Monday, December 21, 2009

Girl in the Arena: By Lisa Haines

Girl in the Arena


Lyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through. Her mother has made a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family. Always lend ineffable confidence to the gladiator. Remind him constantly of his victories. And most importantly: Never leave the stadium when your father is dying. The rules help the family survive, but rules—and the GSA—can also turn against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn’s seventh father, he also captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him.


I thought Girl in the Arena was average. I thought it had an interesting plot and it was filled with action but overall I didn’t feel the characters were that developed. Because of that I think the reader isn’t as connected to the characters as the books calls for causing the book itself to fall short. I’m not saying it was a bad book, nor a great one, just a book that you could read if you’re bored and it was lying around the house. Overall a mediocre book.


Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Published: October 13, 2009

Price: $16.99

Sunday, December 20, 2009

First Lord's Fury (Codex Alera, Book 6): By Jim Butcher

First Lord's Fury (Codex Alera, Book 6)


For years he has endured the endless trials and triumphs of a man whose skill and power could not be restrained. Battling ancient enemies, forging new alliances, and confronting the corruption within his own land, Gaius Octavian became a legendary man of war-and the rightful First Lord of Alera.

But now, the savage Vord are on the march, and Gaius must lead his legions to the Calderon Valley to stand against them-using all of his intelligence, ingenuity, and furycraft to save their world from eternal darkness.


I have always been a fan of Jim Butcher. I’ve read his Harry Dresdan series, his Codex Alera series, and almost all of his short stories. So it will come to no surprise to you that I practically ran to the store the minute First Lord’s Fury came out. And after waiting months for the last installment in the Codex Alera series, one sleepless night later I am proud to announce that it’s amazing!

Few authors are able to end a series leaving the reader satisfied. The reader usually feels cheated because; not enough details were wrapped up, the tone of the book is different from the rest of the series, or it’s a cliché ending. But Butcher has done the impossible, he ended the series in a way that kept the same feel of the rest of the books, had tons of nonstop action, and offered many of the concluding details to tie up loose ends. All in all this was a great series and I would recommend it to anyone whether they liked fantasy or not.


Publisher: Ace Hardcover

Published: November 24, 2009

Price: $25.95

Sandman Slim: By Richard Kadrey

Sandman Slim


James Stark spent 11 years killing monsters in Lucifer's arena for the entertainment of fallen angels, but now he's back in seedy, magic-riddled L.A., trying to avenge his girlfriend's murder and hunt down Mason Faim, the black magician responsible for getting him sent downtown. He meets with some initial success, beheading second-rate magician Kasabian (whose head becomes Stark's smart-mouthed sidekick), but he can't find Faim. Instead he encounters Homeland Security agents, a near-psychotic angel and some odd nonhuman, nonangelic beings called the kissi. Darkly atmospheric settings, such as a posh gentlemen's club where angels are tortured in an attempt to bring about Armageddon, bring this violent fantasy into sharp, compelling focus.


Sandman Slim is a great urban fantasy. It was filled with adrenaline pumping action, memorable characters, and I personally can’t wait for a potential sequel. That said this book is not for everyone, it has incredibly graphic violence and is filled with profanity. To fix this I would keep it away from younger children and those sensitive to violence, but for everyone else I would say it’s a great read.


Publisher: Eos

Published: July 21, 2009

Price: $22.99

The Sorceress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel): By Michael Scott

The Sorceress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel)

The third book in Michael Scott's "Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel" series, The Sorceress, kicks the action up to a whole new level. Adding to the series' menagerie of immortal humans ("humani") and mythological beasts, the book picks up where The Magician left off: the immortal Nicholas Flamel (of The Alchemyst) and the twins, Sophie and Josh, have just arrived at St. Pancras international train station in London. Almost immediately, they're confronted with a demonic bounty hunter that immortal magician John Dee has sent their way. At the same time, Dee's occasional cohort, Niccolo Machiavelli, decides to focus his energy on Perenelle Flamel, the Alchemyst's wife, who has been imprisoned at Alcatraz since the beginning of the series. In this book, Perenelle gets a chance to show off her sorcery and resourcefulness, fighting and forging alliances with ghosts, beasts, and the occasional Elder to try and find a way out of her predicament and back to Flamel.


Let me first say this book is the 3rd in the series and the first two ARE needed to understand what is going on in the story. The The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel is an incredible series and any fan of mythology should read it. Scott masterfully weaves dozens of different myths and legends together creating an exciting band of characters for the readers to encounter. I really enjoyed how Scott took concepts that were taken for granted in the first two books and put them on their head, causing entire plot lines to change. I defiantly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone I know.


Publisher: Delacorte Books

Published: May 26, 2009

Price: 17.99