Slightly subpar installment in a still solidly entertaining spy series.

Swiftshadow

BOOK 3 OF THE SPIES LIE SERIES

From the Spies Lie Series series , Vol. 3

In the third installment of Kane’s (DeathByte, 2014, etc.) Spies Lie series, a covert operative–turned-fugitive must use her formidable intellect to figure out who betrayed her to terrorists.

Brilliant young economist and computer hacker Cassandra Sashakovich takes a job working for an unnamed U.S. intelligence agency, feeding false economic reports to terrorist organizations and hacking into their financial resources. However, when a mission in Riyadh goes terribly awry after her cover is blown, Cassie finds herself being burned by the agency and left for dead. Utilizing every shred of her considerable ingenuity, Cassie goes into hiding and starts a secret consulting firm, hoping she can dig deep enough into the world’s dirty laundry to figure out who might be the agency mole that gave her up to the terrorists in Riyadh. What she discovers shocks her and forever changes the way she sees international intelligence. Teaming up with rogue security analyst Lee Ainsley and an army of mercenaries, Cassie decides to get revenge—both on the terrorists who destroyed her life and the U.S. government that let them. Many of the events and characters overlap with those in Book 2 of the series by intrepid author Kane, though readers don’t need to be familiar with the previous installments to follow along. In Cassie, Kane has created a female protagonist who bears a striking resemblance to the girl with the dragon tattoo, Lisbeth Salander, from her extraordinary hacking talents and resourcefulness to her fluid sexuality and tendency to be targeted by evil men who underestimate her ability to survive. However, Cassie’s exceedingly stubborn attitude can be grating, while sex scenes and other highly personal moments often feel as though they’re being viewed through a male gaze: “Cassie felt his hand touch her robe, slip inside, and grope her breast, squeeze a nipple. When his other hand reached between her legs to stroke her, her legs grew unsteady.” Despite these weaknesses, the high stakes and dizzily paced action will hook genre fans from the first page.

Slightly subpar installment in a still solidly entertaining spy series.

Pub Date: July 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9960591-6-9

Page Count: 452

Publisher: The Swiftshadow Group, Inc.

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2015

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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

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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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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