The Last Battle has started. The seals to the Dark One's prison are crumbling The Pattern itself is unraveling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to boil out of the Blight. The sun has begun to set upon the Third Age. Perrin Aybara is now hunted by the specters from his past: Whitecloaks, a slayer of the wolves, and the responsibilities of leadership. All the while, an unseen foes is slowly pulling a noose tight around his neck To prevail, he must seek answers in the wolf dream and find a way - at long last - to master the wolf within him or lost himself to it forever. Meanwhile, Matrim Cauthon prepares for the most difficult challenge of is life. The creatures beyond the stone gateways - the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn - have confused him, taunted him, and left him hanged, his memory stuffed with bits and pieces of other men's lives. He had hoped that his last confrontation with them would be the end of it, but the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. The time is coming when he will again have to dance with the Snakes and the Foxes, playing a game that cannot be won. The Tower of Ghenjei awaits, and its secrets will reveal the fat of a friend long lost.
So I'm still not sure how I feel about Perrin after this book. He tends to get a little too dark for my taste, but it's those around him that keep him grounded. Faile isn't so bad anymore, though I never grow to love her. Berelain is around and quickly gets with Galad, who I'm actually starting to like for the first time. As with Faile, I never grow to love him, but I like him a bit more. My biggest heartbreak is what happens to Hopper in this one, I hope Isam is condemned to something really, really horrible.
Egwene is running away from Gawyn, who not only wants to be bonded, but to be married as well. I love them together, but since I've already read the last book, I'm heartbroken as well. I like her strength, Sanderson has done a marvelous job turning her into a unique character, one not to be taken lightly.
Mat, what can I say about a man who is willing to help Thom and Jain rescue a character that should never have been taken off the board. He has grown up so much over this serious, it's so fun to watch.
Rand isn't a huge focus of this book, other than his mind is finally set right and he is intent on what he needs to do. He comes back to the world and starts to right some of what the Dark has been able to do. Min is around, and at this point in time, I simply could care less about her either way. I do like Rodel though I know it's not wise to get attached to any character this late in the series.
And the battle between Logain and Mazrim is heating up. Can I say I would love to be in the middle of those two, but that's neither here nor there. Mazrim is the bad guy I would love to have around, but Logain is the reformed bad guy your mother always wanted around.
Sealey Head is a small town on the edge of the ocean... with a big secret.
I'm thinking right now that some of you may be surprised by this post suddenly appearing in your reader or as an email message. To tell you the truth, I'm rather surprised that I'm sitting down and the computer and writing a review. I had made up my mind back in late December that I wasn't going to be coming back to the blog. I was just going to let if fade into obscurity, and leave it alone. But over the last few weeks, my fingers have been itching to get back to the keyboard, and my brain has really missed the effort and thought process required to write a blog post.
Now I'm not saying I'm back for good, or that I'm going to go back to writing 3-5 posts a week, I'm just not sure at this point in time. I think right now I'm going to be taking it one step at a time, writing posts whenever I feel like it, and seeing what happens. I'm probably not going to be accepting review requests right now, because I don't want to feel obligated or bad about any decisions I may make in the future. But that's neither here nor there, right now I'm just want to get back into the groove of getting my thoughts out there for others to peruse at their leisure.
Those of you who have been around a while now that I'm in love with Patricia McKillip's writing style, and the lyrical beauty that blossoms on every page. She is a true wordsmith, and she didn't disappoint me with The Bell at Sealy Head. She took a few basic storytelling cliches, and turned them in to a brilliant patchwork of loss, betrayal, and redemption.
From the opening scene of a inn on the edge of a wave battered cliff, the author was able to transport me into her world, and it was a world I never wanted to leave. As in the previous books of hers that I have read, her world building is seamless and it's inhabited by characters I would love to know in person.
Now I'm sorry this review has more to do with me coming back to the blogosphere, more than it has to do with the book itself. But other that saying how happy this book made me to read, there isn't much more that I can say about it. I guess I could make up some fake analysis mumbo jumbo that I really don't mean, or even understand myself, but that's never been my style. Whether my review are rambling or concise, I've always tried to say what I think and felt about the book, no more, no less.
