Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Gunslinger Book Review

Rawr Reader,

   This is The Gunslinger by Stephen King, the first book in his Dark Tower series. This synopsis is from Goodreads:

In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.

     Stephen King is one of the most recognized authors to date. If you haven't heard of him, either you lived before the first half of the twentieth century and have been underground since, or you live under a rock. Or both... Stephen King is--well lack of a better word--king of literary horror and suspense and I was always hesitant to read his stuff because I'm not a fan of the horror genre. However, in one of my english classes in college, my teacher had us read some chapters in his book On Writing and I absolutely fell in love with his style; enough for me to read one of his books. So I went on my trusty website Goodreads and browsed through the many novels he's written and I discovered one called Under the Dome. The synopsis sounded really interesting so I bought it and sad to say, I stopped about half way through because it just wasn't intriguing enough to continue. I'll get to finishing it one of these months and I'll give you guys a review.
     How did I get the first book of his Dark Tower series then? Well, I have other works by him on my To-Read list on GR and my sneaky sister went on my computer while I was away and saw it was one of his highest rated books. She got the first four for me for Christmas and has given me grief ever since for never starting it. So Valerie, this is for you. ;D

(safe for those who haven't read this book)
   Alright, clearly I'm not a Stephen King fan. I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday about what I've been reading lately and I told him this book The Gunslinger by King and how I think King is great teacher of writing but to leave the actual storytelling to others. I'm sorry but I just don't feel a spark with his style. I mean--style is the wrong word, his storytelling. It's vague and reminds me of Hemingway who tried to give the reader as little as possible. Yeah, I guess I'm not really a Hemingway fan either. This is the second book of Stephen King's I've read (well I technically never finished Under the Dome...) and I was hoping for a better outcome. Hey not all books by an author can be the best piece of literature ever written, y'know?  I read this book for my sister so Valerie, if you're reading this, I finished the first one. I'll get to the rest later!
   Anyway, so this book is about the Gunslinger Roland-- a name which is not revealed until like 5o pages or so in (I think)-- who is chasing after this man in black. It seriously took me 50 pages to get into this story, and it didn't even last long. However I will commend how Mr. King can make 5 ultimately boring and uneventful places seem interesting and have something happen. There are 5 chapters in this book, each ranging from 30-90 pages long and it's surprising how much happened in those places. I won't tell you what happens, but the main settings in this book are a small town named Tull, a way station/the desert, a forest, a mine/underground cave, and a mountain side. I apologize if I'm way off, I really don't know the settings of some places like in the final chapter because I felt King was very vague in describing the more important details. I always hear that his style of writing is just something you need to get used to-- but seriously, it shouldn't take long to adapt. 
   This is a sort of alternate universe/western/sci-fi world which gives me the ambivalent feeling of confusion yet intrigue. One of the main characters that joins Roland is a young boy named Jake who compares a lot of things he experiences or confronts to things in our world, specifically things he's encountered in contemporary (or 1970s since this was when he wrote this book) New York. It's clear--since King states--that Roland doesn't know half of what Jake talks about, but their relationship isn't based off of their differences or opinions of one another, which is admirable in an enigmatic character like Roland.
    One of my favorite parts of the story was at the end--no it's not because it was almost done--but how the man in black and Roland discuss what Roland is chasing him for in the first place. Also the man in black describes the universe in a real existential and almost empirical sense that made me stop to think about it. Maybe it's just me, but whenever people or characters in a story begin talking about how large the universe is and how small humans are, I really just stare with big eyes and sort of exist in a trance. Like a cat chasing a light. I don't know why I chose that analogy, it was the first thing that came up though.
   I'm sorry, I feel there isn't a lot I can say because this book was just meh to me. Maybe I'll come back and add some more opinions on it, but for now I'm not coming up with much. It may be that it's past midnight and I am incredibly tired.

I give this book 3/5 stars. I want to give it two because I only thought it was okay, I didn't necessarily like it enough to be a solid 3 stars, however there are books I'd rate in the 2 star category and I don't think this book deserves so low of a rating. Ergo, 3 stars. I might reread it again, to see if I missed something the first time around. And I will definitely finish the series, just not anytime soon >_< [Valerie...]

Author's Quote:
“Speaking personally, you can have my gun, but you'll take my book when you pry my cold, dead fingers off of the binding.” 
― Stephen King

If You'd Like to Check Out My Goodreads:

Next To Read:
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

River Song's Spoilers:
(unsafe for those who haven't read this book yet, so don't read this section)
   Okay, I was getting a sense that the world the Gunslinger was chasing the man in black through was some sort of life after death world. Purgatory-- since it isn't heaven or hell, it's the middle. If I'm right, I would like to slowly rock my fist back and forth in epic bossness (bossness? I don't know it's almost midnight).
    Did anyone guess that Roland liked Jake a little more than what it looks like? I mean, clearly he cares for the boy since he constantly stays by him even when Jake tries to leave him multiple times or when he insults him and such and throws temper tantrums, but that is just more evidence his secret feelings toward the boy.
    I don't like the gun trick/magic or whatever the hell you want to call it that Roland does. It saves him in the tight spot in Tull and also in the chapter of the Slow Mutants. I mean, c'mon-- when does he have time to reload?? Unless this is some sort of magic gun that never runs low on ammunition. This is clearly fantasy. This made my opinion on Roland's character iffy and I would have liked him without that weird magical talent.
    The part I really don't know what happened was the flashback when Roland is retelling his coming of age moment or becoming a gunslinger tale with Cort and Cuthbert. Also when Jake dies, I definitely don't remember reading that. All I know if that he just wasn't mentioned anymore. I'm horrible I know.
     Anyone think there's an importance of the numbers nineteen and three? I'm a very meticulous reader-- I read waaay too much into books sometimes and always think the author chose details for a reason, so I wonder what those numbers might suggest. Three I could guess has something to do with Christianity-- since he intertwines Christian stories and names throughout the story. Nineteen, it was discussed in the introduction by King in my edition (though I didn't read it) but I can't think of anything else important about it.
     I just need to reread the whole book. But not for a while, I have many other books to read which will fancy my attention more. 

