Daily Archives: February 28, 2012

The Explorers’ Gate by Chris Grabenstein (Kindle Edition)

The Explorers' Gate by Chris GrabensteinReviewed by Teri Davis

Nikki Van Wyck is not your typical twelve-year-old. For one thing, she lives with her dad in a building adjacent to New York City’s Central Park. Nikki’s mom died two years ago and her father is having difficulty learning to live again. He doesn’t care about much of anything anymore except drinking beer.

For a twelve-year-old girl, with her dad working as the resident superintendent of this building, she doesn’t have much money for things that her peers find are important such as clothes and treats at the Shake Shack. Fitting into the group just isn’t working for her.

One thing that Nikki knows is Central Park. She realizes that she is an expert in this one particular area and knows the history as well as the stories around every aspect of the park. When she was little, her mom gave her a necklace which resembled a puzzle piece from the map of Central Park and the advice to learn all the she could about the park.

A billionaire, David Drake, is hosting a “Parks Smarts” competition regarding the trivia Central Park and the winner will receive $10,000. Nikki is certain that she can win it.

She is surprised when she meets another contestant who has a necklace similar to hers. When they compare their necklaces, the two pieces fit together. Garrett Vanderdonk informs Nikki that his brother, Willem, has the third piece which completes the puzzle. Apparently, Garrett’s grandfather knows about the necklaces and Nikki. He has mentioned that they might need to find Nikki for the Crown Quest. Nikki has no clue about any of this.

Fifteen Digits by Nick Santora

Fifteen DigitsReviewed by Julie Moderson

Nick Santora has a unique style of writing that I can only compare to John Grisham or Harlan Coben or a wonderful combination of both.

Fifteen Digits is such a fast moving story about five young men from five very different lives. His characters are so real from Eddie who is mentally handicapped, to Vice the con man that has a fast sense of humor, to Dylan the man trying to get out of the Puerto Rican gang to Rich the young man who had lost both parents in a boating accident and is going to night school to become a lawyer. They all have dreams of getting ahead. These men work at the prestigious law firm of Olmstead and Taft but they are not lawyers, they work in the basement as printers. They are simply blue-collar workers and receive no benefits. They copy, collate, and deliver sensitive legal documents to the rich lawyers that work upstairs.