Cubbyhole Beneath The Stairs

The Journal Of A Very Lazy Reader Who Yearns To Read More

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Name: B. Dragon

"Watch your step. Spoilers are like Kraken around here..."
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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dragonflight (The Dragonriders of Pern) by Anne McCaffrey

DRAGONFLIGHT: The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey



ISBN: 0-345-34024-8



The first humans to settle on Pern barely noticed a distant planet in the same system; their descendants couldn't afford such an oversight. For the orbit of that Red Star swept it close to Pern at perihelion - and when that happened, deadly silver Threads would fall through the skies of Pern, mindlessly searing all they touched.

To combat these invasions, Pernese bred huge sensitive flying beasts that could teleport themselves in an instant, and destroy Thread in midair with flaming breath. Men and women with telepathic ability were trained to ride the dragons, giving rise to countless heroic tales... and the thrilling saga recounted here:

DRAGONFLIGHT. In return for protection, land Holders and Craftsmen have traditionally tithed food and supplies to the dragonweyrs to which they are bound. But it has been nearly 400 years since the last Threadfall, and some people have come to doubt that the menace will ever strike again.

F'lar, rider of Pern's greatest bronze dragon, has no such illusions. The Red Star is near; Thread will fall soon. And unless the dragonmen find a new Weyrwoman - a woman of sufficient sensitivity and intelligence to bond with a queen dragon - Pern will not survive.

Then F'lar meets Lessa, last of a noble bloodline that had already produced Pern's most legendary weyrwomen. And between them, Lessa and F'lar create a new legend.

My Opinion Is...

This is for the first book, Dragonflight.

The first thirty pages or so, I couldn't absorb anything. That was discouraging. I kept re-reading paragraphs and nothing was sinking in. It got to the point that I would just glide over sentences waiting for something to be snagged in. Eventually the story DID surface and I got a handle on things before too late.

I did like the story. It was pretty neat how dragons can blink between and go places and whatnot. I especially liked it when Lessa discovered something very interesting about the between. Some people who know me would know why I liked THAT very much. hehehe.

I really liked all the weyrs and how they had to fight the Thread to try to save Pern from it during this Red Star's turn around and whatnot. I am actually looking forward to starting Dragonquest.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Just thinking...

I've been looking over my books to figure out what next to read. I guess the most obvious choice would be "Dragonriders of Pern". Maybe I can re-read the Harry Potter books one after the other. I was given a set of Narnia books that I've been meaning to read because of the movies. I read the first book but couldn't get into the second book. I can't find my Harry Dresden book. Hmm...

I did manage to get my hands on 3 more Xanth books but they're 8th (Crewel Lye: A Caustic Yarn) , 9th (Golem in the Gears), and 10th (Vale of the Vole) in the series. I'm not sure if I want to read them or just try to keep looking for 'Castle Roogna' and the others in order. The two closest used bookstores didn't have anything and the 3 Xanth books came from a book seller at a flea market.

I guess I'll read Pern next. I'll admit, I don't think I'll be interested in it. Kind of a bad attitude when heading into a book but hey, I had the same attitude before I wandered into Klah and Xanth.


The Source of Magic by Piers Anthony

The Source of Magic by Piers Anthony



ISBN: 0-345-27284-6



A quest for the source of its power
threatened to doom the Land of Xanth


As the ruler of a country steeped in enchantment, King Trent was naturally curious about the source of its magic.

It made sense to order Bink, the only one of his subjects immune to supernatural harm, to undertake a quest to discover the wellspring of Xanth's uniqueness.
From the beginning, Bink and his companions, Chester the centaur and Crombie, the soldier transformed into a griffin, were harried by an unseen enemy determined to thwart them. Even the power of the Good Magician Humfrey, together with Bink's protective talent, scarcely saved their lives.

Then when Humfrey and Crombie turned againsth im, all seemed lost. But Bink's ingenuity and luck prevailed, and he reached his goal. The King's orders had been carried out...

But the King had not expected Bink's next act - to destroy utterly the magic of Xanth!

My Opinion Is...
This is the second book in the Xanth series and pretty much a year has passed. Bink is growing bored and is missing adventure! King Trent decides to send him on a mission: To find the source of magic. Of course, heck breaks loose over and over on their way to finding the source.

The book was awesome. I loved it. My favorite character was Grundy the Golem. His little insults while translating for Crombie and others were pretty funny. "You tell 'em, twerp!"

