Highfire by Eoin Colfer
This is not a book for kids. But if you are in the mood for an adult story of a vodka swilling dragon, a corrupt sheriff and some good old boys on the bayou just trying to keep everything together, you are in for a treat. Vern has been hiding out in the middle of a podunk swamp island for a long time watching cable, drinking copious amounts of vodka and steering clear of the humans who just want to mess up his life. Along comes Squib who gets caught witnessing something that can mess up his life which results in an unlikely partnership. Now all they have to do is stay away from the law, drug kingpins, alligators, hogs and snakes. Bayou craziness that is just plain fun by the author who invented it.
Within the magical city of New York, there are many great works of art to admire, powerful men and those who want to be. Within the floating city of magic and mystery that is Venice there are great works of art to be admired, rich and powerful men and two from New York that want to be. The author's love of Venice and its wonders shine through like the morning mist off the canals to reveal a scene of violence and calculating greed. Clay and Nick make an unusual couple and as their scheme and dishonesty progresses you wonder if they will remain intact or if they will start believing their own lies. Beautifully written with unassuming villains bent on revenge. This will appeal to fans of THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, LEADING MEN and LADDER TO THE SKY.
The Other People by C.J. Tudor
A complex and fascinating story of a man who is haunted by the disappearance and death of his young daughter and wife but he knows his daughter is still out there alive. Gabe's sad story strikes a chord with a waitress on the run with her own daughter who is experiencing strange, out of body episodes. They need to keep moving because there is a very real danger from the people hunting them. A bit of the supernatural and more of a heart-stopping thriller, this is one wild ride from cover to cover. The frantic pacing and emotional plot will appeal to those of us who enjoy a side of dark and creepy with their thriller.
The Truants by Kate Weinberg
Jess falls hard for a few people during her first year at the university and becomes involved in more than one deception and a love triangle. She is thrilled that she managed to get into a class of her professor crush and is over the moon to snag the interesting professor as her advisor. She is also thrilled and in awe of her new friend, outgoing Georgia. She is also thrilled by her growing attraction to the mysterious Alec who is Georgia's boyfriend. There are many twists and turns in the many triangles that Jess finds herself a part of and it can be quite the challenge to determine who is the victim and who is the perpetrator. I found myself wanting a tidy ending and someone punished.
The story follows two marriages - modern day Alice who leaves a great job in NYC to become a wife and hopefully soon, mother in the suburbs and 1950's Nellie the woman who used to live in Alice's house as a young housewife. Nellie's cookbook, notes, and unsent letters offer just a hint of the young wife's life and troubles that Alice uses to compare to her own situation. Both marriages have a downside as each woman feels increasing pressure to succumb to their husband's wishes and get pregnant. The interesting dichotomy of a woman's role, some good old fashioned recipes as well as some frightening and funny advice for 1950's housewives set the mood for the male-dominated world. I did tend to feel worse for Nellie who had much fewer options available to her than the disgruntled Alice.
The Janes by Lisa Lune
3 1/2 stars for me. Missing girls, both Jane Does, are found and with nothing much to go on the police ask for help from a private detective known for her tenacity to solve the mystery. Gritty, violent and at times feels like a punch to the gut, this will appeal to all those crime/police procedural junkies.
Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebochi
Even though I could not identify with the experiences of siblings, Kevin and Ella, I could understand the hatred, anger, and violence of their world and the devotion they had to each other. Set in a futuristic world that also relies on much of the historical riots and racial hatred as seen in Compton, Watts, Harlem and much of the South. Their unusual supernatural gifts gave them insight and violent power but still left them very much not in control of their environment. Ella can see the future but is powerless to change it and works to use her powers to take Kev away from his situation. Powerful and straight forward, this book doesn't pull any punches. The language is tight, the setting is violent but the message is hope and freedom.
Modern love literally is explored in these creative and honest look at what love might look like in the future. The stories range from loving your family to loving others but all of them take a hard look at what love means in a technologically prevalent society. They will make you cry, laugh and most certainly make you look at your own relationships.
Remembrance by Rita Woods
Part historical fiction and part fantasy this is the story of the special women and Remembrance. During the violent time of slavery in the south, Mother Abigail called upon special powers to deliver runaways and freemen to the settlement of Remembrance and then kept the town hidden until she was able to pass the power to another. Years later, life is not really that much easier for Gaelle and her family but she too works hard to keep them safe. Beautifully crafted, this story blends a gentleness with the brutality of racism and hatred. Lovers of historical fiction, as well as those who crave deep family stories, will enjoy it.
Spain is being torn apart by a vicious civil war. Soon, all of Europe will be involved but now the Dalmau family must escape by whatever means necessary even if it means leaving their homeland behind. It is all Victor can do to help his mother, himself and his brother's pregnant girlfriend out of Spain. They suffer in the horrible refugee camps almost as much as the war but by chance find passage to Chile thanks to a well-known poet who has managed to find a ship to carry the refugees to safety. Their life in Chile will be fruitful and as tumultuous as Spain. Family, politics and raw human frailty as well as incredible strength - it is all here and told in the poetic language that is all Isabel Allende.
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Thriller / Mystery
Fantasy / Sci-Fi
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