October 25, 2010

Review: Receive me Falling - Erika Robuck

"Every slave story is a ghost story"
What I have in hands is not an easy task, since I'm here to tell you about this wonderful book called Receive me Falling which was sent to me by the author Erika Robuck. The book was published in the USA, in 2009.

First off: do NOT read the summary on the back cover. The first paragraph, ok, but after that, you get MAJOR spoilers. They don't ruin the story, but's kind of a bummer to have things told that way.

Let's move on. It's a historical fiction, with alternating chapters, one story is set on the Caribbean island of Nevis, during the 1800's and another during the current time.

The contemporary story is Meghan's, a rich girl, that works with politicians and is about to get married. At the day of her engagement party, her parents die and, a little after, she finds out they own a property in Nevis, a plantation house, a very large piece of land, that used to be a sugar cane plantation so she decides to call off the wedding and go there, still in shock over her parents' death.

The other story is about Catherine Dall's life, who used to live on that same plantation over the 1800's (early 1800's) with her dad, Cecil Dall and many slaves (up to 202 slaves). One day, a man and his son get to the island, two abolitionists, to investigate the life of slaves there, but they hid the true purpose of their trip saying they intended to start a sugar cane farm on a nearby island.

It's a troubled period in time, where USA and England already started banning slavery on their main lands, but not on the "Great Empire", with older people refusing to accept, but the younger ones already see that that kind of work won't last long, in addition to some, like Catherine, who also see how cruel that is.

I don't want to tell you much about it, since I keep feeling I'm spoiling the story - it's a historical romance, if I tell you the storyline, there isn't much left. But I can tell you Catherine is passionate and captivating. She really tries and does whatever is possible within her position to try to help and please everyone, several times ignoring herself, even if that's not enough.

Meghan is a "right" girl, from a rich family, loved, pollitically correct, does her charity works and works for a politician because, despite having the family's money and don't really need to work, she wants to help the world. But when her parents die, she gets into a shock, goes to Nevis and gets obsessed with the property Eden and it's misteries, the story that seems to be lost and some weird things that happen in the house.

What really bothered me was the ending. I was sad, a lot actually, even though I know happy endings aren't ordinary in Historical Fiction. You know you feel it's going to end bad and you feel like screaming to the character "It has to be NOW, go NOW"? Yeah, that feeling. I mentioned that to the author, who, by the way, is a sweetheart and she mentioned she does want to write a sequel for the book, but just didn't do it yet - so I wait ansiously for it, I'm dying to read more of Catherine (ok, I admit it, I'm a sucker for the historical part and didn't REALLY like Meghan that much).

October 21, 2010

Brazilian Thursday - Wishlist

So, since I feel like I owe you guys, I decided to make a wishlist of brazilian books I want to read but haven't, yet.

Binno Oxz e o Clã de Prata - Fábio Henckel (Binno Oxz and the Silver Clan)

It's set in a world where almost everything was covered in water. Has a language common to videogames and the web, talking about artificial inteligence taking over the world and a computer virus doing much more than sending spam.

It's the first in a trilogy.

Kaori - perfume de vampira - Giulia Moon (Kaori, scent of a vampire)

2 stories, one is set on Japan, during the XV century, where Kaori, a beautiful girl with the scent of seduction works her way across the society. Second story is on the 21st century, in São Paulo, where a guy has a very unusual job: to watch vampires for a misterious research institute. But he suddenly realizes his job is more dangerous than he thought, when he saves a boy from the vampires.
Just the Japan part already had me. Totally looking forward to read this one.

