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Teresa Conner has commented on (8) products.

Jonas: Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire
Jonas: Beautiful Dead

Teresa Conner, August 28, 2010

It took me a while to get into this book but eventually I did, though not as much as I hoped I would. It wasn't bad by any means, but it wasn't insanely delicious either.

Eden's take on the zombie legend was fantastic, however. They are not the grotesque, mindless decaying corpses you see in horror films, but the walking dead of revenant legend and sentient. I did kind of grimace when Darina was kissing aforementioned dead boyfriend—just couldn't get past the whole zombie thing—and yet I have no qualms about vampires, weird I know.

Eden's writing was heart-breaking and easy to relate to, though I feel the book had way too many characters for a novel this size. The author's conveyance of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) was very well done. Jonas is also great at showing how families with teenagers deal with losing a loved one. Though, I did find the romances to be horrendously full of fluff, and these girls to be incredibly torn up over guys they had barely dated. But I guess that's high school for you. Emotions are a gazillion times more felt in those days, whether real or not. It's reasons like this I give it a lower rating, and also why I think this is a book teens would prefer over adults.

I am, however, looking forward to the other books
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Halo (Halo) by Alexandra Adornetto
Halo (Halo)

Teresa Conner, August 28, 2010

I’m all about some angels and the premise for this book sounded promising. And then I actually read it.

I seriously worry about the future of women (and feminism) when there’s things like this and Twilight guiding our youth … and adults. I know that may be harsh, but I’m losing my patience. Halo was practically Twilight, but with wings.

First, you’d think that a book bordering on 500 pages would actually have a massive amount of plot development, but it’s sparse at best. We have to sit through pages and pages of empty scenes to even be given a small ounce of story line. And can I just say, being a teenage girl is not all about makeup, shopping and zomg!prom! What a way to paint them as empty eedjits, eh? Oh, and by the way it’s the 21st Century, girls can ask guys to the prom too. Clichés don't stop there though, no. They range from "poetry is for girls" and "I'm a boy, I know engines" and back. *sighs*

I believe if we cut this book down to just the main storyline, it would only be 30-40 pages long. It took just over 250 pages just to introduce the damn villain. And if that was a climax, it certainly wasn’t an enjoyable one. Remind me to feign a headache next time.

And don’t get me started on character development … what character development? The deepest person in this book is Xavier because he happens to have some so-called baggage, yet we only get damp up to our ankles. Our protagonist, Bethany, is even worse than Bella Swan in terms of completely devoting her every waking moment and thought to a boy she just met. What makes it ten times worse is that Bethany is an angel, a servant of “Our Father” (as God is referred to in this book), sent on a mission to help guide humanity back to the goodness of the world, and faith … and yet she’s distracted by a teenage boy. A teenage boy overrides a mission from God. I mean, come on. Only after what appears to be a week, maybe two, they are already reciting "I love yous"...

Angels are stoic beings, and yes, I can see them as eventually developing intimate feelings for humanity (we have the nephilim, after all, so mythologically speaking that would be the case). But eventually as in after eons on Earth, not the very first day they arrive. On top of that, Bethany actually looks to Xavier to protect her. Wait, did I miss the memo where immortal angels began needing protection from mortals? Must be in my “wtf” inbox, I‘ll check later. So are we saying here that even if you are an angel, immortal and powerful, that you still need a guy to watch after you? Is that it, because that’s what I’m getting from it. Angels are warriors, not whiny daffodils.

And instead of focusing on the mission at hand, Bethany spends her time thinking about Xavier or pondering up disgusting scenarios where we comes to her like a knight to a distressed damsel in some lofty castle bower. Bleh. Oh, and let us not forget the times when he isn’t filling her mind like a knight-in-shining-armor she is sick with worry that “omgz, does he not like me anymore?!!? Whatever will I do?!? I can't breath!” Nauseating. Angel. Psh. More like a Ninny. Oh, and we are even treated to a catatonic phase from Bethany after she and Xavier have a fight. Remind you of anything? *coughs*New Moon*coughs* Because, you know, it’s totally normally to shut down when you have a quarrel with a guy...

