Saturday, September 24, 2016

Hold a Scorpion: A Diana Poole Thriller by Melodie Johnson-Howe

When Diana goes out her front door to do some errands, she sees a lady on the other side of the freeway.  She's waving at her.  Diana has no idea who she is.  As she watches a black SUV pulls up.  The person in it scares her and she runs across the freeway.  She's hit and killed.  The cops want to know who she is.  Diana can't answer that question...

Pegasus Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 25th.

If you want to read a story with unconventional characters, this book is for you.  Diana is an actress, following in her mother's footsteps.  Her neighbor is an oddball writer that has developed a new girlfriend who has ulterior motives.  The health rehabilitation center where the victim lived is strange.  So are the employees.  Add in Diane's old boyfriend, a scorpion bracelet that used to belong to her mother and another actress that competes with her for parts.  If that's not enough for you, her dead mother is still alive.  See what I meant?

It was interesting read, kept my attention and kept me going.  I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out but it ended better than I expected.  Trust me, you won't be bored if you have a good imagination.

Mirror: The Mountain TP by Emma Ríos, Art by Hwei Lim

This graphic novel is like a dark fairy tale.  The artwork by Hwei Lim draws you in and makes you wonder about what you're being shown.  The story seduces you and keeps you reading...

Image Comics allowed me to read a copy of this novel for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can get a copy now.

A colony of humans was looking for a new world to live on.  The one they found had sentient animals.  The people have a mage with them, even if he's undeveloped.  What they don't realize is that there is something else there.

Humans, being humans, capture the animals and run experiments on them.  They don't care that they are sentient.  Even the Guardians are not safe.  But it's the alien being that has settled in the squad leader that causes the problem.

The animals storm their walls.  The humans kill them in massive amounts.  No one is having a good time living there.  But how can they leave?  There's a way but it has a cost.

I was impressed by the ending.  I was beginning to think there was no hope for humans or animals.  Then someone makes the ultimate human sacrifice...

Here's your chance to visit an alien world and get out safely.  Why not give it a shot?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Journey's End by Rachel Hawkins

Her parents are getting divorced, so she goes to stay with her father in Scotland for the summer.  She can't believe he lives in a town that only has a few over four hundred people in it.  It's like it's lost.  Maybe that's why it's named Journey's End.  There's no place to go once you get there...

G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 25th.

The first thing Nolie notices is a young boy walking on the beach by the sea.  When she mentions it to her dad, he tells her people walk the beach all the time.  They fish, do boat tours and visit the caves as everyday activities.

When she visits the gift shop, she comes upon a display of photos.  When she asks the girl about them, she tells her they are the ones the fog claimed.  It sounds crazy to her but Bea tells her that if you went into the fog, you didn't return.  The fog is what her scientist father is studying so there may be something to it but it's odd.  It's even odder when she sees the boy on the beach in one of the photos.  It couldn't be him, he disappeared a hundred years ago.  But she's sure it is.

When she and Bea search the beach, all they find is a rowboat.  They do see some footprints, but they decide it must have been local kids.  It wasn't...

Mysterious fog, a witch, a curse and a ghost make this story interesting.  No one talks about the fog or the missing people but they also don't mess with the fog.  The problem starts when the fog moves closer and closer.  Suddenly more people are missing.  And the boy from the past and the two girls from present time decide to act on it.  When they set out, they don't know if they'll be able to return.  But both their fathers and Bea's brother were some of the ones taken, so they're going to try even if it means they are stuck forever in the fog.

There's mystery, imagination and a pretty good story here.  It's suspenseful all the way through with some silly spots.  Wait'll the boy from the past meets ice cream!

I enjoyed this read.  Why don't you give it a try?

Brian and Wendy Froud's The Pressed Fairy Journal of Madeline Cottington by Brian Froud, Wendy Froud

She sees things out of the corner of her eye.  We all do at times but hers seem to resemble fairies.  Could it be true?

Abrams allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 27th, so you can grab a copy then.

I read Lady Cottington's book so this was a natural choice for me.  I liked it even better than the first book.

When Maddie mentions what she's seeing, her father gets very angry and tells her he doesn't want to hear about it.  He won't tell her anything about his parents or grandparents or where he grew up.  It's like he's hiding his past.

