Friday, October 31, 2008

October Reads

The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz A
Loved this- largely because I’m a Koontz fan, I’m sure. Koontz’s gift for quickly creating fully realized characters draws the reader into this edge of the seat thriller/fantasy story. This is not my favorite Koontz novel (Watchers or Strangers, maybe Odd Thomas); however, his dogs once again enchanted me... I think he did a tad too much moralizing, but I love how he continues to persuade readers of a God of love who intervenes. His books always build on the idea that the world is evil, sick and nasty, but that hope exists, God loves, and good will win. Skim the touches of moralizing and enjoy a rocking good read.

Oddly Enough by Bruce Coville A+
Fantastically wonderful short stories by this excellent YA fantasy author. Some horrible, some delightful, some plain old silly. This was his first book of short stories and I really enjoyed them- only one or two that made me twitch. :) Well worth the time.

Deep Wood by Jennifer Roberson A
The second in her Karavans series about a world of magic and people caught up in powers greater than themselves. A family has been torn apart by a magic storm and this story details their search for each other. Much better than the first, which I found slow and a bit cumbersome. I guess she was spending most of the time establishing the world and the series- this time the story started well and continued to move- a bit wordy in the first section, but otherwise quite good.

The Wish by Gail Carson Levine A
Excellent YA fiction. A girl helps an old woman on the subway and is granted one wish- she chooses to be the most popular girl in school and then has to deal with the results... By the author of Ella Enchanted, and though not as good as that one, still quite fun.

Cell by Stephen King B+
Good story. But, I hate to say it, this story is a bit done. Sorry, King fans. I’ve read other books on the apocalypse theme that have been just as good or better, and the only new thing was the idea that cell phone’s caused the horror. He should have stuck with a short story on the subject. His short stories are wicked good... However, his characters are excellently drawn and I enjoyed seeing them achieve victory.

Troll Fell by Katherine Langrish B
Fantasy YA. Very good troll story about a young boy who loses his father and is taken by 2 nasty uncles to live in a mill and work. Quite delightful to see the uncles get taken down by the evil trolls. A nice variety of magical creatures are introduced in this books- lubbers, nis, trolls...

Troll Mill by Katherine Langrish B

Second in her Troll series- Continues Peer Ulfsson's story which she started in Troll Fell. Quirky style, fantastic creatures, a good fun story.

Aliens Ate My Homework by Bruce Coville A
The first Rod Allbright Alien adventure. Very good YA. Fun, light alien/coming-of-age book, with some good YA themes thrown in for good measure.

I Left My Sneakers in Dimension X by Bruce Coville A
The second Rod Allbright Alien adventure. Very good YA. Continues the fun and growing up stuff. I'm looking forward to finding the next few books in this series at the library.

Forgotten by Mariah Stewart B
Interesting mystery suspense. I liked the heroic characters, and thought the horror was adequately horrible. I was annoyed in the first chapter that once again I was reading an FBI/murder/suspense thing, but I got drawn into the story line and found enough worth reading to continue...

No Time For Goodbye by Linwood Barclay B-
Not the best mystery/suspense... The plot and romance were a bit contrived. I admit I knew who the murderer was, so I was a bit annoyed with how long it took everybody else to figure it all out... (Silly side note: this was my mom's book, and I actually got dragged into reading it 'cuz every time I'd pass by the book I'd start singing, "Sarah, Sarah, no time is a good time for goodbyes...")

Fatal Burn by Lisa Jackson B-
I was disappointed with this mystery/suspense. I had a hard time believing one of the characters would do what he did... It seemed very contrived and fake- done simply for the plot. I knew who the bad guy was- I don’t know how you could get half-way through this one without knowing. Disappointing because the last one I read by her was very good...

Dangerous by Nora Roberts B+
Yup, I’ve been reading romances... These aren’t straight romances, though! Really! This was an anthology of mystery/romances and 2 of them were very good, and the other one wasn’t bad. Roberts creates believable and fun characters- you end up rooting for them and hoping they figure out who-dun-it...

Memory in Death by J.D. Robb B+
Another cop-mystery- again, I had a fairly good idea of who-dun-it, but watching it all unfold was fun.

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