Source: from publisher for review

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#FuturisticFriday Review: In the Enemy’s House

February 19, 2018 Uncategorized 5

#FuturisticFriday Review: In the Enemy’s HouseTitle: In the Enemy's House: The Secret Saga of the FBI Agent and the Code Breaker Who Caught the Russian Spies
Author: Howard Blum
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: Exactly what I want from narrative nonfiction – engaging, detailed, with even dialogue and emotions supported by primary sources.

“In 1946, genius linguist and codebreaker Meredith Gardner discovered that the KGB was running an extensive network of strategically placed spies inside the United States, whose goal was to infiltrate American intelligence and steal the nation’s military and atomic secrets. Over the course of the next decade, he and young FBI supervisor Bob Lampshere worked together on Venona, a top-secret mission to uncover the Soviet agents and protect the Holy Grail of Cold War espionage—the atomic bomb.” (source) Read more »

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New Thriller Review: Just Between Us

January 10, 2018 Uncategorized 8

New Thriller Review: Just Between UsTitle: Just Between Us
Author: Rebecca Drake
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

“Alison, Julie, Sarah, Heather. Four friends living the suburban ideal. But each of them has a dirty little secret, and… everything starts to unravel when Alison spots a nasty bruise on Heather’s wrist…As mysterious injuries and erratic behavior mount, Heather can no longer deny the abuse, but she refuses to leave her husband. Desperate to save her, Alison and the others dread the phone call telling them that she’s been killed. But when that call finally comes, it’s not Heather who’s dead. In a moment they’ll come to regret, the women must decide what lengths they’ll go to in order to help a friend.” (source) Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and #Giveaway: Artemis

November 17, 2017 Uncategorized 4

#FuturisticFriday Review and #Giveaway: ArtemisTitle: Artemis
Author: Andy Weir
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This sophomore novel had everything I loved about The Martian – humor; great science-based world building; and an action-packed plot – plus some great relationships and a more complex main character.

“Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.” (source) Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review: This Mortal Coil

November 15, 2017 Uncategorized 1

#FuturisticFriday Review: This Mortal CoilTitle: This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1)
Author: Emily Suvada
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: Less than perfect science didn’t detract from my enjoyment of all aspects of this book, which had fantastic characters, world-building, and plot.

“Catarina Agatta is a hacker….but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people [can] recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies…And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius. That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus…When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.” (source) Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review: Counting Backwards

November 14, 2017 Uncategorized 2

#FuturisticFriday Review: Counting BackwardsTitle: Counting Backwards: A Doctor's Notes on Anesthesia
Author: Henry Jay Przybylo
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: The sections on history and philosophy of anesthesiology weren’t my favorite, but the fascinating, moving patient stories were fantastic.

In his career of more thirty years, anesthesiologist Dr. Henry Jay Przybylo has administered anesthesia more than 30,000 times. His patients have included everyone from “newborn babies, screaming toddlers, sullen teenagers, even a gorilla.” (source). As he shares his experiences with these patients, he also explores the nature of consciousness and the history of anesthesiology. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review: Code Girls

November 10, 2017 Uncategorized 22

#FuturisticFriday Review: Code GirlsTitle: Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II
Author: Liza Mundy
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: A perfect narrative nonfiction blend of personal stories, global events, and a history of code breaking.

“Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history” (source) but here the author is able to share their story based on interviews and recently declassified documents. Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review: Death In the Air

October 29, 2017 Uncategorized 4

#FuturisticFriday Review: Death In the AirTitle: Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City
Author: Kate Winkler Dawson
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: Exactly what I look for in narrative nonfiction – engaging and edifying.

“London was still recovering from the devastation of World War II when another disaster hit: for five long days in December 1952, a killer smog held the city firmly in its grip and refused to let go. Day became night, mass transit ground to a halt, criminals roamed the streets, and some 12,000 people died from the poisonous air. But in the chaotic aftermath, another killer was stalking the streets, using the fog as a cloak for his crimes. All across London, women were going missing-poor women, forgotten women. Their disappearances caused little alarm, but each of them had one thing in common: they had the misfortune of meeting a quiet, unassuming man, John Reginald Christie, who invited them back to his decrepit Notting Hill flat during that dark winter. They never left.” (source) Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review: Without Merit

October 16, 2017 Uncategorized 6

#FuturisticFriday Review: Without MeritTitle: Without Merit
Author: Colleen Hoover
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: This was fun, cute, and quirky and thought it didn’t feel particularly novel or substantial, I flew through it.

“The Voss family is anything but normal.The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit. Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. [When Merit falls in love with a boy who is unavailable, it’s one of the last straws]..Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.” Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review: The Genius Plague

October 15, 2017 Uncategorized 0

#FuturisticFriday Review: The Genius PlagueTitle: The Genius Plague
Author: David Walton
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Summary: This was an incredibly fun, fast-paced read. Very cinematic, would make a great movie.

“What if the pandemic you thought would kill you made you more intelligent instead? In the Amazon jungle, a disease is spreading. To those who survive, it grants enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. But the miracle may be the sinister survival mechanism of a fungal organism, manipulating the infected into serving it.  Paul Johns, a mycologist, is convinced the fungal host is the next stage of human evolution, while his brother Neil, an analyst at the NSA, is committed to its destruction. Is the human race the master in this symbiotic relationship, or are we becoming the pawns of a subtly dominating and utterly alien intelligence?” (Source) Read more »

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#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: An Unkindness of Ghosts

October 9, 2017 Uncategorized 6

#FuturisticFriday Review and Giveaway: An Unkindness of GhostsTitle: An Unkindness of Ghosts
Author: Rivers Solomon
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Summary: Great characters and world building, but I didn’t feel totally engaged in the story and I didn’t love the plot.

“Aster lives in the low-deck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South….the ship’s leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster, who they consider to be less than human. When the autopsy of Matilda‘s sovereign reveals a surprising link between his death and her mother’s suicide some quarter-century before, Aster retraces her mother’s footsteps. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer and sowing the seeds of civil war, Aster learns there may be a way off the ship if she’s willing to fight for it.” (source) Read more »

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