Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Sixth Man

The Sixth Man (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #5)The Sixth Man by David Baldacci
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good story, imaginative, too real--it highlights the pre-9/11 scenario of parochial, arrogant security agencies, not communicating, not cooperating, not acting quickly, decisively. Sean and Michelle make a good couple, tough, sexy, relentless, but the story seems to flounder aimlessly for a while--maybe Baldacci didn't know where to go next--every witness, anyone helping, are all murdered. Eventually they connect the 6th man, the patriotic corporate exec, the ambitious, corrupt government official and manage to make the world safe, for now.

Though Sean and Michelle take the lead, brother and sister, Kelly and Roy, are really the more interesting pair.

I recommend this book to most any reader--my hat off to DB for writing it like I would, without profanity, minimizing the graphic scenes of death and dying.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm very disappointed. After Fevre Dream I was really looking forward to another Martin story. My son read this--and that makes me more disappointed. First, Martin introduced perhaps 40 characters in the first few chapters, and I find that to be too many. They can't all be that important to the story; or, perhaps there are many stories, running parallel. I just don't find it entertaining. Next, I can't pronounce the names (except for King Robert). All the i's were replaced with y's, some a's and e's were replaced with ae's and I've never been sure how to say that. I think he's misusing some archaic words (sept, for example), but who would know, right? Then the Queen's lover (maybe her brother) tries to murder a 7-year old boy, another character trades his 12 year old sister into slavery (forces her to marry some barbarian) in exchange for an army so he can avenge his father's death.

I don't know where it's headed. There's ample good stuff in it: direwolves, boys becoming knights, girls unhappy with their status, some worthy heroes. All the references to 'black' or 'dark' stuff intended to set a mood, I think, don't add anything. Ned's illegitimate son is referred to by all as the "bastard", and I find that insulting. What's the point? Martin proved in other works that he has a great imagination, a mastery of words--but I don't think he did his best work here. It may be a great story; I just find it hard to read. I'm sure I'm not his target audience, but I read it to keep up with my 13 year old son--he shouldn't be the target audience either.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

The Colorado Kid

The Colorado KidThe Colorado Kid by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In many ways it was typical Stephen King--weird. It's a story of two old newspapermen telling a story, that isn't a story, to their young intern. The title character, The Colorado Kid, was found dead, years ago, but how he got to that little island off the coast of Maine, why he was there, what happened just before he died, would forever remain a mystery. So, the mystery had no beginning and no end--just a middle. And, that's the story. Weird, right?

In the Afterward King said, and I paraphrase, that "wanting to know" the answers to the mystery was more important and more satisfying than knowing. I agree with that, in this case. At the end, which wasn't an end, I didn't really care how the Colorado Kid made the nearly impossible trip from Colorado to Maine, in the time allowed; I didn't care what happened to his wallet, his suit coat, tie, or overcoat. I didn't care where he got the steak on which he choked to death or what happened to the piece he didn't eat. It doesn't matter to me where he got the Russian coin in his pocket. Murder, suicide? No one will ever know, and that's OK with me.

Most readers have probably had this experience--you read a really good story then it's over and you're a little sad and disappointed just because it's over. Not so, with this one--it can live on and on in your imagination. You can make it as simple or as complicated & sophisticated as your imagination allows. I have my own theory about the Kid's death, but I'll keep it to myself.

I recommend this to all readers.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

"Mike Madison, Intrepid Explorer" only 99 cents!

Take advantage of this limited time offer--get to know the Madison clan in Volume 1 of The Dan Madison and Mike Madison Adventure Series. Both Kindle and Nook eBook editions will be available at the discounted price through the end of July. The Madisons and their growing group of friends tackle the mystery of an infamous train robber and a missing fortune in gold, a Voodoo curse, and a terrorist threat--and it takes all of their unique skills to keep the family, and the world, safe. NOOK KINDLE Don't have a Nook or Kindle? Download FREE eBook reader software for your PC, MAC, iPad, or Smartphone at Amazon.com OR Barnes and Noble.com. GHG

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Giveaway over--thanks to the 500+ who entered!

I have the names and addresses of the four who won a copy of Friends and Foes? and will mail them out today. One winner from the UK, one from Canada, two from the states--interesting. Watch for more low-price promotions. Visit my website, www.badhousebooks.com.