Thursday, July 30, 2015

Medusa by Clive Cussler

Synopsis :

In the Micronesian Islands, a top secret, U.S. government– sponsored undersea lab conducting vital biomedical research on a rare jellyfish known as the Blue Medusa suddenly . . . disappears. At the same time, off Bermuda, a bathysphere is attacked by an underwater vehicle and left helpless a half mile below the surface, its passengers—including Zavala—left to die. Only Kurt Austin’s heroic measures save them from a watery grave, but, suspecting a connection, Austin puts the NUMA team on the case. He has no idea what he’s just gotten them all into. A hideous series of medical experiments . . . an extraordinarily ambitious Chinese criminal organization . . . a secret new virus that threatens to set off a worldwide pandemic. Austin and Zavala have been in tight spots before, but this time it’s not just their own skins they’re trying to save—it’s the lives of millions.

Filled with the high-stakes suspense and boundless invention unique to Cussler, Medusa is the most thrilling novel yet from the grand master of adventure.

I have been a fan of Clive Cussler since the very first book I read, Atlantis Found, more than 10 years. For a while, I was diving into his titles on quite regular basis but I have stopped for many years already.  I guess I was quite tired of Dirk Pitt(R) .

I thought of picking it up again with the recent read of Rise the Titanic! but it didn't really appeal to me and Medusa also failed to seduce me even though generally, it's a good thriller.  Maybe I have outgrown the adventures of what Clive Cussler has to offer or maybe I have just changed my reading preferences.

For fans of Clive Cussler, you will not be disappointed by Medusa.  Although it features another of Clive's hero and not Dirk Pitt, Kurt Austin is pretty heroic too.  By the way, Dirk is now the Director of NUMA so I guess he's pretty desk bound so it's Kurt now who's getting all the adventure.  But I am sure there's a couple of adventures out there which features Dirk still but for me,  I won't be jumping off my boat for them anytime soon.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

New books - July 2015

I am ecstatic to have new books to add to my collection, especially to my Sophie Kinsella collection.

First, there's Wedding Night which is a totally stand alone book with new characters and the more prized book would be Shopaholic To The Stars which is the latest in the Shopaholic Series where Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is in Hollywood!

It takes off from Mini Shopaholic which I read three years ago so yes, I am extremely happy to have this in my collection.  If you are new to the Shopaholic Series.  it would be nice to read it from the first book which is The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (also published as Confession of a Shopaholic) but even if you don't it's quite alright as well.

I just read Wedding Night and review of that is coming right up. 

I can't wait to sink my teeth into Stars but I think I want to wait a bit for when I can give my time totally to Becky which I can't at the moment so yup, do keep an eye for my review on it.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Impulse - Three Complete Novels

Impulse is three complete novels in one book. These are romance novels are well known authors and I can't remember when did I buy them.  It wasn't during the book fair towards the end of last year so it must have been bought a few years ago.

Fist, you have A Single Rose written by Barbara Delinsky.  The synopsis read 'Shaye Burke wasn't surprised at the invitation - a Caribbean treasure hunt was just aunt Victoria's style.  But a beat-up old sloop with no engine?  And an honest -to-goodness pirate at the helm?  And the skipper's arrogant nephew? Noah Van Baer was rugged and sexy, and too late she recognized her aunt's hand at matchmaking.  She and Noah hated each other on sight!'

I share the same sentiments.  I didn't like it at all too. I read the first chapter and realized that this is not for me.  I am not a fan of romance novels and I certainly don't intend to waste my time on it.

Second title is Keeper of the Bride by Tess Gerriten.  This I read as I recently discovered Tess Gerritsen and I like what I read and although this is classified as an earlier work of the author as classified as romance, I thought I can live with that and give it a try.  Its' a romance thriller and not too bad and certainly wasn't was good as her other novels but I can say I'm happy with it.  Synopsis 'Nina Cormier would have been a beautiful bride, had the groom bothered to show up.  But when the empty church exploded, Nina got the message.  Someone was after the bride-to-be.  And Portland cop Same Navarro was no white knight.  he'd protect her, but no way would he put them both at risk by falling for her..

The third title is Midnight Rainbow by Linda Howard.  I didn't read this as I know I can't handle romance.  Why did I buy this book in the first place?  Here is the synopsis in case it interests you 'Was Jane Hamilton Greer just a wealthy socialite in over her head, or was she really engaged in espionage that could comprimise U.S. interest?  She was being held captive, and Grant Sullivan had agreed to rescue her, but getting her out was something else.  Especially when it became clear that this man and this woman, from two different worlds, should never have met.

