Sunday, 13 March 2011

Angel Time by Anne Rice

Summary: Anne Rice returns to the mesmerizing storytelling that has captivated readers for more than three decades in a tale of unceasing suspense set in time past—a metaphysical thriller about angels and assassins.

The novel opens in the present. At its center: Toby O’Dare—a contract killer of underground fame on assignment to kill once again. A soulless soul, a dead man walking, he lives under a series of aliases—just now: Lucky the Fox—and takes his orders from “The Right Man.”
Into O’Dare’s nightmarish world of lone and lethal missions comes a mysterious stranger, a seraph, who offers him a chance to save rather than destroy lives. O’Dare, who long ago dreamt of being a priest but instead came to embody danger and violence, seizes his chance. Now he is carried back through the ages to thirteenth-century England, to dark realms where accusations of ritual murder have been made against Jews, where children suddenly die or disappear . . . In this primitive setting, O’Dare begins his perilous quest for salvation, a journey of danger and flight, loyalty and betrayal, selflessness and love. --

This is the first Anne Rice book the book club has read and the first I myself have read, so I can't say how well it compares to her older books. I have heard the older books are WAY different due to Rice's recent conversion back to Christianity. Before I read "Angel Time" I had heard it was "preachy", and yeah, it is, but that's not really the issue.

Overall the book was sort of flat. I can tell that Rice is capable of telling a good story, I just don't think this is it. The story is about redemption of a professional assassin, an angel tells Toby that God needs him and his skill set specifically to help some people in thirteenth century England. I could accept that, though sadly there wasn't enough of a threat to require the "specific skills" of an assassin, or Toby personally. It's possible that the explanation is yet to come, as this book is the first in the "Song of the Seraphim" series, but the story wasn't engaging enough to make me care to read on and find out.

Spoilers ahead:

After traveling back in time Toby meets and instantly feels for the people he's helping, he would die for them, he loves them like family. I understand that we can't understand God's love and all that, but it just seemed rushed and I couldn't feel the sympathy that he did. The story was long and sort of unnecessarily complicated.
In the end Toby helps the family in an elaborate lie to deceive the Catholic church. This was really strange to me. This guy is brought to help the Jewish people and in turn receive his own redemption, but he must do this through lies and deceit? Not sure what to think about that. God and an angel help this guy lie to protect the Jewish people of England?

Bottom Line: It's clear that Rice is an excellent writer, her book was full of exquisite detail, I just really thought the story could have been stronger, and well, better.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Horror and Urban Fantasy reading Challenge 2011

I'm finding all sorts of fun stuff to do! I saw this challenge and knew it was something I wanted to do. Click on the banner on the right side of this blog to join! Then all you have to do is read 24 horror or urban fantasy books before the end of December! (Since I didn't know, here is the definition of "urban fantasy": Urban fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy defined by place; the fantastic narrative has an urban setting. Many urban fantasies are set in contemporary times and contain supernatural elements. However, the stories can take place in historical, modern, or futuristic periods. The prerequisite is that they must be primarily set in a city.) Most of the books we read here are probably considered urban fantasy.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

W.W.W Wednesday

Recently I started reading the blog "Should Be Reading" and in a recent post found these fun questions, that as an avid reader, I couldn't resist!

"To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers:

-I'm currently reading 3 books (I have a short attention span, I have to change it up):

The first is The Vampire Diaries: The Return, Shadows Souls by L.J Smith. After reading the previous installment, I have to say that this one IS an improvement. It is also really long and I wish the author would just get to the point already!

The second is Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard. Shockingly enough, I don't just read supernatural books! This one won't have a review on this site, and I've not read enough of it to say whether or not it's good. Perhaps on the personal blog I'll review it...

The third is I am Number Four by Pitticus Lore. I know, I know everyone is ripping this book and movie apart, partially I think because James Frey is such a self-righteous jerk. BUT so far the book, while simple and definitely an YA novel, is engaging and entertaining. I like it.

-I just finished Angel Time by Anne Rice and Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon by Keith DeCandido. Both with be reviewed on this site shortly.

-What will I read next? There are SO many options! The next book I read will be the book the book club decides on, as perhaps the next Preacher comic that's been sitting on my bedside table for months...

with either the link to your own WWW Wednesday post, or share your answers in the comment section here. Thanks!