Abundant Books

The blog of a self confessed book addict. Reviews and musing about what, where and how I read.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Personal Demon
By Kelley Armstrong

Chaos rules in Armstrong's complex eighth Women of the Otherworld installment (after 2007's No Humans Involved). This book is about Hope (a chaos loving half demon) and her off and on boyfriend Karl (werewolf jewel thief). The formidable Benicio Cortez once helped Hope out of a jam, so she agrees to go undercover and join a supernatural youth gang that's been causing problems for Cortez's multinational corporation (a Cabal - think Mafia family for supernaturals disguised as a Fortune 500 company). Assuming the persona of bratty rich Faith Edmonds, Hope works her way into the gang, participates in heists and soon finds herself dangerously attracted to one of the other members, cute Jasper Jaz Haig. All too soon, Jaz's diabolical plans lead to a shocking tragedy.

The characters are well drawn and compelling. The erotic scenes flow with the story and are very well written. Excellent plot, the villains have to be discovered and everyone doesn't come out swinging. Armstrong excels in depicting Hope's transformations, but new readers might want to read earlier books to get context for all the mayhem.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bones to Ashes
By Kathy Reichs

Forensic anthropologist Temperance (Tempe) Brennan works both in Quebec and North Carolina working murder cases which usually involve action, danger and old bones. In this one she's just returned to her Montreal office for the summer - her job, to determine if they're animal or human and if human was foul play involved.

She determines they are human and that they appear to be of an adolescent. When she finds out the bones had been discovered in the Canadian Maritime Provinces that brings back memories of her childhood friend Evangeline Landry and her sister, who she played with in South Carolina when they were staying there with their aunt and uncle. Tempe and the girls were close right up until the time the girls disappeared. Her family wouldn't say why, just that it was a bad thing.

Tempe is convinced the bones are tied to a crime. So she goes to the Maritimes in search of missing girls and to try and find out how the girl whose bones she in charge of died. Estranged lover Detective Andrew Ryan, who's worked several cases involving missing girls, goes with her. As usual Tempe finds out enough to get a killer or killers interested in what she's up to. Here, we're talking about a sociopathic killer of the first order. There's more to be sure, Tempe's in danger again and once again Kathy Reich has written an edge of your seat story that's nigh well impossible to put down.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

By Deborah Robertson

This month's BRA book club selection was an interesting little novel that explores how we all deal with grief differently and choose to memorialise the dead. I looked at it numerous times in the bookstore and was glad that it was chosen as one of this year's reads. I would not have read it if left to my own devices.

In the first novel from Australian Robertson, Pearl, at eight, already exerts a self-punishing precision on a world she cannot control. When her younger brother, Riley, whom Pearl's aloof single mother, Lily, charged Pearl with caring for, is mowed down (along with several other children) deliberately by a disturbed father's car, Lily tries to peddle Pearl's grief to the media. She then gets involved with Adam, an artist who has created a scandal by making and showing a body cast of a dead teenage heroin addict. With Adam up for the design of the memorial to honour the children slain with her son, Lily morbidly attempts to secure his affection. A another storyline follows Sonia, a recent widow of a famous woodcarver and furniture maker, from whom Adam rents studio space. Pearl, meanwhile, to deal with her grief and keep chaos at bay, becomes almost obsessed by Frank Lloyd Wright's house 'Fallingwater' .

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Blood Noir
By Laurell K. Hamilton

I bought this book Tuesday afternoon and finished it Wednesday. This in between working, being a mum and an evening meeting and dinner. Yes, I enjoyed it.

Anita travels with Jason - her best friend and a werewolf - to visit his dying father in Asheville. They get caught up in a case of mistaken identify - as has happened all his life, Jason is mistaken for his cousin Keith Summerland, bad apple of the Summerland clan, and mixed up in things that make it dangerous for Anita and Jason to be in town. Not too much sex, not too many vampire politics, not too much paranormal weirdness. The positives are a meaningful storyline that is interesting, a father-son story that is handled pretty well, and the potential for some good books to come.

This book reminded me of the early Anita Blake books. Anita is actually doing things rather than worrying about her multiple-partner sex life. There are humans in the story, with very human feelings, and all the silliness that wraps itself around a wedding. Jean-Claude is barely in the story at all, and although I really like Jean-Claude, it was refreshing to just deal with Jason and some weretigers, strange magic with Marmee Noir, the Mother of All Darkness, and Richard, who tries to bespell Anita.

Worth a read. Especially if you enjoyed the rest of the Anita Blake novels.

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