by Marvin Amazon ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 23, 2013
An often involving but ultimately uneven sci-fi tale.
A sci-fi novel about the pressures of motherhood that transforms into an action thriller about an alien invasion.
In 2043, Rachel Harris is one of the only women who’s been able to give birth naturally in nearly 40 years. Worldwide infertility has made other women unable to conceive children of their own. But when Rachel’s child dies in an accident, her friends patronize her, her husband neglects her, and the world can’t stop talking about her. However, most people don’t know that government doctors have performed countless medical experiments on her in the search for an infertility cure; it’s taken a tremendous toll on her body and made her addicted to special medication. Meanwhile, as Rachel struggles to make sense of her loss, desperate couples play the Worldwide Lotto in hopes of winning a child from the future through the use of time travel. Rachel’s husband enters both their names and gets lucky on the first try, but soon, Rachel starts to uncover a conspiracy regarding the infertility problem. During her investigation, when she breaks the law by watching a video message from the future, the government threatens to sentence her husband, friends and possibly her new adopted son, Dylan, to death. Soon, she must return to the year 2013 to expose an alien menace and grapple with whether her convictions are worth sacrificing a second chance at motherhood. Amazon (The Corin Chronicles: Volume 1: The Light and the Dark, 2012, etc.) creates a intriguing character in Rachel, whose many misfortunes and desires will likely elicit readers’ sympathy and interest. But the engaging sci-fi premise, told from a woman’s perspective, eventually turns into a clichéd thriller, comprised of multiple action sequences, bland dialogue and supporting characters that lack Rachel’s complexity. That said, the book does have a resonating beginning, and its final chapters will surprise readers with a perplexing ending that may make them re-examine their ideas of motherhood and identity.An often involving but ultimately uneven sci-fi tale.
Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2013
Page Count: 518
Publisher: Corinthians Publishing
Review Posted Online: Dec. 4, 2013
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Max Brooks ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 16, 2020
A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.
Awards & Accolades
New York Times Bestseller
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
Page Count: 304
Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine
Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020
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BOOK TO SCREEN
by Michael Connelly ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 7, 2023
The most richly accomplished of the brothers’ pairings to date—and given Connelly’s high standards, that’s saying a lot.
Harry Bosch and the Lincoln Lawyer team up to exonerate a woman who’s already served five years for killing her ex-husband.
The evidence against Lucinda Sanz was so overwhelming that she followed the advice of Frank Silver, the B-grade attorney who’d elbowed his way onto her defense, and pleaded no contest to manslaughter to avoid a life sentence for shooting Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Roberto Sanz in the back as he stalked out of her yard after their latest argument. But now that her son, Eric, is 13, old enough to get recruited by local gangs, she wants to be out of stir and at his side. So she writes to Mickey Haller, who asks his half-brother for help. After all his years working for the LAPD, Bosch is adamant about not working for a criminal defendant, even though Haller’s already taken him on as an associate so that he can get access to private health insurance and a UCLA medical trial for an experimental cancer treatment. But the habeas corpus hearing Haller’s aiming for isn’t, strictly speaking, a criminal defense proceeding, and even a cursory examination of the forensic evidence raises Bosch’s hackles. Bolstered by Bosch’s discoveries and a state-of-the-art digital reconstruction of the shooting, Haller heads to court to face Assistant Attorney General Hayden Morris, who has a few tricks up his own sleeve. The endlessly resourceful courtroom back-and-forth is furious in its intensity, although Haller eventually upstages Bosch, Morris, and everyone else in sight. What really stands out here, however, is that Connelly never lets you forget, from his title onward, the life-or-death issues behind every move in the game.The most richly accomplished of the brothers’ pairings to date—and given Connelly’s high standards, that’s saying a lot.
Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023
Page Count: 400
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023
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