I don't know exactly how to phrase this review. I like the book. On the whole I thought I'd give it 3 stars but it's a better story than that and I doI don't know exactly how to phrase this review. I like the book. On the whole I thought I'd give it 3 stars but it's a better story than that and I do plan to follow it up. I'll be spending a few lines telling you why I can't give it a more rave type review.
First let me say that the story itself is one of great imagination and invention. The story telling is thoughtful and I don't think that you will have seen many like it. There is more depth here than you get in a lot of thrillers and it's thought provoking.
BUT the book is (in my humble opinion of course) too long. In the story it tells and in the telling it hits points where it drags out to an annoying point. Still I never actually lost interest. It was close a few times but I staid with it and the book, the story always came back.
You will I think find the characters mostly complete (that said there is a character that is kept nebulous on purpose and I suspect will be filled out as the series continues).
The parts of the book i found the most...annoying were the digressions into the far past. I won't say much as that would most definitely be a spoiler. Still it was a situation where giving us the needed history and information managed to take on a pretty dry aspect an times (of course there's some desert scenes so maybe that explains so of the dryness???? Sorry couldn't resist.)
Anyway, bottom line I like the book and think I can recommend it to most readers of thrillers and/or urban fantasy (the fantasy elements are not what you usually see and are more understated.)
Now one last word for a few of you. The book did something that annoys me a bit but probably won't bother a lot of readers. It plays fast and loose with some teachings from the Bible thus in reality treating the Bible as mythology at least in part.
Now that is the right of the authors and I'm not challenging it. I'm simply saying it annoys me and noting it here as I'm sure it will annoy others. It may be more annoying to Jewish readers than to Christian as it deals more with Jewish traditions. This has no bearing on my rating however I mention it simply for information's sake.
So again I can recommend this one. Try it yourself, enjoy. ...more
John Twelve Hawks, the mystery man of literature. I read his first trilogy and liked the first book. Sadly the next 2 books of that series (after a prJohn Twelve Hawks, the mystery man of literature. I read his first trilogy and liked the first book. Sadly the next 2 books of that series (after a promising and interesting start) bogged down in Eastern Cosmology.
Here we are again starting out with an eye to the loss of privacy. The story is told through a protagonist who has an unusual delusion. he believes himself to be dead.
The story is interesting as we learn a little about unnamed protagonists. he shows certain symptoms of high-functioning autism...oh ans he kills people.
The character as odd as he is, works. There is one thing that tends to bug me and that's the way the character fails to carry through in certain situations. He's this ultimate super assassin...but tends to get blind sided, more than once.
What's up with that?
Anyway...good read...interesting if it turns out to be the beginning of a new series.
Guess I'll wait and see how it goes. Recommended, so far. ...more
Well...excellent book. Consider this a high 4 possibly almost a 5. there were a couple of things that I wasn't wild about but nothing I disliked. As oWell...excellent book. Consider this a high 4 possibly almost a 5. there were a couple of things that I wasn't wild about but nothing I disliked. As often happens my only real disappointment is that while there is a sequel apparently coming (see the book A Gathering of Shadows) it's not scheduled to be released until next Feb.
To quote a great and wise sage..."Bummer Dude!"
Still don't let the lack of a sequel put you off. The book is a stand alone novel (sort of. I mean we leave feeling there will be more but no actual cliff hanger is swinging over our heads). The story is fast moving (though with a fairly slow start, stick with it and it takes off). The characters are great if maybe a little shallow...I choose to think of them as still having "room to grow".
The same must be said for the..."magic system". We use that phrase about a lot of fantasy books, it's "magic system". What we have here is more a "state of magic". You'll learn as you move along (without a huge information dump) about the 4 Londons. Gray London, Red London, White London and Black London.
In this book (without spilling a lot of detail you'll get reading it) magic is somewhat sentient. There is/are more than one kind of magic..or possibly that is imprecise. As noted above there's still room for growth and development.
If I tell you in more detail it will definitely involve spoilers...so you know, read the book.
Oh by the way. I included this on my Urban Fantasy shelf. Some will disagree but as the action takes place in "Londons" I figured it was definitely "urban".
So a big grab it and read it recommendation. Really, enjoy. ...more
This comes close to getting a 5 star rating..but there are a couple of down checks.
First, I just finished it and I really don't have a big memory of iThis comes close to getting a 5 star rating..but there are a couple of down checks.
First, I just finished it and I really don't have a big memory of it. I look at the book and I have to think a few seconds and then it's, "oh right that book".
Second, and I've said this about other books, there's really a bit too much book here for the story it tells. There are times the story seemed to me (this is of course my opinion) became a little labored and stretched. the big final climatic (view spoiler)[ magic battle (hide spoiler)] even began to wear thin it ran on so long.
Now all that said let's look at the pluses. First the book has a good "feel" if you know what I mean. You can get involved with the story telling and the characters. I slid very quickly into following the way things work here. The world comes together in the telling instead of requiring a lot of, "well now this is how everything works" digressions.
And that says something as the book opens with our protagonist being hurled to earth from the flying magic school she'd been attending.
The magic system here works well, though it will probably need some tweaking in following books. Still you can follow it as it seems to work almost as a system of legal contracts. However the Craft Workers seem to have ways around this...
