Category Archives: March 2015

What’s In My Bag? (My First Collaborative Video!)

I included this here because breelark has books in her bag. 🙂


Husband/Wife Book Reviews: ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ by Alexandre Dumas (March 19th, 2015)

Re-posted from LiveJournal:

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As you can tell, since my last entry (basically about a year ago already!) in which I reviewed Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and was given the further assignment by my husband Graham to read Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, my copy of this beloved tome of over 1400 pages has seen some wear and tear. But it is now finished, and worth every single day I spent reading it!

The first Dumas book I ever read was an adapted version of The Knight of Maison-Rouge, which I do NOT recommend, especially as the adaptation I was unfortunate enough to read included such verbs as ‘electrified’ (as in ‘her presence electrified the silence’ or some similar usage) when CLEARLY, electricity was probably not discovered, let alone in such popular usage as to include in the lexicon of the average person. (Does anyone else get really annoyed by such anachronisms?) I would someday like to read a translated but NOT adapted version, as the story itself would have been interesting if it weren’t for grievous errors like those mentioned above. Needless to say, my first Dumas experience wasn’t as illustrious as his reputation had given it to be.

HOWEVER. I had seen the 2002 movie version of The Count of Monte Cristo,and had truly enjoyed it. I had also had the distinction of reading from cover to cover an unabridged version of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables a few years previous, so I knew I was up to the task. I accepted, and thus my journey began.

Wait and hope: One of the last lines of this book basically describes the many facets of it, for those two elements are necessary for both revenge and redemption (two major themes of The Count of Monte Cristo). They are also important in every stage of a person’s life, which is so clearly seen in the life of poor Edmond Dantes. As a young sailor he waits and hopes for his chance to become captain and to marry Mercedes, the woman he loves. When that is all taken away from him, the fact that he has waited and hoped makes his disappointment even more palpable. While in prison with the intelligent Abbe Faria, he vows for revenge and this is what he waits and hopes for. When the Abbe dies and leaves his entire treasure to Dantes, he sets his desire for justice into action, but must wait and hope for each piece of his carefully constructed plan to fall into place. When his whirlwind of revenge begins to negatively affect the hopes and dreams of his young protege, Maximilian Morrel (the son of his former shipmaster), Edmond realizes that perhaps all he needs to wait and hope for is happiness, and after so much waiting and so much hoping, he seizes the day and sails off into the sunset with his new love, leaving Maximilian and his fiancee with a more positive form of his life motto of wait and hope

This book has everything. It has crime. It has romance. It has the dreams of the young crushed by the ambition of the powerful. It has murder, duels, intrigue, exotic locations, bandits, dandies, honour, luxury, and revenge, revenge, revenge! This book was originally serialized, which is why it was so long: it was so popular nobody wanted it to end! The Count of Monte Cristo was the popular TV drama of its day, and there are so many ways that modern shows have drawn from serialized works like it, I would be here all day if I tried to point them all out. All in all, I give this book 5 stars out of 5. It can be a bit daunting to carry around a hard copy like I did, so if you really can’t bring yourself to carry a book the size of a Bible around with you, please do get this on your e-reader. It will be worth your time, I promise you.


‘Resurrection: Sanctifying Grace’ by Elizabeth Davies (March 7th, 2015)

Re-posted from LiveJournal:

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I have arrived, at last, to the conclusion of Elizabeth Davies’ Resurrection trilogy, Sanctifying Grace. While I never did find out how it is that Grace can time-travel, and while I maintain that this trilogy should be advertised as a book in three parts instead of three books in a trilogy since none of them are able to stand alone as complete stories, I have to say that this trilogy was really good, and that the last book was my favourite.

Grace’s deteriorating health and consequent ‘demise’ had me in actual tears (usually enough to earn an extra star right there), and the double destiny of Roman & Grace (‘sanguinisto and regalato both’ as Davies puts it), was tied up excellently and with very few loose ends. I was curious why Viktor did not appear to recognize her when she first appeared outside Brecon Castle in the first book or why he never mentioned her first appearance to him while she was human, but I’m willing to chalk it up to the difference between her human and vampire forms, or that he didn’t want to tamper with destiny. Still, it was odd to me that he never would have once mentioned meeting her vampire form in the Dark Ages to Roman, even when he was feverishly trying to figure out if it would work to resurrect her somehow.

I liked that in this book, she is the one taking care of Roman instead of the sometimes ridiculous extent of her helpless female role in the other books (and when she is a helpless female in this book, it’s for the very understandable reason that she is dying of a brain tumour and merely the fact that she is female as well). After all the buildup and description of what life as Grace Llewellyn the Human With A Vampire Lover was like, I was kind of hoping for more adventures or even description as to what life as Grace the Vampire would be like, but I suppose that wouldn’t have been helpful for bringing the story to its conclusion.

As a trilogy, the first book has no ending, the second book has no beginning and no ending and the third book has no beginning, so these books seriously do depend on each other, and because they were marketed as three separate books, I found that to take away from the experience. As a whole story, this trilogy is really really good. I can tell a lot of research went into it, I loved all the characters as well as Davies’ writing style. 4 stars out of 5. Go read this! It’s good! (Warning for those who care to know: definite sex scenes – don’t read it if you don’t like that. Or better yet, read it but skip over those parts – the rest of the story is good too!)