November 12th, 2012

sad!wolf

20-24

Again, I am doing a block update, mostly because these were, for the most part, relatively quick reads.

20. Torchwood: Exodus Code by John and Carroll Barrowman
21. Quantum Leap: The Novel by Ashley McConnell
22. Quantum Leap: Prelude by Ashley McConnell
23. The First Prophecy by Loxodonta-Magica (fanfic)
24. Twentyone days by evil minded (fanfic)

Exodus Code was better than I expected it to be, considering it was set after the rather disappointing 4th season of the show. A good bit of this could be attributed to it being co-authored by one of the main actors, as well as the events and new characters from S4 not being a central part.

QL: The Novel had Sam as carnival worker trying to keep the new roller coaster set to open from derailing, while keeping the carnival from being shut down due to lack of funds. I enjoyed it because it was a Quantum Leap novel, but the plot didn't really grab me.

Prelude was a more engaging read. It showed the background of Project Quantum Leap, from Sam's first proposal to the budget committee right up to the beginning of the pilot episode. The characterization was good, and the politics involved didn't drag it down.

Both fanfics are from Harry Potter, featuring abused!Harry and mentor/father figure!Severus, and can be found on fanfiction.net.

The First Prophecy starts with Severus being assigned by Dumbledore to learn more about how Muggles live and learn in order to better integrate the Muggleborn and Muggle raised students. To this end, he ends up working with Harry, Hermione and Ron, and discovers a mental/physical bond with Harry. He also befriends Hermione's parents, who find out from their daughter and offer their assistance. Summer brings Snape's undercover mission teaching at a Muggle school to further his knowledge, and Harry being sent back to the Dursleys. The effects of both of these events further cements their bond, and they learn from Dumbledore that, in order for Harry to fulfill his prophecy, Severus must fulfill his own and become mentor and guardian to Harry. This fic was very well written. The characters were out of character occasionally, but as it was a situation that they would not normally have been in, it is within bounds. The plot also flowed smoothly and kept me engaged, often longer than I should have allowed it to lol.

Twentyone days began with three events occurring simultaneously - Death Eaters attacked Hogwarts, Dumbledore cast spells to protect the school, and a cauldron exploded in the first fourth year Gryffindor/Slytherin potions class of the year. These events combined in the inadvertent lockdown of the Potions classroom/office/lab, with all seventeen students and Snape inside and no way in or out. During the 21 days they are trapped, they run out of food, any/all helpful potions, and within a few hours of the lockdown all of their magic is sucked out, just after they manage to transfigure mattresses to sleep on. Amidst starvation, fear, nightmares and exposing of personal secrets, strong bonds of friendship are born as rivalries are set aside for survival, and Severus and Harry form a familial bond. Another good read that kept me up for quite a few nights when I should have been sleeping, the plot grabs you and doesn't want to let go. The characterization was also very good, and again any out of characterness was very easily attributed to the circumstances.

I am currently reading the sequels to both fics, as well as a book on Buddhism. Updates will more than likely be like this in the future, at least until I pick up large books again.
tree

Books 141-142: Mercy and Hot Six

Book 141: Mercy (Department Q #1).
Author: Jussi Adler-Olsen, 2007. Translated from the Danish by by Lisa Hartford, 2011.
Genre: Police Procedural. Nordic Noir.
Other Details: Paperback. 512 pages.

The first in a gritty crime series dealing with investigations of cold cases that was published in Danish as Kvinden i buret (The Woman in the Cage) and in English as Mercy in the UK and as The Keeper of Lost Causes in the US.

Mercy introduces world-weary Copenhagen detective Carl Mørck, who after barely surviving a shoot-out that left one colleague dead and another crippled is assigned to run a newly created department for unsolved crimes. He and his assistant, Assad, are regulated to the basement with few resources. The first case that attracts his interest concerns Member of Parliament Merete Lynggaard, who vanished five years previously while travelling on a ferry. It is presumed that she drowned after either jumping or falling overboard. Everyone says the case is a waste of time and while Carl suspects they are right, he feels compelled to investigate. Meanwhile, in flashbacks we learn of a prisoner being kept in a sealed room with no way of telling time, tormented by her captors who say they will end her suffering if she answers one simple question.

I had heard many positive things about this writer and they certainly proved well-founded as this was a thrilling example of Nordic Noir that built up slowly and wound up the tension as it moved towards its gripping conclusion.The procedural aspects were well played out as the protagonist, Carl Mørck, doggedly pursues the 5-year old cold case. I became an instant fan and look forward to reading further in the series as they become available in English.

Book 142: Hot Six (Stephanie Plum #6).
Author: Janet Evanovich, 2000.
Genre: Chick Lit Crime Fiction. Comedy/Drama.
Other Details: Unabridged Audio. Length: 9 hrs. 50 mins Read by C. J. Critt.

In this episode of the popular series, Stephanie's fellow bounty hunter and mentor Ranger is under suspicion of the murder of the son of a mobster. This leads to her being followed by shady types who hope that she will lead them to him. She also is dealing with a clutch of cases in her usual inept style.

Stephanie Plum has again served as my audiobook-in-the-car providing a great deal of entertainment in terms of the zany characters and predicaments that she gets herself into. New characters introduced in Book 6 included Bob, a large dog and Mooner, a stoner who went to school with Stephanie. Good fun and I moved straight on to Seven Up.