transmission
25Jun/18Off

family?

Rainy Day Friends

Jill Shalvis

Lanie starts a new job at a family run winery. Very vulnerable after the death of her cheating husband she's deliberately avoiding relationships but with a bickering family and fellow new arrival River she finds herself making new bonds that could be the best thing or worst thing to happen to her.
I thoroughly enjoyed this well written and paced romance. The characters were all entertaining and believably drawn by the standards of contemporary romance.

Rating: B+

7Jun/18Off

tank?

Head On

John Scalzi

This is the sequel to Lock In which set up a near future world where an illness called Haden's Syndrome has left a significant percentage of the population locked into their physical bodies and only able to experience the world remotely via robot proxies.
The lead character is once again Haden FBI agent Chris Shane.
This one is set in the world of the fast-growing and ulraviolent Haden sport of Hilketa.
When a player dies in a pre-season match Shane and their partner uncover a web of lies that goes all the way to the heart of the sport.
As always Scalzi's prose is easy to read and designed to draw you in. It's a fast-paced ride of a read rather than something designed for depth.

Rating: B+

7Feb/18Off

pool?

Welcome To Temptation

Jennifer Crusie

The first of the Dempsey books is an enjoyable read full of Crusie's signature witty dialogue.
I reviewed this one a couple of years ago and most that entry still stands.

Rating: B+

31Jan/18Off

coop?

Lost and Found Sisters

Jill Shalvis

Jill Shalvis writes very enjoyable romance novels. She rarely writes a dud and while they're not particularly memorable they are so much fun while you're reading them.
This particular story follows Quinn - still reeling from the loss of her sister Beth.
In swift succession she learns she's adopted, that her birth mother has died from cancer and that she has a teenage sister.
It's got great female relationships and a half-decent romance.
Definitely worth checking out if you're into contemporary romance.

Rating: B+

24Nov/17Off

starter?

Sourdough

Robin Sloan

Stressed San Francisco based programmer Lois Clary finds comfort in takeaway sourdough and soup. When the proprietors have to leave the US they leave their sourdough starter with her and it leads to a transformation in her life.
A slight but enjoyable tale with a very likeable protagonist.

Rating: B+

28Jul/17Off

eyes?

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Ransom Riggs

Jake is a misfit teen in Florida. He grew up loving his Grandfather Abe's fantastic tales from his childhood, stories filled with invisible boys, girls that can float or generate fire. When he finds his grandfather murdered, seemingly by a monster, it causes him so much trauma that he ends up going to a psychologist. In order to deal with his grandad's death he's advised to travel the Welsh island where Abe grew up to try and come to terms with things. Once there he discovers that the fantastic tales are all true and that he's found himself not in an impossible new world of peculiar children and time travel but he is also in terrible danger from the monsters that killed Abe.
I've been meaning to read this for ages and when I caught the film on TV recently all it's annoying flaws drove me to pick up the book to see if made more sense than the film. It certainly explains certain things better and there's a lot of things that the film makers changed for no real reason that fit better tonally. I'm still not sure it actually completely makes sense. I liked it enough that I've picked up the second book in the series and I'll give that go too.

Rating: B+

29May/17Off

publisher?

Romancing Mister Bridgerton

Julia Quinn

This is a really enormously enjoyable piece of historical romantic comedy.
Penelope Featherington is the perpetual wallflower of the London Set and has had a lifelong crush on Colin Bridgerton - her best friend's brother. When a scandal erupts around notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown the two are involved in the mystery and pushed together.
I'm not a huge fan of historical romances but this is a really well written and thoroughly entertaining slice of romantic fiction. Funny and emotionally involving I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who likes romantic comedies.

Rating: B+

24Feb/17Off

claremont?

The Collapsing Empire

John Scalzi

This is easily Scalzi's best book since Zoe's Tale.
The story is set in the Interdependency which is a collective of planets controlled by aristocrats and guilds and connected by a FTL network called the Flow. We arrive to find this fictional world in the midst of political upheaval and finding itself on the brink of disaster. Unusually for a book with many point-of-view characters I enjoyed spending time with all of them. It has to be said, though, that Kiva Lagos is my favourite. I definitely want more of her in the rest of the series.
Indeed the only real flaw of the book is that it feels very much like the set up for a series. I can't wait for the next one to come out so Scalzi's got me hooked already.

I should note that I read an advance copy of this book provided by NetGalley

Rating: B+

24Feb/17Off

webfence?

Attachments

Rainbow Rowell

I've not made the quickest start to my reading this year. A health issue has meant that I really couldn't concentrate on story for any length of time for the past few weeks.
To get me started I decided to pick out an easy read, something that I've read before.
Attachments is a novel about people working for a newspaper in 1999 and early 2000. It's a sweet tale of female friendship between a film critic and a subeditor told epistolary style through emails which are read by the poor IT guy who has to check for abuse of the Internet by employees. There's a believable but always fundamentally creepy romantic relationship that develops between the IT guy and the film columnist. After all he's read all sorts of things about her life without her knowledge or consent.
It's not as good as later books by the author but it is enjoyable and as I say it's an easy read.

Rating: B+

29Jul/16Off

sidekick?

Heroine Complex

Sarah Kuhn

heroine complexEvie Tanaka is the sidekick of San Francisco's beloved superhero Aveda Jupiter (formerly Annie Chang and Evie's best friend from school).
When Aveda is injured and has to rest up for a couple of weeks Evie is persuaded to take Aveda Jupiter's place in public.
Of course Evie has superpowers of her own that she's suppressed for years and when danger strikes during at an event she's forced to use them to save lives.
A very enjoyable story of self-discovery, healing sibling and friend bonds featuring several very kick-ass Asian-American ladies.
What's not to like?
I'm definitely looking forward to whatever Kuhn releases next.

Rating: B+