Barbara B. (catbookmom) - Reviews

1 to 20 of 53 - Page:
Always Time to Die (St. Kilda, Bk 1)
Always Time to Die (St. Kilda, Bk 1)
Author: Elizabeth Lowell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 174
Review Date: 6/5/2011


Enjoyable, interesting plot and characters. Another of Ms Lowell's well-written adventures with twists and turns and danger. Wish there was more information about the St. Kilda group. Well worth a read.


Amber Beach (Donovans, Bk 1)
Amber Beach (Donovans, Bk 1)
Author: Elizabeth Lowell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 5/7/2011


Enjoyed this very much. Author writes well, with good sense of dialogue; the story is perhaps a little drawn out, with bad guys popping up a few too many times. But a very decent read, got through it in a hurry.


Atonement
Atonement
Author: Ian McEwan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 888
Review Date: 5/7/2011


Another in my string of dislikes of Somebody's Book List books. I was reading this for a book club; I wouldn't have chosen it for myself. I didn't make it much past Chapter 4. Perhaps it's just that I don't care for 'literary fiction', by authors like McEwan who have clearly spent too much time with their dictionary and thesaurus, as his character Briony does.


Beholder's Eye (Web Shifters, Bk 1)
Beholder's Eye (Web Shifters, Bk 1)
Author: Julie E. Czerneda
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 26
Review Date: 5/29/2010


I've tried a couple of times but I just can't get into this book. Apparently you either like Czerneda's books or you don't, and I don't. Slow, didn't keep my attention, never finished it.


Bitter Blood:  A True Story of Southern Family Pride, Madness and Multiple Murder
Bitter Blood: A True Story of Southern Family Pride, Madness and Multiple Murder
Author: Jerry Bledsoe
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 34
Review Date: 9/8/2011
Helpful Score: 2


I nearly couldn't put this down. The story is engrossing and well-written, with extensive background and histories of the people involved. The families involved lost so much, and you cannot help mourning with them. Fritz Klenner was a seriously deluded and extremely manipulative person, and whether she was part of the planning or not, Susie Lynch, a different sort of flawed personality, was a big part of the cause of these tragedies.

In the aftermath, Susie's brother Rob Newsom, a lawyer, said something that will stay with me for a long time: "Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence ... was not designed to handle sociopaths with automatic weapons. The police cannot and do not protect us. They avenge us sometimes, but they don't prevent anything."


The Chick is in the Mail
The Chick is in the Mail
Author: Esther Friesner (Editor)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 28
Review Date: 8/10/2010


Friesner has done it again. Funny, interesting, fast read.


Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega, Bk 1)
Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega, Bk 1)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 856
Review Date: 3/26/2010


Very enjoyable book. Anna is such a strong person in spite of all the abuse she's lived through. Unlike some in the paranormal romance area, Briggs doesn't rely on unnecessary gore and explicit sex, she has a decent plot and the characters come off the pages and become quite real. I hope she continues this into more books.


Die in Plain Sight (Rarities Unlimited, Bk 3)
Die in Plain Sight (Rarities Unlimited, Bk 3)
Author: Elizabeth Lowell
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 224
Review Date: 3/27/2011
Helpful Score: 1


This is the weakest of the Rarities Unlimited series that I have read, only because there are some less-exciting segments. When the action heats up, though, Ms Lowell has made sure you're going to pay attention. A very good read.


Dissolution (Shardlake, Bk 1)
Dissolution (Shardlake, Bk 1)
Author: C. J. Sansom
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 85
Review Date: 10/25/2010


Last night I finished Dissolution by C.J. Sansom. This is the first of the Matthew Shardlake books. After all the favorable comments Ive read about this series, I have to say I was quite disappointed.

The overall story is generally somewhat interesting, but the Shardlake character was rather narrow-minded and insensitive, particularly in how he deals with his protege Mark Poer, to whom he never seems to make an encouraging or positive remark. At the end, as a matter of fact, Mark comments that Shardlake never really listened to him, just used him as a sounding board for Shardlakes own opinions and prejudices. I was also surprised that, for a man who had some reputation at solving mysteries, many times Shardlake failed to follow up on an idea or a clue, being diverted to something else (often trivial), and apparently losing that thread of thinking for quite a time. At one point, for instance, hes climbed up onto a workmans scaffolding sort of thing in the church and sees a big basket of tools; you think hes going to look in it for the missing church relics, you can almost see the thought going through his mind, and then he moves right past it.

If this had been more poorly written, because the author is pretty skillful with language and bits of what we have to think are fairly authentic glimpses of Tudor life, or if the book had been longer, Id never have finished it. As it was, I read it in bits and pieces over 3 weeks, which is a long, long time for me to take over one book.


Dragon Bones (Hurog, Bk 1)
Dragon Bones (Hurog, Bk 1)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 177
Review Date: 10/10/2011
Helpful Score: 1


I found the description at Amazon to be very misleading. Hence my mini-review:

Ward (Wardwick), Our Hero, barely survived the childhood beatings from his vicious, sadistic father, and was left by the beatings with some slowness in speech. That father has now died from a fall off his vicious warhorse and the castle retainers mean to kill the horse. Ward starts off by saving the horse and making it his principal mount, then begins to try to figure out how to adapt to being the Hurogmeten, the heir of the province, and survive the next two years until he can govern on his own. The king of the Five Kingdoms wants him out of the way, Wards uncle may go along with it, and everyone, including the people of Hurog, think because he speaks slowly that hes stupid. He discovers that there are dragon bones in the caves under the castle, and hes just met the castle ghost, whos also a wizard. Things just keep getting interesting.


Dust (Jacob's Ladder, Bk 1)
Dust (Jacob's Ladder, Bk 1)
Author: Elizabeth Bear
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 25
Review Date: 11/30/2010


I kept putting this book down, thinking "That's just too odd" and then picking it up again. About halfway through, I skipped to the end. And then I went back to the middle and finished it. It's definitely worth a try, and you might really like it. Ms Bear is a talented writer, her characters are vivid, and the plot is a definite twist on a standard story line.


The Empty Chair (Lincoln Rhyme, Bk 3)
The Empty Chair (Lincoln Rhyme, Bk 3)
Author: Jeffery Deaver
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 318
Review Date: 3/10/2010


I got bored around 2/3 of the way through and skimmed to the last 50 or so pages. The presumed murderer is a clever character, much more than expected. The book isn't riveting like *The Bone Collector* is, though the ending has quite a whiplash effect.


A Fountain Filled with Blood (Rev. Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne, Bk 2)
Review Date: 10/2/2010


I enjoyed the book, but as with the first book in this series, Our Heroine does some really impulsive, careless and sometimes dangerous things. I don't want to write a spoiler review, but her military training should have caused her to be more cautious, take more thought, even if only a second or two, before some of the actions she takes. Interesting characters otherwise, and I like her growing relationship with the top cop.


Ghost of a Chance (Chintz 'n China, Bk 1)
Ghost of a Chance (Chintz 'n China, Bk 1)
Author: Yasmine Galenorn
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 198
Review Date: 11/22/2010


Galenorn writes a fast and interesting read. Enjoyed this, and I'd like to finish the series.


A Harvest of Bones (Chintz 'n China, Bk 4)
A Harvest of Bones (Chintz 'n China, Bk 4)
Author: Yasmine Galenorn
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 105
Review Date: 1/1/2011


This book was fun, but the plot was thinner than the others I've read in this series. It's all about what they find in the vacant lot next to Emerald's house; it used to have a very substantial house, but it's been vacant and overgrown for 50 years since the house burned down on Halloween night. Worth the read, but not the best of the series.


The Hob's Bargain
The Hob's Bargain
Author: Patricia Briggs
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 225
Review Date: 2/23/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I was very disappointed with this book, not at all up to the standard of her other books, in the Mercedes Thompson/Anna Latham werewolves series.


House of Echoes
House of Echoes
Author: Barbara Erskine
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 6/5/2011


I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There's a great plot and the characters are interesting and likeable. I always like to study the family trees at the beginning of books, and the similarity of the events that happened to the generations shown began drawing me into the story from that moment. As she did in *Lady of Hay*, Ms. Erskine makes a most improbable tale seem all too real; I want to visit Belheddon and see the medieval vaulting in the cellars, visit the attics and stand in the huge great hall. And of course I want to meet Joss and Luke and the kids.


Imzadi (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Imzadi (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Author: Peter David
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 61
Review Date: 11/22/2010


Better than some of the other ST:TNG novels. Good interaction between Troi and Riker, including some back story of their former relationship.


In the Bleak Midwinter (Rev. Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne, Bk 1)
Review Date: 7/29/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I really enjoyed this book. The characters are vivid and the plot keeps you guessing. My only quibble is that if Clare was a soldier and pilot, it seems so unreasonable to believe that she fails to take the most elementary precautions, even though she is unfamiliar with the winters of upper New York.


In the Courts of the Crimson Kings (Lords of Creation, Bk 2)
In the Courts of the Crimson Kings (Lords of Creation, Bk 2)
Author: S. M. Stirling
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 7/15/2010
Helpful Score: 2


After *The Sky People*, the first book in this series, I looked forward to reading this. Glad I didn't buy it; it didn't have the same interest for me, and I didn't finish it. The plot is an old standard: the missing heir fights for the throne, saves the monarchy, blah, blah. There's none of the charming odd critters and customs that were in Sky People.


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