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21. Burnt Offerings (Anita Blake Vampire
$19.80 $17.95 list($30.00)
22. Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower,
$6.29 $3.41 list($6.99)
23. Stolen
$14.95 $10.63
24. Satan Burger
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25. I Am Legend
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26. Undead and Unwed (Berkley Sensation)
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27. The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days
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28. Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake,
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29. Hellsing Volume 6 (Hellsing)
$12.21 $7.98 list($17.95)
30. The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower,
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31. The Eyes of the Dragon
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32. Practical Demonkeeping
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33. Blood Canticle (The Vampire Chronicles)
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34. Watchers
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35. The Trench
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36. Blackwood Farm (Rice, Anne, Vampire
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37. The Drawing of the Three (The
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38. The Best of H. P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling
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39. Frankenstein (Enriched Classics)
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40. Different Seasons (Signet)

21. Burnt Offerings (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter (Paperback))
by Laurell K. Hamilton
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0515134473
Catlog: Book (1998-05-01)
Publisher: Jove Books
Sales Rank: 8024
Average Customer Review: 4.16 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (126)

4-0 out of 5 stars Sexy!
This is a great book for people who enjoy reading about strong heroines and undead people with raging sex drives. Frankly I wasn't particularly impressed with the first book in this series (Guilty Pleasures) but the books are getting better and better. It should be noted that Ms. Hamilton is not particularly adept at developing an original plot - her books generally follow a predictable course. 1) Anita Blake is called in to help with a case involving gruesome murders and mutilations. 2) Anita Blake meets unbelievably powerful supernatural beings (with or without master vampire sidekick). [Note - the order of these events may be reversed] 3) Anita Blake impresses the hell out of everyone she meets and/ or pisses them off. 4) Anita Blake kills time by searching for clues and/ or schmoozing with master vampire/ alpha werewolf. 5) Anita Blake confronts/ is attacked by Evil People. 6) Anita Blake and (at least) one sidekick get hurt. 7) Anita Blake gets Angry. 8) Anita Blake kills all Evil People. [Note: Bouts of angst appear at strategic moments in novel.]

Was that a bit harsh? Sorry! I don't pull my punches. Now let's get to the good bit. The main reason I liked this novel was that the relationships between Ms. Blake and her friends/ lovers are explored well. I really enjoyed the playful dialogue between Jean-Claude and Anita and the way her relationship with the shapeshifters is developing. I liked the humour and the new characters who were introduced. I really liked the sexual tension in many of the scenes. I'm not sure I like the way Anita is becoming all-powerful but that is just a small annoyance. What is interesting is that it becomes clear in this novel that Jean-Claude (unlike most male characters in this genre) is weaker than Anita and that his current elevated standing is due more to his foresight in picking Anita and Richard as his partners than to raw power. Lastly, Ms. Hamilton is leaving open the possibility that Anita will eventually be involved in a cozy threesome with Richard and Jean-Claude, which I would really like to see happen. That outcome is more than hinted at in this novel with the appearance of Asher (who shows that Jean-Claude has had prior experience with a three-way relationship), Jean-Claude's own statement that it is in his best interest to keep Richard happy and a suggestive bit of dialogue between Padma and Richard near the end of the novel. All in all, a very good installment of the series. I urge you all to read it and am eagerly waiting for more.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not One of the Better Ones
The main reason I am giving Burnt Offerings only 3 stars, where I have given all the rest in the Anita Blake series 5 stars, is because it took me so long to read. I'm talking months. This is because I would read a chapter, then go on to a different book, then come back to it a few weeks later and read a few more pages, then abandon it again, and so on and so forth. I'm not saying I did this because the book was bad (it isn't that bad, really) - it's pretty much just because nothing that exciting happened. Throughout the last installment, The Killing Dance, I couldn't wait to get to the next page to see what would happen (especially between Anita and Jean Claude), but I never felt that way with Burnt Offerings. It felt like more of a chore to read it than a pleasure. The same old stuff is happening here: Anita is having major problems in the love department; she is having major problems with the Wereamimals; and she is having major problems with the vampire council. And once again, every male character in the book seems to want to sleep with her. Nothing new here. Despite the summary on the back of the book, this installment seems to have more to do with the Pack than vamps - which is okay, I guess, but I can only take so much of the Wereamimals.

Call me crazy, but my two favorite characters in the series are her mysterious "friend" Edward, and her sometimes partner-in-training Larry - both 100% human. Larry appears in the novel only briefly, and Edward not at all, which is a shame if you ask me. As much as I love Jean-Claude and Richard, I think Anita should start spending more time with her fellow humans. Maybe then she won't have so many problems. Then again, we also wouldn't be getting any more new books from Hamilton. If you have read the entire Anita Blake series thus far, you should definitely still read this one (you wouldn't want to skip one, no matter how much you may not like it). If you have never read any of the books in the series, do not start with this one - it most likely will not get you hooked. Start with Guilty Pleasures and work your way up. It's a great series - and even the best series have at least one in the bunch that's not as good as the rest. Be warned: this is it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not as gripping as the previous six, but still great...
Anita Blake is involved in vampire politics in Burnt Offerings. She meets the vampire council and its quite unconventional methods. The council, especially Yvette, wants Jean-Claude to replace Oliver (from Circus of the Damned), but for sinister reasons. To make matters worse, a pyrokinetic (someone who can call fire physically) has burned various people and vampire establishments with the hope of illegalizing vampires again. Anita and Jean-Claude have to put a stop to this before it is too late. But first Anita has to deal with Fernando, a wererat and son of a sadistic vampire. Fernando is the kidnapper and rapist of various were-leopards and other shape shifters. By doing so she has to become the were-leopards' leader and protector -- something that does not sit well with ex-boyfriend Richard. He decides to make her as miserable as he has been since she broke up with him. Her hands are quite full. Will she be able to save the monsters, even those who aren't worth saving? There various twists throughout the novel...

Several interesting things happen in the seventh installment. The most important part is that there are a few new characters. The ones that I think will play important roles in the other novels are Asher, Jean-Claude's former best friend and nemesis, and Nathaniel, a were-leopard with submissive tendencies. Asher is the one that intrigued me the most. Hundreds of years ago, he and Jean-Claude had loved the same woman. Asher blames Jean-Claude for Julianne's brutal death. This is a great subplot -- one that I hope Ms. Hamilton delves deeper into in the other novels. I wonder if this love triangle foreshadows the future of Anita, JC and Richard. Asher is gripping, almost as sensual as JC, and I look forward to reading more on him. I don't yet know what to make of Nathaniel. I'll have to read more on him, though I must say that I'm not crazy about the aforementioned character thus far. Another good thing about this installment (other than Asher and his subplot) is that we are reacquainted with some of my old-time favorite characters, like Larry and Dolph. Though others were notably absent (I missed Edward!). And, of course, I was happy to read that the relationship between Anita and Jean-Claude has solidified into something loving as well as sexual. They're so cute together! Also, there are a few semi-erotic scenes in this novel and I think I know where LKH is headed. Burnt Offerings is another great installment, but it didn't grip me the way the previous six novels did. There are things that I did not like about this one. The thing that bothers me most is that this book has far too many subplots. I felt that LKH was going around in circles, not really stopping to delve into a particular subject. The story was hard to follow at times. Also, I don't like the direction the characters Richard and Dolph are headed. Richard is understandably hurt and angry with Anita, but his ranting and whining are too over the top for me. And since when did Dolph become a vampire hater? His attitude with Anita has changed since she started dating Jean-Claude. I do miss their friendly banters. Other than that, this is another great Anita Blake novel and I look forward to reading the next one.

2-0 out of 5 stars *Yawn*
I was a big fan of the first few Anita Blake novels, which is surprising since i don't like most fantasy novels, and absolutely hate vampire novels (don't like the erotica in them... which seems to be what all vampire novels written by women are).

But i have to admit, i enjoyed the first few Anita Blake novels. I liked her, like how a small girl can kickass, and eventually even enjoyed how some of the monsters really aren't monsters... but over the past few novels, the books have degenerated into way too much magic that simply seems silly, her sexual relationships with a vampire and werewolf, and plots that are completely predictable (the main reason why i enjoyed her first few books because they weren't predictable).

Hamilton's development of Anita was absolutely fantastic, as well of Dolph and the rest of the characters. But now with Richard, who was developing nicely in the beginning, is just absurd now. Alright, i can understand the fact that he has a plastic Barney the purple dinosaur view of the world, but does he really have to sound and act that pathetic?

And Jean-Claude... who was once a great character who was trying to win Anita and who could set things in motion, is nothing but a boy toy now and doesn't even play any significant role... sure, he's got a lot of lines in the books, but his power is so dependent on Anita, that he's no longer that sinister vampire we were with ulterior motives. Trust me, i can appreciate the irony that Anita, the Execution, fell in love with Jean-Claude, Master of the City... but their relationship doesn't even seem equal now... not even close.

And the love triangle is sooooo old. I guess there's one thing i learned from this series, and it's that some women have similar fantasies as men do: both find physical attraction very important (i am literally sick to death of reading about how nice these guys nippples are... SICK TO DEATH), and the desire to have more than one love/lust (which Nancy Friday's My Secret Garden also seemed to agree with). But this love triangle is getting old, repetitive, and just BORING. And the last few books were nothing but about this love triangle. Really, i wouldn't be surprised if in an upcoming book Anita will have a double penetration night with these two men.

3-0 out of 5 stars It Could Have Been Better
The story centers around the Vampire Council and the legalities of vampires as citizens, and uses a lot more of vamp and lycantrope politics. As much as I like seeing more of lycantropes *other* than werewolves, the fact that Anita is the shining hero for them too just annoyed me to no end. 5 stars of 5 for all characters except Anita, 3 stars of 5 for having to put up with the Superwoman Lead Character.

As much as I like the series, Anita Blake is the most annoying, superwoman, I can outdo everyone around me, hypocritical, hyper-feminist character I've ever had the displeasure to read. I was starting to root for the bad guys to take her out. However, I kept reading because I really like Jean-Claude, Edward, Larry, Dolph, Jason, Stephen, and other supporting characters, and wonder about what happens to them, even if they don't have enough sense to tip Anita in the nearest tar pit and move on with their lives. If the series gets any more Anita-Worshipping, I may have to periodically gag in between chapters. The friend who got me started warns me that it does, and that after the next two novels, I should give up rather than continue to read the author's worship of Anita.

As you can tell, there are NO strong female characters allowed in these books, other than Anita herself. Any female who seems to be a dominant character soon meets an unfortunate demise or fate worse than death, usually at Anita's hands because of course, she's the Ultimate Evil of the novel. The only recurring female supporting character is Ronni, Anita's best friend. Despite initial promise in the early books, Ronnie is little more than a puppet for her so-called best friend to dangle about when she needs to have girl-talks. And the men all seem to be joining Anita's harem, which is annoying, since she's a rather hypocritical wench when it comes to the bedroom.

*bah* If my friend hadn't promised me that the book after the next is an Edward centered novel, I'd give up on this series while I was ahead. Edward, for those who haven't read it, is a sociopathic assassin. Scary that he's more truly heroic as a character than Anita Blake, isn't it? ;-) ... Read more


22. Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, Book 6)
by Stephen King
list price: $30.00
our price: $19.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1880418592
Catlog: Book (2004-06-08)
Publisher: Donald M. Grant/Scribner
Sales Rank: 51
Average Customer Review: 3.65 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Stephen King

The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah with 10 full-color illustrations by Darrel Anderson

The next-to-last novel in Stephen King's seven-volume magnum opus, Song of Susannah is at once a book of revelation, a fascinating key to the unfolding mystery of the Dark Tower, and a fast-paced story of double-barreled suspense.

To give birth to her "chap," demon-mother Mia has usurped the body of Susannah Dean and used the power of Black Thirteen to transport to New York City in the summer of 1999. The city is strange to Susannah...and terrifying to the "daughter of none," who shares her body and mind.

Saving the Tower depends not only on rescuing Susannah but also on securing the vacant lot Calvin Tower owns before he loses it to the Sombra Corporation. Enlisting the aid of Manni senders, the remaining katet climbs to the Doorway Cave...and discovers that magic has its own mind. It falls to the boy, the billy-bumbler, and the fallen priest to find Susannah-Mia, who, in a struggle to cope -- with each other and with an alien environment -- "go todash" to Castle Discordia on the border of End-World. In that forsaken place, Mia reveals her origins, her purpose, and her fierce desire to mother whatever creature the two of them have carried to term.

Eddie and Roland, meanwhile, tumble into western Maine in the summer of 1977, a world that should be idyllic but isn't. For one thing, it is real, and the bullets are flying. For another, it is inhabited by the author of a novel called 'Salem's Lot, a writer who turns out to be as shocked by them as they are by him.

These are the simple vectors of a story rich in complexity and conflict. Its dual climaxes, one at the entrance to a deadly dining establishment and the other appended to the pages of a writer's journal, will leave readers gasping for the saga's final volume (which, Dear Reader, follows soon, say thank ya). ... Read more

Reviews (194)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dark Tower VI - The best thus far?
I never thought I'd say I loved a book more than I love The Drawing of The Three. Even as I read the second installment of the still-forming Dark Tower story, I knew I was in love and that no other story (or piece of a story, as the case may be) would ever come close. However, I'm glad to say that I have proven myself wrong. Song of Susannah excels in doing what all the DT books have done so far: giving us great action, making us jump out of our seats, creating a rich backstory, and of course, it will make you turn the pages faster than you thought was possible. Without getting into spoiler material, DT6 clears up a lot of what happened in Wolves. Susannah's bond with Mia is explained, as are some of the Crimson King's desires. Some readers were scared that the story was getting too schticky when Roland and Crew discovered that Callahan and the events in 'Salems Lot were apparently works of fiction from a writer named Stephen King. Rest assured, this issue is dealt with in a decidely appropriate manner. Also, there's always the question of the rose. I won't say much, but the rose is handled. In true Dark Tower fashion, the book ends with multiple cliffhangers, but I think they're definitely better than the excrutiating ending of The Waste Lands. I'm sure it sounds like I've ne'er seen the book, much less read it, but I'm being vague as to not give too much away. Trust me, when you read this you'll love all of the "Holy Crap!" moments. It seems as if each chapter (stanza) is packed with them. All in all, I'd rate it as my favorite thus far, and I am officially a slave to King until the final installment hits the shelves. Hopefully the next few months pass without incident, say thankya.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fast moving story with some scary ideas.
Sometimes it's hard for me, being the only person in my group of friends to be a true DT junkie, not having anyone I can truly discuss the books with. However, "Song of Susannah" is one of those novels where a person doesn't exactly have to be a fan to talk about some of the ideas it conveys. Duty, personal responsibility, sacrifice, theories of existence, coming-of-age, the bold (and somewhat unnerving) idea of God as being just some sort of middle-man for an even greater force... all of these things are qualified fodder for any snooty literary chat circle.

Of course, as a novel on its own, "Song of Susannah" seems more like just an appetizer to that bad boy that some Tower fans have been waiting over two decades for, Volume 7 of the series, "The Dark Tower". It is incredibly fast-paced (a welcome return to the hectic action of "Drawing of the Three" and "The Waste Lands"), and it manages to get across a hell of a lot of necessary info, in a bit over 400 pages. All that, plus even more character development and some nasty surprises. For one, the business with the chap and its parentage? Threw me for a loop.

It is true that the style of these last two novels seems to differ a bit from the first four. It's hard to describe, more a feeling than anything else, but it feels like some kind of magic has been lost. Mr. King said in his Amazon interview (short but kinda interesting) that he felt the need to finish the series, but it seems to me he could have waited just a bit longer. With the other novels, there was like a little hibernation period in between each one. It always felt like a long wait between stories, but I can't say I was ever disappointed when the novels DID come. Now, it almost feels like Mr. King jumped the gun on his "muse", or whatever you want to call it... the latest novels are very well-written in a workmanlike sort of way, but that true EPIC feeling, prevalent in the first 4 books, only makes a half-hearted appearance.

One surefire thing about "Song of Susannah"? It will you make wish the summer was only a few days long so you can get right to September, the release month for DT7 (!!!).

P.S. If you're an impatient reader like me and you want to look for any possible clues as to how to the series might end (of course I'm not guaranteeing anything), you might try looking out for a copy of "Childe Roland To The Dark Tower Came", which I recently read the whole way through for the first time. As I've read through the series again in anticipation of the final book, I've noticed a load of parallels to the poem that I had never picked up on before reading Browning's work. If you can get past the poetic language and Victorian English (I had a tough time at first), it's really beautiful, with an aptly bittersweet ending.

4-0 out of 5 stars Approaching the Big Bang...
...and I don't mean Creation, either.

Song of Susannah contains more action and fast-paced material than any of the previous DT books, even Drawing of the Three, but at the same time it seems to move in slow-mo, and for good reason: This book takes place primarily in one day, and King goes into tremendous detail on the sequence of events leading up to the end of this epic. Would we have it any other way?

I got the feeling while reading this book (and accurately so, I have little doubt) that it is simply the first chapter of the very last Dark Tower book. That is to say, the last two books were originally written at pretty much the same time, as one, and King later separated them into two, for reasons of his own (probably for marketing and profit reasons, sure, but it also makes one hell of a cliffhanger!). The most recent example I can recall of this having been done was with the last two Matrix films (please forgive the reference).

I scoffed at first when King brought himself into the story, and regarded it as a plot-thinner, rather than just the opposite. However, I feel that this must be a vital part of the entire series, that is essential to reach the conclusion King is going for, and has been going for all along, otherwise why would he dare?? I wouldn't say King is modest about his talents as a writer, really, but I don't think he's a fool either. I applaud his courage to venture into such an unusual realm, and sincerely hope he makes it worth our while and patience.

There is a lot in this book that King answers ("What's going on inside Susannah?" being the main issue) and leaves unanswered (read the book for yourself to witness its monster ending!). I have found some of the turns he's made very curious, but not enough to decide whether they were or weren't good ideas. Like I said before, I think this book is simply a necessary prologue to the last book, and shouldn't be judged as a novel in itself (i.e. Don't expect to be satisfied!).

Right now I am going on faith in his imagination, just as I have through this entire series, and enjoying the ride.

As they say, it ain't over 'til it's over. So, for your father's sake, wait until the man finishes the story!

5-0 out of 5 stars Underrated
I don't see how anyone could have given this a zero. The entire thing was very well written, and my only complaint with this book is that it is too short, but even that isn't really a problem because the next one is coming out so soon. So far, it seems like all the peole badmouthing it said they hated that Steven King brought himself into the series. I guess it might have been better if he hadn't, but he did it pretty well, it's not like he just popped up and said"Hi I'm Steven King, and I am your God" the way some people have made it sound. Instead he slowly tied himself in to explain many of the things from the Dark Tower 5 and 6. Even if you still can't stand that he was in it, he was only in it for about thrity pages(not counting the author's journal at the end) and (warning:spoiler) he killed himself off in the journal anyway so he can't be in the next one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Fortunately I bought this book (and read it) before reading the reviews. While I was expecting some controversy regarding the fact that King writes himself into the novel, the extremely hostile reaction of so many surprised me. I was shocked when I read where King comes into the book, but it doesn't seem to be an ego-trip or anything of the sort. For one thing, King doesn't portray himself as a very likable guy. Not the sort of thing you write if you're on an ego-trip. Most importantly, the inclusion of his character seems almost inevetible. After reading it, it seems the only explanation that makes sense. It's the final piece to the puzzle.

I've been reading DT since the beginning, and for me this was the best of the series. The most disappointing aspect of it is seeing so many negative responses. This probably wouldn't be the case if King wasn't in the novel. I wish that others could enjoy it as much as I did.

The book has *extreme* suspense that builds throughout. It leaves you at a climax (somewhat like Waste Lands - but not quite THAT much of cliffhanger). Fortunately I won't have to wait long for VII. Mentioning Waste Lands reminds me of the controversial ending of that one. So many people made similar comments about it (how it trashed the series) then and now seem to view it as 'the high point. ... Read more


23. Stolen
by Kelley Armstrong
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0452285933
Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
Publisher: Plume Books
Sales Rank: 5323
Average Customer Review: 4.28 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

It was in Bitten, Kelley Armstrong’s debut novel, that thirty-year-old ElenaMichaels came to terms with her feral appetites and claimed the proud identity of abeautiful, successful woman—and the only living female werewolf.

In Stolen, on a mission for her own elite pack, she is lured into the net of ruthlessInternet billionaire Tyrone Winsloe, who has funded a bogus scientific investigation ofthe "other races" and their supernatural powers.Kidnapped and studied in hisunderground lab deep in the Maine woods, these paranormals—witches, vampires,shamans, werewolves—are then released and hunted to the death in a real-world videogame. But when Winsloe captures Elena, he finally meets his match. ... Read more

Reviews (29)

3-0 out of 5 stars A witty and moderately action based modern fantasy
Stolen is Kelley Armstrong's follow up to "Bitten" and precursor to "Dime Store Magic". Set approximately a year after "Bitten", Elena Michaels returns and discovers that she and the other werewolves in the world are not the only supernatural creatures in existence. In fact there are quite a few including witches, sorcerers, vampires, and demons.

Although the characters may be familiar, Armstrong takes a very different story line. No longer is Elena having the personal struggles she worked through in the first novel. Nor does Armstrong delve further into werewolf life or the intrigues therein. Instead she throws in a hodgepodge of mythical beings and only throws out scraps about their abilities and histories. One of the catch phrases that even emerges is "there's another myth shot to hell".

To that end, much of the book focuses on Elena's prison time following her capture by an operation financed by a sadistic tycoon which seeks supernatural beings. During her prison time we learn about Voodoo priests, demons, and witches. At times, however, the other beings are used as plot devices or simply as a way to keep our curiosity. Unfortunately precious little is revealed about them relying instead upon the readers' knowledge from things such as Role Playing Games. There are even quips to about Role Playing Games peppered throughout the book. "That's a level three spell and I'm a level four witch." In fact at one point during some of the battles it feels like Armstrong plucked a fantasy world and dropped it in a modern world willy nilly.

Furthermore there is very little character development. All the characters, even Elena, are one dimensional. This allows Armstrong instead to focus on the action and of that, there is plenty. If "Bitten" was lacking in gore and action, "Stolen" makes up for it.

Additionally the writing style is a little more polished. Elena maintains a constant sarcastic voice as the story unfolds rather than bouncing between differnt voices. It therefore is an amusing and easy read.

Ultimately "Stolen" offers a quick diversion and setup for more books in the Otherworld series. It has plenty of action to keep it going. This is fortunate because there is virtually no development of the characters or the overall setting of the Otherworld.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Entertaining
Even if you are not a fan of supernatural fiction, this is a fun and enjoyable read. This book is second in Armstrong's Women of the Underworld.
The characters are both fascinating, interesting and likeable. The story is told from the point of view of Elena the only female werewolf. Elena has had a hard time adjusting to becoming a werewolf (the story in Bitten the first book of this series) but by this novel she is coming to accept her role and her "family" which is her pack.
In this novel Elena discovers that werewolves are not the only supernatural creatures out there and some dangerous people also know this. She is kidnaped and taken to a place where other beings have been taken to be studied. We get to see Elena's soft side and her humanity along with her werewolf.
This book has a little of everything. Mystery, intrigue, romance, supernatural and is it just a fun story.
I look forward to more novels in this series and especially ones who star Elena and her pack.
Read Bitten first and by the time you are done you will be hooked.

5-0 out of 5 stars Casting
Finally a sequel with merit. In short, it was great -- but I won't bore you with another review, just give you my thoughts on the characters. I'm still stuck on Elena. Sometimes I think Kate Bosworth (Blue Crush) would be okay, but at other times that interpretation seems so off it's ridiculous. I deffinitely imagine Clay as a younger Matthew McConaughey (Frailty, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days) and Jeremy as Peter Gallagher (American Beauty, the OC). Savannah seems like a prepubescent Christina Ricci (Now and Then, Casper), I picture Leah as Alicia Witt (Mr. Holland's Opus, Cybill, Urban Legend), Adam as Joshua Jackson (The Skulls, Dawson's Creek), Cassandra as Catherine Zeta-Jones (Entrapment, Chicago), Katzen as Alex Desert (Boy Meets World, Becker), and Bauer as Allison Janney (The West Wing, How to Deal). However, I'm stilled stumped when it comes to Winsloe, Xavier, and, more importantly, Paige.

5-0 out of 5 stars So riverting!
My sister recommended this book to me, as well as her first installment Bitten. We are huge fans of the Anita Blake and Sookie Stackhouse series. This was just as good, just along the werewolf theme. Happy reading.

3-0 out of 5 stars Very exciting but it was hard to let go.
I have read the first novel in the series 'Bitten' and I loved it, the character development was astounding. When I found out about the second novel 'Stolen' I ran out to get it, mainly because I had so many questions as to how this concept would develop. The plot for the novel was extremely unique and I thought that it was an excellent idea for a story. However upon discovering that the attention for the third novel in the series is supposed to belong to a character introduced in the second novel it became apparent that the sole purpose in the second novel was to introduce these characters JUST so that the series could branch out. Not to mention that the main character in the third novel was described as annoying and dull. Over all it was a good story I liked it a lot but a note to anyone starting this series, don't get too atached to the characters they won't stay around for long. ... Read more


24. Satan Burger
by Carlton Mellick III
list price: $14.95
our price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0971357234
Catlog: Book (2001-12-01)
Publisher: Eraserhead Press
Sales Rank: 23855
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Absurd philosophies, dark surrealism, and the end of the human race . . .

God hates you. All of you. He closed the gates of Heaven and wants you to rot on Earth forever. Not only that, he is repossesing your souls and feeding them to a large vagina-like machine called the Walm - an interdimensional doorway that brings His New Children into the world. He loves these new children, but He doesn't love you. They are more interesting than you. They are beautiful, psychotic, magical, sex-crazed, and deadly. They are turning your cities into apocalyptic chaos, and there's nothing you can do about it ...

Featuring: a narrator who sees his body from a third-person perspective, a man whose flesh is dead but his body parts are alive and running amok, an overweight messiah, the personal life of the Grim Reaper, lots of classy sex and violence, and a motley group of squatter punks that team up with the devil to find their place in a world that doesn't want them anymore. ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars The World in a Nutshell
Satan Burger is an anti-novel.

:)

It is print on paper, yet it posesses an intangible quality unseen anywhere else. Best of all, it's unpretentious. Carlton Mellick III has to be one of the most talented and imaginative authors ever, silently ranking with the luminaries of our time.

:)

The novel itself is a highly reflective walkthrough of life, subtly highlighting the inadequacies of humans in a surreal universe. But no, it is not a haphazard rant of anarchist emotions, but a vinyl tapestry of wit, insight and unadulterated storytelling. There is no suitable genre to filter this book through, as it is life distilled into prose.

:)

A meaning to this book will escape everyone on the first read. Gradually, through time and effort, would someone take the first step into Carlton Mellick's wacky but sacred world of aliens, fast-food and demons. The experience is not to be missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Holy crap!
This is a book you just have to read. Buy it... Just get it. It reads kind of like a Vonnegut book, but it's a lot weirder than Vonnegut and is more underground culture than pop culture. The story involves everything from a dimension of midgets dressed up like united states presidents to Jesus Christ masturbation fantasies to a race of women who eat with their vaginas. There's enough story in this book to write a hundred books. But the basic plot is simple: some punks get jobs at a fast food joint owned by the devil while the world falls into apocalyptic chaos. I can't wait for more Carlton Mellick books to come out. I'm itching for more...

5-0 out of 5 stars mmmMMMMM! Satan burgers!
Squishy, batter-dipped, soul-stealing cheeseburgers are deep-fried by our own resident homosexual ex-arch angel himself, Satan, while an overweight, lard-bellied messiah scrubs the bathroom floors with a crusty mop and bucket. Behind the counter stand your servers, consisting of a pierced and tattooed skin-head babe and an Asian kid who thinks he's a pirate. Aaargh! It's your modern day family restaurant! Just beware of the living, breathing demon-possessed appliances and the scorpion flies hovering above, waiting to paralyze you. Better get yourself a female baboon!

Most books can't hold my attention for long. I consider myself more film oriented. But CM3's "Satan Burger" has breathed new life into a long dead literary world for me. This book is captivating and humorous like no book I've read before, and shows what a little style and imagination can do. This anti-novel should be required reading for all the *shrugging* school systems in America!

Now, pass the ketchup.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best ending ever!
This book left me shaking. I could almost feel the narrator's soul being sucked from his body at the end of the book. All those blank pages made me feel cold. I don't understand how some people didn't get it. It's not a puzzle or anything. The book is enjoying to read and very entertaining even during its darker moments.

I've bought most of Mellick III's books. This one isn't his best, but definitely the most fun to read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Dont waste your time
This book, while getting your attention and is rather good with details of characters and even non characters(hence the one star) is an utter waste of ones time. The ending is rubbish. It is a waste... The ending leaves the reader hanging and saying "What just happened? Is this it? Where is the rest of the book?" I suggest never buying this book and not listening to the ones that gave it better reviews. ... Read more


25. I Am Legend
by Richard Matheson
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031286504X
Catlog: Book (1997-09-15)
Publisher: Orb Books
Sales Rank: 6746
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

One of the most influential vampire novels of the 20th century, I Am Legend regularly appears on the "10 Best" lists of numerous critical studies of the horror genre. As Richard Matheson's third novel, it was first marketed as science fiction (for although written in 1954, the story takes place in a future 1976). A terrible plague has decimated the world, and those who were unfortunate enough to survive have been transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Except, that is, for Robert Neville. He alone appears to be immune to this disease, but the grim irony is that now he is the outsider. He is the legendary monster who must be destroyed because he is different from everyone else. Employing a stark, almost documentary style, Richard Matheson was one of the firstwriters to convince us that the undead can lurk in a local supermarket freezer as well as a remote Gothic castle. His influence on a generation of bestselling authors--including Stephen King and Dean Koontz--who first read him in their youth is, well, legendary. --Stanley Wiater ... Read more

Reviews (218)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gripping, emotional, killer ending.
I was turned on to Matheson after watching Charlton Heston in the Omega Man years back, the movie based loosely upon the book, I Am Legend. You may find that the only regret from reading I Am Legend is the length of the story: It leaves you aching for more. What is particularly remarkable about Matheson is that he can compose a truly compelling story in so few pages, as he deftly details the tribulations of the last man alive in the world...or is he? Combining interpretations of vampire lore with an excellent interweaving of science fiction, Matheson achieves in his one main character greater fulfillment of plot, tension and irony than many horror or sci-fi authors are able to gain with a full cast. Positively riveting and fear inspiring, Matheson appeals to the reader emotionally as well: The chapter involving the protagonist and his relationship with a stray dog is heart breaking, but is evidence of what a truly fantastic author can do with the right material. Oh, and the killer ending....if you can't see this bittersweet conclusion play out in your mind's eye like a motion picture, you need to read this story again. Simply the best.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best short Science Fiction novel ever written..
A novel about vampires taking over the Earth at first sounds incredibly hokey and stupid. Trust me folks, I Am Legend is anything but that. It is not your typical vampire story. Forget all the others. This is a master writer of science fiction and horror at work, and this is easily his best. I have read I Am Legend so many times, I've lost track. It is absolutely spellbinding, mezmerizing, and riveting. The book has been turned into motion pictures twice.. once about 40 years ago with Vincent Price in the lead. That one is far superior to the 1970s remake "The Omega Man" with Charlton Heston. The plot of the remake is so terribly twisted, that anyone seeing it, if they can withhold laughing at its stupidity, would certainly never pick up this book to read if they thought it was the same as that film. Just forget "The Omega Man." Pretend you never heard of it. Matheson is one of the legendary kings of science fiction, right up there alongside Ray Bradbury. He wrote the screenplays for about a quarter of the original Twilight Zone series shows. His writing style is fluid, literate, and very easy to read. "I Am Legend" is about Robert Neville, a regular but smart kinda guy in the 1970s who watches the population of Earth die around him, infected by a world-wide plague which cannot be stopped. Somehow, he's not sure, he is immune. His friends and family die. Bodies are burned in huge pits until even those doing the burning die. Society shuts down. Some of the dead return as living zombies, who hide and sleep during the day and come out at night to raise Hell.. He spends his days combing the empty streets of Los Angeles for clues, for supplies, food, gasoline, to take back to his suburban home which he's turned into a sealed fortress, and looking for the undead into whose hearts he drives wooden stakes that he tediously grinds himself on a lathe. He rummages libraries to read medical texts for clues as to what it all means. At night when the undead come out to taunt him, he hides in his home, cranking up his hifi to shut out the noise of their howling. He's the last man on Earth, as far as he knows. How long can he last? How long can he keep his sanity in this totally insane world? Are there any other normal people out there or is he totally alone? Read this short novel and you will never forget it. Perhaps it'll become your favorite, as it became mine the first time I picked it up in the 1960s.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book - DON'T READ ANY MORE REVIEWS FURTHER ON!
Great book - genuine masterpiece of SF and horror.

However, don't read any more reviews as half of the reviewers seem to think that a review consists on revealing all of the plot (including twists) and will definitely spoil your enjoyment of this book.

The only plot a person can reveal without spoiling it is the stuff that's in the blurb (the bit on the back cover). If you want to know what the book is about then go read it! The only people who won't like it are the people who think that Freddy Kreuger is the pinnacle of intellectual horror.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not very impressed
This book isn't worth all the hype. It's historical. But it isn't great compared to most horror stories written today. It is boring, repetitive, and very slow paced. The book is solely based on a single man who is immuned to a "disease". This character, Robert Neville, watches everyone he loved die of the "disease" (which is shown in the book through several flashbacks). Robert Neville is very hard to relate to, and even harder to feel sympathy for. He basically spends his evening locked up in his house listening to records, drinking. Most of the time the character just sits there, in the verge of hope and hopelessness.
It's also hard to understand why the living never killed him earlier; they saved him for almost 3 years! They send this woman to spy on him (I don't know why. I never really saw Neville as such a great threat, and even if he was, why did they keep him alive?) You tend to ask yourself that after you finish this book, because that's close to the ending when he spots the woman.
If you're thinking about reading it, read it because you want to, not because you're bored; it won't entertain you much if you are bored. It will fascinate you, then the fascination just slowly tappers off, leaving the whole book with just words.

5-0 out of 5 stars 2nd only to Stoker.
This book, which is sadly short, is easily the second greatest vampire story written, behind Dracula of course.

Once i started reading I Am Legend i just could not put it down and finished it in one long sitting. It starts off superb and doesnt let up one bit. The ending also is beautiful, smart, and tragic. Truly original.

And what many people arent mentioning is that I Am Legend only takes up half of this book. The second half is a compilation of Matheson's short stories and are extremely entertaining also.

Buy this book. Now! ... Read more


26. Undead and Unwed (Berkley Sensation)
by Mary Janice Davidson
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 042519485X
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 1308
Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

First Betsy Taylor loses her job, then she's killed in a car accident. But what really bites is that she can't seem to stay dead. And now her new friends have the ridiculous idea that Betsy is the prophesied vampire queen, and they want her help in overthrowing the most obnoxious power-hungry vampire in five centuries. ... Read more

Reviews (72)

3-0 out of 5 stars Funny
I won't supply a plot synopsis, as many have done a great job with that already. I really enjoyed the first half of the book. It was funny and I could definitely spot the parody. I am not really a romance fan so I was happy to see that while this book does give a nod to that genre, at least it doesn't wholly rely on it.

However, by the second half of the book, I was finding Betsy a little wearing. The gimmick got a little too gimmicky, I guess. I'll look forward to the next book in the series but will probably look it over in the bookstore first to see if Betsy becomes a little less grating. The continual name calling and corrupting of names (Sink Lair for Sinclair, ad nauseum) to be sarcastic seemed funny the first time, but when it just kept happening, it made me think that Betsy may have been 30 when she died but she sure needed to grow up. :)

I bought this book to tide me over until Charlaine Harris' next installment of the really wonderful and increasingly complex Southern Vampire series is published. May can't get here soon enough!

5-0 out of 5 stars Undead and Unwed. Rocks
Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson brings us Betsy the new vampire queen.

Betsy Taylor is having a bad week. She loses her job, gets killed by a cab, but what really gets her goat is the god awful outfit and shoes her stepmother had her laid out in at the morgue.

After realizing she is the undead she meets some new friends who are convinced she is the new queen. These friends believe she was sent to overthrow an evil vampire. But to do this she must join forces with the sexiest, most virile vampire, Eric Sinclair.

This book is wickedly funny. Ms. Davidson writes the sassiest laugh out loud characters, which also ooze sex appeal. I can't wait to read more from this author.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not as funny as other reviewers have stated
After reading the reviews of "Undead and Unwed", I expected the book to be a funny mix of chick-lit and fantasy. While the book can accurately be called chick-supernatural, it failed in the humor department. Davidson, the author, tried too hard to be witty. The first three chapters have more exclamation points "!" than I have ever seen before in my life. (really!!)

The main character, Betsy, was unlikable. It's like Davidson took Carrie from Sex in the City, dumbed her down and took away everything that makes her interesting--then made her a vampire called "Betsy".

This book isn't worth the time or effort. Read Kelley Armstrong or Tanya Huff instead of this series. Save yourself!

3-0 out of 5 stars Unapologetic Fun!
Mary Janice Davidson first hits gold with her compilation of sassy contemporary romance Under Cover that brought her under the wing of Brava. Her first full length novel with Berkeley, Undead and Unwed, retains the sass and the brio - manifested in the pert heroine Betsy Taylor who rises from the dead to battle with a 500-year old vampire, Nostro as well as her manipulative stepmother who stole her Manolo Blahniks upon her death. The laughs are fast and furious especially with an ensemble of secondary characters like her loyal friend Jess and a gay sidekick. It is a vampire parody that digs from the closets of Dracula 2000, Buffy and even a stab at fellow paranormal writers when Betsy has the power to defy holy water and sunlight. It is unfortunate that the end sags but the delicious romance with brooding hero Eric Sinclair more than compensates. This outing proves that Ms. Davidson is uncompromising and undaunted to be creative. It is macabre, refreshing and savagely funny.

5-0 out of 5 stars Being UN-Dead is so much fun
The story of Betsy was so fun to read. My first vampire story and I am anxiously awaiting the next installment. ... Read more


27. The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye
by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582403589
Catlog: Book (2004-06)
Publisher: Image Comics
Sales Rank: 7451
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars You'll love this book.
I borrowed this from a friend... now I HAVE to get my own copy. I can't wait for volume 2.

This book is that good people. Run... don't walk to get this little gem.

5-0 out of 5 stars the epic zombie movie we always wanted to see
i am a huge zombie fan and i love romeros work among others, and there was always the problem of not having the best actors possible and the budgets being next to nothing, but i had in my mind a epic zombie tale..this is it!

we have great writing that makes us grow to love the characters and feel for them, there are plenty of moments with just people being people, it's not all gore and zombies, that is why so many non horror fans love this.

but worry not horror/zombie fans, there is plenty of attacks, cities full of zombies living dead horror, no budget worries here, the artist can simply fill the page with as many as he wants, and the art is fantastic, very realistic with a ever so slight cartoony edge that never takes away from the impact of the story, and these are some of the best zombies i have ever seen.

it's all balanced out so well, it keeps you coming back for more, i hope they release more since the series is at issue 8 now and this collects the first 6.

4-0 out of 5 stars One of the best of the year.
This is an excellent graphic novel that collects issues 1-6 of the Walking Dead series. Robert Kirkman has written a great story here, and Tony Moore's excellent black and white artwork brings it all to life (or should I say, brings life to the dead?). The story unfolds like a well written movie. The characters are well defined and their struggles come across as very human. This is more of a survival story than it is a zombie story, but don't worry...there are plenty of nasty zombies to go around, too. In fact, this is one comic story that I would very much like to see put on the big screen...and I wouldn't change a thing. I enjoy horror comics, but this was different than most. This comic is very intelligent, realistic (for a zombie story) and has a good message about working together to overcome adversity (and what adversity it is here!). Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Walking Dead rule the earth...
Rick, a small town Kentucky police officer, awakens from a gun shot induced coma to find the world a very different, and very horrifying, place. The dead now walk and attack the far out numbered living. While he slept, the world had ended...

While the opening was a tad too close to 28 Days later for my taste (wouldn't it have been more interesting to start at minute zero and progress through the erupting zombie plague?) the story quickly grew on me and, in the absence of a fourth Romero zombie movie, it satisfies. Required reading for any zombie fan.

4-0 out of 5 stars Best Graphic Novel of 2004
Brilliant artist Tony Moore takes a superb script by Robert Kirkman to give us a fresh retelling of the "zombie world order" horror story. Inkwash over pen and ink works perfectly to convey a human tale of survival at the end of civilization. This book is a character study with examples of courage, cooperation and compassion balanced by equally well rendered paintings of human fear and envy. I usually walk by black and white comic books, but this one wouldn't have been as good in color. 2004 is not quite halfway over, but I doubt I'll read a work of fiction this year I'll enjoy more. ... Read more


28. Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter)
by Laurell K. Hamilton
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 051513449X
Catlog: Book (1995-07-01)
Publisher: Jove Books
Sales Rank: 9070
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Published over ten years ago by Ace, Guilty Pleasures marked the debut of a series that was destined to grow from cult favorite to a major New York Times bestseller. Now, for long-time Anita Blake junkies and newfound fans, Guilty Pleasures makes its trade paperback debut. Readers will learn how Anita Blake started raising the dead-and killing the undead. And how she met Jean Claude, the master vampire destined to become not only her biggest nemesis, but her greatest lover... ... Read more

Reviews (303)

4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent guilty pleasure!
Having read and loved A Kiss of Shadows, I decided that it was time I gave the Anita Blake vampire series a whirl. Guilty Pleasures is a fast-paced, enthralling horror novel that kept me turning the pages until the wee hours of the night. The series starts out when Anita, a professional vampire executioner, is forced to investigate the recent murder of various vampires. But Anita's job is to execute vampires, not help them, but the master vampire Nikolaos is not someone you can turn down. There are various twists throughout the novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat...

I love Anita's narration and the story's steady motion. There isn't a single boring moment in this novel. I can see why so many people have become addicted to this series. Laurell K. Hamilton is a great talent of paranormal fiction. There is plenty of horror and suspense throughout the novel, but there isn't a trace of romantica. That's the only thing I didn't like about the first installment. But I was told that the romance and erotica come along later in the series (and I hope that Jean-Claude, a dark and sensual vampire in the story, will be part of said romance and erotica). Even though I prefer vampires as sex gods rather than evil, this is one series that I intend to read from cover to cover. A great start to the Anita Blake series! This novel is definitely a guilty pleasure...

4-0 out of 5 stars Buffy of the Literary World
The paralells between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Anita Blake series are virtually infinite. Both are tough, slim, short hot girls whose main goal in life is to free the world from the baddies. Both seem to have more than their fair share of relationships with some of these supernatural "baddies". Both of them love weapons. And both of them kick major .... while cracking tongue in cheek jokes.
I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And I love these books.
I read several reviews pertaining to the lack of sex in this first book. Well if you want sex, read on....the series soon becomes permeated with it. Ms. Hamilton seems to either give us too much or too little. Personally I prefer too little. I'm more on the ride for the action and plots, not the sex. If I want sexual satisfaction from a book I'll read a romance novel. This is not a romance novel.
In the same way Buffy the Vampire Slayer has become more and more "sexual", so do Hamilton's books. Since it is a series, some of the books are more for setting the scene and creating sexual tension than supplying a release for it. I would say on the whole though this series (taken as a whole) has something for everyone. Humour, Horror, and lust.
An easy writing style and a killer character make this book a must read for anyone who likes things along the line of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

5-0 out of 5 stars GUILTY PLEASURES
HAVE L.K.HAMILTON'S COMPLETE SERIES ON "ANITA BLAKE VAMPIRE HUNTER' HER BOOKS WERE VERY BLOODY READS. BUT I STUCK WITH THE
SERIES, FOR I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT ANITA IS DOING NOW. I WILL BE ONE OF THE FIRST PERSONS TO BUY CERULEAN SINS. JEAN CLAUDE, RICHARD ARE THE FAVORITES IN ALL THE SET. THESE ARE KEEPERS.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not worth your time
This book was slow-moving and had way to many pop references.

2-0 out of 5 stars I will agree to disagree
As the starting novel in the Anita Blake series, it was pretty good. Although, I couldn't get over the fact that she was scared all the time. I mean if you're scared of someone, then I don't think that you should crack stupid jokes. Nikolaos is the wrong one to piss off. For a thousand year-old vampire, she does not have a sense of humor. The dialog, however, was a lot better than the other books. Aubrey and Theresa are really well thought out characters and I like that. I also liked the scenes between Anita and Jean Claude, they brought a little romance to the book. The end has a nice twist to it that I wasn't expecting. What I didn't expect was for the next book to be so SORRY, but enough about that. If you like vampires, ghouls, and zombie's, then this is a good book to start with. It's not an excellent book, but it'll get you through the weekend. ... Read more


29. Hellsing Volume 6 (Hellsing)
by Kohta Hirano
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 159307302X
Catlog: Book (2005-03-09)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Sales Rank: 10192
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The war between three armies of vampires, humans, and those in between is in full swing. The Hellsing organization is embattled as London is falling to Nazi vampire forces, turning the city's citizens into rivers of blood and a population of ghouls. It looks like it might be the end of Sir Integral Wingates Hellsing and her henchman, Walter. But what's this? The Vatican? But that means the Vatican is unprotected. If you haven't figured it out yet, Earth is in chaos of a World War like no other. New forces will rise up, surprises of undead power will surge forth, guns will blaze, and blades will sing. There's no telling how this will end, as Hellsing clamors forward with a seething wit and a frantic pace, and style that passes beyond gothic grace. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Has its own merits
Granted, there was a lot of setup going on in this volume, but I also thought that it had quite a bit in it that made it good on its own. There were several parts that I thought were absolutely hilarous, as well as parts that were awesome and others that were downright disturbing. There was some great action going on. I was sad that Alucard wasn't really in it much, but at the same time I think this allowed some space to develop the other characters. Alucard kicks some serious butt, but some of the other characters can be cool in their own ways, and Volume 6 really shows that. You have to keep in mind that this is part of a SERIES and that Volume Seven will undoubtedly continue what was begun in Volumes 5 and 6.

4-0 out of 5 stars hopefully volume 7 will be better.
let me just get this out of the way, this volume was pretty much (at least, i sincerely hope), created just to set up volume 7. it doesn't really get interesting until the last couple chapters. the rest is just kind of meh. also, alucard is in this for about 5 pages. not even in a row, just spread out because he is still on the ship that he destroyed in volume 5. so overall, this book is merely ok. not the best, not the worst. i suggest this only to people who are fans of the series and want to know what happens to the hellsing crew. otherwise, this book won't interest you a whole lot. now, to count down the days until volume 7 arrives. ... Read more


30. The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, Book 3)
by Stephen King
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0452284716
Catlog: Book (2003-06-24)
Publisher: Plume Books
Sales Rank: 6951
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Beginning with a short story appearing in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1978, the publication of Stephen King's epic work of fantasy-what he considers to be a single long novel and his magnum opus-has spanned a quarter of a century.

Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is King's most visionary feat of storytelling, a magical mix of science fiction, fantasy, and horror that may well be his crowning achievement. In November 2003, the fifth installment, Wolves of the Calla, will be published under the imprint of Donald M. Grant, with distribution and major promotion provided by Scribner. Song of Susannah, Book VI, and The Dark Tower, Book VII, will follow under the same arrangement in 2004. With these last three volumes finally on the horizon, readers-countless King readers who have yet to delve into The Dark Tower and a multitude of new and old fantasy fans-can now look forward to reading the series straight through to its stunning conclusion. Viking's elegant reissue of the first four books ensures that for the first time The Dark Tower will be widely available in hardcover editions for this eager readership.
... Read more

Reviews (113)

5-0 out of 5 stars "We are ka-tet -- one from many."
As the third book in the Dark Tower series, "The Waste Lands," opens, Roland's new companions are learning to become gunslingers, and Roland himself is slowly going mad.

Yes indeed, King keeps the story moving most admirably as his dark fantasy epic continues, and the surprises keep coming. The main conflict facing the small group in the beginning of this part of the story is twofold. They are looking for clues as to how to best begin the next leg of their quest towards the Dark Tower, of course. More importantly, they are also forced to deal with how best to deal with the growing rift in Roland's mind, a doubling of memory caused by his travels in our world in the second book. In one track of time, the boy Jake was killed in New York and somehow brought into Roland's world. In the other track, Jake never died at all, thanks to Roland's actions in our world. Roland is aware of both timelines as real, and this conflict becomes the heart of the first act of the book.

Jake himself is also aware of the split. Still alive in New York, he nevertheless remembers his death under the wheels of a Cadillac, and his subsequent time with the gunslinger in the Great Western Desert, as a parallel track of memories to his memories of spending the same time, after not being hit by a car in New York. And just like Roland, the rift in his memory is driving Jake insane.

Resolving this disparity of time and memory causes great difficulty for Roland and Jake, of course, but also requires much of Eddie and Susannah, the two companions Roland drew from our world into his in "The Drawing of the Three." Before facing this, however, the new companions must deal with Mir, the great bear, a relic of the world that has moved on. Mir is one of the Guardians of the Beam, and the Beam will eventually lead them to the Tower.

The second act of the book details Roland and his companions passing through Lud, a ruined city which has been further torn apart by the generations-long war of its inhabitants, the Grays and the Pubes. Run by ancient machinery, the city presents its own unique challenges for our heroes, and also provides them with the next step in their journey: Blaine the Mono. Blaine is a monorail train which runs along the path of the Beam, deep into Mid-World. Riding Blaine comes with its own price, though -- "Blaine is a pain, and that is the truth."

"The Waste Lands" lives up to the quality King has established so far for the Dark Tower series. The story moves along at a brisk pace, making you want to keep reading to find out what happens next. "The Drawing of the Three" was a slightly better book, in my opinion, but only by a little. The characters which were built so well in the first two books are developed further here, and the new characters that are introduced (some only to tantalize for future developments, it seems) are equally well realized. All in all, this third book is a fitting continuation of an excellent series. It answers a few questions for the reader, and poses many intriguing new ones.

A word of advice for the Constant Reader. Have a copy of the fourth book, "Wizard and Glass," at hand by the time you finish "The Waste Lands." Trust me on this: you'll want to dive right into the fourth book after finishing the third.

5-0 out of 5 stars once again they ride again....~!
Roland and the rest continue on thier quest for the dark tower. They meet and insane train named Blaine, they draw a new friend, and continue on the road. They find a new town called Lud, and meet some crazy folks along the way. The Tick Tock man, and Gasher...ewwwww...anyway, these will tie in together with other books as well....if you don't believe me then check this out "My life for you"...now if you don't know then read some of the other popular King books! I urge you to read on~

this is even better than the first one and second one because they have new adventures each time. The bear with the big metal hat, and the new friend that is drawn from New York...ahhh, yes the sweet smell of finding the one whose life you let be extinguished! The agony, "My Life for you" now read the book, and find out what the hell I am talking about!

5-0 out of 5 stars Far from a "Waste"
Stephen King hits his stride in "The Waste Lands," the third volume of his epic dark fantasy Dark Tower series. Now that the quest is underway, King's world of cyborg bears, insane trains and sex-addict demons coalesces into a tight, engrossing story.

Newlyweds Susannah (formerly Odetta/Detta) and Eddie Dean are rapidly becoming expert gunslingers, even proving themselves as Susannah guns down cyborg bear Shardik, and Eddie takes out robots. But Roland is having problems. Since he saved the life of eleven-year-old Jake in the previous book, he remembers two realities -- one where he saved Jake, and one where he let him die. Now that paradox is slowly driving him insane -- and worse, in his own world, Jake is also going mad.

They find a doorway to Jake's world, but it's guarded by a malevolent demon. Susannah manages to trap the demon (by having sex with it) as Eddie barely manages to draw Jake into Mid-World. Now they are a "ka-tet," or a group brought together by destiny. But the ka-tet has barely formed before it's threatened, by a mysterious figure that is following them at a distance -- and an insane train that traps them on its suicide run....

In "The Gunslinger" and "Drawing of the Three," King spent his time establishing the main quest and the lead characters. Now he's got those in the bag, and the story revs up as Roland and Co. set off to find the Dark Tower rather than just talking about it. It feels like the series had finally hit its stride.

The world that has "moved on" is not a nice place -- just about everything is dangerous, bleak or at least rough-edged. But King manages to keep the weirder elements -- like the cyborg animals or the riddling train -- from seeming silly. His writing is not usually good in the technical sense, but it excels at having atmosphere and lots of gruesome slam-bang action.

Roland remains the rough cowboy with a hidden heart of gold and a tragic past. His bond with lonely Jake is a particularly touching detail. Eddie becomes a bit annoying at times with all his wisecracking, but he has a past almost as hard as Roland's. Susannah is perhaps the most interesting of all -- two opposing personalities merged into one. And don't forget Oy the faithful billybumbler, a sort of dog-like creature.

Ending on a pulse-pounding cliffhanger, "The Waste Lands" is a smooth and thoroughly engaging dark fantasy. The pinnacle of the Dark Tower series so far.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Waste Lands
The Waste Lands is the best in my opinion so far as the first three books. I also thought this was the most enjoyable of the first three to read, though a couple spots where King overwrote.
It was kind of dissapointing at the ending to just leave the book hanging like it did, but it was a good idea, cuz it will lure people to read the fourth right away.
It was interesting how the ka-tet all had in some way knew what was going to happen in the future. It was kingd of interesting probably the most interesting with Jake. How he came back to Rolands world after he dies? or did he not?
I also liked the fact that this book was the first to introduce Flagg or a hint that it was Flagg. I basically thought that because of- MY LIFE FOR YOU! which was Trashcanman's favorite line in the Stand. I'm sure thier be a lot more of Flagg and the Tick-Tock MAn in Wizard and Glass.
So overall this is the best so far in the series. I also thought of it as being the most complete of the first three.
So if youve read the first two I strongley recommend THe Waste Lands.

5-0 out of 5 stars Whose Ka-Tek is the stronger...
The third volume of the much longer tale again continues the trek of Roland, now with Eddie and Susannah along the path of the beam. This tale picks up approx. 6 months after the confrontation on the Western Sea and Eddie and Susannah are on their way to becoming Gunslingers themselves. Roland however, is slowly losing his mind, due to a temporal paradox in which he both thinks that Jake is alive and that he is dead. After a showdown with one of the 12 guardians of the beams, they continue along their way. Roland is again re-united with Jake Chambers in a speaking ring outside the small town of River Crossing, and the full Ka-Tet of Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Oy (a billybumbler picked up along the way) continue along into Lud. In Lud, there are many perils, until finally our heroes get aboard Blaine the Mono. Blaine is a pain, and that is the truth. The book ends as a cliffhanger, which at the time of first publication was most annoying, primarily because of the long delay between DT3 and DT4. But, with the series coming to a close, the cliffhanger only adds to the mysticism of the over-all story. Another triumph of a tale and another step up in the overall series. ... Read more


31. The Eyes of the Dragon
by Stephen King
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
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Asin: 0451166582
Catlog: Book (1994-12-01)
Publisher: Signet Book
Sales Rank: 6115
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A kingdom is in turmoil as the old king dies and his successor must do battle for the throne.Pitted against an evil wizard and a would-be rival, Prince Peter makes a daring escape and rallies the forces of Good to fightfor what is rightfully his.This is a masterpiece of classic dragons-and-magic fantasy that only Stephen King could have written! ... Read more

Reviews (278)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Literary Classic By An Incredibly Versatile Author
I never thought that the word "classic" could be applied to anything written by Stephen King, but Mr. King has once again outdone himself with this incredibly enjoyable novel.

In this novel he moves from his popular horror novel formula to a medievel type story, realistic but also full of magic. The plot more than matches the setting- it is complex but great, and in the end it all comes together to form an unforgettable climax.

This book is a great fiction read for fantasy fans- the medievel world in which it is set is classic, but the characters are very deep and realistic. Stephen King creates a world that is fantastic, wonderful, eerie, and sometimes macabre without losing any of the the story's validity.

It is an enthralling tale of deceit, control, power, rebellion, and friendship. It'll keep you up all night, and believe me, you won't regret reading it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
The novel The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King is a very imaginative and descriptive novel. Unlike most of Stephen King's novels, which are usually chilling and gruesome, this novel contains very little gore (which is a good thing for those of us with weak stomachs). King, who is notorious for his shocking and grisly images in his horror novels, uses the same precise and intricate detail skills that he has mastered in that group in a more light-hearted and lively story. This story's genre truly shows you the range of genre that King can successfully write. Although the plot is simple and predictable, the descriptions in the book make up for the dreary, lax plotline. Not that the plot doesn't have its creative moments. One such event that stood out in my mind was when Peter used the dollhouse's sewing machine to create a rope to escape from the prison tower with. I know it sounds a bit too much like something from a Boy Scout's handbook, but King's description is as precise and powerful as the tedious work Peter put into the surprisingly strong rope itself. King also takes flat, stock characters and breathes new life into them with his rich character and rewarding details. Flagg, the evil magician who plots to eventually rule the kingdom, seems to be your usual fantasy novel villain, until King vividly explains to you Flagg's age, wisdom, motivation, and the extent to which Flagg goes to just so that his plan will work flawlessly. It is these kinds of descriptions of people, events, and places that make this novel such a satisfying read.

5-0 out of 5 stars fantasy from king
I have read a lot of fantasy in my life. I think that this book stands as one of the best single volume fantasy tales written, and that fact that it is nothing like anything else King wrote (which I have also read a lot of) makes it even more of a treat. If you are a fantasy fan, you owe it to yourself to read this book and rejoice at the fact that when it is done, you do not have 10 more volumes to read.

If you are a King fan, then this is where things get interesting. This IS NOT anything like the Stand, It, Salem's Lot, or any of the other books that got you to first start reading King. This is a book about knights, wizards, scheming magicians. Give it a try. If you like it (which you will), move on to Martin's Song of Fire and Ice.

5-0 out of 5 stars This was a good BOOK!
This book was very good. Once you start it you cant put it down. In the last 150 pages or so I didnt put it down because at the end of every chapter something happened that you wanted keep reading. If you are looking for a scary book this is not the one for you. But it was one of the best books I have ever read. I truely injoyed it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting book!
I would definitely recommend this for everyone. This book tells about certain things that can happen with fighting and good, natural feuding. There is exactly one flashback, where the eldest heir to the throne, Peter, finds this space on the floor and reads this letter,and finds out that the King Roland's magician, Flagg, had done that 450 years earlier. There is also lots of foreshadowing, imagery, and irony in the story. The foreshadowing included stuff like the feuding almost killed all the royal family. The imagery is in the the middle of the book, where I saw myself looking at my father, all drunk and passed out. The irony of the story was when Peter came to the conclusion that Flagg actually did the crime that he did not commit 450 years earlier. What I liked most in the story was at the very end of it, when Roland's youngest son, Thomas, nearly killed Flagg with his dad's bow and arrow,and that is because I liked the gore of that scene. What I didn't like in the book (most of all), was when Peter got imprisoned for something he didn't do, and that was because it reminded me of some later court cases which involved my family. Something else I did not like was the fact that Thomas spied on his father from the eyes of the dragon that his father killed. ... Read more


32. Practical Demonkeeping
by Christopher Moore
list price: $9.95
our price: $9.95
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Asin: 0060735422
Catlog: Book (2004-06-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 5423
Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Christopher Moore's ingenious debut novel, we meet one of the most memorably mismatched pairs in the annals of literature. The good-looking one is one-hundred-year-old ex-seminarian and "roads" scholar Travis O'Hearn. The green one is Catch, a demon with a nasty habit of eating most of the people he meets. Behind the fake Tudor façade of Pine Cove, California, Catch sees a four-star buffet. Travis, on the other hand, thinks he sees a way of ridding himself of his toothy traveling companion. The winos, neo-pagans, and deadbeat Lotharios of Pine Cove, meanwhile, have other ideas. And none of them is quite prepared when all hell breaks loose.

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Reviews (69)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Treat of a Tale Told with Impish Glee
Every year around Hallowe'en, I look for a book that deals with the darker side of occult phenomena. This year, I didn't want to give myself a major case of the creeps...but I still wanted something which touched on that area.

'Practical Demonkeeping' was just the book for me.

The story deals primarily with Catch -- the demon -- and Travis -- Catch's deceptively young keeper. Catch and Travis -- in the midst of an interesting love-hate relationship (Travis hates Catch and Catch loves to be hated) -- arrive in the tourist town of Pine Cove where significant mayhem ensues! It is all related in an enjoyable manner. And the various occupants of the town are portrayed deftly without mean-spiritedness.

The author, Christopher Moore writes with the same type of wit which admirers of Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut and Tom Robbins will appreciate. And, this novel -- his debut -- is admirable for giving us a wide variety of characters, dealing humorously with their particular quirks, and engineering a clever plot in which their paths cross. Although the ending seems a bit rushed, I enjoyed just about every aspect of this novel. I won't give anything away. But, in the novel's last chapters, I would have enjoyed a more complete depiction of the characters' reactions. Not because I expect every detail to be spelled out...but because so many unique, interesting and amusing characters are involved at this point. It would have required significant authorial skill to relate all of that without bogging down the narrative but I think Moore could have managed it.

Without being macabre or morbid, this novel gives plenty of surprises. There are a few scenes which provoke a squirm or two but Moore never indulges in excessive depictions of violence or gore.

This kind of book works by keeping us intrigued about what will happen next -- not by dragging us deep down into depictions of cruelty and savageness.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Imagination...
In this fantastic debut, Moore creates a group of hilarious characters, including the unlikely duo Travis and Catch. Travis is a svelte looking 100-year-old man and Catch is his invisible demon companion who can only be seen by others when he is eating. When the two arrive in the seaside town of Pine Cove, a local man known as The Breeze becomes Catch's first meal. Moore introduces you to the other bizarre inhabitants of Pine Cove who all become involved in trying to take control of Catch or send him back to the Netherworld. The only thing you know for sure is that none of their lives will ever be the same. Christopher Moore has secured his place among my favorite authors and I cannot wait to read more of his zany adventures.

1-0 out of 5 stars Devilishly disappointing
I love the clever idea underlying Practical Demonkeeping: a nice guy accidentally conjures up a wise-cracking (and people-eating) demon and the two are each trying to find ways to break the spell that binds them together. There's great comic potential in the idea, and there's a few very clever insights in Chris Moore's book. Unfortunately, there's also way too much stilted dialogue, a plot that feels forced and clumsy, and caricatures instead of characters. I'm all for a fun summer read, but an idea this good deserves better writing. I'd chalk it up to this being Moore's first book, but I found the same problems with Bloodsucking Fiends. From the short plot descriptions, Moore has brilliant ideas for his books. I would love to love them as some other reviewers here clearly do, but based on the two I've read, I won't be reading any more (no pun intended) and can't recommend these.

4-0 out of 5 stars Practical Demonkeeping
With a title like "Practical Demonkeeping" who wouldn't find it interesting? This was my first time reading a Christopher Moore novel, and I found it quite entertaining. He managed to keep me chuckling to myself throughout almost the entire book. Previously I loved in L.A. and know that there are in fact towns which are secluded along the coast, so it was not a problem to get the image of Pine Cove emblazoned upon my brain. I especially liked his multitude of characters and how they all eventually intertwined due to circumstances and ended up at the same place. I confess that I believe the ending was a little rushed in their overly complicated plan at the ending, and I found myself a little lost. I found that I had gone through the first 200 pages quite quickly yet when it came down to the last 50 it took the same amount of time to read the first 200. Of couse we can cut him a little slack for it was his first book. I am definitely going to read another with the best hopes. We can only hope that he will develop a Douglas Adam's style.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining
I like Christopher Moore. He has a wacky, demented view of the world, which ought to be obvious from this work's title. Don't expect great literature, or philosophical insights, but if you suspend disbelief, this is a very entertaining read, fast paced and humorous. ... Read more


33. Blood Canticle (The Vampire Chronicles)
by ANNE RICE
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 037541200X
Catlog: Book (2003-10-28)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 3481
Average Customer Review: 2.42 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (211)

1-0 out of 5 stars I cried...
... and not in a good way. The whole book was one long cringe from beginning to confused end. It felt like a really badly written Mayfair/Vampchron crossover spec with a bit of supernatural James Bond thrown in for the 'big climax'. I seriously cried at the end, because this IS the last of the Vampire Chronicles and I can not believe that one of the most beautiful, eloquent series of novels I have ever come across has ended in such a pathetic attempt at ...... well, I'm not sure WHAT it was an attempt at actually. Not worth any stars whatsoever, but Amazon demands minimum one. I am so disappointed. Merrick was bad, Blackwood Farm was OK but definatly not up to par ( Why bring Lestat or the Mayfairs in at all ? Why not bill it as one of the 'New Series' like 'Vittorio' ?) but Blood Canticle was a farce. What did we die-hard fans do to deserve THIS finale ?

2-0 out of 5 stars Blackwood Farm Revisited
I've read each of Rice's books, save for the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy. If I didn't like her work I would have never done this. If Blood Canticle truly is the coda to the Vampire Chronicles (and, by implication, to the Mayfair Chronicles as well) then her audience has been rudely cheated. Rice can't live in a vacumn; surely she knew the Blackwood Farm setting was not the source of her greatest inspiration. The inhabitants of that dire old mansion are self-indulgant and silly to the point of farce. And their insipid nature all but nullifies the semi-high bearing of her finest creation: Lestat.

I know this novel was, at best, written under the duress of grief for the loss of a spouse. The author would earn nothing but plaudits for simply taking up both Chronicles as if BC never happened, ala an Ira Levine like "it was all one long bad dream" and finishing each series in a way befitting the obvious merits of both.

In the mean time nothing is left to me but her full foray into erotica to quell my taste for blood. "Mon Dieu!"

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolutely wonderful book
Blood Canticle was the first book by Anne Rice that I had read. I immediately fell in loe with it and couldn't put it down once I had started it. Shortly After I finished it, I read the Vampire Lestat. Although there were some major changes in Lestat's personality, I still love Blood Canticle. I love how Lestat is talking directly to you, throughout the entire book.

I have heard that this is going to be the last book in the Vampire Chronicles, and I am deeply saddened by it. There were many loose ends in Blood Canticle and that was one of the few things that I did not like about of the book. Hopefully, this will not be the last book in the series.

1-0 out of 5 stars This is not Anne Rice's writing
Anne Rice is a very detailed writer. Even when her books are mediocre (Pandora), she still makes the reader feel as if they were in the room, you can almost smell the atmosphere. her descriptions of places, cities, homes, feedings, hatred, and death are exquisite.

That is why I do not think this book was even written by Anne Rice. The characters are there, they are on an interesing tale, a tale that could have/should have been one of the best Anne could ever write- bringing Lestat, the brat prince, and the Mayfair witches together.

The story is told in the most boring, dull and distant way. There are pages and pages of dialoge from people sitting and blabbering. This is not Anne Rice's work-it just can't be. Lestat has lost the ability to speak properly, Rowan has become some type of Zombie, Michael Curry a cuckhold wimp, the servants and relatives from Blackwood Farm have become one-dimensional charicatures. How can you make Oncle Julien boring? The characters and a great story are here- but the writing is a failure.

Please Anne, if you read this, we, your loyal fans will forgive you if Lestat awakes and we find out this book was a dream sequence, (ala Dallas) and you decide to do this right.

4-0 out of 5 stars Please, this isn't the Last is it? Bring back the Old Lestat
I adore these books, I am in love with the works of Anne Rice! The movie Interview with the Vampire started me off and since I have read all the Vampire Chronicle books, the New Vampire Chronicles, several of her single works and am now just beginning to read The Mayfair Witches.

*In French Accent* "Lestat, Je Vous Adore!" I was SOOO incredibly happy when I first found that Lestat would again be narrating a book. I caught up with the Vampire Chronicles in time for the release of Merrick and have since been waiting through Blood and Gold and Blackwood Farm (very good read this one!) for a book by our beloved Brat Prince.

So, what happened? I give this book a four star rating simply because Lestat is back full-time in his superb supernatural body. But what happened to him while he was gone? This is not the Lestat I remember! Where is the irreverence? Devil-may-care attitude? Strength of character? To me, Lestat still seems to be quaking from his, er, "experience" with Memnoch. He's disorganized, scattered about like the remains of some of his more evil victims. He's too, I don't know, sedate here! What happened to our party boy?

And where, oh where, is the beautiful Louis??? After Merrick sacrificed herself you would think that our poor Louis would still have some issues to resolve! AND WHAT ABOUT THE TALAMASCA??? What happened to their threats? Lestat has taken yet another of the Mayfair family, why aren't the Talamasca still after him? They were threatening anhilation! Did they suddenly forget about Lestat altogether? Impossible! And hey, I want to know who these elders are who are behind the whole organization, secret, ancient cult thing! THIS CANNOT BE THE END!!! IT SIMPLY CANNOT BE!!! SOOO many unanswered questions! Plus, the ancient of the Vampires warned Lestat not to make any new members, he's done it again though, what about their reaction?

Not much happens altogether really. Mona becomes a vampire, she cries a lot, runs away, comes back, runs away again, cries some more, acts childish, then turns into an old woman. Michael and Rowan are both rather insane, Quinn seems to be the only voice of reason. Lestat is not back on his game yet, I want the old Lestat!!! I mean, I love that he only preys on criminals but he needn't be a complete saint about it! Why does he eternally behave so sorrowfully? Can't he see that he's doing humanity a favor now? The only interesting part about this book was the Taltos and their private island, other than that, it was just a big whine-fest between Lestat, Mona and Julien. Why is Lestat so bothered by a ghost? He did the best thing he could for Mona, tell Julien that he isn't the omnicient master of the clan and GET OVER IT!!!

I really hope Anne Rice has more in store for us, I mean, I can understand that with the death of her husband (my most sincerest of sympathies Mrs. Rice) she is likely having a hard time putting her best into a novel. But please, I hope her gift comes back soon and we are able to find out more about our Eternally Beloved Brat Prince and all the other Children of Darkness/Dwellers of the Savage Garden that we have come to know and love so dearly and the Society who keep watch over ALL. ... Read more


34. Watchers
by Dean Koontz
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425188809
Catlog: Book (2003-02-01)
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 8194
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From a top-secret government laboratory come two genetically altered life forms. One is a magnificent dog of astonishing intelligence. The other, a hybrid monster of a brutally violent nature. And both are on the loose... ... Read more

Reviews (354)

5-0 out of 5 stars Vintage Koontz
In WATCHERS, Dean Koontz weaves some of his most powerful, recurring themes into a story so compelling it demands to be read again--and again! Dangerous government experiments run amok; characters tortured by terrible childhoods and fears of losing those they love most; and the redemptive power of love and hope. These themes serve to give this novel an emotional punch that few thrillers can match these days.

Perhaps Koontz's greatest accomplishment with this novel is that the story succeeds on so many levels. Readers who appreciate finely-tuned phrases and scalpel-clean, lyrical prose can delight in the prowess of a master wordsmith. Other readers, seeking only a story that delivers an entertaining plot, will be riveted by the twists and turns and "Oh, My God" moments that this story delivers. Lastly, those readers who have followed Koontz's career for many years can read WATCHERS simply to appreciate the spectacular progression of this author's skill.

I've read WATCHERS many times, and every time, I pick up a technique that I can apply to my own suspense novels. Needless to say, this book has gained the "must read, then re-read" status on my personal reading list!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dean Koontz's BEST book!
I started reading this book on a business trip because I didn't have anything else to read. I'd been told by several people to read this book, but somehow could never get interested in it. However, within the first 10 pages I was totally hooked. This book succeeds on so many levels! It's a funny story about an extremely intelligent dog (Einstein), it's a story about the redemption of a woman (Nora) who is only beginning to discover life, it's the story of a man (Travis) who is learning how to live again (and the relationship he develops with the woman), and most of all it's a thoroughly creepy and scary horror novel. The Outsider is a genetically created monster, bred for warfare, that escapes in Southern California and goes on a murderous rampage while the government tries to stop it. Add to this a rogue assassin seeking to profit from the situation, and the fact that the Outsider is hunting for Einstien, who is also a genetically engineered marvel from the same lab that created the Outsider. Put it all together, and you've got one of the best books you'll ever read. It's a fast-paced story you'll lose sleep over. If this is the type of quality that Dean Koontz typically puts out, then I'm a Dean Koontz fan for life!

2-0 out of 5 stars It just drags on getting more and more annoying.
I didn't like this book. I read it about a year ago. It was the second of three Koontz books that I've read. The plot was nearly identical to the other two Koontz books (Dark Rivers of the Heart- loved, Twilight Eyes- hated) which annoyed me: Guy has strange event happen to him, Girl has strange event happens to her, Guy meets girl and they fall in love, then they end up running away from and eventually confronting something related to one or both of the strange events in their past, resulting in a bitter sweat, happy ending.

One of the biggest problems with this book was the monster. Sure, Koontz indulges in the gory details and makes the creature sound horrible, but the suspense isn't there. Why must it be that Koontz's monsters virtually have no motive and are just killing because they want humanity to suffer? Every 50 pages or so, someone gets killed, but there is never really an effective scene of the hunter stalking its prey. The Characters that do ge! ! t killed, we don't really care about. He invents characters only to kill them off a few pages later. Meanwhile, for the majority of the book, we know that our heros are safely out of danger with hundreds of miles between them and the monster. There is no sense that anyone at anytime could be killed.

The stupidity of the main characters also disgusted me. Without giving away too much, I'll just say that a situation involving daytime and another involving running from the NSA have something to do with it.

Finally, a word about the dog. The dog is lovable, too lovable, sickeningly lovable in fact (and I'm a dog lover, believe it or not). It wouldn't be as bad if our heros weren't constantly saying how amazing and fantastic Einstein was and how they wanted to keep him all to themselves. Ug, annoying.

4-0 out of 5 stars shiam's
it watt really good

I really liked it was really good book that I would love to see it againa aol the time sdfsdfd sfsd the fact that i am a girl makes it feel really good and cool and and i loved that book

so so much and very much I loved it so much too and just like my friends.

3-0 out of 5 stars Best from a mediocre author
No matter girls and teenage boys (or right-wing religious fans) may find him likeale, in my book Koontz is one of the weakest authors around...his stories take you somewhere with some cliche-things and prey on soft spots of people-like how our corrupted culture leads to the violence...or morally upside girls and boys will make a poor world in their own...but his characters seem customised cardboards; his romanticism is silly and his dogs are yelping to get real dog-attitudes after all...this is the best and most readable book from him...but you should stop here...and perhaps try Lightning though stomach-churning sentimalism is there...not my cup of coffee. Anyway poor writing, terrible dialogues and silly characters saved by only good suspense and a frantic pace. But his most other books lack these factors so that is it.

By the way, I have never read any King book in my life but I plan to read many of him. Why? Because I watched two movies based on his books: One was Pet Sematary (the reviewer below: you should have READ the book carefully before slugging it off "a disappointed" one; you even don't know the TRUE SPELLING which plays a significant part in the movie)which was horror and I thought: A mindless horror hacker should he be, this author called king. But when my husband said that he was also the author of Shawshank Redemption I was utterly astounded and thought: No, There must be two DIFFERENT Stephen Kings. Any author penning Pet Sematary and Shawshank Redemption from the same mind should be far far away from cliche and must be really intelligent, readable and know something about people and this world. Now today I bought Carrie and even the first page seems to be better from the entire Koontz cannon.
Just my humble opinion. Everyone's taste is up to her or him. ... Read more


35. The Trench
by Steve Alten
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786011149
Catlog: Book (2000-06-01)
Publisher: Pinnacle Books
Sales Rank: 100438
Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (213)

3-0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars really
The sequel to MEG loses something as author Steve Alten adds [human] violence, sex, and a rediculous plot to control the world to make THE TRENCH more mainstream. Taking place several years after the events of MEG, which saw a female Carcaradon megalodon escaping from the ultra-deep Mariana Trench and eating lots of unsuspecting folks, we find our hero, Jonas Taylor, severely distraught after years of playing nursemaid to Angel, the captive daughter of the original Meg. Angel eventually escapes, and is chased by Jonas and his crazy copter pilot friend Mackriedes while they simaltaneously battle Big Corporate Baddies. Like MEG, TRENCH's shark scenes are terrifying (especially if you're scared of sharks in the first place), but the Evil Corporation plot that takes up the other half of the book is stupid, though enjoyable. Despite its shortcomings, I highly recommend both it and MEG.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read!
Wow! What can I say? The sequel to MEG is full of more action, plot twists, and terror! Steve Alten is one of my favorite authors. 'The Trench' is one of the reasons why! Happy swimming!

2-0 out of 5 stars The Angel of Death bites the dust...
I enjoyed Alten's debut MEG, despite some 2D supporting characters and a bad epilogue. But it took an effort to finish this sloppy, worse-off sequel.

First off, Alten seems to love to weave in unnecessary sexual and drug scenes. It's getting really annoying, and it's showing up in all of his novels. I mean, we can't ignore the real world and how people really are, but Alten puts too much of the grimy real world into literature. Perhaps it's too attract more audiences, perhaps it's too spice up the boring, badly explained techno-babble, but I feel as if I'm reading a porn novel instead of good prose.

The rest of the book is okay; Jonas is probably the only character who I actually liked, Mac works well as the comedic Al Giordino buddy but somehow he's become sinister in a way. Some characters cuss too much, and Benedict Singer, the main villain, has interesting philosophies but is weak and more of an annoyance than a hateable character. Celeste, the second-ranked bad girl, is way too slutty and I actually laughed at Alten's pathetic attempt to develop her. Terry, Jonas' wife, is too cliche' and somehow makes you want her to die.

But, Alten's saving grace is what started his career: Carcharadon Megalodon (or something like that.) The shark scenes are well-done, and although they are overly gory, it was nice to see the Meg in some new situations. The only problem is that Alten kills off too many characters; I think he cares for the Meg more than he cares for the humans. MEG, Domain, and Goliath are his best, and he seems to be slipping off the track with this and the even dumber Resurrection, so hopefully Primal Waters will redeem him for these literary mistakes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great creature feature sequel
I loved this book and had to go out to the store and buy it after reading Meg. I was not disappointed and I am just having trouble waiting for Primal Waters to come out and if it is as good as the previous 2 I will be very happy.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not yo daddy's shark fiction, not quite mine either
For those who were in love with shark fiction and Steve Alten's sleek genre piece MEG, the TRENCH, no matter what you think of Alten's shortcomings, is manditory reading.

I can't say that this book was really a disappointment (seeing Alten's faults in MEG, is was inevitable that success would blow them out of proportion in TRENCH) but then again, I was at the rather undemanding age of 13 when I first read it.

Not only is the human fiction in this book wildly pretentious, most of it is unneccessary and distacting. Also not very pleasant

The shark attacks, however, still ring true and will satisfy our lust for carnage. Rather than building tension, Alten perfers to bash us repeatedly with shark mayhem, which is fine by my, if i didn't have to read so much ill-written "human" drama in between. Hopefully Primal Waters will be a more mature and focused book. ... Read more


36. Blackwood Farm (Rice, Anne, Vampire Chronicles.)
by ANNE RICE
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345443683
Catlog: Book (2003-09-30)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 3286
Average Customer Review: 3.66 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In her new novel, perennial bestseller Anne Rice fuses her two uniquely seductive strains of narrative -- her Vampire legend and her lore of the Mayfair witches -- to give us a world of classic deep-south luxury and ancestral secrets.

Welcome to Blackwood Farm: soaring white columns, spacious drawing rooms, bright, sun-drenched gardens, and a dark strip of the dense Sugar Devil Swamp. This is the world of Quinn Blackwood, a brilliant young man haunted since birth by a mysterious doppelgänger, “Goblin,” a spirit from a dream world that Quinn can’t escape and that prevents him from belonging anywhere. When Quinn is made a Vampire, losing all that is rightfully his and gaining an unwanted immortality, his doppelgänger becomes even more vampiric and terrifying than Quinn himself.

As the novel moves backwards and forwards in time, from Quinn’s boyhood on Blackwood Farm to present day New Orleans, from ancient Athens to 19th-century Naples, Quinn seeks out the legendary Vampire Lestat in the hope of freeing himself from the spectre that draws him inexorably back to Sugar Devil Swamp and the explosive secrets it holds.

A story of youth and promise, of loss and the search for love, of secrets and destiny, Blackwood Farm is Anne Rice at her mesmerizing best.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Reviews (215)

3-0 out of 5 stars Dark Shadows meets Harlequin Romance Novel
This was such a frustrating read. I bought it because I had read that this particular book read much more like the old Anne Rice and not like the drivel she's been churning out the last few years. It started promising, when a young Vampire, Quinn Blackwood seeks out Lestat for assistance in getting rid of an evil doppelganger named Goblin.Quinn begins to recount his history, and suddenly Anne Rice turns into a bodice ripping Harlequin romance novel complete with people falling hopelessly in love at first glance and fifteen year old girls quoting Shakespeare, and being tragically ill. Ugh. All of a sudden Quinn becomes annoying and frankly ridiculous,falling in lust and love with every manner of man, woman, and ghost. Lestat and Rowan Mayfair meanwhile are wasted cameo players in a melodramatic mess of southern low class complete with a drunken country singer mother, and a sexy African American maid. The book slightly redeemed itself in the last fifty pages or so once it was back to the present, and it's clear Rice is setting this story up for a whole new group of blood drinkers. I just wish it would've stayed with the vampires, and been less Gothic romance.

4-0 out of 5 stars Best in the Middle; Good Description & Atmosphere
I'm relatively new to Anne Rice, having only read "Interview" to date, but must say that I was pleasantly surprised by Blackwood Farm. I think that for the most part, from the time that Quinn begins to recount his story to Lestat until the point where he becomes a vampire, the story is exceptionally well done.

I really wasn't thrilled so much with the beginning and end of the book, and am not even sure that the story wouldn't have been better on its own, somehow without Lestat in the story whatsoever, but it was still very descriptively detailed and many of the characters were very well done.

As for character development, I think Quinn is a great character. In his case, as in general, Rice not only describes to you traits about the character but she gives you a reason why they have become as they seem. For example, Quinn has grown up in a house of adults so he becomes an adult much more quickly than is likely normal. If I didn't believe in Goblin's existence, I would attribute his "imaginary friend" as his playmate and link to the world of children and his lone identifying character in a world mostly of seclusion from peers his own age.

I will note that Quinn & Mona's love might seem a bit rushed at first thought but that isn't always unimaginable that two very young people, unfamiliar with the truth of love, might "think" that they are in love so quickly. This idea was done very poorly in the latest Star Wars movie and was done wonderfully well in Romeo & Juliet. We mustn't always try and put the weight of our own ideas of love and the hardships and time necessary to forge it upon characters in stories without first identifying the age and experiences shown to us for those characters. Mona is 15 and Quinn has lived his life secluded from his peers, so it is understandable that their ideas of love might be a bit exaggerated or erroneous. I also question whether or not Quinn would have actually left Mona as he did, for as long as he did, for his Europe trip regardless of his love for Aunt Queen. Reckless youthful love usually cares little comparatively for those outside of the "two". Perhaps Quinn was able to leave her for his Aunt because he was in many ways mature for his age, but I'm still not sure that it blends with his recklessness established regarding Mona. It is hard to say.

There were some imperfections with development of some of the characters but I thought Quinn was mostly well done and overall interesting. I would have rather not had Quinn be bi and Petronia was more or less as disgusting as was likely intended but I did feel some sympathy for Petronia as I'm sure that such a life would be a difficult one filled with pain that could easily turn to bitterness and anger. I guess I just didn't like thinking about Petronia and would rather Quinn's "affliction" be more tied to someone like the lovely yet evil Rebecca.

In my opinion, the book didn't necessarily need Lestat or even the other characters used to tie her previous books together but I might have a different idea if I had actually read them. I would have been perfectly happy if I just would have heard "Quinn's Story" recounted to anyone "perhaps some figure that is planning to either kill Quinn soon or even better whom Quinn is trying to talk into ending his painful immortality", and then had the conflicts and resolutions happen between Quinn, Goblin, Mona, and a few other characters. "Quinn's Story" is very well done; it is the beginning and the end around it that are less intriguing.

Overall, the book is worth reading for the description and atmosphere if nothing else.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites.
I am often at odds with other Anne Rice fans with reguards to which stories I like.

I loved Pandora, but I still thought Blood And Gold was great, I don't feel it merely re-treaded old ground, covered in Pandora and The Vampire Armand. I actually added it up and more than half of Blood And Gold details events outside of those books. And the parts that do retell scenes from Pandora or Armand are different, because they are seen from Marius' point of view. I've always loved his character and it's nice to get to know him a little better.

But this isn't about Blood And Gold, this is about Blackwood Farm.

If you hated Blood And Gold you might not like Blackwood Farm, not for any strong similarities, but if you are one of the people who feel that Rice's writing has gone downhill, I don't sense any major difference between this and her other recent output.

I loved Blackwood Farm. I loved the intimate nature of experiencing the family's history without the tedious charts and family tree of Mayfair Witches. After a while I felt at home in Quinn's house.

I like the character Quinn, and I loved reading about his past, his teachers, and especially Mona.

I didn't like the vampire that sired him very much, but that's more personal taste than anything.

I should also note that I started reading Mayfair Witches *after* I read Blackwood Farm.

But if you are like me, and you didn't mind Memnoch The Devil, loved Pandora, had to fight through The Vampire Armand (all the boring descriptions of Vennis and it takes so long for him to become a vampire), and liked Blood And Gold, for instance, then I think there is a good chance you'll enjoy Blackwood Farm.

2-0 out of 5 stars Bitterly Disappointing
A long-time fan of Rice's Vampire Chronicles, I was rather excited with the return of Lestat at the end of "Merrick" and had high hopes for "Blackwood Farm" and its following chronicle "Blood Canticle". I just finished reading "Blackwood Farm" and found it dull, slow and a mere shadow of Rice's usual engaging and sensuous prose that can be found in the earlier VampChrons such as "Interview with the Vampire" (my personal favorite) and even as late as "The Vampire Armand".

The entirety of the book is narrated by Quinn Blackwood, a very hard-to-like character despite his many similarities to Louis, the other "sensitive"-type vampire prominent in the Chronicles. Quinn's relationship with Goblin, his doppelganger and spirit companion, could have proved fascinating plot fodder, but the very character of Quinn is so off-putting it's difficult to enjoy. His story is filled over the top with angst ("Oh, it's so difficult to be a ridiculously wealthy 18-year-old Southern Catholic genius who sees ghosts...") and a rather nauseating relationship with fellow 15-year-old chronically ill promiscuous rich genius Mona Mayfair. If this is starting to sound a little absurd, you're about right. Mona is a detestable character: pretentious, self-pitying at turns and ridiculously self-assured at others, and fancies herself the drowning Ophelia of Shakespeare fame (stereotypically Gothic angst, anyone?). Finally, the story is tedious and Quinn's narration plods and falls very flat, very often.

Truly, the only thing saving this particular installment of the VampChrons is the mere PRESENCE of Lestat. I say "presence" because as any Lestat fan will tell you, since his awakening in "Merrick" he just hasn't been the same character he once was, and the rather unpleasant change becomes even more apparent in "Blackwood Farm". I really can't hate Anne Rice's earlier work; I loved every Chronicle, including "Memnoch" which many did not, and "Blood and Gold" which for some reason suffers horrible Amazon reviews (in all honesty, I really liked that one!). But everything from "Merrick" onward, I simply prefer to pretend they're an entirely different narrative that's not even part of the VampChrons we all know and love. I haven't yet read "Blood Canticle", but rest assured it will not be a love for the new characters or high hopes for the writing that drive me to read it; rather, a sense of completion and sheer fangirlish Lestat-love, which was incidentally what brought me back to these after finishing "Blood and Gold" and vowing to be through with the Vampire Chronicles forever. If only Rice hadn't been driven by the same kind of whim, we might not have to deal with such disappointing books as "Blackwood Farm".

2-0 out of 5 stars "Farm" fails
The penultimate chapter of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles inspires more boredom than thrills'n'chills. While it starts off strong, the draggy pace and boring recounting of the lead's life bogs it down, despite Rice's typically beautiful writing.

Tarquin Blackwood, a young vampire, arrives at the Vampire Lestat's apartment to deliver a letter asking for his help. Before he can drop it off, however, Lestat himself appears and take Quinn under his wing. But after the two of them feed, Lestat sees a strange spirit-like creature attach itself to Quinn, sucking some of the blood from him. This is Goblin, an invisible doppelganger who has been with Quinn his whole life.

Quinn recounts his life to Lestat: His childhood with Goblin, the invisible friend who never went away, quirky Aunt Queen and his mother, a vicious country singer called Patsy. He tells of his run-ins with the sexy ghost of his ancestor's mistress, his love for the promiscuous Mona Mayfair, and the strange events that led him to become a "Blood Hunter." Except that now that he is a vampire, Goblin is becoming more powerful -- and malevolent -- as well.

"Blackwood Farm" starts off strong with supernatural mystery and mayhem in a Southern Gothic setting, with plenty of dirty family secrets, murder and ghosts. But as soon as Lestat starts listening to Quinn talk about his life, things start to drag. It wouldn't be surprising if Lestat wandered off to watch TV during the course of Quinn's monologue. It's that dull.

Occasionally Quinn offers a tidbit that is genuinely enticing, like the intricacies of his Southern gothic family, or the clues he uncovers about the beautiful, evil Rebecca. But it often feels like Rice is trying too hard to make it all feel surreal and supernatural. Hermaphrodite vampires and sex with spirits? Her lovely prose can't gloss over the self-conscious weirdness.

And Rice's writing is undeniably lovely, full of an aesthete's love of velvets and marble and cameos and so forth. The dialogue is where she stumbles -- there's too much of it. At the start of the book, there is an entire chapter of Lestat bickering with a Talamasca. And when he decides to seduce a thirtysomething servant, Quinn has what may be the worst (and most racist) pickup line in history: "Be my chocolate candy. I'm real unsure of my masculinity." Time to swoon, girls.

It doesn't help that Quinn isn't a terribly interesting character either. He's basically a hormonal, immature teenage boy who can see ghosts. Aunt Queen, with her love of cameos, is a far more engaging character, while Patsy is fairly two-dimensional, if easily hateable. Lestat is enigmatic and alluring, for the relatively small part of the book he's actually in.

"Blackwood Farm" is too stretched out for its own good, but it's far from the worst Anne Rice has written. At the end, it feels unfulfilling and empty, like a looming mansion filled with nothing but ghosts. ... Read more


37. The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower, Book 2)
by Stephen King, Phil Hale
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0452284708
Catlog: Book (2003-06-24)
Publisher: Plume Books
Sales Rank: 8437
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Beginning with a short story appearing in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1978, the publication of Stephen King's epic work of fantasy-what he considers to be a single long novel and his magnum opus-has spanned a quarter of a century.

Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is King's most visionary feat of storytelling, a magical mix of science fiction, fantasy, and horror that may well be his crowning achievement. In November 2003, the fifth installment, Wolves of the Calla, will be published under the imprint of Donald M. Grant, with distribution and major promotion provided by Scribner. Song of Susannah, Book VI, and The Dark Tower, Book VII, will follow under the same arrangement in 2004. With these last three volumes finally on the horizon, readers-countless King readers who have yet to delve into The Dark Tower and a multitude of new and old fantasy fans-can now look forward to reading the series straight through to its stunning conclusion. Viking's elegant reissue of the first four books ensures that for the first time The Dark Tower will be widely available in hardcover editions for this eager readership.
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Reviews (121)

3-0 out of 5 stars Nut Gathering
As book two in the Dark Tower series, The Drawing of the Three introduces two (three) new major characters, Eddie, a heroin junkie, and Odetta/Detta, a split personality black lady who has lost both her legs in an 'accident' with a subway train. Each is one of the companions foretold by Walter at the end of The Gunslinger in the Tarot card session. They come from our world of New York City, brought to Roland's world via mysterious Doors. When Roland goes through one of these doors, he ends up inside the minds of these people. As a continuation of the quest for the Dark Tower, this falls right on the standard formula: 1. Define goal/enemy (The Gunslinger) 2. Gather useful companions (this book) 3. Travel endlessly through many strange and wondrous realms (The Wastelands). Whether the rest of the books in the series will continue on this standard pattern I don't know, but in any case their readability depends far more on King's spin on this type of tale than any specific plot element.

King defines his new characters quite well. Eddie especially comes across as a very real person, with perfectly understandable fears and motivations. The Odetta/Detta combination is a little weaker, mainly because as 'halves' of one person each character is somewhat of a caricature. The melded personality of Susannah that appears at the end of the book promises to be a more well-rounded character. But other than these good characters, the book is almost wholly placed in our world. We learn very little new about Roland and his world, and as this was the major attraction of The Gunslinger, I found that I didn't like this one as much. It was also marred somewhat by a set of near-impossible coincidences that weren't really necessary, and the trigger for melding the Odetta/Detta character did not seem wholly believable. The 'lobstrosities' that open the book were different, but they didn't add anything to the story other than clipping a couple of the Gunslinger's fingers and a toe. This seemed to be merely a plot device to make all the travelling companions crippled in some manner, but so far King has not made much of this thematic idea.

Obviously a necessary book in the entire series, with some nicely drawn characters, but without a lot of the spine-tingling mystery of the first book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Draws Five Stars
Steven King is such a large part of our popular culture that it amazes me that The Drawing of the Three is his first novel that I have actually read. Everyone has probably seen at least one Steven King movie or miniseries and yours truly is no exception. I was drawn into The Dark Tower series after listening to an audiotape version of The Gunlinger. Now I am hooked.

The series so far is an eclectic mix of science fiction, fantasy, western and general quest themes. There is also King's relentless fascination with the macabre and the horrible. Following the events in The Gunslinger, Roland is attacked and gravely wounded by huge lobster like creatures. Roland must not only survive but also draw travelling companions from our world, specifically New York, of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. To do so he has to enter the minds of a drug addict, a black woman with dual personalities and a serial killer.

The Gunslinger was set almost exclusively in Roland's world as it "moves on." In The Drawing of the Three the action alternates between the New Yorks and the world where Roland is near death. Roland sees our world as one of great wealth with inattentive people. He prefers his world but enter ours to draw what he needs for his quest.

The Drawing of the Three is tension filled and action packed. It's enjoyment for traditional King fans as well as non-King readers such as me.

3-0 out of 5 stars Loosely drawn
Stephen King's Dark Tower series has become a modern classic, with its gritty imagination and mix of fantasy and horror. "The Drawing of the Three" is an expansive follow-up to "The Gunslinger," but it's a bit slow and too devoted to setting up the main quest of the series.

Roland of Gilead wakes up on a beach, surrounded by carnivorous lobster creatures that manage to bite off fingers and part of his foot. Sick and possibly dying, he stumbles away and collapses. But he still has to find and "draw" two people to assist him in his quest for the Dark Tower. He finds a door that leads him into our world, and inside the head of Eddie Dean, a young junkie/drug smuggler. Eddie reluctantly allows Roland's voice to guide him, as his beloved brother is murdered and his drug deal self-destructs.

As Eddie goes cold turkey, Roland starts to pursue the second person: Odetta Holmes, a beautiful African-American civil-rights activist, who lost her legs when someone pushed her off a train platform. She is also schizophrenic -- she has a second personality, the foul-mouthed, psychotic Detta. Now Roland and Eddie are stuck with a woman who can turn into a malevolent killer at any moment. And now Roland pursues Jack Mort -- and runs into a familiar face from his past.

"The Drawing of the Three" is almost very good, but not quite. Unlike "The Gunslinger," this is pretty obviously a bridge between the first and third books, setting up the scene for the rest of the series. So it's rather awkward at times, as King tries to write a story around his formative characters. In that, he does a pretty good job.

King's writing is not technically very good, but it has an evocative slam-bang quality -- the lobstrosities, the doors, the airplane, the blistering postapocalyptic world that Roland lives in. The descriptions comes alive with vibrant intensity. But he doesn't seem to be at ease with the constant, sprawling flashbacks to Eddie and Odetta/Detta's past lives, which add a weirdly fragmented quality to the book. It's easy to lose track of the action.

Enigmatic gunslinger Roland doesn't get much fleshing out in this book -- it's all about Eddie and Odetta/Detta. King brings their struggles and feelings up in all their beauty and ugliness, showing Eddie's love for the brother who led him astray. Odetta/Detta is particularly interesting: One personality is a cultured, refined heiress, and the other is a murderous, racist psycho.

King stumbles over his fragmented narrative at times, but "Drawing of the Three" is a good follow-up to "The Gunslinger" and sets the stage for the remainder of the Dark Tower series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Drawing of the Three
This second book in the DT series is much more understandable and enjoyable to read than The Gunslinger. It also caught me by complete suprise that Odetta and Detta was the same person. I also enjoyed the first part- The Prisoner. It was like I was reading the Godfather.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Second amazing installment in the breathtaking series
In the seond book of the Dark Tower series, we find that Roland is on a beach. I have to admit myself that the prologue was a bit of a drag to read through, and it made lose a little interest in the rest of the book, but i kept reading nevertheless.
And im glad i did, because if i didnt i would have missed out on all the excitement. These books are unlike all of kings other work, but thats a good thing. He is portraying a Fantasy/Adventure - with a touch of mild horror - side of him.
Soon Roland comes across the first door. This is when the book starts to become the masterpiece that it is. Believe me! He goes through the door, and finds that he is looking through someone elses eyes. He realises that he can influence this person to do what he wants.
So, to be brief - Roland gets what he needs for now, but that is only the first "drawing". He has to more to draw, two more to join him on his quest, with loads of twists, suspense and adventure.
Hopefully you will find, as i did, that towards the end of the book you dont want it to end. I like the characters a lot and really found the book heart warming at times. This book is a must for all!!! Dont even think about it - just buy the book. ... Read more


38. The Best of H. P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre
by H.P. Lovecraft, Robert Bloch
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345350804
Catlog: Book (1987-05-12)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 6385
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Lovecraft is "the American writer of the twentieth century most frequently compared with Poe, in the quality of his art ... [and] its thematic preoccupations (the obsessive depiction of psychic disintegration in the face of cosmic horror)," writes Joyce Carol Oates in the New York Review of Books. Del Rey has reprinted Lovecraft's stories in three handsome paperbacks. This first volume collects 16 classic tales, including "The Rats in the Walls," "The Call of Cthulhu," "The Dunwich Horror," and "The Colour Out of Space." Introduction by Robert Bloch. Wraparound cover art by Michael Whelan. ... Read more

Reviews (101)

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible collection of some of an incredible writer's work
H.P. Lovecraft was the best horror writer of this century. And by saying this, I do not feel I am going out on a limb.

Never before has an author impacted my thought as much as Lovecraft has. I constantly read his work and frequently talk about him to others. In fact, I even sport a few Lovecraft shirts around town. Obsessed? Yes, but for good cause.

As Ramsey Cambell said, Lovecraft can do something many other "master" authors can't: Infuse the reader with mindnumbing terror.

Maybe "mindnumbing" is a little bit of an overstatemnt, but terror isn't. Mixing a broad range of stories from tales of crazy scientists to genocide of ancient races, Lovecraft presents a very powerful and interesting philosophy (best summarized by earlier said Campbell): Man is luckilly ignorant of certain things, for if they knew them it would be death or insanity.

And this book shows just that. From "Call of Cthulhu" to "The Rats in the Walls", this book is sure to please anyone searching to own their first Lovecraft book or someone that wants to find out if the rumours of Lovecraft being a horror master are correct.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Lovecraft Collection Available
This book is the best in the series of short story collections issued by DelRey books, and probably contains the best collection of classic HPL stories available today. Here you have the best and most revered stories from Lovecraft's prime period of creativity. You can clearly see how influential this work has been for all horror fiction that has been written since. Clive Barker and Stephen King are definitely fans, and even movies like "Poltergeist" and "Ghostbusters" are clearly inspired by Lovecraft. As usual with Lovecraft stories, it is often difficult to get through the heavy prose and obscure references, and reading the tales will take a lot of patience. But your patience will be rewarded by many classic short stories that will really get under your skin. Highlights of this book include "The Rats in the Walls" which really reminded me of the Poltergeist movie; the all-time occult masterpiece "The Call of Cthulhu"; the intriguiging "The Music of Erich Zann" which is surprisingly artistic and offbeat for Lovecraft; and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" which covers not just the evil of supernatural creatures but also of small-town humans - a motif that is seen in many Stephen King stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Stories From A Master of Horror
Writing in the '20s and '30s, and being marginalized by major publishers, H.P. Lovecraft was forced publish his work in various obscure pulp-horror magazines. Unfortunately, his talent as a writer of horror/science fiction wasn't recognized until after his death in the late 1930s, and it was only then that his friends were able to start their own independent publication of his work. Lovecraft's literary talent and the scope of his imagination are well presented in this collection of short stories. Lovecraft admired and emulated the work of Edgar Allan Poe and his short stories follow the same plot structures, themes, and prose as that of Poe's. The narrators are usually avid empiricists such as detectives or scientists who come face to face with the unexplainable. As the story progresses, the narrator's confidence in his logical reasoning or use of the scientific method clashes with the unknown, unfathomable, or unthinkable, and he eventually becomes mad or nihilistic. The stories are almost always in the form of a retrospective narrative whereby the author reassures the reader that he's not mad (i.e. 'After you read what I have to say you will see for yourself whether I'm truly mad...') Many of Lovecraft's stories consist of themes and plots of the occult and his own imagined mythology. Lovecraft developed a mythology (often referred to as the Ctulluh myths) about various races of amorphic aliens who came to live on Earth millions of years ago. Over time, these aliens fought each other and some were vanquished and sealed in their forgotten cities by magic rituals and symbols. Many of the cities, of non-euclidean geometry, are burried in deserts or in antarctic mountains while others lie beneath the sea. Although physically dead, these sentient beings remain active through phenomenal esp powers which they use to control humans. The 'gods' use the humans to spawn and/or to liberate themselves from their prisons. Inspired by his invented mythology of primordial alien creatures, Lovecraft wrote 'That is not dead which can eternal lie, yet in stranger eons even death may die.' So enjoy these wonderful short stories from the master of occult horror. If you love Poe, you will most certainly love Lovecraft.

5-0 out of 5 stars A collection of great stories
This anthology contains, for the most part, truly excellent works of horror fiction. Lovecraft is considered by many as the best purveyor of horror fiction of the 20th century, all the more impressive since he did not live beyond the first half.

As with most anthos of fiction, there are some truly great stories in this one, some that are so-so, and some that are not so great. "The Call of Cthulhu" and "The Music of Erich Zahn" are two of my favorites of this one. "Call" is the story that really is Lovecraft's best-known, I believe. It was the first to establish very well the pantheon of the Old Ones that appear in so many of his later stories (including those in this collection). There have been a number of emulators of his style, and even products by others based on his works (like role-playing games), but it was reading these originals that really made me long for the older days.

Lovecraft makes painstaking effort to establish mood and environment. There are always unknowns, the cornerstone of his horror. Many take the form of investigations of mysterious happenings, and a number of them are similar to others, but that similarity is more in presentation than in the particulars. It seems that he did a very good job of using new concepts in all the contained stories. Some of the stories in this one really could benefit from a reduction in volume. "The Whisperer in the Dark" simply dragged on way too long. Despite the reader being well aware from the narrative of what was occurring, the narrator himself seemed unable to make the simple conclusion of his situation. I really was disappointed in that one.

As stated, these stories are classics, and nearly all of them are wonderful reads. Even some of those that go on too long have something in them of the refinement of the mythology that Lovecraft was creating. This book is a great buy, even in the slightly more expensive trade paperback format.

5-0 out of 5 stars masterful
gloriously haunting tales which prove spine tingling and bone chilling. A true master. ... Read more


39. Frankenstein (Enriched Classics)
by Mary Shelley
list price: $3.95
our price: $3.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743487583
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: Pocket
Sales Rank: 63987
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Book Description

ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATED BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP

A timeless, terrifying tale of one man's obsession to create life -- and the monster that became his legacy.

EACH ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES:

• A concise introduction that gives readers important background information

• A chronology of the author's life and work

• A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context

• An outline of key themes and plot points to help readers form their own interpretations

• Detailed explanatory notes

• Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work

• Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction

• A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience

Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential.

SERIES EDITED BY CYNTHIA BRANTLEY JOHNSON ... Read more


40. Different Seasons (Signet)
by Stephen King
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451167538
Catlog: Book (1995-01-01)
Publisher: Signet Book
Sales Rank: 11606
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Different Seasons (1982) is a collection of four novellas, markedly different in tone and subject, each on the theme of a journey. The first is a rich, satisfying, nonhorrific tale about an innocent man who carefully nurtures hope and devises a wily scheme to escape from prison. The second concerns a boy who discards his innocence by enticing an old man to travel with him into a reawakening of long-buried evil. In the third story, a writer looks back on the trek he took with three friends on the brink of adolescence to find another boy's corpse. The trip becomes a character-rich rite of passage from youth to maturity.

These first three novellas have been made into well-received movies: "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" into Frank Darabont's 1994 The Shawshank Redemption (available as a screenplay, a DVD film, and an audiocassette), "Apt Pupil" into Bryan Singer's 1998 film Apt Pupil (also released in 1998 on audiocassette), and "The Body" into Rob Reiner's Stand by Me (1986).

The final novella, "Breathing Lessons," is a horror yarn told by a doctor, about a patient whose indomitable spirit keeps her baby alive under extraordinary circumstances. It's the tightest, most polished tale in the collection. --Fiona Webster ... Read more

Reviews (144)

4-0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone, but not everything for someone
Of all the King books I've read, I enjoyed Different Seaasons more than any other. Perhaps because I have a drawerful of novellas, ( I can't write a story longer than 200 pages to save my life)I felt a kinship with the author on this group of works. I doubt that anyone likes all four of the stories contained in the book, but I also think everyone who reads it likes at least one of them. I personally thought "The Body" was his best, possibly because it captured so beautifully the lives of young boys in the late 50's. I certainly knew someone like each of the characters, and proabably WAS one of them. (Or a combination of them.)And when I read Gordy's tale of the pie eating contest, I laughed out loud, to the point that my wife thought I was possessed. Apt Pupil and Rita Hayworth were good, but didn't really grab me, and Breathing Lessons reminded me of the old Monkey's Paw story that frightened me so as a child. But criticizing King's work is like second guessing a man in the batters-box. He's there, by God, and he writes AND gets published. One can point out his shortcomings, but there has never been a perfect author in this world, and never will be. Take this book for what it is... a collection of STORIES... not an effort to change the world, or revitalize the literary world. And, to all those English profs at obscure colleges who complain of King's fluff, when you've published as much as he has, I'll listen. Get in the batters-box, take a few cuts, then tell us King's not very good.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Stories
1). Rita Hayworth & Shawshank Redemption: I would have liked this one better if I would have read it before I saw the movie which is great. 2). Apt Pupil: In my opinion I thought that Apt Pupil was the best story in Different Seasons. I don't know why mostly everyone else didn't like it. I liked the characters of Todd Bowden and Dussander. Good ending. 3) The Body: Kind of a different story foe King (but then again this whole book was different from regular King). I liked Chris Chambers and Teddy. I didn't like what happened to them at the end. 4). The Breathing Method: Starts off slow but then it spectacular. Truly a gruesome ending that I didn't see coming. Overall I enjoyed Different Seasons. This novel proves that King can write stuff other than horror. I even liked how he wrote in an Afterword to tell us how he came to writing the novel. A good change for him. I liked all the stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars The proof that Stephen King is a great writer...
Different Seasons is perhaps the best Stephen King book with which to initiate the neophyte who says, "He can't be a good writer - he writes HORROR." This is King's first, greatest take on the mainstream. Each of the four offerings could be textbook examples of the perfectly written novella. Not coincidentally, this book has inspired three of his best movie-adaptations.

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption: Yes, even if you have seen the movie, you should read this. It tells the story of how an innocent man is able to keep hope alive in prison.

Apt Pupil: This, it can be argued, is really a monster story; the monsters however are all too real. A teen-aged boy obsessed with the holocaust discovers his own pet Nazi in the neighborhood.

The Body: The inspiration for the wonderful film Stand by Me, it is a heartbreaking coming-of-age tale and the power of friendship.

The Breathing Method: The book's one true horror story. I won't try to attempt to explain what it is about.

In the Afterward, King commits his worst sin by famously referring to his own work as "the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and a large fries from MacDonald's." Not only does that cut himself short, it is an insult to us, his readers, who think his stuff is pretty darn good. Want proof? Read these stories.

4-0 out of 5 stars Four great non-horror King novellas
"Different Seasons" is not your typical King horror novel. It is a compilation of 4 novellas (short stories). Three of the stories were eventually made into movies. To my surprise the stories were somewhat different than the movies.

These novellas can best be described as dark philosophical journeys rather than the all-out horror one would expect from King. All of them portray downtrodden, basically good people caught in lousy and depressing lives. With the exception of "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" none of them have a happy ending.

Despite the depressing tone of the stories, they kept me entertained and interested in the outcomes. This book is a good read, even though I prefer King's usual horror style over the one he uses here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read This and Tell Me He's Not The Master
I have no patience anymore for people who say, "Stephen King is not much of a writer." How can they say that? Because he is succesful? Because his books sell? Because he has chosen horror (primarily) as his genre? Please read this collection of short works (4 novellas? 4 longish short stories?) and tell me that he is not the master. Yes, he has written some loopy stories at times; yes, he has written books that seem self-undulgent or just plain weird. But if you read these classic scribblings (Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, The Breathing Method, Apt Pupil, The Body), you will begin to see why Stehpen King is the most successful writer who has ever lived: (success = every book he has ever written is still in print, still on the shelves, and this goes way back to Carrie in 1973-74; he has earned over a billion dollars in sales, not counting film royalties). Read these stories and you will begin to see the first of the two particular talents he has in abundance: humanity. He writes HUMAN characters. He knows PEOPLE. He can put a mirror up to the human condition like the best literary writers. His second talent is that he can and does tell a story. This is how he gets under the literary writers' collective skins and surpasses them and everybody else in the marketplace. In short, he is successful because he has the talent of the literary writers and he has the plot ambition of the popular writers. He's the writer who has it all. All hail, the master! I am proud to be numbered among his fans. ... Read more


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