Tuesday, June 4, 2013

spring reads

This past quarter's list:

Getaway by Lisa Brackmann - Michelle, fairly recently widowed after 10 years of marriage to her financier husband, is in Puerto Vallarta trying to recover/figure out how to deal with the scandal and debt her husband left behind.  She allows herself to be picked up by a good looking guy on the beach thinking 'why not' and things go downhill from there.  The amorous encounter didn't happen and thugs break into her room and Daniel gets pistol whipped.  As she is headed for the airport to return home, her cab is stopped by the police who find drugs on her and she is thrown in a Mexican jail.  24 hours later one of the men she had met through Daniel arrives to get her out and then proceeds to hold her passport and forces her to stay and hang out with Daniel and report back.  The whole premise seemed far fetched to me and she didn't seem believable.  Never really acted, only reacted, or rather just did whatever she was told to do until the end then she's throwing the F word out there every sentence being defiant.  It was OK.

The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton - Fiona Sweeney, a 28 year old librarian, is feeling unfulfilled and wants to make a mark on the world, do something greater than herself, when she sees a post on the bulletin board where she works for a volunteer to help deliver books to the semi-nomadic tribes of Africa.  She takes a leave of absence and boards a plane for Kenya where she travels by camel with her African colleague and their helpers bringing books to the far flung tribes and settlements, to people who have never seen a book much less know how to read or even speak English.  I thought at first that this would be a shallow feel good story but it developed into much more.  Fiona is a typical white American with western values and has no concept of how these largely illiterate people live and their relationship with the earth and how it shapes their identity.  Fiona forms a personal attachment to one settlement in particular and after two books are not returned, she takes it on herself to go retrieve them.  Not knowing if she will be welcomed, she arrives at the settlement. During her four day stay she becomes the focal point of a struggle within the tribe between those who think it is time to join the modern world and those who seek to maintain their way of life even in the face of drought.  It turned out to be very thoughtful, written not only from Fiona's point of view but also all the main characters, a good read.

Dragon Tears by Dean Koontz – an evil apparition appears to a homeless man and a homeless woman and her son promising to kill them at dawn and then disintegrates into a whirling mass of rats or leaves or trash or becomes an inferno. An interfering police detective draws it's attention and gets on the kill list. The detective and his partner, with the help of the homeless and a stray dog, have only about 12 hours to figure out what's going on and stop it before they are all killed.

Time Untime by Sherrilyn Kenyon – a conglomeration of Greek, Atlantian, Mayan, and Cherokee pantheons and an end time/cycle story in which all the evil mauraders will be let loose if the gate keeper doesn't reset the stone. Only the gatekeeper doesn't know who she is or what stone or anything about it as she has been kept in the dark by her mother and grandmother. Both of them died before the wisdom/task could be told to her and she is thrust into a mythological maelstrom. Kinda dumb.

Fever Dream by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – FBI special agent Aloysius Pendergast discovers that his wife's death by lion in Africa 12 years previous was not the horrible accident he thought it was and she was actually murdered. He begins his quest to discover who and why which leads him and his friend NY detective Vincent D'Agosta to Africa and back, to New England, and Louisiana as they begin to unravel the events leading up to her death.

Cold Vengeance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – In the second of this trilogy, Pendergast is determined to get vengeance for her death and in the process of tracking them down is stunned to learn that she may have participated in her own demise and that she may also still be alive and has been in hiding all these years. As Pendergast digs deeper he discovers a conspiracy that goes back generations.

Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich – the continuing adventures of Stefanie Plum, bounty hunter, bouncing between Morelli and Ranger. Many cars get blown up.

The House On Willow Street by Cathy Kelly – The postmistress in a small Irish town who has kept herself separate from the social life of her town while hiding the secret of her own life has it all unravel when her niece, after being ditched by her boyfriend of two years when he abruptly marries a young woman he has only known for months, comes to stay for an extended length of time. Different residents of the town have their own story lines and they are all woven together.

Two Graves by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – The final book in this story. After Helen dies in his arms, Pendergast sinks into a depression that it seems none can pull him out of until a series of gruesome murders occurs and D'Agosta asks for help. Pendergast, almost against his will, becomes interested and discovers that it appears the murders were committed by his presumed dead brother. He is stunned when his son, a son he did not know he had, shows up at the penthouse and tells an unbelievable story that causes Pendergast to embark on the conclusion of his investigation not only into who was responsible for his wife's death but also the conspiracy behind it all. It takes him finally to Brasil where he finds a remote Nazi enclave that has continued the eugenics research into perfecting a master race. These three books also contain side stories that intertwine with Pendergast's involving the characters Corrie Swanson and Constance Green from previous books.

Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz – the continuing story of Odd Thomas. Odd sees dead people and they come and ask him for help. Well, not ask so much as pantomime since they can't talk. Usually whatever help they are asking him for involves some sort of terrible evil that needs to be combated. He has prophetic dreams and visions too, can see things the rest of humanity can't. His path or calling had led him to join up with a seemingly young pregnant woman who asks Odd in the previous book if he will die for her. Her gift causes people to offer her whatever she is most in need of at any time, thus they have ended up as guests at Roseland, a walled estate of 40 some odd acres where they are advised to stay in after dark and make sure all doors and windows are locked. While there a ghostly woman on a ghostly horse pleads for him to save her son. Thus does Odd's next foray into evil begin.


  1. You've got several fun-looking reads here.I've never read anything by Dean Koontz; maybe it's time. But first I'd like to read the one set in Kenya, where my daughter just went.

  2. How do you find the time to read so much? I feel like I'm reading quite a bit but I'm sure I don't get through this many books in a quarter. That Camel Bookmobile book looks interesting...

  3. Time Untime left me... annoyed. In truth, I'm not sure what has been happening to Sherri's book after Acheron. They just aren't the way they used to be. I recently read Born of Silence from The League Series, and I was left disappointing. I'm hoping for better tales...

  4. I've read all those Pendergast books. I spent my time going "really?" and "really!" :)

    I love the Plum books - so zany & car blowupy...

    I'm listening to The Gate Thief right now. Remains to be seen whether I'll give it a thumbs up or down.


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.