Book Reviews by Title - T

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LadyKestrel
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Book Reviews by Title - T

Postby LadyKestrel » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:26 pm

T

Tempest (Star Wars Legacy of the Force 3) by Troy Denning
As civil war threatens the unity of the Galactic Alliance, Han and Leia Solo have enraged their families and the Jedi by joining the Corellian insurgents. But the Solos draw the line when they discover the rebels’ plot to make the Hapan Consortium an ally–which rests upon Hapan nobles murdering their pro-Alliance queen and her daughter.

Yet the Solos’ selfless determination to save the queen cannot dispel the inescapable consequences of their actions, that will pit mother against son and brother against sister in the battles ahead. For as Jacen Solo’s dark powers grow stronger under the Dark Jedi Lumiya, and his influence over Ben Skywalker becomes more insidious, Luke’s concern for his nephew forces him into a life-and-death struggle against his fiercest foe, and Han and Leia Solo find themselves at the mercy of their deadliest enemy . . . their son.

Another solid entry in the Legacy series.
3/5
~Reviewed by Lucien21

The Temporal Void by Peter F Hamilton
The Intersolar Commonwealth is in turmoil as the Living Dream’s deadline for launching its Pilgrimage into the Void draws closer. Not only is the Ocisen Empire fleet fast approaching on a mission of genocide, but also an internecine war has broken out between the post-human factions over the destiny of humanity.

Countering the various and increasingly desperate agents and factions is Paula Myo, a ruthlessly single-minded investigator, beset by foes from her distant past and colleagues of dubious allegiance...but she is fast losing a race against time.

At the heart of all this is Edeard the Waterwalker, who once lived a long time ago deep inside the Void. He is the messiah of Living Dream, and visions of his life are shared by, and inspire billions of humans. It is his glorious, captivating story that is the driving force behind Living Dream’s Pilgrimage, a force that is too strong to be thwarted. As Edeard nears his final victory the true nature of the Void is finally revealed.

Ok so the pace picks up a lot in the 2nd of the Void trilogy (Part 3 due in 2010). This is a much needed improvement on the first set up volume.

The various plots within the void and in the Commonwealth have some neat set pieces, a few bits of humour and a lot of action.

The big kicker comes at the end when you learn what the void really is............. :shock:
3.5/5
~Reviewed by Lucien21

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
It is easy to see why this novel, written in 1937, still endures as a classic. It’s the story of Janie Crawford, a woman of the South, who despite a life of poverty, severe trials, and three marriages, manages to develop and keep her own sense of self. Refusing to live in sorrow, bitterness, and fear, Janie deals with life with wit and a healthy dose of realism that the reader can’t help but admire. Heartfelt and beautifully written, it’s a wonderful story that remains as relevant today as it was 74 years ago.
~Reviewed by Lady Kestrel

Thicker Than Water by Mike Carey
Old ghosts of different kinds come back to haunt Fix, in the fourth gripping Felix Castor novel. Names and faces he thought he'd left behind in Liverpool resurface in London, bringing Castor far more trouble than he'd anticipated. Childhood memories, family traumas, sins old and new, and a council estate that was meant to be a modern utopia until it turned into something like hell ...these are just some of the sticks life uses to beat Felix Castor with as things go from bad to worse for London's favourite freelance exorcist. See, Castor's stepped over the line this time, and he knows he'll have to pay; the only question is: how much? Not the best of times, then, for an unwelcome confrontation with his holier-than-thou brother, Matthew. And just when he thinks things can't possibly get any worse, along comes Father Gwillam and the Anathemata. Oh joy ...

Felix Castor is a bit of a bastard. The sarcastic exorcist tends to rub everyone up the wrong way at the best of time.

Now he's in the frame for the murder of an old acquaintance on a squalid London estate that seems on the boiling point of violence. Is it demon possession that is driving everyone insane or is it something else. To clear himself and banish the demon he will have to delve into his past and confront his own demons with the help of his usual entourage (Nicky the undead researcher, Juliet the succubus and Rafi his friend with the Demonic passenger) and some old enemies and family.

It's a world wind tour of the seedier side of London packed full of action, but it really pays off some of the ongoing plots from the previous books and ends with some shocking revelations that will have a huge impact on Felix's view of the world and the plot of the next book.

