Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Shorts

Brother Odd by Dean Koontz
published 2006
384 pages

Synopsis from publisher -

Loop me in, odd one. The words, spoken in the deep of night by a sleeping child, chill the young man watching over her. For this was a favorite phrase of Stormy Llewellyn, his lost love, and Stormy is dead, gone forever from this world. In the haunted halls of the isolated monastery where he had sought peace, Odd Thomas is stalking spirits of an infinitely darker nature. . .

My thoughts -

After being a bit disappointed with the second novel in the series, I was happy to see that this third installment was back to a more interesting, less chase-y plotline. The brothers in the monastery were an entertaining bunch, and this novel's supernatural elements were fun and spooky. Back to the kind of storytelling I enjoy from this author.

Finished - 8/2/13
Source- South side library
MPAA rating - PG-13
My rating - 7/10

Odd Hours by Dean Koontz
published 2008
368 pages

Synopsis from publisher -

After grappling with the very essence of reality itself, after finding the veil that separates him from his soul mate, Stormy Llewellyn, tantalizingly thin yet impenetrable, Odd longed only to return to a life of quiet anonymity with his two otherworldly sidekicks — his dog Boo and a new companion, one of the few who might rival his old pal Elvis. But a true hero, however humble, must persevere. Haunted by dreams of an all-encompassing red tide, Odd is pulled inexorably to the sea, to a small California coastal town where nothing is as it seems. Now the forces arrayed against him have both official sanction and an infinitely more sinister authority...and in this dark night of the soul dawn will come only after the most shattering revelations of all.

My thoughts -

So I'm officially "in" this series now - my OCD has kicked in, and I have to read them all until I'm finished. This installment in the series was surprisingly less supernatural-y, and more grounded in real life bad guys doing real life bad things, which was an interesting change. I'm intrigued by the character of Annamaria, and excited to see that she carries over into the next novel. Fun stuff.

Finished - 8/3/13
Source - loan from my mom
MPAA rating - PG-13
My rating - 7/10

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
published 2011
audiobook, narrated by Khristine Hvam

Synopsis from publisher -

I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

My thoughts -

Meh. This was an interesting idea, and I thought Daniel Handler might do an interesting job with this premise, but ultimately it was TOO whiny for me. I couldn't really feel sorry for Min, and Ed was just irritating. I think this particular YA novel just doesn't translate well for an adult audience.

Finished - 8/3/13
Source - South side library
MPAA rating - R for language and adult situations
My rating - 5/10

Disenchanted & Co., Part 1 - Her Ladyship's Curse by Lynn Viehl
published 8/12/13
400 pages

Synopsis from publisher -

In a steampunk version of America that lost the Revolutionary War, Charmian (Kit) Kittredge makes her living investigating magic crimes and exposing the frauds behind them. While Kit tries to avoid the nobs of high society, as the proprietor of Disenchanted & Co. she follows mysteries wherever they lead.

Lady Diana Walsh calls on Kit to investigate and dispel the curse she believes responsible for carving hateful words into her own flesh as she sleeps. While Kit doesn’t believe in magic herself, she can’t refuse to help a woman subjected nightly to such vicious assaults. As Kit investigates the Walsh family, she becomes convinced that the attacks on Diana are part of a larger, more ominous plot—one that may involve the lady’s obnoxious husband.

Sleuthing in the city of Rumsen is difficult enough, but soon Kit must also skirt the unwanted attentions of nefarious deathmage Lucien Dredmore and the unwelcome scrutiny of police Chief Inspector Thomas Doyle. Unwilling to surrender to either man’s passion for her, Kit struggles to remain independent as she draws closer to the heart of the mystery. Yet as she learns the truth behind her ladyship’s curse, Kit also uncovers a massive conspiracy that promises to ruin her life—and turn Rumsen into a s supernatural battleground from which no one will escape alive.

My thoughts -

Okay, first of all, isn't Kit Kittredge one of the American Girl dolls? The one during the Great Depression? I had a really hard time getting that out of my head throughout the reading of this novel.

I'm finding drawn to this genre more than I ever have - I think it's because they really seem to be a complete escape from reality for me, and things at work and home have been pretty intense lately. It's so nice to just lose myself in a completely different world every once in awhile. I thought this was an interesting premise, and think Kit herself could develop into a heroine I can be fond of - this first novel in the series just seemed to have too many loose ends for me to fully enjoy it. I will most likely look for the second in the series, just so I can see how things resolve.

Finished - 8/15/14
Source - review copy from publisher via Netgalley - thank you!
MPAA rating - PG-13 for adult situations and fantasy violence
My rating - 6/10

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