Monday, November 30, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: TRICKY TWENTY-TWO by Janet Evanovich

If you haven't figured it out by now, there are several series that I love to read, can't wait for the paperback -- and thanks to Overdrive and ebooks in the library system, I don't have to fork out the $$$ for a hardback and take up more space in my bookshelves that are about to collapse....

The latest installment in the Stephanie Plum series is another grin-gasp-cringe-giggle-gulp adventure. There's a sense that Stephanie is starting to grow up, that she's putting more thought into her adventures, even when she stumbles into things that most of us would avoid at all costs. She has a couple of close calls in this one -- and honestly, sometimes you just want to reach through the pages of the book and slap Morelli until he gets some sense. Yeah, he's the grown-up in the partnership, or at least, the hopeful partnership, but ... well, he's a guy. And he's Italian, so that explains a lot of the brain damage. (Hey, I'm Italian, so I can say that, it's from experience! Italian men are ... well, let's just say sometimes I really wonder how Christopher Columbus got across the Atlantic, y'know?)

Anyway .... yeah, this is another FUN book. A fast read. A treat and a reward for me getting some major writing and editing chores done. There are a couple homicides, a not-so-grieving widow, a fraternity that makes Animal House seem a little tame, some wacko faculty and administration people, a plan to spread the plague, missing people, and the usual assortment of wackos that Stephanie has to track down and return to jail. Along with more amazing costume changes by Lula and several of Ranger's cars get destroyed yet again. I hope he has good auto insurance ...

What can I say? I never get tired of this stuff.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: LIFEBOATS, a Tale of the Young Wizards by Diane Duane

Bottom line: Diane Duane does not write FAST ENOUGH when it comes to her Young Wizards books.

That's why I'm thrilled that another book in the series is coming out in 2016. The wait has been way too long.

Meanwhile, we have this lovely in-between tale, where many of the characters we've met in previous stories, as Kit and Nita learn their duties and grow up and juggle being teens with saving worlds and sometimes the universe, participate.

Because this one is a HUGE intervention.

A planet's moon is about to literally fall down on top of it. Ecologic disaster. Extinction of several races that share the world. While it isn't easy by any definition to shift the entire eco-system of a planet to other planets that have been prepared to take the many varieties of life on this world -- and it's not easy to prepare those worlds to take them -- it's do-able.

What doesn't seem to be do-able is convincing some of the residents of this world to leave ... They know their world is on the verge of death, which means them, too, but they don't want to leave. Finding out why, and finding out a way to persuade these people to choose life, is part of the assignment for Nita and Kit and Ronan and Dairine and Tom and Carl and the rest of the gang, from Earth and from other worlds. Can they do it?

Like, duh -- READ THE BOOK and find out.

Umm, Diane? Please write faster??????

Monday, November 2, 2015

Off the Bookshelf: DEVOTED IN DEATH, by JD Robb

Ah, the glories of Overdrive, the e-book library access app ...

When I realized that the newest In Death book had been released, I went to Overdrive and was able to access my local library system and immediately download the book and start reading. Yeah, I confess, I kind of pushed aside my current Work-in-Progress that I hope to get done by the end of the month, but as Eve Dallas learned near the end of the book, a little break from the pressure and time crunch really does do a lot of good.

DEVOTED IN DEATH is about the hunt for two -- quite frankly -- sick young idiots who think they're in love. They may be devoted to each other, and they may be jumping each other's bones every chance they get, but the fact that they get their "high" after torturing and killing people .... nuh uh, that ain't love, baby. Darryl and Ella are two selfish young twits who set off across the country on a crime spree, and when it turns bloody and they discover that the excitement of blood and death aids in the sex, well, that's all the justification they need.

It's up to Eve Dallas and her team to identify these two monsters, find their lair, and stop them before they can use up and murder their latest torture victims. The suspense of the ticking clock alone was enough to keep me reading, but what brings me back time and again to the series is the development of the relationships between the characters, and the growth of Dallas and Roarke in their relationship and their marriage. She's growing as a person, learning to see things through others' eyes, even though she still doesn't quite get all the friendship and marriage "rules." The people, the growing "family" that has collected around Homicide Lt. Eve Dallas, make up the best part of the series.