Saturday, October 17, 2009

Knock Out by Catherine Coulter was anything but!

I was really disappointed with Ms. Coulter's last FBI series offering, "Tailspin." So much so that I stood at the bookshelf and really thought about picking up the next in the series, "Knock Out." I am sorry I made the decision to pick it up. I was pulling for Ms. Coulter, Dillon and Sherlock, I really was. Dang it! This story is so implausible, disconnected and unbelievable I am actually annoyed.
It seems as if I may be in the minority of opinions but I don't care. This story stunk! I know Ms. Coulter is a great writer. As I have said before I have read all of her books. I can no longer read anymore.

Dillon is in the bank when it is held up. Of course he is integral to saving the day. Three of the bad guys are killed and one who has been shot gets away in the getaway car. The one who got a way is a psychotic teenage girl and the driver of the getaway car is her boyfriend. Instead of running off and hiding she demands they hunt down a bank security guard and Dillon and kill them for killing her mom. Meanwhile Dillon has a telepathic conversation with a seven year old girl who is being persued by her evil paranormally gifted family.
The stories are completely separate and have nothing to do with the other. The characters, except for Dillon and Sherlock are less than one dimensional.
The teenage bank robbers are so inept and predictable except for the fact that they can sneak up on trained law enforcement officers and kill most of them like they are ninjas.
The guys chasing the little girl are a crazy family with one son who can hypnotize a person with a glance and the other one is a shape shifter while dad can influence slot machines....whatever! Of course Dillon is immune to the evil machinations because he is Superman, oh wait maybe not since he does get shot by the teenage Bonnie Parker.
The story ends with the predictable ending and the world is once more safe for children and families everywhere...blah, blah, blah..
Unfortunately, I have to accept that Ms. Coulter has lost something with this series and I will not be reading anymore in the future. Hopefully, she has something truly new on the horizon, I will wait for it.

Glitter Baby is a Departure

I know, I don't post for a month or more and then you get multiple posts in one day. Well, that is kind of the way my life goes. I appreciate any of my friends and visitors who keep stopping by even when I have slacked off! On to my next review:

Last summer my friend Debbie introduced me to Susan Elizabeth Phillips and I am eternally grateful for the intro. I have loved getting to know all the Chicago Stars and the cast of delightful zany characters filling Ms. Phillips stories.
"Glitter Baby" is a departure from the lighthearted and funny story lines of the Chicago Stars. This is a deeper, sadder and might I say more suspenseful story. While there are definitely moments of humor and lightness, not all of the characters get resolved nicely. It was actually written prior to the Chicago Stars series. It is a little dated since it takes place in the 80's but given I was 20 then I enjoyed the nostalgic visit back.

Glitter Baby is the story of Fleur Savagar. She is the illegitimate child of young wanna be starlet, Belinda and aging swashbuckler star, Erroll Flynn who has a penchant for young girls. She isn't angry or resentful of the reckless and absent Flynn. He is a star. Regular rules don't apply to him. Belinda, convinces herself in order to protect her baby, marries a mysterious, nefarious and dark character, Alexi Savagar. He loves Belinda and sweeps her away to a mansion in France and lavishes her with gifts. When he discovers she is pregnant with the child of his rival he banishes the infant to a convent school to be raised and forgotten.

Fleur grows up knowing she isn't really loved. She doesn't know why this is because her mother visits her periodically and sweeps her away to glamorous places like Paris, the Greek Isles and weaves tales of glamorous stars and wants Fleur to have the same stars in her eyes. Then she is returned to the school and forgotten until the next time. This abandonment will be the cause of her lack of self esteem and lead her into situations that are not in her best interest. Fleur is used by her mother to enter the elite world of the celebrity. Her creepy stepfather wants to use her for less than fatherly reasons and she is almost seduced by the lure of finally being loved. Fleur does get a romantic interest but it has a very hard and twisted road. The story really revolves around her and her journey to finding out she really belongs to herself and not her mother, father, the public or anyone else. She is responsible for her life and her happiness.

Again, this is not a light read but it is a very satisfying story and I felt it ended believably and appropriately.

I was enchanted by Tanya Huff's newest offering

Wow! What fun! Tanya Huff brings humor, magic, mystery and a little romance to the sales counter in her newest book, "The Enchanted Emporium."

The story takes place in Canada and features an extraordinary family, the Gales. The Gale girls are fascinating and magical but fall short of calling themselves witches. I guess with a last name like Gale it would be a little weird to be a witch but be careful when eating anything baked by one of them.  When a Gale girl reaches a certain age she either finds a man, settles down and begins the next generation or she becomes an "Auntie". The men in the Gale family are mysterious and magical too. Not quite human and when they go into "rutt" ladies watch out.

"The Enchanted Emporium" features Allie Gale. She is a young Gale girl just coming into her own and at loose ends both professionally and personally when she receives a letter from her Granny. The letter starts off with the not unusual "If you are reading this I am dead" opening and goes on to leave Allie all of granny's possessions including her emporium in Calgary.  Granny is a sly and tricky Gale.  While most of the family accepts her demise Allie just can't believe granny is really dead and takes over the emporium with the intention of discovering what happened to her. 

The emporium is home to more than chatzkis and yo-yo's.  It is a place of magical artifacts like a monkey's paw and a magic mirror.  It is also the post office for a variety of magical creatures.  As Allie settles into the shop and begins her search for her granny she finds herself in the middle of a coming battle between the "Under Realm" and a sorcerer.  Then the fun really gets going.  Assasins, dragons, sexy guys and a leprechaun all come together to make "The Enchanted Emporium" a fast-paced, delight-filled read.  

This is Tanya Huff at her urban-fantasy best!