, or all the information about the individuals would actually take away from the group, and the story. It was handle in a way that made it unnecessary to go deep into all the personal perspectives. I really enjoyed this retelling. My only complaint is that it was over too soon, but I look forward to reading it again.

If you are a fan of fairy tale retellings, I highly recommend reading this book.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Downton Abbey The Show

The first season of Downton Abbey takes place during 1912-1914. It is the story of the Crawley family and their servants. The Crawley family discovers that something has happened to their heir, and they must find the next in line and train him for their position. It causes great upheaval in the family. We follow personal stories as the daughters look for love, are faced with class issues, and see how great historical events shape the family.

Downton Abbey is not based on a book. However, some of the ideas for this show came from real people, events, and locations. A biography for one of the people who inspired some of the plot lines in the show is: Lady Almina And The Real Downton Abbey. Some of the similarities are: the family home being turned into a hospital during World War I, the Lord marrying an a rich American heiress to provide money for the estate, a servant named Bates with a limp, Spanish flu, and an Earl obsessed with cars who ends up in an car accident.

I thought this was an interesting show to review as any books directly related to the show were written after the first season aired, including the biography about Lady Almina. This is a fine example how using a stories about real people and events as inspiration can be fashioned into something incredible. I found it interesting to watch a show and later read the book about some of the real people who inspired this incredible series.

I recommend watching the original UK edition. When the show aired in the U.S. parts of it were edited out to fit into the time slot it was given. There is not a ton of missing material, but it is noticeable. The first time I watched it on dvd, I thought something odd was going on because there were scenes I did not remember. Again, it is not detrimental to the experience if you watch another version, but I prefer being able to see what was originally there.

This is an incredibly done period drama. The costumes, script, and locations all superbly work together to make the viewer feel immersed in the show. I enjoy the subtle humor that is often included, particularly from the Dowager Countess. There is also great heart to this show, which makes it a joy to watch. I have enjoyed rewatching this show, and always look forward to the next season.

I highly recommend watching this show, and reading some of the books it has inspired.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fables: Arabian Nights (And Days)

Fabletown is in chaos. Prince Charming is discovering being Mayor is not a job where you simply make public appearances, it is much harder than he ever imagined. He must decide to do with Boy Blue--who broke Fabletown laws, yet gathered much needed intelligence. The ambassadors from the Arabian Fables has arrived and things get off to a rocky start. It gets worse when Frau Totenkinder informs them that they have brought a d'jinn with them that could destroy them all.

There are a lot of snippets of stories in this volume. We are updated on a few things at the farm, the hunt for Bigby continues, King Cole gets a new job(which seems to suit him very well), we learn more about wooden soldiers, we discover spies on both sides, new magical abilities, and some very complicated relationships emerge. There is a lot happening in this volume, so it is important to read this book to understand things later in the series.

This was the seventh volume in the Fables series, and it was interesting enough. It did a okay job moving the plot along, but I like it when there is more about the characters we have come to know and love. This book was more about bringing in new characters and briefly updating us on some previous characters in the series. I did like learning more about d'jinn and seeing Frau Totenkinder at her nefarious best.

If you are a fan of the series I recommend reading this book.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Assassination Of The Archduke

Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir to the Austria-Hungary empire. He married Sophie for love, defying the Emperor, which turned the aristocrats in his country against him. Even though their morganatic marriage meant Sophie could not be Empress, and their children could not inherit the throne, they were shunned and humiliated. Despite the opposition, Franz and Sophie continued to love each other and their children. Franz and Sophie were shot in Sarajevo leaving their children orphans in a situation. Much of their children's property was taken from them, and they suffered exile and imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps.

I was very interested to read this book because I wanted to learn about Franz Ferdinand's life. I knew who he was, and that he was assassinated, but I never knew the details of his life before. It was fascinating to learn more about him as a person, but also the events that led up to his assassination, and World War I. I like that King and Woolmans included a little bit about what happened to Franz and Sophie's children after they were killed. The assassination of their parents altered their lives in unbelievable ways.

