This book is among the....most different....I've read for a while. I list it only on my "Read" shelf as it doesn't really fit neatly on another. I can...moreThis book is among the....most different....I've read for a while. I list it only on my "Read" shelf as it doesn't really fit neatly on another. I can't bring myself to go 5 stars on this one but it is an excellent book at least in some ways.
I read some of the other reviews here and one of the more common statements is that it "starts slowly" or "it takes a while to get started". Well...it does. I was almost halfway through the book before I really got interested in the story that much. This novel is set up in and around the idea of a secretive movie maker who's movies are legendary for their ability to disturb. They have been banned and have a reputation of being even destructive to those who see them. They are shown in secret night time gatherings. There are movements to buy up the copies available on the internet and destroy them. His fans can be fanatical. His movies are not only disturbing but show slices of a dark dangerous side of life. Most don't actually "end" so much as "stop" and leave the viewer to wonder, think, consider and be haunted by the movie.
The book opens with our protagonist's strange encounter with a young woman...then we find that the daughter (Ashley Cordova) of said movie maker (Stanislas Cordova) has committed suicide. Our "hero" (and of course I use the term loosely) is Scott McGrath. He's a "reporter" who's reputation was destroyed by Cordova years before the story starts when he said the wrong thing about the movie maker on TV.
McGrath get's involved in trying to find out the "whys" and the "ifs" of Ashley's death. The book begins very slowly and the story also unrolls slowly but once it get's started it draws the reader in and begins to involve us in a surrealistic world where reality and fantasy become entwined and indistinguishable.
Some reviews mentioned that the book became frightening or horrific as they went along. There is a part of the story I find horrific (view spoiler)[ the slowly approaching death of a child (hide spoiler)] but I never really found the book frightening.
Also I'm not fond of the rather existential ending...though I get the point (view spoiler)[ the book ends much as Cordova's movies did (hide spoiler)]. Still this is at least in many ways an excellent book and I can recommend it highly. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
.....yeah, I gave it 5 stars, huh. Sort of surprised me to.
I didn't go into this expecting a 5 star read. For a while I was even very annoyed with the...more.....yeah, I gave it 5 stars, huh. Sort of surprised me to.
I didn't go into this expecting a 5 star read. For a while I was even very annoyed with the main character...Rossamünd Bookchild, the boy with the girl's name. (I don't want to spoil the book for anyone especially as I think it's an excellent read, really a great read). Anyway, for a while I was so annoyed with the kid I wanted to slap him up-side the head and say, "think"!
But then I took a deep breath...calmed myself and thought, "how young is this kid?". "Would I have acted this way had I been in his situation at his age?"
Rossamünd is at first admittedly thick. He fails to follow simple direct instructions that would have protected him. He falls for...well "things"...that he should have spotted up front. He's more naïve than seems possible. But the more I thought about it the more it seemed actually plausible.
Not only that, Rossamünd learns from his mistakes. Unlike many YA protagonists he doesn't remain thick and dim in spite of and in the face of experience.
This is a fast moving, involving very well written YA novel. I recommend it highly. It falls into what might be called the "coming of age" story (which usually drives me away...but I find that if one does draw me in it gets into the running for my "favorites shelf"). We follow Rossamünd Bookchild through a series of adventures to a point in his life where he's at "a beginning".
As a final endorsement, I not only recommend it I have already bought the second. This is a good book. (less)
I'm beginning to get a feel for Nassise I think. I like most of the books I've read by him. There always seems to be a little flaw somewhere that keep...moreI'm beginning to get a feel for Nassise I think. I like most of the books I've read by him. There always seems to be a little flaw somewhere that keeps me from giving them the complete 5 stars. That said they are fast moving, exciting and interesting. He deals with interesting topics and the books deal with it in a "storyteller's" fashion. They are for the most part what I call "brain candy" but that's okay...I like good brain candy.
This deals with the idea that the Knights Templar were secretly cleared of the charges placed against them and reinstated as a secret arm of the Roman Catholic Church to fight "other-worldly" or "supernatural" threats.
Our hero here is a man known among the other Knights as "the Heretic". He has some...unusual power. There is disagreement as to his motives in joining the order as his wife was killed by a being he calls only "the Adversary".
This is frankly the first book in a series...and ends as such. I have the second book waiting, but as I own them and have a lot of library books waiting it will remain on my shelf, staring accusingly at me for a while longer.
I think I need to back off on some of the library reads as I have 9 or 10 more waiting...and I just bought 6 more audio books and have a back log of Kindle books and print books. So...time to read some of my own books.
That said this is a fast moving exciting read. I'm a non-Catholic Christian so I'll advise my Christian friends to realize this isn't really a Christian read. Don't read it for theology. Still I wasn't offended so just read it as an exciting story.
Another good edition to the series. Nice plot, interesting story...I wish they'd just settle their "personal issues" already. So, anyway we are again...moreAnother good edition to the series. Nice plot, interesting story...I wish they'd just settle their "personal issues" already. So, anyway we are again hanging out with Sean and Michelle. Things again get very sticky...and it also involves another of Sean's friends (view spoiler)[ well ex-friend I suppose as he's pretty much DEAD as things get started (hide spoiler)].
I have a couple more things to say under a spoiler warning (and don't read it if you don't want a spoiler...this really is sort of a spoiler). Here I'll say that while I don't rate these among my "favorite" reads 6they are good books. The story is constructed well. We know the characters but if someone came to this book cold (not having read the books before) it won't really matter. You'll get the story.
There are the things that aren't my favorite parts of the series still here to of course. I'm not big on the "interpersonal relationship" parts of most books. In these it doesn't really overpower the story however so it's not a problem...and I know this will be some readers' favorite part.
As for the spoiler (view spoiler)[ I think Sean and Michelle may need to find some work that doesn't involve the government (hide spoiler)]. Anyway, good book and I can recommend it. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I picked this book up because I was curious about Blackwater. I'd like to know about the outfit, it's set up and so no. I wasn't looking for a book th...moreI picked this book up because I was curious about Blackwater. I'd like to know about the outfit, it's set up and so no. I wasn't looking for a book that would compromise any operations or put anyone in any actual danger because secrets were revealed.
Blackwater is a private security and military company. I'm not necessarily thrilled with the idea of mercenary troops but neither am I scandalized and horrified by their existence. Swiss Mercenaries were one of the most effective military forces in the world through the Renaissance. The troops protected their homeland in times of danger and worked for pay at other times. I don't know if that's anything like Blackwater hopes to be...still.
Sadly this book seems to set out with an objective (prove that mercenaries are bbbaaaddd). The book takes it premise and then pulls arguments together to support said arguments. It's not really about the actual story of the company.
Think I'll have to keep looking. This one simply managed to bore and even annoy me at times. (less)
I put this on my YA fantasy shelf to protect myself of course. No way I want the conclave of evil librarians to realize that I've read this book and a...moreI put this on my YA fantasy shelf to protect myself of course. No way I want the conclave of evil librarians to realize that I've read this book and am on to their nefarious schemes.
So...continuing the charade that I think this is a fantasy...it's a little weird. This is the first time I've read Mr. Sanderson's foray into youth lit. It does seem a little "young" for adult readers at times. The humor is good, often on the absurdest side but still often somewhat Jennilee for an adult. I didn't laugh nearly as much as i suspect some younger readers will.
I also wonder at his choice to make librarians the villains...sort of universal condemnation of librarians. Most of the librarians I've known have been friendly helpful people....
Maybe they have me fooled?
Anyway, fun little book. Don't know if I'll follow the series. As I said, it strikes me as more of a Youth book rather than a Young Adult book. Still well written and I think anyone will enjoy it. (less)
What can I say? I'm always looking for a good book, a good fantasy, a good urban fantasy. There are plenty of either of those genres out there. The tr...moreWhat can I say? I'm always looking for a good book, a good fantasy, a good urban fantasy. There are plenty of either of those genres out there. The trick of course is finding a good example of each book.
Here Joseph Nassise sets himself sort of a challenge. (Spoiler for the first book coming so be aware.) The first volume of this series ends with "our hero" on the run from the FBI. Wanted for the murder of a law enforcement officer and suspected of being a horrifying serial killer he's at the top of the agencies radar...and the list of an intractable Special Agent.
Here the book opens with Jeremiah (and his friends) having found a place where they felt relatively safe "going to ground". Then Denise (Clearwater) has a vision...they have to go to New Orleans.
Stupid to go into a city Jeremiah thinks, only Denise has no choice. That being the case Jeremiah and Dmitri (the berserker..."bearserker") don't hesitate to go with her.
What they are about to face is even nastier than the last supernatural critter they were up against...and they barely got away with their lives and beings intact that time.
While I can't bring myself to give these more than a 4 and while there is something about each of the books that leaves me feeling like there's just a little something missing, a slight flaw I like these. I like them quite a bit. I've made no secret of the fact that my favorite UF (urban fantasy) series is/are the Harry Dresden series. I'd say that on my "list" of favorite UF series these would be third or fourth.
So...I recommend these books highly. There isn't the humor here you find in some series, but there's a little. The plotting is good but there are a "few" eye roll moments. You'll wonder a bit about how the FBI managed to miss them at times and you'll wonder about the thought processes of some of the characters.
All that said none of it is a deal breaker. The book is a good fast moving read, a nice serving of brain candy. As I said I can recommend this and these. It will qualify as thriller, action read, fantasy and urban fantasy.
Yes...a 5. Now while I can't this is at the top of my 5 star list and won't make the favorites list i had to rate a bit above other 4 star book. I hav...moreYes...a 5. Now while I can't this is at the top of my 5 star list and won't make the favorites list i had to rate a bit above other 4 star book. I have grown to like the Mickey Haller books and this one is (I think) the best so far.
Mickey can't really seem to win in life even if he does win in the courtroom. Shut out by his daughter because of event from the last book. Frozen out by his ex-wife because her career's in the cra**er due to supporting him for DA just before he crashed and burned in the election, and the new DA exiles her to no man's land in a back office of the DA's office...Mickey is a bit down.
Still dealing with his repeat clients and finding his most lucrative business right now coming from clients with mortgage problems things need to look up.
And a big criminal case falls into his lap, for a man he actually begins to believe is innocent...innocent of the murder of another of Mickey's clients. The victim of this crime is a woman Mickey tried over and over to help out of the dead end life she was living...
The story here (as I've said about a few other books) draws you in from the get-go and is well constructed. If it has a flaw it might be that Mr. Connelly draws it out just a little too long. i think the climax could and maybe should have come earlier and the book be a little shorter. Not a big problem.
This is a sort of...."hummm, interesting"....take on the Robin Hood legend. The author takes some time "afterward" to discuss this and why he writes w...moreThis is a sort of...."hummm, interesting"....take on the Robin Hood legend. The author takes some time "afterward" to discuss this and why he writes what he writes.
This is a good book. It's a somewhat new angle to take on the legendary character. he's more bitter in some ways definitely a disillusioned hero. We get the childhood trauma card played here and the author wanted very badly to include a pagan take on the religion in the book.
Here we are told the story by Alan Dale (Alan-a-Dale) as he is forced to flee into the Green Wood and seek Robert Odo (possibly based on Robert Fitzodo) or Robin Hood. There he meets Friar Tuck a Christian friar oddly helping the outlaws of Sherwood, Little John, Will Scaflock (Scarlet) and others.
He also meets Marianne for whom he's immediately smitten.
Robin is not fond of The Church and (just so you'll know) he participates in some rather disturbing pagan rites. This seems it may be a big part of the story as it goes along.
Without spoilers I'll say that while Angus Donald tries to set his own story up and is actually trying to more accurately reflect King Richard and what went before it's still a very good story. I can recommend this one pretty highly for pure story telling. just be aware that if you (like me) have strong religious beliefs (probably of any stripe) you'll have to just look at this as "a story" and not get up tight about some of it.
So, nice exciting take on the Robin Hood legend, good characters, good story telling. I'd say give this one a try.
By the way...I plan to follow it up soon with the next book in the series.(less)
I'd like very much to give this a 5 star rating, but I really can't as there are a couple of glaring flaws. Please note however that I go 4 stars. Non...moreI'd like very much to give this a 5 star rating, but I really can't as there are a couple of glaring flaws. Please note however that I go 4 stars. None of the flaws really make the book a problem so far as reading or staying interested go. They are just sort of like...inconveniently place speed bumps.
A little like you're cruising along and then...BUMP...you have to reorient your pacing.
This is (as I've said about other books) pure brain candy. It's the first book I've read by Joseph Nassise. I realize he has a fairly extensive list of books but this one does read a littlee like an early effort.
Now look, I like this book. It drew me in and it held my interest. What I'm going to say here is no big deal. So when I mention the flaws I'm explaining why the book gets 4 instead of 5 stars...got that??? It's like an old saying I once heard (forgive me if it's a bit earthy) but it's like sex. Even when it's not the best it's still good.
The book's point of view is what mainly causes the blips in the pacing. it's primary told from a first person view...the view of our hero Jeremiah. He's a man obsessed. He's obsessed with finding his kidnapped daughter who's been missing for years as the book opens. He's so obsessed that he finally performed a ritual that was supposed to let him see the unseen...but it didn't go exactly as he thought it would.
Throughout the book we jump back and forth between "Now" and "Then" or the present and the past. In the past we get the story of how Jeremiah "became how he is". In the present we get the story of "what's happening now". Aside from this however occasionally we get a "third person omniscient narrator" who lets us in on what's going on out of Jeremiah's "sight" (you'll get the irony of that when you read the book). Sometimes said narrator gives us background information, sometimes just hints. I think the book might have worked better as simply a first person narrative.
But all that said this is grade A first class literary.mental junk food. Nothing deep here just another pretty good urban fantasy take on legends and ghost stories.
Just as a side note this is the third book I've read in a row where pagan religious beliefs have played a part. For those of you who that might bug a bit remember, it's just a story.
This was an exceptional read. I often need to "side step" some of Mr. Baldacci's more overt political stereotypes. They have on occasion almost overwh...moreThis was an exceptional read. I often need to "side step" some of Mr. Baldacci's more overt political stereotypes. They have on occasion almost overwhelmed one of his stories. That could easily be the situation here. While we get some political shots I'm glad to say that it nowhere drowns the plot or the characters.
With one of our protagonists having a melt down and suffering with the shattering effects of things in her life (one of the reasons the book gets a 4 from me instead of a 5 the whole angsty emotional side to the story isn't why I come to a book like this. That said I know some of you will like this part best) the ex-Secret Service crime solving duo find themselves involved in the kidnapping of a young woman...fought not only with danger to the girl but political overtones. Throughout the book secrets will be revealed, loyalties tested and readers by turns enthralled and annoyed.
So, dying to try the book???? Then I guess my job here is done.
Okay. I liked the book. In spite of not enjoying the entirety of the story I didn't find anything that drove me to wanting to scream or anything and my final impression is a positive one. I can recommend this one highly. it seems to have something for several audiences without shutting any of those said audiences out.
Interesting book. There are facets of it that are not my "favorite motif" for telling a story (emotional angst and extended emotional struggles tied i...moreInteresting book. There are facets of it that are not my "favorite motif" for telling a story (emotional angst and extended emotional struggles tied in with the threads of the story). Still this/these will probably be the parts of the book that some other readers like best.
Here a murder takes place on a shadowy government reservation. The victim has climbed onto the grounds of what turns out to be a CIA facility and ...apparently...killed himself. Though there is apparently someone who thinks it was foul play.
Our heroes are in trouble...Michelle has seemingly cracked and either set out to kill a stranger, or get herself killed by said stranger. He mental/emotional state is a key part of the plot as we "go along". Sean has used all their remaining (and already low) reserves of cash to care for her...then he approaches Joan for some work and gets involved in our book's imbroglio.
There are in the book quite a few cliches and a few fairly original parts both. There is use of a plot device that has been so over used (at least since the 1960s) that it's threadbare, though Baldacci does do a hard right and save himself from going completely the same way as soooooo many have.
All in all, not the top of my 4 star shelf, but firmly on it. Recommended, enjoy. (less)
Well, I have to admit that "cover picture" aside I wasn't really aware this was a novelization of the Russell Crowe movie...
Okay so i was a little slo...moreWell, I have to admit that "cover picture" aside I wasn't really aware this was a novelization of the Russell Crowe movie...
Okay so i was a little slow on the up take. Maybe I'm getting old.
Why am I sitting at this keyboard again....? Oh, yeah, okay i remember.
Anyway as noted this is the novelization of said movie. So if you liked the movie (which I did/do) you'll probably like the book.
It takes some liberties with history (though has the general historic frame work right and pretty accurately describes the death of Richard. We can't of course know the thoughts in the minds of the participants but Richard was killed in a pretty much pointless battle by a crossbow bolt). It also slightly rewrites the story of Robin Hood, though again not outlandishly). The characters work well, the story has a romantic edge while still being an adventure.
It is simply a novelization of the movie so I had some trouble not losing interest (I mean I knew not only what was coming but what was going to be said) still I'd give it a 3.5 if I could. Instead it gets stuck in that 3 star no mans land that can be anything from pretty good to almost bad. But I like this one. As simply a story it's good and if you by some chance haven't seen the movie in question you'll probably get into it easier (err....more easily) than those of us who have seen the movie.
Well, we all thought that when Anna dragged the bad guy to Hell at the end of the first book we'd seen the last of her....right?
Sure we did. And if yo...moreWell, we all thought that when Anna dragged the bad guy to Hell at the end of the first book we'd seen the last of her....right?
Sure we did. And if you didn't expect the return of Anna in a sequel I've got some ocean front property in Kansas I'd like to sell you.
Yes...our hero hasn't been able to forget Anna. He can't let her go, so when she starts showing up, and no one else sees her he wonders if it's her...or maybe him.
This book is much more a teen romance rolled into the horror wrapping and takes a good while to get rolling. I was torn on the rating here. I almost went with a 3 but finally decided I really had to come down on the "I didn't really care for this book all that much" side. So, it gets a 2. It does "try" to pick up and tell a good story and the ending climax gives you some interesting moments. BUT on the whole, slow and full of teenaged angst...and a woe is me love story.
Excellent book. I considered going to the 5 star rating on this one. I can't really because it doesn't quite hit me the same as the best books I've re...moreExcellent book. I considered going to the 5 star rating on this one. I can't really because it doesn't quite hit me the same as the best books I've read, but it's a great thriller.
I suppose most of know what a Chimera is. Most (since you're readers) know that there are a couple of applications for th3e word. First the mythological beast but also "now" a biological entity with more than one type of DNA..a "hybrid" at the genetic level.
From there you can springboard into this story. Throw in some action, some intrigue, some double dealing a dash of science fiction (that's probably only barely fiction) and you get the plot.
I like the book, don't hate the characters, was absorbed by the plot and didn't have too much of a problem with the "eye roll" factor.
So, if you like science fiction and/or action this could be your read. Give it a shot.
I think most people who have attended an even moderately adequate high school (or college) have read Ms. Jackson's The Lottery. If you have you probab...moreI think most people who have attended an even moderately adequate high school (or college) have read Ms. Jackson's The Lottery. If you have you probably have at least an inkling of her mind. This is one of those books I've "been meaning to get to" for years. Like many (if not most) people my introduction to the story came through the 1963 movie The haunting. My first serious girl friend was greatly taken with it.
If you have seen that film you have a pretty good idea of the "general" story line (if on the other hand you're thinking of the 1999 film you know very little of the story line).
I'll be discussing a bit of the internal workings of the book so if you don't want to stumble on anything about the books process don't read beyond as there may be some minor spoilers. In short I wasn't actually drawn into the book enough to get the "horrific" part/parts of the story. It's alright and has some "moments". Very well written with a nice circular twist I see many are very effected by it. and suggest that readers decide for themselves.
(view spoiler)[ The book is largely a view/the story of Eleanor coming apart. How much of it is her...how much of it is her back ground and her past life....and how much of it is Hill House? These questions trail us along through the book right up to the end. The way the book ends very much in the place it begins is a nice if not unknown touch. So we are left with all the questions we asked during the story. We got the experience of staying at/in Hill House with the group. Like Dr. Montague however we are still left with all our original questions.
And Hill House? Hill House still stands in darkness as it has for 80 years and may for 80 more. The walls all meet neatly and the floors are solid. All the doors are sensibly closed. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)