by Tone Milazzo ‧ RELEASE DATE: May 10, 2020
A captivating adventure jammed with characters who, though troubled, try to do the right thing.
In this engrossing spy thriller, Milazzo (Picking Up the Ghost, 2011) asks: What happens when a unit of psychic misfits is asked to save the world?
Dr. Ken Park, a Korean American psychologist and spy, leads Project Dead Blind, a group of damaged psychics who undertake black-ops missions. Their current assignment requires the psychics to recover a Faith Machine, a Soviet-era “psychotronic super-weapon” located in Liberia. They fail spectacularly, as the machine belonging to a former warlord—now known as John the Baptist—is torched, and John, in turn, slaughters dozens of his religious followers. The Dead Blind squad leaves Africa battered and disgraced, returning to civilian life. But they’re hardly out of danger—its agents are stalked by Chinese military intelligence and by the Casemen, a handful of superpowered psychics. While escaping to their West Coast safe house, two of the fugitives even manage to destroy another Faith Machine, this one possessed by a religious zealot–turned-politician. Once the team reaches the safe house, they are sent on another mission to retrieve the final Faith Machine, located in North Korea. All but Park get captured as they near their destination, and they meet the supernatural being behind the Faith Machine, whom they must somehow defeat. Author Milazzo has written this wicked novel with his tongue firmly in cheek, lampooning both the spy and superhero genres. Unfortunate leader Park finds himself wrangling cats, attempting to ride herd over a sextet of operatives who just don’t get along. They also prove to be amateurs who are in over their heads. In order to save the planet from destruction, the agents must learn to combine their abilities—and the world will need a lot of luck to survive. As the plot unfolds, Milazzo does an admirable job of creating characters who, if not embraceable, are definitely realistic. Project Dead Blind unites messy people who are still willing to contribute to the greater good. Readers will root for them to win, largely because their opponents are so despicable.A captivating adventure jammed with characters who, though troubled, try to do the right thing.
Pub Date: May 10, 2020
Page Count: 392
Publisher: Running Wild Press
Review Posted Online: Jan. 2, 2020
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Hanya Yanagihara ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2015
The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.
Awards & Accolades
Best Books Of 2015
National Book Award Finalist
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
Page Count: 720
Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015
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by J.D. Salinger ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 15, 1951
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
Page Count: -
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951
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