Storm Glass takes place in the same universe as the Study series. This world is a far cry from the magic-phobic Ixia in Poison Study. Opal and her kin...moreStorm Glass takes place in the same universe as the Study series. This world is a far cry from the magic-phobic Ixia in Poison Study. Opal and her kin revel in magic. Her specialty, in particular, is glass: in fact, her ability to imbue figurines with power has earned her the moniker "Glass Magician." Opal's powers take her to the coast, where the Stormdancers live. They use their glass-making abilities to craft orbs used to capture the violent storms that ravage their land. But the orbs are breaking: and every time an orb breaks, the power it releases kills a Stormdancer.
I feel I ought to have liked Storm Glass more than I did. I sure wanted to. The magic system was unique. I loved the idea of storms and glass-crafting being involved in magic. And just look at that glorious cover! I want to hop right in there and play with magic glass balls, too!
Don't tell me this didn't come immediately to your minds, too.
The problem, I think, is that Opal is just not a very compelling narrator. Yelena was in dire straits. We are informed of her plight from the very beginning - committed for a (rightful) murder, sentenced to be a taste tester, learning about poisons as the understudy of a sexy assassin, and oh - poisoned herself so that if she doesn't return to Valek each night to get her dose of the antidote, she'll die a horrible and painful death.
Opal doesn't really have a plight. We get to hear about how she makes magic glass animals that other magic-users employ to stay in contact with each other (unicorn-shaped cell phones, basically). There's a lot more about magic. She and her mentor get assailed by bandits. She thinks one of the bandits is hot and calls him "Blue Eyes." She saves the Stormdancers. There's a lot of talk about how awesome Yelena is, and a lot of other people sing Opal's (aka "The Glass Magician") praises, as well.
Not only is there not much in the way of conflict, but Opal is also borderline Sue. And she tells everything, instead of showing. "I was annoyed," she might write. Or, "I did X because I was feeling Y." Emotions in books shouldn't be like a road-map. They should be like a game of chess, where the character makes the moves and you have to use your brain, as the reader, to figure out what's going on. I feel like this burdensome narrative really bogged down the storyline.
This is the second time I've attempted to check this book out from the library, and I've been attempting to read it for days, but no dice. There was a lot of potential here, but it wasn't even close to realized.
Even though I finished this yesterday, I decided to sleep on the review because otherwise it would have consisted en...moreOh. My. God.
Even though I finished this yesterday, I decided to sleep on the review because otherwise it would have consisted entirely of incoherent babbling.
I used to eschew romance entirely. I was a horrendous literary snob, and believed historical-romances were nothing but silly bodice rippers for people to read at the hair salon or whatever. But then I befriended two lovely ladies named Myrika and Louisa, and their glowing accolades of regency romance--as well as the high GR ratings of the book--made me wonder if I was missing something.
Long story short: I was. They were right. I was wrong. Being a literary snob does not pay. Being a fangirl does.
(Well, not really.)
Lily Lawson flaunts convention like it's a silly hat. She drinks, hunts, and swears with the boys, leading her family to shun her and the ton to fix her with the Side-Eye of Disapproval. However, her light-hearted devil-may-care attitude masks a terrible secret: she lost her daughter years ago, to the man who first broke her heart.
Lord Alex Raiford (NOM NOM NOM) is still haunted by the death of the woman he thought he loved. When he sees Lily, who looks quite a bit like his departed Caroline, he has quite a shock. He makes up his mind to dislike her on the spot. His horror when he discovers that she is the sister of his bride-to-be is hilarious. Particularly when he tries so hard to mask his sexual attraction beneath a veneer of contempt.
Lily decides to break up the wedding between Alex and her sister, Penny, because she thinks he's a cold-hearted bastard who will turn her wallflower sister into a shrinking violet. She pretends to be engaged to the boy her sister actually loves as a scheme to get the two of them together.
When Alex kisses Lily in the kitchen in the middle of the night?
When Lily ties Alex to a bed to keep him from preventing the elopement?
I died again.
When Alex bets fifteen thousand pounds against her spending a night with him in his bed in a game of cards?
Kleypas toed the line between Byronic hero and emotionally abusive boyfriend. For a while, I was really worried that he was going to rape her--or her sister. But he didn't. Thank God. And despite his callous exterior, Alex genuinely comes to care for Lily. The way he treats her at the end just made me totally giddy because, hello? BOYFRIENDS DON'T HAVE TO SMACK YOU AROUND TO MAKE FOR A GOOD ROMANCE NOVEL.
Sexy sex scenes without abuse?
And the romance scenes are well-written. Extremely so. You can tell when an author isn't comfortable writing them because their style changes and they resort to florid prose and repetitive word use to dance around no-no words like "come," "nipple," "vagina," and "penis."
This was especially refreshing because I just read Teresa Medeiros, and I literally flinched at some of her... um, interesting alternatives. Like "lapping at her dew," or "crashing with her against the shore," or "plunging into her softness." Ugh.
Kleypas's style is consist throughout. She writes some pretty raunchy stuff, and it starts to get a little crazy towards the end, but it's well-written and in-character, so guess what? PWP?
(Don't worry, though, she doesn't sacrifice the plot. But there's a LOT of filler. Sexy filler.)
WHAT THE FLIPPIN' FIRETRUCK? This is it, folks. The journey is over. This is the book when Anita Blake becomes a raving Mary Sue. At first I really li...moreWHAT THE FLIPPIN' FIRETRUCK? This is it, folks. The journey is over. This is the book when Anita Blake becomes a raving Mary Sue. At first I really liked this book - a lot. Richard Zeeman has always been one of my favorite characters. The gentle junior middle school science teacher who's actually a fearsome beasty - albeit unwillingly? And he's nerdy-hot. I don't get the whole attraction to Jean-Claude who's mostly just scary and evil. It's like choosing the smooth-talking criminal over the cute guy from chess club. But in this book, Laurell K. Hamilton makes it clear that she, and thus Anita by proxy, has horrible taste in men. And equally terrible fashion sense.
Seriously, why does everyone in her books dress like a cross between The Gay Pride Parade and a B&D club? There is nothing sexy about a lycra pirate costume in lime green (gag!), or shirts with missing panels of fabric to reveal scars and tattoos. The clothing described in these books are hideous! I mean, at least with the GPP it's fun and supposed to be a little tacky. It's self-effacing. With these books, it's kind of sad because it seems like the author actually thinks that these clothes are, in fact, super sexy and stylish. Maybe if you were in the 1980s... and also happened to be named Tom Jones.
...Whew, OK, now that I've got that out of my system.
Anita Blake runs into trouble (well, more than usual) when she finds out that she is suddenly the target of an assassination. The price is $500,000 and her old frenemy, Edward, has just been approached as a potential assassin. He declines, on the grounds that Anita is worth more to him alive rather than dead, but this is small comfort. At the same time, Anita and Jean-Claude are being pressured by the evil and slightly insane vampire, Sabin, and his human servant to reverse the cancerous rot that has taken over his body by a lack of fresh blood. And if that's not enough, there's also trouble in paradise: Richard doesn't like sharing Anita with Jean-Claude. He doesn't like having his marriage proposal left hanging. And he especially doesn't like Anita pressuring him to kill the alpha of his pack, who doesn't seem to be able to comprehend the meaning of the word "quit." Mostly because he's afraid of how she'll react to him in his beast form. Anita is no more certain of this either, but that doesn't stop her from voicing her opinion, my no. For such a small woman she certainly has a large supply of grandiose thoughts and hare-brained ideas.
I'm sorry but this book just really made me angry. I thought it was RIDICULOUS that Anita spent half the book trying to convince Richard to KILL! KILL! KILL! And then when Richard does kill (view spoiler)[- and then eats the evil werewolf he kills - (hide spoiler)] Anita turns around and sleeps with the vampire. (view spoiler)[Because vampires don't eat people at all, I guess. Makes perfect sense to me. (hide spoiler)] It made me sick how cruel Anita was to Richard with her double standards. She described him as weak and incapable of defending himself, but then gets pissed off at his inhumanity when he does what she asks. She cowers when he gets frustrated and actually vents at her, but then turns around and says this like, "He looked lovely when he was angry." It's sexist when men do it, and seeing women do it make it no less revolting and tasteless. It's objectifying and crude.
