Archive for February, 2012

Sacred Stone

February 23, 2012

Author: Clive Cussler (and Craig Dirgo)

Title: Sacred Stone

Genre: Adventure

Publication Date: 2004

Number of Pages: 406

Geographical Setting: Greenland, Iceland, United States, Europe, High Seas

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): The Oregon Files

Plot Summary:  A 50,000 year-old radioactive meteorite has just been unearthed in the remotest reaches of Greenland by a clandestine archeological team.  When the team is murdered and the meteorite goes missing, it’s time to call the Corporation.  Headed up by the enigmatic and fearless Juan Cabrillo, the Corporation is made up of two dozen or so of the most highly skilled individuals ever to have come out of the military, intelligence, and special-ops communities.  Disguised as a rusty cargo ship, the Oregon serves as the super high-tech floating command center for the group.  When governments around the globe encounter threats too advanced or sinister for their own people to handle, much less their citizenry to ever find out about, it’s the Corporation that gets the call.  In tracking down the meteorite, Cabrillo and his crew discover and must attempt to thwart not only a plot to reduce Western cities to radioactive rubble, but also a scheme to eradicate Islam from the face of the earth by way of poisoned prayer rugs.  A breakneck race against the clock ensues as the Corporation must call upon their every resource, as well as every bit of luck, in order to stop annihilation on a global scale.

Subject Headings: Terrorism – Prevention; Relics; Mercenary troops; Ship captains; Meteorites; Greenland; Suspense fiction; Erik the Red; Elton John.

Appeal: colorful, concise, straightforward, fast-paced, dangerous, dramatic, earnest, foreboding, menacing, intense, action-oriented, layered, conclusive, violent, contemporary, provocative, confident, confrontational, clandestine, energetic, swaggering, tense, urgent, volatile.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: action-oriented,

straightforward, fast-paced.

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

 

Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Ranulph Fiennes.

Fiennes “recounts his exploits as an explorer-adventurer, including traveling the Nile in a Hovercraft, four thousand miles of wild river journey in Alaska and Canada, and an overland trek to the North Pole” (Novelist), and that’s just a warm-up in a remarkable life filled with a remarkable number of near death escapes.  This work would do well with the reader enamored by the self-sufficient and ever resourceful adventurer character Cussler seems fond of placing in his novels (and probably thinks himself along those lines as well).

Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA’s Spytechs from Communism to Al-Qaeda by Robert Wallace H. Keith Melton, Henry R. Schlesinger and George J. Tenet.

This title is a collection of some of the harrowing and clandestine operations embarked upon by the CIA since the beginning of the Cold War, and also of the high-tech espionage tools and weapons invented to help agents to live to spy another day.  Spycraft would have wide appeal for any Adventure fan but especially with Cussler’s legions, what with his love of Bond-ish high-tech gadgetry.

SEAL Team Six by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin.

These are the guys who killed Bin Laden, rescued those people from the Somali pirates, and seem to be the go-to guys anytime the US government needs anyone saved, dead, or captured.  Wasdin was a Team Six sniper and gives a rare insider’s view into the grueling training and harrowing and deadly missions of this elite squad.  If Juan Cabrillo and the Corporation were real (and hopefully they aren’t) they would be rife with former Team Six people.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

By Order of the President by W.E.B. Griffin

At the behest of the President, Special Forces Major Carlos Castillo assembles a secret team of operatives to investigate a missing airliner in this terse, fast-paced action thriller.  Big appeal is here for the reader who enjoyed the more militaristic aspects and machinations of the Corporation and Sacred Stone.  Fans of the Dirty Dozen/Magnificent Seven archetype of every person in the gang having a special skill (like the Corporation) would like this as well.  This is the first book in a series.

Jaws by Peter Benchley

As Cussler’s novels all seem to be water-bourn in some manner, it would seem a natural choice to suggest the granddaddy of aquatic adventure and danger and his masterwork.

The Lion by Nelson DeMille

Former NYPD detective John Corey is now a special agent for the Anti-Terrorist Task Force and must track down a notorious Libyan terrorist hell-bent on murder and destruction.  Another natural choice for Cussler fans, this time in line more with the anti-terrorism aspects of Sacred Stone.  This is also part of a series.

Name: Bill S.

