Monday, March 23, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: FESTIVE IN DEATH, by JD Robb

I've been a really good girl -- productivity-wise. So when the latest paperback in the In Death Series was available, I didn't feel guilty -- too much anyway -- about indulging and buying a new book.

FESTIVE IN DEATH takes place at Christmas. Amid all the strain of preparing for Roarke's annual blow-out Christmas party, and navigating all the social obligations and niceties of gifting and holidays and decorations, Lt. Eve Dallas has to deal with the murder of a personal trainer.

Gee, hasn't everybody wanted to kill their personal trainer at one time or another? The thing is, this personal trainer deserves to die. He's a user. A blackmailer. A manipulator. An ego-maniac. And as Eve investigates all the people on his client list and then the secret list tied into the huge wads of cash found in his locker, she discovers he's also a rapist. The kind of rapist who convinces himself his victim wanted it. Yeah, he deserved to die. But the thing is, that kind of decision should be left to the courts, so that's where Eve Dallas comes in. Despite everything, she has to stand up for the dead.

I love the characters in the In Death series. The interactions. The relationships. And the process of tracking down the murderer and even understanding, a little bit, why ....

Monday, March 16, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: KISS AND SPELL, by Shanna Swendson

I have a HUGE bone to pick with the authors of my favorite book series: You don't write FAST enough!

I was delighted to discover 3 more books in Shanna Swendson's Enchanted Inc., series and bought all of them, and as you can see here ... breezed through them. Devoured them. So ... I'm out and need more! Write faster, please! What happens next to Katie and Owen?

In KISS AND SPELL, Katie and Owen, Katie's grandmother and Merlin and all their friends and enemies are dealing with the fallout from the end of the last book, where the entire story took place in one breathless day while they searched frantically to get their hands on an evil jewel that would help the possessor control the world. Not a nice thing to fall into enemy hands. Part of the fallout was a burst of magic that restored Owen's burned out magic, and gave Katie magical powers.

Another part of the fallout was accusations of wizards acting against elves. Magical people start vanishing, and when Owen and Katie try to track down an ally who suddenly isn't answering his phone, they end up in ... well, a live version of a romantic comedy movie, complete with soundtrack and montages. Katie discovers that having fading magical powers isn't all it's cracked up to be -- especially when it means that her handy-dandy immunity to all magic isn't there to help her.

Will they escape fake New York and return to real New York and solve the mystery of disappearing people and stop the invasion in time? Read it and find out. And if you happen to see Shanna, tell her to write faster!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX by RL LaFevers

I love the Theodosia series by RL LaFevers -- brilliant little girl who sees Egyptian-related magic things, knows how to counter the evil influences and assorted supernatural things running amok in the museum her parents work for -- so I've been tempted for some time by the Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist series.

The first book, FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX, was on sale on Kindle, so this was a good time.

Charming book. Fun illustrations. Somewhat reminiscent of Roald Dahl, launching with the story of a boy being ignored by the adults in his life, then tossed about to suit their schedules and conveniences, until he lands in the custody of an aunt he didn't know he had ... and then his adventures begin!

The Fludds are mapmakers from ancient times, and at one point in their history they are charged with documenting and protecting and understanding the fantastical, mythical beasts of the world. Hence the phoenix of the title. Despite believing himself unsuited for adventure, and lacking any of the necessary training that should have started years before, Nathaniel does admirably in the face of danger. Plucky hero, destined for greatness.

My only complaint is that this book was waaaaaay too short. I devoured it in no time at all and wanted more. Fortunately, there are three more books. I hope LaFevers will be writing more books about Nathaniel -- oh, and if she's listening, more Theodosia books, too? Please?