Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Review: Page

Page (Protector of the Small) Page by Tamora Pierce

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
The only problem I had with this book is a problem I have with many juvenile books: the characters don't act their age.

The main character in this book is supposed to be 11. Really? She's already done things that people twice her age have done. Come on. What the author seems to want to do is write a great story (which she did) that has older characters. BUT, for some reason, she feels compelled to make the characters younger. The problem is that you're going along with the great story and then, when age is mentioned, you're pulled right out by a cold blast of reality. And you think, no way could an 11 year old do these things! It completely ruins the magic of the book.

If you forget that minor detail, the book rocks.

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Review: Marked

Marked (House of Night, Book 1) Marked by P.C. Cast

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a book that had been sitting on my shelf since April. Once I read it, though, I was pretty impressed. The book seemed seamless in that I didn't notice a change in tone between the two authors. I don't know if they each wrote different characters, or how they divided up the work. But, whatever they did, it worked.

I've been reading a lot of YA books lately after reading virtually none in the past, and I may be reaching my limit. There is just something inherently whiny about YA books that I can only stomach for so long. While this one is pretty good, there were still moments when I alternated between rolling my eyes at something a character said, and wanting to strangle them.

If you're looking for something fun, I recommend giving this one a try. I liked it enough to keep reading the series.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Great (?) News

There is always a little bit of apprehension when I hear that a book I love is going to be "adapted" for the big or small screen. But, I'm more hopeful than not about this project. HBO usually does good things, Martin says the script is on point, and they're looking at a "season" = 1 book. So, not too much would be cut out. I'm not even worried so much about the casting, as long as they can act. Cross your fingers, people.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Not a surprise

Galleycat has an interesting blurb about a team of econ profs who analyzed the effect of the "bestseller". That term aside, they mention anecdotally that The Kite Runner "has arguably done more to educate Western readers about the realities of daily life in Afghanistan under the Taliban and thereafter than any government media campaign, advocacy organization report, or social science research."

This is something that people who have been paying attention to books and/or movies, music, tv, media have known for years.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Review: Inkheart

Inkheart (Book 1) Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was recommended to me and I've very happy for it. I listened to this book, read by Lynn Redgrave, and there were times when I wanted her to HURRY UP so I could see what would happen next. It is billed as a juvenile book, but it is juvenile in the way that Harry Potter was juvenile. The language is sophisticated, more sophisticated than your typical juvenile book.

It makes you wonder about what happens between the pages of the book when you're not reading it. Or when the book is over? Or before the book begins. The characters Funke creates are vibrant and three dimensional. There are many twists and turns as well, so you can never be sure what lurks behind the next page.

The only thing that diminished the book for me was that Funke telegraphs her punches many times in the book. By that I mean she'll often use the phrase "Later, when they thought of this..." or "Later, they would recall..." which all but tells you that said character survives whatever nasty surprise yet to befall them. You know certain characters aren't going to die because.....well, they recall things later! It does a lot to dampen the suspense of the book. Maybe that is by design, because it IS a children's book, but it wasn't necessarily what was best for me. Other than that, though, I have no complaints.

Let's hope the movie (set to release in early 2009) is as good as the book!

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Review: Living with the Dead

Living with the Dead (Women of the Otherworld, Book 9) Living with the Dead by Kelley Armstrong

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I listened to this one on audio. It was so good that I listened at work AND at home. I couldn't stop. I wasn't sure how I would feel about this book because it didn't appear to focus on any of my favorites. But, I needn't have worried.

The main storyline was intriguing. The main character had the perfect combination of grit and stupidity that made you cheer for her, and want to strangle her at the same time. The main villain was completely bat shit crazy, even though Armstrong makes her seem somewhat logical as she writes from her point of view. Armstrong strikes a great balance between stalker-chic and sanity, making it so you don't know quite which way to turn.

It was nice to get a continuation of Karl and Hope's story. I'm a fan of Karl and Hope, but I was only partially invested in their couple-hood. I feel better about it now. He is delicious, by the way. No two ways about that!

LOVED Fin and Damon.....and Robyn. Eve cameo was nice, but I did miss Kristof. All in all, a good entry in the series. If people haven't picked up one of these books before, I don't think they'd be left behind. Or, I should say, they won't feel like they have been left behind. They won't have the backstory to fill in the details, but the story told in Living with the Dead is self containing. Hopefully, though, a first time reader would want to find out what they have been missing.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Review: One False Move

One False Move (Myron Bolitar Mysteries) One False Move by Harlan Coben

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is probably my favorite of the Myron Bolitar mysteries by Coben. I listened to it this time, and I'm not crazy about the reader. It didn't seem like he had the same intensity throughout the entire book.

There were things in the story that I had glossed over the other times I had read it. There was an obscure Joe Biden reference that seemed to pop out at me given our current political situation. And, there was a reference to the Billy Jack series of movies that I immediately had to wiki. Listening to it may have made my mind focus on other things. The basic story, though, was still as incredible as the first time I'd read it. Yes, I know the ending. But, the ending wasn't really why I was listening to it. All of the action leading up to the ending wasn't as intense as the first time I'd read it, of course, but it was damn close.

If you're looking for a good mystery, this is a great choice. If you're looking for a book with spectacular characters and will make you laugh out loud while you're reading, check this out. No one I have recommended this book to has been disappointed.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

The Sound of a Giant falling

Tony Hillerman died over the weekend. I'm sure there will be a multitude of obits over the next few days, weeks.....months. I never got around to reading one of his books, and thankfully I still have the chance. But, you can't really be a fan of literature, fiction, or popular culture, without knowing what a large figure he was. I know he'll be greatly missed.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Brass Verdict: A Novel The Brass Verdict: A Novel by Michael Connelly

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
When I said back in August, that I had a soft spot for Mickey Haller, I really did mean it. I loved Connelly's The Lincoln Lawyer and I was glad to see him doing a new book with that character. I expected to like it.

Part of what I loved so much about it, though, was the audio reader who brought the character to life. When I saw that there was going to be a different reader, it made me wonder if I would feel the same way with a different reader.

Yeah, I needn't have worried. Both the reader, and the author, come across in The Brass Verdict. The characer of Mickey Haller is as complex and conflicted as he was in Lincoln Lawyer and he's got a few new scars and ghosts to carry. For those hardcore Connelly fans who are expecting lots of Bosch, you're going to probably be disappointed. All the advertising plays up the fact that the two of them are together, but there isn't as much togetherness as Bosch fans might want. This is definitely a Mickey Haller book, and Bosch is a supporting actor.

I highly recommend this book, and I recommend it even more on audio. But be warned: you probably won't get anything else done until you finish it.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Very astute observation

I haven't read Kathy Reichs' books. Things in books always seem a bit more real than on TV, and I'm not sure I would like to read about the grisly details of forensic science. It's already bad enough that I can't eat and watch CSI at the same time.

That said, Reichs, herself, sounds like an interesting person. Here is an article about her from Scotland's Daily Record.

This, for me, was the money quote:

"Not everybody is suited to dealing with maggots or decomposing bodies."

Damn skippy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

News you won't use

Why is it that Starbucks isn't happy just selling coffee? I mean, seriously, that seems like a pretty good business to me! Just the fact that there is such a thing as a "Starbucks Entertainment Division" is crackhead crazy.

Book Reviews? Do you really care what someone, who you don't even know, says about a book? I've always been curious about that. I love reading book reviews, but it doesn't impact whether or not I'll read the book for myself. I take that back.....I may decide to read a book based on a book review because, after reading the review, the subject matter sounds interesting. But, I've never decided NOT to read a book based on a review.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Review: Family Tree

Family Tree Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a book that had been on my shelves for almost a year before I finally got around to it. The premise is a lot like the Kate Chopin short story Desiree's Baby So, I won't rehash the plot.

There were moments in this book where I wanted to shake every character in this book (except the baby) within an inch of their lives. But, reality says that people sometimes do very stupid things, even if they know better. So, in that way, I suppose the characters were very realistic.

I think Delinsky goes wrong here by trying to do too much. The plot with the baby and the plot with the main character's long lost father is enough. Delinsky adds in other sub-plots and it just becomes a muddled mess of secrets that really detract from the story. I think the book worked, it told a good story, but it could have been so much better. I would recommend it to people, but I wouldn't be surprised if they came back with complaints.

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Review: Sex and the Single Braddock

Sex And The Single Braddock (Kimani Romance) Sex And The Single Braddock by Robyn Amos

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a quick read. A very quick read. But, it was entertaining. Kind of like cotton candy, which I love. But, I couldn't eat it everyday.

What did I like about this book? I liked the characters. I thought they were believeable and interesting. I thought they were three dimensional, even given how short the book was, and how much plot she had to work in. Secondary characters in this book were cardboard cutouts, even the main secondaries like the ex girlfriend, the roommate, and the overbearing father. They had a bit more heft to them, but no real depth.

