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

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, 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, the author of Blinding Fear (2016), 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

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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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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