Monday, July 23, 2012

"Grave Mercy" at Last

These no longer exist.
Since it's pretty early in the day for me to be doing anything, here is a picture of my breakfast. I cannot function at this hour without copious amounts of coffee and sugary things.

These little beauties are mini raspberry filled donuts. When I saw them sitting with the other baked goods, I knew we were meant to be together. And for that, I thank Publix.

Moving on.

It's been a while since I read Grave Mercy, but I still have a few things to say about it. From looking at the cover, I got the overall impression that the story would be along the lines of Buffy the Vampire Slayer during medieval times: a girl in a red dress holding a crossbow while looking forlornly, yet steadily, off into the distance. Sounds pretty slayerish, right?  


But I was wrong. There is something of the supernatural in the book but it doesn't have anything to do with vampires or werewolves. For some reason, this made me very happy. I guess I'm just tired of the vamp/wolf storyline. 

*intermission of approximately 3 million years*

And now it's been a longer while since I've read Grave Mercy. I wish I had some awesome story about how I got abducted by aliens and couldn't finish this post until I saved their home world from dire straits. Actually, I wish I could remember what I've done the past week and a half that's prevented me from writing the rest of this post. I'm drawing a huge blank. For some reason my only memories are of watching the final rose ceremony of The Bachelorette last night. (Yay for Jef!)

Anyway,  here goes nothing. 

I give Grave Mercy four out of five bookends for overall greatness. The plot is well-paced, the characters have fleshiness, and the world is built of steel beams and granite. My only qualm was with the MC, Ismae, and her attitude at times. She can be really dumb (in my opinion) about things that are no-brainers. 

But I digress. I just have problems with over the top stubbornness. (Says the stubborn girl.)

However, don't let that little quibble of mine stop you from reading Grave Mercy. It's a great read and has earned a permanent place on one of my steadily filling bookshelves.

Until next time...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"The Near Witch" Reviewed

Well, I finally found time to write this review at least. The Boyfriend has gone back for another month of Army things and now I have time on my hands again. When he's here I tend to...not do anything productive unless it includes cooking recipes I find on Pinterest. We're crazy like that. I wrote a review (not a very long or opinionated one) for The Vanguard about The Near Witch but it hasn't been printed yet. So, I'm going to write another one. Yay!

I was lucky enough to win a copy from @BookReverie with a signed bookmark. I love blog contests. Really, I do.

I read The Near Witch in about two hours. That's a good thing. I couldn't put it down. I think I may have even missed dinner. I can't remember. All I can recall was the sheer awesomeness of the story.

Schwab is a GENIUS. I love fairytales in general, and The Near Witch is like reading all of the Grimm tales but BETTER. Magic, witches, dark mystery, spooky setting, and a romance that doesn't end with someone being sacrificed. Or does it? Muahaha.

In addition to being a great storyteller, Schwab also has magic writing fingers. The words seem to flow and sing like the wind on the moors, a wild and inspiring thing. When a book is this aesthetically and visually pleasing, then you know you have something special. Reading becomes a joy and the words envelop you Well, that was deep.

Let me explain. It goes without saying that I like to read books that are well-written. Let's all say, "Duh!" Books that are the mental equivalent of eating broken glass or hearing nails on a chalkboard usually don't get such glowing reviews. Or if they do, the reviewer is obviously insane or lying. Or both.

What was I saying?

Oh right, good books. I like them. A lot. But what I really like is when a book is made with the best of ingredients. Word choice is a big player in this dynamic. The right word or selection of words can make or break an image for a reader. You can be reading along without a care in the world and then BAM! you run face first into an awkward phrase or something equally disturbing, like a misplaced/missing comma (Okay, I'm projecting my own issues with grammar usage onto this topic). That book is now tinged from that encounter.

In moments like that, I usually heave a large sigh and wish that I could somehow edit every book before it went to the printing press. However, that's not going to happen (although it would be my dream job) so I just have to content myself with making a tally and holding the bitterness I feel towards those problems deep inside. repress repress repress

Sometimes though, a book has the It factor. All of the qualities that make up a well-written book meld with the story itself to create a book worth reading. And that is what The Near Witch is.

Would you look at that? I managed to tie that rambling stuff up there into a conclusion that also related back to the original intent of this post. Success!

Until next time...