Archive for January, 2009

January 12th 2009

Poison Study

I discovered this author while browsing through the recommendations on Booksfree.  Based on all the books I’ve ever rented from them, they thought I might like Snyder’s books.

They were 100% correct.

The story seems rather ordinary… a theme that’s been done time and again in the fantasy genre.

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve.  As a food taster, she’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace — and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting.  Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she’s can’t control.  Her life is threatened again and choices must be made.  But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear.

In the hands of a less-skilled storyteller, this particular story probably would have been… nice.  But Snyder is adept, and kept me turning pages long after I should have gone off to sleep.

If you like the fantasy genre, this is another book I’d highly recommend.

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January 9th 2009

Water for Elephants

This book was recommended by my fabulous step-mother-in-law.  I had no idea what it was about when I put it in my Booksfree queue.  I’m delighted to report that it’s well worth reading!

To say that it’s about a 90-something year old man living in a nursing home and reminiscing about his days with the circle would be the bare truth.  And honestly, I probably wouldn’t have picked this book up based on the description… or even the slightly more interesting blurb on the back cover.  After all… how interesting can a circus be?

I’ll admit that I was wrong.  Gruen has created a rich and charming cast of characters in this novel, and has made circus life a three-dimensional tapestry.  Telling the story as flashback memories of an old man brilliant.  The juxtaposition of his current life in the nursing home and the freedom he had in the circus make the story’s ending the only possible one that would be satisfying.

I highly recommend this book!

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