Friday, May 30, 2014

Black Box by Michael Connelly


Anyone who reads my blog knows that I have been on a mad rush to catch up on all of the Michael Connelly books I have missed. I’m going to be really bummed when I finally catch up because I have read some amazing books in the last month. Black Box opens with the LA Riots in 1992, a topic that has been referenced a few times in the Bosch series. Bosch is called out to try and help anyway he can because the police are horribly outnumbered. While bouncing from homicides he comes across the death of a photographer and begins to investigate the case. Something about this one sticks with him and he wants to find out what happened, but then he is taken off of it and the case goes to the Riot division. It never gets solved.
20 years later Bosch links a bullet from a recent case to the death of this photographer. Finally he can try to close this after all these years. I guess I expected more form this book. The other Bosch novels I had read recently like The Drop were really good. I think my problem is that since this book came out in 2012 I have heard nothing but rave reviews about it. Critics and publishers couldn’t talk about this book enough. Normally I don’t put any stock in those reviews but Connelly hasn’t let me down yet so I guess I really got my hopes up.  I liked it but it wasn’t my favorite of the series.
The reason I didn’t care for this was that I felt there were big chunks of the book that were a little slow. I had a hard time staying focused on what I was reading a little and found excuses to do something else. This never happens with one of Connelly’s books which seems to make it even worse. Have you ever read one of your favorite authors and been made at yourself for not enjoying the book like you feel you should?
Black Box may have been slow at times but I wasn’t necessarily disappointed so don’t think this will be a negative review. The end of this book did pick up quite a bit and I enjoyed the last quarter of it. I also really like Bosch as a character; the little interludes about his daughter and life outside of the force are really enjoyable. I just couldn’t get into this case.
I felt the book was written very well and the problem wasn’t with how it read just with keeping my attention.  It’s kind of hard to describe exactly how I feel about this book. I want to give it 4 stars because I love Connelly as an author and Bosch is one of my favorite characters to read. However, the story was just not up to the standards I am used to. The Mickey Haller books are about trial law and those can lose me from time to time because that subject isn’t my taste but even those I felt were better than Black Box. I’m also trying to catch up on the Kathy Reichs books I have missed and have been comparing the two authors. I fear that I have grown out of Kathy Reichs’s books, I don’t feel that way with this one, and I still can’t wait to read the next one from Connelly. This just wasn’t one of my favorites and now I can move on. It happens, and I think I will rate this book 3 out of 5 stars. It pains me to do so because Connelly is one of my favorite authors and anything less than four is tough to do for me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Balck Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell by Paul Dini


I’m not going to lie to you, Black Canary and Zatanna are two of the hottest characters in the DC Universe. What guy wouldn’t want a woman screaming at him and able to make him just disappear (Sarcasm). Wait, that sounds like the beginning of a murder mystery or horror novel. I like these characters; I like Black Canary and her relationship with the Green Arrow. They make a really good superhero duo, and Zatanna has had some really cool story lines in the Batman books. You can see I haven’t really read these characters on their own, but I have enjoyed the stories they have been in. I still really liked the Wedding of Green Arrow and Black Canary, that was a great story line.  
When I saw Black Canary and Zatanna paired in a book while browsing Edelweiss I had to request it. Thank you to the publisher for allowing me to read the ARC of this book. I really enjoyed it. In this book Black Canary infiltrates a group of female thieves to stop the leader from committing a Heist. This wasn’t a big part of the story so the details have slipped my mind as I write this. While pretending to be someone else Black Canary is unknowingly the victim of a bloodspell. The leader practices Black Magic and has bound everyone to never tell about this or suffer consequences. When everyone turns on the leader and she is killed when the heist goes wrong she vows to take her revenge with her dying breath. So the plot behind this book is a little on the hokey side, but I liked it.
A year later the other members of the group start committing Suicide mysteriously. Up against some serious evil magic, Canary turns to her JLA friend Zatanna to help her protect the remaining members and herself. This book doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the New 52 timeline otherwise I’m sure this would have been labeled as such. I can’t be 100% sure because I haven’t read anything these characters have been in since the New 52 began. This book reminds me more of how things where when I was a kid (Yes I just used an old man phrase). Graphic novels used to be stories that were separate from the series. It was one full story in a large book with a beginning and an end. The Killing Joke is a great example. This was a story that came out in a single edition. I liked being able to start this book without having read a bunch of other series prior and have everything wrapped up giving this a clear end.  I still love being able to catch up on my favorite series in graphic novel form but I enjoyed this single story.
My only complaint was with the artwork. I’m not a fan of Joe Quinones’s style. All of his characters have faces that remind me of the dwarves from Snow White. They all have these fat round noses and flush red cheeks. The artwork in this isn’t by far the worse I have seen but I just didn’t care for it all that much. The story however, was well written and very interesting. I flew through this book and really enjoyed it. I will give this 4 out of 5 stars and kind of hope to see a pairing of these two characters again.




Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Last Apprentice: Attack of the Fiend by Joseph Delaney


Another chapter in the Last Apprentice series and these are always fun to read.  Not going to lie, these are my fluff books. I can breeze through them and not have to give it much thought. I can get right into the story and really enjoy them. It is also a nice reprieve from some of the more intense mysteries I read on a regular basis. We all have those books that you can rely on to be enjoyable and yet easy reads; these are mine right now. I am so hooked on this series that I can’t get the next book fast enough.
In this book the Spook and Tom are on their way to Pendleton which is home to the witch clans. There is trouble brewing that could lead to powerful evil being unleashed. Tom and the Spook need to find out what is going on and stop it before it becomes too late. A lot happens in this book and there were times that if I wasn’t paying attention I had to go back a page or two to catch up. We get to learn more about witches and the clans; we also get to know a little more about Alice’s family also.
Before Tom sets out to Pendleton he must prepare. The Spook sends him home to retrieve the trunks that his Mam had left him. When he arrives the farm is destroyed, his brother and family are missing, and the trunks are gone. This really builds suspense because I wanted to know if his brother and family were ok. What happened to them? How did the intruder get the trunks out of a room that had a spell prohibiting any evil from entering? I was on the edge of my seat until my questions were answered and I wasn’t disappointed or left hanging to wait till the next book.
It is no secret I have enjoyed these books but I will say that towards the end of this book the story kind of stalled a bit. I wasn’t anxious to press on to find out what happens next, I was just coasting through the story for a while. The rest of the book is strong and a great chapter in this series. I think when it comes to rating this book I will have to go with 3.5 out of 5. I liked this one but not as much as others in the series so far. I will round up and keep these going at a 4 star rating for the purpose of Goodreads and Amazon.  

Friday, May 23, 2014

Batman Vol 4: Zero Year-Secret City

Batman is my all-time favorite superhero and Scott Snyder has done an absolutely amazing job writing the story line since the New 52.  I have loved every one of the volumes he has written. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite comic writers up there with Geoff Johns who has written Green Lantern and Flash. This was a great book but I have to be honest, I’m tired of the Batman origin story. That is one story I feel needs to stay the same as it was first written and not changed to much.
Scott Snyder did a great job keeping to the story I know and love, but his little additions were pretty cool. We get a little more of an origin to Edward Nigma (The Riddler) and the Joker as part of his becoming Batman tale. Snyder did throw in an Uncle for Bruce which felt off to me. I have been reading Batman for a very very long time and I have read all that I can and I don’t remember an Uncle. Maybe I’m wrong, comment and let me know. I can admit that I don’t know everything Batman and I love discussion.
The art work was pretty good on top of the story. I was impressed with some of the detail in the smaller panels. It really made the whole book come together very well. This may sound odd but a lot of the art work really conveys the personality of even some of the background characters. I enjoyed seeing what was coming next as much as I would reading this. Very well done and I really like the artists for this run.
Here is one thing I really enjoyed about this origin story and it didn’t even pertain to Bruce becoming Batman. I liked the Red Hood Gang. This is just as much an origin for this gang as it is for Batman. One of my favorite stories is the Killing Joke where we get Joker’s origin story. I have always wondered if there was more to the red hood they made the joker wear before he became who he is. This was really interesting to see this gang try to take over Gotham. Learning little bits and pieces about them throughout the book was great.
I want to give this a 5 out of 5 but I can’t. There were little instances that I felt I struggled to get through. Great story and artwork overall I just had a few tiny issues with some aspects of the retelling of how Bruce became Batman. Definitely one I will revisit in the future and I feel should be on every Batman fans’ must read list. I have heard that Zero year will possibly be two more volumes in the Batman series so I am looking forward to seeing what comes next. I trust Scott Snyder to not let me down or ruin my favorite hero’s backstory. I give this 4 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Batgirl Vol 4: Wanted

I have really been meaning to read Batgirl since New 52 started for the single reason that Barbara Gordon is back. She has always been one of my favorite characters and I loved her as Oracle when she was paralyzed from the waist down. Not going to lie, I also used to like the relationship between her and Dick Grayson (Nightwing), but that seems to be missing from this reboot. I was approved to read this as an ARC through Edelweiss by DC Comics and I couldn’t wait to read this one which is why I started at 4 instead of 1.  
I’m a little out of the loop obviously since I started with Volume 4, but this was still a really good book and only peaked my interest to get the previous ones. Poor Barbra has been through a lot apparently. She killed her psychotic brother by accident which means Commissioner Gordon is out to bring her down and arrest her; little does he know that Batgirl and his daughter are the same person. She is also dealing with a new version of the ventriloquist and some villain known as Knightfall.
I have always liked Arnold Wesker as the Ventriloquist. He was so torn because Scarface was a whole separate personality and Wesker was just along for the ride. He was “forced” to help the dummy Scarface with his criminal pursuits even though Wesker didn’t want any part of it. I think after the DC Universe event Infinite Crisis Wesker was killed and Scarface crushed. Scarface is then picked up by Peyton Riley to live on. Peyton, or Sugar as Scarface calls her, is a much more evil character. She has no problem with violence or doing what is necessary when it suits her.
The Ventriloquist in this book has nothing to do with Scarface but I think she is the most evil of all of the characters who carried that title. This one took her dummy from a ventriloquist clown (Two things that freak me out in one horrific package).  On top of being batcrap crazy she has these powers that allow her to not only control the dummy without having to jam her hand up its back, but she can turn corpses into dummies as well. This was creepy, dark, and disturbing and I loved it!!! This section of the book was my favorite overall.
The rest of the book deals with an ongoing plot line with the villain Knightfall. I’m intrigued because the last time DC used the word Knightfall it referred to the breaking of Batman. Those Graphic novels were amazing so I am curious the origin behind this villain of the same name. I was really impressed with this book and can’t wait to go back and read the other volumes to get all caught up. The story and the artwork were really good and I give this a 4 out of 5. I got a little bored at times with some of the underlying plot which keeps this from 5 out of 5 but overall I’m so glad I got to read this one.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Aquaman Vol 4: Death of a King by Geoff Johns


I never thought I would say this but Aquaman is Badass!!! Geoff Johns does an amazing job of making a character who was made fun of by other comic book heroes cool. I was never a fan of Aquaman before the New 52, but now I look forward to the new volumes coming available at my library, or being offered on Netgalley or Edelweiss. I can see why Aquaman was made fun of for so long, he can talk to fish big deal, Superman has a bunch of powers and Batman has impressive gadgets. Since the New 52 Johns has made Aquaman a strong likeable character and that seemed like an impossible task.
In Volume 4 Aquaman is dealing with the aftermath of Atlantis’s attack on the world. He has been made king of Atlantis and has to deal with not only the public’s unease towards the people of Atlantis, but now there are futuristic weapons all over the ocean floor being stolen and sold on the black market. On top of all of this some of the citizens of Atlantis are not happy with their new King. They are anxious to break out his brother, the former king, from prison and boot Aquaman out. Just when the stress of being a new king and cleaning up someone else’s mess seems like enough, we meet the dead king. The original King of Atlantis has been awakened and wants his throne and his people back.
I felt the story in this book was great. There were a few slow spots in the beginning, but then we get some amazing battles and answers to our questions. Aquaman has to find out what is behind the old king of Atlantis which leads to some interesting new about his family's past. While trying to learn all he can Scavenger has a fleet of submarines attacking Atlanits in hopes he can cash in on even more weapons . 

Not only is the story very wel done but the art work was amazing.  Paul Pelletier did an amazing job on this book. There was so much detail in his work, even in some of the smaller panels he was able to create these detailed back drops that were worthy of Atlantis.
I can’t say enough good things about this book yet I am having a hard time coming up with more examples. On to the rating, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. Really I would give this 4.5 stars but for Goodreads and Amazon I am only going to give it four. I really enjoyed this but it just wasn’t a full five stars book but it did come pretty close.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Trouble in Mind by Jeffery Deaver


What could be better than one of Deaver’s amazing stories? How about a collection of twelve amazing stories; I love his short story collections almost as much as his novels. With this collection I get a bunch of different stories with Deaver’s classic twists and misdirection all in one great book. I really enjoy short story collections because I can sit and read a whole story in a very short amount of time. That comes in handy these days with how little time I have to read. I also like to be able to read a short story if I am stuck in something else I’m reading. It’s a nice break from a full novel sometimes and I usually go back to the novel and enjoy it more having set it aside for a while.

