Review of Frankenstein

FrankensteinFrankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had never read this classic before. Of course, I’ve seen adaptations of it on film and in general lore. Those accounts give far more interest to the “science” of it (which Shelley completely glosses over). Frequently pointed to as a treatise against “playing God”, I’m not sure I wholly agree with that take on it. So I won’t talk on that matter, my review focuses more on the characters themselves.

Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein is far from indifferent, quite the opposite in fact. He seems subject to great drama at the smallest of things. I have to admit that his “excess of sentiment” grew tedious at times. Especially since, if he’d had any forethought at all, none of this would have happened to him. How many days passed between him creating this “creature” and him discovering what had become of it? I suppose this is the beginning of the classic horror story cliche of a naive protagonist releasing something alien into the everyday world – much like Dustin and Dart in Stranger Things. Dustin was also eager to distinguish himself with his discovery, naively believing Dart was harmless, just like Frankenstein. However when he discovered the opposite, Dustin set out to right his error. Frankenstein shirked such duty in a frenzy of what can only be called cowardice as viewed from this age of totally bad-ass protagonists.

Frankenstein instead is instantly horrified by his creation (based solely upon its appearance, mind you) and, even while supposing it to be malign in nature, he quits the scene and leaves it to its own devices! For days! If he really thought this creature was a demon from the start, why did he not try to stop it right then and there?

I’m not sure what Shelley intended to stir in the reader with this story but I felt less horror at this monster than I did at the worst of the GOT villains. Really, the creature was a threat only to Frankenstein with whom it had a (I think legitimate) grudge and Frankenstein’s family. Worse, I feel not one iota of compassion for the poor downtrodden Victor whose fits of hysteria frequently incapacitated him. The monster, however, is a very sympathetic being, one whose anger and rage and misdeeds are completely understandable even by today’s standards.

On the whole, I did enjoy it. Her language is so reminiscent of Jane Austin’s that it felt very period to me. It was well thought out and interesting. I do recommend it.

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Review of Embers at Galdrilene

Embers at Galdrilene (Dragon's Call #1)Embers at Galdrilene by A.D. Trosper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Embers at Galdrilene reaches out and grabs you from the very beginning. Set in a world where dragons and magic are real, A.D. Trosper gives us a post apocalyptic tale of a very different kind. Weaving together the lives of eight very different individuals, she immerses us in a world on the cusp of change. Hundreds of years earlier the Dragon Riders were all but wiped out. Now they have returned and they have a very difficult task before them. (One which is not completed within the scope of this book but books 2 and 3 are already out for those who are impatient about sequels).

The best part for me was the characters and their relationships with their dragons. Trosper manages to give each one their own personality and voice, and you feel as though you know them by the end. You root for them. For those who enjoy a good sword fight, Embers at Galdrilene has plenty of that too, as well as friendship, loyalty and love. Her descriptions of the magical effects were vivid and I especially liked the air magic. If you love fantasy or love dragons, this book is a must read. For myself, I’m excited to read the sequels.

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Books, Vertigo and Tea reviews Dreamwalker

It is so heartening to have someone like your creative work. Again, the audiobook of Dreamwalker manages to pull some heart strings. Thank you, Danielle, for your glowing review. I am hard at work on the sequel, trying to ensure it meets or exceeds the first one. 

Quest of the Dreamwalker (Corthan Legacy Book 1) By Stacy Bennett Narrated by Zachary Johnson Publisher: Miramae Press Format: Audible Audio Unabridged: 14 hrs and 48 mins Genre: Fantasy Synopsis: A perfect captive, Cara didn’t know her will had been stolen until she escapes with borrowed courage. Cloistered in the Black Keep with only her father for […]

via Quest of the Dreamwalker (Corthan Legacy Book 1) by Stacy Bennett — Books, Vertigo and Tea

Review of Braving the Wilderness

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand AloneBraving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

True Belonging is something we all aspire to and yet something we pursue in all the wrong ways. Fitting in is not the same as belonging, as Ms. Brown discovers in her research. Spurred on by a Maya Angelou quote (“You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.”), Brene brings her considerable research skill and dedication to the question of what does it mean to belong.

