Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: The Elves of Cintra by Terry Brooks


Across the ruined landscape that is America hopelessly poisoned, plague-ridden, burned, and besieged by demon armies bent on exterminating all mortal life two pilgrims have been summoned to serve the embattled cause of good. Logan Tom has journeyed to desolate Seattle to protect a ragged band of street urchins and the being known as the gypsy morph, who is both mortal and magical, and destined to save mankind unless he is destroyed. Likewise, Angel Perez has her own quest, one that will take her from the wreckage of Los Angeles to a distant, secret place untouched by the horrors of the nationwide blight a place where the race of Elves has dwelled since before man existed. But close behind these lone Knights of the Word swarm the ravening forces of the Void. As the menacing thunder of war drums heralds the arrival of the demons and their brutal minions in Seattle, the young survivors who call themselves the Ghosts are forced to brave the dangerous world of gangs, mutants, and worse to escape the invasion. And Logan Tom must infiltrate a refugee compound to rescue Hawk, the leader of the street urchins, who has yet to learn the truth about who and what he is. Meanwhile, Angel Perez has joined an equally urgent mission: to find the Ellcrys, a fabled talisman crucial to protecting the Elven realm against an influx of unspeakable evil from the dread dimension known as the Forbidding. But Angel and her Elf allies must beware for a demon spy, with a monstrous creature at its command, walks among them. As the legions of darkness draw the noose tighter, and the time of confrontation draws near, those chosen to defend the soul of the world must draw their battle lines and prepare to fight with, and for, their lives. If they fail, humanity falls.


A fantastic sequel to Armageddon’s Children, really loved this book. The story continues on with relentless action and interesting new characters were introduced. After reading Armageddon’s Children, you cannot help yourself but wonder on what the next journey for Hawk, Tessa, Logan and the others will be. They all have such engaging story-lines; Terry is a master when it comes to character development. He makes sure that each and every one of them is properly handled in the story. Every one of them is given the chance to connect with readers. Although I was a bit saddened by some deaths in this book, I really loved Erisha’s character by the way, it can’t be helped. Terry wrote off some characters because it is essential to the story, I know that, but it is sad nonetheless to see beloved characters go down the drain…Why can’t it the other one that’s not doing anything but whine or the bad ones who does atrocious things? I highly recommend for you to check out The Elves of Cintra, be transported to a world of wonder, excitement every corner and relentless adventure to top it all.

One thing I admire about Terry is how he give names to his characters: Logan Tom, Angel Perez, Khyber Elessedil, Rue Meridian, Morgawr, Shadea a'Ru and Grianne Ohmsford are just to name a few. These names can’t be forgotten so easily. I can still remember them even though some have appeared from the previous books. I use them to name characters for pc games and sometimes as account names for various social networks. Cool, right? They can really be sometimes. Alhough, I can’t help but compare them to some J.R.R. Tolkien names like Elendil, and Terry’s Elessedil, they sound alike, right? I’ve read an article regarding Terry’s first Shannara books, it was an attack on his novels and the article said that the Shannara novels were carbon copies of The Lord of The Rings trilogy, which I think is a bit absurd. The Shannara novels are unique and it should be put on top of the shelf alongside other classic fantasy novels of our time… 

My Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Friday, August 10, 2012

Review: The Assistants by Robin Lynn Williams

In this wicked, laugh-out-loud debut novel, five miserable souls struggle to make their mark on Hollywood, the city of the soulless. Rachel Burt, starry-eyed and clueless, has left behind tiny Sugarland, Texas, and her position as Starbucks employee of the month, to pursue her dreams of becoming a screenwriter. The madness begins when she eagerly accepts a position as assistant to Victoria Rush, an aging television diva with "a little pill-popping problem that two tours of duty at Betty Ford couldn't remedy." Rachel learns the ropes from Michaela Marsh, a never-say-die, plastic-surgery perfect "midget Tai-Bo Barbie." Michaela has spent years (and years and years: she is -- gasp -- over thirty!) trying to break into Hollywood, which has given her a healthy respect for the casting couch; but even sleeping with her slimy agent hasn't landed her a meaty role, and the last pilot she almost got, some ten years ago, went to that little nobody, Lisa Kudrow. Jeb, who operates on pure rage, has been fired from more assistant jobs than he cares to count, and he currently teeters on the edge of insanity under Randall Blume, one of the sleaziest agents in Hollywood. Kecia Christy, a no-nonsense Pisces pining for love and addicted to Krispy Kremes, works for Travis Trask, the hottest teen heartthrob since "that other white boy, Leo." More interested in smoking prizewinning pot with his bonehead buddies than in his next movie, Travis is always looking for the next good party -- until his ex-con brother shows up at the front door. Griffin's intelligence and ambition fail to shield him from endless humiliation at the hands of Johnny Treadway, a crass A-list manager with pec and cheek implants and a perpetual tan, courtesy of the Tropical Rays tanning bed he keeps in his office. Johnny takes all the credit while Griffin does all the real work, and Griffin has begun to suspect that selling his soul might not be worth that overdue promotion after all. Once a week, Rachel, Michaela, Jeb, Griffin, and Kecia meet at a dark, unhip watering hole to commiserate. Soon enough, however, the system spits them out, and they must learn to survive through sheer determination, hard-won industry savvy, and luck.

