Those are all fixable matters, and here’s hoping that this becomes an app worthy of its excellent content in every way. The...

THE NEW NORTHWEST PASSAGE

An intriguing blend of seafaring yarn and frontline climate-change report—though the app isn’t quite ready for prime time.

Veteran sailor Dueck, a journalist as well as seafarer, here steers his secondhand yacht, Silent Sound, into the fast-melting Arctic, accompanied by a crew worthy of a voyage with Shackleton or Scott (after a few false starts, as he notes). As Dueck recounts, he didn’t have much experience with the vessel in question, though he’d long nursed a “passion for sailing,” and finding sponsors wasn’t easy in the face of the growing credit crisis that hit at about the time he was preparing to mount the Open Passage Expedition, as he somewhat grandly called his adventure in the borning. His reports of what he found in the Arctic are eye-opening, though they won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been following the news: Due to melting sea ice, a Northwest Passage long hidden from the likes of Bering, Hudson and Vancouver is now available to anyone with a ship. Dueck’s writing is clear and urgent, with the reader-friendliness of a magazine piece, and his photographs are superb, especially when viewed on a Retina screen. The version 1.3 iteration sports numerous technical flaws, however, including a tendency to crash. Some of the Twitter feeds included—for reasons that aren’t quite clear—have gone dead or are bafflingly irrelevant; the navigation isn’t entirely intuitive (and the instructions not easy to access); there is no obvious way to bookmark material to return to later; and many of the videos are slow to load, which is no surprise for an app that is so big (188 MB). (The app is optimized for iPad 3, compatible with iPad 2 and not recommended for use on iPad 1, but it does run; iOS 5.0+ minimum, recommended iOS 6+.)

Those are all fixable matters, and here’s hoping that this becomes an app worthy of its excellent content in every way. The technical glitches remedied, this ought to be in every anti–climate-change-denier’s toolkit.

Pub Date: April 17, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Relish New Brand Experience

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2013

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

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DEVOLUTION

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. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

ALL YOUR PERFECTS

Named for an imperfectly worded fortune cookie, Hoover's (It Ends with Us, 2016, etc.) latest compares a woman’s relationship with her husband before and after she finds out she’s infertile.

Quinn meets her future husband, Graham, in front of her soon-to-be-ex-fiance’s apartment, where Graham is about to confront him for having an affair with his girlfriend. A few years later, they are happily married but struggling to conceive. The “then and now” format—with alternating chapters moving back and forth in time—allows a hopeful romance to blossom within a dark but relatable dilemma. Back then, Quinn’s bad breakup leads her to the love of her life. In the now, she’s exhausted a laundry list of fertility options, from IVF treatments to adoption, and the silver lining is harder to find. Quinn’s bad relationship with her wealthy mother also prevents her from asking for more money to throw at the problem. But just when Quinn’s narrative starts to sound like she’s writing a long Facebook rant about her struggles, she reveals the larger issue: Ever since she and Graham have been trying to have a baby, intimacy has become a chore, and she doesn’t know how to tell him. Instead, she hopes the contents of a mystery box she’s kept since their wedding day will help her decide their fate. With a few well-timed silences, Hoover turns the fairly common problem of infertility into the more universal problem of poor communication. Graham and Quinn may or may not become parents, but if they don’t talk about their feelings, they won’t remain a couple, either.

Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7159-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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