Kimberly Raye: Dead End Dating

Dead End Dating‘s premise seemed promising, if fluffy, at the outset: a young woman with no romantic life of her own starts at dating service. The twist is that she and most her clients are vampires (although it’s not much of a twist). I thought an Emma-ish comedy-of-manners, 21st-century-ized and fanged-up, sounded kinda fun. Unfortunately,Continue reading “Kimberly Raye: Dead End Dating”

Carrie Ryan: The Dead-Tossed Waves

The Dead-Tossed Waves shares some characters and a post-zombie-apocalypse setting with The Forest of Hands and Teeth, but it’s set a generation later. Ryan’s zombies — which come in both the old-school slow shambling and the newer fast-moving varieties — are certainly horrific, but Ryan treats them almost as an elemental force. The antagonists inContinue reading “Carrie Ryan: The Dead-Tossed Waves”

Dexter Palmer: The Dream of Perpetual Motion

Dexter Palmer’s The Dream of Perpetual Motion initially sounds like a steam-punk science fiction novel: it’s set in an alternate twentieth century peopled with clockwork men and flying cars, brooded over by a vast obsidian tower, a sinister airship, and the master of both, the undeniably brilliant and almost certainly mad scientist-cum-magician, Prospero Taligent. ButContinue reading “Dexter Palmer: The Dream of Perpetual Motion”

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”

Charlie Huston: A Dangerous Man

I had an educated guess as to how A Dangerous Man would bring Huston’s Hank Thompson trilogy to full circle: some naif would bumble into Hank’s way in much the same way Hank stumbled into some nasty heavies in Caught Stealing; Hank would understimate the noob as he himself was once underestimated. Hank might manageContinue reading “Charlie Huston: A Dangerous Man”

D.H. Lawrence: D.H. Lawrence and Italy

A double entry in my books-I-wouldn’t-expect-myself-to-read endeavor: a Lawrence (whom I’ve never read, more or less deliberately) and a travel book. Three travel books, sort of — this omnibus edition comprises “Twilight in Italy,” “Sea and Sardinia,” and “Etruscan Places.” I’ve always suspected I would find Lawrence an annoying writer, and I do. He’s fiercelyContinue reading “D.H. Lawrence: D.H. Lawrence and Italy”

Charlaine Harris: Dead Until Dark

I’m embarassed about it, but over the past few years I’ve read several books in the burgeoning “paranormal romance” sub-genre (and returned several more to the library when I decided they really weren’t worth my time). I’m perversely intrigued by the extent to which the genre has calcifyied around a single template, Laurell Hamilton’s “AnitaContinue reading “Charlaine Harris: Dead Until Dark”

Nicola Barker: Darkmans

Somewhere deep in Darkman’s 800-page-plus bulk, there’s a scene in which Isodore, a character who vacillates between quixotic haplessness and menace, climbs a lighthouse where he is menaced by a small black bird that may or may not exist. He descends from the lighthouse and wanders off, in search, according to his young son (whoContinue reading “Nicola Barker: Darkmans”

Dianna Wynne Jones: Dark Lord of Derkholm

The central premise of Dark Lord of Derkholm seems like such a natural hook on which to hang a comic fantasy that I’m surprised it hasn’t been done to death: there’s a big market for people who want to play at being a Frodo-style hero, triumphing over fearsome evil against long odds, so generic fantasylandsContinue reading “Dianna Wynne Jones: Dark Lord of Derkholm”

Maureen Johnson: Devilish

Maureen Johnson’s Devilish commanded my attention as soon as I heard first of it (via Westerblog, of course). The potent combo of demonic subject matter, a Providence RI setting, and a cover that evokes one of my favorite Penelope Houston albums added up to a heaping helping of positive associations and I requested Devilish fromContinue reading “Maureen Johnson: Devilish”