Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Last Scene Alive by Charlaine Harris

With a movie filming in Lawrencton loosely based on Aurora and a mystery she solved life is a little more hectic than usual.  That is just what she needs to get her out of her depression caused by the death of her husband.
As usual Roe would rather be left alone but that is not how things seem to work in her world.  A page turner for sure with several surprises right at the end. An excellent read.

Monday, December 26, 2016

A Fool and His Honey by Charlaine Harris

Aurora Teagarden and her husband Martin are surprised when his niece shows up with an infant boy.  They are more surprised when they come back home that night to the niece's husband dead, the niece missing and the baby needy.
A little gritter than the other novels in the series, face paced and an excellent read.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Wings of Fire The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T. Sutherland

  • Basic story line, uncertainty, confusion, questioning, looking for parents, etc.  Not something I would normally read but a student asked me to so I did.  Not bad, just predictable. Tui T. Sutherland creates a world ruled by dragons and a group of five that have a prophecy surrounding them. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman come together to make a minor character become a central figure in the Shadowhunter legacy.
Simon Lewis, nerd, geek, recently undead, decides he will become Nephilim.  Of course that means self-examination, sacrifice and no pizza. Pretty difficult for a boy from New York.
A variety of guest instructors tell their history which fleshes out the history of Simon.  Very well written with thought provoking moments that will make the reader analyze their motives in life. 
Excellent read!!!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Holly Black and Cassandra Clare join forces for year three of the Magisterium Series. 
Call, Aaron and Tamara have entered their third year of training in magic with a shadow over their head.  First Call has had a major rift with his father but then goes to his rescue when he learns his father has been taken.  Becoming a Makar is just a side effect of his trials and tribulations.
As with most young adult fiction the keeping of secrets becomes the downfall of the trio. A bit predictable at times but a good read for the middle schooler that loves fantasy.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

The second in the Magisterium series by authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.  Callum Hunt has passed the Gate of Control at the end of his first year learning of magic that his father did not want him to become educated about.  As the summer ends Callum leaves home is fear of his life and the life of his chaos ridden wolf.
A mixture of magic and destiny, or the ability to change destiny and expectations.  Page turning, well written and appealing to the fantasy reader.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

Magnus Chase has settled into his life in Valhalla, as well as anyone can settle into a life, or afterlife, of an einjher.  Then Thor loses his hammer, the one he rules the world with, the one that keeps the earth giants under control, you know, the important one.
The second novel in the Gods of Asgard series is very good.  Funny, fast paced and has a wealth of information about the Norse gods and goddesses.  Highly recommended and not only for the young adult reader.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz

All the evil ones of Disney are regulated to a single island, where no magic is possible.  That seems fair, except these evil doers have families that are also punished because they are the children of evil.  If you want some bad chaps, put all the bad chaps in one place, nothing good will come of it, or will it?
Basic Disney fair with a little twist and a big moral tale.  Will really appeal to the younger middle school reader.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Curse of the Bane by Joseph Delaney

Thomas Ward is a good apprentice, learning his trade as a spook from his master.  His training is going well and things are progressing nicely.  Of course that would make a boring story so something has to happen.
In Priestown, the seat of religion, things are becoming darker and darker.  An evil force that is ancient and powerful is starting to awaken and influence people's thoughts, mostly in a negative manner. 
Tom and his master, along with a young witch must avoid the authorities, escape recapture, and defeat the evil, all in just a few days. 
This sequel moves faster than the original and has good character development. Tom and his master must deal with preconceived notions of people and hope for redemption in order to defeat the evil that lies just below the surface.

Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney

The seventh son of a seventh son has special powers and those powers are best channeled for good as opposed to being manipulated for evil.  Tom is one of those sons and he is apprenticed to a spook, a man that can imprison witches, send ghost to their rest and a host of other creatures that are best left unmentioned.
As with all apprentices Tom does not always heed his master's advice, sometimes for good reason but usually with dire consequences. 
A book that will make you fuss at the characters and roll your eyes with exasperation as you keep the pages turning to the conclusion.  Should be a favorite with the middle school fantasy readers.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Cursed Child

Despite reading bad reviews I finally read this play based on the world of Harry Potter. It was very, very good!
No, it was not like the books, rich with details, it was a play and written as such.  Of course that lets the imagination roll and fill in how the reader likes which can be even better.   There is much made of paradox but the fact is when one thing changes all things change and a small event can affect a large event many years later.
Recommended for the true fan, not a casual reader.

Night Shift by Charlaine Harris

The residents of Midnight, Texas have a new problem, people are coming there to kill themselves.  Strange is putting it mildly.  Then it gets worse, Fiji's sister shows up and throws an even bigger wrench into the fray.
Fast paced, enough humor to keep you going and more than enough questions to keep the pages turning.  Highly recommend it but best if you read the other two first.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Demi God Diaries by Rick Riordan and Haley Riordan

A collection of characters from the Percy Jackson world.  All are well written and give us more information about the world of the Greek deities and their offspring.   The first stories are written by Mr. Riordan and as always they are enjoyable.
The last story goes in a different direction and was the best of the collection.  It was written by his son, Haley Riordan, a young writer that if he continues may do very well as an author.  The main character is not a demi god, just a regular mortal who does not believe in an afterlife and writes books about his theories and is a paid speaker on the same subject.  His world is rocked when he meets a demi god and then attempts to save him.
Best if the reader is familiar with the series but as a collection of short stories it is a stand alone read.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs

Moral tales with a Peculiar twist.  My favorite was the one about the wealthy cannibals and what greed can do to a person, or in the case, a peculiar.  The tales all have that little twist that makes Peculiardom interesting and there is a warning not to read it if you are not Peculiar, I did anyway and enjoyed it very much.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris

Some authors should not be allowed to sleep and Ms. Harris is one of those.  Threads are being woven together to weave a tapestry that combines so many stories into a rich compilation that keeps you turning pages until well after time to go to sleep or work or play.

Writing more may give away some of the surprises but I will write this, characters you have known before may show up which makes me look forward even more to Night Shift.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Head Over Heels by Charlaine Harris

Obsessive love is never a good thing, when directed with malicious intent it is even worse.  Aurora is going through a "spell" of personal issues she has to face.  Having a body drop out of an airplane in her back yard is not helping matters.

As always, fast paced, funny at times and a good read.  Ready for the next in the series. 

*Harris has moved up on my list of favorite authors because she mentions getting a personalized book from Sharyn McCrumb, a longtime favorite.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Midnight Crossroads by Charlaine Harris

Midnight, Texas is small, really, really small.  Most people barely slow down as they go through.  The residents like it that way, as they are very private people, with reasons that are not discussed.

When a new resident arrives he fits right in, better than could even be expected.  Of course a happy little town would not a make an interesting novel so things begin to happen.

The kind of book that makes you read late on the first night, get up early the next morning to read some more and ignore your chores for the day.  Looking forward to the next in the series.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Ape Who Guards the Balance by Elizabeth Peters

A dull year appears to be shaping up for the Emerson.  Not a criminal in sight and a year of boring tombs that have already been partially excavated.  Of course before they even leave England there is a bit of a ruckus at a suffrage movement where it is supposed the Master Criminal Sethos plays a part.
On to Egypt and a boring start of the season until the secrets the family keeps from each other almost gets Ramses and David in more a pickle than they can handle.
As always the Emerson family are on top of archeological methods of the time, work diligently and become involved in the strangest cases.  A fun read that will have the reader laughing out loud.

Finding the Way and Other Tales of Valdemar edited by Mercedes Lackey

A collection of short stories in the country of Valedemar and surrounding kingdoms.  From the expecting story of being Chosen and one such story that was a bit different to talks of bards, healers, and even a servant of Vankis Sunlord. 

Each story adds to the fabric of the land and gives the reader a richer understanding of the world that Valdemar inhabits. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Julius House by Charlaine Harris

Roe Teagarden is in love and about to be married.  Things are just perfect in her life.....until a question or two about her man comes up.  Despite all of this she is very happy with the choices she has made.

Even though her new home is the site of a mysterious disappearance six years ago there are no funny feelings or hauntings, but her curiosity is just about enough to kill the cat.  Layers of mystery, false leads and all in a well written format.

About half way through I realized I had read this book when it first came out and enjoyed it so the ending was not a surprise this time but it was still good. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Beast by Faye Kellerman

Decker gets a call that is a bit wild, a dead man with a Bengal tiger in his apartment.  Just so you know, the tiger did not do it.

A story built around the concept that money can buy just about anything, except integrity.  Even small amounts of money are enough to turn the heads of many people.

Long hours of tracking things down, a few lucky breaks and a lot of hard work finally bring the case to a close.  As always, a gritty read with dips into the seedy underside of Los Angeles.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Jupiter's Bones by Faye Kellerman

Cult's are always a bit creepy and when there are children involved it makes it all a bit more sinister.  When Father Jupiter, famous astronomer in his previous life, is found dead all types of things are put into play.  A reflection of the news in many ways, which makes it all to real at times.

I had read this a long time ago, probably when it was newly out, but could not remember much about it.  There are some very gritty parts that involve children at the end which is why I chose not to remember it I am sure.

Well written, just not what I normally like to read.

Three Bedrooms, One Corpse by Charlaine Harris

Aurora Teagarden is settling into her life post inheritance and is a bit bored to tell the truth.  She is still dating the minister but does not really see herself as a preacher's wife, thinking of selling real estate but honestly that does not appeal either.  Of course something has to happen.

When asked to show a house at the last minute for her mother she meets the most interesting man and also finds a body in the master bedroom.  Things get more interesting from that point on to say the least.

Fast paced, fun to read and the last couple of chapters are the best! 

Monday, June 20, 2016

The First Eagle by Tony Hillerman

Acting Lieutenant Jim Chee catches a Hopi standing over the body of a Navajo officer with blood on his hands.  What at first appears to be an open and shut case is anything but that when a missing person, vector control specialist, cannot be found along with a missing government Jeep. 

