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review 2020-04-16 15:29
Unknown 9: Genesis
Unknown 9: Genesis - Layton Green

Andie Robertson has relied on her mentor and PhD adviser, Dr. James Corwin for much of her life, especially after her mother left. All of Andie's life, she has had strange hallucinations that take her into an eerie shadow world. After Dr. Corwin is mysteriously murdered in Italy, Andie finds some research of Dr. Corwin's that is out of his field of study along with drawings that looks exactly like her hallucinations. With the drawings, Andie finds the Star Phone, a strange device that leads her on an adventure with a series of clues. The clues are associated with a secret society, The Leap Year Society and The Ascendants. On the other side of the US, a disgraced investigative journalist, Cal, is desperately trying to find the people who ruined his career. Once Andie and Cal figure out that they are both being hunted by a very dangerous and secretive group, they team up to help one another on the perilous path that has befallen them.

 

Unknown 9: Genesis is a complex science fiction thriller featuring secret groups, code breaking, hidden history, conspiracy theories and mind bending scientific breakthroughs. This is the first book of a trilogy and the beginning of the book was a gradual set up of characters, events and background before getting too heavy into the plot. The writing gripped me from the beginning, building suspense as Dr. Corwin is running for his life. After that, the set up bounces back and forth between Andie, Cal, Omer who is contracted to deliver them, and Ettore in the 1930's. This lends to a slower pace in the beginning, however it does a wonderful job of creating deep characters and intriguing story line that is compounded, but easily followed. I enjoyed the fast paced adventures in Egypt and Italy's historical spaces. I'm deeply interested in the Leap Year Society and the secrets they want to protect. I was absorbed by the idea of The Fold and the potential it could unlock. There is much more to explore with all of the characters and the journey they are on, I can't wait to read more.

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

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review 2020-03-16 00:00
The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown: A Novel
The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown: A Novel - Paul Malmont ‘The Astounding, the Amazing and the Unknown’ is a follow up to ‘The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril’ but can be read independently. In ‘The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril’, author Paul Malmont plunged pulp writers Walter Gibson (The Shadow) Lester Dent (Doc Savage) and L. Ron Hubbard (Dianetics and Scientology, but not yet) into a deadly adventure mostly set in Chinatown New York. They were joined later by ex-Naval man who was on the run from gangsters after a failed venture with a silver mine. Together they solved the mystery and saved the world (spoiler).

I enjoyed that hugely and when I learned that there was a follow-up book featuring Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, L. Sprague de Camp and L. Ron Hubbard in another adventure I bought it immediately. I’ve heard of Gibson and Dent but I’m a lifelong fan of Heinlein and Asimov and wanted to see what Malmont would do with them, and to them. I was not disappointed.

The story takes place shortly after Heinlein, Asimov and de Camp have begun work at the Naval Yard in Philadelphia trying to develop superweapons for the war. They learn of an installation built by Nikolai Tesla that might be used as a weapon and set out to investigate. Cue a lot of running around in tunnels under New York, interference from the FBI and harassment by naval bureaucrats. There’s also some talk about pulp fiction and a few guest stars pop up along the way. When you’re having fun with famous people you might as well enjoy it so Malmont has pilot Jimmy Stewart fly Hubbard to the Aleutians when Heinlein wants to get rid of him. Sam Moskowitz and Ray Bradbury get walk-on parts.

It’s pretty clear that Heinlein is top man as far as the author is concerned, a well-rounded figure, physically, mentally and morally superior to his peers with L. Sprague de Camp second. Asimov’s physical timidity is shown but that’s something Asimov admitted himself. As in ‘The Chinatown Deathcloud Peril’, Hubbard is portrayed as a flawed character rather than evil. He was on the downhill slide from success as a pulp writer to success as a second rate Messiah.

It’s well researched and the adventure plot is secondary, for me, to the insights into the characters. As this is faction it has to be taken with a pinch of salt but I’ve read biographies of the leads and the portrayals seem fairly accurate. Asimov’s knee-trembler on a New York rooftop was going a bit far though.

Entertaining and worth a look for fans of Golden Age science fiction who like a laugh.

