Good Books and the Random Movie

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31 May 2009

Curse of the Blue Tattoo (Bloody Jack #2)

Curse of the Blue Tattoo is the second book in the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer.

Jacky is taken to Boston and enrolled in a school to become a fine lady. Anyone who read the first book knows that it is going to be a difficult adjustment. Anyone going from life on a navy ship to that of a boarding school would have a hard time of it, but Jacky finds trouble even when she is not looking.

In between sneaking out to sing and dance at a local pub, Jacky is making an effort to follow the rules. But when she is arrested for lewd behavior, the head mistress will have all the ammunition she needs to bump Jacky down to a serving girl.

But don't count on Jacky Faber staying where anyone puts her. Before the tale is through she will please and annoy all levels of society in Boston.

Meyer, L.A. (2004). Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady. New York: Harcourt, Inc.

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25 May 2009

Messenger of Truth (Maisie Dobbs #4)

Messenger of Truth is the fourth Maisie Dobbs book by Jacqueline Winspear.

Maisie Dobbs has been hired to look into the death of the artist Nicholas Bassington-Hope, a well known artist who fell to his death off of scaffolding he was using to set up his latest exhibition.

His sister, Georgina, has hired Maisie to find out if he was murdered. Through her usual careful investigating, Maisie pieces together the last few weeks of Nick's life.

What she finds is a talented and troubled painter who final piece (that is currently missing) may have been his masterpiece and his view of the Great War - a piece that many would not want to be seen.

Maisie Dobbs' books will appeal to any mystery lovers or those who like Agatha Christie or Mrs. Pollifax. Winspear captures early 1900s England and create engaging stories that twist and turn to a satisfying ending.

Winspear, Jacqueline. (2006). Messenger of Truth. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

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21 May 2009

The Faithful Spy (John Wells #1)

The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson is the first book in the John Wells series.

John Wells is the only CIA agent undercover in the ranks of al Qaeda. He rarely contacts his handler, Jennifer Exley.

After ten years of trying to prove his loyalty to Qaeda, he is headed back to the United States. He has been sent back to wait further instructions in the planning of an attack on US soil.

But the CIA heads are not convinced that John has not become a terrorist. He has converted to Islam and he did not contact them the second he reached the US.

Now he must fight two sides while stopping the biggest massacre of US civilians since 9/11.

Berenson, Alex. (2006). The Faithful Spy. New York: Jove Books.

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18 May 2009

The Second Horseman

The Second Horseman by Kyle Mills is a great heist book.

Brandon Vale is in prison for a jewel theft that he did not commit. He is not as upset as some wrongfully imprisoned people - after all, he did steal a lot of other stuff. But just about time he settles into a routine he is forced to escape.

He has no idea what is happening when a guard shoves him outside of the prison fence and puts a cell phone in his hand. He doesn't want to run but if he stands still too long he will be shot.

After following the directions from a voice on the cell phone, Brandon finds himself asked to help in a heist. The heist is great and includes everything a reader could want.

However, after the heist, the book continues on to a political plot that in its own right might be engaging but does not fit with the first half of the book. So if you want to read about a brilliant thief, read it but stop after they pull off the robbery.

Mills, Kyle. (2007). The Second Horseman. New York: St. Martin's Press.

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11 May 2009

Dead Until Dark (Southern Vampire Series #1)

Dead Until Dark is the first book in the Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris. It is the series that the television show True Blood is based on.

Sookie Stackhouse has a fairly routine existence. She lives in Bon Temps, Louisiana with her grandmother. She is a waitress at a bar. She wishes that a vampire would come to Bon Temps. She would love to meet one.

Vampires have recently been given citizen status and have come out of the coffin. They can exist off of synthetic blood but there are also groupies - fangbangers - who volunteer their blood as well. But most of the vampires seems to hang out in bigger cities not the small town where Sookie lives.

When a vampire does come to the bar, life begins to change for Sookie.

Harris, Charlaine. (2001). Dead Until Dark. New York: Ace Books.

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06 May 2009

The Singing (Pellinor #4)

The Singing is the final book in the Pellinor series by Alison Croggon.

Maerad and Hem are looking for each other. They both know that they must find each other before the Black Army destroys Annar, but Annar is a huge place and neither knows exactly where to look.

Maerad is destined to be the One who stands against the evil Nameless One, but the prophesy did not foretell what happens to her when she does. Will she survive the final battle between the Light and the Dark?

I would love to say more about this amazing series, but I am trying my hardest not to include any spoilers. Just read the books! I usually agree that the library is the way to go, but they are so good that you might as well buy the series.

Croggon, Alison. (2008). The Singing. Summerville, MA: Candlewick Press.

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02 May 2009

The Crow (Pellinor #3)

The Crow is the third book of Pellinor by Alison Croggon.

The third book takes a break from following Maerad on her quest to catch up with Hem in Turbansk. When the siblings split up for safety, Hem and his protector Saliman went south to the School of Turbansk.

Hem is having difficulty adjusting from a life of travel with the Pilanel to sitting still in class all day. The only subject he pays attention to is swordcraft. It has been hard for him to make friends because he does not speak the language of the region.

But soon his classes will be the least of his worries. The Nameless One is amassing soldiers for a great attack on the city. All children are to be sent to safety, but Hem fights to stay with Saliman.

Hem, like Maerad, may have a part to play in the fulfilment of the prophesy against the darkness... if he can live through the siege of the city.

Croggon has created an addictive series in a class with Garth Nix's Abhorsen Trilogy and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

Croggon, Alison. (2006). The Crow. Cambridge: Candlewick Press.

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