Saturday, April 25, 2015

Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #19)

Artificial intelligence attracted mountains of interests in recent years. In science and technology, engineers and scientists are researching to make machines “smarter”. While the current artificial intelligence has yet to reach a level when we can call it “sentient”, but movies and books in the popular culture often venture beyond the technicality of artificial intelligence, exploring its implications in the arena of ethics. Inevitably, artificial intelligence pressures a most profound question:

What is “being alive”?

In Feet of Clay, the 19th Discworld novel, author Terry Pratchett took the intriguing premise of artificial intelligence, and weaved a funny, and heart-wrenching story set in the fantastic Discworld. Today, I would like to provide a review for this book.


Have you seen those robotic, vacuum cleaners? I have one at home, it cleans quite well. On earth, we make machines these days to do certain jobs. But do you know, people on Discworld also make robots? In fact, on Discworld, out of clays, people make “magical” versions of robots called Golems, then have priests put “words” in Golems' heads so they can operate and do things.

But people on Discworld don't like Golems, and this is where our story began... A series of murders appeared around the city of Ankh-Morpork. The City Watch arrived at the crime scenes to investigate the clues, only to find these clues cannot be traced to any living things, and Golems became the prime suspect. Wait, can the answer to the murder mystery be that simple? Or perhaps there is more to the story?

Meanwhile, someone poisoned Lord Vetinari, the Patrician of the city, but no clues can be found. Can there be a connection between the Golem murders and the poisoning of Vetinari? A web of mysteries hung in the dusky air on Ankh-Morpork streets, presenting a mind boggling challenge for Commander Samuel Vimes and the City Watch, as they endeavor to solve these riddles before the city erupts into chaos. 

My thoughts on this book:

Feet of Clay treads the line of a mystery/detective novel. It also comes across as a social commentary. There are many stars in this book, mostly members from the City Watch such as Samuel Vimes, Carrots, Angua, Nobby and Colon. The City of Ankh-Morpork is a satirical portrayal of our own world. In this book, under the curtain of a black comedy about trolls, dwarfs, werewolves and vampires, Terry Pratchett invites his readers to view the world from Vime's perspective, exploring topics such as immigration, fear of automation, ethnic/gender discrimination, and identities. Feet of Clay also introduced a new character called Cheery Littlebottom, a female dwarf who recently joined the City Watch. Cheery befriended Angua, and their friendship formed a very interesting sub-story in the book. It is a parallel to the burning topic in our world about gender inequality at work places.

The other star in this book, is arguably Dorfl the Golem. His story sets the centre stage for Feet of
Clay, and it reminds me of Isaac Asimov's I, Robot. Terry Pratchett raised a load of significant issues in Dorfl's storyline, and it is impossible for me to discussion everything in my brief review.

Let me just say, I was particularly intrigued and delighted by Dorfl's story. In this book, the people of
Ankh-Morpork dislike Golems. Because Golems don't need sleep, food, or salary and can work ceaselessly, thereby outperform people in work places (I think this is a parallel to the topic of immigration). After words got out the murders were committed by a Golem, the people of Ankh-Morpork rolled the snowball of prejudice under the pretense that Golems are abominations, calling for their destruction.

When Dorfl gained self-awareness (then subsequently declaring himself an atheist), it then struck me as an irony that the only monsters in the city, were the people (arguably makers of Golems) who wanted to destroy Dorlf, so they can stop Dorfl from his non-violent protests against the treatments of Golems and animals. Dorfl's story is powerful because it provokes the readers to ask questions; what is humanity and what is life? And how do we measure our choices against consequences? As the story mounted to the climax at this point, I was reminded of the genius in Terry Pratchett's works and why I love these books so much; Discworld novels are entertaining and at the same time deeply meaningful.

