Scent of Magic (Healer #2) : Book Review

1 Jan

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Starting of, Scent of Magic reminded me so much of World of Warcraft – the undead, inns, scenery, healers guilds, random tribes..so I suppose that’s why Maria V Snyder’s books hook me on so quickly.

Plot : As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she has diead of the plague. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.

Under the guise of Sergeant Irina, she begins to train the soldiers of Estrid’s camp to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.It takes quite some time for the others to accept her..but within no time, she and others are drawing out war stratergies.

On the other side, Kerrick and Danny have been kidnapped by a tribe and everyone believes that Kerrick is dead, including Avry.

Thoughts :

Lot of new characters are introduced. The story has got its occasional twists,betrayal and sarcastic humour. It’s quite fast paced initially but slows down slightly towards the end. I usually like a lot of romance in my fantasy, but in this story, Kerrick and Avry are only together in the first and last chapter. Still, I loved the action and adventure. It made their far away relationship more special. There are double PoVs- Kerrick & Avry (1st person narrative)

I loved the fact that Kerrick trusts Avry and gives her space. He knows his duty lies with his country first. And when Avry learns of his death, she is devastated and heartbroken..but she moves on to save her living friends.

Tohon was a well rounded villain- he had a motive (childhood jealousy)- he is a psycho and maniac and in spite of his anger toward Avry for she foiled all his plans- he is attracted to her : In fact at one point, he wants her to fall in love with him and actually attempts to woo her (Lol) The fact that Avry can’t resist Tohon’s touches makes the conflict all the more interesting. Of Course, killing Noelle (Avry’s sister) was the last straw : so woo hoo ! Avry finally learns to resist the desire Tohon plants in her.

Remember Flea ? He’s ALIVE .. and NAKED !! With a whole new magic power in his a hand. Sadly, there are lots of deaths in the story. I guess..that makes the war all the more realistic. But I hated it when Ursuan (a seargent) died. I found him quite intriguing..the way he suspects and figures things out and always covers Avry back. I wanted to know who he really was but poof : he just died.

Ryne is quite the strategist. Danny is quite intelligent. Maria V Snyder has lot of creative expressions using fear and anger. Go ahead and pick up the book. But let me warn you..there is quite an ending (cliffhanger) – Kerrick is poisoned and he might die..but I am not too worried..after all the hero can’t die right ? Or can he ?

 

P.S. Happy New Year !! 🙂

Just the Sexiest Man Alive : Book Review

27 Dec

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Julie James is a master at writing witty banter and sarcastic dialogues ! This was an amazing read, I must have read this book more than 10 times by now.

Plot – Our hero, Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. He is to act as a lawyer in his new movie, for which he seeks help from a law firm who sends in Taylor Donovan to train him .When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he’s thrown for a loop. She’s unlike any other woman he’s ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She’s the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize she may just be his perfect match. Throw in a jealous actor as a villain and your all ready to go.

Sam eyed them both suspiciously. “What kind of issues?”
Taylor didn’t bat an eye.
“Well . . . it appears that Mr. Andrews has some problems determining what is and is not appropriate behavior in the workplace.”
“Unfortunately, it seems that Mr. Andrews has a fondness for telling dirty jokes around the office.” She leaned in toward Sam, whispering. “And not even good ones—juvenile stuff. Fifth-grade humor, really.” Seeing Sam’s eyes dart over toward him, Jason shifted uncomfortably. Normally he was all for ad-libbing, but this was going a little far off script.
“Umm . . . Ms. Donovan, perhaps we should discuss this in—”
“And another thing,” she immediately cut him off, “he apparently demands that the women in his office address him only as ‘Your Hotness.’ And when speaking about him in the third person, he wants them to refer to him only as ‘TheHotness.”
The Derek guy, who still sat over at the conference table, snorted loudly at this.
Jason threw Taylor a look of warning. “I really don’t think—”
“—And of course there was the incident last week,” she said, cutting him off once again.
“The incident?” Sam asked, looking slightly uncomfortable.
With a coy glance clearly thrown in for Jason’s benefit, Taylor turned to Sam to explain.
“Last week, Mr. Andrews thought it would be amusing to sound the fire alarm and yell over the intercom that it was—quote—‘Time for all the cute girls to run around naked.’ ”

I loved the fact that it wasn’t attraction at first sight. In fact Taylor detests Jason’s arrogance. Taylor is level headed and in no way want to be involved with a womanizer who is used to having his every whim and fancy.

“He’s impossible.
“He’s ridiculous.
“Selfish. Conceited.
“Beyondarrogant.
“Condescending, too—you should’ve see the way he waved off the mountain of work on my desk with his little ‘Oh, pooh-pooh, but I’m a movie star.’ ”

My favourite part was when Jason realised that Taylor met with an accident, he left the filming immediately & also the part where Jason bursts into Taylor’s house and starts rambling about his problems without realising she had guests . I adored the way Jason ran around trying some or another way to get Taylor’s attention. The only thing I didn’t like was the whole making love thing at last..c’mon they waited so long, couldn’t they wait until they were married, it would make way more special.

Anyway , the characters develop gradually and both start to understand each other for who they really are Opposites, but they make a wonderful couple. If you like light hearted,funny, feel-good romance to give your brain some vacation, go ahead and pick up this book 🙂

Note : ( 4 Aug 2013 )

This book is awesome awesome awesome !!! I’ve read this book more than 50 times by now. No joke ! I don’t know why I wrote such a small review !

Jason’s jealousy is so adorable.. and when he helps Taylor after the accident-I just sighed… =)

And I loved the fact that they did NOT jump into bed and the love scene was not super graphic..which made the book just right and super fun to read. As in the focus was more on their witty banter rather than the crazy I love you at first sight romance. Love that !

My friend who hates all the books I read cause of the ‘dirty scenes’ loved this book ! And coming from her..that counts a lot !

Again..Jason was so cute.. it was quite fairytale-ish

How was your Doomsday ?

21 Dec

Did you spend the previous night anticipating an earthquake or an Earth shattering catastrophe ? Contrary to popular myth, the Mayan calendar does not foretell doom in 2012.

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According to Juan Cole,a history professor at the University of Michigan,

“What amazes me is that you can get people excited about dangers to their world by twisting some text from an ancient civilization,” he wrote on his blog. “But you can’t get them worried about an actual set of threats that really do have the potential to threaten human existence.”

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 So long as there is money to be made from people’s fear, we’ll keep seeing the bookshops stocked with a disproportionate amount of doom and Google ads linking to websites with doomsayers’ warped versions of reality and fake soothsayers uttering divine revelations in a frenzied state.

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So what did you do today ? I spent the day studying coordinate geometry. Guess you can’t escape hardwork even if some misinterpreted legend says the world is going to end 🙂

Unveiled : Book Review

30 Nov

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Ash Turner has waited a lifetime to seek revenge on the man who ruined his family–and now the time for justice has arrived. At Parford Manor, he intends to take his place as the rightful heir to the dukedom and settle an old score with the current duke once and for all. But instead he finds himself drawn to a tempting beauty who has the power to undo all his dreams of vengeance….

Lady Margaret knows she should despise the man who’s stolen her fortune and her father’s legacy–the man she’s been ordered to spy on in the guise of a nurse. Yet the more she learns about the new duke, the less she can resist his smoldering appeal. Soon Margaret and Ash find themselves torn between old loyalties–and the tantalizing promise of passion….

Who will Margaret choose , her family who had never shown her respect or a stranger who treats her as an individual and an equal even when she has lost everything ?

10 reasons why I absolutely adore LOVE Ash Turner :

1. Makes everyone feel equal & important, that they matter in life.

Ash treats the servants like he would treat a nobleman. He dines with them and doesn’t consider them low or inferior. He has an ability to look a person in the eye, and know if he is trustworthy or not. “You’re important, you matter”

2. Doesn’t give a damn about society rules, class and rank.

“A gentleman would have just taken you to bed to begin with, without bothering to ask for permission. Luckily for you, I was too busy making my own way in the world to learn to be a gentleman.”

“I brown terribly in the sunlight. I’ll develop freckles.”

“Oh, no. That sounds awful.” He spoke with exaggerated solicitude, but he leaned down from his horse until his nose was a bare foot from hers. “Freckles. And what do those dastardly spots portend? Are freckled people thrown in prison? Pilloried? Covered in tar and sprinkled with tiny little down feathers?”

3. Does not treat women like objects to be used when convenient.

“They want a woman who is a canvas, white and empty. Standing still, existing for no other purpose than to serve as a mute object onto which they can paint their own hopes and desires. They want their brides veiled. They want a demure, blank space they can fill with whatever they desire.”

“Miss Lowell, you magnificent creature, I want you to paint your own canvas. I want you to unveil yourself.”

4. Respects a person based on his actions and not parentage or family.

His reaction to Margaret being his enemy’s daughter is the most unpredicted and most beautiful one. Read the book, you’ll know.

