Curiousity Corner: Dracula by Bram Stoker

I’ve said this before – vampires are delicious. I may be paraphrasing. Now it’s no surprise that I would want to read this. It might just be my love for Gary Oldman, or my curiousity with all that good supernaturally stuff  that brought me here. Both, probably.

Since I saw the movie when I was much younger, I didn’t realize it was based off of a book. Though it’s actually one of my favourite movies (no matter how not great it was) so I’m going to make an exception and give it a read at some point. Dracula is supposed to be one of the original bloodsuckers…or as far as I know, at least one of them. I would like to see where Bram takes his imagination with this. I’m not sure if it was the same in the novel or something they changed in the film, but I liked the background that Dracula was given. I think it fit well with the story line. In the book, I just have to wonder if he’s just a lonely vampire wanting what everyone else has? Aww. Sad. Anybody have that problem with books and their movie selves?
Happy Halloween!

Xox,
Sasha

My Wandering eyes have found: Shadows

Title: Shadows
Author: Paula Weston
Publisher: Text Publishing
Type of book: Hardcover
Genre: Fantasy, paranormal, angels & Demons, Romance
Pages: 388

So I did a little indulging on the Chapters/Indigo website and bought 3 books, completely different from one another. My reasoning for such spontaneity are as listed: 1) it’s been a while. 2) I legit had read all which sit on bookshelf. 3) I look for any excuse to go book-shopping :). So This particular website was rather kind to me and introduced me to Shadows by Paula Weston. So once I foudn this little treasure I had no choice but to consult my book-guru Goodreads and what jackpot it came out to be. Needn’t I forget the fact that I bought this book despite it being a hardcover and that is a big time deal. For one simple fact {I may have mentioned it before but I will repeat} I ABHOR hardcovers.


It’s almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn.
And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who’s been appearing in Gaby’s dreams—he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense. Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth—and that the truth is more likely to be found in the shadows of her nightmares.

Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly, who can she trust?

-Goodreads

I do not know about you, but I get a feeling that this book will not be your typical girl meets mystery-drowned boy. I haven’t been interested in a book surrounding angels and demons since Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I think this could be it. Yes, I am getting my hopes up and yes, waves of chills went down my spine whenever I look at the cover. That’s just how they bait me I swear. It feels very much that it should not be in the YA section.

My hopes for this book is that I will get a series of unexplainable events, people ending up dead, maybe some whispers of Gabby Winter’s brother from a shallow grave {maybe even find out that he didn’t really die and is actually imprisoned in a dark place}. My aspirations on the romance are that I don’t want instant trust from Gabby. Goodness knows that a stranger coming into your life and talking nonsense isn’t someone you bring home to meet the folks. I basically I want this romance to build up and to make sense. I won’t accept reasoning that because she sees him in her dreams, that he is a good person. That’s just ridiculous-ness at it’s finest right there. {not to mention overdone}.

I do hope Gabby will after a series of horrible scary happenings have no choice and man up and become the warrior her dreams make her out to be. I want Gabby and her black knight go places no mortal has ever gone and maybe…just maybe end of the world happenings, but I think that’s a little stretch seeing it is the first book.

I really hope this book will standout and wow me, nay, I need it to blow my mind. {with old age comes picker times bwahahah} Doesn’t it sound sweet?! I am get hyped up! The proper review for Shadows will only follow sometime maybe next month, but warnings: I do have a book in between to get to beforehand so it might be pushed till December. It’s almost fitting though if it was ready for December don’t ya think? Nevertheless the more I read other reviewers comments basking the book in nothing but magnificence only furthers my anticipation.

Anyways that is where I will leave you all tootles!

-Meli

Curiousity Corner: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

This week instead of a review, I’ve decided to write about something that I have hopes to read at some point…soon? In the distant future somewhere at least.

Okay. So. I feel like everywhere I go, I’ve been seeing this book. That’s weird isn’t it? And each and every time this happens, I’m reluctant to flip through its contents. After all my stubbornness, I’m taking it as an extremely delayed sign. I think because the cover shares the same color scheme as the Twilight series (which I’ve read…though I shan’t speak of it) that it through me off a little bit? Yeah, let’s go with that. So I shoved my bitterness aside one day whilst bored on my cellular device as usual. I ordered a sample from Kelley Armstrong. Bitten seems to revolve around werewolves. Normally, I wouldn’t indulge in this sort of furry fantasy. But I’m thinking Year of the Vampire is over. At least for now.

