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Showing posts from 2009

Interstellar Pig, William Sleator

When i was a kid, i spent a lot of time at the library. every week or so, we would head to the local branch and walk out with armloads and tote bags full of books.? i remember my parents forced us impose a personal book limit on what we could check out. this maximum limit was a real pain in the ass, but it did force us to expand our horizons and read outside the comfort bubble we were in. this expansion was the only way we could ensure that we would not run out of stuff to read. i remember that one week, i had already reached my maximum. my dad walked over and handed? me a copy of William Sleator’s Interstellar Pig. it pushed me over my limit for the week but no one gave me any crap over it. my dad had never read the book before, but he had a good feel for the bizarre nature of his kid and it was a good call. i ahve never forgotten the name of this book, nor it’s plotline. at one point, i was even found sleep walking and describing of of the characters as having been in the house. after r…

Patient Zero - Jonathan Maberry

its been about a month since i read this book. since i finished, i have stew over it and passed it on to at least two other people. i guess this means i need to write about it too, as i obviously enjoyed it. ZOMBIES, but not your typical variety. There was no alien flyby? or radiation leak that caused these undead to rise and eat flesh. At no point did hell fill up and the souls of the damned rise to retake the earth. Patient Zero is pure science. science and violent horrific terrorism bent on destroying americans and all who stand beside them. terrorists have begun activating cells testing out a new bio weapon that kills and reanimates. Joe Ledger is brought into the mix to head up a team of black-ops that will attempt to save us all. Book 1 in Jonathan Maberry’s new series is fuckin awesome. You dont pick it up expecting Hemingway, there is no desire to be reminded of The Great Gatsby or the Hours. you know? what you are getting into from the first page. this is not to say that he is n…

Trilogy- The Genesis of Shannara - Terry Brooks

I have long been told that Terry Brooks was a writer i would enjoy, but i really had no strong desire to start reading his mammoth Shannara series. 19 books is quite a commitment to a single author, as such, i just never got around to reading any of them. About six months ago, i ran across a copy of Armageddon’s Children on the cheap. I read the inside cover and it was pretty clear that this was a standalone book, and a nice introduction into Brooks, with out having to commit myself to a mass reading project. i picked up the book and read it, enjoying the whole plot. Unfortunately, the book ended up not being a standalone. Instead, it was the first book in a standalone TRILOGY. the prequels to the Shannara series… damn you publishing house.. damn you. The other two books are “The Elves of Cintra” and “They Gypsy Morph” I searched out and found matching hardback copies of the rest of the trilogy and got sucked into the story with absolutely no effort. The series is pretty solid. it detail…

The Spellman Files, Lisa Lutz

I am not sure how i felt about this book. This statement is not a reflection of how i felt about the novel as much as the fact that i was suckered into reading book one of a series.? as a standalone book, i enjoyed it. as a series, i think i would rather step on a nail. there are 4 more books.. This is not to say that i did not enjoy The Spellman Files. I did enjoy it, i would recommend it to others. Four more novels (with likely more on the way) that is quite an investment of time to move forward into something i found enjoyable, but not stellar. yet, i already know the characters, i know their personalities and quirks. it seems natural to move to the next in the list. ~~ The Spellman Files revolves around a screwed up family of the same name. the mother and father own a detective agency, and instead of using the TV as a baby sitter, they bring their kids in on the business. From an early age, the spellman kids learn how to professionally stalk people. they learn how to do background che…

Rasputin's Daughter - Robert Alexander

This is one of the best books i have read in the the last 12 months. Rasputin?s Daughter is considered historical fiction. it is based around Maria, one of Grigori Rasputin?s daughters. The book covers the time frame of up to a week prior to Rasputin?s death. Rasputin himself has been world renowned as a charlatan, a genius, a monk, faith healer and psychic. in folklore, his powers were limitless, his ability to manipulate was matchless, and it took a whole lot to kill the bastard. most of the world knows him as one of the most evil and untamed humans ever to live. Maria is a different person all together. she is mellow and loving, sweet and kindly. she sees nothing but purity in her father. Maria herself is confused, she is lonely and sad, but she has high hopes for her future. Maria is a daddy?s girl through and through. the book reads well. the dialogue through out the book is excellent and persuasive. RD leads you down som interesting thought paths. what happens if you remove the demon…

Shake the Devil Off - Ethan Brown

i did not enjoy this book but my wife did.
after 3 chapters, i was wishing i had never started it. being a true crime buff, i thought this would be up my alley, but really couldnt get into it. my wife however, clearly liked this. it is not one that she would have picked up on her own. she stated that it should be read for the story, but if no other reason exists, to raise awareness of how our troops are mistreated and psychologically damaged/misdiagnosed upon their return to home after wartime. personally, i think i can get the same perspective from a book about the reagan era and an afternoon watching Rambo films.
perhaps in a year, i will be able to finish this book.
my 1 star and her 4 star equates 2.5 rating listed here.
This review is based on a book kindly provided for free by the publisher or author. Please check my FTC Douche-claimer for details regarding this disclaimer’s existence.

Lightning, Dean Koontz

still sick.. bear with me if my grammar and such sucks today… on a recent trip to california for a wedding, jenn and i decided to spend the whole trip not talking to each other. no no no, it wasnt because of bad stuff, it was because audiobook goodness was going to make the long car drive easier. 12+ hours of audio, the unabridged audiobook of Dean Koontz “Lightning”. Lightning is the story of a woman, Shane, who’s destiny is altered repeatedly by a stranger. at key points of her life? a pale stranger, Stefan,? arrives and aids her. his only goal is to make sure she lives. through muggings, abuse, and accidents, he assists her. what he doesnt know is that his help will bring men with machine guns her way. - Lightning details how each of these events is mysteriously associated with erratic weather patterns. - it details how destiny does not like to be led, and will attempt to revert back to its original shape. Turned out to be a pretty decent book. ultimately, the plot line is fairly easy to …

Spook Country, William Gibson

Spook Country, a book where absolutely nothing happens, in detail. after 100 pages, i was still lost as to the point of this book. every character is dangerously interesting. nothing is cohesive, just chapter after chapter of loosely tied together story. just enough to keep you turning the pages, but not enough for you to know what is happening. there is no “main protagonist” or “main antagonist” every character has their own agenda and none are good or evil. everyone has something going on and you are slowly led through the various stories until they all merge into one semi-cohesive semi-plot. every one of these characters deserves their own book. dont hold your breath for a big bang ending though. when it all culminates in the last 25 pages, you will either be giggling at the cleverness or unhappy that you sat through it all. i think this book would make a great film modified and directed by the cohen brothers. thats it. no more review. as the books semi-plot doesnt have much to it besid…

The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe | Prince Caspian | The Voyage of the DawnTreader | The Silver Chair | The Horse and his Boy | The Magicians Nephew | The Last Battle
Narnia, sweet Narnia. When I was young, your tales made my imagination swirl. You were the sweet little brother to Lord of the Rings. As a kid brother, we enjoyed hanging out at first. Your silly antics and off kilter view of reality made me smile. LOTR and I thought you were fancy in your way. Before long, we had out grown you. Your psuedo-serious outlook on the world no longer caught our attention. While LOTR and I grew up, you stayed the same. You lacked depth and fell back on religion like a crutch. Though getting older, you continued to prey on the young;? like a creepy guy who searches out and only dates high school (or younger) children. Though still friends, you and I no longer communicated. LOTR and I continued to pal around. Recently, I found that I was missing you. Some films were made in the last few years de…

Blood Kin - Ceridwen Dovey

Blood Kin, written by Ceridwen Dovey, was a big surprise. It was given to me in a big bag o’books by my friend Janneke. The bag was so full of possible reads that I didn’t know I had it in my possession until earlier this summer. When it did come to my attention, I escalated it up my list of “to be read” books. Not reading the back cover, I was first drawn in by the authors name, very beautiful. The cover was well put together and designed nicely (click image to enlarge)
Clocking in at 183 pages, it didn’t take long to get through the story and was a nice break from a series I was in the middle of. I am unsure where the book takes place. It could be in a South American country, or deep in an unknown country in eastern Europe. However, I did get a very “Cuba” feel from the story. The name of the country was either never mentioned, or I was completely oblivious, both are possible scenarios Dovey’s book is broken into 3 segments. Segment one is a series of chapters focusing around three men…

Coffee and Kung Fu, Karen Brichoux

Coffee and kung fu is a book about loneliness. it it about settling for less, because of fear of having nothing. it is about finding yourself a little bit at a time and not recognizing the pieces.
brichoux’s book was quite entertaining. though the book opens with a kung fu movie description, non k-fu fans should not be deterred. there is more here than the first chapter and book title lead you to believe. though ever chapter will contain a couple references to jackie chan films, his legacy will not taint your experience. it would be nice if the main character had a bit more taste in classic kung fu. general fiction, a bit of romance, some humor and drama, it is a very well rounded read and worth putting in the effort to get past chapter 1.

Rocket Man, William Hazelgrove

Rocket Man was a very enjoyable story. It centers around Dale, husband and father of two. Dale is stuck in the burbs, hating every minute of it. His idea was to get out of the city and live the idyllic country life. This is not what he ended up with. instead, his house is close to foreclosure, bills are piling up, and his daughter cries at the drop of a pin.
Dale is an author in a slump. His first few novels are published but he has had nothing new in four years. He fights with his wife, his boy seems to hate him, and the cops keep stopping blaming him for a sign that was cut down illegally in their neighborhood. When Dale’s father enters the book, everything gets far more interesting than expected. I will let you make up your own mind when you read the first chapter as Dale off-roads an SUV full of boy scouts through an field while drinking a bloody mary behind the wheel (hair of the dog), purely because he did not want to go the long way home. The last 3 pages of this book made my hear…

The American Rifle, Alexander Rose

Simply put, this book was fairly amazing.

Who would have thought you could read a whole book about Rifles and find it interesting from beginning to end. Not I. From the origin of the musket, the riffling process where its name comes from, to the historical movements influenced by its use,  this reads like a meandering plotline with no standardized characters. It was very rare when I felt like I was slogging through a text book, and more often like I was watching a well written history channel segment. Minus the commercials of course :)

This review is based on a book kindly provided for free by the publisher or author. Please check my FTC Douche-claimer for details regarding this disclaimer’s existence.

Evil at Heart: Long character arc's is Fan appreciated!

Chelsea Cain has become one of my favorite authors over the last year. I have read a great number of her books, and have even considered getting a newspaper subscription so I can keep up with her more day to day writings as a columnist at The Oregonian.

I lucked into an Advance Reader Copy of this book. By 'lucked', I mean that I hit up every source I knew which was giving away copies and threw myself in the pot. I waited patiently through all of July, crossing my fingers and hoping. Though my fingers are stiff, I guess it worked. The better part of a month before public release, I received a glorious copy.

When it arrived in my cubicle at work, I opened the package and felt a little tug in my blood box.
Evil at Heart (Chelsea Cain)Series: Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell (Book 3)320 pagesMinotaur BooksISBN-10: 0312946783ISBN-13: 978-0312946784 Other books in this series include HeartSick and SweetHeart, each of which includes key characters Archie Sheridan, Susan Ward, Hen…

Burning Chrome (William Gibson)

