The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3) by Dan Brown

The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3)

Title: The Lost Symbol
Author: Dan Brown
Published: September 2009
Pages: 509
ISBN: 9780385504225
Source: Personal copy

Description: Everyone off the bus, and welcome to a Washington, D.C., they never told you about on your school trip when you were a kid, a place steeped in Masonic history that, once revealed, points to a dark, ancient conspiracy that threatens not only America but the world itself. Returning hero Robert Langdon comes to Washington to give a lecture at the behest of his old mentor, Peter Solomon. When he arrives at the U.S. Capitol for his lecture, he finds, instead of an audience, Peter’s severed hand mounted on a wooden base, fingers pointing skyward to the Rotunda ceiling fresco of George Washington dressed in white robes, ascending to heaven. Langdon teases out a plethora of clues from the tattooed hand that point toward a secret portal through which an intrepid seeker will find the wisdom known as the Ancient Mysteries, or the lost wisdom of the ages. A villain known as Mal’akh, a steroid-swollen, fantastically tattooed, muscle-bodied madman, wants to locate the wisdom so he can rule the world. Mal’akh has captured Peter and promises to kill him if Langdon doesn’t agree to help find the portal. Joining Langdon in his search is Peter’s younger sister, Kathleen, who has been conducting experiments in a secret museum. This is just the kickoff for a deadly chase that careens back and forth, across, above and below the nation’s capital, darting from revelation to revelation, pausing only to explain some piece of wondrous, historical esoterica.

I Give This Book 3.5 Stars!

I kind of feel sorry for Dan Brown.  He had to write a follow up to The Da Vinci Code, and we all know that it was probably not an easy task.  I think he did a pretty good job of it for the most part.  I loved how this one was set in the US, and not just the US, but Washington D.C.   The historical and landmark facts in this book are nothing short of astounding.  It never fails to amaze me how religious the founding fathers really were and how much of those beliefs are worked into our government.   One thing is for sure, this book really made me want to visit our nation’s capitol.   I also enjoyed the mystery, twists and turns in this one.  Dan Brown really knows how to keep you guessing until the very end.   But (and sadly there is that but), I felt the overall message delivered in this one was a bit heavy-handed and over the top.  And the descriptions of the “Ancient Mysteries” left me rather bored at times.   It just wasn’t as believable as his previous books.  I never had that moment that made me question all the things I’ve been taught (which I did with Da Vinci Code).   Still, a great read for those who like his previous works, but I would not expect it to wow you like the others did.

Published in: on March 12, 2010 at 7:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Blood Game: An Eve Duncan Forensics Thriller by Iris Johansen

Blood Game: An Eve Duncan Forensics Thriller 

Title: Blood Game
Author: Iris Johansen
Published: October 2009
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780312368128
Source: person copy

description: First comes darkness, then comes fear
Eve Duncan is back! Blockbuster New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen’s latest thriller brings Eve closer to discovering her daughter’s killer…and into a web of danger from which she may not be able to escape… 
Eve Duncan returns in a thriller that pits her against the most evil mind she has ever encountered: a ruthless killer who taunts her with his every move…and who has a special affinity for blood. When a Georgia senator’s daughter is found murdered, and her body drained of blood, Eve Duncan is drawn into the web of Kevin Jelak—a serial murderer who is on Eve’s short list of killers who might know something about her missing daughter Bonnie. When a goblet of blood is found in Eve’s refrigerator, she knows the taunting is over…and the games have begun. As Eve and Jelak engage in a dance of death, Eve must call upon those she loves and trusts the most…even if it means bringing them into the game as well.  

I Give This Book 3 Stars! 

I’ve always liked Eve Duncan books.  I like the cast of characters and what they bring to the story.  This one didn’t work for me as much.  It felt very repetitive (I know some information needs to be repeated for those new to the story).  And I really wish the author would have stayed away from what is so huge in pop culture right now.  And yes, I’m talking about vampires.  And this guy wasn’t even a vampire in the traditional sense.  The story gets warped around the idea of becoming a vampire just by drinking “worthy” peoples blood.  And then the book brings in a new character who has a history with the vampire.  He didn’t fit into the story as well, and I didn’t really understand who or what he was.  I did like Joe’s new “gift” and would like to see were this goes in the future.  But, this story, I can take it or leave it.

Published in: on February 3, 2010 at 7:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Truly, Madly (Lucy Valentine, #1) by Heather Webber

Truly, Madly (Lucy Valentine, #1)

Title: Truly, Madly
Author: Heather Webber
Published: Feb 2010
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780312946135
Source: Won From Goodreads

Description: Meet Lucy Valentine; sassy, fabulously original…and psychic.
Lucy hails from a long line of matchmakers known as Valentine INC. According to family legend, the Valentines have been blessed by Cupid with the ability to help couples find true love. Trouble is Lucy’s powers were zapped away by an electrical surge and now all she can find are lost objects.
But what good is that in the matchmaking world?
Lucy is about to find out when she tries to solve a murder and winds up falling into a romance of her own.

I Give This Book  4 Stars!

