The fifteenth and “final” Repairman Jack novel and I have very mixed emotions. I have read these books over several years and I was both excited and sThe fifteenth and “final” Repairman Jack novel and I have very mixed emotions. I have read these books over several years and I was both excited and saddened to see it all coming to an end. I will write nothing of the plot of this novel for it is nearly impossible without spoilers. Suffice it to say that all of the secrets and puzzles and all of my questions would finally be answered with this volume. Not.
A lot had to happen in this one to wrap everything up. The last several volumes in this series are really one very large novel and so this one serves as the climax. Certainly a lot happens and most of our favorite characters have a role. But this isn’t really the end. I will also add that the title of this novel could not be more appropriate.
I have not been reading the parallel series, “The Adversary Cycle” as I should have been doing all along. My bad. I can now highly recommend that new readers read both series together (called "The Secret History of the World" when referred to as one long series) in their chronological order. That will allow you to read the true finale of both series in the novel, Nightworld. That is where both series converge and serves as the true end. As for me, I will now proceed to reading both the new prequel Repairman Jack trilogy as well as the first 5 “Adversary Cycle” books (and other assorted YA and short story titles) so I can finally get my resolution with Nightworld.
Honestly though, I really don’t mind. Time spent with F. Paul Wilson and these characters and epic events is time well spent. ...more
The seventh novel in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series was first published in 1959 and, interestingly was originally titled, “The Richest Man in the WorThe seventh novel in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series was first published in 1959 and, interestingly was originally titled, “The Richest Man in the World”. I think we can all agree that “Goldfinger” is a much better title. The plot surrounds the investigation by Bond into the gold smuggling activities of Auric Goldfinger, also suspected by MI6 of being connected to SMERSH, the Soviet counter-intelligence organization. But Bond is only handed the assignment after first encountering Goldfinger in Miami, catching him cheating at cards. It was a portent of things to come as Mr. Goldfinger is perhaps the biggest cheater and most warped and maniacal character in all of the Bond series.
Many readers cite this one as their favorite Bond novel and it’s easy to see why. It has an intriguing plot revolving around the massive greed and absurd love of gold by Auric Goldfinger, a great bad guy sidekick (OddJob), several women in need of seduction (including the lesbian Pussy Galore), capture and escape sequences, and a super fantastic plan to knock off Fort Knox. And let’s not forget the 18 holes of golf which the author manages to make as exciting as a high stakes poker match in Monte Carlo. It’s a fun read, indeed.
As usual, I must caution those readers who are incapable of enjoying a work of fiction while considering the era in which it was written. Ian Fleming’s characters reflect common attitudes of the late 1950‘s including sexism, racism, and particular to this book, homosexuality. If you simply can’t wrap your head around that then I suggest you limit yourself to the Bond novels written by other authors of more recent vintage. ...more
The completion of “M” marks the half-way point of this series (assuming the whole thing will end with “Z”). Happily, it seems to be getting better andThe completion of “M” marks the half-way point of this series (assuming the whole thing will end with “Z”). Happily, it seems to be getting better and better.
This time, Kinsey Millhone, private investigator in Santa Teresa, California in the 1980’s, is hired by her new-found cousin for a missing persons case. The missing Guy Malek’s father has recently passed away and Guy, along with his three estranged brothers stands to inherit a substantial windfall. Unfortunately, as the black sheep of the family, Guy disappeared nearly 20 years ago and his brothers aren’t all that keen to find him and have to split the inheritance.
It’s a pure plot and credible in many ways. The author isn’t afraid at this point to let us spend time with Kinsey, a loner by nature, as she uncomfortably evolves in her relationships with friends and family. There is a murder that happens of course, and the mystery elements are done very well. I humbly confess to suspecting just about everybody involved but not guessing the identity of the killer until the exact same time that Kinsey solved the case. Well, maybe she was one step ahead of me right near the end, but after all, I’m not a PI with 10 years of experience like she is.
A nice addition to the series. I plan to continue my 4 per year rate for reading these novels so as to be ready for the final volume right about at its publication date. ...more
Once again, I will attempt a review of a major Brandon Sanderson novel while avoiding unnecessary superlatives and fanboy gushing.
I thoroughly enjoyedOnce again, I will attempt a review of a major Brandon Sanderson novel while avoiding unnecessary superlatives and fanboy gushing.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel from beginning to end. Sanderson is among my very favorite authors so I always have extremely high expectations each time I start reading a new one. And I try to spread them out so I can get a Sanderson fix every few months. Fortunately, this guy is so prolific, even with the huge doorstopper books, that I never have very long to wait for another masterwork to appear.
A note on magic systems: Sanderson, as we all know, is a master at constructing magic systems and once again, we have another complex, well-thought-out system in place here. It’s not just that this author can create such unique and imaginative systems, for this one is most certainly that. But it’s also how the author uses the system to further the plot, the development of his characters and the underlying themes of the story. And to add the icing to the cake, just when we get used to the mechanics of how the magic system works, Sanderson has a way of creatively using it in new ways, allowing his characters loose to experiment in this creative sandbox…and it’s just plain cool!
Of course a great novel is great because of many factors, not just the architecture upon which it is built. The characters in this novel drive it along expertly. Siri, Vivenna, and Lightsong, in particular come from different backgrounds and purposes and over the course of the novel, change in fundamental ways. As an epic fantasy, there is a lot of drama and high level political intrigue, but there is also quite a bit of humor along the way, especially with the mercenaries and the god who refused to be a god: Lightsong. This is not a “journey” fantasy epic like so many are; no long trips through the valleys and mountains ala Lord of the Rings and no endless descriptions of the flora and fauna. This is a “city based” adventure involving some rather deep notions of just how a person views themselves, what they stand for, and what they are willing to fight for. And perhaps more importantly, how does one discover that which is in oneself that may lead to the realization that what you have believed all your life, may be wrong.
For Sanderson fans, this is an obvious must-read (most have already done so) It’s a great novel on its own with many plot twists and turns but it also offers some important information for the greater Cosmere of Sanderson’s interwoven books, including the important character of Vasher and the sentient sword, Nightblood. For those who have yet to experience Sanderson, this is an excellent place to start. This is a very readable book and readers will relish getting sucked into its pages. ...more
Most readers come to this novel after having read the entire Dark Tower series since it had been nearly seven years since the final book of the seriesMost readers come to this novel after having read the entire Dark Tower series since it had been nearly seven years since the final book of the series, The Dark Tower, was published in 2005. I, however chose to read it in that same order, (i.e. this book last) even though this novel was available by the time I finished the fourth book, Wizard and Glass. I read them that way based on advice of several of my Goodreads friends and am very happy that I did so.
This novel, chronologically, lies between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla and so is often listed as number 4.5 of the Dark Tower series. As such, it is certainly not necessary to read this one in order to comprehend the rest of the series but for those that simply can’t get enough of Mid-world, this will serve as “bonus” material.
For me, my least favorite of all of the Dark Tower books is Wizard and Glass. For some reason, the huge flashback sequence as told by Roland about adventures in his youth in that novel interrupted the flow of the series and just never really grabbed me. Yes, it provided some important information but was a bit of a chore to get through. Now comes this shorter novel and it, basically, is another adventure from his younger days, and is about the Skinman, that Roland tells to his friends as they ride out a severe storm (starkblast) in a shelter. Within that tale lies another, longer story called “The Wind Through the Keyhole”, a sort of Mid-world version of a fairytale.
These two stories are OK and it was interesting to see the "tale within a tale" but it all seemed entirely unnecessary to the rest of the Dark Tower series. King has often described the entire series as one single uber story rather than individual books and that it will never really be complete. I certainly don’t mind the larger series growing but I would prefer to read more about the “Ka-tet of the Nineteen and Ninety-Nine” (Roland, Eddie Dean, Jake Chambers, Susannah, and Oy). There are several periods in their journey to the Dark Tower which are worthy of expansion.
In summary, the novel was OK but underwhelming, especially for a Dark Tower novel. ...more
When I know I’m good and ready for a challenging read I know I can always turn to Mark Hodder’s Burton & Swinburne adventure series. One really neWhen I know I’m good and ready for a challenging read I know I can always turn to Mark Hodder’s Burton & Swinburne adventure series. One really needs to put everything else aside and prepare for full throttle complexity, and after reading this 4th book in the series, I’m thinking they’re growing even more convoluted than ever.
Ever since I read the first book in the series, The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, I’ve been impressed with the author’s creativity. To be able to explore this world of Victorian age England in an alternate history version (where Victoria is assassinated early in her reign) is always fun. Good steampunk novels, time-travel novels, or old fashioned character-driven historical novels can be difficult to write but to combine all of the above is a tough feat to pull off. But Hodder does it once again.
Sir Richard Francis Burton is the primary character, of course and we see the story unfold through his eyes. I found the other characters well drawn once again and great fun to follow along with as they encounter various historical figures and places in 19th century England. Some are well known to us, like Charles Darwin, Bram Stoker, Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), while others are far less known, at least to me, but nevertheless important historical contributors.
My one complaint about this book is that I am probably just not smart enough to read it. I get the same feeling when I read a Neal Stephenson book. Time travel plots can certainly be convoluted with resulting paradoxes prompting bouts of head scratching puzzlement on the part of the reader, but when said paradoxes drive the plot and the action, the result can be absolutely confounding. It was difficult to keep track of who was doing what to whom and when they were doing it. Add to that a rather large cast of characters and we have a recipe for a complicated stew. Paradoxes that result in branches to parallel universes and timelines abound throughout and I was not always confident that I was understanding which set of characters or which version of the timeline I was observing. For that reason I took off a star on my rating even though the fault is likely mine for just not being smart enough.
Nevertheless, the attempt was worth it just to read Mr. Hodder’s prose and absorb his wit if nothing else. I am anxious to see what comes in the next novel for it is evident that this universe has been blown wide open with this novel and there is no cap to what can happen next (or previously). ...more
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this novel is Sandra Brown’s best work since Envy. Of course I haven’t read everything this prolific authorI’m going to go out on a limb here and say this novel is Sandra Brown’s best work since Envy. Of course I haven’t read everything this prolific author has written but still. This is my 8th novel by this author and I am so very happy to have won a copy in a Goodreads giveaway.
This book shifts its point of view between two main characters. Dawson Scott is a journalist, renowned for his work with detailing soldier’s stories from Afghanistan. When he covers the disappearance and presumed murder of a marine (and son of a pair of infamous criminals -- think Bonnie and Clyde), he meets Amelia, the murdered marine’s ex-wife. This is a novel of romantic suspense so these two are bound to get together somehow, but boy is that a long road. The plot seems straight forward but that only serves to lure the unsuspecting reader into a sense of comfort.
Sandra Brown can write suspenseful novels like few others can. Her characters are always “real”, meaning she builds them so the reader can instantly relate to them and be totally absorbed in what happens to them. She also masterfully creates tension at just the right times so you simply have to keep turning the pages. And of course, her plot twists are legendary, right up until the end of the novel. This one is no exception. Just as in Envy, the suspense keeps building and all the while the reader thinks they know what is happening only to find out they have been pleasantly wrong all along. And then another twist occurs, and another and you end up smiling to yourself at the author’s talent to create such a complex yet tightly crafted story. ...more
I felt almost obligated to read this after reading and loving The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. When I found out there was an actual comiI felt almost obligated to read this after reading and loving The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. When I found out there was an actual comic book of The Escapist, I jumped at the chance to read it. The first story was very good, a 5-star entry but the subsequent stories were less than what I had hoped for....more
Many Harry Dresden fans choose to read these stories and novellas in chronological order between other full novels in the series. I didn’t do that, siMany Harry Dresden fans choose to read these stories and novellas in chronological order between other full novels in the series. I didn’t do that, simply because I didn’t have access to this book until I was well past those points in the larger series. I think that’s fine though because as I read this collection it was very interesting to revisit the evolution of Harry Dresden and the change in tone as the series (and these stories) moves along. It was fascinating to me to see how the earlier works were much lighter, despite the life-threatening monsters/creatures that had to be defeated, and some were even comedic. Later stories, just as in the series, increase the stakes and the tension. The final entry here, a novella written just for this book, “Aftermath” takes place after the novel Changes so be very sure not to read it before you have progressed that far in the series.
Most of the stories in this collection have been published previously in various anthologies. Jim Butcher offers a brief explanation in front of each entry, detailing its origin and in what collection it was included. All stories are first person POV, just as the rest of the series, but two of them are not told from Harry’s viewpoint. “Backup” is told from Thomas’s POV (Harry’s brother) and “Aftermath” is from Murphy’s POV. Both of those two stories were intriguing because they were a little different but at the same time, they felt wrong somehow just because it wasn’t Harry Dresden telling the tale.
Each story was enjoyable but just as in all collections, not all were of equally high caliber. But even a less-than-perfect Dresden story is time well spent. An obvious must-read for Dresden fans. ...more
This is the sixth novel in the lengthy Sam Durell series and is a solid crime/noir story. Here we follow four criminal wannabes as they travel aroundThis is the sixth novel in the lengthy Sam Durell series and is a solid crime/noir story. Here we follow four criminal wannabes as they travel around the country looking to score a successful heist using a formula stolen from a chemical factory in Nazi Germany during WWII. Sam is temporarily assigned to a super-secret sub organization of the CIA (even more secret than his usual K Division) to watch this foursome and see what they are up to. Each of these four characters has serious flaws ranging from personal rivalries to pure thuggery and they are never able to form a cohesive unit. Half the fun of this novel is watching how they interact with one another and see the distrust build among them. Their path takes them to Cajun country, Sam’s childhood home, where the plot connects with one of Sam’s girlfriends from his youth (the titular ‘Angelina’). Thus Sam has his first lead.
The book was written in the mid 1960’s, a time when air conditioning was not such a common thing as today. As such, the idea of introducing a gaseous substance into the A/C to knock out the people inside of a bank, for example, was a pretty clever idea. Combining such a caper plot with plenty of action and sprinkling in some espionage/secret government stuff to tie it all together makes for a pretty good yarn.
Stay-tuned for more in my humble quest to bring more attention to this "forgotten" series....more
Prequels for established series are always tough novels to write and I felt that American Assassin, the first prequel to the long running Mitch Rapp sPrequels for established series are always tough novels to write and I felt that American Assassin, the first prequel to the long running Mitch Rapp series suffered from trying to be a cross between an origin story and a thriller novel all wrapped in one. This book is the follow-up to 'American Assassin' and is a much more cohesive product.
Mitch Rapp has now completed his rookie time as a top-level assassin and has proven himself to such a great extent that he has recently been turned loose to plan and execute missions on his own. But when he decides to eliminate a name on the master list of men responsible for the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack, a Libyan diplomat who is in Paris and vulnerable, Rapp is ambushed and barely escapes with his life. Unfortunately, Mitch is now a suspect by his own agency and his complex relationship with his trainers needs to come to some sort of resolution.
I really enjoyed this one. A timeline of all of the Rapp novels would list this as number 2, but it was the second to last one written by the late Vince Flynn. The author really shows his experience and demonstrates an understanding of what it takes to tell a good thriller tale and this time around he is not hampered by the origin story albatross. Several new characters are introduced just for this novel and I would have liked to have seen some of their subplots slightly more fleshed out. Perhaps that would have strayed too much toward a police procedural novel though and may have turned off some of the core audience for these books. It’s always fun to view the events described in prequels from the perspective of the future, after we already know what becomes of many of the main characters. Witnessing the evolving relationships, particularly between Rapp and Irene Kennedy as well as Rapp and Stan Hurley is great reading. And of course it is always wonderful to have the great character, Thomas Stansfield, play a major role in a Mitch Rapp book.
I am reading these novels in publication order, so I only have one left to go. Overall I would count this among the top 3 Rapp novels I’ve read. Highly recommended for modern day spy/military thriller enthusiasts. ...more
If you’ve never read Clive Barker, this is a very good place to start. This short novel is a difficult one to pigeonhole as it is both a horror storyIf you’ve never read Clive Barker, this is a very good place to start. This short novel is a difficult one to pigeonhole as it is both a horror story and an adventurous children’s novel. It’s neither a children’s book per se, nor an adult book but without a doubt it does belong on most everybody’s bookshelf. And as an added bonus, the book is packed with black and white drawings by the author, an extra tilt to the horrors and intrigues that lay within.
Harvey Swick is a 10-year-old boy who is bored with life, especially at school. In response to his wish for change, a man named Rictus flies up to Harvey's window and tells him about a kid's paradise, the Holiday House. At the Holiday House, there are all the sweets a person could ask for, four seasons in a day, Halloween every evening, Christmas, with whatever gifts you could wish for, every night, and everything else you could dream of.
Sounds like paradise indeed.
Of course all is not as it seems and as we get introduced to other characters, both friendly and not-so-much, young Harvey begins to discover just what is wrong with Holiday House and the truly evil things that happen there.
You’ll have to discover the rest of the plot on your own because experiencing this story as it winds its way to its conclusion is great fun, even if you spend part of that time huddled under your blankets chewing your nails. It’s a tale that works on many levels, including the theme of discovering the dangers of wish fulfillment. And that’s why it works for both children and adults. It’s sort of like an unabridged fairy tale along the lines of The Phantom Tollbooth. I’ve seen many reviews from people who have read this when they were young, only to pull it out and re-read it every few years.
I have a feeling I will be doing the same. ...more
I always love a good swashbuckling adventure story and the ongoing exploits of Ethan Gage definitely fits that bill. These stories take place in the NI always love a good swashbuckling adventure story and the ongoing exploits of Ethan Gage definitely fits that bill. These stories take place in the Napoleonic era and remind me, at times, of George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman series. Both characters interact with authentic and important historical events while contributing behind-the-scenes in accidental and often humorous ways.
As author William Dietrich describes on his web site, Ethan Gage is:
"American by birth, French by lifestyle, British by alliance, and soldier by happenstance, Ethan Gage at times seems a chameleon in the jumble of personal papers that comprise his haphazard autobiography. Yet Gage would argue he is a model of loyalty and character – except when circumstances require him to spy, steal, flee, or shoot particularly unpleasant people.”
This entry in the series finds Ethan back in the European theater, fresh off his adventures in frontier America (The Dakota Cipher). His mission as dictated by Thomas Jefferson is to convince Napoleon to accept Jefferson’s offer in what will become known as The Louisiana Purchase but it is not long before Napoleon asks a favor in return. Napoleon has heard the tale about the legendary mirror of Archimedes that allegedly burned the Roman fleet during ancient battles and is supposedly hidden on the isle of Thira. That ties in with some cryptic puzzles from Ethan’s previous adventures.
Ethan embarks on this quest in the company of some great co-characters and famous historical savants: Frenchman Georges Cuvier, a prominent zoologist and paleontologist; Englishman William Smith, the father of English geology; and fellow American Robert Fulton, who we remember today as the father of the steamship but was the tireless inventor of several items, most notably the submarine (or “plunging boat”) known as the Nautilus that is put to use during the novel’s climax. Given the title of this volume, you know that the Barbary Pirates play a major role as well.
