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1. Misguided Angel (Blue Bloods,
2. Clockwork Angel (The Infernal
3. The Killer Angels: The Classic
4. Angels & Demons - Movie Tie-In:
5. No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover
6. Among Angels
7. The Angel's Game
8. Crave (Fallen Angels, Book 2)
9. The Night Angel Trilogy
10. Covet (Fallen Angels, Book 1)
11. Where Angels Go
12. The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming
13. Angel Time (The Songs of the Seraphim)
14. Angels Flight (Harry Bosch)
15. Angel Numbers 101: The Meaning
16. Dictionary of Angels: Including
17. Knight Angels: Book of Revenge
18. The City of Falling Angels
19. Angels in America, Part One: Millennium
20. Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible

1. Misguided Angel (Blue Bloods, Book 5)
by Melissa De La Cruz
Hardcover: 272 Pages (2010-10-26)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$7.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1423121287
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
After inheriting the dark Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler fled to Florence--with her forbidden love, Jack. Now the two of them must embark on the mission Schuyler was destined to complete: to find and protect the seven gates that guard earth from Lucifer, lord of the Silverbloods.

As the Blue Blood enclave weakens yet further, fate leads Schuyler closer to a terrifying crossroads--and a choice that will determine the destiny of all vampires. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars Misguided Angels
Misguided Angels (M.A.) picks up right at the ending of The Van Alen Legacy where Jack & Schuyler meet up with the Countess who offers them refuge and aid in fulfilling Lawrence Van Alen's work.
At the start of M.A., they are in Italy and find they are actually pampered prisoners desperately trying to escape the Countesses clutches and journey to Florence where they believe the Gate of Promise is located. Finding the Gate of Promise proves to be a harrowing journey full of near-misses, evil doers and misdirection. They have more Big Bads after them then Fido has fleas.
This isn't their only dilemma; Jack and Schuyler have the great love of all time but Mimi, Jacks twin and bond mate is less then pleased with him and has Venator bounty hunters after him to bring him back to New York to face her wrath for abandoning her at their bonding ritual. It is within Mimi's rights to end Jacks immortal life for abandoning her and it is an ever present worry for both Jack and Schuyler.

Mimi, meanwhile, back in New York is acting Regent for the coven since Forsyth Llewellyn's disappearance after the bonding disaster. Although she's surprised that the Conclave chose her, this is a job she's vowed not to fail at; using it as a distraction for her heartbreak and humiliation she begins to pick up the pieces of a coven that is uncertain where their future is going. When a teen Blue Blood disappears and a horrific video circling the net shows her very realistic looking murder it's up to Mimi to find the murder that is set on telling all the Blue Bloods secrets. She begrudgingly enlists Oliver, Schuyler's best friend and former familiar, who by the way isn't Mimi's biggest fan. With time running out and more Blue Bloods in peril, a new character is introduced from another Coven, Deming Chen, a Truth Seeker and Angel of Mercy. Each using different methods to suss out the kidnapper, will they find the missing Blue Blood before the time limit set or will they watch another die a horrid death? Mimi, the Angel of Death, is only a teenager but she has eons of experience behind her but she is forced to do things that she never would have done before and puts not only her own immortal life at risk but also that of the entire Blue Blood coven. With the Blue Bloods future hanging in the balance every choice she makes can have a huge impact.

The premise was excellent in Misguided Angels; the story carries itself well and flows between the search for the Gate of Promise and the mystery of murdered/missing teenage Blue Bloods. There's some interesting 15th century flashbacks of some well known Venators and a lot more interaction with the `red-blood' kids from school that I found interesting. I am already looking forward to the next book in the series and I hope it's got more pages!

2-0 out of 5 stars so short!
i wish i would have waited to read it, until it was closer to then next books release date. It didn't relly get anywhere it was more of just a set up for the next book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another amazing installment
Melissa De La Cruz does not disappoint with her latest book in the Blue Bloods series. There was suspense, romance, action, and new characters to fall in love with. There seems to be a new set of villains to worry about besides just Silver Bloods. Oliver and Mimi have some interesting interaction and there's a hope for the return of Kingsley. The book seemed short like all of them do which is going to make the wait for Bloody Valentine even harder.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised
A new adventure for our favorite heroes!From the slopes of the Mediterranean to New York City the blue bloods race across the continents in three new adventures.Vampires are being killed, kidnappings, Jack and Schuyler together but on the room and a new and fascinating character.A worthy addition to the most original vampire series out there.

2-0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed...
I would start by saying that I am a big fun of the Blue Blood series and I've waited for this 5th book to come, very excited to get it. And then, when I got it and read it I was so disappointed, first of all the book was so short, it was more like a tele-novella.And then there wasn't anything about the other characters like Bliss, Alegra and Charles. Jack and Schuyler was one of my favorite characters but their parts was so short too...I'm just so disappointed... ... Read more

2. Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1)
by Cassandra Clare
Hardcover: 496 Pages (2010-08-31)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$10.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416975861
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Tessa Gray descends into Victorian London's dark underworld to search for her missing brother, with the mysterious Shadowhunters as her only allies.Amazon.com Review
Product Description
Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Cassandra Clare, Author of Clockwork Angel

Q: How does your new series, The Infernal Devices, relate to your previous series, The Mortal Instruments? Do new readers need to read The Mortal Instruments before they read the new series?

A: The Infernal Devices take place in the same universe as The Mortal Instruments, but a hundred and fifty years before the events of the Mortal series. You absolutely don't have to read The Mortal Instruments first; I've gotten very enthusiastic feedback from people who started with Clockwork Angel. However, if you are a fan of the Mortal Instruments, you'll see familiar family names--Lightwood, Wayland--and get to see what the ancestors of the characters you already know were up to in the Victorian age. There is at least one character who crosses over both series: the immortal warlock Magnus Bane. For those familiar with the Mortal books, it should be fun to meet him again; for those who haven't read them, it should be fun to meet him for the first time!

Q: Do you have a favorite character in Clockwork Angel?

A: Like Tessa, I'm torn between Jem and Will! They were both so wonderfully fun to write. Despite having a close brotherly bond, they're really opposites in personality. Will is a character who hides almost everything about himself; Jem is a character who is almost unendingly open and kind. Of course, when either kind of character reaches their breaking point, you have those moments of high drama and intensity that are catnip to writers!

Q: What characteristic or personality trait does Tessa possess that you most admire?

A: She is extremely persistent and unwilling to give up. When she's imprisoned, she doesn't stop trying to escape; she never stops trying learn new information; she never stops looking for her brother. She never fades quietly into the background; she plants her feet and asks questions--and gets answers, often from the unlikeliest of sources.

Q: How much research did you do for Clockwork Angel? What was the most interesting thing that you learned?

A: Starting in January of 2009 I took a six-month period of reading only books written during, or set in, the Victorian era--both fiction and nonfiction. I have an entire bookshelf now dedicated just to Victoriana. I also hired a research assistant who dug through primary source materials to find me letters and diaries written at the time. I was especially keen to find diaries of Americans traveling abroad, since Tessa is an American in London. I wanted to get a sense of what her impression as a foreigner would have been. One of the creepiest things I learned about was Victorian death photos, where they would prop up corpses to seem alive and take photos of them for their loved ones to have as keepsakes.

Q: Which type of character is the most fun for you to write--the hero or the villain?

A: There's a huge appeal to writing both, but there's something special about creating a really good villain. The villain stands outside society. He or she can say or do anything without fear of what the consequences will be for his/her relationships with the other characters. Sometimes the villain is the only one who can speak a vicious or painful truth and get away with it.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (155)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cassanda Clare's Clockwork Angel
I just finished this book yesterday and it was so good! Can't wait for the next one in the series to come out.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Darkly Woven Story - Missing Only a Few Pieces
As always, Cassandra's strong point is in her characters, not her plots. Of course, there really isn't anything wrong with this plot - it starts out well, has enough action, and a few delicious scenes with evil, dead-eyed clockwork creatures advancing like mechanical zombies. Unfortunately, the brilliant idea of clockwork creatures seemed a bit dull, considering they were not in the least bit scary and were basically chopped into sparking scrap metal on every occasion. As in the Mortal Instruments, there were a few scenes that made my heart start to race, my eyes drinking in the words so fast I missed a couple of sentences, all the while thinking, "SQUEE!! This book is beautiful!" Somehow, after these scenes, I never found the proper satisfaction I was looking for. You know the feeling - when after reading a book, there's a bit of a warm glow in your stomach, as if you've just left the theatre after seeing a good movie. Despite all of her fantastic ideas, sometimes it just...I don't know, gets a bit boring. The plot, as I said, seems like it should work, but it just feels like a filler, a bit of background to add substance to the characters. Clave, Enclave, Ruins, blah, blah. How many times can you say, "Quick, gang! For some touchy supernatural political reason, we have to go and slice some people in two! Yay!" That sounds cool. It should be. But that's all they do. Through the whole book. Boredom strikes again, so I put the book down to go get a more interesting snack.

Cassandra's best characters are her male characters - Will, Jem, and even Henry I thorougly enjoyed. (Henry had loads of potentional. I thought he would be fantastic from the moment he said, "Oh, I remember you! You bit me!")The overall atmosphere of the book was rather dark and moody, set off by the ever-present London rain. However, in some way or another, this book falls short. I like Tessa a great deal more than I liked Clary - she has her moments of dry wit and outbursts which are entertaining - but setting aside these moments, she's not thrilling. (And she is quite a lot like Clary. Like, Will is basically Jace. Oh, and Jessamine, really? No, Cassandra, really? Does every girl in every institute through Shadowhunter history have to be a jerk, so the newly arriving main character does not have any competition?) The one other thing was the villain of the book. Not terribly memorable. Sorry - he's just okay.

Despite all my complaining, I really did like the book. Ask my mum, if you will - she had to constantly steer me away from oncoming walls. (I have a terrible time reading and walking, I must admit.)

2-0 out of 5 stars Quick & light but too similar to her other books, 2.5 stars
In Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1), Tessa Gray comes to London to meet her brother after a ticket is sent to her in America. When her brother doesn't appear and two women called the Dark Sisters abduct her instead, Tessa finds herself drawn into the city's magical underworld for the misuse of powers she never knew she had. Later freed by the Shadowhunters, including the caustic and beautiful Will, Tessa begins to learn her place in their world as she continues her search for her brother. All the while, the Shadowhunters must fight increasingly dangerous and suspicious enemies, including ones that still want Tessa for themselves.

Like in her City of Bones (Mortal Instruments) (MI) series, Clare has created an easy, quick, and sometimes entertaining read in CLOCKWORK ANGEL. Tessa was a likable protagonist, who's battling between Victorian norms and her own wishes to be more outspoken. Secondary characters, like Sophie, Thomas, and Charlotte, were interesting and sometimes more complex than the main characters. Favorite characters from MI appeared, including Magnus Bane, and readers get to learn their history. Some interesting plot twists emerged as things picked up near the end. This novel also contained the tightest, least flowery language I've ever read by the author.

The main downfall of the book, however, was that it felt entirely too similar to her previous books. The set-up is nearly the same: three young Shadowhunters at an Institute and a new girl - a girl who is quiet and naïve and something she never knew - now thrust into a world she didn't know existed. A main villain emerges and his nefarious plan will undoubtedly span across the trilogy. There's even a question of unclear parentage among one of the characters. Characters from MI are interchangeable with these new ones, with Will obviously a stand-in for Jace and Tessa so like Clary. Instead of Jem (the other young, male Shadowhunter ) being too much like Alec or Simon from MI, the relationship between Will and Jem was uncannily similar to the Ryves brothers in Rees Brennan's The Demon's Lexicon trilogy. Pacing lagged significantly for the first 300 pages, and repetitive language patterns emerged that one can recognize from her other books. The steampunk elements felt unnecessary and underdeveloped, and there were contradictions in this mythology. Many plot points were left unexplained, and a cliffhanger ending results. Even with this cliffhanger, a sense of predictability looms regarding certain relationships and events. The sense of setting and time also failed, in that I never felt the characters were truly in Victorian England based on their interactions and language.

Though I found CLOCKWORK ANGEL to be unoriginal and predictable, I'm sure that many fans of Clare and the MI series will love it nonetheless.In the coming two books, I hope Clare brings more originality to her characterization and plot and a better sense of time and place to make for a more enjoyable read.

5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing prequel to an already amazing series.
I absolutely loved this book.The way it is tied and connect with the mortal instruments series is phenomenal.I was hooked by the 3rd page.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love those Shadowhunters
Had no idea I was going to re-enter the world of shadowhunters and demons.When I recieved the book and looked at the cover to find the runes on it, I was so excited. And,even though the book is billed as a pre=quel, it brings back all those memories of the Mortal Instrument series.I love reading books that provide a lineage to character(s) in other series.Here it William Herondale -Shadowhunter, who possesses all those qualities which Jace possesses in the other series but why not, Jace is a decendant of the Herondales. If you haven't read the Mortal Instument series you really must. I cannot wait to see what happens to Tessa and the others as the series unfolds.Could Casandra somehow imply that the shapeshifter in Tessa is the basis for possibly werewolves or others.Lady Camille Belcort surely gets around and could we possible see her in the novel with Simon.All in all this book had placed me back in a realm that I wished I could have been destined for.Keep bringing on those great Shadowhunters especially the Herondales. ... Read more

3. The Killer Angels: The Classic Novel of the Civil War
by Michael Shaara
Paperback: 368 Pages (1996-07-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 034540727X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
"MY FAVORITE HISTORICAL NOVEL . . . A superb re-creation of the Battle of Gettysburg, but its real importance is its insight into what the war was about, and what it meant."
--James M. McPherson, Author of Battle Cry of Freedom

In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation's history, two armies fought for two dreams. One dreamed of freedom, the other of a way of life.

