Category Archives: individual reads

Vowed (The Vampire Journals #7) by Morgan Rice


Vowed (The Vampire Journals, #7)

Vowed (The Vampire Journals #7)

Kindle Edition
Published December 5th 2011
Rating:3.8/5 stars
In VOWED (Book #7 of the Vampire Journals), Caitlin and Caleb find themselves in medieval Scotland, in 1350, a time of knights and shining armor, of castles and warriors, of the quest for the Holy Grail said to contain the key to true vampire immortality. Landing on the shores of the ancient Isle of Skye, a remote island off the Western coast of Scotland where only the most elite warriors live and train, they are ecstatic to reunite with Sam and Polly, Scarlet and Ruth, a human king and his warriors, and with all of Aiden‘s coven.Before they can continue their mission for the fourth and final key, the time has come for Caleb and Caitlin to wed. Against the most amazing backdrop Caitlin could ever hope for, an elaborate vampire wedding is planned, including all of the ancient rituals and ceremonies that accompany it. It is the wedding of a lifetime, meticulously planned by Polly and the others, and Caitlin and Caleb are happier than they’ve ever been.Simultaneously, Sam and Polly, to their own surprise, are each falling deeply in love with one another. As their relationship accelerates, Sam surprises Polly with a vow of his own. And Polly surprises him with her own shocking news.But all is not well beneath the surface. Blake has appeared again, and his deep love for Caitlin might just threaten her union, on the day before her wedding. Sera has appeared again, too, and vows to break apart what she cannot have.Scarlet, too, finds herself in danger, as the source of her deep powers are revealed-along with the revelation of who are her true parents.Worst of all, Kyle has landed back in time, and has tracked down his old prot g, Rynd, to force him to use his shapeshifting skill to trick and kill Caitlin and her people. As they fall into his elaborate trap, Caitlin and the others find themselves in deeper danger than ever before. It will be a race to find the final key, before everyone Caitlin holds dear is wiped out for good. This time, she will have to make the hardest choices and sacrifices of her life.VOWED is Book #7 in the Vampire Journals (following TURNED, LOVED, BETRAYED, DESTINED, DESIRED and BETROTHED), and yet it also stands alone as a self-contained novel. VOWED is 60,000 words.
Wow…I’m in love with this book. ( I hate having to wait for the next one to come out, I mean come on!)When my wife told me this book came out, I had to read it straight away. At first it made me think of how the series started and to look back I feel like I walked every step with the main characters Celeb and Caitlin.The 7th book packs a punch in the story line, then it comes with a sucker punch that you never see coming. It makes me really want to tell everyone what happens like It literally is bursting to come out.

With the last book I found a new way to read these books which makes it fun. On Every other chapter you get to read from another characters perspective, It was too confusing when it was , Caitlin, Celeb, Sam and Kyle. Now they are all together except for Kyle, I skipped those chapters so I’m totally in the dark just as Caitlin and the rest find out. It adds to the wow impact.

So come chapter 3#+ When action starts you get blown away by whatever evil plan they came up with.

If you want after you read the book like that go back and just read the Kyle’s chapters.

(this trick will only work for book 6 and 7. Book 8 it wont be possible to do this …because of the SUCKER PUNCH plot twist.

It’s great writing by the author.

The only thing that brings the book down, is the bad editing job. There are lots of little errors throughout the book still.

One rough example,
“Cailtin goes to the window to gather her thoughts after the most wonderful night she ever had. She felt Celeb behind her and her soft hands on her shoulders.”

IT should be She felt celeb behind her and HIS soft hands…

many times mid sentences it reoccupied of this type of mistake,it happens often that it can put you off track and make you have to re-read, what you’ve just read just to get the story straight. Otherwise They are doing a lot of strange things to their selves.

on E-book format there is little numbers that mixed in with the letters. I realized this is the page number that should be at the top. However when it does get mixed in it stops you reading key words at times. Stopping you from being able to understand and just have to guess it.


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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in individual reads


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Betrothed (The Vampire Journals #6) by Morgan Rice

Betrothed (The Vampire Journals, #6)

Betrothed (The Vampire Journals #6)

Kindle Edition
Published October 6th 2011
Rating: 5/5 stars
In BETROTHED (Book #6 in the Vampire Journals), Caitlin and Caleb find themselves, once again, back in time this time, in the London of 1599.London in 1599 is a wild place, filled with paradoxes: while on the one hand it is an incredibly enlightened, sophisticated time, breeding playwrights like Shakespeare, on the other, it is also barbaric and cruel, with daily public executions, torture, and heads of prisoners impaled on spikes. It is also a time of superstition and grave public danger, with a lack of sanitation, and the Bubonic Plague spreading in the streets, carried by rats.

In this environment Caitlin and Caleb land, on the search for her father, for the third key, for the mythical shield that can save humankind. Their mission takes them through a whirlwind of London’s most amazing medieval architecture, through the British countryside’s most breathtaking castles. It takes them back into the heart of London, where they just might meet Shakespeare himself, and see one of his plays live. It brings them to a little girl, Scarlet, who just might become their daughter. And all the while, Caitlin’s love for Caleb deepens, as finally they are together and as Caleb might just finally find the perfect time, and place, to propose to her.

Sam and Polly have traveled back, too, and as they find themselves stuck together on their own journey, their relationship deepens, as they each, despite themselves, can’t help feeling more deeply for each other.

But all is not well. Kyle has come back, too, as has his evil sidekick, Sergei, and they are both intent on destroying everything good in Caitlin’s life. It will be a race to the finish, as Caitlin is forced to make some of the hardest decisions of her life if she is to save everyone who is dear to her, save her relationship with Caleb and try to make it out alive.

Yeah Thanks to the wonderful Morgan Rice this was free e-book for her fans that are on her newsletter started reading it as soon as I got the email.
Caitlin and Caleb and Sam and Polly are taken back to London 1599. Caitlin and Caleb and the too cute Ruth are together at the Westminster Abby. It took a minute for Caitlin to remember got me scared for a minute that she would not remember Caleb after all they have been thru but after a couple of minutes her memory started coming back like a computer uploading data of course her trusty wolf Ruth is there to welcome Caitlin. Caitlin and Caleb are on a mission to find the 3rd key in quest to find her father and get the shield to save the human race. Caitlin and Caleb are joint by those in her past her brother Sam and the funny and happy Polly and those from her last travel also join them in the quest to help Caitlin get the key. This is alway not easy for Caitlin as Kyle and Sergei are always causing trouble this time they are doing it in their own ways. Betrothed did have a wonderful unexpected turn with a smart cute little girl named Scarlet I believe it was a perfect timing to bring this little girl into the storyline. To make up to Caitlin for losing her child when she had to time travel to save Caleb. However when things start to make sense to Caitlin and she is finally getting the family she wants. Kyle trouble maker he is starts to bear its ugly head effecting Scarlet and her fiancé (yes I said it!!) Caleb now does Caitlin continue her mission to get the key to save the human race or does she finally puts her family first and save Caleb and Scarlet? Does Sam and Polly get together? Those are questions that are answered. If you have been a fan of the Vampire journals you will want to get this book. Morgan Rice takes you back Shakespearean time were there is twist and turns and makes you needing to remember your history lesson because at my age I could not remember and was reminded of time were life was a bit more easier and simple. I was able to read this story in one day only because once I got started I couldn’t put it down and crying and laughing with Caitlin.

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Desired (The Vampire Journals #5) by Morgan Rice

Desired (The Vampire Journals #5)

Desired (The Vampire Journals #5)

Kindle Edition
Published July 31st 2011
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
In DESIRED (Book #5 in the Vampire Journals), Caitlin Paine wakes to discover that she has once again traveled back in time. This time, she has landed in eighteenth century Paris, an age of great opulence, of kings and queens but also of revolution.

