An imaginative and engrossing tale that’s full of drama, tension, and gripping what-if questions.

TIME TUNNEL

THE EMPIRE

After preventing 9/11, time travelers must again change the past to alter the outcome of Wounded Knee in this SF sequel.

In Book 1, Maj. Kyle Mason—heartbroken after his beautiful, accomplished wife, Padma Mahajan, was killed in the 9/11 attacks—was recruited in 2008 for a very secret mission to go back in time and stop the strikes. But problems arose, and a desperate Kyle turned to the one reliable partner he could find in 2001: himself. Though successful, Kyle 2001 died in the process. Unable to leave Padma, Kyle 2008 stayed in 2001, becoming the reclusive “Anderson Wild.” By Timeline 002 2008, Padma has parlayed her financial genius and Kyle’s knowledge of coming events into a trillion-dollar fortune, all the political power she can buy, and control of the Time Tunnel underground research complex, called Dreamland. Meanwhile, Texas Sen. Jonah Jones gathers a private army and takes over the U.S. government, with Dreamland in his sights. Padma and Kyle must use the Time Tunnel to escape. Though they aim for San Francisco and the Summer of Love, they land in South Dakota, 1890, in a Lakota village—just a few months before the massacre of Wounded Knee, as Kyle realizes from his studies. Though Kyle and Padma agree they must prevent the massacre, complications—and unintended consequences—arise, with world-changing implications. In this second installment of a series, Todd (Time Tunnel: The Twin Towers, 2019) continues exploring the intriguing possibilities of time travel, backing up his speculations with well-researched history and believable science. Though adept at setting up exciting, tense confrontations, the author is also a thoughtful writer, and his characters are appropriately vulnerable, though Padma is hailed as the messiah of Lakota prophecy and Kyle has modern weaponry. Todd’s Lakota camp and the town of Deadwood come vividly alive with well-chosen, telling details such as the checkerboard that sits atop a general store’s cracker barrel. The cliffhanger ending will leave readers eager for the next volume.

An imaginative and engrossing tale that’s full of drama, tension, and gripping what-if questions.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-73319-360-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: Sept. 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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Less bleak than the subject matter might warrant—Hannah’s default outlook is sunny—but still, a wrenching depiction of war’s...

HOME FRONT

 The traumatic homecoming of a wounded warrior.

The daughter of alcoholics who left her orphaned at 17, Jolene “Jo” Zarkades found her first stable family in the military: She’s served over two decades, first in the army, later with the National Guard. A helicopter pilot stationed near Seattle, Jo copes as competently at home, raising two daughters, Betsy and Lulu, while trying to dismiss her husband Michael’s increasing emotional distance. Jo’s mettle is sorely tested when Michael informs her flatly that he no longer loves her. Four-year-old Lulu clamors for attention while preteen Betsy, mean-girl-in-training, dismisses as dweeby her former best friend, Seth, son of Jo’s confidante and fellow pilot, Tami. Amid these challenges comes the ultimate one: Jo and Tami are deployed to Iraq. Michael, with the help of his mother, has to take over the household duties, and he rapidly learns that parenting is much harder than his wife made it look. As Michael prepares to defend a PTSD-afflicted veteran charged with Murder I for killing his wife during a dissociative blackout, he begins to understand what Jolene is facing and to revisit his true feelings for her. When her helicopter is shot down under insurgent fire, Jo rescues Tami from the wreck, but a young crewman is killed. Tami remains in a coma and Jo, whose leg has been amputated, returns home to a difficult rehabilitation on several fronts. Her nightmares in which she relives the crash and other horrors she witnessed, and her pain, have turned Jo into a person her daughters now fear (which in the case of bratty Betsy may not be such a bad thing). Jo can't forgive Michael for his rash words. Worse, she is beginning to remind Michael more and more of his homicide client. Characterization can be cursory: Michael’s earlier callousness, left largely unexplained, undercuts the pathos of his later change of heart. 

Less bleak than the subject matter might warrant—Hannah’s default outlook is sunny—but still, a wrenching depiction of war’s aftermath.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-312-57720-9

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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