City of Endless Night by Preston & Child

city of endless night

About the book:

When Grace Ozmian, the beautiful and reckless daughter of a wealthy tech billionaire, first goes missing, the NYPD assumes she has simply sped off on another wild adventure. Until the young woman’s body is discovered in an abandoned warehouse in Queens, the head nowhere to be found.
Lieutenant CDS Vincent D’Agosta quickly takes the lead. He knows his investigation will attract fierce scrutiny, so D’Agosta is delighted when FBI Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast shows up at the crime scene assigned to the case. “I feel rather like Brer Rabbit being thrown into the briar patch,” Pendergast tells D’Agosta, “because I have found you here, in charge. Just like when we first met, back at the Museum of Natural History.”
But neither Pendergast nor D’Agosta are prepared for what lies ahead. A diabolical presence is haunting the greater metropolitan area, and Grace Ozmian was only the first of many victims to be murdered . . . and decapitated. Worse still, there’s something unique to the city itself that has attracted the evil eye of the killer.
As mass hysteria sets in, Pendergast and D’Agosta find themselves in the crosshairs of an opponent who has threatened the very lifeblood of the city. It’ll take all of Pendergast’s skill to unmask this most dangerous foe-let alone survive to tell the tale.


My review:

I mentioned in my “Sneak Preview” post last week that I am a fan of Preston & Child and their Agent Pendergast series. Because I am a fan and have read all previous sixteen novels in the series, I’m always a tiny bit leery when I start a new one: I would hate to be disappointed! Thankfully, again that is not the case with book number seventeen in the Pendergast series. Yay!

With City of Endless Night Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child showed me once again why I am a fan. Their books are always packed with tension, building and building to a magnificent crescendo, where you are so caught up, you are completely lost to the action. And their characterization, of even minor characters, is phenomenal. You can’t beat a Preston & Child for the atmosphere and action that keep you turning pages into the very wee hours and gripping your book so tightly your hands cramp up!

Be sure to block out a nice section of time where you won’t be disturbed to read City of Endless Night, because you won’t want to put it down.

Many thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this novel for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

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Sneak Preview

Well, this was supposed to be posted yesterday, but the best plans of mice and men and all that…

Anyway, I thought I’d give you all a quick preview of some of the books I’ll (hopefully) be sharing with you in the next weeks. So here (not in any special order) goes:

And now, a little nugget about each book…

The Resurrection by Mike Duran: I bought this book while I was at Realm Makers last summer. I was blessed to chat with the author and have him sign my copy, and he mentioned that this was one of his favorite books he’d written. That sounds like a great recommendation to me!

A Reluctant Assassin by J.C. Morrows: I’ve had this book and its prequel short story (“A Perilous Assignment”) for more than a year now, but have been so busy, they keep getting pushed to the bottom of my “To-Read” pile. But the tagline is so intriguing, I can’t wait any longer—“What if Cinderella was sent to kill the prince?”

When Christ Appears by David Jeremiah: The subtitle of this nonfiction book kind of explains what it’s all about—“An Inspirational Experience through Revelation.” I so enjoy learning from Dr. Jeremiah and am excited to see what this step-by-step through the book of Revelation study will reveal to me.

Reclaiming Shilo Snow by Mary Weber: This is book two in Mary Weber’s Sofi Snow series. She left me hanging at the end of The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, so I’m very much looking forward to finding out what happens next!

The City of Endless Night by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child: I am a huge Preston & Child fan! I’ve read every book they’ve co-written and many of their individually written books. Agent Pendergast is one of my all-time favorite characters, so I am beyond excited to read this latest installment.

The Man He Never Was by James Rubart: A modern re-imagining of Jekyll and Hyde… Written by James Rubart… Need I say more??

The Darby Shaw Chronicles (Books 1-3) by Liberty Speidel: Thanks to my sweet bestie who got me these books for Christmas (You’re awesome, Sherry!!), I have just started to enjoy the exploits of Darby Shaw—a cop in a future version of Kansas City who discovers she is superhuman.

An eclectic group to be sure, but maybe a little something for everyone. If all goes as planned (which has not been happening often in my life lately…), I’ll be sharing all about these books and more in the next weeks. Till then, happy reading! 🙂

The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller

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From the publisher:

A thrilling debut from ER doctor turned novelist Tom Miller, The Philosopher’s Flight is an epic historical fantasy set in a World-War-I-era America where magic and science have blended into a single extraordinary art. “Like his characters, Tom Miller casts a spell.” (Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club and The Last Bookaneer)

Eighteen-year-old Robert Weekes is a practitioner of empirical philosophy—an arcane, female-dominated branch of science used to summon the wind, shape clouds of smoke, heal the injured, and even fly. Though he dreams of fighting in the Great War as the first male in the elite US Sigilry Corps Rescue and Evacuation Service—a team of flying medics—Robert is resigned to mixing batches of philosophical chemicals and keeping the books for the family business in rural Montana, where his mother, a former soldier and vigilante, aids the locals.

When a deadly accident puts his philosophical abilities to the test, Robert rises to the occasion and wins a scholarship to study at Radcliffe College, an all-women’s school. At Radcliffe, Robert hones his skills and strives to win the respect of his classmates, a host of formidable, unruly women.

Robert falls hard for Danielle Hardin, a disillusioned young war hero turned political radical. However, Danielle’s activism and Robert’s recklessness attract the attention of the same fanatical anti-philosophical group that Robert’s mother fought years before. With their lives in mounting danger, Robert and Danielle band together with a team of unlikely heroes to fight for Robert’s place among the next generation of empirical philosophers—and for philosophy’s very survival against the men who would destroy it.

In the tradition of Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness, Tom Miller writes with unrivaled imagination, ambition, and humor. The Philosopher’s Flight is both a fantastical reimagining of American history and a beautifully composed coming-of-age tale for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.


My review:

This book ended up being way more than I expected for a debut novel! The story was fascinating and very well-written. And Tom Miller did such a fantastic job of entwining his story with true history that I found myself getting caught up in the narrative and asking, “Wait, did that really happen?”

Miller managed to spin a tale that both entertains and calls out those who would be prejudiced against their fellow man (or woman) for whatever reason, rather than taking them on their own merits. He turns both sexism and religious intolerance on their heads to expose their useless underbellies, all while creating an alternate history that is seamlessly written.

I laughed, I cheered, I teared up, I wanted to scream at the characters…all signs of a well-crafted story. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller when it is released by Simon & Schuster on February 13, 2018.

Many thanks to Simon & Schuster for the advanced copy of this novel for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross by Lisa Tuttle

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From the book:

The paranormal answer to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Jesperson and Lane are turning the Victorian era upside down in this bewitching series from John W. Campbell Award winner Lisa Tuttle.

“Witch!” cries the young man after stumbling unexpectedly into the London address of the consulting-detective partnership of Mr. Jasper Jesperson and Miss Lane. He makes the startling accusation while pointing toward Miss Lane . . . then he drops dead. Thus begins the strangest case yet to land—quite literally—on the doorstep of Jesperson and Lane.

According to the coroner, Charles Manning died of a heart attack—despite being in perfect health. Could he have been struck down by a witch’s spell? The late Mr. Manning’s address book leads Jesperson and Lane to the shrieking pits of Aylmerton, an ancient archaeological site reputed to be haunted by a vengeful ghost. There they sift through the local characters, each more suspicious than the last: Manning’s associate, Felix Ott, an English folklore enthusiast; Reverend Ringer, a fierce opponent of superstition; and the Bulstrode sisters, a trio of beauties with a reputation for witchcraft.

But when an innocent child goes missing, suddenly Jesperson and Lane aren’t merely trying to solve one murder—they’re racing to prevent another.


My review:

Reading the description of this book made it sound like it was going to be fabulous. Unfortunately, it didn’t fully live up to its expectations for me. While I did enjoy parts of the story, I found that I just couldn’t really get lost in this book for some reason.

Now, let me clarify…the book is not bad. It is fairly well-crafted, with plenty of little twists and a variety of interesting characters. However, I simply had trouble staying interested. Maybe it’s just me. Perhaps you should try it for yourself and prove me wrong. Let me know if you do! 🙂

Thanks to Random House Publishing Group-Hydra and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own!! 🙂

 

Amish Vampires in Space by Kerry Nietz

AViSFrom the book:

Jebediah has a secret that will change his world forever and send his people into space.

The Amish world of Alabaster calls upon an ancient promise to escape destruction. They end up on a cargo ship bound for the stars.

But they are not the only cargo on board. Some of it is alive…or used to be.

Now, with vampires taking over and closing in on the Amish refugees, these simple believers must decide whether their faith depends upon their honored traditions or something even older.


My review:

I bet I know what you’re thinking (because it’s the same thing I was thinking when I first saw this book)…this has to be a joke, right? A spoof or parody or something? I imagined I would be laughing my way through this book, while the author poked fun at Amish fiction.

Then I started reading it. Wow! Not only is it not a spoof, it is a terrifically well-written piece of science fiction. Kerry Nietz managed to take three forms of fiction that I’m not a huge fan of (space opera, paranormal/vampire fiction, and Amish fiction) and mesh them into a remarkable story that I couldn’t put down. The core of this story is not about Amish vampires in space–they are simply a rather interesting medium for a discussion about what is truly important to you. What do you truly rely on when the proverbial chips are down: tradition, pop culture, or something bigger than all that?

I never thought I’d find myself recommending a book called Amish Vampires in Space, but I can’t seem to recommend it highly enough. You definitely need to read this 🙂

The Sacred Slow by Alicia Britt Chole

Sacred-Cover

From the book:

THIS BOOK MAY READ YOU

Ours is a hurried age, in which speed is deified and waiting is demonized. Ours is a cluttered age, in which noise is the norm and images constantly clamor for our attention. And in our hurried, cluttered age, faster has become synonymous with better, and experience has become a substitute for intimacy.

Welcome to The Sacred Slow: A Holy Departure from Fast Faith. Formatted as fifty-two experiences in unhurried honesty with God, The Sacred Slow reminds readers on every page that God never wanted to use them; He always wanted to love them. The tone is personal, practical, and penetrating. The fruit is sustainable (as opposed to event-based) nearness with God.

Experienced devotionally or in small groups, each chapter features a short but thought-provoking reading and two options for application: a thought focus or a heart exercise. The content is the overflow of Dr. Alicia Britt Chole’s thirty-plus years as a spiritual mentor to leaders and learners.


My review:

I’ve been thinking about thankfulness a lot in the past few weeks. ‘Tis the season, after all. I’m thankful for so many things great and small: for family, for friends, for a beautiful place to live, for those of you who (for some strange reason 🙂 ) have chosen to follow my blog and read my reviews…thank you! For the past few months, I’ve been nursing my mom back to health after complicated back surgery, drug mix-ups in the hospital, and useless physical rehab stays; it has been uber-stressful, to say the least! But all of that has made me so thankful for God placing me where I am, so that I can be here to help her.

In the midst of all that has gone on lately, I find myself thankful for one more thing: The Sacred Slow by Alicia Britt Chole. This “Holy Departure from Fast Faith” has been such a blessing: a heart-searching, mind-focusing, stress-releasing exercise in slowing down and paying attention to God, that I have been savoring.

And that is exactly what this book is meant to do: it “invites you to willfully live in Him moment by moment by faith” (p. 9). It helps to remind you that you experience God not just in those big, exciting moments in that big, exciting church service or revival meeting, but in the quiet, peaceful moments curled up in your bed, simply talking to Him or reflecting on the path He has led you down. He is always there; you need to slow down and feel for Him, look for Him, listen for Him.

It’s so easy to be distracted in this world we live in. Dr. Chole’s book is an invitation to step away from all of that and reclaim the devotion, the peace, the quiet yet powerful love that God offers us every moment of every day. I am so grateful that I have this book on my desk, to remind me to take some time with Him. And I look forward to growing my faith throughout the “fifty-two experiences in unhurried honesty with God” that it provides. I definitely recommend you pick up your own copy today!

Many thanks to Handlebar Media for the copy of this amazing book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

The Last Will and Testament of Captain Nemo by Mary Schlegel

captain nemo

About the Book:

From the tragedy of The Little Mermaid, and the mystery of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, comes the truth that ties them both together: the story of the love that saved a life and started a war, of the quest that became an obsession…of the seaman who, for love of a mermaid, became a legend.


My Review:

This short novella was recommended by another author, so I decided to check it out. I quickly found that it has so much to offer! It is a fantastically imagined mash-up of two stories we all think we know: The Little Mermaid and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Schlegel managed to blend the beautifully melodic cadence of the classics from which this story springs with a steampunk-like twist to bring fresh, new life to the old tales.

And though it is a quick read (Around a half an hour, unless you keep getting interrupted like I was. Grrrrrr!!!!),  you get sucked into the story world so quickly that it feels more than complete. It’s a terrific after work wind-down read or bedtime story.

I’m glad I grabbed a copy, and I’d highly recommend you get your own! Great read from an author I look forward to reading again. 🙂