The style changed, and I was hooked on Nikki , private investigator, bookstore owner, and vigilante. Now, although I believe a woman can be a physical threat in the right circumstances, Nikki does go a bit overboard. Regardless of how skilled a woman might be, men are typically at an advantage physically--so although Nikki prevails in the book, it isn't a logical outcome for most women to depend on strength and technique against a male opponent.
Nikki becomes something of the graphic novel hero in that regard. Not that we aren't delighted with the outcomes, but maybe less Lisbeth Salander and more Jessica Jones. :)
I hope the next book has more input from the characters in the Zebras, the bookclub that meets at Nikki's bookstore. This could easily become a series I want to follow, but I'd like more character-driven stories and much more about the bookstore and the book club members.
Read in June.
PI/Suspense. March 19, 2019. Print length: 326 pages.
Although I can never resist a Preston & Childs book, Old Bones takes a somewhat different path. This is the first book in a series featuring Norah Kelly, a character in several of the Agent Pendergast books.
from description:The first in the groundbreaking Nora Kelly series from #1 bestselling authors Preston & Child blends the legend of the Donner party with a riveting suspense tale, taking the dynamic duo's work to new heights.
I actually liked rookie Agent Corrine Swanson, who also has appeared in an earlier book, better than Norah--which was a little surprising.
So...the book was...a little slow and didn't engage me the way some of the previous books have. Special Agent Pendergast makes only a cameo appearance at the end, and I was disappointed with the lack of weirdness he usually brings to these novels. Because Pendergast IS the reason I gobble up these strange, silly, supernatural books!
Read in June.
NetGalley/Grand Central Publishing
Thriller? Aug. 20, 2019. Print length: 384 pages.
OK, first sentence: "Pa was taking too long to cut the boys' throats."
The Merciful Crows are the mercy killers of those dying of an excruciating plague. When a village seeks their help, they send for the Crows to end the suffering of the infected and to dispose of the bodies before the plague spreads.
In a world of castes, the Crows--despite their uses--are pariahs and preyed upon by other castes. The book opens with the Merciful Crows called upon to end the suffering of a royal and dispose of the body by ritual burning, but there are two victims instead of one. And neither one has the plague.
Since the Crows are immune to the plague, they play an important role in the safety of the kingdom, but are still despised. Fie, sixteen-year-old daughter of the Crow chief is full of personality and grit and sees a desperate chance to improve the lot of her fellow Crows.
There is a wicked queen who wants the Crown Prince and his body double dead; a group of night marauders from the Oleander Gentry; a troupe of misfit Crows, and lots of suspenseful moments.
It took me a couple of chapters to get a fix on the magic system, but once I had that, I was engrossed with the characters and their adventures. Like the best of YA fiction, the only thing that separates it from other books in the fantasy genre is the age of the important characters.
Read in June.
YA/Fantasy. July 30, 2019. Print length: 384 pages.