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1. Beyond Black : A Novel (John MacRae
$6.29 $3.77 list($6.99)
2. You Slay Me
$7.19 $2.25 list($7.99)
3. Face the Fire (Three Sisters Island
$7.19 $2.59 list($7.99)
4. Heaven and Earth (Three Sisters
$7.19 $4.89 list($7.99)
5. Foucault's Pendulum
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6. Dance upon the Air (Three Sisters
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7. Cravings
$14.95 $10.63
8. Satan Burger
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9. I Am Legend
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10. The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles,
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11. Merrick (Vampire/Witches Chronicles)
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12. The Tale of the Body Thief (Vampire
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13. Affinity
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14. Mortal Allies
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15. Sunshine
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16. Wildwood Road
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17. Curse The Dark
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18. City Of The Dead
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19. Nightingale's Lament: A Novel
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20. Blood Enemy : Underworld Book

1. Beyond Black : A Novel (John MacRae Books (Hardcover))
by Hilary Mantel
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805073566
Catlog: Book (2005-05-09)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Sales Rank: 2099
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Hailed as a "writer of subtlety and depth," Hilary Mantel turns her dark genius on the world of psychics in this smart, unsettling novel (Joyce Carol Oates)

A paragon of efficiency, Colette took the next natural step after finishing secretarial school by marrying a man who would do just fine. After a sobering, do-it-yourself divorce, Colette is at a loss for what to do next. Convinced that she is due an out-of-hand, life-affirming revelation, she strays into the realm of psychics and clairvoyants, hungry for a whisper to set her off in the right direction. At a psychic fair in Windsor she meets the charismatic Alison.

Alison, the daughter of a prostitute, beleaguered during her childhood by the pressures of her connection to the spiritual world, lives in a different kind of solitude. She cannot escape the dead who speak to her, least of all the constant presence of Morris, her low-life spiritual guide. An expansive presence onstage, Alison at once feels her bond with Colette, inviting her to join her on the road as her personal assistant and companion.

Troubles spiral out of control when the pair moves to a suburban wasteland in what was once the English countryside and take up with a spirit guide and his drowned therapist. It is not long before Alison's connection to the place beyond black threatens to uproot their lives forever. This is Hilary Mantel at her finest- insightful, darkly comic, unorthodox, and thrilling to read.
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond Black Humor
Novelist Hilary Mantel can be dark.Very dark.Dark and funny, as fans can tell you--particularly readers of her brilliant memoir, Giving Up the Ghost.In her new novel (which Amazon didn't bother to recommend to me--I'm bummed!--the computer doesn't know me very well apparently), she goes "beyond black," as the title says, though the title refers less to Mantel's humor than to the nagging manifestations of spirits which plague Alison, the psychic protagonist.

Alison is fat, single, the daughter of a prostitute, and psychic.I mean really psychic.The dead speak to her of all kinds of trivia, and her "spirit guide," Morris, is a (dead) lowlife dwarf who used to work at a circus. Alison will do anything to get rid of Morris, who is crude and stinky and pops up at inconvenient moments, but nothing works.And when Morris starts hanging out with fiends from Alison's old neighborhood, she begins to get really worried.

Much of this novel is funny.Alison's assistant, Colette, a skinny, nasty, divorced control freak who books Al's appointments at psychic fairs, is a good foil for the casual Alison.She eventually becomes so obsessed with her management role that she even tries to control Alison's diet. Alison has to sneak around when she wants a slice of bread or anything tastier than lowfat turkey.

But the last third or so of this novel is quite morbid and horrifying as we learn about Alison's past and the key to her psychic abilities.Is this black humor?Or something worse?Much worse, I would say.It's Beyond Black.

I hope she wins the Booker Prize for it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Didn't get it
I'm a big Mantel fan.I loved "An Experiment in Love," "Fludd," and "A Change of Climate."Mantel's gorgeous prose style even carried me most of the way through "A Place of Greater Safety--"her gigantic novel about the French revolution.And so of course I rushed out to buy "Beyond Black" as soon as I saw it reviewed.

As a novelist, Mantel has never been one to tip her hand.She keeps us guessing, for example about the true identity of the title character in "Fludd," and we never know how the protaganist of "An Experiment in Love" gets over her anorexia.When it comes to characterization Mantel shows rather than tells; she relies on evocative imagery, rather than on psychobabble, to shed light on the motivation of her characters.As Margaret Atwood says in her review of "An Experiment in Love," it is "what you don't know" that haunts you after you've finished one of Mantel's novels.

But I think that Mantel goes too far off in this direction in "Beyond Black."She simply doesn't tell the reader enough to make the story hang together.Her background characters-- Alison's psychic colleagues, Colette's ex-husband, even the spectral Morris-- are caricatures.And the two protagonists are incomprehensible.We never really understand what draws Colette to the "psychic business" in the first place, given that she spends most of the novel being so skeptical.And we never really understand what it's like to be Allison, to have the dead tormenting you all the time.The flashbacks to Allison's past are ghastly and beautiful, but the "present tense" narrative is mostly taken up by innane dialogue that never seems to go anywhere.

Both of the reviews I read of this book-- in the New York Times and the Washington Post-- are very favorable, so I'm wondering if I'm missing something.Did anybody see anything in this novel that I didn't? ... Read more

2. You Slay Me
by Katie Macalister
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451411528
Catlog: Book (2004-09-07)
Publisher: Onyx Books
Sales Rank: 14093
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Book Description

Aisling Grey is a courier enjoying a free, work-related trip to Paris when she learns she's a Guardian. That's a keeper of the Gates of Hell, for those who don't know. She finds this out from Drake Vireo, who's scrumptiously sexy-at least in his human form. Now Drake has stolen the package Aisling was sent to deliver, and she must track him down, get the package, and try to resist the passion boiling inside her. ... Read more

3. Face the Fire (Three Sisters Island Trilogy)
by Nora Roberts
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 051513287X
Catlog: Book (2002-06-01)
Publisher: Jove Books
Sales Rank: 3194
Average Customer Review: 3.82 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (139)

2-0 out of 5 stars A disappointing conclusion
Mia's character and hints about Sam were explored in the first two books of the trilogy leading to a delicious sense of anticipation for the romance between the two of them in third book. I found this story to be somewhat contrived and a disappointment. Mia and Sam are both strong characters and the book did not do justice to either of them. The reason why Sam left Mia was weak. The grudge Mia held for Sam throughout most of the book was even weaker. This conclusion to the trilogy betrayed both characters. I feel that Nora Roberts is one of the best romantic novelists around, but must admit I skipped thru about a third of the book, finding it boring, slow going and forced. Fortunately Ms. Roberts can be counted on to produce good writing more often than not!

Both a reader and director for Brilliance Audio, Sandra Burr offers a distinctive rendering of Nora Roberts's conclusion to her Three Sisters Island trilogy, "Face The Fire."

The setting once more is a New England island where Mia Devlin has rebuilt her life after Sam Logon deserted her. He was, Mia believed, her true love with whom she shared such depth and passion that nothing could separate them. But leave her he did.

Now, some years later Sam is the new owner of the only hotel on the island, and he returns to both twist the knife in Mia's heart and resurrect old feelings.

As in her previous two novels Roberts peppers her plot with paranormal events: Sam is a witch, spells are cast, and magic holds sway.

Fans of this author will relish the final book in her trilogy and wish for more.

- Gail Cooke

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but not as good as the other two (3 1/2 stars)
Okay, I'll preface this by saying that I found this book to be entertaining enough and the writing was good. But, when compared with Roberts' other work and the other two books in the series, it didn't hold up her normal level of quality.

My biggest problem is that Mia was the strongest and most compelling woman of the three from the series but her story was the least compelling of the trilogy. That was disappointing.

I liked that Mia and Sam were Fire and Water and had the complimentary and yet fire and ice sort of relationship. Thing is, I didn't find the whole idea of him leaving the way he did and yet coming back and expecting her to fall at his feet very enticing. The way he left was cruel and I couldn't understand why she should take him back or even why we're supposed to believe he had this deep love for her. The Sam of the present was not the Sam that left Mia, but you're supposed to think he is except for this glaring mistake. Yes, people change but I didn't buy it.

So much happens in the story that you don't understand or seems to come from nowhere, big and important parts of the story seem to have been added at the last minute. I thought the end was totally confusing and even though I read it a few times it still seemed to come out of left field. Usually Roberts does this sort of thing exceptionally well, and she did in the other two books, but this one left me feeling unsatisfied.

All in all, it was interesting enough to hold my attention and it was nice to see the character progression for Nell and Ripley but it left me feeling flat.

3-0 out of 5 stars If I could have understood half of it, it would have rated
much higher! I couldn't believe how Roberts dropped the ball on the last book. Mia in the previous books was shown to be strong, confident and fearless, but this book tore all that apart, and left me with a feeling of what happened? In many parts Roberts didn't write directly what Mia was thinking, or doing, which led to a disjointed feeling within the book. And the part about Sam coming back as the 4th element? That was so out of left field. I don't know what went wrong, as the other two were so strong. Ripley and Nell were both strong in this book as any other, and Ripley grew tremendously within the book from the previous ones. Buy this to finish up 3 sisters, but don't expect it to be your favorite book of all time.

3-0 out of 5 stars Leaving something to be desired
I absolutely loved Dance Upon the Air and Heaven and Earth. This book was fair, but when judged against its predecessors it falls short. Mia and Sam's relationship seemed unrealistic: Sam's sudden desire to return to Three Sisters and Mia's sudden epiphany at the end of the story (which I couldn't understand.) However, the characters and background from the last two books made this story enjoyable. I loved the suprises Nell and Ripley both had. So, in the end if you liked the first two books, you might as well read the third just to finish the story of 3 Sisters Island. ... Read more

4. Heaven and Earth (Three Sisters Island Trilogy)
by Nora Roberts
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0515132020
Catlog: Book (2001-11-01)
Publisher: Jove Books
Sales Rank: 3721
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Second in the captivating Three Sisters Island trilogy.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts returns to the haunting shores of New England--and to the lives of three passionate, powerful women.
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Reviews (109)

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific Romance with a Dose of Paranormal
In this, the second installment of the Three Sisters Island trilogy, Ms. Roberts has once again hit the jackpot in this clever mix of romance, wit, and witchcraft.

Deputy Ripley Todd was a little irritated. Outsider MacAllister Booke had just rented Mia Devlin's yellow cottage for the duration of his stay on Three Sisters Island, off the coast of Massachusetts. Bad enough that Ripley wanted to rent the cottage to escape her home and newlywed brother, Zack, and his likeable wife, Nell. But Mac is visiting to conduct research on witchcraft and its history on the island. As legend would have it, three witches who separated it from the mainland created Three Sisters Island. Nell, Ripley, and Mia are descendants of the original three, only Ripley shows great disdain for the power she was born with.

In a crafty mix of the paranormal complete with visions and dreams of the past, Ripley comes face to face with her ancestor and senses a dark force that could destroy all that she holds dear. As the romance between the bookish Mac and Ripley builds, she is forced to let down some of her tough gal defenses and learns to trust him and their love. And the steamy love scenes will melt the pages as Ripley's supernatural powers take her attraction to Mac to a whole new level. Only time will tell if Ripley will join forces with her fellow sisters, Mia and Nell, to bind together and repel the evil that threatens to destroy them as it did their predecessors.

Fascinating characters, a picturesque seaside town, and paranormal events form the foundation in this riveting read. Even the romance reader not enamored of the supernatural will find the allure in this latest from Ms. Roberts, who just keeps getting better and better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good, even for Nora Roberts
Yes, even by Ms. Roberts's standards, I was impressed and found that I like Heaven and Earth even better than Dance Upon the Air, the first in the Three Sisters Island trilogy.

In the second installment she doesn't only go in depth with the main characters, Ripley and Mac who are the love interest she focuses on, but she also brings out more in other characters, including Mia who will be the focus for the third installment. Ms. Roberts also involves more of the history of the island where everything is taking place, as well as the history of the sisters who began the island where the trilogy unfolds. There is even more detail on the magic that the three female characters (Mia, Ripley and Nell) possess.

And one of my favorite things about this book is that the hero isn't exactly one of those alpha male types. He's akward in some ways but it makes him so much more charming as a character.

I don't usually read all of Ms. Roberts work and in fact missed the last couple of series but this reading was very enjoyable and Nora Roberts fans will undoubtedly be pleased.

4-0 out of 5 stars A sure-fire Treat
As before and all times, Nora Roberts continues to enthrall me and make my imagination run wild with her new series and second book.

Three Sisters Island has a Witches Past. One rought of the wrongful prosecution of witches in Salem. The three sisters who forged this island and called it home for a time. Three sister's whose souls are passed on to modern day women with exciting powers.

Ripley Todd has been an off-beat loner for a while. While she holds a deputy position on Three Sister's Island she is gruff and abrasive and often rude--trying not to show the emotion that she has inside.

With her brother Zack married to Nell from the first book, Ripley longs to get back to some peace and quiet and leave the love-birds to love and nest and croon when ever and however they wish with her not in the way.

When her long time friend and most-times rival Mia Devlin rents the yellow cottage Nell once lived in unknowingly to a stranger Ripley is frustrated that her plans were thwarted and that Nell knows what had lain in her heart--to escape; to be alone.

When "tenant" MacAllister Booke, a man with the personal wish and want to investigate paranormal and vastly strange events comes to take residence on the Three Sister's Island in the yellow cottage, after the spectacular and unclear event that took place between Nell (Helen) and her abusive "ex" husband he gets more than he bargained for with Ripley Todd.

We get to see Ripley soften with her dislike of magic in this book. And give in to what she was destined for and for a long time rejected. We get to see her happy and angry and we; in our own ways fall in love with her character and with Booke's as well.

Since we already love Mia Devlin, we cannot wait (perhaps I should say "I") until we see how much trouble she gives SAM. (...)

I love this series. Once again, Nora Roberts has made another trilogy of sisters that is loveable and makes us all dream of a close-knit family and or friends that we can only read about.

5-0 out of 5 stars Weaker book then the first but still excellent.
For a review to get 5 stars doesn't mean it's perfect, and of course this book is definitely not perfect. IN this book we're dealing with Ripley, the witch who doesn't want to admit that she is one. She battles her attraction to Mac, the hot "Indiana Jones" type paranormal scientist. Ripley is a fascinating character, who really comes alive in this book. In the first one she seemed more closed off and brooding. However the book is not without flaws, as Ripley becomes a stronger character in the next book, which is where Roberts made the mistake. If Ripley had grown as she did in the first part of the third book in the second instead, I think the book would have been that much more interesting. Oh well. A wonderful series none the less, on to the last book!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but no cigar
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand I find the characters basically believable; I enjoy the elements of magic and wiccan references and in general the writing is excellent. On the other I feel as if her writing could be A LOT more, more depth, more intensity. I feel that as a writer she has much more potential than I have found in the few books of hers that I have read.

(...) ... Read more

5. Foucault's Pendulum
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345368754
Catlog: Book (1990-11-13)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 3516
Average Customer Review: 3.95 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"As brilliant and quirky as THE NAME OF THE ROSE, as mischievous and wide-raning....A virtuoso performance."
Three clever book editors, inspired by an extraordinary fable they heard years befoe, decide to have a little fun. Randomly feeding esoteric bits of knowledge into an incredible computer capable of inventing connections between all their entires, they think they are creating a long lazy game--until the game starts taking over....
Here is an incredible journey of thought and history, memory and fantasy, a tour de force as enthralling as anything Umberto Eco--or indeed anyone--has ever devised.

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Reviews (283)

3-0 out of 5 stars You'd better have an unabridged dictionary handy....
Umberto Eco is a major cause of headaches. Well, he was for me, at least.

About seven years ago, I bought myself a paperback copy of Foucault's Pendulum at the university book store. It looked like an engaging plotline, the reviews were excellent, and it had a really neat cover.

I realize now that most of the reviewers were probably intelligentsia-wannabes who didn't want to admit to the other reviewers they didn't have a clue what Umberto Eco was going on about. I remember seeing pictures of movie stars holding copies of Foucault's Pendulum in order to look brainy.

Expecting some sort of smart cyber tale with a mystical flavour, I started reading. It was the densest prose I'd ever encountered, even worse than the Webster's unabridged dictionary's definition for "existentialism."

Foucault's Pendulum is definitely not a cyber story. A word processor is the only computer, and there aren't any net-running scenes. Nevertheless, the mystical stuff is certainly there. Umberto Eco waxes philosophical for pages upon pages about word processors (and everything else) in a mystical fashion, all the while going off on Rosicrucian and Greater Key of Solomon tangents in languages like Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and medieval French.

I slaved over Foucault's Pendulum for about a year, always making sure I had a copy of Webster's unabridged dictionary on hand. Unfortunately, it didn't help very much. You see, many of the words in the book are not in the dictionary.

I think that in order to truly comprehend the intricacies of Foucault's Pendulum, a reader needs to be a polyglot with several PhDs in history, philosophy, occult studies, and sciences under her/his belt. Oh yes, and the reader should also have more than a passing familiarity with Sam Spade detective novels.

This makes me wonder what sort of man Umberto Eco really is.

The book proved to be too much for me in my undergrad days. I only got about a third of the way into the novel before giving up in consternation.

Some time later, my husband made the cocky assertion he could read any English novel and fully comprehend it. I called his bluff and handed him my dusty copy of Foucault's Pendulum. I don't think he even made it as far as I did before he unceremoniously jammed the book back into its place on the shelf.

Then, about a year or two ago, I watched The Name of the Rose, and the richness of the plot made me want to try reading the book again.

So, I dragged the dusty book out of my bookshelf. I opened to where the bookmark was, and couldn't remember what the hellwas going on. I groaned aloud when I realized I would have to start all over from scratch.

Once again, I began struggling my way through heavily obfuscated prose. The three-volume dictionary did not leave my side. I was determined to finish the book, and finish it I did in a scant month.

Sure, I was irritable and walked around with a perpetual wrinkle ensconced between my eyebrows, but I finished it, darn it! And, with plenty of research on the side, I even understood (most of) it.

Never before have I worked so hard to read a book.

Now I have just begun to read Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln's The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. While reading the forward, I experienced a bit of déja vu. The subject matter is almost identical to the plotline of Foucault's Pendulum, albeit much easier to comprehend.

A few pages later, I read how Umberto Eco was inspired to write his migraine of a novel from The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail.

Why couldn't I have read The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail first? It would have saved me a few brain cells.

I guess it's because of the cover. The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail has a rather vanilla cover, and I'm drawn by shiny things. Foucault's Pendulum has the coolest foil embossing.....

4-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, intelligent, but tough
I've just finished Foucault's Pendulum, after reading on and off for about six months. Certainly I agree with the cross-section of opinions already listed. However, for me the biggest draw-card for this book was it's humour. So often I was more than just chuckling inside at the subtle and not-so-subtle humour that Eco uses to lampoon his various secret societies. But of course, as Eco drew me into the story, it turns out that the joke was on me!

Having finished the book, I went back and spent several hours skimming it from cover to cover, and picked up on a whole lot of stuff I didn't fully appreciate on first reading. Also, by that stage I had out my two volume dictionary! Yes, I got sucked into it too.

Several people I know had read The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. From what they told me about it, Foucault's Pendulum could be interpreted as a direct parody of the three authors of that book. I am now reading it to test my theory.

As others have said, this is a tough read. However, I loved the first chapter, and it is Eco's descriptive yet highly intellectual style that kept me going through this minefield of pedantic knowledge.

Finally, when I finished the book I really felt as though I'd finished a great journey. It was tough to get to the end, but worth the effort. I actually saw the book in a new light, and, until I'd finished it I would have had a lot of trouble telling people what it was actually "about".

5-0 out of 5 stars Reacquaints you with long lost parts of your brain!
I was digging through Amazon's online version of a bookstore's "bargain bin" looking for something new to read. I came across Foucault's Pendulum and it sounded interesting enough. It starts out, the first 10 or 20 pages, quite convoluted and confusing. I remarked to my husband that perhaps this book was a bit "too cerebral" for me. But, I perservered and I am so glad I did!

Yes, those that say the book starts slow- it truly does. But then, it opens up to this magnificent and complex universe of religious history, conspiracy theories, murder, mystery and suspense and keeps you wanting to read more.

The vocabulary is intense and pretty advanced and there were, in fact, several words that I was unfamiliar with entirely- particularly those that were in LATIN (what was that about?) But, after sitting down with this book for a while, you feel that you have just worked out your brain. It's invigorating! I found myself having resurected a long-lost vocabulary that I almost forgot I even had!

To sum it up- great book. Very intriguing, complicated, and, sorry for the cliche, "page turning" story. But, as an added bonus, it is extrordinarily thought-provoking and brain exercising! Highly recommend it to those of you that don't want your brain to turn into oatmeal in the lazy summer months.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Game
It is a great book!!!
And Foucault's Pendulum IS the GAME!

1-0 out of 5 stars Incomprehensible
I thought I was dumb when I read over three fourths of this gobbledygook and didn't understand more than a line. However, one odd day I chanced across a collection of essays of Salman Rushdie in a bookshop and was flipping through the pages when I came across by chance Rushdie's review of the book.
In short Rushdie said that he read the whole book and didn't understand a single sentence of the book. What a relief - the author of the booker of bookers said not a sentence...So here I am pride salvaged - and writing this review.
Piece of advice for anyone considering picking this up - unless you have a Ph.D in theology AND a masters degree in occult faiths, you may not appreciate this book.
Sandeep ... Read more

6. Dance upon the Air (Three Sisters Island Trilogy)
by Nora Roberts
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0515131229
Catlog: Book (2001-06-01)
Publisher: Jove Books
Sales Rank: 4367
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan's Best of 2001

Setting: Three Sisters Island, coast of New England, present day

Sensuality rating: 6

Perennial New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts's new Three Sisters Island trilogy is pure magic! No, I mean really magic. Anintriguing combination of The Witches of Eastwick and Sleeping Withthe Enemy, Dance Upon the Air introduces readers to the idyllic townof Three Sisters Island. Reputedly conjured by a trio of sisters seeking toescape the Salem witch-hunts, the island remains a place of quiet refugefor one and all, including pretty Nell Channing who arrives in town afraid ofher own shadow, with few possessions and no past. But the warm, sunny days andcool, windswept nights, as well as the loving concern of new friends--especiallyhunky sheriff Zack Todd--soon lure skittish Nell into a much-welcome fresh life.Nell's new boss, the captivatingly lovely bookstore owner Mia Devlin (look forMia's story, hopefully, in the not-too-distant future), wonders from what orwhom Nell is running. Mia treats Nell as she would a sister, which isn't too faroff the mark, helping Nell discover and explore her inner resources while Zack'sromantic attentions bring a rosy glow to Nell's cheeks and to her future. Butsomething wicked this way comes… Will Nell be ready to face and conquer herpast? Even with the love and support of Mia, Zack, and Zack's fellow policeofficer, his peppery, down-to-earth sister Ripley, Nell has the fight of herlife--the fight for her life--on her hands. Roberts continues to delightfans and create new believers with her talent and imagination. --AlisonTrinkle ... Read more

Reviews (252)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Joy to Read
Nora Roberts tells a wonderful story of an young woman who fakes her own death to escape from her abusive husband. Eventually this woman finds herself in Three Sisters Island, an enchanting place with a welcoming community. Roberts' three protagonists, Nell, Ripley, and Mia are strong women with distinct personalities but who share a magical bond. All of the characters in this novel are so real, despite the fact that some of them are witches. The story is relatively fast-paced and its plot thickens as the story goes on. I recommend this book to anyone who loves mysteries (although this book is by no means a mystery), anyone who craves realistic heroes, or anyone who desires a little romance.
Trust me you'll be hooked!

5-0 out of 5 stars Magickal...
Nora Roberts always gives a solid read, even if her books vary between being very good and being outstandingly good. I read this and The Villa, her newest romantic suspense, within a day of each other. And I have to say, this is my favorite of her recent books.

Nell, although understandably skittish, didn't come off as weak or meek, unlike Jude from the Jewels trilogy. She'd been through hell, she was beating herself up for it, and she's getting on with her life, with the help of her new boss and mentor, Mia, who is the town witch.

Thank you, Nora, for not making witchcraft and Wicca silly or unbelievable. While no Wiccans I know can create fire out of thin air or instantly heal a almost-dead plant, the attitudes and philosophies Mia teaches Nell are real and true. At a guess, I would say Nora has a close friend who is Wiccan, and won't let her get away with misrepresenting the beliefs and faiths. Go Nora!

Even if you don't believe in witchcraft and magick, the book is a great character study and a enjoyable read. And gee, I haven't even mentioned how great a hero Sheriff Zach Todd is. And I can't wait for the next book in the trilogy...

5-0 out of 5 stars Another incredible book.
This was one of those fantastic books of Nora Roberts, where I lose myself in the writing. Roberts writes this trilogy with a strength not seen since her Born In Trilogy. I felt this book was made up of several different story lines, but instead of Roberts stuffing them into a readers throat at once, she allows them to gracefully develop and emerge as nescesary for the story. Nell Channing is a woman who grows as the story continues, growing in her knowledge that she is a witch. I would say this is an essential summer read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Magical!
I recently finished reading this title, it was my first time too read anything by Nora Roberts. Absolutely wonderfull! Excellent read. The book portrayed good and evil with just enough suspense to keep the reader torn to each page. I read the book in two days couldn't seem to tear myself away, I love the way the author puts in just enough romance to keep you waiting and wanting more. The characters seemed real and true to life, it was almost as if I could envision the story coming to life as I was reading! A must have for any book lover.

5-0 out of 5 stars The start of a wonderful seriers
This was an amazing book. Nell escapes her abusive husband, and arrives on Three Sister's Island looking for a quiet place she can continue to hide while she starts her life over.

Ms. Roberts has again written some strong, lovable and hateable characters into existance. Her plots are always as storng as her characters and this novel is not an exception to the rule. This book is enjoyable, moving, and also had suspense. This was not a book I could put down, and when I finished I was glad that there was another in the series to pick up and read. I was not dissapointed. ... Read more

7. Cravings
by Laurell K. Hamilton, Mary Janice Davidson, Eileen Wilks, Rebecca York
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0515138150
Catlog: Book (2004-06-01)
Publisher: Jove Books
Sales Rank: 5445
Average Customer Review: 4.09 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Four favorite authors present their favorite characters in all-new tales of bloodlust, appetites that must be sated again and again, and the passion that feeds them. ... Read more

Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth Buying Except for "Beyond the Ardeur"
I eagerly awaited this book because of Eileen Wilks and Mary J. Davidson. I was not disappointed! Eileen Wilks' "Originally Human" was simply great, and kept me guessing until the very end as to what kind of creature the hero really was - talk about inventive. Ms. Wilks has been writing long-winded, boring contemporaries for years. Thank Heavens she finally happened on to her true genre - romantic fantasy. After reading about Lily and Rule in another anthology, I just knew I had to buy Cravings.

M. J. Davidson's "Dead Girls Don't Dance", was great. You have to read it. If for no other reason than the line about the "Incredible Journey". What a hoot. Ms. Davidson's Undead series about Vampire Queen Betsy is just fabulous. Ms. Davidson's sense of humor has had me LOL for hours.

"Burning Moon" by R. York was a good read, but couldn't compare to the other two offerings mentioned above. In the past Ms. York has wrote much better books, leading me to believe that the short story format is not her cup of tea. Trust me, her past novels are very good, and well worth buying.

As for the lead off story, "Beyond the Ardeur", it is quite simply a waste. Now before all the LKH fans get ready to hang me, let me explain that I am a rabid LKH fan also. I LOVE LKH. She and Nora Roberts' "In Death" series are the ONLY books I will buy in hardback and paperback both. However, the expectation from anyone who is not a hardcore LKH fan is that "Beyond the Ardeur" is a new short story. It's not. It is several chapters of the new LKH book, "Incubus Dreams", which will be published in hardback in September. Ms. Hamilton took 3 or 4 chapters of the new book and slammed them together to create this so-called "short story". Personally, I think this is misleading and slightly unethical to represent a story in an anthology as a new short story by an author, but it is really a mismatch of chapters from a new book coming out in the fall. I realize in the publishing business "it's all about the money", but I think Ms. Hamilton has more integrity than this, and I wish she would quit letting herself be used in this manner. Anyway, the "short story" was very confusing, had no flow and only left you hanging. If you were a big fan like myself, you found the four marks that Damien got from Anita to be VERY interesting, and I can't wait to see where the story goes from here. I think the solution is that Ms. Hamilton needs to just write faster. Two books a year are not nearly enough! *grin*

4-0 out of 5 stars Research Before You Buy...
First off, I bought the book for Laurell K Hamilton's work. Before reading it, I knew it was not indeed a short story, but an sample of her book that is due out in September (Incubus Dreams). I found the sample extremely frustrating, but at the same time it was excellent. Frustrating because I need to know what happens next, and excellent because it managed to develop two characters who have been two-dimensional so far. It's a must read for Anita fans who are as impatient as I am.

Dead Girls Don't Dance was the other story that I also enjoyed, mostly because it is quite similiar to Hamilton's style of writing. However, I found the main characters somewhat boring. The story itself was interesting: the emotional struggles of a young vampire.

This anthology was definitely worth the 8 dollars, but you have to know what to expect before buying it.

4-0 out of 5 stars I would rather give it 4.5 stars
Being a former Anita Blake fan, I bought this book because of Rebecca York. However, I have to give credit where credit's due. I agree with some of the reviews that this wasn't the place for a short interlude into Anita Blake's world, but this small piece was better than LHK's last few books in the series. A little slow in the beginning, but now I'm actually thinking about buying Incubus Dreams instead of getting it from the library.

As for Rebecca York, keep the good times rolling, girl. The last three books in your Moon Series (???) were incredible. Since then, I've been dying to read more.

I knew knew nothing about Eileen Wilks or MaryJanice Davidson. I'm glad I've had the chance to sample their writing because that means I can add two more authors to add to my Must-Read list.

4-0 out of 5 stars A must have.
This book is quite an appetizer for the different books that are sampled in it. I now wait with clenched teeth of anticipation for Incubus Dreams by Laurell K Hamilton. As well as now on the "hunt" for books from the other authors. MaryJanice Davidson's story "Dead Girls Don't Dance" is funny with alot of wit and sarcasm; not to mention the fact that the not so popular girl in college gets the jock superstar. Can't wait for the rest of the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars York is always good
I bought the book because of Rebecca York. I'd just finished her three moon books and wanted more. The short story here was a nice addition, and I hope there will be more of these werewolf stories.

Originally Human, by Eileen Wilks, was my second favorite. Her characters kept my interest and she had a spark of humor. I'd really like to know more about the sorcerer, Cullen, if she gets back to this realm, and I can see lots of room for expanding on the story of the two characters here - I *want* to know what happens to them next.

Mary Davidson's story was good. I haven't read her before, but ads for her books looked interesting.

I was disappointed in the Hamilton story. In fact, I didn't read it all the way through. It started interestingly enough, but went downhill, seemingly more about sex than story, unfortunately.

Still worth the money for the other three, though. ... Read more

8. Satan Burger
by Carlton Mellick III
list price: $14.95
our price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0971357234
Catlog: Book (2001-12-01)
Publisher: Eraserhead Press
Sales Rank: 23855
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Absurd philosophies, dark surrealism, and the end of the human race . . .

God hates you. All of you. He closed the gates of Heaven and wants you to rot on Earth forever. Not only that, he is repossesing your souls and feeding them to a large vagina-like machine called the Walm - an interdimensional doorway that brings His New Children into the world. He loves these new children, but He doesn't love you. They are more interesting than you. They are beautiful, psychotic, magical, sex-crazed, and deadly. They are turning your cities into apocalyptic chaos, and there's nothing you can do about it ...

Featuring: a narrator who sees his body from a third-person perspective, a man whose flesh is dead but his body parts are alive and running amok, an overweight messiah, the personal life of the Grim Reaper, lots of classy sex and violence, and a motley group of squatter punks that team up with the devil to find their place in a world that doesn't want them anymore. ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars The World in a Nutshell
Satan Burger is an anti-novel.


It is print on paper, yet it posesses an intangible quality unseen anywhere else. Best of all, it's unpretentious. Carlton Mellick III has to be one of the most talented and imaginative authors ever, silently ranking with the luminaries of our time.


The novel itself is a highly reflective walkthrough of life, subtly highlighting the inadequacies of humans in a surreal universe. But no, it is not a haphazard rant of anarchist emotions, but a vinyl tapestry of wit, insight and unadulterated storytelling. There is no suitable genre to filter this book through, as it is life distilled into prose.


A meaning to this book will escape everyone on the first read. Gradually, through time and effort, would someone take the first step into Carlton Mellick's wacky but sacred world of aliens, fast-food and demons. The experience is not to be missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Holy crap!
This is a book you just have to read. Buy it... Just get it. It reads kind of like a Vonnegut book, but it's a lot weirder than Vonnegut and is more underground culture than pop culture. The story involves everything from a dimension of midgets dressed up like united states presidents to Jesus Christ masturbation fantasies to a race of women who eat with their vaginas. There's enough story in this book to write a hundred books. But the basic plot is simple: some punks get jobs at a fast food joint owned by the devil while the world falls into apocalyptic chaos. I can't wait for more Carlton Mellick books to come out. I'm itching for more...

