Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tithe by Holly Black

Holly Black
2002, Simon & Schuster, London

Kaye is a sixteen year old travelling around with her singer mother until they go to live with her grandmother. There she rediscovers her childhood faerie friends and gets drawn into their world.

I am not too familiar with the faerie tale genre, but enjoy teen fiction, and I felt that the two genres clash, they don't mesh in this story. Perhaps people who are into lore would enjoy it more. However, it was a well constructed story and the characters were well presented.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Velocity by Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz
2005, HarperCollins, London.

Billy Wiles discovers a note on the windshield of his SUV which says if he takes the note to the police, an elderly woman will be killed, and if he doesn't, a schoolteacher will be killed. He thinks it's a hoax and the schoolteacher dies. This is the start of a terrifying game of a twisted mind.

It's a great story - told with a soft voice. It could have been a bloody, grisly book about the darkness of humanity, but in this case, it's equally about beauty. The characters are so very believable, and you are along for the ride with Billy the entire way.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Doctor Who: Full Circle by Andrew Smith

Doctor Who: Full Circle
Andrew Smith
1982, WH Allen & Co, London

Novelisation of a Doctor Who episode starring a mechanical dog ... oops! I mean ... starring Tom Baker. The TARDIS is headed for Gallifrey when something goes wrong (I know, I know) and The Doctor and Romana end up on the planet Alzarius from which no one has ever returned.

This is a great story with swamp monsters. What more could you want?

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Vanish by Tess Gerritsen

Tess Gerritsen
2005, Bantam, London

A corpse wakes up in the morgue and is rushed to hospital where the young woman takes a number of hostages including 9 months pregnant Detective Jane Rizzoli. This is just the start of a series of events which lead to murder, slavery and political intrigue.

Gerritsen always writes a page-turner, and this is no exception. A little clich├ęd in places, it's nevertheless a very interesting and well conceived story.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Romulan Stratagem by Robert Greenberger

The Romulan Stratagem
Robert Greenberger
1995, Pocket Books, New York

The Enterprise crew is sent on a diplomatic mission to offer Eloh - a newly discovered world - membership into the Federation. When they arrive, they realise that the Elohsians have also been in talks with the Romulan Empire.

The writing style was a bit inconsistent, the plot bits were good, but the action scenes were poorly written. I liked the story - it was simple and linear. And the little aside with Ensign Ro was amusing.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Seldom by Dawn Rae Downton

Seldom: A searing memoir of secrets and lies in a Newfoundland fishing village
Dawn Rae Downton
2003. Headline, London

Story of a family from Newfoundland, told by the grand-daughter of the mother figure, Ethel. This sweeping book tells of their lives and their secrets.

The writing style was inconsistent and not very engaging. Some vignettes are written so well to the point of being heart breaking, other passages will bore you to tears. It's best not to concentrate too hard on the story, but just to go along for the ride.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Abducted: The True Story of Alien Abduction by Ann Andrews and Jean Ritchie

Abducted: The True Story of Alien Abduction in Rural England
Ann Andrews and Jean Ritchie
1998, Headline, London

Story of the Andrews family from rural England, specifically the son Jason who has had strange encounters his entire life with aliens. The book is about his experiences and speculates about the causes.

This story has everything - abduction, lights, mutilations, UFOs, shadowy government figures - but I found that this abundance of different experiences associated with alien encounters didn't add to the credibility of the story ... it seemed a bit too perfect. Still, it's very well written and researched, giving a great depth of detail about the family's life and history, and I think it could be read as a simple biography by someone who was not interested in aliens or UFOs. It could have done without the speculation of intent of the aliens on the part of the author - just leaving it as a description of facts would have made it a more credible book.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What's Your Poo Telling You? by Josh Richman and Anish Sheth

What's Your Poo Telling You?
Josh Richman and Anish Sheth
2007, Raincoast Books, Vancouver

Small book which lists different types of poo and explains what causes each type. It contains little informative tid-bits about poo culture and history.

I never realised there were so many different types of poo. I have led a sheltered life. This book was laugh out funny, but too shameful to laugh at!

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Panic by Jeff Abbott

Jeff Abbott
2005, Time Warner, London.
367 p.

Evan Casher is a young documentary film-maker living a normal life until his mother calls him one day in a panic. When he arrives at home, he finds her dead on the kitchen floor and his life is turned up-side-down.

This is a solid enough thriller. But neither the story nor the characters were very engaging. It was a bit confusing to keep all the characters and the plot straight at the start, and I think there were too many plot twists. However, it is an interesting premise in that it is a politico-thriller told from a very personal stand point.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Dearly Devoted Dexter
Jeff Lindsay
2005, Vintage Books, New York

Dexter is a forensic blood-spatter expert. But he is also a homicidal monster. Taught by his cop foster father to only kill the bad guys, Dexter shares his body with the 'Dark Passenger', the part of him that is not human. This is the second book in the series, the first was Darkly Dreaming Dexter.

Another delightful dally with Dexter. I really love this character - he's so cavalier. I thought this book got a little repetitive at times, but it didn't interfere too much with the story. And the story was great! Wonderfully devious again. I love the 'happy' ending.

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