Saturday, 15 August 2009

Midnighters #3: Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld - Book 55, 2009

Title: Midnighters #3: Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld
Young adult, sci-fi, action
Rating: 8/10
Plot description:
The darklings have found a way to expand midnight so that all humans will enter the blue time and become prey. Complicating the crisis is Rex's residual darkling characteristics that leave him with the unsettling notion that other humans are food, Jonathan's secret desire that the midnight hour could last forever so that he would always be free of the confining flatland gravity, and the fact that no one has yet figured out why the darklings wish to dispose of Jessica Day.
Comments: I particularly liked the fact that in this book the Midnighters start questioning the morality of how they and previous Midnighters have acted. The book ends with an unexpected twist and while the story is mostly resolved, there is the opportunity for further Midnighters' books.

Midnighters #2: Touching Darkness by Scott Westerfeld - Book 54, 2009

Title: Midnighters #2: Touching Darkness by Scott Westerfeld
Genre: Young adult, sci-fi, action
Rating: 8/10
Comments: The continuation of the 'The Secret Hour'. The midnighters discover that that their secret hour may not be as secret as they thought. Others are showing a special interest in them, particularly Jessica, the flame bringer. This book goes much more into character development and the midnighters discover what happened to the other midnighters 50 years ago. Another unputdownable book by Westerfeld.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Echoes from the Macabre by Daphne du Maurier - Book 53, 2009

Title: Echoes from the Macabre by Daphne du Maurier
Genre: short-stories, suspense
Rating: 8.5/10
Comments: A collection of 9 short-stories including 'The Birds', which Alfred Hitchcock used as the inspiration for the film of the same name. While not every story is a classic, all demonstrate du Maurier's skill in building suspense.

(note numbering change due to having to include a double-counted number earlier this year as 52)

Hand-Me-Down by Lee Nichols - Book 51, 2009

Title: Hand-Me-Down by Lee Nichols
Genre: chick-lit
Rating: 5/10
Plot summary:
After growing up in the shadow of sisters Charlotte, a stunning swimsuit model, and Emily, a brilliant feminist scholar, 29-year-old Anne Olsen has a natural aversion to anything secondhand—and that especially includes her sister Charlotte's ex-boyfriend Ian, who's a cute, available antiques dealer.

Comments: And I bet you can see where this one is going and ends. While this book is very easy to read and has its amusing moments, I was both irritated by the protagonist and her various neuroticisms and bored by the predictable nature of the book. One for the disposal pile.

The Chameleon's Shadow by Minette Walters - Book 50, 2009

Title: The Chameleon's Shadow by Minette Walters
Genre: Thriller/mystery
Rating: 9/10
Comments: I found this book impossible to put down; I read it in just one night. Horribly disfigured by a roadside bomb in Iraq and forced to leave the only career he has ever wanted, Lieutenant Charles Acland withdraws and cuts himself off from others, violently responding to even the slightest touch. The police, meanwhile, are hunting a killer who has bashed at least three men to death and Lieutenant Acland has the uncanny knack of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and a clear reluctance to defend himself from accusations. But as the novel unravels, alongside with wondering "is he or isn't he the serial killer?", one slowly discovers that the reasons for Aclands withdrawn and violent nature extend far beyond his traumatic experiences in Iraq.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Midnighters #1: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld - Book 49, 2009

Title: Midnighters #1: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
Genre: young adult, horror, sci-fi
Rating: 7.5/10
Comments: When 15-year-old Jessica Day moves to Bixby, Oklahoma she discovers a 'secret hour' at the stroke of midnight when time stops for herself and a handful of others born at true midnight.  At first it is exciting exploring the world and discovering the secret powers each 'Midnighter' has.  But there are dangers and dark forces also inhabiting the secret hour - and they seem to be especially interested in Jessica.