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Romeo

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All I could think of after reading this book was that it was hours wasted that I will never get back.

The premise is familiar (serial killer and the spunky heroine/heroic cops) but handled fairly well. The author had some interesting things to say about the links between sexual abuse of children and sexual/emotional/mental dysfunction in adults. The characters were well-drawn and the author was very good at keeping the "who's the killer" clues evenly spread among all the suspects.

So why 1 star? Simply put, the author could have done all of the things she did without including the pornographic scenes of incest and abuse. There was no need for graphic descriptions other than to give a particular type of reader a cheap thrill and the ability to then say, "But I read it because there's a moral--abuse is bad."

This would have been a much better book without the porn.
The Children of Men

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Interesting book. It's the story of a future dystopia where humans have been infertile for twenty-five years. I was a bit irritated that the examples of how people go crazy were all females, and the clear implication that without the potential of reproduction, nobody wants to have sex.

On the other hand, the world was intriguing, the characters were acceptable, the plot interesting if slightly predictable, and it was a good way to kill an evening.
A Face at the Window

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While I was aware of exactly what I was getting myself into with this book, I still have a great many objections to the "child in jeopardy" plotline. The lengths the author goes to in imperiling the child in question just to demonstrate the madness and evil of the villain are much too far over the top.

In addition, I am not fond of the switch from first person narration in the first ten books of the series to the third person limited Graves is now using. Ideally, as a series continues, the reader sees the growth and development of the main character(s). That is more difficult to show with a third person narrative (or at least it's not showing here). The switch also costs the reader in terms of empathy and understanding for the main character, and it feels as if the "child in jeopardy" plotline was inserted to make up for that loss.

Overall, the book was okay, and I'll keep it because I have the rest of the series, but I will definitely wait for paperback or a library copy of the next book rather than investing in a hardcover.
Seize the Night

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Sequel to "Fear Nothing," in which Christopher Snow, his girlfriend Sasha Cohen, best friend Bobby Holloway and dog Orson confront the evil past of Christopher's mother and the evil future of Moonlight Bay.

Again, Koontz has created some fascinating characters that are nevertheless people I could meet, and would enjoy meeting, and put them into a plot full of horror, pain and labyrinthian twists. I re-read this every few years, and it's never lost its savor for me.



*Spoiler* The dog lives.
Tantalize

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Behind-the-scenes restaurant settings fascinate me, as do vampires, so this book and I should have been a good fit. Unfortunately, I should have quit reading when the chilled baby squirrels were served, but I kept right on. Then the dog was killed (one of my least favorite authorial cheap tricks), and the final confrontation was marred by lines like "I had loved him enough to let him go." Any further comment from me would be an attempt to reproduce via text the sound of me retching, so I'll stop here.
The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York

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An absolutely amazing book--it's just the right mixture of gossip, science and information. Burr's writing style is eminently clear and readable, and he presents what could be stultifying and confusing elements of the science of perfumery and the structure and marketing of the perfume industry in such a way as to make them understandable to the reader without being patronizing.

I also loved the interjections of his own opinions on famous and not-so-famous perfumes.
Heartlight

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This was a pretty good close to the "Light" books. It covers all of the events from The Inheritor throught Witchlight in self-contained sections which could easily be short stories, then follows with a final section in which the main character, Colin McLaren, confronts an old enemy while looking for his student and heir. It's interesting to read the events of the previous books from a different perspective, and Bradley does a good job with continuity. It would be possible if rather spoiler-rich for a reader to pick this book up first and then decide to read the rest of the books.
Bad Dog!: True Tales of Trouble Only a Best Friend Can Get Away with

by and

While some of the stories in this book are mildly funny, most of them just made me sad on behalf of dogs with severe separation anxiety. *sigh*
Author Unknown: On the Trail of Anonymous

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Truly an amazing book--I've wanted to read this since it came out, and finally remembered to order it. I read the whole thing in one day and promptly loaned it to an acquaintance who teaches Freshman Comp. The cases Foster discussed were fascinating, the insider info was intriguing, the description of his own bewilderment at the sudden changes in his life were both poignant and funny, and the saga of "The Night Before Christmas" cheered my anti-Puritan little heart.
Ghostlight

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While I wasn't expecting great things from this book, I was hoping for at least a smooth read. Unfortunately, the foreshadowing was heavy-handed verging on ham-handed, and the fact that Ms. Bradley apparently felt the need to find (and share with the reader) places for quite a few minor characters from previous books was grating.

I did like the fact that the blocked trauma suffered by the main character was not a supernatural problem but rather one that could happen to any young woman. However, the way in which the traumatic past event is bound up with the traumatic current event's in the main character's life is pretty obvious.

Overall, not a waste of my time, but certainly not a book I'll make an effort to re-read in a year or so.
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