Thursday, January 19, 2017

Introducing Garrett, P.I.: Sweet Silver Blues, Bitter Gold Hearts, Cold Copper Tears

Title: Introducing Garrett, P.I.Sweet Silver BluesBitter Gold HeartsCold Copper Tears

Author: Glen Cook [Macmillan][isfdb][Goodreads]

Publisher: ROC

Series: Garrett, P.I., Bks 1-3

ISBN: 9780451463975

Length: 694 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

I saw it recommended in comparison with another author (I can't remember where).

Comments:

As a whole these stories fall right within my interests.  Magic, PI or Detective, grim, etc. Individually...

Sweet Silver Blues

This first story in the series introduces Garrett and his world.  A world where war is constant, magical beings like centaurs, unicorns, vampires, elves, trolls, and witches all exist and aren't cute and friendly, mixed peoples called "breeds" are common but looked upon poorly, and life is hard.  Garrett is hired to find and bring back the recipient of his war buddy's estate - or if she isn't interested in coming back, he's to bring back the proper documentation that she has released her claim.  But this isn't an easy task on any level.  She lives in the midst of the war zone, she's Garrett's former flame, and did I mention the not-so-nice magical creatures?

Bitter Gold Hearts

Garrett's been tasked with looking into a kidnapping... sorta.  More like his reputation has been hired to put a little scare into the kidnappers before the son of a local wealthy and very powerful woman returns from her current task in the ongoing war.  But all is not as it seems and Garrett runs into lie, after deceit, after secret as he tries to get to the bottom of it all - whether anyone wants him to or not.

Cold Copper Tears

Garrett once again again encounters plenty of secrets and lies.  Even refusing the jobs that come his way isn't enough to prevent trouble from finding him.  This time we have fanatic cults, even more dangerous, destructive and deadly magical creatures, and enemies.  Now Garrett's in this for the sake of his life and peace.

I definitely intend to read more of the series.  I've requested another three-volume omnibus through ILL.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Unwind

Title: Unwind

Author: Neal Shusterman [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Series: Unwind Dystology, Bk 1

ISBN: 9781416912040

Length: 335 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

It was January's book for a new book club I'm joining.

Comments:

I realized this book is dystopian and immediately thought oh, boy, here we go.  Then I began learning the history of this world and how things are done, and I was shocked.  Shocked and horrified.  I'm going to try to explain with a minimum of spoilers, but I'm not sure that is entirely possible.

The background for this story made no sense to me (still doesn't)... how a group of people (pro-choice and pro-life, both) could agree that "unwinding" a child could be a reasonable solution to the issue of whether abortion (or capital punishment, though that is not a focus) should be permitted.  And the reasons for why a child might be "unwound" in this world are just as abhorrent.

But this isn't the only incredible difference in this world.  Other craziness includes "clappers" and what they represent.  And aging, fanaticism, organ donation, adoption, inequality (social, racial, etc.), and in some way - big or small - any other number of issues that exist today but have transformed to fit this new world.

So I was trying to come to terms with how outrageous this world is while following Connor, Risa, Lev, and others as they cling to survival through a version of an underground railroad... and a literal railroad as the case may be.

I couldn't decide if I liked or disliked the book; I was caught up pretty quickly.  I hadn't heard of this series before being told it was the next book being discussed.  The lady who recommended it was telling us how she told someone they had to read it and then he was telling everyone how they had to read it, and so forth.  I'm not sure I would go that far, but I was certainly telling several people about the background.  And it's certainly a book that lingers in your thoughts for some time after finishing.  Anyway, I'm seriously contemplating reading more in the series.

Shusterman is also the author of Challenger Deep which has received such wonderful reviews in the professional journals.  And I have an ARC copy of Scythe, Shusterman's November 29 release that I plan to read.

Monday, January 16, 2017

And Then There Were None

Title: And Then There Were None

Author: Agatha Christie [Websiteaka Mary Westmacott

Publisher: Harper

ISBN: 9780062073471 and 9780061739255

Length: 247 pages

Obtained: Library book kit copy and Library eBook

Why this book?:

I was interested in the story, I enjoy Agatha Christie, I wanted to attend the book discussion that this was being read for.

Comments:

I've never read this before or watched the movie, and while I had a general idea that it had one person die after another, I was not aware of the ending.

The characters were interesting, though being who they were, some of their thought processes were unfathomable to me.  Also, I found the play on levels of guilt and whether the characters are really guilty of accusations or not fascinating.  The setting and poem/rhyme added a fun aspect to the mystery and how it was unfolded to the reader. 

I really enjoyed this story and trying to puzzle it out.  I have read one Hercule Poirot book, and two Miss Marple books, but now I know I need to pay particular attention to some of Agatha's stand alone novels as well.  I also enjoyed the discussion and will have to check out some of the movie variations, as they were frequently mentioned.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Librarians and the Lost Lamp

Title: The Librarians and the Lost Lamp

Author: Greg Cox [Website][Facebook]

Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates

Series: Librarians, Bk 1

ISBN: 9780765384072

Length: 286 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

Love the Librarian movies, and the spin off TV show, and couldn't miss reading the book(s).

Comments:

I don't read media tie-ins often (though I have occasionally).  It is strange to read the words, actions, and characterizations of the characters that I've only seen before, but it is also fun.  The book flashed between 2006 and 2016, with Flynn Carson in the Librarian role in 2006 (plus, briefly, Judson) and the others - Jake Stone, Cassandra Cillian, Ezekiel Jones and Guardian Eve Baird and Library annex caretaker Jenkins - in 2016.  The 2006 scenes reminded me strongly of the movies, complete with Flynn on a dashing and dangerous mission for Aladdin's lamp, a different woman (this time a museum curator), and of course, a gang of bad guys.  The 2016 scenes are more in the line of the current TV show with an emphasis on teamwork, using differences and individuality to the most potential, friendship and support...

The only critique would be the time jumps.  They start off switching between 2006 and 2016 with shorter intervals, then there is a long period of just 2006.  The book finally switches back to 2016 for a heftier portion of the book after the 2006 time is pretty much resolved.  This description may be jumbled and confusing, so I'll summarize with the time jumps were uneven and made the flow of the story seem a bit awkward.

Overall I really enjoyed the book.  I look forward to reading The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase.

(Book was read and post written in 2015) 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Ferryman Institute

Title: The Ferryman Institute

Author: Colin Gigl [Website][Simon & Schuster][Twitter][Facebook]

Publisher: Gallery Books

ISBN: 9781501125324

Length: 422 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?: Sounded interesting so I requested it.

Comments:

Charlie Dawson is a Ferryman - a thankless job making sure the departed move on rather than lingering as ghosts.  But after doing this job with a perfect record for hundreds of years, Charlie is burned out.  Problem is, this isn't the kind of job you can just quit, and every request charlie has made to transfer out has been denied.  So when Charlie is finally offered the option to save a life rather than watching it needlessly die, he takes it.  And that is how he meets Alice.  Complications arise sending Charlie (and Alice) on the run.

This is yet another strange read.  I seem to be selecting more and more of these books that have this foggy mystic feel, but which require analysis and thought through the fog.  For this book, these were thoughts about life, death, and afterlife, stress, priorities, etc.

I read some of this, and then set it down for awhile (a few weeks) before finishing it.  It's one of those books that you need to be in the right frame of mind for.

(Book was read and post written in 2015)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay

Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay

Author: J. K. Rowling [Websiteaka Joanne Rowling aka Robert Galbraith [Website] ; Illustrated by MinaLima [Website] aka Miraphora Mina [IMDb] and Eduardo Lima [IMDb]

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Series: Fantastic Beasts, Bk 1 (spinoff of the Harry Potter series)

ISBN: 9781338109061

Length: 284 pages + "Glossary of Film Terms" + Cast & Crew"

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

Of course I had to read this.

Comments:

I really enjoyed the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie.  At the time of watching it, I had a hold on the screen play but was still waiting for my place in the queue.

When I finally started reading, I was astounded.  I've always read books then watched movies, and there were always differences.  But as the screenplay this is the exact dialogue in the exact order and with all the descriptions.  I had vivid images of what had been portrayed on screen popping up as I read.  My imagination just isn't that good.  And I was able to see names I had missed while watching or understand a couple parts that I may have missed the significance of while watching.  I was also able to catch the parts I had missed with restroom breaks for myself and the kiddos.

