Monday, November 30, 2009

10 Books To Read Before You Die

Saw this posted over at Tif Talks Books and it looked like a fun meme. It's hosted by Pam over at Bookalicious if you want to check out all the books people have been recommending. I think this is a great idea, and much easier than those lists of 1001! So here, in no particular order, are the books that have left an impact, stayed with me, and that I think everyone should definitely read:

1. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
2. The Complete Tales of the Brothers Grimm
3. The Child Thief by Brom
4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
5. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
6. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
7. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
8. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
9. D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths
10. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff by Christopher Moore
This was much more difficult than expected! Especially number ten, as there were so many candidates! Went with books I find myself gifting again and again, as well as titles which have stayed with me over the years. So what do you think? Seems to be an awful lot of fantasy in there. Which must-read did I forget? Curious to see other people's lists now...

Blog Tour will stop by on 12/2/09!

Join Bill Walker, author of the soul searching romance novel, A Note From an Old Acquaintance (iUniverse, June 2009), as he virtually tours the blogosphere in November and December on his second virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

About the Author
Bill Walker is a graphic designer specializing in book and dust jacket design, and has worked on projects by Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King. Between his design work and his writing, he spends his spare time reading voraciously and playing very loud guitar, much to the chagrin of his lovely wife and two sons. Bill makes his home in Los Angeles and can be reached through his web site:

About the Book
Brian Weller is a haunted man. It’s been two years since the tragic accident that left his three-year-old son dead and his wife in an irreversible coma. A popular author of mega-selling thrillers, Brian’s life has reached a crossroads: his new book is stalled, his wife’s prognosis is dire, and he teeters on the brink of despair.

Everything changes the morning an e-mail arrives from Boston artist Joanna Richman. Her heartfelt note brings back all the poignant memories: the night their eyes met, the fiery passion of their short-lived affair, and the agonizing moment he was forced to leave Joanna forever. Now, fifteen years later, the guilt and anger threaten to overwhelm him. Vowing to make things right, Brian arranges a book-signing tour that will take him back to Boston. He is eager to see Joanna again, but remains unsure where their reunion will lead. One thing is certain: the forces that tore their love asunder will stop at nothing to keep them apart.

Filled with tender romance and taut suspense, A Note from an Old Acquaintance is an unforgettable story about fate, honor, and the power of true love

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In My Mailbox (22)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Honestly didn't think I'd have anything in my mailbox this week, so was pleasantly surprised when I received two books! I know, I know, shouldn't receive any if I'm serious about reducing my humongous TBR pile. I'm weak... *L*

Received Bite Marks by Jennifer Rardin from a contest hosted by Rachael over at Enchanted by Books. Lucked out when the original contest winner didn't respond, so I was the runner-up. Score!

Jaz Parks here. But I'm not alone. I'm hearing voices in my head - and they're not mine.

The problem, or maybe the solution, is work. And the job's a stinker this time -- killing the gnomes that are threatening to topple NASA's Australian-based space complex. Yeah, I know. Vayl and I should still be able to kick this one in our sleep. Except that Hell has thrown up a demon named Kyphas to knock us off track. And damn is she indestructible!

Got my $9 copy of Breathless by Dean Koontz from Amazon Friday afternoon. Hey, I'm not proud! Someone offers to sell me a $28 book that I would have bought no matter what for a measly $9, I'm there! *L*

Koontz delivers a thrilling novel of suspense and adventure, as the lives of strangers converge around a mystery unfolding high in the Colorado mountains—and the balance of the world begins to tilt….

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else got this week!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Book Review: Covet by J.R. Ward

Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Signet (September 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451228219
ISBN-13: 978-0451228215

Rating: 1/5
Source: Public Library

Book Blurb:
Redemption isn't a word Jim Heron knows much about - his specialty is revenge, and to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charge with saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. And failure is not an option. Vin DiPietro long ago sold his soul to his business, and he's good with that - until fate intervenes in the form of a tough-talking, Harley-riding, self-professed savior. But then he meets a woman who will make him question his destiny, his sanity, and his heart - and he has to work with a fallen angel to win her over and redeem his own soul.

My Review:

Words alone cannot express how very, very disappointed I am with this book. I really like Ward and had high hopes for this book. It's the first in a series and to be honest, I was hoping for another Black Dagger Brotherhood. No such luck. I just don't care about Jim or Vin or Marie-Terese or Devina. I kept reading long after I would have stopped with another author because of Ward's track record, but finally gave up around the 28th chapter. Thought I would push through and finish it, but simply can't read another word.

My problems were mainly with the characters and the plot, as the writing itself wasn't bad. Don't get me wrong, as I think that Ward is a talented writer, but this series just isn't for me. I didn't care about Jim, who comes back from the dead with a mission to save souls. Didn't care about either Vin, who is his first mission, or the two women in Vin's life. And the plot didn't move fast enough for me either. To put it simply, I was bored.

All in all, I was very disappointed with this book. Looking forward to the next one in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, but won't be reading any future books in the Fallen Angels saga. Think this is only the second book I haven't been able to finish since I've started blogging, so hoping my next book will be better!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Book Review: Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade (October 27, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425230074
ISBN-13: 978-0425230077

Rating: 3/5
Source: Public Library

From Publishers Weekly:
In her second bridal-themed romance about four friends who run Vows, a Greenwich, Conn., wedding planning business, Roberts focuses on Emma Grant while her partners, MacKensie, Parker and Laurel, play supporting roles. In the first installment of this planned quartet, Vows' bridal photographer got engaged, and now florist Emma wonders if she can find true love with old friend Jack Cooke, who is also very close to Emma's associates. When Emma kisses Jack, her spark-o-meter melts from the blazing heat, but their romance's setbacks are smoothed out with a little help from their friends. Though there are few surprises in this cute courtship, those with a TiVo full of Bridezillas should enjoy it, thanks largely to Roberts's effortless wit. (Oct.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

My Review:
The first book in the Bride Quartet series, Vision in White, was one of my first reviews. I like Nora Roberts, as you know exactly what you'll get from her books: a good, old-fashioned, happily-ever-after romance. Sometimes I'm just in the mood for happily-ever-after, and Nora never disappoints.

This one picked up shortly after the first story and focuses on Emma, the florist. Emma is the most romantic one of the four friends, but she's no pushover. Emma and Jack have known each other for years, so are both a little surprised when their relationship takes a romantic turn. You know the story: boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back and they live happily ever after.

This was a fast read with no surprises and about halfway thru the book, I had a pretty good idea who the remaining two women will wind up with. No worries, as getting there is half the fun! I gave this book a 3/5 rating because while it's not outstanding, it's still very readable. Nothing groundbreaking or original, but very well done and you get exactly what you came for. Another job well done Nora!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Book Review: Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready

Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Pocket; Reprint edition (March 31, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439101345
ISBN-13: 978-1439101346

Rating: 4/5
Source: Personal Library

Book Blurb:
Newbie marketing intern Ciara Griffin lands a job at WMMP, a station threatened with being sold to Skyware, a giant communications conglomerate, unless ad revenue picks up. A former con artist with a canny way with people, Ciara soon learns that the DJs are undead and specialists in the musical eras in which they were turned into vampires. One of them, Shane McAllister (turned in 1995), is really hot and dangerously tempting. In order to attract more listeners, Ciara promotes a new marketing strategy and the Sherwood, Md., station becomes 94.3 WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock and Roll, exploiting the fang factor (which no listener takes seriously) for profit. It works, until an ancient vampire cult wants to pull the plug. Also playing in is The Control, an equally ancient paramilitary group created to protect good vampires and kill bad ones.

My Review:
Rock and roll. Vampires. Sexy DJs. What's not to love about this book?

Ciara wants to go straight after growing up in a family of grifters, and has a chance at a "real job" as a marketing intern for an independent radio station. Little does she know what she's getting the DJs are all vampires, stuck in the past. The radio station gives them the opportunity to survive, by blending their past realities with acceptable doses of the present.

Thought that this was a great start to an interesting series, and loved how Jeri included a playlist at the beginning of the book. The DJs are all intriguing, either in spite of or because of being stuck in a past era. The humans are also very relatable. Especially enjoyed Franklin, the marketing director who has his own unique salesmanship methods.

This was a well written book with a good plot that stood on it's own and didn't get bogged down in details. The characters were all believable, and most of them were likable. Lots of good music thrown into the mix as well, some of which I had to look up online. Gave this one a solid 4/5 rating, as I really enjoyed everything about the book! Looking forward to reading the rest of the series, as I can't wait to see what happens next at WVMP!

Friday, November 20, 2009

In My Mailbox (21)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I've been trying to be good and haven't entered as many contests or requested as many review copies so I can get my TBR piles under control!

Got a galley copy of Coming Undone by Lauren Dane, which I think it beyond cool! This is only the second galley I've received, and I can't wait to read it!

After his parents' death, Brody gave up a promising career to care for his family. Now, with his siblings grown, Brody owns his own business, and for the first time in years he's alone. Elise has come to Seattle with her daughter to find peace. After years as a world-famous ballerina-and trapped in a marriage gone bad-she's looking for neither love nor attention. But she finds both in the handsome, honest man who befriends her with no strings attached.

Received a copy of Lockdown: Escape From Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith as a review copy from the publisher. Trying to cut back on review copies, but this one looked intriguing.

Furnace Penitentiary: the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, “new fish” Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood-drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all-powerful warden, a man as cruel and dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison.

What did everyone get in their mailboxes this past week?

Book Review: Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler

Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Orbit (November 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316056588
ISBN-13: 978-0316056588

Rating: 5/5
Source: Personal library

Book Blurb:
Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane True always knew she didn't quite fit in with so-called normal society. During her nightly, clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean, a grisly find leads Jane to startling revelations about her heritage: she is only half-human.

My Review:
Jane True is my new hero! Rather than being the typical urban fantasy heroine who is gorgeous, smart, strong, sassy, and kicks butt, Jane is a believable woman who actually screams when confronted by scary vampires and monsters! How refreshing is that? Most characters in this genre would claim to be scared, but still make a smartass remark to show how tough they are. While Jane still takes things better than I probably would, she is a breath of fresh air and I loved, loved, loved this book!

Let me back up for a moment. In the interest of full disclosure, I have been waiting for this book for months! I follow Nicole Peeler on Twitter and her blog and was impatiently waiting for this book to finally come out. I can't believe how good it is, especially for a first novel! You know how sometimes you're reading along at a fast pace then BAM! you get hit in the face with a typo or inconsistency or something else that stops you dead in your tracks? Well, nothing like that in this book. Either Nicole is incredibly talented, she's conning us and this isn't really her first book, she has an amazing editor, or some combination of all of the above. This book was amazing!

Now back to the story: Jane grew up in a small town, complete with a "history". Crazy mom disappeared. Big scandal when her boyfriend died. Always been a little weird. All in all, Jane has not had an easy life. Things start to make a little more sense after she meets Ryu, a sexy investigator who is more than he seems. Loved the interaction between Jane, Ryu, and the various people he introduces her to.

Was originally going to give this book a 4/5 rating as while I enjoyed it, I didn't stay up all night to finish reading it. Then I realized that I've been talking about this book non-stop ever since I finished it, and recommending it to everyone I know. Figured that must be worth a 5/5 rating, as I really, really loved this book! Great writing, interesting characters, a plot that made sense, and a great beginning to a new series! Great job Ms. Peeler!


Went to the doctor yesterday for my after-surgery follow up visit. He removed the stitches in my knee and drained off some pooled blood. Had a bad reaction to the pain pills, so he advised me to stop taking them. Was a little rough yesterday getting them all out of my system, but hoping the worst of that is over.

Thanks again for all of the prayers and good wishes! They really help. {{hugs}}

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Word Verification Balderdash (10)

Word Verification Balderdash is a weekly meme started by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World Of Books.

You know all of those annoying word verifications you have to do when posting comments on certain blogs? Well, playing Balderdash with the words makes everything a little more bearable and fun! Be sure to write down the word verifications you come across while posting blog comments. You then play Balderdash with them by making up your own definition for the word!

Here are my words for this week:

Dessispo: Failed Italian coffee drink offered by Starbucks,
available either hot or iced, with a minty green coloring

Tedisp: Festive Teddy bear decanter for dispensing
liquid refreshments during the holidays.

Psyces: Minor Greek god of pranks, often confused
with his cousin Psyche, goddess of souls. Thought to be the
originator of the expression "to psyc someone out".

Grabess: Common affliction affecting shoppers on the day
after Thanksgiving, where they compulsively grab anything
not nailed down during Black Friday sales.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

I received this cool award from Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books and it seems pretty straightforward.

I have to list ten honest things about me and then pass the award on to ten other book bloggers. Hmmmmm, ten honest things? Could be fun! Well, here goes nothing!

1. I am not a morning person, yet turn into one whenever we go on vacation. Guess I don't want to miss out on anything!

2. Growing up, I loved watching variety shows like Donny & Marie, Sonny & Cher, Sheilds & Yarnell, etc. Wonder why they don't make varitey shows like that any more?

3. Am pretty sure that I'm addicted to reading, as I've been reduced to reading the backs of cereal boxes if nothing else is available!

4. Like Sheila, I love television commercials and that's the only reason I watch the Superbowl!

5. The Sarah McLaughlin SPCA commercial In The Arms of the Angels always makes me cry.

6. The best job I ever had was working in a mall bookstore.

7. I love baking, but don't really like to cook.

8. My favorite color is red. And yellow. And purple is nice too...

9. I can be shy until I get to know someone, then watch out! *L*

10. I would rather scrub a toilet than mow the lawn. Strange, but true.

Well, that didn't hurt too much. *L* Would like to pass this along to the following bloggers, as I'll think they'll have fun with it:

Shellie at Layers of Thought

Pam at Mom's Mutterings

Tif at Tif Talks Books

Susi at The Geeky Bookworm

Peter at KyusiReader

Tynga at Tynga's Reviews

Steph at Steph the Bookworm

Allison at Well-Read Reviews

Donna at Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings

Rachel at Enchanted By Books

Monday, November 16, 2009

Light a candle for me?

Well, I should be at the surgical center by now, waiting for the surgeon to show up. Hopefully, I am drugged and in Happy Land by now. Set the alarm clock for 5am, which I'm pretty sure is considered cruel and unusual punishment! Anyway, I have a bum knee, much pain is involved, and I couldn't put it off any longer. I do not do well with pain, so please send happy thoughts and good wishes my way.

Will be back in a few days. I have stocked up on chips, ice cream, and books, but didn't clean my house. I know what's important and have my priorities! *L*

Update: Just wanted to thank everyone for their good wishes and prayers! My surgery went well, I'm not in too much pain, and I'm back home where I belong. Slept most of the day, and told I'll probably sleep most of tomorrow as well. Thanks again for your well wishes. Means a lot to me. {{hugs}}

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Crushing on Neil Gaiman

Crushing on Neil Gaiman
I've been caught, so might as well admit it....I have a crush on Neil Gaiman. I have a picture of him at work, but thought I was safe because no one knew who he was. Busted! But what's not to like? He's got that adorable British accent! And I'm a sucker for a British accent (so you can imagine how much fun I had the first time in London. I seem to remember a lot of drooling)! *L*

Neil is also an immensely talented writer. Have loved every single one of his books, but Neverwhere is one of my all-time favorites. One of the few books that I've reread more than once.

Plus, it doesn't hurt that he's cute. Most people have a "type" and Neil happens to fit mine. Love the dark, messy hair. He's tall. Looks good in stubble. *sigh* And the big one - he has a brain and a sense of humor! You'd be surprised how rare that is nowadays.

You know what? I think the below picture really cinched my could I not fall for this guy??? Honestly....look at the sheer size of his......library! ;)

Neil Gaiman's library

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In My Mailbox (20)

In My Mailbox (20)In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Truly, MadlyI received a Truly, Madly ARC from Barnes & Noble's new Sneak Peek book club. It's a lighter version of their First Look program. Looks like a fun read!

Meet Lucy Valentine; sassy, fabulously original…and psychic. Lucy hails from a long line of matchmakers known as Valentine INC. According to family legend, the Valentines have been blessed by Cupid with the ability to help couples find true love. Trouble is Lucy’s powers were zapped away by an electrical surge and now all she can find are lost objects. But what good is that in the matchmaking world?

The Mermaid's Madness Picked up The Mermaid's Madness by Jim Hines at the bookstore with an awesome 30% off coupon! I love Jim Hines, and his princess books totally rock!

What would happen if a star writer went back to the darker themes of the original fairy tales for plots, and then crossed the Disney princesses with Charlie's Angels? What he'd end up with is The Mermaid's Madness - a whole new take on The Little Mermaid. And with Jim C. Hines, of Jig the Goblin fame, penning the tale, you can bet it won't be "They lived happily ever after."

Dying Bites Picked up Dying Bites by D.D. Barant during the same shopping trip. This one was recommended to me by Amazon, but I've never heard anything about this author. Read the first page and it sounds promising, so am excited to make a new discovery!

Her job description is the “tracking and apprehension of mentally-fractured killers.” What this really means in FBI profiler Jace Valchek’s brave new world - one in which only one percent of the population is human - is that a woman’s work is never done. And real is getting stranger every day…
I also received Stephen King's Under the Dome this past week, but that's an early Christmas present for my hubby. The thing is HUGE! Over 1,000 pages! But I couldn't resist taking advantage of the $9 price. He's a slow reader, so betting it will take him months to finish and will be awhile before I get to read it! *L*

Friday, November 13, 2009

To nook or not to nook

Come to the Dark Side!When Barnes & Noble first announced their new eReader, I have to admit that I didn't pay much attention. While I understand their appeal and think it would be a good idea for travel, I'm admittedly not their target audience as I will never give up my physical books. I like the feel and smell and look of books, while I think most electronics are sterile and uninviting. And my bookshelves would be pretty empty with just one little eReader sitting there, all alone.

Yet somehow I was pulled into the nook vs Sony vs Kindle debates. I'm not sure why people are so passionately opposed to the nook, as I think of the three main eReaders out there, it looks like the best one. It's not as bulky or heavy as the other two. Has unique features. Supposed to be the easiest to read. The prices are close enough that it wouldn't be a deciding factor. So why are people up in arms about it?

I've read several complaints about the 14 day lending feature. I think the lending option is pretty cool, and can understand why publishers only want a book lent once as they are concerned about book piracy. To be honest, I'm surprised any publisher agreed to the lending feature! So why are people accusing B&N of lying about it and cancelling their preorders? I'm stumped, as the restrictions were listed on their site, plain as day.

And I've read several complaints about B&N wanting a credit card to unlock the books. While I'm not an expert, I did Google the subject and this seems to be an industry standard. Why all the anger?

I like the looks of the nook and would happily accept one as a gift should anyone want to send me one (email me for my address!), but doubt I would ever buy one. At $259, that's a whole lot of physical books I wouldn't be able to buy! Even if I only downloaded the freebies, it's still too expensive for my tastes.

I love B&N, and think the nook looks pretty cool. Think they were smart to wait before introducing their eReader, so they could see what did and didn't work for Sony and Amazon. And from the hype I've seen so far, the nook is supposed to blow them both out of the water! So could someone please explain to me why so many people seem to be angry at Barnes & Noble about the nook?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mini-Review: FlashForward by Robert J. Sawyer

a little on the dry side
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (September 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 076532413X
ISBN-13: 978-0765324139

Rating: 3/5
Source: Library

Book Blurb:

What would you do if you got a glimpse of your own personal future and it looked bleak? Try to change things, or accept that the future is unchangeable and make the best of it?

My Review:

I picked up this book because I like the TV show so much that I wanted to learn more. There are major differences between the two, mainly that the flashforward in the book is 20 years in the future, while the flashforward in the TV show is only 6 months. I think 6 months makes the story more compelling, and has a more immediate effect on the characters and the choices they start making.

While the book centered on scientists and explained the scientific cause of the flashforward, I prefer the FBI agents on the show not knowing the cause. I have to admit that all of the scientific explanations bogged the story down and I skimmed over those pages. To be honest, those parts made my eyes glaze over as though I was back in Science 101.

Gave this a 3 out of 5 rating as it's a great premise and I liked it enough to finish it, but it was a little on the dry side and I could have done without all of the science. Not a must read, but just okay.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

In My Mailbox (19)

In My Mailbox (19)In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Had a nice mailbox this week, and picked up some real finds at my library book sale as well! I know, I know....I'm weak. Simply can't resist the lure of the book!

The Angel's Game I won The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon from Wendy at Caribousmom because I'm taking part in her Random Reading Challenge! How cool is that? Take part in a really cool challenge and win an ARC to boot!

Tempest Rising
This is the book I'm most excited about receiving...Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler! *happy dance* Seems like I've been waiting forever for this one to come out, and think it may just skip the line and be my next read instead of patiently waiting it's turn! Love Nicole's tweets and blog, so excited to finally have her first book in my hot little hands!

Double Cross
This is my first audio book, courtesy of a quick Twitter giveaway by J.Kaye. I've read James Patterson before, and hear so many people rave about audio books that I'm looking forward to finally diving into the pool. Alex Cross is a great character, so l can't wait to listen to Double Cross and see if it lives up to the hype.

The Vampire's Assistant The Vampire's Assistant was from another Twitter contest. This one by Ivy over at Book Reader Times. Looks like a really cool movie, and as I tend to read the book first, am excited to have won this! Sometimes I just happen to be at the right place at the right time. Doesn't happen often, but when it does, I do my happy dance! *L*

SoulStice Saw SoulStice by Simon Holt at my library book sale. Read the back and remember reading a review of it on a blog, but can't remember where. I have started keeping track of whose blog I see books to put on my wishlist, so will give credit in the future. Sorry. It was only a quarter, so snatched it up! Will pick up the first one at the bookstore, but I couldn't resist grabbing this one.

The Spy Who Came for Christmas
Picked up The Spy Who Came for Christmas by David Morrell at the same library book sale. Haven't heard of this one, but I just finished reading Morrell's latest book, so decided to grab it off the cart as well.

PrettiesAnd last but not least, my final buys from the library book sale were Uglies and Pretties by Scott Westerfeld.

I don't know that I would have picked these up if I hadn't read such good reviews on various blogs. Again, my apologies for not giving credit where credit is due. I have started keeping track, so hopefully will be able to give credit in the future.

So what did everyone else get this week?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Book Review: The Shimmer by David Morrell

I couldn't wait to read what came next, and recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good thriller with a touch of the paranormal!
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Vanguard Press (July 7, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1593155379
ISBN-13: 978-1593155377

Rating: 4/5
Source: FSB Associates

Book Blurb:

Santa Fe police officer Dan Page returns home one day to discover that his wife, Tori, has disappeared. Frantic, Page follows her trail to Rostov, a remote town in Texas famous for a massive astronomical observatory, a long-abandoned military base, and unexplained nighttime phenomena that draw onlookers from every corner of the globe. Many of these gawkers - Tori among them - are compelled to visit this tiny community to witness the mysterious Rostov Lights.

Page must solve the mystery of the Rostov Lights to save his wife. In the process, he learns that the decaying military base may not be abandoned at all, and that the government may have known about the lights for decades. Could these phenomena be more dangerous than anyone could have possibly imagined?

My Review:

My first David Morrell book was Brotherhood of the Rose, which was also my first time liking movie so much that I wanted to read the book. David is a very talented writer, and you can tell that he does his research and really knows what he's talking about! For instance, one of the main characters in this book is a pilot. David learned how to fly planes and is now a pilot as well.

The Shimmer introduces us to policeman Dan Page right in the middle of an unusual car chase. Dan had the day off and was flying his small plane, when he gets pulled into a car chase which does not end well. Dan's day does not get any better when he returns home to find his wife Tori gone, leaving a short note that she's gone to visit her mother. Even more surprising is the news that Tori was going to drive, but never made it. Tori is eventually located by the local police chief in a small Texas town called Rostov. Dan flies down immediately, and things go from strange to downright weird.

Rostov seems like a nice enough small town....aside from the spooky abandoned military base, a huge observatory and, oh yeah, the appearance of mysterious lights that not everyone can see. Some people have positive reactions to the lights, but some become angry and one angry observer opens fire on the crowd, killing several bystanders. Despite the massacre, Tori does not want to leave the Lights, so Dan decides to investigate in order to save his marriage and solve the mystery.

This was not what I'd call the usual Morrell thriller, as there's a touch of science fiction because of the Rostov Lights. Are they a natural phenomenon, a government experiment, ghosts, or possibly alien visitors?

I think Morrell did a great job incorporating the mystery of the Lights, the possible government involvement, the various townsfolk, and the relationship between Dan and Tori. Enjoyed this story much more than his last few books, and am now intrigued about the real-life lights in Marfa that inspired this story.

Gave this book a 4 out of 5 rating as I think the writing was very good, it had a well thought-out plot, and the characters were both believable and interesting. I couldn't wait to read what came next, and recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good thriller with a touch of the paranormal!