Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Books, books, and more...fishy stirfry.

First off, reviews of the books.  As always spoilers may be included so read with caution. 

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland is the first book in her Phoenix Chronicles series and features the end of the world.  No, seriously.  The premise is that the apocalypse foretold in the Bible is real and started at the beginning of the book when the leader of the Federation (a collection of demon killers and seers who direct them) was killed and passed her powers on to Elizabeth Phoenix.  Now this chick has issues upon issues with trust, guilt, love, you name it, she has issues with it.  Luckily, she's also kind of a bad-ass.  She's the prophesied leader of the Good Guys, which is what I will call them from now on because I think the Federation is a horrible name.  Interestingly enough, the characters also seem to think it's pretty bad because they keep apologizing for it.  This amused me.  She's also the only seer who is also a demon-killer.  There are a lot of twists and turns to be introduced in this book since this world is fairly complicated, but Handeland does a pretty good job of keeping everything on track.  I need to warn you, though, this is not your average romance.  It's not even labeled as romance.  It's definitely urban fantasy and there is a lot of sex in here.  Not even mushy romantic sex, hardcore, passed out, near death experience, let him take you to save the world sex.  And she doesn't even get the guy in the end, though there are two more books out so far in the series, so I still have hope.  When I finished it, I really wanted to go buy the second one and see what happens next.  Kudos there.  Unfortunately, it took me a good 50 pages to get interested in the story in the first place.  There was too much defense and whining in the first part of the book where she doesn't want the powers given to her.  Once she starts being regularly attacked and goes on the offensive though, that's pretty good.  I did really enjoy her kicking the crap out of her evil lover at the end after she absorbed his powers.  What can I say, I appreciate a good bad-ass.  I'd say if you're looking for something edgy and you're not turned away by large quantities of sex, pick up the book, you'll like it.

In Twilight's Shadow by Patti O'Shea is the second book in her Lightwarriors series.  It features Maia Frasier, sister of Ryne Frasier from the first book, and Creed Blackwood, Gineal roving troubleshooter.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read the first book then come back and read this.  I have to say, O'Shea always has interesting names for her characters.  I also have to say that though it took me a bit to get into the book, I really enjoyed the last 2/3 of it.  I didn't really have warm fuzzy feelings for Maia from the first book, just the usual "oh, she's on the side of good."  She gave up her powers before the series began, so she's pretty much not a bad-ass, unlike Ryne who is the most single most powerful Gineal in history and doesn't know it.  Creed comes off as a jackass from the beginning and Maia doesn't do much besides whine and mope about how she's cut off from her people because she gave up her powers.  Once Seth, the bad guy, is introduced, I start to like Creed more because he starts acting more like a hero in a romance novel, as he should.  Maia picks up some secrets of her own and learns that she's not as powerless as she believed.  The majority of the story follows Creed's seeming descent into the dark forces and the development of a "true soul pairing" between him and Maia.  That last part was the best part because it wasn't all rushed or blamed on fate.  I actually got to see their relationship develop, and it was good.  During the course of the novel, we're introduced to Shona Blackwood, Creed's sister who doesn't know he exists. She's the heroine of the next book, and I'm assuming she's a dormant because she was born to two Gineal parents but hasn't shown any magical tendencies.  Either way, Maia saves the day while Creed is getting his ass handed to him by the god-demon Seth, also known as Set, you know, the one from ancient Egypt that killed Osiris.  And boy was that an interesting twist.  Best part of the novel: when Seth sends Maia a t-shirt that says "Come to the dark side.  We have cookies."  Brilliant.  Buy the book, it's worth the money. 

I'm currently reading the next book in the Lightwarriors series called Edge of Dawn, but I don't expect to finish it today due to volleyball and having to work. 

I literally spent two hours today on Facebook sending people Flair.  See, that's why I don't have any other apps.  I was sorely tempted to pick up a zoo app because the little dinosaur was so cute.  I resisted and managed to tear myself away from the computer long enough to teach my two classes.  Now I have an essay and a response for every one of my 44 students that need to be commented on.  On the plus side, linking my blog to Facebook has seemed to get everyone's attention, so I'm gonna send a shout out to Kelly who is getting married next week.  I'm flying down to Dallas on Tuesday, and I can't wait to see my wimminz. 

I may have made the weirdest Asian meal in existence last night.  I dumped a whole bunch of veggies in my wok with some oil, pretty much whatever I had in my fridge: carrots, zucchini, squash, canned potatoes, baby corn, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower.  What can I say, I love veggies.  I cooked those together, then added some small slices of tilapia.  Cooked it some more.  When the fish looked about done, I added some General Tso's sauce and let it cook together for like three minutes.  Eli made basmati rice, so we put some rice in a bowl and  heaped the weird stirfry on top.  It was delicious.  The tilapia ended up flaking into even smaller pieces.  It smells a little weird, but it tastes really good.  Tonight I'm thinking I'll try making some yellow curry stuff with potatoes, peas, and pineapple.  I appreciate when my food alliterates.


i can still remember, the words and what they meant
as we etched them with our fingers, in years of wet cement

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