So I hope you still have patience with me while I try to get back into the rhythm of blog writing again. And for those of you who have stuck with me over the last few years, I thank you. You have no idea how much your support has meant to me over the years.
I think it's pretty obvious that I haven't been putting a lot of time into the blog lately. Mainly, I don't have the time to give. I've wrestled back and forth with calling it quits or taking a break, and right now, taking a break is winning out. I'm going to take the rest of the year off, and I'll see you guys back in January. To be honest, I haven't even been reading all that much lately, but I promise to get you caught back up in January on what I've been reading.
So I want to say Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year now. And I'll see you guys on the other side.
The Blair Witch Project follows a trio of filmmakers on what should have been a simple walk in the woods... but quickly becomes an excursion into heart-stopping terror. As the three become inexplicably lost, morale deteriorates. Hunger sets in. Accusations fly. By night, unseen evil stirs beyond their campfire's light. By day, chilling ritualistic figures are discovered nearby. As the end of their journey approaches, they realize that what they are filming now is not a legend... but their own descent into unimaginable horror.
It's not often that I fall in love with a horror movie when it first comes out. I've never been a big fan of slasher movies, and this move to torture porn, just annoys the hell out of me. There is nothing scary about those movies, they're just gross. How anyone over the age of twelve can be scared by those movies, is beyond my thought process. For that matter, how anyone over the age of ten can even find most of those movies interesting, boggles the mind. I want a movie that plays with my head, makes my heart race, and keeps me interested the entire time I watching it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that The Blair Witch Project is the perfect scary movie, because it's not. I can name about ten movies of the top of my head that terrify me more than this one could ever dream of doing. But, it does what I want a horror movie to do. It's takes a simple premise, builds a story around it, and allows the imagination to kick in and fill in the gaps.
When it first came out in 1999, I wasn't buying into the fake hype that this was a "real" movie. I couldn't even tell where that idea was coming from. I was watching TV interviews with the actors involved, something that would be impossible had they all died in real life. Despite all the hype, I found the idea intriguing so I finally talked a friend of mine into seeing it with me, and I was it was love at first sight.
To be fair, the theater was not the right venue for this movie. In a crowded theater, full of idiotic teenager who can't take anything seriously, it's a little distracting. It's a little hard to focus on the screen, when those same idiotic teenagers are either laughing of screaming. Even with all the crap going around me, I found my flight or fight response kicking in. My pulse was racing, my breath was catching, and I found myself jumping a few times.
Where this movie shines though, is watching it on your couch, cuddled up with the lights off, and nobody else around. This is the kind of movie that really screws with your head when nothing is around to distract you. The first time I watched this at home, my instincts didn't want me to walk into the basement. I actually had to force myself to walk down the stairs. For any of you who have seen the movie, you know why a basement would not be a good thing. This movie has to have one of the creepiest endings to ever grace the silver screen. I watched this movie the other night, and that ending still scared the crap out of me.
When Lily Hayes arrives in Buenos Aires for her semester abroad, she in enchanted by everything she encounters: the colorful surroundings, the street food, the elusive guy next door. Her studious roommate Katy is a bit of a bore, but Lily didn't come to Argentina to hang out with other Americans. Five weeks later, Katy is found brutally murdered in their shared home, and Lily is the prime suspect. But who is Lily Hayes? It depends on who's asking. As the case takes shape - revealing deceptions, secrets, and suspicious DNA - Lily appears alternately sinister and guileless through the eyes of those around her.
There is really no way to separate Cartwheel from the real life story of Amanda Knox. I tried the entire time I was reading it, but the parallels are so apparent, I'm not sure there are a lot of people who will read this book and not think of Amanda Knox. And for me anyway, because I couldn't separate the two, I was never able to fully engage with Lily, her family, or those around her in Buenos Aires.
