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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Reviews

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The US Review of Books connects authors with professional book reviewers and places their book reviews in front of 17,000 subscribers to our free monthly newsletter of fiction book reviews and nonfiction book reviews. Learn why our publication is different than most others, or read author and publisher testimonials about the USR.

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Focus Review
Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea
by Bandi


"Though it was close to midnight, Gyeong-hee sensed hundreds of figures hovering at those windows, peering out like rabbits from their burrows, eyes narrowed in accusation."

Starvation, terror, death—this is the world of people trapped north of the DMZ in a country led beneath the auspices of a single man who will do anything to preserve his fiefdom. And these conditions exist only in the best of favors. For many people, a minor offense, or perceived offense, results in banishment, generational curses, or hard labor—a sentence of sunup to sundown toil, torture, and thirst until a person is literally worked to death. ... (read more)

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A Seasoned Writer

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

UFOs and God
by Michael R. Lane
Bare Bones Press


"I was actually doing well until I heard her voice and all that changed. She resurrected the void in my life. I hated her for that, her and Alexander Graham Bell."

The stories range from a couple of pages to over thirty. They begin with two boys tossing pebbles and making wishes into a well, and they end with a writer awaiting the return of his wife while he contemplates the lives and scenery surrounding him. In between, we have World War II soldiers, a devout believer in UFOs, a man deciding whether to live or die, and many others creating a varied spectrum of characters and settings allowing the reader to slip from one world to the next. The stories themselves are not centered around a single idea or place, but... (read more)

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To Live Again... and Again

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

They'll Never Die
by Don Calmus
Fulton Books


"'Do you fellows want to live as long as civilization on earth exists?' Dalton said in precise unhurried words, while smoothing down his thick crop of silver hair. "

It's the 22nd Century and people no longer need to die—at least that is what John Dalton, a retired billionaire, wants to prove. After convincing his friends, all of whom are also past their prime years and billionaires, to join him, the men seek to clone their DNA while retaining their memory. The Reborn Project, as Dalton calls it, is not only morally questionable, but illegal. Still, the men press on, finding a way to take over the financially strapped IMS (The Institute of Medical Science). After a few missteps, John Daltons' reborn operation is a success and his old memory is placed into a younger clone, JD Dalton. But not everyone is happy about the Reborn Project and soon JD must deal with death threats. ... (read more)

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Is the Honeymoon Over?

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

You and I: The Kate and Robert Chronicles
by Suzanne Eglington
Xlibris


"My Robert showed me his vulnerability, and it was me. I meant so much to him as he did to me."

For Robert and Kate Beckham, the wedding is over and the honeymoon is about to begin. Fresh from their hurried matrimony in Las Vegas, the newlywed Beckhams head to San Diego for some alone time full of relaxation, sightseeing, and plenty of physical intimacy. Focused on her husband—the over-possessive, at times frighteningly intense, madly in love police officer Robert—Kate is interested only in showing her love and passion for her new husband. Pleasant times in San Diego are over in a matter of days, but Kate has her wedding reception followed by an extended honeymoon across the Atlantic to meet Robert's parents to look forward to. In the blink of an eye, the couple are off, and Kate falls in love with the natural beauty of Ireland. ... (read more)

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Pioneer Woman

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Sarah's Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness
by Beverly Scott
Word Project Press


"He was starting a new life. No one knew him here. He had no past, only present, and future."

What if your world was turned upside down because the person you loved and thought you knew kept a secret that could destroy you and your family? Sarah Martin is left confused by her husband's dying words, which in a state of delirium, seemed like he was having an argument with someone. Not thinking anything of it, she instead absorbs her mind with how she's going to raise five children on her own, with no income and in a town where a widow is not welcomed. Later on, when she applies for widow benefits, to support her children, she is denied. She recalls her husband's parting words and slowly peels back their life together for clues. ... (read more)

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The DOXA Method for Self-Understanding

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Passion Spirit Purpose: 3 Formulas to Introduce the DOXA Method to Empower You to Love Your Life
by Ana Weber
Balboa Press


"Every puzzle we encounter, every challenge that calls for our creativity, lets us build part of a new foundation of self-esteem and self-love as we take ownership of our actions and solve the mystery."

In 157 pages, twenty-two chapters, an appendix, and endnotes, the author explores how to grow through a sense of empowerment. The initial chapter, which focuses on using the DOXA way, sets the stage for the rest of the book. DOXA is about Desire, Outstanding, Xing, out the impossible, and Allowing you to be you. This chapter leads to others on mysteries, desire, and living in the now of DOXA. Other chapters include your purpose, intentions, learning and growing, freedom, your metaphorical grocery bag regarding taking an inventory of your day, and a cautionary tale regarding relationships. ... (read more)

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American Heroes

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Other Two Fifths
by Joan Early
W&B Publishers


"There are lots of ways you can make a difference. Men and women devote their lives to fighting injustices. White. Black. Sometimes we are on the same side, you know. Hating the world won't help, but you can help bring justice where inequality prevails."

In 1908, Springfield, Illinois is on edge and race relations fragile. Adelaide Carter, a housemaid for the honorable Judge Fowler, fears for her missing son, Hollis. After tensions boil over, black citizens' safety are at risk, and Hollis may be hurt or worse. Then Adelaide finds out more than she bargained for when she finally learns the truth about Hollis. ... (read more)

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To Live Forever

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Diary of an Immortal (1945 - 1959)
by David J. Castello
Werewolf Publishing


"We'd also heard reports from the hordes of refugees streaming westward towards us about medical experiments and medieval style torture; stories almost too fantastical to believe."

The story is written in first person by Steven Ronson, who begins his tale of being a U.S. Army medic during World War II and experiencing the horrors of Nazi Germany, including the freeing of the Dachau concentration camp. The first chapter sets the stage for a fascinating journey for Steven—from the hell of the war to the beginning of his life as an immortal human being. For when he was in Germany, the troop discovered a treasure trove of Nazi goods in a hideout. While others looted for souvenirs and money, he read about the providence of a box of pills, pills which were meant for Hitler in order to dominate the world with immortal, super Aryan beings. ... (read more)

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Cinematic Suspense

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Karma Code
by Daniel Davidsohn


"One day, when it becomes evident that consciousness survives our bodily reality, our entire manual of existence will be rewritten."

A bleeding man staggers his way through the snow. Constantly looking behind him to see if he’s being chased, he eventually stumbles, falls, and dies. His final words ignite an international chase that will cross countries, continents, and perhaps even centuries. It’s a slam-bang opening for this first-rate action thriller filled with spies, private eyes, and psychics with mystical ties. ... (read more)

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An Epic Thrill Ride

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Gem Connection: A C.J. Cavanaugh Mystery
by Michael Lane
Booklocker


"Besides not buying the story about Renita, she was suspicious about the extent of my involvement in this case. My weakness for children would have been a plausible explanation."

C.J. Cavanaugh is a well known private investigator. C.J. and his partner Renita Harris are hired by a mystery client to solve the murder of Clinton Windell, but they are not allowed to tell anyone about the case. Instead, they assume a false identity, a false job so to speak, to uncover the facts. Windell has not only been brutally murdered in his home, but also was robbed of his uncut gems worth twenty million dollars. Trying to remain anonymous, C.J. and Renita must become creative and think outside the box in order to solve the case. Michael Lane's story takes readers on a thrilling ride filled with excitement, mystery, and suspense. Mystery fans haven't read a story quite like this one. ... (read more)

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Kate and Robert Continue

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

She's Got the Jack: The Kate and Robert Chronicles
by Suzanne Eglington
Xlibris


"He sighed as I looked at the screen full of photos of me. 'What's this?' He answered very monotone, 'My wife in another man's eyes."

At the end of the previous book, Kate and Robert's near-idyllic, passionate whirlwind romance and marriage was struck with family tragedy at the car accident her pregnant sister and brother-in-law were in. This story opens with the joint funeral of this crash that claimed the life of Kevin and Stacey. Just when the situation seems like it can't get any worse, the dark twist that Kevin has been spying on Kate and taking photos of her, chasing after his unrequited love, comes to the surface. Kate and Robert must come... (read more)

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Understanding Others

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Squeaky and the Stinky Mouse
by Sarah Cash
Mountain Arbor Press


"Squeaky had a lot of food in his hole and he knew he should be nice and share, but he did not like how the stinky mouse smelled."

Squeaky was a lucky mouse with a comfortable living hole and great food right outside his door. One morning, Squeaky finds a horribly dirty, terribly hungry, very stinky mouse outside his door that just wanted a few scraps of food. But Squeaky did not like the way the mouse smelled, so he turned him away knowing he had more than enough to share. Later that day, Squeaky went out for his daily food collecting. Although he didn't find any food in his usual spots, he did find a delicious smelling piece of cheese and also found the stinky mouse. ... (read more)

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True Change

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Your Behavior: Understanding and Changing the Things You Do
by Richard H. Pfau
Paragon House


"Knowing that what you perceive is a construct of your brain may help you realize that different people often perceive reality differently. As a result of their differing perceptions, they may act differently. Furthermore, you can change how you view the world, to some extent at least -- a realization that if acted upon, can change your life for the better."

There are many self-help books out there, and many focus on only one aspect of your behavior: Become a more motivated person, find true love, stop overeating, etc. Few books examine the human being as a complex mechanism, and fewer still take the time to understand the underlying causes for our behavior. Your Behavior spends only one chapter on explaining how to change your behavior, with a majority of the book focused on explaining why you act the way you do. The result is a brilliantly organized trove of knowledge that will leave readers with a better understanding of what makes us tick. ... (read more)

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Hero of the Faith

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Conversion of a Vicious Roman Centurion
by Rev. Martin Francis Edior and Ethelinda Edior
LitFire Publishing


"A vicious Roman Soldier became a Christian Soldier preaching the doctrines of Christ with supreme power."

The first question a reader will want to be answered is in the title of Chapter 1: Who was this Roman Centurion? The authors have found a thought-provoking approach to telling the life story of the man who became known as the Apostle Paul. Using text from the Acts of the Apostles, they have created the persona of a cruel Roman who was miraculously converted to Christianity. The eight remaining chapters bring to life the facts behind Paul’s writing of these New Testament books: 1 and 2 Timothy, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, and 1 and 2 Thessalonians. ... (read more)

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Crimes and Healing

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Let's Make Our World Better: How Politics and Religion Stand in the Way
by Warren William Luce
Green Ivy Publishing


"We all hope for a better and peaceful world. Hope springs eternal in the human heart, but we need to understand it is love that will bring it to fruition."

In examining both politics and religion, the book begins with an Introduction, is then divided into two parts: Part I Politics and Part II Religion. Within these two parts are 21 chapters, which are then followed by a Reference Index which is mostly a listing of Biblical references. Part I chapters include our political atmosphere, how to curb terrorism; health care; our national debt; the economy and jobs; and national security. It also examines immigration reform, Social Security, the Postal System, and solutions for the Middle East. Part II focuses on religion as a barrier; the nature of the world; the existence and the nature of God; and the nature of man. The final chapters include as we think so we are; materialism vs. spirituality; those who experience spiritual events; the joy of death; health and healing; and the conclusion. ... (read more)

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Of Men and Spirit

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

God and the gods
by Genesis T. Yengoh
Outskirts Press


"Death celebrations, like other activities, have morphed to reflect the dualism that penetrates the very fabric of social and cultural life in Oku."

The future looks very bright indeed for Nsiemboh Ngoske. Unlike so many of his colleagues, who seem to spend their time looking for ways to leave the job early, he is a dedicated government employee who takes pride in doing his best on a project. Such diligence does not go unnoticed for long, and soon Nsiemboh finds himself rising in the ranks and being given more and more responsibility. As the firstborn son, he also knows his duty to his family, so in addition to providing for his wife and children he generously passes much of his financial gains to his parents and siblings. ... (read more)

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Classy and Romantic

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Go Down Swinging: Erotic Romance for Professional Women
by J. Ellis
J.M. Erickson


"He prefers women over forty-five years old who are articulate, intelligent and bright working professionals in need of attention and fun. Be careful ladies, Jett is addictive and you will want to take him home!"

There is nothing sexier than a well-written adult story. This book has it all: infidelity, sex, emotional drama, soul searching, and revenge. Ellis grasps the reader’s imagination with a gripping, heart-wrenching tale of infidelity, descriptive sex, and emotional torment. The writing is intense and slick with erotically vivid language. ... The novellas’ main character, Carlos, faces the reality of a failing marriage that he thought was built on love, but was in fact build on lust, wealth, and power. After returning early from a business trip to surprise his wife a day before their anniversary, Carlos is devastated when he arrives home and hears his wife, Dr. Jessica Davenport, having sex with another man. He is furious and wants to harm his wife and her lover. ... (read more)

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Understanding Us

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

What is Man
by Rohan and Mohan Perera
World of Ro and Mo


"The Ego is a consciousness, which is created by the great consciousness to extend itself into a new consciousness of the same."

In this engaging text, Sri Lankan twin brothers Rohan (now deceased) and Mohan Per era explicate their philosophy of life and religion. Based on a framework of Christianity, their shared viewpoint also encompasses some Buddhist ideals. The authors believe that since love existed before humanity, it is to this pure love that humans must return through diligent seeking, the development of conscience, and the gradual acquisition of wisdom. In the Pereras’ exploration, they pose several notable questions: Since lust is necessarily selfish, how can it support a marriage dedicated to mutual caring and unselfishness? If religion teaches us to love all equally, why do we teach children to succeed in life by besting others? If science can find the location of thinking—the brain—why has it never found the location or mechanism of loving? The Pereras suggest that the devil tempts our human egos toward selfishness; only through the unconditional love of and from God can we overcome that temptation. ... (read more)

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Awakening

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Digital Now
by Roland Allnach
Tabalt Press


"It was maintenance, maintenance for the Process; Society must go on; Central must go on. The data threads must not be disturbed."

Carly Westing lives in the moment. Every day is the same for her as a patrolman—a day of intense brutality, mindless sex with colleagues or neighbors, heavy drinking, and the periodic joy of "meat-farming" someone with her repeater. Like all patrolmen, she never questions her role in life, nor does she retain many long-term memories other than some fragments of a childhood that seem at odds with how things are supposed to be in a society where Central is in control. Little does she suspect that everything she has always believed about herself and her world is soon going to change. ... (read more)

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Euro-Future

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

And Into The Fire
by Rodney Atkinson with contributions from William Dorich and Edward Spalton
GM Books


"No one who has studied the European Union today can fail to miss the remarkable similarities with the Nazis plan of 1941, published in Berlin in 1942."

Atkinson has composed this treatise to establish his grave concerns about the composition and purpose of the European Union (EU). His research indicates that democracy was underhandedly wrested from 27 former sovereign nations that are now part of that union. Germany is in large part responsible for this "coup" which, he believes, has effectively changed European governments into what he calls "ghost parliaments." Since the formation of the EU, voter participation has dropped markedly, and the British constitution has been rendered impotent. EU principles signal a return to Fascism—state authoritarianism, restriction of free trade, political intolerance, and support from Roman Catholicism. ... (read more)

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A Dangerous Time

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Stolen Glory
by Mike Brewster and Taps Gallagher
GM Books


"For an American fan, it is painful to watch footage of the players’ celebration, knowing what is coming."

The 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, are recalled mostly for the terrible terrorist attack that claimed the lives of eleven members of the Israeli Olympic team. Concerning the actual competition, an underdog story took place that Americans will recall as the inverse of Lake Placid eight years later: The Russian basketball team claiming the gold for the first time over the undefeated U.S.A. team. Much can be said about the peculiar officiating and domestic in-fighting that crippled the Americans’ chances, and the authors leave no stone unturned, citing written accounts of the game, the television broadcast, and conducting interviews with the surviving players, coaches, and anybody else who had first-hand account of the upset that served as the catalyst for the formation of the U.S.A. Dream Team twenty years later. ... (read more)

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Croatia Revisted

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Jasenovac Then and Now: A Conspiracy of Silence
by William Dorich
GM Books


"Since Nuremburg, war criminals, dictators and genocidal maniacs have murdered hundreds of thousands of the 'politically incorrect,'"

This book gathers up broken pieces which testify to multitudes of Serbian lives lost to hate in a place called Jasenovac. Dorich assembles evidence in the form of letters, public addresses, court outcomes for war criminals, and lists of the dead—names and places that speak loudly of evil run rampant against Serbians. ... (read more)

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Understanding God

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Infinity, Divinity and the Holy Trinity
by William Hearne
Xlibris


"Logically, I have thought since as long as I can remember, the existence of God could be the only explanation for the world existing as it does."

Author William Hearne (a pseudonym) has created this short, engaging book to present his ideas about the existence and nature of God from a Christian perspective. He examines the subject in three logical stages, beginning with the arguments often posed against the existence of an infinite God. He believes that science has never established that God does not exist, while many people through the ages have claimed to have seen God, and have prophesied, often in precise language, concerning God's deeds as detailed in the Bible. Moving to the personal nature of God, he describes God's divinity, his connection with and influence on earthly events. God hates sin, but sent his son, a divine and simultaneously human being, to seal his promise to love and forgive sinners. Hearne then characterizes the holy trinity as mind (infinite God), body/heart (Jesus), and spirit (the Holy Ghost). ... (read more)

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PTSD Unvieled

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Headshot
Mark Freimark
BookVenture Publishing


"I have heard that BANG go off and seen the fireball come out of that gun into my face thousands and thousands of times since then."

The Mayo Clinic has a generalized definition of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It refers to it as a mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event—either experiencing it or witnessing it. What author Mark Freimark both experienced and witnessed in a cramped trailer house on a terrible Arizona morning could definitely be described as a terrifying event. Freimark’s PTSD resulted from it. It is a condition he still lives with to this day. ... (read more)

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Compassionate Magic

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Wizor Fair
by Robert A.G. Erickson
BookVenture Publishing


"With all of her will, she fought against the crushing blackness of her prison until it retreated and the heaviness lifted."

For twins Lenny and Cassy, the first week of summer vacation after graduating from the eighth grade has not exactly been overflowing with excitement. But after settling in with popcorn and sodas to watch a monster movie on TV, they receive the shock of their lives when a young man suddenly materializes on the floor of Lenny's bedroom. The intruder, a Wizor named Skeldon, has journeyed across worlds and from the Kingdom of Duscany in search of magic to use in the upcoming Wizor Fair, an event which could lead him from being the mistreated apprentice of an abusive master to become Wizor to Scapita, the King's sorcerer. However, what he and the twins will soon experience together will far exceed both his ambitions and their wildest dreams. ... (read more)

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Corporate Intrigue

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Collision
by Siegfried Finser
Publisher


"By the time you finally make it to a place where you can do some good,... you’ve lost the desire and the capacity to change the world that feeds you."

A mega corporation (Premium Technical Products-PTP) recently acquires a small but highly profitable and well-respected company (Croton Green-CG) whose main product line is grass seed. PTP CEO Armand Dillon has his own spin on how CG will be run under his direction, leaving the CG staff not only displeased but also extremely uncomfortable. What becomes of CG’s product line and its staff is simple: Armand’s world of corporate greed swallows them up. CG is only the beginning of PTP’s acquisition since, naturally, Armand wants more. Top on his list of companies is Alliance for International Communications (AIC). But just how to acquire this company requires a plan—and not just any old scheme, but one that is pure evil. ... (read more)

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Being Human

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

What Love Would Say
by Connie Munde
Shepherd Sanctuary Publishing


"You can choose again... and again. Choose love over fear."

With the help of several illustrators and translators, author Connie Munde has created a charmingly conceived short treatise on the meaning and implications of love. In nine languages—English, Spanish, French German, Russian, Hindi, Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese—the book is vividly illustrated with full-page color depictions of the simple but profound text. Pictures range from the symbolic—a pink heart hugging the world, a floating meditator in rainbow hues—to the realistic—a quiet figure sitting by a campfire contemplating the glory of a shooting star or a gardener planting new seedlings. The narrative comprises messages from and about love, and then urges the reader to laugh and be thankful, always remembering that “love is real and exists as energy.” ... (read more)

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End the Culture of Abuse

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Inalienable Rights Versus Abuse: A Commonsense Approach to Public Policy
by R.Q.Public
iUniverse


"Consider the saying 'Expect the best outcome, but plan for the worst.' Americans don't seem to like to plan far ahead."

The past century of government in the United States has created an environment where even the most universally sought-after benefits of citizenship are being vehemently argued by lawmakers. In this book, the author puts forth a no-nonsense, straightforward set of guidelines designed to help policymakers act in the best interests of the American people and the common good. This nonpartisan approach covers many of today's issues including education, the income gap, gun control, the environment, and more. Each plan laid out in this book stems from the belief that our existing society is a culture of perpetual abuse and that any solution that can work for everybody must not actively work against a group of people based on factors outside of their control such as race, age, or disabilities. ... (read more)

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Solving the Past

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Nine Assignments
by Glenda Winders
CreateSpace


"Gina felt her eyes widen in surprise and then quickly narrowed them to hide the judgment she felt, but it was too late."

Few subjects have fascinated readers more over the years than novels about families. From Booth Tarkington’s changing times and changing mores in The Magnificent Ambersons to Pat Conroy’s psychological study of hidden secrets and tortured emotions in The Prince Of Tides, the family unit has always proven potent fuel to fire people’s imaginations. Perhaps it’s because the majority of individuals live their entire lives either dealing with or seeking to avoid family issues. Perhaps it’s because unlike friends whom you choose to have a relationship with, family members come pre-packaged and attached. Time, distance, and indifference can detach family members from one another, but can the family unit be put back together again? That’s a key question at the heart of Glenda Winders' novel. ... (read more)

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Scandinavian Folk Tales and More

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Living on Troll Mountain
by Judith Olson
Xlibris


"The two girls were beside themselves, and they didn’t know what to do, as they were always told to never go up the mountainside because that is where the Trolls live."

This short story collection follows the maturation of three young girls in 1930s Norway. Each becomes acutely aware of the encroaching perils and wonders from beyond their simple countryside home at the foot of Troll Mountain. They reside near the small town of Star Lake. Maga (mother) and Paga (father) Peterson work hard to maintain their livelihoods, while their three daughters are free to explore and find adventure. Eleven-year-old Petrine and six-year-old Paiva (nicknamed Puzzy and Punky by their three-year-old sister Thora) experience dangers, mysteries, and moments of humor with Thora (Tully) in these interwoven narratives of their lives. ... (read more)

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A Different World

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

A Unity of Opposites: Chance and Certainty
by Steve Gossage
Xlibris


"Among any captured FBI/UDN lead units, key members had a quantum computer cell injected directly with their own brain cells to spy on the Aryan Underground."

In the twenty-second century, a misguided effort to blow up an asteroid threatening to impact the planet with a nuclear bomb goes wrong. Tsunamis devastate large swaths of territory, killing millions as asteroid debris showers down. Even a new moon appears after a huge piece settles in near orbit. A millionaire attempts to exploit a neo-fascist army to help seize control, but the army decides to take control instead. Jonathan Cole helps the United Democratic Nations, a kind of futuristic UN, battle the rebels. The UDN wins, but soon it is apparent that there are neo-fascist cells remaining. Jonathan uses his psychic abilities and a special quantum computer disguised as a phone to remote view and sense the presence of a strange group of Aryan... (read more)

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Angela's Story

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Graceful Bull
by Adele Joseph
Xlibris


"Maybe he would not have stuck around; who the hell knows? All she knew was that she would have to blame herself."

Starting with an anecdote of a trip to Paris a year into her forties, this is the story of a woman named Angelina from her childhood up to the modern day. Angelina is obedient, hard-working, and loves her family but has to deal with overbearing parents and a drug addict brother that berates and even abuses her. As a teenager, she seeks to escape from her family through romance, and ends up engaged to a man who loves her only to support her, and cheats on her when she gets a successful job. Then she meets Daniele, a Frenchman who captivates and enraptures her every sense. But there is something about Daniele that seems too good to be true. ... (read more)

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What We Have Built

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Famous Times: Historic Woolsheds of Hawkes Bay
by Angus Gordon
Xlibris


"In 1938, before all the stop banks that are now there were built, a devastating flood came through like a wall of water, killing 6000 sheep."

History unfolds in living color and informative detail as the author takes readers on a tour of historically significant woolsheds in and around the Hawkes Bay area of New Zealand. For over a century, sheep farming was the country’s most important agricultural industry. While it’s exceeded today by dairy farming, the wool business remains a key part of that nation’s economy, and its history of rolling lands, colorful characters, and picturesque sheds recall a time when sheep were sheared by the hands of individuals who were more than a match for the rugged environment and the hardships they faced. ... (read more)

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Man's Best Friend

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Ganny's Journal: A Tale of Human - Animal Kinship
by Ganny and Bettejeanne Hammond
iUniverse


"Living in relationship with my canine companions, I have come to consider a model of animal capacities that encompasses much more than basic sensory instincts."

n 118 pages, the book explores the relationship between the author and her canine companions: Doeska, Eugie, Ganny, Gally, Kringle, and Lullies. It begins with a Preface and Introduction and then is divided into two sections, followed by a Conclusion and Epilogue as well as a few notes. There are eleven chapters including four chapters in Section One and seven chapters in Section Two. Section One, Living a Dog's Life in a Human World, includes writings on being in a pack of dogs, what it's like for dogs to live in a human world, the fullness of the dogs' lives, and the humor of them. Section Two: Ganny and BJ's Journey to Wisdom, focuses on their life journeys, and experiences Ganny's point of view with input from the other dogs... (read more)

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Government Reimagined

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Government 2.0
by Joseph Gorski
BookVenture Publishing LLC


"The people have to demand that the government follow the rules and add value to society just like the rest of us."

In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell expounded on moments when behaviors, trends, or special ideas crossed a threshold and began to spread exponentially. In Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson provided a parable reminding us all that change is inevitable. In his book, Joseph Gorski posits that we are basically at a tipping point that can and should bring about change to something as notoriously rigid and inflexible as the United States Government. ... (read more)

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Managing the Changing Technology Stream

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Technology Governance: Concepts & Practices
by Azhar Zia-ur-Rehman
AuthorHouse UK


"Technology governance—system by which the current and future use of technology is directed and controlled."

Innovations rapidly evolve industry, and sometimes, change occurs too quickly for companies to keep pace and remain integrated. A prime example is technology governance. The author has studied the issue of technology governance since 1980, making him well-suited to proposing a framework for change. His book establishes a solid foundation of knowledge for executives. It provides straightforward explanations of how the author defines governance, corporate governance, industrial technology, and technology governance, among others. It should be noted that the author uses a broad, old-fashioned definition of technology, which he explains using the Streams Model of Technology. ... (read more)

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By the Numbers

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Fibonacci Tales: Knight Tales
by eLBe
Xlibris


"I personally believe that the first maker is not loco, and is not slap-dash out of his divine mind. But why did He make Keepers? And Keepers of what? And of who?"

There is a bat in Jacob and Hester's living room; a purification ceremony is in order. So begins a bizarre tale which drifts between fantasy and reality, innocence and sin. In this unconventional book, pseudo-chapters turn into stories and tableaus which combine into one long and strange narrative. The writing takes a while to sink into. Residing firmly in the present tense, the narrative constantly shifts perspectives, and eschews some names in favor of descriptions (i.e. the boy, the girl). The author is confined to a self-imposed limitation: the book is organized according to the Fibonacci sequence, with each chapter beginning on the page corresponding to the next number in the sequence. ... (read more)

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Cold War Romp

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Achaladair
by William S. Young
AuthorHouse


"Even to this day, three years later, he could still see the look in the dying soldier’s eyes. A bullet zipped past him, and MI6 agent Kane dove into the snow."

Adventure abounds in the snow-covered Scottish countryside as British agents take on Russian operatives plus Irish Republican Army conspirators. From high mountain peaks, to well-concealed mines, to the corridors of charming inns, drinking, dancing, fighting, and lovemaking share space as dastardly Cold War deeds unfold. ... The year is 1962. English agents Mullholland and Sommerville have successfully thwarted one threat to the empire when another arises. Still taking rooms at the picturesque Orchy Hotel, the majority of their time seems to be taken up with two of the establishment’s female employees. ... (read more)

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In Service of the Crown

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Malayan Enigma: An Andrew Bond WWII Adventure
by Nicholas Snow
AuthorHouseUK


"Bond was hoping they could reach the bridge over the strait before the Japanese. It was going to be an unpredictable, harrowing obstacle course—a race against time."

The author kicks off the first of his Andrew Bond WWII Adventures with this rousing action yarn set near the end of 1941 in Singapore and Malaya. The war in Europe has been raging for some time. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is only days away. Bond has been ordered by his superior in the British Secret Intelligence Service to slip into neutral Siam and report whatever he can about Japanese intentions there. Before he knows it, Bond is up to his stiff upper lip in an impending Nipponese invasion. ... (read more)

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On the High Seas

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Tin Can Down: The Outrageous Exploits of Mickey Michigan and Sunshine McGee
by Max Blue
GM Books


"The ship was threatened by shellfire, a minefield, running aground, a flustered Captain, abominable weather, and now by its own machinery."

Blue has penned a rollicking yarn of the sea full of comedy, camaraderie, and misadventure. It’s a detailed diary of two sailors’ boisterous tour of duty on a U.S. Navy destroyer from 1952 to 1956. From combat in the Korean War to the pleasure palaces of Okinawa to the gambling dens of Macau, the author spins a tale of two unforgettable sea buddies. ... (read more)

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Charming Suspence Story

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Run from a Shadow
by Ruth Callick
iUniverse


"He reached over and touched her face. 'Understand,' he said softly, 'you are the most precious part of man, more precious than any gold, or silver, or diamond; precious, because you are a woman'."

Casey Hammond could never have predicted the circumstances in which she would soon find herself when she encounters two young children, lost and bewildered, at the airport after seeing off her brother and his new wife. Ten-year-old Cortney and his six-year-old sister Chenin, disguised as a boy to aid in their escape from their Soviet controlled country, timidly approach Casey for assistance in traveling to their uncle’s address in a neighboring town. Concerned for their welfare, she insists on driving them to their relative’s home and, in doing so, becomes the target of the nadarb, a secret police organization of the Soviet government. ... (read more)

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The Grand Imagination

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Bucky and the Navigator
by Kristiana Pelot
Xlibris Publishing


"On this mission, he and the Navigator want to find the hiding places of the Night Weezers. So far, all he has to go on is the sound they make."

Bucky is the middle child in a family of four with an older brother and younger twin sisters. Bucky is a very imaginative child and has great adventures with the Navigator, a quilt crafted by Bucky’s grandmother at his birth. The Navigator and Bucky have been on numerous adventures and the Navigator always keeps Bucky safe no matter where they go and what mystery they are solving. Now Bucky and the Navigator must discover the mystery of the Night Weezers and protect Bucky’s family. To do so, Bucky must brave his fear of the dark, conquer his dread of what is lurking behind the bathroom curtain at night, and travel with his protective Navigator all over the dark house at night to find where the Night Weezers are hiding before the Night Weezers have time to claim his family. ... (read more)

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Poems of the Heart

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Secrets of the Heart
by Michael Vincent Dlask
iUniverse


"Being slow isn’t a bad thing as long as you do the right thing
Knowing that the quicker you are, the more mistakes are made"

The author of this book puts together over fifty poems in this collection, arranged alphabetically by a single word that serves as inspiration and subject matter. Written to explore feelings and give them a place to be openly expressed, readers will find poems about the power of family, keeping a healthy perspective on life, and overcoming adversity both internal and external. A great emphasis is placed on the unseen: thoughts or feelings that people routinely try to hide but that all experience at some point or another. This book of poetry is meant to be a companion for readers, through good times and bad, to remind them that someone else out there has felt what they are feeling, and that they are not alone in the world. ... (read more)

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Overcoming

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Kahraman: The Bare Feet Belly Dancer
by Rima Jbara
AuthorHouse


"As a child, my body moved gently, like a leaf hit by the air."

This is the story of a young Egyptian girl whose ambition and drive propel her through adolescence and into adulthood. The attributes of kindness, responsibility, determination, and perseverance sustain the heroine as she achieves one success after another. Hardship and disappointment also play a role, but what drives this tale is an unremitting insistence to live life one’s own way. ... (read more)

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Finding God

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Long Way Back Home: Crossing a World of Limitations
by Evelyn Saah-Giegbefumwen
Xlibris


"The most important thing an adolescent should know is that they need to have a relationship with Jesus."

Jamour is the daughter of a single mother, Terry, who often seems distant, even hostile. Jamour sadly recalls the few years when she was abandoned to the care of her grandmother who subtly exerted a positive influence on the child. Now a young adolescent, Jamour is getting into trouble in school almost every day, with suspensions a regular occurrence. With her friends she gossips and wonders about boys and sex. Terry, with whom she constantly argues, remembers her own sins and, fearing Jamour will follow in her footsteps, accuses her daughter of being a whore. Jamour runs away, seeking refuge with a group of renegades that offer both decent role models... (read more)

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A Wirlwind Plot

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Gardens of the King: A Historical Comedy
by Andrew Glenn
Xlibris


"Don’t move, Mr. Franklin,” a woman’s voice commanded with a heavy French accent behind a theatrical mask that covered her face."

This highly imaginative piece of historical fiction begins in France, 1777, where Benjamin Franklin, Louis XVI, and Comte Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais (Louis’s right-hand man) ride through the streets of Paris. Franklin is being initiated into the high church of the Illuminati. He is also collecting a secret payment from France to build up the army against the British rule. The plot thickens when Marie Antoinette kidnaps Benjamin Franklin. She intends to use him as a bargaining chip against her own monarchy and the American War of Independence. Marie Antoinette and Benjamin Franklin, a man forty years her senior, fall in love. Thinking them both abducted, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr are tasked with recovering the secret lovers. ... (read more)

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A Story of Triumph

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Muddy Minutes: Is When Soiled Souls Exist
by Rima Jbara
AuthorHouse UK


"Why do matters of extreme appear all at once? All the misery comes at the same time or all the bliss come [sic] at the same time."

An unusual story that focuses on Latin American actress Turquoise Colmenares, Jbara’s book is part biography and part tips for coping with life. The book begins with an introduction which tells about Turquoise, her sisters, and her mother—all of whom are successful in their own professions. The book is then divided into eight acts:“Decay of People,” “Confessions of a Mask,” “Autumn & Winter,” and “Forbidden Colors.” The other acts include: “Air floating In Time,” “One Way Train,” “Laughter In The Dark,” and “Triumph,” followed by a section about the author. ... (read more)

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A Beacon of Hope

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Revolution?: What Is Wrong with America?
by Dino Hatzopoulos
Xlibris


"Is my ideology better than yours or yours better than [an]other human being’s ideology?"

On the heels of World War II, Europe was rebuilding, but Greece was kicked into a vicious civil war that killed more Greeks than did the Nazi occupation. Hatzopoulos lived through both wars (plus a childhood escape in the dead of winter), which forever stained his world view. Now retired from a hard-won but successful career in the casino gaming industry in the Bahamas and California, and struggling with terminal cancer, he fervently warns America that armed revolution is coming in twenty years or less. .. (read more)

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Life Revisited

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Sounds and Smells of My Childhood Part II: Growing Up in the Soo's East End in the 1950s
by Mike McCarthy
Xlibris


"Stand by the beautiful St. Mary’s River, which runs from our rapids—so very clear and free. You will feel it, find it and see it firsthand."

In this second book of praise to the special region where he grew up, Mike McCarthy once again amplifies the atmosphere of the town and surroundings of Sault (pronounced Soo) St. Marie through sounds and smells. In exploring sounds of his childhood, he includes frogs, which he and his pals swore they could identify as either Catholic or Protestant by their croaks. Every February there was a deafening race for souped-up snowmobiles. Serving at Mass as an altar boy involved the heady smell of incense, which at first overwhelmed the young teen. A less pleasant scent arose at the great Moose Lodge fire of 1961 with its billowing, deep-black smoke. Aromas in his grandmother’s kitchen as she baked apple pies on her woodstove provided another powerful childhood sense memory: “She always let me have the first piece.” ... (read more)

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Surviving the Past

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Becoming Berit
by Berit Frydenlund McMillan
Xlibris


"I know that although child abuse is now a punishable offense, it hasn’t stopped."

Born in 1946 in England, Berit McMillan did not know for many years that she had relatives, including her real father, in Norway. Her mother, easily manipulated by men as her own mother had been, took care of McMillan and her twin brother as best she could, relying on the help of men, including the child’s first stepfather, who sexually abused her when she was seven. When that “daddy” was gone, her mother shared a house with someone who continually raped and beat her mother, attacked her and her brother, and finally brutally raped her. Finding herself unloved and unprotected, McMillan went to the police. Thereafter her life mostly consisted of foster homes, while her mother had more neglected babies, and the abuser remained punished. ... (read more)

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Not Being Dad

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Rising Above: a Memoir about Family Betrayal, and Growing into Forgiveness
by Bruno DeLuca
AuthorHouse


"To be the leader or father of a family does not mean you are entitled to getting your own way."

The author has penned a heartfelt memoir about a boy coming of age with an over-competitive and over-controlling father. Young DeLuca’s father emigrates from Italy and opens a successful bakery. But when the boy is just sixteen, his father leaves the family for another woman. Two years later, his father returns and once again dominates the home. With his brother and father, the author starts a bakery. Although it is a successful business, there never seems to be enough money, and the family remains in financial hardship. DeLuca doubts his father but remains loyal to him for the sake of his mother. Years later, he realizes that their father was skimming the profits to pay off secret debts. Growing up, the author is constantly made to feel not good enough, especially when diagnosed with type one diabetes. ... (read more)

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Choosing Sides

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Bucket of Blood
by Mack Goodman
iUniverse


"Brothers, there has been an appointed birth which has been hidden in the sea of the earth."

It begins with a prophecy. A false messiah sits upon a throne as king of the land, and the time is coming to dethrone him. The messiah was destined to rise out of obscurity and win a torn nation over with pure charisma. This man, this false prophet, is none other than former US President Barack Obama. As Obama maintains control over his people through the use of fear and power, angels and demons are entangled in a battle to save mankind—or destroy it. Grotesque ritual murders, lustful men, and a nation bursting at the seams set the stage for a tale of good versus evil and the repercussions of this age-old battle. ... (read more)

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Inner Strength and Resiliency

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

My Journey with Infiltrating Ductile Carcinoma (Breast Cancer)
by Anne Anderson
Xlibris


"You should not take anything or anyone for granted because things and the abilities that individuals have can be taken away so quickly, and then regret sets in."

Ms. Anderson has survived both breast cancer and the deleterious effects of its treatment. Much like many cancer patients, she had to undergo multiple surgeries and other treatments. Unlike typical cancer patients, however, Ms. Anderson had to endure these hardships while taking care of her dad (an Alzheimer’s patient) and later on her mom, whose deteriorating health ended in death. Anne kept a journal throughout her journey with cancer, and her published work is a compilation of these journal entries. ... (read more)

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The Journey

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Paradigm Lost: Jamari Shaman
by R. Roderick Rowe
Xlibris


"'I trust all of you,' he said carefully. 'Even if I don’t feel like I have whatever it takes right now.'"

This stand-alone sequel to Paradigm Lost: Jamari and the Manhood Rites sees the young Jamari grow into adulthood both by our standards and by the standards of the Elk Creek Tribe. With the manhood rites before him, Jamari is anxious but excited, ready to fulfill his role in his community. After a seemingly harmless observation while on an outing to a neighboring village, and then another when mentoring other young men, it becomes apparent to the tribal leadership that Jamari may have a gift in the shamanic capacity. Unsure of how this change will affect his plans for the future, Jamari has a big decision to make whether or not to continue his studies in a more spiritual capacity. The decision he makes could have long-term repercussions for not only him but all of his people. ... (read more)

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Universal Music

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Zappity Zip, Just That Quick!
by Judi Schleppenbach
Xlibris


"ZAPPITY ZIP just that quick she found herself standing among people she did not recognize!"

While her family in Little Italy, New York, is busy preparing food for the San Gennaro Festival, Aria sneaks into her Nona’s room and opens a forbidden box. Believing that there is magic in the beautiful stick within the pretty box, Aria whirls, waving the stick, which magically takes her around the world. To her surprise and joy, Aria finds herself in the midst of music and celebrations as she travels to Ireland, Native American lands, Brazil, Japan, India, Africa, and Australia, where she thoroughly enjoys herself. ... (read more)

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She Will Pervail

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

The Colonial Countess
by Robin Bell
Xlibris


"Listening to her confirmed…that their young Countess had a mind of her own, and was prepared to flout some of the traditional standards."

When eighteen-year-old Mary Evans arrives from Australia to England in 1886, she discovers she has inherited the title of Countess from her estranged aristocratic grandmother. Apparently, the title has passed on to Mary after the consecutive deaths of Mary’s grandmother and mother. Shocked at the sudden revelation of her aristocratic background, Mary is completely unprepared for the responsibilities that her new role brings for her. As she slowly settles into her new life at Longmire Hall, different situations and individuals prepare her to become the beloved and respected Countess, known for her generosity, boldness, and business acumen. ... (read more)

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Engaging Presentations

Book Reviews - US Review of Books

Spice Up Your Speaking Presentations
by James Ocque
AuthorHouse Publishing


"Opportunities abound for you to enjoy your own success if you take the time and make the effort to improve your speaking skills."

It’s what many people fear worse than death, yet it’s an essential skill for all sorts of professional paths. It is public speaking, and the mere mention of the term is enough to twist the stomach into knots. Ocque argues that public speaking is indeed a skill like any other. It can be learned and practiced, and the fear of public speaking can be overcome. All you need is a little confidence, and of course, the steps outlined in Ocque’s primer. ... (read more)

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First Chapter Reviews


First Chapter Review archive

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Alexandria
by Gregory Ness

Ness has chosen to begin in the bowels of a mysterious Egyptian temple. There, a group of individuals try to ascertain the meaning of its architectural design, multiple scrolls, bone-dead priests, and the length of time all have been entombed there. These are no ordinary interlopers. They are legends made flesh—Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, her sister Samia, and Roman General Marcus Agrippa. Their questions and conversations scan the cosmos, meteors, ice age continents, a potential cipher, and more, as they debate what they’ve found. But one thing is certain. ... (read more)

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