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More books!
As you may know, I'm doing the 50bookchallenge this year. I realized, however, that I'm almost 3 weeks in, and only had 1 book read. So, I used the travel time this weekend, and made the best of a medical rest situation, by reading more. So here they are, books #2 & #3!

More Twisted, by Jeffrey Deaver
From Publishers Weekly - Bestseller Deaver's second story collection (after 2003's Twisted) is best enjoyed in small doses, since, as the author states in his preface, each of the 16 suspense tales contains a "gut-wrenching twist," a formulaic final reversal that loses its punch with too much repetition. That said, readers will find a number of clever and concise thrillers. The standout, "Born Bad," about a mother waiting in fear for her estranged daughter to kill her, does a superb job of matching up the clues at the beginning with the tale's resolution. Sherlockians will get a kick from a pastiche narrated in third person, "The Westphalian Ring," pitting Holmes against a crafty jewel thief. In an afterword to the tale "Afraid," Deaver (The Bone Collector) explains how he works the concept of fear into his fiction.

My take - I really loved this book. Each story has a "double twist" - the main plot, the subplot (which you start trying to suss out after the first story), and the actual plot, which becomes clear in the end. I highly recommend this book to any mystery fan, especially those who need to read in shorter intervals due to work or time constraints.

Eragon, by Christopher Paolini
Amazon.com description - Here's a great big fantasy that you can pull over your head like a comfy old sweater and disappear into for a whole weekend. Christopher Paolini began Eragon when he was just 15, and the book shows the influence of Tolkien, of course, but also Terry Brooks, Anne McCaffrey, and perhaps even Wagner in its traditional quest structure and the generally agreed-upon nature of dwarves, elves, dragons, and heroic warfare with magic swords.

Eragon, a young farm boy, finds a marvelous blue stone in a mystical mountain place. Before he can trade it for food to get his family through the hard winter, it hatches a beautiful sapphire-blue dragon, a race thought to be extinct. Eragon bonds with the dragon, and when his family is killed by the marauding Ra'zac, he discovers that he is the last of the Dragon Riders, fated to play a decisive part in the coming war between the human but hidden Varden, dwarves, elves, the diabolical Shades and their neanderthal Urgalls, all pitted against and allied with each other and the evil King Galbatorix. Eragon and his dragon Saphira set out to find their role, growing in magic power and understanding of the complex political situation as they endure perilous travels and sudden battles, dire wounds, capture and escape.

In spite of the engrossing action, this is not a book for the casual fantasy reader. There are 65 names of people, horses, and dragons to be remembered and lots of pseudo-Celtic places, magic words, and phrases in the Ancient Language as well as the speech of the dwarfs and the Urgalls. But the maps and glossaries help, and by the end, readers will be utterly dedicated and eager for the next book, Eldest.

My take - By the time I was done reading it, I really loved this book. However, it did take me a little time to get into it. I was starting to worry that I had become "too old" to like a good rousing fantasy story - something that was a staple for me as a child and teen. But as I hit the halfway point, it started to be a book I couldn't put down. If you're a fantasy lover, especially if you like dragons, I recommend this book. If you don't like fantasy? I'd probably try something else. Or go see the movie.

Coming up next? More Jeffrey Deaver Twisted - the first book in the series, since I loved the second so much!

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Comments
severina2001 From: severina2001 Date: January 18th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Twisted sounds realllly interesting. I'm adding that one to my To Get At Some Point list. :)
bliss_ From: bliss_ Date: January 19th, 2007 12:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I really enjoy Jeffrey Deaver. You should check out the Lincoln Rhyme series, especially if you've seen The Bone Collector, because then you can picture one of the leads as Angeline Jolie.
skittles From: skittles Date: January 22nd, 2007 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I love "Eragon". Like you, it took me about 250-300 pages to get into it. I really really hated it at first. So much so that I was throwing the book down in a fit of anger. But once I got into it I could NOT put it down and "Eldest" is 10 times better. The movie was terrible though. I still need to see it again so I can try to detach myself from the book.
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