Dean Koontz’s The Crooked Staircase-Jane Hawk 3

I received this book courtesy of Random House for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Jane has been on her run, both from the Techno-Arcadians as well as her quest to bring the entire conspiracy to justice, for two months now. She has a new target of the conspiracy in her sights. It seems like her enemies have doubled down on their resources as well, all in order to bring her to heel. Will Jane manage to keep up her momentum? And is Travis as safe as she hopes?

Story Telling: We’re in the middle of Jane’s fight in this techno-thriller.

Dislikes: This book is one of the darkest that I’ve come across from Mr. Koontz in a while. Part of this is the fact that we’re in the middle of the Arcadian war. The rest of it involves the Shukla twins side story. That aspect seemed like it was added for the dark-factor, though it did bring up some aspects of the nanoweb enslavement.

Likes: Gavin and Jessica Washington work so hard to keep Travis safe.

Cornell is something else. He is willing to help his cousin, but the guy is definitely a loner.

Favorite Character: It’s Gavin and Jessica.

Favorite Scene: This time it would be the horseback ride that Gavin took Travis on.

Favorite Quote: I really couldn’t find one. That’s not very common in a Dean Koontz book.

Conclusion: This is a difficult book to get through, though it is necessary to read if you are interested in seeing Jane’s war to the end.

Frank Schatzing’s The Swarm

Overview: Something has gone horribly wrong in the earth’s oceans. Animals, who normally don’t give humanity a second glance, have now started to attack people in droves. Then, there are the weird creatures showing up at deep-sea drilling rigs. What’s going on? Is it an invasion of an extra-terrestrial origin? Or is it something closer to home?

Story Telling: We have a science-fiction/horror novel this time. You could partially call it a killer nature book.

Dislikes: I have a bit of a problem with this book.

For one thing, Mr. Schatzing only seems to have stereotypical American citizens in this book. We have the over-achieving woman, the paranoid CIA agent, the back-stabbing scientist, the southern hick, and the black man struggling with his ghetto upbringing.

Another thing, like Christianity or not, that doesn’t make this one religion fair game for the ignorant, or Bible-thumping bigot roles. At least learn Christian doctrine first. Most Christians believe that, while man was given dominion over the earth, a good steward would bring devastating ruin to those under his/her care for fun, or just for a little profit.

And the final point: there is a reason that known man-eaters are usually euthanized. You can never know how they will react in the wild. Take certain lion prides in Africa for example. They now seek out humans as a food source. This has happened because some cannot bear to see those prides killed.

Likes: Karen Weaver was a fun woman to follow.

And Sigur gave Tina good advice concerning her boyfriend.

Greywolf might have taken his anger, at his past, out on those around him, yet he remembered his humanity in the long run.

Conclusion: This had so much promise. Unfortunately, Mr. Schatzing’s preaching about the virus known as humanity ruined a fun adventure for me. Perhaps you’ll have better luck with it.

John Grisham’s Theodore Boone Kid Lawyer-Theodore Boone 1

Overview: Theodore Boone is around the law enforcement and judicial world quite a bit. Part of it is the fact that both of his parents are lawyers. The rest of it is just Theodore’s dream job. When he finds a surprise witness to a murder case, what is he to do? Keep the witness’s secret and let an injustice be done? Or try to keep both the law, and his integrity in tact?

Story Telling: This is a middle-grade mystery.

Dislikes: This is a pet-peeve of mine. But, why are illegal/undocumented immigrants always shown as the underdog working towards a dream/better life? Honestly it’s the equivalent of saying that a trespasser in your home just wants to enjoy your company. The odds aren’t really in you favor either way.

Likes: Theodore did try to do the right thing.

Conclusion: This is one that should be read as a family. This way, you can discuss the finer points of the case with your young lawyer in the making.

Delores Boone’s Handcrafted Soap-Make it Today, Use it Tonight

Overview: Have you ever wanted to make soap? Do you enjoy finding new ways to use your favorite fragrance or essential oils? Don’t think that the soap-making process is too hard. Ms. Boone has offered us three different methods of hot-processed soap-making, and twenty-eight recipes to get the beginner started.

Story Telling: We have a how-to book.

Dislikes: Make sure you have a digital scale. While my produce-style scale worked. My soap was a 50/50 shot of success.

Likes: There are three ways of using the hot-process method, so if you don’t like one style, try another.

Favorite Recipe: That would be the traditional Castile soap.

Conclusion: This is an interesting craft. Try it, you might like your home-made soap better than store-bought.