31 December 2016

Click Here to Start; Denis Markell

Click Here to StartClick Here to Start by Denis Markell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Escape rooms are quite the thing these days, aren't they? So no wonder there's a book that uses that as its main plot device. And it goes a good job of it, overall. The problem is less with the puzzles than with the characters, who exist to serve that part of the plot. The BFFs (Ted and Caleb), the girl who becomes part of their BFFdom (Isobel), the "evil people" all fell a little flat - but the puzzles? Quite nice.

ARC provided by publisher.

The Moth Catcher; Ann Cleeves

The Moth Catcher (Vera Stanhope #7)The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ok, Ms. Cleeves, I get it: Vera Stanhope is fat. Can you cut the references to that down to perhaps once a book? Even Rex Stout only referred to Nero's "eight-of-an-acre of yellow pajamas" infrequently.

Beyond that, if you like this series you'll like this entry. It's been interesting watching how Vera interacts with her team versus the public and how she has grown (kind of) as a result. Mystery-wise, the whodunnit isn't obvious except at the end. There are hints, there are clues brushed off as not being important - but once you hear whodidit, it isn't impossible to figure out. Difficult, yes, but not impossible.

A Necessary End; Peter Robinson

A Necessary End (Inspector Banks, #3)A Necessary End by Peter Robinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been a fan of Robinson's for a while. Even though this is a series, you can read it totally out of order (which I have been doing) and this is the earliest book I've read yet. Banks' wife is out of town during this episode, his kids are youngish and he's living in the old house; if you read the later books you know how much this all changes. As far as plot and mystery go, it's good... but Banks does get better over time. There's a lot of music in this, and several red herrings - including a near-useless map at the start. My only quibble is that the solution is one of those "magic" ones, with some intuitive leap that readers might not make along with the detective.

And yes, the earlier books are on order for future reading.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies; Louise Gornall

Under Rose-Tainted SkiesUnder Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a difficult book to review, as I don't know much about OCD and mental illness. But I do wonder if the ending isn't too pat, too "YA perfect". It's obvious that Norah is supposed to be our window into this illness but... something just doesn't work. Maybe it's the meet-too-cute situation, or the convenience of mom being out of town?

ARC provided by publisher.

You Don't Know My Name; Kristen Orlando

You Don't Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles, #1)You Don't Know My Name by Kristen Orlando
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kind of a cross between the Boy Nobody and Gallagher Girls series. I'm not sure I bought the ending, which seemed a bit rushed and trying too hard to lead to the Big Cliffhanger. Regan's parents, particularly her mother, are stock characters. Regan herself has promise but ultimately there's not enough character development and too much fake teen angst.

ARC provided by publisher.

15 December 2016

The Radius of Us; Marie Marquardt

The Radius of UsThe Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

It's a pity that the characters were so flat, and the POVs were so bland. DNF.

Still Life with Tornado; A.S. King

Still Life with TornadoStill Life with Tornado by A.S. King
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Maybe it's me. Everyone loves - loves! - A.S. King's work. And earlier books really worked for me but this one? It just didn't even begin to make sense, and I never began to care about Sarah. DNF.