Monday, August 27, 2012

Red-Headed Stepchild - Wells, Jaye

Red-Headed Stepchild was 99 cents when I downloaded it, and it still is. That's a great deal. If you like this genre, this is a good book. It's the first in a series. A good start.

Sabina Kane is an assassin. She's a half vampire/half mage, who's parents died while she was a baby. Sabina has to deal with her vampire grandmother's iron rule and the stigma that comes of being a half-breed. Trouble is brewing and Sabina is going to be right in the middle of it. Will it be a full out war and will she survive? Plenty of action and a good dose of humor. Highly recommended.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Speed of Winter - Allen, B. Morris

The Speed of Winter is part of the Four Seasons series. This book was free when I downloaded it and still is. It's shorter than a novel but not quite a short story. This book is hard science fiction, but some sections are not suitable for kids.

Elyse is born in space to a pair of lonely crew members who have been left alone to tend their arkship. The rest of the crew are stored in cold sleep. Elyse is resented by some and cherished by others. The state of their target planet and Elyse's interactions with her older shipmates make a very compelling story. I think the book seemed so short because it was over too soon. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Surviving the Fog - Morris, Stan

Surviving the Fog was free when I downloaded it and it still is. This novel would be a bargain even if they charged. This is a young adult book, but it's a very compelling read, even for old people like me.

What if the whole world disappeared into a fog while you were at summer camp? Mike is the first to realize the seriousness of the situation. The other campers are slower to understand, but soon all of the young people at AAP camp are fighting for survival in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Beating mother nature is going to be tough for these kids, but other people trapped by the fog might be the most dangerous obstacles to their survival. Highly recommended.

The Hounding - De Helen, Sandra

The Hounding was free when I downloaded it. It's $2.99 now. Not exactly Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but the author tries to be.

Shirley Combs is a financial planner and a private detective. She considers herself a modern day Sherlock Holmes. Dr. Mary Watson is Shirley's sidekick and partner in detecting. They're hot on the trail of a murderer who's weapon of choice is dogs. I enjoyed this book, but the writing style was annoying at times. I recommend the book if you like female sleuths, but it's not my cup of tea.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The War of the Worlds - Wells, H. G.

The War of the Worlds was published in 1898. There have been multiple movies and TV series based on this book, but none that stay true to the original novel. If you like science fiction this is a book you should read. It's free.

It's interesting to note that when this book was published, the British were so egotistical that London and its immediate area were the sole target of an invasion from another world. Not the whole planet, but just what the author cited as "the greatest city in the world."

The protagonist of this story is an educated man and a writer in speculative philosophy. His first person account starts with him observing the launch of the Martian attack from an observatory, although at the time no one knows what it is they're seeing. When the Martians land, the narrator's his house is within walking distance. From beginning to end the story holds your attention, although the language take some getting used to. It's interesting to read some of the earliest, and most famous, science fiction written. Highly recommended.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Entitled - Deford, Frank

Entitled is one of the best novels I've read this year, and I've already read a few. If you like a good story, and enjoy baseball, this book is a must read. It was free when I downloaded it, but it's $1.99 now for the Kindle.

Howie Traveler barely made it to the big league as a player. He was one of the almost good enoughs. But as a manager he's got his chance. His second year is not going well, and then he spots his star player in a compromising position.

Jay Alcazar is a true natural. He's the big star on Howie's team. He's been so good so long that he feels entitled. The questions is, entitled to what? Maybe he's gone too far this time.

The back stories that give the reader insight into Howie and Jay are what's fascinating about this book. Not too many books can make you laugh out loud and then cry for joy, but this one does. Very highly recommended.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sharky's Machine - Diehl, William

Sharky's Machine was free to Amazon prime members when I downloaded it. It's $4.99 for everyone else. Diehl is an author I'll be exploring more. How did I miss this one when it was first published in 1978?

This book starts during World War II and finishes in the 70's. Some plans take a long time to unfold. Sharky and his fellow Atlanta vice cops are going to do their best to keep a plan that was hatched decades ago from completing. Staying alive is keeping Sharky busy. Now I'm going to find the movie from 1981, starring Burt Reynolds, that was based on this story. It won't be as good as the book, but it should be fun. Very highly recommended.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Lie Like a Woman - Jones, April Campbell

Lie Like a Woman is a Bree and Richard Matthews Mystery. This book was free when I downloaded it. It's $3.99 now on Amazon.

Richard Matthews is a P.I. living and working in San Diego. His wife Bree is a novelist who writes detective mysteries. Together they make a great team. The story starts with Richard taking on what seems to be a simple cheating spouse case. Of course the client and the spouse are both men, and the case turns out to be anything but simple. Suicide, kidnapping, arson, murder, and in-laws coming to visit all combine to make Richard and Bree's lives very interesting. The real problem is keeping themselves alive. Very highly recommended.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Alien Wind from the Stars - Molfetas, Dimitrios

Alien Wind from the Stars was free when I downloaded it. It's $2.99 now. I can't believe I read the whole thing. I almost gave up a few times, but just had to see how it ended. I wasted my time.

There is one type of book I really can't stand. That's a book where the characters spend more time thinking to themselves than interacting with other characters or their environment. Introspection has its place, but it should be a small one.

It took a long time to figure out why this book would be considered science fiction. Then the flying saucer showed up and the science fiction part became obvious. Yes, a flying saucer. The story continued to drag along like a grade school dance recital — some brief moments of interesting and long periods of why-am-I-here. The book was so slow I even got caught up in counting the misspelled or completely wrong words. Don't waste your time. Not recommended.