Reunited with her true love, Caleb, the two of them finally have the quiet, romantic time together that they never had. They spend idyllic time together in the city of Paris, visiting its most romantic sites, as their love grows ever deeper. Caitlin decides to give up the search for her father, so that she can savor this time and place, and spend her life with Caleb. Caleb takes her to his medieval castle, near the ocean, and Caitlin is happier than she ever dreamed.

But their idyllic time together is not destined to last forever, and events intercede that force the two of them apart. Caitlin once again finds herself united with Aiden and his coven, with Polly and with new friends, as she focuses again on her training, and on her mission. She is introduced to the lavish world of Versailles, and encounters outfits and opulence beyond what she ever dreamed. With never ending feasts and parties and concerts, Versailles is a world of its own. She is happily reunited with her bother Sam, who is also back in time, and having dreams of their father, too.

But all is not as well as it seems. Kyle has traveled back in time, too this time, with his evil sidekick, Sergei and he is more determined than ever to kill Caitlin. And Sam and Polly each fall ever deeper into toxic relationships, which just might threaten to destroy everything around them.

As Caitlin becomes a true and hardened warrior, she comes closer than ever to finding her father, and the mythical Shield. The climactic, action-packed ending, takes Caitlin through a whirlwind of Paris most important medieval locations, on a hunt for clues. But surviving this time will demand skills she never dreamed she had. And reuniting with Caleb will require her to make the hardest choices and sacrifices of her life.

I started reading the first book because it was free on my brand new kobo reader. I was excited and I very happy to see that I could download books for free. I should have known better, what you pay is what you get. I got the rest of the series, as the first book was obviously not finished, even though it ended… I hate not finishing books, but I’m struggling this time. The more I read, the harder I find it to go on.
Caitlin is simply put, a huge drama queen. She’s 18, yet she doesn’t act like one. Hell, she doesn’t act like a 15-year-old either, as another reviewer mentions. She seems more like a 13-year-old, just into puberty. Caleb on the other side is over 3000 years old. A parenthesis here, in the first book I thought Caleb was 3000 years old, then I thought he was 4000, and let’s not forget Kyle, I have no idea how old that vampire is… Now, coming back to Caitlin and Caleb, how is it possible that a vampire such as Caleb, with thousands of years of life experience, who can’t attach himself to people but only memories (or something like that), can be attracted to a superficial girl like Caitlin? Vampires do not get married, but if they do it is sort of permanent (something like the mating and imprinting in the Twilight series…). How is it possible that Caleb has been married to Sera for only 10 years and has already fallen out of love with her. He loved her enough to marry her! Also, how can a father, who has lost his child so violently, think about his lover above all? Caitlin is supposed to have loved instantly Caleb’s child, how can she think that he’s running to his estranged wife when he gets a message that his son is alive? And how can a thousands year old vampire think that he can remove the child from his mother and have him live with his lover and be happily ever after? Oh, and I just remembered the weird time travel. Caleb’s son died in 1791 somewhere in Italy. When Caleb and Caitlin return to 1789 in France, Caleb is already in that period, maybe in another part of Europe and he’s married to Sera and their son is alive. Jade (the son) is not 10 years old, but 8, we’ve gone back in time people!!! So how can Caleb think his son is not alive? Furthermore, where is Caleb of the year 1789, because this Caleb is of the year 1791, unless there’s another type of time travel… And I just remembered that Kyle mentions he’s anxious to return to New York and be a part of the war… but I thought once you go back in time you can’t go back to the future, or present or whatever…
I’m giving myself a headache… and to think I stopped reading “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” because I have it in a hardcopy.
Another thing, the names, what kind of thousands of years old vampire has a name such as Kyle? Because 4000 years ago, when the civilizations on earth were the Greek, the Egyptian, the Chinese, the Viking, the names Kyle or Caleb or Robert or Samantha or Samuel were very common… Seriously? Oh and Kendra (not the playboy mansion girl) is a very French name, and especially used in the 18th century… At least Sergei is a Russian name.
And Mozart? In 1791 playing in Venice? Mozart became quickly and violently ill in the autumn of 1791, and finally died on December 5th 1791. When did he go to Venice to play for the vampire ball?
If you’re “mad” like me and can’t stand to not finish a book, please do not start reading the series, otherwise, you’ll find for yourself how poorly written the books are, how there’s no character development at all, and so many mistakes, either typo (wrong names in wrong places “Caitlin and Caitling” when it should have been “Caitlin and Caleb”) or no editing, and you’ll eventually stop reading.
But don’t let my review, stop you from reading it, just because I didn’t particularly enjoy it doesn’t mean you wont

