Death from The Book Thief and Hades here would get along.

Skin Game, A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher; 2014; $27.95; 454 pages; A Roc book, New York, NY; SF; 978-0-451-46439-2; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Midland; 6/22/14-6/24/14

Harry is busy training for Parkour and being Warden of his own private demon island prison, when Mab, Queen of Winter has a job for him that he can’t refuse because he is the Winter Night.  He is tasked to help Nicodemus break into a secure vault in the underworld.  He is aligned with several people and supernatural beings with whom he has done battle with before. He has his usual cast of supporting characters backing him up although his brother Thomas is only mentioned.  He finally figures out that Nic is trying to steal the Holy Grail and it’s not being guarded by a Templar Knight in Jordan, but is in an extremely secure vault in Hades’ Kingdom.  Harry keeps Nic from getting 4 other artifacts that are as powerful as the Grail and has a very interesting conversation with Hades.

Grade-A

Did I like it?  Yes, it is packed with action, humor and all kinds of double crosses and shades of grey and all kinds of supernatural creatures.  The only problem with this book is that it ended and now I have to wait at least a year for another one.

What is with the title?  Death in The Book Thief is one of the most compassionate characters ever written and Hades is a very compassionate character also.

 

Wow another life change

Cold Days by Jim Butcher; 2012; $27.95; 515 pages; A Roc Book, New York, NY; 978-0-451-46440-8; Science Fiction; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Capitol Hill; 7/6-7/10

Why did I pick this up?  Because I really like this series and this book gets me current on the series.

What is the story?  Harry is now the Winter Knight and is given an assignment by his Queen to kill an immortal.  However, of course, that is just one of the things he has to contend with in addition to an island jail, a battle that makes the ones from Lord of the Rings look boring, a parasite in his brain and trust issues.  All of Harry’s friends and supporting cast are here although some new characteristics come out in some of them.  More than one immortal dies and Harry and his friends are changed forever.

Did I like it?  Yes, it is good to see the gang again and see how they have all changed through the events of the last couple of books.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  In addition to Harry’s life changing several of the main characters lives change, but one very close to Harry undergoes a major life change.

Quoth the Piglet “Nevermore”

Poison by Bridget Zinn; 2013; $16.99; 276 pages; Hyperion Books, New York, NY; 978-142313993-5; Teen; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 6/2-6/3

Why did I pick this up?  Several young adult authors that I know that are friends of Bridget Zinn, the author.

What is the story?  Kyra, master potioner of the kingdom, has tried to kill the princess and missed.  Now she is running from the kings’ army and trying to find the princess.  She goes to a criminal mastermind who gives her a tracking piglet and she goes after the princess.  She runs across a strong, not so bright, young man and his dog, who bonds with the piglet.  It turns out there is more to the story than Kyra thought and she ends up saving the kingdom.

Did I like it?  It was ok, it grabbed me, but there was something just a little off.

Grade-B-

What is with the title of the review?  One of the main characters in the story is a piglet named Rosie.  She never actually says nevermore, but the author passed away just after finishing the story.  The book was published posthumously, so there would will never be another book by Bridget Zinn.

Reminds me of when I first read Harry Potter

Libriomancer, Magic Ex Libris, Book One  by Jim C. Hines; 2012; $24.95; 308 pages; Daw Books, Inc., New York, NY; 978-0-7564-0739-1; Fiction; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gresham; 5/21-5/23

Why did I pick this up?  I was talking with one of the trivia question winners about books when he picked up his prize at the bookstore and he recommended this.

What is the story?  Isaac works in a local library and has the ability to reach into books and pulls things out of the book to use.  He is what is known as a libriomancer, he has a jacket full of pockets filled with books.  Each of the books is fastened open to a specific passage so that Isaac can reach right in and get what he needs.  He has to solve a mystery and find out who is using this ability to start a war between wizards and vampires.  Automatons, dryads, vampires, Johannes Gutenberg and Ponce De Leon are all part of the story.

Did I like it?  Yes I was immediately immersed in the story and kept coming across books that I had read or knew of, so I was able to relate to the story.  I was disappointed to learn that this is the only book in the series so far, I want to read more.  The next book comes out in August of this year.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  I remember when I first read Harry Potter and The Sorcerers Stone I was fully immersed in the story and couldn’t wait for the next one.  That is how I feel about this series.

An Emphasis on a different syllable

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern; 2010; $15.00;516 pages;  Anchor Books, New York, NY; 978-0-307-74443-2; purchased from Amazon.com; 4/21-4/25

Why did I pick this up?  Our book group is reading this for next  month and as the host I have to develop a menu from the book, so I read it paying particular attention to the food mentioned in the book.

What is the story?  Two ancient magicians use apprentices to decide who style of magic is better.  It is a contest to the death that the participants aren’t fully aware of the rules.  The magicians choose a circus that is only open at night as the nexus of their challenge.  It is a circus unlike you have seen before, with illusions that are more than illusions.  There is something very special about some of the members of the circus and some of its visitors.  There are a couple of love stories intertwined throughout the story.  The apprentices find a way to change the rules of the challenge so that they hold the power and not their masters.

Did I like it? Yes I did, it is an impressive read and I was amazed at the number of different characters Erin Morgenstern brought to life very fully.  The diversity of the characters and the diversity of the attractions at the circus that she created is amazing to me.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  I read The Night Circus about a year ago and my focus reading it then  was much different this time.   This time the love stories stuck about to me much more than previously.