Publicat în Maggie Shayne

Mark of the Witch (seria The Portal, volumul 1) – Maggie Shayne

Mark of the Witch (seria The Portal, volumul 1) – Maggie Shayne

Editura: Harlequin

Data publicare: 18 septembrie 2012

Numar pagini: 400

 

Sinopsis:

Ea s-a nascut pentru a salva ceea ce el a jurat ca va distruge…

O fosta „vrajitoare” Wicca a renuntat sa mai creada in magie. Dar atunci cand o serie de vise ciudate in care e sacrificata unui zeu antic babilonian ajung sa o trezeasca pentru a-si descoperi  incheieturile pline de cicatrici reale datorate legaturilor, este fortata sa constientizeze ca e posibil sa se fi grabit cu respingerea necunoscutului. Apoi il cunoaste pe misteriosul si chipesul preot Tomas. Provenind dintr-o misterioasa secta gnostica, el o intampina cu povesti despre un demon, despre un trio de vrajitoare razboinice si despre chemarea secreta a Indirei. Totusi, exista ceva ce nici macar Tomas nu stie, un adevar ce il va obliga sa aleaga intre a salva viata femeii de care se indragosteste si a salva lumea.

Parerea mea:

Multumesc editurii Harlequin si autoarei, Maggie Shayne pentru ca mi-au oferit aceasta carte pentru recenzie.

Romanul Mark of the Witch abordeaza cu siguranta o gama noua de teme si idei. Spre deosebire de alte subiecte, cele propuse de  Maggie Shayne au fost destul de rar tratate in literatura fantasy. Acesta este si motivul pentru care am fost curioasa sa citesc romanul. Povestea se desfasoara in jurul Indirei, o fosta practicanta a religiei „vrajitoarelor” Wicca. Din cauza unor aspecte dezamagitoare, in urma cu cativa ani, Indira a renuntat sa mai creada in magie si in teoriile de baza ale religiei. Romanul incepe cu un cosmar ce o bantuie pe protagonista de ceva timp, cosmar ce incepe sa para infricosator de real. Indira descopera urme fizice ale intamplarilor din vis, iar singura persoana la care poate apela este o fosta prietena, preoteasa in cadrul comunitatii Wicca. Iar de la aceasta, Indira ajunge la Tomas, un preot gnostic, care ii spune o poveste incredibila despre reincarnare, vieti trecute, Babilon, vrajitorie, demoni si sfarsitul lumii. Si din pacate, episoadele fantastice de care are parte Indira tot mai des nu fac decat sa ii confirme spusele preotului. Relatia celor doi este la un pas de a depasi anumite limite permise, iar fiecare protagonist are de partea sa o persoana apropiata. Misterele se indesesc, amintiri infricosatoare din alte vieti incep sa revina, neicrederea creste si ea si tot felul de intamplari ciudate au loc din ce in ce mai frecvent. Iar adevarul Indirei este tot mai departe de cel al lui Tomas, insa este imposibil sa descoperi care este de fapt singurul adevar. Iar o greseala ar insemna distrugerea lumii.

In ciuda faptului ca intriga este bine construita, personajele atent creionate si  per ansamblu, nu poti spune ca povestii ii lipseste ceva, totusi nu am fost in totalitate cucerita de romanul Mark of the Witch. In prima parte, intamplarile se desfasoara intr-un ritm putin prea lent si chiar daca stiam importanta unui singur pas gresit, nu am reusit sa simt tensiunea asa cum ar fi trebuit. Pur si simplu, esti mereu constient ca citesti o poveste, nu esti transportat in lumea descrisa de autoare, nu rezonezi cu personajele, nu simti nici o emotie, nu detectezi tensiunea si suspansul.

Mi-a placut modul in care sunt construite personajele, chiar si cele negative. Indira accepta destul de dificil ceea ce i se dezvaluie, in ciuda semnelor pe care visele le lasa pe trupul ei si a diferitelor dovezi pe care le are ca totul este real. Am apreciat faptul ca nu se arunca in avalansa de informatii cu ochii inchisi, ci incearca sa constientizeze lent ceea ce i se intampla, de multe ori fiind la un pas sa refuze ceea ce afla. Prietena sa combina perfect discretia cu tendinta de a o incuraja sa creada in ceea ce se intampla, in fortele proprii si  in magie, fara a fi insa insistenta si fara a o impinge intr-o directie pe care nu si-o doreste. Lupta interioara a lui Tomas este si ea impecabil descrisa. Acesta este impartit intre principiile in care a crezut intreaga viata si o teorie noua, care le contrazice in intregime. Iar mentorul lui Tomas este exemplul perfect de persoana indoctrinata, ce refuza cu inversunare orice alta varianta a povestii pe care o stie el, indiferent de car de bine construita este aceasta sau cat de slabe ar fi argumentele sale proprii.

Bile albe:

– Mi-a placut ideea reincarnarii, am apreciat teoria conspiratiei transmisa de mii de ani si modul in care fiecare personaj isi apara cu indarjire scopul. Romanul se transforma la final mai mult intr-un thriller, iar dezvaluirile facute au exact doza necesara de dramatism si surpriza.

Bile negre:

– Prima parte a cartii este parca prea lenta, actiunea se tergiverseaza, iar visele si experientele paranormale ale protagonistei nu echilibreaza povestea.

English version:

Sinopsis:

She was born to save what he is sworn to destroy… 

A lapsed Wiccan, Indira Simon doesn’t believe in magic anymore. But when strange dreams of being sacrificed to an ancient Babylonian god have her waking up with real rope burns on her wrists, she’s forced to acknowledge that she may have been too hasty in her rejection of the unknown. Then she meets mysterious and handsome Father Tomas. Emerging from the secrecy of an obscure Gnostic sect, he arrives with stories of a demon, a trio of warrior witches-and Indira’s sacred calling. Yet there’s something even Tomas doesn’t know, an inescapable truth that will force him to choose between saving the life of the woman he’s come to love-and saving the world.

My opinion:

I received Mark of the Witch by courtesy of Harlequin publisher and Mrs. Maggie Shayne, the author of the book. Thank you for offering me the book for review! Because English is not my native language, please accept my excuses for the possible mistakes.

Mark of the Witch approaches a new set of themes and ideas. Unlike other subjects, the ones promoted by Maggie Shayne weren’t covered very often in the fantasy literature. This is one of the reasons why I was curious to read this book. The novel displays the story of Indira, a former Wiccan witch. Because of some disappointing angles, a few years ago she stopped believing in magic and in the Wiccan religion basis.  The book starts with a nightmare that haunts our heroine for a while and that starts being really scary. Indira finds physical evidences of the dream and the only person that can help her is an old friend, a Wiccan priestess. And because of her friend, Indira meets Tomas, a Gnostic priest, who tells her an incredible story about reincarnation, past lives, Babylon, witchcraft, demons and the end of the world. And unfortunately, the fantastic episodes that keep happening to Indira confirm what the priest tells her. The relation between Indi and Tomas starts exceeding some innocent limits and both characters have a close friend to support them, even if the directions the’re dragging them in are totaly different. The mysteries are thickening, scary memories from past lives keep coming back, the disbelief is raising and weird things start to happen more frequently. And Indira’s truth is more and more different of Tomas’s, but it’s impossible to discover which is in fact, the only truth. And a tiny mistake could mean the end of the world.

Despite the fact that the storyline is well built, the characters are described in a perfect manner and you can’t say that the story is missing something, I just wasn’t fascinated by the novel. In the first half of the book, the story has a slow rhythm and even if I knew the importance of any tiny mistake, I just didn’t feel the tension as I should have. You simply know all the time that you are reading a story, you’re not carried away in the world described by the author, you don’t feel the emotions, the tension and the suspense.

 I liked the way the characters were created  (even the negative ones). Indira accepts pretty hard what she finds out, despite the signs left by her dreams and other proof that show that what happens is real. I liked the fact that she is not throwing herself in the information avalanche, but she tries to slowly understand what’s happening and sometimes, she almost refuses to believe what she finds out. Her friend is perfectly mixing the discretion with the tendency to encourage her to believe again in magic and in herself, but she is not pushy or obtrusive. The interior fight of Tomas is also well written. He’s divided between the theories he believed in all his life and a new fact that contradicts everything he knows. And Tomas mentor is the perfect example of the ideologue character, which refuses any other version of the story he knows, no matter how well that version is built or how elusive his arguments are.

Pros:

– I liked the idea of reincarnation, the conspiracy theory carried through thousands of years and the way every character strongly believes in his aims. At the end, the novel becomes almost a thriller and the revelations are offering exactly the needed dose of drama and surprise.

Cons:

– The first part of the novel is a little too slow, the action is prolonged and the weird dreams and the paranormal experiences of the heroine are not able to balance the story.

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Circle of Silence – Carol M. Tanzman

Pale – Chris Wooding

Publicat în A.K. Morgen

Fade (seria The Ragnarok Prophesies, volumul 1) – A.K. Morgen

Fade (seria The Ragnarok Prophesies, volumul 1) – A.K. Morgen

Editura: Curiosity Quills Press

Data publicare: 7 septembrie 2012

Numar pagini: 320

 

Sinopsis:

Ce faci atunci cand realizezi ca nimic din viata ta nu e asa cum credeai tu ca este?

Atunci cand Arionna Jacobs isi pierde mama intr-un accident tragic, lumea ei se intoarce pe dos. Este fortata sa isi lase intreaga viata in urma si sa se mute cu tatal ei. Dace Matthews, asistent la noua facultate pe care o urmeaza ea este „rupt” in doua, nereusind sa comunice cu lupul salbatic prizonier inauntrul sau.

Atunci cand se intalnesc, tot ceea ce credeau ca stiu despre viata lor incepe sa se clarifice. Dace are acces la mintea Arionnei si ceva ascuns in strafundul sufletului ei incearca sa iasa la suprafata. Nici unul nu intelege ce li se intampla si de ce iar timpul pe care il au la dispozitie sa inteleaga intamplarile ciudate prin care trec este pe terminate.

Intalnirea lor declanseaza o profetie norvegiana a distrugerii iar ceea ce le-a rezervat destinul este mult mai mult decat si-ar putea imagina oricare dintre ei. Daca nu invata sa aiba incredere in ei insisi si unul in celalalt este posibil sa nu rezolve niciodata misterul legat de ceea ce reprezinta unul pentru celalalt si de ceea ce inseamna acest lucru pentru intreaga lume.

Parerea mea:

Multumesc editurii Curiosity Quills Press si autoarei, A.K. Morgen, pentru ca mi-au oferit aceasta carte pentru recenzie.

Trebuie sa va spun de la inceput ca desi acum, dupa ce am terminat romanul Fade pot spune ca a fost interesant, prima jumatate a acestuia a fost extrem de enervanta. Sunt nevoita sa fac o paranteza ca sa intelegeti ce o sa spun in continuare. Nu sunt nici pro nici contra celebrei serii Twilight. Am citit-o inainte sa inceapa mania Twilight si nu mi-a lasat vreo impresie semnificativa. O serie..ok si atat. Dar mi se pare evident faptul ca Stephanie Meyer a deschis mult mai larg portile literaturii fantasy si influenta sa asupra publicului tanar s-a revarsat si catre alti autori. Oricine neaga asta ar trebui sa arunce o privire asupra numarului de romane young adult, fantasy sau paranormal publicate in ultimii ani, comparativ cu numarul din anii anteriori.

Totusi, cred ca am ajuns in punctul in care literatura post Twilight a devenit cam greu de digerat. Bineinteles, nu vorbesc despre toate romanele, ci doar despre cele care recreaza punct cu punct majoritatea aspectelor din romanul lui Meyer. Probabil din acest motiv aproape ca am detestat Fade pana pe la jumatate. S-o luam pe rand. Fata nevoita sa se mute intr-un orasel mic impreuna cu tatal ei? Avem. Personaj masculin incredibil de frumos si misterios? Avem. Prima intalnire in care absolut tot ce e in jur dispare iar cei doi se pierd unul in privirea celuilalt si intreaga existenta le este data peste cap? Avem. Incercari obsesive ale ei de a afla adevarul despre el si asa zise incercari din partea lui de a evita asta? Avem. Telepatie? Avem. Chestii nu tocmai naturale care incep sa apara dupa intalnirea celor doi? Avem. Hmm..ce mai era? Ah, da, nu trebuie sa uitam si ca ea se impiedica prea des. Ok, deci pana la jumatate, cam acesta este cursul povestii. Si de parca nu era de ajuns, avem parte si de zeci de pagini de reflectii, meditatii, incursiuni in sufletul indurerat al eroinei, cugetari si presupuneri. Nu am abandonat cartea doar pentru ca imi parea rau de timpul pierdut pana la momentul respectiv. Asa ca daca tot citisem pana atunci, macar sa am constiinta impacata ca am reusit sa termin romanul.

