The Obscured Vixen

Book addict, blogger and designer living in a paranormal world.

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Archive for August, 2011

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 31, 2011

This giveaway is now closed.

The winner of this giveaway is melissa! Congratulations!

Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Buried in Books.

I’m a giveaway virgin and you’re all here to help me pop my giveaway cherry  : P

The winner of this giveaway will be able to choose a book of their choice from this list:

  • End of Days, Robert Gleason (ARC copy)
  • Juliet, Anne Fortier
  • Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist
  • Something Old (The Plain City Bridesmaids), Dianne Christner (Autographed copy)
  • Tantalize: Kieren’s Story, Cynthia Leitich Smith
  • Torn, Erica O’Rourke
  • Turn of Mind, Alice LaPlante
  • The Twilight Companion: The Unauthorized Guide to the Series, Lois H. Gresh

To see the Terms & Conditions regarding giveaways, click here.

This giveaway will run through September 7 at 11:59 PM ET.  Any submissions after this time will not be eligible.

Posted in Giveaway | 22 Comments »

Book Review & Author Interview – Tantalize: Kieren’s Story, by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 30, 2011

4 of 5 stars
Genre(s): Graphic Novel, Young Adult, Fantasy

As a hybrid werewolf, Kieren is destined to join an urban Wolf pack and learn to master his shift. Soon, he’ll leave everything behind: home, school, his family, and Quincie, his human best friend . . . who’s beginning to be a whole lot more than a friend. For years, Kieren has managed to keep his desires— and his wolf— at bay. But when the chef at Quincie’s family restaurant is brutally murdered, Kieren resolves to be there for her, even if it means being framed. Even if it means watching Quincie’s beloved restaurant morph into a vampire lair. But when the new chef begins wooing her, how long can Kieren control his claws? How long can he protect Quincie— and himself? In an elegant graphic edition featuring cinematic sequential art by debut artist Ming Doyle and lush, romantic cover art by Sam Weber, bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith re-envisions her delicious dark fantasy through wolfish eyes.

My Review
If you’ve read Tantalize, you must check out this graphic novel!  (To read my 5 star review of Tantalize, click here.)

The only bad thing I would have to say about Tantalize is that there is not more of Kieren in it.  My prayer has been answered!

This graphic novel is Cynthia Leitich Smith’s version of Tantalize from Kieren’s point of view.  It is great to see what Kieren is doing while Quincie is so involved with Sanguini’s.  It is also very interesting to see the thoughts that go through his head.  Kieren still goes to school and is worried when she never shows up.  It is great to see these aspects of the story rather than hearing them through conversation with Quincie.  We also get to meet Kieren’s parents, and see more of cutie pie Meghan.

There are scenes depicted in the graphic novel that we do not hear about in the novel.  Kieren runs into Brad a few times (at a high school football game, outside of a bar), and gets threatened by him.  When some of Kieren’s classmates stand up for him, it later explains why those certain students have gone ‘missing.’

The graphics are a very well representation of the story.  The best scene is when Travis and Clyde are going through Quincie’s underwear drawer!

It was very cool to see the same story from two different perspectives, and everything that went on behind the scene on both sides.  A definite recommend!

About the Author

Cynthia Leitich Smith is the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling author of Tantalize, Eternal, Blessed, and Tantalize: Kieren’s Story (Candlewick). Her award-winning books for younger children include Holler Loudly (Dutton).

Her website at www.cynthialeitichsmith.com was named one of the top 10 Writer Sites on the Internet by Writer’s Digest and an ALA Great Website for Kids. Her Cynsations blog at cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/ was listed as among the top two read by the children’s/YA publishing community in the SCBWI “To Market” column.

Author Interview
I was reading Tantalize: Kieren’s Story and a ton of questions kept popping into my head.  I gave it a shot and reached out to Cynthia to see if she would be willing to be featured on my blog (not really thinking I would get a response).  Sure enough, Cynthia is a total badass!  She responded to my email, and was more than willing to answer any questions that I had.  Cynthia is an absolute pleasure and totally awesome.

The Obscured Vixen: I loved Tantalize, and was thrilled when I heard you were doing a story from Kieren’s point of view. What made you decide to do this?
Cynthia Leitich Smith: I’m so glad. The very first draft of Tantalize—keyed out a decade ago—had been from Kieren’s point of view, though he was called “Killian Morales” back then. Get it? “Kill” vs. “Moral.” Such a lame name, I know, but the glory of writing is in the rewriting. And, perhaps most importantly, it gave me a place to begin.

Anyway, as I got farther into that early draft, the stakes kept leading back to Quincie. I didn’t want to write a story about a guy saving his true love. I wanted her to save herself. So, I shifted the focus to her perspective. As time went on, however, I gained a better understanding of what Kieren was doing off-screen and realized that he still had a separate but parallel story—or two—to tell as well.

TOV: Why did you decide to make Kieren’s side of the story a graphic novel? Is this something you’ve been interested in doing for a while?
CLS: I first learned to read on both picture books and comics. My dad would drive me to the local convenience store on Sundays, and I’d load up on mostly superhero and science fiction stories, plucked from the comic rack. So, by the time I seriously considered a graphic novel from Kieren’s point of view, I’d already clocked my share of years as a comic reader. Or put another way, the format called me home.

Shifting to a comics approach also was a way of challenging my writer self to do something new. It helped a lot that I was already a picture book author—experienced in writing visually—and well acquainted with the structure of a prose novel.

TOV: Where did you get the idea for Sanguini’s, a vampire wannabe restaurant?
CLS: Whenever you’re writing in a longtime popular mythology (like vampires or shape-shifters), you want to both nod to what’s come before and add a fresh twist to the tradition. People tend to think of vampires as more drinkers than diners, so a restaurant struck me as an interesting idea.

Beyond that, I’d worked as a waitress when I was a teen—first at a chain Mexican restaurant and then at the restaurant in an athletic club. More than once I’d thought about how restaurants were great stages for drama. Think about it: you have thematic décor, menus, costuming. Sometimes people even burst into song. The concept was ripe for a story with otherworldly elements.

TOV:  The ending of Tantalize was extremely refreshing for me. I found it realistic that you did not to not include a happily ever after. Did you always know the story would end this way?
CLS: Thank you. Looking back, it was a brave ending. Very not commercial at a time when genre romance expectations were becoming all the rage.

I’m a fan of genre romance writers, and my YA novels are sometimes marketed within that category, but really, they’re more Gothic fantasies with romantic elements.

The central question isn’t how will the male and female lead get together? My books relate to traditional old-school Gothic themes like: dependence vs. independence, redemption, defining oneself, second chances, the “dark” other, gender and power, etc. All of which are still pertinent to the lives of young readers today.

Consequently I’ve never viewed a happily-ever-after romantic ending as key to rounding off my storylines. Instead, I’m looking for some kind of resolution to the type of questions mentioned above.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against a happy romantic ending, and some of my books do have them. Others like Tantalize and Rain Is Not My Indian Name are more bittersweet. But big picture, I can’t help chafing a bit against the message that love is only real if it lasts forever or that every first/young love should ultimately involve a life partner.

I have fond memories of the boys from my adolescence, but I didn’t meet my very cute husband until I’d been a grown woman for a while. Furthermore, I know a lot of strong, independent, single women who are quite happy (and heroic) without a significant other.

Whether in a romantic relationship or on their own, I want my readers—regardless of gender—to know that each of them is enough, by themselves, to be the hero of his or her own stories.

TOV: You cannot include as much information and detail in a graphic novel than you can in a regular novel. How did you decide what to include in the graphic novel?
CLS: So much of the process was about taking out the connecting tissue (the descriptions, transitions, and emotion) that could be—and eventually was—so evocatively shown by illustrator Ming Doyle in the art.