The first few chapters that I got to peek, introduces our main character Elena who is a newly bitten wolf still trying to hold onto her humanity. It does seem to sound like the usual self-loathing supernatural creature, but I’m interested to see where this goes. Especially when Elena gives into her wolfy urges. It’s always a little fun when they join the dark side for a quick spin, don’t you think?
This is going to be added to my collection soon enough. Hopefully it won’t be collecting dust.

xox,
Sasha

Book Wish List: Strands of Bronze and Gold

Title: Strands of Bronze and Gold
Author: Jane Nickerson
Type of book: Hardcover
Genre: Historical Fiction, fantasy, fairy tale, mystery
Pages: 352

Nothing says trouble more than a young girl, down on her luck with no money, no home and no family suddenly receiving a letter from a man you haven’t seen in years. This particular man invites you to live with him and suddenly you are saved from your desperate situation. Already her circumstances give me grave anxiety, the girl is all alone, just 16 years old and is forced to embrace a world and way of life unlike anything she has experience. Boys and girls if you are hoping for a happy-go-lucky-tale you will not find it here.

She finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her.

This is supposed to be a retelling of the fairy tale Bluebeard and for those of you unfamiliar; it is a tale of a aristocratic man who repels all women because of hideous Bluebeard. Although he has had many wives they all end up disappearing. He eventually gets himself a new wife, but soon leaves her to attend important matters in another country, and before he does he gives his new wife a set of keys which opens many doors. Bluebeard tell her that she may go anywhere those keys allow her to, except the smallest room. It was forbidden and she promises him to be a good wife and not open that room. But like any other heroine, she doesn’t listen and learns the secret of her husband’s strange hobby, as well as the mystery of his past wives. Frightening story I must say, so to have a retelling I can’t help but nibble on my curiosity and wonder what will be different and the same. WILL THERE BE A HAPPY ENDING? . I know I have an addiction so sue me… actually, please don’t, my name has yet to reveal any monetary value teehee

And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world..

Goodness I get chills at that, could he possibly trying to re-create the image of a past love with all these girls with this one repetitive feature? That is such a typical sign of a serial killer based on a lot of Law and Order.

When you are given everything when you use to have nothing what do you do when faced with a terrible secret? I know I would run for the hills, but this 1855 so obviously my solution is a lot less possible. I have heard from other reviewers that this author is rather good and the general public have been pleased. I am hoping to end up having a similar reaction and feel that my hard earn 5$ plum points will be well spent.

-Meli <3

Sasha’s Curiousity Corner: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

Image

When I first saw the title, I instantly thought of that song from The Fugees. Then I thought “Oh hey, that’s neat. I want to read this.” So yeah. The thought still stands: I want to read this.

The cover does absolute wonders for me. It’s not overly interesting, but the soiled white rose does leave me pondering incessantly. Is that blood? Red paint? A questionably spilt wine? I also happen to enjoy the vines wrapped around the lettering. It’s simple, excluding that rose (the red liquid is a lot questionable)-it’s actually pretty sweet. You know what else is sweet? Fairytales. Which is exactly what this book promises. I don’t think Sarah Cross is giving it the typical Disney spin.

 

“…In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who’s a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.”

I’m a total sucker for twisty fairytales and this looks like it’s mild on the twist. From what I could assume from the summary, the main character Mirabelle hasn’t taken on any well known happily ever after identity and I’m wondering what role she will play. All these words about curses and hidden pasts and destiny just gets my curiousity peaked to it’s highest. Will sixteen year old Mirabelle find her happily ever after, fairy tale fate? Or will she be cursed with a dark past as well as a darkened future?

How omnious is that?

When I get my hands on it, I’ll be sure to let you know!

-S

To Wherever the Wanderings of My Eyes May Lead: The Night Watchman Express

Title: The Night Watchman Express
Author: Alison DeLuca
Publisher: Fantasy Island
Type of book: Paperback
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy, Science Fiction Steampunk
Pages: 324

This book right here, every time I look at the cover I get instant goose bumps. This story is a bit different than what I usually go for, but the story line just seemed so freakishly disturbing that I knew I have to get it.

