I called my friend M today. I hated to do it, but I had to tell her that her husband was right: I DO like the Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher. At t...moreI called my friend M today. I hated to do it, but I had to tell her that her husband was right: I DO like the Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher. At the very least, I liked the first of them.
Harry Dresden is a wizard who advertises his services in the phone book. Not surprisingly, he is the only wizard in the phone book, so he gets a fair share of nut jobs calling him. This time, however, he gets two calls right after the other: one from a local detective looking for his help and another from a woman who is trying to find her husband. The detective is calling about a double murder using magic – and Harry is the only local wizard powerful enough to do it. He is under pressure from the human police and the wizard police because they *both* think he’s responsible. Along the way, there is a girl and some interesting fights and meetings with otherworldly creatures.
Initially, I thought this was a male version – and rip off – of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake. The whole being on retainer to the police, the adversarial relationship with some of the police force and then being a magical creature himself. After I read a few pages, I more or less got over that. The writing is more Sam Spade-like than LKH, which can be distracting at first. Again, once I got a few pages into it, that fell by the wayside and I just enjoyed the book.
The character development isn’t that great but that’s often true of first books. Lieutenant Karrin Murphy is fairly one-dimensional as is Dresden’s love interest, Susan Rodriguez. To compare again to LKH, that was true of Dolph and Jean Claude until at least the 3rd book of the series, so I think there’s hope. There are (I think) 10 in this series, thus far, so I’m sure Butcher gets better in that arena. He did well enough this time that I want to continue to read the series.
I’m a fan of series book and this promises to be one that I’ll continue. (less)
I read this thinking, "Well, I like living alone. Maybe I'll find something new that will make me *love* it." I didn't find that here. This book was o...moreI read this thinking, "Well, I like living alone. Maybe I'll find something new that will make me *love* it." I didn't find that here. This book was okay, but only okay.(less)
If you write newsletters for your organization, this is a great book to read. It's a quick & dirty breakdown of how you can improve your newslette...moreIf you write newsletters for your organization, this is a great book to read. It's a quick & dirty breakdown of how you can improve your newsletters, without a lot of extraneous information. I found several things that I can incorporate into my next newsletter. Wanna see it? The next one goes out 3/15/09 and you can find it at www.caresswm.org.(less)
I finished this at about 1 am this morning! That and the excessive amount of snow outside are why I am not at church. Well, that and the fact that I a...moreI finished this at about 1 am this morning! That and the excessive amount of snow outside are why I am not at church. Well, that and the fact that I am going to a Christmas party this afternoon as well as grocery shopping and that’s enough time to leave Peggy Sue at home alone. But I digress.
I loved this book. One of Picoult’s strengths is her character development and cd was outstanding in this book. She clearly does good research too. I’ve read quite a lot of fiction about the Amish and she came up with things that I didn’t know, which is always cool.
Here’s the basic premise: Katie Fisher is accused of having a baby out of wedlock, killing it to hide it from her family (who didn’t know she was pregnant) and then lying about it. Did she do it? She claims she was never pregnant but medical tests prove otherwise. There is a dead baby but did Katie kill it?
From a psychological perspective, I have no idea if the ideas presented in the book are valid but they are definitely interesting. The conflict between Amish culture and “English” culture are also explored. It’s somewhat surprising to me to realize the depth of the “otherness” of the Amish and that Katie didn’t grasp simple concepts of the American judicial system. Her very Amish-ness could get her convicted, whether she did it or not.
This is now among my favorite Jodi Picoult books (less)
Elena is the only female werewolf. Werewolves are either born with the gene – and it’s only passed to boys – or bitten and women usually die. Except E...moreElena is the only female werewolf. Werewolves are either born with the gene – and it’s only passed to boys – or bitten and women usually die. Except Elena. Elena was Bitten but she lived. The pregnancy is troubling – there hasn’t been a werewolf pregnancy so no one knows what to expect. It would be an understatement to say she was bored witless, so when something comes up that requires her expertise – and seems harmless – she jumps at it.
Of course, it isn’t harmless. Elena inadvertently opens a time portal and a serial killer and 2 zombies are loose in Toronto. Elena, Clay and Jeremy stay in Toronto to try to send the serial killer and his zombies back. Along the way, they ask Zoe, a vampire, and Jaime, the necromancer, for help. For some reason, the serial killer and his zombies are targeting Elena specifically. The Pack and its friends have to find out why and what to do to close the time portal.
The ending is nearly saccharine but the reader – at least this reader – can’t help but cheer for Elena and Clay. (less)
Eve Levine is a ghost. In “Industrial Magic” she makes a deal with The Fates and, if Paige and Lucas are returned to life, she’ll owe The Fates a favo...moreEve Levine is a ghost. In “Industrial Magic” she makes a deal with The Fates and, if Paige and Lucas are returned to life, she’ll owe The Fates a favor. Now they’ve decided to call it in.
