Title: V4 Vengeance Author: Nigel Seed Publisher: Astor + Blue
Why Read?: Early Review
Thoughts: This is a military thriller that imagines what if the Germans had hidden some advanced warfare U-boats during WWII and what if a Russian mafia boss discovered them and attacked America. Very creative idea, but the story did not always hold my attention, especially when it left the main character.
Title: Best New Paranormal Romance Author: Paula Guran, ed. Publisher: Juno
Why Read?: For Fun
Thoughts: "Paranormal" seems to cover a wide-range of speculative fiction in this collection, so which stories you enjoy will depend on which genres you like. My two favorites were "Walpurgis Afternoon" by Delia Sherman and "A Knot of Toads" by Jane Yolen, both of which has a modern fantasy feel.
Title: Divide and Conquer Author: Carrie Ryan Publisher: Scholastic
Why Read?: For Fun
Thoughts: With a lot of the exposition out of the way, this was a deeper story than the first book in the Infinity Ring series. However, it seems there was a short story in between the two that was referenced a few times, making some things rather confusing.
Frank Nappi returns with the next installment of his
Mickey Tussler series, Welcome to the
Show. The pitching prodigy has
finally made it to the majors, but finds his autism is still an issue. The rest of the Braves, aside from the other
rookie, his friend Lester, do not understand Mickey, and some even resent his
prowess. Arthur Murphy, acting as the
substitute manager for the season, tries his best to make a family of the team,
but some of the star players have other ideas.
Further complications arise when Mickey falls in love for the first
As always, Nappi does a wonderful job capturing the
feel of 1940s baseball while also creating realistic, diverse characters. Sports-lovers will love the detailed
play-by-play action in many of the chapters.
The only downfall is the amount of head-hopping that happens, especially
during games, which makes it hard to keep everyone and everything straight.
Fans of historical sports fiction or of books with
main characters on the autism spectrum will enjoy Welcome to the Show. While
it does help to have read Frank Nappi’s prior Mickey Tussler novels, this one
does almost stand well on its own.
Michael Bowler’s A
Matter of Time is a combination adventure/sci-fi/horror/romance. Even though the characters are in college, it
definitely works best for a YA rather than NA audience.
Jamie Collins has always been a bit a dreamer, which
is why he is totally content at Santa Clara University majoring in English
where he takes many creative writing courses.
When not in class, he spends his time watching sci-fi movies with his
best friend Jay, or hanging out with his roommate, Dan, and Dan’s sister,
Maggie. Everything changes, though, when
he starts to dream about a vampire stalking a young man on a ship. Soon, Jamie realizes that everything that is
happening physically to the mysterious young man, is happening to him. It takes Jamie a little longer to learn who
the young man is – Jack Phillips, the chief wireless operator onboard the
Titanic. Jamie realizes that he must
have been Phillips in a past life, but no one will believe his about that or
the vampire. To make matters worse, the
one person who might believe him, Jay, is not talking to him after getting
dumped by Maggie for Jamie, who did not even know she like him. With his life spinning out of control and the
anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking fast approaching, Jamie books a trip to
Newfoundland to charter a boat to take him to meet up with the Titanic. Dan, worried for his friend, tags along, but
believes Jamie is completely crazy for thinking he can jump timelines in the middle
of the Atlantic. Jamie, however, does,
and the Titanic exceeds his dreams.
Desperately trying to save Phillips and the rest of the passengers by
stopping the vampire, Jamie does not have time for love, but it finds him
anyway. Will changing the past change
the future? Jamie does not know, but he
knows he must try.
Matter of Time was two unique story concepts – a vampire
causing the sinking of the Titanic and a young man who can travel back in time
because he is the reincarnation of someone onboard the Titanic – smooshed into
one. Either one could have been
outstanding on their own, but together, they made for a muddy read. Also, Jamie was not the most endearing character. Many of his actions seemed too immature for a
college junior of today, much less one from 1986 when the story takes
place. Plus, some of the exposition just
did not make sense – mainly the rooming situation. First, if Jamie and Jay are best friends and
Jay does not get along with his roommate, why are he and Jamie not rooming
together, but rather Jamie is rooming with a freshman. On top of that, Maggie is storing her stuff
in Jamie and Dan’s room because campus housing had no place for her, yet the
school year is three-quarters of the way over, and she has obviously been living
somewhere. These points may seem
trivial, but they easily through the reader out of the story, as does the
head-hopping that happens all too frequently.
I have read a few novels from Michael Bowler, and I
have to say, A Matter of Time is not
his best. On a positive note, though, I
thoroughly enjoyed Aaron Landon’s narration of the audiobook. He captured the highs and lows of the story
Title: Rendezvous with Rama Author: Arthur C. Clarke Publisher: Bantam
Why Read?: Book Club
Thoughts: I know Clarke is one of the best sci-fi writers and this book has won many awards, but it was just so boring. The whole book was exploring Rama and theorizing about what it was with very little action.
Title: War Horse Author: Michael Morpurgo Publisher: Scholastic
Why Read?: For Fun
Thoughts: I am generally not a fan of books with animals as the protagonist (there are a few exceptions), but this one was actually very educational. It really opened my eyes to a side of WWI that I never knew about.