Book Reviews 2004

by Roehrich, Adrienne | Journals | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingadrienne10wing of Seattle, Washington USA on 6/30/2004
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Wednesday, June 30, 2004
This should technically be book reviews for 2nd half 2004. On the suggestion of a BCUK'er when I lamented the loss of avenue for voicing my thoughts on library books, since I don't think library books should be registered, as they are not mine, I am starting this journal to record my thoughts on the books I read that I cannot register on bookcrossing for some reason. Each book will have its own journal entry.

Journal Entry 2 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Saturday, July 03, 2004
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo Abridged Audio Book read by Julie Christie.

Data quoted from
Audio Cassette: ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.30 x 7.16 x 4.56
Publisher: New Millennium Audio; Abridged edition (June 1, 2002)
ISBN: 1590071204

I have tried to read this book several times in my life. I have liked Victor Hugo since reading the abridged Les Miserables for my sophomore English high school class. I liked that novel so much, that I purchased and read the unabridged story. My parents then gifted me with a hardcover edition that contained both an abridged version of Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I never could get into Hunchback.

When I saw the book on audio, I was pleased that I would at least be able to listen to some of the book. Overall, in the end, I'm am glad that I did get through it some way, but I did not like the story and did not like the reading of it.

Ms. Christie may be very good at her acting, but I did not like her portrayal of the characters of this book. There were too many male characters that she did not distinguish the voices between. The only female character, La Esmeralda, only seemed to say "Oh" and "Phoebus," both in very breathy, irritating tones. I am hoping that an unabridged or less abridged versions have the only female character saying more than just those two words. I do know had I read it myself, the tones would have been less weak and irritating.

A friend reminded me to remember the book was written by a man several centuries ago. I understand that, but I don't remember Les Mis being like that. Maybe I was just more able to stomach weak, irritating females in high school than I am now as an adult.

I already gave my overall opinion. I don't think I would recommend this particular audio book. It's good to read "classics," and a reading of Hunchback is probably a good thing for a well-rounded reader. This audio book is not worth the pain of it. It only compounds the irritating plot to listen to it read poorly.

This was returned to the library weeks ago. tracking number 3552434

Journal Entry 3 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Saturday, July 03, 2004
The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad was read in June for the BCUK reading group.

Data taken from
Hardcover: 320 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.02 x 7.34 x 5.29
Publisher: Little, Brown; (October 2003)
ISBN: 0316734500

These are the posts I posted to the discussion:
Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 12:11 pm
I am still fairly early in the story, but I wanted to add my thoughts so far.

I am rather annoyed with Sultan. His only redeeming quality that I see is that he is trying to get books for education. However, it seems he is even doing that for profit.

I could not believe that he decided to get a second wife, nobody in his family supported him, and he still did it anyway. To me, it seems like he views his religion the way he wants to. For instance, when it says to give alms in the Koran, he thinks it means to take care of yourself first, close relatives second, on down the list until the poor is last, and the unknown poor should fend for themselves. Maybe it is my own Christian upbringing that causes me to think that can't possibly be what the Koran asserts. But, because he is the man, he makes whatever decisions he wants and he must be right.

I was also disgusted by the women contributing to their own social status. I was sickened that the mother ordered her own daughter killed, especially since there seemed to be no evidence. To me, the items that "proved" her guilt could have been planted. And the poor girl who was beaten and thrown in her room just for talking to a boy. There was a woman who commented that because she was willing to do that, she was willing to do other things. Do they really not see the difference between talking and "other things," which implied to me sexual activity of some sort.

Anyway, I haven't met Leila yet.

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:01 am Post subject: Finished!

As someone else said, I am glad I read this book, although I did not really like it.

I have also thought of Sultan's merciless attitude towards the carpenter. I was surprised when the carpenter admitted to stealing thousands and selling them. I was sure he was being wrongly maligned. Yes, his family is starving, but he was given several chances to confess and face lesser consequences.

Overall, there were so many places of hopes dashed. The lines of communication are closed worse than they are in this society. I just kept thinking, if only they would actually talk to each other, how much would be avoided.

