Reviews by Amanda G.
”I enjoy books with strong heroines who make difficult choices to support their goal. I was unable to put this book down and sped through it in three days. Seraphina is a sixteen year old assistant to the court musician. She unwillingly is forced to leave her desired anonymity behind and gets dragged into courtly intrigue, politics, and trying to solve a royal murder, all while trying to protect her secret. For her secret will surely have her killed not only by humans, but by dragons. As the supreme general dragon arrives to mark the 40th anniversary of the peace treaty between themselves and the humans, Seraphina is forced to get involved. The longest night is coming, can she and the royal family survive the night?”
“As a young girl, Meghan’s father disappeared without a trace. Her mother remarried and now Meghan has grown up as a farm girl – a fate that leaves her an outcast aside from her overprotective friend, Robbie. Meghan’s life is turned upside down when her baby brother is kidnapped. Determined to save her brother, she follows Robbie through a closet into the land of the fey and nothing will ever be the same as Robbie is Puck. Yes, the Puck of legends and a Midsummer Night’s Dream Puck. Meghan is sometimes a bit too self-indulgent, but the creepy terrors of being kidnapped by goblins, nearly eaten by a horse-headed sprite, and more add an underscore of terror to the book. Then there is the promise of romance but is the romantic lead Puck or the prince? “
The Vampire Diaries” and reading Beth Fantaskey’s book, Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. "I read Fantaskey’s book with the mindset that it was lightly mocking the Twilight books which made this book laugh out loud funny. I am unsure if that was the author’s intention, but it helped set the pace as I read this 384-page novel in one sitting. Jessica is a farm girl who finds out that her birth parents betrothed her to a Romanian vampire prince, Lucius, to stop a war. Moreover, she is also a vampire princess. Unlike other heroines who would be swept away, Jessica stonewalls Lucius. She’s determined to live a normal life. The great thing about this book is that both Jessica and Lucius develop and grow as characters. Lucius goes from overbearing pampered royalty to a fighting for what’s right. Jessica faces up to her difficult destiny and demonstrates maturity. The book concludes with a heart pounding confrontation between herself and Lucius. I loved this book because it does some real world building with relatable characters."
This book picks up a few months where Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side left off. There is a murder mystery afoot which has led to the imprisonment of Jessica’s new husband, Lucius. Jessica is unsure of who to trust as she dreams of betrayal and blood. Lots and lots of blood. This book also delves into the romance of Jessica’s best friend, Mindy. Overall, it was nice to finish these books, but I felt that this book was a weak companion to the delightful earlier novel. Lucius is hardly seen since he is locked away in the dungeon and Jessica is sidelined as well thanks to Mindy’s story. I also figured out who was the murderer early on. So while I enjoyed this read, I wish there had been more about the vast society of vampires. There’s a lot of potential to flesh out this universe if the author would get away from the main cast.
“I am reading this because several of my techie coworkers have a love for all things written by Mr. Doctorow. The story is set across multiple characters living in various locations around the world. All of them are players of massive multiplay online games (MMOGs). Some of the players are playing for the fun of belonging and others because they need to make a living. For those forced to play, they endure rough conditions, beatings, and worse if they speak out about the way they are treated. However, an online revolution is coming as players began to form online unions to demand better conditions. Doctorow lacks the narrative spark that makes you emphasize with his characters, though you cringe away at the harshness of their lives in the slums. He's also a bit on the preach-y side as he suddenly stops the story to go on a tangent about how money is made in these games. My fault with the work is that I can see the puppet master. On the other hand, it's a fascinating look at the serious world of MMOGs. I am not a gamer, so I had very little background knowledge about the topic. “