Okay this is my first comic book (ahem) graphic novel ever so I can only talk about my experience reading it and how it relates to the franchise.
I amOkay this is my first comic book (ahem) graphic novel ever so I can only talk about my experience reading it and how it relates to the franchise.
I am a bit of a speed reader so it took some adjustment for me to not just skim the text and move on, but to actually take in and enjoy the art -which, by the way, is amazing. I'm still flipping through it and re-examining all of it. The collaboration between Marlowe and Mavel is fantastic. This has to be Castle's voice, but Castle before he met Beckett and I think they completely succeeded in that. Oddly enough when I was reading Deadly Storm I started the story in Nathan Fillion's voice but ended up reading it in Zachary Levi's. I think this is because Derrick Storm is more of a combination of "Chuck" and "Richard Castle", whereas in the Nikki Heat novels, Jameson Rook is so completely Richard Castle.
I won't be rating this read as my basis of comparison for a graphic novel is non-existent, but I will say I enjoyed it. If they continue to put out this Derek Storm series, I will continue to read it. It's a great transmedia edition to the Castle empire. I think any fans of the series would like it. ...more
I am a huge Meg Gardiner fan. She is an expert at weaving a thrilling tale and this one is right up there with the rest. I was devastated at the end oI am a huge Meg Gardiner fan. She is an expert at weaving a thrilling tale and this one is right up there with the rest. I was devastated at the end of Crosscut, and while Kill Chain made me feel a little better, I'm still agonizing over the plight of Evan Delaney. Honestly, I think that's the true test of a writer of any fictional genre... can you make the reader care so much about your character's so much that they think of them as real people? With Meg Gardiner's stories, you can't help it.
I was getting a little frustrated with Evan for her inability to stay out of trouble, but lately trouble seems to find her. The one thing I adore about Evan (here I go again, discussing her as though she were real) is the fact that she doesn't wait around for things to be taken care of, but jumps in with both feet whether she has all the facts or not. She would do anything for those she loves, which is what makes this book particularly heart-wrenching.
The story is solid and while there is little room to catch your breath there is always Ms. Gardiner's droll sarcasm to help lighten the mood a little. I was slightly dismayed at the fact that this book is left so open-ended, because I feared that it might be the last book in the series - this book was published in 2008 and since then Ms. Gardiner has turned her attention to another fantastic series, Jo Beckett. However, Ms. Gardiner assured us that this is not the end of the road for the Delaney series, so I can breathe a little easier. Evan actually makes an appearance in Gardiner's latest Jo Beckett book, The Nightmare Thief - I actually bought this book the day of it's release but held off on reading it, because I wanted to be up to date with Evan.
I don't want to say too much more about the book for fear of spoiling things, but I loved how we got some answers to questions that have been plaguing Evan for a while, even though they only brought more questions. This is a fabulous series and Kill Chain is a spectacular addition to it. I'd say it's my second favorite book in the series. I can't get enough of her work, and if you love thrillers, with kick-butt women, Meg Gardiner's books are for you!
I love Kathy Reichs novels and I love paranormal YA, so the two things together? Total no brainer. Seizure is the second book in Reichs' new Virals seI love Kathy Reichs novels and I love paranormal YA, so the two things together? Total no brainer. Seizure is the second book in Reichs' new Virals series, and while the first one is my favorite, I also enjoyed Seizure.
Many of the reviews for Virals compared it to a modern day Nancy Drew (even I made the comparison (my review)), I think the similarities are far more prevalent here, from the cover to the topic to the plot formula. Not that that is a bad thing, (think of how many lives that series touched!) but it's a good starting point of comparison. Really, it's Goonies meets Nancy Drew with a sci-if twist. It definitely had an old school feel to it with good dose of Kathy Reichs typical quick wit. There are no huge plot twists in this one and even though searching for pirate treasure sounds a little hokey, it was still an entertaining, fast-paced read. At times I was frustrated when pockets of plot exposition slowed things down a little, but the Virals are so smart it's easy to forget they're kids in their early teens... and so is the target audience...
There aren't a lot of books set in my home town of Buffalo, NY so I was terribly excited when the ladies The Cozy Chicks for bringing brought it to myThere aren't a lot of books set in my home town of Buffalo, NY so I was terribly excited when the ladies The Cozy Chicks for bringing brought it to my attention. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I was hoping it wasn't going to portray Buffalo in a bad light. This is a touchy issue for me, as I'm a proud Buffalonian. We get enough bad press on our own (sports, economy, snow, etc.).
It was actually kind of strange reading about a fictional killer in my own town. There were fictional places juxtaposed on real places, making it kind of jarring for me to read. However, if you aren't overly familiar with the Buffalo area, I'm sure it wouldn't disturb you in the slightest. Both Jeff and Richard have just moved back to the Queen City for different reasons and both of them have bitter memories of their different but equally difficult childhoods in Buffalo. Neither of them is thrilled to be back, but they slowly learn that Buffalo isn't as bad as they remember (I loved Brenda's line, "Richard, you never told me there's a ton of great stuff to do in Buffalo."). While Jeff and Richard are relearning the city, they are also trying to reconnect with each other. But it's hard to get beyond their childhood grudges when Jeff's insistent that his head injuries have caused him to start having psychic visions ...and those visions are pulling all of them into the middle of a murder investigation.
L.L. Bartlett wastes no time jumping into the mystery of it all. It caught me a little off guard. The mystery is interesting. The reader is not tasked by trying to figure out the culprit but by how Jeff will prove his visions, thus proving to his half-brother he's not crazy and catching a murderer. I'm not sure it was entirely plausible that Jeff wasn't arrested on several occasions for obstruction of justice at least, but it was easily forgiven because the story was intriguing. Little by little we learn what drove the brothers apart. Richard takes a leap of faith, Jeff learns to trust and let go. And the reader learns what motivates a murderer.
In a way, this is sort of the male counterpart to Heather Webber's Lucy Valentine series, which I adore. Although the lack of plot exposition at the beginning was surprising, I enjoyed the way Ms. Barrett wove it into the story instead. Some family secrets are revealed, and I'm sure there are more to come. I found all of Ms. Bartlett's characters fascinating and I want to get to know them a little better. I'm particularly curious about Sophie, a minor character that floats in and out of Jeff's new found life as an investigating psychic. I can't wait to see where each of the characters decides to go from here, as they all seem to have a grasp on what they want out of life ...for now.
This will be a fun, light mystery series for me, I think, especially once I get used to reading about my home town. I look forward to starting book two of the Jeff Resnick series, Dead in Red. In fact I'm moving it closer to the top of my TBR pile right now.
I really enjoy this series from L.L. Bartlett, and not just because it's set in my home town of Buffalo, NY. Actually, that part is a little distractiI really enjoy this series from L.L. Bartlett, and not just because it's set in my home town of Buffalo, NY. Actually, that part is a little distracting for me, especially the juxtaposition of real places with the ones Ms. Bartlett has created for her story and the repurposing of buildings and places as something else entirely. Honestly, if your aren't from the area, or only vaguely familiar with it it wouldn't bother you, but every so often it disrupts the narrative for me. Occasionally, it cracks me up, like the outrageous number of drag clubs she has added to our city, or the fact that she has single handedly increased the crime rate in Amherst, NY which is considered among the 'safest cities in America'.
What I love about the series, is that it's a nice light mystery without being cozy. Not that cozies and heavy crime novels don't have a place, I adore both, but sometimes you just want to fall into something easy. The characters are interesting and in Dead in Red, we get a little more character development. Jeff is finding his way again as he recovers from his life altering injuries and it's nice to see him strike out on his own a little. There wasn't as much drama between he and his half-brother Richard, just a whole lot of guilt which causes some bickering. I love the way Ms. Bartlett keeps the reader guessing, the mysteries are never what you would expect, which is a huge accomplishment.
I have already purchased the next two books in this series, and am happily adding them to my TBR pile. They are great reads to have laying around.
Oh, how I've missed Temperance Brennan! Though usually a serious lack of Andrew Ryan bothers me, it didn't seem as upsetting in this novel. Perhaps beOh, how I've missed Temperance Brennan! Though usually a serious lack of Andrew Ryan bothers me, it didn't seem as upsetting in this novel. Perhaps because Kathy Reichs has returned to basics, a solid case with plenty of suspects, and lots of unanswered questions.
I have absolutely no interest in racing but as usual, Ms. Reichs kept me completely engaged with the subject and taught me a few things as well. She balanced the racing with racism -an entire fringe racist group that may or may not have been involved in the death of the recently discovered victim, or the cold case disappearances. Oddly, I didn't find myself pushing to solve the case but found myself enjoying the discoveries as they came. Though I did figure out the culprit before Tempe and Slidell, it was only by a few chapters.
As I mentioned at the beginning of my review, the only thing absent was any forward momentum in Tempe's love life -though some doors may be closing and some windows may be opening. Right now, Tempe doesn't really have time for romance, but I hope she'll make time for it. (Obviously, I'm rooting for Andrew Ryan -I always have and I always will.) And here I go, referencing Tempe as a real person not a character, but Kathy Reichs writes her so well, Temperance Brennan feels like an old friend to me.
I was really looking forward to a solid forensic mystery and Flash and Bones didn't disappoint. Kathy Reichs seldom does. Julie and I both highly recommend this series... or if you're looking for something a little lighter, try Kathy Reichs' new paranormal YA series.
I was a twenty-five pages or so into this book and wondering why I felt I'd been dropped into the middle of something... and then I realized that I haI was a twenty-five pages or so into this book and wondering why I felt I'd been dropped into the middle of something... and then I realized that I had been dropped into the middle of a series and the publicist failed to mention that before I agreed to review this. I am not a fan of reading books out of order when it comes to a series, and although the prior books weren't necessary to the plot, I still felt like I wasn't getting as much out of the personal relationships between the characters as I would had I read the previous three. Also, there are some big things that have occurred for all of the characters that I now am spoiled over by having read the fourth book first. That aside, this will obviously be a review of this book as a standalone novel.
If I didn't get the full measure of character interactions, I hoped that I could at least appreciate it for the plot. Alas, as soon as the defendant Valerie was introduced, I pretty much knew what had happened in the case but I thought there might be some good plot twists thrown in. Unfortunately, all of those had to do with the character's personal lives which I couldn't seem to invest in due to the fact that I never got to know them very well.
Ms. Caldwell's writing jumped around a lot as it changed points of view in a rather halting manner. Much of the personal interaction seemed superfluous, again perhaps because it's this is mid-series. I had no interest in Izzy's problems with her love life... or her co-council Meg's lack of problems. Ms. Caldwell's writing is based on her personal experience, which is unique, but I'm not sure wether that helped or hindered the story. The courtroom scenes were extremely dull. It also seemed odd that Izzy was given so much responsibility in this case when she has never worked in criminal law before. I understand that she has a history with the defense attorney, but it her involvement felt random. The Innocence Project also seemed to be extraneous and neither added or detracted from the story. It almost made me wish she'd chosen to tell the story of the cold case over the current one. I also felt there was a slight legal loophole at the end of the book that was glossed over and oversimplified.
On the whole, I certainly would not recommend this book as a stand alone novel. However, perhaps it's another story if you are already invested in the characters, and like Ms. Caldwell's writing style. I for one, will not be reading any more of this series, and perhaps no more from Ms. Caldwell.
Up until now, my only contact with Michael Connelly's work has been through his guest appearances on ABC's Castle. I've been meaning to get around toUp until now, my only contact with Michael Connelly's work has been through his guest appearances on ABC's Castle. I've been meaning to get around to trying his novels for years, so between a low e-book price and the 2012 Criminal Plots Challenge, this was the perfect opportunity.
The Black Echo is the first novel in the Harry Bosch series and was written in 1992. I only point this out because you can't get through this novel without marveling at how much has changed in the last twenty years. One rarely reflect on how much evolving technology has affected the way things are done. With, detectives and agents alike checking their pagers and constantly using pay phones to check in, it's amazing anything was accomplished! Also, the plot revolved around Vietnam vets which was a constant reminder that Detective Bosch is my father's age, which gave things a skewed perspective for me. So many fictional detectives are timeless, that it was a unusual to have the reality anchor thrown in.
