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Thomas Gaffney

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The Once and Future King
T.H. White
Words of Radiance
Brandon Sanderson
Suite Française
Irène Némirovsky, Sandra Smith

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson Flat out, hands down AWESOME. And I am not a big mystery/thriller reader either. I read this because I heard really good things from a lot of people and Larsson's "Millennium" trilogy seems to be the hot thing in the book world at the moment, but I did not expect to like this book as much as I did.

One thing I can say about it is: Girl w/Dragon Tattoo is way better than the sum of its parts. As in, there are bits and pieces that (in any other book) I would have been critical of. Characterizations that (handled any other way) would have been cliche. Plus, the whole who-did-it? plot is not my favorite to read. But, taken all together, it works in Gw/DT. It kept me interested and (at the end) enthralled with page after page after page.

And you really can't ask for more than that from a book.

Doctor Who: The Forgotten

Doctor Who: The Forgotten - Tony Lee, Pia Guerra, Richard Starkings, Nick Roche, Kelly Yates, Stefano Martino Very cool. Definitely worth picking up for Doctor Who fans. Especially those that have watched it from the beginning. All 10 Doctors, shout outs to many various villains (old and new) and, I believe, every single companion that the Doctor has ever traveled with. Not to mention, the entire story is one, giant love letter to the TARDIS. Fantastic all around.

Doctor Who: Through Time and Space (Doctor Who (IDW))

Doctor Who: Through Time and Space (Doctor Who (IDW)) - Denton J. Tipton, Justin Eisinger, Mariah Huehner, Leah Moore, John Reppion, Ben Templesmith, Tony Lee, Paul Grist, John Ostrander, Kelly Yates, Richard Starkings, Gary Russell, Rich Johston, Eric J., Charlie Kirchoff, Tom Mandrake, Adrian Salmon Good stories with The Doctor alone, with Martha, and with Donna. Lots of shout-outs to the original series (specifically Tom Baker and Leela). The illustration of the first story was not to my liking, but the others were well drawn. All the stories were good overall and all seemed to capture the patter and spirit of Tennant's Doctor. A nice read for Doctor Who fans.

American Gods

American Gods - Neil Gaiman Truly amazing. I loved everything about this book. I loved the characters, the intrigue, the seamless weaving of the various religions/gods into one coherent, engrossing narrative. I liked this story much more than Neverwhere (which I also adored), but maybe not quite as much as Coraline. Although they are two WAY different genres that aren't meant to be compared. Gaiman grows on me more and more each time I read him.

The Dark Tower, Volume 4: Fall of Gilead

The Dark Tower, Volume 4: Fall of Gilead - Peter David, Stephen King, Richard Ianove, Robin Furth I just cannot get enough of Roland, Mid-World, or the Gunslingers. The Marvel series of comics/graphic novels really does a great job of fleshing out Gilead and Roland's life as a teenager, while still keeping King's tone of the books. Highly recommended for all Dark Tower fans.

Boneshaker

Boneshaker - Cherie Priest A good little book. Fast-paced and entertaining, it was filled with both action and light-hearted moments. But I just cannot get into a "steampunk" world. The futuristic-type inventions in the 1880s, during a fictitiously extended US Civil War, did not add to, or subtract from, the story. It was just there. A nice foray into the genre, I don't see myself reading any more, nor picking up the other books of Priest's "The Clockwork Century" of which Boneshaker is the first.

Still a free book to sample the "steampunk" genre isn't a bad thing.

Executive Orders

Executive Orders  - Tom Clancy President Ryan deserved a much better book, Tom Clancy. Not one of the better "Ryanverse" novels, I think this is the one that got me to stop reading Clancy.

Without Remorse

Without Remorse  - Tom Clancy The story of John Kelly/John Clark, the secretive but deadly CIA agent. Probably my second fave Clancy book after Red October. A must-read for Clancy fans and those people who love Kelly/Clark.

Debt of Honor

Debt of Honor  - Tom Clancy Not sure how to rate this. The last 100 pages or so, when the battle with Japan happens, totally rocks. The fall of Wall Street and the 700 pages of build up, to allow Japan to attack the US, totally overkill that dampened my enjoyment of the book.

Clear and Present Danger

Clear and Present Danger - Tom Clancy Jack Ryan AND John Clark playing major roles in the same Tom Clancy book. Very good premise and well executed. Up there with his finest works.

