Saturday, August 18, 2012

See For Yourself

The question is not what you look at, but what you see. -- Henry David Thoreau

Yesterday while I was at the grocery store I detoured from my quest for some decent ripe apricots to take a walk down the book/card/magazine aisle. I can't help it; I can't be somewhere they sell books and not check out the shelves. Also my market always seems to carry at least one or two new releases that I missed because I didn't get to the bookstore that week, or I didn't spot them on my last trip. I've been insanely busy with family and work stuff since coming back from Savannah, so my most recent bookstore trips have been mad grab-and-dash stops.

I scanned the racks but didn't see anything new, and was just about to head back to produce when I spotted two words that promised to wreck my plans to sew that night: Rob Thurman.

Yes, it seems that while I was out of town, Rob Thurman released a new novel, All Seeing Eye. This isn't the first time this has happened, either. I swear, if I were paranoid I'd believe she deliberately plans it when she talks to her editor about scheduling: Is Viehl is going to be out of town at the end of July? Okay, I want the release that week.

Naturally All Seeing Eye came home with me and the apricots. And since I can't have a new Rob Thurman release in the house and not read it, I put away the sewing and carried a kitchen timer around with me so I wouldn't burn dinner while I dove in.

In All Seeing Eye Rob introduces us to a new protagonist, Jackson Lee, a poor kid with a hardworking mom, two adorable little sisters and the Stepfather from Hell. Jack doesn't have much, but he wants more, and better, for his family, and he's willing to work for it. Fate steps in one day to give him one-half of what he wishes for when he discovers one of his sister's shoes in the grass, and his own tactile psychic power the moment he touches it. That day changes Jackson's life forever, and while he's given an tremendous gift, almost everything else he cares about is taken from him in the most horrific fashion imaginable . . . and that's just the beginning.

Despite the timer, All Seeing Eye nearly did make me burn dinner, because (like all of Rob's books) once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. As stories go this one is particularly nightmare dark, switchblade-edged, with characters and a storyline so compelling you should expect not to be able to set it aside until you reach the stunning conclusion -- and then it will probably haunt you until I go out of town again and Rob releases a new book.

As always, you don't have to take my word for it. In comments to this post, name the last book you read that impressed the hell out of you (or if you can't think of one, just toss your name in the hat) by midnight EST on Monday, August 20, 2012. I'll choose five names at random from everyone who participates, and send the winners an unsigned copy of All Seeing Eye by Rob Thurman. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something at PBW in the past.


  1. Shizuka8:19 AM

    I couldn't pick just one. I keep thinking about GOLD by Chris Cleave and GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn. Both have interesting POVs -- GOLD switches between different times and five characters. Two are British female cyclists on the Olympic team, who are rivals and friends. GONE GIRL switches between a man whose wife disappears on his fifth anniversary and the wife.
    Both are fascinating.

  2. The Newsflesh series by Mira Grant. All three books impressed the hell out of me.

    And don't enter me in the drawing, Lynn. I snagged my copy already. =o)

    1. I sucked All Seeing Eye down today (to the exclusion of pretty much everything else). You're so right. Very impressive book. (Not that I wasn't impressed by Rob already.)

  3. clairecherven8:53 AM

    Haven't had a lot of summer-time to read but am hopeful for the next few months when school starts. So here's my name in your hat. Glad you vacation was wonderful.

  4. Anonymous9:06 AM

    All the books in the Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne. Love the story, really, reallly love the dog, Oberon. The conversations between the two had me laughing soo hard!


    1. And Oberon's french poodle fetish! I only wish Hearne's books came out faster.

  5. I second the Newsflesh series! Also, the Maiden Lane series by Elizabeth Hoyt was amazing.

  6. Pallavi9:31 AM

    Jus Accardo's Denazen series.... There's one novel and a novella out so far. Book2 is supposed to come out soon and I cannot wait... Cheers!

  7. Most of my reading lately has been editing or judging for a competition and none of it has been all that impressive. Am I becoming jaded? My brother keeps poking me to pick up the Iron Druid series but work has to get out of the way first.

    At the bookstore I always pick up the latest Rob Thurman but for some reason have never actually bought & read one. One of these days...

  8. I second Stephanie's vote for the Iron Druid Chronicles. I've basically been twiddling my thumbs waiting for the next one to come out.

    This may not be the most recent impressive read, but it is one that has been haunting me for a re-read lately -- The Mystery of Grace by Charles DeLint. I've never read another book like it. So emotional, beautiful, unique. . . I could go on. Maybe I will go re-read while waiting for the next Iron Druid Chronicles novel to come out. :)


  9. The last one that blew me away was A Cold Day For Murder by Dana Stabenow. It triggered a 19 book binge of her Kate Shugak series. Kate is a strong, fascinating, heroine of an Alaskan mystery series. I've been rationing Stabenow's other series, the Liam Campbell books, because I'm about to run out of backlist and have to wait for her to publish something new. Incidentally, both Cold Day For Murder and Fire and Ice (the first Liam Campbell) are free as Kindle downloads. Read at your own risk.

    I also really adored The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. It's an excellent YA fantasy that actually managed to surprise me both in terms of character development and plot twists. Awaiting book two...

  10. A novel that was memorable and special and impressed me with the setting and writing was The Time In Between by Maria Duenas. Unforgettable and emotional.

  11. What a great post today. Loved this topic. Books that make an impression upon me are rare nowadays but Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie certainly did.

  12. Moonglow by Kristen Callihan, the second book in her Darkest London series. I absolutely loved this story--on every level.

  13. As usual, your enthusiasm has made me curious, and since the digital part of my library has nothing e- or audio by Rob, I'm throwing my name into the hat.

    I've been reading and enjoying the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. The world is a little confusing at first, but definitely worth the read.

  14. Shelley1:46 PM

    I just finished Lilith Saintcrow's The Iron Wyrm Affair and really liked it. She caught the atmosphere of a Victorian/Steampunk alternative London beautifully. The descriptions are very vivid.

  15. This sounds fantastic. The last really great, and surprising, book I read was Daniel O'Malley's The Rook. It's about a paranormal government agency as told from the POV of a high ranking bureaucrat with amnesia.

  16. Currently reading "Animal Companions, Animal Doctors, Animal People". It's an anthology of stories, poems, essays...even a short graphic story. All about our connections to animals. It really captures the spirit of those of us in and around animals (pets, livestock,etc). I loved the story about a woman who gardened with her solo hen,

  17. I'm in the middle of rereading the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher, and although this time around I can see the imperfections, the books are just as engaging.

  18. Susanne4:36 PM

    I really liked "Blood Oath" and "The President`s Vampire" by Christopher Farnswort.
    --> at Gail: Thank you for the tip! Dana Stabenow is always a good read while waiting for more books from my fav author..*cough cough hint hint* :-))


  19. Keita5:03 PM

    Nicola Griffith's Ammonite. It's a beautiful book. I'd recommend it even for people who don't usually read science fiction. It's a unique story that follows the lives of several very different women in a world alien to them. Hannah Danner is a carreer military officer stuck on "Jeep" due to a virus that kills only men. Sara Hiam is a brilliant doctor given the task to create a vaccine against the virus...and Marguerite Taishan, the anthropologist who agrees to test the vaccine for the chance to study the native women of Jeep, who seem to live perfectly normal lives without men. But what effect will she have on them, the peoples of Jeep? And can she keep Danner from making fatal mistakes as Company waits to see if the vaccine will work or not...

    I just can't enough of this book. I've reread it several times over the years and it never fails to touch me. It's one of the books that had a profound impact on me in my early teens, and continues to do so. I just finished rereading it again.

  20. The last book i was wowed about: The Witness by Nora Roberts, this book moved me unbearably!

  21. Amanda Carlson's Full Blooded. I've been kind of burnt out on UF lately and all the vamps, weres, fae and dystopian worlds were starting to blend. And then got this in the mail. And I couldn't put it down. It's got a tough heroine without the TSTL gene, kicka&& fight scenes, and a really impressive plot. As soon as I finished I had to buy the short prequel to get my fix. Carlson's a new fave of mine.

  22. I LOVE Rob Thurman's books!

    The last book that really impressed me was THE AGE OF MIRACLES by Karen Thompson Walker.

  23. I recently read a book that I thought was a great concept and well written with a very satisfying ending.
    Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver was, I thought, so fabulous I had to write a blog post about it:
    I'm always looking for books that will leave a mark so even if my name isn't pulled out of the hat, I might have to go and read this Rob Thurman novel!
    Thanks for posting, Cat

  24. The last book that really made me say, "Wow," was Trick of the Light, another Rob Thurman book which you insisted I'd like. (And as always, you were right.)

    I also second Cat's recommendation of Before I Fall.

  25. Rob Thurman has another book out!? I already own every book she's ever written...must resist the temptation to run to the bookstore like a crazy person screaming incoherently about Leandros brothers, tricksters, and ex-Russian mobsters.

    I'm currently really impressed, but not surprised by the deep, dark nature of Wings of Wrath by C.S. Friedman. I've spent most of the last two days furiously reading it while resisting the fevers from the flu and Nyquil induced comas. Friedman's characters are always real, dark, and fascinating.

  26. I think this has already been mentioned, but I'll third it: Feed, by Mira Grant


    Killing off a first-person protagonist two-thirds of the way through the book, and letting her brother step up to finish the narrative? That made me bawl, but it also made me sit up and salute the writer's pure cojones, and her skill at pulling such a thing off.

  27. Lynn,
    The Amanda Hocking "Trylle" Trilogy impressed me. Although it was written for teens, I found it extremely adult friendly and without all the neverending sex so many books are coming out with now.

  28. The First Confessor by Terry Goodkind really impressed me.

    All Seeing Eye sounds amazing.


  29. Anne V.9:42 AM

    I just finished Dead Iron by Devon Monk and was really impressed with the worldbuilding in it. I adore Rob Thurman's books and was unable to locate a copy of her book on my last mad dash through the store-but her Doubletake had me staying up way to late!

  30. Briana N.12:40 PM

    The last book that impressed me was "The Strain" by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. I don't usually read horror novels because I find them lacking, but not so with this one. It is the first installment of an epic vampire trilogy and it is sure to get into your head. The writing is vivid, the descriptions raw and tangible and the storyline is sure to hook you. Forget about sparkly vampires that want to marry you, these are hungry horrors of the night hellbent on taking over the world. "In one week, Manhattan will be gone. In one month, the country. In two months....the world." Highly recommended!

  31. helen2:03 PM

    I just finished Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. Soooo good. Excellent world building and the characters were so well drawn I wanted to sit and
    chat with them!

  32. Anonymous4:33 PM

    Sara Monette's Melusine trilogy. I swore at the beginning of Book 1 that I wouldn't get sucked in. I'm on Book 3.


  33. Yesterday I read The Summoning (Moon Wolf Saga) by Carol Wolfe, which I really liked. I thought it would be a YA, but in my opinion it is definately not, too dark and serious, but I really liked it. It managed to surprise me and make me crave the next one - if there is one uggh! Before that I read The Glass Wall by Madison Adler - it was more traditional YA but still pretty good and actually made me laugh out loud during a scene, which NEVER happens (I read way too many books, and so am a little jaded, it takes a lot to make me cry/laugh/etc). Anyways, I would love a new Rob Thurman book, I love all her stuff.

  34. Athena W9:34 PM

    That book sounds interesting

  35. Anonymous10:25 AM

    Just want to say I went to my library and grabbed this book due to this post.

    Loved it... thanks for pointing it out.
    Talk about twisty.



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