I did feel as though I was being bludgeoned with the facts that Franz and Sophie had a morganatic marriage, and everyone was against them, but I suppose that is how they felt. It was also an important factor politically. The authors presented the Archduke in a favorable way, although they do not shy away from his flaws. It was also interesting to read about some of the theories of how the assassination came about. It definitely made me want to read more about this topic.

I thought this was a very interesting biography. The fairy tale nature of the romance between Franz and Sophie will probably make this book appeal to many that might not typically read biographies. I highly recommend reading this book.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Ladies' Paradise

The Ladies Paradise is a modern department store in nineteenth century Paris owned by the  innovative Mouret. It is suppose to be the store that delights women by meeting all their needs and whims in one place, with low prices. Denise Baudu moves from the country to stay with her Uncle after her parents die. She is trying to support two younger brothers, but cannot manage on her own. She discover that her Uncle's business is failing due to the success of the large department stores. Denise must find work, and gets a job at The Paradise.

I thought it was interesting in some parts, but dragged in some places due to all the discriptions. The store and the products are described in great detail to the point you start to lose track of the dialogue and events. To be fair, Zola wrote this book to illustrate capitalism, modern ways, and the changes in consumer culture and class. I think the underlying message about capitalism and change also overtook the story.

This is part eleven of Zola's Les Rougon-Macquart cycle. It follows a family in the Second French Empire, and shows how environment and heritage form a family. This is the only book in the series I have read, and I do not think the other books need to be read to understand what is happening. It is possible that reading the rest of the series might make certain characters actions make more sense, and perhaps give them some of the development I would look for. It might also make the characters stand out more against the messages about capitalism.

It was an okay book, but just as I would get interested in what was happening with the characters I would get lost in descriptions or long speeches that inform us more about capitalism than the plot. If you are a fan of Zola, I would recommend this book.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Chocolate Touch


John Midas loves candy. He eats it all the time. He would rather eat candy than do anything. His parents have tried everything to get him to eat healthy food and less sweets. Nothing works. One day, John finds a special coin. He buys a box of chocolate at a candy store, and everything changes. Whenever he touches something, it turns into chocolate. This seems like the perfect gift to John. After he has the chocolate touch for awhile, he starts to realize eating chocolate all the time is not as much fun as he thought, and he begins turning important things into chocolate. John must try to find a way to stop turning everything into chocolate before it is too late.

The Chocolate Touch is a fun retelling of The King Midas tale. I liked the new approach to this classic tale, and thought it brought up some interesting discussion points. It also teaches the importance of moderation, healthy eating, unselfishness, and good choices. The morals were very prominent in the story, but not overdone.

It is a short easy reader book that is great for those that have moved beyond picture books and are ready for something a little longer. It would also be a fun book to read aloud. It is an entertaining retelling of a classic tale, and will be a fun read for different age groups.

This was the sixth book the Bookworms read together. Alejandro and Paige had both read it before, but I had not. We had fun reading and discussing the book together. Here are the Bookworms thoughts on the book. Warning, there may be some spoilers.

Q&A With The Bookworms Book Club

How many stars out of 5 would you give this book?
Alejandro 5
Paige 5

Did you like this book?
Both Yep, it was good.

What was your favorite part of the story?
Alejandro I liked the part where John was playing the trumpet and it turned into chocolate.
Paige I liked it when he opened the chocolate from the store, and he kept opening wrappers and finding nothing inside. He finally found a tiny crumb and ate it.

Would you want to have the chocolate touch?
Both Yeah, it would be fun!
Alejandro I think it would be fun to have whatever you eat taste like chocolate.
Paige Not around the holidays! Because I get candy then and want to taste the different kinds. Maybe other times it would be fun.

