Read Books This will provide a list of the books I've read with a brief review. Users are blocked, contact me for access. I welcome discussions, but I'm tired of spam.

February 25, 2010

Undead and Unreturnable by MaryJanice Davidson

Filed under: Fantasy — Randolph @ 3:48 pm

Undead and Unreturnable by MaryJanice DavidsonI stumbled across this book in a library, it looked interesting and seemed rated well. I remain unimpressed.

The story is about a vampire queen named Betsy, her sister is the daughter of the devil, and Betsy can see ghosts . There are several assorted characters, each with peculiar and interesting quirks. The characters are interesting and the book seems like it should be a winner.

There is no plot. There is no character development. The characters wander from event to event and things happen. Several events happen that could lead to an actual plot, but most of them don’t develop. It wasn’t clear what the intended plot was until late in the book, and feel anticlamatic in that it concludes too quickly and with little character development. After the climax, the book still has to wander. It was only at this point that I realized it was even part of a series. Maybe character development from earlier books would help, but I have my doubts.

The writing itself is simplistic. The dialog reads like a teenager’s tantrum half the time. Betsy died at the age of 30, but seems to act like a teenager most of the time.

Most of this can be forgiven in a humorous book. The book did have its moments with clever idioms used as a double-entendre with vampire meanings. It is mostly situational humor which doesn’t quite play out.

February 16, 2010

The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny

Filed under: Humor,Mystery,Series — Tags: — Randolph @ 3:47 pm

The Brutal Telling by Louise PennyThe Brutal Telling is the fifth book in the Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny. In this book, Gamache investigates the death of an unknown man who’s body is found in the local Bistro. As the story unfolds, secrets are uncovered in layers.

I’ve enjoyed all of Penny’s stories. The characters are very rich and well developed, the stories are well told. The characters continue to develop and sometimes evolve in each of the books, giving something to look forward to in the next installment.

From time to time, I feel that Gamache is making an unreasonable leap, not following every possibility, but it is forgivable since the story is so well told. In the end, everything is tied up and the story makes perfect sense.

February 1, 2010

The Surgeon’s Mate by Patrick O’Brian

Filed under: Uncategorized — Randolph @ 3:46 pm

The Surgeon's Mate by Patrick O'BrianThe Surgeon’s Mate is book 7 in the Aubrey-Maturin stories. This book continues following the escape from America, Jack and Stephen end up dealing with French imprisonment.

The book further explores the relationship between Dr. Maturin and Diana Villiers, while we see almost nothing of Aubrey’s own family.

I’m continually impressed with Patrick O’Brian’s knowledge, not just of the management and operation of tall ships and the British Admiralty, but of the English culture and politics as well. Of course, I’m presuming he is accurate. 🙂

The stories are well written and I always look forward to the next adventure.

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