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    $18.95 $17.99
    1. A Pleasant Shade Of Gray : A Novel
    $17.13 $14.99 list($25.95)
    2. Zorro : A Novel
    $16.47 list($24.95)
    3. Map of Bones
    $10.50 $7.19 list($14.00)
    4. Life of Pi
    $17.79 $17.57 list($26.95)
    5. Acts of Faith
    $17.13 $14.95 list($25.95)
    6. The Triumph of the Sun
    $5.85 list($6.50)
    7. Mission: Irresistible
    $7.19 list($7.99)
    8. A Nightmare On Elm Street #1:
    $16.47 $14.95 list($24.95)
    9. Slim and None
    $9.75 $6.15 list($13.00)
    10. The Alchemist: A Fable About Following
    $23.10 $17.50 list($35.00)
    11. Angels & Demons : Special
    $16.47 $14.25 list($24.95)
    12. Pretty Birds : A Novel
    $17.16 $10.00 list($26.00)
    13. Alibi : A Novel
    $17.13 $14.75 list($25.95)
    14. Dangerous Ground
    $17.13 list($25.95)
    15. Star Wars Labyrinth of Evil (Star
    $17.13 $12.25 list($25.95)
    16. Hunter Killer
    $11.16 $8.65 list($13.95)
    17. The Birth of Venus : A Novel
    $16.49 list($24.99)
    18. Monster
    $16.32 $14.49 list($24.00)
    19. Into the Looking Glass
    $10.39 $8.51 list($12.99)
    20. The Revelation (Abram's Daughters)

    1. A Pleasant Shade Of Gray : A Novel of the NYPD
    by Anthony Cancelliere
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $18.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0595346782
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-15)
    Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 3968
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Following takes place 9am

    June 9th 2002

    Events Are Read In Real Time.

    Detective Jim Clark is a cop on the edge and still nursing the loss of his wife and daughter three years ago. Detective Clark has been deep undercover for the past three months working a Snuff Film case. Jim gets a phone call that his best friend and partner Detective Peter Brown is the suspect of killing his wife late last night. Suddenly Clark is tossed into a frantic search to clear his partners name before Internal Affairs can formally charge Peter with murder.

    When Detective Clark uncovers the truth, about what happened to Detective Brown’s wife the truth it is more horrifying then Detective Clark could have ever thought possible. The deeper the truth goes the more shocking it becomes. Shaking New York City to the bone with one of the most horrible crimes ever committed.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (34)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Disturbing book
    This book is filled with plot twists and curve balls out of no where. The story takes you on a roller coaster of events that tie into one great ending. Detective Clark is one of the great cops of our time and really makes you care about him and how he is going to save his partner. A few spelling errors and what not, but I didn't even notice since the story, and the action is just so great.
    Anthony Cancelliere is such a great story teller that he is able to take horror and thriller and action mix it with drama and heart break all into once story. He is able to take all these great aspects that I love so much and mix it into one really good story. When the story takes off it really takes off and me as the reader had to buckle my seat belt and really hang on for the ride of my life.
    The side plots are so good and the undertones of friendship and love really make this novel good. The book is about how this detective is going to save his best friend, while dealing with his demons. One part of the novel the main detective is walking back and forth talking to himself trying to talk his way to having a drink. It is really a good look at how booze and drugs really can ruin your life. The messages that the author puts in this novel really make it so much more then just a cop and robber novel.
    What makes this novel really amazing is that it all happens with in 24 hours. By the time the novel is over it feels like the story took place over weeks or months. This book really shows the dark side of the police force and the dark side of what the political world is like. But it also shows what good cops are willing to do to make sure that justice is served.
    This book is really worth the price I paid and if the editor did his job a little better it might be a simply out of this world novel. This book is just really a rare book that is able to mix so many different tones into one 24 plot line. I have so rarely read a book that can do so many things and yet has a solid plot line and works really good. For my money nothing beats this young voice of a talent that is going to making waves in the world of thrillers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hear stopping terror and blood rushing action
    This book is a great novel from a first time author although the book could have used some grammer work. Aside from the editing problems this book was great and it did not appear slow to me. Jim Clark is undercover as Jim Ryder and is trying to uncover a killer making Snuff Films. His partner is a suspect in the murder of his partner's wife. When Jim is called back into duty he is tossed into a whirlwind of action and terror to find the killer. As Detective Clark starts to go down a dark road he finds that the real killer is much worse then he could have ever dreamed. The book really gave a sense of dread as well as taking me on a one hell of a thrill ride.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A little too reel for me
    The book starts out after events that had already changed Detective Clark leaving him a troubled man. He is a former drunk and battling the loss of his wife and little girl. You get the sense right away he is a good man who just needs to keep his head on straight. His partner is charged with murdering his own wife the night before. So Jim is undercover and comes out of it to help find the killer of his parnter's wife.

    While the book is not perfect no one is saying that it is but I found it did not keep me from enjoying it. The story keeps moving quickly kept me guessing as to what was coming next. There were times I was shocked when someone was killed off. If this book had a better editor it would have been simply amazing. Here is a small bi of everyone in the book.

    Detective Jim Clark: A cop on the edge still dealing with the loss of his wife and a drinking problem. We know that Jim can do his job from mentioning cases he had worked in the past. We also know that Jim is a good cop when everyone thinks he should be brought out from under cover.

    Detective Peter Brown: A former football player turned detective is still pretty much a rookie. We know that he is a good man and that he and Jim are like brothers.

    Captain Tyler Anderson: The head of the entire sector Captain Anderson has his own problems. The stress of having a new baby might be getting to him as well as his own drinking problem.

    Captain Patrick McCabe: An evil IAB Captain who is turning the precinct upside down and inside out. Once McCabe gets his gook into the 24th he is going to bring everyone down.

    Detective Allen Hill: A rookie night watch cop called into duty when an office goes down. A good cop who is still just learning the ropes of the police force.

    Charlton Prescott: City Councilman and running for Mayor in New York. Is mixed up in what could be one of the biggest scandals in New York City. Is an old school man and a former detective from the NYPD.


    Halo: One of the most evil and sadistic killers I have ever read in my entire life. This man kills so coldy with no emotion of regard for human life. The torture he brings others is nothing short of evil and I wonder how the author could ever think up this stuff.

    In short the book is good despit the few pimples it has here and there. The story was good and I enhjoyed reading this book very much. The author talks about the evils of drinking and how it could ruin a person as well as how to be true to a friend. Like I said if you need a pure polished novel then this is not for you. If you like to sit back and enjoy the thrill ride then buckle up. This book will take you and drag you along twenty four great hours of action and suspense.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Mediocre at best
    Although a good first novel, I found this book to be slow and difficult to read due to the absence of an editor.

    5-0 out of 5 stars You have to ask.........
    What in the world this author was on when he wrote this novel. Granted there were a few spelling mistakes this was a great book. As far as thrillers go this was a fast paced novel that kept me guessing what was going to happen next. I loved how there were all these different things happening all at the same time. Also the real time aspect was really cool giving a new meaning to tension. I thought as far as making twenty fours fit into one novel this author really did a good job and makes "Time" one of the villians. This was an orignal novel that stood on the line of horror and action. ... Read more


    2. Zorro : A Novel
    by Isabel Allende
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060778970
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Sales Rank: 46
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A swashbuckling adventure story that reveals for the first time how Diego de la Vega became the masked man we all know so well

    Born in southern California late in the eighteenth century, he is a child of two worlds. Diego de la Vega's father is an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner; his mother, a Shoshone warrior. Diego learns from his maternal grandmother, White Owl, the ways of her tribe while receiving from his father lessons in the art of fencing and in cattle branding. It is here, during Diego's childhood, filled with mischief and adventure, that he witnesses the brutal injustices dealt Native Americans by European settlers and first feels the inner conflict of his heritage.

    At the age of sixteen, Diego is sent to Barcelona for a European education. In a country chafing under the corruption of Napoleonic rule, Diego follows the example of his celebrated fencing master and joins La Justicia, a secret underground resistance movement devoted to helping the powerless and the poor. With this tumultuous period as a backdrop, Diego falls in love, saves the persecuted, and confronts for the first time a great rival who emerges from the world of privilege.

    Between California and Barcelona, the New World and the Old, the persona of Zorro is formed, a great hero is born, and the legend begins. After many adventures -- duels at dawn, fierce battles with pirates at sea, and impossible rescues -- Diego de la Vega, a.k.a. Zorro, returns to America to reclaim the hacienda on which he was raised and to seek justice for all who cannot fight for it themselves.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Zoro You Can Relate To
    Isabel Allende writes with an effortless flow. Her action is enthralling, her drama captivating. Allende carves out a ZORRO who is romantic and historical, but one who exhibits sensibilities we can relate to. Thematically the book has more in common with modern greats like "My Fractured Life", "Saturday", and "Life of Pi" than most historical fiction. You'll see "Zorro" on the bestseller list for a long time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Zorro you've never seen
    This is the first time that I have read anything by Isabel Allende. Initially, her narrative style put me off a bit. I'm used to a lot on dialogue that describes the situations rather than a lot of narration telling me what is happening. HOWEVER, within a couple of chapters, I was completely pulled into the story by Isabel Allende's tremendous ability to invite her reader into the world that she so adroitly creates. I found myself smiling as each piece of the puzzle that makes up the story I know so well fell into place. Allende allows her readers to observe young Diego De La Vega as each of his skills, personality traits and burning desires snap neatly into place. None of the characters motivations are left to chance, which makes for wonderful story telling.

    Her detailed descriptions of early California, Barcelona and Panama make the reader believe that Alende actually has seen and experienced the 18th century world that she describes.Also, she pulls no punches when it comes to her description of the indians and their mistreatment by early European aristocrats. The deep rifts between the upper class and lower class that is currently still in place in Mexico is made clear.

    Although the world of 18th century California is detailed, this story is character driven. Diego De La Vega (Zorro) is an extremely three dimensional character that runs the gamit of human emotion and Allende allows her readers to see his flaws as well as his attributes (as is so often true, the two are one and the same). Bernardo, who in previous incarnations of the Zorro story is a typical "sidekick", is anything but a "sidekick" in this novel. Bernardo is a complex, spiritual young man that in many ways is the moral superior of Diego. He is a brother, but also a wise guide, keeping the brash young man on his life's path. Rather than serving Diego because he is of "higher" caste, Bernardo serves out of love and a deep sense of destiny. In Yogic terms, these two men have found their darma, their purpose in life.

    "Zorro" is an interesting look at the legend as well as a wonderful, non-judgmental description of a world of the near past. "Zorro" is fiction, but Allende fills this story with historical fact as well clever analysis of the ramifications of many of the political decisions made at the time. Every dollar you spend on this one is an investment in thought and entertainment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Enthralling, enriching adaptation...
    I never read The Mark of Zorro, but if the original was anywhere near as good as this recreation, then I look forward to reading it some time in the future.Allende takes the reader into an enriching journey full of precise history and keen storytelling with Diego de la Vega -- a man torn between the customs of his heritage and doing the right thing.We see how Diego grows up in a somewhat corrupt society in which Europeans torture and abuse Native Americans.He starts off by joining a group called La Justicia, a group of Robin Hood types who help the poor.And through various adventures and turns of history, Diego becomes el Zorro -- a legendary hero that we will not soon forget...

    As said earlier, I have not read The Mark of Zorro and therefore cannot compare that book with this one.However, this novel is one of the best books I have read in a long time.Isabel Allende has been one of my favorite novelists for as long as I can remember and she has done a wonderful job with this novel.Zorro is a bit of a change from her usual work, but the different angle in her standard writing style is a welcome one.The most impressive part of this novel is the historical reference.Her descriptions of European landscapes and architecture and customs are vivid and breathtaking.We also get a lot of subplots centered on the times in which French military commander Napoleon Bonaparte ruled and corrupted a major part of Europe.All of the aforementioned things make for a literary, enlightening read.I only wish I had taken the incentive of reading the original Spanish version, for I am sure that many things were lost in the translation.Alas, it is difficult to write a summary without giving away important details or spoilers, which is why I have made mine brief. I simply suggest that you get this book and savor its pages like fine wine because historical novels based on legendary heroes don't get better than this!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, great for book clubs
    A very different book for Ms. Allende. Based on the fictitious, though widely known, legend of Zorro, Ms. Allende creates a character that we get to know so well, his unusual childhood, his doubts, ambitions and thirst for justice that one has to stop to realize that this is not a biography!! Diego de la Vega's father is a Spanish officer and his mother a Shoshone Indian. He eventually is sent to Spain for a European upbringing and education.

    Characters are described in depth and are an incredible mix of Indians with their legends and beliefs, his "milk brother" Bernardo whom he is fiercely bonded to, radicals fighting for justice for the poor in Spain, a fencing master who teaches Diego everything he knows and a woman whose love he cannot have.

    I think the weakest part of this book is the first third, unfortunately, as the reader must have the desire to "stick through" the first 100 pages or so; but once they do will be nicely rewarded.

    A great book for anyone who loves an adventure; particularly those who grew up in the 50's and watched the TV series and/or has a fascination for this character.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A zesty saga about the making of a legend.
    Isabel Allende's enchanting new novel, "Zorro," traces the origins of the legendary folk hero, who evolved from a privileged and foolish young man into an intrepid warrior.Zorro's mission was to use his wits, agility, and formidable fighting skills to defend the poor and downtrodden in early nineteenth century Spain and California.Allende laces her narrative liberally with humor, irony, wit, and dozens of colorful characters.

    The story begins with the birth of Zorro's alter ego, Diego de la Vega, in Alta California.We follow Diego to Barcelona, Spain, where he changes from a playful and callow youth into a passionate young man.The author enlivens her story with intrigue, sword fights, romance, treachery, adventures on the high seas, prison breaks, and fascinating historical background about the relationship between the Native Americans, the Spaniards, the French, and the Catholic Church during those turbulent times.There is never a dull moment in this nearly four hundred page book, and the translation from the Spanish by Margaret Sayers Peden is excellent.

    Without compromising the spirit of fun that permeates her tale, Allende makes it clear that the Indians in North America were victims of genocide. The Spanish conquerors came to the New World, greedy for land and treasure, and they murdered the Indians, burned their villages, and enslaved those who survived.Allende creates a number of unforgettable Native American characters.Bernardo, Diego's devoted "milk brother," becomes mute after his mother is brutally assaulted; White Owl, Diego's grandmother, is a respected shaman and medicinal healer who teaches her grandson to be faithful to his spiritual guide, the fox; and Toypurnia, Diego's mother, is a fierce warrior who cannot be tamed, even by the love of the handsome hidalgo, Alejandro de la Vega.

    "Zorro" works so well because Allende goes back to storytelling basics.She puts interesting people in exotic settings, and she has them contend with nasty villains who will stop at nothing to get what they want.Finally, she features a brave, albeit flawed hero, who risks his life, with panache and style, to fight for justice.If this sounds like a Spanish "Star Wars," that's not far off the mark.Although the characters, the setting, and the time frames may vary, well-told stories about the battle of good versus evil will always find a place in people's hearts.
    ... Read more


    3. Map of Bones
    by James Rollins
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060763876
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: William Morrow
    Sales Rank: 39633
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    4. Life of Pi
    by Yann Martel
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0156027321
    Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
    Publisher: Harvest Books
    Sales Rank: 73
    Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.

    The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional--but is it more true?
    ... Read more

    Reviews (976)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A truly remarkable tale
    Good storytelling in this age is quite rare. Rarer still is an engaging story with a sustaining set of characters to draw you in and teach you about what it means to be a human being. There is plenty of plot summary elsewhere to give you a sense of what the book is about. What you won't know until you read it is how deceptively simplistic those synopses are. Long ago, I actually decided not to read the book after reading such a summary. What a mistake!

    "Life of Pi" is without a doubt the best work of contemporary fiction I've read since "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay". The story's elements are simple and straightforward, but the author's voice is charming, intelligent and insightful. What I found so remarkable about a book advertised for it's "inventiveness" is the degree of realism. In many ways, Martel's style reminds me of the great "magical realists" like Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Pi's fascination with religions and his attention to the detailed inner workings of zoo management are illuminating. Never before has such an eloquent case been made for the civility of a zoo (I suppose it would take a zoo run by a vegetarian family to make such a place civil).

    Naturally, the story really finds its legs once Pi is stranded at sea with wounded animals. It is a testament to the author's abilities that 227 days on the ocean can be filled with such immediacy and interest. Pi's journey is a story of resilience and determination...a desire to go on living when there is seemingly no point in doing so. Throughout it all, Pi suffers with dignity and pride, engaging his plight head-on, digging in his heels and sticking it out until the end. What's staggering is how lively and redemptive such an experience can be. This book is funny, informative and surprisingly fast-paced given the fact that the narrator is adrift at sea.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Engaging and Multi-faceted
    Life of Pi has one of the strangest beginnings that I have ever read. The narrator gives us many small and random facts about zoology, then proceeds to detail his interest in Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, and how he practices all three religions at the same time. Not exactly gripping writing, or similar to the survival story described on the back jacket. But, near page 100, Life of Pi abruptly transitions. Our hero, Pi, leaves India with his family and their zoo animals, (his family runs a zoo) on a cargo ship bound for a new life in Canada. But, the cargo ship soon sinks and Pi is left on a life raft with a tiger. Now, the real book begins. Pi must survive on a small life raft with a massive tiger. The meat of the novel is Pi explaining his activities while on the high seas. But, as the novel continues, his exploits change from the normal, collecting water when it rains; to the hard to believe, going blind and meeting fellow survivors. Predictably, Pi survives, and the author's purpose of writing the novel becomes clear when he is interrogated. Life of Pi can be read two ways, as a exciting survival story with a bad beginning; or as an allegory for the two different ways in which events can play out, the reader not knowing which way actually happened, and which way was fantasy. Because of the questions it raises, Life of Pi would be an excellent discussion book for a book club, however, it is enjoyable when read alone as well.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A deeper look
    Life of Pi was a wonderful book, with notes of philosophy and theological thought tied into a well crafted story. While it may start with a slightly slower pace than other books in the genre, it is worth the effort. If you liked this, I would also recommend Golf in the Kingdom.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A delicious rendering of an exciting and memorable
    journey across blue seas with one of the most unforgetable characters I have ever come across. Pi Patel, a zookeepers son living in India,has a vast knowledge of animals and is in a love/fear relationship with them all. When the family must move, they do so, zoo and all to Canada. Unfortuneately the ship they are on loses its battle with the sea and sinks; leaving Pi on a lifeboat with several of the surviving zoo animals.

