Archive | January, 2010

January 2010

31 Jan

* * *Books* * *

Books bought / ordered:
Maya Banks – Seducing Simon

Books read:
Maya Banks – Seducing Simon /3/5)
Claire Delacroix – Fallen (4/5)
Janice Kay Johnson – Snowbound (4/5)
Kathryne Kennedy – Enchanting the Lady (3/5)
Juliet Marillier – Heir to Sevenwaters (4/5)
Patti O’Shea – In the Midnight Hour (3,5/5)
Deborah Smith – A Place to Call Home (4,5/5)

  • TBR pile: – 6 books

Favorite novel:
Based on the grade, I would have to go with A Place to Call Home by Deborah Smith but it’s missing that “special connection” I look for in a book I’m going to call a favorite (it also lost some of its appeal during the later chapters). I also very much enjoyed reading a book my Marillier again but the way the story was told didn’t convince me completely. Snowbound by Johnson had some strong points but again, not enough to make it a favorite. So no, no favorite book for me this month.

New-to-me authors: Maya Banks, Claire Delacroix, Janice Kay Johnson, Patti O’Shea, Deborah Smith

New-to-me authors I would read again: (Maya Banks), Claire Delacroix, Janice Kay Johnson, Patti O’Shea, Deborah Smith

* * *Games* * *

Games bought:
Valkyria Chronicles (PS3)

Games played:
Runes of Magic (PC)
Persona 4 (PS2)

Comments: Games
Currently Playing: “Persona 4” (PS2)

* * * ~ * * *

  • one measly (longer) book comment
  • one measly game comment (short)
  • not counting this one, five measly posts this month
  • didn’t manage the one challenge I wanted to do
  • there goes my resolution to do better with blogging this year. Right away – fail.

Nothing To Say

26 Jan

I have nothing to say but I feel like I should post because the longer I stay away from the blog, the harder it gets to get back to posting. So here goes:

I’ve read three books:

  • Seducing Simon by Maya Banks
    I was hoping for a nice unrequited-love story but it turned out to be a story with more than a whiff of secret-baby-Harlequin-Presents style. (3/5)
  • Fallen by Claire Delacroix
    Liked the setting and the world + the mystery. It also had two WTFs. (4/5)
  • In the Midnight Hour by Patti O’Shea
    I nearly put the book down in the beginning (too “flimsy”) but it turned out to be a decent read after all. Mostly thanks to the hero, Deke, who wasn’t a jerk with a capital J and a rather interesting mystery about a curse. (3,5/5)

I started two books but put them down after a few pages/chapters.

  • The first one had a heroine who has to save the day. That is, her mother is into “borrowing” other people’s things and the heroine has to return them at night (year 1848). She also has to manage the household. – Wasn’t in the mood for that.
  • The second one has a heroine who catches her husband “cheating” on her with his secretary in his office. Three problems: 1) he has his shirt off, yes, but he hasn’t his xxx up her xxx; he hasn’t even his pants down. The secretary is lounging on the table. 2) She readily believes the lies the secretary tells her but she doesn’t believe her husband. He has a motive – cheating – but the secretary of course doesn’t have one for lying. 3) Ten months later she still hasn’t really talked to him. She’s also still married to him. – Wasn’t in the mood for that.

In the Midnight Hour nearly got tossed (among other things) because the heroine is too stingy to buy a new bowl despite that she actually doesn’t have the right bowl for a very important spell. She’s all “this has to go exactly right” and “this is so important” and then she doesn’t get the right bowl even though she has the money for it? But then again, the ceremony also calls for being outside – naked – and she skips that, too. Yep, I can see that this is one important spell, easily screwed up, and that this woman is a mighty responsible one.

Or maybe I’m just cranky and it’s me and not the books.

Kathryne Kennedy – “Enchanting The Lady”

18 Jan

GENRE: Romance / Historical (alternate reality)
PUBLISHED: Love Spell, 2008

SERIES: “Relics of Merlin” series, #1

WHY THIS NOVEL: I liked Enchanting the Beast, book #3 in this series.

In a world where magic ruled everything, Felicity Seymour couldn’t perform even the simplest spell. If she didn’t pass her testing, she’d lose her duchy–and any hope of marriage. But one man didn’t seem to mind her lack of dowry: a darkly delicious baronet who had managed to scare away the rest of London’s Society misses.

