Category Archives: Book Review

Your week in books#42

Confession: I’ve only watched three episodes of Game of Thrones

  • George R. R. Martin says that there will be twists in the upcoming Winds of Winter that won’t be in the HBO show. As everyone knows, the series has already overtaken the books when it comes to the events that happen, so whatever happens from this point forward is anybody’s guess. (The Guardian)
  • If any of you guys follow me on my Goodreads account, you’ll know that I’ve taken up to reading comics again – yes, despite that horrible time in my childhood – and I’ve been having a really great time with it. As such, I’ve been keeping abreast of comic book news. io9 has news on Marvel’s Timely Comics imprint, its latest initiative to keep new and lapsed comic book readers up to date on what’s happening in the Marvel Universe. (io9)
  • I recently got myself a Netflix account, and it has been a glorious timesuck that has kept me from being productive during days off. While I haven’t gotten around to watching Making  Murderer just yet, I do know that it’s immensely popular. That may be good for Netflix, but apparently it’s not so good for Wisconsin prosecutor Michael Griesbach – his book has experienced an upsurge in negative reviews ever since the documentary became popular. (Galleycat)
Finn Jones
Finn Jones
  • Just to keep the Game of Thrones thread going, The Hollywood Reporter says that Ser Loras Tyrell has been cast as Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist, in the latest Marvel Netflix series. As you can see via attached photo, Finn Jones is very white. A petition had been going around to have an Asian-American play the role of Danny Rand, so this bit of casting news has a lot of people disappointed. I, personally, echo the sentiment of Comic Book Resources Albert Ching: Isn’t having an Asian-American – specifically one partly East Asian – equally as racist? Just because it’s about martial arts, it has to be an Asian-American of East Asian descent? (The Hollywood Reporter, Comic Book Resources)
  • Finally, people my age grew up reading those Archie digests on the way to and from school. ADMIT ITDECADES LATER, the CW is making a live action show out of it, and have assembled a cast of predictably hot teens and twentysomthings-as-teens. Kiwi actor KJ Apa has been cast as Archie Andrews, and just based on the photos you’ll see under the cut, I may just tune in and watch the show! (The Mary Sue)

Continue reading Your week in books#42

Book review: Lena Bourne’s “His Whims”

his_whims_banner

 

Would you look at that? Yet another post, just a week after the last one! Am I getting back into the swing of things? I SURE HOPE SO.

This week, I was asked to be part of the blog tour for Lena Bourne’s His Whims, the first part in her His Forever serial. I thought that it would be a good choice as I start getting back into the swing of things, as it’s only 27 pages long and 9,000 words short. Will I end up regretting this choice? Or is this just what i need to get my blogging groove back?

Continue reading Book review: Lena Bourne’s “His Whims”

Your week in books#41

SHUT UP I LOVE JADINE

I know, I know, it’s been two months since I last updated. In my defence, work has been…work, and I have spent whatever free time I have sleeping or curled up in a fetal position watching James Reid and Nadine Lustre videos.

BUT I’M HERE NOW. Let’s take a look back at the week in book news!

Continue reading Your week in books#41

Book review: Anne Rice’s “Beauty’s Kingdom”

To be clear, 50 Shades is a very, very different animal from any of Anne Rice’s Beauty books.

I’ve talked about how I used to be a big Anne Rice fan before, and that fan worship certainly extended beyond her vampires and witchcraft books. It was a little difficult for me to work through The Feast of All Saints, but I did have a great time reading ViolinBelinda, and her BDSM books – Exit to Eden, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty’s Punishment, and Beauty’s Release.

These non-supernatural books all have the sensuality that made Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles famous, and more often than not are much more explicit than any of Lestat and his cohorts. After all, Belinda is a riff on Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, while Exit to Eden, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty’s Punishment, and Beauty’s Release all became a hit with the BDSM community at the time – something you can’t say about 50 Shades.

But that was literal decades ago, and Anne Rice has had a roller-coaster of a career since then. If Prince Lestatis anything to go by, it looks like she may be getting her vampires back in line. But can the same be said for her erotica? The last book in her Sleeping Beauty series came out in 1985, Belinda came out in 1986, and bookstore shelves have so much more erotica now than they did back then. Does Rice still have what it takes to compete in a much more crowded field?

Continue reading Book review: Anne Rice’s “Beauty’s Kingdom”

Book review: Bill Konigsberg’s “The Porcupine of Truth”

I am well aware that this video is about hedgehogs.

It’s been literal months, I know. But to be fair, I have been busy. With my job, with taking part in writing workshops – I finished nothing, by the way – etc., etc., etc. But I’ve now finally managed to carve out some time from my “busy” schedule to pencil in this review.

I got my copy of Bill Konigsberg’s The Porcupine of Truth from the fine, fine people over at Scholastic, who had emailed me about reviewing James Phelan’s Thirteen (which I will talk about once I finish reading it) and included this book as a bonus, I guess?  But it just goes to show that they do know me well, because on the surface, The Porcupine of Truth is right up my alley.

LGBT characters? A healthy distrust of the pastor next door? A road trip? It was ticking all of my boxes and I ended up reading it first before Thirteen. But did this end up being a good decision on my part? Or did I just make another mistake in my long, long life of mistakes? Check under the cut to find out!

Continue reading Book review: Bill Konigsberg’s “The Porcupine of Truth”

Book review: Mighty Rasing’s “May Powers Ka To Be #SuperEpic”

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m generally not the inspirational/self-help book kind of guy. It’s not a knock on them at all – it’s more because I’ve got a black, tiny heart that doesn’t let any light shine through or escape.

There’s no question that a lot of people find them useful. One just needs to look at any bestseller list to see that there’s a healthy audience for these kinds of books; an aspiring inspirational author needs only to find that niche that he can cater to and serve.

Mighty Rasing is one such author, and he’s set his eyes on a key demographic – young people who’ve grown up on a steady diet of comic books and the movies that have been adapted from them. In his new book, May Powers Ka To Be #SuperEpic, Rasing utilises superheroes and their larger than life personalities to give some life advice to young people looking to make something out of their lives.

But will this approach be something that young people latch on to? Or will this thing just end up being an #epicfail?

Continue reading Book review: Mighty Rasing’s “May Powers Ka To Be #SuperEpic”

Book review: Catherine Doyle’s “Vendetta”

Ever since I changed jobs — and tried to venture into actual fiction/novel writing — I haven’t had as much time to keep my ear close to the ground to keep track of what’s going on in the publishing world. I mean sure, big thing’s like Harper Lee’s new novel I get to hear about because that’s hard to ignore, but the smaller stuff mostly pass me by now.

Which is why it’s a good thing that the good people from Scholastic have been nice enough to still keep me in the loop. They sent me an email some time ago about Vendettathe debut YA novel of 24-year-old Irishwoman Catherine Doyle. And you know what? It seems like they really knew what I was into just basing from the book’s synopsis:

“When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell’s life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families.”

C’mon. A hot Italian bad boy? If you gave me that along with a lifetime supply of French fries I’d willingly give you my firstborn. My second-born, even. And while I tempered my expectations – it’s still a YA novel, even if it did come from the same publisher that brought us Numbers – I thought I would be getting into some hot Italian bad boy action. So did I?

Continue reading Book review: Catherine Doyle’s “Vendetta”

Book review: Carla de Guzman’s “Cities”

Cities.tour.banner.2

Do any of you guys still remember the Gwyneth Paltrow movie “Sliding Doors”? Gwyneth Paltrow’s character misses a train, and then the movie goes into two different timelines and in both timelines Gwyneth loses a baby? It’s totally okay if you don’t, because i didn’t really watch it and only remember it because it had that one song from Aqua that really took people by surprise.


“If only I could turn back ttiiiimmmmeeee!!!!”

Yeah, that song. As I was reading Carla de Guzman’s Cities, I couldn’t help but have this song going on and on in my head. Will I be able to say the same about Cities? Or would i rather wish that I could turn back time so I wouldn’t have had to read it? Check under the cut to find out!

Continue reading Book review: Carla de Guzman’s “Cities”

Book review: Ines Bautista-Yao’s “Only A Kiss”

OAK Banner

It might not be obvious at first blush – I do look like a crochety old man – but I do love me some love stories. Whether they end happily or tragically, whether they’re published independently or by more mainstream publishers, whether it’s steamy, flirty, or chaste, I’m willing to give it a go.

The books I read for my 2014 Goodreads challenge should be more than enough proof. Alongside heavy hitters like Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han are works by Sarina Bowen and my #romanceclass classmates Chrissie Peria, Chris Mariano, Kesh Tanglao, and Miles Tan.

The first locally-written and independently published love story that I’m reading this year is Ines Bautista-Yao’s Only A Kiss. Will I love it or loathe it?

Continue reading Book review: Ines Bautista-Yao’s “Only A Kiss”

Book review: Anne Rice’s “Prince Lestat”

Anyone who’s known me long enough knows that I was a pretty big The Vampire Chronicles reader back in the day. During my sometimes hours-long commute from Pasay to Manila and vice versa, I would have Interview with the Vampire open on my lap, reading it eagerly and feeling a thrill at how intimate these creatures would be with each other. The fact that the main players were both male appealed a lot to me, and the fact that they were so “Woe is me!” appealed to the overdramatic teenager in me.

The next two books that followed built on Interview with the Vampire in ways that I didn’t expect. It’s clear to anyone that The Vampire Lestat is an entirely different creation, and The Queen of the Damned is definitely a high point, with a sprawling history for the Undead all laid out and royal intrigue and machinations that would satisfy any plot-hungry reader.

I was such a fan that I stuck around even as it slowly became apparent that the books were no longer hitting the same high marks that The Queen of the Damned did. I slogged through Pandora, trudged through Blood and Gold, and even convinced myself that Blood Canticle was better than it actually was.

But despite all that, I couldn’t help but feel more than a little excited hearing that announcement that Anne Rice was going back to The Vampire Chronicles, telling another story with Lestat as the main focus and no longer the sideshow that he was in books previous. I’d grabbed a copy as soon as I saw one in my neighbourhood National Book Store, and I began reading it more than a little anxious as to what I would think about it.

Continue reading Book review: Anne Rice’s “Prince Lestat”