Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Undone Deeds

Title: Undone Deeds

Author:  Mark Del Franco [Website][Facebook]

Publisher: ACE Fantasy (Penguin Group)

Series: Connor Grey, Bk 6

ISBN: 9781101578667

Length: 336 pages

Obtained: Library ebook copy

Why this book?:  The is the final book in the series.  I had to see how it all ended.

Comments:

As it turns out, I do not really know what to say about this one.  Connor is scrambling, things are crumbling.  The world is on the verge of war, starting in Boston.  A war between Celtic fey, Teutonic fey, the Dead, Solitaires, and humans.  The end is a whirl of confusion that, quite frankly, was difficult for me to follow.  And "that's all there is; there ain't no more."  Because I have no other thoughts on the matter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dreamer's Pool

Title: Dreamer's Pool

Author: Juliet Marillier [Website][Facebook]

Publisher: ROC

Series: Blackthorn & Grim, Bk 1

ISBN: 9780451466990

Length: 434 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

The series title "Blackthorn & Grim" caught my attention when I saw this on Wowbrary... it's the Grim thing.  I had to read the synopsis, and though it obviously was unrelated to anything "Grimm", the concept sounded very intriguing.

Comments:

This was the second book I read on my trip to the Dominican Republic, and it was a great choice.  Blackthorn and Grim's circumstances in the beginning are horrible, drear, and, quite frankly, hopeless.  But I guess there is always hope, because they end up on a journey that, if finished could bring a new chance at life.

The characters have very strong perspectives, and I always appreciate that in a book.  The character that really stood out to me was Grim.  I really, really liked him.  If felt sorrow for his hurts, and proud when he showed himself off well.  I also liked Blackthorn, but I didn't relate to her all-consuming sense of bitterness and anger.  Perhaps if I walked in her shoes.  But I would guess that I'm more the type to react to troubles in life more like Grim than Blackthorn overall.  I cared least for Oran's perspective, though he seemed like a mostly okay guy.  I was always impatient to get back to Blackthorn or Grim, though.

When it came to Oran's issue, I did suspect what was wrong long before anyone else.  So I simmered with impatience while I waited for Blackthorn and Grim to discover what was wrong.  There is also another mystery in the story that I guessed, somewhat off hand, and then dismissed so it managed to surprise me when it came back up.  And even then I never guessed all the details.

While not the longest ever, this is a book of substance, and I moved relatively quickly through it.  It had its moments of high emotion, and by the end I was crying.  I cannot wait for book 2, Tower of Thorns, expected to be out in late 2015.

Interview with the author can be found here:

Darkstars Fantasy News Interview with Juliet Marillier
and
in German

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Question of the Missing Head

Title: The Question of the Missing Head [Goodreads]

Author: E.J. Copperman [Website][Facebook][Twitter] aka Jeff Cohen [Website][Facebook][Twitter] aka Jeffrey Cohen

Publisher: Midnight Ink

Series: Asperger's Mystery, Bk 1

ISBN: 9780738741512

Length: 324 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

I enjoy cozy mysteries and this sounded especially interesting.

Comments:

I started reading this on January 1st, on a plane to the Dominican Republic.  I sometimes have trouble reading on planes because I can be distracted by motion sickness (nothing horrible, just a little uncomfortable).  So the choice of book was important.  It had to catch my attention and keep it.  I wasn't sure if any cozy was really going to do that for me, but to my pleasure, this one did.  So I read it on the plane, on the beach, and in my air conditioned and fan turned all the way up room (I'm not good with heat).

I found Samuel Hoenig to be a very interesting character.  I understand not everyone with Asperger's is the same. Not only is that addressed in the book, but I also "read" (spoke to) a "Human Book" about Asperger's at a "Human Library" booth at the past Printer's Row Lit Fest.  And I have a cousin with Asperger's (granted, one I don't know well because of an age difference), that is different than both the fellow I met at the Lit Fest and Samuel.  But that did not make Samuel any less interesting as a character.  He has a certain routine he expects to follow even as he runs his own business (of one).

His business is also interesting.  Questions Answered does exactly what it seems.  Questions varying from the answer to a crossword, to if a ball can be hit out of the park in a new stadium, to where a head may have disappeared to.  As a librarian, I'm in the business of answering questions myself (though I don't believe myself to be nearly as intelligent and/or observant as Samuel nor do I have the time for such extensive research).

Samuel has just met a lady, Ms. Washburn, and asked her to assist with his newest question.  Ms. Washburn is interesting in and of herself.  She was a substitute teacher, one with training in instructing children with autism spectrum disorders.  (Though who knew substitute teachers got any real training?  I certainly didn't.  In fact, I'm pretty sure they don't in my hometown.)  But she is able to work with Samuel in a way others do not.  I liked her.

