2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino

Book Review


2 A.M. at The Cat's PajamasBook Genre: Contemporary Fiction, audiobook

Book Series: N/A

Released: 8/5/14 by Crown

Pages: 272 Price: $25.00 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.



Book Synopsis:

Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, precocious nine-year-old and an aspiring jazz singer. As she mourns the recent death of her mother, she doesn’t realize that on Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia’s legendary jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut. On the same day, her fifth grade teacher Sarina Greene, who’s just moved back to Philly after a divorce, is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush, afraid to hope that sparks might fly again. And across town at The Cat’s Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it.

As these three lost souls search for love, music and hope on the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia, together they will discover life’s endless possibilities over the course of one magical night. A vivacious, charming and moving debut, 2 Am At The Cat’s Pajamas will capture your heart and have you laughing out loud.

My Review:

This was an interesting little story.  Not quite sure what I thought of it.  It was an audiobook selection for me and those tend to be books I wouldn’t normally read due to limited selection through the library system. So I’m sitting here wondering how to review this story…

It was sweet and clever and sad and funny all at different parts.  It had me laughing at one moment and feeling awkward the next.  The story was difficult to follow at times thanks to flashbacks into the character’s past.  We follow Madeleine through much of the story but also delve into the history of supporting characters.

I like the idea of following a set of character’s over the span of a day and watch how their lives cross and intertwine but at times this one got to be a bit confusing as we would move back and forth in time throughout the day depending on who we were dealing with at the moment.  I think it might have been less confusing if I had been reading it instead of listening because I sometimes lose focus on the story as I concentrate on whatever chore I am working on.

Basically, it is a sweet story that I don’t regret listening to but never got terribly excited about. But then it isn’t a typical read for me.  If you are big into contemporary fiction revolving around music then this one will probably be one you enjoy.  If you like smart-ass characters then you might also enjoy this story.  That was the part that I enjoyed the most.

My Rating:3 Stars

The Flicker Men by Ted Kosmatka

Book Review


The Flicker MenBook Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Audio

Book Series: N/A

Released: 7/21/15 by Henry Holt and Co

Pages:352  Price:$25.66 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.



Book Synopsis:

Eric Argus is a washout. His prodigious early work clouded his reputation and strained his sanity. But an old friend gives him another chance, an opportunity to step back into the light.

With three months to produce new research, Eric replicates the paradoxical double-slit experiment to see for himself the mysterious dual nature of light and matter. A simple but unprecedented inference blooms into a staggering discovery about human consciousness and the structure of the universe.

His findings are celebrated and condemned in equal measure. But no one can predict where the truth will lead. And as Eric seeks to understand the unfolding revelations, he must evade shadowy pursuers who believe he knows entirely too much already.

My Review:

I’m not exactly sure why I stuck this book out.  I’m also not exactly sure what the book was about in all actuality…  Some of it might be that I wasn’t paying close enough attention, some might be the book was plotted well, some might be the science going over my head.  I didn’t hate the book, I finished it after all but this book left me feeling eh.

There were parts I found intriguing and other simply annoying.  I did like the science and found the experiment the story revolves around interesting.  The delving into politics a little less so…  I almost turned it off when it started venturing down a religious path but being in the middle of an exercise session and nothing else to listen to decided to press on for at least the rest of the hour.  I eventually decided the author wasn’t trying to convert me into any sort of thinking and chose to stick the book out to the end.

The book has a vastly different feel at the end than it did in the beginning and I think that is what hurt it for me.  I didn’t really care for the shift.  I’m still not entirely sure how the book ended as by the last hour or two it was simply background noise and I was only half listening. I appreciated some of the questions the author brought up in the plot but I struggled to find a character to connect with.

It wasn’t a bad book just not a terribly good one in my opinion.  I probably should have stopped listening after the first part.  The middle I did enjoy and probably the reason for the second star I am giving it.  I’m not quite sure what type of reader this book is meant for just that it most likely isn’t me.

My Rating:2 Stars

Bottomland by Michelle Hoover

Book Review


BottomlandBook Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Book Series: N/A

Released: 3/1/16 by Grove Press

Pages: 336  Price:$16.oo paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this book from my library.



Book Synopsis:

At once intimate and sweeping, Bottomland—the anticipated second novel from Michelle Hoover—follows the Hess family in the years after World War I as they attempt to rid themselves of the Anti-German sentiment that left a stain on their name. But when the youngest two daughters vanish in the middle of the night, the family must piece together what happened while struggling to maintain their life on the unforgiving Iowa plains.

In the weeks after Esther and Myrle’s disappearance, their siblings desperately search for the sisters, combing the stark farmlands, their neighbors’ houses, and the unfamiliar world of far-off Chicago. Have the girls run away to another farm? Have they gone to the city to seek a new life? Or were they abducted? Ostracized, misunderstood, and increasingly isolated in their tightly-knit small town in the wake of the war, the Hesses fear the worst. Told in the voices of the family patriarch and his children, this is a haunting literary mystery that spans decades before its resolution. Hoover deftly examines the intrepid ways a person can forge a life of their own despite the dangerous obstacles of prejudice and oppression.

My Review:

Alright, confession time.  I’m breaking my rules by reviewing this book.  I swore after a psycho author harassed me at work I would never review an All Iowa Reads book again.  Ever.  I would read them of course so I could participate in the book discussion held at my library but my thoughts of that year’s title would not leave that room and never be posted on my blog again.

So, why am I reviewing this year’s selection?  Well, mainly because I really liked it.  This is by far the best All Iowa Read’s selection that I have read in my years working in a small town Iowa library.  I am totally shocked!  I have to give props to the panel this year’s title was a good call.

There was so much I could relate to in this book.  Being from Iowa I knew this family, or rather one just like it.  In fact, my best friend growing up was a first generation German and I remember spending so much of my youth at their farm.  I felt like I knew these people and could identify with them even though I am only part German.  I have a feeling that most people are going to be able to either see themselves or someone they know in these characters.

Surprising that isn’t what hooked me, though, it was the mystery of what happen to those girls that held my interest.  This was a well-crafted puzzle that I didn’t quite figure out and was pleased to see how everything turned out.  I also thought this book was very timely for the current immigrant drama going on in our country.  So many forget that their family too came from elsewhere and that they probably weren’t welcome here either.  It seems that after a few generations we forget to have any compassion to those just arriving and how much new blood contributes to our society.  The book delves into to sexism and should remind us just how far woman’s rights have come and just how far they have yet to go.

This was a surprisingly good listen.  I find myself still reflecting on it and remembering my childhood.  I’ve lost connection to that childhood friend and her family, it often happens.  I wish them well, though, and thank them for letting me experience their culture for a time.

My Rating:4 Stars

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Book Review


Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1)Book Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery

Book Series: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore #1

Released: 10/2/12 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Pages: 288  Price: $16.00 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed the audiobook from my library.



Book Synopsis:

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.

My Review:

I came across this book through a link on my library’s overdrive site that said ‘show me something different’. I’m guessing that it is meant for people like me who don’t quite know what they are in the mood to listen to or read.  The bright cover and short intriguing synopsis caught my attention so I added it to my wish-list and moved on.  By the time I got done browsing some other patron had checked it out and I would have to wait my turn.   Then earlier last weekend I saw that it had moved into the available column and decided to not let it slip through my fingers again.

I have to say this has to be the most charming little book I have read/listened to in some time.  Oh sure, plenty of great books out there but this one truly is charming.  It isn’t a very long book, in fact, I managed to listen to all but an hour of it in one afternoon of cleaning.  Perfect length for a shorter trip or even one day at work if you can listen to an audiobook.

The beginning of the story was very relatable coming off the last recession I believe many will be able to identify with the main character and his struggles.   Of course, it quickly takes a twist when a secret society is tossed into the mix and the mystery around all the strange books and characters that come to borrow them digs its claws into not just the main character but the reader as well.

There is a fascinating blend of technology and old-world ways that raise some interesting questions about our society’s dependence on the internet for solving problems.  Another question that struck me while listening to this book was if this was written by Google?  Google plays a pivotal role in the plot of this book, so much that it becomes a tad overdone at times.  But then again Google it has become a fairly standard phrase in our society while we try not to think about all the data they mine from our lives…  Still interesting to ponder the potential that the company has to shape the world around us.

Bottom line this was a fun book.  It made me smile and it made me think.  The mystery and message it delivers are well worth the few hours it took me to listen.  I will have to check out what other works this author has written since this book was published.  This one, though, I recommend.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner

Book Review


Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable ManBook Genre: Biography, Memoir, Non-Fiction

Book Series: N/A

Released: 2/16/16 by Thomas Dunne Books

Pages: 278  Price: $25.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library



Book Synopsis:

Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner first crossed paths as actors on the set of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Little did they know that their next roles, in a new science-fiction television series, would shape their lives in ways no one could have anticipated. In seventy-nine television episodes and six feature films, they grew to know each other more than most friends could ever imagine.

Over the course of half a century, Shatner and Nimoy saw each other through personal and professional highs and lows. In this powerfully emotional book, Shatner tells the story of a man who was his friend for five decades, recounting anecdotes and untold stories of their lives on and off set, as well as gathering stories from others who knew Nimoy well, to present a full picture of a rich life.

As much a biography of Nimoy as a story of their friendship, Leonard is a uniquely heartfelt book written by one legendary actor in celebration of another.

My Review:

Full disclosure to those of you that might not follow my blog.  I’m a Trekkie. A huge Trekkie and Spock just happens to be my favorite character in the entire franchise.  I was so sad to learn of his death and am grateful for all that he contributed to our society through art and entertainment.  While I appreciate William Shatner and Kirk he was never one of my favorite characters, my second being MacCoy.  But truly the brilliance of the original series was the dynamics between the three lead actors.

There is little doubt that I loved this book.  I will admit that yes, Shatner talks about himself almost as much as he does Nimoy but if you thought it would be any different you don’t know Shatner.  This, after all, is more a book about their friendship than it simply is a book about Leonard’s life.  This book is a tribute to a friendship that spanned a lifetime and Shatner’s way to say good-bye.  Many of the stories the ardent Trekkie will already know but so what.  If you love these actors then you will enjoy hearing them all over again, I did.

I had been planning on reading this book when it came out but when I was looking for audiobooks I decided to listen to this one instead of reading it.  Since the book is read by the author I would highly suggest others do the same.  What better way to listen to these stories than to have Shatner read them to your himself.  To get to hear the inclinations in his voice as he shares a beautiful friendship that touched his life.  So yes, please think about listening to the audiobook version of this book.

If you enjoyed Star Trek and was a fan of Spock than this is a book you aren’t going to want to miss.  I found myself smiling, laughing and feeling all kinds of nostalgia as I listened to this book.  Live Long and Prosper.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Saturn Run by John Sandford, Ctein

Book Review


Saturn RunBook Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, audiobook

Book Series: None

Released: 10/6/15 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Pages: 486  Price: $28.00 hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source:  I borrowed this audiobook from my library.



Book Synopsis:

The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate. Spaceships do.

A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: Whatever built that ship is at least one hundred years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out.

The race is on, and an remarkable adventure begins—an epic tale of courage, treachery, resourcefulness, secrets, surprises, and astonishing human and technological discovery, as the members of a hastily thrown-together crew find their strength and wits tested against adversaries both of this earth and beyond. What happens is nothing like you expect—and everything you could want from one of the world’s greatest masters of suspense.

My Review:

I seem to be on a science fiction kick lately and decided to borrow this one from my library last time I was in need of a new audiobook.  Have never read this author before and didn’t know much about the book beyond the synopsis sounded interesting.  Have to say it was a pretty entertaining listen and I’m glad it crossed my path.

First off if you are a fan of The Martian by Andy Weir then you will most likely enjoy this book too.  Saturn Run is a balanced blend of real scientific theory and science fiction.  The author shares at the end that they wanted this book to be as scientifically accurate as possible while delivering a compelling plot.  I do believe they succeeded.  Of course, much of the science went over my head but they did a wonderful job of delivering it as to make a science illiterate like me not feel too dumb. They also didn’t make the story too technical and threw in plenty of drama between the characters to keep most any reader entertained.

Being set in the near future much of what takes place is in a society that much of us will recognize, unfortunately not much has changed in regards to human maturity level as much of this book centers around the Chinese and American’s power struggle over this chance to control alien technology.  It was an interesting choice as to how the author’s dealt with the idea of alien races and in order to not spoil anything I’m not going to say more.  I was a tad disappointed but eventually warmed up to their choice as the most logical and plausible way humans will first interact with other species that call our galaxy home.

I didn’t find myself becoming as attached to any characters as I did in The Martian but did find a few souls to root for during the story.  I have to say though that this book was a far more interesting study in how we as a human race are our own worst enemy.  We need to get over the idea that we are all so different and realize we are all one species.  Until then much of what holds our society back will not be overcome.

Bottom line good read that makes you think and keeps you entertained.  I recommend.

 My Rating: 4 Stars

The Golden City by John Twelve Hawks

Book Review


The Golden City (Fourth Realm, #3)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Thriller, Fantasy

Book Series: Fourth Realm #3

Released: 9/8/09 by Doubleday Canada

Pages: 358 Price: $14.95 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed a copy of this audiobook from my library.



Book Synopsis:

A riveting blend of high-tech thriller and fast-paced adventure. Packed with knife-edge tension, intriguing characters, and startling plot twists that will keep you turning the pages.

In the Fourth Realm trilogy, John Twelve Hawks introduces readers to a dangerous fantasy world inspired by modern technology that monitors our lives. The suspense series concludes in this powerful third novel,
following the entire cast of this mesmerizing world that exists in the shadows of our own. Maya, the Harlequin who has pledged to protect Gabriel with her life, will face a situation from which there is no escape. Nathan Boone, the cold and calculating executive of the Brethren, will face Michael, a man who has gone over the edge for power. Hollis, living in grief and becoming a Harlequin himself, will have to choose whether to stay with Gabriel as he embarks on a journey that may lead to his own death. Publishers Weekly hailed the series as “a saga that’s part A Wrinkle in Time, part The Matrix and part Kurosawa epic.”

My Review:

The first book in this series was amazing.  The second book less so but still good.  I’m afraid the third book ranks about the same as the second for my taste.  It isn’t that I didn’t like the last book it is simply that neither of the later books measured up to the first.  Do I regret committing so much time listening to them? Probably not.  Would I do it again? No.  That doesn’t mean I won’t check out other titles by this author, I have the feeling that I will find his non-fiction work fascinating.

This book picks up where the last one left off and I managed to listen to the second half of it in a marathon session this morning as I found myself with 7 hours left in my loan time to listen to 7 hours of book…. Nothing like procrastinating.  Anyway, I discovered a brilliant feature in the Overdrive app, changing the speed in which a book is played.  I ended up listening to those last 7 hours at 1.6 speed and finished three hours before the book was due.  Have to say I might be listening to more audiobooks this way as it gave my mind less time to wander while the story was read.  Because of said mind wandering I feel like I might have missed a lot of the first half of this book as I do not remember much of what happen…

The message that the author is trying to portray about our society is one that many of us need to hear.  I fear there is probably a fine line in this story as to what is real and what is fiction.  There was plenty of action as this book took place over a longer timeline than its two predecessors.  The end felt like the story was left hanging with a few unresolved plot threads.  There were some parts near the end that felt a bit forced in this book.  In the end, though, I was simply glad it was over and am not interested in pursuing this world further.  I’m glad I listened to it but I’m ready to move on.

Like another reviewer suggested definitely go and read the first book as it was brilliant, but as to the last two book…. If you have nothing better to do or listen to then sure why not.

My Rating: 3 Stars

The Dark River by John Twelve Hawks

Book Review


The Dark River (Fourth Realm, #2)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopian, Thriller

Book Series: Fourth Realm #2

Released: 7/10/2007 by Doubleday Canada

Pages: 368 Price: $16.00 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this as an audiobook through my library



Book Synopsis:

A brilliant follow-up to the New York Times bestseller, The Traveler, The Dark River follows the Harlequin, Maya, and the Traveler, Gabriel Corrigan, on their search for Gabriel’s lost father.

In his first novel, John Twelve Hawks introduced the world of two brothers, Gabriel and Michael Corrigan, who learned they were Travelers, a line of prophets through history who are able to travel into different realms of consciousness and existence, and Maya, a Harlequin who, like Harlequins before her, pledged to lay down her own life to protect any Traveler.

The Dark River opens following Maya and Gabriel’s narrow escape from his brother, Michael, and the group of powerful men who have been pursuing them. The landscape has shifted: Michael has become part of the group that wants to capture Gabriel, and thanks to advanced surveillance technology there are few places for them to hide. While he is recuperating and staying in the shadows in New York City, a shocking piece of information trickles back to Gabriel concerning his and Michael’s father. A Traveler who was believed to be dead for nearly twenty years, Gabriel hears, may still be alive and trapped somewhere across the globe. Gabriel, Maya, Hollis and Vicki must plan their escape from New York as well as their path to Gabriel’s father, who has the ability to revive the failing Traveler movement. But Michael and his group of Tabula mercenaries are equally motivated to find both Gabriel and their father–for both represent an obstacle to Michael’s unchallenged power.

The Dark River is a scintillating novel that, like The Traveler, is deeply and richly drawn, showcasing a superb and original voice.

My Review:

Took me a bit to get into the second book in the trilogy and I found myself with three days before my due date and most of the book unlistened to. Since someone was waiting for the book and renewing was not an option I found some activities for myself and sat down to listen to the book.  Perhaps a pretty strong indicator that I simply was not as into this book as I was the first.

It isn’t that I’m not interesting in seeing how this story plays out or that I find some of the government control themes this story brings up interesting, it simply feels like this story fell victim to second or middle book syndrome, for me.  I’m glad I stuck it out but much of this book felt slow at times and I was frustrated with some of the plotting.  The end did pick up a bit and I have already checked out the last book to see how everything plays out.

I am struggling a bit to write-up this review there just wasn’t a whole lot I was excited about. The bad guys show up for three main scenes and we jump all over the place in search for the boy’s father.  If not for the interesting twist at the end I might have left this book here, but I got hooked and we will see if things improve in the next book. I hope we get to explore more of the other realms a bit more than we have in book one and two.

My Rating: 3 Stars

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchet, Stephen Baxter


Book Review


The Long Earth (The Long Earth, #1)Book Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Audiobook

Book Series: The Long Earth #1

Released: 6/19/12 by HarperCollins

Pages: 336  Price$ 25.99 hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library. 


Book Synopsis:


The Silence was very faint here. Almost drowned out by the sounds of the mundane world. Did people in this polished building understand how noisy it was? The roar of air conditioners and computer fans, the susurration of many voices heard but not decipherable…. This was the office of the transEarth Institute, an arm of the Black Corporation. The faceless office, all plasterboard and chrome, was dominated by a huge logo, a chesspiece knight. This wasn’t Joshua’s world. None of it was his world. In fact, when you got right down to it, he didn’t have a world; he had all of them.


From the inside jacket:

The possibilites are endless. Just be careful what you wish for….)

1916: The Western Front. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong, and the wind in the leaves. Where has the mud, blood and blasted landscape of no-man’s-land gone? For that matter, where has Percy gone?

2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Police officer Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive–some said mad, others allege dangerous–scientist who seems to have vanished. Sifting through the wreckage, Jansson finds a curious gadget: a box containing some rudimentary wiring, a three-way switch, and…a potato. It is the prototype of an invention that will change the way humankind views the world forever.

The first novel in an exciting new collaboration between Discworld creator Terry Pratchett and the acclaimed SF writer Stephen Baxter, The Long Earth transports readers to the ends of the earth and far beyond. All it takes is a single step….

My Review:

I must be in a science fiction mood lately.  The only books that are pulling my attention and keeping me interested are of that genre, so instead of fighting it I am going to go with it and put the romances and vampires on the back-burner for a while.  Having stumbled upon Pratchett’s work recently when this one came up available through my library I decided to give it a shot.  I am not familiar with Baxter’s work but will have to check into his titles soon.  I see from Goodreads that this book has mixed reviews but it did win the reader’s choice award in 2012.  After finishing it and desperately wanting to dive into the next I am going to go with the notion that this book deserved the award.

I loved this.  It was just smart enough science wise that I could see the deeper theories that the story was based upon but it didn’t delve in so far that I felt stupid.  Essentially the authors took the idea of parallel dimensions in string theory and said what if.  What we ended up with was a fascinating story and journey into a world where another Earth is simply a step away.  Now some people have claimed that this story was a little slow but I didn’t find it that way.  I enjoyed the constant idea of if this didn’t happen then the Earth might be this way.  Then to see what might happen to the human race if other worlds were open up and the consequences it might bring.  Sure it would be amazing to explore everything but being humans we would surely muck everything up or suddenly the powers that be would no longer be the powers that be.  Simply fascinating story that had me thinking about the possibilities of what might happen.  The characters were well done too, perhaps a little heavy-handed at times but in the whole, I didn’t find anyone overly objectionable.  The “artificial” life was another interesting aspect and I hope to see him in future books.  I don’t think all his cards have yet to be played.

I’m glad I listed to this one as the narrator did a nice job with the accents, although his female was a bit off.  Tough to make a believable sounding opposite gender, though, I’m finding.  My only complaint is that this book ended with a freaking huge cliffhanger and now I have to wait for my turn at the next one.  That’s okay because I have another book I waiting on in another science fiction series and I honestly don’t know which one I want to follow first.  Take some of the criticism with a grain of salt and just let yourself get lost in this world I think you might be surprised at what a good story it is.  If not, then you can always DNF and step into another world.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore

Book Review


Secondhand Souls (Grim Reaper, #2)Book Genre: Fantasy, Humor, Paranormal 

Book Series: Grim Reaper #2

Released: 8/25/15 by William Morrow

Pages: 335 Price: $26.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.  



Book Synopsis:

In San Francisco, the souls of the dead are mysteriously disappearing—and you know that can’t be good—in New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore’s delightfully funny sequel to A Dirty Job.

Something really strange is happening in the City by the Bay. People are dying, but their souls are not being collected. Someone—or something—is stealing them and no one knows where they are going, or why, but it has something to do with that big orange bridge. Death Merchant Charlie Asher is just as flummoxed as everyone else. He’s trapped in the body of a fourteen-inch-tall “meat” waiting for his Buddhist nun girlfriend, Audrey, to find him a suitable new body to play host.

To get to the bottom of this abomination, a motley crew of heroes will band together: the seven-foot-tall death merchant Minty Fresh; retired policeman turned bookseller Alphonse Rivera; the Emperor of San Francisco and his dogs, Bummer and Lazarus; and Lily, the former Goth girl. Now if only they can get little Sophie to stop babbling about the coming battle for the very soul of humankind…

My Review:

Earlier this year I listed to the first book in this short series, A Dirty Job, and quite liked it.  Decided to put book two on my wish list at my library and this week it became available. I was a bit hesitant when starting this book as a good chunk of the reviews are less than favorable over on Goodreads.  Since I needed something to listen to while working on a project and this book looking the most promising of those available to me I decided to give it a shot.

I’m glad I did because I thought it was a charming little story.  Most of the characters I loved in the first book were back and we got to deal with the leftover issue of what happen to Charlie.  It is the characters that make this world for me. Their quirkiness, the foul language, and even the stereotypes have grown on me.  Again there was a pleasant mix of humor, drama, and mystery to keep me listening.  In fact, this is perhaps one of the fastest listens I have experienced with an audiobook.  Partially due to its length but mostly due to the story kept me coming back.

Only having read/listened to two of this author’s books I can not say if this is typical of his style or not.  If it is, though, I can tell there are plenty of good books waiting for me to make time for them.  The style is a little quirky and way snarky in dialog but a whole lot of fun.  Not a lot I can find fault with in this one.  Maybe a little heavy-handed with the language at times, definitely not safe for work or children of any age.  I liked it but didn’t love it so it gets the same rating as the first book in the series.  This one feels like a finally but if another shows up in this world I will make room for it on my to-read shelf.

My Rating: 4 Stars