Thoughts about books... when I get around to it.

Fever Season - Barbara Hambly

Just finished reading Fever Season by Hambly. During the course of the story I remember thinking that the horrible conditions she describes are similar to those that fiction books use to illustrate the dregs of the city. Then I remembered she was describing New Orleans as it was in the time period. Felt rather unreal. Actually, that was my reaction to most of the book. It's rather unreal and hard to relate to. I've never run up against the hard core attitudes described in the book, caste, class or race related, so I hard trouble identifying with most of the characters. I believe the author has crafted a well written story. One that can definitely strike a chord with people. I just happen to be out of tune with it.

Agents of Light and Darkness - Simon R. Green

It's been years since I read Something From the Nightside but I found it easy to slip back into the world without having to re-read the first book for refreshers. I really enjoy that. I also enjoyed this story. Not very long but a fast read, lots of action. Nice bits of background drops, not just on the main character, kept it interesting. Learning about all the ways John Taylor's gift for finding things can be used makes you realize that there's more than just people and objects that can't be hidden from him. The entities hunting him are the reason he doesn't make his life easy and use his gift each time someone hires him, which gives him depth. Add in the Unholy Grail, which is the cup of Judas, rather than the Holy Grail, the cup of Christ, and you have an interesting target. I think this is the first story I've run across that centered on the Last Supper that didn't revolve around the Holy Grail, and I found it a breath of fresh air.

First Drop of Crimson - Jeaniene Frost

This was my Free Book Friday choice for BookLikes-opoly. It is also the first full novel I read by Jeanine Frost, the one that lead me into the series. I had run across short stories by her, which is why I purchased this one, and I actually read all the offshoot books before even starting the Cat and Bones books. What I like most about this story is the use of the demon. So many books are all, "Oh my God there's a demon, we're so screwed" and then so bizarre attempt to stop/control it. This one is, "Oh the asshole's a demon, let's kick his ass so he goes away". The spark between the main characters is believable and I really like how she works it so Denise stays mostly human while being able to live as long as Spade while actually being harder to kill than him. Nifty twist.

Witness in Death - J. D. Robb

A solid story all around. It's interesting that the murder takes place during a live play that Dallas is watching. The story is easy to follow and the interpersonal relationships are engaging, unlike Loyalty in Death. The interactions between Peabody and McNab feel drawn out, like Robb is trying to spread their hook-up as a couple over multiple books when it could have been handled in one or two. Still not feeling the spark between them. I like how smoothly Robb makes the story wheels within wheels within wheels, and how it slides together when the killer is revealed.

Destined for an Early Grave  - Jeaniene Frost

All in all, not a bad book. While not quite a fluff piece, it certainly wasn't all that meaty. Going with the food analogy, it was like chocolate chip ice cream. Smooth, tasty, over quickly but little chunks of more to munch. Having read the stand alone offshoot novels first, I was actually able to overlook some of the sillier parts of this book, especially the one where Cat and Bones don't actually talk to each other but go completely on assumptions, wedging themselves further apart in the process. Dumb. 


So, on the 13th I finished my book and rolled again. Go to Jail! Dang. Okay, so I read Loyalty in Death, 358 pages, out of jail. Whew. Free book Friday on the 14th. Choose Destined for an Early Grave by Jeanine Frost. Roll on the 15th, space 25. Historical mystery...hmmm. Ok, let's do A Free Man of Color by Barbara Hambly. Third times the charm on that one, I actually finished it. Roll on the 17th, space 35 second landing, whoo hoo. Main character a police detective? Easy, I'm still rereading the In Death series so we're going for Witness In Death. Finished Frost last night, Robb this morning. Next roll nets me a 2 in double ones. Start space, free choice. Second roll nets me a 6, space six Western European setting or winter scene on cover. Gonna need to think about that one... let's go peruse the bookcase of TBRs. I'll be back to tell my choices later.

And the answer is...

A Free Man of Color - Barbara Hambly

No. Barbara Hambly is not a mystery writer. When the story is concluded the clues turned out oblique enough that I missed the majority of them. However, Barbara Hambly is most definitely a storyteller. The book was enthralling and really drew me in. Without any spoilers, there was one part of the story that I actually jumped in my seat when I got to it. All in all, the mystery part was more a reason for certain people to have interactions. If there was no mystery, it would still be a highly enjoyable story. Having read several of her Dragonsbane and Armies of Air series I already knew I liked her writing. This simply added a new series to read.

Loyalty in Death - J. D. Robb

Not one of my favorite Robb books, this is on a par with Ceremony in Death... skip it and not loose much in the series. The only good feature is this is where Peabody and McNab hook up, but it's not handled with the usual smooth intensity of most interpersonal relationships. It actually feels quite forced, like she couldn't come up with a natural way for these to characters to come together. The plot line is fairly insipid for such a proficient writer and it's sad that there's not much oompf to the book overall. Easy way to get my 300 pages read to get out of jail in BookLikes-opoly.

The Second Coming (Baen Science Fiction) - John Dalmas

Not much specifics I can say about this book. I enjoy reading it, and the philosophies are different but not conflicting with the ones used as a basis in his Regiment series or his Farside one. Enough to make each world unique and intriguing. I highly enjoy this author's work. The systems carry the stories and make each an intriguing and engaging read.

And for my next book...

Blood Lite III: Aftertaste - Kevin J. Anderson, Brad C. Hodson, Chris Abbey, Heather Graham

I love anthologies. I REALLY love anthologies. It's such a great way to get introduced to new authors without having to commit to a full novel. This one has 99% good stories. The Man Who Could Not Be Bothered to Die was lackadaisically meh, and BRIANS! just didn't gel for me. I understood the premise and aim of both stories, they just missed their mark. So many of these are written tongue-in-cheek or in Douglas Adams reality style, I really find the rest of the book quite engaging.

The Bachman Books: Four Early Novels by Stephen King - Richard Bachman, Stephen King

I like three of the four stories in here. Enough so that I remembered them and like to re-read them. I could not, for the life of me, remember what happened in Roadwork, even while I was reading it. I kept slipping to the thought that it was his story about a guy who buries his wife's killer by digging a pit in the highway and tricking the car into driving into it. That story I liked. Roadwork, not so much. The interesting thing about these stories is how predictive they are. When these were written school shootings were unheard of and reality tv was embryonic.

Well, I didn't finish my book before midnight last night. Darn coworkers with great conversations!


I did finish it today and will be rolling when I get home from work. Wish me luck!

Continuing on now...

And since I finished Conspiracy in Death right on schedule, i get to roll again.


Space 32- BookLikes space: roll for task. 6- read any book regardless of instructions for next task.


Damn, that means I have to wait until the 9th to roll again. And I have nothing to read... except, it's FRIDAY.


Free Book Friday, let's make it worthwhile. Going for The Bachman Books by Stephen King. 923 pages when all is said and done. Makes it worth 20$ when I finish. Challenge to myself, finish before midnight on 7/8. Betcha I can even though I work a 12 hour shift that day.

Conspiracy in Death  - J.D. Robb

It's nice to know that even after having read the book multiple times, I still don't remember who the ultimate killer is, just that there's the conspiracy. Also, a good writer still gives me the feels even after a re-read or two, know what's coming in the story. No, I'm not crying, I've just got some sentiment in my eye. 

Doctor Who: 12 Doctors, 12 Stories - Eoin Colfer, Charlie Higson, Philip Reeve, Michael Scott, Malorie Blackman, Alex Scarrow, Neil Gaiman, Richelle Mead, Marcus Sedgewick, Patrick Ness, Holly Black, Derek Landry

Not a bad read, all in all. Most stories were nice but not extremely memorable. I think the one I like best is the Ninth Doctor's adventure between when Rose turns him down the first time and when he come back for her again. 

Just to keep track

Let's see, I left off with Space 35- Rapture in Death. So...


Next up is Space 29: Ceremony in Death, Main character is police detective, 310 pg.


Space 2: Vengeance in Death, Use of a gun/someone's shot, 357 pg.


Free Book Friday- The Good, the Bad and the Undead, 453 pg.


Space 12: BookLikes space- rolled doubles for 2: give money, second roll was 6: read anything for next task/move.


Space 18 (2nd landing): The Undead in My Bed, free choice from previous roll, 408 pg


Free 4th of July Roll- Space 22 (2nd landing): Doctor Who 12 Doctors 12 Stories, time travel, 535 pg.


Space 29 (2nd landing): Conspiracy in Death, city has a subway, 372 pg, should finish on 7/6/17.