Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Books I read in May

Airs Beneath the Moon by Toby Bishop A-
From the cover: "At Deeping Farm, far in the Uplands, young Larkyn Hamley finds a lone winged horse, starving, exhausted, and about to give birth. The headstrong Larkyn saves the newborn from death. But in the process, the coal-black foal named Tup bonds with Lark, which the horses only do with one human woman for life. So when Mistress Phillipa Winter arrives to inspect Tup, she has little choice but to take the farm girl to the Academy for a ‘proper’ education. There, Lark realizes that her unlikely good fortune may not be so lucky. For in the elite world of the Academy, Lark’s kindness and honesty prove to be weak armor against the taunts and cruelty of the high-born girls already there. Now, with Tup as her only ally, Larkyn Hamley is going to show everyone how high she can fly. Because if she falls, it’s a long, long way down."
Excellent. Reminiscent of Mercedes Lackey’s first book, Arrows Flight from the Queen’s Own trilogy. Definitely my favorite find of the month. Interesting characters. Complicated intrigue and mystery. Enough magic to sparkle...
Indelible Ink edited by Scott Larsen A
Essays by Joni Eareckson Tada, Charles Colson, Jay Kesler, Calvin Miller, Michael Card, Dallas Willard, Jill Briscoe, D. James Kennedy, J.I. Packer, Liz Curtis Higgs, Donald G. Bloesch, Kenneth N. Taylor, Gary R. Collins, Luci Shaw, Phillip E. Johnson, Luis Palau, John R. W. Stott, Edith Schaeffer, Walter Wangerin, Jr., Ravi Zacharias, Josh McDowell, Larry Crabb
This books deserved it's own entry, so I already wrote one. :)
When the Last Leaf Falls by Bill Myers (not the reporter guy) A
From the Cover: Paul Newcombe, a dedicated pastor, has all the answers until his strong-willed teenage daughter is stricken with a life-threatening disease. Together, he and Grandpa- a retired pastor and artist- and the rest of the family are hurled on an unforgettable roller-coaster ride of tears and laughter, heartache and joy, hope and fear... until they experience a powerful taste of God’s greatest gift to mankind.
This was excellent- I’m not a fan of much ‘Christian’ literature. It seems like to often it’s an excuse for mediocrity. "She’s giving it all to God, so we need to just be kind." There’s truth to that, but there’s also truth to the fact that the Jews were expected to provide a perfect lamb as their sacrifice to God.
This book had interesting characters and an interesting idea- plus the idea of art offered to God is threaded throughout this book- Grandpa is striving to create the perfect picture of God’s sacrifice. Paul’s daughter is a dancer who danced for God’s glory until cancer took her joy & faith...
Without Due Process by J.A. Jance B
J.P. Beaumont mystery. Sad one. Good mystery.
Failure to Appear by J.A. Jance B
J.P. Beaumont mystery. Theatre! Yay! A mystery set in the world of Ashland, Oregon’s Shakespeare Festival. Good one.
Breach of Duty by J.A. Jance B
J.P. Beaumont mystery. I’d read this one before... Beau’s partner dies and he ends up quitting the Seattle PD. Good one. Lots of interesting bits that come together... Some surprising twists.
Birds of Prey J.A. Jance B
J.P. Beaumont mystery. Not my favorite of the J.P. Beaumont mysteries, but still good. It’s set on an Alaskan cruise ship so that’s kinda fun for me... A bunch of Alaskan images and culture.
Long Time Gone by J.A. Jance B
J.P. Beaumont mystery. I really liked this one- Excellent mystery. It was good to get this follow up on some of Beau’s friends we haven’t seen in a while. I admit I knew who’dunit before it was done, but hey... I’ve read a lot of her mysteries by now...

Shade’s Children by Garth Nix B
Dark & sad... A post-apocolyptical future with only children surviving.

The Alton Gift by Marion Zimmer Bradley & Deborah Ross B+
Bradley passed away a few years ago, but she gave Ross her visions & notes for the future Darkovan novels. Ross writes better relationships than Bradley did; however, Ross lacks the zing of Bradley’s writing.
This started soooooo slow- I had almost given up. In fact, I had told myself that if the next chapter wasn’t any better I was putting it down, and then it got going. Took her about a third of the way in for the story to gel. I think she should have just cut out some of the back story and let the book stand without some of the first chapters. It is a joy to see the continuing story of Darkover, Lew Alton and his daughter. Even though Ross is not the writer Bradley was, I am pleased to read the continuing adventures...

Dead over Heels by MaryJanice Davidson B+
3 short stories, by the same author of the mermaid romances... The first was a vampire story, the second was a mermaid story and the third takes place in her werewolf world. I liked these. Definitely not deep thoughtful fiction. Mindless, brainless silly stories. I love her sense of humor, though. A little more steamy than my usual books, so beware. My favorite was the vampire story, which is kind of funny ‘cuz I typically don’t care for vampires. (Beth loves ‘em.)

Weregirls: Birth of the Pack by Petru Popescu C
This was not as good as it should have been... I picked it up at the library ‘cuz it looked good, but I got so annoyed. Too much unnecessary mystery. I wanted to spank the main character... And the most frustrating part is that she never had any negative results from the choices her parents and friends are telling her NOT to make. She deliberately ignores her ‘mystical advisors’ & never really deals with the serious consequences her choices should have caused. As a parent and a teacher, this book really annoyed me. As a fan of modern urban fantasy, this book was a disappointment.

Dragon’s Bait by Vivian Vande Velde B-
Beth suggested this one, and it wasn’t as good as I had hoped. It’s very simple. Lies are created to destroy the main character’s life- she is branded a witch and left for a dragon to devour. When the dragon arrives it offers her the opportunity for revenge. She learns that revenge isn’t as sweet as she expected. I didn’t find the characters very interesting or believable... And I found the dragon guy very annoying and standoffish. I didn’t understand why on earth the main character would like him enough to take off with him in the end.

Killing Moon by Rebecca York C
Werewolf book. Liked the characters. Predictable and convenient.

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