brain dump, end of August

29 08 2010

Most of my reading lately has been done in the car while picking up the kids. It’s hard to escape from a stinker of a novel when that’s all I’ve brought with me. Bad books have an upside, though.  They bring out my inner Michael Kors.

Play Dirty by Sandra Brown: “ripped from the headlines” takes on new idiocy.  It’s about a pro football player in a major southern area who goes to jail for illegal gambling who gets caught up with a millionaire who bought a major airline that was financially fucked.  Sound familiar?  Everyone who lives in or around Atlanta is fucking tired of this story.

Intervention by Robin Cook: Dan Brown fanfiction written by a stoned 6th grader.  The beginning has absolutely nothing to do with the end.  It’s like two NaNoWriMo novels glued together.  Flagrant exclamation point abuse.

Running Scared by Lisa Jackson:  good enough.  I’ll probably reread it in a couple of years.  The author has some sort of hang up about adoption.

Shadow Zone by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen: a good story in a good series.  I normally hate co-authored stories but this one is seamless.

Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs: a fun, fast moving story with an interesting ending.  It had an interesting medical twist that I haven’t seen in other books before.

Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner:  another good story with great insight into the minds of special  needs children.  The hospital scene was eerily like the one in Terry Goodkind’s The Law of Nines.  That made it a little disconcerting.

The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen:  This is the 3rd time I’ve read this book so it obviously doesn’t suck.  This is the kind of novel that got her characters a TV show.  I hope the quality of her books returns to what it was before.

The Constant Gardener by John Le Carre: reading British styled books messes up the accent in my head for a couple of days.  Other than that weirdness, it’s a great story.

Water Bound by Christine Feehan: looks to be the start of another series sort of related to the Drake sister series.  It was a little disconcerting to get used to the new “magic” but will be interesting once more of the books are published.  Sucked to realize that two things I love the symbols of (fire and water) are the things that threaten books the most.

Fatal Burn by Lisa Jackson: I need to boycott books written by Lisas and Lindas.  They all get confused in my head.  Not memorable.

Rules of Vengeance by Christopher Reich: very good story and plot.  It’s nice to have a hero that I didn’t ever really like or feel sympathy for.

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The Memorist by M J Rose

12 06 2010

They should have published The Memorist book first.  Possibly only this book.  Everything I said about The Reincarnationist (which is a damn stupid title too) was fixed in the sequel.

Will I buy the 3rd one in July when it comes out?  Maybe.

If I do it will be because I’m a completionist and not because I want to read another book in this series.





The Reincarnationist by M J Rose

10 06 2010

Night before last I finished The Reincarnationist and I was fairly disappointed.  I’m a fan of M. J. Rose’s previous novels so I was hoping that her foray into theological suspense would be as much fun.

It was one of those in between books – I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it either.  It was too short in that the basis of the Phoenix  Society wasn’t explained in a way that seemed real and central to the book.  It was too heavily edited.

I’m having a hard time writing a review for it even though I feel like I should.  The words just aren’t coming.

The characters seem flat and it was hard to feel compassion for them.  The scent as a “lurch” inducer felt off and it was never really explained.  The karmic circle of the past lives reaching into the future never seemed plausible.  There was a whole lot of whining about how the Christians of that time period didn’t know their own roots and they were just power hungry brutes sent to rape and pillage.  So much emphasis was put on spiritual leaders sometimes being power hungry figureheads and then we’re supposed to be surprised the villain is a power hungry spiritual leader.  The timeline was full of holes.  The scenes seemed to be written separately from each other and then pasted together like a  dollar store jig-saw puzzle.

In other words, if this book was a child it would really want to be a James Rollins novel when it grew up.

Two stars just because it took up an evening in the tub.   It wasn’t terrible but this story has been done better by just about every one of my favorite authors from Christopher Pike to Diana Gabaldon.