Wednesday, February 20, 2019

“The Wartime Sisters” by Lynda Cohen Loigman – Raging Battles of Conscience

The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman (Book cover)

War is an unimaginably complex beast and its repercussions often reach far beyond the battlefield in unexpected ways, something Lynda Cohen Loigman makes quite apparent in her second novel, The Wartime Sisters. In it, we are introduced to two estranged sisters who become reunited at the start of the Second World War at the Springfield Armory.

One lives as the wife of an officer, while the other is a widow working at the factory. The vast difference in the course of their lives breeds resentment between the two, embarking both on a journey neither could have imagined.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

“The New Iberia Blues” by James Lee Burke – Crucifix of Stardom


James Lee Burke Mixes Blood and Glamour


The differences between the people of this Earth might be too numerous to mention completely, but nearly all of us are united by a single strand: the desire to become famous, whether now or sometime in the past. Even if you have to go back to your childhood to find a time when you clamoured for it, negligibly few are those who completely escape its temptations. While many of us grow out of it and find value in a life of public anonymity, some stay behind to pursue the elusive dream of stardom, and in most cases, they are willing to make virtually any sacrifice for it. Needless to say, this is one path which led many people to their doom, attracting the greedy, courageous and foolhardy alike. In James Lee Burke's latest Dave Robicheaux novel, The New Iberia Blues, we make the acquaintance of one such tragically lost soul as the rotten bowels of the Hollywood underworld dig their way to the surface.

Monday, January 14, 2019

“The Things We Don't Say” by Ella Carey – The Inauthentic Testament

The Things We Don't Say by Ella Carey (Book cover)

Ella Carey Present Life in a Painting


Most of us don't really enjoy thinking about what our lives might amount to at the very end, but the reality, perhaps a tad sad, is most of our journeys will become memories. Over the years many events and people pass us by without leaving any lasting trace to remember them by, only the workings of our own minds. For this reason, many of us cherish the truly unique and special objects to which we attribute a personal symbolism and emotional value, objects which stand as a testament to a segment of our lives. But what if, one day in our old age, we were to discover one such testament to be a lie? How far would we really go to find out the truth about ourselves? This is precisely the question Emma Temple is asking herself in Ella Carey's The Things We Don't Say.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

“The Night Crossing” by Robert Masello – Beyond the Shroud of Evil

“The Night Crossing” by Robert Masello (Book cover)

Robert Masello Reintroduces Bram Stoker


Countless authors have tried to make a name for themselves over the thousands of years humans have known how to write and read, but unfortunately very few succeeded in transcending time, their works staying relevant and revered regardless of the era. Bram Stoker is one of the more modern authors to have achieved this distinction, creating a horror icon in Dracula which still persists strongly to this very day. When one's name becomes so well-entrenched in the annals of history, it becomes tempting to see them as larger-than-life, perfect subjects for works of fiction... something perfectly exemplified in Robert Masello's The Night Crossing.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

“The Storyteller's Secret” by Sejal Badani – In the Wake of the Fall


Sejal Badani Brings us to India


Tragedy is a sadly inescapable aspect of existence, but unfortunately it strikes some far harder than others. There are entire philosophies, theories and schools of thought about mending the human mind and helping it recover from the worst of hardships and misfortunes. While we've certainly made progress on this front in recent decades, it remains a topic largely clouded in mystery where we are still far from finding a one-size-fits-all approach. Different people must often find their own ways of dealing with grief, and for some this means rekindling with their cultural roots. At least, this is the approach chosen by the main character in Sejal Badani's The Storyteller's Secret.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Interview with Nina Romano – Inexhaustible Inspirations


While there are a few careers where it is possible to learn everything there is to, authorship fall as far from this category as humanly possible. Virtually every single author, whether they've written a hundred novels or a hundred words, will admit they always have more to learn and new horizons to explore... it's a never-ending journey towards knowledge. Though Nina Romano definitely doesn't hold all the answers, she has been walking on this path since her early years and possesses a certain aptitude which can only come through time and experience: she understands herself within the context of her work better than most others. In our interview with her, we discuss her methodology as an author, how she approaches the writing of a book, and the many milestones she has traversed in her literary life.

Monday, October 29, 2018

“Pronto” by Elmore Leonard – The Sins of the Accountant

Pronto by Elmore Leonard (Book cover)

Elmore Leonard and the Runaway Bookie


Though logic dictates we ought to be imagining the world of organized crime via large men in suits smoking in dank, poorly-lit basements, the reality is a bit less romantic than that. As it happens, even organized crime wants to stay under the radar and within the confines of the legal world as much as possible, which means they need to have regular civilians working for them. Bookmakers have for a long time now been a favourite “venue of investment” for criminal enterprises, being businesses which can deal in large and irregular amounts of cash. Needless to say, not all bookies came out unscathed from such arrangements. In Pronto by Elmore Leonard, we actually have a bookie who not only works for the mob, but also likes to skim a bit of cash off the top... and the FBI are trying to make him flip over on his boss.

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.