August 18, 2018
No Peace After War: Twenty-Six Short Stories and Poems Illustrating Life After Combat is a collection of moving and unforgettable stories and poems depicting the life of soldiers, and those of their loved ones after military service, written by Claire St. Hilaire.
With a foreword by SPC Dennis Murphy, the entire book collection is told in alternating perspectives between first and third person. The stories are arranged in alphabetical order, with Abandoned being the first and Zenith being the last. The author uses descriptive words lavishly portraying not only vividly detailed scenes but also the profound and innermost feelings and emotions of characters.
The stories and poems depict the pain, the suffering, the guilt, the nightmares and references to untold horrors that plague a former soldier’s nights. Moreover, they portray the anguish suffered by widowed wives, orphaned children, bereaved girlfriends as well as the sorrow of the family from witnessing the changed behavior and the entire personality of the returning warriors. Furthermore, they told not only of death but also of life of service and honor. Mostly importantly, however, the stories/poems glorify the sacrifices of the veterans so that we, civilians, would continue to live in peace.
This is a touching and moving book that gives us a glimpse of a world we know nothing about and which we will never understand. I particularly like the stories: Betrayed, Guts, Knowledge, Left Behind and Zenith.
The author also includes a Crisis Information chapter for veterans in crisis.
August 12, 2018
World, Incorporated: A Modern Dystopia is a suspenseful political thriller written by Tom Gariffo.
Agent Sliver is the personal covert operative to the CEO of World, Incorporated, one of the five supercorporations that practically run the country in the year 2058. With a hazy past and a dicey future, Agent Sliver lives in the Chrome Wind, an airship with several state-of-the-art systems including a talking computer that serves as his companion and the closest he gets for a friend.
Agent Sliver’s life is ostensibly simple. He works for the CEO of World, Incorporated by eliminating possible threats to the supercorporation in exchange for a lucrative compensation package which include the Chrome Wind, an indeterminate credit points for his purchases, a supply of Serum that he very much needed to function, and an outstanding promise of revenge against the CEO of a rival supercorporation. Then, an unexpected turn in one of his missions disrupts his routinary existence.
This is an exciting and suspenseful thriller that depicts the possible future of the United States of America. Personally, I find it well conceptualized albeit a little complex which other readers may find more exciting. The writing style varies from casual and conversational with a predominantly sarcastic tone to journalistic and academic. The major character is well-developed with a sense of humor and relatable need for revenge. However, other readers may have mixed or even conflicting emotions toward Agent Sliver. I, for one, find him compassionate one instance and callous the next. Finally, though I prefer it to be more conclusive, I enjoyed the ending of this book which somehow promises more from the author.
All in all, this is a very enjoyable read with its shocking revelations and unexpected turns of events. However, I find it too detailed for my taste, thus a bit verbose. Though this is generally a good thing, other readers may find it taxing. Moreover, I noticed errors within the entire book which, though only a few, may detract from the overall reading experience.
Congratulations to Tom Gariffo (@TomGariffo) on such a great book!
World, Incorporated was OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day on August 1st 2018. You may check it out at Online BookClub.
August 2, 2018
Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces is the fifth book in the exciting young adult fiction book series Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency created by Iain Reading.
Kitty is in Rome. With her trusty De Havilland Beaver seaplane tied up at a small marina in a tiny fishing village on the coast, Kitty, after so many adventures, finally meets again with Charlie.
After feasting on the best ravioli, enjoying an authentic Italian dessert and an unfortunate encounter with a wheelbarrow full of walnuts, Charlie and Kitty meet new friends. And before the night is over, they make an astonishing discovery, that of a stolen Van Gogh painting hiding in plain sight, or probably more.
This is another exciting installment in the delightful Kitty Hawk book series. It features numbers stations, decades-old cryptic radio broadcasts, unbreakable mathematical codes, decoding pads, coded and hidden messages, and notes on a musical scale. Moreover, the story takes the readers not only to the streets and alleys of the eternal city of Rome but also to the historical city of Nuremberg, the former Nazi Concentration Camp of Dachau and the breathtakingly beautiful old town of Salzburg with references to the Cathedral of Light and the famous classic musical film the Sound of Music.
As with the first four books, this installment is filled with puzzles, riddles, mysteries, and of course, chasing scenes. Though I find this particular book less suspenseful than the previous one Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic, it is just as informative and as interesting.
Finally, while the most important part of the book for me is, and always will be, the information imparted and integrated in the story, my favorite is that part about Kitty and her realization regarding the movie Sound of Music. I find it so hilarious that I think I will never get over it, ever.