Monday, August 29, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.

It's cold and rainy here today – perfect weather for curling up on the sofa with a cup of tea and a book. The summer flew by, but I'm actually looking forward to cosy autumn nights with candles and blankets. Not to mention that Christmas is less than four months away. I need to get started on those Christmas cards soon (I always say this, but does it happen? Nope).

I read Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis, a supernatural detective story that I ended up really liking despite not being a big fan of the supernatural genre. This one however, was a lot different from everything else I've read so far (maybe I just haven't been reading the right books?). Review coming very soon.

No One Lives Twice by Julie Moffett, first in the Lexi Carmichael series. Lexi is a computer geek who works for the government and gets herself into all sorts of trouble. So far it's been a light and funny read and I really like Lexi.

The most likely candidate is The Magicians by Lev Grossman, although there are at least ten other books fighting for my attention. Once again I wish I was a faster reader.

Are you sad summer is almost over, or do you look forward to autumn like me?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'm at The Story Factory Reading Zone today!

I'm being interviewed over at The Story Factory Reading Zone today as part of the Summer Special feature. Hop on over and read my thoughts on blogging – and see what fictional character I think I'm most like!

And while you're there, be sure to enter my giveaway for Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer – open internationally until 31 August.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Books I Loved But Never Reviewed

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature / weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we make a top ten list from a given topic.

This week's topic is

Top Ten Books I Loved But Never Reviewed

This week it’s time to give a shout out to all those books you loved but never reviewed, either because you read them before you started blogging, or because you didn’t get a chance to or couldn’t review when you read it.

I find it extremely hard to write reviews for books that I love, because I don't really have anything to say other than "I loved this book so much!". These are all books like that; the ones I love so much but can't seem to form a coherent review of without going into massive fangirl mode. Obviously you should read all of these.

1) Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher
Set mainly in Scotland in December and focusing on love and friendship, this is the perfect Christmas book. I re-read it every other year, and it never fails to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

2) The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Probably the best fantasy book I've ever read. You should read it. Right now.

3) The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
I think we all agree that these books are brilliant. There's really nothing more to say, so no need to write reviews. (No, I haven't read the last two yet. I'm getting there.)

4) The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
This has been my favourite book for more than half of my life. I really want to share it with everyone, but nothing I say can even come close to describing the magic of this book. You need to read it for yourself.

5) Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
I really liked this book and I fully intended to write a review, but somehow it never happened. Great book though, and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.

6) Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
I read this before I started blogging, and need to read it again before I can write a review because I have forgotten much of it. But I do remember loving it to bits. My favourite Gaiman book.

7) The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Another book I read before starting to blog. Fantastic novel that made me cry – which is not easily done. The setting, the mood, the plot, the characters ... I loved everything about this one.

8) Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
I have reviewed book 2 in this trilogy, Inkspell, but I read Inkheart before starting the blog, so no review for it. I remember being totally mesmerised by it and not wanting to put it down. The whole concept of being able to read characters out of or into books – how great is that?

9) The Princess Bride by William Goldman
I'm sure you've all heard of this one, but have you read it? If not, you really should (and then watch the movie). Perfect fairy tale.

10) The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
In my notebook I described this as "a tragic and beautiful ghost story complete with mad people, ruins of old mansions, dark secrets and a cat." Do I really need to say more?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Review: The Devil Colony

The Devil Colony
By James Rollins

Published: 1 July 2011
Series: Sigma Force #7

Read: 14 July - 1 August 2011
Challenges: Mystery & Suspense Challenge #7

Review copy provided by HarperCollins / NetGalley

From the publisher
Deep in the Rocky Mountains, a gruesome discovery—hundreds of mummified bodies—stir international attention and fervent controversy. Despite doubts to the bodies’ origins, a local Native American group lays claim to the prehistoric remains, along with the strange artifacts found in the same cavern: gold plates inscribed with an unfathomable script.

During a riot at the dig site, an anthropologist dies horribly: burned to ash in a fiery explosion in plain view of television cameras. All evidence points to a radical group of Native Americans, including one agitator, a teenage firebrand who escapes with a vital clue to the murder and calls on the one person who might help: her uncle, Painter Crowe, director of Sigma Force.

