Monday, July 23, 2012

The 13th Warrior or Eater of the Dead

"It avails you nothing. We say: A man should be moderately wise, but not overwise, lest he know his fate in advance, The man whose mind is most free of care does not know his fate in advance." -Herger, Eaters of the Dead (p. 80)

In 1974 Michael Crichton took up a dare, he decided to try and make the story of Beowulf an interesting one, thus came the novel Eaters of the Dead. Later when the book was made into a movie it was republished under the title that people most knew it by The 13th Warrior. Under either name it is a wonderful book!

Crichton takes a story that, while it is an adventure tail, has gone out of date for most of society. As the man whod ared him said, people no longer read this story of their own free will. How many of you can say you read it outside of a classroom setting? While I love the story of Beowulf myself, I know I never would have picked up the old epic had it not been an assigned reading in my literature classes. Since the first time I read it, however, it has become a favorite of mine. Which made me sceptical to pick up this retelling, but with the author being Michael Crichton I knew I had a better shot of likeing it than if it had been someone else. And I was not let down.

Michael Crichton takes what he has been given int he fragments of the original and fills in the blanks. However, the end result is not a choppy pieced together puzzle where the edges are clearly seen. No! Instead we are left with a tale that flows from original material of one source to fiction to details of another material without the reader knowing what is false and what is fact. And what is more is the story reads as a factual eyewitness account that readers have no trouble believing. In fact I have read many reviews from readers that believed they were reading a true translated account. I was almost one of these readers. It was not until I first encountered the name of Buliwyf that I remembered this was a fictional work elaborating ont he Beowulf story.

This is such an amazing novel, Crichton is such an amazing author, that I cannot do the book justice in my review. All I can say is that I recomend everyone one read this story! I almost wish we had been made to read it alongside the original story of Beowulf back in college, it would have led to some unique perspective on the story.

So if you have a little time, pick up this book. Just be careful as I almost gaurentee you will be soon looking for more of Crichton's work, as I find myself doing now.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Abduction - Review and Giveaway

"A combination of vanity and stupidity had drawn him into this alien environment in which he had no control of his destiny. Although he was not religious, he found himself praying that the little underwater cruise would be short, sweet, and safe." -Abduction (p. 35)

Picking up this book I was expecting a medical mystery, maybe even something as compelling as the TV show House. Instead I got another underwater mystery much like Deep Storm that I last reviewed. Only I found Deep Storm to be a little more enjoyable. While the plots of both novels were incredible to say the least, Abduction had a little more trouble getting of the ground and the ending was rather abrupt in my opinion.

The writing was great, I must say. And once I did got pulled into the story very quickly. Many of the "facts" we, as readers, are presented with seem very possible, thus allowing for the believabilyt of the novel. Many times I found myself thinking, "What if this was all real?"

That being said I did have one major issue with the story line, and that is simply that it seemed to end a little too quickly. Once things get started on the downside of the hill there is no stopping or slowing the plot, it takes off until it rams into the walled ending.

While I did enjoy the book and recommend it to many of my friends, I think that I would rather have a different Robin Cook book on my shelf if I have to have one at all. So, instead I am going to offer this one up for someone else to enjoy. I know the Atlantis theme will pull many in. Let me know if you feel an interest in this book!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday Giveaway

"Never grow up." -Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan

Last night my husband and I took our son to see his first musical, Peter Pan. We had a blast! Cathy Rigby was incredible, the songs were amazing, the cast was funny, and our son had the time of his life.

We have been reading Peter Pan just before bedtime for a while now, starting soon after I finished the novel on my own. However we were unable to finish on time, so instead I started to loose my voice as I read the last third of the book on the way down to Dallas. But it wasn't enough and we had to read the last 5 pages after we had picked up our daughter from my mother's house and had started our drive home. It turned out to be for the best since it left our son in the perfect mood for sleeping on the way home.

Because this was his first play and it is a classic story, my mother baught her favorite grandson a new, nicer copy of the book. Now we have two! Which means we have a copy in the house that will never be touched again. So we are giving it away. It is a Scholastic Classic, with interesting pictures throughout the text. It has only been read twice so it is in great condition, even looks untouched. We would love to send it to a house where it will be read and enjoyed by others. Even adults can enjoy this wonderful classic, so don't let a childless house keep you from claiming this great addition to any book shelf.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blood Work - Review and Giveaway

"He traded his bureau pager for a hospital pager and on Feb. 9 it sounded; a heart from a donor with matching blood was available. After six hours of surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the donor's heart was beating in McCaleb's chest." -Blood Work (p. 30)

Terry McCaleb is ex-FBI, forced to retire when his heart gives out and he finds himself waiting on the donor list for a new one. When the time finally comes for him to get a second chance at life his bubble is busted when the sister of his donor comes to him for help. Soon enough Terry finds himself on the case, trying to find out who murdered the woman who gave him his new heart. However, soon enough Terry finds out that what seemed like a simple convience store robbery was much more.

Now, usually I am not a big fan of crime novels, but since this was on my shelf I of course had to give it a chance. And I am glad that I took the time to read it, even though I didn't love it like I would have liked. The beginning was a bit slow, with Terry McCaleb not having much to go on in the case it made for a slow story. However, things began to pick up with the discovery of new evidence and the plot twist was a new and unique one that caught me off gaurd. I did find myself unable to put the book down over the last half, wanting to know who did it.

I do think the book was well written, although some of the plot points were a little cliche and expected. And while I had an idea as to why the murder was done, I was completely thrown when it was revealed who did it.

While I did enjoy it, it wasn't enough to keep it on my shelf, so this weeks giveaway is this book. I hope someone else who enjoys crime novels will find this a fascinating read. I really think others might enjoy this book more than I did since I am not particularly drawn to the genre. I hope someone else gets more out of it then I did.