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Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Little Things That Get Me... a commentary using "Uncovering Egypt" by Ann Cory



During Samhain's last anniversary, I won a contest that Ann Cory was running to promote said anniversary, and my prize was an ebook of "Uncovering Egypt." As I've stated before, I love Egypt, so I was aaall for it. Plus, you know, free book!

This is not going to be my traditional review, more like I'm using "Uncovering Egypt" as an example to express how little things can bug me, and you're all welcome to comment and say if you feel the same, or otherwise.

Bug number One: I know the ebook was short (about 59 pages), but that doesn't mean the main character needs to almost immediately believe that the guy approaching her in the hidden chamber is most definitely from ancient Egypt, and not just some whacko in a convincing costume. I mean, if something like that happened to me, I'd be pretty damn confused for a long, long time.

Bug number Two: I'm a little over the "I'll show them I'm not embarassed, so I'll strip and stand proud, but the second they look at me, I'll blush and be modest." Yes, I'm aware there are people that will do that. There's all types of people in the world.. but I think there's more books that say women do that, then there are actual women who would. In my case, I think I just wouldn't strip at all. Or I'd be hiding the important bits the whole time, no false bravado.

Bug number Three: In "Uncovering Egypt".. the main character is put into something the guards called a "body chamber"... basically, some sort of.. uh.. body-shaped-box-like-thing that leaves your head, breasts, and lower bits out in the open, but covers the rest (or at least that's how I saw it). Supposedly, this device was built for torture and punishment, and the Pharoh and guards brought it with them so as to torture whomever stole the bracelet. Yet, when our main character gets in the chamber and it closes, she says it feels tight and snug. The guards expected a male thief.. so if the chamber was snug on a woman, who is most likely smaller, and definitely build different, how did they expect a male to fit in it? And it seemed to fit her body perfectly, wouldn't it be uncomfortable and awkward if it was built to be a torture device thingy?

Bug number Four, or.. Bug, The Last.: The bracelet mentioned above is used to bring the Pharoh to the future so that he may find his next Queen - Cool. And supposedly, it has the power to take them back. And it does, but the main character, when recalling the incident later, mentions that the bracelet just barely had enough power to bring them back. Now, let me clear up something. The Pharoh came with his guards, but when the main character mentions coming back, she doesn't mention the guards. Did they just get left there? What happened to them? After a line said by the Pharoh a few moments before the mini-battle in the future started, the guards are never mentioned again. Maybe I care too much about side characters, but what if they're stuck in the future! I'm not sure they'd be able to handle it. Though Fry from Futurama did okay..

So I'm sure after reading all that, that you probably believe I hated the book. Not true! I thought it was a good read, and I read it in one sitting. It was the perfect book to grab when you're laying in bed and relaxing before you have to go to sleep. Not saying it was boring, but there are just those perfect books for reading in bed.. "Uncovering Egypt" by Ann Cory was one of them.

I think I would give it somewhere between a THREE POINT FIVE and a FOUR out of FIVE. I did enjoy it, I'll probably read it again sometime, but I think I focused a little too much on the little things. I'm not saying I demand perfection, or I will only read authors that have all these little things tied up. I'm not sure it's possible to fix everything like that, and I believe authors should be allowed some creative power. I'm just saying that I think about this stuff. Am I alone in that?

Until next time, Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow

Book won in a contest, not received in exchange for review.
Book cover courtesy of samhainpublishing.com.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Review of "The Awakening" by Jamieson Wolf


What's this? Another review so soon! Who knew not having homework would mean a lot of free time to read. But now, we have "The Awakening" by Jamieson Wolf to review, an ebook I received (in exchance for review) from librarything.com. (I love that site!)

From his site here :
Cleopatra, ruler of Egypt, is just twenty years old and in love with Marc Anthony. After the death of Julius Caesar, she is thrilled to find love in the arms of another.
Her bliss is shattered when she is contacted by The Goddess Isis. Isis needs Cleopatra's help. Osiris has gone missing and Isis is unable to find him. She needs Cleopatra to locate him before he is killed.
But all is not as it seems. Cleopatra is being hunted by Anubis, God of the Underworld. Cleopatra will have to trust in herself, and the magic inside of her, if she is to survive....

I have to be honest, it took me a few moments to work out the position of the bodies on the cover.. and even now, I'm not sure the girl's head is on right.. But enough about that. As we all may know, I love mythology. I also love History. So of course I was interested in this book. It is a little short though, my ebook reader listed it as 38 pages.. and the book itself listed it as even shorter, since my reader is set to make the text a little bigger and space things out some. But uh.. not important! I think I've mentioned in the past that I'm not a fan of short stories, which is what this was, basically, because there's not enough space for development, whether it be plot, characters, or world building. But I think "The Awakening" did alright with the limited space available. Cleopatra was interesting, Marc Antony only annoyed me for like two seconds and I liked him otherwise.. but I'm not sure I liked the whole bit about Cleopatra's parents, which I don't want to give away because that is what leads to her awakening and that is the major revelation of the book. I did like the Gods interaction with each other, as well as Cleopatra, though. The mythology seemed about right, though the issue with Osiris was supposed to have happened way before Cleopatra, but.. I'll deal.

Just some nitpicky things - I'm all for a guy saying they need a woman, in bed or out of it, but there was a sex scene where for most of it, Marc Antony was telling Cleopatra how much he needed her, wanted her body, how she completed her, etc. As I said, I'm not bothered by that.. but in small doses. This was no small dose! And lastly, I do not like the idea of Cleopatra's nicname being Cleo. It just sounds too... television fake psychic-y. I mean, even if it's her lover speaking to her, she's still a Queen of Egypt, wouldn't you want to call her by her full name?

From the looks of Jamieson Wolf's website, this looks to be book one in a series, so I might be tempted to check out the others when they're released, to see how the story continues, more about world-building, etc. As for a rating, I'll give it a THREE POINT FIVE out of FIVE. It was an interesting and quick read, but I didn't feel as passionate about it as I could have been.. as I would have liked to be.

Check out Jamieson Wolf's website for buying information, other books (there's tons!), and author information.
Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow

Photo courtesy of jamiesonwolf.com.
Book received in exchange for review.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Review of "Truly, Madly" by Heather Webber



I just finished another book, which means - yay! Another review! And I'm super excited about this one! Not only have I found a new series that I know I'll enjoy, but I've actually gotten a chance to meet Heather Webber when she came to my local library to speak. On with the review!

Release date: February 2, 2010

The synopsis:

Lucy Valentine is as smart as can be, as single as you can get, and so not qualified to run a matchmaking service. But when her parents temporarily step down from the family business, Valentine, Inc., it’s Lucy’s turn to step up and help out—in the name of love.
Plus, her rent is due.
Here’s the problem: Lucy doesn’t have the knack for matchmaking. According to family legend, every Valentine has been blessed by Cupid with the ability to read “auras” and pair up perfect couples. But not Lucy. Her skills were zapped away years ago in an electrical surge, and now all she can do is find lost objects. What good is that in the matchmaking world? You’d be surprised. In a city like Boston, everyone’s looking for something. So when Lucy locates a missing engagement ring—on a dead body—she asks the sexy private eye who works upstairs to help her solve the perfect crime. And who knows? Maybe she’ll find the perfect love while she’s at it…

I received this book via Librarything.com's Member Giveaway program, in exchange for a review. It wasn't until I was showing the book to my mother and commenting on how I was excited to read it (I loved the beginning, interesting/funny way to start a book) that she reminded me that Heather Webber was one of the local authors I had a chance to meet a year or so ago. She was extremely nice, and of course, I'm always up for supporting a local author! In fact, you can find her webpage here , including a link to her blog.

I thoroughly enjoyed "Truly, madly".. in fact, I practically inhaled it. I loved the character of Lucy Valentine, she was extremely believable. And the delicious private eye? Yum. I believed, and am now a huge fan of, all the characters, and I really can't wait for the second book ( "Deeply, Desperately" ) which is supposedly set to be released in August of 2010. The plot was intriguing, kept adding little twists and turns, all without confusing the reader, which is a definite plus. In fact, as for the big mystery, it had me guessing until the end! And what a good ending it was. It's books like these that make me want to go out and do something like be a private investigator, or, in Lucy's case, be involved in matchmaking that leads to private investigating and solving a murder.

For fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, this is a great book to pick up. It has more of a supernatural edge (being that Lucy is a psychic), but I did see some similarities. But while the Stephanie Plum series is starting to have it's moments of complete stale-ness, Lucy Valentine is something new and fresh, and a character I don't see myself getting tired of.

I'm going to rate this book a solid FIVE out of FIVE. I loved it, I can't wait for the next one, and I will definitely recommend it to.. pretty much everyone. I think there is something for most, if not all, readers to enjoy in "Truly, Madly" by Heather Webber.

I hope you all get a chance to read "Truly, Madly" by Heather Webber when it is released February 2, 2010. And then "Deeply, Desperately" when it is released later this year!
Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow

Book received in exchange for review.
Photo courtesy of Heather Webber's website.