Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz

Review by Sarah:

I recently read Jayne Ann Krentz’s news paranormal romance “Copper Beach.” If you are familiar with her work lately, you know she has been doing a lot of paranormal/suspense books lately.  Most of them have featured the Arcane Society in some way. This one while having the main characters have paranormal talents there is no mention of the Arcane Society at all. It looks like this is a start of a new series that she is calling “The Dark Legacy.” 

The two main characters are Abby Radwell and Sam Coppersmith. They meet because Abby’s talent, the ability to unlock secret coded books, and her past has caught the eye of a blackmailer.  She is directed to Sam who while is not an investigator has extensive experience dealing with “Problems” that involve the paranormal.  We soon find out that in the past Sam’s dad had been working with two partners, on some very powerful crystals that had rare paranormal powers. The mine they had been working in had exploded and only two of the men made it out alive. Sam’s dad and the remaining partner believe that they lab book that had been working on was destroyed in the explosion. They were able to save a few of the crystals but they are kept under lock and key at the Coppersmith family compound.   When Abby, who deals in paranormal books, is contacted by numerous people about her finding a lost text called “The Key,” she beings to think that it may have a connection to the blackmail letters she has been receiving.  She decided that she needs protection while she tries to find the “The Key” and the name of her blackmailer, so she employs Sam Coppersmith. Sam believes that this “Key” may in fact be a lost log book detailing the experiments with the crystals that his family owns. 

I did enjoy this book but not as much as some of her other books that contain elements of the paranormal.  It is a bit too easy to figure out who is behind the blackmailing, and who has the most to gain by finding “The Key”, so on that aspect alone I was a little disappointed.  But all in all it was a fast and enjoyable read.

~Sarah

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Suggestions for our next two books...

We are in the process of preparing our next on-line book vote.  If you have any book suggestions you want added please leave a comment below or just send us an email.  We will keep our popular books that always seem to just miss the vote, but will add some new titles as well.
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~Sue (one of our book group members) put a review link to her suggestion of The Dovekeepers in a comment below and I just wanted to add that here for your convenience...
Gossamer Obsessions Dovekeepers Review

~Also, Sue has just launched her own book review blog...
Coffee, Cookies and Chili Peppers.  If you have a chance check it out!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Woman In Black by Susan Hill

~ book jacketReview by Jan

This is a book I may not have read if not for our book group, but I am glad that I did. It was first published in the 1980's and is now a major motion picture starring a grown-up Harry Potter. The book is only 164 pages and is beautifully written.

The Woman In Black is a ghost story set in historical England. The setting is both lovely and eerie. There are no graphic elements in this book, but rather more of an emotional pull toward the character's plight and the mystery surrounding the woman in black. Arthur Kipps, the main character of this story, is a solicitor sent to a small country town to settle the affairs of a deceased client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Arthur becomes increasingly aware that the residents of this country town are keeping secrets about Eel Marsh House, and avoid his questions when asked. When Arthur notices an emaciated woman dressed in black at Alice Drablow's funeral, the residents do not wish to discuss her appearance, or even acknowledge who she might be. Determined to complete his task, Arthur sets out to Alice Drablow's home, Eel Marsh House, a solitary stone structure built on a causeway of marshes; travel is only achievable when the tide is down, leaving Arthur deserted to discover the secrets of the house and the mystery behind the woman in black.

Small spoiler alert:  I will say that I truly enjoyed this book, even though I normally prefer a story with a happy ending---even I can step outside my happy-endings-box every once in a while!  :o)

The story carries an emotional heaviness made more poignant by the solitary setting.  The author's descriptions of the environment are perfect.  It almost reminds me of a Hitchcock style story combined with the dialog of a Brontë novel.  The suspense and mystery elements are well paced.  Toward the middle of the story, however, I became very aware that this mysterious woman in black was not going to find happiness, that there wasn't going to be a benevolent light at the end of a proverbial tunnel for her to float away in peace; I knew the ending would be sad, as it needed to be to justify the burden of fear carried by Arthur Kipps and the other characters of the story.

I am looking forward to discussing this book at our March meeting!

As always, hope to see you in our library someday soon,
Jan

Friday, February 17, 2012

Now Reading The Woman In Black by Susan Hill and The Magicians by Lev Grossman

We had another wonderful meeting last night!  It was great to see some returning members as well as new ones.  Thank you all for coming!

For those of you who couldn't make it, we are currently reading...
The Woman In Black by Susan Hill and The Magicians by Lev Grossman.  If you need copies please send Sarah or Jan an email and we will put them on the hold shelf for you!

March's Books
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These two books will be discussed at our March meeting!

The following two books (our April reads) and the winners of our book vote were...
Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich and Soulless by Gail Carriger.  You will be able to pick up your copies of these books at our March meeting.

April's Books
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These two books will be discussed at our April meeting!

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Taker by Alma Katsu

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I just received an email from Alma Katsu, the author of The Taker.  I must say her book sounds perfect for our group.  I'm ordering a copy for the library.  Also, she's given me permission to post her email.  I have a feeling you'll be intrigued with this book as much as I am.  So, I had to share.  At the bottom of this post there's a link to Alma Katsu's website---it's beautiful!  If you have a moment, check it out.

As always, hope to see you in our library someday soon,
Jan

From Alma Katsu:
I was reading the book blog Read React Review and followed the link over to your book group. At the risk of seeming like a completely pushy author, it seemed that my debut novel, The Taker might be the kind of book your club might find interesting. There's a lot of Maine in it as half of the book takes place in Aroostook County in the early 1800s (Bangor is mentioned, too!). It's the story of a young woman who falls in love with a man she cannot have, and is later given the opportunity to make him hers forever with the help of a mysterious, seductive man with otherworldly powers. After she accepts his help, she learns that she's made a terrible bargain and it's up to her to save her and her lover from a hellish fate that will last all of eternity.

It's a dark, edgy book with elements of historical, horror, and romance. It's been compared a lot to the early work of Anne Rice, but doesn't have traditional horror characters like vampires or werewolves. It was chosen by Booklist as one of the top ten debut novels of 2011. And there are two things readers say about it: I couldn't put it down, and It wasn't at all what I expected. It is not a sugary paranormal romance story.

There's more information on the book at http://www.almakatsu.comThank you for your time.
Best,
Alma


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Two Amazing Book Review Bloggers Will Speak at the Library

Jessica of http://www.readreactreview.com/ and Kristen of http://www.fantasybookcafe.com/ will discuss their personal experiences, lesson, pitfalls and successes of blogging on Tuesday, February 7th at 6:00 pm.

This event will take place in the library's computer lab, although I would just like to note that this is not a computer lesson.  The computer seats are filled but we will have additional chairs available for all of us who have followed their wonderful blogs and would like to listen.  Take a moment and visit their blogs above and you will see why this will be an amazing event!

Hope to see you there!

Please contact Jan for more information:
email: janl@bpl.lib.me.us
phone: 207-947-8336 ext.130