The ending was pretty neat. I never ever expected the ending at all. I'm going to have to keep an eye out on the other books and continue to 'Castle Roogna'.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony

A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony



ISBN: 0-345-25855-X



In Xanth magic was the rule -
alas, poor Bink was the exception!...



That was the enchanted land where magic ruled - where every citizen had a special spell only he could cast. It was a land of centaurs and dragons and basilisks.

For Bink of North Village, however, Xanth was no fairy tale. He alone had no magic. And unless he got some - and got some fast! - he would be exiled. Forever!

But the Good Magician Humfrey was convinced that Bink did indeed have magic. In fact, both Beauregard the genie and the magic wall chart insisted that Bink had magic.

Magic as powerful as any posssessed by the King or by Good Magician Humfrey - or even by the Evil Magician Trent.

Be that as it may, no one could fathom the nature of Bink's very special magic.
Bink was in despair. This was even worse than having no magic at all... and he would still be exiled!
My Opinion Is...
The beginning of the book was slow. Very slow. I think it was a very long attempt to show you what was in Xanth when Bink had to find the Good Magician Humfrey to find out why he had no magic. Xanth appears to be a very dangerous place to live! It seems almost every *plant* was carnivorous there!

Once Bink was exiled, It got very interesting because he was captured by Evil Magician Trent. Through the book, I teetered back and forth. Is Trent good? Do I want to like him or is he really dangerous?

To keep this vague for people who didn't read this book but enough to explain for people who did read this book - I don't like Trent even with how the book ended. With or without Chameleon's interference, the fact remains... He made that move. That's something I can't recover from. If I was traveling with them and all, I never ever would've forgiven him. I would always remain suspicious because of how it all changed AFTER that move.

I also don't like Trent's magical ability. The way he uses it all willy nilly and then walks away without caring! *shudders*

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Myth Conceptions by Robert Asprin

Myth Conceptions by Robert Asprin



ISBN: 0-441-55519-5


The second book in the "Myth" series


A demon who had lost his powers, Aahz still managed to keep his apprentice, Skeeve, out of most kinds of trouble. Then Skeeve was summoned to the court of Rodrick the Fifth of Possiltum to audition for the position of Court Magician. Unfortunately for everyone, he got the job.

How was Aahz going to help Skeeve defend a kingdom against the mightiest invading army in the world? With his pet dragon Gleep and bewitching green-haired Tanda standing by, Skeeve waited for Aahz to come up with a solution. The problem was, if they won they would be executed - and if they lost they would be killed. What kind of magik could beat those odds?

My Opinion Is...
It was a good book. Aahz, as usual, talks Skeeve into doing something he didn't want to do. It backfires. It turns out that Aahz got them in way over their heads. Being a Court Magician was not gonna be a cushy job afterall.

Jokes are still flying all over the place. I had to stop and finish laughing after Ajax had called Brockhurst by another name. It had caught me offguard! I'm gonna have to jot down the list of the other books and see if I can't find the rest.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Another Fine Myth by Robert Asprin

Another Fine Myth by Robert Asprin



ISBN: 0-441-02362-2

ACE (Ninth Printing - October 1986)

Take the universe as it is. Add devils,
dragons, and magic. Then stand back...


Skeeve was a magician's apprentice, until an assassin hired by an ancient enemy struck and his master was dead. Skeeve suddenly found himself alone with Aahz, a purple-tongued demon the old magician had summoned from another dimension as a practical joke just before he was killed.

Aahz had lost his powers. Skeeve had lost his job. So together, they set out through a universe populated by Deveels (or devils), Imps, dragons, unicorns and more, looking for a way to get even...

Another Fine Myth

My Opinion Is...

The lovely webmaster sent me this book amongst a few others and swore that I'd love it to no end. I'll admit, at first I struggled. After several paragraphs, I'd get fidgety and restless. I wasn't sure if it was because I was still thinking about the Eden Trilogy or if the book was boring me. No, I couldn't tell the webmaster that! ;)

It's the first book of "The Myth Books". There is indeed a lot of humor. I still remember when Skeeve asked Aahz, "What dimension is this?" and when Aahz told him "Klah", I was waiting for the joke. 'Klah... Klah... What could Klah be the beginning of?'

