Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: "Wheel-Mouse vs. All the Crazy Robots," by Celyn Lawrence

This is a little different from the kinds of books that I usually write about, but “Wheel-Mouse vs. All the Crazy Robots” (99 cents, Kindle) is a cute story and it’s for a good cause.

Celyn Lawrence is the eight-year-old daughter of fantasy writer Mark Lawrence, who penned one of my favorite books of last year, “Prince of Thorns,” and the upcoming sequel “King of Thorns.” Celyn suffers from severe cerebral palsy and is non-verbal and quadriplegic. She and her dad came up with the idea to put together a book to benefit Children’s Hospice, a charity for life-limited and terminally ill children that has helped them over the years.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: "Tricked" by Kevin Hearne

I wanted to give my three loyal readers a little break from Kevin Hearne after plowing through the first three volumes of the Iron Druid Chronicles, but I just couldn’t hold off on “Tricked” ($7.99, Del Rey) any longer. 

Atticus O’Sullivan, the world’s last living druid, has not made many friends lately. After leading a band into Asgard to take on Thor in the last volume, “Hammered,” Atticus is on the run from what remains of the Norse pantheon, as well as a few other thunder gods who are offended on principle. In order to continue his work healing a large swath of Arizona that was drained of life by the Celtic love god Aenghus Og and training his apprentice, he has to die – and die convincingly. That’s where Coyote comes in.

The Native American trickster god has agreed to help Atticus die and disappear off the radar of his enemies in exchange for convincing the earth elemental that lives in the land beneath the reservation to move a gold mine into a place where there really shouldn’t be one. Coyote’s plan seems a win-win for Atticus, since he intends to use the money to create clean-energy jobs for his people.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: "Heroes Die" by Matthew Woodring Stover

I read Matthew Woodring Stover’s “The Blade of Tyshalle” back in 2001 and loved it. A month or so ago, I discovered some old reviews laying around that hadn’t been posted to this site, and that was one of them. It jogged my memory and sent me looking for the first book in the series, “Heroes Die” ($7.99, Del Rey), which I never managed to get around to reading.

In this first volume, we meet Hari Michaelson (known as Caine to his fans) while he’s still whole and healthy. I won’t say before he’s broken, because as you’ll see if you read it, he certainly is that already.

Michaelson is an actor in a futuristic world where everything is run by the Studios. It’s a world run on a strict caste system, and the Studios use “entertainment” as a means to keep the public sedate and in line.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Review: "Deadlocked" by Charlaine Harris

I was an early fan of Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire series. In fact, you'll find glowing review quotes from me on the covers of some of them. But I’ve been a bit disappointed with the last several volumes as the story seemed to be stumbling even as Alan Ball mangled and mauled it in HBO’s “True Blood.”

There’s good news and bad news in the latest book, “Deadlocked” ($27.95, Ace). The good news is that things seem to be back on track by the end. The bad news is you’ve got to work to get there.

Felipe de Castro, vampire king of Nevada and Louisiana, has come to Shreveport to interview Eric and Sookie, among others, to try to discover the fate of his general Victor Madden. Things go very wrong for Eric, though, when a body is found on his front lawn after a party with Felipe in attendance – the body of a woman that he was feeding on moments earlier. The girl was part were and laced with fairy blood to make her irresistible to Eric, and no one seems to know how she got on the premises.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Review: "The Wind Through the Keyhole" by Stephen King

When I finished reading Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower,” seventh book in the series of the same name, several years ago, I thought I had closed a pretty significant chapter in my reading life.

It was one of a handful of sprawling, epic fantasies I was involved in that left the reader hanging, unsure if, or when, we’d see the end, and I’m always glad to get the payoff for my years of reading. So far, it’s the only one of those to finish. One, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, I should get some closure on in January. Others, like Melanie Rawn’s Exiles series, we’ll probably never see completed.

 Now, though, Sai King has reopened The Dark Tower series with his latest offering “The Wind Through the Keyhole” ($27, Scribner).