An outlandish, sexually charged tale that might be too much for prim readers.

THE DEATH OF EVE

World War III, aka the “Medical Cold War,” has left earth in a post-apocalyptic state where the female sex is dying out, creating a hellish environment for the last remaining women.

Carol arrives at her new dome in a state of exhausted confusion. At 22, she has survived rape and witnessed a brutal murder that left her with chronic migraines and anxiety; yet somehow Carol senses that things are only going to get worse. She’s right. Now, she’s sent to live with the 300 remaining women in the country to be experimented on like a lab rat in an attempt to find a cure for humankind’s inability to breed females. In Carol’s first night in the dome, Mionne, her first roommate and the ultimate psychopathic villain, trades Carol to be gang-raped in exchange for cigarettes. Luckily—was it luck?—Carol was saved by a woman she met earlier that day before the workers (who illegally skipped their daily dosage of sex- and violence-repressing chemicals) could have their way. Carol and her heroine, Jessie, a former nurse and classic beauty, evolve from caring roommates into intimate lovers. Together, they attempt to find a way to escape from the hell of the dome to whatever awaits them outside. Meanwhile, Gen. Kuromori takes a peculiar, obsessive interest in Carol that turns into a ferocious search, and Mionne finds a secret weapon that allows her to sexually control the men of the dome, turning them into sex-crazed maniacs. After an odd change of luck puts Carol and Jessie on the outside, they brave a sandstorm and find an unexpected accomplice in an ex-“sashurai” (a trained fighter) who saves them, yet again, from rape, this time by the leader of a tribal village. In addition to learning that life exists outside of the domes, Carol and Jessie discover a shocking fact that leads to a complicated conclusion to tie up the story’s loose ends. The “what if” plotline compellingly knots together world war and science-gone-wrong, with a titillating mix of sex and gender issues. Although longer than it needs to be, the fast-paced story is intriguingly unpredictable.

An outlandish, sexually charged tale that might be too much for prim readers.

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-1468122114

Page Count: 410

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2012

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A short, simple, and sweet tale about two friends and a horse.

Mary's Song

From the Dream Horse Adventure Series series , Vol. 1

A novel tells the story of two spirited girls who set out to save a lame foal in 1952.

Mary, age 12, lacks muscle control of her legs and must use a wheelchair. Her life is constantly interrupted by trips with her widower father to assorted doctors, all of whom have failed to help her. Mary tolerates the treatments, hoping to one day walk unassisted, but her true passion involves horses. Possessing a library filled with horse books, she loves watching and drawing the animals at a neighboring farm. She longs to own one herself. But her father, overprotective due to her disability and his own lingering grief over Mary’s dead mother, makes her keep her distance. Mary befriends Laura, the emotionally neglected daughter of the wealthy neighboring farm owners, and the two share secret buggy rides. Both girls are attracted to Illusion, a beautiful red bay filly on the farm. Mary learns that Illusion is to be put down by a veterinarian because of a lame leg. Horrified, she decides to talk to the barn manager about the horse (“Isn’t it okay for her to live even if she’s not perfect? I think she deserves a chance”). Soon, Mary and Laura attempt to raise money to save Illusion. At the same time, Mary begins to gain control of her legs thanks to water therapy and secret therapeutic riding with Laura. There is indeed a great deal of poignancy in a story of a girl with a disability fighting to defend the intrinsic value of a lame animal. But this book, the first installment of the Dream Horse Adventure Series, would be twice as touching if Mary interacted with Illusion more. In the tale’s opening, she watches the foal from afar, but she actually spends very little time with the filly she tries so hard to protect. This turns out to be a strange development given the degree to which the narrative relies on her devotion. Count (Selah’s Sweet Dream, 2015) draws Mary and Laura in broad but believable strokes, defined mainly by their unrelenting pluckiness in the face of adversity. While the work tackles disability, death, and grief, Mary’s and Laura’s environments are so idyllic and their optimism and perseverance so remarkable that the story retains an aura of uncomplicated gentleness throughout.

A short, simple, and sweet tale about two friends and a horse.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Hastings Creations Group

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2016

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A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.

SHOW TRIALS

HOW PROPERTY GETS MORE LEGAL PROTECTION THAN PEOPLE IN OUR FAILED IMMIGRATION SYSTEM

A highly organized, informative discussion of the immigration system in the United States.

In this politically charged environment, Afrasiabi manages to broach the volatile issue of immigration in a well-rounded, surprisingly effective framework that combines case studies, historical research, statistical analysis and personal anecdotes to detail the current issues and propose solutions. Invocations of Kafka, “The Twilight Zone” and “Alice in Wonderland” prove warranted as illustrations of the often surreal circumstances that confront immigrants facing deportation. Immigrants usually lack access to quality legal representation, while their situation can be made doubly difficult due to language barriers and significant cultural differences. Afrasiabi incorporates his work with colleagues and students at the Chapman University School of Law to deftly weave together the facts of several compelling cases and their underlying legal issues, with a genuine sense of suspense as readers wonder if justice will be truly be served. Occasionally, though, the narrative becomes overwrought—two federal laws passed in 1996 are “dark storm clouds depositing their sleet”—although, considering the life-changing effects of court decisions, it’s difficult to overstate the ramifications: extralegal rendition of individuals with pending cases and the de facto deportation of native-born children whose parents are deported. Afrasiabi also addresses the legacy of various anti-alien laws in California, as well as marriage equality for same-sex couples when one partner is a noncitizen. As the subtitle asserts, Afrasiabi employs his additional experience in the field of property law to contrast the stark differences between immigration judges and constitutional judges, like their qualifications, vetting processes and even the oaths they take. His arguments culminate in seven concrete reforms proposed in the conclusion. In order to make the immigration system more just and effective, Afrasiabi claims the solutions are closer than we may think; we can implement procedures and safeguards already in place within the constitutional courts.

A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 249

Publisher: Kurti Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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