Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It Takes a Village

Romance readers everywhere can count themselves lucky today. Because there is a new website just for you. :)

It is called Romantic Advances. It is the brain child of Jane and Sybil, with a few of us other bloggers helping out. The idea is to have one website that will be a comprehensive listing of all the romance books that are being released soon. I think it's going to be an absolutely fabulous resource---I know that I never know what's coming out until I see someone blog about it. Now you can search by month, or by publisher, or by genre and see a fab little listing of all the titles you might want to read.

The site is in beta now, and we are still adding information. So there are some slightly rough edges, and lots of titles are missing. (Though I have been amazed by how quickly it has all come together! I wish I had Jane's computer skillz.) But go on over and browse around. And let us know how we can make it better. :)

The site was made by readers for readers. Check it out. Your bank account might not thank you, but your TBR will.

Building the TBR mountain, one book at a time.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Devil's Cub, Georgette Heyer

Title: Devil's Cub
Author: Georgette Heyer
Published: 1932, Dutton; 1967, Bantam; 2003, HQN reissue
Category: Historical Romance
Rating: 9/10

I believe that this is one of the only Heyers that is related to another---the hero in this book is the son of the H/H in These Old Shades, which I read a few years ago and was not one of my favorites. So I was not particularly eager to read this one, but I'm glad I did because I liked it so much more.

Dominic, the Marquis of Vidal, is young, arrogant, and hot-tempered, known for racing his carriages, dallying with (experienced) women, and killing men in duels. One evening, while drinking heavily, he shoots a man over a disagreement about a card game. He is disgraced and his father sends him off to France while the scandal blows over. He is currently enjoying a flirtation with a young beauty, Sophy Challoner, and decides he might as well have company on his trip. Sophy, however, has a very respectable and responsible sister named Mary. Mary doesn't want Sophy to be ruined, so she takes her place (without Vidal realizing it). They end up with Paris, Vidal realizes that Mary is respectable and he can't possibly ruin her reputation, and he decides that he sort of likes her anyway---maybe he should marry her...

I think this is one of the best Heyers I've read. It's got everything I've come to count on in her books---it's witty and funny, sweet and romantic, full of slightly mad-cap plot twists that are so amusing. Mary is smart and independent. She's in love with Vidal but is looking for a way out of her predicament besides marrying him because she's so proud. I LOVED Vidal even though he's so unlike the heroes I usually adore. He is domineering and agressive, and Mary really has to be clever to deal with him. While he is intelligent and powerful and arrogant, he makes a few really rather stupid decisions. Maybe it is this fallibility that makes him a likable character.

There's a huge cast of secondary characters who are so well drawn and interesting. The foppish French cousin (his speech is so wonderfully French); Mary's twit of a sister and grasping mother; and of course Vidal's vivacious, headstrong mother, Leonie, and his mysterious, omniscient father. They were wonderful and I enjoyed reading about them, but at the same time, we got fairly little one-on-one time with Mary and Vidal. There are really only a couple scenes where they are getting to know each other, which was disappointing to me. But the HEA scene almost made up for it because it was so great. :)

My mom bought me a really great, old mass market edition of this online. It's got a fabulous, classic cover (I would scan it to share, but the thing's not hooked up right now). It was published in the 1960s, which is about when mass market books first began being printed. So there's a note on the copyright page that says:
This low-priced Bantam Book has been completely reset in a type face designed for easy reading, and was printed from new plates. It contains the complete text of the original hard-cover edition. NOT ONE WORD HAS BEEN OMITTED.
This seems so quaint now. :)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wild, Wicked & Wanton, Jaci Burton

Title: Wild, Wicked & Wanton
Author: Jaci Burton
Published: 2007, Berkley Heat
Category: Erotic Romance
Rating: errr...

Okay, I am so not an expert on erotic romance. It is the fastest growing subgenre in romance it seems, but I have to say that all that sex is a bit (okay, a lot) distracting for me when reading a story. And this book is just one great big long string of sex scenes.

I really can't do a review without blushing up a storm, so I'm going to do a total cop out and send you all over to see Wendy Duren's review at Paperback Reader. I agree with everything she says, and she says it so well. I wish I could write reviews like that.

