Review: Crypt of Bone, by J.F. Penn

Crypt of Bone, by J.F. Penn

Crypt of Bone by J.F. Penn
Published by The Creative Penn Limited on April 24, 2015 (previously published as Prophecy December 1, 2011)
Series: Arkane, #2
Genre(s): fiction, action, adventure, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Pages: e-book, 204
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The prophecy in Revelation declares that a quarter of the world must die.

Now a shadowy organization has the ability to fulfill these words. Can one woman stop the abomination before it’s too late?

ISRAEL. A victim of Jerusalem Syndrome jumps to his death from the top of the Western Wall, his body smashed on the ancient stones. Another disembowels himself under the scrawled figure of the Pale Horse of the Apocalypse with the chilling words, “God told me to do it.”

Dr Morgan Sierra travels to Israel to investigate the deaths and becomes embroiled in an international conspiracy that will use cutting-edge technology to carry an ancient curse to mankind, and threaten those she loves.

Morgan joins agent Jake Timber at ARKANE, a secret government agency investigating the supernatural. Together they must hunt down the Devil’s Bible, pursued all the way by the evil forces of Thanatos.

From the catacombs of Paris to the skeletal ossuaries of Sicily and the Czech Republic, Morgan and Jake must find the Devil’s Bible and stop the curse being released into the world before one in four are destroyed in the coming holocaust. Because in just seven days, the final curse will be spoken and the prophecy will be fulfilled.

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Review: Artemis, by Andy Weir

Artemis, by Andy Weir

Artemis by Andy Weir
Published by Crown/Archetype on November 14, 2017 (expected)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, adventure, science fiction
Format & Pages: e-book, 384
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The bestselling author of The Martian returns with an irresistible new near-future thriller—a heist story set on the moon

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

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Review & Book vs. Movie: Stories of Your Life and Others, by Ted Chiang

Stories of Your Life and Others, by Ted Chiang

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
Published by Vintage on June 14, 2016 (first published July 2002)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, science fiction
Format & Pages: paperback, 281
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Ted Chiang’s first published story, “Tower of Babylon,” won the Nebula Award in 1990. Subsequent stories have won the Asimov’s SF Magazine reader poll, a second Nebula Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and the Sidewise Award for alternate history. He won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1992. Story for story, he is the most honored young writer in modern SF.

Now, collected here for the first time are all seven of this extraordinary writer’s stories so far-plus an eighth story written especially for this volume.

What if men built a tower from Earth to Heaven-and broke through to Heaven’s other side? What if we discovered that the fundamentals of mathematics were arbitrary and inconsistent? What if there were a science of naming things that calls life into being from inanimate matter? What if exposure to an alien language forever changed our perception of time? What if all the beliefs of fundamentalist Christianity were literally true, and the sight of sinners being swallowed into fiery pits were a routine event on city streets? These are the kinds of outrageous questions posed by the stories of Ted Chiang. Stories of your life . . . and others.

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Review: Reading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything, by Anne Bogel

Reading People, by Anne Bogel

Reading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel
Published by Baker Books on September 19, 2017
Series: n/a
Genre(s): nonfiction
Format & Pages: e-book, 217
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If the viral Buzzfeed-style personality quizzes are any indication, we are collectively obsessed with the idea of defining and knowing ourselves and our unique place in the world. But what we’re finding is this: knowing which Harry Potter character you are is easy, but actually knowing yourself isn’t as simple as just checking a few boxes on an online quiz.
For readers who long to dig deeper into what makes them uniquely them (and why that matters), popular blogger Anne Bogel has done the hard part–collecting, exploring, and explaining the most popular personality frameworks, such as Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, Enneagram, and others. She explains to readers the life-changing insights that can be gained from each and shares specific, practical real-life applications across all facets of life, including love and marriage, productivity, parenting, the workplace, and spiritual life. In her friendly, relatable style, Bogel shares engaging personal stories that show firsthand how understanding personality can revolutionize the way we live, love, work, and pray.

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Review: Three More Jack Reacher Novellas: Too Much Time, Small Wars, Not a Drill and Bonus Jack Reacher Stories, by Lee Child

Three More Jack Reacher Novellas, by Lee Child

Three More Jack Reacher Novellas: Too Much Time, Small Wars, Not a Drill and Bonus Jack Reacher Stories by Lee Child
Published by Random House Audio Publishing Group on May 16, 2017
Series: Jack Reacher
Genre(s): fiction, action, mystery, thriller
Format & Pages: audiobook
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Lee Child once again demonstrates his mastery of the thriller genre with an unbeatable collection of three Jack Reacher novellas and six short stories, together for the first time in one pulse-pounding collection from the #1 New York Timesbestselling author

Too Much Time: In this original novella featuring Jack Reacher after his time in the army, Reacher finds himself in a hollowed-out town in Maine. He witnesses a random bag-snatching but sees much more than a simple crime, in a tale that leads into Lee Child’s new Reacher novel, The Midnight Line.