And that leads me into another winding thought process that may not make sense to anyone but myself. When it comes to themes explored in a work of fiction, I know that part of it is author's intent and part reader interpretation. I'm rarely convinced that authors intentionally incorporate all the concepts that critics, academics, and readers would like to ascribe to their works. I've read a few reviews, both from other bloggers and from critics, that read like a doctoral thesis from a psychology major. And while I'm sure the author did explore some of the themes being highlighted in these reviews, I'm almost positive some of the others are all in the reviewers heads. I'm never sure if this is because these types of reviewers can never just relax and enjoy a good story, or if it's because they are simply belong in a Loony Tunes cartoon.
I know the whole reason someone is sitting down, reading this review, is to find out if I liked the book or not. To tell you the truth, I'm still trying to figure that out for myself, so I put forth my humblest apologies on not being able to answer that most basic of questions. If I was forced to offer up an opinion, it would be more ambivalent than anything else. There was nothing that annoyed or offended me, but there was really nothing that grabbed my attention for longer than a few minutes at a time. I enjoy the author's voice, but I'm not sure that had any real affect on my reading experience. And one really bizarre side effect, I have even less interest in the Amanda Knox case, than I had before I read this book.
I would like to thank Lisa of TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book. Please visit the tour page to read other reviews.
1845: New York City forms it's first police force. The Great Potato Famine hits Ireland. These two events will change New York City forever... Timothy Wilde tends bar, saving every dollar in hopes of winning the girl of his dreams. But when his dreams are destroyed by a fire that devastates downtown Manhattan, he is left with little choice but to accept a job in the newly minted New York City Police Department. Returning from his rounds one night, Tim collides with a girl no more than ten years old... covered in blood. She claims that dozens of bodies are buried in the forest north of Twenty-third Street. Timothy isn't sure whether to believe her, but as the image of a brutal killer is slowly revealed and anti-Irish rage infects the city, the reluctant copper star is engaged in a battle that may cost him everything...
I'm almost positive that this will be my last mystery review of the year. I was finishing this one around the time I was starting to feel burned out on my favorite genre. I'm not saying this book was the nail in the coffin, because it wasn't. I actually loved this one, the narrative voice was a standout for me, and it kept me entertained the entire time I was reading it. Instead, I blame Bev of My Reader's Block and Yvette of in so many words.... They have been feeding my addiction for years now, and that addiction is finally wearing me down. I have always been a mystery lover, especially those of a certain age. But it's been getting to know those two wonderful bloggers, that has caused my addiction to really take off. So I'm giving it a rest until the beginning of next year.
I have been wanting to read this book for a while now. It's been recommended to me over and over again by those who love mysteries, and even a few that just enjoy a well written book, regardless of genre. For whatever reason, I kept putting it off, and putting it off some more. Then lightning struck, the heaven's opened up, and a ray of light hit my bookcase in such a way, that it made not picking up the book all but impossible. I was a moth being drawn to a flickering light, with no way to escape my fate.
I have to admit, my fate was in pretty good shape by the time I turned the last page, and closed the book for the final time. I got lost in the New York City of old, and quickly found myself getting involved with the characters lives, and caught up in their action. Much like 31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan, The Gods of Gotham drew me into the streets. It allowed me to breathe in the same air, smell the sewage and mud running in the streets, feel the heat of the fire that gutted a huge section of the city, and live the terror that the Irish were feeling in a new city, hated by everyone else around them. It made the city, and the time period, a living breathing entity. And I thank Lyndsay Faye for her brilliant ability to spin a yarn.
No matter how old I get, I'm a kid at heart when it comes to cartoons. I'm that guy who probably remembers almost every cartoon that came on in the 80s. Yeah, I know it's pretty nerdy, but I can live with that. When you add my love of cartoons to my love of Halloween, I get as happy as a seven year old on Christmas morning. Needless to say, I've been watching a lot of my favorites, especially since Halloween is only ten days away. I wanted to share a few of my favorites. I hope you love them as much as I do. Quick side note, I couldn't find a full version of It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, so a clip will have to do.