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review 2018-05-08 17:56
The Fire (Northwest Passage, #4) by John A. Heldt
The Fire (Northwest Passage Book 4) - John A. Heldt

The fire is book 4 in Norhtwest Passage Series by John A Heldt. The book is based loosely on the Great Fire of 1910 (Largest Wildfire in US history) and Haley's Comet. In the book Kevin Johnson has just graduated college and goes on a mini vacation to his Recently passed Grandfather's house with his family to get the place ready to put up for sale. While there he finds a secret diary and a time travel portal. The portal can transport him to 1910 and back. He finds out this is how his Grandfather acquired his fortune. Transporting to the future and selling gold from the past.


Kevin decides transporting through time will make for a fun vacation. He even finds the love of his life. The problem with that is she is from the past.


I liked that as Kevin travels to the past he looses no time in the present, o matter how long he is in the past. I also liked that he was able to gain the memories of his Grandfather while in the past that helps him to escape during the fire.


This was a good book. I wasn't all that crazy about Chaz Allen's rendition I think it was more his voice to me but at times it felt like he was reading a children's book.


I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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review 2018-04-29 21:38
Journey into the past.
The Mirror (Northwest Passage #5) - John A. Heldt

This was the second time-travel book I'd listened to by this author, unfortunately from two different series. I preferred The Mirror (Northwest passage 05) to Class of '59 (American Journey 04), mainly because it was less confusing in the early chapters. I also favoured the narrator of The Mirror.


Ginny and Katie Smith, nineteen year old twins, have come from a family of time-travellers, and while they never expected to find themselves in another time, they seemed to have some awareness of how things worked and how to go about returning to their own time. However, they were aware that they needed to be very careful not to make significant changes in the past, and not to fall in love and leave heart-break behind them when they left. Whilst they pretty much achieved their first objective, they were far from achieving the second.


The era in which they find themselves is 1964, with the rise of The Beatles, the build-up of racial riots and the impending Vietnam disaster. This was also the era in which their great-grandmother lived. Meeting her and her daughter, their grandmother, was one of the highlights of their trip and they were able to fill her in on the fates of some of the people whom she'd loved and lost.


The characterisations were good and I loved the different social feel of a time when courtesy was the norm. The dialogue, however, was a bit stilted and I felt for the narrator in tackling an endless stream of 'he said, she said'. 

Although this does work as a standalone, I was sorry I hadn't read the previous books in the series. I struggled with the the ending, which brought together the fates of all the previous characters and was rather confusing. I still plan to go over the last few chapters again to really understand who everyone was and how their roles in the story panned out.


I'm a bit surprised that this is not listed as a YA book as it struck me as a coming-of-age novel rather than adult fiction.



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review 2018-04-17 15:47
Rite of Passage by Kevin V. Symmons
Rite of Passage - Kevin V. Symmons

Rite of Passage by Kevin V. Symmons is a Paranormal Romance, with heavy emphasis on the Romance. The book is very captivating. To me the book sort of fizzled a little bit towards the end when it should of really picked up. It was still a really good book though. 


In the book Courtney Wellington is a witch. She has had a sad past but is also the 40th in a line of powerful witches. On her 21st birthday just 2 weeks away there will be a ceremony where not only will she wed but the ceremony will also keep humanity from chaos and self-destruction. 


Robert "Robbie" McGregor thinks he has it all. He was educated in the best schools. He has a beautiful motivated girlfriend. Everything he thinks he want in life. What he doesn't know is everything is about to change. Robbie is also a chosen one. 


Robbie goes to a reunion and meets Courtney. It's love at first sight. They spend all of their time together. With small hints from others at the reunion, Robbie gets wind that Courtney is a witch. When Courtney with the help of Michael, Robbie's brother, tell Robbie all about Courtney and him being a chosen one Robbie starts to understand some of the weird things he has seen and heard. 


Just before the night of the ceremony Courtney is kidnapped. Robbie and the others must find her before it is too late, not only for their ceremony , but before she is used in a ceremony of another Coven. 


I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

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review 2018-03-29 05:24
LBJ's tortuous path to the presidency
The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson - Robert A. Caro

Over thirty years have passed since the publication of The Passage of Power, the first of what Robert Caro envisioned would be a three-volume biography of America’s 36th president. This, his fourth volume, ends in the first months of his presidency, and his assertion that this is the penultimate volume is a little hard to swallow given the thoroughness he has covered Johnson’s life even before reaching his time in the White House (with a third of this book’s 700+ pages chronicling just the first four months as president). Yet Caro has sacrificed brevity for a detailed portrait of irony in his depiction of a master of political power who finds himself deprived of it.


Caro begins with Johnson at the height of his success in the Senate. Still only in his second term, he had taken the weak position of Senate Majority Leader and turned it into the second most powerful position in national politics, thanks largely to his enormous personal and legislative abilities. But Johnson had his eye on an even larger prize – the presidency itself, an office he had aspired to for decades and which in 1960 seemed to many to be his for the taking. Yet Johnson hesitated to commit himself to the race, fearing the humiliation of a defeat. This created an opening that John F. Kennedy eagerly exploited. With his brother Robert collecting commitments in the west – a region critical to Johnson’s chances – Kennedy outmaneuvered the Texas senator, demonstrating just how completely Johnson had misjudged his opponent.


Yet for Johnson a new opportunity presented itself when Kennedy offered him the vice presidential nomination during the convention. For Kennedy, the choice was an obvious one, as Johnson’s presence on the ticket offered Democrats a chance to reclaim the Southern states lost to Dwight Eisenhower in the two previous elections. Johnson’s reasons for accepting are less clear, though Caro describes Johnson’s realistic assessment of his odds as vice president of assuming the presidency in his own right, as well as his belief that “Power is where power goes,” a statement that demonstrates his conviction that he would retain his control over the Senate even as vice president.


Johnson was soon disabused of this notion. Blocked from maintaining his position in the Senate’s Democratic caucus and denied any real responsibilities by the Kennedys, Johnson seemed to wither from the absence of power. For all his failings it is hard not to sympathize with the man in these chapters, who works to ingratiate himself with the Kennedys through expensive gifts and obsequious letters.  Yet flattery and jewelry did little to improve his standing in the administration, while the growing scandal surrounding his protégé Bobby Baker was exposing the vice president to increased scrutiny of his business dealings. Though Caro doesn’t press his case any further than the evidence allows, his description of the mounting investigations in the autumn of 1963 suggests that Johnson’s position on the ticket the next year was in jeopardy as he left with the president for a campaign trip to Texas.


All of this changed in Dallas in a matter of minutes. Caro’s chapters on Kennedy’s assassination and Johnson’s assumption of the presidency are among the best in the book, as they convey the sense of bewilderment, tragedy, and sadness which stained that day. Here we see Johnson’s abilities employed to their fullest to reassure a shocked nation of the smooth transition of power. Within days of Kennedy’s funeral the new president took charge of his predecessor’s stalled legislative agenda, working to pass a tax cut bill and civil rights legislation that few expected would become law.  Here Caro exploits the numerous telephone conversations the president secretly recorded to depict Johnson’s use of political power, as he threatened, cajoled, and wooed senators and representatives in an effort to attain his goals. The book ends in March 1964, with Johnson fully settled into his office and with the challenge before him of election in his own right, a challenge that – if successful – would complete his journey from the Texas Hill Country to the highest office in the land.


As with his previous volumes Caro has provided a meticulous, painstaking study of the life and career of one of the most fascinating men ever to occupy the presidency, a book that measures up to the high standard set by his earlier works. His errors are few and are easily forgiven in a narrative that engages the reader fully and manages to make the minutiae of legislative maneuvering into entertaining reading. Given Caro’s track record, it may be too much to hope that the next volume – final or not – will be published more quickly than this one, but regardless of how long it takes, if it is anywhere near as good as this one it will be well worth the wait.

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text 2018-01-18 22:45
The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin
The City of Mirrors: The Passage Trilogy, Book Three - Deutschland Random House Audio,Justin Cronin,Scott Brick

I am throwing in the towel around 15%.


I was so excited when I was approved for the ARC of this book! But now some time has gone by and the long and short of it is I just don't care anymore.


My apologies to NetGalley and to the publisher.

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