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From the The Anlon Cully Chronicles series , Vol. 2

A solid follow-up to the series that answers many questions.

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In this second volume of Donoghue’s fantasy series, a scientist and his friends hope to defeat villains in the search for a lost civilization’s mysterious stones.

Shadows of the Stone Benders (2016) introduced Anlon Cully, a biochemist who made a fortune and retired at 42 to enjoy Lake Tahoe and his yacht. But Anlon soon found a new occupation: investigating his archaeologist uncle Devlin Wilson’s suspicious death, connected with a set of stone artifacts with powerful qualities that point to an ancient, highly developed civilization. For example, a Tuliskaera, or Flash Stone, can slice through any object, making it a formidable tool or weapon. Villains want these stones, and Cully barely escaped with his life following a confrontation. Now he’s recuperating at Lake Tahoe with his girlfriend, the pink-haired, tattooed, and pierced Eleanor “Pebbles” McCarver, and their friend Jennifer Stevens, a Massachusetts police detective who helped investigate a case in Book 1. Together, they puzzle over information Devlin left behind and try to learn more about the stones and where more artifacts are located. It’s a race to find the artifacts before other searchers, some of whom will stop at nothing to get their hands on the stones, which, it turns out, have their own back story involving an ancient tragedy, a grieving mother, and a Betrayer. In this follow-up to Book 1, Donoghue similarly provides an Indiana Jones–like mélange of archaeology, treasure, villains, jungles, and ancient science. (Although it’s possible to follow this book as a stand-alone volume, it’ll make more sense read in sequence.) His characters are well-defined, important in a story so driven by the particulars of how an unknown technology works, sections that will be best appreciated by readers with a taste for engineering. Overall, Donoghue is conscientious in his explanations, which do offer verisimilitude but can become a bit dull, especially the careful and lengthy consideration of Wilson’s ambiguous maps. But the series also offers excitement, suspense, and action, together with near-mystical encounters with a long-dead woman of the ancient civilization, helping to balance sometimes-dry science and logistics.

A solid follow-up to the series that answers many questions.

Pub Date: May 9, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9973164-4-5

Page Count: 358

Publisher: Leaping Leopard Enterprises

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2017

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Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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