Ei bine, incepand de pe la jumatatea cartii, lucrurile se schimba. Prima surpriza a fost legata de faptul ca el nu este varcolac, asa cum il suspectam, ci shifter. Nu neaparat ca ar fi o diferenta foarte mare, dar a marcat inceputul unul lant de surprize. Eram ferm convinsa ca povestea va evolua intr-un plan destul de previzibil, fara sa ofere nimic spectaculos. Si totusi, firul narativ s-a intins intr-o directie total diferita. Am fost aruncata deodata in mitologia scandinava, din care o anumita profetie norvegiana despre sfarsitul lumii isi extinde influenta exact asupra personajelor noastre. Suntem dintr-odata prinsi intr-un joc cu legende, reincarnari, creaturi nemaintalnite in genul fantasy, dusmani pe care inca nu ii cunoastem, personaje secundare ce schimba locul cu cele principale sau personaje negative ce au un rol total diferit fata de cel la care ne-am fi asteptat. Pe cat de plictisita am fost de prima parte a povestii, pe atat de captivata eram de cea de-a doua. Mi-au placut personajele secundare si mi s-a parut o schimbare binevenita faptul ca rolul acestora devine unul extrem de important. Mi-a placut haita de lupi ce isi pastreaza nota de naturalete, avand ritualuri obisnuite si fiind lipsita de capacitati supranaturale. Am apreciat faptul ca personajul masculin nu este construit intr-un mod clasic, nefiind neinfricat si invincibil, ci dimpotriva, avand temeri bine inradacinate si fiind la fel de speriat de necunoscut ca si protagonista. Mi-a placut faptul ca autoarea explica motivul pentru care mai multe tipuri de fiinte supranaturale sunt adunate intr-un orasel mic si nu trateaza aceasta intamplare ca fiind ceva absolut normal.

Exista insa din pacate doua lucruri care au aruncat o umbra asupra celei de-a doua jumatati a romanului. Primul: aceeasi tendinta ca si in prima parte a cartii catre meditatie si multitudinea de ganduri ale eroinei, ganduri care de cele mai multe ori nu fac decat sa umple degeaba paginile. Al doilea lucru care m-a deranjat este legat de modul in care profetia scandinava a fost adusa in atentia cititorului. In ciuda faptului ca o parte a legendei norvegiene este explicata, exista cateva aspecte ale acesteia ce raman in ceata. Cumva, ai senzatia ca parca nu ai fi citit cu atentie si ti-ar fi scapat exact esentialul. Pana la un moment dat aceasta legenda nu este mentionata deloc si dintr-odata, toate personajele par sa stie despre ce este vorba si sa discute despre ea ca si cum ar relua o conversatie veche. Stiu ca se intampla adesea sa nu mai retii cum este sa nu stii un anumit lucru, drept pentru care explicatiile tale sa nu fie indeajuns de clare pentru o persoana ce vine pentru prima data in contact cu acea teorie. Banuiesc deci ca autoarea s-a documentat probabil destul de mult cu privire la mitologia scandinava si nu mai reuseste acum sa trateze subiectul ca pe o noutate, ci il prezinta ca si cum toti cititorii ar avea aceleasi cunostinte ca ea.

Bile albe:

– Intriga romanului este diferita de cea a altor carti fantasy existente, oferind atat o viziune noua, cat si o gama de personaje pe care nu le mai intalnesti in alte lecturi.

Bile negre:

– Influentele Twilight: prea multe, prea evidente, prea insistente.

English version:

Sinopsis:

What do you do when you realize nothing in your life is what you’ve believed it to be?

When Arionna Jacobs loses her mother in a tragic accident, her world is turned upside down. She’s forced to leave her old life behind and move in with her father. Dace Matthews, a teaching assistant at her new college, is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral wolf caged inside him.

