17 December 2011


When Lanny McIlvrae is admitted to the ER in the small town of St. Andrew, Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is intrigued. As she tells her story he becomes more and more involved. 

This is the debut novel by author Alma Katsu, and the beginning of the series or trilogy, I believe. I certainly hope so, as I think that Lanny still has a lot of story to tell, and Katsu has a lot of questions still to answer. There are so many things that I liked about this story, that I'm not sure what I liked the most. There were a number of fascinating characters throughout the book whose stories really drew me in. I found that as the book progressed, I was eagerly anticipating where the author was going to take me next. 

The synopsis for this books calls it "part historical novel, part supernatural page turer". While that is an apt description, I would say that it is part The Gargoyle, part The Historian, and part a story all it's own. All of which I would love to visit again and again.

14 December 2011


This book is the debut novel of a new series by author Austin Briggs, and if the title is any indication, I am expecting five books. I certainly hope that this is the case. Briggs crafts a beautifully written story centering around Wasp, the war lord of the Tlaxcalteca, a tribe of the Aztecs. This first book takes place as the various tribes of the Aztecs are warring with each other in the perennial fight for land and mastery within the Aztec nation. At the same time, the Spanish Conquistadors have just landed, which of course will complicate matters. 

I have had an ongoing love affair with the Native American cultures since I was in high school, including the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans of Mexico and South America. For my part, I think that Mr. Briggs captured both the mysticism and brutality inherent in the Aztec culture perfectly. He highlighted their belief in mysticism and use of hallucinogenic substances to further out of body experiences without making it seem too modern or 20th century. At the same time, he gave his characters personalities that allowed them to seem "modern" and not at all archaic. The perfect balance, in my opinion. 

Being the first book of the series, we were introduced to a lot of characters and ideas in this book that I am excited to see develop as the series progresses. In fact, my only complaint regarding this book was that the ending was rather sudden, definitely leaving me wanting more. I hope the second book comes out soon. 

13 December 2011


Although not my usual fare, this book grabbed me from page one and kept me going. Amy Lichtenhantells a poignant story that tugs at your heart strings. I was immediately engrossed in the lives of the main characters and their story of love and loss. Some might say that the story was too formulaic and the ending was predictable, and to some degree it was both of those things, but there was something about the story and the characters that made it easy to overlook what might otherwise be seen as shortcomings. I literally fell in love with Melanie and Daniel and actually think that they deserved the ending they were given. All throughout the book I found myself rooting for them. I think one of my friends who read it said that she thought it was aptly named as she felt "pulled" to read it. I heartily agree as there were times when I could not put it down. In fact, I finished it in two days. In one sitting I actually read 200 pages straight, it was that hard to put down. I will definitely be reading more by this author, for even though this is not my usual fare, I feel that Amy's contribution to this genre is a cut above the normal.