Category Archives: Fantasy

Hiatus, complete + Game of Thrones

I guess that No Other Appetite is just emerging from some sort of unannounced hiatus… So, hello!  I’ve missed writing and now that our move is kinda sorta winding down and we’re settling in, I hope to resume writing with the same frequency that I had going leading up to the insanity of house-buying.

Over the past few months, I have read as much as possible, so I have a few books to write up about over the next few weeks.  Currently, however, I’m soldiering through Game of Thrones due to my recent obsession with the television show.  While tackling a novel as LONG as this one (coupled with the big move) possibly derails me from surpassing my goal of reading 45 books this year, it’s proving to be well worth that sacrifice.

While I am far away from being in a position to write my review/reactions to the novel, I can share that my favorite character (and who I am personally rooting for to win the Game) is Danaerys Targaryen (AKA Khaleesi or Mother of Dragons).  I ran a few internet searches for sites dedicated to her (while trying my best to not read too much history on her character as I don’t want to ruin what may or may not happen…) and found a few nifty sites that I am going to share here.

Oh, I also purchased this neat-o t-shirt from TeeFury:

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I will say – I haven’t been this excited about a specific literary character since Lisbeth in the Millennium trilogy.

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


Title:
  The Night Circus
Author:  Erin Morgenstern
Length:  4oo
Rating:  On a scale of 1-5, 3.5

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my experience seeing and touching The Night Circus at a local store.  I immediately fell in love with the idea of the novel and decided, right then and there, that I would buy it as soon as I wrapped up the other book that I was reading.  So, I jazzed myself up before even reading a single page of it.

The story itself is unique and intriguing, but I didn’t feel like there was enough action or dialogue.  It appeared, to me, that the majority of the novel followed the same path that a lot of my short stories sometimes followed in college – a lot of adjectives, a lot of descriptions, and not a whole lot of allowance for the reader to fill in gaps and deduce anything about the characters based off what the characters do and say.

So, to me, it definitely feels like a first novel.  A very good first novel, but a first novel nonetheless.  With that said, however, I look forward to Morgenstern’s future novels, because they can only continue to get better.
Buy The Night Circus on Amazon.

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The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice

There are a few things that I’m not really “into” and vampires are probably on the top of that list.  While I’ve always been fond of ghost stories, exorcism films, and tales (or films) in that same vein, I have kept myself away from the vampire craze.  Until this year, that is.  I’m not entirely sure why I wanted to give an Anne Rice novel a try.  I liked the film, Interview with the Vampire, well enough, but that isn’t what officially piqued my interest in picking up the book.

A friend of mine, who has excellent taste, is a fan of Anne Rice and recommended her work to me once or twice.  At first, I was hesitant and then, somewhat out of the blue, my mood changed.  Once the book was in my possession, however, it took me a few months (or, more honestly, a year) to start reading past the first chapter.  Why the hesitancy?  In recent years, I’ve been more drawn to works of fiction that could be true; the characters, situations, emotions, and settings are all plausible.  Vampires who live for hundreds of years, drinking blood and performing in theatre?  Not so much.

Once I finally started reading, however, I was sucked in.  I was sucked in more by Anne Rice’s writing style than the vampires themselves, though the characters began to grow on me and I opted to choose my favorite as Louis – and that was in no way influenced by the fact that Brad Pitt depicted him in the film.  I swear.  I was also fascinated by how well Rice mirrors humanity in the vampires, both on an individual level as well as on a “species” scale.

So far, I’m two books in and have the next two sitting on the shelf.  Surprisingly, Rice was able to make Lestat into a hard rocker celebrity without making it TOO cheesy.  In a way, it even made sense.  Now, while I was surprised by how much I enjoy the series, I do need a little bit of space before reading anymore about vampires, though I am quite excited to learn more about Akasha in Queen of the Damned.

Buy the Vampire Chronicles on Amazon.

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Filed under Anne Rice, Books, Fantasy, Series

Local Author: Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus

I’m not one to really get sucked into books that are classified as one of the following:  Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, “Chick Lit”, or, my personal favorite, Romantica (think lonely everyday women meeting, falling in love with, and being ravaged by really hunky aliens).  There are, of course, exceptions – well, except for with Romantica – so I always keep an open mind when considering a future read.

This past weekend, I came across a copy of The Boston Phoenix featuring Erin Morgenstern on the cover.  I actually passed by this issue a few times during my walk downtown, each time drawn back to the cover, which has a picture of Morgenstern in a field, holding a crystal ball, the words The Enchantress right next to her face.  Seeing that this enchantress was a local author, I quickly snatched up a copy and sat down to look through the article.

The book is called The Night Circus and, after reading the article, I popped into a Hallmark store to see if they had a copy on the shelves.  Luckily for me, they did.  I wasn’t sold on buying it yet (it’s hardcover, roughly $26.00), but the book nerd in me just wanted to hold it, to feel its weight, and to scope out the design.  While I can’t vouch for how excellent a novel it is yet (though if you pick up a copy of The Boston Phoenix or read any review, other people will fill you in), I can tell you that this is possibly one of the most stunning hardcovers that I have ever held.  I could have fallen for it so hard because I’m a big fan of stripes and very much enjoy black, white, and red together, but I felt a draw to purchase it immediately based off the look alone.

Morgenstern is from Marshfield, MA, recently lived in Salem, now in the North End.  Attended school at Smith College.  She’s as local as you can get and I’m a big fan of supporting local talent and artists.  What’s most inspiring to me, as a girl who would love to be a published author someday, is that going into working on this novel, she wasn’t a writer.  The novel spawned from her partaking in National Novel Writing Month in 2003.  She didn’t finish the novel in the thirty days (who does?), but she stuck with it, fleshed out the characters, and eventually came to find a setting and a solid plot.  And now she has a highly regarded novel published and it looks like the story will also be turned into a film.

Below is the novel blurb, which will provide you with a quick background of the story:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Sounds slightly fantastical, but due to her inspirational (personal) story, the fact that she is local, and the fact that, yes, sometimes I do judge a book by its cover, I plan on picking up a copy this week and beginning it once I finish the novel that I am currently working on.  I hope that you are inspired to do the same!

Visit Erin Morgenstern’s website.
Purchase a copy on Amazon. 

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Filed under Books, Fantasy, Local Author