Tag Archives: Jan DeLima

Book Review: “Celtic Moon”

Rounding out our “New” theme for January reading, we tackled a book I found in the “New Sci-Fi” section of the book store – Celtic Moon by Jan DeLima. Not only is the book “new” (with an October 2013 publication date), it is DeLima’s first publication, making her a “new author,” and is also the first in a projected series (no other publications so far), the Celtic Wolves series.

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Okay, I’ve got a mixed review going on here. This book had a lot of really good things going for it… but it also had a lot of things that made me roll my eyes in frustration and exasperation.

Celtic Moon is a story about a woman in her 30s (yay! No teenage angst!) who’s 15 year old son is experiencing…. supernatural… problems (okay, minimal teenage angst). Sophie has spent the last 15 years in hiding from her husband, the father of his baby, after a shocking experience watching him change into a wolf! Desperate to keep her child away from that world, a pregnant Sophie leaves, but when her son Joshua starts showing some family traits, Sophie makes the hard decision to return to Dylan, her husband. On his territory, Dylan is the alpha wolf and leader of an ancient group of wolves. Sophie’s reappearance causes Dylan to experience everything from overwhelming joy to deadly fear, as his tribe is on the brink of a long-anticipated war with other ancient shape shifters.

Are you following?

Okay. Good points first. Celtic Moon was a very exciting book. There is non-stop action that would appeal to audiences of all ages and sexes. I could absolutely see a teenage girl, her grandmother, and her preteen brother, enjoying the action in this book. There’s a little bit of something for everyone – enough “teenage problems” for the teenagers, enough fantasy for the fantasy fans, and a good chunk of romance thrown in. DeLima has a wonderful voice, and her characters truly speak for themselves. Each character is well developed, and you feel like you know these people instantly, despite learning their internal struggles throughout the book. They continue to grow as the story develops, making you sympathize with their actions, and want to know more about them. DeLima has a wonderful way with setting the scene – I really felt like I could see and hear everything the characters were seeing and hearing. She also had a lot of history and Celtic mythology in her novel, which was exceptionally interesting! In short, this book was fun, exciting, and descriptive.

Now the bad points. Maybe I should have done my research before hand, but I was NOT expecting all the SEX. I had assumed (by the cover… yes, literally “judging a book by its cover” over here) that it was bordering on Young Adult classification, but if this is young adult, my kids are reading children’s books until they are 20. Yes, yes – I said this book could be enjoyed by audiences of all ages – but I meant the action sequences… not the action sequences. There was a surprisingly heavy romance story, and it was fueled by a lot of sex scenes which were more graphic than that trashy romance novel I read in December (‘Twas the Night After Christmas). I’m no prude, I enjoy a good sex scene… but they were kind of out of place in this novel. Perhaps I desperately wanted it to be a fun action story rather than a sappy romance, and maybe my anticipation for a good fantasy got in the way, but the sex scenes just kind of… irked me. I feel like DeLima is limiting readership by throwing that in. This was a book I would have gladly passed on to my teenage cousins, and instead I feel a little ashamed for recommending it to my mother.

Sex scenes aside, there were a few minor things that got under my skin while reading this book. Joshua, the transforming teenager, seems to accept his fate without question or surprise. As if a 15 year old who realizes they are shockingly different than their peers would just accept it as totally normal… let alone them having to accept they are a WOLF. I also had a hard time separating this book from the dreaded Twilight in my head. While this book was MUCH better written, and the characters were MUCH less abusive, I couldn’t help but see the parallels between the loves stories (they are truly star crossed lovers, and the fact that she now will age just as slowly as him seems a little… sappy), and the underlying plot (a sect of evil shapeshifters are out to stop the rebels… hello, Volturi vs. Cullens). It just felt a little unoriginal at points, and almost like it was sapping off the glory that was Twilight. That being said, this book was MUCH better than Twilight and deserves the cult following much more than that series.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I’d give this book a solid 3. The flaws I saw in it were minor, and were really based off of my personal preferences. Anyone who is a fan of the contemporary fantasy genre will LOVE this book. I will most certainly be picking up the second book in the series when it is published, and that alone speaks of its success.

