Top Ten Tuesday: Most Intimidating Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Most Intimidating Books (might be intimated by size, content, that everyone else loves it but you are sure you won’t etc)

For me there are two top reasons why I find them intimidating – length and hype.

If a book is super long, I often find that I’m a little nervous that I’ll never get through it. And if a book is hyped up and people tell me HOW AMAZING it is… I often feel like it’s just not going to live up to my expectations based on hype and I tend to put those books off reading too.

Intimidating by Size:

Les MisérablesAtlas ShruggedGlass Houses (The Morganville Vampires, #1)The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo – I love the musical. And the recent movie was pretty good too. But every time I complain about how much I dislike the character of Cosette, my brother urges me to read the book. Apparently she’s a lot more rounded in the novel. It’s just so long! And there are no pictures…

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – I carry a copy of this book everywhere. I had it in my school bag, the car, beside my bed… I’ve taken it everywhere (even overseas) for the past ten years. And I still can’t finish it!

The Morganville Vampire series by Rachel Caine (this series has SO many books… or at least it feels like that… I have read some of the early books and I own the three most recent… I know I’ll get there eventually.

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien – I’ve watched the movies… I really need to read the books!

Intimidating by Hype:

Twisted perfection (Perfection, #1)Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)The AlchemistAngelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)The Casual Vacancy

Abbi Glines – I’ve not read anything by her. Nor have I bought any books by her. But so many books of hers have been recommended to me on goodreads with dozens of !!!!’s and ZOMGS! and I just… need to work myself up to reading a book of hers.

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzgerald – I have this series on my shelves but I’m afraid I’ll end up disappointed… and I have a new policy that if I don’t like a book I donate it. I’m not ready to part with my pretty box set just in case…

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – It’s my friends favourite book. There’s a lot of pressure right there!

Angelfall by Susan Ee

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling – okay so maybe the only hype for this one is my own. As a very proud Harry Potter fan, I know I shouldn’t compare this book with her other series but it’s there in my mind and I think the colours of the cover always remind me of my dislike of vegemite… it’s very intimidating!

Intimidating by Hype and Length:

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)

The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices series both by Cassandra Clare – I’ll admit it. I’m a BAD TMI fan. I’ve only read City of Bones. Which I really liked. But this series and then the pre-series… it’s a huge mountain of work! And when you have a somewhat short attention span… it’s a huge undertaking. Add to that the fact that so many people love and rave and live and breathe these books… I’m so hesitant to pick up City of Ashes and make my way though them all.

Anyone intimidated by any of these books? Should I stopped being afraid of any of these? Any I should add? Feel free to leave a comment. Hope you have a great week and thanks for visiting 🙂

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Morganville Monday!: Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine

After discussing this series with a friend the other day, I realized that I stopped after the first two (because that’s all that had been released at that stage). I want to get back into this series that many people I know rave about! So I’ve decided to read one Morganville Vampire book a fortnight for the next few months! Morganville Mondays I shall call the days when I post my reviews!

Welcome to the fifth Morganville Monday – this week focusing on the fifth book of the series, Lord of Misrule.

Book Review:

Title: Lord of Misrule (Morganville Vampires #5)
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Vampires
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: January 2011 (first published 2008)
Pages: 360
Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans coexist in (relatively) bloodless harmony. Then comes Bishop, the master vampire who threatens to abolish all order, revive the forces of the evil dead, and let chaos rule. But Bishop isn’t the only threat.

Violent black cyclone clouds hover, promising a storm of devastating proportions as student Claire Danvers and her friends prepare to defend Morganville against elements both natural and unnatural.

My Review:

WARNING: This review will contain spoilers from the first four books in the Morganville Vampires series.

Morganville is burning. Refugees are fleeing to safety wherever they can find it. Bishop has taken over and the world that Claire and her friends have come to know is in turmoil. Vampires – who they have been shown can not be trusted are now the only means to their survival. Humans and vampires must band together to overcome the greatest evil that Morganville has ever known – Amelie’s father and sire, Bishop.

Lord of Misrule was a hard book for me to get though. I found myself drifting off and thinking about all sorts of other thing whilst reading it and then when I’d go back to the page I’d be completely lost because things would just come out of nowhere and happen.

For a large part of the first fifty percent of this novel it felt like the characters were playing hide and seek. Claire would go off with someone looking for something and then they’d all have to flee. Someone would get lost and then they’d have to go find them. Then some more fleeing. More swooping in to rescue them. I like action. But there were times in this novel when I wanted Claire and Co. to just sit down and regroup.

I rarely understood Claire’s motivation behind her actions. I have grown to like the teenager the more I read of this series but in this book she really disappointed me. I did like how she’s changed in regards to her attitude when dealing with Miss Monica Morell but I grew frustrated with Claire going off half-cocked into a life-or-death situation without really thinking anything through. She was too impulsive and her actions didn’t really correlate with the book-smart girl who I’ve grown to really like.

It must be hard to write about a war when you only have one narrator and she’s telling the story from the first person perspective. And especially with Claire who seemed to be on the fringes of the action for most of it. I felt like I had no idea what was happening. All of a sudden we’d have something happen and I’d have no idea how we went from one scene to being deep in some other drama that had not been mentioned before only a few pages later.

My favourite parts of the novel were the Claire/Shane interactions. They felt well paced and sweet. I thought that these scenes were beautifully written and I loved that everything seemed to slow down and focused on the two of them trying to figure out their relationship.

Whilst I didn’t love this novel and it leaves me with a lot of questions and confusion, I hope that it’s just a bridging novel – breaching the gap between Feast of Fools (which I really enjoyed) and the sixth instalment of the series. There’s still many books to go and I am eager to find out what happens. All these cliffhangers… whilst I love the drama it creates I’m starting to wish for at least one novel without the anxious climax at the end.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Morganville Monday!: Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine

After discussing this series with a friend the other day, I realized that I stopped after the first two (because that’s all that had been released at that stage). I want to get back into this series that many people I know rave about! So I’ve decided to read one Morganville Vampire book a week for the next twelve weeks! Morganville Mondays I shall call the days when I post my reviews!

Welcome to the fourth Morganville Monday – this week focusing on the third book of the series, Feast of Fools.

Book Review:

Title: Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampires #4)
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Vampires
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: January 2011 (first published 2008)
Pages: 372
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
It was hard to imagine how Claire’s day could get any worse… And then the vampires holding her hostage wanted breakfast.

In the town of Morganville, vampires and humans have learnt to live in relative peace. Still, Claire Danvers knows that after dark, her homework can take a backseat to staying alive. But this tenuous harmony is turned on its head with the arrival of Mr Bishop.

Bad to the bone, the ancient old-school vampire cares nothing about keeping the peace; staying at the top of the food chain is enough. What he wants from the town’s living and dead is unthinkably sinister. It’s only at a formal ball attended by vampires and their human dates that Claire realises Bishop’s plan—and the elaborately evil trap he’s set for the warm-blooded souls of Morganville…

My Review:

WARNING: This review will contain spoilers from the first three books in the Morganville Vampires series.

I’m really glad that I’ve been reading these books one after another. It seems like every single book ends on a massive cliffhanger. Book 1 – Shane’s dad killing Michael. Book 2 – Claire signing her life away to protect her friends. Then there’s book 3 that ended with the sinister knock at the door and the arrival of Ameile’s father and sire.

There are sometimes advantages to coming to a series late and not having to wait out super evil cliffhangers is one of them.

Claire has a whole lot of drama going on in her life. Her parents have just moved to town and are insisting she move out of the Glass House with those wicked boys. Okay, the never called Michael or Shane evil but it was in the subtext. And the project that Amelie gave her to work upon fixing the virus that is killing all the vampires with Myrnin has taking a turn for the worse with Myrnin locking himself up within a cage with the other senile vampires so that he won’t be able to hurt her. Jason, Eve’s little brother, is still on the scene after stabbing Shane and he won’t seem to leave Eve alone. Oh and Monica? She’s gone back to the evil little human she was in the first few novels – it is somewhat comforting to know that a leopard can’t change its spots even in Morganville. Who knew that a young woman of not-yet-seventeen could attract so much trouble.

And then there’s Bishop – Amelie’s sire and father. He’s come to town for sinister reasons and one of his fledglings has gotten her claws into Claire’s boyfriend, Shane. Unable to resist her compelling magical vampire gifts, he turns into a puppy dog whenever she’s around no matter how much he hates himself for it. Claire and Shane aren’t the only couple with issues. Eve and Michael are starting to realize just how difficult a vampire/human relationship can be.

I love how the characters and plot are developing. Claire is showing that she’s just as street smart as she is bookish. She’s trying all she can to save the vampire race while at the same time trying to keep up with her own teenage problems; parents who just don’t understand her and a boyfriend who won’t take advantage of her no matter how much she wants him to.

And Myrnin? I was a fan of him in the last book and in this one he just endears himself to me even more. He’s smart and cold but happy and cheerful. I’m hoping that they somehow manage to find the cure because this series is so much richer because of  this character and I’d hate to lose him.

The Bishop is so evil! After finding out in book 1 that Eve’s hippy boss Oliver was really the head of the bad vampires in Morganville and the one who tried to turn Michael I wasn’t sure we could have anyone who was hated more than him but now we have the Bishop. He’s trying to destroy everything that Ameile has created in Morganville.

This series has a long way to go – this is only book 4 of 12 – but I’m enjoying how it’s progressing. There’s enough going on now that I’m not fixated on the small things and I’m loving the journey.

There are sometimes advantages to coming to a series late and this is one of them. I think these cliffhangers would drive me crazy if I had to wait to find out.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Morganville Monday!: Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine

After discussing this series with a friend the other day, I realized that I stopped after the first two (because that’s all that had been released at that stage). I want to get back into this series that many people I know rave about! So I’ve decided to read one Morganville Vampire book a week for the next twelve weeks! Morganville Mondays I shall call the days when I post my reviews!

Welcome to the third Morganville Monday – this week focusing on the third book of the series, Midnight Alley

Book Review:

Title: Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires #3)
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Vampires
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: January 2011 (first published 2007)
Pages: 372
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Morganville is such a nice place to live… And die. If you don’t mind that sort of thing.

When Claire Danvers learnt that her college town was run by vampires, she did what any intelligent, self-preserving student would do: she applied for a transfer and stocked up on garlic. The transfer is no longer an option, but that garlic may come in handy.

Now Claire has pledged herself to Amelie, the most powerful vampire in town. The protection her contract secures does little to reassure her friends. All of a sudden, people are turning up dead, a stalker resurfaces from Claire’s past, and an ancient bloodsucker extends a chilling invitation for private lessons in his secluded home.

My Review:

WARNING: This review will contain spoilers from the first two books in the Morganville Vampires series. I tried to write a spoiler-free review but so much of what happens in this book is a response to what has already happened in the series and it was just too hard for me to review without major spoilers. If you don’t want to know what happens the in the first two books then please stop reading now.

Things in Morganville are really starting to heat up. In Midnight Alley, Claire and the other inhabitants of the Glass House have to get used to some new developments. Michael is no longer a ghost bound to his house but rather, now a fully fledged vampire. Not so lucky for him that his best friend is still on a rampage to kill all the filthy bloodsuckers that dwell in Morganville. Shane needs to work out if he considers Michael worthy to live now that he’s one of the living undead.

Things aren’t smooth sailing for Eve either. On top of having to accept the fact that her boyfriend is now on an all liquid diet, her brother is still in town and up to his old tricks.

After signing her allegiance to Amelie in the end of The Dead Girls’ Dance, Claire now has to accept all that the Founder’s protection gives her. I don’t think she ever expected that it was going to end up with her playing student to a crazy and blood thirsty mad scientist who is trying to save the vampire race before insanity claims him entirely. She sure does manage to get herself into some tricky situations.

I’m really starting to enjoy this series. The writing in this book felt more comfortable to read – the characters are starting to get into the right groove and act like the teenagers they are. I liked the often use of pop culture references as well as the character development. Claire is starting to show that she’s as smart as she’s always claiming to be. And on top of that she’s starting to act as street smart as she is book smart. I was so proud of her with regards to her interactions with Monica Morrell in this book. And I love the romance between Claire and Shane. The constant references to their lack of sex due to her age are getting a little old but I love how they interact with each other. They’re adorable.

Shane is one of those characters that I’m not sure my feelings towards him. There are times when I think he’s awesome and others when I just want to shake him and ask him what in the world is he thinking? He’s so hot-headed and his outlook on the world is a little black and white but in this book I thought he might slowly be coming around to see all the shades of grey. One of my favourite things from the first two novels was his relationship with Michael and to see him trying to ruin things infuriated me. Lucky for him that he’s got Eve and Claire to try to kick him into line.

The plots are starting to get more complex and interwoven with the fabric of the rest of the series. I can feel that there’s something amazing planned in the future. I loved how the series is growing – both with regards to the characters and the world that this particular type of vampires inhabit.

The next book should be interesting. This one ends in such a way that I’m very eager to read on and find out exactly how things are going to play out.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Morganville Monday!: The Dead Girls’ Dance by Rachel Caine

After discussing this series with a friend the other day, I realized that I stopped after the first two (because that’s all that had been released at that stage). I want to get back into this series that many people I know rave about! So I’ve decided to read one Morganville Vampire book a week for the next twelve weeks! Morganville Mondays I shall call the days when I post my reviews!

Welcome to the second Morganville Monday – this week focusing on the second book of the series, The Dead Girls’ Dance

Book Review:

Title: The Dead Girls’ Dance (Morganville Vampires #2)
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Vampires
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: January 2011 (first published 2007)
Pages: 380
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favours beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls’ Dance, hell is really going to break loose.

My Review:

After the intense cliffhanger in Glass Houses, I was thrilled that I had a copy of this book. I was almost running for the bookshelves to find out exactly what was going to happen next. This book surprised me in a lot of ways.

