Initially promising sci-fi laid low by dull stretches and an unsatisfying ending.


Odysseus: Bound

In Logsdon’s sci-fi debut, the last surviving member of a deep-space research crew attempts to find signs of life in the universe.

Lt. Barrett Hannum is the navigator of the United World Space ship the Odysseus, a research vessel whose crew explores the galaxy in search of potential mineral caches, planetary colonization candidates, and, above all else, intelligent life. When a massive derelict spacecraft is found orbiting a backwater planet, the headstrong commander of the Odysseus—who desperately wants to be the first human to find intelligent life—ignores safety precautions and decides to attempt to board the giant craft, which is approximately 71 kilometers long. As Hannum readies himself to board the obviously alien ship, something attacks the Odysseus and Hannum loses consciousness. When he awakes, he is the only crew member left alive on the ship, which has been inexplicably relocated deep inside a cavern. The chamber contains hundreds of alien spacecraft, which have been presumably procured in the same way as Odysseus. With hundreds of robotic “crawlers” swarming over and through the ship, Hannum—with help from the ship’s main artificial intelligence, Aeon, must survive long enough to unravel the mystery surrounding the orbiting derelict and the massive collection of ships. The novel’s first half is fascinating and fast-paced, and the prose is well-written throughout. Once Hannum reaches relative safety, however, the action fizzles. His attempts to communicate with another imprisoned alien ship and to locate potential surviving members of his crew are interesting, but the slow pacing—coupled with the long periods of inactivity from Hannum (he explores virtually through cloaked pods)—drain the novel’s energy.

Initially promising sci-fi laid low by dull stretches and an unsatisfying ending.

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2015

ISBN: 978-0986140211

Page Count: 300

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2016

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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

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Shalvis’ latest retains her spark and sizzle.


Piper Manning is determined to sell her family’s property so she can leave her hometown behind, but when her siblings come back with life-changing secrets and her sexy neighbor begins to feel like “The One,” she might have to redo her to-do list.

As children, Piper and her younger siblings, Gavin and Winnie, were sent to live with their grandparents in Wildstone, California, from the Congo after one of Gavin’s friends was killed. Their parents were supposed to meet them later but never made it. Piper wound up being more of a parent than her grandparents, though: “In the end, Piper had done all the raising. It’d taken forever, but now, finally, her brother and sister were off living their own lives.” Piper, the queen of the bullet journal, plans to fix up the family’s lakeside property her grandparents left the three siblings when they died. Selling it will enable her to study to be a physician’s assistant as she’s always wanted. However, just as the goal seems in sight, Gavin and Winnie come home, ostensibly for Piper’s 30th birthday, and then never leave. Turns out, Piper’s brother and sister have recently managed to get into a couple buckets of trouble, and they need some time to reevaluate their options. They aren’t willing to share their problems with Piper, though they’ve been completely open with each other. And Winnie, who’s pregnant, has been very open with Piper’s neighbor Emmitt Reid and his visiting son, Camden, since the baby’s father is Cam’s younger brother, Rowan, who died a few months earlier in a car accident. Everyone has issues to navigate, made more complicated by Gavin and Winnie’s swearing Cam to secrecy just as he and Piper try—and fail—to ignore their attraction to each other. Shalvis keeps the physical and emotional tension high, though the siblings’ refusal to share with Piper becomes tedious and starts to feel childish.

Shalvis’ latest retains her spark and sizzle.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296139-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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