Small Wars: Lee Child goes back to 1989, when Jack Reacher is an MP assigned to solve the cold-blooded murder of a young officer.
The telex is brief and to the point: One active-duty personnel found shot to death ten miles north of Fort Smith. Circumstances unknown. The victim was shot twice in the chest and once in the head. A professional hit. The crime scene suggests an ambush. Military police officer Jack Reacher is given the case. He calls his older brother, Colonel Joe Reacher, at the Pentagon for intel and taps Sergeant Frances Neagley to help him answer the big question: Who would kill a brilliant officer on the fast-track to greatness?

Not a Drill: Jack Reacher is on the road, hitching a ride with some young Canadians who are planning a hike through the dense forests of Maine. They part ways after sharing a hot meal, and Reacher checks out a quiet town surrounded by countryside serene enough to cool even his raging wanderlust. But not for long. First the trail is suddenly closed. Then the military police show up in force. Maybe it’s a drill. Or maybe it’s trouble–the kind of trouble that always finds Reacher, no matter how far he travels off the beaten path.

And for the first time on audio, additional stories featuring Jack Reacher, including: James Penney’s New Identity, Everyone Talks, Maybe They Have a Tradition, Guy Walks into a Bar, No Room at the Motel, and The Picture of the Lonely Diner

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Review: Don’t Wake Up, by Liz Lawler

Don't Wake Up, by Liz Lawler

Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler
Published by Bonnier Zaffre on May 25, 2017
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Pages: e-book, 320
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Alex Taylor wakes up tied to an operating table.

The man who stands over her isn’t a doctor.

The offer he makes her is utterly unspeakable.

But when Alex re-awakens, she’s unharmed – and no one believes her horrifying story. Ostracised by her colleagues, her family and her partner, she begins to wonder if she really is losing her mind.

And then she meets the next victim.

So compulsive you can’t stop reading.

So chilling you won’t stop talking about it.

A pitch-black and devastatingly original psychological thriller.

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Review: Feel Me Fall, by James Morris

Feel Me Fall, by James Morris

Feel Me Fall by James Morris
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on May 6, 2017
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, adventure, mystery, suspense, thriller, young adult
Format & Pages: paperback, 227
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Secrets and survival in the Amazon

Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her and her teenage friends stranded and alone in the jungles of the Amazon. Lost and losing hope, they struggle against the elements, and each other. With their familiar pecking order no longer in place, a new order emerges, filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies. Emily must explain why she’s the last left alive.

But can she carry the burden of the past?

Discover the gripping new adventure novel that explores who we are when no one is watching, and how far we’ll go in order to survive.

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Review: Beartown, by Fredrik Backman

Beartown, by Fredrik Backman

Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Published by Simon Schuster Audio on April 25, 2017
Series: Björnstad, #1
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary
Format & Pages: audiobook
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From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here, comes a poignant, charming novel about a forgotten town fractured by scandal, and the amateur hockey team that might just change everything.

Winning a junior ice hockey championship might not mean a lot to the average person, but it means everything to the residents of Beartown, a community slowly being eaten alive by unemployment and the surrounding wilderness. A victory like this would draw national attention to the ailing town: it could attract government funding and an influx of talented athletes who would choose Beartown over the big nearby cities. A victory like this would certainly mean everything to Amat, a short, scrawny teenager who is treated like an outcast everywhere but on the ice; to Kevin, a star player just on the cusp of securing his golden future in the NHL; and to Peter, their dedicated general manager whose own professional hockey career ended in tragedy.

At first, it seems like the team might have a shot at fulfilling the dreams of their entire town. But one night at a drunken celebration following a key win, something happens between Kevin and the general manager’s daughter—and the next day everything seems to have changed. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected. With so much riding on the success of the team, the line between loyalty and betrayal becomes difficult to discern. At last, it falls to one young man to find the courage to speak the truth that it seems no one else wants to hear.

Fredrik Backman knows that we are forever shaped by the places we call home, and in this emotionally powerful, sweetly insightful story, he explores what can happen when we carry the heavy weight of other people’s dreams on our shoulders.

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Review: Best Day Ever, by Kaira Rouda

Best Day Ever, by Kaira Rouda

Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda
Published by Graydon House on September 19, 2017
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, suspense
Format & Pages: paperback, 350
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I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I’ve promised her…and more…

Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion. In the bestselling, page-turning vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.

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Review: On Her Last Leg, by Wendy J. Reber

On Her Last Leg, by Wendy J. Reber

On Her Last Leg by Wendy J. Reber
Published by Wild Dreams Publishing on September 15, 2017
Series: Legs of Life, #3
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction
Format & Pages: e-book, 228
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“On Her Last Leg” depicts Renee Gregor sweeping up the fragments of her life, only to drop all the shards. She falls for the cop who responded to the 9-1-1 call. She dates, tries to get creative at work, is the victim of an armed burglary, watches her best friend battle cancer, and witnesses her boyfriend getting shot in the face. As her ailing lover adds weight to her capacity, she astonishingly discovers a baby boy; a very important and special boy. How will the last few hours play out in the emotional hell that has been tormenting her for months?

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