And also to the woman who made it all possible, J.K. Rowling.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
Expected publication: August 16th 2011 by Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC.
Bill Evans is a ten-time Emmy award winning meteorologist from WABC-TV New York City. His writing partner, Marianna Jameson is a former romance writer who crossed over to the genre of eco-thrillers and disaster novels. Together, they have written three books Category 7, Frozen Fire, and Dry Ice.
Dry Ice synopsis from Marianna Jameson’s website:
Flint AgroChemical’s newest installation, TESLA, is in the driest, coldest, darkest, most remote spot in the world: the high central plain of Antarctica. The scientists there have cracked the code to controlling the world’s weather. Upon being told he’s being replaced, the installation’s sociopathic lead researcher, Greg Simpson, hijacks this game-changing corporate weapon and turns it against the agro-industrial giant, and the world at large. International politics and corporate espionage collide with bleeding-edge science as Tess Beauchamp, TESLA’s new commander, reunites with ex-lover and TESLA’s resident bad boy, Nik Forde, to save the installation – and the planet – from imminent and epic destruction.
This is not your lazy afternoon light reading material. There are a bunch of technical terms, scientific aspects, explanations, and disaster situations. Some of it felt so real that it was scary. It has a steady pace, the scenes of destruction breaking up the monotony of the science. It reads like a disaster movie. In line of Twister, Deep Impact, 2012, and The Day After Tomorrow, Dry Ice is an action-packed novel that will have you shaking in between chapters.
The science part was very interesting to me. I am aware of the experiments done in the colder parts of the planet, like HAARP in Alaska. Although I am not sure if this is/will be possible in the future, it still terrified me. Even without outside forces controlling the weather, I have seen how destructive it can be and how powerful Mother Nature is. The authors did a great job in making this all easy to understand for the layman.
The writing was technically good but I found the emotion lacking. Yes, this is clearly in the science genre but provided that they are dealing with loss of life and home, I expected more reaction. There were some but it felt rather shallow, one dimensional. The differences between the heroes and villains were clear cut. The antagonist, Greg Simpson, had the most developed character, in my opinion. The rest were rather bland – very smart, very specialized, hand-picked people… that was it for all the good guys. It would have been a nice addition to the story if the reactions of the TESLA employees were also explored. It would have humanized the piece a bit more.
Greg Simpson is one of those characters that you really would LOVE to hate. (Another one in my list is Dolores Umbridge. Yes.) He really was despicable. How much do you have to hate someone that you stop caring about innocent lives? About the world? His narcissism was so extreme that he did not even think of how it could go wrong for him. I would like to think that the authors developed him more than Tess or Nik because they want the readers to really know Greg, and hate him. I think that sort of compensates the lack of character development for the others.
I was not expecting to like it but I did. I got into it and it found it very engaging. Do not let the science jargon scare you… there are a lot to learn in these pages.
Recommendation: Readers who do not shy away from science will like this. It is like a disaster movie in a book.
Get your copy here.
“To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”
I’ll be leaving for San Francisco tomorrow and will be out for roughly two weeks. I’m not sure if I can update or read anything during the trip, much less review them.
So yeah… also, if I will be reading anything, it probably won’t be a title from my Stash list. I do have another list of stuff that I like to go through after all.
Hmm, what else? I guess that’s it! Have a nice rest of the week everybody!
Published June 30th 2011 by Vacancy Books.
At approximately 13,000 words, this is a short one. In fact, I read it off my computer instead of on my B&N nook. But it was still a very good read.
The Impressionists consists of six short stories about social issues such as self image, domestic abuse, family relationships, alcoholism, and crime. All of them are told in the first person. As short as they are, the stories are all hard-hitting and touching.
A couple of them deal with the self-confidence (or lack thereof) of women. “Big Girl” is about Peggy who bought a self-help book. As the title suggests, she is a big girl. Even though the book is telling her that it’s okay and being fat makes her more accepting of people, Peggy calls bull and buckles under the societal pressures. It is a rather candid ‘keeping it real’ piece. “The Replica” is about an abused wife reflecting on how she ended up the way she is now. Every morning, she looks at herself in the mirror and she sees a shell, a shadow of what she was. She used to have dreams and a love of life. Now, she depends on medication to numb everything out. “WYWH” – Wish You Were Here – is about a woman who found a new identity online. In her real life, she’s still grieving over the loss of her son many years ago. It showed that through the Internet, she is able to pretend she is someone else (as many of us often do, I’m sure) to distract herself from the pain of reality. That one was really heart-wrenching.
The rest of the stories center a little bit on crime. And punishment. “One Night Only” was very interesting. A serial killer, about to get the lethal injection, spends his final moments interviewing himself. “Organ Failure” is a woman talking to a corpse at a funeral viewing. She was there when the person in the coffin died. She found that person unconscious, in a pool of vomit. And finally, “A Small Act of Vandalism”, it is about a troubled man with a secret. He keeps his mother’s ashes in a sealed jar but his memories are harder to bottle up.
What I loved the most about these stories are the voices. All of them are very different. The author did a fantastic job of giving them distinct personalities. They have their own troubles and basically, what we are reading is their internal monologue. I loved how it flowed neatly and the stories are just so solid. Very, VERY well-written.
Recommendation: To anyone who has time to spare. Really, it took me less than an hour to read through all six stories. And they are good ones!
Get you copy here.
“To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.”
Published January 17th 2005 by Bantam (first published 2001).
Like I said in my review of Freaks, I am not very familiar with Tess Gerritsen’s work. In fact, this was the first novel that I’ve read from her bibliography. I’ve read a lot of murder mysteries in the past and this was just okay.
Women who are murdered in the most grotesque way have been popping up all over Boston. Their throats are slashed, abdomen cut open, their uterus removed. The cuts made were clean and precise, hinting to the police that the unknown subject has medical knowledge. They call him “The Surgeon”. Two years ago, similar murders were committed in Savannah, Georgia. The only survivor of these heinous crimes now reside in Boston. Dr. Catherine Cordell works as a trauma doctor and it seems that the murders followed her there. But she killed her attacker before he could cut into her. Is this a copycat? Did Catherine’s attacker have a partner? Was he after her now? Detective Jane Rizzoli and her partner Detective Thomas Moore are on the case.
If you are a fan of the show and are just starting off with Gerritsen’s books, I advise not to expect much. Yes, the first season of Rizzoli & Isles, especially the show pilot episode, was based on this and the next one, The Apprentice. But this book did not have Dr. Maura Isles yet so there will be no playful banter between the two. Jane was not even the main detective on this one. It’s Detective Moore. Sure, Jane ends up being the hero in the end but for the rest of the book, she’s at the sidelines. And I also did not like the constant “because I’m a girl” bitching. It was okay for the first two or three times but every time Jane Rizzoli came in to the picture, that was what she was thinking. Alright, you’re a girl so they don’t see you as an equal. We get it.
What set it apart was the medical aspect. I understand that Gerritsen was a doctor before she became an novelist. Her medical knowledge was brilliantly used here. Dr. Catherine Cordell performed a couple of life-saving procedures and it was described almost in full detail. It reminds me of Kathy Reichs’ work (coincidentally, both authors hold degrees in Anthropology) when she mixes her scientific field with her literature. I have read reviews where people thought it was so gruesome but I liked those parts. I felt that it gave Catherine Cordell depth; that it showed a side of her entirely opposite from what you’d think of a rape victim. In her world, she had complete control, thus it gave the unsub a goal. To rattle her protective cage and send her falling to pieces.
Overall, it was a good read. Nothing much to talk about.
Recommendation: It will appeal to those who like medical murder mysteries. I’m not sure how it will appeal to the fans of the TV show as Dr. Isles is not yet introduced in this book and there are differences between the TV and book Rizzoli and Frost. I’m a huge fan of the show and I liked it.
Get your copy here.
I received Journal of a Schoolyard Bully yesterday. Finished and reviewed it today!
The Beginners by Rebecca Wolff was the second book that I won from First Reads. I thought it was never going to arrive and was this close to buying a copy. But it got here! I read that Oprah likes this book so I’m looking forward to that.