Enter retired officer Joe Leaphorn and as usual things get interesting.  The trails intertwine in many directions leading to a wrapped up conclusion through diligent work.

As always Hillerman writes a good mystery that is solved through observation and diligence, not by high tech paraphernalia.

A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris

Aurora Teagarden finds out she has inherited a house and money from a casual friend, a member of the now defunct Real Murders.  That is all well and good, until she wonders why she inherited.  An inquiring mind does not always make for restful days or nights.

Add in her mother getting married, her ex getting married and expecting a baby plus the couple moves in across the street from the house she inherited, a new flame and a pregnant cat and things move quickly.

Another cozy that moves at a quick pace, is fun to read and has moments of light hearted humor.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

What if being a werewolf was triggered by the weather and not the moon?  What if you could be "cured"?  That is the premise of your basic misunderstood teenager novel.  It was okay, would have been better if I had read the first in the series but I had read quite a bit before I realized there one before it.

Real Murders by Charlaine Harris

What could be more engaging than a group of acquaintances that gather together each month to discuss murder, famous ones that is.  All is well until Roe Teagarden, small town librarian, finds a member murdered just before a meeting.

Well known murders are being copied with members of the group either being targeted for murder or implicated in the deaths. 

A cozy mystery that is page turning and well written and best of all the first of a series.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Book 1 The Sword of Summer

Rick Riordan sends the reader into Norse mythology this go round and it is outstanding.  If you have read the Percy Jackson series, including the Lost Hero, there are several jokes you will get that just adds to the rampant humor in the face of death and potential dismemberment
Well written, fast paced, lots of surprises and an overall good read.  Yes, it is a Young Adult novel but all takes to be young is the right attitude. :)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Venus Envy by Rita Mae Brown

I read this book probably twenty years ago and enjoyed it so was happy when I found it at an antique store so I could have my own copy.  The time between readings made it even more enjoyable I think. 

Mary Frazier Armstrong is told she only have days to live from lung cancer. That news, along with a morphine drip, promotes her to write letters to her family and close friends telling the truth about herself and the things she things they need to know about themselves.  Nothing like a little truth to cause an upheaval.  Imagine if you told your friends and family the honest truth about yourself and how you viewed them.

A book on self-reflection that will make you examine your life also. Highly recommended.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

Jacob and Emma travel into new territories looking to save Miss Peregrine and her fellow ymbrynes from a fate worse than death.  Luckily Jacob's peculiarity has appeared, he can control hallowgast, sometimes. From modern London to Devil's Acre, the worst of the worst come into play.

The third novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children is darker than the first two with a constant reminder that bad things happen to good people and sometimes circumstances are way beyond your personal control.  Well worth reading but if you are looking for a light hearted adventure this is not the book for you.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Sookie has definitely grown a pair and when it comes to a pissing contest she seems to be holding her own.  She learns more about her heritage, gets a bit of space from Eric to think, is offered a relationship by Bill and of course there is lots of drama. 
Every book I like her more as she struggles with her morals, being expedite in situations and still trying to do the right thing.  Seeing her grow in her self awareness is just what the series needed.  Looking forward to the final book in the series.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Dead In The Family by Charlaine Harris

Eric's maker shows up and he and his "offspring" are a literal drain of emotional energy.  Claude moves in with Sookie which is puzzling to her but nice in a way.  Her cousin Hadley's son comes for a visit which is tiring in that 5 year old energy that must be watched all the time and oh yeah, he is a telepath too.

Fast paced, made me stay up late and get up early, one of the better Sookie books I have read.

The Last King of Texas by Rick Riordan

Tres Navarre is private eye that also happens to hold a Ph.D in English Literature which is all useful when a college professor is killed and he is asked to investigate.  Throw in the required bad guys, good guys and a mystery woman and a mystery is born.

The start is a bit rough, a little to much Spencerish settings but as the book goes on it grows and the last couple of chapters are really good which leave you willing to try another one.  After having read the young adult novels by Mr. Riordan I was not sure what I expected.  A bit more humor I think but not a bad read and I would be willing to try another one of his novels for adults.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Unbroken by Paula Morris, A Ruined Novel

Rebecca Brown returns to New Orleans where in the previous year she had befriended a ghost, helped to set her free and in the process a girl is killed by a falling stone in the cemetery.   Needless to say she is not all that thrilled about returning but as with all teenage novels there is this boy....

Before she even leaves New York a ghost approaches her for help in New Orleans where he was killed.  Upon arrival he appears to her again to extract a promise of help.

Several twist with the usual danger and rescue of a paranormal young teen book. A fun read that will really appeal to the middle school reader.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Written In My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander 8

Oh My Goodness!  When you finish a book, yell at the author then have to immediately talk to someone else that has read it about it you know it is good!
A few times I had to step away as the tension was so strong it was making me feel tired.  Other times I read so late at night I dreamed of Claire and Jamie.
Mrs. Gabaldon wraps things up then hangs us over a cliff, I hope she writes fast on the next one.