Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Book Review Tuesday, Part 2

As I said last week, I did this quarter's book list in two parts. I really wish I'd go back to doing it monthly! (Goes to put a reminder on my phone...).

9. Keeping with Killers (The Salinger Trilogy #1), by Adam Nicholls. Blake Salinger leads a normal life in London as a salesman. Every day is planned, organised... safe. But that all changes when the police arrive at his workplace. His wrists are shackled as he is arrested, accused of murdering his estranged father. That's when he is daringly freed by the silver-haired man, a shady ally with the goal of setting things straight... and an unquenchable thirst for violence. Blake comes to learn that he is merely a puppet in a mysterious organisation's plan. With the police hot on his trail, Blake - along with his new companion - must strive to uncover the secrets of his father's murder, before it's too late. Before The Agency catches up to them.

The Bug Says: Another book club  Kindle freebie. The mystery was pretty interesting, and I might read more books in the series, but it was obviously self-published & I found the typos & poor grammar distracting. I gave it 2 stars.

10. The Aeronaut's Windlass (The Cinder Spires #1), by Jim Butcher. Jim Butcher, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Dresden Files and the Codex Alera novels, conjures up a new series set in a fantastic world of noble families, steam-powered technology, and magic-wielding warriors…

The Bug Says: I might not have read this because I’m not really into steampunk scifi, but since the next Harry Dresden book doesn’t come out until May I decided to give it a shot. I even made Dr. M listen to it when we drove to NC for Christmas. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. And I’ll read the next one too. It’s nice when an author you like starts writing another series that you also like. I gave it 4 stars.

11. Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3), by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling). When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality. With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

The Bug Says: I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I did the first two books in the series. The mystery itself was really good, and I was nicely surprised by the culprit, but I got a little tired of the Strike/Robin potential romance dynamic. I really am turning into a curmudgeon! I gave it 3 stars.

12. Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum #22), by Janet Evanovich. Stephanie Plum might not be the world's greatest bounty hunter, but she knows when she's being played. Ken Globovic (aka Gobbles), hailed as the Supreme Exalted Zookeeper of the animal house known as Zeta fraternity, has been arrested for beating up the dean of students at Kiltman College. Gobbles has missed his court date and gone into hiding. People have seen him on campus, but no one will talk. Things just aren't adding up, and Stephanie can't shake the feeling that something funny is going on at the college - and it's not just Zeta fraternity pranks.

The Bug Says: I have almost given up on this series so many times, but this time I had the best time. I don’t know why, but Lula was A+ hilarious to me, and Stephanie was pretty funny too. And there was even a new & fun way for her car to get destroyed! I gave it 4 stars.

13. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon. Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor's dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally. 

The Bug Says: This was a book club book. I feel really guilty that I didn’t enjoy this book. I sort of feel like I’m kicking a puppy, but it felt like I was reading someone’s not very interesting diary. Which, given all that he does & discovers & causes is not at all fair on my part. My fellow book clubbers seemed to enjoy it a lot more than I did, so if it interests you, then have at it. :) I gave it 2 stars.

14. Crimson Shore (Pendergast #15), by Douglas Preston. A secret chamber. A mysterious shipwreck. A murder in the desolate salt marshes. A seemingly straightforward private case turns out to be much more complicated-and sinister-than Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast ever could have anticipated. Pendergast, together with his ward Constance Greene, travels to the quaint seaside village of Exmouth, Massachusetts, to investigate the theft of a priceless wine collection. But inside the wine cellar, they find something considerably more disturbing: a bricked-up niche that once held a crumbling skeleton.

The Bug Says: Oh Pendergast you addicting devil you – you string me along & solve the mystery, and then leave me hanging: are you alive or are you dead? How is it possible that your brother is still alive? Or is he? Very annoying. I gave it 4 stars :)

15. The Beautiful Bureaucrat, by Helen Phillips. In a windowless building in a remote part of town, the newly employed Josephine inputs an endless string of numbers into something known only as "The Database." After a long period of joblessness, she's not inclined to question her fortune, but as the days inch by and the files stack up, Josephine feels increasingly anxious in her surroundings. The office's scarred pinkish walls take on a living quality. The drone of keyboards echoes eerily down the long halls. When one evening her husband Joseph disappears and then returns, offering no explanation as to his whereabouts, her creeping unease shifts decidedly to dread. As other strange events build to a crescendo, the haunting truth about Josephine's work begins to take shape in her mind, even as something powerful is gathering its own form within her. She realizes that in order to save those she holds most dear, she must penetrate an institution whose tentacles seem to extend to every corner of the city and beyond.

The Bug: This is another book club book. So very bizarre! I’m still not entirely sure what I think about it. The description made it sound like a corporate espionage sort of book, but it’s not like that at all. The main character seems to spend the whole book in a sort of fog & very strange things happen to her. It was well written, but weird. I gave it 3 stars.

16. The Song of the Jubilee (The Phantom of the Earth #1), by Raeden Zen. In the Great Commonwealth of Beimeni, a subterranean civilization in North America, expansion long ago gave way to peace and prosperity in the face of the history's most devastating plague. Immortality is the reward for service and loyalty in Beimeni, a place where the physical blends with the metaphysical and power consolidates in the hands of those with a genetic edge. The fissures first spread slowly, then swiftly, until now the Great Commonwealth finds itself on the brink of economic devastation, challenged by forces from within that know its secrets and its crimes. At the center of the conflict lie the Selendias of Piscator, founders of the resistance with an uncanny connection to the zeropoint field, and the Barão Strike Team, three researchers tasked with finding a cure to the Reassortment Strain, the plague that nearly wiped transhumankind from the Earth. Traveling from the uninhabitable but pristine surface to the habitable but inhospitable underground, this is a story about dedication to dreams, battle for survival, discovery and connection, song and celebration, undoing past misdeeds, and sacrifice for the greater good.

The Bug Says: The second book in this series is my book club Kindle freebie for February. Of course, I couldn’t just start in the middle, so I had to read the first one too. Again, I’m not really into this type of scifi, but I’m soldiering through very bravely. Basically, some sort of virus has wiped out almost everyone on earth, forcing the ones that remain to live underground. The goal is to figure out a cure so that people can move back to the surface. But there are plots! Intrigues! Political machinations! I’m still trying to decide if I care. I’ll let you know after I finish the next book. I gave this one 2 stars.

What are you reading lately?

16 comments:

  1. well, that's three books in series that I read that I didn't know were out. another Pendergast novel! I'll have to look for that as soon as I finish this nearly 850 sci-fi book, SevenEves, I had hoped to be finished with by now for my own book reviews due now.

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    1. I feel like we're each feeding each other's habits :)

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  2. I'm reading blogs...does that count? Does it sound better if I say I read blogs in two languages?

    After the first part of your book review, I got excited about reading again and went back to the book that I'm about halfway through. It's called Millie's Fling by Jill Mansell (I'm a sucker for British chick lit). I only have time to read in bed at night, and of course by then I'm too tired to read for a long time. Sigh.

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    1. It is DEFINITELY in your favor that you're reading blogs in two languages!

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  3. I wish I read more novels but lately I can't seem to find the time.

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    1. I'm making myself read a chapter each night before bed. Well, and I listen to books when I'm driving or walking.

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  4. Love your take on what you are reading....and life in general. 😉 wondering how you are feeling with the shingles and also if there's an update on your FIL.

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    1. No update on my FIL yet - he has surgery next week & we'll know more then.

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  5. I'm still trying to get through last Sunday's New York Times. And still trying to finish that V.I. Warshawski book I've been messing around with for weeks. Funny, I was just looking at our bookcase today and saw several older books that I want to read. Maybe next week.

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    1. Are you done with V.I yet? I'm off to my Track Your Fiction site to add the series to the ones I follow. Maybe then I'll remember to read it!

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  6. It seems you liked only three of them. Maybe the freebies are worth what you pay for them. You must really love the folks in your book club since you don't seem to like too many of their selections. Or was this just a bad series?

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    1. It was just a bad series - if I go back & look I think I've liked about 80% of them. Pretty good average since we're all pretty different.

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  7. Keeping with Killers sounds interesting! I'll have to look that one up. Right now reading a collection of fictional short stories on conspiracies. Called Tales of Tinfoil edited by Nick Coil, the stories take on all the usual crazy ideas of the Kennedy assassination, faked moon landing, Elvis, and several others. None of the short story authors take the conspiracies seriously but the do write their works like they do.

    Oh yeah, it's a Kindle book.

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    1. That actually sounds really interesting!

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  8. Crimson Shore sounds good. I even like the name. :) I've only read one of the Pendergast novels, but I can't remember the name. I really need to write these things down. As always, thanks for the reviews.

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Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear what you have to say!