So, my grade? As an effective piece of fiction, it gets a 4. As a steamy, hella-hawt read with nonstop sexin', it's a 7.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I was under the impression that the Crusie/Stuart/Dreyer collaboration The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes was being released in HC. (I guess because all Crusie is.) But no! Mass market! $7.99. That makes me very happy. Also, I noticed on the book website that this new cover is posted. Different from the one at Amazon and waaaay prettier. It is seriously gorgeous. Does anyone know which cover is actually being used?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Unacceptable Offer, Mary Balogh

Title: An Unacceptable Offer
Author: Mary Balogh
Published: 1988, Signet
Category: Regency Romance
Rating: 7/10

Rosario reviewed a Balogh trad last week and made a comment about how her trads are so much more angsty and dramatic than a lot of her single titles. This made me curious, as I have never read one of her trads, but her other books are comfort reads for me. So I pulled An Unacceptable Offer out of the TBR. But I must have picked the wrong one because I thought this one was as nice and sweet and cozy as her single titles are! :)

Jane Matthews has decided to be sensible about her search for a husband. She’s getting up there in age (23—horror!) and she’s never been a particular beauty. She had one season long ago and refused the one gentleman who offered for her because she was madly in love with the very dashing and handsome Viscount Fairfax. Sadly, Viscount Fairfax didn’t even realize she existed. Now she’s got the chance for another London season, and she announces to her friends "I ask only for an amiable gentleman with whom I might be comfortable." Things are going well until Viscount Fairfax, now widowered, arrives in London with the purpose of finding a new mother for his two little girls. He meets Jane and thinks that she’d make a good mother, and so proposes. Jane is tempted, but knows that he doesn’t really love her. She refuses him.

I thought this was delightful. Jane’s ideas on marriage at the beginning are, of course, a little ridiculous. But I love that though she claims she wants a marriage merely of convenience and stability, she doesn’t follow through with that when actually confronted with the possibility. She doesn’t want to settle—not for a husband she doesn’t really love, or a husband she loves but who doesn’t love her. Jane changes her mind so many times in the book that she could have come off as annoying and wishy-washy. But instead, it just seems realistic; a woman living in those times could definitely be faced with these decisions. She seems meek and too accepting at the beginning, but she turns out being quite strong.

I always appreciate when the plain girl gets the gorgeous husband, though I realize that this rarely happens in real life. It reminds me of a Friends episode when Joey was talking about how if you put everyone’s beauty on a scale of 1-10, you can date within 2 points of your own rating, but beyond that it just doesn’t work. ‘Cuz you know that Joey was the wisest character on that show. Lol. But in a romance novel, I’m completely prepared to fantasize.

It’s funny---when I started writing this review I was having trouble remembering anything much about this book (I read it about a week ago). This is never a good sign, obviously. I’ve finished two other books since then that made much bigger impressions on me. But now that I’m thinking back, I remember that it was really lovely and sweet. Just a nice read. Maybe that’s why I love Balogh; I feel like I can rely on her.

But I still want some angsty Balogh. Anyone have any recommendations for any of her other Trads?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Being proved wrong makes me jump for joy.

I think we all have "rules" about what we do or don't like to see in a book. No children/secret babies/virgin widows/ridiculous misunderstandings/whatever. I may have more rules than most people and I can be very stubborn (ask anyone who knows me). In general, I think we're right to dismiss a book others love because it has elements we think won't work for us. But every once in a while you'll come across a book that is the exception. And you see that in the hands of the right author you can love what you profess to hate.

Here are some of my rules that have been broken lately. (And yes, massive generalizations here. Don't judge. I'm growing.)

Alphas are assholes. Tonight I finished Heyer's Devil's Cub and the hero was really Alpha--domineering, aggressive, with a wretched temper and very little kindness. By all experience, I should have hated him. Oh, no, no, no! I LOVE Vidal!! (Gushing review to come soon.)

Science fiction is weird and boring. Bujold's Vorkosigan series and Linnea Sinclair's books have spaceships, laser guns, alien life forms ... and completely awesome characters, and totally relatable storylines.

Vampires are super gross and should not be heroes. Colin in Meljean Brook's Demon Moon--he drinks blood (ewww!), and he gets off doing it (double ewww!). He's also smart, really funny, and god-damn sexy. I lurve him (though I still don't think I'd let him bite me).

Ghost stories are creepy and not in a good way. I don't usually like the brooding, gothic, chillingly shivery kind of book. And ghost stories scare me more than I'd care to admit. The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley is my exception here. And I don't even love this book despite the ghost story---it's actually one of my favorite things about it. It's a pretty tame ghost story, but still.

I'm becoming more open-minded all the time. :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Gabriel's Ghost, Linnea Sinclair

Title: Gabriel's Ghost
Author: Linnea Sinclair
Published: 2005, Bantam Spectra
Category: SciFi Romance
Rating: 6.5/10

I’ve loved the other two Sinclairs I’ve read (Games of Command and Finders Keepers), but this one I’m not so sure about. Lots of stuff that was really great, but also some things I thought didn’t work too well. And this appears to be one of her most popular titles with other people, so maybe I am odd. I am also feeling very lazy tonight, so excuse me if this review is a bit lacking.

The cover blurb actually gives a good description of the plot (amazing!), so I’m going to save myself from writing a synopsis:
After a decade of piloting interstellar patrol ships, former captain Chasidah Bergren, onetime pride of the Sixth Fleet, finds herself court-martialed for a crime she didn’t commit–and shipped off to a remote prison planet from which no one ever escapes. But when she kills a brutal guard in an act of self-defense, someone even more dangerous emerges from the shadows.

Gabriel Sullivan–alpha mercenary, smuggler, and rogue–is supposed to be dead. Yet now this seductive ghost from Chaz’s past is offering her a ticket to freedom–for a price. Someone in the Empire is secretly breeding jukors: vicious and uncontrollable killing machines that have long been outlawed. Gabriel needs Chaz to help him stop the practice before it decimates Imperial space. The mission means putting their lives on the line–but the tensions that heat up between them may be the riskiest part of all.
What’s Yay: There are a lot of very interesting themes going on here--prejudices and ethnic persecution being the top of the list. We are introduced to characters who are Ragkiril---called “soul stealers” by those who don’t understand them, they are able to read minds, change people’s perceptions, and in some cases even erase memories. They are greatly feared for their abilities and shunned by society. Though they have been deemed as “evil” by the prevailing religion, we learn that they are no more good or evil than any other person. Sully’s good friend Ren is a Ragkiril, and Chaz is surprised to find that he is wise, gentle, and kind. I loved Ren. I found him the most interesting character in the whole book.

What’s Less than Yay: I found the beginning rather slow, and to be honest I could never find it in me to care about the jukor-breeding plot. I never felt like the (reportedly horrible) consequences of jukor-breeding were adequately explained, so I never quite understood why Sully and Chaz felt this martyr-ish need to destroy them. That said, the action scenes themselves were very good. While the love story was nice, at times it came off a little melodramatic for me. My other complaint involves major spoilage, so I've whited it out:

The fact that Sully turns out to be a high level Ragkiril did make both his character and his relationship with Chaz much more complex and bring about some very interesting plot developments. I liked that Chaz was properly afraid and really needed time to overcome her prejudices. But at the same time it gave me two problems: (1) Chaz forgives Sully for reading her mind without permission too easily, imo. And who would want to have their significant other be able to read ALL their thoughts/emotions? No matter how much you trust your partner, that’s just asking for problems. (2) The whole “we are now fused together in an unbreakable bond” thing never sits well with me. If you reject my love, I WILL DIEEEEE!!! This bothers my independent spirit, though I guess it is uber-romantic. Too romantic for me, apparently.

I still enjoyed it though, and I have one more Sinclair in my TBR (Accidental Goddess) that I’m very excited about reading.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A meme experiment.

Megan tagged me with the Thinking Blogger Award. Thanks, Megan! This got me thinking (appropriate, eh?), where do memes like this start? Who does it? And then I decided I wanted to start one myself and see what happened. So I can harass my blogging buddies. :D

The Little-Known Favorites Meme
Rules: List and describe three of your favorite books that other people might not be familiar with. Then tag five people. See, easy!

