Monday, May 12, 2014

Books for Review

Here's a quick peek at some of the books that have just arrived for review.  Check them out and then stop by in a few weeks to read the reviews.





Roan: The Tales of Conor Archer by E.R. Barr Long ago, the Tinkers exiled themselves, sailing from the west of Ireland, their women weeping in despair over the men folk who had consorted on the sand with the shape-shifting Roan, non-human beings from Celtic myth. The sea-wives had returned in the shape of seals bearing pups that transformed to human children as soon as they touched the sand. 'Dark ones', the Tinkers called these offspring and claimed them as their own. Traveling to the New World, they found the spot where two rivers flowed together-a thin place, where myths from many cultures converged and legends came to life. There, for a century and a half, the 'dark ones' stayed hidden and the town kept their secrets. That's how Conor Archer heard it in the days after he arrived at Tinker's Grove, Wisconsin. Three days earlier, the night his mother died, the seventeen year old was playing in a pickup band at a downtown Chicago Irish bar. A strange biker approached him, looked at Conor's webbed hands, pronounced him kin, and then took a chunk out of the boy's palm with weird pointed teeth. Racked with pain, he found himself at Buckingham Fountain, bleeding and delirious. He saw a woman there, washing her hair in the sparkling water. Dazzled by her beauty, he allowed her to wrap his bleeding hand in a piece of her dress. Incredibly, she aged to an old crone before his eyes, and then told him he had less than twenty-four hours to live. Conor made it back home to hold his mother as she passed, her last words a whisper for him to go to Tinker's Grove, his only hope for salvation. He did as she said; his fever left only when Malachy, the Abbot from the town monastery, took him down to the river where an old Indian Mound stood. With the twins, Jace and Beth Michaels by his side, they watched in wonder as something came out of the Mound, vaguely human, and healed the boy. A murky prophecy was spoken about Conor, but what he remembered more clearly was looking out at the river and seeing a shadow there of Piasa, the legendary Native American river demon, gazing at him with hungry eyes. Most of all he remembered Emily, his aunt, aged but loving, who took him in and gave him a home. No peace for him though--he was changing. He ran in the night like a wolf and flew through the trees like an owl. Strange visions of what might be, and glimpses of otherworldly beings in the forest troubled him. Conor's nemesis is Caithness McNabb, wealthy landowner, who has a plan for power and riches for her and her three misbegotten sons. Selling land to a genetics company, she hires Dr. Nicholas Drake, respected bio-geneticist, to come and learn the secret of the 'dark ones.' Cate is motivated by Piasa, who whispers fame and glory to her in the night as she walks the banks of the Wisconsin River. The monster has told her who lives in the Mound, an immortal Welsh prince named Madoc, exiled by his countrymen centuries ago because of his strange affinity with the Roan. He's Piasa's mortal enemy, and an alliance with Cate will give Piasa the chance it needs to rise to power, spreading evil and chaos through town and countryside. Into this web step Conor and his friends. When children go missing, townspeople panic thinking that their secret sins have come back to demand vengeance. Drake has abducted them and begins to experiment on them, seeking the source of their shape-shifting power. All that Conor and his friends can do is awaken the power of the land and allow long dead myths to come to life. Conor, however, runs from who and what he is, becoming his own worst enemy. Beth carries his child and those who hate Conor need the infant to rise to power. All seems lost as science and technology clash with myth and legend-two dying worlds trying to survive. The outcome will rest on whether Conor will accept who and what he is. Set in the present, but spanning centuries, a battle for humanity and the future of the world begins anew.


Aegis Rising by Sean SegranA Plane Crash... A Hidden Valley... An Ancient Prophecy... A Cataclysmic Scheme... Over a remote northern forest, a small plane with five teenage friends flies into a freak storm. Struck by lightning, the aircraft is forced to crash land, casting the passengers into a life-changing adventure. In a hidden valley, a mysterious people gaze at the stormy sky as a glowing object with fiery wings disappears behind a mountain ridge. The astonishing sight reignites an ancient prophecy foretelling the arrival of five chosen ones destined to become bearers of light against a dark, gathering storm. In a distant city, a secretive organization with global ambitions, led by a shadowy figure, initiates a sequence of catastrophic events designed to wreak havoc across the planet, beginning with a remote mining site in a northern Canada. Weaving together a spellbinding plot with fascinating characters, captivating imagery and compelling action, AEGIS RISING takes you on a journey that will keep you turning pages and yearning for more.

Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion by Karen White, Jenna Blum, Sarah Jio, Melanie Benjamin, Sarah McCoy, Alyson Richman On any particular day, thousands upon thousands of people pass through New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, through the whispering gallery, beneath the ceiling of stars, and past the information booth and its beckoning four-faced clock, to whatever destination is calling them. It is a place where people come to say hello and good-bye. And each person has a story to tell. Now, ten bestselling authors inspired by this iconic landmark have created their own stories, set on the same day, just after the end of World War II, in a time of hope, uncertainty, change, and renewal.  

TIME for Kids: Awesome Animal Kingdom TIME for Kids The BIG Book of Why: Awesome Animal Kingdom answers the why, what, when, where, who and how questions about humans and animals that kids commonly ask, but adults can rarely answer. Why do we have eyebrows? What's the difference between a crocodile and an alligator? How does aspirin know where to go in the body to take care of pain? What's the fastest a human is capable of running? Why do animals' eyes glow in the dark?  

TIME for Kids: Amazing Sports and Science TIME for Kids The BIG Book of Why: Sports and Science answers the why, what, when, where, who and how questions that kids commonly ask, but adults can rarely answer. Why does a curve ball curve? Why does a Super Ball bounce so high? How can David Beckham make a soccer ball "bend"? Why can eating chocolate make people hyper?

TIME for Kids: Really Cool People and Places TIME for Kids The BIG Book of Why: People and Places answers the why, what, when, where, who and how questions about people and places in history that kids commonly ask, but adults can rarely answer. Why did the Maya build pyramids? Did Vikings really have horns on their helmets? Why did Christopher Columbus sail to America? Why did the Titanic sink? Why is the London Bridge in Arizona?  

TIME for Kids: Stellar Space TIME for Kids The BIG Book of Why: Space answers the why, what, when, where, who and how questions about earth and space that kids commonly ask, but adults can rarely answer. Why don't we fall off the planet? Why is the sky blue? Why are diamonds so rare? Why is the sun so bright? Where does our solar system end?  

This Private Plot: An Oliver Swithin Mystery by Alan Beechey Coaxed out of his clothes and into a midnight streak by his girlfriend, Oliver’s amorous intentions are thwarted by the discovery of a dead body dangling from the village’s ancient gibbet. When it appears that the famous victim was driven to suicide by blackmail, Oliver resolves to find the blackmailer. And to do so, he needs to discover the dead man’s secret. But in the twenty-first century, when sins that would once have been ripe for shaming are now a cause for hiring a publicist, what foul deeds of the past will people still pay to keep hidden? Is the carefully cut out page from a Shakespeare play, with its reference to a ""private plot,"" really a clue? Why did somebody fill in the victim's grave before his funeral? And what does any of this have to do with the memoir writers of the Vicar's reading group, the five unmarried Bennett sisters, the mysterious monk known only as ""The Vampire of Synne,"" the case of the two Shakespeares, and the married couple who are never seen in the same room at the same time? Will there be yet another appearance by Underwood Tooth, the world's leading expert on being ignored? Oliver discovers that the death was no suicide. But that's nothing compared with the next revelation, which turns the entire investigation upside down and puts Oliver's own life in peril.  

Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick Boston in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from sober citizens to thuggish vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents have warily maneuvered around each other until April 19, when violence finally erupts at Lexington and Concord. In June, however, with the city cut off from supplies by a British blockade and Patriot militia poised in siege, skirmishes give way to outright war in the Battle of Bunker Hill. It would be the bloodiest battle of the Revolution to come, and the point of no return for the rebellious colonists. Philbrick brings a fresh perspective to every aspect of the story. He finds new characters, and new facets to familiar ones. The real work of choreographing rebellion falls to a thirty-three year old physician named Joseph Warren who emerges as the on-the-ground leader of the Patriot cause and is fated to die at Bunker Hill. Others in the cast include Paul Revere, Warren’s fianc√© the poet Mercy Scollay, a newly recruited George Washington, the reluctant British combatant General Thomas Gage and his more bellicose successor William Howe, who leads the three charges at Bunker Hill and presides over the claustrophobic cauldron of a city under siege as both sides play a nervy game of brinkmanship for control.

 Bing & Nero: Boy + Robot = Fun! (The Adventures of Bing & Nero) (Volume 1) by I L Williams Share a day with an inventive young boy in a story that celebrates creativity, friendship and fun! Bing wants a dog. But his mother says a dog is out of the question. What´s a young boy in need of a friend to play with on a boring Saturday morning to do? Why, make his own friend! And what a friend his new creation is! The product of Bing´s rich imagination and household junk from the basement, Nero is a metallic wonder. From the moment he is switched on, the house is filled with fun! And when they take to the sky for a late afternoon flight, boy and robot are in for a joyous ride that celebrates their friendship.  

The Wild Dark Flowers: A Novel of Rutherford Park by Elizabeth Cooke From inside their sprawling estate of Rutherford Park, the Cavendish family had a privileged perspective of the world. On the first morning in May, 1915, with a splendid view that reached across the gardens to the Vale of York, nothing seemed lovelier or less threatening. And yet... At the risk of undoing the Cavendish name with scandal, William and Octavia Cavendish have been living a lie, maintaining a marriage out of duty rather than passion. But when their son Harry joins the Royal Flying Corps in France, the Cavendish family are forced to face the unavoidable truths about themselves, the society in which they thrive, and the secrets they can no longer bear. In the wake of a terrible war, the emotional shifts between a husband and a wife, a wife and her lover, and a mother and her children, will shake the very foundation of the Cavendish family, and change the uniquely vulnerable lives of all who reside at Rutherford Park.