Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Chocolate Bear Burglary (Chocoholic Mystery, Book 2) by JoAnna Carl

The Chocolate Bear Burglary (Chocoholic Mystery, Book 2) The Chocolate Bear Burglary by JoAnna Carl


In this brand-new mystery by the author of The Chocolate Cat Caper, Lee McKinney and her Aunt Nettie, small-town chocolatiers, are about to unwittingly step into some big-time crime.

But a curious Lee won't rest until their chocolate shop-not to mention their lives-are out of danger.

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
This is the second book in the Chocoholic Mystery series and I am still not thrilled with the author's writing style. But I have been told by a reliable source that this series does get better, so I plan to stick it out.

I figured out 'whodunit' fairly early in the story. There really were no surprises. I find the main character to be a bit annoying, but was happy that the whole 'twisted tongue' thing was not as prevalent in this book as the last one.

Have #3 here on my TBR shelf so will continue to read this series in the hopes that it improves soon.

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Endurance (Stardoc #3) by S.L. Viehl

Endurance (Stardoc #3) Endurance by S.L. Viehl


Colonel Shropana was willing to destroy the Jorenians just to capture Dr. Cherijo Torin for the Allied League of Worlds—so she felt little remorse for selling him out to brutal Hsktskt slave traders. But just as Cherijo made her escape, the man she once loved stabbed her in the back—and handed her over to the same slavers.

Alone, hated, and feared by her fellow slaves, Cherijo needs all her training to save those in need—a difficult task amidst the endless brutality of their captors, but a far better fate than being the League's guinea pig. As she struggles despreately to help those she can, Cherijo reminds herself that good doctors don't let personal vendettas stand in the way of duty. But then, most doctors aren't Cherijo Torin...

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another great book in the Stardoc series. First I have to say that I have really enjoyed this series so far. I love the characters and have enjoyed the storyline.

I do have a couple complaints about this particular book. My major complaint was that I found Cherijo's continuous 'escapes' and throwing herself right into danger again to be a bit much. The first few times okay, but then it just got to be a bit mundane --happening again and again.

I did guess who the traitor was fairly easily and I was certain of the twist with Reever long before it was revealed.

Those things being said I would still recommend this series of books to any sci-fi fans and intend to continue to read the series and in fact am looking forward to starting the next one soon!

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beyond Varallan (Stardoc #2) by S.L. Viehl

Beyond Varallan (Stardoc #2) Beyond Varallan by S.L. Viehl

Dr. Cherijo is living the perfect life-if you think that finding out you're a clone, then being declared "non-sentient" by your father/creator is your idea of perfect.

Things could be worse. But when the Human League comes after her, with bounty hunters of every race trying to bring her in, Cherijo figures it can't get any worse...

Until someone begins stalking her dreams.

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this second book in the Stardoc series as much as if not more than the first book. In this book Cherijo is adopted by the Jorenian and finds a place on one of their ships after being rescued from K-2. She makes friends and explores her feeling for Duncan Reever who has tagged along for a ride. She also discovers that there is a killer on board who has the ability to invade her dreams and assault her when she is asleep.

Between running from the League, who are determined to capture her and return her to her parent, and trying to solve the mystery of who on board her new home is murdering her friends, Beyond Varallan is a non stop action book. The characters are beautifully developed and the author has really outdone herself with this next book in the Stardoc series. With an unexpected ending and a twist that makes it absolutely necessary to start the next book in this series right away the author has me hooked.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Stardoc by S.L. Viehl

Stardoc (Stardoc #1) Stardoc by S.L. Viehl

Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil is fed up with her life on Earth and with her cold, domineering father, Dr. Joseph Grey Veil. So she takes the first off-planet medical job she can find: a post in the Trauma FreeClinic on Kevarzangia Two, a world colonized by 200 different alien species, where human beings are definitely in the minority. She has never treated an alien in her life, but she's a talented doctor, and figures she'll wing it.

Arriving on K-2, Cherijo finds that her scant knowledge of alien medicine is only the beginning of her problems. Her boss hates her, and other colleagues are mistrustful. She runs afoul of various local customs, in part because she's too impatient to follow the rules (much as she hates her arrogant father, she has a hefty share of his physician's ego). The colony's chief linguist -- a handsome but creepy human named Reever -- has an annoying habit of trying to invade her mind with his telepathic powers. And her father, furious at her precipitous departure, is doing everything he can short of kidnapping to get her back.

Despite these difficulties, Cherijo manages to surmount medical challenges and make friends. But just as she's beginning to feel at home on K-2, a mysterious epidemic strikes the colony. Desperately, Cherijo races against time to find a cure. But there are many forces arrayed against her: the hostility of the powers that be on Earth, the fear and anger of the bewildered colonists -- and a terrible secret in her own past, which the epidemic may force her to reveal.

