December 27th, 2010

Eric and Sookie Split

No. 57 for 2010

Title: Cross Fire
Author: James Patterson
Rating: 5/5
Book: 57
Pages: 356 pgs
Total Pages: 19,490/15,000 pages
Version: Ebook
Next up: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

I think that this is one of the best books in the Cross series. I was becoming worried with the past two books in the series as it seemed that Patterson was losing his flair that I love about him with this particular series. This book kept me turning pages and left me shaking the book when Patterson let the readers in on a secret that Cross did not know. Overall, it was a good book and I highly recommend it!

xposted to 50bookchallenge, 15000pages and bookworm84

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Books 27, 28 and 29 - 2010

Book 27: Moonstruck by Susan Grant – 378 pages

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Of all of Grant’s books that I’ve read, this one is my favourite. It sits within the same universe as the Otherworldly Men series but moves its perspective away from the Jasper family and into a region of space called the Borderlands. I’ve heard it compared to Star Trek: Voyager, specifically the relationship between Captain Janeway and First Officer Chakotay, the implication being that this story is really just that particular romance (I loathe to call it a romance because in my view it never was) taken to its conclusion. Personally, I disagree, but I can see why the comparisons would come up, and moreover, why I would then love this story so much (not, for the record, because I ever wanted a Janeway/Chakotay romance, but rather because I was – and still am – a massive Voyager fan). Brit Bandar is the best Captain on the Coalition side of the recently concluded millennia long war with the Drakken Horde (a war essentially won by the Coalition). She’s ruthless, ferocious and up until now, has spent twenty years finding ways to take out as many Horde as possible. Finn Rorkken is the only Horde leader to ever get away from her – she’s chased him all over the Galaxy. Of course, when she finally comes face to face with him, it’s to be told that he’s to be her new second-in-command on the first Unity ship (a three-way alliance between the Coalition, the Horde and Earth – which was declared a political shrine in the Otherworldly Men book ‘My Favorite Earthling’). There’s an instant chemistry between the pair (a big strike against any similarities to Voyager) but whilst Finn is reasonably open to anything further, Brit is true to her nickname of ‘Stone-Heart’. With this as a premise, I was always going to be interested, and the story didn’t disappoint. It’s a bit hard core on the sex, but otherwise altogether endearing, with just enough sub-plot to make the story not solely about the relationship. I think the thing I loved the most was the epilogue, which really nicely wrapped up the story (warm fuzzies ensure!). The only thing I think I would have liked, that was absent, would have been a look at some of the reactions of outside persons to the relationship – but that’s definitely more my personal preference than any fault on part of the story. Overall, I would highly recommend this to not just sci-fi/romance lovers, but romance lovers in general…or pretty much anyone who liked the romantic aspects of Star Trek (before you laugh, there were such aspects!). Definitely my genre of choice!

27 / 50 books. 54% done!

9479 / 15000 pages. 63% done!

Book 28: The Warlord’s Daughter by Susan Grant – 314 pages

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More love! This one was a bit different from the others. Only one major sex scene, and a lot more spaceship fun. It follows several stories, eventually converging into two separate stories and then into one. One follows Wren, the Warlord's neglected Daughter as she tries to stay alive in the new, unified universe that just happens to want her dead for her father's sins. Another story follows Aral, one of the Warlord's battlelords who turned spy and single-handedly brought down the Warlord. Then there's Vantos, famed runner whose survival during the war crossing back and forwards across the Borderlands is of no use now that the war is over. Finally, there is Hadley and Bolivarr who appear in Moonstruck. The pair are now a couple, and Hadley is no longer Brit Bandar's PA, but a fully fledged captain sent on her first mission to try and find an ancient text belonging to the Goddesses. Eventually, all four groups converge on board Hadley's ship, the Cloud Shadow, for a show down that may serve to be the only thing that will save Wren from a revenge execution. I must say I missed Brit and Finn from the previous book - those two really grew on me - but it was nice to hear little remarks about the pair of them (primarily that Brit was no longer helming spaceships but teaching students and that the pair were married and expecting a baby - I really liked hearing that, it wrapped Moonstruck nicely). Hadley and Bolivarr's relationship felt less mysterious and sweet in this one, but at the same time, there was a resulting maturity to Hadley that was nice. I liked Wren and Aral, pitied Wren for her circumstances, Aral for his father's torture, envied Wren for the easy fix to her poor eyesight (a couple of drops of nanomeds into her eyes and boom! she can see - if only!). It was a good read, a different perspective on the war. There was only one flaw: at the end, two of the characters move to Australia, the problem in that being that they move to Western Australia. Come on Susan, everyone knows the best beaches are on the Eastern Coast of Australia - who goes to Perth when you can have Brisbane?

28 / 50 books. 56% done!

9793 / 15000 pages. 65% done!

Book 29: Sureblood by Susan Grant – 376 pages

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This is the final book in the Borderlands trilogy, and my second favourite of this series. It moves out into an area of the Borderlands controlled by several clans of space pirates who make their money by chasing down ships that have stolen resources from the region’s mining lord. Normally, the different clans have an unspoken agreement that whoever gets to a ship first, gets it, but during one particular desperate circumstance, Val Blue, daughter of the leader of the Blues, and Dake Sureblood, young leader of the Surebloods team up during a raid. It’s the start of many things: a discussion regarding clan collaboration, a romantic entanglement between Val and Dake, and an event that creates a seemingly irreparable fraction between the clans. The first thing I must say about this book is that I loved the very idea of the Surebloods, who are an almost Viking like people, big, tall and powerful. The main Sureblood, Dake, is a commanding presence, 6’5 and huge, and that in itself is really hot in my book (my favourite male character in my own series is a 6’5, giant of a man who also happens to be King of an entire planet – he’s uber sexy!). More attractive is the fact that he really wanted to make the Borderlands a better place. Val was similarly determined but more flawed as a person – independent to a fault but prone to wearing her heart on her sleeve. As a team they are ferocious and after reading this book, I have developed a distinct love for space pirates (I even went as a space pirate to Halloween). Perhaps the only major flaw was the fact that the ‘bad guy’ was obvious right from word go and I did spend an awful lot of time wondering why it was taking everyone so long to work it out. Nonetheless, it was a good read, another one I’d definitely recommend to all who are fans of sci-fi/romance.

29 / 50 books. 58% done!

10169 / 15000 pages. 68% done!

Currently reading:
- How to Make Gravy
by Paul Kelly – 552 pages
- Nobody’s Prize
by Esther Friesner – 306 pages
- The Truth about Diamonds
by Nicole Richie – 224 pages

And coming up:
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: Book the Second: The Reptile Room
by Lemony Snicket – 190 pages
- The Star King
by Susan Grant – 358 pages
- Jennifer Government
by Max Barry – 335 pages

Book 141: Two Caravans by Marina Lewycka

Book 141: Two Caravans (US Title: Strawberry Fields).
Author: Marina Lewycka, 2007.
Genre: Comedy-Drama. Contemporary.
Other Details: Paperback. 320 pages.

"I have already started to think about the book I will write when I get back home, but you have to have something interesting to write about, don't you? More interesting than a bunch of strawberry pickers living in two caravans." - Irina, Two Caravans.

This novel centres on a group of migrant workers who hail from Eastern Europe, China, Malaysia and Africa. They have come to England to harvest strawberries. As they don't have the proper papers to work, they are exploited and underpaid. They live in two small caravans, a men's caravan and a women's caravan.

When the farmer's wife discovers that her husband is having an affair with the overseer of the work group, she runs him over with her car. She then tells them that they will be blamed by the police. Thus, the group flees by hooking up an ancient Land Rover to one of the caravans. There follows a series of misadventures as they look for employment throughout England.

The novel deals with some quite harsh subjects such as the exploitation of vulnerable people, human trafficking, and battery farming, Lewycka is very sympathetic in her ability to portray her characters and tackles these difficult political and social subjects with insight. There is also a quite gentle love story at its heart.

However, I found myself having quite an ambivalent response to this novel. Yes, it was quite funny but considering the subject matter it felt wrong that it was somehow. This was echoed by others in our library reading group though we all agreed that it was thought provoking.

#51- 53

#51. "Poisin Elves. Vol. 1" by Drew Hayes
A re-read. This graphic novel has been been around since the mid-nineties and like to re-read it occasionally. Although it obviously began as quite homemade and the art showed this, it did get better as it went along and was quite funny. Recommended for any comic/fantasy fan.

#52. "The Fry Chronicles" by Stephen Fry
Fantastic, as anticipated. A look at his years in Cambridge and his first steps into the limelight. I really can't wait until he writes the next installment.

#53. "Poisin Elves. Vol. 2" By Drew Hayes
A Re-read. Like I said, enjoyed the storylines better as I went along.
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Perfect Robin, Great Mouse; Fauna Read muy Euripides

Too tuckered from various things for proper reviews; too lazy to whittle things down to a single adjective.

The Perfect Reader, by Maggie Pouncey
Witty and moving.

Muppet Robin Hood, by Tim Beedle, Armand Villavert Jr, and David Petersen
Goofy and fun.
(178/200, 5/100)

Mouse Guard: Winter 1152, by David Petersen
Sweet and valor-inducing.

Great Day fer Livin', by Juliet Wilson aka MY FAVORITE BABYSITTER WHEN I WAS LITTLE
Thoughtful and homey.
(180/200, 6/100)

Now Read This III: A Guide to Mainstream Fiction, by Nancy Pearl and Sarah Statz Cords
Solid and suggestive.

Fauna, by Alyssa York
Engrossing and surprising.
(182/200, 7/100)

19 Plays of Euripides, translated by Edward Coleridge
Tiresome yet worthwhile.

Martina, una cucarachita muy linda, by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Michael Austin
Elegante y divertido.
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