Chinatown Death Cloud Peril

by Paul Malmont

Ultimately I liked this book, but it didn't get anywhere close to interesting until somewhere around page 250. Most of the characters seamed rather flat to me, but it's pulp so I wasn't at all surprised or offended...since I'm not actually familiar with the pulp genre it's only a guess that characters are traditionally 2-dimensional.

The story is set in the the 1930's among the small clique of authors known as pulpsters. Malmont creates an atmosphere of reality in the midst of his fantastical, improbable plot by using real life authors of the day. Walter Gibson, writer of The Shadow, and Lester Dent, writer of Doc Savage follow seemingly unrelated clues and mysteries that ultimately bring them and their retinues together for one bone chilling climax. It's a story of death, government corruption, Chinese gangsters, revenge, maniacle ambition, and horrifying chemical warfare.

Everyone in my book group who read this one liked it. The few who hadn't quite finished it are looking forward to it and the one who didn't have time to pick it up has borrowed a copy. All agreed that the most interesting character was Norma Dent, Lester Dent's wife. We were all quite impressed with inclusion or mention of their real life contemporaries such as L. Ron Hubbard, Joe Kavelier, Robert Heinlein, Louis L'Amore, Orson Wells, and H.P. Lovecraft

Posted by jfer at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (Book 7)

by J.K. Rowling

No spoilers in the this review.

I did extremely enjoy reading the final book of the Harry Potter series. There was humor, suspense, tragedy, tension, and a great, believable ending. As is evident in the 759-page length of the book, Rowling refused to rush to the final confrontation. Answers to all questions remaining from the first six books were neatly and cleverly revealed. Kudos to J.K. for creating such a fascinating world. I'm quite looking forward to rereading the whole series now that all books are finally available.

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The AD Chronicles: First Light

by Brodie & Brock Thoene

This turned out to be a very intriguing book about life for the common Jew during end of Jesus' time. I did find it a little difficult at first; there are lots of Jewish names, places, history. Even the people and stories from the Old Testament that I'm familiar with were sometimes hard to place due to the old fashioned forms of the names. Even Jesus was referred to as Yeshua.

There are many story lines in this book though the central one must be the story of a man, blind since birth, who has an astonishing belief in the goodness of God. Astonishing considering the trials of his life. Through his belief that "nothing is too hard for God", the miracles of the time come to light. Culminating the gift of sight from Yeshua - one of the final miracles before his arrest.

Though the story lagged is places, I will be reading the next book in the series. It should be interesting at the very least.

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by Helen Walsh

I can't really say I enjoyed this book nor would I say that I would recommend it, but it certainly left an impression. I can't help feeling prissy as I write this, but the book was really just too crass/vulgar for my delicate sensibilities.

It's a story about a young woman's decent into depravity. Millie is in her last year at university and struggles with motivation, the defection of her mother, and the distancing of her best (male) friend to a relationship with a woman who doesn't get her guy's friendship with Millie, a much younger girl.

Reader be warned, there are more than a few extremely graphic sex scenes - hetero- and homo-. At first there seemed to be little point to them other than the shock value, but as the story progressed and the protagonist sank more and more into her depravity, the shocking scenes became necessarily the point. Uncontrolled highs followed by self-loathing lows.

At the end of the day, Millie wasn't a very likable character. Her best mate, Jamie, was marginally better. And I didn't really see how the crisis and its resolution was going to magically turn Millie into the person she seemed to want to become.

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Angels Fall

by Nora Roberts

I've really fallen back into the romance novels in recent days. They are a great size to hold when Magda is nursing to sleep in bed. And of course they are such brain candy, I'm kinda hoping it will distract me from eating actual candy.

This novel focused on Reece Gilmore, a woman who survived a violent attack in Boston that killed most of her close friends and family. She traveled the country as she fought to regain her sense of self, sanity, and security. Her journey ends at Angels Fist where she witnesses a man murdering a woman. The only one to believe her is a reclusive novelist, Brody. As in most small towns, the woman's mental history gets to be well known. The murderer tries to undermine her sanity and cast doubt on her stability in the eyes of the rest of the townies.

I did enjoy this book. The mystery was plausible and the romance was believable. Reece's passion was to cook and there were some great commentary on how home cooking helps to turn a house into a home.

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Granite Man & Warrior

Elizabeth Lowell

My sister left this book at my house after the Danskin weekend. As with most romance novels, I picked it up and finished it in about 2 days. I liked the first story, Granite Man better than the second one, Warrior. Possibly because I read it first and was getting kinda tired of the drama by the end of the second one. Also, the first one inspired tears where the second one didn't.

Granite Man is the story of a long lost sister returning to the family ranch to reunite with the brother she hadn't seen in innumerable years. Once there, she becomes entangled with the brother of her brother's wife with whom she shares a passion for gold prospecting. They embark on a quest for the family legendary lost gold mine and discovers love and a more elemental passion in the process. Of course, the Granite Man had been burned in love before and was quick to falsely accuse his new love of infidelity at the drop of a hat. She then risks life and limb and more besides to prove her love to the granite man. Typical romance, but worth the quick read.

Warrior takes place with the same supporting cast and focuses on the taciturn segundo on the ranch. He is completely closed to love and is enslaved to the awful memories of the effects of war on the innocents of Afghanistan. Then he meets the women who came to do a preliminary study on the wild cougars in the ranches high country, a women who has known love and loss and was strong enough to continue to embrace life and laughter and the possibility of love. As much as he tries, his will power in not sufficient to resist her charms. She tries to teach him the value of love. He breaks her heart. She learns his fears. He begs forgiveness and they live happily ever after.

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by Jose Saramago

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