Feb 15, 2011

New members in my book shelf ♥ [1]

Nearly forgotten!
Sorry that I use the original picture even if I got the books in German, but it's the way it is! (Actually, some German covers are just to be shown, so this is not the most senseless thing in blogging history.)

Here we go:

What you see here are Jason Lethcoe's "Flight", which was published by arsEdition in February. As you can see, they kept the original cover. I'm really glad they did! (But I still think the first cover is the best one. It has this ... atmosphere, you know? I could stare at it four hours - even days! It's really, really, really, really great.)
The other book is an English one, actually. It's Darren Shan's "Slawter", the third book of the Demonata series. And again I love the cover. They're kinda disgusting, but that's what I like about them.
And thos sheets of paper, yeah ... this is a book that's not published yet. It's title is "Blogging Queen" and German readers can get it in July - I'm one of seven German bloggers that can have a look on it yet and make some notes. If those are good notes, they'll change the book. ;) But never mind, it's a German book anyway. I doubt it will be published in the English speaking area in near future.

So here's a little overview:

Jason Lethcoe: Flight (The Mysterious Mr. Spines #2)
content via Goodreads
Edward McLeod has had his world turned upside down. He-s grown wings, escaped from the clutches of Whiplash Scruggs, a fallen Guardian bent on cutting off those same wings, and, with the help of the mysterious Mr. Spines, ended up in a section of the afterlife known as the Woodbine. Now, with the help of his new friends, Edward must master his Guardian powers and set off on his journey to rescue his mother-s soul from the most evil force in the afterlife, the Jackal.

Darren Shan: Slawter (Demonata #3)
“Never trust fairy tales. There are no happy endings. There's always something new around the corner. You can overcome major obstacles, face great danger, look evil in the eye and live to tell the tale – but that's not the end. As long as you're breathing, your story's still going…”
Nightmares haunt the dreams of Dervish Grady since his return from the Demonata universe, but Grubbs takes care of his uncle as they both try to continue a normal, demon-free existence. When a legendary cult director calls in Dervish as consultant for a new horror movie, it seems a perfect excuse for a break from routine and a chance for some fun. But being on the set of a town called Slawter stirs up more than memories for Grubbs and his friend Bill-E.

So far so good. Goodnight!

Damn it!

You know, sometimes you really wanna do something and then you sit in front of your monitor and your head says: "Do it! What the hell are you waiting for?" and you just sit and sit and sit.
It's this [censored] laziness. I hope that I manage to translate my reviews this weekend.
So, if I can get rid of my inner swine, you'll see some reviews of "Beastly" and "The Hollow". Soon. Or something like that.
(At least I wrote them in German. It's better than nothing.)

Feb 5, 2011

Darren Shan: Ocean of Blood

As you may recognize while reading my blog (when I've posted for a longer time xD), Darren Shan is one of my favourite authors. Actually his last book - Birth of a Killer - wasn't that good (at least I think so), but still i'm looking forward to reading the second book of the Saga of Larten Crepsley: Ocean of Blood.

Unfortunately the second cover is quite awful. What's that? (Hell!)
It's way too colourful, I miss some atmosphere there, and the only thing that makes it a book of Darren Shan is the name. And the content, hopefully.
I really hope this time things are much better - that there is something new while we can still meet "old friends", you know?

The epic tale of the vampire Larten Crepsley continues. The question is – how far can Larten go… alone?
Free from their mentor Seba Nile, Larten Crepsley and Wester Flack join the Cubs – wild young vampires with little respect for human life, and a taste for mindless enjoyment. For the Cubs, everything is easy. But nothing has ever been easy for Larten, and soon fate throws his life into another spin. With dark paths to travel, Larten finds himself far from the Vampire Mountain and its rules. A long way from home, sick and alone, he must decide what kind of vampire he will be. Whether he will stand firm, be true to his master and his princples – or whether he will lose himself in blood…
It will be published on 28 April, 2011. You can find further information right here.

[Review] Kidnapped | Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson:

Publisher's description:
„If ‘Treasure Island’ is the pirate story par excellence, then ‘Kidnapped’ is the romantic Scots adventure story of all time. Written in 1886, it is set in the turmoil and aftermath of the 1746 Jacobite Scots rebellion against the English at Culloden – events that established much of the national Scots character, which persists to this day. The story follows David Balfour, the canny eighteen year old, who is keen to seek his fortune. He sets out from the lowlands of Scotland to meet his mysterious relative, in search of work and ‘whatere he may find’. His adventures begin at almost at once, and dark family secrets are soon only the starting point for an adventure that is a sort of Scottish Odyssey, with sea voyage, shipwreck, good friends and fights aplenty in the Hieland mountains and valleys.
Penguin Popular Classics
225 pages
ISBN 978-0-140-62106-8

My opinion:
David Balfour, a Lowland boy, is sixteen when his father dies. What he left behind is only a letter that tells David to go to the Shaws; there he'll find his inheritance. David follows his father's instructions and meets his uncle Ebenezer - an awkward person that conceals more than he tells David about his family. Things are getting nastier, and finally, Ebenezer tries to kill David. When this doesn't work, he pretends to give up and wants to see an advocate. David feels safe - and suddenly he's sold to a ship bringing convicts to America. 
But when he meets the Highlander Alan Breck, they escape, but things don't go the way they should. David finds himself alone on a lonely island, where his travel through Scotland just begins. Now he has just one aim: Coming back home and make things clear.

Who expects a thrilling adventure story won't be satisfied. But who's interested in Scotland, its people, its manners, its landscape might enjoy "Kidnapped".
Actually the plot has enough potential for a really good adventure story, but Stevenson uses too much space for his descriptions of the surroundings or the manners - therefore some of the tension simply gets lost. At some time he focuses on a pipe bag competition between Alan and another Highlander, which is quite interesting, but is not important at all for the action. Furthermore, it might be interesting, but it's not entertaining. So he takes the story its speed that could be quite high if you consider the few pages. 
Actually, it already starts this was. Before the journey of David starts he has to go to see his uncle, be sold and the trip with the ship literally takes ages. You might say that this is because it really takes them a long time to travel; however, later one month is summarized within a few pages. There is just too much focus on rather unimportant events that don't have a great impact on what's going on later.
The travel itself is difficult to follow. I had sometimes no orientation where we are right now - and even Google couldn't help! And again I got the expression that the focus is too much on description than on facts that might be use- or helpful. 
Furthermore, the characters are everything - despite likable. David is okay, all in all, but Alan is quite strange. He may be brave and he may live up to his ideals, but sometimes he tends to be narcissistic and egoistic. I never felt attached to one of them or any other character. But still I have to admit that they really are characters, not just flat ones, mere names on the paper. They have their strong and their weak moments; they win and they lose; they undergo a development, and they don't always pay attention. It may not make them nicer, but the fact itself is ... yeah, great.
And even if this book has many aspects to criticize, it still is enjoyable. The language isn't that creative, but the Scottish variety of English is reason enough to read and love it.
It's also interesting that Stevenson doesn't settle for stereotypes - at least not only. Of course there are bagpipes, but the Scottish aren't wild, kilt-wearing barbarians. (This wouldn't even work - think of the Dress Act!) Alan for example has kind of fallen in love with his French clothes and he will wear them even this could mean death, because he's easy to recognize with them. 
In addition, the Lowlanders aren't mollycoddled copies of the English. They absolutely aren't!
Furthermore, the book has some great scenes where I couldn't stop laughing. There Alan and David just show what sly old dogs they are, and the fact that the others also fall for their line made it even better. Of course this is a question of taste - but who can ignore the great irony, when someone is caught on an island, nearly dies and then finally recognizes he could have gone to the mainland when it's low tide?
What I liked most about his book is the open end, just because it fits the historical events that are known. We don't know about the whole life of Alan Breck and so Mr. Stevenson couldn't write about that, either. Still, the end is not too abrupt - as I said, it just fits.

All in all, I can only say: You can read it, but you don't have to. It might be worth it when you're interested in Scotland, otherwise it would be better to be lucky with other books. 

Hello everybody!

Yeah - hello!
I just wanna introduce myself - I'm a German student of English and German Studies and this is exactly why I made this blog. Actually I'm already blogging in German, but my English is still not the best one (I make loads of mistakes, my style is pretty simple as my vocabulary is), so I'm going to change this. I want to hear more English, I want to read more in English and I want to write more in English.
Therefore I beg you pardon right now - excuse my mistakes, tell me where they are - this would be a great help, really.

So, What's this blog about? About books, books and books again. I am going to publish my reviews as I do here:
I'm going to present some books I recognized (the English editions, of course) and talk about whatever comes into my mind.
And, yes, I'm going to finish the blog's design. xD Everything now is just there to have something that doesn't look awful. Never mind!

Okay ... that's it for now. Maybe later on there will be the first review on this blog.