    This floating island becomes a city within itself and how Pi survives, fighting to co-exist with the wild beasts while defending himself against hunger, thirst and nature is a frightening yet mystical journey for both Pi and the reader.

    The fact that Pi is a Catholic/Hindu/Muslim adds something very thought-provoking to an already magnetic novel.

    I suggest you travel along with this enigmatic boy/man and see through his eyes the vast expanse of sea; hear through his ears the wild frightening animal noises; pray with him to his God and above all take this author's flight of imagination and savor and enjoy because it is truly wonderful!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Slice of Pi
    Martel spins a fascinating yarn that goes beyond the realm of imagination. The exposition moves slowly, leaving the reader to ponder where the tale is headed. However, once the plot becomes apparent, the text flows, for the most part. The seemingly simple story line of being trapped on a lifeboat is, indeed, complex. Some readers tout their religious denotation; however, no one needs to look that deeply. Read it because it's an enlightening tale that makes one wonder how anyone would endure such a crisis. ... Read more


    5. Acts of Faith
    by PHILIP CAPUTO
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375411666
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 411
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Download Description

    Acclaim for Acts of Faith
    “Philip Caputo, from Vietnam onwards, has understood the hardest truths of the modern world better than almost anybody. Acts of Faith is a stunningly unflinching novel. On the surface it is set in Africa, but in fact its true landscape is the ravaged soul of the twenty-first century. Philip Caputo is one of the few absolutely essential writers at work today.” –Robert Olen Butler
    “In Acts of Faith Philip Caputo has fashioned a gripping cast of characters and placed them in a spellbinding story. You can’t get any better than that.” –Winston Groom
    “Caputo’s ambitious adventure novel, set against a backdrop of the Sudanese wars, makes for a dense, riveting update on Graham Greene’s The Quiet American . . . Caputo presents a sharply observed, sweeping portrait, capturing the incestuous world of the aid groups, Sudan’s multiethnic mix, and the decayed milieu of Kenyan society.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)
    Acts of Faith offers an image of Africa deserving comparison with Conrad, Hemingway, Peter Matthiessen, and Jan de Hartog’s forgotten near-masterpiece The Spiral Road.” –Kirkus Reviews (starred review)



    “Philip Caputo is a splendid, muscular story teller who possesses the crucial power to make endearing ordinary men from diverse fragilities and stubborness.” —Gloria Emerson, Los Angeles Times

    “For the past twenty years, Caputo has written parables of hubris upbraided, populated by outsiders whose defects lead them into trouble as unerringly as does fate.” —David Haward Bain, New York Times Book Review

    “Caputo lets no one and nothing off the hook.” —Richard Bausch, Washington Post Book World

    “Caputo takes on most of the hot-button issues of our time–racism, random violence, disempowerment, the decay of social fabric, even the nature of evil itself–and more than lives to tell the tale.” —Roget L. Simon, Los Angeles Times

    Acclaim for Philip Caputo's previous books:

    The Voyage

    “An adventure filled sea story.” —Andrea Barrett, The New York York Times Book Review

    “Genuinely exciting . . . Caputo’s prose is a pleasure . . . The ending satisfies completely, adding layers of intriguing meannig to the already rich adventure story.” —Debra Spark, Chicago Tribune

    “A compellig novel that offers both rousing adventure and penetrating insight into the mystery that is family.” —Library Journal

    “A high seas classic combined with a mystery . . . a complicated psychological drama . . . an engaging study of the emotional life of young me . . . [their struggles] toward independent adulthood, their rage and love for an unapproachable father.” —Paul Kafka, San Francisco Chronicle

    “Caputo is a conjurer of rich atmosphere; he knows the sea and sailing. But he also knows the ways of building finely shaded characters. Readers will find all his talents on display here.”--Brad Hooper, Booklist

    “Strongly imagined . . . those who plunge headlong into its dark waters will not soon forget the experience.” Kirkus Reviews


    Exiles

    “What makes Exiles extraordinary is the lead story, “Standing In,” . . . Here Mr. Caputo brings fresh subtlety to the psychology of exile. It is one of the most engaging works of fiction he has yet produced.”--Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times

    “Philip Caputo is a splendid, muscular story teller who possesses the crucial power to make endearing ordinary men from diverse fragilities and stubborness.” —Glor
    ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Truth Comes Out of Us All
    Acts of Faith will be compared by many to the epic books about how people under stress in exotic circumstances reveal themselves such as The Quiet American.In this case, the stress in question is the desire to do the right thing . . . in a place and time when you will be tempted to let the ends justify the ends.

    The war in the Sudan is the centerpiece of Acts of Faith.In this 660+ page novel, Mr. Caputo leisurely lulls you into taking sides against the Arab slavers . . . but reels you into realizing that the Christian do-gooders don't have clean hands either.

    The story has several narrators.The most important is Fitzhugh Martin, a multiracial Kenyan who simply wants to have a job, but gains a purpose in life through serving the Sudanese.But Fitzhugh gets more than he bargained for when he joins the zealous American, Doug Braithwaite, in establishing a bush airline to deliver humanitarian supplies.Fitzhugh's perspective is the reader's lifeline back to the reality outside of the Sudan and the passions of the characters.Wesley Dare narrates from the perspective of a bush pilot whose altruism is tempered by the desire to make a big score and leave Africa forever.Quinette Harden narrates from the viewpoint of an ordinary American Christian woman who finds herself drawn to the unfolding struggle, particularly in rescuing slaves.She goes with the flow and becomes sucked into an unexpected life like quicksand.Finally, Ibrahim Idris ibn Nur-el-Din presents the Sudanese Arab perspective as he pursues his twin goals of keeping power and regaining his favorite female slave.

    The core of the story revolves around a small area in the Nuba Mountains in central Sudan where a tiny medical mission has been tending to those fleeing from the Arab attacks on the black Africans in southern Sudan.The vulnerability of the mission and its patients quickly draws the sympathy of those who are new to the area.But the Sudanese government won't allow aid to reach the mission.The United Nations has a policy of requiring permission to fly in, and won't supply aid because Sudan opposes it.That leaves the desperate people there in need of help.Drawn initially by idealism, some of the bush pilots decide to supply aid.Funding isn't a problem.And the Sudanese government doesn't try very hard to stop the flights.

    But as time passes, the needs of those in the Nuba Mountains change and grow.Those who have committed to helping them find themselves tempted to do more . . . than perhaps they should.

    The book is filled with little moral challenges and lessons.An ethics teacher could use this book for years to generate interesting moral questions to consider.

    Ultimately, though, the book is about peeling back the veneer of who we appear to be . . . to reveal who we really are.The character developments of Quinette Martin and Wesley Dare are masterful.The other characters are developed much less well.That was a disappointment because clearly Mr. Caputo has the skills to do more in this regard.Many of the characters, by comparison, are barely-sketched-in cardboard figures who simply tie the plot together.The problem seems to be that Mr. Caputo prefers to develop his characters through plot rather than by using revealed thoughts and selected background.The exception is Doug Braithwaite where selected background is used to try to reveal a lot, but the effect doesn't quite work as smoothly as it might.

    Many will find this book to be ponderous and wish it were shorter.I didn't mind the length, but much of the plot development was predictable which made some parts a little more tedious than they might have been.

    But Mr. Caputo is generous in his observations about the mixed nature of good and evil . . . and our tendency to justify ourselves in doing as we please.That's what made this book rewarding for me.

    4-0 out of 5 stars "Sudan...cut off from normal standards...under harsher rules."
    Setting this almost 700-page novel in Sudan and neighboring Kenya, Philip Caputo details the massive aid efforts of non-government organizations (NGOs) from around the world to bring aid into an area so dangerous that the UN will not enter.Using bush pilots and small airlines from Kenya, the NGOs fly into southern Sudan and land on hidden landing strips.The Muslim government of Sudan, located to the north in Khartoum, has long been at war with the oil-rich, largely Christian south, and atrocities, thoroughly described here, occur on a regular basis--the abduction of children for children's armies, the rape and enslavement of women, the maiming and mutilation of the healthy, the cutting off of food and water, and the theft of crucial medical supplies.

    Caputo's large cast of characters consists of relief workers in Nuba, an oil-rich area in Sudan--Christian evangelists who bring aid and wish to convert the inhabitants;the International People's Aid group, a humanitarian group from Canada, run by a former Catholic priest;German Emergency Doctors, which operates a local hospital;and the mercenary pilots and owners of small airlines which service the area--along with members of the SPLA; a local Arab warlord allied with the Khartoum government; and members of the international press, most notably CNN.

