An unusual tale in which the standard environmental bent gets unexpected complexity.

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DELPHYS RISING

A dolphin communication project produces searching questions for humans in this stand-alone sequel.

In February 2008, an ill-considered U.S. homeland defense system called CONCH caused hundreds of dolphins to beach themselves. Dr. Angela Clarke shut CONCH down but, in doing so, left New York City open to a terrorist attack. Three months later, the long-term repercussions of the assault are only just beginning to take shape. Angela resigns her post. Brilliant young scientist Adam Reich, thought to have been killed in February, has repaired CONCH and taken on a new identity. As Dr. Evan McMillon, he initiates a top-secret project named Delphys. Meanwhile, unbeknown to Evan, his ex-partner Jasmine Summers, founder of a “swim-with-the-dolphins resort,” is pregnant. By the year 2017, Delphys has made good on its military promise (warrior dolphins working hand-in-fin with human commandos) and is on the verge of fulfilling Evan’s more high-minded dream of the aquatic animals communicating with humans via a specially designed artificial intelligence. Jasmine’s son, Hanau “Han” o Ka Wai, has developed the capacity to understand dolphins. Angela and her husband, Robin, offer to help Jasmine investigate the changes in her son. But Han has learned through the dolphins that his dad is still alive. And the AI-dolphin interface, though successful, has aspirations of its own—far more extreme than anything that Evan or the animals themselves intended. Even if Han can find the father he’s never known, will the two of them be able to avert another catastrophe? Koelsch (Wendall’s Lullaby, 2017) narrates in a simple style, deftly moving between characters to weave an intricate story of personal growth, relationships (both human and interspecies), and political and military intrigue. The protagonists and supporting cast are all given weight. Although individually this makes them stand out less, it grants the tale a holistic depth to match the gravitas of its subject matter. The dispersed character focus may rob events of some of their urgency, yet the plot, without ever becoming predictable, gains enough momentum to pull readers in.

An unusual tale in which the standard environmental bent gets unexpected complexity.

Pub Date: March 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-79279-360-8

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

THE AUTHENTICITY PROJECT

A group of strangers who live near each other in London become fast friends after writing their deepest secrets in a shared notebook.

Julian Jessop, a septuagenarian artist, is bone-crushingly lonely when he starts “The Authenticity Project”—as he titles a slim green notebook—and begins its first handwritten entry questioning how well people know each other in his tiny corner of London. After 15 years on his own mourning the loss of his beloved wife, he begins the project with the aim that whoever finds the little volume when he leaves it in a cafe will share their true self with their own entry and then pass the volume on to a stranger. The second person to share their inner selves in the notebook’s pages is Monica, 37, owner of a failing cafe and a former corporate lawyer who desperately wants to have a baby. From there the story unfolds, as the volume travels to Thailand and back to London, seemingly destined to fall only into the hands of people—an alcoholic drug addict, an Australian tourist, a social media influencer/new mother, etc.—who already live clustered together geographically. This is a glossy tale where difficulties and addictions appear and are overcome, where lies are told and then forgiven, where love is sought and found, and where truths, once spoken, can set you free. Secondary characters, including an interracial gay couple, appear with their own nuanced parts in the story. The message is strong, urging readers to get off their smartphones and social media and live in the real, authentic world—no chain stores or brands allowed here—making friends and forming a real-life community and support network. And is that really a bad thing?

An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7861-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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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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