Friday, September 28, 2012

Easy by Tammara Webber

A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion. A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal. Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night--but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

(Mature Young Adult/ New Adult)GOODREADS


 The reason I picked this book up. 1. the cover, 2. I'm girl and I occasional love a mushy-romantic-predictable-dramatic love story. 3. The "mature young adult/new adult " tag got my attention as well.

The book starts off when Jackie leaves a party and almost gets raped and she's then rescued by the guy, Lucas. This is very predictable: guy saves girl, they fall in love. Yes, it is  mushy and I'd have initially given it a 3. But the book doesn't overly surround the romance it also addresses the college situation and life. Jackie almost got raped and didn't report it . Later on the potential rapist rapes another girl. Jackie didn't tell her friends because she thought  they wouldn't believe her. She later does and her best friend/room mate turns out to be really supportive , they take defense classes provided at the college.

The heroine is likable and at first a bit annoying.

 ""The whole thing was a competition to see who could get how far, and I could never figure out if there was more luck or skill involved, or some unknowable combination of the two. People rarely said what they thought, or revealed how they felt. No one was honest""

These are her thoughts on dating. I agree you like a guy, so you  don't tell him you like him and pretend you're interested in someone else or play some other game. come on!  Although she plays the stupid game she redeems herself and her character becomes likable and normal .

The there's Lucas, the hero. Pierced and tattooed Lucas. Lucas has a traumatic past and carries this guilt around. He's a great hero in the story. and he can cook!  too good to be true!

Lucas/Landon frustration!

In the book Jackie misses out on 2 weeks of economics class and has to make up for it. So her professor makes her get a tutor so she can get up to date on the material she missed. She has a busy schedule so she and the tutor, Landon correspond through e-mail. She likes Landon too,they kind of flirt a bit. It reminded me of that movie with Tom Hanks and that chick (you've got mail?). This was new for me: to read these correspondences between the characters (a new  kind of dialogue between them). It was also annoying because she likes Lucas but was also curious about Landon. It was so annoying I stopped to go look for spoilers to make sure it was one person (becauseI hate the triangle thing!).

This is a refreshing book to read and an easy one. It (slightly ) reflects the way young men and women socialize ( text ting/e-mailing) and also the hazards of college live for girls. So it's not just a mushy romantic love story and that's what gives it the 4/5.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Think Out Loud #5

Think Out Loud.
This is a weekly meme used for bloggers
to post something they would normally not post.
So, post whatever YOU want!

This week I'd like to tell you about one of my favorite book people. yeah, he's technically a fictional character but he's well.... not amazing. He's rude, mean, filthy and insane. He's Mr Bernard Black from the BC show Black Books. 

Meet Bernard Black. Bernard is an anti-social, heavy drinking chain-smoker who owns a small London bookshop - an unusual vocation, given that he detests customers and delights in physically and verbally abusing them at every opportunity. His best (and only) friend in the world is his lunch time drinking partner Fran, a neurotic and boyfriend-desperate woman who owns the pretentious arts and crafts shop next to his. Bernard is cynical, abrasive and lazy, and is perfectly happy that way - but his life takes an unexpected turn when he sells 'The Little Book of Calm' to hyper-stressed accountant Manny Bianco, who against all odds ends up swallowing it. When the dust is settled, Manny will have a new job, Fran will have a new friend, and Bernard's life will be far more surreal (if that's possible). 

Meet Bernard Black:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Vampire Hunter D volume 3 by Hideyuki Kikuchi , adapted and illustrated by Saiko Takaki

The third volume of the popular Japanese series comes to America in Vampire Hunter D: Demon Deathchase. The vampire hunter known only as D has been hired by a wealthy, dying man to find his daughter, who was kidnapped by the powerful vampire Lord Meierlink. Though humans speak well of Meierlink, the price on his head is too high for D to ignore and he sets out to save her before she can be turned into an undead creature of the night. In the nightmare world of 12090 A.D., finding Meierlink before he reaches the spaceport in the Clayborn States and gets off the planet will be hard enough, but D has more than just Meierlink to worry about. The dying man is taking no chances, and has also enlisted the Marcus family, a renegade clan of four brothers and a sister who don't care who they kill as long as they get paid. Beautiful illustrations by Yoshitaka Amano complement the post-apocalyptic plot, filled with chilling twists. Co-Published with Digital Manga Publishing.GOODREADS
* the description of the manga belongs to another edition. The edition being reviewed is adapted and illustrated by Saiko Takaki.

