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KMM’s ‘Fever Moon’ has some interesting deets but characters look too old! September 23, 2012

Posted by Diana McCabe in Reviews/summaries.
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I wasn’t going to buy Karen Marie Moning’s FEVER MOON because I’m just not a big fan of book series I’ve read being turned into graphic novels. But my friends over at SookieStackhouse.com liked the novel so I thought I’d read it.

I should have trusted my gut. Didn’t care for it. Here’s the book blurb:

In Fever Moon, we meet the most ancient and deadly Unseelie ever created, the Fear Dorcha. For eons, he’s traveled worlds with the Unseelie king, leaving behind him a path of mutilation and destruction. Now he’s hunting Dublin, and no one Mac loves is safe.

Dublin is a war zone. The walls between humans and Fae are down. A third of the world’s population is dead and chaos reigns. Imprisoned over half a million years ago, the Unseelie are free and each one Mac meets is worse than the last. Human weapons don’t stand a chance against them.

With a blood moon hanging low over the city, something dark and sinister begins to hunt the streets of Temple Bar, choosing its victims by targeting those closest to Mac. Armed only with the Spear of Destiny and Jericho Barrons, she must face her most terrifying enemy yet.

The cool thing about the novel is you get the back story on the Fear Dorcha. But that’s it for me. The rest is — as billed — a retelling of some events that occur during SHADOWFEVER. And that’s OK.

But my biggest complaint? The characters are — well — drawn way out of character. Both Mac and Dani look too old. Mac looks like she’s a hard-bitten 30-something. And Dani — who is supposed to be a teen — looks like a 20-something. And I know graphic novels like to sex things up but some of the outfits they put Mac into — they are not Mac. Oh — and big continuity problem in one chapter. Mac sets off going to Chester’s in a green dress — and then we switch to a flashback scene — but when we return to the present Chester’s scene, she’s not wearing the green dress. She’s wearing a red dress. Maybe I missed something but it’s more likely someone missed something in editing this?

As for Barrons? Not a thing like I pictured. He sort of looks Asian at times. I was perfectly happy with his monster appearance though! I thought Inspector Jayne was handsome and I didn’t think of him as good-looking in the novels.

The artwork isn’t bad. It’s just that most of the characters looked too harsh and hard bitten. Even the Fae who are supposed to look shiny and gorgeous look like oafs.

Not sure I’d recommend it. I suppose diehard fans will go out and read it anyway! I did. Maybe you’ll like it. (Of course — these graphic novels are super fast reads. A plus!)

Here’s hoping Dani’s story — ICED — which comes out Oct. 30 — will be a more satisfying read!

‘Dragon Bound’ is for those who like their paranormal romance by the book September 16, 2012

Posted by Diana McCabe in Reviews/summaries.
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I was excited to read DRAGON BOUND by Thea Harrison because it won top honors from RITA for best paranormal romance. And if you like the formulaic alpha male stuff — complete with sex scenes —  this book is for you. If not, there is enough world building to keep it interesting. But I was surprised it was the top pick.

Harrison starts out with a good idea. Pia Giovanni is running for her life. Her ex-boyfriend blackmailed her into stealing something from Dragos, a very powerful dragon. We don’t know exactly what Pia is other than she is half-human/half-wyr. And we know she is some sort of special supernatural because her mother — who died — taught her to hide her magic.  This part of the story and the friends in her supernatural world she half lives in — is interesting.

And  then we meet the mighty hero — Dragos, who is a powerful, ancient and rare dragon shifter. He is a big-time businessman in his world, too, so no one messes around with him. So he’s horribly ticked off when Pia steals something — and gets away with it — from his stash of goodies. What ensues is a cat-and-mouse game between the two.

Dragos finds Pia fascinating with her human world of Slurpees and Twizzlers. And Pia falls for the big, powerful Dragos. It definitely will remind you of Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. The hero is super possessive with all of this “mine” stuff and the heroine — while somewhat independent — can’t help but be attracted to him. Still — she has no clue about her own powers, which Dragos eventually helps her discover.

In the background of this story is a bigger plot. A power struggle between  a dark fae king and the world of Dragos. And the poor humans who have no clue what is going on.

If Harrison develops these other worlds and power struggles — this could be a cool series. But can we please make the characters have a sense of humor? The caveman hero stuff wears thin. But the discovery of other supernatural characters, their allegiances and Pia’s background made this an easy read.

Latest ‘Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2’ trailer …. September 10, 2012

Posted by Diana McCabe in Entertainment, News.
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Here is part 2 of the latestTwilight” trailer. Movie is out Nov. 16. (There is a rambling review at the end of this which some folks might find amusing. But you can watch the video clip first and skip the talking, talking, talking at the end!) But for TwiHard fans this clip looks interesting.