This book resonated with me on so many levels and I had quite a few A-ha! moments reading it. I love psychological books that touch on the real problems we face as individuals and as a culture. As usual, Brene Brown treads these delicate issues with fierce courage and vulnerability and tells it like it is. I’m sure this is a book I will go back to more than once to re-read and digest and course-correct myself in my dealings with others. A great read for anyone who has felt left out by the world at large. Inspiring, hopeful and vulnerable.. just like we all should be. Thank you, Brene.

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Review of Tears of War


Tears of War by A.D. Trosper

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Galdrilene’s Dragonriders are back and so are the Shadow Riders. The conflict heats up in this second book of the Dragon’s Call series by A.D. Trosper. The scope of the story blossoms from just the first eight riders to a brewing world war, as the riders must go to back to their homes to convince the nations that not all dragons are black and magic does not cause insanity. Game of Thrones in its scope, Tears of War shows us more about the world the riders must deal with and the kind of enemies they have. I cringe at the power of the Shadow Riders and found myself seriously worried for a few of my favorite characters. With a name like Tears of War, you know bad things are going to happen and if your eyes are dry at the end, you must have skipped a few chapters. A great read, and I eagerly look forward to the next one in the series.

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Review of Betrayed by A.D. Trosper

Betrayed (Raven Daughter Book 2)Betrayed by A.D. Trosper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You won’t feel Betrayed by this book, it delivers. (See there, I did it again)

You really should read Unveiled first and I will attempt to avoid spoilers. That said, I wholeheartedly recommend these books to anyone who enjoys a paranormal romance that has heart, a wonderful cast of characters and a good plot.

Snarky Jo and arrogant Caius are back, and I love them more with every page. As Jo comes to grips with the realities of her world, a world wherein her most trustworthy ally is a high-ranking demonborn, she begins to embrace her power and her potential role in the war she thinks is heading their way. A war prophesied by the Morrigan, the supernatural Mother Of All whose end it is foretold Jo will bring about. But prophesies are tricky things, as we all know.

The action is fast-paced and there are plenty of dangers awaiting her and her allies, not the least of which is her own unfathomable power and her growing affection for her demonborn partner. Jo and Caius sport the same rebellious streak concerning following the rules of people who are trying to kill them (which I totally love) and we discover another bond between them that makes me root for them all the harder. The loyalty they feel for each other and the sparks that fly are tantalizing and satisfying at the same time – as any good romance should be.

Again there is a slightly cliffhanger ending as with Unveiled but I am sure all loose threads will be tied up in the pending sequel and I just can’t wait to find out what happens next. You do not want to miss this series.

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Review of Unveiled by A.D. Trosper

Unveiled by A.D. Trosper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A.D. Trosper “unveils” another engrossing and delightful story. (See what I did there.)

I have enjoyed other books by this author and I am always struck by the ease with which Ms. Trosper creates her worlds. Her language is unadorned and straightforward. The prose itself quickly slips into the background as the setting she creates fills your imagination. The world-within-worlds reality of Unveiled is truly fascinating and I can’t wait to see what further lands are explored in the sequel(s) to this book.

Moreover, Trosper manages to put us smack dab inside the heroine’s head and never lets it slip. Jo, short for Josephine, is an ordinary if extremely stubborn young woman who has never suspected anything supernatural about her life. But when her mother dies, she discovers just how wrong she was. From her unusual parentage to her decision to join the ranks of Reapers (guides who help souls to the appropriate afterlife), she has to embrace a new worldview which she does with a only a smidge of kicking and a good dollop of sarcastic snark. She is tough and vulnerable at the same time; you can’t help but love her. As for her counterpart and reluctant partner-in-crime Caius, he has a Darcy-like haughtiness that just begs for a comeuppance. The two mains play well off each other, with a great deal of enjoyable spark. I bet their relationship will bear further watching.

Trosper’s mix of angels, demons, and older gods is fun and fresh. If you love paranormal romances with a strong sense of snark and humanity, Unveiled should definitely be on your TBR list.

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