Troubled Spirits is good, clean fun that delves into the world of modern ghost hunting with two, more than capable, female protagonists that take care of themselves and the big bad in town, on their own, in true Buffy the Vampire Slayer fashion. The way Harmony and Annie and the gang handle the ghosts and themselves is more than enough to make Zak Baggins proud.
Blood to Blood is a different take on the vampire and paranormal media craze. Though vampires, witches and werewolves exist in Oshun’s world, a Shimshana is something different, which breathes a degree of freshness into the story. And while paranormal tropes are prominent in the novel–such as a love triangle and the co-existence of vampires, witches and werewolves–the story and characters do not suffer, thanks to Oshun’s expert storytelling ability.
Stull creates a character memorable and believable enough to draw the reader in as the complex web surrounding Matterosi’s backstory, narrated as a confessional tape, mingles with the unfolding events through the trial. The plot is super fast paced, with enough cliffhangers, a touch of romance, and plenty of excellent and very well informed science (think Atwood in Oryx and Crake) to keep the pages turning faster than you can say “overpopulation.”
One can detect a definite indebtedness to T.H. WhIte (The Once and Future King, The Goshawk) in Crowley’s early novel (1976 was the original year of publication) but it’s an entertaining read and full of memorable characters. Indeed, I didn’t think I would ever find myself feeling for or empathising with a dog called Sweets, but that’s just what happened here.
The Book of Strange New Things is like no other book I’ve read. It’s exquisite, sad, uplifting and doomed all at the same time. I wish that the ending was different, and know, somehow, that nothing else that would do. This is a book that will remain with me, working its way under my skin like the Oasan atmosphere.
The first two or three chapters have a distinctively “real” feel. But then, the author does something with his characters which some readers may not like. The story, which had felt like a mainstream novel suddenly becomes a bit stylized. Not entirely, but a bit. The characters speak and do things that characters in a noir novel might do. Think Mad Max meets Sin City. It’s not a bad thing, and it certainly will not mar the book for those who like hip larger-than-life characters.
Manchee sets down underpinnings for his tale, peoples it with believable characters, fills in holes with credible dialogue and moves the narrative forward in an acceptable manner. Muddying the water is an overzealous deputy who is searching for a conspiracy, and wants to implicate Jack.
Browne, a talented writer of fiction, developed his main characters in considerable depth. Parts of his book read like a detective mystery with many twists and turns as his main characters try to unravel some inexplicable events in their lives. The plot starts with one of the sixty-year-old clones seeing a young man that looked exactly like the sixty-year-old when he was that age, and the plot really gets interesting when the main characters discover that the government is behind this mystery in their lives.
A Pride of Lions is a fast paced sci-fi action story full of futuristic scenerios, great spacy fights, good guys vs bad guys, pirates, and even a touch of romance. This is a book that will appeal to any reluctant reader or staunch television watcher looking for for a fast, easy and satisfying plot driven story. Readers looking for more than light relief won’t be disappointed either. Selena is well-drawn, with a strong character arc, and enough tragic back story so that the reader instantly likes and sympathsises with her.
There are touches of I Am Legend in here with leaving announcements they’d be in a certain place for an hour each day and there is ample tension and reasoning to appeal to any aficionado of apocalyptic novels. Maybe the pace is slowed too much in the exposition in the last section of the book but it would be too much a spoiler for me to discuss that now.