The first in a new series from Maureen Johnson (J'ADORE) and a definite departure from her previous work. Johnson, most known for slightly fluffy, slig...moreThe first in a new series from Maureen Johnson (J'ADORE) and a definite departure from her previous work. Johnson, most known for slightly fluffy, slightly angsty girl-grows-up fiction takes us to London with Rory, a Louisiana native whose parents are teaching in Bristol for the year. She decides to go to Wexford Academy, a boarding school in London proper, and within her first week almost chokes. After, she starts seeing people. People that no one else can see. At the same time, impossible murders mimicking Jack The Ripper are taking place, following the exact time line and the exact method. Rory sees the murderer. Her roommate Jazza does not.
Johnson's book don't normally stray too far to the dark side. Drama, yes, with death of a loved one, or threat to a loved ones' health, somewhat common. This is not health. This is not cancer. This is murder, straight up, described in just enough detail to render it totally creepy, adding an air of Gothic malevolence to the entire work. While I wasn't worried for Rory (again, first in a series) I was worried for everyone else. The mystery of the murder is fantastic and different. The book is light on romance, even though Rory has a make-out partner. It's not about their relationship-it's about Rory's survival, in the most primal and physical of ways. I look forward to seeing where she's going with this, particularly given the ending.(less)
Before Urban Fantasy was A Thing, Rick Yancey was exploring the idea of it in his vastly underrated Alfred Kropp series.
Alfred had a lot going on at t...moreBefore Urban Fantasy was A Thing, Rick Yancey was exploring the idea of it in his vastly underrated Alfred Kropp series.
Alfred had a lot going on at the end of The Ring of Solomon. It looked like his life was finally in some semblance of order. But all it takes to send him back into near disaster is one errant knight who needs his head-his actual, honest to goodness head-in order to bring forth the power of Merlin and destroy the world. Again. Alfred discovers how far the OIPEP reaches, and exactly what kind of man Samuel actually is.
While the it does round out the series by presenting Alfred as almost a grown man, I cannot help but want more. This is an action packed, fast paced series that is equal parts fun with real emotion. You want Alfred to succeed, so much. You want Samuel to be a good man, because you know he wants to be a good man. Just a fabulous book all around, though I wouldn't say no to more from this series.(less)
The final book in Westerfelds' Leviathan trilogy. Alek and Deryn have survived Clankers in the Alps and an Ottoman revolution, but can they survive the...moreThe final book in Westerfelds' Leviathan trilogy. Alek and Deryn have survived Clankers in the Alps and an Ottoman revolution, but can they survive the most dangerous test of all-handling famed/infamous inventor Nikolas Tesla? In Tesla, Alek sees hope for a true and lasting peace for his people. For Deryn, the man is simply a mad inventor. As the war continues to rage in Europe, the Leviathan is sent to New York to deliver Tesla to his laboratory, where he claims to have a weapon that will stop the war. But does he actually want to stop the war-or does he want revenge?
As a final book to an imaginative, Goliath does not disappoint. It is a long, action pack and somewhat meandering adventure. The reader is taken from exotic locale to exotic locale, and while the threads always connect, it can sometimes take a while. The only place Westerfeld falters is with the romance. I won't spoil the ending, but I think he missed an opportunity to do something interesting. In Nation, by Terry Pratchett, a similar situation happens at the end, and what Pratchett did made more sense given what we knew of the characters-I feel like Westerfeld was heading in that same direction, and then back tracked.
Essentially, everything up to the last ten pages was great and made sense, and then I feel it got...fluffy and easy.
Still a fab book and sure to excite sci-fi fans, and maybe even get kids to read historical novels.(less)
The fourth book in the Parasol Protectorate opens with zombie hedgehogs. Alexia's pregnancy has spooked the Westminster Hive, but with sacrifices on a...moreThe fourth book in the Parasol Protectorate opens with zombie hedgehogs. Alexia's pregnancy has spooked the Westminster Hive, but with sacrifices on all parts (Alexia and Conall offer the baby to Lord Akeldama to raise, and Lord Akeldama gives up two of his closets), all seems well-until a ghost tells Alexia that there is a plot against the Queen.
There aren't any missteps in this book. Every character grows, and the things you learn about, well, everyone is wonderful. I was going to give this book four stars, but the more I think about it, there is not one thing about this book that I didn't find delightful.
The second book in Holly Blacks' Curse Worker series. It gets three stars because as good as it was, it felt like chore to read.
Cassell Sharpe is work...moreThe second book in Holly Blacks' Curse Worker series. It gets three stars because as good as it was, it felt like chore to read.
Cassell Sharpe is working a con with his emotion worker mother when they get the word that his brother Philip has been murdered. Considering Philip used to beat up his wife, and used Cassell with his Worker ability to transform people into objects and then had their brother Baron Work Cassells' memory to make him forget it, Cassell is conflicted about his death. The FBI, however, are not conflicted. Philip had turned informant, promising information on the Zacharov crime family in exchange for his wife, son, and immunity. Without Philip, the FBI turn to Cassell to fill the void. To make matters worse, Lila Zacharov, the only girl Cassell ever really loved, has come to his school, Worked to love him by his own mother. Cassell must walk a high wire act on a violin string, balancing the FBI, the Zacharov crime family, and his own family. Any kind of misstep, and Cassell will fall a very, very long way down.
This book is almost unremittingly dark, to the point where it's a little tiring. It's hard to read page after page of Cassell having only bad-to-worse options, and wanting, desperately wanting, for something to happen to let him go. It's heartbreaking to see him struggle with his feeling for Lila, his distrust for everyone save his roommate Sam (SAM! All the best sidekicks are named Sam, and this Sam is no exception), but wanting to protect them. I hope the next book offers Cassell some more options, because this was hard to get through, just because you want better for Cassell.(less)
Like Amanda, I wish for a half star rating, but at the end of the day the book was only ok. Kelsa is 15. Her father has just died, and she's having tr...moreLike Amanda, I wish for a half star rating, but at the end of the day the book was only ok. Kelsa is 15. Her father has just died, and she's having trouble communicating with her mother. Enter Raven, the Native American deity who is actually from another dimension (think the Asgardians from Thor, only less developed). Raven needs Kelsa to heal the mystical ley lines that have been ailing from centuries of neglect and environmental mistreatment.
There is nothing truly wrong with the book, there's just nothing good about it. Bell's world, where humans have come to the brink of ecological disaster and are now trying to pull back, is alternately interesting and irritation. Plastic guns are a new twist, but having Kelsa swear by saying "carp" and "frack" doesn't really work. The same can be said for the characters. Kelsa's grief seemed almost an afterthought, a reason for her and her mother to be at odds instead of a genuine emotion, and Raven isn't very well fleshed out. Considering Kelsa isn't going to be in the sequel (because there's always a sequel) it's a bit of a waste. I would have like to spend some time in Raven's head, so I, as the reader, know what's going on, even if the characters don't.
Not as good as I remember it. Arthur has been awoken from slumber to run for Mayor of New York, and the gangs' all here-Arthur, Percival, Merlin, Morg...moreNot as good as I remember it. Arthur has been awoken from slumber to run for Mayor of New York, and the gangs' all here-Arthur, Percival, Merlin, Morgan, Mordred and Gwen-even though Gwen will probably bollocks it up again. Arthur's still dynamic and honest, and despite that the citizens of New York rally around him. Could the Once and Future King actually become mayor of the Big Apple?
I read this when I was a lot younger, and I understand that Peter David took the original manuscript and tweaked it for a re-issue. I don't remember if it was so...anti-woman the first time I read it, but this time there was definite pause. Gwen goes from an abusive relationship to one with Arthur, where she might as well not have an identity, and the villain of the piece is Morgan LeFay, which is accurate, but she's the only other female character in the book. So there's the virgin (Gwen) and the whore (Morgan). I should read the rest of the series (it's always a series) but this book does not hold up to memory. Still it's pretty good.(less)