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Old 02-18-2012, 09:12 PM   #12436
caleb72
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I just finished The Pearl of the Soul of the World by Meredith Ann Pierce. It was the closing book to The Darkangel trilogy.

Really liked this trilogy. It was quite unique as a story. Although it had vampires and a touch of romance (it pre-dated the paranormal romance craze by decades), it's unusual story didn't seem much like anything else I've read for a while.

Highly recommended.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:05 PM   #12437
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Clash of Faiths (Paladins #2) by David Dalglish

"Stripped of his power, and branded a renegade by his Order, Darius seeks a way to prove his god is not the bloodthirsty deity his fellows have created. Meanwhile Jerico takes refuge with a band of rebels as Dark Paladins scour Dezrel seeking to claim his life, and the lives of all who would help him. As the silent war rages, their faith is tested, and one will succumb to the promises of a prophet who has lived for centuries..."
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:51 AM   #12438
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Catching up with my dozen-title backlog of "I (mostly) paid for it, I ought to read it (and comment on whether or not it was worth doing either)" with some Canadian-written and Canadian-set police procedural mysteries which team a big-city cop moved to a small-town with the local rookie.

My most recent short story read was Canadian author Marcelle Dubé's Night Shift, which is a current Smashwords freebie.

It's a fairly representative tie-in to the 1st novel in her Mendenhall Mystery series set in a very small town somewhat outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba (closer to Brandon, wherever that is), The Shoeless Kid, which I bought when Carina Press was having 20% off selected mystery category titles, plus the extra $5 off $10 purchase coupon over the holidays.

Despite it being from Carina, an imprint of Harlequin, TSK is a completely non-romantic police procedural, centred around new Police Chief Kate Williams, who has to deal with being the big-city interloper on the small-town local police force who was expecting one of their own to get promoted, all the while trying to find out if a crazy homeless guy's insistence that he saw a child being abducted is really the truth or something that came out of the depths of his detached mind.

Newbie Chief Williams turns out to have an unfortunate history with child abduction and major guilt over a previous case, which leads her to spend more time on the homeless guy's story than most of the other cops think she should, save the young rookie who's trying to learn the ropes of investigation himself.

It all turns out in a slightly unexpected but not-too-contrived way (maybe a little over the top with the suspected culprit doing some rather dumb stuff for dramatic tension stretching-out value), but while the actual whodunnit case may be a bit weak, the character bits with Kate trying but not quite succeeding to win her new force over but nevertheless managing to get a bit of a foothold into their wary trust are good.

Mild recommend, perhaps. Story a bit flawed, but a promising start to a nice-enough-looking but unexceptional series if you like the character-dynamic premise. And if you happen to like stuff set in Manitoba and lots of mentions of Tim Horton's coffee, then bonus!

I'm okay with what I paid for it on sale (roughly $2.50-ish) and would be willing to pay roughly the same again if the author happens to hold a coupon discount on the 2nd in series which she has apparently self-published on Smashwords at some point. But not much more.

Much better was Vicky Delany's BC-set In the Shadow of the Glacier, 1st in her Constable Molly Smith series which was one of my 99 cent purchases from Poisoned Pen Press' introductory start-of-series "Build Your Library" sale, which is still ongoing as I type this.

Not only did this have a wrap-up that seemed better plotted-out and more polished, but it was also More Relevant To My Interests in certain ways, being set in small-town BC and involving local "hippies vs developers" + "opinionated non-resident Americans getting into the mix" politics which I admit are kind of familiar* around the Lower Mainland.

Anyway, Constable Molly (née Moonlight as the child of said hippies who provide some of the vs) Smith happens to be on-scene during the murder of one of said developers, who was trying to get a proposed Vietnam War draft-dodger memorial park put in limbo on the excuse that it would scare away business from offended war-hawk American tourists for his luxury resort.

In a kind of role reversal contrast to the Dubé books, she gets to be the female rookie to the male newly-arrived-ex-big-city-detective John Winters, and they've an irritating foil in the form of a FOX-network style US reporter who's come up to cover the murder and sensationalize the memorial park to stir outrage among his US viewers and raise his ratings. And there's a subplot with Molly being torn between her job and her hippie mother's disappointment that her daughter has become "The Man" and the demands of the case and the needs of her friend who's being stalked.

The whodunnit plays out fairly unexpectedly but overall wraps up well enough and the lingering personal issues are not conveniently resolved.

Moderate-to-medium recommend, especially if you've a taste for "Sunshine Coast" Canadiana. While this wasn't one of the better or more appealing (despite all the CanCon) PPP mysteries I've read, I did like it enough that I'd look up the rest of the series at the library and buy a few more volumes offered on discount sale to Support A Canadian Author.

And it is written well enough that the story hangs together decently, the characters are pleasantly fleshed out, and the conflict and resolution seem realistic. And there are some very funny moments when interrogating some of the potential suspects, especially the dentist and the deceased's wife. Not to mention, sending the FOX-network-style US reporter packing back to his weasel lair or den or whatever they wallow in.

Well, now it looks like I've just got a 9-book read/comment deficit (of course by tomorrow this probably goes to 11 like a Spinal Tap reference).

* To be honest, the main things I know about Manitoba are that it's prone to flooding and their provincial capital, popularly known as "Winterpeg" due to seriously sub-zero seasonal temperatures, recently reclaimed the coveted "Car Theft Capital of Canada" crown† from local contender Surrey, which is a suburban satellite municipality not that far from where I am right now.

† Not that I begrudge them that title, even though I don't drive.

Last edited by ATDrake; 02-19-2012 at 01:01 AM. Reason: I know there's a difference between a witness and a suspect, most of the time.
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:04 AM   #12439
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Another interesting set of short stories, but without any overall story arc or links as in City.

Next: Something I bough way back in December 2008. It's about time I read it!

Chronospace by Allen Steele
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:21 AM   #12440
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Three quarters of the way through Butcher's Moon by Richard Stark (one of his best), and just finished listening to Blood Count by Robert Goddard (good, but not his best), and about to move on to The Five by Robert McCammon.
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:33 AM   #12441
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and about to move on to The Five by Robert McCammon.
Tell us how you go with this one. Love McCammon.
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:35 AM   #12442
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Tell us how you go with this one. Love McCammon.
Me too. Haven't read anything by him since Boy's Life, which was wonderful, and it's high time to get back to him.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:27 AM   #12443
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Currently reading:

- A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin (51%)

- A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin (34%)

- The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Angel of the Opera by Sam Siciliano (27%)

- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (26%)

- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain (~20%) [on hold]
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:31 AM   #12444
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Just finished The Drop by Michael Connelly and it was excellent. Connelly is getting better and better.

I did make a big mistake here. I checked on the price of the book on the Sony site and saw it was $14 and decided to wait till it got lower. But then saw they were giving away the first 11 chapters free. So I downloaded and read them and, damn, it was like accepting the first dose from free from the drug dealer. I was hooked immediately and resistance was futile! Shoot
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:15 AM   #12445
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Just finished The Drop by Michael Connelly and it was excellent. Connelly is getting better and better.

I did make a big mistake here. I checked on the price of the book on the Sony site and saw it was $14 and decided to wait till it got lower. But then saw they were giving away the first 11 chapters free. So I downloaded and read them and, damn, it was like accepting the first dose from free from the drug dealer. I was hooked immediately and resistance was futile! Shoot
I'm sorry, but $14.99 is just too much and I will not pay it. When the price drops, maybe. But until then, Connelly and Hatchett will not get my money.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:42 AM   #12446
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Cassidy is living proof that it's not too much for some people. I see that it's out in trade paperback next month, and normal paperback in November; I'd expect a small drop in the eBook price next month, and a significant drop in November.
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:14 PM   #12447
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Much better was Vicky Delany's BC-set In the Shadow of the Glacier, 1st in her Constable Molly Smith series which was one of my 99 cent purchases from Poisoned Pen Press' introductory start-of-series "Build Your Library" sale, which is still ongoing as I type this.
Good to know, I picked this one up and I put the second in the series (available as an audiobook) on my wish list at my library. I'll move it up my to-be-read list.
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:45 PM   #12448
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some short stories from sir arthur conan doyle

the adventure of the blue carbuncle
the adventure of abbey grange
the adventure of the beryl coronet
the adventure of golden pince nez
the adventure of the noble bachelor
the adventure of six napoleons
the adventure of engineer's thumb
the adventure of the empty house
the adventure of resident patient
the man with the twisted lip
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:59 PM   #12449
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Another interesting set of short stories, but without any overall story arc or links as in City.
That's rather typical for Simak. He often leaves things hanging. Some mysteries unexplained. He encourages the reader to meditate and explore his book's themes. Promotes critical thinking with human emotions even for his dog and robot characters. His Way Station is a really good novel.


Finished This Perfect Day by the late Ira Levin. Not much sci-fi happening but he does consider what constitutes a perfect life. What is perfection? Happiness? The efforts one spends to achieve it or your expectation of it. I found it interesting if a bit wordy at 316 pages. Rated C- [2 stars].

Next is David Webers' Mutineer's Moon. Book one of the Dahak trilogy. This is my first attempt with Weber.
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:04 PM   #12450
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Cassidy is living proof that it's not too much for some people.
Normally I wouln't pay that much but I made the mistake of accepting the first 11 chapters free. Then I was hooked.

I don't mind paying an author for an eBook but very much object to paying a publisher for an eBook since they don't do anything. It's sort of like that ridiculous convenience charge cinemas slap you with for essentially saving them money by buying the ticket on line.
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