Sunday, November 30, 2014
fall reading list
Sovereign by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee – the last book of of The Book Of Mortals trilogy. It's been a couple of years since I read books one and two but their reviews are in the archives somewhere. At the end of book 2, the Sovereign (read savior) Jonathon allows himself to be killed by the Dark Blood Saric and his (Jonathon's) most ardent followers inject his dying blood into their veins to achieve the final awakening but it only serves to create a schism between the nomads (Immortals) and the newly created Sovereigns. Feyn has been turned into a Dark Blood and she reigns over the world and the dead Mortals. Six years has passed now and the Sovereigns have been hunted and killed by both the Dark Bloods and the Immortals and the 30 some odd left are in hiding in the catacombs under the citadel. The Sovereigns' alchemist (scientist) has created a virus that will kill all Dark Bloods and Immortals and intends to release it in 6 days but their leaders Rom and Jordin set off on different paths to prevent it's release because, you know, Jonathon wouldn't like it. Rom turns himself into Feyn in a last attempt to convert her back to Jonathon's love and aliveness. (Rom is a fanatic going on and on and on about Jonathon's blood). Jordin sets off to find and kill an Immortal and injects his blood into her veins to become an Immortal (apparently in this place and time all humans only have one blood type except for the three characteristics...Sovereign, Immortal, Dark Blood) so that she can convince Roland (the Prince of the Immortals) to attack and kill Feyn and also to try and convert him to Sovereign so he won't die when the virus is released. Anyway, it's all about faith or loss of it and resurrection and blah blah blah. When, the authors were just telling the story, it was a good enough action tale but then they would go off on the whole Jonathon/Jesus riff and I got tired of that. In the end, Jordin finds her faith, Rom converts Feyn, Jordin converts Roland and the few remaining Immortals but not until almost everyone else dies.
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman - A middle aged man goes back to his home town for a funeral and feels drawn to visit the pond at the end of the lane, a place he thinks he has not been to since he was 7. As he sits and reflects, the memories of that year come back to him, the year when his parent's lodger took their car and drove to the end of the lane onto the Hempstock farm and committed suicide, an act which unleashed a 'flea' as Old Mrs. Hempstock calls their kind. 11 year old Lettie Hempstock collects the boy and takes him to her family's farmhouse while his father deals with the police and the situation. Privy to a mysterious conversation, he goes home to wake one morning soon after, choking on a coin and discovers Lettie waiting for him at the end of his drive. What follows is a little wander into the supernatural dark side with Lettie promising to protect him 'no matter what'. Still, the flea manages to evade the binding. It's a short read, not even 200 pages, but a good story and probably not the one you think. I liked it.
The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg – a new series by Janet, this one starring a female ex Navy seal FBI special agent who has devoted her life to catching world renown con man and thief extraordinaire Nick Fox, which she does right away. Fox makes a deal with Kate O'Hare's superiors to use his skills to help bring down other untouchable criminals, untouchable because of their wealth or position in society, and her bosses pair her with Nick much to her chagrin while at the same time telling them they will be operating in an unofficial capacity and if they get caught, the FBI will deny all knowledge. Their first 'job' is to recover half a billion dollars and bring to justice an ex investment firm CEO who embezzled the money and fled and only one man knows where he is, his lawyer. Several recurring characters are introduced.
The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg – the second book with Kate and Nick, this time they must recover a bronze artifact that was stolen from the Smithsonian and a forgery put in it's place when the government decides to return it to China. The con and retrieval goes smoothly until the collector, Carter Grove the ex White House chief of staff and now head and owner of the BlackRhino private security firm that hires only the meanest and deadliest characters, discovers the con and vows to not only get the bronze statue back but also to kill Kate and Nick but Kate and Nick have other plans.
Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich - the continuing adventures of Stephanie Plum, Bounty Hunter and her two men. I still enjoy them. This one made me chuckle more than once. It has everything we've come to expect...cars blown up, people to apprehend, interaction with Ranger and Morelli.
A Question Of Blood by Ian Rankin – a detective novel set in Scotland. A man walks into a private school lounge room and shoots three teens, killing two of them and then shoots and kills himself. The investigation, besides discovering exactly what happened and in what order, also tries to figure out the motive of the apparent perpetrator, a loner and ex special army forces member who makes his living taking people water skiing and teaching them to sail. The head of the investigation requests the aid of detectives John Rebus and Siobhan Clark to help undercover the connection between these private school boys and Lee Herdman, the dead shooter, even though one of the dead boys is related to Rebus who is about to be investigated for a different murder and his scalded hands seem to point to his guilt. When two army investigators show up and start searching Herdman's boats, the backstory becomes even more complex. A decent enough read though it kind of bogs down a little.
The Lost Island by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - a new series, it seems, by the authors of the Pendergast novels. This is the third Gideon Crew novel. Gideon is hired by Eli Glenn to steal an illuminated page from an ancient book on loan by the Scottish government in an impossibly secure room. When he pulls it off and delivers the page he is astonished and dismayed to see Glenn's scientists dissolve the inks to reveal an even more ancient map on the vellum that is supposed to lead to the site of a miraculous healing substance. Gideon and another Glenn recruit, Amy, are sent on a mission to the Caribbean to find this place and substance. They encounter trouble almost right away in the form of treasure hunters and heavy seas from a nearby tropical storm. Amy has her own theory about the map and the journey it depicts and convinces Gideon to go along with her instead of calling Glenn when things get tight.
Mr. Mercedes by Steven King – I know I swore I would never read another Steven King novel after slugging my way through The Gunslinger but I finished my book on Saturday night and so Sunday Marc was through with this one I picked it up. This is not a horror or woo woo tale. It's a story of a sociopath who decides to 'borrow' a car and run down a bunch of people waiting in line for a job fair and gets away with it. The lead detective on the case retires without solving the case and several months into his retirement he gets a letter from the 'perk'. Now 'Mr. Mercedes' has turned his attention to trying to get the detective to commit suicide, something he did successfully to the woman whose car he used. Hodges, the detective, proves to be a tougher nut to crack and soon things escalate and the race is on. Hodges and his unlikely partners, Jerome, his 17 yr. old neighbor, and Holly, the 40 something niece of the suicide with 'problems', are acting outside the law and with only their wits to aid them must find and stop Mr. Mercedes before he pushes the button for his grand exit, taking thousands of others with him. I wouldn't go so far as to say Steven King has been redeemed in my eyes but he does know how to tell a good story and this one was worth reading.