Dana Cameron: Seven Kinds of Hell

If you’re interested in archaeological,supernatural, crime, action packed romp, well you found your series. :D

Yep, series. ;)seven

Although, I should say here that the story is rounded off for this book quite well.

“Archaeologist Zoe Miller has been running from a haunting secret her whole life. But when her cousin is abducted by a vicious Russian kidnapper, Zoe is left with only one option: to reveal herself.

Unknown to even her closest friends, Zoe is not entirely human. She’s a werewolf and a daughter of the “Fangborn,” a secretive race of werewolves, vampires, and oracles embroiled in an ancient war against evil.

To rescue her cousin, Zoe will be forced to renew family ties and pit her own supernatural abilities against the dark and nefarious foe. The hunt brings Zoe to the edge of her limits, and with the fate of humanity and the Fangborn in the balance, life will be decided by an artifact of world-ending power.”

I really liked Zoe because she tried to control her “beast” for quite a number of years before actually learning what she was and succeeding in it quite well.

As you start learning about what is happening to her, it becomes obvious she is not the regular Fangborn (seems both her parents are special).

One of the greatest things about this novel is that each time I thought this better be explained later because it makes no sense at the moment, it was. That was such a relief. As readers are slowly introduced into the story and many things are not obvious from the start.

One thing readers of paranormal novels should bear in mind is that these paranormal creatures are a bit different than what is “standard” in these novels. Which is always a benefit in my mind. :) Especially the part where the Fangborn feel this incredible need to fight against evil.

The other thing I absolutely loved in the book is so many little life truths hidden in the story. If you’re not paying attention, you just might miss them.

Then there are some “Lara Croft” moments but I didn’t mind them, it fit with the story.

So basically like I said, a supernatural, archaeological romp. Fun! :)

Julie Kagawa: The Forever Song

“Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.”

I’ll say it right from the start I should have seen one of Sarren’s surprises for Allie from the start but I didn’t. All the better for dramatic effect which was rather great. :) And rather convenient for Sarren.

I very much enjoyed the ending to the Immortal series. forever song

The thing that annoyed me (again), is the level of stupidity teenage girls achieve in the YA novels. I think that that particular trend needs to stop. Being a teenage girl doesn’t mean you’re so emotional you lose all common sense. I don’t see it happen with young male heroes.

But in Allie’s defense, she did learn from her mistakes and in the end I was rather proud of her emotional growth. Of course, love helped.

The great thing about this book is that the story progressed rather quickly. I am always surprised how time passes quickly in dystopian worlds. It seems like something happened a long time ago only so you can learn it was actually only a year since Allie was turned. So much has happened in the meantime it feels like years passed between, although if I had given it  a bit more thought, I would recognize the fact that not so much time had actually passed.

I also kind of started liking her vampire brother Jackal. He is the bad guy with a slight tendency toward the good side. ;)

It was very satisfying to see Allie and Zeke finally fall completely in love and be together. And of course be better because of it. ;)

The ending brought some surprises – one I saw coming and one I didn’t. That is why I love Julie Kagawa’s writing, even though the type of story follows certain rules and you can guess some subplots, some, you are completely unaware of. :)

 

P.S. Seems humans will never learn not to tamper with viruses.

 

Iris Nobile by Acqua di Parma, or

How I thought I didn’t care about iris perfumes

A long time ago, when I was a fletchling perfumista, I thought iris perfumes just weren’t for me. I don’t remember what it was I tried first, but somewhere at the beginning a decant of Iris Nobile found its way to me and I still remember how I was a bit underwhelmed.

I wonder to this day what exactly was I thinking. :)

Except for the fact that I love it, I think of it as a warm, mellow floral. Irisy, but also lightly sharp, a bit green and so very, very lovely.irisn3

Right from the start I get that warm, soft floral feel of iris underscored with warm notes. I can say they are the warm base notes (vanilla) as the whole thing reminds me a bit of an irisy dessert.

