This had a fairly great setup: Twin brother and sister enter King's guard. The sister pretends to be a boy so she can figI DNF'd this book in disgust.
This had a fairly great setup: Twin brother and sister enter King's guard. The sister pretends to be a boy so she can fight and not be forced into a breeding house. After years of pretending to be a boy, the girl is outed... right into a love triangle between the prince and a boy she's been friends with.
Oi. Another love triangle. I guess that's standard in YA these days. What's also standard is the girl becoming a total idiot because of it. Alex loses the caution and coolness of a lifetime because a boy hurt her feelings - she screams and accuses and goes totally off the deep end into tantrums at the worst possible times.
I am deeply, bitterly, woefully tired of female characters getting this treatment in YA. Stop it. Stop perpetuating every harmful stereotype about young women and their crazy over their feelings. It's stupid, it's untrue, and it does all women a disservice. Enough....more
Christina St. James heads to a small town in New York state hoping to find a nice quiet life. After a brief pro tennis career and a high profile romanChristina St. James heads to a small town in New York state hoping to find a nice quiet life. After a brief pro tennis career and a high profile romance with a womanizing hockey player, Chris hopes to find her happiness as a high school tennis coach. Unfortunately, the high school she's hired on with has a football-first mentality. It's up to Chris to fight for equality for her girls. When the athletics director assigns donated money to the football team without considering anyone else, Chris objects strenuously. This puts her in direct opposition to Brett Wallace, football coach, ex-NFL star, and total hunk. The athletics director orders them to work out a compromise. Can they come to an arrangement that works for both of them?
This was my first sports-themed romance and I really loved it. Murray skillfully wove the story around Brett's aversion to the famewhores attracted by his status and Christina's utter refusal to be armcandy for another pro athlete. Both have the issue that it's hard to tell the gold from the dross and trust is tough - especially when you add in the money and the fame angles.
One of my favorite things about this book is how snappy the writing is. It's a fast-paced, often funny story that never bogs down. I love Chris's best friend Katie. She's happily married, pregnant, and has the best lines in the whole book. She's the glue that gets Chris and Brett together.
I highly recommend this book and will be reading more of Murray's work....more
Mad City is a deeply disturbing place that can only be found by the deeply disturbed. Those who can't (or won't) sleep eventually become Awake enoughMad City is a deeply disturbing place that can only be found by the deeply disturbed. Those who can't (or won't) sleep eventually become Awake enough to see the city and possibly stumble into it. Whether it's adjacent to our reality or simply seeps into the cracks of it, you don't want to be stranded there. Nightmares roam the streets, hoping to find people foolish enough to wander out and be consumed - or worse, converted. Everyone is a nightmare waiting to happen.
This is a themed anthology of stories all set in Mad City. The stories range from terrifying to funny to totally disturbing. There's not a bad story in the lot, though my favorites are the first story, Don't Forget Your Patients by Stephen Blackmoore, and the last story, Don't Chew Your Food by Harry Connolly. As twisted or deranged or pitiful as the protagonist in each story is, they all undeniably belong in the chaos of Mad City.
I really can't recommend this anthology highly enough. The stories flow together beautifully to create what feels like a real place. Mad City has a set of rules and a few higher-profile inhabitants that make appearances throughout multiple stories, and seeing these from the perspective of different authors/characters is fascinating. I'm a huge lover of themed anthologies, and this one is probably my favorite yet. I hope there's more Mad City forthcoming.
(As a side note, I had to put this book down when I tried to read it the first time. I had a fullblown panic attack on an airplane and while I was trying to calm down in the airport, I thought I'd read this book as a distraction. No. A world of no. I will tell you that it's scary enough to not help lull away someone's anxiety. Which makes it even more awesome. You know, after. )...more
Eli Branch is fresh out of over a decade of medical school and has a great job waiting for him. The son of a renowned anatomist, Eli is eager to makeEli Branch is fresh out of over a decade of medical school and has a great job waiting for him. The son of a renowned anatomist, Eli is eager to make a name for himself as a surgeon-scientist; he'll do half surgery and half research at Gates Memorial Hospital. When Eli gets the blame for a procedure gone horribly wrong at the hands of another surgeon, he goes from golden boy to pariah with a quickness. As he delves into the circumstances of the botched operations that got him exiled, he comes across evidence of a biotech company, RBI, covering up deaths resulting from one of their malfunctioning devices. The more he digs, the more RBI is determined to discredit him. To death, if necessary.
This is my first medical thriller and I have to say that it was pretty neat. I learned a lot about surgery and anatomy just incidentally. The descriptions of surgery were both incredibly vivid and totally understandable to a layperson. I could envision everything Pearson was describing. If he used a fancy term, he also defined it in a way that felt natural and organic, not dictionary-esque. That's harder than it sounds, so bonus points for that.
Some of the plot points were a little silly but I give those a pass because it was pretty tightly written, I love the protagonist, and A. Scott. Pearson is a cool guy. I believe this series is going to get better as it goes along. I've got the sequel, Public Anatomy, queued up and ready to go....more
Joe Sunday is an enforcer for a Los Angeles crime boss when he's given an assignment to steal a highly coveted magical stone. That job turns out to beJoe Sunday is an enforcer for a Los Angeles crime boss when he's given an assignment to steal a highly coveted magical stone. That job turns out to be the death of him. After he realizes he's not a breather anymore, he finds that death is just the beginning of his problems. Joe's never been big on the whole thinking for himself thing and is comfortable just following orders. When it turns out that he needs that stone desperately to keep from falling apart - literally - he's on his own and can't trust anybody.
