A slow starter but wonderful storytelling as the book progresses. This book, like last years Midwintersblood can readily be enjoyed by anyone. In my oA slow starter but wonderful storytelling as the book progresses. This book, like last years Midwintersblood can readily be enjoyed by anyone. In my opinion the book doesn't seem at all young adult to me and , in past years, I suspect would have been marketed as an adult novel. ...more
Initially I thought Cress was going to be my least favorite book in the series so far. When we meet Cress she seems to be very young, immature and naiInitially I thought Cress was going to be my least favorite book in the series so far. When we meet Cress she seems to be very young, immature and naive. However, as someone who has been isolated for most of her life she would be. The author does a lovely job of showing Cress' increasing maturity as well as deftly adding more layers to the overall story. By the end of the book I was enthralled with Cress and and cannot wait for the next installment...more
Christopher Buehlman does his usual fine job in creating complex flawed characters along with a very unique plot. Hopefully his imagination will remaiChristopher Buehlman does his usual fine job in creating complex flawed characters along with a very unique plot. Hopefully his imagination will remain fertile for many years to come as each one of his stories are so different form the run of the mill fare generally found on the market. - Baba Yaga indeed! ...more
Jane Ryland has certainly grown on me as a character and Ms. Ryan has crafted another intricately plotted novel - very much enjoyed. My only complaintJane Ryland has certainly grown on me as a character and Ms. Ryan has crafted another intricately plotted novel - very much enjoyed. My only complaint - step up the romance between Jake and Jane :) ...more
This is the first book I've read by Ms. La Plante. I found the detective work to be interesting for the most part but could not really warm up to eithThis is the first book I've read by Ms. La Plante. I found the detective work to be interesting for the most part but could not really warm up to either Anna Travis or her boss Langdon. The pacing was a bit slow at the beginning of the book but last section of the book picked up the pace considerably and was, for me, the most interesting part of the novel. One nit picky point - since I did listen to this as a book on tape I began to notice that the characters never seemed to speak to one another but it was always a case of "he/she snapped at..." and it tended to become repetitive after awhile. I may pick up another novel by Ms. La Plante to compare with this one but am rather lukewarm on the writing in this story...more
There are times when I cannot express why I am so taken with a book and this is the case with station eleven. Ir reminded me a bit of Connie Willis' DThere are times when I cannot express why I am so taken with a book and this is the case with station eleven. Ir reminded me a bit of Connie Willis' Doomsday book in that there is so much, for want of a better word, humaness about the characters in spite of their circumstances. I've begun to recommend this book even to those friends who do not read speculative fiction. I'm also a huge sucker for the romanticism of station eleven - that people would still desire things like music and Shakespeare even in dire circumstances, that there is hope that all the good and fine things might not be lost. "What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty....” This thought helps after watching the nightly grimness of the evening news. Just read the book already....more
3.5 stars and a brief review My father keeps raving about Mr. Baldacci so, when I saw this book as a book on tape at my local public library I decided3.5 stars and a brief review My father keeps raving about Mr. Baldacci so, when I saw this book as a book on tape at my local public library I decided to give it a try. I enjoyed Robie and his relationship with Julie Getty and Special agent Vance (here’s hoping for some romance in the Hit with these two) I do have to say that listening to this as a book on tape might not have been the best idea as the plot was convoluted enough that, at times, I wanted to go back and review some earlier info. I’m still not entirely sure why various individuals wanted Robie and Julie alive for certain periods and dead for others but I suspect I would have done better with the written word. The audio production was fine, I did enjoy both readers but could have done without the simulated gun shots. I am now intrigued enough by Mr. Baldacci’s thrillers that I went and purchased the Cmael club – here’s hoping I like those characters as much as I liked Robie et al. ...more
Arctic rising is set in the not so distant future in the polar region now mostly devoid of ice but a mecca for those individuals hoping to harvest nowArctic rising is set in the not so distant future in the polar region now mostly devoid of ice but a mecca for those individuals hoping to harvest now accessible oil deposits. In this new arctic, smugglers, toxic waste dumpers etc. are right at home. The story opens with our heroine Anika monitoring for individuals dumping nuclear waste. She and her partner spot a ship that looks suspiciously as if it might be carrying nuclear waste. The ship fires on Anika’s blimp and they crash. The crash eventually kills her partner and as the authorities begin to investigate they tell Anika that no radioactive signature was transmitted. Anika kept a backup of the data on her person and she vows to find out who killed her partner. The thriller takes off from there with a variety of individuals trying to kill Anika. She meets up with a cast of colorful characters including a southern girl, V, who now runs a semi legal business and who also happens to smuggle drugs. She agrees to help Anika as she has a decided romantic interest in her. Anika also eventually teams up with a Caribbean spy, Roo, working the area. They run into a world weary man who is attempting to stop Anika. I couldn’t help but picture the smoking man of X-files fame which added to the thriller like atmosphere. As it turns out the fate of the world could be in balance if Anika and company don’t track down the mysterious item that was on the ship that initially shot Anika down.
