From My Kindle #7

1+2.  Dreamfever and Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moaning finished 3/5 and 3/10–Dang I love this series!  Mac is still trying to defend Dublin and the world from the Unseelie, and is getting hints about her true identity.  The only sour notes in these books was the chapters told from Dani’s point of view–I didn’t find them necessary, and in the case of Shadowfever, just bogged down an already long book.  However, I was satisfied with the end of the series and am looking forward to Iced!  4/5 stars each

3.  Medicine Men:  Extreme Appalachian Doctoring by Carolyn Jourdan finished 3/13–a short collection of stories told to Carolyn by small town, mountain doctors, as well as anecdotes of her own growing up as the daughter of one of those doctors and as being his secretary after her mom falls ill.  A fun, fast read, and I’m interested in picking up more of her work!  4/5 stars

4.  Delerium by Lauren Oliver finished 3/ 14–Wow, this was a great book.  Treating love as a disease and curing everyone of it by essentially lobotomizing the entire population.  I did wonder what the point was, though, of telling the story from the point of view of someone who actually *wants* The Procedure instead of someone like Hana.  It all worked out in the end, and I’m seriously looking forward to Pandemonium!  4/5 stars

5.  Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia finished 3/17–the second book in the Beautiful Creatures series.  While I didn’t enjoy it as much as the original, I still devoured it whole.  I love that they didn’t stay in Gatlin for the entirety of this book, but branched out and visited other areas.  It was neat how the tunnels could compress and lengthen time, making their journey to Savannah take a lot less time than it should have.  4/5 stars

6.  The Boyfriend List by e. lockhart finished 3/22–I think I enjoyed Frankie quite a bit more, but Ruby was still quite a trip.  I loved her lists of boys, including the one who doesn’t actually exist, and how she debated adding her teacher onto the list or not, because…well, is it creepy or just being a typical teen?  Great book, looking forward to reading more about Ruby!  4/5 stars

7.  The Red Gorilla of Oz by Richard Capwell finished 3/24–this showed up as a freebie one day, so I took a chance and downloaded it.  I loved the original Oz books by Frank L Baum (I don’t think I’ve manage to read all 14, but I know I’ve read at least 10 of them), so I figured why not, right?  It was okay–there were things that could have been better, but I think it stayed pretty true to Baum’s original series.  Oh, and…um Glinda is not the Good Witch of the North?  Erm…3/5 stars

8.  The Grimm Diaries Prequels 1-6 by Jace Cameron–an interesting take on fairy tales, with a really dark twist.  I enjoyed most of the 6 books, but I highly recommend skipping Mary Mary Quite Contrairy…that one was just…really really bad.  It was told from the point of view of a very, um, teenage modern Devil, and just…didn’t work.  At all.  3/5 stars

I’m still working on Wilfair by Alysia Grey Painter –I’m waffling back and forth about DNF’ing this book, as it was way too smart and quirky for its own good.  The characters are funny, the story interesting, it’s just…a really smug book, if books could have feelings.  We’ll see.  It’s been, honestly, 2 weeks since I even opened it, so I may have already decided to DNF it, I just haven’t made it official yet.

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s Top Ten is the Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in books.  This could be interesting–I have to admit, I’ve more than once imagined myself a sort of Mary Sue in various settings and worlds that I’ve read about.  I’ve been a Herald of Valdemar with Talia and Vanyel, a time traveller stuck in 1700s Scotland with Claire and Jamie, and many, many more.  I’ve always had a hard time falling asleep, and I’ve found that setting myself as a background character in some of my favorite stories helps send me to dreamland.  I’m also going to try to stay away from the “usual suspects” like J.R.R. Tolkien’s world, Harry Potter, and Westeros.

Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds or Settings 

1.  Valdemar–one day I took a chance on a book I found in the grocery store because the cover had a picture of a beautiful blue-eyed white horse on it.  It was Winds of Fate by Mercedes Lackey.  I fell in love instantly–horses that could talk directly into your mind?  YES!  Lackey is a master at painting a picture of wherever her characters happen to be, whether it’s in Valdemar, the Dhorisha Plains, or wherever.  Her husband, Larry Dixon, brings her characters to life with sketches inserted at the start of each chapter.  She makes you want to be bedded down next to Skif when he’s a thief, or Elspeth’s bosom companion growing up in the castle in Haven.

