Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Artemis Rising by Cheri Lasota

Artemis Rising by Cheri Lasota
received for review from the author via LibraryThing's Member Giveaways
4 Stars

Torn between her father’s Catholicism and her mother’s Pagan beliefs, Eva finally chooses Paganism. She accepts the name of Arethusa but learns too late that her life will mirror the Greek nymph’s tragic fate. When they sail to the Azores Islands, her mother tells her that her destiny rests with Diogo, the shipowner’s son. But Eva sees a vision of another . . . When the ship founders off the Azores, Tristan, a young Azorean, saves her. Destined to be with Diogo yet aching for Tristan’s forbidden love, Eva must some­how choose between them, or fate will soon choose for her. Artemis Rising is a beautiful, seamless blend of two mythologies: the Arthurian legend of Tristan and Isolde, and the ancient Greek legend of Alpheus and Arethusa. It is a story filled with young romance, tragedy, forgiveness and attempts at redemption

As I was thinking about what I wanted to write for this review, my brain keeps calling up that oft quoted line from Romeo and Juliet, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet." But what if the name really did matter? In Artemis Rising, those who adopt these new names also adopt the fates of their namesakes. When Eva fully accepts her mother's belief system, and adopts the name Arethusa, she very quickly finds her life paralleling that of her namesake nymph. I love a good myth, but this was the first time I've come across that of Alpheus and Arethusa. Upon looking up the myth after finishing the book, I was impressed on how well the myth was translated to fit the life of a teen in the turn of the century Azores yet keep the parallels. The Tristan and Isolde legend I was more familiar with, and I found that inclusion was a bit more subtly done. The result is a love triangle and triangle of ideology.

I always enjoy a lead female character who can take care of herself, even if she needs help from the guys sometimes. Eva/Arethusa certainly fills this role. All the characters are strong characters and well written. This is a great addition to the increasingly popular mythology adaptation genre. This is Lasota's first novel, and I look forward to more from her.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sunday Salon

Going to try doing the Sunday Salon posts if I'm not doing big Monday memes, so this is a first for me.

This last week I have been dog sitting for a neighbor this past week, so I've been spending my evenings up there. And not having ready access to wireless internet has given me extra time for reading. Finished three books and one review last week. There should be another review coming in the next few days.

I'm not one for Black Friday shopping in stores, but I needing to pick up a gift from a glass maker who sells at one of the main farmers markets, but this weekend they were at the Hillside Farms Craft Boutique (it goes runs next weekend too, if anyone reading finds themselves in the Inland Empire). It was a precursor to Small Business Saturday, you might say. Yesterday, my parents and I took my nephews up to Oak Glen, the big Apple growing area near here. Not much on books in the one farms shop, but got to walk around and have some good cider.

The rest of the year, I am going to be focused on trying to get through as many of my for review titles as I can. Some of the ones from Library Thing come in faster than I can read them, before even accounting for when the library holds decided to flood in. So I am getting those in as soon as I can, and I think I will alternate between genres, so I don't get overly tired with one. Wish me luck

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Review: Of Moths & Butterflies by V.R. Christensen

Of Moths & Butterflies by V.R. Christensen
historical fiction
Recieved for review via Library Thing's member giveaways
4/5 Stars

Archer Hamilton is a collector of rare and beautiful insects. Gina Shaw is a servant in his uncle’s house. Clearly out of place in the position in which she has been discovered, she becomes a source of fascination . . . and curiosity. A girl with a blighted past and a fortune she deems a curse, Gina has lowered herself in order to find escape from her family and their scheming designs. But when she is found, the stakes suddenly become dire. All Gina wants is the freedom to live her life as she would wish. All her aunts want is the money that comes with her. But there is more than one way to trap an insect. An arranged marriage might turn out profitable for more parties than one. Mr. Hamilton is about to make the acquisition of a lifetime. But will the price be worth it? Can a woman captured and acquired learn to love the man who has bought her?

The blurb is a little misleading, as the novel firstly follows Imogen Everhard, and secondly Archer Hamilton. Imogen is a young woman who was ill used under the care of her uncle. Upon his death, Imogen inherits his fortune which she views as a burden. Not wanting to become a pawn of one of her aunts trying to gain access to her inheritance, Imogen flees to the countryside, and adopts the name Gina Shaw, and gets a job as a maid in at a country estate owned by Sir Edmund Barry. When she is found, her aunt brings her back to London, and slowly reintroduces her to society in hopes of finding suitor who would look past her history in favor of her inheritance.

I really enjoyed this novel. Christensen does a great job of telling the reader what Imogen went through in her uncle's home, without actually saying what she went through. Anyone who is familiar with the social history of the period (1870s-80s) or has read or watched accurate period pieces during this time can easily guess the ultimate cause of Imogen's shame. But since it was never fully described, it makes for a clean read.

It was an interesting point of view as well, being the story of a fallen woman from the middle or upper classes. Its not a character type I've come across very often. Imogen had showed a believable hesitance based on her past experiences. But her hesitance to tell Archer about her past, and the reason for her hesitance seemed to go on a little too long. I think the book could be a little shorter, cutting back a little of the period of Imogen's nearly telling Archer and then a resurgence of her hesitance, and the novel would not lose anything but some length.

I enjoyed this novel. It had a good pace, and interesting story. I'd look for books from the author in the future. Additionally there are fantastic drawings interspersed between the chapters, that I eagerly looked forward too as well. You can see a sample here, in the artist's twitter gallery.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Snapshot Saturday

Snapshot Saturday is hosted by Alyce of At Home with Books.

Today, my oldest nephew had two playoff games, so instead of head off to find food or a warm store to spend an hour in, my mom, youngest nephew and I went over to a Christmas craft fair behind held in the community build at the park next to the school where the games are. Among other things, we found this guy who made clocks from old, scratched up records. I'm a quirky girl, so had to get one. No idea who the band is on the one I got, just liked the label.

If anyone is interested, the clock is made by Vinylclockwork

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is currently being hosted in November by Mailbox Monday.

Last week week has been busy for me. Had a status change at work and started working on a big project, so reading time was a bit cut (especially when it was a book I didn't end up liking much), and blogging. So, onto the books from the last couple weeks

We All Wore Stars by Theo Coster (from Library Thing's Early Reviewers)


The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Fire by Kristin Cashore
Seizure by Kathy Reichs
Crossed by Ally Condie
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Not pictured:

From Goodreads First Reads: The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht

For Review:

Five Dances with Death by Austin Briggs (Library Thing Member Giveaways)
Of Moths & Butterflies by V.R. Christensen (Library Thing Member Giveaways)
Catching the Eagle by Karen Charlton
Harald Hardrada by Michael Burr
Of Faith and Fidelity by Evan Ostryzniuk
The Hermetic of Elysium by Annmarie Banks

Tip of the day: When ordering from Barnes and Nobles- make sure your cart is ordered so the in stock stuff are on the top of the list, and preorders in order with the latest released at the bottom. Otherwise your order won't ship until the first preorder in the cart is ready.

I also found this shiny bookmark at the farmer's market this morning:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mount TBR Challenge

I had planned on making a big effort to read more books that I already owned next year, so this Mount TBR Reading Challenge sounds perfect.

Challenge Levels

Pike's Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Vancouver: Read 25 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Ararat: Read 40 books from your TBR piles/s
Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 50 books from your TBR pile/s
El Toro: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Everest: Read 100+ books from your TBR pile/s

And the rules:

*Once you choose your challenge level, you are locked in for at least that many books. If you find that you're on a mountain-climbing roll and want to tackle a taller mountain, then you are certainly welcome to upgrade.

*Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2012.

*You may sign up anytime from now until November 30th, 2012.

*Books must be owned by you prior to January 1, 2012. No ARCs, no library books. No rereads.

*Books may be used to count for other challenges as well.

*Feel free to submit your list in advance (as incentive to really get those books taken care of) or to tally them as you climb.

*A blog and reviews are not necessary to participate. If you have a blog, then please post a challenge sign up and link THAT post (not your home page) into the linky below. Non-bloggers, please leave a comment declaring your challenge level.

*A progress site for reviews will go up in January and I will post the link in my sidebar for easy access.

I think I will aim for Mt. Vancouver. That should give me room for library books, review books, and new purchases during the year also.

If you want to read more or sign up, head to My Reader's Block.

1. The Kingmaking by Helen Hollick
2. Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
4. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Winner of the Monster Mash and Bash Blog Hop

The winner of a hardcover copy of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe is:

Ayushi Sangoi!

I've sent you an email already. Thanks everyone who entered!