    The novel has a three-fold, rather than single focus--the very real atrocities of war and the real corruption of the Sudanese and Kenyan governments;the real, marginal lives, and real tribal and religious conflicts of the Sudanese people; and the fictional lives, backgrounds, and relationships of the characters.Well over two hundred pages are devoted to the backgrounds of fictional characters, including, sometimes, even the backgrounds of the characters' parents.The characters are people of action and impulse, however, not of thought and contemplation, and it is their actions, not thoughts or past history, which drive the novel.Judicious editing of the lengthy background material, especially at the beginning, could have shortened the novel significantly, tightened it thematically, and improved it dramatically.The three love stories draw in the reader and keep the interest high, but they are given as much space here as the real struggles of the real Sudanese of Nuba.

    Caputo's intentions are to publicize the horror of this Sudanese civil war, but he also wants to show that "In Sudan the choice is never between the right thing and the wrong thing but between what is necessary and what isn't"--an ethical conundrum which conflicts with absolute, conventional values and shows the magnitude of the problems.Planes flying aid are sometimes used to smuggle weapons;the desire to save lives on a massive scale sometimes involves the sacrifice of lives on a small scale.

    Caputo's vision of man's inner nature is dark.When even a high-minded evangelical makes expedient decisions with horrifying results, and when intense love slowly sputters out, then what is left?Caputo does not provide those answers, nor does the structure of the novel.In a conclusion dependent upon coincidence and melodrama, the reader is left with the idea that in a conflict between good and evil, the best one can hope for is a toss-up. (3.5 stars)Mary Whipple

    5-0 out of 5 stars thought provoking anti-war thriller
    In the oil rich Nuba Mountains of Sudan, Muslims wage war on the natives.A variety of individuals with differing purposes try to provide sustenance to the beleaguered populace.One relief group Knight Air includes Biracial Kenyan Fitzhugh Martin who fills his previously vapid life as a soccer star with meaning due to the relief operation.Americans Douglas Brathwaite and Wes Dare, and Canadian Mary English also find spiritual sustenance with the fly lift effort.

    At the same time as Knight Air and other rival relief groups struggle to assist the blacks, the ferocious slaughter continues as Arab warlord Ibrahim Idirs keeps fighting though he misses his black mistress who is probably dead..The Sudanese People's Liberation Army has its agenda too and so does the altruistic Knight Air who chooses an immoral means that will geometrically increase the death rate in order to end the killings.

    Using detailed events to describe a devastating war, Philip Caputo provides a deep look at what Colin Powell declared as genocide.The story line uses action to paint a complex multifaceted look into the killing fields of Sudan and how mercenaries, missionaries, military and mindless humanitarians cause havoc on the beleaguered local populace.Though depressingly a Rwanda replay, ACTS OF FAITH is a thought provoking anti-war thriller that even uses seemingly out of place romantic subplots to serve as ironic counterpoint to the killings in which all is not quiet on the southern front.

    5-0 out of 5 stars American Acts Of Faith Brings Acts of Destruction inSudan
    The best of Philip Caputo's writings concern the chaos and madness of war. His previous books were born out of his experiences as a Vietnam War veteran (see "A Rumor Of War" - 1977 and "Indian Country" - 1987). This time he writes about a war different from his own with masterful results.

    He places his American characters in the ugly civil war that turn into genocide in the Sudan. As in Vietnam, his Americans believe that they have the answers and know what is best for the local Sudanese. They don't, and from that premise their growing involvement will bring tragedy by the close of the novel.

    His storytelling of American do-gooders in way over their heads approaches epic proportions. It has riveting characters whom the reader will care about their respective fates. This is a long tale at nearly 700 pages -- it is double the length of his other books. "Acts of Faith" will hold your interest and haunt you long after you have set it down for the last time. ... Read more


    6. The Triumph of the Sun
    by Wilbur Smith
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312318405
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
    Sales Rank: 369
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    It is 1884, and in the Sudan, decades of brutal misgovernment by the ruling Egyptian Khedive in Cairo precipitates a bloody rebellion and Holy War. The charismatic new religious leader, the Mahdi or "Expected One," has gathered his forces of Arab warlords in preparation for a siege on the city of Khartoum. The British are forced to intervene to protect their national interests and to attempt to rescue the hundreds of British subjects stranded in the city.

    Along with hundreds of others, British trader and businessman Ryder Courtney is trapped in the capital city of Khartoum under the orders of the infamously iron-willed General Charles George Gordon. It is here that he meets skilled soldier and swordsman Captain Penrod Ballantyne of the 10th Hussars and the British Consul, David Benbrook, as well as Benbrook's three beautiful daughters. Against the vivid and bloody backdrop of the Arabs' fierce and merciless siege these three powerful men must fight to survive.

    Rich with vibrant historical detail and infused with his inimitable powers of storytelling, THE TRIUMPH OF THE SUN is Wilbur Smith at his masterful best.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Starts with a bang ... ends with a whimper
    I can modestly claim to understand Mr. Smith's style for storytelling, considering I have followed his books written in the 60s through today. I immensely enjoyed the earlier books - Shout at the Devil, Hungry as the sea, Goldmine, Cry Wolf etc.

    Lately Smith seems to have lost his touch for the exotic and has become more mainstream. Triumph of the Sun displays his usual brilliance in the beginning - however the latter half dissolves into a standard formulaic action adventure you get to see from Hollywood only too frequently.

    Smith also seems to have stopped trying to keep his characters in, well character. Case in point, Rebecca Penbrook, our vestal, pure heroine seems to degenrate into a slutty tramp as the story unfolds. I was particularly put off by her 'awakening' with the creepy Mahdi after her capture. While I applaud Mr. Smith's confidence in his deep insights into the female sexual psyche, I seriously doubt if women think with their 'quimmies', as he puts it, all the time, which is what our dear Rebecca seems to do. If we wanted a detailed description of what Rebecca does with the Mahdi's 'essence' in her mouth, we always have Harrold Robbins or Erica Jong.

    I am waiting for a book with the classic Smith touches of elephant hunts, lions roaring and crocodile snapping off people's legs in the Zambezi.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A page turner
    I consider Wilbur Smith as Africa's all time best writer or novelist. The Triumph of the Sun just goes to add to the accolades from his other bestselling novels. This great historical fiction is set in The Sudans when it was gripped by the rebellion against the ruling Egyptian Khedive and the British by The Madhi or "Expected One" who in 1881 deemed himself a religious prophet who Allah had chosen to purify the Islamic faith, a rebellion which saw the creation of a vast Islamic state from the Red Sea to Central Africa by preaching the omnipotence of the Qur'an, utilizing internal class struggles, and by successfully organizing his "ansar" or military.

    Against the backdrop of the Mahdi's war that led to the capture of the Khartoum, the death of General Charles George Gordon and the temporary loss of British influence, are the figures from the Courtney and the Ballantyne families that featured in Wilbur Smith's other books, amazing characters that gave the historical fiction that spice that made this story so great.

    To have a better feel of the story, I suggest you also read Wilbur Smith's other books such as "When the Lion Feeds", "Blue Horizon" etc. One thing I am sure is that whether this is your first Wilbur Smith novel or just another, you are certainly going to enjoy the story. Just like DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE, the message in this novel resonates today.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better Cover available
    Just to let you know you have a choice in covers. The European/ South African cover is a beautiful wrap-around photograph evoking the scorching North African desert.

    This is the copy i bought instead from amazon.co.uk:

    http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/140500570X.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg ... Read more


    7. Mission: Irresistible
    by Lori Wilde
    list price: $6.50
    our price: $5.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0446615153
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: Warner Forever
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    Book Description

    PR specialist Cassie Cooper loves the adrenaline rush of a well-planned party. And the masquerade ball at the museum is her best yet. But one minute she's chatting with a mummy, and the next a legendary amulet is stolen partically from under her nose. There are times when a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do. To find the artifact and save her job, Cassie turns to her nemesis: Dr. Harrison Standish. Standoffish as she likes to call him.

    Archaelogist Harrison has all the intensity of Indiana Jones, but his no-need-for-romance attitude could use some adjustment. Who knew it would happen while had and Cassie are chasing leads, dodging bad guys, and racing against the clock. Just when he needs his full attention on their mission, he's having the damnest time keeping his mind---and his hands--off her. They still have a shot at recovering the amulet but when it comes to Cassie, Harrison's already a goner. ... Read more


    8. A Nightmare On Elm Street #1: Suffer The Children
    by David Bishop
    list price: $7.99
    our price: $7.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1844161722
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: Black Flame
    Sales Rank: 433451
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    Book Description

    When six teenagers volunteer to test a new anti-insomnia drug, all they expect is cash and a good night's sleep. However, they are now the plaything's of Freddy Krueger, the bastard son of a hundred maniacs¨ ... Read more


    9. Slim and None
    by DAN JENKINS
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385508522
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
    Publisher: Doubleday
    Sales Rank: 761
    Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    2-0 out of 5 stars I just don't get it.
    This book just doesn't give you what you expect from Dan Jenkins.I'm on page 76 and don't know if I want to finish it or not.Jenkins can't even keep straight who is on the leaderboard and who the playing partners would be in a final round per that leaderboard. He's a great golf writer but I just don't get the appeal of this fiction try of his. ... Read more


    10. The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream
    by Paulo Coelho
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $9.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0062502182
    Catlog: Book (1995-05-10)
    Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
    Sales Rank: 315
    Average Customer Review: 4.15 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world, and this tenth anniversary edition, with a new introduction from the author, will only increase that following. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasures found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (604)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Looking to follow your dream?
    If you are looking to follow your heart in a chosen path or seeking the truth then this book is for you. The book contains great insights and spiritual awareness but is written in a very easy to read style.

    I would strongly recommend that before you read this book to follow the principles listed in the Fit for Life books by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond. This cleansing of the body will take several months but it is worth it, as then you can experience the insights and spiritual guidance for yourself.

    Another book I would recommend following the detoxification process is The Kingdom of God is Within You by Leo Tolstoy.

    Good luck and God bless.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Oprah, please!!!!
    It it high time Oprah picked a Paulo Coelho. It is so much like the pseudo intelectualism she likes. This is highly recommended for whose have a lot of time to waste. I don't get why people read it with so many good choices to read instead... that's the ugly truth.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Herman Hesse Wannabe
    If nothing else, The Alchemist provided stimulation for me to search out more authentic sources on the topics it endeavored to attack (Buddhist philosophy, Arabian desert lifestyle, etc). And because it WAS a source of stimulation, and because I could not allow myself to group it with the 1-starred Stephen King or Danielle Steele 'novels', I give Coelho 2 stars for his effort.

    Basically, this is a simple story of a man on a journey through Arabian deserts; on his way he meets mystics, women, takes up odd jobs in glass blowing, caring for sheep, and such soul searching enterprises. Suppossedly by the end of his adventurous journey (which leads him to a "treasure") he 'learns'/attains the meaning of life.

    I do believe Coelho was a little theologically confused at the time he wrote this story. His main messages are:
    "Follow your heart", and "Learn the Language of The World"; but see, Coehlo and his main character are Christians; the boy travels through a (mainly) Muslim land, and though he ends up at the Egyptian pyramids, the preachings seem to be quite "eastern" in take (buddha comes to mind). But of course, the whole POINT of Eastern philosophies is that they cannot be described in words (Coelho constantly preaches about how things cannot be told, they must be experienced).

    For all that, Coelho does a lotta telling.

    The language is quite simple, which can be beautiful (read: Herman Hesse); however it comes off as quite redundant and sermonic. Every other sentence contains at least one reference to either "The Soul of the World", or "The Personal Legend", or "Follow Your Heart" with a big fat capital H. By the end of the novel I am skimming most passages.

    The characters are flat (I didn't really "feel" them, what they were going through, and there was no character development), and the storyline resembled that of a children's folktale (I like folktales).

    Overall, it was a worthwhile read given that it only took a couple hours, presented some interesting ideas (albeit, without illustrating any of them satisfactorily), and removed me to the Spanish countryside/Arabian desert for a bit (I am a sucker for folktales, and if this book is nothing else, it would make a BEAUTIFUL illustrated children's book-- I like that).

    NOTE TO ALL Reviewer-Reviewers: Please consider rating the reviews as helpful if they contain pertinent information on the item under discussion, not if you agree with what the reviewer has to say. I've noticed unhelpful one-liners get "helpful" votes (when the reviews were positive), and other, more full/explained (but more negative) reviews get NO helpful votes -- this IS NOT A VOTE on how much you agree with the other reader! Be FAIR :o)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable yet inspiring
    I really enjoyed this book. It didn't bog me down with a lot of details, it told a simple story, with a message. Kind of reminded me of myself and the journey called life that I go through. I highly recommend this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself"
    THE ALCHEMIST is the story of a young Andalusian shepherd who pursues his dream to travel to Egypt where he hopes to find a treasure.

    Santiago spent two years at a seminary where he received an education. He left after he decided not to become a priest. He told his parents that he wanted to travel, and his father told him that poor people where not able to travel, unless they were shepherds. So, Santiago became a shepherd and moved his flock of sheep all over Spain. He learned a great deal from his sheep, but he made sure to keep reading and he always carried a book with him.

    He encounters many people on his journeys, including a king, a gypsy and a true alchemist. The alchemist tells Santiago to "tell his heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself, and that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second encounter with God and with eternity." In the desert he learns to see with both his eyes and his heart, he also meets Fatima and falls in love.

    This book is simply written, but I can already tell that certain parts of the story will always remain in my mind. ... Read more


    11. Angels & Demons : Special Illustrated Collector's Edition
    by Dan Brown
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743275063
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
    Publisher: Atria
    Sales Rank: 450
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    It takes guts to write a novel that combines an ancient secret brotherhood, the Swiss Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, a papal conclave, mysterious ambigrams, a plot against the Vatican, a mad scientist in a wheelchair, particles of antimatter, jets that can travel 15,000 miles per hour, crafty assassins, a beautiful Italian physicist, and a Harvard professor of religious iconology. It takes talent to make that novel anything but ridiculous. Kudos to Dan Brown (Digital Fortress) for achieving the nearly impossible. Angels & Demons is a no-holds-barred, pull-out-all-the-stops, breathless tangle of a thriller--think Katherine Neville's The Eight (but cleverer) or Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum (but more accessible).

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is shocked to find proof that the legendary secret society, the Illuminati--dedicated since the time of Galileo to promoting the interests of science and condemning the blind faith of Catholicism--is alive, well, and murderously active. Brilliant physicist Leonardo Vetra has been murdered, his eyes plucked out, and the society's ancient symbol branded upon his chest. His final discovery, antimatter, the most powerful and dangerous energy source known to man, has disappeared--only to be hidden somewhere beneath Vatican City on the eve of the election of a new pope. Langdon and Vittoria, Vetra's daughter and colleague, embark on a frantic hunt through the streets, churches, and catacombs of Rome, following a 400-year-old trail to the lair of the Illuminati, to prevent the incineration of civilization.

    Brown seems as much juggler as author--there are lots and lots of balls in the air in this novel, yet Brown manages to hurl the reader headlong into an almost surreal suspension of disbelief. While the reader might wish for a little more sardonic humor from Langdon, and a little less bombastic philosophizing on the eternal conflict between religion and science, these are less fatal flaws than niggling annoyances--readers should have no trouble skimming past them and immersing themselves in a heck of a good read. "Brain candy" it may be, but my! It's tasty. --Kelly Flynn ... Read more

    Reviews (1490)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Angels & Demons - The Best Book Ever
    The story starts with a mysterious murder of a famous Scientific Researcher at CERN. Brilliant physicist Leonardo Vetra has been murdered, his eyes plucked out, and an ancient anti-Christian cult's symbol branded upon his chest. Harvard symbiologist Robert Langdon is summoned to the scene of crime. He is shocked to find proof that the legendary secret society, the Illuminati which was dedicated since the time of Galileo to promoting the interests of science and deviating from the blind religious faith of the Vatican, is alive and dangerously active! Leonardo Vetra's final discovery- the antimatter, the most powerful and dangerous energy source known to man, has disappeared, only to be hidden somewhere beneath Vatican City on the eve of the election of a new Pope. Langdon and Leonardo's adopted daughter, Vittoria, start on an impossible journey and a frantic search throughout Rome's catacombs, secret archives, churches, to stop the dangerous game played by the illuminati. Read this amazing book by Dan Brown to find out more!

    3-0 out of 5 stars An Unfair Depiction of Everyone
    This book is an unfair depiction of Arabs, Catholics, scientists, security officers and anyone else open to naming.The Oriental assassin (wow, that's new) r*pes all his victims, the Catholic camerlengo leaves Langdon to almost certain death, scientists are referred to as creators of demonic horrors like nuclear weapons, and other characters are simply so blatantly stupid it's offensive.Of course, Dan Brown is a master of unfair depictions--the NSA in Digital Fortress is made to seem like a deceptive entity rather than an agency devoted to the safety of human life in America, and in a similar case victimizes the Delta Force in Deception Point.This book is exciting and fast-paced, and all the architecture mentioned in Rome exists, but being a Dan Brown book, it might make you a bit angry at times, at least as long as you live on Earth.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great stuff
    This book is an amazig architectural and historical romp through Rome.If you love travel or Rome, pick this up today!Ironically,the author gives a full and rich account of the Catholic church and it's inner workings including the selection pf Popes.Very timely stuff!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A new look at the Vatican
    This book gave me another point of view about the relationship between science and religion. I have always thought that science doesn't need religion, and that to religion, science is just a nuisance.This book taught me otherwise. There could be circumstances in which science proves an aspect of religion. This book made me want to go to the Vatican City and see all the churches mentioned in the book. It would be interesting to see how much of the book is accurate.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Copacetic Book
    I recommend reading William Bramley's "The Gods of Eden" before taking on this book.It gives you some background for a lot of the things that pop up in there.The general themes of the books have nothing to do with each other, but the information is related. ... Read more


    12. Pretty Birds : A Novel
    by SCOTT SIMON
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400063108
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
    Publisher: Random House
    Sales Rank: 2231
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    Download Description

    Praise for Scott Simon’s Home and Away

    “Home and Away may be the best memoir written by a fan I’ve ever read.”
    –RON RAPOPORT, Chicago Sun-Times

    “Extraordinary . . . a memoir of such breadth and reach.”
    –Sports Illustrated


    From the Hardcover edition.
    ... Read more


    13. Alibi : A Novel
    by Joseph Kanon
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 080507886X
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
    Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
    Sales Rank: 1224
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    From the bestselling author of Los Alamos and The Good German comes a riveting tale of love, revenge and murder set in postwar Venice

    It is 1946, and a stunned Europe is beginning its slow recovery from the ravages of World War II. Adam Miller has come to Venice to visit his widowed mother and try to forget the horrors he has witnessed as a U.S. Army war crimes investigator in Germany. Nothing has changed in Venice-not the beautiful palazzi, not the violins at Florian's, not the shifting water that makes the city, untouched by bombs, still seem a dream.

