Monday, November 26, 2012

MONDAY MUSINGS: THE GIFT OF WORLDS


A Friend sent me this. Isn't it great?
Reading has always been a gift and each book a beautifully wrapped window to another world. I've visited wonderful places and gone on some grand adventures. 
This past couple of weeks has been incredibly busy and rather stressful. I read more when times are rough or stressful. It’s a form escape but it’s also a way to calm my mind. Times like this I don’t accept new books for review. Reading to review is a job. You read with a different mindset than when reading for pleasure—even if it’s a book you want to read.
 
I want to share three books I bought and read for pleasure. Three different genres and very different authors but each book put me in a world I enjoyed and help me escape from the world of work, kids, chores and whatnot. My Kindle is loaded with lots of books. I buy many books when I spot deals or want to try an author I haven’t read before. Yesterday I went searching titles for something I hadn’t read and found a great one.

NEVER BACK DOWN

William Casey Moreton

John Coburn, a Harvard-trained doctor still reeling from his father's sudden death a few days earlier, wanders into a bar in New York City's Greenwich Village a few minutes before midnight. He encounters an old friend from college, a man named Brian Ripley, whom he hasn't seen in nearly 20 years. Ripley is with a beautiful young woman and is clearly in a hurry to leave. Coburn could have never been prepared for Ripley's reaction to seeing him, and he is even less prepared for what happens next. 

The following morning, the young woman with Ripley is found dead in Washington Square Park, the victim of a brutal murder. Coburn goes to the police and tells them of his encounter with Ripley the previous night. What the police tell him shakes him to his core - Brian Ripley has been dead for 15 years. 

The story moves at breakneck speed as John Coburn searches for the truth behind the woman's murder and whether or not he really saw his friend, or merely a ghost, that night.
 

I read it in about 6 hours and finished it, reluctantly, at 12:45 a.m. this morning. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book I literally didn’t want to put down. It grabbed my attention from the first sentence. I’m not going to tell you it was some unheard of new plot, I don’t think there is one of those, but it was highly entertaining and some serious kick-ass situations, lots of action, some questions to find answers to and a great set of believable characters.

I liked John Coburn, former military, a bit of an adrenaline junkie, with some impressive skills, and tenacious. He’s a bit of a boy scout and by choice, prefers to be in the hot spots of the world plying his trade of physician (he loves practicing medicine and patients, hates the hospital bureaucracy). This story takes a man at loose ends after the death of his father and his recent divorce and adds the premise of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and then adds jet fuel to the mix. What a ride. Good story, great tension and pacing, satisfying denouement. Moreton is on my list of authors to read. I can also recommend his story, 72 Hours.

CHANGLING DAWN—Changeling series
Kenzie Macleod has spent her whole life hiding the fact that she's a werewolf. She's not about to open up to any man, even one as powerfully attractive as wildlife expert Josh Talarkoteen.
But legend says that a Changeling cannot escape the call of her true mate, even in the wilderness of backcountry Alaska.
An isolated archaeological site, a terrified Changeling cub, a shadowy research facility - as Kenzie and Josh face the ultimate betrayal, his obsidian eyes promise untold pleasure and hint at dark secrets of his own...
  
Dani Harper offers a different take on shapeshifters hiding in plain sight and I enjoyed that. Each story, so far, uses the MacCleod family as a base and put in a strong romance coupled with suspense. Every story adds a bit more to the knowledge and background of the world and hints at other skills that might have been lost over time but are being rediscovered and alludes to other supernatural people (like wise woman Birkie with some rather special talents).  A lot of potential for some great stories in this world.

Kenzie has had to deal with the terror of being hunted centuries before and the resulting fear and distrust she lives with daily. She has to learn that making a life is more than just existing and fear, not faced and conquered, can be more confining that any prison built.

The story is a solid romance, which is fun and sexy.  Well-crafted characters with realistic careers, fears, prejudices, traumas, sprinkled with danger and mystery. Lots of action. There’s a kidnapping, the majestic backdrop of the Alaskan wilderness, old tribes with talents, and at the base, the greatest risk of all—trusting your heart to another.

I really enjoyed this series so far. It was one that I picked up because it sounded interesting and I hadn’t read this author before.

THE BACKWORLDS
M.Pax  

After the war with Earth, bioengineered humans scatter across the Backworlds. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to hoard his fortune by destroying his son. 

Cut off from family and friends, with little money, and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elstwhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.

This one was just plain fun. I’ll admit, I was curious to see how she, a new to me author, told a story and I liked the idea of bio-engineered humans. Given the science of today, not all that far fetched.

I enjoyed the adventure of the story and the rich imagination of the author in creating people and worlds. But, the story deals with the very real fears of a person being cut off from everything familiar and having to use their wits to succeed. It takes courage and the ability to stand up for what you want and having an open heart to make your own family from a circle of friends. I’m looking forward to the further adventures of Craze and his band of friends/family. Plus, you gotta love a story where chocolate is precious.

  • Read any good books lately that you'd like to recommend?
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9 comments:

Tamara said...

Great reviews. The first one didn't sound like something I'd normally read, but it still sounded interesting.

The second two, however, really caught my interest. Especially the third book with the bio-engineered humans. Very cool.

I am actually reading The Shining for the first time, which is crazy cause I've read everything else by Stephen King. So far it's dark and creepy King at his best. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sia .. love the graphic - but it'd drive me nutty (after a while!) with the movement ..

The Moreton book sounds fascinating - and the blurb implied what you confirmed .. you read it through in one sitting or lying! I think I'd enjoy this one ..

Not sure about Dani Harper's .. but I must get to read Mary Pax' The Backworlds and by supporting a blogging friend and seeing her take on Sci Fi ..

Cheers Hilary

Anne Gallagher said...

These all sound so great. Thanks for the reviews.

I haven't had a chance to read in so long it's scary. I'm hoping maybe during Christmas break I'll have time to grab something then.

Kat Sheridan said...

Great reviews! That first one in particular sounds interesting to me. I hate to even think about all the unread books I have stacked up on my iPod, and no time to really read until next month. I've been in the mood for a nice cozy mystery, so I'm working my way through the Inspector Gamache books by Louise Penny and enjoying her small town Canadian setting.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mary's book is awesome!
And I read three books this weekend, a record for me.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Tamara, I admit I have eclectic taste in reading and while I love paranormal, I equally love a good thriller. :-)

Mary's book was light and fun adventure.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Hilary. I loved the picture but you're right on the movements. I was looking for a way to freeze it but, I couldn't.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Anne, me without rest or a good book to read makes for a very cranky Sia. There are times I may go a few days without reading but I usually read at least a book a week.

Hope that house is almost done. You've been going nonstop for some time.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Alex, Mary's book is fun. I like her imagination. This story was introducing a new world of citizens and setting the parameters of that world. I thought she did a good job with the set up and still having a fun story. I am looking forward to seeing her next story. I suspect the story, now that the world is set up, will have a bit more layers to it.