Apr 28, 2016

Private Paris (Private, #10)

Private Paris (Private, #10)Private Paris by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jack is visiting Private's Office in Paris when an important client calls asking him to help his granddaughter who is messed up with some very dangerous people. Even though she doesn't seem to want Jack's help, he persist in tracking her down and eventually rescues her from the drug lord who is holding her captive.

Private is also asked to help the police with several serial killings of prominent French citizens. The only clue is the tag left behind AB-16. Soon it begins to look as if AB-16 is a Muslim Terrorist cell out to destroy France and it's proud heritage. But Jack soon unmask the mastermind behind the group. A soldier who plans to use the outrage over AB-16 to commit atrocities against Muslim Immigrants and drive them out of France.

View all my reviews

Apr 17, 2016

The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time, #1)

The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time, #1)The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A cross between Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones without the sex.

Bel Tine brings several strangers to Two Rivers, the mysterious Moiraine (Aes Sedai-a woman who can wield the One Power, all the male Aes Sedai are believed to be dead or mad) and Lan (Warder, think Ranger like Aragorn in Lord of The Rings) Thom Merrilin (a traveling storyteller known as a gleeman) and Padan Fain (a traveling peddler) all seem interested in three young village boys; Rand, Perrin and Mat. Due to rumors of trouble Rand and his Father (Tam) leave for home early but are attacked by Trollocs while they are eating supper. To Rand's surprise Tam retrieves a sword, that he supposedly bought and holds the Trollocs off, after ordering Rand to hide in the woods. Rand finds Tam badly injured and mumbling about finding a babe on the battlefield. Rand manages to drag Tam to town, only to find the town in chaos after being attacked by another band of Trollocs. The Wisdom (Nynaeve al'Meara) is unable to help him, so Rand goes to Moiraine for help and she heals his Father. Moiraine also reveals that the Trollocs are after Rand, Perrin and Mat and insist they leave with her and Lan for Tar Valon. Rand's girlfriend Egwene insist on coming too, and Thom also insist on joining them. Nynaeve tracks them down intent on bringing the children back to Two River's but is soon convinced that Moiraine is telling the truth about the Trollocs, Fades and other agents of the Dark One being after them, but insist on staying with them.

Desperate for shelter from the Trollocs the band take refuge in Shadar Logoth, but unwisely Mat, Perrin and Rand sneak off to explore the city. They awaken Mordeth who leads them to treasure. Sensing danger they flee, but unbeknownst to Rand and Perrin, Mat pockets a parasitic dagger. Mashadar is unleashed, so when the group is forced to flee Shadar Logoth before morning both the Trollocs and Mashadar are after them, the group becomes separated fleeing the city.

Mat, Rand and Thom find passage on a boat headed to Whitebridge. Thom convinces everyone that Mat and Rand are apprentice gleemen (storytellers) and they pay for their passage to Whitebridge with the coins Moiraine gave them making it impossible for her to track them from a distance. When a Fade shows up in Whitebridge looking for them Thom instructs Mat and Rand to flee while he attacks the Fade. They believe Thom died attacking the Fade but follow his instructions to head to the Queen's Blessing in Caemlyn where they hope the others will find them if they are alive. Before they get there they are approached by the Dark One's agents and Rand is forced to use the One Power (without realizing it) to escape with Mat. Once they reach the Queen's Blessing an increasingly paranoid Mat will not leave their room. Seeking companionship Rand visits the library of the Queen's Blessing and meets Loial (a Builder aka an Ogier think Ent from Lord of the Rings). While Rand is exploring the city and hoping to get a look at the False Dragon, he accidentally falls into Queen Morgase's garden and meets the daughter heir (Elayne) and her brother. He is briefly taken prisoner before Queen Morgase decides to release him and hurries back to the Queen's Blessing where he discovers his friends have arrived but the Children of Light are after them.

Perrin and Egwene fell into the river, they are befriended by Elyas and his pack of wolves. Perrin discovers he too is a Wolf Brother. When they are attacked by the Children of Light (think Fundamentalist Christians) , Hopper dies trying to protect Perrin. Perrin and Egwene are taken prisoner. Moiraine, Lan and Nynaeve eventually catch up with them and free them.

Moiraine realizes Mat is under the influence of the parasitic dagger and does what she can to minimize it's influence, before they have to flee. After hearing the boys dreams, a story Perrin and Egwene heard when they were with the (gypsies), and a story of Loial's people Moiraine realizes there is no time to go to Tar Valon. She ask Loial to help them use "The Ways" to reach the Green Man and find the Eye of the World. The Green Man finds them and shows them the Eye of the World. Moiraine reveals that a number of Aes Sedai male and female used their power to create a source of "pure" power that a man could weld even though it cost them their lives. Two of the Forsaken find them. Balthamel is killed by the Green Man when he attacks Nynaeve but he is able to kill the Green Man as he dies. Rand wields the power from the Eye of the World and defeats Aginor he is also able to do serious damage to The Dark One.

Rand (The Dragon Reborn) plans to leave the group while the rest travel on to Tar Valon. Moiraine has the relics they found hidden in the Eye of the World; The banner of the Lord of the Morning, The Horn of Valor (Book 2) and the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai (think the symbol for Yin and Yang) made of Heartstone.

View all my reviews

Apr 1, 2016

The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2)

The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2)The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There was little to no character development and the constant switching back and forth from different people's point of view was disconcerting.I didn't realize this was part of a trilogy, but I don't think not reading the first book in the series had any impact as this book is mainly concerned with the battle of Gettysburg.

The book does a good job of conveying that there were no winners in this War and that everyone lost, I disagree about the inevitability of the war. It also does a good job of showing that the men fighting against each other were often former classmates, close friends, and comrades in the Mexican War.

Freemantle was an Englishman who was observing the War for him it was Grand Entertainment. I found myself wishing that he would get hit by a bullet. His take on the reason for the War. "The Northerner doesn't give a damn for tradition, or breeding, or the Old Country. He hates the Old Country.............the South is the Old Country. They haven't left Europe. They've merely transplanted it. And that's what the war is about."

Various Southerners throughout the book would say they were fighting for State's Rights or Their Rights. The Northerners would claim to be fighting to end slavery, but when confronted by a Negro (the word used in the book) they were repulsed by him and scared of how different he appeared from them.

Robert E. Lee was a tired old man battling heart problems and disheartened by breaking his vow to the United States. "When Virginia left the Union she bore his home away as surely as if she were a ship setting out to sea, and what was left behind on the shore was not his any more. So it was no cause and no country he fought for, no ideal and no justice. He fought for his people, for the children and the kin, and not even the land, because not even the land was worth the war."

Chamberlain was a brave man who was instrumental in the North winning the battle.

Longstreet was disheartened by Lee throwing so many lives away and unable to forgive Lee for not following his advice.

Stuart was instrumental in the South's loss. His failure to provide timely information and his going joy riding at the moment he was needed most lead to Lee not knowing anything about the battlefield or the North's troop deployment. Lee refused to court martial him, although many of the Confederate Officers asked him too.

View all my reviews