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Innocent in Death by J. D. Robb

This entry is part 26 of 26 in the series In Death Series
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Innocent in Death – 2 Treasure Boxes
In Death Series, Book 28
Publisher: Brilliance Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 12 hours and 7 minutes (400 pages), ASIN: B0019ZWM2E

A well-liked teacher has been poisoned at a posh elementary school, and before long another teacher is found drowned at the same school. Two young girls find the first body, which starts Eve’s path to the identity of the culprit. Meanwhile, on the home front, an old flame of Roake’s has reappeared and she is interested in putting her hooks back into the man she allowed to get away.

To date there are 44 books in the In Death series, with one more expected to be released in February of 2013. These books are crime drama, suspense and romance because they focus on the case Eve is currently working on as well as her and Roake’s personal relationship. This is a futuristic suspense that takes place in 2060 in New York City. The books are told in a third person narrative and they focus primarily on Lieutenant Eve Dallas, but at times the story is also told through some of the other characters including the murderer. They are written by Nora Roberts under the pseudonym of J. D. Robb.

I enjoyed this book, as I did all the previous books in this series. I always know what to expect and Ms. Robb, never fails to deliver. The story is well told, and although there is little action in this book, the story was still interesting. I had no idea who the murderer was until it was revealed, and I was shocked at the direction the investigation lead. I found the side story about Eve and Roake’s relationship to be a great addition.

I recommend Innocent in Death as a good book and even if you haven’t read any of the previous books in the series, you will enjoy this one since the book stands on its own. However, if you enjoy reading futuristic crime drama romance, with a strong female character, then you should read all the books in this series.

To purchase: “Innocent In Death” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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Memory in Death by J. D. Robb

This entry is part 25 of 26 in the series In Death Series

Book Review

Book Review of Memory In Death: 2 Treasure Boxes
In Death Series, Book 25
Publisher: Brilliance Audio, Listening Length: 10 hours and 58 minutes (384 pages), ASIN: B0019ZWM2O

It’s Christmas 2059, and Santa is dead, but that’s an easy case for Lieutenant Eve Dallas. In Memory in Death, the hard case comes later and involves the murder of Trudy Lombard, a woman who was once Eve’s foster mother. She is brutally killed, sometime after she tried to blackmail Roake about Eve’s nefarious past.

To date there are 44 books in the In Death series, with one more expected to be released in February of 2013. These books are crime drama, suspense and romance because they focus on the case Eve is currently working on as well as her and Roake’s personal relationship. This is a futuristic suspense that takes place in 2059 in New York City. The books are told in a third person narrative and they focus primarily on Lieutenant Eve Dallas, but at times the story is also told through some of the other characters including the murderer. They are written by Nora Roberts under the pseudonym of J. D. Robb.

Memory in Death gives the reader more insight into Eve’s life as a child since it provides an avenue for flashbacks to her first experience in child protective services.  Where the woman who was supposed to protect young girls was actually very cruel and abusive and did far more harm than good. This book had a good hook and it kept the reader engaged as it unfolded and developed. There was a good twist at the end, and even though I saw it coming, I still like how it was presented.

The story is well told and interesting, and I recommend this book as a good read. It is a standalone story and the book can be read and enjoyed on its own.   However I recommend you read the books in order to receive the most enjoyment since the story revolves around the characters and they grow and develop in each new installment.

To Purchase: “Memory in Death” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Book Review

Book Review of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: 2 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Vintage (May 18, 2004), Paperback: 226 pages, ISBN-10: 1400032717, ISBN-13: 978-1400032716

The neighbor’s dog has been murdered and Christopher is determined to play “Sherlock Holmes” to find the killer. He has an unusual way of looking at the world, which both helps and hinders his investigation. Christopher, through his detecting, unravels more secrets and finds more answers than he was looking for or is capable of handling.

Mark Haddon has written several children’s books and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is his first adult novel. The story is told in a first person narrative from the point of view of Christopher Boone, a 15 year old autistic boy. Mr. Haddon worked with autistic children when he was a young man.

This is a very sad story about an autistic teenage boy who decides to solve a mystery using his special unique talents. He is highly gifted in mathematics and in solving problems, but he is unable to deal with life and does not know how to respond to people.  He does not like to be touched, and if someone touches him, he will strike back using violence.

This is a standalone story, and it is told in an interesting and unique manner. The story is told in a memoir style from the point of view of an autistic boy who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Rather than numbering the chapters numerically, they instead are numbered in an increasing sequence of prime numbers, which is a good representation of how Christopher views life. I recommend this book as a good read.

Favourite quote:

“Lots of things are mysteries. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an answer to them. It’s just that scientists haven’t found the answer yet.” (Page 100)

 

 

To Purchase: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Dead Beat by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 7 of 13 in the series The Dresden Files

Book Review

Book Review of Dead Bead: 2 Treasure Boxes
Book seven of the Dresden Files
Publisher: Roc (May 2, 2006), Paperback: 528 pages, ISBN-10: 045146091X, ISBN-13: 978-0451460912

The word of Kemmler provides the hidden information which allows a necromancer to turn into a demi-god. Harry Dresden must discover how the word will provide such power and stop anyone from using it. Meanwhile, he needs to fight against the competing forces of evil that are all searching it out, and the deadline is Halloween, which is fast approaching. In between, Harry and his friends are facing numerous obstacles from many different directions.

Dead Beat is the seventh book in The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher has currently written 13 books in this series with book 14 due November 2012. He has also written 6 books in the Codex Alera Series, which is closer to High Fantasy than the Dresden Files. See my review of these books at https://books-treasureortrash.com/series/codex-alera-series/  The Dresden Files are considered Contemporary Fantasy and sometimes are referred to as Urban Fantasy. They can also fall into the Detective genre since Harry solves a case in each book. Each book is told in the first person narrative from Harry Dresden’s point on view as we follow him through his life while he solves his current case.

Dead Beat is the story about a modern day wizard (Harry) who is fighting against evil in the supernatural community. The story was well told and kept the suspense going right up to the end. There were a few interesting scenes concerning the fallen angel whose coin Harry holds, and there was plenty of action. We learn more about Harry, more about the war against the Red Vampires, more about BOB, and more about the supernatural world that Harry lives. A couple of my favourite characters are BOB, the air spirit and Mouse, Harry’s Tibetan Temple dog.

The story is stand alone, but should be read in sequence with the rest of the books in the series since each story builds on the one preceding it and the world it takes place in has its own unique rules which are released over time. I recommend this book as a good read. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.  If you enjoy reading a good detective story encasing paranormal activities with a strong, honorable hero then give this series a try.  However, you should read the books in order as the overall story does build even if each book is stand alone.

 

To Purchase: “Dead Beat” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Legion by Brandon Sanderson

Book Review

Book Review of Legion: 2 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Audible Frontiers, Listening Length: 2 hours and 8 minutes (88 pages), ASIN: B009KEZ6F6

Stephen Leeds is insane, but he is also a genius. He specializes in solving the unsolvable and now he is needed to find a stolen camera that can take pictures of the past.

Brandon Sanderson has written numerous books and series in the fantasy genre including the Mistborn Series, the Alcatraz Series, The Stormlight Archive series, several stand alone novels and he completed the last three books in the Wheel of Time series working with Robert Jordan’s notes. Legion is a novella and it is also in a completely different genre, primarily crime drama but with a twist. The main protagonist, Stephen Leeds, is a genius, but the only way he can access his mental abilities is through hallucinations. He creates numerous aspects of himself that he communicates with to help him solve mysteries. The story is told in a first person narrative strictly from Stephen’s point of view, excluding any of his aspects. Instead the thoughts of these other personae are only shared through their conversation with Stephen.

