Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Book Review: The Difference Between Night and Day

Today we're reviewing The Difference Between Night and Day, by Melissa Turner Lee

First, the genre... this is a paranormal (read: 'vampire') romance. But don't let that scare you. For that matter, don't let all the pink scare you either.

First, let's get the inevitable Twilight comparison out of the way. Yeah, romance, vampires, people will compare it. First, good news--no sparkling. The vampires in this book are unique enough (I'd say how, but it's kind of a plot twist at the end), but still a lot closer to 'traditional' vampire lore.

The romance in this is sweet, with only a little of the 'he hates me, I hate him, now I love him' stuff that seems to be a necessary ingredient in romance novels. I can't stand it. Possibly because I'm a guy, but in any case it's kept to a minimum. The romance is also unique as it's a lot more true-to-life. The characters and plot are a lot more true to what real love is than the traditional 'lets focus on feelings and lust' of the traditional romance novel, and that makes the characters more true, and to me, the romance a lot sweeter. Hey, guess I'm a sucker for finding true love-- and that's what the characters do, they fall in love, not lust. I know I've re-stated this several times, but it's so rare today that it deserves emphasis.

The secondary plot line takes a while to get moving, and doesn't get as much screen time as it possibly could have, but again, this is a romance with a sci-fi setting. I usually read books that are the other way around (okay, more sci-fi than romance...) so that's probably why this sticks out to me. The b-plot is still fully fleshed out and has a nice (if slightly rushed) conclusion.

Another unique thing about this book is that it's a christian paranormal romance. Yes, you read that correctly.
How do vampires and Christians go together? Well, you're going to have to read the book to find out. That part was very nicely done. The book could be considered by some to be overly preachy (I didn't think so, but I could see how some would), but it makes sense since one of the main characters used to be a preacher, so of course they'd see things through that perspective. The whole christian element was done that way, it comes out of the story naturally and tackles the christian vs paranormal argument head on, and doesn't break story doing it. Very nicely done.

Overall, I've read Janet Oak, an Amish Romance (yes, I proper-capped that... read one, you've read them all... but that's a rant for another time...), Twilight, and even another paranormal romance by the same author and this is easily the best romance I've read. (Possibly the sci-fi element and they way it was integrated... ;) )

You can buy this book at the following locations:

Barnes and Noble

And there's a giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 11, 2013

Book Review: Bid the Gods Arise

I'm starting a new feature on the blog. Book reviews. I'll talk about books I love, and why I love them. Hopefully you'll find something you'll love to read too!

A bunch of the books I'll be reviewing are read by the book club I belong to on Facebook.

Our first book is Bid the Gods Arise, by Robert Mullin

Here's the "back of the book" copy:

"Kidnapped from his homeworld and sold into slavery, Maurin despairs of ever seeing his cousin or his home again. When he is ransomed by a mysterious woman and reunited with Aric, he joins and unlikely group committed to the downfall of the slave trade. But it isn't long before he realizes they are being hunted--not only by the blood-lusting head of the slave trade, but by an ancient evil that wants their souls."

The most interesting thing to me, is that the book is a science-fiction book, but it feels like fantasy. Not too many people are doing this, and I like the combination. The book has a large cast, and each character is distinct. There's a great balance optimism, wanting to do the right thing, and wanting to just get the heck out of there from the cast. One of the characters is mute, and that can be really hard to write well enough to have the character fully fleshed out with no dialog... and she's probably one of the characters that comes across the best.

The whole "person gets sold/kidnapped/forced into slavery" plot has been done to death, and I'm not normally a fan of this type of plot, but Mullin takes it in a different direction. It never feels like a "oh this is awful, how can I escape this" plot, but more like a "Wow. This sucks, but I'm going to do the right thing anyway" story. Well, there are moments of the other, but they just serve to contrast the other characters decisions.

The book has the whole "Epic Fantasy" feel as well. The slave plot is the plotline for the first book, and the Big Bad Guy sets the stage for the rest of the series. Said Big Bad is also rather unique too.

As for the things I didn't like, they were really minor. As mentioned, I'm not a fan of the slave plot. Also, I didn't figure out until the last battle that "bolt-thrower" referred to not a crossbow, but an energy rifle.

I give it five stars. It was 400+ pages, but felt like 200 some. I very much enjoyed it, and plan on buying the sequel.

Buy this book at Amazon: Bid the Gods Arise (The Wells of the Worlds)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Want more sci-fi?

Hello everyone! No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth, but close too. My mom is going through chemo, so that's taking up a lot of my time...

Anyway, do you want to know where to find more great sci-fi and fantasy books? Or if you're an author, do you want help promoting your books?

Check out the Faith and Fantasy Alliance, an authors cooperative that helps connect readers to authors, and a lot more.

So go check them out, a lot of my friends books are listed there. Read them. You'll like them. ;)