Posts tagged with "Fiction"

Posted by mingh on 08/29/11
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Jake Marlowe is the last werewolf in the world and he is being hunted by the group known as the Hunt. Grainer, the leader of the Hunt, demands the right to kill Marlowe because Marlowe killed his Grandfather. Grainer refuses to kill Marlowe until he has turned into a werewolf because Grainer does not kill humans. In two days, Marlowe will have turned and Grainer who has been tailing him will have his chance.
 
So why have one of the Vampire families kidnapped him? Vampires and werewolves don't associate. Marlowe owes nothing to the Vampires and as far as he knows the Vampires owe nothing to him. So why are they so concerned with keeping him alive?
 
What the author does best is to get into the head of Jake Marlowe with his loneliness and inability to make a human connection. In his human life, Marlowe runs many philanthropic organizations meant to benefit humans. But then every full moon he must kill and eat human flesh. Desperate to hang on to his humanity, Marlowe toys with giving himself up to Grainer.
 
This is a psychological werewolf story, part thriller, part horror. The werewolf killings are graphic and try as he might, Marlowe cannot deny the beast in himself. The Last Werewolf reinterprets the folklore about werewolves in twists and turns that will surprise and interest readers of paranormal fiction.

Posted by mingh on 09/12/11
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The Leftovers opens with the Rapture. Well, some people believe it is the Rapture, others are not convinced, after all if it truly was the Rapture, why were Jews, Buddhists, Muslims and even Agnostics taken? This has confused some people and angered others.
 
Three years on, the world still turns. Kevin Garvey isn't sure what happened, but he is now mayor of Mapleton. His wife has left him for a sect that refuses to speak and uses cigarettes like talismans. His college age son worships at the feet of a new age guru, Holy Wayne, who encourages others to give him all their money while he marries multiple times. And Jill Garvey, the daughter in high school who always got straight A's, is struggling for the first time.
 
This is a story of trying to find meaning in a world where the rules have changed. Do you become wanton and greedy because it doesn't matter anymore? Or do you become extremely devout in the hopes of a second rapture? Each of the family members chooses a different path to the new normal. These are ordinary people living in extraordinary times. Author Tom Perrota explores what leads each of them to the path they are on.
 
At the heart of the story is Kevin Garvey, grieving husband and father. While his children and wife remain alive he sees the distance growing between them until they no longer contact him. Knowing he has lost his wife he still wants to keep in contact with her and with their son. Will he lose his daughter Jill also? The struggle to save what isn't lost is at the center of this story. Kevin Garvey struggles, as everyone struggles in this new world, but in the end he is rewarded with a little piece of salvation.
 

Posted by mingh on 09/28/11
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A long time ago, two magicians have a falling out over which is stronger, chaos or control. At the turn of the 20th century, they decide to have a contest to see which one of them might get the better of the other. The contestants will be students of theirs taught only by the methods preferred by that magician. The students know that at some point in their lives the contest will begin. But they may not know when it begins and who their opponent is. That will all eventually be revealed.
 
And as the two great magicians watch, their students Celia and Marco grow fonder of each other. Should the older magicians step in? After all, love has no part in the contest.
 
The Night Circus is a great work of fantasy and illusion. Many people make up the characters that run the Circus of Dreams as it calls itself. There are twins who never grow old. A fantastic clockmaker who can almost control time and a contortionist who can contort her body into beautiful creations. We meet them through their interactions with Celia and Marco. Celia joins the circus as an illusionist. Marco becomes the assistant to the proprietor. But they are both inexorably drawn to each other.
 
The language of the story flows in colorful streams of invention and imagination. The characters are vividly described as are their relationships. This is a book to get lost in just as the circus goers must be directed to leave lest they lose themselves in the Circus of Dreams. A wonderful debut.

Posted by on 10/03/11
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Portland OR is experiencing the worst rain in decades there are parallels between the current fictional natural disaster and one which actually did completely wipe out Willamette River City more than 60 years earlier. As the water is quickly rising in the town of Vanport several people have been swept away by the flood waters and the coroner soon discovers puncture wounds and learns the victims were dead before they entered the flood waters. Even more unusual is how they were poisoned by one of the most bizarre methods, deadly toxin from an exotic octopus sting. As the skeletal remains turns up we soon learn there are several more bodies first thought that they were victims of the flood waters. Homicide Detective Archie Sheridan is once again on the trail with his side kick quirky reporter Susan Ward. Unlike the first three books where Gretchen Lowell, the “Beauty Killer” is a main character she is only mentioned in passing.
 
There's a mildly intriguing subplot involving a young boy who may be working with the killer, Sheridan heroically rescues a young boy from the floodwaters, only to have the boy disappear from the hospital. As Sheridan races against time to find the killer, he together Susan Ward believes the child is tied into the case.
 
For those that are new to the series you can read this novel without reading the other three novels:
 
Evil at Heart (Sept 2009) Thriller 3
Sweetheart (Sept 2008) Thriller 2
Heartsick (Sept 2007) Thriller 1
 
 

Posted by lsears on 05/12/14
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It is 1945, Tokyo, a month after Japan’s surrender in WWII. Francis Van Cleave is a private in the United States army attached to the Officers Personnel Section, a sort of military secretarial pool. 
 
Van Cleave gets the attention of General Douglas MacArthur when he attends an Army-Navy football game screening at MacArthur’s home with other military personnel. This invitation comes as an unasked for favor by his roommate, Corporal Clifford, who serves in the Honor Guard Company, a division assigned to work as a personal escort for the general and visiting dignitaries.  After sending MacArthur’s son, Arthur, a gift for his 8th birthday, Van Cleave begins an unusual assignment, almost an order, to visit the MacArthur’s home on a weekly basis to spend time with the boy.
 
Van Cleave is young, naïve, and receives unwanted news from his new wife back home. We see a side of life the military men partake in in their off-time not knowing the language, the culture, and still finding a way to get themselves into trouble. Michael Knight tells a story that is rooted in history but surrounds it with rich invented detail. 
 
This story made me wonder whatever happened to Arthur MacArthur?
 

Posted by dnapravn on 02/09/14
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It has been awhile since I read and enjoyed the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books by Alexander McCall Smith, so a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon Trains and Lovers, one of his newer stand alone novels, I thought I'd give it a try.
 
The story follows four strangers traveling by train from Edinburgh to London. They start by sharing polite conversation (with no cell phones or devices in sight) and eventually each share a story of how a train or train travel had an effect on their lives. A young Scotsman tells of meeting a young woman while working as an intern and an image of a train in a piece of art. An Englishman shares the story of getting off at the wrong stop during a business trip and impulsively asking a mysterious woman to dinner. An Australian woman shares how her parents met and ran a station in the Australian Outback. An American male sees two men saying good-bye and recalls a relationship from long ago.
 
I find McCall Smith to be a wonderful storyteller who's clear and simple style moves the story along. This was a quick and enjoyable read on a cold winter day.