If you could turn anything into chocolate what would it be?
Paige My Mom because she keeps telling me to clean my room.
Alejandro I would turn the whole world into chocolate, and eat it from space in my spacesuit, while I float near the sun.

Is there anything you would not want to turn into chocolate?
Both My family.

John had to choose between getting rid of the chocolate touch and saving his Mom, what would you choose?
Paige I would save my Mom.
Alejandro The same.

John started turning things he touched into his favorite candy: chocolate. What kind of candy would you turn things into?
Paige Dum Dum Suckers or Laffy Taffy.
Alejandro Bazooka Gum.

Would you tell your friends about this book?
Alejandro Yeah, I had read it before, and some of them have too.
Paige I would tell them about it, but most know about it already. Our teacher read some of it to us.

Do you have any other comments about the book?
Paige I liked the ending. He got to see his Mother.
Alejandro I want to reread it!

Thank you Alejandro and Paige for reading and reviewing this book with me. I look forward to reading and discussing more books together

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Runes Of Ragnan

In the Runes Of Ragnan, two immortal brothers fuel warfare among humans. Covering over one thousand years of their story, the brothers face an unleashed fire giant from Muspell, warrior kings that have touched the face of Odin, and an ancient Druid order. In the midst of all these things a woman battles to maintain balance. The Runes of Ragnan are of vital importance, and they are bing hunted.

I did not care for this story. Normally, I really like tales of viking adventures and Norse mythology, but this one was difficult for me to connect with. It was a short novel, and because it tried to show how much time it covered, it seemed rushed and disjointed. There was also a lack of character depth that made it hard to identify with the struggle between the brothers. There was also a lack of dialogue that made the story uninteresting.

I did like some of the pictures. Some of them were very well done and showed some epic battle scenes. People who like fantasy will like some of the images in this book. I also appreciated how this book quoted from The Poetic Edda. When done well, it can help me connect to the story to have some well known pieces included in a book. Unfortunately, it was not enough to make me like this book.

I would recommend looking elsewhere for a graphic novel about viking sagas. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Leavenworth Case

Horatio Leavenworth is a millionaire. He is found murdered in his library. His last act appears to have been reviewing a book he had planned on publishing. He was killed with a shot to the back of his head from his own pistol. To add to the mystery, the room was locked. Detective Ebenezer Gryce has decided this must mean Leavenworth knew his killer, as he was not alarmed when the killer approached in his private secured space. The question is: who was close to the victim, and wanted him dead?

I thought this was an interesting mystery. It was fascinating to read a book that was early in this genre. Some of it seems like it has been done before, but this is actually one of the original mysteries. Many plot points we think overdone and classic such as: the murder in a locked room, a missing maid, a missing key, burned evidence, and a recently changed will were original or relatively new when this book was written.

I liked discovering the clues in this mystery. It made for an interesting puzzle to solve along with Detective Gryce. The beginning is a little slow, but keep reading. It starts to pick up, and you become involved in the case. There are a lot of layers in this story, so be prepared.

This was the first book Green wrote featuring Detective Gryce. She wrote more mysteries with him solving the case, that I would like to read. I also liked learning more about the author Anna Katherine Green. She wrote this about a decade before Sherlock Holmes was written, and was a very popular writer in her time. She is credited with developing the series detective and helping to shape this genre into the form we know today. She is known as the mother of the detective novel. 

If you are a fan of mysteries, I recommend reading this book.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Missing Microbes

Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues

Dr. Martin Blaser writes about his journey to understand the importance of the microbiome. He presents research about the overuse of antibiotics and the damage it is causing our health. He explains how bacterial and human cells have had a symbiotic relationship for thousands of years, and the sudden change in that relationship is contributing to many of the health problems humans experience today. He advocates that new approaches need to be taken towards antibiotics and bacteria if we are to avoid unintended consequences.

The focus of this book was about how overused antibiotics are. Prescriptions are written because it is thought it will not hurt a person, so more antibiotics are distributed than is necessary. Antibiotics are used in farm feed to help animals grow, and consequently end up in the food we eat. He also wrote how c-sections change the personal microbes that babies would normally be given during the birth process. I found this section very interesting. While Blaser acknowledges that antibiotics and c-sections have saved lives and should be used when necessary, he posits that the overuse of them will have impact on our health.

I liked reading about the importance of microbes in our lives. Blaser provides a good overview on the topic. I thought it was very approachable, and the average reader would have no problem understanding this book. Blaser included some personal stories at appropriate moments that will help many people identify with the science in ways they might not have expected to. While there was not a lot of information about what the individual can do beyond avoiding unnecessary antibiotics, it was a very informative book, and it will be intriguing to see what some of these studies show us in the future.

I recommend reading this book.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Johannes Cabal: The Detective

Johannes Cabal has recently won a deal with the devil, but now must escape the clutches of a local government. He takes passage aboard the airship the Princess Hortense, after stealing the identity of a government official. His escape seems imminent. He was not counting on meeting someone on board the ship who not only knows who he is, but he is also not on friendly terms with. There is a death on the ship, and Cabal begins to investigate out of idle curiosity. When an attempt is made on his life, he quits playing and begins to search in earnest.

This is the second book in the Johannes Cabal series. It picks up where the first book Johannes Cabal The Necromancer leaves off. This is my least favorite so far(I read the series a little out of order). It is still a decent story, and I love all of the books in the Johannes Cabal series I have read so far, but to me, it is not on par with the rest of the books. The writing is still superb, but it lacks some of the pazazz of the rest of the series. I think it is because in the other books, Cabal is in his own world doing extraordinary things, and here, he seems almost like a regular person. Not the Cabal I know or love. I would say it was the return of his soul, but he returns to the necromancer we have come to know in the next book: Johannes Cabal The Fear Institute, so maybe it was the author exploring the character and new settings.

There is still a great sense of humor in this book, and the writing does pull you in. I wanted to keep reading to discover what situation Cabal would find himself in next. It is not that I did not like this book, it just was not what I was expecting. It in no way changes how much I love this series, and I will continue to look forward to reading further adventures with Johannes Cabal. Howard writes an enjoyable mystery that for this book, seems to be a steampunk crossover. One thing I really like about this series is that any of the books could be picked up without reading the other books. I think it is more enjoyable if you have, but you will be fine reading any of the books that appeal to you.

If you are a fan of Johannes Cabal, I would recommend reading this book.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Black Orchid

Black Orchid

Black Orchid is a crime fighter who has been undercover in one of Lex Luthor's organizations. Her identity is discovered and she is killed. But this is not the end of Black Orchid. Her death brings the next Black Orchid to life. The new Black Orchid is confused, and begins a search to discover who she is, and what she is suppose to be doing. Lex Luthor is trying to get control of her, and it is a race to see if the new Black Orchid can figure things out before Lex captures her and begins his experiments.

This is one of the origin stories for Black Orchid, and it was an interesting one. It caught my attention, and I will be looking into more graphic novels that star Black Orchid. I liked that a few classic comic book characters stories converged in this tale. Poison Ivy, Swamp Thing, Batman, and Luthor make appearances. There is also a visit to Arkham Asylum. It was fun to get a brief glimpse of them interacting in each other's story.

I think Gaiman did an incredible job capturing the issues of choice, right vs. wrong, and violence. The characters must deal with the choices of others--both violent and non-violent actions. The impact that the choices other people make impacts everyone in an intriguing way. Just because there are good intentions does not mean it turns out well. Some of the characters are known, so we have an idea of their role as hero or villain. Others, are somewhere in between. They are neither good nor evil, which is very interesting in this genre.

I think one of my favorite things about this book was the stunning artwork. I loved the look and the colors that were chosen. The use of color to show what was happening was well done, and added a lot to the story. The visual element was a pleasing part of this reading experience. I think it is worth reading this graphic novel just to admire the beautiful artwork.