Sir Terence Blackwell knew the enchanting woman before him wasn’t entirely without magic. Not only could she completely disarm him with her gorgeous lavender eyes and frank candor, but his were-lion senses could smell a dark power on her the same kind of relic-magic that had killed his brother. Was she using it herself, or was it being used against her?

One needed a husband, and the other needed answers. But only together could they find the strongest magic of all: true love.

Felicity grew up with her aunt and uncle and their son. Besides her lack of magical abilities, she’s also often overlooked by other people and even forgotten. It goes so far that people who want to sit down on a chair sit on her because they didn’t see her there. It’s been that way for as long as Felicity can remember so she’s accepted it as the way it is and doesn’t think to question it or finds it strange. She’s rather naive and clueless in that regard. Then she meets Terence and he notices her. Without any trouble at all.

Terence doesn’t understand why people don’t notice Felicity. She’s beautiful and makes him forget his mission – to find the relics. What’s more, she does it even though he senses the dark power of a relic on her and he knows his brother died because he fell head over heals for a woman – a woman who was connected to a relic, too.

Enchanting the Lady isn’t a character-driven story. The romance and the mystery are to keep the reader reading. While the romance is nice enough I also found it more on the bland side of things because there were no real surprises and (as I said) not a strong focus on character development. The problem is, I also thought the execution of the mystery and the way Terence and Felicity dealt with it weak. The romance wasn’t compelling enough to make up for that in my eyes.

It was rather obvious to me what the problem and reason behind with Felicity missing magic was. But because it’s often that way in such a story, I actually didn’t mind. I had more trouble believing that Terence noticed the way Felicity was overlooked by everybody and that there must be a spell on her and then not once asked himself why Felicity would put such a spell on herself. It makes herself feel insignificant. And if Felicity really had access to the magic of the relic, wouldn’t she use it to keep her inheritance and pass the testing? I thought this omission a too obvious way to keep the conflict between the character going without much trouble.

Later Felicity has her suspicions about her aunt and uncle but nevertheless she goes to confront them without the help of her dragonette (a pet she was given by Terence to protect her) or someone else. She gives the dragonette to her maid instead because the maid shouldn’t be alone. Also, she fears the dragonette might set a curtain in flame inadvertently. Okaaay.

Then, when Felicity’s aunt and uncle confirm her suspicions and tell her that Terence lied to her about his reason to marry her, she just believes them even though they lied to her for years and years. She does this even though a friend of Terence, a “seer,” told her to believe in Terence’s love, no matter what it might look like at some time. She just forgets about that and readily believes her aunt and uncle. The only mediating factor is that she’s slightly drugged at that time.

These three things hurt the mystery, IMO. I had the impression that the story had to go a certain way and for that, the characters had to act a bit stupid at times. It influenced my impression of the novel considerably even though it might seem only nitpicking.

I want to finish by saying that there are also quite a few things I like about Enchanting the Lady. The world created for this series and the setting and premise, for example. And Kennedy’s writing style and her voice. So actually, I’m looking forward to reading Double Enchantment, the next in the series.

Verdict: 3/5

Currently Playing: “Persona 4” (PS2)

12 Jan

Our computer is now running smoothly again (new video card + new power supply installed on the weekend) so of course I had nothing better to do than start playing a new game on…the PS2!

It’s Persona 4. I really really liked Persona 3, especially because for its story, and although I only played Persona 4 for a few hours, I think I’m going to really like it, too.

The main character, the character you play, is a male teenager. He just transferred to the small, tranquil town Inaba from the big city where he’s going to live with his uncle for a year because his parents took a job overseas. Only, the town isn’t so tranquil anymore. Strange things are happening and two persons turn up dead in mysterious circumstances.

Persona 4 is centered around a mystery. Who and what’s behind these murders? The police doesn’t look like they could be much help because the murders seem connected to an alternate world that exists besides the real world and is accessed through TVs, something the police would have trouble believing.

A strange-looking bear lives in this alternate world. And shadows. And the shadows seem to have something to do with the suppressed part of humans’ self…

The first hours are very much like a movie. Lots of story and the first battle doesn’t happen for well over an hour. I can’t wait to find out what happens next in this game this evening.

Atlus USA Trailer: Persona 4