Monday, February 25, 2013

The Keep

The Keep
Today's post is on 'The Keep' by F. Paul Wilson and it is the first novel of his Adversary Cycle. It is 428 pages long including a short short of the novel in the Adversary Cycle.  It has been republished by TOR.  The cover is divided in two with the shadowy outline of a man in a circle at the top and on the bottom a castle.  The intended reader is over 18 because of the strong horror themes and  two attempted rapes. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- 'Something is murdering my men."
So reads the message received from a Nazi commander stationed in a small castle high in the remote Transylvanian Alps. Invisible and silent, their powerful enemy selects one victim per night, leaving the bloodless and mutilated corpses behind to terrify behind its future victims.
When even an elite SS extermination squad cannot solve the problem, the panicked Nazis bring in a local expeet on folklore- who happens to be Jewish- to shed some light on the mysterious happenings. Unbeknownst to anyone, there is another visitor on his way: a man who awoke from a nightmare and immediately set out to meet his destiny.
The battle has began: one side, the ultimate evil created by man, and on the other... the unthinkable, unstoppable, unknowing terror that man has inevitable awakened.

Review- I like this book better than the first Repairman Jack novel. The plot is interesting because I have not read anything like this before. Now I have not read a lot of horror but I did not find this very scary. The bad guy is not a vampire but he is the one from which all the legends of vampires come from. The good guy is mysterious when he makes his choice there is light all around of him because he chooses the right thing and stops the villain. But the dialog is not great but it not bad; it just is. The characters do not really do anything to make them special but I admit to having a very high bar. I like Wilson but I am just not getting him. Maybe I need to be into more horror or different horror to really get him. I am not stopping reading him because of this. He is a good writer, I wish that I was a good as he is. I am going to continue reading his Adversary Cycle because I am curious about how he is going to end the world. And maybe that is what you should really take from this review because I am going to continue reading him. I cannot say the same for many of the authors that I have read this year.

I give this book Three stars out of Five. I get nothing for my review, I borrowed this book from my local library.

Friday, February 22, 2013

One Foot in the Grave

One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2)
Today's post is on 'One Foot in the Grave' by Jeanniene Frost. It is the second in her Night Huntress series. It is 374 pages long with three previews from other books by the same publisher who is Avon which is an imprint of HarperCollins. The cover has the main character Cat looking at the reader as she is astride a very nice motorcycle. The intended reader is female and over 18 but I think that anyone who likes urban fantasy, romance, and vampires being vampires should like this series.  There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- You can run from the grave but you can't hide...
Half-vampire Cat Crawfield is now Special Agent Cat Crawfield, working for the government to rid the world of the rogue undead. She's still using everything Bones, her sexy and dangerous ex, taught her, but when Cat is targeted for assassination, the only man who can help her is the vampire she left behind.
Being around him awakens all her emotions, from the adrenaline kick of slaying vamps side by side to the reckless passion that consumed them. But a price on her head- wanted: dead or half-alive- means her survival depends on teaming up with Bones. And no matter how hard she tries to keep things professional between them, she'll find that desire last forever... and that Bones won't let her get away again.

Review- I do not really like vampires. When I was young my older sister was in love with vampires, when I watched Buffy the only one I liked was Spike (I don't think that I have explain that one), and Twilight was just a mistake on so many levels. I will give Ms. Meyer this: I have not been published, I do not have any fans of my writings, and I do not have millions from my books, so she found something really good and I wish her well. But that said she just was another thing that made vampires not appealing to me. I took a chance with the first novel and if you'll remember my review of the first book I really like it. Cat is fun, she is brave, and she is still all those things in this book. Bones is still bad ass. The plot is not bad, it does its purpose which is to get Cat and Bones back together and tell her who her father is. The action and sex scenes are good, the dialog is believable. If you did not like the first one then do not read the next. I am looking forward to reading the next one because of some of the problems that happen in the end scene of this one; like Cat and Bones getting married in blood. This one is not as funny as the first but I think that is because Cat is older and sadder for the first third of the book. She has been alone for four years and just cannot make a human connection. So when Bones comes back into her life then she really does came back to life. Forgive the puns in this review.

I give this Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought my copy of this book from my local bookstore.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Divergent (Divergent, #1)
Today's post is on 'Divergrnt' by Veronica Roth and it is the first in a new trilogy. The cover has a fiery circle, a city-scape underneath; the words "One Choice Can Transform You" above the circle. It is 487 pages long, the intended reader is Young Adult but anyone over the age of about 13 can enjoy this. It is published by Katherine Tegen Books which is an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- In Beatrice Prior's dystopian chicago society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue- Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year olds must select the faction to which they will devote the read of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is- she can't have both. So makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her

Review- I have read and will read a lot of YA this year and in years to come. The only thing that really gets on my nerves is how important the love interest is. Maybe because I like to read about people finding themselves without the need to have someone else or maybe it just because I, personally, do not think that love is the most important thing in any one's life. I think that knowing who you are is more important. That said the romance in this book is background. It is important but it is more important for Tris to discover who she is and what that means. The story is told in first person but the main character is intelligent so it is not a problem. I like Tris because she is willing to learn how to be no matter what that is or who is teaching her. The plot is interesting with friends turning on one another just to be higher ranked in the challenges. The only thing I warn about is there is a suicide in the book. One of the characters who feels that he is without hope kills himself. It is taken very seriously but it could disturb some readers. It is the author's first book and it is a strong start.