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Creepers

February 22, 2012

https://i1.wp.com/contentcafe2.btol.com/ContentCafe/jacket.aspxAuthor:  David Morrell

Title:  Creepers

Genre:  Suspense, Horror, Adventure

Publication Date:  2005

Number of Pages:  365

Geographical Setting:  Asbury Park, New Jersey

Time Period:  Present

Series (If applicable):  Frank Balenger

Plot Summary:
Frank Balenger, a journalist, joins history professor Robert Conklin and three of his former students on an illegal exploration of an abandoned hotel in Asbury Park, New Jersey.  The team calls themselves Infiltrators, people who break into abandoned historical buildings and leave without making a mark.  Balenger prefers to call them Creepers.  He is with the team to cover a story on urban exploration for the New York Times.  Their target, the Paragon Hotel, was once owned by wealthy heir Morgan Carlisle.  It is now set to be destroyed by the city in just a few days.  The team is able to break into the hotel, but what they uncover will call into question the team’s commitment to leaving without a trace.  And they may not be the only group of creepers in Asbury Park.

Subject Headings:
Hotels — New Jersey — Asbury Park — Fiction.
Abandoned buildings — Fiction.
Architecture — New Jersey — Fiction.
Serial murders – New Jersey — Fiction.
Suspense Fiction.

Appeal:  Hectic, confined, plot twists, exploration, heists, abandoned hotels, voyeurism, strong antagonist, plot-driven, action-focused, agoraphobia, violent, Jersey Shore, kidnapping, strong sense of place, infiltration

3 appeal terms that best describe this book:  suspenseful, fast-paced, spine-chilling

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:
Access All Areas: A User’s Guide to the Art of Urban Exploration by Ninjalicious.
Ninjalicious is the founder of infiltration.org, the source of one of the epigraphs in Creepers.  This book is a real world guide to the infiltrating activity depicted in Creepers.  It also contains non-fiction accounts of infiltration stories.

4th of July, Asbury Park: A History of the Promised Land by Daniel J. Wolff.
This book will interest readers who found the depiction of a declining Asbury Park compelling and would like to learn more.

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson.
The novel depicts the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.  The book follows one of the lead architects of the fair, as well as a serial killer who stalks the fair for victims.  Similar to Creepers, this book is a suspense story with a strong place setting.  Dr. H.H. Holmes is a serial killer who targets women, as does the antagonist in Creepers.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:
Liberty Falling by Nevada Barr.
Anna Pigeon is a park ranger who moves to New York City.  She finds herself connected to a series of strange events and murders that she must piece together.  This book is a plot-driven suspense novel with a strong sense of place.  The protagonist is also depicted exploring abandoned buildings.

Wicked Prey by John Sandford.
Officer Lucas Davenport is investigating the murder of another police officer by a group of thieves.  An array of villains gets back at Davenport by attacking his family. This novel is a fast-paced and violent suspense novel.

The Lake by Richard Laymon.
Leigh West and her daughter Deana are the targets of serial killer Candyman.  The Lake is a fast-paced suspense and horror story involving a serial murderer.

Name:  Noel M.

Kiss the Girls

February 22, 2012

Author: James Patterson

Title: Kiss the Girls

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Publication Date: 1995

Number of pages: 458

Geographical Setting: Chapel Hill, NC/Los Angeles, CA

Time Period: Present

Series: Alex Cross mysteries #2

Plot Summary:

Fans of serial killer villains get two for the price of one in Patterson’s second Alex Cross thriller. Forensic psychologist turned detective Alex Cross has found himself at odds with a brutal serial killer once again, and this time it’s personal.  When his niece goes missing, he quickly realizes that she has been taken by a vicious killer going by the name of Casanova. His most fervent hope is to find her alive. Assisted by one of Casanova’s escaped victims, Cross scours Chapel Hill, NC for clues. As he searches, a reporter across the country is killed while researching another string of murders. The killers are connected in some way. Are they competing with each other? And will Cross find his niece alive?

Kiss the Girls is by turns suspenseful and thrilling, and is a compelling, plot-driven mystery. As Detective Cross plays cat and mouse with the killers, we are given a glimpse into each of their heads. These alternating viewpoints contribute to the intrigue. In addition, Cross’ close relationship with one of the victims adds extra tension to the story. The storytelling shifts between taut anticipation and heart-pounding action, and while the novel ends with a clean resolution, fans of the main character can rejoice knowing that another Alex Cross title is just around the bend.

Subject Headings: African-American detectives, African-American psychologists, Missing teenage girls, Police, Police Psychologists, Serial Murderers.

Appeal: African-American protagonist, suspenseful, thrilling, fast-paced, action-filled, multiple points of view, multiple plotlines, disturbing, spare writing.

