Saturday, May 8, 2010

The forest of hands and teeth - Carrie Ryan


Genre : Fantasy, Young Adults

Series : The Forest of hands and teeth

American publisher : Delacorte Press : 9,99$

English publisher : Gollancz : 6,99£

In Mary's world, there are simple truths.
The Sisterhood always knows best.
The Guardians will protect and serve.
The Unconsecrated will never relent.
And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.
But slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.
Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?

What I think

I liked the book, but I was disappointed. I think there's a lack of originality. The Forest of Hands and Teeth is kind of a mix between I am legend and The Village. The Village because, everyone is in a village surrounded by a forest, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, inhabited not by imaginary monsters, but by real zombies. The Village is ruled by the Sisterhood who knows everything, and guarded by The Guardians. Mary grew up with the fear of the Unconsacrated. But when her dad becomes one and her mom follows him, her brother turns her back on her, and gives her to the Sisterhood. But there, she discovers some things, like there is an outside. And when the zombies breach into the village she and her friends run outside to try and find another village or maybe the ocean.

I am legend, because, the zombietude is some kind of disease that contaminated the entire world, leaving alive only a few survivors like Mary. Everyone in the village believes they're the only one left on the planet. And they're trying to keep humanity alive.

I think this book could have been a lot better if there was not this lack of originality. The subject of zombies is not enough developed. But maybe it will be in the next book. Mary is a tough girl, and that's a good point in the book, but sometimes I just wanted to smack her.

The love story, yes there is one, turns not very well, but that's great, because for once, it's not all is well that ends well.

The zombies are hilarious. Well they're zombies, with limbs hanging and flesh decomposing and all that, but the image is to recurrent and it makes the style too ponderous.

There is a sequel,
The dead-tossed waves, but right now, I don't know if I will read it.

Now I'm going to perfect my zombie knowledge, with some movies a friend gave me, like
28 days later and 28 weeks later, and Shaun of the dead, Dawn of the dead, Zombieland, and Dead snow.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Silver borne - Patricia Briggs


Genre : Urban fantasy

Series : Mercy Thompson : Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed, Silver Borne

American publisher : Ace Hardcover : 24,95$

English publisher : Orbit : 6,99£

Being a mechanic is hard work. Mercy Thompson, for instance, just spent the past couple of months trying to evade the murderous queen of the local vampire seethe. And now the leader of the werewolf pack, who's maybe-more-than-just-a-friend, has asked for her help. A book of fae secrets has come to light and they're all about to find out how implacable - and dangerous - the fae can be.

Okay maybe her troubles have nothing to do with the job. But she sure coul use a holiday...

What I think

Sometimes I wonder if the people who write the back covers really read the books before. Adam hasn't asked for Mercy's help. It should even be the other way round. Well, I have to make my own summary.

Beware of spoilers

Mercy and Adam are officially bonded. But Mercy still lives in her trailer with Samuel. Samuel who tries to kill himself by throwing his car in the river. But he's saved by a policeman. His wolf takes the lead. Normally, Mercy should call Bran who would kill him. Because a werewolf who's led by his wolf is a killing machine, but not Samuel. So Mercy buys him some time.

But then, Mercy is on the trace of Phin who gave her book and seems to be missing. While she is after him, a fire destroys her home, and Adam is badly hurt. Something's going on in the pack. Someone is trying to punish Mercy for being pack and take advantage on Adam weakness.

Mercy falls in the hand of a fairy Queen who is after the Silver Borne, a fae magic that could change the rules.

End of spoilers

As ever, Mercy seems to like danger. She can't help it, wherever she goes, there it is. And as ever, Adam is here to save her.

I loooooooooved it. The trio Mercy-Adam-Samuel, is fantastic, but now we should talk about a couple Mercy-Adam. In the beginning of the series I had a preference for Samuel, but now I must admit that Adam is sooooooo hot.

I was afraid that one would die. But hey I thought it was unthinkable to let Adam or Samuel die. If one of them died, I would have had to transform into a Annie Wilkes and kidnap Patricia Briggs, and break her legs so that she couldn't escape, to make her bring back the lost one.

It simply couldn't be. I can't say more on the subject, but all's well that ends well, as we say. Well, I think I just escape turning into a psychopath!

And this fight with Paul. Waouh Adam!!! He's a man!

The only thing that I didn't really like is the fact that Samuel is like Jacob in Twilight, like the fifth wheel, if you see what I mean. And that it is so sad, blah blah, so we need to find him someone to save him. And so it is a fae he saved a very long time ago. He fell in love with her, and she fell in love with him. But they were separated, and now they meet again...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Alice in Wonderland - Tim Burton

Genre : Children, Adventure

Release : March 24th 2010 (in France)

Directed by Tim Burton

Written by Linda Woolverton

Based on the work of Lewis Carroll

Music composed by Danny Elfman

Starring Mia Wasikowska as Alice; Johnny Depp as Th
e Hatter; Helena Bonham Carter as The Red Queen; Anne Hathaway as The White Queen; Crispin Glover as Stayne

Synopsis : Alice is now 19, and returns to Wonderland, world she discovered when she was little. But she doesn't remember. She meets the white Rabbit, Twindle Dee and Twindle Dum, Absolem the blue caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat and the mad Hatter. Alice finds herself in a story where she has the main part. She has to end the Red Queen's reign by killing the Jabberwocky.

What I think

I've heard a lot of bad comments about Alice by Tim Burton. That it was not Tim Burton like, too colourful, etc. Comments too on Johnny Depp who doensn
't make anything new.

Well, I see Tim Burton's mark in this film, without a doubt. The scenery are all Tim Burton, the dark atmosphere too. About the colour, I would say, hey it's Alice, so it is colourful, that's normal.

But I was waiting for Alice in Wonderland, and
it is Alice's return to Wonderland...

I liked the film, but it's not my favorite from Tim Burton's. There were a few moments when I was bored.

I loooooooved Johnny Depp, as talented as ever. But I'm a little doubtful about Mia Wasikowska and Anne Hathaway. Helena Bonham Carter is absolutely wonderful with her big head;o)

I was disappointed about the music. I knew Robert S
mith (The Cure) had written a song for Alice. And there is a soundtrack CD with rock bands, but they do not appear in the movie. Only Danny Elfman's music. So why make a CD? I wonder... Another marketing approach without a doubt!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs

Genre : Urban Fantasy

Series : Mercy Thompson : Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed

American publisher : Ace Fantasy : 7,99$

English publisher : Orbit : 7,99£

There was I thinking being a shapeshifter had its upsides. Looks like I was wrong.

Car mechanic and sometimes shapeshifter Mercy Thompson has learned - the hard way - why her race was almost exterminated. When European vampires emigrated to North America, they found Mercy's people had a hidden talent for vampire slaying. Unfortunately for Mercy, the queen of the local vampire seethe has discovered her true identity.

The undead queen is also furious when she learns Mercy has crossed her and killed one of her own. Mercy may be protected from direct reprisals by the werewolf pack (and her interesting relationship with its Alpha), but that just means Marsilia will come after Mercy some other way. So Mercy had better prepare to watch her back.

What I think

I won't waist time, Bone Crossed, the fourth book in the Mercy Thompson series, is less appealing than Iron Kissed which ended so intensely and full of emotions. We come back to Mercy's daily routine, so it not a rest either;o) Especially when Marsilia, the queen of vampires in Tri-Cities, is after her. Well I suspected it, Mercy couldn't kill a vampire and be left alone...Too easy.

An old friend of Mercy's come to ask her help because she has a ghost in her house. Mercy takes the opportunity to have some peace. But we can count on Mercy to fall in the hands on the only vampire in Spokane. Her middle name is Unlucky;o)
We can really see Stefan's attachment to Mercy. But Mercy has accepted to be Adam's mate, and then becomes pack, even if it doesn't please everyone.
Mercy struggles to keep her balance and has a lot of panic attack since the events with Tim.
For a change, she put herself in danger, and is abducted by James The Monster, the only vampire in Spokane. But as we can imagine, Mercy manages to kill him.
***End of SPOILERS***

What I really appreciated in Bone Crossed is Stefan. We learn more about him, and I looooove him. I'm a vampire girl! I like werewolves too, but that's not the same;o)
Stefan becomes more and more important, his character and his feelings... Ah **sigh**, I'm falling in love. Well he's available, Mercy doesn't want him!

Iron Kissed - Patricia Briggs

Genre : Urban Fantasy

Series : Mercy Thompson : Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron Kissed

American publisher : Ace Fantasy : 7,99$

English publisher : Orbit : 7,99£

I could smell her fear, and it satisfied something deep inside me that had been writhing under her cool, superior gaze. I curled my upper lip so she could get a good look at my sharp teeth. I might only weighthirty or so pounds in my coyote shape, but I was a predator...

Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape - but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it's up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to ot not.

Mercy's loyalty us under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can't decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her...

What I think

Well, listen to me! You liked the first, I can tell you you'll like the second, and the third is much better still, but it's really hard, I'm still under shock.

Two months have passed since the story with the wizard vampire, and Andre's murder by...Mercy. Fortunately, Stefan and Wulfe protected her. She hasn't seen Stefan since then. But then, Zee needs her, she owns him a favor after using his magic sword for killing Andre without Zee knowing. Zee needs her coyote nose to resolve an investigation about murders on the fae reservation. After visiting a few murder scenes, Mercy knows the culprit and can come back home. When Zee and Uncle Mike went to the culprit's house, they discovered his body. And the police arrived and arrested Zee. When Mercy knows that, she does everything she can to help Zee, and for that she has to lead the investigation, putting herself in great danger.

Mercy discovers that O'Donnell, who was responsible for the murders, was part of an anti-fae group. She enters this group for a meeting, but doesn't think any of these people could commit a murder, and O'Donnell was savagely killed, with his head tore out. But among this group there is a fae, who is not so powerless as she thinks. When Tim, one of the member, invites her to dinner to talk about what he knows of O'Donnell, she hesitates, because she doesn't want to hurt Adam, but she accepts to help Zee. But she walks in a trap. Tim is looking for the cane that follows Mercy everywhere. She leads Tim to her garage, and there he rapes her. She manages to kill him. Adam and his wolves arrive and Adam tears Tim to pieces, because he's seen everything. Mercy changed shape, and now doesn't want to leave her coyote shape. She thinks she's going to end up on her own and only wants to drown in the river. Of course that is Tim's doing with the drug he used on her. Mercy will have difficulties to recover, but she'll take back her human form and her life. Her choice is made between Samuel and Adam. Samuel realized that his wolf didn't really want her.
***End of SPOILERS***

Honestly, this book is really hard, well especially the end. I was waiting for anything but this. I thought she'll be able to defend herself, and well not THAT. What I mean is that Mercy is an heroine, this kind of thing CAN'T happen to her, but yes. And at the same time I found it hard, it makes Mercy more human, closer to us, because, she's a strong woman who can fight demons, kille werewolves with her teeth, but she can't fight a human of the worst kind. She has weaknesses, because she's human, even if a shapeshifter. But really, I could have made without this kind of event. I can't go on talking about this without telling you what happened, but if you read the spoilers, you'll know. Well be prepared for a big shock!

The good side (because there is one) is that Fae are in the middle of this book and we learn a lot about them. Fae are ogres, trolls, elves, all the creatures that use glamour to pass as humans, but who fear iron. And they're not as nice as we could think.

In Blood Bound, we had found a new candidate to take Mercy's heart, but it was set before it started. Patricia Briggs ends our waiting about the hard choice Mercy has to make between Samuel and Adam, her two love werewolves. Personnally I prefer Samuel, because I find Adam too impulsive and overbearing. But after Mercy's experience, Samuel is not better, the only difference is that Sam hides it better. But the choice was easy finally. Mercy knows Sam is not for her, but she has not made her decision on Adam either.

Sam is faster and tells her he loves her but that his wolf doesn't really want her. The problem is set for Sam. For Adam, it's a little bit more complicated than that, and more interesting too, even if we already know that she'll choose him.
***End of SPOILERS***

I wasn't waiting for a fight to the death between Samuel and Adam, but a little bit more tension could have been nice, just to make my heart race faster;o)

Blood Bound - Patricia Briggs

Genre : Urban Fantasy

Series : Mercy Thompson : Moon Called, Blood Bound

American publisher : Ace Fantasy : 7,99$

English publisher : Orbit : 7,99£

Like most people who own their own business, I work long hours that start early in the morning. So when someone calls me in the middle of the night, they'd better be dying...

Mercy Thompson; woken at 3am by a vampire. Stefan also happens to be a friend, and he needs her help. He has to deliver a message to a fellow undead and needs a witness that won't be noticed - and Mercy's shapeshifting abilities make her the perfect candidate.

But the assignment turns into a bloodbath and Mercy attracts the attention of not just a powerful vampire, but the even more powerful demon possessing him. She can count on the supernatural community for protection - and alpha werewolf Adam would like her to rely on him in other ways, too - but when it comes to being proactive, she's on her own.

