Thursday, September 30, 2010
In this story, Miss Potter is asked to find a blackmailer. Also everyone is getting married in the Land between the Lakes and all the talk is about love, except when people complain about a noisy new invention taking the skies and invading their peace! Our favorite green dragon is back and the head badger has a birthday party. Rascal plays hero and save a life and Professor Galileo Newton Owl is thinking about a coat of arms…
My wait for the next book has begun and is bitter-sweet. It will be the last book of the series, book number eight and after that Miss Potter stays in the Land between the Lakes.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Also rereading “The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own” by Nina Garcia, with illustrations by Ruben Toledo. Now this one is a dangerous book. It might cause a huge dent in your bank account and credit cards!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
In this book, Alexia finds herself in a rather uncomfortable and unavoidable situation: being without a home! So she assembles a group of friends to go look for solutions (or at least an answer) to the cause of her problems. She decides to go straight to the source: To the Knight Templars. In the meantime, Lord Maccon is drinking formaldehyde and Lord Akeldama is missing.
What I love more than anything about this series is the humorous narrative. Reading Ms. Carriger’s books is like listening to your friend telling you the most intriguing and funny gossip, with all the trimming even what everyone wore. Love it!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
“Hot Mama” by Jennifer Estep is the second book of Bigtime adventures, the world of superheroes and ubervillains. Fiona Fine is working as fashion designer during the day and as Fiera, the fiery girl of Fearless Five at night. Two new villains are in town, one has siren-y voice and trashy attitude. With Striker and Karma Girl out of town on their honeymoon, it is up to Fiera to stop the new bad girls, save her team and find true love in the process.
OK, this book is not great enough to merit its own review but it’s the only one I read this week!
Like “Karma Girl”, this is a funny fluffy sort of book, not to be taken seriously!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Just a quick review of what I read this week:
“Deeply, Desperately” the second book of Lucy Valentine series by Heather Webber. Remember the Valentine family with their gift from cupid to see auras and find every ones perfect match? Lucy has been busy working on her own branch of family business: the lost loves. With new clients and helping police with missing persons cases having Sean by her side has been nice but now… well, she is receiving threatening letters, also Sean’s ex wants him back and also Lucy is busy helping her friends.
A lot going on in this story for such a small book and the short timeline in the story. But the funny happenings and little character quirks make up for the busy plot.
“Think Twice” by Lisa Scottoline is a thriller. Bennie from that all women law firm in Philly is in trouble. Alice, her evil twin sister; wants to kill her and takes her place. And she gets to bury Bennie alive…
The plot is not complicated or engaging. The book reads more like an action movie, a little “Kill bill II” maybe!
“Lover Mine” The Black Dagger Brotherhood, book 8 by J. R. Ward. In this book, John is looking for Xhex and when he finds her, they both take revenge on her abductor. And yes, admit their love for each other and happily ever after…blah blah blah…
I have complained here enough times, I hate this series. I abhor the artificial language; I dislike the faux characters and that false toughness. But I can’t stop myself from following this series. It’s like when your tooth hurts and you poke at it to see how bad it can get! Just one of those self-destructive habits which are hard to break! Ugh!
This series includes four books written by Dawn Cook. Well, we all know the author with her other name better; our dear Kim Harrison the author of Rachel Morgan series.
Books are: “First Truth”, “Hidden Truth”, “Forgotten Truth" and “Lost Truth”.
Happening in a different time and space, humanity are divided into three races, the Coast people, the people of Foothills and the people of the Plains. The mixing of these races are forbidden. Alissa a mixed-race girl doesn’t belong anywhere even to her family’s farm. Her mother sends her on a journey to find a mystical school and learns of her heritage: Magic.
“First Truth” is the story of her journey and her meeting with Strell a wandering musician and bard. They find the school deserted, a master imprisoned and a keeper advancing his own agenda.
In “Hidden Truth’, Alissa and Strell try to find a hidden book of magic and keeping it out of the hands of a power hungry keeper. The book once found transforms Alissa and helps her with her magic. “Forgotten Truth” is when Alissa tries a new spell and ends up in past, four hundred years into the past. As she struggles to return to her time, she meets and interacts with powerful masters and magicians. And finally in “Lost Truth” Alissa and her friends decide to look for the rest of masters and magic students and bring life back to their school. So they embark on a journey into the seas…
These books are entertaining and at times funny, the characters are well thought out and the books well plotted; not that we would expect less from Ms. Harrison (aka Cook)!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
“Imager's Intrigue” The Third Book of the Imager Portfolio by L. E. Modesitt Jr. happens 5years after the story in second book. Rhenn is a captain of city guards and running his district smoothly. He and Seliora are married and have a three year old daughter. There are some political conflicts which lead to war between two neighboring country but also there are those who try to disturb the safety of the city. Vurned grain stores, strong drugs and unexplained fires and assassination of some powerful figures, force Rhenn’s hand to take action.
