Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dead and Gone

Title: Dead & Gone (Book #9)

Author: Charlaine Harris

Genre: Paranormal

First Published: 2009, 312 pages

Challenge: The Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge

From the Cover:
The vamps have been out for years, and now the weres and shifters have decided to follow the lead of the undead and reveal their existence to the ordinary world. Sookie Stackhouse already knows about them, of course - her brother turns into a panther at the full moon, she's friend to the local were pack, and Sam her boss at Merlotte's bar, is a shapeshifter.

The great revelation goes well at first - then the horribly mutilated body of a were-panther is found in the parking lot of Merlotte's, and Sookie agrees to use her telepathic talent to track down the murderer. But there is a far greater danger than the killer threatening Bon Temps: a race of unhuman beings, older, more powerful and far more secretive than the vampires or the werewolves is preparing for war. And Sookie is an all-too human pawn in their ages-old battle...

My Thoughts:
Of all the books in the series, this has to be the most chair-gripping one todate. As usual, Harris throws in a few plots all at once; there's one on the mysterious were-panther murderer, one on the power struggle between the two fairy clans and last but definitely not least, an insight into the complex love life of Ms Sookie Stackhouse.

I have to say that Harris just topped herself this time with the chilling account on the fairy war. Harris managed to dispel the idea that fairies were all pretty and glowing inside. Who would've thought fairies could be so sinister and scary?! I loved it. It was completely intense; thrilling to the very last drop and quite emotional. What was a little disappointing though (just a teeny bit), was the unfinished business of Sookie's love life. Though it sounded like Eric might have been THE ONE, the sudden re-introduction of Bill Compton in a big way completely threw off that idea. So, who will be the lucky Vamp? Or will Sookie leave both of them in the dark and settle with someone more of her own kind? Questions I'm hoping will be answered real soon...guess we'll just have to wait and see then.  

This book completes my Sookie Stackhouse Challenge, hosted by Beth at Beth Fish Reads. First Challenge for the year over and done with. Hurray!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

First Among Equals by Jeffrey Archer

Title: First Among Equals

Author: Jeffrey Archer

Genre: Fiction

First Published: 1984, 466 pages

Challenge: N/A

From the Cover
In the 1960s four ambitious new MPs take their seats at Westminster. Over three decades they share the turbulent passions of the race for power with their wives and families, men and women caught up in a dramatic game for the highest stakes of all. But only one man can gain the ultimate goal - the office of Prime Minister...

My Thoughts
When my son picked out this book for me (thanks to my ever-growing shelf of delicious books, I've become quite fickle in the reading selection process), I actually groaned and moaned and pleaded him to pick a different one. I'm not a big fan of politics and neither am I a big fan of Archer's, so his choice didn't exactly get my mood pumping with anticipation. I attempted to read it anyway and as soon as I was half-way through, news struck that UK had just faced it's first hung Parliament since 1974. I was ecstatic. Here I was reading a book that's far more suited for the political junkie, and lo and behold, fiction becomes reality. Suddenly I was the guru of UK politics to friends who didn't have a clue....sweet.

The book focuses on 4 main characters and the progression of their political career; Charles Seymour, the aristocrat  who naturally was a Tory; Raymond Gould, the intellect who spurred the Labour Party but has one too many skeletons in the closet; Simon Kerslake, the humble, hard-working Tory with financial issues; and Andrew Kerr, the Scottish family man who astonished his Tory-supporting father by joining the Labour Party. Of all the 4 men, I found Andrew to be the most appealing character; he was witty, charming, described as being quite handsome and his political journey touched a very raw spot in me.

Though the plot may be a little dry in parts, there is sufficient content for the reader to grasp the mechanism of the UK political scene, and enough twists & turns to keep one entertained. A recommended read if you enjoy heavy reading and would like to know more about UK politics.   


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