Quotation – December 31, 2012

Words — so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Carpe Diem

Book Review: The Devil Colony

Roxanne Barbour’s Reviews > The Devil Colony

The Devil Colony by James Rollins
The Devil Colony (Sigma Force, #7)
by James Rollins (Goodreads Author)


Roxanne Barbour‘s review

Dec 30, 12  ·  edit
5 of 5 stars false
Read in December, 2012
Blurb:Deep in the Rocky Mountains, a gruesome discovery–hundreds of mummified bodies–stirs international attention and fervent controversy. Despite doubts about the bodies’ origins, the local Native American Heritage Commission lays claim to the prehistoric remains, along with the strange artifacts found in the same cavern: gold plates inscribed with an unfathomable script.
During a riot at the dig site, an anthropologist dies horribly, burned to ashes in a fiery explosion in plain view of television cameras. All evidence points to a radical group of Native Americans, including one agitator, a teenage firebrand who escapes with a vital clue to the murder and calls on the one person who might help–her uncle, Painter Crowe, Director of Sigma Force.
To protect his niece and uncover the truth, Painter will ignite a war among the nations’s most powerful intelligence agencies. Yet an even greater threat looms as events in the Rocky Mountains have set in motion a frightening chain reaction, a geological meltdown that threatens the entire western half of the U.S.
From the volcanic peaks of Iceland to the blistering deserts of the American Southwest, from the gold vaults of Fort Knox to the bubbling geysers of Yellowstone, Painter Crowe joins forces with Commander Gray Pierce to penetrate the shadowy heart of a dark cabal, one that has been manipulating American history since the founding the thirteen colonies.
But can Painter discover the truth–one that could topple governments–before it destroys all he holds dear?

I enjoyed this novel immensely. Even though I had not been introduced to any of these characters previously, Rollins does an excellent job of re/introducing them–even to new readers.

I thought the plot was a tad too complicated–but only a little.

The scientific concepts were well explained, with just enough detail.

The close timing (character predicaments) seemed a little too forced a couple of times.

I haven’t read any other Sigma Force novels, but that will be remedied shortly!

I only found two editing errors (not that I was actually looking for them), a “\” popped in two places (page 135, and 213).

This was a wonderful novel, and I am looking forward to the next Sigma Force novel.

Book Review: The Casual Vacancy

Roxanne Barbour’s Reviews > The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
The Casual Vacancy
by J.K. Rowling


Roxanne Barbour‘s review

Nov 02, 12  ·  edit
4 of 5 stars false
Read in October, 2012
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity, and unexpected revelations?

I was curious to see J.K. Rowling’s attempt at a non-Harry Potter novel. For the most part, I was not disappointed.

The plot is generally well-paced, although I thought it stagnated at “Olden Days”. I understand the need for background but there was too much at this point in the novel.

The characters were well-thought-out, however, unlikable. Surely, someone must be happy in the town of Pagford?

The novel is well-edited, but I would expect no less.
J.K. Rowling has adopted the habit, for this novel, of using brackets to introduce material. This is most disconcerting from a reader (albiet author/editor) point of view. Finding the first (opening) bracket on one page, and the ending bracket on a subsequent page, gave the editor in me a nervous breakdown. I spent far too much time looking for the ending bracket–it distracted from my reading pleasure.

The one word I would use to describe this novel is “Tawdry”; that is, the characters and situations.

I look forward to J.K. Rowling’s next novel. Hopefully, it will have a much more upbeat feel.

Book Review: Zoo

Roxanne Barbour’s Reviews > Zoo

Zoo by James Patterson
by James Patterson (Goodreads Author)


Roxanne Barbour‘s review

Dec 30, 12  ·  edit
2 of 5 stars false
Read in October, 2012
All over the world, brutal attacks by animals are crippling entire cities. Jackson Oz, a young biologist, watches the escalating events with an increasing sense of dread. When he witnesses a coordinated lion ambush in Africa, the enormity of the violence ahead becomes terrifyingly clear.

The premise for this novel lacks scientific validity, and common sense.
For example, blaming the degeneration of the animal kingdom on cell phone use and petroleum products over a number of years is almost unbelievable (why hasn’t it affected humans?), but to try and make us believe that it could be reversed in three days by banning the use of cell phones and electricity, etc., is ludicrous!

And then to have the animals revert again after a few days again is insulting! (to everyone’s intelligence).

I have enjoyed James Patterson’s coauthor Michael Ledwidge’s writing before, but he just lost me with this novel.

The James Patterson novels have deteriorated over the last couple of years, and I am almost to the point where I will never buy a James Patterson novel again.

Most disappointed.

Book Review: The Breath of Dawn

Roxanne Barbour’s Reviews > The Breath of Dawn

The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann
The Breath of Dawn
by Kristen Heitzmann


Roxanne Barbour‘s review

Dec 30, 12  ·  edit
5 of 5 stars false

bookshelves: first-reads

Read in December, 2012
Blurb:Quinn Reilly has been avoiding her past for four years. Standing up for the truth has forced her into a life of fear and isolation. After a chance first meeting thrusts her into the lives of widower Morgan Spencer and his young daughter, Quinn finally begins to believe she might find freedom in their friendship.
But when the man she helped put behind bars is released and comes after his revenge, Quinn fears her past will endanger all three of them. Morgan’s unorthodox solution to their problems will send them on a path neither of them expected–with repercussions they never could have imaged.

This book was received for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Finally I have received a novel from Goodreads that I couldn’t put down.

This is a wonderfully written romantic suspense novel. The characters are captivating and believable (even the children).

The plot is perfectly paced.

Before starting this novel, I hadn’t realized this was Christian fiction. However, this aspect was nicely balanced.

“The Breath of Dawn” is a wonderful read, and I very seldom give any novel 5 stars.

Well done!

Puerto Rico Picture — Fire Wallpaper — National Geographic Photo of the Day

Puerto Rico Picture — Fire Wallpaper — National Geographic Photo of the Day.

Quotation – December 26, 2012

One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.

Mark Twain

Carpe Diem

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