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Month in review

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The Adventures Of Vin Fiz by Clive Cussler
Bellwether by Connie Willis
The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
Body & Soul by Stacey Kade
The Cat Who Robbed a Bank by Lilian Jackson Braun
Crescent Dawn by Clive and Dirk Cussler
The Empire Strikes Out by Robert Elias
Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
Gay Men Don't Get Fat by Simon Doonan
The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum by Kate Bernheimer
Gracie, The Lighthouse Cat by Ruth Brown
Homicide In Hardcover by Kate Carlisle
I Am Half-Sick Of Shadows by Alan Bradley
I Am Not Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
If Books Could Kill by Kate Carlisle
Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr
The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
Monster by A. Lee Martinez
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater
One False Note by Gordon Korman
Planting Dandelions by Kyran Pittman
A River in the Sky (audio) by Elizabeth Peters
Sink Trap by Christy Evans
The Sword Thief (audio) by Peter Lerangis
The Talented Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
Wet Cats by Rita Golden Gelman
Whad'ya Know? by Michael Feldman Withering Tights by Louise Rennison
Zed: A Cosmic Tale by Michel Gagné

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8




Comments for The Adventures of Vin Fiz

The Adventures of Vin Fiz: 04/14/13

 cover art (Link goes to Powells)The Adventures of Vin Fiz by Clive Cussler is the first of two adventure books starring fraternal twins Casey and Lacey. I read and reviewed the second book, The Adventures of Hotsy Totsy last year and was curious to see how the series started.

The book opens with a lengthy introduction to the Nicefolk family, their farm and Castroville, California. Yes, Castroville is known for its artichokes.

Cussler has a habit of using authorial insert to help his heros along. Here, as Sucoh Sucop, gets the entire series going. Sucoh appears at the farm offering to volunteer his time and labor during the harvest. As a parting gift, he leaves the twins a magical box that will make any toy become life size and real (with some caveats).

That's how Casey, Lacey and Floopy the dog end up on a strange cross-country adventure in a toy replica of Vin Fiz. Here is where things go from odd but plausible to head-scratching. The plane takes the twins to places that are more like moments in time from the original Vin Fiz, in those decades where 20th century innovations are starting to arrive but remnants of the 19th century still exist (the calvary and steam trains).

No explanation of the oddities of these towns are mentioned. They just are. Nor are the overly simplistic villains who keep appear explained. They just are and they come off like escapees from a Duddley Do-Right episode.

While these problems still exist in the second book, they are reined in. The adventures the Nicefolk twins have the second time are grounded in reality, even if their craft is once again enchanted.

Three stars

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