Thursday, December 31, 2009

Book Review: Truly, Madly





Truly, Madly
by Heather Webber
Publisher: St. Martin's
ISBN: 9780312946135
Audience: Teens through Adult
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Lucy Valentine came from a long line of matchmakers that had the psychic ability to read auras. As a teen, Lucy, was hit by lightning while on the phone and her abilities were jumbled, so now all she can do is find lost objects. That wouldn't be much of a problem, but Lucy finds herself having to take over her family's matchmaking business, without the ability to make matches. Will Lucy be able to successfully make matches? And what about her ability? Then there's the issue of the really gorgeous private investigator, Sean Donahue, who works upstairs...

"Truly, Madly" was a delightful read. I fell in love with the main character and was enamored with her wit and charm. Lucy is the type of character that you wish lived next door to you - someone you could have over for coffee and sit and talk to. She has a quirky family and a heart of gold. So when she takes over her family's business, you really want her to succeed, and not just with the business but with her own personal romantic life as well.

What made this book even more of a delight was I was expecting a romance, and I got so much more. Heather Webber spun a fantastic tale of romance and mystery with humor peppered throughout. What is even better is this is the first book of her new series. That means we will be able to get to know Lucy and her quirky family more, and hopefully see more of Sean in the future.

I adored this story and will be looking for more of Heather's books!! A great read for everyone!

I received this book through the Barnes & Noble Sneak Peek program.

Book Review: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters





Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters
Published by Quirk Classics
ISBN: 9781594744426
Recommended Audience: Teens through Adult
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis:

From the publisher of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes a new tale of romance, heartbreak, and tentacled mayhem.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities.

As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon.

Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen's biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It's survival of the fittest -- and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!


Quirk Classics has done it again! I absolutely adored Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters! I wondered if the blend of classic with humor would not be as good this time around, but it was even better than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I found that the storyline flowed much more smoothly, with no sudden appearances of monsters that felt like they were just stuck in the story as fillers. The characters were fun and I found myself cheering some on while wanting to see others be eaten by sea creatures. There, of course, was a bit of blood and gore and the humor was dark and really quite funny. Sadly, the book ended much too soon, as I really enjoyed reading Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. I hope Quirk has plans for more of these in the near future.

If you haven't read this book yet, please add it to your must reads. It is a nice fun read that will certainly perk up those winter doldrums!

This book was supplied by Anna from FSB Associates for review. Thank you, Anna, for allowing me the pleasure of reviewing this book!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Book Review: The Source of Miracles




The Source of Miracles: 7 Steps to Transforming Your Life Through The Lord's Prayer
by Kathleen McGowan
Published by Touchstone
ISBN: 9781439137659
Audience: Teen through Adult
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Synopsis:

Millions have sought success and happiness in books like The Secret and The Prayer of Jabez, but Kathleen McGowan's The Source of Miracles shows readers that the real secret to creating and sustaining an abundant, joyous, and fulfilled life has been hiding in plain sight -- in the power of the prayer that unites 2 billion Christians worldwide.

True happiness and success can't just be wished for. The real secret to fulfillment lies in using the Lord's Prayer as part of an ongoing spiritual practice that leads to real and lasting change in the soul -- change that will manifest itself in earthly, tangible ways. Each chapter in The Source of Miracles is a guide to one of seven steps in that process, corresponding to a primary teaching of the prayer: faith, surrender, service, abundance, forgiveness, obstacles, and love. Each chapter also includes meditations, affirmations, and other activities designed to help readers work through life's challenges.

In her bestselling fiction, Kathleen McGowan has popularized the world of Christian esoterica, a unique place where New Age and Christianity meet, making ancient teachings new and powerful. The Source of Miracles harnesses the wisdom of those traditions at a time of great material and spiritual uncertainty, when the need for signposts on the road to success has never been more acute.


I was really excited to be asked to review this book, as it is something I'm really interested in. I really wanted to like it, but sadly, it was not at all what I desire in a Christian Self Help book.

Kathleen McGowan is a great writer and she can easily pull you in with her prose. She has a wonderful way with words, and I was pulled in until she started to tell about her visions of Mary Magdalene and a man with long hair, as well as some strange experiences with the Chartres labyrinth that she had. I continued reading hoping that this was just a little bit of oddness that could be ignored, but what I found was when I'd begin to agree with things she'd say, she'd then seem to turn around and correct herself.

