Procrastination 2013

Happy Belated New Year!

I started writing this a couple of weeks ago to post in mid-January – and it had been a while since I had finished the books then….  Some parts of my life just feel as though I am wading through quickly drying mud.  A couple of weeks ago, I was going to title this posting as un-commonalities.  I like procrastination better because it’s actually a word.

What do Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow, Cleopatra: a Life by Stacy Schiff, Fair Game by Patricia Briggs, and Alien Proliferation by Gini Koch have in common? Not much – as far as I can tell. Continue reading

Mastiff

By Tamora Pierce

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Random House, 2011

Genres: Fantasy, mystery, paranormal

Series: Beka Cooper; 3

ISBN: 9780375814709

Audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 593

Setting: Kingdom of Tortall

Time period: 249 H.E. (medieval)

Plot summary: Beka Cooper and her partner, Mattias Tunstall, are summoned to a hunt by their Lord Gershom in the middle of the night.  Beka and her scent hound, Achoo, along with Tunstall, Lord Gershom, Pounce, and a mage named Farmer Cape, travel to the Summer Palace where they discover a royal kidnapping has occurred and the kidnappers had inside help.  It’s up to Beka and her colleagues to track down Prince Gareth, who has been sold into slavery, and return him safely to the king and queen. Continue reading

Into the Beautiful North

By Luis Alberto Urrea

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Back Bay Books, 2009

Genre: General fiction

ISBN: 9780316025263

Audience: Adult, young adult

Number of pages: 338

Setting: Tres Camarones & Tijuana, Mexico, San Diego, CA, & Kankakee, IL

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When narcos come to the sleepy town of Tres Camarones, nineteen year old Nayeli, comes up with a brilliant plan for getting rid of them.  Inspired by the movie, The Magificient Seven, she and three of her friends embark on a mission to find seven warriors (cops or soldiers) to drive off the bandits and help repopulate the town.  Nayeli hopes to travel as far as Kankakee, IL to find her father, who (along with most of the other town’s men) left many years earlier in search of work. Continue reading

Level Up

By Gene Luen Yang; art by Thien Pham

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: First Second, 2011

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, paranormal

Format: Graphic novel

ISBN: 9781596432352

Audience: Adult, young adult

Number of pages: 160

Setting: An unspecified town somewhere in the US.

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When Dennis Ouyang is kicked out of college due to his horrible study habits and excessive gaming tendencies, four angels come to his rescue and get him re-enrolled.  They have arrived to help Dennis fulfill his destiny and go to medical school to become a gastroenterologist. Continue reading

Miss Peregrines’s Home for Peculiar Children

By Ransom Riggs

Place: Publisher & Year: Philadelphia: Quirk Books, 2011

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, time travel fantasy, historical fantasy, mystery, paranormal, historical fiction

Series: The author’s blog (8/9/2011) states that there will be a sequel to this book.

ISBN: 9781594744761

Audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 352

Setting: Englewood, Florida & Cairnholm, Wales

Time period: Contemporary & 1941

Plot summary: When Jacob Portman’s grandfather is killed in the woods behind his house, the police decide that he was attacked by feral dogs.  Jacob was in those woods that night, though, and saw something that was not a dog.  What he saw could only be described as a monster.  Of course his parents and the police don’t believe him when he tries to explain this to them.  After this, Jacob has terrible nightmares and doesn’t want to leave his house, even in broad daylight.  Jacob’s parents send him to a psychiatrist where he undergoes months of therapy.  Eventually, Jacob convinces his parents to allow him to travel to Wales over the summer.  He intends to find the home where his grandfather lived as a child.  He also hopes to find some answers to the mysteries which surrounded his grandfather. Continue reading

Queen of the Dead

By Stacey Kade

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Hyperion, 2011

Genres:  Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, paranormal

Series: A Ghost and the Goth Novel; 2

ISBN: 9781423134671

Audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 267

Setting: Groundsboro (state not specified but the town is near Decatur, so it could be Illinois)

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Alona Dare is Will Killian’s spirit guide.  She’s a ghost, he’s a ghost talker, and the ghosts in town know that they have to go through Alona to get help from Will.  Alona and Will have been through a lot together in the past couple of months, but now it’s summer and life should be a bit more relaxed.  Except, there’s a new ghost talker in town.  Only she seems less interested in communicating with ghosts, than in capturing them. Continue reading

Nickel Plated

By Aric Davis

Place: Publisher & Year: Las Vegas, NV: AmazonEncore, c2010

Genre: Mystery, hard boiled crime fiction, suspense

ISBN: 9781935597322

Audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 197

Setting: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Nickel is a twelve year old child abuse survivor and foster child escapee.  At the age of ten, he ran away from his foster home and has been living outside the system since then.  He makes his money in a variety of ways, including growing marijuana and blackmailing pedophiles he finds online.  While he worries about his income, he also works for free for kids.  When a beautiful high school student, Arrow, comes to Nickel for help finding her younger sister, Shelby, Nickel can’t say no.  Hopefully, he’ll be able to find Shelby soon.  The longer it takes, the less chance she has of being found alive. Continue reading