So, fans of romance novels, you will be over then moon with this book as like some beverage you can find in the market, it's a 3 in 1. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The House At Harcourt by Anita Burgh

Synopsis :

It is 1859.  At the tender age of three, Eliza Forester is left motherless when her father orders his wife from the house, accusing her of infidelity.  he keeps the child not out of love, but to spite his wife, whose name is never mentioned at the beautiful Jacobean house and estate near Exeter where they live.  Eliza grows up believing her mother is dead.

Her happiest times are spent with Ruby and Jerome, the children of tenant farmers on her father's estate.  When, at sixteen, Eliza's innocent friendship with Jerome turns to love, her father, furious, forces her to make what could be the greatest mistake of her life.

This is the story of a woman who loses everything - the man she loves, her inheritance, her child and very nearly, her sanity - due to envy and greed of those who should love, not hate her.  But Eliza Forester is determined to lose neither her confidence nor her soul.

I can't say I totally agree with the above synopsis.  It's taken from the back cover of the book.  It isn't wrong but yet the synopsis isn't right either.  For one, I don't think her father kept her with him to spite her mother but more because she is his daughter although at times he doubts it and her very presents seems to torture him..all in all, I think he is quite sadistic in nature.

Eliza also didn't really spend that much time with Ruby and Jerome as a child. She only did so in her teens cos as a child, she sends more time with her governess, Ms Fanny as well as her Uncle Charles who is the husband to her father's sister.

Uncle or Sir Charles was painted as a father fine gentleman but halfway through the author seems to change her mind about him and portray him to be rather of a charismatic rogue.  For a while there, I actually thought Sir Charles might be Eliza's father.

I really dont' know where the author is going as towards the end Eliza's mother too was made out to be a selfish woman who cares about herself more than her child and towards the end Eliza's father seems to have a change of heart about her presence so yes, it's all very confusing.

I can't say I like The House At Harcourt very much.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith

Synopsis :

In the life of Precious Ramotswe–a woman duly proud of her fine traditional build– there is rarely a dull moment, and in the latest installment in the universally beloved No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series there is much happening on Zebra Drive and Tlokweng Road. Mma Ramotswe is experiencing staffing difficulties. First Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni asks to be put in charge of a case involving an errant husband. But can a man investigate such matters as successfully as the number one lady detective can? Then she has a minor falling-out with her assistant, Mma Makutsi, who decides to leave the agency, taking the 97 percent she received on her typing final from the Botswana Secretarial College with her.

Along the way, Mma Ramotswe is asked to investigate a couple of tricky cases. Will she be able to explain an unexpected series of deaths at the hospital in Mochudi? And what about the missing office supplies at a local printing company? These are the types of questions that she is uniquely well suited to answer.

In the end, whatever happens, Mma Ramotswe knows she can count on Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, who stands for all that is solid and true in a shifting world. And there is always her love for Botswana, a country of which she is justifiably proud

 After a long absence, guess who decided it's time for a 'visit''s non other than Mma Ramotswe, the owner of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.  The last time Mma Ramotswe dropped by was in May last year as you can read from here.  Time sure flies, doesn't it Mma when we're busy with family and this and that and Mma would know about being busy with her married life with Mr J.L.B. Matekoni and their two adopted children not to mention her rather well established now No 1 Ladies Detective Agency which she owns.  But in all business, Mma Ramotswe knows it's important to sit back to have a cup of tea especially her favourite bush tea so this time round in The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, Mma dropped by with plenty to tell.

As I have my own tea, I get to know that Mma had a fallout with Mma Makutsi, her assistant who is engaged to the owner of the furniture shop, Mr Phui Radiphuti and Mma Makutsi actually resigned from No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency!  Oh my, that's terrible news because Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi work well together.

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni also decided to try his hand in being a detective and Charlie, one of Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's apprentices decided to set up No. 1 Ladies Texi Service and just to have a bit of suspense, I can't really tell you if that works out well but if you know Charlie, you can have a guess.

There was also a request to investigate some death in a hospital among others.

And that is how I felt reading book number eight in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith...a good friend whom I ahven't seen in a year, dropping by for tea and brought with her stories about her life.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

Synopsis :

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.

But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire.

As Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the slayings, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.

The Girl Who Played with Fire is the second book in the trilogy by Stieg Larsson.  It's the continuation of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo.  Although the story in Tattoo ended, a the continuation of the story of Lizbeth continues.

The story is very fast paced. Much faster than Tattoo and readers get to know so much more about Lizbeth's past.  A few incidents in Tattoo that was thought as random was revealed to be not so random after all.

I am really at a lost as to what to say about this book except that it's very good.  Extremely thrilling and fantastic in every aspect a thriller is.

You can read Fire without Tattoo but it's best you read Tattoo first and subsequently the final book, The Girl Who Kick The Hornet's Nest.  I don't have Hornet's Nest so I am now looking for it.