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The Dreams

Fast-paced political drama featuring an array of characters rooted in well-researched science, which can at times be...

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In Fee’s debut novel, the future of the planet is in peril when all national leaders are unable to awaken from deep dreaming sleep.

In Fee’s 2014, America is led by Republican President Stephen Ashley. When one morning the first lady and White House staffers are unable to wake the president, the nation’s leading neuroscientists and medical analysts are called upon to determine the cause of the president’s steady slumber. Fee introduces readers to an extensive cast of scientists, White House staff, and national leaders. Short chapters switch from character to character, driving a high pace but also making it challenging to keep up with all the men and women and their roles. Dialogue also runs quickly, reading like a political drama TV show: “Phil, what the hell is going on?” “Oh God…no…Stephen…a coma.” Fee paints strong impressions of character credentials in their particular fields of expertise as well as some background on the personal lives of key characters. Physical appearances are rarely described, however, with the exception of pointing out the favorable female attributes as noted by the male characters. In his action-packed dreams, interspersed throughout, the president encounters and bonds with various world leaders as they fight together for survival. Soon, the Americans learn that the leaders of every other nation are in an identical, inexplicable deep sleep. Scientists and medical professionals around the planet work against the clock to identify the cause of this collective dream state before nations are overtaken by opposing forces. Fee’s writing shows off deep research into neurobiology, yet the scientific language may be confusing for readers not up to speed in the subject: “Stage 2 deepens this entire physiological process…a person may experience hypnogogic dreaming at this deepening, which is nothing more than nonsensical imagery.” In fact, as the global tensions tighten, the doctors’ neurobiological findings become progressively complicated. Adding personal drama to the story, it seems there is a spark of chemistry between Dr. Stephanie Angelo and Dr. Jared Faulkner, the main neuroscientists on the case. An abrupt ending arrives after a long lead-up, though there are two more books to come.

Fast-paced political drama featuring an array of characters rooted in well-researched science, which can at times be difficult to keep up with. 

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4817-5188-9

Page Count: 216

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2015

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  • New York Times Bestseller

DEVOLUTION

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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