5-0 out of 5 stars mmmMMMMM! Satan burgers!
Squishy, batter-dipped, soul-stealing cheeseburgers are deep-fried by our own resident homosexual ex-arch angel himself, Satan, while an overweight, lard-bellied messiah scrubs the bathroom floors with a crusty mop and bucket. Behind the counter stand your servers, consisting of a pierced and tattooed skin-head babe and an Asian kid who thinks he's a pirate. Aaargh! It's your modern day family restaurant! Just beware of the living, breathing demon-possessed appliances and the scorpion flies hovering above, waiting to paralyze you. Better get yourself a female baboon!

Most books can't hold my attention for long. I consider myself more film oriented. But CM3's "Satan Burger" has breathed new life into a long dead literary world for me. This book is captivating and humorous like no book I've read before, and shows what a little style and imagination can do. This anti-novel should be required reading for all the *shrugging* school systems in America!

Now, pass the ketchup.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best ending ever!
This book left me shaking. I could almost feel the narrator's soul being sucked from his body at the end of the book. All those blank pages made me feel cold. I don't understand how some people didn't get it. It's not a puzzle or anything. The book is enjoying to read and very entertaining even during its darker moments.

I've bought most of Mellick III's books. This one isn't his best, but definitely the most fun to read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Dont waste your time
This book, while getting your attention and is rather good with details of characters and even non characters(hence the one star) is an utter waste of ones time. The ending is rubbish. It is a waste... The ending leaves the reader hanging and saying "What just happened? Is this it? Where is the rest of the book?" I suggest never buying this book and not listening to the ones that gave it better reviews. ... Read more

9. I Am Legend
by Richard Matheson
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031286504X
Catlog: Book (1997-09-15)
Publisher: Orb Books
Sales Rank: 6746
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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One of the most influential vampire novels of the 20th century, I Am Legend regularly appears on the "10 Best" lists of numerous critical studies of the horror genre. As Richard Matheson's third novel, it was first marketed as science fiction (for although written in 1954, the story takes place in a future 1976). A terrible plague has decimated the world, and those who were unfortunate enough to survive have been transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Except, that is, for Robert Neville. He alone appears to be immune to this disease, but the grim irony is that now he is the outsider. He is the legendary monster who must be destroyed because he is different from everyone else. Employing a stark, almost documentary style, Richard Matheson was one of the firstwriters to convince us that the undead can lurk in a local supermarket freezer as well as a remote Gothic castle. His influence on a generation of bestselling authors--including Stephen King and Dean Koontz--who first read him in their youth is, well, legendary. --Stanley Wiater ... Read more

Reviews (218)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gripping, emotional, killer ending.
I was turned on to Matheson after watching Charlton Heston in the Omega Man years back, the movie based loosely upon the book, I Am Legend. You may find that the only regret from reading I Am Legend is the length of the story: It leaves you aching for more. What is particularly remarkable about Matheson is that he can compose a truly compelling story in so few pages, as he deftly details the tribulations of the last man alive in the world...or is he? Combining interpretations of vampire lore with an excellent interweaving of science fiction, Matheson achieves in his one main character greater fulfillment of plot, tension and irony than many horror or sci-fi authors are able to gain with a full cast. Positively riveting and fear inspiring, Matheson appeals to the reader emotionally as well: The chapter involving the protagonist and his relationship with a stray dog is heart breaking, but is evidence of what a truly fantastic author can do with the right material. Oh, and the killer ending....if you can't see this bittersweet conclusion play out in your mind's eye like a motion picture, you need to read this story again. Simply the best.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best short Science Fiction novel ever written..
A novel about vampires taking over the Earth at first sounds incredibly hokey and stupid. Trust me folks, I Am Legend is anything but that. It is not your typical vampire story. Forget all the others. This is a master writer of science fiction and horror at work, and this is easily his best. I have read I Am Legend so many times, I've lost track. It is absolutely spellbinding, mezmerizing, and riveting. The book has been turned into motion pictures twice.. once about 40 years ago with Vincent Price in the lead. That one is far superior to the 1970s remake "The Omega Man" with Charlton Heston. The plot of the remake is so terribly twisted, that anyone seeing it, if they can withhold laughing at its stupidity, would certainly never pick up this book to read if they thought it was the same as that film. Just forget "The Omega Man." Pretend you never heard of it. Matheson is one of the legendary kings of science fiction, right up there alongside Ray Bradbury. He wrote the screenplays for about a quarter of the original Twilight Zone series shows. His writing style is fluid, literate, and very easy to read. "I Am Legend" is about Robert Neville, a regular but smart kinda guy in the 1970s who watches the population of Earth die around him, infected by a world-wide plague which cannot be stopped. Somehow, he's not sure, he is immune. His friends and family die. Bodies are burned in huge pits until even those doing the burning die. Society shuts down. Some of the dead return as living zombies, who hide and sleep during the day and come out at night to raise Hell.. He spends his days combing the empty streets of Los Angeles for clues, for supplies, food, gasoline, to take back to his suburban home which he's turned into a sealed fortress, and looking for the undead into whose hearts he drives wooden stakes that he tediously grinds himself on a lathe. He rummages libraries to read medical texts for clues as to what it all means. At night when the undead come out to taunt him, he hides in his home, cranking up his hifi to shut out the noise of their howling. He's the last man on Earth, as far as he knows. How long can he last? How long can he keep his sanity in this totally insane world? Are there any other normal people out there or is he totally alone? Read this short novel and you will never forget it. Perhaps it'll become your favorite, as it became mine the first time I picked it up in the 1960s.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book - DON'T READ ANY MORE REVIEWS FURTHER ON!
Great book - genuine masterpiece of SF and horror.

However, don't read any more reviews as half of the reviewers seem to think that a review consists on revealing all of the plot (including twists) and will definitely spoil your enjoyment of this book.

The only plot a person can reveal without spoiling it is the stuff that's in the blurb (the bit on the back cover). If you want to know what the book is about then go read it! The only people who won't like it are the people who think that Freddy Kreuger is the pinnacle of intellectual horror.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not very impressed
This book isn't worth all the hype. It's historical. But it isn't great compared to most horror stories written today. It is boring, repetitive, and very slow paced. The book is solely based on a single man who is immuned to a "disease". This character, Robert Neville, watches everyone he loved die of the "disease" (which is shown in the book through several flashbacks). Robert Neville is very hard to relate to, and even harder to feel sympathy for. He basically spends his evening locked up in his house listening to records, drinking. Most of the time the character just sits there, in the verge of hope and hopelessness.
It's also hard to understand why the living never killed him earlier; they saved him for almost 3 years! They send this woman to spy on him (I don't know why. I never really saw Neville as such a great threat, and even if he was, why did they keep him alive?) You tend to ask yourself that after you finish this book, because that's close to the ending when he spots the woman.
If you're thinking about reading it, read it because you want to, not because you're bored; it won't entertain you much if you are bored. It will fascinate you, then the fascination just slowly tappers off, leaving the whole book with just words.

5-0 out of 5 stars 2nd only to Stoker.
This book, which is sadly short, is easily the second greatest vampire story written, behind Dracula of course.

Once i started reading I Am Legend i just could not put it down and finished it in one long sitting. It starts off superb and doesnt let up one bit. The ending also is beautiful, smart, and tragic. Truly original.

And what many people arent mentioning is that I Am Legend only takes up half of this book. The second half is a compilation of Matheson's short stories and are extremely entertaining also.

Buy this book. Now! ... Read more

10. The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles, Book II)
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345313860
Catlog: Book (1986-09-12)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 5601
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Once an aristocrat in the heady days of pre-revolutionary France, now Lestat is a rockstar in the demonic, shimmering 1980s. He rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his terrifying exsitence. His story, the second volume in Anne Rice's best-selling Vampire Chronicles, is mesmerizing, passionate, and thrilling.
"Frightening, sensual."
... Read more

Reviews (289)

5-0 out of 5 stars Did Miss Rice really change her mind?
Most people say that Anne Rice completely changed her point of view when she wrote _The Vampire Lestat_ (1986).
I read the whole _Vampire Chronicles_ and am not pretty sure about this judgement. All those who read _Interview with the Vampire_ may have been shocked and amazed by Lestat's cruelty. But this doesn't mean that the protagonist of _Vampire Lestat_ is a substantially different character.
In _Interview_ we see a very strong comparison between Louis, a rich young man with some psychological problems, and Lestat, a strange, mysterious creature with a _lot_ of problems, both practical and affective (for example his old father). Louis supposes that Lestat is only an exploiter, but, as the story goes on, he must acknowledge that his perfidious companion is very useful, especially in the most critical situations.
Unfortunately, there are only misunderstandings between the two characters, especially because of Louis' moralistic and inflexible position.
So, when in the second book Lestat speaks about himself and his life, we get the impression that he is completely different from the former Lestat. As a matter of fact, only the point of view is different. All the positive aspects of Lestat's personality can be also identified in _Interview_, if the reading is deep and careful: he is generous, he cares for Louis and Claudia, he would do anything to conquer Louis' affection. And -most important of all- he forgives Louis and, in the final reel, even Claudia.
This is the same Lestat who loves his mother and cares for his friend Nicholas. The same who travels all around the world until he becomes so famous that Louis, finally, can find him and fall into his arms.

5-0 out of 5 stars will Lestat ever become human?
Lestat, this charming and fascinating character, had a difficult, troubled development. In "Interview with the vampire", the story is very well constructed, the language is exceptionally beautiful, but the characters are not very well focused. Louis describes himself as a victim, but, as a matter of fact, he is selfish, calculator and hypocrite. On the other hand, Lestat appears to be the "villain", but Louis should be grateful to him for saving so many times his life. And what is the return? Death, of course.
But Lestat cannot really die: he is too steadily alive in the author's mind (and heart). In the second book, however, Anne Rice had to change a lot of details. At the beginning, Lestat was the son of a countryman: now he becomes a French nobleman, very disappointed for Louis' misunderstandings. The young Lestat is very devoted to his mother, the Marquise Gabrielle de lioncourt, so much that he changes her into a vampire when he sses her in the throes of death. So we learn something unexpected: vampires are able to love. Killing is only a cruel necessity, and in any case Lestat imposes himself to kill only evildoers.
Will Lestat ever become human? Probably not, spite of "The tale of the Body Thief".But a human counterpart of Lestat exists, at least in Italy. His name is Ephraim Levi, a Jewish, blond-haired piano player, and he is the hero of the novel "Storie segrete" by Eleonora Cavallini, published in 1998 by Edizioni del Girasole, Ravenna. He is loved by men and women indiscriminately. He appears to have no scruples, but shows a very deep respect towards his father's religion.
On the other hand, Anne Rice's vampires are rigorously Christian (let us remember that the author is of Irish origin, just like Bram Stoker). But I suppose that vampires can be nothing but Christian, excepting Chagall, the famous Jewish vampire of Roman Polanski's "Those brave vampire killers".

4-0 out of 5 stars This is the best book!
I loved this book, it was just as good as Interview with the Vampire but I did read them in the wrong order.

So when I read interview with the vampire I was very defensive over Lestat because in this book he explains why he couldn't teach Louis everything because his own maker (Magnus)died before he taught Lestat anything about being a vampire so he went looking for answers and finally found a vampire called Marius (the oldest vampire in the world and Armands maker who Armand fought to be dead.) who answered some of Lestats un-answered questions. (just like when Louis and Claudia went looking for anwsers and found Armand.)

Also we find out why he hated his father so much and what his father meant in interview with the vampire when he said 'sorry, please forgive me' before he died.

The book is writen from Lestats point of view and is kind of like his biography.

My favourate part must be the ending when Louis comes back to Lestat after reading Lestats book and understanding Lestat was like he was.

5-0 out of 5 stars Majestically Frightening
This is one of Anne Rice's best works. The Vampire Lestat, using the same character carried over from 'Interview With The Vampire,' tells the tale of his life, and it's a great one. Lestat is pretty much the main focal character in the Vampire Chronicles, and you get to know the 'guy' quite well. Lestat, I think, is the most entertaining book because of its wide range of storytelling. Told in first person and beginning with Lestat's younger, mortal, days, the story takes us through his transformation of a young man to a powerful member of the undead, and how he learns to use his powers to his advantage. He even deals with the tale of 'Interview' as a book that was published and how he reacts to Louis' telling of the story. Absolutely fabulous work!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wowie Zowie
Oh My God!!! This is the best vampire book that I have ever read. Anne Rice describes everything magnificently. If you want a great read this is the book you need. Also, try reading the book Blood and Chocolate, that book is also wonderful. ... Read more

11. Merrick (Vampire/Witches Chronicles)
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345422406
Catlog: Book (2001-10-02)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 12297
Average Customer Review: 3.37 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this mesmerizing new novel, Anne Rice demonstrates once again her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of myth and magic, as she weaves together two of her most compelling worlds? those of the Vampire Chronicles and the Mayfair witches.

... Read more

Reviews (290)

4-0 out of 5 stars Whoo-Hooo Witchy Woman!
Merrick is the story of a young woman of color who belongs to the infamous Mayfair family and, although far removed from the so-called "white Mayfairs," is quite the witch in her own right. I enjoyed reading this book because it brought together many of the characters from Rice's previous vampire novels, such as Louis, Lestat, David, and Claudia. For someone who is not an Anne Rice fan, you will definitely want to read some of her previous books before reading this one. If you don't, you may be a little confused. For those of us who are Rice fans and have read many of her books, it's like old home week when you open the pages of this book. The basic plot of the story is that Louis is feeling sorry for himself and pining for his vampire companion of old, Claudia. In an attempt to make Louis happy, David contacts his ex-lover and old friend Merrick, a very powerful Voodoo witch, to ask if she will conjure up the spirit of Claudia for Louis to see one last time. To find out what happens from there, you must read the book, because I will not give away the rest of the story! The story does not encompass a very lengthy period of time; however, the story is told in flashbacks by David, and these flashbacks tell the story of who Merrick is and how she came to be associated with David and the Talamasca starting in her childhood and ending in the present time. While this book is not quite as lavish in its language and descriptions as some her previous novels, Anne Rice nevertheless does a fine job with this story. I would recommend it to all!

2-0 out of 5 stars Expected More and Got Even Less
I'm going to be honest. I couldn't wait for this book to come out. I have been a huge fan of Anne Rice's for a long time. I have read and enjoyed most everything she has ever written as Anne Rice. The Vampire Chronicles and the Mayfair Witches are two of my favorite fantasy series. I was beyond estatic to see what would happen when Anne Rice combined these two series in one novel. Keep in mind too that I found "Blood and Gold", the novel released the year before this one, to be a HUGE disappointment.

But, I hadn't lost faith in Rice yet, so I shelled out the money for this book. Trust me its not worth it. The beginning and the end are the only things this books has going for it. And it would be a waste of money to buy this book for only two chapters. The middle is muddled and beyond boring, you learn nothing new about the characters, and less about Merrick herself. I don't recommend this book to anyone no matter how big of a fan you are of Rice and the Vampire or Mayfair series.

I rated gave this book two stars because the first and last chapters really are very good so they each got a star. Don't waste your money buying it for yourself. Ask me and I will be happy to tell you what happens.

1-0 out of 5 stars One of Ann Rice's Worst books
This book was actually worse than Memnoch or Body Thief(which I hated both). Although not the worst book of hers that I have had the misfortune of reading and yes at one time she was one of my favorite authors. My advise avoid this book. It was so badly done that I never want to read another one of her books again. Read the first three books in the series and Pandora. They are actually worth it. The rest are not very good.

2-0 out of 5 stars Witchy woman
Anne Rice tries to meld her two most popular series in "Merrick," where the Mayfair Witches and the seductive vampires collide. Unfortunately, with a limp title character and a meandering, weird plot, "Merrick" is most noteworthy for its unrealized potential and what it could have been, if Rice had cultivated it.

David Talbot encounters his protege/semi-lover Merrick Mayfair, an octaroon witch who now works for the Talamasca. He has an odd request for her: Louis de Point du Lac, a tormented vampire, wants to call up the spirit of the child vampire Claudia, so he can be reassured of her fate. And he needs Merrick's help to do so, since she has the ability to call up and control the dead with her voodoo magic.

David reflects on his first encounters with Merrick, her trips into the jungle in search of mystery artifacts, and the malevolent spirit of her dead sister Honey in the Sunshine. Now those artifacts may help her raise up Claudia's spirit, and might give Honey's spirit a way back into the world as well. But when Claudia is brought forth to speak with Louis, what she has to say may destroy him...

"Merrick" was advertised as the spot where the Mayfair and Vampire Chronicles converged, but that's kind of misleading. Except for some mentions of Julian Mayfair, there's only a vague connection with the "white Mayfairs." It's mostly vampires and more vampires, with only the Talamasca (a sort of supernatural FBI) as a connecting point.

As always, Rice's writing is lush and brimming over with steamy New Orleans atmosphere. But she could use some editing. There are constant references to Merrick getting snockered on rum, her breasts, her clothes, David lusting after her, Louis burbling about how he loves her, and so on. And Rice seems to lose her way in the final chapters, as if she wasn't entirely sure how to wrap up what she had started.

The biggest flaw of the book is Merrick herself. She's certainly an intriguing character, a beautiful witch who wants to be a vampire, and isn't afraid to bend the men (and vampires) around her fingers to get what she wants. But she doesn't seem to have any flaws, motives, or recognizable emotions. We get no insights at all to what she's thinking. Louis is a rather ineffectual presence, and David is basically there to lust after Merrick. But Lestat's brief appearance toward the end sets the pages on fire.

While "Merrick" is overflowing with promise, hardly any of that promise is actually used. Beautifully written but poorly characterized, "Merrick" tries to cast a spell but doesn't succeed.

1-0 out of 5 stars What Happened?
In the TV industry when a show is going down hill they refer to it as "Jumping the Shark" after the Happy Days episode where Fonzie jumped over a shark on waterskis.

The Vampire Chronicals jumped the shark in "Memnoch" but drowned in "Merrick"
This book is a voodoo spell gone horibly horibly wrong.

Not only does David, one of the dullest most annoying vamps, have the stage, but he introduces the most two demetional character in the Chronicals (up to ths point anyway).
What little personality Merrick has is irratating and selfish.
This little witch has no good side. She has none of Lestat's humor, none of Louis ingraine humanity, none of Armand's dark charisima.
This would have been bad enough, after all we suffered though Dora, Bengi, and Sybil. But two of our most beloved possesors of the Dark Gift, are warped.
Louis loses everything we love about him, and Lestat loses his fangs.

This book IMHO sounds the death toll for the VC. I couldn't get past the second chapter of "Blood and Gold" and I haven't had the heart to try the last two and see our Brat Prince so far from where he started.

Do yourself a favor, read up to "The Vampire Armand" and call it good. ... Read more

12. The Tale of the Body Thief (Vampire Chronicles (Paperback))
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 034538475X
Catlog: Book (1993-09-01)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 13433
Average Customer Review: 3.93 out of 5 stars
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It's been said that Vladimir Nabokov's best novels are the ones he wrote after starting a failed novel. Anne Rice wrote The Body Thief, the fourth thrilling episode of her Vampire Chronicles, right after she spent a long time poring over that most romantic of horror novels, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, to research a novel Rice abandoned about an artificial man. Perhaps as a result of Shelley's influence, The Body Thief is far more psychologically penetrating than its predecessors, with a laser-like focus on a single tormented soul. Oh, we meet some wild new characters, and Rice's toothsome vampire-hero Lestat zooms around the globe--as is his magical habit--from Miami to the Gobi desert, but he's in such despair that he trades his immortal body to a con man named Raglan James, who offers him in return two days of strictly mortal bliss.

Lestat has always had a faulty impulse-control valve, and it gets him in truly intriguing trouble this time. On the plus side, he gets to experience romance with a nun and orange juice--"thick like blood, but full of sweetness." But Lestat is horrified by an uncommon cold, and his toilet training proves traumatic. He's also got to catch Raglan James, who has no intention of giving up his dishonestly acquired new superpowered body.Lestat enlists the help of David Talbot, a mortal in the Talamasca, a secret society of immortal watchers described in Queen of the Damned.

The swapping of bodies and supernatural stories is choice, and there's even a moral: never give a bloodsucker an even break. --Tim Appelo ... Read more

Reviews (160)

4-0 out of 5 stars Something different
Before I read this, I'd heard a lot of bad things about it, but I decided to try it anyways.

I loved it. It was something new and different, and kept me excited.

Once again, Lestat is the main character. He's getting tired of his immortality, so he decides to trade bodies with the Body Thief, Raglan James, for a few days. Lestat is so eager to be mortal again that he fails to see Raglan for what he really is: a clever, lying thief.

Lestat finally realizes how blessed he was to be immortal. As a mortal man, he gets very sick and almost dies (he's also haunted by Claudia, his dead vampire child, in his dreams).

With the help of his mortal friend David Talbot, Lestat attempts to get his immortal body back from Raglan.

The only thing that disappointed me was that it didn't have the the previous books. I seem to prefer the 1700's settings like there was in "Interview With the Vampire".

There is also a big part at the end, but I wouldn't want to spoil it for anybody. : )

5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoy, you should
Now, there are very clear words that will tell you whether you'll like it or not. Read the introduction it's all there. Simply, it's unlike the past three. Interview with the Vampire working well as an intro. The Vampire Lestat extending the vampire folklore with many facts. Queen of the Damned introduced us to many character, making it work to follow, still very great.
The new tale was much quicker, it wasn't such a heavy story to handle.
I read a review, mentioning that this book had sections that were boring. I don't agree. The only thing i could imagine being boring to a person was the religious talks between lestat and David, and I, an aetheist, was very into those parts, the beliefs were very interesting, based on christianity.
those parts really open way to Memnoch the Devil. It would be obsurd to read Memnoch without this tale.
Alot happens in this book, I went to merrick first and was completely angry i had missed so much so i didn't proceed until i continued with the order.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Dark Adventure In The Life of Lestat
I thought "Queen of the Damned" was a little boring, but I liked this next novel in the vampire chronicles. Good story. Especially the last part of this book was very suspenseful and fast-paced. Sophisticated readers will enjoy some intellectual dialogues in the story too. A keeper.

p.s. I much prefer Anne Rice's vampires to her witches and erotic fairytales.

