bookreview

Death Without Company

Book Review

Walt Longmire, Book 2

Okay, book two of the Walk Longmire series, and it was as delightfully entertaining as the first one. I am thoroughly enjoying these books. In this book, there were three murders. Coupled with the three deaths in the previous book, you would totally expect anyone in the area to hightail it out of there for safer grounds. And a joke is even made about Longmire retiring and fast, before there are any more. The characters are fun to read about, the banter witty and the Gavriel-Kay style of not telling the reader everything going on, but letting said reader read between the lines to understand, all totally enchant me with these books.

You can read about the plot elsewhere, or just pick it up and start reading it. I liked these first two books enough to keep reading, and maybe seek them out in hardcover, if they've been published in that form.

I may have also actively stayed up until after midnight finishing this book, which I haven't done since Harry Dresden or Harry Potter. So...

Recommended.

City of Bones (Bosch)

Book Review

Harry Bosch, book 8

This would be the second "City of Bones" book I've read. No, I did not reread the Clarisse something or other YA book again.

I'd been eagerly reading through the various Bosch books to get to this one, so that I could watch the pilot of the Amazon/Netflix/I-don't-remember-where tv show, Bosch, which is a combination of this book and Concrete Blonde. Unsurprisingly, I will continue reading the Bosch series, as I enjoyed this one. The last book would have been book 1 of the "two sucky books and I'm done" requirement to stop reading a series, but this book redeemed the series.

This book did not have a bad cop as the bad guy. Well, sorta. There's still a couple bad-cop incidents but HEY, LET'S HAND WAVE OVER THAT PART, because really, any group in an us-vs-them and in power is going to have bad seeds in the ranks. The book included the classic Bosch elements of the dame, Los Angeles (though post my era), the distrust from other cops, mystery and tragedy. There was a twist, and FINALLY Bosch doesn't get it right the first time. I didn't get it right the first time I guessed the twist, either, which was great.

The ending is a bit of a cliff-hanger, so I'll be starting up the next one, just after I finish a couple more of my already started books.

The Cold Dish

Book Review

I think that Book Riot might be the death of me. I have to admit that "death by books" wouldn't necessarily be the worst way to go, though perhaps being pummeled to death by books might be. In this particular case, the article Five Female Characters Who Are Way More Awesome in Books started off with Katee Sackhoff as Victoria Moretti in Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire series. Katee Sackhoff. Starbuck. Sackhoff. In another tough-as-nails role? Yeah, sign me up.

And, holy moly, this book is fun. I came for the character and stayed for the wit. Johnson's writing style is as fun as Butcher's style in the Dresden series. Johnson also has the writing style of showing, not telling. I am a huge fan of this style, and consider it a sign of a better writer. The book is written in first person, and done well. We aren't privy to thoughts of the other characters, but are shown small details, sometimes in odd places, just as we all do in real life.

The book is set in Small Town, Wyoming. I haven't looked up the town or county to see if they actually exist. An unpleasant young-ish man is murdered. While the sheriff (who we follow in the first person) is solving his murder, one of the victim's fellow miscreants is also murdered. The sheriff is now taxed with protecting the victims' other fellow miscreants, while now solving two murders, which are linked. We learn of the sheriff's history in this book, the first of a currently-11 book series, which isn't unusual for a first book.

A Darkness More than Night

Book Review

"Harry Bosch," book 7

I finished A Darkness More than Night, book seven in the Harry Bosch series, tonight. To call this book a Harry Bosch book is a bit disengenous, since it really was book two of Connelly's Terry McCaleb series. I didn't bother reading the first McCaleb book, Blood Work, choosing to watch the move which starred Clint Eastwood, and to read the summary on Wikipedia instead. A big *shrug* on that one.

The book, in and of itself, is classic Connelly, with the surprising twist that THE BAD GUY IS NOT A COP. Can you believe it? No, I can't either. The plot alluded to a number of other incidents and cases in Bosch's past, with Bosch being set up for a murder he didn't commit, but didn't prevent either. Given the murder was of a man who was also a murderer and had walked on a technicality, we are presented with a moral dilemma that no one would ever want to face.

Okay, so, the bad guy isn't a cop, but you know what? BOSCH IS STILL A SUSPECT, STILL HAS THE FBI AND IA ON HIM and, good lord, after nearly 30 f------ years of living with that, only a fictional character could survive. 30 years of a hostile work environment where EVERYONE you work with thinks you're dirty, even though the beloved reader would NEVER THINK SO? It has to be extremely wearing.

Yeah, so, book seven of the Bosch series. Good enough I'll read another one. Might have been okay to skip, given that it's a essentially a McCaleb story.

Trunk Music

Book Review

Harry Bosch, Book 5

Oh, look! Another bad cop! I swear this is going to be how I start every Bosch book, because that seems to be how every Harry Bosch book ends. This one has the very, very obvious bad cop, even if he doesn't end up being THE bad cop. Well, that's not actually correct, because there are a couple bad cops, that don't ever end up being THE bad cop. It's just weird.

