If you thought Immortality was powerful, just wait until you read the sequel.

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Ghost of the Gods

 

The fate of humanity may be worse than death in this involving conclusion to Bohacz’s (Immortality, 2007) two-part techno-thriller. Two years have passed since the events of Immortality, when nanotech-plague kill zones reduced the population of the world to a slight fraction of what it had been. No natural disease, the plague was unleashed by the god-machine—an ancient, sentient network housed in supercolonies across the globe—whose inscrutable calculations showed it was to the benefit of Earth for the human population to be pruned back. Although the time of kill zones ended as abruptly as it began, only a few people know the truth—and that truth is a liability the recovering governments cannot allow the public to hear. Dr. Kathy Morrison, a former scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who first studied the kill zones, now lives in a small settlement of scientists in Pueblo Canyon, Ariz., eking out an existence and hoping to stay beneath the government’s radar. The biologist Dr. Mark Freedman lives there, too, as well as former police officer Sarah Mayfair, one of the few to survive after being inside a kill zone. But Mark and Sarah are hybrids now, with the nanotech seeds of the god-machine steadily replacing their biology with nanotechnology, making them smarter, faster and active peripherals in the god-machine’s “n-web network,” the wireless neurological interface carried by bacteria into nearly all multicelled creatures on earth. Across the n-web, Mark and Sarah feel a pull—a “singularity,” as Mark calls it, “like a black hole…sucking in all the data from the n-web around it”—that they’re drawn to investigate. Mark and Sarah leave their refuge on a quest that takes them across the nation and toward a terrifying conclusion. The horrors of the plague, they realize, were only a harbinger of more disasters. Meanwhile, Kathy, fearing what her ex-patient, Sarah, and lover, Mark, were becoming, stays behind only to be discovered by “Peacekeeper” forces under the direction of Gen. McKafferty, a misguided patriot who holds these three responsible for the death of millions; he’ll stop at nothing to capture them. Blending fierce action, twisted conspiracies and bold “transhumanist” visions, Bohacz once again drives readers through a whirlwind in which even the characters aren’t sure if their thoughts are their own or if they were installed by the god-machine. Though the novel occasionally falters under the weighty exposition of its own ideas, Bohacz constantly raises the stakes, and the crisp dialogue and well-drawn characters keep the story barreling forward.

If you thought Immortality was powerful, just wait until you read the sequel.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0979181535

Page Count: 389

Publisher: Mazel & Sechel

Review Posted Online: June 12, 2013

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

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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Cheerfully engaging.

WHAT ALICE FORGOT

From Australian Moriarty (The Last Anniversary, 2006, etc.), domestic escapism about a woman whose temporary amnesia makes her re-examine what really matters to her.

Alice wakes from what she thinks is a dream, assuming she is a recently married 29-year-old expecting her first child. Actually she is 39, the mother of three and in the middle of an acrimonious custody battle with her soon-to-be ex-husband Nick. She’s fallen off her exercise bike, and the resulting bump on her head has not only erased her memory of the last 10 years but has also taken her psychologically back to a younger, more easygoing self at odds with the woman she gathers she has become. While Alice-at-29 is loving and playful if lacking ambition or self-confidence, Alice-at-39 is a highly efficient if too tightly wound supermom. She is also thin and rich since Nick now heads the company where she remembers him struggling in an entry-level position. Alice-at-29 cannot conceive that she and Nick would no longer be rapturously in love or that she and her adored older sister Elisabeth could be estranged, and she is shocked that her shy mother has married Nick’s bumptious father and taken up salsa dancing. She neither remembers nor recognizes her three children, each given a distinct if slightly too cute personality. Nor does she know what to make of the perfectly nice boyfriend Alice-at-39 has acquired. As memory gradually returns, Alice-at-29 initially misinterprets the scattered images and flashes of emotion, especially those concerning Gina, a woman who evidently caused the rift with Nick. Alice-at-29 assumes Gina was Nick’s mistress, only to discover that Gina was her best friend. Gina died in a freak car accident and in her honor, Alice-at-39 has organized mothers from the kids’ school to bake the largest lemon meringue pie on record. But Alice-at-29 senses that Gina may not have been a completely positive influence. Moriarty handles the two Alice consciousnesses with finesse and also delves into infertility issues through Elizabeth’s diary.

Cheerfully engaging.

Pub Date: June 2, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-15718-9

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Amy Einhorn/Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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