The King Garnet Stories are fun. The first is my favorite. The King's legs grow way to long and everyone is worried. He is under a spell, but who is cThe King Garnet Stories are fun. The first is my favorite. The King's legs grow way to long and everyone is worried. He is under a spell, but who is casting the spell made it a funny little story.
In the second story, King Garnet comes up with a plan to stop his wife from being so bossy. He decides not to talk anymore. He lets his daughters, the doctors, and the witches in on the secret. In the end, the Queen goes back to the nice woman she used to be. It's a cute story even if the portrayal of the Queen is a little sexist.
The last story ends with a light-hearted, almost Renaissance fair type battle. Everyone enjoys the day and the decide to make it an annual event. The illustration at the end shows all the soldiers and the two kings asleep on the field, which is pretty amusing.
I wish there were more illustrations. The three that we have are funny and really well-done. ...more
The concept is excellent. The world is so believable, each little detail just fits.
It’s definitely a book worth reading. It touches on prejudice and pThe concept is excellent. The world is so believable, each little detail just fits.
It’s definitely a book worth reading. It touches on prejudice and power. Art and culture is also important, how can a conquered people retain their culture, not sell their history as trinkets, how literature and art can affect or reinforce our views of the world.
My problem with The Man in the High Castle was that it had a lot of characters and each had an interesting, a unique outlook on life, but I didn’t get to really know any of them. I almost wish it had been longer, that I could have gotten to know them better, care about their stories. As it was, I never felt connected to the book. It’s one I know is good, one I’ll remember, but not one I loved. It could have been though....more
Ah - the last of the trilogy. I'm sad to see it end. Honestly - read it. If you enjoy fantasy or games or just thrillers for that matter, this is a grAh - the last of the trilogy. I'm sad to see it end. Honestly - read it. If you enjoy fantasy or games or just thrillers for that matter, this is a great set of novellas. In this last one, we even have a love story of sorts.
This time around the game is chess and our narrator has become one of the players, a player in the Great Game - the game for control of the Gameshouse. His name is Silver and he's been working toward this moment for ages. He's a King in the game, of course, and has gathered forces that he can deploy. His opponent has her own resources, possibly more powerful than his.
This one had even more action than the last two. Chess is a dangerous game, but it also has more meaning - for the world as a whole and for Silver personally.
My one complaint had to do with a part near the end. Silver became a little too melodramatic for me.
I don't what else I can really say that I haven't said in my reviews for The Serpent and The Thief. I love the use of language, of descriptions. Some of the characters are fully-developed, some are left a bit mysterious, which fits the mood of the novellas....more
The hide-and-seek game in The Thief is awesome. The "board" is Thailand in the 1930s and the stakes are huge, but the game might be unfairly weighted.The hide-and-seek game in The Thief is awesome. The "board" is Thailand in the 1930s and the stakes are huge, but the game might be unfairly weighted. This is the second in the trilogy and I think they should definitely be read, or listened to, in order. Thene's game in The Serpent was not exactly fair either, but that was nothing in comparison to the disadvantages our player is dealing with here. It's a thread thoughout - the Gameshouse may not be as fair as it (she) would like you to believe.
Once again, North does wonderful job building her world. Thailand in the 30s is not a place I'm familiar with but I love how she made us feel like we were there. Once again, the story is narrated by an unseen watcher who takes us with him to observe the game being played, which makes it a natural fit for audio. Remy Burke is the first to hide. He agreed to the game when he was drunk, and is a half-English half-French six foot tall white man with little money trying to hide in Thailand - he stands out. But he's an experienced player and knows that not only is it a game about hiding, it's also about finding the other player when the sides switch.
This one definitely sets up the third. I even like the three novella set up . Each is a self-contained game, but they need to be read in order to get the full feel of the series....more
Day of the Dragonking may be the oddest book I've read recently. I think that's a good thing, but it's hard to write a review of it.
If you read the bDay of the Dragonking may be the oddest book I've read recently. I think that's a good thing, but it's hard to write a review of it.
If you read the blurb, you'll know that a Change has come, that normal people are becoming magical, and magical people are losing their powers. We've got Tarot cards personified and deities from various cultures coming to life. Not actually coming to life - people are being transformed into them. Ghosts are visible and the main character, Steve, has a cell phone that is somehow haunted by an Asian teenager. It's a funny and violent at times. The author plays with the Washington stereotypes well. It's got great action and a few really well-developed characters. It's a wild ride and I'm not quite sure it follows its own rules, but that's okay, just fasten your seat belt and enjoy the trip.
I'm not a big fan of the end, though. Granted it's the first in a series, but nothing's really accomplished except the destruction of a national monument. I like a book to have a wrap-up of its own, even if it is part of a larger story. I will read the next one, if I can get ahold of it....more
The Serpent is the first of the novellas. The story is told to us by the narrator, an unseen watcher who takes us with him as he observes the gamers.The Serpent is the first of the novellas. The story is told to us by the narrator, an unseen watcher who takes us with him as he observes the gamers. He’s sly and smart and his outlook rubs off on us. I listened to the audio and this narration style worked really well that way. The narrator was the narrator, if that makes sense. It’s short, but rich and full. I love the way North uses language and world she creates, both of historic Venice and the Gameshouse itself.
Thene is an amazing character. Her husband, who is pretty awful, introduces her to the Gameshouse. As he gambles away everything, she becomes an adept, intelligent player, making her way through the ranks until she is invited to play in the higher league, where armies and battleships are real, where even immortality can be a prize. Thene has strengths and weaknesses, but she is playing to win.
We have the feeling too, that though the game Thene is playing really only affects Venice, the Gameshouse itself has more secrets that we will learn about.
I loved The Serpent. After I was finished I immediately picked up #2. It’s fantasy, but mostly it’s political maneuvering and manipulating people, using your assets and outwitting your enemies. And playing the game....more
The blurb gives the set-up - and of course all the events are connected. I think Hollywood in the '80s with secrets going back to the late '50s was aThe blurb gives the set-up - and of course all the events are connected. I think Hollywood in the '80s with secrets going back to the late '50s was a great setting. Stars and writers with their careers and public image to think of give an interesting outlook on the mystery.
My main problem with Night Night, Sleep Tight was that I just didn't care about Deidre. I didn't like her, didn't hate her, didn't feel sorry for her, or any of the main characters really. I didn't get to know her mother and brother enough to fully understand their motives and the family friends were all pretty self-absorbed. The mystery itself was fine but not compelling enough to carry the book.Deidre happens to find her father's memoir quickly after his death, which was more than a bit convenient. It gave her a direction to take her questions and other people a motive for murder. I was surprised, and a bit disappointed, by who the killer was. It made sense though, given the aspirations of all the characters involved. I did like the ending- instead of taking what would be the expected route, Ephron let the characters do what was in their nature.
This was not one that kept me involved. I finished it because it wasn't bad enough to put down, but it also didn't call my name at every free moment....more
Unfortunately, all the characters were annoying and juvenile and the big surprise wasn't that surprising. I didn't care about Nora and found her agreeUnfortunately, all the characters were annoying and juvenile and the big surprise wasn't that surprising. I didn't care about Nora and found her agreement to go to the party unlikely. Add in her obsession with a high school boyfriend character and she was just a pretty sad character who I didn't relate to or sympathize. Actually, I was hoping for a final twist that took into account her knowledge from crime writing, but no, she just puts herself in a dangerous position alone with the killer like so many amateur female detectives. Really, when will they learn to at least tell someone where they're going?
I listened to the audio version and Church, the narrator, fit the whole British feel of the novel almost too well. The slang and the accent were just a bit grating, made me want to tell the characters to stop trying to be cool and act like normal, sane adults. Or not sane, depending.
Ware did a good job of with the setting and kept the suspense throughout the story, and some of her turns of phrase were just perfect. I think she's an author worth giving another chance, even if this book had problems....more
Jamarillo has done a wonderful job in the adorable book telling the story of the chicks whose mom takes care of them. Her lyrics are simpler than theJamarillo has done a wonderful job in the adorable book telling the story of the chicks whose mom takes care of them. Her lyrics are simpler than the translation above and flow better. While I read the digital version, I’ve seen photos of the print and it looks like a nice sturdy board book for young children. It’s accordian style with English on one side and Spanish on the other. The illustrations are bright, simple, and cheerful and it has flaps to open, which makes it even more fun for kids. The rhyming text is catchy and it would be a perfect book to read aloud....more
An ancient evil is threatening the town and they all have to work together to defeat it. This time around, the spotlight is on Fiji, the witch, who isAn ancient evil is threatening the town and they all have to work together to defeat it. This time around, the spotlight is on Fiji, the witch, who is just understanding how powerful she truly is. I'm sure it's not a spoiler to say there's a happy ending. The way to defeat the evil is a bit odd, though. I'm not sure I entirely approve. The ritual was a bit over the top and rather sexist. Fiji also has a romantic subplot going on that I got a bit annoyed with.
The characters are the draw for me. I really enjoyed learning more about each of them, secrets, hopes, pasts. I love how they all stand by each other, no matter how tough things get. Angels, humans, a vampire, were-tigers, etc. all living together and, for the most part, getting along.
There weren't any major plot points left hanging and the relationships between several of the characters were clarified, but I'm still hoping for another visit to the town....more
"Cat's Paw" won the Shamus Award in 1984 for "Best Private Eye Short Story." The mystery itself was good. I've never read any in Pronzini's "Nameless"Cat's Paw" won the Shamus Award in 1984 for "Best Private Eye Short Story." The mystery itself was good. I've never read any in Pronzini's "Nameless Detective" series, but that didn't affect my enjoyment of this short story. The zoo makes for an interesting setting and Pronzini is wonderful with descriptions. What starts for our nameless detectives as a job investigating rare animal thefts turns into discovering who is a killer. It's a short story, which means few clues, but also a limited cast, so while I didn't guess the whodunnit, it wasn't exactly a surprise either. It's more of a puzzle mystery than a run about town seeking clues mystery. The story fit together well. The only real violence happens off-screen and our detective does not feel overly cynical or "tough" in that hard-boiled way. I feel like I got to know the "nameless detective" a bit, enough to want to read more in the series....more
Janet Evanovich can be hit and miss for me. I'm not sure which category Curious Minds falls into. I like Knight and Moon. He is over the top eccentricJanet Evanovich can be hit and miss for me. I'm not sure which category Curious Minds falls into. I like Knight and Moon. He is over the top eccentric, but cute and funny. Moon follows the rules, usually, but ends of having to go along with Knight. They are a good couple, and the dialogue at times is laugh-out-loud funny, but I'm not quite buying the sparks yet. I think for the pair of them, this was a good first novel. I think I'll enjoy them in later books, as long as the plot is a bit better. The whole conspiracy in this one was just over the top. Brothers working together to steal money from the Federal Reserve and more or less control all the world's economy, I think. The conspiracy reaches into the NSA and the Supreme Court. Maybe something like that could happen, but it stretched believability for me. It's just too big for the wacko and side kick to deal with in a week. On the other hand, it is a quick read with plenty of twists and turns.
Curious Minds is definitely a light, summer kind of read. Parts are amusing, but it's not as good as others I've read by the authors....more