Books I love that you might not have heard of:

The Thin Woman, by Dorothy Cannell - The funniest mystery ever, imo. British humor. Ellie Simons doesn't want to show up at a family reunion alone, so she hires Bentley T. Haskell from an escort agency. Ellie's eccentric uncle takes a liking to Ben, and when the uncle dies suddenly a couple months later, Ellie finds out that the uncle has left everything to her and Ben. With the stipulation that they live together at his house, Merlin Court, for a year. She must lose 4 stone (she's overweight) and he must actually finish writing a book (he's a struggling writer).

I have loved this book so hard the binding has come loose and the text block has fallen into three pieces. I need to buy a new copy.

Desiree, Annemarie Selinko - Fabulous historical fiction! Desiree Clary is the youngest daughter of a French silk merchant. Her sister Julie becomes engaged to a young man named Joseph Bonaparte. Desiree meets Joseph's charismatic brother Napoleon and promptly falls in love with him. Napoleon is a lowly general currently much out of favor in the military. He has great ambition though, which eventually leads him to jilt poor Desiree in his haste to move up the political and social ladder. But don't worry, Desiree meets someone else who's much better. ;)

This book is like a history lesson, only interesting and fun. LOL. It taught me who all of Napoleon's siblings were and which conquered countries he made them regents of. But really, it is a fascinating look at the rise and fall of Napoleon. It was also made into a movie with Marlon Brando, but I've never been able to find a copy.

Celia Garth, Gwen Bristow - More historical fiction. Celia is a young lady living in Charleston during the American Revolution. Once Charleston falls to the British, she helps the patriot cause by becoming part of a spy network---listening for gossip among the occupying forces, and then passing it along to the American side. And there's a wonderful love story. I've tried other Bristows and not been impressed, but this is an old favorite. Look at that funny cover!

I tag:
Megan (HA! Not too happy you tagged me now, are you? Mwahaha!)
Cindy S.
Dance Chica

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Now I can be a real Kelley Armstrong fangirl!

Look what came in the mail today! My prize pack from Kelley Armstrong! Squee! I won the contest she did last week at Sybil's. So to make you all jealous, here's all the stuff I got: little mini Exit Strategy backpack (it's so cool!), Band-Aid dispenser (because women of the Otherworld can get into scrapes), keychain light (because I can't do Paige's light ball spell), pen and post-its, and bunches of bookmarks.

And most importantly, a signed copy of No Humans Involved. I already had a copy, but not signed! Signed to me! Okay, I'm a little too excited about this. Someone should take away my exclamation point key. ;)

Okay, since Kelley was so nice as to send me all this cool stuff, I will say, once again, that everyone should go out and buy No Humans Involved because it's really good (see review below). And I would have recommended it even without the freebies. :D

Monday, May 14, 2007

No Humans Involved, Kelley Armstrong

Title: No Humans Involved
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Published: 2007, Bantam Spectra
Category: Paranormal Suspense
Rating: 8.5/10

This is Kelley Armstrong’s latest in her Otherworld series. About Jaime, a necromancer--which sounds icky, but is in fact not really. Well, only a little.

Each book in the series is told in 1st person by some sort of paranormal woman. We’ve had Elena, a werewolf; Paige, a witch; and Eve, a dead witch. Jaime has been floating on the edges of the series for quite a while, helping out by contacting the spirits of the dead. She’s not what you’d think a necromancer would be: not gloomy or depressed, but vibrant and full of fun, a bit of a good-time girl. She’s made a career out of doing live shows in which she contacts the dead—usually just making up what people want to hear, with occasional real spirit communication thrown in for authenticity. Now she’s been offered a TV show, which has long been a dream for her, but in order to make the show a reality she’s given a sort of trial run—she and two other spiritualists are asked to contact the spirit of Marilyn Monroe. But once she arrives at the set, Jaime is harassed by a bunch of spirits who appear to be children. Jeremy, the Alpha of the werewolf pack (who’s been an interesting character in the series from the start), flies out to stay with Jaime and help investigate who or what could be killing the children.

This was an absolutely fabulous addition to the series! I was a bit disappointed by the last book—it was good, but rather forgettable. I wasn’t expecting too much from Jaime; she’s a character I’ve not been particularly enamored of, and she really doesn’t have any “cool” powers. That’s actually something she’s dealing with in the book—she wants to be a valuable member of the interracial council, but she most often ends up having to be rescued by someone. She doesn’t have superhuman strength or speed, or magical spells. She has to rely on her wits to see her through and she really does show that she’s a force to be reckoned with! I thought it was great. Anyway, we see so much more of her character in this book--her thoughtfulness, her giving nature--that I love her now! :)

And I’ve always loved Jeremy. He’s the quiet, responsible, strong leader who’s been interested in Jaime for a while (and she’s had a huge crush on him), but he's always put his love life way down on his list of priorities. I liked seeing their very mature relationship grow and develop. And the balcony scene! Hmmm.

As always, there are a couple scenes where the violence is a bit much for me. The body count is a little high for my taste; the violence is always justified by the fact that the world can’t be let in on the secret existence of paranormal beings, which I understand, but I can’t really get behind it as a reason to summarily execute the bad guys. But whatever.

The next book is Personal Demon, which will be narrated by a half-demon, Hope. Her powers are very interesting and her relationship with Karl has all kinds of good possibilities. Now I only need to wait until Spring '08. :( I just bought Dates from Hell, an anthology containing a short story about Hope. There are also a lot of the online stories I haven't read.

Question for people who read the series: In NHI, there were all those mentions of what Eve does in the afterlife. Is that explained in Haunted? Because I have to admit I skipped that book because I just couldn’t get into the idea of a dead main character. LOL. But from NHI, Eve's life sounded really interesting. So someone tell me if I should go back and read it.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Meme - 8 things about me, me, me!

Haven’t I done this meme before? Oh well, Kristie says I must, so I will. ;)

8 random/odd things about me:

1. I like to have a fresh pillowcase every night. A friend once told me this was the secret to gorgeous skin. Sadly, this appears not to be the case for me, but I still hope.

2. I like saving money. I have a little nest egg (it’s a very little egg; I’m sure it would seem ludicrously small to most people), and when I look at my bank statement I get a thrill from the interest payments. This is one of the things about me that drives Twin up the wall (she’s just jealous). I’m not cheap—if you went out to dinner with me I’d never stick you with the bill or anything, and I always totally over-tip—but I am thrifty.

3. I don’t like to drink milk out of plastic cups. Glass only, please. I don't know why.

4. I get excited when someone spells the word “trouper” correctly.

5. I currently owe the Brooklyn Public Library $19.75. F***!! Because of #2, this bothers me a lot. I just haven’t gotten to the library recently and forgot I had a bunch of books out. ARRRGGGHHH!

6. In an effort to be earth-friendly, Twin and I have stopped buying paper towels. We have pretty fabric napkins and lots of dish towels.

7. When I was walking home through the park tonight, I had an intense desire to be eight years old again.

8. I love thunderstorms and very small hurricanes. And getting caught in rain showers on summer days.

I'm tagging everyone who hasn't done this yet. You know who you are.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Title: Not Quite a Lady
Author: Loretta Chase
Published: 2007, Avon
Category: Historical Romance
Rating: 7.5/10

The last Carsington brother! How sad. ;)

Lord Lithby is worried because his daughter, Charlotte, is nearing 30 with no signs of wanting to get married. But Charlotte’s reasons for not wedding are not the usual ones; she is beautiful and intelligent, well dowered and agreeable. Unlike most young ladies who spend the majority of their time trying to get married, Charlotte spends most of her time trying not to get married. It turns out that Charlotte has a skeleton in the closet: she was betrayed by a Vile Seducer at the tender age of 16, and had a child who she had to give up to save her reputation. She fears that any husband she had would make an unpleasant discovery on their wedding night. The problem is that she wants to be a dutiful daughter, and she even wants a family of her own, but she's afraid of hurting her father (who thinks she’s the perfect daughter) or her stepmother (who helped her hide the truth those many years ago). The situation is getting desperate when Darius Carsington comes to stay at a neighboring estate, and when Charlotte meets him, she has trouble staying as cool and unentangled as she has always been able to be in the past.

This book was just charming. Chase does honest emotion so well—never overwrought, but highly affecting all the same. I even teared up there at the end, and I hardly ever cry while reading books. Charlotte was lovely. Chase’s heroines are always intelligent, and Charlotte has a sweetness that is rare for Chase (at least of those books of hers I’ve read).

The whole scorned lover side plot felt a bit flat, but I didn’t really care. In fact, there was really little plot at all, wasn't there? LOL. Lots of little conflicts to the relationship, and they were all sorted out fairly easily. But the characters' problems were all so believable that they felt all the more real and engaging to me. That, along with the humor and great dialogue, really made the book for me.

One technical thing that bothered me was the time stamps in the book (I'm putting blog lingo onto fiction now--heehee). "Sunday night 23 June" "later that evening" I didn't see the point of them and it was distracting by making me think that it was somehow necessary to my understanding of the plot to know exactly how many hours/days have passed since the previous action. I think they should only be used for big time jumps or otherwise it seems like the author was too lazy to put those time clues in the text. Anyway, a tiny annoyance, but it just seemed odd to me.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Introducing the Book

OMG, LOL! Go here and watch.

I act that way with e-books. ;)

Thanks to Marmee and Debbie for the link.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Title: Demon Angel
Author: Meljean Brook
Published: 2007, Berkley
Category: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 8/10

I passed on this book back at the beginning of the year when everyone was talking about it because I’m so rarely a fan of paranormals. (I think I'd just read a particularly bad one and was still feeling the pain. LOL) Then a couple months ago, I got the chance to read Demon Moon (the next in this series, which is due out in June) and approached the book rather unenthusiastically. So I was completely blown away when I liked DM. Really liked it. And the hero is a vampire, which normally totally squicks me out. I had to get Demon Angel immediately because I knew I liked the author’s style and the hero in this one? An angel (-like person)! Sweet. I love good guys!

For all that this is a great big meaty book, the basic plot is fairly simple. Hugh is a young medieval knight, full of chivalrous intentions, who (through complicated circumstances I won’t go into here) becomes a Guardian. Guardians are men and women who are given the abilities of an angel; they can fly, they have super strength, they’re immortal, and each has a particular ability (Hugh’s is he can make people tell the truth). Their job is to combat demonic forces on earth and help mortals. But Hugh has a problem: he’s a bit in love with Lilith, who happens to be a demon. Okay, not a bit in love, he’s really in love with her. But Lilith is bound to serve a demonic lord. Obviously this leads to major star-crossed lovers issues. The majority of the plot takes place in present-day San Francisco, when both Hugh and Lilith have “fallen”--become mortal again--but are still separated by Lilith’s links to Below (hell, basically).

Did I say the plot was simple? What was I thinking? LOL.

The book is big (over 400 pages) and the world-building is complex but completely original and really interesting. The word I’ve come up with that I think best describes the writing is vivid. I got these very real images of the world and the characters. And those characters are great—-Lilith is a larger-than-life, powerful woman whose vulnerabilities are made all the more endearing by her (vast) age and experience. And Hugh. *sigh* He is one of my beloved good guys, but he never crossed the line into goody-goody--though Lilith actually teases him about his martyr complex.

Did everyone see the brain icon? Yes, a romance book that gets a brain! DON’T BE SCARED OFF BY THIS! I don’t mean that it’s hard to read, because it’s not. But throughout the book, these little hints and clues are dropped, and you really have to be on your toes to follow everything. Maybe it’s a sad commentary on my reading habits that I often finish a book and feel like I got every little bit out of it that there was to be gotten. With this one I feel like I could read it many more times and catch nuances, character traits, jokes that I missed completely the first time. I finished and kind of munched on it in my brain for quite a while. ;)

I will say that my brain power was not quite up to the ending. SPOILER: At the end, when Hugh’s all ready to sacrifice himself, and Lilith decides, Nuh-uh, I can fix this! I was thinking, ROCK ON, LILITH, KICK SOME ASS!! And then she went off and did . . . something. Fingers . . . warring demon lords . . . bargains . . . wagers . . . Whoa nelly! Huh? I had to go back and read the last couple chapters several times before I really felt like I understood what was going on. So I was little disappointed, because the climax of the novel could have been so much more powerful had it been clearer.

I know that some people complained about the pacing of this book--that it dragged in places. I can see their point and I think that this was done much better in Demon Moon. But these flaws are little in comparison to how much I enjoyed the book.

So I’m looking forward to Demon Night, the third in the series. The hero is another Guardian (woo hoo!), Drifter.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Title: What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7?
Author: Schoen, Spartz, Gordon, Stull & Lawrence
Published: 2006, Ulysses Press
Category: Nonfiction

The Harry Potter fever is upon me. I'm one of those people who go wait in line on the night the books are released. I'm already planning my July around #7's release. (Yes, that's a little dorky but I don't care because I love Harry.) I can't wait!

I saw this book on jmc's blog and I made some comment about wanting to read it, so she sent me hers! Woot! Cuz I love some speculatin'. I read occasionally and am always impressed by the amount of info there, as well as the quality of the editorials. I think it's the biggest Harry Potter fansite and the people who run it certainly know more about Harry Potter than anyone else--both what has happened in all the books and every single word J.K. Rowling has ever said about them.

So what do they think happens? Here are the most important theories (and what I think about them):

***Obviously huge spoilers here for the first six books. If you haven't read them--what the hell are you waiting for??!! :)

Is Dumbledore really dead?
Mugglenet says: Long story short--he's dead. Rowling herself has said, "Definitely dead."

I say: Agree. It would be completely corny to go back on something like that. It hurts, but I've accepted it.

Mugglenet says: Ron + Hemione. Harry + Ginny. This is fairly obvious from HBP and has been confirmed by Rowling.

I say: Woohoo! Yes! I love Ginny. Harry might have manfully put her aside at the end of HBP to keep her safe, but Ginny's not going to stand for that. I think she's going to play a huge part in helping Harry destroy Voldemort.

Who is R.A.B and what did he do with the missing locket?
Mugglenet says: It's Regulus Black (brother of Sirius). His name is the only one that fits, and Rowling wouldn't have dropped that hint if we didn't already know the character, however briefly. He was a known DeathEater, though we know little else about him. He had a ready sidekick in Kreacher, who would have been the perfect person to go with him to get the locket (we know from Voldemort and Harry's adventure that two people were needed). If the locket that Harry and the rest find when cleaning out Grimmauld Place (in OotP) really is the horcrux locket, Regulus being R.A.B. explains why it would be there.

I say: Agree. This makes perfect sense. Regulus is almost surely dead, but Kreacher is still around to provide some answers.

Voldemort's Horcruxes
Mugglenet: We know from the books that Voldemort planned on making six horcruxes so that his soul would be split into seven, the perfect magical number. Two are accounted for and already destroyed: Tom Riddle's diary and Slytherin's ring. Two others are certainly the locket stolen by R.A.B. and Hufflepuff's golden cup. Dumbledore thinks the 5th is Nagini, and who are we to argue with that? The 6th is probably an object belonging to Ravenclaw.

Mugglenet thinks that Harry Potter himself is a 7th horcrux. Voldemort meant to create another Horcrux the night he went to kill Harry. When the spell backfired and all that magic flew around, the spell Voldemort had prepared went off and he wasn't even aware of it. They argue that this is the reason that some of Voldemort's power was transferred to Harry--part of his soul now rests in Harry. It also explains why they are sometimes able to see what the other is thinking and why Voldemort seems to have ordered his henchmen not to kill Harry at the end of HBP.

I say: The "Harry is a horcrux" theory is a good one--one I hadn't thought of--but I'm not buying it. I could be wrong, but we've seen how Voldemort's evil is the opposite of Harry's goodness. I don't think that part of Voldemort could be in Harry without anyone (Harry himself or at least Dumbledore) realizing it.

Will Hogwarts close?
Mugglenet says: No, but Harry probably won't spend much time there in book 7.

I say: The school year has formed the structure each book, and the seven years of education has formed the structure of the entire series. I think Harry's going back to Hogwarts. He may have to travel around a lot to find Horcruxes and whatnot, but he'll still spend a lot of time there and finish his education. Otherwise, what's he going to do? Get the wizarding equivalent of the GED? No way.

Snape--good or bad?
Mugglenet says: He's good. They think he was carrying a torch for Lily Potter and his knowledge that he was the cause of her death (by telling Voldemort of the prophesy) was what made him turn over to the good side. Snape took an Unbreakable Vow to "carry out the deed [kill Dumbledore] that the Dark Lord has ordered Draco to perform." They think that Dumbledore and Snape had an agreement that he should kill him if it became necessary. He was old; he'd trained Harry as best he could and now it was up to the rest of them.

