Unbreakable – Will McIntosh

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I really enjoyed this novel. I went through a few books that I started and just couldn’t finish, so I was so glad when I found out that this one was available for Kindle download.

The story follows Celia as she discovers that everything she knows about the world and her life has been a lie. She lives in a walled-in town called Record Village, where all the inhabitants have to compete to break records, like longest to go without sleeping, or holding your breath, or eating hot dogs. When you break a record you and your team get rewarded with food and lodging. If you don’t break the record, then its possible you and your team have to live in squalor. When Celia’s close friend, who has been like a mother to her, needs medication that Celia thinks she can only get beyond the walls of her village, Celia doesn’t think twice about. Problem is, no one has ever gotten out and come back to talk about it.

On her journey she finds new friends, the truth of her existence, her town, and everyone in it. The truth ends up being much more horrible than she could have imaged.

I think this is good novel for anyone who enjoys science fiction or dystopian novels. Will McIntosh is an excellent storyteller that leaves the reader excited for each new chapter.

 

Life Expectancy – Dean Koontz

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I enjoyed this book pretty much from the first page. The main character is a pastry chef and I love baking and watching baking shows. He also describes himself pretty much how I feel about myself, so it was nice having a main character you could really believe in. All that mixed with the characters dry and dark sense of humor and I was pretty much reading what my family would sound like…if we were pastry chefs with crazy clowns in our lives.

I think one of the greatest things, actually, was how Dean Koontz wove generations into the story, and made the whole thing seem completely plausible. In this book, Jimmy Tock is born on the same night his grandfather died. His grandfathers dying words were predictions of five terrible days for Jimmy that would happen throughout the course of his life. Each time one came true, there was no doubt that the rest would come to pass as well.

Jimmy and his family would face each terrible day as ready as they could; armed with love, common sense, sarcasm, pepper spray and a little creme brulee.

This book spans Jimmy’s life time and each chapter is leads you wanting the next one.

I would recommend this to anyone who loves mystery, Dean Koontz, and suspense. I would probably say if you are afraid of clowns…well this book won’t help your fears.

Winter Moon -Dean Koontz

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This book originally came out in 1993 and focuses on a cop and his family after a tragedy occurs, forcing them out of L.A. and into a smaller rural town in Montana. The issues that the family deal with are ones that cops still deal with today. It was interesting to read a story that took place over 20 years ago and realize one sad thing that had nothing to do with the story line…we haven’t learned from our mistakes at all. We still murder without abandon, we deal drugs to children, we blame everyone and anyone for our shortcomings, and innocent lives are the ones that ultimately suffer when the adults decide to fight. It is honestly that hard truth more than the actual story that I will probably take away from this. And wonder, will we ever learn?

Dean Koontz is a master at weaving mystery and suspense into horrifying nightmares beyond imagination. He develops rich characters and beautiful landscapes that allow you to immerse yourself fully into his works. Winter Moon is no different.

After deciding to leave the hard streets of L.A. to what they hope will be a new start for them, the family barely gets unpacked when strange things start happening. They soon discover that maybe people are less scary than they thought, especially when the universe is full of even more mystifying and terrifying things than they had ever dreamed.

Fans of Dean Koontz, Stephen King, mystery, horror, suspense, or science fiction will enjoy this book for sure.

Think Twice – Lisa Scottoline

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Sensing a theme here? I had gone on a binge on day at a library book sale and bought a bunch of Lisa’s books. We are moving in a few months, so I am trying to read through the ones I have so I can donate them.

This one I finished in two days. I really enjoyed it. It is another Rosato & Associates and it is told from Mary’s point of view and from her boss, Bennie Rosato. Which I think is one of the reasons I enjoyed it. I love getting different points of view in a story.

Another note before I go on to my “review” such as they are, is that I don’t think you have to read these stories in any sort of order. The timelines obviously matter because people get married or die or whatever, but I think you can muddle along. You would obviously develop more feeling to the characters having started from the beginning, but for a quick fun read, I think it is okay to jump in where ever.

This story takes place after Mary has been with the firm for quite sometime. Long enough where she thinks she knows her boss pretty well. Her boss, on the other hand, continues to keep people at a distance. She works hard and doesn’t have time to a lot of connections. The only real family she has is her estranged twin sister. Alike only in looks Alice and Bennie couldn’t be more different in personality. When her sister invites her over for dinner, Bennie bets it is because she needs something. She just didn’t realize how much it would cost her.

There was one part in this book that shows how awful and sick Alice actually is. It is actually difficult to read.

This book kept me turning the pages long past my bedtime and I really enjoyed it very much. Good story for those who like thrillers, the series, or suspense.

Killer Smile – Lisa Scottoline

 

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So unbeknownst to me but beknownst to probably every Lisa Scottoline fan, this book and the last one I finished by Lisa, Moment of Truth, takes place in the same story line with Mary DiNunzio – as the lead. It is part of  series that centers around Mary and the law firm Rosato and Associates, and from what I am gathering, Mary has a tendency to get herself in over her head.

In Killer Smile Mary is working on a case that dates back to World War 2. She is trying to find the truth of what happened to an Italian immigrant who was held at a concentration camp during the war. Through her research and digging she finds a lot more than she bargained for. When people around her start turning up dead, she realizes this case goes a lot deeper than she originally thought.

Told in a quick – suspenseful manner that Lisa is famous for, this book is a quick and easy read. I really enjoyed it and would recommend to anyone who likes crime thrillers.

Micro – Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

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Remember, Honey I shrunk the kids? Great movie that made you really feel bad for ants. When I would watch that as a kid I would often think how cool it would be to explore my backyard and only be an inch tall. After reading, Micro, I have decided I would like remain above 12 inches tall, thank you.

The late Michael Crichton had left a few unfinished gems when he died. They have since been found by his wife and, with the help of other talented authors, like Richard Preston (whom you may know from The Hot Zone), they are being finished and published so that fans can continue to enjoy his work. I have always loved his books, even if I had to read them at a snails pace. The reason I have to read them so carefully is the same reason I love them. He goes into immense detail and does mountains of research for each book, so when you are reading it, it feels like it has or could possibly be happening. Evident in, Micro, there is a bibliography that spans five pages. All data and research for this book. Everything from the habitat of spiders to journals by Nicola Tesla. What you get from all this hard work is a wonderful, rich, suspenseful, and beautifully detailed story.

Micro is a story about a group of grad students in varying fields of science, who get an opportunity to work at a cutting edge facility that says they are creating groundbreaking medicine and medical research. Once the students get to Hawaii, where the facility is located, they quickly come to realize that all is not what it seems. Once they get shrunk down to micro sized humans and thrust into the Hawaiian forest, they quickly find themselves in a whole new world, as alien to them as a different planet would be. They find new species  of insects and bacteria never before seen with the human eye, fight off dangerous monsters, like centipedes, and learn to trust each other and each others individual knowledge about the world around them. Each student is a specialist in something, beetles, spiders, poisons etc, and that all becomes life or death information as they travel to find help.

One great example of how richly detailed this books is, is when they are so hungry that they hunt a katydid and butcher it for a meal. insect_musicians_ptero-camel_LEa_WHITE

The description of them craving this thing up almost made me a vegan. No joke. I am not sure I could ever be that hungry. But in all lost survivor novels or movies, you often find the main character doing things you couldn’t see yourself doing. Killing, eating weird food, finding strength, endurance, and the primal will to survive. That is what makes these stories so good, because you sit and squeam about eating a bug while you snack on your crackers, saying you would never do it, but deep down…what would do if you were tiny?

This book was absolute joy to read. It was exactly what you would expect from a two very seasoned authors and it felt like Michael Crichton the whole way through. I think this would appeal to anyone who loves his work, or enjoys science fiction, biology, suspense or just loves a good book. You will have a book hangover after this one.

Seriously though – I don’t want to see one of these at 5’6 – can you imagine seeing it if it was bigger than you?

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Moment of Truth – Lisa Scottoline

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I suck at Clue, or any of those murder mystery movies, novels, plays…I am always shocked at the end when it was really the butler with rope in the conservatory. So, it was with some disappointment that I was right the whole time while I was reading this book. It definitely wasn’t Ms. Scottoline’s best. I loved some of her other books, Look Again, Keep Quiet, Accused  – to name a few…this one just fell off its mark somehow.

The main character, Mary Di Nunzio, is a rookie lawyer who gets thrown her first murder case where the alleged murderer has already confessed to the police. Jack Newlin, another attorney, confesses to killing his wife, but Mary and one of the detectives on the case don’t buy his story.

The whole book revolves around Mary uncovering layer after layer of lies only to finally uncover the truth that the reader knew  from the beginning of the book. Which in a way, I guess is kind of nice. As I said, I usually have a hard time guessing who done it so the whole time I am thinking it was the person who did, but convincing myself that it couldn’t be them. So I maintained a little mystery after all.

This is a good book for anyone who wants a quick mystery or court room drama read. A good rebound book after a series one. It requires no thought and it won’t keep you up at night.