Thanksgiving Corgis

Because of the most random of occurrences, Greg and I actually had Thanksgiving with my parents on Thanksgiving Day (it’s usually done a day or two afterwards so that the whole clan can fit it into our varying schedules). Between gorging on food and watching the Bill Cosby comedy special, we managed to take a couple of pictures…all of which involve dogs.

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Writing Update: Nov 25

Last week, Greg and I finished chapter one (Woo! *happy dance*). It came in at 6,569 words, or about 20-21 pages. We’re already about 6 pages into chapter two, coming in so far at 1,570 words, and lots more to get through according to the outline. It’s a good, intense chapter though. Both of us are only able to write a couple of paragraphs before we have to take a break.

In total, we’ve written 9342 words (~25-30 pages). It’s coming along nicely! We decided early on this month not to worry about NaNoWriMo, but do hope to get as much writing done before the end of the year as possible.

The Passage: A Review

passageThe Passage by Justin Cronin is the first book in a post-apocalyptic, “vampire” trilogy. The story follows Amy, albeit loosely at times, a little girl who is abandoned by her mother, but destined to be important. It is also the story of the events leading up to the end of civilization as we know it, and what happens afterward.

The US government is performing illegal experiments on death row inmates, turning them into soulless, bloodsucking beings. Inevitable, these people who’ve been infected with this virus escape out into the world and destroy it. The first two parts (about the first 250 pages) contain the events leading up to this outbreak. The remaining book is about ninety years later and follows the aftermath. These two sections are disjointed and abrupt. There are eleven parts in total, when really, there needed only to be about three. The part divisions are mostly arbitrary, and it seems they are only there so that the author could put in more ominous epitaphs.

The infected are referred to by many names, most of which are so ridiculous that every time I read one, I was completely taken out of the story because I was shaking my head. They are known as “jumpers,” “smokes,” and many other titles. The only one that didn’t make me roll my eyes was “virals.” It’s like Cronin didn’t want to use the terms vampires or zombies because they are so common, and he wanted to be hip and cool with his new lingo. Unfortunately, it proves to be more distracting than anything.

Another big downside is that this book is trying to be Watership Down with monsters. Richard Adams’s book about journeying bunnies is so much richer and fulfilling to the reader. Though I do have to admit, reading The Passage has me hankering to reread about Hazel and his other rabbit friends.

I was interested enough to finish the book, but it started to be a struggle after about the halfway point.  Overall, this book is long, disjointed, and unoriginal. The allegorical aspects, which may be appealing to some, are done much better in other books.

2/5 Stars

October Reads

It took me long enough, but I finally caught up on my reviews and am now able to post my list of books I read and reviewed in October. I read nine books last month, which is pretty  good; however, I’m still quite behind if I wish to reach my goal of 100 books this year. Lots of good stuff, though!

5-Star Reviews:

4-Star Reviews:

3-Star Reviews:

 

*Not Reviewed. Read for research.

Secret Vampire: A Review

Normally, I try to match the cover image I post to the version of the book that I read. But this time, I just couldn't resist the ridiculousness of this one.
Normally, I try to match the cover image I post to the version of the book that I read. But this time, I just couldn’t resist the ridiculousness of this one.

Secret Vampire is a young adult novel by L.J. Smith (not to be confused with her Vampire Diaries books). It is the first book in the Night World Series. Secret Vampire is, of course, an introduction to the secret world of vampires, witches, and other supernatural creatures of the night world.

Poppy’s best friend (and secret crush), James, is devastated when he learns that Poppy has terminal cancer. But he has a secret. He is a vampire. Desperate not to lose Poppy, he breaks all sorts of Night World laws to try and save her. It is a tale of loss, love, and blood exchange.

Secret Vampire is a quick, entertaining read, but is unfortunately very forgettable. There’s nothing new here, nothing unique, and nothing that makes me fall in love with any of the characters. It’s simple and sweet, a perfect read for a sick day or for just being lazy on the couch when you don’t want to think much.

3/5 Stars

Purchase Night World No. 1: Secret Vampire; Daughters of Darkness; Spellbinder from Amazon.com