Monthly Archives: March 2011

Stay by Deb Caletti

Publisher: Simon Pulse (April 5, 2011)
Kindle: 352 pages / 670 KB
Source: Galley Grab
Ratings: 5 of 5 stars

Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is–and what he’s willing to do to make her stay.Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough…

Review:

This is my first Deb Caletti book, and I was simply blown away by it. Normally I’d stick with YA science fiction & fantasy, but for books like this one, I’d gladly try other YA contemporary fiction novels.

Masterfully written, Caletti finds a balance in her novel that could easily have come out poorly. Alternating chapters helps the reader to learn of what was happening to Clara now, and her relationship with Christian from the beginning. With books that switch back and forth that way, I traditionally find myself preferring one time frame, and impatiently reading/skimming through the other section. That wasn’t the case with Stay however. Caletti’s writing was flawless and kept me enchanted and engaged, even when the darkness in Christian started to make itself more known.

I realized, as I was writing this review, that I wanted to start off a lot of my points with a “normally I don’t” or a “usually I wouldn’t”. This entire book is outside of my norm, yet isn’t. Caletti has this way with words that I can’t get enough. Her metaphors are dead on, and her language brings this novel to life. The idea isn’t unusual in itself, but it’s the way Caletti takes it and makes it her own that makes Stay as good a read as I found it to be.

Caletti was able to take a dark and serious topic, and wrote it in such a gripping way that it is not only relevant to the YA target audience, but to an older audience as well. Definitely a recommendation for anyone remotely interested.

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Waiting on Wednesday

These “Waiting on Wednesday” posts are a little odd to me. I’m more the type to browse the bookstore or amazon and find books randomly, or find one author I like and read everything by him or her, or to take recommendations from people I know. However, Kim suggested we do some Waiting on Wednesday posts to talk about books coming out soon, so I figured I’d give it a try!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted here at Breaking the Spine.

The upcoming title by Amos Oz, Scenes From Village Life, looked super interesting to me. I have always had an odd attraction to jewish culture (though I am not jewish), and love reading books by jewish authors. I have requested a galley for this book, and hopefully I’ll be able to read and review it here before it comes out. If not, I’ll get it when it’s released, and then review it here =]

Here’s the review from Amazon:

Amos Oz’s novel-in-stories is a brilliant, unsettling glimpse of what goes on beneath the surface of everyday life.Scenes from Village Lifeis a parable for Israel, and for all of us. In the village of Tel Ilan, something is off kilter. An elderly man complains to his daughter that he hears the sound of digging under his house at night. Could it be his tenant, a young Arab? But then the tenant hears the mysterious digging sounds too. The mayor receives a note from his wife: “Don’t worry about me.” He looks all over, no sign of her. The veneer of new wealth around the village—gourmet restaurants and art galleries, a winery—cannot conceal abandoned outbuildings, disused air raid shelters, rusting farm tools, and trucks left wherever they stopped.

Amos Oz’s novel-in-stories is a brilliant, unsettling glimpse of what goes on beneath the surface of everyday life.Scenes from Village Lifeis a parable for Israel, and for all of us.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (June 23, 2009)
Paperback: 664 pages
Series: Millenium #1
Rating: 2 of 5 stars

Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch – and there’s always a catch – is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson’s novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don’t want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.

Review:

Let me start by saying, I’m probably one of the few people who didn’t immediately fall in love with this book (if at all). I’ll admit though, Larsson had an interesting idea. Partly because of my aunt’s recommendation and to be able to watch the movies guilt-free, I forged through and read the book.

Set in Sweden, it was interesting to read about a foreign place. The story circles aroudn the two main charachters: Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist who recent lost a major libel case, and Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant but largely misunderstood girl who is considered legally incompetent in the eyes of the Swedish law. Then we throw Henry Vanger into the mix, the elderly former CEO of Vanger Enterprises. Vanger is obsessive over the cold case, and now, in his old age, wants to try one last time to put it all to rest.

Definitely an interesting plot, and a great set of well developed, flawed characters to keep us interested. But maybe in part due to my lack of understanding for Swedish society, there were times when it felt like the story dragged. More often then not, I found myself skimming through quite a few information centered sections, and the story didn’t progress as swiftly as I would have liked.

Again, I mostly read this book for the movie. There were several topics that made me quite uncomfortable (because I have the sensibilities of a maiden aunt). There were things like adultery, rape and corruption in the system. One particular scene involved Lisbeth and the scum ball social worker (or whatever they’re called in Sweden), who makes his appearance again in the next book so I wasn’t allowed to forget his existence easily. I’m inclined to believe people love these books for a reason, so I tentatively recommend this book in hopes you all find something redeeming that I missed. It’s a slow start, but for others (just not myself) it does pick up as you get into the book.


Great House, By Nicole Krauss

I was introduced to Nicole Krauss (Not to be confused with Nicola Krauss) via one of my creative writing professors, Jon Papernick—also a writer, whose books I’ll be reviewing in the coming weeks—because I had professed my undying love of Jonathan Safran Foer. The two are incidentally married, and incidentally extraordinarily talented writers.

I first read The History of Love, which I totally recommend, and just recently finished her latest novel, Great House. Great House gets its title from Jewish folklore, and if you love stories about jews, or that have jews in them, like I do, you should definitely pick up this book. However, I don’t know if this book is for everyone. Both Foer and his lovely wife Nicole Krauss often use a fractured style of story telling, where different character’s stories run parallel to each other, and are often only connected in subtle ways (at least at first, the intertwinedness usually becomes more relevant toward the end). For example, at the start of Great House, the only connection is a huge writing desk that is described to be almost like a supernatural force.

It’s large, old, shrouded in the mystery of its origins, with rows and rows of tiny drawers and a fairly ominous presence. I tend to like this style, but for some who don’t necessarily care for hearing four or five different stories in one novel, it may seem too fragmented. The book is broken down into sections, all told from first person and like somewhat of a confessional of sorts. Some of the characters’ voices intrigued me more than others, for instance that of an older, ailing Israeli father addressing a son to whom he’s nearly always been estranged.

The one thing I wasn’t crazy about with this book is that it seemed unfairly weighted toward some of the characters. Some characters got two or three “chapters” and others got only one. The last chapter even introduced a whole new voice; and I wasn’t sure if I liked that or not. This is almost more of a testament to Krauss’ skill than it is a criticism—I felt so attached to each character that I just wanted more chapters from his or her point of view.

Krauss offers a really textured portrait of each person, both by having the characters examine themselves and by portraying each through the eyes of others. Her style is very economical—there isn’t any flab to her writing. This book is also achingly sad. Not in the tear-jerking style of Jodi Piccoult, but far more subtle. There are, yes, overtly sad portions of the novel, but there are other parts that may not be something to which you as a reader can relate, but the emotions expressed by each character are so real and raw that you can’t help but feel them too.

The ending also really resonated with me. I won’t give it away here because that would be really lame of me, but the way in which the ending was handled/written in such a way that it echoed the sentiments expressed therein perfectly—that will make sense when you actually read it. Overall, if you’re interested in books that are written in really interesting ways and still tell a really good story, I would recommend Great House. However, I understand how it may not be for everyone. Feel free to leave any contesting thoughts, reviews, or feelings in the comments.


“Waiting on” Wednesday: Vanish in Plain Sight

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

Vanish in Plain Sight by Marta Perry

Paperback: 384 pages
Publication date: May 24, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin

From Netgalley.com:

Since she was a little girl, Marisa Angelo has been haunted by the image of her mother walking away, suitcase in hand, to return to her Amish roots.

Marisa and her “Englischer” father never saw or heard from her again. Now Marisa has received a shocking call from police. Her mother’s bloodstained suitcase was found hidden inside the wall of an Amish farmhouse.

Desperate for answers, Marisa heads to Lancaster County. But no one—not the police or Marisa’s tight-lipped Amish relatives—can explain what happened to her mother.
Only one man is as determined as Marisa to unravel the mystery— Link Morgan, the handsome ex-military loner who found the suitcase in the house he inherited from his uncle. Because both Link’s and Marisa’s family members are implicated in the decades-old disappearance.

The secret lies somewhere in the quaint Amish settlements. But someone will do anything to ensure the truth remains hidden forever.


Shades of Twilight by Linda Howard

Publisher: Pocket (September 1, 1997/ November 24, 2009)
Kindle: 384 pages / 562 KB
Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Roanna Davenport was raised a wealthy orphan on her grandmother’s magnificent Alabama estate, Davencourt, where she had a passion for horses, a genius for trouble, and a deep love for her cousin, Webb. But everyone expected Webb to marry their ravishing cousin, Jessie. When he did, Roanna’s desire became no more than the stuff of dreams — until the night Jessie was found bludgeoned to death.

