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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Audiobook Reviewer Has Weighed In

If you ever wanted to find a site that extensively reviews audiobooks of all genres, is the place.  Their library of reviews is extensive. I was so tickled to find them.

The folks at Audiobook Reviewer were kind enough to review Quest of the Dreamwalker and here’s a bit of what they had to say:

Stacy Bennett, the author has skillfully created a world so mystical yet realistic that one cannot stop listening to this epic novel.  It has everything – passion, mystery, action, evil, fighting, and so much more! … Zachary Johnson, narrator, performs this epic novel as if he were born to do so.  He owns the book with his talent to step into the story and wear each character as if it was his true identity…  

You can read more of this review here along with a thousand others in just the right genre to suit your taste.

                Listen to the magic!




Review: 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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Review: The Crown’s Dog

The Crown’s Dog by Elise Kova
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To be honest, I didn’t read this but listened to it. A tale of pirate curses, missing treasure and murder, it was nonetheless a fairly light read and quite enjoyable. Though it was odd that a convicted criminal would be sentenced to serve a Prince so closely, I’m sure there is more to the story of how Jax came to be Baldair’s man than just those simple facts. Obviously, Jax’s traumatic past will be further discussed in later stories and I am eager to unravel it.

The humorous banter and camaraderie between the characters is, I think, the highlight of this tale (brought into sharper focus by excellent narration). I normally don’t choose pirate stories but this was well-executed and fun. I’d read (or listen to) more of Ms. Kova’s tales.

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Red Rising Review

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well written and well paced, I did enjoy this book though I’m not sure I want to read the rest of the series. It’s hard to watch the unmaking of someone when they are pressed into service by an ideal, pushed into making themselves more like their enemies to “win.” This keeps good company with the new gritty dystopians like Hunger Games and even the classic Lord of the Flies in places. It is wrenching and grim and shows how thin the line can be between right and wrong. I felt it was a good read if a little heartbreaking for softies, like me.

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