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


From the The Anlon Cully Chronicles series , Vol. 2

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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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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