Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah E. Harkness

A Discovery of Witches: A NovelMy great book streak continues with A Discovery of Witches.  I really enjoyed this book and I didn't feel like I was reading just another vampire book, although vampires, witches and daemons are the main characters.  I do have on complaint - I thought she could have edited it down a tad.  I don't mind long books (hello Pillars of the Earth) but I thought there were times when the story sagged a bit.  I know that this is a series so she was setting the foundation of the continuing story but I still thought she could have paced it a bit better.  That said I would still recommend this book to everyone AND I will be first in line for the next edition.

From Publishers Weekly

In Harkness's lively debut, witches, vampires, and demons outnumber humans at Oxford's Bodleian Library, where witch and Yale historian Diana Bishop discovers an enchanted manuscript, attracting the attention of 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont. The orphaned daughter of two powerful witches, Bishop prefers intellect, but relies on magic when her discovery of a palimpsest documenting the origin of supernatural species releases an assortment of undead who threaten, stalk, and harass her. Against all occult social propriety, Bishop turns for protection to tall, dark, bloodsucking man-about-town Clairmont. Their research raises questions of evolution and extinction among the living dead, and their romance awakens centuries-old enmities. Harkness imagines a crowded universe where normal and paranormal creatures observe a tenuous peace. "Magic is desire made real," Bishop says after both her desire and magical prowess exceed her expectations. Harkness brings this world to vibrant life and makes the most of the growing popularity of gothic adventure with an ending that keeps the Old Lodge door wide open. (Feb.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Friday, February 11, 2011

16 Lighthouse Road

Product Details This is a very sweet, very light read.   Debbie Macomber has a way with character development  that makes the reader care about what happens to them - this book is no different.  By the end of the book I felt like I had made some new friends. Review

Perennial favorite Debbie Macomber does what she does best in 16 Lighthouse Road, introducing fans to the scenic Pacific Northwest town of Cedar Cove, Washington, and its panoply of characters, including family court judge Olivia Lockhart who makes news when she denies the divorce petition of Cecilia and Ian Randall. Decreeing that the young couple had not tried hard enough to make their relationship work following the tragic death of their newborn daughter, Olivia's decision brings her to the attention of recent Cedar Cove arrival, newspaper editor Jack Griffin. And Jack's attentions are not entirely unwelcome for the long-divorced Olivia. In addition to her continued involvement in Cecilia and Ian's ongoing negotiations, Olivia's life is further complicated by her mother, Charlotte, her daughter, Justine, and her best friend, Grace, as they struggle with the difficult situations life tosses their way. Charlotte becomes enmeshed in trying to solve a mystery left to her by a mute stroke victim she befriends just before he dies. Justine has found the perfect man for her, one who shares her ambitions and thoughts on relationships, but why does she keep thinking about the boy she knew in high school who has grown into quite a man? And Grace's husband, Dan, has disappeared--again--and Grace has no idea where he is and when or if he'll be back. The multiple story lines and numerous relationships make reading at times challenging, but Macomber fans, old and new, will stand up and cheer as the prolific author lodges her protest against the disposable personal relationships all too common today. --Alison Trinkle --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

As a family court judge, Olivia Lockhart has dealt with numerous divorce suits but none as peculiar as Cecilia and Ian Randall's. Before the young couple was married the year before, Cecilia and Ian signed a prenuptial agreement stating their marriage would last a lifetime, but now, after the tragic death of their infant daughter, the two wish to rescind the agreement. Sensing that Cecilia and Ian are still in love, Olivia lets her heart guide her decision, and denies their petition. Olivia's decision makes headlines in The Cedar Cove Chronicle and earns her the admiration of the paper's editor, Jack Griffin, a newcomer to the small Washington town. While Jack courts Olivia, and Ian and Cecilia try to repair their marriage, Olivia's daughter is forced to decide whether she should marry a man whom she doesn't love; Olivia's best friend grows frantic over the disappearance of her husband; and Olivia's mother befriends a stroke patient who harbors a secret he would share if he could speak. Despite the novel's fragmented structure, readers will warm to its endearing characters. Prolific Macomber (Thursdays at Eight, etc.) is known for her honest portrayals of ordinary women in small-town America, and this tale cements her position as an icon of the genre. (Sept.)Forecast: A national print advertising campaign and a Northwest author tour scheduled to coincide with the publication of Macomber's latest offering will boost sales, and a rosy real-estate cover will increase the book's appeal to its target readership.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Product DetailsThis was a great guilty pleasure read.  I was feeling a void since there hasn't been a new Sookie Stackhouse in awhile and this fit the bill perfectly (although the comedy element is lacking a bit in this series.)  The story follows Mac - a young and beautiful (of course) twenty something looking for her sister's murderer in Ireland.  There is a whole plethora of supernatural creatures from Fairies to vampires to "rhino boys"...and there is a sprinkling of horror and romance, just enough to keep you interested.  And while this is not winning any Pulitzer prizes, I am definitely looking forward to continuing the series.

From Publishers Weekly

Drawing on elements from the paranormal world that bestseller Moning (Spell of the Highlander) created in her earlier romances, this suspense novel takes readers on a darker journey, one dominated by the search for a powerful Faery magic and bereft of the romantic magic Moning's fans have come to expect. When MacKayla Lane, an ordinary young woman, travels to Ireland to track down her sister's murderer, she is sucked into an extraordinary world filled with ancient secrets, vampires, assorted Fae nasties and other tough-to-kill beings. In the process, Mac learns of her own unusual talents and finds an unlikely mentor in the wealthy and mysterious Jericho Barrons. Moning's newest foray contains suspense and plenty of setup. Indeed, this reads like a fragment of a larger story, an introduction to character and place that, while entertaining, skims the surface. But it's a compelling world filled with mystery and vivid characters, and this, combined with the hint of sparks between Jericho and Mac, will stoke readers' fervor for Bloodfever, the next installment. (Nov.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

MacKayla "Mac" Lane is a small-town southern girl living a life of suntans and shopping. All that changes when her sister dies in Ireland and a cryptic message on Mac's cell phone raises disturbing questions about the nature of her sister's death. Mac follows the lead to Dublin and the strange life her sister led, on to the darkly dangerous book-dealer Jericho Barrons, and a burgeoning war with deadly Fae that humankind doesn't even realize has begun. Time-travel-romance maven Moning reshapes her Celtic lore for a radically different and engaging new dark fantasy series. Mac's first-person narrative is more than point of view; it's a true recounting of how a sheltered young girl grows to accept the role fate has dealt her. And while moments of sexual awareness hint that a relationship between Mac and Jericho could complicate matters in the future, wisely there is no full-blown romance here to distract from the complex introduction to Moning's new world. Nina Davis

Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.