After the shocking murder of his wife, Webb left for Arizona, abandoning the legacy that he had once believed was all he wanted. But then an all-grown-up Roanna walked into a dingy bar in Nogales to bring him home; the mischievous sprite he had known ten years earlier was no more. Gone, too, was her fire. In its place was ice that melted at his touch. Webb is drawn back to Davencourt, to Roanna, and to the killer that once destroyed his life and waits only for the chance to finish the job….

Review:

This is a pretty old romance novel. I’d been looking for something new to read now that I’ve exhausted all my Nora Roberts options. (I haven’t read any of her J.D.Robb works, but I’ll get to it sooner or later.)

I hate to sound cliched, but I read romance novels for the plots and not the smut. Since this will be my first romance novel review, I’ll explain myself a little here. They have an adult fairy tale feel for me: you can trust them to have a decent, happy ending. “Shades of Twilight” hit the limits of what I find acceptable amounts of smut. The book even starts with a sex scene! How scandalous! The smut bordered from being simply too steamy to over the top and crude. If they weren’t having sex then the characters were thinking about it.

The storyline was relatively different enough to keep me interested even when the smut made me want to go away. One issue readers may have is how seemingly incestuous the relationships in the book are. Howard pushes the lines on what is and isn’t socially acceptable, but writes it in a way to keep the reader hooked and willing to explore the possibilities.

I haven’t read any of Howard’s other works, but her ability to keep me engaged and emotionally vested in the character’s well-being, despite my discomfort, has me contemplating what else to read by her. If you able to keep an open mind and are looking for a new romance to read, do check this out.


“The Shifting Heart” by Bryn Colvin

I haven’t written a review in a while, so please forgive me! School has been hectic, but I will be trying to post more regularly. –

I would like to preface this review with a little disclaimer. In our first post, Kim and I promised to review good books, great books and even bad books. This is just my little speech about bad books. I may poke fun, I may mock, I may snort disdainfully, I may say horribly derogatory things about the mental acuity of the writer, but I want to make it clear that bad books, no matter how terrible, did get published. So underneath all of the scoffing and insults, there is a kernel of respect that I have for every published author. I’m a writer too, and I haven’t yet been published. So although I may not-so-humbly think that my work is more well written than some ‘bad books’ I review here, I still give kudos to the author. Not only did he or she complete a book, which in itself is a tremendous feat for which anyone who accomplishes it deserves praise, but he or she is actually earning at least a small portion of his or her living doing something he or she loves: writing. Also, any written work should quite honestly be respected in some aspects. Someone, somewhere will connect with it. If a published or unpublished book, story, novella, essay or poem gets someone, somewhere in the world thinking, or inspires them in some way, it deserves at least a smidgen of praise and respect. But it may or may not also deserve to be mercilessly mocked!
            I would also just like to quickly warn you that I plan on spoiling almost the entire story of this book because it is just too good, and there’s very little chance that you will actually read this review and go—“Sounds like a feat of literary intrigue! I must purchase and read immediately!” Though you probably should; it’s great for a laugh, or a hundred. To give you a frame of reference, this book makes Twilight look like Jane Eyre.

As someone who doesn’t normally frequent the bodice-ripper/erotica/romance genre, I didn’t really expect to care much for this book. However, it was free. Plus, I saw the phrase “vicar’s daughter” on the back jacket summary, and as an avid fan of the TV show Friends*, I couldn’t resist. The Shifting Heart is a really odd mixture of Young Adult paranormal activity and hard-core erotic scenes, so the intended audience of this book was, right off the bat, quite unclear. The heroine of the novel is Megan, The Vicar’s daughter, who falls for Seth a wild, sexy, and dangerous man who, aside from his other qualities, has the ability to transform himself into an otter. You heard me. Not a wolf, horse, eagle, or other sort of alluring/mysterious/powerful animal, but an otter. An otter. Intrigue!

At the start of the novel, Megan and her servant, Ivy, are wandering around in a blizzard trying to deliver food and blankets to a poor family on the edge of town, who can’t help squeezing out loin product despite the fact they live in a shack and have no food. Anyway, Megan falls in a ditch. Ivy tries to pull her out, but can’t. Enter Seth and his brother Ben, who help Megan out of the ditch and offer the girls shelter for the night.
            After returning home, Megan sits with her ailing mother and assures her of her own and Ivy’s safety, and that the charitable deed was eventually completed. Through a few awkward comments it becomes clear to the reader that Megan still thinks babies come from the stork.

Later, when Megan is walking to the church with her father (the vicar), by way of hackneyed foreshadowing, they see two otters gamboling in the street. Then, Megan is praying in the church when some random creeper just starts like stroking her hair, which for some reason she’s totally fine with. It’s Seth. He’s all husky voiced and lusty, and convinces Megan to meet him at the ruins of the old Abbey just outside of town. Megan wonders what Seth could possibly want with her, and the reader rolls his or her eyes.
            Cut to Ivy, who is meandering innocently through town and is verbally assaulted by Ben, who begins from this point forward to refer to Ivy as “Wench,” or alternately, “my wench.” Reader wonders if Ben may or may not be a pirate, while Ivy coquettishly laughs and the two banter playfully. It becomes clear that Ivy is the more sensible of the two girls. She is unmarried and is somewhat of a feminist at the start of the story. She does not wish to marry or “know a man’s touch,” because she wants to make her own life and not spend all her time dropping brats, like her mother and other poor people in the village.

The next day, Megan waits for Seth at the ruins and continues to wonder what the two will do. Seth emerges nude from the river after transforming out of his “otter skin.” Megan is a little wierded out at first but is kind of fine with it because Seth is apparently an Otter-man Adonis. Reader learns important life lesson about how to judge potential mates. The two throw down and consummate their new affair pretty much instantly. This scene is one of my favorite passages in the story, namely because I nearly busted a gut laughing when the phrase “curious manifestation” was used to described Seth’s down-town bonanza. Seth shows Megan a pretty good time before turning back into an Otter and returning to the river. From a craft standpoint, the use of “curious manifestation” is understandable, considering there are so many realistically Victorian-sounding slang words for “penis.” For instance, ‘down-town bonanza’ would not have been an acceptable choice.
            Megan and Seth continue the affair, with Megan becoming more confident sexually as the story wares on. Ben continues to pester Ivy. Weather constraints prevent the lovers from seeing each other for a while (read: conflict!). Seth, driven mad by his animalistic otter-side and lust for Megan, bangs on the Vicar’s door in the middle of the night. Ivy answers and lets him in. He goes up to meet Megan, who spontaneously rends her gauzy nightgown in twain and the two copulate furiously. It is implied that at least part of this scene takes place with Seth in his Otter form. Reader wonders if author has a furry fetish. They fall asleep post-coitus.
            Cut to Ivy, drinking tea downstairs, when suddenly the Vicar is chasing a nude Seth through the house. The two crossed paths on the way to the latrine, perhaps. Anyway, Ivy claims that Seth is her lover to spare Megan’s reputation. Megan, wearing a shredded nightgown and exposing herself to everyone, is somehow not suspected of impropriety and Ivy is promptly fired.

Ivy moves back home and works in the field while being continuously harassed by Ben. The two lovers, Megan and Seth, avoid each other for a while so as not to be suspicious. One day, Megan is at the church teaching sewing. She sees boys in the yard kicking an animal. She runs out to stop it. She realizes it’s an otter and starts to freak out. She stops a passing farmer and asks for his help moving the injured creature out of the street. The farmer then kills the otter with a rusty shovel. The reader actually has an emotional reaction, because honestly otters are fucking adorable and no one wants to see one’s skull crushed by a shovel.
            Megan goes catatonic, refusing to eat, assuming, understandably, that the otter was Seth. Ben proposes to Ivy. She accepts essentially out of necessity, and there’s an actually sad passage that describes her resignation to the impoverished married life of her mother.
            Megan, the Vicar and Vicar’s wife move to the big city, where Megan can be checked into a mental health facility. A young new Vicar, whose name is legitimately Reverend Gotobed, moves in. Warning: here’s where the story starts to go crazy.
            An unsuspecting Ivy is hanging laundry at her and Ben’s cottage when she is pounced on and taken roughly from behind. At first she thought it was Ben, her husband, but somewhere between getting her skirt ripped off and actually turning around to look at her assailant, she realizes its Seth. Ivy doesn’t really struggle and pretty much just enjoys the ride. Reader learns it’s okay to cheat on your husband if it’s someone really hot, especially if that person is your husband’s brother, because they kind of look alike anyway.
            Seth then asks who Ivy is, apparently not remembering her from the ditch-blizzard-cottage incident. He saunters off to find some clothing and asks about Megan. He becomes determined to be with Megan again. We haven’t really heard him talk much until this point, but it becomes clear to the reader that Seth’s human side might actually be cave man. Ivy explains her mental breakdown.
            Megan breaks out of the looney bin and wanders through the woods with apparent amnesia, trying to find her way back to her otter love. Enter Reverend Gotobed, who is exploring the Abbey ruins. He sees Megan all barefoot and crazed with twigs in her hair, rambling about nothing and apparently thinks: damn, what a hot piece. He is filled with a sinful lustiness and has a brief crisis of faith before deciding to kiss Megan, who laughs and yells something obscene like, “I’m a bitch otter in heat!” She dances off crazily through the woods and Reverend Gotobed returns home to molest his young servant girl, Sara, and about 25 pages from the end of the novel, a side plot begins.
            Meanwhile, back at the compound, Ivy and Seth continue their affair. Megan wanders through town looking for Seth. Ben doesn’t catch his wife and her mister-ess until they decide brazenly to mate in Ivy and Ben’s marriage bed.
            It is then revealed to the reader that Ben is likewise blessed with Otter powers. Both men turn into Otters and have a brawl over Ivy, who is trying to stop the fight. Megan returns and watches, horrified. Eventually one Otter falls and the other runs off into the woods. The women take the wounded one back into the house, unsure which Otter brother it is because, well, they’re otters. The otter in the house dies. They bury it.
            Ben returns in human form, and Megan has breakdown number two as she realizes that this time, the dearly departed otter is definitely Seth.

Here’s where the brilliant story telling far outstrips my capacity to comprehend the plot, so I’ll do my best to interpret what I read in the last few murky pages. Megan runs through the woods grieving, and an apparition of Seth comes to her—or so we think. Then, Megan falls in a ditch and dies. Seriously. She is resurrected as a ghost and she and Seth romp eternally through the woods. He teaches her how to turn into an Otter, and they have lots of ghostly, otterly sex. Ben and Ivy try to repair their marriage, and decide to have children. Ivy thinks some otter kids would be nice, so she gives Ben her blessing to have sex with a lady otter, who is female but I’m fairly certain is just a regular otter, and have otter kids. And regular kids via her own womb, later, I think.
            Meanwhile, Reverend Gotobed wants to do his servant, who traps him into a marriage by refusing to give up her body before he puts a ring on it. Reader learns that it is acceptable for man to propose as a reaction to blue balls.
            They wed, and their wedding night festivities are interrupted by the good Reverend hearing people in the empty guest room. He goes in, member a-swinging (I mention this because it is not conjecture. It is described in detail), to see whose in his house. He hallucinates seeing Megan and Seth engaging in some raunchy relations. Reverend Gotobed’s new bride comes up behind him and is confused by his apparent hallucinations but thinks he is totally sound to consummate the marriage. They mate.

It is then revealed, absurdly close to the end of the book (read: afterthought), that there is an urban legend in the village about ‘ghost girls’ wandering the woods. It is really vague and unclear, but I think it’s implied that the otter brothers are somehow always involved and are potentially immortal, or at least there has been generation after generation of otter men.
            Then, a year passes. Reverend Gotobed’s wife dies. And his daughter. Ivy sits by the river as Ben teaches their litter of otter children how to fish. One of them, upon climbing out of the river yells to “Uncle Seth.”

Then it ends.
            That is seriously the end of the story. I flipped the page over a few times to be sure, but yeah. That was it. I have never in my life read such a confusing, hobbled together, somewhat perverted excuse for a porn novel. If you are a writer, and you doubt yourself, I seriously recommend you pick up this book. It will be a serious ego booster.

*If you’re confused, watch the episode “The One With Rachel’s Book,” from season seven.


“Waiting on” Wednesday: Chasing Fire

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts

Kindle: 880 KB
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publication date: April 12, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Adult

From Amazon:

There’s little as thrilling as firefighting-at least to Rowan Tripp. The Missoula smoke jumpers are in Rowan’s blood: her father is a legend. She’s been fighting fires since her eighteenth birthday. At this point, returning to the wilds of Montana for the season feels like coming home-even with reminders of the partner she lost last season still lingering.

Fortunately, this year’s rookie crop is one of the strongest ever-and Gulliver Curry’s one of the best. He’s also a walking contradiction, a hotshot firefighter with a big vocabulary and a winter job at a kids’ arcade.

Everything is thrown off balance when a dark presence lashes out against Rowan, looking to blame someone for last year’s tragedy. Rowan knows she can’t complicate things with Gull-any distractions in the air or on the ground could mean the end-but if she doesn’t find someone she can lean on, she may not make it through the summer. . .


One for the Money by Janet Evanovich (Fiction)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (February 24, 1999)
Kindle: 352 pages / 379 KB
Series: Stephanie Plum #1
Rating: 3 of 5 stars

After her Miata is repossessed, Stephanie Plum turns to bounty hunting for quick cash, and her first quarry, an ex-cop accused of murder, turns out to be her first lover, with whom she still shares a powerful chemistry.

Review:

For anyone who reads mystery/ thrillers and has browsed in a book store, it more than likely you have seen this book before, even in passing. It’s Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. Sporting bright, colorful and bordering obnoxious covers, I almost avoided picking up this first book.

The reason I picked up this series was the countless recommendations. One way it was described to me was as being “light, easy reading”. And, it is. I’ve read a few of Janet Evanovich’s re-published romance novels & “Wicked Appetite”, her new book that came out last fall (which is a spin-off of the Stephanie Plum un-numbered set of books). Her romance always had too much packed in to really work well. With the Plum series, by simply being a series it gives Evanovich adequate time to fit in what plot themes she wants and time to develop her characters.

In this first book, we meet the main cast of characters. There’s Stephanie’s family: her mother (who constantly wants Stephanie to settle down and live up to the “Burg” expectations), her Grandma Mazur (who decided to let loose after her husband passed on), and her father (who tries his hardest to ignore them all at the dinner table and focus on his meal). Vinnie is her cousin, whom she blackmails into giving her a job as a Bond Enforcement Agent (BEA) aka bounty hunter. Then there’s Joe Morelli, the bad boy turned cop turned Failure to Appear (FTA), who has a sexual history with Stephanie. Through Stephanie’s new job, she meets Ranger. He’s the hot Cuban American bountry hunter, who, on a lark, takes Stephanie under his wing. He likens it to a Professor Higgins and Eliza Dolittle type of relationship.

It’s an interesting mix of characters with an interesting plot to boot. However as a standalone, the sheer amount of people you meet can be overwhelming. Luckily it’s part of a series, and Evanovich has the space to spread her creative wings. Overall, this series is definitely an easy read. Give it a chance, and you’ll find yourself flying through all the books.


River Marked by Patricia Briggs (fiction)

Publisher: Ace Books (March 1, 2011)
Kindle: 576 KB
Hardcover: 336
Series: Mercy Thompson #6
Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She’s never known any others of her kind. Until now.

An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River-one that her father’s people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help…

Review:

This is the newest Mercy Thompson book I mention in my last review. I pre-ordered it on Amazon/Kindle and spent Tuesday reading it. Definitely a fantastic continuation of the series.

As the readers of the series know, (mostly) through no fault of her own, Mercy inevitably finds herself embroiled in all sorts of trouble. This time though, Mercy and Adam are away from the pack and their friends on their honeymoon.

With the past books, there was a lot of focus on Mercy and her “crew”, as I’ll call them. That “crew” consisting of Stefan the vampire, Adam, Warren, Kyle, Zee, Adam’s pack, etc. This time Briggs moved us away from that focus. Instead, for majority of the book, we get to see Adam and Mercy on their own interacting with strangers. What I loved about this book was how the mystery of Mercy’s father was finally touched upon and explored.

No longer is it just the typical supernatural creatures being represented. Briggs is moving away from just werewolves, vampires, etc. for this book. Instead we get to delve more into Native American folklore. Which I felt was a brilliant move on Briggs’ part to keep the story interesting and the reader coming back for more.

A must read for any Patricia Briggs/ Mercy Thompson fan. And if you haven’t read any of her work/ this series yet, go read “Moon Called” and fall in love with them as I did.

———–

Side note: Thanks to Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic for letting me use her book review style!