If you're one of those people who likes real science in your science fiction, Stardoc is probably not for you. This is SF in the Star Trek vein, with universal translators, alien races that breathe the same air and eat the same food, and some vague discussion of "molecular structure modification" to explain space travel. But if you're willing to suspend your disbelief and enter into the spirit of the thing, Stardoc is a rousing good yarn, with plenty of plot twists, inventive scene-setting, and quirky characters to keep readers thoroughly entertained. The convincing medical details (drawn from Viehl's own trauma centre experience) help to ground the more fantastic aspects of alien physiognomy so that they don't seem totally off the wall, and Cherijo's tart first-person narration gives the story a nicely sarcastic bite.

Viehl takes on some serious themes, including the extreme xenophobia of Earth, which has led to the passage of restrictive species-ist laws, and the question of what exactly makes a being sentient. But mostly Stardoc is a fun adventure story, with an appealing heroine, a lot of action, a sly sense of humour, and wonders aplenty.

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Totally enjoyed this book. Love the main character and the events that take place throughout the book. Can not wait to start the next book in the series to see what happens next.

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

The Host: A Novel The Host: A Novel by Stephenie Meyer

The author of the Twilight series of # 1 bestsellers delivers her brilliant first novel for adults: a gripping story of love and betrayal in a future with the fate of humanity at stake.

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves-Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I absolutely loved this book. I have not read Meyer's Twilight series, but a friend loaned me this book and told me that I had to read it. I could not put it down and I have been reading it at every opportunity that I could steal for the last 48 hours.

This is a terrifying book as it deals with the invasion of Earth by an alien species and what could well be the extinction of human beings. But that is not what this book is about. This book is about what it is to be human and are the aliens the evil ones or are we? This is a very thought provoking book and as we get drawn further and further in to the struggle between Melanie - the human whose body we meet, and Wanderer -- the soul who has inhabited this body, we are torn between our outrage on Melanie's behalf and our compassion for what Wanderer is experiencing.

A wonderfully written book about good and evil, love and hate, and what it is to be human and alien. This book takes us on a journey to discover our own humanity. As we discover that human emotions and the ability to love, is our greatest strength and may be our only hope.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Chocolate Cat Caper (Chocoholic Mystery, Book 1) by JoAnna Carl

The Chocolate Cat Caper (Chocoholic Mystery, Book 1) The Chocolate Cat Caper by JoAnna Carl

Looking for a fresh start, divorcée Lee McKinney moves back to Michigan to work for her aunt's chocolate business-and finds that her new job offers plenty of murderous treats to chew on.

When a high-profile defense lawyer dies after eating a cat-shaped chocolate laced with cyanide, it's up to Lee to find out who tampered with the recipe-before she and her aunt end up behind not-so-chocolate bars.

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
I am fairly new to the cozy mystery genre and I was a bit disappointed in this first book in the Chocoholic Mystery series.

I found the author's writing style to be amateurish. The main character was not that appealing and her speech problem (she tends to substitute the wrong word when speaking) was annoying. Instead of being a sleuth and actively working on solving this mystery she seemed to blunder upon clues, often without even realizing that they were clues. The ending was awful. lol

I do have the next two books in this series and I intend to give the next one a try, but if the author's writing does not improve I will probably drop this particular cozy series.

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Finder by Emma Bull

Finder Finder by Emma Bull

American Library Association Best Books for Young AdultsVOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy amp; HorrorWelcome to Bordertown. A hybrid community of misfits, oddballs and runaways. Where humans, elves and halflings co-exist. Where magic and the brutal realities of survival clash and mix. For Orient and Tick-Tick, it's just home. Death and dark magic hang ov er the city. A seductive new drug lures young runaways to their destruction. A mysterious plague spreads through the streets. And beneath the clock tower on High Street, Bonnie Prince Charlie lies slain by an unseen hand. A cop named Sunny Rico exploits Orient's talent for finding objects to track the killer and leads both herself and him into the darker secrets of Elflands' immigrant citizens.

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Having just finished reading 'Elsewhere' & 'Nevernever', two other books set in Bodertown, I had a background of the setting and characters when I started this book. That made it enjoyable. This book was not quite as engrossing as the other two, but it was still a fun Borderland read. The story was very emotionally charged and that is what kept me reading. I do feel like I may have missed some of Tink & Orient's story in earlier Borderland books, that may have made this one even more interesting. But still it was a pretty good read and leaves me looking for the earlier Borderland books.

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Nevernever by Will Shetterly

Nevernever Nevernever by Will Shetterly

Growing up is hard to do . . . especially if, like Ron, you've been cursed (blessed?) and changed into a half wolf/half human. But though he may look strange, there is nothing weird about his loyalty to his newfound friends, or in his attempts to stay true to himself in the deadly, shifting world of Bordertown.

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
The first thing that I need to mention is that it is a necessity that you read 'Elsewhere' by Will Shetterly before you read this book. This book is the direct continuation of the story of Ron/Wolfboy that begins in Elsewhere. That being said, I can say that I absolutely loved this book. I am not a true fan of the Borderland series and will be actively searching out the earlier books in the series.

The 'twist' in this book totally took me by surprise. I did not see it coming although it was the perfect wrap up of the story, imo.

Great read and highly recommend that you find as many of the Borderland books edited by Terri Windling as you can to read.

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