Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Doctor Who: Only Human - Gareth Roberts

Title: Only Human
Author: Gareth Roberts
Paperback: 222 pages
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Published date: April 2013
FTC: Received to review from TLC Book Tours

Only Human by Gareth Roberts is the second book I was fortunate to be able to review for TLC Book Tours as part of Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary celebration.  A few years ago I was so excited to see Doctor Who back on the air.  I didn't get to catch it on TV but caught it on Netflix.  The opening credits with the classic Doctor Who theme...sigh. Good memories.  Still I was pretty alone in my Doctor Who fandom. It hadn't blown up like it has recently.  I LOVED Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor.  He seemed so cool with his leather jacket but still had that sense of humor that is always the Doctor.

This book brings back the Ninth Doctor with his companion Rose - who has become iconic in the series - and Captain Jack Harkness.  If you haven't watched any Ninth Doctor episodes you are missing out.  Check out The Empty Child episode where we first meet Captain Jack.  It is one of my favorite episodes - London during WWII blitz and that creepy creepy child.
Captain Jack

I remember the last Ninth Doctor episode where Christopher Eccleston is no longer and David Tennant becomes the Tenth Doctor.  I was so mad because I loved the Ninth Doctor and who was this silly character with funny hair and shoes?  Ok.  So I came to love the Tenth Doctor along with everyone else. David Tennant, you rock.  Still, Christopher Eccleston will always hold a place in my geeky heart because you were the first Doctor since I sat on the couch watching Doctor Who with my dad.

Back of the book:

Reports of a time disturbance lead the Ninth Doctor to modern-day London, where he discovers a Neanderthal Man, twenty-eight thousand years after his race became extinct.  A trip back to the dawn of humanity only deepens the mystery: who are these strange humans from the far future now living in the distant past? The Doctor must learn the truth about the Osterberg experiment before history is changed forever.

My thoughts:

In Doctor Who stories there's obviously three "types": past, present and future.  I tend to love the past ones - you know when the Doctor and companion meet Queen Victoria, or Agatha Christie, or Shakespeare.  Present ones are usually pretty good too but I'm hit or miss with future ones.  They can be good or too sci-fi silly.  I loved that this book did an awesome job of having the Doctor and Rose go to the past - way way past, when Neanderthal's walked the earth - but also had a futuristic bent with future time travelers also mucking around observing early man and Neanderthals.

Most of the story revolves around the Doctor and Rose but there are sections where we learn about the Neanderthal man, Das, who was accidently sent to modern England.  Captain Jack is tasked with trying to modernize and acclimate him to the modern world.  These parts are written journal style by Das and Captain Jack and are quite funny.  Obviously there's something sinister really going on in the past and the Doctor and Rose save the day.  These books are so much fun.  I'm really going to have to get my hands on the rest of the series.


Remember to enter my Giveaway for either Festival of Death, Only Human, or Who-ology.  When I originally posted the giveaway I didn't know I could only give away one book so make sure you designate which book you want.  Don't worry if you've already entered but have changed your mind.  If you win I'll confirm which one you want.

Check out the huge lineup of Doctor Who reviews for TLC Book Tours and more giveaways!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Doctor Who Giveaway!

TLC Book Tours and Ebury Publishing are being awesome and letting me give away either a copy of the Festival of Death or Who-ology.  Not MY copies - I'm greedily keeping my copies :)  They are also letting me have the giveaway be international - o yeah!!  You can go back and check out my review of Festival of Death.

I'll admit I think the Who-ology book is awesome for any Doctor Who fan - new or old.  How cool is this little chunkster?

For instance, I didn't know that before the Ninth Doctor meets Rose, the Great Time War happens.  I was always a little confused about this.  How cool of a movie or series would the Great Time War make?

There's a TON of fun factoids. Some I'm staying away from as I'm currently catching up on Season Six on Netflix. Yeah I don't have TV so don't even tell me what's going on with the current season.  They CAN'T reveal the Doctor's name.  Sheesh.

I'll just leave you with a poster that if anyone wants to buy for me...  They just had to go and have an episode of the Doctor meeting Vincent van Gogh -- swoooon!!!

You can buy it for me here :)


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Festival of Death - Jonathan Morris

Title: Festival of Death
Author: Jonathan Morris
Paperback: 306 pages
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Published date: April 2013
FTC: Received to review from TLC Book Tours

I am so excited to be part of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collection tour for TLC Book Tours.  In honor of the anniversary, Ebury Publishing is releasing a book for every Doctor from the series -- so if you know your Doctors that means eleven books.

When asked which Doctor's book I'd like to read, my first response was of course, the Fourth Doctor - played by Tom Baker.  You have to understand that I was born in the early eighties and some of my early memories was of watching Doctor Who with my dad -- and while I remember other Doctors there was really only ever ONE Doctor.  I was so excited to get to read this book that I immediately texted my brother that I was on this tour and he responded back "Tom freakin' Baker?!?!"  O yeah.

If you do watch the new Doctor Who series but have never seen the old shows you may not know who I am referring to.  The Fourth Doctor was such a character, always in his trademark scarf, floppy hat, and munching on jelly babies.
Come on, admit his outfit's pretty cool.
I'll admit I was a bit intimidated to try and read a Fourth Doctor book.  I mean, I haven't watch the old show in ages -- but it's on Netflix so I might have to do that.  Would I get the story? The inside jokes?  Have no fear, the book is awesome.

Back of the book:

The Beautiful Death is the ultimate theme-park ride: a sightseeing tour of the afterlife. But something has gone wrong, and when the Fourth Doctor arrives in the aftermath of the disaster, he is congratulated for saving the population from destruction -- something he hasn't actually done yet. He has no choice but to travel back in time and discover how he became a hero.

And then he finds out. He did it by sacrificing his life.

My thoughts:

Seriously so much fun.  I wanted to find a bag of jelly babies so I could curl up and immerse myself in the fun story. If you aren't familiar with the series, the Doctor is so funny. He's just got this laid back humor, even when everything is chaotic around him.  Back during this period of the series, the Doctor isn't the only Time Lord left and his companion is Romana, another Time Lord.  And of course K9.  O yeah.  Who could forget K9?  The most awesome Doctor companion ever (sorry Rose and Amy.)

The story is so much fun with the creepy but you could almost picture it happening in the future, a festival of death.  The side characters are hilarious, like the "hippy" lizard characters who are attending the festival for the ultimate "trip": death.  Zombies.  ZOMBIES! Even a depressed computer program named ERIC who just wants to be turned off and die - a little black humorous take off of HAL 9000.

Now I want to read more Dr Who novels.  Fortunately I am getting to review the Ninth Doctor novel in a few weeks. Woohoo!  But now I'm not intimidated to go back and revisit or visit for the first time other Doctors.


Come back tomorrow and I'll be giving away either a copy of Festival of Death OR Who-ology.  Who-ology is an awesome fact book for anyone - whether you are a new or old Whovian. Oh and the giveaway will be INTERNATIONAL!!!

Doctor Who TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, May 13th  A Bookish Way of Life – Beautiful Chaos, Book 10
Monday, May 13th– Diary of a Stay at Home Mom – The Silent Stars Go By, Book 11
Tuesday, May 14th – In Bed with Books – Only Human, Book 9
Wednesday, May 15th - A Library of My Own – Festival of Death, Book 4
Thursday, May 16th – Speaking of Books – Fear of the Dark, Book 5
Friday, May 17th – Col Reads – Ten Little Aliens, Book 1
Monday, May 20th – Tiffany’s Bookshelf – Dreams of Empire, Book 2
Monday, May 20th – Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot – The Silent Stars Go By, Book 11
Tuesday, May 21st – No More Grumpy Bookseller – Only Human, Book 9
Wednesday, May 22nd – The Best Books Ever – Earthworld, Book 8
Thursday, May 23rd – Reading Reality – Festival of Death, Book 4
Friday, May 24th –  The Z Axis – Fear of the Dark, Book 5
Friday, May 24th – 2 Kids and Tired - Dreams of Empire, Book 2
Monday, May 27th - More Than Just Magic - Players, Book 6
Tuesday, May 28th – The Best Books Ever – The Silent Stars Go By, Book 11
Tuesday, May 28th – Bookish Ruth – Remembrance of the Daleks, Book 7
Wed, May 29th – A Library of My Own – Only Human, Book 9
Thursday, May 30th – Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot – Last of the Gaderene, Book 3
Friday, May 31st – Bookish Whimsy – Beautiful Chaos, Book 10
Friday, May 31st - 2 Kids and Tired - Last of the Gaderene, Book 3
Monday, June 3rd – Book Addict Katie – Beautiful Chaos, Book 10
Monday, June 3rd – No More Grumpy Bookseller – The Silent Stars Go By, Book 11
Tuesday, June 4th - Bookfoolery – Ten Little Aliens, Book 1
Wednesday, June 5th - Tiffany’s Bookshelf – Last of the Gaderene, Book 3
Thursday, June 6th – Booktalk & More – Earthworld, Book 8
Friday, June 7th –  Speaking of Books – Players, Book 6
Monday, June 10th  - The Z Axis – The Silent Stars Go By, Book 11
Tuesday, June 11th- No More Grumpy Bookseller – Remembrance of the Daleks, Book 7
Wednesday, June 12th – A Bookish Way of Life – Last of the Gaderene, Book 3
Friday, June 14th – Bookish Whimsy – Festival of Death, Book 4
Monday, June 17th – 50 Books Project – Beautiful Chaos, Book 10
Tuesday, June 18th – Bookfoolery – Festival of Death, Book 4
Wednesday, June 19th – Tiffany’s Bookshelf – Fear of the Dark, Book 5
Thursday, June 20th – In Bed With Books – Remembrance of the Daleks, Book 7
Friday, June 21st – Speaking of Books – Only Human, Book 9
Monday, June 24th – Bookish Whimsy – Players, Book 6
Tuesday, June 25th – Book Addict Katie – Festival of Death, Book 4
Wednesday, June 26th – No More Grumpy Bookseller – Earthworld, Book 8
Thursday, June 27th – Reading Reality – Ten Little Aliens, Book 1
Friday, June 28th:  Guiltless Reading - Beautiful Chaos, Book 10
Monday, July 1st – 50 Books Project – Dreams of Empire, Book 2

Thursday, May 2, 2013

#Estellagram May 1 & 2

I'm going to try and be better this month doing the #Estellagram over at The Estella Society. I love this idea.

1. close up

 Me and Rocket at the computer this morning

2. currently reading

Robert Parry's Wildish
I've been reading Robert Parry's Wildish for a few months now. I got a bit distracted by other reads but I reached the part in Wildish where there's more Jacobite stuff going on and I'm quite hooked.  I should be finishing it up within the week.  (There's a giveaway on Goodreads for the book so go enter!) The knitting is a currently drawstring bag I'm working on for a friend.  Speaking of, I'm super proud of these little bear hats I made for a friend's baby twins.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Walnut Tree - Charles Todd

Title: The Walnut Tree
Author: Charles Todd
Hardcover: 248 pages
Publisher: William Morrow
Published date: 2012
FTC: Received to review from publisher

Charles Todd had been on my radar to read for about a year before I got the chance to review the novel The Walnut Tree.  I can't really say "his" novel because Charles Todd is the pen name of a mother and son writing team. Ok, how adorable is that?  Anyway, they basically have two series going, one about Inspector Ian Rutledge and one about a WWI nurse Bess Crawford.  I was really interested in checking out the Bess Crawford series.  So I jumped at the chance to review a little stand alone book The Walnut Tree which centers around another nurse and friend of Bess Crawford.

My synopsis:

Wow, reading the jacket flap made me feel that they gave away far too much in their synopsis.  So I'm breaking a bit of tradition and writing my own.

1914, Lady Elspeth Douglas is in Paris visiting Madeleine, a school friend who recently got married and pregnant.  She has quite the crush on her Madeleine's dashing brother Alain.  But then war breaks out.  Elspeth stays in Paris long enough to get engaged to Alain before he leaves to join the fighting and she helps Madeleine give birth.  But she's stayed in Paris too long. She tries to leave for England only to be caught without transportation on the coast as two countries are mobilizing for war.  Stranded, she's in a unique position as a civilian to see first-hand the horrors of war as wounded are being sent back to England. Helping out the best she can, she almost gets killed but is rescued by another dashing man, Captain Peter Gilchrist, who helps her get back to England.

Back at home, Elspeth can't forget what she's witness in France so she joins the nursing service.  The problem is her family.  It isn't proper for a lady to become a nurse.  While hiding her occupation from her family, she excels at nursing while becoming roommates with Bess Crawford.  Her other dilemma is she is rapidly falling in love with Captain Gilchrist - despite her engagement to Alain.

My thoughts:

I loved this little novel.  It's packaged so beautifully - the hardcover is a tad bigger than my hand. I fell in love with Lady Elspeth's determination, courage, and morality.  Charles Todd's description of WWI is well written.  I've always been fascinated with this war as it was the first war that really used modern technology and tactics.  I don't think anyone was really prepared for the mass casualties and horror that modern warfare brings.

What I enjoyed about this little novel was that it spent a lot of time showing the reader the war.  Elspeth glimpsed first hand in France what war was.  When she went back to England, there was a lot of snobbery, especially by the elite because to be honest, I don't think they really grasped what was going on.  I loved the detail included in Elspeth's nursing training and how there really an issue with an aristocratic woman being a nurse.  I also enjoyed the romance aspect.  It was a large part of the story but was just as large as Elspeth's nursing desire.  I thought it depicted pretty well how quickly people made life decisions they wouldn't normally make when war looms large.

I read this book in December and it was the perfect curl up with some tea and absorb the story.  Although it's a perfect holiday read, I don't think the subtitle "A Holiday Tale" really fits.  It's not a Christmas or holiday story.  Really, despite the cover and title, the actual story doesn't really invoke wintery feelings despite it being a great cozy read.  The actual title The Walnut Tree is perfect though as the tree is symbolic and central to the love story.

I read some reviews where people were less than happy with the story. I am completely opposite though. It is the perfect little book, chock full of story but a quick read, that makes you just want to sit down and lose yourself in the tale.  It's a little book that I'm keeping and will probably re-read during the holidays again.  Hmmm...maybe the subtitle is appropriate.

Since then I've read the first Bess Crawford book and will review that soon.  I'll definitely be reading more Charles Todd books.

Also Reviewed By:

Luxury Reading
Linus's Blanket