Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Title: Toys
Authors: James Patterson & Neil Mcmahon

Rating: <3 <3 <3 <3

Read: PB

Summary:Hays Baker and his wife Lizbeth possess super-human strength, extraordinary intelligence, stunning looks, a sex life to die for, and two beautiful children. Of course they do--they're Elites, endowed at birth with the very best that the world can offer. The only problem in their perfect world: humans and their toys!

The one with the most toys--dies

The top operative for the Agency of Change, Hays has just won the fiercest battle of his career. He has been praised by the President, and is a national hero. But before he can savor his triumph, he receives an unbelievable shock that overturns everything he thought was true. Suddenly Hays is on the other side of the gun, forced to leave his perfect family and fight for his life. 

Now a hunted fugitive, Hays is thrown into a life he never dreamed possible--fighting to save humans everywhere from extinction. He enlists all of his training to uncover the truth that will save millions of lives--maybe even his own. James Patterson's Toys is a thriller on a hyper plane--with a hero who rivals both James Bond and Jason Bourne.

Review: This is the first book that I've read by James Patterson and I really enjoyed his style of writing.  It had an easy flow to it, and it was easy to connect  and follow each character's story line.  Also I do love futuristic stories like this one which was another reason I enjoyed this book.  It follows the life of Hays who is enjoying life on top as an elite with a beautiful wife and kids who are the top rung of society until a surgery reveals the fact that he is in fact human and changes his life forever.

The plot follows him as he fights in a war against those he used to trust the most to save humanity from the elites who want to destroy the humans who they consider an inferior breed who is beneath them.  It had a lot of action, and fighting scenes which aren't always my forte but also enough of the psychological thriller and fantasy elements were involved so that I really enjoyed the book. I definitely plan to read more from this author.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Anna of Byzantium

Title: Anna of Byzantium 

Author: Tracy Barrett

Rating <3 <3 <3 <3

Read: PB 
(From now on this category will be included and will either be marked PB for Personal Book or  MRBD  which means its from my"must read before you die" list of books).  The only exception to this are arcs, which will be labeled.

Summary: Anna Comnena has every reason to feel entitled. She's a princess, her father's firstborn and his chosen successor. Someday she expects to sit on the throne and rule the vast Byzantine Empire. So the birth of a baby brother doesn't perturb her. Nor do the "barbarians" from foreign lands, who think only a son should ascend to power. Anna is as dismissive of them as are her father and his most trusted adviser--his mother, a manipulative woman with whom Anna studies the art of diplomacy. Anna relishes her lessons, proving adept at checkmating opponents in swift moves of mental chess. But as she matures into a young woman, her arrogance and intelligence threaten her grandmother. Anna will be no one's puppet. Almost overnight, Anna sees her dreams of power wrenched from her and bestowed on her little brother. Bitter at the betrayal, Anna waits to avenge herself, and to seize what is rightfully hers.

Review: Anna Comnena is living her worst nightmare born with a silver spoon in her mouth she has been brought up in a world of great privilege and at one point a commoner even turning their back on her could have meant their death.  Now the reader meets the young princess for the first time in the scriptorium of a nunnery in the mountains of the Byzantine empire, where she has been degraded to the point of trying to match wits with a graying old nun who likes to try to put the young upstart princess in her place.  Anna was brought up to believe that she would take her Father's place as the next express of the powerful Byzantine empire, but when she manipulates her Grandmother and metaphorically 'bites the hand that is feeding' her the keys to her Father's kingdom; her world comes crashing down around her as she is accused of heinous acts and she sees her spoiled young brother take what she believes to be her birth right.  

From the first page this was a book that brought out the wit and bright mind of the main character which I enjoyed seeing  especially in a woman of the middle ages who can sometimes be portrayed as having weak minds or not being as intelligent as men.  It was delightful imagining the scenes between the characters as they each fought for their rightful place in the dangerous dance that was the royal world of the middle ages in the Byzantine empire, the crusades, and the wars with the Turks.  I would've enjoyed more details of palace life, and of the lives of the young princesses, and their brother and familial relatives during their young years since that was where most of the story was based; but overall it was a good plot and easy to read and get drawn into.  Some chapters were a bit choppy and could've ended smoother but it was a very enjoyable read.  It intrigued me enough that I would like to learn more about this particular women in history she seems very feisty and intelligent.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Book Goals for the New Year

New Goals for a New Year in reading =) 

I have combined 3 lists of 100 "must read before you die" books ; mainly containing a mixture of classics, I also added a list of five books to the list myself, and a few of the books overlap from list to list.  I will be reviewing these books as well as the normal historical fiction and books that are just for pure enjoyment =) 

From now on if the book is one from my list it will be labeled as MRBD (Must Read Before you Die List) in other words.  

I am not setting a time limit to do this in it is purely for enrichment and I think anything like this can broaden a reader's thought process and stretch their belief system and comfort zone in the literary world.

Happy Reading, and Happy New Year =) !