From there, I trusted my instincts. What I knew about the characters, the pacing, and the sensibility gleaned from a near lifetime of reading stories in graphic format.

The experience was quite intuitive, especially once the art came into play. My mantra was: Get out of the way of the illustrator.

TOV:  How was it seeing your characters come to life and working with Ming Doyle?
CLS: An absolute pleasure! My editor, Deborah Wayshak at Candlewick, had sent me links to various artists’ online portfolios, and Ming’s samples grabbed me right away. I love her ability to convey emotion and illustrate across cultures and the care she takes with our characters. Along the way, I had the opportunity to comment on her progress, offering the occasionally suggestion but mostly cheering her on.

TOV:  Are you going to be doing graphic novels for Eternal or Blessed?
CLS: An Eternal graphic novel is in the works, and we’re at the full-manuscript sketches stage. It doesn’t have as many new scenes as the Tantalize graphic, but there are a few, plus scenes that were originally told from Miranda’s perspective are of course different when told from Zachary’s. It’s too early to think seriously about Blessed or Diabolical graphics yet, but the idea certainly sounds tempting.

TOV:  I’m eagerly anticipating the release of Diabolical. Do you have any information that you can share with us about it?
CLS: Thank you! Yes, Diabolical is just through the pass-pages stage, so I hope to be able to share the cover art soon. Diabolical will reunite the protagonists from the previous books in a story set in and outside Montpelier, Vermont, where I teach in the MFA in writing for children and young adults program at Vermont College of Fine Arts (though I’m on extended leave right now due to deadlines).

I haven’t been cleared to go live with the storyline yet, but I can say that this is the first of my books to give me actual nightmares. I don’t know that the final execution is so creepy, but it has a bit of mind-bending-ness to it that apparently freaked out my subconscious.

It’s a bigger story than the previous ones—bigger in stakes, mythology, action, and the heart. We also have a chance to see our heroes’ growth tested and to celebrate the ups and downs of their journeys to date.

Having started with Quincie and Kieren back in 2000 (according to my earliest notes), I totally went for broke in an attempt to do them justice, offer one last ride to the readers and come to terms with finally letting them go. (Cross fingers for more graphics!).

On the prose front, I’m drafting a new title, Smolder, set in the same universe, which introduces new characters and promotes a couple of the secondary ones to leading roles. It’s a quirkier, more unexpected story than the rest, and one major challenge is just shifting gears from a heaven-and-hell level story to one that’s more grounded on the street, so to speak. Here, the shape-shifters as a community will have a bigger role than in the previous books, and this novel is in many ways a response to reader requests.

Check out Cynthia Leitich Smith’s other YA novels in the Tantalize series.

Tantalize trailer: http://youtu.be/subaxSxSFXc   |   Eternal trailer: http://youtu.be/GaBIoUEMWrg   |   Blessed trailer: http://youtu.be/pieAazPg_b0

Cynthia is also hosting a Tantalize: Kieren’s Story Howling Great Giveaway.  Make sure you enter this awesome celebration!

Posted in Book Reviews, Interview | 9 Comments »

Book Review & Author Interview: Four Thousand Miles, Jesi Lea Ryan

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 28, 2011

3 of 5 stars
Genre(s): Romance

When Natalie Spencer loses both her career and marriage in the same morning, the emotional shock sends her on a spontaneous journey to England. There, she is nearly mugged in a Tube station, but an introverted songwriter named Gavin Ashby scares off her attackers. Recognizing Natalie’s fragile state, Gavin offers help and invites her to recuperate from her trauma at his country home.

As she adjusts to her new role and surroundings, Natalie finds healing by helping others. Gavin and his family begin to accept Natalie into their hearts, leading her to a choice… abandon her old life in the States and trust in a new chance at love, or flee once again?

My Review:
Poor Natalie Spencer! This girl has the worst day of her life by getting laid off, then coming home to find out that her husband is cheating on her. I can’t blame her for taking off to England to get away.

Natalie is an extremely relateable character, and you really feel for her. She is easy to connect to and put yourself in her place.

Gavin, a man that saves Natalie from being mugged in a Tube station, is a man with a mysterious past that slowly unfolds throughout the story. I loved the chemistry between Gavin and Natalie. You can feel their love for each other in the air.

This story begins wonderfully (even though poor Natalie keeps getting knocked down). The middle of this story slows down a bit, and I had to wait a while for it to pick back up towards the end. But the ending was well worth it. Natalie and Gavin have an argument, causing her to leave England. A few months later, Gavin appears outside her front door. I loved that Gavin was the one that came back to Natalie without any reservation. I was expecting Natalie to go back to England! I love happy endings 🙂

Jesi Lea Ryan has created such palpable characters that come to life and jump right off the page. Ryan writes with such emotion that you really feel for these characters. You can feel the attachment these characters have to each other, and to England (which Natalie falls in love with).

This is a sweet romance story about two characters that are at the lowest point in their lives, and help each other begin living again. If you love romance novels, you’ll love this story.

Interview with Jesi Lea Ryan
Jesi Lea Ryan was an absolute pleasure to work with!  Here is an interview with the author herself.  If you have any questions for Jesi Lea Ryan, please leave them below.

The Obscured Vixen: In the beginning of this story, poor Natalie goes through the worst day of her life. Have you ever been at a point that low in life that you pulled experience from?
Jesi Lea Ryan: About a month before I began writing Four Thousand Miles, I was laid off from my job.  I really drew on this experience when I wrote the scene where Natalie loses her job.  Those feelings were really fresh for me.  I have also been divorced, but unlike Natalie, my ex didn’t cheat on me.  He is actually a pretty good guy, even if we couldn’t live with each other.

TOV: In your story, Natalie gets on a plane and takes off to England without telling anyone because she needs to get away.  Have you ever wanted to get on a plane and take off without telling anyone?  If so, where would you go?
JLR: Just about every day of my life!  Just kidding…sort of.  Actually, I often dream about selling everything I own and taking off on a new adventure, but I would have to take my husband and my kitty with me.  I’m also too responsible to go running off without some sort of plan for making money once I get to my destination.  I really would like to live in England someday.  That is a major goal of mine.  I also wouldn’t mind places like Spain, Morocco, Italy or Ireland.  I’m pretty adventurous, but most of Asia is too crowded and the poverty of Africa would be hard for me to live with.

TOV: A great scene in this story is when Natalie is on the train in the UK people watching. She describes the differences between what she is seeing and what she’s used to in America.  Is this scene taken from experience?
JLR: Yes, I have been on the Tube in London.  Honestly, the best looking men I have even seen were those commuting to work in the mornings.  The British dress so much nicer than Americans do.  Part of me really found that refreshing.  Of course, like any big city, it also had its fair share of drunks and vagabonds.

TOV: Natalie and Gavin are remodeling rooms in Gavin’s family B&B in England.  Is this a hobby of yours?
JLR: I have worked with homeowners insurance for about fourteen years.  This has taught me a lot about building materials and techniques.  Of course, I had to research how someone would go about restoring a 500 year old farm building.  We just don’t have structures like that in the U.S.  I haven’t done any remodeling myself, but it is a real interest of mine.  I watch a lot of HGTV!

TOV: One of my favorite characters in the book is Emma, Maggie’s 11 year old deaf daughter.  I love the scene when Emma is resting her ear against the piano while Gavin is playing.  Is there a reason you included a deaf child in the story?
JLR: Honestly, I don’t know why I decided to make Emma deaf.  I think when I began creating Gavin’s family, Emma just popped into my head that way.  I have a sister-in-law who is a translator for the deaf, and she helped me to get a better understanding of what Emma’s capabilities would be as far as lip reading and things went.  I also thought it would be interesting for Gavin, who as a musician is all about sound, to live with someone who couldn’t hear or appreciate his work fully.

TOV: Natalie and Gavin take a trip to Ireland and visit Leeds Castle.  Have you ever been there?
JLR: I have been to every place in the book except Herrod’s Department Store.  For that I had to watch YouTube videos filmed by other tourists.  Leeds Castle is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen.  The day I was there was sunny and hot.  The flowers were blooming.  The stone walls of the towers reflected on the water as if they were floating.  Amazing!

TOV: Gavin is a musician in your story.  Do you write music?
JLR: Well, musicians are sexy, so Gavin is pretty much my ideal man.  I love music, but I don’t have much talent for it.  I was in choir when I was in high school, and I loved to sing.  I always wanted piano lessons, but I grew up poor and my family just couldn’t afford it.  I do read music though, so I can pick out tunes with one finger.

TOV: How long have you been writing?
JLR: I began reading at aged three, so I think writing followed soon after that.  I published a children’s book when I was eight with the help of a local librarian.  My high school did not have any creative writing classes, so I really didn’t start writing fiction regularly until college, where I majored in Creative Writing and Literature.

TOV: Do you write any genres other than romance?
JLR: In college, my favorite genre was non-fiction, personal narrative.  I wrote an autobiographical piece for my thesis.  I wasn’t very confident in my fiction, because I didn’t think my ideas were very original.  A few years ago, I realized it wasn’t that my ideas weren’t original, it was just that I needed more room to develop them.  I’m just not a short story writer.  Out of my hundreds of attempts, I only have a few that turned out any good.  But I found if I allowed myself to work on longer pieces, my fiction is much stronger.

TOV: What genre of books do you enjoy reading?
JLR: I honestly read more than anyone I know, around 175 books a year.  I will read just about anything if it is done well.  Most of my life I read literary fiction, but I’d get on a kick now and then for something else.  In the past few years, I have almost stopped reading the literary fiction in favor of genre.  I love paranormals.  (Never met a vampire I didn’t like!)  I also read a lot of young adult, romance and historical fiction.

TOV: That’s a lot of books! Besides reading, what is your favorite thing to do?
JLR: Honestly, most of my life revolves around books in some form.  I write, I read, I collect books…  I also love to learn.  My interests are pretty varied.  I’m in graduate school right now for business.  Don’t know what I’ll do with it, but I’m learning a lot.  I should also admit that I watch a lot of really bad TV.  Reality shows, especially competitions, are a massive time-suck for me.  I’m a pop culture fan, so I treat PerezHilton.com like my newspaper.  Okay…and I spend way too much time on Twitter.

TOV: If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would buy?
JLR: I would take care of other people.  I have a few friends and family members who are wonderful, hardworking people who are struggling to make ends meet.  My first priority would be to help them out.  That might sound like I’m feeding you a line to make myself look good, but seriously, how could I live with myself if I was blasting cash on cars and things when people I love need real help?

TOV: What is your favorite movie or TV show?
JLR: My favorite TV shows right now are probably Project Runway, Ghost Hunters, Being Human, True Blood, Game of Thrones and The Tudors.  I would love to see Showtime continue The Tudors with the Mary and Elizabeth storylines.  Movies are probably a bit harder, because it depends on my mood.  I admit, I’m a Robert Pattinson fan, so I watch everything he is in.  I also really like Emma Stone.  Easy A was brilliant!

TOV: If you could travel in time, would you go to the past or the future?
JLR: I am ADD and tend toward impatience, so I think I would have a really hard time living in a time period before high speed internet and automobiles.  That probably sounds terrible of me!  I love the book Outlander, but I really don’t see how Claire could have adjusted so easily to eighteenth century Scotland.  That said, I am slightly afraid of what I would learn in the future.  Do I want to know if animals or cultures have died out, or if my country were destroyed in some terrible war?  I think I better stay right here in 2011.

Where to purchase Four Thousand Miles:
The easiest and cheapest place to buy  the book is on Amazon.
For non-Kindle users, you can purchase it at DCL Publications or AllRomance.com.

Follow Jesi Lea Ryan:
Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jesi-Lea-Ryan/152086598147945
Blog:  http://diaryofabibliophile-jesilea.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Jesilea

Posted in Book Reviews, Interview | 2 Comments »

Book Review: When the Wind Blows series, by James Patterson

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 27, 2011

When the Wind Blows: 4 of 5 stars
The Lake House: 5 of 5 stars
Genre(s): Fantasy, Suspense

When the Wind Blows blurb: Set against a sinister backdrop of genetic engineering and illegal scientific experimentation, When the Wind Blows dares readers to test their notions of human evolution and medical science. Frannie O’Neill is a caring young veterinarian living in the Colorado Rockies, trying to erase the memory of her beloved husband’s mysterious murder. It is not long before another neighbor suddenly dies, and FBI agent Kit Harrison arrives at Frannie’s doorstep. Frannie stumbles upon an astonishing discovery in the nearby woods, and their lives are altered in ways they could never have imagined. Simply knowing the secret of Max — the terrified 11-year-old girl with an amazing gift — could mean death.
The Lake House blurb: Six extraordinary children are trying to lead normal lives in the Rocky Mountain countryside. The only time they’ve ever felt safe was when they were together in the waterfront cabin they call the Lake House. And the only people they’ve ever trusted are Frannie and Kit, the couple who rescued them from unimaginable evil once before. When that evil resurfaces, the kids reconnect with Frannie and Kit and set off on an astonishing adventure. They flee to the Lake House, but even that haven may no longer be safe. Dr. Ethan Kane is chief of surgery at Liberty General Hospital, one of the most esteemed hospitals in the nation. It is here that terrible secrets lie, secrets that will change the world for all of us.

My Review
I read The Maximum Ride series before even knowing this series existed. Normally I’m a stickler for reading a series in order.  But in this case, I’m somewhat glad that I read Maximum Ride first. It made me appreciate these books so much more. To get to see the kids in The School and how they manage to escape was extraordinary. There are wonderful characters in this series that are not included in The Maximum Ride series, but now I understand more of what and who the kids were talking about. I wanted to read The Maximum Ride series because I thought the idea of kids with wings was very refreshing from other things I was reading at the time. Turns out it was well worth it!

We get to see how the kids escape from The School and live with Frannie and Kit in the woods. The breakout is shown all across the world on the news, and everyone now knows of their existence; including their biological parents.

There is a custody trial and the kids must leave Frannie and Kit to live with their real parents. This is also interesting to watch because we get to see the kids become integrated with the real world for the first time. They’re eating home cooked meals, going to public school, and watch TV; all things they couldn’t do in The School.

However, some of the parents try to make money off their children. They accept money offers for interviews and TV advertisements. The older kids are unhappy and want to go back to living with Kit and Frannie.

Max hears rumors about “The Hospital.” Apparently not everyone that worked at The School were killed or imprisoned. Anyone that speaks of or knows about the hospital ends up dead. So Max keeps the information of The Hospital to herself.

Eventually people from The Hospital find where the kids are living and go after them. There are still experiments and studies that need to be done. The kids manage to escape, but now without injuries or causalities. A main character that died was Oz. Oz is the love of Max’s life, and they know that they are each other mates for life. When he dies, I was so heartbroken for the kids and poor Max. But I loved that James Patterson killed off Oz. It added such a dynamic shock, and sets the stage for Max and the rest of the series. Throughout these books it was great to see Max mature (this series starts with Max as 12 years old). You can also see how Max rises to become the leader of their group.

The happy part of the series? Custody of the kids are given back to Kit and Frannie. A judge states that they are better equipped to care for and protect the kids.

The most amazing part of this series? Max giving birth to her Oz’s eggs. We have no idea that Max is pregnant until the touching moment when Frannie finds out Max had two eggs. At that point my heart died for poor Oz.

If you’ve read The Maximum Ride series, or have any interest in reading it, definitely give these books a try! I greatly enjoyed them.

Posted in Book Reviews | 1 Comment »

Book-vs-Movie: The Dresden Files

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 26, 2011

5 of 5 stars
Genre(s): Fantasy, Sci-Fi

I’ve read a few of Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files books and have thoroughly enjoyed them.  I recently discovered The Dresden Files was a TV show on the Sci Fi Channel in 2007, and had to watch it.  I wish they had made a second season of this TV show, because I thoroughly enjoyed this, too!  It was light, funny and extremely entertaining.

I thought Dresden and Murphy were perfectly cast, and loved the chemistry between them.  Dresden was very quirky, and always annoying Murphy just as he does in the books.  Dresden was always making sure that Murphy was paying him for his time.  It was great to see these two characters come to life on TV.

I really enjoyed Bianca, even though she was only in one episode.  She looked just as I pictured her, and was absolutely fabulous as the infamous vampire.

Bob’s character is another story.  I know, he lives in a skull and that’s hard to portray on screen, but I expected him to be… younger, and dirty, and less helpful like he is in the books.  I was also upset that Susan was only in one episode.  I know the show was only on for one season, but c’mon, it’s Susan!

I liked how some of the episodes were pulled directly from the books.  The story line of Harry’s past with his Uncle was a favorite of mine.  This was played out very well on the show.  It was also funny to watch light bulbs and video cameras spark if Harry got too close.  Unfortunately he drove a Jeep instead of a Beetle, but it was extremely run down.  There were also lots of jokes about his ad in the phone book (“No, I do not do love spells.”).

If you’ve ever read any of The Dresden Files books, I would definitely give this TV series a chance.  I thought it was awesome, and highly recommend it!

Posted in Book-vs-Movie | 6 Comments »

Book Review: Glory in Death, JD Robb

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 24, 2011

5 of 5 stars
Book 2 in the In Death series
Genre(s): Romance, Mystery

In the second of this futuristic mystery series, protagonist New York police Lieutenant Eve Dallas looks for a serial killer of prominent career women. Eve tenaciously follows the clues whether they imperil her romantic relationship with a millionaire or her beloved job. Truth and justice are the goals she works resolutely toward and that lead her finally to solve the case, save the life of a friend, and command the respect of her tall, dark, handsome lover.

LOVED this book!  Can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this book.  Since this is the second book of the series, JD Robb takes off right from the start.  The crime story and love story were more much more developed than Naked in Death, and it was awesome.

Eve is thrown into another murder case, and this one leads right to her front door.  She can link herself to the other women being murdered and puts herself on the news as bait.  The only thing I did not like about this story was how Roarke is always tied to every one of Eve’s cases.  I mean, come on, what are the odds!

We get to see more of a glimpse into Eve’s past… but just enough to keep you frustrated to read the next book (which of course I will!).

Eve finally admits to herself (and Roarke!) that she is in love with him.  And I must admit that I love the dynamic of their relationship.  Robb created a complicated, aggressive, frustrating, passionate and extremely refreshing to read.  There are not many relationships in books that have captivated me the way Eve’s and Roarke’s have.

And that scene when they go to Mexico so Eve can relax?  *fans self*  Wow.  Can I get me some of that?

A definite recommend, and I cannot wait to read the next book.

Posted in Book Reviews | 4 Comments »

Book Review – Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story, Adam Rex

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 23, 2011

3 of 5 stars
Genre(s): Young Adult, Humor, Fantasy

Both fans and foes of the ever-expanding genre of vampire novels will get sucked into this hysterical send-up of those angst-filled, vampire-meets-girl high school dramas. Doug “Meatball” Lee is no Edward, he’s just a 15-year-old dork trying to land a date with a real live girl, any girl. But when you’re a weight-challenged, newbie vampire, finding a Bella to call your very own presents some real challenges. The multi-talented author Adam Rex uses offbeat humor and outrageous scenarios to position this underdog for paranormal greatness.

