Monday, May 20, 2013

Vacation Hiatus!

I'm getting on a jet plane and flying off to New Orleans for a week of fun in the French Quarter and the surrounding area!

I'll be gone for the next two weeks, however, as I will be playing catch up with work when I'm still in the DC area. With that, regular posting will resume on June 3rd!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Scent of Darkness

First, allow me to say that I love the cover. The smokey visual and coloring is great and a pleasure for the eye.

Second, the review of the book itself. I received this book months ago but only now got to read it as it was delivered to my parents house and my mom had been in Florida since November. Once my mother came back from Florida it was presented to me and I quickly made an effort to read it. Maybe it's due to feeling rushed, that I was so behind on getting the book that I had to read it and finish it up as soon as possible, but as I read through the book I felt as if it was more of a job than a pleasurable read. 

The start of the book was repetitive and there were far too many chapters -- I think that's where I want to begin. Many of the chapters barely lasted for more than a page and they broke off into a new chapter completely unnecessarily. Evangeline, our main character, was most fascinating for me while recalling the memories of her grandmother from when she was a child and teenager. Past that, I found she lacked in development -- but not nearly as much as the rest of the characters in the book!

When a character lacks in development I find it very hard to pay attention to the storyline and even harder to find any emotion for the characters and what they deal with. I especially found Evangeline's struggle of being irresistible to be annoying. 

Allow me to back up: Evangeline is given a perfume by her grandmother but warned that it will change her life. Her grandmother, who was well known for making perfumes and scents that had almost magical properties, passes away and leaves behind not only her home but this particular perfume to the immature Evangeline. I don't say immature by way of insulting; she is just graduated from high school and obviously immature because she is so young! Unable to resist temptation, Evangeline applies the perfume and then finds that no man (or woman) can really keep their hands off of her. Makes for an interesting story, no? Well, almost. Evangeline never feels particularly shocked by becoming so fascinating to other individuals and seems to generally shrug off the advances of others. A girl licking her neck because she just can't help it? No big deal. Happens all the time! And that is where I found myself struggle to feel anything for this character. Anything with a magical twist like this is obviously taking a step away from reality but that doesn't mean the characters have to be unbelievable as well. If some girl I did not know came up to me, sniffed me, and licked my neck I would freak out. Even if I knew that was what the perfume did to people, I'd still be freaked out every time. Instead, Evangeline seems to just resign herself to the fact that people act this way and there isn't a period where she feels uncomfortable. 

Evangeline quickly decides to move to New Orleans with her new boyfriend of sorts, after only knowing him for a short amount of time and basing her feeling of ownership over him by the fact that she crushed on him for years, and that's where things get only slightly more interesting. The author had a way of describing New Orleans as a magical place which only made me all the more excited to visit the city in May. I've never been there before so I couldn't judge this particular description of scenery and the likes off of that but it still fascinated and excited me. Yet... that was it. The only emotion the book brought forth from me was the excitement for my vacation. Nothing really exciting happens in New Orleans. The story is centered so much on Evangeline and how irresistible she is and it's left with very little else. 

So, overall, the story lacked in character development and that made the story suffer overall. It could have benefited had the same application to the description of New Orleans had also been applied to the characters but alas, that did not happen.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Vampyre

If you are interested in vampire fiction or just the history of literature overall, The Vampyre: A Tale by John Polidori, is a key piece. The Vampyre is a short story that came before all of the vampires you know today -- including Dracula -- and has made a name for itself in both the history of literature and vampire literature alike. 

The story isn't particularly heavy or descriptive; it gives you a point by point telling of what happens and you can figure out emotions and the likes on your own. Often times, I felt that the story was highlighting the important parts and lacking some creativity where it would do me, the reader, well to have a better picture of all that was going on.

Lord Ruthven is our vampire in charge and a handsome devil at that. He appears very approachable and the perfect gentleman. Outward appearances aside, Lord Ruthven is a devilish, manipulative character. He is interesting enough and deemed harmless by Aubrey, an Englishman who is the other lead character of this story, who accompanies Lord Ruthven to Rome.

While in Rome, Ruthven begins to seduce a friend of Aubrey's and the Englishman abandons the man and goes to Greece. While there, Aubrey falls for Ianthe who explains to him the legends of vampires in Greek culture. Shortly after this discussion, her body is found and she apparently has been killed by a vampire.

Somehow (stupidly) Aubrey doesn't think Ruthven killed the girl. He rejoins Ruthven and they continue traveling until they are attacked by bandits and Ruthven is seriously injured. He makes Aubrey swear never to discuss Ruthven's death or anything else for a year and a day then promptly dies.

Aubrey returns home and to his sister who seems very much to care for her brother. When Aubrey discovers Ruthven is there, alive and going by another name, he becomes ill as he witnesses Ruthven seducing his sister. He has a nervous breakdown and tries desperately to forewarn his sister of who Ruthven really is but to no avail. His sister marries Ruthven and Aubrey and his sister both die due to this vampire entering their lives but for different reasons.

The story is certainly creepy but, to me, reads as a medical journal and lacks the certain spark that fiction often has. It was a quick read however and much appreciated after I had read a couple of books that took me quite some time to get through.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April Wrap Up

Wow, April is finally over with. The month of spring showers turned into a month of warm weather and sunshine up until the very end -- we've been living in a misty cloud of showers all week and it's disgusting.

Things have been busy on my end and unfortunately the blog is suffering. I'm still doing a book review a week but I've been failing at posting much else during the rest of the week. But that is going to change! But we'll get to it later. First off: posts!

The Thirteenth Tale was a book I had on my to-read list for years and finally I got around to it. Wow, it was a fun book to read and full of quotes perfect for the literary lover!
The Gold Dust Letters is right up my alley... when I was a kid. Fairies were my thing and the child I once was rejoiced from this book.
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There is the second book to the Fairyland series I've been reading and once more I was taken away and sent to a magical realm. I enjoyed this as an adult, fully, and not just because I would've liked it as a kid too.
Children's Bedtime Stories is a collection of books for you all to pick up for your little one's bedtime. There are so many out there so don't look too hard -- just see what I've reviewed for starters!
A Million Little Pieces wasn't entirely what I expected it to be. See the review to find out more.
I've joined up with the 52 Lists project and after playing some catch up I've been sharing a weekly list about different things. I adore this project even still! Catch up with my lists by clicking the links:

April has been very hectic, as I've mentioned, and I've been saving every nickel, penny and dime for an assortment of things that are about to happen which I am very excited for:

  • I will be starting a certification course for copyediting in June.
  • I'm going to New Orleans for a week in May.
  • I'm moving! This was sort of a spur of the moment opportunity. Come June I'll be living much closer to DC and getting back 10 hours of my life that won't be used for my currently very lengthy commute.
  • I'll be going to Florida... sometime soon.
  • I'll be going to the UK next year to be in my beloved cousin's wedding as one of her bridesmaids. And... yeah I've never left the US so I have some preparation I have to do for that.
So that's where I'm at for the moment. Next month, May (even though this is posting on May 1st...), will be a quick one and I'll be on hiatus for about two weeks. Don't go running away though from the lack of posts! Please!