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A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword Book #1)

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Excellent story! I can't wait for the sequel! This is a very high quality first book for an author. I found it very hard to put this book down to go do the other things I needed to do. Well written and a good story. I hope Patrick is far along on the next one in the series, it is supposed to be a trilogy.We meet Errol Stone, the local drunk in a small village and he's not yet 19. While picking himself up out of the mudhole the bouncer threw him into, a messenger arrived and grudgingly paid Errol to deliver the message the final stretch. This is the start of the end of Errol's patterned existence, work until he can afford to get drunk.Someone unsuccessfully tries to prevent him from delivering the package. He arrives late enough he has to spend the night and then next morning his journey back to town to collect the other half of his pay turns into a much longer and life-changing one.Excellent story, great story telling and a must read for epic story lovers. It is a pig-boy story, but a good one and the magic system is pretty good too. I can wait for the next one. This book had a similar feel to Feist's Magician books.
Secrets to the Grave

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I mostly enjoyed listening to this book. The mystery was pretty good, though I was pretty sure who did it about half-way through. I think what I didn't like the most was all the time spent on the feelings of the main characters for each other. It's a murder mystery, not a love story! Well anyway, that is what I was listening to it for. Also a surprising number of people naively make the worst choices possible. It's amazing how often that happens.There is a brutal murder of a local artist and an unsuccessful attempt on her 4 year old daughter who witnessed it. Everyone is shocked and no one can think of any reason for the heinous act. The more the police dig into the lives of those involved the more secrets come out and motives start to abound. When the artists friend disappears the stakes are raised.Decent book, good book to listen to on a commute to help pass the time and the miles.
The Lost Symbol

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Robert Langdon is back in his 3rd book. This time his Mason friend is in trouble and Robert walks right into it without a single bell going off inside his head. We learn lots of cool stuff about the masons and get to look at some interesting things like noetics. Overall, Langdon appears to be a very knowledgeable idiot. It seemed to come out more in this one, everyone needs to push him to make any kind of intuitive thought. It is usually at least half way though the book before he seems to think to try and be proactive in solving any of the problems he is faced with.This book did catch me off guard with Langdon being tortured in a tank filling with liquid. That whole scene totally tricked me. I kept wondering what I missed. That was a good job in my opinion.
Chronicles of Egg: Deadweather and Sunrise

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Deadweather and Sunrise is the first book in the new young adult series The Chronicles of Egg. Egbert is the youngest of three siblings living with their father on Deadweather Island, the only other residents are pirates living in the only town. Many of the pirates that are missing too many parts to continue being pirates work for Egg’s father on their ugly fruit plantation. It’s a sparse life and Egg gets beat up by his siblings frequently but he has a fairly positive outlook on life.One day his father came back from cleaning the canon got some paper and a pencil from the tutor and disappeared for a while. When he came back he announced that the next day they were traveling to Sunrise, the rich island to the east, and since this was not one of the two annual trips there, it was a momentous occasion. Egg and his siblings had no idea what had gotten into their father but all were excited about the trip. While waiting to be seated at a ‘fancy’ restaurant they run into Mr. Pembroke. Afterward he invites the whole family to spend the night up at his mansion. Then Mr. Pembroke want to show the the family how to fly by letting them up in his hot air balloon. An accident happened.I think if I had read this when I was in middle school, I would have given it a full 5 stars. It has pirates and adventurers, good friends and a secret treasure. I certainly think boys about that age would love this book. (I can’t speak for girls). The writing was well done and many of Eggs thoughts reminded my of my thought processes when I was that age. While I didn’t give it 5 stars I still thought it was worthy of 4. For those who like YA books I highly recommend this one.
Muškarci koji mrze žene

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I found the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to be a very engaging book. It was fairly dark and took a look at the darker side of Sweden and people in general. Mikael and Lisbeth are from very different worlds and their chance meeting strikes up a rather potent team.I was rather surprised that what I expected to be the ending of the book was not even close. This book actually went and tied off many of the loose ends some of which I expected to be left. However there is one loose end that I really wanted tied up, or at least be pointed in a different direction. I do plan on reading the 2nd book in the near future when I have a chance. Pretty good book, good mystery, interesting characters.
The Aylesford Skull: A Tale of Langdon St. Ives

