While some of the books I review on my site are furnished by the publishers, authors, or publicists for the purpose of review all of my reviews are truthful, honest, and my sincere opinion.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Review: Vanishing Act by Liz Johnson

Thanks to Liz for letting me review her book!

About the Book

Eighteen months ago, Nora James watched as her father was shot in an alley-and then she fl ed. She changed her name, her appearance and her job, hoping to keep her father’s shooter at bay. For months, it worked…but now her luck has run out. A ruthless assassin is on her trail, and soon Nora, now known as Danielle, will be found. But this time, she has FBI agent Nate Andersen by her side-right? The handsome agent would give his life to protect Danielle, but he’s wary of giving his heart…until a deadly confrontation leaves him with both on the line.

For more information about Vanishing Act please visit Liz's website.

My Review

Having read Johnson's first book I had high expectations for this one, and I wasn't disappointed. This was a great second novel. The writing was the same as Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn, but yet there was something slightly different. My only guess is that with the second book there were grammatical and maybe semantically different aspects, but I would imagine that only comes with refining the author's style.

This story had great twists, and really kept you guessing whodunit right until the end. The opening was captivating, it jumps right into the action. While the action dwindles slightly as the story progresses there is enough going on in the romance of the story to pick up the slack until the action picks back up near the end.

I liked the characters, Nora (Danielle) and Nate were very well written characters. One of the themes through this book (and Johnson's other book) is that the characters realize that they can not make it through their obstacles alone, many times throughout the book both Nate and Nora ask God to help them and protect them. While I wouldn't say this is a religious book, it is an underlying theme.

This was a quick read. It only took me a few hours to read it cover to cover. Like I said I was not disappointed with this book, it lived up to the expectations I had after reading The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn.

Vanishing Act (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense)

Review: Audiobook The 9th Judgment by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Thanks to Anna at Hachette for letting me review this one!

About the Book

During an intimate dinner party, a cat burglar breaks into the home of A-list actor Marcus Dowling. When his wife walks in on the thief, the situation quickly teeters out of control, leaving an empty safe and a lifeless body.

The same night, a woman and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down in an abandoned garage. The killer hasn't left a shred of evidence, except for a foreboding and cryptic message: WCF, the letters written in blood-red letters.

With two elusive criminals on the loose, Detective Lindsay Boxer calls on the Women's Murder Club to help her stop them before they continue their spree. But before they can break either case, the Lipstick Killer changes his act and demands a ransom--not for a single victim, but for all of San Francisco. Lindsay puts her own life on the line--but will it be enough to save the city from this deranged killer?

For more information about The 9th Judgment please visit Hachette's website.

You can also visit James Patterson's website.

My Review

Even though I didn't realize it was abridged until after I finished it, I still liked it. I would like to know what was cut out from the original version, but even without it I don't feel as if I was shorted.

The killer in this one is sick, truly sick. To go around and kill mothers and their children is just wrong. But it made for a great story. I did feel for the burglar though, once I realize why the burglaries were being done I almost felt sorry and wished the burglar had taken different actions to get what was needed. But both of these story lines going on together made the story that much more interesting. Trying to figure out two separate plots really kept me engaged (and I need to find a new adjective... Thesaurus anyone?).

The character I connected the most with was the Hello Kitty burglar. That character was so dynamic. Like I said I almost was sympathetic to what was going on. The other characters were well written, and they all played an integral part in the story, they just didn't draw me in like the burglar did.

I liked the narrator for this one. Her voice was almost soothing to listen to. I don't want to say she used different voices for the characters, as that implies an almost puppet show feeling, but she did a good job a differentiating for the listener who was talking without being able to read who was talking.

This was the first Patterson book that I've read, and I really enjoyed it. I don't know if I'll go back and start the series from the beginning, but I will definitely grab more of his books as they come out.

The 9th Judgment (The Women's Murder Club)

Review: The Knight Life by Keith Knight

Thanks to Anna at Hachette for letting me review this one.

About the Book

The Knight Life is a hilariously twisted view of life through the eyes and pen of its creator, community-oriented urban hipster and award-winning cartoonist Keith Knight. The Knight Life deftly blends political insight and neurotic humor in a uniquely fluid and dynamic style, offering a comic strip that's fresh, sharp, topical and funny. Designed for daily newspapers, The Knight Life follows Knight's long-running, 2007 Harvey Award-winning weekly comic strip "The K Chronicles," which appears on salon.com.

An unabashedly provocative political and social satire, The Knight Life tackles contemporary issues like consumer culture, bacon, the media, race, family and everything else, gently mocking the minutiae of daily life with self-deprecating humor, honesty and goofiness-a combination that's perfect for the comics. And The Knight Life's energetic style reminds readers that comics can look funny as well as read funny. The result is accessible yet edgy, compassionate and political-and never preachy. Cartoonist and comic historian R.C. Harvey said, "The Knight Life is undeniably the best new laugh- and thought-provoker on the comics page. Not since Calvin and Hobbes has there been so novel an entertainment in the funnies."

For more information about The Knight Life please visit Hachette's website.

Stop by The Knight Life website.

Visit Keith Knight's website.

Follow Keith Knight on Facebook and Twitter.

My Review

I don't normally read comics (as I don't normally read the newspaper) but as a kid that was the first section I read. While I'm not familiar with The Knight Life I did find it quite interesting.

I really liked Keith Knight's sense of humor. He is witty, self-deprecating, and smart. The humor in these comics strips was right up my alley. I liked the notes that he put with some of the strips. He lets us know when some were changed for publication, what he liked about them, why he wrote them, etc. It was nice to get inside his head a bit.

Being that the strip is auto-biographical it makes me wonder. Obviously the scenes are sensationalized a bit, but you wonder what really happened to make him write that particular strip.

There were quite a few good ones that I had to share. Some of them really make you think for a minute before you start the next one. I guess that a sign of a great cartoonist, being able to get a point across without being blatantly obvious.

I liked this one and I'll be keeping my eyes open for more of his comics.

The Knight Life: "Chivalry Ain't Dead"