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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Book Review #23: TIME'S UP by R.A. JORDAN


TITLE: TIME'S UP
Author: R.A. JORDAN
Publisher: VANGUARD PRESS
Publication Date: 19 OCTOBER 2015
Genres: CRIME FICTION/ MYSTERY
Available at AMAZON and BARNES AND NOBLE

Starts Off with a Bang and Will Keep You Up All Night!

            I read this one in a week because I had some other things going on in my personal life like my gig with Odyssey and my book collection efforts.  But to be honest, this one really is a quickie.  Alright, let me get right down to my review for you.  It started off with a bang.  From the first few pages, an old (maybe about in their late fifties to early sixties) couple was just returning from a New Year’s Eve Party that they had attended with both of their daughters who decided to stay late with their friends when they nearly collided with a rushing black car coming in the opposite direction but still in their lane.  The couple brushed it off and arrived home at their farm that they just bought three years prior.  They saw that their dog, Purdy, was fast asleep in their utility room because she had been given a sedative to calm her nerves since she was afraid of the noise made by fireworks that went off when the New Year rang in moments ago.  The couple, named Peter and Ann Wall, went straight to bed.

            The next day, Peter the husband woke up early to do his usual routine of driving Jumbo, his 1955 Series Two Land Rover to a solitary oak tree that stood on top of a mound that allowed him to view the house and outbuildings.  Well, as he drove Jumbo, something happened that got his head cut off and leaving him dead for good on New Year’s Day.  It was just a few hours later that Ann his wife woke up and went looking for him that she found him beheaded and deceased and changed her and her daughters’ lives from then on.  Now the mystery in the death was whether Peter had some type of plan to end his life this way or was he killed by someone else.  This brought in a slew of characters and unfortunate events that made this book a page-turner during this cold May 2017 for me. 

            I loved this book.  It was the pace I needed for my own personal enjoyment.  It did not drag on like some books I read and reviewed.  Nope.  This book had me reading from beginning to end hungry to find out what could have caused the uncanny death of Peter Wall.  The man isn’t just anybody.  He’s the owner of a company that makes a lot of profit and he has a lot of money ready to be bequeathed to his wife and two daughters if in the event that he dies.  Insurance I mean.  I am glad that I read this novel because it is set in England and Ireland.  It is a great glimpse into that part of the world as there are some terms featured and mentioned in it that seem foreign and un-American.  There are some places’ names that are similar to ones here in the East Coast like Grosvenor and Cheshire.  Anyway, to make this review short and simple, I assure you that you will not waste your money on this one if you are looking for a quick read for this upcoming summer season.  I guarantee it!   

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Book Review #22: PUBLIC INFORMATION: COMING OF AGE DURING THE KOREAN WAR by ROLF MARGENAU


TITLE: PUBLIC INFORMATION: COMING OF AGE DURING THE KOREAN WAR
Author: ROLF MARGENAU
Publisher: FROGWORKS PUBLISHING; 2 EDITION
Publication Date: 18 DECEMBER 2016
Genres: HISTORICAL FICTION/ MILITARY
Available at AMAZON and BARNES AND NOBLE

The Adventures of an Infantryman/U.S. Army Combat Correspondent

            Twenty-year-old Wylie Cypher from Hope’s Crossing, New Jersey is a natural-born champion if you followed his life all the way from his childhood to the person he is by the end of this book.  He was a gifted and virtuous guy who kept it at first base with his girlfriend Judy during the early days of their courtship.  Of course there was touching and feeling but no contact between their privates.  It made this book remain true to the stereotypes of the time period it’s set in (though this book had just been released most recently).  From the beginning, Wylie goes off to college but discovered he has no sense of direction while there.  This led to his father planting the “military” idea into his brain to help give direction to his life to which he agreed to.  Wylie went through the basics: training, orientation, and foreign language education in order to grant him “valuable future benefits as well as a good stead and insulation from combat.”  The rest of the novel involves his time in South Korea, where he and his good friend Scott McIlvane battle the enemy alongside each other and mainly with Wylie and his special position as U.S. Army Combat Correspondent, a position that he earned because of his skills in the world of journalism and typing.

            If there was a military novel that was a page-turner, this would be it for me.  It’s got the elements of a comedy with action and romance.  I had initially felt that it would be hard to get through as there will probably be references to graphic violence since it was a military read but no it was a breeze to get through.  The way the author wrote it brings to mind a cross between the French novel Candide with that of the comedic 1970’s film, MASH.  Wylie goes and reports the goings-on of his military life and befriends a group of interesting people throughout the novel.  Public Information will make you laugh, cry, sigh, and open your eyes to the realities of war torn Korea post-World War II. 

            I advise you if you are not into military-themed novels to give this one a chance.  It is one that softens the military experience for you.  Don’t let its serious front cover scare you away because it did that for me at first but when I was into the fourth chapter, I was no silly-willy but was anxious to find out what happens next and so forth.  Take it from me, you will be entertained by this book.  If not, then I don’t know what is wrong with you.  Haha.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Book Review #21: LIBRARIAN (LENNA'S ARC, BOOK 1) by BRIAN FENCE


TITLE: LIBRARIAN (LENNA'S ARC, BOOK 1)
Author: BRIAN FENCE
Publisher: MOON RABBIT PUBLISHING, LLC, 1 EDITION
Publication Date: MAY 11, 2014
Genres: FANTASY/ YA FICTION
Available at AMAZON

The Librarian, the Mage, and the Gemstone

            Wow!  This book was a great read when magic became not just a talent but an impetus for greed, murder and ultimately power.  It started off slowly with Lenna Faircloth just leaving her clock-infested (her father is a clockmaker) home to get to work at the local library (she’s a librarian, hence the title of the novel) where her boss is this annoying, antagonizing individual who is an unimportant character in the book.  Long story short, Lenna is soon joined by a childhood friend and his lover who are both magicians that belong to the Blue Crescent Brotherhood, a society of wizards and sorcerers. They are on the run because they are traitors of that order.  This childhood friend stole something that all of the world covets that can summon worldwide warfare and can grant its possessor power and massive fortune.

            The story, to me, contains elements of the J.R.R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings trilogy and the J.K. Rowling Harry Potter series.  It is quite an adventure and can keep you up all night thirsting for that rush one gets when reading a great story.  I had initially thought that this book would wear me down with its too familiar characters but it eventually became a favorite when by the middle of the book, there was a death, there was feminist themes, and there were some original devices that Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter did not have.  I think this book will work well with high school bookworms as well as adults who are into YA fiction.  There is zero romance in this book but a scrumptious ladle of food references that could make you want to drown yourself in the book with the characters and feast on their soups and their wine as if their actual ingredients were not too exotic and out of the ordinary.

            I would recommend this book to fans of the aforementioned literary works and to budding teenagers looking for a read that isn’t too graphic or too gory for their tastes.  It is a “safe” book and is not that violent and all except for some references to corpses littered outside a city known as Junction that may make the queasy feel a bit uncomfortable.  The title of this review is my own C.S. Lewis summary of the entire plot as I feel those are the three main subjects of Fence’s first book of a fantasy series.  For my final thoughts, I will tell you that this is the type of book that is worth looking into for this upcoming summer.  I just completed my studies in college and this welcomed me with open arms after four years of reading, studying, and researching English language and literature terms and devices.  Haha.