The Guardian follows the story of young, small town woman Julie Barenson who was widowed four years previously and is now just beginning to get back iThe Guardian follows the story of young, small town woman Julie Barenson who was widowed four years previously and is now just beginning to get back into the world of dating. One promising candidate is the handsome new stranger in town, Richard Franklin. The other is Mike Harris, a long-time friend but also the best friend of her deceased husband. When Julie finally chooses between these two eligible bachelors, things not surprisingly turn ugly. (view spoiler)[Turns out, Richard Franklin is a crazy, sociopathic stalker who has multiple murders under his belt, has assumed someone else's identity, and likely has some kind of dissociative disorder. (hide spoiler)]
I am not a big fan of the few Nicholas Sparks novels I've previously read. But this novel almost began to change my mind about him. I really enjoyed the beginning and halfway through the middle of the story, particularly how he subtly hinted at (view spoiler)[Richard's darker side (hide spoiler)] while they were still dating. But things turned dumb pretty quickly after that. (view spoiler)[Richar (hide spoiler)] was so extreme as to lose all character depth and become completely unsympathetic. And most of the other characters consistently made idiotic decisions. I don't much enjoy tension and conflict based on character stupidity. The dynamic between the two cops was most irritating (purposefully, but then not so purposefully), particularly when the newbie basically takes over the case. Yes, she may have been the smartest and most capable person for the job, but I really don't think that's the way it works....more
This was a disappointing third installment in the Caster Chronicles. Though I shouldn't have been surprised since I also found the second book disappoThis was a disappointing third installment in the Caster Chronicles. Though I shouldn't have been surprised since I also found the second book disappointing. Things have gotten repetitive. There's not enough newness being introduced in these follow-up story lines. And the high school dynamics, which made the first book so interesting, are again mostly absent in this book....more
I read the Sookie Stackhouse novels not because I love the books but because I love the show, and I love comparing the adaptation from book to show. TI read the Sookie Stackhouse novels not because I love the books but because I love the show, and I love comparing the adaptation from book to show. This fourth installment in the paranormal vampire mystery series was slightly more blah than its predecessors. Or perhaps I just forget (in the year or so between each read) how limiting Sookie's first-person narration is compared to the multiple viewpoints of the show. And it always takes me about half the book to get used to Sookie's Podunk (though also often spunky and amusing) narration.
In Dead to the World, Sookie spends most of her time driving around Bon Temps and nearby Shreveport trying to find her missing brother and find out more about the deadly new coven of witches who cursed Eric Northman--the sexy vampire owner of Fangtasia, the Shreveport vampire bar--into losing his memory. The rest of her time is occupied in a steamy romance with (view spoiler)[Eric, who she is babysitting while his minions work on getting his memory back (hide spoiler)]. In the first half of the book, as you can imagine, Sookie driving around in her car isn't the most exciting thing to be reading about. But things get more interesting later on, and I continued to enjoy Alcide Harveaux (the sexy werewolf) and his evil fiance shape-shifter Debbie Pelt....more
If you are a fan of Jane Austen's original Pride and Prejudice, you may enjoy reading this version, adorned with a little undead fun. Seth Grahame-SmiIf you are a fan of Jane Austen's original Pride and Prejudice, you may enjoy reading this version, adorned with a little undead fun. Seth Grahame-Smith retains much of Austen's original language and all of her well-recognized style in his rediscovering of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy's measured fall into love. I won't give away the details of added premise, which is most of the fun of this new telling. I first began the novel while riding the bus, standing room only. But despite cramped and uncomfortable quarters, I found myself laughing out loud as I read each additional tidbit that further defined the newly revised premise of Grahame-Smith's reimagining. A read of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is essentially a read of the original, but with much silliness thrown in. (I wasn't able to do a text versus text analysis of PPZ against the original, unfortunately, because my copy is packed away in a box somewhere.) But Grahame-Smith's additions aren't essential enough to the plot to keep the new content fresh and delighting throughout, so he eventually resorts to blatant shock value--which is funny in its own way.
For anyone who enjoyed reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is worth reading once. For anyone who's not much of a classics reader or Jane Austen fan, there's probably not enough zombie to keep modern readers interested....more
This book contains the first two novels in Bujold's Vorkosigan saga. The first, Shards of Honor, was excellent. But I found the second, Barrayar, sligThis book contains the first two novels in Bujold's Vorkosigan saga. The first, Shards of Honor, was excellent. But I found the second, Barrayar, slightly unsatisfying. It definitely told a story, but lacked the proper shape of a novel and therefore left me dissatisfied through beginning, middle, and end with lack of build up and conclusion. Still a must read though!
** Update for 2016 Re-Read ** I've adjusted my rating to five stars, as well as my individual rating of Barrayar, which I enjoyed much more in this second read-through. Perhaps because all of this backstory (to Miles's life) is so much more relevant to me now that I've read a good deal of the rest of the series....more
This is one of my very favorite contemporary science-fiction novels. In all her books, Elliot proves again and again how well she can write love storiThis is one of my very favorite contemporary science-fiction novels. In all her books, Elliot proves again and again how well she can write love stories, as I fall in love as the main character does. This particular series also uniquely combines elements of sci-fi and fantasy in a way that satisfies the needs of both kinds of readers. One recommendation for new readers--give the story some time to develop. Don't just put it down after the first chapter....more