Monday, May 27, 2013

Cruel Sister by David Conway review

In Cruel Sister Nimah Ryan makes a deal with her father that if she can take a failing company and increase its value ten times over within a year, she gets her sister Branna's job as CEO of the family company. The book spans this year and all of Nimahs trails, planning, and successes. All while dealing with problems in her personal life. The book is fast paced and easy to read. None of the business dealings are hard to follow and the book is entertaining overall.

There are only of few problems I have with the book one I noticed while reading and the another I realized only after thinking about the book for a few days (I like to mull the book over a little before I write a review).

The first problem I noticed while reading and it is small. The book at the beginning is a little choppy. There's just something about the writing that doesn't flow as well as it could. Some of the dialog chosen didn't feel like it fit the characters.

The other problem I noticed after mulling the book over for a little while. Nimah never really experiences any business set backs. She has some bumps in her personal life, but even when she leaves for a substantial amount of time her business never suffers and sometimes is even better then when she left. It just wasn't realistic.

The characters were engaging and the story is interesting I really liked it. The flaws listed above don't inhibit the ability to enjoy the book. The ending is abrupt, but not an annoying cliff hanger. It gives a sense of conclusion, yet still allows a path to a sequel. Very satisfying and I can't wait to read the next book.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Shugo Chara Vol 1 by Peach-Pit Review

Shugo Chara is about a shy girl who dresses goth named Amu. She apparently doesn't like to dress goth though. I couldn't really tell if she didn't change her manner of dress because her mother made her wear those clothes or if it was because it's "not in her character". It was kind of irritating though. Her mother didn't seem like the pushy type, so why didn't Amu change her appearance if that's what she wanted? Instead of changing her clothes she makes a wish, she wishes that she can change her character and become a different person.

This is where the main focus of Shugo Chara comes in. After making her wish Amu wakes up the next morning and finds three eggs. These end up being character eggs that will later turn into character guardians. These little fairy like creatures can take control of Amu and cause her to do things she normally wouldn't do, like confess her love to her crush. The whole concept of them, while interesting and have a certain novelty to them, don't make a lot of sense. I'm not sure what the main plot is, but it has something to do with find something called an embryo. Not an embryo the way you and I think of an embryo, but some sort of magical specimen that can grant any wish.

On the whole, this wasn't a great introduction to the series. None of the characters have a stand-out personality and the plot comes across a little muddled. If I were in the age where computers weren't available I wouldn't waste another cent on this series. It didn't wow me and I have no idea what's really going on. However, we live in the information age and this series is old enough that people have scanned it and put it online. I'm not really one for piracy. I buy products that interest me and that I think are worth the money. This series is not one of them. I want to give it one more novel to catch my interest, but I'm not about to pay $10 for something that is probably going to be disappointing. So, I'm off to the internet to see if this series is worth the investment. The novelty of the series has lured me in for another volume, but not enough for me to risk my money reading it. If the series truly lures me in, I probably go to the store and buy a copy because I like have hard copies of my media, but if it is muddled again I'll leave it and look for something else to occupy my time.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Timeless by Gail Carriger Review

Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series comes to a close in it's final volume, Timeless. The series makes it exit with more of a soft poof rather than a loud bang.

The entire story of Timeless centers around an invitation from the oldest vampire of all time, Matakara and the God Breaker Plague. Matakara, having gotten wind of Alexia's skin stealer daughter essentially demands that Alexia come to Egypt for tea. The main driving force of this particular novel is etiquette and proper form. While it's always influenced events in the previous books in the series, in Timeless it drags the plot though the path. It's not that I hated it, I just didn't care for it as a driving force. Alexia lost some of her biting wit in this book too. In fact, she kind of fades into the background while her daughter take center stage (which makes sense given the main character of PPA).

Anyway, of course all three Maccons, plus four Tunstells, and a variety of actors make their way to Egypt. After about 100 pages of, for the most part mundane travel by ship they finely arrive in Egypt and the focus of the story actually starts...or does it? After a plot mystery is introduced the story takes a bit of a detour...well an obvious mystery really. 75 pages of what ends up being pretty much pointless. Then the story goes fast forward for the last 30 pages. A lot of important things happen in quick succession and left me wanting a little more.

The book wraps up nicely and despite the way this review may look I did like it. Carriger ties up most of the loose ends, yet leaves enough unsaid to create a nice path to PPA. My only real complaint is that there wasn't enough Akeldama. I don't think this was a bad final volume at all, it was overall nicely written and I have read far worse final books.