Far more than rifles and bullets were carried into battle. There were memories. There were promises. There was love. And far more than men fell on those Pennsylvania fields. Shattered futures, forgotten innocence, and crippled beauty were also the casualties of war.

The Killer Angels is unique, sweeping, unforgettable--a dramatic re-creation of the battleground for America's destiny.

"REMARKABLE. . . A BOOK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE . . . I had never visited Gettysburg, knew almost nothing about that battle before I read the book, but here it all came alive."
--Ken Burns, Filmmaker, The Civil WarAmazon.com Review
This novel reveals more about the Battle of Gettysburg thanany piece of learned nonfiction on the same subject. Michael Shaara'saccount of the three most important days of the Civil War featuresdeft characterizations of all of the main actors, including Lee,Longstreet, Pickett, Buford, and Hancock. The most inspiring figure inthe book, however, is Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, whose 20thMaine regiment of volunteers held the Union's left flank on the secondday of the battle. This unit's bravery at Little Round Top helpedturned the tide of the war against the rebels. There are also plentyof maps, which convey a complete sense of what happened July 1-3,1863. Reading about the past is rarely so much fun as on these pages. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (565)

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ
This book is a must read,weather you are a civil war buff or just a casual reader.Mr Shaara brings the men and the battle to life before your very eyes. Which ever side your loyalties lie with you will find men on both sides to admire.This book should find a place of pride on any bookshelve.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good reading for a battlefield
I sat on a rock. It was a big rock, an old rock, sticking out of the side of a hill on Little Round Top's south side. I opened this book to the section where the Maine soldiers gain this place and begin to pile up rocks and wood, expecting the rebel force in front in minutes. For me, it was early in the morning, before the bus tourists come in, and I was all alone. I read about Joshua Chamberlain and his men on the second day of the Gettysburg battle...how he saw the chance that the confederates might turn around this place and bring soldiers in to knock back his unit, all units, and from there the entire Union position. I walked out away from the tourist markers and into the woods to find the wall where he dispatched a pitiful part of his force to hold against... disaster.

It's so small, the area. The 20th Maine is just a story until you go there. The monument is up a few steps from a small car park lot, and standing at that point you imagine the men spaced out to your right and left. On your left they are at 90 degrees to your main line, preventing a rout...

Gun shots, men down in lines, ammunition running out, what do I do?

Read this book and find out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superior read
Truly fine novel.Makes the war come alive with characters you can believe in and care about. You will want to read the other books as well.

3-0 out of 5 stars GeneralLee Speaking
I not into history much. but this book helped make things interesting and easier to follow.I like how the chapters are based on certain key characters.My favorite is General Lee.

5-0 out of 5 stars HISTORICAL FICTION IS FUN
Loved Killer Angels - written by a dedicated writer who knew his stuff.When will we get more fiction like this?I've just read GETTYSBURG... OTHER TIMES, and though not in the league of Shaara's masterpiece, I did enjoy very much this new historical fiction on the great battle.
GETTYSBURG... Other Times ... Read more

4. Angels & Demons - Movie Tie-In: A Novel
by Dan Brown
Paperback: 496 Pages (2009-03-31)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416580824
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code comes the explosive thriller that started it all.

An ancient secret brotherhood. A devastating new weapon of destruction. An unthinkable target. When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to his first assignment to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol -- seared into the chest of a murdered physicist -- he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati...the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy -- the Catholic Church.

Langdon's worst fears are confirmed on the eve of the Vatican's holy conclave, when a messenger of the Illuminati announces they have hidden an unstoppable time bomb at the very heart of Vatican City. With the countdown under way, Langdon jets to Rome to join forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid for survival.

Embarking on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome toward the long-forgotten Illuminati lair...a clandestine location that contains the only hope for Vatican salvation.

Critics have praised the exhilarating blend of relentless adventure, scholarly intrigue, and cutting wit found in Brown's remarkable thrillers featuring Robert Langdon. An explosive international suspense, Angels & Demons marks this hero's first adventure as it careens from enlightening epiphanies to dark truths as the battle between science and religion turns to war.Amazon.com Review
It takes guts to write a novel that combines an ancient secret brotherhood, the Swiss Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, a papal conclave, mysterious ambigrams, a plot against the Vatican, a mad scientist in a wheelchair, particles of antimatter, jets that can travel 15,000 miles per hour, crafty assassins, a beautiful Italian physicist, and a Harvard professor of religious iconology. It takes talent to make that novel anything but ridiculous. Kudos to Dan Brown (Digital Fortress) for achieving the nearly impossible. Angels & Demons is a no-holds-barred, pull-out-all-the-stops, breathless tangle of a thriller--think Katherine Neville's The Eight (but cleverer) or Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum (but more accessible).

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is shocked to find proof that the legendary secret society, the Illuminati--dedicated since the time of Galileo to promoting the interests of science and condemning the blind faith of Catholicism--is alive, well, and murderously active. Brilliant physicist Leonardo Vetra has been murdered, his eyes plucked out, and the society's ancient symbol branded upon his chest. His final discovery, antimatter, the most powerful and dangerous energy source known to man, has disappeared--only to be hidden somewhere beneath Vatican City on the eve of the election of a new pope. Langdon and Vittoria, Vetra's daughter and colleague, embark on a frantic hunt through the streets, churches, and catacombs of Rome, following a 400-year-old trail to the lair of the Illuminati, to prevent the incineration of civilization.

Brown seems as much juggler as author--there are lots and lots of balls in the air in this novel, yet Brown manages to hurl the reader headlong into an almost surreal suspension of disbelief. While the reader might wish for a little more sardonic humor from Langdon, and a little less bombastic philosophizing on the eternal conflict between religion and science, these are less fatal flaws than niggling annoyances--readers should have no trouble skimming past them and immersing themselves in a heck of a good read. "Brain candy" it may be, but my! It's tasty. --Kelly Flynn

Look Inside the Motion Picture Angels & Demons (Sony Pictures, 2009)
Click on each image below to see a larger view

Ewan MacGregor as Carlo Ventresca with College of Cardinals

Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon

Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon and Ayelet Zurer as Vittoria Vetra

Armin Mueller-Stahl as Straus and Ewan MacGregor as Carlo Ventresca

Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, Ayelet Zurer as Vittoria Vetra, and Ewan MacGregor as Carlo Ventresca

Ewan MacGregor as Carlo Ventresca

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2432)

4-0 out of 5 stars Decent Purchase
While I haven't actually read the entire book yet, so far so good... I did, however, want to leave a comment/review on the product itself for any future potential buyers.

In the description, it says that this book is illustrated - and that is not a joke. There are pictures on every 3 pages it seems (slight exaggeration here) and the book itself is large... like 8.5x11 large. Keep that in mind if you are trying to decide between this version of the book and the mass paperback version. I am deployed to a far away country right now and I should have bought the mass paperback version, simply because it is a challenge to lay in bed to read it... Quite honestly, it is easier to read it at a desk and then, with the size of the book & the pictures - it feels more like a text book.

Anyway, for what it's worth - that is my assessment on the actual physical product - not so much the story, simply because I know I will enjoy the story as I love all of Dan Brown's works.

5-0 out of 5 stars Angels and Demons
Good reading.Left me wanting to find out more
This book is far better than any others Dan Brown
has written

5-0 out of 5 stars great book
This is an excellent read, better then The Da Vinci Code.You won't be able to put it down.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good story, makes me think, but annoyingly wordy
First off, I enjoyed this book, especially the second half when the plot thickens and twists unpredictably. I read the entire second half in one sitting. I also liked the photographs and maps in this illustrated edition, which I found helpful to trace the action and ponder the symbolism.

Having said that, the book suffers from drawbacks that puts it well out of the league of good literature. I am not sure if this is because it's Dan Brown's first book, not having read others.

The writing style is completely amateurish. I found it too wordy, slowing me down when the plot is supposed to be action-oriented and fast paced. Things are explained ad nauseum, with much repetitiveness, insulting the reader's intelligence. There are many irrelevant details and descriptions. For example, Robert Langdon, upon entering a church or a room, first takes the time to survey the place, admiring the artwork, even when he well knows there's a killer in the room. Something about this kind of timing irks me. The whole novel is supposed to happen in the span of a few hours, but I cannot believe so much action could take place, not at the pace it is written out in.

More annoying is the language used. Every character, whether Italian, CERN scientist, Harvard Professor, Vatican Cardinal, Swiss Guard, or British reporter speaks with the same accent, peppered with "I'll be d*mned". At least one "D*mn" has to pop up on every page. It cuts the believability of the story and constantly reminds me I am reading a work of fiction - an imperfectly-crafted one at that.

As many other reviewers pointed out, the characters are unreal. A Harvard professor who is a champion diver and swims 50 laps a day? The author has no idea of the amount of time and devotion it takes to be a successful academic.

There were also problems with the research and with consistency. The editors could have done a better job spotting those things. A poison that darkens the gums, then the tongue is found to be black. A Middle Eastern assassin who "speaks Islamic" [Islam is a religion, not a language], with a "cold Middle Eastern accent" [Middle Eastern accents I heard can be described as anything but cold]. The springtime sun in Rome setting at 9 PM? Even in midsummer the Mediterranean sun barely makes it past 8 PM. Or how about the scientist who secretly works on the CERN accelerator late at night to produce anti-matter? [Large accelerators are operated 24 hours and there are several people in the operator room at all times].

The greatest faux pas of all? The Rome in which action was taking place, at 7 PM, 8 PM appears as if it was deserted. This is quite unlike my experience of Rome, with mountains and mountains of people, packed piazzas, packed churches, packed tourist sites.

In summary, I enjoyed it, but I won't bother reading his other books. Go straight to the movie instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars I love it.
It was good condition when I got it. I love this unabridged version. I say thank you for quick shipping and reasonable price. ... Read more

5. No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels
by Jay Dobyns, Nils Johnson-Shelton
Paperback: 352 Pages (2010-02-02)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0307405869
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
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Product Description
Here, from Jay Dobyns, the first federal agent to infiltrate the inner circle of the outlaw Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, is the inside story of the twenty-one-month operation that almost cost him his family, his sanity, and his life.

Getting shot in the chest as a rookie agent, bartering for machine guns, throttling down the highway at 100 mph, and responding to a full-scale, bloody riot between the Hells Angels and their rivals, the Mongols–these are just a few of the high-adrenaline experiences Dobyns recounts in this action-packed, hard-to-imagine-but-true story.

Dobyns leaves no stone of his harrowing journey unturned. At runs and clubhouses, between rides and riots, Dobyns befriends bad-ass bikers, meth-fueled “old ladies,” gun fetishists, psycho-killer ex-cons, and even some of the “Filthy Few”–the elite of the Hells Angels who’ve committed extreme violence on behalf of their club. Eventually, at parties staged behind heavily armed security, he meets legendary club members such as Chuck Zito, Johnny Angel, and the godfather of all bikers, Ralph “Sonny” Barger. To blend in with them, he gets full-arm ink; to win their respect, he vows to prove himself a stone-cold killer.

Hardest of all is leading a double life, which has him torn between his devotion to his wife and children, and his pledge to become the first federal agent ever to be “fully patched” into the Angels’ near-impregnable ranks. His act is so convincing that he comes within a hairsbreadth of losing himself.Eventually, he realizes that just as he’s been infiltrating the Hells Angels, they’ve been infiltrating him. And just as they’re not all bad, he’s not all good.

Reminiscent of Donnie Brasco’s uncovering of the true Mafia, this is an eye-opening portrait of the world of bikers–the most in-depth since Hunter Thompson’s seminal work–one that fully describes the seductive lure criminal camaraderie has for men who would otherwise be powerless outsiders. Here is all the nihilism, hate, and intimidation, but also the freedom–and, yes, brotherhood–of the only truly American form of organized crime.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (73)

5-0 out of 5 stars fascinating look at undercover biker life and death experience
infiltrating a outlaw mc club is no easy task and jay lives too tellthe tale superb fascinating read

4-0 out of 5 stars Reads like the real deal!
Being a biker (not a one percenter though) I can relate to a lot of the story.I've lived in Phoenix and outside of Tucson.I've ridden my harley to many of the places identified in the book.I've met Sonny Barger, the real deal badass (still a formidable force at an advanced age).I've witnessed Hells Angels beat on somebody for a bad attitude-not pretty.If you mess with the HA, you better have more bullets!

Bird, the main character in the book was a sick f++k!If he hadn't been an ATF agent, he surely would have been a member of Hells Angels.

Well written story with few dull spots. Couldn't put the book down.

2-0 out of 5 stars Plu-ease
I rarely review books on Amazon but I was compelled to review this one because, frankly, it was so bad. Not to denigrate the difficulty and the danger - and truly the heroism - of undercover officers but this narrative was truly a tempest in a teacup. I think, had it not sold itself as a harrowing descent into the hell of penetrating the Hell's Angels I might of had a better reaction to it but let's face facts: The biggest villans in this piece are old age pensioners one on a respirator and the other breathing through a hole in his throat. The only violence we are told about is against woman, in fact when the "bad boys" are told of Jay's "killing" a rival gang member you would think that they were about to soil themselves. Mr. Dobyns is amped up on over the counter weight loss drugs and his own Quixotic quest and is guilty only of being a pretty absent father and husband as he gets off on buddying up to the Angels, who accept him with the lack of questioning that one might expect from a Boy Scout Troop, not the most dangerous organized bandits the land has ever seen. Hype. Hype. Hype - and very little substance. The end result: Nada. These guys were such a pure embodiment of eveil that the Feds couldn't even make a basic case stick against them. Not questioning the man's bravery, just and his imprint's spinning of this somewhat humdrum tale. Would I be able to pull off what jay did? Nope. Don't have the balls. But I'd also have the good sense not to try and make something more of it than it was. This book stinks of backyard barbeque editors, years after the fact, saying "Jay, man, you should really write a book..."

