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

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.

PRIMARY INVERSION – Book 1 in the saga of the Skolian Empire by CATHERINE ASARO

In this exciting beginning best seller, Catherine Asaro takes us to the Skolian world through the eyes of one of its children, Sozcony (Soz) Valdoria, Primary Jaggernaut and Rhon Psion.

First understand what a Jaggernaut is. It is a telepath/empath with technological « gadgets » throughout his body which allows her/him to become one with his ship. Jaggernauts are the cream of the military in the Skolian Imperialate and Soz is at the highest level being also the half-sister of the Imperator (like an emperor).

I got so excited reading this book that this is my second reading of it. I loved the universe right away and its characters fascinated me. I found it easy to get into the book and follow Sozcony’s story and discover, not only the Skolian world, but also the Traders and Allieds Worlds. Each culture is well defined and fascinating. The Traders, or Eubians, are particularly designed to be the perfect arch-nemesis (very important in the book and its following sequels). Aristos (or the Eubian aristocracy) are the anti-empaths. Their minds are designed to perceive pain from others, which is transmitted to them as pleasure. They call it « transcending ». They enslave Psions to make them their Providers (sexual/empath slaves) and the others (non-telepaths) become Taskmakers (also owned by them). They own billions of people. No empath/telepath can stand their presence. Their minds « suck » the minds of empaths/telepaths and they torture for pleasure.

So when Soz meets one of them, an Aristo (they own everybody else), her first reaction is to destroy him until she realizes this one is different. What happens between her and Jaibriol will change the course of history on three civilizations. But I leave you to discover that for yourself (wink!).

I read this book in only a few days, what you would call a pager turner. I immediately jumped on the sequels (9 so far!) and there is a new book coming out now. This is the best sci-fi series I’ve read in years! Highly recommended. By the way, if you like a bit or romance, there’s plenty of soap opera situations (but nothing stupid or mushy).

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© Copyright January 2005 – All Rights Reserved

THE HOBBIT or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien

We all heard the fuss made by the three movies in The Lord of The Rings Trilogy and I will bet a lot of people have never read the books, although a majority of hard-core fantasy lovers will no doubt have.

I love fantasy… but, shame on me, I had never took the time to undertake the Tolkien canon. However, thank you Peter Jackson, you gave me the kick I needed to buy into the Tolkien franchise. And what better way to start reading it than with The Hobbit, prequel of a sort to The Fellowship of the Ring.

Bilbo is the hero of the story. He gets embarked by a group of dwarves seemingly led by Gandalf! into the adventure of his lifetime. Even though he was reluctant to follow their goal, part of him started to like the adventure. In the end, he saves the day just as Gandalf knew he would (good old wise Gandalf as usual!).

I don’t want to spoil the story for those who, incredibly, might not know about it. However, I have greatly embraced this prequel to the big LoTR thing and I particularly enjoyed Tolkien’s talent of storytelling from a first person point of view. What a good way to make us loose ourselves into the story. The Hobbit is not just an adventure for Bilbo, it is also clear in there that the future events of LoTR are approaching. What is most interesting to me, having loved the movies, is how I can already picture the Bilbo of the future story as he is described in this one adventure. The Hobbits are detailed superbly as well as dwarves, Gandalf and… Elrond even makes his first appearance. I also love Tolkien’s sense of humor in some situations. This book is a true classic of the genre.

I am sorry if the purists out there get too many references to the movie canon but, hey, if it had not been for it, I might have passed Tolkien’s talent.

I eagerly want to start the Fellowship of the Ring as I can’t wait for descriptions of Frodo, Sam, Aragorn and Legolas.

 

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© Copyright April 2004. All Rights Reserved.

CASE MJ12: The True Story behind the government's UFO Conspiracies by Kevin D. Randle

This interesting analysis explores the myth surrounding the infamous MJ12 documents which, if genuine, would prove the existence of a secret commitee formed to cover the existence of extraterrestrial beings and the famous crash at Roswell.

Although Kevin Randle does a good job at analysing the « errors » in the documents, his belief in witnesse’s testimonies surrounding the Roswell incident is a little bit naive. He tends to give them too much credit and doesn’t pay enough attention to the fact that people often seek publicity or tend to distort or exaggerate facts. However, his dissectation of the MJ12 documents and other so-called « government » documents is excellent and really puts to the test the beliefs of some UFO researchers concerning the validity of these documents and their contents. Kevin Randle is very good at pinpointing the various discrepancies existing in those documents.

I highly recommend this book for its excellent analytical quality and for those eager to know more about MJ12.

© Copyright April 2004 – All Rights Reserved