Just like in Deaver’s Twisted and More Twisted collections, there isn’t a bad story in this. I of course have my favorites but they were all a lot of fun to read. Writing short stories is really tough, as a writer you have a very small window to introduce your characters, set the story, and grab the reader’s attention.  When I write I can get very wordy at times so my attempts at writing short fiction have not been what I would consider good. I have a lot of respect for writers who can create a really good short story and Deaver is one of the best.

Some of my favorite stories in this collection are: “A Text Book Case”, “Game”, and “Reconciliation”. “A Text Book Case” is a Lincoln Rhyme story and it was awesome. The crime scene in this is so detailed and complex that it shocked Rhyme and his team.  Rhyme had to figure out a whole new way to look at the evidence in this case in order to make sense out of what happened. The suspense was still intense and I enjoy the crime scene procedure stuff in these stories. “Game” is one of the shorter stories but it was reminiscent of a Sherlock Holmes style deductive reasoning story. A very wealthy woman goes missing and, assuming she has been the victim of foul play, her housekeeper hires a private detective to find out anything he can. Even if that means her boss/friend is in fact dead she at least wants closure. I really thought for a moment that I had this story all figured out. I was pretty proud of myself until the very end. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

“Reconciliation” was really good and it wasn’t until the very end that I appreciated this story. This is a great example of how short stories allow an author to try something different. I won’t spoil it for you but the ending is not how I would expect Deaver to end a story. I loved it, I actually gasped when I got to the twist. My co-worker asked if I was ok because it was so loud (Yes I was reading at work. I love my kindle). Thinking about these three stories I can’t pick just one that is my favorite, and don’t think that these are the only good stories in this book. I didn’t find a bad one in this collection these were just the ones I liked the most.
Wow, I had a lot to say about this book and I really could have gone on for pages talking about each story, but I will end this review here. I love short story collections and this is one of the best I have read. I give this my highest marks at 5 out of 5 stars. If you are looking for some great stories this is the collection for you. Go get this book as soon as you can, you won’t regret it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Drop by Michael Connelly


Harry Bosch is one of my favorite detectives. He is on the list with Sherlock Holmes, Batman, and Lincoln Rhyme. I love each character for different reasons, and I love Bosch becuase he is written in a noir style. He reminds me of Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. It has been a long time since I have read a Bosch novel and this was like stepping into fond memories.
Bosch has been working different aspects of the police force now that he has his preteen daughter living with him. Bosch is working overflow cold cases. When DNA from a cold case comes back form the labs, if there isn’t an officer to work it, they fall to Bosch. He is desperate for a case and not only does he get his wish, but two cases fall in his lap. The first case is the murder of a girl from 1989, the DNA came back belonging to a man who would have been 8 years old at the time. Thinking this has to be a mix up at the lab Bosch is tasked with investigating the mix up and make sense out of these results.
While investigating the cold case a man whom Bosch thought would not stop to pee on Bosch if he was on fire, asks him for his help. Former police chief, now Councilman, Irvin Irving has been Bosch’s longtime nemesis and he is asking Bosch to investigate the death of his son. Irving's son has either Jumped to his death from the balcony of a hotel suite or been murdered. Irving wants Bosch to work the case because to Bosch “Everyone counts, or no one does”. Irving knows that no matter how much Bosch hates him, he will work the case to the best of his ability and follow the facts.
I loved this book! Both cases were interesting, but I did prefer the cold case more. It had so much more mystery behind the whole story that I kept waiting for Bosch to go back to investigating that case. I kind of hate the character of Irvin Irving so I really didn’t care to much if his fictional son jumped or was pushed. That story had its moments but it seemed like the background story more than what it was meant to be.
Connelly did an amazing job with the writing on this one. It read so fluidly that I didn’t realize how much I had read until I stopped and looked back. The story may not have the most action, but it grabs you from the very beginning and kept me glued to it all the way through. Bosch has never let me down when it comes to an interesting story. He is the kind of character I can relate to because even though I am happily married with two amazing kiddos, I'm an introvert. Had my wife not brought me out of my shell I would still be the loner bachelor cooking meals for one and never leaving my apartment except for work. Even though I'm not like that anymore it is still part of my personality and that helps me step into Bosch’s shoes .
I finished this a while ago and I have been giving this rating some thought. When I finished it I thought immediately that this is 4-4.5 stars. However, I have not stopped thinking about this book since I put it down and moved on. It has stuck with me and even though I have moved on, I can’t wait to get back to the next Bosch novel. For this reason I am giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. It may or may not make my favorites list, but I love a book that sticks with me and makes me think long after I have finished reading it. This is one of those books and to me deserves highest marks. Go read this and see for yourself.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Bout of Books 10 Goals and Updates

