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Archive for December, 2010

KidLit is sponsoring a book giveaway. Go to KidLit’s website at http://childrenspublishing.blogspot.com/2010/12/in-stores-this-week-with-interviews_27.html and enter for a chance to win Bloody Valentine by Melissa de la Cruz.

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Like many of you I will be spending the next week or so with family members over the holiday break. I hope each of you has people to love, food to eat and a warm place to be this holiday season and always.

Until next year,

Tracy

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Witch & Wizard: The Gift

By James Patterson and Ned Rust

Copyright 2010 by James Patterson, published by Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group, 237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017, ISBN 978-0-316-03625-2

Witch & Wizard: The Gift is the second installment in James Patterson’s Witch & Wizard series. I loved the first book in the series, Witch & Wizard. I thought the story was great and the characters were wonderful. I’m not as enthused about Witch & Wizard: The Gift. The cast of characters remains essentially unchanged, but they digress from the form they had in the previous book. Also, this book doesn’t, in fact, pick up from the same spot the where the previous book ended. It’s rather confusing.

I liked the combination of Patterson and Charbonnet in Witch & Wizard. I don’t think the combination of James Patterson and Ned Rust in Witch & Wizard: The Gift works as well. The story really diverges from the direction it seemed to be heading in the first book. Maybe Patterson wanted to change directions but the story ended up losing some of its character and ability to be related to. Instead of being a sequel it feels like a different story that just happens to have the same characters as another story. Little remains to bind it to the first book other than the names of the people in it.

I don’t want you to get me wrong; I still feel Witch & Wizard: The Gift is worth reading. It still carries on the story of Whit and Wisty, just not in ways you would have foreseen, but maybe that’s not all bad. The story doesn’t allow you to settle in a comfortable rut and say, “Oh yes, well this is absolutely what this story is about and this is what is going to happen.” There’s no point where you’ll find yourself saying that. But if you’ve read both books you’ll probably like the first better.

After reading Witch & Wizard: The Gift I’m still curious about what is going to happen to Whit and Wisty, but I don’t know if it’s a strong enough desire to make me read the next book in the series, especially if it’s another Patterson/Rust collaboration.

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Split Image

By Robert B. Parker

Copyright 2010 by Robert B. Parker, G. P. Putnam’s Sons publishers since 1838, published by the Penguin Group, ISBN 978-0-399-15623-6, From $15.93

Parker’s Split Image is a Jesse Stone novel. Stone is the chief of police in the town of Paradise. Stone’s character is interesting, well-developed, with just a touch of cliché in spots that actually tend to add to the character. Sunny Randall is a private detective who is working closely with Jesse on a case requiring his input, the two develop a rapport as they each use the other as a sounding block for theories regarding their respective cases.

The rest of the characters are typical of their respective roles: There are muscle-bound body guards with the IQs of snails; mob-boss thugs; ex-con heads of security; wolves in sheep’s clothing and a set of twins, wives of the respective mob bosses who give new meaning to the term “dynamic duo.”

Few of the characters are spectacular, but the writing shines through despite this flaw resulting in a good story that makes skillful use of the technique of foreshadowing. The build-up of tension is very good. The pieces of this murder mystery artfully woven together into a coherent pattern that leaves no loose ends when the story is finally completed. Also, there is a wildcard, or two, thrown into the mix that will keep you wondering how the story is going to turn out in the end.

I hold everyone up to the historical greats: Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple and of course, Hercule Poirot. Who can hope to compare to the icons of the crime/murder genre?

Still, Split Image held my attention. It made me want to keep turning pages. It was a great way to pass several evenings. The story itself was well-developed and presented in an appealing manner. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. It didn’t keep me up at night wondering what was coming next, but it was good. If crime novels are your thing I think you’ll enjoy Split Image. I did.

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Love YA books! You’ll love part two of Jessica Subject’s interview with the characters Lil and Bran from Awakened the first book in the Guardian series. Check it out on Jessica’s website and enter for a chance to win Jessica’s autographed review copy of the book or her swags from the author Ednah Walters.

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Meet Lil and Bran in Jessica Subject’s interview with the characters from  Ednah Walters’ Awakened the first book in the Guardian series. Enter to win Jessica’s autographed review copy of the book as well as her swags. The interview is really interesting to read and makes you want to read the books in the series. Check it out at Jessica’s website.

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Jessica Subject is offering another book giveaway, Awakened by Ednah Walters. Awakened is the first volume in the Guardians series of books. Jessica is offering her autographed reviewer’s copy of the book as well as her swags in this drawing. She also has her review of the book posted and interviews in the posts following this one. Be sure to enter to win at Jessica’s website

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