It's a hell of a good book. Roll on September for book 5 "The Naming of the Beasts"
4/5
~Reviewed by Lucien21

Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett
I just can't stay away from Discworld very long. In this novel, the history monk Lu-Tze and his apprentice, the ex-thief Lobsang Ludd, must stop a clockmaker from starting the perfect clock. If they don't, time as we know it will stop, causing no end of trouble. Meanwhile, Death's no-nonsense granddaughter, Susan, is also on the case, trying to discover why the clock is being built in the first place and who might be doing it. Every second counts in this timely adventure that is bound to tickle your fancy. Spare some time to read it soon!
~Reviewed by Lady Kestrel

The Third Translation by Matt Bondurant
It's a mystery involving an egyptologist and a missing papryus that has a link to a slab of ancient script called the Stela of Paser. Very good book if your interested in ancient languages and what goes into decyphering them.
~Reviewed by Ghost Soldier

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
My daughter got me The Thirteenth Tale for Christmas. It is a gothic suspense and the author's first book. Oh I cheer because no one writes gothics anymore and I scrounge around old bookstores on my knees digging in boxes that have been forgotten about looking for the old gothics. Here is a quip about the book:

"Readers will be mesmerized by this story-within-a-story tinged with the eeriness of Rebecca and the willfullness of Jane Eyre."

and

"A novel brimming with atmosphere and labyrinthine plotting that recalls the gothic-like chillers by Daphne du Maurier and Joyce Carol Oates, spiced with flavors reminiscent of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. The language is rich, the elements intriguing."

I just finished this book, and I loved every page of it. The writing was superb, the plot was excellent. Never was there a dull moment and I would give it a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. It is a book that you will think about after it is finished.
~Reviewed by Ghostlady

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
I just finished this absolutely terrific book. It was a just-another-chapter-until-4:00-AM page turner for me, and beautifully written. This blurb by the publisher is spot on:

A compelling emotional mystery in the timeless vein of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, about family secrets and the magic of books and storytelling.

Margaret Lea works in her father's antiquarian bookshop where her fascination for the biographies of the long-dead has led her to write them herself. She gets a letter from one of the most famous authors of the day, the mysterious Vida Winter, whose popularity as a writer has been in no way diminished by her reclusiveness. Until now, Vida has toyed with journalists who interview her, creating outlandish life histories for herself - all of them invention. Now she is old and ailing, and at last she wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. Her letter to Margaret is a summons.

Somewhat anxiously, the equally reclusive Margaret travels to Yorkshire to meet her subject - and Vida starts to recount her tale. It is one of gothic strangeness featuring the March family; the fascinating, devious and wilful Isabelle and the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline. Margaret is captivated by the power of Vida's storytelling. But as a biographer she deals in fact not fiction, and she doesn't entirely trust Vida's account. She goes to check up on the family, visiting their old home and piecing together their story in her own way. What she discovers on her journey to the truth is for Margaret a chilling and transforming experience.

~Reviewed by Lady Kestrel

This Other Eden by Ben Elton
Currently halfway through Ben Elton's This Other Eden. It's humorous, futuristic vision in which marketing has become the world's biggest business, more important than the products themselves, or even the survival of the planet. Elton has a great sense of humor and comes up with a lot of interesting ideas of how our current world is spinning out of control, backing that up with a suiting sarcastic writing style. On the downside, there's not much of a story line, nor well developed characters; his futuristic vision and development of all aspects of that future society are the author's major concern.

So far, I'm having fun with this book, but sometimes the lack of a good story line drags things down with long descriptions and no progressions towards some sort of climax.
~Reviewed by Wimli

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Every living breathing woman who enjoys freedom (and everyone else) should read "A Thousand Splendid Suns." It is the most powerful book I have ever read. It is a very difficult book to read, but I went through it like a freight train. Read, Read, Read..... Although told in fiction, every story - every event - happened to a real person... And it happens every day TODAY. Read, Read, Read...
~Reviewed by Draclvr

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
This book is a gripping tale of Afganistan as told from the point of view of the women. Through his complex characters and clear descriptions, Hosseini lets us see the horrors of his country's recent history, but also it's beauty and the spirit of the good people that give it hope for the future. In many ways, it's a devastating book, but one that I feel every thinking person should read. It is a spectacular sequel to The Kite Runner that tells the tale of those who stayed behind.
~Reviewed by Lady Kestrel

Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks & Micah Sparks
This autobiography is cleverly set within the description of an around-the-world trip taken by the Sparks brothers. Each place they visit triggers a piece of their life stories, and it reads like a well-written novel. I have yet to read any of Nicholas’ fiction, but I hope to remedy that in the near future.
~Reviewed by Lady Kestrel

Thud by Terry Pratchett
Centuries ago, trolls and dwarfs met in combat in Koom Valley, and the animosity between the races, although tempered by frequent intermingling in crowded Ankh-Morpork, is flaring up again because of the murder of an influential dwarf with controversial ideas.

Because a troll club was found beside the body, Commander Sam Vimes must get to the bottom of the crime as quickly as possible before war breaks out again between the two races. His investigation will take him into tunnels deep below the streets of the city, and eventually, to Koom Valley itself, with stops only for his most important job of all, reading Where’s My Cow? to Sam, Jr.

This is another inspired Discworld story, told as only Pratchett can tell it. I loved it!
~Reviewed by Lady Kestrel

Timbuktu by Paul Auster
This is a deceptively simple little book about a dog of uncertain pedigree named Mr. Bones and his owner, a homeless wanderer named Willy G. Christmas. Because he is dying, Willy travels with Mr. Bones to Baltimore to try to find his fondly remembered high school English teacher and a home for the dog. Along the way, we learn Willy’s story through the thoughts of this wonderfully observant canine. It’s an endearing story about the nature of friendship and love, and it manages to pull hard on the heartstrings without being sappy.
~Reviewed by Lady Kestrel

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
I'm reading The Time Traveller's Wife right now, and I love it. I have to admit that since it was kind of hyped I didn't think it would be that good, but it really draws you in. The characters seem very real and the story is interesting, and the writing intelligent and insightful. This is one you should check out!
~Reviewed by Unlaura

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
I have seen a few of the film adaptations and it was interesting to learn that the novel is actually rather brief. Wells touches on a lot of interesting plot elements that he didn't really elaborate on. I feel there was a much bigger, adventure filled novel here than it turned out to be. Still, as it stands, The Time Machine is a fun read that shows the wonderful imagination of its writer. Same goes for the short story “The Man Who Could Work Miracles” that was included in the paperback I bought. It deals with the interesting question of what could happen if one man learned he could make happen everything he wished for. It comes to end rather quickly though.
~Reviewed by Wimli

Tirza by Arnon Grünberg ****1/2
Jörgen Hofmeester's life has not been a happy one: his wife has left him, his oldest daughter hates him, the publishing firm he works for has put him on leave and he never had any close friends. There's only one beacon of light in his miserable existence: his youngest daughter Tirza. Having focussed his entire life around her, things begin to fall apart when Tirza graduates high school and is ready to start her own life. Obsessed with remaining a central figure in Tirza's life, Jörgen's life unravels and rapidly begins to spin out of control.

Grünberg has written a powerful novel about obsession, family relations and growing older in which he doesn't shy away from grand themes like the meaning of life, loneliness and the various aspects of being human. Tirza is a meticulous study of human behaviour. His prose is hard, his dialogs unrelenting. This novel is dark and the ending left me floored for weeks.

A Dutch critic wrote a perfect descripion: "Tirza hurts, Tirza is unputdownable, Tirza is a-ma-zing", and I couldn't agree more with that. If you can get your hands on an English translation, I highly recommend it!
~Reviewed by Wimli

The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson
F. Paul Wilson has become a mid-level success in the fiction realm over the last 25 years. Though he only occasionally breaks the bestseller list, he has developed a fanatical cult following. His novels range from sci-fi to horror to medical thrillers to mysteries to adventure stories... and often cross genre boundaries to include two or three of these genres at once.

The Tomb is the second in Wilson's Adversary Cycle, a six-book series which deals with the ongoing war between the forces of Order and Chaos. The first book in the series, The Keep, may be known to some patrons from the incredibly bad movie adaptation from 1983. In this second book, Wilson introduced his most successful and beloved character: Repairman Jack. Living "outside the system," Jack has no identity, no social security number, no official status whatsoever. A cross between Indiana Jones, The Equalizer and Sam Spade, Repairman Jack makes his living "fixing" problems for people who must seek help outside of legal channels.

Repairman Jack appeared in two of the Adversary Cycle novels, then was spun off into his own franchise. 2009 saw the publication of the thirteenth Repairman Jack book. You can visit Wilson's website at http://www.repairmanjack.com
~Reviewed by Bacardi Jim

The Treatment by Mo Hayder
Midsummer, and in an unassuming house on a quiet residential street on the edge of Brockwell Park in south London, a husband and wife are discovered, imprisoned in their own home. Badly dehydrated, they've been bound and beaten, and the husband is close to death. But worse is to come: their young son is missing. When DI Jack Caffery of the Met's AMIT squad is called in to investigate, the similarities to events in his own past make it impossible for him to view this new crime with the necessary detachment. And as Jack digs deeper, as he attempts to hold his own life together in the face of ever more disturbing revelations about both the past and the present, the real nightmare begins...Horrifying, unforgettable, intense, The Treatment is a novel that touches the raw nerve of our darkest imaginings.

