22 April 2008

Review: White Tiger | Kylie Chan

White Tiger was recommended to me by a friend, and I have to admit it's not one I would have selected myself. I don't know why, but I rarely read books that contain martial arts. Given that this book has a woman performing martial arts on the cover accompanied by Chinese lettering, I never would have picked it up.

Having said all of that though, I enjoyed White Tiger by Kylie Chan. What drew me in were the 'supernatural themes' and it was a surprise to me to find that I enjoyed the martial arts segments the most. Good and evil faced off in the form of gods and demons based on Chinese history and I enjoyed this aspect of the novel immensely.

I desperately wish Chan hadn't written in a romantic interest between the two main characters, ugh! The romance was unbelievable at times and disrupted the rhythm for me in an otherwise very exciting story.

This is the first novel in the Dark Heavens series by Chan, and although I'm very keen to find out what happens in the war, what will happen when Mr Chen takes true form and what happens when the ring 'wakes up', I'm hoping my friend will tell me so I can get on to the next book on my list.

My rating = ***

Carpe Librum

04 April 2008

Review: The Witch's Trinity | Erika Mailman

I was able to do a lot of reading on the plane to and from Fiji, and I finished The Witch's Trinity on the way home to Melbourne.

This book is set in Germany in the 1500's during a period of great famine. It is about a woman who is caught up in a 'witch hunt' and it was unfortunately very easy to see how the 'witch hunt' could get completely out of control.

The book was a little confronting at times, but I really enjoyed reading about the day to day chores and way of life during this period. I also found it interesting to see how paganism, superstition and religion were practiced by the people in the village.

I really enjoyed this book.

My rating = ****

Carpe Librum!

Review: Dracula | Bram Stoker

Dracula has been on my list of books to read for many years now, primarily because it's a 'horror' classic. Having read all of the vampire books by Anne Rice and being a huge fan of her writing style and her version of 'vampires' I have been reluctant to read any other books about vampires.

I know that Bram Stoker is the inspiration behind many of the vampire books today, but I imagined the book was going to be outdated and as unbearable as the old black and white film Dracula. In the way that Edgar Allan Poe was well known for his 'ghost stories' in his time, when you read his stories now, they're far from spooky. So you can imagine that I was shocked and excited to discover that despite being published in 1897, the novel is still quite creepy by today's standards.

I also didn't know that this classic novel is a compilation of letters and journal entries from the main characters. I thought that jumping from character to character and letter to journal without a sole narrator could hamper the pace of the plot but it actually enhanced the story and helped to build the suspense.

All in all, I really enjoyed Bram Stoker's Dracula, and I can certainly understand why it is a 'classic'.

I started this book before our trip to Fiji, and it didn't seem like quite the right book to read in the tropics, however I was so engrossed in the book I just had to pack it with me and finished it early on in the trip.

My rating = *****

Carpe Librum!