Book lovers never go to bed alone

November 2, 2009

A to Z Challenge : P

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chantal @ 7:38 am

Torchwood: Pack Animals108. Torchwood: Pack Animals by Peter Anghelides

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
What do we want from tie-book? Solid characterization, that the characters sound like the original we know and love. Pack Animals does this and is entertaining too. The plot is a little foggy in places but the author doesn’t shy away from what makes Torchwood fun and attractive. Namely, Jack being Jack, competent Gwen, amusing Rhys and putting forward Cardiff and making it real and interesting. A good tie in reads like an episode without the special effects that the production couldn’t have afforded anyway. This one makes the cut.

October 22, 2009

A to Z Challenge : L

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chantal @ 7:31 am

Loverboy104. Loverboy by Gabriel Trujillo Muñoz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Second part of Munoz’s Mexicali City Blues series/collection tackles the urban legend of organ traffic. Anything is available on the frontier, for a price. When a child is abducted in broad day light, Miguel Morgado is asked to look into it. Fast paced, showing not telling, a compelling hero, really crazy bad guys and a place where nothing is all black and white more a dark shade of grey.

A to Z Challenge : T

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chantal @ 7:30 am

TIJUANA CITY BLUES103. TIJUANA CITY BLUES by Gabriel Trujillo Muñoz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the first part of Gabriel Trujillo Munoz’s Mexicali City Blues series/collection. Amazing. Short but not sweet. Munoz shows does not tell the reader. You are right in the middle of the intrigue without any down time or side steps. The hero is a mix of old noir boiler novel and Sherlock Holmes. It’s well done. So the plot of this story is set around the Beat poet/novelist Burroughs’ time in Mexico and the quest of a man for his lost father. Nothing is simple and it’s a wonderful introduction to the dark world of that region of the border between Mexico and the USA.

October 21, 2009

A to Z challenge : U

Filed under: atozchallenge — Chantal @ 12:43 pm

Utu : Un thriller chez les Maoris Utu : Un thriller chez les Maoris by Caryl Férey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was brutal yet immensely satisfying. The author didn’t cheat, didn’t waver. The plot came to the logical, violent conclusion. The hero of the tale is this nihilistic, doped up, violent, erratic, burnt-out cop with a death wish. It’s a dark tale of corrupt civil servants, murders and destruction. Utu is the Maori word for vengeance. Vengeance with no hope, no exit.

I’m really glad I read it. It’s not an easy read but a worthy one.

View all my reviews >>

October 18, 2009

A to Z Challenge : Q

Filed under: atozchallenge — Chantal @ 8:45 am

Q... comme querelle 100.Q… comme querelle by Sue Grafton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was like meeting an old friend by chance on the street that you haven’t seen in 10 years. My last Kinsey Millhone was the letter J or K. Q like Quarry kinda picks up where I left off because we get a glimpse of Kinsey’s family on her mother’s side again. The case in itself is not that hard to guess, based on a true case of an unknown young woman stabbed to death and left in quarry near Santa Barbara. Grafton imitates life but also creates or fleshes out two characters that I grew to like : retired officer Stacey and on sick leave officer Dolan. Both grow on the reader and form with Kinsey a competent trio of investigators. But like the old friend you haven’t seen in 10 years this is a one time chance meeting. I’m not sold in picking up another one of Kinsey adventure in the near future.

October 4, 2009

A to Z Challenge : Y

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chantal @ 12:27 pm

Une annee en Provence97. Une annee en Provence by Peter Mayle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Very light read. This is life of the rich and non-famous living the “simple” life in Provence. It has the same appeal as cotton candy. It’s fluffy, it’s pink, it’s sugar. You read it, you go on to the next book, but you enjoy the light pink fluffy candy while you eat it or in this case read it.

October 2, 2009

September books

Filed under: 1001 books challenge,atozchallenge,Books 2009 — Chantal @ 12:29 pm

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (The Oxford Sherlock Holmes)86. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is the second anthology of short stories of Holmes I’ve reread. This one has some of the most famous or infamous ones depending on your love for the characters. Still I liked it and it’s something you can pick up read one or two stories, put it down and pick it up a day or two later.

Highlights : The Musgrave Ritual because of it’s a classic treasure hunt. The Naval Treaty kept me reading and I figured it out as read without it being a problem and of course Silver Blaze which opens the anthology.

Of course this is the novel when Doyle decided to get rid of his famous alter ego. We all know how that turned out, The Final Problem turned out to be not so final so the emotional impact for us, 110 years later is somewhat lessen but Watson’s narration is well done.

Enéide87. Enéide by Publius Vergilius Maro

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a reread and unlike The Iliad it falls a little flat. More like a pale copy of the the vivid original. Still, Aeneas is a more interesting then Hector and his adventures and the still fury and obsessive hate of Hera for the people of Troy are the main attractions for me. The whole Romans are children of Troy that Virgil was using and promoting as a political propaganda is that propaganda. The epic battle scenes fall flat when compared with Homer’s Iliad battle scenes. I guess it comes down to preferences and mine is Greek not Roman despite the likable Aeneas and his doomed love story with Dido.

The Firebrand89. The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read it many, many years ago. I remember reading it in almost one siting and having a really good impression of Aeneas and just wanting to strangle Paris. Not much has change. Zimmer Bradley knows how to write a good tale. Told from the point of view of Kassandra, the seer that predicts the fall of Troy and cursed to not be believe by the Gods, Firebrand takes the side of the women in this war. Zimmer Bradley feminism views are not hidden and are sometimes a bit heavy but overall, it’s a good retelling of one of the most notorious and famous conflict. Odysseus is wonderful, Akhilles is an immature, unbalanced youth with impulse control issues. The Gods are the villains here and the men and women are merely puppets in their power struggles and petty fights. Glad I reread it, it made a good companion to my reread of the Iliad and the Eneid.

Black Ships90. Black Ships by Jo Graham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This re-imagining of The Aeneid through the eyes of a priestess of The Lady of The Dead worked for me. This quest of the People, exiled from Wilusa (Troy) destroyed to find a place, to fulfil their destiny is well constructed, well plotted and twist enough of the legendary tales to make it fresh and vibrant.

I loved her Aeneas aka Neas. I loved Xandros, how could I not love Xandros. The stops along the way to their destiny are shown not told. Jo Graham is obviously passionate about the history of the period. Her speculations about the economics, about the why the cities of the Sea are fading away are interesting and no where do the reader feel she’s infodumping. Never.

I love it. Really. Find it and enjoy even if you have never heard of the tale of Aeneas. It’s a great story about friendship, faith, un-required love and destiny.

Skeleton Key (Alex Rider, #3)91. Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Third book in the Alex Rider series. A little darker, Alex is more and more left to survive on its own and brought into more and more dangerous missions. What sounded like a favour to check if the Wimbledon Tennis championship was under attack as an undercover ball boy quickly becomes a life and death struggle and insane race with an unstable Russian general race from Cuba to Russia. Alex doesn’t find much solace or comfort and is well on the path of bitter deception. The action is fast paced and entertaining. The violence is up a notch from the previous two books.

Stain of the Berry: A Russell Quant Mystery (Russell Quant Mysteries) 92. Stain of the Berry: A Russell Quant Mystery by Anthony Bidulka

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Fourth book in the Russell Quant Mystery series. Creepier and darker than the first three. The main story deals with people from a choir being harassed and ultimately killed by a mystery boogeyman. Russell follows the clues as the killer becomes more and more bold and dangerous. That plot is interesting and Russell shines throughout resolution. It’s also creepy, dark and doesn’t end all in roses and joy.

The secondary plot wraps up the whole Seerena’s disappearance. It’s a little boring and predictable with two minor twists one I hope we will see again.

Overall an entertaining addition to the series. More like 3 1/2 stars

Le vieux qui lisait des romans d'amour93. Le vieux qui lisait des romans d’amour by Luis Sepúlveda

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First novel by exile Chilian writer Luis Sepulveda. This is a wonderful lyrical tale of survival in a wild and dangerous nature by accepting it and not destroying it. Antonio came to the deep of the Amazon forest to start a new life instead he found death, extreme condition and ultimately freedom. Freedom to live among the native, among nature. In his old age, he remembered he could read and spends his time in his little one room house reading loves storiesand watching life go by on the great river. But civilization is never satisfied and one greedy man changes the balance of nature and Antonio must go on his last hunt for a great predator bent on killing many, many men.

Smilla et l'amour de la neige94.Smilla et l’amour de la neige by Peter Høeg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Lovely with a dash of wow. Part mystery, part spy-thriller, all inner journey in the head of Smilla Jaspersen, herself part Inuit, par Danish, never belonging anywhere, only within herself. I loved the whole science, the science of ice being her tie to the world. How she doesn’t connect to anyone but this child who calls to the child she was. This child who’s taken away from her like and killed liked she as a child was taken away from her home and spiritually killed.

The part on the high sea, on the Kronos is very well done and made me claustrophobic and even if the voyage took only a week, it’s like going into a time dilatation hole.

Glad I read it, finally. Easily one of the good books I’ve read this year.

The Maltese Goddess: an Archaeological Mystery (Archaeological Mysteries)95. The Maltese Goddess: an Archaeological Mystery by Lyn Hamilton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
More like 2 1/2 stars. All the ingredients for a good solid plot are there: interesting lead character, Lara, she’s the reason this gets 3 stars; an interesting locale, Malta, the island’s history is well used and doesn’t feel like infodump. The problem: the villains are paper thin and the twist at the end is two folds setting up Lara’s romantic future and negates all of the work the writer did in a credible reason for the whole plot. Disappointing.

Le Zubial96.Le Zubial by Alexandre Jardin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Partly memoirs, partly fiction, all quest to understand himself, his father and make sense of the man that was the circus master of the first 15 years of Alexandre Jardin’s life.

Alexandre Jardin, a wildly popular French writer, who became a “name” and won prizes with his first book, Bille en tête, the story of a very young man who romances and becomes the lover of an older friend of his mother. His career as a writer started with a bang and never slowed down after that. Still, we find in this homage to his father, this Zubial, this crazy but lovable man, that Alexandre never got over losing his father. No child really does I think, what makes this tale interesting is the talent in which it is told, the insane, crazy, free lifestyle that the Jardin family engage in. Alexandre revisited this in “Le Roman des Jardins” a few years later.

A to Z Challenge : Z

Filed under: atozchallenge — Chantal @ 12:15 pm

Le Zubial Le Zubial by Alexandre Jardin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Partly memoirs, partly fiction, all quest to understand himself, his father and make sense of the man that was the circus master of the first 15 years of Alexandre Jardin’s life.

Alexandre Jardin, a wildly popular French writer, who became a “name” and won prizes with his first book, Bille en tête, the story of a very young man who romances and becomes the lover of an older friend of his mother. His career as a writer started with a bang and never slowed down after that. Still, we find in this homage to his father, this Zubial, this crazy but lovable man, that Alexandre never got over losing his father. No child really does I think, what makes this tale interesting is the talent in which it is told, the insane, crazy, free lifestyle that the Jardin family engage in. Alexandre revisited this in “Le Roman des Jardins” a few years later.

A quick and intense read.

September 6, 2009

A to Z Challenge : E

Filed under: atozchallenge — Chantal @ 7:42 am
Tags:

Enéide87. Enéide by Publius Vergilius Maro

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a reread and unlike The Iliad it falls a little flat. More like a pale copy of the the vivid original. Still, Aeneas is a more interesting then Hector and his adventures and the still fury and obsessive hate of Hera for the people of Troy are the main attractions for me. The whole Romans are children of Troy that Virgil was using and promoting as a political propaganda is that propaganda. The epic battle scenes fall flat when compared with Homer’s Iliad battle scenes. I guess it comes down to preferences and mine is Greek not Roman despite the likable Aeneas and his doomed love story with Dido.

August 22, 2009

A to Z Challenge : I

Filed under: atozchallenge — Chantal @ 3:52 pm

L'Iliade84. L’Iliade by Homer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Reread. Still as good as I remembered. Read it years ago in my mid teens because I was so into Greek Mythology and I just wanted to read the story about Odysseus, Achilles, Hector, Aeneas. You need a good translation and want to read epic poetry if you want to enjoy it. I found little things I didn’t know or remembered. Reading it along side a non fiction on the Trojan war and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Firebrand just made the text look and sound even better.

« Previous PageNext Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.