Posted by Gail | Filed under Gail Pleasures
Spider’s Bite is the first instalment in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. Meet Gin Blanco, also known only as Spider the assassin. Gin is not only smart and fast, her abilities – like being able to summon razor-sharp ice daggers from thin air, and control the bricks in walls, rocks, and stones, and the very ground beneath her – make her a formidable enemy. In the secretive world of Ashland, Assasin Gin and her cohorts seem to be just as trustworthy and honourable as the next guy because everyone in this town has an angle, a history and blood on their hands. Ashland is a tricky place and you can never judge anyone by appearances. Estep manages this world of troubled souls, dwarfs, giants, and vampires, as well as humans deftly, making it all seem normal. Gin is part embittered hard-ass, part loyal friend and as the story unfolded I liked her more and more. Think I’ll get the next in the series to see where her relationship with the straight-laced cop goes.
The Land of Laughs by Jonathan Carroll tells the story of Thomas Abbey, a man stuck in a rut. An English teacher in a small prep school, his career is unfulfilling, he has no social life, and he cannot break out of the shadow of his famous father. So he takes a sabbatical to work on a biography of his favorite writer, Marshall France. France’s books were the only thing that kept Abbey sane during his childhood, and though he was renowned for his lyrical and imaginative children’s books, nearly nothing was known about the writer’s life. France’s daughter, Anna, has blocked all previous attempts at her father’s biography but that doesn’t stop Thomas Abbey from heading to Galen, Missouri, with high hopes of breaking down Anna’s resistance. Turns out Anna the soul of small-town hospitality and quite excited about Abbey’s proposal – even eager to get the project finished as soon as possible. Even stranger than Anna’s unexpected welcome is the town of Galen. A typical small Midwestern town the people aren’t so typical… they seem to know what their future holds – freak accidents and all.
The Raven Boys is by Maggie Stiefvater. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them – well, not until this year, when a boy speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a student at a local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from these boys, known as Raven Boys, because they mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey. He is a boy on a quest and Blue decides to help. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. As her life becomes caught up in the strange world of the Raven Boys, the words ring clear “”There are only two reasons a nonseer like Blue would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve. Either you’re his true love… or you killed him.”
The Rook by Daniel O’Mally is pure entertainment Myfanwy (Miffany) Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. Her memory is gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization – and this person wants her dead because she knows – but can’t remember – what this traitor has been up to. Funny and suspenseful, this novel was a pleasure that saw me through some trying travel experiences.
I loved The Probable Future Alice Hoffman. The women of the Sparrow family have unusual gifts. Elinor can detect falsehood. Her daughter, Jenny, can see people’s dreams when they sleep. Granddaughter Stella has a mental window to the future – a future that she might not want to see. Alice Hoffman weaves a vivid and intriguing cast of characters who must confronts a haunting past – and a very current murder – against the evocative backdrop of small-town New England. As young Stella struggles to cope with her disturbing clairvoyance, her potential to ruin or redeem becomes unbearable when one of her premonitions puts her father in jail, wrongly accused of homicide. Yet this ordeal also leads Stella to the grandmother she was forbidden to meet, and to an historic family home full of talismans from her ancestors.