Friday, November 27, 2009

November #3 - FADE OUT

Title: Fade out

Author: Rachel Caine

Publisher: New American Library

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: 978-0-451-22866-6

Series or stand-alone: #7

Setting: Morganville, TX

1st Sentence:

Eve Rosser's high-pitched scream rang out through the entire house, bouncing off every wall, and, like a Taser applied to the spine, it brought Claire out of a pleasant, drowsy cuddle with her boyfriend.


Life in Morganville with the undead continues for Claire, Eve, Shane and Michael (well, kinda for Michael)and as usual something goes wrong! Well, a lot of somethings...

I still enjoy this series after seven books and I look forward to the next one, KISS OF DEATH, out in 2010.

November #2 - ABANDONED

Title: Abandoned

Author: Cody McFadyen

Publisher: Bantam Books

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: 978-0-553-80695-3

Series or stand-alone: #4

Setting: Los Angeles, CA

1st Sentence:

Present Day
Everyone is alone.


Description from author's website:
For FBI Special Agent Smoky Barrett, the wedding of one of their own was cause for celebration. Until a woman staggered down the aisle, incoherent, emaciated, head shaved, and wearing only a white nightgown.

No one knows who she is or where she’s come from—or why she’s chosen to appear in a church filled with law enforcement agents. Then a fingerprint check determines that the woman has been missing for nearly eight years—that once she was someone’s wife, someone’s mother…and a cop. Imprisoning her in a dark cell, depriving her of any contact with the outside world, her enigmatic captor was a man she didn’t know and who seldom spoke, who punished her only when she failed to follow his most basic instructions designed to keep her alive.

Cold, businesslike, seemingly indifferent to his victims, he’s a predator with an M.O. as terrifyingly inscrutable as any Smoky has ever encountered. As she fits together the pieces of what remains of his victim’s fractured life, a chilling picture emerges of a killer every bit as calculating, masterful, and professional as Smoky and the team she leads—a professional psychopath who doesn’t take murder personally and never makes a mistake.

There’s a reason he let one of his victims go free. And by the time Smoky pierces the darkness of his twisted mind, it may cost her more than she can bear to lose to escape. For a trap snapped closed the moment she took this case too much to heart.

This is an author that I have not tired of yet. I look forward to every single Smoky Barrett book, they are just that good.


Title: The time traveler's wife

Author: Audrey Niffenegger

Publisher: Harcourt Books

Copyright: 2003

ISBN: 978-0-15-602943-8

Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone

Setting: Chicago, IL (Lincoln Park)

1st Sentence:

It's hard being left behind.


I had great reservations about this book because it was so long and different from what I typically read. However, I enjoyed it very much and it quickly was added as one of my top 5 favorite reads of 2009.

Henry is a chrono-displaced person - he time travels. He is also a librarian at the Newberry Library. He's been time traveling since he was a child - usually going back in time. During his travels he met Clare and theirs became a love story of great proportions.

I was reading this book while experiencing my first meetings with my newly found brother and so it took me quite a while to finish because I really had to focus on the time jumps that Henry made.

October #6 - ENDS OF THE EARTH

Title: Ends of the Earth

Author: Tim Downs

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: 978-1-59554-308-0

Series or stand-alone: #5

Setting: Sampson County, North Carolina

1st Sentence:

Podlesny, Russia
The old man looked at the driver of the car.


"Bugman" Dr. Nick Polchak gets called into the homicide of a man shot in the back. The killed man's wife was Kathryn from the first book and Nick calls in Alena, the witch from book #4, along with her dogs, to help.

I put the "Bugman" books on my must-read list years ago. However, having said that, this book was a disappointment to me. In my reading I scowled several times and thought, "It doesn't happen that way! The wheels of justice do NOT turn that quickly!" and secondly, he ended this book with a cliffhanger which is something that I don't appreciate in books and has been a deal breaker for me in the past. I already have one author I will not read again because of a succession of cliffhangers. I really hope Mr. Downs doesn't make it a habit.