Until Next Time,
Nicole Ciel

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sever Book Review

Rawr Reader,

   So this is my first review on a book in a series. Yay! Lately I'd been reading novels and I thought it was about time I got around to a series. (Though I'm sorry I don't have a review for the first two books Wither and Fever.) I've been waiting for this book since I finished the second one not long after it came out--about a year ago--so I was soo excited when it finally came out. This is Sever by Lauren DeStefano, the third and final installment in the Chemical Garden Trilogy. Here is the synopsis, as always, from Goodreads:

With the clock ticking until the virus takes its toll, Rhine is desperate for answers. After enduring Vaughn’s worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, an eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine’s memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine’s side, even if Linden’s feelings are still caught between them.
Meanwhile, Rowan’s growing involvement in an underground resistance compels Rhine to reach him before he does something that cannot be undone. But what she discovers along the way has alarming implications for her future—and about the past her parents never had the chance to explain.

It was about a year ago I was watching YouTube videos and I don't remember which video led me to it, but on the right side where the recommendations for other videos similar to it are there was a video book review on Wither,the first book in this series. 

(safe for those who haven't read this book yet)

    Alright, imagine that you're on a boat on a nice sunny day just a mile or so off the coast. Now, this is the perfect day so the boat rocks slightly to the waves but it isn't anything to make you queasy. This book was like this boat. It's nice, not jam packed with action or suspense or dramatic love romances--that was the job of the first two books. However, just like on a boat sometimes you would be lucky to see dolphins jumping several meters, sometimes there would be some nice moments that would make me be like, I really like what I saw. But it wouldn't last long, and continue on with it's steady and slow story.
    I picked up this book, almost a year after reading its predecessor so I'll admit I can't remember everyone's name, but I remembered the main characters. I still don't know if it's I was excited to see how this trilogy concluded that I found myself reading fast because it was a really fast read. The font isn't large so maybe that might have contributed to it... But I digress. There were moments in this book I wanted to tear at the characters, I just down right, plain hated them--if you read this book you'll know who I'm talking about. But then there would be moments of revelation, where DeStefano would completely twist how I'd view a character and it surprised me that she did that. One thumb up for making me like characters when I never thought I would.
     One thing to note is that DeStefano focuses on the ugly side of life that many don't like to focus on. Polygamy, prostitution, death, dystopian society, young life expectancy. While it isn't pretty and it's rough to read especially since this is happening to a 17-year-old who's been separated from the only family she has left, it makes me realize how fortunate I am in my society. Yes, this is a fictional dystopian future for America, but there are still places around the world that still suffer from oppression or fear of being taken from their family to be sold for who knows what. I think DeStefano constructs an America that is stripped of all the privileges we live with and don't value today, and left to squander for the hope of the future that it would be better than the present. Honestly, while it clearly doesn't include the same sort of action and dramatic romance as other dystopian series *cough* *cough* The Hunger Games *cough* *cough* I think DeStefano actually excels in creating a future that isn't hopeful, yet not hopeless.
     DeStefano was able to achieve what I feel like in my last review of The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly would drag on talking about, which is details. DeStefano would include just enough so I could get sense of the world. And she made the second book far more important thinking back on it, since it doesn't feel as much now as filler story.
   My favorite part about reading was the relationships between the characters. I probably could write on and on about how much I feel that DeStefano accomplished with these relationships. First off there's the awkward Rhine-Linden duo, then sibling Rhine-Cecily bond, Rhine-Rowan, Rhine-Vaughn, and finally the Rhine-Reed relationship. Gabriel, Rhine's true romantic interest doesn't appear but for a small portion of the book which while I missed him, I felt it was smart DeStefano stuck to the emotional relationships of friendships and alliances over the more romantic. Cecily grew to be the character I admired the most-- which is shocking even now after finishing. I don't know if maybe that was because DeStefano spoke about her the most aside from Rhine, but I really saw her grow from the naiive 13-year-old she was two books ago in Wither.  She is still a 14 year old, no matter if she's past halfway through her life expectancy, and she grew to be a wife, sister, and mother and she accepted her responsibilities like a woman. Yes, she was whiny, but she had reason to--being not the prettiest or most eye-catching or oldest--she felt she wasn't important. And with nothing else to attribute to her qualities than the ability to love with her full heart, it would make me worry too, especially if you were in the acquaintance of the likes of Vaughn. Linden is a sweetheart, even though it took me three books to realize it, he truly only wanted the best for all his wives. He was like Cecily in that respect, he just wanted to be loved back the way he loved others. Reed was a comical guy--as comical a character can be in a dystopian novel that is-- and nothing like his brother which showed a nice balance to Linden's family--while he was never mentioned to the best of my knowledge in the prior novels. Rowan is the brother I wish I had. A twin no less, and only living relative to Rhine, her connection to him was the strongest, romantic partners brought into the picture or not, and I really enjoyed reading the scenes between them. They would do anything for each other and how could you not admire that?
   Although, Rhine's and Rowan's reunion was rushed. A minor bump in what I would have found a more heart-melting scene--I had to reread that part several times to made sure I read that part right. It;s been a year since they last saw each other, and while I don't want it to be very dramatic, I wish I didn't have to reread that paragraph so many times. It was too subtle, like DeStefano wanted to sneak that part in.
    The ending, while I won't reveal what happens, is probably one of my favorite endings of all the books I've read. (It takes into account that this was a dystopian series.) I'm still thinking about this novel after finishing the book an hour or so ago, and authors always want that sort of impact on its readers. :) It isn't action packed like The Hunger Games and not centered on romance like Twilight. It's a story of redemption, hope and love (though not only the romantic kind, but familial and companionship as well) and I believe that to be the best themes to set a dystopia on.
    Overall, I admire DeStefano's style of writing-- a simple, slow-paced yet fast, and story-intriguing read and I would definitely be interested in reading another one of her novels/series. I'd recommend this series to those who like to read dystopian novels.

I give this book 4/5 stars. I think as a conclusion to the series, DeStefano did a remarkable job.

Author's Quote:
"I'm wondering if there's any truth to this word I hear sometimes: god. People say it when they're frustrated or when they're sad. It implies that there is something, someone greater than us. Greater than the presidents we used to elect or the kings and queens we used to throne.
I like the idea of something greater than us. We destroy things with our curiosity. We shatter with our best intentions. We are no closer to perfection than we were one hundred years ago, or five hundred years ago."

