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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Spirit and Dust

Spirit and Dust - Rosemary Clement-Moore To see full review click here.So, a couple of years ago I went to a book signing by Texas Gothic which was by one of my favorite authors, Rosemary Clement-Moore. During the signing Rosemary talked about the book she was working on which was supposed to have an Indiana Jones meets Leverage vibe and I was like I have to have that book. And, well, now I do. So, I guess I have to review it.There are several things I want in YA books. This book has it all. Let me list them shall I 1) kick ass heroine, 2) hot FBI agent that I imagine looking like a younger David Duchovny, 3) mysteries, 4) magic, 5) mobsters, 6) really hot mob henchman that doesn't look like Steve Burton (thank God), 7) archeology, 8) museums, 9) dinosaurs, and 10) kick ass descendants who were like pioneers in their field and make you go Indiana Jones who....Yeah, all of this is in this book.You can nerd out now.And it could've been ridiculous it really could, but somehow it all worked. I honestly don't know how Rosemary does it. But it did work.As usual, the characters were well formed. From all the books that I have read of hers, this is probably Rosemary's biggest strength. Every book I've read by her has a distinctly different protagonist. And this one is no exception. And their all well formed characters. True I like some Clement-Moore heroines better than others, and luckily for Daisy she's on the higher end of the totem pole. And so is Carson.I like Carson because he's multilayered. He's not a good guy and he's not totally bad. Yeah, I know in an action adventure story that's the sort of love interest you want. And it is, obviously, but in YA you don't often see this type of character? Sure we have "bad boys" but usually these are undiagnosed psychopaths. There's actually story to why Carson is the way he is and there's so many twists and turns to it.The one complaint I will make about characters is Taylor. I really liked this guy even though he was barely in the story-well, in comparison to Daisy and Carson. I guess that's a good thing because love triangles really annoy me. But I liked Taylor a lot. And I hope he will be in another Goodnight book because he was pretty cool. Though I will admit the FBI's role in all of this was a bit of a stretch.The plot as I said before surprisingly worked though it did drag a little in the beginning. Once it did start moving though it didn't stop. I can see this being where some people might get annoyed with the book. It does get a little over the top again. I mean come on, dinosaurs coming back to life that's only in Jeff Goldblum movies and Night at the Museum too-sort of. But it really worked nicely. And I have to say, I'm glad to see Ancient Egypt finally be featured in a YA book where it actually works. The research done on the archeology concepts was interesting.Best Feature: Nerdom. If your a Harry Potter geek, Indiana Jones/Star Wars fan, comic fan, really anything where they have a convention where you can get dressed up and celebrate your geekdom this is the book for you. Usually, pop culture references annoy me, but they are used effortlessly here. Besides, who doesn't like the occasion Harry Potter reference. And it involves archeology and Egyptology that has my little fan girl mind going woohoo. Honestly, the book almost has an Indiana Jones meets Mickey Blue Eyes meets The Mediator meets 1-800-Where R U meets Charmed feel and while that sounds so wrong it really works well.Worst Feature: Pacing. The book starts off very slow, but it does pick up. I often find that this is the biggest complaint I have with Clement-Moore books. This did not fall to the pacing issues that The Splendor Falls had, but I did struggle occasionally with this book. But once I got into it...Appropriateness: There's some violence. It involves the mob (obviously). And some scary stuff you'd see out of The Mummy or something. There's also some hot kissing scenes too, though they never seem to go further than kissing. Unfortunately. As for language I don't remember any f bombs or anything like that it was for the most part pretty PG-13.