Sunday, December 13, 2009

Reading Update!

Ok so it's finals week this week and I've been studying and working on finals papers and a whole bunch of other stuff that has completely eaten away at my reading time. I'm about 1/4 of the way into Darkest Hour and i'll have it read within the next week (i promise) and i'll have a review up for it then.

I realize that I missed Friday Finds this week and I appologize for that also for the same reasons.

Reviews will be coming soon my loyal followers, so fear not!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cornucopic Contemplation: Why Vampires? They Suck.

I hate Twilight, I dislike Stephanie Meyer, and I can't say that the movies strike any chords within me, and any that it does strike are dissonant at best. Most vehemently of all though: I hate the recent vampire craze that has hit the country thanks to the success of Twilight.

Now, I'm not going to go on a rant about how Twilight is the worst heap of vomit ever to be regurgitated by the mass market YA crowd, and about how much I want it to die and for the world to forget it ever existed. Instead I'm going to talk about how silly and annoying it is that authors all over the country are cashing in on the "vampire craze".

It's amazing how many vampire books have popped up (and become popular) because of the success of just one. I'm trying to decide which is more annoying: the fact that authors are trying to cash in on the success of Twilight and Ms. Meyer by producing something that will please the hoards of vampire hungry preteen girls because they can't get enough out of those poorly played out, badly acted, badly written series of books and movies, or the fact that the authors are succeeding.

I understand the alure of vampires and the thought of vampires has always been enjoyable to me, especially in books like Night Watch, where they are simply there and not an intigral part of the story line. But what I can't understand is how authors have turned something that is supposed to be terrifing into sparkly and idiotic love interests. The only exception that I can give for the case of falling in love with a vampire is for the Sookie Stackhouse series because vampires still retain an ounce or two of their frightening nature in those books (and show).

Hopefully this shameful market craze will end once all of the twilight movies have come out. Zeus forbid that Meyer writes a spinoff on the last book.

(Click to Enlarge)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Review: Age of Misrule

If five people were chosen from birth to save the human race from extinction at the hands of an evil race of gods from another age, then this is exactly how it would happen. Filled with humor,  romance, betrayal, infighting, and argumentative hilarity; this book is exactly the kind of urban/contemporary fantasy that I love to read. The characters even address the fact that the whole idea of them saving the world is cliche! The plot and the characters are presented in a way that make them real, and I feel sufficiently attached to each of them, despite their obvious and sometimes glaring faults.

World's End, as I said, is about five normal (for the most part) people, who discover, along with the rest of the world, that their world is falling apart by the seams. Ancient gods are being unleashed upon the world as an evil race of god like beings called the Fomorii break an ancient pact to stay out of our world. The five "Brothers and Sisters of Dragons" are called forth to release the Danaan, the antithetical race of beings that are to oppose the Fomorii, by collecting five talismans and bringing them together to summon the Danaan.

My Thoughts

The good
I didn't really like this book when I first started it, because the beginning of the book is in such stark contrast with the end of the book. I see now that it makes sense that this dichotomy would exist because the world as the Brothers and Sisters know it is being torn asunder as the ancient gods return and magic is restored to the land. I thought that the direction that the book was taking was very different from what I had read on the back, and that I had judged this book incorrectly. I put this book down for several months and only continued to read it this past week. When I picked it up again and read on I saw it in a whole new light.

Like I said World's End seems like it is exactly how these events would pan out in real life if they were to happen. The book is gritty and descriptive and is not ashamed to describe some of the more unpleasant parts of saving the world, which are often only glimpsed in other books. I often find  that other books describe the process of saving humanity from the apocalypse in a rather feel good way, and the ending of this book makes you feel anything but good. I loved it.

Mark Chadbourn has his own unique style of writing that combines an omniscient and very descriptive point of view with a feeling of personalization for each of the characters. The characters have their own personalities, their own lives, their own stories, and each of them feels like a seperate entity and I had no difficulty with keeping track of who was who like I have in other books. Mr. Chadbourn is good at descriptive language and he inserts it into the story in a way that makes descriptions (which I usually skim over) easy to read without sacrificing the descriptive ability of said description (redundancy!).

The Bad
A few of the plot elements and twists were not executed in a way that I found eye catching or sufficiently devastating to the characters. The plot twists were done in a way that did not make them feel like twists at all, they were simply developments that the characters rolled with despite their impact on the course of events.

I could also have done with a little more of the "magical" aspects of the new world that the characters find themselves in. We catch glimpses here and there but I feel like there is still much to be desired in that department, and as you know what really makes the mechanics of a book tick are what keep me at the edge of my seat wanting more. I think that is one of the reasons that I will enjoy reading the rest of the series, I'm excited to see exactly how this new world of their is going to work.

My Conclusion

I would certainly recommend World's End (and the whole Age of Misrule Series) to anybody who likes gritty, down to earth, dark and virtually real fantasy books, but for those of you who are expecting a world filled with fireballs, devastating spells, flashy effects, or witches on broomsticks you're not going to find your fix here.

Check out my reviews of Books Two and Three!

Friday, December 4, 2009


Hey everybody! Just wanted to let you know that my store is up. Using the store you can buy any of the books that you see me talk about or review here on Cornucopia of Fantasy. The store is powered by Amazon so any purchases you make can be made with your Amazon account if you have one or through their secure server using a credit card if you don't.

I make a commission for every book that you buy through my store and you don't have to go through the process of searching through Amazon's extensive collection of books to find the ones you see here! It's a win - win situation for everybody, and with the holiday season coming up "winning" is paramount to making your family and friends happy with those oh so special things we call books.

So if you're making the decision to buy a few books for people on your christmas shopping list, and you've read a review about said book here on Cornucopia of Fantasy, just go ahead and click on "Book Store" on the navigation bar up at the top of the page and get ready to do some shopping!

Friday Finds - 2

Friday Finds is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading. You post books that you've found during the week and have added to your TBR shelf.

Ok so I realize that I missed last week's Friday Finds because it was the day after thanksgiving, but who can blame me? I mean It's THANKSGIVING for heaven's sake. 

This week I've not so much found "New" books per say, but I've discovered the wonders of 2 new fabulous series that I plan on reading all the way through.


  • Age of Misrule: A fantastic contemporary fantasy series set in a modern day UK, the series tells the story of 5 strangers who discover that, however cliche it is, they are the "5 Brothers and Sisters of Dragons" who are destined to save humanity from the evil Night Walkers called Fomorii.

  • Devices and Desires: While this series leaves much to be desired in the "fantasy" section, it is still a gripping tale of politics, automatons, and warfare that was highly entertaining. I feel obligated to finish this series.

Reviews on the first books in both of these series are soon to come!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Hey guys and gals! I'm just posting an update explaining why I haven't posted in almost a week. The obvious answer is, of course, that I've been on Thanksgiving vacation. I assure every one of my readers (all 3 of you) that I am still reading and I am still writing reviews, I just got out of the swing of things when I went on vacation. I plan on reading this post on problogger to help me get back into the swing of things, just so everybody knows.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Review: Keeping it Real

The plot took a sudden innovative turn.

Well not innovative really, just more exciting and I’ll admit, in the last half of the book I became almost completely engrossed. I think the problem I was having with Keeping it Real was that I had gone from Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments to Justina Robson and they both have very different writing styles geared towards completely different audiences. Clare’s writing turning towards YA readers and Robson’s towards the adult fiction(fantasy/scifi) readers.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about see this post

Ok so review time.

I had a hard time getting into the flow of this book. Perhaps my problem with this book lies in the fact that there is scarcely any explanation of the technology or the magic or any of the theories really. The most explanation given is given in the first two pages of the book in which the “Quantum Bomb” is explained and all of the 7 realms created by the bomb are also explained. Another thing that irked me about this book was the whole beginning, really, the characters jumped around from place to place doing trivial things that seemed to have no connection to the plot whatsoever with the main character having a self pity fest with herself while trying to protect some character who seems to have no real connection to the plot(he incidentally becomes central to the plot later on).

The whole first half of the book just seems listless, I mean usually I can put up with the usual introduction of characters and the formation of the plot yadda yadda yadda because that is where I find some of the most interesting parts in the book where they describe what makes the world “tick” and what drives the world. Without this explanation of the way that this world works we are left in the dark somewhat, and while this may not present a reader who’s focus is more on the sequence of events rather than the back story, it certainly influenced how I got through the first chunk of Keeping it Real.

Ok away from all this bad stuff about the book, let’s talk about where it really shines: action and intrigue. There are action scenes galore throughout Keeping it Real and there are some pretty interesting characters who have the potential to be exciting additions to the main plot as the series goes on (Did I mention this is a series?).

Due to the obvious lack of detail added to the development of the initial setting, the reader is left to work out the way this world is run through the glances and snippets we get throughout the book, which (for a reader like me) makes it impossible to quit reading because I hunger for more information about the mechanics of the universe the characters inhabit and the mechanics of the characters themselves.

I think I’ll have to read the rest of the series to give my full and honest opinion of this book, because as of now I have no idea where it’s going and I sort of want to know. If anybody has read this book I encourage comments, what did you like? What didn’t you like? And of course: Why?

Check out Keeping it Real on Amazon

Reading Update

I'm on page 102 of Keeping it Real and I am having the hardest time finishing this darned book! There's just something about it that makes it difficult to digest, it jerks around a lot and the descriptions are nothing to bat an eye at. In the first two pages of the book i expected a rich world full of innovative ideas and amazing interactions between characters but I digress.

Review to come, but I don't think that I will be finishing the rest of this series unless the writing in the next books suddenly gets better or the plot takes a sudden innovative turn.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ads and Affiliate Marketing

A few of you might have noticed that I have recently placed textual ads on my blog, and even more of you might have noticed that when you click on the links in my posts that they take you to Amazon, I want to be perfectly honest with all of my readers that the links that you click are in fact affiliate links and that if you do choose to buy a book from amazon then I will receive a commission.

I hesitate to publish this post because I know there are people that view things like adsense ads and affiliate marketing as simply ways for people to post mediocre content to gain views and the subsiquent clicks that result from that.

I want to assure my current (and future) readers that I strive to create quality content and that I will never post mediocre content simply for the purpose of making money. I enjoy reviewing books and of course I enjoy reading them and that will never change.

I welcome any insight and any comments that my readers feel compelled to make on this subject and I hope that this will not affect how my blog (and I) are viewed by my audience (whom I adore).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Finds 11/20/2009

Oh goodness my first meme, what a momentous occasion indeed.

Ok, so Friday Finds is a meme hosted over at Should be Reading by MizB and I've seen this meme all over on a bunch of blogs and I have been trying to think of some more exciting things to do besides reviews (although this isn't that much more exciting) so here goes!

Friday Finds

  1. Marked (House of Night book 1)
  2. The Summoning (Darkest Powers Book 1)
  3. Modern Magic by Anne Cordwainer
  4. Lamentation (The Psalms of Isaak book 1) 

SO as you can probably see, these are all the books that I have added to my "To be read" list (over on the right) and you can expect to see all of my new "Friday Finds" over on that list, so if you ever miss out (or you're too lazy to look for the post) then you can just look there!

That's all for now! Keep on reading!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Review: City of Glass (plus a sneak peek at City of Fallen Angels)

Recently I was over at Mindful Musings reading some blog posts and I came across this post and to my surprise I discovered that a series that I had just finished (The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare) was going to have a fourth book called City of Fallen Angels, excitement abounded as I listened to Clare read an excerpt from her new book (the first chapter) and I scrambled to finish the rest of City of Glass (As I had not finished at the time).

Well now I'm finished with City of Glass and I'm excited to review this fantastic book.

City of Glass (Mortal Instruments Book 3)

City of Glass, just like city of ashes, picks up exactly where the story left off, a week after the events on the river that left Clary wondering about her origins, and I must say that this book is exponentially better than the the first two books. This climactic thought-to-be ending to the mortal instruments series rife with plot twists, character development, heartbreak, elation, and action galore.

The story takes a turn for the worse (better for the reader you know?) and everything that clary has learned about shadowhunters, and herself shatters, (again), I will not reveal any plot elements but I can honestly say that this was the best book of the series. I found the book almost uncharacteristically dark for a YA fantasy book, and I loved it for that! As I said before I generally avoid the teen section of the book store like the plague, but I think it was the dark nature of this book that held my interest enough for me to realize that this was a series not to be missed.

Clare's writing as showed significant progress through the 3 books and I feel that although the first book was not badly written, the third book is so well written for a YA book when contrasted with OTHER YA books (cough Twilight cough). Clare adds some significantly surprising elements and plot twists that both add to the darkness of the series, and serve to enhance the readability of the book.

If you STILL haven't picked up the first book in the mortal instruments series then you absolutely need to do that (and read my review) and introduce yourself to this wonderful series by a wonderful author.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Recently i've discovered several contests being hosted by my fellow book bloggers and i figured that I would enter some of them, one in particular i entered was a contest over at Book Bound to win one of three books. I've also entered a contest over at Mindful Musings to win a free bookcase for all these books I'm reading!
Also, a contest over at bibliofreak to win an Amazon Kindle II  which you can also find a banner for in my sidebar, so make sure to enter the contest!

And make sure to follow me so you can get updates about contests that I am sure to be holding some time in the future!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Reading for Pleasure: Cornucopic Contemplation

If i'm reading a book for pleasure i might read in one day, or maybe two, but i will never read a book in one sitting. Reflection, contemplation, actually thinking about what i read, these things make reading so much more enjoyable.

When i read i lose myself in the story, in the world that the author has created for my enjoyment, simply following a story is not enough for me, i love imagining alternative endings, putting myself in the world that the author has created, sometimes i even dream about a particularly riviting story. Reading a book solely for the purpose of reading a book (like as an assignment or to post about in a blog) is unfathomably less enjoyable than reading a book for the splendor, the wonder, the marriment, the adventure, the romance, and the escape from life that reading a good book can provide.

It is for these reasons that I don't choose books based on readership or based on the views that i will get because i put this keyword in my post. I'm all about the readership don't get me wrong, but i don't go to the bookstore to find books that will tickle the fancy of my readers but not me. I like to think that people will read my blog because they value the insight i can give into good books. I love writing, and i love readong, and hopefully (i think) i am good enough at both to provide valuable information for those people who are looking for what (and what not) to place on their bookshelves to be read.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Author Focus: Sergei Lukyanenko (My favorite)

Author Biography(courtesy of Wikipedia):

Lukyanenko was born in Karatau, then a part of Soviet Union, to Russian-Ukrainian father and Tatar mother. After school he moved to Alma-Ata, entering Alma-Ata State Medical Institute in 1986 as a therapist. After graduation in 1992 he joined one of the Alma-Ata hospitals, specializing in child psychiatry, but soon abandoned practice, as already poor wages for physicians in Soviet times plummeted with the fall of the Soviet Union, making it virtually impossible to support a family. His writing, which he started while still a student, had just started producing funds. During this time he became an active member in Russian fandom, visiting conventions and attending seminars all around the Soviet Union.

In 1993 he was appointed deputy editor in a local Science Fiction magazine, where he worked until 1996. This was one of the hardest periods of Sergei's life, as his family struggled to make ends meet. He often attributes the rather grim tones of his works at that period to those financial and personal hardships. However, by the mid-90's the situation improved drastically, and soon his growing popularity as a writer made frequent trips to now-foreign Russia increasingly difficult. Thus in 1996 Lukyanenko moved to Moscow, where he currently resides.

Now, truthfully, I cannot say that Sergei is my favorite author, as I've only read one of his series and have yet to pick up any of his other works, but he has written what have turned out to be my favorite books on this planet earth The "Watch" series (Night Watch, Day Watch, Twilight Watch, and Last Watch)
Some of his other works include the Genome Series, and the russian cult fiction book Labyrinth of Reflections

I encourage everybody on the face of this planet (really) to read the Watch series, it changed the way I look at fiction/fantasy books forever. Yeah, it's THAT good.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Best Ways to Find Good Books

It might seem like something really simple, something that everybody can do with ease, but finding good books to read , especially in some of the bigger sections like fiction or mystery where there are so many books to choose from.There are 4 ways that I use to find good books to read in the bookstore, and I've ordered them from my most used method to my least used method, but I use them all.

Referal from a Friend 
The easiest and fastest way to find a book, obviously friends who are into the same kinds of books that you are are going to be able to refer you to some of the best books out there.

My favorite way to find books, mainly because I like to be in the bookstore for long periods of time and soak in the ambiance of the place, I walk around and I read the synopses in the backs and I choose based on my first impression of the book, this can often lead to some bad choices and some unread books sitting on your shelf that you'll probably never read, but it can also lead to finding some of the best books in the bookstore. Keep in mind that judging a book by its cover, may or may not be a good way to go about doing this.

Blogs (like this one maybe?) can be the best sources of information on books out there, and as blogs can be written by anyone and are there for all to see, they are often better than the editorial reviews that are featured on sites like amazon and barnes and noble and can feature anything from scathing to glowing reviews on a book. It's nice to see the viewpoint of multiple people before you read a book, just as long as they don't give any spoilers.

Ask an Employee or a Librarian
Sometimes some of the best people to ask for referrals are those people who work around books the most. Librarians and Employees of bookstores are often avid readers (just like you) and can often point you in a good direction. Keep in mind that these people are not your friend so they don't know anything about you and might not know anything about your preferences when it comes to books, so if you don't trust them to give you a good referal: take everything they say with a grain of salt.

So now you know, my preferred ways of choosing books to read, may it serve you well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Review: City of Ashes

 City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments Book 2)

The second book in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series brings quite a bit to the series that I though it severely lacking in with the first book. Her use of descriptive language has increased (as did her vocabulary apparently) and her characters have taken on much more of a “real” feeling, that is, they’ve become more three dimensional. She creates a background story in this book, and her concern with expanding on the important elements of the book that make it unique has risen considerably.

In the first mortal instruments book Clary Fray discovers that everything she knows about the world she lives in is false, well ok that’s not exactly true, she just can’t remember anything about the world she sees. A warlock named Magnus Bane was commissioned by Clary’s mother Jocelyn Fray to force clary to forget everything she sees involving the magical world. Well when Clary’s mother goes missing and Clary is absent for a “refreshing” of the forgetful spell, she begins to regain her sight, and with this comes the knowledge of her heritage as a Niphilim, or a shadowhunter, a race of humans said to have originated from the angels themselves. Clary’s life would never be the same when she finds out that her father (Valentine) is a bigoted mastermind bent on destroying the government of the Niphilim and anybody who gets in his way.

City of Ashes begins precisely where City of Bones left off, in the second book of the series Clary and her new friends Isabelle, Jace, Alec, and Magnus Bane continue their fight against Valentine, and in this book things get a lot more climactic than in City of Bones.

One of the things I was disappointed in when it came to the first book was Clare’s almost complete lack of a back story or any expanding on one of the most original things about the book: The Marks. In this sequel to City of Bones it seems Clare is more concerned with the background role that the marks played. One of the things I love about magic related books, is hearing about HOW the magic works, I love reading about the development of the practices and the applications it can be used for. In short, I love having background information about an idea in a book, it just makes a story seem so much more real and alive, and while it is still a little lacking in my opinion Cassandra Clare seems to do a much better job of elaborating on an element of her book that I simply adore.

Because of the interesting nature of the magic element of Clare’s book, her plot takes a lot of twists and turns and actually turns out to be extremely entertaining (again I managed to read this book in one day, it was that good). Plot twists are one of the things that I look for in a good book, and City of Ashes while a little on the mild side, has some excellent turnouts that make the book that much more enjoyable to read.

For those of you who haven’t read City of Bones I highly recommend this series, and for those of you who have read City of Bones, you will find that Clare’s second book is nothing if not an improvement on her first, you’ll definitely enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why I should (but don't) donate my books.

I have a full book shelf and a half filled with books of all shapes, sizes, topics, and genres, and I can’t seem to make myself do anything but let them sit there. Perhaps it is their lingering ephemeral attachment to the bookstore in which I got them, maybe it is the memories that I have shared with these books after so many years sitting on my shelf. I have read each and every one of the books on my shelf from front to back, most of them multiple times. Many of them carry more emotional weight than others do (you know who you are Harry Potter, Bartimaeus, and Maximum Ride) and some of them I read so fast that I barely remember the story behind their covers.

Regardless of whether I read them 6 times or whether I read them in a thunderstorm on the fourth of July while holding an umbrella in the other hand. I cannot force myself to make the critical decision to donate these books to any number of the local charities collecting books. I’ve gone over the pros over and over again in my head, I’d be sharing the memories that I had with others, I’d be bringing joy to those who don’t have books, I’d make the people running the charities feel really good about themselves, there are hundreds of reasons to donate your old books and I urge everybody to not fall into the same trap that I have. Donate your books, share your memories and the joy that comes with reading. Because really, are you ever going to read them book again? (maybe…)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Review: City of Bones

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments Book 1)

Typically I stay away from the “teen” section of the book store, but on a recent trip to my local Barnes and Noble I was having a hard time finding a book whose back cover’s synopsis captured my attention enough to get me to sample it (shallow, no?). I ended up calling a friend of mine and asking her for a book recommendation, and after some thought she suggested that I read City of Bones. I had seen her reading the book and it had looked interesting enough, so I gave in and headed over to the teen section in search of City of Bones under her recommendation.

Upon review of the inside flap of the book I found that the synopsis was sufficiently appetizing for my fiction hungry palate to digest. What I soon found was that the book, both well written but not verbose and with an original plot, held my attention enough to get me to finish it in one day.

City of Bones is written by Cassandra Clare, an author whose writing is neither flowery, nor tantalizingly descriptive, and although her writing style leaves many things to be desired(like more background or description of elements), she still has enough talent to write an amply descriptive novel while keeping the simplicity that designates this as a “teen” book. The characters of the book, aside from the protagonist, are rather two dimensional. They are likable enough and along with Clare’s simple writing style they move the plot along in a way that keeps you from noticing that they are two dimensional.

One thing I must say that I particularly enjoyed about City of Bones was the novelty of the plot elements, which revolve around a world of mysticism, demons, and angels. While these things do not seem particularly profound or innovating at their core, it is their nature that make them so unique.

Magic does indeed exist in the protagonist Clary’s world (unbeknownst to her), as do demons and apparently angels; but magic as used by the main characters is not really magic in the strictest sense of the word, instead it comes in the form of various “runes” that take the appearance of strange tattoos plastered all over the bodies of the characters. The idea of tattooed runes is one that I would have love to have seen developed beyond the background role that it takes in the book, but who knows? It might begin to play more of a role in the next two books.

The plot is simple to understand and fun to read, it is not filled with the twists and turns of a psychological thriller, but it varies enough from the prolific plethora of pedantry that is so often found in the Teen section of the book store as to distinguish itself as a well written, intelligent, and page-turning novel.

Cassandra Clare write to entertain and keeps the reader holding on until the very end, not because of fantastical character design, intense verbiage, or chapter long descriptions of scenery, but because of an genuinely enjoyable plot. Through the intense imagination of a good reader, one can immerse themselves in the story, and not feel as though there was anything missing.

Review: Wit'ch Fire

Wit'ch Fire (The Banned and the Banished, Book 1)

A classic tale of growing up, of ripening to power, and of defeating an evil “dark lord”, such is the story of Elena, a girl who one day discovers that she possesses a great and terrible power, and she gets her period all at the same time! Elena discovers her ability and immediately her world is begot with death and destruction. Her family is killed and her childhood home burned down and to top it all off she is being chased by a hoard of terrible creatures looking to capture her and bring her back to the dark lord, probably to be killed.

James Clemens writes a terrific story, one that cannot be put down easily. Wit’ch Fire is a book filled with suspense, action, magic, betrayal and adventure. Reading Wit’ch Fire was a very pleasant ride through the doomed land of Alasea. Dark creatures, unforgettable characters, and a story that every person who has ever grown up can relate to in a way, James Clemens creates a world of magic that has never been touched by the eyes of the unenlightened, and every page in this gripping fantasy novel is entertaining and rife with powerful language.

The writing of Wit’ch fire is first rate, and the story is something else entirely. Clemens writes about a world full of strange magic, creatures, and people; and yet it invokes a sense of familiarity characterized by the trials of growing up.

However, if you are looking for an original story with plot twists galore and a never done before story that leaves you breathless and clamoring for more then I suggest you look elsewhere. The story itself is cliché and lends itself to the hundreds of other series that involve gaining an untold power and defeating a dastardly ruler who threatens to destroy the world.

The only truly innovative thing about the story is the method by which Elena uses her power, she must “dip” her hand into an unseen force by reaching into nothing and pulling her hand out, after which it is stained a deep red getting lighter as she uses her magic.

To enjoy this book, one must look past the its cliched story and focus on enjoying it in the way that one enjoys hearing about triumph over evil and the coming of age. Recommended over plenty of other unimaginative stories especially for its characters and entertaining writing.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Judging a Book by its Cover.

You hear the phrase all the time: “don’t judge a book by its cover” it’s used in conversational speech to say that looks don’t always matter. But in our society of mass media via the internet, television, and press it’s hard to say that looks don’t matter. The fact of the matter is if the cover of a book doesn’t look good or doesn’t appeal to a reader, chances are they won’t end up buying that particular book.

Now, this is not to say that the cover of a book is paramount to the sales of a book, but it is a very important factor. Jill could be the greatest author ever to grace the world with her writing presence, but if her books are nothing more than scraps of paper thrown together and stapled she cannot expect anybody to buy it, let alone read it. Skipping over a book, however, because its cover art is not something that makes you say “wow, what great art!” is a great way to miss out on a fantastic book.

The argument can be made that if a book were truly great, then the author should have the resources available to get some great cover art for the book. Surely somebody who is a great writer should have a great artist commissioned to make their cover art for them?

So, the question still remains: Can a book be judged by its cover? Or should it be judged solely on its literary merit?It's an age old question, and one that will never be answered in our age of visual media. But if you want to see some really great book covers click here

Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain