Daily Archives: November 25, 2009

Blood and Bone by William Lashner (Review #3)

bloodReviewed by Joyce Jacobs

“That’s just the way of it with sons and their fathers. He’ll be living on in your blood and bone.” Kind words meant to comfort 12 year old Kyle Byrne at the funeral of his father, Liam Byrne. Kyle’s mother was his married father’s mistress and for most of Kyle’s life his father was a romantic, distant figure who occasionally paid a call to his mistress and their son. Kyle longed for his father to be a part of his life. He fantasized about the things they’d do together, the conversations they’d have. When Liam died, something in Kyle died, too. Kyle’s mother took him to the funeral, but they were ejected by Liam’s widow. In desperation, Kyle ducked back into the church and, in a mad dash, grabbed the urn containing his father’s ashes and ran away with them. As an adult, Kyle still carries a bit of the ashes wherever he goes. Fourteen years later, Kyle blames his troubles on his fatherless childhood. He drifts through life with no goals other than drinking another beer, playing another video game, seducing another woman.

Across the Endless River by Thad Carhart (Review #2)

endless1Reviewed by Chris Phillips

The great exploration of the wild Western frontier by Lewis and Clark is part of every person’s schooling. Their trip opened up the West to expansion. There are many legends and stories from this expedition but here is one that is unique. Carhart takes the historical facts: Toussaint Charbonneau and Sacagawea had a child. Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau was that child. He took part in the expedition on his mother’s back. Upon the expedition’s end, he was warded with Clark to further his education and spent summers with the tribes. Carhart provides those details in the first few chapters of the book, but upon Pompy’s (Jean-Baptiste’s Native name) decision to travel to Europe as the companion and interpreter for Duke Paul of Wurttemberg, his life never remained the same.

The March by E.L. Doctorow

marchReviewed by Allen Hott

Gone With the Wind told a story of a Southern family during the Civil War and now The March tells the story of a Union/rebel group of individuals as they made the historic march from Atlanta across the South. E. L. Doctorow has so skillfully put together a group to follow as they partake of this march. He allows some to become acquainted while others who though they meet in some fashion actually are not relatives, friends, or even acquaintances. Though they are fictitious or at best his version of real live marchers (like General William Tecumseh Sherman) he uses them to tell this fascinating story.

As the march moves through southeast Georgia from Atlanta toward Savannah more and more southerners both white and black join in with the Union Army or at least tag along behind. They have no reason to stay in their pre-war surroundings because for the most part those places have been destroyed. The army on the march pillaged, burned, and generally left the countryside in a mess.

Manga Cross-Stitch by Helen McCarthy

mangaReviewed by Mary Hilterman

Although the particular graphics in this book don’t interest me, I found the instructions clear and concise. It has prodded me to attempt creating my own graphics. The books contents are arranged so even a novice can follow with ease.

Men with Red Ties by Nastassiya Palikarpava

tiesReviewed by Cy Hilterman

Alina came to the United States to live the dream that she always had been told it would be, but over time, she became disillusioned. She thought of days past when men, not being able to do enough for them, catered to women. For the most part those days do not exist any longer. Alina went to work for a dance club where she was supposed to move around the room and dance with several men during the course of an evening. Of course this led to more than “dancing” in most cases. Alina goes back over her seven years in the United States, reliving many of her experiences through her own words and through other girls memory of what they had done with and for her. The story switches from present, to past, and to Alina’s thoughts as she prepared to leave from JFK Airport and go back to her native country or some place she could enjoy life.

Stop It! by Sally O. Lee

stopReviewed by Diane Pollock

A simple tale of sibling rivalry that teaches a deep lesson. Anabel is annoyed by her younger brother’s bullying, but when he picks on her cat she finally has had enough and yells STOP IT! George is shocked into remorse. Anabel then wisely forgives and welcomes George into her play for a happy ending.

Gaea by Robina Williams

gaea1Reviewed by Diane Pollock

A brutal rape, a woman’s unconscious body kicked coldly into a ditch.

Thus we are introduced to the goddess Gaea (or Earth) as she has temporarily taken a human and vunerable form. Symbolic? Of course, and sadly real. Gaea is accompanied by a seraph throughout the book and must plead with the Creator, the Lord of All for the right to seek vengance for her creatures and their world. An icy heart would melt at her pleas, the gentlest of hearts would flare with shared anger.

The Bad Book Affair by Ian Sansom

affairReviewed by Stephanie Nordkap

Israel Armstrong sets out to discover the whereabouts of the daughter of a local politician who disappeared after borrowing books from the ‘Unshelved’. The ‘Unshelved’ are books that are hidden from the general public (meaning impressionable young people) and can be borrowed if asked for them. Naturally, Israel is accused of being involved in the disappearance and decides he has to look for her himself in order to clear his name. The search leads him to some very interesting places, including the new church Kerugma where we meet its leader Adam Burns and his teachings and into Game On!, a computer club. He also meets the politician’s wife, Mrs. Morris, who inadvertently helps him with the case, and runs into Veronica, a journalist trying to make it into the big times, who blackmails him into helping her and feeding her information.

One Foot on the Edge by C.K. Crigger

edgeReviewed by Teri Davis

When your father dies and leaves his money to your step-mother you don’t have many choices in life. Fortunately China Bohannon has the advantage of having an uncle in another city a distance away from her former life that happens to have an extra bedroom available. That is if he is expecting you.

China takes it upon herself to start her life in Spokane, Washington far away from her step-mother in Walla Walla. This is hopefully with the assistance of her uncle who happens to run a detective agency. China’s plan is to find a job and fortunately, the detective agency does need someone to manage the office. For a spinster in the 1890s though, this might not be the best choice.

The Lab by Jack Heath

labReviewed by Kristen Leong (Note: Kristen is one of our young adult reviewers).

Agent Six of Hearts–a face of anonymity in a crowd until things turn lethal, when he turns very conspicuous. After all, what human could possibly jump so high, run so fast, and throw such hard punches? That’s the thing, Agent Six is not human–at least, not really. But only two agents in the Deck know that–King of Hearts and Agent Six himself. If anyone else in the vigilante group knew about his alterations, he would kept in the Visitors Center for as long as they could hold him. Not exactly a pleasant place to be.

But now, King’s given Six a chance to destroy the people who created him and prevent them from ever forcing another being to suffer like he did. The only catch is, instead of doing this with a team of recon Spades, he’s doing all of this alone and quite frankly, he’s not used to this. Agent Six is about to go on the biggest, toughest mission of his life and his luck and instinct might not be able to hold his 100% accuracy this mission.