Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Fond Farewell

Hello hello to those brave folk who still read us. We are so grateful to you guys for the links in your blog rolls, the comments, the page hits, and most of all... the fact that you are the brave folk who still read us. So it is now that I say with great sadness and hidden distress that we are departing from the Maelstrom. *collective gasp* And you will never ever see us again.


Although we are departing from the Maelstrom, we certainly hope you will take the time to see us again. We have moved our ragged wind-blown selves to a mysterious location, which can only be reached by a mysterious link in this mysterious post. We have been planning this for quite some time due to icky legalities with our current name (which also happens to be the name of a minor publishing house that we didn't know existed). And while nothing of any consequence occurred, we wished to avoid conflict. So on this momentous occasion of 8-8-8, we hope that you will follow us and continue to consider us as reading material ( on words...haha...nevermind.) in your precious time. Farewell blogger. Perhaps we shall meet again someday.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Violet in Private by Melissa Walker

If you haven't read the two books previous in the Violet on the Runway series, then I pity you greatly. They are marvelous. But to bring you up to speed: (SPOILERS! DON"T READ ON UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED FOR SPOILERS!!!!) Violet is your home-town girl with a home-town future before she is snapped up by Tryst models and thrown headfirst into the high fashion world of the backstabbing and beautiful. She has to keep her head above water without losing herself and her possible career. (Second book now) When Violet scores a huge Brazilian bathing suit campaign, she doesn't expect to be so attracted to the designer. Can she juggle a high profile relationship while resisting the eating disorder lifestyles of the couture models? And when did her friendships become so complicated?

Now we come upon Violet as the newest celebrity attendee of Vassar college. She's left modeling behind forever and is in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. But it seems like her glamorous past won't leave her alone. Angela is still calling and leaving persistent messages. A huge campaign (her last) has just been launched. And maybe Violet isn't ready to sink back into the background. But all of that seems unimportant next to her newfound feelings for you-know-who (HA! Spoiler hunters, you have been foiled again!). With a whole new cast of friends and some refreshing scenery, this was my favorite
Violet yet. Not the most creative series on the market, but definitely and completely begging to be read.

I continue to loooove how the fabulous Melissa Walker presents her characters and their growth. I wouldn't think it would be able to relate to the beautiful faces that decorate tabloids and Cosmo, but this series has made it completely possible. Violet is likable and surprisingly vulnerable. There are sometimes when you just want to reach through the page and hug her. And as for background characters, they are all perfectly executed. I am especially fond of Kurt, a new addition to the awesome friends that make up Violet's most important fan base.

The new background really spiced up the series for me. This particular book was more introspective and gut-wrenching than the others. Which is definitely okay with me. There was no slam-bang model action, but plenty of intensity on the "home front".

My only complaint was with Violet's relationship with Oliver. I feel like she has been this place before. In book 1 and 2. Just change the name and the setting. Maybe I'm wrong, he just seems so...familiar?

Violet in Private is ready and set for sale tomorrow, August 5th. The buzz is true! This is a great series that reaches beyond superficiality and celebrates the face of strong and independent girls everywhere.
5.5 out of 7 lightnings!

Dying for the Fourth

Friday, August 1, 2008

Blade of Fire by Stuart Hill

You might think that a book full of warring kingdoms, magic, fierce battle cries, and crippled children being sent away to foreign lands (and coming back at the head of massive armies, of course) would be made of awesome. Allow me to say that you'd be right.

Blade of Fire an impressive follow-up to The Cry of the Icemark. Who would've thought that it could get any better? Blade of Fire takes place 20 years after Thirrin (with a few of her trusty friends) fought off the continent-conquering Polypontian Empire. Needless to say, Scipio Bellorum didn't take that well. He's returned with his two sons (also brilliant generals) and a burning desire for revenge. Add to this, the fact that Bellorum now knows the Icemark's strengths and weaknesses and there are no more allies to be found without crossing the lands under Polypontian control.

Oh, what is a proud barbarian queen to do? Send her youngest child across the sea to make friends with the fearsome desert-dwellers, obviously. But Thirrin and Oskan didn't count on the interference of a mysteriously powerful witch. Would they ever suspect their darling daughter Medea (when I say darling, I mean reclusive, arrogant, and malicious)? Of course not! Hm, wait... Medea... can create raging storms... sounds vaguely familiar... Who, me? ha ha... how absurd *shifty eyes*.... aaanyways...

This newest adventure in the Icemark chronicles was absolutely fantastic. The battles just get more and more exciting as the story progresses and the characters don't disappoint. And did I mention the battle cries? They're really cool... almost makes you want to stand on a chair and yell them... not that I would do that....

Do I even need to say it?

7 out of 7... in case you couldn't figure that out on your own.

From the Shadows,

~Medeia Senka~