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Destined (The Vampire Journals #4) by Morgan Rice

Destined (The Vampire Journals, #4)
Destined (The Vampire Journals #4)
by Morgan Rice 
Paperback, 220 pages
Published May 26th 2011 by Morgan Rice (first published May 25th 2011)
0982953755 (ISBN13: 9780982953754)
RATING: 5/5 stars
In DESTINED (Book #4 in the Vampire Journals), Caitlin Paine wakes to discover herself back in time. She finds herself in a cemetery, on the run from a mob of villagers, and seeks refuge in the ancient cloisters of Assisi, in the countryside of Umbria, Italy. There, she learns of her destiny and her mission: to find her father and the ancient vampire Shield needed to save mankind.But Caitlin’s heart still pines for her lost love: Caleb. She desperately needs to know if he has survived their trip back in time. She learns that her mission requires her to go to Florence, but if she wants to pursue matters of the heart, she must go to Venice. She chooses Venice.Caitlin is overwhelmed at what she finds. Venice of the eighteenth century is a surreal place, men and women dressed in elaborate costumes and masks, celebrating an endless, lavish party. She is thrilled to discover and reunite with some of her close friends, and to be welcomed back into their coven. And she is excited to join them in Venice’s Grand Ball, the most important costume dance of the year, where she hopes, once again, to find Caleb.But Caitlin is not the only one who can travel back in time: Kyle soon arrives, too, and is determined to hunt her down and kill her once and for all. Sam, too, arrives, determined to save his sister before it is too late.At the Ball, Caitlin searches everywhere, and finds no sign of Caleb. That is, until the very last dance. She dances with a masked man who takes her heart away, and she feels certain that it is him. But as the partners change, she loses him again. Or does she?Caitlin soon finds herself torn between the two loves of her life, and discovers that she has to be careful what she wishes for. Her joy at finding what she wants might just come mixed with tragedy and heartbreak.In a climactic, action-packed ending, Caitlin finds herself up against true evil, Rome‘s ancient vampire coven, and the most powerful vampire coven that ever existed. Surviving will demand all her skills, as she finds herself battling for her very life. She will have to sacrifice more than ever, if she is to save the one she loves….DESTINED is Book #4 in the Vampire Journals (following TURNED, LOVED and BETRAYED), and yet it also stands alone as a self-contained novel. DESTINED is over 60,000 words.
This is less of a review and more of a plea to the author… Contains information about the 4 books currently released in the series. I do hope that the Morgan Rice reads this review.

I am not sure if you have an editor or are doing the editing yourself. If it is yourself the books are your vision and if we the reader can notice the discrepancies then it would be obvious to the Author. Also if you have an editor, fire them, they must be screwing with your work. If you don’t have an editor please have your work looked at by several trusted people to find the most obvious mistakes. Not only were there major timeline and storyline issue but simple word placement, misspellings, and wrong words throughout. These issues that have a simple fix truly ruin an amazing premise.

Storyline & Timeline issues:

Major issue is with Caleb/Sera’s marriage. Book #1 it is stated that the marriage was 800 years ago. Book #2 & #3 was listed at 600 years ago. By Book #4 they show up happily with their son Jade only 300 yrs ago in Venice. Since Sera could only conceive Jade while still human it makes it all the worse. Easiest fix is to change all the marriage times to 300 years earlier throughout the series.

Major issue #2: Polly. In Book #3 we are introduce to Polly, she tells us her story. Dropped off at Pollepel Island as a small child, raised by Aidan & the Pollepel coven. Named for said island & coven. Yet in Book #4 Caitlin stumbles upon her in an alley during an attempted rape and ultimately we are taken to Aidan’s coven which is now in Venice. Even though it is 1790 in this time it still does not account for Polly or the coven‘s whereabouts. It was stated the Pollepel Island was since the dawn of time as a sacred place to vampires that even the Native American would not enter the island. So 1790 or not does not account for the coven or Polly in Venice. Simple fix go back to book 3 change up the story by adding that this particular coven left to Venice for a time period after Polly was of age.

Problems with Book 1: Most readers had issue with the way Caitlin was in love with both Jonah & Caleb, especially in the end of the book . I realize that Caitlin is a teen, but she had lived a hard life without a father. Saw her mother go through endless romances to the detriment of her and her brother. So at 18 she would not be your typical boy crazy girl, more of a grown woman. Yet she displays the emotions towards boys as if she were a tween. She knew Jonah a matter of hours in total and was infatuated with him to the point of picking out curtains. Then she meets Caleb and forgets about the love of her life Jonah, within an hour she is upset that Caleb isn’t in love with her and may or may not love his wife. Come on, if he didn’t love his wife what kind of man is he? Not the type I would want. & my feelings wouldn’t be hurt by a Man of 3000 yrs of age that has a wife. 1 hour after she meets this man she professes undying love for him. & to my total disgust 2 pages later he admits his love for her as well. I wanted to stop reading right there, never to read anything you wrote again. & for a fact many readers did. You lost a lot of readers because of this. My fix for this REMOVE the I loved yous from this book. Have them start a friendship that obviously grows in book 2 as book 2 was written. It will be more realistic and honest.

Also, Caitlin’s mother is killed by Kyle in this book. Caitlin never mourns her loss and it’s barely mentioned again. Caitlin never tells her brother Sam of her death either. Fix, add a scene in book 2 where she tells Sam about the death. It will prove that Sam & Caitlin have a close relationship and it will allow us readers to feel that the characters are not one dimensional.

This book had the least of the misspellings and word placement.

Book 2: I will say that I loved the imagination that went into this book also the research of the history. With all of that work it was lessened by the mistakes. To spend that much time and not fix these simple things baffles me. Only one issue with the story, Caitlin’s constant internal dialog about Caleb. Remove half of it and the romance would seem possible and their night on the beach would be a surprise for readers. A lot of misplacement of words such as “Caitlin turned and smiled at Caitlin.” Caitlin has a clone several times throughout the rest of the series. Plus spell check changed several words in to others. Also where did Caleb’s issue with Caitlin’s humanity come from? She is already a half breed more vampire then human. Has to drink blood to survive and has killed during bloodlust. It is WAY too late for that worry! I will not say the name of the Author that was being channeled during that storyline blip.

Book 3: not much to say about that since it now felt right for Caitlin to love Caleb and I enjoyed the betrayed part, made it realistic, like they had to work to be able to say “I LOVE YOU” I enjoyed the new characters and the storyline. This is where the author shines. Editing was the disaster! Also the vampires on Pollepel Island with the exception of Aidan all act as teenagers. Where they may have been turned as teens some are thousands of years of age. they would not act as such or wish to be treated as such. I understand that they would not fit into other covens. That makes sense. They are NOT children so written that way is annoying. While Polly’s personality is childish, is should be her personality not her age that effects her behavior.

Book 4: Major issue: While Caitlin, Kyle, and Sam all travel back in time they remember who they are. Where-as Caitlin & Sam were never in 1790’s Venice, Kyle had been. This is my issue, Caleb also traveled back where he was in Venice living the life he lived in that time as if the next 300 years haven’t happened. But Kyle “on the other hand” (lol) just dropped in as his 2011 self. HUH? Also we are told that “vampires” can only travel backward in time, but Kyle says twice he can’t wait to kill Caitlin and return to 2011 New York City. HUH?

