Snuff
Adult / June 16, 2016

A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett. Summary: According to the writer of the best-selling crime novel ever to have been published in the city of Ankh-Morpork, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a policeman taking a holiday would barely have had time to open his suitcase before he finds his first corpse. And Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is on holiday in the pleasant and innocent countryside, but not for him a mere body in the wardrobe. There are many, many bodies and an ancient crime more terrible than murder. He is out of his jurisdiction, out of his depth, out of bacon sandwiches, and occasionally snookered and out of his mind, but never out of guile. Where there is a crime there must be a finding, there must be a chase and there must be a punishment. They say that in the end all sins are forgiven. But not quite all… (Goodreads summary.) Content Review: Sexual content: There are statues of near-naked men and women decorating a mansion. A lady explains that maids are forbidden to even look at high-ranking guests because of previous unfortunate incidents when they were overawed by the privileges of hot-blooded…

Making Money
Adult / June 16, 2016

A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett. Summary: It’s an offer you can’t refuse. Who would not to wish to be the man in charge of Ankh-Morpork’s Royal Mint and the bank next door? It’s a job for life. But, as former con-man Moist von Lipwig is learning, the life is not necessarily for long. The Chief Cashier is almost certainly a vampire. There’s something nameless in the cellar (and the cellar itself is pretty nameless), it turns out that the Royal Mint runs at a loss. A 300 year old wizard is after his girlfriend, he’s about to be exposed as a fraud, but the Assassins Guild might get him first. In fact lot of people want him dead. Oh. And every day he has to take the Chairman for walkies. Everywhere he looks he’s making enemies. What he should be doing is . . . Making Money! (Goodreads summary.) My Thoughts: One of his more obvious lessons but possibly more inventive topics, as the basic nature of economics is taken and woven into a fast-paced fantasy plot. Content Review: Sexual content: Two characters find a closet full of “inventive erotica” instruments. There isn’t really description of the contents, but…

Pyramids
Adult / June 16, 2016

A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett. Summary: It’s bad enough being new on the job, but Teppic hasn’t a clue as to what a pharaoh is supposed to do. After all, he’s been trained at Ankh-Morpork’s famed assassins’ school, across the sea from the Kingdom of the Sun. First, there’s the monumental task of building a suitable resting place for Dad — a pyramid to end all pyramids. Then there are the myriad administrative duties, such as dealing with mad priests, sacred crocodiles, and marching mummies. And to top it all off, the adolescent pharaoh discovers deceit, betrayal – not to mention a headstrong handmaiden – at the heart of his realm. (Goodreads summary.) Content Review: Sexual content: Character says his mother was a concubine. Character sometimes wonders how he was conceived, since his dreamy father and mother rarely notice each other. Some scantily dressed handmaidens. Some innuendo. Language: 30 bloody, 21 d***, 15 derogatory terms, 5 hell Violence: Man jumps off well to his death. Some threatened violence that doesn’t come to anything.

Witches Abroad
Adult / June 15, 2016

A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett. Summary: Once upon a time there was a fairy godmother named Desiderata who had a good heart, a wise head, and poor planning skills—which unforunately left the Princess Emberella in the care of her other (not quite so good and wise) godmother when DEATH came for Desiderata. So now it’s up to Magrat Garlick, Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg to hop on broomsticks and make for far-distant Genua to ensure the servant girl doesn’t marry the Prince. But the road to Genua is bumpy, and along the way the trio of witches encounters the occasional vampire, werewolf, and falling house (well this is a fairy tale, after all). The trouble really begins once these reluctant foster-godmothers arrive in Genua and must outwit their power-hungry counterpart who’ll stop at nothing to achieve a proper “happy ending”—even if it means destroying a kingdom. (Goodreads summary.) My Thoughts: Usually, the melting-pot style retellings that try to cram as many fairytale references into one story as possible are just annoying. They’re scattered and random, and I don’t like the stories being reduced to a passing paragraph or two around the protagonist as he/she continues on his/her way. Witches…

Thief of Time
Adult / June 11, 2016

A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett. Summary: Time is a resource. Everyone knows it has to be managed. And on Discworld that is the job of the Monks of History, who store it and pump it from the places where it’s wasted (like underwater — how much time does a codfish need?) to places like cities, where there’s never enough time. But the construction of the world’s first truly accurate clock starts a race against, well, time, for Lu Tze and his apprentice Lobsang Ludd. Because it will stop time. And that will only be the start of everyone’s problems. Thief of Time comes complete with a full supporting cast of heroes and villains, yetis, martial artists and Ronnie, the fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse (who left before they became famous). (Goodreads Summary) My Thoughts: I can’t think of anyone better than Pratchett to write about time, with all the confusion and déjà vu and paradoxes that comes with. And yes, don’t worry – he got in all the requisite puns one would imagine when thinking of managing time. Content Review: Sexual content: 3 instances of innuendo. Language: 32 d***, 6 hell, 5 bloody, 4 derogatory terms Violence: Man is…

Thud!
Adult / June 9, 2016

A Discworld Novel. Author: Terry Pratchett. Summary: Koom Valley? That was where the trolls ambushed the dwarfs, or the dwarfs ambushed the trolls. It was far away. It was a long time ago. But if he doesn’t solve the murder of just one dwarf, Commander Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch is going to see it fought again, right outside his office. With his beloved Watch crumbling around him and war-drums sounding, he must unravel every clue, outwit every assassin and brave any darkness to find the solution. And darkness is following him. Oh . . . and at six o’clock every day, without fail, with no excuses, he must go home to read ‘Where’s My Cow?’, with all the right farmyard noises, to his little boy. There are some things you have to do. (Goodreads summary.) My Thoughts: Although all the Diskworld novels are much alike in their light-hearted ingenuity, comedic tone, and occasional critiques, they still vary in my interest. Thud I liked much better than others. The secondary reason is probably because the comedy is much more serious – this book is not just laughing at the wild vagaries of this world, it’s laughing with tears in…

Drink, Slay, Love
Young Adult / May 27, 2016

Author: Sarah Beth Durst. Summary: Sixteen-year-old Pearl is a vampire. She’s got a sparring partner/boyfriend in one, a favorite human source of blood, and the Fealty Ceremony, her introduction to the adult world, coming up. Everything is great. It all starts to go downhill when she meets a unicorn one night, which stabs her through the heart. Of course nobody believes her; unicorns are mythical, after all. But the facts are unavoidable. Pearl can walk in the sunlight now, she’s starting to have a flicker of a reflection, and worst of all, a pesky thing known as conscience seems to be awakening in her. Her new abilities only bring more trouble. Now that she can walk in sunlight, she can go to the local high school and locate enough humans to feed the king and his retinue when they show up. The only problem is… Pearl’s beginning to like these exasperating humans. My Thoughts: A very light, fluffy read with a touch of redemption. The development of Pearl is well-done; we don’t see the main character as a pure vampire for very long, but it’s just long enough that we can see her transform over the course of the book…

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
Adult / April 23, 2016

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #4. Author: Douglas Adams. Summary: Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription, the mysterious disappearance of Earth’s dolphins, and the discovery of his battered copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy all conspire to give Arthur the sneaking suspicion that something otherworldly is indeed going on. . . . God only knows what it all means. And fortunately, He left behind a Final Message of explanation. But since it’s light-years away from Earth, on a star surrounded by souvenir booths, finding out what it is will mean hitching a ride to the far reaches of space aboard a UFO with a giant robot. But what else is new? (Goodreads summary) My Thoughts: Definitely of a lower quality than the first one. There’s a lot of time spent on Earth, some of it on an unnecessary, ‘adult’ romance line that doesn’t even make sense. Content Review: Sexual content:…

Life, the Universe, and Everything
Adult / April 22, 2016

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #3. Author: Douglas Adams. Summary: The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads–so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals stand between the killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation. They are Arthur Dent, a mild-mannered space and time traveler who tries to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing; Ford Prefect, his best friend, who decides to go insane to see if he likes it; Slartibartfast, the indomitable vice president of the Campaign for Real Time, who travels in a ship powered by irrational behavior; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-president of the galazy; and Trillian, the space cadet torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox. How will it all end? Will it end? Only this stalwart crew knows as they try to avert “universal” Armageddon and save life as we know it–and don’t know it! (Summary from Goodreads) My Thoughts: It’s like a popular television show that just can’t stop. New things happen every time, old plot lines may even be accidentally advanced, but nothing really…

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Adult / April 22, 2016

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #2. Author: Douglas Adams. Summary: Arthur Dent and his comrades are facing death at the hands of the Vogons, and their only help right now is a grumpy old ghost. On the plus side, there’s a good chance of tea later. As usual, the motley band of space-travelers are riding the flow, trying to stay ahead of annihilation, with a few extra efforts at figuring out what’s going on in Zaphod’s dual-brain. By this time, of course, they’ve given up on understanding what’s happening. The best thing you can do, really, is hold on until you can find a really good eating place and take a break. One apocalyptic dining experience, coming right up. My Thoughts: If you enjoyed the first, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this one. More of the same wit, clever plays on tropes, random happenings, and disregard for plot. My only advice is not to read the Hitchhiker’s Guide books too close together – they’re funniest when you’re fresh. Content Review: Sexual content: Character says when he was born there was an accident with a time-machine and contraceptives. The “triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six” is mentioned again. A disembodied voice…