31 August 2016

The Thousandth Floor; Katharine McGee

The Thousandth FloorThe Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lots of diversity for those who want it: POC, economic differences, educational differences all get their own voice. The problem is that it reads like several short stories (no pun intended) shoehorned into a novel, or a tv series like "Gossip Girl" and "Good Times" meet "Love Boat". Too many narrators, too much going on. Really only 2.5 stars.

ARC provided by publisher.

His Right Hand; Mette Ivie Harrison

His Right Hand (Linda Wallheim Mystery, #2)His Right Hand by Mette Ivie Harrison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The second outing for Linda Wallheim is just as good her first. Less mystery and more human nature, with a lot of Mormonism thrown in, this is perfect for those not in love with hard boiled or cozies and who are looking for an interesting amateur detective. The mystery itself resolves relatively slowly, but what sets this apart is how it ties in to the Mormonism - no preaching, no proselytizing, just demystifying about the beliefs and daily life by showing this world as "normal" (which, of course, it is, "Big Love" and "Sister Wives" aside).

Just My Luck; Jeff Anderson

Just My Luck (Zack Delacruz, #2)Just My Luck by Jeff Anderson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Poor Zack! Lots of misunderstandings, more than the average kid will have, but all of a sort that readers will relate to (like wearing embarrassing underwear to school) and appreciate. Great sequel - more please!

ARC provided by publisher.

Foxheart; Claire Legrand

FoxheartFoxheart by Claire Legrand
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not a spoiler, but don't trust the blurb: there's very little "sleeping on rooftops" going on here. Instead this is a good middle grade adventure story, with some magic mixed in (plus libraries!). Quicksilver's faithful dog, newfound friends and allies and the world in which they live is going to appeal to readers; that there's more to come will make them happy.

ARC provided by publisher.

The Graces; Laure Eve

The Graces (The Graces #1)The Graces by Laure Eve
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Cullens meet Suburban Strange. Nothing new.

ARC provided by publisher.

Labyrinth Lost; Zoraida Cordova

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas, #1)Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you're looking for a paranormal type YA series with POC leads, this is it. But... for me this missed. There's a rather abrupt jump into the story, while in reality some backstory is needed: the world seems to be clear to the author, but for those of us not privy to those thoughts, a little more telling (or showing - either work) would have been nice. Once we got into Los Lagos it felt like there was a Mexican gloss over a familiar landscape with little truly new or original.

ARC provided by publisher.

Blood on Snow; Jo Nesbo

Blood on SnowBlood on Snow by Jo Nesbø
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A stand-alone book (ie. not a Harry Hole mystery) that proves that Nesbo can step outside his comfort zone in terms of characters; the tone and feel of this book is still very familiar. Rather than a somewhat conflicted policeman with questionable morals and methods, we have a hitman who is aware of his mental limits, although he's very good at what he does and has definitely overcome the dyslexia he perhaps has. This last month or so in Olav's life - or is it? love the uncertainty at the end - is wonderfully detailed, with a nice blend of violence and love blended with a solid moral code.

If this is the only time I meet Olav, fine. But perhaps? Please, Mr. Nesbo...

Goldenhand; Garth Nix

Goldenhand (Abhorsen, #5)Goldenhand by Garth Nix
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This doesn't quite pass the stand-alone test, with ideas and people sprinkled in throughout that require prior knowledge to fully appreciate. But if you do have that knowledge, this is a great addition to the series. I did wonder on occasion why Nix has returned to the Old Kingdom (some authors return to old works - IMVHO - because it's easy, rather than because they have something truly new to add) but the ending clearly indicates that yet another entry will be on its way.

ARC provided by publisher.