Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand - Carrie Vaughn

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand is the fifth Kitty Norville novel. I like this series. I almost missed this one. This time Kitty and Ben are off to Vegas to elope. Now that they're both werewolves and bonded for life, why not make it legal. But nothing is ever that simple. Magic, vampires, bounty hunters, and a host of other problems make for a challenging trip and a great book. Highly recommended.

Jade Tiger - Jenn Reese

Jade Tiger is a novel that looks back on a group known as the Jade Circle. This was a group of women martial arts experts in China who gained their strength and focus from a group of five jade figurines. The Jade Circle was destroyed when the heroine of this tale, Shan Westfall, was a young girl and her mother was a master of the Jade Circle. Shan escaped with her father and the jade tiger figurine to America. Her mother didn't make it. Shan's goal is to recover the other four figurines and unite the circle again. To do this she enlists the help of an archeoligist who has the jade crane. I really like this novel. It was hard to put down. Highly recommended.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Storm Front - Jim Butcher

Storm Front is the first novel in a series called The Dresden Files. This story takes place in Chicago in a somewhat alternate reality. There are some strange characters in Chicago but no wizards that I know of. The main character in Storm Front is Harry Dresden. He's a white wizard. He's got a checkered past, but he's trying to walk the straight and narrow. He's a private eye, and a police consultant on cases that range into the weird. In this book he's caught in a war between the mob and a dark wizard that makes staying in the white a significant challenge. I plan to continue with this series and try some other books by Butcher. Highly recommended.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hotter Than Hell - Kim Harrison

Hotter Than Hell is a collection of short stories edited by Kim Harrison. The collection includes a good short story by Harrison called Dirty Magic. I liked all the stories. My favorite was Moonlight Becomes You by Linda Winstead Jones. The only one I had a problem with was Brother's Keeper by Lilith Saintcrow. It was a good story, but it was like a long chapter from the middle of a book. I wanted the beginning and end. I prefer my short stories to be complete.

Note that this is not a book for kids or even teens. Hotter Than Hell is not referring to temperature. Highly recommended.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Plum Spooky - Janet Evanovich

Plum Spooky is another Stephanie Plum book. This is called a between-the-numbers novel. In addition to the normal cast of characters, Diesel pops back into Stephanie's life and cranks up the adventure level. And don't forget the monkeys! Highly recommended.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Tale of Despereaux - Kate Dicamillo

The Tale of Despereaux is a story about mice, rats, kings, princesses, and soup. It's about characters who don't fit in their expected roles but ultimately find a way to accommodate. This book would be great for bedtime reading to kids not quite ready to read themselves. The chapters are short and make plenty of convenient stopping points. The good is good and the evil is evil, but not so graphic that little kids couldn't understand and learn some lessons from the story. Highly recommended.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Viking Funeral - Stephen J. Cannell

The Viking Funeral is a detective story about a police officer, Shane Scully, who's life is changed when he sees his best friend, who committed suicide two years ago, drive by him on the freeway. From there things start getting interesting. Scully takes more punishment in this book than John McClane did in any two Die Hard movies. He follows his dead friend into a case involving police corruption, drugs, money laundering, murder, and torture. It's quite a ride. Highly recommended.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe - Harris, Briggs, Arthur, Vaughn, and others

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe is a collection of 15 unconventional holiday tales. They all have to do with Christmas and werewolves. There's also the odd vampire, mage, and wizard thrown in to keep things interesting. Some of these stories will scare you and some will make you laugh. Some are even as close to tear jerkers as a werewolf tale can get. My favorite is Keeping Watch Over His Flock, but I also loved You'd Better Not Pyout. All these stories are very good. Highly recommended.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Swallowing Darkness - Laurell K. Hamilton

Swallowing Darkness is the latest Meredith Gentry novel. Many loose ends were tied down in this book. It's almost like this is the final novel in the series. However, I doubt Hamilton would leave us dangling with the twins unborn. This story has all the magic and sex you could ask for. It is a Hamilton novel. I dare you to figure out the title :) I really enjoyed this one. Highly recommended.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Personal Demon - Kelley Armstrong

Personal Demon is another book in the Women of the Otherworld series. Hope Adams is the main character this time around, but the other regulars make an appearance too. Hope is an Expisco half-demon and has some rare talents. She's pulled into some cabal business because of a debt to the head of the Cortez cabal and becomes a spy. Nobody can see the direction this assignment is going to take and Hope is soon using her talents and her wits to keep herself and others alive. Highly recommended.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Everything's Eventual - Stephen King

Everything's Eventual is a collection of short stories. Some not so short. There are 14 tales in this book and all are excellent. It's hard to pick a favorite. I've read the Dark Tower series so I enjoyed hanging out with Roland again while reading The Little Sisters of Eluria. I'd read Riding the Bullet before but you can't read it too many times. I have two cats and two dogs so I was really paying attention while reading L.T.'s Theory of Pets. And then there's 1408. That one should be read only during daylight hours and probably outside in the fresh air. Never in a hotel room. Very highly recommended.

The Black Echo - Michael Connelly

The Black Echo is a Harry Bosch novel. This book takes detective Harry Bosch back to his Vietnam days as a tunnel rat. By coincidence Harry is called out on a dead body and that dead body turns out to be a man Harry knew from his days in the war. But Harry doesn't believe in coincidence. Throw in a beautiful FBI agent and millions in diamonds, and you have an engrossing detective story. The turns and twists in this novel make it hard to put down. Highly recommended.