Sunday, July 25, 2010

Silver Phoenix

I was drawn to this book because of the beautiful cover -- Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon.  It was a good fantasy adventure book that was easy to read.  I think many young adults will like it.  For me, though, I found it very predictable.  When the heroine has magical powers, no situation seems as dire because she just uses her powers to get out of each predicament.  The magic just seemed to make it easy to tell a story where the main characters consistently get into trouble because there's always a way to get them out.  The clothes, food, and magical cities and beings were very well described and Pon has created an intriguing fantasy world.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

What a great book.  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson has been written about many times.  It has been very popular.  It's a long book, and doesn't draw you immediately in.  Since it was translated from Swedish, the references to Swedish culture, people, and places confused me at first.  But I decided that those details must not matter, otherwise this book wouldn't be so popular. 

The plot unfolds very slowly but the character development is fascinating (I know, it's not usual for me to like that sort of writing.)  I couldn't put the book down; I found myself thinking about what was going on and what could possibly be the outcome at times when I wasn't reading the book.  I grew to like the main characters, Blomkvist and Salander.  They are very unlikely characters to be in the same book, but the way their lives end up twined together is masterful.

My only complaint is that I thought there were some loose ends that I wish had been addressed by the end of the book.  I don't want to talk about specifics, because I don't want to spoil the book for anyone else. Give this one a try.  Give it 50 to 100 pages before you decide . . .

Sunday, July 18, 2010


A good (not great) Twilight-type book is Lament by Maggie Stiefvater.  This is a book about fairies, not vampires, but still has some tension and romance.  I thought it was entertaining and fairly well-written.  It is the first in a series called The Faerie Queen's  Deception.  The second in the series is called Ballad.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Death of an Expert Witness

I finished P.D. James Death of an Expert Witness.  It took me a while.  It was a good book-- kind of a classic.  James gets rave reviews as a mystery writer.  I must admit, I never knew who did it until about the last 10 pages, which is a good thing.  The book is very "literary."  Every character and scene is meticulously described.  I decided you just have to enjoy the process of reading and the rhythm of her descriptions.  Remember, I'm a plot person, so sometimes I become impatient.  I've heard of this book for a long time (it was written in 1977) and not long ago read a positive review of it, so I decided it would be on my reading list.  I'm glad I read it but I don't think I'll read any of her other books.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Moment of Truth

Moment of Truth, by Lisa Scottoline is a murder mystery about a father who admits to murdering his wife because he believes his daughter actually committed the crime.  The outcome is somewhat predictable, although there are some interesting twists and turns.  I liked the interplay of the lawyer, Mary, and the accused, who is also a lawyer.  The detectives and district attorney are also interesting characters.  I thought it was an entertaining read, not the best mystery I've ever read, but I enjoyed it.


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