Snyder’s fantasy novels are all a lot of fun! They have a wide appeal, too, and can easily fit the YA market, romance and fantasy fans - she makes surSnyder’s fantasy novels are all a lot of fun! They have a wide appeal, too, and can easily fit the YA market, romance and fantasy fans - she makes sure there is something in her books for almost everyone! This first novel in the Healer series is no exception. Set in a new fantasy landscape - the Fifteen Realms - that has been decimated by a terrible plague, Avry is the last living Healer. She comes to play a crucial role in the new political climate that exists in the wake of the loss of two-thirds of the population of the entire land. Similar to her other novels, the characters play the largest part in the novel and there are a lot of likable ones, here. Even the villain is charming in his own way. The dialogue contains bantering humour and the relationships all have a convincing feel to them. The romance is fun, and adds rather than detracts from the overall plot. I do wish that Snyder had been writing about ten years ago when I had been desperate for new fantasy novels - I think I would have appreciated these more then and had even more fun reading them.
This is a fast and fun read. It is lighthearted and an easy escape to a simple fantasy landscape. It lacks some of the more complex details and detailed descriptions. But the point-of-view is limited to just Avry’s perspective. Perhaps a wider POV could help expand the background details and give this a firmer grounding. Still, I am looking forward to a sequel involving these truly likable characters. ...more
This YA fantasy/thriller is a wonderfully fast-paced and exciting read! In alternating chapters, the story of two sisters - Annie and Fia - unfolds inThis YA fantasy/thriller is a wonderfully fast-paced and exciting read! In alternating chapters, the story of two sisters - Annie and Fia - unfolds in an immediate fashion. Both sisters have special abilities and have been pulled into working for a nefarious man from a young and vulnerable age. Adding to the difficulties in escaping is the fact that Annie is blind. Their bond to one another deepens their predicament as each is the other’s hostage. Both characters are likable and though the overall premise is not wholly original, the fast pacing and exciting action makes this easy to overlook. It ends on quite the cliffhanger - so I am looking forward to the sequel. I like the fact that it is largely set in Chicago, too. White is a talented writer and I am looking forward to checking out her other books!...more
This debut novel was a lot of fun. Projected as the first book in a trilogy, Shepherd used H. G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau as the inspiration foThis debut novel was a lot of fun. Projected as the first book in a trilogy, Shepherd used H. G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau as the inspiration for her YA tale. Juliet Moreau is a seventeen year old girl who unexpectedly crosses her father’s trail after the scandal that left them penniless seven years before. She makes her way to the infamous island with her childhood friend (and crush). When they encounter a shipwrecked young man, a rather heavy-handed love triangle emerges as Juliet learns more about her father and their past. His true nature revealed, the book ends leaving the reader anxious for the sequel. It was fast-paced, fun and with some unexpected plot twists. Juliet was a likable heroine, too. I definitely am curious to see where the trilogy will go next! ...more
Vampires and werewolves have dominated the urban fantasy genre for the past few years, but here, Cameron offers a new spin on these familiar creaturesVampires and werewolves have dominated the urban fantasy genre for the past few years, but here, Cameron offers a new spin on these familiar creatures. This is the first novel in the Fangborn series. It’s fast-paced and very easy to read. It concludes with a clear set up for a sequel. Cameron blends archaeology and mythology to give her urban fantasy a unique feel. Zoe Miller, werewolf and protagonist, is a mostly sympathetic character. And, as narrator, she is the most three-dimensional person in the novel. The supporting cast lacks as much detail and can feel a bit flat. The characters are in their twenties and thirties, but Zoe’s immaturity gives the book more of a YA feel (despite some of the of-age activities). The varied settings from Boston to London to Paris to Berlin to Venice to Greece to Turkey add an exotic quality to the book and each city is realistically rendered. It will be interesting to see where the sequel will take Zoe and her friends. ...more
In June 2010, I read Angelology in virtually one sitting. After finishing it, I would periodically check to see if there was a publication release datIn June 2010, I read Angelology in virtually one sitting. After finishing it, I would periodically check to see if there was a publication release date for a sequel. So, after three years of anticipation, I eagerly began the sequel. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. Though I never felt lost in the sequel, it left me rather unsatisfied. The first book, in my memory at least, was a lushly written, layered novel that blended different periods in time with different narrative styles to create a unique debut. Trussoni blended historical fiction with the fantastic - and threw in a bit of a literary mystery, too, with some romance. The characters felt realistic and the plot unraveled in a delicate balance of action, prose and context that kept the pacing quick
The sequel felt completely different. It was not lushly layered, nor was it a fast-paced novel. There were a few scenes bursting with action, but they were spread out few and far between the scenes that comprised the bulk of the book: explanatory dialogue. Extensive, very detailed explanations fleshed out Trussoni’s world in more detail, but the reveal of this added detail left a lot to be desired. By using her character’s voices as the sole form of imparting information, their words served as information dump trucks vomiting out nothing more than lectures. Interesting lectures, yes, but it left little room for the characters to develop, grow or reveal meaningful relationships. There was little reminiscent here of the lush prose and interesting characters of the first book.
The sequel picked up ten years after the events in Angelology but covered little of what seemed like the interesting action that took place during that period. This book really felt like it was paving the way for a third book, getting a lot of detail out of the way. Maybe when fitted between the two books, this won’t feel like such a disappointment. And there were elements that worked well here - I especially liked the historical artefacts that wove their way into the story - the Faberge eggs, Rasputin... but, ultimately, what little plot points that emerged here were predictable, and the overall tone was too dull for this to be an entertaining follow-up. I will read the third novel, but I am not really looking forward to it in the same way that I thought I would have after finishing the first book. ...more
Wow!!! This is such a fun read! Bishop’s first foray into the urban side of fantasy is an impressive one! This novel spent the entire night glued to mWow!!! This is such a fun read! Bishop’s first foray into the urban side of fantasy is an impressive one! This novel spent the entire night glued to my fingertips - I simply could not put it down and stayed up till the sun rose to finish it in one sitting.
Bishop has been one of my favorite fantasy authors for many years now, and her newest series perfectly displays her talents. She is very adept at creating unique (and yet somehow comfortingly familiar) worlds complete with their own societies, histories and cultures. Bishop also peoples her creations with dynamic, interesting and sympathetic characters. Some similar themes and attitudes will be familiar to readers already familiar with Bishop’s other books, but this familiarity will in no way decrease from the riveting nature of Meg’s story and the relationships that she quickly - and firmly - builds with the Others. Bishop’s take on the popular werewolves and vampires is a fun one and she includes more unique supernatural characters, too.
The book ends with hints as to where the sequel will go, which certainly makes me impatient for the sequel’s release! Bishop remains one of the top writers in her genre and this is one of her finest books. She blends fantasy, romance, humour along with plenty of magic and excitement. I can’t wait to read the next book to feature these wonderfully endearing characters!...more
And so concludes the last volume of the Chronicles of the Cheysuli series... It is a bittersweet ending - all the more so since in the author’s note,And so concludes the last volume of the Chronicles of the Cheysuli series... It is a bittersweet ending - all the more so since in the author’s note, Roberson hints that maybe some day she will return to writing about this land and these terrific characters. But, it has been over twenty years since that note, so a return hardly seems likely. Still, I will be keeping my fingers crossed that some day she will add perhaps Cynric’s story to the canon.
Killon’s - and Ginevra’s - story does make for a fulfilling conclusion though. Like so many of the other novels, it is fast-paced and quite thrilling. Killon is not my favorite character of the series, but he is relatively sympathetic and Ginevra is definitely likable. The pages literally fly by - though this is the longest installment in the series.
I have really enjoyed re-reading this series. There are more complex and detailed fantasy worlds out there, but this one makes me quite nostalgic. Roberson has a skill in creating likable characters and convincing relationships between them. The writing itself improves with each novel, and the series contains some of my favorite characters in fiction. I’m sad to see it end... ...more
This seventh book in the series is one of the more “classic” fantasy novels in the series. Religion plays a large role here. Aidan, the book’s centralThis seventh book in the series is one of the more “classic” fantasy novels in the series. Religion plays a large role here. Aidan, the book’s central character, also undergoes a quest. From reading this series over and over again as a child, this was never amongst my favorites, but re-reading it now, I think it is quite a riveting read! It is fast-paced and exciting. Because it wasn’t my favorite as a child, I had forgotten a lot about the plot here, and even new characters (how could I have forgotten about Shona?) and new magical talents (kirvana). But, in reading this book, it really functions more as a set up for the final novel in this unique and entrancing series. If it wasn’t so late, I would be beginning the last book now!...more
Not to be left out, Niall’s daughter, Keely, is the focus of this sixth installment in the Chronicles of the Cheysuli series. Keely is a tomboyish andNot to be left out, Niall’s daughter, Keely, is the focus of this sixth installment in the Chronicles of the Cheysuli series. Keely is a tomboyish and strong heroine and her first-person perspective makes it easy to sympathize with her. This is a very memorable plot and though I have read this book countless times before, it is still a pleasure to re-read. It’s quite fast-paced and has a lot more romance and violence than a lot of the other novels in the series. This is also a more emotional one. This has been such fun to re-read - it reminds me of being younger when these books ranked among my all-time favorites. There are more complex and intricate epic fantasies available, but Roberson excels as creating characters that are worth caring about and set in a land that sparks the imagination. With each book in the series, her writing improves. Though many of them are more akin to coming-of-age novels, it works in the context of the series. This one has a more personal feel to it than some of the others and certainly tackles some bigger issues that do not always appear in fantasy. ...more
After re-reading the fourth installment for the who-knows-how-many-th time, I thought it was my favorite of the entire series... but now that I have fAfter re-reading the fourth installment for the who-knows-how-many-th time, I thought it was my favorite of the entire series... but now that I have finished re-reading this fifth book in the series, I am starting to think that maybe it is my favorite after all. Told from alternating third-person perspectives, the story relays the story of Niall’s three sons - Brennan, Hart and Corin. The story opens when they are little more than spoiled adolescents, but as the novel progresses all three mature in different ways. All three brothers face challenges and hardships that make this a fast-paced and thrilling read. The added complexity to the plot begins to foreshadow later novels in the series. Though this series starts off a little rough, it really improves with each novel. With two sets of twins, this one has always been particularly dear to me, and I can’t wait to keep reading this fun series!...more
This fourth installment in the Chronicles of the Cheysuli series feels very reminiscent of the second book, The Song Of Homana. Told in the first persThis fourth installment in the Chronicles of the Cheysuli series feels very reminiscent of the second book, The Song Of Homana. Told in the first person, Niall’s story has always been one of my favorites in the series. For me, this is one of the most memorable novels in the entire series, and its exciting events are ones that I haven’t forgotten. Niall’s feelings and the way he stands outside of his family gives this book more of a coming-of-age feel than any of the others. The romantic liaisons described here, too, are among the most exciting, too. The story moves along at a fast pace and once again, this is a stronger novel than its predecessor. More details emerge about this land and its varied countries, peoples and cultures continuing to add more complexity to the storyline. Niall is one of my favorite characters though and I am really enjoying re-reading this series after so many years! It is exciting and quite fun!...more
The third installment in the Cheysuli Chronicles shifts the perspective back to third-person, but completely centers around Donal. His path to kingshiThe third installment in the Cheysuli Chronicles shifts the perspective back to third-person, but completely centers around Donal. His path to kingship is certainly a rough one - with more war and betrayal - which makes this a fast-paced and exciting read. With special powers inherited from his mother, Alix (star of Shapechangers), Donal makes for a strong hero. This series continues to improve with each installment. More complexity continues to be added to Roberson’s unique realm and Donal is a more complicated character than any of his predecessors. Time has passed since the series’ beginning and new characters have replaced both the allies and the enemies. The newer cast of characters is a lot more realistic and developed than the earlier novels. In addition, the political dealing have grown into more complicated affairs. The plot here moves in more unexpected ways (even though I have read this countless times before, it still manages to surprise me!). I am looking forward to continuing on with this uniquely fascinating series!...more
This second novel in Roberson’s Cheysuli Chronicles series is a lot stronger than the first (Shapechangers). The focus shifts from Alix to Carillon anThis second novel in Roberson’s Cheysuli Chronicles series is a lot stronger than the first (Shapechangers). The focus shifts from Alix to Carillon and it is through his eyes that this sequel unfolds. The pacing rushes past a few details, but overall this is an exciting novel and a much fuller one than its predecessor in the series. Tynstar’s villainy steals the show a bit and the scope of the setting widens with more descriptions of other lands in Roberson’s universe. The very memorable Electra joins the story here and more pieces of the all-important prophecy come into play.