This was such a disappointment and was, I thought, overly bogged down with too many religious bits. I get that angels are bound to touch on religion, but you can do it in such a way that it doesn’t feel like we reading a Sunday sermon.

Again, I hate to be this callous but I’m just fed up with books that paint a bad example for our impressionable young ladies. Isn’t it bad enough that we have glamour mags and reality television … and Twilight? If I were a teenage girl, I’d be insanely annoyed that for some reason the media, and some YA authors, seem to think you all need saving by a knight on a white horse and that you are unable to do anything for yourselves.
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The Flowering Rod
The Flowering Rod

Teresa Conner, August 28, 2010

As a book on Wiccan/Neo-Pagan ritual for men, this is great (which is why it garnered two stars instead of one). However, the history was absolutely horrid. I wanted so badly to throw it against a wall. This is why I never posted a review of it on my blog after I read it last year (even though it was sent to me for review).

"The Barley God, the King of the Fairy, is still strong in the mythic culture of English speaking people. In Scotland and Ireland, honored alongside Jesus, He is still honored with gifts." (Pg. 49)

Um. No. Just no. This is just one of many examples of utter crap pseudo-folklore/history it spewed (plus, wow that's a badly phrased sentenced lol). As there are a good many places where sources are not listed, I have no alternative than to blame the author for the fallacies it contains. I hate to say it, but I really feel like a lot was made up.
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The Fire Lord's Lover (Elven Lords) by Kathryne Kennedy
The Fire Lord's Lover (Elven Lords)

Teresa Conner, August 28, 2010

This is my first introduction to Kathryne Kennedy so I can't really speak on how this holds up to her previous works, but I was rather impressed. While I wouldn't put her up there with J.R.R. Tolkien in regards to world creation, this alternative Georgian England—ruled over by six Elf Lords who have deserted their native Elfhame out of boredom—is lavish, intriguing and highly creative. It is a remarkable and thoroughly enjoyable blend of fantasy, historical fiction and high romance.

Those who love a good Regency or Georgian romance shouldn't be intimidated by the fantasy within The Fire Lord's Lover. The detail to life in England at that time is still the same despite the magic, Elves and dragons. We still have our lucullan nobles and well-favored cravats *wink*.

I really loved Kennedy's elves. It's a nice blending of the majestic and graceful Tolkienesque elves but without them being too overly pretty (to the point of androgyny). Kennedy's elves are tall, graceful and majestic sure, but they are also surly, arrogant and elusive which I think gives them an edge.

The book does have a bit too much lovey-dovey, sappy romance for me though—which is why I don't normally read straight-forward romances as I like my romance raw and real—but there was such a good coalescing of action, suspense and magic (and angst; love me some angst!) that it was easily overlooked. The characters weren't quite two-dimensional however Dominic's change of heart near the end was a little too unrealistic for my taste. But people don't really read romances to find reality, do they?

The Fire Lord's Lover is the first of a new series by Kennedy, yet the ending is satisfying and handled very well, leaving just enough wanting but not so much that you are left frustrated and disappointed that you have to wait for the next book.

Overall, an very decent work and one that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to those needing some light reading to unwind and de-stress with.
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Curses, Inc. and Other Stories by Vivian Vande Velde
Curses, Inc. and Other Stories

Teresa Conner, August 28, 2010

I think my favorite of the ten tales is unquestionably ‘Witch-Hunt’ as it leads you on a spooky journey with a fantastically true and hilarious ending that will have girls everywhere relating to it. ‘Curses, Inc’ is another story that stuck out to me, with its ironic turn of events and ‘Boy Witch’ was refreshing as we rarely hear of tales of male witches. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Afterword. As a aspiring writer myself, I very much enjoy hearing what inspires fellow writers and Vivian Velde doesn’t disappoint.

The art on the cover is fantastic as well. I never get tired of seeing what the mind of Cliff Nielsen can cook up, he is definitely an inspiration to a fellow digital artist. Overall, this is a brilliant compilation of tales for anyone interested in the supernatural, or needs a batch of stories for their next sleepover or Halloween party.
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