Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham

Legends in Exile by
2002, Vertigo
Series: Book 1 of Fables

Synopsis: When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own peaceful and secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown. But when Snow White's party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Fabletown's sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf (Bigby Wolf), to determine if the killer is Bluebeard, Rose's ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.

Why read: Popped up as an Amazon recommendation and looked interesting

What impressed me: I read the synopsis and thought this had possibility. I wasn't prepared for how really good it would be. We all know fairy tales of our childhoods of Disney overload. This is amped up fairy tales for adults. The same characters we all know, but in a whole new way. What happens once the happily-ever-after has past and real life sets in. A murder mystery with more edge than you'd even expect from the likes of Snow White or Jack Sprat.

What disappointed me: Nothing. This really surprised me.

Recommended: Absolutely. It's completely unexpected and familiar all at once.

Continue series: Most definitely.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich

Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich
2010, St. Martin's Press
Series: Book 16 of Stephanie Plum

Synopsis: Trenton, New Jersey, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has inherited a “lucky” bottle from her Uncle Pip. Problem is, Uncle Pip didn’t specify if the bottle brought good luck or bad luck....

Vinnie, of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, has run up a gambling debt of $786,000 with mobster
Bobby Sunflower and is being held until the cash can be produced. Nobody else will pay to get Vinnie back, leaving it up to Stephanie, office manager Connie, and file clerk Lula to raise the money if they want to save their jobs.

Being in the business of tracking down people, Stephanie, Lula, and Connie have an advantage in finding Vinnie. If they can rescue him, it will buy them some time to raise the cash.

Finding a safe place to hide Vinnie turns out to be harder than raising $786,000. Vinnie’s messing up local stoner Walter “Moon Man” Dunphy's vibe, running up pay-per-view porn charges in security expert Ranger’s apartment, and making Stephanie question genetics.

Between a bonds office yard sale that has the entire Burg turning out, Mooner’s Hobbit-Con charity event, and Uncle Pip’s mysterious bottle, they just might raise enough money to save Vinnie and the business from ruin.

Saving Vincent Plum Bail Bonds means Stephanie can keep being a bounty hunter. In Trenton, this involves hunting down a man wanted for polygamy, a Turnpike toilet paper bandit, and a drug dealer with a pet alligator named Mr. Jingles.

The job of bounty hunter comes with perks in the guise of Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, and the dark and dangerous, Ranger. With any luck at all, Uncle Pip’s lucky bottle will have Stephanie getting lucky---the only question is . . . with whom?

Why read: Reading the series

What impressed me: The mystery was good and really carried the entire book. The focus on Vinnie is what made this installment readable.

What disappointed me: I'm sort of getting disgusted with the complete refusal to evolve that goes on in this series. Sixteen books in and nothing has changed at all. Stephanie is still inept at her job. She still refuses to chose between Ranger and Morelli. And why the heck do they just stand around and let her flit back and forth between them? They seriously need to man up and put an end to that nonsense. I'm not sure how many more of these I can read if they're always going to be exactly the same.

Recommended: Not really. If you've read any of the previous books, you pretty much know what's going to happen here too.

Continue series: Yes, but honestly I'm not even sure why anymore.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Battle of the Labyrinthby Rick Riordan

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
2008, Disney Hyperion Books
Series: Book 4 of Percy Jackson & the Olympians

Synopsis: When demonic cheerleaders invade his high school, Percy Jackson hurries to Camp Half Blood, from whence he and his demigod friends set out on a quest through the Labyrinth, while the war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near.

Why read: Reading the series

What impressed me: I have such absolute love for this series. It continues to impress me with the entertaining manner it teaches mythology, much more than just the basics. The Battle of the Labyrinth delves much deeper into the subject than anything I ever learned in school and I'm loving every minute of it. Percy continues to grow and change, taking on more and having to really start dealing the the hard decisions of life, both demigod and mortal. He continues to gain the respect of his elders and there's a scene with his father that is just completely perfect.

What disappointed me: What is Annabeth's problem? Girlish jealousy or something more? It's seriously starting to grate on my nerves.

Recommended: Most definitely. This series keeps getting better and better.

Continue series: How could I not? The end is close and I need to know what happens.