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Vittani (Castleford, UK)

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The Golden Compass [DVD] [2007]
The Golden Compass [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Nicole Kidman
Price: £3.00

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Daemons make it watchable..., 23 April 2008
Ok maybe thats a low blow but I couldnt really think of another title. Like a lot of people I was waiting for this film, being an avid fan of His Dark Materials I couldnt wait to see the world that was so clear in my minds eye brought to life on screen.

And while the world itself is quite beautifully done and gives us enough hint of the Other so as to make us feel we are in a world not our own, it is let down by the overall theme and the dialogue.

When I first heard that the anti-religion undercurrents had been dropped I was sceptical. For those of you who havent read the book this world is much like our own but is even more controlled by religion than ours. In fact several main characters have the intention of starting a war with heaven and overthrowing the ultimate authority. So with such an important part of the plot missing I was already fearing that this film wouldnt live up to my expectations.

In this world people have daemons, the daemon is an animal that best represents a persons character. The daemon is the persons soul. In our world souls are housed within the body but in this world the soul is a life long companion. This is one of the most endearing parts of the book, the relationship between a person and their daemon. I probably speak for a lot of people when I say that I am quite envious of the people in the book and wish my own life was fiction and what I read was real life.

Anyway back to the topic at hand. Lyra Belaqua lives at Jordan College in Oxford with her Daemon Pantalaimon. As she is a child her daemon does not have a fixed form. Meaning that he does not take on the appearance of a single animal yet, he takes on several. When a child reaches puberty the daemons form settles and the inner nature of the person is revealed. I.e. a snow leopard daemon may show that the person is brave and strong, or a snake daemon may indicate a cunning nature.

Well Lyra manages to overhear a rather private meeting discussing dust. What she learns has a great bearing on her future. A little while later a woman named Mrs Coulter comes to the college and takes Lyra as her assistant. At that time there is an organisation known as the Gobblers who are stealing children. One of Lyra's friends is kidnapped and she swears to find him.

But Mrs Coulter manages to distract her from her worries. Lyra eventually learns the truth, that Mrs Coulter is behind the Gobblers and that the reason for the kidnappings is something to do with dust. Lyra runs away and joins forces with some Gyptians who are on their way to rescue the children. Their search takes them to the far North where witches and Armoured Bears dwell. To rescue the children Lyra and her daemon must use all their tricks and the help of their allies.

Ok so thats the summary, now I'm going to get critical. The film on its own is rather good and I am quite happy with the choice in actors and actresses. The graphics are brilliant, the daemons realistic but the thing that lets all these things down is the dialogue for me.

Often times the words are convoluted and uninformative. Many important scenes are either glossed over or missed entirely. And a lot of strange things are created to explain events that had been given much simpler explanations in the books. The beginning involves a pretty pointless mud fight between several children and a dare to steal a robe from the scholars rooms. In the book Lyra simply goes to the room becase she's curious about it and that makes a lot more sense to me. The strange thing is that I even saw a clip of this beginning in a trailer or somewhere else but it was still cut and replaced with this dribble. I will also say that this part shows the weakest acting by new comer Dakota who plays Lyra. Whereas her other scenes are a lot more believable.

After that the film moves on at a steady enough point, a little boring in places and overdone but it is the end sequence that truly dispoints. I wont go into details but the entire end conflict is rearranged and makes less sense. And then the true ending of the book is left on the cutting room floor for the beginning of the second film instead. Like that will make the events any more bearable for the young children. These books were meant for young adults and adults not toddlers, so dont change stuff so that it fits with your idea of the perfect kids movie because it certainly isnt. Making it into a kids movie will ruin it. If they do not like seeing death put a higher damn certificate on it but dont ruin it for the rest of us.

What they go for is a Fellowship of the Ring type ending. But whereas in the first Lotr movie that ending worked because the story couldnt go any further past that point. In Compass we are left with an ending of several people heading to a place to do something. And the true hard hitting ending is left to make an opening in the next film. Instead of a dramatic conclusion we are left with the feeling that somehow there was a mistake on the reel and the end of the film is on the cutting room floor. Then we see the credits and release that it is just monumental bad judgement on the part of the screenwriters and director.

