Monthly Archives: December 2013

One Shot by Lee Child

One Shot (Jack Reacher, #9)

Jack Reacher made a sniper a promise: kill again and Reacher will kill him. When the sniper is arrested for a shooting it seems time to keep the promise. Only when Reacher looks into the case things become murky. With a local kingpin enters the scene Reacher will have to fight hard to save the lives of the innocent as well as his own.

One appeal of One Shot is the characters. Reacher is an interesting combination of thinker and man of action. He knows how to make a good plan and when a sudden hit is better than a hard one.  The supporting characters are worth getting to know: the brigadier general resigned to hiding skeletons, the ambitious but human journalist and the new lawyer looking for a good case. One Shot also gives an interesting look at military mindset and training. The plot is full of twists and turns such as a hidden traitor and why the shooting happened. One Shot could be a match for readers looking for interesting characters, tales with a military component and/or a thriller.

Want other reads like One Shot?

Military investigator John Puller comes up against a case that kis more than it appears in David Baldacci’s Zero Day.

Royal Navy Intelligence operative David Trevellyan must unravel a conspiracy and clear his name in Andrew Grant’s Even.

Ex-CIA and Special Ops operative Joe Hunter matches wits with a killer framing him in Matt Hilton’s Cut and Run.


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In the Courts of the Crimson Kings by S.M. Stirling

In the Courts of the Crimson Kings (Lords of Creation, #2)

Jeremy Wainman is out to explore an ancient Martian city. It will be a trip filled with adventure as his life intertwines with that of the beautiful Martian mercenary Teyud za-Zhalt. An ancient artifact and a secret from Teyud’s past will change the future of both planets…

This is a story for those wanting to step into another world. Stirling paints a picture of Mars as an exotic and dangerous world. The plants and animals are different from Earth, but comparable at times, and the planet is slowly dying. The society he has inhabiting Mars is as exotic and dangerous as the planet itself: disquieting biotechnology, strategy in “The Game of Life” and a complexly expressive language. The plot is a fun read: a loyal hero and determined heroine, plotting officials, and a dash of romance and humor mixed with adventure. In the Courts of the Crimson Kings is a good choice for those wanting world building and/or a fun plot.

Want other books featuring world building and a fun read?

A civil war veteran is transported to Mars and fights to survive and develops a bond with a Martian princess in A Princess of Mars by Edward Rice Burroughs.

A misplaced Earthling must contend with dangers on a far-flung world while facing attraction to an alien space captain in Anne McCaffrey’s Freedom’s Landing.

An admiral strives to save his civilization and reunite with his wife in Karl Schroeder’s Pirate Sun.

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Shadow Princess by Indu Sundaresan

Shadow Princess (Taj Mahal Trilogy, #3)

The Taj Mahal stands as a monument to an emperor’s love for his wife. In the shadows of the Taj Mahal’s story is that of the emperor’s daughter Princess Juhanara: a determined woman who helped rule her father’s empire, dared forbidden love and saw the disintegration of her family lead to the next emperor…

Shadow Princess immerses the reader in a tempestuous time and place: where an Emperor holds absolute power and a family is undone by its individual members’ certainty in their own supremacy. Sundaresan draws the reader in with descriptions which involve the senses. For example, “to fill the cups to their brims, thousands of henna leaves had been harvested when they had just unfurled at the break of dawn, dewdrops still glittering like crystals on the young green” (129). Her characters, especially Juhanara and her brother Prince Aurangzeb, interest the reader. Juhanara is intelligent, devoted and sure of herself. Prince Aurangzeb has a gift for court diplomacy, fights not be overshadowed by his complacent brother Prince Dara and is a mixture of devotion and intolerance. The two stories, the Taj Mahal’s construction and the fate of the royal family, provide an interesting look at India in this time in its history. Shadow Princess is a good match for readers wanting lush detail, to spend time with engaging characters and/or learn more about India.

Want other books like Shadow Princess which transport the reader to India?

A teenager with an incurable disease offers a unique look at India before, during and after independence in Shree Ghage’s Brahma’s Dream.

An Indian couple marries for love but their happiness, and survival, are threatened by the upheaval in India following World War II in Shona Patel’s Teatime for the Firefly.

Books such as Eraly Abraham’s The Mughal Throne: The Saga of India’s Great Emperors provide more information on the Mughal royals and their actions.

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A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist

A Bride in the Bargain

If Joe Denton can’t find a wife then he won’t be able to keep his beloved Western land. Desperate, he pays for a mail bride. Instead, he gets is talented cook Anna Ivey whose painful past has made her determined to never marry. With Joe focused on saving his land, and Ana scarred by past pain, it seems like these two will never get along let alone marry…

Anna and Joe’s feel real because they have very human imperfections. Anna clings too tightly to the past and has let fear overcome hope- even if her actions are also out of a desire to protect others. Joe also cares for others, but his focus on what he wants leads to selfishness. Both characters feel real and this makes the reader root for a happy ending for them. A Bride in the Bargain also shines in how Gist strongly evokes 1865-6 life in Seattle: the Mercer bride experience, the Civil War’s aftereffects and other parts of life at the time (travel, morals and etc.) are all vividly portrayed. A Bride in the Bargain is a good read for those looking for characters to root for, a look at life in the U.S. during the 1860s , and/or Christian romance .

Want other reads like A Bride in the Bargain that have characters in the 1860s that don’t get along but just might find love?

A daughter defending her family’s ranch didn’t mean to shoot a man she thought was an outlaw. Things get even more complicated when she learns he is the new owner of her family’s ranch in  A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer.

A vehement Southern lady come into contact with a wandering wagon driver who happens to be the brother of a Yankee soldier. To protect a child, and survive outlaws, these two will have to learn to get along in Heart of Gold, by Robin Lee Hatcher.

A brother determined to support his dead brother’s wife by marrying in her. She does not love the man but could learn to in Petticoat Ranch by Mary Connealy.

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