Thursday, May 28

Review: True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson

Ames and I are on a roll!! LOL, two back-to-back buddy reviews, it's been a while since it happened :) The book we are going to review is again a contemporary romance by an author we both enjoy, True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson :)

It was a quick read and a quick review. So here we go...

*Warning: possible spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk*

True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson
published by Avon in April 2009
Disaster Number One: Men

Hard knocks and hunger taught Faith Duffy not to believe in love. Still, when she married her very wealthy—and very old—husband, she became the perfect wife. And then he went to that big bank in the sky, leaving Faith with lonely nights, a pile of money, and a total mess of a pro hockey team. Heck, Faith doesn't even watch hockey!

Disaster Number Two: Passion

But most of America and half of Canada is watching Ty Savage. His lethal sex appeal and deadly right hook make him the favorite of fans. For most of Ty's life, he's dreamed of winning the Stanley Cup. The last thing he needs is a bimbo messing up his plans.

Disaster Number Three: Love

Faith loathes Ty on sight, but she can't stop thinking about him all day... and night. Then a moment of temptation ends with Faith in Ty's bed, and she begins to see there's more to him than sex appeal. Ty discovers there's far more to Faith than beauty and billions. But a relationship with Faith is impossible, and falling in love—that would be a disaster.
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Loosely connected to Simply Irresistible and See Jane Score

The Story: Basically, old Virgil Duffy finally got his trophy wife: Faith who was a stripper and former playmate. Old Duffy dies, leaving his prized hockey team, the Seattle Chinooks, to his wife instead of son. Son is not happy and wants Faith to sell the Chinooks to him; however, Faith decides to keep them... and thus, become involved with hockey and Ty Savage.

Nath: So what did you think of the newest Gibson, Ames? I just finished it and thought it was meh.

Ames: I enjoyed it, but yeah, some things got on my nerves.

Nath: Let me guess. Faith was one of the things that got on your nerves... right?

Call me prejudiced, but I didn't like Faith very much. I'm not holding the fact that she was a stripper/playmate/trophy wife against her, but it sure didn't endear her to me. Kudos for her though for not being embarrassed by her past career choices. She assumed the consequences of these choices and that was great. However, although she had a sappy "story" behind it all, I don't feel like she had much substance... She was kind of bland.

Ames: Faith was one of the things that annoyed me indeed. She kept saying she wasn't sure who she was - and we were never really sure either. In one scene, she's mulling over the fact (again, she mulls a lot over this fact) that she's not sure who she was. She used to be a stripper and playmate, then she used to be a trophy wife. Who is she now? Many of her decisions for the last 5 years were based upon her husband's wishes, even such things as what she should wear. So yeah she went out shopping for clothes she liked and she didn't try to fit into anyone's mold anymore, but there wasn't enough character growth for me.

Also, when Landon tried to blackmail her into giving him the team, she holed up in her apartment and avoided the world. She gave up!! There's nothing more frustrating than that. And THEN, she had this whole big thing about taking care of someone because she's been taken care of so long... so what does she do? She let's Ty figure out what they're going to do! I guess she gets an A for effort though, that she was going to give him up for love. But it was meh.

Nath: True, true, nothing worse then a hero or heroine that gives up. There was no fight, she just gave up and there's no excuse for that, even if she tried to protect Ty.

I felt that there wasn't enough growth for Faith and not enough strength. I imagined she'd have become more independent, stronger now that she was free; however, that didn't happen. The thing though is that Faith was not weak, she just didn't have much initiative. She went through the motion and never really fought back. She got kicked out of her home - so she found a new apartment. She got kicked out of the high lady society, she took it and found something else. She was told to sell the team and she was going to. She got invaded by her mother and she let it happen. Even Pebbles pushed her around and she let it happen.

Ames: I agree with what you say about Faith not having initiative. But I don’t think she was kicked out of the house, Landon inherited that house and she inherited the apartment in Seattle. But yeah, she did let people push her around.

Nath: In a way, Faith and Landon were somewhat stereotypes. Faith the trophy wife with a golden heart and Landon, the mean and angry son who hates the trophy wife. In my opinion, Virgil could have done a better job at protecting Faith for the future. I wished Faith had the guts to crush Landon's balls LOL.

Ames: Ok, I have to disagree with you about Virgil taking care of Faith’s future. He gave her 50 MILLION dollars!! And a hockey team!! It’s not Virgil’s fault that Faith let’s people push her around. LOL

Landon, Virgil's son, struck true as a villain for me. He's the spoiled rich son that believes he's entitled to everything and everyone and there's no way his inheritance is going to fall into the hands of a golddigger. He was a sleazeball. LOL

Nath: LOL, put that way, Virgil did take good care of Faith. However, since Faith said that they had become "best friends," he could have done more... but I guess it's not really important.

Speaking of something important... Ty, the hero :P What did you think of Ty? I thought he was okay, but that's pretty much it ^_^;

Ames: I liked Ty. The only thing though - is that scene in the restaurant, you know when he finally gives in to his attraction and follows through with it? There was no inner dialog from his point of view about why he decides to go all the way with Faith. I mean he pulled away from her before, why the change of mind?

Nath: Because he just couldn't resist, if not, there wouldn't have been any story! I don't feel like we really got to know the real Ty, it was all superficial. He didn't want to be like his father, he wanted to win a Stanley Cup... Okay, but what about the real Ty? Does he feel anything but lust? What is his view on life? I liked that he came up to defend Faith against Landon and I liked that he didn't commiserate with his teammates about Faith. Other than that? Nothing.

Don't you think there was little chemistry between Faith and Ty? In a way, I thought that Jules got to know Faith better than Ty and he was her better champion. Wonder why he came back to work for her, hmmm.

Ames: I think Jules came to work for Faith because he knew it would be interesting and a challenge for him. Also maybe as a way to make up for what he said about her. But I thought the stuff with Jules was left unresolved. They kept making reference to the way he dressed and no one showed him how to dress differently. It was just page filler, the stuff going on with Jules.

Nath: Yeah, there was a lot of page filler going on :( Also, one thing that I don't understand in the book is why did Ty and Faith keep their relationship a secret? I understand that she and Ty are in a delicate situation, but was it for professional reasons or because her "husband" has just died?

Ames: I think Faith and Ty wanted to keep their relationship a secret for professional reasons. I know they kept saying something about Ty’s career – but I think it was just contrived to create some conflict.

Nath: I agree with you, the secret relationship felt forced to me. Especially since in the end, they didn't seem to really care who knew. I mean, Ty just retired and announced it to the whole world... but I'm still wondering, how would it have affected them? Sure, there would be some negative press, but then, once she gave the team to Landon, he would have exchanged Ty to another team no matter what.

Another thing that didn't work for me: the parents - Faith's mother and Ty's father...

Ames: The parents – ewww!! LOL They were just wrong. Worse is that Faith and Ty didn't really do anything about are they going to let them barge in on the rest of their lives? Especially Faith's mom - she's a user.

Nath: The parents were totally unnecessary. It seems their only purpose in the story was to gross us out and also, show the readers what Faith and Ty DO NOT want to become. Poor Faith, walking on them having sex!! As for Faith's mom, she was a user and the worst kind. I'm so tired of those kind of moms! She reminds me a bit of Mac's mom in Visions in White, but worse!!

What did you think of the references about the Canadians? Like Sa-Vah-ge and aboat instead of about...

Ames: OMG! The aboat thing pissed me off!! When I was in school in Germany, all the American students made fun of our supposed accent, but unless you're French, it's really not that noticeable. I don't say aboat. I say ABOUT. Ugh.

So was Ty French Canadian? Otherwise the whole sahvage thing would be for no reason.

Which reminds me, I had to laugh after the one game when he said to her how to pronounce his name properly and she said well for his information, she was Miss July!

Nath: LOL, that tiny part was one of the few laughs I had while reading the book :)

As for Ty, he wasn't French Canadian, he was from Saskatchewan! Also, I'm nit-picking here, but the back blurb? About most of America and half of Canada watching Ty Savage... Please, that would be the opposite. Most of Canada and about half the States.

Ames: I don't even think it would be half of Canada. Overgeneralizations like that bother me. Because its just not true in either case.

Nath: Hmmm, I'm giving True Love and Other Disasters a C-. In my opinion, it was just okay. It really didn't catch my attention and I had difficulty connecting with the story, let alone the characters. Even Jane's brief appearance couldn't save this for me... and I hate the cover! What is up with the crack on the ground between her legs?!?!

Ames: I gave this a C+. I enjoyed it, but it definitely had some flaws. And I never even noticed the crack on the cover. LOL

Friday, May 15

Review: Hard and Fast by Erin McCarthy

Nath and I both read and enjoyed Flat-Out Sexy last year so we decided to buddy review the sequel. Note, there are spoilers.

Grad student Imogen Wilson realizes she's hit on the perfect thesis for her sociology degree. If she follows the so-called "rules" on how to get a man, can she steer her way into the world and hearts of stock race car drivers, and establish their dating— and mating—patterns?

Although sexy and reckless racer Ty McCordle is the ideal test subject, Imogen knows that for the sake of science, she can't give in to her growing attraction for him. Yet he's the one who's chasing after her, and Imogen realizes that she actually wants to be caught. A southern gentleman like Ty will satisfy all her curiosity—and make all the risks worthwhile...

Nath: I don't really know how I feel about this one... I like the idea of Ty and Imogen together, because they are so different. Opposite attracts is a cute theme and I enjoy it. Thing is, there wasn't much to their story no? Got together for sex, had great sex, fell in "love", conflict and resolution. Too much of the book was about them having sex and the conflict and resolution were really rushed at the end.

Ames: I had a tough time for the first half of the book. I thought the sex scenes were drawn out and Imogen really got on my nerves. She constantly questioned why and it kind of reminded me of a little child.  "Why?"  Over everything!  After the camping trip though, things did pick up - Imogen relaxed and started to go with Ty's flow.

I enjoyed the book, but I do agree with you - the conflict and resolution at the end did feel rushed. But they needed to have that conflict. It addressed the fact that they did fall in love kind of fast and it deals with Ty's dyslexia and Imogen's...I don't want to say uptightness...but her analness I guess. LOL

I liked how they were opposites. It worked for them. Ty's risk taking with Imogen's tendency to observe and think everything through, they balanced each other out.

Nath: See, I think I'm the opposite of you. I had a tougher time with the second half of the book, because I thought it was too rushed. I think the pacing of the book is off - slow in the beginning and fast at the end. If the book was a bit longer, it would have worked better.

Ames: I agree that the pacing was a bit off.  There was a slow build up and then boom, conflict and resolution and its over. In and of itself, that's ok, because really, who wants to read about a long drawn out conflict? I think just coupled with the slow beginning for me, it creates an unevenness. But the book is still enjoyable to read! Don't get me wrong about that.

Again, that conflict was needed. Things had been smooth sailing for Imogen and Ty and they needed something to test their love, to prove to each other that yeah they can argue, they don't really have a lot in common but that they love each other and in the end, that's what matters most. They know who the other person is, even if they don't know all the details of each other's lives, they know what lies inside. And that's why I enjoyed Hard and Fast. It's not perfect, but damn it's enjoyable.

Nath: Oh, of course, nobody wants a long conflict, but it needs to be well-balanced in order to work and I absolutely agree with you that they needed a conflict and you're right, it addresses the fact that their relationship developed very quickly... but they way it was done, it really screamed "CONFLICT NEEDED" and so it was thrown in just to make the story "interesting." I don't think it was well-balanced and served the storyline well.

Ty having dyslexia was interesting and unexpected; however, I don't think Ms McCarthy fully explore that characteristic of Ty. I can understand why she wouldn't want to blow it out of proportion and make dyslexia the focus... because it's been done previously with varied degree of success. At the same time, I think it was an important aspect to Ty and the way it was handled, I felt like it was an afterthought, "Oh, by the way, I have dyslexia."

Ames: I don't think Ty's dyslexia was under-explored. He came up with coping mechanisms that allowed him to function and he was scared to make himself vulnerable to Imogen by revealing his "weakness" to her. The way Ms. McCarthy handled it was fitting with Ty's personality. I kind of think Imogen got too mad at Ty over it though. Yeah he didn't reveal it to her right away, but why would he?

Another thing - I hate nicknames in books - but Emma Jean and Engine were cute. I love the dynamic between Ty and Imogen. Nothing gets me better than witty dialog and banter, and these two had it in spades. And I thought it was really sweet of Ty to memorize those lines from Shakespeare.

Nath: I don't mean that Ty's dyslexia itself was under-explored. I actually thought it was done well. In many instances, I was like: maybe if he wrote it or someone spelled it to him... and then, I realized that it wouldn't work. It's like wow, reality check here. What I meant is that I think that Ty's dyslexia was part of the conflict, not the main focus, but important and I felt it wasn't dealt properly as an issue between the couple... but then, the whole conflict wasn't, so I guess this is a bit of a moot point.

I liked the fact that Ty wasn't ashamed of his disorder. Sure, he's not advertising it on top of his lungs - but it's kind of understandable. In his position, a lot of people would take advantage of it. At the same time, he has come to terms with it and there is no awkwardness that is often present with other characters with dyslexia. That I found refreshing.

I actually thought that it was very cute that Ty called her Emma Jean :) Engine was also cute LOL :)

I liked Hard and Fast, but then, like many, not as much as Flat-Out Sexy. I really liked the first part, but I kind of lost interest by the end. I thought nothing was happening... like we said, I think the pacing was totally off. As a result, I'm giving it a C+.

Ames: I enjoyed Hard and Fast, but like you, not as much as Flat-Out Sexy. I found Imogen annoying in the first half of the book, and the first half went kind of slow for me. But things picked up towards the middle and that's when I really got into the story and enjoyed it. I'm giving it a B-.

Nath: I thought Imogen was okay. She's a peculiar character and it's nice to see a nerdy female for once :) However, I thought the whole matter about her thesis subject was boring and seriously, in the end, it's Tamara who came up with one.... LOL, the way Tamara presented it, it was so funny because it did really sound like a thesis subject :)

What do you think is going to happen in the future books? When Tamara got sick near the end of the book - it said that she was nauseous - I was like, here we go again, somehow, Elec went from sterile to not and she got pregnant... I'm glad it was just a case of food poisoning.

Ames: When Tamara was sick, I was afraid she was miraculously pregnant, so I'm glad that was just food poisoning. But then, what was the point? Ah well.

Nath: I don't know if there is a point ^_^; There is very little information on this series (which I find frustrating)... but I was wondering if Evan would get his book, although I think the next book is going to be Ryder and Suzanne. I want to know if the person in Ryder's bed was Suzanne, but I guess not.

Ames: I think the next book is going to be Ryder and Suzanne. I'm not sure if the woman in Ryder's bed was Suz or not. If not, I feel bad for her, because they obviously still love each other.

That one scene, when Suz was telling Ryder that she was going back to work because the alimony was almost dried up and he offered her another year or two, that scene really touched me. I was just like, "awwww!"

I don't know how I feel about Evan getting a book. We don't really know him at this point, so I don't really care. LOL

Nath: Yeah, I feel the same for Suz... if she wasn't the one in bed with Ryder... I wonder why they divorced when it's obvious they still love each other. At the same time though, can't really blame Ryder for having sex.... but yeah, hoping that it is Suz, but I doubt it.

That was indeed a very nice scene - which further reinforced the point that Ryder still loves Suz. So wake up, kids! It came at the right moment though, because I was actually wondering why Suz wasn't working?

As for Evan, true, we don't know him very well so far, but he's been appearing in the book with more than a cameo role, don't you think? In the first book, he had to mouth out and insult Tamara's dead husband. In this one, he gets punched LOL :)

Ames: I think it'll be good for Suz to see Ryder with someone else. So I'm hoping that woman wasn't her.

But someone getting punched doesn't scream sequel bait to me. LOL

Nath: No? LOL :) He's the character on the peripheral, not part of the obvious pairings, that steers up trouble. It does scream sequel bait to me :P

What do you think people?

Wednesday, May 6

Review: Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

It’s funny how I’ve been buddy reviewing a lot of fantasy/urban fantasy books for Breezing Through lately. I have no idea how it happened, but it seems like it’s easier for me to find buddy reviewers for fantasy/urban fantasy... Hmmm, something to think about.

Anyway, today, I am going to review Turn Coat along with Renee from Renee’s Book Addiction. I’d like to thank her patience because it took forever for me to put the review together, but I did! :) So without any more delays, here we go... the newest installment of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files.

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher
published by ROC in April 2009

The Warden Morgan has been accused of treason against the Wizards of the White Council--and there's only one, final punishment for that crime. He's on the run, wants his name cleared, and needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog. Someone like Harry Dresden.

Now, Harry must uncover a traitor within the Council, keep a less-than-agreeable Morgan under wraps, and avoid coming under scrutiny himself. And a single mistake may cost someone his head--someone like Harry.

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Dresden Files, (full-length) book #11

***Before you go any further, warning: lot's of spoilers!!!***

Nath: So Renee, what did you think of Turn Coat?

Renee: Another solid installment of the Dresden Files. I love Harry, and by this book in the series, the characters and setting are pretty complex, but it's always easy to pick the story back up again.

Jim Butcher writes some of the best openings of books, up there with Charlaine Harris and Kelly Armstrong, and with Turn Coat, I was immediately thrust into the action. Morgan showing up on Harry's doorstep for help was unexpected, but made sense: they've always hated each other, but over the years know one another well enough that Morgan knows that Harry is always ready to fight for the underdog/lost cause, and Harry knows that Morgan would never betray the Council.

Nath: You think so? I think it’s very easy to slip back into Harry’s world; however, all the books are so detailed, there are so many plot lines going on that it’s not that easy to pick up the story again. There’s just so much that can be forgotten. I know I did...

I do agree though that Turn Coat is another solid installment and that the opening of this book is great. Personally, I think Jim Butcher is on a roll here, but then, it's easy when your plot is so convoluted and when you have so many great characters :) As for the opening, well LOL, Morgan showing up at Harry’s doorstep when he’s in trouble... that’s just the cherry on the sundae!! So ironic... I believe that all Harry can think of is: "Are you serious?!?" LOL.

Renee: It's funny, though, because it sort of started off with a bang: Morgan showing up, the skinwalker attacking, but then there was a bit of a lag in the pacing. It didn't pick up again for me until Thomas disappears. Then, everything seemed to flow more smoothly.

Nath: It's true that there was some lull in the middle of the book; however, readers were kept entertained by the characters and dialogues. There were so many great conversations, especially every time Harry walked in to see the people in his apartment facing each other and only stopped by Mouse! LOL :) Speaking of Mouse!! I want a dog like that! Seriously, the scene with the bullet in his shoulder? Awwwww, but at the same time, it was hilarious. That dog is soooooo clever!! :) I really want to find out more about Foo dogs :)

Renee: Yes! I loved it when there'd be this scene every time Harry came back to his apartment. The sad part was that Mouse always seemed the most mature out of the whole group!

Actually, Mouse and Toot-toot are 2 of my favorite characters in the series. I've always loved large dogs (my lab is over 100lbs) and it cracks me up how he totally understands what Harry says, and helps Harry out at least as much as any of the humans. Toot-toot, the pixie, is another great Butcher character, with his Pepto-Bismol breast plate and the hollowed out piece of a golf ball he uses as a helmet. And, how Harry pays him with pizza, and Toot-toot calls Harry Lord 'Za totally cracks me up. I agree, those little in-between scenes with their dialog are just great.

Nath: That's why Mouse is so cute, because he's sooo wise!! :) He's such a great dog and presence in Harry's life :) I'm glad we saw Toot-toot :) He always provides some comedy relief :) It’s also fun to see how small his presence is, him and the other pixies, but the great impact they have in the storyline. They’ve really played a major role and saved Harry’s life a few times :) I think it’s cute that they are addicted to pizza!! I guess that's one advantage of Harry being a warden -a steady paycheck. Although I have to say that lately, we've seen Harry more as a warden and wizard than P.I.

Hmmm, speaking of characters, there was a lot of character development in this one!

Renee: Some Dresden Files books seem to have more character development, others more plot development. For me, Turn Coat was mostly about the character and emotional development of a lot of the characters. Molly and Billy are coming into their own, Murphy and Harry seemed to have some great moments of emotional honesty, Lucio and Harry clarified things, and Thomas, well, Thomas just makes me sigh...

It wasn't until the very end that the plot (of the big story arc-the war with the Red Court and White Council politics) was moved forward. I loved how things are falling into place with the White/Black Council.

Nath: I’m all for character development, but what annoys me and what makes character development so difficult to keep track in my opinion is the timeline. I mean, almost a year passes by between books, right? As a result, I find it difficult to keep track with everyone’s age. I mean, how old is Molly now, 21 or 22? I think that in that sense, Morgan is right and Harry has to stop baby-ing her, taking small steps, and start working harder on her. I like that Billy is affirming himself – finally - too bad it came at such a high price.

Renee: I agree about Molly. I was really glad that he made her take responsibility for Mouse and "do the hard thing" rather than do it for her. But, it is sort of consistent with his character that he would baby her a bit (he's always had a weakness for the damsel in distress!)

Speaking of the timeline, I was sort of surprised that the last book ended with Michael and the knights sort of up in the air --how well he was going to recover, what about the other sword, but there was only a cursory mention of it in
Turn Coat. I guess Harry had his hands full enough with Morgan and the Council, but I was hoping for a little bit more about this in Turn Coat.

Nath: Oh, about Michael, well the reason he wasn't mentioned in this book is because there was a novella, Warrior, in the anthology Mean Streets. In that novella, you see how Michael is doing and to what extent he has recovered. Basically, he's okay :) and still quite strong... but yeah, wasn't an easy recovery :(

Back to character development and well, relationships :P I'm actually glad about the turn in relationship between Luccio and Harry. I have to say, I never really liked Luccio. I was happy that Harry was getting some romance and action, but I never thought Luccio was the right person. I mean, she is still a very hard woman, despite being put in a younger body and as a result, I side with Molly. Luccio had to know how Morgan treated Harry during all those years. Anyway, let just say I found the chemistry so-so. I think in a sense, the age difference plays a big role… It doesn’t really matter that wizards live a long life, but Luccio and Harry are from two different eras – literally. They were raised differently, the way of thinking is different, the world is different. I think that Murphy and Harry connected much better; just too bad that she won't take a chance - although I do understand her reason.

Renee: I liked that he had the relationship with Luccio (I mean, poor guy, he hardly ever gets any!). However, it never seemed like she was the one for him. It was more circumstances and loneliness that brought them together.

Yes, Murphy . . . I'm so happy they were so open with each other in this book! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that in the next one, a little something more might develop!

Nath: Well now we know that there was something more than made Luccio reach for Harry :P However, you’re right. I think that Harry was lonely – also crushed that Murphy wouldn’t take a chance… and when a woman came along who was willing, he jumped in ^_^; Like you say, he hardly ever gets any, poor guy! LOL.

The other relationship that’s taken a turn in this book is Harry and Thomas. I love, love, love Thomas. I think he's a great character and he adds a lot to Harry emotionally. My opinion though is that the author thought that Thomas’ development was stagnant. The guy found a way to satisfy his need without sleeping with a bunch of women, then his relationship with Harry was going on too smoothly. The two brothers had each other's back, helped each other, was there for each other... and Mr Butcher didn't know what else to do, so he took it back to square one where Thomas needs to find himself again. Grrrr. Personally, I think this really sucks.

Renee: Thomas is one of my favorite vampires! Yes, something had to give with Thomas. I just wish it wasn't what happened to him in this book. In a lot of ways he reminds me of Ivy from the Hollows series: fighting against his nature, looking for a different way to live with his demon. It just seems like there's got to be a middle way between rejecting what he is, and being a killer. I hope that it's more of a post-traumatic stress issue that has Thomas the way he is now, and time will help him deal with what he experienced at the hands of the skinwalker.

Also, in regards to his relationship with Harry, I LOVE that brotherly bond they have. Harry is so passionate about Thomas, and how he'll do anything to save him. In Turn Coat he just really laid it on the line for Thomas, and their relationship can't remain a secret for much longer.

Nath: I'm so glad that Thomas is so important to Harry. He really needed this kind of relationship. I wonder if he can confide to McCoy in the future. Perhaps that McCoy will be able to help. Sigh.

Do you think that Harry will accept to apprentice under Listens to Wind?

Renee: I like McCoy, but the prospect of Harry apprenticing with Listens to Wind is what excites me. The battle scene between him and Shagnasty was great! Can you imagine Harry having some of Listens to Wind's skills?

Nath: LOL, Harry is going to get in more troubles! Oh my God, it was kind of funny when Harry reflected on all his accomplishments and then he realized that the other wizards and wardens really had reasons to fear him! LOL :)

My other favorite parts in this book were getting more information on Harry’s mother and the final battle with the council scene at the end. Is it me or she doesn't sound as bad as in the previous books. Reading the previous books, I thought she'd be a warlock or something... someone's that used magic to evil ends... but then, it just seems she was avant-guard and an idealist... which is a very big difference. LOL, now I know who Harry gets it from LOL!

As for the whole battle scene on the island and the council meeting, they were just so exciting!! The ending was also unexpected in my opinion. Seriously, I never thought the book would end as it did ^_^; However, I'm so glad that McCoy and Harry will work more together in the future. I really like McCoy and I'm glad their relationship is back on track… and LOL, the Grey Council… Go guys, go!

Renee: I'm glad we're getting more about the mom. Actually, my favorite book in the series is Blood Rites, where we learn about Thomas and their mother. Again (not to sound like a broken record!) I'm hoping the next book in the series will give us a little more on her.

The island scene was great, but you know, while Jim Butcher does such great climax scenes, I think the thing he is best at is the lead up to to the climax: bringing together all the elements and characters, ratcheting up the suspense, setting the stage for the battle. Some of the passages that takes place on the island before the battle are so awesome. Consummate writing. You know, over the course of the series, you can really read Jim Butcher's skills as a storyteller develop, and I think with Turn Coat, he's totally at the top of his game!

OK, can I say, I love how Harry called the skinwalker "Shagnasty"? He's so irreverent. And, even with regards to the magic. He respects the magic, but does things like using silly string to work an eavesdropping spell, and the dry erase marker to make a casting circle. Totally cracks me up!

Nath: LOL, that’s one of the most endearing trait in Harry – his irreverence and how he can easily make fun of a situation, but still keeping his cool.

I’m going to give Turn Coat a B++. While Mr Butcher did explore some plot lines, there are still so many that are untouched – the swords, the demons, it’s kind of crazy! In addition, the set back with Thomas prevents me from giving it an A ^_^;

Renee: Ooh, I'm not too good with grades, but I guess I'd say strong B to B+. I really liked it, but there are books in the series I thought were better, especially my favorite, Blood Rites. And, the pacing in the beginning was a little uneven. But, that's a small complaint. I really think Jim Butcher has put out another excellent installment! :-)

Nath: Agree with you. Seriously, I heard that the author is planning 20-something books in the series. I say he better start writing two books per year! LOL :)