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review 2017-02-20 12:54
Most Dangerous Place - James Grippando
This was another great Jack Swyteck book.  This series has been consistently good and this book was no exception.  This book is the 13th installment in the Jack Swyteck series but it can be easily read as a stand alone novel.   Like all of the other books in this series, the book tells its own story with the help of some familiar characters.  I started this book about a half hour before I had planned to go to bed for the night which turned out to be a huge mistake because I didn't want to stop reading.  Since I am past my days of being able to function on no sleep, I did put the book down although later than I had planned but I couldn't wait to get back to it.  I just had to know what secrets were being kept.

Jack, along with his wife and young daughter, go to the airport to pick up his old friend, Keith, and his family.  As soon as the group meets up, Keith's wife, Isa, is arrested and taken away in handcuffs.  Jack jumps in to help right away and is quickly hired as as Isa's lawyer.  She is being charged with conspiracy to murder the man that raped her in college.  It becomes evident right away that Isa is keeping quite a few secrets.

This story took a lot of twists and turns and I was never quite sure which character should be trusted.  Jack finds himself in a situation where he has to dig deep into the past of his good friend's wife even when it becomes unpleasant.  His responsibility is to his client who doesn't always make things easy.  Throw an additional lawyer who drove both myself and Jack a little crazy and you have one heck of a frustrating case.

As I have come to expect from James Grippando, the story was told in a wonderful manner.  The pacing was very well done with some pretty intense moments worked into the story.  I love the little bit of humor that always seems to work its way into the story and puts a smile on my face.  I did enjoy how the mystery behind what happened was unraveled just a little bit at a time.  Everything fit together nicely by the end of the book.

I would recommend this book to mystery fans.  I found this story to be quite the page turner that really kept me guessing.  I have been reading James Grippando since I first discovered his writing over 10 years ago and since then I have read most of his work.  I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.  


I received an advance reader edition of this book from HarperCollins Publishers - Harper via Edelweiss.

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review 2017-02-17 21:35
The Dragonbone Chair / Tad Williams
The Dragonbone Chair - Tad Williams

A war fueled by the powers of dark sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard—for Prester John, the High King, lies dying. And with his death, the Storm King, the undead ruler of the elf-like Sithi, seizes the chance to regain his lost realm through a pact with the newly ascended king. Knowing the consequences of this bargain, the king’s younger brother joins with a small, scattered group of scholars, the League of the Scroll, to confront the true danger threatening Osten Ard.

Simon, a kitchen boy from the royal castle unknowingly apprenticed to a member of this League, will be sent on a quest that offers the only hope of salvation, a deadly riddle concerning long-lost swords of power. Compelled by fate and perilous magics, he must leave the only home he’s ever known and face enemies more terrifying than Osten Ard has ever seen, even as the land itself begins to die.

 

Oh, the orphan boy with unknown talents, who under-performs until the pressure is applied—how many fantasy stories have you read with this structure? Let’s see--Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey, The Riftwar Saga by Raymond Feist, The Belgariad by David Eddings, The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, even to some extent The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien (substitute “hobbit” for “boy”). Maybe even the King Arthur story to some extent—until young Arthur pulls the sword from the stone. It’s a well-used idea.

At the book’s beginning, I found Simon particularly annoying. As lives go in Midieval-like settings, his lot in life isn’t so bad, although the housekeeper Rachel does make his existence somewhat miserable. However, we all have to earn our keep, so pull up your socks, laddie, and make an effort! Even when offered opportunities to learn to read and to study, he complains! Typical 14-year-old, I guess, something I wouldn’t know about, having had the reading bug ever since I learned to read. Simon doesn’t appreciate his warm bed, three square meals a day, and secure surroundings until he has to flee the castle.

Once he starts running for his life, Simon begins growing up. He becomes a much more likeable character at that point and I began to get invested in his tale. He loses some of the ADHD qualities that made him a “mooncalf” in the beginning and becomes a much more focused young man.
I also appreciated a brand new take on trolls—making them smaller, wiser, and wilier. I liked Binobik and his wolf companion a lot. The Sithi are interesting in their ambiguity—are they enlightened, ethereal beings like the elves in Tolkien? Or are they the dark enemies of mankind? The world of Osten Ard is very detailed and easy to picture in the mind’s eye.

The writing isn’t the best ever, but the story is engaging and I am waiting impatiently for volume 2 at my public library, where it is ‘on order.’ No telling how long I will have to pause before I know what happens to Simon, the kingdom, and the Storm King!

Book number 239 in my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.

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text 2017-02-17 16:19
To pick up at the library on the way home....
Agent of Change - Sharon Lee,Steve Miller
The Conjoined: A Novel - Jen Sookfong Lee
Fire Touched - Patricia Briggs
Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man - David Fisher,William Shatner
Skinwalker - Faith Hunter
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 3 - Garth Nix,Stephen Baxter,Holly Black,Michael Swanwick,Joan Aiken,Holly Phillips,Kelly Link,Ian McDonald,John Kessel,Jonathan Strahan,Paul J. McAuley,Greg Egan,Maureen F. McHugh,Margo Lanagan,M. Rickert,Paolo Bacigalupi,Kij Johnson,Elizabeth Bear,Robert Re
Spider's Bite - Jennifer Estep
The Fall of the House of Wilde: Oscar Wilde and His Family - Emer O'Sullivan
Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World's Most Famous Human Fossils - Lydia V. Pyne

I will undoubtedly have plenty to read this weekend!  And it is a long weekend, Monday being Family Day here in Alberta.

 

Happy Friday everyone and enjoy the weekend.

 

Wanda

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text 2017-02-11 14:48
My TBR Winning Pick Is . . .
 
 
You guys voted, thank you so much!! The choices were:

 

 
And the book with the most votes . . . 

 

 

Snow
 


I hope to read it and love it rather than skim it and DNF it but either way I'll be so, so glad to have removed one book from my most ancient of TBR piles! Thanks everyone for taking the time to vote.

Here's what I'm doing & when I'm doing it:

 Saturday Feb 3:   I post my picks, you lovely people vote
♥  Saturday Feb 10: I post the winning book & get to reading because I am a slowpoke!
♥  Saturday Feb 18: When everyone else doing this starts reading.
♥  Saturday Feb 24: Post my review (OMG, the deadline looms so close!) & host a little US giveaway for Snow by Ronald Malfi

To join in the fun next month visit Because Reading the first Saturday of March. All of the rules are here.

 
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review 2017-02-10 21:13
Great Characters, Setting and Story
The Strongest Steel - Scarlett Cole

Wonderful characters

Great setting

The sex was worked for

Interesting story

and it had some Inkmaster like drama thrown in.

Not at all what I expected from the cover and the blurb, it was so much better

I really enjoyed this first book in the series very much and have ordered book 2

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