The cover is awesome and it says it all; it shows a black and white faceless Stephen with silhouettes of his different personae trailing him. The story was intriguing from the first line where Stephen claims he is quite sane, but his hallucinations are all mad. Stephen’s genius is fragmented, and he can only access it through the different personalities that he has created. He treats each aspect of his personality like a real person and each has their own bedroom in his large mansion, (representing his mind) although no one else can see them. This story addresses several themes including mental illness, the fragility of faith, the self-serving needs of terrorist groups and the potential for harm that spring from new technologies.

The story introduces an interesting new concept, and begs the question, what if a picture could be taken of any place or event in the past? What potential damage could this cause? Conversely what potential good could it cause?

Legion is a standalone novella that immediately grabs the reader’s interest and then quickly builds up steam with plenty of action. The ending is satisfying and plausible. I recommend this novella as a good quick read, and it is only 88 pages. I am hoping Mr. Sanderson will create some new cases for Stephen and crew in the future.

Question to Ponder:

If you could take a picture of a any past event, what would you like to take a picture of?

To Purchase: “Legion” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Book Review

Book Review of Life of Pi: 2 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Mariner Books; Int Mti edition (October 2, 2012), Paperback: 416 pages, ISBN-10: 0544045203, ISBN-13: 978-0544045200

In Life of Pi a young Indian boy becomes lost at sea after his ship sinks in the Pacific Ocean during his family’s journey from Indian to Canada. For 227 days he lives in a lifeboat, and his sole companion is a Bengal tiger.

Yann Martel has written several novels, but Life of Pi is his most well known book, and this book has also won several awards.  It is written in the genre of magical realism and is an adventure story. The story is told primarily in a first person narrative from the point of view of our main protagonist, Pi Patel.

The author’s note at the beginning of the book convinced me I was reading a true story, and it wasn’t until I was about half way through the book did I come to realize that this note was part of the fiction. The story is told in a format that suggests it is a retelling of a true adventure, including italicized notes at the beginning of some of the chapters.

The story is told in three parts.  The first part introduces the main character and develops the premise which explains how Pi could eventually exist alone on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. This part takes place during Pi’s early years when his father ran a zoo. There were some interesting comparisons between animals and humans. The second part is his time at sea, and the final part introduces a possible alternative.

This is a spiritual story, and Pi Patel has a strong faith, which he relies on heavily during his trials at sea, but it is not religious or sanctimonious. Overall I thought the story was told in an interesting manner, and generally found it believable. The Life of Pi is a standalone story, and it is well told, although both the beginning and the time at sea were a bit too long.  I recommend this book as a good read.

Favourite Quote:

“To lose a brother is to lose someone with whom you can share the experience of growing old, who is supposed to bring you a sister-in-law and nieces and nephew, creatures to people the tree of your life and give it new branches. To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports it branches. To lose your mother, well, that is like losing the sun above you.”

Question to ponder:

Which version of the story did you think really occurred?

What did you feel was the most spiritual or mystical part of the journey?

 

To Purchase: “Life of Pi” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Dead by Midnight by Beverly Barton

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Dead by Trilogy (Griffin Powell)

Book Review

Book Review for Dead by Midnight: 2 Treasure Boxes
Dead by Trilogy #1
Griffin Powell #11
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.Listening Length: 15 hours and 34 minutes (384 pages), ASIN: B005HBKTG2

The actors that once starred in a porno movie are systematically being murdered in Dead by Midnight. Lorie, one of the actors, has for the past nine years regretted making this movie. Since returning home, she has been living a good life, despite her childhood sweetheart who is unable to forgive her past mistakes. But now that her life is threatened, her ex-finance, who is also the sheriff, is determined to see she remains safe, despite his feelings.

Beverly Barton, who past away April 2011, wrote over 80 novels in both the romance and suspense genres and a number of series including: The Protectors, Griffin Powell / The Powell Agency, and The Cherokee Pointe Trilogy. Dead by Midnight is a Griffin Powell novel and it is also the first book in the Dead by Trilogy. This book is a thriller, suspense and romance. There are also several graphic sex scenes. The story is told in a third person narrative from the point of view of several different characters, including the murderer, but primarily from that of the main protagonist, Lorie.

Initially, there were a lot of different characters and it took me a while to get everyone straight, but once I did I really started to enjoy the story. This book revolves around the porno industry, and it shows how porno can hurt people and families. It is good to bring some attention to the porno industry because in our current environment 12% of websites are pornographic and 25% of all internet searches revolve around porn.1 I thought the story helped to bring some awareness to this without becoming preachy.

There were several layers to this story, with numerous killers or would be killers running around. A couple of the storylines came to a full conclusion, but the one surrounding The Powell Agency did not. The story was told fairly well, and kept the identity of the murderer pretty well hidden until the end. Enough clues were released to enable me to guess who it was before the reveal, and I liked that a couple of red herrings were thrown in as well, so it was not completely transparent. The Griffin Powell Agency played a minor role throughout the story, but I have a feeling the next book is going to be centered more on the people from this group.

This is the first Griffin Powell novel that I have read, even though it is the 11th book in this series, and yet I did not feel like I was in the middle of a series. The main story line can stand on its own, and came to a good conclusion, but the secondary story line did not. Since this is the first of the Dead by Trilogy, I probably will read the next book, Dead by Morning.  I have not read the previous 10 books in the Griffin Powell series and probably won’t. I recommend this book as a good read, especially if you enjoy a suspenseful romance that includes some hot sex scenes.

To Purchase: “Dead By Midnight” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

1 http://www.onlinemba.com/blog/stats-on-internet-pornography/
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Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

This entry is part 11 of 11 in the series The Southern Vampire Mysteries Series

Book Review

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (The Southern Vampire Mysteries), Book 11
Publisher: Recorded Books, Listening Length: 10 hours and 23 minutes (368 pages), ASIN: B004YZ4SQY

Sookie has trouble following her around, some from her own making and some from outside of her control. Sookie, Eric and Pam need to deal with the new representative, Victor, that King Felipe de Castro has sent to Area Five. Victor is a nasty piece of work and he has it out for Eric. The book starts out with Sookie and her fairie family cleaning out the old Stackhouse attic.  What they find in the attic is interesting and it provides more information about Sookie’s background.

Dead Reckoning is the eleventh book in The Southern Vampire Mysteries series (also known as A Sookie Stackhouse Novel), and currently there are a total of twelve books. The thirteenth and final book is going to be released May 2013. All the books are contemporary fantasy but are also known as urban fantasy. They also fall into the romance genre. The story is told in the first person narrative with Sookie’s voice and thoughts as we follow her around.

I thought this book was much better than the previous book, Dead in the Family, but not as good as some of the earlier books. Sookie seemed more like herself, and she seems to have recovered from her ordeal in Dead and Gone. She was enjoying some sun tanning, helping her friends, and dealing with some threats.  I like that Sookie seems to really enjoy the day and the sun, even if she is married to a vampire.  She was also considering her future with Eric and wondering what will happen when she ages. Despite this, I can never see her wanting to become a vampire, she loves the sun too much, she loves being human too much.

The story had lots going on with some unexpected results, but some things also seemed recycled. There was lots of action, especially towards the end of the book. I felt the book was worth reading and I am planning to read the next book in series, Deadlocked. If you are a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse novels then this is a must read and I recommend it as a good book.

 

Questions to consider:

Do you think Sookie would ever want to be turned into a vampire?

Do you think that Charlaine Harris is being influenced by the True Blood TV series and this influence is being reflected in her writing?

I invite you to share your thoughts on the above questions... (just click below on the comments link)

To Purchase: “Dead Reckoning” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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Grim Tuesday by Garth Nix

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Keys to the Kingdom

Book Review

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Keys to the Kingdom, Book Two
Publisher: Listening Library, Audible Audio Edition, Release Date: March 31, 2004, Listening Length: 6 hours and 52 minutes (336 pages), ASIN: B0001ZZ054

Grim Tuesday, the keeper of the Second Key is threatening Arthur’s family and the only way Arthur can protect them, and himself,  is to return to the House. The House is the center of the universe and the source of all creation. Arthur has only been home a few hours, but once again he must leave earth, and with Susie’s help, he must defeat Grim Tuesday in order to save his family and stop the universe from unraveling.  In Mister Monday, Arthur defeated the holder of the First Key, became the Lord of the Lower House, and has started to repair the damage that has occurred to the House and the denizens. He left some capable and trustworthy people in charge for several years so he could return to Earth and have some time to grow up.  However, Grim Tuesday has his own plans, which include retrieving the Key and Lordship of the the Lower House.

Garth Nix has written numerous young adult books and series including: The Old Kingdom series, The Seventh Tower series, and The Keys to the KingdomGrim Tuesday is the second of seven books in The Keys to the Kingdom series and it is a fantasy story that is told in the third person narrative primarily from the point of view of the main protagonist, a 12 year old boy named Arthur Penhaligon. This book is good for grades 5 to 8, can be considered a Young Adult fantasy, but it can also be enjoyed by adults.

I enjoyed this story, but I did not think it was as good as the first book because it followed the same format. There were some engaging characters, like Tom Shelvocke the Mariner, who is the second son of the Architect, and Suzy Turquoise Blue. Overall, the story was interesting and kept me wondering how it was all going to end. The beginning started with plenty of action and then the story progressed with steady momentum until the final conclusion. There were plenty of obstacles along the way and the ending was quite exciting. I was intrigued with the concept of nothing, where globuals of nothing floated around and destroyed whatever they touched. This nothing is also at the basis of  creation, with the concept that first there is nothing and then it turns into matter, creating whatever is required.

The story has a good and satisfying ending, but it is clearly just part of a bigger story. The end introduces Drowned Wednesday, the next book in the series as well as the holder of the Third Key.  I recommend Grim Tuesday as a good read, and I am looking forward to see where this story is going. I am planning to read the next book in the series.

To Purchase: “Grim Tuesday” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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Happiness by Will Ferguson

Book Review

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Recorded Books, Listening Length: 12 hours and 2 minutes (320 pages), ASIN: B00286JVY0

Imagine a self help book that actually worked resulting in an end to all of humanities problems. What would happen to our world if everyone’s woes were immediately resolved and there was no longer any conflict of any kind for 97% of the population?

Will Ferguson is the author of 12 books, written in a number of different genres, which include literary fiction, satire, and travel adventure. Happiness is a satire and has received several literary awards. The story is told in a third person narrative from the point of view of Edwin de Valu, a rather unpleasant protagonist who enjoys kicking the cat.

This is an interesting concept that looks at the world of publishing as well as the world of self-help. Edwin was the unlucky editor who finds and publishes the self help book “What I Learned on the Mountain.” Edwin was one of the 3% of the population who was unaffected by this self-help book. In many ways this self-help book becomes the main character in the story and has an arc, whereas the main protagonist, Edwin de Valu does not grow or change in any way as the story progresses. The main protagonist is a jerk. The overall message is that mankind needs adversary to help us to grow and improve and that if everyone was content then we would eventually die out as a species.

This book brings up several questions and it is an enjoyable read.  Happiness is a standalone story and I recommend it as a good read. Following are a few questions to ponder. Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Questions to ponder:

Do human beings need adversary to grown and improve?

Is the old adage, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”, true? 

Did you feel that Edwin grew or changed as the story progressed? If so, how?

 

 

 

To Purchase: “Happiness” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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