The Goblin Wood, by Hilari Bell

Hilari Bell has written ten or twelve books, prostate and they generally seem to be popular. I hadn’t read any prior to this, visit web and it’s mostly because I’m shallow. No, link that’s the truth: I saw “Hilari Bell” and my brain translated it to “Hilary Duff”. Of course, after having read The Goblin Wood, I went to Bell’s website and found out that she’s an almost-fifty-year-old former children’s librarian who lives with her mother, brother, and sister-in-law. Not exactly what I’d pictured. Now, in order to rectify my egregious mistake, I’ll be purchasing and reading more of her books.

The story is told in alternating chapters, between Makenna, a hedgewitch, and Tobin, a disgraced knight. Makenna’s mother was killed by religious fundamentalists who decided that hedgewitches were minions of The Dark One, and now she does not trust humans. Luckily, there are goblins — short, semi-magical beings with human levels of intelligence. Makenna and the goblins team up to try to keep the humans out of the northern part of the forest. Five years later, they are so successful that the church decides to send a knight after her to neutralize her threat. Continue reading The Goblin Wood, by Hilari Bell

Bitten (Women of the Otherworld, Book 1), by Kelley Armstrong

This, visit web Kelley Armstrong’s first published novel, has been rumored to be under development for a movie, but IMDB won’t give me any proof, so I leave it here for you as an unfounded rumor. Armstrong is Canadian, from somewhere around London, Ontario, and she is shortly to hit her eighth book in this series.

Elena Michaels is a werewolf, living in Toronto. It’s not that comfortable — her live-in boyfriend is a little annoyed with her habit of sneaking off in the middle of the night every few days, and living in the city with so many people around is difficult — but she survives. Life is made even a bit more difficult by the fact that she’s the only female werewolf ever. Female werewolves are made, not born, and she’s the first one to survive being bitten. One day she gets a phone call from her old Pack leader; the pack she moved to Toronto to escape. He tells her to come back to the old stomping ground right away. When she can’t get a hold of him by phone again, she leaves to go visit. There she encounters not only her old pack leader, Jeremy, but the rest of the pack, which includes Jeremy’s foster son, Clay. Elena and Clay’s relationship goes back a long way and is a little strained, to say the least. More importantly, there have been a number of murders discovered in and around Jeremy’s property in upstate New York; either they are werewolf kills, or someone has been going to great lengths to make them look like werewolf kills. Can Elena keep her life in order and yet deal with both Clay and the murders? Continue reading Bitten (Women of the Otherworld, Book 1), by Kelley Armstrong

The House on Parchment Street, by Patricia McKillip

This book is wildly out of print, medical but the library system in Toledo owns a copy, I think. Anyway, before she started writing fantasy novels with covers done by Kinuko Y. Craft, Patricia McKillip used to write children’s books. This is one of the rarer and stranger ones, and it’s not fantasy, unlike the Riddle-Master of Hed trilogy. It’s a ghost story.

Carol Christopher, skinny, red-haired, and a Californian in the early 70s, goes to visit her mother’s sister in small-town England one summer. Naturally she doesn’t fit in with the Middleton crowd; her cousin Bruce’s group of friends starts to torment her but she holds her own. Bruce and Carol have their own conflict, of course – Carol’s weeeeird and she’s his cousin! People will think he’s weird! In any case, one day, Carol sees a ghost in the basement of their 300-year-old house. It walks right through the wall. Uncle Harold, a history teacher, believes in facts and doesn’t believe in ghosts. However, Bruce not only believes her, he’s seen the ghost as well. Can they team up – despite their differences – and figure out what’s going on? Continue reading The House on Parchment Street, by Patricia McKillip

Comment policy

Some of you may be wondering what my commenting and comment approval policy is.

Well, cure you need one comment approved. That’s all. Every other comment after that will show up on the website immediately.

Sometimes it takes me a day or two to moderate comments, but I’ve been checking more frequently recently. So if your last comment got stuck in moderation, it should appear now. Feel free to comment more!

I do, of course, reserve the right to delete any comment that I don’t like. I don’t like comments that attack either me personally or the author of the book I’ve reviewed personally. I don’t like comments with racial/ethnic/gender/etc. slurs in them. I don’t like comments that are needlessly profane. I also don’t like spam, but I have Akismet for that.

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Thank you. Back to your regularly scheduled book reviews . . . well, tomorrow at 7:30 A.M., at least.

Nobody’s Princess, by Esther Friesner

The Young Warriors anthology, thumb edited by Tamora Pierce and Josepha Sherman, more has quite a few short stories by authors who are on my favorite list. One of them I’m more used to seeing as an editor; I’ve been reading Esther Friesner’s ‘Amazon Comedy’ anthology series (Chicks in Chainmail, ampoule et al) for years. Her short story in the Young Warriors anthology is about Helen of Troy, and her kidnapping by Theseus. Nobody’s Princess is not an expansion of this short story: it’s an entire prequel.

In the Afterword, Friesner says that the writer’s question is usually What Happens Next, but in Helen’s story, we know what happens next (the Trojan war, ten years, kidnappings, running around the town a few times, etc.). So the question must be, What Happened First? Helen’s childhood is largely unknown, and her time predated Classical Greece by a few centuries. So Friesner, armed with questions and recent historical theories, created her story.