I also did not like Bibi Gul. It is sad that Leila did not have the energy to bring herself up out of the muck to work towards her teaching certificate, or even to say that she would rather marry a man that would elevate her social status instead of bring it down. Poor Karim also gave up too easily. The men we were introduced to had worse mood swings than women are stereotyped for!

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts. Mostly, I did not like these people. But, I also wonder what can be done to help those living in Afghanistan. It seems Afghanistan is forgotten now.

I will say I am glad we are reading and discussing this book, though. I would have never picked it up otherwise.

Posted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:13 am

Starry wrote:
Just thought I'd do a quick search to see if there has been an aftermath to the book and there has:

Thanks, Starry, for sharing those.

I have the American edition, and I wonder what was said in the parts that were removed. I see how the man called "Sultan" could contrive some of his arguments, but I do not see where he says his wife's aunt was accused of perverse sexual acts. I also think sometimes people believe that they are so "right" that they do not see truth. This could be occuring on both sides of the legal battle.

For instance, Sultan could be blind to how the treatment of women in his home and other homes is truly mistreatment. He feels he treats his women well compared to others in his country, so therefore it is not bad.

As for Seierstad, she could have been blind to how some of the revelations she gave in the book could be harmful. When you live in such a completely different society, it can be hard to see what is a big deal in one culture is not in another.

Journal Entry 4 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Saturday, July 03, 2004
The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan read by Amy Tan was the first audio book I have ever listened to. It was a great introduction.

The edition I listened to was abridged and published by Dove Audio, I believe.

Someone on BCUK, I believe, recommended Amy Tan as an author. She's well known for her novel The Joy Luck Club, which I have never read nor seen the movie. She's also known for her children's book Sagwa, The Chinese, Siamese Cat, which has a cartoon aired on PBS, which I have watched with my small children. Even with the recommendation, with my own Mt. Toobie Red pile, I was likely to never get around to reading a book written by Amy Tan.

When I saw The Hundred Secret Senses on the shelf in audio book, I decided to pick it up. I was figuring audio books were the ones I would never get around to reading myself.

I am quite pleased with my introduction to audio books. Amy Tan did very well reading her own book. There were very few characters for her to voice, which was probably an asset. She did Kwan's voice just perfect, and I know I would never have pictured/heard it right in my mind. Her rendition of Simon was not that great, but worked.

I was not upset about the abridgement. I don't feel like I missed anything. I also liked the story. I laughed out loud and cried at points. It truly pulled me in. On my interstate drive at some points I noticed that I had slowed down to follow a slower vehicle, which is uncharacteristic of my driving. I was engrossed in the story several times. It is too bad that particular edition is so short. I think it was only about 6 hours.

This story is not my normal fare. I suppose it falls squarely into chick-lit. There is romance, paranormal experiences, and a lot of womanly stuff in it. I saw where the circle of the story would close long before the main character did. I also like the story within a story. I was wondering how Kwan's main character had died, and was disappointed when it came down to that she did not even know.

Overall, I would recommend this audio book, but only if you would not want to take the time to read the story.

Journal Entry 5 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Saturday, July 03, 2004
The Three Fates by Nora Roberts read by Bernadette Quigley.

Data from
Audio Cassette: 14 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 2.66 x 7.10 x 4.20
Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (April 1, 2002)
ISBN: 1587886936

Audio cassette should be 14 hours, 10 cassettes.

I am almost ashamed to admit I like Nora Roberts. She's one of those frowned upon grocery store best selling Romance genre authors that is supposedly mind candy, and often sneered at by people who think you need to learn something from reading.

My first introduction to Ms. Roberts was when I first started up writing again late 2003. I realized I had not been reading barely anything since the birth of my second child. I mentioned I needed to start reading more to improve my writing, and my mother suggested I might like Nora Roberts, as she writes with a slant of other. Romance is not typically a genre I care for. I do like Ms. Roberts, though. I like fantasy quite a bit, and Ms. Roberts use of other is probably what makes it interesting to me. My mother loaned me the Key of Light series (also on my bookcrossing bookshelf).

The Three Fates has what I see as characteristic 3 couples - six protagonists, with a single antagonist. There are several minor characters as well. I tried to see the same characters I read in the Keys, and was impressed that for a writer who cranks out novels at the rate she does, there did not seem to be the same personalities over again, as many writers tend to do.

I enjoyed following the story of these three statues and how they change the lives of so many people. I also enjoyed Bernadette Quigley's reading of this novel. She did a good job with everyone's different voices. I was a little perturbed at first with the accented male voices, but I grew used to them and came to enjoy her Irish accents.

The story seemed to take forever to get to its climax, and the denoument seemed a little rushed. Overall, I enjoyed listening to this fun story. tracking # 3552433

Journal Entry 6 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Thursday, July 15, 2004
The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf Unabridged Audio read by Nadia May

Blackstone Audiobooks
10 Cassettes, 14 Hours
ISBN: 0786111631

If I had tried reading this book in print, I do not believe I would have ever finished it. Is it considered classic, good literature because the author was so obviously depressed? I know Virginia Woolf suffered terribly from depression, and eventually committed suicide. I knew this before the introduction which gave a brief overview of the author at the beginning. However, I would not have needed that information prior to listening to this book to know that the person who wrote it was severly depressed.

I did not like a single character in this novel. They all were condescending, and sometimes sounded quite mad. The tone of the author is rather disapproving and disdainful, or is just that the narrator used that tone throughout her entire reading.

The story progresses quite slowly. I knew that the main character was supposed to be Rachel, but it was hard to differentiate her from the rest. I knew she was supposed to fall in love, and I thought perhaps it was going to be an illicit love affair with Mr. Dalloway, but it was not. It was more than half way through the novel before Ms. Woolf seemed to decide to have Rachel fall in love with Huit. For quite awhile, I could not determine if the love interest was going to be Huit or Hurst.

Much of the novel discusses the differences between men and women. Perhaps I am naive in the thought that I do not believe the general thoughts of the genders have changed radically over time, but I can understand why there was so much animosity between men and women in the past if communication was truly how it was reflected in this book. If women, and men, really thought the way they did in this book, I'm surprised the human race continued.

As for Ms. Woolf's presentation of a couple in love, all I could think was it sounded like extreme infatuation, and not love at all. I had to remind myself that the author did know if her characters were in love. Mostly, I wanted to tell the characters to give it some time because they had terrible crushes that either would bear out into love or dissolve. The characters were terribly nuerotic, and I don't believe they really knew how they felt, or at least could not communicate to themselves in a way another person could understand.

I also wondered if Ms. Woolf realized Hurst had a crush on Helen. It seemed for awhile as if it would be reciprocated. There was no reason in the novel given for why they would not act on it, unless it is a given of the British morals of the early 1900s as reason. I do not like stories where marriage is tossed aside to a new crush, so it wasn't that I was disappointed that this crush never progressed, more that the reason it did not was never given, and therefore rang as a false presentation.

Overall, I did not like the characters, I did not like the story, or the pace of the story. I do feel more well-rounded, as a literate person, for having listened to this novel. tracking number 3552435.

Journal Entry 7 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Monday, August 02, 2004
The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan read by Amy Tan.

Audio Book by Dove Audio. 2 Cassettes, Abridged, approximately 3 hours. ISBN: 1558

Again, I was pleased with my first audio book, a novel written by Amy Tan read by Amy Tan. So, I checked a few more Amy Tan novels out of the library. I do like the story telling. However, the abridgement of this novel was a tad confusing. I wasn't sure who was narrating at certain times, and the flow was broken oddly at others. Overall, it was a nice, short story to listen to.

Journal Entry 8 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Friday, August 20, 2004
The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan read by Amy Tan and Joan Chen. Published by Recorded Books, LLC. Unabridged. 8 audiocassettes. Copyright 2002. ISBN: 1402507909

Journal Entry 9 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Saturday, September 18, 2004
By the River Piedra, I Sat Down & Wept by Paulo Coelho
ISBN: 0062513982

I checked this book out of the library because I received the third book in what is supposed to be a trilogy by Paulo Coelho in a ring. I have this minor flaw that I cannot read the third book in a supposed trilogy without having first read the first two. Well, usually. So, I checked this book out of the library. I should have just read the ring book because the trilogy is really not related at all, that I can see.

