Solveig, her beautiful older sister and her younger brother, heir to the throne, have been sent to an isolated fort to be safe while their father batt...moreSolveig, her beautiful older sister and her younger brother, heir to the throne, have been sent to an isolated fort to be safe while their father battles an enemy who wanted to marry her sister. With them are a skald, or bard, some family servants, and some soldiers, including a berserker. Solveig thinks that as the middle child she has nothing to offer--she is plain, she is a girl--but the skald tells her she could learn to be one of the few female skalds. Thus, over the long winter when they are closed in by the winter, Solveig studies the craft of the skald.
But danger is everywhere. Solveig dreams of enemies coming to attack. Someone else is sharing the snowy land with them--and they may be housing a traitor, or more than one. More and more Solveig feels she is walking on very thin ice as danger and death stalk each of them.
If you're interested in Norse history and their way of life, this is a great book to read. The many small mysteries keep the tension building through the book until it's almost unbearable. I also read Kirby's THE LOST KINGDOM and liked it. I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for his books!(less)
This is a gut-wrenching, beautiful, scary tale of three friends, a Storyteller, a Hunter, and a Binder (she ties knots that tie things together, and s...moreThis is a gut-wrenching, beautiful, scary tale of three friends, a Storyteller, a Hunter, and a Binder (she ties knots that tie things together, and sometimes release them), whose village is surrounded by the ghosts of the dead. Most of them can be dealt with, but the horrifying White Hands will devour the spirits of the living, and return to trap others. Only a Binder can bind the newly dead so they won't return as White Hands. And the most terrifying White Hand of all is one who was once a Binder.
This is, quite literally, a book that will haunt you.(less)
Sal is not having a great life, as near as she can remember. She lives in a future where many people have chosen an implant (frankly, a tapeworm) that...moreSal is not having a great life, as near as she can remember. She lives in a future where many people have chosen an implant (frankly, a tapeworm) that keeps its possessor healthy. No more asthma, no more allergies, no more measles, no more cancer, heart disease, schizophrenia--you name it. Three great scientists decided that rather than continue to race to beat the every-growing number of diseases that were the result of cleaning up children's environments to the point that they were vulnerable to problems that never used to kill them, they would create an internal parasite that would kill every problem.
Sal is still recovering from a head-on collison when something starts to go wrong with the miracle cure. People seem to turn abruptly into, well, zombies. They attack others. Their madness jumps from one person to the next. And no one, not even SymboGen, the company that made the parasites--and manages Sal's recovery--knows why, or how to stop it. Now Sal and her boyfriend Nathan are juggling mysteries as Sal tries to recover her identity, stay alive, keep SymboGen from holding her in their vast hospital/lab, figure out why her parents treat her like a 6-year-old, and track down the solution to the new craziness. I ripped right through it, and not just because my niece was begging for the copy the moment I was done!(less)
I can't say this is King's best, because for my money the last of King's best was THE GREEN MILE. I even liked JOYLAND, one of the yellow-back fun hor...moreI can't say this is King's best, because for my money the last of King's best was THE GREEN MILE. I even liked JOYLAND, one of the yellow-back fun horror paperbacks more, and that had a hero who complained a little more than I liked. But still, DOCTOR SLEEP is about Danny, the kid who survived the Overlook Hotel with the help of his mom and Dick Halloran, the psychic cook. Now Danny is grown. He's a drifter, and he's a little too much like his dad. One thing he does is work in hospices for the elderly and the dying, people who like him, and that's where his name comes in.
Then one day he comes to a town with a miniature old-style train and a miniature copy of the town, and he decides to stay. He ends up facing some of his problems, and he ends up repeating some of the scenarios from his childhood. He faces what he's running for and he's forced to make some terrible decisions.
That's the thing you have to remember. Even when Stephen King isn't at his best? He's still pretty darn good. This book doesn't have the denseness of detail and background that THE SHINING, or IT, or THE GREEN MILE have. But I read it in 24 hours, which ought to tell you something.(less)