The story is crazy, warped, irreverent, and frenetic, and yet has real truth & heart at its core -- just like Craig Ferguson's monologues and movi...moreThe story is crazy, warped, irreverent, and frenetic, and yet has real truth & heart at its core -- just like Craig Ferguson's monologues and movies. Very few novels make me laugh out loud a few times. This one managed to do so every few pages.
Another cool bonus: In my mind, I could hear Craig's voice reading along.
I'm looking forward to the release of his next novel and getting it signed by Craig.(less)
I've always enjoyed Craig Ferguson on The Late, Late Show, and I really liked his first novel Between the Bridge and the River. Because he's been very...moreI've always enjoyed Craig Ferguson on The Late, Late Show, and I really liked his first novel Between the Bridge and the River. Because he's been very candid about his sobriety, I was aware of this fact.
However, reading the details of his life growing up in Scotland, his visit to New York at age that fueled his desire to become an American, and his struggles along the way to fulfilling that dream in January 2008, was very moving.
Ferguson is a terrific writer and his books are filled with laugh out loud and poignent moments. I have a lot more respect for Ferguson after reading this book.
I'm also looking forward to reading more of his fictional stories. (less)
**spoiler alert** This was a fun, quick read. Mystery novels are not my thing, but I adore the TV show "CASTLE" and this book reads exactly like a sho...more**spoiler alert** This was a fun, quick read. Mystery novels are not my thing, but I adore the TV show "CASTLE" and this book reads exactly like a show episode. In fact, bits and pieces of scenes from the first season where playboy novelist Richard Castle is riding-along with Det. Kate Beckett make their way into the story. Castle's counterpart is Jameson Rook, a magazine journalist shadowing Det. Nikki Heat (based on Beckett) to get an on the job perspective for an article about NYPD homicide detectives. Captain Montgomery, Medical Examiner Lanie Parish, and Detectives Esposito and Ryan also have doppelgangers in the novel: Captain Montrose, M.E. Lauren Perry, Det. Ochoa, and Det. Raley, respectively.
If you've seen this Monday's episode (Season 2, Ep 2) of "CASTLE", then you also know that there is a sex scene in the novel between Rook and Nikki Heat, which does not occur between the TV series' characters. I love how they handled that aspect on the show -- very funny.
Congrats to "Richard Castle" for Heat Wave's #26 entry on the NY Times Best Sellers (Hardcover Fiction) List!(less)
Another anthology book picked-up because I wanted to read the Jim Butcher story inside.
Of all the urban fantasy collections I've read recently, this o...moreAnother anthology book picked-up because I wanted to read the Jim Butcher story inside.
Of all the urban fantasy collections I've read recently, this one is probably my favorite to date. I enjoyed nearly all of the stories included, and most I would consider to be very well written -- not just quickly thrown out tales better left untold, as is often the case. Perhaps this is due to the editing skills of Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner.
This anthology's theme of the combination of Vampires and Birthdays are illustrated in the following short stories:
"Dracula Night" by Charlaine Harris -- Sookie Stackhouse is invited to attend "The" Dracula's Bithday Party at Fangtasia. I loved this one. Fun, funny and with a great little twist.
"The Mournful Cry of Owls" by Christopher Golden -- A sad, coming of age tale about Donika Ristani, who tries to be a typical teenager while also adhering to her mother's more traditional values. She struggles not to give in to the temptation of her attraction to her friend Josh, but her rash decision to streak through the woods with him leads to unexpected circumstances.
"I Was a Teenage Vampire" by Bill Crider -- Carleton, the teenage vampire in question, tells his tale of how her became a vampire. A cute tale, even if it was predictable.
"Twilight" by Kelley Armstrong -- No not THAT "Twilight". I really liked this tale about vampire Cassandra DuCharme, who is having trouble making her annual kill in order to stay alive. In this vampire world, vampire must live by the rule: "Another life taken. Another year to live." While vampires drink blood regularly to feed, they must drain one person before the anniversary of their rebirth as a vampire or rapidly weaken to death. A different take on the vampire myth, interesting characters, and cool story.
"It's My Birthday, Too" by Jim Butcher -- Another winning short story in the life of Harry Dresden. It's Valentine's Day. Harry and Molly have just slain a slime golem, and due to the snowy weather, Harry plans to drop Molly home, but needs to swing by Thomas' apartment to deliver his birthday gift. Thomas isn't home, but helping an employee by "pretending to be a 'straight' vampire" at her vampire LARP Valentine's night party at a mall restaurant. When Harry & Molly arrive at the mall, they notice that it's closed and there's suspicious activity afoot.
"Grave-Robbed" by P.N. Elrod -- I haven't liked any previous stories by this author, so I didn;t even bother to read this one.
"The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" by Rachel Caine -- What would happen if vampires controlled your town, humans were their chattel, and when you turned 18, you had to swear allegiance to the vampire who was your family's official protector, pick a new protector, or try to live without one being constantly hunted. A very intriguing tale of Eve and the horrifying events on her 18th birthday.
"The Witch and the Wicked" by Jeanne C. Stein -- A fun, humorous tale of witch caterer Sophie and how catering the birthday party for vampire Jonathan Deveraux and her dream of starting her own cosmetics line meshed in quite an unusual way.
"Blood Wrapped" by Tanya Huff -- I didn't know that the Canadian TV series "Blood Ties" was based on a series of novels, so imagine my surprise to discover a Vicki Nelson related tale herein. Vampire Henry Fitzroy (bastard son on Henry VIII) and his sired companion Tony Foster contemplate 40th birthday gift ideas for Vicki, while investigating a possible kidnapping of a 4 year old girl by werewolves. Great story.
"The Wish" by Carolyn Haines -- An odd, yet moving story about a woman whose spirit (and subsequently her marriage) died along with the death of her twin children in an auto accident. She witnessed death in the form of a wind wraith take her children away after the accident, and she hope to die in their place. For years she's tried & hoped to join her children, but the angel of death told her her time was not up. Now the wraith has appeared again.
"Fire and Ice and Linguini for Two" by Tate Hallaway -- Witch Garnet is taking her vampire boyfriend Sebastian out to dinner on Christmas for his birthday. Sebastian is convinced that his birthday is cursed due to all of the unfortunate events that always occurred to him on that day beginning with his birth. Garnet doesn't believe this, but their car breaks down on the way into town in the middle of a snowstorm. Despite this ominous portent, Garnet is sure that they can find someone living nearby who will be willing to let them call for a cab. Her wish is granted soon thereafter ... or is it. Another well written, fun & twisty tale.
"Vampire Hours" by Elaine Viets -- As Katherine's 55th birthday approaches, she's feeling neglected by her cheating husband, but afraid to confront him because the upper-class circle to which she belongs tends to toss aged divorcees aside like garbage. Despite being married to the most successful plastic surgeon, she avoid her husband's cajoling to have work done and opted to embrace aging gracefully. Now, she realizes that decision has lead to her current predicament. Due to bouts of insomnia, she notices the penthouse in the trendy condos across the canal has been hosting frequent parties in the evening. As her marriage crumbles, Katherine is drawn to these parties. Despite recent murders in the area, one night she decides to take a walk toward the condos, and meets a handsome, younger man who tells her she beautiful. Meeting this stranger helps Katherine to cope with her pending divorce, but how far is she willing to go to find happiness? A fun, romantic tale with a twist.
"How Stella Got Her Grave Back" by Toni L. P. Kelner -- A sweet and poignant story about vampire dam Stella and her newly turned companion Mark, when they make a visit to Stella's grave on her birthday only to discover that someone else is buried there now.
An added perk ... the book is dedicated to Joss Whedon, which I thought was pretty cool.(less)
Well, having come to this series from seeing HBO's TV series True Blood, this novel was really no surprise since it reads like Season 1 of the show. I...moreWell, having come to this series from seeing HBO's TV series True Blood, this novel was really no surprise since it reads like Season 1 of the show. I like Harris' writing style, characters & plot, but it was very anti-climactic.
I can only hope that since I'm HBO-challenged, I will enjoy the other novels more since I won't know what to expect.
As I hoped, I'm liking the series more with each new book now that I don't "know" the plot from the True Blood TV series.
Book #3 has more action and c...moreAs I hoped, I'm liking the series more with each new book now that I don't "know" the plot from the True Blood TV series.
Book #3 has more action and character development, which I thought was lacking in books #1 & 2. Overall, the novel is still more what's going on in Sookie's head than an action-packed thrill ride, but I appreciate tipping the scales more toward action.
I also liked the new character Alcide and his interaction with Sookie. Pam's character is also becoming a fun addition to the mix, and Bubba makes me smile whenever he shows up too.
Here's hoping I don't go crazy waiting for Dead to the World (Book #4) to become available at the library!(less)
The momentum in the Southern Vampire World is definitely building, and I'm soundly hooked into the series....moreWitches, Werewolves and Vampires ... Oh! My!
The momentum in the Southern Vampire World is definitely building, and I'm soundly hooked into the series. While I'm more of a "Team Bill" fan -- at least on the vampire front -- I can see the Eric attraction given the events in this novel. Which really says, I like Eric when he's more like Bill, lol. However, faithful Sam still has my heart.
Each successive book has given the established characters more depth, and the pacing of the novels is geared more toward action. I'm also enjoying the addition of more characters whose interaction with Sookie ebbs and flows in the successive novels. I'm especially happy about Sookie having to deal with Supernaturals other than Vampires. This time, witches and werewolves take center stage after Sookie discovers a naked, amnesiac vamp-Eric wandering the Parish Road in Bon Temps.
I can hardly wait for the next novel Dead as a Doornail to become available to see what mischief Sookie finds herself in next.(less)
I read this and the next three books in quick succession, so no real reviews at this time for Books #5-#8 other than to say you should read the series...moreI read this and the next three books in quick succession, so no real reviews at this time for Books #5-#8 other than to say you should read the series in order. If you have, by now you know that they keep getting better & better, and you can't wait for the next one.
Harris is great at balancing bringing in new characters and highlighting how they fit in Sookie's life due to some new event, while still spending time developing Sookies and the other existing characters.(less)
With reading this novel, I'm finally up to date with all of Harris' Sookie Stackhouse stories released to date. Now I get to wait impatiently for Dead...moreWith reading this novel, I'm finally up to date with all of Harris' Sookie Stackhouse stories released to date. Now I get to wait impatiently for Dead in the Family like everyone else ... is it May 4th yet?!
Dead and Gone starts off a bit slower than the last four novels, and there is less overall action, which for my tastes is a let down. When we are left to just listen to Sookie blather on, I lose interest. However, the story is satisfying enough as it deals with the Big Revelation of the Weres to the outside world and the repercussions of that upon Sookie and Bon Temps. Poor Sam!
I was more interested in the other storyline -- the war between faerie factions because that's where all of the action happens. Plus, we (and Sookie) get to know more about that world in general and how her great grandfather Niall, grandfather, and parents fit into the picture.
Overall, I think it's a very good story with Harris' penchant for great character development, and it nicely tied up several questions that have been brewing during the series. Of course, by the end even more questions are raised, which is always a good sign. (less)
I'm a firm believer in reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels in order. SO IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE PREVIOUS NOVELS, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW AS THERE WIL...moreI'm a firm believer in reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels in order. SO IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE PREVIOUS NOVELS, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW AS THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FROM BOOK #9 – DEAD AND GONE No spoilers for Dead in the Family.
While I did like this book, unfortunately, this is not one of my favorite Sookie Stackhouse novels. I prefer the novels that have a significant amount of action going on, and Dead in the Family is definitely lacking in action. The book primarily deals with everyone recovering from the Fae War and the repercussions of the shifters coming out to the world. Things don't really heat up action-wise until the last 40 pages. I guess given everything that has happened in the last few books, Sookie deserves a break from being tortured by some new foe.
Even though this novel is light on the action, there are several things that I appreciated. Because of recent events, Sookie's even more conscious of her need to work on her relationships, which gives her the opportunity to have some pleasant, meaningful and uninterrupted interactions with Tara, Bill, Sam, Jason, fairy cousin Claude, and her cousin Hadley's son Hunter. I adored her few days of baby-sitting Hunter – a great excuse for everyone who interacts with them to show their softer sides for a change. I also liked her acts of kindness toward Bill despite her continuing romance with Eric. Speaking of Eric … having just watched Season 2 of True Blood, I initially found it confusing that his visiting maker is named Appius Livius Ocella (the TV show changed some events centered around the Living Dead in Dallas character Godfrey/Godric – the main change being that Godric is named as Eric's maker). Aside from that brief confusion, the introduction of Ocella and his new "son" Alexei, not only add to some of the action, but give us new perspective into Eric's character. Without spoiling the historical background, I think Harris' decision to make Alexei a vampire was inspired. There are also a couple of nods to True Blood, which was fun. (less)