f you aren’t familiar with this series, start with Canines, Crosshairs and Corpses, which introduces the reader to the world of the Olympic gods in mof you aren’t familiar with this series, start with Canines, Crosshairs and Corpses, which introduces the reader to the world of the Olympic gods in modern times. I adore Canines, Crosshairs and Corpses – it’s become one of my feel good re-reads.
Second in the series is No Enemy But Time. A bit darker than Canines, but also enjoyable.
Which leads into Dragons, Diamonds and Discord. I really enjoyed the premise of the book, I LOVED the fact that Fafnir is a children’s book author, who lives in a loft and even as a man, the dragon’s urge to horde lies just under his skin. The idea that someone is messing with Fafnir’s hoarding cycle was a unique plot devise. The way Hermes solves Fafnir’s hoarding cycle was delightful. Okay, I admit, I just love dragons. I’m always rooting for the dragon in the movies.
And I found myself rooting for Fafnir in this book. He’s been isolated for so long he’s forgotten his human side. He’s alone and lonely…and then Hermes pops into his life and nothing is the same. Where I struggled with the book was Fafnir’s plight and Hermes growing interest in the dragon-man was overwhelmed by the rest of the Olympic horde. It felt like the author was trying to give page time to all the favorites from the previous books and bringing to light future characters. I confess to having more than one moment of “now…who are you again?”
And while I enjoyed the corporate aspect to the resident legion of discord, again, the evil gods contributed to the feeling of being overwhelmed by the shear plethora of characters in this book. Perhaps if there had a been a few less Olympic Gods the evil guys would have shown a bit more? Still, enjoyed the board room round table.
So, I guess the title fits – lots of characters, a fair amount of discord. Hmm, I guess that’s staying true to the Gods of Olympus, eh? ...more
The jacket blurb puts all this emphasis on Homeland Security, but in the body of the story, HOMESEC was the big bad government agency in the backgrounThe jacket blurb puts all this emphasis on Homeland Security, but in the body of the story, HOMESEC was the big bad government agency in the background. Other than feeling some disquiet about Homeland Security behaving like the FBI or CIA during the Cold War, they weren’t the main emphasis.
Aaron comes from a family of Gifted – those people who have some kind of extra ability. His cousin is a Healer, his sister a Seer. He’s a pyrokinetic. They know to keep their heads down and stay out of site and out of mind.
Ramon is a paramedic who worked with Aaron’s cousin – the Healer – and was forcibly interviewed by the Evil HOMESEC prior to the story starting. Because of his forced three day interment, Ramon wants to protect his sister and nieces. His sister is portrayed as the typical female nosy busy-body who pushes her gay brother about his relationships (or lack thereof) and wants to know all the juicy sex details. Seriously? *I* don’t want to know about my brothers sex life. Gross!
And this is where things didn’t quite match – supposedly Aaron knows to keep his Gift under wraps as much as possible, but as soon as he meets Ramon, he’s making all sorts of quips about setting things on fire. Ramon was forcibly interviewed for three days in secret by Homesec – but his sister came right out and said other than being worried and later, spied on, they never threatened her or the girls. And I’m sorry, the supposed interrogation techniques just didn’t work for me, and thus my unease.
Another disconnect – Aaron sister’s (the Seer) gift doesn’t work at long distances. So she’s calling Spokane from Cuba with a warning? Does it or does not work long distances?
Then there is The Big Misunderstanding. Aaron was angry, he turned that anger, and his gift, on Ramon. Instantly everyone warps to “we broke up”, “he’s not returning my calls”, “I’ve screwed up and thrown everything away!” The authors did cover all the bases from why calls weren’t being returned (broken phone) to working extra shifts, so this is totally my quirk, but I really don’t like Big Misunderstandings and I didn’t care for this one.
It was during the Big Misunderstanding where the predictable plot played out. Despite the predictability, I did enjoy how the resolution played out.
So despite my grumbles, this occupied a quiet evening. While the idea of the “Gift” isn’t new, it was done in a refreshing manner. The boys are hot, the baked goods low calorie (because I couldn’t taste any) and the book left me with warm fuzzies. It is, ultimately, a feel good story.