- Lauren DeStefano, Sever

If You'd Like To Check Out My Goodreads:

Next To Read:
The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower I) by Stephen King

River Song's Spoilers's:
(unsafe for those who haven't read this book yet, so don't read this section)
   Cecily had such a major role in this book I regrettably admit that as I read I was just waiting for her to leave. She was so clingy and annoying and I couldn't understand how anyone could like her. So when she "died" I was sad-- wait what? No, I was relieved when she came back to life, she's too much of a fighter too be rid of so easily. Like I said in the review I admire how much she grew in this story and while I didn't certain moments (when Linden, Cecily and Rhine are in the Jeep and she makes Rhine go to the back since she felt Linden and Rhine were having a moment... or when she just goes with Linden and Rhine leaving her baby behind because she didn't want Rhine to be alone--though also she didn't want Vaughn to take her away) Cecily is a strong soul and was consistent.
    Rhine to me was crying most of the novel. Anyone else catch that? No? Anyhoo, she seemed to always be discontent, even when she was with her brother. I wanted a little more happiness in that reunion. I mean, after the moment of hugging it wasn't as filling as I wanted. Like I said Rowan's return in her life was too quick and subtle as it was but the fact she sort of just said a quick goodbye to Jared then left with Rowan without asking him all the questions she's been wanting to ask for the past year-- ESPECIALLY since at the time she only had about 3 years left to live. If it were me, I'd be constantly asking what he'd been up to as soon as we were by each others side, I mean if they were as close as she said they were.
    Linden's death. Okay, let me just take a step back and relive my thoughts after reading that sad scene. Yep, that was pretty much it. It was sad. I felt while yes it was sudden and I was waiting for him to be miraculously saved liked Cecily was, I felt it was an inevitable death that just became what he felt in his heart. He had suffered so much, Linden has the softest heart of them all. He isn't the one to go guns blazing and duel anyone who dare insult his name or his woman. No, he's a lover and the deaths of his love Rose, and still born daughter and then his miscarried baby (which I still think it's horrible they never found out if it was a boy or girl) was too much and I think in a way he wanted to die. He didn't want to suffer anymore and while I believe he loved Cecily, he wasn't able to handle living anymore. 
    Also I think DeStefano just wanted to kill off one of the characters the reader cared about Linden just didn't make the cut </3
    The cure confused me, because it was one described in very small detail and just didn't make sense what I read. Was the cure basically sucking the iris our of the heterochromatic eyes? And did Rowan and Rhine keep the color of their eyes afterwards? I mean no one said anything about it-- neither did the author-- but I'm assuming they did since she only said their eyes became the color of their pupils so I'm assuming their iris' returned to their natural colors.
    I would like to really express my thoughts about the ending. Okay, DeStefano did a remarkable job in ending this series. It focuses on the hope of a future where it didn't seem to be. Research & labs throughout the country are being destroyed, symbols of hope and prosperity for the young are meant to kill the spirits to eliminate any false hope, but in fact it is with their destruction in the screwed up land of America that makes it justified. They can't be cured by the devastation and chaos of America, only in labs in Hawaii where people still live to natural old age and where the promise of hope and restoration is possible. Especially when DeStefano reveals that Rhine lived past twenty, that hope is still possible no matter how dire circumstances in life can become. The family which made no sense in their world as much as this grew to be a loving one that valued time because they understood the value of it, and that every moment alive is every moment that they should treasure. It isn't something to be taken lightly, and it's something that Rhine and others are not going to take for granted.

Until Next Time,
Nicole Ciel

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Book of Lost Things Book Review

Rawr Reader,

    Hello there, today I'll be reviewing The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. Here is the synopsis given by Goodreads:

High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own -- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.

   My best friend recommended this book to me since at the time I wanted to order some new books and couldn't think of any good ones. She said it was one of those books she just couldn't put down and that made someone like me more than a little curious. :)

(safe for those who haven't read this book yet)
    How do I say this? I feel like someone grabbed a bunch of sweets and tried to stuff them down my throat. All whilst saying "You will like this story Nicole!" Now don't take this as completely bad, but it isn't entirely good either. Hmmm, how to express my feelings without spoiling anything...
    This story's beginning was r~o~u~g~h-- and slow. Many beginnings are like that, but this one took me almost 60 pages for it to finally get interesting. I've read a book very similar to this, where kids are taken from the real world and are taken to a new magical one that consists of fairy tale characters they believed to be fictional, and discover FTC's "true" though twisted tales that the real world has manipulated. Yes my friends, this book reminded me a lot of The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer (which I highly recommend, I could not put that book down!). However, unlike The Book of Lost Things, I actually liked TLOS... Sorry how that makes me sound, but this story just didn't do it for me. It was the darker side of imagination which I don't mind, but how Connolly wrote David's journey was sluggish. Like in mud.
     I guess because lately I've been reading a lot, I was sort of irritated when on my down time I came to relax with this book and discovered it consisted of massive blocks of paragraphs of narrative details. While details are important--I'm not one to tell a writer to omit details and descriptions of the story--Connolly for me went on and on and I just wanted to get to the action. Or dialogue. Which I felt was lacking. This book was 70% description, 30% dialogue I'd guess and that is waay too much for me.
    Then Nicole, what do you like if you don't want to read descriptions?? Well, my fellow reader, I like to have a balance between seeing the story and hearing the story. Yes, I'm one of those crazy people that actually can see and hear the story alongside the characters (if the book is intriguing enough, which this book in a sense was just) and if all I'm doing is seeing what's happening in a story, I feel cheated in all of the other ways I could "live" in the world. And this story is primarily in the fairy tale world so I wish I could have had a better experience in it.
    In the back of my book it says it's for ages 10+, which I need to talk about for a minute. Alright, *takes a breath* I felt the style in which the story was written, the vocabulary and language used was intended for later elementary/middle school. However, there was some graphic stuff in this book that in more than one occasion I paused where I was reading and checked the back to make sure I read that right. Ages 10 and up? Really?? Who decided that? Like for one Connolly isn't shy about ruining children's innocence. Maybe it was just how I was raised in a more sheltered household or not, but I don't think kids about 5th/6th grade read about throats being cut or torture mechanisms or straight up sex in a book centering on a 12 year old. Yes, this is a coming of age book like many books for kids are, but maybe I'm only seeing it in this light because I'm older than the age range this book is aimed for. Regardless, I was surprised. 
    David as a character is one whom I actually enjoyed reading about. He has flaws and superstitions like some children do, but that just made him stand out just enough for me and it makes the death of his mother in beginning harder on me because I knew how sweet and caring David really was. I mean, he does these weird counting rituals in the hopes that it will help his mom only a little. Oh David, if I have a kid I hope he's just like you. A loving, caring, and imaginative heart, where could he go wrong?
I rate this book 3/5 stars. I doubt I'll read it again, but I'd only recommend it to someone who likes adventures or twists on fairy tales.

