An ambitious thriller that will excite and inspire readers to seek out forthcoming books in the series.




In Bottari’s debut dystopian thriller set in the near future, the American government initiates a directive to take total control of the country.

U.S. Army Col. Nick Fizer is ready to enjoy a little rest and relaxation with his wife, Stephy, at his parents’ West Virginia farm. However, he’s understandably concerned when he learns that the government’s been trying to seize the property. It turns out that taking ownership of private land is just one goal of the Olympus Project Strategic Execution and Implementation Manifesto Directive, a classified government document signed back in 1901. Nick is one of the few people who’s read it, and he knows that Phase I of the Olympus Project has likely begun. He’s likewise aware that Phase II, which entails military mobilization, is all set to go, with United Nations peacekeeping forces stationed in secret underground compounds. As a precaution, Nick and his family head to Alaska, which he believes may be a safe haven from the implementation of martial law. Bottari’s novel is epic in scale, focusing on numerous characters around the United States, including a widow named Miriam and her two young kids in Alaska; a recently promoted Army colonel, Falcon Colby, on his first assignment with the Department of Defense’s Regional Operations Command; and Russian soldier Malikov, who’s serving with the U.N. peacekeeping forces when he’s arrested for killing an American officer. The stories are each distinctive, but they all relate to the overarching plot of the OPSEIM Directive. Miriam and her children, for instance, brave a freak August blizzard that may be the result of the government manipulating the weather. The book, the first in a planned series, sometimes feels more like a lengthy introduction; for example, several characters spend pages speculating about what’s to come in lieu of any of it actually happening, and much of the story, including the officer’s murder, remains unresolved. But Bottari does know how to effectively tease readers, as she merely hints at the details of the directive, leaving Phase III a pure mystery. The author’s prose, too, is playful and intoxicating, such as her description of a blistering storm: “the deep biting cold that stiffened his brittle bones, and the snow that stung his flesh.”

An ambitious thriller that will excite and inspire readers to seek out forthcoming books in the series.

Pub Date: April 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-0990317500

Page Count: 530

Publisher: Wolf Rock Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller


Women become horseback librarians in 1930s Kentucky and face challenges from the landscape, the weather, and the men around them.

Alice thought marrying attractive American Bennett Van Cleve would be her ticket out of her stifling life in England. But when she and Bennett settle in Baileyville, Kentucky, she realizes that her life consists of nothing more than staying in their giant house all day and getting yelled at by his unpleasant father, who owns a coal mine. She’s just about to resign herself to a life of boredom when an opportunity presents itself in the form of a traveling horseback library—an initiative from Eleanor Roosevelt meant to counteract the devastating effects of the Depression by focusing on literacy and learning. Much to the dismay of her husband and father-in-law, Alice signs up and soon learns the ropes from the library’s leader, Margery. Margery doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, rejects marriage, and would rather be on horseback than in a kitchen. And even though all this makes Margery a town pariah, Alice quickly grows to like her. Along with several other women (including one black woman, Sophia, whose employment causes controversy in a town that doesn’t believe black and white people should be allowed to use the same library), Margery and Alice supply magazines, Bible stories, and copies of books like Little Women to the largely poor residents who live in remote areas. Alice spends long days in terrible weather on horseback, but she finally feels happy in her new life in Kentucky, even as her marriage to Bennett is failing. But her powerful father-in-law doesn’t care for Alice’s job or Margery’s lifestyle, and he’ll stop at nothing to shut their library down. Basing her novel on the true story of the Pack Horse Library Project established by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, Moyes (Still Me, 2018, etc.) brings an often forgotten slice of history to life. She writes about Kentucky with lush descriptions of the landscape and tender respect for the townspeople, most of whom are poor, uneducated, and grateful for the chance to learn. Although Alice and Margery both have their own romances, the true power of the story is in the bonds between the women of the library. They may have different backgrounds, but their commitment to helping the people of Baileyville brings them together.

A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-56248-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.


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

Did you like this book?