Hello everyone,

I'm sorry to have been such a bad blogger and that Kailana had to maintain this blog by herself. However, I don't know how often I'll be contributing to this blog in the future. It's not that I've lost interest in blogging or reading... simply, the books I read are more geared towards romance, even with a lot of paranormal elements, than fantasy or sci-fi and so, I think that reviewing those books here is just the wrong place. However, the book I'm going to review today is pure fantasy :D

Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
published by Del Rey in September 2007

Tragedy has struck His Majesty's Aerial Corps, whose magnificent fleet of fighting dragons and their human captains valiantly defend England's shores against the encroaching armies of Napoleon Bonaparte. An epidemic of unknown origin and no known cure is decimating the noble dragons' ranks-forcing the hopelessly stricken into quarantine. Now only Temeraire and a pack of newly recruited dragons remain uninfected-and stand as the only means of an airborne defense against France's ever bolder sorties.Bonaparte's dragons are already harrowing Britain's ships at sea. Only one recourse remains: Temeraire and his captain, Will Laurence, must take wing to Africa, whose shores may hold the cure to the mysterious and deadly contagion. On this mission there is no time to waste, and no telling what lies in store beyond the horizon or for those left behind to wait, hope, and hold the line.
Genre: fantasy, dragons

Series: Temeraire, Book #4

Empire of Ivory picks up where Black War Powder left off. Temeraire and Laurence, along with the crew, the ferals dragons and so on, come back to England, to find that most of the dragons of the Corps are sick... they suffer from a sort of consumption and so far, none of the dragons afflicted have survived. Later, they found out that the cold Temeraire got during Throne of Jade is actually the consumption that the other dragons are suffering and as a result, Temeraire along with all the sick dragons of his formation are heading to Africa to find a cure.

I have to say that I've been waiting this book with a lot of anxiety. If any of you have read the excerpt of Empire of Ivory at the end of Black War Powder, you'll know that many dragons have died and I was very, very worried for Lily, Maximus and Volly. I almost didn't read the book when I got it, because I was so worried... however, I'm glad that I did read it, because once again, Ms. Novik has delivered. Empire of Ivory was a great read, a great continuation to the story... and a lot happened. The whole book focused less on war and more on the English Corps. In addition, Temeraire is back with his formation and I think that's why I enjoyed this book more than Throne of Jade and Black War Powder. I miss the camaraderie between Temeraire, Lily and Maximus and their Captains. In Throne of Jade and Black War Powder, many new characters were introduced, but there wasn't much friendship or interaction between them and Temeraire/Laurence. They were necessary for the story to advance.

Also, Temeraire is a bit less "political" in this book. He still wants a better life for the dragons, but it isn't all he talks about and that was a great relief for me. I understand what Temeraire wants and demands, but it's tedious to read about ^^;

One thing that I really liked about this book, is that we got to see a bit more of the relationship between the Captains and their dragons. We all know that the relationship between the dragons and their Captains is important; however, to see how the Captains suffered for their sick dragons, it was touching and it emphasized the special bond even more. Also, it's sad how people outside the Corps do not understand this attachment. They do not understand that the dragons are more than an animal... They can communicate with you their thoughts, their feelings and so on. They're not ships or horses... Another thing that I enjoyed was the display of the dragons' intellectual capacities. It's been said in previous books that dragons learn to speak in their eggshell and acquiring new languages is hard (except for Temeraire). In addition, when they have to learn about the signal flags, it has to be right after they hatched if not, it's too late and they have difficulties. In this book, the dragons get engrossed in mathematics and theories and so on. I thought it was nice and interesting.

Finally, even though it focused less on war, I think this book contained a lot of development for the future. There was more time for Ms. Novik to focus on the characters and their growth... there are few surprises and twists that I didn't expect.
For those who thinks that the ending is a cliff-hanger, it is. However, remember that Ms. Novik is contract to book#6 of this series... if you do the maths, well we're only at book #4 right? Also, remember the promise Temeraire, Lily and Maximus made to each other in His Majesty's Dragon? Wonder if they'll keep it :D

Grade: 4.5/5

Fans of the series, you won't be disappointed.

