Tuesday, October 16, 2018

“City of Endless Night” by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child – The Headless of the Metropolis

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child Craft Another Mystery

Collaborations between authors seems to be an increasingly common practice in the digital age, mostly due to the fact communication has evolved to the stage where it's at. It allows various smaller authors to join forces in hopes of increasing their chances at writing a quality novel and gaining recognition. Perhaps more relevantly to our case, it also opened the door for well-established authors to cooperate in hopes of combining their strengths to create something which would outclass what either of them can do on their own. Douglas Preston and Lee Child have already worked together on some occasions and their works have certainly been on the original side of the spectrum, and recently they have returned to the fore once again with City of Endless Night.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

“Where Are They?” by Steven Lazaroff and Mark Rodger – The Search for Spacial Kindred

Where Are They? by Steven Lazaroff and Mark Rodger (Book cover)

Steven Lazaroff and Mark Rodger take the Logical Route

Our society has most recently developed its tremendous fascination with outer space, largely due to the fact our observational and communicative technologies have advanced by nigh-incalculable leaps in the past decades. However, the allure of the stars always captured the imagination of our ancestors, even as primitive as cavemen if we are to judge by the paintings they left behind. We have been striving for countless years to gain a few more grains of knowledge on what lies beyond our Earthly realms, and if we take a look at the progress we have made in its totality, we would find it is both extremely significant and insignificant at the same time. We might know a lot more than we once did, but it still remains virtually nothing in the grand scheme of things. Nevertheless, Steven Lazaroff and Mark Rodger have decided to compress this sum of human knowledge into a book titled Where Are They?.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

“My Dear Hamilton” by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie - A Woman of the Revolution

My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie (Book cover)

Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie Embark Onto the Boat of Revolution

The founding of the United States of America is a history mired in blood, war and scandals of all sorts. A revolution against the British Empire could never truly have been a peaceful affair, and while countless people suffered, they also had the golden opportunity of truly making a difference in the history of the world... an opportunity which a few seized with a death grip. I think it's safe to say the Founding Fathers belong to that group of people, assembling together the political system which would eventually evolve into the country we have today. While much is made of the men behind the constitution, less attention is dedicated to the people surrounding them, especially their wives. In particular, Alexander Hamilton's wife, Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, is more than deserving of her own place in the pages of history, something Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie attempt to give her in their novel titled My Dear Hamilton.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

“Gunpowder Moon” by David Pedreira – The First Lunar Murder

David Pedreira's Conspiracy on the Moon

Once upon a time the moon seemed to hold countless mysteries and was the next big step for humanity to take in terms of exploration. The possibilities seemed limitless, and witnessing our cosmonauts traversing the void of space to land on a new rock successfully, albeit a satellite, was nothing short of awe-inspiring.

As our technology grew however, it seems our fascination with our sole natural satellite came to a bit of a standstill; it seemed in the end, it ultimately remains a dusty rock full of craters. However, this doesn't stop it from tingling the imaginations of authors who still look to the stars with inspiration, and at times it gives very interesting results, such as David Pedreira's Gunpowder Moon.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

“In America” by Nina Romano – The Great Depression of Dreams

In America by Nina Romano (book cover)

Nina Romano Concludes the Trilogy

When I first laid eyes on the first book of the Wayfarer Trilogy, I will admit I didn't think of it as anything more than a regular romance novel. However, Nina Romano definitely managed to open my eyes to the possibilities laying within the genre, focusing as much on the human nature surrounding love as the phenomenon itself. The second book in the series only improved my desire to finish the trilogy, showcasing Romano's ability to visit new and interesting vistas of humanity while staying on her thematic course. I can only hope other authors out there will take notice of her works and witness the true potential of the romance genre, how it can be so much more than an emotional Sunday night read. I believe the third and final book in the series, titled In America, exemplifies it even more than the previous ones.

Monday, August 20, 2018

“Dreaming At the Top of My Lungs” by Israel Finn – Brief Pictures of Horror

Israel Finn's Cacophony of Terror

The genre of horror, in literature just like in movies, lends itself to some interesting studies, especially when tracing its development through time. What was once considered horrifying has now turned into nothing more than a cliche, and it feels as if boundaries are increasingly difficult to push the further we get into it. I believe it has come to the point where for most people, horror doesn't really scare them any more as much as it startles, grosses out or makes them feel uneasy. We rarely find ourselves truly scared by any fictional work, and if we do it's only temporary as we are introduced to rules and familiar elements which engage rather than terrify us.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

“Lemon Blossoms” by Nina Romano – Nothing More Precious than Family

Nina Romano Explores a Different Realm of Love

Love comes in literally all shapes and sizes, one of the few truly formless aspects of life which can create miracles and join people who would have otherwise never noticed each other's presence. Most people who enjoy romance novels would agree to stories of difficult love being the most interesting and engaging ones. It's the type of quest we can all relate to, the one with the potential to make us root for virtually any character; it just touches us on such a profound level we have yet to truly qualify the effect.

As an author, it seems Nina Romano certainly agrees with this line of thinking, or at least it's what her approach to her Wayfarer Trilogy seems to indicate. In the first book of the series, we were introduced to a pair of star-crossed lovers never meant to be together and all the obstacles life threw in their way. In the second book, titled Lemon Blossoms, we witness a different a whole other realm of difficulties which lay on the path to a fulfilling love.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

“The Woman in the Woods” by John Connolly – From the Belly of the Beast

Deep into the Woods with John Connolly

Death has always been an integral part of human life, and it should come as no surprise we have developed countless ways to try and deal with its many aspects. As a result, this creates some social expectations which can divide between the natural and unnatural demises. When a person dies, it is expected we'll be able to find out who they were, how it happened, and trace the chain of events which led up until that point.

When we are unable to obtain these answers, what we are generally left facing is an abnormal atrocity, or what we refer to in the world of literature as a mystery. In John Connolly's The Woman in the Woods we get treated to just such an affair, and although at first it begins to seem like a very normal excursion it becomes increasingly apparent something rotten is at play.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

“The Secret Language of Women” by Nina Romano – Daggers in the Heart of Fate

Nina Romano's Star-Crossed Lovers

Scientists have been trying for a while to isolate the physical processes accompanying what we call love, and for the most part, they've managed to boil it down to a few chemicals firing in some receptors. Nevertheless, it's a mystery we have yet to pierce completely down to its very core, for we are still having trouble quantifying what makes us fall in love with any specific person... often times, it happens without rhyme, reason or warning, which is the main reason it can be equally tragic and beautiful. As a matter of fact, innumerable stories of star-crossed lovers populate bookshelves around the entire world, offering authors the perfect canvas to explore many aspects of human nature as well as history. Nina Romano is an author who took that canvas and turned it into a real wonder with her historical romance novel titled The Secret Language of Women , the first entry into the Wayfarer Trilogy.

Friday, July 20, 2018

“The Glass Forest” by Cynthia Swanson – Threnody for a Marriage

Cynthia Swanson's Glass House

While overtly it might seem like the ties binding people to each other are obvious and can be observed with common sense, the more profoundly we think of them, the more we realize things aren't exactly set in stone. We have yet to unanimously define the abstract concept of love, and yet it is the sole thing holding countless people together, regardless of culture or religion. Many would be hard-pressed to elaborate until reaching a final truth as to the reason they enjoy the company of certain of people and consider them friends. For most of us, these might just be some philosophical musings we ultimately brush away and forget. For some however, they are the beginning of an unravelling, a profound introspective journey during which they are forced to reevaluate their lives... and that's precisely the fate awaiting Angie Glass in Cynthia Swanson's The Glass Forest.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

“A Casualty of War” by Charles Todd - Scars of the Mind

The Charles Todd Team Returns to World War I

Endless literature, both factual and fictional, has been created on the topic of the First World War, the events leading up to it as well as its eventual historical repercussions. It came to an end a hundred years ago, and the further we step away from it, the less real it all feels in a certain sense. While we know without a doubt the events did take place, I believe very few of us actually feel a connection to them or the people caught up in the meat grinder... at this point, they are all just stories. Then comes along the writing team of Caroline and Charles Todd with the novel A Casualty of War, reminding us people as real as you and I took part in the war, and they were no less damaged by it than the unfortunate veterans of today.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

“Another Woman's Husband” by Gill Paul – A Tragic Spotlight for Women

Gill Paul's Tale of Betrayal and Friendship

Princess Diana is one of the few figures in modern history found fascinating all around the globe. Today, what most people remember about the woman is her tragic ending as well as the controversy surrounding it... even to this day the question hangs in the air as to what really happened in that car crash, and how accidental it was in the first place. Nevertheless, it seems her eventful death overshadowed her even more remarkable life, one which lends itself to works of historical fiction such as Another Woman's Husband by Gill Paul. Though not directly centred on the famous figure herself, it does present a compelling portrayal of two very special women in history and a stab at lay beneath a scandal which shook the whole world up.