Re-reading this series for the first time as an adult has been a lot of fun so far. Though it isn’t as exciting as when I first devoured them, it is fun to experience these events unfold all over again. Especially when armed with the knowledge that the writing improves with each book (though when I was younger the rather simple style never bothered me). ...more
I honestly don’t know how young I was when I first picked up this series - but it was quite a long time ago! It used to sit in my coveted over the bedI honestly don’t know how young I was when I first picked up this series - but it was quite a long time ago! It used to sit in my coveted over the bed shelf - reserved only for those titles that I could read and then immediately read all over again. But at least ten (maybe even more!) years have passed since I last picked up this series, and so I decided to re-read it for the umpteenth time.
First, I was struck by just how rough this first novel really is. I honestly don’t think though, that I ever even noticed this before! The prose here is clunky, the dialogue is stilted and yet, I know that all of these awkward errors will fade away as the series progresses. This book really is just the starting foundation for what is an excellent epic fantasy series. Alix’s story is entertaining and certainly stoked my imagination as a child. But, this book operates more as a long prologue to the remainder of the series. Don’t get turned off by its rough quality - the series really improves! ...more
This illustrated novella is a fun read and a fast fix for fulfilling the desire for more books in the Demon Cycle series. The drawings are really enjoThis illustrated novella is a fun read and a fast fix for fulfilling the desire for more books in the Demon Cycle series. The drawings are really enjoyable - particularly those of the corelings. It is always interesting to see how your imagination lines up against an artist’s vision of the same description. The Kindle version (even for the Fire) does not have have color images though, so there remains some mystery left for the reader. A new type of demon makes its debut here - a snow demon - but otherwise, nothing new is revealed about the series. Though this satisfied my appetite for more adventure in the series for the moment, I am still very anxious for the next book to be released. Calling it a novella is a bit generous, as it is more like a short story in length. It would have been nice to see this paired with another story of a similar page count for a more satisfying fix. ...more
Desperate for more of the series, I purchased the digital copies of both of Brett’s novellas. This first one was a brief collection. And if The WardedDesperate for more of the series, I purchased the digital copies of both of Brett’s novellas. This first one was a brief collection. And if The Warded Man had been a DVD, then this would surely be considered the “bonus features”. Each of the three sections included an introduction explaining how they related to the first book in the series and why they were excised (mostly for length). So more than “stories” these felt like deleted scenes. None of them were vital to the overall story arc, but they definitely filled my appetite for more in the series. The titular story also filled in some of the inside jokes between Arlen and Abban. A glossary appeared here, very similar to the one in The Daylight War which will definitely be useful to some readers. The ward and demon descriptions at the end made for a particularly nice touch. It acted as a nice segway between the first and second books in the series, but was priced a bit high for a digital version....more
Wow!! After that literal cliffhanger of an ending, it’s hard to focus on anything else!! It’s hard to even look back on this book without knowing whenWow!! After that literal cliffhanger of an ending, it’s hard to focus on anything else!! It’s hard to even look back on this book without knowing when the fourth installment will be released! I typically like to wait until a series is complete before beginning it, and this series was originally slated to be a trilogy. After enjoying it so much, I am quite pleased that Brett’s contract has been extended for an additional three novels. I just wish that they were already available!! Brett has a real gift for intricate plotting and creating exceptionally real and completely sympathetic characters. I can’t wait to find out where the stories will go from here - and which new characters will be magnified.
Like the second installment, Brett shifts the focus to include more characters - Inerva and Abban feature prominently here. Inerva’s perspective is fascinating - and by far Brett’s most convincing female character. Leesha continues to be a main character, but her unrealistic actions have yet to be rectified... She is by far his weakest character, and Inerva’s perspective adds a lot to the storyline. Brett also sheds more light on the Core. These novels are perhaps more character-driven than anything else - the story certainly does not move chronologically, but there is still a lot of excitement within these pages. Though this is a hefty novel to tote, it is remarkable fast-paced and a lot of fun to read! I wish that I wasn’t so impatient for the fourth book - but I really am excited that the series has been prolonged - it is definitely on my list of best fantasy series!...more
This book initially appealed to me because its synopsis sounded reminiscent of one of my favorite thrillers - Jeff Long’s The Descent. As I waited forThis book initially appealed to me because its synopsis sounded reminiscent of one of my favorite thrillers - Jeff Long’s The Descent. As I waited for it to arrive, I decided to pluck Fahy’s debut novel off my shelves and read it. And wow - am I ever glad that I decided to do that! Though not publicized as such, this novel is a direct sequel to Fragment, Fahy’s 2009 release. Though the novel does summarize events from the previous book, for full enjoyment of both, I would recommend reading this pair in order.
The characters, many first introduced in Fragment, have not developed much. And the new characters continue in the same almost cartoonish vein (particularly the Russian villain, Maxim Dragolovivh). The nonhuman characters, oddly enough, actually are the most human and fully formed. The romances continue to fall flat and feel forced and the soldier-type characters are largely interchangeable. In addition, my advanced reader copy is riddled with typos and errors that will hopefully be adjusted in the final edition.
But the strengths here do outweigh the negative. The pacing here is fast and fun - much faster than Fragment. And the descriptions of this strange new ecosystem are fascinating. Fahy’s imagination certainly knows how to create some monsters both beautiful and horrifying! The science aspect is still present, but thankfully with a lot less lecturing from the academic characters. Like its predecessor, there is a definite cinematic quality to the book and its descriptions. The conclusion, too, feels more complete, but if a third book following this story is planned, I am definitely interested in seeing what happens next. Fahy has created another exciting and entertaining read - and though Copey is strangely missing, Ivan fills the canine role quite nicely!...more
At first, I really enjoyed this book. Where The Shadow of the Wind was a book for readers, this follow-up immediately felt like a book for writers. ThAt first, I really enjoyed this book. Where The Shadow of the Wind was a book for readers, this follow-up immediately felt like a book for writers. The chronology immediately started bothering me. The events described here took place long before those in The Shadow of the Wind - so this sequel functioned more as a prequel. A few characters carried over between the two books (Sempere senior is now Sempere junior), but the main characters were all new additions. The supernatural elements played a much more significant role, but without much explanation or justification. What partially spoiled the book was reading a description of the third book, The Prisoner of Heaven, which sounded more like the sort of novel I expected this to be. The pacing dragged along here at much slower clip than Zafon’s debut. Even the rather shocking amount of accumulated dead bodies failed to raise the excitement level. Though I had planned on finishing this trilogy, I just don’t have the desire to read the third book now. Maybe someday... ...more
Why, oh why did I think that this was the last book of the series??! With that cliffhanger of an ending there will surely be more to this series! InteWhy, oh why did I think that this was the last book of the series??! With that cliffhanger of an ending there will surely be more to this series! Internet research only gives a March 2014 date for one more book, City of Heavenly Fire - but I hope that it is released sooner! Had I seen that, I would have waited to begin this series! Over a year to wait to see how it will all turn out... I just want to know what will happen right now!!
But, this has been a really entertaining and fun YA fantasy series to read. There is an accompanying prequel series that I definitely plan on getting around to reading soon, too. As for this fifth installment, it has a much more romantic vibe than any of the others (and some more “adult” romance, too) as nearly every character is paired off. Clare succeeds in prolonging the tortuous obstacles between the central couple - though hopefully this next book will put an end to that! Like the fourth book, City of Fallen Angels, this one has a slower start to the plot. And though the various European locales are fun, at times it feels rather frustratingly like time-wasting. Many more questions and issues arise here, and it will be a long wait until 2014 to see them all (hopefully!) answered....more
At first, this fourth installment to the Mortal Instruments series was my least favorite. It felt like an addition to the series that was just tackedAt first, this fourth installment to the Mortal Instruments series was my least favorite. It felt like an addition to the series that was just tacked on - more like a separate start to a new series that focused more on characters other than Clary and Jace. Simon played a much larger role, and though he was a likable character, I wanted more of a connection to the first three books than this book provided. But the last quarter of the book really redeemed it. The pacing really sped up and pieces of the plot almost casually laid down in the beginning of the novel grew in surprising significance. It really built up into a thrilling - not to mention shocking climax! The next book, City of Lost Souls, promises to be much more exciting overall from this ending!
The urban fantasy landscape that Clare created really grows with each novel. Additional details and unique angles present a thoroughly fascinating setting for these likable characters. Aside from Clary, really, the other characters have each shown growth and development. It’s a fun series and if the rumours are true, this series will surely make for an interesting new movie franchise in Summer 2013!...more
The third book in the Mortal Instruments series really feels like a conclusion. It ends more satisfyingly than the previous volume, City of Ashes - thThe third book in the Mortal Instruments series really feels like a conclusion. It ends more satisfyingly than the previous volume, City of Ashes - that’s for sure! But despite my satisfaction with the plot’s threads being neatly woven together, I am even more curious about where the next book in the series, City of Fallen Angels, will go! There aren’t too many unanswered questions remaining, so the next book seems like it will really be more like a fresh start with these same lively characters. I really can’t wait to see what happens next!
Like the first book, the plot here follows some familiar paths, and it is a more predictable plot than its predecessor in the series. But it is still an exciting and fast-paced read. This is a strong YA series with lots of likable characters, funny dialogue and fascinating detail into a supernatural world that coexists with our own. The central romance takes some darker turns than common in teen fiction, but it is well-handled. This is a wonderful series!...more
Though I really liked the first book in the Mortal Instruments series, City of Bones, I actually thought that this sequel was even stronger! The plotThough I really liked the first book in the Mortal Instruments series, City of Bones, I actually thought that this sequel was even stronger! The plot here held a lot more twists and surprises and Clare provided even more detail into her unique supernatural world. The characters really developed more, too.The dialogue remained consistent, too, with plenty of that bickering, witty charm and humour - but the book felt less reliant on it this time. The major twist of the first book’s central romance at first felt like the author turned into a corner that there was no escape from, but here she left a few hints that there may be a resolution after all... And a cliffhanger of an ending really made me thankful that the third book, City of Glass, waits for me in my to-read-pile!
Despite a few icky scenes, this YA novel felt really age-appropriate, but also very appealing to older readers as well. Very well done! And I can’t wait to see where the series will go! ...more
This book first caught my attention while going through some of the quotes listed on GoodReads. Several made me laugh, and the book soon joined my to-This book first caught my attention while going through some of the quotes listed on GoodReads. Several made me laugh, and the book soon joined my to-read-pile. And now that I finished reading it, I can’t wait to continue on in the series! This was a wonderful debut novel, and an intriguing (though very complete) start to the Mortal Instruments series. It was a very fast-paced and fun read, livened up by the near-constant bantering between the likable characters. And while the plot’s big twist wasn’t a complete shock, it certainly created a lot of curiosity about just where the remainder of the series will go!
Clare created an interesting fantasy world - peopled with almost every imaginable supernatural being from vampires, werewolves, fairies, demons, warlocks and more. The characters weren’t quite as fully developed (there really wasn’t much there beyond that witty dialogue), but since there are at least four more books to the series, I am sure there will be plenty of opportunity for them to develop more! ...more
After my disappointment with the fifth book in the Spilling CID series, A Room Swept White, this sixth book proves a marked improvement. This is serieAfter my disappointment with the fifth book in the Spilling CID series, A Room Swept White, this sixth book proves a marked improvement. This is series is definitely not a typical one but there is just something very interesting about the convoluted plots and rather odd characters that Hannah features. When a murder scene is first viewed by an unsuspecting woman on a real estate website’s virtual tour, the plot unfolds from there in some quite unpredictable turns. It is one of the series’ more complex storylines, but it takes a bit of time to get to that point. The pacing isn’t quite as fast as expected, and in contrast, the climax of the book feels pretty rushed. The new characters are both sympathetic and intriguing, but the series regular characters and their relationships have devolved into even more absurd actions. It seems with the most recent books in the series, the recurring characters become less and less likable. But, I will still be keeping an eye out for the seventh book in the series. Hannah is still a talented writer, even if her characters can be more baffling than her murderous plots!...more
I’m very nearly speechless after this rather explosive finale to the John Wayne Cleaver trilogy. After being forced to wait a few days between readingI’m very nearly speechless after this rather explosive finale to the John Wayne Cleaver trilogy. After being forced to wait a few days between reading this one and its predecessor, Mr. Monster, only let my hopes run high. And at first, I admit to being a bit disappointed. Cleaver isn’t quite as witty and charming initially and he spends less time acting like the creepy kid I’ve come to love and a bit more as a more normal kid - even hangs out with a girl daily without constant references to how much he imagines killing her. There just isn’t as much action and John’s frustration and impatience is quite contagious. It starts off definitely the weakest of the three books. The plot follows unpredictable lines, but then in the last quarter of the book, some truly shocking revelations and actions occur, amping up the pace to breakneck speed. By the time the last page is reached, I certainly did not want to say goodbye to John Wayne Cleaver, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that Wells will eventually return and write a follow-up to this wonderful trilogy. There are some really terrific characters here and some fun plots and it combines to make one really unique trilogy. Wells has a lot of talent and I look forward to discovering his other books. ...more
This is the fourth installment in Castillo’s mystery series featuring the formerly Amish chief of police, Kate Burkholder. Castillo extends the plausiThis is the fourth installment in Castillo’s mystery series featuring the formerly Amish chief of police, Kate Burkholder. Castillo extends the plausibility of the series here with spreading the crimes over a more widespread area to somewhat return the small Ohio town’s credibility as a “sleepy country town”. The crimes here - and the descriptions - take a darker turn than some of the previous installments. But the writing itself is beautifully crafted with Castillo’s strong sense of visual scenery lightening some of the tension. This does not affect the fast pacing, though, and along with the romantic storyline, what would border on being too dark of a story to be enjoyable, turns into a thrilling and well balanced book. The characters are great, but I would still recommend reading this series in order to fully appreciate their growth (as well as to not have some previous cases spoiled by this book). And the haunting ending leaves a lingering unease in its wake, along with a lot of anticipation for the fifth book in the series, due out June 18, 2013, Her Last Breath: A Novel....more
I absolutely adore the Andy Carpenter series and reading this tenth installment makes for a lovely way to spend an evening. The series title characterI absolutely adore the Andy Carpenter series and reading this tenth installment makes for a lovely way to spend an evening. The series title character continues to be as charming and hilarious as ever as the main narrator for the series - and his faithful assorted cast of characters (girlfriend, Laurie, partner-in-business Willie, accountant Sam and more) all make memorable appearances here, too. It’s like catching up with old friends! And while the mafia plot runs toward the predictable side of things, its pacing is fast and the whole reading experience is just plain fun. Rosenfelt has a real talent for weaving in plenty of humour amongst murders, shoot-outs and other excitement. Just like the nine previous books, finishing this one is both a mixed pleasure - as always, I am eager to continue on in the series and anxiously waiting for July for the eleventh book, Unleashed. Summer can’t come fast enough!...more
Translated from Swedish, this police procedural mystery novel is a solidly entertaining one. And though a few of the plot’s turns are quite predictablTranslated from Swedish, this police procedural mystery novel is a solidly entertaining one. And though a few of the plot’s turns are quite predictable (the commonalities between certain characters, for example), Ohlsson still manages to mix in some genuine surprises. Either way, the plot moves quickly and it’s definitely an entertaining story. The characters - though a bit slow on the uptake at times - are likable and sympathetic. Their personal lives round out the entire story, adding a fuller picture. Adultery plays a surprisingly recurrent, and at times quite casual, role, which may cause some readers to lose sympathy for certain key characters. But even the most unlikable of the police members still have redeeming qualities. It’s an intriguing start to a series, and I am definitely curious to see where the next installment will go. ...more
Finally - the latest Pendergast novel and the conclusion of the “Helen” trilogy!!! It has been just over a year since I last read the preceding novel,Finally - the latest Pendergast novel and the conclusion of the “Helen” trilogy!!! It has been just over a year since I last read the preceding novel, Cold Vengeance, and after finishing this Christmas present altogether too quickly, I am contemplating re-reading the series in its entirety so the wait won’t feel as long for the thirteenth book! The book opens up with a bit of refresher in the last climatic moments of the eleventh book. Actually, the authors do a wonderful job of summarizing the key points to help remind readers of the previous actions Each of the three cliffhangers are wrapped up rather quickly - and with some truly shocking action along the way! It’s remarkably easy to once again be swept up into the intriguing world of Pendergast and his assorted friends (and enemies) as the previous books build to a fascinating and exciting conclusion.
And though I absolutely loved it, I will admit that there are a few times when the authors bring this book into an almost soap-opera-like plot level. This new territory for the series works remarkably well, though, and certainly opens up new avenues for future volumes. The two minor lines of the plot - Constance’s and Corrie’s do reach a conclusion as well here, but each story stays surprisingly separate, which is perhaps my only complaint. Previous novels have really woven in the most extraneous of plot points, and these disparate lines - though exciting - never fully fit in with where I expected them to go based on the two previous installments.
Despite its near approach to five hundred pages, this is a fast-paced book and quickly becomes difficult to put down. This writing duo makes a formidable team, that’s for sure! It definitely is a more satisfying and less frustrating read than the last two cliffhanger-ridden entrants to the series, but this one still manages to leave you desperate to see just where Pendergast will go next in his thirteenth adventure. I hope the wait isn’t a long one!...more