5. Works day and night to provide a secure future for his brothers.

6. He sacrifices to make his loved ones happy

7. You can become his friend if you defeat him in a sparring match !

8. His sense of humour

“Damn books. Damn words. And libraries and cold darkrooms can go to hell.” He slammed the tome shut against the table—and just as he did, he turned enough to catch Margaret’s eye.

He froze, his face a mask of obvious, inexplicable guilt. His fingers splayed across the book’s cover. They lay there, still for just an instanttoo long, before he ran his hands down the leather that covered the front chapboards. He looked as embarrassed as a man caught beating a puppy, his fingers petting the pages in an insincere, unconvincing half caress.

Margaret’s smile broadened.

He must have realized how ridiculous he appeared, because he shook his head. “No, madam,” he said. “There’s no problem here. We were having ourselves a friendly fight, we were—between me and this book.” He drawled out those words, mirroring the accent of the local men, as if he were some common laborer caught by the tavern keeper in the act of raising a chair.

She converted the giggle that rose up into a ladylike clearing of the throat, and put her hand on her hip. “We won’t stand for any trouble here, sir. Must I fetch the constable?”

“Wait. There’s a condition.”
“You know,” Ash said, his throat closing, “that if you are half-naked on my bed, all conditions will be met. Instantly.”

9.  His ability to forgive and give 2nd chances.

10. His understanding nature.

Out of frustration, Margaret throws mud all over Ash and curses him. But what does Ash do as an employer ? He doesn’t fire her, instead he brings a soothing drink for her and tells her to relax.

Oh Ash Ash Ash, I talked so much about him at home, that my mom said I had started fantasizing about a dream hero.

Courtney Milan has packed so much of emotion and character in her stories. *sighs*  We see a gradual transition in Margaret’s outlook of life. It crushed me to know that Parford didn’t give a damn, in fact spoke ill about his children in front of them.

Honestly, teenagers should read this book to know what true love means. This isn’t the regular “Oh ur hot, lets tumble on the bed” romance novel. It was about understanding ,patience and forgiveness. A definite keeper. Why can’t we have more people like Ash ?

Book Review – Immortals after Dark #2 : A hunger like no other

2 Nov

What do you do if some random guy appears out of nowhere and pounces on you, drags you of to a hotel and then demands that you guide him to his palace in the next country. If that’s not enough, he attends to his expensive tastes by burning the money from your credit cars and and tries to do stuff of sexual nature with you.

Meet Emmaline ‘Emma’ Troy, a half vampire & half valkyrie. Her mother, a stunning valkyrie died when Emma was a baby. After turning 70 ( which is young for an immortal? ), she leaves her valkyrie coven and embarks on a quest to find out her vampire dad’s identity.

Meanwhile Lachalain MacRieve, the king of the Lykae clan has been imprisoned & tortured for an agonizing 150 years at the hands of the ruthless vampire king Demestriu. The gruesome pain inflicted on him causes him to die everyday only to be revived again by his immortality. After scenting his destined mate, he manages to escape the fiery catacombs, maiming his leg in the process.

 

But oof ! Fate had different plans for him. Lachlain is horrified to find his mate Emma, a vampire. (He doesn’t realise that she’s half valkyrie too) As tradition, the lykaes and vampires do not mix. They were enemies, are enemies and will always be enemies. Moreover, Emma’s weakness and fear disgusts him.

Anyway, he still tags along. After all, He’s waited 1200 years for his true mate and plans to confirm it. He demands that Emma help him reach his home in Scotland after which he’ll let her go. Of course we know that is  an outright lie, for he plans to keep her for a long long time.

The only reason Emma’s willing to put up with Lachalain is because she is in danger of being discovered. After Demestriu’s accession to the vampire throne, all female vampires were slaughtered making Emma the last female left. Her halfling status requires her to be more vigilant. Staying with the intimidating Lachlain assures her temporary protection.

 

Kresley Cole has done an amazing job of weaving her characters. Each character has a unique personality, their emotions changing rapidly making the story more interesting at every turn.

 

Emma is everything opposite to what a vampire should be. She’s gentle and has not even hurt a fly. She has never killed for food and drinks only from blood banks. All the more reason, why I should like her, indirectly she’s vegetarian. ( Vegans have my respect )

Due to her upbringing and mix species, she has always felt like an outsider. In the beginning of the story , one usually perceives her as a weak coward who cowers in fear at every threat. But she grows throughout the story and learns to fight for herself. In spite of the sexual tension , she does not succumb to lust. She stands up fore self and refusing to be taken advantaged of by a stranger.

