Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Kindle Book Deals and Recent Reads

Amazon Kindle "Sunshine Deals"

Just in time for summer reading - Amazon has over 600 eBooks on sale for $0.99, $1.99, and $2.99. At my personal favorite - the Sci Fi and Fantasy section, I've got my eye on Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley ($2.99), Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly ($0.99), and Into the Dark Lands by Michelle Sagara West ($0.99). Lots of other books to choose from. If you don't yet have The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith and Clay Griffith you can pick it up for $2.99. Lots of Lit, Teen, Kids, and Nonfiction books too.

Recent Reads [links go to Goodreads]

Phoenix Rising (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences bk 1) by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

I grew up watching Wild Wild West, The Avengers, and Sherlock Holmes re-runs, and this book felt like coming home.

This one was so much fun to read. I really loved it. Lots of adventure, gadgets, the brassy Eliza Braun with her love of explosives and weaponry, the dapper Wellington Books with his love of order and gadgetry. They are completely mismatched, which means of course that they make absolutely perfect partners. They just don't know it yet.

As a punishment for their respective screw ups, the action-driven agent and contemplative librarian find themselves stuck together and quickly get under each others skin. But there are dastardly deeds afoot, cruel inhuman experiments, secret societies, assassins, cover-ups, betrayals, so they need to find a way to work together, for Queen and Country, and just plain survival.

I really enjoyed how the POV switched each chapter between Books and Braun. We're getting to know them, just like they are getting to know each other, and I quickly became a fan of both. I also like that they still keep some secrets to themselves. There is still plenty for them, and the reader, to discover.

This is book 1 of a series, so we have a lot of set-up. There are many conspiracies still left floating, so there is plenty of fodder for future books. By necessity, since this book was how Books and Braun came together, the focus is mainly on them, but there are many intriguing side characters (especially the Ministry Seven - street urchins worth their weight in gold) and I hope we'll see more of them as the series continues. Great start to series. I'll be waiting for the next one.

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Charley Davidson - PI, anonymous police informant and grim reaper - is dealing with a triple homicide, numerous ghosts, an innocent man in prison, colleagues who treat her like a freak, a dark, shadowy presence that has been with her her whole life, and a dream lover she can't get off her mind. And she keeps getting her ass kicked.

I love Charley - snarky, tough, but there is also a lot of vulnerability. There is a lot of humor here and I could relate - if I had to be the grim reaper and deal with dead folks all day, I would need to have a sense of humor about it too. I also love her support system. She tries to keep a wall between her friends and family and her abilities, wanting to protect her loved ones from the truth about life the universe and everything, and protect herself from their reaction. I loved how others reached out to her and tried to protect her. I was disappointed some of her family relationships - I hope we'll get some answers in future books.

The book flowed really well - another one I had to finish ASAP. Will be looking for book 2.

Quite a few things left unexplained, but that's stuff for future books. The main issue was resolved, it's just that the resolving lead to more questions, as it usually does.

Reading Now

Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow: Almost done - tons of action right now.
Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready: I'm not always a huge fan of the love triangle, but Smith-Ready does it right.
Embassytown by China Mievielle: Delving into some sci fi. I'm only a chapter or two in and feel the need to do a math problem. It's not bad, but this is a rare occurrence for me (it has to do with how these characters account for years. It's bugging me that I don't know how old the MC is).

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