Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Think Fast Die Last Trailer

Book description from Amazon:
Two couples, both needing to disappear for the night, arrive at a secluded forest retreat, just before a storm hits.
It’s a double booking - or so one of them claims.
Cut off from the world, the couples are stuck with each other.
But trouble soon finds them.
Armed men descend upon the retreat at midnight and shoot their way inside.
But which two people have they come for? 
The problem goes deeper than the couples could ever have imagined.
They are forced to put their differences aside in a struggle to make it to daylight, while dangerous secrets begin to surface.

Buy Think Fast Die Last

Friday, November 25, 2011

Norse Code

Norse Code by Greg van Eekhout is a weird little book. If you don't know anything about Norse mythology you might not understand some of what is going on. If Norse gods are part of your spiritual practise you might not be happy with how they are characterized.

NorseCODE is a DNA company run by Valkyrie. It's purpose is to find the human progenyof Odin and turn them into warriors for the final battle of Ragnarok. Anyone who does not agree to be a warrior is killed. No explanation as to why.

A Valkyrie, with the unbelievable name of Mist, wants to free her sister from Hel's realm. To do this she tracks down the only being ever to return alive: the god Hermod. For his part, Hermod is having a bad day. He may have just released the wolves that eat the sun and the moon which leads to the destruction of Earth (and everything else.)

This book is part urban fantasy, part science fiction and part mystery. I'm not sure the combination was entirely successful. It has got some very funny moments in it. While I liked the book I thought it tried a little too hard sometimes. Maybe it's just that I thought Ragnarok would have had a lot more going on.
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Murder Melts In Your Mouth

Over the top is the first phrase that comes to mind when I think about Murder Melts in Your Mouth. There are just too many "wacky" people in Nora Blackbird's life to be believed. More time is spent on the exploits of the people around Nora than on the mystery. I guess all the "colorful" people make the world of the Blackbird sisters more fully developed but after a while it's just noise.

I can't say I have that much sympathy or faith in Nora. Getting kidnapped twice in the same novel is overkill. Especially when the second time is by the person you suspect is the killer. I'm sure a lot of things in this book went over my head. I don't know anything about d├ębutantes. Nor do I care. I also don't know anything about fashion. Nor do I want to.  There may have been cool or funny things about both those subjects  in this book but they were probably lost on me.

The murder at the center (?!) of this book is relatively simple. There are a few red herrings, everyone has a reason to hate the victim,  but there's really only one person who could have done it. The red herrings each bring to light different motives for the killing ad raise a lot of issues but in the end none of them had anything to do with it.

The book was okay. Some parts were even amusing. I'm wondering about the title. There's a chocolate festival going on but the murder doesn't happen there and has no connection to it. There's only one scene at the festival and a cameo appearance by a chef later in the book. The victim's son has a chocolate company in need of money but that's only touched on briefly - and the fix for that is unbelievable. While I was reading I kept wondering if all the chocolate was thrown out. Or if someone ate it all before I got there.

The title could refer to the heatwave taking place but THAT would be boring.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Boss Bitch Swag Trailer

Book description from Amazon:

Meesha Clark, a gorgeous young wife, mother, and budding fashion designer, is forced to ask herself that very question when what she thought would be a routine prenatal checkup turns out to be anything but routine... Meesha meets the man she wants to devote her entire life to while she's still in high school. Falling in love with Boss, though, is the easy part; staying in love will prove to be a much harder task.  

When Meesha discovers that her heart's desire is not only a well-connected gangster, but is also next in line to head the mob that controls the entire city of St. Louis, she must make the most difficult decision of her entire young life. When she decides to stand by her man, it becomes painfully clear that, even though she's the only woman in his heart, she's not the only woman in his bed...  

Malcolm "Boss" Clark knows better than to fall for a girl almost ten years younger than him. He's a man, and Meesha is just a girl, but there's something about her that won't let Boss walk away. Their relationship moves fast and burns hot, much like the city they call home. In the blink of an eye, they find themselves dangerously in love with two small daughters and their first son on the way. The love soon turns to hate, though, when Meesha's doctor breaks the news to her that she's HIV-positive. Certain that Boss contracted the virus from one of his numerous affairs, an emotionally distraught Meesha locks herself in a bathroom with her husband, then proceeds to point his own gun in his face and demand answers - but will the truth set her free, or just keep her bound...? 

Buy Boss Bitch Swag

Friday, November 18, 2011

Time of Death

Time of Death is a collection of three Eve Dallas novellas by J. D. Robb. Each of them have appeared in other forms but this book is the first time all three of them have been put together. There's no real connecting theme to these stories. There's a death and Dallas solves it. Business as usual.

Eternity In Death features a rich, young airhead who is convinced by a madman that he can give her eternal youth. Think of it as Eve Dallas, Vampire Slayer. Complete with stake. You get what you'd expect: lots of fang jokes and garlic.

Ritual In Death Eve can't even go to a party without a naked man, covered in blood crashing the party. The question is who turned one of Roarke's high priced hotel suites into a Satanic ritual space complete with human sacrifice?

Missing In Death This one's new. It might be the first time that Dallas has to deal with a murder and no body. The answer to how the killer got off a ferry with a dead body might be the lamest piece of writing ever but until that point it's a pretty good puzzle.

These three stories are quick read. I finished them in a couple of hours and was left wanting more.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

In The Beginning Trailer

Book Description from Amazon:
As if the world didn't have enough problems of its own, heaven and hell are gathering for the biggest battle of all---a 'forced' apocalypse started by none other than Morning Star himself. With an insane plan to prove that God isn't perfect, he enlists the help of a very jaded archangel, Michael, to help him with his scheme. Along for the ride are Apollyon, Lilith, and their legion of Destroyers--the children of the Watchers--and cataclysmic worldly events quickly unfurl as one lone city cop discovers he plays a pivotal role in how this 'apocalypse' will end.

Buy In the Beginning

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Press Release: Root

Guardian Teen Books has partnered with Random House for a new interactive, serialised story called Root - a fast-paced thriller set in the shadowy world of computer hacking and espionage. Every weekday for six weeks a new chapter will be released on guardian.co.uk/teen-books. The content will be directly influenced by readers’ contributions, such as their ideas for characters' personalities and skills.

The heroine Molly Root is a 15 year old computer genius whose friend Danny is killed after being caught stealing priceless data from a ruthless global corporation. Now she's in over her head. So far Molly Root's mission to get to the bottom of her best friend's murder has taken her on a perilous trail across London. Her key lead is a dodgy police detective - and her attempts to expose his shady contacts are testing her ingenuity to the limits.

As well as incorporating suggestions from readers, the story will also be brought to life via several social media platforms. For example, Guardian Teen Books' Twitter and Facebook accounts will be providing behind the scenes updates of how Molly is progressing, along with clips on Audioboo featuring the voicemails that Molly has discovered. This will be accompanied by onsite quizzes and photo puzzles on Flickr.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Farsighted Trailer

Book description from Amazon:

Alex Kosmitoras's life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.  
Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival--an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to "see" the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

Buy Farsighted

Friday, November 4, 2011

Another Man's Treasure

I must respectfully disagree with the reviews printed on the back cover of Another Man's Treasure by James V. O'Connor. I did not find it "a delightful, engaging, fast-paced read." The book has 86 chapters. Things should happen fairly regularly if you're going to stretch it out that long. After introducing the "mystery" nothing really happens until around chapter 50. Another reviewer found herself "rooting for characters." She doesn't say which ones? Ted McCormick, the main character, is a man so focused on how good he is that he doesn't notice that his wife, Mary, constantly makes comments about his lack of income. She might as well have been asking, "Why is your organ so small?" Poor old Ted is so busy NOT screwing around on his wife he doesn't see what's going on under his nose.

Ted works as a personal organizer. He used to be a stock broker but he did something awful and had to leave Chicago for Albany. We're told Ted did something bad a few times but it isn't revealed until late in the book. When the big secret is spilled I just said, "Is that all? A stock broker who got greedy. How clich├ęd." That Ted feels really bad about getting greedy and losing a lot of money is sort of different but he's such a boring man I didn't care.

 Through most of the book Ted prides himself for resisting the advances of his client, Janet. She knows he's married but hits on him anyway. She has a psycho ex who is stalking her. Toward the end of the book, Ted confronts him. The ex makes a comment totally out of character by saying that Janet is the real treasure. Or something stupid like that. This is a guy who talks his kid into spying on his ex. A guy who stalks his ex, threatens any man who gets close to her and even tries to run Ted down. Nowhere in the book does he exhibit anything bigger than the basic Neanderthal brain. His final comment is VERY out of character. 

Everything about this book is predictable. The "Other Man" man of the title is a client who "knows" that his father left a treasure hidden in his home and hires Ted to find it. He's not a nice man and I would have walked away rather than work with him breathing down my neck but then there wouldn't have been any book...

The only thing remotely interesting about this book is the identity of and the story behind the house's ghosts. And that storyline only lasts a little while.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Outer Darkness Trailer

Book description from Amazon:

What would you do if your family was targeted for destruction by a violent Satanic cult? That's the position that Jim DiMario finds himself in - but has he found out too late? Jim feels the comfortable predictability of his day-to-day routine begin to unravel when he investigates a series of bizarre animal mutilations that have recently occurred in his normally quiet, upscale community. Seemingly by chance, he meets two strangers in his quest for the truth - a sheriff's deputy, and a TV news reporter, each of whom have their own reasons to investigate the grisly deeds. Jim soon finds himself hip deep in trouble when adverse events start happening to his friends and family. His world spinning desperately out of control, Jim finally discovers that he, his family, and his church are the focus of a dangerous Satanic cult - the shadowy Temple of Anubis, who's activities and true intentions are much more sinister than mere animal mutilations. With time ticking away just before Samhain, the most unholy night for the occultists, Jim and his new-found allies face an all-or-nothing gamble to save his daughter's life from the hands of the Satanists who have abducted her. Will he realize too late that his worst enemy is a member of his own inner circle?