To protect his niece and uncover the truth, Painter will ignite a war across the nation’s most powerful intelligence agencies. Yet, an even greater threat looms as events in the Rocky Mountains have set in motion a frightening chain reaction, a geological meltdown that threatens the entire western half of the U.S.

From the volcanic peaks of Iceland to the blistering deserts of the American Southwest, from the gold vaults of Fort Knox to the bubbling geysers of Yellowstone, Painter Crowe joins forces with Commander Gray Pierce to penetrate the shadowy heart of a dark cabal, one that has been manipulating American history since the founding of the thirteen colonies.

But can he discover the truth—one that could topple governments—before it destroys all he holds dear?

My thoughts

I have mentioned earlier that James Rollins is my go-to guy when it comes to scientific thrillers. His stories, while action-packed and over-the-top, are always based on facts and the plots are always relevant to today's world. This is also the case with The Devil Colony.

I have to admit that the science bit went a little over my head this time, but then again you don't need to understand the exact science to enjoy the story – which I did. I particularly liked the historical element, involving Native Americans, Lewis & Clark, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and an early draft of The Great Seal of the United States. I love these kinds of things; National Treasure is one of my favourite movies and this part of the book gave me that same feeling.

Although the Sigma Force books revolve around a whole team of characters, I personally wouldn't have minded seeing more of Grey and Seichan this time, especially considering the unexpected turn of events at the very end of the book. The character of Grey Pierce is much more three-dimensional than a lot of other action heroes around, and I always enjoy reading about him. I'm also wondering what is going to happen with Monk in the future, but I guess I will just have to wait and see.

Bottom line: The Devil Colony is another strong thriller from James Rollins that will take you on a roller coaster ride and maybe teach you a thing or two at the same time.

My rating:
The Sigma Force Series

1. Sandstorm (2004)
2. Map of Bones (2005)
3. Black Order (2006)
4. The Judas Strain (2007)
5. The Last Oracle (2008)
6. The Doomsday Key (2009)
6.5 The Skeleton Key (short story exclusive) (2011)
7. The Devil Colony (2011)

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Booking Through Thursday - National Book Week

    Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading.

    This week's question is:

    It’s National Book Week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you. Go to page 56. Copy the 5th sentence as your status.

    "Well ... ah, hell, you know I'll do it, so we can skip all the hemming and hawing."

    – The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe

    I haven't read this one yet so I have no idea what he or she will do, but now I'm curious!

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Norwegian Edition: Southern Vampire Mysteries

    Norwegian Edition is a new feature here at The Turn of the Page. Usually we only see the US and UK editions of books across the blogosphere, so I thought I would showcase some Norwegian editions now and then.

    Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris

    Over the past two years the Sookie Stackhouse series has been published in paperback with matching covers by Cappelen Damm. So far the first 10 books have been translated into Norwegian. Here are the covers (click the picture to see a bigger version):

    Personally I'm not wild about them. The colour scheme is pretty good, but with the different cover art it almost feels like you are looking at two different series. I think it would have been better if they had chosen either only images of people or only graphics. Plus, those covers with people seriously creep me out and I would never buy them. I also don't like that "True Blood" is the main text of book 4, 5 and 10. You can't even read the actual title unless you are really close to the book. I understand them wanting to point out the connection with the TV series, but then it should have been the same for all of the books. My favourite covers of the above are number 2 and 3; simple, elegant and bloody. ;)

    What do you think of the Norwegian covers for this series? Do you think they fit the books?

    I'm on The Scene of the Blog!

    The Turn of the Page is featured at The Scene of the Blog over at Kittling: Books this week! It's a weekly feature where bloggers show off their blogging and reading spaces. I'm very excited to be featured, so head over to Cathy's to see my pictures of my blogging space and read about my bookish life. And while you're there, be sure to check out the rest of the fabulous Kittling: Books!

    See you there!

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

    It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.

    As I touched upon in my monthly summary post yesterday, I have been a very bad book blogger lately. I have been buried in work the past few weeks and I've had no energy left for blogging at night. But it should start to calm down this week, and then hopefully I'll have time to read and review some great books. I miss reading - and all of you guys!

