Today's book reviews are brought to you by the late Tatsu, my beloved bearded dragon and fashion model of many lizard harnesses. In the spirit of Halloween, I pulled out his wizard pic, one of my favorites. Miss you little man.
I have three picks for you today: John Connolly's The Gates, Sara Rosett's Mimosas, Mischief, and Murder, and Derek Armstrong's Madicine. Don't be scared! The Bad Book Fairy didn't make a visit to my house this week. They're all BOO-tifully written. Mwahaha!
1) The Gates is the perfect Halloween book. John Connolly's writing is reminiscent of the snarky, intelligent humor of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Samuel Johnson and his dachsund, Boswell decide to get a head start on trick-or-treating. At 666 Crowley Road they discover Mrs. Abernathy and a few friends aren't themselves any more. They've been possessed by demons and have opened a portal to Hell. The Great Malevolent One and his minions will soon be freed by All Hallow's Eve. Samuel desperately tries to get any adult to listen to him, but as you can imagine, his mother thinks he's telling stories again. The only adults who will listen to him are the scientists working on the wormhole computer experiment that caused the portal. But will they make it to Samuel's town in time to stop Satan from walking the earth?
This book is delightfully devilish. The cast of demons are both creative and lovable. I even have a soft spot for Mrs. Abernathy. She's such a devious, scheming character. You have to admire her drive to stop Samuel and his friends from foiling her demented plans. And there's a sequel available now. How great is that? I love when a good story doesn't have to end. Don't miss this pick. It's worth the read.
2) Sara Rosett is a newly discovered author for me. Her female sleuth, Ellie Avery, is a lovable mother and crime solver. This cozy is just as good as Susan Wittig Albert's China Bayles series. The only criticism I have is that I found Ellie Avery's organizational tips at the end of chapters jarred me from the story and didn't seem to really anything to my reading. In Mimosa's, Mischief, and Murder, Ellie Avery travels with her husband and children to visit relatives in Alabama, but their vacation soon turns deadly. Her husband's grandfather has passed unexpectedly and while planning the funeral, Ellie and Mitch discover that Grandpa Avery was hiding some valuable letters from a popular local author who doesn't speak to the media. Someone wants those letters enough to kill, but who is it? Is it part of the family or a stranger? This book moved fast and had a few twists and turns that made it interesting. It's not a dark mystery, but I recommend it for a good escape.
3) Derek Armstrong's Madicine is a relevant fictional commentary on greed, biological warfare, and science ethics. Ada Kenner is a virologist who discovers a new strain of virus engineered to eliminate the violent gene in humans. If it worked correctly, the virus would eliminate all violence from its test subjects, but it doesn't. It causes an even greater violence to sweep through the continents as Ada and her team race against time to discover a cure and figure out who has manufactured this deadly biological weapon before it gets into the wrong hands. This book jumps from country to country to tell the story, which at first seems disjointed, but quickly makes sense. This is not a light read, so if' you're tired, you might try something else. The plot is complicated and well-written. I recommend this book. It ranks up there with Michael Crichton's work.
As always, happy reading and happy writing to all! And a very haunted Halloween!