So, pretty good book. I can recommend it. Enjoy.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I saw this, it looked interesting (I'm pretty much always looking for good new Urban Fantasy) so I looked up theWell crap.
I can't say I wasn't warned.
I saw this, it looked interesting (I'm pretty much always looking for good new Urban Fantasy) so I looked up the reviews here. Mostly those from people I often agree with were...well they were at best, "lackluster".
Look, if you've read many of my reviews you know I'm a huge fan of Jim Butcher's Dresden series and Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus series. I wanted to like this/these books. I had hopes.
Sadly they were dashed and the opinions of the people whose reviews I had read proved to be accurate.
The book is as noted...lackluster.
This is one of those books that inspires a question. How can a book that jumps from action scene to action scene be yawn worthy?
The answer seems to me to be that while the writer can write an action scene (and I give Clay Griffith that) there is very little actual story here. There's no plot, or at least very little plot.
I found that I was anything but drawn in. In the midst of a lycanthrope fight scene I was bored and thinking of laying the book aside.
Look, if you like straight up action then this may be your book. I see some like it. Personally I was pretty bored. Eventually I gave up and sort "jumped forward" through the book. It's not really got an intricate plot line...or much of one at all really.
Just my opinion. The writer's voice isn't bad. he can write a sentence. As i said the action gives a good picture of what's going on. This is why the book escapes a 1 star rating. I probably won't look up more by the author though I won't rule out picking up something later to see if things change.
Yeah...okay not nearly as good as the first book. This is more of a day to day account of what goes on in our "special" little town of witches, vampirYeah...okay not nearly as good as the first book. This is more of a day to day account of what goes on in our "special" little town of witches, vampires, lycanthropes etc. We do get a sort of story made up up a couple of what I'd call co-subplots.
Mostly we deal with introing new people to town, dealing with keeping the town's secrets secret while the special people live their special lives with their special needs.
Also we set up a connection with another ofthe author's series Sookie Stackhouse which for isn't all that exciting as that series hasn't interested me.
So, not bad but I was a bit disappointed. I'll probably try one more to see if the series follows it's own path or slides over into Sookie country....more
Odd interesting book. I found (a few years ago) that I like good Urban Fantasy, thus I'm always looking for new "good" Urban Fantasy. This one was sugOdd interesting book. I found (a few years ago) that I like good Urban Fantasy, thus I'm always looking for new "good" Urban Fantasy. This one was suggested on the books like Harry Dresden thread.When I started this novel and began to get acquainted with our erstwhile protagonist the book ran hot and cold for me.
Adam is immortal, he just doesn't age or die. Oh he can get hurt, he believes that (in spite of his rapid healing ability) he can be killed...though up to now that hasn't happened. He's very, very old. He wonders if he's been around from the beginning though as he tells us himself, he only claims to have been around from the beginning to pick up women. Of course Adam is only the name he's currently using. He's pretty sure his first name was something like "Urg". His earliest thoughts are (he thinks) like "ice bad fire good".
I got this in the audio version and must admit for about the first 40 minuets of the book my thoughts were...blah. I was almost convinced that I'd be laying the book aside, I was in a few words, just plain bored.
Then something happened. I found myself interested in the story. The problem was (and is) that we have a triple layered story going here. First our "hero" is relating what's going on in his present, then in flashback he's telling us how he got there...and third in a series of memories we get a view of his background, the world we're operating in, and some of the creatures in it. So, like the previous sentence the early part of the story tends to, "run-on".
Still hang in there for once you manage to forge your way through some of the morass like early set up the book is a good read.
Let add this caveat, to some this won't matter at all but I want those who may be bothered to know. Our protagonist is pretty much an across the board "insulter of Theists". I'll give him this, he insults not only Christians and Jews, but actually brings in the Islam faith. Most writers who choose to insult religious belief stick with Christians and Jews.
Still, I survived it. Just take it as "it's a story" and go on. The novel is pretty well written and I think most will like it. I'd say give it a shot and see what you think. ...more
I wasn't getting into this as much as I had the earlier (5) novels and I wasn't sure why. Then I realized that this is the first I'd gotten in audio.I wasn't getting into this as much as I had the earlier (5) novels and I wasn't sure why. Then I realized that this is the first I'd gotten in audio. For me the reader took some getting used to. It's not that he wasn't good but I think I'd already established a "voice" for Alex in my head and he didn't match. It took a little for me to get used to him.
I've already decided I also probably get the print version...
Anyway, once I got comfortable this is a good continuation of the over all developing plot while giving us an enjoyable story within the book.
I'm going to say something here...but first let me tell you what I'm not saying. I AM NOT SAYING THERE IS DUPLICATION WITH ANY OTHER BOOK. MR. JACKA HAS NOTED HE'S MADE IT A POINT NOT TO KEEP UP ON OTHER BOOKS.
Now that said I'm a huge fan of the Harry Dresden books by Jim Butcher. There is a discussion thread here where Dresden fans try to recommend books to each other that are similar to the said Harry Dresden books. For my money while the protagonists are completely different this series is the closest out there.
Mr. Jacka...I've all these and I'm now also a huge fan of your work. Keep up the aforementioned good work.
What can I say about Spademan??? He's odd for a killer, or assassin, or "hit-man" or whatever. Maybe now he's an ex-hit-man??? Maybe but he does stillWhat can I say about Spademan??? He's odd for a killer, or assassin, or "hit-man" or whatever. Maybe now he's an ex-hit-man??? Maybe but he does still leave a body count. then again he seems to sometimes decide when he "gets there" whether or not to go through with his contract. He seems occasionally to "change sides" and become the protector of the one he's supposed to kill.
Well, whatever you call him and whether or not you can fit him into a pigeon hole the novels seem to be readable and pretty interesting.
In a New York left on it's proverbial knees by a mass of terror attacks that included a "dirty bomb" attack at the city's heart some people still hang on. Some are just too stubborn to leave, some can't leave (because of money, health, age or whatever) and some have turned once opulent apartments into fortresses. Whoever, why-ever or whatever these people number among themselves our (anti)hero "Spademan.
This is also a world where the rich can afford to plug into a virtual world and live there instead of the real world. Many do. Old people can live there in young virile bodies. "You" can live out your wildest or most...disturbing fantasy. Your body just lays there in a bed (while it's cared for by a nurse)...till of course you die.
Inconvenient that having to die. Luckily no one can kill you in that virtual world. If your body gets killed there you're still okay. No...no one can actually kill you "in there".
Or can they?????
Humm...interesting plot, pretty good book. Enjoy. ...more
Okay, first don't let my inclusion of this book on my "urban fantasy" shelf confuse you. There are no wizards, vampires, werewolves or magic here. TheOkay, first don't let my inclusion of this book on my "urban fantasy" shelf confuse you. There are no wizards, vampires, werewolves or magic here. The book does take place in a near future world where rampant terrorism including many, many car bombings, a subway bombing and a dirty bomb in Time's Square have turned New York into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It is however still heavily populated.
While the finical traders have moved on to other large cities around the world the city itself (other than the burned out, blown out and radioactive parts) is still populated. The very rich live in buildings converted into fortresses, the poor live...elsewhere. Don't look for finesse here. Hard, crude language and acts are the rule of the day.
I'll give the book this, it doesn't fit neatly into any ready and waiting genre. Our hero is a garbage man...or he was. Now that New York is an even more dangerous and savage place he takes out another kind of garbage. He's a hit man.
He is of course that unique brand of hit man that I suspect we find only in books, movies and possibly TV. He has a code. Mostly it consists of, he doesn't kill kids.
That's a different kind of crazy (psychopath).
Again as I was with Hit Man I'm a little surprised at how much I got into the book.
That said, this isn't quite as good as said Hit Man book, but it is interesting and draws the reader into it's world and situation. I suppose the best bet here is try it for yourself. While there are definitely things in this book some will find objectionable, the "story itself" is pretty interesting. ...more
This "series" (this is only the second in said series) drew me in when I read the first book. Our heroine (a former assassin) is well written and theThis "series" (this is only the second in said series) drew me in when I read the first book. Our heroine (a former assassin) is well written and the stories move fast. There is what I've come to think of as the "obligatory" love interest (a detective) but in the first book that boiled down to some lustful dreaming on the female protagonist's part and one big steamy sex scene.
HOWEVER I am forced to drop my rating of this book down to 3 stars. I'm not writing off the series. I plan to try the next, but...this one was filled with a lot more angst and (pleas my female friends forgive me) estrogen soaked passages. I won't give any spoilers as a lot of this takes place throughout the book and to go into it would require tipping the book's hand on some of the plot. Still I will warn those of you who like me find a lot "woe is me" or "affairs of the heart" passages annoying the "relationship bug" with our opposite number love interest (uncorrupted detective on a corrupt police force and an assassin) takes up much more space than it did in the first book.
So, still lots of action, still interesting magic, (though the "rules" of the magic here are still very fluid) we get a fast moving story with a little built on our sub or background plot and I think it's still worth my time to follow it up.
I simply hope the "romance/lust interest" become "just part of the storyline" and doesn't take up quite so much "space" in the next one. ...more
As I sit here considering this book there's a part of me that wonders why I'm not more taken, more enthusiastic about this series. I can recommend it.As I sit here considering this book there's a part of me that wonders why I'm not more taken, more enthusiastic about this series. I can recommend it. It's a good series filled with good writing. I like the understated humor. I like the interaction with the world Aaronovitch has created and it denizens.
Somehow with all that I'm always, at best mildly enthusiastic about them. I read the first back when it came out in one of those reader copies with "NOT TO BE SOLD" written all over it. I liked it but it still took me years to pick the next 2 up. Reading this one I found that when I laid it aside I'd just not get back to it. I wasn't "dying" to finish the book.
In contrast when a new Jim Butcher Dresden books hits the stands I usually finish it in one sitting. I've been known to sit up to the "wee hours" with one of those.
Somehow in spite of all the pluses in these books I never move beyond mildly involved.
That said, as I mentioned before these are excellent books and I know that some readers devour them as I do the Dresden books. I can only account for it as a matter of taste.
Here we slide into the magical world connection with the case in a slightly oblique way when the body of a young man is found. The "Underground" of London is a huge factor here and we're going to get a tour of both the mundane and also the more unusual sides of said underground. Of course the rest of the police are not thrilled when they discover that the "odd squad" has to take part of in the investigation...common reaction. Things also get a little more complicated when it's discovered that the victim is an American, the son of a Senator. Because of this an FBI agent arrives to also...help.
As noted this is a well done book and I can heartily endorse it. While I've come to the conclusion that Mr. Aaronovitch will never be my favorite writer I do like his work. I'll probably regard his work as something I can go to when I'm simply looking for "a book to read". Others of you will I'm sure find him your all time favorite writer. I can tell he's that good.
I'm a little flummoxed by my reaction to this one. It's not a bad book...I give it 4 stars, but there are things about it that, gnawed at me.
For one tI'm a little flummoxed by my reaction to this one. It's not a bad book...I give it 4 stars, but there are things about it that, gnawed at me.
For one thing our protagonist is pretty incompetent at surviving. She is the "agency's" on trick pony. She's a "seer". She sees through all kinds of illusions, veils and pretty much anything else. When it comes to shoot-outs, melee battles, martial arts, blades or "what-ever" she needs rescuing...a lot.
Now, she's eager to learn and her partner (the coming romantic interest it seems) it trying to teach her. We live in hope.
Don't get me wrong she's gutsy in a "throw yourself at the bad guy flailing" sort of way. She simply has a "ways to go".
Still, in the end I decided I liked it well enough to go all the way to a tentative 4...and I'll probably follow it up.
Okay let me say this. So far as fast moving action packed UF story goes this one (in the series) is a 4star read. That said there is a problem that anOkay let me say this. So far as fast moving action packed UF story goes this one (in the series) is a 4star read. That said there is a problem that annoys me to some extent and I plan to comment on it.
As far as plot and characters go they are still here and "most" of the people who greatly enjoyed the first 2 in the series will more than likely enjoy these. Ms. Reine is a good writer and the books are ones than can really draw in readers.
So for an enjoyable read I can recommend this one just as do the first 2,
Now the caveat. If you are a Christian believer go into this knowing that a picture of God is painted that is false and bothersome...even hurtful. But if like me and I'm sure others you expect this in some books today you can probably let it run off your back. I suppose it's a compliment in some ways that people think/feel they can insult Christians and treat our beliefs as myth without fear when they'd never do that with other religions. Still it didn't hurt my belief. My only real concern is that it might color the perceptions of others and give a false picture of God that some might accept.
Anyway be aware going in and don't let it upset. The story itself is, as I said well written....more
I read the first 3 of these back to back and this book picks up almost at minuet the last left off. Hawke is back "inside" the agency now and his nameI read the first 3 of these back to back and this book picks up almost at minuet the last left off. Hawke is back "inside" the agency now and his name has been "cleared". Still some of the things he has discovered about his own agency nag at him a bit and Suzy still isn't really herself...
And let's not forget Isobel, Hawke sure can't.
We get to meet more denizens of Ms. Reine's world. There is one odd note here I'll put it under a spoiler warning. I mean it's not something that really bothers me...but it is a sour note. (view spoiler)[ When the confront the werewolf nobody has any silver. I mean not even the hunters. I mean why wouldn't you have at least a silver knife????? Just in case. Oh well. (hide spoiler)]
The story moves along at a quick pace (these are relatively short books) and we get more information as we go. The plot unfolds and there is a sort "fly in the ointment" in the ending but I suspect more will come of some of this later.
While there are UF books I like a lot more than these I can say that th4ese are light, enjoyable reads that tell a fast moving action packed "yarn". If that's what you're looking for I think you'll enjoy them. The humor isn't the best I've read but it's there and it's good. There isn't a DEEP romance but for me that's a plus not a minus. Let's be clear these aren't literary tombs errr I meant "tomes". They are just enjoyable brain candy. Enjoy.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I have some things I want to say about the content of this book, but first for those simply interested in it as a novel we'll talk about that. The booI have some things I want to say about the content of this book, but first for those simply interested in it as a novel we'll talk about that. The book is pretty good as a novel, an interesting read. There are no glaring errors in the actual writing and the characters while coming across as very, very young for college students are also pretty good.
I would almost have gone 4 stars on this one but for on huge flaw with was the death of the 4th star. You will have seen me mention this before. Characters need to develop with the story and while on the whole Winter does develop, she goes on on far too long making the same error time after time after time...and the last most disastrous time there is just no reason for it. I was beating my head against the walls and yelling at this YA book!
So, readable and pretty interesting, a bit too young for some of the content. I'd read it first before handing it to a reader much under 12, but I think most adults and "YAs" it's appropriate for will like it pretty well.
Now what else do i have to say?
Well first i read a couple of reviews where the "reviewers" were ranting that this wasn't a horror or urban fantasy book but Christian fiction, as if it had been "hidden" and they'd been suckered in. The book says up front what it's about and that it's from a Christian point of view so...know that going in if somehow you missed it.
By the way in the novel God speaks to and guides out young protagonist in a very fictional way. If the writer had done the same but said that "Ra" or "Odin" or "Cthulhu" had been talking to her they'd have been fine with it. It's only that the book is told from a Christian point of view that ticked them off.
I will say as I always do that while I don't think there's anything here to offend Christians DON'T get your theology from a novel. The story makes a point but the depiction of our young prophet (or prophetess as she sometimes calls herself) is meant to picture real current prophetic relations with God (of course if God decides to change that it'll be His timing). Anyway read for the story and for the general message/life lesson.
As I said the book reads very young yet it deals with some very violent subject matter and has some potentially disturbing scenes for younger readers. The teenage angst is also dragged out way too much that could have been done better. But while it annoyed my teenage girls might really enjoy those parts...
You know...I put reading this book off for some time because of the cover. I mean so often when a book on the Urban Fantasy shelf has an attractive woYou know...I put reading this book off for some time because of the cover. I mean so often when a book on the Urban Fantasy shelf has an attractive woman on the cover what you actually get is "PNR", that is "ParaNormal Romance".
Good news, not the case here. There is a "touch" of something that will bother some but it's more incidental that a romance usually is. Instead of a "love interest" here we have a "lust interest". Each time our protagonist sees the "subordinate male protagonist" she stops and "daydreams" about hot sex with him...even though he's vowed to bring her "to justice" or possibly kill her.
And, there is one heavy sex scene.
Well, he doesn't know it's "her" per se, he simply knows that it was an assassin "called" The Spider.
Yes, our heroine is an assassin...a truly nasty one. She claims to be the most feared assassin in the South. She also has a true love for the burgers at the Bar-B-Que place she works from.
As I've said about other assassin books I'm surprised at how much I really liked this book. I plan to follow the series up and if you approach it knowingly (you know advisedly that there is some sex and it's about a professional killer) you may like it.
It worries me a little but I did. Recommended, with caveat. ...more
Hummm..... well I sort of hesitated on the rating for this one. I mean I don't think I'll be reading the rest of the series, at least not right away,Hummm..... well I sort of hesitated on the rating for this one. I mean I don't think I'll be reading the rest of the series, at least not right away, but I did enjoy the book....mostly.
What we have here is a young woman in an alternate England of lords and ladies with very proper etiquette, not to mention stiff collars and lots of frills. Sadly 14 year old Sophronia does not fit in. She put me in mind of the song from The Sound of Music:
She is a great trial to her mother, especially since her sister is a very, very proper young woman. Happily for mom she finds a Finishing School that seems willing to take Sophronia in spite of...short comings.
As you may have intuited this is not your "run of the mill" Finishing School.
The book tells a good story, that said it's long on characters and very short on plot. We spend a LOT of time getting to know the school and the world. The plot is sort of fitted in between Sophronia's revelations and education. It's introduced early on during the trip to the School but then like a sort of literary prairie dog it ducks back below ground popping up at various times throughout the book, finally making a slightly climactic appearance as the book ties up and opens the way for the next volume.
There's nothing really new in that or in the story. It is however fun with interesting characters and lots of humor (or at least attempts at humor).
Could I...I'd go with the ever popular 3.5 but lacking that I'll go 4. It will probably appeal to a female and teen audiance somewhat more that others as that seems to be the "target audience" but it's a fun book and I can recommend it as a light read. ...more
I finished this one a couple of nights ago and I've been (on and off) considering what to rate it. Many of you will "love" this book and I'm sure otheI finished this one a couple of nights ago and I've been (on and off) considering what to rate it. Many of you will "love" this book and I'm sure others will like it much more than I did. I have to go with a "not bad". This is a sort of down the middle rating between like and...blah.
The problem for me is what others will probably like best. This is an epistolary novel and we get a view primarily from Emma Borden's point of view though "Lizzie's" viewpoint also comes in as do others.
The plus side of what I'm about to say is, that the tension and the story builds slowly to a crescendo of horror taken directly from H.P.Lovecraft. (It was nice to see Miskatonic University mentioned, LOL)
The negative side of what I'm about to say is, that the tension and the story builds (excruciatingly) SLOWLY to a crescendo of horror taken directly from H.P.Lovecraft.
Priest is being very careful to include many of the details of the Borden's lives and weave stories around them that tie into the horror UF tale of the book. It's done very well and I want to say again, I'm sure this will be "a" if not "the" favorite part for some readers.
For me however I found these parts of the novel tedious and it turned what could nave been an excellent horror story into somewhat of a yawner.
So I think the psychological overtones are good, the mythology built atop Lovecraft's work also great. The books pacing left a lot to be desired for me.
I'd say try this one for yourself, on the whole I liked it, some of you will (I'm sure) love it....more
What shall I say here????? I've seen the comparisons between this book and Hunger Games. I suppose that can't be escaped. YA novels tend to run in cycWhat shall I say here????? I've seen the comparisons between this book and Hunger Games. I suppose that can't be escaped. YA novels tend to run in cycles. After harry Potter dozens of books placed in "magical schools" hit the shelves. Some were good, others not so much.
Now that said...there's actually very little resemblance between this book and Hunger Games other than there is a part of the plot where a group of young people are in a situation where they can end up trying to kill each other.
Here we have (another) post-apocalyptic world. The population is busily involved in trying to repair the world...repair the damage done in the "7 Stages of War". The population was left decimated (That's not to be taken literally, I actually think more than one in ten were killed) and society has pretty much had to be rebuilt from scratch. We're in North America and people are now living in colonies. The colonies are places where new populations are working on the said restoration.
"And" each year the best and brightest are pulled from each colony for a "chance" to get one of twenty slots at..."The University".
