Book Review: The Angel’s Game by Carloa Ruiz Zafón, translated by Lucia Graves (Four Stars)

Book Review: The Angel’s Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books #2) by Carloa Ruiz Zafón, translated by Lucia Graves (Four Stars)

“Never underestimate a writer’s vanity, especially that of a mediocre writer,” I would reply.
“I don’t like to hear you talking like that about Pedro.” “I’m sorry. Neither do I.”

Follows protagonist David Martin on a journey of discovery which, once began, he both impelled and repelled from completing. The reader will identify.

Even the worst news is a relief when all it does is confirm what you already knew without wanting to know.

Zafón deftly create character and scene by meticulous description, pulling the reader deeper into the horror Martin experiences. That things are not as they seem is a given, but David’s attempts to find meaning in  his own life is heart-breaking.

“We think we understand a song’s lyrics, but what makes us believe in them, or not, is the music.”

Folks should read, but probably not review books of genre they dislike. I dislike thrillers. This is a thriller. This is a very good thriller.  Still, I feel the need of a bath.

So many people in these streets have blood on their souls that they no longer dare to remember, and when they do they lie to themselves because they cannot look at their own reflection in the mirror.

Book Review: Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells (Three Stars)


Book Review: Death of the Necromancer (Ile-Rien #2) by Martha Wells

(Three Stars)

“And that’s what he wants us to do, so that is what must be avoided at all cost.” That’s elementary, for God’s sake.”

An Arthur Conan Doyle take on Steampunk fantasy? Thinly disguised caricatures of Doyle’s sleuthing duo appear as supporting cast in this second novel set in the Ile-Rien universe, though a century after the first installation. What if Moriarty and Holmes teamed up against an even bigger threat to peace and goodness? Darker than most of Well’s stories; I didn’t like it as much. Your mileage will vary.

“I’m sure of one thing. That ‘safe’ is not a state of being any of us are going to experience again until all this is over.”

Slow start as Wells builds her characters and setting, but everything then accelerates. Continue reading

Book Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Five Stars)

Book Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Five Stars

“If you go in with fear, fear is what you find.”

Totally awesome. The best science fiction I’ve read this year. Called a science fiction thriller and a romance, it goes beyond many genre expectations. Explores how choices relate to identity. We are who we chose to be.

“I have total control, but only to the extent that I have control over myself.”

Well-conceived, well-developed, well-written.

“I’m not allowed to think I’m crazy. I’m only allowed to solve this problem.”

The title, of course, is a pun. The story only tangentially relates to Continue reading

Book Review: Relentless by Robin Parrish (Four Stars)

Book Review: Relentless by Robin Parrish

Four Stars out of Five

Bourne Identity meets Captain America meets DaVinci Code meets … no, that would be telling.

A delightful mash up of modern thriller genres to produce a fun, fast read. The reader is sucked along with the bewildered, tired, often beat up protagonist into a world of apocalyptic threat set in modern (well, 2006) Los Angeles.

Most geographic and cultural references are close enough, though I’ve yet to see a Corvette convertible with a back seat and trunk, not to mention one in which “scooting over” from the passenger’s seat to the driver’s is expedient. Oh, and several characters jump from vehicles going 60 mph or faster without apparent injury. Don’t try this at home.

Logical and satisfying conclusion to first of a three story series

But, hey, it’s not that kind of story. Tighten your seat belt and enjoy the ride.

Book Review: Influx by Daniel Suarez

Influx by Daniel Suarez

Four stars out of Five.

“Anything before you’re thirty-five is new and exciting, and anything after that is proof that the world’s going to hell.”

Excellent. Hard science fiction that grabs the reader by the throat and doesn’t let go. A haunting tale about the government trying to protect us from ourselves. The premise is that for the last fifty years an increasingly powerful bureau of the federal government has been identifying and sequestering scientific breakthroughs–and their inventors– Continue reading