Monday, April 20, 2009

Book reviews 4/20

Wow, I just realized yesterday's post was my 100th post! That's kind of cool to think about.

Okay, now that that's done, on to business...

Deadlock: The second John Hutchinson novel by Robert Liparulo is even better than the first. Putting the beloved characters in a scenario connected to, but wildly different than Deadfall, Hutch goes to meet with Brendan Page, who he has been researching for the past year and who was behind the frightening events that occurred in Canada. Page wants Hutch to stop following him, so he sends Hutch a message-- kidnapping his son, Logan.

Going from one nail-biting sitation to another, Deadlock explores the human psyche when in danger, getting to the core of the characters in no time and fashioning them into people we either love or hate with a passion. And that's without revealing all the uber-cool, but also uber-creepy things that Page puts his soldiers through. Let me put it this way: the tech-savvy who loved the gadget in Deadfall will feel right at home here. It was impossible to put down, and gave me a reason to read five hundred pages in a day.

My rating: 10/10

BoneMan's Daughters: Ted Dekker's latest is a chilling ride that is perhaps his best to date. I know I said that with Adam and Sinner, but he just keeps raising his own personal stakes higher and higher and HIGHER until the reader goes insane.

Who is BoneMan? A ruthless killer? Or the perfect father, looking for the perfect daughter? He's tried six times. None of the candidates stood up to the test. So he broke all their bones without ever breaking the skin. His newest target: Bethany Evans. But this doesn't sit well with Bethany's father, Ryan Evans, just back from a horrifying experience in Iraq, who will stop at nothing to get his daughter back. With the FBI on his trail, he means that literally.

This one's gooooooooood. I mean, Dekker constantly outdoes himself. And the twist, which could have almost been a cliche, is deftly handled by Dekker. But be warned: this is one you'll want to read with the light on.

My rating: 10/10

The Bones of Makaidos: This is it. The last Oracles of Fire book. Which means this is the last time to ever see your favorite characters from Dragons in Our Midst. I'm not going to say much about it, because you need to experience it for yourself, only that it's the best book I've read this year, and the best series finale I've read since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. You will laugh. You will cry. You will cheer. You will cry. And you will put the book down, as I did, knowing that you have enjoyed a rare treat from an author who has had more than his fair share of ups and downs. But I will always have a special place in my heart for Billy and Bonnie, right next to Aidan Thomas from The Door Within and Cat from Isle of Swords.

My rating: 10/10

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Book reviews 4/19

PENDRAGON Prequel 3: The third and final installment of the Travelers series, also written by Walter Sorrels, delivers more of the same, except with Loor, Siry Remudi, and Patric Mac on the territories of Zadaa, Ibara, and Third Earth, respectively. As always, the disjointed volume shows Uncle Press recruiting, Travelers becoming Travelers, and Saint Dane putting his nose where it doesn't belong. It's got some good moments, and I'm not sorry I read it. But the stories are too short, even shorter than before, and it hardly gives the plot and the characters enough time to breathe. This seems like a disservice to D. J. MacHale.

My rating: 7.5/10

The Gatekeepers 4: Necropolis: Anthony Horowitz's latest Gatekeepers book (the penultimate one!) does exactly what a book in its position should do. And that's actually not a bad thing, because he does it well. Necropolis, set mostly in Hong Kong, brings the characters ever closer to the final battle with the Old Ones, and there are some truly great suspenseful and horrific moments, as well as some pulse-pounding action beats. Wow, that was a weird sentence! Suffice it to say, I reccommend this, along with Horowitz's other work, very highly. If you haven't started this series, then now's the time to do so. But be warned: Necropolis ends with a killer cliffhanger that will leave you waiting with bated breath for the last book. Before that, he still has to give us Alex Rider 8: Crocodile Tears.

My rating: 8.5/10

Pillage: Obert Skye's recent standalone novel is one that has received significantly less publicity than his charming Leven Thumps series. This puzzled me-- until I read the book itself. Unlike Leven, Beck Phillips is a protagonist I hardly cared about, and the book is too thin to contain a story that tries so hard to be huge. I mean, there's a lot of backstory, revelations, and fantasy that's crammed into a 250 page book (and that's with a fairly large font!). Perhaps Skye is just less skilled at writing first person narratives. Not that the writing's bad, it's just not the same Skye we know and love from Leven Thumps. That said, Pillage was good for a quick read, but it should have been contained in a book twice its length (I know, I don't normally think a book is too SHORT, but the story needs more room. It just does.) Look for it at your local library, perhaps, or in the bargain racks at the bookstore. All books make their way there, eventually, unless they're written by J. K. Rowling.

My rating: 6.5/10

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Something you HAVE to see.

Okay, I bet most of you have seen this already, but if you haven't, then you won't regret it. It's fantastic.

Obviously the whole "blog moving" thing was just an April Fool's Day joke. Even though it's taken me half a month to make another post. But I have been reading (and writing, too, but that's beside the point). There are three I especially want to review, and I plan on doing that soon: Deadlock, BoneMan's Daughters, and The Bones of Makaidos. So I guess this is more of an update about an update than an actual update. Sorry.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Blog Moving

As of today, The Writer's Notebook is over. My new blog is here.