Thursday, March 29, 2012

Have you been Bitten lately?

I'm a huge fan of urban fantasy.  Were-creatures, vampires, magic users and gods and demons showing up and mingling in our everyday world?  What's not to love?  I can't pinpoint where my love of urban fantasy started, but I know who has fostered it: Laurell K Hamilton, Simon R Green and Mercedes Lackey are just a few that spring to mind.  Kelley Armstrong is another author who has built an amazing world using ours as her foundation.

The first book in her Women of the Otherworld series is Bitten and she's finishing off her series with the aptly titles Thirteen, the thirteenth book in the series.  In celebration of this I've decided to be a part of a reading challenge to read one book from the series per month, until I'm done.  Here's a link to the challenge for those who are curious: Otherworld Reading Challenge

I love rereading books.  Especially when it's been long enough that I can't remember everything that happens in them.  Makes things all fresh and new.  Alright, on to the review.  I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but they'll probably happen.

Things I liked: The protagonist is a strong female character who doesn't want to be protected by the hulking guys around her.  Elena's trying to live her own life and get away from the insanity of being a werewolf.  I can't say that I blame her.  This book is a very good opener to the series and Elena is a character you can root for.

Things I didn't like: I'm not a fan of some of the relationships in the book.  They take codependency to a whole new level.  Actually, that sums up pretty much everything that I don't like about the book.  The relationships were crazy making.  Oh, and at least one interesting sounding character never gets actual screen time, dying before they get the chance to come to fruition.

Overall, a fun read.  If Ms. Armstrong couldn't make her characters real, I wouldn't care about their relationships or how frustrating they are to read about.  If I didn't want to befriend Elena, I wouldn't have finished the book.  If I hadn't rooted for them to win, I wouldn't be looking forward to the next book and seeing what happens next.  If you like urban fantasy and are looking for a new series to read, I recommend starting with Bitten and seeing where it take you.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Perils of Sensitive Skin

My whole life I've had amazingly sensitive skin.  Sometimes this is a blessing, because each touch can feel like something so much more.  Sometimes this is a curse, because I can't wear polyester or rough woven cloth of any kind.  Wool is not my friend.  My skin gets irritated very easily and I scar like there's no tomorrow.  I also have to be careful about the soaps I use and the lotions I choose.  Between my skin sensitivity and my allergies, I can be in very dire straits if I'm not careful.  When I was very young I learned to not use regular soap because of the bizarre ring that formed on my cheek after washing my face.

I started a new job almost two weeks ago and discovered after the first two shifts that the shirts were abrading my torso.  So I started wearing a tank under my work shirt and my torso didn't get any worse.  It took some getting used to, since I don't layer at all well.  I'm the girl who wears a winter jacket with a t-shirt underneath.  At the end of this last week, I noticed the back of my right hand was itching.  I didn't really think much about it, just scratched it and continued on.  On Friday, I noticed the back of my hand was covered in bumps.  Near as I can tell, I've got contact dermatitis from vinyl gloves I have to wear at work.  Almost no one is allergic to vinyl gloves, that's why they use them.  I'm one of the "lucky" few I guess.

When I went in for my shift today, I reported what happened and filled out all the fun paperwork, since it was work related, and was told that I was to go home, my shift was covered today and tomorrow and I wasn't to return to work until I was ok'd to use their gloves.  I had actually brought nitrile gloves from home so I could work today, but I guess that's not acceptable.  We'll see what urgent care has to say on the matter in the morning. :-/