Another thrilling space adventure anchored by a daring duo on land and in the sky.

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MERCILESS WORLD

A global apocalypse threatens the planet and the future of humanity.

Manhattan journalist Claire McBeth and former Air Force Capt. Herc Ramond, the two comet-fighting heroes from Roland’s inaugural SF thriller (Blinding Fear, 2016), reunite to battle a devastating planetary threat. As the story resumes, Claire and Herc are joined by two other couples on a Spacerider rocket ship orbiting Earth and about to dock with the International Space Station. Together with interstellar pair Scott and Christina and the Spanish registered nurse couple Tomas and Felicia, the group’s two-year mission is meant to troubleshoot and wait out the catastrophic effects of a disastrous six-mile asteroid to hit Earth in 48 hours. Meanwhile, Herc and Claire’s archnemesis, Quinten Gnash—who feels the space station mission is useless—is vowing revenge against them while using lethal means to preserve his own safety. After a seafaring ship captain picks up signs of an approaching, deadly shockwave the Atlantic, Gnash retreats underground with two young refugee sisters. Elsewhere, people from Hawaii to Manhattan brace for the impending disaster. Millions of ordinary citizens panic, making a mad dash to stockpile resources regardless of whom they trample in the process. Privileged citizens scurry into premium underground bunker encampments provided by Texas billionaire and space tourism entrepreneur Kayode Seok. Claire and Herc strategize, but little can prepare them for the decimation of the Earth miles below the space station. While the much-foreshadowed Armageddon of tsunamis and earthquakes shakes the planet, a medical emergency forces the space station crew back down to Earth. Dispatches from the astronauts’ handwritten journals add to their perspectives, and Roland’s vivid depiction of the highs and lows and do’s and don’ts of weightless life aboard a space station are fascinating. In this entertaining installment, Roland effectively tightens both plot and characterization, creating increased suspense and intrigue. Earth does not escape unscathed, though room remains for possibly another cosmic adventure starring Claire and Herc.  

Another thrilling space adventure anchored by a daring duo on land and in the sky.

Pub Date: July 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-07-976407-9

Page Count: 387

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2020

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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Cheerfully engaging.

WHAT ALICE FORGOT

From Australian Moriarty (The Last Anniversary, 2006, etc.), domestic escapism about a woman whose temporary amnesia makes her re-examine what really matters to her.

Alice wakes from what she thinks is a dream, assuming she is a recently married 29-year-old expecting her first child. Actually she is 39, the mother of three and in the middle of an acrimonious custody battle with her soon-to-be ex-husband Nick. She’s fallen off her exercise bike, and the resulting bump on her head has not only erased her memory of the last 10 years but has also taken her psychologically back to a younger, more easygoing self at odds with the woman she gathers she has become. While Alice-at-29 is loving and playful if lacking ambition or self-confidence, Alice-at-39 is a highly efficient if too tightly wound supermom. She is also thin and rich since Nick now heads the company where she remembers him struggling in an entry-level position. Alice-at-29 cannot conceive that she and Nick would no longer be rapturously in love or that she and her adored older sister Elisabeth could be estranged, and she is shocked that her shy mother has married Nick’s bumptious father and taken up salsa dancing. She neither remembers nor recognizes her three children, each given a distinct if slightly too cute personality. Nor does she know what to make of the perfectly nice boyfriend Alice-at-39 has acquired. As memory gradually returns, Alice-at-29 initially misinterprets the scattered images and flashes of emotion, especially those concerning Gina, a woman who evidently caused the rift with Nick. Alice-at-29 assumes Gina was Nick’s mistress, only to discover that Gina was her best friend. Gina died in a freak car accident and in her honor, Alice-at-39 has organized mothers from the kids’ school to bake the largest lemon meringue pie on record. But Alice-at-29 senses that Gina may not have been a completely positive influence. Moriarty handles the two Alice consciousnesses with finesse and also delves into infertility issues through Elizabeth’s diary.

Cheerfully engaging.

Pub Date: June 2, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-15718-9

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Amy Einhorn/Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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