First off, I'm not familiar with the other two volumes or the story arc. This is my introduction to this manga. Not knowing certain things did bother me: like why the hell does D have a face or an ugly speaking face on his hand or why he's so mysterious and why the old guy seemed to know him. I guess being ignorant of D's background made this less impressive but it doesn't really ruin the plot,  it just makes a person curious so it's safe to read this as a stand alone. Then again I don't know why you would start at 3 when you should start with one.

The plot is predictable , I mean vampire falls in love with human, they run away, dad is disgusted, hires hunters,  girl hunter sympathizes because she likes D, a dramatic scene where the Meierlink gets killed and then human girl impales herself because she can't live without him. Predictable. 

What made it interesting was the characters and the illustrations. D's mysterious and I don't get him. Then there's the Marcus clan ( a bunch of morons, moron clan) and the Noble vampire who kidnaps the damsel. Then there's the 3 assassins from some village. They all die and the way they kept coming back was surprising and frustrating. I mean die already!

As for the illustrations. Lets see: the body of the characters ,their cloths (in this case I mean the men's cloths) are done really well and are amazing. But the faces aren't as attractive as the clothes . The faces are weird looking in my opinion but the expressions are unique and eye-catching. 

There are three female characters in this manga. I hated them all.  There's the damsel; who almost gets raped then saved by this guy who then tries to rape her and again gets rescued by a Marcus brother . Then there's the female Marcus member: she's suppose to be bad ass but is being sexually abused by her "brothers" and one of the assassins who's in this really skimpy outfit (how do you fight in that?!). The word "sexist' is swimming around in my head, but I'm not sure if I should use it. It is what it is. The assassin used her body as a weapon, the Marcus girl's a reasonable fighter but kind of weak and the damsel's too kind and naive. plus the other two aforementioned ones have these huge boobs. Maybe not extremely huge ones, but they're very apparent, noticeable. like they'd poke you in the eye or something. how do you fight with those?!

Predictable plot and crappy female characters aside, it's still a fun manga to read . I didn't know it was set in the year 12090 A.D and that this was also a science fiction manga, that wasn't as apparent in this volume as the boobs ,but one of the reasons I'd give it a try if ever I come across another volume.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Red Dragon (Hannibal lecter #1) by Thomas Harris

Lying on a cot in his cell with Alexandre Dumas's Le Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine open on his chest, Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter makes his debut in this legendary horror novel, which is even better than its sequel,The Silence of the Lambs. As in Silence, the pulse-pounding suspense plot involves a hypersensitive FBI sleuth who consults psycho psychiatrist Lecter for clues to catching a killer on the loose.The sleuth, Will Graham, actually quit the FBI after nearly getting killed by Lecter while nabbing him, but fear isn't what bugs him about crime busting. It's just too creepy to get inside a killer's twisted mind. But he comes back to stop a madman who's been butchering entire families. The FBI needs Graham's insight, and Graham needs Lecter's genius. But Lecter is a clever fiend, and he manipulates both Graham and the killer at large from his cell.
That killer, Francis Dolarhyde, works in a film lab, where he picks his victims by studying their home movies. He's obsessed with William Blake's bizarre painting The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun, believing there's a red dragon within him, the personification of his demonic drives. Flashbacks to Dolarhyde's terrifying childhood and superb stream-of-consciousness prose get us right there inside his head. When Dolarhyde does weird things, we understand why. We sympathize when the voice of the cruel dead grandma who raised and crazed him urges him to mayhem--she's way scarier than that old bat in Psycho. When he falls in love with a blind girl at the lab, we hope he doesn't give in to Grandma's violent advice.
This book is awesomely detailed, ingeniously plotted, judiciously gory, and fantastically imagined. If you haven't read it, you've never had the creeps. --Tim Appelo GOODREADS
This is a book I bought on sale at my local bookstore and it was worth it. It's a classic but disturbing psychological thriller. One of the motivations for buying this book is the movie and also because I wanted to know more about Hannibal Lecter.

