Archive for October, 2013

A FEAST FOR CROWS by George R R Martin is 1039 pages in length in paperback form. This is #4 in A Song Of Fire And Ice Series.

Brief Description:

After centuries of bitter strife, the seven powers dividing the land have beaten one another into an uneasy truce. But it’s not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters of the Seven Kingdoms gather. Now, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed, while surprising faces–some familiar, others only just appearing–emerge from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges of the terrible times ahead. Nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages, are coming together to stake their fortunes…and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests–but only a few are the survivors.

My Review:

I had a hard time reading this one and possibly it was because I have read the series back to back.  It was not the writing or the content, it was just me.  I like learning about all the characters and possibly because only half of them were in this book and the next book will have the other half of the characters story.  It didn’t make me want to read one more chapter like the last three.

It seems we were left hanging a lot more in this book to, as to what is going to happen to the main characters.  I have waited so long for Cersei to get what was coming to her and she is left hanging in the balance as well.  Or maybe not, that just might be the end.  I suppose it could go either way.  It does seem that Jaime is finished with her machinations though.  For that I am very glad.

I am glad that Samwell  has matured too.  He is someone that came from being a real coward to someone that is having a bit of swagger.  Not a lot yet, but still he is not as frightened as he was.  I am sure he could go up against his father now.

Sansa is still not one of my favorite characters, but I do understand some of the things she does.  I think Littlefinger will control her for a while longer.  You can definitely see the change in him.

I am giving this one 4 out of 5 because I could put this book down and not have to get right back to it.  All of the characters have so much depth and then when they die, it upsets you or at least it does me.

 

LIGHT OF THE WORLD by James Lee Burke is 548 pages in hardcover format. This is #20 in the Dave Robicheaux Series.

Brief Description:

Louisiana Sherriff’s Detective Dave Robicheaux and his longtime friend and partner Clete Purcel are vacationing in Montana’s spectacular Big Sky country when a series of suspicious events leads them to believe their lives–and the lives of their families–are in danger. In contrast to the tranquil beauty of Flathead Lake and the colorful summertime larch and fir unspooling across unblemished ranchland, a venomous presence lurks in the caves and hills, intent on destroying innocent lives. First, Alafair Robicheaux is nearly killed by an arrow while hiking alone on a trail. Then Clete’s daughter, Gretchen Horowitz, whom readers met in Burke’s previous bestseller Creole Belle, runs afoul of a local cop, with dire consequences. Next, Alafair thinks she sees a familiar face following her around town–but how could convicted sadist and serial killer Asa Surette be loose on the streets of Montana? Surrette committed a string of heinous murders while capital punishment was outlawed in his home state of Kansas. Years ago, Alafair, a lawyer and novelist, interviewed Surette in prison, aiming to prove him guilty of other crimes and eligible for the death penalty. Recently, a prison transport van carrying Surette crashed and he is believed dead, but Alafair isn’t so sure.

My Review:

I love these books about Dave Robicheaux,  Alafair, Clete and the new addition of Gretchen Horowitz.  I love the Rambo feel that Gretchen brings to the mix.  She seems to have no fear and if someone is in need of help she steps up to the plate regardless of the peril that might be involved.  She is definitely looking out for the little guy or the person who cannot defend themselves.

It appears Clete and Dave are becoming older and need the new blood to make the books more interesting.  I am not sure if Surrette was the most evil of characters, but he certainly wasn’t a pansy either.  To be able to write with such clarity about evil really makes me wonder about the author.  Even though these books are about good versus evil in some of the worst forms ever, there is always some levity to make you laugh.  Some of the things that Clete does just make you laugh out loud.  Even some of the things that come from his mouth are humorous.

I am just sad that I don’t have another one to read until the next one is written, because I do enjoy visiting the world of Dave and Clete.  I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars.  The evil is there, the characters are so well portrayed, it is humorous in spots and above all there is a message about what evil can do.  I believe that James Lee Burke is one of the best writers that I have ever read.  If you have not read him, I would give him a try.  Sometimes a dictionary is needed, but that is okay too because that just helps to expand your horizons.

 

CREOLE BELLE by James Lee Burke is 528 pages in hardcover format. This is #19 in a Dave Robicheaux Novel.

Brief Description:

Languishing in a recovery unit on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, Dave Robicheaux is fighting an enemy more insidious than the one who put a bullet in his back a month earlier in a shootout on Bayou Teche. The morphine meant to dull his pain is steadily gnawing away at his resolve, playing tricks on his mind, and luring him back into the addict mentality that once threatened to destroy his life and family.

With the soporific Indian summer air wafting through the louvered shutters of his hospital room, and the demons fighting for space in his head, Dave can’t be sure whether his latest visitor is flesh and blood or a spectral reminder of his Louisiana youth. Tee Jolie Melton, a young woman with a troubled past, glides to his bedside and leaves him with an iPod that plays the old country blues song “My Creole Belle.”

What Dave doesn’t know is that Tee Jolie disappeared weeks ago, and no one believes she reappeared to comfort an old man with a bullet wound. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the vivid memory of Tee Jolie, and when he learns that her sister has turned up dead inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf, he believes that putting the evils of the past to rest is more urgent than ever before.

Meanwhile, an oil spill in the Gulf brings back intense feelings for Dave of losing his father to a rig explosion years ago. As the oil companies continue to risk human lives in pursuit of wealth and power, Dave begins to see links to the Melton sisters, even when no one else shares his suspicions. Dave’s expartner Clete Purcel helps him search for Tee Jolie, though Clete fears for his friend’s mental health and safety. But Clete has his own troubles, too; he’s discovered an illegitimate daughter who may be working as a contract killer — and may have set her sights on someone he loves.

Creole Belle is a resurrection story for the ages, with James Lee Burke at the peak of his masterful career and Dave Robicheaux facing his most intense and personal battle yet, against the known and unknown forces that corrupt and destroy even the best of men.

My Review:

James Lee Burke does not disappoint you with his books.  They are so dark in some aspects, but then humorous in others.  There are many characters in this book and the majority of them are evil people.  In fact they seem to be so evil you would like to harm them yourself, just so they can’t hurt another individual.

I certainly like Gretchen being introduced.  She is definitely a chip off the old block.  She may not be bright and shiny like Alafair, but she does have feelings that are deep and she would defend the good from bad, just like Clete.  She seems to have no fear and I don’t know if that is a good thing or not, we will have to wait and see how it plays out in the future books.

The last 2 chapters of the book were so intense it was hard to read.  I wanted to read with my eyes closed as the pictures were not good ones.  But I think this makes for an excellent story because you could feel the emotions of both Clete and Dave and what they had been through in their lives.

I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars because it was so good I didn’t want to stop reading.  I felt real emotion for the characters and hated the bad guys.