I will note, I did not read book one of this series beforehand. While Behind the Eight Ball can easily stand alone, Eight Ball would be complimented bI will note, I did not read book one of this series beforehand. While Behind the Eight Ball can easily stand alone, Eight Ball would be complimented by reading as a sequel to Trouble comes in Threes.
This is just a fun read, easily finished in a day or over a weekend.
Reading about werecat dynamics and vetala’s was a refreshing change from the plethora of werewolf stories that abound right now. I loved how the book started out from a cat’s point of view as Heller hunted a beetle then stalked a blue jay in his back yard. I could totally see a cat thinking like that! I also greatly enjoyed how the well-groomed cat translated into a well-groomed man with a thing for clothes, hair product, and who’s always late because he has to be perfect before leaving the house.
The plot is a bit of a standard finding one’s mate tale – but the twist is Heller’s mate is a reviled human. Heller has to overcome his dislike of humans before he can accept Lawson as his man. I thought the strength of this book was in the balance between plot and sex scenes. I’ve read too many “mating” books where once the mate is found, it becomes a series of how many places can the two have sex? It was a relief to find a book that eased off the sex and came back to the plot and developing a relationship. Much appreciated.
However, I do have two small complaints with the story itself – we get to know Heller as a bit of an ass, but after the Big Reveal about why he hates humans, the cocky, self-indulgent, aloof personality is just…gone. I don’t see how confessing would totally change a person just like that. In my opinion, the two main characters become almost interchangeable and the cat with attitude went away. I missed seeing more of the snooty kitty.
My second grumble is everyone finds their mate in this book. The vetala’s - Janelle and Marshell – and Lawson have been living in this town for several years and now all three find a mate? While I liked how the next story has been set up, I would have preferred one less mating.
Overall, a fun and satisfying warm fuzzy (furry?) read with kitty attitude, hot man action, and sufficient ass-kicking to make an afternoon disappear. Recommended if you like books with paranormals.
I absolutely love the Psycop shorts. After suffering through a brain draining day-long meeting, the shorts are like a caffeine hit san’s caffeine. TheI absolutely love the Psycop shorts. After suffering through a brain draining day-long meeting, the shorts are like a caffeine hit san’s caffeine. The perfect way to unwind for an hour. And Memento didn’t disappoint.
Jacob is one of my all-time favorite characters. In total fan-girl adoration, I named my e-reader after him. I heart Jacob and I LOVE that he gets a voice in this one. Jacob discovers an old faded and well worn t-shirt in the bottom of Vic’s drawer. To Jacob, it’s a reminder that Vic had better days before everything went to shit. That there was a less paranoid, fun, who-gives-a-shit kid who enjoyed rock bands and hanging out. It’s not the Vic that Jacob knows now, and he kinda regrets missing out on that time of life while at the same time acknowledging that maybe they wouldn’t be here as a couple if they had. He totally loves this Vic.
Memento is short, a little bittersweet, with a touch of heat.
Just an idle observation: In backdrops that are set in space, where space battles are the norm, where genetically modified organisms of all kinds areJust an idle observation: In backdrops that are set in space, where space battles are the norm, where genetically modified organisms of all kinds are prevalent, and food is vat grown, I’m always a bit leery when the characters are running around in leather garments.
So I was a bit dubious when I started this book.
And became pleasantly surprised. I quite enjoyed the exchange between Sagiv and Daren, the curiosity between the two men about their backgrounds, and the sexual exploration and respite from loneliness. The reader could see the growing attraction between the two men even while they themselves couldn’t.
This isn’t to say the plot was perfect. I had to set aside my disbelief that a genetically altered post-earth human, who was raised to fight and submit to his masters, was considered among the strongest of the Atavaq’s, would be quite so willing to be a captive in a science officers shipboard cabin. While it kinda worked as a plot device, I had to suspend my disbelief a wee bit.
I also think this would have been a stronger book if it had been longer – what was Daran dealing with when he left his quarters? How were his shipmates treating him? The jacket blurb said Daran decided to get Sagiv for study, but it never really came up again. Why didn’t Sagiv attempt to over-take Daran and try at least once to kill as many of the sworn enemy as possible? Was this not his duty? Why not keep the ship on the frontier outpost longer and allow the reader to see more of the bond, and the inner emotional struggles, growing between the two men off-ship. Let the reader see Daran’s decision and struggles at the end rather than a paragraph summation.
Ultimately, at the end of the evening, it was still an enjoyable and satisfying read that had one very cool alien bug thing. An extra half star for the cool alien bug thing because I’m geeky that way. So 3.5 stars.
This book was just about spot on perfect in my humble opinion – a space opera, interesting alieThis review is also posted on : http://gaybook.reviews
This book was just about spot on perfect in my humble opinion – a space opera, interesting aliens (extra points for interesting aliens!), flawed characters, good setting between the ship and space station, noteworthy world building, well thought out and executed plot, and good emotional empathy. The book pulled me in and wouldn’t let me leave – until the battery on my e-reader crapped out. Darn electronics…
Chaos Station is a story about two men, friends since they were eight, lovers briefly during training, now long nine years separated by war. Felix (Flick or Fixer) was a prisoner of the Stin, abused and broken, assumed dead by most, he now fights his mental battles aboard the ship Chaos.
Zander (Zed) made promises he couldn’t keep, went covert, disobeyed orders, and is now flushed out of the military due to the enforced peace treaty but still carries the mental and physical scars of his training. He’s avoiding friends and family, ashamed at what he’s become, what he might be becoming. His reality has been altered and he’s not the man he was.
When the two meet again, they are both struggling with their emotional baggage. They both know they can’t have what they had. They both know promises can’t be kept. They know they need someone to lean on, to trust, but just can’t quite make the leap to move ahead. It’s heart-wrenching, agonizing, and spot on perfect for the characters and the book. It’s a battle of a different sort: mind vs heart, reality vs want, and unspoken promises that can’t be fulfilled.
The supporting plot to this works very well and it’s here I have one small complaint – the crew of Chaos seemed to accept Zed and his background a bit more quickly than I cared for, especially the Doctor. The Captain argued his point several times for spacing Zed, but by the end everyone considered him “family”. Going from “space him!” to “family” was a bit hasty in my opinion, but again, small complaint. It still worked.
As for the rest, Chaos Station hit all my happy buttons – a space opera with some very interesting sounding aliens and tensions. The classic transport ship that’s held together with duct tape and love. An interesting and diverse crew. Felix and Zed are just hot together and the emotional dance between the two is perfect. The authors avoided the whole tumble immediately into bed and screw like bunnies when they are reunited – Felix and Zed needed the time to wrap their heads around each other. And the wry humor sprinkled throughout the book was a nice counterpoint to the emotional land mines sprinkled throughout.
The ending? ...Left me wanting more.
Overall Highly recommended if you like space opera, aliens, space stations, ships that need to be kicked to work, and great character building. Heck, if you like scifi, READ THIS NOW!! Nuff said… ...more
Read as an audiobook. Narrated by Eric Conger, who has also read the Virgil Flower's series by John Sandford. I absolutely love Conger's voice, but foRead as an audiobook. Narrated by Eric Conger, who has also read the Virgil Flower's series by John Sandford. I absolutely love Conger's voice, but for the first half hour or so my brain kept trying to stick Virgil in space, which gave me the giggles big time. Which meant I had to re-listen to the first 30 minutes. Which wasn't helped by Sanders - Sandy - Darlington kinda looking and acting like Virgil.
So I didn't get off to a good start on this book and I still get the giggles.
The library also had this advertised as an 8 disk set. Imagine my surprise when it showed up as 13 disks. And only two weeks to "read" - I had to upload it to my iPod to finish it.
This next complaint is totally my quirk - there was too much scientific exposition in the first half of the book. One of my issues with some scifi is the author(s) spend a great deal of time telling me how a heating exchange unit works, and how the reactor is going to vent heat into space where the particulates will be captured and recycled and so on and so forth. So I found a goodly portion of this book reading like a science manual with a thin veneer of fiction. It was a matter of letting the words wash over me as the brain checked out.
Ultimately, I found this to be a tedious read. More than once I thought about just ending the book as I never really did find myself engaged. I didn't care who got to Saturn first. I didn't care if they got home. I didn't care what the Chinese did or didn't do to the Americans. When the Nixon suffered her first personnel loss, I was ambivalent. So the Chinese were plotting to take over the Nixon - go for it, it would make the story more interesting.
