Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies review + Contest details

Description: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy.

What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead.

Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.

My thoughts: Before I say what I did like about this book, I have to admit how hard it was to get into this book. It was clever from the first chapter, but that wasn’t enough because this type of language (or dialogue. Not sure what the right word is) isn’t the easiest to read. It’s not that I didn’t understand what they were saying, it’s just that initially, I couldn’t stand HOW they were speaking. This caused me not to care how fierce Elizabeth was, or how interesting her relationship was becoming with Mr. Darcy. I wanted to finish this book but I felt like it would take all year, seeing as how I couldn’t get through but two or three chapters without needing to stop.

Fortunately, thanks to what I would call a miracle, the characters and their relationships with each other were so lovable that my previous problems didn’t matter. I still didn’t like the language but it didn’t matter. This book (or at least the second half for me) was extremely entertaining. I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice (don’t shoot me) but I’ve heard that the actual story minus the zombies is the same as the original story.
My favorite part about this book is how I came to really like Mr. Darcy even though I initially thought I never would. At first I wanted Elizabeth to stay as far away as she possibly could from him because I thought he was a jerk. But once some things were revealed about him and he started to show growth, I found myself falling for him too.

Although Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy were my favorite things about this book, there were also other (smaller) situations that made me like this book. Like the fact that all of Elizabeth’s sisters could slay zombies, or that the famous zombie killer, Lady Catherine de Bourgh was a huge jerk whose attitude needed to be taken down a notch (by Elizabeth).

This book started off bad for me (because of my own preferences), but it finished good. Hopefully the prequel and sequel to this book will end up good too!!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies details:
I've decided to give away a copy of P&P and Zombies, starting tomorrow.
The only requirement is that you fill out the form I'll post early tomorrow with your email address and name.
There will be extra points given if you become a blog follower or promote the contest.
Look for a contest post tomorrow morning!


Monday, June 27, 2011

What are you reading on Mondays?

Book(s) read last week:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Currently reading:
Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Upcoming read(s):
Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith
Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Author Guest Post: Christine E. Schulze

Christine E. Schulze, author of the Gailean Quartet series has been nice enough to stop by with a guest post about some of her favorite books and what she'd recommend, and what kind of books we'd find in her "library."

Twelve was a poignant age for me, for both reading and writing, even video games. So, much of my book collection stems from this era. A creative explosion occurred for me around this age, like coming of age, only in the writing realm instead of normal puberty. The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Neverending Story, Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass—all these fantasy classics were making a major impact on my own fantasies I was writing at the time. 

I also attended good Christian schools, so the literature I read there helped influence the Christian themes and values seen in many of my books. Some of these included Pilgrims’ Progress, and a neat little book explaining the origins of various idioms like “it’s raining cats and dogs”! Which reminds me of one of my favorite reference books, a baby name book. Great for finding names for both characters and places, especially if you want them to have specific meanings. A favorite name of mine I drew from there is “Olette”, meaning “small, winged one”. I named my little, winged fox this in my middle grade fantasy, The Last Star.

Around age twelve, I also finally got to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, my now-favorite-video-game-of-all-time, which Mum bought after my wanting it since I was eight. She didn’t know my secret obsession over it, but after seeing it at a friend’s house, I was hooked. I actually rushed home that night to write a comic on it.  It was the first video game I’d ever seen with 3D graphics, a real, intricate story-line, and characters you could interact with throughout, like being in a book! It’s as good as any book with its unique, quirky characters, great plot and fantasy elements. All of above inspired books I was working on at the time, such as The Legends of Surprisers series, Loz: Zephyr’s Islands, and Loz: The Mass.

Over the next few years, I honestly don’t remember reading a lot besides the Harry Potter series, plus various other books I got in book sales. I was very busy working on many of my own books. However, even Harry Potter helped inspired the series I wrote around this time, The Hero Chronicles.

The next slue of books mentioned are actually a mix of books I’ve discovered between about eighteen til the present, at age twenty-three. I know that, after Aaron, a best friend of mine, bought me the movie of Howl’s Moving Castle for my birthday, that I soon after read the book and became hooked on Diana Wynne Jones. I consider her a great inspirer to this day, as we seem to share a love for quirky characters, unique fantasy worlds, and intriguing plots. I truly loved Castle in the Air and the first Chrestomanci Chronicles. I am still itching to get my hands on a copy of Dogsbody. I read the blurb and first few pages in Barnes and Noble once, and it inspired me to write my middle grade fantasy, The Last Star, which I hope to procure an agent for in the near future.

I also attended more book fairs at my local library during this time, and one of the books I picked up was a fantasy by Nancy Springer called Chains of Gold. It has some supernatural elements and also tells the story of a young couple daringly escaping a terrible ritual of their people. I think it subconsciously inspired my novel Bloodmaiden, published by Old Line Publishing last year.