And I can't deny, I do like the characters. I'm really glad to see that a dragon named 'Gleep' got to be added to the crew. I now have a soft spot for that immature dragon.

I also liked the quotes on top of each chapter. The one I keep thinking of is on Chapter 22: "This is another fine myth you've gotten me into!" - Lor L. and Har D.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Future Eden by J.M. Morgan

Future Eden by Jill Morgan



ISBN: 1-55817-653-5

PINNACLE BOOKS (October 1992)

Desert Eden Trilogy


It is the year 2020 and the earth is finally healing. The plague unleashed by man's own hand at the end of the twentieth century has left the planet clean of the curses of civilization. Only a handful of people survive - those whose natural immunity has spared them a hideous death, and those who remain safely imprisoned within the sealed dome of Biosphere Seven, a living laboratory in the high Texas desert.

Though the original handful of scientists and their descendents yearn for the day it will be safe to leave its walls of glass and steel, there are those among them who are willing to wait no longer. It is time for them to join with the wanderers of the New Earth, the seekers of a New Eden...

Willow Gray Wolf - Born in the shadow of the Biosphere, she leaves the Outsiders behind to journey north to a land of blue-black mountains and clear rivers. Blessed - and cursed - with the ability to see what is to come, she struggles to find her destiny.

Seth Katelo - Determined to understand the world as his Inuit father did before him, he journeys westward to the ocean of peace, where he finds the strength to begin again...

Sidra - She left the Biosphere in search of freedom. Beneath the open sky, she seeks it still... and finds it in the most unlikely place of all...

Zechar al Maghrib - His fate foretold by a shooting star, he leads all who will follow across a continent, and into a land of hope.

Beyond their world of glass and steel, a new age is beginning...

My Opinion Is...

Ooo, I liked this one. "Beyond Eden" made me feel lost and disconnected but "Future Eden" sort of brought me back to "Desert Eden". It's the year 2020. A disaster forces the Outsiders to move on, leaving behind the Insiders in Biosphere Seven.

The scary part is that something happens inside the dome where they aren't able to stay inside anymore. They have to come face to face with a decision. Stay or leave? Jessica knew that no matter what they choose, it would end in tragedy.

I struggled through the Zechar parts mostly because I had no idea how he could play a part in everything. Was it just to explain that there were other people in other parts of the world going through their own struggles? It was awesome to find out how he plays a hand in everything.

Spiritualism abounds. People are reconnecting to the earth, sky, etc... Willow was still receiving visions, Prophet was having warning dreams, and Zechar sought answers through certain actions.

I also loved how the book ended. There was hope but you weren't quite sure how it all worked out for everyone - The Outsiders, Insiders, and for Zechar.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Beyond Eden by J.M. Morgan

Beyond Eden by Jill Morgan



ISBN: 1-55817-602-0


Desert Eden Trilogy


It is the year 2017 and the earth's population has been virtually wiped out by plague. Other than the few who carried a natural immunity to the deadly virus, the only remaining humans are the handful of scientists who had entered the sealed dome of Biosphere Seven, a living laboratory in the high Texas desert. For twenty years, the scientists have not dared leave their sterile prison, but their children have grown restless inside the security of its stifling walls.

Brilliant but unsettled, this second generation of Biosphere Seven is eager to explore and claim the new wilderness, and meet the Outsiders beyond their sphere. But if they leave the comfort and safety of Eden, will they find adventure... or death?

Jessica Nathan - She is the team leader, struggling with an uncertain future, and torn between her duty and an old passion.

Cameron Nathan - Jessica's headstrong son will pay any price, even his love for a beautiful girl, for the freedom beyond Biosphere.

Jonathan Katelo - He and his brother Seth dare to leave the green valleys of Montana to seek mankind's mythical last city.

Josiah Gray Wolf - Leading the Outsiders, a new tribe of survivors who live near Biosphere, he struggles against humanity's old mistakes.

Outside the cage of glass and steel, a brave new world beckons...

My Opinion Is...

Hmm... I'm not quite sure. I don't know.

It's 2018, pretty much twenty years after the virus had pretty much killed everyone except for a handful. It begins with John Katelo's family. Two of his oldest sons have decided they must head south to find wives.

Then you're taken to Biosphere Seven where you find out that there's more than a dozen new kids that have been born due to a genetic breeding system that the adults have set up to prevent inbreeding. Jessica is pretty much crumbling away, wondering if they made a huge mistake of creating all these new lives. She's viewing Biosphere Seven more and more as an eggshell. Just one little crack and they all will die.

