The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman; 2010; $16.99; 325 pages; G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, NY; 978-0-399-25096-5; checked out from Multnomah County Library, North Portland; 3/2/16-3/4/16
Why did I read this? When I am interviewing potential volunteers for the bookstore I often ask them about the books they like and are reading. One of our newest volunteers recommended this and it sounded similar to James A. Owen’s Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica.
Elizabeth is recommended by one of her teachers to become a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository. Housed within the repository are objects including toasters, coats, hats, shoes and more which people check out for a variety of reasons. They use them as props and costumes and other purposes. Housed beneath the repository is a collection of items collected by the Brothers Grimm when they were researching their collection of stories. Some of the items in the Grimm collection,which includes among other things the seven leagues boots, Snow White’s Magic Mirror and the shoes from the twelve dancing princesses, are disappearing. Before she knows it she and her fellow pages are caught up in the intrigue of those who are swiping the priceless and sometimes dangerous artifacts.
Grade-A, really imaginative and great use of literature and its place in our lives.
The League of Seven by Alan Gratz; 2014; $16.99; 350 pages; Starscape, New York, NY; 978-0-7653-3822-8; Fiction; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Albina; 9/17/14-9/18/14
When a pair of burrowing worms tap into his parents brains and begins to control them, Archie Dent jumps into the family airship with his mechanical man, Mr. Rivets to rescue them from the Manglespawn. Set in a steampunk version of the United States of the late 1800’s, Archie has to battle Thomas Edison, co-operates with Nikola Tesla and avoid the forces of evil. He is accompanied by Fergus MacFerguson, a scientific prodigy, who sometimes gets so wrapped up in the mechanics and science of things that he fails to pay attention to what is going on around him and Hachi, a warrior who is single minded in her dedication to avenge the tragedy that befell her family and village. Archie is the youngest at 13, Hachi and Fergus are 15, and the are the first three in the current league of seven. The Septembrist Society has been protecting the world and now Archie and his new friends are called upon to save the world.
Did I enjoy it? Yes, it was a dramatic story with adventure and history woven into it, which is one of the main kind of fiction I like. There was mystery in the backstory of each of the main characters to make me want to continue reading the story and the series. I haven’t been this excited to read a series of books since The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica.
What is with the title of the review? I would like someone to get me an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) the second book in the series as soon as possible (Stat). All mail and packages are transported via pneumatic tubes in the book.
Virals by Kathy Reichs; 2010; $17.99; 454 pages; Razorbill, New York, NY; 978-1-59514-342-6; Teen Fiction; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Rockwood; 4/2/14-4/3/14
What is the story? Tory Brennan, niece of Bones star Temperance Brennan, lives in Florida with her father and is following somewhat in the footsteps of her aunt by being really in science. Tory and her crew break into a scientific facility to find some information and rescue a canine who is being experimented on. Something in the lab or the rescued dog infects Tory and her crew and gives them some kind of powers. She and the crew use their new senses to solve a decades old murder.
Did I like it? It was okay, but the set-up takes why too long.
Why did I pick it up? I have read several books by Kathy Reichs and am a fan of the TV show Bones so I saw a new book by Kathy Reichs and decided to read it.
What is with the title of the review? I have read several of Kathy Reichs’ books and was expecting more of the same, a straight forward science oriented book with a straight shooter as the main characters. However here we get science combined with supernatural elements.
You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin; 2011; $16.99; 362 pages; Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY; 978-0-316-07742-2; Teen; purchased from Multnomah County Librarys’ Title Wave Used Bookstore; 8/16-8/20
Why did I pick this up? Sean was at Wordstock last year so I read Fade to Blue and really liked it. Then when I heard he and some other authors I liked were going to be at Powell’s in Beaverton I went and picked up his book The Infects which I really liked. I loaned this to my friend Harley West and he recommended it so I read, I like Seans’ writing and I value Harleys’ recommendation.
What is the story? Wesley Payne was killed or committed suicide by hanging on the football goal post at Salt River High School and Dalton Rev and his associate are hired by the victims’ sister to find out who and why he was killed and what happened to some money that was involved. Dalton is a high school student who is working as a detective to raise money to buy body armor for his brothers unit which is deployed to the Middle East. Every clique at the school has a racket they run to make money, all the teachers and administration are corrupt and charge for almost everything including grades. Dalton runs through enough red herrings that he could can them and sell an entire of them at the local supermarket. The vocabulary at Salt River is incredible as are the various cliques that operate at the school. Dalton solves the case, you think I am going to tell you the entire plot, what kind of asshat would that make me.
Did I like it? One of the funniest things I have read in a long time, but still a classic whodunit, with all the hard boiled detectives cliches well used.
What is with the title of the review? I think Sean had as much fun writing the glossary, the breakdown of the cliques and the excerpts from the books Dalton refers to for his detective work as he did writing the story. Make sure to read everything, read the glossary and the Salt River Clique Index before you read the story to maximize your enjoyment. I gave this book to my friend Harley West and asked him to let me know how he liked it. He gave it a good recommendation so that motivated me to read it. Thanks, Harley.
You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Kills You by Robert J. Randisi; 2009; $25.99; 278 pages; Minotaur Books, New York, NY; 978-0-312-37643-7; purchased; 2/11-2/12
Why did I pick this up? Because I am a big fan of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Junior, and to find a series of mysteries where they are characters was cool. These cats are the epitome of cool.
What is the story? Eddie Gianelli is a dealer at a casino in Las Vegas and he has become friends with Frank, Dean and Sammy. I jumped into the middle of the series so I have to start at the beginning to see how that happened. Here though Dino asks Eddie to help a friend of his, who thinks she is being followed. Eddie says OK and Dino takes him to meet Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn is frightened and vulnerable and unsure about many things. Eddie begins to investigate and people start to disappear, the investigation roams from Vegas to Palm Springs and LA and back. Eddie uncovers a undercover investigation by the FBI into Marilyn and her relationships with some well known persons. It is a fun romp through cool with the type of people that populated Vegas at the time.
Did I like it? Yes, it was a fun romp through the early sixties in Vegas. This is not serious literature but it sure is fun.
What is with the title of the review? Throughout the book Frank Sinatra is renovating his home in Palm Springs in the hope that JFK will make it his western White House.