The cover is very creepy and the village the story is set in is full of jealous and vengeful people.
Four young people narrate the tale, two girls and two boys. They all witness death and destruction in Hammersmoor Germany. After the war the village doesn’t have a lot to offer young people so they listen to the folk stories and superstitions and let their imagination take over. It could be any village in the world.
The two volumes of “Crossovers” are a fascinating and highly enjoyable read for anyone interested in the interactions between various pulp, mystery, adventure, and science fiction characters with each other and real people throughout history. The premise of the book was inspired by SF writer Philip José Farmer’s “Wold Newton” concept which he developed in the 1970s: a “radioactive” meteorite crashed near Wold Newton, England, in 1795 and affected several carriages full of people who were passing by. Their descendants became highly intelligent and powerful heroes (or villains) such as Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty, Dr. Fu Manchu, Doc Savage, Lord Greystoke (Tarzan), and many more. Farmer wrote popular and detailed biographies of Tarzan and Doc Savage in which he explored the family trees of many “Wold Newton Family” characters. Over time, the concept has been expanded and continued by Win Scott Eckert and others to become the “Crossover Universe.” Mr. Eckert has done a fantastic job of compiling references to literary heroes who have met each other (or “crossed over”) and had adventures together, and thus co-exist in the same fictional universe. Volume 1 covers the dawn of time up through 1939, and Volume 2 covers 1940 into the far future. (Mr. Spock himself claimed Sherlock Holmes as an ancestor of his!) There are 2000 entries in this chronology and 300 illustrations. Reading these two books is fun and will send you scurrying to find many of the stories and books that are referenced.
Sarah didn’t really want to go on the weekend field trip to the Everglades, but her parents genuinely believe that she’ll get something out of it, so she goes anyway. Taunted by the other girls on the trip and ignored by the boys, Sarah attempts to keep to herself. She meets the boy whose parents own the camp, Andy, and agrees to go on an airboat ride with him. She pretends to be sick to avoid the next day’s outing and then takes off with Andy. The ride is awesome, even if there are tons of mosquitoes and the saw grass keeps cutting Sarah’s exposed flesh. The pair take a break at an old hunting cabin, but when they get ready to depart, they discover that their boat has now sunk. They are completely stranded and well over 10 miles from their camp. Worse, no one knows where they’ve gone. Their only option is to begin an epic trek across the everglades in the hopes of making it to the levee before nature takes its toll. Sarah and Andy brave alligators, water moccasins, wild boars and all kinds of nasty insects. Sarah starts out a bit on the whiny side, though we understand her reluctance and fear. She does grow considerably as a character throughout the course of her ordeal. This was a nice survival tale, made all the better by being completely plausible. The descriptions of the Everglades are spot-on and give the reader a real sense of place. A nice choice for the Truman Award list.
Blink has been living on the streets long enough to know that he can get a great breakfast by hanging around fancy hotels in the morning when people leave their room service remains outside the door for housekeeping. It’s not a bad method of eating and Blink is hungry. Just as he’s about to tuck into some leftovers, he hears a commotion coming from a nearby hotel room. Blink hides across the hall and watches to see what will happen. As it turns out, he isn’t sure what he’s witnessing, so perplexed is he by the demeanor of the men coming out of the room. One of the men tosses his key over his shoulder on the way out and Blink uses it to let himself into the hotel room, which strongly resembles a crime scene with no body. Blink finds a wallet stuffed with cash and a Blackberry left behind. Between these two items, Blink figures out that a very wealthy man is involved but that things are not adding up somehow. When he decides to answer the ringing Blackberry to let the man’s daughter know that her father is unharmed, he discovers that everyone believes this man to have been kidnapped. Blink knows that’s not the case and feels the need to pursue it further.
Caution has been living with her drug dealer boyfriend after running away from home. She considers this abusive relationship to be her penance for an undisclosed incident. She understands that her situation will likely kill her, but she hardly cares. When she discovers that she’s been cheated on, she steals some money from the guy and hits the road, looking over her shoulder the whole time.
Blink and Caution meet at the train station where Blink is preparing to go visit the daughter of the missing businessman. Caution cons Blink and steals his money, but feels so guilty that she returns it and joins Blink on his investigation. Together, the two of them slowly learn what it means to trust somebody and to have someone “have your back”.
The kidnapping plot gets a bit confusing, but the real focus here is on the characters. The narrative style is unique and trades off between Blink and Caution, who are both not only believable, but charming in their own ways. Readers will be rooting for the two as the action picks up and will be rewarded by an ending that doesn’t insult their intelligence.
The two volumes of this book are a fascinating and highly enjoyable read for anyone interested in the interactions between various pulp, mystery, adventure, and science fiction characters with real people throughout history. The premise of this book is inspired by SF writer Philip José Farmer’s “Wold Newton” concept which he developed in the 1970s: a “radioactive” meteorite crashed near Wold Newton, England in 1795 and affected several carriages full of people who were passing by. Their descendants became highly intelligent and powerful heroes (or villains) such as Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty, Dr. Fu Manchu, Doc Savage, Lord Greystoke (aka Tarzan), and many more. Farmer wrote popular and detailed biographies of Tarzan and Doc Savage in which he detailed the family trees of many “Wold Newton Family” characters. Over time, the concept has been expanded and continued by others into the Crossover Universe. Win Scott Eckert has done a fantastic job of compiling references to literary heroes who have met each other (or “crossed over”) and had adventures together, and thus co-exist in the same fictional universe. Volume 1 covers the dawn of time up through 1939, and Volume 2 covers 1940 into the far future. Reading these two books is a fun and highly addictive experience!
As the chief of the new Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts, a joint venture of the state and federal governments, MIT and Harvard, Scarpetta is confronted with a case that could shut down her new facility and ruin her personally and professionally.
I missed reading a few of her books before this one so I felt a little lost as to what exactly the background of the story was, but I caught on fairly quickly. The story mainly takes place in about a 24 hour period. I did feel there were a few gaps in some of the interactions between the characters but I wasn’t sure if it was because I skipped reading a few of the previous novels or just the way she had written it. It was a fast paced, very riveting book, which shows that the author still has it when it comes to her Scarpetta books. I could see the twists almost before they occurred but it was a very good read.
Another Jack Reacher book by Lee Child but this one goes back to when he was still an MP in the Army. We meet his brother and mother and find out how he got to be a loner. It’s New Years and a two star general is found dead in a motel with his briefcase missing. The contents could be the clue to why he died. The general’s wife and another soldier dies and Jack is wondering if they are all connected. The timing is suspicious since Jack was transferred for no reason to this base in North Carolina. Another thriller by Lee Child.
After the near-fatal shooting of a former police academy classmate and an encounter with Sister Anselm, who is acting as a patient advocate for a woman who was savagely attacked by a drug cartel, Ali Reynolds is determined to seek justice in both cases.
Ali Reynolds #7, another very nice book to get lost in. Sister Anselm is back to help foil the bad guys alongside Ali, a good team. Another recommend!
Representing the system’s most unsavory characters in his work as a criminal defense lawyer, jaded attorney Mickey Haller takes on his first high-paying and possibly innocent client in years, but finds the case complicated by sinister events that suggest the workings of a particularly evil perpetrator.
Much more intense than the Ali Reynolds series by Jance, I liked this book, haven’t seen the movie yet, not sure I will. I enjoyed seeing how a lawyer can flip his viewpoint on guilty and innocent and how he makes it work, although not quite how he wanted. A very good book, I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries.
Bennie Rosato looks exactly like her identical twin, Alice Connolly, but the darkness in Alice’s soul makes them two very different women. Or at least that’s what Bennie believes, until she finds herself buried alive at the hands of her twin and sets herself on a course to stay alive long enough to exact revenge.
Finally, an adult book thrown in with the younger crowd, what a relief! This is the first book of Scottoline’s that I have read. I liked the suspense and how she kept you wondering if the main character would ever prevail or perish. A thoroughly enjoyable book of suspense.
It begins as a normal wintery school day for Scotty and his friends. Then it starts snowing. School lets out early, but Scotty and his buddies decide to stay late to work on a shop project while waiting on ride that’s due to arrive later that afternoon. The snow keeps coming down at an alarming rate and the boys quickly realize that they are among only seven students left in the school. Worse, they are likely not getting out anytime soon. As the unprecedented storm rages, the power, water and heat go out, the windows get buried and cell phones are good only for the limited light of their screens. Scotty and co. are definitely trapped, but for how long? Surely not more than a day, right? Wrong.
This is the story of how seven teens weather the worst storm in US history. Frankly, things could have been much worse, but the tension is still palpable. These are your typical, everyday highschoolers. They hail from different social circles and know little more than the bare minimum about each other. The real trick is whether or not they can survive without killing each other.
Trapped is fast-paced and more or less believable. The characters aren’t the most memorable that I’ve come across, but this is definitely a good one to have to reluctant readers. For me, there was entirely too much foreshadowing and not enough payoff. I had expected this to get much, much darker. Instead, there are some minor scuffles and some bad decisions, but none of the evilness that typically accompanies people in panic mode (in fiction, anyway).
Ship Breaker tells the story of Nailer, a teenager living in a futuristic society where large, beached ships are stripped for their materials. Nailer works on the “light crew,” pulling copper out of the abandoned ships to meet the quotas of his boss. One day he finds a large clipper that has only one survivor–a beautiful, young, swank (rich) girl. Suddenly Nailer has to make the decision to break the ship down for all its worth and become instantly rich, or save the girls’ life.
I enjoyed this book as it is the first dystopian novel I’ve read that actually made me think the way Nailer lives could possibly be the US in the near future. A loose representation of the decline of culture, government, and social classes, this was a very interesting dystopian novel. I look forward to seeing what happens to Nailer in the next book.
The first book left off with the kidnapping of Mrs. King. In Watcher in the Woods, the King Family commences their search for her, quickly realizing that they must learn more about the worlds behind the mysterious doors and have a well thought out plan before they just jump to the task. Unfortunately, they must also pretend everything is normal at home and go about their daily lives to avoid attracting unwanted attention. When a stranger appears and tries to force them to sell the house, their desperation to find Mrs. King is doubled. This second book was just as good as the first. Full of suspense and of course ending in a really exciting cliffhanger, I am looking forward to reading the third one.
This is a super story of two young boys and their experiences at a carnival around Halloween time. This was no ordinary carnival, though, it was conducted by very strange supernatural beings who were collecting people. There was a caliope ride that could make one much older or younger than when they got on, with surprising results. There was also a mirror house that few people escaped from, at least in the way they were when they entered. The Illustrated Man, who ran the circus wanted the two boys and almost caught them until they were rescued by the library janitor, father of one of the boys. This story brings to mind the beautiful and scary things one remembers from a circus and is very easy to pull you into the scene – hard to put down.
Jason Stafford has made some bad choices in his life. One of them got him a prison sentence, he took the fall for a bad trade deal at his Wall Street job. The other was marrying a super model with no clue how to handle money or a relationship. After he did his time he decides to take care of his autistic son since his ex is incapable. He gets hired as a consultant at another Wall Street firm when one of the traders is murdered. It gets interesting when he is followed by the FBI and his ex wife’s new husband attacks him. I really like this story and the author, who is a former Wall Street director, does a good job of explaining the ins and outs of this stressful job without making it too complicated. Jason tries to find a way to communicate with his son and try to live a normal life. I’m happy to find a new author to follow.
I started reading these Reacher books out of curiosity and found that I’m really enjoying them. This one is no exception, plenty of action and an exciting ending. A bad guy from the past passes Reacher on the street but doesn’t recognize him. Jack does and traces him only to find the Feds are after him also. He gladly helps take him down. Lee Child seems to have a thing about weapons. You always learn a lot about them and how much damage they can do. Fortunately his character uses them to get rid of bad guys.
It’s two weeks before the 21st of December, the end of the world for many 2012-ers. For Dr. Gabriel Stanton, a prion researcher at the CDC, it’s just another regular year. L.A. is quiet, and everything seems to be normal. However, by the end of this normal day, Stanton has discovered a prion disease that threatens to wipe L.A. and possibly the rest of the major cities in the world off the map. Chel Manu, a descendant of the ancient Mayans and a Guatemalan American researcher at the Getty Museum possesses a stolen Mayan codex that coincidently was acquired through two men who are now dead from the newly discovered prion disease. After translating the first few pages, she starts to believe it holds the secret to why the ancient Mayan kingdoms of her ancestors vanished. A race to save all of humanity begins as Gabe and Chel attempt to combine their knowledge together to understand the Mayan tragedy and discover a cure to the disease that threatens to extinguish modern day civilization.
12.21 was a great read from beginning to end. Thomason combined medical knowledge and Mayan history into an action-packed book that was difficult to put down.
Wow. Just…wow. I really enjoyed this book. First, there’s the characters: Evie, a young woman from Ohio who is sent to live with her uncle in Manhattan after she “divines” a bit too much information at a party. Her uncle runs the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition and the Occult (aka The Museum of Creepy Crawlies) and has been tapped to aid in the investigation of ritual murders taking place in New York. Other characters of note: a young black poet named Memphis, a girl from the Ziegfeld Follies named Theta, a gay pianist who lives with Theta named Henry, a young con man named Sam and the daughter of Jewish anarchists (and Evie’s best friend), Mabel. Every character is distinct and multidimensional. While it may seem as though these characters have little in common, there is one very specific thing that they all have in common and it may be that very thing that will be needed to save New York from the darkness that is rising.
Second, there’s the setting: 1926 New York. You’ll visit speakeasies, jazz clubs, political rallies, murder investigations, not to mention the divinely arcane Museum of Creepy Crawlies. One of my favorite eras in American history, mixed with the supernatural? Happy days!
The plot is intricate and sinister, but there’s a sense of humor too. The dialogue is spot-on with ’20′s vernacular, which adds to the overall ambiance of the book. While the page total is close to the 600 mark, the book never feels slow or boring. The pacing is brilliant. The villain is appropriately evil and it’s quite clear that this is only the beginning. I simply can’t wait for the rest of this trilogy!