Friday, August 31, 2012

All Seeing Eye

All Seeing Eye by Rob Thurman is the first book in a new series. This book is part mystery, part paranormal thriller. There's a lot of action that takes place in a short amount of time.

If you've got a secret, you don't want to shake hands with psychic-for-hire Jackson Lee Eye. And don't leave any of your personal belongings around either. All seeing Eye is not a joke. He is the real deal and he makes some people really uncomfortable. The government blackmails him into helping them clean up an experiment that went wrong. Soon Eye sees that there's a lot more going on than he's been told. And there's someone who wants to stop Eye from seeing anything else.

This book is well written. The action is fast paced. The characters are likable. I actually read this in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. It's been a long time since I've had a book that held my attention for hours at a time.

I have only one quibble with the meaning of the word massacre but that didn't stop me from enjoying the book. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

I received a review copy of this book.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Year Zero

Year Zero by Rob Reid is a fun, quick read. If you liked The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy you'll probably like this book. If you can't stand silliness and having a parrot named Pauley (as in "Yo! Paul-LEE" not Polly want a cracker) as the bad guy then this isn't the book for you. Believe it or not, a lawyer is the good guy. See? Silly.

This book was a fast read that had me laughing out loud. Just the thought of people from an advanced alien civilization trying to work its way through our copyright laws is enough to make me giggle - or throw up my hands and cry, "We're all doomed!".   You never really know if the Earth is going to be destroyed or not until the very last minute.

I found a really good interview with Rob Reid which starts at 4:43 of this video.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In A Fix Trailer

Book description from Amazon:
Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she's able to take on her clients' appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don't want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck. This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable...that is, until Ciel's island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client's about-to-be-fiance is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated. Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she's been crushing on for years - both skilled adaptors - step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client's intended. Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.

Buy In a Fix

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cephrael's Hand

At 643 pages Cephrael's Hand: A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book One by Melissa McPhail is a big book. It could (and maybe should) have been two books. I was warned that this was book 1 but this book commits a cardinal sin IMHO. Nothing in this book is wrapped up. It's all left up in the air like some season finale cliffhanger. I think one character might actually be hanging from a cliff or at least falling off one. At the very least McPhail could have had all the major players meet up to progress into the next book.

The book begins with three pages of "Dramatis Personae" which almost made me want to throw the book out the window. When there are too many people it is hard to care about any of them.I believe it is also almost impossible to give each character any depth. There are some characters in this novel who are just outlines. Maybe they'll develop in later books. I don't know. The book is really cluttered with people, most of them on the move. I tried to keep track of where everyone was in relation to the others but I gave up after awhile because a reader shouldn't have to work that hard to visualize things.

That's not to say that this is a bad book. It's not. It's fairly interesting story competently written. There's just nothing really new. Almost every fantasy trope is pulled out, prince in hiding, magic dying from some unknown cause, assassins in search of the prince, a wanderer who doesn't know who he is... on and on.

Here are my three nitpicks:

  1. Using pagan festivals or other things specific to Earth. If you are going build a world then build all of it. Create games, laws and festivals for your world. Unless you're going to tie it up in the end like Planet of the Apes and reveal that we were on Earth all along. And I swear that if that is what happens with this series I will burn it.
  2. Putting an apostrophe in the middle of a name or any other word. I think this is an affectation that fantasy and sci-fi writers use too often. If you can't make your characters exotic to a Western audience without adding an apostrophe then maybe you don't need that character.
  3. The main female character is almost useless. Yes, she's a competent healer but she never acts on her own. She gets kidnapped twice and both times gets away because of someone else's actions. It's like she's a Doctor's companion from the 60s always getting captured. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Numinous Place

I got a very interesting email from the people creating "the world's most technologically advanced book." The book will use all kinds of media to tell their story including art, video, news reports, phone calls and emails. According to the email I got, Russell Crowe will be one of the characters.

They have only 4 days to raise $40,000 so click here to fund this project on Kickstarter.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Calypso Directive

The Calypso Directive by Brian Andrews is a fast paced thriller. Will Foster escapes from medical quarantine and goes on the run. He needs to figure out what's been done to him and why. Luckily he has an ex-girlfriend who can help him.

I enjoyed this book. It's premise was plausible. Things moved along swiftly. The medical jibber jabber was kept to a minimum. I'd love to see more books featuring members of the "think tank." Two things I could have done without: the psycho bounty hunters and the ending.

When I read a book that has good guys and bad guys, I want all the good guys to win. I do not want one or more of the good guys to end up in the same - or worse - situation from where they started. I also want all the bad guys punished. No bad guy should ever get rewarded at the end of the book. I know reality is like that but I read as an escape from reality. I need my good guys to have good endings.

Even with the unsatisfactory ending, this book was still a worthwhile read. The questions surrounding genetics and who owns our genes are relevant in a time when companies are taking out patents on them.

I received a review copy of this book