Helen of Sparta, prior to being the Face that Launched a Thousand Ships, was the Child who Annoyed Her Parents So. She learns very early on that she has power over people, and as she says in the Prologue, that is a horrible thing for a child to learn. Rather than the power corruption, her besetting sin is wilfulness and a refusal to let her life be dictated to her. She insists on training in weapons with her brothers; while she learns women’s skills such as spinning and weaving, she isn’t very good at them. This is a bit unfortunate, as she is to be the future queen of Sparta. When she and her twin sister Clytemnestra are fourteen, she accompanies her sister to Mykenae for her wedding. On a subsequent detour on the way home, Helen meets Atalanta (of the golden apples) who inspires her (even more) to seize her own destiny. Continue reading Nobody’s Princess, by Esther Friesner

Valiant, by Holly Black

This is not quite the sequel to Tithe, generic reviewed here, this by Holly Black, but it is a companion novel. Some of the same characters show up, but only briefly. Apparently Ironside is a direct sequel to Tithe, but I haven’t gotten to read that yet. While I enjoyed Tithe, despite its somewhat dark overtones, Valiant is much, much darker and, for various reasons, less enjoyable for me.

Valerie (Val) comes home one day, early in her senior year of high school, to find her mother having sex with her boyfriend on their couch. She runs away to New York City (she used to live in Jersey), cuts off all her hair, and finds a makeshift existence on the streets of New York. Her new friends, Lolli and Dave, introduce her to Luis, who has The Sight. Thanks to Luis, Dave has been running errands for a troll named Ravus. Ravus makes a powder which gives faeries a limited immunity to the iron in the city; for humans, it gives them the power of glamour for a brief period of time, in addition to a pretty good high. Dave has been skimming off of his deliveries and has gotten Lolli and, later, Val, addicted to this drug. However, some of the faeries to whom Ravus has been selling the drug have turned up dead, and Ravus needs to find out why and how. Continue reading Valiant, by Holly Black

Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr

I have to admit, approved I bought this book new, no rx recently, medications from a Barnes and Noble, because of an odd controversy involving this author and and a not-yet-published book of hers. I suspected before having read this book, which was not particularly maligned but does constitute a ‘prequel’ to the maligned book, that the pseudo-review was completely in error. So far, I am correct — this book is absolutely nothing like Laurell K. Hamilton’s Fey series, and I’m willing to guess that neither is her forthcoming novel, but don’t quote me on that.

In any case, Wicked Lovely centers around Aislinn, a seventeen-year-old girl who sees dead people faeries. She’s so good at hiding it that most of them don’t know that she sees them, but one day, a faerie sees her. This faerie, Keenan, is the king of the Summer Court, and he’s been steadily losing ground since he cannot find the female who is strong enough to be his queen. He’s decided that Aislinn is his next choice, though. The only problem is, well, his mother — the queen of the Winter Court — who obviously doesn’t want him to gain power. On Aislinn’s side, the problems are a little different. First, she wants nothing to do with the fey, at all. Second, she’s just finally realized that she’s quite attracted to her friend Seth, and she’d rather explore that than date a faerie. Third, she’d rather not end up dead, maimed, or otherwise messed up. Consequently, there’s conflict. Continue reading Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr

Pretties (Uglies Trilogy, Book 2), by Scott Westerfeld

This book is the sequel to Uglies, abortion reviewed previously. It’s the middle book of Westerfeld’s initial Uglies trilogy. He’s still an American author married to an Australian author, viagra 40mg and they split their time between the two countries a bit strangely: they spend summer in both places. I’m a Midwesterner and I actually like winter (when my gas bill isn’t approaching the $500 mark), so that would drive me crazy, but they seem to love it. They’re lucky that they have that option!

Pretties starts a few months after Uglies and its cliffhanger leaves off; in order not to give anything away about the plot of either book, I’ll be putting it behind a cut. Read on at your own risk, or, of course, go check Amazon for what the back of the book actually says. Continue reading Pretties (Uglies Trilogy, Book 2), by Scott Westerfeld

River Secrets, by Shannon Hale

A few weeks ago, seek I reviewed five of Hale’s novels in an unofficial “Shannon Hale Week”. (Here’s the first review.) She’s published six novels, pharmacist though; this was the one I couldn’t get my hands on in the original burst. It’s the third of an eventual four Bayern novels, cialis sale and a companion novel (or sequel) to Goose Girl and Enna Burning.

Razo, one of Ani/Isi’s original animal-tending companions, is now in the Bayern army, and he is sent as part of the official escort with the Bayern ambassador to Tira.He’s not really sure why, since he’s not a great warrior or able to talk to the wind or anything like that, but he’ll take it. Enna is sent along, as well, and when they reach the capital city, strange things start happening. Razo makes an enemy almost immediately, but more worrisomely, burnt corpses start turning up. Is Enna burning again? And what about the mysterious Dasha, who is the liaison between the Bayern contingent and the Tiranese? Continue reading River Secrets, by Shannon Hale

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1), by Rick Riordan

I had avoided this book for a while, order because I didn’t really like the packaging. I also didn’t think I’d be that interested in it. It took a while, but enough people on the internet told me that they were actually kind of fun that I bought book 1. Not surprisingly, I now have no idea why I refused to read it to assiduously. I mean, it ain’t great literature, but it’s certainly a lot of fun.

Perseus (Percy) Jackson is in sixth grade at a boarding school for ‘special’ students; aside from the fact that he’s been diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD, he’s been kicked out of several boarding schools prior to this one. On a field trip, one of his teachers goes crazy and attacks him. He fends her off with a pen that turns into a sword, given to him by his Latin teacher. After that, no one remembers that this teacher ever existed, and Percy wonders if he’s gone crazy. Not hardly likely — after a few days at the seashore during summer break with his mother, he is attacked again, and finally finds safety at Camp Half-Blood — a camp for heroes. That is — heroes in the Greek sense; ones with a parent who is a god. Percy is one of these heroes. His overall problem, however, is that for some reason, Zeus (yes, THAT Zeus) thinks that Percy has stolen his lightning bolt (yes, THAT lightning bolt). So, guess what Percy gets to do. Continue reading The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1), by Rick Riordan