I’ve fallen behind on reviews, and actually read this a few months back. Heller’s Girlfriend is the 3rd book in the Tilly Chalmers series by J. D. Nixon, about an Australian woman working for a high end security service. Her boss, Heller, is a beautiful psychopath who is obsessed with her and a total jerk.
I read these books going “Get out while you still can, Tilly! Heller will kill you someday.”
In this one, Heller has a new girlfriend, who may be as much of a psycho as he is and hates Tilly because she (rightfully) sees her as competition for Heller’s attention. Throughout the book, Tilly is shoved from demanding case to demanding case, without her normal security blanket of being able to call Heller for backup, as he believes she isn’t calling for help, but to interfere with his relationship.
The thing I recall about these books is how much they seemed like a tv series. I felt like each book is a season of a tv show, with multiple distinct episodes in the book and an slight tie in for the season. In this book, the season tie in was Heller’s girlfriend, causing problems in most of the episodes by keeping Heller from being involved, but otherwise mostly playing a bit part until the season finale, when she stole the show. It made me start to think quite a bit about the evolution of books, first with theater then with movies then with tv. Maybe that’s the sort of thing that English majors will go, yeah, that’s Lit 101, but for a science major it’s a pretty novel concept to realize that theater came first, and when we started writing stories, we were writing down what had already been acted out. So writing books as though they are a tv series seems par for the course. However, it was kind of shocking to me to think about it since the last I heard was 12th grade English, when we were still being told that every book needs to have a plot and a theme.
I’m pretty sure I’ve read most, if not all of the Scarpetta novels over the years, so when Red Mist was sitting on the coffee table at the beach house we were staying in last week, I just picked it up and dove in. The good thing about these stories is, Patricia Cornwell does a pretty good job of reminding readers of the general details of what happened in the last one and getting readers caught up with current events. Within a few pages I knew I had read Port Mortuary, and I was reasonably caught up with the story where it picks up, so, on I went.
I’ve wanted to read the Uglies quartet for years, ever since they showed up on my little sister’s shelves. The series takes place in a post-apocalyptic society where all of humanity is gathered into a few independent cities. In every city, when citizens reach their 16th birthday they undergo a surgery to change them from “uglies” into super-model gorgeous “pretties”. There is, of course, a catch. Both the catch and most of the other plot points were quite predictable, although the motivations of those in charge surprised me; I just don’t feel like they got enough out of it. But the idea was novel and I appreciated that. The world was also very well developed and the details of the procedure by which people became pretty were fleshed out enough to make it very believable.
Book Five in the Dark Tower series delivers some classic gunslinger behavior, some crazy references to Star Wars and Harry Potter, and a grim lead-in to Song of Susannah, the next installment. Read more here!
I listened to all four audiobooks in this series in rapid succession right before signing up for CBR4, so I will treat them as one review since I can’t really separate them completely in my memory now.
The Circle of Magic series begins with Sandry’s Book, with the individual stories of four lonely, outsider children. Each is from a very different background (noble, merchant, trader and thief) and has either been abandoned or orphaned in some way. Each is found by a kind man, and taken to a private school of sorts. There each finds their way to a teacher and mentor who turns out to be a mage in a special kind of magic – a different kind than is well-known in this world. Given the title of the series and hints along the way, it is no surprise to anyone except the children’s characters that each posses their own rare kind of magic (weaving, weather, metal and plant).
As you can tell by the book titles, each of the four books, is from the point of view of one of the children (3 girls and 1 boy), but all four are still main characters in each book. The first book, Sandry’s Book is rather slow to get started as it introduces all the characters and locations and really is more about setting up the rest of the series. The four children are getting to know each other and figuring out their new lives. There is finally some real action with the group of four at the end which ends up binding them in a way that is important for the rest of the series. Together they form a completely unique magic which keeps changing and surprising them in the later books.
Surprisingly, since I read a lot of young adult fantasy, this was the first Tamora Pierce book I’ve read! I was a good, average, juvenile-young adult fantasy book that interested me enough to continue to the next in the series, Tris’s Book.
Tris’s Book begins soon after Sandry’s Book ends. The children are now bonded both my magic and by growing friendship. They are learning more about their abilities and how to control their magic, but still have a long way to go. However, there is a pirate attack on the way, before they are prepared. These are not the “nice” pirates of some stories, but the ruthless kind.
For me, Tris’s Book was the weak one in the series. I found it predictable and emotionally flat. It also depended more than I liked on the cliche of children not listening to what they are told to do and getting into trouble when they should have known better. However, by then I was invested enough in the characters to want to continue to the third book, and I’m glad that I did.
Harry Dresden – Wizard Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, Parties or Other Entertainment.
As the only openly practicing wizard in the country, you’d think Harry would be rich and famous. You’d be wrong. Harry’s broke, down on his luck, mobsters, monsters and other miscellanious beings after him.
Set in gritty modern day Chicago, Storm Front is the first in the popular Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. It’s hardboiled crime fiction down to it’s core. From his duster jacket to his habit of pissing everybody off, including his friends, Harry could easily fall into a noir cliche. However, instead of using noir as a crutch, Butcher uses it as a framework to craft a complex and original character. Oh, and then there’s magic. Wizards, faeries, vampires, demons, they’re all there, just under the surface of everyday living. My favorite is Bob the skull. He’s Harry’s lab assistant, and kind of a party animal.
This book was a great introduction into Harry’s world. I look forward to catching up with the series. The mystery itself, ok, it wasn’t too hard to guess the killer. But the ending was climactic and action packed. If you got into the Sookie Stackhouse novels by way of True Blood and want to step up to a more complex and accomplished series, you should give this one a try.
Most highlighted quote by Kindle users: “Paranoid? Probably. But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that there isn’t an invisible demon about to eat your face.”
If you like Charlene Harris, but wished she wrote more like Raymond Chandler and less like Nora Roberts.
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The Night Eternal is the third installment of del Toro and Hogan’s Strain vampire series. I was not disappointed and found this third book to be on par with the first two. If you haven’t read the trilogy, it’s worth your time and all three are pretty quick reads.