Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

TITLE: A Memory of Light
AUTHOR: Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
GENRE: Fantasy
SERIES: Wheel of Time # 14
WHERE I GOT IT: borrowed
READ FROM: August 5th to August 12th ,2013

BOOK BLURB: The last battle continues, will Rand be able to save the world and defeat the dark one?


"The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning."

This quote I have always loved and every time I read it now it sends chills down my spine. I love this series to pieces even though some of the books along the way slowed to a crawl. I was in my early teens when my sister lent me the first book. I was instantly hooked and have been waiting for the conclusion ever since.

I decided early last year that rereading all the books would be a good thing to do, so that everything would be fresh in my mind when the last book was released. I was so excited to finally get to read this book (and funnily enough my sister is the one who lent me her copy of this last book because I really didn't want to wait till the end of this year for the soft cover to come out.) It just seems fitting that she was the one that got me started on the series and she is the one that lent me the last one.

I'm honestly still not really sure what to think about this one. I can't decide if I liked it or hated it but I am thankfully for a ending.

I thought it seemed a bit rushed in parts even though the last battle essentially started a few books back and this one was also massive, some 900 pages. Some events seemed to be glossed over and it really bugged me that one of the forsaken, Demandred, was so insistent that Rand was out on the battlefield some where. He just kept ranting on and on. I don't know, I can't decide if he went completely crazy or what. I mean GO look for him not shout from the mountain top and demand that he come to you over and over again. HELLO he is destined to fight the dark one not you!

I also am shocked at some of the casualties of the war! I expected loses but nobody likes it when characters you have grown to love dies! :( I am still really bummed about that. Then the ending came and it left me scratching my head. In ways, I am happy that it ended but at the same time it left SOOO many questions and I can't even imagine what would happen next. I mean the battle ended, then the story ended after a few more pages! Such a unsatisfying ending in my opinion. Although one thing did happen at the end that shocked me because I really didn't see it coming.

Also I think this book has to take the record of longest chapter ever. The actual main part of the last battle lasted over 200 pages long! It was jam packed with action though so I read through it fairly quickly.
I still love this series even if I don't particularly like the ending but I'm glad that Robert Jordan left enough notes and was able to tell others how he had planned to end the series, before he passed away. It probably will be a long while before I attempt to reread the series though.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

(Another quote that I love!) I can't help but to wonder how the fight with the shadow would be the next time. Would the Dragon need to do the same things as before or would the prophecy be fulfilled with different events leading up to the last battle as well. I guess we will never know.

RATING: 4 stars

Monday, August 26, 2013

REVIEW: Gimme a Kiss by Christopher Pike

TITLE: Gimme a Kiss
AUTHOR: Christopher Pike
PAGES: 152
GENRE: YA Horror


Some secrets are worth dying for....

Jane Retton would never let anyone read her diary. After all, was filed with her wildest secrets – the sort of things she wouldn't even tell her closests friends.

Then something terrible happened. Somehow her diary ended up at school. And soon, everyone was reading her final, shocking entry. Some girls would simply die. Others girls would kill. But Jane Retton... she would do both.....


NOTE: If your interested or read Christopher Pike in your youth you can read my recap of this book on my other blog Book Rat Nostalgic Reading.

FIRST SENTENCE OF THE BOOK: The girl looked scared.


I had no recollection of anything that happened in this book what-so-ever. I'm actually not even sure if I read this one when I was younger. A few years back I was on the look out for any books by Christopher Pike and R.L Stine to complete my collection and this might have been one of them.

Regardless this book was fairly short at only 152 pages long. It is pretty similar to Fall into Darkness in that it bounces back and forth between the police station and events as they took place. Actually one of the main reasons for reading this one second was that I had read that the book that Ann based her fake death scenerio on, from Fall Into Darkness, was actually this book.

Jane Retton keeps a diary, except the entries are pure fantasy and didn't really happen. She is pretty meticulous at making sure that her diary stays away from unwanted eyes. One morning unfortunately, she was writing her latest entry  when she noticed that a cat was trying to eat her rabbit in the back yard. So what did Jane do? She left it open on her desk.

Later that day her latest entry was photocopied and distributed to everyone in school, an entry that detailed how her boyfriend Kirk and herself had sex. Kirk didn't deny it and everyone was staring and laughing at her.

She vows to get even by faking her own death and making it look like Kirk and Patty were responsible. Things didn't go exactly how she expected it to go. 

The story was okay but it isn't one of my favourites. I pretty much guessed the ending part way through the book though. The last bit of the book I find absolutely hilarious – but that might be because I am in shock at how unbelievable stupid one of the characters is and her reasoning behind things.

RATING: 3 out of 5 stars.

Monday, August 19, 2013

REVIEW: Fall into Darkness by Christopher Pike

TITLE: Fall Into Darkness
AUTHOR: Christopher Pike
GENRE: YA Horror
READ FROM: August 17th to 18th 2013

ABOUT BLURB: They said she murdered her best friend. The trial is for murder. Ann Rice is dead. Her best friend, Sharon McKay, stands accused. But there is no body. And the three witnesses to the crime only heard what happened, and did not see it. Nevertheless, the prosecution is almost certain of victory. Ann was alone in the dark with Sharon on top of the cliff when Ann fell the 500 feet into the torrential river that claimed her life. There was only one route leading to the cliff, and all the witnesses can remember hearing the girls arguing before the fall occurred. Sharon's only defense is that Ann committed suicide. But everyone who knew Ann, including Sharon, said she was not the suicidal type. And they were right. Ann was much more then suicidal. She was obsessed.

NOTE: If your interested or read Christopher Pike in your youth you can read my recap of this book on my other blog Book Rat Nostalgic Reading

FIRST SENTENCE OF THE BOOK: The trial was for murder.


So this is the first book that I have ever read by Christopher Pike. This book is what led me to discover other authors such as R.L. Stine, LJ Smith and Richie Tankersley Cusick. I think it was somewhere in the grades 5-8 that one day during choir practice my friend brought the book she was reading with her. It was this book. I remember that all my other friends were taking turns reading one passage out of the book. My friend basically told us - read this part and you will be hooked. She's right, I was. I really don't know what that says about me as a person or as a kid but it probably is where my love for supernatural/horror stories comes from.

If your interested in reading the passage here it is but be warned it is basically a big spoiler. If you want to skip it just look for the big end spoiler text.

“ The pants were tattered, the shirt and jacket torn. A coil of rope, perhaps as long as five hundred feet and entwined with heavy moss-covered stones, circled the lower body. No one in the school had approached Ann's incredible beauty, and even in that horrible moment of discovery, Sharon felt sad that she would never again be able to remember Ann as she had been. Sharon looked for only a fraction of a second before she clenched her eyes shut, but the horrible image burned to deep. The swollen black cheeks. The twisted purple mouth. The pink slit throat. It was a pity, Sharon thought, that Ann could no longer close her own eyes and look away from what was left of her body. But the fish in the river must have been hungry.
Ann's eyes were missing.” pg 180.


I think what made us all become obsessed with those books is that they were something different and they almost felt taboo to us. I mean just look at the subject matter of that passage up there. I'm pretty sure before that I was reading Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon and Sweet Valley high!

Reading this book again, brings back the memories of that day and my love for reading as a child. It's been so long since I've read this book. It's kind of amazing to me that I remember pretty much everything that happened considering how long it has been.

I really think Ann was crazy to pull what she did and I really don't get her hatred for Sharon since they were best friends for a long time. I understand why she says she did it but it makes me believe that she secretly was jealous of Sharon's success and achievements, maybe even throughout their whole friendship. Ann might have had money but she really didn't have any talents, she didn't have anything exciting happening in her life or to look forward to and her family were dropping around her. Such a deadly friendship! I almost feel sorry for Ann, especially when she sort of 'sees the light' so to speak but she still had to be some kind of evil person to do what she did. I'm also not convinced that Ann's boyfriend really loved her anyways, it seems almost like he was using her for the money. Who knows though maybe that last part is just over thinking the story and everyone's motives.

Anyways it was a nice trip down memory lane. I think I am going to dig out the rest of my books from my childhood and reread them.

Also check out my recap of the book with my comments on my other blog.

RATING: 5 stars

Monday, August 5, 2013

REVIEW: The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George

TITLE: The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers
AUTHOR: Margaret George
GENRE: Historical Fiction
READ FROM: July 17th to August 3rd, 2013

BOOK BLURB: Much has been written about the mighty, egotistical Henry VIII: the man who dismantled the Church because it would not grant him the divorce he wanted; who married six women and beheaded two of them; who executed his friend Thomas More; who sacked the monasteries; who longed for a son and neglected his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth; who finally grew fat, disease-ridden, dissolute. Now, in her magnificent work of storytelling and imagination, Margaret George brings us Henry VIII's story as he himself might have told it, in memoirs interspersed with irreverent comments from his jester and confidant, Will Somers. Brilliantly combining history, wit, dramatic narrative, and extraordinary grasp of the pleasures and perils of power, this monumental novel shows us Henry the man more vividly then he has ever been seen before.


I had enjoyed reading The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George so I thought I would give this one a try as well. The story sucked me in right from the beginning and I was rather amazed that I seem to be flying through the book at a good pace even though it is just over 900 pages, at least at first.

I think I was about 400 pages in when I started getting bored. There were bits and pieces that helped regain my interest only for it to start to drag again. I really didn't find that many people that likeable and actually I was a bit confused by some of the court because they all had similar names or gained a name that belonged to someone else before. I don't really know that much of Tudor England other then the fact that Henry VIII married seven times and beheaded two of his wives.

Henry at first was very unlikable, he seemed to throw tantrums when he didn't get his way. I guess that could be because of his station in life, after all being king made people do your bidding and do everything and anything for you. He did sort of grow on me as I got deeper into the book. I felt bad for Catherine of Aragon. It really can't be that easy to have that many pregnancies only to lose almost all of the babes. Then watch your husband who you love slip away from you. Ann Boleyn in this book was very unlikeable, very manipulative and thought she was invincible. I can't imagine what went through her and Catherine Howard's mind while they were being led up to the executioner's block! I swear some of the executions back in the day were pretty harsh. I think at one point he had people hung, then taken down before they died, then had their innards pulled out of their bodies, then set on fire. That is a pretty complicated and crazy death!

I was pretty sad that Jane died. She seemed to actually be happy with Henry and even gave him the son he wanted.

I'm actually surprised that by the end that I actually felt sorry for Henry. Although I still think what he did to Katherine was pretty horrible and no matter what he did she was still his proper Wife. It was sad that she seemed to really love him only to have him treat her the way he did.

I look forward to reading more of Margaret George's books especially Mary, Called Magdalene and Elizabeth I.

RATING: 3 out of 5 stars