Thursday, July 31, 2008

But wait, there's more

I just finished reading Kelley Armstrong's The Summoning—her first young adult novel, as well as the first book in a projected trilogy—and I thought it was awesome: totally fun, totally exciting, creepy in the best possible way. Even the cover art was about a thousand cuts above her usual stuff (although a little too reminiscent of Cynthia Leitich Smith's Tantalize). BUT! HOWEVER! HEED MY WARNING! This story ends on a nasty cliffhanger, and the next book isn't due out until May of 2009, so bear that in mind. Really slow readers should pick this up around Valentine’s Day, average-speed readers should wait until Easter, and speed readers should probably hold off until just before the next book comes out, because I promise: you'll be climbing the walls.

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The Waiter rants for Powell's Books

Powell's guest blogger of the week is Steve Dublanica, a.k.a. "The Waiter", author of the book Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip--Confessions of a Cynical Waiter and creator of the award-winning blog


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fake books (Part 17,921)


CasaSugar recently featured this horrifying Anthropologie display:

Unless those are all D.H. Lawrence novels (and I doubt it, as I don't think he was big on illustrations), I call that an unforgivable waste.


HP6 teaser trailer's out

It looks like they skipped most of the major plot points in favor of showcasing that creepy mini-Tom and Michael Gambon's plummy voice, but who am I to complain?


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

They even made Tru-Blood commercials!

Check 'em out:

One for the ladies...

And one for the guys:

I'm told an early version of the pilot episode was leaked a few months ago, and people were not impressed, but I figure if this show is half as fun as its promotional materials we'll be golden.

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Saving Grace in the blogosphere

Sherri Rifkin, author of the highly enjoyable novel Lovehampton, has been hired as one of the guest bloggers for an online community devoted the TNT show Saving Grace. I'm unfamiliar with this show (no TV), but the blog looks interesting, and the fan responses are both articulate and passionate, so maybe I'll get Meg to record it for me....


Monday, July 28, 2008

Southern vampire must-see TV

And speaking of pretty girls lapping blood, the TV powers-that-be used the same charming motif for the teaser poster for Alan Ball's upcoming HBO show True Blood, which is based off of Wordcandy favorite Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series:

Hmm. Effective, I suppose (although, if that's supposed to be the heroine, totally inaccurate, seeing as she's not a vampire). I'm much more impressed by the banner ads that apparently popped up all over Comic-Con advertising "Tru-Blood", the "synthetic blood nourishment beverage" that Harris's vampires drink:

Doesn't that look great? They're doing an awesome job with promotion for this show--there's a blog and a vampire dating service, too.


Red Sonja news, part II

They've released the poster for that upcoming Red Sonja adaptation I was talking about, and it looks about as classy as you'd expect:

...uh, yeah. I guess that settles the "Is it going to be a highbrow revenge film?" question.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

The Amnesiac, by Sam Taylor

When construction worker James Purdew, the protagonist of Sam Taylor’s ambitious psychological thriller The Amnesiac, breaks his leg in an accident, he spends his convalescence obsessing over the three years of his life he cannot remember. Returning to England in search of answers, James gets a job restoring an old house for an anonymous landlord. As he works on the house, he discovers a 19th century manuscript hidden in the walls—a story that inspires even more questions about his past.

On the scale of labyrinthine, puzzle-box entertainment, with A.S. Byatt’s Possession being the brilliantly satisfying pinnacle and ABC’s pointlessly complex Lost being the nadir, The Amnesiac falls on the side of Possession... but only just. At 381 pages, Taylor’s novel is 100 pages too long, his plot borrows heavily from the work of Jorge Luis Borges, and he writes with a clumsy, faux-earthy style that is awkward and implausible. (“He kept a collection of flyswatters to hand. They were doubly useful. With the head of one he would murder insects; with the handle of another he would scratch at the dead, flaking skin inside his cast.”)