What they want seems to be impossible. The Nix, a demi-demon, has accidentally been let loose in the world. For, oh, several hundred years. She’s been nearly caught but has escaped. Eve’s task is to track her down and bring her in, so to speak. She’s scared witless but she isn’t alone: she has the help of Kris (who is her daughter’s father and the love of her life) and Tsriel, an angel.
The Afterlife, according to these books, is very different from what most of us think of as “Heaven.” Eve encounters various things: a pirate’s enclave and a school for poltergeists, for example. There is a version of what hell must be like but, in this case, was reserved for the worst among us: serial killers and like that.
The story goes back and forth between Nix and Eve, which can get confusing. I had to look back a few times to remember who this person or that person was. I have to say, as you can probably tell by the lackluster thoughts here, I didn’t really care for this book. I am a big fan of Armstrong’s but this one just didn’t thrill me.
On the plus side, we see more of Savannah, of Paige and Lucas (who got married between Industrial Magic and Haunted) and Jaime. Since Jaime is going to have her own book coming up, that’s a good thing. (less)
I’m always thrilled when I find a new writer who a) I think is amazing; b) who is writing a series, which I love; c) there are several books to the se...moreI’m always thrilled when I find a new writer who a) I think is amazing; b) who is writing a series, which I love; c) there are several books to the series before I find them; and d) whose writing gets better with each book. That describes Kelley Armstrong perfectly.
The Women of the Otherworld series is slightly different in that the narrator of each book changes. Some narrators have more than one book, but there are several. Armstrong does a good job of introducing the narrator at least a book in advance and then also characters from the other books show up. For example, Elena is the narrator in the first two books, Paige shows up in book 2, Paige is the narrator of books 3 and 4 but Elena is in both of those, though not as the focus of the story.
Industrial Magic is the second book narrated by Paige Winterborne, a witch. In this book, she and her boyfriend, sorcerer Lucas, are asked by Lucas’ father (a powerful Sorcerer leader) to investigate why supernatural teens are being killed. That’s all I can really tell you without spoiling the story for you.
What I CAN tell you is that the story is suspenseful yet is character-driven, there a couple of new characters that you’ll enjoy and one thing that is highly implausible – but then isn’t the entire concept?
Overall, I’d say this is the best of The Women of the Otherworld and I can’t wait to read the next!
“Good in Bed” is one of my Top Ten Favorite Books of All Time. It’s funny, it’s all about various relationships and there are even lesbians in it. Ove...more“Good in Bed” is one of my Top Ten Favorite Books of All Time. It’s funny, it’s all about various relationships and there are even lesbians in it. Over the years, I’ve wondered whatever happened to Cannie Shapiro and Joy?
Well, Cannie turned into a scaredy cat housewife/closet writer and Joy turned into a typical teenager.
“Certain Girls” takes place 13 years after the end of “Good in Bed.” Cannie is married to Dr. K and Joy is in middle school, preparing for her bat mitzvah. We find out in flashbacks how they came to be here: how Cannie wrote her book, how she married, etc.
Cannie wrote a book right when Joy was about a year old and it became a best seller. Instantly, almost, she was famous. She had various problems related to that and never wrote another book under her own name. She did, however, write a series of sci-fi books for teens under a pen name. Now, it’s the 10th anniversary of her book and the publishers want to do some promotion. Add to that stress, Cannie’s relationship with Joy isn’t that great and then Joy reads Cannie’s book. Of course, Joy doesn’t tell Cannie or ask her about it – she tries to gather facts from Cannie’s friends and family and long-ago acquaintances.
The book’s ending ticked me off but over all it was good. Not as good as “Good in Bed” but still good. It was funny and once or twice made me cry.
Jason’s father is dying and he is going home to Asheville, NC to see him. Jason and his father have a contentious relationship at...moreHere’s the synopsis:
Jason’s father is dying and he is going home to Asheville, NC to see him. Jason and his father have a contentious relationship at best. Jason asks Anita to go to Asheville with him to see his father. Mr. Schuyler thinks that Jason is gay so Jason thinks having Anita along will make things easier.
When they arrive in Asheville, there is a big commotion because people think Jason is actually his cousin, Keith, who is the governor of NC’s son and planning to be married in a few days. Keith is also, it must be said, the sort of guy who gets into all manner of trouble. He’s also complicated Anita’s life since Keith has run off with the wife of a Master of the City and the Master is pretty ticked about that.
Of course, since it’s an Anita book, things start to go metaphysically crazy. Marmee Noir shoes up again and both helps and hurts Anita, as is usual for her. Anita winds up with a new animal to call.
I’m not among the crew that thinks that Anita has too much sex and that the books have all gone downhill. The Harlequin was among my favorites of this series. In this one, however, I think there was too much lead-in and not enough story. The cover promises Marmee Noir and she doesn’t show up until quite late in the book. I’m also good and sick of Richard’s behavior, but I think it was somewhat explained with this book.
I think this book was one of those that, occasionally, an author has to write basically to bridge to the next part of the story. It’s backstory, if you will. Overall, I enjoyed it but it won’t be one of my favorite Anita books.