Goodman’s story is interesting, twisty and thoughtful, though some readers may wish for more polished, refined presentation.

LOGIC OF DEMONS

THE QUEST FOR NADINE'S SOUL

Goodman’s debut novel takes readers on an adventure into the afterworld, showing that choices have consequences that stretch beyond the present—even beyond this life.

When Devin’s pregnant wife dies a horrendous death, raped and murdered by a homeless serial killer, he can’t bear the pain. Rather than healing, Devin seeks retribution, and after he dies in the process, becomes a demon in the afterlife. Thus begins a series of interesting and bizarre adventures that leads Devin to an understanding of why he made the choices that he did. Along the way, he joins up with two angels and tries to help a young girl named Nadine find her way through a horrific ordeal of her own. Devin also sees the forces of evil at work in various sociopolitical contexts around the world and throughout time. Goodman has packed enough twists and turns into his self-proclaimed fantasy thriller that even experienced readers will be kept guessing. Goodman has a solid view of the long-term effects that everyday choices can have on individual lives as well as on the world as a whole, and he presents these ideas in a straightforward manner. While his story may first come across as religious, the author slowly breaks the rules of the afterlife for every religion, clearly paving his own way so that he can make his point. In fact, religious readers may find themselves increasingly uncomfortable with the story as it deviates further from established notions of what happens after death. But while Goodman’s take on the afterlife is unique, and his tale is a page turner, the work could be streamlined and the straightforward keeps the work from fully resonating.

Goodman’s story is interesting, twisty and thoughtful, though some readers may wish for more polished, refined presentation.

Pub Date: July 13, 2010

ISBN: 9781452018188

Page Count: 272

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Sept. 7, 2010

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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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With its bug-eyed monsters, one might think Dune was written thirty years ago; it has a fantastically complex schemata and...

DUNE

This future space fantasy might start an underground craze.

It feeds on the shades of Edgar Rice Burroughs (the Martian series), Aeschylus, Christ and J.R. Tolkien. The novel has a closed system of internal cross-references, and features a glossary, maps and appendices dealing with future religions and ecology. Dune itself is a desert planet where a certain spice liquor is mined in the sands; the spice is a supremely addictive narcotic and control of its distribution means control of the universe. This at a future time when the human race has reached a point of intellectual stagnation. What is needed is a Messiah. That's our hero, called variously Paul, then Muad'Dib (the One Who Points the Way), then Kwisatz Haderach (the space-time Messiah). Paul, who is a member of the House of Atreides (!), suddenly blooms in his middle teens with an ability to read the future and the reader too will be fascinated with the outcome of this projection.

With its bug-eyed monsters, one might think Dune was written thirty years ago; it has a fantastically complex schemata and it should interest advanced sci-fi devotees.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1965

ISBN: 0441013597

Page Count: 411

Publisher: Chilton

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1965

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