5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing story!
Make no mistake about it, Jay Dobyns is a Hero! What he was able to do was simply amazing! To infiltrate the Hells Angels and be "patched" is an incredible feat for any undercover. Thank your Agent Dobyns for sharing you story with us!

3-0 out of 5 stars What a dead end...
This book certainly was a fast-past, no holds barred account. But in the end, the main conflict in this book was the author's inner struggle.. It really is all about him.. He goes on for almost a whole page about how he made a grilled cheese sandwich for his kid. While just giving you sidelines about the Angels. I do commend him that he blames himself for his fanaticism for the case- plunging into the Angels' thug-life and almost losing his mind.. (Unlike someone like Sarah Palin who writes a book just to cast all her failures on others) But in the end, this shows the government's wasting of money and time. In a post 9-11 world, why should the ATF really care about a bunch of guys in the desert moving low amounts of drugs and alot of firearms in a carry-permit state?? If the Hells Angels were REALLY a problem, wouldn't the communities where they had their clubhouses have put pressure on the state and the police to clean up? Thank goodness he got out in one piece, but he should have been reeled in long before things got way too deep.. ... Read more

6. Among Angels
by Jane Seymour
Hardcover: 128 Pages (2010-10-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$7.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0824948505
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Angels have appeared universally throughout history in folklore, art, and in many religions. They bring messages from heaven to us mortals here on earth. Angels may bring tidings of great joy or urgent warnings; their messages may be musical or may be communicated in the smiles of cherubic babies. Their images resonate with innocence and grandeur, beauty and awe. Their powerful wings enable them to fly far above our earthly struggles yet they can swoop down to save us. Angels speak through human beings, and some would even say there are angels in our midst. Among Angels celebrates the human angels -- all around us -- who inspire us by bringing us peace and tranquility, innocence and joy, hope and love. Like the prequel, Open Hearts, this book will include a personal foreword and art by Jane Seymour, quotes from literature, spiritual texts, and personal stories that honor the importance of the angels among us. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Among Angels- a little gem of a book!
There are times in everyone's life when they feel completely alone. Their soul goes to a dark place void of all hope, one from which they fear they may never return. It's at these times that something deep within the human spirit cries out and a divine presence can be felt. Sometimes it's a powerful force that as in the case of St. Paul- literally knocks one to the ground- but more often it is a gentle awakening, a quiet whisper reminding us that "Someone" is listening and if we can just still our minds long enough, we will hear the answer. "Be still and know that I am God" the voice seems to be saying and that reassurance is enough to carry us through the depths of our despair.

In Among Angels, Jane Seymour captures that "moment' when the human soul is touched by the power of the divine. Through poetry, inspirational thoughts and real life stories (her own and that of family and friends), the reader is reminded that the unseen hand of a power greater than our own is often there when we need it most, whether that power manifests itself as a divine being- an angel, or through the quiet support of a friend or caring stranger.

This is not a treatise on angels or a list of "angelic quotes" but a beautifully designed little gem of a book laced with Seymour's own art which gives the book an aesthetic appeal refective of the spiritual nature of the author herself. Colors and fonts blend beautifully with the angelically themed text to give every page a unique quality all it's own. One almost feels as if there were a divine hand in the very creation of the book; as it exudes a sense of hope from the very first page.

Among Angels is a book that is meant to be a gift, whether to oneself or one's own 'angel'. So often we dont' take the time to honor those without whom we would never have made it through those dark moments, Among Angels is a way to thank those special people in our lives
and to be reminded that the message of love can sometimes come from the most unlikely places ... Read more

7. The Angel's Game
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Paperback: 544 Pages (2010-05-18)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$6.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767931114
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
From the author of the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind, comes a riveting new masterpiece about love, literature, and betrayal.
In this powerful, labyrinthian thriller, David Martín is a pulp fiction writer struggling to stay afloat. Holed up in a haunting abandoned mansion in the heart of Barcelona, he furiously taps out story after story, becoming increasingly desperate and frustrated. Thus, when he is approached by a mysterious publisher offering a book deal that seems almost too good to be real, David leaps at the chance. But as he begins the work, and after a visit to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, he realizes that there is a connection between his book and the shadows that surround his dilapidated home and that the publisher may be hiding a few troubling secrets of his own. Once again, Ruiz Zafón takes us into a dark, gothic Barcelona and creates a breathtaking tale of intrigue, romance, and tragedyAmazon.com Review
Book Description
From master storyteller Carlos Ruiz Zafón, author of the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind, comes The Angel’s Game--a dazzling new page-turner about the perilous nature of obsession, in literature and in love.

“The whole of Barcelona stretched out at my feet and I wanted to believe that, when I opened those windows, its streets would whisper stories to me, secrets I could capture on paper and narrate to whomever cared to listen...”

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martín, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city’s underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.

Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love. Close to despair, David receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book unlike anything that has ever existed--a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, and perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realizes that there is a connection between his haunting book and the shadows that surround his home.

Once again, Zafón takes us into a dark, gothic universe first seen in The Shadow of the Wind and creates a breathtaking adventure of intrigue, romance, and tragedy. Through a dizzingly constructed labyrinth of secrets, the magic of books, passion, and friendship blend into a masterful story.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón on The Angel's Game

Years ago, when I began working on my fifth novel, The Shadow of the Wind, I started toying around with the idea of creating a fictional universe that would be articulated through four interconnected stories in which we would meet some of the same characters at different times in their lives, and see them from different perspectives where many plots and subplots would tie around in knots for the reader to untie.It sounds somewhat pretentious, but my idea was to add a twist to the story and provide the reader with what I hoped would be a stimulating and playful reading experience. Since these books were, in part, about the world of literature, books, reading and language, I thought it would be interesting to use the different novels to explore those themes through different angles and to add new layers to the meaning of the stories.

At first I thought this could be done in one book, but soon I realized it would make Shadow of the Wind a monster novel, and in many ways, destroy the structure I was trying to design for it. I realized I would have to write four different novels. They would be stand-alone stories that could be read in any order. I saw them as a Chinese box of stories with four doors of entry, a labyrinth of fictions that could be explored in many directions, entirely or in parts, and that could provide the reader with an additional layer of enjoyment and play. These novels would have a central axis, the idea of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, set against the backdrop of a highly stylized, gothic and mysterious Barcelona. Since each novel was going to be complex and difficult to write, I decided to take one at a time and see how the experiment evolved on its own in an organic way.

It all sounds very complicated, but it is not. At the end of the day, these are just stories that share a universe, a tone and some central themes and characters. You don’t need to care or know about any of this stuff to enjoy them.One of the fun things about this process was it allowed me to give each book a different personality. Thus, if Shadow of the Wind is the nice, good girl in the family, The Angel’s Game would be the wicked gothic stepsister.Some readers often ask me if The Angel’s Game is a prequel or a sequel. The answer is: none of these things, and all of the above. Essentially The Angel’s Game is a new book, a stand-alone story that you can fully enjoy and understand on its own. But if you have already read The Shadow of the Wind, or you decide to read it afterwards, you’ll find new meanings and connections that I hope will enhance your experience with these characters and their adventures.

The Angel’s Game has many games inside, one of them with the reader. It is a book designed to make you step into the storytelling process and become a part of it. In other words, the wicked, gothic chick wants your blood. Beware. Maybe, without realizing, I ended up writing a monster book after all... Don’t say I didn’t warn you, courageous reader. I’ll see you on the other side.--Carlos Ruiz Zafón

(Photo © Isolde Ohlbaum)

... Read more

Customer Reviews (219)

3-0 out of 5 stars I joint the ranks of the disappointed
I really wanted to like this book after "Shadow" and delved into it despite some negative reviews. What happened with this book? Characters were so one dimensional compared to Shadow with it's rich stories and histories. I couldn't care less about most everyone. The inclusion of Sempere and Bea without the hint of all the drama that went with that story left me empty. The supernatural theme annoyed me. If I want to read science fiction I'll choose those books, not one that should be drama. I couldn't wait to finish this book so I could move on. I only finished it to see if there was a redeeming ending. Instead I got Benjamin Button or the like. There were some redeeming chapters with excitement but mostly I was puzzled and couldn't understand any point to the story. I did discover there is a website for The Angel Game and for Shadow with some beautiful free music composed by the author and would recommend you check that out if you like listening to music while reading. What a talented author/composer!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Angel's Game
This is the best book I have ever read.The writing is lyrical and the story is absolutely spellbinding!I have recommended this book to everyone I know, young and old.

2-0 out of 5 stars looooooong
When I first started reading it, it felt like his first book all over again.He writes very well so I kept going, and he creates a mysterious and spooky atmosphere, but it should have been two hundred pages shorter.It just kept going and going.I never thought it would be over.It had its strong points but was just too long.

1-0 out of 5 stars horrible...I want my $16.00 back!!!!
I also want the 4-5 days of my life back as well.....As many others, I loved The Shadow of the Wind and cannot believe this is the same writer.I spent over 500 pages waiting for something to happen....I got to the point where I was skimming the pages just to find out what happens, which is a very bad sign since I always finish books.The story was ridiculous and even now I don't even care to go on any blogs to find out what people actually think happened.I don't even care!!!! How did this crap get any decent reviews?Do not waste your time.

5-0 out of 5 stars A deliciously malevolent labyrinth where pulp and Goth lead into each other
This intriguing blend of Gothic romance/mystery, pulp thriller, and general love letter to literature is truly a gift to readers.I read Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind years ago, and I loved it for how the rich and self-consciously ornamental prose reminded me of the 19th century Spanish lit that I read in college.That same florid style infuses this book, but Zafon tells a distinctly different story.On the literary side, there are deeply emotional romances (with the miscommunications required by the genre, really), and explorations of the value of literature, and college-freshman level theological discussions.On the pulp side, there are gruesome murder mysteries, and subtle clues, and mistaken identities, and head-spinning twists (I warn you, you will want to read the last hundred pages in one sitting because everything happens so quickly, so make sure to set aside enough time when you reach that point).I wish I could give more detail without giving away the delicious surprises, but I think I can safely say that you should read this book if you enjoy complicated characters, quiet creeping dread, and an ending that leaves you scratching your head but accepting the near-perfection before you. ... Read more

8. Crave (Fallen Angels, Book 2)
by J.R. Ward
Mass Market Paperback: 480 Pages (2010-10-05)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451229444
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Seven deadly sins. Seven souls that must be saved. One more no-holds- barred battle between a fallen angel with a hardened heart and a demon with everything to lose.

Isaac Rothe is a black ops soldier with a dark past and a grim future. The target of an assassin, he finds himself behind bars, his fate in the hands of his gorgeous public defender Grier Childe. His hot attraction to her can only lead to trouble-and that's before Jim Heron tells him his soul is in danger. Caught up in a wicked game with the demon who shadows Jim, Isaac must decide whether the soldier in him can believe that true love is the ultimate weapon against evil. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (36)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Addition to the series
Jim Heron a newly turned angle has. Been given the duty to help persuade seven souls to redemption if he fails the world will end as we know it. But his biggest battle is with the demon that is determined to make sure he fails and wants to claim him.

Jim's new assignment Isaac Roth, Ex-black ops solider, that is now running around with a death warrant on his head. But his head may not be all he loses with the beautiful public defender he finds he has feeling for her he has no business having. She makes him feel alive, but his interest in her might turn out to be a deadly idea. His association with her puts her on his ex-leaders radar and now her life may be in danger he has to choose between her life and her trust.

I enjoyed this book. I thought the first one was a little better but I still enjoyed this one equally. I love Jims back up fall in angel Adrian, he is such a cutie. I feel so sorry for him and the torment he has had with their nemeses the demon Devina. He also has a very close relationship with Eddie their other fallen angel partner. I would love to read more about them and see what their back ground story is. Also I'm super interested in knowing what the deal is with Nigel and Colin they are strangely close. I can't wait to read more and find out more.

5-0 out of 5 stars JR Ward continues to excel; she's a master!
I really enjoyed this book.I'm such a fan of Ward and the Black Dagger Brotherhood.Not since Nora Roberts, have I experienced an author that never lets me down, always outdoes herself and in some magical way writes just what I want to read.You know before you open the cover, that you're going to enjoy from the first page to the last.I anxiously wait for the next book in the BDB series and now for the next in this one.:)Join the rest of us loyal fans and come along for the ride.You won't regret it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good!
While I had my doubts with Covet (the 1st book in this series) Crave was a really really enjoyable read. Jim Heron's character develops more in this book and I really like him (he is a well worn ex-soldier with alot of baggage, but still has a heart of gold). The interaction between Jim, Ad & Eddy and even Nigel and Colin and the other guys up top (Heaven!) is very intriguing and I look forward to see their stories unfold. The Fallen Angels Series from JR Ward should only get better as the books develop. In my opinion, one of the best aspects of the series is that the lead "bad-guy" role is actually a female, what a twist; she's one mean lady (demon or whatever you want to call her)!

Issac Rothe and Grier Child (the souls that Jim is assigned to save in Crave) are much more interesting and believable. I liked their story and almost thought that Issac might end up joining Jim's "Good-Guy" Team!

I suggest buying this book to add to your collection, you might be surprised at how well you like it!

