Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Woman in Black

Harry Potter, you rock…or Daniel Radcliffe, as the photos didn’t move when he was reading the newspaper and he had to use candles to walk down the scary dark hallway.

Daniel plays Arthur Kipps, a young widow with a little boy that is sent by his law firm to resolve an estate in a dark, scary, wet corner of England where he finds a village dealing with a crisis.   
Okay, it was scary. Sort of glad-I-didn’t-go-alone scary.  I jumped (and screamed) on a number of occasions, and actually went fetal at one moment, though I'm not sure which. 

I wish I had paid more attention to the villagers when there was mention of having seen the woman in black.  I wouldn’t say it would be worth paying to see it again to actually see the villagers’ reaction, but it is important to the haunting and deaths. As an aside…Why would you live there if you know your kids could die a horrible scary death? Or, for that matter, why you would fill a child's room with scary-looking dolls!

This movie did not disappoint me, but I was disappointed in the ending.  I'm not sure how they could have made it any different, though.  Also, it didn’t stay with me.  By the time I went to bed, I was able to turn the lights off.  Could I have waited for it to come out on video?  Sure.  But it was a great scare in the scary dark movie theatre that I wouldn’t have felt at home. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cold Pursuit By Carla Neggers

Back in her hometown of Black Falls, Vermont, to do damage control on her career, Secret Service Agent Jo Harper is drawn into the search. But her efforts face an unexpected challenge: Elijah Cameron. 
With his military training and mountain rescue experience, no one knows the unforgiving terrain better than Elijah. But he and Jo have been at odds forever and Elijah believes the missing teenager isn t just lost she s on the run.
Forced to work together, Jo and Elijah battle time and the elements in a race into the unforgiving mountains. The twists and turns awaiting them will take them closer to the explosive truth and into the sights of a killer.

This was worth it.  When I picked up Cold Dawn, I didn’t think about the fact that it was the third in a series of Cold books.  A few chapters in, I realized I was lost with all the characters.  Now I know who everyone is.

The Black Fall series pretty much pairs up the remaining single siblings of the Cameron clan to their respective mates.  Elijah, bad boy turned good, is the first to be tied down.  Even as a ball-bustin’ Secret Service agent, Jo had her soft side.  They were well matched, seeing as how both knew how to handle their weapons.  The romance aspect is fairly typical.  Long-ago lovers meet up again and struggle with their feelings all while trying to solve a murder mystery.  But as any true romance should end, they ultimately work out their differences and we assume will live happily ever after. 

What I really liked was the way you see through all the major players’ eyes, all adding their side of the story until it comes together in one dramatic chain of events. Other than the ringleader, the question isn’t who done it, but how it will all play out.  All the extra characters and their input made this great. You see Melanie’s side as the accomplice of Kyle, the killer for hire.  She was wonderfully delusional; thinking she controls Kyle even while she’s getting on her knees. Grit was cool, together with Myrtle, it’s a shame she’s so old and he’s so young.  Oh, and Charlie, someone needs to put some parental controls on him!

So we’re left with the question who is the mastermind of this killer-for-hire business.  Moving on … Next:  Cold River.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Powers By John B. Olson

"Deep in the swamps of southern Louisiana, Mariutza’s beloved grandfather whispers his ominous last request – and dies in her arms.  All her life he’s looked after her, trained her in the old Gypsy ways and kept her hidden away in the swamp.  But now … The Badness has found her.  Mari’s only hope is to find Jaazaniah the prophet, the legendary hero of her grandfather’s bedtime stories. But how can a girl who has never left the swamp survive the terrifying world of men long enough to find a savior who may not even exist?
In the heart of New Orleans, musician Jazz Rechabson runs for his life.  Everyone is out to get him. Soldiers, government agents, mysterious hooded men.  What do they want? And who is the beautiful young woman who haunts his waking dreams? 
Can strangers from different worlds come together in time to unmask a horrifying enemy? And if they do, will they be able to STAND?"

I have to preface this by saying I am not a fan of Christian fiction, fantasy or otherwise.  And I did not read Shade, the prequel to Powers, but I don’t feel like I missed anything at all.

It took me a bit to get into this but that may have just been where I was mentally at the time, because once I got into it, it was a quick light read loaded with action.  Mari and Jazz fight for their lives against supernatural forces with a gypsy twist, which I wasn’t even aware existed, while each on a quest to discovery their destinies.  Mari is great, fresh from the swamps and learning to deal with city life. They are being followed by Special Agent Groves who is on a spiritual journey of his own. 

The ending was fairly predictable … except it seemed to be missing pages of explanation. I actually went back a couple of times thinking I must have missed something.  It pretty much ends in a miracle, except one that leaves huge holes, like with crime scene investigations and letting the only suspects go basically just requiring them to leave a telephone number.  SA Groves picked an odd time to have a total conversion and Jazz is truly blessed (no pun intended) given the number of federal agents dead and mass destruction that was left behind.  

This book is a take-or-leave read. I enjoyed it overall, even with my disappointment with the ending.  Definitely not one for the permanent collection, but I suppose if you were a part of a book club or picking up something from the library, this would work well. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cold Dawn By Carla Neggers .... to be continued

Cold Dawn
Cool cover, read the synopsis and thought it sounded interesting, bought it and...

Page 53 ... that is how far I got before I had to put this down.

You know when you're reading a series and each new book rehashes what you already know, going over the people and events that have brought you to this point?  I hate that.  Whole paragraphs wasted telling me what I already know because, apparently,  other people don't know what's transpired and all the skeletons in the closet because they didn't read the preceding books.

Apparently that's me this time around AND ....  Carla Neggers doesn't do that.  She just laces all the characters in as though we're sitting around the table discussing the family... and I'm new to this family.   So I'm the idiot sitting there smiling while names and places and exciting events whiz right over my head.  And I want to know this family.

Now I sit patiently waiting for Barnes & Noble to send me Cold Pursuit and Cold River.
(Well, not exactly patiently, I'm way behind on reviews).

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Friday 56: Stolen

The Friday 56 is a weekly bookish meme hosted by StorytimeWithTonya.  The rules are simple:

Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
Turn to page 56.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or if you don't have a blog in the comment section of this blog.
Post a link along with your post back to Tonya's blog.
Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual.  Use the closest.

By Kelley Armstrong

When we got to the hall, I surveyed the parking lot and counted four vehicles: two mid-sized rental cars, a Jeep with California plates, and an Accord with Massachusetts plates. 

Very good read if you like sarcastic dangerous werewolves.  Review here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bitten and Stolen by Kelley Armstrong

I have a Love/Hate relationship with series.  I never pick up the first one because I have no patience to wait for installment 2, 3, 4... or, more likely than not, I would just forget to come back for more a year later.  I mean do you have any idea how many books I can go through in a year?  They’re lucky if they can stay in my memory for a month.  A year?  Please.  So many great books and authors, so little time.  Anyway, I’m always looking for great series to power through (hint?) and can spend hours crawling and climbing the shelves at bookstores and libraries in search of something to satisfy my need.    

In comes Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld.   Oh, yeah.  Did you know there are 10 of them?!?!?  Yep, Frostbitten is No. 10.  That was enough for me.  Decision made, I started at the beginning and got Bitten and Stolen at the same time.   

Mini Synopsis: 
Bitten -  Adopted by the Pack when bitten, Elena had spent years struggling with her resentment at having her life stolen away. ... But now the Pack has called Elena home to help them fight an alliance of renegade werewolves who are bent on exposing and annihilating the Pack. And although Elena is obliged to rejoin her "family," she vows not to be swept up in Pack life again, no matter how natural it might feel. …

Stolen - …Vampires, demons, shamans, witches -- in Stolen they all exist, and they’re all under attack. An obsessed tycoon with a sick curiosity is well on his way to amassing a private collection of supernaturals, and plans to harness their powers for himself -- even if it means killing them. For Elena, kidnapped and imprisoned deep underground, separated from her Pack, unable to tell her friends from her enemies, choosing the right allies is a matter of life and death.
Elena Michaels is intelligent, tough and sarcastic.  I liked the storyline in Bitten, but Elena’s sarcasm in Stolen had me in laughing a number of times.  On the other hand Clayton… yum.  Loyal, dangerous, passionate…Yeah, that about describes him.

The only aspect of the books that I didn’t particularly like was Armstrong’s description of the dog pack interactions.  Not that there were awkward canine sex scenes, no.  Sex scenes were juicy if a bit scarce but purely bipedal.  It’s just that the interaction between the pack members did conjure up images of Disney’s Never Cry Wolf.  For those too young to remember, I won’t elaborate, but it doesn’t quite … do it for me.

Werewolves didn’t even warrant their own classification.  They were lumped into “Zombies, Werewolves, and other Miscellaneous Demonic Phenomena.”  Miscellaneous demonic phenomena? The demonic part kind of stung. I was not demonic.  Well, maybe driving some hapless guy from his airplane seat wasn’t exactly nice, but it certainly wasn’t demonic.  A miscellaneous demonic phenomenon would have shoved him out the escape hatch.  I’d barely been tempted even to do that.  
Page 12, Stolen. 

Verdict:  I loved my first dip in the Women of the Underworld pool.  Okay, maybe I wasn’t up all night devouring every word, and I may have taken time out to answer the phone and make dinner, but still great books.  If you’re into supernatural action-packed romances, this will work.  It’s a well mixed drink, little sweet and sour with just the right twist of sarcasm.  The dog-pack imagery is like the little umbrella in your drink; I personally can do without it and am more afraid it will put out an eye, but some people like them and think they're cute.

Now the dilemma:  be a good girl and read 3, 4, 5 before 6 Broken, which continues with Elena’s escapades, then 7, 8, and 9, before 10 Frostbitten, the continuing saga of Elena and Clayton's life ….or just go straight to 6 and 10?   

Bitten (2004) and Stolen (2004)
Written by Kelley Armstrong
Published By Penguin Group (USA) 

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Friday 56: Bitten

The Friday 56 is a weekly bookish meme hosted by StorytimeWithTonya.  The rules are simple:

Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
Turn to page 56.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or if you don't have a blog in the comment section of this blog.
Post a link along with your post back to Tonya's blog.
Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual.  Use the closest.

By Kelley Armstrong

They hadn't materialized on their own, but I might have been less surprised to find that they had.

(What, you ask?  "Honeyed ham and pancakes, my favorite breakfast."  Page 56, Line 2)

Think I know what I want for breakfast this beautiful post-Thanksgiving day.  Have a wonderful day.