However, I did enjoy this book very much and would recommend it. The writing is very poetical. I know this book has been translated, and I wonder what has been lost in translation.

The story is interesting, and while I thought I knew the ending, I did not at all know what was going on. I will say, this book felt somewhat like an Oprah book. Not in that it is one she normally picks for her book club, but that it had a lot of themes that she seems to expound.

Journal Entry 10 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho
ISBN: 0060196122

I checked this book out of the library because I received a book by Coelho which stated it was the third book in a trilogy. Wondering if I could read the third book without the first two, I decided to read the first two, first. It was unnecessary, but I'm glad I did.

This book drew me in quite rapidly. And, instead of doing homework and studying for an exam, like I should be doing, I finished this book. Coelho's writing has changed a bit, or else the translation was not done the same as the other book I've read. This story is less poeticly written, but still has the same theme: love/love for life.

I recommend this book, and look forward to finally reading the ring book I've had for much too long.

Journal Entry 11 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Wednesday, October 13, 2004
A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck read by Lois Smith Unabridged on 2 cassettes
ISBN: 080726167X

I was asked to read this book as a part of volunteering for my daughter's school. Even though my daughter is a Kindergartner this year, I volunteered to help with "Book Bowl" a competition for junior high grades sponsored by Barnes and Noble. This is one of their books for this year. The librarian at my daughter's school asked for me to read this book and provide some Jeopardy like questions and answers for practice for her students. Other than my life having no free reading time, well, almost none, this volunteer opportunity seemed right up my alley. Funny, I found audio copies at the library so that I could utilize my hour commute each way per day. Yes, I did do some jotting of questions while driving down Interstate 80 between Gretna and Lincoln (and even some on way West Dodge Road in Omaha). Shh! Don't tell hubby!

Anyway, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I think it was a good story and a story that a junior high student might like. However, if I had been told I had to read it in junior high, I may not have enjoyed it too much. Then again, I did like a lot of the force fed stories/books throughout school, so maybe I would have liked it just fine.

The story is about a 15 year old girl who has to move from Chicago to her grandmother's in rural Illinois due to her dad losing a job due to the recession. This is the story of her year down yonder and coming of age.

Lois Smith did an admirable job narrating. However, her voice is too old. She did all the "old folk" in the novel just fine. However, she was completely unbelievable when narrating the prime narrator, a 15 year old girl. She sounded whiny, and I know I would have read the tones differently if I had read the print. I even repeated lines the way I thought they should have been said on occasion.

Since I had to write questions and answers, I thought I'd include them here. Since these are just for practice, I don't see why any other book bowlers who may stumble on this should not benefit. I do need to get a print copy of the book to check my spellings and see if I can't find page numbers, as requested by the librarian.

Mary Alice's cat. Who is "Bootsie"?
The types of pies that Mary Alice and Grandma served at Halloween. What are pecan and pumpkin?
Grandma sent her horse off with her boots. Who is Meredith ....?
Grandma ran into this with a tractor. What is Mr. Nigel's pecan tree?
Mary Alice's hometown. Where is Chicago?
The recession of 1937. What is the Roosevelt Recession?
The activity on armistice day. What is a Turkey Shoot?
The armistice day Turkey Shoot was held here. Where is the Abernathe Farm?
Mary Alice's teacher. Who is Miss Butler and Mr. F...?
Grandma trapped these in the winter. What are foxes?
Grandma sold these. What are fox furs?
Grandma wore these. What are every peice of Grandpa's clothing?
Mary Alice's nativity role. Who was Jesus's Mother? (note: the book never gave her name.)
He visited Mary Alice at Christmas. Who is Joey?
Mary Alice made these for Ina Ray. What are Valentines?
Mary Alice's move on Royce McNabb. What was study on a Sunday afternoon?
Maxine Pratch's event that goes down in history. What was run through town naked?
Lived in the attic. What was a snake?
Mary Alice ran home from school during this. What was the tornado?
Grandma invited them for supper. Who were Arnold Green and Miss Butler?
He went to New York to wait for her. Who were Arnold Green and Miss Butler?
Mary Alice was married here. Where was Grandma's house? tracking number 3552436