The Amnesiac has solid bones: the murder mystery subplot is intriguing, Taylor is capable of evoking a deliciously creepy gothic atmosphere, and we'll give him points for the complexity of his plot. Should he ever abandon his lofty literary pretensions and focus on straight-up storytelling (or at least divide his efforts between the two), it is possible Mr. Taylor could write a truly great novel.

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Somebody's totally trashed Ron Weasley!

...oh, wait. Turns out this is just for his, uh, "art". Rupert Grint is going to be starring in a teen thriller called Cherry Bomb (due out next year), and apparently the plot involves his character getting whaled on for the sake of a girl.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Watchmen trailer online

The movie adaptation of Alan Moore's Hugo Award-winning graphic novel Watchmen is out:

Like most of Moore's stuff, I've always thought Watchmen was way too self-consciously weighty, so I'm glad to see the movie version isn't afraid to go for some old-fashioned, blowing-stuff-up fun!

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Comic-con fallout

As usual, Comic-Con totally delivered on the geek news front:

*Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is going to be made into a comic book. My brother loved this book, but I never got over Card’s introductory essay, where he explained that anyone who didn’t absolutely love the story probably just wasn’t smart enough to appreciate its genius. (Yeah, I’m summarizing... but, seriously, that’s what he meant.)

*There’s going to be a game called DC Universe Online for PlayStation 3 and PC. Players will be allowed to invent their own characters and interact with an online landscape peopled by other players and about 150 autonomous heroes, villains, and sidekicks from the DC Comics universe.

*The third book in Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series is coming out. I’ve always found this series 75% revolting and 25% brilliant, but I’ll probably end up checking it out.

*And—last but not least—Korean singer/actor Rain will be appearing in the (no doubt Oscar-worthy) movie Ninja Assassin:

Okay... so there’s no literary basis for including this news tidbit, but that Rain sure is pretty, isn’t he?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Coming soon to a theater near you...

There appear to be two more YA fantasy novel film adaptations coming down the pike: producer Nina Jacobson is making a movie version of the popular Children of the Lamp series by P.B. Kerr, and Walden Media has hired Karen Janszen to adapt Ingrid Law's intriguing-looking book Savvy. Unfortunately, neither one of these names inspires much confidence—as president of the Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group, Jacobson was responsible for the awkward, unfunny The Princess Diaries and clunky The Chronicles of Narnia adaptations, while Janszen brought us that fun-filled A Walk to Remember movie.

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Gaiman gets choosy.

Neil Gaiman—who's obviously in full promotion-mode for his upcoming novel The Graveyard Book—has compiled a list of his 10 favorite "New Classic Monsters" for Entertainment Weekly. I’m not sure I agree with his choices (apart from Pennywise the Clown, who is, obviously, creepy as hell), but it’s worth a look-see.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kat Richardson rides again

Underground, the third book in Kat Richardson's Greywalker series, is due out in exactly two weeks, and she's recently posted an excerpt on her website.

I cannot wait to read this novel—Richardson's books would be fun no matter where they were set, but I absolutely love her horror/fantasy/noir take on Seattle landmarks. Seriously—zombies in the Underground? What more could any native Washingtonian ask for?


Graphic novel odds and ends

NPR has an article up about American interest in foreign comics—everything from Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis to manga. The article is generic and under-researched, particularly by NPR's standards ("The trend began with Manga, illustrated comic serials from Japan, which feature big-eyed, heavily stylized characters."), but still worth checking out.

The beta version of Tokyopop's new website is out, offering some relief to those of us who found the old site eye twitch-inducing.

Shoujo mangaka Mayu Shinjo (creator of Viz's Sensual Phrase and the scanlation favorite Love Celeb) is going to write a one-shot for the October issue of Jump Square magazine—her first work for a shōnen magazine. It's a little tough for me to imagine Mayu Shinjo producing something outside of her smut-tastic comfort zone, but who knows? Maybe she'll be great.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Pride and Prejudice: the musical

Yes, dear readers, I'm afraid it's true. There really is going to be a Pride and Prejudice musical:

According to the synopsis page, this production will be a two-fold delight: the story will focus on both the plot of Pride and Prejudice and Austen's experience writing the book, making it some kind of P&P/Becoming Jane hybrid.

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Heyer contest, part II

Our recent Georgette Heyer giveaway is over, and I'd like to thank every one of the people who entered. E-mails to the winners should go out this afternoon, and please keep checking back for info on future contests!


Friday, July 18, 2008

Simplexity, by Jeffrey Kluger

Time magazine writer and editor Jeffrey Kluger’s Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple) offers a brisk and (mostly) comprehensible introduction to the science of “simplexity”. In an effort to define the concepts of complexity and simplicity, Kluger explores several of the current projects of the Santa Fe Institute (an interdisciplinary scientific research center founded by Nobel laureate Murray Gell-Mann), and features a variety of informative and diverse examples, drawing from economics, sports, politics, and the natural world.

Kluger is obviously an excellent reporter, and the many anecdotes featured in this book are fascinating and clearly presented. (I’m going to be boring people with random factoids for months—always a sign of a fun nonfiction read!) Unfortunately, his definition of the science of simplexity is difficult to grasp, and he covers far too much ground in a mere 302 pages. It might be possible to write a book that offers both a clear dissection of and obvious link between the complexity of military systems, music, and human speech, but I suspect such a book would need to be about a thousand pages longer—at least—than Mr. Kluger’s effort.

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Moribito to appear on Adult Swim?

AnimeNewsNetwork has confirmed that the Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit anime series will premiere on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim on August 24.

Moribito is an adaptation if Nahoko Uehashi's fantasy novel of the same name about a wandering spearwoman named Balsa. Scholastic published an English edition of this novel last month, and I'm looking forward to reading it--it gives off a vaguely Inuyasha-ish historical fantasy vibe, and I really like the cover.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Geisha's Journey

We don’t review much nonfiction here at Wordcandy, but once in a while we encounter a nonfiction title that absolutely fascinates us, even when the subject is one in which we had no previous interest. Such was the case with A Geisha’s Journey: My Life as a Kyoto Apprentice, a lovely, illuminating book about one young woman’s transformation from a contemporary Japanese teenager into one of Kyoto’s famous geisha.

A Geisha’s Journey is really the work of two people: Komomo, the young geisha-in-training, provided the autobiographical text, and Japanese photographer Naoyuki Ogino provided the artwork, capturing Komomo’s seven-year journey in dozens of vivid photographs. The book traces Komomo’s education as a geisha, following her from her years as a maiko, or apprentice geisha, to her life as a fully-fledged geiko—an artist well-versed in traditional Japanese dance, music, and tea ceremony.

Western readers entranced by the sumptuous, seductive world of Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha might find this book disappointing, as Komomo’s story is mostly about hard work. (So hard, in fact, that one wonders about the mental health of anyone who would choose such a lifestyle. Countless hours of dance practice and music lessons, wearing kimonos weighing over thirty pounds, elaborate, artificial mannerisms... sounds fun, huh?) However, readers looking for glimpse into a truly exotic world—one devoted to a unique and probably dying form of art—are sure to be captivated.

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Ask, and ye shall receive

Cover's out for the upcoming Jennifer Crusie collaboration:

Eh. I'm not feeling the Charlie's Angels vibe of those silhouettes, but I suppose it could be worse. Anyway, Amazon has posted a release date of February 9, 2009. Doesn't that seem like a long time out, particularly seeing as the book is fully written, edited, and has a cover?


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wicked: the book/musical/movie

The internet is abuzz with news of an upcoming big-screen adaptation of Gregory Maguire's Wizard of Oz retelling Wicked. There seems to be some question as to whether the film will be based on the original book or the musical stage adaptation*, but it's sure to be fun either way.