    Since the last Monday post two weeks ago I have finished the newest Sigma Force novel, The Devil Colony by James Rollins. Like all books in the series it is a scientific thriller, but this time the exact science went a little over my head. Good thing there are explosions and guns too. ;) Expect a review later this week.

    I'm reading Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis, the first book in a new paranormal detective series. This is the kind of paranormal stuff I can like; where vampires are actually scary and demons are not something to be messed around with. I'm about a quarter into the book and I really enjoy it so far.

    Either No One Lives Twice by Julie Moffett or The Magicians by Lev Grossman, depending on my mood. I have review copies of the sequels to both books, and as I hate reading series out of order, I want to start at the beginning with both series.

    What are you reading this week?

    My Month in Books - July

    I have been a terrible blogger lately - I'm sorry! July was all about work; I found myself with three big projects at the same time and as a result I have hardly had time for anything besides working, let alone reading and blogging. Heck, it took me 3 weeks just to get through Harry Potter 4 - and it was a re-read! But after tomorrow all those projects will be handed in, and then I will hopefully have a lot more spare time on my hands. And then I'll get back to taking care of this blog, I promise!

    Read in July

    27) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
    Aaand that's it. I did read most of one other book, but I didn't finish it until 1st August, so it will have to go into next month's summary.

    I did post one review in July:

    A Scottish Ferry Tale by Nancy Volkers. Such a delightful read!

    Incoming Books

    Well, if my read books / incoming books ratio was bad before, July certainly didn't make it any better!

    For review
    Wyatt by Garry Disher (Soho Press, Soho Crime/NetGalley)
    The Magician King by Lev Grossman (Penguin Group, Viking/NetGalley)

    Break Out by Nina Croft (Thank you, LunaMoth!)

    The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (Thank you Kristen @ We Be Reading!)

    Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

    Scotland by Starlight by Nancy Volkers (e-book)
    Under the Black Ensign by L. Ron Hubbard (free e-book)
    The Ultimate Book of New York Lists by Bert R. Sugar & C.N. Richardson (free e-book)
    Stardust by Neil Gaiman (I've read this before, but I wanted a specific edition to match the other Gaiman books I have)
    The Magicians by Lev Grossman

    Challenge Progress

    First in a Series Challenge – 6/6 – Completed!
    1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
    2. Burglars Can't Be Choosers by Lawrence Block
    3. Heat Wave by Richard Castle
    4. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
    5. Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble by H.P. Mallory
    6. Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer

    2nds Challenge – 2/3 
    1. Outside In by Maria V. Snyder
    2. Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

    Mystery & Suspense Challenge – 6/12
    1. Burglars Can't Be Choosers by Lawrence Block
    2. Heat Wave by Richard Castle
    3. The Survivor by Sean Slater
    4. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
    5. Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz
    6. The Doomsday Key by James Rollins

    Other Posts of Interest

    Booking Through Thursday
    Night Owl

    Norwegian Edition (new feature)
    A Discovery of Witches

    Top 5 Books of 2011 - So Far
    Quote of the Day: On Kindles and Elevators

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Giveaway Winner!

    The lucky winner of my birthday giveaway is


    Thank you to everyone who participated, and thank you to all the new followers - have some virtual chocolate on me!

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Random Acts of Kindness - August

    New month, new RAK courtesy of Book Soulmates:

    In July I received:

    From LunaMoth: Break Out by Nina Croft
    Thank you so much!

    Now come join the August RAK!

    This month the lovely girls at Book Soulmates have included a giveaway of a $20 giftcard to Amazon – open to all RAK participants! Link to sign-up at the bottom of the post!

    The RAK Rules:

    • Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.
    • Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)
    • Create a wishlist and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
    {Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}
    • If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wishlist and contact that blogger for their address.
    NEW REQUEST: Please, once you receive a RAK, email or tweet me {Vanessa} so that I can update the Google doc. There are a lot of requests for this!
    • At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
    Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

    Lets's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
    Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

    My wishlists are pretty full because I add anything that sounds interesting, but these are the main two: Kindle wishlist and general wishlist in case anyone wants to take a look. :)
    Related Posts with Thumbnails