What I think

A second book as fascinating as the first. Here, as I suspected we're in company of vampires.

Mercy helps Stefan to send a message to Cory Littleton, who is a new wizard vampire possessed by a demon. This demon made Daniel, Stefan's protégé, accused of murder. Stefan goes on a mission to eliminate this demon who leaves dead bodies behind him.

Werewolves help as they can, but unfortunately they can lose control as well as vampires when faces to the demon, and when Warren is left in a garbage in a bad state, everyone thinks that the others are dead. Mercy receives a call from Marsilia, the vampire queen, she would be the only one able to find Littleton and stop him. When Adam and Samuel disappear, Mercy starts her investigation and discovers that one of Marsilia's vampire, Andre, is the creator of the demon. Mercy can talk to ghost, and thanks to that she finds Littleton's hide, and manages to kill him not without effort. But Marsilia doesn't charge Andre, because she wants a new wizard vampire. Mercy decides to kill Andre herself.
***End of SPOILERS***

I really loved Blood Bound, and to learn more about the vampires and Stefan, who is kind of the good guy of the vampire gang. He protects his "menagerie", the humans who feeds him with their blood, unlike the others who kill them.

We learn more about Mercy herself too, who's not victim of vampires power, but demons power either even if she can feel it. Mercy is really shocked by what she sees in this book and I understand her.

About her love life, everything becomes more and more complicated. When things happens with one, other things happens with the other, and Mercy is as lost as ever. A little surprise in the end, with a new candidate, and this time it's not a wolf. Well, I suspected it from the begining. Want some clue? He owns Scooby-Doo's Mystery Bus;o)

Moon called - Patricia Briggs


Genre : Urban Fantasy

Series : Mercy Thompson : Moon Called

American publisher : Ace Fantasy : 7,99$

English publisher : Orbit : 7,99£

Werewolves can be dangerous if you get in their way, but they'll leave you alone if you are careful. They are very good at hiding their natures from the human population, but I'm not human. I know them when I meet them, and they know me, too.

Mercy Thompson's sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.

She's tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.

But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself...and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.

What I think

I received Moon Called as a gift. At first I had some déjà-vu feelings, because I had read the two first books of Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong, which talks about werewolves too, with Elena who is the only female werewolf. Here, Mercy Thompson is the last of an indian tribe who were shapershifter and could change into coyote.

Mercy was raised by werewolves, by the Marrok. The Marrok is the Alpha of all Alphas in North America. But when she turned 16, Mercy had to leave the pack and settles in the Tri-Cities, just next to the Alpha of the local pack, Adam. When Adam is attacked in his house, and his daughter is abducted, Mercy doesn't trust his pack and brings him to the Marrok to be healed. She will help Adam looking for Jesse and discover what's happening.

Compared to Bitten, we find here another aspect of the werewolves, especially their hierarchy and their interactions between dominant and submissive wolves. The passages when dominant wolves are in situation of defense of their territory are numerous, and from an ethnologic (If I may say) point of view, it is very interesting. Werewolves are machos and overbearing, but there are women too, but they don't have the same privileges as men. They can reproduce, but not without a lot of problem, because a female werewolf can't generally carry a child to the end because of the Change when the moon is full. I need to precise that werewolves don't need a full moon to change, but it can be hard to resist its call.

I can't explain here all the characteristics of werewolves, but this book is really good, the plot holds water to the end, and Mercy is fantastic. A young witty woman, with a good sense of humor, who manage to evolve surrounded by men who think she belongs to them.

She's also friend with a vampire, Stefan. She's mending his Scooby-Doo bus. I'd like to know more about Stefan, who's not well developped here, but I think we'll have some surprises later.

In Mercy's world, there are also a lot of other characters, a russian witch who specialized in cleaning, a Gremlin mechanic who trained Mercy and sold her his garage.

Finally, there are some resemblances with Kelley Armstrong's series, but I plunged in Mercy Thompson easily, and I forgor rapidly all my older references.

As you know, I'm barely unaware of the male characters in the books I read. I must admit there is a charming werewolf, Samuel, whom Mercy likes a lot, because he's the one she left the Marrok pack for. But her heart seems to balance between Samuel and Adam, the Alpha. Even if she doesn't belong to any pack, you can easily imagine the tension between those two...