Saturday, April 27, 2013

Review: Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations edited by Paula Guran

Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations ed. by Paula Guran is an anthology of short stories wherein strange things happen. Sometimes what's being investigated goes bump in the night; sometimes it's the investigator that is more on the weird side.

Most of the stories have been published elsewhere before this collection. The selection of writers is well and varied. Among them  are Neil Gaiman, Caitlin Kiernan, Patricia Briggs, and Charlaine Harris. You've got everything from Sherlock Holmes to ghostly goings on to demons. None of the stories really stood out more than any of the others for me. They were all good quality writing.

I think this anthology will appeal to people who enjoy urban fantasy, science fiction, or paranormal fiction. It is the latest in the "recent" series of anthologies (Zombies: The Recent Dead, New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird, Ghosts: Recent Hauntings). The paperback version of this book just came out April 3, 2013. It is now available both in ebook and paperback format.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in return for my unbiased opinion.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau is a YA dystopian novel told from Malencia Vale's point of view. This is  book one in a new trilogy.

It's after the Seven Stages War and the majority of the population is organized in colonies for safety. Cia and her family live in the Five Lakes colony which is the smallest colony and hasn't sent any graduates to the testing in several years. It's also a little more self sufficient than the other colonies giving the students lots of skills. Cia is a young student about to graduate school and wants nothing more than to go for Testing for University. But, is she ready for the Testing and all that it holds?

Ready or not she is selected along with a few others from her colony. Before they leave, her father gives her one last piece of advice based on his own shadowy recollections of his own testing, "Trust no one."

Tomas is her love interest. Everyday he seems to be more in love with her. But. should she trust him? Should she be ruled by her heart or her head?

I usually don't much like dystopian novels, but this one I did. I found myself turning the pages wanting to find out what happened next. I liked the characters especially Cia and Tomas. I liked the variety of action and the character development. People who enjoyed The Hunger Games or dystopian fiction in general will like this book. And I think if you like science fiction at all you will enjoy it. This book is expected to be available
June 4, 2013.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Review: Miss Julia's Gift by Ann B. Ross

Miss Julia's Gift is an eSpecial! from Ann B. Ross. It's a short piece, novella size, but no less rich for it.

Sam Murdoch, her second husband, has a habit of giving her gifts for every possible holiday including Groundhog Day and sometimes just because. Miss Julia doesn't quite know how to handle this kindness. She studies other people's reactions when they get gifts for clues as to how she should react.

And she talks to some of her trusted friends about "waiting for the other shoe to drop." She wonders if marriage will change Sam for the worse like it seemed to do to her first husband.

While there is not a lot of action in this book, the introspection is wonderful. It allows us a window into Miss Julia's state of mind just after her marriage that is sweet and could belong to many a second bride. Miss Julia makes it her own though when it's her turn to give Sam a gift for Valentine's Day. Hurray for Ann B. Ross bringing us closer to Miss Julia!

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

And if you like this book and want to read more Miss Julia there is a whole series with the most recent release being Miss Julia to the Rescue in paperback in March. And Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble will be released April 9th in hardcover,

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.