William Gibson’s Burning Chrome, 1986 Public transit actually made this a more enjoyable read than I would otherwise think. It is not so much that the bumping and swerving of bus drivers, or the low pitched drone of a rail system enhanced the book. Instead, there was more that there was time to mull it over. A couple weeks back, I finished reading Burning Chrome on my way to work. When finished, I was surprisingly lucky that I did not have a “back up book” with me. It is very rare that i do not have a second book available to me. In this case, it had slipped my mind that I would be finished soon. Half of the last story was left when I just gave up. When i arrived at work, I handed the book to a coworker who wanted to read it and wrote it off as unfinishable. As far as collections of short stories go, I tend to stay away from them. They seem like teases to a larger plot line, the story that i would prefer to read. They often seem either too rushed to make a point, or too slow and thus mea…

The Winter of our Discontent, John Steinbeck

1961 Hardcover Viking Press edition. Jenn’s grandparents passed her a variety of books recently, which included a set of hardcover Steinbeck. Each book is a tan color with smooth faux leather and John Steinbeck imprinted into the front.
Deciding to read this was one of the best moves i have made in a long time. I have always felt that Steinbeck was hit or miss. some of his work is easy. Others can never cath my attention enough to be able to make it worth the time. Reading Discontent, i thought at first i would be working with the latter of the two choices. I was dead wrong on this. As Steinbeck’s last work published before his death, it is a work worthy of the title “Literary Classic” that it is often assigned. Ethan comes from money. The founders of New Baytown included his family. Whalers and supposed pirates, their fortunes were amassed over generations. through a series of bad decisions and bad advice, Ethan’s father loses it all. Ethan finds himself stuck working as a clerk at a l…

Children of Men, PD James (with Spoilers)

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Vintage; Rei Rep edition (May 16, 2006)
Originally published:? 1992
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307275434
ISBN-13: 978-0307275431 PD James… cant say i am a fan.. i have read one or two of her novels, and they are all very interesting, but not a style i enjoy reading. In her mystery novels, investigator Adam Dalgliesh is an excellent character, and the plot lines are excellent, but i find her writing style tiresome and very “unexcellent”. typically, getting 50 pages into one of her novels is a challenge for me. by page 50 i have enough of the plot in view that i can slog through the rest of it. as a result of these past experiences, i put off reading this a great number of times. The Children of Men was greatly different. Throughout the initial 50 pages, I was accosted by over abundance of internal monologue and ultra descriptive scenery that i had virtually no interest in. right around page 50, characters start intermingling and talking. as soon as James start…

The Minotaur takes a cigarette break, (Steven Sherrill)

The Minotaur takes a cigarette break (Steven Sherrill). Not one of the best books i have ever read, but enjoyable all the same. The core plot is as such… The Minotaur, and other mythical beings, are no longer living in their old obscurity. Instead, they have a more modernized obscurity. The Minotaur, referred to by his friends and co-workers as “M”, has traveled the world for the last 5000 years, and has only recently settled in this parched landscape. the trailer he rents is too small for him to comfortably live in. the trailer park he lives in contains a few folks he has gotten to know fairly well. not that he cares for the most part, humans are fickle and mortal. having given up the “old world”, he lives in rural southwestern USA. i cant tell exactly where, but the feel i get is that it is new mexico, if the location was mentioned by name i missed it. M has gotten a job as a line cook at a local dive, and brings in enough cash to make him comfortable. M is lonely and depressed. the bo…

The Sound and The Fury (William Faulkner)

the sound and the fury -i picked this book up at goodwill, for a buck and change. i had heard it was good, but never got around to reading it. turns out, it is one of the best books i have ever read. set in a combination of locals and times, varied themes and ideals are put forward depending on which section you are reading. the story is broken into 4 parts, each part is told from the perspective of a different individual, all related in some way to the Compson family. it mainly breaks down the destruction of a family and all they know. mentally, physically, emotionally, you watch as they self destruct. i will not go into too much detail on the actual story as the book is 80 years old. you can find fantastic plot break downs all over the web. ———— the first section was absolutely unbearable. i almost put down the book and gave up entirely. carried out in about a hundred pages, it is told entirely from the view point of Benjy Compson. sound/fury is presented as stream of consciousness. benjy …