If Quentin Tarantino made a zombie movie, it would look something like City of the Lost. Dark, violent, and sometimes wickedly funny, this book was hands down great. I loved the stark language and Joe's casual brutality. The supporting characters are vibrant and pop right off the page, especially the women. Gabriela is my new favorite witch - she's tough and compassionate and not afraid to skin people alive if she feels a lesson is warranted.
I don't know if this will be a series, but I hope so because I loved the hell out of this book. ...more
I loved this graphic novel. Even if you've never seen an episode of Buffy, you'll still be able to follow this Slayer of the future tale. No Slayer haI loved this graphic novel. Even if you've never seen an episode of Buffy, you'll still be able to follow this Slayer of the future tale. No Slayer has been born for centuries after a cataclysmic event where all magic left the world. Suddenly, vampires start cropping up again and one girl in a generation is Chosen. Melaka Fray is a thief for a local crime boss. When a demon shows up and tells her she's the Chosen One who will fight the vampires, she laughs in his face. She refuses to take her duty seriously - until the death of a loved one forces her into the fight.
I'm still getting into the graphic novel thing and this is a great intro. The art is gorgeous, and it never goes 'comic booky' with the depictions of women. There are no laughably voluptuous caricatures of females dressed in impossibly scanty costumes. The vampires are terrifyingly ugly. The contrasts of skyscraping affluence and ground-dwelling poverty are beautifully done.
This graphic novel is beautifully written, exquisitely drawn, and chock full of Whedony goodness. I can't recommend it highly enough....more
When I first picked up Child of Fire by Harry Connolly, I wasn't sure it was my thing. I'm used to the amiable male protagonist like Harry Dresden, orWhen I first picked up Child of Fire by Harry Connolly, I wasn't sure it was my thing. I'm used to the amiable male protagonist like Harry Dresden, or a sarcastic, wise-cracking guy like James Stark. Ray Lilly is nothing like that. He's an ex-convict who realizes that the magic user he's working for would be absolutely thrilled if he died screaming. This fact understandably colors his judgement, overwhelms his personality and lends itself to a grim tone for a very dark story. And yet it's a hell of a ride once you adjust yourself to the tone of the book.
The children of Hammer Bay, Washington are dying. One by one, they are bursting into flames and all that remains of them are horrific silver worms that burrow into the ground. Once they've combusted, no one even remembers that these kids ever existed - not even their parents. Ray Lilly and the magic-user he works for are dispatched by the Twenty Palaces Society to find out what is going on. Ray's boss, Annalise, will do anything to stop what she finds in the sleepy little town of Hammer Bay, and little things like collateral damage and hurting innocent people mean nothing to her. Armed only with a bespelled paper knife and a few protective tattoos, Ray struggles to come to terms with Annalise's callousness and the hard decisions he has to make to save Hammer Bay, and maybe the world.
This is the darkest book I've read in awhile. The next ones in the series only get darker, though Ray becomes less grim and more likable over time. The writing in this book is excellent and Ray Lilly is like no one I've seen in an urban fantasy. Even though he's considered entirely disposable by his powerful mentor/owner, he perseveres and does his best in the face of overwhelming odds. I like that about him. Plus, I actually had a nightmare about what they find in Hammer Bay. Yikes.
All in all, I highly recommend it. It's a nice change of pace from the same old butt-kicking UF babe....more
Charlotte Davidson is a private investigator who liaises with the police to help solve homicides. Charley can see dead people, probably because she'sCharlotte Davidson is a private investigator who liaises with the police to help solve homicides. Charley can see dead people, probably because she's a grim reaper - the Grim Reaper, in fact. She's all gold and sparkly to ghosts and they are inexplicably drawn to her. (This can lead to awkward moments in the shower.) When a doctor's wife goes missing, Charley is determined to find her before it's too late.
Along the way, Charley starts to find out a bit of what a Grim Reaper can do, while at the same time learning that her lover, Reyes, is capable of more than she imagined. Considering he's the son of Satan, that's saying a lot. I love the way the totally mundane case with the doctor's wife ends up mirroring Reyes's relationship with his adopted father. Although Charley doesn't see it, Reyes treats her much the same way the doctor treated his wife. He may be hot, but he's also manipulative and controlling (re: son of Satan).
I love this series. Charley's smart, funny, and relentlessly upbeat, even in the face of serious trouble. My favorite thing about Charley is that just because she's a bad-ass doesn't mean she's a hard-ass. She's a softie of epic proportions and she handles both of her jobs (as Grim Reaper Extraordinaire and private investigator) with humor, compassion, and sometimes more heart than common sense. She can threaten a bad guy one minute and cry over a hurt dog the next.
These books tend to be along the lines of "he abused me until I loved him!" but this one is especially so. As the series turns into finding the 'mate'These books tend to be along the lines of "he abused me until I loved him!" but this one is especially so. As the series turns into finding the 'mate' or 'bride' of the evil guys, the sins against the women become especially egregious (the previous book's scenario hovered somewhere between unfortunate and sickening). Mostly, the romance in this book was boring and mean-spirited. It rates 3 stars because it at least advanced the overall plot which I find FAR more interesting than the somewhat formulaic romance settings of this series....more
The first book in this series was fresh and interesting, and watching Ana view Christian's sexual activities through the eyes of a virgin was quaint.The first book in this series was fresh and interesting, and watching Ana view Christian's sexual activities through the eyes of a virgin was quaint. In this second book, she becomes mean and judgy about it, which effectively neuters Christian. I also despise the ending of this book. It took the easy way out in every aspect. I won't be picking up the next one....more
I like the world building in this book but the writing and the dialogue felt oddly stiff. I will definitely be picking up the sequel but I'm not in aI like the world building in this book but the writing and the dialogue felt oddly stiff. I will definitely be picking up the sequel but I'm not in a omg-I-must-get-this-immediately rush....more