“ON THE OTHER HAND” & sometimes there wasn’t even another hand after. Was in this book countless times in Caitlin’s internal dialog. If this were a drinking game I would have had alcohol poisoning. Once it was twice in a paragraph. Editor needed!

Jade: His coffin is in the Cloister’s in New York. Sera prayed upon it before going to battle in the end of book 3, yet he is buried on the isle of dead at Aidan’s coven.

Caitlin was cloning herself a lot again, including Caleb changing to Caitlin in an entirely different scene. Also Sera was named Samantha 2 times during a battle near the end of the book. Some sentences had words that didn’t go in them, like madlibs.

This book the storyline and plot were thin. Too much visual description, which was a total change to the concise description of the earlier books. I found myself skimming, something I frown upon, especially in a short book.

With all this said, I love the series. I want the Author to fix this stuff and it would be amazing! The main plot is tight, the history research is concise. The series premise has a lot of promise. I want to know what happens next. A lot of readers do not have as much patience as I do and will give up on the story out of frustration with all that is amiss with it. Morgan Rice fix this not only for your readers but for yourself, let your true Vision shine. Thank You!


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Betrayed (The Vampire Journals #3) by Morgan Rice

Betrayed (The Vampire Journals, #3)

Betrayed (The Vampire Journals #3)

220 pages
Published April 15th 2011 by Morgan Rice
ISBN 0982953747 (ISBN13: 9780982953747)
Rating: 5/5 stars
In BETRAYED (Book #3 in the Vampire Journals), Caitlin Paine awakes from a deep coma to discover she has been turned. Now a true, full-bred vampire, she marvels at her new powers, including her ability to fly, and her superhuman strength. She finds that her true love, Caleb, is still by her side, waiting patiently for her to recover. She has everything she could dream of.

Until it all, suddenly, goes terribly wrong.

Caitlin is horrified to discover Caleb with his ex-wife, Sera, and before Caleb has a chance to explain, Caitlin tells him to leave. Heartbroken, confused, Caitlin wants to curl up and die, her only consolation being in her wolf-pup Rose.

Caitlin also finds consolation in her new surroundings. She finds she has been placed on a hidden island in the Hudson River—Pollepel—amidst an elite coven of teenage vampires, boys and girls alike, 24 in all, including her. She learns that this is a place for outcasts, just like her, and as she meets her new best friend, Polly, and begins her training in elite vampire combat, she realizes that she might finally have a place to call home.

But a major vampire war is looming, and her brother Sam is still out there, kidnapped by Samantha. The evil Kyle, too, now wielding the mythical Sword, is still on the warpath, and he will stop at nothing to wipe out New York. Caitlin, despite her new home, and despite her finding a new love interest in the elusive vampire Blake, knows that she can only stay on this island for so long before her destiny calls. After all, she is still the One, and all eyes still look to her to find her father and the other weapon that might save them all.

Torn between her new friends and her lingering feelings for Caleb, she must come to decide where her true loyalties lie, and whether she is willing to risk it all to try to find Caleb and have him in her life once again….

BETRAYED is Book #3 in the Vampire Journals (following TURNED and LOVED), and yet it also stands alone as a self-contained novel. BETRAYED is over 60,000 words.

Betrayed was a very well written story.. This is 3rd book in the Caitlyn and Caleb series.. Caitlin wakes up as a full vampire fully turned due to the events at the church. It was her request to Caleb to change her so she could live. Caitlin is now on a island for vampires that are not excepted. As a new vampire she is happy to be alive but yet again Serena comes and ruins things causing Caitlin to banish Caleb from her sight. While Caitlin is dealing with her own issues her brother Sam has been kidnapped by Samantha and has been taken. Little did anybody know that not only is his sister is special so is Sam.
Kyle finds this out after seeing him as a fully turned vampire Kyle wants to use him to be his warrior. The humans in NY are dying, vampires are fighting and the white coven is not wanting to do anything about it. That leaves Caleb and his brother and some good vampires to try to take down Kyle and his evil coven. What I like about Morgan’s writing is that she shows different points of view from each main character and what there going thru and there feelings. Caitlin and Caleb story of the love they have for each other without really knowing each other. Caitlin is new to love and how relationships work but regardless of what happened she knows deep down that Caleb is the one.
This is a story that will have you wanting more.

