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Tez Miller

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Smoke And Ashes
Smoke And Ashes
by Tanya Huff
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 26.00
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humour That's Actually Funny, Feb. 2 2008
This review is from: Smoke And Ashes (Hardcover)
I read so much stuff set in the U.S. that reading something set elsewhere almost feels rare. Thanks to this author, I have Canada to read about...and in this case, Vancouver. It's a hotspot for television filming where wizard Tony Foster works on the set of Darkest Night, about a vampire detective. And it just so happens that a stuntwoman's tummy is marked with runes to keep a mega-demon named Ryne Cyratane away. I think. Okay, I found the plot confusing, but the novel is nonetheless a good time, with humour that's actually funny (which is more than I can say for some of the authors I've had the misfortune of reading). I'd read the first book in this trilogy beforehand, but the second doesn't seem available in my neck of the woods. And I still haven't got my hands on the author's Vicki Nelson books yet. I demand more readily available Canadian fiction!

The Shanghai Union of Industrial Mystics: A Feng Shui Detective Novel
The Shanghai Union of Industrial Mystics: A Feng Shui Detective Novel
by Nury Vittachi
Edition: Paperback
19 used & new from CDN$ 0.39

3.0 out of 5 stars Social Commentary, Jan. 26 2008
Readers who've found Alexander McCall Smith's work too cutesy will be better off with this light novel with a social conscience. Feng shui master CF Wong and his Australian assistant Joyce McQuinnie have moved from Singapore to Shanghai...only their new office is blown up. Traffic jams are abundant, and a bomb is discovered inside a live elephant. However, sometimes the author's humour appears at inappropriate moments: a major murder scene (recalling Robert Muchamore's MAN V BEAST) should've been harrowing for the reader, but it wasn't. Still, the author makes up for it with social commentary, when an American character says, 'How come every goddamn nation on this planet counts in kilos and we count in pounds? What's wrong with them all?' Of course it would make more sense for Americans to join in counting kilos, but do you think they'd see it? Not Thomas 'Cobb' Dooley!

But Inside I'm Screaming
But Inside I'm Screaming
by Elizabeth Flock
Edition: Paperback
9 used & new from CDN$ 2.23

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally Draining, Jan. 24 2008
This novel took the author four years to write, and it's clearly understandable why: it's so harrowing. Broadcast journalist Isabel Murphy freezes on screen and after one too many suicide attempts checks herself into a psychiatric hospital. This is a disturbing read filled with memorable characters who are all too real, with heart-wrenching back stories. The road to mental wellness is so difficult with numerous setbacks, and Isabel does her best to struggle through. But perhaps the most powerful thing about this novel is that it makes the reader think about themselves, their own life, what breaks them down. As someone mentally ill, this novel really did get to me, articulating my feelings that I'd found indescribable. This novel gives a voice to those who can't find the right words. It's a real effort to keep reading this emotionally draining story, but it's worth it. Buy it for yourself and your loved ones. Share it with the world. And it may it help us all on the road to recovery.

Tooth and Claw
Tooth and Claw
by Gabrielle Lord
Edition: Hardcover
5 used & new from CDN$ 7.34

4.0 out of 5 stars Magic Mushrooms, Jan. 22 2008
This review is from: Tooth and Claw (Hardcover)
Though first published in 1983, this novel still holds up well. On an isolated farm, finances aren't looking good for Beth after her husband's death. Fearing she's being watched, Beth hunts for shelter elsewhere. But there are signs that someone's still on her property, so she returns to face the music, armed with a gun, her dog and a jar of magic mushrooms. Fans of Gwen Hunter's Shadow Valley should enjoy this Australian location with its strong protag.

A Lick of Frost: A Novel
A Lick of Frost: A Novel
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Edition: Hardcover
45 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Action Comes Late But Great, Jan. 19 2008
Well, this was astounding. I hadn't really connected with these books before, so this was a bit surprising. Three of Princess Meredith NicEssus's guards have been accused of raping someone from King Taranis's court, but this is thrown by the wayside when King Taranis brutally attacks Merry's people through a mirror. But that's not all: in a strange event that I didn't understand, Merry receives her most devastating blow yet, and even though it comes with good news she can't be merry. (What? Someone had to say it.) But King Taranis isn't done with Merry yet. Unfortunately, it takes a while to get to the good stuff: I was reading but not particularly immersed until circa page 200, so the bulk of the action happens in the last 75 pages. There were moments when I was pissed off with Merry: she used magic to get a human doctor to do her bidding. And talk of Merry's favourites seemed to be quite an issue. Quoth Merry: 'Wasn't I entitled to have favourites?' Yes, you are, but if you're still shagging your non-favourites you're leading them on, and that's not nice. Those points aside, this is by far my favourite of the Merry books.

Jumbo
Jumbo
by Gabrielle Lord
Edition: Hardcover
3 used & new from CDN$ 7.82

5.0 out of 5 stars Believable Psychological Suspense, Jan. 12 2008
This review is from: Jumbo (Hardcover)
This was first published in1986, but still has relevance today. Lisa Brand is a school leaver who's finding it impossible to land a job. She's tried everywhere and keeps getting knocked back, and when her father is laid off from his job, tensions are even higher in the household. With so much pain, suffering and horror in the world the only thing that brings Lisa any joy is caring for three children. They deserve to live somewhere better than this world, especially because their mother's new suitor doesn't like them. So Lisa decides to give the kids a good Christmas by the beach, but she hadn't counted on smart Brenny, a thinker who realises that something's terribly wrong with Lisa, and that it's up to Brenny to save him and his siblings. Even though Lisa is the antag, she is so utterly believable that you can't help but sympathise, and this is a sign of a very good writer. If you're looking for psychological suspense, here's one novel you can't go past.

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
by Rachel Cohn
Edition: Library Binding
15 used & new from CDN$ 16.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Keep an Eye Out for Tris, Jan. 10 2008
I thought I was enjoying the book while I read it, but now I can't pinpoint what I liked about it. The downside, however, is that I sometimes wanted to yell at the characters 'Get over them, they're not worth it'. Keep an eye out for Tris, who's the most fascinating character.

Rain Is Not My Indian Name
Rain Is Not My Indian Name
by Cynthia Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 15.16
44 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Look at Race Relations, Jan. 8 2008
Even with the happy ending, this book was still too depressing for me. Was an interesting look at race relations, though.

Rebel Angels
Rebel Angels
by Libba Bray
Edition: Hardcover
49 used & new from CDN$ 1.33

4.0 out of 5 stars Something to Exclaim About, Jan. 7 2008
This review is from: Rebel Angels (Hardcover)
At 549 pages, this is a big read, and rather a stretch for my fingers to hold. But I'll forgive the author because there's a lot of interesting stuff in here: Opium! Absinthe! Felicity's family secret! Anagrams! (Yes, I have to exclaim those, though the book didn't.) Now who wouldn't want to read about them?

Black Magic Woman
Black Magic Woman
by Justin Gustainis
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.39
23 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Series of Hallucinogenic Events, Jan. 6 2008
This review is from: Black Magic Woman (Paperback)
Ever read a book where the protag doesn’t really interest you, but everyone else does? That was the situation for me with this novel: our protag is Quincey Morris, an occult investigator who’s a descendant of the Quincey Morris from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. That gimmick put me off, but Quincey’s partner in crime, white witch Libby Chastain, is very interesting. Less Quincey and more Libby, Mr Gustainis, please! Some scenes seem unnecessary, and others seem like short stories more than part of a novel, but keep reading. The main reason to continue is the subject of muti killings, something I hadn’t heard of before. An important character whom I rather like is Garth Van Dreenan from the South African Police’s Occult Crime Unit. I just happen to love the South African accent, so of course I was going to like the man. A character I particularly didn’t like is Snake Perkins, a bigot who thinks of his partner-in-crime as…an N-word. Only the N-word is actually written, which made me really uncomfortable. I can handle murderers and such in fiction, but a racist? That’s just too much for me. I would’ve liked to learn more about Project Violet (Scotland Yard’s unit investigating witchcraft crime), and an incubus unlike any other I’ve come across before in fiction. And keep an eye out for what I call “A Series of Hallucinogenic Events”. I would’ve edited out some scenes, but this is still a great read, and we can all look forward to more from this author.

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