Thursday, October 18, 2012

Garden of Madness by Tracy L. Highley

Tia was forced into marriage at a young age, in the way many princesses are. Even being the daughter of the powerful king Nebuchadnezzar didn't change that. But when her husband dies, she finds a new freedom. Freedom is never free, however, and Tia soon learns the price. When she discovers a brutally murdered body on the palace grounds, she seeks to discover the killer. The problem lies within her lingering suspicion that she earnestly hopes is not true.

Meanwhile, other forces seek to crumble the powers set in the palace. With the king in his wild, animal-like state, the women who rule the throne are especially vulnerable. With Tia's husband recently deceased, her mother seek to quickly unite with another kingdom. While she seeks to avoid this and all costs, and to unveil the mysteries of the palace, she begins to wonder if she herself is not slipping in the footsteps of her father into the garden of madness.

I found that I really liked aspects of this book, but I didn't really care much for the story as a whole. First, for a historical fiction novel, I don't feel like the book really captured the setting. There wasn't much culture going on, and despite the fact that Tia worshiped the Babylonian gods, the book made to attempt to explain the religion at any length, but rather vaguely brushed the topic.

While I liked most of the characters, I was not a huge fan of the main character herself. This really disappoints me in books. Tia seemed too weak and full of pride. As Tia started to feel insane, the book just gave me a headache as well. I actually appreciated this in how well the character's emotions came through, but with no "wow" ending, it didn't seem worth it.

I received a free copy of this book from Booksneeze, in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Eternity's Edge by Bryan Davis

Depending on the perspective, Interfinity clashes faster with every hour, minute, or day. Nathan and Kelly have been bestowed with the duty of reversing such an unsavory ending. But when the choices fade to vague gray mosaics, the teens have trouble deciding which way is up. Every minute they waste could end the lives of billions- and yet they remain unsure if they are on the right path.

The stalkers prove to be an increasingly deadly force to be addressed. The worlds begin to sheathe one another in chaos, dreams being one of the deadliest weapons wielded. Nathan and his friends are running out of time to save the the worlds- and the ground is falling out from beneath their feet.

If I were to graph my intrigue towards the story of this book as a line graph, it would look like a hill. I started off somewhat unsure where it was going. My interest eventually got going, and I thought I saw this story going somewhere. It was still a bit quirky, but interesting nevertheless. Then I started to get confused again. And then the whole sci-fi universe became so abstract that the pages seemed to swim in gooey cheese.

Note that I am not against science fiction, but it has to prove itself believable on some scale. I also partake in the thought that every piece of literature I read should hold something for me to gain from reading it. Often, that may turn out as some morals or lessons, a piece of deep and nurtured wisdom that can only be learned through an indirect discovery, or simply a beautiful fictional world that I love to escape to and let my imagination run free. Yet Eternity's Edge held none of that for me. I enjoyed some of the concepts, but I felt like most of the scenes in this book were meant to be paintings- a detailed snapshot of imagination to ponder on. When these many scenes were formed into books, they became something I would expect as a nightmare after listening to classical music and watching old science fiction flicks all day.

 I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan, in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.