I give this Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my library.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #2)
Today's post is on 'The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey' by Trenton Lee Steward and illustrated by Diana Sudyka; it is the second volume in the Mysterious Benedict Society. It is 440 pages long with wonderful illustrations at the start of every chapter. It is published by Little, Brown and Company. The cover has a boat sailing towards the reader with all the characters on it being active. Like Kate is climbing the side of the boat and Sticky is reading a map; While Constance and Reynie are standing together talking. The intended reader is children from about eight on up but an adult can easily read and enjoy this series and I sure do.  There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- Children you must not come Stop Dangerous.
The fabulous foursome readers embraced as The Mysterious Benedict Society is back with a new mission: to go on a mind-bending international scavenger hunt designed to engage their individual talents. As the search for all the clues and riddles Mr. Benedict has hidden for them, Reynie, Sticky, Kate and Constance face an unexpected challenge that will reinforce the reasons they were brought together in the first place and require them to fight for the very namesake that united them.
Join The Mysterious Benedict Society at your own risk.

Review- I have reviewed the prequel about Nickolas Benedict earlier this year and again I say how much I love this series. The writing is very strong like the others to that I have read. I did not like Reynie as much in this one but I think that he is undergoing a change from being a child into being a young adult so he is having to learn how to do that. Really all the characters are changing in this story but that is a good thing. Characters have to grow or else they will not be interesting anymore. The main villain is the same with no mystery about who is pulling the strings from the background now and I like that. I like that Steward is being constant with who is who. I have read many books, both adult and children's, where the villain is changing and that change being confusing but Steward is not one of those. If my nephew lived closer to me I would love to read these with him because they are great for boys. The main character, Reynie, is a good character  for boys because he is active, smart, and interested in others. The other characters are fun and the two girls in the series are equals to the boys but everyone is important. Steward does not come out and say but the lesson that everyone is important and has something to give the group is there in big letters if you know what to look for. I cannot recommend this book and series enough.

I give this five stars and I cannot want to read the third one. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my library.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Tomb

The Tomb (Adversary Cycle, #2) (Repairman Jack, #1)
Today's post is on 'The Tomb' by F. Paul Wilson; it is the first Repairman Jack novel. It is published by Tor, originally in 1984, but it has been up-dated in 2004. It is 428 pages long with a author's note at the back about all his books that happen in his Secret History of the World. The cover has the New York skyline on top with an altar on bottom divided by a thick black line with the title, author, and general information about the Repairman Jack novels. The intended reader is adult 18+ because of the sexual themes in some scenes and the violence in action scenes. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- A masterful supernatural thriller and New York Times bestseller returns in trade paperback. Here's how Repairman Jack's story begins...
Much to the chagrin of his girlfriend, Gia, Repairman Jack doesn't deal with appliances: He fixes situations- situations that too often land him in deadly danger. His latest job is to find a stolen necklace, which, unknown to him, is more than a simple piece of jewelry.
Some might say it's cursed, others might call it blessed. Jack's quest leads to a rusty freighter on Manhattan's West Side docks. What he finds in its hold threatens his sanity and the entire city. But worst of all, it threatens Gia's daughter, Vicky, the last surviving member of a bloodline marked for extinction.

Review- Now I have heard about the Repairman Jack novels for years but until now I have not read any of them. I liked it. It was not bad but I do not see why so many people are crazy about it. The writing is strong, the characters are interesting, and I believed that in them and the story. But I do not really feel anything about it. I do not know why. Maybe it is because I grew up on the X-Files, which I can see some influences that Jack had on the X-Files, so maybe I am just too jaded to really get the feel for it. Other than just being lukewarm about it I have no problems with it I have had this problem before with other books and TV shows and the only thing that I can think of is that because I love the X-Files and grew up watching them I just see them before I see the book or new TV series. So I guess that is all there is to be my review.

I give this one Four stars out of Five. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my library.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Stalking the Unicorn

Stalking the Unicorn: A Fable of Tonight: A John Justin Mallory Mystery
Today's post is on 'Stalking the Unicorn' a Fable of Tonight by Mike Resnick. It is the first in a short series consisting of three novels and many short stories. It is published by Pyr and is 280 pages including some appendixes with some side information from the story. The cover has the back of the hero to the reader with the Other Manhattan before him and us. As you are reading the book remember to look at the cover as you do because you will see things from the book, I think that it is fun but that could just be me. The intended reader is anyone who likes urban fantasies, witty stories, and just fun reads all around. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back- It's a 8:35 pm on New Year's Eve, and private detective John Justin Mallory is hiding out in his Manhattan office to avoid his landlord's persistent inquires about the unpaid rent. As he cheerlessly reflects on the passing of a lousy year, which saw his business partner run off with his wife, he assumes the bourbon is responsible for the appearance of a belligerent elf. This elf informs him that he needs the detective's help in searching for a unicorn that was stolen from his charge. When Mallory realizes the little green fellow is not going to disappear with the passing of his inebriation, he listens to the elf's impassioned plea that the stolen magical beast must be returned to his care by daylight or his little green life with be forfeited by the Elves' Guild. Join John Justin Mallory on a New Year's night of wolf adventures in a fantasy Manhattan of leprechauns, gnomes, and harpies as he matches wits with the all-powerful demon, the Grundy, in a race to find the missing unicorn before time runs out!