What I'm trying to get at is that Anita used to be at least somewhat consistent as a character. I used to admire the fact that she was so religious because it helped explain her moral compass. As other reviewers have pointed out, that appears to have vanished somewhere between books 5 and now. Probably because of how corrupt she has grown. I suppose it would be more than a little bit hypocritical to have Anita acting sanctimonious while sleeping around with vampires and killing people and having quasi-origies, and shooting S&M snuff films-slash-pornos. No, I am not joking.
Ms. Hamilton may think that excess quantities of gore and erotica can replace the lack of plot in these newer books, but for a lot of her readers that does not appear to suffice. It certainly doesn't with me. I need books that are more than just filler. It doesn't have to be enlightening, but yes, I would like an actual plot with some actual character development. And no, turning into a total whore-slash-mega-bitch is not character development. It is just degrading and sad, especially when she's touted as a feminist. Letting people use you is not feminism - and neither is using other people. Even - and you could say especially - if they are men.
Right. I'm going to go mourn for this series now. I definitely will not be buying any more of the books from this point on.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
In fiction, there is this concept known as "suspension of disbelief." Having something be fiction gives the author certain artistic licenses, but thes...moreIn fiction, there is this concept known as "suspension of disbelief." Having something be fiction gives the author certain artistic licenses, but these are at constant tug-of-war with what the reader is willing to discard about what they already know about the world. It's a fine line.
Helprin rides flying unicorns all over it.
Freddy and Fredericka starts out as a ridiculous but astute parody of the English royal family. Camilla Parker-Bowles makes an appearance, as does Prince Charles's rather unfortunate "I want to be your tampon" remark--both outrageously satirized, of course.
Then, about 150 pages in, the plot devolves into absolute madness. A crazy old man who may or may not be imaginary tells Freddy that he must go on a quest to prove himself worthy of the crown, to a horrible land where many knights braver than he have perished--New Jersey (I lol'd. I admit it).
In New Jersey, it takes only one hundred pages for F&F to: get arrested twice, meet up with a Gypsy King named Kitten who's actually a con-man named Sal, find themselves enmeshed in an art heist, initiate a fight-to-the-death with a bunch of bikers, and crash-land an airplane.
This had the potential to be really good. If he'd maintained the four parts satire, one part ridiculousness that he had going on in the beginning this could have been a wonderful Terry Pratchett-like envisioning of England. As it was...? Mind-blowing. And not in a good way.
I LOVE gorgeous children's books like these. They are the kinds of books that (I hope) are as enjoyable for the parents as they are for the kids. I kn...moreI LOVE gorgeous children's books like these. They are the kinds of books that (I hope) are as enjoyable for the parents as they are for the kids. I know the children's books that stayed with me the longest were the ones with the complex and colorful illustrations that I could stare at for hours.
This is a story about a chameleon who wishes that he could have his very own color instead of just blending in with everything in the background. Perfect for wallflowers. (:(less)
I won an ARC of Invisible Sun, the sequel to this book, in a giveaway. When I saw the prequ...moreYou can read my reviews at my blog, The Armchair Librarian!
I won an ARC of Invisible Sun, the sequel to this book, in a giveaway. When I saw the prequel for sale at my library's bookstore for one dollar, I was like, THE PRICE IS RIGHT.
...I have a problem.
But anyway, in Invisible Sun there were a lot of things that didn't make sense. Like, why does Mimi call Durango "cowboy"? How did Mars get terraformed? Why does everyone speak the curse words of every language fluently? Even though everyone is, predominantly, white? And where did Regulators come from? (Not to be mistaken with the Stephen King novel by the same name.) None of these questions were answered to my satisfaction in Invisible Sun, so I thought Black Hole Sun might be the ticket.
That isn't to say that I don't love this series. I do. Really. At first, I wasn't so sure but the snarky banter grew on me and I just skimmed over the foreign curses because what I imagined them to mean (may your ancestors choke on a barrelful of rancid sardines!) is probably a lot funnier than what they actually do mean (**** @#($)@*##@$@# ****!!!!!!). I can hear that on the freeway any time I want, you know. All I have to do is merge without signaling and the curses, they just fly.*
*I am a responsible driver and would never do this. My sister, on the other hand...**
**My sister is a responsible driver and would never do this, either.
I'm bummed that the Regulator culture isn't described in more detail because it's pretty bizarre. They operate on tenets of honor, like the samurai, and kill themselves to spare themselves the shame of failure. Their greatest honor is to die a "Beautiful Death," a death of battle, so they can go to--I am not kidding--Valhalla. Oh, and they have to cut off their pinkie finger, like the Yakuza.
What kind of a cultural melting pot formed this group, that it would be such a hodgepodge of strange and violent customs from across the world? I don't know. I'd like to know. Backstory, Mr. Gill!
I mean, really. You've got an awesome concept here. Work it!
The Black Hole Sun series comes perilously close to being over the top. It doesn't quite reach that point, at least not for me, but it's close. I think a lot of the snark could be sacrificed to make the transitions between scenes smoother and less hurriedly choppy.
As it is, this is a fun, light-hearted romp through space, and highly reminiscent of the Power Rangers or Beetle Borgs, or one of those other 90s-era teen superhero franchises. Why it isn't a TV series already is beyond me.
We can pretend to be erudite all we like, but whether it's literature or the latest super...moreYou can read more reviews at my blog, The Armchair Librarian.
We can pretend to be erudite all we like, but whether it's literature or the latest supermarket pulp we all know why we read murder mysteries, and that's because we want to see the dead body.
Ruth Rendell does not beat around the bush. My no. The first line of this book is: "It was the first dead body he had ever seen."
I was a little frustrated with Master of the Moor (despite that admittedly kick-ass opening) for several reasons:
#1: The title made me think I was getting a deliciously trashy gothic romance, perhaps with BDSM undertones. Instead I got a rather straightfoward literary gothic mystery. My bad.
#2: It took a while for the story to really get on its feet. Plus, the main character, Stephen, is a prat. I did not like him at all. He's one of those passive characters who just watches things happen to other people and does nothing but skulk through the moors like he thinks he's bloody Heathcliff.
(More on that shortly...)
However, the writing was quite good and I enjoyed the very British-ness of it. Everything all proper, like you could hang a doily on every other sentence, and by the way, would you like some tea and crumpets with your dead body?
Where was I?
...Oh, right. So anyway, Stephen finds this dead body while walking through the moors. And he also has this weird thing going on with the moors. Like, despite living in a small apartment, he kind of feels like he owns the rights to them. I also kind of got the creepy feeling that he might hump the ground if he thought nobody was looking...
Anyway, the police suspect him as the murderer and Stephen is annoyed. His wife, Lyn, is also annoyed because Stephen has always been aloof and childish and needy all at the same time, treating her more like a surrogate mother than a wife. For starters, she's still a virgin. We find this out when she decides to have an extramarital affair, and the other guy's like, "Dude."
Stephen is descended from this local famous bloke, but through his mother only who was also an illegitimate child. He has serious mommy issues, and is super resentful of his mother's side of the family who pretty much want nothing to do with him. All of this is going on in the background while the murderer tromps around, gleefully killing young blonde women and hacking off their hair.
Stephen ends up becoming almost as fixated on the murders as he is on the moors, and eventually this fixation leads to something dramatic and psychotic and appropriately gothic.
So many -ics!
I like unreliable narrators, and this one was done pretty well. The ending left me a little confused though. I would have liked something more vague. I think there's a lot of reading-between-the-lines stuff happening, and I'm pretty bad at that unless I'm reallllly interested in the book (my reading comprehension scores were never great in school. I was more of a vocabmeister).
Overall, this was fun. It's not as mind-rotting as other murder mysteries (*stares at James Patterson and his legion of ghost-writers*), so you can justify it by saying, "I am being cultured!" Even though you're doing the literary equivalent of poking the dead body in the woods with a stick.
i love, love, love this series but the ending was kind of lame. the wedding goes off without a hitch and then the rest of the book consists of the ext...morei love, love, love this series but the ending was kind of lame. the wedding goes off without a hitch and then the rest of the book consists of the extra, 'kikuri's day.' i suppose it's nice to see the end result of one of the underdog romance themes but this last book just wasn't up to par with the rest of the books in the series.
however, don't let this discourage you from reading the rest of the books! red river is, by far, one of the best shoujo manga i have read in a very long time.(less)
Yes, I know that this book is for children. So what? I like cute animals, too! And in this,...moreYou can read more books at my blog, The Armchair Librarian!
Yes, I know that this book is for children. So what? I like cute animals, too! And in this, Deadly Adorable Animals does not disappoint. Each section has a cute, big-eyed, sweet-looking animal just begging for pets, and then immediately after, BAM! That same cute little animal is digging its cute little teeth into the mauled brains of the prey it just killed. Eek.
This is very informative. In addition to being cuteness porn, it shares many interesting facts about the animals featured. For example, I had no idea that slow lorises were venomous. Or that golden dart frogs were the most poisonous frogs in the world, probably because of the bugs they eat because frogs not raised in the Amazon are not poisonous at all. Or that only male platypuses had poisonous stingers.
You learn something new every day!
Most deceptively cute? The long-tailed weasel or the slow loris.
Most overprotective parents? The giraffe and the swan.
Most bizarre form of cute? The platypus and the dolphin.
when my friend first tried to sell me on this plotline, in a fruitless attempt to make me read manga, i laughed. it sounded like some overgrown kid's...morewhen my friend first tried to sell me on this plotline, in a fruitless attempt to make me read manga, i laughed. it sounded like some overgrown kid's method of playing cops and robbers. i mean, some kid vigilante playing cat-and-mouse with the cops? lame.
well, no, actually it's not.
up until this point, the only manga i had been acquainted with were ditzy shoujo novels. i could only imagine what the main characters in death note would be like. death note is not like that. there is no ditziness (at least, not until the annoying token girl character comes on the scene, but don't worry, she doesn't appear for a while and she actually has a purpose). the thing is, raito is brilliant. he's the obnoxious kid we all love to hate. you know the one; he sits in the front row and answers every question right without cracking the book. he's on the fast track to success, and looking at his watch every second of the way... until he finds the death note.
the death note is the notebook of a shinigami (death god). suddenly, raito--golden boy and fuckwit extraordinaire--has the power over life--and death. being the intelligent, elitist (and yet surprisingly naive) boy that he is, raito wants to create his own utopia by killing off all the criminals of the world, simultaneously assigning himself the position of judge, jury, and executioner. by this point, you might be thinking to yourself, man, this raito kid sounds like a mean little bastard.
you ain't seen nothing yet.
his first victim is a man holding an elementary school hostage. raito writes his name down in the notebook and he dies 40 seconds later (the default time, unless otherwise specified in the book). hundreds of prisoners suddenly dropping dead of heart attacks isn't going to go unnoticed for long. and it doesn't. fbi, cia, interpol, and 'L'.
L is a private investigator with one hell of a sweet tooth. he also has some of the most awkward, unnatural positions you will ever see in a manga. 'L' is also a mean little bastard, but this one's on the side of the law: he sees kira--raito's media-dubbed name--as a criminal; one that must be stopped and punished at all costs.
the two of them engage in an intense battle of investigation that would make sherlock holmes go cry in the corner. 'L' might walk into the room, take a sniff, and say, "obviously, the open window is just a decoy. you will notice that the broken glass is on the inside, instead of the outside--he couldn't have possibly left through the window because the glass is on the wrong side. furthermore, i have done some investigating and found that one of the back doors was forced. judging from the marks, he was using tools and appeared to know what he was doing. we are clearly dealing with a professional."
the whole book is full of spiels like that, and while that probably sounds annoying, trust me, it isn't. the clues leave the reader thinking, wow, that was TOTALLY obvious or, alternatively, "i never would have that of that.... or simply, "what the fuck?"
Shabanu is a young Pakistani girl who is part of a family of people who raise camels. The plot of the story revolves around getting ready for the wedd...moreShabanu is a young Pakistani girl who is part of a family of people who raise camels. The plot of the story revolves around getting ready for the wedding of her beautiful older sister, Phulan. Unlike her sister, Shabanu resents being thrust into adulthood so early, and is reluctant to get married and let herself be "owned" by a man. Since she is the youngest, and lives in the isolated desert, her free-spirited ways are tolerated more, and she has been allowed to run wild.
All of that changes when Shabanu and Phulan go to Phulan's betrothed's house to prepare for their wedding. The land owner, an ugly, spoiled, and malevolent man named Nazir Mohammed, makes a bet that the man who shoots the most wild quail will get to rape Phulan, with Shabanu acting as the consolation prize.
This is a surprisingly "adult" young adult book that really explores the objectification and suppression of women in the middle east. There are plenty of strong female role models, and not all of them are the feminist, "I hate men" variety. What makes this book special is that it shows how women can be strong in different ways.
I didn't like the ending, though. I feel that it went against everything that we had previously been led to believe about Shabanu and her father. That's why I gave this book three stars instead of four.(less)
Imagine three tour guides. The first tour guide parks the bus, and immediately says, "Everyone out!" He takes you to t...moreConsider the following scenario.
Imagine three tour guides. The first tour guide parks the bus, and immediately says, "Everyone out!" He takes you to the touring site, lights up a cigarette, and says, "Here we are. Have fun. Go nuts. Ask me if you have any questions, and make sure you return here by 4:45." Then he goes to sit on a bench and smoke, leaving you to your own devices.
The second tour guide takes you to the site and lectures at you for the entire duration of the tour. The information is detailed but dry in delivery. No breaks, no deviations. Questions are met with raised eyebrows and dismissive attitude, or simply ignored. Lunch is a rigidly adhered-to half hour and the bus leaves at 4:45, with or without you.
The third tour guide takes you to the site and works from a relatively set script, with some improvisation and humor. He lets you wander around for a bit, with breaks for restroom trips and photographs. He answers questions for a reasonable amount of time before hurrying the blabbermouths along. He makes you feel smart for understanding what he's talking about through guided questions and salient examples.
Which tour guide would you rather have?
No, this isn't a paradox or a trick question (well, I guess it kinda is a trick question in a way, actually). This is how I feel about Al-Khalili's approach to physics in this book.
I don't usually like reading books about hard science because they are so dry and, well, boring. Plus, I have trouble understanding them sometimes so they make me feel stupid which, in turn, makes me angry. I was that smart girl who took remedial science and math because the thought of calculations made her want to curl up in a ball and cry. I still have never taken a single chemistry or physics course in my life.
And yet, despite this lack of understanding with Paradox, I actually GOT it. Al-Khalili has a wonderful way with words, and his descriptions of physics and the various paradoxes are poetic and impassioned. You can tell this guy really, really loves his research (quantum physics) and his job (he teaches physics to college undergrads- d'awww). I like that. It makes me want to love physics, too. He also provides charts and illustrations for key concepts, which I really appreciated.
The best part of all, though, is how the author weaves physics with philosophy. I was delighted to see some of the concepts I'd learned about in my philosophy courses on determinism, ethics, and biology. Oh, the butterfly effect. Oh, the grandfather paradox. Oh, Schrodinger's poor half-dead half-alive kitty. The best sections IMHO were the ones about space, because that's something I'm really interested in. I used to learn about the planets and stuff as a kid with my dad. Same with dinosaurs. I was obsessed with both. In fact, if there was a book about a planet with dinosaurs, I probably would have peed myself. Too bad Dinotopia didn't exist during MY childhood. But yeah, there is nothing so humbling as learning about the history of your universe and realizing how great and wonderful and magical and BEAUTIFUL creation really is.
I mean, we came from bubbles of LIPIDS and look what we are now.
THIS LOOKS LIKE A COCKTAIL PARTY QUOTABLE IF I DO SAY SO MYSELF.
If you like the idea of learning about science in abstract but are terrified of the math, you should definitely check out this book. I wish I had a math/science teacher like this in high school or college. Maybe then I'd be a physicist at NASA instead of a psychology major at an outlet mall. *cough* self pity *cough cough*
4.5 to 5 stars!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. This in no way biased or shaped my reading or opinion of the book. (less)
Most teenage girls would be envious of Aphra's job — she works at a resort in a tropical island, surrounded by the rich and famous. But her life basic...moreMost teenage girls would be envious of Aphra's job — she works at a resort in a tropical island, surrounded by the rich and famous. But her life basically sucks. She has no friends, her social calendar is blanko, and her dad gets red around the ears every time she says “period.” But she's been marooned in this place ever since her mother ducked out on them four years ago, and it's looking like it might be permanent. Like, gag me with a bikini.
But then the Smiths come along, replete with a hunky son her own age. Aphra is thrilled . . . and also suspicious. They seem to have appeared out of nowhere, their reservation and personal information isn't in the computer, and none of the guests even know who they are. As if that isn't sketchy enough, her father forbids her to talk to them — at all. Which is basically an invitation, as far as she's concerned.
Until the on-again-off-again girlfriend of one of their clients is found dead on the beach, choked to death by her own bikini. Is it a coincidence that she dies the day after the Smiths set foot on the island? Aphra doesn't think so. Suddenly, the Smiths aren't the only shady characters on the island. Her dad is freaking out, and not in a normal omg-someone-died?-kind of way. He definitely knows something and Aprha is determined to find out what, exactly, that something is. At any cost. She was named after one of the most famous female spies in history, after all.
With a colorful cast, innovative espionage, and star-crossed romance, Death By Bikini is a great read for super-sleuths who are too grown up for Nancy Drew but still carry that love of resourceful heroines. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series, Death by Latte, to see what will happen between Aphra and her new romance.(less)
it's hard to find a book with an environmental message that is SUBTLE. when it comes to passing along a message, though, carl hiaasen takes the cake....moreit's hard to find a book with an environmental message that is SUBTLE. when it comes to passing along a message, though, carl hiaasen takes the cake. government corruption, poorly prioritized environmental protection, red necks, and racism- hiaasen manages to criticize and satirize it all with, of all things possible, BASS FISHING.
you don't need to be an avid fisherman to enjoy this extremely fast-paced murder mystery. what are you waiting for? hurry up and read it before this book becomes the one that got away! (less)
Christopher Buckley is more than just a brilliant author - he's also brilliant at satire. What...moreI laughed. I cried. I shouted:
Christopher Buckley is more than just a brilliant author - he's also brilliant at satire. What I love most about his books is how they poke fun at the corrupt and jaded underpinnings of our society - and the worst best part is, some of his ideas...aren't all that far-fetched. It's kind of like Johnathon Swift saying, Hey, look - we can solve world hunger and overpopulation in one go; we just eat the children!
No Way to Treat a First Lady is a poke and a jab (and a wink, wink and a nudge, nudge) at the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal - but so much worse. Oh, so much worse. Because President Ken McMann is a notorious womanizer who collects women the way Baskin Robins collects flavors. His most recent flavor of the month is a singer-slash-actress - Babette Van Anka. Although you might as well call her Rocky Road because that's what she does for the First Lady, when the president's affair sticks her with the perfect motive for premeditated murder when he turns up dead the next morning. Now the whole world wants to know - who done "it" (and they're not necessarily just talking about the murder trial - YOWZA!).
I loved this book. It had me snickering to myself at 1AM in the morning - and I'm not usually a fan of legal thrillers. Mr. Buckley takes the dramatic soap opera approach from John Grisham, who is adept at turning the courthouse into theater. His colorful characters, on the other hand, are a definite nod to Carl Hiaasen, who specializes in lampooning political pundits and legislative loopholes. (Seriously, if you haven't read Hiaasen, you should - he's good. Really good. I've read almost all of his books.)
The best part of this book is...the ending. You won't see it coming. But let's just say that if the courthouse is a drama, then some of the cast members kind of suck in their performance (heh...heh heh).
Read it! Read it now! Or I will hold you in contempt! (less)