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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Nicholai is a vampire kept as a slave with no memory of his previous life. Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter opens with Jane, living in our contemporary world, reading a strange book that was anonymously sent to her about Nicholai that calls to her. When Jane wakes up the next morning she finds herself in a different world with everyone believing she is someone else and finds herself attracted to the sexy but mysterious Nicholai. Unsure who she can trust in this magical world, Jane must brazen out the facade of who she is while trying not to get killed.

Nicholai struggles to remember who he was, knowing that he must return to where he came from but unsure why. Nicholai is determined to not allow anything to get in his way and that includes the strangely vulnerable Jane. Nicholai finds himself drawn to Jane and as the memories start coming back, he starts to realize how important Jane is and was but if she returns to her world he isn’t sure he can get her back.

Loosely based on the idea of Alice in Wonderland, Lord of the Vampires is about a woman who finds herself essentially falling through a rabbit hole to a whole different world. I admit I had some concerns going into the story because Nicholai is a sex slave but the story didn’t really get a whole lot into that, briefly mentioning at the beginning but not any specific details. Lord of the Vampires is the beginning of a new series The Royal House of Shadows about Nicholai and his siblings, separated by magic but all with a consuming need for revenge, all the books in the series are based on a different fairy tale. I have to admit that Nicholai was okay as far as a character goes but Jane was amazing. Her strength to overcome all the trials she had made her endearing and made me cheer for her at times.  Lord of the Vampires was okay as far as read but I am interested to see the other author’s take on their fairytales so I will continue to read the series in the upcoming months.

You can read an excerpt here.

The Royal House of Shadows:

Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter

Lord of Rage by Jill  Monroe (Sept. 20, 2011)

Lord of the Wolfyn by Jessica Andersen (Oct. 25, 2011)

Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh (Nov. 22, 2011)

The series has it own webpage and can be found here.

Rating: 

Content: 

Title: Lord of the Vampires

Author: Gena Showalter

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 288

ISBN: 978-0373618668

Publisher: Harlequin

Release Date: August 23, 2011

Available for purchase: Amazon, eHarlequinn

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

The Books-To-Movie Challenge for August was the 2011 film adaptation of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This is one of my all time favorite novels that I reread frequently and when I heard that a new version was being done by the same company that did the 2005 adaption of Pride and Prejudice I was excited. Then when I found out Judie Dench was to be in it I was really ecstatic!

Visually I have mixed feelings about this version. Some of the cinematography is breathtaking, the scene where Jane and Mr. Rochester meet is fabulous, the castle destroyed at the end is breathtaking but (I know you felt that coming) some of the film is so dark. By that I mean the lighting is so poor for some of it that I had trouble seeing everything that was going on when I originally saw it in the theater.

As far as the Gothic elements of the novel, I felt like the film adaptation did a good job without having the Gothic elements overwhelm the story line. The scene with the child Jane in the red room was especially well done, in my opinion.

Not surprisingly I loved Dame Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax, the housekeeper. I did think it was an interesting change at the end of the film where Mrs. Fairfax told Jane she would have given her money if she would have said anything. I don’t remember that being in the novel but it did add a warmth and love to a rather austere character. In the novel Mrs. Fairfax doesn’t approve of the relationship between Jane and Mr. Rochester, she clearly believes in the line between the classes and dislikes Jane towards the end because Jane is willing to marry Mr. Rochester.

I was disappointed that they cut out the gypsy scene, as that is one of my favorite scenes in the novel. I was interested to see how Michael Fassbender would pull off playing the gypsy lady but alas, it was not included in this version of the film. I was also disappointed they didn’t include the twins and the doctor who was studying their ability to communicate with each other over long distances. I feel that they helped explain why Jane was able to hear Mr. Rochester after they had separated, to know that she was needed by him and to return.

The sexual tension between Jane and Mr. Rochester was amazingly well done! The body language and expressions of both Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender was incredible is portraying their character’s feelings.  The scenes between the two of them were so well done I wished they would have shot more. Mia does such a good job of delivering Jane’s lines and shooting down Mr. Rochester’s ridiculous flights of fancy. The scene between Jane and Rochester where he tries to convince her to run away with him had me in tears in the theater because the emotion was so well done between the two characters.

I was so glad that this version finally has a plain Jane. I don’t think Mia wears any makeup at all during the entire film and the style of her hair adds to her plainness. Since this is such a key element in the novel I have been disappointed in Hollywood’s beautification of Jane in the past (can we say the 1940s version where Jane is beautiful?!) but was very pleased by this version.

The changes that were made to the end of the novel I was disappointed in, I felt like we didn’t really get to know St. John Rivers. We didn’t get to see his disappointment in love, he only mentions he was recently disappointed but no details about his past love.  We also don’t find out that the Rivers and Jane are really related, that is part of the reason she shared her wealth with them because they are her cousins and she valued that relationship more than the money.  I do think that Jamie Bell does a good job portraying  St. John Rivers andt looks pretty hot while doing it.

Jane Eyre is one of my favorite novels of all time. Jane sticks to her morals, she doesn’t lower her standards because she knows she deserves more than what Rochester is offering but in the end she gets her love. I think that is sometimes missing from the novels and film written now, this adherence to your morals despite the provocation or what is being offered.

Being well acquainted with the novel and having watched the BBC’s version numerous times I follow the story without any trouble but my sister’s fiance, being unfamiliar with the story, watched this version with us recently and I realized how much of the story this version is missing. I know that large sections were cut out of the film because of time constraints but his comments and questions really brought out how much was glossed over or skipped. I came to the conclusion that for this version you would really need to know the story to be able to follow and understand everything that happens. That being said, I really like this version. What did you think?

Helen Hamilton has always known she is different from the others living on Nantucket Sound but when a new family moves into town even she is shocked by her reaction to them. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini begins with the Delos family moving to Nantucket, not really interested, Helen is shocked by her strong reaction to Lucas and even more shocked when she tries to kill him. This just isn’t Helen’s year, not only does she try to kill someone she doesn’t know, she is suffering from strange dreams that leave her feet covered in dust and cuts and now she fears she is suffering from hallucinations.

Lucas and his family have moved to Nantucket Sound to get away from their family politics and now find someone that they didn’t believe existed.  Lucas finds himself drawn to Helen but he fears that they are just on a path set up the Fates, destined to end in tragedy. When Helen is attacked several times, Lucas starts to wonder if he cares if he is destined to end in tragedy so long as Helen is safe.

An interesting take on the mythology of the ancient Gods and Goddesses, Starcrossed was a great read. Helen’s feeling of being different and finally finding out who and what she is are believable and touching. I loved the scenes in the kitchen centered around Lucas’s family but especially his mother. Unlike so many YA novels (so many of them have nonexistent or non paticipatory parents), Starcrossed has some great parental figures for all the youth characters and I loved the Delos’s family dynamics. I flew through Starcrossed in one morning but the build up to the second novel, Dreamless, has me really looking forward to the next novel!

You can read an excerpt here.

Awakening Reading Order:

Starcrossed

Dreamless (May 2012)

Unknown Title (unknown date)

Rating: 

Content: 

Title: Starcrossed

Author: Josephine Angelini

Format:  Hardbound, eBook

Page Nos.: 496

ISBN: 78-0062011992

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: May 2011

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

 

So Starcrossed has its own theme song, performed by a German Band called the Demigoddesses, how cool is that? I have posted it here for your listening pleasure. :)

Nick Beauvallet is a privateer during the time period of Elizabeth I who is surprised when the Spanish ship that attacks his vessel is holding the recently retired Governer of Santiago and the Governer’s daughter, Dona Dominica. Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer begins with Beauvallet defeating the Spanish ship and then, if a spur of the moment decision, promising to deliver the Governer and his daughter safely to Spanish soil. As they travel to Spain, Dona and Nick’s relationship starts to turn into something more.

Dona must stay with her ailing father in Spain but Nick promises to come to her within the year and bring her back to England. But Nick, known as El Beauvallet to the Spanish, is the most wanted man in Spain and traveling into the heart of Spain seems the most foolish and dangerous thing he can do. Dona hopes that Nick will come but as pressure is put upon her to marry her cousin (for her wealth) she starts to wonder if he does show up he may be too late.

It has been years since I originally read Beauvallet but I thoroughly enjoyed my reread. Think Errol Flynn swashbuckingly adventure from the high seas to the streets of Madrid. Beauvallet is a great larger than life character with a witty and entertaining servant who is very dedicated to him. I would love to see Beauvallet made into a movie, I think the action, adventure, scenery, sword fights and romantic interest would make this a fabulous story to see on the big screen. Georgette Heyer’s attention to detail and descriptions are amazing and add greatly to the fabulous story line. I also enjoyed visiting a time period that isn’t always written about but has some great events that changed the shape of the world. I highly recommend Beauvallet.

You can read an excerpt here.

Rating: 

Content: 

Title: Beauvallet

Author: Georgette Heyer

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 304

ISBN: 978-1402219511

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Release Date: Reprint January 2010

Available for purchase: Amazon, Sourcebooks

Reviewer: Jessica

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3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

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