When they meet, everything they thought they knew about life unravels. Dace has intimate access to Arionna’s mind, and something deep within her fights to rise to the surface. They don’t understand what’s happening to them or why, and they’re running out of time to sort out the strange occurrences around them.

Their meeting sets an ancient Norse prophesy of destruction in motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. Unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never resolve the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world.

My opinion:

I received this book by courtesy of Curiosity Quills Press publisher and the author, A.K. Morgen. Thank you for offering me Fade in order to write a review. Because English is not my native language, please excuse the possible mistakes.

I have to tell you from the beginning that although now, after I finished Fade I can say that it was interesting, the first half of the novel was really annoying. I have to digress a little in order to make you understand what I’m going to say later. I am not pro and I’m not against the famous Twilight series. I’ve read it before the Twilight mania started and it didn’t offer me a major impression. It was..ok, but nothing more. But I think it’s pretty obvious that Stephanie Meyer opened the gates for the  fantasy literature and that her influence effused over other new authors. Anyone that denies this should check the number of young adult, fantasy or paranormal books that was published in these last years, compared with the number in the previous years.

However, I think we got to the point where the post Twilight literature is a little difficult to digest. Of course, I’m not talking about all the new novels, but about the ones that re-create most of the aspects from Meyer’s novel. Probably this is the reason why I hated the first half of Fade. Let’s start with the beginning. The girl that has to move with her dad in a small town? Check. The incredible beautiful and mysterious male character? Check. The first meet when everything near them disappears, they lose each other in the other’s sight and their worlds are completely messed? Check. Obsessive attempts from her to discover the truth about him and so called attempts from him to avoid it? Check. Mind reading? Check.  Unnatural things, happening after they met? Check. Hmm..was there something else? Oh, yes, we should’t forget that she stumbles a lot. So..this is the action in the first half of the book. And like this wouldn’t be enough, we also discover lots of pages full of thinking, meditations, incursions in the pained soul of the protagonist, thoughts and assumptions. I didn’t abandoned the book only because I was sorry for the time spent until that moment. If I already read half of the book, at least I should be comforted that I was able to read the full novel.

But, from the middle of the book, everything changes. The first surprise was that the male character is not a werewolf, as I suspected, but a shifter. I know it’s not a big difference, but it was the first sign of a sequence of surprises. I was sure that the story will develop in a very predictable way, without bringing anything surprising. But the storyline went in a totally different direction. I was suddenly thrown in the Scandinavian mythology, from where a Norse prophecy influences the lives of our characters. We’re suddenly caught in a game full of legends, reincarnation, unknown creatures we never meet in other fantasy books, enemies that we don’t know yet, secondary characters that change their place with the main characters and negative characters that actually have a very different role. As bored I was when I read the first part of the book, as fascinated I was when I got to the second one. I loved the secondary characters and I thought it was a welcomed change the fact that their roles become really important. I liked the wolf pack that keeps it’s natural way, having common rituals and having no supranatural characteristics. I appreciated the fact that the male character was not built in the usual way: dauntless and invincible. On the contrary, he has deep rooted fears and he is as frightened as the heroine by the unknown. Also, I liked the fact that the author offers a reason why all those supranatural beings are all living in a small place and she doesn’t treats this fact as a normal thing.

Still, there are two things that bothered me in this second part of the novel. First: the same bent for meditation and the amount of thoughts of the protagonist, thoughts that usually do nothing else but fill the pages. The second thing is the way the Norse prophecy was brought in the readers’ attention. Although a part of it is explained, there are a few aspects of it that remain in darkness. Somehow, you get the feeling that you didn’t read the whole text and you’re missing the most important thing.  For a while, there is no mention about the prophecy and suddenly, all the characters are talking about it like they would continue an old conversation. I know that sometimes, you forget how it feels not knowing a certain thing and because of this, your explanations may be unclear for a person that hears about that thing for the first time. So I suppose the author probably boned at the subject of Scandinavian mythology and now fails to present the subject as novelty, and more like all the readers would have the same level of information about it like she has.

Pros:

– The storyline is different from other fantasy novels and brings a new vision and also a collection of new and intriguing characters and creatures.

Cons:

– Twilight influences: to many, to obvious and to insistent.

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Versetele satanice – Salman Rushdie