The Outsiders don't seem to live near the dome nor do much interacting with the people inside the dome. They also went on to have children even though some have died a few days later after birth due to the virus. Around this point, you can tell that its getting more and more spiritual. Something traumatizing happens to Josiah Grey Wolf's daughter and she's now a "Spirit Woman" (Witch) who can't help but scare everybody with things that she can 'see' or 'know' that no one else can know.

Halfway through the book, you're sent all the way to Africa to follow the life of a man named Zechariah from birth to childhood to starting out on a journey. Zechar, as he is known, seems to be totally driven by a vision to unite all the people of Earth under one nation. How that can possibly be achieved, the book doesn't touch on that. That's something that most likely will unfold in "FUTURE EDEN". I didn't really find myself caring about Zechar or anything to do with him.

Katelo's sons find their way to the Outsiders where they are welcomed. More things happen. More time passes. Lives are lost. Lives are born. People have to face up to all the risks they took, etc etc etc...

I didn't hate the book but I didn't love it. I don't know if I even liked it. It was okay. I loved 'Desert Eden' but maybe this book is slow because everything is trying to build up to 'Future Eden'? I'll find out pretty soon.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Desert Eden by J.M. Morgan

Desert Eden by Jill Morgan



ISBN: 1-55817-542-3

PINNACLE BOOKS (September 1991)

Desert Eden Trilogy


1997. A team of five men and five women enter the sealed dome of Biosphere Seven, a living laboratory on the high Texas desert. Their mission - and their dream - is to spend the next two years in the self-sufficient ecosystem laying a blueprint for the ecological salvation of the Earth.

Suddenly, the future is beyond anyone's control. A man-made bioweapon has wiped the globe virtually clean of life, leaving the scientists of Biosphere Seven all that remain of the once - and future - human race.

Jessica Nathan - As team leader, it is up to her to make the most difficult decisions... and the most impossible choices.

Quinn Kelsey - A computer genius with a passion for saving the planet, he's both a rebel and a dreamer. He can also save Jessica... if she'll let him.

Maggie Adair - While the others see the dome as a sealed tomb, she has found a sanctuary. For the first time she feels safe and loved, and she'll do anything to stay that way.

Josiah Gray Wolf - His heritage has given him a special appreciation for man's obligation to nature. He alone will risk everything to discover the truth they all seek about what lies outside the Biosphere.

Within the walls of glass and steel, a new world must be born...

My Opinion Is...
I loved it. Okay, show's over. Oh, it's not? Okay. A real review.. Hmm...

I was under the impression that this book was going to focus only on the ten people inside Biosphere Seven. Thankfully, that wasn't the case. Throughout the book you were taken to different situations in and out of Biosphere Seven.

The book begins on Christmas Eve of 1997. It starts with this 'fat cat' type and you find out that he's the reason that six of these biospheres were built. In one of the biospheres, a team was working on something that unfortunately turned out to be the biggest mistake ever.

You have the usual reactions. Some of the people inside Biosphere Seven feel trapped and isolated knowing the air outside the dome is contaminated with this virus. Some people sought comfort with each other and ended up creating new lives... and some lives were lost through certain situations. They even come to an agreement to send one of their own out into the world! People who were untouched by the virus or survived it had all shared the same question - why where they spared?

Throughout the book, you also follow a thread of another survivor named John Katelo who has a companion, a Samoyed, named Kip. A couple of survivors cross his path and that was a very interesting story itself. While he did play a tiny part near the very beginning, this thread doesn't mingle with the main story at all. I believe this thread will unfold in the second book, "BEYOND EDEN".

Towards the end of the book, one survivor seems to go on some spiritual journey and gives himself a title. I don't know if this is good or bad but for me, it feels like it's going to grow into something very creepy for the second book.

I thought I'd share this link I found: Jill Morgan

It's an essay by a student who had several interviews with Jill Morgan - in case anyone wants to know more about the author.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

First Entry

There's no end to my interest in blank journals. I always want to fill them up but I have no content to put in them. I stumbled upon a type of journal where people jot in what they've read and their opinions about what they've read.

I have no patience when it comes to reading. I really wish I did though. I figure I could open this nifty little blog and at least try to make an effort. We'll see how it goes!