    But when Adam falls in love with Claudia, a Jewish woman scarred by her devastating experiences during the war, he is forced to confront another Venice, a city still at war with itself, haunted by atrocities it would rather forget. Everyone, he discovers, has been compromised by the Occupation-the international set drinking at Harry's, the police who kept order for the Germans, and most of all Gianni Maglione, the suave and enigmatic Venetian who happens to be his mother's new suitor. And when, finally, the troubled past erupts in violent murder, Adam finds himself at the center of a web of deception, intrigue, and unexpected moral dilemmas. When is murder acceptable? What are the limits of guilt? How much is someone willing to pay for a perfect alibi?

    Using the piazzas and canals of Venice as an enthralling but sinister backdrop, Joseph Kanon has again written a gripping historical thriller. Alibi is at once a murder mystery, a love story, and a superbly crafted novel about the nature of moral responsibility.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (12)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great Style - OK Story
    The story centers on Venice just after World War 2. The description of the politics of the era was quite interesting. I found the authors' writing style very enjoyable and quite descriptive.On the down side, the story can have you feeling anxious and apprehensive at times. In addition, you might just feel that the author should have wrapped it up and ended it sooner.

    3-0 out of 5 stars 3 Stars for Atmosphere
    I've loved Joseph Kanon's other books; he really is a good writer, and I'll buy his books again.But in this case, to paraphrase a wag's comment on a weak Broadway musical, you come out humming the scenery.The setting and era are irresistable, but the story is both murky and weak, and there was little movement for the characters.If you'll buy anything that takes place in Venice (as I will)....at least wait for the paperback.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Alibi, maybe, but no excuse.
    On about page 200, this novel is suddenly full of very, very interesting possibilities, none of which Joseph Kanon decided to explore. For the man who wrote such sublimely atmospheric books as "The Good German" and "Los Alamos," "Alibi" is a colorless dud.

    The choice of location and period are intriguing--Venice immediately following WWII. Unlike so much of Italy, Venice was physically untouched by the war and so retains its beauty as if nothing had ever happened. But of course, a great deal did happen as Adam Miller discovers when he meets Claudia Grassini, a Jewish survivor of the war. Adam's widowed mother has moved to Venice where she has rekindled a relationship with Gianni Maglione, a pre-war suitor. Claudia tells Adam that Maglione is a former Nazi sympathizer, which he accepts.

    How much more interesting it would have been if Adam had been wrong about Maglione! But he isn't, and between the uninteresting characters and spongy plot, "Alibi" bobs briefly before sinking into a canal.

    If you haven't read Kanon's earlier period thrillers, go get them. For those of us who were looking forward to his next book, we just have to keep waiting.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A SPLENDID VOICE PERFORMANCE

    Protagonist Adam Miller, a former U.S. investigator of war crimes, opens his story by saying "After the war, my mother took a house in Venice."That she did and, to a great degree, was able to carry on as if World War II had never interrupted her life.She resurrects her relationship with Dr. Maglione, and joins the whirl of wealthy expatriates who seem to believe it has always been carnival time in Venice.

    Miller comes to Venice to visit his mother, hoping to forget the atrocities that have become so familiar to him.For a while, it seems that Venice has remained untouched by war.It's as beautiful and mysterious as ever.He does suspect that Dr. Maglione is more attracted to his mother's checkbook than to her, but there is more to come.

    Often alone, Miller meets Claudia, a Jewish woman who has been deeply scarred by the war, not physically but psychologically.They fall in love.All is well until she meets the good doctor and accuses him of having collaborated with the Nazis.

    When a murder occurs Miller is forced to examine what he really believes is right and wrong, who is telling the truth and who is being deceptive.

    Venice is a particularly appealing backdrop for this part mystery, part love story, and all intriguing novel.Holter Graham provides a splendidly controlled, always articulate voice performance of this arresting portrait of postwar Venice.

    - Gail Cooke

    4-0 out of 5 stars "It's Venice. Nothing has been real here since Napoleon."
    Setting this novel in Venice immediately after World War II, Joseph Kanon creates a stimulating mystery that turns the city itself into a major character. Venice, unlike other areas of Italy, has not been damaged physically by the war, and life is returning to normal. The political atmosphere, however, remains turbulent. Aristocrats, businessmen, and politicians who cooperated with the fascists and Germans are still in power. Partisans who fought the fascists and Germans regard many of these people as traitors and want justice. The Communists are making inroads into society with their promises of reform.

    Into this milieu comes Grace Miller, an American widow, and her son Adam, just released from the US Army as part of a de-Nazification team in Frankfurt. Grace is about to marry Gianni Maglione, a Venetian doctor, and Adam wonders about Gianni's past. Soon Adam meets Claudia Grassini, a young Jewish woman who survived internment in Fossoli, and they begin a passionate affair. When Claudia is introduced to Gianni at a party, however, she recognizes him immediately, telling Adam that Gianni betrayed her very sick father to security forces rounding up Jews.

    Using his past army connections to get further information about Gianni, Adam investigates, but violence soon changes the focus of his energies, and the nightmare involving Adam, his family, and Claudia intensifies. Adam's extreme introspection as he helps the police investigate broadens the scope and focuses attention on important themes of crime and justice, and Claudia's vulnerability as a result of the Holocaust gives added poignancy to her similar self-examinations.

    With a setting so vivid that one cannot imagine the story taking place anywhere else, the reader sees Venice shining, but beneath the surface it is a decaying city, literally sinking under its own weight. War crimes, hate crimes, crimes of passion, crimes committed for altruistic reasons, and crimes committed in self-defense all play a part in the plot. Kanon also raises questions about the punishments, if any, associated with these crimes. Are some crimes less "serious," or even justifiable, if they balance the scale of justice? Is the murder of a criminal excusable? Does justice depend on who wins? Ultimately, a chase scene through the canals of Venice, leads to a stunning conclusion, filled with twists, though whether justice is truly served remains an open question. Mary Whipple ... Read more


    14. Dangerous Ground
    by Larry Bond
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 076530788X
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: Forge Books
    Sales Rank: 3121
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The USS Memphis, a dilapidated submarine that that should have been mothballed decades ago, has been given one last mission by the newly elected president.The task: To sneak illegally into Russia's coastal waters and recon the leaking nuclear fuel containers hidden on the floor of the Arctic Ocean. More than just an environmental nightmare, this radioactive burial ground houses enough nuclear capability to destroy most of America's major cities.
    The Memphis's commander, Lowell Hardy, had been looking forward to flag rank and pleasant duty upon the sub's decommissioning.Now he is trapped in an inconceivably dangerous and illegal mission which could easily end his career, if not his life and the lives of his crew. But it's the crew who feel Hardy's tension as he tyrannizes everyone on board to ensure they'll be ready for anything:
    Jerry Mitchell: a former naval pilot with political connections, he is a novice submariner, unprepared for his demanding job as a weapons officer.Central to the Memphis's mission, Mitchell may be its greatest liability . . . or its ultimate salvation.
    Dr. Joanna Patterson: The senior civilian scientist, appointed by and reporting to the president, she is a world-class expert on nuclear fuel contamination--and every bit as demanding as Hardy. Patterson and her partner, Dr. Emily Davis, soon find themselves battling flaring tempers, faulty machinery, lethal radioactivity, and the raging arctic seas.
    The submariners: Seething with rage at their Captain Bligh-like commander and the equally domineering Joanna Patterson, they are also at war with Jerry Mitchell, and one another. Like the captain, they feel they deserve better, not this antiquated relic, not this hostile scientist, not this novice weapons officer, and definitely not this disastrously dangerous mission.
    Nor is the mission what it seems. Lurking beneath the frigid, black, radioactive waters is a secret far more deadly than anything naval command could imagine--a secret so menacing the Russian Fleet is hell-bent on destroying the Memphis and all who sail in her.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars for fans of Steven Seagal's Under Siege
    Commander Lowell Hardy knows his nuclear submarine the USS Memphis should have been mothballed years ago, but the lack of enough procurement funding to buy new keeps the vessel in service.Using major combat equipment items long after their life cycle expired is the norm so that does not shock the veteran naval officer.

