Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Soul to Keep

In this installment of the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent, Kaylee and her boyfriend, Nash, discover that someone is selling demon's breath to their fellow high school students as the newest and coolest drug. And, people are dying. Now, they're in a race to find the culprit before someone else dies. Not to mention that Kaylee's world gets shattered when things hit way too close to home and she's forced to make decisions no person should have to face.

I get more and more invested in these characters with every book. This one was my favorite of the books. Hopefully, Rachel Vincent does not intend on ending the series any time soon as I could easily pick up the next book and start listening right now. I think that Rachel Vincent does a very good job of developing the characters with each book. This time, I found myself wishing for something to happen that I never would have suspected but, alas, I can't tell you what that is or I  might spoil things for somebody. Now, if somebody's read them and wants to talk, let me know. Oh, yeah, Amanda Roncini does an excellent job narrating as well.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Y: The Last Man: Cycles: Book 2

Cycles continues the story of Yorick Brown and his journey as the last man left on earth after a plague kills all male mammals on Earth. In this volume, Yorick, Agent 355 and Dr. Mann are working their way across America to California. I am enjoying these graphic novels and feel that the second volume improved a lot over the first volume and was much more women-reader friendly.

Book 7 in the Graphic Novels Challenge

The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch

Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son which means that he doesn't inherit the family farm and that there aren't many choices for him when it comes to to apprentice him out for a job. That's why he ends up being apprenticed to Old Gregory - the county Spook. Twenty-nine apprentices have tried out for the job before Thomas and all have failed. Thomas is the end of the line - but can he survive the job?

I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy and fun read. The story was entertaining and even a little bit scary at one point. I can't wait to go to the bookstore and get more of the series.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sizzling Sixteen

The latest Stephanie Plum novels finds Stephanie, Lula and Connie trying to come up with the money to pay the ransom rescue Vinny from his bookie. Of course, there are lots of failed plans, a destroyed car, doughnuts, Cluck-in-a-Bucket, a new diet for Lula and more Ranger (forget about Stephanie and just come get me, Ranger).

Lorelei King does another excellent job of narrating this audiobook. I am never disappointed in one of her performances. I can see the characters she's reading. This isn't my favorite Stephanie Plum novel but it was another solid entry in the series.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Passage

I've heard a lot of hype about this book for a couple of months. It had a lot of pre-publication publicity. I really wanted to read it when I first heard about it but then when I started hearing about it everywhere, I got somewhat leery. As a brief description, this is a post-apocalyptic novel. A government experiment goes wrong and in one night the entire world changes. A virus spreads quickly killing most people it encounters, others it changes into vampires. But Cronin does not romanticize his vampires at all. They are cruel, evil, deadly creatures who are out to kill any humans they can find still alive in America. 

I think the best way to describe this novel is to say that Cronin took The Stand, The Road and I Am Legend and stirred them all together in a pot and out popped The Passage. I think I've read comparisons to all three books in different reviews of this book and there is echoes of all of them there. The most important idea that Cronin brings from all those novels is that of humanity and the survival of the human spirit. It wasn't a great piece of literature but there were sentences and turns of phrase that were absolutely beautiful. Cronin knows how to perfectly foreshadow something to where you read the line and almost miss the fact that he just told you what's about to happen. It also isn't one of those books where you get so invested in the characters that  you have to know what is going to happen to them (maybe because there are so many characters) but at the same time I found that I had an almost impossible time putting the book down. I kept saying "one more chapter and then I'll go to bed" or "I've got time to read a few more pages before lunch is over".  

If you like horror novels or old school Stephen King, you'll like this. But be forewarned, the nearly 800 page tome is the first in a series of I think three books. Oh, and the cliffhanger at the end is huge. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Graveyard Book

Nobody Owens lives in the graveyard. He has all his life. Well, at least as long has he can remember. He loves living in the graveyard and learning and playing from the ghosts that live there. Yet, a part of him longs to venture outside the graveyard and to live among the, well, living. But to go outside the graveyard is dangerous for Bod (as Nobody is called) for there are people out there who want to kill him like they did his parents the night Bod was brought to the graveyard.

I listened to this book last week. It's is narrated by Neil Gaiman. Let me just say right up front, Gaiman is the exception to the rule that authors are terrible  narrators. He's a fantastic narrator. I've loved every book I've heard him narrate and this one was no exception. It was a book that was very well produced. The book is never really scary (at least it wasn't for me) but Gaiman has a sarcasm and sense of humor about him that makes the book well worth listening to. 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Maze Runner

Thomas wakes up in an elevator remembering nothing about his prior life except his first name. When the elevator doors open, Thomas learns that he's in an enclosed area, surrounded by a maze with a group of boys. The boys live in the center of the maze, grow their own food and have their own society. Each day a group of boys called Runners go out and try to solve the maze and find a way out. But everyone finds their way back in from the maze before dark or else they'd surely be killed by the Grievers - a mysterious monster that lives inside the walls of the maze. The other Gladers expected Thomas' arrival. Every thirty days another boy is delivered to them through the elevator. But the day after Thomas arrives, a newbie comes through the elevator - this time it's a comatose girl and Thomas feels like he already knows her.

I enjoyed this book a lot but it wasn't absolutely great. It was a unique concept. The action kept moving very quickly. It had some echoes of Lord of the Flies. The author kept a bit of the mystery in exactly why the boys are in the maze. I realized when I was getting close to the end of the novel that the author was going to have a hard time wrapping it all up before I got through the pages that were left but, lo and behold, it's the first book in a series. How did I miss that in all the reviews I read before I finally picked up the book? I'll definitely read the other books in the series but they'll be library books not books that I buy.