Overall I was entertained by the story. I confess that sometimes I having problems with following thriller plots but that is this reader’s problem and fortunately was not the case with Arctic Rising. It was relatively easy to follow for the most part. Also, how many times do we get a thriller that also happens to have some intriguing science fictional ideas? That concept alone sold me on the book even before I began to read it. I was entertained and intrigued by the idea of what sorts of political and environmental machinations went on in this world. The author did a good job of describing possible futures for various countries as the polar caps melted. For example, I never thought about the fact that many island nations would probably just disappear. The concept of cities being built on derricks and tiny parabolic mirrors being used to change the planets temperature was fascinating. Overall I felt he did a fine job with the world building.
I also enjoyed the characters of Anika and Roo and I hope that Roo gets his own novel as I wanted to know about his life. I was also appreciative of the fact that Mr. Bucknell could have made his main character into the typical white male hero found in so many thrillers. Instead he chose to make her a Nigerian lesbian without also making her into a superheroineish type. She remained pretty believable throughout the book. I recommend the book for those individuals who enjoy thrillers with and ecological theme. ...more
Under a silent moon introduces us to Detective Louisa (Lou) smith. She has just been given her first murder inquiry. A young woman has been beaten toUnder a silent moon introduces us to Detective Louisa (Lou) smith. She has just been given her first murder inquiry. A young woman has been beaten to death on the property of a known smuggler (Nigel Maitland) of people and other goods so, as one can imagine, the police are very interested in this particular murder. The victim is also not the usual run of the mill sedate young lady. She was known to have been quite promiscuous and had slept with a large cast of character including the daughter and possibly Maitland himself. However, the same evening another woman is found dead at the bottom of the quarry and there is some evidence she might have committed the murder. It appears that the quarry victim appears to have taken her own life in a fit of drunken remorse, however closer inspection of the evidence indicates that this might not be the case and the investigative team might actually have two murders on their hands. The story is told from multiple viewpoints and is interspersed with police reports which I enjoyed. Unlike Ms. Haynes other books this story has less of the psychological perspective and reads a bit more like a police procedural. Therefore I was initially put off by the initial revelations that Lou had slept with her DI and now fancied the police analyst. I found it a little odd that she was fantasizing about sleeping with the analyst when she should have showed a little more stress revolving around her first big murder case. Her Di also almost seemed like a sex addict but as the story progressed and other elements were introduced it made some sense and added a key component to the story that he was so sex obsessed. Overall I was just okay with the story – I knew early on who the murderer was and wasn’t particularly enthused with the character of Lou and I did get a little tired of the “I really want to sleep with him/her – how can I get him/her to sleep with me” bit. However I am willing to give the characters another try to see if they improve. ...more
Panic is set in a small New York town in which life pretty much dead ends unless you get out or so it's residents believe. Every year at the beginningPanic is set in a small New York town in which life pretty much dead ends unless you get out or so it's residents believe. Every year at the beginning of summer graduating seniors play a game, Panic, which is basically a big scary game of chicken and the dares become increasingly dangerous as the game goes on. People play though because the winner earns a large cash prize. We are introduced to four of the characters: Heather, Dodge, Bishop and Nat and learn why three of them are competing. Heather and Dodge are particularly well rounded and I was so appreciative of the fact that Heather was such a strong character. Hers was the personality that comes through most vividly. r The book is about so much more than the game though – the book touches on themes such as friendship, loyalty, betrayal, revenge, and most strongly family. Both Heather and Dodge are strongly family oriented and they are playing the game for their sisters though for radically different It was nice to see these characters grow in a realistic manner and to also see some positive adults (though as minor characters) in the book. Panic is a page turner so start it when you have the time to sit and gobble it down. I do have one caveat in that I had to turn off adult brain and suspend a certain amount of disbelief. I did find it hard to believe that the judges would ever invent some of the task as they truly were very dangerous. The cops seemed fairly ineffective as well and I think a small paragraph or two mentioning extremely limited resources in the department would have been all that was needed. Overall though a great read and I wish I had read it as soon as I purchased it instead of letting it linger on my TBR pile ...more
**spoiler alert** This novel had an intriguing premise - one matriarchical family creates a magical perfume and markets it exclusively to promising yo**spoiler alert** This novel had an intriguing premise - one matriarchical family creates a magical perfume and markets it exclusively to promising young women who then become successful via the magical properties of the perfume. I generally love novels with magical realism but this book just didn't work for me. I think part of the problem for me was that I didn't really connect with any of the women.For the most part they were just bland. I also had problems turning off the logic brain. One of the major plot points hinges on one of the clients threatening to go public and announce that the perfume is the reason for her success. First of all what actress is going to admit that she actually isn't all that talented? Secondly even if they did announce that all their success was due to perfume I don't feel that it would be any different than stating the success was due to a certain diet, or philosophy or... Certainly I doubt anyone would have the perfume analyzed and even if it were why would the women think anything beyond organic ingredients be found? The second illogical point had to do with Mya running the business. We are told repeatedly how impulsive she is yet these are good qualities for running a company? Willow felt that she had to give the company to her yet never reaches out to her other daughter even though they were supposedly a close knit family? I didn't buy it. I'm sure others will enjoy this book it just wasn't for me ...more
First let me just say that Ms. Jackson could have a career as an audible book narrator if the whole writer then doesn't work out, which I highly doubtFirst let me just say that Ms. Jackson could have a career as an audible book narrator if the whole writer then doesn't work out, which I highly doubt. her narration was excellent. I so fell in love with each one of the characters - three very strong women but each in her own way. While the story itself had a lot of sadness contained within it , it was also quite funny. I'm sure a few of my fellow drivers on the freeway thought I was a bit touched as I cackled away in stalled traffic. I will say though that this book will not be to everyone's taste - there is a certain amount of swearing and one of the main characters is not at all thrilled with the church. I will definitely be picking up another book soon by this author. fingers crossed that she picks up some of the supporting characters in a future book - I'd love to know what happens to Patty and the "evil headed fetus, Roger" :)...more
**spoiler alert** Isabelle has returned to her childhood home on an isolated island off the Canadian border to deal with the estate of her father. Her**spoiler alert** Isabelle has returned to her childhood home on an isolated island off the Canadian border to deal with the estate of her father. Her father, George Brookes, had been a famous botanist who committed suicide. As we are introduced to Isabelle we discover that she has an abusive, controlling husband as well as two sons and is caring for a troubled teen girl her husband chose to foster. One of her sons apparently has brain damage from a fall from a tree sustained several years earlier. In addition to Isabelle and her family (sans husband) Isabelles’ father had also invited two other individuals to the island for the reading of the will, Ginny Shufflebottom, his on again/off again lover and his former protégé, Jules Beecher. Jules had suffered humiliation at the hands of a journalist so he hopes to continue George’s work and redeem himself. It turns out that George has discovered a way to communicate with plants. I’m not sure how I feel about this book but I can say that the horror is decidedly lacking. There is no slow dawning of awareness that there is something creepy and wrong about the plants on the island. The pace is far too brisk – Jules begins to show disturbing symptoms almost immediately for example. The author tries to build tension by having various individuals hear voices in the woods only to have no one nearby but she doesn't linger on these scenes and let them build slowly. She opens the book with a story about a man who used to hang dolls heads in the woods but she then only uses that visual once and to flat effect. Why not have various characters glimpse these heads out of the corner of their eye as they wander the woods? That’s not to say that there aren't a few nice visuals – I particularly liked the image of Monica the foster kid being chased uphill by a corpse while sliding repeatedly downhill in the mud, as well as the visual of Sean sitting in stasis with black fungus coming out his ear and being feed by intravenous means. The author also tries to use the scenario of “here is this reasonable explanation as to why things are happening but in reality you are all doomed because the monster walks among you” to increase the tension . George was a druggie so the biscuits he left in the freezer might be laced with something. Both Isabelle and Jules are children with unstable parents so perhaps, due to some hereditary quirk, they are becoming unstable due to genetic reasons and not because black fungus is taking over their brains.. Unfortunately I don’t think she used them to good effect – once again not enough tension building went on. Somebody had to buy wholeheartedly into one of these reasons in order to make them work so that when the big “it’s not the biscuits””I’m not schizophrenic like my mom” scene comes we should have been more scared. I also didn’t understand why the character of Ginny was needed at all. She never added anything to the story, she never seemed to hallucinate anything nor add anything to the story’s tension. She was the driving factor behind attempting to find a precious gem left to her in George’s will thus giving a reason for various group members to wander around the island but her role could have easily been taken over by Isabelle. It would have been just as feasible for Isabelle to want to find the diamond so she could use it to escape from her horrible marriage. Some of the behavior exhibited by the key players also didn't seem to make sense. The radio ceases to work very early on in the story yet, for the most part, it is forgotten. No one attempts to fix it or determine why it ceased functioning. If I were stuck on an island with a man showing increasing signs of instability I’d certainly be working at the radio quite a bit. Eventually the radio is smashed but this detail occurs near the end of the story, it should have been inserted earlier in the narrative. Isabelle is supposed to be a good mother yet she allows her older son and Monica to hang out alone a lot even after it is clear that the kids are getting drunk on a nightly basis. The final huge problem I had though was that the scheme to send this fungus worldwide wouldn't work. If the fungus cannot tolerate sun then it cannot take over the world as there are far too many sunny areas across the globe. Also surely even the island got sun as some point so how did the fungus successfully grow? There were details of the story I did like such as the questions raised about what does it means to be sentient, what does intelligence really entail, and if plants truly are intelligent how does mankind’s relationship change in regards to them? Do we continue to exploit and destroy them (the answer is quite probably, sadly yes) or do we come to a beneficial custodial agreement with them? So the book didn't work for me but it may very well work for other readers. ...more