I began keeping a reading journal several years before I began blogging. I find it interesting to sift through my thoughts of books that I read back then. My reviews were often brief and contained little substance, but I thought it'd be fun to document them here on my blog as well as share them with you. The first half of 2006 seemed to be my time for series reading. Here are some of my reviews from 2006:
Fantasy/Crime Fiction; 354 pgs
The title is enough to incite giggles, I know. A mix of fantasy, mystery and science fiction, Mario’s Acevedo’s debut novel packs a lot of punch. His style of writing makes for an easy and enjoyable reading experience. The Nymphos of Rocky Flats is about a detective whose most recent assignment is to find out the source of a rash of nymphomania at a government facility in Colorado. As stated on the back of the book, the main character, Felix Gomez, “went to Iraq as a soldier and came back a vampire.” As Felix’s investigation begins, he finds himself and other vampires in the area being the target for vampire hunters. The storyline was unusual and creative. I immediately liked Felix and enjoyed meeting the other characters in Mr. Acevedo’s novel. The book got off to a great start and although the book took an unexpected direction into science fiction, which seemed a bit much, it still somehow worked. I would definitely be willing to read more by this author in the future.
Chicken House Ltd., 2003
Fantasy/YA; 534 pgs
Mo, Meggie’s father, has an unusual gift. He can read people and objects into and out of books, a gift that has proved to be more of a curse than anything else. Twelve-year-old Meggie is suddenly thrust into a world her father tried to keep from her, when Dustfinger, one of the very characters her father brought to life, pays a visit to warn them that an evil villain is searching for Mo and the book from which both Dustfinger and the evil Capricorn came from. Meggie is a lover of books as is her father and great aunt, Elinor. As a booklover, it was difficult not to form affection for such like-minded characters. I enjoyed Inkheart once I got into it. I could have done without the first 120 or so pages, which seemed to drag on and on. The story took off when Mo finally opened up to Meggie about his gift and the story of her mother’s disappearance. At that point, I lost myself in the story and hung onto just about every word.
Fantasy; 444 pgs
Author Kelley Armstrong brings readers back into the life of werewolf Elena in her latest novel from the Women of the Otherworld series. Elena is not only the only female werewolf, she is also pregnant, something no one thought possible for her kind. Her accelerating pregnancy isn’t enough to keep her from finding trouble, however. Tasked with stealing a letter that could reveal the identity of the infamous Jack the Ripper, Elena and her pack soon find themselves in over their heads when Elena somehow opens a portal into another dimension. It soon becomes clear that she is a target to the zombies that have come through the opening. Elena, Jeremy, and Clay are determined to close the portal to save Toronto. I enjoyed the adventure of my werewolf “friends;” however, I wasn’t quite as smitten with the book as I was with other books in the series. The story didn’t grab me the way the previous stories have and the writing was unimpressive. The characters weren’t as fleshed out as they had been in previous books and I missed some of that in Broken. Although disappointing, I found the book to be a good light read.
Pocket Star, 2006
Horror; 350 pgs
Stephen King is one of those authors I avoided for a long time because I knew what type of books he generally wrote. Cell is pretty much what I expected in the way of a Stephen King horror novel. I much prefer the more psychological suspense thrillers to the gory apocalyptic horror novels, and Cell definitely fell into the latter category. There was also the matter of having felt like I’d read or seen the story before. Multiple times. War of the Worlds came to mind (it was even mentioned in the book), that whole idea of searching for someone, trying to get away and at the same time trying (whether knowingly or not) to save the day theme. In Cell, artist Clay Riddell, suddenly finds himself in a real life nightmare when the people around him using cell phones appear to go crazy, attacking each other and animals on the street. Clay joins up with a couple of other people who were not affected by the strange signal transmitted by the cell phone, and they go in search of his son, meanwhile discovering the complexities surrounding the now so called phone-crazed people. I didn’t find the book in any way scary. I may have laughed at some very inappropriate times. Still, I enjoyed the story and spending time with the characters. It was an entertaining read, and even if I didn’t come away from the book with a newly developed fear of cell phones, I was holding my breath near the end, hoping for the best, hoping the “good guys” would come out on top.
Romance; 369 pgs
Kate C. Leever is the new editor for reclusive author, Lucern Argeneau, whose biographical stories about his family have been dubbed paranormal romances. She is determined to convince him to share a part of himself with the public at the Romantic Times conference. Lucern reluctantly decides to go, not realizing what he’s getting himself into. What Kate doesn’t realize is that Lucern is a vampire and that vampires are not just fictional characters. Both she and Lucern find themselves drawn to each other and yet their fears and pride are not making it easy for either. While I enjoyed Single White Vampire on some levels, it was not very satisfying. This particular novel reminded me of my Harlequin days back in high school when I devoured books about brooding men falling in love with the heroines of the novels. The story was nothing new. The characters were two-dimensional. There just wasn’t a whole lot of meat to the story, and while I don’t regret reading it, I am relieved to have finished it. On a more positive note, Ms. Sands' perspective of vampires was fresh and new, not one I’ve encountered before. She definitely was able to get across that her vampires were not the dangerous all powerful creatures many authors portray them as, as much as they are just misunderstood beings with certain heightened gifts. [Obviously I hadn't read a lot of this type of book back then.]