‘Take It Like a Vamp’ — an OK afternoon read but hero is sooooo indecisive …. September 10, 2012

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Reviews/summaries, Vampires.
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On a whim, I downloaded Candace HavensTAKE IT LIKE A VAMP because I’d heard good things about the story. It’s a fast afternoon read and if you like the sexy vampire guy meets human girl and wants to protect her story, then this is for you. Here’s the book blurb:

“Vampire Nick Christos might’ve been born in the Middle Ages, but the good old days seem tame compared to the last eight years he’s spent ruling the Supernatural Council. His only respite is with his cute neighbor Casey Meyers, a woman he wants more than any undead man should. Sure, he’s forced to take a cold shower after every encounter, but there’s no way he’ll test his own strength by getting too close to a human, and he’s not willing to risk her life — not with bloodthirsty family on the prowl out to ruin Nick’s life.

When said Nick’s kin shows up, the innocent Casey is caught in the middle of a centuries old fight, and Nick’s biggest fear is realized. Now, instead of keeping his hands off his neighbor, he’ll risk everything to save the human he’s come to love.”

So Nick the vampire and Casey — who thinks she’s too plump — are neighbors in a condo that he owns. They’re best friends, although both are secretly in love with each other. That part of the story is cute and fun. She thinks Nick is out of her league, and Nick is worried about scaring Casey off. The friendship deepens though as Nick — who is high up on a supernatural council — has to get married. His big problem? He hasn’t told Casey he’s a vampire and he’s got a lot of enemies, including a nasty witch who wants Nick to herself, after him.

And that’s my biggest issue with the book. A lot of time is spent about Nick worrying about telling Casey what he is and why he needs to marry her. It’s totally annoying. I wanted to yell at him — just tell her and stop dragging her around and pulling her into danger! And I also got tired of the heroine who is insecure about her body. In this case, Casey says she has a little pouch instead of a flat belly. I’m guessing this is to appeal to all of us women out there without model bodies but I am sooooo tired of this formula. She’s way too insecure. Of course, Nick and his other supernatural buddies think she’s gorgeous. We so didn’t need to get into women’s bodies issues. (Notice the men never have body issues but I guess the book publishers know their female audience!)

That said, there were some really funny moments in the story. Casey has some good lines — like this: “It’s sad when your best friend makes your panties melt.” And the other characters are entertaining: Her Aunt “Teddy” who used to be a guy is pretty amusing and and Nick’s friend Linc, who is a clothing designer but 100 percent straight and hot. (I’m guessing Havens will write more about these other characters.) Havens also drops in references to current vampire books/movies like TWILIGHT and TRUE BLOOD.

The pace of the story is fast. And that’s what makes it an OK afternoon read despite some of the flaws I found annoying. When I got to the end — I almost wanted an epilogue or something. It just stopped so abruptly. Maybe she’ll write more. But if she does, I hope she sharpens up some of the characters a bit to make this is more of a top-notch read. If you’re looking for a more complex, witty story — like Kresley Cole or Patricia Briggs — totally skip this. But if you enjoy the occasional light stuff, you might like this.

Hugo Award winners announced …. any of your faves on here? September 3, 2012

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention, announced the 2012 Hugo Award winners on Sept. 2 in Chicago. Here’s the list:

BEST NOVEL
Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor)

Description from Amazon.com

Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled–and her twin sister dead.

Fleeing to her father whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England–a place all but devoid of true magic. There, outcast and alone, she tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off…

BEST NOVELLA
“The Man Who Bridged the Mist” by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s, September/October 2011)
You can read some of the novella at the link above. Johnson’s story is about an alien planet and the humans who try to tame it.

BEST NOVELETTE
“Six Months, Three Days” by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor.com)

Description from Amazon.com:

Doug and Judy have both had a secret power all their life. Judy can see every possible future, branching out from each moment like infinite trees. Doug can also see the future, but for him, it’s a single, locked-in, inexorable sequence of foreordained events. They can’t both be right, but over and over again, they are. Obviously these are the last two people in the world who should date. So, naturally, they do.

BEST SHORT STORY
“The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2011)

Above is the link to Liu’s PDF of the short story — which is about 15 pages. It’s been called a gentle fantasy and is about culture clash, love, paper tigers and a mail-order bride.

BEST RELATED WORK
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Third Edition edited by John Clute, David Langford, Peter Nicholls, and Graham Sleight (Gollancz)

BEST GRAPHIC STORY
Digger by Ursula Vernon (Sofawolf Press)
Digger is the story about a wombat. Link takes you to author’s site.

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM
Game of Thrones (Season 1) (HBO)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, SHORT FORM
“The Doctor’s Wife” (Doctor Who) (BBC Wales)

BEST EDITOR, SHORT FORM
Sheila Williams
She is the editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine.

BEST EDITOR, LONG FORM
Betsy Wollheim
Runs DAWS books

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST
John Picacio
He is the artist of the “A Song of Fire and Ice” calendar. Here is my interview with him at Comic-Con 2011.

BEST SEMIPROZINE
Locus, edited by Liza Groen Trombi, Kirsten Gong-Wong, et al.

BEST FANZINE
SF Signal, edited by John DeNardo

BEST FAN WRITER
Jim C. Hines

BEST FAN ARTIST
Maurine Starkey

BEST FANCAST
SF Squeecast, Lynne M. Thomas, Seanan McGuire, Paul Cornell, Elizabeth Bear, and Catherynne M. Valente

 

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