I say: Eh, I don't know! I was firmly in the "Snape is eeeee-vil" camp, but they make a good argument. Rowling has said that we find out more about Lily in book 7, and what else could it be? But on the other hand, HE KILLED DUMBLEDORE. People argue that he had to do it in order to not be found out as a spy, but I say what's the point of him still being a spy if he's just killed Dumbledore? Dumbledore was the only person who trusted Snape. Snape could come back to the Order of the Phoenix and give them step-by-step, easy instructions of how to destroy Voldemort and they wouldn't believe him. They'd probably kill him.

Which characters aren't going to make it out alive?
We know Rowling's not afraid to kill important characters. I was shocked when Dumbledore was killed. At first I thought, NO WAY! Then I cried. Rowling has said there will be deaths in 7---they are at war. She also said in an interview that in writing book 7, "One character got a reprieve, but I have to say two die that I didn't intend to die."
Mugglenet says: Characters most likely to get the ax--Voldemort (obviously), Bellatrix, Pettigrew, Draco, Molly and Arthur Weasley, Hagrid, Snape, and probably Lupin.

I say: Noooo, not Lupin! I love Lupin, and he's just found Tonks. He is doing a dangerous job and he leads a rather cursed existence anyway, but I really hope he makes it out alive. I also think that Draco will survive (see below). I wish all the Weasleys would survive, but that's probably too much to hope for. And I've never been a big fan of Hagrid, so I won't be upset if he dies. And as they say, his role in the books has been getting smaller with each one.

The Ultimate Showdown
Mugglenet says: Snape will sacrifice himself to help Harry kill Voldemort.

I say: I still think Snape is bad. (Maybe? AHH! I don't know.) I think that Draco will have a change of heart and end up helping Harry. (Mugglenet surmises that he will run back to the Death Eaters and be killed.) There was all that talk in GoF of the four houses working together--Harry may have to be the one to kill Voldemort, but I think there is going to be an upsurge of help from all the rest of the students to help him get to that point. Maybe I am being overly optimistic, but I hope that's the way it happens. People working together and being able to change and all that--a good message to end the series with.

Okay, this turned really long. Sorry. I can get a little carried away. Because I loves the Harry Potter soooo much. I'm going to start rereading the series now so that I finish HBP right before #7 comes out. In only 76 days!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Not at all about books.


I've had zero time for reading and reviewing, so here are MOVIE QUOTES! Some of my favorites:

1. "When people say they are happy my ass begins to twitch."
Luc (Kevin Kline) in French Kiss

2. "Would I weep like a bathtub overflowing? Carry on as if my home were in a tree? Would I run off and never tell me where I'm going?! Why can't a woman--be like me?!"
Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) in My Fair Lady

3. "Are you trying to make me look stupid in front of the other guests?"
"You don't need any help from me, sir."
"That's right!"
Colonel Mustard (Martin Mull, I think) and Wordsworth (Tim Curry) in Clue

4. "I shall name him Squishy and he shall be mine. He shall be my squishy."
Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) in Finding Nemo

5. [In jail] "Anyway, David, when they find out who we are, they'll let us out."
"When they find out who you are, they'll pad the cell."
Susan Vance (Katherine Hepburn) and David Huxley (Cary Grant) in Bringing Up Baby

6. "This is my family. It's little and broken. But, still good. Yeah, still good."
Stitch in Lilo and Stitch

7. "Retrench?!"
Elizabeth Elliot in Persuasion (JMC, I knew you'd get this one as a fellow Persuasion freak.)

8. "It's none of my nevermind. I'm not saying a word, not one single word."
Verbena in The Parent Trap (The old Haley Mills version, of course.)

9. "Because I can't bring this ship into Tortooga all by me onesy, savvy?"
Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) Pirates of the Caribbean #1
"Captain Jack Sparrow, if you please." "I don't see your ship, Captain." "I'm in the market, as it were."

10. "I want the chipper chicken."
The dad (Steve Martin) in Father of the Bride (telling Hank that he wants the "chipper" chicken rather than the "chic" seafood)

11. "Doggone it, C.K. Dexter Haven, either I'm gonna sock you or you're gonna sock me."
"Shall we toss a coin?"
Macaulay Connor (Jimmy Stewart) and C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) in The Philadelphia Story

Can anyone name the movies any are from?
Twin--you can't play, because I know you know them all.