Patriot Games

Patriot Games  - Tom Clancy Read this a while ago. Not as good as The Hunt For Red October (Clancy's best), but much better than some of his other ones that take WAY too long to build up to the action.

Lost Souls

Lost Souls - Poppy Z. Brite I gave it a bland overall rating because the book was, overall, a letdown. I got the idea to read it on a horror novel kick that led me to Horror Writers Association's Horror Reading List. Brite's Lost Souls was on said list, and one of the newer titles to make the grade (quite a few books on the list are old and out of print). So I picked it up.

The cover looks quite scary and vampires, when done right, can make for terrifying reading. So I had high hopes for a good, scary horror novel. But for 300 of 355 pages, it was nothing more than your typical, growing-up, coming-of-age novel. Only this time, the boy becoming a man was a vampire boy. A vampire boy who doesn't know he's a vampire, who flees his adoptive parents and goes on a trek to find himself, his family, and his past. Boring.

Until the last 50 pages, when events culminate with all the major characters arriving in New Orleans and vampires do their vampire thing. Then there's danger and drama and stuff happening that is GOOD. But by that point, it's too little too late.

Batman: Hush

Batman: Hush - Scott A. Williams, Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee Not as good as Loeb's The Long Halloween, but a good Batman whodunnit graphic novel. Also the illustrations by Jim Lee were PHENOMENAL! I loved Jim Lee since I first started reading comics and even tried reproducing some of my faves of his. Jim Lee's artwork alone is enough to get this book. Throw in an interesting story where the World's Greatest Detective has to solve a mystery that pits him against an adversary that knows everything about him and you got two great reasons to pick this up and read it!

Fragment

Fragment - Warren Fahy Where to begin. First of all, I'm so glad I got this for free. Second, I'm now wondering if the publisher waited for Michael Crichton to die before calling this Jurassic Park-like because that is just flat-out blasphemy. JP was a lightning-in-a-bottle masterpiece (you can tell because Crichton's attempt at recapturing that magic (The Lost World) failed miserably). This is anything but.....

Onto Fragment, you did research for this book. Good for you. Most authors do. There's no need to beat me over the head with random facts that fit your story. I'm not reading an eco-biology textbook. Not even Tom Clancy can bore me this much with facts and his 800 page books are 750 pages of set-up and military paraphernalia and 50 pages of action. Also, are you hoping not to have to do any Christmas shopping in the future because all the trademarked names you drop in the book will give you free swag? I swear, one paragraph, literally, had a cameraman put on his Banana Republic boxers, JCrew socks, Lucky Brand jeans, Coach belt, Polo sweater, Nike sneakers, and Hugo Boss jacket. Was I reading a novel or shopping from a catalogue?

Onto the plot/story. It was.....okay, at best. In suspense/horror novels that are page-turners, the people are in constant danger and you feel for their safety/well-being. You speed through the pages to see if they make it out of a tight situation. In this, the creatures were SO lethal, the humans all died in seconds (less than a paragraph) and those left were placed in, what felt like, danger-free situations. Like, for the rest of the book I wasn't worried about anyone being in danger. Or if they got into danger, they were slaughtered before you could take a sip of tea while reading. In the same vein, there were about 900 characters, three new ones seemingly introduced per page, and they all had plain names like Joe, Bob, and Nell. So when Pete is alive on page 250 and I'm surprised he's not dead, it's because PAUL had been eaten alive in 3 sentences on page 2 and I got confused. It's hard to get concerned about a character when they all blend together. Except the unnecessarily evil/homicidal scientist who just wanted fame and fortune. He stood out from the rest because he was TOTALLY unbelievable.

I can go on, but I'll just finish with: This Book Sucked. Do Not Read.

PS - I received this for free through the Goodreads' "First-Reads" book giveaway.

The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin My first Ursula K. Le Guin book and I thought it was fantastic! Tipped to the book from watching "The Jane Austin Book Club" on cable, it's probably one of the reasons the 70s is considered the heyday of sci-fi novels.

Highly recommended for sci-fi lovers and novices and anyone who hasn't read any Le Guin yet.

The Dark Tower, Volume 3: Treachery

The Dark Tower, Volume 3: Treachery - Peter David, Stephen King, Richard Ianove, Jae Lee, Robin Furth Like the second collection, Dark Tower The Long Road Home, this was new, original material and it was AWESOME. I can never get enough of Roland and Mid-World and, despite not much face time for Roland himself, this did not disappoint. Recommended for Dark Tower fans.