bookfrog: (Vachel)
2016-04-22 02:08 pm

The Silvered, Tanya Huff

The land of Aydori is led by two packs: the mage pack and the hunt pack.

Another country has declared the shapeshifters abomination, and invaded Aydori. They capture five of the best mages and dampen their powers.

They didn't count on Miriam and her stubbornness. They also didn't count on their interpretation of a prophecy to be WAY off.

I wasn't super into this at first, but it grew on me.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2016-04-04 03:58 pm

Hamster Princess: Of Mice and Magic, Ursula Vernon

This is an absolutely delightful retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses."

Harriet meets an old-lady-who-is-obviously-a-fairy on her travels, and if a fairy says she's hungry, it would be unwise not to share your lunch with her.

This is how Harriet learns that there are twelve mice princesses under a curse. Since heroing has been slim lately, she decides to check it out.

I love this series. Hopefully it will be out in paperback in a few years, so I can give it to my great-niece.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2016-04-04 03:44 pm

Slice of Cherry, Dia Reeves

Look, if your book is part of a series you need to indicate that in a way that will let people know before they try to read it. And if your book is NOT part of a series, it will make it a better book if you explain background things, like, say, monster attacks, EVEN IF you explained them in your last book.

Because a reader may not have READ your last book.

I don't know if this is Reeves' fault or the editor's, but it is majorly distracting.

Okay, so apparently this novel is a coming of age story with lots of murder.

Two sisters are the daughters of an imprisoned serial killer. They really want to kill people themselves. So, first of all (because there is magic in this world) one of the sisters makes a wish that they could make the bodies disappear.

She is given a way to make her "happy place" real.

Then the girls decide to only kill bad guys.

Then they find boyfriends.

This book is both silly and disturbing. It is also kind of ineffective, because I'm not sure what point it's trying to make.

Reeves SEEMS to be saying that serial killing is just a nifty way to solve problems.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2016-03-22 03:20 pm

Black Orchid, Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean

Sometimes I miss the days when I would have just felt vaguely unsatisfied with this book, shrugged, and moved on. Understanding why I don't like it does not make it easier to deal with.

Can we start with the fawning introduction by some guy I never heard of? It is especially impressed at how the book BEGINS with the death of a female superhero. How unexpected, et cetera.

So, yes. A woman is captured by the evil, and shot in the head. Beautiful.

Somehow the hero's death wakes up her.. sister? Something. She's a plant. She doesn't have a name.

Things happen AROUND this nameless woman. These things are done by men. Always men. She doesn't do much of anything.

The art's nice, though.

I'm just tired.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2016-03-22 03:12 pm
Entry tags:

Fender Lizards, Joe R. Lansdale

Dot Sherman feels stuck in her dead-end job in her dead-end town.

That starts to change when a man claiming to be her uncle shows up, and when she learns a carnival with a roller derby is coming to town. Since Dot works on roller skates, she figures it's worth a shot.

I REALLY liked this book. It's just Lansdale writing the living shit out of a thing, and It's great.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2016-03-22 03:07 pm

Remembrance, Meg Cabot

I wasn't big on the Mediator series when it was for young adults, but I was curious as to what Cabot would do when the book was for adults.

Man, I didn't like it.

Background: Suze Simon is a "mediator," that means she can see and communicate with ghosts and help them move on. Her boyfriend, Jesse, used to be a ghost. (I don't know how that part works, i haven't read the other books.)

So as the book, opens, Suze is bidding on some boots on ebay when she gets an e-mail from a guy who apparently tried to rape her in high school, saying he bought Suze's childhood home.

Suze immediately calls this guy up to yell at him, whereupon he tells her that he plans to demolish said childhood home, in which case, her ex-ghost boyfriend MAY just turn into a demon or some shit.

In exchange for not tearing down the house, he wants Suze to let him rape her.

And she actually considers it!

Also, I get that there may be a swear jar at her job in a catholic school, but seeing as she does not get PAID for said job, it is kind of an asshole concept.

And her friends also doing this to her is beyond the pale. The entire thing is a ridiculous holdover from when the books were for children, and seems like a space-filler to me.

I'm sure everything worked out for Suze, but I didn't stick around to find out.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2016-03-02 09:27 am

Extraordinary*, Adam Selzer

*the true story of my fairy godparent, who almost killed me, and certainly never made me a princess

Jennifer acquires a fairy godparent (who prefers to be called a fairy godmofo, for good reason as it turns out), and makes three wishes. Unfortunately, as soon as Jennifer's wishes come true, he springs the catch on her: she has to kiss some other girl's boyfriend at the school dance or she will DIE.

I really liked this book a lot. My only big problem was the fact that Jennifer is supposed to be a Shakespeare nut, but she doesn't know that "Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon 'em," is a dick joke.

This makes this excerpt fucking hilarious:

And sometimes even working for it isn't enough. You really do have to have it thrust upon you to get you started.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2016-03-02 09:20 am

Tempest Rising, Nicole Peeler

His shoulders were very broad and elegantly muscled, his hairless chesticles crowned by the sweetest looking little nipples. Mmm, nipples, my own body purred.

Jane True discovers she is part selkie and almost immediately starts making the sign of the hump-backed water buffalo with a vampire. A vampire named Ryu, no less. Who is, like, totally in love with her.

Oh, and also there is a serial killer going around murdering other people who are half supernatural creature.

So yeah, this reads like a seventeen-year-old wrote it, but it was fun and I'll probably read the next one once I get over that quote.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2016-03-02 09:11 am

The Children's Home, Charles Lambert

Since the accident that disfigured him, Morgan Fletcher has lived alone. He has a housekeeper and occasional servants, but mostly he has the big house to himself. Since he can't bear the way people looks at his face, this is how Morgan likes it.

Until, one day, a baby shows up on the doorstep. For some reason, Morgan and his housekeeper (Engel) keep the child. And then another kid shows up. And another.

One day Morgan sees a child appear out of thin air.

Because of the children, Morgan and Engel befriend Dr. Crane.

And then things get creepier and creepier..

The book jacket describes this short novel as an inversion of the "children go someplace magical and save it" story, and it sort of is.. but it is also a very disturbing horror story for adults.

If that's what you like, check this book out because it is really good.
bookfrog: (Default)
2016-02-16 10:54 am

okay, I haven't updated in a long-assed time.

I covered some of the books I missed in my first solo podcast. Give it a listen!
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2016-02-16 10:52 am

Honky-Tonk Samurai, Joe R. Lansdale

An old lady blackmails Hap and Leonard into looking for her missing granddaughter.

During their investigation, Hap and Leonard find high-class call girls, blackmail, and a family of serial killer/assassins.

Also Hap finds out he may have a daughter.

There is a lot of transphobia in this book. It could have been mitigated if just ONE person had said, "If you ain't fucking her, what do you care," but that didn't happen.

I've said before that this series is getting kind of samey, just rehashing old characters and so on. It seemed to me that the ending of the book means Lansdale is starting to feel the same way.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2015-10-21 09:55 am

Paradise Sky, Joe R. Lansdale

Tells some of the adventures of one Deadwood Dick, a black dude really good with a gun and a horse.

This was a really decent story, but I would just like to mention how sick I am of plots where really terrible shit happens to a woman just so the guy can go off and get vengeance or whatever.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2015-10-21 09:51 am

Worse Things Happen at Sea!, Alan Snow

This is the sequel to Here Be Monsters!, which came out way back in 2007.

Since then there has been a boring movie which had almost nothing in common with the book.

The sequel is about a fiendish plot that puts our heroes at the mercy of the villain from the last book. There is a sea voyage and a big monster and talking animals and all sorts of good shit.

A fun book. Check it out.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2015-10-03 11:36 am

Pocket Apocalypse, Seanan McGuire

Alex Price heeds his girlfriend's plea to come to Australia and help with the werewolf outbreak. Australia's never dealt with werewolves before.

So Alex goes to the most dangerous continent to face werewolves and his girlfriend's family, both of which want to kill him. This trip will be VERY educational.

This book almost made me cry about a mouse.

Man, I love this series.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2015-10-03 11:31 am

Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light; Tanya Huff

I was going to hold off on this until after my surgery so I would have something entertaining to read, but then I got a notice that it was due and couldn't renew the damn thing and now the fine's really big so I read it and here's my review (GASP):

Evil invades Toronto to take over the world, and our defense consists of one young woman with some brain damage, a guy with a guitar who is apparently a bard, and the young woman's caseworker. Also a cat.

But they summon help from the light and boom, an angel shows up.

I really liked this, it was fun to read and kind of reminded me of a Diana Wynne Jones book I have somewhere, except there were no angels in that one. Centaur, though.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2015-10-03 11:24 am

The Honourable Schoolboy, John Le Carre

I don't really recommend reading Le Carre's books so close together, but the book I have is an omnibus of three novels, so it was fairly easy for me.

It is discovered that Russian master spy Karla has been funneling money into China, and Smiley and his crew are trying to find out why.

This book is the longest of the three in my omnibus, and while a lot of the things that seem trivial are important later, I gotta admit I skipped some parts because they were interminable.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2015-10-03 11:18 am

Red Seas Under Red Skies, Scott Lynch

Locke and Jean are up to their usual thieving ways when they find out that they've made some really powerful enemies. Then they are forced to put a plan on hold when one of the most powerful guys in the city decides they should help him make the military more powerful. It's one of those slow-acting poison thingies.

So Locke and Jean try to become pirates. This does not go well, and they find themselves conscripted onto a REAL pirate ship, with a badass captain.

I didn't like this book as much as the first one. The main reason is one I can't tell you because of spoilers, but let's just say it wasn't necessary to the plot and as soon as I saw it coming I got REALLY pissed off.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2015-10-03 11:11 am

Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible, Ursula Vernon

This book is really adorable and fun, with wonderful illustrations. Another one on my list of stuff to buy for my great-niece when she's six or so.

Harriet is cursed as an infant--when she's twelve, she will prick her finger on a hamster wheel, and sleep until a prince kisses her.

Harriet's parents keep her life really boring until the day Harriet learns of the curse. Since the curse needs her to live until she's twelve, Harriet figures she's invincible!

So she does some cliff diving and runs off to kick the snot out of some monsters.

all goes well until she's drawn back home on her twelfth birthday..
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2015-10-03 11:03 am

Mrs. Noodlekugel and Drooly the Bear, Daniel Pinkwater

Mrs. Noodlekugel's husband comes home from being lost at sea. He brings with him a rather vexing bear, who of course wanders off and gets into scrapes.

This was not as much fun as the last two books, but the illustrations were still adorable.
bookfrog: (Vachel)
2015-10-03 10:59 am

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; John Le Carre

Things are getting a mite tense at MI6 or whatever. Retired spy George Smiley is called to a very secret meeting. It seems there is a double agent in the system. Smiley is asked to put together his own team and find out which of the suspects it could be.

Smiley knows who he WANTS the mole to be, but he is methodical and thorough in his search.

This is a slow book, but, just like the BBC miniseries, it keeps you interested to the very end.

Then again, if I hadn't been sick as hell and low on reading material I might never have gotten through the first part, which is really slow going and mildly irrelevant.