Posts Tagged ‘Adventure’

The Vampire Lestat

August 8, 2012

The Vampire Lestat

Author: Anne Rice

Title: The Vampire Lestat

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 1985

Number of Pages: 496

Geographical Setting: Louisiana, France

Time Period: Modern Era/ Pre-Revolutionary France

Series: Part Two of the Vampire Chronicles

Plot Summary: This story follows the vampire Lestat, going from his mortal years through his transformation and present day. Lestat awakens after fifty years of being asleep and decides not to lead a secretive vampire existence, but to become a rock star! He also tries to find the origin of his vampire species and to waken those who are still asleep. Lestat was originally introduced in the first book of the Vampire Chronicles, Interview with a Vampire.

Subject Headings: France – Fiction; Rock — Fiction; Vampire– Fiction; Super-Natural – Fiction; Horror – Fiction

Appeal: Super-natural, Psychological, Thrilling, Action, Adventure, Dangerous, Dark, Creepy, Suspenseful, Character-Driven, Even-Paced, Philosophical

Three appeal terms:  Super-Natural, Creepy, Dark

Three fiction read-alikes:

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

This story is book one in The Twilight Saga. It follows Belle Swan when she moves to Forks to live with her father. There she meets Edward Cullen, a vampire. He has kept his identity as a secret till he reveals himself to Bella, and now she is in danger and he must protect her.

Helsing by Kohta Hirano

This is a Japanese manga focusing on Helsing. Helsing is part of a secret organization in England tasked with taking on monsters and vampires. It doesn’t hurt that Helsing himself is a vampire with a special pistol with silver bullets.

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

This story follows Ben Mears, a writer, who returns home after twenty-five years to write about the old Marsten House. When all of a sudden it seems there is a vampire outbreak in the town. A very gripping and suspenseful horror story told by the master of horror Stephen King.

Three related non-fiction titles:

Dracula the Price with Many Faces: His Life and Times by Radu R Florescu and Raymond T. McNally

This book is the true account of Vlad Dracula king of Romania. He was nicknamed the Impaler, because he would impale his enemies alive and leave them as a warning to other would-be enemies. One of the cruelest rulers ever to be king in Europe, but honored by his country-men.

The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of The Undead by J. Gordon Melton

This encyclopedia of Vampires covers the lore of the legendary creature. It goes in depth on the Vampire’s history, as well as, its influence in literature, and modern incarnations of the Vampire myth.

Vampire God: The Allure of the Undead in Western Culture by Mary Y. Hallab

This book looks at the enduring popularity of the Vampire myth and why it is so. It also looks at the original Vampire legends and myths, as well as, literature and movies created from it.

Charles Ford

Show No Mercy by Cindy Gerard

February 22, 2011

cvr9781416566939_9781416566939.jpg (153×250)Author: Cindy Gerard

Title: Show No Mercy

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: 2008

Number of Pages: 359

Geographical Setting: Argentina

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Black Ops, Inc.

Plot Summary:  Jenna McMillan is a hotshot international correspondent that recently lost her nerve due to a story that got too personal.  She can’t stop thinking about Gabe, a former CIA special operative that now works for a private security firm.  They both find themselves in Argentina, the site of the former traumatic adventure, and are targeted by someone with an extreme grudge.  Somehow in the mayhem they fall in love.

Subject Headings:  Argentina, private security, CIA, special operative, adventure, romantic suspense, reporting Appeal:  fast paced, dramatic, romantic, sensual, straightforward

3 terms that best describe this book: suspenseful, sensual, thriller

Similar Authors and Works 3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

  1. Mengele: The Complete Story by Gerald Posner:  Gerard does not describe this in detail, but the villains in her book are discovered to be performing human experiments on innocent victims, similar to infamous Dr. Mengele.
  2. The Rough Guide to Buenos Aires:   Provides history and context for the action that takes place in Buenos Aires.
  3. Argentina by Eyewitness Travel: Another travel guide with maps and information about other locations Gerard describes in Argentina.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

  1. Forget Me Not by Marliss Melton:  The first in a romantic suspense series about Navy Seal.
  2. The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks:  A thriller that also features military action and romance.
  3. Lie With Me by Stephanie Tyler: Who knew there were so many military romantic suspense series?  These are all well reviewed and popular on Amazon.

Name: Laura Melton

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

October 7, 2009

Author: Bernard Cornwell

Title: The Last Kingdom

Genre: Adventure

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 368

Geographical Setting: Europe

Time Period: The late 9th Century

Series (if applicable):The Saxon Chronicles

Plot Summary: It is the year 866 A.D. and England is not united yet. The Danes rape, pillage, and conquer any town they want to. Uhtred of Bebbanburg is ten years old when his father, a chieftain, is killed. Uhtred is captured by the Danes and he grows up in their communities and their “pagan” way of life. He learns to fight and how to live as a Dane, free from Christianity and from being forced to learn to read. Uhtred’s captor, a Danish warrior named Ragnar the Fearless, eventually adopts him. Uhtred’s goal in life is to reclaim his inheritance (his family’s land in Northumbria), which has been taken over by his uncle. As he grows up, Uhtred develops confused loyalties toward England, toward his adopted Danish father and Danish paganism, and against English Christian morality. The novel is full of rich and authentic battle accounts of the time, and the reader follows Uhtred along as he fights and as he (sometimes) barely survives.

