Dean Koontz

In all honesty, I didn’t choose this book. It was a monthly selection from some book club and I forgot to fill out the reply box OR visit the website. Still, when a book shows up at your door, you may as well read it.

I began reading it the day before Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince arrived, and finished it a couple days after, and am finally posting it now, because I’ve been reading fanfic for a week.

Anyway, it’s a thriller, in which an average guy finds a note on his windshield after his shift as a bartender. If he goes to the police, someone will be killed, but if he doesn’t go, someone ELSE will die. As the book moves forward, the notes come with increasing frequency, and our average guy must find the murderer and stop him before he himself is arrested for the vari0us killings.

Typical of Koontz, the characters are people any of us could know, and live in situations that are completely familiar, and it is this familiarity that sucked me in, and kept me reading. It was a fast-paced story, and totally gripping.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)

J. K. Rowling

After waiting two years for this installment, the second to last in the Harry Potter series, it seems a shame that I finished it in about four hours, not including the nap I took around page 204, and the ninety minutes I was out of the house for dinner with my husband.

I think at this point people need to get beyond the “children’s book” label for this series. EVERYONE is reading them, not just children. This book was both more and less dark than it’s immediate predessor (less CapsLock!Harry, but with a major character death, and many many shades of grey) , but it still was heavy on exposition, as seems to be typical with the middle books in ANY series.

I can’t write any more about it without giving away the details. It’s enough to say that the next two years (the minimum duration we must wait for book seven) will crawl by, at least in the Potterverse, and many of us who dabble in fanfic have to restructure our versions of Rowling’s sandbox.

The Map of Love

The Map of Love : A Novel

by Ahdaf Soueif

Ahdaf Soueif’s The Map of Love is a multi-generational story that takes place in both New York and Cairo.

A woman named Isabel meets a famous Egyptian conductor at a party in Manhattan, and he offers to give her names of friends in Cairo, knowing she’s headed there to research a project. She’s found some old letters from her grandmother, and wants to trace them, and learn her family’s story.

The conductor sends her to his sister, and together the woman piece together the story of Lady Winterbourne, and her romance with Sharif Pasha al Barudi in turn-of-the-century (19th to 20th) Egypt.

It’s a great love story, as well as an interesting portrait of modern Egypt.

STTNG: Immortal Coil

Star Trek: The Next Generation #64:  Immortal Coil

Jeffrey Lang

I bought the eBook version of this because I was desperate for instant-gratification in the form of mind-candy, and Trek books always qualify. This one is the only novel that features EmotionChip!Data, and it’s also the only full-fledged Data-romance.

A fanfic author I respect once said that she didn’t think it was possible to write a credible romance for Data. I disagreed at the time, but after reading this, and finding that many of the scenarios were more than a bit contrived, I’ve changed my mind.

Still, it was enjoyable, in a guilty-pleasure sort of way.