Archive for February, 2016

I’m making my way through Agatha Christie, and this is one of my favs so far. Not quite up there with ‘And Then There Were None’ but close.

Blurb:

Villagers expect a fun game after a Gazette announcement of murder, but when lights flash off, shots ring out, and a masked burglar falls dead, the Inspector and vicar’s wife Bunch call in expert Miss Jane Marple. Was Swiss hotel clerk Rudi framed? Miss Letitia Blackstone houses scatty Dora, cousins Julia and Patrick, gardener widow Phillipa, and paranoid cook Mitzi.

This one has twists, twists, and then more twists behind them. I didn’t spot the killer until they were revealed, so Agatha Christie wins this round. This one is the third Agatha Christie I’ve read. The score is one to me, two to her.

It’s also my first Miss Marple book (though the 5th in the series). I fell in love with her character immediately. Hercule Poirot is pretty neat, but he gets on my nerves occasionally. Miss Marple seems a lot more modest. She’s this charming elderly woman who is seriously observant.

The characters seem well rounded. There’s humor. There’s plot. There’s mystery of course. This book is a definite five stars from me. I think this will be one of my fav Agatha Christie books for a long while to come.

For more info on this book go to: here.

Funny, full of action, drama, and the main character is gay. This is an awesome book.

Here’s the blurb:

The last thing in the world Thom Creed wants is to add to his father’s pain, so he keeps secrets. Like that he has special powers. And that he’s been asked to join the League – the very organization of superheroes that spurned his dad. But the most painful secret of all is one Thom can barely face himself: he’s gay.

But becoming a member of the League opens up a new world to Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, who can control fire but not her anger; Typhoid Larry, who can make anyone sick with his touch; and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide; but they will have to learn to trust one another when they uncover a deadly conspiracy within the League.

To survive, Thom will face challenges he never imagined. To find happiness, he’ll have to come to terms with his father’s past and discover the kind of hero he really wants to be.  

I really enjoyed this book. It’s set in a world where superheroes are an everyday thing. You’ll be walking along, getting your shopping and a masked villain will go on a rant for some unknown reason, and an equally masked hero will step in to save the day.

The author has clearly thought of the pluses and minuses of a society where that might happen. Superheroes are celebrities, and as celebrities have to worry a lot about appearance. I think some in the league might’ve taken it better if Thom had turned out to be a supervillian rather than gay.

Think about that. It seems implausible, but then look at the marvel movies. All those cis white males. Or DC. Constantine is bi in the comics, but in his TV series they portray him as straight.

On the lighter side this book is great at poking fun. Like the importance of superhero names. Or stupid costumes. And the pointing out strangeness about characters clearly based off of comic book characters.

The characters are great. Thom’s group of friends are wonderfully messed up. It’s great to see them work on their difficulties, and grow confidence in themselves.

There are a couple holes in the plot, the pacing is a little off, and the writing could be better. But it was a fun read. So four stars from me.

For more about this book go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1251032.Hero

I’ve embarked on an Agatha Christie fest (‘And then there were none’ is one my favs) and I’m amazed to find how little her stuff ages. Sure there are a few things glaringly different to modern times, but most of the time I don’t notice.

Here’s the blurb:

There’s a serial killer on the loose, bent on working his way through the alphabet. And as a macabre calling card he leaves beside each victim’s corpe the ABC Railway Guide open at the name of the town where the murder has taken place. Having begun with Andover, Bexhill and then Churston, there seems little chance of the murderer being caught – until he makes the crucial and vain mistake of challenging Hercule Poirot to frustrate his plans.

Agatha Christie is the master of who dunnits that keep you guessing until the end. I managed to guess correctly part way through, and was very proud of myself since with most of her books I still have a handful of suspects at the end (and occasionally none of them are right).

This one was a little slower than other books of hers. It’s not one of my favourites, but not one of my least favourites either. A good read when you fancy a mystery. There are the usual number of twists and turns, but as I say, it’s at a slower pace than usual.

I recommend it if you’re a fan of hers. If you haven’t ventured into the world of Agatha Christie yet, I’d say go read ‘And then there were none’ before this one. It’s a better book. And then if you love that one come back and read everything else she’s written including this one.

For more information on this book go here.

Fancy reading about a badass cage fighting unicorn for free?

Of course you do, here’s the link: http://www.tor.com/2012/11/28/heads-will-roll/

Neat little story, huh. It had action, drama, humor, and a cage fighting unicorn named Steve. I don’t think you can ask for much more than that.

If I’m going to picky I’d say the twist was pretty obvious. Things are a bit too easy for our main character. And the humor while funny rubbed my nerves the wrong way a couple times.

But this is a short story, and it’s free. I still give it four stars.

If you really liked this novella check out my review for Hold Me Closer Necromancer here. It’s set in the same world. There are different characters (apart from one minor character in both stories), but it’s the same sense of humor.

If you liked the humor in one, you should like the humor in the other. Happy reading!