Sunday, March 28, 2010
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
Summary: Evangeline has been a sister of the St. Rose convent since she was young. Verlaine was top of his class and quickly became a world class private investigator. Percival has been stricken down with a disease that threatens his family and entire race. Sister Celentine holds a secret that will bring all these players together. Destiny will lead them on an adventure to seek a knowledge that could change the world. However, is discovering something of this magnitude worth the price of their lives? Can a Sister really reveal the truth about angels?
Review: When I first discovered this book, I did not know what to expect. To be honest I picked it up because of the name. I thought Trussoni would possibly follow a similar pattern, mimicking authors like Dan Brown and Andy McDermott. A formula that mixes reality with fiction to create a suspenseful action adventure. I was surprised to learn this wasn’t the case for Trussoni.
I also did not expect the book to contain angel-like characters, but it was a pleasant surprise. The excerpt suggested the story was about discovery not actualization. Though, I was skeptical about certain facts and places, especially when the characters started quoting Genesis and the Bible.
After some personal research, it became clear that Trussoni was not only drawing from myths for inspiration but reality as well. I enjoy books that I can engage with; it gives the story more live when I have to research certain information. Not only did it make the exists of angels possible, but it enhances my knowledge of the world.
Trussoni keeps the reader on their feet by continually switch the point of view between several characters. A refreshing notion since this enables the reader to see more of the puzzle then the limited view of one character. This also expanded the setting and allowed for a clearer picture of the world Trussoni had created.
In conclusion, this book will surprise you. The unique voices are captivating and the suspense is thrilling. Though I was annoyed with the 200 page flashback placed in the middle of the book, it did not detour from the plot. The end left me feeling inspired to look at the world differently, similar to the Da Vinci Code. I think any book that can alter your perception of reality, even for a moment, is worth reading.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The Body Finder – Kimberly Derting
Summary: Violet Ambrose is unlike normal teenagers. She has the ability to see the sensory echoes of murder victims. This ability ranges from hearing bells, to seeing oil slicks or even tasting garlic. An ability she wishes to live without, until high school girls begin disappearing. Violet realizes her ability could be the key to catching a notorious serial killer. However, is it wise to chase a murder when your life could be at stake? Violet ponders this question along with her new found feelings for her best friend Jay. A guy she did not notice was attractive until a transforming summer.
Review: The Body Finder fits into the genre of mystery/thriller, which is unique because it’s not often seen in the young adult section. I believe this book can appeal to both adult and young readers. The mystery of the serial killer and deductive thinking will stimulate the adults, while the younger readers will be attracted to the romance aspect.
I really enjoyed Derting’s approach to the murderer. I was not expecting to read chapters from the killer’s point of view, but I found them delightful. The voice was sickeningly accurate. At least what I have always imaged a killer would be thinking, as Hollywood portrays. I was amazed at how Derting could differentiate between the voice of the killer and Violet. These chapters, I felt, really created the tone of the book and emphasized that creepy/dark atmosphere.
What truly amazed me was Violet’s ability. I have read my share of young adult books and Violet’s paranormal ability is more than simply unique. It was compelling and became increasing interesting as I read. Typically books revolving around death are morbid and dark, but Derting made death beautiful. The idea of hearing silver bells as an echo for someone’s murder is eerie, but enchanting at the same time.
The moment that made this book fantastic for me was the twist. Derting fooled me into a false security much like Violet. Then I was hit over the head with the foreshadowing I should have seen coming. The twist left me spellbound. Since I had believed the initial plot was over with 100 pages still left in the book.
In conclusion, The Body Finder is an amazing book. One I think will appeal to everyone who loves reading. To readers who do not normally read mystery/thrillers, I recommended this book to you especially. It is a fantastic read, and was the perfect book to start with in 2010.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Summary: City of Thieves is a piece of historical fiction that takes place in Russian during World War II. The book is a perfect snapshot of what it was like to live in a city under siege. The two main characters, Lev and Kolya, find themselves in jail; one for looting a fallen solider and the other for being branded a deserter. They wait their impending execution, until the commander proposes an alternative. Their mission: find a dozen eggs for His daughter’s wedding or face death. The two are thrust in enemy territory and defend their lives from monsters. In a city where food is non-existent, this task seems impossible.
Review: This book takes the perfect snapshot of Russia during World War II. It combines the horror of a city in seize with satirical wit. Benioff does not spare any detail nor censors any event the characters encounter; no matter how gruesome or perverted. He delivers nothing but the hard truth and still manages to make you laugh. Benioff creates pleasant characters with intriguing personalities and places them into cruel situations, were they either survive or perish.
I admire an author who does not censor a story. It shows respect towards the reader and adds spice to the characters. Anyone can write a story, only a true author can make you fall in love with the world. Despite the horrible nature of the story, I loved following the characters every step.
I loved this book from the first page till the last. Benioff’s writing style makes you feel like you’re walking right alongside Kolya and Lev. He places you in a world not many are familiar with. I found myself learning about Russian culture and cities as I read. This book inspired me to research further into Leningrad and Russian history during this time period.
It was ridiculous to think these two characters would attempt the task despite the impending danger. Especially when the world around them did not appear as it seemed. Then again, no one really believes they’ll do anything out of their comfort zone until faced with no other option. However, it made for a tragically humorous story which was memorable.
In conclusion, City of Thieves is a book that only comes around rarely and when is does, you cannot make it sit still. The book manages to be passed from person to person or given as a gift, because it leaves the reader with a profound impact to share it with everyone they know.