July 29, 2009

Parr For The Course

After taking a break from the blogging world due to moving, I am back in action! And I definitely have some books that need to be reviewed. So I figured I would start out with my faborite genre: my newest historical fiction read.

The Last Wife of Henry VIII, by Carolly Erickson

This novel tells the story of the life of Catherine Parr. It begins when she is just a child and is attending The Field of the Cloth of Gold. She meets King Henry during this historic event. The novels continues with the story of her first marriage that ended in tragedy and into her second marriage to an elderly man whom she married to keep out of the womanizing Henry's grasp. Catherine is called to serve Henry's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, by the king himself. Once her ill husband passes away, Henry jumps at the chance to marry her. Though her life as a queen is anything but relaxing. She lives in constant fear that Henry will become displeased with her and find a way to get rid of her, as he had to a few of his former wives.

Life Erickson's other books, this book was brief and definitely fictional. While she got all of the names right, I can't help but read between a lot of these fictional lines. But isn't that what makes these books so entertaining to us historical fiction fanatics? We get a good dose of history with a pinch of soap opera drama on the side. It was a fun read: light and quick. If you're looking for a quick fix of Henry and his wives, this book is good for that. But don't expect something historically perfect. Just expect to be entertained.

Up next? Well I have two more reviews that I need to post. But as far as reading goes, I have decided to reread the Twilight Saga in honor of New Moon coming out in theatres in November!

July 7, 2009

More Vampires to Sink Your Teeth Into

Well, you all know how much I love a good vampire story! Allow me to introduce this delicious vampire series!

P.C. Cast - The House of Night series: Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed

This series is about Zoey Redbird, a typical teenager. Except that she's been Marked to become a vampyre. Because of this, she must switch schools and attend the fledgling vampyre school in Tulsa, The House of Night. Zoey learns all about the politics and supernatural aspects of being a vampyre. But that's not to say that she doesn't experience normal high school issues: the snobby mean girl, the gorgeous guy that all of the girls pine after, keeping up in classes, and even high school leadership. Zoey has powers that no other vampyre has ever been gifted with. Zoey learns throughout the series that with that power comes responsibilty that is difficult to handle.

The series is somewhat predictable to say the least. However, it is really entertaining. The books progressively get better because you learn more and more about the characters. Zoey is likeable and so is the book's heartthrob, Erik Night. Even the "mean girl" Aphrodite becomes a character that I wanted to know more about. The two things that really bug me about this series are the forced pop culture references (like referring to Matt Damon and the Bourne movies, etc), and also the names. Upon entering The House of Night, fledgling vampyres are considered "reborn." Therefore, they can begin their new lives with a name of their choosing. Some names remain normal. But others are distracting. For example, there is a professor named Dragon. Eventually, you do get used to the unusual names, just as Zoey gets used to her new school. But other than those two minor things, the series is quite good! It's not as great as Twilight or Sookie Stackhouse, but it is definitely different... and in a good way! I've only read the first four books, so I can only speak for those so far... but I am willing to guess that the fifth and soon to be released sixth books are just as good. If you like vampire stories, I would highly recommend these!

Next up for me? The Last Wife of Henry VIII