Imagine a story much worse than anything Clive Cussler has written and you have Vulcan's Forge. The main character is a geologist, I mean, the best-mo...moreImagine a story much worse than anything Clive Cussler has written and you have Vulcan's Forge. The main character is a geologist, I mean, the best-most-awesome-smartest-best looking-military trained geologist who can do anything/kill anyone/screw anyone with a look from his deep blue gray eyes at a moments notice. The plot is that he must stop an evil Japanese genius from taking over Hawaii in a military coup AND from getting control of a big ass volcano with special properties that the Russians planted 50 years prior and is now about to sprout out of the ocean. I knew that it was garbage going in, but I was desperate for a book to read and this one was on top of a pile right next to me. It probably could have been decent, but the main character is like a God and everytime he gets himself out a jam he chugs a few beers and wants to bone the hot chick he just saved. If I had to guess, I'd say that the author is fantasizing about himself as an action hero.(less)
Sure it's a vampire book, but that shouldn't stop you from reading it. I joke. While garbage like Twilight pollutes the vampire genre, it's easy to ge...moreSure it's a vampire book, but that shouldn't stop you from reading it. I joke. While garbage like Twilight pollutes the vampire genre, it's easy to get turned off from books about bloodsuckers. I took a risk and was handsomely rewarded with a gruesome and original story about a pseudo-detective/hired thug named Joe Pitt stuck in the middle of rival vampire gangs in New York City. He's dealing with a missing girl, a zombie outbreak, vampire politics, all while fighting his growing hunger to grab the next person he sees and gulp all the blood from their body. The author has the dry humor that I enjoy and the knack for making the gore leap off the page. There's a little bit of unnecessary relationship drama thrown in, but I suppose that one could argue that it helps make the main character more relatable. It's short enough to make the slow parts tolerable, knowing that the story will pick up after a few pages. I'll probably give the next book in the series a try to see if the premise grows stale. Overall I recommend it - it's not great, but it is definitely a solid "good."(less)
Gray Pierce is the lead operative at SIGMA, a covert government agency that makes the CIA look like a bunch of pansies. He and his team of specialists...moreGray Pierce is the lead operative at SIGMA, a covert government agency that makes the CIA look like a bunch of pansies. He and his team of specialists are in a race against time to decipher ancient clues to a treasure that could destroy the world if acquired by the deadly Dragon Court. It's all standard treasure hunting fare, done countless times by Rollins, Dan Brown, Clive Cussler, and probably a few of your relatives. As long as they are written good I enjoy them. In this case, Map of Bones, it is written very well and even has the bonus of having solid characters. It's a non-stop thriller that traverses the globe, offering quite a bit of history, most based on real concepts, but all no doubt embellished for the sake of the story. Through the course of the book, puzzles are contemplated and solved far too conveniently, just like in the DaVinci Code. Heroes get themselves in tight spots with very little suspense of whether or not they will survive, because they always do in these kind of books! Regardless, there is a certain comfort in knowing that your hero is about to kick some ass and really show that bad guy what time it is. Cheesy, I know, but that's why we read these books. I loved it - great summer adventure book, interesting historical perspective, and fun well thought out characters. I highly recommend it.(less)
While it wasn't as entertaining as the previous two Repairman Jack novel, I still had fun hanging out with the uncompromising Mr. Fix-it. The plot is...moreWhile it wasn't as entertaining as the previous two Repairman Jack novel, I still had fun hanging out with the uncompromising Mr. Fix-it. The plot is very weak though and doesn't really develop until nearly the end of the book. Up until then it's just meandering. I dare say that it's even boring in the middle. The whole conspiracy convention setting grows stale after a chapter or two with the characters present there being underdeveloped and one dimensional. It was a lazy effort by the author in my opinion. (less)
Repairman Jack gets things done. He has a quiet fury in his eyes that makes bad guys quiver and beautiful women swoon. In this, the second novel of an...moreRepairman Jack gets things done. He has a quiet fury in his eyes that makes bad guys quiver and beautiful women swoon. In this, the second novel of an ongoing series, Jack gets roped into volunteering for a gig involving a house, an oh so mysterious house. A woman inherits the home from her late father, but her unscrupulous half brother will stop at nothing to keep the house from her. The house holds a secret that nobody has been able to unlock, a secret that could change the world forever! Ok, so that's the premise. This book is pure fun and even a little deep in regards to character development. Much deeper than most detective style novels. The author does something not often done - he switches perspectives. During one chapter Jack will kick some guys butt, then the next chapter will describe the event from the guys view. It CAN be slightly jarring at times when you just want to story to blaze along, but it does wonders for developing the story. Overall, I didn't like this story as much as The Tomb, but I will definitely continue to read the Repairman Jack series. (less)
I have to say, this is the best book that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Also high on my list is Razor's Edge, but this book has me in awe....moreI have to say, this is the best book that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Also high on my list is Razor's Edge, but this book has me in awe. If you don't know the premise, it follows a club footed boy named Philip that because of the death of his parents, is raised by his minister Uncle and submissive Aunt in a small English town. He struggles with his deformity and searches for his place in the world while always wondering what the meaning of it all is. It steadily follows his life into early adulthood. Nothing is left out, we are there for everything he goes through and everyone he meets for 30 years. It's maddening and breathtaking at the same time.