This group traverses many a hair raising adventure along the way, really putting the “swash” in swashbuckling. Ethan’s life is complicated including many past romances and dalliances, all of which tend to pop up when least expected and when they can cause the most havoc. I’ve seen descriptions of Ethan Gage as a cross between Indiana Jones and Captain Jack Sparrow and I wholeheartedly agree.
This is terrific historical fiction and as far from “dry” as can be. Since these novels are told from Ethan’s first person point-of-view, it is easy to fall into their charm and really feel for poor Ethan as he loses his trusty long rifle once again and is forced to borrow his friend’s blunderbuss to escape his latest challenge.
I’m a sucker for a good story about con-men and women. There’s just nothing like pulling off a good caper, especially when it’s the less savory peopleI’m a sucker for a good story about con-men and women. There’s just nothing like pulling off a good caper, especially when it’s the less savory people who get conned. Sidney Sheldon, one of the most popular writers for TV in the 1960’s and 70’s and who then turned to writing novels in the 1980’s, was adept at creating interesting characters and subjecting them to all sorts of thrilling conditions. By no means have I read all of his works but of those that I have, If Tomorrow Comes is one of my favorites. It’s a very nice novel about running cons and featured the character of Tracy Whitney, a girl who suffered immensely at the hands of fate and got into the con game largely for revenge. She was definitely a character worth rooting for, even as she became one of the most elite high-end thieves in the world.
And now, Tracy Whitney is back. I was very happy to win a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway so I could see what happened next to these characters. Author Tilly Bagshawe has penned several “sequels” to Sheldon’s novels as she has picked up his mantle and very accurately captured Sheldon’s voice. This novel picks up with Tracy living the happily-ever-after scenario that we had all hoped for her after the first book. Tracy and her husband, (and former partner in crime), Jeff Stevens are settling down as it were but it isn’t long before people from their past intrude and force them back to their old lives. Tracy and Jeff put the “artist” in con artist, and their reputation sometimes works against them, especially when they need to work with law enforcement as happens in this novel.
This is a nicely plotted novel and definitely kept me turning the pages. Once again I rooted for the main characters and hoped the plot twists wouldn’t leave them too battered and bruised. The author brings her A-game to this one and it shows. Tracy and Jeff don’t always make the best decisions and that leads them further into trouble. Sometimes it seemed like I was watching a movie-of-the-week from the 1980’s, but then again, that was Sidney Sheldon’s style. I appreciated that not all challenges were neatly wrapped up and the ending is very appropriate, even if somewhat bittersweet. I suppose there could be another novel with these characters but I think this tale is nicely complete.
Make sure to read the first book, If Tomorrow Comes, before beginning this one. Many plot points tie in directly to the first book and several shocking events won’t have much of an impact if you don’t....more
My continuing effort to read every book ever published by Louis L'Amour is making progress as my database tells me this is the 77th of his books thatMy continuing effort to read every book ever published by Louis L'Amour is making progress as my database tells me this is the 77th of his books that I've completed.
Eight classic western short stories are included in this volume, all having protagonists who are not the typical tall, broad-shouldered, narrow-hipped, square-jawed western hero. Rather these men are "bad" men but who have heroic tendancies regardless. Some have been mistaken for bad hombres while others are genuine outlaws who do a good turn. There are also some interesting women in these pages who do not conform to the sterotypical western novel template. A couple are pretty cool femme fatales and more than one gets her just deserts when she backs the wrong man. And in one story, it is the female character who overcomes the sexism of the day and manipulates events better than any lawyer could to keep the innocent man from being hanged.
It's nice to see a different take on the classic western formula story. All fun reads....more
This is the second of three novels in Richard Wheeler’s series about frontier newspaper editor/publisher Sam Flint (after Flint's Gift). Each of the tThis is the second of three novels in Richard Wheeler’s series about frontier newspaper editor/publisher Sam Flint (after Flint's Gift). Each of the three novels finds Sam setting up his press in a different frontier town and so this is largely a stand-alone novel. There are vague references to his previous fledgling newspapers but nothing that would require you to read the first book in order to appreciate this one.
The summer of 1870 finds Flint deciding to setup shop in a small New Mexico mining town called Oro Blanco. His first step is to scope out the town and he quickly meets the prominent citizens, including those who would cause him fits in the near future. The town marshal, a bully named Crawford and the man who really has the power there, Mason Weed represent all that is wrong with the human race: greed, racism, and abuse of power. These men and their friends have secrets.
Many readers often turn to westerns or frontier fiction when looking for a nice story where you can pretty much count on the good guys taking down the bad guys. This novel began comfortably along what I thought would be that path but the tale grew darker as I progressed. The worst part of human nature was winning the battle and events got worse and worse for Flint and his allies. And then just when I thought we had hit bottom, tragedy struck. Until that moment I hadn’t realized just how much I had come to care for the characters in this novel. That event led to fundamental changes in the characters and the novel became a much “deeper” story.
So my hat is off to Richard Wheeler for dealing with some basic ugly human nature issues and how one person can make a difference if he stands by his ideals through one set back after another. There is one more Flint novel to come and I look forward to reading it with great anticipation. ...more
This is the final book of the “Lost Fleet” series featuring Captain “Black Jack” Geary, and as such, it has a lot of wrapping up to do. The Lost FleetThis is the final book of the “Lost Fleet” series featuring Captain “Black Jack” Geary, and as such, it has a lot of wrapping up to do. The Lost Fleet has finally made it home, Captain Geary has left a trail of destroyed and/or embarrassed Syndicate war ships in his wake, and it is time to see what is next.
Geary has built such a fine reputation over the course of bringing the Lost Fleet home and has built so much power that he could, if he so chooses, take over and become the political leader of the entire Alliance. But of course that is the furthest thing from what our humble hero wants. Seeking merely to be allowed to continue to serve in whatever capacity is desired, he is convinced to take the rank of Admiral of the Fleet (only temporarily if he can have his way), take the battle to the enemy Syndicate worlds, and obtain a lasting peace.
And, oh by the way, find a way to deal with those pesky aliens we keep hearing about and prevent them from annihilating us all.
That’s a tall order to fit into one last book but Jack Campbell manages to pull it off. This novel contains much of the same sort of plot devices as the previous novels of the series: marvelous space battles (very few authors seem to get this right), political machinations, and Geary’s ever-present personal relationship struggles.
I’ve really enjoyed reading these books, mostly because they are just so much fun. However, I do grow tired of how Geary is the perfect military officer. He always (always!) makes the right decision, bringing his ships out of impossible circumstances, out-thinking the enemy at every turn, saving as many lives as possible, and yet remaining as humble and as honorable as it is possible to be. His on-going and developing feelings for the Captain of his flagship is never allowed to proceed because of the dishonor that fraternization would bring to both parties. It’s as frustrating for us readers as it is for them.
Despite there being so much to accomplish in this one book, it doesn’t feel rushed at all. The ending is very satisfying and leads into a whole new series, “The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier” which carries on the story line. I will seek that out at the appropriate time but for now I am content to leave these characters where they stand. ...more
The 4th book of the Indiana Jones prequel series finds Indy slowly recovering from the loss of his wife in the Amazon, and finding himself at a crossrThe 4th book of the Indiana Jones prequel series finds Indy slowly recovering from the loss of his wife in the Amazon, and finding himself at a crossroads. His days of teaching Celtic mythology in England appear to be in his past and it’s time to come home to Chicago. The plot of this novel revolves around a possibility that Noah’s Arc has been located and despite his disbelief, Indy is enticed into going on the hunt.
I enjoy these books for what they are and my rating certainly reflects that. I don’t expect groundbreaking literature but do want to read a novel that is similar in style to the films. Adventure, danger, romance are all present here and nicely done. I read this one on my recent vacation, not during the peaceful, relaxing part, but during the hectic airport and airplane time when I usually find it difficult to concentrate on a more serious book. This certainly did the trick and I’m happy to continue on Indy’s journey. ...more