Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling

Dies the Fire Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling

The Change occurred when an electrical storm centered over the island of Nantucket produced a blinding white flash that rendered all electronic devices and fuels inoperable. What follows is the most terrible global catastrophe in the history of the human race-and a Dark Age more universal and complete than could possibly be imagined.

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have always enjoyed Post Apocalyptic books and for the most part this was a good one. When the Change happens and makes anything powered obsolete people have to figure out how to survive in a world suddenly thrown back in time several centuries.

We follow two separate groups of survivors lead by Mike Havel, an ex-soldier, outdoors man and Juniper Mackenzie a Wiccan High Priestess and single mom. Mike leads his ever growing group out of the Idaho woods after the bush plane his was flying crash lands. With him is a wealthy family who he feels responsible for. Meanwhile Juniper leads a band of survivors from the town that she was in when the Change happened to her cabin in the woods, where they begin to create a Clan of survivors.

Most of the book is quite good although there are quite a few fight scenes and war strategy sessions that get a bit boring. The two leaders eventually meet and become allies against some truly evil men who want to take over the farmlands and rule by fear and force.

The characters were well defined although there get to be a lot of them and a little difficult to keep straight at times.

I do look forward to the next book in this set as well as other books by this author.

View all my reviews.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lord of Misrule (The Morganville Vampires, Book 5) by Rachel Caine

Lord of Misrule (The Morganville Vampires, Book 5) Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine

The feast is over ... and the battle for Morganville has begun. Bishop's on one side, Amelie's on the other, and Claire's status as Amelie's most trusted human ally has just landed her on Morganville's Most Wanted list, along with all of her friends. As a bitter Texas storm bears down on the town, there's nowhere to hide ... from anything.

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Well since I was expecting this to be a cliff hanger I can not say that I am surprised. But I do have to say that I hated the ending, but I loved the excerpt from the next book.

I really wish that I had saved this series of books and then read them back to back. I am sure that I would have enjoyed them more. That being said I do enjoy this series and I am looking forward to reading more. There is no question that the books are action packed. I just wish that they lasted longer. It is like getting a taste of something really good and then having to wait 6 months for another little taste. lol

Oh well -- I love the residents of the Glass house and can not wait to read more!

View all my reviews.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Shakespeare's Counselor (Lily Bard Mystery, Book 5) by Charlaine Harris

Shakespeare's Counselor (Lily Bard Mystery, Book 5) Shakespeare's Counselor by Charlaine Harris

Cleaning woman and karate expert Lily Bard is a woman with a complicated past. Trying her best to cope with her terrifying memories and horrible nightmares, she decides to join a weekly group therapy session in her hometown of Shakespeare, Arkansas. At first, Lily can hardly believe the number of her fellow Shakespeareans that share her life experiences.

As it turns out, the group members' feelings aren't the only things that need sorting out -- they assemble for a session and find a woman dead, killed in bone-chilling fashion and deliberately left on display to send a twisted message. Who would commit such horrendous crime, and who is the intended recipient of the message?

Before long, Lily becomes embroiled in this disturbing murder and its aftermath, one in which the brutal killer's motives are entirely unclear. The truth is, the situation has dredged up more than a few of her own terrible secrets, and she may not be able to rest until she can untangle the who and why of this terrible crime. But can she accomplish this before the killer strikes again, and before her nightmares send her over the edge? Shakespeare's Counselor is the most complex and absorbing installment yet in Charlaine Harris's engaging, original, and more than slightly dark mystery series.

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Another great read in the Lily Bard Mystery series. I am sad to see this series end as I have really come to like Lily, but this book was a good last chapter. As Jack and Lily become more involved, Lily realizes that it is time to confront her feelings concerning her attack. She joins a support group where she not only makes some progress dealing with her own personal issues, but is faced with another murder mystery.

I really enjoyed this book because it really focused on Lily and Jack's relationship as well as Lily's emotional state. I would love to see more of this series, but know that realistically we probably won't. A shame since I think that there is a lot more that Jack and Lily could accomplish together!