David Rehak
author of "Love and Madness"

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good.
I actually really liekd this book, I dont know the exact reason why...but I did. Maybe it was because it was a lot different than the first three, and more modern. Or maybe because it was having a vampire go into a human body for the first time in a couple hundred years. Or maybe the small romance between Lestat and the nun. All of it was good and it all ended perfectly with David becoming a vampire in a...younger form.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not too bad
This book was definitely a little different from the previous three. But it was still charming in its own way. Lestat's experiences in the human body alone are worth reading it, I found them hilarious. If you are a Vampire Chronicles fan, and you read the first three books, read it, you won't be dissapointed. The only thing I didn't like was that homosexuality level went way up in this one. I didn't mind the innocent kisses between Lestat and Louis or Nikki in the previous books, but what is up with Lestat trying to get into David's pants while he is in a human body?! I think I could have done without that. Overall it was good though. ... Read more

13. Affinity
by Sarah Waters
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573228737
Catlog: Book (2002-01-01)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Sales Rank: 14669
Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An upper-class woman, recovering from a suicide attempt, visits the women's ward of Millbank prison as part of her rehabilitation. There she meets Selina, an enigmatic spiritualist-and becomes drawn into a twilight world of ghosts and shadows, unruly spirits and unseemly passions, until she is at last driven to concoct a desperate plot to secure Selina's freedom, and her own.

"Unfolds sinuously and ominously...a powerful plot-twister. The book ismultidimensional: a naturalistic look at Victorian society; a truly suspenseful tale of terror; and a piece of elegant, thinly veiled erotica." (USA Today)

"Gothic tale, psychological study, puzzle narrative-Sarah Waters' second novel is all of these wrapped into one, served up to superbly suspenseful and hypnotic effect." (The Seattle Times)
... Read more

Reviews (47)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
Having already read and fallen in love with Waters' first novel "Tipping the Velvet," I must admit I expected more of the same when I picked up "Affinity." Boy, was I wrong!

Waters has proven herself as a masterful storyteller, crafting tales that draw the reader in and do not let go. I found myself reading at all hours of the day and night, unable to stop turning the pages, absolutely absorbed in the tale unfolding before me. As I read this novel, I found myself falling in love with Selina Dawes, my heart broken by the dark story behind Margaret Prior's stint as a Lady Visitor, and so desperate to know what happens that by the end my head was spinning. My husband sat and just watched me read, my reactions so visceral that I was gripping the book, grimacing in ache and surprise as the story unfolded, and breathing raggedly, wildly, as I rushed headlong to the astounding ending.

This is not your run-of-the-mill mystery, gothic or otherwise. It is sensual, dark and entrancing, and I highly recommend "Affinity" to anyone looking for a good yarn. I have "Fingersmith" waiting to be read, but am enduring a torturous wait before diving into it, desperate to know what fabulous tale Ms. Waters has prepared for me, but painfully aware that once I have devoured it, there will be no more to sate my desire for this woman's fabulous work... And so I wait...

4-0 out of 5 stars awesome
In a novel whose plot revolves around a spisterish lady in 19th century England who visits prisoners at the goal (prison), Waters shines as an author. Margaret Prior visits those lonely souls at the gaol in Victorian England where she meets Selina Dawes, a self-professed medium/spiritualist in prison for doing harm to a young girl and causing the death of her hostess. Reading this book I wondered to myself if Sarah Waters hadn't perhaps been in communication or channeling the spirits of Anne Radcliffe and/or Jane Austin as she was writing. Affintity is a sensous novel delicately written in a hybrid of gothic and Victorian styles with the sensibility of the 21st century. Waters' writing style is beautiful, her prose luminescent and descriptive without being overly descriptive as to take away from the plot. This novel is creepy, with high tension without being melodramatic or artificial. In short I happily recommend this novel to readers no matter what their tastes normally run to, it is suitable and appealing on many levels, to an eclectic audience. So if you're looking for a good Victorian novel but have read all the Bronte Sisters' and Austin's not to mention many other fine female novelists of the period go read AFFINITY.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Fingersmith
I like Sarah Waters -- her writing is lovely and her characters are well-developed and interesting. Her ability to evoke 19th century England is fine and she sets the mood, often dark and eerie, rather well. This is a good book, and, like Fingersmith, contains a twist. It's not as interesting as Fingersmith, however; the story isn't as compelling, nor are the characters, and the twist isn't that surprising (the twist in Fingersmith literally made me yelp!). It is a tad slow as well. It's worth the read, but if read after Fingersmith this may disappoint a bit.

5-0 out of 5 stars Once again a triumph for Ms. Waters
Ater finishing Affinity, I can hardly wait for her next book. Ms Waters write such a totally consuming story that it's hard to pull yourself away. I found myself sitting up way into the night and picking up the book at every opportunity just to find out what happens next. However, I didn't want to read it too fast because I knew there wasn't another yet. I hope Ms. Waters continues writing in the fashion of Affinity, Fingersmiths and Tipping The Velvet. I will definitely be first in line for her next masterpiece.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great...for any other author
This is a tough review. I have read both of Ms. Waters other books, 'Fingersmith' which is fantastic and 'Tipping the Velvet' which is very good. 'Affinity' is her third and latest book. And its good well written etc but there's the rub for me, the style is there but not the substance. Maybe its the style of writing, diary entries back and forth or something, the book just does not seem to flow as well as the others to me. Ms. Waters' books are very character driven and I just did not 'connect' to either of the characters in this one. As always the surroundings and feel of the period are there but in this book that almost overwhelms the characters themselves.
But again this is a good book. Its a good afternoon into the evening type thats hard to put down. Four stars, to me, mean a better then average read and this book clearly is that. Its just not as great as her other two books in my opinion. ... Read more

14. Mortal Allies
by Brian Haig
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446612588
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 26030
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

JAG lawyer Sean Drummond has gotten himself in way over his head-with a case that challenges his deepest fears and a co-counselor who challenges just about everything else. Assigned to South Korea as an advocate for a gay officer accused of brutally killing the son of a South Korean war hero, Drummond is teamed up with an old law-school nemesis. Katherine Carson is a curvy, liberal, William Kunstler-like attorney with a reputation for manipulating the media on behalf of her mostly gay clients. Drummond is as distraught to be working with a woman who knows how to push all his buttons as he is to be defending this client. However, it's just this lack of political correctness that makes him the one man the CIA can trust with its disturbing secrets, and Drummond quickly learns that what appears to be an open-and-shut case is really just the top layer of a deep conspiracy. ... Read more

Reviews (25)

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Sean Drummond Adventure
Katherine Carlson, a turbo charged attorney whose crusade is defending gays in the military, asks for her old law school rival JAG Major Sean Drummond as co-counsel on a high profile case that threatens the US alliance with South Korea. Captain Thomas Whitehall, a seemingly straight arrow officer, was found in bed with the corpse of his young lover, the South Korean Defense Minister's son. Whitehall is charged with rape and murder, and anti-American protests rock the Korean Peninsula.

As in 'Secret Sanction', Sean and his no nonsense investigator Imelda Peppercorn must work through a wall of brass obstacles to get at the truth. This task is complicated by the belligerent and manipulative ways of lead counsel Katherine but helped by the CIA station chief who's actually a good guy, a rarity in this type of novel. The Koreans have been running something a lot like Nelson DeMille's 'Charm School', and a local police chief is one of its graduates. Sean gets beaten up and shot at a few too many times, but he comes up with the clues that the CIA need to conclude that the kid's murder was part of a North Korean plot to change the balance of power in the world.

The set up is tedious and the plot incredulous, but the action and final showdown make up for it. John Rubinstein, a superb narrator of action adventure stories, really brings Sean Drummond to life and is a big part of what makes the audiobook version work. I'm ready to move on to 'Kingmaker'.

3-0 out of 5 stars Kept my interest, but tedious reading at times
Previous to this title I read Haig's, "Secret Sanction." That novel had a plot that was more gripping and was told in a less-cliched dialogue. "Mortal Allies," while retaining my interest with a contemporary subject matter, was more difficult to finish.
Main character, JAG lawyer Sean Drummond, is self-deprecating and likeable, and at times funny, but he sure has a hard time losing cliched-language (as another reviewer observed). The story kept my interest, as the dichotomy between Sean and Ms. Carlson (an ex-Georgetwon classmate, who was 1st in her class -- Sean being 2nd)was heightened as the story unfolded. The ending was not mind-blowing, but does pack some surprises. I look forward to Haig's, "The Kingmaker" when it arrives in paperback (perhaps a revealing comment, i.e., I won't rush out to get the hardcover, but reading "Mortal Allies" hasn't caused me to shelf this author). When is Nelson DeMille coming out with another book?

5-0 out of 5 stars Mortal Allies - Best of Friends
The relationship between Katherine Carlson and Major Sean Drummond is so feisty I expected one of them to ask the reader, "I move to treat co-counsel as a hostile witness" at some point, although it never came to that.

The Gay-rape-murder of the son of the South Korean Defense Minister starts this ball rolling and Drummond directs it from there. Drummond is asked to co-counsel with civilian Gay Rights specialist Katherine Carlson who asked for him directly. Although he hasn't seen her since law school 8 years earlier where they nearly came to fist fights on a daily basis for three years, it's apparent that she hates him loves him can't stand to be in the same room with him needs him, and Sean plays it well. If there's a hubris in Brian Haig's Sean Drummond, it's that he's too heroic and too intelligent to be such a buffoon when it comes to the opposite sex.

Here the plot floats in and out of two enormous issues, homosexuality and racism, and Haig treats both seriously, with Drummond coming to grips with both, particularly the former.

A very enjoyable read. Some of the tangential plot endings are telegraphed; some come as a surprise. I would like to see Drummond actually IN a trial. Mr. Haig brings us to the precipice in all of the (currently) four novels, but unlike Lescroart for one or Margolin, we never seem to get into the trial. Nevertheless good stuff. You might want to read them in order. The stories really stand on their own two feet but the maturation of Haig as a writer and Drummond as his lead character develop nicely over several years. 5 Stars. Larry Scantlebury

4-0 out of 5 stars Glad I hung in and read the whole thing. Great fun
Once you realize these are intended as fun light reads verything falls into place. As Sean once said "And then I understood everything. Or nearly everything...maybe" For some reason I went into these books expecting a dead serious tale and was greatly disappointed. And in fact gave up on this book after the third chapter cuz I just couldn't (and never will) see the humor in 2.5 pages detailing someone taking a piss and the again outlandish characters. But being the library was closed I steeled myself to go on. And guess what? It got better, and better still to where I'm changing my original one star to a four. Haig's writing, stories and characters have much improved since Secret Sanction.
Hopefully Sean and company will mature even more in Private Sector and Kingmaker.

