Another blistering installment with a cool, clever female lead.

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In the continuation of this briskly paced sci-fi series, Mars private investigator Denver Moon investigates the possibility that invaders on the red planet are plotting to enslave human colonists.

Denver is working a case of missing persons when she stumbles on an alien’s lab with human experiments. She’s already aware of nameless, shape-shifting invaders on Mars and their attempts to control humans. But for now, Denver remains mum. The colony of Mars City needs the aliens’ tech for successful terraforming. She subsequently takes a case for Jard Calder, who runs a botsie (robot) prostitution business. Church of Mars monks are disrupting his business, and Jard wants Denver to get Bishop Rafe Ranchard excommunicated. That shouldn’t be difficult since Denver previously had the bishop excommunicated when she discovered he was embezzling. Why the church’s leader, Cole Hennessey, reinstated Rafe is a mystery, and Hennessey isn’t returning Denver’s calls. With help from her trusty AI, Smith, who’s installed in her Smith & Wesson revolver, Denver quickly finds a link between the bishop and the aliens’ experiments on colonists. Rafe, however, is a menacing individual with botsies at his command, and the plot against humans is bigger and deadlier than Denver anticipated. Hammond and Viola’s (Denver Moon: Metamorphosis, 2018, etc.) novel deepens an ongoing mystery within the series. New readers will easily settle into the story, but it’s best read from the beginning. The latest narrative deftly expands ongoing themes, from Denver’s relationship with her grandfather Tatsuo to her softening feelings toward botsies. In fact, botsie Nigel is her friend, and the image of Denver carrying and conversing with his head—his torso is on backorder—is a definite highlight. Despite relatively few characters, there are surprising turns among allies and apparent foes. And the prose, as always, is well imagined: “I closed my eyes against a blowback of detritus and sprinted as fast as I dared in the dark, a confetti made of charred leaves peppering my face and arms.”

Another blistering installment with a cool, clever female lead.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-73391-770-4

Page Count: 220

Publisher: Hex Publishers

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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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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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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