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Joe DeRouen, Author of the Small Things trilogy: Reviews of Books I've Read Lately

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Reviews of Books I've Read Lately

WWW:Wake by Robert J. Sawyer

It's alright. This was actually the first full-length novel I read on my new Kindle. WWW: Wake is the story of a blind girl named Caitlin who undergoes an experimental surgery that could give her sight. Scientists implant a device behind one of her eyes that is supposed to let her see. Soon enough, though, she discovers that, instead of reality, she is perceiving the World Wide Web. What at first she takes to be simple noise turns out to be a sentient entity that has risen from the Internet. Interesting but predictable. WWW: Wake is the first in a series, so maybe subsequent books will be better.

Ghost Road Blues, Dead Man's Song, and Bad Moon Rising by Jonathan Maberry

An excellent dark urban fantasy/horror trilogy! Thirty years after the death of a serial killer known as the Reaper, the citizens of Pine Deep, a small tourist town in Pennsylvania (nicknamed "the most haunted town in America") must come to grips with more strange murders, a crop blight that threatens to wipe out the town's farmers, and some really, really evil folks hell bent on bringing about the end of the world as we know it.

ex-cop, martial arts expert, comic book store owner, and near-victim of the original Reaper, Malcolm Crow finds himself thrust into the role of hero, responsible for not only protecting childhood sweetheart Val (Maberry falls into the Dean Koontz trap here, of making Val The Most Perfect Woman in the World) but the whole town. I won't get into the plot too much here, but if you like folklore, vampires, and werewolves, you'll love this trilogy. And there aren't vamps and wolves from popular culture either; they're straight from the legends of old. Be warned: crosses and stakes through the heart may not work on real vampires...

Replay by Ken Grimwood

What if you could live your life over again? REPLAY takes that age-old wish one step beyond. Jeff Winston, a not-very-successful radio journalist in his forties, begins the greatest journey anyone could ever know.

He awakens from his death in the past, in his college dorm room. It's 1963, exactly 25 years earlier. At first thinking that he's in a dream or a coma-induced hallucination, Jeff eventually accepts his situation as reality. Forced to live the last 25 years of his life over again, Jeff swears not to make the same mistakes again.

Jeff uses his knowledge of the future to build a financial empire, but true happiness manages to elude him. Eventually marrying a wealthy heiress, the loveless union produces the one thing that his previous life could never give him; a child.

Always alone, Jeff accepts his fate as time marches on, enjoying the company of his daughter Gretchen. On October 18th 1988, at exactly 1:06 pm, he dies again..

..Only to awaken again in 1963, a little further along in his original timeline.

REPLAY follows the lives of Jeff Winston with angst, sadness, intrigue, and just a touch of humor, and is my all-time favorite novel. I've read the book probably a 14 or 15 times in the years since I first found it (in 1987) and I never tire of it. It's as close to perfect as a novel can get.


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