Mailbox Monday

In June, Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Burton Book Review.

 I purchased The Dewey Decimal System by Nathan Larson because I won the first book in this series through LibraryThing's ER program. The following is taken from the book's inner flap:
After a series of large-scale terrorist attacks and the total collapse of Wall Street, New York City is reduced to a shadow of its former self. As the city struggles to dig itself out of the wreckage, a nameless, obsessive compulsive veteran with a spotty memory, a love for literature, and a strong if complex moral code has taken up residence at the main branch of the New York Public Library on 42nd Street.

Dubbed "Dewey Decimal" for his desire to reorganize the library's stock, our protagonist (who will reappear in the next novel in this series) gets by as bagman and muscle for New York City's unscrupulous district attorney. Dewey takes no pleasure in this kind of civic dirty work; he'd be perfectly content alone amongst his books. But this is not in the cards, as the D.A. calls on Dewey for a seemingly straightforward union-busting job.

What unfolds throws Dewey into a bloody tangle of violence, shifting allegiances, and old vendettas, forcing him to face the darkness of his own past and the question of his buried identity. With its high body count and delightfully irreverent dialogue, the Dewey Decimal System pays respects to Chandler, Hammett, and Jim Thompson. Healthy amounts of black humor and speculative tendencies will appeal to fans of Charlie Huston, Nick Tosches, Duane Swierczynski, and Jonathan Lethem.

Review: The Reckoning by Alma Katsu

The Reckoning by Alma Katsu is part two in The Taker Trilogy – a series that tells the story of Lanore, a young woman with the unique gift of everlasting life. The first novel, The Taker, describes how she acquired this gift and the people whose lives intersected and intertwined with hers. The Taker was mostly set in the early 1800’s – The Reckoning picks up the story of Lanore two hundred years later as she struggles to evade the attention of the one person to whom she owes her life and who also happens to be the one who she dreads to meet again. Yes, Adair is back and he is one of the scariest characters I’ve ever read!

The others are there too – Alejandro, Tilde, Jude – plus a couple of new ones. I find it impressive how the author manages to bind them all with the same gift, yet make each character distinct from the other by imbuing them with very different personalities.

The story thrums along quickly and the more I read the more suspenseful it became. Lanore is in danger and the excitement caused by her predicament builds chapter by chapter. I also find the story line taking place in present times really interesting. As one character finds himself thrust into the modern day world and adjusts to this reality, the contrast between the past and present is a fascinating one. How can it be possible to fly? How can people use ‘plastic’ to buy things? I love to imagine what it would be like to suddenly wake up in a world far into the future and wonder at all the things that would be different – faster, easier, and hopefully better.

I’m enjoying this series for several reasons. The story is good, exciting and fast-paced. The characters, though they are as different from each other as they could possibly be, are not perfect. Even Lanore faces difficult choices – should she do the right thing by someone else and thereby put herself in danger or take the easy road?

I don’t think it’s necessary to read The Taker to enjoy The Reckoning (though it is fun to read what took place before the events in The Reckoning) but it is worth it to read them both. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys strong characters with mystery and fantasy mixed in with a bit of intrigue.

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