Saturday, November 25, 2017

105:120 Target Practice by Seanan McGuire

Alice has snuck out again and gone into the Woods. This time she managed to find a dire boar and only barely managed to run fast enough to end up at Thomas Price's back porch where he was able to wound it enough to scare it off. Unfortunately, her father was yet again not of a mind to listen to her when she got home from her latest adventures. Jonathan wants so much for his daughter to have a 'normal' childhood that he is blinded to who she really is, her mother's daughter above all else. Normal was never going to happen.  Now his parents must intervene if Alice is going to have a chance of surviving to adulthood.

I've really been enjoying these backstory pieces Ms. McGuire posts on her website for her fans. It's a generous thing that she does and it's fascinating seeing where the current crop of Price-Healy kids come from because these apples definitely didn't fall far from the tree.

Page count: 17p/19,133p ytd/290,536p lifetime

Friday, November 24, 2017

104:120 Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

Mom has left to go to a conference and let everything all ready for the family except for one thing, she told dad on her way out that he needed to get milk before breakfast the next morning.

Dad forgot.

So now there is no milk for cereal and the kids are complaining so Dad goes to the store but geez he's gone for a loooooooong time. And when he finally does make it back home, with the milk, he has quite the story to tell of why it took him so long which includes a time-traveling stegosaurus, a volcano god, and pirates.

A fun tale about what happens when you run to the store for milk.  I totally believe every word of it because I've had similar things happen to me.  Just ask my kids.

Page count: 113p/19,116p ytd/290,519p lifetime

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

103:120 Face Your Fears by Stefon Mears

Harold has always been scared of the dark but it got worse after a camping trip with his parents to Crater Lake. Now he is a grown man and this fear still haunts him but tonight, after attending a seminar on success and being told to face his fears, he has decided to go for a walk at night. He sets his timer and sets off. It goes well until it's almost time to turn back and then the regular night noises stop and Harold really does have to face down his fears...

A delightful horror short story. I was reading it just before bed and decided that when Harold was going to go for a walk, it might just be better for my getting sleep that night to put it down until the morning. Now that I've read it, I'm not 100% sure that wasn't such a bad idea.  Definitely spooky and very riveting.

Page count: 23p/19,003p ytd/290,406p lifetime

Monday, November 20, 2017

102:120 Murder, She Meowed by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown

It's the day of the annual steeplechase and Mary 'Harry' Haristeen is enjoying helping down at the track with her dog, Tucker. It's a day that the entire town looks forward to and the races this day are good, except for an altercation between two of the jockeys during one race where Linda whips at Nigel and he retaliates.  Harry dutifully reports it but no one thinks anything further about it, until Nigel is found dead later that night, stabbed through the heart with the Queen of Clubs stuck to him.  Unfortunately, within a few days he is joined by another jockey, this time with the Queen of Spades pinned to him. Now Harry's cat, Mrs. Murphy, puts her nose to the case but even once they find several clues, it's so hard to get the dang humans to pay attention to them.  Can the animals point them in the right direction before it's too late to save another one?

This is the 5th book in the series but the first one I read because this is the one my friend loaned me and my 11yr old is really getting into mysteries so I'm checking things out for him. Even though I hadn't read the previous books, I didn't feel like I was really missing anything in terms of backstory or understanding the characters relationships.  This was cute, if fairly predictable but I doubt I'll read any more. I've read enough of this type to know that they tend to be pretty formulaic and get tedious after a while and there are just too many other more interesting books out there to read.

Page count: 302p/18,980p ytd/290,383p lifetime

Sunday, November 19, 2017

101:120 Bound by Word by Faye Larson

Morgan's allies have turned on him and he can't use his magic to escape since it would simply send-up a big sign pointing out his exact location to his enemies so finding passage on a boat is the best he can do. However, due to his swift departure he is very short on funds. No surprise when the captain is not super tempted by the promise of payment on the other side of the voyage so he makes a different proposition for Morgan to earn his keep onboard, in the captain's bed.

There is some interesting back story and world building going on that would have been interesting to explore but the main point of this was the romance and that happens but for no reason other than Morgan's need. I much prefer the stories where the characters either have a previous relationship that turns deeper or are spending time to get to know each other. This one was more about exploitation than romance and that is not for me.  For the record, I know the author and was given a copy of this with no expectations.

Page count: 25p/18,678p ytd/290,081p lifetime

Saturday, November 18, 2017

100:120 Hold-Time Violations by John Chu

Ellie lives in a world where she is what is known as a builder, one who can work within the skunkworks that create all the known universes. There are pipes and machines underneath that control the physics of each universe but sometimes things go out of whack and a builder is sent in to fix things. Today Ellie is just going to visit her mom until her sister sends her to fix the physics of the skunkworks instead (and instead of sending someone to kill her which is actually much more normal for their relationship). Now Ellie is trying to find the problem before the Isolationists show up, a group who thinks that whatever happens was meant to be and the skunkworks should be left alone. The only problem is that when Ellie discovers the problem, it's much more than just a simple fix.

This is the second short story that I've read by this author and I'm amazed again at his world building skills. This one was a bit harder to get into and I had to really slow down to fully get all the relationships and how the world worked but it was well worth it. 

Page count: 22p/18,653p ytd/290,056p lifetime

Thursday, November 16, 2017

99:120 Choke by Lisa Towles

Kerry is trying to get her life back on track after her divorce. She is doing her training as a CNA when a patient's chart goes missing and she is being blamed. When she gets home from that day at work, her apartment looks like someone has been there and when in the bath she hears a key in the lock. Thus begins her finding out that everything she thinks she knows about her life has been a lie. Now she is being chased by a group of people that want something from her past, something that she doesn't remember, and they are willing to kill to get it.

Adrian (on the other side of the country) has discovered a way to make a cigarette that actually cures lung cancer. Word has gotten out and big pharma will stop at nothing to get it.

There were 2 main story arcs going on in this book and either one could have been interesting but they didn't really have anything to do with each other except where they were obviously forced together to try and make a coherent plot. It failed spectacularly. It was heavy handed and easy to see coming from very early on in the story. The constant shifting of perspectives was disjointed and annoying. Maybe if this had been two different books, one for each story arc, it would have been better but as written it was just a boring, predictable, mishmash of ideas.  It's only saving grace was that the word choice was simplistic so it was a fast read.

Page count: 262p/18,631p ytd/290,034p lifetime