I have been a bit busy with my life and not really posting reviews, although I have been better the last few days, so to give this blog a bit of activity, one of my fellow Historical Tapestry bloggers offered to guest blog. Here is her review.

When Paige Winterbourne is ousted as leader of the American coven of Witches, all she wants to do is hide under her duvet for a few months. But fate, of course, has other plans. A murderer is on the loose – someone with Superhuman skills and a grudge against the supernatural community. When Paige learns that the killer is targeting children, she has to get involved.

Desperate to protect those she loves, Paige is thrown into a world of arrogant sorcerers, drunken necromancers, sulky druid gods and pretentious leather – clad vampires. Not to mention an apparently unstoppable supernatural psychopath hell – bent on revenge.

This is the fourth in the series and the second featuring Paige as the main character and I think this is the best one so far. I feel like all the characters are growing up and are less annoying, even Elena the female werewolf who was the main character in the first two books. I was going to stop reading after the first two books because Elena really annoyed me but I’m glad I changed my mind.

This story focuses on Paige and her new boyfriend Lucas Cortez, who father is the CEO of the biggest supernatural organisation but Lucas doesn’t like the way his father does things so he works against the organisation by protecting and acting as the lawyer for many innocent supernatural people. But while Lucas is away his father comes to see Paige and from there they both find themselves dragged into a case they could end up killing them. Paige and Lucas criss- cross the country trying to find the killer and following any leads that come up. In the end it takes a necromancer, vampires, werewolves, sorcerers and witches working together to bring the killer in.

The only problem I found with this story is there wasn’t enough Savannah and I really like her I think that she is a much better character then Paige but that isn’t to say I don’t like Paige I do I just want more Savannah.

I can’t wait to read Haunted.

I keep forgetting to check the email for this blog, I'm a slacker, I know, so if you want a reply please email kiwi_shelf AT hotmail DOT com. The other email is like spam city, too, so we will go with this method for a bit.

And, yes, I do plan an actual update sometime in this century. :)

Since I am not really in a reviewing mood lately, I thought that I would share a list of sci-fi books that looked interesting. Angela did them for her Thursday Thirteen, to see the list click here.

Some of them I have heard before and was planning to buy anyways, but others I am being introduced to for the first time. She also provides links to excerpts to see if they interest you. Hopefully I will get back to reviewing soon, I have a lot of great books to talk about!

I had to turn word verification on, I was browsing some older posts and I noticed that we had a major spamming problem! I have been deleting them as I see them. Is there a way to turn comments off to older posts without turning them off to newer, does anyone know? I get an email notification now, so I can catch it easily, but we didn't have it for a while, so there are probably lots of messes for me to clean up. If you are browsing older posts and see any spam, just comment if you would, and then it will be brought to my attention. Otherwise, I will spam clean when I have the time to.

Completion Date: August, 2007
Publication Year: 1997
Books Two, Three, and Four in Peter David's Star Trek: The New Frontier Series. (Review for Book 1)

Reason for Reading: I really liked House of Cards, so I decided that it was a good idea to see what else this band of crewmates got themselves into. I really wish that they had made this into a television show and left Star Trek: Enterprise alone, but unfortunately this will likely never be a television series. It's too bad, this is a very entertaining cast of characters.

Sector 221-G: For the whole of Federation history, this large area of space has been controlled by the Thallonians, a cruel, militaristic race of which little is knownexcept that they rule the other races in their sector with vicious iron hand.

Now the Thallonian Empire has collapsed and the systems it once ruled are in chaos. Old hatreds are surfacing. Petty tyrants control deadly weapons. World after world is descending into disorder and self-destruction. The Federation must send a starship to help where it can and report what it finds.

That ship is the U.S.S. Excalibur, a newly refit Ambassador-class starship commanded by Captain Mackenzie Calhoun and manned by Starfleet's best and brightest, including some old friends from Star Trek: The Next Generation and some of the most dynamic new characters ever to crew a Federation starship.

Join Captain Calhoun and the crew of the U.S.S. Excalibur as they explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, and boldly go where no one has gone before!
Reading these three books and the one that comes before it almost makes you think that this was supposed to be the series, and then it got popular so they made more. These four books all talk about the same time and show the progression of events all within a short period of time. This is Starfleet's band of misfits, they are all capable of doing their jobs, but their lives have been hard and has made it so they go about things in a way that might not be the regular way.

