Hawthorn and Child, two London detectives, wrestle with mysteries they cannot solve. A man is wounded in a drive-by shooting which may be connected toHawthorn and Child, two London detectives, wrestle with mysteries they cannot solve. A man is wounded in a drive-by shooting which may be connected to the ongoing investigation of a crime boss (but then again, maybe not). A pickpocket who drives the crime boss around on meaningless errands has a growing, nagging sense of paranoia and makes a sudden decision to leave the country with his girlfriend. A man narrates his own mental breakdown as he raves about powerful people he's never met, although he's sure they know who he is; when he takes a baby hostage, Child must negotiate with him for its release. Hawthorn relates to Child an incident about a football referee who was his lover for a time, and how the referee saw ghosts, which wasn't a problem until he saw them on the field during a match. Nothing adds up completely, but every character is completely invested knowing enough to make sense of the world.
Strange book, but it completely involved me. The author has a way of keeping you reading closely, and a few possibly minor details pop up maybe 3 times in the course of the book, making you wonder if you need to go back and reread....more
This lovely little graphic novel, based on a classic short story by Jack Vance, tells the story of a consul sent to a remote planet to capture a dangeThis lovely little graphic novel, based on a classic short story by Jack Vance, tells the story of a consul sent to a remote planet to capture a dangerous criminal. There are no aliens in this story, but the culture of Sirene is intricate and unique. Everyone wears a mask, and may change masks according to their status and mood. Also, all communications involve a large variety of musical instruments, which also vary according to the relative status of the people speaking (singing, actually); using a mask or instrument not in accord with one’s status can result in instant execution. The consul’s job of finding and detaining the criminal becomes more difficult because the criminal can change masks at will; no one knows what he really looks like. This is a great story, and the adaptation follows the original quite closely, with elegant illustrations of the various masks, instruments, and even musical communications. Strongly recommended for science fiction fans, graphic novel fans, and even mystery fans, and from grades 8 up. ...more
2.5 stars. I wanted to like this book more, but a crucial point (explained below, because it is a total spoiler) threw me off and I couldn't really ge2.5 stars. I wanted to like this book more, but a crucial point (explained below, because it is a total spoiler) threw me off and I couldn't really get back on. The characters are fairly interesting, but like Hayden, I couldn't really believe Elder as the up-and-coming leader-to-be. He started to gel late in the book, but for me it was too little, too late. The tyrannical Eldest was over the top too (he thinks Hitler was a wise leader?!). The premise on the whole was interesting enough, but if there is one thing which bugs me about science fiction, it is bad science.
Which segues into my SPOILER ALERT. There were a few red flags surrounding the science throughout this book. The first one was a concrete statue. Concrete "locks" water from further use, and you don't want to limit your water in a restricted environment like outer space. I thought I saw a few problems with plot points around genetics and medicine, but then I saw the big one, and the whole plot turns on this: the heroes discover that the spaceship is running out of fuel, and is slowing down, delaying their arrival to their new home by decades. They even say they will be "dead in the water, as it were." Basic physics (Newton's First Law) says this will not happen. There is nothing to slow down the ship, no friction, no drag, and so while the ship may have run out of fuel, it will continue moving at the exact same speed forever, or until it runs into a plot hole.
In space, the author cannot hear me scream. ...more
I liked this book better than the first book in the series, Fever Crumb; probably because I didn't feel as lost. In this book, Fever is 2 years older,I liked this book better than the first book in the series, Fever Crumb; probably because I didn't feel as lost. In this book, Fever is 2 years older, and has joined a traveling theater group somewhere in Europa. In one small city, she meets a young scientist with dreams of flight, and becomes interested in the possibilities, but more than one person wants to end those dreams and rid the world of anyone with those dreams. Good story, recommended for middle school readers....more
One, it is highly enjoyable as the prototypical revenge story: Edmond Dantes, a young sailor who is making his wayTwo things to say about this book.
One, it is highly enjoyable as the prototypical revenge story: Edmond Dantes, a young sailor who is making his way in the world to become a ship's captain and marry the woman he loves, is hated and envied by 3 men who conspire to bring him down as a Bonapartist. A fourth man, with family connections to Bonaparte that would ruin his career in a royalist government, plays his part in condemning Dantes to life in prison. Dantes meets an old priest who befriends him and bequests his vast fortune to him. Once Dantes figures out what has happened to him and who is to blame, he escapes and sets out to apply justice to those who helped him and those who harmed him. Three quarters of the novel are devoted to his intricately ploted revenge, and it is absolute and final. He has one page's worth of doubt, but that passes quickly, for he views himself as an agent of God, delivering justice divinely.
Two, if this man lived today, we would call him a sociopath. ...more
Really solid story about a boy who must unravel his father's death-by-freezing. When an old debt comes due and a man who's been stalking the family foReally solid story about a boy who must unravel his father's death-by-freezing. When an old debt comes due and a man who's been stalking the family for 10 years finds the boy tending his father's corpse, the boy must figure out how to survive the encounter; the man clearly believes the boy (and maybe his older sister) know where their father hid some gold from his days as an assayist for a Yukon gold broker. The boy's one weapon is a Colt revolver hidden in a storeroom, but it turns out he has more resources than that alone....more
Fun, easy-going mystery starring the author as a reluctant sleuth, working between tv shoots to solve the disappearance of his Ukrainian friend. SomewFun, easy-going mystery starring the author as a reluctant sleuth, working between tv shoots to solve the disappearance of his Ukrainian friend. Somewhat standard plot, but it's bolstered by solid characters and good, often funny, dialogue....more
Dixie Nguyen, an adopted teen living with a whitebread American family, tries to write articles for the school paper while avoiding the bullying jocksDixie Nguyen, an adopted teen living with a whitebread American family, tries to write articles for the school paper while avoiding the bullying jocks, the nasty principal, and his menopausal journalism teacher. When he thinks he's on to a drug ring amongst the jocks, he looks for evidence to support his theory. Turns out, he's a lousy detective. At first I thought this book was like Girls for Breakfast by David Yoo, more sad than funny, but it ended up not trying so hard to have deep meaning and lifelong consequence, so it turned out OK. More funny than sad, even if many of the characters are caricatures.
Good for high schoolers - lots of sex talk, drug and alcohol talk, and swearing....more
Good historical fiction. Evie goes with her mom and stepdad from NYC to Florida, where an old army buddy of the stepdad turns up and changes the sceneGood historical fiction. Evie goes with her mom and stepdad from NYC to Florida, where an old army buddy of the stepdad turns up and changes the scene for all involved. The historical angle was accurate, but not a focus. Rather, the story centered around Evie's coming of age as she tries to be an adult, even if it costs her parents....more