Archive for May, 2015



After the Sky Fell DownAfter the Sky Fell Down by Megan Nugen Isbell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh, my! That wasn’t a book I would have seen myself reading. But somehow the author drew me in. And even when I wanted to stop reading during some boring or overly angsty part, I just couldn’t leave this poor widow and her life.

BIG WARNING: Get the Kleenex ready from the very start of the book. What I found interesting was how well Megan Nugen Isbell wrote all the feelings of a grieving person. She was able to capture how just the slightest thing could pull the sadness out, even on the most delightful of occurrences. Over and over I found myself wondering about the depth of the author, what she must have been through herself to find the depth she was able to put into words.

As the main character tries to pull her life back, love seems to propel her into other relationships. A baby, the deceased brother, and soon, a chance at life apart from the past. It was so honest and painful to watch what this poor young woman had to go through. I know it happens every day. We forget that even young people can have deep losses. It is hard enough to deal as an older adult but imagine when you are still young and have all those hormones running through you.

I know, I know, this is the very thing I get mad at in the Young Adult books, but somehow, this is different. This is written with pure heart. Motivations for life seem undiluted by appearances and overt sensuality. If there is romance, it seems to come in more gentle forms, holistic in nature. Geez, I am doing a poor job reviewing this. I would have given it five stars, but I have to admit to being bored with the angst on occasion. Not the grief. It felt natural. Just jealousy. I always find the green monster boring. Not that it doesn’t exist, but that too much is made of it when there are other deeper feelings to understand. Insecurity and fear cause jealousy. Anger because he catches her kissing someone else drives me crazy. But the author doesn’t dive into that too much and when she did she pulled out before I had the chance to throw the book aside and find something else to read.

If you feel the need for a good cry, this is the book for you. If you don’t want to cry, find another book for now. I loved the bittersweetness of the whole thing.

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Dar49 Daily.


Dragongirl (Pern, #22)Dragongirl by Todd J. McCaffrey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I could give this book 20 stars! I think it is my favorite Pern novel ever! I must admit that I borrowed the audio CDs from the library to help with the hardback I own to get through it. It is the first I’ve read that doesn’t have Dick Hill’s deep voice but poor acting. Instead, this starred Emily Durante. Okay, I must admit that at first this high voice nearly drove me as crazy as Dick’s deep voice. And I missed his echoing sound for his dragon voices. But I soon got used to Ms. Durante’s energies and voices and added the Audible version to my wishlist for the future. I am thankful the library had the CDs in the meantime.

This book proposed a different way to look at life and love. I see in the reviews that many found this book disgusting. More’s the pity for them. Sorry. If your humans and dragons are dying and you are given a gift of love and it seems others can find that fluidity of love within themselves, there is an answer to procreating in a new way. Old methods of impressing dragons show that the old ways don’t work in the world anymore. Much time travel is needed to help keep the planet alive. All these new methods combine to promote a healthier Pern. Stuck in Earth’s ways with old mores, Pern would have surely ended with this book.

LOVE is the key of this book. Fiona, gold queen-rider and weyrwoman, has more love than anyone can imagine. She gives it freely and does her best to shine her positive light on everyone. But even greater love has Lorana who has given the ultimate sacrifice, her dragon, to Pern. How could others not see the magic and love of these two womyn?

One warning? Have the Kleenex ready near the end.

Okay, to those following my reviews: I know my goal is to mainly read books written by women that contain strong fem leads. This one more than qualifies as Todd McCaffrey merely channeled his mother’s world and populated it with the strongest womyn I have met yet. Thank you, Todd! I can’t wait to read more!

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Dragon's FireDragon’s Fire by Anne McCaffrey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Would this book get a higher rating from me had I not solely listened to Dick Hill read it? Could it have been better with text-to-speech? I think so. I just don’t like how this narrator interprets females or the young males. They all sound weak and whiny. I don’t mind his deep sonorous voice for the Masterharper, or even for just descriptive parts of the book. But mostly I don’t like his acting.

This is the first book in a long time that I didn’t have the hardback book to help me along. I had to just listen. That was sheer torture to this ADD mind. To be stuck under the headset for so long nearly drove me mad… there are those that think I already arrived, but that’s another story!

As for THIS story, I do think it is the weakest so far. I’m a little afraid to state that per above remarks, but there was quite a lot of time that there was just NOTHING going on. I read these books to be flying with dragons or their kin, but there seemed to be very little of that and a whole lot of bad guys and bad decisions that had nothing to do with impressing or flying.

Luckily, this was a library CD and I don’t have to worry about whether I should buy the book. Nope. I have a lot of the books in this collection, but I see no reason to get this one.

Still, good try, Todd. I still miss your mom. RIP, Anne.

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Dar49 Daily. Happy and safe Memorial Day. Oh, and thank you, dear service people, for our freedoms.


CruxCrux by Julie Reece

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! What a wonderful, unexpected find! I think I mentioned that my husband recommended a book titled Crux to me a while back. Well, I found two titles of Crux and both were free. So I picked them both up not knowing which one he was alluding to. That cleared up, I read the other one, by Moira Rogers, first. Yep, it was grand. But then I didn’t feel it fair not to read this one by Julie Reece, just to make sure it got a chance. IT WAS TERRIFIC!!!!!

Okay, it wasn’t the erotic volcano that Moira Rogers’ book was. In fact, this one is tame enough that anyone could read it and not be embarrassed by sexual, much less sensual acts of the main characters. Okay, maybe there was a kiss or two, but that was expected. On the other hand, just in warning, it does have some very violent scenes. And I almost think that they were necessary for the whole picture. But otherwise, this was a fantastic read.

This was a longer than usual book. But it managed to tell the whole story without the need for a book two. Yet, I wish I could visit the characters again. I always feel like that. Birdie, the main character is a lovable young lady, homeless after years of foster care. The story is contemporary with throwbacks to early Viking/English wars. Since my studies don’t cover the Vikings (except for the glorious TV show, Vikings) I must admit to being a little out of my element at times, but it all starts to make sense after a while and it is always a fun read. And often it is on the edge of your seat exciting.

I highly recommend this wonder of a story to everyone, violence be damned, it’s worth it!

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