Friday, January 27, 2012

It Takes a Witch (A Wishcraft Mystery, #1)It Takes a Witch by Heather Blake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a HUGE fan of the Lucy Valentine books, I was really excited to get my hands on this one!

And.... I liked it - a lot.  But I didn't love it like I love the Lucy Valentine series, so I felt disappointed.  And that's really not fair, because this was a very cute book and I really think the series has so much potential.  There are great characters, an AWESOME setting, and a really unique take on witchcraft.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family, #1)Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Despite lots of bad reviews, I decided to go ahead and read this, and I'm so glad I did!  I actually really enjoyed it.

Basically, three witches (a mother and two daughters) begin to use their magic (they'd been forbidden to practice since the Salem witch trials).  At the same time, strange things start to happen in their town, and they work together to solve the mysteries.

True, it could have been better - lots better.  The book was definitely short on details - I would have loved to hear more about their past, the ancient goings-on that led to the current situation, etc.  But for a short, easy read, it was good.

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Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the VeilKabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(This is the audio version)

I liked it - didn't love it.  The narrator was very good, but the story really dragged in some places.  And like others have said, it seemed out of chronological order, making it hard to follow.

Still, the stories were good and it does make you aware of the plight of Afghan women.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Innocent (Vanessa Michael Munroe #2)The Innocent by Taylor Stevens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vanessa Michael Munroe is one of my favorite characters.  In The Informationist, she is hired to find a missing daughter.  In this book, she's again hired to find and extract a daughter, this time a young girl being hidden by The Chosen, a religious cult operating in Buenos Aires.

Again, she teams up with Miles Bradford and with her friend Logan and two others, travels to South America and infiltrates the cult.

I love the complexity of this character.  She grew up with missionaries but ended up living on her own, teaming up with some mercenaries.  There, she was trained to be a fighter, and she learned well.  She was also tortured on a regular basis by one of the men there - and who she eventually killed.  All this creates a fascinating character with unique skills.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

When She WokeWhen She Woke by Hillary Jordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very good book. As a retelling of The Scarlet Letter, it can't quite compete with the classic. Still, as a dystopian novel, it definitely has some very good things going for it. It's beautifully written, and Hannah is a haunting character.  Yes, some parts are a bit of a stretch but overall it's a good story.

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Monday, January 2, 2012

The Drop (Harry Bosch, #16)The Drop by Michael Connelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another terrific Harry Bosch novel!

I've been a fan of Michael Connelly since his 3rd book - I read the first three Bosch novels in a row and since then I've waited anxiously for each new book.  Harry Bosch is one of the best characters written - he's developed over the years, faced some of his own demons, and moved forward.  Now he's a single father of a 15 year old daughter, trying to balance work and family.

This book has him working two cases - a open-unsolved case involving the murder of a young girl and he's called in to investigate Irvin Irving's son's death.  If you've read the series, you will be familiar with the animosity between Bosch and Irving.  Irving has requested Bosch personally for the investigation, and Bosch is now in the middle of political "high jingo" which he doesn't like.  And the murder case leads him to a pedophile (and the psychiatrist who works with him).  Bosch has to work with both to get to the murderer.

Of course, both cases are solved, but not without some personal torment and loss.  Still, Bosch stays true to his convictions, even though he questions them.  I think that's why I love this character and these books - there's much more depth than just solving the crime.

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