View all my reviews.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Shakespeare's Trollop (Lily Bard Mystery, Book 4) by Charlaine Harris

Shakespeare's Trollop (Lily Bard Mystery, Book 4) Shakespeare's Trollop by Charlaine Harris

Shakespeare, Arkansas, is home to endless back roads, historic buildings, colorful residents--and the occasional murder. It is also home to Lily Bard, the local karate expert/cleaning woman with a particular knack for finding skeletons in closets.

But when the local woman of ill repute is found murdered, being familiar with her dirty laundry could make Lily the next Shakespearean to die.

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Another great read in the Lily Bard Mystery series.

When Lily stumbles upon the body of Deedra Dean, she is thrown into the investigation of her murder. Lots of interesting characters as we get to know the residents of Shakespeare a little better. I figured out the who of the murder, but not the why. It was an interesting twist and I look forward to the next in the series. I am just sad that it is going to be the last one in this series.

I love where Jack and Lily's relationship is going.

View all my reviews.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Shakespeare's Christmas (Lily Bard Mystery, Book 3) by Charlaine Harris

Shakespeare's Christmas (Lily Bard Mystery, Book 3) Shakespeare's Christmas by Charlaine Harris

ven in a sleepy Arkansas town, the holidays can be murder.

Lily Bard is going home for the holidays. More comfortable in baggy sweats than bridesmaid's frills, Lily isn't thrilled about attending her estranged sister's wedding. She has moved to Shakespeare, Arkansas, to start a new life, cleaning houses for a living, trying to forget the violence that once nearly destroyed her. Now she's heading back to home and hearth--just in time for murder.

The town's doctor and nurse have been bludgeoned to death at the office. And Lily's detective boyfriend suddenly shows up at her parents' door. Jack Leeds is investigating an eight-year-old kidnapping and the trail leads straight to Lily's hometown. It just might have something to do with the murders...and her sister's widowed fiancé. With only three days before the wedding, Lily must work fast to clean up the messy case before her sister commits...marriage!

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Another great read in the Lily Bard Mystery series. I read this one immediately following #2 in the series, Shakespeare's Champion and am glad that I did. This one takes up right where the second one left off with Lily and Jack forging a new relationship.

In this book, Lily heads home to attend her younger sister's wedding. This is a tense visit after years of absence following Lily's horrible attack a decade earlier. While dealing with the rift between herself and her family, the difficulty of encountering people who know about her past and a string of murders that seem to be tied to Lily's new boyfriend Jacks investigation, Lily is thrust into the middle of a mystery that may involve her soon to be brother in law.

Watching Lily work out the mystery, while working out her feelings for Jack makes for a great read. I love the path that she and Jack are taking and cannot wait to start on the next book in the series, Shakespeare's Trollop!

View all my reviews.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shakespeare's Champion (Lily Bard Mystery, Book 2) by Charlaine Harris

Shakespeare's Champion (Lily Bard Mystery, Book 2) Shakespeare's Champion by Charlaine Harris

No steel magnolia, Lily Bard is one blunt, tough Southern woman--a tiny, karate-chopping, bodybuilding dynamo who's come to Shakespeare, Arkansas, to restart her life after a series of traumatic events just hinted at in this second novel in Charlaine Harris's series (after Shakespeare's Landlord). When she slips into her gym for an early morning workout and finds Del Packard with a barbell across his throat, she doesn't think for more than a second that it's an accident. Not when it's the third death in a couple of months in a town hardly big enough for its own WalMart. Then the blue broadsheets with thinly veiled hints of white supremacist activity start turning up under the windshield wipers of every car on Main Street. Lily's a relative newcomer to Shakespeare, but as a cleaning woman for the local landed gentry, she's privy to many secrets that most outsiders never learn. When a handsome stranger keeps turning up at the scene of an increasingly bizarre series of events, including a burglary at one of her regular clients and a bombing in a black church, she suspects he may be more than an innocent bystander. Which is too bad, because he stirs up desires that Lily hasn't felt for any man for a very long time. Lily Bard is a complex woman who embodies many of the contradictions of the modern South--its dark side as well as its charm--and this suspenseful, deftly written novel will send new fans scrambling to read its predecessor. --Jane Adams

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
The beginning of this book was very disjointed and hard to get into for me. Maybe if I had read it immediately after reading the first book it would have been better. It kept referring to things that had happened in the first book. But about 1/3 of the way through it started to come together and it got good! I really like Lily, but some of her logic makes no sense to me. I am glad that she seems to have finally decided on a man that she wants to be with and I am looking forward to reading more in this series.