My only beef with this series is who they chose as the first officier, Commander Shelby. She guest-starred on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation once and she rather annoys me. I think that is the point, but it does not mean that I was thrilled to see her playing a starring role. It works, though, Captain Calhoun is not your textbook Star Fleet Captain, and his wild ways play off nicely to Shelby's stick-in-the-mud mannerisms, but she still annoys me. She probably always will annoy me. Their fights are pretty funny, though, so maybe she will loosen up a bit during the course of this series.

There are a few characters in these books that I would like to see on television. The chief engineer is quite the interesting character, I can see hints of Scotty in many ways. The chief security officer reminds me a bit of Worf of all the security officers on the shows. Then, there is the vulcan doctor who is quite different than any doctor we have seen before. If like anyone I would say the early episodes with the Doctor on Voyager. Throw in a navigational officer who is thinking so fast he can look asleep and still function and a half vulcan/half romulan comm officer, and we have an interesting time ahead of us.

To sum up these three books, there is a lot of action, the captain finds himself in the middle of his mission with people after him on all sides, and he does not exactly go by the book to correct the situation. All in all, it is an entertaining series that I look foward to reading more from. I own the next four books, so I will likely read them soon, but then I have to find the rest of the books in the series.

Completion Date: August 2007
Pages: 275
Publication Year: 2003
A Book in the Star Trek: Voyager series, sequel to Homecoming

When an unstoppable Borg plague breaks out upon Earth, blame quickly falls on the newly returned crew of the Starship Voyage ™. Did Kathryn Janeway and the others unknowingly carry this insidious infection back with them? Many in Starfleet think so, and Seven of Nine, in particular, falls under a cloud of suspicion.

Now, with a little help from the Starship Enterprise ™, Admiral Janeway must reunite her crew in a desperate, last-ditch attempt to discover the true source of the contagion and save Earth itself from total assimilation into a voracious new Borg Collective.

But time is running out.

Has Voyager come home only to witness humanity's end?
This book continues the duology about Voyager's return to the Alpha Quadrant. Once again, a very short book, but I for the most part like how they decided to tie up Voyager's loose ends. It is too bad that for some reason Voyager is hardly novelized after the show went off the air: there are only two more books that even talk about life after they were lost for seven years.

So, briefly, what happens when they get back is Torres goes on a journey to find herself and repair bridges from her past. It makes references to an episode of Voyager I had never seen before at the time of reading, but I watched a rerun of it last week, so now I understand what happened. If you have not seen the episode, it is called something like The Barge of the Dead, then that is okay. The book explains the important parts so that you know what is going on. Meanwhile, Tom Paris is home with their newborn baby trying to get used to being a father. Torres thinks that he is home hanging out in his apartment with his friends, but really he is caught up in the middle of what is looking like a Borg plague. Since Voyager has just returned with two Borg aboard, they are blamed for the spread of the disease and their two Borg crewmates are imprisioned.

This book also discusses holographic images rights. The Doctor on Voyager has developed outside of his program to be a working and functioning being who thinks for himself. A human currently residing on earth decides to take advantage of his return to have a holographic rebellion, which the Doctor gets blamed for and taken into custody. Janeway is a new admiral who is not ready to give up the 'big chair' and will do everything for the safety of the crew she has finally managed to return home. All in all, this was a good read. I will read the other duology soon, then I have one trilogy that came out recently to read, and then after that there is no more.

About this blog

Welcome to Twisted Kingdom - a review site for science fiction and fantasy books.

There have been some recent changes, most obviously the template, so please bear with us while we set up our links and arrange the reviews on our sidebar.

Please drop us a line at thetwistedk@gmail.com if you notice any craziness, broken links or if you'd like us to add you to our link list.

About Me

My photo
Since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with books. Early photos show me with a book in hand, even if it was not exactly my reading level... My first word was a made-up word meaning 'book', actually. I suppose I had my priorities at an early age... Over the years my interest in books has become one of the defining features of who I am as a person. You can probably call me a bookworm. While I have other interests, reading will always be the one I talk about the most, even if I am not focusing on it as much as I used to.