The case itself is strange.  A head has gone missing from a Cryonics Institute.  Samuel plays detective of sorts (though he wouldn't look at it that way himself) in attempt to determine who might have stolen the head, where it might be, and who might have committed murder.

I look forward to reading more of this series, which is supposed to have at least two more.

Uncerain Allies (Connor Grey, Bk 5) AND New Tricks ; Unleashed ; Play Dead (Dog Days, Bks 2-4)

Uncertain Allies (Connor Grey, Bk 5)

Author:  Mark Del Franco [Website][Facebook]

Publisher: ACE Fantasy

Series: Connor Grey, Bk 5

ISBN: 9781101514078

Length: 308 pages

Obtained: Library ebook copy

Why this book?:  I've been reading the series.

New Tricks (Dog Days, Bk 2)

Author: John Levitt [Website] aka J. R. Levitt

Publisher: Ace Books

Series: Dog Days, Bk 2

ISBN: 9781440642814

Length: 320 pages

Obtained: Library ebook copy

Why this book?:

I've been reading the series.

Unleashed (Dog Days, Bk 3)

Author: John Levitt [Website] aka J. R. Levitt

Publisher: Ace Books

Series: Dog Days, Bk 3

ISBN: 9781101151532

Length: 304 pages

Obtained: Library ebook copy

Why this book?:

I've been reading the series.

Play Dead (Dog Days, Bk 4)

Author: John Levitt [Website] aka J. R. Levitt

Publisher: Ace Books

Series: Dog Days, Bk 4

ISBN: 9781101477786

Length: 304 pages

Obtained: Library ebook copy

Why this book?:

I've been reading the series.


Comments:

I was on something of a Urban Fantasy kick, finishing up some series I had started.  I read all of these in December 2014.

Uncertain Allies - More of the world tearing apart and Connor being blamed for at least some of it.  By this point I was ready for Connor to get a break.

New Tricks - Mason doesn't clue in about something pretty big, and his poor judgment of character was very annoying.  But otherwise I guess the book was okay.

Unleashed - The title says it all.  Bad stuff has been unleashed on the world.  Mason must fix this (not only to save the world, but because he is at least partially to blame).

Play Dead - The cliffhanger ending, combined with the fact that this is likely the last book (no more are planned), has overwhelmed the rest of the story for me.  What on Earth?

Anyway, this meant the end to the Dog Days series, and I finished the final Connor Grey book, Undone Deeds, in the new year (post to come).  You know what I was thinking as I read these?  I want another Twenty Palaces book by Harry Connolly (another series that is gone).  ::sigh::  Maybe I'll finally read some of the Dresden series soon (as almost EVERYONE refers to it when speaking of male-author urban fantasy series).

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Black Widow

Title: Black Widow

Author: Jennifer Estep [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Pocket Books Urban Fantasy

Series: Elemental Assassin, Bk 12

ISBN: 9781476774541

Length: 357 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

I'm a big fan of this series.

Comments:

Once again I was tense through much of this book.  It was pretty consistently high danger.  The exception being some of the description, which I tend to skim over (I'm not a very visual reader - I "hear" more than "see" when I read.)  There are flashbacks, which I'm not a fan of, but as long as they remain about events that I haven't already read are acceptable.  And they were relevant to the story.  Which is...

Gin's world is constantly changing as she faces each new bad dude, and her conflict with MM Monroe will bring even more change.  The late big bad Mab's daughter has finally chosen to strike out at Gin.  She isn't so direct as her mother, and her maneuvering seems to hit all the harder because of it.  But Gin isn't one to just back down.

I can't wait to read the next book, Spider's Trap, due out July 2015.

Dog Days

Title: Dog Days

Author: John Levitt [Website] aka J. R. Levitt

Publisher: Penguin

Series: Dog Days, Bk 1

ISBN: 9781101208663

Length: 304 pages

Obtained: Library ebook copy

Why this book?:

I saw another book in this series on Wowbrary and it caught my interest.  But I read series in order, so this one needed to come first.  I didn't want to wait for ILL so I requested my library purchase the ebook.

Comments:

Mason is a magic practitioner with a dog-like companion (an Ifrit) name Lou/Louie.  He's not very invested in his magic.  He uses it sure, but he doesn't put much into it.  Music is more his thing.  But someone seems to have a problem with him, and he's found himself in some sticky situations.  Situations that may or may not be related to some strange goings-on.

I enjoyed reading this, though I had trouble with one part.  The reasoning in the book is that people familiar with magic and Ifrits just expect things to happen a certain way, but... Well it bothered me, but I moved past it, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series, New Tricks.