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The Aylesford Skull is the 6th book in the Narbondo series. Since this is the only book in the series I’ve read, I have to ask why it is named after the villain? The main protagonist in the book is Langdon St. Ives, a British gentleman with some standing. St. Ives has been in most of the series it appears.Langdon has just completed an adventure to try and recover some property that was stolen from his Society, property the Society was planning on purchasing. The whole escapade ended poorly. He wants to spend time with his family and not go anywhere for a long time. Unfortunately, fate has other plans for him. Shortly after arriving home, his wife brings home a large Pike for lunch, and Langdon recognizes the smell of Hemlock, someone tried to poison the family. That very evening, after everyone went to bed, St. Ives young son Edward was kidnapped. I did enjoy this book, it was exciting from beginning to end. Langdon never seems to get more than a few hours to rest before he needs to be on the move again. It was an interesting adventure and I was constantly wondering what Narbondo’s ultimate evil goal was. He always seemed to be about 3 steps ahead of everyone else trying to catch or stop him. His biggest asset was, he was totally ruthless and willing to prey on anyone elses weaknesses, whether they be compassion or love for someone or merely simple greed.The story runs all over the London area and every time you think Langdon or his friends are ahead and won a round, Narbondo is already to turn the tables and make them play another game. In many ways this was frustrating but the end was a satisfying one. Eventually I’ll have to read some of the earlier books in the series. I also don’t think that the series needs to be read from the beginning either.
The Final Faberge

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The Final Faberge is the 3rd book in the Jack Oxby series. Jack Oxby is a detective specializing in missing and stolen artworks. I have not read the first 2 books which were not needed for this one but it heavily alludes to many things in them. So if there is strong interest I would suggest starting with the first book. The book opens with the final hours of Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin. He stopped by Faberge’s shop to pick up a little present for the Tzarina he had commissioned on his way to a diner party. During all the excitement Rasputin’s package was forgotten, and it walked away...Detective Jack Oxby is in London telling his boss he’s taking a leave of absence and he might not be back. This is in response to a funding issue which is reorganizing the whole department. Jack’s specialty is finding lost and stolen artworks. A rich acquaintance of his, has offered to pay Jack to find a missing Faberge egg that might or might not exist. It’s a puzzle Jack can’t pass up.Since Faberge was located in St. Petersburg, that is where Jack is going to start looking. He has a friend there who will help him navigate the city and the people. His friend put an ad in the newspaper and for his trouble gets a package warning him to stop. Jack doesn’t like threats, and becomes more resolved in finding the egg, especially since the threat suggests it does exist.I enjoyed reading the book, it was well written and the story of the egg was very well done. The story of finding the egg was a little theatrical with quite a few coincidences. I enjoyed the reading it and have no problem recommending it.
Just Jack

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I have mixed feelings about this book. It was very strongly a Christian book, angels and demons were warriors for God or the devil. The story was actually pretty good but the execution didn't impress me very much. If taken as a YA book I suppose I could forgive some of the writing. But I had a hard time with angelic beings several thousand years old using current slang. There were other things with the writing that I would think was unlikely things to say by adults. I think my biggest problem was it felt like all 'bad' behavior humans did was instigated by demons and not by innate nastiness of the person. 'It's the devils fault' kind of thinking.If you have a problem with Christianity or obvious support of the faith, you will likely hate this book. If it doesn't bother you or you like Christian stories of faith this might be just fine.
Private London

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This is one of the better James Patterson books I've read or listened to in a while. It was fast-paced all of his books though I think they did a decent job of giving it a London feel. This one had 2 different stories running at the same time. A girl is kidnapped and 2 others are injured and two other women are found dead, mutilated and missing a finger. Everyone is hoping they aren't related.The whole story takes place in about 3 days so it is pretty fast-paced and keeps your interest going. I listened to this one while commuting and it certainly helped the miles fly by.
Gridlinked

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I thought that this book was excellent. It was a great exciting read and a reasonable look into our far future. The story is about a Ian Cormac, an agent who has spent the last 30 years 'gridlinked' or constantly connected to a network of AI's. He has access to all available information almost before he evens asks for it. However, most humans are disconnected from the grid after 20 years because of the chance of permanent psychological problems. Now it's time for Cormac to be unplugged. He's also being sent on one of his most important missions of his 70 year career. Unfortunately, during is last mission he made an enemy of a rich psycho who wants nothing more than to kill Ian for revenge and is willing to do what ever it takes to accomplish this. It makes his difficult mission that much more so.Excellent book, I plan to continue reading the series. What I find interesting is that it kind of resembles a sci-fi version of David Eddings work.
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