My reasoning in reading it was because I wanted to be immersed into turn of the 20th century London and Paris. It satisfied that criteria perfectly, vividly putting me there at that time in an authentic way I never imagined possible through print. Maugham is a master, perhaps THE master, at developing realistic characters. Everyone I met in this book felt totally fleshed out and genuine. Everything just makes sense - it's hard to describe! Even though I wanted to strangle Philip at times, I understood why he was doing what he did, because his struggles are universal. From an early age he begins questioning the meaning of life and through his quest to find out he is nearly destroyed. I've heard some complaints about the ending, but I think that by the time you arrive there you accept it. I can't recommend this book enough.
If you start it and waver in your desire to continue, try to stick it out. It's worth it!! (less)
The first book of the Repairman Jack series. I had just read Of Human Bondage, so I needed something fun to read, and this was exactly that. I love th...moreThe first book of the Repairman Jack series. I had just read Of Human Bondage, so I needed something fun to read, and this was exactly that. I love the Dresden and Felix Castor supernatural detective books and was recommended this series to try. I might be hooked! This particular entry introduces Jack, a guy who fixes things, meaning he's a thug. But...he has a heart of gold, of course. He gets hired to find a mysterious necklace by a one armed Indian and his very bangable sister, who both may be hiding some deep dark secrets that could get Jack killed in a most horrendous fashion. If that weren't enough, Jack's ex-girlfriend enlists him to find her missing Aunt. Unfortunately for Jack, these two cases are on a collision course! Anyways, the book so entertaining that you can forgive convenient plot devices and out-of-nowhere clues that turn up at the last possible second. It's not as good a the Dresden books, but it might be the closest second that I've encountered so far.(less)
A fairly swift moving space odyssey about a country sized cylindrical object gliding through our solar system. We send a crack team of space cowboys (...moreA fairly swift moving space odyssey about a country sized cylindrical object gliding through our solar system. We send a crack team of space cowboys (boring astronauts) to check it out and figure out what the hell this mysterious "craft" is all about. This was my first foray into space sciFi...and perhaps my last. It was a fun read, but not of a genre that I am interested in. There was a horror-esque creepy feel at times, reminiscent of the movie Event Horizon, but that was secondary to the man-searching-for-intelligence theme, something that I've had my fill of from the movies.(less)
This might have the absolute best, most suspenseful opening to a book that I've ever read. It's all downhill from there - and in a rapid fashion. Scra...moreThis might have the absolute best, most suspenseful opening to a book that I've ever read. It's all downhill from there - and in a rapid fashion. Scratch that, it doesn't really go downhill, because it really doesn't go anywhere. That's the problem - the main characters don't have much to do. Most of the book is spent covering characters besides the ones we want to care about. My disappointment grew exponentially as this went on because it had the potential to be a really fun and thrilling read. When the final act of the book finally seemed to get the story back on track, it ended in the most insulting and cliched way. I can't say anymore without giving it away, except to say that you'll be left scratching your head. My only gripe with Guillermo Del Toro is that he stumbles when executing his amazing ideas, in his movies and now in this book. I'm not sure if I'll read the next one, for this one was not at all memorable save the incredible opening.(less)
The story this time around felt shallow - more like a short story than the usually more complicated plots that Carey delivers. Besides that, it just f...moreThe story this time around felt shallow - more like a short story than the usually more complicated plots that Carey delivers. Besides that, it just flat out wasn't as interesting and fun as the previous three installments. It was, dare I say, boring. The final few pages nearly make it all worth it though! You'll see...(less)