Darkly Dreaming Dexter – Jeff Lindsay

15 10 2010

I just finished reading the first book in the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay.  I have been dying to read this book ever since I became hooked on the tv series.  I am pleased to say it did not let me down.  The characters were nicely fleshed out, the story developed gracefully and I love psycho killer Dexter just as much in the book as I do on the show.  It was a great pleasure to pick up the book and feel like I was meeting old friends because the characters and their actions were so familiar.

The other great thing about this book is it checks off another one on the Killer Thriller Challenge and I didn’t even realize it was on the list until I looked it over the not that long ago.  I can’t wait to read the next one!!! Luckily, it is sitting on the shelf, just begging to be cracked open.

This book is part of my personal library.


Update on the Killer Thriller Reading Challenge

6 10 2010

I have now read book 7 and 8 on the list. They are:  And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and The Shining by Stephen King.  I can’t really say I took to either of them.  The Agatha Christie book was just not for me, and the end of it was so lame, and far-fetched I couldn’t believe anyone actually goes out of their way to read her  books.  At least I can say I have read it and add it to my list.

The Shining, which I was thoroughly expecting to be engrossed in really did not grab my attention.  It was a great book.  Probably Stephen Kings best, certainly a melding of what he does best – horror and psychological thriller.  Considering that I once was a die-hard King fan I was very surprised not be a big fan of this one.  I just wasn’t and I was amazed at how dated it was.  I know all writers are of their time and have to use their current time and place as a reference point but this book just felt past its prime.

I do remember that I loved the movie, I may have to watch it again.

I am about to start reading Truman Capote’s In Cold  Blood.  This one I have read before and it is a chilling account of a true story.  I think this one will definitely be worth rereading.

Both books were borrowed from the library.

The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

31 08 2010

The Graveyard Book is a children’s book written by Neil Gaiman.  This book really took me by surprise.  I thought that the way it started was very grisly and far too frightening for a children’s book.  In fact, I was so disturbed by the opening chapter that I almost put it down.  Boy, am I glad I kept on reading!

This book is certainly for a more mature child, one that is used to reading things that might be disturbing to think about or to imagine.  The first chapter opens with the murder of the entire family of the child who is eventually named Nobody (Bod) Jones, and for the killer’s hunt for him (a child of only 2).  However, as the story developed I found myself enchanted with the idea of the plot and also with the characters, especially those of Bod and his “guardian” Silas.  And then toward the end when you find out about the “Jacks”, the action really starts to move and the whole book comes together.

The cast of characters is great and what creative and daydreaming child would not want to have as much freedom as Bod, as many special powers, and so many loving caring souls looking out for him.

For me this book is about the strength of the pure and unjaded soul of childhood.  It is too bad that as Bod grows up he has to lose his special powers and his adopted “family” but we all have to grow up and go out in the world.  At least Bod’s life will continue to be a great adventure.

This book was borrowed from the library.

The Passage – Justin Cronin

30 08 2010

I recently finished reading The Passage by Justin Cronin.  I have to admit that I knew there was a lot of publicity and hype around this book, but I didn’t really know what it was about.  It wasn’t until I saw it listed on a post-apocalypse reading list that I decided to try it.  Also, it happened to be on the shelf at my library when I was looking for something to read.

Let me just say that reading this book was a very fortuitous accident.  It has been a long time since a book has gripped me like this one did.  So much so, that I found myself dreaming about it in between bouts of reading it.  Believe me, I only put it down so that I could sleep.  This book was all consuming. 

Yes, there were parts that were rather simplistic, and parts that I wish had been expanded upon but overall this was a compelling book and one that is very entertaining.  Also, despite the subject matter there were parts that were definitely meant to be humorous. 

The beginning reminded me a lot of Firestarter by Stephen King which is one of my all time favorite books.  The rest was purely original.  Some people are saying this is a vampire book, but you know what, based on the current sub-genre of vampire books that are popular, ie. sexy, friendly, animal eating, super heroes, this is not a vampire novel.  This is an original book that holds its own and will probably create its own sub-genre just like cyber punk created a sub-genre of Sci-Fi.

