October 24, 2011

The Experiment by John Darnton

Title:  The Experiment
Author:  John Darnton
Format:  HC
Pages:  421
Genre:  Science Fiction
Publisher:  Dutton, 1999
ISBN-13:  978-0525945178
Series:  Stand Alone

Favorite Quote:  Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night:  Bacon said, "Let Newton be!" and all was light.

Synopsis (PBS):  A world we can't imagine may lie just around the corner . . . — With the brilliant combination of cutting-edge science and nerve-jangling suspense that made his first novel, Neanderthal, a major bestseller, John Darnton returns with The Experiment.On a remote island off the Southeastern coast, a young man named Skyler sees his friends vanish one by one. In a small New York town, a journalist observes a corpse with its fingerprints burned off. In New York City, an expert on twins stumbles upon a case that hits stunningly close to home for her. Soon, all three come together on the trail of a scientific experiment more audacious than they could have conceived--and so secret that none of them may be allowed to survive.

Review:  This was a thriller and a darn good science fiction novel.  All the objections to human cloning come true in this fast-paced story.  A group of children and young adults, all clones of the wealthy and powerful, being held on an island for organ harvesting in hopes of prolonging the 'prototypes' lives far past the norm. 

There are shots given to keep these same people youthful.  Of course, the entire experiment is a failure because the supposed cure for aging turns against the Lab and begins aging them even more quickly. 

The main characters are believable.  I did not see the surprise at the end coming and that's always a good thing.  Really a great read.

Rating:  8.5 / 10

October 20, 2011

Once Upon A Summer Day by Dennis L. McKiernan

Title:  Once Upon A Summer Day
Author:  Dennis L. McKiernan
Format:  PB
Pages:  372
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Roc, 2006
ISBN-13:  978-0451460318
Series:  Faery Series, Book 2

Favorite Quote:  Neither awake nor in a dark dream are perilous blades just as they seem.

Synopsis (PBS):  Borel, Prince of the Winterwood, has been dreaming of a beautiful, golden-haired maiden night after night. He believes that she truly exists-and that she is in terrible danger. To save her, Borel must journey through the land of Faery-and face the dark forces that await him...

Review:  I really love this series.  This book is based loosely upon the tale of Sleeping Beauty.  It's obviously far longer than the original story.  There are great characters, my favorites being Flic, the field sprite, and his companion, Buzzer, the bumblebee. 

This was a fast-paced romp through the land of Faery.  I highly recommend this series for both action and some great fantasy reading.

Rating:  9 / 10

October 17, 2011

The White Abacus by Damien Broderick

Title:  The White Abacus
Author:  Damien Broderick
Format:  PB
Pages:  338
Genre:  Science Fiction
Pubisher:  Avon, 1997
ISBN-13:  978-0380785599
Series:  Stand Alone

Favorite Quote:  "Honor is the duty one owes to oneself," the ai tells him.  "It is not on lien to those who chanced to bear you or to some arbitrary system of mad bigotry you just happened to grow up among."


Now there are two sentient races inhabiting the known universe: one as human as Adam. . .the other of robotic mind.They share the Earth in harmonious coexistence. But elsewhere, only those who age and war and die are permitted.On earth, a young human prince has befriended a being far different from himself. But usurpation and fratricide are calling them both to the royal youths embattled home planet--drawing them into a nest of treacherous family conspiracy and cruel, naked ambition where the enemy owns the armies, the power, and the very soul of the world. But the prince will have his revenge, though only ally stands at his side: a peace-loving creature of augmented intelligence in a place where he is am unwelcome stranger--a barbarous world where he is forbidden. . .and feared.

Review:  Much of this book is good.  Some of it isn't.  There were a couple of portions I skimmed because they were so completely confusing and really unrelated to the main story. 

But, the main story was good.  A human, raised out on an asteroid, comes back to Earth and is befriended by one of the intelligent robots that are now part of our society.  They return to the asteroid and change the lives of those backward people, and perhaps all of humanity, forever.

It wasn't one of my favorite Science Fiction novels ever, but I'm still glad I read it.

Rating:  5.5 / 10

October 7, 2011

Interest of Justice by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg

Title:  Interest of Justice
Author:  Nancy Taylor Rosenberg
Format:  HC
Pages:  368
Genre: Thriller
Publisher:  Dutton, 1993
ISBN-13:  978-0525936800
Series: Stand Alone

Favorite Quote:  "Nah, I don't want a motorcycle," he said thoughtfully.  "I've decided I want a dog.  Then we'll be a real family.  All we need is a dog.  I never had a dog."

Synopsis (PBS):  The author of the explosive bestseller Mitigating Circumstances again applies her insider's knowledge of the criminal justice system in a riveting new legal thriller. When Judge Lara Sanderstone's sister and husband are murdered, Lara takes in their teenaged son--who may be a suspect--and Lara may be the next victim.

Review:  Now, this was a thriller.  A corrupt judge, a pedophile, a murderer with a penchant for rape, another judge who, while she's a good person, is somehow related to all these, and a hard-nosed cop determined to get to the bottom of a real mystery.  Fast-paced and easy to read, this book was everything that's good in a thriller.

The main characters were believable.  The secondary characters were even better.  The bad guys were really bad.  I loved it.

Rating:  9 / 10
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