29 May 2009

Review: One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz

One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz book coverThis book had been on my wish list for a while, but given that I have precious little bookshelf space these days, I ended up purchasing the e-book. Did I enjoy it? Yes, but I do think it was a little different.

The majority of the book follows separate plot lines and each time I settled into one of the plot lines I was reluctant to leave that character and jump to the next. I knew that that they must all come together in the end somehow, and probably spent too much time second guessing how Koontz was going to bring them all together.

I didn't quite 'get' the character of the 'motherless boy' in the beginning, but by the end of the story, his character was quite powerful. I loved the portrayal of the evil bioethicist Preston Maddoc, and the descriptions of his character were terrifying and thrilling! I was both repulsed and intrigued by his evil nature, and enjoyed (if that's the right word) when the book was told from his perspective in the first person. Very chilling!

I wanted to spend longer in the house of the hoarder, and wanted to find out what else was in the 100s of coffee cans. (One was full of toenail clippings and another was full of the bones of dead birds). I'm always interested in the obsessive compulsive, and this character had it all!

Leilani Klonk tugged on my heart strings and I wanted her mother to fall off the face of the earth for her cruelty.

Ultimately, this was a very enjoyable read, and had many of the Koontz trade marks! The messages of hope, love, and a higher presence was contained within the pages and dominated the story.

My rating = ***

Carpe Librum!
15 May 2009

Review: Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote book coverThis is certainly a well known classic, and I was really looking forward to reading it, but what a let down!!! This is a very short book and really only provides a glimpse into the lives of the two main characters over a twelve month period. Perhaps if I could have spent more time with these characters to enable the development of a deeper connection or understanding I may have enjoyed it a little more.

Made famous by Audrey Hepburn's portrayal of Holly Golightly in the film (which I haven't seen by the way) the book certainly isn't worthy of classic status in my opinion. The characterisations were too shallow, and the observations and plot didn't really seem to have a point or to take me anywhere of interest. The story could have continued beyond its end point to Africa but for some reason Capote chose to end it abruptly.

I don't have much else to add here, the literary world sure make a lot of fuss about nothing here!

My rating = *

Carpe Librum!
05 May 2009

Review: Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Sunshine by Robin McKinley book coverA friend gave me this book for my birthday, and it is pitched as a 'mesmerizing SF horror romance'. In the beginning, I found it difficult to get into and equally tough to adjust to her unique writing style. However as soon as the character was 'kidnapped' and chained in a house with a vampire, I was hooked.

I desperately wanted to know so much more about the 'bad spots', the 'wars' and the 'wards' and 'part-bloods' but never received a satisfying amount of background on these topics. I would have preferred the book to cover more of this background and less about Charlie's Coffeehouse (the continual references to cinnamon rolls made me hungry every time I picked up the book). It was almost as though a level of knowledge was assumed here, although I don't think this book is part of a series.

I frequently stumbled over McKinley's writing style and constantly wanted to 'edit' her work which was a slight distraction. At the same time though, it must be said that I was immersed in her world and vividly imagined the characters and scenes she created and could easily imagine this as a movie or tv series.

Her portrayal of vampires differed to other books and was a relatively fresh take on what is a popular subject matter at the moment. I don't believe this book goes anywhere near 'blowing Anne Rice and Clive Barker out of the water' however it was a good read.

I definitely wanted to go out and stand in the sunshine when I was reading it.

My rating = ***

Carpe Librum!