Your Garage Summer Reading Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it Adele Fire TV Stick Subscribe & Save Patriotic Picks Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer roadies roadies roadies  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Introducing new colors All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Segway miniPro
Profile for susan jay, author of The House of Yes > Reviews


susan jay, autho...'s Profile

Customer Reviews: 91
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,655,850
Helpful Votes: 121

Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
susan jay, author of The House of Yes RSS Feed

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
Carte Blanche
Carte Blanche
by Jeffery Deaver
Edition: Hardcover
319 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes! Give Us More Bond!, August 3, 2011
This review is from: Carte Blanche (Hardcover)
Jeffery Deaver brings his own style to imitating Ian Fleming, and it is not to everyone's liking, but for fans of Deaver's usual thrillers, his talents embellish an already great series. Carte Blanche brings James Bond into the current world of espionage smoothly enough, but unlike Sebastion Faulk's new Bond novel, with Devil May Care, Deaver goes in for more gadgetry and psychology than cool hip elegance.

In this story we get Bond in his prime, brought into modern time, and quickly running afoul of a european government while trying to save a runaway train. He returns home determined to find the party responsible. In typical Deaver style, 007's professional life within MI6 becomes a larger part of the story than usual. James is sent out to locate and identify the villain, a waste management magnate, with what his superiors refer to as "carte gris", curtailed license to break the rules. Dogging his every step is a desk jockey/interrogator from another division who wishes to get to the bottom of the threat his own way - possibly discrediting Bond in the process. Internal politics is a Deaver specialty, as is attention to technical detail, whether it be weapons or any other modern invention. If you like this kind of thing, Jeffery Deaver is a master at explaining sophisticated technology without losing the pace and the Bond genre gives him plenty of opportunity to showcase the latest inventions in a number of different fields.

Another area where the author shines is in drawing fascinating psychological profiles - particularly when it comes to the bad guys. The waste management tycoon is a necrophile - he finds decomposition so intoxicating that he picks his mistress/servant/slave to be an aging but elegant beauty queen, whom he then forbids to wear make-up. His genius saboteur is a psychopath with exceedingly strange passions - but to reveal them would spoil it for the reader. Bond's character by comparison is less fascinating, but plays pretty true to form for Fleming's original character.

Last, I personally enjoyed this author's trick of describing action scenes with an outcome offered at face value - only to reveal contradictory details of what actually took place in the ensuing chapter (as in: it looked like the killer went one way, when in fact he'd gone another)

The action plays out primarily in Great Britain and South Africa. As always, the locations provide great flavor to the plot. All I can say is, if we can't have Fleming, thank goodness we have the excellent Jeffery Deaver to help keep 007 alive!

Devil May Care - New James Bond Novel
Devil May Care - New James Bond Novel
by Sebastian writing as Fleming, Ian Faulks
Edition: Hardcover
58 used & new from $2.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ian Fleming Rides Again - as S. Faulks, August 3, 2011
It's a great time to return to the gritty but elegantly tough world of James Bond, as Hollywood has already proven. Sebastian Faulks stages his 007 contemplating retirement, watching his diet and alcohol consumption, and wondering whether he's fit enough to take on any more assignments. Fortunately, the unusual murder of a drug trafficker in France (his tongue has been cut off and fed to him) forces MI6 to call Bond back to action.

Quickly, James is outfitted with the gadgets for the job, ditching the elder-care routine, for traveling abroad to hunt millionaire scientist Max Gorner, a man determined to undermine several governments against whom he holds a pathological grudge. As with the chief villain in Fleming's The Man With the Golden Gun, Gorner has a disfigurement - a monkey's paw - and as with many Bond novels, he also possesses at his beck and call a vicious homicidal right hand man to kill for him. The leading lady in the story, Scarlett Papava, is one of the more talented of the Bond heroines. She and 007 relate much in the same way as Steed and Mrs. Peel of the Avengers - clever and competitive until the inevitable romantic scenes.

I have read both Mr. Faulks new version of Fleming, as well as Jeffery Deaver's Bond novel, Carte Blanche, and both are wonderful returns to 007's world. What I liked about Devil May Care was the old fashioned attention to the art of being a gentleman - that GQ feature of the Fleming series that highlighted quality, good sportsmanship and style. Reading James Bond caused men all over the world to buy Rolexes and order martinis in my father's day. I don't think a little more elegance could hurt the modern male much either!

The Poacher's Son (Mike Bowditch Mysteries)
The Poacher's Son (Mike Bowditch Mysteries)
by Paul Doiron
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.29
126 used & new from $2.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They tell 'em better in Maine, August 3, 2011
Years ago I had a colleague tell me that Maine story tellers are the best in the country. The Poacher's Son is a great example of why that just might be true. Set in the portion of Maine owned largely by paper and oil companies, and thus sparsely populated, the back woods of northern Maine, as described by Paul Dorion with detail that comes of knowing the territory intimately, are the perfect environment to take refuge from civilization. For this same reason, they proves to be a difficult part of the world to catch a killer.

Mike Bowditch, a game warden working in a southern part of the same state, grew up in these woods with his hard, bitter father. Jack Bowditch, a sometimes guide and trapper, legendary for his skill in the wild, comes across as a lone wolf who garners the reader's sympathy for his choice to live off the land. Where Dorion excels in catching our interest is in his ability to simultaneously convey how dangerous, selfish and unpredictable the old poacher can also be. There is a sense of unease in Jack's son's recollections of his father,as if he were a more dangerous wild animal than the bear Mike sets to trap at the outset of the story.

Like his dad, Mike's lifestyle has caused him to lose his wife, and to add to the unhappiness of his recent divorce, Mike receives a call that Jack is accused of murdering a police officer and the representative of a company that is threatening to kick everyone off of the land - including Mike's father. Now Jack is missing. When Mike returns home to northern Maine he is forced to reconnect with men and women from his past carrying secrets and old grudges against his father. While it is difficult enough to sift out the truth from the home crowd, Mike runs in to more trouble with his own park service for being too emotionally involved cavalier with protocol.

On the surface this may seem a pretty predictable story line, but Paul Dorion grafts his knowledge of woodsmanship and a real talent for characterization to the tale. People who hide themselves this far out of the way from modern life are given good reason. The characters in The Poacher's Son are creepily believable. Several of his father's closest neighbors are every bit as cunning and dangerous as he is, some are slightly insane, and only two or three are willing and able to help.

Mike races the law to find his father and prove Jack's innocence - both to his pursuers and to himself. The end of this mystery is satisfyingly surprising. 'Poacher's Son is a dark and tangled thriller that will make you swear you've spent a week in the woods of Maine.

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing: A Brief Course
Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing: A Brief Course
by Lawrence W. Erickson
Edition: Spiral-bound
21 used & new from $4.93

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How easy can it get?, May 6, 2011
Wow! I just tried my new Mavis Beacon typing program after my daughter became an excellent typist using same. What is there to say? Do I like the command step-by-step for using my fingers on the key board, the color reminders for mistakes, the instant feedback of my words per minute (in spite of the automatic assurances that I am already a great typist), the awesome jazz that backgrounds and distracts from an otherwise possibly tedious typing lesson? YES to all of the above!

Everybody who wants an easy and fun way to learn to type (and believe me - I've already tried some of the so-called fun typing programs) good old fashioned Mavis is still the best in the game!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 10, 2015 6:50 AM PDT

We Shall Not Sleep (World War I)
We Shall Not Sleep (World War I)
by Anne Perry
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.14
92 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Mystery entwined with a morality tale, May 6, 2011
As is usual with Anne Perry's work, We Shall Not Sleep combines a terrible murder mystery with a subtext of exploration of social justice, and in this book, the average individual's everyday choices extended into the atmosphere of international politics that characterized the end of the first great war. The Reavely family's quest to discover the identity of the man referred to as the Peacemaker, a murderous "power behind the curtain" enemy, is finally answered - but what I enjoyed about this book were the insightful, typical Perry depictions of what really motivates people to do what they do.

For example: when the body of a front line nurse is discovered impaled by a bayonet and disfigured sexually, the author portrays her fellow nurses as somewhat unsympathetic. As the scene unfolds, it becomes clear that these girls must distinguish themselves from the promiscuous and flirtatious co-worker mainly to convince themselves that they are too virtuous to be a possible next victim.

In a more pertinent note to our western world of today, Perry makes a good point of portraying her characters as appreciating that even in a drastically changed country, as England became after the first world war, freedoms and rights caused her people to retain their appreciation that home was still a place of comfort and value - better than every place else - and worth fighting for.

This mystery delivered. The history lesson was given out in a heartfelt and accurate way. Perry fans and newcomers will get what they came for.

Witch & Wizard
Witch & Wizard
by James Patterson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.90
299 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Orwell meets The Lake House, May 5, 2011
In the Orwellian world of the rising New Order, kids, and particularly rebellious teens, must either conform or die. The leader of this dreadful regime is a powerful wizard determined to exterminate all other magical people. That's not good news for Whitford and Wisteria Allgood, two teens who are just discovering their powers. They escape a mental institution taking refuge with a group of idealistic resistance fighters and from there, do their best to find their parents and save other children.

Patterson's style is to keep the action coming in short punch-like chapters. The story is appealing, although the characters are reminiscent of the teens and evil madmen of his earlier book, The Lake House. J.P. seems to be on a mission to strike back at the apathetic attitude that plagues many teens in our real-life society by portraying his young heros as brave, strong, loyal and possessed of good moral instincts. A fun, fast-paced read.

Keeper of the Keys
Keeper of the Keys
by Perri O'Shaughnessy
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
142 used & new from $0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars Bored and Annoyed, May 5, 2011
This story moved at a snail's pace. I admit that I hung on until the end because I wanted to see where this mystery led, but I found myself skipping over chunks of repetitive and self-indulgent angst masquerading as character development so I could get to the next actual piece of action. A wife disappears, her architect husband may have killed her, her former best friend wants to make up, and so joins the search for her, and everybody is keeping secrets. It sounded great on the cover. Unfortunately, the publisher neglected to divulge that this author spends a lot of time writing about what a crummy place Los Angeles is (why?) instead of focusing on the story. Having read the other reviews of this book, the best I can say is that fans of O'Shaunessy's work seem to agree that this just isn't one of her best stories.

The Magicians: A Novel
The Magicians: A Novel
by Lev Grossman
Edition: Paperback
61 used & new from $4.71

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Grown-ups Harry Potter, April 3, 2011
This review is from: The Magicians: A Novel (Paperback)
The good guys don't always win in this book that has many parallells with the JK Rowling series. Grossman's students of magic in fact, mention Harry Potter as a series that everyone in the story has read, like the Fillory series - tales set in a magical world that turns out to be very real in this book. The "young Harry" of Magicians, Quentin, is both brilliant and naive, but not always in a charming way. The reader follows Quentin well into adulthood, making errors of judgement and false starts in both the worlds of magic and romance. Despite finding Quentin irritating at times, the author's construction of Brakebills magic school and the great way he serves up the surprise vanquishing of the evil in Fillory were satisfying enough to make up for the sad and awkward truths of his realistic characters. Don't look for a triumphant ending, Grossman aims to portray that his magicians are "just regular people" - and does a good job of it.

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior
Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior
by Ori Brafman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.95
293 used & new from $0.01

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Trivial Pursuit with a dram of Hogwash, April 3, 2011
It is not exactly earthshaking news that people sometimes act uncharacteristically when placed into the exact wrong circumstances. When I read the postmortem on the KLM pilot whose frustration level, paired with unusual surroundings resulted in a fatal crash, it was an interesting read, but nowhere near as fascinating as pilot error stories recounted in Outliers. Sway, in fact, is a kind of watered down version of Outliers in that it tries to take unusual aspects of our human experience and explain them largely through anecdotes. There are "studies" referred to from time to time, but I stopped mid book when one such "study" determined that drugs in the Prozac family had the same effect of lightening depression as sugar pills did on a control group. Really - the decreased depression, the side effects and the eventual withdrawal I went through ten years ago were all in my head? Did everyone in the control group also slowly gain weight and suffer a temporary loss of libido? This was when I put the book down. Clearly there is as much real intellectual gain and entertainment to be had from Sway as I might better enjoy at a neighborhood cocktail party. Nice try!

Plum Island
Plum Island
by Nelson DeMille
Edition: Paperback
80 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A Delight, March 11, 2011
This review is from: Plum Island (Paperback)
Nelson DeMille has written a delightful detective novel for those of us who need a quick escape and satisfying thriller. John Corey is an off duty detective whose beer and hamburger sensibilities provide him a wry critical eye towards the tony residents of Long Island as he solves the mystery of Plum Island. The story moves along with quick sketches of people and places true or typical to the area. DeMille lets the reader in on what's really afoot by the middle of the book, but it's still fun to follow as Corey must be find a way to expose the truth. Anyone who reads this book and looks at the real Plum Island on a map will never quite be able to shake this fictional account of what goes on out there.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10