Subject Headings: Alfred, King of England, 849-899, Vikings – Great Britain, Vikings – England, Soldiers, Warriors, Uncles, Kidnapping, Belonging, Religion, Betrayal, Murder, Inheritance and succession, Ninth century, Great Britain – History – Alfred, 871-899, Northumbria (Kingdom) – History – 9th century.

Appeal: Adventurous, compelling, dramatic, vivid, historical details, political, tragic, vivid battle scenes, Viking raids, action.

3 terms that best describe this book: Thrilling combat action, authentic, vivid.

Similar Authors and Works


1. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles by Anne Savage- Translated journals written by early Christian monks on life during that time period. Also contains illustrations of buildings and artifacts from that time.

2. Alfred the Great: The Man who Made England by Justin Pollard- History of England’s first king, who lived with the constant threat of Viking raids and conspiracies.

3. The Vikings: Voyagers of Discovery and Plunder by Mark Harrison- Gives a complete overview of the Vikings; their history, weapons, fighting methods, and ships. It includes photographs.


1. Horatio Hornblower novels by C.S. Forester- They are fast-paced historical adventure novels that are set during the Napoleonic Wars. Cornwell used these books as a model to write many of his own books.

2. Ironfire by David Ball- Historical adventure novels that are set in time periods underused in historical fiction. In this book, the Knights of St. John fight off Muslim invaders during the Siege of Malta in 1565.

3. The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell- This is the second book in the Saxon Chronicles series, so fans of The Last Kingdom would probably like to read the sequel.

Name: Kim

Adrenaline Annotation – Adventure

June 1, 2009

Title: Snow Treasure

Author: McSwigan

Publication Date: 1942

Number of Pages: 196

Genre: Adventure

Geographic Setting: Norway

Time Period: 1940

Series: NA

Plot Summary:  Norwegians are used to winter especially since winter dominates their lives most of the year. But in the year 1940, snow continued to fall in unprecedented amounts even in April. People used their skis to travel long past the time when the thaw should have occurred. Children continued to sled. It was all anyone talked about, until something so terrifying loomed on the horizon, and then the topic of conversation changed. Some people insisted that the Arctic Circle was too high for the Germans to invade. Others argued that they must prepare and build air raid shelters. Most, along with the Lundstrom family who lived in a tiny village, were afraid that if the Germans did come, they would certainly steal the gold from the Bank of Norway. As predicted, the Nazis invaded. They parachuted into the village. Depending heavily on the children of the village and their sleds, the people of Norway devised a plan to hide their gold from the Nazis. This is a suspenseful story of courage, wits, and adventure that changed many lives.  And the question of whether this story is true or not has never been fully answered.

Subject Headings: World War II, 1939-1945 – Fiction; Norwegian Fiction

Appeal: Fast paced, suspenseful, action, adventure, dangerous, intense, military mission, unlikely character centered, interesting secondary characters, issue orientated, historic details, detailed setting.

Three terms that describe this book: Adventurous, unlikely heroes, fast paced.

Similar Authors and Works (fiction): Shub, Elizabeth – Cutlass in the Snow, a story of a ten year old boy and his grandfather, exploring Fire Island. They find a cutlass stuck in the snow and sand marking the hidden treasure with pirates lurking nearby.  This is also possibly based on a true story.

Paulson, Gary – Hatchet, a survival story of a 13 year old boy, stranded in the Canadian wilderness with only a hatchet.

Fleischman, Sid – By the Great Horn Spoon, a story of two unlikely partners, Praiseworthy, a butler, and Jack, a  twelve year old boy. After the family’s money is lost, they head to California to search for gold, fighting off villains and struggling to survive.

Similar Authors and Works (nonfiction): Kopka, Deborah L. – Norway, a book depicting the geography, lifestyle, people and a brief history.

Rinderle, Walter and Bernard Norling – The Nazi impact on a German Village – Although the village Oberscopfheim is located in Germany, not Norway, it was not happy to change to Nazi standards.

Bower, Tom – Nazi gold: the full story of the fifty-year Swiss-Nazi conspiracy to steal billions from Europe’s Jews and Holocaust survivors. Although this situation is different than what happened in Norway, this book explains banks and banking, and how the Nazis exploited the situation to obtain gold.