She locates an old journal that gives her hints about the past, but he confiscates it.  They are in England because he has a new job there, so she snoops as much as she can.  She's seeing more fairies.  She knows something is going on.  When she finally finds a reference to their old home, she makes up her mind to go see it.  After all, the fairies are helping her.  They want to go.

What she finds is a partially burnt down building.  She finds a place to make her own and worries a bit about food but somehow she finds food in the kitchen each day.  She begins to explore...

She finds correspondence from the past and a secret portal.  She also finds that you can get stuck in the fairy world.  She's preparing carefully so she can go but she'll be able to get back home again.  But will it work?

There are illustrations of pressed fairies, photographs of people, the letters are handwritten in a fancy text, the typewritten letters look like they're from an old manual Royal typewriter, and you never know just what you're going to find on the next page.  You could spend a few hours just admiring the illustrations.

This is a fun read for fairy lovers, and you know I'm one of them.  Give it a try.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Mistletoe Murder: And Other Stories by P. D. James

P D James has always written good mysteries so this opportunity to read some of her short stories ws just too good to be missed.

Knopf and Edelweiss gave me the chance to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 25th.

The story I found most intriguing was her memory of a family Christmas where someone died.  This was not fiction.  She thought she knew who had done it but found out years later she was wrong.  It's interesting that she had been around a murder in her real life.

You have a few stories about Adam Dalgliesh, too.  I think the one I like best is the one that reads like an Agatha Christie novel.  I like her work, too.  This is when Adam was young and he's not as seasoned as he was in later books.

I like many books written about simpler times where it took brains to find the culprit.  I appreciate the fact that DNA can prove so much and technology has helped police procedures but they just don't have the charm for me.

These were light stories with tangled facts to keep your attention and make you wonder about how she will end the story.  I liked reading it.  I wonder which story will appeal to you the most? 

The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan

Who hasn't heard of the Brothers Grimm and their fairy tales?  They died long ago but their tales are still being rehashed, reprinted and admired.  This book is a tribute to them of sorts and the sculpture shown within really adds to the themes and concepts of the stories.

Arthur A Levine Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 11th.

There is a bit of history of the brothers and their publishing successes and failures.  Then the book moves into the fairy tales.  There's a synopsis of each story and, in most cases, a photo of a sculpture that highlights the story line.  As you can see from the cover, the artwork is striking.

I've been reading Grimms' tales for years and I still found a couple mentioned that I didn't recognize.  Think you know them all?  Check out this book and see.

If you collect Grimm books, you need to get this one.  It is a quick reference book as well as a different way to view the stories.  It's a worthwhile look at work that has existed long beyond the authors.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths

Max is in town, performing in a pantomime.  Edgar is doing his policeman thing and doesn't have much time to visit.  Even what time he had, he loses when two children come up missing.  The whole force is out there looking for them but they are afraid of what they will find.  It's snowing and the weather is bad.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 18th.

A dog walker finds the children far away from where they were last seen and dead.  But not dead from the cold.  They've been strangled.  They've also been buried with candy.

They had said they were going to the candy store but the store owner said they never made it.  One of the detectives thinks he's guilty, but he's the only one.  As they try to find the killer, they have trouble developing a motive.  It wasn't a sexual assault.  Why kill them?

Max believes the candy was a misdirection to throw them off.  Edgar keeps that thought in mind and pretty much agrees with it but he knows he's missing something.  It isn't until Ruby comes to visit and tries a magic trick on him that he remembers what he missed.

Ruby is Max's daughter but they just met a bit ago and don't know each other well.  Max is nice to her but standoffish.  Edgar is in love with her but doesn't talk about with Max.  And the new detective on the force is female and has a big crush on Edgar.  She blows Ruby off like she's a piece of fluff.  It should be fun to see how that develops in the next book.

The killer was a surprise and more than one family is broken by the disaster.  Edgar ends up being a hero but that wasn't what he wanted.  He just wanted to save the third child that was kidnapped.

There's plenty of action, interesting detail about pantomimes and performers, and I'm ready to read the next book in this series.  These people lead interesting lives.