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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lauren Owen: IMG The Other Vampire



It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »

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Customer Comments

Sherry Carty has commented on (6) products.

Mercy Thompson Homecoming by Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson Homecoming

Sherry Carty, December 28, 2009

Mercy Thompson: Homecoming by Patricia Briggs is a graphic novel about the urban-fantasy world of Mercy Thompson.

The artwork is excellent with two differing styles: One style is blocky, militant and more masculine in feel; it is frequently used for fight scenes. The fight scenes in particular will help emphasize the problems that Patricia Briggs has always been careful to cause for her shape-changers: the lack of clothing. The other style of artwork is smooth and flowing; it is more frequently used in portraits. Both styles are suitable for the story and the scenes that they depict.

The only complaint which I have is about the comic is that despite being a prequel, it does not work as a good introduction to Mercy Thompson at the $23 suggested retail price. Though there are plenty of reasons to review the artwork repetitively, the fact is, the story takes fifteen minutes to read and it doesn’t stand alone.

All in all, this graphic novel is a short story that is an excellent but pricey addition to the collection of those readers who are already enjoying the Mercy Thompson books by Patricia Briggs.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)



The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
The Blind Assassin

Sherry Carty, November 27, 2009

The Blind Assassin is a story that winds slowly through the lives of a wealthy Canadian family before, during, and after The Depression.

The majority of the book is told from the perspective of Iris Chase, an elderly woman reflecting and writing about her life and her family. With her thoughts, the book skips between her 1930’s and 1990’s. At irregular intervals, Iris’s reflections are interrupted by clippings from newspapers and from a novel (also titled ‘The Blind Assassin’) which is written by the sister of Iris, Laura Chase.

Though the technical writing in this book was superb, the frequent changes of perspective made the pacing feel off and the characters less sympathetic. The first three-fourths of the book is an extremely slow read that sags with the weight of too many metaphors. Many of the metaphors were quite good, clever even, as they should be. But when there is a metaphor or simile in every other paragraph, they become unwelcome. So much filler designed to increase word count. The last quarter of the book finally picked up the pace and delivered a moving end to the story.

Ultimately, I found myself thinking through most of the book that the science-fiction story told by a character within Laura Chase’s novel was better than the novel written by Laura Chase or Iris Chase. Perhaps this was Margaret Atwood’s intent, perhaps not.
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(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)



Unwillingly to Earth by Pauline Ashwell

Sherry Carty, November 16, 2009

This book chronicles the transformation of uncivilized, farmer’s daughter “Lizzie Lee” into a young woman about to graduate from the Terran College of Cultural Engineering. Reading more like a collection of stories than a single cohesive book, the first section of the book starts out with strong characterization and a story that is driven quickly along by Lizzie Lee’s very interesting and staccato dialect.

As the book progresses, the ideas behind Cultural Engineering are given more depth but less effort is spent on characterization and dialogue. Sadly this is the book’s primary problem. The author starts out with decent story about an interesting character learning a fascinating career. However, the author never reveals enough supporting data for the book to be considered hard science fiction and the ever diminishing characterization will result in most science fiction fans feeling slightly disappointed by what should have been an exciting read.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



Restoree by Anne Mccaffrey
Restoree

Sherry Carty, November 16, 2009

A small town girl who is smarter than she is pretty escapes to New York City to start a career as a librarian for an advertising agency. Life is going well for Sara until she finds herself working as a caretaker in an insane asylum on another world in a beautiful but unfamiliar body. When Sara discovers that the man for whom she is caring is the mentally disabled former Regent of the world things start getting messy.

Sara is believable as are many of the supporting characters. Further, the people of the alien world are interesting and the culture could easily support additional novels and stories. I’d love to read a story by Anne McCaffrey explaining why there are humans on this world, for example.

Over all Restoree is an entertaining book. Anne McCaffrey delivers politics and surprises with a dash of romance.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)



Night of the Wolf by Alice Borchardt
Night of the Wolf

Sherry Carty, November 16, 2009

Blame it on watching Manimal as a child but I wanted to like this book. I love well-written stories about men who become animals, especially if that animal is a wolf or a dog. But this book has more problem than a junkyard dog has fleas.

According to the book’s biopic, Alice Borchardt is interested in “little known” eras and is the in the sister of Anne Rice. However, in this book, Alice Borchardt writes about one of the most well-known periods in history, the struggle of Gaul against the Roman Empire just before the death of Gaius Julius Caesar.

The point of view skips between a person who is not quite a wolf or a man but has the body of either at will, a Celtic warrior queen, and a Roman nobleman who was recently injured in Gaul. Several other viewpoints are presented at random intervals and as flashbacks with overabundant use of pronouns rather than proper names. The result is a problematic and cumbersome read.

Characters are flat and unrealistic for protagonist and especially antagonists. Perhaps Alice has a better time of it in other books but in this book, Alice has obviously forgotten that everyone (especially the bad guys) is the hero of their own story. The evil characters have no redeeming qualities. There is no light to balance their dark. The good characters are emotionless and dry.

The characters are not the only things in the book that are emotionless and dry: The sex scenes suffer the same problem. Further, there are just as many bad sex scenes in the book as there are bad transitions in points of view. Normally, I like it when an author adds an occasional sex scene to a book. If done right it, it not only adds that “cheap” vicarious thrill, it also adds depths and complications that can easily turn what would be an ordinary book into a page-turner that cannot be put down until finished.

The plot of the book was simple enough: “Go to Rome and kill Caesar”. But instead of the characters acting to get their goals accomplished, they were dragged unwillingly then willingly to the eventual outcome.

If you have the opportunity to spend money on this book: Pass. If you happen to pick it up anyway, don’t endanger friendships by loaning it out unless you both want something at which to laugh. The book, like the wolf within it, bites.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)



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