Monday, December 31, 2012

Review: Cleopatra Ascending

Cleopatra Ascending
Cleopatra Ascending by Maureen Lipinski

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rhea Spencer has just turned 16 years old and how does she get to celebrate her birthday? She gets to clean out the garage and do other chores because she was late at curfew. You would think being the reincarnation of Queen Cleopatra would give her bonus points, but you would be wrong. Not only does she receive no special treatment, she also has no special powers like her sisters who are a shaman, a witch and a muse. That is until she starts having visions of Cleopatra's life and an unknown stranger approaches her and warns her that her life is in danger (in ancient Egyptian).

Cleopatra Ascending is a fast paced paranormal mystery that will satisfy most readers. Rhea is destined to either destroy or save the human race. The Octavians want Rhea to read an ancient spell to raise an army of the dead while the Order if Antony want her to read a spell to destroy Cleopatra’s Book of the Dead. Will she be able to do what is right? Will she be able to protect those around her? Although this is the second book in a series, I had no problem jumping into the story. I will most likely go back and read the first book because I like the characters. This is a fun book that was an enjoyable read without a lot of deep thinking needed.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review: Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F.

Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F.
Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F. by Christiane F.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Six year hold Christiane F. learned many lessons after moving to Berlin. One – there are rules about everything. Two – kids are punished when rules are broken. Three – if you are going to get punished, you mine as well have fun along the way. This philosophy stayed with her into her pre-teen years as she acted out in school and began to hang around with older people. Although the clique was protective of their “baby,” Christiane F. continued to experiment with drugs. She started with hashish and alcohol, moved on to Valium, Quaaludes and other pills, and was finally addicted to heroin.

Zoo Station is a new translation of Christiane F’s tragic memoir about life and drugs in Berlin during the 1970s. Christiane F. was in constant denial about the extent of her addiction and although she could see the effects of heroin on those around her, she continued to believe she could stop at any time. While I had not read the original translation, did not see the movie made in the 1980s and was not familiar with this story at all before reading this book, I was still able to fully experience the drama and tragedy that was Christiane F’s life. The reader will be pulled into the scene with Christiane F. and mourn the loss of her friends and her innocence. Readers of Go Ask Alice will find a satisfying read in Zoo Station.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Review: Crimson Frost

Crimson Frost
Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gwen and Logan are on their first real date while the Mythos Academy students have the afternoon off because of an announcement planned later in the day. Gwen is nervous, like any girl who wants to take a relationship from friendship to romance, and the result is spilled coffee and tea all over Logan. As she ponders how this date can get any worse, men in official looking robes enter the coffee shop and approach her. She is under arrest! The protectorate has received information that leads them to believe SHE intentionally set Loki free and is actually a Reaper in disguise. She knows she is Nike’s Champion and that it is Vivian who committed all the crimes she is accused of. To make matters worse, the lead protectorate is Logan’s father and he does not like the fact that Logan is dating Gwen.

Crimson Frost pulls the reader back into the story of Gwen Frost and Mythos Academy immediately. After one chapter we are wondering how all this can be happening to Gwen and why the protectorate won’t believe her. Jennifer Estep weaves a fast paced story that keeps the reader eager for the next chapter. Everything that happens in this fourth book takes place during a one week time frame with many life or death consequences at every turn. Once you finish this installment, you will be eagerly waiting for Midnight Frost to arrive.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Review: The Listeners

The Listeners
The Listeners by Harrison Demchick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Daniel Raymond is alone. His mother left their apartment for toilet paper and never returned. If that is not bad enough, the borough has been quarantined because of a plague with zombie like symptoms. The only information he receives is from the television which reported the doctors and medical personnel being removed by helicopter after the government decided it was too dangerous to assist the local residents.

Danny doesn’t know who to trust. The police offer food and protection in exchange for guns and anything else they want and a group called the Listeners offer protection and a new family. Daniel chooses to leave the apartment and join the Listeners, but he continues to doubt his decision and their motives. The Listeners say the police are corrupt, but some of their own members are testing the limits of their new power.

Harrison Demchick leads the reader to question the power of local government and to realize the difficulties in containing a plague in a modern city. Daniel has lost the only family he has known and must learn to make choices in a world where all the choices are tough. Will the plague be cured, will the quarantine be lifted, and will Daniel live long enough to find out? The Listeners spins many tangent story lines that slowly weave into a cohesive tale that leaves the reader with many aha moments.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Review: Surrender

Surrender by Rhiannon Paille

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kaliel and Krishani have many things in common. They both were “found” and raised by elders, they both are destined to marry the land and they both were NOT supposed to meet and fall in love. Most of all, neither wants to accept the parable given to them by the Great Oak, but the Great Oak sees more than they do.

Kaliel's parable tells her that her choices may kill many or save many, but doesn't give her enough information to protect those around her. Krishani discovers that he is the Ferryman and Kaliel discovers she is a Flame, a weapon that sparks a war.

Surrender is a coming of age tale that leaves a lot to be desired. Rhiannon Paille bounces between story lines (Kaliel and Krishani), but the transitions don't flow and I found myself looking back to see which story was taking place. The series title (The Ferryman and the Flame #1) tells the reader that this is the first book in a series, but more than 50% of the book was setting up the story and then the rest just rushed on through. I recommend this book for those who want something new to read, but if you already have a large TBR pile, then skip this one for now.

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