Not a strong stand-alone novel, but compelling enough to keep the series’ readers hooked.


From the Between Two Evils series , Vol. 2

In this second sci-fi novel in a series, a time machine accident puts a man in a precarious future, where he struggles to find his place.

After arriving in a strange new world with nothing but a towel, Diego Nadales barely survives a fall from a treetop, where his time-travel capsule delivered him. He was supposed to be sent back in time from 2025 to 2005, on a mission critical to the Earth’s survival. But instead, he arrived in an alternate version of Earth in 2048, near Kirk Biodome in Colorado. Amazingly, Diego can survive the “Outside” without a protective suit, despite the fact that the Doomsday Virus nearly destroyed all mammalian life years ago. Survivors shelter in domes designed by David Kirk, whom Diego remembers as Dave Kirkland, his fiancee Isabel “Iz” Sanborn’s manipulative ex-husband. As Diego heals from his broken bones, he mourns Iz and his wasted effort to save his world, but he forges new friendships. Slowly, Diego becomes close to his doctor, Lani Kai, who’s scarred physically and emotionally. He also finds new purpose by exploring how his immunity to the virus can aid the community—and he gets new hope when a mysterious note advises him that Isabel is alive, back in his home universe. A trip to a biodome on Chesapeake Bay may provide answers, but then things go horribly wrong. Orton (The Last Star & Other Stories, 2017, etc.) does a good job of providing exposition and backstory to link this outing with the first installment, Crossing In Time, and it will be pleasing for readers to finally learn Diego’s fate. The romance between Diego and Lani is much less compelling, though—largely because the author presents Lani’s issues so melodramatically. Luckily, Orton handles the science and worldbuilding well, and her characterization of other players is more successful. Lani’s daughter Shannon—a brilliant, curious teenager with a genius for tinkering and somewhat naïve enthusiasm—nicely illustrates how the younger generation grows up in biodomes. The book introduces new mysteries and ends on a cliffhanger, which will whet readers’ appetites for the next installment.

Not a strong stand-alone novel, but compelling enough to keep the series’ readers hooked.

Pub Date: July 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-941368-10-7

Page Count: 202

Publisher: Rocky Mountain Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2019

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While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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

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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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