3.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, D, Fiction, H, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, Review Book

REVIEW: Burn by Ted Dekker & Erin Healy

Burn
by Ted Dekker & Erin Healy

Copyright: 2010
Pages: 368
Rating: 3.5/5
Read: Mar. 29-31, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010
Yearly Count: 15

First Line: Salazar Sanso raised his binoculars and looked out over the edge of the steep drop into the rosy New Mexican desert.

For teenager Janeal Mikkado, life in the gypsy world is a double edged sword. Her mother was not a gypsy and yet her father is the most important man in their community – which makes Janeal somewhat of an outsider. Almost ready to leave the gypsy life behind her, she strikes a deal with a powerful and dangerous criminal, Salazar Sanso. But when things go wrong Sanso’s men burns down her entire camp. And she has to decide whether or not to save her best friend in the deadly inferno, or save herself. What she decides will forever change who she is. Having to assume a new identity, Janeal starts her life over in a big city and makes her way up the corporate ladder. But when Sanso is finally apprehended by the DEA, Janeal discovers that there were actually three survivors of that awful fire – Janeal herself and her two best friends. It will be at this moment when Janeal finally has to face the choice that she made so many years ago.

This book was sent to me for review by Amy Currie at Phenix & Phenix Publicists. I have read Ted Dekker before (BoneMan’s Daughter) and thoroughly enjoyed it, so when this opportunity arose I jumped at it. I have to be honest here, the first two-thirds of this book were awesome! The last third, not so much in my opinion. Without giving away too much of the story, when the final twist came in the last hundred or so pages, I lost interest. The book lost its appeal to me then. I didn’t like the twist. I thought it was unbelievable and impossible. I liked the premise of what the twist was supposed to represent: good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, etc. But I didn’t like how it was executed. Overall I thought the book was good, but I wish the ending had been a little bit different. But I’d still recommend others to read this book.

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3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, G, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, Review Book

REVIEW: The Clouds Roll Away by Sibella Giorello

The Clouds Roll Away
by Sibella Giorello

Copyright: 2010
Pages: 322
Rating: 3/5
Read: Mar. 27-28, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010
Yearly Count: 14

First Line: Winter rode into Richmond on the chattering breath of the Atlantic.

Forensic geologist and FBI agent Raleigh Harmon returns to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia after a disciplary transfer to the FBI’s Seattle office. Determined to change her superior’s opinion of her, Raleigh is almost instantly thrown into a case that has more twists and turns than anyone could have ever imagined. Arriving on the scene at a cross burning at a celebrity’s mansion, Raleigh’s supervisor makes it clear that she must clear this case by the end of the year or else face another transfer. But when Raleigh really starts investigating, she fears that there is more to this case than a simple hate crime. Thrown into the world of Richmond’s drug dealing, it will take Raleigh a lot of strength to survive this case.

This book was sent to me for review by Amy Currie with Phenix & Phenix Publicists. I was intrigued by the description of this book, it really appealed to me. I knew going into it that it was a Christian fiction book – something I do not usually read. Overall, I thought the book was good, it was a fast paced read for me. However, I had a little bit of trouble with the cookie-cutter sweetness of it all. I guess maybe I read too much of the grittier, more “hard-core” fiction books and am simply used to that writing style. I appreciated that there was very little curse words (if any, I don’t even remember there being any), absolutely no sex, and light Christian references that were not in the least bit offending. That said, I struggled with the author trying to delve into the world of drug dealing, gun smuggling, and blood diamonds with this clean approach. It just didn’t really work for me.. I also didn’t care for Raleigh’s responses to her superior, she just went inside of herself as she was being berated. I wanted her to break out and really give it to her boss sometimes. Overall a good read, but not something that I’m climbing onto the rooftop to rave about.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Kay Scarpetta, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES

REVIEW: From Potter’s Field by Patricia Cornwell

From Potter’s Field
by Patricia Cornwell

Copyright: 1995
Pages: 352
Rating: 4/5
Read: Mar. 23-26, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 13

First Line: Christmas Eve was cold and treacherous with black ice, and crime crackling on scanners.

As Dr. Kay Scarpetta knows, holidays don’t stop criminals from wreaking havoc among the innocent. So why should this particular Christmas be any different for Kay? Unforunately, it’s not. This Christmas finds her in New York City dealing with what appears to be another murder by Temple Gault. By this point, Scarpetta just wants to end this nightmare that Gault has brought upon her life. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that she is at the center of Gault’s obsession; it is Kay Scarpetta that Gault intends to destroy -by taking everything away from her. No longer safe in her own home or office, she has to rely on her FBI and police counterparts even though she knows that it will be her alone who will have to face Gault in the end if any of them want this nightmare to end.

This is the sixth book in the Kay Scarpetta series and another great one! It had a slightly slow start, but once it picked up, it was really a great and fast read. I felt like this one was written a little bit better quality wise than the past two books were. It was like it flowed a little bit better honestly. Kay’s character seemed to get over herself a little more than she showed herself to be in The Body Farm. Overall I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to diving right into the seventh book 🙂

Meme, WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays – March 24, 2010

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?

  • I just started From Potter’s Field by Patricia Cornwell. I’m not very far into it, just the first few chapters – but it seems to be good so far. This is the sixth in the Kay Scarpetta series (I’m on a streak with these books! Haha!)  Definitely looking forward to getting into it some more.

* What did you recently finish reading?

* What do you think you’ll read next?

  • I’m not sure what I’ll read next. I might continue on to the next one in the Scarpetta series or I might go somewhere else, depends on where my mood takes me at the moment.
4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Kay Scarpetta, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES

REVIEW: The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell

The Body Farm
by Patricia Cornwell

Copyright: 1994
Pages: 338
Rating: 4/5
Read: Mar. 19-23, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 12

First Line: On the sixteenth of October, shadowy deer crept to the edge of dark woods beyond my window as the sun peeked over the cover of the night.

Kay Scarpetta is back and she’s started in her new position as a consulting forensic pathologist for the FBI. When she gets the call about the murder of an eleven-year-old girl in a small town, she fears the worst. She has a really bad feeling that the killer is Gault – a man that got away during her last big case. While dealing with that, her niece Lucy finds herself in trouble with the FBI. An intern for the Bureau, she is accused of a very serious security violation. Although Kay is trying her hardest to come to terms with Lucy’s predicament, the theory that she finally arrives at in regards to her murder case will surprise her more than she ever could have imagined.

This is the fifth book in the Kay Scarpetta series. This one wasn’t necessarily my favorite, but it was still good. Personally I felt as though Kay was a little over-reaching in places. It’s kind of hard to explain what I really thought of this book. Overall it was good, bu I felt as if it could have been better in places. I’m definitely looking forward to continuing on with this series!

Meme

Thursday Thunks, March 18, 2010

Well I’m going to participate in Thursday Thunks today – never done this before, but thought I’d give it a shot 🙂

1. What is your favorite kind of cookie?

  • White Chocolate Macadamia Nut … YUMMY! I’m a sucker for those! That’s partly my favorite reason for loving Subway so much!!

2. If a birds wing falls asleep, does it hurt when it tries to flap it’s wings or does that make it feel better?

  • Haha, never thought about this before. Can a birds wing really fall asleep is another question.I guess if we’re assuming that they can and indeed do fall asleep, I would think that it would hurt at first when they tried to flap and then feel better – kind of like your hands or feet feel. You know, the tingling sensation at first kind of hurts but then it starts to feel better as it starts to “wake up”.

3. Water – tab, bottle, filtered or….???

  • Or diet coke? Okay, so water is not my favorite choice of beverage. I will drink it at the gym out of their fountain. But honestly, I’m a Dasani fan if I have a choice.

4. Would you (or do you) have a stripper pole installed in your home?

  • No I do not have a stripper pole and I do not think I would ever install one either.

5. Do you still have any Christmas decoration up?

  • They were still up on the first of February, but they are long gone by now.

6. What brand of camera do you have?

  • Oh geez, funny you should ask a question that I should know right off the top of my head without any hesitation. I believe it’s a Canon, but I could be wrong….

7. Why do paint colors have weird names?

  • Good question, and pertinent to me right now because I’m actually leaving work early today so that I can be at home for some painters come and give me an estimate on how much it would be to finish painting my house. Personally, I feel like there are so many different shades of paint that it’s not even funny (do you know how many pale yellows there are out there?) so I guess they had to get creative at some point. Although I am quite partial to the “Fun Yellow” that is on my living room walls. Haha.

8. Which toe is your favorite and which foot is it on?

  • I do not like my toes. I never have. I never will. So I do not have a favorite toe – does anyone honestly have a favorite toe??

9. What would you do if a celebrity sneezed in your face?

  • I suppose it would depend on which celebrity it was. However, I would probably initially feel like I do when anyone sneezes in my face – a little irritated.

10. If a stranger came to your door and asked for a glass of water, would you give it to them?

  • No.

11. The government has asked that you pick the newest national holiday – what is it?

  • Haha – oh wow, that would be cool to do. I would probably choose my birthday – July 5th so that we could have the 4th and 5th off work every year 🙂

12. How many toothpicks could you fit into a beer can?

  • Quite a few, I’m sure.

13. Whats the weirdest excuse you ever gave for missing school or work…or heck, even a social function, date, whatever?

  • I usually suck it up and go places I don’t want to go. However, it was great to take a snow day from work and it NEVER snowed! Stupid weather people got it really wrong!

14. Can we stop now?

  • Why, we’re having so much fun?!
Booking Through Thursday, Meme

Booking Through Thursday – March 18, 2010 – Sensual

btt button

Which do you prefer? Lurid, fruity prose, awash in imagery and sensuous textures and colors? Or straight-forward, clean, simple prose?

(You thought I was going to ask something else, didn’t you? Admit it!)

Okay, honestly – I want the writing in my books to be just straight-forward. I don’t need a lot of big, sweeping descriptions with fancy words that I have to look up in a dictionary. I’m a “Just the facts, ma’am,” kind of gal. I don’t need all the pretty prose – I just want the words. I really just want to be entertained for a little while. I tend to stay away from the classics (you know, the books that everyone says they really love to read – but in reality probably don’t love them as much as they want people to think they love them, hehe) because I don’t like to get bogged down with the descriptions. I like to read murder mysteries because I like trying to figure out the puzzle – but I don’t need anything fancy with it – just plain words that everyday people can read with no problem is fine by me 🙂

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Kay Scarpetta, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES

REVIEW: Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell

Cruel and Unusual
by Patricia Cornwell

Copyright: 1993
Pages: 409
Rating: 4/5
Read: Mar. 15-17, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; RYOB 2010
Yearly Count: 11

First Line: The Monday I carried Ronnie Joe Waddell’s meditation in my pocketbook, I never saw the sun.

“Killing me won’t kill the beast” were some of the last words that rapist-murderer Ronnie Joe Waddell wrote before his execution. The words didn’t mean much until Dr. Kay Scarpetta found Waddell’s fingerprint at a crime scene after his execution. Something strange is going on and it’s going to be up to Kay to figure out what is going on before her career and life as she knows it is completely wrecked.

This is the fourth of the Kay Scarpetta series. It was another great book. But I did have some reservations about it. The main thing that I have noticed (and this applies to the 2nd and 3rd books as well) is that when the next book in the series begins it seems as if the reader has missed something. Not to give anything big away but when this book started there was a pretty big revelation that came pretty much out of nowhere. I was confused and it took a while before the whole thing came together. Something similar to this happened in the beginning of the third book as well. I guess I expect the books to pick up where they left off a little bit more than these have seemed to do. Another gripe that I have (which again applies to the 3rd book as well) is that the lead-up to the overall climax is really wonderful and then the killer is revealed and the end result kind of falls flat. Maybe I expect too much, I don’t know. But overall I really enjoyed this book and am definitely looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Meme, WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays – March 17, 2010

So I thought I would join in on a new weekly event. I like to participate in little events like this and I know that I don’t participate nearly as often as I would like to, but life gets in the way. However, I thought I would join in on this one and see how things go!

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?

  • Right now I am reading Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell. It is the fourth book in the Kay Scarpetta series. I’m almost done with it and will probably finish it either today or tomorrow.

* What did you recently finish reading?

* What do you think you’ll read next?

  • Well I’m not 100% sure but I think I’m going to go ahead and continue on with the 5th book in the Scarpetta series – The Body Farm. However, I have three review books that I desperately need to get around to asap.
5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, Kay Scarpetta, RATING, Read in 2010, READING CHALLENGES 2010, SERIES

REVIEW: All That Remains by Patricia Cornwell

All That Remains
by Patricia Cornwell

Copyright: 1992
Pages: 382
Rating: 5/5
Read: Mar. 11-14, 2010
Challenge:  2010 100+ Reading Challenge; RYOB 2010; Thriller & Suspense Challenge 2010
Yearly Count: 10

First Line: Saturday, the last day of August, I started work before dawn.

Dr. Kay Scarpetta is up against a serial killer who is targeting young couples. Four couples have disappeared already, with their bodies to turn up in the woods months later. When the fifth couple goes missing the tables seem to turn – for the girl that was taken is the daughter of a very powerful woman in Washington – the new “Drug Czar.” Feeling the pressure from above, Kay is determined to finally catch this elusive killer once and for all.

This is the third installment of the Kay Scarpetta series and another great one in my opinion. It was very fast paced and action packed. I also liked the character development involved – I really got to know Marino. I’m definitely looking forward to continuing on with this series and I’m kicking myself for just now starting to read these books (they’ve only been on my shelves forever!!!)