*Although, not being a fan of musicals, I'm hoping for the former.

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Speaking of cons... coverage of the San Diego Comic-Con (July 24-27) is kicking into gear. Variety has two interesting articles up--one focusing on Hollywood's interest in the convention, and another on two of the event's big draws: Frank Miller's The Spirit, a homage to Will Eisner's vintage comic series of the same name, and (of course) the film adaptation of Twilight.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Keepin' the economy afloat

I was happy to see that Anime Expo (the largest anime-oriented show in the country) did reasonably well this year. After two years of stagnant attendance rates, numbers were actually UP about 5% for last weekend's shindig, despite serious problems with the U.S. economy. Manga and anime sales have been suffering all over the country (and, as big cities go, Los Angeles has really been feeling the pinch of higher gas prices and a failing housing market), so I'd like to personally thank all of the brave anime fans out there for doing their part to boost our economic future.


Don't forget, Joss Whedon fans...

Today is the first day of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Likely Story: Book One, by David Van Etten

David Van Etten*’s Likely Story: Book One is the story of Mallory, the teenage daughter of a famous(ly bad) soap opera star. Mallory’s mother is the ultimate drama queen, but her daughter’s talents lie in another direction: Mallory dreams of writing a soap opera about real people and real problems, with absolutely no kidnappings, plane crashes, or clairvoyants allowed. When her mother’s agent unexpectedly embraces her idea, Mallory’s life turns into a sticky mess of hurt feelings, deflated hopes, and screwed-up relationships—a real-life melodrama of her very own.

Likely Story is witty, clever, and stylish, with a lot of delicious soap opera in-jokes. Here’s Mallory’s description of the trials and travails of her mother’s onscreen daughter:

"In the past sixteen years, Diamond has been abducted six times, has died once, has fallen in love twice with people who were later revealed to be her relatives, has had three bouts of amnesia, has been in a coma twice, has eloped once, has broken off two engagements, has had her debutante debut ruined once by an earthquake and once by a dead best friend, has twice fallen into the hands of a coven of witches, has been locked in the trunk of a car six times, has pulled a gun on someone fourteen times, has had a gun pulled on her twenty-two times, and has had near-death experiences eight times (twice from drowning, twice in a car crash, once in a plane crash, once after being stabbed by her lover-slash-long-lost-stepbrother, once in childbirth, and once—I swear to god—from slipping on a patch of black ice, which was later revealed to have been put there by her diabolically scheming half-sister/stepmother.)"
Unfortunately, much like the soap operas it parodies, Likely Story is also totally unsatisfying. It’s too short (a mere 230 pages), none of the half-dozen storylines are resolved, and the story is cut off with a pearl-clutching cliffhanger. There will be a sequel out in October, but teen readers might well object to having to buy two $16 hardbacks in order to read one complete story, even when the books are as sharply funny as this one. If this book had been more affordable, we would have recommended it as a smart and enjoyably nasty alternative to cheeseball teen series like the Sweet Valley High reprints... but as it is, we suggest waiting until the paperback edition comes out.

*"David Van Etten" is the pen name for three authors: YA author David Leviathan, playwright David Ozanich, and soap opera writer Chris Van Etten.

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I was convinced this had to be an April Fools' Day joke, but apparently I was wrong.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Weird bunch

In honor of the theatrical release of Hellboy II: The Golden Army, I gathered up several of the odd commercials that have been showing this month on TV to promote the movie. I'm torn on which one is my favorite--either the PSA or the "Inside the Actors Studio":

But the other three are fun, too:
Chuck Meets Hellboy
Chuck vs Hellboy
Ghost Hunters meet Hellboy


Fact of Life #31, by Denise Vega

High-school junior Kat Flynn loves her after-school job, even if it is a little unconventional. She works at her mother's midwife birthing center, intermixing secretarial work with helping prospective parents design song lists and mood lighting for their children's births. The only problem with working at Abra's Midwifery is the boss: Kat's earth-goddess-y mother Abra is beloved by her patients, but she has a bad habit of relying on meaningless platitudes to talk to her daughters. Kat's crush on a schoolmate, tentative friendship with the most popular girl in school, and uneasy relationship with her mother guarantee that life isn't easy, but she's determined to find her own path.

