...never judge a book by its movie

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Breakthrough by Jerry B. Jenkins - BOOK REVIEW

The Breakthrough by Jerry B. Jenkins
Title:  The Breakthrough
Author:  Jerry B. Jenkins
Publisher:   Tyndale House
Release Date:  September 1,  2012
Hardcover, 350 pages
ISBN 10:    1414309090
ISBN 13:  9781414309095
The Book Depository / Amazon

Goodreads description:

As the youngest bureau chief and head of the Chicago Police Department's Major Case Squad, Boone Drake seems to have it all under control. Only those closest to him know that just a few short years ago, he lost everything that mattered to him in a tragic accident. After years of healing, his life is back on track. He recently married a wonderful woman named Haeley, adopted her son, bought a beautiful home, and rediscovered his faith. But Boone can't fight the feeling that something is about to go terribly wrong . . . again.

When an all-too-personal case takes Boone to Beijing at a time when Haeley can least afford to let him go, Boone is forced to make a difficult choice. There he becomes enmeshed in a dangerous human-trafficking ring that takes him through the famed Hutong District's narrow streets, alleys, and hovels. Teamed with a former Liberation Army officer, Boone has one chance to pull off an elaborate sting and rescue a young boy before he disappears forever.

My Take: 

Synopsis:  Boone Drake is the youngest bureau chief in the history of the Chicago PD.

Boone now has a new wife (Haeley) and a stepson named Max.  Boone's life is finally settled, and his faith is steadfast, but he seems to continually peer around the corner, waiting for something bad to happen.  He has already experienced more tragedy than most, and, with his faith sorely tested, I can almost understand how and why he finds himself unable to simply accept the good turn his life has taken.

Trouble once again strikes close to home, and Boone is drawn to China in the hopes of untangling one small boy from a band of human traffickers.

Opinion:  "The Breakthrough" is the last in the Precinct 11 trilogy.  I somehow missed "The Betrayal" (the second in the series), but DID read and review "The Brotherhood", the opening book of the series.   I wish I HAD read the second book, because I definitely felt its lack while I was reading this novel.  It would have been nice to have more background written into this one, especially since many of us find ourselves picking up a title out-of-sequence, and knowing what happened before is always helpful.  In my case, knowing what happened before usually makes me want to go out and buy the previous title(s).

I enjoyed the action in this one once Boone was in China, but felt that the China adventure was ended rather abruptly.

I was slightly disappointed in this one - other than the action scenes, it felt rather flat and one-dimensional.  For a reader new to the series, the characters would also likely fall flat, as we don't get a rounded look at them in this novel.  I can't be certain, but I think that my experience with "The Brotherhood" is likely the only thing that kept me reading "The Breakthrough".

Writing:  3 out of 5 stars
Plot:  3 out of 5 stars
Characters:  3 out of 5 stars
Reading Immersion:   3.5 out 5 stars

BOOK RATING:  3.25 out of 5 stars

Sensitive Reader:  No problems with this one

Book Clubs:  Iffy; I always think that the best books for book clubs are ones that provide lines of discussion not just about the book itself, but about themes within the book as well.  Some of the themes that I think this book might open up:  How does a Christian maintain a relationship with a non-Christian without stepping away from the tenets of  their faith?  The age-old: Why DOES God allow bad things to happen to good people?  Maybe even a discussion about human trafficking.

BLOGGERS:  Have you reviewed this book? If so, please feel free to leave a link to your review in the comments section; I will also add your link to the body of my review. 

Read an excerpt

BUY IT:  At Amazon, The Book Depository, through the publisher's website,  and through other on-and-off-line booksellers.

Disclosure:  I  received a  complimentary ARC of this title from the author to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was received and I was not required to post a positive review.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays - August 28, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along; you don't have to be a blogger! Just do the following:

Grab your current read

Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I was very taken by The Queenmaker, Ms. Edghill's tale of King David - I expect that this follow-up will also make me happy to read!

My teaser this week: 

Wisdom's Daughter by India Edghill

Solomon granted all his wives that royal title, just as he allotted each an equal set of rooms, an equal wealth in fine array and in precious gems.  And as he allotted each a night o be spent with her royal husband; he kept no favorite.

- page 90, Wisdom's Daughter by India Edghill (Amazon / The Book Depository)

Goodreads description:

This is the tale of Bilqis, the Queen of Sheba, who rules the spice lands and bows before the will of the Goddess.

This is the tale of Solomon, the King of Israel and Judea, who built the golden temple to Yahweh in Jerusalem. Once he prayed that he might rule wisely.

This is the tale of Solomon's wives, of his concubines ... and of his daughter Baalit, more beloved than any son. Here are their voices, their mysteries, and their deepest secrets. Here they sing their songs and weave their tapestries.

As the queen's search for a true heir to her throne takes her to the court of the wisest man in the world, both she and the king learn how to value truth, love, and duty...and the king's daughter learns that not all the world is ruled by men.

Wisdom's Daughter is a vivid and richly textured rendition of the biblical tale of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Told in a tapestry of voices that ring with authenticity, Wisdom's Daughter profoundly reveals the deep ties among women in a patriarchal world.

Feel free to leave your teaser or link to it in the comments section; I find that I always end up adding to my to-buy list when I visit!

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Memes - It's Monday! What are YOU Reading?, In My Mailbox, Mailbox Monday - August 27, 2012

"Mailbox Monday" is the brainchild of Marcia at The Printed Page.  Martha has closed The Printed Page effective December 18th and set up Mailbox Monday on it's own blog here:  http://mailboxmonday.wordpress.com/

August's hosts are the wonderful women at one of my favorite sites: Five Minutes for Books!   Hop on over, link up, and join the fun!

"In My Mailbox" is hosted by The Story Siren

Every week we'll post about what books we have that week (via your mailbox/library/store bought)! Everyone that agrees to participate will try to visit each other's list and leave comments!  Everyone is welcome to join! You can join at anytime and you DO NOT have to participate every week.

I guarantee that you will add to your reading list by visiting the participating blogs in both of these memes!

I did not receive any hard copies this week, but I did download some NetGalley titles.  Now that I have a Nook Color, it's so much more convenient to read eGalleys!

The Tall Tale of Tommy Twice by For review - Releases October 30, 2012 - (Amazon)

Goodreads description:

When Tommy’s parents abandon him as baby, his grandmother Gaga takes him to her reclusive house near the top of Pike’s Peak. When Gaga casts him out, Tommy’s journey takes him to the countryside homestead of Aunt Tess—who hides surprising objects in her fizzy, voluminous hair—to Aunt Penny’s four enormous city houses and her preferred communication by ESP. In the cave-like desert home of Aunt Chelsea, Tommy learns how to hunt coyotes and the proper method of delivering newspapers. Shocked by a secret hidden beneath Aunt Chelsea’s house, Tommy runs off with a mysterious woman he meets on a bus, all while searching for a place to call home.

THE TALE TALL OF TOMMY TWICE captures the innocence of youth and the complexities of contemporary life. It’s a fanciful debut about the wonderment of adventure and the profound effect of family in the increasingly rootless American experience.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa - For review (The Book Depository / Amazon

Goodreads description:

"In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity." Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of "them." The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for.

The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg -  For review - Releases October 23, 2012 (The Book Depository / Amazon

Goodreads description:

For more than thirty years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. But now things are splintering apart, for one reason, it seems: Edie's enormous girth. She's obsessed with food--thinking about it, eating it--and if she doesn't stop, she won't have much longer to live.

When Richard abandons his wife, it is up to the next generation to take control. Robin, their schoolteacher daughter, is determined that her father pay for leaving Edie. Benny, an easy-going, pot-smoking family man, just wants to smooth things over. And Rachelle-- a whippet thin perfectionist-- is intent on saving her mother-in-law's life, but this task proves even bigger than planning her twin children's spectacular b'nai mitzvah party. Through it all, they wonder: do Edie's devastating choices rest on her shoulders alone, or are others at fault, too?

With pitch-perfect prose, huge compassion, and sly humor, Jami Attenberg has given us an epic story of marriage, family, and obsession. The Middlesteins explores the hopes and heartbreaks of new and old love, the yearnings of Midwestern America, and our devastating, fascinating preoccupation with food.

Summer of the Wolves by Lisa Williams Kline - For review  - (The Book Depository / Amazon

Goodreads description:

This is the story of Diana and Stephanie, new stepsisters on a vacation at a ranch with Diana's mom and Stephanie's dad, who are newlyweds. Diana has a 'mood disorder' for which she takes medication. In her estimation, Stephanie is just too perfect. But Stephanie has some secrets of her own. The girls band together to free two captive wolves, an action that has unexpected and unintended consequences. Told in the alternating voices of Diana and Stephanie, the book explores themes of family, friendship, mental health, and nature.
Swipe by Evan Angler -  For review (The Book Depository / Amazon
Goodreads description:

Everyone gets the Mark. It gives all the benefits of citizenship. Yet if getting the Mark is such a good thing, then why does it feel so wrong?

Set in a future North America that is struggling to recover after famine and global war, Swipe follows the lives of three kids caught in the middle of a conflict they didn’t even know existed. United under a charismatic leader, every citizen of the American Union is required to get the Mark on their 13th birthday in order to gain the benefits of citizenship.

The Mark is a tattoo that must be swiped by special scanners for everything from employment to transportation to shopping. It’s almost Logan Langly’s 13th birthday and he knows he should be excited about getting the Mark, but he hasn’t been able to shake the feeling he’s being watched. Not since his sister went to get her Mark five years ago . . . and never came back.

When Logan and his friends discover the truth behind the Mark, will they ever be able to go back to being normal teenagers? Find out in the first book of this exciting series that is Left Behind meets Matched for middle-grade readers.

The Enchanted Attic (Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame) by L. L. Samson - For review  - (The Book Depository / Amazon

Goodreads description:

A hidden attic. A classic story. A very unexpected twist. Twin twelve-year-old bookworms Ophelia and Linus Easterday discover a hidden attic that once belonged to a mad scientist. While relaxing in the attic and enjoying her latest book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Ophelia dozes off, and within moments finds herself facing a fully alive and completely bewildered Quasimodo. Ophelia and Linus team up with a clever neighbor, a hippy priest, and a college custodian, learning Quasimodo's story while searching for some way to get him back home---if he can survive long enough in the modern world

What Are You Reading?

"What Are You Reading?" is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.  Click over to see what other readers are into this week and add to your TBR pile!


Queenmaker by India Edghill
Hard Copy
The Timekeeper by Mitch Albom
A Prayer for the Devil by Dale Allan
A Knitter's Home Companion by Michelle Edwards
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Hard Copy

REVIEWED:  (click the cover to go to the review):

The Night Train by Clyde Edgerton
4 of 5 stars
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
5 of 5 stars
Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
4.6 of 5 stars

(Click on the cover for the Goodreads page)

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Hard copy
Essential Collection of 81 Classic Novels for the Nook

I just realized that I've had the wrong title up for my verrrrry long (over 15,000 pages) Nook book - I'm still stuck at "Gulliver's Travels".  Here's what I've read so far (strikethroughs mean I skipped on past):

The Three Musketeers (re-read)
Little Women (re-read)
Great Expectations (just read this one at the beginning of the year/end of last year)
Oliver Twist
The Jungle
A Tale of Two Cities
Leaves of Grass (not in the mood for poetry when I hit this one)
The Odyssey (and DEFINITELY not in the mood for long epic poetry right after)
Madame Bovary (just read this one this year - not a huge fan)
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
The Divine Comedy
Walden, and On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

Next to be read on the personal pile (click cover for Goodreads page):

Wisdom's Daughter by India Edghill
The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano The Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Next to be read on the hard copy review pile (click cover for Goodreads page):

Alice on the Outside by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures

Did not finish:

I "may" go back to this one some time, but 60 pages in and it wasn't doing anything at all for me.  


This was such a hard decision, because "The Snow Child" was fan-friggin'-tabulous (kind of sad, too .. a lovely, emotional read).  In the end, though, I went with the one that had me feeling the most thoughtful and grateful at the end.

How was YOUR reading week?  Please leave a link to YOUR "What Are You Reading/In My Mailbox/Mailbox Monday" post(s) in the comments (I'd love to come visit) or simply comment with what your reading week was like!


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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sit Down and Write-a-thon Wrapup

Although I didn't do a start-up post for Michelle's "Sit Down and Write Write-a-Thon" , I HAVE been writing reviews.  I must admit, however, that I've spent MUCH more time reading books than actually writing reviews.

Due to a full-time job and summer being here, well, my blog work has fallen behind and I have a TON of reviews that needed to be written.  Rather than make myself crazier by trying to put an order to the reviews, I just grabbed some review books and started writing in no particular order.  Here are the reviews I've written (the ones that aren't posted are scheduled to post within the next two weeks):
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Night Train by Clyde Edgerton
Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
The Breakthrough by Jerry B. Jenkins
The Concubine Saga by Lloyd Lofthouse
The Taker by Alma Katsu
The Third Gate by Lincoln Child
The Thirteenth Tale by Diana Setterfield
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

So .. nine reviews written in one week.  For me, especially lately, THAT is a great amount!  :)  I will be visiting others on the 'thon tomorrow to see how well they fared!


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It's Sunday! Time to list YOUR blog giveaways!

If you're a blog owner, don't forget to add your giveaways to the Giveaway Linky!

Enter your blog name, a brief description of the prize, ending date and eligibility (US, Can, International, etc.)  Please put the ending date, too, so that I can clear it out when it's over. EXAMPLE:  Best Blog on the Block - $50 Gift certificate - 6/30 - US/Can

NO SPAM - you'll be banned - I'm not kidding!

I have some great new giveaways lined up starting this week (look to the left for a preview)!


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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes - BOOK REVIEW

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
Title:  Into the Darkest Corner
Author:  Elizabeth Haynes
Publisher:   Harper Collins
Release Date:  June 5, 2012
Hardcover, 416 pages
ISBN 10:    0062197258
ISBN 13:  9780062197252
The Book Depository / Amazon
A July, 2012 Indie Next Pick

Goodreads description:

Catherine has been enjoying the single life for long enough to know a good catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic, spontaneous - Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell. But there is a darker side to Lee. His erratic, controlling and sometimes frightening behaviour means that Catherine is increasingly isolated. Driven into the darkest corner of her world, and trusting no one, she plans a meticulous escape. Four years later, struggling to overcome her demons, Catherine dares to believe she might be safe from harm. Until one phone call changes everything. This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense.

My Take: 

What turns a carefree, club-hopping girl with lots of friends into an anxiety-ridden, OCD-driven loner?

Meet Cathy Bailey, still recovering from a horrible relationship with Mr. Wrong, otherwise known as Lee Brightman.  He swept her off her feet in 2003, when she first met him working as a doorman at a nightclub.  Four years later, she is unable to leave for work or come home without obsessively checking and re-checking her doors and windows. She no longer has friends, and she's even reluctant to go to work functions.  When Stuart Richardson, a clinical psychologist, moves in as her new upstairs neighbor, a tentative friendship begins - one that may help her overcome her anxiety and beat her OCD.

This novel shifts from past to present, but not in a jarring fashion.  As we read about Cathy now, we learn about Cathy then, when she meets a charming, handsome man and falls for him.  As he begins to turn a bit creepy, we see how she almost gets out of the relationship, but allows him to charm his way back to her through her friends.

This novel perfectly captures the terror and helplessness of domestic violence -  the man who appears so charming to others and is a monster at home.  As a former battered woman turned counselor (for a period of time), I can say from personal experience that the horrific picture painted by this novel is so very real and true-to-life.  That niggling voice that's telling a woman that something just isn't "quite right"?  So easy to overcome - you must be over-reacting, especially because your friends are SO wishing that THEY had such an attentive boyfriend.  Does it feel as though he's invading your space?  Checking on you too much?  Is he actually FOLLOWING you or did he just happen to be in the same place at the same time?  Maybe you're just being selfish and paranoid.

Until the day you realize that you weren't.  You weren't over-reacting, you weren't being selfish and paranoid.  But now it's too late -you're trapped because trying to leave is much more dangerous than staying and you only have one chance at escape.

I wish I could say more about this novel without spoilers.   Lee is a horribly creepy, believable, deserving-of-hate villain.  Sadly, there really ARE people like this in our world, and the damage that they cause goes much more than skin-deep.

Reading this novel is more than just getting lost in an absorbing story - more than page-turning - more than an "OMG .. what's going to happen next?" experience.  It is also a psychological thriller that will leave the reader with a better understanding of the issue of domestic violence and hopefully a better understanding of its victims.

QUOTES (from an ARC; may be different in final copy):

Some weekends are good; others, not so.  Certain dates are good.  I can only go food shopping on even-numbered days.  If the 13th falls on a weekend, I can't do anything at all.  On odd-numbered days, I can exercise, but only if it's cloudy or raining, not if it's sunny. On odd-numbered days, I can't cook food, I can only eat cold things or heat stuff up.

"Catherine," he said, his voice low, shockingly calm.  "Don't make me do that again, okay?  Just come home on time, or let me know where you're going.  It's simple.  It's for your own safety.  There are some really dangerous people out there.  I'm the only one who's looking out for you, you know that, don't you?  So make it easy for yourself and do as you're told."

I'd always thought that women who stayed in abusive relationships must be foolish.  After all, there had to be a moment, a realization that things had taken a wrong turn and you were suddenly afraid to be with your partner - and surely that was the moment to leave.  Walk away and don't look back, I always thought.

Writing:  4.5 out of 5 stars
Plot:  5 out of 5 stars
Characters:  4.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Immersion:  4.5 out 5 stars

BOOK RATING:   4.6 out of 5 stars

Sensitive Reader:  There are some scenes of violence, some sexual references, and an F-bomb dropped here and there.

Book Clubs:  Definitely.  First, because it really IS a great read.  Second, I can guarantee pretty lively discussions due to the subject matter.

BLOGGERS:  Have you reviewed this book? If so, please feel free to leave a link to your review in the comments section; I will also add your link to the body of my review.

BUY IT:  At Amazon, The Book Depository, through the publisher's website,  and through other on-and-off-line booksellers.

Disclosure:  I  received a  complimentary ARC of this title from the publisher to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was received and I was not required to post a positive review.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Two-fer Tuesdays - Quick Takes - The Night Train by Clyde Edgerton and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Quick Takes - A quick look at a book with the Goodreads description and a quickie paragraph or two.

Up this week: "The Night Train" by Clyde Edgerton and "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

The Night Train by Clyde Edgerton

I won a copy of this title from Jennifer at Mom vs. the boys

Goodreads description:

 In 1963 at the age of 17, Dwayne Hallston discovers James Brown and wants to perform just like him. His band, the Amazing Rumblers, studies and rehearses Brown's Live at the Apollo album in the storage room of his father's shop in their small North Carolina town. Meanwhile, Dwayne's forbidden black friend Larry, aspiring to play piano like Thelonius Monk, apprentices to a jazz musician called the Bleeder. His mother hopes music will allow him to escape the South.

A dancing chicken and a mutual passion for music help Dwayne and Larry as they try to achieve their dreams and maintain their friendship, even while their world says both are impossible. In THE NIGHT TRAIN, Edgerton's trademark humor reminds us of our divided national history and the way music has helped bring us together.

Quick Take:  Larry Nolan (full name Larry Lime Beacon of Time Reckoning Breathe on Me Nolan) is 16 in 1963 Starke, North Carolina.  He works for a furniture shop owner as well as with his Uncle Young (actually his cousin - full name Young Prophet of Light and Material Witness to the Creation Trumpet Jones), who does odd jobs (picking up garbage, meat parts, etc.)

Dwayne Hallston is the son of the furniture shop owner and is determined to rock out like James Brown. Since Larry is taking lessons from a local jazz musician, Dwayne enlists his help to learn the music and the dance that he needs to get some "soul" into his band's routine, but they have to do it on the sly, as there is a racial divide between the "two Starkes" that is becoming amplified in this time of lunch counter sit-ins:

Jobs for many men and women in Starke, Prestonville, and Whittier - white women worked in the home, generally, as did a few black women - were at Sears (white), selling cars in Whittier (white) as clerks in the black-run stores in Prestonville (black), selling insurance (white, one black), working at the hosiery mill in Prestonville (white), working as farm laborers (white, black), doing domestic work (black), refinishing furniture at Dwayne's daddy's store (white, black), working a Jared Fitzsimmons's dog food factory (white, black), and so on.

This novel has humor, quiet (and some not-so-quiet) action, and a friendship that defies the odds.  I thoroughly enjoyed it. It also proves that a writer doesn't have to use high-falutin' language to be a great writer - the clear prose was refreshing.

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

2012 Books Won Reading Challenge
One of my listed titles for the 2012 Books Won Reading Challenge

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

I bought this book on one of my book-buying sprees :)

Goodreads description:

Barcelona, 1945—Just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes one day to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again.

Daniel’s father coaxes him to choose a book from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the book he selects, a novel called The Shadow of the Wind by one Julián Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax’s work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last of Carax’s books in existence.

Before Daniel knows it, his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness, and doomed love, and before long he realizes that if he doesn’t find out the truth about Julián Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly

Quick Take:  A Gothic feel centered around a writer and the son of a bookstore owner?  Sign me up!  

Seriously, this book is GREAT!  Really, really good.  The surrounding cast of characters only adds to the wonder of this book.  We have a great villain, murders, mystery, disappearances, injustice, people who may not be who we think they are,  the "devil" from Julian Carax's novel, obsessions, lost loves ... I mean, what else can a reader ask for?  

Maybe a wonderfully quirky secondary character who used to be a political prisoner, then street bum, now Daniel's friend and co-worker?  Fermin!  LOVED this character!  LOVED this book!  If you love gothic mysteries, you'll love this one too - told in the first-person POV in eminently readable language, it is no wonder that it's a modern classic.

Rating5 out of 5 stars

Quick quote:  

"Your undoing is your shamelessness and the irreverence you carry around with you," said 
Merceditas.  "Blasphemer.  You ought to have your soul cleaned out with hydrochloric acid."
"Look here, Merceditas, just because I know you're a good person (though a bit narrow-minded and ignorant as a brick), and because right now we're facing a social emergency in the neighborhood, in the fact of which one must prioritize one's efforts, I will refrain from clarifying a few cardinal points for you -"
"Fermin!" cried my father.

More Reviews:

A Hot Cup of Pleasure

That's all for this week's Quick Takes; let me know what you think!

BLOGGERS:  Have you reviewed either of these books? If so, please feel free to leave a link to your review in the comments section; I will also add your link to the body of my review.  


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