Bout of Books

Tomorrow is the start of Bout of Books and I'm sure there will be very little reading on my Monday I am planning a trip to the library. I might include that in my update for Monday just to make that update interesting. So make sure you check back to see how our trip to the library goes. I'm really excited about participating. The last time I participated in this was in August of last year and I was kind of reserved in my goals. If I have learned one thing about these events, it's that the only thing that matters is how much fun you have, not if you beat your goals and grind them into dust. The overachiever in me is hoping to crush my goals.

Goals
I have a bunch of graphic novels I need to read so I can catch up to where I should be in my Graphic Novel Reading Challenge 2014. I pledged to read 52 graphic novels this year which is one a week. That hasn’t happened. So I plan on trying to get several read.  For Comics, I want to finish Batgirl Vol 4: Wanted, The walking Dead Vol 7&8, and Batman and Robin Vol 4: Requiem for Damian.
















Since I can listen to Audio books at my day job I have two that I want to get to this week. I hope to at least finish The Last Apprentice: Wrath of the Bloodeye by Joseph, and start Break no Bones by Kathy Reichs.



What I am really excited about and this tops my to-read list is the release of Jeffery Deaver’s new book, The Skin Collector. I have been waiting for this book for a little over a year and it will be delivered to my door on the release date this Tuesday. I have had this pre-ordered since it first popped up on Amazon. I can’t wait to read this one.
















Ok, wish me luck and I will keep you up to date with how things are going throughout the week. I can’t wait to see how all of my blogging friends are doing on their challenges this week also. Good Luck to all who participate.

Updates
Monday:



Today my family and I went to our local library to meet Llama llama in his red pajamas. My son loves these books by Ann Dewdney. There were crafts and games as well as relay races for the kids while they waited to get their picture taken with him. It was really cute and everyone had fun.

Today I finished Batgirl Vol 4, but I started a book not on my goals. Just this morning I got approved for the ARC of Batman Vol: 4 Zero Year-Secret City. I'm super excited, butt I only have till the end of the day tomorrow to read this. You better believe I'm going to uses every free second I have to get this read before it's gone. I took part in the If you like X then Y challenge over at The Book Barbies and recommend that if you like suspense novels with amazing twists then try anything by Jeffery Deaver. They are some amazing books.  
 

Tuesday:

I haven’t had as an exciting day today as I did yesterday. I worked a whole lot. I did however start Wrath of the Bloodeye on audio and I finished the second disk of eight so I’m roughly 25% finished. I finished Batman Vol 4 and will work on writing my review in the next few days. I also started Skin Collector while at my night job. I didn’t get much read at all. I was only able to read the first chapter which was 9 pages. Woo Hoo 9 PAGES!!! I feel like I should have just waited till tomorrow and read more. Oh well, I was excited and I have begun.
Wednesday:
Not a bad day reading wise. I have a disk and a half left of Wrath of the Bloodeye, and I am halfway through Walking Dead Vol 7. I didn’t get to read The Skin Collector today which is a bummer but I’m taking some time to relax and catch up on recorded TV with my wife tonight. Hope I have more to report tomorrow.  
I haven’t participated in any challenges the last two days because I’m not making blog posts for them, and I’m not on twitter so it makes it hard to link back something to participate. If I wasn’t so busy I would definitely write up a post each day to take part in the challenges and really have some fun with this challenge. Maybe next time.
Thursday:
What a day, reading wise I kind of crushed it. I finished Wrath of the Bloodeye and Walking Dead Vol 7 and 8. I can’t believe how much I got accomplished while at work. I have put The next 2 Walking Dead books on reserve at my library but they won’t be in before this event ends so I am moving on to the next comic on my list. I hope to start that tomorrow. Still didn’t participate in any contests or events today, I just didn’t have time. I didn’t even visit the hosting blogs and I at least try to check out their posts and goals and stuff.  
Friday:
Yesterday was so impressive that today just feels like I fell short. Wrath of the Bloodeye was so good and the ending had a bit of a cliffhanger so I decided to skip Break no Bones and move right into the next Last Apprentice book: Clash of the Demons. Thankfully I already had the audio book on my computer so I just had to move it to my iPhone and I listened to a disk and a half today. That is the extent of the reading I have done today. I might try to get started on the Batman and Robin comic, or read more in Skin Collector before bed. I was busy all day and all evening so I might just crash instead, we shall see.   
Saturday:
Woo hoo!!! I read 20 pages in Skin Collector today. I really wish I had more time to read this book. So far it is really good. The killer in this book kidnaps his victim, drugs them, and then tattoos a picture and a few words on her. This is possibly the start of a message which means more victims will be needed to convey the message. Plus the tattoo isn't done with ink but possibly done with poison. 4 chapters in and I'm really excited about this. 
Sunday:
I kind of finished my Challenge on Saturday. I had two days off a both jobs on Sunday and Monday so I don't touch my blog or my books. I enjoyed some time with the family. I had a blast doing this and I really hope I can find time to participate in this on the next go round coming up in August. I will say that I did finish the Audio Book I started in place of Break no Bones. I finished Last Apprentice : Clash of the Demons today (Tuesday5/20). Had a lot of fun and I have to thank the wonderful ladies who put this challenge on.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Batman/Superman Vol 1: Cross World by Greg Pak


Batman has been my all-time favorite Superhero since before I could read, and Superman has been a close second. I really enjoy the friendship that seems to always be in these stories no matter how many times DC reboots their series. Of course Batman feels like he has to have a backup plan in case the Man of Steel goes berserk, but they still find a way to trust each other. This book really captured this friendship very well.
Anyone who has read DC comics for some time knows that there is more than just one universe. Earth, Earth 2, Earth Prime and many many more have different versions of our heroes.  In this Book Batman and Superman run into the Chaos Bringer and she sends our heroes to Earth 2. Why she does this we don’t know till the very end, but when our Batman and Superman run into their younger counterparts the story gets interesting.

Earth 2’s version of Superman and Batman haven’t found that friendship or trust yet. They fight constantly when they are around each other they act as if the other is a criminal. Superman is no more than a teenager trying to learn just what he is capable of. The Kid hasn't even learned to fly yet, he just hops around like a super bunny. His age also means he is one moody superhero. Batman in Earth 2 is very arrogant, more so than our own version, and really full of himself. 
The beginning starts off a little on the slow side but really picks up and doesn’t stop. Watching the different version of Batman and Superman fight it out made for some great action scenes. There are also appearances from Wonder Woman, Catwoman, and Lois Lane. What would a graphic novel be without a conflict that all of them have to learn to work together to stop? There are a few things thrown in through out this book that seems to be setting up a big story with Darksied in the future, should be a good one.
I liked this book and I am looking forward to see just where this series goes. I miss the monthly Batman/Superman series from before the New 52. This isn’t as good but I can say that I thought this was a 4 out of 5 star book.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Last Apprentice: Night of the Soul Stealer by Joseph Delaney


Questions answered and Secrets revealed; well sort of. There has been very little said about the Spook in the first two books, but in this one we finally get some answers to the questions that have been on my mind since the very begining. I really liked this book, mostly for these glimpses into the Spook’s past. The plot isn’t really strong but being able to get some answers to some of my questions was worth the read.
In this book we don’t have just one plot line, but two. A mysterious man shows up at the Spooks residence demanding the Spook return what he stole or else. Dark Magic circles this man and Tom wonders if he is another Spook or something more sinister. The second plot line is about what lies in the basement of the Spook’s winter home. When I say winter home I'm sure your first instinct is to think beach house, but that is not the case. This home is colder, and darker than the one he lives in the rest of the year, but with the winter comes dangers that Tom and the Spook will need to face.
The main plot line with the mysterious stranger was only ok I thought. I wish more would have happened a little faster, but the ending of that plot line seemed so abrupt I had to go back and re-read it. I wanted more to how it ended, and wish that things could have almost carried over into another book. There was a lot of potential for a larger story with more action, but it seems Mr. Delaney wanted to move on. I’m still looking forward to reading what he has in store in the rest of the books.
The second plot line deals with the witches that are imprisoned in the Spook’s basement. We get to learn more about the different types of witches and more on why the Spook warns Tom to stay away from girls with pointy shoes. This was what I enjoyed most about the book. We get a glimpse into the Spook’s past with failed apprentices and lost love.  Usually the relationship stuff I glaze over but this was interesting.
I can't say it enough, I'm really enjoying this series and looking forward to moving on to the next book. This deserves another 4 out of 5 stars. If you are a fan of supernatural stories, and ghosts and other evils then this is a fun series to read. I highly recommend these.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bout of Books 10


Bout of Books

It's that time again and I am excited to be able to participate in this round of Bout of Books. I have had my slumps this year because I am so busy with my two jobs, but this is a great oportunity to catch up. At one of my jobs I am allowed to listen to music while I work and of course I choose audio books to listen too. I have been able to catch up on a lot of older books on my to-read list and I am loving it. In case you don’t know what Bout of Books is all about here is a little blurb:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a weeklong read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
Bout of Books was the very first blogging event I participated in and I had so much fun. I have been giving my goals some thought this year and I have a few ideas. I know I want to try to participate more in the little events they have during the week. I am also participating in a year long Graphic Novel Challenge, and like an idiot, I said I would read 52 graphic novels this year. That’s one a week and I figured that would be a piece of cake. Last year I was downing 2 to 3 a week. Well, I am way behind this year and need to catch up. I’m sure that will be a big part of my reading goals for this. Look for my Goals and Progress post coming at the start of the event. I will try to update it daily so check back on that post to see how I am doing.

I missed out on the last round because I wasn’t reading at all at the time, but I’m ready for this one. For all my blogging friends who will be participating in this I wish you all luck and I look forward to seeing what you have as your goals and how you all are doing.  If you are thinking about participating in this for the first time I would plead with you and say just do it. It is a lot of fun even if you only participate a little bit.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly

The next book in my attempt to catch up on all of the Connelly books I have missed is The Fifth Witness. This book is a Mickey Haller story and as much as I like Connelly, I wasn’t as impressed with this one. Maybe it was because I loved The Reversal and I kept comparing this to that one the whole time. I still like this book but the level of suspense that was in The Reversal just wasn’t in this.

Haller is back to being a defense lawyer but instead of working out of his Lincoln town car he has sprung for an office a few blocks from the court house. He has decided to move on to real estate cases involving foreclosures. Not the same attention getting cases as murders, but Haller is looking to settle down a bit.While working on a case the man who is denying his client the chance to save her home winds up dead and she is the prime suspect. Haller has to pull out all of the stops to try and defend a woman that has evidence stacking against her. This is your traditional court room drama and I was losing interest from time to time.

There were only a few things that bugged me about this story. I really like the character Mickey Haller, but he does have some shady morals sometimes when it comes to winning a case. Everything he does is legal, but there are times when even I wish I could smack him for the dirty tricks he pulls. I know lawyers do this in real life so it’s believable, but now that I have read a book with him on the prosecution side I really wish he would go back to that. There is a lot of time spent in the court room which kind of waters down the suspense. The Reversal had a lot of the investigation that you find in the kind of mysteries I like. To be fair I think the reason behind the Reversal having more to do with the investigation is because of it being a cross over with Bosch.

The best part of this book is the ending. Connelly really pulled out all of the stops and, court room drama aside, this was intense. As all of the pieces begin to fall into place I could follow Haller’s thought process because I was just a few steps ahead. With one little reveal Connelly had me putting every little detail from the trial together like a ouzzle and it was really engaging. I loved the ending and it was worth all the slow moments once I got there. If you are a fan of the Grisham style novel then I would recommend this to you. This was pretty good and Connelly did a great job with the twist at the end.

Even though I wasn’t blown away by this book I still really enjoyed it. Slow parts aside I think this deserves 3.5 out of 5 stars. Since Goodreads and Amazon don’t do half stars I am going to round those up to 4. I can’t wait to move on to Connelly’s next book which brings me back to the Bosch series. I’m so glad I decided to catch up on these books.