When a band of travelers jump a time warp to escape an Earth destroyed by a man-made killer virus, they crash land on a planet capable of sustaining hWhen a band of travelers jump a time warp to escape an Earth destroyed by a man-made killer virus, they crash land on a planet capable of sustaining human life. Seamus Robinson, the teen would-be scientist, comes into his own in this book. His method of working out problems in a scientific manner soon puts him on a par with the real scientists who have come along on this journey. As Seamus, his family, and the other refugees set about building the rudiments of their new lives they are forced to deal with high radiation from this sun, acid rain clouds, and days that are equivalent to multiple Earth days. The planet, named Locus by Seamus's dad, seems to be friendly but lurking nearby are sounds and movements that give the explorers reason to fear. Soon there is a small colony and the women begin the process of procreation. Seamus and Sofie, his sometime girlfriend, finally settle down together and become a couple. At the core of this book is the way in which everyone pulls together. When one of the government scientists insist that a leader of the coloy be named, a vote is taken. The new leader, Seamus's pregnant mother, agrees to take on the job but only for a short while. Then they must all vote again for a successor. The entire book can be summed up in the phrase uttered by not only Seamus but also by his mother: "We have the chance to build a new civilization based on trust and respect". What remains to be seen is whether or not their dreams become a reality and how these space travelers adapt to their new surroundings? Will they adapt and flourish? Or will they succumb to the hardships of life on this new planet?
Colonization is the continuation of The Seamus Chronicles, a very plausible scenario of how our world is killed by a man-made virus and how this small band of refugees is determined that mankind as we know it should not pass into extinction. Having survived the post-apocalyptic chaos of Earth, the tribulations of finding and settling a new planet that is partially hospitable to Earthlings takes its toll on the survivors. But they persevere and soon a small colony is created. Author K.D. McAdams draws a fine picture of what the new planet and its new inhabitants face. We delve even deeper into the psyche of a cross-section of humans as we make ourselves at home on the new planet called Locus.
I thoroughly enjoyed Colonization as I did the first two books of The Seamus Chronicles. Author McAdams has a fine voice in the science-fiction genre and his technical details are well-researched. A believable scenario of how mankind can adapt and survive beyond anything I've read. The coming-of-age of a teen-aged Seamus has the twist of living on another planet and facing challenges that no teen today could dream of. The interactions of Seamus and the other members of his family have a different dynamic as they all must accept equal responsibiities in their new lives.
The Seamus Chronicles - Annihilation, Evacuation, and Colonization - combine to provide an enjoyable escape from life here on Earth. A must-read for science fiction lovers. Looking forward to the next installment. ...more
In EVACUATION, we continue the story of Seamus Robinson and his family as they move among a small band of survivors on Planet Earth's last days. The 'In EVACUATION, we continue the story of Seamus Robinson and his family as they move among a small band of survivors on Planet Earth's last days. The 'killer cold' virus has wiped out 99.9% of earth's population. The survivors had been chosen by the powers that be for their knowledge; add to that some folks naturally immune to the virus and you have this little rag-tag band of people looking to keep civilization alive. We join them five months after the apocalyptic event.
The survivors learn that the virus has the power to mutate in order to render the small amount of vaccine left to become useless. The scientists among the group determine that the only way to make Earth habitable once again is to vacate the planet and create a nuclear winter thus killing everything - plants, animals, vegetation - in order to kill the virus. They work feverishly to build an interplanetary craft and identify the nearest habitable planet. Each person spends nearly all their time working to make sure they have everything they need to survive and to re-establish life back on Earth when they return. But then two of their members get sick and die - causing the timetable to be shortened. The virus will not be denied. Will this group be ready in time to avoid certain death? What lies before them? Will they survive the time warp jump that has never before been attempted?
