Thursday, May 28, 2015

Pandora's Gun by James Van Pelt

Van Pelt, one of the finest short story writers of our time has written a YA novel. It has a kind of sweet old timey feel to it. A boy, who likes scavenging in a rural dumping spot, finds a bag with a strangely molded gun shaped device inside. Along with his former best friend and the girl next door, he explores what this "gun" can do. Meanwhile, strangers come to town, some claiming to be FBI and  conducting an investigation at the high school.

I will admit I am somewhat biased as I hold a special fondness for Colorado authors, especially those on the Western Slope but I really did enjoy this short novel that asks lots of wonderful "what if" questions in the traditions of classic science fiction. It will be out in August, published by Fairwood Press and is currently available for preorders. Teen Bistro Book Club members will get a shot at the ARC tomorrow at 3:30.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Book of the Week - Not Always a Saint by Mary Jo Putney

Not Always a Saint
Putney, Mary Jo
Kensington 9781617739064
294p. $27.95 2015 - May

Dr. Daniel Herbert has devoted his life to helping those in need. After stitching up a badly beaten young woman he and his sister started up a shelter to help victims restart their lives. When disease sweeps death through a country house party held by a distant relative, Daniel unhappily inherits a title and must take on duties of managing his properties and serving in the House of Lords. Jessie Kelham has always been too beautiful for her own good but being married to an elderly baron had kept her safe. With his death and the news her daughter inherits the title through an ancient barony of writ she knows she must find a husband who can keep her and her child safe from her husband’s nephew who had expected to inherit and will, if anything happens to young Beth. In London for the Little Season, the two are brought together by mutual friends. Jessie
tries to keep her distance because she believes she is not worthy of Daniel (who also happens to be a member of the clergy as well as a thoroughly good guy) and doesn’t want to use him. Putney captures the flavor and feeling of the Regency era beautifully in this heart warming romance that is part of the Lost Lords series. Exquisite!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Book of the Week - Double Vision by Colby Marshall

This very readable page turner, the second in a series (I didn't read the first one) is an enjoyable diversion. Dr. Jenna Ramey, an FBI profiler who is forensic psychiatrist also has synesthesia. She sees colors that tell her a lot about the people she encounters. When there is a mass shooting at a supermarket she discovers that the youngest witness, Molly, a young girl has an ability with numbers that is as unusual and helpful as her own synesthesia. Meanwhile, Jenna's lover and former partner who has been relegated to being an emergency dispatcher due to the loss of his leg, finds himself enmeshed in a dangerous plot when he becomes too involved in the case of a battered woman. Marshall's strength lies in creating likable but flawed characters who have huge issues to overcome but who have an inner kindness and decency. The relationships between her characters are also rich and satisfying. While the plot and action may be a little far fetched in places they do make for enjoyable
entertainment.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Book of the Week - Before He Finds Her by Michael Kardos

Melanie Denison has spent most of her life, the last fifteen years, living in a small single wide with her aunt and uncle. Home schooled until twelfth grade and not allowed to go much of anywhere or do much of anything, she has obeyed because the family is in hiding. She knows that when she was two and a half, her father murdered her mother and disappeared which is why the Denison family disappeared into the Witness Protection Program with the toddler formerly named Meg Miller. If her father finds her all will be lost. After graduating from high school she begins to steal a few hours here and there from her schedule at a nearby junior college and her job to go off on her own which is how, at age 17, she finds she is pregnant. An epiphany in math class about fractals makes her decided she is not going to let her baby grow up in hiding, sending her on a quest to find her father before he finds her. Along the way we meet a dying journalist for whom the case has been his white whale and go back into the lives of her parents and those who knew them.

What I really liked about this twisty tale of suspense was that it kept surprising me. Just when I knew I had it figured out something else would divert my suspicions.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

February Reads

February was the worst reading month I ever had in my reading life. I had two cataract surgeries and one of them left me unable to see much out of my right eye. Fortunately, even though I read so few books this month, three of them were outstanding. Of course, all the books posted are ones that I enjoyed enough to finish and can recommend them. I do not finish reading books that I can't recommend and I only keep track of the books I finish.

Edge of Dreams won't be out until April and at that time I will post it as a book of the week. I found Moonlight Water by Meredith and Win Blevins, a delightful experience. It features a great depiction of the high desert West, characters who become real, and just the right touch of whimsey and mythic reality with an appearance by Edward Abbey. Jo Walton's The Just City is utopian science fiction combined with classical mythology, time travel, and philosophy. Another stunner from the highly acclaimed Walton.