Good Books and the Random Movie

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27 September 2013

Boston Jacky (Bloody Jack #11)

Boston Jacky: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Taking Care of Business by L.A. Meyer is the eleventh book in the Bloody Jack series about a wonderful and outrageous young woman whose adventures are a joy to read.

Jacky, being done in Spain - both for British Intelligence and with the studio of Francisco Goya - is sailing for Boston. It has been a while since she was last in Boston - having been sentenced to life in the Australian penal colony, washed away in a typhoon, and presumed dead by many.

Returning to her adopted home of Boston, Jacky must take stock of Faber Shipping Worldwide and check on friends while impatiently awaiting the arrival of her intended, Jaime Fletcher. However, as trouble seems to find her wherever she lands, Jacky has some old enemies to deal with, a changing political climate that has closed her favorite pub, and a Puritanical population that does not like the direction of the plays she puts on at her new theater.

As ever, Jacky Faber is a wonderful character who gets into and out of trouble and delights readers of all ages. This series is definitely in my favorite books of all time!

Meyer, L.A. (2013). Boston Jacky. New York: Harcourt.

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23 September 2013

The Gods of Gotham (Gods of Gotham #1)

The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye is the first book in her series by the same name. The Gods of Gotham is a mystery set around the founding of New York City's first police force, the "copper stars" in 1845. This creation coincided with massive immigration of Irish due to the potato famine to change NYC forever.

Timothy Wilde is a bartender. He dreams of one day saving enough money to marry the girl he fancies and move to Long Island or somewhere he can spend more time in the outdoors. But a massive fire that destroys much of lower Manhattan changes his plans. Tim's brother, Val, sets him up with a job - the newly forming police force. Though he does not think he wants the job, both because of the nature of it and because his brother got it for him, he show up the first day.

Tim Wilde is assigned as a roundman - a police who walk around a set path for his entire shift, both to prevent crime and arrest anyone committing a crime. At the time there were no investigative roles, only stopping what was going on. But Wilde, with his background as a bartender and his like of puzzles, will be given a situation that he must solve when a ten year-old girl in a bloody night dress literally runs into him on his walk home.

When the body of a young boy is found, and matches the story the girl told, it seems take New York has a killer of children hiding within its masses of people. Incorporating politics, race relations, clashing religion and the slang of the day, Faye has set readers up to dive into the past of our most famous city. Imagine a time when the wilds north of New York started just above Chelsea. Great story and characters in a fascinating setting. Fans of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series might like this grittier version of historical mystery.

Faye, Lyndsay. (2012). The Gods of Gotham. New York: Penguin.

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16 September 2013

Foretold: 14 Stories of Prophecy and Prediction

Foretold: 14 Stories of Prophesy and Prediction edited by Carrie Ryan includes stories by some of the YA fantasy writers today. I checked it out because that list includes Malinda Lo.

Lo's story, One True Love, tells of a girl born to the king. The seer who attends her birth sees that she will be the end of the king when she finds her one true love. Hearing this, the king locks her in the tower, allowed only to see other girls. Of course, the king could never imagine that his exclusion of men wouldn't be the solution.

Lo is a master storyteller who writes fantasy and science fiction. Read her books!

Other authors in Foretold:
Lisa McMann
Kami Garcia
Margaret Stohl
Laini Taylor
Michael Grant
Saundra Mitchell
Richelle Mead
Matt de la Pena
Meg Cabot
Heather Brewer
Diana Peterfreund
Simone Elkeles
Carrie Ryan

Ryan, Carrie. (2012). Foretold: 14 Stories of Prophesy and Prediction. New York: Delacourte Press.

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13 September 2013

The Hero (Thunder Point #3)

The Hero by Robyn Carr is the third book in her Thunder Point series - set in a small coastal town in Oregon.