Author's Quote:
“Stories wanted to be read, David's mother would whisper. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life.” 
― John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

If You'd Like to Check out my Goodreads:

Next To Read:
Sever by Lauren DeStefano

River Song's Spoilers:
(unsafe for those who haven't read this book yet, so don't read this section)
    I'm going to start at the beginning of where it started to get interesting. Rose. That-- pardon my language-- bitch!! Once she hit him I was like oh-no-you-didn't, but then she tried to apologize which is expected. But then she had the nerve, no the balls to wait for the dad to come home and then only tell him about David being disrespectful. Completely omitting the fact she hit his son. I was furious that was the moment that Connolly decided to spring David into another world, but I kept thinking until the end, "oh I can't wait to see what happens with Rose and the father at the end." I didn't grow up with both parents in one household, so when I read how Rose just snapped and hit David, in all honesty if I were there I probably would've just kicked her ass. Sorry, but anyone who gives me an excuse that she was hormonal or tired from Georgie can just tell it to someone else because she just wasn't a redeemable character at all. Before she was tolerable, but she did it for me once she hit David.
   And then that ending! Oh, Connolly decided to screw with me more. Yes Connolly made sure David had grown and grew to love 
Georgie and respect Rose by the end, but he made it too easy when the first thing he said to her after waking up was "I'm sorry." I'd be like, "bitch I'm waiting for your apologize for hitting me." Okay, maybe not literally, but I'd probably be thinking it. Though I would wait for her to apologize, too. Anyway, aside from Rose, Connolly clearly wanted me to like this book no matter what and carry along a message with it. That's why he decided to tell me what happened to David after he came back to earth. And honestly, he shouldn't have done that. He should've just stuck to a coming of age story and left the rest of David's life to the imagination of the reader. Revealing that the parents ended up divorcing, the father dying, Georgie dying, David's wife and newborn baby dying all at young age was like someone punching me into the ground, bringing me ten feet deeper into the ground each time they punched me. And it was one after another after another. I mean, damn Connolly, do you want me to cry? Did you want to see tears?? I guess he was trying to follow the Grimm Brother's footsteps in the way of telling kids stories, making them learn a life lesson by simultaneously making them have horrible memories of someone in their heads. Because David became real to me, Connolly was a magnificent in characterizing him. Don't get me wrong, Connolly can tell a story, but I felt he added too much to this story and should've left a lot out.
   The Woodsman. Alright, I liked him. How couldn't you? He took in a lost and confused child and protected him like a father. And then he died. Okay, my heart tore a bit but not everyone can live. But then the end, he came back. I literally laughed out loud because I felt like Connolly had no other way of getting David back home and he cheated and was like, "ploop! actually JK, the Woodsman really ended up surviving." Despite the whole scene of him losing his ax and getting torn apart and being carried away by a pack of wolves. Fiction indeed! However I have to say I like the paternal authoritative character he implemented on David at every time they met: he helped him find his way, he helped him get back home, he helped him find his happiness in death. Actually the concept of David's death reminded me of other written works such as Lord of the Rings (though I haven't read them I've heard) and The Chronicles of Narnia, in that death seemed to be as if a person could literally travel there if they chose to. It made the world of fairy tales more magical and spiritual and it gained some points from me for that.
    I also liked the fact he included fairy tales in it. I don't know what I was expecting when I first started reading, but once he kept introducing FT characters like the Woodsman, trolls, Red Riding Hood, the Seven Dwarves, etc, I became more interested in reading (though it was still slow.) However, Connolly included his own twists to creatures like the Harpies, some scaly winged creatures (loosely based off of Greek myths), or creatures from children's imaginations like the Beast or Loups, half-dog half-man, or creatures that could be put together-- the deergirl by the huntress. Yes, there's a lot going on. Which I like but then I dislike. I dislike it because overall, sometimes encounters didn't seem as important. Like David and Snow White for example. Other than to include a twist on what Snow White what have looked like and how she would have acted, she didn't push the story along. The same with the deergirl and the huntress. They were perhaps just other stories Connolly wanted to include that were interesting but didn't do anything more than interest the reader than benefit the character. Going on off of fairy tales, I found it interesting that Connolly chose the Woodsman and Roland to present David with tales which helped him grow from boy to "man." (Which every time I read man I laughed since I kept thinking to myself, this kid is 12, I bet he hasn't even reached puberty yet.) But I digress...
    The antagonist of this story is the Crooked Man. Aka the Trickster. Aka Rumple-- "Oh what was that name again? Never mind, never mind..." Haha, the Crooked Man though enigmatic at first, became a well-rounded character and his genesis as simultaneous to that of man made him a very intriguing villain. Obviously he's basically pure evil or the devil but he was what fear and darkness build from. He's the nightmares that every child fears and chapter 29, while graphic, was one of the strongest chapters in TBOLT and I'm very happy Connolly chose to dive deeper into the world of the Crooked Man; how long he had been tricking children and how evil he truly was. While heroes are usually the only ones people can ever praise, what David is of good the Crooked Man is of bad. He has literally no redeeming qualities to himself yet he is the embodiment of evil. And whether in this world or another fantastic one, evil will be and for that, Mr. Connolly, I have to say you bring nightmares and evil to a whole new level.
    But darn you. Darn you very much.

Until Next Time,
Nicole Ciel

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Her Mad Hatter Book Review

Rawr Reader,

   Alright, I admit. It's past 2am and I'm here. Yet again. *sigh* I need a life. 
This is Her Mad Hatter by Marie Hall. But on to the synopsis! As always, this is given by Goodreads

Alice is all grown up. Running the Mad Hatter's Cupcakery and Tea Shoppe is a delicious job, until fate--and a fairy godmother with a weakness for bad boys--throws her a curveball. Now, Alice is the newest resident of Wonderland, where the Mad Hatter fuels her fantasies and thrills her body with his dark touch.
The Mad Hatter may have a voice and a body made for sex, but he takes no lovers. Ever. But a determined fairy godmother has forced Alice into Wonderland--and his arms. Now, as desire and madness converge, the Hatter must decide if he will fight the fairy godmother's mating--or fight for Alice.


I found this story browsing the free book section of iBooks on my phone while I was trying to fall asleep. (Yeah like browsing books will help me fall asleep right?) Anyhoo, yes, I admit the cover popped out at me, the guy has a nice bod, but when I read the synopsis I thought it sounded interesting. Plus it was free, nothing to lose but my time. *sigh*

(no River Song's Spoilers for this review, so does have some spoilers)
  Okay, I'm a huge Alice in Wonderland fan--though I have yet to read the book-- and so that's what first drew me to the book. However, it was free, so I shouldn't have expected a life-altering message or anything else from it.
   When first started reading, I loved the writer's style. It wasn't fancy or formal and it may have broken a rule or two, but if it's the author's style then so be it! However, once she introduced the main girl character, I genuinely almost slapped my forehead.
   I'm not a fan of pathetic girls who fall instantly in love with a hot guy with no premise for actual love other than they just want to have sex with them. Yes she had a short time to get to know him and but I wish "love" wasn't always the default to relationships. You can be in strong like with someone. Yes it sounds weird as hell but love in especially young adult books I'm beginning to notice more and more are just about sex. And I'm not really going to find the book as attractive as I want it to be after that.
   And is it just my luck, or does every main male character tend to be hot in some way, shape, or form? Like, c'mon literature (if you even want to call it that...) but that isn't real. This is a young adult book with traces of erotica in it (The book says no, but yes, yes there is) so for all my younger readers out there or those who aren't into reading stuff like that, don't read this book.
    Oh my gosh Alice annoyed me. "Oh my gosh why do I want him when he just infuriates me, but I can't stop looking at his perfection... Oh my gosh could I be more pathetic? Oh my gosh I just want him but I don't... oh my has it only been three hours since we met, it's like we're already in love..." This is clearly an over exaggeration of her character, only it really isn't. I'd say a good half of the part focused on Alice and her thoughts/dialogue, she's continuously conflicted with herself and wanting Hatter but then not. The writer clearly needs to work on consistency in her main characters, because if she doesn't have it then I will only be frustrated as a reader and nothing drives away a reader like making the character conflicted. It's like we'll never get to know and understand the real them that the author knows and probably want to share (since they're writing the book and all.)
   I'll try to stay away from novels like this because one it's a waste of my time and yours since I don't want to write reviews on and I'm sure you don't want to read about, pardon my language, shi**y (yeah I still couldn't say it) stories with no real depth to them. I see why this book was free and while yes I couldn't put it down, it still needs more than want to keep reading. Second I'll try to avoid erotica novels in general, I'm more of a fantasy/young adult/adventure/sci-fi enthusiast. Though I have read The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden recently by Jessica Sorensen which involves a lot of sex and stuff but it actually had a story to it and I could sympathize with the characters more, it was a more overall enjoyable read for me. In Her Mad Hatter the only one I could tolerate was the Hatter and it was because he was actually suffering from his insanity.
   To be honest, I really wanted to like this book, and continuing with honesty, I really want to see if her other books are like that since they involve characters mentioned in the beginning of HMH, plus their synopsis' sound interesting. But I'm on the fence and I most likely won't read them but I wish I did.

I give this book 1.5/5 stars. 

Author's Quote:
(I couldn't find any quotes from the author that I liked so here's a quote on reading)
"Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

If You'd Like to Check out my Goodreads:

Next To Read:
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Until Next Time,
Nicole Ciel

Friday, February 15, 2013

Neverwhere Book Review

Rawr Reader,

   I couldn't be happier this week is over. For me school has been so hectic and it's so relaxing to just read. No? Just me then? Oh well. This week I carried along with me Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. Here's an synopsis provided by Goodreads:

When Richard Mayhew stops one day to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London pavement, his life is forever altered, for he finds himself propelled into an alternative reality that exists in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.

No one recommended this book or author to me at first, I unknowingly was first introduced to Gaiman's work years ago when my mom rented the movie Stardust from Blockbuster. Then a couple of years later Coraline came out and my best friend recommended his book. I wasn't a fan of the movie but I did want to give his work a try, so I figured I'd read another book of his to get a third opinion. Plus I love London so when I saw Big Ben Clock Tower on the cover I knew it was meant to be. Well, here are my thoughts:

(safe for those who haven't read this book yet)
     I've never read a book like this. *clears throat* Allow me to be redundant on this occasion por favor, because I have never read a book like this. Neil Gaiman is a visionary. Fantastic writer. I suppose I don't over stress myself enough when I say that this my first urban fantasy novel and even though I can't even name another urban fantasy title, I would like to say they'd be as great as Neverwhere. (Not even by a long shot every book is different Nicole!) :P At first I imagined this story set centuries back, but then Gaiman would mention a piece of technology not necessarily contemporary to 2013, such as telephone or black taxi (I'm not from London I don't know if they use these still), yet late-twentieth century related. I would be brought back to the fact that Richard was living through this in my lifetime and I like to imagine that when I was young, Richard was living this adventure. 
     Gaiman knows how to write a story. Boy he can and he knows how to separate himself from the pack. How he delivers his characters through dialogue to the descriptions of setting to just his use of words overall (check out my quotes below as examples). The pacing was jolty I have to admit, if I put the book down, there wasn't a constant feeling in the back of my mind to stop what I was doing to continue on the adventure. And this adventure, it was filled with action so I'm sad that that's true. There's hardly a slow moment for Richard and his companions, yet sometimes how Gaiman went on describing the slow moments of the story I had to--sad to say--force myself to continue. Not as horrible as I felt while reading Howl's Moving Castle, but still I would peek ahead a page to see if there'd be more interesting scenes.
    His style of writing is one I try to do in my own writing (before reading this) but utterly fail at. What do I mean by that? Well, many of his sentences can be long, but cut in short segments. It makes it sound like he's dragging the story but he actually does the opposite. I can imagine Gaiman narrating as well as imagine Richard thinking the words. It actually helped the story flow faster. Colloquial language in the story makes it more realistic and in an urban fantasy, it can be hard to pull off. I tip my hat to Mr. Gaiman.
    I tend to like the main character because they're the eyes and ears and hands I have to live the story through, and Richard is one character I have to say I absolutely loved living through. He grew from page 1 all the way to page 370 and his chemistry with the other characters was effortless. They all accepted him--well minus the bad guys--and made him one of them when he began to feel like he didn't have a place anywhere. He had several quirky comical moments and it made me love him even more. I'm just naturally a comical person if you know me, and when I read about one I just feel a familial bond with them. It helped me notice his growth through the story.
    The story picked up for me about half way to three-quarters of the way through. Even though I keep saying how amazing it was, it's a slow amazing. Mr. Gaiman revealed secrets that I wasn't expecting (and I don't think I'm the only one who liked to always guess about characters and their motives), so it's always a good twist to have them. The themes in the story were compassion, sacrifice, and being where you feel you belong, really resonate well to me as the reader to really examine where I am and where others are in the world. Sometimes it's important to focus on others over yourself and it may be difficult or inconvenient sometimes to do it, but in the end, it's how you felt while helping or realizing others around you that will help you grow. This book is definitely a favorite of mine, sorry I don't mean to get all philosophical or whatnot but there hasn't been a book I've read in a long time (partially true...I read Cloud Atlas recently and it was a real life-provoking book too; I recommend that book as well) a while that's really made me think about how I'm living my life. Mr. Gaiman, you are officially one of my favorite authors.

I give this book 4.5/5 stars. I was half way between stars for this one. I really enjoyed this book and I wanted to give it 5 stars, but there was the problem of pacing for me and lack of unable-to-put-down-this-book feeling. So I deducted half a star. But nevertheless, amazing book, would definitely recommend. :0)

Author's Quote:
 "...I pointed out that trying to find something with an angel on it in here is going to be like trying to find a needle in an oh my God it's Jessica."
Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere

"How old are you?" asked Door.
"As old as my tongue," said Hunter, primly, "and a little older than my teeth."
-Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere

If You'd Like to Check out my Goodreads:

Next To Read:
Her Mad Hatter by Marie Hall

River Song's Spoiler's:
(unsafe for those who haven't read this book yet, so don't read this section)
   Alright, please tell me someone else wondered about Anaesthesia after she disappeared 100 or so pages in. Like I kept waiting for her to magically reappear sometime in the book or have some clarity about what happened to her. She was a likeable character but maybe Gaiman thought her just a weak, sidetrack character. Or maybe she was the "reality/Above London" part of Richard, and after she disappeared it was when he became a true Lower London citizen. 
    Something I loved about Gaiman was how he incorporated a ton of other stories into Neverwhere. For example, I caught on to the similarities between this story and The Wizard of Oz way before Gaiman mentioned it near the end-- and I felt so smart! ;) If someone was reading alongside me I would've put my book to their face (not rudely!) and be like "I knew it! Didn't I tell you? Yes I did!" Well, except for the twist at the end of the angel being evil and all. Or the monster in the labyrinth-- how about that Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur? Seriously, there were so many stories in this story, I felt like I was reading more than one story at once and it made this story, truly fantastic. (So sorry to use story 4x in one sentence-- I will try to not do that again...)
    Islington is an interesting name for an angel and I wish I could ask Gaiman why he chose it. As an angel, I probably shouldn't have been so surprised about him being evil. I mean, why was he separated from Heaven in the first place? He may act nice and all but, I think it should've been something I caught earlier.
     A trait I liked about this story was the emphasis on adventure over romance and characterization over cliche/cheesiness. Gaiman gave each of the characters a life beneath the words. They were all consistent and none of their actions surprised me (well except Islington of course! and then Hunter...) okay maybe some weren't as consistent as I'd like but Hunter did it to kill the beast, she was more consistent than Islington. I usually am a sucker for cheesy romance (though I admit it can be overdone quite a lot), but I felt as I read this there was firstly no need for it, and secondly it was such a great tale of an adventure I didn't miss it. I'm still thinking about this story several hours after reading this so sorry I'm so repetitive.
    Serpentine. Chapter eighteen was probably my least favorite chapter. I don't care about the length of it (it was like 3 pages), but it was unnecessary. Please tell me someone agrees with me? Yeah it gave more of a look into the relationship between Serpentine and Hunter, but she was dead, their relationship was pretty much finito. Maybe I'm missing something like Gaiman decided to continue on with Hunter and Serpentine's story in another novel, but I think it should have ended with Hunter's death next to the bull monster. If he wanted to randomly establish the whereabouts about someone, it should have been Anaesthesia. Sorry, I feel her death/disappearance was too sudden and subtle that I didn't give her a proper farewell like I had with Islington and Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar. 
    I would love to read another of Gaiman's novels and wonder what you think I should read next of his? I can't decide between American Gods or The Graveyard Book. Cheers.

Until Next Time,
Nicole Ciel

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Howl's Moving Castle Book Review

Rawr Reader,

    This is one of those rare cases where I'll post another review of a book with such a short time in between. Usually it takes me a couple days to finish a book, but I started And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones at around the same time, plus they're fairly short books, each about 300 pages. With that said, let's just right into it! Here is the synopsis given by Goodreads:

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

    Howl's Moving Castle walked into my life as predictably as the wind blows. Nooot really, my best friend introduced me to the movie by Hayao Miyazaki since she knew I loved Christian Bale and she wanted to introduce me to Studio Ghibli. I learned from there of it being based off of the book and I read favorable reviews of it. It took me a while to finally decide to read it, but why prolong the inevitable right? 

