Monday, May 7, 2012

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris is the latest in the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series.  The last offering, Dead Reckoning, got a lot of bad reviews and I was hoping that Deadlocked would provide a strong story line leading to the end of the series, which Ms. Harris has stated will be in the next book, to be released in May 2013.  I am sorry to say, that the book I expected/hoped for is not the book I read.  I was truly hoping for an action packed story with a terrific cliffhanger that will pull everything together in the final book.  What I read was a book that could have fit anywhere in the series, not chronologically of course, but I certainly didn't feel like any type of anticipation was being built toward the end of the series.   Nor did I feel that the actual story was all that great. The plot was too convoluted and although  I will admit that the antagonist in this story was a bit unexpected,  the resolution was too simple and didn't always make sense to me. 

I have been a fan of this series since I picked up Dead Until Dark.  I've found the stories to be well-written and the characters well-developed and believable, within the world they inhabit.  And, of course, I will read the final book to see how it all ends.  However, I don't have high hopes for the next book. It seems to me that it will sum up the happily ever afters of various characters without any real substance to the story.  As a reader, I'd love to see Sookie get her life with Eric straightened out and find a way to live happily ever after with him.  I'd love to read that they start their happily ever after and be disappointed that the series has ended.  Unfortunately, based on the last two books of the series, I don't expect  that to happen.  I expect a lot of convenient endings, including an "aha" moment for Sookie where she realizes that someone else in her life is the 'one for her' giving her an easy ending that requires little imagination on the part of the reader or the writer.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Chaos is book 3 of the Caster Chronicles, continuing the story of Lena and Ethan--young, in love and trying to stop the end of the world.

If you haven't read Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness, stop right now and go read them.  Reading any further will spoil your reading experience of these first two books in the series and they are definitely worth reading.

After fighting darkness and bringing his love back from the brink of evil, you'd think Ethan Wate would get a break.  You would be wrong.  Not only does he not get a break, things are actually getting worse.  The summer is never-ending, the heat is unbearable. The sun is scorching clear into December and no one can figure out how to fix it.  The church-goers believe the end of days is near--and they have no idea how right they are.  The Order has been broken and until it is righted, chaos will ensue. 

Ethan, along with Lena, Link and Liv, has to figure out how to set things right.  He is receiving messages about the eighteenth moon and that a sacrifice will have to be made.  He has to find the One that is Two and determine what role this person plays in fixing the Order.  Plus, he's helping Link deal with being newly part Incubus, protecting Lena from her evil relatives and suspects that something isn't quite right with the newly Mortal Ridley.  To top things off, Amma is acting strangely and his Dad is suddenly inspired to write a book called "The Eighteenth Moon".  It's all a bit overwhelming for Ethan, but he'll do whatever it takes to protect the ones he loves.

I don't want to give away too much, but I will say this.  I regret reading this book now--because the cliff-hanger ending is spectacular and now I have to wait until Beautiful Redemption is published in October to find out what happens!  I highly recommend this series and I just learned that casting is taking place for a movie of Beautiful Creatures!  I can't wait to see how the book is adapted to the screen. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wild Wild Death by Casey Daniels

I had been anxiously awaiting the latest installment in the Pepper Martin series and it was worth the wait!

Pepper Martin can see and talk to ghosts--in fact, she's a sort of paranormal investigator, helping ghosts settle unfinished business so that they can cross to the other side.  Thus far, she's helped a lot of spirits cross over, but it's wreaked havoc on her social life.  Her opportunity to be with Dr. Dan was thwarted by the ghost of his dead wife and Quinn, well he's seen it and still won't believe it.  Her latest adventure, however, might just change all that.

Dr. Dan is in trouble:  he's been kidnapped and his abductors have contacted Pepper to bring the bones of a Native American buried in Cleveland to New Mexico, supposedly to break a curse on the city that exacts itself on the Cleveland Indians baseball team.  Bringing the bones to New Mexico brings Pepper into a whole new world, one where she doesn't need to hide her abilities.  In fact, her abilities are looked upon as a gift by the Native American community and she is accepted and appreciated for being Pepper.

I really enjoyed this new adventure.  I admit, I get worried when a series reaches more than five books because they can become repetitive, tedious or just plain ridiculous.  However, this is the eighth installment in the Pepper Martin series and the change of scenery was refreshing.  Placing Pepper in a situation where she has the opportunity to explore her gifts and what they mean to her showed growth in her character and bodes well for the future of the series.  While I was a bit disappointed in the ending, I think I understand Casey Daniels' reasons for ending the book as she did and I look forward to the next Pepper Martin mystery.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Follow Friday!!

It's Follow Friday!!

Today's Follow Friday question is:

Question of the Week: Go count the number of unread books sitting on your shelf. How many?


I have around 20 print books on my TBR shelf and a five more ebooks; however, I have at least 100 more on my TBR list on GoodReads--books I don't yet own but intend to read.  I've gotten away from printed books and wonder how long some of them will linger as TBR while I devour ebooks at an alarming rate :) 

These are just my fiction books, I have a large collection of 'reference' books on my shelves, not all of which I have read :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Author!

So, as you may know, lately I've been reading more independent authors and I've found another one that I like:  Rose Pressey.  I've read Me and My Ghoulfriends and Ghouls Night Out from the Larue Donovan series and No Shoes, No Shirt, No Spells from the Mystic Cafe series and really have enjoyed her characters and her stories.

Larue Donovan can see and speak to the dead.  She uses her abilities to help departed souls find the light and cross over to the other side.  However, during her attempts to help these souls cross, she usually finds herself hosting them as room mates for a while until they are ready to go.  Her side job as a ghost hunter usually brings her into contact with said souls, who then follow her home and hang around until they are ready to cross over.  Her 'friends' make her daily life a little complicated, since only her best friend knows about Larue's abilities (and she'd like to keep it that way). 

In both the books I have read, Larue gets mixed up with other 'supernatural' elements in her hometown that she never knew existed.  She encounters black magic witches, as well as the local white magic coven.  In both books, she is involved in a burgeoning romance with Callahan, the new guy in town, and her abilities make things a little complicated all around.  I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed with the plot similarities between the two books and hope that future plots are a little more creative, but I did enjoy the characters involved and hope to see more of this series in the future.

The Mystic Cafe series, however, is definitely my favorite of the two.  When her grandmother retires, Elly Blair finds herself the new owner of the Mystic Cafe, which her grandmother has run for all of Elly's life.  While she is a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of running her own restaurant, her grandmother throws in a surprise--magic.  Elly is skilled with magic, as her grandmother is, and it is now Elly's responsibility to not only feed the people in town, but to also add magic to their food in order to boost self-esteem, relieve pain or whatever the customer may need.  Unfortunately, things do not go smoothly for Elly and she must find a way to correct a spell gone awry before the powers that be close the cafe forever.

I really enjoyed the first installment and look forward to the next one, which is due out soon!  Rose Pressey also has a number of other series that I plan to check out in the near future :)