I also liked how it seemed very authentic. When the ex girlfriend pulls her stunt, and all is revealed at the end, there is no instantaneous "all is forgiven" moment. Hell no, all ain't forgiven. I started to roll my eyes a bit at the white guy likes hip hop, black chick likes country element thrown in, but Amos makes it make sense. Why wouldn't she like country music, born and raised a Texan? And white guys liking hip hop isn't even unusual enough to mention, so it worked. I like how she called him out on the hip hop only to have him not even understand why she'd think it was unusual. It all seemed very realistic to me.

I liked the fact that the race issue got a passing mention and that was it. If this is a trend in interracial romance books, I like it! It got a mention because it isn't completely a non-issue in Texas oil baron social society and/or political circles. But, it was hardly the focus of the story. I don't even think it was the focus of the paragraph where it got a mention. Perfect. It was almost a throwaway line, and that's exactly where it should be.

The ending was good. Almost tips the scale of believability, but then it all falls into place. The only thing I wish was that this book was longer and Amos had more time to develop these characters properly. And, when you want more of the book, that is always a good thing!

P.S. Oh yeah, and the sex was HAWT!

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Review: The Black Dagger Brotherhood

The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide by J.R. Ward

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Here's the thing: there are people who read books, and there are people who are "readers." People who read enjoy books. Readers take that to an almost insane degree. They don't just read books, they immerse themselves in them. And, to the extent that they have a "favorite" book or author, they can get lost for days....or longer. Readers read favorites over and over (and over) again. It isn't so much about the words that are put on the page, although those can be very good. It is more about how you feel when you read that book or that author. People who read roll their eyes when I mention this. Readers understand completely.

To that end, this is a book for readers. If you're a casual fan of J.R. Ward, this probably isn't the book for you. Yes, there is new material in it, but you're not going to buy this book just for the original short at the beginning. The majority of this book consists of a lot of insider baseball, which is great if you're a major league fan. I started in the middle, skipped around things I'd already seen on the website, and then went back and read Father Mine the original short story. Finally, I read the preview of the upcoming book about Rehvenge. May can't get here fast enough!

I recommend the short story to everyone who is even remotely interested in the Brotherhood and JR Ward. It is really very good. If you only have a passing curiosity about the rest, check this out from the library. But, if you're a big fan, you won't need me to tell you to buy this book. In fact, you probably already have it!

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Good Cover!

Did anyone watch the show Vega$ back in the late 70s and early 80s? This cover is kind of a throwback to that. At least, that is what it looks like to me. And how about that? E. Duke Vincent worked on that show.

Good Cover!

I love this cover. The drawing is fantastic, the colors are wonderful, and it looks like fun!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Review: Guardians of the West

Guardians of the West Guardians of the West by David Eddings

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really loved this series when it first appeared almost 21(!!!) years ago. Damn, I'm old.

ANYWAY, listening to it is a completely different experience. I haven't revistied this series as often as I have re-read The Belgariad, so a lot of this book has been forgotten over time. As I listen to it, however, I struggle with the urge to skip around. If I had the book in front of me, I definitely would be doing that. As I'm listening, I'm forced to hear every word of the book. This isn't, necessarily, a good thing.

Cameron Beirle is a good reader. He keeps the voices the same from book to book and from Belgariad to Mallorean. He's consistent. The writing is a bit.....I won't say pedestrian, but it is a bit simple. It isn't a bad thing exactly, but hearing it makes it seem a lot less complex. When you're reading this series, it is deftly plotted, and the characters are sharply drawn. Your imagination supplies the rest, which makes reading these books almost as magical as the contents. Listening, however, lays bare all of the faults of the books. There are great passages of.....description. Maybe it is because I'm reading these again, but I don't really need to hear all of that. I'm not sure this series holds up as well as the original Belgariad did. Although, here I am, listening to it 21 years later.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Review: Out of Control

Out of Control (Troubleshooters Series, Book #4) Out of Control by Suzanne Brockmann

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Reading this book, out of order, may have saved my life! I'm not sure I would have survived it otherwise. If you're a Sam/Alyssa fan, and you read this book in real time, you have my utmost admiration. You're a tougher person than I am.

The Savannah/Karmody storyline was awesome and I'm glad I went back and read this entry in the series. It explains a lot, and you can see Brockmann's progression as an author. Not only are her storylines layered, but her characters are really, REALLY outstanding. Authors in any genre, who are interested in making characters that are multi-layered and memorable, would really learn a thing or two from her books. She doesn't have shallow characters. Even the characters that are SUPPOSED to be shallow have an underlying depths.

Anyway, this book really had three *main* storylines, two of which come back in later books. In addition to that, it has one or two *sub* stories that also find their way into other books. If you think Brockmann is simply a romance author without real writing chops, or if you think romance is a genre that can't sustain detailed, nuanced stories and/or depth, you are seriously mistaken.

And this wasn't even her BEST of the series.

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Review: Guns will keep us together

Guns Will Keep Us Together (Bombay Assassins, Bk. 2) Guns Will Keep Us Together by Leslie Langtry

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
This writer lives in the Quad Cities. That is my old neighborhood and I'm glad I didn't know that until after I finished this book!

Okay, the GOOD thing about this book is that the premise of it is wonderful. Really, it is. A family of assassins, from a tradition that is some 2000+ years old, is a great idea. In the hands of a good writer, this could have been fantastic. It could have been rich and layered and....good. Instead, it is campy, and silly and ridiculous. The names of everyone is the family is a place name, to the extreme that you have characters named Delaware and whatever else? Come on. The jokes aren't funny. The dialogue is clumsy and heavy handed. The relationship between the characters doesn't exist. They talk at each other, like cardboard, instead of to each other, like people. Langtry has good ideas. The plot of this book, a family enterprise that needs to spice up its marketing, is a great jumping off point. The problem is that Langtry needs more practice taking her good ideas and turning them into good books. She has the first part down: she has good ideas for plots and for characters. She just has to turn them from silly caricatures into people. If she does that, she'll be much, MUCH, better.

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Review: One Bullet Away

One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer by Nathaniel C. Fick

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
"Memoirs" have taken a bad rap in the world of publishing lately. So much so that you have to wonder if you can believe anything that anyone says is a "true story." This is why I was heartened to see the semi disclaimer in Fick's book that he tried his best to make it as accurate as possible, but if something is wrong, it wasn't intentional truthiness to blame.

The book itself is wonderful. The topic isn't wonderful, of course, but the descriptions and the narrative is very good. He doesn't go easy on himself either, which is refreshing. There is great detail on the things people most want to know. And, though you know, of course, that Filk holds some things back, you get a very full picture of what life was like for him, and his Marines, going through all the phases of this story.

If you're interested in military memoirs, I recommend it. If you're looking for a print version of Full Metal Jacket, you might want to take a pass.

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Review: Mr. Fix-It

Mr. Fix-It (Indigo Love Spectrum) Mr. Fix-It by Crystal Hubbard

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'm sorry to give this book three stars. I really liked the characters in it. I LOVED both of the main characters and I thought Hubbard did a good job of making them more than just 2 dimensional cardboard cutouts. I liked the best friend of each, as well, but they were far from fully developed. It was the plot that was lacking. And, by lacking, I mean it was seriously underdeveloped. It took too many leaps. There is no way that I believe the ending from everything we've read in the beginning. And, even though you (the audience) knew that Carter was more than "just the fix it guy", I still didn't buy it. I will give Hubbard credit for making him unconventionally rich instead of old money. That was a new spin on and old idea. Good for her. Other than that, though, there wasn't much to the plot.

But, even with all of those holes, the characters almost make up for it. If she would have tweaked just one or two things (shoring up the secondary characters, making a more plausible ending, showing a little more background, maybe through flashbacks or what have you) then this would have been a 4 star review. The characters were that good. And Hubbard's use of humor in places were pretty good too.

Lastly, I have to say that it was nice to have a book about an interracial romance that wasn't all "I'm black, you're not black, it'll never work. What about the children. Blah blah blah." It never went down that road, and for that I'm more grateful than you know. Hubbard has the makings of a good author.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bad Cover


Bad Cover

Although bad may not be a strong enough term!

The roses and the violin couldn't be any more tragically ordinary. The mix of fonts on the cover couldn't be any more tragically schizophrenic.

But the worst part of this cover? Those. Ears.

WHAT?! Besides the fact that the face looks to be completely drugged out, those ears are ridiculous.

I would say that you could do better, Cerridwen, but I'm not sure it's the truth. Bad. Touch.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bad Cover

Wow. If this book isn't about a ghost in your wallpaper, or your sidewalk, I can't see how this book cover is even close.

There is nothing, nothing, here that makes me want to pick this up.