If you like reading origin stories for heroes, I recommend reading this book.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cold Mountain


Inman is a soldier fighting for the Confederates during the Civil War. He walks away from the fighting, and is trying to make his way home to his sweetheart Ada. Inman's journey takes him through the war ravaged countryside showing what the war has done to the people and the land. While Inman struggles to get home, Ada is trying to keep her farm alive all on her own. She receives help from a stranger named Ruby, and together they work to make their dreams become reality. Ada and Inman must confront the changes the war has brought to their lives.

For me, it required some patience to read this book. It is a very descriptive story. I could see some beauty in the details about the land and inner struggles of the characters, but for my tastes, it was a little too much. I thought the symbolism and foreshadowing created a great atmosphere or tension to the story, but sometimes it got lost in all the details.

I liked the parts with Ada and Ruby best. Their different personalities work well together. I liked seeing the gradual change in each of them as they learn from each other. Necessity brought them together, but it was a way of unifying two very different people. Relationships are a big part of this story, and the way they are written has a way of grabbing you.

I also liked the way this story shows on individuals and societies change during the Civil War. Particularly those that did not have a lot to gain from either side winning. It beautifully showed how neither side helped, but rather hurt those that were bystanders in the war.

If you like historical fiction, I recommend reading this book.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

V For Vendetta

"Remember, remember the fifth of November of gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot."

"Good evening, London. It's nine o'clock and this is the voice of fate...It is the fifth of the eleventh nineteen-ninety-seven". England has become a fascist state. Freedom has been taken from people. Everyone is under surveillance, and there are strict consequences for breaking any law. The government has become corrupt and citizens suffer. V is a masked man who stands up to the government. He takes the law into his own hands, and encourages people to fight the government. He saves a woman named Evey from the police, and they help each other.

The development of the characters is incredible. Evey's growth from a scared girl to a strong woman is an amazing transformation, and one that should not be missed. Women do not always get large or decent roles in graphic novels/comic books, so it was refreshing to see a character like Evey, and watch her grow. I like how we slowly learn what is behind V's plot, and where he intends to take it.

I really liked this book. One of my favorite things is that we never completely learn who V is. We learn a little about him, but he is never fully revealed. V realizes it is not who is underneath the mask that is important, it is what the mask represents, and what it can inspire people to do. It is very powerful, and I thought this was an incredible way for Moore to portray a "hero".

The writing in this book was fantastic. At times, it left me horrified. The way people treat each other in this story makes you sad for humanity. There are glimmers of hope. There are a lot of lines that really hit home, and can inspire you. It is an engrossing tale, and I quickly became invested in the characters.

I highly recommend reading this book.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Woman Who Would Be King


Hatshepsut was the daughter of a general who became king. She was married to her brother, but failed to produce a male heir to continue her family's dynasty. When she was twenty she had her coronation as king, and would reign for twenty-two years. Under her reign Ancient Egypt saw one of its most prolific building periods. A few decades after her death, many of her images were destroyed, in an attempt to erase her reign.

I was very interested in this book when I heard it was coming out. I like reading about women who achieved great things in history. Hatshepsut has always been an intriguing figure to me, and one I wanted to learn more about. Unfortunately, I do not think this book was the right one for me. I did not like how the information was presented.

The main issues I had were: the amount of speculations in the book, the modern thoughts that were sometimes applied to these historical figures, and the repetitive nature of some of the statements. I understand when writing about a person that lived so long ago, it can be difficult to find sources for their whole life. I am okay with some speculation based on what little information we have, but I was not looking for a whole book of maybes that often seemed inconsistent with statements in the next paragraph. A theory would be given about a person or event which would be followed in the next paragraph by a statement "we cannot really know if this happened or if this person was alive at that time", and this started to bother me.

