Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why the color white hates me (and a book review)

I’m finally getting back on track with the book reading so it’s time for a review and yes, I’ve got more than one book to do this time!

First up is “Oracle’s Queen” which is the third installment of Lynn Flewelling’s “Tamir” series. I’ve felt all along that this series did not live up to the promise of Flewelling’s earlier series set in the same world. It’s quite dark and a lot of tragic elements come into play and that may be what I’ve found off-putting about it. It’s too bad because the initial premise of the princess who must be hidden as a boy to save her life was handled in a very original way for such a tired old concept. There’s lots of action and the supporting cast are interesting (if not always likeable). Flewelling does tie up all the plot loose ends, but some of them get tied up a little too neatly. For example, the resolution of the main villain’s story line is awfully quick and neat. It comes off as less-than-believable. Overall, I give this whole series a grade of mediocre. There’s nothing bad about it, but it doesn’t quite fulfill its promise. Oh, and for those who find certain topics to be off-putting, Flewelling deals a lot with homosexuality and trans-gender issues as a result of the princess being hidden and then eventually revealed. If that sort of thing bothers you, then this is not the author for you.

Next up is the latest book in Kelley Armstrong’s "Women of the Otherworld” series, “Broken.” For the most part, I’ve found the books about the witches in this series to be better written and more interesting than those about the werewolves, but she did a bit better with the wolves this time. Clay isn’t quite as obnoxious as usual and Elena has made peace with a lot of her issues so things that bothered me in the earlier stories are not so prevalent. The plot, on the other hand, is awfully twisty and hard to follow. This is particularly true regarding the portal and the related mechanics of how to close it, what kind it is, who’s controlling it, etc. I also thought the whole Jack the Ripper thing had sort of been done to death. No pun intended. Also, for anyone who hasn’t tried this author before – fair warning that she’s a cross-over from the romance genre and therefore all the overly detailed sex scene issues definitely apply. Although, I didn’t think this particular book was quite as bad on that as some of the others had been. Frankly, I rather breathed a sigh of relief when Elena realizes she’s too pregnant to “carry on” any more until the babies are born. What a relief.

I guess it’s my month to follow-up on series because the last book is another of Kim Harrison’s “Rachel Morgan” series: “A Fistful of Charms.” I love this series. Rachel is feisty, powerful and yet oftentimes is her own worst enemy. And then there’s Jenks, the pixie – yum. Even better, in this book he’s grown to full human size courtesy of a not-so-white spell. I swear if anything bad ever happens to Jenks I will have to hunt the author down and ‘splain some stuff to her. Okay, no, I’ll probably just make scathing remarks about her and her ancestry here in the blog, but seriously, hands off my pixie! I have to say I’m getting tired of the whole relationship dance between Rachel and Ivy, though. The author seems to WANT them to be lesbians, but is kind of afraid to go there. While I’m grateful for that (it’s getting so overdone as to be trite and besides, I like my steamy novels hetero, please), the whole “will they or won’t they” dance is getting irritating. Either do it or don’t, but let’s all move on, please. The ending of this particular book was a little predictable, but on the other hand, I’m just happy that Rachel didn’t end up any worse off than usual. If she’d gotten herself yet ANOTHER demon mark or vamp scar, there would’ve been some seriously annoyed eye rolling going on at my house.

That’s it for this week. I’m headed to the book store on my lunch hour, though, so hopefully I’ll come back with some great stuff for future weeks.


P.S. Yes, I know that the website updates haven’t been done yet. Small problem with the logon information to the server – it was set up originally by my ex and he failed to share that info with me before he departed. So. As soon as I have about 5 hours to sit on hold with the host company’s technical support department, it’ll get fixed. For those of you who haven’t mastered the art of reading between the lines, what I’m saying here is “don’t hold your breath.”

P.P.S. Remember back when I said that I was maybe a little bit dumb for buying white pants this summer? Yeah, I need to learn to listen to my own advice. For some reason, I can wear a white skirt or white shoes with no problem. There’s something about white pants, though, that just defeats me every time. This weekend I was working on a project in my closet and using a pen to write labels on things (don’t ask) when I suddenly realized that, thanks to a stray hand gesture with the hand holding the uncapped ball point pen, I now had a streak of black ink on the white cropped pants that I was planning to wear to a party that night. Off I go to call my mother to get her to remind me how to get pen ink out of clothes (the answer, by the way, is hairspray…I don’t know why or how she figured it out, but it works). I grab my trusty neon green can of Garnier Fructis Extra Hold and spray away and then pop the pants into the wash. They’ll never be washed AND dried in time for the party so a wardrobe crisis then ensues as I try to figure out what to wear in their place. Did I learn my lesson you ask? No, of course not. I decide to wear those selfsame pants to work today and what happens? I spill Diet Coke all over my lap so now my pants are white…with caramel-color spots all over them. Oh, and I forgot to mention that when I went to grab my white purse out of the closet this morning I discovered that one entire side of it is stained with I-have-no-idea-what kind of gunk that refuses to respond to any kind of cleaning I can do that won’t damage the leather of the purse. Realize, of course, that I’ve used this purse exactly ONE time to go out to lunch and there was no sign of the gunk at the restaurant or on the chair where I carefully placed the purse (being aware, of course, that it is a WHITE purse) to keep it from getting dirty.

You know, I was initially bummed that the fall color palette is so dark, bland and boring, but now I’m thinking maybe in my case it’s a good thing?

No comments: