May 11th, 2011

50bookchallenge2011

Book 12 The Breach

The Breach by Patrick Lee

B&N Synopsis

Thirty years ago, in a facility buried beneath a vast Wyoming emptiness, an experiment gone awry accidentally opened a door.

It is the world's best-kept secret—and its most terrifying.

Trying to regain his life in the Alaskan wilds, ex-con/ex-cop Travis Chase stumbles upon an impossible scene: a crashed 747 passenger jet filled with the murdered dead, including the wife of the President of the United States. Though a nightmare of monumental proportions, it pales before the terror to come, as Chase is dragged into a battle for the future that revolves around an amazing artifact.

Allied with a beautiful covert operative whose life he saved, Chase must now play the role he's been destined for—a pawn of incomprehensible forces or humankind's final hope—as the race toward Apocalypse begins in earnest.

Because something is loose in the world.

And doomsday is not only possible . . . it is inevitable.


I actually read the sequel first - whoops! But I enjoyed it a lot. The plot is compelling and keeps a fairly fast pace throughout the book. I like the technology aspect of the books. The sci-fi aspect is subtle, because the technology is believable. That's always preferable when I'm reading books set in modern time.

Lee is a solid writer. His books are good. Over time, I think his style will improve and he'll churn out even better books. I hope he continues this series. I'd like to see how it progresses. With the world and technology he's created, he definitely has plenty to pull from and expand upon.

Book 12/40


did you know you could fly?

(no subject)

Book #33 -- Kate DiCamillo, The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo, 121 pages.

Life hasn't been the same for Rob since his mother died. His father barely speaks to him, he's bullied at school, and he lives in a motel. But one day he meets a new girl named Sistine who is just as lost as he is. Oh, and did we mention there's a tiger? Pretty deep, actually, for a middle school book. I liked the oblique association of the caged tiger with the children's repressed feelings.

Book #34 -- Marie Desplechin, Poor Little Witch Girl, 124 pages.

Lots of kids want to stand out - Verbena just wants to be normal. But coming as she does from a long line of witches, normal isn't an option. Now she has to deal with her ambitious and demanding mother and her newly awakened powers, not to mention school and friends and boys. Especially boys. After all, who wants to be with a girl who can turn him into a toad? Cute story, although I thought the ending was a bit rushed. Also there was some awkward phrasing and some choppy paragraphs, but that might be because it's a translation.

Progress toward goals: 131/365 = 35.9%

Books: 34/100 = 34.0%

Pages: 11432/30000 = 38.1%

2011 Book List

cross-posted to 15000pages, 50bookchallenge, and gwynraven
50bookchallenge2011

Book 13 Quicksilver by Amanda Quick

Quicksilver by Amanda Quick

B&N Synopsis

Virginia Dean wakes at midnight beside a dead body, with a bloody knife in her hand and no memory of the evening’s events. Dark energy, emanating from the mirrors lining the room, overpowers her senses. With no apparent way in or out, she’s rescued by a man she’s met only once before, but won’t soon forget. . . .

Owen Sweetwater inherited his family’s talent for hunting the psychical monsters who prey on London’s women and children, and his investigation into the deaths of two glass-readers has led him here. The high-society types of the exclusive Arcane Society would consider Virginia an illusionist, a charlatan, even a criminal. But Owen knows better. Virginia’s powers are real — and so is the power she exerts over him simply with her presence. And if her abilities can be relied upon in the midst of great danger, they just might be the key to his investigation.

*sigh*

I want to be excited about Quick's novels. I really, really do. For the longest time, she was my "go to" romance author. I rarely read romance. She's one of probably three that I'll read. And I'm including Gail Carriger in there as romance, just so I can say three and not two.

But seriously ... this Arcane series just isn't that interesting. I can buy the psychical powers thing in her Harmony series written as Jayne Castle. It's set in the future in an alternate world. It works. But these stories are set in historical England. No go. If she were writing steampunk, I might allow it. Maybe. She gets points for the awesome clockwork toys of death. However, this isn't steampunk. It's not an alternate world. It's back-in-history England set in this universe.

The story is interesting enough. She has intriguing characters who are likeable and make you laugh and smile. You feel for Victoria Dean. You like Owen Sweetwater. But the underlying thread of psychic powers seriously detracts from what could be an interesting murder mystery.

I wish Quick would go back to her earlier style of writing that relied on good old-fashioned story telling without the need for mysticism or psychic powers. Heck, even Vanza was OK. I was cool with that. But this carrying out a story line through three books, each set in a different time and written under a different pen name is annoying. That schtick work in the DC or Marvel universe when you string a story line across four different series in an effort to cram as many characters in as possible and bleed as much cash from comic geeks as you can. I know. I buy them.

But Quick ain't comics. She's romance. One story. No gimmicks or hocus pocus powers, please.

Book 13/40


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