The bad cop was just one of the now-classic Bosch elements: bad cop, IAD on Bosch's ass, the dame, Los Angeles. We have a newly introduced Kima Greggs, who was the black woman detective in The Wire, though her name is Kiz Rider in the Bosch series.

Did I mention the mob in this book? Yeah, because the mob would totally let all of this go, right? Yeah.

I'm enjoying the books. I'll keep reading. Not sure I'll keep up this pace, though: 7 books in 11 days.

Last Coyote

Book Review

Harry Bosch, Book 4

Okay, now things are getting absurd in this series. Seriously, how the f--- does a cop manage to get a 100% close rate when he's investigating murders that are 30+ years old? I mean, COME ON, how f---ing stupid were people 30 years ago that THEY MISS THE OBVIOUS? Oh, wait, THEY WEREN'T STUPID. There were, of course, cover-ups and shameful acts and people-who-need-to-confess.

Upside, the book wasn't boring like Concrete Blonde was.

Oddly, no tunnels.

I enjoyed this book, too, even if the level of suspension of disbelief was a little high. Coyotes talking to people who haven't had peyote and 30 year old case solved, my foot. Doesn't happen unless the killer confesses on his deathbed.

Black Ice

Book Review

Harry Bosch, book 2

Like Bosch book 1, I've had this book in audio format for two and a half years. I better have bought these on a steep discount, given how long I've had them and not read them. That said, I enjoyed this book, too. Similar to the first book, it had tunnels, bad cops, stupidly annoying and bumbling IAD officers (they can't possibly be this awful in real life), Los Angeles circa-my-era, the dame, and Harry Bosch in his hard-boiled detective glory.

I enjoyed the book and I'll keep reading them until I've read two in a row that suck. So far, this one is good enough to keep going.

Four books in five days. Maybe I should have set last year's 52 books in a year for this year instead.

White Night

Book Review

I am uncertain how many times I've read this book. This is at least the fourth time through; my count is likely higher, though. It has one of my favorite Harry scenes in it, even though it isn't one of my top three favorite Dresden books.

The book has the typical Dresden banter and an interesting plot twist. It wraps up a couple ongoing story points, presents Harry and human, and gives us a moment to see Harry's breaking point. The story arc of this book isn't quite the typical Dresden story arc, which is refreshing if you've been on a Dresden streak and understand Butcher's Dresden formula.

I like that Elaine is back in the storyline. The glimpses into her life, as well as the display of her power, are interesting. Reading about Molly and her apprenticeship from the perspective of having read the subsequent seven books is also refreshing.

As always, love the Dresden books. I will, unsurprisingly and of course, read this one again.

The God Engines

Blog

So, the back cover of John Scalzi's book, The God Engines, reads:

"If J.G. Ballard and H.P. Lovecraft had ever collaborated on a space opera, the results might have been like this: ferociously inventive, painfully vivid, dispassionately bleak and dreadfully memorable."

When Jonathan saw the back of the book, he looked up at me. "If that was all I had to go on, I wouldn't read this book."

Yeah, I have to admit, I wouldn't have read it either.

But, as it turns out, I'm a huge Scalzi fan. Other than telling the same story from a different perspective (hello, Zoe's Tale), the man can do no wrong. I mean, seriously, if the man can write a book that opens with death by fart and still sound like Heinlein, I'm going to read anything he writes.

The book is a short book, probably best illustrated by the $4.99 price on the Kindle version, but really it's only 136 pages of large font, so fairly short, easily readable in under an hour and a half. Given that even books have gone the way of everything American (bigger is better), having a shorter book was a refreshing change. I didn't have to invest hours across severals days to finish the book, which was nice.

The story is a quick read, the characters described and developed well enough, the conflict easily resolved and the twist expected. I enjoyed the rich world hinted at in the story, though: enough to understand what's going on (after a few chapters), but also enough left to the imagination that the reader needs to fill in the history. That filling in part is what I enjoy.

One aspect I though was quite interesting is that the gender of one character in the book is never revealed. There's a picture that indicates the character is a woman, but really, feminine features and long hair do not a woman guarantee. There are no pronouns describing the character, nor any possessives referring to the character. The character, who is the captain's lover, is delightfully what the reader wants the character to be. I liked that aspect, too.

Yeah, so, Scalzi's work is generally science fiction, with a good dose of his humour in it. This one, while also science fiction has some other overtones, somewhat horror-ish, a dash of religion in the plot mechanism, not too much though. It's a darker tale the usual, but that just added to the interesting.

I enjoyed the book, read it quickly, would hand to Andy to read.

BTW, if you want something more specific on the plot, check out the Amazon page or search for the book at your favorite search engine. I prefer just going with books from authors whose previous works I've enjoyed, instead of criticizing the plot before I've even read it (which is why I chose not to include one here). I know I like Scalzi's style of writing, and I trust he won't bore me in the plot, so, I didn't look it up before I bought a copy of the book, I just bought it. If you're local and unsure if you'll like the story, you can borrow my copy.