Monday, December 15, 2014

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (12/15/2014) #IMWAYR

 
Hosted by: Sheila @ Book Journey

To participate go here.

Life:

Friday night we (myself, my mother, and my sister) babysat 3 youngsters along with my sister's kids.  Six kids ranging from infant - 7.  We ate pizza, decorated cookies, and the baby ended the night with a high fever.  Talk about chaos.

Saturday night after work was an annual gift exchange / pajama party with a bunch of female relatives.  I was so relieved it went well.  The past couple haven't been so great.

We took the kiddos to see Santa yesterday.  The line was forever long, but the picture was adorable.

The rest of the week has been busy but as usual.  Work. Sleep (or lack of). Family.  Errands.  Holiday Prep.  I'm going out of the country in January, so I have a lot to get done in advance.

This week I've read:

The Killing Time (Grimm, Bk 3) by Tim Waggoner [My Thoughts]

Poison Promise (Elemental Assassin, Bk 11) by Jennifer Estep [My Thoughts]

I'm Currently Reading:

Dog Days (Dog Days, Bk 1) by John Levitt [Goodreads]

Coming Soon: 

Black Widow (Elemental Assassin, Bk 12) by Jennifer Estep [Goodreads]

What are you reading?

Poison Promise

Title: Poison Promise

Author: Jennifer Estep [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Pocket Books Urban Fantasy

Series: Elemental Assassin, Bk 11

ISBN: 9781476771502

Length: 389 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

I love this series. I was about to read the most recent book when I realized I hadn't read this one.

Comments:

As usual with the Elemental Assassin books, I enjoyed Poison Promise.  Though I don't know that "enjoy" is the right word as I'm caught up with tension waiting to see how Gin will work things out for most of the story.  There are so many factors that I do enjoy however. 

1) It is an assassin story, and I have a thing for thief and assassin stories. 

2) The characters are great. 
    a) Gin, who is conflicted, but I can't help but like.  Her loyalty to her friends and family is fabulous.  Her resilience is something to behold. 
    b) Owen, who is like a rock for her now.  I think I may be half in love with him myself. 
    c) Finn who is so funny and another constant for Gin. 
    d) Etc. (and there are several others)

3) Despite the tension, there is always humor in these books.  As I read I'll find myself grinning at some line or other.  Unfortunately, when I repeat it aloud the line usually doesn't sound as funny, so the humor obviously has a lot to do with context.

4) The hook.  I don't know that this is a good thing when I have to wait for the next book, but for books like this one, where I have the next one ready to go, it is very good.  I'm not a fan of cliffhangers, per se.  But the individual story has been resolved.  You have that satisfaction.  It's the overall arc that keeps things moving from one book to the next.

Needless to say I am eager to begin book 12 in the series, Black Widow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Killing Time

Title: The Killing Time

Author: Tim Waggoner [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Titan Books

Series: Grimm, Bk 3

ISBN: 9781781166581

Length: 262 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

It's Grimm!

Comments:

I was so excited about this book, so I don't know why it took me so long to start it after I checked it out early October.  Of course once I started it, I zipped through it.

I'm getting ahead of myself though.  I was pleased that the characters felt pretty spot on in this one.  The only character that seemed different was Nick, but those differences were internal (so not necessarily something I'd get from the TV show) and necessary for the story.

This story falls after the voodoo-priest/Cracher-Mortel story arc and before the more recent loss of powers bit.  A shapeshifter type of Wesen called Wechselbalg has come to Portland.  Nick's had an in person encounter with unpredictable and not pleasant results.  It's reeking havoc; the last such occurrence (Wechselbalg taking on Grimm form) led to such horror that it is called the Killing Time.  Is it possible for Nick and friends to avoid a repeat of this, or are they doomed to repeat history?

Anyway, I'm so happy novels are being written for this show and really hope the series continues on both TV and book levels.  The first three books came pretty quickly one after the other, but I'm pretty concerned that I haven't seen anything about a fourth title yet.  Maybe they are slowing down as they're approaching being caught up with the show?

Monday, December 8, 2014

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (12/8/2014) #IMWAYR

 
Hosted by: Sheila @ Book Journey

To participate go here.

So far this month I've read:

Finding Noel by Richard Paul Evans

Raid and the Blackest Sheep (Raid, Bk 4) by Harri Nykänen

Juba Good (Ray Robertson Mystery, Bk 1) by Vicki Delany

Search and Rescue (Claire Abbott Mystery, Bk 1) by Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Up next:

The Killing Time (Grimm, Bk 3) by Tim Waggoner [Goodreads]

What are you reading?