Saturday, August 19, 2017

Book 105: Dead Spots

Dead Spots by Olson is the first book featuring Scarlett Bernard, a null who specializes in cleaning up supernatural messes for the various communities in the Los Angeles area.  Summoned to a park by the head of the local vampires, she comes upon the largest, goriest crime scene of her life and is spotted by Detective Jesse Cruz just as a werewolf comes running through only to turn human in front of the detective when he gets to close to Scarlett. Cruz tracks Scarlett down and demands that she help solve the murders.  At first Scarlett is reluctant, but when they realize that the victims were vampires and a null was involved in the murders, Scarlett has no choice.  Either they solve the crimes by the vampire's deadline, or he will kill them and blame the murders in Scarlett to maintain his position.

Honestly, I felt sorry for Scarlett.  She doesn't really have any choice in her job, and she's afraid to let anyone close enough knowing that they could be used against her.  Love triangles are annoying especially when it is obvious that one of the guys will never work.  The mystery was well written, and I enjoyed the world building.  I knocked a star off for the cliffhanger thrown in at the end. 3 stars.

Book 104: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The wizarding world is in an uproar after the escape of convicted murderer Sirius Black as Harry's third year at Hogwarts begins.  With new classes and new teachers, dementors guarding the gates, and Wood determined to win the Quidditch Cup, Harry has a busy year ahead of him. When he learns that Black is his godfather and is believed to have been responsible for betraying Harry's parents, it's only a matter of time until trouble finds him again.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by Rowling is another great addition to the series.  5 stars.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Book 103: The Sea of Monsters

In The Sea of Monsters by Riordan, Percy has managed to survive an entire school year in one place with no problems, at least until the last day of school.  With the help of Annabeth and his new friend Tyson, Percy escapes and returns to Camp Half Blood.  Camp is no longer the safe haven of the previous summer, Thalia's tree has been poisoned and the magical protective borders are slowly failing.  Percy also keeps dreaming of Grover, who is pleasing for rescue.  He, Annabeth, and Tyson, with a little help from Hermes, set out to find and rescue Grover from Polyphemus and recover the Golden Fleece to save the camp.

A great addition to the series.  5 stars.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Book 102: Speaking From Among the Bones

In Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley, Flavia is excited about the soon to be exhumed bones of a local saint at the churchyard.  Before even reaching the chamber, the workman find the much more recently deceased body of the church's organist.  Exploring the cemetery outside, Flavia discovers a tunnel that leads to the room containing the body as well as the tomb.  Her curiosity becomes fully peaked when she learns that the saint was buried with a staff containing a large diamond. With her usual precocious attitude, she determines to solve the crime and find the diamond.

Another entertaining addition to the series.  4 stars.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Book 101: The Hunt for Red October

The launching point of the character Jack Ryan, The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy is a combination of spy thriller and military strategy.  A well decorated Soviet submarine officer conspired with his top officers to steal a brand new Soviet submarine and defect with his officers to the United States.  CIA analyst Jack Ryan guesses the plan and alerts Washington of the possibility.  Soon the Atlantic is filled with Soviet navy attempting to catch their missing sub and destroy it as well as American and British navy monitoring their counterparts and attempting to locate the sub in order to assist.

I could have done with a little less technicality, but still enjoyed the story overall.  4 stars.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book 100: Ghost of a Chance

Emerald O'Brien is a single divorced mother of two who run a China and tea shop and also does tarot card readings. One night she is awakened by Susan Mitchell's ghost and asked to help prove that she was murdered by her husband. At the same time, Susan's family comes under attack from an evil spirit leaving her at a loss of how to identify the spirit, explain his fixation on her family, or even begin to figure out how to banish him.  Stacked all that on top of normal life and a busy holiday season, she would have been completely overwhelmed if not for the help of friends both old and new.

Ghost of a Chance by Yasmine Galenorn was an entertaining cozy but not one I would read again. I felt like their were so many things going on that sometimes the mystery got lost in the shuffle, and it seemed like they made absolutely no progress for year-round of the novel until it wrapped up in a flurry in the final chapters.  3 stars.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Book 99: The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is the beginning of his best selling Percy Jackson series, which remains my favorite Riordan set.  Twelve year old Percy is just trying to survive his sixth grade year without getting kicked out of school and without failing despite his ADHD and dyslexia. Then his math teacher sprouts wings and claws and tries to kill him on a school trip.  His best friend turns out to be a satyr, and the minotaur chases them to the Greek demigod camp at Half Blood Hill and his mom disappears in a flash of light.  Within days Percy is claimed as a child of Poseidon and sent on a quest to find and return Zeus' master bolt before war erupts between the gods.  With monsters at every turn, Percy and his friends Grover and Annabeth travel west to the Underworld in hopes that Hades is in possession of the bolt only to find that the situation is far more complex than it seems.

Fantastic series.  5 stars.