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Search tags: State-of-Wonder
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review 2018-10-31 03:45
State of Siege (Op-Center #6)
State of Siege - Tom Clancy,Jeff Rovin,Steve Pieczenik

After living through the hypocrisy of being a part of a United Nations security force, a band of mercenaries decide to strike at the organization itself and unknowingly take resigning Op-Center director Paul Hood’s daughter hostage.  State of Siege, is the sixth book of the Op-Center series written by Jeff Rovin, ghosting for the titular Tom Clancy, finds Paul Hood in the middle of a hostage situation as his daughter is being held in the Security Council after cleaning out his desk and hoping to rebuild his family that is hanging by a thread and however Hood reacts he risks destroying it.

 

A team of five former UN soldiers, who served in Cambodia, rob an armored car in Paris to finance buying weapons from an arm’s dealer in New York to strike at the United Nations for a $250 million payday after taking room full of hostages.  Among the hostages are diplomats, young violinists including Harleigh Hood, and two undercover Cambodian hitmen looking to take their revenge against the terrorist group’s leader.  The situation is both personal and professional for Paul Hood, who is torn to do something to save his daughter and being with his wife to support.  The newly appointed Secretary-General is a negotiator who wants to solve the problem as peacefully as possible, but events quickly get out of her control leading to a final solution to the siege that both pleases and displeases many.

 

Released in 1999, State of Siege puts the United Nations center stage as well as the debate between military versus diplomacy to solve crises.  The problem that the “debate” is useless given that the crisis in this particular book could never have been solved diplomatically and this book is less than 400 pages as well as the story taking only about five hours in total.  Besides this flaw is the one that has been running throughout the series, Paul Hood’s marriage which has been doomed to fail because Sharon Hood has been written to be literally be the unreasonable wife to the man running a government agency trying to do his best—how cliché can you get?—and it sinks to even worst levels here.  And on top of that were the just bad dialog, characters literally knowing things they couldn’t actually know, plot holes all over the place, and finally not being able to decide what point-of-view to have from one paragraph to the next.

 

State of Siege keeps up the Op-Center tradition of having an intriguing plot, which is ruined by Jeff Rovin’s characterizations and overall subpar writing.  This book is a big step down from the previous installment, Balance of Power, but is unfortunately more to type of what the series has been like for most of its run so far.

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review 2018-10-28 01:52
The Doctor and Peri in steampunk Rome
State of Change (Doctor Who: The Missing Adventures) - Christopher Bulis

After taking Peri to snap photographs of Cleopatra's barge as it sails down the Nile, the Doctor and his companion set course for their next destination: Rome in the 2nd century AD. Upon landing, however, they find that they've journeyed forward only a few decades and that they have arrived in a Rome with electric lighting and dirigibles floating in the sky. With the Doctor's TARDIS inexplicably cut off from the Eye of Harmony the two scramble to restore the ship's power and unravel the mystery the steam-powered Rome one which will lead them to one of the Doctor's most dangerous enemies.

 

With over a dozen novels to his credit, Christopher Bulis ranks as among the most prolific contributors to the various series of Doctor Who novels in the 1990s and 2000s. Reading this book, it's easy to see why. His novel is a brisk work that nicely conveys the larger world in which Bulis sets it. Best of all is his portrayal of the sixth Doctor, which conveys all of the best parts of the character without any of the flaws which made his tenure on the show so controversial. While the plot itself has plenty of formulaic elements, the novel itself is an enjoyable read that will provide many fans of the franchise with a pleasant way to pass the time.

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text 2018-09-26 06:36
STATE OF SORROW (SORROW #1) by Melinda Salisbury
State of Sorrow (Sorrow, #1) - Melinda Salisbury
STATE OF SORROW (SORROW #1)
Melinda Salisbury
Hardcover, Fairyloot Exclusive Edition, 452 pages
Published March 1st 2018 by Scholastic Children's Books
also in paperback and Kindle
 
I received this book from a "book club" a friend of mine started on FB. Kind of like a chain letter, but not "scam". It was kind of simple; you post about sharing your favorite book with those interested. The rules are whoever responds, gets 2 addresses. The first one is the person before you and your address. The responders send their favorite book to the first address, then who ever responds and reposts sends to your address then adds their name as the 2nd address. (i hope this makes sense). The idea is the more people who respond, the more books are sent.
 
State of Sorrow is the book I recieved. This has been a book that I was interested in but I've had so many on my TBR pile, I held back on this one. Once received, though, I found i really liked it. I'm not big on dystopia, but there are a few I've read and enjoyed.
 State of Sorrow one of those that I am enjoying.
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review 2018-08-29 17:47
Podcast #116 is up!
A Business of State: Commerce, Politics, and the Birth of the East India Company - Rupali Mishra

My latest podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it I interview Rupali Mishra about her study of the governance of the East India Company and its relationship to the English state. Enjoy!

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review 2018-07-10 03:59
Intimate Grandeur: Vermont's State House by Nancy Price Graff
Intimate Grandeur: Vermont's State House - Nancy Price Graff,David Schutz II

As advertised. 'Intimate Grandeur' is a coffee-table book history of Vermont's State House. While I'm sure that every state house building is noteworthy simply because of its place at the center of politics, Vermont's is a beautifully restored gem of 19th century public architecture.

I was lucky enough to have a guided tour 'after hours' of the building this past winter and was awestruck at the massive yet delicate plasterwork, the mostly-original custom lighting fixtures and furniture, all restored and converted from gas to electricty. Every detail down to the carpets were brought back after decades of neglect.

'Intimate Grandeur' is a history of the building itself, and its two predecessors, but also a history of civic responsibility and preservation. Even when fashions changed and inconvenient 'decadent' chandeliers were banished from chambers they were carefully stowed away, waiting to be rediscovered.

I picked this book up as a memento of the tour. Beautifully done.

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