And OF COURSE we judge books by their covers. Don't be ridic.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Review: Into the Fire

Into the Fire (Troubleshooters Series, Book #13) Into the Fire by Suzanne Brockmann

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Everything was fantastic about this book......except the main storyline. Maybe I didn't get enough Murphy when I was into the old books, but I just didn't care about these two. No, I take that back. It wasn't Murph I didn't care about, it was Hannah. I didn't buy her story. I love the diversity that is included in these books, and I love how it makes it seem like the real world, and not some fantasy world where everyone is the same. But, I just didn't buy that whole deaf storyline. It didn't ring (pardon the pun) true for me. And, because I didn't believe that, I didn't believe in her. I wish I could have, but I just didn't.

There were a couple times where I severely cursed Brockmann while I read this book, and that means I totally bought everything else she was peddling. I may never forgive her for the turn the Izzy storyline has taken and I can only imagine the anguish the Alyssa/Sam fans must have felt when they had to wait for the next book to see what would happen. The biggest problem is that I like the third party, but I definitely wanted an Izzy/Tracy happy happy, and that just didn't happen.

There were also times when I thought I was going to choke to death (Nash.....Decker.....) and there were even times I cheered. (Dave). And Lopez? Definitely time for the peacemaker to get a piece.

A person who jumps in at this point in the series might be a little bit confused, but I think this is a book where a person could start. It would definitely make you want to go back and read other books in the series. I would highly rec this to people who hadn't read Brockmann before.

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Review: All Through the Night

All Through the Night: A Troubleshooter Christmas (Troubleshooters Series, Book #12) All Through the Night: A Troubleshooter Christmas by Suzanne Brockmann

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was a love letter from Brockmann to her fans. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, if you're one of the fans, it was absolutely great. The story was good, longtime followers of the series enjoyed the Jules/Robin wedding, there were appearances by lots of old friends. It was that part that I actually disliked the most.

I'm all for catching up with people, but it seemed like she threw some of them in just so they could have a mention. There was no place for them and the connections were shaky at best. The "suspense" part of this romantic suspense book was pretty good. I liked the Dolphina/Will storyline and almost wish it would have been given its own book instead of lumped in with this one.

It certainly didn't compare to some of her other books, but it was nice for what it was. For a "Christmas" story, though, there was precious little Christmas in it.

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Review: Force of Nature

Force of Nature (Troubleshooters Series, Book #11) Force of Nature by Suzanne Brockmann

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
There were parts of this book that I really liked. There were parts of this book that I wish I could have fast forwarded through, except I was afraid I'd miss something. So, I read them. And, guess what? I wouldn't have missed anything.

I liked Ric from his early appearances, but I'm not sure he was enough to sustain his own book. That's just my opinion. Brockmann obviously thought otherwise. I just wasn't impressed with him. I found his story a little bit boring, and this book was saved, for me, by Jules and Robin. And, of course, a little Cosmo thrown in for good measure. And Max. I wouldn't rec this book to anyone who wasn't already a devout follower of the series.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Review: Into the Storm

Into the Storm (Troubleshooters Series, Book #10) Into the Storm by Suzanne Brockmann

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
When I read the blurb on the inside flap of this one, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I wasn't enthused, like I was for so many of Brockmann's other books in the series. Turns out, though, that you can't judge a book by its cover OR its blurb. Not only did I like this one, I LOVED it.

The characters were fantastic, and it reminded me of an earlier Brockmann where she sows the seeds for others all the while carrying a suspense plot and a romance between the main characters.

How DOES she do it? I have no clue. In a series this long, there are bound to be some hits and misses. This one is definitely a hit. From the top of the character food chain, to the secretary that everyone hates to love, every character is spot on and makes you crave to learn more about them. You can't go wrong with this entry in the Troubleshooters series.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

When Hannah Lapp reluctantly returns to the Old Order Amish community that she grew up in in order to help her sister, she is torn between her new life and love in the outside world and life in the community with her first love.

I LOVED this movie with Harrison Ford!
oh wait.........

Good Cover!

For any number of reasons!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Review: Master of Surrender

Master of Surrender Master of Surrender by Karin Tabke

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
You know, the whole time I was reading this, it seemed like I had read this book before. Everything seemed exactly as I remembered from some other book: invaders come, the leader wants the scared yet brash and sassy mistress of the keep (or castle, or manor, etc.) She swears her husband/brother/father/uncle will return and rescue them even though the hero tells her (repeatedly) that said male relative is dead. I mean, the entire premise isn't anything new.

