Good Books and the Random Movie

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26 February 2013

The Daylight War (Demon Cycle #3)

The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett is his third book in the Demon Cycle series - set in a world where people can do what they wish in the daytime, but at night demons rise from the ground and attack. After 300 years of demons, people are fighting back.

The Warded Man, Arlen Bales, has been traveling around the countryside giving people the tools to protect themselves - wards (symbols) that can repel or even harm demons - and is now returning to the Hollow where he has made his home. Many people think he is the Deliverer who will free them from the terror of the demons. Arlen is convinced that all of the people who fight, together make the Deliverer.

Ahmann Jardir is the head of the people of Krasia, a land to the south of where Arlen lives in Thesa. The Krasians have invaded Krasia and will force the people to follow their religious law. They will teach the men to fight demons and teach the women to be more modest in dress and manner. Jardir's people believe he is the Deliverer, or Shar'Dama Ka, foretold in their holy books.

Regardless of who may be the Deliverer, the demons have noticed the turn in the fight and will send stronger creatures to challenge the humans. Both sides must get ready for more difficult fighting - plus the Karsians have plans to fight a daylight war to take over the rest of Thesa.

Brett has created an amazing fantasy world. The characters are diverse and complex. The demons strong and fierce. And the plot mesmerizing. This is one of the best fantasy series I have read and I will wait impatiently for the next book...

Brett, Peter V. (2013). The Daylight War. New York: Ballantine Books.

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20 February 2013

Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society #3)

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter is the third book in her Heist Society series about a group of teens who are master thieves.

Kat Bishop and her friends have pulled off some amazing feats of thievery, but they may be up for the biggest challenge yet. While most of the group of young thieve is related to Kat by blood, WW Hale V joined the group when Kat stole him. She was in his grandmother's house to steal a painting but after he caught her he decided to join her in her adventures.

Now Hale's grandmother Hazel has died and he has been summoned back to the super wealthy family that he never felt apart of other than with his grandmother. But when her will is read and someone who believes she has been excluded hires Kat to find and steal the real will the plotting begins. The first step is to break into a museum where Hazel's desk is part of a display of Petrovich puzzle desks.

Carter has created a great teen series that will appeal to readers of espionage, heist books and friendship. The cons are complicated and spectacular and will delight readers. Great, fun series.

Carter, Ally. (2013). Perfect Scoundrels. New York: Hyperion.

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18 February 2013

The Friday Society (Friday Society #1)

The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress is the first book in her series by the same name that is about three young women in early 1900s London who are not satisfied with the roles society proscribed for them - and what they can accomplish when they join together to solve a mystery.

Cora Bell is the assistant to Lord White who is a secret inventor. She helps in the laboratory both building and inventing. She is in charge of Lord White's schedule and making sure he get where is supposed to be on time.

Nellie Harrison is the assistant to the Great Raheem, London's best magician. They are a very popular act for all types of audiences. Nellie is often underestimated because she is beautiful.

Michiko was studying to be a Samurai in Japan but knew she was at risk for arrest since it was a daily possibility if discovered. When a British man came through town studying different types of martial arts and asked her to come back to London to be his assistant she jumped at the chance. But in London she is mostly a servant. She performs battle on stage to get clients for him, but she is mostly confined to the house.

Cora, Nellie and Michiko meet at an gala and after on their individual travels home meet up again at the scene of a murder. That night sets in motion events that will lead to the three of them joining forces to solve a mystery that could destroy all of London.

Kress has created a great beginning to what is hopefully a long series featuring Cora, Nellie and Michiko. The Friday Society combines mystery, historical fiction, steampunk and more that will delight readers.

Kress, Adrienne. (2013). The Friday Society. New York: Dial Books

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15 February 2013

Playing to Win (Play by Play #4)

Playing to Win by Jaci Burton is the fourth book in her Play by Play series - a romance series featuring professional athletes.

Like his cousins (from the first books) Cole Riley plays sports. He is a professional football player who has just been traded to his home team in St. Louis. He has been on a few teams and has a reputation as a great athlete who is not a team player. But Suzanna Brooks has been hired by his manager to be his image consultant.

Suzanna is a well respected image consultant who has not worked with a professional sports figure before but has some ideas. First she needs to get to know Cole and see if his image is anything like the real person.

Burton has written sexy series that romance readers will devour.

Burton, Jaci. (2012). Playing to Win. New York: Penguin.

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10 February 2013

Prodigy (Legend #2)

Legend by Marie Lu is the second book in her Legend series - a dystopian future world after the collapse of the US as we know it, now divided into the Republic of American and the colonies to the East.

June grew up within the upper classes of the Republic. She went to the best schools and lived in a nice apartment. She was trained to think that the Republic was the only way to survive in the world. But when she met Day, who grew up on the outside - one of the many lower classes who make the Republic viable - June started to see things differently. Especially after she fell in love with Day.

Now they have escaped the city of Los Angeles and are trying to make their way to Las Vegas to find the Rebels who are fighting against the Republic. But when they arrive, it is announced that the Elector Primo has died and his son Anden has taken over. And the Rebels will only help Day and June if they agree to kill the new Elector.

Lu has created a believable and realistic future world after climate change alters the landscape and people from the coasts have to flee inland. Like all dystopian fiction, there are two sides to the story - depending whether you are on the side of the elite or not. She does a great job of showing both sides with their strengths and flaws. The Legend series is a compelling plot filled with great characters. Readers will impatiently await the next book!

Lu, Marie. (2012). Prodigy. New York: G.P.Putnam's Sons.

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02 February 2013

Unorthodox

Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman is her story of growing up Hasidic. Born in Brooklyn into the Satmar community of ultra-orthodox Jews, Deborah grew up in a world that few outsiders have ever glimpsed.

Before World War II and Hitler's attempt to murder all Jews, many of the orthodox Jewish communities in Europe were losing people to some form of assimilation. But as a response to the genocide, a few rabbis began new, more stringent communities to fight back against annihilation. One of these rabbis form the Satmar community in Williamsburg Brooklyn.

Many may classify Satmar as a cult do its separation from the outside word and its strict laws and rules about everything - many of which are much more restrictive that the original rules in the Torah. Deborah grew up with very delineated boundaries - where she could go in relation to the neighborhood she lived in (she did not visit Manhattan until high school even though she could see the skyline from home), what she could wear due to modesty, what she could read and what her role would be in society (women's domain is the home; girls are only educated to 10th grade as any more would be a waste).

Deborah knew she didn't quite fit in from an early age. But her whole world was Williamsburg. Her family was there, though her mother had left the community. Everything she knew was there. For a time her only refuge was the books she read when she snuck into the public library. But the stories allowed her imagination to grow eventually allowing her to see a way to another life.

Feldman bravely chronicles her early life as an ultra-orthodox Jew in Brooklyn and her eventual escape into our broader society. She is the first woman to leave the Satmar community and be allowed to take her child with her to her new life. Her book is heart-wrenching and compelling and worth a read.

Feldman, Deborah. (2012). Unorthodox. New York: Simon and Schuster.

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