    The USS Memphis assigned to escort two scientists Dr. Joanna Patterson and Dr. Emily Davis into the forbidden Russian Arctic Ocean to inspect for illegal dumping and leakage of the buried nuclear fuel containers.Grounded pilot Jerry Mitchell is the expert on using Manta, an underwater robot that is key to the inspection.Lowell has several concerns with this job.Will his ancient ship handle the icy Arctic Ocean?How is he to keep his crew's resentment towards the three newcomers from endangering the mission?Finally, he must elude the Russians to prevent an incident with international repercussions.The real mission is to determine how safe from terrorists this mother lode is; all will quickly learn that it is not as a real threat exists.

    Not quite the FIRST TEAM such as THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER because much of the cast behaves so predictably they almost sink the fast-paced, action-packed story line.Surprisingly in spite of casting from canned Submarine 101 characterizations, the tale grips the audience even before the USS Memphis reaches its target zone; once inside the Russian waters, the plot goes into incredible knot speed so that the audience feels as if they are along for the ride.DANGEROUS GROUND is for fans of Steven Seagal's Under Siege as likewise the action is to the nth degree.

    Harriet Klausner

    2-0 out of 5 stars Slow and Plodding
    The book plods along without a single instance of intrigue or interest for all but the last 30 pages.I kept waiting and waiting.Then the ending is so contrary to the way the characters were consistently portrayed, that it was just not very authenic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Submarine Adventure!
    This is a thrilling book if you love sea stories.I read it in two days and it left me wanting more!Another Clancy in the making.

    4-0 out of 5 stars LOTS of techno with this sub thriller!
    Medically disqualified naval aviator "weasels" a lateral transfer to the sub fleet and meets a lot of resistance from the noncoms and officers who made subs a first choice rather than a fallback.In amongst all the technical aspects of this book--which serves to actually enhance interest--is a study in small group leadership, VERY similar to the canned scenarios that junior military officers study in their professional development schooling.It is good stuff if you aren't familiar with leadership dynamics in the services.This young officer works hard to catch a break with the crew, but also brings a very unique set of skills to the boat that will prove invaluable! The bigger story however is the covert mission this sub is on to retrieve data from just off the Russian coast.Made more difficult by the presence of two attractive female scientists, one of which, has overall mission responsibility (read: command authority).What they discover in the icy Russian waters is shocking and not what they expected and those wily Russians are willing to literally kill to protect the secret.

    Great little undersea adventure with lots of character development thrown in for good measure! ... Read more


    15. Star Wars Labyrinth of Evil (Star Wars: Episode III (Hardcover))
    by JAMES LUCENO
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0345475720
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-25)
    Publisher: Del Rey
    Sales Rank: 27339
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    16. Hunter Killer
    by Patrick Robinson
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060746890
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Sales Rank: 2065
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Download Description

    "

    Saudi Arabia, the world's leading producer of oil, is on the brink of revolution.

    Inside the opulent palaces and lavish mansions, the royal family is ransacking the country's dwindling coffers while the desert kingdom seethes with unrest. Appalled at his family's extravagant lifestyle, Crown Prince Nasir vows to end the careless and destructive rule, and sets in motion a top-secret operation to destroy the Saudi oil industry and bankrupt the monarch. To do so, he must enlist the help of an ally, a naval power willing to help in return for a share of the wealth.

    Nasir turns to France, with its fleet of lethal Hunter Killer submarines, capable of inflicting devastating damage on the massive oil installations along the shores of the Red Sea and in the Persian Gulf. Objective: To shift the power structure of the world's oil giant.

    Under the command of the mysterious and lethally effective Colonel Jacques Gamoudi -- nicknamed ""Le Chasseur,"" or ""The Hunter"" -- the ferocious battle for the desert kingdom begins. As the world's oil markets plunge into chaos, Admiral Arnold Morgan, former Security Adviser to the President, and Lieutenant Commander Jimmy Ramshawe are summoned to the White House, where they learn that Gamoudi has been joined by none other than Morgan's archenemy, Hamas General Ravi Rashood, in the battle for the capital city of Riyadh.

    Now Le Chasseur becomes the hunted, by both French and American Special Forces -- one trying to assassinate and silence him forever, the other desperate to take him alive and to force a public confession of France's subversive actions.

    " ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book!
    The Saudi princes and other family members have spent the money
    coffers of the Kingdom nearly dry with the extravagant swinging
    lifestyle.Their spending has taken Saudi Arabia to the brink of
    financial ruin.Prince Nasir has had enough of his wasteful and
    big spending relatives.Nasir approaches the President of France
    with a plan to eliminate the Royal family,make Nasir King, and
    give France exclusive oil rights.The President readily agrees to
    this deal.With the use of two nuclear submarines,French special forces soldiers,and the hiring ofColonel Jacque Gamoudi(known as
    Le CChasseur-The Chaser)Hamas General Ravi Rashood the French make this happen.These forces cause untold damage on oil installations on the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.They are also able to depose the King Of Saudi Arabia.The French are in total control of the situation.Mass chaos in the markets of the world
    and the economies of the world ensues.The American President calls in Admiral Arnold Morgan and Lieutenant Commander Jimmy
    Ramshawe to save the day.They immediately start implementing a
    plan.La Chasseur becomes hunted by French Special Forces who want to kill him and American Special Forces who want to expose France. This is a very good book that you will read from cover to cover.Buy it and you won't miss out.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great read
    This is a very solid novel that reads like it is from the current news. The characters I found to be very real and authentic, and the dialog and pacing is great. The technical details are well researched. I highly recommend this novel. It also provides real background on what is going on in Saudi Arabia (the author discusses the dwindling wealth per person in the kindgom, and the extravagent lifestyle of the 35,000 princes who run the kindgom, which is increasingly unpopular). CIA sources have already predicted scenarios of this type occurring in the near future. Very solid novel. ... Read more


    17. The Birth of Venus : A Novel
    by SARAH DUNANT
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $11.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0812968972
    Catlog: Book (2004-11-30)
    Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 915
    Average Customer Review: 4.02 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family’s Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter’s abilities.But their burgeoning relationship is interrupted when Alessandra’s parents arrange her marriage to a wealthy, much older man. Meanwhile, Florence is changing, increasingly subject to the growing suppression imposed by the fundamentalist monk Savonarola, who is seizing religious and political control. Alessandra and her native city are caught between the Medici state, with its love of luxury, learning, and dazzling art, and the hellfire preaching and increasing violence of Savonarola’s reactionary followers. Played out against this turbulent backdrop, Alessandra’s married life is a misery, except for the surprising freedom it allows her to pursue her powerful attraction to the young painter and his art.The Birth of Venus is a tour de force, the first historical novel from one of Britain’s most innovative writers of literary suspense. It brings alive the history of Florence at its most dramatic period, telling a compulsively absorbing story of love, art, religion, and power through the passionate voice of Alessandra, a heroine with the same vibrancy of spirit as her beloved city. ... Read more

    Reviews (86)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Read
    Dunant really breathes new life into 15th century Florence, giving the reader a wonderfully detailed image of the city. The reader follows Alessandra's life there from the tender age of 13, ...through the fall of the Medici's, her marriage, the invasion of the French, her affair with her beloved painter, the bonfire of the vanities... all the way until the end of her life. Dunant gives vivid descriptions of Alessandra's world, the delicate beauty of its art and paintings, the religious views and philosophical beliefs of the day, the political uproar, the people and characters. This novel was truly an engrossing, read ( I finished it in 3 days! ) It's beautifully written, and draws you into the life of it's characters. The story is romantic and sensual, without being overly erotic, but it remains only the underlying plot through the turbulent times of Alessandra's young life. An enjoyable read, that I highly recommend.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Anyone else offended by use of contemporary speech?
    I enjoyed this book. Descriptions of 15th Century life, art and artists, politics and religion in Florence are beautiful and no doubt accurate. The story is gripping.
    I'm no prude, but fewer minutely graphic details appealing to prurient interests would have improved the book for me.
    Most of all, however, I deplore the inclusion of contemporary terms in the speech. Each example shocked me back, at least to the 20th Century. How could her editors have let these pass?
    How can this be considered "great" writing, in spite of the many positive features of this book?

    5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful!!!
    I don't usually expect much from a book on the best seller list and only picked this one up becuase I am a sucker for pre-17th century historical fiction - so I was thoroughly pleased to discover The Birth of Venus an enthralling and fascinating historical read. This story is truly a fresh take on the time period with wonderful characters weaving in and out of the political and social Floretine landscape.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Historical and Feminist fiction at its best
    I finished this book in 2 days--I could hardly put it down to go to work! What an amazing story, with gorgeous prose. The details of Florence were well done, and the political upheaval described is not irrelevent to our times. I think this is one of the best books about women that I've read in a long time. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lovely and amazing
    The opening chapter intrigued me so...... While not a mystery novel per se, it was fun to put it all together at the end. I love historical fiction, and this book was rich in characters and descriptions of a time of sweeping change in Florence. Savonarola and his deeds are made mention of in another book I read recently, "The Rule of Four" but this book brings him to life (and death) A great, leisurely summer read, with characters you will come to care for and knowledge you can't help but absorb. ... Read more


    18. Monster
    by Frank E. Peretti
    list price: $24.99
    our price: $16.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 084991180X
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
    Publisher: WestBow Press
    Sales Rank: 56241
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    Book Description

    Miles away from the hectic city, Reed and Rebecca hike into the beautiful Northwestern woods. They're surrounded by gorgeous mountains, waterfalls, and hundreds of acres of unspoiled wilderness.

