THE PILLARS OF CREATION – Sword of Truth book 7 – by Terry Goodkind

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!

Amazingly enough, this book is entertaining without Richard or Kahlan being in it until the very end. I started reading the book thinking it might be boring since my heroes didn’t seem to be around. Then appears Jensen and her story of survival is all the more compelling as she takes us inside Jagang’s Imperial Order. I was fooled from the start as to the true resolution of the story. The character of Sebastian walking along with her in the story is great and just confuses us even more.

However, I was particularly repulsed by Oba, another new character we follow parallel to Jensen and Sebastian. All I wanted was for him to die. I really hated this crude, cruel and stupid character (even if his education is mostly to blame). However, he served a purpose in being a contrast to Jensen.

Overall, Terry Goodkind, as usual, has created a complex and clever storyline that makes you turn pages very quickly. Not my favorite « Sword of Truth » novel but still a great read.

 

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© Copyright January 2006. All Rights Reserved.

SINNER – The Wayfarer Redemption Book 4 – by Sara Douglass

I had anticipated a great sequel to the series but nothing that good. As we follow Axis and Azhure’s children into their own destiny, a new terror in the form of demons is preparing to invade united Tenscendor. Caelum, Axis’ son, is now ruler of Tenscendor as StarSon and is confronted to this uncle Zared (Axis’ mother’s son with Magaritz), a very popular ruler in his own right who tries to give some pride back to the human population of Tenscendor.

But Zared is nowhere the menace Starwolf’s late wife (Starlaughter) and her friends are and he has to make some hard decisions. In the meanwhile, his hated brother, Drago, is being accused of crimes after crimes and is only believed by his sister Zenith.

This once again is masterful work from Sara Douglass. She has once more succeeded at creating compelling and complex characters and given a fascinating story to follow. This is a highly recommended sequel. And please, Sara, give us the next one!

 

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© Copyright 2005 – All Rights Reserved – Reprinting by permission only.

FAITH OF THE FALLEN Sword of Truth book 6 by Terry Goodkind

After his failure at convincing the people of Anderith to follow D’Hara, Richard & Kahlan (who’s recovering from an assault) flee to the mountain with their friend and bodyguard Cara the Mord Sith. In their retreat, Nicci, a Sister of the Dark, shows up and kidnap (with the help of a spell threatening Kahlan’s life) Richard and passes him for her husband.

Terry Goodkink is back to his greatness. Soul of Fire had disappointed me but Faith Of The Fallen is terrific. He shows how our two heroes have to live separately and without magic. Also, through Nicci, a complex Sister of the Dark, we see new aspects of the Order (Emperor Jagang) andthe lives of the common people under its rule in the old world. It is very interesting that Terry confronts, on a daily life basis, two different ideologies (Richard’s vs. Nicci’s).

This is a beautiful and soulful addition to the Sword of Truth series. And the ending is in pure Terry Goodkind fashion!

 

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© Copyright December 2005. All Rights Reserved.

THE LAST HAWK Book 3 in the Saga of the Skolian Empire by Catherine Asaro

This 3rd volume in Catherine Asaro’s superb saga is not disappointing at all. We follow Kelric (Imperator Kurj Skolia’s half brother) when he crashes on Coba, a closed world to outsiders, and under female rule. Kelric quickly realises he is a prisoner and is treated as second class citizen until he discovers Quis, the supreme Coba game. Soon he becomes a master of the game and, unvolontarily sets up a chain reaction which transforms Coba’s society in subtle ways.

I loved this books as much as I loved all of Catherine Asaro’s skolian saga novels. But this is probably one the richest (in details and characters) of the series. As Kelric, accepting his fate, is passed through from one ruler-manager to the next as consort and Quis master, his life becomes the center stage of political and social intrigues. And he becomes the most sought-after male on the planet!

This has proved to be a very good saga thus far and I’m sure Catherine Asaro will not stop bringing more to the saga. Highly recommended!

 

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FAST FOOD NATION by Eric Schlosser

This is the most informative and scary book I’ve read in years. Millions of people around the world eat at McDonald’s everyday but also at Burger King and so on. For years, I’ve enjoyed getting my daily dose of Big Macs like millions of others. But this book turned me into a vegetarian for good. I’ve never felt disgusted at the idea of eating meat before. That also includes chicken and other meats, not just beef. I don’t event want to buy ground beef after reading this book.

The meat packers have taken over the food industry for the last 50 years with the help of the fast food industry and this is appalling. When you eat burgers, you eat mostly remains and fecal excrements. Did you know that? Animals are being fed with other animals thereby turning them into cannibals. The working conditions in the slaughterhouses around the country are monstrous and inhumane towards the workers as well as the animals. This has created a rate of worldwide obesity (seen even in Japan) the world has never seen. The government (including Bush Jr. and Clinton) have favored the meat-packing industry and allowed health transgressions and work conditions the average american expects from third world countries and not this one.

Something is very wrong here. After reading this book, I was cured from eating any kind of meat whatsoever. If this book doesn’t turn you into a vegetarian, nothing will. It should be required reading in schools. Mr. Schlosser, I commend you for opening my eyes and, I hope, the eyes of a lot of people.

