Sunday, June 17, 2012

Books in for Review

Here's a sampling of the books that came in this week for review. Check them out and then stop by in a few weeks to read the reviews.



The Twin by R.L. Wogrin The space shuttle Galaxy, while attempting to dock with the space station Able, has a malfunction of the retro fire rockets. This jettisons the Galaxy, with Captain Jonathan Raney and his four fellow astronauts, far out into space, into its own orbit around the sun. After months of futile efforts, the crew loses contact with Earth. Running out of supplies and hope, they fall asleep, only to awake to find their shuttle docked with a sophisticated spacecraft full of humans - or are they? These rescuers are from the Planet Kaldea. So starts the crew's journey to a planet and civilization thousands of years advanced of earth and humans in terms of science, technology and culture. Are these Kaldeans friends or foe to the astronauts, who don't know if they are guests or prisoners?

Little Boy Blue: A Puppy's Rescue from Death Row and His Owner's Journey for Truth by Kim Kavin When journalist Kim Kavin decided that she wanted a puppy, she did what millions of people do every year: clicked on an online photo and submitted an application. She had no idea that the adorable brindle--advertised as healthy and near her home in New Jersey--was actually a last-minute rescue from a gas-chamber shelter in North Carolina. Blue had arrived in the Northeast with at least a dozen other dogs in an RV that is just one among countless transports whose sponsors are dedicating their efforts to saving dogs by any means possible. Blue was happy and friendly, but he seemed to have endured some unusual albeit unknown ordeal. The dog's manner prompted Kavin to trace his history all the way back to a long row of cages where Blue had been tagged to be put down in just three more days. Little Boy Blue is the true story of one sweet puppy's journey of survival. It's also a shocking expose that describes a brutal ongoing reality inside some of this country's taxpayer-funded shelters. But Little Boy Blue also tells an inspiring story of the grass-roots rescue network that has exploded across the nation in recent years. Readers will come to know and love a very special dog who now brings smiles to the faces of everyone he meets. From a single click of Kim Kavin's computer mouse, Blue's journey of a lifetime began. This is the story of Little Boy Blue, told with candor and a great deal of love. 

Son of Venice: A Story of Marco Polo by Dori Yang Son of Venice continues the story begun in Daughter of Xanadu, set in thirteenth century China. In that book, Emmajin, an excellent archer and fictional granddaughter of Khubilai Khan, poured all her energy into her dream of becoming the first woman soldier in the Mongol army. When she met Marco Polo, a traveling merchant from Venice, he fascinated her with tales of romantic love and caused her to question her ambition. Son of Venice picks up the story as Emmajin begins her journey to the West, assigned by Khubilai Khan to carry a letter to establish peace and cooperation between her homeland and Marco Polo’s. Marco is to travel in the same caravan. But a shaman’s warning of traitors and danger casts a shadow over their journey. Emmajin wants to win respect as an ambassador of the Great Khan and also to enjoy her time with Marco Polo. But her guards—and her cousin, Temur—insist on keeping them apart. Plus, as she travels west with the army, she begins to doubt the Khan’s intentions. Does he really want her to make peace with the West? Told in alternating points of view, this book follows the adventures of Emmajin and Marco Polo as they head west along the Silk Road. They face battles, intrigue, sinister plots, and unexpected challenges to their unconventional love. Can Marco’s famed eloquence and cleverness help when Emmajin faces perils beyond any she imagined?

Great-Aunt Sophia's Lessons for Bombshells by Lisa Cach Grace Cavanaugh is hell-bent on proving her Women’s Studies dissertation thesis that beauty only leads to misery. And what better research subject than her great-aunt Sophia, a former B-movie star? Now eighty-five and facing surgery, Sophia has asked Grace for company. Grace imagines a helpless, lonely old woman, forced to turn to a great-niece she barely knows. Instead she finds the aging diva holding court in a Pebble Beach mansion, oozing a bombshell-itude—arthritis and wrinkles be damned—that captivates every male in sight. To Grace’s dismay, her greataunt decides a perfect distraction would be transforming the frumpy feminist into a femme fatale who purrs for her suitors . . . or devours them. She ordains classes in everything from carb cutting to lingerie, culminating in a challenging final exam. The newly svelte Grace must test her wiles—on both devilishly handsome and morally corrupt Declan and sensitive but painfully awkward Dr. Andrew.

This Dark Earth by John Hornor Jacob The land is contaminated, electronics are defunct, the ravenous undead remain, and life has fallen into a nasty and brutish state of nature. Welcome to Bridge City, in what was once Arkansas: part medieval fortress, part Western outpost, and the precarious last stand for civilization. A ten-year-old prodigy when the world ended, Gus is now a battle-hardened young man. He designed Bridge City to protect the living few from the shamblers eternally at the gates. Now he's being groomed by his physician mother, Lucy, and the gentle giant Knock-Out to become the next leader of men. But an army of slavers is on its way, and the war they'll wage for the city's resources could mean the end of mankind as we know it. Can Gus become humanity's savior? And if so, will it mean becoming a dictator, a martyr...or maybe something far worse than even the zombies that plague the land?

Moo Kitty Finds a Home by Valerie Lee Veltre A sad turn of events leaves Moo Kitty alone, grieving and frightened of the world beyond his rose garden. Love, compassion and friendship are just some of the life lessons that Moo Kitty learns on his journey to find a new home. Join Moo and his friends in this charming and beautifully illustrated story.