Name: Donna Mihovilovich

His Majesty’s Dragon

May 27, 2009

Product Details

Author: Naomi Novik

Title: His Majesty’s Dragon

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Publication Date: Del Rey Books, 2006

Number of Pages: 384p

Geographical Setting: Locations through out Europe

Time Period: Early Nineteenth Century

Series: Temeraire Series Book 1

Plot Summary: In this adventurous, alternative universe, dragons are tamed by nations of the world as a fighting force, bonding to a handler, at hatching, and trained in the Aerial Corps in the pursuit of warfare. Will Laurence, British Navy captain of the Reliant, experienced in battle, captures a French frigate with a dragon’s egg on board. Dragons are very valuable creatures it turns out, and are used by the Air Force by both sides. Even though England has France outgunned in the way of ships, France is outgunning England 2-1 in the way of fighting dragons. Dragons are intelligent, and are able to talk from the time they hatch, but they will typically bond with just one person, usually one of the first people they see upon hatching. This egg is about to hatch, and it is necessary for one of Laurence’s officers to agree to bond with the dragon: which is a problem, because that will mean leaving the Navy, and for that matter will put great stress on any possible normal human relationships. The Aerial Corps, it seems, is a somewhat raffish and also secretive group. And when the new dragon hatches, he chooses Captain Laurence himself. Laurence and his dragon, Temeraire, are then forced into the world of the Aerial Corps where things are done in a slightly different way than Laurence is used to in the Navy. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest ploy, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their initiation of battle.

Appeal: Award winning, speculative fiction, meticulous world-building, well-defined, charismatic, understatedly human characters, confident and elegantly polished prose style, emotional depths, gorgeous and inventive battle scenes, intelligent fun, addicting, polished, exciting, adventurous, gilded fantasy, original, entertaining, stylish, witty, engaging, thoughtful, and tense action.

Subject Headings: Great Britain–Officers, Ship Captains, Dragons, Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815, Military Life, Military Tactics, Battles, Partnership, Animal/animal relations, Human-animal communication, Nineteenth century, Alternative histories,

3 terms that Best Describe the Book: tense action, speculative fiction, compelling

Similar Fiction Authors: Alexander Kent, Robin D. Owens, Anne McCaffrey, Patrick Rothfuss, Jack Campbell, Kim Newman, Michael Cassutt,  J. Gregory Keyes , Harry Turtledove, Patrick O’Brian

Authors and titles Non-fiction: Blundering to Glory : Napoleon’s Military Campaigns.  By, Owen Connelly; The disasters of war. By, Francisco Goya; The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the birth of warfare as we know it. By, David Avrom Bell.

Annotation By: Allison Robins

Castle Waiting

April 1, 2009

Author: Linda Medley
Title: Castle Waiting

Genre: Graphic Novel
Publication Date: 2006
Number of pages: 457
Geographical Setting: Made up town of
Time period: Medieval
Series: n/a

Plot summary: The story begins with an adaptation of the classic Sleeping Beauty fairytale.  At the end of this prelude however, the price and princess leave their town and castle, and also the people that have lived their forever.  They leave the castle waiting for a new king that someday will arrive.  The story then turns to a girl named Jain.  She is forced to leave her home due to an abusive husband and is on her own to find a new place to live.  Jain is also pregnant!  Along the way she meets some familiar fairytale characters like the three little pigs, and also some new ones.  She arrives at the castle and meets many of the inhabitants, many are strange folk, but they all have many stories.  After her baby is born she starts to make herself at home.  She befriends a nun, Sister Peace, who lives at the castle, and she has a beard!  She shares her story of the Solicitine Nuns and all their hairy adventures.  Sister Peace tells of her friends and their times together.  In the mean time, all the inhabitants still are just waiting for something new to come along.

The artwork is in black-and-white.  The characters facial expressions are very detailed and speak more than the words.  It moves along quickly and is a great read for a first time graphic novel reader.

Subject headings: Graphic Novels, Fairytales, Fantasy

Appeal: adventurous, fantastical, romance, woman strength, girl power, exciting, fast-paced, magical, emotional, traditional, truthful, relatable, fun, light-hearted.

Similar works (fiction):

Romeo and Juliet by Richard Appignanesi-It is an adaptation of a familiar story; it also is in color, so a next step up for reading a graphic novel.

Age of Bronze: betrayal part one by Eric Shanower-Also draws from stories that many are familiar with, this one more with myths and medieval romances.

Runaways, vol. 1: pride & joy by Brian K. Vaughan-Story about friends that runaway and the strength of their friendship.  Similar to Sister Peace’s story in Castle Waiting.

Similar works (non-fiction):

American Widow by Alissa Torres; illustrated by Choi- depicts the struggles of a single woman after losing her husband in 9/11.  Relates to the strength of women.

Side Show: my life with geeks, freaks, and vagabonds in the carny trade by Howard Bone with Daniel Waladron-although not a graphic novel, it might interest the readers that were interested in Nessie’s story as the bearded lady in the circus.

Comics and graphic novels by Richard Spilsbury-accounts the principles of comics and graphic novels, how the artwork affects story and introduces mood.  Might be interesting for first time readers.

Name: Emily