Archive for 'Paranormal Fantasy'

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter – Book Review

abelincolnvampirehunter

by Seth Grahame-Smith

Abraham Lincoln’s long lost journals have been discovered/acquired by Seth Grahame-Smith – lucky man.  What is revealed in the journals is incredible and offers a chance to understand why the amazing Abraham Lincoln was so truly great. 

The American people are oblivious to what their beloved president really did to secure their freedom.  Abraham Lincoln’s United States was fractured and while north and south fought each other they were ignorant of the real enemy threatening them all… vampires.  Few knew of the existence of vampires walking amongst them but Abraham was one of those few.  He had known from a very young age and had lived his whole life in pursuit of them. 

Abraham’s career in vampire hunting had a shaky start   He had a near fatal encounter with a particularly vicious vampire who prayed on children.   Abraham’s saviour had a wealth of knowledge  and taught him much about vampires and how to hunt them them.  From that moment an alliance was formed and Abraham had help in tracking the most dangerous vampires.  Abraham was fighting a war for the American people long before he entered the white house.

Another fun read by Seth Grahame-Smith.  I find the idea of matching classic literature or iconic characters with gothic or horror themes very entertaining.  I know that it can draw a lot of criticism but quite simply I LIKE IT.   It’s just a bit of fun and does it’s bit for promoting the ‘originals’.  I admit to googling madly after finishing the book because I was hungry for more on the amazing life of the real  Abraham Lincoln.

Posted on 8 July '10 by , under Historical Fiction, Paranormal Fantasy, Reviews, SciFi/Fantasy. 1 Comment.

Vampire Academy – Book Review

va_cover

by Richelle Mead

ISBN: 9781595141743

Published: 2007

www.richellemead.com

I knew nothing about this series when I picked up Vampire Academy and admit I only bought it because I’m fascinated with the popularity of these beasties.

What is it about vampires that makes them so irresistible.  I guess it has something to do with the intimacy of the attack.  The victims never seem to be flailing in pain or screaming.  They are seduced by said beastie and willingly present their necks to be drained of their precious liqueur.

Richelle Mead’s vampires possess all the necessary traits to make them irresistible.  She also provides us with two different types of vampire.  The Moroi are peaceful, don’t kill and are, unusually, alive.  The Strigoi are the dark to the Moroi’s light, they take pleasure in killing and are actually dead.   The Strigoi are Moroi gone bad.

A Moroi becomes Strigoi if they drink till they bring on the death of their victim or feeder.  The Strigoi are much stronger than Moroi and are a great threat to them.   Moroi blood sustains the Strigoi better than any other but the Moroi can also be made into Strigoi forcibly.  Given this threat, the Moroi have guardians to help keep them safe.  The guardians are called Dhampir and are offspring of Moroi + Humans or Moroi + Dhampir or Dhampir + Human (confused?).  They are not vampires but possess heightened senses and strength.  Both Moroi and Dhampir are schooled at academies and this is where Richelle Mead bases her story.

Rose Hathaway is Dhampir and guardian to her best friend Lissa Dragomir.  Lissa is a Moroi princess and the last of her family.  2 years ago the girls had to flee St Vladimir’s Academy as it was no longer safe there for Lissa.  It seems Strigoi are not the only danger to Lissa.  Not knowing who to trust, they asked no-one for help, kept moving and evaded capture – until now.  They are returned to the Academy to finish their schooling under strict supervision.  The blame falls on Rose for Lissa’s kidnapping, she is put on probation, given extra training and confined when not training.

Lissa is still in danger and Rose still doesn’t know from where or from whom.  Not being close to Lissa is a problem but her and Rose share an unusual and secret bond that allows Rose to monitor what Lissa is feeling.  There is one danger Rose is certain off  and that is the danger of Lissa to herself.

Rose has to somehow, keep Lissa safe, complete her training so she will be officially given guardianship of Lissa after graduation, repair her reputation and not fall in love with her instructor.

I enjoyed this book despite being very irritated by the main character Rose.  The characters are teenagers but the angst, tantrums and drama was a bit much for me.  I’m aware they have an excuse as their brain lobes are disconnecting from each other at that age but the adult characters were far too forgiving.  Maybe I’m being too harsh – I’m so happy to be a grown up that it’s not easy being back in a teenage world.  Vampire Academy wasn’t as exciting as I hoped for but still entertaining.  I can’t say I loved the book but I must have like it because I picked up the next one straight away and am happy to read the whole series.   If you are into vampire fantasy then I’m sure you will like it too.

Posted on 27 August '09 by , under Paranormal Fantasy, Reviews, SciFi/Fantasy, Young Adult. 3 Comments.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Book Review

PrideandPrejandZombies

by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

ISBN: 9781594743344
No. of Pages: 320
Published Date: 06.01.2009

What word comes to mind after reading Pride an Prejudice and Zombies?

‘Hoot’ will suffice.

What a concept!  Due to my devotion to the classic,  I was a little concerned about reading this but am very glad I did.  More than once, I laughed out loud at the ridiculous notion of the prim and proper Bennett women vanquishing undead beasties.

Life for the Bennett family is plagued by the same challenges as any other family in the Hertfordshire district.  Maintaining a good standing in society, seeking out fair prospects for children of marriageable age and ridding the country of  zombies.  The unmentionable scourge of Satan are running rampant all over England.

Mr Bennett, to keep his family safe, has had his daughters trained in the Orient by a master of the deadly arts.    In the course of their lives, they encounter eligible but not always deserving young men.   Forming attachments, however, is not a simple thing when deceived by meddling family, men with malicious intent and constant attacks from the undead.

Despite their considerable skills in the deadly arts, the Bennett women are just the same as in Austen’s classic. Elizabeth, reasonable, Jane, resigned, Mary, zealotical, Kitty, easily lead, Lydia, unruly.  The characters were so familiar in fact, that I often imagined I was reading the classic only to be shocked when “…Elizabeth lifted her skirt, disregarding modesty, and delivered a swift kick to the creature’s head…” (Austen, Grahame-Smith, 2009, p.28).

I loved this book and I am certain I will be reading it again and again like the true fanatical Austen fan I am.

Here is a link to a great Pride and Prejudice and Zombie Giveaway

Posted on 28 July '09 by , under Historical Fiction, Jane Austen & Austen Inspired, Paranormal Fantasy, Reviews, SciFi/Fantasy. 3 Comments.

Twilight – Book Review

Twilight

by Stephenie Meyer

ISBN:9781904233657

No. of pages: 434

Published: 22/3/2007, First Published: 2006

Did I like it?… Yes, loved it.

Do I know why?… Not really sure.  Could be the romantic in me or maybe the cover is laced with something addictive.

The story of Bella Swan, a freakishly rational teenager who moves from hot sunny Phoenix to a little rain soaked town called Forks, to live with her dad.   That, in itself, should be fodder enough for a great teen angst story but throw in some sexy mythical beasties and you’ve got something special.

Bella’s first day at school introduces her to the Cullens.  An unnaturally attractive family with a secret and Bella finds herself fascinated by the youngest Cullen, Edward.  However, her compulsion to be with him puts her in mortal peril.  Edward also is drawn to the new girl in school but for two very different reasons.  One, being an intense curiosity and infatuation; the other would drain her of her blood and expose him as a vampire.  The Cullens battle their true nature and do not hunt humans but Bella’s scent is so delicious to Edward it threatens to unravel the peaceful life they have made for themselves.   How can they love each other and manage to keep Bella alive.  We’ve all dreamt about being in a fairytale but what if  the myths turned out to be true, the good and the evil?

Stephenie Meyer has created a beautiful compelling tale about teenage love and sexual discovery.  Each book isn’t action packed throughout but holds you in suspense for something to come.  The action does pick up dramatically toward the end and leaves you hungry for the next book. After finishing Twilight I madly scrambled to the book store to buy the 2nd book before closing time – made it as the grates were being pulled down and left with New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. I just had to know more about the strange couple and their families and friends.

Twilight deals with teenage sexual discovery in a lovely simple and moral manner.  It certainly isn’t prudish but it is refreshing to not have too much rubbed in your face.  In fact the series is quite sensual.  Despite her frustrating and I’m sure deliberate technique of leaving all the action till the end, Stephenie Meyer converted me from reader to fan with one book.

I have to admit to struggling with the characters at first.  Being a 40+yo mum makes being in a drama filled teenage mind a hard place to be. So I found Bella and Edward really annoying.  Before all you twilighters crucify me, let me explain further.  They were supposed to be mature for their ages but there was still lots of teenage drama and it was wearing on me.  I had trouble accepting a teenage character who is happy to cook, clean and do the laundry.   Who has one of those teens? The obsessive nature of the relationship also set off alarms for me and Edward watching her at night was so uncomfortable.  So after checking my 40yo response, I decided that a vampire would sneek around stalking beautiful damsels.  I also decided that a book aimed at a young adult audience would contain ‘all consuming’ romance.  That’s when I got past my discomfort and started to enjoy myself.

I now like Bella very much and after reading the part outlining her reading tastes, Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, I realise why I like her.  She very much reminds me of some of Jane Austen’s women but with a little more drama thrown in.  I’m not sure if Stephenie Meyer wrote her with them in mind but I definately see similar qualities.   I’ve always thought that every young woman needs to be introduced to Jane Austen.  She created the most glorious women, smart, strong but not without faults.   They wouldn’t accept that they had to compromise themselves to achieve everything their hearts desired.  These women lived in a time that oppressed them but Austen wrote characters that could achieve free thought, occupation, family and love without needing to think or act like men to achieve it.  This is how I see Bella.  Stephenie Meyer has created a lovely smart young woman, with a strong sense of right and wrong, frightened by her failings but unable to be anything other than who she is.  She finds the strength to withstand the social barriers and dangers presented by her intense relationship with Edward.

Edward, what can I say about Edward.  His strength to resist both her blood and her body just makes him all that more sexy.  I’m sure Stephenie Meyer must have developed a crush on Edward while she was writing him – I’m sure I would have.  What a wonderful character to create.  Sorry to keep harping back to Jane Austen but Edward could easily be a wonderful Austen man.  Mr Darcy with immortal life is almost too delicious to bear.   Despite being a century old, Edward has to confront his 17 year old teen self for the first time.  Delightfully, his journey into love and sexual discovery is just as new as Bella’s.  Twilight is a love story, all be it complicated by marauding mythical creatures .

I discovered Twilight at a time when I was recovering from extended illness and I was quite out of touch with myself.  I couldn’t trust my feelings or instincts and was really quite frightened about how long it was taking to recover.  Twilight did something for me that I can’t quite put my finger on.  This simple, innocent love story  somehow helped me to feel human again.  My copy of the series is now well on it’s way to becoming the most well read on our shelves.

Falling in love ages us all.  You cannot feel intense love without exposing ourselves to intense pain but what a wonderful gift for growing up.

Thank you Stephenie Meyer for giving us…. Twilight.

Posted on 24 July '09 by , under Paranormal Fantasy, Reviews, SciFi/Fantasy, Young Adult. 1 Comment.