This book started out extremely funny, and then tended to mellow out towards the middle and the end.  This book had a lot of potential, but came up short.  The ending was decent, and I still enjoyed the light, funny read.

Parts of this book was hilarious!  If you’ve ever read a vampire book, give this a try.  The story is a satire about vampire beliefs and stereotypes.  This book literally made me laugh out loud numerous times.  Doug is a 15 year old overweight boy that is turned into a vampire.

This book follows Doug and explains what it would be like for a 15 year old vampire to be in high school.  Horror of changing in the locker room for an overweight teen, having a crush on a girl (who happens to be a foreign exchange student), and all other cliches.

My favorite scene is when his best friend is trying out myths that can hurt a vampire (so he knows what to avoid).  He throws a silver cross at Greg to catch, but it does nothing. His response?  “Maybe you should toss me a Star of David since I’m Jewish.”

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Book Review: Torment, Lauren Kate

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 22, 2011

4 of 5 stars

Hell on earth. That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.
It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts—immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something—something dangerous.
What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

For those of you that read my Eternal post, this one will be nothing like it.  Torment was miles better than Eternal!

The story picked up right where the first book left off.  To help protect Luce, Daniel suggests that she move to a school in California where she will be safe. You meet new friends that Luce makes at the school in California, most of which are nephilim. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story.  But have no fear, all of Luce’s friends from Sword & Cross make an appearance.

In this book, Luce questions her feeling for Daniel, and wonders if she really does need to end up with him even if the prophecy says so.  Daniel is very protective and tries to keep Luce safe by telling her what to do.  Luce doesn’t like this demanding side of him, and tells him so (you go girl! Stand up for yourself!).

My favorite part of this book was the Thanksgiving dinner scene.  It was so realistic that you could feel the tension in the room.  Luce’s poor parents!

You can see how Luce is maturing through the books and I’m hoping the next book will be even better… since this book leaves you with a huge cliffhanger that has you screaming in frustration at Luce.

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Which Being Human version do you like better?

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 21, 2011

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Book-vs-Movie: The Bourne Identity

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 20, 2011

Book by Robert Ludlum – 4 of 5 stars. Published in 1980.
Movie 5 of 5 stars. Released in 2002.

Like most movies that are based on books, the book is extremely more detailed (and 608 pages!).

Both stories start the same way: Jason Bourne is floating in the ocean and picked up by a fishing boat.  He wakes up in the care of the crew and realizes he has amnesia.  Bourne has the info to a bank account in his hip and when the boat docks, it’s  the first place he goes.

Bourne is shown to a safe deposit box and dumps all the contents into his infamous red bag.  While at the bank, he realizes that people are coming after him.  How does he get away? Enter Marie.

This is where the movie and book begin to differ greatly.  In the movie, Marie is unemployed and struggling to make a living.  Bourne pays her to drive him away from the bank.

In the book, Marie is a French-Canadian government economist on a business trip in Zurich. Bourne takes her hostage and forces her to drive away from the bank.

From here on out, the plot stays the same, but the story line is different.  In the book, Bourne finds out about Treadstone and Blackbriar in the first story of the series.  We don’t hear about these in the first movie.  Also in the book, Marie uses her contacts and past education to help Jason.  She is more of an integral part of Jason taking out Treadstone than in the movie.

I definitely want to read The Bourne Supremacy, but will take a break before I do. The Bourne Identity was a long book with lots of details causing it to become slow at times.  However, for a book that was written 31 years ago, it is not that dated.  It is highly suspenseful, mysterious with a little love action thrown in.

If you enjoyed the movie, I would definitely recommend taking a stab at the book.

Posted in Book Reviews, Book-vs-Movie | 6 Comments »

 
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