My mind thinks I smell jasmine and gardenia in it (as well as something menthol-like which seems to be anise) but once you look at the notes, it seems my nose is mixing up orange blossom for jasmine (wouldn’t be the first time).

Notes: iris petals, star anise, mandarin, bergamot, cedar flower, orange blossom, iris roots, vanilla and amber crystals.

I also discovered a strange thing while looking for the notes. I saw the citruses listed as the top notes and kept wondering how in the world I missed them while smelling and wearing this?! I mean, even though you expect them most of the times, I still thought I wouldn’t just fail to register them.

So I sprayed the perfume on a strip. Imagine my surprise when they all appeared there?! And lasted. It seems my skin kills off (eats) the citrusy notes in this perfume. And in my opinion, it is for the best. I love the way it smells on me.

Unfortunately though, I loved it a bit too much so now I have none.

Which wouldn’t be so bad if my search for notes hadn’t revealed the fact that what I had was probably the edt and not the edp now being sold (no chypre, patchouli notes in mine).

Does anyone know if the edt version of Iris Nobile still exists? The site doesn’t say so…

James Dashner: The Maze Runner

Guess how I decided to read this book? ;)

Here is the trailer:

I can’t say yet whether the movie is better than the book but I seriously doubt it, as the book is rather good (and I haven’t seen the movie yet).

It’s a bit like Hunger Games meets Lost in a maze. And a bit scary and very tense while reading. You want to know what the hell happened and why can’t they remember anything and what is going on?!maze runner

Straight from the beginning it’s rather thrilling and the suspense basically never stops. You get so many questions in your head and you just can’t wait to get them answered and most do get answered but by the end, you only have several more that will require you to read on. :)

Talk about a good writer… ;)

And since I got quite a lot of those unanswered questions,  I peeked a bit through the blurbs for the following installments and I am already angry with the powers that be.

That said, i really liked Thomas and his highly analytic and cool mind in the direst of circumstances. This time around I felt stupid because I had all these questions and hoped to get them answered but no, I had to wait to the end. And wonder who would be so evil as to put them all in a situation like this?!

“When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift. Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.”

 

Gail Z. Martin: Ice Forged

Book One of The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga

I don’t know if anyone else has the same problem, but after reading a lot of fantasy, it becomes difficult trying new things because so many similar characters, stories and worlds. I guess it comes with the genre. So once you had your fill, you basically stop wanting to read about more dwarves, elves, magical abilities, etc.

Imagine my surprise then when I came across a fantasy novel that both sounded interesting and was interesting from the beginning.ice forged

“Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine “Mick” McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.

Now, as the world’s magic runs wild, McFadden and the people of Velant must fight to survive and decide their fate …”

This description doesn’t even come near to what else is happening in the world of Mick, Connor and other characters (there are many). The story progresses quickly and we learn many different things along the way which will probably help our lost characters get to the bottom of everything (and possibly heal the world’s magic) but for that, we will have to wait for the next sequel.

I did get lost a bit amid all the Mick’s friends from Velant, as not all of them manage to separate themselves into characters you can remember but I didn’t consider that a detriment to  the book.

I must say I enjoyed the fact that magic got incorporated into everyday people’s lives in a quiet manner that gets unraveled later. The loss of that magic is felt rather badly.

I also loved the part where we learn about how resilient humans are, even in the worst of situations, most people will fight for a chance to live. Resilience seems to be a part of human nature.

 

The smell of candy in the air

This candy to be precise (PEZ):

pez

Basically it’s a lightly sweet smell permeating the air close to blooming trees.

As my knowledge of trees and plants is somewhere around kindergarten level, I can’t tell you what trees those are, but my guess would be some wild/decorative kind of fruit trees. Whatever it is, the air is rather warm these days so the smell wafts around you as you walk and all you can do is breathe it in and smile as childhood memories beckon with a grin of their own.

I grew up with those candies and even though I still remember the smell, I don’t really need to as now my nephews are the ones who are growing up with them.

So, tell me, who else remembers PEZ candy (and the accompanying dispensers) from their childhoods? And their powdery fruity smell?