There's a forword by Thomas Harris before the first chapter, in which he explains his first encounter with Hannibal and how he became a recurring character in these books.  For some reason this gave me a foreboding feeling about  reading the book. A few chapters into the book was disturbing because Will goes to the house of one of the families that was murdered and walks through the scene. It's so well written that the gruesomeness of the scene scares and disturbs you.

Will's character is a well fleshed out one and so are some of the other  characters. He's suffering some trauma from the last case he worked on in which he had caught Hannibal. Crawford, an FBI agent working on the "Red Dragon " case asks Will to help him because it's similar to the Hannibal one and Will has a mind for these cases. Will can project  other peoples points of view and he can feel what their feeling. This is what makes him good at his job even tho he hates it.

Eventually Will decides to consult Hannibal on this case. If you pick  this book only for Hannibal then you should know he only has few scenes but significant ones. When Will first visits him in the mental institution (pg75), this scene has a kind of sinister and foreboding atmosphere to it. Hannibal is a sociopath and a trained psychologist. He feels no guilt about the people he's killed  and no shame about it. What makes him even more scary but also intriguing is the way he can read people and manipulate them. If you'd met this guy on the street you'd be charmed, you wouldn't suspect he was a sociopathic murderer!

The book picks up the pace when the murderer ,called from the start of the book the Tooth fairy, sends Hannibal a letter. The FBI intercepts this letter and try to communicate with the tooth fairy. This doesn't work out so well in the end.

Further into the book we start reading chapters and passages about the Tooth Fairy, Francis Dolarhyde.Who thinks there's a Red Dragon living inside him. To him murdering people is a process that will change him into the Dragon. Francis is obsessed with William Blake's painting of The Great Red Dragon and The Woman Clothed in the Sun. *behold on the right ->
I'm even creeped out by this painting ,so I don' get his obsession with it.

This painting is the explanation to the title. It's called the Red Dragon because of Francis obsession with the painting, but there are several other references about dragons throughout the book: When Will finds a Chinese character carved into a tree near one of the victims houses, which appears on Chinese mahjong pieces and marks the red dragon or the red finger print powder called dragons blood.

He has it tattooed on his back , he has printouts in his house.  Francis chapters are fascinating to read because there are flashbacks to his past : when he was born with a facial disfigurement (hare lip) , living with his grandmother and how he was treated by them and his mother an step siblings. Seeing how he was and how he is: leaves me with the question that if he was in a healthier environment , would he have become a murderer?

Francis changes when he meets Reba McClane. This is my favorite part. Francis and the Dragon separate. The dragon now has an individual voice that sounds similar to his grandmother, telling him he doesn't need Reba and he should kill her. Francis attempts to become one again with the Dragon by breaking into a museum and consuming the actual painting of the Great Red Dragon.

Things don't work out in the end. Francis fakes his death and then tries to kill Will. The killers dead but the book doesn't really have a happy ending more like a depressing one. Everything's explained in the last chapter and on the last page Will goes on about somebody named "Shiloh" which is confusing.

I'd definitely recommend this to anybody who enjoyed the movie or is just interested in a good book about the criminal Psyche. The characters are well developed and the writing is amazing and easy to follow.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mockingjay ( The Hunger Games # 3) By Suzanne Collins


Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But she's still not safe. A Revolution is unfolding, and everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans - everyone except Katniss.
And yet she must play the most vital part in the final battle. Katniss must become their Mockingjay - the symbol of rebellion - no matter what the personal cost.

Upon reading the last pages of Mockingjay. I have to say that it is one profound , moving and emotional read. This book brings to light a lot of issues, old issues we haven't grown out of yet. The uprising against the Capitol and it's downfall, the revolution, war, things our history books overflow with.

Mockingjay tells an old story through Katniss, an old story of war and the consequences of it.

The writing is really good and simple and touching. The characters are so real, you sympathize with their plight. Or hate them for their decisions. It all feels so sad and frightening .

