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Archive for the ‘Thriller’ Category

everlostTeenagers Allie and Nick are traveling in cars that collide head-on and are killed instantly. As they travel down the tunnel towards that proverbial light, they bump into each other, knocking one another into a kind of young adult purgatory  known  as “Everlost”. There are no adults in Everlost because, as one character explains, “even when adults are lost, they seem to believe they know where they are going.” Ha! Maybe they should say that no men are in Everlost? 🙂 Sorry, I digress…Right, there are no adults in Everlost. There are a whole set of rules and dangers in Everlost that they must learn if they are to survive. They must keep moving or they sink into the core of the Earth. No one can interact with the living unless they possess a special power called “skin jacking”. Certain beloved objects can be knocked into Everlost intact–like the World Trade Center–and the children can use them. A monster stalks Everlost known simply as “the McGill”. Nick and Allie traverse this parallel world in search of a way out, but where to? Can they get back to life? To death? This is a really great, fast paced adventure that begins a trilogy that both middle and upper schoolers will enjoy.

(The Skinjacker Trilogy: Everlost, Everwild, Everfound)

Reviewed by Mrs. Archambault

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ambrose“Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body, with a broken neck swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek Bridge.”  Does this quote seem familiar to any of you?  It is a line from Ambrose Bierce’s Civil War era short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” which I read during my GPS days.  Ambrose Bierce was a soldier and author whose disappearance in 1913 has never been solved.  Apparently Bierce’s disappearance was not the only mystery surrounding him.  In Oakley Hall’s novel, Ambrose Bierce and the One-Eyed Jacks, Bierce and his sidekick Tom Redmond solve a couple of mysteries themselves.

Hall’s novel takes place in San Francisco in the spring of 1891.  In this picturesque city, there are sinister goings on- child labor, child slavery, missing women, blackmail, and of course, murder.  Bierce and Redmond are reporters working at William Hearst’s newspaper, the San Francisco Examiner, and Hearst ask them to investigate some missing photography plates.  The search for the missing plates leads Bierce and Redmond into the world of Chinese gangs, prostitution, and corrupt British sailors.  One-Eyed Jacks explores the underbelly of San Francisco, which contains all of the seedy elements that make a good mystery.

Fans of both mystery and historical fiction will like this read, and for those who do like One-Eyed Jacks, I would recommend a couple of other sleuthing authors found in Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson and Dan Simmons’ Crook Factory, along with Hall’s other Bierce novels.

Ms. Harvey ’97
Current Practicum Student~University of Tennessee’s School of Information Science working in the Holland Library

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On the eve of World War II the United States Navy introduces its newest, most up-to-date, sophisticated submarine. The crew has been assembled. The majority of  tests have been done and the Squalus has passed with flying colors. Minor problems have been fixed and all is ready for its first ever deep sea dive in the Northern Atlantic. However, when the sub begins its descent to 200 feet, the main intake valve sticks open and the submarine floods and sinks to the ocean floor with all hands on board. One man, one submariner, has prepared all  his Navy career for this exact moment. He is Charles “Swede” Momsen, a man who previously stood by watching as two subs sank and rescue was impossible, watching as their entire crews perished. Now Momsen is ready. The Terrible Hours is the story of his ingenuity, drive and determination to rescue the Squalus’ crew at all cost. Maas describes the harrowing hours of the crew in the sunken sub, their families waiting with prayer and hope, and the rescue team fighting rough seas, broken cables and time. This nail-biter isn’t to be missed.

 

Reviewed by Mrs. Vaughn

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Chip Linton, an airline pilot, ditches his crippled passenger plane into Lake Champlain after a bird strike; 39 passengers and crew are killed. Chip now suffers post traumatic stress disorder and can no longer fly. To help recuperate and restart their lives, Chip, his wife and 10-year old twin daughters move to an old Victorian house in New Hampshire where the basement reveals a door long sealed shut with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts. Thirty-nine passengers, thirty-nine carriage bolts. Chip becomes obsessed with what is behind the door that is so securely sealed. Meanwhile his wife notices that the women in their new town are also obsessed with herbs of all kinds as well as her twin daughters. A great Halloween read!

 

Reviewed by Mrs. Vaughn

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Snow, wind, relentless cold and the need to survive in a government controlled society are but a few of the obstacles Willo must overcome to find  out where he belongs. When his family disappears from the mountain where they have sought refuge from government controlled settlements, Willo sets out to find them and return to the clean air, fresh meat, and relative comfort of living in the forest. Along the way he discovers that his father was not who he said he was and that people in the settlement are seeking to find Willo and bring him to safety. Government soldiers are doing everything in their power to make sure that doesn’t happen. After the Snow is full of nail-biting adventure and the consequences of too much government involvement in the lives of people faced with a crisis.

 

Reviewed by Mrs. Vaughn

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Are you looking for something really good to fill the void left by your last favorite book? If you’re in the mood for a dark page-turner with a plot that twists and turns like the world’s most sinister roller coaster ride, then “Gone Girl” is the book for you. Amy and Nick seemingly have it all. They’re young journalists living the NYC lifestyle and are enjoying their new marriage until they are laid off and family obligations require Nick to move back to his hometown, a small town in Missouri. Living in a rented McMansion with absolutely no character and that Amy absolutely detests, all appears to be going well until the day of their fifth anniversary when Amy goes missing. Through her diary entries, we learn that things are not always as they appear. Do we ever truly know the person we marry? Where is Amy and if Nick did kill her, as all evidence seems to point, then why??? There is SO MUCH to discuss here, I’m recommending this for our next faculty book club read. Most definitely for adult or mature readers.

Reviewed by Mrs. Archambault

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Divergent fans, hang on to your hats because you will not be disappointed with this second installment of the trilogy. *Disclaimer: as a librarian at an all girls’ school, I love a good story with a strong female hero. This one fits the bill.* The story picks up right where the first left off. This futuristic society is left reeling after the Erudite ( intellectual) faction has used a sort of mind control to use the Dauntless (fearless tattooed warriors) to essentially wipe out the selfless Abnegation who ruled their society’s government. Our hero, Tris, is shaken after seeing many of her friends and family killed in battle and she and her boyfriend Tobias have found temporary shelter with the peace-loving Amity. You will enjoy this roller coaster story as Roth does a great job helping you experience both the physical and psychological challenges that the characters endure. Can Tris and Tobias’ love overcome the conflict? Can murder in the name of survival be forgiven, even if it is your best friend who killed your loved one? Just how many Divergent are there among the factions and how have they come to be? I recommend this series for older readers who don’t mind a darker, sometimes violent story a la Hunger Games. It’s a page turner and I’m anxiously awaiting the final installment, coming sometime in 2013.

If you’re interested, a good fan site for the trilogy is here.

 

Reviewed by Mrs. Archambault

 

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