Wednesday, February 29, 2012

110:27 Kate Daniels Novellas & Shorts by Ilona Andrews

Curran  POV 1 - Interesting.  Not a short story but more a collection of scenes from the first book or two but seen through Curran's eyes and thoughts.

Fathers & Sons (POV 2) - Takes place right after Curran and the others get out of the death match ring.  He's not happy with how Kate has been treated and goes against Mahon to assert his right to choose his mate.

Curran POV 3 - A short scene between Jim and Curran where Jim fills Curran in on Kate's heritage.  Nice little backstory.

Magic Mourns - Finally get to see Andrea and Rafael hook up and get some more backstory on Andrea's character.  Really nice addition to the universe.

Magic Gifts - Beware gifts you don't know anything about.  Curran and Kate finally get to go on a date when a gentleman gives his lady friend a necklace which rips her head off.  In the aftermath, the girls mother ends up protecting the father by placing the necklace on her son instead and Kate only has a few days to get it off before it kills him too.  Love these fast-paced stories but more than that, I want to know what the heck is going on between Andrea & Raphael as they are on the outs big time at the end of this.  Have to wait for summer for her story and I just can't wait!!!

A Questionable Client - The story of how Saiman and Kate first met.  Love how she kicks butt in this one and seeing their relationship get started.

Page count: 305p/8,711p ytd

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

110:27 By a Thread by Jennifer Estep

The 6th in the Elemental Assassin book.  Mab is dead and every low-life scum wants to make a name for themselves by taking out the assassin who took out Mab.  Gin is killing yet another would-be assassin (or group of would-be's) daily and the line doesn't seem to be getting any shorter.  So when Finn suggests they go for a vacation for a bit to give things time to blow over some, Gin reluctantly agrees.

Of course, there's no way that Gin's vacation could be just a normal vacation.  Instead, they travel to Bria's old stomping grounds and find out that her best friend is being harassed to sell her restaurant to the local kingpin and he's getting tired of waiting.  To make matters more fun, said best friend is recently engaged to Detective Donovan Caine, ex-lover of Gin's.

Things go completely sideways on the vacation from there.  Completely fast-paced and impossible to put down and I absolutely love this author's style.  I was also happy to see Gin get some resolution on her relationship with Donovan...her way.

Page count: 366p/8,406p ytd

Sunday, February 26, 2012

110:26 The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch

A friend loaned this one to me a while ago and since it wasn't in my usual genres, it sort of sat on my shelf until now.  It's an interesting take on a coming of age story.  There's no real plot, no beginning or end, just a snapshot of the life of a 13yr old boy taking one summer out of his life to look at.  It was a remarkable summer for him in which he found incredible things washed up on the shore where he lived but more than that, it was a summer when he learned more about himself than the sea.

Again, not really my type of book in a lot of ways.  I found it a little disjointed and I just couldn't really connect with the main character.  Not a bad book and I can see why it was recommended, but not really my kind of thing.

Page count: 246p/8,040p ytd

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

110:25 A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison

The 10th book in the Hollows series.  Rachel has been officially labeled a demon and has been bound to prevent her from tapping into the ley lines.  Since her demonblood keeps her from activating the higher level witch spells, this is leaving her without much in the way of defenses.  So when the IS comes to her because witches with high Rosewood counts are being abducted and mutated towards demon it's at first because they fear she may be doing it and once they are sure she isn't, then her choices are help them and get some semblance of a life back or walk away and have them blame her for the whole mess.  The problem is, it's an Interlander hate group that is just itching to get it's hands on some demon blood...

It's another romp with Rachel and the crew and I realized how much I've missed the series.  I think next time tho, I may reread at least this book before starting the new book as there were some subtle things being referred to that took me forever to remember. 

Page count: 438p/7,794p ytd

Friday, February 17, 2012

110:24 Thread of Death & Other Stories by Jennifer Estep

Thread of Death takes place after Spider's Revenge and before By a Thread.  Gin is finally healed enough to leave the house but all her friends are concerned since she's leaving to attend Mab's funeral.  Her reasoning is that Mab has been such a big part of her life since she was 13 that she wants to say good-bye in her own way. Of course, the funeral is attended by all the up-and-coming scum of Ashland who are trying to figure out who's going to be the next big boss of the underworld there, many of whom are enemies of the Spider.  Then the shots start ringing....

A nice bridge novel.  Sets up a few things that will hopefully get played out in the next book or two.

I also read all the other bridge and background stories she has on her website.  I really liked getting more background on the Deveraux sisters and getting Mab's story from her perspective and what her issue was with Gin's mother.  I love when author's put those kinds of things out for the readers.  They are stories that make the world that much richer but are generally hard to weave into the main books, especially if they are written in a first-person format so nice move Ms. Estep.

Page count: 90p/7,356p ytd

110:23 Shaded Vision by Yasmine Galenorn

The 11th in the Sisters of the Otherworld series.  This one is told from Delilah's point of view.  Camille is still trying to heal from her ordeal with Hyto, Iris is pregnant and getting married, there is a new Daemon general in town, the Kyonni are back and their new leader has a spirit seal, and just for fun they are also in cahoots with Van and Jaycee the sorcerers who escaped in a previous book.

Yeah, it's kind of crazy how much is packed into this book but Galenorn weaves it well infusing enough humor and real-life issues to counterbalance the supernatural stuff they deal with.  It's nice to see Delilah starting to grow-up more and really come into her own.  She's always been the more innocent one of the bunch (and that is the one part I dislike is being reminded of that what feels like every few pages) and it's good to see her more cautiously optimistic rather than being the bubbly ditsy blonde.

In all, another wonderful installment in the series.

Page count: 337p/7,266p ytd

Thursday, February 16, 2012

110:22 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

A quick tale that speaks volumes on the duality of nature within the human psyche and how often the side that you feed is the side that will come out on top.

Page count: 90p/6,225p ytd

Monday, February 13, 2012

110:21 Rise Again by Ben Tripp

Yet another zombie book.  I admit tho, I was excited about reading this one because it had a good review on the cover  by Cory Doctorow who I think is an amazing writer.  As it turns out, I don't think I'll be listening to his reviews again.  The book was long and drawn out.  Character development didn't really start until about 20pages from the end.  Actually, scratch that.  The zombies did develop through the story which was really the only slightly interesting thing about it but since they so rarely showed up, it wasn't enough to save it.  The rest of the story was completely predictable and it was by sheer force of will that I actually finished it because all I could do when I had some free time was groan that I still wasn't done with it.   Maybe if you are a rabid zombie fanatic you can get into it but my recollection of it was "gross out scene"...blahblahblah..."insert pointless Iraq war memory during unconscious period here"...blahblahblah..."insert more pointless moaning about little sister and/or search for sister here"...blahblahblah....repeat endlessly

Page count: 371p/6,839p

Sunday, February 12, 2012

110:20 A Hard Day's Knight by Simon R. Green

The 11th book in the Nightside series.  Excalibur has shown up on John's doorstep for him to wield long enough to find King Arthur and return it to him.  Of course, no one knows where Arthur is but everyone wants Excalibur.

A pretty standard romp in the Nightside with the only real surprise being at the end but it's good mindless fluff for when you just want to escape for a bit.

Page count: 294p/6,468p ytd

Monday, February 6, 2012

110:19 Etched in Silver by Yasmine Galenorn

A novella set in the Otherworld universe and is the story of how Trillian and Camille met and ended up soul-mated.  A nice little story that showcased what life had been like for them a bit more clearly back in OW before things opened up and they came earthside.  Not necessary to read to understand anything in the series but a fun little filler as I wait for the next book to come out.  Includes a sneak peak of the new book as well.

Page count: 50p/6,174p ytd

Saturday, February 4, 2012

110:18 To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

I picked this one up on the recommendation of a friend saying I absolutely had to read it.  I had it on my kindle for about a year with her asking me every time we got together if I'd read it yet so I finally broke down and read it.  Wow!  It got off to a really slow start and I was thoroughly confused and wondering if perhaps this was a second book in a series or something as there was so much going on.  Turns out no, there wasn't and everything does get explained but it takes a while.  I think I was about a quarter of the way in before it stopped being merely confusing and started getting to the point where I understood what was going on and could follow easily at which point I was totally hooked on the story.  Trying to summerize this one is hard but basically it's a story about time travel that takes place mostly in the story's present day (2057), 1940s Coventry, and Victorian England.  There is love, a missing bird stump, cats, and to say nothing of the dog.

In all, a very fun and entertaining read.

Page count: 493p/6,124p ytd

Thursday, February 2, 2012

10:17 The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The last book by Laura in the Little House series, the manuscript of which was found in her possessions after she passed by her daughter Rose and was not printed until Rose's passing.  Similar in style but you can see the detail goes down to more bare bones as it progresses.  The first thing that strikes you is what a run of bad luck that family had after all the problems her Pa had had getting proved up on a homestead and then the first four years for her and Manly were filled with bad weather and the ruination of their crops time and time again, the loss of their son when he was only a few weeks old, and the loss of their home when it burned down shortly afterward.  But what really comes through louder, is their indomitable spirit, their tenacity to make it work, their love for each other and their daughter, their willingness to keep working hard even when it hadn't paid off yet.  That was the pioneer spirit and it was truly remarkable to read.

Page count: 134p/5,631p ytd

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

110:16 Zombie Chasers: Sludgement Day by John Kloepfer

The 3rd book in the Zombie Chasers series.  This book is rated for 8-12yr olds and I think they may have been very generous in that assessment.  It's predictable, stupid, disgusting, and uses super small words.  My almost 6yr old is ready to start reading them as they definitely appeal to him and the vocabulary is simple enough that he won't need much help.  The downside, I'll have to listen to them.

If you have a child in the marketed age range that is looking for total fluff and is just starting to get into reading and you are trying to encourage that, they are fine.  Otherwise, run the other direction.  I've only read them because my 10yr old was a very reluctant reader and these finally helped him turn that around and I'm being supportive but honestly, I can feel my IQ dropping by several points every time I turn the page.

Page count: 214p/5,497p

110:15 The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien

My review from 2009 which still stands: 

Wow, you know you don't read something for years after reading it as a teenager and it's amazing how something that was good becomes out of this world fantastic. It's not like I can say anything about this that hasn't already been said to death but this book deserves it all and more. But it makes it all the more amazing to be sharing it with my son. To see his enjoyment of it, to share his thoughts after reading it, to see what it is inspiring within him. That is truly without measure.

Page count: 447p/5,283p ytd