I must admit that like Annihilation (Book 1), this book kept me on the edge of my seat from the opening sentence to the final word. The story is easy to follow, easy to read, and flows from one page to the next. The characters are well-rounded without being too complex. This book, along with the others in The Seamus Chronicles, would be terrific for the entire family. It will appeal to teens, young adults, moms and dads, and those especially interested in post-apocalyptic events.
The moral of this story is that one can never be over-educated - who knows when you might be called upon to save humanity. ...more
Told from the perspective on a teen-aged boy who harbors a physicist deep within him, this post-apocalyptic tale stems from the premise that almost evTold from the perspective on a teen-aged boy who harbors a physicist deep within him, this post-apocalyptic tale stems from the premise that almost everyone has died from a fast-spreading 'killer cold'. Somehow, Seamus and his New Hampshire based family have survived - thanks to his mother who is currently attending a scientific conference in San Diego. When Seamus's father decides to pack up the kids (there are two more besides Seamus) and set out for San Diego they run into people and events that make their trip more difficult. At last the family is reunited but that is where the set up for Book 2 takes over.
I found Annihilation to be a well-written, fast moving story. I liked the protagonist being a teen-aged boy who is torn from his basement lab where he lives to work on his physics project; he is thrust into those social situations that his father has been telling him he needs to experience to live in the real world. Not only is Seamus thrust into the real world but he is quickly thrust into the role of adult when he steps in to help his father during their trip westward. We are given enough information about the characters in the Robinson family to flesh them out but not to make them complex. The action is always moving in the right direction to bring the reader to the story's end.
I enjoyed this book immensely. It is well-written and imaginative. I look forward to reading the second in the series. ...more
I don't normally shop in consignment stores but went with a friend and found myself drawn to the shelves of books. Recognizing THE VILLA by Nora RoberI don't normally shop in consignment stores but went with a friend and found myself drawn to the shelves of books. Recognizing THE VILLA by Nora Roberts as one of her books that I hadn't read, I brought it home and immediately found myself engrossed in the world of the Giambelli family and their wineries.
The fourth generation of the Giambelli family along with the McMillan family (their newly merged partners) is poised to take over the operations both in California and in Italy. But a strong story of corporate espionage, product tainting, and murder threatens to push the Giambelli-McMillan wineries into disarray from within their troops. Along the way the reader is treated to not one but several underlying romances between the families.
This book, like so many other Nora Roberts stories, kept my interest from the first page until the last. Strong characters, excellent storyline, amazing insights into the running of a vineyard - all these will keep the reader interested. I'm normally pretty good at figuring out who-dun-it but this time I didn't see the final twist coming! I stayed up well after midnight just to finish the last two chapters.
If you like wine with your mystery then this book is highly recommended. ...more
Let me begin by saying that I've read quite a lot of books and articles on Titanic. I've seen 'the' movie several times and watched various documentarLet me begin by saying that I've read quite a lot of books and articles on Titanic. I've seen 'the' movie several times and watched various documentaries. I'm always on the lookout for something new or different. I liked that this book was presented from the perspective of a third-class steerage passenger.
We meet seventeen year old Maggie Murphy who is about to embark on her journey to America on Titanic. She doesn't want to leave Ballysheen (her home village) and her boyfriend Seamus. But when her mother passes and her Aunt Kathleen comes from America to collect her, Maggie has no say in the matter. She and her aunt, along with twelve other folk from Ballysheen, decide to travel together. Maggie's friend, the outspoken Peggy Marden, is ready to leave. She dreams of marrying a rich American man and living in a fancy mansion.
The story then switches us to Chicago in 1982 and we meet Grace Butler, a journalism student who sets aside her studies when her father passes so that she can stay home with her mother who is in a deep state of depression. After watching her great-granddaughter give so much of her self to her family, an 87 year-old Maggie decides to open up about that fateful voyage on Titanic. It is Maggie's story that helps Grace get on with her own life, take up her studies once more and reunite with her own boyfriend whom she hasn't seen in over two years.