Sadly, I cannot give this book any endorsement as I find it certainly doesn't "rightly divide the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15) nor does it appear to be all Christian, but a mixture of beliefs that cross over into different religions. If one is looking for a good Christian self-help book, this isn't it, but if one is just looking for a new age type of guidance, you may enjoy it and would probably find some useful information. Sadly, this book had a lot of potential, but was a huge letdown.

"The Source of Miracles" was supplied by FSB Associates for review. Thank you, Julie, for allowing me to review this book!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Book Review: Rich Again




Rich Again: A Novel
by Anna Maxted
St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 9780312570286
Audience: Adult
Rating: 1 of 5 stars

Synopsis:
Walk-in closet full of designer everything? Check. Private Caribbean island? Check. Connection to the aristocracy? Working on it. Cunning, malicious stalker? Double check.

Welcome to the world of the Kents, a charismatic, ambitious, and fabulously wealthy English family with two sisters – one as strong and sparkling as the other is delicate and wounded – who must somehow put their differences aside to keep an unknown enemy from bringing them down. Wild and beautiful Emily Kent has had the world laid at her feet by her ruthless mother and billionaire father – but it's not enough. Gifted with her mother's to-die-for looks, her father's hard-scrabble business sense, and both of her parents' lust for control, Emily is determined to make her own luck by seducing the only man she’s ever wanted, a man who can make her dreams of attaining the heights of old-money English society come true. By contrast, Emily's step-sister, Claudia, is a fragile soul—her mother died when she was five, leaving her to the unkind reign of step-mother Innocence. In an uncharacteristic burst of rebellion, Claudia trades her gilded lifestyle for an ordinary flat and daytime job where she meets the man of her dreams… or so she imagines.

But, Emily and Claudia are caught up in a desperate situation that may be beyond their control. As for their father, disgraced tycoon Jack Kent, and his wife Innocence, they are too obsessed with the fight for supremacy over their vast empire to see that a mighty and sinister opponent is plotting to ruin them all.


To say this book was a terrible disappointment is a huge understatement. I had high hopes to sit down and read a novel about the cut-throat big business world of the rich and powerful with some family scandal thrown in. Instead, it was nothing more than a trashy novel. The first chapter alone contained underage drinking, drug usage, sex, partying all centered around a 15 year old. I had hoped the book would get better and there was a reason for such a distasteful beginning. Sadly, that never happened. The story line was predictable and not very interesting. The characters were shallow and not well developed or believable. I felt like I was reading a book written by someone who was bitter towards those more fortunate than she is. Some scenes were distasteful enough that I felt like I had to wash out my eyeballs after reading them. I certainly won't be buying any of Anna Maxted's books. To me, they're not worth the paper they're printed on.

This book was a First Reads win and was sent to me to review.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Book Review: Green




Green: The Beginning and the End
by: Ted Dekker
Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 9781595542885
Audience: Older teens to Adult
Rating 4.75 out of 5 stars

Thomas Hunter fell asleep in our world in our time, and woke up 2000 years into the future, well after the Apocalypse had destroyed Earth. Thomas' group, the Circle, as well as his son, are no longer completely faithful to their god, Elyon. Thomas is heartbroken and discovers he must find a way to save the world from another Apocalypse. He must trust Elyon and allow his son to follow his own heart, while Thomas makes the difficult decision to leave the Circle to save them all.

This was my first Ted Dekker novel, and will certainly not be my last. I was a little apprehensive that I could pick up the last book in the series, and read it as the first. I had no idea how Mr. Dekker would accomplish this, but he had done it brilliantly! I easily became familiar with the characters and what roles were played and by whom. The storyline was easy to follow, and like most series, enough was given so that you wouldn't know everything, but wouldn't be lost.

A classic good verses evil tale that kept me totally engrossed and made it difficult to put the book down. I thoroughly enjoyed "Green" and really look forward to reading the others in the series...."Black", "Red" and "White".

This book was supplied by Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers for review.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies





Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Deluxe Edition
by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Quirk Books
ISBN: 9781594744518
Audience: Teens and Adults
Rating 4-1/2 stars out of 5

Synopsis (combined from both the back of the book and Barnes & Noble):

Now with 30% more Zombies!

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton — and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers — and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to listen to.

This Deluxe heirloom edition includes a new preface by coauthor Seth Grahame-Smith, thirteen oil-painting illustrations by Roberto Parada, and a fascinating afterword by Dr. Allen Grove of Alfred University. Best of all, this limited special edition features an incredible 30 percent more zombies - via even more all-new scenes of carnage, corpse slaying, and cannibalism. Complete with a satin ribbon marker and a leatherette binding designed to endure for generations, this hardcover volume honors a masterpiece of classic zombie literature.


When I first heard of this book, I had written it off as a fad and nothing more than a waste of time to read. It just had to be total nonsense and something that would only be appealing to kids, since it included zombies. It certainly didn't appear that way, though, as it continued to sell well at my local bookstore. When I received this book to review, I was ready to tear it apart and not like the book at all, but the opposite happened. I had such a fun time reading it, and found myself chuckling throughout many of the scenes.

Mr. Grahame-Smith combined Austen's work almost flawlessly with his own. I say almost, because there were a few places that the zombies seemed out of place and just sort of thrown in just to mention them. Overall, though, it really was brilliantly done. I have not enjoyed such humor in quite a while. Instead of destroying Austen's storyline, Mr. Grahame-Smith just added some dark humor to it making it a true treat to read.

My 16 year old daughter is now in the process of reading it, and describes the book as "awesome!". My son is on break from college now, and wants to read it before his winter break ends. He says he's heard a lot about it at the university, and really is anxious to read it to see if it is really as good as he's heard.

Yes, this is really one book that must go on everyone's "must read" list. It's just too much fun not to pass up! I also recommend if you are going to purchase this book, to buy the deluxe edition. It is a beautiful book to look at and for just a little added expense, it will last and be one that you can hand down to your children, and even their children. The cover is a beautiful brown leatherette with a color photo on the front. The color plates are well done and make such a lovely addition to the book. There is also a ribbon bookmark, that makes losing your place almost impossible. The overall look and feel of the book is one of luxury.

This book was supplied by Anna from FSB Associates for review. Thank you, Anna, for allowing me the pleasure of reviewing this book!

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Apologies

My apologies for not posting any reviews lately. My father passed away on the 14th, and the funeral was on the Saturday. It was a great shock to find out he was in the hospital, and we were not notified until his condition was critical, and when we got to see him, I doubt he knew that we were even there. It has been a hard road and I will miss him dearly. I will hopefully be back to normal posting soon. Again, my apologies.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winner of "I Used to Know That"



A big Congratulations goes to Bhumi who is the lucky winner of "I Used to Know That". Random.org selected #5 and you were the 5th person to post in my comments section. Please note - you have 48 hours to respond to your email. If no response, another person will be selected.

Thank you all for entering our first drawing. Please keep checking back for a new drawing in the near future.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

OUR FIRST CONTEST!!!

With the holiday season quickly approaching, we get so wrapped up in buying the perfect gift for others. Why not take a little time and add yourself to our first drawing, and try to win this delightfully entertaining book? (see how to enter below)




12 Days and 12 Facts for This Holiday Season
By Caroline Taggart,
Author of I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School


Ever catch yourself saying I Used to Know That?

Each holiday season brings another round of cocktail parties, family get-togethers, and corporate gatherings -- and invariably, lots of small talk. It's easy to feel overwhelmed when discussing politics, literature, and other intellectual "stuff," especially when what is thought to be general knowledge is often long-forgotten. Enter I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School. From English and Literature to Math and Science, from History and Geography to Religion and Other-Worldly Topics, this book leaves you equipped to handle any topic of conversation.

Here we've cherry-picked twelve fun facts for the holiday season -- one for every day of Christmas (or whatever holiday you prefer!) Quiz yourself to see how much "stuff" you need to brush up on before hobnobbing with the boss or office crush.

1. On building sentences: Just what is a "clause"? (Not to be confused with Santa Claus.)

Answer: A clause contains a subject and a verb and may stand alone as a sentence or as part of a sentence (when it is often called asubordinate clause): Santa Claus loves cookies but can't eat them without milk.

2. How many bones is the spine made up of?

Answer: 26 small bones called vertebrae (Be careful lifting all those heavy holiday boxes.)

3. Acclaimed author Charles Dickens (1812-70) wrote which Christmas classic?

Answer: A Christmas Carol. The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge tries to ignore Christmas and is haunted by the ghost of his former partner, Marley, and by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come, who show him the error of his ways.

4. The fist chapter of this famous book opens with "Call me Ishmael." Name the book and author. (Hint: it makes a whale of a gift!)

Answer: Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Melville is also the author of Pierre and the unfinished Billy Budd.

5. There's a name for the process of watering your Christmas tree? Who knew?

Answer: Grab the kids and give them this science factoid as they nurture the family tree: Osmosis is a form of diffusion that is specific to the movement of water. Water moves through a selectively permeable membrane (that is, one that lets some types of molecules through but not others) from a place where there is a higher concentration of water to one where it is lower.

6. Can you name all 6 wives of Henry VIII, father of the Church of England?

Answer: (Listed in order) Catherine, Anne, Jane, Anne, Catherine, Catherine. They are often remembered as divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. Sure makes you think twice when complaining about bad relatives.

7. Who was the 16th President of the United States?

Answer: Abraham Lincoln (R, 1861-65) and yes -- he really was born in a log cabin on a winter's day. Notably famous for many reasons including his Gettysburg Address: "Four Score and Seven Years ago our fathers brought fourth upon this continent a new nation conceived in Liberty . . . "

8. 'Tis the season to be jolly giving! Don’t forget to tip well this season -- etiquette coaches will tell you that means no less than 18%. So just how much should you tip on a bill of $50?

Answer: Percent means by a hundred, so anything expressed as a percentage is a fraction (or part, if you prefer) of 100. So 18% is 18 parts of 100, or 18/100 or .18. If your bill is $50, multiply 50 by .18 to get your tip total of $9. If you're feeling generous, a 20% tip would require you to multiply 50 by .20, for a total of $10.00

50.00 x .18 = 9.00

50.00 x .20 = 10.00

Percentages can also be holiday-relevant when it comes to figuring out in-store sales. In this case, you want to multiply by the inverse of the percentage listed. So if you have a $50 sweater that's on sale for 25% off, multiply 50 by .75 for your total of $37.50. That same $50 sweater on sale for 40% off would equate to $30, or $50 multiplied by .60.

50.00 x .75 = 37.50

50.00 x .60 = 30.00

9. Brr, it's cold outside. But just how cold does it have to be to get some snow around here?

Answer: Did you know that the freezing point of water is 32 degrees Fahrenheit? Keep an eye on the temperature and watch your footing for ice on the ground. (See previous fact about those treasured vertebrae!)

10. Everyone knows Santa and his elves live in the North Pole. But what about the South Pole (aka Antarctica)?

Answer: The South Pole was discovered by Roald Amundsen (1872-1928, Norwegian), who was also the first to sail though the Northwest passage, the sea route from Pacific to Atlantic along the north coast of North America. Antarctica is the only continent that contains no countries -- instead, it is a stateless territory protected from exploitation by an international treaty. A good place for the elves to protest low wages?

11. Which Ocean is bigger: the Pacific or the Atlantic?

Answer: The Pacific Ocean is larger at 69,374 square miles -- that's almost double the Atlantic, which comes in at 35,665 square miles. Making it even more astonishing that St. Nick can cross the globe in just one night.

12. Remember the reason for the Season! Can you name a few things that both Judaism and Christianity have in common?

Answer: Both are monotheistic religions that share the first five books of the Christian Old Testament. Both religions view Jerusalem as a sacred site, the former for the Wailing Wall (contains the remains of the temple that was thought to be the place where God resides on earth) and the latter for Christ's burial and resurrection site.

Happy Holidays to all!

©2009 Caroline Taggart, author of I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School

Author Bio
Caroline Taggart, author of I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School, has been an editor of non-fiction books for nearly 30 years and has covered nearly every subject from natural history and business to gardening and astronomy. She has written several books and was the editor of Writer's Market UK 2009.
For more information please visit www.amazon.com.

How to enter:

A HUGE thank you to Caitlin from FSB Associates for supplying both the book and article for this drawing. The book will be shipped directly from the supplier. Please note that I AM NOT responsible for the companies that are mailing out prizes. I am running the contest and I also choose the winner using random.org. The winner's name and address is then sent to the supplier and it is their responsibility to send it to you.

US and Canada only.

Just leave a comment with your email address to enter! You are not required to follow my blog, but it is very much appreciated if you choose to do so. If you post to your blog about this contest, I'll add your name in for another entry. Please leave that you did so in your comment.

Contest ends December 18th, 2009 11:59pm EST.
Good Luck!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Decoding the Lost Symbol Book Review





Decoding the Lost Symbol
by Simon Cox
A Touchstone Book - A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
ISBN: 9780743287272
Audience: Everyone
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

From the back of the book:

Secret Societies . . . Forgotten History . . . Conspiracies . . .
From the bestselling Dan Brown expert, a guide to the fascinating and mysterious world of The Lost Symbol

Dan Brown's new novel once again features Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, this time in the United States, racing to uncover clues and crack codes involving secrets that are perpetuated to this day. But how much of the novel is true and what is pure fiction? Simon Cox, bestselling author of Cracking the Da Vinci Code and Illuminating Angels & Demons, offers the first definitive guide to all the mysteries featured in The Lost Symbol.

Based on extensive research, this A-to-Z guide lists the real people, organizations, and themes features in Dan Brown's latest novel, explains their histories and their meanings, reproduces and analyzes the symbols themselves, and provides insider knowledge gleaned from years of exhaustive study. From the monuments of Washington, D.C., to the secrets of Salt Lake City and the hidden enclaves in Langley, Virginia, Cox knows where the facts are hidden about the Freemasons, Albert Pike, the Rosicrucians, the Founding Fathers, and more.

This is the only resource you'll need to understand and enjoy the complex new world of The Lost Symbol.


Robert Langdon is one of my favorite characters. What's there not to like? He's smart, considerably good looking and he loves art. Most of all, he seems to enjoy a good mystery. Dan Brown is the writer that can create that good mystery and can keep Robert and the rest of us guessing what happens next. Brown's books are more in depth than what they appear. The amount of history and research that goes into them is amazing, and what Brown does with it is even more amazing. Sadly, much of that can get past the average reader. When finished, many just move on to the next book, not realizing how much symbolism the book contains and how many red herrings were missed.

Decoding the Lost Symbol is a must read for anyone that has read The Lost Symbol. Even those that haven't read it, can benefit from all the fascinating information that is contained in this book. Simon Cox made the book easy to use, listing things featured in the novel. It contains information about the Philosopher's Stone, Herehom, Aleister Crowley, to name a few, plus beautiful color photos and illustrations. Cox goes in depth and explains how these all connect with Langdon in the novel.



I was fascinated with this book, and I know I'll be turning to it more than once, not only because of the novel, but because of all the fascinating information that it holds. This is the perfect addition to any library. I highly recommend this book to not only Dan Brown fans, but anyone interested in history. The book also has an extensive bibliography that will please and intrigue anyone interested in pursuing a deeper look into history.



Author Biography:

I don't read much non-fiction. I simply don't have the time, and when I do, its not generally from the "thriller" genre. So how come I have written three guide books to three thrillers? The answer is simple. Dan Brown. What Brown has managed to do brilliantly within the framework of his novels, is weave facts and fiction seamlessly together in a coherent and logical way, the like of which is rarely seen. I'm not saying its all perfect -- indeed, as I point out in my guide books, some of his factual research leaves much to be desired -- but he does have an uncanny knack of being able to hit the zeitgeist of the moment when it comes to historical themes and ideas.

Brown seems to follow certain pre-set rules within his Robert Langdon based novels. Generally there is a religious element and this element is stacked up against a scientific element. Then there are the codes and clues -- mainly left within an historical framework -- mathematical conundrums being a favorite of Mr Brown. Finally there are the secret societies that seem to be the glue that holds the stories together. In The Da Vinci Code, we see an exploration of the sacred feminine and an alternative life of Christ. In Angels & Demons, the very heart of Christendom, the Vatican is central to the story and in The Lost Symbol Brown takes it all a step further as he espouses the ideals of deism and universal godhead. Essentially what Brown has written are three books that have woven between them a central theme of tolerance to all faiths, but above all, an acknowledgement that faith plays an essential role in the development of mans consciousness and being. As a historian, I can attest to the fact that this mantra was crucial to most if not all ancient cultures. In this respect Dan Brown is carrying on a long standing tradition.

