Romance isn't my usual genre of choice - I'm more of a horror and sci fi type of girl. But every now and then a romance novel comes along with a synopRomance isn't my usual genre of choice - I'm more of a horror and sci fi type of girl. But every now and then a romance novel comes along with a synopsis that piques my interest, and The Haunted Heart of Rory O'Dannon was one of those. For one, there's time travel involved, which appeals to the sci fi fan in me. It's also (largely) set in Ireland, and 19th century Ireland at that. There's also a bit of a star-crossed lovers thing going on, which my hopeless romantic heart adores.
Meg (as an adult, where the story really picks up) leads a "successful" but unfulfilling life; her only job is to be a politician's wife (which, honestly, sounds absolutely horrible to me). She has no professional or creative outlets and after being beset by multiple tragedies, she seems to live her life in bleak gray fog. And then, after a terrible car accident, she finds herself in the past with a man who may or may not be the soulmate she dreamed (?) about as a teenager. She has to work for the first time in her life, and reconsider some of her previously held beliefs. And just as she finally finds happiness, it's cruelly ripped away from her – or is it?
Although it's definitely a romance novel, there are no graphic scenes – the author takes a "fade to black" approach with the intimacy between the characters, letting the reader's imagination fill in the blanks. I do wish there'd been a little more build-up and exploration of the early part of the book, when teenaged Meg "meets" Rory for the first time. It felt a little rushed to me, included only to give the necessary back story to the adult Meg's experiences. I wish we (the readers) had been able to hang out with Young Meg for a little while before her accident, and that her "fever dream" and her reaction to it had been expanded upon. However, once Meg gets to Ireland (and then finds herself transported back in time), the pace picks up and drew me in very successfully.
Overall, this is a very romantic story of love lost, then found, then lost again (maybe) – you just may find yourself wishing you had your very own Rory O'Dannon to yank you out of the doldrums of boring everyday life!
I received a complimentary e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review; all opinions are my own. ...more
Before you even read this review, you need to know that Stephen King is my favorite author – I've never met a Stephen King novel that I haven't likedBefore you even read this review, you need to know that Stephen King is my favorite author – I've never met a Stephen King novel that I haven't liked (although I haven't LOVED them all, and I've been lukewarm on a short story or two). So while this book isn't flawless, I still very much enjoyed it and would recommend it. (But oh, how I wish I could be a beta reader for King and help catch those little errors before the books go to print!)
This novel, like Mr. Mercedes, falls outside of King's "regular" genre of horror. There's only the slightest hint of the paranormal in this novel (although I expect that will be expanded upon in the final novel of the trilogy). I wouldn't exactly call it a mystery, because while there are mysteries for the characters, the reader already pretty much knows the answers. Suspense, crime fiction, detective fiction, or even thriller would be a more appropriate classification - definitely not horror, in my opinion, even though there are some horrific elements. That being said, there are "tones of King" in this novel – the very plot itself revisits past King themes (the lengths book addicts will go to in order to get their next fix in particular).
I think you might have to be one of those people who's more than a casual reader to fully appreciate the motivations and actions of both Morris Bellamy and Pete Saubers. Avid readers might even find themselves having the slightest twinge of sympathy – just a teensy bit – for Bellamy and his motivations. Bellamy was obviously already unstable before his imprisonment, but I think waiting almost four DECADES for a particular book would drive any passionate reader insane. When you're emotionally invested in a character or book series, the wait for the next book can be agonizing, especially if the wait is particularly long (fans of The Dark Tower or Wheel of Time feel my pain here, I think). Six years between Dark Tower books was torture, and the books weren't even written yet (that I know of). To know that there's another novel (or two) in a beloved series, just sitting there and waiting for you to come dig it up, a story that no one other than the other has ever read before… to wait thirty-six years to be able to actually read it? To know that there still might be hope for a character that you believed the author had "destroyed," a chance for that character to redeem himself in your eyes? And then to finally be able to retrieve those writings, only to find them gone? If Morris hadn't already been crazy, that right there would've tipped him over the edge.
