Thursday, June 5, 2014

Death Comes For the Archbishop

Death Comes For the Archbishop by Willa Cather

This is not a story of action. I knew here was a death expected but still I was sad at the loss of the Archbishop and his friends.

This is a slow but engaging saga of two catholic priests who are sent from France to Ohio and then from Ohio to New Mexico. This was in the days when the Comanche still ruled the plains and so the voyage was made long by having to go around Indian territory. New Mexico had only just become part of America rather than Mexico. The arrival of a French Bishop and his French Vicar did not sit well with everyone.

Willa Cather was able to capture the look and feel of the wide open spaces that had not yet been settled. She does this over again and again in her books and this is no different.

I highly recommend this book. I was surprised how fast I was able to get through the book. It was an easy read and very engaging.

The Bridge

The Bridge by Kay Bratt

There is a bridge in China and the legend says that children left at the bridge will have eternal luck. This means that people who cannot take care of their children, infants even, might leave their children on this bridge with the hope that the child will have eternal luck.

Across the street from the bridge lives a solitary old woman. Over the years she has rescued many children left at the bridge and has taken them to the orphanage across town. Today, a mother has left a four-year old boy who is blind.

This is a short story, a novella. It was a super deal because I bought another book on my kindle. It was a good story but I was dismayed to learn how short it was. I would have liked her to continue the story.

The Beggar King

The Beggar King by Oliver Potzsch

This is the third book in the Hangman's Daughter series and it does not disappoint.

I really enjoy this series.  There is intrigue and mystery as well as the peek into life in a historical world.  I'm not sure if I'll ever need to know about various forms of torture or the implements used in torture but it is interesting nonetheless.  Also interesting is that the hangman would need to be able to heal his victims so that they could endure more torture the next day.  Just proves what sick creatures humans are to come up with that idea.

The hangman's daughter, Magdalena, and her secret lover, Simon, get themselves into trouble as usual but this time they are also having to save Magdalena's father, the hangman.  Complete with politics, medicines, poisons and social commentary, this book offers it all.

At the end of the book, just like the last, the author provides a modern guide through the city of the story.  He takes you through the streets of the novel and gives you information on the main buildings that you can see if you were to travel to Regensburg Germany.

I highly recommend this book but if you haven't read the others, start with The Hangman's Daughter and then read them in order.

Midnight Crossing

Midnight Crossing by Charlaine Harris

This is the first book in a new series by Harris.

Our main character appeared briefly in the Harper Connelly series, I believe.  Manfred Bernardo was born with psychic powers like his grandmother. Since his grandmother has passed away, Manfred has decided it is time to buckle down and focus on work. Work being his many internet psychic sites. Manfred has decided that moving to the extremely small, back-water town of Midnight, Texas will allow him to focus on his work. He is partly right.

Midnight apparently attracts those who are trying to disappear a bit and live a quiet life. Unfortunately, a missing person becomes a murder mystery and only Manfred is safe from suspect.

I am looking forward to the rest of this series as well as anything else Ms. Harris writes. Her writing style is fun and easy and her characters are quirky but believable.

The Space Between

The Space Between by Diana Gabaldon

Gabaldon is appeasing her many Outlander fans with this short novella. This is about neither Claire nor Jamie. It is, instead about Laoghaire's daughter Joan, Jaime's other step daughter and Jaime's nephew Michael and their trip to Paris.

Michael has been working for his great uncle's wine distribution company, Fraser et Cie, in Paris. Shortly after the death of his wife, he returned to Scotland for his father's death and funeral. When he returns to Paris, he is asked to escort Joan to a convent in Paris where Joan is hoping to take her orders after being a novice for at least a year.

The whispers of Joan's father Jaime, cause a case of mistaken identity and intrigue since Joan's lack of French keeps her from clarifying that he was her step-father.

This was a fun, quick read and it keeps up the anticipation of the next novel due out soon as well as the Stars series Outlander that airs in August, I believe.

Dragon's Triangle

Dragon's Triangle by Christine Kling

This book brought me back the The Garden of Evening Mists. The plot centers around the legend of the Golden Lily. This being that Japan had plundered the riches of every country it had invaded over the years.  During WWII, it became physically prohibitive for the Japanese ships to carry all the riches back to Japan so they decided to hide the booty in caves all around the Philippines and only the members of the royal family would know where the caves were. Of course they were killed and/or their maps were lost and the treasure has never been found.

In the Dragon's Triangle, our heroine happily sails wherever she wants and pays the bills by designing home security systems. She is a former member of the military with family secrets that trickle out as the story goes on. Some of these secrets were easy to deduce but a few others were a bit obscure.

This may be the first in a series and I'd be willing to read the next installment or another book by Kling.  It was a fun, quick read that was entertaining and exotic thanks to the locations covered.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Becoming

The Becoming by Jessica Meigs

This was a Kindle First. It is the first in series.

A fast moving virus has managed to escape the CDC in Atlanta. No one is clear on what has happened but here are riots in Atlanta and the riots seem to be spreading.

This is the zombie apocalypse. How would you react?  Would you survive.

The Orphan Master's Son

The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson

This book is fiction but the author did a ton of research including traveling to North Korea for his research. I think if Kim Jong Il ever read the book, he would not have been happy about allowing this man to visit. This book does not paint North Korea in a good light. If fact, this regime needs to be eradicated some how.

This is the story of a boy raised in an orphanage. His father is the orphan master and his mother was taken to Pyonyang because she was a singer.  Like Forest Gump, our protagonist was conveniently placed in a myriad of jobs and locations so that we could really get a feel for life in the DPRK.

I highly recommend this book.

Killing Ruby Rose

Killing Ruby Rose by Jessie Humphries

One of the benefits of having Amazon Prime is a thing called Kindle First. Once a month you can choose from 4 books and get one for free. I am all for free.

This is a Young Adult novel that is pretty much a girl power book.

Ruby Rose is a girl whose dad, a SWAT officer, was killed in the line of duty and her mom, the DA, works too much.  Ruby was trained in self defense by her dad but sometimes has problems with a lack of control.

Ruby Rose finds herself in a bit of a pickle but with the support of her new boyfriend and the help of some unlikely sources, everything turns out alright.

I would be interested in reading another book in this series. This book was fun, had some unexpected twists and the characters didn't bug the crap out of me.