There were a few twists in the book, well, maybe twist is the wrong word. There were characters that may not have been in other novels that follow the same plot. Honestly, I found the whole thing very much deja vu all over again. There was nothing here that made the book stand out, yet it wasn't horrible. It's like eating at a favorite restaurant: you love it so you still eat there, but it becomes boring after awhile. That's what this book was. If you're a fan of this sort of plot, you probably won't be disappointed.

If you're not, there isn't anything here to make you a fan.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bad Cover

This one could be about anything. Strangely enough, it is about a woman who owns a male strip club.

Women who own their own strip clubs deserve better window dressing for their novels.

Good Cover!

I'm not familiar with Canavan's Black Magician trilogy, but this is, apparently, a prequel.
This cover makes me want to get familiar with it. It strikes just the right mood between creepy and fascinating.......if you're a fan of the fantasy genre.
If you're not a fan, you're probably wondering what the ^$%#%@ I'm going on about. Nevermind, you.

Monday, September 8, 2008


I had written off this book as an unequivocal "not interested" until I read Chelsea Cain's review in the NYT.

Darn her. Now I may just have to try and make room for it.

Review: Small Favor

Small Favor (The Dresden Files, Book 10) Small Favor by Jim Butcher

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Hot damn! Now this was a fantastic audiobook! Most people will know the reader, James Marsters, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Whether you liked that show, or not, don't let that sway your willingness to listen to him read the Desden series. Marsters is FANTASTIC. I was one who wasn't interested in the series, even though it was everything I was supposed to like. But, I listened to the first one and that is what got me interested. I have, since then, tried to read the ones in the series that have not made it to audio yet. I still can't get into them.

This entry into the series seems darker and more violent than the ones that have come before it. Some of my favorite characters, especially the incredible Michael Carpenter, have huge supporting roles. Others, drew the short stick and make brief appearances.

I've read the amazon reviews, and I see that some were truly disappointed with this entry into the series. Maybe that is what a dedicated reader will think. But, for the casual obsessive, this was top notch!

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Review: You're broke because you want to be.

You're Broke Because You Want to Be: How to Stop Getting By and Start Getting Ahead You're Broke Because You Want to Be: How to Stop Getting By and Start Getting Ahead by Larry Winget

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
There isn't anything new in this book. You've heard it all before. He says it in a more blunt way, but it is the same advice. Budget. Stop Spending. Up is up, down is down. Etc. I liked it, but it certainly wasn't groundbreaking.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Thank God!

All of humanity is saved! A publisher for The Jewel of Medina has been found and life can go on!

If this hasn't been a complete waste of time, I don't know WHAT has. Can we just give the damnable thing out already, and move on to book that might actually be good? Give it the Pulitzer and the Nobel. The Edgar, the Anthony. The Hugo, the Nebula. The Oscar, the Emmy. The Grammy.

Thanks. Appreciate it.

As much as I hate this from Dennis Lehane:

He knows what he won't do: write another whodunit about the two private eyes, Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, in his first five novels, which include Gone Baby Gone. "They were written from a young man's perspective. I left Patrick when I was 33 and he was 33. I've tried, but his voice won't come."

I completely understand and admire it. Too many authors keep writing the series long after the "voice" has left them. If they ain't talkin' to you, quit tryin' to make them talk to us.

Read the rest of Lehane's article here. I was on the fence about his latest book, but I think he pushed me over to the "read it" side.

Good Cover?

You know, the cover is beautiful and relaxing. It makes you think of vacationing in a little seaside town.......and then you notice the title. But, honestly, the cover is so beautiful you don't even realize the title right away.

But, WTF? The title is like one of those salty waves... slapping you in the face.

Good Cover

It made me laugh. It didn't make me want to read the book, but it did make me laugh.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Review: Lyon

Lyon: The Lords Of Satyr (Book #3) Lyon: The Lords Of Satyr by Elizabeth Amber

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
The first book in this series turned out to be my favorite. But, this one was also a decent effort. I liked it MUCH better than Raine, the middle book. The story was plausible, although it was a little more convoluted than it had to be. You could see where she was going.....straight to book 4 of a 3 book series. She had to find a way to justify a book 4, so the plot went in that direction. It probably would have been better had it ended and a NEW series started. But, she didn't ask me. (More the pity.)

