Monday, January 22, 2007

The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason

Max looked down. He noticed the warm yellow had dulled at their feet. A cloud was moving over the sky and soon would block the sun. Their sanctuary would disappear.

"I don't supposed you thought this through any further," he said, brandishing the sword at a younger undead who dared take a step toward them.

"I was rather hoping that, since I got us this far, you'd have an idea."

The smoke was getting thicker, and some of the furnishings were starting to kindle. It would be a very short time until the entire room erupted in flames; the dry, rotting curtains that hung at the black windows were already suffused with angry orange and red tongues.

*Warning: Possible SPOILER coming up*

On the eve of her society debut, Victoria Gardella Grantworth finds out she must decide whether or not to continue the family legacy of Gardella vampire slayers. She chooses to be trained to fight and slay vampires, to become a “Venator”; but when the Marquess of Rockley steals her heart and a powerful vampire plots to gain unspeakable power, Victoria is torn between love and duty.

This is the paragraph you don't want to read, unless you don't mind spoilers. You have been warned:

A fascinating, adventurous combination of Regency historical, paranormal thriller, and romance that was gripping to its shocking conclusion, the book leaned more toward romance in its first half and then veered more heavily to the paranormal thriller side in the latter portion. In fact, my die-hard romance-writer friends would rail about the sad ending, as a romance is technically a happily-ever-after story. Believe me, I got that drilled into my head when I hung out with romance writers.

Okay, it's safe to read, now.

Regardless, it was a unique combination that kept me turning the pages. Normally, I shy away from vampire tales; but, I wanted to read the book because Colleen is one of ours, so to speak, in the blogging world. Of course, we all adore her and she's nice. You know my policy: Buy books written by nice people, whenever possible (and definitely attend their signings, if you can). When I came across a copy in the local bookstore, The Rest Falls Away passed my "flip test" with flying colors - every sentence I read, as I flipped through, randomly, grabbed me. So much for not bringing home any new books.

I was glad I broke that little rule. The Rest Falls Away was beautifully written, loaded with action and didn't become gory or disturbing until close to the end. I tend toward easily-triggered nightmares, but this novel didn't cause me any trouble and was loads of fun. If not for the fact that I opted to do a ton of housework while the guys were away, this weekend, I wouldn't have put it down at all. But, I did and the house is a lot cleaner, thank goodness. It was getting scarier than a vampire novel. Still, I was enthralled and very pleased because I'm scrupulously honest in my reviews and I sure didn't want to say anything negative. That would pain me. Since I'm not a regular vampire-story reader, I can't say how it compares to most but I liked it better than the only other vampire book I've ever read: The Nymphos of Rocky Flats. There is a little bit of graphic sex, which y'all know is not my thing, but I coped. See, I'm fine. Look. Don't I look terrific?

4/5

Now reading: Crispin by Avi and I'm about to get back to God is an Englishman but don't hold your breath that I'll finish it anytime soon.

Just walked in the door: The Sex Lives of Cannibals by Maarten Troost and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (uh-oh, Chunkster Alert).

Best moment of the day: Not to sound old, tired and repetitious, but it has to do with yet another hawk. I loaded one of the cats, Miss Spooky, into her carrier and took her along for the school pick-up routine. She was surprisingly quiet and relaxed - very unusual, as she's my yowler when it comes to vet trips. Anyway, on the return home we passed a hawk sitting on a phone wire by the road. There were no cars behind us, so I briefly stopped the car to allow kiddo and myself a longer look. The hawk had its head turned to the side, the reddish feathers on his crown rippling in the breeze. It was just such a glorious sight.

I don't know if we have a large influx of raptors during the winter or they're simply more visible when the leaves are off the trees, but we've seen them almost every time we leave the house, recently. Neato. Yeah, yeah, I grew up in the 70's.

Recent discovery: I found my missing Nabokov!! Six months? I think that's how long it took to show up. Gosh, how embarrassing. Okay, this is not totally weird because my husband is kind of an absent-minded professor type and there are only certain things he can be bothered to remember, but apparently he found it - and has no memory at all of doing so. Still, it appeared quite unexpectedly on top of a pile of books. "No, babe, it wasn't there last week. I know you found it. Where? I just want to know where it's been all this time!" said I. "I don't remember finding it. Sorry. It's just another book to me." Big sigh. Hope to get to that one soon, as it's one for the TBR challenge; I've had it close to forever.

Watched this weekend: Three movies - so unlike me, but I had a lot of laundry to fold and I do so while watching movies: You, Me and Dupree (hmm, pretty fun but more rude than I'd like), Crash (wow) and About a Boy (again - love it, love it, love it; big Nick Hornby fan, here).

Gettin' cold (it's all relative, I know - the grass is still green, here). Gotta go curl up with a cat and a good book. Stay warm!

21 comments:

  1. You write such delightful posts, Bookfool. Very nice review of Colleen's book. The ending was surprising wasn't it? Hope you are enjoying Crispin. I really liked it.
    We watched 3 movies this weekend, too, but we didn't do anything useful during them. All 3 of us are under the weather. Today we are watching all 3 of the Lord of the Rings movies.

    I'm interested in your thoughts about the Sex Lives of Cannibals. Interesting title?! Glad your lost book reappeared.

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  2. Booklogged,

    Thanks so much. You've just given me my warm fuzzy for the day. :)

    I knew there was something I forgot to mention! Yes, the ending was surprising (and gripping); I forgot to mention that I thought the whole book was surprising - at least to me. I never knew what was going to happen next; I love that.

    Sorry you're all under the weather. I've yet to either read or watch any of the Lord of the Rings series. I hesitate to admit that, but fantasy is one of the genres I seldom read. Hope you all recover quickly!