Miriam, an orphan who is toughing it out in the world, whose only real fears lie with Night Watchman Express, a train who takes people at random and drags them to this mysteriously evil location. There, people say experimentations occur at the old factory and once you get in…you are most likely never heard from again. Now imagine that, you have no one but yourself, stuck in what I am imagining is a pretty big house and hearing that terrifying train run by your house every night.

Oh and did I mention you’re alone? That is some messed up business. I would be so worried about falling asleep and knowing maybe they might catch me. Say hello to too much coffee and a life dedicated to being an insomniac. Of course, that’s not all with the story, poor Miriam just got herself some new family-mates, the Marchpanes, who are harbouring a secret or two and are rumoured to be linked to the NEW. We mustn’t forget their lovely (or maybe not) son Simon who is far from being Miriam’s best person in the world.

But you know what they, if you can’t love friends love your enemies…I hope that’s the saying anyway.

Also, as you can guess that nobody escapes The NWE as poor Miriam and Simon become its new passengers and what awaits them is danger, evil, and jailers who are more than just a pretty face. The part of the jailers I must admit, I got an image of a scene in that movie Silent hill where Radha Mitchell’s character is stuck in a dark basement with zombie nurses…creepy. If you haven’t seen the movie, no worries, my head just likes making associations.

I am suspecting this might be a trilogy (please don’t let it be!) but tis is the trend so I hope nothing but a delicious time. I also hope I have gathered your interest. As for me, I am going hunting 

Tootles all!
Meli

Mandy’s Musings: Of stars, books and Aztecs

This is going to be a slight change of pace from the series of book reviews we have been expertly spurting out so far (yes go us!), which is mostly due to the fact that I haven’t finished any books in time for today… my bad…

I do however have something up my sleeve, or rather, something waiting for me on my untidy desk.

That thing is this brick of a novel by Gary Jennings, an epic tale entitled Aztec.

The first time I heard of this book was in my Mesoamerican Art History and Archaeology class which I adored. The indigenous cultures of Central America have always fascinated me, especially because of my heritage on my dad’s side, and finding out that a class about them was offered in my program practically made me leap for joy.

However, I was afraid I’d have to seek out this book with no luck once vacation started, but imagine my surprise when I found it lying in a bookshelf in my boyfriend’s childhood home? I’m not really one to believe in fate or destiny, but god be damned if this wasn’t meant to be. The stars were in position for me to find this book! (…I should clarify that I don’t mean I simply met my boyfriend to find this book, this is just one of the many perks of being with him :p)

Anyways, as the title suggests Gary Jenning’s Aztec is about the Aztec civilization (or rather the Mexica as they referred to themselves), but more precisely, about the life of Mixtli-Dark Cloud before, during and after the arrival of the Spanish. Born the son of peasants, Mixtli quickly rises within Aztec society, starting as a young scribe, then a warrior, a wealthy traveling merchant, and finally a lord in the impressive city of Tenochtitlan and Motecuzoma’s emissary to the newly arrived Cortes and his Conquistadors.

I’ve heard that this book had some issues but I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve actually read the book. I also heard that this book wasn’t for the faint of heart, but having researched in countless books and sources about the sacrificial rituals of the Aztecs, I think I’ll be able to handle it (they were surprisingly graphic). Besides, faint isn’t even close to being my middle name.

Also, what is interesting is how the narrative is composed as a series of letters between Bishop Juan de Zumárraga and King Carlos I of Spain (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor) who requested a chronicle of the lives of the Aztecs as they once were. This is where Mixtli comes in, now an impoverished old man but deemed educated enough “for his race” to share his life story, with friars transcribing and hanging on to his every word. And what an old man this Mixtli seems to be! As Zumárraga writes at the beginning: “From the very first opening of his mouth, the Aztec evinces disrespect for out person, our cloth, and our office as our Reverend Majesty’s personally chosen missionary, which disrespect is an implicit insult to our sovereign himself.”

As if I wasn’t excited enough! I hope this book doesn’t disappoint!

Mandy