Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Death's Excellent Vacation ed. by Harris and Kelner

About the book: The editors of Wolfsbane and Mistletoe and Many Bloody Returns deliver a new collection-including a never-before-published Sookie Stackhouse story.
New York Times bestselling authors Charlaine Harris, Katie MacAlister, Jeaniene Frost-plus Lilith Saintcrow, Jeff Abbott, and more-send postcards from the edge of the paranormal world to fans who devoured Wolfsbane and Mistletoe and Many Bloody Returns.

With an all-new Sookie Stackhouse story and twelve other original tales, editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner bring together a stellar collection of tour guides who offer vacations that are frightening, funny, and touching for the fanged, the furry, the demonic, and the grotesque. Learn why it really can be an endless summer-for immortals.

My Thoughts:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy

About the book: People are dying for the new computer game by the software company Monkeewrench. Literally. With Serial Killer Detective out in limited release, the real-life murders of a jogger and a young woman have already mimicked the first two scenarios in the game.

But Grace McBride and her eccentric Monkeewrench partners are caught in a vise. If they tell the Minneapolis police of the link between their game and the murders, they'll shine a spotlight on the past they thought they had erased-and the horror they thought they'd left behind. If they don't, eighteen more people will die...

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Signet (April 6, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 045121157X
ISBN-13: 978-0451211576

First line: The brandy had been absolutly essential.

My Thoughts: I read a couple of negative reviews of this book but decided to go ahead and read it. Boy am I glad I did. This has to be my new favorite thriller and I intend to get on with this series as soon as possible. It kept me engaged, pulling me along with a couple of subplots and several twists. I enjoyed the nuggets of humor that shined in the twist of a phrase or the observation of an incident. The characters were colorful and likable. The dog, Charlie, went straight to my heart. I'm hoping that Jackson, a boy who had a bit part, will be more fully reaalized in the next book. Get it, you'll like it.

Rating: A

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gateways by F. Paul Wilson

About the book: In Gateways, Jack learns that his father is in a coma after a car accident in Florida. They've been on the outs, but this is his dad, so he heads south. In the hospital he meets Anya, one of his father's neighbors. She's a weird old duck who seems to know an awful lot about his father, and even a lot about Jack.

Jack's arrival does not go unnoticed. A young woman named Semelee, who has strange talents and lives in an isolated area of the Everglades with a group of misshapen men, feels his presence. She senses that he's "special," like her.

Anya takes Jack back to Dad's senior community, Gateways South, which borders on the Everglades. Florida is going through an unusual drought. There's a ban on watering; everything is brown and wilting, but Anya's lawn is a deep green.

Who is Anya? Who is Semelee, and what is her connection to the recent strange deaths of Gateways residents-killed by birds, spiders, and snakes-during the past year? And what are the "lights" Jack keeps hearing about-? Lights that emanate twice a year from a sinkhole deep in the Everglades . . . lights from another place, another reality.

If he is to protect his father from becoming the next fatality at Gateways, there are questions Jack must answer, secrets he must uncover. Secrets . . . Jack has plenty of his own, and along the way he learns that even his father has secrets.

My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by this author and my only complaint is that I started with book 7 in the Repairman Jack series. Now I'll have to go back and start at the beginning as I really enjoyed this one. I liked getting to know Jack and seeing him and his father reunite. The creatures were, though horrible,  interesting and creative, especially the "chew wasps." This is a sort of Hard Boiled Detective meets the Supernatural.

Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

About the book: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

About the book: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins' groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.
My thoughts: I Read these two one after the other so it felt like one book. I wanted to see how this all turned out since I read the first one. The middle was exciting and imaginative. The end seemed sort of .....empty.  I don't understand Katniss as the heroin. She is a weak, unstable character and her appeal was lost on me.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Hunger Games by

About the book: Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

First line: When I wake up the other side of the bed is cold.

My Thoughts: I saw many reviews for this book a while back but didn't consider reading it. Since then I have learned that a movie is being made from this book so I dedided to go ahead. I found it quite compelling and hard to put down. It surprised me that a book for children would be so violent. The violence wasn't very graphic, until a death scene near the end which was nightmarish. The main characters were well written and likable. I enjoy the glimpses of humor in Katniss' dialogue. After reading this I have to know what happens to them so I have the next two books ordered.

Reading level: Ages 12 and up

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1st edition (September 14, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0439023483

Shadow Zone by Iris Johansen & Roy Johansen

About the Book: While mapping the ancient underwater city of Marinth in the Atlantic Ocean, submersible designer Hannah Bryson makes a shocking discovery: she may have finally uncovered the truth about the once-glorious city’s mysterious demise. Long ago it was a thriving metropolis bursting with culture and life—Marinth’s sudden disappearance has plagued scientists for years. But now, with her unexpected new findings, Hannah realizes that the ancient city’s explosive secret could have dire consequences for the modern-day world.

But Hannah isn’t the only one who realizes it. When her key artifact is hijacked en route to a research lab, she is thrust into an adventure in which she must match wits against a terrifying enemy who will kill anyone who stands in his way. And when Hannah becomes his target, she knows that her best hope for survival lies with Kirov, a mysterious and deadly man from her past. Together they will race to unravel Marinth’s last great secret in order to prevent a catastrophe of global proportions. Before the lethal game is over, however, Hannah will realize that no one is above suspicion.
First line: "Hey, I didn't see you in the galley for breakfast, Hannah," Josh Carnaby said as he strolled down the deck toward her.
My thoughts: First I have to say that I did not realize this was part of a series, so I'll have to go back to get a feel of the characters and the circumstances. I did not get to know these characters as well as I'd like to.  Even so the story was fast paced, a quick entertaining read with plenty of adventure and excitement. In a way it reminded me of Clive Cussler's work.
Lost civilizations facinate me and I wish there was more written about this one, even if it is fictional. The dolphins were interesting too, I'd like to know what makes them tick.
Rating: C