Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Three Mini Reviews - vacation books

August has been a travel month in my house.  We drove 7 hours to North Carolina to take Kiddo to camp then 7 hours back home the next day.  At the end of camp we flew to North Carolina, drove an hour to pick up Kiddo, drove an hour back to the airport, then flew to Disney World in Florida. After a week we flew home again.  Needless to say, all that travel time gave me lots of opportunities to listen to audio books and to read.  Here are some quick thoughts on a few of those books.

Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 3)Forever, by Maggie Stiefvater (400 pages) - This is the final book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I mentioned in my reviews of book one and book two that although I really like the author's twist on werewolf mythology I'm not really in love with the story itself; that continued for me in book three. The relationship between Grace and Sam just doesn't move me. Isabel is still my favorite character (she's nothing like me but I feel like I really understand her) and Cole yet again adds some excitement and intensity to the story. And even though I didn't love it I still felt like it was a good end to the series, so I'm not disappointed in it either.

Drums of Autumn (Outlander)Drums of Autumn, by Diana Gabaldon (44.75 hours, narrated by Davina Porter) - This is book four in the Outlander series and continues the story of Jamie and Claire, but with a twist. I'm looking forward to continuing the series soon. *** MINOR SPOILER ALERT FOR PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES *** I didn't think I'd like the story as much once it moved to pre-revolution America but I actually really enjoyed the setting and the new characters. I also liked the way Briana's and Roger's relationship developed - I figured they'd end up in the past somehow but I wasn't sure how or why. I'm definitely excited to see what happens next for all of them! (And as a side note, much of the story takes place in the Cape Fear River area so imagine my delight as we drove through North Carolina and saw signs for the Cape Fear River!)

Other KingdomsOther Kingdoms, by Richard Matheson (8.5 hours, narrated by Bronson Pinchot)- Hubby and I needed a book to listen to on one of our drives without Kiddo and this was available for download from our library. It is the story of a young American man named Alex who survives WWI and goes to live in a small village in England. While there he discovers that the forest in inhabited by The Little People, and that they may not be as friendly as he has always heard. We wanted to listen to the book because it is by the same guy who wrote I AM LEGEND, and we figured that was a good enough recommendation. Sadly it was not. The first half of the book was great! The story is told by Alex at age 82. He's spent his life writing cheesy horror stories and now he wants to share the truth about what happened to him at age 18 in England. The writing is fun to read - Alex continually comments on his sentence structure or word choice, critiquing himself as if he were editing one of his horror tales. This made the storytelling aspect of the book very entertaining.  Unfortunately the plot became rather predictable and boring and really didn't keep our attention once we hit the midway point. I finished it on my own once we got back home and told Hubby he didn't miss much. (Oh, one quick note about the narrator. He did a very convincing New York accent - appropriate for Alex - but I wasn't a huge fan; that accent drove me a bit batty! I don't know why, since my mother and lots of relatives talk that way, but for some reason it really got to me.)

I've read a few more books but they were sent to me for review and I always give review books their own posts. They should be coming up in a few days, if I can make time to write them!

11 comments:

GMR said...

Wow, that's one busy travel schedule! Sounds like you had fun though...and managed to get some reading in. Let's see...I've yet to start the Wolves of Mercy Falls series....but plan on at least tackling book 1 in the near future. Definitely know a friend or 2 that'd like to hear about the Gabaldon book...and book three, not exactly my cup of tea but I certainly enjoyed your review. Thanks for sharing...and happy reading!

Kailana said...

I like Maggie Stiefvater's other series better. I am reading the second book now. Then I will go back and finish this trilogy. I don't hate it, but it is not something I have been in a big hurry to read, either.

Alyce said...

That is a lot of travel! I'm glad you were able to enjoy some good audiobooks though. It's fun seeing your reaction to the Gabaldon books.

Amused said...

I'm glad to see you are enjoying the Outlander series! It's one of my faves.

Amanda said...

A long while back I tried listening to the audio version of Maggie Stiefvater's first book and I just couldn't make it very far. Maybe it's because it was audio but the main character's all out obsession with wolves was a bit over the top for me and way creepy.

Heather J. said...

GMR - Yeah, I was happy to be finally home after all that travel!

Kailana - Is that the series she's still working on, or is it already complete?

Alyce & Amused - I'm really LOVING the Gabaldon books!

Amanda - The obsession didn't bother me but I think it's because I have a strong love for wolves myself. Still, the series wasn't fantastic ... readable, interesting, but not a can't-miss.

Ryan said...

I love I Am Legend, one of my favorite books of all time. I've wanted to read The Legend of Hell House, but haven't done it yet.

Beth F said...

I need to read Forever -- I've read the other two, I dont' know what I'm waiting for. As you likely know, I'm a huge Gabaldon fan!! I think I'll pass on Other Kingdoms, I have so many other better books waiting to be read.

Heather J. said...

Ryan - Hell House totally creeps me out but I was intrigued by I Am Legend.

Beth F - Forever is an easy read - you'll blow through it in no time. And you're not missing anything with Other Kingdoms!

softdrink said...

The narrator for Other Kingdoms is an actor, too. If you ever saw Beverley Hills Cop, he was Serge. Wel, he's done lots of other stuff, too, but I always remember him as Serge.

Heather J. said...

softdrink - See now, those are the tidbits that my husband usually fills me in on. :)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin