Bookpile: December 2010

Eleventh Grade Burns – The action, the politics, the angst, the dilemmas – everything is getting ramped up in this one. The vampire slayer is back and a stressful thorn for Vlad. Then there’s his secret rendezvous with Snow at The Crypt leaving him with major guilt. Uncle Otis is heading for trial with the vampire council. And a major cliff-hanger ending that I had considered as a potential story line Brewer might take. Didn’t make it less “hang-y” though.

The Snow Empress
– Another Sano Ichiro mystery, this time taking place up on the northern border of the country. Complete with rulers gone mad, personal strain for Sano and Reiko that spills over from the constant political maneuverings, vengeful women and fighting for your life. Enjoyed this one as I have all the others, although I did start to feel as though both of them were slipping in terms of detective work. Given the kidnapping of their son and the way it colored everything, I’m cutting them some slack. This time.

The Perfect Poison – Kindle book from my mom’s collection. Seemed vaguely familiar, like I had explored Amanda Quick’s world before, only the story was set on the continent, not London. Needless and overblown sex scenes, incomplete background explanations of the Society and psychical powers holding this one back. Not sure where it falls within the Arcane Society cannon, but obviously an assumption that we know more than we do. Although, given that all the characters are members of the Society, kind of hard to use any of them to explain things to the reader because they really do know more than we do. Still, nice romp. Wouldn’t pick it over something else I really wanted to read, but wouldn’t mind another if I have time. (Link is for the Kindle version, which is what I read and actually the best priced option.)

Whirlwind – Book five of the Dreamhouse Kings series. Given the amount of action that takes place in each book, it’s just stunning that not even a day passes in the course of this one. We’ve still mostly in David’s head (I wonder just how he decides who gets to be the “main” character. It’s been David pretty much since book two) and the poor boy is getting really beat up. Not only that, Xander’s impulsiveness is starting to rub off on him. Only one book left to the conclusion and fortunately I’m not in a really long line at the library for this one. (BTW, for a limited time, they have the first book of the series free for the Kindle if you want to try it out.)

As Sure As the Sun – Another from my mom’s Kindle collection. And it was OK. Not sure what was going on with me at the time, but every time I went to pick this one up, I couldn’t remember what the heck I was reading. If you had asked me, I would have blanked. The basic premise of the plot was OK, but got stretched pretty thin in a few places until it was barely believable. And there were so many side plots – all dealing with relationships – that it started to get a little muddled. She could have made this a series with each book exploring a different relationship in this group instead of trying to cram so many angles into one book.

Talk of the Town
– Kind of liked this one, even if it was following the world’s most predictable plot line. Which you could mostly see in the rearview mirror. Story went back and forth between two points of view, which gave you the outsider and insider perspective, thus covering more of the action. Definitely a fluffy beach read. (I read the Kindle version – mom’s – but link goes to paperback because it’s cheaper.)

Ricochet – Another “steamy thriller” from Sandra Brown. My mom really liked these, and I can see why. I could without the steamy part – although this one was set in Savannah, so steamy kind of goes with the territory – but it’s a pretty good thriller. Second one of hers I’ve read and there’s a definite pattern – girl in trouble, guy to rescue, girl can’t tell guy everything, guy has to decide whether to believe/trust her, climactic ending in which death might occur but doesn’t. Think that covers it all. Still, a bit fun.

The Guest List – Ever read a book and you figure out the twist about a third of the way through and then you spend the rest of the book waiting for the characters to catch up to you? Yeah, that was this one. Not saying it wasn’t good. And not saying you’ll also have an epiphany and screw up the suspense. Maybe I’ve read too many thrillers/mysteries and it’s hard to surprise me. Still, enjoyed it. Would have liked less one-dimensional characters and fewer “isn’t that convenient” plot turns, but not a bad read at all.

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