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #1) by Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #1)
Paperback, 317 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Quirk Classics
Rating: 5/5 Stars 
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.
I tried to resist. When everyone starting losing their shit over this book and pre-ordering it, I told myself that this was a literary bandwagon I wouldn’t jump on. I read the reviews posted here, and saw that for the most part the consensus was that this book was grossly overrated. All the parts that Grahame-Smith wrote (and there aren’t many) weren’t very well done, the zombie device got old quickly, and the thing could have been better. 
It was with all this evidence in mind that I went into a bookstore a week ago and bought a copy. 

All of the mentioned criticisms are true. But you know what I decided? Criticism be damned, go ahead and revoke my Intelligent Reader membership card, I don’t care. Because this book fucking rocked, and was the most fun I’ve had reading a book in a long time. 

It’s the same plot as the original story, except it takes place in an alternate universe where England has been overrun with zombies for “five and fifty years”. Why did this happen? It doesn’t matter. All you need to know is that zombies are cool, and the Bennett sisters (thanks to their Shaolin training) are the best zombie slayers in Hertfordshire. Enter Mr. Darcy, who “drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien – and the report which was in general circulation withing five minutes after his entrance, of his having slaughtered more than a thousand unmentionables since the fall of Cambridge.” 

I don’t really know what else to say about this that hasn’t been said already in the 1,000+ reviews already posted on this site. If you enjoy zombie movies, either genuinely or ironically, you will like this book. If you’re a Jane Austen fan, you’ll either think this book is brilliant or are already setting fire to Seth Grahame-Smith’s lawn. 

We now present our closing arguments in support of the awesomeness of this book: 
-The story appears exactly as it does in the original, but with infinitely more general badassery. The scene where Darcy first confesses his love for Elizabeth becomes much more interesting when the entire converstation occurs while Elizabeth is beating the shit out of Darcy.

-“‘It is your turn to say something now, Mr. Darcy. I talked about the dance, and youought to make some sort of remark on the size of the room, or the number of couples.’
He smiled, and assured her that whatever she wished him to say would be said.
‘Very well. That reply will do for the present. Perhaps by and by I may observe that private balls are much pleasanter than public ones.’
‘On the contrary, I find that balls are much more enjoyable when they cease to remain private.'”
-Lady Catherine de Bourgh is a famous zombie killer, and has a personal army of ninjas. NINJAS. 
-“The entertainment of dining at Rosings was repeated about twice a week; and, allowing for the loss of Sir William, and there being only one card-table in the evening, every such entertainment was the couterpart of the first. On one such occasion, Elizabeth was solicited to spar with several of her ladyship’s ninjas for the amusement of the party.
The demonstration took place in Lady Catherine’s grand dojo, which she had paid to have carried from Kyoto, brick by brick, on the backs of peasants. The ninjas wore their traditional black clothing, masks, and Tabbi boots; Elizabeth wore her sparring gown, and her trusted Katana sword. As Lady Catherine rose to signal the beginning of the match, Elizabeth, in a show of defiance, blindfolded herself.”



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The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

The Postmistress

The Postmistress

Hardcover, 326 pages
Published February 9th 2010 by Amy Einhorn Books/Penguin Group (USA) 
Rating:3/5 stars

Filled with stunning parallels to today’s world, The Postmistress is a sweeping novel about the loss of innocence of two extraordinary women-and of two countries torn apart by war.

On the eve of the United States‘s entrance into World War II in 1940, Iris James, the postmistress of Franklin, a small town on Cape Cod, does the unthinkable: She doesn’t deliver a letter. In London, American radio gal Frankie Bard is working with Edward R. Murrow, reporting on the Blitz. One night in a bomb shelter, she meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver when she returns from Germany and France, where she is to record the stories of war refugees desperately trying to escape.

