Tag Archives: Book Reviews

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. Continue reading

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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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The Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson

The Gargoyle The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was one of the most astonishing and riveting books I’ve read in a long time. Davidson’s research is extensive, his characters, past, present, and imaginary are fascinating, and the story is powerful. The parallels with Dante’s Inferno makes the love story between the two main characters as much a tragedy as a romance. He manages to have the reader feel pain for the narrator of the story, a totally unlovable character at the start.

It’s a story of discovery of the true self and of the purity –and intransigence– of love.

The story, as described on Goodreads:

The narrator of The Gargoyle is a very contemporary cynic, physically beautiful and sexually adept, who dwells in the moral vacuum that is modern life. As the book opens, he is driving along a dark road when he is distracted by what seems to be a flight of arrows. He crashes into a ravine and suffers horrible burns over much of his body. As he recovers in a burn ward, undergoing the tortures of the damned, he awaits the day when he can leave the hospital and commit carefully planned suicide—for he is now a monster in appearance as well as in soul. Continue reading

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Book Review: Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry

Family Matters Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry

My review

Family Matters is troubling, tender, disturbing, and 100% Rohinton Mistry. The title has, of course, a double entendre: family is important, but events in a family have a impact on it. And that’s what happens in this book: a father’s past interferes with his children’s present. It changes the way they see him, care for him. It is also about the inevitable descent into old age and its concurrent loss of dignity and the helplessness of the old. It is about morality… and the power (and corruption) of money.

Here is a summary of the story from the publisher:

Set in Bombay in the mid-1990s, Family Matters tells a story of familial love and obligation, of personal and political corruption, of the demands of tradition and the possibilities for compassion. Nariman Vakeel, the patriarch of a small discordant family, is beset by Parkinson’s and haunted by memories of his past. He lives with his two middle-aged stepchildren, Coomy, bitter and domineering, and her brother, Jal, mild-mannered and acquiescent. But the burden of the illness worsens the already strained family relationships. Soon, their sweet-tempered half-sister, Roxana, is forced to assume sole responsibility for her bedridden father. And Roxana’s husband, besieged by financial worries, devises a scheme of deception involving his eccentric employer at a sporting goods store, setting in motion a series of events that leads to the narrative’s moving outcome.

The only disappointing aspect of the book is the epilogue, which, in my opinion, is totally unnecessary and detracts from the rest of the story. Nevertheless, a highly recommended read.

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