5-0 out of 5 stars Saved from a Death Sentence by Attila and the Easter Bunny
This is an action-packed legal/military/political thriller; it is not primarily a courtroom drama but rather a story told from the viewpoint of Major Sean Drummond, a JAG officer whose Bermuda vacation is interrupted when the Army summons him to Seoul and charges him with the unenviable task of defending Captain Thomas Whitehall against multiple charges including homosexual rape and murder. Not only is the evidence supporting the charges against Whitehall overwhelming, but Drummond's problems are greatly increased by two additional factors. First, the murdered individual was a South Korean soldier attached a US army base in Korea; thus a firestorm of protest has erupted potentially endangering the United States- South Korean alliance and making the trial a high profile media event. Second, the lead civilian counsel for the accused is Katherine Carlson, a classmate at Georgetown law whose disagreements with Drummond grew so heated that the dean eventually disallowed all personal contact between the two of them. Drummond summarizes the situation, "think about what kind of philosophical discussion the Easter Bunny and Attila the Hun might have if they sat down to compare lifestyles". Thus, he is stuck with the sobriquet Attila, while she is invariably referenced as Moonbeam in return. Since the Army has fast tracked the proceedings, the defense team is forced to quickly develop a strategy that has some chance of explaining the evidence against Whitehall, who insists on his innocence but provides no helpful insights upon which they can build their case.

What makes the story so riveting is the complexity of the plot and the time the author takes to sketch out more character development and interplay than most books of this genre. Sean Drummond is a wonderful hero, part regular Army and part counterculture with his streak of irreverence and humor that infuses Haig's books. In addition, I found the background information concerning Korea and our alliance very educational; my assumption that it was factually correct added to my enjoyment of the book. Most importantly, this book is used as the platform for an interesting and quite extensive discussion of societal attitudes towards gays and lesbians (and the differences between our culture and that of Korea) and implicitly questions the appropriateness of the military's "don't ask, don't tell policy". The implications of the case and his reaction to Whitehall combined with his interaction with Moonbeam led to an interesting evolution in Attila's views; yet this aspect was simply part of the fabric of the story, not in any way either extraneous or distracting. This summary only scratches the surface of the story, which includes more murders, potential espionage, involvement of the CIA and other undercover operatives, and lots of trademark Drummond humor tinged with irony and cynicism. And I haven't even mentioned yet that the murdered South Korean was the son of the country's Defense Minister; Korean police procedures, rules of evidence, and the criminal justice system and prisons are significantly less favorable to defendants than those of the US and the crime was committed off military property. While I cannot reveal any details of several plot elements without providing significant spoilers, I want to attest that the author managed to keep me guessing, and not always correctly. I especially enjoyed one key aspect of the conclusion, which both managed to surprise me and also succesfully pull together several elements of the storyline.

This is the fourth book by the author which I have read that features Sean Drummond as the protagonist, but it is the second sequentially which he wrote. The series features a central cast of characters, including Sergeant Imelda Pepperfeld as Drummond's invaluable assistant and General Clapper as his boss, but most of the individuals are unique to the story and it is a great standalone read. However, if you plan to read all the books I would read them in the proper sequence, both because there are references to Drummond's previous exploits and because the character development is quite interesting. The first book is SECRET SANCTION (3 1/2 star review 7/30/03), which I decided to read after thoroughly enjoying the third book written by Haig, THE KINGMAKER (5 star review 5/13/03). The fourth book in the series, PRIVATE SECTOR was published late in 2003, (4 1/2 star review 11/11/03), so I skipped to that before returning to MORTAL ALLIES. In my estimation, the book reviewed here and THE KINGMAKER are the best two books in the series, although all are enjoyable reads. Both are action packed; this has a more complex philosophical dimension and convoluted plot, while the third novel in the series had several interesting twists, an intriguing personal dimension, and a further development of Drummond's character which I really enjoyed. So, you can partake of the complete meal which the author has prepared - appetizer, main course and dessert, or simply choose a la carte from among the choices. Among those choices, this one is especially recommended.

Tucker Andersen ... Read more

15. Sunshine
by Robin McKinley
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0515138819
Catlog: Book (2004-12-04)
Publisher: Jove Books
Sales Rank: 41039
Average Customer Review: 3.91 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

There hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and Sunshine just needed a spot where she could be alone with her thoughts.Vampires never entered her mind. Until they found her. ... Read more

Reviews (99)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but kept me turning the pages...
Set in an eerie future world where magic and monsters co-exist with reality as we know it (more or less), Sunshine by Robin McKinley is the tale of Rae Seddon, a.k.a. Sunshine, baker extraordinaire at Charlie's Coffeehouse. Her predictable life changes forever when one night she abandons her family's popcorn night for a drive to the lake where she spent time as a child. She ends up being captured by vampires and left as the main meal for powerful vampire, Constantine, who has also been captured and is in shackles. His choice not to feed on Sunshine leads her to make the choice of saving his life come daybreak. Their mutual choices create an unlikely bond between them that together makes them stronger and able to take on the enemy who would destroy them both.

The book is fascinating, if not perfect. Far too much time is spent on Sunshine's ruminations at the cost of a pace better suited to the last 60 or so pages of the book. At first, the time spent in Sunshine's head was interesting; after a while it got tedious and I often thought, "Get on with it!" But if you're into atmosphere and funky visions of the future and what might be hiding in the shadows, Sunshine might be up your alley.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read all year!
Rae "Sunshine" Seddon lead a normal but happy life as a baker in a coffeehouse until one night she gets kidnaped by vampires. She's held captive as a perspective meal for another vampire captive but he refuses to kill her. In her attempts to escape, Sunshine discovers more about herself and her past than she ever wanted to know and she's afraid she may loose her normal life forever.

Robin McKinley is my favorite author and when I found out she was writing a book about one of my favorite subjects (vampires) I was ecstatic. But I didn't even have a clue this book would be so good. I'm not exaggerating a bit when I say that out of the eighty or so books I've read this year, this one is my favorite. McKinley has created a very interesting and original world that's equally fantasy and horror. The main character was also really great. She managed to be strong with out being one of those overly tough female characters that seem to be so popular in vampire books these days. I also really loved the not quite romance between the main characters. Anyway, this book is well worth the hardcover price so go get it now.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sunshine- Amazing!!!!!!!
I have read many of Robin McKinley's books....and they are NOTHING like this! I have no idea what she was thinking when she went off on this little writing tangent, but I'm glad she did. I was just blown away by both the writing and the wonderful plot. Constantine is just perfect...though I would really like to know more about him. My only regret for this book besides that is the fact that McKinley never actually get around to telling you (SPOILER WARNING) if Sunshine's a partblood or not. I'm not really a vampire person, but this book was just breath-taking. By the way, I'm under 13 but I still read this book. SOME of us are mature enough to handle it. It's not like I've never heard of any of it before, what with school and our American culture, which is pretty obsessed with "R-rated" notions anyways. But, Sunshine is an amazing tangent for Robin McKinley and I demand a sequel! I assure you that if you read this book, you will in all likelihood feel the exact same way. A job well done, Ms. McKinley!

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book (even though too much detail)!
A wonderful, moving story wrapped in too much extraneous detail. It keeps going off on annoying tangents, with long paragraphs giving way too much detail about the heroine's everyday life at the bakery where she works. It still gets 5 stars in my book, though, simply for the beauty of the core story, which is still resonating in my mind several weeks after reading it. I didn't want it to end! Robin McKinley somehow has the ability to connect with readers on a subconscious emotional level, in the manner of folk tales and legends. I feel that her book Deerskin is one of the best books I have ever read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sunshine
Sunshine is not the first Robin McKinley book that I've read, but I have to say that it's the first quite like THIS.

It's about a girl named Rae ('Sunshine' is a nickname) that is a baker in a futuristic world of wars between vampires and humans.. She doesn't seem to have a very happy life, or, at least, a very interesting one. But that all changes when she decides to take a little nighttime excursion to the lake in her town.

While she's there, meditating about her life, a group of vampires appears behind her, gets her into a red dress, and deposits her, for the most part unharmed, in a mansion ball room with another vampire. This vampire is different, though- he's a prisoner, for one thing, and it doesn't seem like he's going to kill her.

She, of course, eventually falls in love with this vampire, and it gets a little bit repetitive until the end, where it semi-breaks out in a 'Hey- we aren't gonna die, and we killed the bad guy. Life is good, but, man does it still have problems.' kind of way.

My opinion? I kind of liked it, though it takes a while to grow on you and there are these infuriating little bursts in the book where you wonder 'Okay, where did that come from, and why did you take so long to tell me about it?' Other that that, it was pretty darn good and really imaginative, in a certain kind of way.

I do have to say this, though- Robin McKinley fans, beware. This is totally unlike Beauty and Spindle's End. It's really kind of dark and depressing, and you wonder why some of the characters do the things they do- or, more importantly, why they don't do the things you want them to do.

And kids and parents, beware- this is Rated R in about everything that's possible to be Rated R in. Kids that aren't in high school and mature enough to handle it shouldn't even consider this book. ... Read more

16. Wildwood Road
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 055338208X
Catlog: Book (2005-03-29)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 1425046
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17. Curse The Dark
by Laura Anne Gilman
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0373802277
Catlog: Book (2005-07-01)
Publisher: Luna
Sales Rank: 83280
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Book Description

And you think magic is complicated?

Once more Wren Valere's game plan has taken an unexpected direction. She'd agreed to a bargain with one supersecret magic-watching outfit to protect her partner and herself on their last job. But now the Silence is trying to wedge them apart.

On the one hand, ever since she and Sergei began to talk about their "relationship" things have been tricky. On the other, though . . . Well, no one better try to stand between Wren and Sergei when danger is near!

So now they are off to Italy in search of a possessed parchment (or maybe not possessed -- all they know is that whoever reads it disappears). Still, when compared to what's going on at home (lonejacks banding together, a jealous demon, tracking bugs needing fumigation, etc.) maybe disappearing won't be so bad . . .

As if! ... Read more

18. City Of The Dead
by Brian Keene
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0843954159
Catlog: Book (2005-05-31)
Publisher: Leisure Books
Sales Rank: 2509
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fine horror tale
Long before Lucifer fell, he sided with his fellow angels to rid the earth of the Siqquism.They were banished by the creator to the Void, a place colder than Hell is hot.The Siqquism have the ability to inhabit a body once the person's soul leaves it.Once humanity is erased from the planet the Ellium can corrupt the plant life and poison the seas then the Teraphim can destroy the world with fire before all three species move on to another planet to start the process again.

The zombie-like creatures have killed most of the humans and the only ones left alive are hiding in a skyscraper thought to be impregnable.It was designed and built by wealthy entrepreneur Mr. Ramsey after the Twin Towers were destroyed.It is a beacon lit up so that any remaining humans can go there if they can avoid being killed and possessed by the Siqquism.It is there that humanity will rise or fall against an entity who seems invulnerable and unstoppable.

