Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts
(Berkley, 2015, 336 pages)
Gifted six must conquer evil.
Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts
(Berkley, 2015, 336 pages)
Gifted six must conquer evil.
The Last Victim by Karen Robards
(Ballantine Books, 2012, 321 pages)
Sizzling romance, paranormal detective twist.
The Fifth House of the Heart by Ben Tripp
(Gallery Books, 2015, 400 pages)
Kill vampires, amass a fortune.
by Erik Burnham; illustrated by Dan Schoening
(IDW Publishing, 2016, 120 pages)
These are your old Ghostbusters back in action—Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddmore. Janine is back as the receptionist. The Ghostbusters have become famous and even have multiple offices now. Their services are in demand. They work for New York, but when a wealthy businessman pays the city’s latest Ghostbusters bill, he also offers to buy the company, including its equipment, and eventually plans to phase out the old Ghostbusters for new ghost hunters. The Ghostbusters refuse the offer but end up working for the man part-time on haunted property on an island near Italy he’s planning to develop. Or does he have other motives?
I enjoyed this book because it captures the personalities of the characters from the movie—Venkman’s sarcasm, Ray’s vast knowledge of useless information, and Janine’s New York accent. You can hear Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Annie Potts’ voices as you read the dialogue. I haven’t read any previous Ghostbusters comics, but I’m planning to. If you’re a fan of 80s movies, you’ll probably like this one.
Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts
The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy #2
(Berkley, 2014, 319 pages)
In Book Two, Connor is taken back to an earlier time to encounter the son of the original Dark Witch. There are many likenesses but the mission remains the same. The power of three is strengthened to the power of six as Meara Quinn, Branna’s best friend, realizes that she is falling in love with Connor. While preparations are being made to battle evil, Connor slips back in time to get advice from his kin. Roberts continues to tell the mystical tale while painting pictures of beautiful old country and the bonds of friendship and love. And just when you think the O’Dwyers have rid themselves of their adversary, the reader finds evil lurking in the fog waiting to break through and steal their power.
Dark Witch by Nora Roberts
(Berkley, 2013, 342 pages)
Iona Sheehan is desperate to find her roots and her place in life. She decides to quit her job, sell her belongings, and take her grandmother’s advice to fly to Ireland and start anew. She books a week-long stay in the old castle that now serves as a luxurious hotel. She plans on pampering herself and taking in some scenery. She ventures out on her first day to find her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. Along the way she encounters a huge dog, but later finds out that he belongs to Branna and was sent to fetch her. Branna embraces Iona, offers to find her a job in the horse stables, and encourages Iona to move in when her time runs out at the castle.
Iona soon realizes that her cousins possess mystical powers. She had been told stories of the Dark Witch, her ancestor, by her grandmother, but she begins to understand that there is a reason and a purpose for which she has been drawn to Ireland. Iona’s arrival means that the three cousins will be able to join forces against the dark one, Cabhan. However, before the summer solstice, Iona will learn the trade of witchcraft and fall in love with a horseman. This is book 1 of the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy.
Haunted Webster Groves by Patrick Dorsey
(Factual Planet, 2015, 131 pages)
This book by Patrick Dorsey provides fourteen riveting accounts as told to him of unquiet spirits in and near the area of Webster Groves, Missouri. As a ghost agnostic, I am generally fascinated by and open to hearing people’s accounts of interactions with ghosts. This 131-page book is divided into two main section: “Legends,” being more a compilation of experiences that many people have had over many years, and “Firsthand Accounts,” in which Dorsey interviews several Webster Groves-area residents about their up-close-and-personal experiences with these spirits.
Regarding the writing style of the book, sometimes I was charmed by the way in which the author inserted his own editorial commentary into the stories; at other times, I wanted him to get out of the way a little more and simply let the stories speak for themselves. However, a book of this nature is at least in part personality-driven, and the playful treatment of this subject matter provides a bit of non-ghostly levity to the stories. Dorsey notes that he is “a storyteller and a writer, not a ghost hunter” (p. 10), and that the reader will thus find more story and less science. This book is good reading for the casual ghost hunter looking for an entertaining and spooky evening, particularly one familiar with or interested in the Webster Groves/St. Louis County area.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
(Scholastic, 2012, 416 pages)
Blue’s mother and aunts are all psychics. Blue seems to be the only one without this gift, though she does have the ability to enhance the supernatural abilities of others. One downfall of being surrounded by people who can predict the future is you know things about yourself you may wish you could forget. In Blue’s case she knows that she will be the cause of her true love’s death.
One night while Blue is out with her mother watching the “dead walk” she finds she is able to see one of the dead-to-be – a young man who attends the local private school. She normally makes a point of staying away from those students and refers to them as the Raven Boys. But the appearance of this young man, Gansey, sticks with her and when she meets him in real life she finds herself drawn to him. Along with three of his best friends, Blue joins Gansey in his quest to solve a mystery he’s been obsessed with for quite some time.
This is book one of the Raven Cycle series. I think it was built up too much so I found myself underwhelmed when I got around to reading it. I had a hard time getting into the story and didn’t really care about the main characters. It wasn’t until the end that I was actually intrigued to see what would happen as the pacing of the story picked up. I’m glad so many people enjoy the series but it’s not for me.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
(Quirk Books, 2011, 352 pages)
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the next title up for discussion at SCC’s Between the Covers book club and it had been on my “to read” list for ages. Jacob has always been close to his grandfather – he grew up hearing about his grandfather’s experience living in a group home for children during WWII but his stories always seemed just a little far-fetched. Tragedy strikes Jacob’s family and he has a hard time getting over it so when the opportunity comes to travel abroad and see the home his grandfather grew up in he’s encouraged to go. Jacob and his fatherset off for a small island off the coast of Wales and people seem to be hesitant to show Jacob where the group home is…
As Jacob wanders the island he meets a number of “peculiar” individuals – they all have special qualities that it’s hard to believe are real. But what’s really strange is that the people he’s meeting are the same people he remembers his grandfather talking about. How could that be possible?
This was a unique read with an enhanced experience provided through photographs incorporated into the text. I’ll be curious to hear people’s thoughts at the next book club discussion (10/29 at 2:30). It definitely ends in a way that has you curious to see where Riggs is going to go with the rest of the series. Fortunately book 2 (Hollow City) is already out 🙂
Silencing Eve by Iris Johansen
(St. Martin’s Press, 2013, 403 pages)
Is she dead or alive? That is the question on everybody’s lips. Eve appears to have been killed—that’s what everyone attending her funeral thinks, at least. But not even some of her top-brass colleagues know for sure whether her death is a hoax—a way to ensnare her brutal captor, Jim Doane, once and for all. But even if Eve really is still alive, how much longer can this charade continue before she falls into even greater danger? CIA agent Catherine Ling will waste no time trying to find out. Years ago, Eve risked everything to help Catherine find her missing son. Now Catherine, along with Eve’s beloved Joe Quinn and Jane MacGuire, will go to the ends of the earth to save her…
This is the last title in the Eve Duncan trilogy. The first was Taking Eve, the second one was Hunting Eve, and now we have Silencing Eve. I enjoyed reading the first two and was really looking forward to reading the last one. Silencing Eve was a good read but a little drawn out. The dialogue was a bit monotonous. Combining all 3 into one book and cutting out some dialogue would have made for an exceptional story. It had a crafty mix of suspense, shockers, romance, and the paranormal, which kept my interest. I love the writing style of Iris Johansen and all her books are easy to follow and keep you entertained. It was not the ending I was expecting, but still overall I enjoyed reading all three books. I look forward to reading more from her 🙂