The main characters were good. The villains were cardboard and predictable. The sex wasn't boring. It also wasn't hilarious, which can be as bad as boring. All in all, it was a solid entry into the series but I'm not jumping up and down with excitement. Will I read another of her books? Probably.

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Review: Unto the Daughters

Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family by Karen Tintori

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow. I kept waiting for the part where the author admits this is entirely fictional and none of the awful she describes actually happened.

That part never came. It seems completely unbelievable to read this with 20th and 21st century eyes. But, this book is about more than just the uncovering of the ugly family secret of an "honor killing" but a history of how this family came to America. And a social history of immigrant families. It is fascinating, and I can't recommend it highly enough, even for people who SWEAR they don't like history.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Review: All U Can Eat

It really wasn't ALL I could eat.......

All U Can Eat All U Can Eat by Emma Holly

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
The sex was kind of hot. The rest of the story was kind of dull. That is the way a lot of these books run, so it wasn't much of a surprise. It gets three stars because the hot/dull ratio wasn't so large. They actually ran about even.

Would I rec this book to anyone? Maybe. It depends on the person and what they're looking for. If they're looking for mindless entertainment that doesn't suck, then sure, I would throw this out as a rec. With qualifications.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Review: Breaking Point

Breaking Point (Troubleshooters Series, Book #9) Breaking Point by Suzanne Brockmann

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Okay, Okay. I'm a Max fan. I'm a Jules fan. I'm a Gina fan. So why wasn't this a 5 star book?

Yeah, I don't know either. It just wasn't. The book was good, don't get me wrong. Parts of it were extraordinary, actually. The plot was great, although the reasoning behind it was a little weak for me. I didn't buy it after a certain point.

The action was great, although it was a little too unlikely.

Jules as Max was wonderful. More than meets the eye, definitely. He can be just as Max-esque as Max, and how wonderful was that to see! Sweetie. First rate, truly. know, I usually have nothing but good to say about Vitagliano. But, there were times in here, towards the end of the book, where I wanted to smack her upside her head. Maybe that's how you know you truly care....

Loved the flashback scenes. What an incredibly effective way to tell that story.

Secondary characters: Okay, I absolutely LOVE Gina's brothers. At least the one who keeps trying to get Jules to see the uh.....wisdom of Catherine Zeta Jones. Seriously? Love it. Jones and Molly? Yeah, they were all right.

After all the waiting for Max-n-Gina, I wish it wouldn't have been quite so angsty. But, it was, and that was no surprise.

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Review: Hot Target

Hot Target (Troubleshooters Series, Book #8) Hot Target by Suzanne Brockmann

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book would have been a solid "three stars" if not for Jules Cassidy.

That said, it wasn't a bad book, not really. But, it was definitely disappointing after Flashpoint. Readers who were coming at the series as it was written would probably have been happy to see the series regulars they had come to know. I can sympathize with that, certainly. But, everything in Flashpoint was so engaging, and this book lacked that.....except for Jules Cassidy.

I liked Cosmo, of course. I thought he was fantastic. Most people who know me won't be surprised by that. Jane was all right. I wasn't bowled over by her, but I also didn't want to bash her with a sharp rock. She was okay. Robin/Adam/Jules triangle was the most interesting part of this story, and it doesn't end the way you expect. Of course it doesn't. Brockmann is the master of the long and drawn out. Ten years from now, maybe there will be a resolution!

The big bad in this book turns out to be a group called Freedom Network. I wasn't impressed by them, and the way it was written seemed a little too "Lifetime Movie of the Week" for me to be excited about it. It could be that she was just sowing the seeds for further books, and looking for a semi reasonable plot to get Cosmo and Jane together. Great. I can appreciate that. And the fact that she is Suzanne Brockmann means that the characters can carry a book when the plot sucks is a bit disappointing.

It wasn't her best book, that's all I'm saying. But, on the other hand, it was a book you can NOT miss, if you're in this series. Too much happens, including a truly heartbreaking development, for it to be passed over.

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Review: Flashpoint

Flashpoint (Troubleshooters Series, Book #7) Flashpoint by Suzanne Brockmann

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a fantastic entry into the Troubleshooters series. I was a little apprehensive about this one because the characters were unfamiliar. I could see, if you were waiting a year between books, how this one might throw you off. But, new characters rock. Jimmy Nash is one of the more fascinating characters in this series. I wish there was time to explore his background more. A lot of it was left opaque simply because the book was about his future, not his past. But, oh, how interesting his past seems to have been!

