Monthly Archives: June 2010

Impact by Douglas Preston

from library

This book was wonderful.  It has a unique twist on the popular end of the world scenario.

The format reminded me of James Rollins books in that the story progressed from separate viewpoints.  Each chapter takes place in different parts of the world with different characters.  Eventually, it all comes together.

This is the first book I have read by Douglas Preston, but it definitely won’t be the last.  I love reading apocalyptic stories and Impact certainly is that.

The story has plots within plots.  They were so well written I could not decide which ones were the more intense: the ones about the end of the world or the ones about the deaths of individuals.

I know it is a cliche to call a book a “page-turner,” but this one definitely meets that description.

As a side note, this is the fifteenth book I have read this month.  I was not planning on participating in The Book Whisperer’s Book-a-Day Challenge, but it looks like I need to sign up.

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Filed under Science Fiction

Death by the Book (Jack Susko, #1) by Lenny Bartulin

I picked this book up simply because I liked the title.  The fact that it was about a book seller helped too of course.  I like mysteries, but I do not normally read crime dramas.  I prefer my mysteries to have either a romance or paranormal twist to them, so this book was out of my comfort zone.

Having said all that, I cannot decide if I did not like the book simply because it was not my style or because it was so dark.  I think those are actually the same thing in this case.

Jack Susko is not a likable person.  The only positive thing I can say about him is that he likes his cat.  Annabelle, the female lead, is hard to figure out.  Is she really a nice person and a victim of her family or is she just out for herself?

I did not enjoy reading the book, but the mystery was engrossing enough that I had to finish it.  The outcome was also a surprise.  I thought I had it figured out, but I there was an unexpected twist.

If you like crime dramas, read this book.  The sequel, The Black Russian, is scheduled for release in 2010.

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Filed under Mystery

Insatiable (Meena Harper, #1) by Meg Cabot

I like Meg Cabot.  I haven’t read everything she has written, but I have enjoyed the ones I did.  Her newest book, Insatiable, is a vampire romance.  Since that is one of my favorite genres, I was very excited about it.

This book is typical Meg Cabot in that it is a light romance with comical aspects.  The main character is Meena Harper which is an obvious play on Mina Harker from the original Dracula.  Her brother’s name is Jon, so of course, we also have a Jon Harper/Harker.  In Dracula, John was Mina’s husband.

In this story, Meena falls in love with the Prince of Darkness, although there is a possible rival in a vampire slayer named Alaric Wulf.  Oh yes, and just to complicate matters, Meena can foresee when people are going to die.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on vampires who are, after all, already dead.

I really enjoyed this book, right up until the ending.  I would have given it five stars, except the author so obviously set it up for a sequel.  I love series, but I want each book to actually have an ending.  This one did not end to my satisfaction at all.

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Filed under Humor, Paranormal, Romance

The Spellmans Strike Again (Spellmans, #4) by Lisa Lutz

Okay, the end of the Spellman family.

Not really, the Spellmans haven’t been killed off or anything, but the author has stated this is the last book.  She does a good job of tying up loose ends, straightening out relationships, etc.  I just don’t want the series to be over.  I have really enjoyed these books and they are laugh out loud funny.

Rae is almost grown up.

Izzy is more grown up than anyone, including herself, ever expected her to be.

David is not quite so perfect.

And, the parental unit is the same as ever.

Izzy is involved with investigations that she is actually being paid for as well as the ones for revenge.  The revenge ones involve both outsiders and her family.  In other words, nothing has changed with her obsessions.

I will miss this entire family and I hold out hopes for another book somewhere down the road.  Otherwise, when will Izzy get the chance to say about document four “Now out in paperback!”

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Filed under Humor, Mystery, Romance

A Secret Affair (Huxtable Quintet, #5) by Mary Balogh

This has been a great series.  I received the first book, First Comes Marriage as a Goodreads Giveaway and I was hooked.  Books two through four I was able to get with ILL through the public library, but this book was too new.  There was no way I could wait to find out Con’s story, so I purchased it myself.

This final book was thoroughly satisfying.  It tied up several questions that were introduced in the first book and brought all of the major and  not so major characters back together.  I thought I knew who the real “bad guy” was going to turn out to be and found out I was completely wrong!

Con was always one of my favorite members of the family and he is well matched with the Duchess.  And, I finally figured out the time period of this series, which is a couple of decades past the Regency.

These were my first Mary Balogh books.  I seriously doubt they will be my last.

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Filed under Historical, Regency, Romance

Strange Angels (Strange Angels, #1) by Lili St. Crow

This is the best Young Adult book I have read this summer.  It is one of the nominees for YALSA’s Teens Top Ten list for 2010 and is my favorite so far.

I know many readers will make the comparison between Strange Angels and Twilight.  There is a female protagonist and two men who both strive for her attention.  There are vampires and werewolves and other paranormal creatures.

The main difference to me is that Dru is not a victim like Bella constantly seems to be.  She and her father fight the evil creatures of “The Real World.”  If you are familiar with the television series Supernatural, you will definitely see the similarities.

I purchased this book for our school library in January.  Unfortunately, it was only checked out six times.  I will make it a point to promote this book next year.  I believe the students who enjoy the Vampire Academy and House of Night series will love this one.

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Filed under Paranormal, Young Adult

Seducing an Angel (Huxtable Quintet, #4) by Mary Balogh

The fourth novel of the Huxtable Quintet is the first to focus on a male character in the family.  Stephen is the youngest child and only male of the four siblings.  Despite that, he is not a spoiled brat.

At the age of twenty-five, he is seduced (although he denies it was a seduction) by Cassandra, Lady Paget who is a widow three years his senior.  She is in need of a protector to keep her and her dependents from becoming destitute.

As in all good romances, they fall in love.  However, Stephen keeps telling himself that he is only worried about her.  Of course, some type of scandal ensues and he ends up having to marry her anyway.

I have mixed feelings about this book and I am not sure why.  I like Stephen.  I liked him in the earlier books and I was always afraid that the elevation of his status would make him run wild.  I am glad the author did not take that obvious route.

I do however think he is too good to be true in this book.  His relationship with Cassandra is not very realistic for a male member of the ton during this time period.

What I really did like was the inclusion of all my favorite characters from the earlier books.  Their personalities remained as I expected along with their love for each other.

I received the first book in this series as a Goodreads Giveaway.  Books two through four came from the library.  However, since book five, A Secret Affair, is brand new, I have had to order my own copy.  I cannot wait to finally read Con’s story.

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Filed under Historical, Regency, Romance

At Last Comes Love (Huxtable Quintet, #3) by Mary Balogh

I think this is my favorite Huxtable book so far.  I am not sure if it is because I feel like I know the characters better, or if it is just a better story.

Margaret/Meg/Maggie is the oldest sister and the oldest sibling in the family.  She has been more mother than sister to the others since their real mother died.  Due to that, she put her own life on hold.

Finally, her two sisters are married and her brother has reached his majority.  Margaret decides it is time to finally accept the offer of marriage from her most persistent suitor.  Her decision comes just in time because her first love Crispin is back in London and she does not want to have heart broken again.

However, Duncan Pennethorne has other ideas.  He is in desperate need of a wife or he will lose his inheritance.  When Margaret literally runs into him at a ball, he asks her to dance and marry him all within the same sentence.

All of these books seem to have a scandal of some type and this one is not an exception.  Duncan ran away with a married woman five years earlier and has only returned because of her death.

I think the reason I liked this book the best was because I like Duncan the best of all the male characters.  I think he is the most honest of them.

The final two books revolve around the men in the family, Stephen, the brother and Con, their cousin.  It will be interesting to see the different viewpoint.

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Filed under Historical, Regency, Romance

Then Comes Seduction (Huxtable Quintet, #2) by Mary Balogh

Although I am a long time Regency reader, I had never read a Mary Balogh book until I received First Comes Marriage as a Goodreads Giveaway.  I enjoyed the book so much, I had to read the rest of the series.

Book two starts out with a thoroughly unlikeable hero.  While foxed, Lord Montford makes a wager to seduce an innocent . . . specifically, the youngest Huxtable sister, Katherine.  Although I could have forgiven him for making the wager while drunk, he planned to follow through even after he was sober.

The story does not take up again until three years later.  I guess that was to give Montford the opportunity to grow up.  Of course, he and Katherine meet again.  Of course, the scandal comes to light.  And, of course, they end up having to marry.

I sound very negative about this book, but I really did like it.  I also like the fact that this series does not follow the siblings in the predictable order of their birth.  Vanessa, in the first book, is the middle daughter and the second oldest.  Katherine is the youngest daughter and the third by age.

Some series can easily be read in any order.  At least, that is what I have heard other people say.  Personally, I am compulsive about reading books in order.  Anyway, this series really needs to be read in the order intended.  There are reoccurring characters and numerous references to earlier books.  I am glad that all of the books have been published and I am able to read them back to back.

**copy obtained from public library

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Filed under Historical, Regency, Romance

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

First of all, I cannot decide if the book was really that slow or I was just not in the mood to read it.  There is no action at all.  There is not even a lot of relationship development because the two main characters had “known” each other for years.

I did like the twist she had on lycanthropy.  The way werewolves were created was classic, but their lives were totally different.  She introduced another major difference as well, but I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone.

I read this book because it is on this year’s YALSA Teens Top Ten nominee list.  As a school librarian, I need to read the books, so I know which students will most appreciate them.  A number of my girls enjoy the “I love him/her, but we can never be together” plot, so I believe the book will be popular.

The sequel Linger is due out July 20, 2010.

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Filed under Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult