Entries in series (9)
Readers' Annotation: Harry Dresden, a wizard, consults with the police on a gruesome, double murder.
Summary: Harry Dresden is a wizard for hire. There are some things he won't do and others he can't. Harry is strapped for cash and takes on Monica's request to find her husband with some hesitation because her husband had been experimenting as a wizard. The same day the Chicago P.D. has requested his assistance on a gruesome double murder that could only have been done with magic. When it rains it pours, now Harry must balance the separate cases and expectations.
Evaluation: A unique private detective, Harry Dresden, will surprise readers with his dark sense of humor. Fans of straight up mysteries will enjoy Storm Front even with the fantastical lean. Butcher has created a strong and likable character in Harry Dresden.
- Fantasy - Supernatural
- Fantasy - Urban
Series: Dresden Files
- Storm Front (2000)
- Full Moon (2001)
- Grave Peril (2001)
- Summer Knight (2002)
- Death Masks (2003)
- Blood Rites (2004)
- Dead Beat (2005)
Proven Guilty (2006)
- White Night (2007)
- Small Favor (2008)
- Turn Coat (2009)
- Changes (2010)
- Ghost Story (2011)
Related: Backup (2008); Side Jobs (2010)
Readers' Annotation: As a six-year-old genius, Ender must save Earth from aliens.
Summary: Ender is a genius, his whole family is, but only he is able harness his talents for the good of the world. Ender goes away to school to train for war games, and he ends up having to fight for real.
Evaluation: Adults and children alike will appreciate Orson Scott Card's novel based on one of his short stories. Adult readers will appreciate the thought provoking world in which Ender and his family live. Card raises thought provoking topics on human survival and child workers. At times the details of the side stories stop the flow of the novel, but most readers will look beyond. The narrators of the audiobook do a wonderful job of bringing Ender's world to life. This audiobook edition includes an interview with Card reflecting on the twenty years since the original publication of Ender's Game.
- Science Fiction
Series: Ender Wiggin
- Ender's Game (1985)
- Speaker of the Dead (1986)
- Xenocide (1992)
- Children of the Mind (1996)
- A War of Gifts (2007)
- Ender in Exile (2008)
Related: First meetings in the Enderverse (2003) - Collection of four novellas; Ender's Game: War of Gifts (2010)
Readers' Annotation: Thursday Next, a literary detective, must save Jane Eyre from being erased from her own novel.
Summary: Thursday Next moves back to her hometown after a tramatic even in which she almost dies. Her future self suggests she take position with the Special Operative LiteraTec Department. Thursday must travel in and out of literature and through time to save some of the great pieces of classic literature from being changed by villians like Acheron Hades. Hades possesses fantastical powers, which have allowed him allude death for years. He has finally met his match in Thursday. She has vowed to take him down and save Jane Eyre from extinction.
Evaluation: Prior to reading The Eyre Affair, I was dreading it. I love to be proven wrong. I couldn't put it down; I wanted to know what happen next. With that said, I did have some issues with it that I believe will also deter other readers. If readers are unfamiliar with Jane Eyre and even other classic British literature they may find it a bit confusing. Fforde employes an army of characters to tell the story, and I often found myself looking back to figure out who was who. I think the novel will appeal to many readers because it has a bit of everything in it: humor, romance, time travel, mystery and more.
Series: Thursday Next Novels
- The Eyre Affair (2002)
- Lost in a Good Book (2003)
- The Well of Lost Plots (2004)
- Something Rotten (2004)
- Thursday Next (2007)
- One of Our Thursdays is Missing (2011)
Readers' Annotation: Robert Langdon, symbologist, is requested to give a lecture in DC. by an old friend, only things aren't as they appear.
Summary: Robert Langdon's old friend, Peter Solomon, requests he give a speech at the United States Capital Building. He even sends a private jet to pick Robert up in Boston. Little does Robert know, this is all set-up by a man seeking the Mason's Pyramid which is said to be hidden beneath the city of Washington, DC. Soon after Robert's arrival at the capital he realizes Peter did not summon him and he must figure out centuries old puzzles to save Peter, his friend and mentor.
Evaluation: Dan Brown's follow-up to The Da Vinci Code intrigued me more then The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons merely because it is set in Washington, DC. For readers unfamiliar with the previous two Robert Langdon novels The Lost Symbol is still accessible with only a couple references to the events of the previous novels. Readers may be overwhelmed with the amount of characters to keep track of while reading. Brown also gets bogged down the explanation regarding the Free Mason lore and Noetic Science. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would suggest it to readers who like a bit of history in their suspense novels.
- Adventure - Cipher Thrillers
Series: Rober Landon Novels
- Angels and Demons (2000)
- The Da Vinci Code (2003)
- The Lost Symbol (2009)
If you liked The Lost Symbol try...
- The Librarian by Larry Beinhart
- The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry
- The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
- The Price of Liberty by Keir Graff
- The Book of Spies by Gayle Lynds
- The Inner Circle by Brad Meltzer
- Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
- Sandstorm by James Rollins
- The Blackbird Papers by Ian Smith
- Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
- Download the If you liked The Lost Symbol bookmark [PDF], compiled by Becky Rech
Readers' Annotation: Tess, an out of work journalist, takes up private investigation.
Summary: Tess, an out of work journalist, has been picking up odd jobs here and there to make ends meet. Her friend, and fellow rower, Rock, asks her to investigate his fiancé, Ava, who has been acting a little unusual. Tess suspects Ava to be cheating. When the man she is secretly meeting is murdered, Rock is the first suspect. Tess now must prove her friend didn't do it while on the run for her life.
Evaluation: While Baltimore Blues is a page turner, I found it to be a bit unrealistic, which often is the problem I have when law enforcement professionals are not doing the investigations. For many readers this is a major appeal factor. If she can be the center of a mystery, then maybe so can I. I think this is why so many amateur detective stories are so popular. I appreciated the humor Lippman infused into Tess' character. New readers unfamiliar with the series may find it a bit dated with the lack or little use of cell phones and the Internet.
- Mystery - Women Detectives
Series: Tess Monaghan
- Baltimore Blues (1997)
- Charm City (1997)
- Butcher's Hill (1998)
- In Big Trouble (1999)
- The Sugar House (2000)
- In a Strange City (2001)
- The Last Place (2002)
- By a Spider's Thread (2004)
- No Good Deeds (2006)
- Another Thing to Fall (2008)
- The Girl in the Green Raincoat (2011)
If you liked Baltimore Blues try...
- One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
- The Hunter by John Lescroart