Reading Frenzy

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Not Your Usual Dragons and Demons

YOU SLAY ME by Katie MacAlister

"All Aisling Grey had to do was deliver a centuries old, gold dragon statue to her uncle's client in Paris, but instead she finds the woman murdered and a strange, sexy man lingering nearby. Drake Vireo claims to be with Interpol, but before Aisling can verify this, he, along with the statue, disappears. Now the French police's prime suspect in the case, Aisling must figure out who really killed the woman and exactly where Drake disappeared to with her artifact. Scouring Paris' occult community for clues, Aisling, armed with a crabby demon in the shape of a Newfoundland dog, finds herself not only mixed up in murder and magic but also tangling and tangoing with a sexy dragon. Graced with MacAlister's signature sharp wit and fabulously fun characters, this paranormal romance is wickedly sensual and irresistibly amusing." -- from Booklist

Tacky but fun, I listened to this on my twice daily 30-minute commute, read by Barbara Rosenblatt--she's pretty amazing at doing voices. Not the book if you're looking for substance, but quirky, amusing and often raunchy--get ready to suspend your disbelief and just go along for the ride.

Monday, November 21, 2005

A good storyteller

THE DIVIDE by Nicholas Evans

It must be something in the water. To go from reading book after book, week after week--to struggling to get through even one. And all around me, people are complaining that they've got the same problem. Could it be something in the water? Ecoterrorism? Speaking of which....

It was wonderful to pick up a book with a great story line. Maybe not great literature, but nevertheless, an intelligent tale with likeable, yet fallible well-developed characters. The Divide opens with the finding of the body of a young woman in a frozen creek in the Montana wilderness, and the discovery that she was wanted for murder and ecoterrorism by the FBI. The author takes us back in time to the breakup of a marriage and the disintegration of a seemingly perfect family. The ripple effects of the marital betrayal and subsequent division of the family proves devastating. Yet Evans brings the story full circle, and there is understanding, love, forgiveness and healing.

What if?


On a warm summer evening in a small town in Indiana, 9-year-old Katie Mackey, sets out on her bike to return books to the local library and disappears. The town drops everything to search for the the pretty, sunny and well-liked child of one of the most affluent families in town, and suspicion soon falls upon two men, one a local handyman, the other a bachelor teacher and her tutor.

The author uses the voice of four different narrators to look back on the events leading up to and following Katie’s disappearance thirty years ago, and examines the choices they made back then that changed their lives forever. Back and forth the reader goes, trying to decide who was at the heart of the crime, and not until the final few pages is the truth revealed.

While comparisons have been drawn to The Lovely Bones and Mystic River, my feeling is that it’s not quite up to their level. The characters could have been more finely drawn, with more background…..I didn’t quite buy the final premise. A good read, although definitely disturbing.