It is hard to say I loved a book like this, how can you love a book about the hopelessness of the end of the world as we know it?  All I can say is that I want more and I can’t wait for the next two books in the series.

Good, Fun Book – The Gates – John Connolly

16 03 2010

Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund Boswell are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Hallowe’en. Which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Avenue.
The Abernathys don’t mean any harm by their flirtation with Satanism. But it just happens to coincide with a malfunction in the Large Hadron Collider that creates a hole in the universe, a hole through which can be glimpsed a pair of enormous gates.


The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out…

So, begins this rollicking adventure to save the world as we know it.  Despite the subject matter, this book was good clean fun.  It really reads like a children’s book and is very humorous in a tongue-in-cheek fashion.  I finished this one in 2 days and it was a welcome light-hearted poke at religion and hell after reading Angel Time.

The full title of this book is – The Gates (of Hell are about to Open, Want to Peek?) a bit long but certainly to the point.  It is written by John Connolly whose works I recognize but don’t appear to have read before.  I will certainly be looking in to reading more.

This book was borrowed from the library.

The Worst Book Ever ….

10 03 2010

Angel Time by Anne Rice has got to be the worst book I have read since Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe.  Only Bonfire of the Vanities turned out to be great and this one was a total dud.

It just went on and on and on and never got anywhere.  What was that supposed to be about and exactly what lesson was Anne Rice trying to get across with it.

This is the blurb from the book jacket:  Anne Rice returns to the mesmerizing storytelling that has captivated readers for more than three decades in a tale of unceasing suspense set in a time past – a metaphysical thriller about angels and assassins.

The novel opens in the present. At its center: Toby O’Dare – a contract killer of underground fame on assignment to kill once again. A soulless soul, a dead man walking, he lives under a series of aliases – just now: Lucky the Fox – and takes his orders from “The Right Man”.

Into O’Dare’s nightmarish world of lone and lethal missions comes a mysterious stranger, a seraph, who offers him a chance to save rather than destroy lives. O’Dare who long ago dreamt of being a priest but instead came to embody danger and violence, siezes his chance. Now he is carried back through the ages to thirteenth century England, to dark realms where accusations of ritual murder have been made against Jews, where children die or disappear… In this primitive setting, O’Dare begins his perilous quest for salvation, a journey of danger and flight, loyalty and betrayal, selflessness and love.

Blah, blah, blah.  Unceasing suspense my foot!  This book has no real story and goes no where slowly.  Thank goodness it was short, I felt obliged to finish it because I could not believe how awful it was. I kept hoping that like Bonfire of the Vanities it would eventually pick up and make me glad to have perservered and been a  book that I enjoyed and got the message from. Angel Time did not do that at all.  It could have been an excellent book, Anne Rice is a good author who knows how to control and guide her readers.  This book fell so short of the mark. 

I feel that the publishing company has taken advantage of me and Anne Rice’s millions of fans and dedicated readers.  If this book had been written by a new or unpublished writer it would never have been considered as worthy of being put in print. 

If you are an Anne Rice fan and follower like me, don’t read this one you will be sorely disappointed.

Book from my personal collection.

The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown

8 03 2010

I really was not going to read this book.  I thought Angels and Demons was OK, I didn’t really like The Davinci Code and I didn’t think I would like this one too much.  I eyed it in the bookstores and at Costco but always left it behind.  But, when I saw it on the New Releases shelf at the library I decided to give it a try.

Well, for me this one was the best of the 3 I really think that
Dan Brown got it totally write with this one.  I am also overwhelmed by the amount of research he must do before he actually writes his novels. I am certainly glad I picked it up.  The story was very interesting and because of my recent reading also very relevant.  I recently finished reading The 5000 Year Leap, a book about the Founding Fathers, their religious beliefs and their ties to the Masons so I found the storyline in
The Lost Symbol very interesting since the information from the non-fiction book was so clear in my head.

I am happy it was better than I thought it would be and look forward to the next one.

Book borrowed from the library.