Fast-Food-Nation

© Copyright December 2005 – All Rights Reserved. Printing by permission only.

AHA! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas – by Jordan Ayan, Founder of Create-It Inc.

In this amazing little book, Jordan Ayan takes us on a journey of rediscovery of our inner creative self. Jordan has been studying his craft for quite a while and doesn’t hesitate to bring what he learned from others as examples for his tools.

This is a very simple and useful little book. It’s remarkably easy to read and understand. The author also provides us with exercices to help us unlock our brain’s creativity. From Role-Playing ideas to Retreats, Mind-mapping to Toys, you will find a multitude of useful tools to get your ideas on paper and find the courage to implement them.

There are 10 basics main tools to get to where you must go. For each, Jordan Ayan gives examples, exercises, tips to help you fight whatever blocks you have (whether it is in painting, writing, business, you name it!).

Very useful book, a must-have.

 

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© Copyright June 2005 – All Rights Reserved.

ENCHANTER – The Axis Trilogy Book 2 in the Wayfarer Redemption Series by Sara Douglass

I just love her! She is getting better and better all the time. I deeply enjoyed the first novel in the series but I must admit finding the second one even better.

Now the plot centers more and more around Azhure and her hidden past and abilities. Axix tries very hard to recreate the land of Tencendor by fighting for the Avar’s, Icarii’s and the Acharites’ rights. The plot gets even better when Wolfstar, a legendary murderous SunSoar, reappears from death to haunt Axis’s family and his happiness. This all comes to an exciting end with the final confrontation between the two ennemy brothers Borneheld and Axis fighting one on one in front of…. Faraday. And there is also the Axis’ willingness (or lack thereis) to choose between her and Azhure.

Boy, this was exciting. I want so much go and read the 3rd one. Sara Douglass is becoming as good as Terry Goodkind and has won a place at the top of my favorite author’s list.

Highly recommended for fans of fantasy epics!!

© Copyright May 2005 – All rights reserved

THE DA VINCI CODE by Dan Brown

This is the book hype of the year! Everyone has heard of it, most have read it. But does it live up to its success?

I succumbed to this hype with the curiosity of a book worm ready for something exciting and also my interest in its subject of conspiracy, Bible theories and Secret Societies.

I was disappointed. Granted, the story is interesting enough to get you to the end of the book. The puzzles that lead you to finding the location of the Holy Grail are well crafted. However, I got irritated early on by all the stereotyped characters and the way the author writes. Once I got past the cliches about the French and English cultures and its people, I was sufficiently interested in the story to go on.

I was not particularly thrilled with the author’s interpretation of the life of Jesus. Not because I’m a religious nut or anything like that but it just was too farfetched and not believable. But, hey it’s fiction… isn’t it? The writing was too simplistic and sometimes irritating.

I don’t see what all the fuss is about but if you like a good fiction (really?), you might actually enjoy this book. Millions did, didn’t they?

 

CATCH THE LIGHTNING – Book 2 in the Saga of the Skolian Empire – by Catherine Asaro

This book is set in the future of the 1st book « Primary Inversion« . In this new story, Catherine Asaro gives us the tale of Althor, son of Eldrin and Deya, nephew of Sauscony (we met her in Primary Inversion).

Althor, who’s a Jaggernaut, is stranded with his Jag in the past on Earth. However, after meeting Tina and discovering their empathic link, it is obvious he is in the past on an alternate universe Earth. Tina’s Maya heritage turns out to be similar to Althor’s Raylicans heritage. As Earth’s military discovers his ship, Althor and Tina try to find a solution for returning to the future.

Catherine Asaro, as usual, is a wonderful storyteller. The book is as much a page-turner as its predecessor. One advantage of this one is that it’s a stand-alone and you don’t need to read Primary Inversion first to understand it. The book is divided in two parts. One is set on Tina’s old Los Angeles. The second part continues in Althor’s universe of the Skolian Empire. I loved how Asaro can switch from one universe to the other so easily without a blink.

As usual, she is also very good at blending hard-core science-fiction theories with romance and this is what makes her so good in my opinion.

 

© Copyright April 2005. All Rights Reserved.

VICE by Jane Feather

I did read a number of romance novels in my life. I forgot most of them, others really stayed permanently in my mind because I loved the stories.

Jane Feather’s VICE is a historical romance I won’t remember for the story but for being the hottest one I’ve read in ages. There’s plenty of passion in that story and the sex between the Duke of Redmayne and his protegee/mistress is quite graphic. I’ve been wondering how the book could make it on a library shelf considering its mature content.

The plot is intriguing enough. I was a bit irritated at the obvious 18th century superior (and sometimes quite annoying) attitude from the Duke toward the sparkly (and quite modern in fact) Julianna. She has to fight in a world where women don’t even have rights over their own bodies and she is quite good at it.

Another interesting twist of the story is Julianna’s campaign of rebellion to defend the conditions of life of the London prostitutes. And she is suffering quite a bit for it. Redmayne and his brother Quentin (a good soul) have to catch up with her all the time.

She manages to turn Tarquin (Redmayne) on her side and make him love her. And he’s the one who bought her originally!

 

© Copyright April 2005 – All Rights Reserved.