I, basically, just. didn't. care. for the entire first half of the book.
Then the next quarter of the book became moderately more interesting and I let the story spool out, finger hovering over the kill switch as I debated about sticking in a different audio book.
The last quarter of the book grabbed my attention and held it. This is where the story really culminated, where it finally hit its stride and it was running. There are some great twists and turns in those final chapters as everything plays out.
So I really don't know what to say about this book. I ran through the whole gamut from bored, to mediocre interest, to "that's cool"! Recommended with reservations? ...more
I darn near read this in one sitting. If you haven't read the first eleven in the series, this review really isn't going to have much context becauseI darn near read this in one sitting. If you haven't read the first eleven in the series, this review really isn't going to have much context because the first eleven books lay the foundation for number twelve.
Bren, the Dowager, and Cajieri are in residence at Bren's Coastal estate. Toby, Bren's brother, and his girlfriend Barb are still stuck inside the house due to a hornet's next Cajieri and his ashid (household) kicked in book eleven. Lord Geigi, has returned from the Space Station to handle a nephew who started the current mess. Cajieri's two newest bodyguards have been problematic, and when Barb is kidnapped, they go after her. And all of this leads to Bren heading to Murini to deal with the fractious and young Lord Machigi.
This is a tangled nest of Atevi politics, customs, and Bren is caught firmly in the middle of it all. He begins to realize, perhaps belatedly, just how much Ilsidii can manipulate Atevi politics across the continent and across time. What she sets in motion is something that she has had her eye on since her husband and son were assassinated and she was denied the ajii position.
Cajieri, thinking in book eleven he was going to get away from the boredom of the Capitol and go on a fishing trip, is fast growing up and learning what it means to be Atevi. He has been assigned two young Guild guards who don't mesh with his household. He is vexed, frustrated, and annoyed. When they go harrowing off after Barb and Bren is sent after her, he grows up fast. I really enjoyed seeing this side of Cajieri as more than just another point of view. He brought more to the story this time.
I could go on about the intricacies of the game of chess the Dowager has set in motion, but really, this is a book that should just be read. Highly recommended. ...more
Thoroughly enjoyed this selection. What I like about this audio book series, something that I have only come across maybe once"Read" as an audio book.
Thoroughly enjoyed this selection. What I like about this audio book series, something that I have only come across maybe once before, are different voices for the protagonists and antagonists. Both narrators have great intonation, delivery and are distinctive enough that it works and it work very well.
Premise of the book is a decapitated chauffeur is found in a well known New York park the day after New Years. The son of a billionaire has gone missing. Kylie and Zach, New York's finest detectives, are called in to investigate. What they find is a rats nest of lies and cover-ups with international ramifications.
In between all the detective work, we have a full blown romance going on, which, in all honesty kinda rubs me the wrong way. Our good detective Josh continues to be torn between the gorgeous and single Dr. and his married - but might be divorcing - partner Kylie. Oh! The poor guy is so conflicted! Does he want the blonde, or the brunette? Blah.
However, the mystery/thriller part was very engaging and had enough subtle twists and turns to keep my attention very engaged. This is a fast read, even as an audio book. Recommended. ...more
Read as an audio book. This was a very quick and engaging "read". Perfect for travel, your commute, or the beach.
Harry is out of Open Unsolved, assignRead as an audio book. This was a very quick and engaging "read". Perfect for travel, your commute, or the beach.
Harry is out of Open Unsolved, assigned now to Homicide and paired with a new, much younger partner. Harry's former partner, Kiz Rider, is back in administration. Not even halfway through the book, his partner is shunted to the side as Harry runs around with FBI agent Rachel Walling. Harry still harbors feelings for Rachel, though why she would reciprocate any thing toward a bossy git I have no idea.
At least in this book relationships were only mentioned, and we didn't have the usual tumbling into bed.
Mere pages into the book, Harry's making arbitrary judgement calls - his partner wishes to go by the name of Iggy, short for Ignacius, but Harry feels it is an undignified name and refuses call him "Iggy". This, from the guy who's full name is Hieronymus and goes by Harry, in a police department rife with nicknames.
And, like the Chief of Police so aptly put it, Harry is like a bull in a china shop. I do get so tired of the detective against the world trope, the "only Harry knows best" attitude. It would be nice if he just once worked with people rather than assuming everyone is against him.
The Overlook moves along at a brisk pace with an almost explosive ending. Recommended if you've read the first twelve books in the series. ...more
As with the rest of the Foreigner books, this one picks up immediately after Conspirator (#10). Ilisidi, Bren, and Cajeiri, Banichi, and Jago, and theAs with the rest of the Foreigner books, this one picks up immediately after Conspirator (#10). Ilisidi, Bren, and Cajeiri, Banichi, and Jago, and their respective ashids are still at Najida, Bren's coastal estate, waiting to welcome Lord Geigi from the space station and to start cleaning up the mess Geigi's nephew has made of things politically in the region.
But the more they uncover from the nephews transgressions, the more of a snakes nest they find. When Toby is shot and Barb kidnapped, Ilisidi sends Bren to the thickest snake nest of all, the enemy camp run by the young and ambitious Maschigi.
This was fast paced despite the large info dumps on the enemy's clan and historical conflicts. I thought Cajeiri came into his own in this book, where he was more of a participant than someone everyone was running after. The closer look at Atevi man'chi as viewed through Cajeiri and his newly assigned bodyguards was interesting.
There are layers and layers of political intrigue in this one. Just when I thought I had something figured out, the author would drop the neatest little info bomb and take things in a different direction.
Ultimately, what can I say other than I absolutely loved this installment? Recommended if you've read the first 10 in the series. ...more
Abbadon's Gate picks up right where Caliban's War ends, give or take a chapter, and our regular gang of four is front and center once again. To say thAbbadon's Gate picks up right where Caliban's War ends, give or take a chapter, and our regular gang of four is front and center once again. To say this read like an action movie would be a bit of an understatement. It was non-stop action from the first Splat! which, after a while, became tiresome actually.
This is, at it's core, classic space opera. We have the Unknown in the protomolecule - what are it's motives? What is it going to do next? We have OPA vs Earth vs Mars politics. We have personal vendetta and revenge for destroying a family name. We have individuals trying to move beyond the politics moving ships and motives above them as they work for the greater good of the people trapped in this quagmire. The we have the question of God and God's role with man in space. It's a lot of stuff, our good author's didn't pull any punches in this installment - people got hurt and people died. Some dead people came back.
As I noted above, my main complaint was the non-stop action. Toward the end I found myself skimming ahead to find out what happened without having to slog through another characters point of view during a battle scene. I just wanted to shout enough already!
Ultimately not quite as enjoyable as Caliban's War, but still engaging enough that I have book four already purchased.
Recommended if you've read the first two. New to the series? Start with Leviathan's Wake. ...more
A pleasant enough read, engaging, full of those little Mma Ramotswe tidbits about life and the pursuit of happiness, while making due with what one haA pleasant enough read, engaging, full of those little Mma Ramotswe tidbits about life and the pursuit of happiness, while making due with what one has rather than envying what a neighbor has. This story was, in some aspect, about secrets people keep and the lies people tell others and the lies they tell themselves.
In this book, Mma Makutsi is on the cusp of her wedding. She finds, buys, and then ruins a beautiful and expensive pair of shoes. Does she tell her fiance about how she ruined an expensive pair of shoes? Charlie the apprentice is accused of neglecting the mother of his twins. Mma Ramotswe's client is baffled and angry over the death of two cattle. As she investigates, she finds an ill-used housekeeper, her young son is the the cow-herd boy, and her client in a long standing argument with the neighbor over a broken fence and straying cattle. A most perplexing conundrum.
Within all of this Mma Ramotswe's beloved white van reappears in Gaborone - Mma Ramotswe begins to plot how to get her white van back, even if it means trading the newer van for the older.
The individual plots were well woven and intertwined in this book, and the chapters flowed seamlessly from one to the other. An easy read, perfect for an afternoon at the beach or on the couch during a rainy day.
Recommended if you've read the previous books in the series. ...more