Archive for December, 2009

Book Review: The Day the Falls Stood Still

The Day the Falls Stood Still The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Buchanan’s novel reads so well that it’s easy to think it’s written simply, but it’s in fact an elaborate, rich, and lush story filled with complex characters and historical details. These details –from World War I era– are what made the book for me. Buchanan made the setting vivid and real, and the characters who lived in it all the more well-grounded. »» Book Review: The Day the Falls Stood Still

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Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar 2009

a01_00000001The online version of The Boston Globe, boston.com, is offering the Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar 2009, with a new celestial picture taken from the newly refurbished Hubble Telescope, every day until Christmas. This is a page you’ll want to go back to every day. The pictures are stunning, with vibrant colours and great clarity.

Whether one is a believer or not, it’s impossible not to be awed by the grandeur of the cosmos and feel how small and insignificant we really are. The pictures remind us that time and space are nearly infinite and that our own time on the third rock from the sun is short. We must make the best of it.

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Book Review– Silent Thunder

Silent Thunder Silent Thunder by Iris Johansen

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Silent Thunder is one of the worst written books I’ve read in a long time, and greatly disappointing. The dialogue is trite and flat (“Son of a bitch. Bradworth was staring after him. “Bastard.”), the characters are unidimensional (the Russians are the bad guys), the story murky and at best cliche.

After 135 pages, I gave it up.

Here is the description from Goodreads:

Marine architect Hannah Bryson has landed the assignment of a lifetime. The U.S. maritime museum has just acquired the former pride of the Soviet fleet, the legendary nuclear attack sub Silent Thunder, for public exhibition. It’s Hannah’s job to inspect every inch of the decommissioned vessel and make sure it’s safe for the thousands of expected visitors. Enlisting the aid of her brother, Connor, they delve into its long and lethal history.

Then, on a routine check, Connor discovers a cryptic message behind one of the ship’s panels. Before he can figure out what it means, there’s a deadly assault on Silent Thunder. Now, although the U.S. government warns her against it, Hannah will stop at nothing to unravel the truth about Silent Thunder. Even if it means coming face to face with the ruthless mastermind behind the plot—and joining forces with a mysterious and seductive mercenary who is willing to kill to make sure the secrets about Silent Thunder stay silent. . . .

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Book Review– The Resurrectionist

The Resurrectionist The Resurrectionist by Jack O’Connell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The Resurrectionist is the story of Sweeny, a father who desperately wants to find a way to re-awaken his comatose son, Danny. To that end, he arrives at the “Peck,” a private clinic renown for its care of patients in a coma.

Interwoven into Sweeny’s journey is the comic book story of Limbo, the journey of a troupe of “freaks” in search of a place in the world.

This book is strangely fascinating in a Kafkaesque way, and although I found it plodding at times, I was prodded into finishing it. The emotions are intense, but, except for Sweeny’s, the characters’ affects are flat and puzzling. The reasons for their behaviours are most of the time a mystery and there are many loose ends left at the end of the book.

Although overall I found the book well written, the story is so alien and bizarre, the characters so strange, and the ending so unsatisfying that I would not read another of O’Connell’s books.

Note: The mention of comic book characters may make you think that this is a young adult novel. It is not. There are passages of explicit sex that gives this book an adult rating.

Here is the book blurb from Goodreads:

The Resurrectionist is a wild ride into a territory where nothing is as it appears. Part classic noir thriller, part fabulist fable, it is the story of Sweeney and his comatose son, Danny. Hoping for a miracle, Sweeney has brought Danny to the fortresslike Peck Clinic, whose doctors claim to have “resurrected” patients who were similarly lost in the void. but the real cure for his son’s condition may lie in Limbo, a comic book world beloved by Danny before he slipped into a coma.

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