Saturday, April 30, 2011

Nick of Time by Tim Downs

Nick of Time by Tim Downs is the fourth Bug Man novel.
The plot of this book centers around the upcoming wedding of forensic entomologist Nick Polchak to Alena Savard. Nick is unsure about the business of preparing for a wedding, so when his friend Pete invites him to Philadelphia the week before his wedding, Nick goes without question. Shortly after his arrival, Nick becomes involved in the murder investigation of a friend, and he finds himself immersed in a case without giving a thought to poor Alena waiting for him back home. Alena does not know if Nick has simply gone missing, or if he is running from her. Alena heads after him, and she and Nick both find themselves in a situation neither had bargained for. Will there still be a wedding when everything is sorted out?

Nick of Time is a great novel, filled with suspense, plot twists, and murder investigations. Not to mention a wedding thrown in as well. The plot kept me on my toes, and when I reached the final huge finale of a plot twist, I was floored. The novel was written well, and the characters were usually believable. There were a couple of instances that did not seem real. I enjoyed Nick's quirky personality immensely, and his dialogue with the other characters was hilarious. The forensic aspects of the novel were intriguing and indicated that a lot of work had been put into researching the different areas which were mentioned. This was the first Bug Man Series novel which I had ever read, but I was able to follow the plot and storyline very well even though it was the fourth book in the series. Nick of Time by Tim Downs was a splendid read, and I am planning on reading the first three Bug Man novels and definitely the fifth one. I cannot wait!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Phoenix

The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences: Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris is an intense novel filled with steampunk goodness and swashbuckling adventures. The book is slam packed with action, excitement, and mystery. The dialogue between main characters Wellington Books and Eliza Braun is steamy and brisk, and it really enlivened the story for me. The novel ended with a bang, however at the same time it was sweet. I was hoping for a little more between Braun and Books in the last chapter, but I did enjoy how the novel ended. The cogs and contraptions were intriguing, and the antagonists dreadfully evil. Even then, the book still ended as a cliffhanger since there seems to be several bigger enemies behind the Ministry's defeated foes.

I enjoyed reading the Phoenix Rising immensely, and I look forward with bated breath for the release of the next Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences so that I can tie up some of the cliffhangers from the first novel.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No He Can't by Kevin McCullough

No He Can't by Kevin McCullough is about how Barack Obama, whose campaign was all about building hope and change in America, is in fact dismantling those attitudes through his policies and decisions.
The book is broken into several parts, each examining Barack's role and goverment style in a specific area. The first part is about the economy and how Barack's decisions have actually worsened our economy instead of fullfilling the promises he made during his campaign.
The second part is about national security and Barack's role in decreasing its effectiveness. The third part discusses civil rights and how Barack has played a part in the decrease of ethics and rights in American society. The final part of the book focuses on how we are to treat Barack Obama as Christians and Americans and what ways we can help fix these problems in America.

No I Can't was a well written book which clearly expounded the author's views. Kevin McCullough was intentional in his writing, and he presented his facts and material well. I felt that the book was challenging to the American in its content. I also did not always agree with his attitude towards President Obama. Sometimes the author seemed disrespectful of the president's authority. The book was clearly presented from a conservative viewpoint, but I did appreciate that the author also was not afraid to critique other conservatives on views that also did not seem right. In summary I found No I Can't to be a powerful read which clearly expresses a well thought out and evidence based view.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Heart of Ice Review

This past month I read a really intriguing book called Heart of Ice by Lis Wiehl. The book is the third book in a series called The Triple Threat. In Heart of Ice the reader is immediately introduced to a pyschopathic killer who lives under the alias Elizabeth Avery. Elizabeth seems to the rest of the world to simply be a normal, fit and active woman who works and lives just like the rest of the world. She is, however, a manipulative person who uses other people to further her own goals. When Elizabeth murders a young intern, the case is quickly brought to the attention of the Triple Threat Club: Special FBI agent Nicole Hedges, crime reporter Cassidy Shaw, and Federal prosecutor Allison Pierce. These three women are unaware of who the killer is, and they have no idea the proximity this woman has to their own lives and feelings. I found the Heart of Ice to be a very suspenseful novel. Since the reader already was aware of who the killer was, there was not that sense of mystery and suspense. However, I was gripped throughout the book wondering with bated breath whether the Triple Threat Club would figure out who the killer was before it was too late. The author also did a good job creating events in the story that one did not realize were interconnected until far later in the book. The plot moved well, and I enjoyed watching the members of the Triple Threat Club grow and overcome their own problems at the same time as the overall plot was laid out. There was some description, but it did not overwhelm the overall story. One message I received from the novel was to be careful of the people you allow to influence your life. Make sure you know the person before you give them control over some aspect of your life. Another message I gleaned from Heart of Ice was to trust God when circumstances occur in your life which you cannot control. I saw this message not because a certain character followed that advice, but because they did not trust God and instead tried to survive trusting only in themselves. I thought the book had some good messages, but I did feel when I completed the novel that more mention of God and His workings through life would have made the story feel more whole and complete. The only Christian character in the book does pray for the problems her friends face, but I feel there was opportunity for her to have been more open with her faith and that witnessing would have fit well the mood of the scene at that time. Overall, I felt the Heart of Ice was very entertaining, was written well, and contained some beneficial themes.