Lizabeth Zindel: A Girl, A Ghost, and the Hollywood Hills

Holly has problems. Her mom died, and her dad has taken up with her mom’s sister, Claudia, which is pretty oogy. Something that may or may not be her mom’s ghost is crying out for vengeance, and Holly doesn’t know whether to trust it or not. Everyone in Holly’s life has names that start withContinue reading “Lizabeth Zindel: A Girl, A Ghost, and the Hollywood Hills”

Dave Zeltserman: Small Crimes

I ran across the elevator pitch for the third of Zeltserman’s “Badass Gets Out of Jail” books and thought it sounded more than a little Charlie Huston-esque, so I checked out the first in the series, Small Crimes. Turns out it’s not the same badass — each book starts with a (different) felon being releasedContinue reading “Dave Zeltserman: Small Crimes”

Timothy Zahn: Odd Girl Out

Odd Girl Out is the first of Zahn’s “Quadrail” novels to disappoint me a bit. The first two, Night Train to Rigel and The Third Lynx, paired the unusual setting (railways between the stars) with nods to classic noir detective fiction. Both had one major plot “twist” I saw coming from miles away, but TheContinue reading “Timothy Zahn: Odd Girl Out”

Timothy Zahn: The Third Lynx

In The Third Lynx, Zahn again puts agent Frank Compton (from Night Train to Rigel) through some of the classic noir detective paces in his unusual near-future setting, which prominently features interstellar trains. (One of several tropes Zahn explores this time around is the detective who finds himself unexpectedly a murder suspect; there are alsoContinue reading “Timothy Zahn: The Third Lynx”

Timothy Zahn: Night Train to Rigel

Night Train to Rigel‘s unusual premise sounds a little jokey, but Zahn plays it (mostly) straight: interstellar travel is accomplished with trains that travel along a sort of hyperspace railway. Frank Compton is an ex-intelligence agent who finds himself embroiled in one of those mysteries that’s bigger than it first appears, and which ultimately affordsContinue reading “Timothy Zahn: Night Train to Rigel”

Timothy Zahn: Dragon and Thief

Even if I count them as guilty pleasures, I’ve enjoyed several of Zahn’s Star Wars novels enough that it’s a bit odd I never got around to trying one of his non-tie-in novels until now. (Many of them seem to be packaged/marketed as “military science fiction” as opposed to “space opera,” which probably partially explainsContinue reading “Timothy Zahn: Dragon and Thief”

Crystal Zevon: I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead

Crystal Zevon’s biography of perennially misunderstood and mis-marketed songwriter Warren Zevon takes a holographic approach to the musician’s life (and death). Crystal Zevon (a former wife) provides chunks of bridging text, but the book consists mostly of brief chronologically-arranged snippets from an impressive array of Zevon’s family, friends, lovers, collaborators, and (most importantly) excerpts fromContinue reading “Crystal Zevon: I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead”