Some links and a reminder

First, the links:

  1. The cover for Cassandra Clare’s new book The Clockwork Angel has finally been released. The book is due out in September 2010. It’s the first of a trilogy called The Infernal Devices which will be a prequel to Clare’s mega-awesome Mortal Instruments trilogy (the first of that trilogy being City of Bones). This series will also tie in with the fourth Mortal Instruments book City of Fallen Angels which is due out in in March 2011. You can view the cover at Shelf Life, it’s kind of fantastic–I love it so much with is Victorian awesomeness! (Exclusive Bonus Content: The character on the cover is Will, you can read about him on Clare’s site.)
  2. The cover and title of for the sequel to Beautiful Creatures also came to my attention this week. The sequel will be called Beautiful Darkness and the cover is pretty spiffy. This book will be out in October 2010. (Exclusive Bonus Content: You can view both covers at Mundie Moms–did you know Mundie is for Mundane? I just figured that out this afternoon . . . )
  3. Betsy Bird of Fuse 8 is in the final stretch of her 100 Greatest Children’s Novels polls. The posts have been coming too fast for me to follow all of them, but Six Boxes of Books has a lovely list of all of the books and links to their respective posts.
  4. I just barely understand how it works, but School Library Journal‘s Battle of the Kids’ Books is going on. So if you like books and . . . battle . . . maybe you want to follow along at home. Megan Whalen Turner is an upcoming judge which is pretty neat.
  5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid came out this week. I saw it and it was great but there will be more about that in a review. For now, take a look at this article from USA Today about translating a book with stick figure characters into a live action movie.
  6. Finally, Maureen Johnson is heading up the Ravenclaw House of the HP Alliance this year. And she wants you to help. Accio books is gearing up to donate tons of books to schools in need. If you donate books in the name of Ravenclaw (and why wouldn’t you since Ravenclaw rocks!?!) Ms. Johnson might give you a little something for your troubles. You can read all of the information at her blog. I will leave you with this teaser, you could get a character named after you. That is all.

Now the reminder: On the first of March I made a promise. Get this blog to 50,000 views and I will host a book giveaway bonanza. That was twenty days ago. In those twenty days this blog has had a little over 1,700 hits which is amazing. As of posting the number to note is 29,736. That is much closer than 28,000! So, just keep that in mind. You can donate all your books for Maureen Johnson and then win some from me once we get to 50k.

Our Lady of Immaculate Deception: A (brief) Review

Our Lady of Immaculate Deception by Nancy MartinRoxy Abruzzo lives and works in Pittsburgh where she runs an architectural salvage business. Her shady uncle Carmine (mostly) leaves her alone while he tends to the family’s less than legal dealings. Which is fine because Roxy has enough on her plate with her business and raising her seventeen-year-old daughter. Problems arise when Roxy absconds with a statue that isn’t actually hers and winds up in the middle of a murder investigation to boot in Our Lady of Immaculate Deception (2010) by Nancy Martin.

I was so excited when I first heard about this novel. My mom and I had started reading Martin’s Blackbird Sister mysteries together and we both really enjoyed them. The combination of down-on-their-luck blue bloods with madcap humor, a fun mystery, and some romance now and then was a real winner. It was, therefore, a sad day when I realized Murder Melts in Your Mouth might very well be the last of the Blackbird mysteries.

Hearing about Our Lady of Immaculate Deception helped ease the blow because the main character of this new series would be none other than Roxy Abruzzo, half-sister of Michael Abruzzo–love interest to Nora Blackbird and a crucial character in the Blackbird Sister series. Surely this was a good sign! Martin wanted to move on, but I felt certain Michael, and maybe even a Blackbird or two would show up in the story. Since Roxy lives in Pittsburgh and the Blackbirds call Philadelphia home it wasn’t entirely out of the question.

Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be.

My mom was immediately turned off by the title and, in the end, her first impression was right. All of the polish Martin used so well in her previous mystery series is gone. Roxy is a brash, not entirely likable character. As my mother put it, she winds up sleeping with every man in sight, her seventeen-year-old daughter is pregnant, and she’s basically a thief. In other words, Roxy has little in the way of redeeming qualities. And, I don’t know about you, but what’s the point of a book without a character you can actually like?

Worse still to me is the fact that Martin makes no references to her previous characters. If a book is going to tie in with the setting of a previous series, it should go all the way. It shouldn’t tease faithful fans with what sounds like a connection only to entice them to read the book and finally leave them hanging. Poor form all around. Hopefully Martin has more Blackbird Mysteries up her sleeve.