Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Passage is a heady mix of all things that are currently hot in the reading world as of late: vampires, the end of the world, political tension and violence. So it makes sense that it would be a great book for summer, albeit lengthy at 700+ pages. What starts off in the not so distant future as a gov't science experiment quickly escalates into the apocalypse for mankind as the subjects of said experiment turn out to be bloodthirsty monsters. Fast forward nearly 100 years later to a small colony of humans struggling to stay alive. The key to all of this is a little girl named Amy. Intrigued? You should be.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

The final novel in Larsson's trilogy is just as action packed as its 2 predecessors. Hacker genius Lisbeth Salander is stuck in the hospital after being shot and buried alive while on the outside, governmental agencies, police officers and ex spies are all pissed that she can't just DIE already. And so, they continue to plot even worse things against Lisbeth once she eventually does recover. Lisbeth's main defender against all evil-doers is journalist Mikael Blomkvist.

The extremely interesting thing about this novel is that it is so fast paced despite the fact that the heroine is in the hospital 95% of the time. What's even better is that the action is completely believable - no one is jumping off of buildings or setting bombs off; everyone actually uses their brain and nothing more advanced than a computer.

Larsson (who unfortunately died before finishing the complete saga) provides a very satisfying conclusion to his trilogy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli

From Booklist:

"Soli’s debut revolves around three characters whose lives are affected by the Vietnam War. Helen Adams comes to Vietnam in the hopes of documenting the combat that took her brother from her. She immediately attracts the attention of the male journalists in the region, and quickly falls into an affair with the grizzled but darkly charismatic war photographer Sam Darrow. As Helen starts to make her own way as a photographer in Vietnam, drawing as much attention for her gender as for her work, Darrow sends her his Vietnamese assistant, Linh, a reluctant soldier who deserted the SVA in the wake of his wife’s death. While Linh wants nothing more than to escape the war, Darrow and Helen are consumed by it, unable to leave until the inevitable tragedy strikes. The strength here is in Soli’s vivid, beautiful depiction of war-torn Vietnam, from the dangers of the field, where death can be a single step away, to the emptiness of the Saigon streets in the final days of the American evacuation. --Kristine Huntley"