Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Road to Oz


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4**

I liked this book. It starts with Dorothy and Toto helping to direct a Shaggy Man down a road. He's trying to avoid a certain town, so he wants to avoid the road that leads past it. But they end up on a road that Dorothy doesn't recognize.

They meet a little boy named Button-Bright - his real name is an unknown through the entire book. Then, they meet Polychrome, the Rainbow's Daughter. This unusual group of four find multiple adventures on the road to Oz.

There is a town of fox people. They give Button-Bright a fox head. Then it's the donkey town near by. They give the Shaggy Man a donkey head. This makes for some distressed traveling companions.

The Scoodlers were the creepiest part of this whole book. They have two fronts of different colors. They collect the traveling group and want to make them into soup. Just the whole bit was creepy.

There are a few more adventures, but eventually they end up in Oz just in time for Ozma's birthday celebration.

I really preferred the adventure part of the book to the little birthday celebration part of the book. Maybe it was because the birthday celebration was put in there because it provided an final destination to their travels down this unusual road.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Outlander


I honestly was not convinced I would like this book. I mean, it's a combination of historical fiction, romance, and sci fi. And I'm not particularly a fan of sci fi.

But then I started reading. And it started off slow, like most books, and I didn't get into it at first. But it pulled me in.

Claire Randall is from 1945. She was a nurse in WWII while her husband, Frank, was in MI6. They spent years apart. When the war finally ends, they go for a romantic trip to Scotland. Well, Claire thinks so. Frank is just interested in learning the history of the place. Claire goes off in search of flowers during the days while Frank is absorbed in the history of a certain relative, Jonathan Randall, who lived during the 1770s in Scotland. The information about him is relatively hidden, his true character not really spread.

I think the story really takes off after Claire and Frank witness a witch's gathering in a stonehenge near the village that they are staying in. When Claire goes back, she stumbled through the rocks and discovers herself in a world that she never expected.

Claire is in 1743. She's wearing a dress that's appropriate in 1945, but not so much the time she finds herself in. Then, she meets a man she misjudged - Captain Jack Randall - the same man that Frank is discovering about.

She's saved by a Scot, has to repair someone's shoulder, and all this time, her nursing training is coming to use, but she misses modern medicine - antibiotics, sterile work areas, even just clean bandages.

She finds herself married before too long, a marriage that is supposed to save her life. But she finds that she's fallen in love with Jamie. And he loves her too.

There a lot of adventure in this book, as Claire tries to come to terms with where she is and find a way back to the hill with the stones so that she can return to her time. But when she does get back there - Jamie returns and gives her that opportunity - she finds that she has to stay with Jamie. She loves Frank, but Jamie is who she needs to be with.

Man, the sex scenes are hot in this book. I mean, just one of them was hotter than the entirety of the Fifty Shades series. But I liked the book for more than the sex. I liked the romance. I liked the history. I liked the characters. Mostly. There were a couple I really didn't like. Jack Randall. Laoghaire - a sixteen year old girl who got angry when Claire returned married to Jamie, and she ended up making sure Claire got arrested as a witch while Jamie was away.

I'm not going to lie and say it was all a happy story. There were some really tough parts. Claire being beaten, Jamie being beaten, and it has some very difficult subject matter towards the end. But the good outweighs the bad.

I can't wait to read more.