Tuesday, January 31, 2012

110:14 After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn

A definite departure from her well known Kitty Norville series.   Celia West is the daughter of Captain Olympus and Spark, superheros of Commerce City.  Unfortunately, the only superpower she seems to have inherited is the that of a super captive as every criminal in town wants to kidnap her to use against her parents.  Now she has set off on her own and turned her back on her parents in an effort to forge her own life but unfortunately, there's a new criminal in town and he's not ready to forget who she is.  Forced to confront more of her past than she ever imagined, what exactly will she find out once all the dust settles?

Gripping and fast-paced.  A little over the top on expose from time to time but not so long winded as to get in the way of the story.

Page count: 342p/4,836p ytd

Friday, January 27, 2012

110:13 Shadows in Flight by Orson Scott Card

The latest installment in the Ender's Shadow series and a direct sequel to Shadow of the Giant.  Bean and his genius children have been travelling at lightspeed for the last 5yrs and he has now grown so large that he spends his time in bed with a low gravity to keep the strain on his heart as low as possible.  The children are 6, they are brilliant in genetics, engineering, and tactics but in many ways are still just children without any experience to draw upon and now Bean's time is drawing near and he is looking forward to what kind of life they have once he's gone.

I admit to being disappointed with the last couple of books from Mr. Card but not this one.  Good story, nice character development, interesting twists.

Page count: 237p/4,494p ytd

110:12 Side Jobs by Jim Butcher

A collection of short stories set in the Dresden universe, most are written in the usual style from Harry's point of view but the last one is written from Karrin's point of view after Harry's disappearance.  Several of the stories are simply reprints from previous anthologies.  Fun stories but I think my favorite was Day Off where Harry actually tries to take a day off.  Maybe it's just because it reminds me so much of my own life.

I wanted to like the last story more but I didn't feel like Karrin's voice was different enough from Harry's.  It was my biggest let-down from the whole book.  A good story but I just didn't feel the author did as good a job speaking for her.

Page count: 418p/4,257p ytd

110:11 Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein

The newest Shel Silverstein book.  Everything you've come to expect and love from Shel with his wacky humor, zany illustrations, and creative prose.

Page count: 194p/3,839p

Saturday, January 21, 2012

110:10 The Patchwork Girl of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The 7th book in the Oz series by L. Frank Baum.  Ojo the Unlucky's uncle has been turned to marble and Ojo must search high and low through Oz for the ingredients to bring his uncle back to life.  On his journey, he meets Dorothy, The Scarecrow, Ozma, and eventually The Tin Woodman and learns that  perhaps he isn't so unlucky afterall.

A delightful story in one of the most delightful fantasy worlds.

Page count: 340p/3,645p ytd

110:9 The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

The first book in the Discworld series.  I had a bit of a hard time at first with the language and how jumpy and choppy it was but by half-way through I'd gotten used to the narrative and was able to settle in and really enjoy the imaginative world Mr. Pratchett has created.  It definitely reminds me of Douglas Addams Hitchhiker's in terms of playfulness and intricacy.  A fun beginning to what promises to be a very fun series.

Page count: 210p/3,205p ytd

110:8 Spider's Revenge by Jennifer Estep

The 5th book in the Elemental Assassin series.  It's finally time.  17yrs after Mab killed her family, Gin has declared war on her and it's time to take her out but Mab is a powerful fire elemental, the most powerful elemental seen in 500yrs.  How can Gin possibly kill her?  She's willing to risk herself but is she willing to risk her friends and her new-found sister?

Another riveting tale.  Again, a little too much of the same internal monologue that we've been listening to every book.  Once in a book to remind us is one thing but it gets a little repetitive.  Thankfully the rest of the book is so well written and engaging that you are too wrapped up in it to notice for long.  The big question is, what do I do now while I wait for the next book to come out?

Page count: 367p/2,995p ytd

Thursday, January 19, 2012

110:7 Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep

Book 4 in the Elemental Assassins series.  Gin has given notice to Mab that the Spider is going to take her down so Mab has brought in the best assassin money can buy, an electric elemental named LaFleur.  LaFleur is charged to kill Bria (Gin's long lost baby sister), Gin, and to find and kill the Spider since Mab still has no clue that Gin and the Spider are one and the same.  Can Gin take her down first before LaFleur gets her or her sister?  And then there is the added complication of Owen Greyson who has made it clear that he wants a real relationship with Gin and accepts who she is, bloody knives and all.  Seems like dealing with him maybe harder than LaFleur.

Another page turner.  So much going on.  I think my only knock on these books is how much time is given to her self-doubts that she won't be strong enough this time.  I get that being cocky in that line of work tends to leave one dead but still, I don't think we need to hear it every few pages either.  Better balance would be good.  Otherwise, it continues to be an outstanding series.

Page count: 357p/2,628p ytd

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

110:6 Venom by Jennifer Estep

The third book in the Elemental Assassin series.  Jonah is looking for the person who murdered his son and Gin is at the top of his list so he enlists the help of his compatriot, Mab's top goon, Elliot to see if the truth can be beaten out of her.  Being a tough as nails assassin tho means she can take the licking when necessary.  But when it comes up later that Elliot is "interested" in Rosyln because he had to check her out to try and find the mysterious hooker who killed Jonah's son, Gin feels she has no choice but to help solve the not-so-little problem the giant represents.

Another total page turner.  There is just so much going on in these books that it's just about impossible to put them down as you just have to know what happens next.  So glad I have the next two waiting for me and the next one is coming out soon.  Not sure what I'm going to read after this tho as it's going to be a hard act to follow.

Page count: 389p/2,271p ytd

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

110:5 Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep

The 2nd book in the Elemental Assassin series.  Gin has retired following the death of her mentor Fletcher but when a girl walks into The Pork Pit asking for the Tin Man and someone takes a shot at her, well Gin just can't walk away from that...especially not when it turns out that the young lady is the granddaughter of an old friend of Fletcher's.  Well, heck, retirement had been boring Gin anyway.

Another fast paced book with tons going on.  Not content to have just one story going, there is the main story for that book but a couple of other storylines that you know are going to arch over several books.  I love things like that and I really enjoy this author's style of writing.  It was a little hard to get into at the very first but very quickly becomes an easy and very enjoyable read.

Page count: 400p/1,882p ytd

Friday, January 13, 2012

110:4 Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

I'd been seeing this one on recommendation pages so had put it up on my wishlist waiting for the right opportunity to grab it.  Then a friend said I absolutely had to read it so I bumped it up on the wishlist and I got a couple for Hanukkah so that was all the incentive I needed to grab the rest and get started.

Can I just say how happy I am that I did?!  We'll get right past the fact that the main character and I share names (although her's is spelled wrong LOL) and move right into the fact that she's a kickass assassin but one with some morals.  It's an interesting mix.  Throw in that she's a stone elemental with some control over ice as well so we have magic using mixed in and while there are vampires, they aren't nearly the kind that we are generally familiar with and it's dwarves and giants rather than werewolves so far.  

A really fun read that totally gripped me and kept me until it was over and I'm so glad I have the next one on hand.  If you are a fan of the urban fantasy scene and enjoy a really strong female character, this is definitely a series for you.

Page count: 393p/1,482p ytd

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

110:3 Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry

Yet another zombie novel, better than many others I'll grant.  It starts with the outbreak rather than survivors trying to deal with the aftermath.  We follow 2 cops who were first-responders on a call that turns out to be the site of infection so we go through them trying to figure out what is going on.  Another interesting touch is that the people who have been infected still feel and think but have zero control over there body and we occasionally get to hear the thoughts of the first person bitten, his helplessness as he is trapped in a body that doesn't obey his commands and hurts those he knows and his despair as he keeps narrowly missing being killed.  Not an aspect I've seen before as usually it's mindless zombies or occasionally they can think but they also have control over their body.  Otherwise, a pretty typical zombie story.  Enough excitement, plot, and character development to actually keep me interested.  Not enough to make me care if there is a sequel although it has been set-up for one.

Page count: 356p/1,089p ytd

Thursday, January 5, 2012

110:2 Elfquest: The Discovery by Wendy & Richard Pini

It's amazing how this comic series never fails to grab hold of me and drag me into it and I lose all track of there being some other world until the story is told and I can come up for air.  This was no different.  Gods, the artwork is phenomenal as always and the story tight.  It seems I've missed some stuff between the last stuff I read and this so I need to go hunt it down because Suntop and Ember are now all grown and there are new cubs and OMG, Strongbow speaks!  When the heck did that happen?!

In all, a lovely installment to this most incredible of all comics.  Now to go see about tracking down some back stuff...

Page count: 128p/733p ytd

110:1 Naamah's Blessing by Jacqueline Carey

The last of the Naamah's trilogy.  Moirin and Bao have returned to Terre d'Ange as her destiny has led her but both know they have more oceans to cross before they are done.  While there, they have political intrigue to deal with and public perception to get on their side before Moirin can finally set-off to correct the wrong she was part of when she first came to Terre d'Ange as a naive young girl looking for her father.  New worlds await them across the sea but whether they can survive them is another matter.

Well, starting off the new year's reading with this one was definitely a good choice.  It ends the current trilogy and wraps up things with Moirin and Bao.  There could be more stories to tell there if she chooses but if she doesn't, that's okay too.  It's got a satisfying conclusion for that pair and told in Ms. Carey's beautiful style.

Page count: 605p/605p ytd