I also discovered the world of Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight. Now, for all you haters, I had no clue this was a world-wide fetish or else becoming one at the time. I’d never heard of it, because I generally don’t keep up with what’s going on in the world. I just saw it one day in my college bookstore, read the blurb, and new I must have this book. I’d never done vampires, never been into them, but the concept of romantic, possibly good vampires intrigued me. I usually have honing skills for finding books that I love, and behold, I did it again! The concept of “good” vampires inspired me to create my own in Golden Healer, Dark Enchantress.

Another great vampire book I picked up later—and this one is truly a unique fantasy, so don’t compare to Twilight; all kinds of different stuff going on here—was called Darkangel. I never read the other two in the trilogy though I would like to sometime, but it did inspire me to write a story on gargoyles; you can read the story in October when my Lily in the Snow and Other Elemental Tales is released. 

I lately read Loose Girl and Undiscovered Gyrl, having taken on a recent interest in sexual coming-of-age and exploration. I don’t plan on writing anything overly sexual myself, but who knows? Perhaps I’ll write a book someday.

I would also suggest books like The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I seem to have taken on a bit of a horror fetish, which is reflected in several short stories I’ve written as of late. I still don’t reserve much time for reading with all of my writing and promoting. However, one series I am eager to read is Susan Collins’ Hunger Games, especially as I’ve been told by some readers that Bloodmaiden was a comparable read for them. 

Thank you for those book recommendations and the insight you gave us on how other stories help inspire you when you write!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Enclave review

Description: In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first she thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.

My thoughts: I don’t know if I’ve ever said it on the blog, but dystopias are one my one of my favorite types of stories in the YA genre, even back before the Hunger Games fans decided they liked it (no offense).

Enclave is now among my list of good dystopian stories. And unlike my most recent fav. dystopian, Wither, this story isn’t contained to just one main setting, which I enjoyed. For some reason I have a soft spot for good dystopians that include main characters roaming from place to place.

I also liked the friendship/romance aspect between Deuce and Fade. There was just the right amount of romance in the book without it being the main point of the story.

One thing that stood out for me was that although Deuce grew as a person, she didn’t change overnight like so many other female characters. Other heroines in other stories have been portrayed as standoffish and/or hard, like they never get emotionally involved, but 10 pages in they’re already going against their normal characteristics. Thankfully Deuce wasn’t like that, and didn’t change her whole personality style within the first few chapters of Enclave.

Now, although I really liked this book, it seemed to run out of steam near the end of the story. I don’t know how else the author could have sped everything up, so it was understandable that parts were a little dry. But regardless of this, I still really enjoyed Enclave. And because of its ending, I’m really wondering how this could be the 1st book in a series. This could easily be a standalone book so I’m wondering where else Ann Aguirre can go with these characters.

Book Teaser: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

How strange! For the more she dwelled on the subject, the more powerful she felt; not for her mastery of the deadly arts, but for her power over the heart of another. What a power it was! But how to wield it? Of all the weapons she had commanded, Elizabeth knew the least of love; and of all the weapons in the world love was the most dangerous.

Monday, June 20, 2011

What are you reading on Mondays?

Book(s) read last week:
Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Currently reading:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin

Upcoming read(s):
Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith
Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Looking Foward to...

The king of Lóng City is dying. For Kai Zōu, the news means more than it does for most former street rats in the small mountain stronghold, because he and the king's daughter are close friends. Then the majestic ruler of the ghost dragons orders Kai to travel across the country to the Phoenix Empire, where the princess is learning statecraft. In a court filled with intrigue, Kai and his best friend Yún must work together to help the princess escape and return to Lóng City. A refreshing mixture of magic, wit, and action, Fox and Phoenix is an auspicious debut!

My thoughts: OK. The book cover led me to wanting this book more than anything, but the description sounds interesting too.

Captured Contest Winner

The winner: Jess from The Cozy Reader. Congrats!

I randomly selected Jess with Random Line Picker. Putting each name in as many times as the number of points they got. As an automatic, winners of my contest have 48 hrs. from the time I send them an email  to the time they reply.Once again Congrats. I hope the winner enjoys their copy of Captured!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top Ten Favorite AWW Moments In Books

When’s it’s revealed that Snape loves Lilly Potter/ and any scene after, that reflects that love.
When Harry kisses Ginny in front of everybody and Ron gives him the ok

When Katniss sings to Rue
Any moment Peeta gets all honest and lovey dovey with Katniss

When Bella realizes she loves Jacob too
When Bella has a vision of her and Jacob’s children

Any scene with Seth and Ash before they officially get together

Any interaction between Niall and irial, especially when they're trying to protect each other

When it’s revealed that Lucy has mad love for Gabriel (yo)

When Nick comes back and saves his brother and friends even though he doesn’t have to
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