This one had difficulty in keeping my attention. In fact, I set it aside for nearly a month before picking it back up a...moreBook number two in the series.
This one had difficulty in keeping my attention. In fact, I set it aside for nearly a month before picking it back up again. My main contention was how fragmented the story was - it was like reading a series of tweets. Just about the time I could settle into the current POV, the plot was on to something else. Add in the "history" blurbs at the beginning of each chapter tweet and I became annoyed enough to lose interest.
It wasn't until nearly halfway through the book when everything started to coalesce enough to engage my interest to finish the book. A 2 hour plane flight also played a role. Our vampire Cade is still nasty, his "girlfriend" Tania is an interesting counterpoint, and Jake grows some balls. The political setting is as ugly - if not worse - as the monsters Cade and Jake are fighting. There are layers to the political bureaucracy and secrecy enough to make the CIA's head spin.
Ultimately, I think this book could have been as strong as the first one if the tweet-like chapters had been condensed into something longer than a paragraph and the "historical" blurbs at the chapter heads shorter or fewer of them. Recommended with reservations. (less)
This installment had me sitting in my car, holding on to the steering wheel, not moving: in my work parking spot, in the parking lot of the local groc...moreThis installment had me sitting in my car, holding on to the steering wheel, not moving: in my work parking spot, in the parking lot of the local grocery store, and in my garage. Happiness reading this one was extra time in the car driving to/from errands. Yes. I thought it was that good.
Butcher seems to have hit his stride. The plots are becoming more solid and defined. The characters are being fleshed out and we are starting to see some personality layers not before revealed. And we still get some kick ass fighting.
That being said, the book still has some quirks that bug the heck out of me - Molly's overt sexuality as Harry's 17 year old apprentice, combined with Bob the skull's comments, comes across as a male wet dream. Yo, Butcher! Women are reading your books too! Next, the whole "gotta protect the womin folk" chivalry bit has got to go. It's demeaning and overdone. I also realized that at some climatic battle point, Harry starts to wax philosophical about something, or goes into a long soliloquy about how a particular piece of magic works, or enters into a flashback. Every. Single. Momentous. Climatic. Battle Scene. Gah!
And yet, I'm going to read the next one. As my friend repeatedly tells me...turn off brain. Enjoy. (less)
Book 1 in the series. Read for December 2013 book group.
This was a totally implausible, rock'm sock'm, fantasy action and love story that I loved from...moreBook 1 in the series. Read for December 2013 book group.
This was a totally implausible, rock'm sock'm, fantasy action and love story that I loved from page one. Owen Pitt is an accountant who tosses his boss out of a fourteen story window - in Owen's defense his boss was a werewolf trying to kill him. Owen wakes up in the hospital to find the Fed's pointing a gun at his head, he's been fired from his job and some nutcase wants to recriut him to fight monsters. Then he meets Julie, a raven haired beauty with guns. Owen loves guns, he loves unattainable Julie. Owen will go to Hell and back to win her love and kick some monster ass along the way. Lots of monster ass.
Of course I'm greatly simplifying - there is an awesome cast of supporting characters including a teacher, a stripper, a librarian, a former Navy Seal, and some very angry Feds. The monsters are nasty, the vampires nastier, and the Feds are the nastiest of all.
I will say right up front, this is not a book to be taken seriously, it is meant to entertain and only entertain, and that it does extremely well. Recommended. (less)
A new to me mystery series which I found absolutely delightful. Interesting and engaging characters, the background of sports refreshingly different f...moreA new to me mystery series which I found absolutely delightful. Interesting and engaging characters, the background of sports refreshingly different from the typical police procedural, and the humor hilarious. I "read" this as an audio book and loved the narrator. His inflection and nuances added so much to the narration.
First book in the series, we are introduced to Myron Bolitar, a 31 year old sports agent, former NCAA basketball star, and private investigator on the side. He has his own office on Park Avenue, a former women's pro-wrestler is his secretary, and his co-hort and muscle - Win - is an independently wealthy financial adviser. Hardly a chain smoking, womanizing, alcoholic, depressed cop to be found. Lots of other colorful characters round out the cast.
Myron's age kept throwing me for a loop. It's as if his walks a line between being the "seasoned veteran" and, well, a 31 year old. He makes mistakes, he gets beat up, he keeps going. Myron hates his name, loves his ex-girlfriend Jessica, lives with his parents and he didn't sleep with the hottie when she threw herself at him. Score one for the author.
The mystery itself was convoluted almost to the point of being overly complicated. Almost. The twists and turns kept me engaged and guessing. I appreciated not getting any glimpse into the killers mind, that the entire who-done-it was from the point of view of Myron.
I'm sure I have some complaints about this book...must be pretty minor if I can't even think of what they are.
October 2013 book group selection. Kinda. I didn't realize there was a New Space Opera 1 and a New Space Opera 2 with nearly the same covers. I grabbe...moreOctober 2013 book group selection. Kinda. I didn't realize there was a New Space Opera 1 and a New Space Opera 2 with nearly the same covers. I grabbed 2. Oops! In my defense, Space Opera 2 was the only one available as an e-book. Ultimately, it all worked out.
Mixed thoughts on this selection that stemmed partly from my inability to get into the stories - I wasn't in the mood. Some selections were better than others, and what I may like, someone else detests. Overall, recommended.
1) Utriusque Cosmi (2009) novelette by Robert Charles Wilson. A woman goes back in time to tell her younger self to run and don't look back because the Earth is going to explode, but see's things from a different perspective.
2) The Island (2009) novelette by Peter Watts. In space, when building a interstellar highway, nobody wins.
3) Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance (2009) novelette by John Kessel. A monk is tasked with bringing a set of plays back to the Monestary in an attempt to stop the fighting.
4) To Go Boldly shortstory by Cory Doctorow. Making fun of Star Trek.
5) The Lost Princess Man (2009) novelette by John Barnes. A conman is running the “lost princess” con with a technological twist.
6) Defect (2009) novelette by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. An assassin refuses to carry out an assignment involving biological annihilation and is now a wanted woman. The ship carrying her husband and young son is subject to an attack, leaving only her son alive. For the first time, she is responsible for another person, and finds that this person is more like her than she ever realized.
7) To Raise a Mutiny Betwixt Yourselves (2009) novelette by Jay Lake. Two “Before's” with an ancient history, one ship-mind caught between its Captains. Mutiny on several levels, but who really wins in the end?
8) Shell Game (2009) novelette by Neal Asher. Interspecies revenge with a biological twist. No pun intended.
9) Punctuality (2009) short story by Garth Nix. A young woman finds out she is Heir to the Galactic Throne. The Galaxy wants to bring on more Punctuality drives. There are two people who have the right kind of training - herself and her father. One will sublime, one will rule the Galaxy.
10) Inevitable (2009) novelette by Sean Williams. Who is the actually terrorist? A planetary terrorist is caught trying to blow an access to the “Structure” by the Ship-bound. Captured and forced to reveal another access, Ship-bound and Terrorist alike learn more than they realize.
11) Join The Navy and See the Worlds (2009) shortstory by Bruce Sterling. India and America are the superpowers after international nukes destroy major cities. Kipp is a world-renown hero reduced to giving space trips to tourists and ends up on an unexpected tour of the slums of India.
12) Fearless Space Pirates of the Outer Rings (2009) novelette by Bill Willingham. A case of mistaken identity and space pirates.
13) From the Heart (2009) novelette by John Meaney. Lost love. Humiliation. Redemption. One ship for one person.
14) Chameleons (2009) novella by Elizabeth Moon. A bodyguard finds himself stuck on his home-world with two petulant teenagers and they all surprise each other.
15) The Tenth Muse (2009) novelette by Tad Williams.
16) Cracklegrackle (2009) novelette by Justina Robson.
17) The Tale of the Wicked (2009) novelette by John Scalzi.
18) Catastrophe Baker and a Canticle for Leibowitz (2009) short story by Mike Resnick.
19) The Far End of History (2009) novelette by John C. Wright. (less)
Poignant. Perhaps hit a little too close to home on two accounts: one as relates to being a tongue-tied introvert, two as relates to having to care fo...morePoignant. Perhaps hit a little too close to home on two accounts: one as relates to being a tongue-tied introvert, two as relates to having to care for an elderly parent and the struggles that come with.
The relationship felt like it was built on the sex (perhaps the point of the book?), but I would have like to have seen more interaction between the main characters beyond the sex.
Otherwise a good story about overcoming obstacles and that no one can go things alone 100% of the time. (less)
First book in a "new to me" series that holds potential for keeping me interested. This is also the third murder/mystery series that I've come across...moreFirst book in a "new to me" series that holds potential for keeping me interested. This is also the third murder/mystery series that I've come across with Dick Hill as narrator. I will forever associate his voice as that of Wallander's....
I found this murder mystery engaging, the female character portrayal typical, and got a kick out of the setting: hard to remember that yes, there was a time when people had to drive around looking for a pay phone to make a call and could smoke in the workplace.
My biggest issue with the book is how FBI agent Elenor Wish is portrayed. She starts out as being a tough and flinty FBI agent who completely dislikes Harry Bosch. Next page she's throwing herself into his arms and her bed. I really couldn't find a reason why a supposedly smart woman would have such an about face for someone she immediately dislikes. It would be nice if a detective/mystery book skipped the superficial sex for once. Wish then spends the rest of the book trailing after Bosch, questioning what he's doing and defending the FBI, while he spends the plot taking her out to dinner, having sex, and belittling the work the FBI has done.
What I liked about this book was the sub-plot. The inter-departmental game of cat and mouse to have Harry ousted once and for all from the force. It added the right amount of tension to the plot, making the story just a tidbit more alluring than it might otherwise have been. The ending was also not quite what I expected, but since I don't want to have to put a "spoiler" alert on this, I will only say I was pleased with some of the twists and turns the book took.
I was not pleased with the medical aspect of someone getting shot in the arm, then wandering all around Hollywood with a self-bandage. Um, no. The shoulder is a very complicated joint and getting shot in the shoulder would be very debilitating. You won't be driving around and doing paperwork. Just sayin'.
Another light, fun, 'cozie' that I polished off in a couple of days. This one was stronger than the previous installment, with a bit more character de...moreAnother light, fun, 'cozie' that I polished off in a couple of days. This one was stronger than the previous installment, with a bit more character development and background building. It moves along quickly, with all of the series favorite characters making at least one appearance and introducing a couple new faces.
I liked how this one played around Halloween, incorporating a bit of Wiccanism, a fair amount of brewing information, and a Halloween parade. Now that is kinda cool!
My main complaint with this book is there is still the attitude that the local detective is still unable to figure out a crime, yet, by simply going around and asking all her friends repeated questions, Besty is able to reason things out in no time at all. Now I will fully admit, my thoughts on this matter are probably driven by the police procedurals that I have taken a fancy to, and I have to remind myself, these are just brain candy books. Read, and enjoy.
Which I did. Recommended - not really necessary to have read the previous twelve. (less)
I read The Windup Girl several years ago and was entranced with the world and characters Bacigalupi created. Ship Breaker was just as interesting and...moreI read The Windup Girl several years ago and was entranced with the world and characters Bacigalupi created. Ship Breaker was just as interesting and I had a hard time putting the book down.
Set in the Gulf of Mexico, somewhere along the the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama, a small group of people struggle to survive by disassembling old oil tankers and ocean going ships for scrap and, if they are lucky, oil. They live in fear of hurricanes, specifically "City Killers", a new category of storm that destroys everything in its path.
Life is a struggle for the folks on the Beach. Laboring on the ships is hard work and your size and ability dictate what you can and cannot do. Survival depends up on meeting quotas, and in Nailer's case, also avoiding his abusive father. A storm changes everything when it washes a "Swanks" clipper ship onto the shoals of a submerged city. Nailer and his friend Pima rescue "Lucky Girl" and the subsequent journey to reunite her with her father shows Nailer that there is more to family than blood.
Written as a YA book, I couldn't help but reflect that our young protagonist grew up long before the story even started, so less a coming of age story than a journey of self discovery. I would have like more back ground on the half-men, the genetically modified laborers; I think "Lucky Girl" could have had more depth to her character - she felt very superficial to me; and more information on the power struggle in Lucky Girls life to justify reuniting her with her father.
But, overall, minor complaints. This really was a well written story and I highly recommended it. (less)
This book was more lighthearted than several of the previous. Mma Ramotswe picks up a significant case with the local football team and quickly finds...moreThis book was more lighthearted than several of the previous. Mma Ramotswe picks up a significant case with the local football team and quickly finds herself out of her element. Mma Matkutsi discovers her rival, Violet Sophotho, has ingratiated her way into her fiancee's business. Mma Ramotswe is lamenting the loss of her white van, and Mma Matkutsi finds new shoes can solve all sorts of problems, except making dinner.
I really enjoy the small insights and glimpses of Botswana life, the tidbits of wisdom that come from all the characters - whether they realize it or not, and the way everyone interacts. It's about Botswana and her people more so than any one individual. That everything can be solved with a cup of tea.
These are all written in such a way that I can feel how dry the air is, imagine being there staring out at the bush, cars parked under acacia trees like brightly colored petals, taking tea on the veranda of the President's hotel while the vendors have their wares spread out on blankets in the square. The disparity between the rich and the poor is not glossed over, but it's almost as if the poor are the rich for being so much closer to the land.
These stories are just a delight to read. Recommended. (less)