Saturday, August 2, 2008

Good Cover/Bad Cover

It isn't the cover, but the title. I'm sorry, but if you're old enough to read this book, you're old enough to think C+C Music Factory and that just ruins the whole thing.

Of course, if you go back to Keith Sweat........

What would I do to be irresistible? Apparently, turn my skin purple. Amethyst as Aphrodisiac? Perhaps.

More Pelecanos

If you're like me, and you can't read enough about George Pelecanos, you are in luck. He's getting some serious ink these days..

Washington Post did a long interview with him a few weeks back.

Philly City Paper also has a FANTASTIC interview too.

Review: The Turnaround

The Turnaround by George Pelecanos

I read an ARC of this a few weeks ago and, while I couldn't put it down, I couldn't explain why I was so disappointed at the end. I am a huge, unabashed, Pelecanos fan. Almost to the point of being obnoxious about it......although some may say I passed that point a long time ago. But this one left me a little cold. I couldn't figure it out, but I chalked it up to everyone has a book that isn't as stellar as all the others.

I never considered that the problem with the book could be ME instead of the book. I think that is what happened this time. The book wasn't what I had expected. Pelecanos has moved on, but I was still in the same place, expecting the same thing he's done in the past.

So far, the reviews of the book have been good. NYT liked it. Washington Post liked it. The Sun-Times liked it too. It probably deserves a little more consideration from me, too.

Review: Chasing Darkness

Chasing Darkness by Robert Crais

I listened to this one, not having time to actually read while studying for the bar exam. I could listen on the way to and from work (or anywhere else I had to go.) I also checked out the amazon reviews for this before starting it, and the I got a little bit nervous. Long time Crais fans were grumbling. It wasn't the full out rebellion that Evanovich fans were having when Fearless Fourteen hit the shelves (and some even before it hit shelves.) but there was a definite sense of dissatisfaction with this book.

I can see where people might have been disappointed with this one, but I wasn't. I thought it was good. Would I have liked different things? Sure. Did I think the characters were caricatures of themselves? Not at all. Did I think Crais was phoning it in? Nope. There were a couple of places where the tension seemed weak. A couple of places where you could see exactly why it had to be done that way and I winced that it was so transparent. The end was tied up a little too nicely, and I really hated the last few lines. Truly. But the overall "mystery" was fantastic. Yeah, I figured out who it was before the end, but who did it was hardly the main reason for reading the book.

There were some things at the end that didn't get tied up. Whatever happened to Elvis' "clients"? Did they get the information they wanted? What about Starkey? (more about Starkey!!!) You know, things like that. But, overall, it was a good book. Crais fans will like it. Newcomers to the series will probably not be bowled over and may wonder what all the fuss is about.

Review: Poison Study

The amazon reviews are mostly good. This is the first book in a series by Snyder and, as far as first books go, it is pretty well constructed. Her world building could use a little work, and her characters come across a little more cardboard then three dimensional in some places. You have the one that is mean, the one that is nice, the one that betrays, the two that become friends, the heroine, the know. If you're a follower of fantasy lit you have seen these people before. She throws in a few surprises, both in the main characters and in the secondary cast, which keeps the book interesting.

The reason I say the worldbuilding needs work is because you don't really get a sense of what the rules are. They mention a Code of Behavior but you never figure out just what that consists of. You know there is now a military structure, but you don't figure out how it works. You know, generally, that "South" is where all the action will be happening, but the rest of the landscape is a mystery. And she really does a terrible job of physical character description. Yet, for all of these faults, the book is still interesting. The very fact that I wanted to know these things says that I was interested. I'm probably going to read the next two books in the series and I hope they are better developed.

The change in cover is interesting, too. The one on the right was the original, hardcover edition cover. The one on the left is the trade edition cover that is currently available. The one on the left seems to suggest it is a fantasy book more so than the other.

When writers sue

Today's installement features Salman Rushdie.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Milking the Cash Cow

J.K. Rowling is issuing The Tales of Beedle the Bard to the general public. That high pitched sound you hear? That is millions of tiny voices shrieking in sheer delight.