(safe for those who haven't read the book yet)
    I really wanted to like this book. I tried so hard. Beautiful scenery, colorful details of settings, moving castles, witches and wizards, fire demonsmagic, it just didn't go the way I thought it would. And maybe it was because I absolutely adore the movie adaption, so expectations may have been higher than they should have been. And it's categorized as a young adult fantasy but I think it's more directed toward young'uns. Not like early elementary but I'd say middle school.
    I found the beginning to be the most intriguing part of the book. The first couple chapters more like it. Ms. Jones isn't afraid to describe the life of a hatter, and it could be tedious at moments, but I wanted to read more despite it. For the rest of the book however, I felt differently. It came to a point I forced myself to read it.
    Throughout the story I felt like I wasn't reading it right. Particularly how I read the character's dialogue, it was sometimes opposite of how Ms. Jones meant it to be. For example, if Howl would say something and I read it as calm and friendly, in reality he would be yelling and would be angry. 
    Another thing I felt was a con about this book was that the majority of it was just huge bulky paragraphs. I'm one for fast-paced dialogue and this was more about describing everything, which made me read a little bit slower. I mean, the descriptions are colorful and give me a good sense of the land of Ingary, however, in a story I need action. And with the protagonist for the majority of the novel being about 90 years old, action isn't going to come at fast paces. (Though there were some action scenes.) 
    Another thing that bothered me about the story was that I felt like I was lost, jumping from one scene to another without clear transitions. (I'll list several examples in River Song's Spoiler section below for anyone who's read it to help me understand what happened.) I like clarity and I think Ms. Jones lacked in that aspect. When the final chapter came, I thought "Yes!―Ms. Jones is going to make the book in the end redeemable." Unfortunately, she just didn't for me. *I shed a tear―sort of.*
    I'm sorry to complain a lot, but this book just disappointed me in a way. So here's some stuff I did like. Calcifer. I love him so much. My favorite character hands down. Dialogue, from character to character (main characters that isCalcifer, Howl, and Sophie) were pretty distinguishable. There were a bunch of characters in the story that I had to reread sometimes to see who was speaking again, but I liked how Ms. Jones characterized the protagonists pretty well. The soft Sophie, the eccentric Howl, the sweet Michael, the fiery Calcifer. 

 I Give this book 3/5 stars.  I wouldn't recommend, but more suggest this book because I think someone else might enjoy it, and hopefully help me understand why this book is usually given higher reviews. 

Author's Quote:
“That's why I love spiders. 'If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again.”
― Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle

If You'd Like to Check out my Goodreads:

Next To Read:
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

River Song's Spoilers:

(unsafe those who haven't read the book yet, so don't read this section)
    Calcifer was definitely my favorite character. I just wanted to just pick him up and give him a tight hug. My favorite line from him was from chapter 7 when Sophie asked if he could reach the fire logs if she left them nearby and he proudly showed her how far he could reach. A little detail like that really made him grow from the sharp tongue, "evil" demon he was supposed to be. 
    Howl was such a baby. For a grown man at 27 and who was deemed such a powerful and potential wizard, he just showed his true character to be even more pathetic. I read the ebook and it came with some Q&A with the author about HMC and one of the questions concerned fans of the book and how―even before the book was released―loved Howl. I'm sorry, throughout the entirety of the book he was whiny and childish and he was hardly redeemable at the end.
    I didn't really find the transition for Sophie falling in love with Howl. I assumed she was attracted to him even with his foul behavior toward her. I knew for sure in the final chapters when Sophie wanted to leave because she thought that Howl was attracted to Ms. Angorian and then she revealed she wanted to leave because of that. (Oh Sophie, if you want to be in love with a man who is waay too into his appearance and excretes green slime whenever something bad happens to him, never expect a dull moment dearie.) I felt that Sophie thought everything bad happened to her because she was the eldest and for that, I sort of gave her some slack in her actions. But I still don't see why she loves him. Oh well, you don't choose these things I guess. :P
    And at first the transition between Lettie and Martha and who was who wasn't as confusing, but―I forget at which point but after half way through―somehow I became confused if Lettie was Lettie or if they meant Martha. In those times I was confused, Ms. Jones just tossed a ton of characters around and I got confused who was speaking and who was with who and so on. 
   Okay, referring to the review section above, one of the many parts I was confused about was near the end, chapter 19, when Howl and Michael try to cover up their eavesdropping on Sophie and Percival. I reread that paragraph countless times to see what I was missing when she was examining the mansion. My question is, how did that description give way to Sophie knowing she was being eavesdropped?
   Another question I have is about Percival, Wizard Suliman, and Prince Justin. How did they make one person? Like was it Wizard's body then Justin's attitude? I don't even know how to guess about that situation. 
   I couldn't distringuish character development for a good portion of the book. I know that authors don't want to be obvious about development, but I couldn't really see anyone changing until the end. Anyone else feel that way?
    And did anyone else find the end super rushed? The deaths of the Witch of the Waste and Ms. Angorian both happened in less than a handful of sentences in less than a paragraph. I felt for all the build-up of the story, now having finished it, feels tedious and uneventful with their demises so sudden. If you skipped a page or even a paragraph by accident, you missed one of the most climatic moments.
    I liked the connection from the real world to Ingary. The black-down turner near the door made it more suspicious and even in the movie it isn't clear where it led to, but I wasn't disappointed to see that it led to Wales and it gave me a deeper sense into Howl's past. And his visits back to see his niece and nephew prove, even if Calcifer held onto it, that Howl had a heart. :)

Until Next Time,
Nicole Ciel

Friday, February 8, 2013

And Then There Were None Book Review

Rawr Reader, 

     So I just finished And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and wowie! there's a bunch to say. First, here's the synopsis provided by Goodreads about this murder mystery: 

"Ten . . ." Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious "U.N. Owen." 

"Nine . . ." At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead. 

"Eight . . ." Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one . . . one by one they begin to die. 

"Seven . . ." Who among them is the killer and will any of them survive?

    I had never heard of Agatha Christie until a little under a month ago. I was watching Doctor Who (if you haven't seen this TV show, I highly recommend it for any sci-fi/fantasy/adventure fans of accents and talent out there) and I was watching the episode "The Unicorn and the Wasp" which mentioned and involved a certain author. This particular episode revolved around a murder mystery that so happened to include yes, Agatha Christie, as one of the party guests. 
    In real life, Ms. Christie is one of the most published authors of all time, beaten only by the sales of the Bible and Shakespeare. Naturally, the avid book reader I am, I absolutely had to see why she was deemed such a successful author. So I searched through Goodreads (the Facebook for readers in my humble opinion) for her highest rated novels and this was one of them. Now on to my review. 

