Wednesday, April 30, 2008

D.Gray Man

I am not so sure how to review an anime or whet the criteria is to judge whether an anime is good or not. I bet everything is based on personal preferences. “D.Gray Man” is essentially alternative history as farfetched it is as it is set in an Earth, where the old fashioned telephones and steam trains ruled the world. However the same Earth seems to possess computer and complex data analysis machinery and holographic screen walls, which make it hard to determine anything.

The series follow the team of exorcists as they make the world a safer place by killing of demons sent by the Millennium Earl. The origin of the demons is really fascinating as Millennium Earl creates them using the soul a dead person called back from their beloved and the body of the mentioned beloved. This idea alone hooked me. Then of course came the different stages of evolution, where from one shape demons grew into more individual monsters of great variety.

The exorcists are people, who are able to synchronize with a godly material called “innocence”, which is equipped on them through a special object, thus becoming special weapons. The cast of exorcists is wide of course, but the main story revolves around four characters. Allen Walker is the protagonist, being the only exorcist equipped with a parasitic innocence that has his arm transform into various weapons. Lenalee Lee is his love interest and she uses special boots that allow her sonic speed, flight and major kicking force. Kanda is the sour one in the team, who barely speaks a word and uses illusionary swords. Last but not least comes Lavi, who has a hammer that can summon forces of nature and grow in size and length, and is also in love with Lenalee. I am expecting the love triangle to finally come in focus.

The first 40 episodes or so have almost no plot. The team is sent out on missions and we are slowly introduced to the world, the agency of exorcists, the history, mythology and other operatives and higher exorcists. Right about there the focus falls also on the bad guys and from there starts the real plot as the Children of Noah prepare for an attack. I liked this side of the world building as these Japanese took something from the bible and spun it in a wild way. Basically the Children of Noah have in stored different memories of Noah and want to obliterate the world, because of human transgressions. Of course they have wicked powers and create the demons, with which they plan to take over the world.

Right about now the battle is reaching its peak, but from all the dialogue being swapped around, I get the feeling that this is the battle before the final stand. So far there have been released 80 episodes. I am not really informed when it will end. I will post another review, when the series is over for sure.

Side Notes:
~ The art I managed to scavenge is not entirely original. The group shot shows Allen (down), Lenalee (left), Kanda (right) and the Millennium Earl (up).
~ The black on brown outline shows Allen with his advanced claw form of his innocence after he reached further synchronization with it. The other picture shows Lenalee’s boots activated.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"The Taste of Night" by Vicki Pettersson

Title: "Taste of Night"
Author: Vicki Pettersson
Mass Market Paperback:
448 pages
Publisher: Avon Books (March 27, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0060898925
ISBN-13: 978-0060898922

After reading “Scent of Shadows” by Vicki Pettersson I was left ecstatic with the Urban Fantasy genre as a whole even more as it was my fourth book into the genre. While “Stray” offered great amount of sexual tension and feline shapeshifters, “Halfway to the Grave” lots of action and sarcasm and “Touch the Dark” mix from mythology, magic and intrigued, it was “Scent of Shadows” that defined the genre for me. Vicki Pettersson pulled out a whole new world out of the nothing, relying on almost nothing known to human lore apart from the zodiac and comic books.

“Taste of Night” grabs your attention immediately and by the time you are finished with it, the Zodiac world is richer, more fully developed and as hell more real. The story is too complex to lay here in short. I tried and it turned out as an essay rather than a review, so I will keep it simple. It follows Joanna Archer as she has to manage to save Las Vegas from a lethal virus, which is activated sexually; kill Joaquin, the man, who ruined her life; maintain her fake identity as Olivia Archer, her dead sister and regain her position in the Zodiac Troop, after being kicked out for disobeying orders and bringing the virus into the sanctuary.

Of course much more happens in between the 400 pages. Old characters are further developed like Hunter, who is bound to Joanna after she passed the aureole to him in the first book. Tekla, who spent the first book as a mental patient, is now in her full power and the readers learn more about her personality and abilities. New characters are introduced in the face of Marlo, Riddick and Jewell, who fill the missing star signs.

The newest elements introduced in the book come in the shape of the changelings, who appear to be preteens. They know about the war between Shadow and Light and through their belief do the Zodiac troops actually exist. The changelings also appear to be separated into two camps, Light and Shadow, and morph into hideous monsters, when they sense an agent from an opposite troop. One of their other powers is to grant their own auras to agents in order to shield the agent’s identity.

The original manual seems to be the most important manual for the Zodiac troops as it contains how the prophecies about the Kairos aka Joanna will turn out. However as much as these answers are needed, the original manual seems to be lost at least in the Las Vegas valley. However Joaquin collects many manuals from across different towns, trying to find clues leading to the original manual. In the end after Joaquin’s death Joanna takes up that task.

Now although I found this book to be quite excellent, I have one huge issue, which is the cause of all the other problems. Joanna is stubborn and stupid when it comes to her actions towards the shadow agents especially Joaquin. Her motivation is crystal clear and understandable and I accept that, but seeing how she failed the first time with the attack and knows the consequences if she worked before her troops back, she does it again and fails, because of her angst moments. Seeing how the thought of that man makes her unstable, it is not advisable to go out again and again to hunt him down.

Then comes the love triangle between Hunter and Ben. I would definitely like to see her in relationship with Hunter, since they know more intimacies about each other because of the aureole exchange. She knows she can trust him and yet she says no, but regrets it and longs for him at points. Joanna then risks compromising herself as she returns from the dead with her own face through Jasmine, her changeling, and has sex with Ben in order to give him immunity, even though she knows that only a kiss can do pretty much the same. If you ask me, having Joanna kiss him in Olivia’s skin would set the ground for a really interesting triangle, having Ben fall for Olivia. But that is only me on that matter.

As a conclusion I have to say that this book rocks immensely and its flaws with Joanna are only minor ones that are defined mainly through personal tastes in preferences.

I give it 8/10

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Side Note 1

As you can see, Temple Library Reviews underwent some changes around the design to get a bit more library feel out of the whole. The atmosphere of this parchment style template kick it pretty much old school. I have to thank my wonderful friend Theresa from Fantasy and Sci-Fi Lovin’ Book Reviews for the motivation to find cooler templates.

On a side note I will announce the schedule of what is to come on “Temple Library Reviews”. Tomorrow I will be hosting an interviews with Kristopher Reisz, author of “Unleashed”, which I reviewed a few posts back. Then will come a review on “Taste of Night” by Vicki Pettersson and after that a review on the anime series “D.Gray.Man” and after that come some movie titles that deal with fantasy, paranormal, horror and the obscure.

I had a backbreaking time fixing all the links (widgets as they call them) and sometime this week I will host some links towards some of great web comics and resources in the fantasy field.

Friday, April 25, 2008

"Carrie" By Stephen King


Title: Carrie
Author: Stephen King

Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages

ISBN-10: 0671039725

A lot of water has run since the 70s and the release of “Carrie”, a lot of novels appeared on the market and for that matter Stephen King didn’t do badly at all, conquering the literary scene and all. I am definitely sure that just about anyone has read reviews about the book or the book itself, the adults anyways, but to think of the teens these days, who are not so acquainted with the classics like I was awhile back and still am, I am posting one anyways.

After reading “On Writing” by Stephen King, where he mentioned so many times Carrie and what the book was actually about I knew I had to read. I mean, which violence-anime-comic-book-crazed teen wouldn’t die to read a novel about a repressed high school outcast becoming a murderous monster relying only on the power of the mind. I am not so sure, if “Carrie” is the initial spark about the craze over telekinesis, but I definitely bet on it. I have not read many books having a take on this particular super power and I found it most satisfying.

First of all I have compliment Mr. King on the ingenious idea to construct the novel as a scrap book of notes, bulletins, excerpts from fictional books, interrogations and actual story telling. This is some great strategy to avoid the additional information like character background, events and setting, which would be usually introduced via dialog, story arcs and all the rest. So clap, clap, clap to all that.

So the story is actually very simple. We have Carrie White, who has the bad luck to be born into a family of zealous fanatics; her mother being presented as a tyrant with predisposition of constant yelling and a lot of her screws loose. The influence of her mother’s upbringing and the constant demeaning pranks, jokes and taunts from all her peers because of Carrie’s background, turn Carrie into an outcast. Thus while experiencing her first period in the gym shower (side not is that she doesn’t know menstruation is), all the girls make fun of her. This is the first time she manifests her telekinetic power by blowing out a light bulb. This event however sets the scene to the apocalyptic ending as Sue Snell decides to make her boyfriend Tommy Ross take Carrie to the senior prom in order to make amends with her own guilty conscience about taunting Carrie. Here come the main villains Chris Hargenson and her boyfriend Billy Nolan, who plan to make the prom night a living hell for Carrie. While she and Tommy Ross get crowned as Kind and Queen of the prom they dump a bucket of pigs blood on Carrie, which triggers the homicidal persona in her. Apocalypse is unavoidable.

Carrie is a very believably created character and the hell she goes through aka her life is built in incredible detail. Most interesting is how she seems to host this immense power and the maniac flame in her whole persona, which seems to go hand in hand I guess and then there come her meek, shy and frightened to death mousy personality. It’s a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide situation and all she needed was a trigger to cause annihilation.

The last pages of the novel put accent on the telekinesis and those were the pages I liked best for obvious reasons. First I enjoyed how Stephen King described it as flexing of the brain and then through regular training in minimal time, Carrie developed control and strength. She can also do multiple tasks at the same time and has latent telepathy. If I have to go in my analysis mode I would have to say that Carrie is a metaphor of a human being broken down to an emotional wreck with pain and chaos gathering like a storm. This turmoil is just expressed on the outside.

Of course the book had several areas that didn’t exactly work for me. Sue Snell is too much of a Samaritan to offer Carrie the night of her life and the perfect date. I know that this book was written back in the 70s, but teen girls back then had valued their prom night as much as girls do now. Her sudden decision is a bit illogical, no matter how guilty she feels. Then come Tommy Ross and his decision to play along without much though. I understand that he is a jock and suffers in the brain department, but it’s like saying to a person that instead of a sandwich he had to eat a cookie. The fact that Carrie was accepted so well during the prom night without the whole gossip droning around is also a bit suspicious. For me it was a bit surreal and mister King could have added some extra 5K into the mix to strengthen that. After that came the matter with all these adverbs that were quite obvious in the dialogue tags, but considering it was his first published book and way back in the 70s, who am I to criticize.

In conclusion I must say that this was a cool read. It reads fast, I personally finished it in four days and I read it on a Word file, since I couldn’t find a paper version, even on the used books stands. The situation with books in Bulgaria is rueful.
My Grade: 6/10

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Interrogate the Author: Jeaniene Frost

I am very happy to announce that the glorious, newly risen star of Urban Fantasy, Jeaniene Frost has given consent to participate in a simple Q&A. I am also happu to announce that this author has recently won the Romatic Times Readers Choice with her debut novel "Halfway to the Grave". You can find my review of that book HERE, before I started my seperate blog. Now let's get this interview going!

1. Hello, Jeaniene. I’m so thrilled to be having you here on my humble place on the Internet as one of the first test subject in my upcoming series of interviews. I really appreciate the time to answer my rambling questions. How are you feeling?

Hi Harry, and thanks again for taking the time to interview me. Things are good! I’m getting pre-release jitters as time winds down until ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE comes out, but everyone tells me that’s normal.

2. Of course it is, until you shake your hands so violently that you won’t need a mixer to make whipped cream anymore. So as we all know, writers usually get this bang on the head by an invisible epiphany and suddenly from ordinary human beings we all get the strange notion to start creative writing. When did your epiphany bang you and how did that happen? I mean it could have been either a novel or an actual hit in the heat. Details are usually wanted here.

Oh, it was a bona-fide Moment, and I remember it clearly. It was January 4th , 2004, and I was sitting at my computer browsing Viggo Mortensen’s actor profile (I’d LOVED Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, and that was shortly after it came out.) Anyway, I was looking at Viggo’s biography and saw that he was an actor, painter, poet, publisher, photographer, and political activist. *pause* It was then that I had the crystal clear thought of, “Jeaniene, you are wasting your life.” As far as my dream of being an author went, in any event. Also, this happened shortly before I turned thirty, so I’m sure that looming milestone played a part in my epiphany as well.

After that day, I began writing. First it was poetry – which I love, but am terrible at – and then the idea for Halfway to the Grave hit me in a dream. It was so vivid, I completed my first of the story in about three months.

3. Viggo Mortensen is hot and compared to him almost everyone waste their lives. By the way you are not the only one, who got their publishable idea through a dream (I am hinting towards Vicki and her stiletto scene). I think I should start dreaming more. Anyways you have a really beautiful name, Jeaniene (you can thank me for the compliment later), and I did some research (quirk of mine). It seems that it comes from the Hebrew Jeanine, which means “god is gracious”. Did you know that and more importantly do you feel gracious?

First, thanks for the compliment – though really, my mother gets the credit J. No, I hadn’t heard of the Hebrew meaning behind Jeanine, but let me say loud and long that God has been very gracious to me. To me, the meaning behind my name shouldn’t be an endorsement of my personality, but a declaration of how much I thank God for the things I have, and not just writing-wise.

4. Wow, that is an interesting thought. Since I started the interesting topics with names, how about you shed some light on your heroine Catherine. According to my sources, her name means “pure”. Now how much of that overlaps with her character and how did you end up with that name? I have a hunch that is has something to do with her nickname Cat, which is very feline-y, but I want to hear it straight from the author’s mouth.

Actually, you can blame Sidney Sheldon. THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT is one of my favorite novels, and the heroine’s name in that was Catherine. When I was brainstorming a name for my heroine, that novel flashed in my mind, and I knew Catherine was the name for my heroine, too. The nickname Cat came later, because I figured she wouldn’t give her real name to her vampire targets, so a shortening of Catherine to Cat seemed natural. And it fit her personality, too, which made me happy as an author.

5. Happy coincidences is what make life so much easier, but I will blame Sidney anyways, since I wanted for once a character to be named Juanita. I side tracked again. So I read your novel and noticed something strange. Catherine is actually a half-vampire (nerdy me knows that some mythologies call them dampyrs). Usually when it comes to vampire related fiction, we have a vampire and a human, representing both words. How did you come to the interesting idea to combine the incompatible?

As I mentioned earlier, the idea came to me in a dream. In my dream, [spoiler warning for those who haven’t read Halfway to the Grave!] I saw two people arguing. Somehow I knew the girl was a half-vampire, the guy was a full vampire, and they were arguing because he was pissed that she'd left him years before. The story of what led up to that point in their lives became Halfway to the Grave. Now, the argument I'd glimpsed in my dream takes place in the second book in the series, One Foot in the Grave

6. The dream again, huh? Well they do tend to work in mysterious ways. So here comes my favorite. Why vampires? They seem to be pretty popular nowadays and we can all blame Buffy for that, but I bet you have some deeper reason. Answers like just because are not available.

Okay, I won’t use the word “because”, but it’s always been vampires for me. Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved vampires. I remember watching the many variations on Dracula as a kid, and thinking each time that it was perfectly reasonable for Dracula to go to the lengths he did in order to get Lucy, and why did Van Helsing have to keep picking on him? As you can imagine, this made my parents very nervous about my warped perspective in rooting for the movie’s villain versus the hero, lol.

7. You gotta admit Van Helsing was hot. I can forgive him for that. So your second installment for the Night Huntress series is soon to hit the bookstores and enslave many UF fans all around the US. Can you give a little bit of inkling about what we are to be expecting? More importantly, will Cat be doing stunts in stilettos like we see her wear on the cover? What happens with Bones? Will we see more blood? Oh, tell me!

You know I can’t tell you too much about ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE, or I’d spoiler things. I can say there’s a scene where Cat has to take on vampires wearing heels and a bridesmaid dress – ladies, can you imagine anything worse? – and Bones is definitely in the book. Some things from Cat’s past will also be brought to light, and a reader will get to meet several new characters, human and inhuman. Will there be blood? Um, yeah. Cat’s still hunting vampires, so that’s inevitable. I’ve also had early reviewers comment that ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE has more humor – and a hotter sex scene – than the first book. So we’ll see if readers agree once it releases.

8. Okay, I want an ARC asap. That bridesmaid dress scene is damn delicious. Speaking of stilettos, would you like to be able to do kick ass stunts with stakes and throwing knives like your character? Does the same answer apply if you had to wear stilettos?

Anyone who knows me will know why I burst out laughing reading that. The very IDEA of me trying to do stunts in comfortable sneakers, let alone heels, is enough to make me sprain something. I am a klutz. No, really, I mean I can trip while standing still (I’m not lying, people have seen it). I have no desire to do the things Cat does, and especially for the reasons she does them, which is, she’ll be killed if she doesn’t. I’d much rather go out to dinner and a movie than go vampire hunting at bars like she does. No way. And instead of throwing knives, I’m happy doing the occasional target practice with a gun.

9. I know what you mean. Been there, stuck there, can’t get out of there. As far as I can tell about you, you are the kind of people that don’t plan to stay a one hit wonder with the whole series thing and all. By the way, how many books do you plan your series to be and what do you plan to do once you are done with that?

Well, as with most authors, the number of books I plan in the series is directly related to how many a publisher is willing to buy. Right now, the total bought for the Night Huntress series stands at five. If that’s all I get, I’ll wrap up Cat and Bones’s story within those five books. I’d never leave a reader dangling because I wrote an incomplete ending without another contracted book to resolve things in.

However, if the Contract Faery came and waved a wand saying I could have as many books sold in this series as I wanted, I’d do eight books in Cat’s point of view, and then about four of five in side characters points of view that wrapped up their stories, as well as an overall plot arc for the series. That’s my dream, but don’t get me wrong: having five books guaranteed is more than I ever thought I’d get when I started querying, so I have no complaints however things work out.

As far as what I’d like to do when this series is over – or still ongoing – I want to write more, of course. Writing isn’t something I’m doing to tide me over for now. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I hope to have a long career doing it.

10. I will contact the damn Faery and see what I can do. Bazookas do make people and faeries more agreeable to suggestions. But now imagine the time your series will end. Do you have something hidden up your sleeve? I bet that bag of supernatural and sexy monsters has to be full to the brim.

I have several story ideas up my sleeve. Some I’ve started writing, others are still growing in my head. They’re all with supernatural creatures, though. I can’t seem to do normal J.

11. Normal is so outdated. I am glad you do the weird thing. So I hear you live in Florida. Isn’t it weird that a person in love with creatures of the night lives in a pretty sunny place? It seems like an oxymoron for me. Share how that happened.

I moved to Florida with my parents when I was ten. Then at sixteen, I started dating the man I’d eventually marry, and we’ve stayed here ever since. I have plans to leave Florida, because I was born up north, and I miss seasons and snow like I can’t even tell you. So in the next couple years, I’m anticipating a move to North Carolina.

12. Go, run to North Carolina and buy a spooky mansion. Writing is hard, but it has its own benefits. Since your seem to be becoming very green and tangible, can you tell me whether those benefits have given you financial freedom or are you still with the shackles of a daytime job. What exactly is your secret identity, when you are not the fabulous UF author?

I still have to work outside writing to support the bills. I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but writing is not a get-rich-quick sort of scheme (I can imagine other authors laughing in agreement). It’s truly something you do for love, not for goals of living a cushy lifestyle supported by just your keyboard. Now, if you’re very lucky, you can eventually earn a living writing. Sometimes the uber-lucky earn a damn good living writing. But odds are, if you’re a full-time writer, you’re making less money than you’d make at just about any other middle-class job. And you’re making it slowllllyyyyyy. Writers get paid twice a year in royalties, unless they sell new books. *grin* Imagine hearing you’d only get paid twice a year if you were on a job interview? You’d have to really love that job to take it, because the truth is, there are quicker, easier, and less stressful ways to make as much as, if not more, money than the average writer does.

13. I hear such things. There was the time I thought every published author made as much as Stephen King did and after that I realized that um, there are a lot more authors out there and that is impossible. Here is the next question. If you could pick a land, where you want your novels to make a grand entrance, which one would you choose? *points towards to Bulgaria, estranged in Eastern Europe.* And would you like to see Catherine show off on the big movie screen someday?

Well, Germany bought translation rights for HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE and ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE, so they will be making their debuts there. I don’t have a particular favorite country in mind. Any place that likes paranormal novels is where I’d be happy to see my books show up in.

Re-movies. I get asked this a lot from fans, and it still kind of surprises me. I didn’t write my books with the dream of seeing them in film one day – I wrote them with the dream of seeing them in print one day. I have no burning desire to see my books in film. For one, I’m not sure they’d translate well into film. So much of Cat’s character growth is done internally, through her thought process as the novels progress, and that wouldn’t be easy to show in film. Plus, there’s the whole fear that what might appear in a film would be nothing like my books/characters (*cough, BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE, cough*).

14. Ugh, Blood and Chocolate. ::shudders:: I can point towards Earthsea too, but that may be just a bit too much. Now for a grand finale. How did you feel, knowing that you were interviewed by a teen, who speaks English as a second language?

I had no idea of either until I read your question. And then I immediately jumped to Livejournal to read your profile and see if you were pulling my leg. Since you’re not, let me say WOW, you are extremely articulate and sophisticated for an eighteen-year old (at least, from what I remember as a teen). Hearing that English is your second language makes me even more impressed. I took four years of Spanish in high school, and yet still, I no hablo. So, hat’s off to you for hitting the ground running when it comes to style and prose! Throw in some pig-headedness and masochism, and you’re well on your way to being a professional author J.

I wanted a little grand finale, if you catch my drift and do some testing for a trademark question. I startled you now didn’t I with my little shocker of a question. A smart reply for your answer is now unavailable, but a very thankful one is in store. Thank you for the kind words and I really wanted to end the interview with a bang. At least for you. So that you don’t get bored. I like to look after my interrogation objects… interviewees I mean and maybe get a chance to do this again sometime later. Thank you once more and maybe someday we will see on a conference.

Now be sure to check out the lovely Miss Frost's:
Site: Jeaniene Frost, Author of the Night Huntress series
Blog over at LiveJournal
"Halfway to the Grave" is available at Amazon
"One Foot in the Grave", the second installment, has been just released.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Unleashed" by Kristopher Reisz

“Unleashed” by Kristopher Reisz
352 pages
Simon Pulse (February 19, 2008)

As a debut post to my specialized in reviewing blog, I am going to report my impressions from “Unleashed” by Kristopher Reisz. But first I want to brag that this is a personal copy sent straight from the author himself, the very first I have ever received without winning a giveaway. So I don’t feel like a virgin in that area anymore and after the squealing was ticked on my to-do-list I set out to read it.

I was a bit skeptical with whether I am truly going to enjoy it or not since the paranormal limelight favored werewolves, which are in my book least favorable. As a reader and writer my accent falls on magic and mental power, whereas the werewolves are thoroughly physical and carnal. TV movies showing unintelligent half human, half wolf monstrosities didn’t help either to build a better view. Even when I researched shamanism and learned that werewolves change into whole wolves and don’t rely on the moon and had a deeper spiritual symbolism I wasn’t very keen. But I read this book and everything has changed for the better. People don’t joke around, when they say that written words have power.

Being a teen and the book being young adult with characters my age I think it was a match made in library heaven. The story is told by multiple points of view, but follows mainly Daniel, who is the shooting star in his high school in Birmingham and has the perfect life. He is the most popular, most athletic and has one a place in Cornwell, an Ivy League college. However on his path to fit the part of the perfect pupil with brightest future, Daniel has lost his own path and his identity.

Watching Misty, one of the werewolves and outsiders in Daniel’s school, rescuing a run over dog by leaving class is the trigger event that snips Daniel from the glamour cliques of high school and sets him on his way to self-discovery. Misty and Daniel grow fonder to each other until they become a couple and together with Misty’s pack, consisting of her brother Mark and her friends Val and Eric, roam the city as werewolves. However as wolves the pack loses all ties to humanity and while Daniel is isolated by the pack for hiding his admission to Cornel, he tries to restore his friends back to humanity. The climax comes at a post graduation party, where former friends stand against each other in a suspenseful and also very poetic ending.

It’s interesting to note how the actual transformation from humans to werewolves occurs, since I am not aware of anyone else to have done it the same way. The pack needs a catalyst to allow their shape to shift and in this book the part is taken by the Amarita mushroom usually known as a hallucination inducing drug. With it and the mention of weed Kristopher draws an interesting aspect about a twenty first century teenager and the use of mild drugs. Apart from the usual symbolism these details add depth to the characters and the reality of the book.

Kristopher does a very interesting job with the school’s outcasts building up their back ground, giving them different and yet interconnecting personalities, making them carriers of some kind of message for the reader. Daniel is the shooting star, who is forgotten by the school once he disobeys the popularity order and he shows how ephemeral and treacherous fame is. Misty is a gentle dreamer encased in a tough shell to crack and she is an example what happens, when a person has been held in the steel vice of life for too long.

I admire what mister Reisz has done with the werewolf aspect of the story. As a reader of his blog I have learned why he chose werewolves, because they seem most real from the most paranormal creatures existing. Every human being holds a primal side to his character that transforms him in an animal metaphorically speaking, even though there is proof that in the middle ages people were blamed for werewolves exactly because of their more primal behavior. In shamanism the wolf is a spiritual animal that stands for reinvention and finding one’s way and one’s self through life. Kristopher does an amazing job combining both. The new found pack is on the brink to lose their link to humanity, but once they save themselves they emerge wiser, more confident in their own skin and more knowing of who they are. Basically what happens to all teens once, but without the werewolf aspect.

In conclusion I can only add that “Unleashed” offers a lot to think about to its readers presented in a very dynamic and emotion filled story, where one bad decision leads to others and so on until the end changes your whole world.

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