The Lost Symbol is at first glance a less remarkable book than its predecessor, The Da Vinci Code. It seems to lack the one major hook, the heart in mouth fact that suddenly makes gasp out loud as you read the page. However, this book is a slow burner. Its message of tolerance and universality is not at first obvious -- but the more you read and digest the message within the pages, the more you realize that this time 'round, Brown has a clear and decisive meaning that he is trying to get across. When I first saw this I was aghast. A novelist trying to change the way the world thinks from inside a story of chases and code breaking. But then, think about it. Brown has an audience unlike any novelist ever has. The Lost Symbol was awaited as if it were the harbinger of a new messiah after the enormous success of The Da Vinci Code -- some eighty million people the world over had become instant fans of his writing -- he had an audience who patiently waited for every word on every page. What better way to change the world.

It remains to be seen if the book will have any effect at all. Its early days yet and the response, though swift in sales, has been less than that of The Da Vinci Code. However it is to be remembered that The Da Vinci Code itself was very much a slow burner of a book at first -- not really exploding until some time after its launch. I have attempted to give a clear and easily understandable view of where Mr. Brown researched his facts and what parts of his book are fact and what fiction. It was a writing exercise that I really enjoyed, just as I had with the other guides. Decoding The Lost Symbol is a book that I am very proud of, especially given the incredible time constraints that I was under -- it was fun to do and fun to write. I hope you will enjoy it too, should you choose to pick it up and should you choose to explore some of the themes and ideas within The Lost Symbol itself. I encourage debate and criticism and can be contacted via my website at: www.decodingthelostsymbol.com.



Copyright © 2009 Simon Cox, author of Decoding The Lost Symbol: The Unauthorized Expert Guide to the Facts Behind the Fiction

Author Bio
Simon Cox, author of Decoding The Lost Symbol: The Unauthorized Expert Guide to the Facts Behind the Fiction, was the founding editor in chief of the successful newsstand magazine Phenomena. Having studied Egyptology at University College London, he went on to work as a research assistant for some of the biggest names in the alternative history game, including Graham Hancock, Robert Bauvel, and David Rohl. He splits his time between Britain and the United States.


Book, author biography and photos were provided by FSB Associates. Thank you, Anna for allowing me to read and review this fascinating book!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Earth Is Ours Book Review




Earth Is Ours
by Gary W. Babb
Wandering Sage Publications
ISBN: 1933300639
Audience: Older teen to adult
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

From the back of the book:

An alien invasion has stripped Earth of all technology, and those that survived the initial destruction in the aftermath must take up swords to fight the giant intruders in the ensuing battles that rage. In the jagged aftermath Levi and Amy struggle to survive in this ghostly hostile new world... but can the shaky union of a female computer essence and a human male be enough? What begins as a conflict of minds soon develops into tolerance, then cooperation and finally love.

For a limited preview of this book, please click here.

I love a good science fiction story, but most of the time it seems that they are written with the male audience in mind. Earth Is Ours is an exception. Mr. Babb has done a superb job writing a book that will appeal to both male and female! It is full of alien monsters, survival, battles and lots of suspense to appeal to the male, while at the same time, there are friendships and relationships that will appeal to the female. He has created characters with depth and personalities that are believable, lovable and sometimes downright playful, making them very realistic.

The two main characters, Levi and Amy, are an interesting "pair". Levi is an 80 year old Native American who wants revenge. Amy is a computer who has become self-aware. She finds a way to connect with a human, who happens to be Levi, and gives him the abilities to repay the aliens that have inhabited the earth. During this time, Amy and Levi become very fond of each other, and then fall in love. That love can never be real, as she is only a computer essence, and he is flesh and blood, or can it? The book is written from both Levi and Amy's point of view, and masterfully done, I might add. Amy's thoughts and feelings are every bit female!!

The story also contains some sexual content, although not overly done, nor too graphic. In this story, it enhances the believability of Amy and Levi's relationship and how they both handle Amy being and essence instead of a "real woman". Because of the content, I would recommend this book for older teens and adults.

Earth Is Ours is an excellent read full of action, suspense, friendships and relationships where the most unlikely join together to work towards the common good. I had a hard time putting this one down, and look forward to reading book two of the four book series.

Book 1 - Earth Is Ours - ISBN: 1933300693
Book 2 - Target Earth - ISBN: 1425986153
Book 3 - Earth's Warriors - Pending
Book 4 - Genesis Logs - Pending


This book was sent to me to be reviewed by the author Gary W. Babb. Thank you, Gary, for allowing me the pleasure of reading and reviewing your work.

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