Tag Archives: 2 Treasure Boxes

2 Treasure Boxes (7 out of 10)

The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Sixth Book in Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series
Publisher: Jove (Electronic Edition: August 2001), EBook: 377 KB, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-3227-0

In the usual Anita Blake Vampire Hunter style there is plenty of action and Anita comes close to death several times, but pulls through. There is a contract out on Anita’s life.  Anita now has a mystery to solve as to who wants her dead.  She also gets pulled into dealing with another deadly necromancer.

This is the sixth book in the series and to date there are a total of 20 books. This book falls into the contemporary, urban fantasy genre with Anita Blake as a necromancer by trade and a sometimes vampire slayer known as The Executioner. There are vampires and other supernatural beings living together with humans in her world.  The book also falls into the romance genre. The story is told using the character narrative with Anita’s voice and thoughts as we follow her around.

We get to see how and why Anita is dating both a werewolf (Richard) and a vampire (Jean-Claude.) There is a fair amount of sexual tension and jealousy which makes things very interesting. The book also deals with Richard and his pack problems. Anita starts to understand that Richard is not the perfect man, but rather she gets a better idea of what makes him tick and it is not pretty. She starts to really see his flaws and there are a lot of them. A lot happens in this book including the forming of a triumvirate between Jean-Claude, Anita and Richard.  This is where they can link with each other and by doing so become much more powerful than they are individually. Anita once again has the first mark of Jean-Claude and is now magically linked with both Richard and Jean-Claude.

Once again I enjoyed reading Anita in action and I am left wondering where the storyline is going, so I will definitely be reading the next book in the series. Throughout the book Anita is solving problems with plenty of action. The characters are interesting and diverse. It is fun to read about this alternate universe with a multitude of supernatural beings. I like how Anita deals with the various problems that she faces. This is a stand alone book that resolves the issues by the end of the book, but it is also clearly part of a larger story.

If you are going to read this series, then I recommend that you read the books in order since the story builds with each book.  If you enjoy reading contemporary, urban fantasy that deals with vampires and werewolves and includes a strong female lead then you will enjoy this book.  If you enjoy reading romance with graphic sex, you will enjoy this book since Anita and Jean-Claude become lovers.

Bloody Bones by Laurell K. Hamilton

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Fifth Book in Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter
Publisher: Jove (Electronic Edition: March 2004), EBook: 311 KB, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-4578-X

In the usual Anita Blake Vampire Hunter style there is plenty of action and Anita comes close to death several times, but pulls through. She also needs to deal with her men problems and it is not easy dating a master vampire.

This is the fifth book in the series and to date there are a total of 20 books. This book falls into the contemporary, urban fantasy genre with Anita Blake as a necromancer by trade and a sometimes vampire slayer known as The Executioner. There are vampires and other supernatural beings living together with humans in her world.  The book also falls into the romance genre. The story is told using the character narrative with Anita’s voice and thoughts as we follow her around.

The book starts out with Anita being sent out of town to raise a graveyard full of old bones, it is a job that no-one else can do without a human sacrifice. As the story progresses, things get interesting and Anita quickly gets involved in solving a series of supernatural murders and disappearances. Anita and Jean-Claude’s relationship has a big turning point; she now thinks of him as a person and not a monster.  Richard just keeps pushing himself further and further away from Anita, his self-hate comes through by back-lashing Anita with very nasty behaviour. Larry, Anita’s assistant, has a bigger role and Anita takes on the responsibility of mentoring him.

The book is interesting and well written. I enjoyed reading about Larry and Anita’s interactions. We learn more about Anita’s past and her relationship with her mother which gives us more insight into Anita’s character.  Anita’s powers are growing as she is able to do things that were previously thought to be impossible.  She also solves the mystery by the end of the book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

If you enjoy reading contemporary, urban fantasy that deals with vampires and werewolves and includes a strong female lead then you will enjoy this book.  The book also has a very definite romantic slant with Anita dating both a vampire and a werewolf.

The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Forth Book in Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter
Publisher: Jove (Electronic Edition: March 2004), EBook: 311 KB, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-4578-X

At the end of the last book Anita was freed from Jean-Claude’s vampire marks, but did she really want to be free of him? Once again Anita is pulled into solving supernatural murders and dealing with her love life.

