BOOK & BLOG
November 8, 2008
Books of the Week:
I like this second Zoe Martinique book by Phaedra Weldon much better than I liked the first one; not that I disliked the first one (WRAITH), but Zoe’s character is more fully developed in SPECTRE, and she seems more lovable and less of an idiot. There’s a fine line between being impulsive and reckless and being a fool, and in WRAITH Zoe wasn’t always on the right side of the line.
Zoe Martinique is a young woman who can step outside of her body and travel to different locations to do whatever she’s been hired to do. She gets her jobs over the internet, and in SPECTRE, she’s hired to listen in on a discussion between two men. When she returns to her body, she finds she’s in immediate danger.
The plot of SPECTRE is very complicated, and though I’m not completely sure I kept track of all the twists and turns, I enjoyed the journey. Zoe is feisty and good-hearted, and her warm presence and impulsive nature drive the book.
SWALLOWING DARKNESS is the final book in Laurell K. Hamilton’s tremendously popular Meredith Gentry series. At least, I think it’s the final book. I know the series was planned as a limited one, and this book sounds conclusive to me. It’s almost all action, and there are several great developments at the end that seem to indicate this is the end game.
Meredith Gentry, fairy princess and private detective, is a wholly original creation from a wholly original writer. In Laurell’s career, she’s broken barriers and sales records and paved the way for the whole paranormal field that burgeoning at the bookstores. Laurell has also never backed down from controversy, which I find admirable.
I wouldn’t start with SWALLOWING DARKNESS if you’ve never read any of the Meredith books, but if you’ve read any of them I wouldn’t skip this one. Sounds confusing, I know, but this is the book with the explanations and the big action. Part-human Meredith and her fairy bodyguards struggle to get the pregnant Meredith out of faery and back to Los Angeles where she’ll be safer and can carry the two babies to term. Their fathers (okay, you just have to take this on faith) may not all survive to see the children born, and the road out is long and bloody. A good end to a consistently surprising saga.
If you’ve wondered why I haven’t been regular with this column in the past few weeks, I’ll tell you. I’ve been struggling with the next Harper Connelly novel, doing about three interviews a week, checking an increasingly busy board every morning, and trying to keep our household running. Plus, my BFF Paula and her mom have been in the office every other day, working very hard on the book sale.
I have been reading, but some of my reading has been stuff I can’t review on the website; future books I’m thinking of blurbing, for example.
Then too, I found out the Mystery Writers of America Anthology I’d agreed to edit (yeah, a weak moment) got bought by a publisher, and all of a sudden I had to send out a batch of emails and do some serious thinking.
Where does the time go? I wonder, on days when I can’t point to any solid achievement. Sometimes I feel that I’m spinning my wheels instead of moving forward, which is really a bad state of affairs.
Today I’m helping to give a baby shower. I’ve bought my gift (a Moses basket, have you ever seen one?) and packed it with baby books, and I’ve got the punch in the freezer, ready to bring out to soften at the right moment. But I’m hardly dressed up to go, and I’ve got the copy edited manuscript of DEAD AND GONE waiting for my attention on my office desk.
Plus, I’ve been battling a wasp invasion in our living room, due to the warm spell. I called my bug guy yesterday, and he brought a new minion, a brave young man who was so successful that I’ve been sweeping up wasp corpses all morning. RIP, my buggy enemies.
So, in case you think I’m sitting on a pile of money and eating bonbons, let me tell you . . . I’m not. I will try to be more punctual about my book & blog feature, because I enjoy writing it, and I really take pleasure in recommending other writers. I hope you can find lots to read, and remember! Every person on your Christmas list would probably love to get a book!
© 2009 Charlaine Harris