Connelly has a clinical style of writing, but it isn't off putting. Nor is it heavy or full of a jargon. I found it easily accessible and more than compelling. As for the characters, I don't know if I ever truly connected with any of them. Harry Bosch is not an easy character to like, I was certainly routing for him, but he is so rough around the edges that I kept waiting for a glance of a soft inner center... perhaps Bosch just doesn't have one. I love that he doesn't stick to the book or the party line, and I understand why that could be an issue, but with his results I don't understand why it's as much of an issue as it is... maybe it's generational. The murder-bank heist plot was good and twisty. I guessed part of the solution, but not all of it and Connelly definitely threw in enough curve balls to have me second guessing myself and formulating wild theories.
I would like to continue reading the Harry Bosch novels, though the sheer volume of the series is a little daunting. It will be interesting to see the character develop and change with the times. I hope I will be able to shift the The Black Ice closer to the top of my TBR pile.
I truly love the Gallagher Girls series, and I'm sorry I waited so long to read it. I have a few more promised reviews before March goes out like a laI truly love the Gallagher Girls series, and I'm sorry I waited so long to read it. I have a few more promised reviews before March goes out like a lamb, but after my last book I needed something light and fun ~Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy fit the bill.
Cammie is done with boys. And breaking the rules. And spying on her friends. That is until she discovers her mother is hiding things from her... and an entire contingent of boys is arriving at their exclusive all girls spy school. Suddenly everything is more complicated... including getting glammed up for class in the morning.
I love that both Ally Carter and Cammie put the spying for the purpose of a boyfriend behind them. While it was cute, and necessary foundation for the sophomores, the intrigue of real secrets is far more captivating. I really wish I had attended the Gallagher Academy... it makes their adventures all the more exciting. I love the classes they attend! And the addition of the boys has definitely made things more interesting, are they duplicitous? Sure, but all boys are. Is it more important to know whose side are they on or is it more important to be able to take the leap of faith and trust them?
This is a great series, especially for a reluctant reader. I know I will be revisiting the Gallagher Academy again soon. I need my dose of spy life...
I received John Verdon's first novel, Think of a Number, from a publicist to review and I was seriously impressed. I was pleased to find out Shut YourI received John Verdon's first novel, Think of a Number, from a publicist to review and I was seriously impressed. I was pleased to find out Shut Your Eyes Tight was going to be another Dave Gurney book. I was even more excited to discover that this second installment is just as good as the first.
It's been about a year since Dave's last venture out of retirement that nearly got him killed... And he's starting to get restless again. So when Detective Hardwick asks him to look into a murder investigation that he thinks his department botched, Dave's need to solve the puzzle gets the better of him, much to his wife's chagrin.
The mystery is seriously intriguing, and while I did find the murderer before Dave Gurney, I definitely only had glimpses of the rest of the puzzle pieces. The murder has taken place in a wealthy community where nothing is what it seems, a Stepford-like group. It is a fantastic and disturbingly wild ride. There is a plethora of characters all of them interesting and twisted, but their weren't so many characters that the reader felt overwhelmed. The only drawback is Dave's wife Madeline. Madeline seemed to think that retiring and moving to the country would make Dave a different person. But solving puzzles is what he enjoys, and she can't expect him to just work in the garden and go for hikes. One of my favorite lines from the 1955 movie of Guys and Dolls kept coming to mind, “A guy doesn't want to feel like a piece of dress material that a woman's going to cut up and sew according to however they're wearing husbands this year.”
Madeline expects Dave to take an interest in what she's doing, but takes no interest in what he likes to do, which is horribly evident at a very uncomfortable dinner party. Despite the fact that she does see the error of her ways eventually, I have a feeling this relationship may not last.
I don't want to say too much more and spoil the mystery, but I think John Verdon's books are great for the crime reader who thinks they've 'seen it all'. It is a fabulous series that I keep to savor. I look forward to more marvelous mysteries from Mr. Verdon... and I highly recommend starting with Think of a Number.