Monday, February 27, 2017

FEVERSONG by Karen Marie Moning

Karen Marie Moning

            Feversong, the long awaited Fever finale, is here!

            At then end of Feverborn (see review February 1, 2017), all seems lost. Mac and the Sinsar Dubh and the black holes – the end is nigh. But then….

Feversong, the final installment in the series, is a fitting end to a complicated and convoluted plot. I was surprised to find how many loose ends remained to be tied up; and, most of these are resolved in this finale. There are parts of the Fever world about which I would like to have learned more – for example, the origin of the Nine – but while reading Feversong, I came to appreciate the enormity of the job Moning had in finalizing plot lines. In the end, she achieved an adequate balance between resolving the unresolved and leaving open the possibilities. The writing and twists and turns of the plot are reminiscent of the earlier books in the Fever series, the first five that hooked me into this world. Feversong is complex and moves at a very fast pace. I often felt confused, as if I have missed something (at least one “something”). But, I have been left with a great deal to mull over, and I am sure that there will be at least one reread for me.

Karen Marie Moning’s finale to her Fever series is fitting and masterful.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – provided you have read the prior books. I do not recommend that you jump into the series with this book.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

BOAR ISLAND by Nevada Barr

Nevada Barr

            Boar Island is Nevada Barr’s latest Anna Pigeon novel. Anna, a park ranger, is temporarily assigned to Acadia National Park as Acting Chief Ranger. And, we are once again reunited with Heath, Elizabeth, Gwen, and Wiley.

            Elizabeth is being cyber-bullied, at her home in Boulder. So, while Anna goes to Acadia, the others go to nearby Boar Island, owned by a friend of Gwen. Naturally, during Anna’s tenure at Acadia, there is murder in Maine. We meet a ranger at Acadia, Denise Castle. And, the threat to Elizabeth has followed them east.

            The writing in Boar Island is better than the last few of Barr’s Anna Pigeon books. Although I like Heath and the others with whom we are reunited, I feel like their reappearance is overdone. While reading the book, I sometimes felt like it was more about Heath and Denise than about Anna. Furthermore, I miss Paul – there was only a brief mention or two about him.

Each of Barr’s books is set in a different National Park, and the reader usually learns a great deal about that park. But Boar Island left me wishing that Barr had included more detail about the featured park, Acadia. And, I would have preferred that the book focus more on Anna, front and center.

            But, Anna Pigeon is one of my all time favorite characters. I have been a long time fan of this series. Although I have found some of the more recent installments to be somewhat wanting, Boar Island is reminiscent of the Barr of old. I cannot wait for the next Anna Pigeon adventure.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

THE SILKWORM by Robert Galbraith

Robert Galbraith

            The Silkworm is the second Cormoran Strike mystery written by J.K. Rowling, of Harry Potter fame, under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith. I loved Galbraith’s first novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, reviewed earlier on this blog (January 27, 2017), and I was ecstatic to learn that private detective Cormoran Strike and his secretary Robin were back.

            Owen Quine is an author who just finished his latest manuscript. But, Quine has disappeared. His wife asks Strike to find him; despite being extremely busy since his successful resolution of the Landry case, Strike agrees to help. This classic mystery who-done-it has it all – murder, intrigue, a look inside the seamy world of publishing.

            The Silkworm, like The Cuckoo’s Calling, has an interesting and intriguing plot. Unlike The Cuckoo’s Calling, I was unable to determine who done it until shortly before the reveal. Galbraith kept me hooked and mystified.

And, once again, Galbraith does not disappoint with character development. We not only learn more about Cormoran and Robin, but we are treated to insights about other characters as well.

I was so excited to reunite with Cormoran and Robin – and I enjoyed every second that I was able to spend in their world.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

FEVERBORN by Karen Marie Moning

Karen Marie Moning

            Mac is back yet again.  Feverborn is the penultimate installment in Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. This book is much better than Burned, the book that came before this (see review, December 22, 2015).

            In Feverborn, we are reunited with familiar old friends – Barrons, Ryodan, Jada – we meet some new Unseelie buddies, and, of course, there is the Sinsar Dubh. In a way, it feels as if we are reunited with Mac, as she becomes re-visible.

            As I have mentioned in previous reviews of Moning’s work, I am not a die hard groupie of this urban fantasy. But, I am a fan, sort of hanging on the fringe. So, my reactions to her books are often ambivalent. Ordinarily, I love the characters, like the plot, and am willing to overlook some of the issues that may trouble me about the writing. Feverborn is no exception.

            I enjoyed this book and look forward to the series finale, Feversong, which was recently released.