Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Darkness Calls - Marjorie M. Liu

Darkness Calls is another Hunter Kiss novel.  I've enjoyed Liu's novels and short stories.  This time it was too convoluted for me to care.  You have demons and zombies and avatars and lightbringers and original humans and time travel and you name it.  I was very happy with Maxine, her little night demons, and fighting evil.  Liu should have left it at that because I doubt I'll read another one of these fantasy soap opera smorgasbords.  If you're desperate for more Hunter Kiss be my guest.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Man Who Smiled - Henning Mankell

The Man Who Smiled is a Kurt Wallander mystery.  I'd never read Mankell before and I enjoyed the book.  Kurt Wallander is a Swedish detective who is considering retiring from the police force because he was forced to kill a man in self defense.  Then a friend is murdered and Kurt can't quit the police with the mystery unsolved.  The case gets more complicated as it goes along with an actual attempt on Kurt's life at one point.

I'll admit to being painfully parochial, but from my perspective this book paints the Swedish police as a bunch of wimps.  How they expect to fight crimes committed by people with guns and bombs when they don't even carry weapons of their own is beyond me.  Life in Sweden is apparently very different from life in the USA.  I'm sure the Swedes consider that a good thing.  So do I.  That said it was a good book and a first rate mystery.  Highly recommended. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tales of the Otherworld - Kelley Armstrong

Tales of the Otherworld is a collection of stories by Armstrong that flesh out some of her ongoing characters and fill in gaps in story lines.  You have the tale of how Clay and Elena met and how Elena became a werewolf.  There's a piece with the details of Lucas and Paige's wedding, a sorcerer and a witch.  Another story explains the beginning of the relationship between the vampires Cassandra and Aaron.  This collection is interesting, especially to Armstrong fans, and the proceeds go to charity.  Highly recommended.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Dark Is Rising - Susan Cooper

The Dark Is Rising is a book for children and young adults.  It's about a boy in England who comes of age when he turns 11 and finds out he's got magical powers and the world depends on him.  It's a pretty daunting birthday gift.  He has allies that help train him and back him up in his fight against the dark.  Unlike some young adult books, this story actually avoids swearing and sex.  I applaud that.  While parts are hard to believe, remember it's magic and anything is possible.  This book is the second in a series, but I didn't realize that until I finished reading it and the other books were mentioned in the epilogue.  The story stands on it's own just fine.  Highly recommended.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is the last book by Larsson.  It's the third book in the series that started with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and continued with The Girl Who Played with Fire.  You must read them in order and I highly recommend you do so.  Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander are two of the most interesting characters I've ever read about.  Even given the cultural misalignment that you get at times because the story takes place in Sweden, there is a pace and an organization to these novels that keeps you reading into the wee hours of the morning.  The ending is very satisfying to me.  I wish there could be more but unless someone else picks up Larsson's pen this is it.  Very highly recommended.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sweepers - P. T. Deutermann

Sweepers is a novel about revenge left to grow very cold indeed.  A navy seal named Galantz, who isn't picked up on the river bank in Vietnam.  A navy lieutenant named Sherman who left the seal behind when under attack.  Over 20 years later the seal becomes a sweeper and the lieutenant becomes an admiral.  This book paints an intricate tale of lies, love, deceit, and murder.  As always Deutermann's story grabs the reader and won't let go.  Very highly recommended.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Medusa Stone - Jack Du Brul

The Medusa Stone is my first Du Brul novel.  His protagonist, Philip Mercer, reminds me of Cussler's Dirk Pitt.  He's a geologist instead of an oceanographer, but they share the same amazing ability to escape from impossible odds, defeat the insane villain, and get the beautiful girl.  This was a great adventure with plenty of action, suspense, and surprises.  Africa, diamonds, kidnapping, and terrorists are a potent mix.  Highly recommended.