(safe for those who haven't read the book yet) 
    I must admit to you, that this is my first time reading a murder mystery novel. I've read books in the past that have concerned mysteries before but an actual genre mystery novel? None. This is my first. And for this I was excited. Who better to start than with a legend!
    In the synopsis it states how it concerns ten strangers so I was overwhelmed when she began introducing all the characters. I was supposed to expect that right? Well, yes, but in real life I have trouble remembering names so in a book I found it just as difficult. I found it hard to keep track of people since I felt she was just throwing names at me, so I eventually got to writing down their names and their professions (something I started to do thanks to my mom which, laugh all you want, actually helps!) *dramatic gasp*
    As a college student, my priorities are schoolwork and reading for my classes, so I had a rocky start with this novel. Reading in between classes, on the bus ride home, and a little before I went to bed, I wasn't consistent with the story and I felt the beginning was slow. It would sort of get interesting, until the first murder finally happened! My heart skipped a beat—yes, finally the story takes off! Right? Nope, it continued back to it's slow pace not long after. A couple days passed and I read a little more and I wouldn't go so far as to say it was a roller coaster with my anticipation to continue and then not, but it was more like little hills. I'm excited but then not but then was. Ay ya ya!
    It wasn't until the fourth death, a little over half way through the book I'd say it then grew impossible to put down. Ms. Christie's language from narration to dialogue flowed so smoothly I felt myself stepping into the world of the novel and I don't know about you, but as huge admirer of books and stories as I am, that's one of the best feelings I can possibly get as a reader. And I believe an author strives for their readers to exist in their worlds as much as they do whilst creating them, so to Ms. Christie, I stand and give you a round of applause.
    The story itself, oh dearie me, I actually wasn't expecting it to be so complicated yet simultaneously so cleverly predictable. And this is the first time in my memory that I can recall actually getting goosebumps while reading a book. It wasn't a continuous feeling throughout reading but there was one moment of suspense that came and I was like ooooohhhhhh! Suspense, I love it so much and more in a murder mystery than any other genre, I find it even more appropriate for me to have gotten chills. 
    She successfully wraps up the entire story and it just leaves me with a feeling of rereading the novel to see the little things I didn't notice reading the first time. It reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Clue (another movie I highly recommend), that involves the same sort of plot, strangers in an unfamiliar, secluded location with murders occurring left and right, only there's no way of knowing who the culprit is as the night progresses. In the ATTWN, the culprit suspects grows as more and more murders occur (though it still is ambiguous who the real murderer is until the end.)
    I didn't find much of a theme in this book but this: don't kill anyone or you'll get what's coming for ya. (Silly, but I couldn't find one the first time reading, maybe the next time. My head's still spinning!) :P 

 I'd give this fabulous book 5/5 stars and would definitely recommend this to anyone. Not suggested for young kids due to some description of the murders but she doesn't go into deep detail. 

“To all those who lead monotonous lives in the hope that they may experience at second hand the delights and dangers of adventure." 
-[author's dedication] 
Agatha Christie, The Secret Adversary 

If You'd Like to Check out my Goodreads:

Next To Read:
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

River Song's Spoilers: 

(unsafe those who haven't read the book yet, so don't read this section
    Okay, to start, my guesses who the mass murderer was jumped around a lot. I thought it might be Mr. Rogers, Justice Wargrave, Dr. Armstrong, Blore, Lombard (my favorite character,) Brent, or Vera. Yes, that's practically all of them, but as the story kept progressing without Ms. Christie revealing who the murderer even might possibly be (you bully Ms. Christie) ;) it kept jumping from one person to another (specifically when whoever I thought the murderer might be was killed off.) I need to tell you, I accidentally saw who the murderer was at the end because I foolishly thought the book ended after the epilogue and thought the "A Manuscript Document Sent to Scotland Yard" section was an excerpt from another one of her novels. So yes, I saw the last two words: Justice Wargrave. Immediately after reading those words, I almost smacked my forehead due to my horrible occasional habit of glancing at the final page.
    Anyways, I continued to read that last chapter of the book and as I said before, she just flawlessly was able to bring together all the missing pieces of the stranger's pasts and murders throughout the story that I felt like it was letting out a great sigh of satisfaction after finally reaching the top of the mountain and capturing the sight before you. (Weird analogy but go with me here.) The novel wasn't hard to read (though yes there were some words I forgot the definition of) but after a read like that, with all the suspense and action in the story, I needed to just really clear my mind and think about the incredible complexity of Ms. Christie's mind to produce something like this. Oh I just love it so much!! 
    My favorite character was Lombard. Hands down, he was the only one I could tolerate and even though there were a couple times I thought even he might be the murderer, I still proudly claimed him as my favorite. The deal with his revolver and his tenacious claim on it just made him a more well-rounded character in my eyes in a book where there are a ton of main characters and it's hard to really get to know each one on a deeper level.
    I liked Blore, I felt like he was Lombard's BFF in a way. Even though I had a rough start because of the confusion of him claiming to be Davis in the beginning and then him revealing to be an ex-cop. But I never got to a point that I detested him like this next character. 
    Vera Claythorne reminded me of a cat while it's scared, with hair on end. She reacted ridiculous throughout the story as Ms. Christie splendidly showed the reader and while I really liked how Ms. Christie let the reader get into Vera's thoughts and how her past haunted her, I still couldn't find anything admirable about her. After the first couple of deaths, I was waiting for her to go. I guess I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was that she would be the one to survive last! But alas, she did—minus Wargrave of course but I didn't know at the time. When she pulled the revolver from Lombard I was like NO! NOT HIM! But no, she just had to be a witch and shoot him. Whatever, Ms. Christie supported my theory she was crazy when she kept thinking she saw Hugo after becoming victor and hung herself. 
    Justice made me suspicious of course since he figured out Mr. U.N. Owen turned out to be the clever UNKNOWN (again I applaud Ms. Christie) and then have this condescending air about him suggesting the things he did like how he just sat on the patio and watched them all freak out about the two murders and how he knew who was where and what was happening and had a good idea who the murderer was (nice on your part Wargrave you bastard you.) I just wasn't a fan of him even before the end. When he was the fifth murder, I was surprised. I admit it! I was not expecting him to go since he had such a clever theory on the murder psycho rampaging about. I thought he might somehow avoid getting killed and would be one of the last somehow, even though he was older than most of the party. But when his manuscript came at the end and explained it all, I had to clap for his brilliance. Even though I knew if he were a real person he would just be smug about it, I had to give credit to where credit was due. 

Until Next Time, 

Nicole Ciel