Thursday, December 31, 2009

Book - Blacklisted

After Erik Trinity had been kicked out of the A.I.R. (Alien Investigation and Removal) for being caught with Onadyn (a drug designed for alien use), he became Erik Troy and went back to school in the hopes of finding a new source for Onadyn. He found one and a new friend in an alien named Silver. Following the guy she was crushing on to a nightclub had sounded like a good idea when Camille Robins and her friend Shanel started the night out. When Erik had given her a blank napkin and then disappeared into a private hall, she was angry thinking that he had been making fun of her. Little did she know that by following him, A.I.R. was now watching her under the impression that she was a drug dealer also.

Other than the main character being a teen (18), I am not sure why this book has been listed as Young Adult by some with the violence (which isn’t that much), the swearing (F*-bombs) and the sexual content, I would really recommend not letting younger than 18 read it. That being said, as a sci-fi romance, this was a fast paced second book in the Teen Alien Huntress series that kind of showed the other side. It didn’t rehash all the training of the first, but it did through in some of the characters like Phoenix, Ryan, Cara and Mia even if it put them as the bad guys (sorry if that spoils something). I am unsatisfied with the ending, the problem felt only partially solved and seemed to have left Camille and Erik hanging - what happened next? ( )

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Book - What the Lady Wants

In walked the lovely and sexy Mae Sullivan, just like in a dime store novel, into the office of a private investigator named Mitchell Peatwick. The plan was to seduce him into helping her to find her Uncles stolen diaries, but what PI would take that job on, so the story had to be more intriguing. Murder, someone murdered her Uncle and stole the diary. That was her story, Mitch was not that gullible no matter how she fit into his fantasies. As far as a mid-life crisis went, thanks to her he might be able to win his bet, but what was the lies all about and did he really want to know. At this point in his private investigative career, after seeing too many divorce cases of who cheated on who, how could he not take on this one, at least the people involved where interesting.

I have only read a few of Jennifer Crusie books, but this one ranks right up there out of the few I have read. The romance part was quick (matter of days and they figured it out), the mystery was interesting, complicated and difficult to figure out till the end, and the characters had some silly funny and stupid funny moments. I really liked Mitch and Mae both as well as some of the other characters. Fun, fast and easy read great for a rainy (or snowy) afternoon cuddled up. ( )

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Book - Viva Cisco

This book contains three short stories about the life of Cisco the parrot and all his animal friend of Topopootl. ….. The first story introduces us to Cisco and his gift of words, how he has finally got the job that he thought was perfect for him, the Answer Man at the library, he found himself unhappy. Thinking that the job lacked fame and fortune, he set out to find another line of work. Trying to find his place in the community of Topopootl seemed to be more difficult than he first expected. In fact, wrestling, flamenco dancing, and even soaring high in the sky was much more difficult that he originally thought it would be, but with the help of his friends, he may find the fame he had always wanted in a way that is much more his speed. … Cisco and his friends return in the second story to solve a very interesting mystery of Topopootl’s crime wave that had most of the town nervous and worried about leaving their homes. ….. In the third story Cisco and his friends want to find the true, original reason and meaning for their favored celebration, the Fiesta of Little Flowers and to discover why it is made so special for the skunks. The Word Man really is best at being the Answer Man, he goes to the strangest lengths to solve the mysteries that he finds himself in.

The back of the book is marked as “Nearly true tales of a really cool parrot”, not sure about the nearly true, but the really cool parrot is accurate. While reading this story (out loud to my kids) we discovered that while at first the names were awkward, the fun was just beginning. The crazy antics of Cisco and his assurance that he was on the right track only made it easier to laugh at him when he fell on his face or in the water. While this is mostly just a fun book to read with the kids, it also make a good point (if a little subtle) that you should be ok with yourself as you are and not want to be like others, because it sometimes just doesn’t matter what you want. If you can’t fly high in the sky, you can’t fly that high. ( )

Book - Storm of Shadows

The goal was to find a reputable and learned antiquities and linguistic expert to help find a prophecy that their seer thought would give them an edge in the battle against the Others. Aaron Eagle had known Dr. Hall from previous dealings, but walking into the museum style basement of the library and finding a younger, female Dr. Hall and then finding out that one of the Others had already contacted her had put him in a difficult mood. Finally convincing Dr. Rosamund Hall to take a look at Mr. Irving Shea’s personal collection, the two made there way to the mansion where all of the new recruits were staying after an explosion wiped out most of the Chosen Ones. With a little bit of convincing, Aaron and Rosamund set out on a journey that would hopefully end with the information that they all needed to save the world from the Others, even if along the way they had to make some of the biggest sacrifices they ever thought they would.

Book 2 ….. I love a good series and this is turning out to be just that. While I didn’t enjoy the first book of this series as much as I did this one, it is still necessary to read it first. It is a true series - you probably (in my opinion) will not understand a lot of this one without the first one. The characters are all taking more shape and since the first book was heavy in the what and whys, this one can focus more on the who and whats. The prophecy is obvious especially after the search for it, but they do leave wondering if there is more to it. I am happy with Rosamund as an addition to their little group and the introduction of Davidov opens the door for so many more questions. The return of the main group is expected and the whole adventure of this book, while almost unnecessary, brings to light a lot of strengths and weaknesses to some of the individual as well as the group on a whole. I can only hope that this series keeps getting better, the better we get to know the characters. I am looking forward to the next of the series (according to Amazon.com it is: “Chains of Ice” - due out July 6, 2010 and “Chains of Fire” - due out September 7, 2010). ( )

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Book - Truly, Madly

Taking an active roll in the family business (matchmaking through Valentine, Inc.) was something that Lucy Valentine never thought she could or would ever do. Her ability to see a persons aura (an ability that her ancestors claimed came from Cupid) was oddly changed and now she was a psychic that could only find inanimate objects, not a persons natural match (like her father was able to do). Her father was in need of help after suffering a heart attack so Lucy decided to take a chance since it would only be for a couple of weeks. How could she have known that her own psychic ability would lead her to try and track down a long lost love of a client. Or that her need for some assistance would put her in a position to trust a private investigator that she had just met. After a messy couple of months both professionally (quit the firefighter job that he loved) and personally (fiance had difficulty dealing with his medical problem), Sean Donahue was struggling with a new start. Together with her psychic ability, a private investigator and a few detectives, can Lucy find the time to get a make some matches, find somethings that are missing and still keep herself together.

Very cute, this story has so much to offer. I found myself laughing and loving almost every minute of it. It does have a bit of a slow beginning, but it more than makes up for it. There have been references to it being like a Janet Evanovich or a Jennifer Crusie book with the fun loving writing style, I would also add Sarah Addison Allen, with the easy flow of the book and the natural addition of the supernatural elements. I found that the characters were easy to understand and the flow of the story was easy to follow. I am also encouraged by the information that there is to be more of Lucy Valentine in the future (Deeply, Desperately - coming August 2010). This is a great book and I will be looking for other books by this author, it appears she has been writing romance awhile and has several for me to choose from.
This book is not scheduled for release until February 2010, I was lucky to receive an advance copy. ( )

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Movie - Avatar (2009)

Avatar (2009)

Losing the use of his legs an his twin brother, left an opening that only Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) could fill. Being his twin allowed Jake to take his spot as an Avatar (genetically matched hybrid) driver (controlling process with mental connections). His assignment was to get to know th Na'vi people of the planet Pandora and either convince them to leave or find a way to make them leave their hometree. The skywalkers (humans) wanted a material that was found under their tree, they wanted it no matter how they had to get it and didn't seem to care what it meant to the natives that lived in it. After Jakes avatar was taken in by the Na'vi people he learned what he was sent in to find out, but now that he had that information, would he be willing to use it against them or find a way to help.
(also starring: Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana, Joel Moore and Stephen Lang)

As a sci-fi / action / adventure, this one does have it all. All the hype that went into this movie was true, the CG to live action was flawless (to an amateurs eye) and the integration of Jake into the Na'vi people was exciting. The story line between the natives and the human had such a feel of reality to it, it was almost scary to wonder if we (as the human race) really could and would do that to another planet and it's inhabitants. (Back to the movie) The incorporation of just enough of Jakes past let us care for him and then to see his mind set change from the jarhead clan of a warrior to become part of the Na'vi. This type of movie is one that can, should and will be watched again by me (although I will probably wait for DVD now) and even though it is a PG-13, there is some foul language and lots of violence (it is a war movie) that would lead me to think it is more geared for the older of us, maybe it should have been rated for 18+ (my opinion).
This one was released on December 18, 2009 and is one of the few movies I have ever made a point of seeing within a few days of its release (if that tells you how much I wanted to see it) and I was not disappointed. (****)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Book - On The Prowl

This anthology has 4 paranormal romance stories;

Alpha and Omaga by Patricia Briggs
- After being forcibly turned into a werewolf and finally accepting that she was a very submissive one, Anna Latham finds the courage to call the Marrok, Bran Cornick (the leader of all of the werewolves) and inform him of some strange things that her pack alpha is doing. Wanting to get to the bottom of the problems, Bran sends his own son Charles who is also an alpha. Together they discover more about Anna than either of them suspected.
(****) As a fan of the Mercy Thompson series I knew I would like this one (the reason for buying the book actually). I really enjoy the writing style and imagination of Patricia Briggs. Even with this story being as short as it is, the characters are well defined and since this is a continuing story it is easy to see why they take the time to make the connections that they do. One more reason to continue reading the series.

Inhuman by Eileen Wilks
- Things had changed, the supernatural was now the norm. But people were cautious around the magical ones. When those very people become the target of a serial killer, they were also the suspects. Nathan Hunter as a police officer wants to protect everyone, but as a hellhound, his priority is to protect Kai Michalski who is more than just the empath that she portrays herself as.
(****) First time reading this author, and this story appears to be in the middle of the “World of the Lupi” series. That being said, there was enough information given that I was able to follow the story and become interested in the characters enough that I am interested in reading the three stories that precede this one.

Buying Trouble by Karen Chance
- Used to having her talents taken for granted at the auction house, Claire stepped up to be near the magical artifact that were to be sold that evening only to find out that behind her back the owner had made a deal to put her up for auction as well. The fey known as Heidar had been sent to find out if the runes where real or another fake put out by a sometimes disreputable house, only to find that it was real the hard way. Transported into the Fey world without a nearby portal and then discoing that there is more to her powers than she ever knew.
(****) Again, this is actually closer to the middle of a series, this one had some parts that were not as easy to follow, probably because I had not read any of the earlier works. I did enjoy the concept but I am unsure of what this series is about based on this short story. I am curious and so I might try to track down some other books by this author.

Mona Lisa Betwining by Sunny
- As the newest Queen, Mona Lisa had to answer a few questions in regards to the death of her predecessor. She really did have something to do with her death, but the things she couldn’t say may cause more problems for her and for her current lovers.
(***) Different, this is also a series and this is not the beginning of it. The Children of the Monere seems to be a very intense type of story. This short story seemed to pack a lot into a short about of time. I felt lost and a bit confused at times, maybe because of the way the story was based on what had happened before. I don’t know what happened before, therefore I was a bit lost. As a stand alone, this one was not my favorite of the group, but I am intrigued enough to possibly look for others by this author. ( )

Friday, December 4, 2009

Book - A Cat's Eye View of Life andf Love by Sterling

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

e-Book - Red Handed

Finally kicking a drug habit, Phoenix Germaine was not really surprised when her mother didn’t believe her about fighting aliens. She ended up being sent to yet another re-hab center, without even a good bye from her own mother. But this re-hab wasn’t exactly what she expected. Now finding herself in the A.I.R. (Alien Investigation and Removal) training facility, she had to work twice as hard as the others to gain the respect of the instructors, even if she only really cared about one of their opinions.

Fun, feisty and energetic, just like the characters. This may be about a Teenage Alien Huntress, but I am not sure it should be for teenagers. Violence, drugs, bad language, talk of sex and then more violence makes it an exciting and difficult book to put down. Shorter than some book, it is packed tight and moves fast. Lots of information included that will probably come in handy in the rest of this series. I am currently getting ready for the second book, “Blacklisted”. ( )
flag Nov 30, 2009