Eamonn Murphy
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url 2020-01-22 10:31
Some Beauty Resolutions one Can Keep This Year in 2020

Some Beauty Resolutions tips: Everyone wants to look beautiful and smart, maybe males or females. But the word beauty in the human race is won by women and takes the first seat. Men, though don’t speak about it but yes loves to be an admirer. Anyways, beauty is that which comes from the inside of our body. Eating healthy food, uncooked food, having lots of juices, fruits, and vegetable juices, in addition to all these, yoga, pranayama and meditation will make us look beautiful.

Source: www.flypped.com/some-beauty-resolutions-one-can-keep-this-year-in-2020/health-fitness
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review 2019-11-12 00:00
To a God Unknown
To a God Unknown - John Steinbeck

Belief in things seen and unseen is different for everyone, yet how one acts on that belief has ramifications to others and yourself.  To a God Unknown by John Steinbeck follows newly arrived Joseph Wayne has he begins a family ranch believing his father’s spirit inhabits a tree that protects the land which scares religious individuals in and around the ranch.

 

Joseph Wayne receives the blessing of his father, John, to leave Vermont and go to California.  Upon arriving and purchasing land, Joseph receives a letter from his religious brother Burton about the death of their father but after reading the letter Joseph feels his father in a huge tree next to the house he’s building.  Joseph’s three brothers and their families arrive months later and start a growing cattle ranch with Joseph always interested in the fertility of the land and his cattle while giving reverence to the tree which gets noticed by Burton.  The nearby town receives a new teacher which gets every single male’s attention, but Joseph somehow gets her to be his wife and the two have a “interesting” marriage that results in a son, young John, and ends with his wife’s death at a sacred rock that is on Joseph’s land.  After the ranch hosts a fiesta in which Joseph’s behavior towards the tree alarms the local priest and Burton.  Burton decides to leave for a safely Christian town but removes a ring of bark around the tree leading to its death.  Almost immediately the weather turns and over the next year drought devastates the ranch leading to Joseph’s brother leading what cattle he can to greener pastures while Joseph’s stays with the land.  Then as he watches the last water dry up from around the sacred rock. Joseph cuts himself and sees his blood moisten the ground then thunder in the distance.  He then sacrifices himself for the land and feels the rain in his dying moments.

 

Belief and how it affects people is the central theme of the novel, though the connection between farmer/rancher and the land goes hand in hand with it.  There are also clashes of belief, from Joseph’s paganism to the Christianity of Burton and the local priest who is also in conflict with local Indian beliefs.  This theme is the essential to the entire book as every character has their beliefs which make them unique and how they relate to everyone else.  But while Steinbeck goes into character beliefs, it doesn’t mean they’re all well rounded characters especially the women though Joseph’s sister-in-law Rama comes close.

 

To a God Unknown is the last of Steinbeck’s early works before his commercial and critical success but gives a glimpse of his later more well-known works.  As my first non-school related (The Pearl) Steinbeck work, I found this thought-provoking and intriguing but still a tad “rough” in style.  However, if you’re interested in getting to Steinbeck try this book and see if like myself, you’re figuring out which other Steinbeck books you’ll want to read.

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review 2019-11-07 20:03
The Unknown, Animorphs #14
The Unknown - Katherine Applegate

Another Cassie book, another low rating. It's not Cassie's fault - its just this plot had little going for it.

 

A woman named Crazy Helen has reported some odd behavior in the local wild horses to Cassie's dad.

 

Sidebar: OK, where in the country are these people? They're in a city big enough to have a few skyscrapers, major television stations, a theme park/zoo, malls, as well as seashore, virgin forest, mountain ranges, arid lands, and wild horses now? All a 'morph away with time to be home by dinner? Come on Applegate.)

 

I don't know why that is so important now. I should be more puzzled by the lack of video surveillance anywhere.

 

Where was I? Right. Wild horses. The wild horses were acting strange according to Crazy Helen so Cassie and her dad went to check it out with Rachel along for the ride. The horses were bizarre.

 

The strange horses have an interest in 'Area 91', an Air Force base in the heart of the Dry Lands where rumors of UFOs have attracted scrutiny in the past. Obviously, the Animorphs need to check this out.

 

The Animorphs, even the Andalite one, are kids, so their plans can be a little patchy. I have serious objections to the Yeerk plans at the government facility and later in the House of Horrors at the theme park (don't ask). What is this? The one point of humor relates to the 'secret' at the heart of Area 51, I mean 91.

 

Animorphs

 

Next: 'The Escape'

 

Previous: 'The Andalite Chronicles'

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