The residents of Franklin think the war can’t touch them- but as Frankie’s radio broadcasts air, some know that the war is indeed coming. And when Frankie arrives at their doorstep, the two stories collide in a way no one could have foreseen. The Postmistress is an unforgettable tale of the secrets we must bear, or bury. It is about what happens to love during wartime, when those we cherish leave. And how every story-of love or war-is about looking left when we should have been looking right.

I discovered this book after reading a friend’s glowing review of it. From her review, this sounded like a book that I would love, the kind that I gravitate toward, and for the most part, it fit the bill perfectly. 

This is a story that examines many sides of an issue, namely war and injustice, and how we’re all, whether we know it or not, affected by that issue. We can ignore it, we can rail against it, or we can face it head on, but it will affect us just the same. 

Sarah Blake tells her story with three different women, and three different storylines. The three women were real and felt honest and true, and they all spoke to me in different ways. I couldn’t really identify much with Iris, honestly, as she is set in her ways and unbendable about a lot of things, content when her little environment is in order and content not to know what happens in the world outside her bubble. But I could understand, if I didn’t agree, with her feelings on this, because it’s easier to not know the terrible things that we can do to each other. 
In contrast to Iris is Frankie, a war reporter who wants to show the world what is REALLY going on in Europe, and make it personal, so that people will stand up and be outraged and want to stop it. I identified most with her, because she was brave and honest and willing to try to make a difference. I loved her. 
Lastly, we have Emma, who was the outsider of the story. Newly married to the town doctor, she is the kind of link between the two extremes of Iris and Frankie. I liked her character, she was plucky and brave in her own way, but innocent and small in a world that is bigger than she is, and cruel. 

I loved the way that Blake brought the scenes and story to life. Maybe it was the reader, but I don’t think so (as I have some complaints about her). I think it was just her ability to portray life in a real way, and make us feel it. I got goosebumps listening to the soldiers when Frankie was with them on the watch-lines. There were also a great many deaths in this book that hurt. I have an overactive empathy gland, I freely admit that, but when an author can bring me to care about a character in a chapter, or a few pages alone, to the point that I feel their loss when they die, I think that’s saying something. It’s always the personal stories that get to me when I read books like this, and this one delivered so much in that vein that I almost felt overloaded at times. As I’m sure Frankie did. 

I do think that sometimes the descriptive language went a little too far into floweriness. Blake would describe all the little things that one notices during times of stress, when time seems to slow or stop, like the ticking of a clock, or the bang of a shutter, but it seemed to be just a little too flowery in the way that it was described. Just a bit less wouldn’t have been as distracting to me, and would have allowed me to focus on what was being said, not how it was relayed.

The last quarter of the book lost a little steam for me as well. I wanted it to pull all of the storylines together with a grand finale ending, but instead it was more like a regular firework show that just ends. It’s satisfying, because it is beautiful to watch and experience, but it’s just missing that little something to tie it all together and let you know it’s over. Listening to this on audio, the reader went straight into an afterword, and I had to rewind a bit and listen again before I realized that it wasn’t part of the story. 

The reader was a bit disappointing to me. She did a good job, but often, her conversation tone was very different from how I’d have “heard” the same dialogue if I was reading it. Every female seemed to sound a little unsure, questioning and apologetic. Every male seemed to sound smug and sure and condescending, especially when it was a male news-guy talking to Frankie – even when you could tell that they had a rapport and seemed almost as equals. Will was the exception to this rule, but he was one of the few main male characters, so maybe he got his own personality to the reader… Even outside of the dialogue, her voice just sounded… off. A descriptive sentence would sound as if she’s trying to impart a lot of emotion, while an emotional sentence will sound like she’s trying to inject a little levity. I had to try hard to not listen to her tone and to listen to the context, because that told me what I needed to know more than her voice did. 

All in all, the story was very good, and the reader was OK. I would suggest reading the book over the audio, but if the audio is all that’s available, don’t skip it. The book outshines the reader here and is well worth the time. 🙂


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