Maggie's story is moving, especially since her emotions embody those of her fellow travelers. Her realization that she should have stayed in Ballysheen with Seamus are reinforced as Titanic moves further away from Ireland. With her great-granddaughter's help she rediscovers her small travel case that contains two parting gifts from Seamus as well as her journal. Happily Grace writes the story of Maggie's journey on Titanic and it is printed in a prestigious newspaper. It is that article that reunites Maggie with people and artifacts that she thought she had lost long ago.
Although I liked this book overall there were too many similarities to the movie that starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet: the narrator was an original Titanic survivor, an old woman; there were scenes that could have been lifted in their entirety from the movie, i.e., the lowering of the lifeboats; and I won't give any spoilers but the ending of the story was quite similar to the end of the movie (other than the ship sinking). Because the story has become over-told I suppose that all of these scenes could overlap in the various re-tellings. I did like the detail behind the New Yorkers who waited for word of their loved ones and the hospital scenes with young Maggie.
If you are fascinated by the Titanic story, you'll like this book. Worth reading for the differing point of view and the story of the folk from Ballysheen which is based on the true story of the Irish folk who made the journey. ...more
I have always been enamored with the Golden Age of Hollywood. The movies, the movie stars, the mystique that surrounded them all is something I adoreI have always been enamored with the Golden Age of Hollywood. The movies, the movie stars, the mystique that surrounded them all is something I adore learning about. So when I spied this book by Robert J. Wagner I didn't hesitate to buy it. And I was not disappointed.
Mr. Wagner takes his readers back to the early days of Hollywood - back when there were open fields between homes and back to a time before Beverly Hills. He shares his knowledge of everyone and everything in a laid back manner. The reader can imagine Mr. Wagner sitting in their parlor and telling his stories. He effortlessly mixes personal anecdotes with historical facts and all is interspersed with black and white photos. I was captivated from the first word straight through to the last.
The stories are presented in several groupings that make things easy to follow. The insights into the people who made Hollywood what it was and is are witty and informative. His recollections of the glitterati as they moved among themselves, attended each other's soirees, patronized their favorite eateries, as designed their homes makes the legends of the screen human and approachable - although some were quite eccentric.
This book kept my interest from the first page to the last and I was sad that it ended where it did for I would have liked to know even more. If you are an aficionado of Hollywood, the movie industry, or Robert Wagner you won't want to miss reading this book. ...more
When a skiing holiday for two couples results in the demise of Thomas Burke, the authorities deem it an accident. But Garth Wainwright, a partner in tWhen a skiing holiday for two couples results in the demise of Thomas Burke, the authorities deem it an accident. But Garth Wainwright, a partner in the company that has bought Burke's company, believes there is more to Burke's death. And when two more of Wainwright's partners at CapVest meet their untimely ends not too long after, Wainwright is plunged into the search for the killer and his associate known only as Dallas. Along the way, Wainwright uncovers some unsavory things about the other partners at CapVest - embezzlement and drugs among them. Add in a bit of romance for Wainwright in the form of Lacey Kincaid, Burke's attorney, and you have a story that offers something for everyone. Readers will follow the action from Seattle to The Bahamas with stops along the way in Boston, Aspen, and Tel Aviv.
As a modern-day thriller, The Tipping Point contains all the elements of suspense and international intrigue that will keep readers turning the page.
Glenn Tupper is a small town mechanic who leads a normal life trying to make ends meet each month with a wife who streIF ONLY THERE WAS A REAL TUPPER!
Glenn Tupper is a small town mechanic who leads a normal life trying to make ends meet each month with a wife who stretches their income to its limits to provide for their two teen-aged children. Phil Granby is a U.S. Senator who has thrown his hat into the presidential ring. Jarma Jordan is an unknown blogger who, thanks to a grant, has chosen to follow the Granby campaign at close quarters. What all three don't know at the outset of the story is how all of their lives will change when the Iowa caucuses kick off the run for the presidency.