Katniss changes a lot in this book. Not in a good way, she's grown too fast. She's a seventeen year old girl who has to survive. The physical and mental violence she has to go through is unbearable. The deaths of the people she loves haunts her.

I had hoped for a happy ending or a good ending. But it was more a bittersweet ending. The Capitol has fallen, there are no more Hunger Games. There's peace now.  Katniss and Peeta are married and have children but they're still haunted by the past. They won't ever forget. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Think Out Loud # 4

Think Out Loud.
This is a weekly meme used for bloggers
to post something they would normally not post.
So, post whatever YOU want!

So I thought this week I'd introduce you to an acquaintance of mine . We all have characters we meet when reading books, comics or whatever readable.In this case a comic by Jhonen Vasquez. A character, albeit fictional. They stay with us. So meet Johnny. Johnny the homicidal maniac, also known as 'Knee" He's not a particularly stable person or sane. and don't question the "homicidal' part. This is a character that has gone to the dark side and will just ...........well avoid at all cost.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sleepin with Fear ( A Bishop/ Special Crimes Unit Novel #9 ) by Kay Hooper

New York Times bestselling author Kay Hooper returns with a relentless thriller that brings her readers face-to-face with fear itself. In this terrifying new novel, a psychic special agent finds herself caught up in a tangled web of secrets, lies . . . and evil.Riley Crane woke up fully dressed, a gun under her pillow, and covered in blood. Even more frightening, she didn’t remember what happened the night before. In fact, she barely remembered the previous three weeks.An ex—army officer, now a federal agent assigned to the Special Crimes Unit, Riley was a chameleon–a clairvoyant who could blend in with her surroundings, be anyone or anything she chose to be. The SCU’s expert on the occult, she’d been sent to the beachfront cottage on Opal Island by her enigmatic chief, Noah Bishop, to investigate reports of dangerous occult activity. But that was three weeks ago. Now she’s awoken to discover that she’s got a sexy new man in her life and an unreliable memory, and that the clairvoyant abilities she’s always depended on to protect her are MIA. Worse yet, with SCU resources stretched thinner than ever before, Riley is alone and without backup, feeling her way through a deadly game of blindman’s buff, where no one around her is quite who or what they seem. And a bizarre murder is only the first jarring reminder of how high the stakes really are.Bishop wants Riley off the case. So does powerful local D.A. Ash Prescott. Both her old retired army buddy Gordon Skinner and Sheriff Jake Ballard believe she can catch a vicious killer. But one of these four men knows exactly what’s going on in this coastal community, and that’s knowledge Riley desperately needs. For what Riley can’t remember is more than enough to cost her her life. This time evil isn’t just closer than she thinks–it’s already there.
From the Hardcover edition.GOODREADS

This is a book I picked up at the library and I have to say it was quite a ride. It's really well written and the characters are interesting and funny. Maybe a bit cliche and predictable. The premise of the story was worked out really well. I mean Riley wakes up covered in blood and has no memory of the past 3 weeks. One of her job strategies is she can pretend to be anybody so she pretends she's the same .

Riley has no memory of the 3 weeks and on the  same day she wakes up a body is discovered and she also finds out she's been sleeping with the local D.A. Again she has no memory about any of this. Riley is also a psychic, and her abilities have gone AWOL . Riley is a likable character ,she's independent and likes working alone. If there's a fight she'd go in alone, because she thinks it's her duty not to put the people she cares about in danger.

The murder is surrounded by an occult theme in the book. Riley specializes in the occult so that's why she was brought in. Ash is described as not quite handsome but attractive in a butch way. He's too good to be true for the romance part of this book, Ash is too good to be true. I mean he's  like the Beast and he can cook and is well read, too damn good to be true! Then there's Jake, the Sheriff (with a jock complex). He's character is good for some comic affect.

The mystery: like all mystery novels you try to figure out who the bad guy is. Riley is on this beach island and when the villain is revealed It wasn't really that shocking. The list of suspects was short and obvious. You could easily speculate who it would be and then one by one (at the end of the book) rule them out.

