Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A story about two children and their young nanny/au pair who is swept into another world where some of the inhabitants used to be human. By eating the available food in this place the people transform to become more mythical beasts, like fauns etc. Although the Au Pair, Kilda, is tempted she fights the temptation to find her way out of this.
It's wonderfully evocative of older mythical stories and although it has an overlay of science fiction, which adds to the confusion of the characters the core story is a very interesting quest story. The love story is also logical and makes sense in the context without feeling tacked on and silly.

Stephanie is back, being chased by a woman who claims to be Ranger's wife. As the body count mounts it looks like it could be Ranger doing the killing, or someone suspiciously like Ranger. Meanwhile they need a new bounty hunter in the office. Some seriously laugh out loud moments with her grandmother as usual. Also the love triange between Stephanie, Ranger and Morelli gets more and more complicated. Stephanie is still having problems choosing between the two of them.

A bit less pain and a little more plot. Phedre follows the plotters to La Serenisima to try and stop them from doing more damage to the land of Terre d'Ange, along the way finding allies and friends. Interesting but I find it somehow lacking. Maybe it's just that pain isn't my path

Sunday, August 13, 2006

an interesting children's book about a group of talented children who fight evil elsewhere in order to save several worlds including their own.

Selena Jones sees her husband in the arms of another woman when he should be on assignment in another country she decides that a foreign post is the way to escape some of her feelings. She then finds herself in the middle of a hostage crisis, chaos and confusion with her trying to convince the powers that be that she is serious. The only person who will help or listen is her husband, but she doesn't know if she can trust him.
Readable but nothing spectacular.

Interesting book that's all about parallel lives in this generation and a few generations earlier during the Huguenot opression in France.
An American woman, Ella Turner, moves with her husband to France and tries to find her feet there. Her ancestors were Tourniers and they come from somewhere pretty close to where they're living now. This searching for her roots cause her to ask questions about her relationship with her husband and whether or not he's the person she should be with.
At the same time it tells the story of Isabell du Moulin, known as La Rousse because of her hair. Trying the best to live her life but trapped in a marriage that is breaking her spirit.

This one left me with a feeling of incompletness. Maybe it would have been better if she had employed the same technique as in her later novels where she writes totally in the past. The connection to the painting was a bit more tenuous than in the others but still it's an interesting read. I just didn't find myself caring much for the characters or what happened in their lives, it was all quite abstract, I didn't get involved. It's interesting but in ways just not interesting enough for me.

Offlas Kiel is looking for forerunner artifacts. On Clio he has a hope of finding some, it's a closed planet. Set up as a Psychocrat experiment it's an almost medieval world. When Offlas' niece, Roane gets pulled into the local politics, she has to choose between family and friends. She also has to choose between leaving the world as it is or helping it change.

An interesting read but not one of her best.

Doing these two as one because they came bound as Truly Madly Manhattan, which is possibly the easier way to find these two.

Contains the two books Local Hero and Dual Image

The First of the two, Local Hero, has a comic book writer as the hero. A fun engaging book. Mitch Dempsey lives downstairs from the single mom Hester Wallace whose son, Radley, is one of Mitch's biggest fans. She's a little marriage and relationship shy from having Radley's Father walk out on their marriage. 4/5

The second is weaker but also fun. An actress who is a force of nature meets a director who has been badly burnt by a previous relationship and has written a film about it. Fun and interesting. 3/5

Having heard people talk about the series I decided to start at book one. An interesting mystery all about a murder being investigated again when the person convicted of the offence gets out of jail. I would be curious about the rest of the series but wouldn't be running to try to find them. You do find out at the beginning of the book that she's killed someone but you don't find out who until nearly the end of the book. Which does keep you guessing. Not all the evildoers get the conventional end, which is as it should be, however none of the ends are unbelievable.

Kinsey is an interesting character and I'm sure if I had met her when this series was in it's infancy, in the late 80s, I would probably have been very impressed with this matter of fact female dectective who doesn't take any prisoners. However at this stage I'm used to that kind of female decective.

The binding on this edition is quite poor.

Told from the point of view of a career soldier this is an interesting look at a possible future. The diatrabes against certain social phenonema is interesting but to me kinda boring, although it does allow you to get into the society depicted. It's not a society I'd like to live in but horses for courses.
It's a society where military gets kudos and the vote once they retire but as the Bug war is eating people and the training washes out a lot of people it's getting harder to get trained people out there.
I don't regret reading it but it's not a book I'd have any great enthuaism about re-reading.

An interesting collection of fairly dark fantasy stories all illustrated by different artists. In some instances the artwork was better than the stories but they're not bad as a whole.

Captain Kallista Varyl is engaged in a siege and it looks like the enemy is going to win when she calls on the One for aid and her call is answered. However along with aid comes power, power she can barely contain, there's also companions for her who help her and hold the power like wells. In this country people can join in marriages that contain between 2 and eight people. All of these people are joined to her in marriage. Not only does she have to deal with the magical relationships but also the interpersonal relationships.

Weak in parts but also interesting in others. This actually deals with people who have compulsions and powers that are very strong and unavoidable. It also has enough secondary plots and backbiting to keep me very interested.

An interesting set of stories, not necessarily the best Mercedes Lackey story but not bad, a good Tanith Lee story and the C E Murphy made me want to read more of her books.
Mercedes Lackey's story Moontide had only a very small amount of magic in it. A story of a sea-hold where the daughter of the ruling family returns after education to see what happened while she was gone and what the future holds for her and the keep.
Tanith Lee's The Heart of the Moon tells the story of a woman who has to overcome betrayal by her boyfriend with her best friend. Add to that her best friend's curse and she really needs to find peace and maybe romance (look, it's a romance compilation, predicting romance isn't a spoiler)
Banshee Cries by C E Murphy is however the best of the lot. A bridging story between Urban Shaman and Thunderbird Falls, this story had me start to curse once I finished reading it. I so wanted those books in my hands immediately. If they're half as good as the novella they'll be great! I enjoyed this story about a patrolwoman who finds that what she knows about her mother isn't necessarily the truth. That she has to hunt evil using the powers that she has and that despite this being in a fantasy/paranormal romance that there isn't really all that much romance there. Lovers of EARLY Anita Blake might like to wander this way.

Brian Duffy, an Irish soldier of fortune, finds that Venice isn't that healthy for him and when he's offered the job of bouncer for a tavern in Vienna that brews it's own, along with a healthy wage, he jumps at the chance.

Unfortunately for Brian, what he thought would be a retirement turns out to be a war between, not only the physical armies, but also the forces of good and evil and he has a pivotal role in this fight.

Interesting look at the war in Vienna between Austria and Turkey with reincarnated heroes and the people of the time trying to be themselves and resist the overshadowing by the archetypes. Although more mythic than fantastic (that border is kinda fuzzy in my head) I found Ash (by Mary Gentle) better book of this type.

The characters felt very real and were well fleshed out people with motives and problems and their lives got complicated by action or inaction.

This is the second Tim Powers I've approached with an intention to read, this is the first one I've finished, it wasn't bad I just left it with no enthuaism to hunt up more of his books, now if I happen on them I'll read them, but I won't actively hunt them up.