Devon McAllister and her daughter, Mercy, are escaping a cult. They have to get as far away as quickly as possible, but when the old guy in the truck offers them a ride and then offers to supply breakfast, Thunder Point seems off the beaten path far enough to be safe. Though she does not like to take help from strangers - partly due to the brainwashing of the cult and partly because that is how she joined the cult in the first place - but Rawley seems like a nice old guy. And Thunder Point is a quiet town where she can hide while she figures out what to do next.

Spencer Lawson just moved to Thunder Point with his son Austin. He is the new high school football coach. And the second he sees Devon he is drawn to her. But his wife just died, he moved across the country, and she is obviously going through some life changes.

Thunder Point is filled with great characters. The series is about the people in the town with each book highlighting one relationship. Loved characters from previous and future books will be included so readers can keep up with all story lines regardless of main plot focus of this particular book in the series - all characters will appear in all books. This is a great was to write a book about a town - like a soap opera or a television show with a large cast. Fans will love it.

Carr, Robyn. (2013). The Hero. New York: Mira.

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12 September 2013

Bad Apple

Bad Apple by Laura Ruby is the story of one young woman's struggle to be heard in the chaos of scandal and high school.

Tola Riley is sixteen. Until recently her favorite class was Art. But now she and her teacher, Mr. Mymer, have been accused of having an inappropriate relationship. He is on paid leave while there is an investigation. Tola is at school, but no one will believe her when she says that nothing happened. Her parents see her as a victim, classmates use this opportunity to pick on her. There is even a blog dedicated to rumors about her.

And maybe chopping her hair off and dying it green was not he best choice, but if she is going to have a reputation for being bad she should do something against the rules.

Written in the vein of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak or Twisted, or Jennifer Brown's Hate List or Thousand Words, Bad Apple is a novel on an important subject that hints at the absurdity of being old enough to be accused of something but not old enough to defend yourself to your accusers.

Ruby, Laura. (2009). Bad Apple. New York: Harper Teen.

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09 September 2013

The Floating Island (Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme #1)

The Floating Island by Elizabeth Haydon is the first book in the Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme - which tell of the adventures of Charles Magnus Polypheme, known as Ven.

Ven is the youngest son of a Nain shipbuilder. The Nain are a human-like race that usually lives underground, and they are known for their fear of water. But unlike his siblings, Ven has waited for years to be old enough to go out on one of the ships his family builds. But when it is finally his turn to sail the bay and sign off on the inspection, things do not go as planned.

Ven's ship is attacked by Fire Pirates, who never leave anyone alive. Through some quick thinking and high explosives, Ven finds himself floating in the wreckage. What follows includes sea monsters, mermaids, a floating magical island, and once on land, a haunted inn.

The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme are adventure at their best. Haydon has reassembled the journals and filled in the blanks to create a wonderful series that will appeal to all ages.

Haydon, Elizabeth. (2006). The Floating Island. New York: Tom Doherty Associates Books.

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04 September 2013

City of Dark Magic (City of Dark Magic #1)

City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte (a pseudonym for the writing team of Meg Howry and Christina Lynch) is the first book in a series by the same name.

Sarah Weston is a PhD student in music history, focusing on Beethoven. She has been invited to Prague Castle for a summer internship cataloging and setting up a room in the castle to display original material and works of Beethoven. Sarah assumes she was offered the internship because her mentor, Professor Sherbatsky, is also working in Prague.

Though her roommate warns her that Prague is built over a hell portal, Sarah is excited about the prospect of materials that Beethoven actually touched and owned. Prague Castle is owned by the Lobkowicz family, the current heir being Max Lobkowicz Anderson. One of the previous Prince Lobkowicz was Beethoven's patron.

After Sarah arrives in Prague, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor is dead of an apparent suicide. Max is acting strange and is hiding something. Miles, who is in charge of all of the academics cataloging in the castle, acts like someone is watching him. And a mysterious dwarf who seems to be able to appear at will is either a friend or a spy.

Flyte has created a novel filled with music history, the history of Prague, magic, intrigue and humor. City of Dark Magic is a strange and wonderful read.

Flyte, Magnus. (2012). City of Dark Magic. New York: Penguin.

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