Tuesday, May 29, 2012

read: The Devil's Gold (3 stars)

The Devil's Gold (Short Story)The Devil's Gold by Steve Berry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Decent short thriller about Nazis, South America, and over-the-top speculations.

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read: A Brewing Storm (3 stars)

A Brewing Storm (Derrick Storm, #1)A Brewing Storm by Richard Castle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pot boiler thriller short story that is supposed to exemplify how Richard Castle became a celebrated and best-selling (albeit fictional) author. Adequately over-the-top and predictable.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

read: The Fallen (3 stars)

The FallenThe Fallen by T. Jefferson Parker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fairly pleasant police procedural set in San Diego, California. The twist of having the protagonist detective be affected with the psychological disorder of being able to see the emotions behind people's words was oddly dispensible. Such an interesting quirk could have been much more integral to the plot.

Otherwise, the writing was top-notch. Characters were distinct and well developed (except several of upper-level cops that sort of mushed together). Settings were sometimes nicely done, other times irrelevent. The plot kept me guessing until the very end, along with the detectives.
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Saturday, May 26, 2012

"J. Edgar" [C]

I didn't much care for this film. Perhaps part of the problem was trying to watch it on an 8" screen on the back of an airline seat. It was just too dim, too fragmented, too uninvolving for that environment. Even so, this was a film I wanted to see and if it was good, it would have held my attention and kept me awake. It just never quite grabbed me.

J. Edgar (IMDb)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

read: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (4 stars)

Harry Potter and the PrisonHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)er of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Still working my way through this fascinating series. This volume was not quite as good as the previous, but still good enough to keep my attention during a very long flight to Europe.
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

"Larry Crowne" [B]

This turned out to be exactly the pleasant little film that I expected it to be. Sometimes you want to see a story about pleasant people with realistic problems and you want to see them work them through. This is a feel-good movie that actually made me feel good. It's sad and funny and thoughtful. It makes you applaud second chances.

Larry Crown (IMDb)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

read: Glamour in Glass (4 stars)

Glamour in GlassGlamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another enjoyable read from Mary Robinette Kowal. Like Shades of Milk and Honey, I wouldn't usually find myself attracted a story set in the Regency period, with all of the preaning society and fussing over propriety and fashion and such. I would much rather read books with action, maybe with spies and science fiction. But I enjoyed the first book of the series and felt like I was invested in it, so onward!

Happily, not only does this book deliver on the period details and characters, it also brings in some action and spies, and takes the fantasy almost into science fiction (Jane comes up with the idea of capturing the effects of glamour/magic in glass, hence the title).

Napolean is in exile and peace has broken out on the continent. The recently married Jane and Vincent head for Belgium to spend time with his glamour mentor. This gives Jane a new set of societal, political and personal problems to navigate. Then Napolean goes on the move again and things heat up.

The writing is top-notch. The author has a deft touch with character and dialog. Settings are distinct and vivid. I'm looking forward to the next book.

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