Tess....well, there were parts of her story that seemed a little hard to believe. But, overall, she was also very engaging. There were times when you wanted to throw her overboard (even though she wasn't on a ship) but whenever she argued, it seemed like her position was the most sensible one. Funny that.

Decker, Murphy, Dave, and the rest of the supporting cast all have real work to do, and have real character development. As usual, Brockmann is just setting up for them having "their own" book in the future.

Very few flaws in this book. Also, a good one to start if you're new to the series. Best to start at the beginning, naturally, but this is also a good entry point if the beginning isn't possible.

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Don't act up.

So, there is a big time publishing house that is putting "behavior" clauses into the contracts of their authors of juvenile books. If you behave in a certain way, blah blah blah. Actually, here is the actual text, picked up from another book blog:

"If you act or behave in a way which damages your reputation as a person suitable to work with or be associated with children, and consequently the market for or value of the work is seriously diminished, and we may (at our option) take any of the following actions: Delay publication / Renegotiate advance / Terminate the agreement."

Come on, now. I would ask: what will they think of next, but I'm afraid to know.

In other Brit book news, there was this story about Random House changing "twat" to "twit" in a children's book.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good Cover!

This made me laugh. The blurb makes it sound kind of bland. "a lovable and absorbing romp about parenting, marriage, and the battle of the sexes."
Yeah, yeah, yeah. All that said to me was that it probably won't live up to the cover. Too bad.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Review: Gone Too Far

Gone Too Far (Troubleshooters Series, Book #6) Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
If you did things the right way, and followed Brockmann's Seals series from the beginning, this was the book everyone was waiting for. Sam and Alyssa's book. If that is how you looked at it, you may have been disappointed. This book was much more than just "How Sam and Alyssa finally got their act together." Of course, it completely follows the pattern that Brockmann had set out earlier in the series.

More importantly, Brockmann knows how to draw inifinitely interesting people. They cease to be just characters long before you realize you've been sucked in. This isn't a good place to start the series, if you're thinking of just picking one up to see what the fuss is about. Other than that, excellent book.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Review: The Mercedes Coffin

The Mercedes Coffin (Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus Novels) The Mercedes Coffin by Faye Kellerman

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
First of all, I love Chris Donatti. Truly. He is one of the best characters in mystery fiction right my not so humble opinion. I know that makes me kind of psychotic, but so be it. I've loved him since Kellerman's Justice where he was introduced. MORE CHRIS!!!

Ahem. Anyway, this wasn't a bad entry to the series. I missed the boys, they were no where to be found. They were mentioned, but that's it. The rest of the gang reported for duty, and the mystery was serviceable. Of course, I don't read Kellerman for her mystery, I read for the characters. Things were fresh here, and this almost reminded me of some of the earlier books in the series. Nice work.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Review: Names My Sisters Call Me

Names My Sisters Call Me Names My Sisters Call Me by Megan Crane

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
You know, I had been looking forward to this book for a long time. When I finally got it in my hot little hands, I wasn't, exactly, disappointed. It wasn't a bad book. It just wasn't as good as I would have liked it to be. The only character that I really enjoyed was Lucas. I got the attraction to Matt, but not to the extent that the main character took it. I certainly did not get the Matt/Raine relationship and I thought Raine was the least developed of the characters. It wasn't just that I didn't get her (although I didn't) but she just seemed a little two dimensional compared to the two other sisters. And I call BS on the fact that no one realized Mom had a booyfriend. For FIFTEEN YEARS! Come on.

But, the story was warm and the pages turned quickly and easily. I stayed up late (way too late!) to finish it, and I felt all warm and squishy inside when it was over.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm not much into Non-Fiction

But I do like what interests me. This one interests me in a kind of sick fascination kind of way.

Or, again, it might have been the great review, this time from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.


TBR = to be read.
Although this might be one of those books where the review is much better than the actual book. The Philly Inquirer, quickly becoming one of my favorite review sources, made it sound amazing. We'll see what happens when I get around to it.

Tipping.....not just for cows anymore!

Sorry, that was a little bit of Midwest humor.


Anyway, these are the kinds of books that I love. There was one about a hotel worker that got scrapped (too bad!) but the waiter book lives.
It is probably the kind of book that will make me want to never eat outside of my house again. I'm still going to read it. I shouldn't be eating out so much anyway! The Post gave it a pretty decent review.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Shoeaholics, take note!

This is a british release, which will be published in the States in November. I just noticed we had a preview copy and snagged it for my very own! I can't wait to jump into it!