Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Dead Reckoning is the 11th entry in the Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series.  From the beginning Sookie finds herself in a sea of violence, beginning with the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works.  Shortly thereafter she learns she will have to face an enemy from her past once again.  Then there's the problem of Victor, the vampire who is causing much misery for Eric, Pam and by extension, Sookie.

Though it isn't the most exciting entry in the series I still enjoyed it and still have faith in Sookie and Charlaine.  What I like most about this series is Sookie.  She's complicated and full of contradictions - just like a real woman.  She's conflicted about the violence around her, even though she recognizes the deaths of certain others means she and her loved ones will likely be safer in the long wrong.  She loves Eric but realizes they aren't completely on the same page when it comes to their relationship.  Notwithstanding the vampires, the wereanimals and faeries, Sookie still has to deal with human problems like planning a friend's baby shower and dealing with the jealous girlfriend of a male friend.  It's all this that keeps me interested in the Sookie universe.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

The Peach Keeper

Sarah Addison Allen writes what some refer to as magical realism, though in The Peach Keeper there is only a hint of magic.  It centers around two women: Willa Jackson and Paxton Osgood.  Willa's family use to be one of the wealthiest families in Walls of Water, but the family lost its money and the family home, known as the Blue Ridge Madam, two generations earlier. As a teenager Willa was something of a wild child.  At age 30 she's a small business, living a quiet life and seemingly afraid to take any risks ever again.  Paxton Osgood hails from another wealthy family.  In high school she was the princess.  At age 30 she is a socialite living in her parents' pool house, still trying to play the role of the perfect princess.  As the book opens Paxton has bought and restored the Blue Ridge Madam to its former glory, and in the process unearths a few skeletons, figuratively and literally.  There's romance and a bit of a mystery, but The Peach Keeper transcends both of those generes.  It is about friendship and accepting who you are.  Both Willa and Paxton are stuck, unable to move forward in their lives until a combination of events gives them a jolt, and overtime they learn a lot about themselves.

This is the fourth novel of Ms. Allen's that I've read.  She also wrote Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen (my favorite of Allen's novels), and The Girl Who Chased the Moon.  She has become an author whose work I look for, and I am eagerly awaiting her next novel which I hear will be out in 2013.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Departed by Shiloh Walker

The Departed

The Departed is a paranormal romance about a woman (Dez) with a physic gift that allows her to communicate with the dead, and a man (Taylor) who is an FBI agent.  Taylor heads a team of "gifted" people.  Dez was once part of Taylor's team, but through a fit and left.  Together Dez and Taylor solve crimes and along the way start sleeping together.
One the back cover of my copy of The Departed there's a quote describing it as a "great romantic suspence." That's what attracted me to the book, but unfortunately I was disappointed.  There wasn't enough substance.  The main characters were a little thin which made the the romance not entirely believable and there was no real mystery.  That being said, sometimes a quick, light read is just what one needs and this did serve that purpose.