Unfortunately my library only has one other book from this series ,so I can't really get into it. Although it is a fun book to read.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Songs of a Distant Earth by Arthur C. Clark

Just a few islands in a planetwide  ocean, Thalassa was a veritable paradise- home to one of the small colonies founded centuries before by robot Mother Ships when the Sun had gone nova and mankind had fled Earth.
Mesmerized by the beauty of Thallassa and overwhelmed by its vast resources, the colonists lived an idyllic existence,unaware of the monumental evolutionary event slowly taking place beneath their seas....
The the Magellan arrived in orbit carrying one million refugees from the last,mad days on Earth. And suddenly uncertainty and change had come to the placid paradise that was Thallassa.

Expectation: The Magellan arrives in the very first chapter, so I'd  already speculated and anticipated what would happen. The Lassans thought the Magellan  was carrying aliens or another robots seeding ship. I expected some form of trouble, disagreement, discomfort maybe from the Lassans. But Thallassa is a paradise and the people are almost perfect and objective and welcoming A perfect society.

In the very first chapter we meet Kumar,Brandt and Merrissa. They are from Thallassa and see the ship fly over . It's not easy to connect with any of the characters (at first). They're neither likable or unlikable. The Lassans are all so objective and easy going. Later on the characters get more form . Mayor Waldor was annoying , she's so irritating. Kaldor (from Magellan) is an interesting character , he keeps having conversations (in his mind) with his dead wife( to keep her memory alive).

Lassan society: 
This is a society founded by robot seeding ships. The people have access to information to earth, but censored information. Even books have been censored, anything indicating religion or anything spiritual has been removed. Thereby creating a society without the idea of God. A (almost) perfect and peaceful society, which leaves the question .is that good or bad?

Even the people in the story, the Lassan or the last people from Earth (Magellan) are from a furturistic generation. From  a different earth/millennium then the current one. Which again makes it hard to relate to them. They have another view of earth and are so objective but still just people.

The book succeeds in making you think and it fascinates you. and scares you. Do we even care about the people from the next millennium? about the the state we leave the planet in for them? Clearly by the state of things now, we don't. or we're making a half-ass attempt.

Some of the people from Magellan wanted so stay on Thallassa (only a small few) . I though there was going to be a mutiny (love this word) but no, they just brought some scientific interrogator out of his frozen sleep. Odd man and his methods of interrogation was interesting and surprisingly nonviolent.  After the interrogation he went and read a Sherlock Holmes story.

Although the book didn't exceed my expectations it's still a good read, there are some scientific stuff in it that has eluded my understanding. This in no way devalues  the book, it's written really wel, the chapters are short and have nice titles. The writing flows so it's not bland.

There was one thing that intrigued me an unanswered question. I googled and found somebody else had asked the same question:

In chapter 51 (Relic) Moses Kaldor gives to Mirissa Leonidas a gift: a gold, gleaming bell that was the model of a temple. Inside it was:
"(...) All that's left of one of the greatest men who ever lived; he founded the only faith that never became stained with blood. I'm sure he would have been most amused to know that, forty centuries after his death, one of his teeth would be carried to the stars." 
What man and what faith was Clarke refering to here?

Exactly, what man founded the only faith that never became stained with blood???

Apparently the answer is Buddhism. I guess that makes sense. Is it the correct answer? how did they get his teeth? or is it his teeth? one question leads to another


Question/answer form


Monday, September 10, 2012

Think Out Loud #3

Think Out Loud.
This is a weekly meme used for bloggers
to post something they would normally not post.
So, post whatever YOU want!


I like this word. As do I like being indifferent. Not caring what people think of you, not caring in general. It seems like a good way to go about things and dealing with people or you know annoying people. A good way to stay sane. There are always annoying people out there. Just genuine unpleasant people. Who will criticize you, judge you and who will just make your life miserable. so why care?

Isn't it saver to be neutral?

But it's not always easy to simple not care. Harsh words spoken by strangers haunt you. They stay with you and jump to the front of your mind and ruin your appetite. so it can't be simple to choose to be indifferent.

Even if you do succeed in this ,there' will (always) be a small number of people who you do care about. Who's opinion matter. And if anybody has the right to say something unpleasant but truthful, shouldn't it be the people who matter?

Or is it all just another incomprehensible paradox.

But remember

We must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men. 