    The Sex Lives of Cannibals is a travel memoir. Not sure when I'll get to it, but it sounds really fun. :)

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  3. Bookfool! Thank you so much for posting such a fabulous review. I'm delighted you read and enjoyed the book (not to mention relieved that it passed the "flip test")...and thanks for pulling such a wonderful passage from the book to quote from.

    It was really neat to see that heading your post. (And now I can count you as someone who quoted my book back to me!)

    Thanks again for sharing your enjoyment of the book!

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  4. Which Nabokov was it? I wouldn't like to lose any of mine. I'll be reading Cloud Atlas for the TBR challenge, so let me know what you think of it.

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  5. ooo I love Vampire books. :) I'll have to keep this one in mind to read. :)

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  6. Colleen,

    I just loved your book and can't wait for more!!

    That quote was my absolute favorite because it made me stop, smile, and read again. I love moments of levity in the midst of action. :)

    Hope you sell a million!!

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  7. Acquisitionist,

    It was Laughter in the Dark. At the point I set it down, I was kind of lukewarm on it but I wanted to finish it, of course! Nabokov's short stories just blow me away. Probably won't get to Cloud Atlas for a long time, but I'll definitely share my thoughts if I beat you to it!!

    Krista,

    Well, you know I'm not a vampire book person. LOL But, I loved The Rest Falls Away. It's such a nice blend of paranormal, romance, and historical. I hope you read it soon, so I can hear your thoughts!

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  8. nancy, i posted on a chunkster... kinda. you'll see when you read it ;)
    hope I didnt breck any rules!

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  9. I loved Crispin by Avi. I read it to my third graders a few years ago (they were an especially bright class, and could handle it auditorally with discussions interspersed) and they were as enraptured as I. It had a vew surprises that even caught this jaded reader.

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  10. Everyone has been giving this rave reviews! I'm very excited for Colleen!
    As I'm trying to cut back on book spending, I may be the last blogger on earth to read it though. :P

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  11. Bellezza,

    I'm really caught up in Crispin, now. The only reason I put it down, last night, was because my eyes finally grew heavy. :)

    Angela,

    It's getting rave reviews for good reason - Colleen is a terrific writer. I'm not supposed to be buying books either, but it leapt out at me and screamed "Buy me!" You believe that, right? :)

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  12. Yay! Glad you (or your hubby) found your Nabokov!! I'll be anxious to hear your thoughts on Sex Lives of Cannibals. I've heard a few good reviews. I think Andi may have read it a year or two ago. Maybe.

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  13. Nessie,

    I have a lot of trouble opening your blog page because it's so heavy on photos, but I finally managed! No, you didn't break any rules. In fact, there's a post about starting early buried in this blog. Somewhere toward the end of December I said that since it's a self-challenge and the goal is to get those fat books off the shelves, if you were dying to get started, go ahead. The whole point is to get motivated to finish the chunksters, after all. :) So you're good. Congratulations.

    And, I loved that little bit of dickering about the Stendhal title.

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  14. Les,

    It's about time that Nabokov showed up, but I sure wish the spouse could remember just exactly where he found it! I'm really curious where it's been all these months!

    I have so many other books on the agenda that it will probably be a while before I get to Sex Lives, but I've read some positive reviews, also. I'll let you know when I get to it!

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  15. Stephanie3:22 PM

    I've heard other people say that it was a good read too. I'll have to try to get my hands on a copy.
    Speaking of vampire novels, you must check out the YA book Twilight. It was excellent!
    - Stephanie
    www.thewrittenword.wordpress.com

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  16. Stephanie,

    I've read several positive reviews about Twilight, but I think I'm going to pass on that one. Vampires are sooo not my thing. I enjoyed Colleen's book because of the fact that it was mostly "vampire light" throughout (till the last third or so) but I think I'll just stick with her series and skip the rest. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

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  17. many thanks bookfool. And should the time ever come (in a thousand or so years) that there are no books that grace your nightstand then please consider Stendhal. Even though it was a bit of a chore I went out and bought his only other completed book. Best

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  18. hi, bookfool!

    Glad you found your Nabokov,yeay!!!

    I read "The Sex Lives of Cannibals" a year or so ago and just LOVED it! The best part was carrying it on the subway or to work, people would literally be craning their necks to get a better look at the book. It always made me smile - knowing what they were thinking! :)

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  19. Nessie,

    No problem. I'm not certain, but I may have a copy of The Charterhouse of Parma. Is that the other book you're referring to? I don't know if I have it or just remember seeing it somewhere - my brain wires have gotten crossed since my bookstore days. A thousand years is about right! LOL

    Lotus!

    Hey, it's great to see you! Yes, what a relief to finally find that missing Nabokov! It was making me nutty. I really wish I could find out where on earth it's been all these months, but that's never going to happen. My husband is like Einstein in that he refuses to bother with storing certain bits of information. What a pain! LOL

    Oh, I'll bet The Sex Lives of Cannibals was a hoot to carry on the subway! I just read while sitting in the car, these days, but I'm sure that one would be a hit in a doctor's waiting area or some other place where people are bored out of their minds. :) I'm glad to hear you loved it! I'll have to get to that one sooner, rather than later!

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  20. I love your "flip test"! I really want to read Colleen's book but right now I'm going through the Stephenie Meyer's books (also Vampires). I don't know if I can resist the book at my next bookstore outing though :)

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  21. Iliana,

    That's what happened to me - I came across the book when son #2 begged for a trip to the bookstore. There it was, just dying for me to read it (no pun intended). :)

    I've discovered the "flip test" is the best way for me to determine whether or not I'll enjoy a book. Unfortunately, it doesn't work when you order a book sight-unseen. LOL

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