How about you? Have you read Celtic Moon? If you have, what did you think? If you haven’t, are you interested in picking it up?

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New Year, New Reading List

Happy New Year, my friends! It’s hard to believe it’s already 2014 – I feel exceptionally old! I know I missed my initial post for this week’s reading, but my little bug came back, and I’ve been battling what I think to be The Dreaded Flu for the last week. This week we are reading I am Regina by Sally M. Keehn, which is technically a children’s book.

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I picked it anyway, because it is a beautiful piece of historical fiction about a young girl kidnapped by Native Americans in the late 18th Century American wilderness. That, and I haven’t read a youth fiction for his book challenge, yet! But more on that this weekend!

It’s time for the reveal of the January reading list. In honor of the New Year, the theme for January reading is “New.” I think I’ve assembled a pretty interesting group of books that will inspire us to keeping up with this reading challenge this month, and for the rest of 2014!

Jan. 5 – 11 – The White Queen – Philippa Gregory

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Okay, so this book isn’t technically (or in any way) “new,” having been published in 2009. But it is “new to me.” My sister actually got it as a Christmas present from our mother, but as she has already read it, she passed it on to me for a quick read before returning it to her ever expanding bookshelves (a girl after my own heart). I’m very excited to read this book, as I’ve heard wonderful things about it, and it was actually recommended to me by my friend Dee (hi, Dee!) back when I started my blog. With great reviews from my sister, I decided it was time to open this brand-spanking-new book, and give it a shot. It should prove to be a wonder work of historical fiction (my favorite, as I’m sure you know by now), and I always love a good, strong female lead.

 

Jan. 12 – 18 – How to Kill a Rock Star – Tiffanie DeBartolo

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I’m SO EXCITED to finally crack this book open. I actually won this book in an online drawing (I never win ANYTHING!), from an awesome book blog I follow, called The Book Bosses (thanks ladies!)… if you haven’t been to their site, you should check them out! This book actually came to me personally signed by the author (which makes it extra awesome!). When I opened it up, my friend Anna was with me and snatched it right out of my hands, singing DeBartolo’s praises for another novel she had written. With such praise for the author, I know this one will be a winner as well, and I can’t wait to dive in. The story is a contemporary romance (“contemporary” = new… and it is “new to me”), and while we all know I’m not a HUGE fan of romance novels, this one looks pretty promising!

 

Jan. 19 – 25 – Hero – Rhonda Byrne

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This book falls under the “new” requirements in two ways: it is the newest in the The Secret series (and was published in November of 2013), and is a New Age book. If you know nothing about The Secret, the books (Hero being #4) are about the power of the mind, and how self-affirmation can truly change your life. If you have Netflix (or YouTube), watch the documentary entitled The Secret to learn more about the power of suggestion! This book expands on The Secret, exploring how we can all be our truest selves and live our most fulfilling lives – simply by being our own heroes. This one might also inspire some New Years Resolutions, and help us all have a super successful 2014. I hope you’ll read along with me for this one!

 

Jan. 26 – Feb. 1 – Celtic Moon – Jan DeLima

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I’ll be honest – I picked up this book because I was struggling to pick a fourth book for the “New” theme for the month. I walked into the book store, walked over to the Sci-Fi section (in an attempt to put a different genre into our reading this month), and saw a “New in Science Fiction” section. On those shelves, I found Celtic Moon. The book was published in September, making it relatively new, and is the first in a series, called the Celtic Wolf series, so I thought that would count as “new” as well! I usually wouldn’t look toward this book, generally avoiding paperback sci-fi (and most sci-fi in general… I like the shows and the movies, not usually the books), but this is the whole point of the book challenge – pick up books I wouldn’t have read before.

So there it is – our reading list for January and our “New” theme for the month. I hope you’ll pick one (or more) to read along with me, and start off your 2014 reading list with something good! I look forward to some engaging discussions about these books, as I promote a “book club” type of atmosphere. Remember, I not only encourage, but LOVE, comments and reviews from my fellow readers! This blog isn’t about me telling you what I think, it’s about inspiring you to read (and inspiring me to stop being a Netflix addict and read more!), and talk about books!

I hope you all have a healthy, prosperous New Year! Happy Reading!

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