Buzzfeed has a list of 19 super neat vintage library posters. So creative!
Release Date: April 2nd 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Series: Gone (#6)
From the book jacket:
It’s been over a year since all the adults disappeared. Gone.
In the time since every person over the age of fourteen disappeared from the town of Perdido Beach, California, countless battles have been fought: battles against hunger and lies and plague, and epic battles of good against evil. And now, the gaiaphage has been reborn as Diana’s malicious mutant daughter, Gaia. Gaia is endlessly hungry for destruction. She yearns to conquer her Nemesis, Little Pete, and then bend the entire world to her warped will. As long-standing enemies become allies, secrets are revealed and unexpected sacrifices are made. Will their attempts to save themselves and one another matter in the end, or will the kids of Perdido Beach perish in this final power struggle?
There has been a string of cover blurbs that did a great job of outlining the plot in my reviews lately. This one is another.
I wrote about this book a few weeks ago in my Waiting on Wednesday post because I was excited to see how the series would be concluded. It so far had been one great, crazy ride and the finale did not disappoint. Grant is the type of writer who can take impossible situations and make them seem completely reasonable. Because of this, he was able to take the series into directions that would have seemed absurd in the hands of a less capable writer. This ability is continued in the final installment. Ending a series like this in a way that is satisfying, yet still respects the plot and character progression is tricky. I had no idea how he would pull it off, but he managed to wrap up every storyline completely.
Whenever I read science fiction, I’m reminded of the quote from Jane Austen Book Club: “Science fiction books have people in them, but they’re not about the people.” Though this is certainly true of many in the genre, this series is just as much about the characters as the action. The characters are not a cypher for the audience or a tool to keep the action moving; rather the action is a way to guide the characters’ development. Told from many points of view, each character has his or her own complete story of growing up and dealing with life in the FAYZ. Not every story ends well, not every character makes the right choice, but each character’s motivations and thoughts and feelings are very clear.
The setting is just as much a living character as the people are. With Grant’s descriptions, it’s so easy to picture the dome, the city, the mutants, and destruction. By choosing to set it in a coastal California town, he was also able to use the geological advantage of including a beach, desert, forest, and lake, all of which provide different locations appropriate for different occurrences in the plot. He created a world that was perfect for his story.
Grant’s writing style is straightforward, but also very pretty at times. I had a difficult time choosing a favorite line because there were so many powerfully written sentences. He is able to write both action and internal and external dialogue with equal ability. I was also impressed with his ability to write from the perspective of characters of different genders, races, and sexual orientations with equal capability.
Mutants, super powers, aliens, this book is filled with all kinds of crazy, awesome features.
There were heroes in the FAYZ…And there were villains. Most of us were a bit of both.
Read This If You Like:
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Pure by Julianna Baggott
Release Date: November 3rd 2011
Publisher: Domino INK
From the book jacket:
~ Forty Billion Reasons to Kill
By this time in her life, Maggie Fender expected to be on her way to law school. Instead she’s far from any degree, waiting tables to support her teenage half-brother and their ailing father. With early onset Alzheimer’s, her father’s lucid moments are few and unpredictable.
Her brother’s legal defense for felony hacking charges strained their finances to a snap. In spite of the conviction, he claims he was framed. But now that he’s on parole, he also claims their father is sending them messages.
Maggie’s tired of the struggle, but she’s everybody’s legal guardian. Slowing down will lead to disaster. She can hustle. Or face financial ruin.
This isn’t the life she envisioned.
In the news, disgraced hedge fund manager Patty O’Mara awaits trial for bilking investors out of forty billion dollars. The legendary dark pool wizard offered phenomenal profits until the SEC examined his books. Then they discovered O’Mara didn’t make any legitimate trades on the market.
O’Mara ran his hedge fund the way Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff ran theirs. It was all a fraud.
One wealthy investor rallies the troop of irate victims by hiring a noted private investigator to find the missing pot of gold. A Russian mobster, out thirty million in cash, prefers to search for the money alone and without witnesses. Their competing efforts sift the same set of facts.
So why are they interested in Maggie Fender’s incoherent father?
While SEC officials try to rebuild credibility for allowing the financial scandal to rage unchecked, the private investigator and the Russian mobster vie to answer a solitary question:
What happened to all that money?
I really can’t write anything that would explain it better than the synopsis above.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve read a crime thriller and I really enjoyed this one. The plot was complicated, but very well put together. When it wrapped, there were no loose ends. It was full of action, but the plotting and characters were also well-written. I especially enjoyed that the mystery was so personal to the characters. This wasn’t simply an FBI agent or detective solving a crime. This was a story of characters for whom solving this mystery was vital to their lives and it really upped the stakes.
There are so many different characters and alternating viewpoints in this story that it’s hard to really focus on one. Maggie is the primary focus of the story, but there are many intertwining narratives. Hanson did an excellent job of jumping from viewpoint to viewpoint while still maintaining each one’s separate characterization. They each have their own story and their own voice. It brings more of a depth to the mystery, especially since it is so involved.
I didn’t find the setting to be a particularly large part of the story. There were some nice descriptions of the beach, but the book could have easily taken place in any number of settings and still made sense. I suppose the only real advantage to setting it in San Francisco bay area was the proximity to Silicon Valley.
The one issue I really noticed with the writing was a fair number of typos. There were times when things were spelled incorrectly (including one character’s name) or an extra word was added to or missing from a sentence. It could have benefited from a look over by a good copy editor. Aside from that, I found the style to really fit the subject matter. It was straight-forward and quick to read. The dialogue (often a pet peeve of mine) was really well done and sounded natural.
Computer hacking was a big part of this mystery and it was done in such a neat way.
I also loved the mentions of the Fender’s beagles, since I am a beagle owner myself.
My time is my time and now it’s closing.
Read This If You Like:
The Blue Nowhere by Jeffery Deaver
The Rope by Nevada Barr
Death on Demand by Carolyn Hart
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review. I did not receive any compensation for this review. All opinions here are my own.
Throwback Thursday is a series of posts where I feature books I loved as a kid or teen. This week’s selection is:
Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan
Kit Gordy sees Blackwood Hall towering over black iron gates, and she can’t help thinking, This place is evil. The imposing mansion sends a shiver of fear through her. But Kit settles into a routine, trying to ignore the rumors that the highly exclusive boarding school is haunted.
Then her classmates begin to show extraordinary and unknown talents. The strange dreams, the voices, the lost letters to family and friends, all become overshadowed by the magic around them. When Kit and her friends realize that Blackwood isn’t what it claims to be, it might be too late.
I remember this book being the one that spawned my love of boarding school stories. It also includes several more of my literary loves: kids with paranormal talents, nefarious authority figures, and a creepy mystery. I remember this book being genuinely scary. It’s hard to find books as an adult that gave me the creeps the way so many children’s books can.
I’m starting a new recurring series here at Quintessentially Bookish today. There are so many great libraries out there that have innovative services, unique buildings, or special collections, but peope who don’t live near them or subscribe to library publications might not be aware of their existence. I’m going to be periodically featuring libraries that are particularly interesting in some way. The parameters are pretty loose; if I come across a library I think would be great to share, I will. So, keep tabs on the Library Love tag for future posts.
For this inaugural post, I’ll be talking about The National Park Service Libraries. American Libraries Magazine contained a great feature on NPS libraries this month. If you don’t subscribe, you can read the article online here. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that, until reading the article, I wasn’t really aware of the great number of fascinating libraries NPS contains. I suppose when visiting that I, like many others I’m sure,visited the parks more for their natural beauty than for the materials offered. However, I will definitely be looking for the libraries on my next vacation.
The NPS website has a section for their library service on their website. Here you can find links to all the library locations, contact the service desk, search the catalogs, and find more information regarding the libraries. Here are a few that I am hoping to be able to visit soon.
Within the Library itself are over 35,000 book and periodical titles dating from 1536 to the present, 50,000 pieces of ephemera, over 3000 maps and charts covering the Pacific Basin and the West Coast of the United States dating from 1850 to the present, audio, and video materials in multiple formats.
50,000 pieces of ephemera! Titles dating back to 1536! Doesn’t that just sound amazing? In addition to this library collection, the museum on the park grounds also contains an archival collection of papers, recordings, and photos from seafarers throughout the American history, and thousands of items from sailors, including dozens of historic vessels.
As a national archive devoted to educating people about the contributions of First Ladies and other notable women in history, the Library’s holdings fill an informational void that has long frustrated academicians and armchair history buffs alike. The Library fulfills this mission by serving as a physical educational facility and an electronic virtual library, in an effort to educate people in the United States and around the world.
Many of America’s First Ladies have contributed greatly to our country’s well-being, but their accomplishments are often forgotten in the shadow of their presidential husbands. It’s wonderful that this park and library is so dedicated to educating people about these women and what they did. Their collection includes such items as photos, artifacts and videos from the First Ladies, books by and about them, and research papers about them.
The Yosemite Research Library, maintained by the museum, is a research resource with some 10,000 books relevant to Yosemite, as well as photographs and articles…The Yosemite Archives, located in El Portal, contains National Park Service records, personal papers, manuscript collections, and oral histories.
The Yosemite Museum opened in 1926 and the first National Park Museum. It now includes hundreds of thousands of items. It’s truly amazing what they contain in their collection. For anyone with any interest in archives, history of that area, or National Parks in general, this just seems like a goldmine (and you can even learn about goldmining!)