Monday, November 21, 2011

Vampires and Dragons....what more is there to say???

A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin

Publishers Weekly -
A few images recur in the enormously complex fifth installment of Martin's massively multicharacter epic: the chess-like game cyvasse, small rivers flowing into larger ones, ships and armies battered by terrible storms. These themes suggest that readers should think strategically, be patient as the story grows, and brace for a beating. Martin's fans, however, are hungry for more action and purpose, their appetites whetted by a six-year wait and the recent HBO adaptation of A Game of Thrones. Dance was originally the second half of 2005's A Feast for Crows, sometimes criticized for shifting from battles and intrigue to slow trudges through war-torn, corpse-littered Westeros. The new volume has a similar feel to Feast and takes place over a similar time frame; Martin keeps it fresh by focusing on popular characters Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, and Jon Snow, all notably absent from the previous book. These three are generally thought the most plausible riders of the titular dragons, but plots within plots abound, and two strong new candidates for those scaly saddles emerge as a powerful enemy threatens Daenerys's captured city of Meereen, Tyrion is kidnapped by slavers, and treachery undermines Jon's command of the undead-battling Night's Watch. More characters are revived than killed off and more peace accords signed than wars declared, but the heart-hammering conclusion hints that the next installment will see a return to the fiery battles and icy terror that earned the series its fanatic following. Even ostensibly disillusioned fans will be caught up in the interweaving stories, especially when Martin drops little hints around long-debated questions such as Jon's parentage. 

Deeper Than y Lara Adrian

Publishers Weekly -
The solid ninth and penultimate entry in bestseller Adrian's Midnight Breed vampire romance series (after Taken by Midnight) advances the overall story line nicely without detracting from the central romance between two deeply damaged characters. Hunter is now a Breed vampire of the justice-serving Order, but the Order's greatest enemy, Dragos, once trained him to be a mindless weapon, and much of that training still shapes him. Breedmate Corinne Bishop, recently rescued from decades of torture at Dragos's hands, has two goals: reuniting with her family and finding the son she bore while imprisoned. As they fall in love, Hunter has a precognitive vision of Corinne begging him to spare someone's life, wondering whether fate will tear them apart even if they overcome their intimacy issues. New readers should start with book one; returning fans will love Adrian's latest dark and dangerous antihero.

Heartless by Gail Carriger

Publishers Weekly -
Carriger's fourth Parasol Protectorate adventure is filled with steampunk creations such as zombie porcupines and harmonic auditory resonance disruptors, but its primary focus is on character. To protect Lady Alexia Maccon—eight months pregnant and feeling like a "stuffed goose with bunions"—from threats to her possibly soul-stealing unborn child, her husband, the Alpha of the Woolsey werewolf pack, suggests that vampire Lord Akeldama, Alexia's dear friend, adopt the baby. Alexia and Lord Maccon move next door to Akeldama, building a bridge to secretly connect the households. Meanwhile, Alexia's clueless sister Felicity moves in; new werewolf Biffy, once Akeldama's protégé, embarrassingly experiences premature transfluctuation; and a ghost sends Alexia to unravel a plot against Queen Victoria. Carriger's writing remains crisp and witty, and the affectionate banter between Lord and Lady Maccon will please series fans distressed by their long separation in 2010's Blameless. 

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