In My Mailbox #8

May 22, 2011 at 9:35 pm (Australian, In My Mailbox, Meme) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where bloggers showcase the books they received over the week.

I got a lot of books this week. I managed to find a Borders that was closing down, so everything was 60% off. Then, my library managed to miraculously procure heaps of books. AND THEN, I decided to buy some cheap ebooks on my Kindle.

Bought

From top to bottom:

Snow by Tracy Lynn; I love the Once Upon a Time series. And this has to be one of my favourites. It has slight traces of steam/magicpunk, and it stays rather true to the story. And, thanks to the Borders sale, it was only $4. How could I possibly resist a book so cheap? Even better, I had a very had time finding the books from this series in Australia,so, I would have gotten this book even if it weren’t on sale.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst; I read this book ages ago, borrowed from the library, and loved it. (In fact, you can find my review for it here), so when I saw it on sale at Borders for $8, I had to buy it.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Basilisk by N.M. Browne; I remember reading this book years ago, and loving it, so I decided to get it. It was cheap, so why not?
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

–  Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink; This book has caught my eye from the moment it arrived here in Australia, but for some reason, I’d been very hesitant in getting it. I love the cover, it has these shiny silver patterns that give it this weird feeling.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository  / Amazon
(if you get it from The Book Depository now, you get to save almost 60%! It’s not even $5 in AUS currency)

Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink; I also got the second book in the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy, because it was there and it was cheap.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Fury by Shirley Marr; I’d constantly see this book in bookstores, and was always intrigued by it, but never went ahead and bought it. It looks like a really interesting book, and I love the covers. Also, at the beginning of each chapter, there’s a small picture of a mask, and I just love the concept of that. It makes me wonder about the relevance to the story.
Find it on: Goodreads
(Because it’s an Australian book, I’ve had trouble finding it online; it doesn’t exist in Amazon, and it’s unavailable on Book Depository. So if you’re interested in getting a copy of this book, you might have to search hard, or get a friend in Australia to supply you with a copy)

The Black Swan by Mercedes Lackey; This looks awesome. The cover is amazing, and it’s a retelling, which I’m sure all of you know by now that they’re my favourite kind of story. I can’t wait to start reading this!
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Gwenhwyfar by Mercedes Lackey; Another Mercedes Lackey book that looks awesome. I think it’s about time I read some of her stuff.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Masques by Patricia Briggs; This book looks cool as. Fantasy with werewolves. Can’t wait to get this book started.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

–  Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs; The sequel to Masques, because I get addicted to series far too easily.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Saga of the Renunciates by Marion Bradley Zimmer; I love sci-fi, and apparently this has LGBT characters, which is fairly cool. Plus, it’s so big, that it kind of makes me excited. When it comes to books, size does matter. ;P
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Heritage and Exile by Marion Bradley Zimmer; A big book for a low price. This is the kind of thing I live for. 🙂
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Library:

Not only did I go overboard with books from Borders, I went nuts in the library.

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes; With the recent influx of Greek retellings in YA, I supposed that I should check out a few of the newcomers. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, and the premise actually sounds pretty good.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

How NOT to Write a Novel by Sandra Newman & Howard Mittelmark; I love books about how to write, and this looks like it’d be a great, funny way to learn how not to write.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Thyla by Kate Gordon; This book is about a girl who’s found in the bush with no memory whatsoever. Plus, it’s set in Australia, and I’m a fan of those.
Find it on: Goodreads / Amazon (kindle edition)

Siren by Tricia Rayburn; So, I’ve been eyeing this book for months. Mermaids? Awesome as! Dark, mysterious cover? Heck yeah! I can’t wait to read this.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves; I’d heard a lot of good things about this book, and it’s finally out in Australia, so as soon as I saw this, I just had to grab it.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Mice Gordon Reece; Wow, this looks awesome. A thriller that features what looks like a strong relationship between a girl and her mother.
Find it on: Goodreads / Amazon

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan; The format of this book just looks amazing. It’s all set like a real dictionary, with words that are relevant to the story. I’d like to see how it pans out.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier; I read the first book of this series, Daughter of the Forest, and absolutely loved it.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Search for WondLa by Tony Diterlizzi; This is a Middle Grade sci-fi/fantasy book with such wonderful pictures. I really can’t wait to get into this.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Cold Magic by Kate Elliot; So, I’d heard a whole heap of good things about this book. Plus, it looks like it’s a steampunk, and I love those with all my heart.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Devil Wears Plaid by Teresa Medeiros; I really like historical romances sometimes. And this one sounds rather exciting.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L.J. Smith; So, I’d recently been watching the TV series, and am really loving it. I figured I might as well read the book series.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

Marked by P.C. & Kristin Cast; I’ve been hearing a lot about this series, so I guess I should see what the fuss is all about.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon
(You can get Marked on Book Depository with 60% off, which is a great deal)