1-0 out of 5 stars Why Bother?
There were so many mixed reviews, I held off for a long time, debating whether or not to try this new series. I LOVE BDB, so went into reading this series with the mindset that this would be nothing like BDB. Oh yeah, it is definitely NOTHING like BDB, and not in a good way. There is no need to re-hash what everyone else has already stated. But I thought I would add my opinion since I use the ratings when determining what books to purchase. I purchased books 1 and 2 and will not be following this series any further. If I could give it less than 1 star I would.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love J.R. Ward's worlds!
I love this book and series as well as the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. They are well written, insightful, creative and of course HOT! Not for the under 18 crowd! These are the books that I'd take to the island with me if I were to be stranded. I could read them all more than once! ... Read more

9. The Night Angel Trilogy
by Brent Weeks
Paperback: 2064 Pages (2009-10)
list price: US$23.99 -- used & new: US$14.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316085146
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art-and he is the city's most accomplished artist.

For Azoth, survival is just the beginning. He was raised on the streets and knows an opportunity when he sees one-even when the risks are as high as working for someone like Durzo Blint.

Azoth must learn to navigate the assassins' world of dangerous politics and strange magics - and become the perfect killer.

TheNew York TimesbestsellerThe Way of Shadowslaunched Brent Weeks' Night Angel Trilogy - one of the most successful fantasy series in recent years. Now, for the first time, get the complete story in one special edition boxed set. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dark Fantasy
Dark, dark, dark fantasy.Read first several pages and was hooked.Didn't put the first volume down until it was read.Took 3 days to finish the other two volumes.The author will suck you into his world.

5-0 out of 5 stars An exciting story from a new author
I didn't know what to think when I found an entire trilogy from a new author. Usually you have to wait at least a year between books (Name of the Wind comes to mind) and I purchased this item early so there were few reviews.

I won't review the story, others can do that. I can tell you not only did I go through each book with glee, but it got passed through everyone in my family and it's one of the series I recommend to people who are looking for something new.

If you like Fantasy series, this one will entertain you right to it's exciting conclusion. Another positive point, the story comes to a satisfying conclusion, you don't have to get to the end only to discover there is a book 4 in the works that finishes the story.

I'm looking forward to reading his next novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites
I mainly read fantasy.This trilogy is one of the few that gripped me.I stayed up way too late reading it.It was difficult to get through the beginning of the first book, though; the set up was pretty bleak.But once the story got rolling, I couldn't get enough of the characters and the story.I liken my reaction to this story to a cynic falling in love--you may date, but you only really FEEL so infrequently that you forget it can happen until it does, and once you're in the middle of it, you can't help but feel sad that the experience may come to an end.

It's been a while since I've read the trilogy but the memory of the way the story held me, how I just had to read on, is still fresh.It's also one of the few stories where both my husband and I shared the same reaction.We both like fantasy, but there's a small subset of books of which we would both rave.

I'm actually looking forward to next year when the details of the story may fade enough for me to experience it all over again.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great read
I didn't know what to expect when I first purchased the trilogy. A friend had recommended the books to me and I took him at his word. I am very glad I did for these books are definitely worth a read. For those readers who enjoy characters that are frank and introspective then these are the books for you. Kylar is a great protagonist leading most of the catalytic changes that happen within the realms. At times you hate him and think what an idiot, but he grows on you and soon you come to realise how far this orphan from the Warrens has transformed physically, but is still that boy who looked after a 6 year old girl and an 8 year old boy when he was starving.

Durzo Blint is unique in that he is the one character who is always shrouded in shadow, you never really know what he is thinking and how far he will go to get what he wants. He is an excellent model of a teacher and master, who expects not the best you can do, but perfection.

There are other characters who have great impact on these two, but these were the two that resonated with me, I'll let you decide who else should feature prominently in other reviews.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of of the best fantasy novels I have read
Brent Weeks needs to give himself a big pat on the back for a great job.His novel "Night Angel" never fails its reader.The story is well written and he keeps the action rolling throughout this dramatic tale.Of particular note is his choice of names for his characters; it's the "the bomb."Names of heroes such as Acaelus Thorne, Jorsin Alkestes, Gaelan Starfire, and of course the indomitable Durzo Blint capture your interest and make you want to read more and more.The ending is unexpected if not understated.I think it's obvious that Weeks left the door open for more writing in the future.There are some heavy subjects that are dealt with including reincarnation, cannibalism, compulsion, capital punishment and murder.I highly recommend this novel. ... Read more

10. Covet (Fallen Angels, Book 1)
by J.R. Ward
Mass Market Paperback: 496 Pages (2009-09-29)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451228219
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Redemption isn't a word Jim Heron knows much about-his specialty is revenge, and to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charge with saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. And failure is not an option. Vin DiPietro long ago sold his soul to his business, and he's good with that-until fate intervenes in the form of a tough- talking, Harley-riding, self-professed savior. But then he meets a woman who will make him question his destiny, his sanity, and his heart-and he has to work with a fallen angel to win her over and redeem his own soul.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (188)

4-0 out of 5 stars FALLEN ANGELS???
Ok, I had mixed feelings about this one.I love the BDB so I was really excited to try out this new series by JR Ward, and I loved how right from the start you can see just how much the series crosses over.Being set in Caldwell NY, and starting us off at the Iron Mask with Trez, iAm and Marie Terese.It was an easy transition into a new series seeing how we were already familar with so much.And I really like the new story line.The romance between Vin and Marie Terese was great.Jim Heron made an excellent reluctant hero.Devina was a perfect bad guy with just enough creep factor.And the story line of how Jim is going to have to help 7 souls who are all at a cross roads in their life, each pertaining to one of the 7 deadly sins... very unique and intriguing.

However, I was drawn to the series based on the fact that is was supposed to be about fallen angels.And I didn't really think it was.Maybe JR Ward plans to weave her own version of fallen angels as the story goes on... but there is noticable a huge lack of Fallen Angel mythology present in this story.And an even bigger lack of actual fallen angels in the book.Technically there are 2 fallen angels present in this story...but you don't even know that till the very end.**SPOILER** Then at the very end... we are supposed to believe that after Jim is killed he is now, offically, a fallen angel.How does that work???In my limited knowledge base... fallen angels are not mortals who become angels after death... They are angels who fell from Heaven.I just didn't get that. **END SPOILER**

I was also dissappointed that it appears as if Vin DiPietro is not going to be in more books... personally, I loved his character!He was very likable and I loved his quirky supernatural powers.And I also really liked his friendship with Jim.I would really like it if he was in the future books as Jims healper instead of Eddie and Adrian.Unfortunately, I do not think that will be the case.And thats dissappointing becuase after book one... I think if I had to choose I would have picked Vin instead of Jim to be the main character.I guess thats just my opinion though... and Jim may grow on me more as the books go on.

Overall, I liked the book and will for sure continue on with the series to see where it goes.There was enough postive sides of the book to give it another shot.I just felt a little misleaded by the whole Fallen Angel idea being not the norm.

3-0 out of 5 stars Covet
I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood... I expected something else in this book and was disappointed... one of the virtues
was a few references to the brotherhood book characters.. i found this book flat.i have the next one Crave courtesy of a
friend that knows i like JR Ward.. and i have started it and still am not in love with the series.. i probably won't buy the next one.. I wish she would stick to the Brothers books.. I can't wait for the Unleashed one to come out... Lol was the best part so far of the Crave book I skipped to the preview for Lover Unleashed.If you are a Ward fan don't disappoint yourself with her fallen angels

1-0 out of 5 stars Meh. . .Blah. . . Why Bother?
There were so many mixed reviews, I held off for a long time, debating whether or not to try this new series. I LOVE BDB, so went into reading this series with the mindset that this would be nothing like BDB. Oh yeah, it is definitely NOTHING like BDB, and not in a good way. There is no need to re-hash what everyone else has already stated. But I thought I would add my opinion since I use the ratings when determining what books to purchase. I purchased books 1 and 2 and will not be following this series any further. If I could give it less than 1 star I would.

4-0 out of 5 stars read it
I thought this book was pretty good.Its not the BDB good but I enjoyed it.I like that it had some of the same charaters from BDB.I like the Fallen Angle deal and that it was about saving the world. I'm reading the second one now and it is good I recommend any one to read these series I think you will enjoy them as long as you don't try to compare them to the BDB.

5-0 out of 5 stars Covet...
I can see why some readers doesn't like this book.Yes, it did start slow but as a new series, some things, characters or situations has to be explain first.I have a little hard time trying to understand it all but I noticed that the story still somewhat revolve to the Black Dagger Brotherhood world and timeline (which I love by the way), I wanted to give this book a chance.

And what do you know, I like it.Jim and Vin are great characters, so as Gretchen.Its a great read for a new series.Truly recommend it.I have the second book in my hand as we speak, so can't wait to finish it.=)

First of, Trez was in the book, so as the Iron Mask.The book also mentioned the Reverend, description of Phury.And that got me interested to keep reading the book. =) ... Read more

11. Where Angels Go
by Debbie Macomber
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2007-10-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$1.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0778325156
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Christmas is a time for angels

Shirley, Goodness and Mercy are back! These three irresistible angels love their assignments on Earth. They especially love helping people who send prayer requests to Heaven (even though the Archangel Gabriel, their boss, knows they're going to break the rules)!

This Christmas, Mercy is assigned to bring peace of mind to an elderly man . . . who discovers an unexpected answer to his prayer.

Goodness is sent to oversee the love life of a woman afraid to risk commitment a second time.

And Shirley has the task of granting a little boy's fondest Christmas wish.

Shirley, Goodness and Mercy go wherever they're needed. These three charming angels often find themselves in trouble, but somehow things always work out for the best -- especially at Christmas.

What would the holidays be without a new Christmas story from Debbie Macomber? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Warmhearted Angel Story!!!
Where Angels Go by Debbie Macomber

In this new offering with Debbie's Christmas Angels Shirley, Goodness and Mercy, we find the three mischievous trio with new assignments and ready to have some fun and cause Gabriel some headaches, promising to have their assignments completed by Christmas Eve..

This Christmas, Mercy's assignment is to help Harry Alderwood, an elderly man with not much time before he dies and he wants to leave with some peace of mind that his dear wife Rosalie will be cared for when he's gone.Rosalie is a very stubborn lady, not wanting to move from their home to go into an assisted living facility.One night when Harry leaves his walker in a place he can't reach, he tries to wake up Rosalie to no avail, but sees a heavenly angel in Mercy, who helps him get into bed.

Goodness is sent to help Beth find true love, as she's been too afraid to really get serious with anyone because of a failed marriage when she was young.She has been addicted to playing an online video game and when she and her online partner start IM each other more frequently, they become more than just partners in a game.When they set up a meeting in Leavonworth, WA, things take a change for the worst and that's when Goodness steps directly into the fray to make things better.

Then comes Shirley's assignment of giving Carter his fondest Christmas wish of all and that is a dog.When Rusty comes into his life, this special dog seems to appear in the strangest places, but his parents can't afford for Carter to keep Rusty.But with a little help from Shirley, things do have a way of working out.When all is said and done, the three Angels make merry with some Christmas fun before heading back up to Heaven.For those who have not read Debbie's Christmas Angel books, these three special Angels have wings andc they are an absolute delight.

Forever Friends Rating 5 Stars by Teri
Until Next Time, See You Around The Book Nook.

5-0 out of 5 stars Where Angels Go Review
This was a very good book. I have read several books from this author and have not read one that I didn't like.

5-0 out of 5 stars ANGELS SERIES

5-0 out of 5 stars great Christmas story
A great read, brings us back to a gentler and less techno world. A child like time for alot of older readers. It is a thoroghly delight full experienxe.

5-0 out of 5 stars Prayer Ambassadors Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy are back for their latest earthly adventure
Courtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques

Prayer Ambassadors Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy are back for their latest earthly adventure. Each one has her own assignment to complete for Christmas.

Elderly Harry Alderwood is dying and prays that his wife Rosalie will be taken care of once he's gone. Mercy has been given the job of helping him.

Young Carter Jackson prays for his fondest wish - to have his very own dog for Christmas but his family is too poor to afford to care for one. Enter Shirley to the rescue.

Beth Fischer's mother prays that her divorcee daughter will stop escaping into the game World of Warcraft and find a new life, and new love, for herself. Goodness has the job of showing Beth it's OK to take another chance on love.

What a delightful Christmas story from a master, Debbie Macomber! I may have read Where Angels Go after the heat had found us for a Texas summer, but this is a story to be savored any time of year. We have three prayers, all completely different form one another and this time each one of our beloved angels has her own mission, rather than working together as is the norm. This adds an extra level to the novel as we experience the angels' doubts as to whether or not they can complete their mission before Christmas. Additionally we see Gabriel's reasons for assigning these missions and what he hopes his charming troublemakers will learn from them.

Each of the three sub-stories in Where Angels Go is magical in its own way. We have young Carter whose fondest wish is to have his very own dog and wouldn't you know a stray appears that is everything he's ever hoped for in a dog. Seeing Carter go through the agonies of trying so hard to care for the dog in opposition to his parents wishes adds tenderness. Harry knows he is dying and desperately wants his wife to be cared for though she refuses to accept the possibility of entering a retirement community without Harry. His hopes and prayers Rosalie will come around brings poignancy to the book as we imagine what their lives were like as they grew old together. Beth is caught up in her cyber world and misses all the wonderful things surrounding her. There is a lovely little twist to this story that charms readers, even though some of us suspected this little surprise would occur.

I know my Mom loves the Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy books (especially since I have about four of her hard covers in my spare room that she sent me to read) as do many other folks. However, this was my first encounter with the well-meaning but sometimes interfering angels. Who can resist them? Sweet, funny, charming, and thrilled with their jobs to help the Earthbound, hat's not to love? I like them and will have to get around to reading those books of Mom's soon! A special shout out goes to my Mom who without her constantly handing Debbie's books off to me, I may never have gotten around to trying them and I would have missed such an incredibly talented author who has fast become a beloved favorite of mine.

© Kelley A. Hartsell, July 2008. All rights reserved. ... Read more

12. The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror
by Christopher Moore
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2005-11-01)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$6.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060842350
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

'Twas the night (okay, more like the week) before Christmas, and all through the tiny community of Pine Cove, California, people are busy buying, wrapping, packing, and generally getting into the holiday spirit.

But not everybody is feeling the joy. Little Joshua Barker is in desperate need of a holiday miracle. No, he's not on his deathbed; no, his dog hasn't run away from home. But Josh is sure that he saw Santa take a shovel to the head, and now the seven-year-old has only one prayer: Please, Santa, come back from the dead.

But hold on! There's an angel waiting in the wings. (Wings, get it?) It's none other than the Archangel Raziel come to Earth seeking a small child with a wish that needs granting. Unfortunately, our angel's not sporting the brightest halo in the bunch, and before you can say "Kris Kringle," he's botched his sacred mission and sent the residents of Pine Cove headlong into Christmas chaos, culminating in the most hilarious and horrifying holiday party the town has ever seen.

Move over, Charles Dickens -- it's Christopher Moore time.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (179)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Bad, But Not Great
This is the first Christopher Moore novel I've read and frankly, I'm not nearly as impressed with this as many of the other reviewers. I'm not fond of tearing down other people's hard work, but this novel didn't really have much of a plot-it was more as if Moore had developed several characters he thought were funny and then sat down and tried to figure out a way to put them all in a novel. I've since read "Practical Demonkeeping" and anyone who's read it should be able to see what I'm saying-"Demonkeeping" has a plot that drives the novel and which makes the actions of the characters make sense. This novel, not so much. I thought that "Demonkeeping" was quite a bit better than this novel, and I'd recommend it above this one. I have to admit, however, that I NEVER read fiction-I haven't read a novel all the way through in years-and I DID read this one, so obviously I liked it, and it got me to go back to the library to check out another of his books. These novels certainly aren't great literature, but then if great literature were what we were after we'd be reviewing Joseph Conrad or Herman Melville.I'd advise readers to skip this novel but check out Moore's other stuff. I'm looking forward to seeing what else he's come up with.

5-0 out of 5 stars Christopher Moore does it again!
Great read. If you can't laugh at Christmas, how about zombies at Christmas? Who knew they liked Ikea as much as living flesh.This book will be more enjoyable if you have read other Moore books, but don't let that stop you. Old friends are back and the more things change, the more they stay the same. I laughed my butski blueski.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quirky characters are a delight.
This is not a heart-warming story, nor is there any peace, miracles, or goodwill towards men. For those who are sick of sugary sweet Christmas stories, this nitty-gritty tale is a much needed counterpoint. There is an angel, and yes he does a stupid thing by losing his wings. But he is too busy trying to prevent this world from coming to an end. Quirky characters are a delight. Also try Moore's other humorous novel Practical Demonkeeping.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yuletide mayhem, madness, and carnage ensue . . . and then the zombies show up
Christopher Moore ("Fool," "Practical Demonkeeping," "Bite Me") warms my heart.Consistently insane, always hilarious, and as ever completely unexpected, his series of novels capture the madness that is our quest for the American dream.

By choosing non-L.A. California as the setting for most of his novels, Moore can populate his books with a merry band of dreamers, losers, almost-greats and small town big fish.His beloved cast of characters now in place, he simply thinks up a crazy idea for a plot and lets the chips fly where they may.

For "The Stupidest Angel," Moore returns to Pine Cove, everyone's favorite tourist trap on the central California coast.It's the holidays, and true to form, Moore starts off the yuletide season as only he can - with a dead Santa Claus.A young boy witnesses the demise of St. Nick and wishes with all his heart that Christmas won't be ruined.And so an Angel of the Lord - Raziel, whom we've met before (and love despite of his intellectual shortcomings) - is sent to Pine Cove to perform a Christmas miracle.

And so it is that within hours, Pine Cove is overwhelmed with a mighty winter storm, warrior-women brandishing ancient Japanese swords, talking fruit bats, and a bevy of murderous and gossipy zombies.Along the way, oodles of laughter, plenty of sex, a spot or two of blood, and the occasional life lesson or two are there for the reader's enjoyment.

Not to mention the epic Chapter 16.

If you have not yet dived into the crazy world of Christopher Moore, I highly recommend grabbing his first book, "Practical Demonkeeping," right away.While by no means is it essential to read Mr. Moore's books in order, it is recommended because many of his characters show up in later novels.

Read this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars yet another winner!
I realize this book came out years ago, but this is the first time I've read it and I have to say, Christopher Moore is probably my favorite "comedic" author ever! I've read 4 other of his books, and none of them cease to amaze me, including this one! I never saw it coming... I don't want to ruin it for anyone reading these reviews before reading the book, but if you haven't read any of CM's books yet, or if you have and already know of his wacky sense of humor, then get this book!!! it is hilarious!!! I know it will never happen, but it would be awesome if someone made a movie based on this book... it would be an instant cult classic!!! ...right up there with Shaun of the Dead!! ... Read more

13. Angel Time (The Songs of the Seraphim)
by Anne Rice
Mass Market Paperback: 400 Pages (2010-08-31)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400078954
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

It’s the present day.  Toby O’Dare—aka Lucky the Fox—is a contract killer of underground fame on assignment to kill once again.  He’s a soulless soul, a dead man walking.  His nightmarish world of lone and lethal missions is disrupted when a mysterious stranger, a seraph, offers him a chance to save rather than destroy lives. O’Dare, who long ago dreamt of being a priest, seizes his chance. Now he is carried back through the ages to thirteenth-century England, to dark realms where accusations of ritual murder have been made against Jews, where children suddenly die or disappear.  In this primitive setting, O’Dare begins his perilous quest for salvation, a journey of danger and flight, loyalty and betrayal, selflessness and love.

Amazon.com Review
A Q&A with Anne Rice

Question: You’ve written about many kinds of immortal or supernatural beings. What inspired you to turn to angels in this new book?

Anne Rice: I have always been fascinated by the idea of angels--these perfect beings who are God’s messengers, sinless, bold, and unfathomable to the human mind. I was deliciously challenged to be biblically correct about them, and theologically correct: to present Malchiah as truly perfect, yet sent to interact with my hero Toby, and commissioned therefore to take a human body and reflect human emotions and respond to Toby’s human emotions.

Question: How did imagining a character like Malchiah the angel differ from creating one like the vampire Lestat?

Anne Rice: Well, again, Malchiah is perfect and sinless. And to make such a character appealing is a challenge; he has to reflect God’s love for human beings, God’s compassion. He’s not sent to judge Toby; he’s sent to guide him to salvation, and to enlist Toby in working for the angels on earth. He must feel things; he must have a personality, but with marvelous theological constraints. Doing Lestat was entirely different: Lestat is sinful and ferociously human, a rebel who wants to be good at being bad; a rebel who is seeking redemption but turning away from it all the time. There is a certain joy in writing about Malchiah because he is sent from God. There was never a perfect joy in writing about Lestat: Lestat suffers too much and does too many bad things with relish.

Question: The hero of Angel Time is Toby O’Dare, a boy who had a tough life growing up in New Orleans and who goes on to become a skilled assassin before meeting Malchiah. How does Toby compare to your past protagonists? What is unique about him?

Anne Rice: Well, Toby is deeply flawed, much like the vampires. He’s an assassin, and he has done terrible things, and questionable things. But he turns around in the very first book of the series and sets out to do the bidding of the angels in helping others. I think of all those characters I’ve created, Toby is most like Michael Curry in The Witching Hour. But Toby has done things Michael would never do. Toby is a deeply flawed human who is offered a chance to be saved; and he takes it. Maybe he’s a first among my characters in that he is given an opportunity to redeem himself through the mercy of God, and then to do good to make up for all the evil he had done before. Toby is also a crafty character. He’s pragmatic. Having been a clever assassin, he knows how to plot to do good. That was interesting to me, to have him struggling to save people from harm, and having to figure out a somewhat complex way to do it.

Question: People who have read your memoir Called Out of Darkness will recognize some elements of your own life in Toby’s story. Did you identify with him as a character?

Anne Rice: Yes, I did identify with Toby, though my life has been nothing like his. I know what it is like to struggle with an alcoholic parent; I know what it is like to care for younger siblings in an alcoholic household. But of course Toby suffers a family tragedy that I didn’t suffer, and he turns to evil in a defiant way, whereas I only turned to writing about evil.

Question: How did you imagine the concept of Angel Time (as opposed to Normal Time)? And what sources did you reference while reading about angels?

Anne Rice: I came up with the concept of Angel Time through meditating on it; really, figuring that from God’s standpoint there is no linear time. I felt certain that the angels would be able to move back and forth in our linear time, and to grasp how some one can be lifted from one century and put down in another to work a solution that then becomes part of the very future from which the original person came. I think meditation led to this definition of Angel Time, more than any actual reading. It seemed logical to me that the angels could do this. I did read theology about angels, of course, including St. Thomas Aquinas and books by Catholic writers who have studied angels and all the biblical references to them. It all starts with the Bible, of course and how angels appear in those pages. But the scholars Pascal Parente and Peter Kreeft help me to cover the sources. I stayed away from other writers’ more fanciful conjectures about angels. I wanted the biblical facts, and the way that the theologians interpreted them.

Question: People are clearly fascinated with angels. Why do you think even those people who do not consider themselves religious are so drawn to the idea of angels?

Anne Rice: People are drawn to angels because there is a deep seated instinctive belief that they do exist, that creatures from Heaven are here on Earth looking out for us and playing a special role in our care. Of course we read of this in the Bible. And it is a very seductive idea. It’s sometimes easier to pray to one’s guardian angel than to pray to the saints or even to the Lord. It’s easy to imagine that our guardian angel is right here with us. In my novel, Toby really does believe this, though after he suffered tragedy, he blamed the angels in charge for not stopping it. And he lived as a cursed human being for ten years.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (146)

1-0 out of 5 stars Another Christian Novel.. snores
yes, i felt i was reading the story of Christ's life from her previous novel. This one is departure from the youth of Jesus certainly still i felt like i was being preached to again.

The straight path is one of suffering, yawns, so over done, and this novel is about getting on that path.

To be honest, i quit reading it after 280 some pages... wow.. YAWN.. so i don't know how it end and will never know.

Anne writes great novels, I've read practically every one. Why why does she delve into the dull propaganda of the church and the always over repeated Jewish poor poor history. There both baby religions, and her witch and vampire novels have so much older histories, and not preaching histories by self righteous pompous sect.

If it's not vamp or witches, i wont buy another again ever!SADLY, I cant trust her writing to be good anymore.

3-0 out of 5 stars Classic Anne Rice Writing with Angels
I picked up a copy of this book at the grocery store. This is the first Anne Rice book I've actually read all the way through in awhile. Some of her latest books have not been appealing to me lately. But the subject of angels really grabbed me. I enjoyed the main character and his dilemma of good vs. evil, esp. since he's a hit man. I loved the descriptions of the Mission Inn and San Juan Capistrano. I want to visit the Mission Inn now. The adventure of visiting the past was interesting, and I'm looking forward to the sequel to see where the angel takes Toby next.

I didn't rate it as high as some of her other books mostly because I think it's less engaging than her other vampire books. Though Toby is a killer like the vampire characters, he's not as enrapturing as Lestat and Louise. But I do recommend this book since it still has her brilliant writing style, and creates enough of a reaction that you want to read the next book. The sequel comes out in Nov. 2010. Can't wait. I've preordered it already with Amazon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
I loved it. It was an inspiring tale of redemption and God's love for us. Other reviewers found the character of Lucky underdeveloped, but I really didn't want to know more of the evil phase of his life. The story of his childhood was more interesting. Was it strictly realistic? I suppose not, but it connected with me. Toby was the Prodigal Son, who in his evil and his misery reaches for God, and is rewarded. It's an engaging telling of a classic mral tale.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not Worth Finishing
I'm a passionate reader and almost never give up on a book partway through. And I was a passionate fan of Anne Rice's earlier work. And yet here I am, about 1/3 of the way through Angel Time, and thinking it's just not worth continuing. It's not that I refuse to let authors grow and change -- although I will admit to being disappointed when Rice announced she would write no more vampire or Mayfair witches books. But the plain fact is that her new fiction just isn't interesting. She doesn't seem to care all that much about her own characters, for one thing. And while I can appreciate good descriptive writing, page after page of a character describing his world with absolutely nothing else going on is wearing. The good vs evil theme has, of course been one of Rice's motifs for years. While at least this novel doesn't slide into the overblown philosophical pedantry that a couple of her later vampire novels did (one, in particular, was so provoking that I went and reread The Brothers Karamozov instead - Dostoyevsky provides a much better treatment of the subject on pretty much all levels). But at least in those earlier rants, Rice wrote with some passion. This, as far as I can see, just doesn't have enough juice to keep it running.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two Tobys
I liked this book so much I have already ordered for my Kindle the next one in the series (Songs of the Seraphim). Anne Rice shows herself to be the master teller of tales that I missed out on because of disliking vampire stories. Once she became a Christian and began writing about Jesus, I took a peek and was very glad I did. She is now on my favorites list. You don't have to have had a spiritual life-changing Christian experience to appreciate the story of Toby O'Day: from street musician, to talented hit man, to a miraculous transportation to a Middle Ages adventure and back. However, if your life has had some severe and spiritual changes, you will be better able to understand Anne's sincerity in relating a seemingly impossible tale. Read either as a believer, or an agnostic, it is a great tale, especially the adventure in the Middle Ages, where the talented Toby saves a young girl's family, before he returns to the 21st century. It seems that Toby, who had worked as a hit man for a secret organization, has because of his broken-hearted prayers, become an agent of God - working for the angels. It looks like more adventures will be coming and I hope to be there too. Although Anne Rice now has given up on "Christianity" because of the hypocracy she found in the Catholic Church, I don't think she has given up on the spiritual and moral teachings of the Faith, we will see in November. ... Read more

14. Angels Flight (Harry Bosch)
by Michael Connelly
Mass Market Paperback: 480 Pages (2000-01-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446607274
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly sets his novels of suspense against a world divided by race, politics, money, and the media. Here he thrusts Detective Harry Bosch on a harrowing journey into a high-profile murder case--and darkness...
An activist attorney is killed in a cute little L.A. trolley called Angels Flight, far from Harry Bosch's Hollywood turf. But the case is so explosive--and the dead man's enemies inside the L.A.P.D. are so numerous--that it falls to Harry to solve it. Now the streets are superheating. Harry's year-old Vegas marriage is unraveling. And the hunt for a killer is leading Harry to another high-profile L.A. murder case, one where every cop had a motive. The question is, did any have the guts?
Amazon.com Review
Michael Connelly, whose novel The Poet won the 1997Anthony Award for Best Mystery, is already recognized as one of thesmartest and most vivid scribes of the hard-boiled police procedural. Now,with his much-anticipated sixth Harry Bosch novel, Angels Flight,Connelly offers one of the finest pieces of mystery writing to appear in1998. Bosch is awakened in the middle of the night and, out of rotation, heis assigned to the murder investigation of the high-profile AfricanAmerican attorney Howard Elias.When Bosch arrives at the scene, it seemsthat almost the entire LAPD is present, including the IAD (the Internal AffairsDivision). Elias, who made a career out of suing the police, was sadisticallygunned down on the Angels Flight tram just as he was beginning a case thatwould have struck the core of the department; not surprisingly, L.A.'s men andwomen in blue become the center of the investigation.Haunted by the ghostof the L.A. riots, plagued by incessant media attention, and facing turmoilat home, Bosch suddenly finds himself questioning friends and associateswhile working side by side with some longtime enemies.

Angels Flight is a detective's nightmare scenario and is disturbinglyrelevant to the racially tense last decade of the 20th century.Amidst the twists and turns of his complexnarrative, Connelly affirms his rightful place among the masters ofcontemporary mystery fiction. --Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

Customer Reviews (175)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bosch at his best
Angels Flight is as good a crime thriller, police procedural as you will ever read. LAPD detective Harry Bosch is called into a highly volitale situation following the murder of Howard Elias, a controversial attorney. This is classic Bosch. Mr. Connelly is by far the best writer of the police procedural and there is not a close second. Harry Bosch is one of the best continuing characters this genre has produced, his subtle complexity grow with each book.

Mr. Connelly's prose is first rate. Here is an example: "The Bradbury was the dusty jewel of downtown. Built more than a century before, it's beauty was old but still brighter and more enduring than any of the glass-and-marble towers that now dwarfed it like a phalanx of brutish guards surrounding a beautiful child. It's ornate lines and glazed tile surfaces withstood the betrayal of both man and nature." That is pure poetry.

Angels Flight is a GREAT READ!! I found it impossible to put down.

4-0 out of 5 stars After OJ
Wonder how Harry got so cynical, so lonely, so determined? Angels Flight answers all those questions, and more. Called out upon the discovery of the murder of an anti-cop lawyer, he immediately fears that a cop committed the crime. In the post OJ climate of LA, the chief demands a politically correct outcome to this investigation. But Harry has a conscience, and the outrages that occur as he works the scene and the records, threaten to undermine his willingness, and ability, to work within the system. Complicating matters are worries about his marriage. Harry and Eleanor love each other, but she seems to feel the lack of something indeterminate, and he had hoped, when they married, that he could provide the je ne sais pas. If only Harry could come to the realization that no one can do that, that Eleanor must find her own spark. But he can't, and so he suffers. Eleanor's a fool.

Harry Bosch is a curious combination of hard boiled and sensitive. He is his own harshest critic, and his Los Angeles is anything but the city of dreams. Perhaps that is what makes him such an engaging protagonist. The reader feels with him and for him, and trusts him to do the right thing, morally if not practically. In Angels Flight, he is pushed to the limit.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good story, questionable ethics
Howard Elias is a highly successful civil rights lawyer whose specialty is suing the Los Angeles Police Department on behalf of those the cops have mistreated, which (naturally) has earned him the hatred of every blue uniform in the city, as well as the regard of LA's black population. When Elias's body is found with several 9mm slugs in it -- the caliber of the favorite police sidearm -- the city is poised is erupt again in riots. It's only been a few years since Rodney King and no one trusts the cops to tell the truth any longer, or not to tamper with evidence. Detective Harry Bosch can be a lose cannon but he's also probably the best homicide investigator the department has, so he draws the case -- with instructions to get it wrapped up as fast as possible. But it's not going to be an ordinary case; it never is when Harry's team is involved. Not to mention that his year-old marriage shows signs of crumbling.

But it's difficult to tell just where Connelly is going with the social issues in this book, what his own take on the legal side of things is. Let's look at what's going on here: The first detectives on the scene -- members of the elite Robbery-Homicide Division, no less -- discover who the victim is and realize that the killer is probably another cop, . . . so they tamper with the crime scene and steal evidence, in an attempt to help the killer get away with it. Harry himself, who has nailed his share of dishonest cops, covers up for the RHD guys, though he worries that this makes him a co-conspirator. He also breaks into the victim's apartment without bothering to wait for a search warrant. He orders his partner to do the same thing with the victim's car. (They'll file for a warrant after the fact, if they find anything worth having.) Even the civilian Inspector General, who had an intimate relationship with the victim, is guilty of malfeasance when she gets involved in the case instead of recusing herself. And then she, too, steals key evidence -- and when Harry finds out, instead of nailing her to the wall, he simply uses his knowledge to cut a deal with her. None of these people seem to have any problem with ignoring the Constitution and the rule of law, not even Harry Bosch. Yes, this is a novel, but Connelly works from a life model and there are plenty of stories on the news to back him up as to the situation that prevails, not only in Los Angeles but everywhere in the country. Is it any wonder people don't trust the police? Neither do I.

Having said all that, . . . it's a pretty good story. The characterizations, as always, are multidimensional and in full color, the dialogue flows naturally, and the plot's twists and turns, which involve a re-investigation of the original pedophile-related murder case behind Elias's lawsuit, are un-telegraphed and feel natural. Harry makes mistakes in judgment (besides those noted above), and people die who shouldn't have, and things get politically covered up that ought not to have been, but still -- he does his best. Can't ask more than that, I guess.

5-0 out of 5 stars HARRY BOSCH SIXBEST SO FAR
The sixth Harry Bosch novel, ANGELS FLIGHT is the best of the first six.Read them in order.Harry Bosch stories are the best police procedurals out there.Harry is no non-sense and this story is one of the best for any series.The death of a black-cause attorney, the cause is usually anti-police is gunned down.Harry and his team, Edgar and Kiz are assigned by the top brass. Bring in IAD as back up, not Harry's favorite and the FBI all the time reporting to the assistant chief and Harry is pulled in every direction.This is a good one with all the twists you need to keep you guessing up until the end.Loved it.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

1-0 out of 5 stars NO text-to-speech - WHAT?!
What planet is this publisher living on that they haven't enabled text-to-speech conversion?!
I'm really angry about this. I like to read and sometimes I like to listen at bedtime when my eyes are tired.

Amazon won't let me return it either and that sucks.

This is the first book I've bought that had the text-to-speech disabled - next time I'll read the small print.

Shame on you publisher! ... Read more

15. Angel Numbers 101: The Meaning of 111, 123, 444, and Other Number Sequences
by Doreen Virtue
Paperback: 256 Pages (2008-07-15)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$4.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401920012
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

One of the most common ways in which angels speak to us is by showing us repetitive number sequences. Since the publication of her best-selling book Angel Numbers, Doreen Virtue has received even more information from the angels about the meaning of number sequences such as 111, 444, 1234, and so forth.

Angel Numbers 101 clearly explains how to receive accurate messages from your angels and heavenly loved ones whenever you see repetitive number sequences on telephone numbers, license plates, receipts, clocks, and such. Every message is completely updated for increased accuracy in understanding your angels’ messages.

This handy reference guide is small enough to fit into a purse or desk drawer so you’ll always know what your angels are saying.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
I have thoroughly enjoyed using this book. great daily insight and inspiration.Thank you Doreen.

5-0 out of 5 stars I love this book!!!
This book is my constant companion since the day I received it.Numbers are everywhere and now I am very conscious of them.Uplifting, encouraging, needed; is how I describe this wonderbook. AD

5-0 out of 5 stars HugsandKisses
This was a really nice read.Helped me understand a little better how angels try and communicate with us.Thanks Doreen.Keep up the good work!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars I really enjoy it
This book focuses on positive meaning of numbers. It encourages to keep positive attitude. I really like it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Angel Numbers
If you are into Angels this is the book to get.Notice numbers you see repeatedly and look the number up, you will be surprised. ... Read more

16. Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels
by Gustav Davidson
Paperback: 386 Pages (1994-10-01)
list price: US$21.00 -- used & new: US$10.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 002907052X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The result of sixteen years of research in Talmudic, gnostic, cabalistic, apocalyptic, patristic, and legendary texts, the classic reference work on angels is beautifully illustrated and its reissue coincides with the resurgence of belief in angels in America. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (75)

4-0 out of 5 stars Dictonary of Angels
This book has a lot of information in it.Some I didn't care for, and some I came from a mythology stand point.But nonetheless the book has a lot of information in it for someone looking into the name of angels.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Research Tool
This book is IT. While writing my debut novel, Psyche's Gate, I referred to Mr. Davidson's fantastic compilation of all things angelic again and again. From the well-known to the obscure, the highest Seraph to the lowest of the fallen angels, this book is a rich wellspring for the author, historian, student, theologan, or general fan of mythology.

4-0 out of 5 stars Informative
In this New Age of false teachers it is good to know all the Angels. One third of the angels in Heaven fell and some will represent themselves to true aspirants and disciples as God. Don't be fooled, know your angels. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Angel Dictionary
Wow, what a book. I didn't realize there was that much information about angles; good, bad and other types. I enjoyed reading it - especially about the angels that are of particular interest to me.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Including the Fallen Angels..."
Admittedly, I have always been fond of the idea of angels. But now that I am interested in those who have been deemed "fallen", I wanted to see what information was out there.Well, this book is wonderful--it is all there. Mr. Davidson takes angels from the Book of Enoch, from Zoroastrianism, from King Solomon, etc.--he covers fallen and supposedly "evil" angels from all cultures. I figured before I bought the book that "maybe" he would list just the Enoch angels, but I am happy to say this book is chock-full of both kinds of angels--good and bad (so-called bad, but don't get me started on that). Even if you are only interested in the "good" angels, or any angels at all, this book is a wonderful encyclopedia...well worth the money for anyone with an interest... ... Read more

17. Knight Angels: Book of Revenge (Book Two)
by Abra Ebner
Paperback: 328 Pages (2010-10-01)
list price: US$15.49 -- used & new: US$11.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0982950527
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
New characters, New world, but old enemies. Emily struggles to ignore a new friend with emotions that temp her, Wes delves deeper into his past and family while finding friendship isn't reserved for the human race alone, Jane finds out her dear Max isn't what he seems, Gregs friendships cost him more than he expected, and Max forgets that the truth is best. But then again, someone always has to be the liar... Emotional baggage, begrudged enemies, and the bitterness that comes when the honeymoon of their friendship fades... Will the love survive, or as it all just a game? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great follow-up!
The first installment in the Knight Angels series, Book of Love, fixated me as though I was under a spell. The follow-up, Book of Revenge awakened my admiration for Abra's delightful writing. Its visual storytelling quality and distinguished characters took me through the stages of a well-executed sequel. Before I start explaining the plot, nothing in this review spoils Book of Love, so if you are interested in reading the Knight Angels series, the twists and turns will come as a surprise. Continued in numerous narratives, I was once again engulfed in the lives of Max, Jane, Emily and Wes. Max and Jane's electrifying bond chilled my being with goose bumps and fear. Emily, first known as a rebel, had grown into an individual she was meant to be. Wes's unexpected power was clearly defined and its animalistic origin was brought to light. Finally, Greg, Max's evil angel brother, took a backseat while new creatures were welcomed into the mix.

Jake, an undercover vampire, contributed a new version of this species. His warm blooded skin and lack of immortality went against the norm, creating a sense of excitement. Another past enemy of Max's, Avery, took the villain role this time around. Her vengeful demeanor and dark attributes made me dislike her off the bat. The back story behind her attitude was stimulating but, also explained the reasoning behind her actions. The element I was most impressed with was the magically delicious world of Winter Wood. Abra's unique take on a pixie populated land was fun yet indicated the stem of all these unknown character abilities. The ending left me overwhelmed with questions and a cliffhanger that made me wish I had the third book in my hands! Overall, this installment was even better than the first. The maturity and growth in Abra's style showcased that she is a force to be reckon with. I look forward to experiencing the mysterious flow into the third book, hopefully coming soon!

4-0 out of 5 stars Book of Revenge
Max, Jane, Emily, Wes, Greg, and a few new characters are all thrown right back into action in this second installment. Ebner continues her unique writing style with multiple character point of views. It's not a style that would work for most authors, but Ebner hits it on the mark.

We see a lot of change and growth in the main characters this time around. Max exposes his past, and it's not all pretty. Jane makes an effort to get out of her emo-ness. Wes really stepped up in this one for me. I really like how well he handles the situation between Emily and Jane. It's not easy to date your best friend's younger sister, especially if you used to have feelings for that friend, but Wes handles it nicely. Emily still remains my favorite character. She seems the most fleshed out of the characters, or maybe I just relate to her more. Greg still remains the same in his evil ways, but it's working for him.

My biggest problem with the first book in this series, Book of Love, was the lack of the "world". It was there, lingering in the background, I just wanted more of it up front. I do get more of it in Book of Revenge. More questions are answered about the magick. The images are more "there" in the descriptions, and I found myself getting hooked in.

My minor complaints would be, some story drags a little. A few scenes would be better sped up, but it wasn't enough to discourage me from continuing on in the story. And I still think the story would be fine by sticking to the main four POVs. They were the ones I wanted to know the story from. But once again, it wasn't enough to derail me from the story.

The story ends in a big cliffhanger that leaves me no choice but to read the next installment. Book of Revenge is a good, strong sequel. I think with Ebner's character driven story telling, along with all the awesome supernatural elements woven in, Book of Revenge is bound to satisfy it'sreaders.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Read =)
I was happy to meet again with this not-so-merry gang of teenagers for a second round. The events at the end of Book of Love changed them but they are far from being at the of the road, many more surprises awaits them along the way. This time, Max's past is coming back to hunt them and the threat won't stop until death comes.

I didn't feel the same connection I felt with Jane (seoul, she can predict people's deaths)in the first book but this encounter wasn't any less good. The characters we already know will learn more about themselves, their abilities and their past. I think Emily (Mind reader) was my favorite one, she changed so much and all for the best. Max (guardian angel) was the character that really got to me though, the things he will go through this time around are plain crazy and could break down anyone.

Abra also introduced 2 new charactersto the story, Avery, a pixie from Max's past and Jake, a vampire. You'll find that the former's goals are rather bold, but the latter's are very shadowy.

The plot kept a steady pace, I would've loved a bit more action, but the main focus is the character's psychology and the end totally made up for it. Abra built up a crescendo of emotions and you find yourself seeking ways to reach a different ending. The end will stun you and I'm sure that like me, you'll want to know right away what happens next. I really can't wait to see how this bunch of teenagers will bounce back. Unfortunately we'll have to wait for a while, because the third book isn't written yet!

... Read more

18. The City of Falling Angels
by JohnBerendt
Hardcover: 414 Pages (2005-09-27)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$2.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000YT9COM
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The author of the record-breaking bestseller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil unveils the enigmatic Venice as only he can

Twelve years ago, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil exploded into a monumental success, residing a record-breaking four years on the New York Times bestseller list (longer than any work of fiction or nonfiction had before) and turning John Berendt into a household name. The City of Falling Angels is Berendt’s first book since Midnight, and it immediately reminds one what all the fuss was about. Turning to the magic, mystery, and decadence of Venice, Berendt gradually reveals the truth behind a sensational fire that in 1996 destroyed the historic Fenice opera house. Encountering a rich cast of characters, Berendt tells a tale full of atmosphere and surprise as the stories build, one after the other, ultimately coming together to portray a world as finely drawn as a still-life painting.Amazon.com Review

Past Midnight: John Berendt on the Mysteries of Venice

Just as John Berendt's first book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, was settling into its remarkable four-year run on The New York Times bestseller list, he discovered a new city whose local mysteries and traditions were more than a match for Savannah, whose hothouse eccentricities he had celebrated in the first book. The new city was Venice, and he spent much of the last decade wandering through its canals and palazzos, seeking to understand a place that any native will tell you is easy to visit but hard to know. For travelers to Venice, whether by armchair or vaporetto, he has selected his 10 (actually 11) Books to Read on Venice. And he took the time to answer a few of our questions about his charming new book, The City of Falling Angels:

Amazon.com: The lush, cloistered southern city of Savannah was the locale of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Venice, the setting for The City of Falling Angels, is vastly different. Was it the difference itself that drew you to Venice?

John Berendt: Savannah and Venice actually have quite a lot in common. Both are uniquely beautiful. Both are isolated geographically, culturally, and emotionally from the world outside. Venice sits in the middle of a lagoon; Savannah is surrounded by marshes, piney woods, and the ocean. Venetians think of themselves as Venetian first, Italian second; Savannahians rarely even venture forth as far as Atlanta or Charleston. So both cities offer a writer a rich context in which to set a story, and the stories provide readers a means of escape from their own environment into another world.

Amazon.com: I enjoyed your rather declarative author's note: that this is a work of nonfiction, and that you used everyone's real names. In your previous book you did use pseudonyms for some characters and you explained that you took a few small liberties in the service of the larger truth of the story. Why the change this time?

Berendt: When I wrote Midnight I thought I would do a few people the favor of changing their names for the sake of privacy. But when the book came out, several of the pseudonymous characters told me they wished I'd used their real names instead. So this time, no pseudonyms. As for the storytelling liberties I took in writing Midnight, they were minor and did not change the story, but my mention of it in the author's note caused some confusion, with the result that Midnight is sometimes referred to now as a novel, which it most certainly is not. Neither is The City of Falling Angels. In fact, I dispensed with the liberties this time and made it as close to the truth as I could get it.

Amazon.com: In The City of Falling Angels, a number offascinating people serve as guides to the city, each with a different idea of the true nature of Venice. Who was your favorite?

Berendt: I don't have a favorite, but Count Girolamo Marcello is certainly a memorable, highly quotable commentator. "Everyone in Venice is acting," he told me. "Everyone plays a role, and the role changes. The key to understanding Venetians is rhythm, the rhythm of the lagoon, the water, the tides, the waves. It's like breathing. High water, high pressure: tense. Low water, low pressure: relaxed. The tide changes every six hours."

I nodded that I understood.

"How do you see a bridge?" he went on.

"Pardon me?" I asked, "A bridge?"

"Do you see a bridge as an obstacle--as just another set of steps to climb to get from one side of a canal to the other? We Venetians do not see bridges as obstacles. To us, bridges are transitions. We go over them very slowly. They are part of the rhythm. They are the links between two parts of a theater, like changes in scenery. Our role changes as we go over bridges. We cross from one reality ... to another reality. From one street ... to another street. From one setting ... to another setting."

Once I had absorbed that notion, Count Marcello continued: "Sunlight on a canal is reflected up through a window onto the ceiling, then from the ceiling onto a vase, and from the vase onto a glass. Which is the real sunlight? Which is the real reflection? What is true? What is not true? The answer is not so simple, because the truth can change. I can change. You can change. That is the Venice effect."

I was not terribly surprised when he later told me, "Venetians never tell the truth. We mean precisely the opposite of what we say."

Amazon.com: Now that you know Venice well enough to be a guide yourself, what would you say to a visitor looking for insight into the character of the city?

Berendt: Tourists generally shuffle along, on narrow streets so crowded as to be nearly impassable, between the major sights of St. Mark's Square, the Rialto Bridge, and the Accademia Museum. All you have to do is to step off these heavily traveled alleyways, and in a few moments you will find yourself in quiet, much emptier surroundings. This is more like the real Venice. Another thing to do is to go into the wine bars where Venetians stand around drinking and talking. They will very likely be speaking the Venetian dialect, so you won't be able to understand them, but you will get a sampling of the true Venetian ambiance enlivened by the pronounced sing-song rhythm of the language. I'd also suggest stopping someone in the street and asking for directions. Almost invariably, you will be rewarded with a genial smile and the instructions, Sempre diritto, meaning "Straight ahead." This will only leave you more confused, because when you attempt to follow a straight line, you will be confronted by more twists and turns and forks in the road than you thought possible, given the instructions. This is part of what Count Marcello described as "the Venice effect."

... Read more

Customer Reviews (232)

5-0 out of 5 stars Condition true to explanation
I haven't read this book yet, but got it for my book club to read in a few months. The condition of the book was true to the explanation on the website and very inexpensive for hardback. Thank you!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Loving Reading with Decent Italian Pronunciations
"Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and live?" -- Deuteronomy 4:33 (NKJV)

If you have ever been to Venice, surely you've wondered what it's like to live in one of those palazzos and to be there when the city is under water in the winter. The native's Venice and the day tripper's Venice couldn't be further apart in perception and vantage point.

John Berendt managed to meet a lot of real Venetians and to spend extended time there. Gradually, some of the doors to what the tourists never see were gradually opened to him. Surprises waited inside.

His time there overlapped with the burning down of the Fenice Opera House and its difficult reconstruction. That's the main focus of the book, but there are rewarding side canal visits to subjects such as the Save Venice organization, maintaining the heritage of Ezra Pound, and playing a role in Venetian culture and society. While that combination may sound a little out of focus, realize that there's a mystery in the middle of riddle here. Who did what to whom in Venice? Who will take the blame? Who will steal the credit?

The three main stories are examples of a bigger theme, residents trading on interest in the glorious past of Venice to gain unearned benefits in the present. Normally, that would be unattractive, but Mr. Berendt manages to capture the "glamour" that the outsider sees that makes the fight over the remnants of Venice more interesting than the typical selfish squabble.

I recommend listening to Holter Graham's unabridged (no pun intended) reading as a way to capture the reverence for things Venetian that makes the events more interesting. Awe and caring are in his voice in a way that your own "mental" voice won't be. As a result, the story becomes more dramatic, grander, and decadent . . . at the same time.

Although the base story isn't as interesting as in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, there's plenty to attract here.

Some people may tell you that this book will add a lot to your enjoyment of going to Venice. I doubt that. In fact, it may reduce it. The topic is really human character, seen through the mirror of Venice from the native's point of view.

3-0 out of 5 stars Better editing next time, PLEASE!
How can anyone write a book about Italy and get so many Italian names wrong? Isn't the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, the Cathedral Church of Rome, First Church of Christendom, Seat of the Bishop of Rome important enough not to be called Church of San Giovanni LATERNO?
Did Hubert de Givenchy become Italian on page 325 and change his name to Hubert di Givenchy?
And on the same page Countess Marina Emo Capodilista is called Capodalista.
Enrico Carella, suspect in the fire of La Fenice (please, not THE Fenice, ever!) wears Fratelli Rosetti shoes (p. 244) instead of Fratelli Rossetti, thereby ruining the effect the author might wish to impart.
Besides, the narrative wanders. What is the theme of this book? Venetians are crooked? Things are not what they seem? What family does not have its ups and downs? Americans can't enjoy anything and the moment they arrive somewhere they want to fix it? Who knows?

Carlos Germano Ziviani Noronha de Vasconcellos

4-0 out of 5 stars A page-turner!
I found it hard to put this book down.It reads just like a compelling novel, complete with some fascinating characters.Lots of information about Venice, so it's like having a visit there.I might have wished for the section on Ezra Pound and his widow to be shorter, but even that was interesting.If you want to read two good books about Venice, try this one plus The World of Venice by Jan Morris, my all-time favorite Venice book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Too much "Look who I found'
The book came recommended to me by another traveler, and because of an upcoming trip to Venice, I thought I'd get some help in better understanding the city on what would be my third visit. Instead, I found way too many profiles of Venetians who were either recognized celebrities or eccentrics. Frankly, half this many reports on people the author discovered would have been sufficient. After a while, it seemed Berendt was just trying to show off at being able to move among the locals. I would have preferred to read more about nonentities who make the unique city function. ... Read more

19. Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches
by Tony Kushner
Paperback: 136 Pages (1993-05-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$5.27
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559360615
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The most anticipated new American play of the decade, this brilliant work is an emotional, poetic, political epic in two parts: Millennium Approaches and Perestroika. Spanning the years of the Reagan administration, it weaves the lives of fictional and historical characters into a feverish web of social, political, and sexual revelations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (40)

5-0 out of 5 stars great
Delivered in a timely fashion, in great condition, and definitely saved me a bunch on school books.

2-0 out of 5 stars Speedy delivery, Not as described though
Over all, I'm satisfied with the purchase. However, it's supposed to be a brand new book, while what I got is definitely used already.
It's not broken or anything, only has some pencil marks. But if I had known it was second-handed, I would just go for a used one; which would be even cheaper.
BTW, the play itself is brilliantly written. Had it for my school project, and I really appreciate our teacher's choice. I'm going to get the second part as well.
It wan the Pulitzer Prize in 1993. Highly recommend.

3-0 out of 5 stars Fine, save one scene.
Tony Kushner, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (Theatre Communications Group, 1993)

I thought Millennium Approaches was going along like a house on fire for the first two-thirds of its length. It's character-driven, it's funny despite its heartbreaking subject matter, it handles an historical figure in such a way as to make him larger than life. (I will admit up front that, despite my mother having suggested I do so for something like twenty years now, I have not read Citizen Cohn, her favorite Roy Cohn biography, and so I can't actually say how much of Kushner's portrayal of Cohn is accurate; it is, however, all kinds of fun.) And Kushner was getting his message across in just the right way--letting the story impart the message. Then comes Scene 2 of Act 3, where Louis and Belize are sitting in a bar talking. And Louis' logorrhea is message, message, message, message, message, and the whole thing just goes to hell in a handbasket. The funny thing is, Belize recognizes that it's all message, message, message, message, message and calls Louis on it repeatedly. Even Kushner's characters can't stand message drama! (That doesn't stop Louis from prattling on.) I've been seeing this more and more recently; authors trying to insert message drama (or fiction or poetry or...) by making the characters who have to put up with it slap the speaker into senselessness. (Unless it's internal, then they get nasty looks; think about the interminable message paragraphs that Kenzie suddenly comes up with in A Drink Before the War, for example.) Here's a tip, guys: it doesn't matter how you try to cache message-based writing into your work. It's still crap. It has always been crap (well, okay, 95% of the time), and it will always be crap. And here's the kicker, in Tony Kushner's case: if you're already treading on ground that activists have worked over hundreds of thousands of times, there's basically a guarantee that some political activist with a placard has already said everything you're trying to say. And probably said it better. In this case, it's been done hundreds, if not thousands of times. It's not only message crap, it's retreaded message crap.

Now that I've spent three hundred words on Louis and Belize's painful, conversation in Act Three, I'll say that the rest of the play is just plain awesome. The characters jump off the page, the pace is fast (despite there being almost no action), the dialogue is, in the main, witty and interesting. Take out that one scene, and this is great stuff. Unfortunately, no one thought to take out that one scene. ***

5-0 out of 5 stars You Have To Be Damned To Be Saved
This play has the secondary title "A Gay Fantasia on National Themes," but the "Gay" portion seems unnecessary.Reflecting the self-seeking, ambitious attitude that dominated the middle 1980s, Kushner uses jagged language, a clash of characters, and tension born from manipulating audience stereotypes to make us wonder if perhaps we've lost sight of our original national purpose.

Not for nothing does this play begin at an immigrant's funeral.This nation is a fusion of peoples drawn from elsewhere, a mix that cannot be made again.We know the officiating rabbi means it in the most literal sense when he says, "You do not live in America.No such place exists."This America is a created land, but created of all the anger, frustration, and venality of the assembled characters.

The lies these characters tell themselves are phenomenal.After the funeral, Louis, a relative of the deceased confesses that he didn't introduce his male lover to the family because "I get so closety at these family things."This is probably the most direct any of the characters are at any point in the play.Perhaps it's introduced very early to let us know that levels of dishonesty will be calibrated in every scene.And no dishonesty is more powerful than when the characters come to believe their own lies.

When Roy Cohn is diagnosed with AIDS at the end of the first act, before he does anything else, he revises his own prognosis to correspond to his own self-figuration.Not only does he tell himself that he has cancer, he bullies his doctor to ratify the diagnosis so that he can go out and tell everyone else the same thing.Even when his protégé, Joe Pitt, admits his own homosexuality, Cohn continues to hide from the world, and excoriate himself for hiding.Cohn's self-loathing is epic in scope, entirely consistent with the hatred Kushner implies he pushed out into the world with his militancy.

Though she is not as open with other characters as Louis, Harper Pitt has the most elaborate system of self-deception of the play.She invents friends to talk to, justifying her refusal to interact with the world.She manufactures an illusory pregnancy to get pity--but who from?Herself?It's hard to imagine who else she might elicit sympathy from, because she alienates her only ally, her husband Joe, as her world turns more inward upon itself.Her imaginary friend, Mr. Lies, gives away his identity with his very name.But even Mr. Lies won't participate unreservedly in the process."You can be numb and safe here, that's what you came for," he tells her.

Perhaps because of the lies, all the characters seem to seek their own destruction.Faced with his lover's increasing illness, Louis flees to reckless sex with an anonymous partner--and, it is implied, more partners than we see.Likewise, Joe first admits his homosexuality by calling his mother, a judgmental Mormon unlikely to take kindly to such a revelation.On top of that, he calls her from a pay phone in the most dangerous part of New York's Central Park at the most dangerous time of night.He's asking to get killed, and perhaps he's asking for it because he wants to be punished.

Though it's not the end of the play, the summation of the themes takes place in the Act 3n Scene 2.Louis' garbled, self-justifying monologue tries to make sense of the way in which a gay man can face himself in the disapproving world that is Reagan's America.But what actually comes out of his mouth is an incomprehensible hash of American national mythology, half-remembered Nietzschean philosophy, a badly scrambled reading of race and cultural relations across borders, and more.As a court word processor, Louis has made his life out of comprehending the rhetoric and literature of justice.But he cannot remember how it actually goes.

This play, being actually half a play, culminates with the potential for redemption, in the final scene.Prior Walter, ravaged by AIDS-Related Complex, is the one character who cannot lie to himself.We watch, over the course of three acts, as each untruth and every easy self-deception is progressively expunged.At the end, devastated and alone, he is the only character fit to bear audience to the titular Angel.

But honest Prior Walter, and the lying characters all around him, do not yet have that redemption.They cannot have it, they cannot be saved, until they have reached the very bottom of their arcs.And that is what we see in this play.We see them being burned away, bit by bit.We see them being made ready for the possible salvation that comes in Part Two.

5-0 out of 5 stars Like Plays of Old
This play is very accessible to the reader accustomed to reading prose.Contemporary situations are embellished to make this play a work of art.
... Read more

20. Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga (Modern Library)
by Hunter S. Thompson
Hardcover: 288 Pages (1999-12-07)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$12.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 067960331X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The author's harrowing and critically acclaimed first book chronicles his year riding with the Hell's Angels and other motorcycle gangs, an "experiment" that ended when he was beaten nearly to death by a group of Angels. 20,000 first printing. NYT. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (139)

4-0 out of 5 stars The beginning
By no means the best book HST wrote... Still, it's essential reading for any fan as it was written by a younger, more serious and lucid Hunter Thompson - not the hilarious-dope-fiend-life-on-the-edge Thompson that we all grew to love.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most talked about book among the boys at my high school
When I was in my early years of high school, this book was a mini-rage among the boys. It started among the "tough guys" and spread horizontally and vertically until nearly every male had at least heard of it and the more scintillating contents. My brother brought a borrowed copy home and spoke very highly of it. However, what finally led me to read it was hearing the other boys talk about it on the school bus. I was a listener and observer and enjoyed hearing the stories, but what fascinated me were the reactions of some of the girls that also heard the stories. They were appalled at the tales of "motorcycle mamas", the women that were nothing more than sex toys for the male bikers. One oft-repeated tale heard on the bus is the one on page 248 where a Thompson describes a woman being penetrated in several ways no less than fifty times.
While the tales in this book did not overwhelm me, some of the boys were. The stories of men that were free of the travails of civilization, taking what they needed, living on the road and sharing drugs and women fascinated some of the more rootless of my classmates. I know of one that left on a nationwide motorcycle trip right after graduating from high school and a few others that joined the local outlaw motorcycle gang. To them, being devoid of responsibility for anything other than feeding the hog between their legs was the ultimate in freedom. It also gave them a sense of belonging that they could not find elsewhere.
Of course, while Thompson's tale is real, for most of the boys that read the book, it was an expression of fantasy, a way of dropping out at a time when it was a phrase passed around quite freely. The men and women bikers depicted in this book were extremely tough, honorable in their own way but still ruthless in their lives. It is not a television fantasy, yet many of the readers I knew treated it as such.

3-0 out of 5 stars "...like a burst of dirty thunder..."
I'd read this book a long time ago, and when I saw it at a garage sale for a dime I decided to try it again. It's HST's first book and a pretty good one, too.Later on his ego got completely out of control and he began writing about himself as a colorful hero instead of the story he was ostensibly covering. I never found him as endlessly fascinating as he thought himself to be during his Gonzo Journalism career. Just a drug addict on an expense account, not a skilled writer. He deserves quite a bit of credit for operating such an excellent con that it resulted in a lifelong ideal set-up for himself, but it didn't make for good reading, IMHO. But this book came before all that and it is absorbing, to give the Devil his due.

What's intriguing now is his description of the Hell's Angels as misfits banding together who worked straight jobs and/or collected unemployment benefits to subsidize their outlaw lifestyle; and that there was no high-level crime involved. According to HST, the Angels at that time were strictly consumers of drugs, not distributors or manufacturers. He also witnessed or reported on lots of stray violence, but heard not even a hint of any premeditated murders or intimidation or extortion, or any such goings-on. There were specious media reports and rumors of drug-smuggling by the Angels, but HST dismisses these tales out-of-hand. He makes the point that people as conspicuous as outlaw bikers would make poor smugglers, since this is a field where anonymity is necessary for success. He was absolutely certain that the Angels would wear their colors and ride their bikes in full view while engaging in any criminal endeavors.HST seems to have had both admiration and contempt for the Angels and maybe his disdain for them led him to overlook their possible secret activities, unwilling to credit them with the necessary smarts that would be required. Or perhaps events in this book actually took place before the outlaw bike clubs became enmeshed in organized crime.

An odd parallel occurs in William Queen's book "Under and Alone" about a BATF Agent infiltrating the Mongols roughly thirty years after the events in "Hell's Angels". Mr. Queen describes most of the Mongols that he encountered as unsure of how to exploit their situation for financial gain and perfectly content to just enjoy "The Life". He looked very intently indeed at all aspects of the Mongols' activities that he possibly could; but his investigation mostly uncovered bike thefts and parole violations and illegal possession and sales of guns. There was drug usage, but no sales or manufacturing. He did witness the Mongols' San Diego chapter intimidating and extorting from a strip-club owner, butit's unclear if this resulted in any criminal charges. This isn't intended to disparage Mr. Queen's extremely dangerous and astonishingly skillful undercover mission in any way, shape or form. Some of the Mongols were also implicated in rapes, robberies, assaults and drug offenses during his experiences with them and his own life was very much at risk the entire time. But these similarities to HST's account are really noteworthy, also IMHO.

Maybe the particular chapters of either club that both men were reporting on were relatively uninvolved in big-time organized crime, after all. Or maybe not all outlaw bikers are actually up to their necks in drugs and murder and prostitution and so on. Maybe there are degrees of culpability here. That's not to say that they're all just a bunch of nice guys who happen to like Harleys. They're terribly violence-prone and volatile, to put it mildly. It's always wise to treat with them with respect, but keep your distance. Outsiders can become targets at any time and without warning. Especially when the members get intoxicated.

But I digress. "Hell's Angels" is a good book and a good read, a well-written account of a segment of the Sixties that's pretty interesting in its own right.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dated, But a Superior Book
I found this book at a bargain price at a used bookshop, and spent the afternoon reading it.I have always enjoyed Thompson's writing, but somehow, always managed to miss this one.I am sorry I did.

Thompson's book is, essentially, a three pronged look at American society in the mid-1960's.On the one hand, you have the Hell's Angels, the consumate "bad boys" of the mid- to late 20th century American imagination.On the other, a greedy and sensationalistic press anxious for the headlines - real or fabricated - the Angels once provoked.And finally, you have "John Q. Public," the man caught in between the Harley riding outlaws and their media myth, far too prone to accept anything negative as universally true based on nothing but what was often nothing more than flimsy rumor and wild speculation.And you see the beginning transformation of the Angels themselves under the barrage of press coverage they sometimes loathed and sometimes embraced as they went "mainstream," for good or for ill.Academically, it's a masterful demonstration of how the emerging media culture of the 1950's and 1960's began to demonstrate a real power in shaping public perception and what that did to at least one "imagined community" which quickly lost or was compelled to transform its own sense of its history and itself, and how a country in small began to rehape its own definitions of "good" and "evil" whetted by an escalating appetite for voyeurism.It is a great slice of period history read broadly.

Thompson has been roundly criticized for making the Angels exemplars of what John Keegan might have called "The False Heroic" and then roundly criticized for stabbing his subjects in the back, in spite of the on-again/off-again grudging and tepid "approval" of people like legendary Angel Sonny Barger.I have to say I did not see any of that.Thompson was struggling to find fact behind the Angel's often self-promoted legendarium, and he succeeded in as much as an "outsider looking in" can.While he amply demonstrates how the social prejudices and slavering media of the 1960's created a "boogeyman" that was really more a creature of shadow, I did not see the Angels getting any "free passes" for their "groupthink" codes or sometimes incredibly bad conduct, even if their mayhem was, statistically, not even a "blip on the radar screen."So what the reader gets is, essentially, a really wonderful deconstruction of several social myths on multiple levels.The dryness of Thompson's prose and the marked disinclination to pass judgments without serious and explained reflection, sourcing and thought is, plainly, a deliberate choice made to avoid the lurid, red-toned language of the popular press and the Angels' own myths circulating in his own time.So, while it is true you do get a book that can seem rather "Plain Jane," in context, it was a brave choice Thompson made if he was going to write something worthwhile.And I suspect that complaints about it being "boring" are really more reflections of the fact that people, hungry for the bloody and violent, had elevated expectations going in and were unprepared for a sober, non-sensationalized account of "Hell's Angels on the Cusp."Thompson had little use for the dark romantic narrative from anywhere or anyone, and this "sick and tired" deadpan attitude served his writing and credibility well even if it won him few admirers anywhere.

Thompson's own self-promotion is really only a small part of this book, and I suspect much of that came later, one of the things making Thompson such a paradox, hypocrite, or court jester, depending on your point of view.Suffice it to say that whether or not his "beating" by Hell's Angels was real, just a tiff gone haywire, or even staged remains debated, apparently.But most of the book is free of that, as I mentioned, and I don't think it had any real impact on the whole.

This is an example of investigative journalism "done right."I learned a very great deal about how what we like to believe and what is actually so can be very uncomfortable when exposed to light of day since, for whatever the many reasons Thompson explains simply and well, the Angels touched a unique chord in the American cultural awareness.And this book also interested me enough to think about a follow-up read updating this fascinating story.It's Americana I never really considered before, and that's always a great discovery.

A worthy book, journalism and cultural history blended and blended well and thoughtfully.Recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good book, but...
Hell's Angels is an in depth look into the lives of the motorcycle gang, delivered by Mr. Gonzo Journalism himself.Seems like a formula for success, right?

The problem is, nothing really happens.There's a lot of build up to the 4 or 5 exciting parts, but mostly these guys seem to just sit in bars and posture.

I love Hunter S. Thompson, but unless you're already a die hard fan, you might want to start with either Fear and Loathing or Rum Diary before you tackle this one. ... Read more

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