Glenn, out on a call to fix some broken farm equipment, rescues stranded U.S. Senator Granby and his campaign manager as they are on their way to Des Moines when their rental car breaks down. Glenn gives them a lift in his truck and for almost two hours he and Phil Granby exchange their views on the world. Mostly Senator Granby listens to Glenn and asks insightful questions to which Glenn easily responds in an unvarnished way.
Later that evening, when Candidate Granby gives his first speech in Iowa, he literally rips up the speech that he paid thousands of dollars to have written by a professional consultant and begins to talk about his friend Tupper and about the honesty that is missing from political campaigns. Granby has nothing to lose since his opponent is highly favored to win in Iowa. But when the tide is turned and Granby ties his opponent, the opposition camp goes into high gear. Once the Granby entourage moves to New Hampshire, Jarma Jordan - blogger extraordinaire - stays in Iowa to track down the mysterious Tupper. She at least finds him and he gives permission for her to uncover his identity to the world, hoping that she is correct when she tells him he may get a few calls from some local news outlets but shouldn't expect to be bothered. When Glenn awakes the next day to find an army of news media on his front lawn, he realizes that he and his family have become captives in their own home. And when the opposition camp decides to ruin Granby by destroying his friend Tupper, Glenn must face a secret that will almost destroy his family.
Tell It Like Tupper is a powerful novel not only for its exposition of the underbelly of politics and the dream of a candidate who does the right thing but for its uncovering of the secrets that real, everyday people keep in order to move their lives forward. The story never lags, and just when you think you know what will happen something occurs that will keep you reading. The characters in the book are believable and you'll find yourself rooting for first one, then the other.
I normally don't like political books but this one is so much more. The human qualities of the characters are first and foremost while the political backdrop is just that - a stage where the human story is played out. This is one novel I'd like to see made into a movie. I look forward to more from author J. Mark Powell. ...more
Fortunately I am reading this series one book after the other because Insurgent picks up the story right where Divergent left off. The author doesn'tFortunately I am reading this series one book after the other because Insurgent picks up the story right where Divergent left off. The author doesn't skip even a heartbeat in the transition. Most of the characters from Divergent show up in this book and the reader gets to delve even more deeply into the inner turmoils that make each character unique.
There are lots of action scenes, a high level of intrigue, and moments that will make you say "OMG"! I don't think I'm giving anything away when I say that just like any other romance novel there are things and other people that come between Tris and Four, the main one being Four's father Marcus. But by book's end we believe that there really is a chance for our star-crossed pair to find happiness. Until the final twist on the last page of the book.
I am going to make this a short review because I want to start book 3. YA fans and sci-fi fans will love this book....more
The Kardish, an alien race, have had their space ship in Earth's orbit for twenty years. They have made no aggressive moves and in fact have had littlThe Kardish, an alien race, have had their space ship in Earth's orbit for twenty years. They have made no aggressive moves and in fact have had little interaction with humans except for one thing - Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Kardish have given humans the crystal flake and shown mankind how to process the crystal flake to create a crystal that is far beyond the capabilities of any human. At the outset of the story a company called Crystal Fabrications has produced a third-generation crystal. Each three-gen crystal has the capability of one human being and can be programmed to perform the repetitive tasks that so quickly bore humans: receptionist, security, teacher, etc. Dr. Juice Tallette is the scientific mind behind the program that has just produced the first four-gen crystal; she has tasked one hundred three-gen crystals with creating a perfect four-gen crystal that has the capability of one thousand human minds. When she first fires up the crystal she immediately sees its capabilities and learns that it is a sentient being. Fearing that the four-gen crystal might choose to ignore commands from its human colleagues she and her associate Mick devise a manner to contain the four-gen from an outright takeover. As the four-gen becomes more aware and familiar with its abilities, it takes the name CRISS. Criss accesses every bit of data from every available source and within hours is aware that he, Criss, is what the Kardish have been after by giving humans the crystal flake. When Criss is to be taken out on an Earth-ship for a test run, the Kardish plan to steal Criss and destroy Earth. What ensues is a new and exciting story of a very plausible Earth future.
Crystal Deception is science-fiction at its finest. We are introduced to a highly trained and creative special force of McGyver-like characters who have access to the highest levels of Earth government - now known as the Union of Nations. They are tasked with a deception to keep Criss safe while thwarting the plans of the Kardish. Suspense, action, intrigue abound in this thriller that is the first of a series of 'Crystal' books.
I found myself on the edge of my seat as I read and felt like I myself was onboard the Kardish ship with our group of heroes. When Criss is finally given full reign to unleash his faculties, the one question remains: will he succumb to the aphrodisiac-like lure of the Kardish ship or will he be loyal to those who gave him life? This first story in the Crystal Series will leave you asking for more. ...more
When Maddy and her friend Michael run into a boy hiding in an animal barn on their field trip to the zoo, they are amazed to see the boy eating hay anWhen Maddy and her friend Michael run into a boy hiding in an animal barn on their field trip to the zoo, they are amazed to see the boy eating hay and straw. Somehow Maddy convinces her mom to bring the boy home since he claims he hasn’t seen his parents in 14 sleeps – which they assume means days. But things start to get strange when the boy prefers the leaves from their maple tree to any other kind of food set before him. Even stranger is that both Maddy and Michael see the boy, who has climbed the tree, reach out and pull the leaves off of a branch with his tongue – and that branch is three feet above the boy! Adventures abound when Maddy’s family realizes that the boy – Alfear – can hear their thoughts telepathically and that he can converse with his real parents the same way. But now his real family and the others on their ship won’t be back to Earth for three more years.
The story is charming and full of unexpected twists. The earthling children are lovable as is Alfear – when he’s not in his normal green state. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it an easy read as an adult. The ending resolves one major conflict for Alfear and sets up the reader for the next installment (I hope) of this charming tale.
Suitable for youngsters from 5 to 55 who like their aliens friendly and peaceful....more
I saw the trailer for this movie before I realized it was a literary trilogy. So I bought the book the same day and finished reading within three daysI saw the trailer for this movie before I realized it was a literary trilogy. So I bought the book the same day and finished reading within three days. A page turner that did not disappoint. The story of a future world divided into five factions is thought-provoking to say the least. And the choices that each person makes will either make or break their personal futures.
When Beatrice Prior is tested along with countless other teens, her results are not what is expected. Her test administrator tells her, in whispers, that she is what is known as a Divergent - meaning she has capabilities that the Union (the new world order) may kill her for possessing. And when she chooses the Dauntless faction over her home faction of Abnegation, she finds her true self while uncovering sinister plots and conspiracies. Along the way she makes friends with two of her fellow initiates and finds romance with Four, one of the initiate instructors. What follows is a roller-coaster ride of failure and success and the uncovering of family secrets long held. This first book of the Divergent trilogy ends with the beginnings of war - a war that has been instigated by people who are fed up with the way the Union is run and who want to take control into their own hands. But is this revolution going to produce a better world or will it end up with one faction ruling the others?
Divergent is a face-paced thriller with characters that are complex and simple at the same time. A blend of physical strength and deep intelligence marks Tris and Four as the forerunners of the resistance in much the same way as Katniss Everdeen of Hunger Games. Fast-moving action will keep you turning the pages long after bedtime. ...more
When the angels of the apocalypse arrive, they are not here to save mankind. Just the opposite. They are avenging angels who are sent to destroy mankiWhen the angels of the apocalypse arrive, they are not here to save mankind. Just the opposite. They are avenging angels who are sent to destroy mankind in revenge for mankind killing the Angel Gabriel - known as The Messenger. The story opens in a war-torn California town not far from Silicon Valley. Seventeen year old Penryn accompanied by her paranoid schizophrenic mother and her younger wheel-chair bound sister venture away from their home as conditions worsen. Only minutes after they depart, they come upon a band of angels who are mercilessly cutting the wings off one of their own. They leave the bloody and battered angel victim where he lays as they make their departure but not before one of them swoops back and lifts Paige, the younger sister, from her wheelchair and carries her away.
Penryn vows to get her sister back and care for her family. But she sees an opportunity before her and acts on it. If she can nurse the wounded angel back to health perhaps he can lead her to where the angels have taken her sister. What follows is a thrilling roller coaster ride through what remains of humankind as they fight for our world and what remains of mankind.
I found this to be one of the best futuristic stories I've read in a long time. The characters came alive for me. Not just the humans but the angelic ones as well. The descriptions were vivid and put me right in the middle of the action. I found myself rooting alternately for the angels and the humans and sometimes both at the same time. A world where angels were enemies of humankind rather than our friends took some getting used to but it didn't take this reader long to acclimate to this new and terrifying world.
Fast paced action will keep you turning pages. Complex characters that surprise at every turn will keep your interest piqued. Looking forward to reading Book 2. ...more
With the opening scene of Ankara Fever: Journeys the reader is plunged into a crowded terminal at Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport where passengers are quWith the opening scene of Ankara Fever: Journeys the reader is plunged into a crowded terminal at Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport where passengers are quickly restricted in their movements. Roger Westover, a disaster expert who thinks up scenarios for the government and a professor when not so employed, is checking out a beautiful woman who is seated in the same terminal when disaster strikes. Things go from bad to worse, Prof Westover recognizes the steps being put into play - they are the exact same ones from the disaster playbook that he had prepared for the government in the event of just such a situation. Roger, along with the beautiful Jenny, become cohorts when he allows her to tag along on his break out of an airport that has been secured by government troops for the protection of the people who are now being restricted therein.
Back in Texas, we meet Corey who is Roger's son. Corey is a ne'er-do-well student who lives to play his video games and becomes violently upset when the electricity is cut off and he can't find food. He ventures beyond his dorm room to find that his entire world has changed. He is unprepared for what awaits him. His sometimes girlfriend, Ashley, who has taken Roger's disaster preparedness class goes to find Corey who blames her for everything that is wrong in his life now that he can't play his video games. She has learned her lessons and together she and Corey leave a deteriorating north Texas.
What follows are the separate journeys that each couple undertakes as they seek to stay alive in a post-pandemic world gone beserk and make their way towards a hidden community that Roger and some of his friends have put together in the depths of an almost primeval forest in the heartland of the U.S.
This story gripped me from the very first scene and had me emotionally involved with the characters. Not since The Stand by Stephen King have I so enjoyed a post-apocalyptic book. The characters are complex and well-drawn. The plot is full of twists and turns. The action is gripping with rich attention to detail.
There are typos that need attention but they in no way detract from the forward movement of the plot. While I understand that there will be a second volume to the story, the ending was a bit flat. Could have been a bit better set up for segue to the next volume....more
I normally don't like anthologies. That said, I found Wise Men and Other Stories engaging. The short stories (more like news column articles) are heldI normally don't like anthologies. That said, I found Wise Men and Other Stories engaging. The short stories (more like news column articles) are held together loosely by a common thread - the early life of author Mike O'Mary. The stories are warm, witty, and each one reminds us of a life-lesson we most likely have learned during our own childhood but have forgotten or overlooked. My favorite story in the book is Wise Men although each of the others captured my heart as well. I think I would have liked the stories to be more chronological and each a bit longer. Each story of the twenty-three in this book is perfect for use with an Advent calendar, bringing home a life-lesson: gratitude, humility, caring for your neighbor, etc. Other than a general review it would be difficult to pick at any of the stories singly since each is unique.
I think Wise Men and Other Stories is a perfect little gift for that busy person who loves to read but around the holidays has limited time. It would be a great stocking stuffer or grab-bag gift. ...more