    But something—or someone—begins closing in on them. Something no human has ever seen. And it's killing everyone in its path without remorse.

    Best-selling author Frank Peretti has sold more than 12 million novels about angels, demons, and dragons. That was just the warm-up.

    From the master of suspense and supernatural thrillers comes the season's hottest page-turner.

    Be warned: this monster's got teeth.

    ... Read more

    19. Into the Looking Glass
    by John Ringo
    list price: $24.00
    our price: $16.32
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743498801
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
    Publisher: Baen
    Sales Rank: 1458
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    When a 60-kiloton explosion destroyed the University of Central Florida, and much of the surrounding countryside, the authorities first thought that terrorists had somehow obtained a nuclear weapon. But there was no radiation detected, and, when physicist Dr. William Weaver and Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Robert Miller were sent to investigate, they found that in the center of the destruction, where the University's physics department used to be, was an interdimensional gateway to... somewhere. An experiment in subatomic physics had produced a very unexpected effect. Furthermore, other gateways were appearing all over the world-and one of them immediately began disgorging demonic visitors intent on annihilating all life on Earth and replacing it with their own. Other, apparently less hostile, aliens emerged from other gateways, and informed Weaver and Miller that the demonic invaders-the name for them that humans could most easily pronounce was the "Dreen"-were a deadly blight across the galaxy, occupying planet after planet after wiping out all native life. Now it would be Earth's turn, unless Weaver and Miller could find a way to close the gateways. If they failed, the less belligerent aliens would face the regrettable necessity of annihilating the entire Earth to save their own worlds. . . . ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars humorous action-packed science fiction
    Thirty seconds after the president learns the news, the country is stunned as the media reports an explosion devastated the University of Central Florida.However, no radiation or electromagnetic pulse is detected; the NSA eliminates terrorists using an unheard of WMD, a non viable option.Everyone soon agrees that something happened in the lab of Dr. Ray Chen.They dispatch the only available physicist with a top secret clearance, the poster boy for absent minded Professor Dr. William Weaver accompanied by Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Robert Miller to investigate.

    William and Robert reach ground zero where Chen's former lab was; they find an interdimensional doorway that works from both sides.This enables invading aliens to enter planning to conquer the earth.Only Weaver and Miller with rednecks and some real army stand in the way of the deadly Dreen who annihilate life on planets.Non-Dreen ETs follow who are not malevolent towards earth, but plan to blow the place up if William fails to close the door.

    INTO THE LOOKING GLASS is a humorous action-packed science fiction that will remind readers of the opening of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as the not so bad ETs want to blow up the planet though no malice is intended.William is terrific as he cannot remember to pay his cell phone bill or call his irate girlfriend, but the President knows this Huntsville resident must save the world.Weaver's partner Robert is real military struggling to accept that he needs the nerd to succeed.John Ringo is at his most amusing best with these doorways to and from other dimensions leading to a wonderful save the earth sci fi.

    Harriet Klausner

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not up to snuff, John
    In the first four Posleen books and the Empire of Man series, Ringo made his characters amusing, human (even when they weren't) and made readers *care* about what happened to them.Sad to say, "Into The Looking Glass" while full of action and imagination, just didn't make me really care if any of the characters survived.
    Too much got glossed over, there were too many loose ends and Ringo's usual deft sketches of people descended into careless stereotype all too often.
    Just not up to past efforts.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not to shabby!! A darn good read
    Well this is definitely better than Doc Travis's two book. I found this to be a darn entertain'n read boys and girls! Definitely one for the collection. There are of course the parts of the book I would have done differently, but JR manages to pull off yet another great yarn.

    I especially liked the StarShip Troopers reference and I'm sure you will too once you read the tail and figure out what its all about. This tale has it all science experiment gone terribly wrong, alien invasion, allies and back-stabbers, new tech showcased, and a possible sequel hinted at, another good read from Baen Publishing.

    I do appreciate the authors realism as opposed to Doc Travis. Yes, I'm a proud American, but even I don't think the boys in uniform are gonna kick those nasty aliens back off planet without a single lose... Something Doc Travis for all his enjoyable tails needs to take to heart.

    I definitely recommend this, pretty darn good!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Starts great, peaks in the middle, then goes downhill
    Before reading this book I was not a fan of John Ringo. Having been in the military, I am somewhat familiar with what he writes about, but I definitely do not have "NCO mentality", and do not identify with most Ringo's characters. Also, I never cared for aliens who attack Earth for completely illogical reasons and use weapons ridiculously below their technology level. Hence Posleen books left me cold -- I tried to read first and second one, and could not finish either one. Not so "Into the Looking Glass."

    The characters in this book are much more varied and sympathetic, the aggressive aliens are much more believable, the references to various SF books and role-playing games are very clever, and spoofs of government bureaucracies are understandable by everyone, not just by soldiers. The "OSHA safety briefing" given to a man about to step through a dimensional gate is absolutely priceless.

    Yet I give the book only 3 stars -- because sometime in the second half it ran out of steam. First, bigger and bigger bangs got repetitive. I would prefer a more subtle way of closing the gates. Second, leaving the alien "Tuffy" in care of an ordinary family with no government oversight is completely implausible. Third, the device friendly aliens give to humans in the epilogue is not connected to the plot, serves no purpose other than "WOW" factor, and breaks more laws of physics than the rest of the book put together; you'd think the physicist protagonist would at least mention THAT. And fourth, the book leaves a huge loose end. How huge? About the size of Boca Raton, FL. Or, you could say "Cthulhu-sized" :) Even if that loose end is a hook for the sequel, again, someone should at least mention it after main alien threat is defeated.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Ringo at his best
    Ringo novels are a particular taste.Those who like them tend to love them.They are can do attitude novels in the sense that Heinlein's YA's were.If this is you [and it is me] you will love this book.Read it in one sitting and do not regret the HC price.A Ringo universe is a special place where smart NCO's run the universe and gaming and pop culture references abound [think Buffy in a universe without girls and the Shakespeare references].Any book where characters mentally doing SAN checks as if you were in an RPG is well worth the time and money. ... Read more


    20. The Revelation (Abram's Daughters)
    by Beverly Lewis
    list price: $12.99
    our price: $10.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0764228749
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
    Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
    Sales Rank: 254
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Abram's Daughters Book 5 Spanning three generations, the compelling novels of the ABRAM’S DAUGHTERS series feature five courting-age sisters, their extended family, and their quaint Old Order community, whose way of life and faith in God are as enduring as their signature horse and buggy. Or so it seems... In this suspenseful conclusion to the series, readers will thrill to another gripping story with Lewis’s trademark captivating twists and turns, and startling answers to the compelling questions set into motion in the first book, The Covenant. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!!
    After waiting a year for the final installment to come out I was not disappointed when I finally got my hands on Book 5.It was wonderful reading and I couldn't put the book down!If you like this series by Beverly Lewis you might want to keep your eyes out for the first book in her new series debuting this Fall.It is titled The Preacher's Daughter...can't wait!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not her best read.
    While she finally ties the books together in a conclusion this is not her best work. It was a rather tedious read and not her best work. While it was still worthwhile it was rather wordy and rambling for this author and not up to her usual standards. It was as if she felt like she didn't have enough story line to fill the whole book but things she alluded to could have filled it in nicely. It was quite slow at times and somehow just didn't seem to totally flow like the previous books did. It's almost like she ran out of steam at the end of the series.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Is a revelation enough to end the conflict? Find out!
    Finally, the prayers of the Ebersol family are gracefully addressed in this conclusion to the series. Lewis leaves no loose ends in the grande finale where every secret is exposed and every question the reader has developed is finally answered. This book doesn't carry quite the same urgent feel as the others did, where previously we saw all of the characters trying their best to manage chaos and conflict by using their own will as they attempted to protect and save one another in the most imperfect of ways. Now it seems the Ebersols, Masts, and Schwartzes surrender themselves to allow God to handle their crises and answer their prayers in unforeseen ways. Ultimately, this is a lesson in faith and trusting God's perfect timing. It's also a very pleasurable read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond Explanation Marks!!!!!
    This book is truly the great ending to a wonderfully written Christian fiction series containing romance, suspense, mystery, historically correct and educational information all bound up into one! Truths are revealed to Jake and Lydiann, and yes, Leah discovers the identity of her birth father. What happened to Sadie? Did Leah and Jonas finally marry?What about poor Lydiann and Jake?Get the book and discover the answer to all your questions. You will not be disappointed in this last book of a great series.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautifully Portrayed Work!
    "The Revelation" is the final book to the, "Abram's Daughter's series.It displays patience and tenderness as the final scenes play out.Ms. Lewis is the most wondeful person at displaying the simple Amish life with a spark of conflict.This is a must read for all.Also get the whole series for Mother's Day!I also recommend Former Old Order Amish author, Teresa Phillips', "Leaving Lancaster County" series, as well as, "The StoreKeeper's Daughter" series by Wanda Brunstetter. ... Read more


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