And yes ! She’s a virgin ! That’s not very common for the current generation for Emma is a 70 years old with an ethereal drop-dead gorgeous face.

 

Lahclain-Lachlain-Lachlain : Considering the fact, that he’s been tortured and locked up for a century, you’d expect the typical brooding hero who needs the warmth of a heroine to awake his broken soul. SKIP THAT CRAP ! Our hero, is quick to let go of his past and move on.

He’s intelligent but the way modern day gadgets especially telephones initially scares the wits out of him, cracks me up! Did I mention his outdated accent ? Realistic. But I think I’d better give him a ‘ speak modern english DVD ‘ as a wedding gift.

 

To Emma’s chagrin, he’s possessive and overwhelming too. Lachlain assumes that Emma is a ‘blood sucking leech’ and dominates and bosses her at every go. Yet his infuriated mind seems to soothe in her presence. Every now and then I felt like slapping him and giving him a lecture on “free will”. 

So when Lachlain realises that he’s been totally wrong and that Emma isn’t the predator, I literally did the ‘ IN YOUR FACE ‘ dance in my bedroom ! Score 100 points for Emma when she kicks and dislocates Lachlain’s jaw.

He softens up as the story progresses and realises that he’s the one at folly and ought to adapt to improve their relationship. When Lachlain realises that Emma is his torturer’s Demestriu’s daughter, he doesn’t scream or burst into rage. By then, his love for Emma allows him to think rationally & act like a mature adult.

 

Kresley Cole has built a fantastic world, brilliant world building, every character has a role to play in the future books. Inspite of the colourful additions, you don’t get confused. I really cared for each one of them.

 

What’s better than a bunch of loyal and kick-ass valkyrie aunts who enjoy gaming on their xbox & munching on electricity every weekend. They love Emma and fiercely protect her . My favourite is Regina the Radiant. She’s one crazy gal whose sarcastic wit got me hooked with her story in Book 11. And Nix the soothsayer, she’s supposed to act wise and regal, but hey ! She wakes up from her nap after her sisters have almost died fighting a horde of bloodthirsty vampires & complains that she just missed the drama!

 

Take Annika : Emma’s foster mother. She reminds me of Lauriana Baristani from C.L.Wilson’s Tairen Soul series. Both mother’s want the best for their daughters, but they both are too stubborn to overcome any prejudices and acknowledge change. I often felt like shaking some sense into her.

Lucia & Garreth (Lachlain’s brother) : So Lachlain isn’t the only one to find a mate. It is funny how Garreth saves Lucia, only to be later captured by her and held ransom. I’m looking forward to reading their book.

Demestriu– This is probably the forest time I actually pity the villain. He’s one of those hormonally imbalanced and messed up people. He knows good from bad but is addicted to evil. He’s mad and confused but is happy to embrace death. But it rather hurt to know that Demestriu always knew about his daughter Emma’s existence but didn’t bother too search for her cause of rumours of her weakness.

 

This book taught me to never underestimate one’s ability.

The events pace perfectly however I felt that Emma & Lachlain’s relationship progressed too fast. Just 2 weeks, and they are heads over heels with each other ? It’s amazing how quickly Emma overlooked Lachlain’s misgiving but seriously, his initial nature would piss any normal human being off. ‘ Of course, we’re not talking about humans here. ‘ But still 2 weeks was too quick. I was hoping they’d understand each other over a long period. For what I have learnt, any strong relationship requires time and patience. And the fact that he hardly gives Emma her space is quite a reason for divorce nowadays.

The book highlights that politics whether among humans or mythical creatures, its all the same. Friends and foes trying to overthrow you to gain ultimate power.

 

This is a paranormal romance with a perfect blend of different cultures with couple of action-packed scenes. It reminded me of G.A. Aiken’s Dragon Kin Series.

I understood this book without reading book1 and then directly skipped to book 11 about Regina & book 12 about Lothaire . ( He has a minor appearance in this books & is definitely WICKED PERSONIFIED ) The best part is that everything is crafted so well that you needn’t read the books in order, it just flows.

Heyy !

6 Sep

Hey guys !

How are ya’ll ?

Man, I haven’t blogged in such a long time. So, what games do you’ll play now that barbiegirls has closed ?

I started World of Warcraft ! Played it for a year. Epic game !

I’ll write about it this week, so do tune back !

 

Minesha

Whats up !

14 Aug

What’s up !! I haven’t posted in a long time. I’ll do it this week, and I’m joining a new blog, I’ll fill you’ll in later !!

– Minesha

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