This is the fourth book in the series and to date there are a total of 20 books. This book falls into the contemporary, urban fantasy genre with Anita Blake as a necromancer by trade and a sometimes vampire slayer known as The Executioner. There are vampires and other supernatural beings living together with humans in her world.  The book also falls into the romance genre. The story is told using the character narrative with Anita’s voice and thoughts as we follow her around.

This book surrounds problems within the lycanthrope (shape-shifting) community. We learn a lot more about the shape-shifters, specifically about Richard and his own personal demons. Edward, who is a fellow vampire slayer and always fun to read, also wants her help. Anita agrees to date both Richard and Jean-Claude and this causes a few problems. Anita’s feelings for Jean-Claude are deepening, but she still does not trust him.  She is also conflicted about her relationship with Richard. 

At times I find Richard to be trying and his internal conflict gets boring real fast. As usual there is lots of action in the book and the problem was solved by the end of the book. Once again I enjoyed reading Anita in action and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

If you enjoy reading contemporary, urban fantasy that deals with vampires and werewolves and includes a strong female lead then you will enjoy this book.  The book also has a very definite romantic slant with Anita dating both a vampire and a werewolf.

Rapture in Death by J. D. Robb

This entry is part 4 of 26 in the series In Death Series

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
In Death Series, Book 4
Publisher: The Penguin Publishing Group (Electronic Edition: July 2001), EBook: 451 KB, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-0165-0

Lieutenant Eve Dallas has a number of suspicious suicides which she is sure are murder.  She must convince her commander to let her investigate and then with the help of her aid she is following a trail of dead bodies.

Rapture in Death is the fourth book in the In Death series by J.D. Robb, to date she has written 38 books in the series with book # 39 to be released  November 30, 2010.   I have read most of these books and found them all to be enjoyable and well written.  This book falls into both the suspense and romance categories as the book focuses equally on the case Eve is currently working on as well as Eve and Roake’s relationship.  The books are told in a third person narrative that focuses primarily on Lieutenant Eve Dallas, a dedicated and talented homicide Lieutenant. At times, the author also gives us insight into some of the other characters including the murderer. The books are written by Nora Roberts under the pseudonym of J. D. Robb.

Eve follows the clues and the murders to find out who is committing them and why. Eve and Roake are also targeted. There is plenty of action with a very intense scene where Eve tries to save a woman from jumping off of a building. The story has a good build up with plenty of excitement including a bit of a twist at the end.  Throughout the story there are plenty of hot sex scenes between Eve and Roake including a pretty dark one.  The book continues to develop the characters of Eve, Roake and Peabody but the story centers more around solving the mystery than developing the characters.

The book is well written with a good climax at the end that was quite suspenseful. Robb keeps us guessing as to who the culpit is and how they are committing the crimes.  Eve and Roake are now married and it is fun to read their interactions.  The sex scenes were well written but a bit darker as required from this plot.

This is a standalone book, and I am sure that if you read it you would be quickly reading the previous books in the series. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about strong female lead characters and enjoys a suspense story. But if you are looking to solve a mystery along with Eve then you will be disappointed since you cannot solve this book on your own. J. D. Robb keeps too much information out which makes this is impossible, but the story is well written and certainly enjoyable. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading romance since there is a fair bit of this as well as some hot sex scenes between Eve and Roake.

Song of Susannah by Stephen King

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series The Dark Tower

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah
Publisher:  Donald M. Grant/Scribner; 1st Trade Ed edition (June 8, 2004), Hardcover: 432 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 1880418592

As the name implies this book deals primarily with Susannah and it is her path as she journeys through pregnancy with a demon child. At the same time she is possessed by a creature of the Crimson King who has been given the care of the child. 

This is the sixth book in the Dark Tower series, there are currently a total of seven books, and Stephen King announced in 2009 that he has plans for an eighth book, The Wind Through the Keyhole which he plans to write at some point in the future.  Stephen King is primarily known as a horror author, but this book does not fall into that genre.  Instead it is in the fantasy genre and sometimes considered a western.  The story is told with a third person narrative and focuses primarily on Susannah Dean of New York.  Although at times it is also told from the other characters who are on the quest to find and heal the Dark Tower.

They are all Gunslingers and they are Roland Deschain of Gilead (from time unremembered,) Eddie Dean of New York (from 1987) and his wife Susanna Dean of New York (from 1964) as well as their adopted son, Jake Chambers of New York (from 1977.) The story has also added Pere Callahan from one of Stephen King’s previous books, Salam’s Lot and Stephen King himself (from 1977,) is a character in this book.  The Dark Tower is at the centre of the universe and connects all the varying worlds and time-lines together. Most of the books in the series take place in a post-apocalyptic world where things are running down and time has become weird. But most of this book takes place in our world in 1977 and 1999.

Book V, The Wolves Of The Calla, ended with Susannah and Mia (the being who is possessing Susannah’s body,) escaping into our world in 1999 with the evil, magic Black Thirteen. Now Eddie is frantic with worry over Susannah and wants to find her as soon as possible. With the help of the Manni, the door between realities is re-opened, not once but twice. This is good since the gang has several pressing items to deal with.  First they must find Susannah and save her from the demon child and second they must also save the spiritual rose which is growing in the middle of Manhattan. Eddie wants to save Susannah but Ka has a different plan and sends him and Roland to Maine, USA in 1977 to try and save the rose and through the rose the tower.  It is Jake, Callahan and Oy (Jake’s faithful, highly-intelligent, talking  “pet”) who are sent to New York, 1999 to save Susannah. 

 The ka-tet is separated, which weakens them as a whole but it makes the story interesting since there were two plot-lines going on at the same time with an interlocking thread between them.  There was a heavy duty action scene in the beginning when Roland and Eddie first arrived in Maine. This was the only real action in the book. I enjoyed this book although I did not think the overall story really made much progress. It did not seem that much happened, although the cliff-hanger hints of things to come.

I thought it was really interesting the way that Stephen King himself became a character in the book and is tied into what happens to the Dark Tower. Once again the story has ended with a cliff-hanger.  I personally prefer a book that ties up all the story-lines by the end of the book, so in this area the book fell short for me. For this reason and for the lack of excitement within the book I gave the book a 2 Treasure Box rating. This was my lest favourite book in the series todate.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to follow Roland on his journey, but please read the prior books first as this book is not really a stand-alone book.  If you enjoy reading fantasy/science fiction books then you should enjoy this book since it has a bit of both within it.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
The Second Robert Langdon Book                  
Publisher: Doubleday April 2003, Hardcover: 454 pages, ISBN-10: 0552159719, ISBN-13: 978-0552159715

Robert Langdon, a famous symbologist is brought into a gruesome murder scene as the prime suspect.  With a little help from a smart and pretty French cryptologist he is able to escape, and is then forced to solve the riddle left by the murder victim which will prove his innocence.

This is the second book written by Dan Brown with Robert Langdon as the protagonist.  Each book is stand alone and can be read in any order.  All the books including this one are in the thriller genre. The story is told in a third person narrative and focuses primarily on Robert Langdon, but at times we are given insight into some of the other players, including the culprits.  It is really interesting to read about the antagonists and what drives them.

This book follows Robert and Sophie around as they try to solve the mystery of why the victim was murdered and what was the meaning of the his final convoluted message? During this steady build to the final climax there are several exciting parts with a surprising twist thrown in as well. It is interesting to read about the brotherhood and the secret it is protecting. The story was intriguing as it unfolded, and it keeps us tuned in since we do not where the book is going or what it is trying to solve.  We quickly learn that the victim was murdered because he had a coveted, valuable secret, the location of a keystone which uncovers details about the Holy Grail. However, he was so determined to protect this secret that he died for it, but he did not want the secret to die with him, nor did he want it released to his murderer.  So instead, he left behind a series of clues which will eventually uncover this valuable knowledge.

I liked the writing and I found it to be interesting.  The book brings forward many points about religion and the bible.  It makes me wonder if these things are true or not.  Like, was Mary Magdalin meant to carry on Jesus’ church instead of Peter?  Did the church completely obliterate the sacred female? Many people feel that most of the information relayed in this book is bunk.  But this too, makes the books premise interesting.  However  I felt like some of the writing was like a school lesson. I also found that some of the technical descriptions and discussions went on too long and were verbose. But overall I thought the story was original, captivating and well written. I particularly liked the character development of all the characters, I really felt like I knew them all well by the end of the book. The chase throughout the book to solve the puzzle was fun to follow as it flowed up and up to the final conclusion.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading a good thriller, just be prepared to slog through some of the more drawn-out portions which deal with the holy grail. Although most of these wordy parts did also disclose an interesting and unique look at what happened or what could have happened.  However, if you are a strong church person you may be upset by how the church is portrayed throughout this book.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
6th Book in the Outlander Series

Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (September 27, 2005) Hardcover: 1157 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 0385324162, ISBN-13: 978-0385324168

Time Traveller Claire Fraser is living two hundred years in the past with her husband Jamie and their family in the back woods of North Carolina.  This book shows Claire and Jamie’s life in America just prior to the American Revolution.  There is a large spectrum of events occurring from simple things like day to day life to Claire being arrested for murder, to Brianna, their grown daughter, being kidnapped.  The more exciting storylines each had their own satisfying build with a good climax. There are numerous other events that occur in the book which make the story very interesting.

I always enjoy reading about what life was like back then and this book does a good job of portraying the history of the 1772’s within an interesting fiction story.  There were also several action scenes which are very interesting to read. However if you were hoping for any romance there was none with very little in terms of sex between Claire and Jamie, maybe they are just getting too old and for this reason this book is not a romance in any way shape or form.

On the whole the book was entertaining but at times I found it to be a bit too mundane. The ending was a bit of a surprise and not at all what I was expecting but still interesting.  The story flowed well weaving the tale from event to event.  The majority of the book was told from Claire’s point of view but at times it did shift to some of the other characters.  This gave us a bit more insight into some of the characters in the book.

The book is stand alone as well as a continuation of the story, which I found satisfying.  I liked that the book completed all the story lines it started in the book and it answered all the questions raised during the book.  I understand there is now a 7th book in the series called An Echo in the Bone, but I also understand that it ends with a cliff hanger, so I think I will wait to read it once book 8 is also completed.

I enjoyed reading the book and found it to be entertaining and satisfying but I also found that it was a bit over descriptive with insipid details.  I do not think all these descriptions added anything to the storyline, if anything it made the story a bit cumbersome. For this reason I gave the book a 2 Treasure Box rating.

I recommend this book to anyone who has read the previous Outlander books, it was not one of the best books in the series but it was still enjoyable. However, if you were looking for the romance then this not the book to read.   I also recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical novels as this book certainly does this well.

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series The Southern Vampire Mysteries Series

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
A Sooke Stackhouse Novel (The Southern Vampire Mysteries), Book 2
Publisher:The Penguin Publishing Group electronic edition August 2003, Ebook:449 KB, ISBN: 0-7865-4098-2

Sooke Stackhouse is a cute, sweet, down–to-earth barmaid who just happens to be telepathic and she has become involved in the world of Vampires, Werewolves and other supernatural beings. This book starts out with a mystery.  How did a dead body end up in Andy Bellefleur’s car?

This is the second book in The Southern Vampire Mysteries series (also known as A Sooke Stackhouse Novel ), with the introduction of many different interesting characters and premises. There are currently a total of eleven books. All the books are contemporary fantasy books also known as urban fantasy.  They also fall into the romance genre. The story is told in the first person narrative with Sooke’s voice and thoughts as we follow her around.

Since the dead body was the short order cook from Sooke’s bar, she feels personally responsible to solve the murder and avenge the death and so the book unfolds.  However, first Sooke is attacked by a supernatural being and almost dies. In between solving this little mystery and recovering from the attack Sooke also gets involved with vampire problems in Dallas. The book introduces the anti-vampire group known as the The Fellowship of the Sun. There is a fair bit in the book concerning this group around the problems in Dallas. 

There is lots of action in this book.  The story seems to jump around a fair bit but it is never boring. I enjoyed the book. It was a complete story which I always find enjoyable to read.  I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading contemporary, urban fantasy books that focus on life with vampires and werewolves.  I think it is one of the better series in the genre and I definitely prefer the books to the TV series.  The book has some sex scenes in it, but it is not the main focus of the book but enough to put the book into the romance genre.  So if you enjoy reading about sex, romance and vampires then you will enjoy this book.

Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 5 of 13 in the series The Dresden Files

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Book Four of the Dresden Files
Publisher: Roc (September 3, 2002), Mass Market Paperback: 371 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 0451458923, ISBN-13: 978-0451458926

Harry has started a war between the Wizards and the Red Court Vampires, the sky is raining toads, then Harry is attacked and must defend off several combatants. This is just the beginning. Summer Knight takes place nine months after the end of the last book where Susan was infected by the Red Vampire Court. She was bitten so many times that she is close to becoming a vampire herself. She has the thirst for blood but has not yet indulged it. Once she does she will become a vampire. During the fight where this occurred Harry attacked the Red Court to save Susan and that is how the war started.

Summer Knight is the fourth book in The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher has currently written 12 books in this series with book 13 due July 26, 2011.  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/?s=codex+alera. The Dresden Files are considered Contempory 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 is solving his current case

This book starts right in with lots of action which continues throughout the book. Susan has left both Harry and the city of Chicago while she fights her demons.  Since Harry feels responsible he has been spending all his time trying to find a cure for Susan.  However there does not seem to be one. Harry is suffering under the stress of this and his life is falling apart.  He is close to eviction in both his office and his home and he is in terrible shape both physically and emotionally. Soon he is dragged into trouble in the Faerie courts where he must get involved in order to help the wizards in their battle against the vampires.

There is the introduction of numerous new characters, particularly both Summer and Winter Faeries. The most notable person is Harry’s lost love, who he thought was dead. Billy and the Alphas play a big part in this book, but Michael does not. We learn a lot about how the Faery courts work.  There are two courts, Summer and Winter, with Summer being a bit more forgiving towards humanity but both courts are harsh and cruel. We learn that each court is ruled by three queens: the Queen Mother (the Queen who was), the Queen (the Queen who is) and the Lady (the Queen who will be.) 

There is lots of action in this book.  The story is pretty deep and it has a mystery as well as twist that is not revealed until the final chapters. Harry must find out who murdered the Summer Knight, which he does.  Harry is also given the opportunity in the book to help out Susan with some interesting consequences.  I was fascinated to see how Harry handled this challenge.

I liked the ending of the story.  I thought it was imaginative,  I also liked that although the story is unfolding over time, each book is a complete story unto itself. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see what new kind of trouble Harry can get himself into. I highly recommend this book. If you enjoy reading a good detective story encasing paranormal activities with a strong, honourable 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.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series The Dark Tower

Books Review:2 Treasure Boxes
First Book in The Dark Tower Series
Publisher: Penguin Putnam (June 2003), EBook: 591KB, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-3721-3

This book starts out with the Gunslinger following the Man in Black. All we really know is that the Gunslinger is good and the man in black is evil.  The chase is occurring in a land where humanity is winding down and there is very little good left in this post-apocalyptic world.  We are not sure why the chase is on or what motivates the Gunslinger. I found this book to be intriguing from the first page.  We do not even know the actual names of the characters, however, as the story unfolds we get drawn into the Gunslinger’s tale. It is told from the gunslinger’s point of view who we eventually learn is Roland Deschain.

This is the first book in the Dark Tower series, there are currently a total of seven books, and Stephen King announced in 2009 that he is currently working on the eighth book, The Wind Through the Keyhole which will be released at some point in the future.  Stephen King is primarily known as a horror author, but this book does not fall into that genre.  Instead it is in the fantasy genre and sometimes considered a western.  The story is told with a third person narrative and focuses primarily on Roland Deschain of Gilead.  The Dark Tower is at the centre of the universe and connects all the varying worlds and time-lines together. These books take place in a post-apocalyptic world where things are running down and time has become weird.

During Roland’s travels we get glimpses into his past and so we are slowly introduced to the character. The writing draws us and makes us care about him and his quest and in typical Steven King style the writing is very descriptive. There is a very gory part where the gunslinger is defending himself against an entire town. During his defence we get an idea of how and why he is a gunslinger. There are also sad parts throughout the book. Stephen King drops hints during the story as to what could be coming up later on. By the end of this first book we have a better idea of what the gunslinger is searching for and why he wants to find the man in black.  We also find out who and what the man in black is.  I found the ending to be very compelling and I will definitely be reading the next book in the series to see what is going to happen next.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story and is in for a long tale since you will read all seven books if you read this first book. If you enjoy reading fantasy/science fiction books then you will definitely enjoy this book since it has a bit of both within it.