Aug 29, 2013

Deeply Odd

Deeply Odd (Odd Thomas, #6)Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Perhaps the Oddest Odd book yet. Annamaria, Tim and Odd are staying in a quiet coastal town in California. When Odd goes to the store he encounters a mysterious rig that draws Odds attention. The Rhinestone Cowboy who owns the rig attacks Odd and he gets a glimpse of three kidnapped children the Cowboy plans to kill. Odd sits out to follow the cowboy and save the children.

Along the way he receives a ride from a feisty old lady, Mrs Fischer, who knows much about Odd and his mission and is able to be of immense help. Alfred Hitchcock will offer instructions that save Odd's life and Odd finally understands why Boo is with him.

The immensity of evil and the devil worshiping cult that has kidnapped 17 children to kill lead Odd to despair but as always Good triumphs over evil.

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Aug 22, 2013

Oryx and Crake

Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy, #1)Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jimmy now known as Snowman believes himself to be the last human on Earth. He recounts his youth and how he meet the genius Crake in school, and chronicles their friendship and Crake's obsession with the game MaddAddam involving extinct animals. Jimmy also becomes fixated on a kiddie porn star Oryx.

Jimmy's Mom abandons her family to crusade against the scientist who locked safely in their compounds are playing God with peoples and animals lives. Jimmy's Mom also seems to have a relationship with Crake that Jimmy is unaware of.

After graduation Jimmy and Crake part ways. Crake goes off to a prestigious school for scientist whereas Jimmy barely makes it into a third rate school for those interested in Literature and Art. After they graduate Crake's star rises high and he is able to write his own ticket at Paradice. Meanwhile Jimmy is stuck doing ad work for a mediocre compound. Then Jimmy's Mother is captured and killed for treason. Crake arrives on Jimmy's doorstep and offers him a job working on ad's at Paradice.

Crake is working on two projects the first is engineered humanoids "Crake's children" who he intends to replace humans and the second is a pill BlyssPluss that is suppose to enhance libido and protect against STD's, Crake fails to disclose that it makes it's users sterile and that he has planted a super virus in it that will wipe out mankind. Crake has also recruited Oryx (who he hired as a prostitute) to teach the Children of Crake. Jimmy believing Crake to be in love with Oryx tries to resist his feelings for her but Oryx seduces him and they begin a secret affair.

Forced to travel back to Paradice to seek food and other supplies Jimmy leaves the Children of Crake at the beach where he lead them with instructions until he returns. While at Paradice he gets a piece of glass in his foot and it has become infected. He also relives the last days at Paradice after the plague broke out and how he killed Crake. He returns to the Children of Crake and discovers that they have created an image of Snowman and have been praying for his safe return. They also tell him more people like him have come by. The book ends with him going to hunt the people like him.

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Aug 18, 2013

Whiskey Beach

Whiskey BeachWhiskey Beach by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Eli's soon to be ex-wife is killed and he is the number one suspect. After his Grandmother takes a tumble down the stairs at Bluff House, Eli agrees to house sit while she is recuperating in Boston. Soon his relationship with Abra takes a romantic turn but the darkness followed him from Boston. Someone is breaking into Bluff House and digging a tunnel in the basement, the PI hired to shadow Eli turns up dead and the Boston Cop Wolfe comes to Whiskey Beach to harass Eli. Together Eli and Abra come up with a plan to unmask the killer and a pirate's treasure is discovered.

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Letter To The Editor

I read with amusement Chambers assertion that The Bible was an authentic historical document.  Numerous scholarly works have shown that there is nothing “authentic” about the Bible we know today. 

There are a staggering 14,800 differences from today's Bible and the oldest known Bible, the "Sinai Bible” found in the British Library.

Historical documents reveal that in 1415 the Church of Rome tried to destroy all knowledge of two second century Jewish books that it said contained the true name of Jesus Christ, "Mar Yesu" and the book of Elxai.  Pope Alexander VI ordered all copies of the Talmud destroyed. We can only wonder why the Roman Church felt so threatened by these books.

Historical documents also reveal that in 1607 King James I had the Bible re-written to his personal specifications. 

Which version of the Bible does Chambers believe to be authentic, the “Sinai Bible”, The King James Bible, The Jefferson Bible, The Queen James Bible? Who gets to choose which Bible is the authentic version you should put your faith in?

Uneducated Christians choose to ignore sound historical research, fight tooth and nail to keep sound Science out of our schools (Evolution and Climate Change), and even though Mississippi has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies in our Nation refuse to allow Comprehensive Sex Education Classes be taught in our schools. They are contributing to the ills in our society by refusing to accept reality and insisting that we all join them in la la land.

Aug 17, 2013

Going Down

Going DownGoing Down by John Tuepker
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Some of the information in the book was erroneous for example on page 627-628 Tuepker says "For a brief moment there was a rough plan to re-route the railroad about 10 miles north, going generally through woods, marsh and farmland" This was incorrect the land in question contained peoples HOMES. Homes that did not have flood or wind damage from Hurricane Katrina. The land in question in Jackson County was mainly suburban HOMES on 1 - 5 acres of land. In Harrison County the land would have affected an area where a large number of minorities owned homes. And none of us wanted to listen to a noisy railroad any more then Mr. Tuepker did and unlike Mr. Tuepker we did not purchase homes close to a railroad track. The people who tried to relocate the railroad tracks were mainly the rich with beachfront mansions that wanted to make the inconveniences of the railroad someone else's problem. He also seems unaware that in Jackson County the land the Railroad is located on is not owned by the railroad but exist by a prescriptive easement. This means if there is any attempt to cease the use of these tracks by the railroad the land will be returned to the heirs of this property. To be fair the consulting firm of DMJM Harris who was hired by MDOT to come up with an alternate route for the railroad were using outdated maps and at some of the earlier meetings insisted that there were no homes in the path of the railroad, until residents from Latimer showed them on their map our homes that were right smack dab in the middle of the new route (WHICH OF COURSE ADDED TO THE COST OF THE ROUTE). I blogged about this issue here  Porkbusters also did several pieces on it, and there were several Letters to The Editor in the local paper, I am not sure how Mr. Tuepker missed those.

I am actually a fan of public transportation and often make use of it when I travel. I do think he needs to consider several things. ONE our climate is not remotely like Oregon's. Expecting people to walk in torrential downpours and heat and humidity isn't realistic. Washington DC has tunnels for you to walk in so you don't have to deal with the weather, but because of our high water table tunnels wouldn't be feasible here. Secondly we are very spread out and plans for public transport would have to factor this in. WE DO HAVE A PUBLIC BUS SYSTEM SOME OF WHICH HAVE BICYCLE RACKS.

I enjoyed the part of the book that was autobiographical some of the info was dated as the book was written before the Presidential Election and he spends a lot of time talking about the candidates. And like lots of people of my parents generation he spends a lot of time ranting about the changes that have taken place since the 1950s.

As a victim of Hurricane Katrina, I was surprised he didn't mention the need for All Perils Insurance as championed by former Congressman Gene Taylor (D).

He also advocates a luxury sales tax on some items, but as his list of items demonstrate it is patently unfair. He thinks makeup should be taxed at 20%. Since he is a man I am sure he doesn't use makeup and apparently sees no need for anyone else to do so. Never mind that most of today's makeup contains UV protection that helps prevent skin cancer. He also list cell phones as a luxury item completely oblivious that some families have chosen to do away with their land lines.

It was an interesting read.

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Aug 14, 2013

Delusion in Death

Delusion in Death (In Death, #35)Delusion in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As always Eve delivers. When patrons of a local bar go berserk and kill one another Eve is determined to capture the mastermind responsible before he strikes again. But before she can get a handle on the situation a nearby cafe suffers an attack. Thankfully the police arrive on the scene and are able to stun the berserk patrons of the Cafe before to many are killed but Eve redoubles her resolve to find the killer.

Summerset tells her of a cult "The Red Horse" and their leader that killed in a similar manner during the Urban Wars. With that info she is able to narrow the list of suspects and zeroes in on the killer. Believing he acted alone they announce his arrest to the media. To late they discover his Grandmother is alive and is the true mastermind behind the killings.

Now the Grandmother has taken a hostage and is determined to kill others to obtain her goal of freeing her Grandson, but as always Eve and Roarke are ready to take her down.

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Aug 12, 2013

Odd Interlude

Odd Interlude: A Special Odd Thomas AdventureOdd Interlude: A Special Odd Thomas Adventure by Dean Koontz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Really hope that Dean Koontz will write some books featuring Jolie and Ed. I love Jolie's character.

When Odd and Annamaria arrive in Harmony Corner, Odd soon realizes that odd disharmony rules the family compound. Jolie reveals that her family's minds are being controlled by the mad scientist Norris Hiskott. By visiting a secret underground culvert she is able to evade Hiskott's mind control. She believes the underground culvert was used as an escape hatch by the scientist at Ft. Wyvern. She has discovered a unique mummified corpse in the culvert that she refers to as Orc, but is unable to go further into the underground compound.

While Odd goes to kill Hiskott, Ed arranges for Jolie to come further into the compound and reveals that Hiskott injected himself with alien DNA. With Ed's remote assistance Odd is able to defeat Hiskott and restore harmony to Harmony Corner.

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Aug 10, 2013

The Curse

The Curse (Belador #3)The Curse by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved it.

Evalle is miffed that Storm was nursed back to health by Adrianna, but Storm is equally miffed when he sees Evalle kissing Isak. Isak now knows that Evalle is an Alterant, luckily for Evalle his Mother Kit stopped him from killing her and appears to be indulging in some heavy duty match making. To Isak's credit even after finding out that Evalle is an Alterant he loans her the weapon she needs to kill the Svart Trolls.

Quinn is having a really hard time. He feels guilty over accidentally betraying Evalle's whereabouts to Kizira. He unburdens himself to Tzader who orders him not to tell Evalle or anyone else. Tzader and Quinn try to use Quinn's link to Kizira to uncover what the Medb coven are up to. Quinn's cousin, Lanna, has also shown up. Lanna is fleeing from a wizard and manages to get kidnapped by the Trolls along with the twins Evalle is friends with. Lanna manages to use a cell phone to get in touch with Quinn and between her and a Belador prisoner they are able to help Isak and Viper find the prisoners before the Trolls start feeding on them. Quinn does a mind like with the Troll Lieutenant and discovers that this was a diversion and that the strongest Trolls are attacking Brina.

In order to protect Brina Evalle has to turn into her beast form. She saves Brina's life but believes that everyone including Storm is repulsed by her beast form. And Brina is working over time to make Tzader jealous.

Cathbad forces Tristan to evolve into a Gryphon. Evalle and Storm kiss and make up, now Evalle is ready to start tracking Tristan in order to rescue him and his sister.

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Aug 8, 2013

The Eagle and The Wolves

The Eagle and the Wolves (Eagle, #4)The Eagle and The Wolves by Simon Scarrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Macro and Cato are on the mend and they have been left in Calleva to train two cohorts of Atrebatans to protect the supply lines from Durotrigan raiders. Cato gets off on the wrong foot with Prince Artax and never truly sees him as the honorable man he is. This has serious consequences later in the book.

Prince Tincommius on the other hand goes out of his way to make himself agreeable to Macro and Cato. Oddly enough Macro is suspicious of him and keeps him in his own cohort (The Boars) where he can keep an eye on him Since Cato speaks some Celtic he becomes closer to the men in his cohort (The Wolves).

King Verica chooses Artax as his successor and emphasis how important the relationship with Rome is for their tribe. Artax agrees to keep the alliance with Rome. Meanwhile General Plautius fearing the Atrebatans aren't as loyal as they pretend to be sends Tribune Quintillus to Calleva to find out what the situation really is. Quintillus has the power to annex Calleva if he deems it necessary and rule as it's Governor. Needless to say Quintillus tries to stir up trouble to justify annexing Calleva, but he stirs up more trouble then he bargained for.

Bedriacus (the standard bearer for the Wolves) overhears a plot to assassinate King Verica and comes to tell Cato, but before he can he is stabbed. Cato suspects Artax and has him imprisoned but Quintillus demands that he be released. King Verica arranges a hunt for Boer and while they are hunting someone tries to kill him. Cato comes upon a wounded Tincommius who claims that Artax attacked the King. Cato rushes to King Verica's aid and see Artax standing over him with a club. While Artax is trying to explain to the rather thick Cato what happened Tincommius arrives and kills Artax. King Verica is rushed back to Calleva, where he lingers in a coma.

Quintillus orders the two cohorts to ride to the aid of a supply wagon they see burning, too late Cato realizes it is a trap. Quintillus takes the opportunity to flee for help and goes to seek Legate Vespasian's aid. Cato, Macro and the few survivors of the ambush retreat to Calleva. Tincommius arrives at the gates and demands that Calleva surrender to his allies the Durotrigans. He also claims the Romans killed King Verica.

The Romans and the Atrebatans loyal to King Verica make a heroic stand in the royal compound. When they refuse to surrender Tincommius brings the captured Roman prisoners to the walls and breaks their legs and arms one by one. Cato can't stand the brutality and begs Macro to do something, but Macro replies the only thing they can do is remain calm. When Figulus(who is a favorite with the Wolves) is brought forward to be tortured Cato uses the opportunity to turn the Atrebatans against Tincommius. King Verica regains consciousness and is brought to the wall where he tells everyone that it was Tincommius who tried to kill him. Cato leads a charge and rescues the prisoners and captures Tincommius. But the Durotrigans quickly overrun the compound but before the Romans are defeated Vespasian arrives with reinforcements.

Once he realizes that Tincommius was telling the truth about Caratacus coming, Vespasian orders a retreat to his legion. But before they can reach them they are surrounded by Caratacus. Vespasian opts to make a stand on a hill and before they can be overrun General Plautius arrives. Caratacus flees from the superior troop force. They march back to Calleva, Quintillus is named Governor and Cato is order to disarm the Wolves.

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Aug 5, 2013

Celebrity in Death

Celebrity in Death (In Death, #34)Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When K. T. Harris (the actress who is playing Peabody in the movie adaption of Nadine's book) is murdered at a dinner party both Eve and Peabody are a guest at they have numerous suspects to choose from. Seems K. T. Harris was blackmailing practically everyone at the party.

Then the P.I. Harris hired turns up dead and Eve starts thinking that the killer might be used to using murder to solve problems. Once she delves into his past she comes up with 7 cold cases she can link him too. Now she just has to get the proof.

Feeling the heat the killer sets Julian (actor playing Roarke) up to take the fall and commit suicide while he enjoys a nice dinner with a friend. But Nadine realizes what the killer is up to and gets to Julian in time to save his life.

Now Eve has all she needs to nail the killer for multiple counts of murder.

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Aug 1, 2013

The Witness

The WitnessThe Witness by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great, at 16 Liz sneaks out with an older "friend" to go clubbing. They are hit on by two members of the Russian Mob. Julie pressures Liz into accompanying her to Alexi's house. Liz goes out on the balcony for some fresh air and witnesses Alexi and Julie being murdered. She barely manages to escape. The copes take her into protective custody and she is being protected by U.S. Marshalls until the Russian Mob hit men and Kingpin's son can stand trial.

John and Terry (The U.S. Marshalls that are with her during the day) take her under their wings. John teaches her how to shoot a gun and Terry teaches her self defense. But on her 17th birthday the relief Marshalls arrive intent on killing Liz, John and Terry. When Terry opens the door she realizes something is wrong and has time to warn John, who fatally wounded manages to make it to Liz's room where she was trying on their birthday gifts to her. He tells her to run and trust no one. His heroic last stand allows her to escape.

Now Liz/Abigail is starting a new life in a small Arkansas town, but falling in love with the town Sheriff complicates her life. She eventually reveals her past to him and they concoct a plan to bring the Russian Mob down so she can stop running.

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