Sterling, VA, United States | Member Since 2006
Tom Clancy's imagination has always had a tendency to find potential real problems and make an exciting story. If someone had paid attention to Executive Orders, we might have had a better system in place on 9/11 to protect the Federal buildings.
Now he has imagined the cyber threat in its full extent, reinforced by the enemy equivalent of Seal Team Six. Jack Ryan Sr, President is President and managing the crisis, but Jack Ryan, JR. is now doing the derring-do. But he has problems - his girl friend is being manipulated by the Enemy, the Enemy is aware of the super-secret organization for which he is both analyst and operative.
And the Enemy knows a hell of a lot, because it controls the WWW, has hacked into most of the essential systems of modern life - banking, power, water. II found it worrying IRL - but it makes for a great story!
Most of us know something of the Amish - that they try to live separate from the technological world, that they are pacifists, and maintain old crafts - that there is deep faith, but also a mandated conformity to the norms of the community, that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. A child is taken by his father, who had been banned from the community for wildness, and the Bishop is reluctant to do more than verify the child is OK - but lacking the resources, he asks two outsiders who understand the community to locate the child.
This story is complex, but the twists and turns are logical and "character-driven", based on the characters as shaped by the needs of the culture. The end is satisfying,
Ms. Carr deals with the issues of Native Americans in this one, not only Anglo vs Indian, but tribe vs tribe, in forging a life outside the reservation using traditional skills. Our hero and heroine, from different tribes, both have baggage from teenage wild oats, and have become more mature people, but the memories still haunt them - and in the case of our hero, an Anglo ex-wife doesn't want it to be all ex = while she's divorced him, she still wants him at her beck and call. And his considerable skill with horses.
Our old friends in Virgin River are somewhat peripheral to this one, but it's still a visit to a strong community and old friends.
Our heroine was stalked and attacked as an 11yo, and because of the stalker's family's influence, never felt safe as he was in a private - and very porous - mental institution. She lived with foster parents a long way away, and managed to become a highly competent physician, but now her stalker is on the loose. Then she witnesses a murder and it becomes obvious she is now a target for another reason. The FBI agent following his suspects not only wants her as a witness, he's as attracted to her as she is to him.
I like this heroine, who refuses to quit living. In spite of her constant anxiety, she cares for the people around her and does her best. Her sisters blame her for spoiling the family's life; her father and mother are worn to threads worrying about her.
The reader does a good job with regional accents and voice differentiation, reads with expression and authority. I found it hard to turn this one off to sleep.
It's worth the $5 - It deals with an area of crime not often mentioned, but the characters are engaging, honorable, and not the jaded, hard-boiled cops who reach for violence as their favorite tool. I would guess this is a first time effort, as the story is not terribly complex, which is appropriate for something this short, and some of the transitions are a little abrupt.
The reader is good though a little flat - they don't do a good job of editing, so somechapter headings overlap the end of the previous chapter, and there is no clear distinction as to placement sometimes, but this is not enough to seriously detract.
I found myself at the end hoping that the next part of this series would be out.
Paksenarrion has touched many people in her life since she joined Phelan's mercenaries, and few of them were left unchanged as her courage and faithfulness challenged them in their own lives. Things are changing in the world, as new ambition grabs at old history to justify it's course. And old evil re-emerges to destroy the current stability. Rulers are challenged to try to maintain the old stability in the face of these new challenges.
Well read, though occasionally some characters sound a little too similar.
Don't expect a resolution to this series, yet. The issues are too grave and the end is a true shocker. No country or race or sentient species is like to be untouched by these events. And the challenges to those whose responsibility it is to ward their peoples will be monumental.
J.D. Robb tends to vary her approach to give us (and her characters) a chance for some "normal" life. While the premise is certainly riveting, it is more good solid police work than thrilling chases and risked necks in this outing. Love the characters, and loved the emphasis on Peabody and McNabb's relationship. I would call it a domestic cozy, but it isn't that limited. She throws in a major plot twist, that while it complicates the investigation, gives us to think.
JAK is a great storyteller, and this is one of her usual good stories. While there is no definite Arcane Society mention, the paranormal is pretty much that same idea, though crystal talents seem to have much more prestige. She is also dealing with the issue of a talented child in an untalented family and the problem of appearing "normal" in order to get on with her life instead of being locked up as crazy.
A talented young woman with a gift for unlocking psy-locked books, is approached by multiple parties with blackmail or bribes to find and unlock a certain lab book which contains dangerous information regarding certain powerful crystals. A friend refers her to a member of the family, the Coppersmiths, which first found the crystals and is also looking for the notebook, to keep this information out of hands which would misuse these crystals. Her stepbrother is also asking her for help with the notebook, as her family has been pressured by loss of their trust fund to pressure her.
Murder and mayhem ensue in search of this notebook, but as there are hints of other mysteries in the family, including the sudden upsurge of talent in the Coppersmith family and two more unwedded members of the family to match up. I suspect at least a trilogy for this set of extended characters.
It appears to be a quiet English Village with lots of traditions and life centering around the pub and the church - and it is - but the personal and family tragedies behind the scenes stretch out to many countries and many walks of life. Even a backwater can be a boiling kettle of all the emotions, and the job of their nearly-new rector is to try to make peace, provide comfort, and it turns out, to solve a murder.
The good Father Tudor burnt out when he lost his partner to a terrorist bomb, and he is converted to an active spiritual life in the devastation of that loss. But the murder of the most disliked woman in the village, both rich and domineering, both piques his old professional curiosity and needs solving for the good of the parish.
There are a sufficient number of possibilities to keep the story full of twists and turns, and a lot of emotional happenings without a lot of explicit sex or violence.
I'll be interested to read the next in the series.
I bought this because the premise was cute - I enjoyed hearing about the nuts and bolts of putting together big events and going along with the challenge of leaping into the middle of executing a major event combined with solving a murder was irresistible. I like the characters (I got the sequel, the continuing story line is interesting, too), the author put together a good story and didn't telegraph the villain. The Bridezilla wasn't too over the top, and the denouement was hilarious. It was well read, with a pleasant voice and good character definition.
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