Unless you want them at your door

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Author Conan Doyle

"A Study in Scarlet" is the first published story of one of the most famous literary detectives of all time, Sherlock Holmes. Here Dr. Watson, who has just returned from a war in Afghanistan, meets Sherlock Holmes for the first time when they become flat-mates at the famous 221 B Baker Street. In "A Study in Scarlet" Sherlock Holmes investigates a murder at Lauriston Gardens as Dr. Watson tags along with Holmes while narratively detailing his amazing deductive abilities.GOODREADS
Dear reader,
let me introduce you to the greatest fictional (consulting) detective of all time. You might have heard of him ,Mr Sherlock Holmes and never forget his partner and friend Dr John Watson. Who together solve the most curious of cases. I only vaguely remember reading the Hound of the  Baskervilles a long time ago and all I remember is some eerie howling and moores. My new found interest in the Sherlock Holmes stories hails from the BBC series which in my opinion  is a great adaptation of the stories (although set in modern times). So I went out and bought Bantam's volume 1 of novels and short stories. The very first story is a Study in Scarlett, which introduces us to Holmes and Watson and a case that even Scotland Yard can't solve.

An interesting and delightful (yet unrelated) fact is that this volume of short stories was published by Bantam Classics which is a book series from Bantam Books which publishes George R. R Martin's A song of Ice and Fire Saga!!

Watson arrives from Afghanistan and is looking for a more comfortable and affordable place to live when he comes upon an old friend who happens to know another man , who's also looking for a place to stay and a flat mate to share the financial bits of an apartment in London. Thus Watson is introduced to Sherlock Holmes and they move into 221B Baker Street. Very soon Watson notices his flat mates odd habits of running out and being visited by detectives and becomes curious as to what Sherlock's occupation is and tries to deduce this himself by making a list , here's some of the list:

Sherlock Holmes-His limits
1. knowledge of philosophy- nil
2....................... literature- nil
3......................astronomy- nil
4....................... politics-feeble
8......................anatomy- accurate, but unsystematic
10. plays violin well an expert single stick player,boxer, and swordsman
12. has a good practical knowledge of British law

I should add that apparently Sherlock only keeps information that he deems useful. He doesn't know much about the solar system because he doesn't think he'll ever need it. Which if you think about it is true. And I'm not  using this to justify my not knowing if the Earth revolves around the sun or the moon? ..............or does it go around itself.......oh boy

The story is really well written ,it flows just like the tv series (which stayed true to the source material). Sherlock and Watson are great together. I love the characters and Sherlock's eccentricities. From beating a dead body with a horse wip to see how it bruises to keeping all kind of things in his apartment, like human eyes and fingers.

It's called a Study in Scarlet because Sherlock invents a way of distinguishing normal mud stains from blood stains which in itself is of great use in homicide cases.

In the end Sherlock catches the bad guy (no surprise there) . the murderer was out for revenge. There was something familiar about Jefferson Hope's story. I don't remember ever reading this story before but it sounded so familiar. Of course Lestrade and Gregson end up getting all the credit but Watson assures Sherlock (who doesn't really care) that he has documented everything in his journal and the public shall know about it.

And so the very first Sherlock Holmes story ends with
 populus me sibilat, at mihi plaudo 

 Ipse domi simul ac nummos contemplar in arca
Which means:

"The public hisses at me, but I applaude myself in my own house, and simultaneously contemplate the money in my chest."

P.s the earth revolves around it's axis. and the sun. .........I think

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen

Every crime scene tells a story. Some keep you awake at night. Others haunt your dreams. The grisly display homicide cop Jane Rizzoli finds in Boston’s Chinatown will do both.
In the murky shadows of an alley lies a female’s severed hand. On the tenement rooftop above is the corpse belonging to that hand, a red-haired woman dressed all in black, her head nearly severed. Two strands of silver hair—not human—cling to her body. They are Rizzoli’s only clues, but they’re enough for her and medical examiner Maura Isles to make the startling discovery: that this violent death had a chilling prequel.Nineteen years earlier, a horrifying murder-suicide in a Chinatown restaurant left five people dead. But one woman connected to that massacre is still alive: a mysterious martial arts master who knows a secret she dares not tell, a secret that lives and breathes in the shadows of Chinatown. A secret that may not even be human. Now she’s the target of someone, or something, deeply and relentlessly evil.Cracking a crime resonating with bone-chilling echoes of an ancient Chinese legend, Rizzoli and Isles must outwit an unseen enemy with centuries of cunning—and a swift, avenging blade.GOODREADS
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Series: Rizzoli & Isles #9

