Saturday, April 21, 2012

Review: Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned
Lessons Learned by Nora Roberts

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a fun, light-hearted read. It is obviously one of her older books. The characters are not too serious or deep. It is a good book for curling up with in the winter or taking to the beach if you are looking for something that is an easy read.

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Review - The Tourist

I enjoyed reading The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer.  While it started out slow, once it picked up, I couldn't put it down.  This book became fast-paced and was cleverly written.

Milo is a Tourist who works for a little known section of the CIA known as the Department of Travel.  He and the other Tourists are constantly traveling around the world on assignment under a variety of aliases.  All of the traveling and never knowing who to trust have worn Milo down and he finally quits the Department so that he can try to live a normal, quiet life while still working for the CIA out of their New York office at a desk job.  Unfortunately, he gets pulled back into the Department when he is accused of murdering an old colleague.  He is on the run trying to clear his name and finding evidence that points to another Tourist being the murderer.

After I was done reading it, I found myself thinking of Robert Ludlum's Bourne series. Milo, like Jason Bourne, works for a little known department of the CIA.  They both travel and use aliases all the time.  This wore Milo done so that he left the Department of Travel while Jason Bourne lost his memory because he was conflicted.  The difference between the two men being that when Milo was cleared, he was welcomed back.  While Jason is on the run from the CIA for a while before he was able to settle down to a normal life in the United States without having to fear for his life.

Review: The Gutenberg Rubric

The Gutenberg Rubric
The Gutenberg Rubric by Nathan Everett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You can tell when a writer knows the subject matter that they are writing about and when they only have a limited knowledge of the subject. Mr. Everett has obviously done his homework on the subjects of the history of print and alchemy because he did a great job blending these two areas into a story that keeps the reader interested from the beginning. To me, the story is intriguing and believable. The characters are interesting and well written. Together, this made the book one that I had a hard time putting down.

I enjoyed reading this book and hope to see more from Mr. Everett in the future.

FTC Notice: I obtained an electronic copy of this book from the author.

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Review: New York to Dallas

New York to Dallas
New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I always enjoy getting background information on Eve and Roarke. This book definitely provided the reader with more information about Eve's early years on the NYPSD. It was nice to finally see how she and Feeney hooked up originally.

I missed the interaction between Eve and Peabody, and the NY cast as a whole since this book was primarily set in Dallas. I found it a little hard to believe that the Dallas PD, and the FBI for that matter, would let her take over running the case even though she knew so much about the killer. This is fiction though so I can see how it could happen.

Looking at this book, if I took out the Dallas LT, I could almost see Eve in command of the Dallas squad that she worked with on this case. There was a similar feel to the interaction of the squad as there is in Eve's squad in New York. Some might disagree with me on this, but it's just a thought.

It will be interesting to see where the series goes from here. While there are still gaps in Eve's background and Roarke's background is similar to the Black Hole of Calcutta since he did such a good job at erasing his past, there isn't that much left for these characters to accomplish. While the cases are different, the method through each is pretty much the same. Eve, backed by Roarke, Peabody, Feeney and McNabb, lands a case that she puts everything into as she tries to solve it. In the process, she will work until she is exhausted and she and Roarke will end up having at least one fight. In the end, the case will be solved and they will have made up earlier.

Overall, this was a good book and I enjoyed reading it.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: Aftertaste: A Novel in Five Courses

Aftertaste: A Novel in Five Courses
Aftertaste: A Novel in Five Courses by Meredith Mileti

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this book when my local book group picked it. I was not sure about this book when I first started to read it.

It starts out addressing the breakup of Mira's marriage and her subsequent move to Pittsburgh. While this first part was a little hard to get through, the book did pick up and I had a hard time putting it down.

I enjoyed watching Mira's character grow. While she wanted so badly to return to New York, you could see that she was setting down roots in Pittsburgh and making it her home. Even when given the opportunity to return, she eventually decides that what she needs is right where she is now.

This ended up being an interesting read. It was not something that I would normally read, but something that I enjoyed in the end.

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