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Fire {book review}

This book in 6 words : can’t believe waited to read this

I put off reading Fire by Kristin Cashore. I LOVED Graceling and believe I was hesitant out of fear that it wouldn’t live up to the first book and would cause Graceling to lose some of its magic. I was wrong. It only made me love the world Cashore created even more. If I had to pick a favorite between the two I’m not sure that I could. I will say that although others have said that you could read these out of order, I believe it’s best to read Graceling first and then Fire.

With wild, irresistable appearance and hair like the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she has the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.  – inside book cover

Fire is set in the same world as Graceling but across the mountains in a kingdom called the Dells and years earlier. The Dells doesn’t have native Gracelings, however they do have monsters. Beautiful, colorful, mind-stealing monsters of all kinds. Fire is the last human monster. The kingdom around her is in the middle of an internal battle and Fire must find her place in the war.

This book is much more adult than Graceling. There is plenty of action, but most of the conflict is emotional. It is also darker and more complex. There are more characters, but I never felt confused. I will say that I cried more than I expected. I think I realized how talented Cashore really is when I came across a twist in the story that was kind of obvious, but I had completely overlooked it because I was so entranced by the story.

THANK YOU to everyone who voted for this and got me to finally read it!! I highly recommend this to everyone, but again I must insist that you read Graceling first. I cannot wait for the next book in the series, Bitterblue, to come out! I’m now suffering from severe PABD 😦 — Wait, you don’t know what PABD is? Well then head over here and see if you have it and how to live with it.

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Fledgling by Octavia Butler {review}

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review_butler_fledglingI am very glad that I stuck with this book… I’m just not sure how to review it without giving too much away…

Fledgling by Octavia Butler tells the story of Shori. The book begins with Shori waking up in the woods in extreme pain with no memory whatsoever. She doesn’t who, what, or where she is. She appears to be a little black girl of maybe 10, however, Shori is a fifty-three-year-old vampire. A lost child of an ancient species living in symbiosis with humans. Shori is genetically modified, the first of her species to be able to not only be awake during the day but also able to walk in the sun. She is able to do this in part because she is one of the first black vampires.

I think a lot of the magic of the book, specially in the beginning is that you are learning along with Shori. So I don’t want to give too much away. I will say that I think you have to have an open mind when you read this. The story jumps into racism, family, free-will, polyamorous relationships, genetic engineering, sex, and pride. The author created a whole new vampire. I love her take on the mythology. It was different, but it worked. It was one of the most realistic versions of the lore I’ve read.

I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I should write about the part of the book that bothered me in the beginning. I wanted to tell you something that would make it not seem so bad, but I think it’s supposed to bother you. So all I’ll say is don’t give up on it. It may weird you out at first, but it will be ok.

I do highly recommend this book and not just to those who like the paranormal genre. I think that this is more sci-fi/science based than fantasy. And at the bottom of everything it’s really about people and how they treat and think of others.

* Counts towards my 101 Books Challenge

{Review} Mother Night – Kurt Vonnegut

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I picked up Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut for The Good Book Club’s first discussion. BIG thank you to them for picking this book! I don’t know that I would have read it otherwise and I loved it! The story so captivating you can’t put it down and the characters are so real that you forget you’re reading fiction.

Mother Night is the autobiography of Howard W Campbell, Jr, a Nazi war criminal writing his story from his cell in Israel. Howard was the English speaking propagandist for the Nazis during WWII. However, Howard claims he didn’t believe the things he was saying. He claims to have been an American spy. But can someone really be both? Can you spread the message he did and encourage the terrible things as he so passionately pretended to and still claim to not believe in the cause? Can you be two very different minds?

Vonnegut writes in the introduction that “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be”. This is one of my favorite literary quotes. The book contained so many great quotes that I’ll have to take some time to pick out my favorites before the discussion tonight.

The story is dark, humorous, touching and gut-wrenching. The idea that those who encourage and spread hate are just as guilty of the deaths this brings as those who hold the guns is so important that I’m baffled that I wasn’t required to read this in one of my classes in either high school or college.

I’m very, very highly recommending this book. I’m even making Shane give it  try. I’m looking forward to adding more Vonnegut to my to-read list!

* This also counts towards my 101 Books Challenge, and is my M book for the A-Z Book Challenge.