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Showing posts from October, 2010

Daily Scoldings by Beryl Barclay

Once upon a time, there was a boy who lost three coins.  Distressed, he searched for his missing money.  He came upon a girl who was delighted because she had found three coins.  [He] told her what he had lost.  The girl's joy quickly faded as she handed her coins to the boy.  Seeing how sad she was, the boy could feel no happiness.  He said, "I cannot say for certain these coins belong to me.  Let's ask the wise owl what to do."  The boy and girl explained it to the owl.  The owl reached into his own pocket and produced a coin.  He gave two coins to the boy and two coins to the girl.  He said, "Today we each have lost a coin."  The children were content.  Never did they consider the peculiar, creepy implausibility of a talking owl with pocket change.  Be alert.from March 5
Daily Scoldings: A Bracing Tonic of Criticism, Rebuke, and Punitive Inspiration for Better Living by Beryl Barclay was recently mailed to this blog for review.  I'm not sure how I fee…

Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz

I'm always on the lookout for good young adult fiction because some YA fic is just as good or better than some adult fiction I read.  I've reviewed quite a few YA titles in the past.  Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz is the latest young adult fiction title that I've read and it is a quick read with short chapters (my favorite) of rotating narrators.  We see the story unfold from multiple viewpoints, and while this can be quite effective in some novels, it seems to hinder the story development in this one.  This is a spooky, but not scary, eerie read.  The teenage voices of the narrators are differentiated between the various teens, but Stolarz fails to create distinctive, unique voices and when the chapters are right next to each other, it's easy to tell that it's the same person writing all the voices.  The rotating narrators detract also from the atmosphere of what could easily be a wickedly terrifying night in a damaged and condemned state asylum that clearly …

Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen

It's been a long, long wait for Tess Gerritsen's latest, Ice Cold.  Throughout my wait I've been obsessing about the massive spoiler revealed in the jacket blurb.  Is it for real or will it turn out to be a fake out because who puts that kind of major development involving a character upon which the series focuses on the book jacket instead of saving it for the mother of all shocking story lines for the unsuspecting reader?  That is the conundrum I've been pondering for several months ever since Amazon posted the blurb on the book's page.

The first few chapters seem off to a slow start that's compounded by the slight awkwardness of the diction in the first chapters describing what is surely (one way or another) the end of the affair for Dr. Maura Isles and her beloved Father Daniel Brophy (a Catholic priest with whom she's been having an affair for over a year!).  Then the story and the suspense crank up into a scary, thrilling page turner that's hard …

Faithful Place by Tana French

This is Tana French's third novel.  You can always count on French to turn in a spectacularly written and plotted novel.  I've read all of her novels thus far and I've never been disappointed.  Faithful Place follows Frank Mackey, who made his first appearance as Detective Cassie Maddox's old undercover boss who pulls her back in for one more undercover operation that ends in disaster.  Just where Faithful Place's story is in the chronology in relation to The Likeness and In the Woods, I'm not sure--there aren't any clues that give it away and none of the other characters from previous novels make any cameos in this one.  If there were clues in The Likeness that hinted at the placement of Faithful's chronology, well, I read that one over a year ago and I don't remember them anymore.  Right now is about the time I start wondering and digging around for clues as to what French's next novel will entail.  Will it be about an entirely new character?…