When I read Mr. Mercedes, I was unaware that Bill Hodges was going to be the star of a trilogy. Mr. Mercedes concluded satisfactorily as far as I'm concerned; I didn't feel like there were unresolved plot points when I reached the end of the book. Finders Keepers, however, definitely has some loose ends to be tied up in the next (and final… maybe) novel, The Suicide Prince. Don't keep me waiting, Mr. King! Because we all know what happens when you keep your fans waiting… ...more
You know how sometimes you're reading a book and realize you're approaching the end, and you're sad because you're not ready for the story to be overYou know how sometimes you're reading a book and realize you're approaching the end, and you're sad because you're not ready for the story to be over yet? That's how I felt about Wind Catcher. Happily, this is a fantasy adventure series (the Chosen series), so the story isn't *really* over, just delayed until the next book comes out.
This book (series) is the story of Juliet Wildfire Stone, and Wind Catcher starts out with all the elements of a typical YA coming-of-age story. Juliet is half white and half Native American, and as such she feels caught between two worlds. On one side she has her rich Native American heritage, encouraged by her maternal grandfather, a medicine man. On the other side, she lives in a gated community and attends a rich preppy school where she's taunted as being "Indian trash." A member of both groups but feeling like she fits into neither, Juliet struggles to find her sense of self. That setup alone would make for an interesting read, but there are complications in Juliet's life that make her teen angst even more challenging. Like the voices she hears, a series of murders, an ancient secret society, and the betrayals of all the people she loves and trusts most.
You see, it turns out Juliet is the Chosen. Without giving too much away, Juliet has some special abilities that set her apart even further (and she's REALLY not happy about it). Will she accept her role as the Chosen and embrace her special powers, or will she shun her Native American heritage in an attempt to fit in with the "rich kids"? Is there anyone in her life whom she can truly trust? And how are the recent murders, the secret society, and the recurring symbol of the twisted arrows connected – and connected to Juliet? This is a page-turner that will have you simultaneously flipping the pages as fast as you can read while also wanting to delay the inevitable (but temporary!) end to Juliet's adventures.
I received an ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest review; all opinions are my own....more
I was a big fan of Joan Lowery Nixon's books when I was a kid, and was kind of excited to revisit my childhood. Jennifer's best friend Bobbie has beenI was a big fan of Joan Lowery Nixon's books when I was a kid, and was kind of excited to revisit my childhood. Jennifer's best friend Bobbie has been accused of murdering her (Bobbie's) mother, but Jennifer knows Bobbie couldn't have done it. So she embarks on a quest to discover the real murderer, teaming up with a retired police detective to hunt down clues and figure out whodunit.
As a young teenager, this book would have drawn me right in. It has murder, mystery, and a teenage girl who believes she knows better than everyone else, breaking the rules and disobeying direct orders to achieve her goals (yet it all works out in the end, of course). But this book was published in 1985, and you can tell. There are obviously no cell phones, a yet-to-be invented device that would have drastically changed the entire course of Jennifer's investigations. When Jennifer finds herself in trouble, she doesn't call 911 – she calls the operator (from a landline) to request police assistance. And the romance between Jennifer and her boyfriend Mark is quite tame and a bit unbelievable, given the characters' ages. I also didn't personally care for Mark, who tells Jennifer flat-out that she's wasting her time by playing detective instead of being a loving, supportive boyfriend.
There also isn't much background information given on the secondary characters (the fore-mentioned detective, the boyfriend, the best friend) – they're only there to move Jennifer's story along. The reader never really understands WHY Jennifer loves Mark or what's so special about Bobbie that makes her Jennifer's best friend, you just have to accept that that's the way it is. The title is also a bit disingenuous, as there isn't really much "stalking" going on. The book is mostly written in third person as it follows Jennifer's adventures, but there are short intermediate chapters written in the killer's first person POV that show him kind of keeping an eye on Jennifer in case she figures out too much. For a book titled "The Stalker," I'd really expect there to be a lot more focus on actual stalking. ...more