Friday, January 29, 2016

Halo Evolutions Volume I

A set of stories involving the Halo universe. Every story with there unique plot and theme. For example Midnight in the Heart of Midlothian plot surrounds a sole survivor from a devastating ambush attack from the Covenant (a group of religious extraterrestrial alien species) the sole survivor has to wipe out the ships hard drive to save Earth from being discovered and escape the ship before it self destructs. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

This is where it ends by Marieke Nijkamp

This is a school shooting story.  Kids and teachers at a highs chool are locked in an auditorium during an assembly It is known to be easy to get stuck in and hard to escape from.  The shooter is a student who was returning after an absence so already familiar with the auditorium.  He apparently believes that the world is against him and wants to get revenge, he even feels this way about his sister.  He is portrayed as very anger filled, and hateful towards everyone.  He had been bullied but I didn't quite understand exactly by whom about what.  The story is told by various students both caught in the auditorium and from the outside.  Its called gripping and compelling.  I guess I have just read too many similar stories.  I needed the students who were telling the story to have more depth.  I could not really understand this kid's irrational anger and act.  He did not seem to be a  scary kid without conscience for instance.  Grieving a loss of a parent does not usually result in shooting folks who had nothing to do with the death...
JDW 1/25/16

A Ghostly Demise by Tonya Kappes

This title is on the list of recommended adult mysteries for teens.  It is somewhat similar to television episodes of Ghost Whisperer.  Emma Lee Raines is a betweener.  She accidentally discovered this fact when ghosts needing help in "passing over" started appearing to her.  After the first, there has been quite a string of them having been referred by the previous ghosts in need.  Since she happens to be operator of the local small town funeral home folks have thought the stress of her situation was causing trauma.  Not true.  When she is talking out loud to herself she is actually in conversation with one of her ghost clients.  This book is one of a series and I really want to read them all, this was such fun.  Cephus Hardy disappeared 5 years ago and was assumed to have run away or gone away.  He was the town drunk, womanizer, and perhaps gambler.  Not even his wife and son were especially disappointed or surprised when he vanished.  Only his beautiful, sexy daughter seemed to care.  So he appears to Emma Lee in a store, in front of a lot of people, throws her for a loop when she realizes the person talking to her cannot be seen by others, after she greeted him happily, out loud.  Anyway he does not know how he died, where his body lies and is not about to share all his sordid doings with Emma Lee and so the fun begins.  A traveling carnival is in town, since it stops every summer residents know many of the workers.  The town's favorite celebrity is there as well providing more than the usual suspects.  To add to the fun, Emma Lee's granny is running for mayor and causing quite a ruckus, which actually I guess she usually does anyway.  A murder at the carnival and Emma Lee has two ghosts to help pass over and they are not quiet and cooperative.  Of course everything is sorted out in the end, getting there is a hoot.  There are a couple of errors that a good editor should have caught but they were minor and easy to ignore.  There is a lot of descriptive text that does nothing to help advance the story so it must be there to get the required number of pages.  That was a small irritation that I skimmed over.  Happily recommended.
JDW 1/25/15