A fair mind-control yarn that reads more like a Robert Ludlum–style adventure than a paranormal romp.



In Tamney’s debut paranormal thriller, a secret group of American telepaths reunites to stop a rampage by one of their own kind. 

This novel offers a fairly low-key intro to a secret, New York City–based society of people with psychic powers—although the prose skirts using the term “psychic” as well as “ESP,” “sixth sense,” and “psi,” and Tamney avoids obvious Jedi mind-tricks. “Planters” are humans born with the innate power to “plant” thoughts and urges into ordinary people’s minds, sometimes with catastrophic results. Of course, “planters” are themselves immune to the effect, although they can mentally communicate with one another, and some rare, nonpowered individuals are completely resistant “stones.” (Also, planters can only control people with whom they share a common language.) In a manner not unlike Marvel Comics’ X-Men, a benevolent Professor X–type named Bogdan Orlikski, aka Teach, seeks out and mentors incipient planters—to keep them from being discovered and exploited and to prevent them from doing harm. But now a mercenary planter known as “Sam” has been causing ordinary folk to commit bombings and start riots. Teach rallies key alumni—chiefly, sensitive Pete and two-fisted Alex—to stop the homicidal rogue before a ruthless, shadowy government organization gets to him first. Tamney, in this first installment in a planned series, spends most of his time developing his characters. However, he does craft high-octane slam-bang action scenes as well as torture scenes, which aren’t for the squeamish. (Alligators eat a lot of characters, as well.) Only at the halfway mark, though, do things really start to simmer. The plot’s archfiend is a sociopathic cipher, but the ground rules of planting are interesting on their own terms, if presented a little dryly. Although the setup promises sequels down the line, this cerebrum-stretcher can also be enjoyed as a self-contained stand-alone.

A fair mind-control yarn that reads more like a Robert Ludlum–style adventure than a paranormal romp.

Pub Date: April 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-980757-63-4

Page Count: 279

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 12, 2018

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A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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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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