What Anne Rice did for vampires, Brian Keene does for zombies who can only be destroyed by a blow to the head so they won't rise again.Humanity's last protectors are seasoned warriors who have learned that the zombies inhabit birds, rats and mammals.The terror they feel is real and frightening because even though they have weapons that can keep the creatures at bay, their overwhelming numbers make people feel the war is lost before it begun.

Harriet Klausner

5-0 out of 5 stars Believe the Hype
I will start by saying that I loved The Rising, but the ending really frustrated me. It just came to an abrupt stop. I was hoping that Brian would give a sequel, and did he ever.

City of the Dead is one of the greatest Horror Novels I have ever read. I think in some ways it surpassed The Rising, and that is rare for a sequel.

The action starts from the first page and never lets up. You will find yourself not being to pull away. I found myself being consumed in it for hours at a time. I would read till my eyes hurt, and my butt went numb. I just could not put it down.

The story picks up exactly where The Rising left off. It moves at an incredible pace. It NEVER lags. It is one hell of Rollercoster ride.

The characters are very thought out, and believable. Ob was my favorite villain of any book I have ever read. Jim and Danny though were my favorites throughout these two stories. I have to say they are my favorite characters of any book I have ever read. Brian made them come to life in a way that is hard to explain. It shows what lengths a Father will go to to save his Son. Pick up The Rising and City of the Dead and you will see what I mean.

The gore abounds in City of the Dead also. It is not for those with a weak stomach. Brian doesn't pull any punches in this one. It is Hardcore to say the least.

To sum it up City of the Dead will to go down as one of my personal favorites. I didn't have one complaint with this novel. I wish I could give it Ten stars.

I recommend City of the Dead to anyone who loves a great Zombie or Horror story. I can promise it wont disappoint.

3-0 out of 5 stars Okay, but.....
To me, the book grew tedious and repetitive very quickly.

This is the follow-up to Keene's "The Rising" which I loved.An entire new take on the zombie genre.Keene added intelligence to the zombies along with zombie animals.

The City of the Dead picks up where The Rising left off.

Although not necessary, I recommend reading The Rising before you read City of the Dead.

The main characters are brought back and some new ones added.

Having read the first book, I found this one to be tedious is some ways.Like the first, its premise is a group of humans trying to survive attack after attack, trying to find safety somewhere, only to be discovered by the zombies and having again, to flee.

There are only so many ways to be killed and reanimated.After awhile the shock value wears off.

Keene could have taken this book in another, much more interesting direction when the subject of "magic" was brought up.I was hoping this was going to be a new plot development.Sadly, it was mentioned, then is just forgotten it seems.I got the impression Keene took the easier way out.

The end of The Rising had a good cliff hanger.There was also left open many possibilities that The City of the Dead did not have.

If you love zombie fiction you will probably like it.But again, as I said, there are only so many ways to decimate the human body without a stronger plot before it gets tiresome.

5-0 out of 5 stars A solid chunk of zombie-demon-apocalyptic FIVE!
Breathtaking.Absolutely breathtaking.I felt literally winded when I finished reading and wonder how often I was actually holding my breath.As the foreword says, you don't have to read the first one [The Rising], but it does make the trip more intense.

The characters were amazingly normal, flawed, and selfishly heroic [yes, that's an oxymoron, but appropriate].Somehow, during the intensity of action scenes and brutality of non-existent downtime, Keene still manages to build characters that literally jump off the page and bite you!

The story is the ultimate good vs. evil, an apocalyptic sideshow with intelligent `zombies' thrown in for good measure.A solid storyline with enough undertones and sidebars to drag you smiling to the end, wiping the drool from your chin.Several times I caught myself laughing out loud, gasping, or just covering my mouth with eyes wide and the kids asking `wow, can I read it when you're done?'[no, they cannot]

The doomsday setting, one-thing-after-another conflicts, and characters fueled by sheer willpower creates an atmosphere that is dark, yet hopeful, and extremely tangible.The pace itself is unrelenting, starting in the middle of an action scene and not slowing more than a paragraph at a time until the end.The combination of these elements is the recipe for a reader's favorite dish: `Can't put it down fiction!'

Keene's style here is amazingly easy to read, like an old friend telling you a bit of juicy gossip.I have never, never finished a book and wanted to immediately re-read it... not only will I reread this ASAP, but I will be so bold as to say that this is better than the first one.And without giving anything away - Keene earned himself two stars just for the ballsy, no holds barred ending that left me a speechless zombie wandering the house mumbling `damn.'

See that 'add to shopping cart' button over there?Click it now!!

5-0 out of 5 stars CITY surpasses THE RISING!
If you thought THE RISING was the best zombie were wrong....the sequel, CITY OF THE DEAD is better than that, the writing is crisper, the plot more interesting and the characters something out of real life.Keene doesn't flinch and definitely tears up new ground with CITY OF THE DEAD.

And this time there's very little wriggle room at the end.

One of the best novels of 2005...actually it is 2nd to Brian Keene's TERMINAL, which is pure magic.Buy both this summer! ... Read more

19. Nightingale's Lament: A Novel of the Nightside
by Simon R. Green
list price: $6.50
our price: $6.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441011632
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Ace Books
Sales Rank: 65811
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the Nightside, the hidden heart of London where it's always 3 AM, Detective John Taylor must find an elusive singer known as The Nightingale. Her silken voice has inexplicably lured many a fan to suicide--and Taylor is determined to stop her, before the whole neighborhood falls under her trance. But to catch the swift-winged Nightingale, he'll have to hear the deadly music--and survive. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars The First of Many
This is the first book I've read by Green. This is the first of many. Nightside is a world for fringe dwellers, law-breakers, un-dead devils, and everything in the middle. I love the world Green has created. Anything can happen and does. Sleep tight, don't the creatures of Nightside bite. If you have an affinity for fantasy splashed with a few gallons of horror, read this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sing A Song Of Sixpence
Dodging the enforcers after accidentally (on purpose) shutting down 12 percent of The Nightside's electricity. John Taylor, the dark world's premier finder accepts a new assignment, to talk to the daughter of a client - singer so powerful that listeners in the audience have been known to commit suicide. Now going clubbing on the Nightside can be fun, exciting, and, if you're not lucky, fatal.

Rossignol is the singer's stage name. Once upon a time her songs were happy ones, but now she works for the Cavendish twins and they want to use the power of her voice. If she happens to kill a few dozen people in the process, it doesn't bother them in the least. It's John and Dead Boy to the rescue as they look for clues to the Cavendish's strangle hold while righting a few unexpected wrongs.

In this third volume in the series, Simon Green finally gets all the bits right. Nightingale's Lament lacks the overblown noir rhetoric of the previous two volumes. This gives the story an easy believability that is critical to the success of dark fantasy. Green's slightly tongue in cheek noir becomes more compelling when the characters behave in a natural fashion. Natural to The Nightside, that is.

As usual, Green spends a great deal of time creating and developing his characters. Besides Rossignol and the Cavendishes, there's Julien the newsman, Dead Boy, who was too mad to die, and numbers of peculiars that only a secret city in the heart of London could play host for. Keep an eye out for this and future episodes in the career of John Taylor, who can find anything, whether you want him to or not.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Hit for Green
I have read everything I can find by this author and the Nightside novels are some of this best and most creative. John Taylor is human with a devilish twist, a heart and a mind in conflict much of the time. I hope this is not the last of these. Every time I finish one I am in the mood for more. This is a must read for any Green fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Totally awesome
I've just read all three Nightside novels by Simon R. Green, and they are totally rocking. The world of Nightside is somewhat similar to Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden world, but there are very significant differences:

In Jim Butcher's world, the wizard Harry Dresden relies on amulets and potions and things he prepares beforehand, as his "magic". Without those prior preparations, Harry is just as vulnerable and defenceless as any human. Harry gets beaten up very often, and after 5 books in the series, is just as unlucky a schmuck as when he began. A constant out-of-his-luck detective type. After five books, I get tired of seeing Harry never being rewarded for his deeds, always being the big loser.

In Simon R. Green's world of Nightside, that square mile in the centre of London where monsters and gods live, John Taylor doesn't do wizard/witch amulet/potion type things. Taylor's has a psychic gift, that allows him to find anything. This doesn't sound like much, but the author explains that Taylor can find any object, secret, exit, and death. So even with an immortal, Taylor can use his gift to find how to kill them. Plus, he can do other things with his gift too. In the really scary world of Nightside, Taylor is a legend. His mother wasn't human, his father was. Unfortunately, he doesn't know what/where his mother is. The augaries at his birth said that he would come into his kingdom, that he would somehow rule Nightside. So Taylor has a very strong psychic power, and the mysterious and frightening power of something even more in waiting. He gets beaten up occasionally, but unlike Harry Dresden, he isn't a wimp, he can fight back with his power and after 3 books, his good fortune grows. I like that, when a good guy gets ahead, shows some positive progress in the series.

Plus, the world of Nightside is truly beautiful/frightening. The author uses very strong imagery, very powerful and evocative. The characters in Nightside are amazing. Unlike many other authors, Simon R. Green doesn't just pick up monsters from regular culture and throw them into his world (like vampires, werewolves, witches, etc.), he makes up his own monsters. Like Sara the Sorrow, who long ago gave up her humanity and is now the Unbeliever, not believing anything she sees, so that if she looks at you, the power of total lack of belief lets her unmake anything, anyone. Anyway, these are great books, and especially if you like detective mysteries, psychic powers, very strange inhabitants of a very strange place, the promise of a prophecy and a would-be king and don't mind gore, this is the book for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars John Tayor vs Death
John Taylor is back again. Although his money troubles have been lessened by his payment in the previous adventure, his troubles are far from over. Walker has asked him to look in on some sabotage at a local power company. But things do not go as planned and the case's resolution has repercussions throughout the rest of the book.

While hiding from Walker, John gets hired to look into a rising singing star. Her father wants to make sure she is alright. What should be a simple case is not. The singer's songs seem to be able to drive people to suicide. Her managers are a very mysterious pair wielding a lot of power. The power company case is still sending ripples through everything.

There is a lot for John to resolve and even more to just plain survive. John battles some of his worst foes and we see a return of the Harrowing. But in the end John manages to put things as right as they can be. After all, he IS John Taylor.

A fast and well-paced story with a little more depth to the subplots (which aren't so sub). A few surprises can be seen from far away but others pop up out of the blue. This is the second best book in the series so far. Unfortunately the volume is padded with nearly 30 pages of a preview of Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris. ... Read more

20. Blood Enemy : Underworld Book 2
by Greg Cox
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743480724
Catlog: Book (2004-12-01)
Publisher: Pocket Star
Sales Rank: 6001
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Book Description


For untold centuries, a secret conflict has been waged between two immortal rivals:

The vampires -- ageless aristocrats with a sensual appetite for blood and luxury. Among their ranks are the Death Dealers,an elite corps of the undead sworn to the destruction of their ancestral enemies....

The werewolves -- feral warriors capable of transforming into hellish beasts of unearthly power and ferocity. Once the faithful servants of the vampires, the savage lycans now fight toothand claw against their former masters.

Throughout history, the clandestine war has been fought in the shadows of the mortal world. And the seeds of this destructive conflict were sown long ago, when a courageous lycan daredto lose his heart to a beautiful vampire princess. ... Read more

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