Saturday, February 26, 2011

Heat Wave by Richard Castle

ePub edition via Kobo bookstore
Publisher: Hyperion
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4013-9476-9

I love the TV series Castle on ABC. I like the crimes on the TV show and how they work to solve them, so when I read they launched a book and did a signing as promotion for the new series, I was surprised they would go to that length. It was actually a friend who told me about this new show about to start. He knew I was a writer and this show was about a writer. So I tuned in on the first night just to check it out (I don't normally watch police shows, they bore me) and I loved it. It had the right mix of comedy and action. The first series was very formula based, you can see each section, each scene, each act all working the way it should. Series two dropped a lot of the formula and went character based. The show became even better.

So I bought the e-version of this novel Heat Wave (cheaper and earth friendly, plus I prefer e-reading) and couldn't wait to rip into it. What a let down. Maybe I was too excited to get to it. Maybe I imagined Castle and Beckett (does ABC think we readers are too dumb to tell the difference between the book and the show? Probably.) not Nicki Heat and world famous reporter, Rook. But I knew the characters were different before buying, but I sorta wanted them to be like the characters in the show.

Nicki Heat and Jamieson Rook are two dimensional and the 'heat' between them does not sizzle and pop; it's like 'just there' and barely mentioned (as in, little build up). And what's with one entire chapter of them getting it on? The ending of the previous chapter was enough.

There are a host of characters in this book and all are accounted for every step of the way. The story is good though and the writing is tight but note, this is a plot driven novel and as such if it weren't for the TV show I wouldn't know who I was reading about, no descriptions -- or only a few details are given.

The story is about a NY Estate Tycoon who plunges to his death and there are so many twists and turns the story is actually quite good. The first half of the book is hard to get through with back story seemingly placed haphazardly, but after that the story takes off. And the fun begins.
Back cover blurb: A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis. And then, in the suffocating grip of a record heat wave, comes another shocking murder and a sharp turn in a tense journey into the dirty little secrets of the wealthy. Secrets that prove to be fatal. Secrets that lay hidden in the dark until one NYPD detective shines a light.

Will I buy the second Nicki Heat book? Yep.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bad Juju vol 1 by R. Van Saint

Bad Juju: Volume 1
Ebook By R. Van Saint
Published: Dec. 20, 2010
Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Words: 15268
review based on PDF version converted to epub for Kobo.

R. Van Saint has given us readers a grand collection of stories. The scope and style of writing will grab you by the coat tails. Most of these stories have a twist. I dare say the first story and the last two are the best of this collection, although the others do not pale in comparison. Each story is lined up perfectly which is something you don't see very often in single author collections and each story moves smoothly from one onto the next.

I do however have one grumble and that is with the tale, The Secret of Mothers, it took too long to get into the story and that none of the characters were likable (maybe that was the point?).  R. Van Saint also tells several of the stories in an omnipresent point of view, a lot of authors who use this style fail (including me) but R. Van Saint nails it on the head. This is how she pulls you into the stories and makes you a witness to the oncoming action.

We get to see several sides of humanity strung together in this volume and R. Van Saint's storytelling ability is smooth and will hook you in. Most of these stories fit in the spec-fic genre and one is definitely Bizzaro and even if you don't like these genres you will enjoy these tales. The tales are simply captivating and the book, although short, is well worth the price of a download.

A guaranteed fun ride. Perfect for a cold or wet day inside, not so perfect for a short train or car ride as once you start the story, you won't want to stop.