The book is mesmerizing and absorbing if a little lengthy like the previous ones.
“Waking the Witch” (Women of the Otherworld, Book 11) by Kelley Armstrong is the story of Savannah and her first solo case, investigating the murder of three women in a small town. But as things start to get complicated, she has to man up and ask for help or risk losing more than her pride.
As of Ms. Armstrong other books, this one is well plotted and all around great!
“Bonds of Justice” the eight book of Psy/Changeling series by Nalini Singh is about Max (a police detective) and Sophia, a near the end of her use-by date Justice Psy. They are teamed up to find the threat to councilor Nikita Duncan. Aside from their struggle and story, we revisit leopard pack. A breakthrough in Psy relationship with other races is eminent.
Monday, September 6, 2010
I finally was able to track down David Hewson’s latests, books 7 and 8 in Nic Costa series.
Do you remember my favorite team of police detectives, inspector Leo Falcone, detective Nic Costa, detective Gianni Peroni and police forensic Teresa Lupe form Rome?
“Dante’s Number” (is also called “Dante’s Killings”) is the when a new film based on Dante’s inferno is released and the actors are murdered one by one. After an online fiasco, the film is taken to San Francisco and our Italian team goes to US to provide security for the historical exhibition accompanying the movie. A few murders later, it is up to Nic and his team to help SFPD find the killer.
“City of fear” (is also called “The Blue Demon”) happens back in Rome and at the time of Group 8 summit. A high security official is murdered and the safety of world’s leader is in jeopardy. Nic, Falcone, Gianni and Teresa have to solve a twenty years old mystery in order to find the terrorist group responsible for all the trouble in the summit.
This series is so very good! I can’t have enough!
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Check the website: Flavia de Luce
From the website:
“Picture an ancient country house somewhere in England. The year is 1950. Picture a girl who lives there with her most unusual family. Her name is Flavia de Luce—and she’s almost eleven. Picture a long-abandoned Victorian chemistry laboratory; no one ever goes there but Flavia. Put them all together and you’ll have a new kind of detective fiction . . .”
“The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie”:
"Great literary crime detectives aren’t always born; they’re sometimes discovered, blindfolded and tied up in a dark closet by their nasty older sisters. Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce’s bitter home life and vicious sibling war inspires her solitary diversions and “strange talents” tinkering with the chemistry set in the laboratory of their inherited Victorian house, plotting sleuth-like vengeance on Ophelia (17) and Daphne (13), and delving into the forbidden past of her taciturn, widowed father, Colonel de Luce. It comes as no surprise, then, that the material for her next scientific investigation will be the mysterious corpse that she uncovers in the cucumber patch. Fearless and darkly imaginative, Flavia hurries to solve the murder and acquit her father of suspicion. Following the lead of its clever protagonist, Sweetness is entirely inventive, fast-paced, and quick-witted, with tongue-in-cheek humour that derides the macabre seriousness of subject. "
“The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag”:
"When a traveling puppet show sets up on the village green in Bishop’s Lacey, death stalks the little stage. Flavia goes behind the scenes to learn the craft (so to speak) in order to catch an ingenious killer. "
I fell in love with this series. Flavia is a self-taught chemist and has a passion for poisons. As a former chemist (and yes, with a passion for natural ingredients and herbal extracts including poisons) I enjoyed reading about Flavia’s adventures, her detective tendencies and her fights with her sisters. She is so intellectual and logical at times but with her family she is the little girl who misses her mother and needs love and attention.
I can’t wait for the rest of the books (three more) to be released. The third one, “A Red Herring Without Mustard” is due Feb 8, 2011.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Reading two new mysteries by two very different authors was a study in contrast. Two different styles, settings and two very contrasting outlook and narrative.
“The Black Cat” A Richard Jury Mystery by Martha Grimes is happening in England. The set up is between London and country side. Detective Jury is an old fashion gentleman and a large part of the book is filled with philosophical debates and amusing side stories. The cast of characters aside from humans include a very smart dog, a litter of kittens and three black cats.
The murder mystery by itself is not very intriguing. What kept my attention was the faith of Morris the pub cat and how many tricks the dog is going to pull! I know, I know… it says a lot about the book, doesn’t it?! I felt like an 80-something with Alzheimer, reading the book.
“The case of the man who died laughing” (From the Files of Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator) by Tarquin Hall is happening in Delhi, India. After you get used to different vocabulary (a lot of Indian words) the story is very absorbing. You learn about a totally different life style and culture. The plot by itself is intriguing: there is the main murder mystery; there is also a theft, a couple of family confusions and a case of fraud. Now it seems like a very busy plot, doesn’t it? I think that’s where Mr. Hall shows his mastery in storytelling. We can follow all these subplots easily and without any confusion. One book of his and he has become one of my favorite authors!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Look who is back! Can you believe it? I haven’t posted for more than a month although I’ve been busy reading lots of new books! Why? I have no idea!
Anyhow, let’s start with some not-so-exciting reads:
“Angelology” by Danielle Trussoni is a supernatural thriller. Have you read that verses in bible (Genesis 6) about Giants and Nephilims? Well, in this story we learn that they are real.
Sister Evangeline is a nun in a NYC coven. She is contacted by an academic about their archives, specifically the letters between mother superior and Mrs. Rockefeller during WWII. There starts the story about a strange, powerful and secretive race and humans who study and hunt them.
The book reads more like a serious text book than a novel. It even has footnotes. The finale is bittersweet, keeping you wanting more. All I can say is that this is very different than the usual urban fantasy I read.
“Steamed” by Katie MacAlister is a steampunk romance. Now this is a subgenre I recently
got acquaintance with.
The story is very simplistic. Jack a scientist and his sister Hally are in accident in so high-tech lab and find themselves in a steam powered parallel universe. Octavia Pye a zeppelin pilot finds and helps them. Of course Jack and Octavia fell in love and live happily-ever-after!
“Discord’s Apple” by Carrie Vaughn is an apocalyptic fantasy. Evie Walker returns home to take care of his father. The father has cancer and not much time to live. There are many strangers coming asking for help, looking for certain magical items which slowly shows Evie the secrets her family has guarded through time. When a powerful and devious woman is trying to cause more mayhem in the world, Evie with the help of a new friend has to do what’s best for her family and humanity in general.
There are many loose ends in this story and the plot is weak. I love Ms. Vaughn Kitty Norvill series but so far her individual stories (this one and “Voices of Dragons”) have proven not up to her werewolves’ series standard.
“Curse the Dawn” (Cassandra Palmer, Book 4) by Karen Chance was very much like a manga. All those escapes and chases and this new concept of surfing the laylines… sheesh! There wasn’t even a solid story line, too many things going on! This series is losing its plot and seriousness faster than a wicker basket loosing water.
“Trust your Vibes” Secret Tools for Six-Sensory Living by Sonia Choquette was one of those cheesy New Age-y books that tell you Mr. X did this and was successful; Ms. Y didn’t and was unhappy! Such a waste of time!
“Secrets of Powerful Women” Leading Change for a New Generation by Andrea Wong and Rosario Dawson is a collection of essays by… who else? Powerful women! Top executives, house representatives, governors, mayors… All telling you how they became successful and how they achieved their goals. Very empowering! My favorite quote from the book: “If you are demanding, you are a bitch. If you are suggesting, you are a mom. You just have to be firm and demanding but do it with more smile!"
“Wedding Girl” by Madeleine Wickham is a story of growth and learning from past mistakes and forgiveness and being true to yourself and… honestly, the book had so many life lessons in it, you couldn’t find the main plot! Such a bore!
Milly and Simon are planning their big perfect society wedding. But when Milly meets the photographer she starts to remember another wedding she has completely forgotten about: her first one! And she is still married!
“Karma Girl” Bigtime series, book 1 by Jennifer Estep. This is an urban fantasy, well, more like a superhero fantasy! A scorned journalist is trying to unmask superheroes and villains. Yeah, yeah, she falls in love, and yes; she learns a lesson!
“Almost to die for” A Vampire Princess Novel (Vampire Princess of St. Paul, Book 1) by Tate Hallaway. A teenager has to decide between her witch and vampire father. Which one to fallow, which one to live with. If we take out all the supernatural words (like witch and vampire, blood, magic, spell) this story reads like a simple uncomplicated YA, the life story of a spoiled teenager! Boys, homework, misunderstood poor girl, mean girlfriends, demanding parents… all the usual teen-y drama!
I don’t know why Ms. Hallaway tries to have supernatural characters when all of them live like normal people! Just like her Garnet Lacey series, this story has a simple story disguised as paranormal!
Ok, the worst part is done! The next few posts are about the good stuff. Keep tuned!