Friday, January 11, 2008

Dime Store Magic

The third book in Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Other World series was fantastic. In Stolen, the narrator Paige Winterbourne came across as pushy and arrogant, in Dime Store Magic she comes into her own. The reader gets to see her as an idealist who wants to bring the North American Witches Coven into the 21st century as well as a young woman struggling against the loss of her mother and the added responsibility of taking care of Savannah, a 13 year old orphan.

When Savannah's biological father is told about her whereabouts he brings forth a paternity suit. The elders of the coven want Paige to give Savannah up because the child is too willful and lacks the strict morality of the coven. Since Paige's mother entrusted Savannah to her care, Paige is unwilling to abandon her. Instead she fights the paternity suit and deals with the reprecussions Savannah's father throws at her.

This is the first book in this series without Elena Michaels, the only female werewolf in existence, as a major character. While she does make a couple of brief cameos due to being friends with Paige, it is obvious from the first page that this book isn't about Elena and she isn't vital to the story. The series and the world it's set in gets a little bigger through this distinction and it makes you wonder who else might wind up as the main character. Could we see stories about Cassandra the vampire? Or Leah the half-demon? I rather doubt we'll see a book about Leah, she's a bit too much the villian in this one.

The pacing in this book is good and the characterizations work well. Paige, Savannah, and the new character Cortez are all fully fleshed out. I enjoyed the characters and even warmed up to Paige, a character I did not care for in the previous book Stolen. I was disturbed by the way the coven members turned their back on Paige and Savannah during the conflicts of this book, that showed a severe failing in the coven itself.

Kelly Armstrong has created a wonderful world that is just different enough from our own to make it recognizable and yet fantastic at the same time. Her characters are interesting with flaws and insecurities as well as great power at their fingertips. I highly recommend her books to any lovers of paranormal stories.

The Time Traveler's Wife

I just started reading this book today and so far...not impressed. The Time Traveler's Wife has a good premise. It's the story of a relationship that spans across entire lifetimes. Henry, the time traveler, has no control over his condition. He blips out of the present day and jumps forwards or backwards in time without any assistance, including clothes. He has all sorts of good reasons for this which he explains to his wife Clare when he meets her six year old self. As Clare explains to Henry when he first meets her in 1991, she's known him almost all her life, though he didn't start traveling to meet her until later.

I've heard this described as "literature", "science fiction", and "romance", but so far I can't decide which genre it truly belongs in. So far I haven't been able to pick up a plot as this is a pretty non-linear story telling style with a great deal of paradox. When 24 year old Henry jumps back in time to the Field Museum in 196? (check the year) he knows what he's supposed to do because he remembers it. He will meet his younger self at the age of 5 as he experiences his first time jump. Another time he jumps to meet himself at age 9 when he teaches his younger self to pick pockets. Paradox. It goes back to the age old question of which came first. If Henry never went back in time he'd never learn how to pick pockets.

I have to apologize for publishing this post today, I thought it hadn't been published by mistake. It was actually intentional since it was and still is incomplete. I never finished this book which seems to surprise most people I've talked to about it. I just didn't like the book enough to finish it. Thus my review isn't as complete as some others I've written.

So let's just leave it as this particular book wasn't my cup of tea.

Friday, January 4, 2008


Just by looking through the titles found on this site it should be no surprise that I enjoy paranormal mysteries/romance novels. A couple of years ago I read the book Bitten by Kelly Armstrong. Was a good book with plenty of werewolves, suspense, family dynamics, engaging characters, oh and of course a bit of romance. I had a hard time warming up to the main character, Elena, at first but after the first three chapters or so I was hooked and by the time I was done I throughly enjoyed Elena's sarcastic sense of humor and was pleasently intrigued by her mate Clayton.

This month I picked up the second book in Armstrong's "Women of the Otherworld" series Stolen and enjoyed it even more than I enjoyed Bitten. In Stolen we meet up with Elena, Clayton and thier Pack Alpha Jeremy. Someone's kidnapping supernaturals and it's up to Elena and her allies to find out who it is and stop it. The story moves at a good pace and new characters are introduced that are a lot of fun, particularly Adam, a half-demon that's actually very sweet. Stolen also introduces readers to Paige Winterbourne, the young sometimes arrogant witch that will lead The Coven. Paige also happens to be the narrator of the third book in the series Dime Store Magic. That one's waiting for me at home.

Stolen is a good read if you enjoy supernatural stories the way I do. If you have an interest in Werewolves and pack dynamics you'll love it.

I have two books on my plate for this month, Dime Store Magic and The Time-Traveler's Wife, which I'm reading for the Book-A-Month Challenge. If I finish those two I'm going to check out The Other Boelyn Girl as I've been told it is absolutely fantastic. Look for those reviews in the coming weeks and keep on reading!