 

P.S. It just never occurred to me before now how the smell of those candies was actually reminiscent of the smells in nature.

(I guess someone did a really good job with those aromas)

Divergent – the movie

I never thought I would think this, let alone say it out loud.

But the movie is better than the book.

There. I was wrong. I never thought it possible. But it obviously is.

divergent1

And how I know this (except for seeing the movie?) – I actually want to read the next book. :) Even though I still remember the feeling the first book left.

Now, why I feel the movie is better?

First off, I found the actors, Shailene Woodley and Theo James, to have done a wonderful job of bringing Tris and Four to life. I missed more characterization in the book but I didn’t miss it in the movie. Then, it actually seemed there was more explained in the movie than in the book. And the actors certainly did their part in bringing the story to life.

One more thing that I found incredible was the amount of the story that the script held on to. There were minimum changes to the story line which is not something I am used to when books are brought to life in a movie.

I am still surprised at what happened today but there it is – the movie is just much better for me than the book was. :)

The only thing that I found disrupting  at some points was the choice of music. As I usually do not detect that, I just go with the flow so when I noticed the different songs, I thought it was interesting that I was paying attention to music.

Now, the only thing I want to know is – when will the next movie be out?!

And the winners are…

random

 

 

Congratulations! :)

Suzanne gets Parfum de Therese, and SallyM and Anna in Edinburgh get Cuirelle and Dries Van Noten respectively (since they didn’t state their preference). Plus the chocolate.

And, as there were only 7 participants in the giveaway, and all were interested in chocolate, feel free to send your addresses as well, and some Croatian chocolate will find their way to your doorstep! ;)

Thank you all for celebrating with me! :)

Open letter from Luc Gabriel (TDC) – Save the independent perfumery

I received this a couple of days ago and thought it needed to be shared as many times as possible.

Even if only one new person sees and reads this, the message will slowly spread.

 

Save the independant perfumery

March 19th 2014 - We are perfumers, perfumeries, brand owners. We drive our energy towards creating olfactory beauty and each of us is a key part of this amazing process that turns components into olfactory emotions, futile for some, of the essence for us and our clients.

The recent proposals made by the European Commission, if they become law, threaten to destroy fine perfumery as we know it, an art slowly built for centuries by creators and craftsmen and part of our cultural common good.

This destruction will end up in modifying formulas of mythical perfumes, in restraining the freedom of using key ingredients that are absolutely necessary for a creative high end perfumery (some of these components being used for centuries in our fragrances), in losing a unique know-how and in destroying thousands of jobs.

Our goal is to have our line of work recognized by the institutions and the general public as it is and always have been: a collective cultural good, a pillar of our history, an art which contributes to the beauty of the world.

We want to have the concept of Freedom recognized along the concept of Safety and Precautions and have perfumers free to create, brands free to develop and customers free to choose, our profession being already widely regulated.

Eventually, we intend to inform the general public and the institutions on the reality of our business and our products and communicate as widely and transparently as possible so that they make their choices fully aware and informed.

If you share our values and wish to contribute to saving a perfumery in danger, thank you for signing this manifest. We will inform you on a regular basis about the actions taken and we might also ask you to contribute to the ”think-tank” and our actions.

Truly yours.

Luc GABRIEL/The Different Company infoatthedc.fr - François HENIN/JOVOY

Missed my anniversary

Again!

It seems since this is the fifth, I would have remembered the date by now.

Seems I was very wrong. :)

I haven’t been a very proficient writer the past couple of years but I somehow still managed to keep my blog alive and I certainly hope I will keep on doing that for quite a long time in the future as well.

As it’s my 5th blogging anniversary (or was on the 20th), I want to celebrate it by doing a little give-away.

3 lucky winners will get some Croatian chocolate and one of three of the following decants: Cuirelle, Dries Van Noten and Parfum de Therese.

You can state your preference in the comments. The draw closes Wednesday midnight.

 

P.S. And please leave a way of contacting you so I can notify the winners (sometimes winners forget to check back they won something).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,542 other followers

%d bloggers like this: