If you think about what makes your favorite summer blockbuster movie so much fun you’ll probably realize that a sound, well-developed plot and unquestionable logic aren’t the dominating attributes. Fast-paced, eye-popping action that defies all common sense intended to distract from reality is probably the more likely description. This second description is exactly what we get in Ocean of Storms by Christopher Mari and Jeremy K. Brown. This political sci-fi thriller grabs you by the eye sockets from the first 30 pages, slaps you around until you’ve forgotten what science is, and leaves you wanting more.
“Plum blossoms don’t just persevere: they bloom. I could almost hear Jordan saying, “Quinnie, don’t accept what is if you don’t believe in it. Get mad!”…And so we four had become a militia of plum blossoms. We bloomed when we were expected only to endure.”
I really enjoyed reading this book. It drew me in from the very first page, and continued to captivate me throughout. The pace was perfect, the writing was beautiful, and the story was a compelling mystery–a genre I don’t typically read, but very much enjoyed.
14 readers will win a copy of the book–enter the contest below through March 1st!
Reviewed by Caleb Shadis
War Hawk is the second novel in the Tucker Wayne series and the whole series is a spin-off from James Rollins’ Sigma Force series. Tucker is an ex-special forces soldier and K-9 team member. Apparently, when he was discharged, he didn’t want to be separated from his partner Kane so he took him along for the ride. The Army disagreed about the arrangement, and somehow Sigma intervened (in a previous story).
The year is 1987, and in the world of 14-year-old Billy, Clark, and Alf, nothing is more important than getting their hands on the recently published, scandalous pictures of Vanna White appearing in Playboy. The boys, somewhat outcasts, come up with ways to get their hands on the magazine…settling on the idea that Billy should romance the newsstand owner’s daughter so that he might gain the security code and they then would break into the shop and steal themselves a copy.
Convoluted? Yes. But there was more than one circumstance in which the characters seem to go through tremendous effort to carry out their bad decisions. They even built a scale model of the buildings so they could visualize the break-in. For 14-year-old boys, this is asking a lot.
It’s Three Musketeers time! Of that milieu, at least, with Richelieu as primary villain.
Teenaged Pierre, a poor orphan placed “at the famous monastery school in the city of Reims” is destined for life as a village priest or other lowly religious rank, and in the meantime is treated to corporal punishment, occasional starvation and approaches by homosexual monks who lack adequate bodily hygiene. Because, of course, that is how poor orphans were treated in France during the seventeenth century.
I read All Our Wrong Todays, a book about the year 2016, in the last month of the year 2016. I am writing this review in the last week of the year, but by the time you read it, it will already be 2017, making this a tiny experiment in time travel. We can all admit that 2016 did not live up to anyone’s expectations, and you may be tempted to read this book to find solace in Mastai’s perfect, made-up 2016. But All Our Wrong Todays does you one better: it teaches you to appreciate the one we have.
Tom Barren comes not from the future, but from an alternate 2016, where all our 1950s dreams of hover cars and food synthesizers have been made possible by the 1965 invention of a machine called the Goettreider Engine.
There is enough variety in A Most Extraordinary Pursuit to please any reader. It’s part romp, part bawdy, part adventure, part fantasy, part travelogue, part romance, part chase, part mystery–frequently all on the same page! It’s an entirely terrific and very enjoyable hoot. It would also help if you able to suspend your disbelief, especially regarding the dimension of time. That way you won’t be upset when visits from deceased people to the heroine seem to happen with great regularity. Or when events from 475 BC (or thereabouts) seem to have happened merely yesterday.
In 1906, the current Duke of Olympia dies suddenly, but his heir is not on the premises. In fact, no one really knows where this nephew is, but he may be in Greece, trying to solve a centuries old mystery that has transformed itself into myth.
Fletcher Brass has created a reserve for the dregs of Earth’s society. Located on the moon the aptly named Sin is home to criminals, murders, and deviants of all kinds. Not everyone in Sin is there for himself or herself, however. Damien Justus, an exiled cop, becomes embedded in a twisted assassination plot and finds that the high ideals he holds fast to make him an outcast.
The Dark Side is a noir crime story that calls upon classic hard boiled detectives like Mike Hammer and Sam Spade set in a gritty and dark science fiction setting. Damien’s stoic adherence to a system of rules that failed him and have been entirely forgotten in Sin make him a very intriguing character.
The private life of cats…who knew? Well, I suppose anyone who’s ever been a companion to a cat would have some idea, at least. But I suspect that just as with the 2-leggeds, some cats are more out-going than others.
Alba is an extrovert, if ever there was one! Happy to be with others of her own kind, or the 2-leggeds who are friends with her own such person, Lorna. There’s Nikki, the art conservator, and Puma, a big tawny male, and David, an attorney, who shares his home with Goliath, also large, but black male. Lorna seems to do something that involves her computer, whether at home or the office. Lorna and David live in a duplex, but not together, although they both apparently work in Washington, D. C. Nikki has her own home in Virginia, which is big enough for her workshop.
A.D. 33, written by Ted Dekker, continues the story from his previous book, A.D. 30. This follow-up book continues to follow main character, Maviah, as she gathers her band of outcasts in the desert, creating her own kingdom built on freedom from torture, and the slavery she once suffered at the hands of power hungry men. Talya, Saba and many of the Bedu characters find strength in Maviah, and through Maviah’s great faith, in the man she knows as Yeshua, follow her and the word.
Maviah’s new kingdom is growing and because of this she is becoming more powerful–a new, strong, intelligent woman, one she never she’d become. Men threaten to punish her, to hurt her, by any means possible. Maviah threatens their hold on the world and a strong woman must be put