London police officers Kevin Sefton, Tony Costain, and DI James Quill are running out of time. Operation Goodfellow, set to take down the king of Lond...moreLondon police officers Kevin Sefton, Tony Costain, and DI James Quill are running out of time. Operation Goodfellow, set to take down the king of London himself, mob boss Rob Toshak, has failed to turn up evidence and the big bosses are only willing to allow one last shot. Sefton and Costain have been working undercover within Toshak's organization and even they have nothing they can use. It all comes to a head on New Year's Eve when Toshak and his crew are arrested, but when Toshak dies under gruesome and mysterious circumstances - while in police custody and just moments after agreeing to confess - the team finds themselves with a new assignment. Convinced there's a mole within their station, Quill, Sefton, and Costain, along with analyst Lisa Ross, who has her own reasons for wanting to see Toshak go down, are given a new task: find the mole and solve Toshak's murder. What they find is beyond explanation. A witch - and serial killer - with the power to disguise herself as anyone and go anywhere she pleases, is their only suspect. And when all four are mysteriously gifted with the "sight" their job becomes that much weirder.
This first in Cornell's new series is a bit hard to sum up in a coherent synopsis. There's a lot going on. Essentially, though, it's a paranormal mystery/horror set in London. It's also a wonderfully creative tale.
LONDON FALLING is a bit of a rough ride at the beginning, however. The reader is dropped into an already in progress story and bits of information are spread out as you go along. Toshak's crimes, Costain and Sefton's roles as undercovers, and the tension between Costain and Quill and Costain and Sefton are all clearly there but the background comes later.
Once the story gets rolling, though, it really is (and trust me, I'm not the only one saying it) impossible to put this book down. I stumbled through the first 150 pages in short spurts but beyond that it was essentially one sitting through to the end.
And the true revelations about the team and the sight become clear as you near the end of the story, setting us all up nicely for whatever will come in the next installment. I only wish I didn't have to wait! I would have liked to dive right into book two after the end of London Falling.
I find it interesting that a variation of this concept was initially meant to be a tv show. It would have been super cool to see, but Cornell's obviously able to do so much more with it in book form considering some of the limits involved in tv. (less)
Second in the Gretchen Lowell series finds Detective Archie Sheridan returning to the spot where Lowell's first suspected victim was found. This time,...moreSecond in the Gretchen Lowell series finds Detective Archie Sheridan returning to the spot where Lowell's first suspected victim was found. This time, three bodies have been discovered, no connection to the Beauty Killer case, but hits too close for Archie.
Cain holds nothing back. Her crime scenes are brutal, her characters are deeply flawed, and the suspense is killer. (less)
Meghan Chase has been living in the Winter kingdom since defeating the Iron King. Her bargain with Prince Ash left her with no choice. But now the Iro...moreMeghan Chase has been living in the Winter kingdom since defeating the Iron King. Her bargain with Prince Ash left her with no choice. But now the Iron Fey have attacked the Unseelie and Meghan and her friends have no choice but to fight once again. If they lose, it would mean war between the Winter and Summer kingdoms. (less)
The war to end all wars has finally come to an end and with it comes great change. For the Grevilles, though, it does mean something of a return to no...moreThe war to end all wars has finally come to an end and with it comes great change. For the Grevilles, though, it does mean something of a return to normalcy: Abingdon Pryory will soon be returned to its former glory and Lord Stanmore is anxious to return to the country estate. Alexandra, now widowed and with a young son in tow, has returned from overseas but there's tension between her and her father. Charles also has returned and is showing marked improvement. Meanwhile, Martin has taken a position with a large international news agency and Fenton Wood-Lacy has been exiled to the Middle East.
Oh, I can't tell you have happy I was to return to this series! When I turned the final page on THE PASSING BELLS I was already anticipating diving into the second and third installments. After all, we'd learned that Martin was a widow and Charles was out of his mind thanks to shell shock. And what of William, who we barely met, and Alexandra and Robbie and all of the others?!
Fortunately, CIRCLES OF TIME picks up just a little after the end of PASSING BELLS. Martin has decided to move on and Charles's friends are rallying together to get Lord Grantham, I mean Lord Stanmore to consider bringing him home for his recovery. (And yes, readers, this second installment does definitely bring to mind DOWNTON especially with regards to the family patriarch!)
Now that the war has ended, the Grevilles and others like them are slowly putting the pieces of their lives back together. Alexandra is struggling with her father's old fashioned ideals. Lord Stanmore is, in fact, struggling with his old fashioned ideals as well and the way the world is changing around him. It was interesting to see him slowly come around to some of the social changes, especially once Charles began to recover. That alone seemed to be the turning point for Anthony Greville, allowing him to finally put aside some of his staunch ideals and embrace the evolving world around him.
And like many of the other reviews I've seen thus far, Martin remains by far my favorite character. His position as a journalist and writer not only gives him a unique viewpoint amongst the varied characters of the story, but also allows him to move around a bit -- both literally and figuratively (socially). He travels to the Middle East to interview Fenton, giving us a glimpse not only of the military activity there but finally bringing Fenton back into the story. Martin also travels to Germany and becomes the first character to discuss what he witnesses as a result of the war... and foreshadowing the war to come.