This book picks up directly where Glass Houses leaves us – the inhabitants of the Glass House are trying to deal with the fall out concening the little black books, the awful mayor’s daughter setting fire to Claire’s bedroom and the arrival of Shane’s dad motorcycle gang… the gang who have dedicated their lives to ridding the world of nasty vampires – starting with Michael Glass.

I was shocked with the events of this book. So much happened that I didn’t expect. And unlike a lot of books that surprise me – the events that blind sighted me made perfect sense with regards to the other happenings in the novel. They weren’t just thrown in to confuse the reader but rather you can see that they’re setting the rest of the series up to be one crazy but thrilling ride.

Claire is really starting to grow on me. She still is a little too impulsive but this time I felt she had more rationale behind her ill-thought out actions. The romance that’s blossoming between Claire and Shane is very sweet. I enjoy reading their interactions. Michael and Eve are brilliant too. I like them as a couple. The big surprise was how much I am starting to enjoy the vampire characters. The Light verses the Dark. But there is room for many shades of grey. This series has a lot more depth behind it than some others that I have read and I’m enjoying being drawn into the Morganville world.

I still find myself completely baffled by the evilness that is Monica. What a bitch! Like I said in my review for Glass Houses, I do enjoy that within this town that is ruled by the evil vampires, the person I find most vile and revolting is the human girl. She just… I think what I find so repugnant about her is that I can forgive the vampires for their violence and crimes against human nature because they’re not human and along with the change into the supernatural they lose their morals and whatnot. But Monica – she’s got not excuse. And she manages to poison all the people she has power over. The boys at the dance… I have to admit I got a bit blood thirsty for a minute when reading their part… maybe there’s a bit of Monica in myself… I hope not!

There were some great new characters introduced in this book – Sam and the two “Switzerland” detective. All three amused me and I can’t wait to read about them some more.

I liked this book more than the first in the series. Book three – Here I come!

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Morganville Monday!: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

After discussing this series with a friend the other day, I realized that I stopped after the first two (because that’s all that had been released at that stage). I want to get back into this series that many people I know rave about! So I’ve decided to read one Morganville Vampire book a week for the next twelve weeks! Morganville Mondays I shall call the days when I post my reviews!

Welcome to the first Morganville Monday – starting with the first book in the series, Glass Houses.

Book Review:

Title: Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires #1)
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Vampires
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: January 2011 (first published 2006)
Pages: 372
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
It’s a small college town filled with quirky characters. But when the sun goes down, the bad comes out. Because in Morganville, there is an evil that lurks in the darkest shadows—one that will spill out into the bright light of day.

Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. The popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks on the school’s social scene: somewhere less than zero. And Claire really doesn’t have the right connections—to the undead who run the town.

When Claire heads off campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Hew new roommates don’t show many signs of life. But they’ll have Claire’s back when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood…

My Review:

This book surprised me from the start. I’m used to violence in the books that I read but generally in the paranormal variety all the blood and pain is caused by the supernatural beings. Not so in this case.

Main character Claire Danvers – super genius, starting college at 16 years of age and majoring in physics – is being bullied and assaulted by the First Daughter of Morganville, Monica Morell. Having her clothes stolen by Monica, face punched and otherwise violently attacked by her clan of evil followers, Claire decides that she HAS to move out of the college dorm. It’s either move out or start shopping around for a gravestone.

After finding a notice in the local classifeds, Claire leaves campus and arrives on the doorstep of 714 West Lot Street – The Glass House. There she meets three quirky and endearing roommates  who seem relatively normal. Except for the fact the little goth girl, Eve, believes in vampires.

Claire moves in and discovers that maybe Eve isn’t crazy and that Morganville isn’t all it appears to be.

As the first book in the series, I enjoyed this one. Yes, there’s a lot of ground work laid – probably to set up the next 11 books in the series – and there are some things that don’t make sense but it’s a good read. I enjoyed the inhabitants of the Glass House; Michael is gorgeous and tormented, Shane and his addiction to video games amused me and Eve is incredible in her own way. The only let down was Claire – she got a little irritating and she infuriated me with her inability to do what she was told. I don’t like a pushover but after all she’d been through and the enemy still at large she still leaves the house without an escort? And then after she gets assaulted again she does it some more? Oh Claire…. for someone who is so smart (and I know she is because one of the few things I know about Claire from this novel is that she likes to study. A LOT!) she sure can act rather stupid at times.

The vampires are fascinating. I love that they could hold an entire town hostage and  because of their mind-controlling ways there’s no one outside of city limits that has a clue. I love the idea of Protection and enforced donation.

This book has a lot to offer in terms of action, romance and supernatural nasties. I am looking forward to reading Dead Girl’s Dance later this week.

 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository