Breezy, winsome, and endlessly diverting.

MAROON RISING

From the Buck Reilly Adventure Series series , Vol. 5

In the latest installment of Cunningham’s (Second Chance Gold, 2014, etc.) adventure series, Buck Reilly dodges bullets and faces off against kidnappers while searching for Jamaican treasure.

Buck lost a bid for a Port Royal salvage site in Jamaica, but his ex–business partner, Jack Dodson, won it. Jack’s subsequent search for treasure there, hidden centuries ago by former Jamaican lieutenant governor and privateer Henry Morgan, has proven fruitless. That’s because the treasure is in a different place, according to Col. Stanley Grandy—a leader of a group called the Maroons, whose original members escaped slavery in the 1600s. Grandy and archaeology professor Nanny Adou want Buck to find the treasure with the help of Morgan’s documents, including his diary. Buck agrees and soon falls for Nanny, despite the fact that she’s quite possibly withholding information from him. Circumstances quickly turn dire when someone abducts Nanny and threatens to kill her unless Buck tracks down the treasure within 48 hours. This novel is a jaunty romp with a protagonist who willingly acknowledges his flaws and failures. For example, Buck can’t stop thinking about Heather, his ex-wife who’s now involved with Jack—and has been ever since she and Buck were married. (Betty, Buck’s old plane, is also with Jack now.) There are numerous allusions to James Bond; after all, the protagonist is staying at GoldenEye Resort, Ian Fleming’s old home-turned-resort. But even if Buck considers Nanny his “Bond girl,” he’s not a spy at all but rather an intuitive treasure hunter, and he makes deciphering petroglyphs seem effortless. His hunt, too, is noble: the once-rich Buck, living like a pauper since filing bankruptcy, consents to receiving a mere 10 percent of the treasure haul so that the bulk of Morgan’s assets can go to the Jamaican people. Notwithstanding its ebullience, the story has its share of tense moments, from Nanny’s sudden kidnapping to a shocking double-cross. There’s also a perpetual sense of danger, and every unfortunate encounter with Jack’s trigger-happy partner, Gunner, is unnerving.

Breezy, winsome, and endlessly diverting.

Pub Date: Nov. 24, 2015

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 261

Publisher: Greene Street, LLC

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 59

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more