Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What I've been reading lately...

Not much apparently in comparison to Karen! Geez, she writes a lot of posts! :) Just kidding Karen, we love your posts...

I have an excuse for not posting--I was out of the country. Really, I was! But while I was gone, I read some books. Some adult books for myself (Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich--not as good as her last ones, but gaming is highlighted in it!); some books for reviewing purposes (not going to mention the book--I didn't really like it); and then some for my popular paperbacks work (Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks; Angels and Demons by Dan Brown; and The Squad: the Perfect Cover by Jennifer Barnes). All of these last books were for my spies and intrigue list for PPYA.

Let’s start with Angels and Demons. I’m sure most of you have heard of the Da Vinci Code by now—if not, where have you been? Anyway, this is the first book that portrays Robert Langdon, the Harvard Professor of symbology. Robert awakens in the early morning one weekend to a phone call asking him to meet with the unknown caller. He thinks it’s a crank call and hangs up, but then his fax machine spits out a picture of a man dead with an illuminati symbol burned into him. It’s not a pretty sight and it convinces him to get on the plane to go to Geneva to the scene of the crime. Thus begins this adventure tale that puts modern science and the Catholic Church against the so-called Illuminati group threatening to blow up the Vatican City. Okay, so I could see some of the plot coming. But it still was a fast-paced read! The chase to discover the Illuminati’s secret lair takes Robert and his partner to some of the most famous churches and plazas around Rome. Of course, I was just in Rome, so I had just seen all of these monuments, statues, and places. I called Da Vinci Code a thriller for smart people. This would fit into that category. It’s steeped in history—whether it’s true or not is obviously up for debate, but you should check it out before the movie comes out next year!

Evil Genuis by Catherine Jinks took me a lot longer to like. It was like pulling teeth for me to read at first because of the writing style. The first hundred pages or so are more like briefs about Cadel's life up until he graduates high school. After that, he goes to Axis Institute, a local college created for him by his imprisoned father. The school has classes like embezzlement, misinformation, forgery--all towards a degree in World Domination. The story picked up speed for me once he went to college. He grows as a character as he starts to question his upraising and his mentor. At first, I'll admit that I didn't really enjoy the book--the narrator style bothered me, but once Cadel started realizing the world around him -- and that not all normal people are morons -- I couldn't help but want to know what happened next. And when I finished the book, I was satisfied. And if you're not, you can read the sequel Genius Squad.
The last book is the first book in the Squad series. Perfect Cover by Jennifer Barnes is James Bond meets Bring it On. Seriously, it's high school cheerleaders as secret agent spies. And if that doesn't crack you up, I don't know what will. The main character, Toby Klein, is a computer hacker--she hacked into the Pentagon and then freaked out. Toby is as anti-cheerleader as you can get and she gets invited to try out for the God Squad--oh, sorry, I mean the cheerleading squad. And when they offer her a spot on the squad, they inform her that she's now a spy and then they transform her into the spitting image of the stereotypical cheerleader. An absolute hilarious scene, I guarantee!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy some of these books that I read over my vacation!

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