Monday, August 31, 2009

Book Review of the Day - Vicki Pettersson

Bittersweet is the word I would use to describe the fourth book in Vicki Pettersson's Zodiac series.

CITY OF SOULS is not the kind of book I normally read. I've said it in previous reviews for this series. I am not a superhero person. But this story and its incredibly deep characters drew me in. Not an easy feat. I'm the sort of gal who reads in a rather narrow genre. To get me to venture outside that comfort zone, it takes an exceptional piece of work. The Zodiac series is exactly that--an exceptional piece of work.

No corny lines, two-dimensional villains, or pure heroes here. None of them are black and white. Every character has shades of gray. They have nuances, personal interests beyond crime fighting. They are people . . . who happen to have super powers. And that helps the reader relate to them, cheer their victories, and mourn their losses.

Add to that the backdrop of Las Vegas which is intrinsically interesting in itself, and you have an amazing story that keeps the reader turning pages rather than accomplishing any of his or her other daily tasks.

My only concern with this installment, CITY OF SOULS, is that it ends on a down note and seems to close a door. I won't give away spoilers here, but I'm sincerely hoping it's a teaser, and we'll see more of the character I've most grown to love.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Book Review of the Day - Kristin Landon

Taking a break from the David Drake series to read the latest in Kristin Landon's series.

THE DARK REACHES is the third book in the story of Linnea and Iain. I've enjoyed this series so far, and this installment is no exception. While it is heavy on the characterization, which is what I prefer, it also has plenty of interesting technology. The romance between the two main characters is a big factor, though it doesn't quite cross over into the science fiction/romance category. Lots of great action and suspense as well. Landon certainly knows how to torture her characters to good effect. You feel for them, together and separately. You want them to succeed. And the antagonist is so well-developed the reader wants to participate in his defeat.

Certainly, Landon has left herself open for more books in this series. I look forward to those as well. I do wish they were a bit longer. Compared to other science fiction I read, these are a little on the short side. I guess that's a compliment to the author. I'm a reader wanting more.

Silence on the Writing Front

I know I haven't blogged much in the past month. Mostly, that's because there hasn't been much to write about. I haven't stopped reading. I've been going through the RCN series by David Drake, but I thought I'd review the entire series at once instead of doing the individual books. I've read four of them with three more to go.

I'm also still writing. I'm about 30,000 words into the sequel to Assassin's Nightmare. That's actually going very well. I may need to tweak a few things in the first book to make it work better with the second, but I suppose that's the advantage of no one having picked up the first one yet. I can still change things a bit and not mess anyone up.

Last night was the writers group meeting. People really praised my first flashback scene. That pleases me greatly. Flashbacks are notoriously tricky.

Still waiting to hear on the three full manuscripts I've got floating about in agent/editor land. I suspect it won't be much longer, now.