Stormbreaker (Alex Rider #1) by Anthony Horowitz
Rating: * * * *
Somewhere between James Bond and The Hunger Games
Thrown headlong into the world of MI6 and covert intelligence, 14 year old Alex’s mission is to investigate a philanthropist who seems too good to be true. Complete with gadgets and super-secret communication channels, Alex’s adventure speeds along with just the right mix of details, background, and hyperbole to make it enjoyable for its target audience, teenagers, as well as adults.
Being generally behind the times on movies, I have just learned a movie was released in 2006 based on this book. After checking out a trailer for the movie, I can say with confidence that the movie is vastly different from the book.
Tenderloin by Ty Hutchinson
Published June 3, 2013 by Patchwork Press
Rating: * *
Abby Kane, FBI agent and former homicide detective, is dispatched to Colombia, South America to investigate the brutal murder of a DEA agent.
And that’s where it falls apart. Abby does not inspire confidence, and without believing in Abby the story doesn’t work. Since she is not familiar with Colombia or the drug cartels, it never makes sense to me that she is the agent sent to Colombia. Worse, when she arrives in Colombia she demonstrates poor professional judgment on a number of fronts.
I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for a review.
Codename Wolf by Gil Hogg
Rating: * * *
Roger Conway joins the British secret service on a lark, then, still a novice, finds himself thrown into a high-stakes operation including a new Cuban missile crisis, assassination attempts, and a clandestine group of operatives known as The Disciples.
Roger’s route to the secret intelligence service is entertaining: dishonest, but ingenious, with a bit of luck thrown in. The book is well written, moving along quickly and with plenty of red herrings and conspiracy theories. Yarham, Roger’s right-hand man, is the most interesting and only likeable character in the book: intelligent, quick-witted, content without being stodgy. Roger is tiresome. Four stars for the idea and the writing style. Two stars for the story.
Through NetGalley, I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
Donny and Ursula Save the World by Sharon Weil
Rating: * * * *
Choose your ism: survival-ism, terrorism, environmentalism, fatalism, cataclysm, botulism (or something like it), escapism. Employing a series of hilariously apt double entendres, this book explores the notions that money is the root of all evil and sex makes the world go around.
I can pretty much guarantee you won’t read another book this year that so brilliantly ties together GMO seeds and belly dancing.
Through NetGalley, I received a copy of this book from Passing 4 Normal Press.
The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
Rating: * * * * *
Kate O’Hara, FBI, and Nick Fox, con man and thief, have a thing for each other. After years of skirmishes, O’Hara chasing Fox and him narrowly escaping each time, she finally nabs him. Then the fun begins! The FBI makes a deal with Fox to put him and O’Hara together on an assignment to catch an embezzler. Assembling an unlikely team, they set out to chase the bad guy and recover the money, slinging sarcasm and woo liberally along the way.
Movie, TV, and book references abound: James Bond, Overboard, Fantasy Island, Rudyard Kipling. Who knew such a varied collection could be lumped into one story and make any kind of sense? As with any good tale, the mere mention of these other stories evokes background images that enhance The Heist even more.
At one point I laughed so hard it became necessary to set the book down for fear I would drop it and lose my page.
Having read the prequel, a novella called Pros and Cons, I knew I would be reading this book. Now I can hardly wait for the next installment in the series.
If you like this book, you may also enjoy Star Island by Carl Hiaasen.
Silenced by Allison Brennan (Lucy Kincaid series, Book 4)
Rating: * * * *
Lucy and her FBI cohorts unravel the secrets and lies surrounding the brutal deaths of young call girls in Washington, DC. Memories from Lucy’s own painful past – being near-fatally attacked by a predator – figure heavily into her reasoning and reactions to this case, both assisting the search and causing the FBI to doubt her abilities.
Suspenseful and intriguing, Silenced – the first book I have read by this author – drew me in from the first and kept me hooked with well-developed characters, interconnecting story lines, enough detail to be compelling without drowning in it, and a race to the finish.
The recurring characters in the story (Lucy, boss Noah, boyfriend Sean) are well fleshed out in this story, but they clearly have more facets to be explored. I was left with enough questions and interest that I’m already starting to read the next book in the series.