Monday, August 29, 2011

The Laughing Corpse [Hamilton]

Book: The Laughing Corpse [Anita Blake book #2]
Author: Laurel K. Hamilton

Review: When an old man offers Anita a million dollars to raise an old corpse, she turns down the job knowing it would require human sacrifice. But when a series of brutal murders start happening, she realizes someone else has already attempted (and botched) the job. Anita hunts down the murderer (who is a zombie on the loose) while battling a powerful voodoo priestess.

This was a quick, enjoyable read. Once again, the mystery was easy to figure out but the humor and fast action still made this book fun. The more I read about Anita, the more I like her. Hey, who doesn't like someone who secretly collects penguins? (I'm a fellow penguin lover, so Anita and I are kindred spirits! :) )

Grade: B

Guilty Pleasures [Hamilton]

Book: Guilty Pleasures [Anita Blake book #1]
Author: Laurel K. Hamilton

Review: In a world where vampires are mainstream, necromancer Anita Blake is known as the 'Executioner'. She's tiny, tough and works as a consultant to the local St. Louis police department on supernatural crimes. When someone starts executing seemingly innocent vampires, Anita is 'convinced' to work the case. Can she figure out who the killer is before it's too late?

Not only is Anita a necromancer and vampire hunter, but she is known for her bad fashion sense, her penchant for stuffed penguins and her affinity for carrying a lot of weapons at all times. She is a feisty heroine with a lot of literary potential. Although the killer was easy to figure out, I enjoyed the introduction to Anita, the vampires in her life as well as her work associates. I know a few people who have read (or are reading) the series and I'm excited to keep reading. I understand the books are impossible to put down around book 5 or 6.

If you like Harris' Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse series, you will probably enjoy this. In fact, these book were written years before Sookie and I suspect they were an inspiration for Harris.

Grade: B

A Game of Thrones [Martin]

Book: A Game of Thrones [A Song of Ice and Fire, book 1]
Author: George R.R. Martin

Review: Plot summary courtesy of

Martin's Seven Kingdoms resemble England during the Wars of the Roses, with the Stark and Lannister families standing in for the Yorks and Lancasters. The story of these two families and their struggle to control the Iron Throne dominates the foreground; in the background is a huge, ancient wall marking the northern border, beyond which barbarians, ice vampires, and direwolves menace the south as years-long winter advances. Abroad, a dragon princess lives among horse nomads and dreams of fiery reconquest.

This book is extremely long (over 16k kindle pages) and I struggled with a quick summary, so hopefully you won't mind that I used Amazon's! I watched GOT season 1 on HBO this past year and loved the show, so I decided to give the book a try. To the producers and writers credit, the show is almost an exact replica of the book. Unfortunately, that made reading the book rather tedious as I knew what was going to happen. There was additional detail and background information on characters that the show didn't delve into, but the show and book pretty much mirror each other.

Overall-I love that GOT is a fantasy world but still has a strong old world England feel to it. Martin writes each chapter from a different characters perspective which is a narrative I personally enjoy. I am 60% through the second book and LOVE it (because the plot is a mystery to me, I enjoy the events unfolding and trying to guess what is going to happen).

If you are a fan of the show, you may want to skip book 1 and start with the second book. If you are someone that enjoys fantasy (realize this reads more like old England with a hint of magical type elements) you will probably enjoy this.

Grade: B+