Journal Entry 12 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Saturday, November 20, 2004
A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer
1996; 1997
ISBN 0788713426
9 cassettes, 12.25 hours

This book I read for my daughter's school participation in Book Bowl. This is a 1997 Newberry Honor book. I listened to the unabridged audio cassettes narrated by Lisette Lecat.

The story is a coming of age for Nhamo, an African girl from Mozambique, who is wrongly accused of witchcraft and required by her family to marry a very bad man who beats his current 3 wives and has an unnamed disease. We know this from the backpage blurb. However, it took several cassettes to get to that point, as well as 80 pages into the novel. On instruction by her grandmother, Nhamo steals a boat and heads to Zimbabwe. The majority of the story is Nhamo's adventure on her own trying to get from her village in Mozambique to her father's family in Zimbabwe.

I was deeply frustrated with the culture of A Girl Named Disaster. So much of what just was was just plain wrong. Nancy Farmer is an American who spent a few years in Zimbabwe. It appears she has the correct feel of the culture of the time.

As for the narration, it is done by Lisette Lecat. My initial impression was she was a British woman, and the feel was all wrong. It improved over the telling of the story. Ms. Lecat is South African born, but I think the novel would have been better served by an ancestraly native African woman narrating.

As before, I was asked to write questions for the book bowl studying. For this book, I wrote my index cards before writing this review. Page numbers from a copy of the book are indicated. Here are the questions I wrote. I apologize that the African words are not in italics as they should be, but since I did not italisize my handwriting on the cards and I don't want to spend hours typing the questions here, they are not italisized here either.