E-Books

Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz; I got this from Simon & Schuster’s Galley Grab.
Find it on:Goodreads

Blood Red Road by Moira Young; Also from S&S, I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book, so I’m excited to finally read it.
Find it on: Goodreads / Book Depository / Amazon

The Witches of Santa Anna: The Complete Set by Lauren Barnholdt & Aaron Gorvine; I got this, the first 7 books in this series off Amazon for 99cents. So, if you want seven books for a dollar, I’d recommend that you go get it now, before the offer no longer stands.
Find it on: Goodreads / Amazon (Kindle)

The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer; I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about this book, a retelling of The Persephone & Hades myth, but with a twist: Hades is a woman. I can’t wait to read it.
Find it on: Goodreads / Amazon

So, that’s my haul for the week. Um, a lot, eh? *laughs nervously*

What did you guys get in your mailbox during the week? Feel free to share your links in the comments. 🙂

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Review: The Eyre Affair

April 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm (2 stars, review) (, , , , , , , , , , )

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Pages: 373, paperback

ISBN: 9780340733561

Publisher: Hodder

Date Released:July 19th, 2001

Genre: literary fiction / satire / mystery / sci-fi

Source:library

Available from The Book Depository

Premise:

There is another 1985, where London’s criminal gangs have moved into the lucrative literary market, and Thursday Next is on the trail of the new crime wave’s Mr Big.

Acheron Hades has been kidnapping characters from works of fiction and holding them to ransom. Jane Eyre is gone. Missing.

Thursday sets out to find a way into the book to repair the damage. But solving crimes against literature isn’t easy when you also have to find time to halt the Crimean War, persuade the man you love to marry you, and figure out who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

Perhaps today just isn’t going to be Thursday’s day. Join her on a truly breathtaking adventure, and find out for yourself. Fiction will never be the same again… (Taken from Goodreads)

It took me a while to get into this book, and to understand what the hell was going on. What I found out was that unless you’re either British, know about British history, or are a classical literary student, then you’ll have a hard time understanding just how witty the author is being in making the Crimean war (go on, Google it. I did) last 130 years, and other obscure British history references.

It takes a while to understand that this is a sort of parallel universe, set in 1985m where technology is amazing (to the point where dodos have been genetically brought out of extinction) and time travel is possible. When you discover these abstract things, it really feels like being hit in the face. I found myself crying out “why? WHY?” often.

The writing reads almost as if Douglas Adams were a pompous literature student sitting on his Macbook in Starbucks. When I read this, I couldn’t help but compare the weirdness of this to that of Hitchhikers. But of course, this is much different, mainly because Hitchhikers was fun, and this is forced, and almost as if Fforde was so impressed by his knowledge of obscure literature, and wants his readers to be impressed too.

It’s written in first person, but is badly done, as a lot of the time, things that Thursday Next, the main character, shouldn’t know are narrated to us. For example:

“My room was exactly like all the other rooms in the hotel.” -pg 119

Now, I have a few issues with that sentence. First off, how does she know what all the other rooms in the hotel look like, especially when this is her first time at this particular hotel? Secondly, how is it relevant? It isn’t, and it just clutters the story with unnecessary details. Sadly, the novel is littered with things like this, and it gets fairly distracting after a while.
Also, pretty much all of chapter 11, and quite a few parts near the end of the novel are written in 3rd person. Now, this awkward, random just from 1st to 3rd person pov is tacky and needs to be heavily edited. If you’re going to have a book written in 1st person pov, the person telling it needs to actually be present during all of those scenes.

Also, I really wanted to know why this world is so immersed in literature. There’s no reason, no explanation, no background. We’re just led to believe that it’s normal for people to be selling bootleg first editions of books on the black market, and it’s totally normal for there to be vending machines that only exist to quote Shakespeare. While I have no issue with a world such as this, and I wish I lived in it, I still want to know WHY they love literature so much that there’s a police force dedicated to it. It'[s such a big thing and surely needs explanation.

The villain wasn’t much of a villain. His motives were all over the place, and he seems to only be evil for the sake of being evil. Plus, he’s almost a Mary-Sue with his invincibility and vast intelligence and whatnot.

And finally, the romance: I thought it was a bit shoddy. In the beginning, Thursday is pretty much obsessed with the man she dated 10 years ago, and when they end up going out again (y’know, 10 years later, and he’s engaged to someone else. No biggie), it’s fairly unimpressive. That Thursday Next steals someone else’s man infuriates me, and does not at all seem endearing or strong. It makes her look desperate, and bitchy.

I had a lot of issues with this book, as you can see. I dunno, if you’re into witty and satirical stories that try to be sarcastic and play with classical literature,, then you might like it.

Cover Art: 4
Plot: 2
Characters: 1
Writing: 2
Level of Interest: 2

Total Rating: 2/5 stars

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