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Update December 2017

Thailand News
World News
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Arts - Entertainment - Lifestyles
Book Review
Health & Wellbeing
Odds & Ends
Science & Nature
Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
Book Review

Update Saturday, Dec. 9 - Dec. 15, 2017

Jane Hawk returns in Koontz’s ‘The Whispering Room’

Jeff Ayers

Jane Hawk, the compelling heroine of “The Silent Corner,” returns in another terrifying Dean Koontz conspiracy thriller, “The Whispering Room.”

Jane knows her husband didn’t commit suicide but proving it has been a challenge. She uncovered an evil plot to brainwash people to commit horrific acts, but her attempt to destroy the villain behind everything came with a horrible cost. She no longer has her job at the FBI and is a wanted fugitive. She keeps her son stashed away to protect him. Jane now roams the country to derail the mastermind and his nefarious plans.

A beloved schoolteacher on leave due to migraines is the latest to fall under the vicious mind games. She has dreams of walking through fire, and one afternoon she sets her vehicle on fire and drives through a hotel lobby. A sheriff uncovers her journals and sees a woman crying for help. When Jane learns of the incident, she knows the people she’s trying to eliminate are responsible. She has already gone rogue, and knowing her son is safe, she has nothing to lose by going after the culprits.

When one of her targets tells her, “You’re dead already. They’ll all know about you in the whispering room,” Jane knows she has to learn what his cryptic phrase means even though it obviously will be a trap to take her out of the picture.

The character of Jane Hawk is arguably the best character Koontz has created. Knowledge of “The Silent Corner” helps put some of the narrative in perspective, but it’s not necessary to fall under the author’s spell. It’s clear that another story featuring her quest for ultimate justice is on the horizon, and hopefully there will be even more after that.

Simply put, wow.

Update Saturday, Dec. 2 - Dec. 8, 2017

Author Weir takes readers to the moon in ‘Artemis’

Jeff Ayers (AP)

Andy Weir, author of “The Martian,” takes readers to another desolate world, but instead of the Red Planet it’s the moon, in his new novel, “Artemis.”

Weir takes readers on an exploration of the colonization of Earth’s nearest neighbor in outer space, and it’s not too far into the future. Most everything needed for the modules of the city of Artemis can be reasonably manufactured on the surface, along with the occasional supply and tourist runs from home. Each living habitat is named for a prominent member of the original Apollo programs, but each has distinct features associated with it, whether it is for the affluent or those barely able to scrape by and survive.

Living in the poorer end of Artemis is Jasmine Bashara, aka Jazz. She has talent and is quite intelligent but chooses to skate by. She works as a porter for the tourists and the citizens who sometimes want their packages from Earth handled discreetly. She blows a field test that would have gotten her a job taking tourists in EVA suits to explore the area around the original landing site of Apollo 11. Upset and not thinking clearly, Jazz receives an offer that promises more money than she can imagine if she can successfully pull off a dangerous assignment. She has the skills and the knowledge, but does she have the luck and equipment necessary to keep her in the clear when damage control begins?

Jazz is a compelling character, both clever and sharp. Weir has created a realistic and fascinating future society on the moon, and every detail feels authentic and scientifically sound.

Weir knows how to make cutting-edge science sexy and relevant without losing the story.



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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Jane Hawk returns in Koontz’s ‘The Whispering Room’

Author Weir takes readers to the moon in ‘Artemis’


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