A time-travel adventure with well-developed characters, but more than a few (worm) holes.

THE THANKSGIVING GANG

BOOK TWO OF THE TIME MAGNET SERIES

The second volume of Moran’s (The Gray Ship, 2013) Time Magnet series continues the adventures of Jack Thurber, an investigative journalist who has a knack for finding time portals.

Although Thurber has traveled back in time before, he’s still surprised when he steps on a storm grate in an abandoned lot in Manhattan and is jettisoned two years into the future. He finds that the New York City of 2017 is radically different: Police officers are everywhere, and the city has the aura of a Third World dictatorship. He quickly seeks out his best friend, Benjamin “Bennie” Weinberg, a psychiatrist with the New York City Police Department, who’s shocked to see him. Apparently, Thurber is supposed to be dead—killed along with his wife and about 26,000 others when, on Thanksgiving Day, 2015, terrorists detonated five nuclear bombs hidden on five U.S. aircraft carriers. Thurber’s mission is obvious—to find out who was behind the attack, and travel back in time to stop them before they can carry them out—but it may be impossible to accomplish. Nonetheless, with time running out, Thurber and a small group of unlikely heroes set out on a mission to change history. The novel’s character development is one of its undeniable strengths. Moran does an adept job of deepening established characters, such as Thurber, while also introducing intriguing new players; Janice Monahan, the appealing wife of a weapons officer aboard one of the ships, is a particular standout. But despite its breakneck pacing and virtually nonstop action, this installment isn’t as strong as its predecessor. In part, this is due to the fact that the author uses numerous first-person sequences (from the perspective of the five terrorists), which are not only redundant, but also slow down the plot’s momentum and dilute its power. Additionally, the ending is predictable and anticlimactic.

A time-travel adventure with well-developed characters, but more than a few (worm) holes.

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-0989554640

Page Count: 188

Publisher: Coddington Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2014

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

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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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

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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