When I finished reading Feet of Clay, I stared, mouth agape, at the book cover. I was stunned by the intensity of the mind behind creations of characters such as Samuel Vimes and Dorfl. On the surface, these characters appear to be comical exaggerations in a humorous story, but what they really represent are so much more. I wish Terry Pratchett could have stayed with us a bit longer to write more books packed with solid gold like this one.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Book Review: Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #15)

  I am a late comer to Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. My adventure in Discworld began last October, when I read a hilarious, and thought-provoking book called Small Gods. I remember curling up on my couch, holding the book open and read it in one day. As a reader, I found my own personal experience resonated with the theme in Small Gods. All the while, I was laughing so hard reading the book that I almost fell off the couch. What can I say? Small Gods was a really funny book! Until this day, I regard Small Gods as my favorite Discworld book of all time. Afterward, I became a fan of Discworld and purchased 17 books in the series. 6 months later, I have read all Discworld books featuring Death and loved them. Last week, I began to read the City Watch sub-series, starting with Guards! Guards!.

Guards! Guards! was a very good book. I was most impressed by the world-building in the book. It helped readers envision the feel and the vibe for the city of Ankh-Morpork, bringing it to life. When I finished Guards! Guards!, I began to read Men at Arms immediately.

Men at Arms is the 15th installment in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. It is also the second book in the City Watch sub-series. Counting to 350 pages, Men at Arms is often hailed as one of the best Discworld books and I agree with that assessment. Today, I will like to provide a review for this book.


The police performs a very important function in a society; maintaining the law and the order. You can find police in every city, including a non-terrestrial city, such as Ankh-Morpork, the greatest city on Discworld, where the police is called the City Watch.

The Patrician, the supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork, ordered the City Watch to recruit new members. The goal is to restructure the Watch so it represents the diverse ethnic make-up in Ankh-Morpork. Under the first wave of recruitment, 3 recruits, a dwarf, a troll, and a werewolf joined the Watch. They were assigned to Corporal Carrot's team.

In the meantime, Captain Samuel Vimes was set to retire following his marriage to Lady Ramkin. As Vimes was getting ready to become a civilian, a wave of gruesome murders began to surface on the city streets. All victims are killed by an unidentifiable weapon. It seems Vimes' retirement would have to wait, as he joined forces with the rest of the City Watch to investigate this case, hoping to restore the law and the order to the city.

My thoughts on this book:

The story in Men at Arms revolves around a murder mystery. The story maintained the suspense throughout the book, where the answer to the riddle was only revealed at the end. Personally, I prefer Men at Arms to Guards! Guards! by a small margin. Terry Pratchett changed his style in this book, where he wrote a plot-driven story. The result? The story in this book feels more cohesive than the earlier Discworld novels. Furthermore, unlike the earlier entries in Discworld, Men at Arms doesn't have as many random events. This also means the story in Men at Arms moves at a faster pace when compared to the earlier installments in the series.

The story in Men at Arms was clothed in a tone more serious than the previous installments. While this book will still press your laugh buttons with sharp, witty satires, but the overall atmosphere is darker and more realistic than its predecessors. Beneath a story that appears to be light-hearted, jolly good fun, lies a social commentary exploring themes such as economic inequality, gender, and racial discrimination. Furthermore, readers feel a real sense of danger for the characters, as these heroes plunge into the midst of perils, then resurface into a sky of unforeseeable futures.

I really like the characterization in Men at Arms. In this book, readers meet old favorites such as Samuel Vimes and Carrot. Moreover, this book introduced new and memorable characters; Detritus the troll, a dwarf called Cuddy, and a werewolf lady known as Angua. In this book, Terry Pratchett weaved a moving tale with steep character developments. As the story progressed, every character in this book morphed and evolved. By the end of the book, readers can clearly see how the events in the book impacted and changed these characters. I particularly like the sub-story featuring the budding friendship between Detritus and Cuddy, a friendship that was both humorous and moving, colored with funny and tear-jerking moments. An equally interesting sub-story, is the romance between Carrot and Angua.

Speaking of Angua, I like the refreshing way in which Terry Pratchett portrayed her as a strong female character. Let me explain. In many fantasy novels, the depiction of female characters are often polarized and stereotypical; they either appear as damsels in distress, flowers in need of protections, or some sort of warriors wearing chain-mail bikinis oozing unrealistic sex appeals. As an avid reader of fantasy books, I often wonder why so many fantasy authors struggle to portray female characters realistically and convincingly. This is why, I think Terry Pratchett handled his portrayal of Angua brilliantly, as he portrayed her as a memorable, strong female character with great qualities. I look forward to reading more about Angua's adventures in the future Discworld novels.

Overall, I think Men at Arms is an excellent book, a solid addition to Discworld series. The story in this book is more plot-driven, and more cohesive than the earlier Discworld novels. The characterization takes the spotlight and radiates brilliance. The cast of comical and likable characters are bound to leave lasting impressions on a reader's mind. However, I would strongly recommend reading Guards! Guards! before reading Men at Arms because there are connections between these 2 books.

Until the next time, happy reading!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book Review: Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #8)

When Sir Terry Pratchett passed away in March 2015, the literary world lose one of its brightest and finest authors. Terry Pratchett was a prolific author. He was most well known for his works on Discworld novels, a critically acclaimed fantasy series. For almost 3 decades, Discworld novels charmed legions of readers with good humor, memorable characters, and compelling stories.

Up to date, there are 40 Discworld novels. Each novel is a stand-alone story. This means, a new comer to Discworld can pick up any book in the series and still enjoy it. Within Discworld series, there are several “minor series”. Out of these “minor series”, the Ankh-Morpork City Watch series is the fan favorite.

Last year, I read every Discworld novel featuring Death and I loved them all. So I was super excited when I began to read Guards! Guards!. This is the 8th entry in Discworld series, and the first book featuring the Ankh-Morpork city watch.

Guards! Guards! is 350 pages in length, and I read it in 2 sittings because this book is so enjoyable that's hard to put down. Today, I would like to provide a review for this book.


  Here be dragons....

On our home, the third rock from the sun, dragons are very popular. They make regular appearances in books and folklore. Everyone knows what a dragon is. In our earthly stories, spawned from the well of human imaginations, these giant reptiles are often associated with the business of fire-breathing and wreaking havoc. But do you know, dragons literally exist on Discworld?

In fact, Ankh-Morpork, the proudest city on Discworld is about to be invaded by a 60 feet long, fire-breathing dragon. The city's last hope lies in a small band of unlikely heroes known as the City Watch. Together with a few brave denizens of Ankh-Morpork, Captain Vimes, Constable Carrot and the rest of the City Watch set out on a mission to free their beloved city from the tyranny of the fiery dragon.

My thoughts on this book:

Guards! Guards! is a great book. What I like the most about this book, is the the superb worldbuilding. Let me explain. This book is set in the fantastical city of Ankh-Morpork, which is supposed to be a parallel for London. Under Terry Pratchett's pen, Ankh-Morpork came to life, buzzing with activities and interesting people. The excellent worldbuilding in this book warrants an immersive reading experience.

Like most Discworld novels, Guards! Guards! features a cast of eccentric, comical characters who
are bound to cut lasting impressions into readers' minds. My favorite character from this book is Samuel Vimes, the captain of the City Watch. This book depicts Captain Vimes as an anti-hero, grumpy and cynical, he tends to ask the kind of uncomfortable questions that no one wants to ask. This makes Samuel Vimes a very dynamic, and interesting character.

Meanwhile, plenty of spotlight was cast on Constable Carrot. A new recruit to the City Watch, Carrot is the adopted son of a mountain dwarf king. He is a direct and honest bloke not used to the ways of a big city such as Ankh-Morpork, where greed and jealousy are normalized, and people desensitized to the bending of the laws . Based on this premise, Terry Pratchett created a satire out of these sad realizations, inviting his readers to confront the unpleasant realities about the human world as we laugh along a series of comedic episodes, build on well-crafted parodies of fantasy tropes.

I remember putting down this book and thought, there are many things in our society that aren't right, and I often feel helpless to do anything about it. Sometimes, the only way to demonstrate the absurdity of a wrongful thing is to ridicule it. And frankly, no one does this better than Terry Pratchett. In some ways, it feels like his books are speaking for me. This is why I like his books so much.

My most favorite Discworld novel is Small Gods, followed by Reaper Man. But Guards! Guards! definitely comes in the top 5. This book is funny, yet meaningful. The characters are impressionable and likable, while the writings will draw you deeply into this fantastic world. Furthermore, I think for new comers to Discworld, Guards! Guards! is an excellent starting point to begin your adventure in Discworld. So, gentle readers, I highly recommend this book, it will not disappoint you.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Book Review: The Third Secret by Steve Berry

Do you believe in prophecies?

A lot of religions and holy texts establish their credibility on allegedly fulfilled prophecies and signs. Christianity is an example of such a religion. I have some knowledge about the Biblical miracles and prophecies. But I must confess, I know next to nothing about the Marian prophecies and apparitions which are believed by hundred millions of faithfuls in the Catholic and the Orthodox church.

Fortunately, my ignorance of this subject came to and end, when a friend of mine who is an Egyptian Orthodox Christian told me about the prophecy at Fatima. It sparked my interest, and I began to watch some documentaries about the Fatima prophecy. Either way, when I was browsing books in my local library last week, I came across a book called “The Third Secret”, written by International Best-selling author Steve Berry. I had a look at the descriptions at the back of the cover. Turned out this book is a mystery, conspiracy thriller set in the Vatican City.

Since I enjoy reading religious conspiracy thrillers, this kind of book is right up my alley. Furthermore, the author stated, while the story and characters in this book are fictitious, but the “facts” he used to build the story are true. Therefore, as I stood in the library, staring at this book on the shelf, my interest in this book flared. I quickly borrowed this book and carried it home. I read this book in one sitting during the Easter weekend.

Today, I would like to review this book.


Prophecies and signs are the pillars of faith for many believers in Christendom. In the church history, there are numerous reports of Marian apparitions and prophecies. For some in the Catholic and Orthodox churches, the two lungs of Christendom, Marian prophecies are just as important as the prophecies recorded in the Bible cannons.

The year was 1917. At the village of Fatima, Portugal, Virgin Mary appeared to three peasant children. The Lady shared three secrets with them. Out of the three secrets, two of them were soon revealed to the world. The third secret, however, was concealed in the Vatican, read only by Popes until the year 2000, when it was finally disclosed publicly. However, due to the strange circumstances surrounding the disclosure for the third secret, many believe the true nature of the third secret remains shrouded in mystery...

In the present day, Pope Clement XV exercises his right as the Pope, and enters the Vatican Riserva night after night for a mysterious purpose of his own. The Papal Secretary, Father Colin Michener is the Pope's best friend. Father Michener discovered, for some reason, the Pope is distressed over the prophecy of Fatima. Meanwhile, Cardinal Alberto Valendrea, the Vatican's secretary of State, harbors the ambition to become the next Pope. But Pope Clement XV's interest in the Fatima prophecy threatens to unravel an ancient secret. A secret Valendrea has been hiding because the truth will undo centuries of church dogma.

As the wind of change approaches the Vatican city, Pope Clement XV asked for Father Michener's assistance to investigate the truth behind the Fatima prophecy. Thus began a game of power struggle, political intrigues and assassinations. But it is said covering the truth is like trying to cover fire with paper. The explosive truth of the third secret is waiting to be revealed, making an everlasting impact on the history of Christendom....

My thoughts on this book:

Firstly, I really enjoyed The Third Secret. This is definitely one of the better conspiracy thrillers I've read. This book radiates mystery and suspense. The story is built on a web of tension, moving at a neck-breaking pace. The storytelling revolves around interesting and dynamic characters. From protagonists wrestling with inner struggles, to blood-chilling villains, every character is portrayed vividly. The characters' motivations are fully explained and made clear to the readers. On top of this, author Steve Berry managed to cloak his story in an esoteric atmosphere.

The beginning of this book moved slowly. The story took its time to build up the major story arch. But once the story kicked off, the pace of the story picked up significantly. This book made an excellent use of short chapters, further speeding up a story that is already fast-paced.

I was most intrigued by the themes, and the underlying messages in this book. Most religious conspiracy thrillers invite controversy. I think some people are going to be offended by the underlying messages in this book. But when I was reading The Third Secret, I thought this book brought up several burning issues about organized religions today. The kind of issues directly affecting you and I, regardless of your stance towards religiosity. I really appreciate the way Steve Berry tried to raise public awareness about these issues via the platform of art and entertainment.

Nevertheless, no matter what your stance is towards the issues brought up by The Third Secret, I think this book will still provoke people of all religious backgrounds to at least think about these issues, then come to their own conclusions.

Another praise point for this book, is the author has done extensive research for the background of the story. Yes, this is a fictitious story populated by made up characters. But after I read this book, I did some research on the events and the document mentioned in the book, and turned out they reflect the historical facts accurately. So in some way, reading The Third Secret can also increase your knowledge about the history of the Vatican church, and the Marian prophecies, if you have an interest in this sort of stuff.

So will I recommend The Third Secret? Personally, I really liked this book. I think The Third Secret is definitely one of the better conspiracy thriller novels I've read. But I don't think this is the kind of book for everyone. I would recommend it to people who enjoyed books like Angels and Demons. The bottom line is, if you like reading religious conspiracy thrillers, and you are an independent thinker not easily offended by alternative views that challenge your religious worldview, then you will probably enjoy this book as much as I did.

I give The Third Secret two thumbs up.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Book Review: Blood Rites by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files #6)

I like detective fictions, and I also like horror fictions. This is why, Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files novels are supposed to be my cup of tea, right?

The answer is, while I do like The Dresden Files, but I won't call myself a fan of this series. However, I think The Dresden Files is likable enough that I have made a commitment to read every book in this series. After I read Death Masks, which was my personal favorite in the series so far, I eagerly cracked open Blood Rites, which is the 6th book in the series.

At 385 pages, Blood Rites is not a long book, and I read it in 3 sittings. What is my opinion about this book? I think while Blood Rites is not the worst book in this series, but it is certainly not the best either. And today, I would like to share my thoughts on this book.


Harry is a powerful wizard!

No no, not that Harry. This Harry isn't a 17 years old boy who goes to Hogwarts. We are talking about Harry Dresden here. This Harry lives in Chicago, he is badass, and he is the world's first and the only professional wizard for hire. Harry doesn't make love potions, but he does provide a variety of services, mostly dealing with paranormal investigations.

Professional wizardry is a demanding job. In the past, Harry undertook many difficult assignments. In comparison to his previous assignments, Harry's latest assignment appears to be a walk in the park. What's the assignment? This time, Harry is contracted to go undercover in the adult film industry. Harry is hired by a producer who believes someone has placed a magical curse on him. To fulfill the contract, Harry needs to protect the producer from the curse, and catch the person who made the curse.

Harry wasn't entirely happy about this new assignment. But hey, Harry has seen worse. So Harry began to investigate the case under the cover as an assistant producer on the set. Little did Harry know, he is about to encounter a surprise that will change his life forever..

My thoughts on this book:

To begin with, I like Blood Rites. This is a fun, and exciting story wrapped in a 385 page, paperback novel. If you have read the previous 5 novels in this series, then you have to read Blood Rites. Why? I don't want to spoil the story, so let me just say Blood Rites made a huge revelation about Harry's past and origin. I think the events in Blood Rites will play a crucial role, shaping the story in the books to come.

In Blood Rites, the story moves at a very fast, and smooth pace. The writings capture the visual sceneries with mesmerizing descriptions, and the characters are portrayed vividly. The story comes to life as the black ink filled the white pages. Even if you don't like The Dresden Files, it is hard to deny Jim Butcher does write very well. This man knows how to spin a ripping yarn and put it into words.

Having said this, I don't think Blood Rites is the best book in this series (so far). I mean, Blood Rites is still better than the first 4 novels in the series. Technically, there is nothing wrong with Blood Rites (speaking of which, starting from Death Masks, I am forever grateful for the removal of the “finding inner power” trope that frequented the earlier installments in the series).

The thing is, when compared to Death Masks, Blood Rites lacks the suspense found in the previous installment. It was a great story with a good twist, but readers don't feel the sense of danger for the characters. Furthermore, in this book, the characters' actions and errors seem inconsequential to the story. Instead, Blood Rites feels like another The Dresden Files novel, with Harry Dresden investigating some case, encounter some super-duper bad guys, fight and then win the day. When I was reading this book, I felt like I was reading a fun book but I already knew what was going to happen. The story was predicable. Perhaps this is because Jim Butcher wrote these books as stand alone, self contained novels so he couldn't do a cliff hanger at the end like most fantasy novels tend to do.

Should you read Blood Rites? Well if you've come this far to book 6, then you have to read Blood Rites. Because in this book, you will encounter a turning point in the story that you will not want to miss, especially if you have already read the first 5 books. But if you are a new comer to The Dresden Files, and still unsure if you are going to make a commitment to read this series, then I would recommend you read Storm Front to get a taste for this series. Then decide for yourself if you like The Dresden Files enough to read all 15 books. For me, I like The Dresden Files. Despite its flaws, I want to read the entire series. However, for the time being, I am going to take a break from this series to read something else. Until the next time, happy reading!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Book Review: Death Masks by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files #5)

The Dresden Files novels have a solid fan base. These novels attract readers of fantasy fictions with a unique flavor, a flavor created by blending together urban fantasy, mystery, detective fictions and horror. The world of The Dresden Files is a fascinating place inhabited by interesting characters.

However, in my opinion, these books are not without flaws. During the last Christmas break, I read the first four novels in the series. These books were fun, but I found them repetitive. This is why, I decided to take a break from this series.

After a 3 months break, I returned to the world of The Dresden Files. So I picked up Death Masks from my bookshelf and began to read it. Death Masks is the fifth installment in this series. This book counts to 400 pages, and I enjoyed this book immensely. In my opinion, Death Masks is a better book than its predecessors. Today, I would like to review this book.


Get ready to meet Harry Dresden, the world's first and the only professional wizard! Mr. Dresden offers a variety of services; from finding lost items, supernatural consultations, and paranormal investigations. Harry provides these services at reasonable rates. Harry's number is in the phone book, he is but a call away. So next time, when something goes bump in the dark of a night, you know who to call.

The problem is, Harry's business hasn't been good. In fact, recently Harry's business is as lively as a dead horse. But even a wizard needs to pay the bills. This is why, when Father Vincent contracted Harry to work on a case, Harry immediately sprung to action at the metallic smell of cold, hard cash.
What's the contract? The church recently lose an artifact. The lost artifact is none other than the famous shroud of Turin. To complete the contract, Harry must recover the shroud.

Sounds like a simple assignment, right? Unfortunately, with Harry's luck, nothing is ever simple....

My thoughts about this book:

My major criticism for the first 4 The Dresden Files novels, is the repetitiveness of those books. The previous installments felt very repetitive, because a story element kept recurring where Harry got beaten in fights, only to find some inner power at the last minute to win the day. The author repeated this trope at least 2 or 3 times in very book. This was why after reading 4 books, I took a break from this series.

I am happy to report Death Masks does not have this problem of repetitiveness. The author made some welcoming changes to the storytelling in this book. This time around, when Harry is beaten in a fight, he either stays down or his friends come to rescue him. The removal of the “finding inner power” trope does wonders for this book. In this book, readers finally feel a real sense of danger for Harry as he waged battles against the demonic horde from the underworld. Furthermore, because Harry can be beaten in fights, so the story is unpredictable, leaving rooms for surprises and twists.

The author Jim Butcher always pack a lot actions into The Dresden Files novels. More so in Death Masks. In appeared to me Death Masks has a heavier focus on actions, and this is a double edged sword. I mean, more actions do quicken the pace of the book. However, a part of the appeal for The Dresden Files series, is its flavor of mystery/detective fictions. When I read this book, I felt Death Masks traded in the series' vibe of detective fictions in exchange for more actions. The result is while Death Masks is a faster-paced book, but the story is not cloaked in mystery and suspense as in the previous books.

I like the characters in Death Masks. Harry remains a likable protagonist who possesses a good sense of humor. The supporting characters are memorable and likable too. The author did an excellent job at portraying his characters. When I was reading this book, I could easily visualize every character's appearance and personality in my mind. It was as if I was seeing them in front of my eyes. Furthermore, I found the antagonist in this book to be the most intimidating, and the scariest villain in this series yet.

Death Masks re-kindled my interest in The Dresden Files series. In my opinion, while this book is not flawless, but it is a better book than the previous installments. I most welcome the removal of the “finding inner power” trope. For me, the removal of this trope eliminated the sense of repetitiveness in the story, which was my biggest qualm with the first 4 books in the series. When I closed Death Masks, I didn't feel like taking a break from the series (like 3 months ago). Instead, I was eager to start reading the sequel. It is titled “Blood Rites”. In fact, I am already half way into the sequel as I wrote this review. So far, I am enjoying the sequel a lot and I will be reviewing Blood Rites when I finish it. So until the next time, happy reading!