Its a good film because of what it is and because i think we'd love anything if it has daemons in it. But without the complexities and harshness of Pullman's world it really is a failed attempt. I will still go and watch the others if they are released but my expectations will be seriously lowered. And I'm not sure they'll be met even then.

Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street [2 Disc] [DVD] [2007]
Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street [2 Disc] [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Johnny Depp
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.99

29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Burton Depp combo does it again!, 2 Feb. 2008
Like many others this film first peaked my interest because it was a Tim Burton movie. Usually I hate horror films and dislike anything along those lines, mostly because they're too realistic and make me feel uneasy. So a film about a barber that slits peoples throats should be a complete turn off for me.

But having said that every film of Tim Burton's that i have seen, I have loved. From his recent forays into stop animation and his classics such as Edward Scissor Hands. So knowing this to be a Tim Burton film I had no doubt that I would like it.

But I didnt just like it. I loved it! I was singing the songs before the film even came out, so I had to stop myself from singing in the cinema and ruining everyones viewing.

I think when people think of musicals they think of over the top music and choreographed dancing. A lot of musicals do have that. But Sweeney Todd is different. The singing is understated and blends perfectly with the film. It views like real life, you know how some people will start singing under no matter where they are. It's like that, completely natural. And since the actors/actresses that were given the roles aren't trained singers it gives the songs a relatable quality lacking in most musicals.

It isn't like Phantom of the Opera where you've got to hit a high note to join in. You can be the worst singer in the world and not have a trouble singing along. Because of this theres an added innocense and sweetness to some of the scenes. Giving the actors more depth than the lines alone could accomplish.

The characters of Sweeney (Depp), Mrs Lovett (Carter)and Judge Turpin (Rickman) are good examples of this. Sweeney Todd is a man consumed by rage and vengeance. The tasks he's set himself leaving little room in his mind for humanity. But through his singing we see a part of the man he was before the tragic events of fifteen years ago. We see a man who loves his wife and child. But as the movie progresses, its almost like he loses touch with this remaining humanity and focuses on his dark side. So much so that the safety of his daughter seems to matter little next to him accomplishing his purpose.

In Mrs Lovett we see a woman who still harbours feelings for a certain barber and who tries her best to let him know and change his course of action. She attempts to lure him away from his path by hinting at marriage and life elsewhere.

Yet she is the one who first suggests the idea of disposing of Todd's victims in her pies. Despite her earlier thoughts of someone using cats in their pies disturbing. Carter really shines in this role.

The villain of the film is the incomparable Alan Rickman. He plays Judge Turpin, the recipient of Todd's hate and bloody urges. Despite his cruel nature he displays an innocence and vulnerability that is quite refreshing amongst all the stereotypical single layered 'bad guys' whose only motivation is seemingly death and destruction.

As with all Burton movies the film has a dark, seductive back drop. The scenery is perfect for the time it portrays, dark, gritty and decadent. The differing aspects between the classes is handled beautifully, all these points combine to make you think that you really have stepped into Victorian London.

So as a final note, if you like gore and death in your movies you'll love this film. If you like musicals you'll love it. And if you think Tim Burton is a director who can do no wrong you'll certainly love this. If you answered no to one of the three points above you might have a problem. It all depends on what you like. Either way I know I love this and I'll be watching it as many times as I can. Lol, I've already got the CD on order.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 15, 2009 2:14 PM BST

by Robin McKinley
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £5.24

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something you'll never forget!, 2 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Deerskin (Mass Market Paperback)
Whether you love this book or hate it you wont be able to deny that it touched you in some way. Whether it made you cry, made you feel ill, laugh or smile there is no doubt that you'll remember it.

Deerskin is one of those unforgettable books. Not just because the characters are so well written that they feel real to you. Or because the subject matter is totally repelant to you. You may remember it for these reason but you are more likely to remember how both these things fit so well together and really made it an experience.

Deerskin is not for the faint hearted, it is graphic and disturbing in places but has many moments of normality which make everything that happens bearable. I am not a person who enjoys angst or horror but neither am i easily disgusted but i must admit that i love this book as well as loathe it. Or at least i dislike immensely the events inside it. It is not pleasant reading. If that is what you want a beautifully renderred fairytale then look elsewhere. For though you will find beautiful writing, believable characters and a good story, you will not find a tale about a hero slaying a dragon and saving the princess.

No in this book its the princesses own job to save herself. The other thing that makes this book stand out is the portrayal of the relationships in the book. I.e. Lissars relationship with her parents, the prince but most importantly with her dog Ash. For it is that relationship that ultimately saves her in the end.

No one can accurately sum up this book. You will either devour every page as i did hoping for a happy ending for the heroine. Or you will close it and will likely not pick it up again.

Again no matter which way you go, you will remember this. And that is one of the marks of a great book whether you like the direction the story goes or not.

A Babe in Ghostland
A Babe in Ghostland
by Lisa Cach
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £4.81

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a find!, 2 Jan. 2008
Well i found this on my recommendations list recently. I've been reading a lot of paranormal chick lit as of late and have really got into the genre. When clicking on this one i found there was as per usual no synopsis available. So heres what the back cover says...

Megan Barrows has retired from a brief career as a ghostbusting psychic and now uses her sixth sense to fill her Seattle antiques store with objects with happy pasts. After once nearly having the soul sucked out of her by a malevolent spirit, she prefers a quiet life.

Case Lambert is a real estate prospector who restores old houses, then sells them for profit. He has just bought a dilapidated mansion so amazing that he wants to keep it for himself, but the house appears to be haunted. Seriously haunted. A few inquiries lead him to Megan Barrows.

Megan at first refuses to help, but Case is a master of persuasion. Moving into the mansion, they discover that one of the ghosts has a thing for Case -- and there may be even more amorous spirits inside this veritable paranormal vortex. But it soon becomes clear that no one -- dead or alive -- can stop Megan and Case from ending up in each other's arms. . .

I liked the sound of it and took a risk, as i prefer to buy books that already have some feedback, but i was pleasantly surprised. This book is well written, the characters well thought out and there are some truly wonderfully original laugh out loud moments. Theres a bit with a nightgown that i think is priceless. The relationship between the three main protagonists is brilliant, Meg, Case and Eric all have their seperate identities and bounce off each other brilliantly during arguements. As with any ghost based story there is a mystery of a dead body. And i really found myself caring about this one and what had actually happened.

There are a few intense confrontations, some teasing and a few really interesting settings. It's definitely worth buying.

There are only two haunted house stories that i prefer over this one and they are both from two of my all time favorite series (i.e. already have established characters and themes). So taking all that into consideration i give this five stars.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 6, 2010 11:25 PM GMT

Bite Me If You Can (Argeneau Vampire): An Argeneau Novel
Bite Me If You Can (Argeneau Vampire): An Argeneau Novel
by Lynsay Sands
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £5.33

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'd take a bite from this guy in a second..., 4 Dec. 2007
Like many people i have been less than thrilled with Lynsay Sands recent efforts. A Quick Bite while still a good read failed to capture me as much as SWV and TDH. And Vincent's story the book before this one, i absolutely loved but for some reason thought lacked a little sparkle.

Maybe it was because both those books contained less of the humour that i loved so much in this series. I mean everyone remembers Lucern's frantic hunt for a condom or poor Bastien having to sort out all the wedding problems. Well i cant really say anything comes to mind from the last two books. I still love them but this one really did blow them out of the coffin.

Bite me if you can is certainly comparable to her earlier books and i can only hope that the next three (Victor, Thomas and Marguerite) are the same.

Lucian Argeneau is an enforcer for the vampire council and is one of the oldest vampires living, surviving the actual fall of Atlantis. Lucian is taciturn and very set in his ways, he has no problem doing whatever has to be done, its part of his job. At the beginning of the book a young woman named Leigh is attacked by a vampire. She is taken to a lair where the vampire in question intends to keep her prisoner by quoting the media's view of vampires. By telling her that she cant go out in sunlight, must bite to eat and sleep in a coffin, he intends to tie her to him forever as a dependent wraith.

But Lucian and his crew have been following this vampire and destroy the nest, unfortunately he and another vampire escape but Leigh is rescued. Lucian is of course reluctant to keep her but she is turning and in need of help. He vows to turn her over to his sister in law before returning to search for the rogue vampire. So he leaves his companions to handle that and takes her to Marguerite Argeneau's house.

But Marguerite is leaving the country for a short while and cant take the girl so Lucian has no one else to turn to (which pisses him off royally) and he reluctantly see's her through her turning.

The presence of Marguerites giant dog (i think its a mastiff or a great dane or something) a rubish bag and an inability to master modern technology makes this a truly enjoyable turning.

At first it may be difficult to like Lucian but as Leigh realises, he may be strong and independent, or at least as much as he can be but he is still very insecure in some regards. The purchase of some self help books is a really priceless addition. I actually groaned and said 'You idiot!' when i read that part. You just knew it would be a train reck, but it was so brilliantly written and even surprised me a little in what the stunt resulted in.

Anyway Lucian knows Leigh's his life mate fairly early on and he wants her but he's not used to showing emotion.

Lucian's past is touched on only briefly but that is a good thing as i am one of those people who hate really really long convoluted memory passages. and this thankfully didnt have any, as it would no doubt have spoilt a light hearted read with war and the difficulty of both medieval and ancient times. What is mentioned is enough for you to realise exactly what Lucian has gone through and what makes him such an aloof seemingly uncaring individual.

So to sum up... this book has vampires, romance, drama, an element of danger and a lot of laughs. What more do you need except believable and lovable characters...well it has them too. So what are you waiting for buy it!

I actually do think it is my favorite but maybe thats just because i fell head over heels for this particular vamp.

Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner)
Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner)
by Lynn Flewelling
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £5.21

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Cant They Release This In Hardback?, 16 Mar. 2007
My poor book is so worn and tattered, I think my will alone holds it together. And I know if I buy a new one it will go the same way. There is one reason for this and that is this book is one of the best that I have ever read and I've read a lot, I don't review many though...

This is the sequel to `luck in the shadows' and I didn't think this could beat it. But it bloody well did and the bar was set pretty damn high the first time. `Stalking Darkness' is a real treat, one of those rare books that can give you a nice, warm happy feeling in the centre of your stomach and make you smile and grin like an idiot because your so happy. And the next second it can shock you to the core with the brutality of it. This is one of the most intense books you could ever wish to read. Yet at the same time its so subtle sometimes you can miss the hints that you are given and when the `events' happen your shocked but you shouldn't be because you were warned.

And warnings are needed with this book. Its addictive and stimulating in more ways than one. As the characters are trying to figure out whats going on so are you. Although admittedly the reader has a slight advantage (we get extra little bits that the main characters don't know about). I'll love this book forever, its on my favourite shelf and it'll never move, some books come and go too quickly and gems can be easily missed. Whatever you do don't miss this, buy it while you can, I don't think you'll regret it.

Now onto the plot...

In the first book (Luck in the Shadows), a sixteen year old young man (Alec) is locked in a dungeon, he's been tortured and the men who had been arrested with him are already dead. He though is bound for a much worse fate, he's to be sold to the slavers. That is why his torturers never break his skin.

Fate intervenes in the form of a indignant old bard. This bard escapes the dungeon and takes Alec with him. What follows is a whirlwind journey. Alec is in the company of a thief/noble/spy, named Seregil, who takes him on as an apprentice. Alec learns many things, like how to jigger a complex lock, how to eat complex shellfish at a dinner party or in a tavern and how to use a sword.

Seregil however is more than he appears, though he is a good man and means no harm to Alec his actions lead to some of the most desperate/horrible circumstances for young Alec.

And this continues into the second book (this one) where something Seregil stole in the first book comes back to haunt him, by taking the one he loves away from him. His love is to be used as a sacrifice to the enemies god, to bring its power back into the world.

In the background is the war between Skala (Good guys) and Plenimar (Bad guys). Admidst the preparations and opening skirmishes is another type of battle, being fought in the streets and sewers of Rhiminee (Skala's capital). Where old acquaintances bob up from time to time, a lot of times face first in the water, the rest of the time with swords in their hands.

The minor characters in this story are very well defined, each having their own roles and meanings, which sets this apart from other novels that use minor characters as fillers. Everyone in this book has a role to play and this gives this book a depth that is sadly lacking in a lot of other novels out today. The main characters in particular are fantastic. Seregil and Alec, the perfect double team, Nysander, the old, wise wizard, Thero, his disgruntled apprentice and the bad guys, Vargul Ashaznai and Lord Mardus, nasty pieces of work, who really don't care what they do.

I know I gave a lot of information but that's the best way to write a review, on a last note, buy this and petition for a hardback release, I really need it...

Once Upon Stilettos
Once Upon Stilettos
by Shanna Swendson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.41

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchantingly wity, as good as the first..., 28 April 2006
This review is from: Once Upon Stilettos (Paperback)
If you haven't read the first book Enchanted Inc, then I suggest you do. It is one of the best contemporary fantasies ever written and this little gem is the perfect sequel.

Katie chandler was an ordinary girl, when men dated her all they saw was apple pie and picket fences, well Katie chandler isn't all that normal. In face she's quite rare, Katie is one of the rare few known as immunes. People so thoroughly un-magical that spells don't even work on them. Because of this Katie was offered a job with magic, spells and illusions Inc (MSI). Not only was she seeing elves, fairies and talking, moving gargoyles, she was actually working with them and having the best time of her life. But it isn't all glitz and glamour's, a former employee has gone into business himself, marketing the worse kinds of spells. Surprisingly it was up to Katie to save the day.

And now one week later, things are almost back to normal, but then she sees them, bright, glittery red stilettos that she just has to buy and guess what they give her a few problems, read it to find out.

The characters in these books are some of the best I have ever come across, Katie is a well grounded person who's not afraid to have a good time, even though she's an absolute lightweight when it comes to alchohol. She enjoys her work and loves to think about the young, gorgeous wizard Owen Palmer. But Owen's shy (his blushes are adorable) and has enough interest already shown in him to make him red for a week. So Katie's content to be friends and just daydream about him. Of course that's not when she's worry about the dark wizard who seems to be out to get her and fighting off co-workers unwanted advances. It's tough being an immune in New York City... but hey someone's got to do it and she's the perfect girl for the job!

Once upon Stilettos, the perfect buy for any

Luck in the Shadows (Nightrunner)
Luck in the Shadows (Nightrunner)
by Lynn Flewelling
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £5.32

10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars spy, rogue, thief and noble... what a combination!, 24 April 2006
One of the best fantasy series ever written. Unfortunately at the moment there are only three with this set of characters but she has written another trilogy of an earlier legend.

We begin in a prison cell, young Alec of Kerry has been arrested and tortured for a crime he didn't commit. Locked in his cell waiting to be sold to foreign slavers his luck undeniably changes when a bard is thrown into his cell. This bard is not what he appears and helps Alec to escape, originally intending to leave him on his own with a bit of money the bard takes a liking to Alec and decides to take him on as his apprentice.

He reveals his true name to be Seregil of Rhiminee, but admits to having many others that he uses in his line of work. Seregil is a spy/thief and travels all over the country doing jobs for a wizard named Nysander who once tried to teach him magic, after failing to learn magical skills as Nysanders apprentice he became a watcher. A secret agent if you will, not directly involved with the Queen or her people but helping out now and then.

After stealing a harmless looking object from a foreign nobleman they flee to Rhiminee, but Seregil falls ill along the way. A gaping hole appears in his chest and a deformed black shadow that only he can see follows and taunts him. Eventually he passes out and is haunted by dreams of wastelands and bright blue eyes that are lodged in his chest. Meanwhile Alec is travelling with an increasingly mad companion who sees things he can't and on top of that he has no idea where he's going but he knows if they don't get to Rhiminee quick Seregil will die.

Alec could have just took off and gone his own way and who would blame him, he doesn't know Seregil, is following him into a new life and trying to keep him from slitting his throat in the night. But Alec sticks it out and gets them to Rhiminee.

Once in Rhiminee though Seregils back to his old tricks and Alecs happy until the night Seregil is wrongfully arrested for high treason and the penalty of course is death by torture, disembowelment, having your head placed on a pike and your body left to rot in a pit.

So of course it's up to Alec and a few of Seregils friends to get him out of prison, by clearing his name and finding the real culprit. But does it all run deeper than the betrayal of one man, can it be the work of discontented traitors to the crown who have followed in the footsteps of their ancestors.

I am not going to tell you...

But I will say this book is funny; there is a very interesting bit with a dress that's worth anything you could pay for it, its one of my all time favourite bits.

This book though isn't just funny it's everything you could want, it's sinister, twisted, macabre, sweet, innocent and tender with well developed characters that have plenty of surprises for the reader (and many more to come in the later books). It is without a doubt one of my all time favourite books and will be on my keeper shelf well into my old age, if I haven't given you a good enough summary then forget everything I have said but no matter what your opinion of my review is buy this book you won't be disappointed.

Luck in the Shadows...

The Black Jewels Trilogy
The Black Jewels Trilogy
by Anne Bishop
Edition: Paperback

36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, Sexy, Funny, Unnerving and Macarbe, what a mix!, 11 Nov. 2005
Hi i am reviewing the omnibus edition as people are more likely to buy it than the separate books, these are: Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows and Queen of the Darkness.
The trilogy as a whole is one of the most enigmatic trilogies ever written, it remains number two in my all time favourites but only because I read my favourite book first. If id found this one first then it is likely that this would have been my all time favourite. The trilogy is set in the realms of the blood, the blood are a race that govern the lindens (normal people), the power they can wield magically is represented and channelled through the jewels they wear, Black is the highest, white the lowest.
The realms of the blood are the dark realm (hell), the shadow realm (kaeleer) and the light realm (terrielle. Not sure if spelt right). They are parallel realms all connected, each contains the same places and at the middle is Ebon Askavi (the black mountain) the home of WITCH.
WITCH is a legend, a dream of millions of people and not all the dreams are human and what happens when dreams become flesh.
Daughter of the Blood: the first book. Like any good book it begins with an interesting prologue. A woman prophesied the coming of the strongest Queen ever known. Only two brothers believe her and they wait seven hundred years for her, one to serve and one to be her lover. She is WITCH. Three males revolve around her; they love her and wish her to rule. They are the two brothers Lucivar and Daemon, and their Father, Saetan the High Lord of Hell. But WITCH is only a child her name is Jaenelle.
Heir to the Shadows: the second book. Continues the lives of the four main characters after the brutal events of the first book. Jaenelle is hurt and no one knows if she will return to them. Daemon is missing, his mind splintered, he’s delicate and the knowledge he learns will push him over the edge. Lucivar is still a slave, his body is broken and he escapes to die. Saetan watches over Jaenelle, he is now her legal guardians. He thought Janelle was difficult but then he meets her friend.
Queen of the Darkness: is the final book, every character has to face their problems. Jaenelle must confront the family that abused her. Saetan must refrain from killing them. Daemon must capture Janelle’s heart. And Lucivar must come to terms with the atrocities committed on his wife and child by the one man he thought he could trust.
The entire trilogy is mind-blowing; I haven’t given a very good synopsis, just the main points. The second book was my favourite, it’s amazing how a twelve year old girl can make the High Lord of Hell suffer so, her friends are priceless and when she brings home the puppy and the kitten. Never laughed so much in my life. The whole trilogy is hilarious but it can also be disturbing, lot of angst and a part near the end of the third book is horrible. But believe me the variety of emotions it makes you feel is what makes it great, that and a plot to die for. Buy it you won’t regret it. Trust

Charmed Destinies: Counting Crows / Drusilla's Dream / Moonglow (Luna)
Charmed Destinies: Counting Crows / Drusilla's Dream / Moonglow (Luna)
by Mercedes Lackey
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diverse, loving and charming..., 22 Oct. 2005
Charmed indeed. I bought this book solely for the Mercedes Lackey story and loved it as I have all of her books. But the other two stories are also worth the buy. Catherine Asaro's story is brilliantly imaginative. The romance has many difficulties and the romance lovely, but read this as a full book. After this was published she wrote the Charmed Sphere which focuses on two other characters in the short story, (Muller and Chime). Iris and Jared's story is included in this. It is better this way. Miss Lackey's story is brilliant as always, but wasnt her best. And the third is good enough in places but not as brilliant. Still but it, the stories are original and entertaining and are perfect for a rainy day, when you want to stay in a bed with a good romance.

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