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Book Review
 

October 13, 2018 - October 19, 2018

Novel by Hank Green is out of this world

Lincee Ray

What if a huge, stagnant robot appeared out of nowhere on the streets of New York City? And what if you were the key to solving the mystery of what it wants? Hank Green takes readers on a sci-fi adventure, tackling issues such as social media obsession and global humanity in his novel, “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing.”

April May pays her dues working at a Manhattan-based startup by logging in a ton of hours. So it’s no surprise why she stumbles into a 10-foot-tall Transformer-style robot on the sidewalk at three o’clock in the morning. What is surprising is the robot seems to have materialized out of thin air.

Baffled by the presumable piece of art before her, April calls her best friend Andy to come and see the robot. Andy videotapes April with the structure, whom she affectionately names Carl, and uploads the project. The next day, both are dumbfounded to learn that the video went viral. They are overnight sensations, and when the world discovers that other cities have their own “Carls,” April is thrust into the spotlight as an expert.

Of course, every coin has a flip side. While some find the Carls intriguing and mysterious, eager to solve why they are here, others consider them a threat. April finds herself in a media whirlwind defending the robots, the possibility of aliens, humanity and her personal life. She begins to crack under the pressure of social media, fear and uncertainty. The only thing that anchors her to the real world is a tight group of trusted friends and a unique challenge presented to her by Carl.

“An Absolutely Remarkable Thing” is a thrilling journey that takes a hard look at the power of fame and our willingness to separate a person from the brand. Green manages to blend humor, mystery and science fiction in his fast-paced debut novel. (AP)


October 6, 2018 - October 12, 2018

Villains are vile and disturbing in ‘The Forbidden Door’

Jeff Ayers

Jane Hawk returns and learns that her enemies are beginning to close in with plans to eliminate her as a threat in Dean Koontz’s latest thriller, “The Forbidden Door.”

Hawk was a well-respected FBI agent who lost her husband to a supposed suicide, but she knows better. Now she lives on the run, trying to destroy the organization that uses mind-control technology to achieve its goals. At this point, Jane is the only roadblock to the organization’s domination. She has hidden her child from the group, but its reach exceeds that of the police and government and it quickly takes out the child’s guardians.

Jane has a backup plan, but she knows it’s only a matter of time before the organization finds her son’s new hiding place. The organization wants to force Jane out into the open and decides not only to continue to pursue her son but also to capture her husband’s parents. The cat-and-mouse game continues.

Koontz takes the antagonists and moves them to the forefront of this story. The villains are vile and disturbing and their methods and goals are horrifying. When Jane or one of the cabal’s targets gains the upper hand, it will elicit cheers in the reader’s mind. Unfortunately, those moments don’t last for long. Can Jane overcome such impossible odds and defeat an organization seemingly more powerful than any world government or enforcement agency?

Koontz continues the incredible saga of the robust character of Jane Hawk, and it’s as terrific as the others in the series. There is more to tell in her story, and it’s a bit frustrating with the novel ending without resolution. At this point, her story is so developed that starting with this book would be a bit confusing to newcomers. Start with “The Silent Corner,” so his latest can be fully appreciated. (AP)


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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Novel by Hank Green is out of this world


Villains are vile and disturbing in ‘The Forbidden Door’