Sunday, December 25, 2011

Batman Noel

Author: Lee Bermejo
Year: 2011
Publisher: DC Comics

This is a retelling of the Dickens' Christmas story with Batman center stage as the Scrooge character. I really enjoyed this graphic novel. It was like most all reincarnations of Dickens story but it was much darker - kind of like the most recent Dark Knight Batman movies. Fun read for any Batman lover.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Handmaid's Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood
Year: 1986
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin  Company

The Handmaid's Tale is a dystopian novel (no surprise I'm reading another one of those). The story is told in first person from the point of view of Offred (not her real name). Offred is a handmaid in a new society called the Republic of Gilead and lives somewhere around Bangor, Maine. In this society, women have no power and are possessions of men. Some women are Wives, some are Marthas, others, like Offred, are Handmaids. Their function in society comes from the story in the Bible where Rachel gives her maid to her husband, Jacob, so that he can have children by her. Offred is placed in the home of a high ranking Commander where she must hope that he can make her pregnant. If she is not able to have a baby, then she will either die or be made an Unwoman and shipped to the Colonies.

This society is new and the story is interspersed with stories from Offred's life before this happened - when she had a job, money, freedom, a husband and a daughter. She can remember what she's lost and, at times, can not decide whether she pities the younger girls who cannot remember a time before or if she thinks it is better that they don't remember.

I've heard about this story for a very long time. And it's always been good reviews and high praise for The Handmaid's Tale. I must agree that it is a very well-written and captivating book. My biggest complaint is that I didn't feel completely connected with Offred and I wanted just a little more. I don't know if I was looking for more emotion, more story, more background, more conclusion. I just felt like there was a little something missing. Don't misunderstand, I thought this was a terrific book. There was just a little something missing for me.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blood Bound: Unbound, Book 1

Author: Rachel Vincent
Year: 2011
Publisher: Mira

Olivia Warren is a blood tracker. She can find anybody just by smelling their blood (like a bloodhound). In her world, a world of Skilled people, people are bound to others by oaths made with blood and one never quite knows who is bound and who isn't. So, Olivia trusts no one. But now the husband of her one of her oldest childhood friends has been killed and it looks like her daughter is next. Olivia is forced to work with Cam - the lover she left behind.

I love Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamer series and that is the sole reason I picked up this book as I don't read that much urban fantasy. I really enjoyed it. I could feel the tension between Olivia and Cam - both sexual and anger. The world is incredibly imaginative and well built. I sat up way too late on a work night finishing this book. Of course, I hated the cliffhanger of an ending. ;)

The Iron King: The Iron Fey, Book One

Author: Julie Kagawa
Year:  2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Meghan Chase's little brother is kidnapped by fey and replaced by a changeling child. Meghan has to travel into the Nevernever to save her brother. There Meghan learns that nothing in her life is really what she thought it was. Her father is actually a faerie king. Her best friend, Puck, is the king's trickster who was protecting Meghan in the human world. Meghan also learns that the mysterious stranger who she had spotted several times in the human world is Ash - a prince of the winter court and her real father's enemy. But the danger doesn't stop there. Turns out, the fey kidnapped her brother are a new breed. They're made of iron and plan to take over the Nevernever and destroy it. 

I was surprised at how much I had enjoyed this book. I've read several book about fey and have not been impressed with them. The stories are all the same and fairly lackluster at that. I heard Julie Kagawa in an interview and she intrigued me so I decided to give her books a try. I'm glad a did. I look forward to reading the rest of this series.