Denise Vega's Fact of Life #31 is arranged by pregnancy trimester, a less-than-subtle metaphor for Kat's personal growth. Unlike many young adult heroines, Kat is restrained, easy-going, and well-behaved--maturity, for her, means growing more emotional and noisy as the book goes on, rather than less. (To put it in terms an Austen fan would understand, she has to set aside her inner Elinor and embrace her inner Marianne.) There are tons of coming-of-age novels out there featuring young women with wacky parents and quirky home lives, but Kat's quiet self-confidence makes her a genuinely unconventional and appealing heroine. Fact of Life #31 was delightful, and we look forward to seeing more of Ms. Vega's work!

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bodice-ripper, anyone?

I know it's late in the day, but this was just too good to hold onto until tomorrow:

Hee hee hee.

Seriously? A dude in an open shirt, clutching a nightgown-clad (and kinda bored-looking) woman to his hairy chest? Is this, like, meant to be ironic? Because I'm pretty sure I last saw this pose on a romance novel written in 1989....

[Source: here, via here.]



Last month Yulianka noted some signs of life from Jennifer Cruise, including the first chapter of her next collaborative novel, Dogs and Goddesses.

"Once upon a time, three writers decided to do a novel about three ordinary women who meet at a dog obedience class and discover they’re descended from ancient Mesopotamian priestesses and are, in fact, the embodiment of Lust, Chaos, and Ecstasy. Oh, and their ancestors served the ancient Mesopotamian Goddess of Life, Kammani Gula, whose sacred animal was the dog. And she’s just risen to save the world. In southern Ohio."

The group posted the second chapter on their blog shortly thereafter, and there are rumors of a third "soon". Unfortunately, there is still no mention of a release date for this book... but, based on the preview chapters, it should be an entertaining read!

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Next up!

AnimeNewsNetwork has announced that the next project from Kazune Kawahara, author of the popular shojo manga High School Debut, is going to be called Aozora Yell ("Blue-Sky Yell"), and will launch in the September issue of Margaret magazine. This news comes on the heels of the current August issue, which features the final chapter--after five years and 12 compiled volumes--of High School Debut.

According to ANN, Aozora Yell "[Centers] on Tsubasa, a girl who saw an inspirational brass band performance at the finals of the Japanese high school baseball championships one summer. Tsubasa vows to join the band when she enters high school, and she happens to meet a certain boy there." I have always found High School Debut surprisingly endearing (although I definitely think stretching it to 12 volumes was a mistake), so I'm looking forward to reading this new story as soon as it comes out!


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ah, the joys of 1987...

Actually, a lot of this gameplay looks like it comes from the eighties, too.


Beach reading

Several Wordcandy-approved romance novelists have released books in the past few weeks, so if you've got an economic stimulus package burning a hole in your pocket and a beach visit or a plane trip in your future it might be time to head down to the bookstore:

Duchess by Night is the third title in Eloisa James's "Desperate Duchesses" series. I find most of Ms. James's novels tedious, but--judging by her sales numbers--plenty of other people seem to like 'em.

Queen of Babble Gets Hitched, the third book in Meg Cabot's "Queen of Babble" series, is out. I didn't care for the first book in this series (it read like a teen novel, but it had the cover price of an adult hardback), but maybe it has gotten better with age...?

Suzanne Enoch has just released After the Kiss, a sweet-looking historical romance that--in a rare but welcome combination--happens to be both the cheapest title featured in this post (costing a mere $6.99) and the one I'm most excited to read!

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008


The trailer for the film adaptation of José Saramago's novel Blindness is out:

I won't be the first person to say this, but this looks like a total remake of John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids... only 1000% more pretentious.


Romance week

Last week it was suspense, this week it's romance. We'll be featuring THREE Georgette Heyer titles on the main site this week (count 'em!), and titles from Karen Neches, David Van Etten, and Denise Vega on the blog.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Georgette Heyer giveaway!

And in celebration of Ms. Heyer's NPR triumph, we're announcing another contest:

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Georgette Heyer is one step closer to (posthumously) ruling the world...

...thanks to NPR commentator and super-librarian Nancy Pearl. Ms. Pearl is featuring Wordcandy goddess Georgette Heyer's Regency-era novel An Infamous Army as part of her recommended summer reading list!

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Moscow Rules, by Daniel Silva

Daniel Silva’s upcoming novel Moscow Rules (due out July 22) is his eighth novel to feature art restorer and sometime Israeli secret agent Gabriel Allon. As this installment opens, Allon’s honeymoon with his new wife ends abruptly when a Russian journalist is murdered. The fallout from the journalist’s death takes Allon to Moscow, where a former KBG agent has built a global investment empire—an empire that serves as a front for some very lucrative and deadly arms deals.

Moscow Rules feels like a novel from an earlier era. It pits an brave, determined hero—who, despite being middle-aged and broody, is hopelessly alluring to the lovely young ladies he works with—against a ruthless, vodka-swilling villain. (Spoiler: the good guys win!) Silva makes up for his cartoonish characters and simplistic storytelling by painting a vivid picture of post-Communism Russia, and the breathless action scenes and exotic locales featured in Moscow Rules are sure to appeal to people who can't wait for the next James Bond movie to come out.

Note: Silva doesn’t address any of the complexities inherent in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in Moscow Rules, although he may have discussed this in earlier books.

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Streams of Babel, by Carol Plum-Ucci

Carol Plum-Ucci’s Streams of Babel kicks off with a bang and never stops moving. When two women die of brain aneurysms within hours of one another in the New Jersey suburb of Trinity Falls, it raises a few local eyebrows, and when their children fall ill with strange, flu-like symptoms, even the government takes notice. Thanks to information gathered by a teenage computer genius living in Pakistan, anti-terrorism agents have been hearing rumors of a water-based attack for months. No one knows why terrorists would want to attack a community like Trinity Falls, but it becomes increasingly clear that something is very wrong with their water supply....

Steams of Babel is absorbing, fast-paced, and creepy enough to send shivers up the spines of both teen and adult readers*. While the book’s ceaseless action gets a little tiring over 400-plus pages, and Plum-Ucci’s young protagonists are too articulate to be plausible (the mysterious illness appears to have struck down some of the most intelligent, self-possessed children on the planet), her story is intriguing enough to make a little suspension of disbelief worthwhile.

The Internet informs me that several of Plum-Ucci’s other novels feature deliberately vague endings. Unanswered questions may not be your favorite literary closing device (they’re certainly not mine), but please don’t let that stop you from reading this book: Streams of Babel is a complete story, and there are no major plot threads left hanging. A sequel would be great—not because Ms. Plum-Ucci leaves her story half-told, but because I would like to know what happens next in these intelligent and appealing characters’ lives.

*I’m going to be drinking filtered water for months. Maybe boiling it, too.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

No trailer yet, but...

Cinematical has an article up featuring links to several pictures from the upcoming film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and I'd just like to say that I totally covet Luna's coat:

Girl sure could use a haircut, though.

