Saturday, December 20, 2008

Twisted - Jeffery Deaver

Twisted is a collection of 16 short stories by Deaver. These are excellent stories. Sometimes the bad guys win and sometimes the good guys win and sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. There's even a Lincoln Rhyme short in here. Very highly recommended.

Convergence - Charles Sheffield

Convergence is the fourth Heritage Universe novel. Things are starting to heat up with the Builder artifacts. Darya Lang is very close to solving the mystery of the Builders when all the artifacts start to change. To make it more interesting she and her friends are inside one while it's happening. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Family Honor - Robert B. Parker

Family Honor is a Sunny Randall novel. Sunny is not just another Parker detective. She has her own series, but she's also rubbed elbows with characters from Parker's other New England based novels, the Spencer and Jesse Stone series to be specific. Family Honor is the first in the Sunny series. I've decided to start at the beginning and reread the ones I missed.

Family Honor is about rescuing a runaway and cleaning up the mess that triggered the run. Sunny's personal life and her dog are tangled up in the story, as is her extended family, the cop side and the mob side. It's a very interesting mess. Highly recommended.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Inkheart - Cornelia Funke

Inkheart is a fantasy about books and people who love them. Imagine someone who's so compelling when they read aloud that the book they're reading comes alive, literally. People and creatures from the book they're reading magically appear in the real world. The downside is that for every creature that pops into this world one has to disappear into the book.

Years ago a nasty villain named Capricorn was read right out of a book. Now this evil man is determined to find the reader, who's been hiding ever since, and have him read other dark and deadly creatures from the book called Inkheart. Highly recommended.

I have an 11 year old granddaughter who's read this book. It's appropriate for kids, but it can be quite a dark tale at times. If your kids are prone to nightmares this might be a book to save for their teen years. On the other hand I think of this quote when I read children's books that seem a bit dark:

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed. — G. K. Chesterton

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Transcendence - Charles Sheffield

Transcendence is book three in Sheffield's Heritage Universe series. This book has more aliens, more builder artifacts, and more Zardalu. It's a great space adventure. Every book in this series had made me laugh aloud on more than one occasion, as the author seeds his narrative with humor and suspense. One constant is the perfidy of Louis Nenda and Atvar H'sial. They're almost likable bad guys, but still bad. This time their reach may have exceeded their grasp. Highly recommended.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Your Heart Belongs to Me - Dean Koontz

Your Heart Belongs to Me has most of the elements of a great Koontz thriller. But it would be hard to write about them without giving away the interesting parts of the story. That's because these elements are about all that's interesting. This book had too many disparate threads and plot dead ends too keep me interested. The ending was about as satisfying as a blind date with your sister. I look forward to the next Odd Thomas novel but Your Heart Belongs to Me was disappointing. Disappointing is something you don't expect from Koontz.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Tales of BeedleThe Bard - J. K. Rowling

The Tales of Beedle The Bard is a short collection of fairy tales written from a wizard's perspective. It's enhanced by commentary from Professor Dumbledore. In fact, the commentary exceeds the length of the stories in most cases. It falls short of a Harry Potter tale, but I enjoyed the read. It's like the scent of a favorite food compared to eating the meal. You enjoy it, but it leaves you wanting more. This would be a good Christmas present for a young reader. The proceeds go to a worthy charity. Recommended.