Now I have reviewed Resnick's work before and I love him. His wit is just wonderful in all his writing and this is no different. John Justin, as I call him, is a wonderful hero for many reasons. He is witty, he is full of common sense (always a plus for me), he rolls with the punches, and he uses everything in his power to do the Right Thing. The side characters do more than just move the story along; they add to the plot. The villain is a demon who is power hungry and because John Justin is from our world he just is not afraid. John Justin is just the best. I cannot give these books the highest praise. Resnick takes all the fantasy tropes and makes them new again. The whole book takes place in about nine(9) hours. Each chapter at the start has the time that pass in the chapter at the top under the chapter number- for example Chapter Nine 12:08 am to 12:45 am. I like that because it just raises my opinion of Resnick as a writer, to tell that wonderful story in less a day or even half a day. A writer who can tell a whole story in so little time passing impresses me. The best part of the story is the dialog. Resnick is a master with it and this time is no different. But you will just have to read it for yourself.

I give this Five out of Five stars because it is a masterpiece. I get nothing for my review. I bought this book with my own money and I own it with pride; go forth and do the same.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Today's post is on 'Scorch' by Gina Damico. It is the second in a Young Adult series about a sixteen year old Grim reaper, with the first one being 'Croak' (see earlier review of that one.) It is published by Graphia which is an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. It is 332 pages long. The cover has the main character Lex with her silvery scythe. Scorch is spelled with a skull in the place of the 'o'.  The intended readers are Young Adult but anyone with a sense of humor would enjoy this book and series. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- What happens when a Grim reaper goes rogue? Les is a teenage Grim reaper with the bizarre ability to Damn souls, which makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But after inadvertently transferring her ability to Zara, a murderous outlaw, Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home. To escape the wrath of the townspeople, Lex and her friends embark on a wold road trip to DeMyse, a Las Vegas-like Grim city where they can hide out until the chaos in Croak subsides. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex. Her best chance at getting out would be to stop Zara once and for all- but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to Zara's killing spree?

Review- This book is funny. There I said it. The dialog in this book is just great until all the bad things happen at the end. But the way that the characters interact with one another is just so funny. The one good adult in this series is Lex's uncle Mort and he is just as funny as the rest of the cast. All the teenagers are pretty smart, which is a very nice change, but they are still teenagers so they do stupid things like believe the bad guy and the like. Normally a second book are all plot and filler, at the same time, which is very annoying but not this one. There is very nice character growth, the plot does get thicker but not in an unnatural way, and again the dialog in this is just so funny. The only problem I have with the book is that all the bad things happen in groups. Like people die, buildings are blown up and then bad stuff is going on the Afterlife. Then nothing but characters for about 100 or more pages than BAM! more bad stuff. I think that the book would be better if Damico would space things out a little more but that is just my personal opinion. As always do not take my word for it; go read it yourself.

I give this one Four skulls and half a scythe. I get nothing for my review. I borrowed this book from my library.

Friday, February 1, 2013

before i fall (I am not changing the font from the book)

Before I Fall
Today's post is on 'before i fall' by Lauren Oliver. I am not changing the spelling of the title because that is the way that the author wants it, so it stays. It is 470 pages long with seven chapters and an epilogue. It is published by Harper which is an imprint of HarperCollins. The cover is a close up of a pretty white girl with blue-green eyes looking right at the reader. The intended reader is YA and those who work with YA. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- What if? What is you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High- from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death- and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Review- If you or your young adult has problems with depression do not read this. Because you know that nothing is really going to be okay again after the first death. It is told in first close person; meaning that the reader only know what Sam tells the reader. As the story goes on we see the broken lives of those around her. Oliver does not directly talk about rape, bullying, or the other many bad things that happen in the story but the way that she addresses them helps the reader see the bad stuff for it is. It is about learning to see under the masks that everyone wears just to get by in life. It is very moving but  it also talks about how sometimes no matter how hard you try, things are going to just turn out bad. But the under laying theme is really about not being afraid just because you may lose your high school standing. One thing that I would have liked the author to directly talk about is that high school does not last forever. Whatever goes on in high school is just for the moment. If you look at it from a bird's eye you can see that in all the death and tragedy but it is never said out right. The character's are general enough that anyone who was in a public school for high school knows the type. Sam does grow from the small, selfish person to someone who realizes how she let people down in her life and she just wants to help make it right. The last chapter brought tears to my eyes as she goes through her day trying to make things right and to help those around her. In the end Sam cannot save herself and can only give what is most important to her, her life, to save someone she never would have cared about if she had just died at the beginning.

I give this three stars because of the depression that comes with this sad tale. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from the library.