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review 2019-05-22 08:51
The Re-Origin of Species by Torill Kornfeldt
The Re-Origin of Species: a second chance for extinct animals - Torill Kornfeldt,Fiona Graham

TITLE:  The Re-Origin of Species: A Second Chance For Extinct Animals


AUTHOR:  Torill Kornfeldt        


TRANSLATOR:  Fiona Graham




FORMAT:  Paperback


ISBN-13:  9781911617228



"What does a mammoth smell like? Do dinosaurs bob their heads as they walk, like today’s birds? Do aurochs moo like cows? You may soon find out.

From the Siberian permafrost to the Californian desert, scientists across the globe are working to resurrect all kinds of extinct animals, from ones that just left us to those that have been gone for many thousands of years. Their tools in this hunt are the fossil record and cutting-edge genetic technologies. Some of these scientists are driven by sheer curiosity; others view the lost species as a powerful weapon in the fight to preserve rapidly changing ecosystems.

It seems certain that these animals will walk the earth again, but what world will that give us? And is any of this a good idea? Science journalist Torill Kornfeldt travelled the globe to meet the men and women working to bring these animals back from the dead and answer these questions.




An interesting, easy to read, if somewhat superficial, journey around the globe to explore what geneticists are up to in terms of reviving, cloning, storing or otherwise fiddling with the genetics of extinct and almost extinct animals and plants in order to aid in conservation efforts or to recreate the extinct animal.  The author also covers the ethics of using genetic engineering in various ways.  This book doesn't cover anything new (except the conservation of trees) that hasn't been covered by other books on the same topic.  A nice, easy, informative read.




- Rise of the Necrofauna:  A Provocative Look at the Science, Ethics, and Risks of De-Extinction by Britt Wray [General]


-  Bring Back the King:  The New Science of De-Extinction by Helen Pilcher [General]


- Resurrection Science:  Conservation, De-Extinction and the Precarious Future of Wild Things by M.R. O'Connor [focus on conservation]


- The Fall of the Wild - Extinction, De-Extinction, and the Ethics of Conservation by Ben A. Minteer [focus on ethics and conservation]


- How to Clone a Mammoth:  The Science of De-Extinction by Beth Shapiro [focus on the science and ethics]





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review 2019-05-20 03:58
The Summoning (Krewe of Hunters #27) - Heather Graham


Kristi Stewart doesn’t believe in ghosts until the midnight appearance of one of her famous ancestors which sends her fleeing into the night and right into the arms of Dallas Wicker. Dallas is trying to uncover the truth behind a series of seeming random deaths and missing persons. Dallas can’t find any connection between the victims, but someone wanted them gone and it might be linked to the history of the Kristi’s bed and breakfast.


The newest story in the ‘Krewe of Hunters’ series is so suspenseful that readers find themselves holding their breath while their hearts pound in anticipation of what happens next. The characters are strong and very convincing which makes it very easy for the readers to become completely caught up in their story and the relationship between Kristi and Dallas sizzles with electrical chemistry. The romance between the hero and heroine builds throughout the story and is sweet and passionate while the relationship has a couple of obstacles that will have to be overcome.


The plot has a steady stream of events that builds up the suspense with each event giving up a clue so that readers are kept guessing throughout the story and readers hold their breath and their hearts pound in anticipation right alongside the characters with each revelation. Readers can’t possibly put this book down once they start reading it and the ghosts are quite charming to the delight of readers.


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review 2019-05-05 17:06
Nice Overview with a Light Touch
For the Love of Books - Graham Tarrant

Concise but still chock-full of interesting facts and tidbits about the history of books and their authors, For the Love of Books by Graham Tarrant, is an entertaining overview that will appeal to all bibliophiles.  Tarrant approaches the subject with a light touch-with humor and an attitude of wonder rather than a dry recitation or wordy analysis.  He covers everything from the invention of the form to the different genres, citing examples of each with quotes and quick summaries.  The book also provides insight into the interesting lives of the writers themselves- including background trivia, inspirations, feuds, substance abuse struggles, brushes with the law and even some quirky death stories.  For aspiring writers, there are also passages that provide advice both serious and tongue-in-cheek.  For the Love of Books perhaps relies a bit too heavily on the traditional and well-known, and the reader may be left desiring more inclusion of those outside of the usual British/American canon.  Still, there is plenty of new information to discover in Tarrant’s offering to make it a fun, quick dip into the fascinating world of books.


Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC of this book in exchange for an objective review.


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review 2019-04-23 15:46
Song of Songs: A Novel of the Queen of Sheba
Song of Songs: A Novel of the Queen of Sheba - Marc Graham

Half-sisters Bilkis and Makeda are daughters of the Mukarrib or chieftain of Saba. When a flood overruns the land, Bilkis does her best to protect Makeda, but Blikis is swept away in the waters for her efforts. Bilkis is believed to have perished in the flood, but is found by merchants making their way to Yisrael. On their journey, Bilkis' caravan is attacked and she is claimed by the King of Yisrael. Bilkis soon learns the ways of a Queen and orchestrates people and events to her whims. Bilkis grows and secures her son to the throne, ruling still through him. She decides a temple should be built and is surprised when stonemason Yeltzer is chosen for the job. In Saba, Makeda has earned her place as Mukarrib after her father passed and her mother sacrificed after building a dam to secure water for Saba's future. Years pass and the earthen dam is soon to fail. When Makeda learns of a builder of stone, she follows a a trader to Yisrael to discover her sister once again. 

The story of the Queen of Sheba is veiled in mystery. The time period of around 550 BCE is not very well documented, however Marc Graham manages to bring the stories of Bilkis, Makeda and Yeltzer alive. In addition to these characters that the narrative alternates between, the landscape, dwellings, rituals and beliefs are richly described. I was amazed at how well I could connect with the lives of these people that lived so long ago. Their motivations and emotions resonated through the years. Bilkis and Makeda's relationship as well as their choices made while Queen were incredibly interesting. Bilkis and Makeda are two sides of the same coin, both strong leaders who are destined to rule; yet, one is guided by force and manipulation and the other with care and sympathy for her people. Yeltzer's character as the builder of the Temple of Urusalim was fascinating to follow, his life seemed destined to be continuous trial and heartbreak and he always seemed to make to best of his situation. The journeys of all three characters ends with the promise of more, and I would love to read more. The story of these characters and the writing carries through and resonates throughout many years creating a harmony of time and place, bringing to life a story of people who have only been known to us through a few verses of religious texts. 

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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review 2019-04-08 05:01
Lost Things by Melissa Scott and Jo Graham - My Thoughts
Lost Things - Jo Graham,Melissa Scott

I thought this was a cool read.  Set in the early 1930s, a period that I'm quite fond of, it's the tale of a small aviation company run by veterans of the Great War and how they get involved in a dangerous, thrilling occult adventure with its roots back in ancient times. 

We have the three aviators, Lewis, Alma and Mitch, and the Jerry, the archaeologist.  The First World War, the Great War, left its scars on everyone that fought and these four are no different.  There are the obvious wounds, such as Jerry's missing lower leg, Mitch's abdominal scars, and there are also the mental and emotional wounds that all four suffer from.  I liked all of them and I thought the authors did a good job of introducing and portraying them.  It's the first in a series of books, so I expect to be learning more about them - especially my favourite, Mitch.  I think he was the least fleshed out, but maybe that's because he doesn't seem, right now, to be as complicated as the other three? 

So, the adventure includes an ancient evil from the time of the Emperors Claudius and Nero and possibly even before. We have a demon run amok and our quartet are on the chase.  The only real problem I had with the whole thing was the time we spent reading about the intricacies of the aircraft involved.  I didn't feel I needed to know things in such detail, either about the Terrier plane or the dirigible. The one part where I felt it worked was the big chase scene.

Now, I have to say, the book reminded me of a favourite book of one of my favourite authors - Katherine Kurtz and her Lammas Night. It also reminded me of her Templar series of books, but mostly Lammas Night.  I wonder if the authors were inspired by her? 

Anyway, I enjoyed my read and as it's the first volume of an omnibus, I have the next 2 books in the series to look forward to!  If I was one to binge read, I'd be reading them right away, but I like to space my series out for the most part. 

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