This book caught my interest from the moment I saw it.  I was glad to have won a copy.   It completed exceeded my expectations.  I was afraid that the psychic accept of this story would be a tad bit corny in combination with the romantic elements.  But, it worked better than I imagined.  Lucy was a fiery lead character.  In one book she manged to draw me in and I look forward to reading the future books in this series.  The mystery elements balanced out the romance perfectly.   It even surprised me and wasn’t predictable.  The secondary characters added to the story and were developed enough to be a great supporting cast for future books.  Overall, a great read and looking forward to more of this series and more from Heather Webber!

* Watch for my giveaway for this book tomorrow!
Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Manufactured Identity by Heath Sommer

The Manufactured Identity

Title: The Manufactured Identity
Author: Heath Sommer
Publication: June 2009 by Tate Pub & Enterprise Llc
Pages: 308
ISBN: 9781606965504

Description:  Months after his mysterious disappearance from a routine fishing trip, no one really expects over-the-hill Texas housewife Lory Latchley to find her missing husband—especially her husband. The Manufactured Identity is clinical psychologist Heath Sommer’s ever-escalating immersion into the world of unlikely friends who each awaken to find their faithful companions missing without warning or reason. Desperate to find meaning in their pain, they are thrust by the auspices of fate into a common thread of mystery and human frailty. In the end, the fate of all may reside in the unstable hands of rookie pastor John Joe, but ultimately Lory and her newfound partners will uncover a truth so unnerving it makes even infidelity look palatable.

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

I was intrigued from the first couple pages of The Manufactured Identity.  I love psychological mystery/thrillers, and have to say that this is one of the best.  I’ve found most doctors turned writers try not to show too much of their psychology backgrounds in a story they’ve written.  But, I found this book was the opposite and I loved every minute of it.  But, then I have a B.S. in psychology so I sort of revel in this kind of stuff.  I wasn’t sure were the story was going for a while and there are a lot of characters to keep track of.  But, as I soon found out, this was all part of the point.  It was fascinating to watch the story unfold and I was completely shocked at what the whole truth entailed.  I thought the person revealed in the end was different, so I liked being surprised.  In the end was very glad to have read this book!

* A special thanks to the Author, Dr. Heath Sommer, for the chance to review this book!

Published in: on October 27, 2009 at 2:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Naked in Death (In Death #1) by J.D. Robb

Naked in Death (In Death #1)

I Give This Book 4 Stars!

Description: It is the year 2058, and technology now completely rules the world. But New York City Detective Eve Dallas knows that the irresistible impulses of the human heart are still ruled by just one thing-passion.
When a senator’s daughter is killed, the secret life of prostitution she’d been leading is revealed. The high-profile case takes Lieutenant Eve Dallas into the rarefied circles of Washing-ton politics and society. Further complicating matters is Eve’s growing attraction to Roarke, who is one of the wealthiest and most influential men on the planet, devilishly handsome . . . and the leading suspect in the investigation.

I really love this series, but I was stupid and started at like book 20.  I had never heard of the In Death Series, so I just picked up one that looked really good.  I was hooked and always meant to go back to the beginning.  I was thrilled when I finally got a library card and they had the entire series.  Being the first in the series doesn’t make any less than the rest.  It was great to finally understand how somethings come into play later on.  Although, I did miss some of the characters that appear later.  I love Eve and Roarke.  They are such an interesting couple even from the beginning.   I will continue reading them in order now just to catch all the stuff I missed!

Published in: on October 15, 2009 at 3:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill

The Various Haunts of Men

I Give This Book 2.5 Stars!

Description: A woman vanishes in the fog up on “the Hill”, an area locally known for its tranquility and peace. The police are not alarmed; people usually disappear for their own reasons. But when a young girl, an old man, and even a dog disappear, no one can deny that something untoward is happening in this quiet cathedral town. Young policewoman Freya Graffham is assigned to the case; she’s new to the job, compassionate, inquisitive, dedicated, and needs to know – perhaps, too much. She and the enigmatic detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler have the task of unraveling the mystery behind this gruesome sequence of events. From the passages revealing the killer’s mind to the final heart-stopping twist, The Various Haunts of Men is an astounding and masterly crime debut, the first in what promises to be a magnificent series featuring Simon Serrailler.

This book had such potential, but fell flat in my opinion.  The description makes the book sound like a mystery/thriller, but it’s written more like a drama.  It felt like it was extremely drawn out, and at times I was completely bored.   I picked the killer out half way through the book, but never really understood why he killed.   There wasn’t much momentum through the book.  The shocker at the end was completely unfulfilling.  And why it’s called a Simon Serrailler mystery is beyond men.  You barely see the man throughout the book and by the end you know next to nothing about him. 

Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, #1) by Patrica Briggs

Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, #1)

I Give This Book 3.5 Stars!

Description: “Werewolves can be dangerous if you get in their way, but they’ll leave you alone if you are careful. They are very good at hiding their natures from the human population, but I’m not human. I know them when I meet them, and they know me, too. ”
Mercy Thompson’s sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.

She’s tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.
But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself… and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.

For the most part I really enjoyed this book.  I liked the characters and their development throughout the story.  I especially like Mercy.  The plot was interesting and kept me reading.  My only problem was at times, it was hard to follow.  I found myself having to reread paragraphs (or pages) to make sure I understood what was happening.  In fact I had to reread the section with the vampires more than once because I was completely confused.  I enjoyed reading more about the werewolves and how their dominance works.  And I was right in thinking that reading Moon Called (and maybe more of the series) first would have been better when reading Cry Wolf.  Overall, still a likeable read.