Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Into the Dark, Desolate Night by John Darling

Darling’s portrayal of Detective Anderson is a total classic.  The man is hard, street mean and an overall push over.  He’s out to save the world and you better just get out of the way.  Reminds me of a Spade character from long ago.  This is a collection of short stories which as you all know I try not to read.  But they all center on the main character and read more like a novel with specific themes.  

The stories are great mysteries all with surprises and very fast paced but none of them are alike.  Anderson grows on the reader and the author’s attempts at humor come off perfectly.  For short stories the scenes are set well and there are no details left out that make you wonder what happened.  No stone unturned, as it were.

I really enjoyed reading this book and will keep it on my shelf to read again.  I just loved this guy and his unique way of solving murders and just looking at murders will keep me coming back.  These are fast reads but very enjoyable.  I can’t wait to get into the next set of Detective Anderson novels.

Reviewed by Sue Owen

Enemy in Blue by Derek Blass

This was a page-turner from beginning to end.  I had some trouble following the main characters but figured it out after a bit.  The plot was complicated but put together nicely and the secrets interwoven good.  There was one place that could have used some clarification; the Mexican standoff part.  I would have liked to have more drama there.  Was ready for a monster fight but felt disappointed.

I really liked the way the author put this all together and made it all fit.  There wasn’t a lot of time wasted setting up scenes which I loved and the author allowed the characters to stand or fall on their own.  There wasn’t any finger point as to who was the good guy.  I got to figure it out as the book progressed.

This was more of a serious read for me.  I had to really pay attention to the plot twists and make sure I understood who had done what to whom.  But that just made it more interesting to read.  I liked this book and recommend it for its more serious plot and characters.

Reviewed by Sue Owen

Summoned by Susan Noble

I think this is going to be a nice series.  But this fell under the spell of so many first novels in series and had way too much character development, front end story and (sorry!) boring plot lines.  I realize what the author was trying to do and I applaud the effort but I just didn’t get a whole lot out of this book until well into the middle.

However, I think this has the potential to be a majorly awesome series.  I loved the main characters and can’t wait to find out how she learns to kick tail in future books.  The plot was well thought out and the characters well developed.

I recommend this as a means to an end.  Without this novel the rest of the series would be harder to understand.  You need to wade through this one to get to the good stuff.  Not to say this doesn’t have good stuff, because it does and I enjoyed the ending very much.  But as a standalone book there is way too much time spend on character and plot development.  

Reviewed by Sue Owen

The Cahokian by Zoe Saadia

I enjoyed the heritage that was present in this book.  I liked traveling with the characters through their family’s history and the traditions that were represented here.  I think, however, that the plot needs some work.  I was mostly confused between the ‘then’ and the ‘now’ time frames and don’t feel they were delineated enough.  I feel it’s not quite ‘finished’ and needs a good editor to correct tense and grammatical errors. 

Typically, I don’t review books like this that I consider unfinished however, I felt this one was worth the read just for the development both character and scenes that were put into it.  I really liked reading about the traditions and ceremonies and why things are the way they are in this viewpoint. 

I would love the author to spend some time editing and then read it again.  I think it has huge potential to be a classic and just needs a bit of polishing.

Reviewed by Sue Owen