Monday, January 16, 2017

Ghosts of War, by Brad Taylor

Another in Mr. Taylor's series featuring his unsympathetic, unlikable, annoying hero, Pike. I keep reading these books in spite of how much this character irks me.  Because I like the action, I guess.

Well, surprisingly, he was a touch less despicable in this novel. Yay. Small joys. Let's face it: I read these for the action, they are cowboy stories plain and simple, not fine literature. This one is better than the other of Mr. Taylor's novels, so I'm pleased as punch.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Stiletto, by Daniel O'Malley

Only when I looked up the title to link to its Amazon page did I learn that this terrific novel is a sequel; it was perfectly fine as a stand alone read. It is also a weird take on things.

There are supernaturally powered people working for the British government in their defense. Our hero, Odette, however is a normal human. And a surgeon of sorts. Bas as to the normal part: she's a member of a group of scientists (Wetenschappelijk) founded in the late 15th century. These folks are really into seemingly unnatural human augmentation. Which they foolishly shared with their King's governor-general in 1677 leading to the command that they invade the British Isles. Where upon the augmented folks were completely routed by the supernatural defenders. And nearly wiped out.

Which brings us to modern times, in which the scientists decide to join forces with the supernaturals. Odette is a part of the diplomatic mission.  Oh, and another, splinter group, wants to kill them all.

This is just a terrific story.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Frost Line, by Linda Howard

This could have been a pretty good book. Sadly, note my use of the modal verb indicating possibility but not reality.

The concept is cool enough: the figures of Tarot cards inhabit some plane of existence, along with Hunters who freely traverse these planes. The card Strength is accidentally summoned by a child in need who has accidentally come across a special Tarot set. She shows up and seeks to help the child.

A Hunter, Caine, is sent to help Strength make her way back, and other Hunters are dispatched by a more troublesome figure to capture the deck and perhaps do away with Strength.

Okay, once we're past that setup, things get interesting. Strength and Caine team up to help the child and fight their enemies. This would have been an enjoyable story line.

But no. The authors at this point decided to minimize plot development in favor a placing their book in a romance genre as well. Yada yada yada.

Not worth reading, but it might be a good stepping off point for a talented suspense writer to take the possibilities further.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Living with a SEAL, by Jesse Itzler

This is a terrific, fast -reading book. The background is that Mr. Itzler (a successful, wealthy entrepreneur who is also a distance runner) entered a team race where runners take turns over a 24 hour period. He saw an individual running the race as a one-man team, doing over 100  miles, and was intrigued. (It turns out this person is a Navy Seal who doesn't want his name used, so Mr. Itzler refers to him only as SEAL throughout the book.) Net is, Mr. Itzler hired SEAL to train him for a month, living with Itzler and his family.

This book documents the training. Wait! Don't go -- this isn't a fitness training book! It is more of a journal, a peek into the life of a billionaire family through this experience. But it really isn't that either, it isn't really voyeuristic at all. I guess I don't know how to describe it except to say that I laughed out loud five times while reading. That's a lot for a 251 page book about doing pushups and running.

I recommend this for anyone, athlete or not, because it was just plain amusing. Oh, language warning: there is some foul language used, but no other concerns about reading it aloud to your toddler at bedtime.