2.  The lands of the Wheel of Time series–I have to admit, I really love the sweeping epics that take a dozen books and thousands of pages to tell the entire story.  The later books in this story, especially the final ones, are not as good as the original ones, but once you’ve invested as much time into a series as those of us who love The Wheel of Time have, you just can’t give up–especially when the Last Battle is hovering just out of sight!  Since The Eye of the Storm, I have wanted to be an Aes Sedai and walk the halls of the Ivory Tower being mysterious.  I’ve chosen the color of my Ajah a dozen times–Blue, Green, Brown, and occasionally Red.  Blue usually is the frontrunner, as those are the Ajah most likely to do explore the world, but the lure of being able to bond more than one Warder is always intriguing, so Green is never far behind.

3.  The Land of Oz–talking animals, Good Witches, Bad Witches, a desert that turns you to sand if you touch it?  An Emerald City, trees that grown pails stuffed full of food?  There are so many things and wonders to love about Frank L. Baum’s magical kingdom.  While I haven’t read as many of the Oz books as I would like, I have still read quite a few.  I don’t think I ever wanted to be Dorothy (she was a little…annoying at best), but to be able to travel to a magical kingdom, win a pair of Ruby Slippers, slay a bad witch, and meet three wonderful new friends sounds like a wonderful time!

4.  Xanth–Piers Anthony’s mixed up version of Florida!  While the later books (anything past, oh, say #15) become increasingly pun driven and formulaic, the original books are quirky and fun, and the areas are *just* familiar enough that you can picture them in your head.  Lake Ogrechobee, the Kiss Me River (that became the Kill Me River when they pulled the esses straight), the With-A-Cookie-River, and my favorite, Lake Tsoda Popka, which is made of soda pop, and I think is the habitat of the Loan Shark.  You just never know what kind of pun you’ll run into just around the corner!

5.  Fantasia/Fantastica–from The Neverending Story.  I always wanted to ride Falcor!  This book also has an Ivory Tower, but instead of being filled with wise, magical women, this Ivory Tower is home to the Childlike Empress.  I admit, most of my thoughts about this book actually come from watching the movie over and over as a child–I didn’t actually read the book until about 5-7 years ago, when I managed to snag a copy from my favorite used book store, McKay’s.

6.  Alasea–The Banned and the Banished series by James Clements creates a dark and foreboding land controlled by evil.  I love the descriptive language used, and this is one of my all time favorite fantasy series!  Reading these books is somewhat like watching a Tim Burton movie, in the fact that the whole series is just very…dark.  The one beacon of light is the fiery red hair of the heroine, Elena.  Fantastic creatures populate the pages, from the wood nymph that accompanies Elena and her brother to the dead that seem pop up with scary regularity.

7.  Burning Fog Isle/Schooner Inn (Maine)–The setting for Caroline B. Cooney’s Loosing Christina trilogy.  Christina and the other island children are sent to the mainland for school once they reach 7th grade, and this year they get to board with the Mr and Mrs. Shevvington, who own the Schooner Inn.  This was probably my favorite trilogy in early high school–her descriptions of just about everything are fantastic, and make you feel like you’re drowning along with Anya, brave along side Christina, and as fragile as Dolly.

8.  The National Parks–Nevada Barr writes books set in various national parks, from Isle Royal National Park in Michigan, to Dry Tortugas National Park in the Florida Keys, to Yosemite National Park in California, to Ellis Island in New York City.  She’s a National Park Ranger, so her books are full of locations and descriptions that are more than likely taken from her personal experiences.

9.  Meg’s Childhood Bedroom–from a Swiftly Tilting Planet, Meg dreams about the past through her brother, Charles Wallace.  Charles Wallace goes to Patagonia, the distant distant past, the place where unicorns are born, and more as he tries to save the world from nuclear disaster.  I love Madeline L’Engle, and this is my favorite book.  You can almost feel Meg’s quilt around your shoulders as she snuggles down in bed on that cold winter’s night.

10.  New Moon (Prince Edward Island)–Emily’s father dies, leaving her in the care of her mother’s relatives.  She ends up on New Moon farm, which is a bit antiquated.  They still use candles instead of electric lamps, and skim their milk pans by hand.  L.M. Montgomery captures the quaint little farm perfectly, and you can almost see the shadows that Aunt Elizabeth’s candles cast as you make your way from the kitchen to your bedroom.

Runners Up:

Fear Street, from the Fear Street series by R.L. Stine, The Vale of the Unicorns of the Unicorns of the Ring, from The Birth of the Firebringer Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce, Camp Halfblood from the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, Cincinnati from The Hollows series by Kim Harrison, Arren from the Secret of the Unicorn Queen series by various authors, and Miami from the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay.