November 2, 2015 by rachelcmann
Read and Recommend!
Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy Book 1) – Sarah Rees Brennan – I devoured this book! It looks pretty simple from the outside, a basic teen supernatural romance between the clever but plain local and the exotic magical newcomers to town (sound familiar?). And then it goes totally off course! The girl has a secret voice in her head, the newcomers are not what they seem and the whole thing zooms along until its way too late on a weeknight to still be reading. I will say that my suspension of belief was tested pretty hard at times – even British teenagers aren’t that poised and ready with the perfect witticism all the time.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – David Shafer – It’s pretty rare that I only read one thing at a time. With this one I had no desire to read anything else during the week it took me to get through it. The story begins with three central characters each with their own plots and they don’t seem to intersect at all. When they do start to overlap it blew my mind. Without spoilers, I did have a problem with some of the more extraterrestrial ideas included, I feel they were unnecessary and took this out of the plausible near-future reality realm. If you like conspiracy thrillers this one is a must-read.
The Woman Who Died a Lot: A Thursday Next Novel – Jasper Fforde – The Thursday Next series is so delightful. Yes, the structure of the world is hard to get your head around but Fforde perfectly balances details about the strange universe and plot momentum. It has been a while since I’ve read any in the series, but I was quickly swept up in the story. It’s irreverent, the heroes are perfectly imperfect and the whole thing is deliciously absurd. If you enjoy whimsy in your mystery novels and you haven’t read this series yet I definitely recommend it!
The Director: A Novel – David Ignatius – What a page turner! This is a CIA/cyber spy novel and man does it suck you in! Told from the point of view of the newly appointed CIA director, a man from the corporate sector chosen to shake things up, he lands in midst of a massive conspiracy. What’s interesting to me is that in most other books, this character would be peripheral since most of the action happens with other people. But by seeing his thought process as well as the action you anticipate when (if ever) he will figure it out and how it will all go down. Very compelling!
Yes Please – Amy Poehler – I’ve been a fan of Poehler on SNL and while it took me awhile to get into Parks and Rec, I’m a fully indoctrinated member of her fan club now. I’ve heard really good things about her book so I was happy to finally dig in. Poehler is a funny person, but her roots are in improv and while she’s also a comedy writer I feel like her jokes are probably better spur of the moment and in response to a scenario, rather than planned and plotted in a book. That said it was thoroughly enjoyable, albeit not the feminist manifesto I was expecting. It’s not for everyone, but if you like Amy Poehler and/or smart/funny women this is a good read.
The Final Formula: An Urban Fantasy Novel (The Final Formula Series, Book 1) – Becca Andre – An interesting tale about an alchemist who has lost her memory, she doesn’t know if she’s a good guy or a bad guy and that leads to a lot of confusion and adventure. I definitely zipped right through the book and now have the second on my to-read list, but it’s a fluff piece. There are some interesting, unique mythology elements that made it stand out for me.
Dead Man Talking (Dead Man Mysteries Book 1) – TM Simmons – This one is about a woman who can see/talk to ghosts and then her cousin(?) is accused of murder and his ghost is haunting her (or something). I did finish this one though it was a bit of a struggle in spots. The main character is slightly annoying and the whole thing sort of felt like it ought to be Book 2 – does that make sense? The characters were established and there was a lot of backfill happening which made the plot drag a little bit.
The Door Within: The Door Within Trilogy – Book One – Wayne Thomas Baston – This almost perfectly fits the bill of a textbook young man’s journey to adulthood plot device. While the parallel worlds bit is interesting, I’m struggling to remember the details after putting it down. I think that this is one of those series that can definitely be enjoyed by young adults (aka who it’s intended audience is) but less so by actual adults.
Robbed of Soul: Legends of Treasure Book 1– Lois Brown – Now this one is a page turner! Former CIA moves to small town Utah to be the Chief of Police and stumbles into an ancient treasure hunt/murder plot and there are ghosts! For its dark subject matter it’s a lighter read and the story is well told.
Paranormalcy – Kiersten White – I really enjoyed how this book flipped the usual story on its head. Instead of the story starting with our heroine discovering she’s ‘the chosen one’, she is already deep in the shadowy organization and desperately wanting to live a normal teen life. When she finally gets her chance, it opens her up to new dangers and experiences. At times our narrator is an annoying teenage storyteller, but I’m letting it pass.
Maggie for Hire (Maggie MacKay Magical Tracker Book 1) – Kate Danley – When all is said I done I feel like this maybe took on more than it could chew. I like the protagonist and her ‘job’ of tracking down undesirables. I like the parallel world. I like the elf partner who is hiring her for a specific job. But then we add in a mother who’s psychic, a missing father, a crazy uncle and new vampire boss and I start to get a little lost.
The Warrior Heir – Cinda Williams Chima – I got about 3 chapters into this and realized I’d read it before. And clearly it didn’t grab me enough the first time around!