Thursday, December 31, 2009

Witch & Wizard - James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet

Witch & Wizard is another young adult novel by Patterson and someone else. He's been doing a lot of "with someone else" books lately. The story starts out great. By the end, which really isn't the end, I was very disappointed. I try not to miss one of Patterson's books and I really like witch and wizard stories. This was just too juvenile for me to enjoy. After the Maximum Ride series I thought Patterson had young adult fiction mastered. From now on I'll wait to see some reviews, and probably believe them, before I try another kid's book from Patterson. Not recommended.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an amazing book. It's got all the elements a story needs. A girl with tattoos and piercings, computer hackers, injustice, a missing person mystery, and many more. I'm truly sorry that the author, Larsson, died in 2004. He was a great story teller. There are two more books in this series and I'll definitely get around to reading them. This book literally kept me up nights. You never knew what was going to happen next. Very highly recommended.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Throne of Jade - Naomi Novik

Throne of Jade is the sequel to His Majesty's Dragon. Captain Laurence and Temeraire are off to China where a celestial dragon is real royalty. The Chinese ambassador insists that Temeraire be returned to China, but allows Captain Laurence to come along since Temeraire insists. It's months by sea with battles along the way. Then in the Chinese court the two are pulled into intrigues that threatens to ruin their chances to return to England and possibly end their lives. There's a lot of detail to this second story and it's very interesting to see how dragons are treated in China compared to England and the rest of the world. Very highly recommended.

Friday, December 25, 2009

True Blue - David Baldacci

True Blue is a cop story with a twist. Mace is getting out of prison after two years. She was in for a frame job that she can't prove. She used to be an undercover cop and her goal is find out who set her up and get her job back. Her sister Beth is the chief of the Washington D.C. metro police force, but whether that will help or hinder her isn't clear. Throw in some FBI and CIA involvement in a new case Beth let Mace ride along on and it gets real interesting. Baldacci never fails to please. Very highly recommended.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pirate Latitudes - Michael Crichton

Pirate Latitudes was a pleasant surprise. Michael Crichton passed over a year ago and was mourned by the millions who looked forward to his books. This book was found on his computer. It's a rousing pirate tale with all the adventure and suspense you could ask for. I'm sorry this may be Crichton's last book, but very glad I got a chance to read it. Very highly recommended.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Daniel X: Watch the Skies - James Patterson

Daniel X: Watch the Skies is the sequel to The Dangerous Days of Daniel X. The sequel is more of the same. Super hero Daniel X is now after #5 on the list of evil aliens, and his right hand alien #21. They're taking over a town and turning it into a galactic reality show with humans as the actors and the buffet. This is definitely more geared to kids then adults. It was a little too juvenile for me in places, if you can believe that. Almost too Douglas Adams like at times. I don't like Douglas Adams. Recommended.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Breathless - Dean Koontz

Breathless seems like three or four separate stories at first. All the tales are compelling. Finally the threads come together, united by the one event that it seems will unite the whole world. Koontz never disappoints. And yes there is a dog. Lots of dogs in fact. Very highly recommended.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X - James Patterson

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X is the first novel in a new series by Patterson. Daniel X is an alien hunter. Not the kind of aliens that come across the border from the north and south. Daniel hunts the kind of aliens from outer space. The kind that killed his parents when he was only 3 years old. Daniel has super powers that enable him to hunt down evil aliens, and he uses them somewhat childishly since he's still in high school and feeling his hormones. This is a book intended for young adults, but like the Maximum Ride series, still something an older adult can enjoy. Highly recommended.

Monday, December 7, 2009

So Long Been Dreaming - Nalo Hopkinson & Uppinder Mehan

The full title of this book is So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy. This is an anthology edited by Hopkinson and Mehan. The authors of some stories in this collection seemed to have a chip on their shoulder. Others were pretty amazing. My two favorites were Delhi by Vandana Singh and Necahual by Tobias Buckell.

This anthology was focused on stories about societies after they'd been colonized. This seems to mean subjugated for most authors in the collection. Maybe that's a valid point of view, but some authors spread it on pretty thick. The stories weren't limited to space colonization, as one might assume for a collection with science fiction in the title. My favorite, Delhi, was very down to earth. Necahual was more traditional space opera, but still with overtones of how colonialism made an impact on earth. Necahual also illustrated how one good old science fiction standard could provide some valuable lessons. I really enjoyed this book. Highly recommended.