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The Week in Books III

May 25, 2007

The third book in the N.E. Bode trilogy was not what my daughter promised.  The Somebodies showed signs of that first book, but no.  Oh well.  She liked them and that’s all that matters.

SuperLibrarian: The Virus and Saiko & Lavender #2 are just some comics I had lying around from Free Comic Book Day.  Neither one blew me away.  SuperLibrarian’s backstory was created by a teen, and that was pretty obvious, but it seems like it was written by a teen too, and S&L was like…an explosion of WTF?FURRIES?

I also read All-Star Superman #7, but I’m not a big Grant Morrison fan.  He gives me a headache.

Let’s see, what else…there was Fathers & Other Strangers, the other Superromance that ended up in my hands.  It was okay.  Take one lawyer and turn her into a housewife, whee?  And the end was kind of silly, but I forgive them.  It wasn’t going to make a lot of sense no matter how Crowe spun it.

I also read Ghost Walk by Heather Graham.  It was okay but the characters were pretty darn flat.

Now we come to the two worth saying something about.  The first is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Collected Book Volume 1.  (Link may not be accurate.)  When I was a kid, I looooved the cartoon show.  The movie (OLD SKOOL) was good too, but it wasn’t as silly, and as a kid, I didn’t love it quite as much–except for Elias Koteas, who is old now *sigh*.  The comics, which I’d never read before, were very much the precursor of the movies.  At first, I wasn’t that into the book because the stories were kind of lame in that been-there, done-that, were you seventeen when you started this? sort of way–although the art was always fantastic if you can forgive April’s hair–but by the end, I was sad to close it.  I love collected comics, where you see the artists and writers grow and change over time.

The other thing I read–hold on to your hats, kids–was J.D. Robb’s Divided in Death.  YOU know and *I* know that J.D. Robb is Nora Roberts.  And YOU know that *I* know Nora Roberts can bite me.  However, I ended up with this book ages ago and finally read it.  This reminded me of something I’d forgotten: I love Eve Dallas.  Boy, do I love Eve Dallas.

I have a theory.  Well, it’s a couple of hypotheses:

1. The Nora Roberts machine is really a machine.  They put this woman’s face on it but a bunch of people write it.  That’s why some of it is such dreck.

2. Nora Roberts originally wrote some good books but then the machine took over.  Nora Roberts herself rakes in the dough but other people write her stuff for her.

3. Nora Roberts is writing the dreck and the other stuff gets farmed out to a ghostwriter now.

4. Nora Roberts is focusing on Eve Dallas and the In Death series and someone else is writing the dreck.

5. Nora Roberts is focusing on Eve Dallas and the In Death series and knocking out all that other crap in a week just to fulfill her obligations.  That’s why it’s crap; she doesn’t have her heart in it.

I think that 5 is the most likely, but that 4 is possible too.  Either way, Nora Roberts’s dreck is banned from my house until she apologizes for having a twelve-year-old character play Grand Theft Auto in one of her books.  Yeah, I like when minors kill hookers too, ROBERTS.

Oh, but it hurts to give up Robb, especially since Divided in Death was sooo good.  One of the things I like about the series is that it has no problems letting the main character be married and generally happy in her relationship.  The problems they have stem logically from the characters’ personalities, not soap opera crap that gets thrown between them.  The secondary characters are great too: the funny sidekick, the grouchy father figure, the balancing mother figure, the pompous butler…heck, even the cat’s great.

The thing is, I don’t remember loving the other books so much.  Liking them, yes.  Loving them?  Maybe it’s me.  OR MAYBE THE MACHINE HAS KILLED THE OLD AUTHOR AND REPLACED HER.

HMMMM…

Coming up next week: Alice Hoffman, and my first Christopher Moore.

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