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review 2020-07-05 14:20
Dead Sea
Dead Sea - Tim Curran

by Tim Curran

 

This was wonderfully atmospheric.

 

From the Prologue:

"Shut your mind down, shut it right down or they will hear you thinking and if they hear you thinking they will find you."

 

How many children have hidden under their blankets in the dark thinking just this? Invoking our childhood fears from the start, the story goes on to trigger other fears, including fog, darkness and most notably, the vast open sea.

 

Several members of a construction crew have never been out of sight of land before, but they needed this job. What awaits them goes far beyond fear of a sinking ship or natural disasters when the ship enters an eerie fog in the vicinity of the Bermuda Triangle. Everything seems wrong. Watches and radios don't work properly and sea creatures unlike anything even the seasoned sailors have ever seen before add to the otherworldly feeling of being somewhere unknown, where all the rules have changed.

 

This book could do with a technical edit as there are periodic words missing or shoved together, but the writing is exquisite and the characters develop into very distinctive personalities, some of them sensible and others so irritating you want to just shoot them for the good of the group. The eerie atmosphere is very well done and keeps the pages turning to the point of losing sleep over 'just one more chapter'.

 

I loved the way the author got inside the minds of men who are trying to hang on to sanity in circumstances that test their limits more and more as time goes on. Sometimes I've had to stop reading just to get out of that world for a little while myself! I wanted a book with monsters. Well, I definitely got it with this one. It took me unequivocally into another world where nothing is as it should be and the rules become clear only when it's too late.

 

As if that weren't enough, we get some theoretical Physics! One of my great interests and the reason I love time travel books. It was sensibly done, going just far enough. My only complaint besides the typo errors is that an aspect of the ending was a little too convenient for something untried, but by then reality was fully suspended so I didn't care too much. Despite my little criticisms, this one gets a full 5 stars for the amount of enjoyment it gave me.

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review 2020-05-10 14:15
Leviathan
Leviathan - Tim Curran

by Tim Curran

 

I've been hearing Tim Curran is good for some time and have had this one and Dead Sea on my Kindle for a while, so I finally decided it's about time I read one of his books! This one called me first.

 

I could see right away that the writing was good. The cover was enough to tell me to expect a good monster story and that's what I got. The beginning set up a situation that might be called predictable, but the execution is what carries it. A deserted beach with police warnings on a coast that is otherwise full of tourists and a monster on the cover... let's see... what might happen? As the protagonist is a photographer, it's guaranteed to happen up close.

 

Though I felt the character development could have been sustained longer, the story moved fast and was full of imagery and excitement. I read most of the last three quarters in one sitting which is a sign of a gripping story! I did feel that a few loose ends weren't adequately followed up at the end, but by then I was too out of breath to worry about it. I'll definitely be reading my other book by this author soon and probably more besides.

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review 2020-04-29 03:11
The Traitor's Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The Traitor's Game - Jennifer A. Nielsen,Jesse Vilinsky,Michael Curran-Dorsano

 

 

"Nothing is as it seems in the kingdom of Antora. Kestra Dallisor has spent three years in exile in the Lava Fields, but that won't stop her from being drawn back into her father's palace politics. He's the right-hand man of the cruel king, Lord Endrick, which makes Kestra a valuable bargaining chip. A group of rebels knows this all too well - and they snatch Kestra from her carriage as she reluctantly travels home. The kidnappers want her to retrieve the lost Olden Blade, the only object that can destroy the immortal king, but Kestra is not the obedient captive they expected. Simon, one of her kidnappers, will have his hands full as Kestra tries to foil their plot, by force, cunning, or any means necessary. As motives shift and secrets emerge, both will have to decide what - and who - it is they're fighting for." - Inside cover

 

This book enthralled me. I was so anxious to see what would happen to Kestra and all the people she met along the way that I jumped right into book 2 and then book 3. The whole series was great! I highly recommend it to anyone who likes YA Fantasy.  There will definitely be things you don't see coming.

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text 2020-04-18 21:29
Reading progress update: I've read 177 out of 432 pages.
Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making: More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks - John Curran

I've been trying to refrain from constant retail therapy, which for me involves buying books and pretty much nothing else right now. I've been doing pretty well, although I did break down and buy this one, and it's companion, in print format. I already owned the first of the Curran books which use Christie's notebooks as their basis as a kindle book, but I pretty much realized as soon as I started reading it that I would need it as a "real" book. 

 

This one isn't as good as the first one. I think that Curran used the best material for the first book, so this one feels thin. Having said that, I'm still enjoying dipping into it.

 

I have finally just given into the Christie Comfort Craving(tm) and started The Secret of Chimneys yesterday, after finishing The Pale Horse. I've been planning a chronological reread for a couple of years, but I've just decided to abandon that plan. Instead, I'm going to read what takes my fancy and I may, possibly, do some themed reads.

 

So, right now I'm reading the Bundle Brent pair of Chimneys to be followed by The Seven Dials Mystery because I am in the mood for a romp, and both of those very definitely qualify as romps. I'm not sure where I will go from there - I may continue with my romp theme, and go with Murder is Easy. I could move onto a transportation theme, and read one of her books set on a conveyance of some sort. I could also go with some books set in exotic locales - Murder in Mesopotamia, They Came to Baghdad or Death on the Nile, perhaps.

 

Or I could read some of her dysfunctional family books - the Angkatells, the Leonides, or Cloades or the Lees would all work for this theme.

 

With 66 novels to select from, the sky (Death in the Clouds) is the limit.

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text 2020-03-26 13:47
Dead Sea
Dead Sea - Tim Curran

by Tim Curran

 

This was wonderfully atmospheric.

 

From the Prologue:

"Shut your mind down, shut it right down or they will hear you thinking and if they hear you thinking they will find you."

 

How many children have hidden under their blankets in the dark thinking just this? Invoking our childhood fears from the start, the story goes on to trigger other fears, including fog, darkness and most notably, the vast open sea.

 

Several members of a construction crew have never been out of sight of land before, but they needed this job. What awaits them goes far beyond fear of a sinking ship or natural disasters when the ship enters an eerie fog in the vicinity of the Bermuda Triangle. Everything seems wrong. Watches and radios don't work properly and sea creatures unlike anything even the seasoned sailors have ever seen before add to the otherworldly feeling of being somewhere unknown, where all the rules have changed.

 

This book could do with a technical edit as there are periodic words missing or shoved together, but the writing is exquisite and the characters develop into very distinctive personalities, some of them sensible and others so irritating you want to just shoot them for the good of the group. The eerie atmosphere is very well done and keeps the pages turning to the point of losing sleep over 'just one more chapter'.

 

I loved the way the author got inside the minds of men who are trying to hang on to sanity in circumstances that test their limits more and more as time goes on. Sometimes I've had to stop reading just to get out of that world for a little while myself! I wanted a book with monsters. Well, I definitely got it with this one. It took me unequivocally into another world where nothing is as it should be and the rules become clear only when it's too late.

 

As if that weren't enough, we get some theoretical Physics! One of my great interests and the reason I love time travel books. It was sensibly done, going just far enough. My only complaint besides the typo errors is that an aspect of the ending was a little too convenient for something untried, but by then reality was fully suspended so I didn't care too much. Despite my little criticisms, this one gets a full 5 stars for the amount of enjoyment it gave me.

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