In comparison to the last Rizzoli and Isles novel, Ice Cold, this one wasn't as chilling or frightening. However in it's own right it's as mysterious and interesting and surprising as any of the books in this series.

It starts with Maura on the witness stand against a cop. This raises an interesting topic about  cop killings. The cop on the stand is on trial because he beat up and killed a cop killer. So here we have Maura testifying against the cop (explaining her findings in the autopsy) this doesn't sit well with the Boston PD , who have never really liked her. They now see her as a traitor and treat her coldly. This is interesting because it reflects on Jane and Maura's differences. I won't try and explain Jane because she's just too much work , Maura on the other hand is all about the facts. She even says in the book that she's there to speak for the dead. This is also why the book is called The Silent Girl:
-  There was an incident where a man( the cook) allegedly  went postal and killed several people in  the restaurant he was working in then killed himself. This incident happened in Chinatown and is called the Red Phoenix case. Maura follows up on some leads and finds some new evidence that shows that there was another person in the kitchen. A little girl, the cook's daughter, who heard everything and knew what really happened, The Silent Girl.

Another reason  I enjoyed this book was getting to reacquaint myself with my favorite characters again. Gabriel (Rizzoli's husband) shows up after Jane gets shot and he's worried about her and wants her off the case. Although this is a thriller there's always an underlying romantic feel to these books (my opinion) which I like.

Rat , the boy who had saved Maura in Ice Cold, also returns in this book . He's visiting Maura from school. He points out the inconsistencies in the Red Phoenix case which lead to finding the Silent Girl.

Then there's Barry Frost, Rizzoli's partner. He's wife has recently left him and he's like a lost puppy.He's a good guy, charming and gentlemen like. He has a charming way with old ladies aswell (especially in this book). This character will charm you as a reader aswell. Although I did find it annoying because .I kept thinking Bary was Mrs Fang's reincarnated husband.(or maybe I was wishing it).

I loved how the story of the Monkey King was incorporated into this book and used as an instrument for justice. It was also surprising to find out who the actual Monkey King was, it was not a person but 3 people in turns. Mrs fang , Bella. and they aren't the ones that caught me of guard. Johnny Tam is the third person. In the beginning it's said that Wu Weimin (the cook) had a son by another woman. I completely forgot this and was so surprised that agent Tam was in on it. Tam is also a detective and had joined Jane's team from the beginning and new what was happening every step. Tam's character is new and will be joining Jane's team . Tam is dark and mysterious and has awesome eyes (although this is a book and I have never seen his eyes).

 I kept picturing Tam as agent Cho from The Mentalist for some reason( no, it's probably because of that episode where he went undercover as a casanova).

With that being said I'm really looking forward to reading more about Tam in future books.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Think Out Loud #2

Think Out Loud.
This is a weekly meme used for bloggers
to post something they would normally not post.
So, post whatever YOU want!


whatever I want?! then This week I choose to do a movie review . I do book reviews because I read books frequently and most of them deserve reviews . Movies on the other hand are so many and they don't all call for reviews. But this one does, Equilibrium. It's a great, thought provoking , action-packed movie. It has a lot going for it, a great cast, premise, action and symbolism. Of course we each have our own taste in movies so this could just be my fascination with this movie.