As the story opens, Nhamo is eating these. What are figs? p1
The worst king of all from Grandmother's first story. Who was Mambo? p4
This killed Nhamo's mother. What was a leopard? p6 & throughout
The story takes place on this continent. What is Africa? Map
Social hierarchy required them to always eat first. Who are the men? p11
Nhamo saw this by the stream. What is a shadow/spirit leopard? p14
Nhamo's good-natured and pretty cousin. Who is Masvita? p3
The honorific name of Nhamo's grandmother. What is Ambuya? p9
Aunt Chipo and Aunt Shuvai were who. Who were Nhamo's aunts, her mother's sisters. p12
This disease struck the village and decimated the population of Mozambique. What is cholera? p28
Tradition required a girl who has her first menstruation to visit her to learn the secrets of womanhood. Who is the girl's aunt or Vatete? p18
The name of the witchfinder. Who is a muvuki? p33
The entire family traveled here to see the muvuki. What is the trading post? -p46
Nhamo and Ambruya listen to this at the trader's at the trading post. What is guitar music? p49
Name of Nhamo's mother. What is Runako? p51
Nhamo's father ran away after this. What is he killed a man? p53
The "ghost" required this payment. What is Nhamo marrying Gorem's brother, Gore? p 62
Grandmother stayed here under Nhamo's care while she was sick. What is the Portugese trader's porch? p67
Nhamo was to take Crocodile Guts' boat and row up the stream to Zimbabwe. What was Grandmother's plan? p78
These trapped Nhamo on shore the first time. What are hippos? p92
Nhamo ate these and named her first camp after them. What are guinea fowl? p102
Nhamo's island home was on this lake. What is Lake Cabora Bassa? p113 and others
Nhamo threw these to the njuzu for finding the island. What are Aunt Shuvai's bracelet beads? p123
Nhamo began her journey as a girl and ended her journey as this. What is a woman? p143
Nhamo considered the baboon with the twisted foot was she. Who is Tasviona? p150
Termites won't touch a boat made out of this. What is mukwa wood? p153 & others
Nhamo did this to pass time throughout her story. What was tell stories? Throughout
Nhamo kept the "picture" of her mother here throughout her travels. What is sealed in a jar with a tight fitting lid? p161
Nhamo did this so she could make a garden far from animals. What is lured the crippled baboon off the small island? p166
Fat Cheeks and Rumpy were members of this. What is the baboon troop that kept Nhamo company? p169
Nhamo was stung by this. What is a scorpion? p174
The scorpion sting caused these. What are hallucinations? Chap25
Nhamo first thought the major predator on the baboon island was this. What is a caracal? p197
The kudu was left by this unseen predator. What is a leopard? p201
Nhamo used these to quickly hollow out the mukwa log. What are hot coals? p 190
Nhamo suffered form this psychological problem after a long time on the baboon island. What is depression from loneliness? Chap28-30 (inferred)
Rumpy ruined these. What are Nhamo's food stores and platforms? p 206-7
These "visitors" saved Nhamo from dehydration. What are the njuzu girls? p210-11
Buds on the trees indicated this. What is the rainy season is on its way? p211
These were in the dried marsh at the Zimbabwe border. What are land mines? p222
Nhamo called this woman "Mother" in Efifi. Who is Dr. Masuku? p234
The main purpose of Efifi. What is science? p235
Nhamo killed one when possessed by Long Teats, and almost killed another. What is a black dog? p254
The Jongwe family lived in this town. What is Mtoroshanga? p269
Nhamo found out her father, Proud Jongwe, was dead, making her this. What is an orphan? p272 implied
Nhamo's great-grandfather was this. What is a nganga? p272
Nhamo's parents were married here. What is the Catholic Church? p282
Gorem's spirit's true revenge. What is the death of Nhamo's parents. p284
The year Nhamo's journey takes place. What is 1981? p299
Terms and Definitions from Glossary -- I didn't write too many of these out, just a few I thought were key to the story.
Nhamo's fictional story takes place after these real events. What are revolutionary/civil wars in Mozambique and Zimbabwe? p299
Nhamo's name means this. What is disaster? Title
A long history of mutual hostility exists between these two African tribes. What are the Shona and the Matabele? p300
The British and the Portugese. Who are Europeans who had much intervention in the governments in Africa? p300
South Africans whose language is based on Dutch. Who are the Afrikaners?
Mwari. What is the name of the supreme being of the Shona? p302
Ngozi. What is an angry spirit who requires a wrong righted? p304
Totem. What is the symbol of a family or clan? p306
Njuzu. What are water spirits?
Traditional healers. Who are nganga?
A sect of African Christians. Who are the Vapostori? p 305 tracking number 3552437

Journal Entry 13 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Saturday, November 27, 2004
Incubus Dreams by Laurell K Hamilton.
ISBN: 0425198243
658 pages, Hardcover

I went on an Anita Black marathon in February. You can see some of my thoughts I wrote on the early parts of the series by visiting my bookshelf. I did not write any "reviews" when I read books from the library because I had not yet started this journal. I do have some clips from some thoughts when I was talking to an email group. I may post those as another journal. But, here are my thoughts on Incubus Dreams.

Ms. Hamilton's writing is improving. I haven't yet read any of her Merry Gentry books, but every book is better and better in her Anita Blake series.

This may or may not be apparent in my other thoughts on Anita Blake books, but I was sick of Anita having power surges and her power improving. The last book, Cerulean Sins, seemed to bring Anita to a plateau, at least, where she was not gaining power all the time. It also brought Anita to a new level of moral decay. While the moral decay of high and mighty characters is not my thing (I know some readers do enjoy it), it was at least a nice change to the previous books.

Anita is back to having power surges. (major spoilers if you have not read this book yet) She has formed a new triumverate with Damien and Nathaniel. Now, when this happened or how, I'm not sure. I think Ms. Hamilton could have added in how we jumped to the fourth mark within the first few pages. I doubt it would have lengthened the novel that much. I found it interesting that we had not even gotten to the meat of the story by p120 (It was all Anita's personal stuff) which is not much shorter than her first entire Anita Blake novel.