These are characters that I've come to know and love through Rock's writing and I will be sad to say goodbye with the final installment. (less)
It's too hard this far down the line to avoid massive spoilers for anyone who's not gotten this far or for anyone who's following the show (which has...moreIt's too hard this far down the line to avoid massive spoilers for anyone who's not gotten this far or for anyone who's following the show (which has just gotten halfway through the third book).
What I will say is that this book begins around the same point as book four, A Feast for Crows. Something I didn't initially realize. At least not until character x showed up at place y when I knew very well that he was already way out in place z thanks to what happened in Feast. Then I remembered that in the afterword of Feast Martin mentioned that these two books were originally one and that for practical purposes the book was split, not in terms of overall story but by character. So all the characters that were missing from Feast are here in Dance. Which is whew 'cause I needed some serious Tyrion time.
Winter is still on its way and those dragons are getting much bigger. You can of course expect more political backstabbing, war planning, spying and manipulating, and all the other good stuff we've come to love about this series in this installment. (less)
I'm going to head this one up by saying that I was super excited to dive into NOWHERE BUT HOME. Last year I read Palmer's MORE LIKE HER. It was my fir...moreI'm going to head this one up by saying that I was super excited to dive into NOWHERE BUT HOME. Last year I read Palmer's MORE LIKE HER. It was my first time reading this author and I was totally blown away. More Like Her set the bar high and my expectations even higher for Nowhere But Home and I have to say that Palmer did not let me down!
Queen Elizabeth "Queenie" Wake has known her share of disappointment. In their little town of North Star, the Wakes were always looked down on. BJ Wake's reputation was legendary - in fact, she always said her daughters' fathers could have been any number of men - and Queenie and her sister paid the price in more ways than one. Their mother was absentee at best and neglectful at worst until she was killed by a spurned wife. Queenie left North Star as soon as she could and never really looked back.
After she's fired from her latest job though, Queenie decides it might be time to head home. At least until she can figure things out. Surely things can't be as bad as they were when she was in high school? Unfortunately for Queenie, the townspeople's prejudices against the Wakes have not lessened. But a surprising job opportunity and the chance to reconnect with her sister and nephew might just be enough to overcome those snide comments and nasty looks.
I loved Queenie Wake! She's got spunk! She's fired for telling someone they can't put ketchup on their eggs for goodness sake, then she takes a job cooking death row inmates their final meals. She's got this great strength to go along with the attitude as well, but with a little layer of self doubt that makes her more human. She - and her sister - struggle with the idea that they may not be allowed happiness in their life. It really makes you quite literally ache for them, waiting for the Wake women to get the peace they deserve (and shove it in everyone's face!).
Liza Palmer has a great way of making even the most serious subjects somewhat lighter, if not light hearted. Here you have two women who were orphaned as teens and left to deal with an entire town's scorn for no reason other than their last name. This could easily become a sad and sappy tale of woe is me, but it's not. Not at all. Instead, it's a story of two women somwhat sarcastically overcoming the odds together and a lot of Southern comfort food to help them (and others) along. It's a story of knowing who your friends are and brushing off the pain that others can inflict upon you. And overall it's a story of family (and football... and food. Oh, I said food already!).
I don't want to belittle the book at all because I really think it's wonderful (as was MORE LIKE HER), and while the subject isn't quite as shocking as that of MORE LIKE HER, this latest from Palmer is an equally emotional read. In fact, I dare you not to laugh and cry alongside these characters. But I promise you'll do more laughing than crying as you rally behind the Wake sisters and their story.(less)
An updated video game quest in the spirit of all past video game quests!
Wade is just one of many trying to find the Easter egg left inside the world's...moreAn updated video game quest in the spirit of all past video game quests!
Wade is just one of many trying to find the Easter egg left inside the world's largest online world after it's creator dies. The winner will not only receive all of the monetary wealth left behind upon his death, but control over OASIS as well. Five years have passed since the contest began and Wade will be the first to beat the first level. (less)
After helping free Reyes and clear his name, Charley is a bit surprised to find he's taken up residence just down the hall! But Reyes as a neighbor is...moreAfter helping free Reyes and clear his name, Charley is a bit surprised to find he's taken up residence just down the hall! But Reyes as a neighbor is the least of the reaper's worries when her apartment begins to fill with dead blonde girls. Over twenty of them when they finally all arrive. Charley thinks they must have a serial killer on their hands, but none of the dead are talking and so far there isn't any real evidence. To further complicate things, Uncle Bob's captain has his eye on Charley and is intent on discovering the secret behind her odd knack for solving so many of the department's cases.
Wow, it feels like we just had a new Darynda Jones release and now it's time for another! All I can say is that I hope the next book comes out just as quickly 'cause I'm dying to know what happens next for Charley and Reyes!
FIFTH GRAVE PAST THE LIGHT is totally awesomely fun. In fact, as much as I've been enjoying this series, I think I might have to say that this is my favorite installment so far!
It was nice to see some of the characters beginning to get a little more action, Swopes in particular. His discoveries about Charley are intriguing and sure to play into future books even more heavily. I'm also curious about Duff and Mr. Chung. I've been wondering when we'd find out more about Mr. Chung and I think it might be coming soon (I hope).
And the ending is killer. I won't give it away but I can't wait to find out what happens next.
If you're into fun paranormal mysteries with a healthy dose of steamy romance and you've yet to start reading the Charley Davidson series, what's stopping you? I suggest you run out and snatch up a few (they're super quick reads, so you might want to stock up). And yes, you most definitely have to read the books in order!(less)