October #5 - THE WELL

Title: The well

Author: A.J. Whitten

Publisher: Graphia

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: 978-0-547-23229-4

Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone

Setting: Maine

1st Sentence:

The boy would be his.


Summary from author's website:
If Hamlet thought he had issues, he should have talked to Cooper Warner.
His mother’s normally sunny American-pie, car-pool driving demeanor has turned into something— Homicidal.

And what’s worse, she has help in her hunt for Cooper: A ravenous monster living at the bottom of the old well in the woods behind their house. She’s determined to deliver her 14-year-old son straight into the creature’s eager clutches.

Cooper’s doing his best to avoid becoming the monster’s next meal, but he can’t get the thing’s voice out of his head. It talks to him, taunts him day and night about the terrible destiny Cooper must fulfill. He turns to his girlfriend, Megan, for help, but then, to Cooper’s horror, the creature takes her prisoner.

Now, it’s up to Cooper to fend off his murderous mother, finish his Hamlet paper, and enter the putrid lair at the bottom of the well to rescue his girlfriend. And when he confronts the creature, this high school freshman must make the toughest decision of his life: kill, or be killed.

This horrific tale, inspired by Hamlet, puts a modern, terrifying twist on the Shakespearean classic.

This was a spooky YA book - a great read for the Halloween holiday and I really liked the Hamlet tie-in. The author is a pseudonym for author Shirley Jump writing with her teenage daughter, Amanda.

October #4 - THE CLEANUP

Title: The cleanup

Author: Sean Doolittle

Publisher: Dell

Copyright: 2006

ISBN: 0-440-24282-7

Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone

Setting: Omaha, NE

1st Sentence:

1. Meat and frozen
Worth couldn't get over the looks people gave him.


Matt Worth was busted down to working security detail at a grocery store after hitting a superior officer. When his co-worker Gwen comes to him for help, he obliges. But he may have gotten in over his head.

I like Doolittle's work. This book was kind of reminiscent of something by Elmore Leonard, dark and gritty with some humor thrown in. Worth's character made me laugh several times...out loud. I'll be reading more by this guy.

October #3 - DOOM WITH A VIEW

Title: Doom with a view

Author: Victoria Laurie

Publisher: New American Library

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: 978-0-451-22779-9

Series or stand-alone: #7

Setting: Royal Oak, MI

1st Sentence:

They say that we all face certain tests in life.


Abby and her partner Candice Fusco travel to Washington D.C. to work a case of political official's missing kids, but one of the agents they must work with, Harrison, is a confirmed skeptic in Abby's abilities. She will have to change his mind.

The thing that like best about this series, other than the psychic angle, is how it moves forward, unlike some series where everything seems to stay the same. Abby and Dutch have moved forward in their relationship as have Abby and Candice with their business which seems to follow real life, something missing from a lot of series on the market.


Title: Running out of time

Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix

Publisher: Aladdin Paperbacks

Copyright: 1995

ISBN: 978-0-689-81236-1

Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone

Setting: Clifton, IN

1st Sentence:

The light woke Jessie, though it was just a glimmer downstairs.


Summary from book:
When a diptheria epidemic hits her 1840 village, 13-year-old Jessie discovers it is actually a 1996 tourist site under unseen observation by heartless scientists, and it's up to Jessie to escape the village and save the lives of the dying children.

This book was fast paced with a very scary premise and a great "What if?" hook. I am a big fan of Peterson Haddix.

What would you do if you found out that in all actuality the present time was 150 years in the future from what you know?

October #1 - TOUCH

Title: Touch

Author: Francine Prose

Publisher: Harper Teen

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: 978-0-06-137517-0

Series or stand-alone: Stand-alone

Setting: Germantown, PA

1st Sentence:

"Are the boys who assaulted you present in the courtroom?"


This book is a young adult book about ninth-grader Maise's concepts of friendship, loyalty, self-acceptance, and truth which are tested to their limit after a school bus incident with the three boys who have been her best friends since early childhood.

I enjoyed SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson better than this book, although it kept my attention. I thought there was a lot of repetition and could have been a short story but I would give it to any of my YA readers.