The only drawback is, I REALLY wish I could see it again now.  I don't know.  Maybe I will.

Anyway, I gather the movie is part of a series, so I'm hoping for the same in regards to published screenplays.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fuzzy

Title: Fuzzy

Author: Tom Angleberger [Website][Twitter] and Paul Dellinger [Facebook]

Publisher: Amulet Books

ISBN: 9781419721229

Length: 254 pages

Obtained: ARC received at BEA

Why this book?:

I selected it at the time because my nephew, while still younger than the targeted 8-12 range (he's 5 and a preschooler) was obsessed with robots for years.  So robots automatically draw my attention.  Too bad I didn't know his new obsession would be flytraps because I could have picked up an ARC for Inspector Flytrap by Tom Angleberger and his wife Cece Bell.  Oh, well.  Now I'll be checking that out from the library.  Anyway...

Comments:

I found it very easy to quickly become engaged by this book.  I started it when I should have been getting some sleep at around midnight and finished it a couple hours later that same night (or should I say morning?).

Max and Fuzzy are both very likable.  I was also intrigued by the futuristic setting, horrified by the robot nightmare come true Vice Principle Barbara, and incredibly annoyed at Max's parents.  Why wouldn't they actually listen to her instead of assuming the reports they received from the school were always in the right?  The injustice of them never even questioning the reports (nor waiting for an actual answer on those occasions that they did question) bothered me greatly that.

When I went to write this post up and realized this is a sci-fi book, I was surprised.  I don't have anything against scifi books, really, but I tend to gravitate toward fantasy and magic over futuristic science.

I look forward to reading more by these authors.  I know I have some catching up to do.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Heart and Brain: Gut Instricts

Title: Heart and Brain: Gut Instincts

Author: Nick Seluk [persona-magazine.comaka the Awkward Yeti [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Series: Heart and Brain, Bk 2

ISBN: 9781449479787

Length: 142 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

I enjoyed Heart and Brain and wanted to try this one.

Comments:

Like the first book I enjoyed this book, finding it humorous and relate-able.  My father's been in the hospital with complications from a surgery.  I was able to read and/or show parts of it to him (especially the parts that reminded me of him - he has a LOT in common with heart), making for interesting conversation and a bit of pick-me-up for my dad.  It even has a fun bit about the end of a good book/story.  There was (as I read it) an indication that there would be more, and I hope that is an accurate interpretation.

Friday, December 9, 2016

When All the Girls Have Gone

Title: When All the Girls Have Gone

Author: Jayne Ann Krentz [Websiteaka Amanda Quick aka Jayne Castle

Publisher: Berkley

ISBN: 9780399174490

Length: 331 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

I read all new JAK/AQ/JC books.

Comments:

I enjoyed Charlotte and Max's story.  They had the characteristics I look for in JAK books from personality to family.  It's hard to write this post right now because I'm in something of a funk, but at the time I was caught up and read straight through this story.  Reading it took a decent chunk of my day off, and I don't regret it.

That being said (and some of this may be that funk I mentioned), I've decided JAK books do not have that spark that they use to have.  There are some past titles that I can still re-read today -- I still remember the story, but I enjoyed the characters so much, I want to revisit.  When I re-read a newer JAK, however, it is generally because while I know I'll be satisfied, I don't remember the story and it is fresh.  I wonder what that means?  Anyway, I'm not being fair because of this funk of mine, so I'm going to leave it at that.

I'll continue reading all JAK/AQ/JC books.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Right to Remain Silent

Title: Right to Remain Silent

Author: Penny Warner [Website][Facebook][Twitteraka Penny Pike

Publisher: Bantam Books

Series: Connor Westphal Mystery, Bk 3

ISBN: 0553579622

Length: 267 pages

Obtained: Library ILL copy

Why this book?:

I'm reading through the series.

Comments:

Just as I enjoyed book 2, Sign of Foul Play, more than book 1, Dead Body Language, I enjoyed this one even more.

I suspect this is for a few reasons.  For one thing, there is a lot going on in this story between a deaf character other than Connor who has a very different background, relationship issues with Dan and his past, and, of course, the murder (a pillar of the community).  Also, there is a librarian featured relatively prominently.

Anyway, I own books 4 and 5 so I should be getting to them shortly.