Near the end of the book, it seemed to me the author was finally stating what she thought happened based on clear evidence. I think there were other parts where this happened, but it got lost in all the speculations. I liked the part where she was discussing Thutmose III, and the actions he took to destroy anything having to do with Hatshepsut. I was very interested in the author's explanations for why this happened. I think this section of the book illustrated what I was looking for in this book.

I think the author was really trying to understand who Hatshepsut was as a ruler and a person, but at least here, I did not always see the evidence for her claims. In the author's note she says "Many historians will no doubt accuse me of fantasy: inventing emotions and feelings for which I have no evidence. And they will be right." While this method helps some people understand a historical figure, it did not really work for me. I think it would have worked better if the author had tried to write a biography(even if it ended up really short) or a historical fiction book where she could explore the emotions of her subject, without trying to back up every thought or emotion she was portraying. The combining of the two ended up leaving the book a little uncertain to me.

I read this book as an ebook on my Nook. The only problem that I had was that the Family Tree image did not show up correctly on my Nook. Part of the image was cut off, so the whole image could not be seen.

**I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review**

*Receiving a free copy of this book does not change my review. It simply provides me with a copy of a book sooner than I would have gotten to it, or heard about otherwise.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Inheritance Movie Version

Edith Adelon is an orphan working as a paid companion to Amy, daughter of the wealthy Hamilton family. Amy's father, Henry Hamilton found Edith in Italy when he went to take care of his deceased brother's affairs. He brought her home with him to save her from life in an orphanage. The Hamilton family is preparing for the annual Greens Cup Race, and the guests that will arrive. They hope to find a husband for their cousin Ida at this event. Ida becomes jealous of the attention Edith gets from the gentlemen, and finds ways to interfere with Edith's happiness.

The Inheritance is based of Louisa May Alcott's first novel of the same name. Here is my review of the book The Inheritance. It was not published while she was alive. It could be viewed as a Cinderella story with the heroine's struggle to find her place as a poor woman living in society. In it class issues and women's roles are mentioned, but are in the background of the story. The real focus is Edith, and what happens to her.

This movie is very different from the novel it is based off of, and in this case, that is actually a good thing. This was one of Alcott's early novels, and it showed in the writing and flat characters. The roles of some of the characters have been changed in the film such as: Henry Hamilton being alive, there is no brother, and Mrs. Hamilton is much more friendly. The location was changed from England to Massachusetts U.S.A. The characters were also given a little more personality than in the book.

The plot is predictable and the characters are uncomplicated, but it is a fine movie if you are expecting that and are okay with such films. It should be remembered how little there was to work with from the book, and they actually did a decent job keeping the same themes and feel as the book, while improving on the material. It is a simple love story that the whole family could enjoy.

If you are a fan of Louisa May Alcott, I would recommend this movie.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Chew: International Flavor


Tony Chu is a cibopath working for the FDA, and he has a new case. Following the trail of a newly discovered fruit that tastes like chicken, Tony ends up on an island with more questions than he arrived with. Some of the main questions are: where did this fruit come from, and is it the answer to the global chicken crisis? Tony must discover what is really going on before everything spirals out of control.

This is the second volume in the Chew series. It is a still a fun read and I greatly enjoyed it, though not as much as the first book. There was a lot of setting up for things to come, introduction of new characters, and some character building, so this volume moved a little slower than book one: Taster's Choice. I also really liked finding out what happened to Tony's old partner. We get to meet Tony's new partner in this book, and it was an awesome plot point.

One thing I like with this series is how it takes classic comic book and graphic novel tropes and makes them more extreme and hilarious. From the drawings of female characters to the abilities used to fight crime, everything is outlandish, but done in a way that is quite hilarious. There are also a lot of humorous self-references, so many people reading the series will appreciate how it makes fun of itself. 

I really like this original series. The writing is decent, and so far, it is progressing well. I have great hopes for the rest of the books. I am looking forward to more adventures with Tony Chu. I recommend reading this series.