Dragões de Ether - Raphael Draccon (Dragons of Ether)

My fellow blogger Laila already talked about those here, but I didn't read them yet and am DYING to. I mean, really, have you READ what she said? It's like, totally "OMG I WANNA READ IT" matterial. It's so cool, she was quoted on the back of the book, how cool is that? ;)

October 15, 2010

Brazilian Thursday (on a Friday) - Interview w/ Eduardo Spohr

Sorry, my thursday was chaotic, so I'm posting on Friday. I present you, an interview with Eduardo Spohr, author of "The Battle of The Apocalypse" (A Batalha do Apocalipse)

May – First of all, seeing recent news  (at the time of the interview of course), I wanted to know how do you feel having your book among the top sellers of one of the most considered brazilian indexes?
Eduardo Spohr: It's a complete surprise. I never thought such a thing would happen. All I hope is that this opens space for new fantasy authors.
May –  We'd like to know something about your childhood. You always wanted to be a writer? Did your family incentive you? You used to read, when younger?
Eduardo Spohr: Not exactly a writer. I always wanted to tell stories. I wrote my first comic when I was 6. I wanted to express myself through drawings, but I was always bad at it, so I ended up shifting to another way - literature. I'm no poet, just a storyteller who uses books to tell them.
I didn't use to read when I was a child. Back then, everything got to me by the movies and TV. I started liking literature around my teen years, because of RPG.

May – I read that it took you around 2 years to finish "The Battle of the Apocalypse", but did the idea of it started developing previously, befor you started writing, or was it something of the moment, you started writing and it started flowing?
Eduardo Spohr: I had many of those ideas since the late 90's, but it was only when I stopped and wrote it down that I managed to, finally, build a structure.
May – Are you updated with the national and worldwide literature scenary? What do you think about today's bestsellers compared to a few years back (the pre-Harry Potter and pre-YA books era)?
Eduardo Spohr: I think each time has it's tendencies. Today we have an explosion of fantastic literature and personally I think this comes from the movies that, with the special effects, are managing, more than ever, to show and give life to these fantasy "worlds".
May – Some authors can only write by hand, some require total silence and some like music while they write. Do you have any kind of environment or "ritual" that helps you release your creativity?
Eduardo Spohr: I write on the computer, no music, withas much focus as possible. I think the only "ritual" that I have is to write during the day. I have an ordinary work routine, 8 hours a day, and it helps me with discipline. I would never be able to work by night, sleepy, fueled with coffee and tobbacco. I need to be rested to actually work.
May – To sell the first thousands of copies, you had help from your friends and a major portal/blog on the web. What do you think it's the hardest part to a writer that chooses a more web-linked strategy (also, a cheaper strategy)?
Eduardo Spohr: I think the web must be seen as an entry door to publishers. We must take the web's visibility to push a start on the work,  communicate with the audience and create a "buzz" to catch a publishers' eye. I don't see any hard parts in that. But, as I said, it must be seen as a path.

May – Is any character a portrait of someone you know or have known or do all characters bare some characteristics of people you have known?
Eduardo Spohr: Almost all characters were based off of real peoeple, with a few changes, of course. I see artists in general as observers of the world and human beings. People are their raw matterials.
May – Have you had any problem with extreme religious peope complaining about the book/the story?
Eduardo Spohr: Only those that didn't read it. All religious people that read it through to the end, understood the proposal of the romance, that's to be a fantasy, fiction work.
May – Have you ever considered to give up? Why didn't you?                   
Eduardo Spohr: I never considered giving up, but it's interesting that many people ask me about it. I guess it's an ordinary thing. I see many talented people around there, but talent's not enough. You need to be determined to finish what you start.
May – Do you have other books, with other themes, planned? Can you tell us what it is about? (let's not talk about sequels or not, no spoilers, right?)
Eduardo Spohr: My next book is already ready. There's nothing to do with The Battle of the Apocalypse, but a third, that I'm writing right now, is set within the angels' universe. We're still talking release dates, but it shouldn't hapen in 2010.
May –  Any messages to our readers out there, nerds and non-nerds around, and for the aspiring readers who are excited and got their hopes up with your success?
Eduardo Spohr: I think a good tip is what I said before: using the power of the web to advertise your work and make it happen. ;)

Quick questions

A favorite book: 1984 (George Orwell)
A singer/band: The Beatles
A place you'd like to visit: The Holy Land
A book you still didn't read: All of Asimov's work which I didn't read yet.
A twitter you like: @jovemnerd
TV series you like watching: Battlestar Galactica

Interview originally published on Sobre Livros

October 11, 2010

Review: Crescendo - Becca Fitzpatrick

Well, whoever follows me on Twitter or here (since I posted it on my IMM) already knows I'm really excited to tell you I won a Crescendo ARC, Hush, Hush's sequel

I read the story in 2 days, but totalling 6 hours so that was almost a personal record, since the book is 420 pages long and English is not my first language.

Crescendo will be released in October 19th, but's already being talked about around the blogosphere for some time now. WARNING, some spoilers of Hush, Hush are inevitable!!

The story starts after the happenings on Hush Hush, around 2 months later, after Patch has gotten his wings back and their relationship is reasonably firm.

Right on the first pages we see Nora's dad being murdered, which happens before Hush, Hush starts. Soon after, we see Nora and Patch (oh Patch) and something weird happens, she says she loves him and he basically runs away - sure, that would drive any woman mad, but as if it wasn't enough, the next day she finds out he went straight to Marcie Millar's house, you know, that rich kid, snob, kind of cheap that bothers Nora for years? Now THAT would drive ANY girl crazy.

Nora and Patch have a fight and she breaks it up, but for some other reasons that if I explain here I'll just end up telling most of the story... Let's just say it answers some of the doubts raised after Hush, Hush.

The book is fast paced and exciting, it just let me a bit down on the plot. Maybe it's me, but I thought it was reasonably predictable. The whole thing reminds a lot of Hush, Hush and I, at least, could guess several things to the very ending. For some reason, and this time I think it's just my instinct, I was quite suspicious of the villain, but in Hush, Hush I also guessed a large part of the story, so I don't think that shouldn't lead someone not to read it.

Patch is exciting and annoying. Exciting cause, you know, Patch. Perfect bad boy. But annoying cause HE DOESN'T FREAKING SPEAK. Gee, if only he'd say a few things, he'd save SO much misery... But of course, if he did speak, there wouldn't be a story to tell, so we'll let that slide ;)

As we can tell by the beggining, some things about Nora's family are revealed, some realities may hurt and even the reason why Marcie picks on Nora for so long is told. Sure more questions are asked than answered, in my opinion, and anyone who read this book will know, for sure, there is a third book in the series, even if Becca didn't announce anything until a bit ago, because no publisher would ever consider publishing this book without planning to publish the third.

I say she didn't finish this with a cliffhanger... As an example, you know soap operas? How they usually wait for the very ending so that the main character walks in into her husband with his mistress and then they cut it, so that everyone just NEEDS to watch it the next day? Yeah, that's kind of how much of a cliffhanger she used to end Crescendo (but nothing to do with husbands and mistresses, it's just to show how much of an expectation, ok?)

I'll say it again, the story IS predictable, except for a few details that, really, there was no hint at all, no one can suspect that. Vee is not AS annoying as Hush Hush, but she doesn't like Patch and doesn't care about hiding it. Nora is much more interesting in Crescendo, despite sometimes where she plays stupid and she's only a bit short of sticking her fingers in her ears and sing "la la la I can't hear you", instead of actually listening to people and, you know, possibly avoid another near-death situation and all.

Several exciting scenes on the book, some quite hot and some fighting! Cat fight!

Despite Nora go all "Bella" sometimes and the fact that I felt some resemblance with New Moon (the parts where Bella decides to get in danger to listen to Edward's voice), Nora can get her head straight and actually feel fear when needed, besides she can think through danger, which makes her a not-so-helpless girl - and I like that.

So, if you liked Hush, Hush, you'll love Crescendo. If you LOVED Hush, Hush, you'll want to kill the author for writing such an ending and if you hated Hush Hush for some parts, you may like Crescendo, I suggest you give it a try.

And now... Who can stand a WHOLE year before Tempest be released in the US (or even more here)? Oh my poor heart...

Review originally published on Sobre Livros.

October 07, 2010

Brazilian Thursday - Raphael Draccon

Today I invite you to read a text by Laila, my friend and staff mate from Sobre Livros blog.
She's a major reader, likes steamy books, writes wonderful short steamy stories, blogs on 2 or 3 fan blogs, besides Sobre Livros and is a major Raphael Draccon fan, so no one better than her to tell you a little bit about him, one of the major fantasy authors in Brazil, nowadays.

 Ether Dragons - Raphael Draccon
by Laila Ribeiro


What to say about an author that changed your way to see literature?

It's no secret my real fascination by Raphael Draccon's narrative. It's guys like him that make me proud of being brazilian, believe me! Raphael Draccon is a contemporary fantastic literature, horror fiction and paranormal romances autor, besides script writer. He was born on Rio de Janeiro and at the age of 22 wrote the first book of the trilogy I'm about to present you.

The Trilogy Ether Dragons (free translation of Dragões de Éter) is formed by the books Witch Hunters, Snow Hearts and Rain Circles (Caçadores de Bruxas, Corações de Neve and Círculos de Chuva), published by Leya Publisher, in Brazil.

Ether Dragons is set on a kingdom that only exists thanks to a Creator, a demigod. And the most incredible is that, on most tales, so that a god exists, there must be believers that are faithful to this god. But in New Ether it's the other way around. So that this incredible land exists, it's Maker must keep his mind towards it. And that's how this incredible story begins.

Raphael Draccon is simply brilliant! His light narrative keeps us from the beggining to the very end. His poetry inside each expression warms up our poor dreaming heart. Draccon trully leads us to an universe where all is possible, where battles are fought and young people live their first loves. We watch the dawn of great leadership and get upset with the evil contained in human essence.

I have no words to describe how this story caught me and kept me captivated. Each turned page we see how the author ties the stories previously detached.
Faerie tales in which, as a child, I saw no meaning, are presented in this book in a surprising way, because the author describes them in a feasible way.

Surprising, exciting and catchy. Three words that still don't describe perfectly what I felt for that book when I turned the last page.

Have a wonderful reading!

Laila Ribeiro

October 04, 2010

In My Mailbox

 In My Mailbox is a meme started and hosted by The Story Syren.
The Girl with Glass Feet - Ali Shaw

I just LOVED the cover effect, all those black parts shine and I like it a lot. The publisher actually surprised me by sending that one along with A Game of Thrones, which I was expecting, so I love it even more :)

Summary on Goodreads HERE.
The Cinderella Society - Kay Cassidy 

This one is part of the brazilian book tour for this book, which will be over soon, since I'm the last tour-er and I'll send it to it's final home. It's a beautiful book and I hope it's as cool as it sounds.

Summary on Goodreads HERE

A Game of Thrones (Song of Ice and Fire #1) - George Martin

Well, to take the "next LotR" name is NOT for any book, so I'm desperatly eager to read this one. It's just been translated, so I'll have to wait a lot for books #2 and on, but I think it'll be worth it. Hopefully. The publisher made an awesome work on it, aswell as with the girl with the glass feet and it looks pretty and really reminds me of LotR. Hopefully it's not just a copycat-sort-of.
Summary on Goodreads HERE

And that's all for this week, folks :*

October 01, 2010

Book Blog Hop {4}

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted at Crazy for Books.

How do you spread the word about your blog?
(e.g. Social Networking sites, Book Blog Directories, comments on other blogs...)

Well, I use Twitter, blog hop (I think it's VERY effective), goodreads and basically everything I can... But I'm a newbie and don't want to push it, so I try not to overdo anything... 

 Welcome new visitors fro the hop, make yourself at home! Comment and I'll pay you a visit when I go hopping :D