Ms. Hamilton did manage to break her cycle that the major bad guy is somehow related to the clients she meets in her office at the beginning of the novel. We're back to mixing Anita's work with the PD with her ties to the vampire community. We seemed to have a bit of a break from that with Anita facing her work only or her vampire community only.

I did enjoyed this story overall. It was a little heavy on Anita's personal stuff, but I think the story has moved onto that being the point. The story has probably always been about Anita's necromancy and the growth of her power. At first, it seemed it was more about her raising zombies and doing police work. Now, the zombies are thrown in as a requisite scene, and the police work may be put in as the major storyline, if it hasn't been put aside so another major storyline can be the plot.

You have to like sex scenes to read this book. One reader posed the question "How much sex can one girl have in two days?" Well, Anita certainly explores that. Quite honestly I don't think you can read this book and skim the sex scenes. You'd miss over half the book.

At this point, I think I'm blabbering on, so I won't continue. Suffice to say I doubt Anita Blake fans will be disappointed. I know some were hoping for less sex, but it is hopeless to go that direction, especially with the last few books. Even though I am sick of Anita getting superhuman powers, at least others around her are also reflecting power increases and she is also suffering from consequences. Yay for consequences!

I do look forward to reading more books from Ms. Hamilton on Anita Blake. If you read Ms. Hamilton's blog on her website: you know there are more Anita books coming.

Journal Entry 14 by wingadrienne10wing from Seattle, Washington USA on Saturday, November 27, 2004
Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series.

Here are some shared thoughts from a list I am on concerning the series overall.

"I've been reading this thread with fascination, having gone on an Anita
Blake reading spree a few months ago, based on the recommendation of this list.

I must be the only one who pities Richard. I don't like him currently, but
I also don't hate him. I think he could change, but that just may be
me. Someone said it is clear that LKH hates him now. I don't get that
feeling at all. I think LKH wanted to introduce a love triangle, fell in
love with her new character, got carried away, realized that the second
character was never supposed to be with Anita in the end, and now can't
figure out how to take it back. I think LKH still loves her character
Richard, and is having troubles working him out of the picture, especially
since she went a little too far with him. I think Richard needs to find a
lupa who isn't just after sex and power and the pack needs to leave him
alone about it. This voting for someone's lifemate thing is silly. Then,
he can leave Anita alone, and they can do the triumvirate only when
Jean-Claude needs to show his power.

My only problem with Anita and Richard was that they started dating in one
book and then he asked her to marry him in the next. To me, they were on
their second date. It seemed just a little sudden. Then, as the book (and
others) went on, you read the defining parts of their courtship that went
into them being in love. Except, I still don't believe Anita really loved
Richard. I never saw it, or only small glimpses that did not convey the
sort of love Anita proclaims to have had for him."

"The Point for me is that I read those scenes and I did not buy those
scenes. I am finding Anita to be an unreliable narrator. I think she gets
the facts right, but not the subjective parts of reading people. I also
think she does not know what she wants or how she feels. There are a lot
of real world people that suffer from this problem, too. The big one for
me is the scene where she and Micah are together for the first time. I
read it as a rape scene. Now, this is probably my own life experiences
coloring my reading, and an author can write a scene with one intent and
never realize that a reader might read it another way, but that can't be
helped. For the life of me, I can't read that scene as anything but a rape
scene. So, here's my point: if it is not a rape scene, then Anita does not
know and cannot express her own feelings. Therefore, she is completely
unreliable in telling me if she loves Richard or Jean-Claude or if she is
just lusting after people and has no idea how to draw lines. If it is a
rape scene, Anita still can't draw lines, since she didn't act like it was
rape either after the fact."

"I also just recently finished an obsession with AB, due to the
recommendation of this list. After some of the things that were said on
the list about Anita, I could not figure out what they meant based on the
first novels. Anita had high morals for so long. I like how there's a
reason for the degradation of those morals that make it nearly impossible
for her to behave the way she was at the beginning of the series.

I'm interested to see what happens or if it continues to spiral out of
control for Anita."

These were written in March and June.

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