Hilarie
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Genre: Suspense, Mystery

I haven't read any of Kathy Reich's previous books, a fact which had me somewhat leery as I picked up this one. Sometimes, especially with books in a long series, it is almost impossible to understand what is going on if you try to jump in mid-series. I was pleasantly surprised to find that in this instance my fears were unfounded. 206 Bones is a great read, plain and simple, with lots of action and great characters.

Reich's series is very popular, so much so that it has in fact led to the creation of Bones, a television series based on the books. I've seen a few episodes of Bones, so I was a bit surprised to find that the books take place in Canada. I actually preferred the setting of the novel, and found myself wondering why they changed it. Attempting to further fuel our egocentric Americanism perhaps? But, I digress.

206 Bones begins with the main character, Dr. Temperance Brennan finds herself buried alive. She has no memory of how or why she is in this situation, and only slowly do the memories come flooding back to her mind. Recently, Tempe has been investigating the mysterious deaths of several older women; victims of violent attacks which may or may not be the work of a single individual. Her focus on the cases has been somewhat compromised by some troubling mishaps that have occurred in Tempe's own autopsy suites. These mishaps have begun to undermine the confidence of her superiors, and have eventually result in Tempe even beginning to question her own competence. Meanwhile, her relationship with her longtime co-worker/love interest Lieutenant Ryan has moved into undefined and unresolved territory. What these circumstances have to do with Tempe's own deadly situation remain to be seen.

I really enjoyed the dual mystery aspect of this novel. It was interesting to read as Tempe tried to piece together the reasons for her situation. Reich's pacing was excellent, as she never gave too much away, but she didn't unravel the story so slowly that it was frustrating. I found myself really getting emotionally involved with the characters, especially Tempe. I don't want to give anything away in this review, so I will simply say that Tempe is suffering from some co-worker related troubles throughout the novel. Reichs had me fuming right along with Tempe against the injustice of it all. In short, if you haven't read any of Reich's books and are looking to give one a try, you can't go wrong with this one.

I'm giving my slightly dented ARC copy to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment below stating why you think I should pick you! Include your email address, or I won't!
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Hilarie
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Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, London

Ironhand is the second novel in Charlie Fletcher's fantastic trilogy, which began with Stoneheart. I've found myself reading more "young adult" novels recently. Surprisingly, many of these novels don't feel like they are lacking in comparison to adult novels in either pacing or plot. If they are missing a bit of the gratuitous sex, graphically detailed scenes of violence, and over the top profanity, I find it to be a welcome change. Ironhand is a furiously fast-paced adventure, with a maturity and depth that qualifies it to be enjoyed by readers both relatively young (I'd recommend at least 11 or 12 to be on the safe side) and old.

Ironhand begins almost immediately where Stoneheart left off. In a few short pages, George and Edie find that their situation has gone from bad to worse. George discovers that "the hard way," is exactly that. He must fight three duels, and running isn't an option as three corresponding stone slivers are slowly making their way from his hand to pierce his heart if he doesn't face the danger within the required time. Edie also finds herself fighting for her life, as she has captured the interest of the Walker, who wishes to make use of her skills of a glint and then dispose of her. Perhaps worst of all, the Gunner, who has served as George and Edie's self-appointed protector, has been taken by the Walker and imprisoned in a place form which their seems to be no escape. This is especially unfortunate as he will no longer be a living statue if he fails to return to his plinth before the turn of the day, and will become only a hunk of lifeless metal.

I had every intention of pacing myself through this read, but after a few pages I was hooked and rushed frantically to the end. The novel ends on a cliffhanger, so be sure to have Silvertongue, the third and final novel of the trilogy close by. I didn't, so I had to endure a few torturous weeks on the library hold list (it IS a recession, I can't buy all the books I want to read!). Fletcher is a great writer, and he proves it by avoiding the second book slump that so many writers of trilogies sometimes face. If anything, I enjoyed this book even more than the first in the series. I really enjoyed this book, and highly recommend it.
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