Thursday, March 27, 2014

Will o' the Wisp by Tom Hammock

After her parents' accidental death by mushroom poisoning, young Aurora Grimeon is sent to live with her estranged grandfather on Ossuary Isle, deep in the southern swamps. Joined by her grandfather's pet raccoon Missy, Aurora explores the fog-covered island of graves. Along the way she meets its sinister residents who care for the tombstones and mausoleums, living out their lives by the strange rules of Hoodoo magic. When ghostly things start happening out in the swamp and island residents start disappearing, Aurora thrusts herself into the middle of the mystery, uncovering secrets that might be better left buried.
This isn't the type of graphic novel I would typically read, but I was able to get an advance digital copy so I thought I would give it a try and I'm glad I did. It has a creepy feel to it without going in to any kind of gory territory, so I think this would be OK for younger readers (young teen/preteen). The story kept me interested and the drawings themselves were a bit different. I don't mean different in a bad way or anything, just the style itself isn't something I've seen a lot of. It seemed to be based on a certain color palette and I think that's how the illustrator gave it the spooky/mysterious quality.

I liked the characters a lot (and Missy the raccoon was really cute). The pacing and drawings were very well done. The story wraps up nicely at the end but I'm hoping there will be more to the story.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Runner by Patrick Lee

Published February 18, 2014
by Minotaur Books
Sam Dryden, retired special forces, lives a quiet life in a small town on the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of the night, a young girl runs into him on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot and terrified, she’s running from a group of heavily armed men with one clear goal—to kill the fleeing child. After Dryden helps her evade her pursuers, he learns that the eleven year old, for as long as she can remember, has been kept in a secret prison by forces within the government. But she doesn’t know much beyond her own name, Rachel. She only remembers the past two months of her life—and that she has a skill that makes her very dangerous to these men and the hidden men in charge.

Dryden, who lost his wife and young daughter in an accident five years ago, agrees to help her try to unravel her own past and make sense of it, to protect her from the people who are moving heaven and earth to find them both. Although Dryden is only one man, he’s a man with the extraordinary skills and experience—as a Ranger, a Delta, and five years doing off-the-book black ops with an elite team. But, as he slowly begins to discover, the highly trained paramilitary forces on their heels is the only part of the danger they must face. Will Rachel’s own unremembered past be the most deadly of them all?
This book was so good! It was fast paced and exciting and I never knew which way it was going to go next. This guy (Dryden) is like a Jason Bourne level of bad-ass. While there isn't much hand-to-hand fighting, his smarts and skills keep you on your toes. Just when I think Patrick Lee wrote his character in to an inescapable situation, he makes an unexpected a move and the action continues.

Well done and exciting, I didn't want to put the book down.While the traditional parts of a "thriller" are there, there are also some sci-fi elements there as well. I don't want to give too much information because I don't want to ruin it for anyone. I went in not knowing much and I think that's probably the best way to read it. I can't say enough good things about this book. If you like a good thriller, this is one of the best I've read in years.