"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Saturday, March 12, 2011

City of Bones by Michael Connelly

Status quo for Harry Bosch. I didn't find the mystery in this one very compelling. The major points of the story were directed more to Harry's personal life rather than his professional one. City of Bones had the distinct feel of a 'set -up' novel as if Connelly used this one to set up readers for what's coming next in the series.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Into Temptation by Penny Vincenzi

I'm so sorry this is over for me! I came to love the characters in this trilogy very much. The third and final volume in The Spoils of Time ties things up very nicely- but not too nicely! Lady Celia is fully redeemed and is a character to be greatly admired. There were a few things that left me wondering but there is sufficient information to allow me to draw my own conclusions about the fate of the second and third generation of Lytton's. Maybe I'll get really lucky and there will someday be a fourth book... 
This one, like its predecessors, had it all. Love, laughter, suspense, drama, even a little criminal activity. For a book that doesn't involve any serial killers or detectives there is a surprising element of suspense throughout. Just when you finish a section about one character and are lamenting the pause in that particular story line you find yourself completely involved in the plight of another character entirely. The entire time I read this book I marked my progress with gasps, sharp intakes of breath, and various exclamations of, 'What?!', 'No!', and 'Holy cats!'. 
Thank you Penny Vincenzi for publishing in America; you certainly have a fan in me!

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Something Dangerous by Penny Vincenzi

It is a rare occasion when I find an author that rivals Jodi Picoult for my literary admiration. Penny Vincenzi is that rare occasion. I fell completely in with the Spoils of Time trilogy. This second installment picks up with the second generation of Lytton's and somehow Vincenzi manages to continue the suspense and the family drama without creating a trite 'Dallas' type of read. I had a more difficult time admiring the venerable Lady Celia in this one but I think the disenchantment you feel for her in this one sets the tone for redemption in the third. Each character manages somehow to inspire admiration and disapproval almost simultaneously throughout. None of the characters are too perfectly good or too perfectly evil but they are all very perfectly human. Penny Vincenzi's talent is hi-lighted by the number of characters she brings to the story without being formulaic or creating redundancy. This trilogy will be one I will recommend many times over.

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Wild Inferno by Sandi Ault

Lukewarm. Everything about this book was lukewarm. The mystery critically lacked anything interesting, the characters are out-of -a-box typical, there isn't anything that resembles much of a developed plot or storyline. The most interesting player is the main character's anxiety-riddled wolf and that's only because how could an anxiety-riddled wolf be anything but interesting? No romance, no mystery, passable writing, no dynamic characters. I could have just written 'meh' and you would know exactly what I mean.

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Cast of Shadows by Kevin Guilfoile

This book is centered around one of the strangest concepts I have ever encountered, which is saying something considering the number of Sci-fi books I have enjoyed recently. It's a suspense thriller with multiple expeditions into what could almost be called science fiction but isn't quite, considering the very likely possibility that the events posed as fiction by Guilfoile could be very real concerns in the not too distant future. Cloning is a fairly common occurrence in the story and one physician clones a baby after a criminal so he may have a living version to compare physical appearance to in order to identify the man he is actually hunting. Due to the nature of the plot elements there are times that the story line seems to drag on and lose momentum but ultimately I found it fascinating, suspenseful, and thought provoking. The author has an acute sense of irony that I really appreciated, particularly at the end. I won't recommend this but I wouldn't warn an interested reader away from it. 

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