Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mission to Paris by Alan Furst


         I didn't like this book. In general, war stories are not my cup of tea, and WWII, during which this book was set, was an evil time filled with evil men and complacent populations. Neither the story line nor the characters swept me away, and so I trudged through this book to the end by sheer will power. I cannot recommend it. However, if spy novels and WWII based tales are your cup of tea, you may be more impressed than I was.

          In 1938, as Hitler was starting to make his moves toward world domination, a movie was being shot in France. American movie star, Frederic Stahl is sent by Warner Brothers to star in this foreign film. While in France, the Germans start hectoring him, wanting to use him as part of their pro-Nazi, Pro-German propaganda process. He resists, but soon discovers there can be nasty consequences to refusing to cooperate with these people.

          He chooses, however, to offer his services to the American consulate in France, and becomes a small part of their spy network - merely a minor courier, but soon finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into the intrigue and danger. He cannot leave France till his movie is complete, unless he is willing to throw away his acting career in the US. He holds on by the skin of his teeth. After the movie finally wraps, he finds it is more difficult than he expected to get out of France. He must pull strings, and the big wigs at Warner Brothers must grease the wheels to outmaneuver the Germans trying to stop him. Even with W-B's assistance, he must take his fate into his own hands, doing unto an assassin before the assassin can do unto him in order to make it home.

          The book had some very tense moments, but mostly it was just kind of depressing. I would advise giving it a pass.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Friends Forever by Danielle Steel

                 If you think L'es Miserables is a sad and depressing tale, but love it anyway, this is the book for you. Something terrible happened at the end of nearly every chapter. I think if Steel had put just a little more effort into it she could have killed everybody off a few chapters earlier and put me out of my misery sooner.

          So for those of you who might have missed the subtle signals in the previous paragraph, I really didn't like this book. It started with five kids starting their first day of kindergarten. They decide to become friends forever. Over the course of the next nineteen years they each experience disappointments and tragedies. Then they start dying off themselves. The first dies in an accident. The second succumbs to a drug overdose, a third commits suicide. You get the picture.

          This book was not fun. I would suggest you give it a pass.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Night Embrace by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dark-Hunter #3

          If you are looking for a steamy paranormal romance, this is the series for you. Lots of good looking and tough immortals, hot sex, and action galore. I enjoyed this book a little more than the first two. Perhaps, Kenyon was finding her literary stride (this was published in 2008), or perhaps I am more familiar with the characters and characteristics of this world and was more relaxed while listening to it.

          This is Talon's story. He is a 1500 year old Celt turned Dark-Hunter living in New Orleans. Mardi Gras is fast approaching and the evil Daemons are gathering in the city, preparing to feast on the revelers. After fighting a group of Daemons, Talon is run down in the street by a runaway Mardi Gras float right in front of Sunshine Runningwolf. He is coherent enough afterward to insist on no police or hospital, but is in bad shape for the moment. Sunshine takes him back to her loft to recover.

          Sunshine quickly realizes this is no ordinary guy. But he is so secretive about himself that she wants to keep her distance. Her heart has other plans though.

          Talon has not allowed himself to get close to any human since he became a Dark-Hunter. Not only has he taken their oath of silence, but before his death he angered a Celtic god and has been cursed to witness the death of any human he grows to care for. The deaths of his wife, son and sister at the end of his human existence were quite enough for him. He has no desire to witness any others. But Sunshine has gotten under his skin. He is unable to keep her at arm's length.

          In order to be together forever, both Talon and Sunshine must risk everything to retrieve Talon's soul from Artemis, who took it when she made him a Dark-Hunter, and get the Celtic god's curse lifted as well. With good luck, good timing and excellent connections in the supernatural realm, they accomplish both seemingly impossible tasks and prepare to live happily ever after