Adrienne and Gabe have tried everything when it comes to starting a family. They've already had one bad experience with an open adoption scam, but wheAdrienne and Gabe have tried everything when it comes to starting a family. They've already had one bad experience with an open adoption scam, but when Leah responds to their profile, it seems as though it's meant to be. Leah is nineteen and adamant that she's not ready to be a mother. She even looks like a young Adrienne. All Leah wants is a chance to start over after the baby is born. As her demands on the couple increase, though, Adrienne becomes fearful that the adoption will fall through. And Adrienne can't handle another loss like that.
So I have to apologize for my late posting, readers, but today has been INSANE. It's my birthday (yay) and our first day back after being away for the holiday. We discovered some new tenants of a sort have taken up residency chez nous and believe me when I say they are very unwelcome. A family of skunks has made our overhang their cool new home, so my morning has been spent trying to find someone to come trap and remove them while also worrying about how to keep the dog out of their range as well.
Like I said, insane. As I write this I can hear one of them scampering around the window well it was unfortunate enough to fall into. Thankfully our heroic pest man will be here tomorrow.
Anyway, back to the book (which would have made a welcome read today to get my mind off of all of this!).
A Necessary End is a little tough to read. Adrienne and Gabe are already in something of a bad spot - her raw need to have a baby only seems to make him want a child less and less. They're both putting up a front for the benefit of everyone around them, but as the reader you get to see what's really beneath the facade. When Leah enters their lives, Gabe is skeptical at best but actually warms up to the girl much faster than Adrienne herself does. Of course this is because Adrienne quickly becomes convinced that Leah will hightail with the kid before the adoption has been formalized. Adrienne is a bit weird and Gabe is kind of a jerk. They're not completely likable, though they are easy to sympathize with as their story progresses.
Of course there's much more to the story than Adrienne's paranoia and Gabe's lack of enthusiasm. More even than Leah's questionable and possibly malicious methods of getting what she wants (you're never quite sure of her motive at any time), but that's where the suspense aspect comes in and I'm not going to be the one to ruin that.
If psychological suspense and less than domestic bliss are up your alley, A Necessary End will hit the spot. ...more
A Kelland Mining Company team working planet LV178 makes a startling discovery. Before the Marion crew can be alerted to the find, though, both teamsA Kelland Mining Company team working planet LV178 makes a startling discovery. Before the Marion crew can be alerted to the find, though, both teams of miners make and emergency return to the ship - carrying dangerous cargo.
Meanwhile, Ellen Ripley's escape pod has picked up a signal and takes her straight to the Marion. Straight back to the enemy she only very narrowly escaped on Nostromo.
Soooo. I love Alien. I love it! And I was super excited about this book - but I wasn't so jazzed about the inclusion of Ripley. It just doesn't fit - yes, they do find a way of explaining how she's encountered the Xenomorphs and The Company yet again with no memory of it by the time Aliens begins (this story is set 37 years after Alien and you may recall Ripley's been floating in space for 57 years by the time she's rescued in Aliens) - but I didn't think she was necessary to this story.
Out of the Shadows does follow a bit of the same format as the rest of the Alien franchise films. How can you not, right? Hoop and his team are great and Lebbon does a good job fleshing him out in particular. There's lots of gore and lots of action (YES!). And lots of insight into Ripley's own mental struggles.
As for how well Lebbon does with the sci-fi heroine, I thought he did a good job. She's still the Ripley we know and love. Much of her story revolves around fears pertaining to the daughter she left behind before Nostromo and it worked just fine. Even the oh, so convenient way of squeezing this tale in between the first two movies made sense. I just thought it would have worked fine without her. And I probably would have liked it more if it hadn't. ...more
Ashes to Dust begins with the excavation of a town that's been buried under ash and dust for over thirty years. Thóra's client had intended to stop thAshes to Dust begins with the excavation of a town that's been buried under ash and dust for over thirty years. Thóra's client had intended to stop the excavation of his childhood home but was instead granted permission to be the first to enter. Unfortunately for the client this behavior is deemed quite suspicious when three bodies and a disembodied head are discovered in the basement of said home.
This book begins with one of the most disturbing and strange murder scenes I've ever encountered. And it's fabulous! And let me stress again, highly disturbing.
The plot of Ashes to Dust is based on the eruption of Eldfell and the very real fate of Heimaey Island. And something called the Cod War. (Yep, as in fish.) I love, love, love the way Sigurdardóttir has built each of the first three books around such fantastic history. It's definitely one of my favorite aspects of the series as a whole. And it's interesting that, as the author noted in an interview, no one else took advantage of the Eldfell story for a book before this!...more
In My Soul to Take, Thóra is representing a client intent on building a wellness spa. The client believes the land he's purchased is haunted and thatIn My Soul to Take, Thóra is representing a client intent on building a wellness spa. The client believes the land he's purchased is haunted and that the people who sold him the property hid that fact in order to sell. Ghosts could be bad for R&R, and he wants Thóra to prove the sale was under false pretenses so that he can at least get some of his purchase price refunded. But when a body is discovered nearby, Thóra finds herself thrust into a murder investigation with her client the prime suspect.
This was an especially fun entry in the series as it includes both Icelandic folklore and more of the dark history of country. The mystery wasn't quite as tightly plotted as Last Rituals, but the character development makes up for that quite a bit. Thóra's relationship with Matthew and her troubles with her children get a lot of attention in this outing. Sigurdardóttir also injects quite a bit of humor into this installment (and subsequent ones). ...more
On Anna Wyatt's fortieth birthday she gets the go ahead to pursue a pitch she thinks could make her career. And she's right. Landing the Lumineux accoOn Anna Wyatt's fortieth birthday she gets the go ahead to pursue a pitch she thinks could make her career. And she's right. Landing the Lumineux account would be a guaranteed stepping stone to the much larger and much more important Quincy Pharmaceuticals account. Lumineux was one of the company's very first products, one that hasn't been rebranded for decades, and Anna has an idea that would not only bring it back into the limelight but make it a must have product for women everywhere.
Anna's pitch sends her to the annual RomanceCon writers' conference where she and her colleague will guest judge the Mr. RomanceCon pageant. If Quincy approves, the winner of the pageant will be featured in the new Lumineux ad campaign. Unfortunately for Anna, the closer she gets to approval the more her boss wants to take the credit. It doesn't help that Anna's facing a number of new distractions along the way as well, namely her brother's personal issues and a fling with a hot Brit.
Girl Before a Mirror seemed a little lighter than previous books I've read by Palmer. There are still some heavy issues, but much of the focus here is on finding and being true to oneself. Honestly, I sympathized with Anna throughout the entire book and that's something I've really loved about all of Palmer's works: the fact that the characters are the kinds of girls I could and would (and may actually be) friends with. Anna faces workplace issues, family issues, love life issues... the same things we all face in our own day to day lives. But through her we can laugh and cry and maybe even learn a little ourselves....more
They call it Area X - a site that is closed off from everything. A site where strange things happen. There have been eleven other expeditions before nThey call it Area X - a site that is closed off from everything. A site where strange things happen. There have been eleven other expeditions before now. The last over two years ago. Expedition twelve is made up of four women: a psychologist, a surveyor, an anthropologist, and a biologist. The women are to map and observe, documenting their experiences along the way.
This is what the biologist saw.
Annihilation is strange. I probably should have known better than to expect it to be an easy read just because it's short. I've sadly lost most of the wonderful ability I had in my youth to completely tune out my surroundings while reading. This makes it particularly hard to concentrate when reading in places like the airport and on planes. Add to that the fact that this was such a bizarre story in terms of both style and plot and you have a really bad combination. Bleh.
Actually, had I not been trying to read in such an awful surrounding I probably would have zipped through Annihilation. While a much more dense read than expected, it is nonetheless fascinating. The narration is limited - we see only what the biologist supposedly writes in her journal. She does take a very scientific look at things but we aren't all that certain we can trust her for increasing reasons along the way.
As an intro to the series it is an interesting creative choice. (I've peeked at the second title, Authority, and the narration is completely different.) Annihilation leaves readers with so many questions. What exactly is Area X, what is the Southern Reach (who controls Area X), what's the purpose of the expeditions and what do they hope to learn from Area X, and what the heck happened there to begin with? Annihilation clears up nothing, instead adding more and more questions before all is said and done, and leaves readers like me craving more!
If you're into oddball reads this is truly the one for you. If you're easily frustrated by the lack of explanation in a story you'll want to steer clear. I personally am waiting to read through both Authority (out now) and the upcoming Acceptance (releasing in September) to see how the whole thing plays out. ...more
The first in the series introduces the major players -- the Starks, The Lannisters, the Targaryens -- and theAn epic start to a grand fantasy series!
The first in the series introduces the major players -- the Starks, The Lannisters, the Targaryens -- and the beginnings of political unrest that will result in war. Backstabbing, unexpected alliances, and heroic deeds and misdeeds!
If you've watched the show, it follows this first book pretty closely. I can't wait to crack open book two and find out what happens next!...more
Evie Nicholson is asked to appraise items at an old Scottish Estate in the days before their grand ball. It's her dream come true, well... if she wasEvie Nicholson is asked to appraise items at an old Scottish Estate in the days before their grand ball. It's her dream come true, well... if she was part of it all.