I must admit that the thriller genre has unfortunately mostly passed me by until now. As I work in a book store, I recently started to read some thrillers, to get a feeling for the genre and broaden my knowledge of its canon. Though I've read some interesting ones, I must say that I was rather disappointed with "The Treatment".

It features a very strong beginning, one that immediately grabs your attention, and a gut wrenching ending that you won't be able to shake off easily, but unfortunately the long road getting from A to B is extremely boring, long winded and will stretch my patience most of the time. Part of it may have something to do with the fact that I haven't read Hayder's first thriller, "Birdman", where the main characters first appear, but even then, there's just too little happening in the long middle part, the few thrills that do occur feel rather cheap, and there's too much repetition of similar dialogs. Seems like I'm the only one with this opinion though, as it got a ton of five star reviews, so don't let this review influence you too much.
~Reviewed by Wimli

The Truth by Terry Pratchett
In this Discworld novel, Pratchett pokes fun at the Fourth Estate. On the front cover, it says "Start spreading the news-a headline-making tale of power, privilege, and dueling presses." It's a seriously funny (or perhaps humorously serious) tale about a scribe named William de Worde whose newsletter for his upper-crust patrons around the Disc becomes the first newspaper, the Ankh-Morpork Times, thanks to a lucky but painful encounter with some dwarfs and their wonderful new invention with movable letters.

As de Worde carefully investigates his stories because he only wants to print the truth, he begins to upset some of the powers in the city. They counter with the Inquirer, a tabloid that doesn't care what they print as long as it sells.

This story has it all, including very nasty villains, heaving bosoms, murder, humorous vegetables, interesting pets, and the usual unusual residents of Ankh-Morpork. I enjoyed every minute!
~Reviewed by Lady Kestrel

Turn Coat (Harry Dresden 11) by Jim Butcher
Chicago's only professional wizard, Harry Dresden, is about to find that the one thing more dangerous than his mortal enemies may be his closest allies...

When it comes to the magical ruling body known as the White Council, Harry keeps his nose clean and his head down. For years, the Council has held a death mark over Harry's head. He's still thought of as a black sheep by some - and as a sacrificial lamb by others. But none regard him with more suspicion and disdain than Morgan, a veteran Warden with a grudge against anyone who bends the rules.

Like Harry.

So when Morgan turns up asking for help, Harry isn't exactly eager to leap into action. Morgan has been accused of treason against the White Council - and there's only one final punishment for that crime. He's on the run, he wants his name cleared, and he needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog.

Like Harry.

Now Harry must uncover a traitor within the Council, keep less than agreeable Morgan under wraps, and avoid coming under scrutiny himself. And a single mistake may cost someone his head.

Like Harry...

Another exciting episode in the world of Harry Dresden, Wizard. This time it sees his greatest foe, Morgan, land on his doorstep accused of Murder and Treason. With 48 hours to keep him secret and find the real traitor in the White Council, Harry takes on his most dangerous case yet.

The Dresden novels are always a fun read, decent characters, lots of humour and the action sequences are movie quality.

This one is no exception.

Harry has to face off against the White Council, one of the vampire courts, a bounty hunter looking for Morgan and a vastly powerful skinwalker. As usual the plot is convoluted and fast paced, keeping you hooked as Harry suffers beatings, tragedy and council politics. Although I had guessed the identity of the traitor fairly early on, the ending of the novel still had some massive shocks that will change the course of the series and possibly annoy some fans.

Overall a recommended read for fans of the previous 10 books.
4/5
~Reviewed by Lucien21

The Two Mrs. Grenvilles by Dominick Dunne is a fictionalized account of the Billy Woodward murder in 1955 by his social climbing wife. The book includes a magnificent account of how Ann Woodward lived with her guilt and ostracism for twenty more years until she and, separately, her offspring finally committed suicide. For New York City residents who are even mildly interested in the New York social scene and its various "levels", this book is a must. It is better than "Bonfire of the Vanities" and crosses the span of four decades, making it a sort of epic novel. Note that William Woodward the 3rd just committed suicide on May 2, 1999 bringing the real-life story to a close, except for the fact that his wife is contesting his will which said that she should get nothing of the vast unlucky fortune. (An Amazon Review)
~Reviewed by Ghostlady
Winter is an etching, spring is a watercolor, summer is an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. -Stanley Horowitz

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