Of course when over a hundred candidates show up you need to reduce that pool of possible University students somehow...
I like the book. I've been thinking over my rating. I'd say the 4 star rating may not be my "tippity tip top" 4 but it's an enthusiastic one.
The book is good, the story is interesting (though with a few internal flaws, mostly in logic) and it does hold the interest. There's a fairly predictable but well handled secret that is part of the logical inconsistency of the story (view spoiler)[with something north of 70 young people vanishing every year, even if all University Grads are sent to "different colonies" than the one from which they originated I'd think eventually the colonies at large might "smell a rat". (hide spoiler)] with our young hero being sent off to have a chance at University (her life long dream) along with 4 other of her classmates for "Testing" to see who get's one of the University slots, we're off.
I found the book to be fairly interesting from the opening lines and very interesting from the time the testing begins. I think readers will spot things before the "candidates" but that's only because "we" will go into the book looking for something.
There's one other glaring logical problem with this plot, but the main character notices it herself so I assume it is something the author plans to address in a future volume. (view spoiler)[ if the population is that small and they are trying to rebuild then why kill off dozens of the best and brightest every year???? (hide spoiler)]
Anyway...as noted, I like the book and recommend the book. Enjoy. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I put this on my horror shelf (among others) but it's just barely there. It is about ghosts, hauntings and so on...but not often in an actual "horror"I put this on my horror shelf (among others) but it's just barely there. It is about ghosts, hauntings and so on...but not often in an actual "horror" way.
We have an opening here that uses a "vehicle" we've seen before. Our hero Mike Ross had a cornea transplant (after a head wound in the military). He gets partial disability and like many veterans goes back to school. However when the bandage comes off, he's seeing things no one else seems to...
It turns out...oh wait, that's a spoiler. Okay I'm not a tease so here, but don't read it unless you really want to read a spoiler. (view spoiler)[ Mike doesn't get his ability from the cornea (which came from some else who could see things) it simply triggered it. (hide spoiler)]
The book reads as a series of vignettes or short stories. One builds on another till we reach the end of the book and set up the next volume.
Here you'll meet ghosts, skin walkers, their victims and relatives. There are hauntings and there are haunters there are "friendly" dead...and some very unfriendly dead.
It's a good book, surprisingly so. Pure brain candy and only for fun, if that's what your looking for I can recommend it. Enjoy. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Interesting book. It's a pretty good addition to the UF universes. Here we have a mythology that centers around magic weapons or as the book refers toInteresting book. It's a pretty good addition to the UF universes. Here we have a mythology that centers around magic weapons or as the book refers to them "holy weapons" (though the use of the word is somewhat subjective and means something different in this fictional universe than it might elsewhere). Anyway...as noted the story revolves around weapons, primarily Damoren. lest I'm clear there, Damoren is one of these weapons, a revolver with a knife blade under the barrel.
See...monsters can be, "killed" by whatever is their weakness, silver for werewolves, gold for Rakshasas (though I never heard of that one so it's probably unique to the book.) etc. But it takes one of the "holy weapons" or magic weapons to kill the creature inside the possessed human. If you just kill a werewolf with a silver bullet then the "actual" werewolf floats around in the "Aether" (so to speak) till it can possess another body. The "holy weapons" kill the "thing inside". There are various kinds of weapons and the monsters want to destroy them. Once a weapon is broken it's dead. See the weapons "bond" to a hunter and it's apparently a very intense relationship...I mean,"VERY INTENSE". So the hunters are badly shaken up if their weapon dies and as I said if a weapon gets broken or smashed it's dead...
Except for Damoren.
Damoren was at one time a sword. Dameron was broken. But Damoren didn't die.
Damoren's hunter had Damoren reforged as a cap and ball revolver.
I'd say that if you like Urban Fantasy in general and/or the Monster Hunter motif then you'll like this book. We have the protagonist who isn't trusted by his allies, traditional monsters, nontraditional monsters, a twist at the end that while not wholly original isn't one we've seen overworked and it's got a good lead in.
There are also some openings for interesting characters to come, or possibly "reappear" might be a better word. There's a lot of room for expansion in the "world" and it's magic system. There are of course some big internal logic holes in the novel but we live in hope that kind of thing will get handled.
I mean for example, if the only way the actual "monsters" can be dispatched permanently (so to speak) is with one of the "holy weapons" then there must be more holy weapons somewhere or we'd be hip deep in lycanthropes, vampires and other nasties. Still instead of looking at that as a drawback I choose to see it as an opportunity for Mr. Skorkowsky.
I like the book. Maybe not the "best" Urban Fantasy out there and not one I'll be counting the days till the next installment is available, but a pretty good UF/action read.
Recommend (mostly though with a few caveats). Enjoy. ...more
This has been my "take along" book so I've been "reading on it" for a while. it's the book that went with me to waiting rooms or when i had to wait inThis has been my "take along" book so I've been "reading on it" for a while. it's the book that went with me to waiting rooms or when i had to wait in the car for something...
Anyway, pretty good book. I considered for a while before settling on the 4 star rating. It was close, 3 to 4 but I finally decided that the book tipped the scale into 4 star territory.
Here (again) we meet a young man who's about to find that world is NOT what he's always assumed it to be...far from it of actually. Cole is a slightly burned out game designer. Some of his games have been wildly successful but he's sort of up against things stress-wise and so on so...he decides to take a long delayed vacation. He's going to get away from "first person shooters, rambling zombies, blood sucking monsters...and he's got a deal that just happens to come at the right time! He's going on a hunting trip to Canada.
The people he meets on the way...well their a bit stereotypical. There are the idiotic college kids, the "gun nut", the experienced outdoorsman, the hot blonde...you get the idea.
Since I used to hunt (though I haven't for a while I have no problem with law abiding hunters. I don't see how anyone who eats meat, uses leather etc. can get bent out of shape at hunters or hunting.) and I've always enjoyed shooting the picture of the "gun nut" was a bit much...but there you go.
Anyway things do not go quite as planned...especially when a large hairy creature makes an appearance and....on wait...that would be a spoiler. Sorry, well suffice it to say Cole's life will never be the same.
The book moves along at a pretty good clip. The plot is sort of (and this is a phrase I'm guilty of over using) a mixed bag. While a lot of it is standard UF/Monster Hunter stuff there is an added twist that takes it off in a more unusual and interesting direction.
Sadly it does this about the time we're wrapping thigs up and setting up the "tune in next volume" ending.
So, as noted pretty good. the protagonist (Cole) is annoying and you'll probably want to slap him a few times. If you're like me the incessant flirting with his "Monster Hunter Mentor".... I mean the guy goes on and on about her and she's often dressed in things like s sports bra. I don't know, seems like that may be up there with a chainmail bikini when it comes to monster hunting attire. But then I'm not a professional monster hunter so what do I know? Maybe it's what all the top monster hunters are wearing????
Oh well...also Cole tends to swing from, "yes I want to learn to hunt monsters" to "whine, whine, why did i get into this...
But as I said all that aside...on the whole....when you boil it all down...it's a pretty good book.
Well I've come to a conclusion. I'm just not going to be an October Daye fan. I like the first book...didn't dislike the second book...and didn't dislWell I've come to a conclusion. I'm just not going to be an October Daye fan. I like the first book...didn't dislike the second book...and didn't dislike this book.
So many Urban Fantasy books I try drive me away because they turn out to be more PNR (ParaNormal Romance) than Urban Fantasy (UF). This one doesn't fall into that category. There is very little romance in this one (less than the last) only a hint really. No the book just isn't one that draws me in.
I want to like UF books, I mean the ones I really like are a bit few and far between. The book speaks to a different audience than I belong to. The story should have drawn me in. Snatched and missing children, a dismal foreshadowing for October as the book opens, plot built on things we've already seen. But...I still found myself a little bored and not all that interested. I followed it, got through it, and saw how it ended.
I don't really plan to follow it up. I know many of you like these, cool. Please enjoy them I think many, many will like this one. I was left sort of...blah. So, enjoy....more
I read Mr. Lee's Breach Trilogy and liked it a great deal. So i went out (well actually I didn't go out. That's what we used to do, I actually sent tI read Mr. Lee's Breach Trilogy and liked it a great deal. So i went out (well actually I didn't go out. That's what we used to do, I actually sent to the library without leaving the house) and snapped this book up. Runner is the first in a new series of books about Mr. Lee's new protagonist Sam Dryden. The word "trilogy" hasn't been used so at this point I'm going with the assumption that this will be a continuing series.
Guess we'll see.
Sam is a mess. He lost his wife and child before the book opened and frankly he hasn't been able to pull it together since. He's the classic "is it all worth going on with life" former Special Ops super guy.
Then one night walking along the beach he "coincidentally" runs into a little girl fleeing people intent on killing her. She can't to the police or any authority as the people trying to kill her are the authorities (though she can't remember why they want to kill her).
Slowly Sam finds a reason to live.
Sounds hokey, maybe a little corny right? "And" maybe it could have been but the book was so well well written that it pulled my interest right in and held it. This is an excellent book. I/we are beginning to get to know Sam and we also (somewhat surprisingly due to reasons I can't tell you without it being a spoiler) get to know Rachel. The book opens with suspense and quickly segues into fast paced action. We get a well done page turner...brain candy yes, but very good brain candy.
First this is a good read. While I found it a little "done that before" it's still well put together and bWell, we can go a couple of ways here so....
First this is a good read. While I found it a little "done that before" it's still well put together and by turns fun, action and just a touch of horror. So for a basic review "bottom line" good read, enjoy.
Now, how about the relation between the TV series it's based on and the book? That's not bad. Timeline wise this takes place (view spoiler)[ between the time Juliette learned the "truth" about the Grimm world and when Officer Wu was initiated into the "secrets of Wesen. (hide spoiler)] That said it's maybe a little jarring for those of us who are sort of "Grimm-aholics" after what happened (view spoiler)[ To Juliette (hide spoiler)].
I found that for me the book was a little bit as if the writer had taken elements from some of the Grimm episodes and sort of mixed them together. That said, it wasn't (as noted) a bad read. I like Grimm and it's nice to have a sort of "fix" between episodes (and seasons).
So a little shallow, very "brain candy-ish" but not bad at all. I'll go a low 4.