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The Fourth Watcher, by Timothy Hallinan

Timothy Hallinan’s The Fourth Watcher is his second book to feature American travel writer Poke Rafferty. After abandoning his "Looking For Trouble" series of travel books, Rafferty has settled down in Bangkok with his adopted daughter, Miaow, and his fiancée, a former bar girl turned cleaning business owner named Rose. Unfortunately for Rafferty, he doesn’t need to go looking for trouble. Trouble comes looking for him, and it isn't long before Rafferty finds himself embroiled in a case involving counterfeit money from North Korea, Chinese gangsters, a box of rubies, and his long-lost father—who wasn’t long-lost enough, in Rafferty’s opinion.

Despite featuring more unsavory topics than you can shake a stick at, Hallinan’s Poke Rafferty mysteries are incredibly readable. Hallinan writes with style and wit, neither romanticizing nor underplaying Bangkok’s seedier aspects—the city’s corruption, violence, and sex industry play significant roles in The Fourth Watcher, but Hallinan does an outstanding job of making his characters feel like real people, not noir stock players. The darkness of his setting might be off-putting to some readers, but Hallinan's rich characters, acerbic humor, and whip-smart dialogue make him a writer to watch.

Click here to read our review of Mr. Hallinan's first Poke Rafferty book, A Nail Through the Heart.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Slayers Revolution

The fourth anime series inspired by Hajime Kanzaka and Rui Araizumi's comedy/fantasy Slayers novels premiers today in Japan! The anime is called Slayers Revolution, and apparently it picks up shortly after the events in the third series, Slayers Try. I haven't seen anything about subs yet (although all three of the earlier series were licensed, so I expect this one will be, too), but here's the trailer:


Bella's Ball: Friday, August 1st

Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon has decided to give Breaking Dawn, the conclusion to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga, the full Harry Potter-midnight release party treatment:

"On Friday, August 1, we are thrilled to host Bella's Ball, a midnight release party complete with costume contests, spooky DJs, and even a blood mobile! Easier than the vampire's way, a Red Cross blood mobile will be operating from 3:30-6:30 p.m. — all donors will be rewarded with priority line-placement when the book goes on sale at midnight. Hold your squeals of joy, all of you in the Edward or Jacob camps. We'll see you there!"
As all of our long-term readers know, I'm not the world's biggest fan of these books, but--hey, any excuse for a party, you know? Plus, that blood mobile idea is both classy and totally, totally awesome.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Mercy Street, by Mariah Stewart

Mariah Stewart’s new novel Mercy Street is the first book in her "Mercy Street Foundation" series. The story centers on a shooting in a small Pennsylvania town: four high school seniors—three boys and a girl—enter a dilapidated park. The next morning, two of the boys are found shot, and the other two children have disappeared. When no other leads turn up, the police decide that the missing kids are probably responsible for the shootings. Desperate to find her grandson and prove his innocence, the accused boy’s grandmother (armed with some financial assistance from her parish priest, who happens to be best friends with a reclusive local bazillionaire) hires former detective Mallory Russo to discover what really happened in the park that night....

Mercy Street is Grade-A beach reading for romantic suspense fans. Stewart's novel features intriguing main characters, intense action scenes, and—while the primary mystery is neatly tied up by the book's end—enough tantalizing loose ends to fuel any number of sequels. (Plus, it’s not super-gory, making it a good choice for those of us whose stomachs aren’t up for any Silence of the Lambs-style hijinks.) Fans of J.D. Robb's Eve Dallas series should definitely check this novel out, as should anyone else in the market for a fast-paced, entertaining mystery featuring a quick-witted and complex female protagonist.

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Suspense week

In honor of July 4th (the traditional weekend for big action film releases here in the States), we've decided to feature a variety of mystery/suspense reviews on both the blog and the main site this week. Check back over the next few days for reviews of books by Timothy Hallinan, Tana French, Daniel Silva, Mariah Stewart, and Carol Plum-Ucci.

But while you're awaiting our words of literary wisdom, may we direct you to the just-released trailer for the upcoming James Bond movie?

Quantum of Solace is the title of a short story in Ian Fleming's collection For Your Eyes Only, although I hear the film is otherwise unrelated. Looks fun, though.

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