I suppose I should start with what the movies about, the plot: In a futuristic world, a strict regime has eliminated war by suppressing emotions: books, art and music are strictly forbidden and feeling is a crime punishable by death. Cleric John Preston (Bale) is a top ranking government agent responsible for destroying those who resist the rules. When he misses a dose of Prozium, a mind-altering drug that hinders emotion, Preston, who has been trained to enforce the strict laws of the new regime, suddenly becomes the only person capable of overthrowing it IMDB

Alright now you have the plot and if that doesn't attract you yet, then the cast should. Sean Bean (yes, he dies),Dominic Purcell, William Fichtner ,Angus McFadden. If these guy don't get you on board then maybe Christian Bale and Taye Diggs will, I suppose I should have mentioned them first as they are the leading roles. However they're the ones who would have put me off this great movie. I'm not a Christian Bale fan, Although I did like his part in A Midsummer Nights Dream as Demetrius and must now admit that he isn't so bad and he did great in this movie and  I couldn't imagine anybody else doing it. Taye Diggs, I can't see past his part in the movie "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" , I kept seeing him as the young lover boy. Although he did succeed in making his character an annoying and hated one. He plays Brandt in the movie, Preston's new partner . An ambitious,arrogant and smug annoying jerk. Therefore there is little sympathy for him when he quite literally loses face.

I love the dialogue in the movie aswell and the symbolism and repetition . In the beginning of the movie Preston and his first partner Errol are on a raid and they burn the Mona Lisa, they burn it! now I'm not that into art but come on?! really? On this raid Errol takes a book and gives an excuse of turning it in personally when Preston asks why he took it.  In the end Errol doesn't turn it in and Preston finds him to turn him in . This is one of the best scenes in the movie. Errol quotes from a passage from a poem (He Wishes for The Cloths of Heaven by W.B Yeats).

"But I, being poor, have only my dreams. I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

In the end Errol reaches for his gun and his last words are " A heavy cost I pay gladly".Preston then kills him. This scene runs like a paradox in the movies. Errols words from the book are repeated when Preston gets home ,when he goes to bed that night he remembers those words. When he goes against Dupont (the last scene) Dupont also tells Preston that he treads on His (Dupont's) dreams and asks him if it's worth it. Preston then says the same words Errol had said " a price he'd pay gladly" and then kills Dupont.

In the last scene there's a picture of the consequences of war. Which is ironic because it depicts what happens when  states go to war one of the consequences is the loss of art. The weird thing is that Libria is in a state of "peace" but art is illegal and therefore destroyed. Emotions/feelings are seen as the enemy and cause of chaos and war and to truly be at peace they must not feel. So everybody has to take Prozuim. Preston accidentally drops his dose one morning and starts feeling and seeing what's happening and then understands what Errol was saying. Which raises one question(or many) is peace worth it if the price is losing what makes us human?

The action: the style of gunfighting (gun Kata). This is fun to watch and exhilarating. The fight scenes are great in this movie. One is even duped the "puppy shoot out" on youtube. My favorite would be the last part. What I don't get is when Preston shows up in Dupont's office, guards appear from behind the pillars, there are two pillars in front of the door Preston enters in but he gives no indications of having seen them there.

Here's a trailer of the movie:

If you liked Ultraviolet you're going to like this too.
I've watched this movie twice , have you seen it and what did you think?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy : and Other Stories by Tim Burton

From breathtaking stop-action animation to bittersweet modern fairy tales, filmmaker Tim Burton has become known for his unique visual brilliance -- witty and macabre at once. Now he gives birth to a cast of gruesomely sympathetic children -- misunderstood outcasts who struggle to find love and belonging in their cruel, cruel worlds. His lovingly lurid illustrations evoke both the sweetness and the tragedy of these dark yet simple beings -- hopeful, hapless heroes who appeal to the ugly outsider in all of us, and let us laugh at a world we have long left behind (mostly anyway).GOODREADS

I have this new addiction to stumble upon. This is one of my old reviews I decided to post here of a book I found through Stumble Upon.That's what led me to this book.
It's an amazing book, funny, creepy, odd and very lovely. I like the illustrations.
They're odd yet sweet, in a bizzar way.

A match in love with a stick. He thought she was hot. and then quite literally burnt for her.
Crazy parents who have an oyster baby. and end up killing him and eating him to help their sex life.
The mummy boy who gets mistaken for a pineata. And Voodoo Girl, my favorite.

So the stories don't really rhyme , sometimes they do (in my opinion).
Some are also very short and very sad but all around awesome book.

You can read this online (here's a link):
The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy : and Other Stories by Tim Burton
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