And I love Grimm.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I freely admit that I picked this series up because I was looking for a "book series like the Dresden Files". I'd tried several Urban Fantasy books anI freely admit that I picked this series up because I was looking for a "book series like the Dresden Files". I'd tried several Urban Fantasy books and series. Some I liked more than others. Some I intensely disliked.
This series has become my favorite (after Dresden). It seems to me to have gotten better with each installment. There are for my money some good Urban Fantasy reads out there, but few better than these. Starting with the first volume Mr. Jacka begins establishing his world and his characters. We get to know these people as they act and as they interact.
Alex is a mage, a diviner. He can in short look "down the possible futures", the possible pathways things might take if certain things are done, said...you get the idea. The farther down the time stream things get the more "iffy" the futures get.
This is not exactly combat magic. So far as the mages who have versions of magic that can suck your life away, burn you to ash, freeze you to ice shards...blow you to dust, this would seem to be a rather, modest form of magic.
Still, somehow Alex has managed to survive several (read A LOT) of attempts on his life. Also...and possibly more impressive the ones who have set out to kill Alex, most mages more powerful that he is or adepts with some serious "deadliness" have ended up dead.
Alex is getting....known.
This book picks up where we left off in the last volume. A friend of Alex who has walked away from him because of events in our last outing is in danger(you know, because of the stuff that happened in that last book I mentioned). "And" (one might say "of course") she doesn't seem to realize how much danger she's actually in.
We will touch on new details of the world we're learning about, fill in some more details about the past we've been "considering" and tell an excellent story in the time of it.
Are there any disappointments? Sure the same one I have with Jim Butcher's Dresden books. These writers can't turn out a novel a week...not even a month. So here I am again with another series of books where I have to wait for the next book next year.
I keep telling you guys, I'm past sixty...how many more books can I wait for???
Five stars and highly recommended.
(view spoiler)[ There are a couple of things here that will I think remind my fellow readers of the Dresden books. I don't for a second think they were copied. As I've said after several thousand years of fiction how many "totally new" plot points can there be?
Alex is mistrusted by the overall council of light mages...because he started out as the apprentice of a dark mage. In this book he gets made an offer that will bring him great power and advantage, but change him for the worse.
Those are sort of common threads. Don't let it put you off. These are excellent reads I really can give them my highest recommendation. (hide spoiler)]
So...we finally get to the end of the trilogy. It's a good trilogy. The writer in this ser4ies has set up an interesting and intricate plot. He playsSo...we finally get to the end of the trilogy. It's a good trilogy. The writer in this ser4ies has set up an interesting and intricate plot. He plays with time and space. You'll have to be willing to accept his view of how time interaction and the explanation he gives about paradox.
All that said if you've enjoyed the rest of the trilogy I think you'll like this one...and we get an explanation of something we saw earlier in the books.
I liked this book and I like the trilogy, thus I moved right to Mr. Lee's next book...which opens a new series.
So, no spoilers here as there is no way I wouldn't ruin something. If you've read the first two then you'll more than likely want to move on to this one. I will say that the ending is...interesting.
Interesting book. This is the second book by Andrew Vachss I've read. The first impessed me, I liked it and the library had this one on hand. The firsInteresting book. This is the second book by Andrew Vachss I've read. The first impessed me, I liked it and the library had this one on hand. The first book (Flood) was well written with complete if somewhat unlikely characters.
This book is very much a graphic novel (where the Cross character seems to have started) without the pictures. We have a "Bondesk" group of villains vs. group of "anti-hero" misfits and some kind of mystery force or being killing "killers".
There are some standard adventure qand even comic book plot points. The story holds together as the author sticks in a few heavy handed semi-political comments. It's fast moving and there is some liberal use of bloodshed. Not a youth book, but pretty simple at it's core.
Simply for a fast moving adventure with lots of explosions, gun fire, bloody hand to hand and so on. If that's what you're looking for this is probably it. ...more
I've allowed a lot of books to "back up" on my "Currently Reading Shelf" waiting for their turn to be reviewed. This was one I thought sounded great aI've allowed a lot of books to "back up" on my "Currently Reading Shelf" waiting for their turn to be reviewed. This was one I thought sounded great and "tracked it down" (get it...monster hunters...tracked it down...????? Oh well) for my Kindle.
It is what it's advertised to be, sort of. The thing is there's something that finally just bugged me to the point of distraction. For the first quarter to half the book it's really a "Werewolf hunting book". Every stinking story ( you know all that blood, viscera and stuff really smells bad) was about some form of werewolf hunt. Time after time, story after story...werewolves!!!!
I was burned out on the book before we finally got to a vampire.
I mean look Mr. Reynolds this is a great idea and when I've recovered from the overdose of lycanthropes (lupine and canine lycanthropes that is) I may pick up the next volume.
At first this was a great book giving us a look at Monster hunters of different types and in different times. They are in different situations and have different outlooks. There are very few actual twists to the stories. Several times I expected a sort of surprise twist that never came about the obvious story line continued on. The stories depend heavily on action...lots of blood sprayed and smeared about, organs bouncing off walls or into the shadowed night. Half devoured people litter the landscape...along with the lesser remains of the completely devoured ones...
So you get that.
So, bottom line I like the idea a lot and the stories are okay. After a while sadly they did/do seem a little repetitive so maybe spread reading them out over an extended period of time?
Just a thought. Not bad and it's worth a read. ...more