View all my reviews.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Nameless Witch by A. Lee Martinez

A Nameless Witch A Nameless Witch by A. Lee Martinez

Amazon Editorial Review:

A tale of vengeance, true love, and cannibalism Being born undead can have its disadvantages, such as eternal youth and flawless beauty ---things most unsuitable for a witch. Hiding behind the guise of a grimy old crone, the witch is content living outside Fort Stalwart with her unlikely band of allies: a troll named Gwurm, an enchanted broom, and a demonic duck named Newt. She leads a simple life filled with spells, potions, and the occasional curse.
So when a White Knight arrives at Fort Stalwart, the witch knows her days of peace are at an end. The Knight is just days in front of a horde of ravenous goblings, and Fort Stalwart lies right in the horde’s path. But the goblings are just the first wave of danger, and soon the witch and the Knight must combine forces on a perilous quest to stop a mad sorcerer from destroying the world. Filled with menace, monsters, and magic, A Nameless Witch is a properly witchly read by the award-winning author of Gil’s All Fright Diner and In the Company of Ogres.

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wonderful, dark. comic fantasy. This is the first book I have read by A. Lee Martinez, but I fully intend to read more. I really enjoyed the characters, their interactions and the storyline. I read this book in a day and that is always the sign of a good book. One that you avoid all responsibility to finish. lol

The front cover says 'A tale of vengenace, true love, and cannibalism' and that just about says it all for this book. Great read!!

View all my reviews.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sunstorm (A Time Odyssey, Book 2) by Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Baxter

Sunstorm (A Time Odyssey, Book 2) Sunstorm by Arthur C. Clarke

When Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the greatest science fiction writer ever, teams up with award-winning author Stephen Baxter, who shares Clarke’s bold vision of a future where technology and humanism advance hand in hand, the result is bound to be a book of stellar ambition and accomplishment. Such was the case with Time’s Eye. Now, in the highly anticipated sequel, Clarke and Baxter draw their epic to a triumphant conclusion that is as mind-blowing as anything in Clarke’s famous Space Odyssey series.


Returned to the Earth of 2037 by the Firstborn, mysterious beings of almost limitless technological prowess, Bisesa Dutt is haunted by the memories of her five years spent on the strange alternate Earth called Mir, a jigsaw-puzzle world made up of lands and people cut out of different eras of Earth’s history. Why did the Firstborn create Mir? Why was Bisesa taken there and then brought back on the day after her original disappearance?

Bisesa’s questions receive a chilling answer when scientists discover an anomaly in the sun’s core–an anomaly that has no natural cause is evidence of alien intervention over two thousand years before. Now plans set in motion millennia ago by inscrutable watchers light-years away are coming to fruition in a sunstorm designed to scour the Earth of all life in a bombardment of deadly radiation.

Thus commences a furious race against a ticking solar time bomb. But even now, as apocalypse looms, cooperation is not easy for the peoples and nations of the Earth. Religious and political differences threaten to undermine every effort.

And all the while, the Firstborn are watching...

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
While this book is billed as "Book Two of the Time Odyssey" it can be read as a stand alone, no problem. In fact the one character and the part of the plot that connect these two books are stretched very thin.

I enjoyed this book more than the first, but then it is a totally different type of book. This book is a more of an 'end of the world' book. The character, Bisesa Dutt, who is also in the first book is a very different character in this book and really a very minor one. The knowledge that she has of the 'Firstborn' plays a role in this book, but it is a role that this character really does not have to be present for. So there are my comparisons of the two books. lol As for my review of this book on it's own, I enjoyed it.

The world faces possible extinction when the sun sends out massive energy beams directly towards earth. It is up to humanity to figure out a way to save itself. The fact that this 'attack' is really alien made as opposed to a natural event comes later in the book and really has no impact on the overall storyline. This book is about humanity coming together to save itself in the face of extinction. An enjoyable read.

View all my reviews.