If ever there was a perfect book that I can relate to, this must be it. The Assistants is a comedy with realistic situations that assistants face every day of their lives. It is about a group of assistants with different employers’ who are making their lives a living hell. They meet up once in a while and discuss their own problems with their horrible bosses. It’s like an AA Meeting where they can unload their deepest and darkest thoughts about their employers, (I wish I had one of these support groups, oh boy, I could tell them so much regarding my past bosses!). When I started reading this book, I can't seem to stop and wonder that, hey, wait a friggin' minute, I've experienced some of those horrible situations that some of these assistants have encountered with their bosses! I'm not an assistant per se but I know how it feels to be undermined and be bullied by some of the companies I've been employed with before. Sometimes, there’s never a right answer with these bozos. There’s no right or wrong, whichever way you go, they will have something to say about you. That’s just so unfair. When you did something wrong, they will pound you with that mistake and make you feel really bad about yourself, what they can’t see is the sacrifice you’ve made in behalf of their company. One slip, just one tiny slip and they fly off their handles! They can’t even see the good that you’ve done for them. That really sucks. I had an idea once for our Christmas party decorations, a very good idea, and my boss took all the credit for that idea. He said that it was his idea and bragged about it to everyone! Asshole! Life is unfair. I’ve learned that the hard way.  So now, I’m not the goody-two-shoes type of guy anymore, I’m sick and tired of being bullied by these imbeciles!

I’m not proud for what I’ve done with my previous work, but my boss and I had a go at each other and it was pretty ugly. I was shouting at her and she was shouting at me, it was like a shouting match! It all started when her nephew, who was a co-worker of mine, forgot to inform me that her aunt will need to pick up a couple of books at the office. I was surprised when she barged in and started telling me that I was incompetent and that I wasn’t doing my job right. She started calling me names and I can’t possibly stand there and accept all of those insults! I retaliated by matching her anger and everything went crazy! I ended up leaving the company for good. I felt so relieved when I left that horrible boss. She’s not even worth writing about, so I’ll stop now. The Assistants will teach you a lot when it comes to finding the right job and how to blend in with your working environment. I’ve learned loads from this book, that you have to stay true to yourself, even though you’re surrounded by other people (some of them are bad influence), stay real and do what you think is right. I was hoping that The Assistants had a sequel, alas, the author did not write another one. Well, that’s okay… I’ll just find another book with this kind of plot. A must read guys!

My Rating: 5 Stars

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mini Reviews: The Women's Murder Club by James Patterson (Books 4-6)

4th of July was one nasty book! To start things off, Lindsay finds herself in a prickly situation this time. While on patrol and cruising the streets of San Francisco, she and her former partner Jacobi, pulled over a suspected runaway vehicle. They were surprised to see that two children were behind the wheels. Lindsay, ever by the book cop, asked these kids to get out of the car because one of them seemed to be injured. All of a sudden, without provocation, all hell breaks loose. The kids opened fire, Jacobi instantly got hit while Lindsay barely escaped with her life, she returned fire and that’s when one of the kids got killed. All of this happened in a matter of minutes. I was really shocked about what had transpired. I was thinking, like, this could be very bad for Lindsay. She killed a freakin’ kid! She goes to court to battle her plea of not guilty. With the help of a new DA, Yuki Castellano, Lindsay won. Yuki replaced Jill’s place on the Women’s Murder Club. The book was a page-turner, no doubt about that.

Let’s now turn on The 5th Horseman, one of the best books in this series; Yuki’s mother played a very important role in this book. James wanted to throw in as much personal stories from each of the members of the Women’s Murder Club, and this time around it’s Yuki’s mother, Keiko. Yuki and her mom are very close. She respect and idolizes her so much. They’re two peas in a same pod. Things got dangerous when Yuki’s mom was admitted to the hospital with a bad reputation. Apparently, this particular hospital has patients who’ve died of unknown and suspicious circumstances. Yuki didn’t believe all of these cock and bull story that’s going around outside the hospital, she just wanted her mother to get better, soon. So she brushed aside all of these nasty rumours and opted to stay. If she had known that her mother will die on that hospital, she would’ve pack up their bags and left immediately. With the death of Keiko, Yuki wanted to know the real story behind the deaths of these patients; she enlisted the help of the Women’s Murder Club.

The 6th Target. Wow. This series is a very good one. I mean, I don’t get tired of reading them. I often wonder what an author must do to write a book that will keep his/her readers interested in them. I guess it takes a lot of imagination, yeah, that must be it. The 6th Target was a disturbing book for me. A killer is on the loose and is murdering beautiful women and dressing them up as if they’re mannequins. Crazy stuff right? Who would do such a thing? Lindsay and the rest of The Women’s Murder Club is trying to figure that out. Amidst all these heinous crimes that seem to pop out like mushrooms every day, Lindsay’s best friend, Claire, was shot by a man while having a family cruise. Lindsay was devastated by this and bowed to apprehend Claire’s shooter. A fast paced novel that will surely leave you wanting for more. These three books are highly recommended for those who love mystery and detective stories!

My Rating: 5 Stars

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