Three appeal terms that best describe the book: suspenseful, disturbing, fast-paced

Relevant nonfiction works and authors:

Serial Killers: the Method and Madness of Monsters by Peter Vronsky.  Vronsky recounts a varied history of serial murders from ancient Rome to modern times. Readers wanting to know more about serial killers will find this book to be comprehensive and riveting.

The Measure of Madness by Cheryl Paradis. Those attracted to forensic psychology will be interested in this title, in which the author  gives a background on the subject as well as looks back on the varied and fascinating cases she has handled.

The Sociopath Next Door: the ruthless versus the rest of us by Martha Stout.  Readers interested in the inner workings of sociopaths, how to recognize them, and how to forearm themselves against them may find this book interesting.

Relevant fiction works and authors:

Eyes of Prey by John Sanford. Readers may also enjoy this thriller, as it is also about a serial killer who mutilates his victims, and utilizes psychological suspense. Fans of series books will appreciate that it is one in a long series of titles.

Smash Cut by Sandra Brown. Smash Cut is a suspenseful thriller involving  a serial killer as well, but it also adds elements of romance and a “film buff” frame.

Amnesia by G.H. Ephron. Forensic psychology enthusiasts will enjoy this novel which follows a doctor assisting his patient in remembering a vicious crime that has been committed against her.

The Da Vinci Code

February 22, 2012

Author: Dan Brown

Title: The Da Vinci Code

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 454

Geographical Setting: Paris, France and London, England

Time Period: Present

Series: Angels and Demons (Prequel), featuring Robert Langdon

Plot Summary: The mystery begins with the shocking murder of Jacques Sauniere, the elderly museum curator for the Louvre in Paris.  Upon dying he leaves behind a bizarre set of symbols, written in his own blood, as a clue to his allies.  This triggers a hunt for the murderer in which Robert Langdon, a professor of symbology, and Sophie Neveu, a French cryptologist, must search below the glass pyramid of the Louvre, to uncover a perplexing puzzle emanating from a work by one of the world’s greatest artists, Leonardo DaVinci.  But can Langdon and Neveu solve the mystery before it is too late?  Full of action and suspense, this thriller, now a major motion picture, is sure to have you on the edge of your seat!

Subject Headings: 1. Art museum curators — Crimes against — Fiction 2. Cryptographers — Fiction 3. Grail — Fiction 4. Secret Societies — Fiction

Appeal: atmospheric, suspenseful, descriptive, fascinating, intricately plotted,  compelling, thrilling, religious tie-ins, gripping, page-turner, historical aspects, cinematic

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: cinematic, page-turner, intricately plotted

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

  1. The Lost City of Z, David Grann – for readers who enjoy a mix of history and mystery.  This is a non-fiction book about the British explorer, Percy Fawcett.
  2. The Way of DaVinci, Jay Williams – for readers who want to know more about Leonardo DaVinci.
  3. Seven Days in the Art World, Sarah Thorton – this book provides a look at the world of contemporary art today through interviews and narratives.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

  1. The Fire, Katherine Neville – Suspenseful, female protagonist, and involves cryptic codes and puzzles.
  2. The Breath of God, Jeffery Small – Compelling, though-provoking, and for readers who want more Christianity-themed fiction.
  3. Timeline, Michael Crichton – for readers who like books set in Paris, also richly detailed and incorporates time travel.

The Midnight Club

February 22, 2012

Author: James Patterson

Title: The Midnight Club

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: 1989

Number of Pages: 349

Geographical Setting: New York City; New York State – various cities; Atlantic City, NJ

Time Period: Present day

Series (If applicable): N/A.

Plot Summary: John Stefanovitch, a New York detective, has been stalking a ruthless murderer and crime lord, nicknamed Grave Dancer, for the past two years. When a sudden violent catastrophe changes Stefanovitch’s life forever, he vows to never give up on the search for the Grave Dancer, no matter the personal consequences. Full of twists and turns and told from multiple points of view, this fast-paced novel portrays Stefanovitch’s (and others) search for a new serial killer, one who has been murdering major crime head’s simultaneously throughout the world. Desperately trying to find out who the mysterious new criminal mastermind is, as well as put his own life back together, John ultimately must also save an innocent journalist and her son from persecution as well.

Subject Headings: New York City, police officers, serial killers, violence – physical and sexual, psychopaths, drug lords, detectives, prostitution

Appeal: fast-paced, intriguing secondary (characters), multiple points of view, action-oriented, complex, explicit violence, plot twists, strong language, bittersweet, darker (tone), hard-edged, menacing, dramatic

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: fast-paced, multiple points of view, menacing

Similar Authors and Works (Why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

City Lights: Stories About New York by Dan Barry – Barry takes readers on a poetic and bittersweet journey through the city of New York, but instead of gathering stories from mainstream New Yorkers he instead writes about those whose lives often get overlooked in everyday activities therein.

Drug lords: the rise and fall of the Cali Cartel, the richest, most powerful crime syndicate in history by Ron Chepesiuk – This work of non-fiction chronicles the history and ultimate demise of the Cali Cartel, an international drug “business.” Fast-paced and full of gritty details, this book also demonstrates the power and wit of collaborative law enforcement around the globe.

Serial Killers and Mass Murderers: Profiles of the World’s Most Barbaric Criminals by Nigel Cawthorne – Cawthorne takes us into the lives and crimes of many of the world’s most known serial killers. Discussed therein are the murderers’ childhoods and suspected motivations.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Hardcase by Dan Simmons – After a New York detective Joe Kurtz is released from jail for the injury of a villain, he takes on many other criminals – national and international, and also those involved in organized crime. Partially motivated by revenge because of the murder of his girlfriend, Kurtz is a well-trained and skillful killer. The pace is breakneck and will keep readers guessing.

Cause of Death by Patricia Cornwell – Medical examiner Kay Scarpetta investigates several unusual murders (one of them was someone relatively close to her) and finds a highly-dangerous extremist religious group that may be to blame. With the help of the FBI, Scarpetta, a familiar character for many readers (series character), takes us on a detailed and graphic investigation into this religious cult in order to halt them before they ruthlessly devour more victims.

Love you more: a detective D.D. Warren novel by Lisa Gardner (Release Date: 2/28/12) – When a state trooper’s husband is found dead and daughter goes missing, D.D. Warren and Bobby Dodge have quite a mystery on their hands. Told from multiple points of view, Garner’s book will have readers questioning whom they can truly trust.

Name: Melissa

The School for Dangerous Girls

February 22, 2012

Author: Eliot Schrefer

Title: The School for Dangerous Girls

Genre: Suspense, Young Adult

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 247

Geographical Setting:  Colorado

Time Period: Present day

Series (If applicable): n/a

Plot Summary: Angela has always been a troublemaker, but a serious incident causes her parents to put her into a school for girls considered to be a danger to themselves and others. A private school in the mountains of Colorado, Hidden Oak has a mysterious past and keeps most of its methods secret. Girls are divided into “gold thread” (good girls that show promise of being rehabilitated) and “purple thread” (lost causes). Angela walks the line, but is eventually put into the gold thread. Being with the good girls doesn’t make life easier, and Angela is severely punished for just asking about her friends in the purple thread. Eventually after a lot of digging she finds out exactly what happens to the girls in the purple thread, and it isn’t pretty. They are locked in an abandoned gymnasium and left to fend for themselves. If they get too out of hand or try to call attention to themselves, they are dealt with brutally. To get them out and reveal the school for what it is, Angela has to become the dangerous girl they’ve all been terrified of.

Subject Headings: Juvenile delinquents — Rehabilitation. Child abuse. Boarding schools. Good vs. Evil.

Appeal: builds in intensity, emotionally-charged, explicitly violent, flashbacks, contemporary, colorful, .

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: emotionally-charged, explicitly violent, colorful.

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

Problem Girls: Understanding and Supporting Troubled and Troublesome Girls and Young Women, Gwennyd Lloyd. This book explores the issues surrounding girls and young women who are seen as troubled or troublesome.

Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids, Maia Szalavitz. An in depth look at programs designed to “help” troubled teens through harsh discipline that involves physical and verbal abuse.

Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, Mary Pipher. Written by a psychologist, this book examines why young girls lose much of their self-confidence beginning around age 11, and blames society for creating a hostile environment for them.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Shock Point, April Henry—Action-packed young adult book that pits good against evil.

Down a Dark Hall, Lois Duncan—Set in a strange boarding school with a mysterious past.

Black Mirror, Nancy Werlin—Fast-paced murder mystery set at a boarding school.

Name: Jessica

Malice

February 22, 2012

Author: Lisa Jackson

Title: Malice

Genre: Suspense

Publication Date: March 2009

Number of Pages: 480/ Number of Compact Discs: 13 unabridged

Geographical Setting: Southern California

Time Period: Present

Series: Bentz/Montoya, New Orleans Series

Plot Summary:

Malice is a suspenseful, fast-paced story that takes a straight-shooting police officer and places him in an impossible situation. Upon awakening from a coma, Rick Bentz is haunted by sightings of his ex-wife Jennifer. The same woman whose body he identified in a fatal car crash 12 years earlier. When he receives a package with fresh pictures of Jennifer and a copy of her birth certificate with a question mark written on it, Bentz journeys back to California and a sorrowful past he left behind there. His presence sets off a string of murders, menacing phone calls, and more sightings of his dead ex-wife.

Malice is an action-oriented story that pulls the reader along thanks to Jackson’s concise writing and knack for creating intrigue. The reader is implicitly invited to try and put the pieces of the puzzle together, gaining access to other perspectives besides the main protagonist. Jackson combines multiple plot threads and threats in short, sparse chapters that keep the material from being confusing or complex. This is the sixth book in a series, and offers a more in-depth look at a popular character’s past, which in turn makes it a touch more psychological than other bestseller of the week suspense tales. It is moody and serious. The plot is sprinkled with romance as it explores both Rick’s marriage to his current wife Olivia, but the book is focused on suspense and intrigue as Rick races to solve the mystery of why he was led to southern California.

Readers who enjoy clear-cut characters and closed-endings will be happy to know characters are generally familiar and recognizable as good or bad. The ending is definitively closed and ties up all the plot threads neatly.

Subject Headings: Detectives, Serial murders, Husband and wife, Widowers, Secrets, Murder suspects, Serial murderers

Appeal: suspenseful, plot oriented, concise, familiar characters, closed ending, menacing, mysterious, puzzling, thrilling, action filled, multiple plot threads, different POVs (including serial killer), haunting, psychological

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: fast-paced, menacing, thrilling

Relevant Nonfiction Works and Authors:

Dangerous Women: why mothers, daughters, and sisters become stalkers, molesters, and murderers, by Larry A. Morris – Jennifer is a compulsive cheater who propels Rick Bentz to return to Southern California and find out if she is still alive and plotting revenge against him for her death 12 years earlier. Readers may enjoy this exploration of what causes women to behave psychotically.

Mistaken identity: two families, one survivor, unwavering hope, by Don Van Ryn – Rick spends nearly the entire book second-guessing his identification of Jennifer’s body at the scene of her car accident. Ryn’s book follows a true case of mistaken identity thanks to a car accident.

In the Still of the Night, by Ann Rule – It is revealed in the prologue that Jennifer did not kill herself but was instead being stalked by someone who may have murdered her. Rule’s true crime story follows the investigation of a death ruled as a suicide but may have been a murder.

Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

The Drop, by Michael Connelly – Los Angeles detective Harry Bosch investigates a serial killer and deals with office politics and corruption in this fast-paced but more character-driven mystery story also set in California and focusing on a long-unsolved mystery.

Cold Vengeance, by Doug Preston and Lincoln Child – FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast tries to figure out the details of his wife’s bizarre death 12 years ago and begins to believe it may have been a part of a greater conspiracy in this plot-driven, suspenseful tale that delves into ideas of the occult. (Note: this is a part of a sequence in a larger series; readers may want to at least start with the preceding book, Fever Dream).

Stealing Shadows, by Kay Hooper – Readers who enjoy the psychic yet realistic character of Olivia Bentz may also like Hooper’s protagonist Cassie Neill. Neill is a member of the LAPD who has used her telepathic powers to try and stop serial killers in this fast-paced romantic suspense tale.

The Bungalow

February 22, 2012

Author: Sarah Jio

Title: The Bungalow

Genre: Romantic suspense

Publication Date: 2011

Number of Pages: 320

Geographical Setting: Washington and Bora Bora

Time Period: World War II and present day

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: A granddaughter’s discovery of old photos leads an elderly Anne Calloway to reminisce over the events of her life during and after World War II. Anne and Kitty are best friends heading in very different directions. Anne is newly engaged to the very respectable Gerard and Kitty has enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps and is about to be sent to the South Pacific. Surprising her family and her fiancé, Anne decides to join her best friend, and the two set off to Bora Bora, where their lives change in ways they couldn’t have imagined. Kitty’s tumultuous romances and their results pull the friendship apart, and Anne finds herself drawn to a soldier named Westry. The two discover a small abandoned bungalow in the tropical forest, and it’s there that they fall in love, encounter a mystery about an artist and also witness a murder. As their time in Bora Bora draws to a close their future together is uncertain, and real life threatens to destroy their new love.

Subject Headings: * Older women — Fiction.
* Reminiscing in old age — Fiction.
* United States. — Army Nurse Corps — Fiction.
* World War, 1939-1945 — Fiction.
* Americans — French Polynesia — Fiction.
* Bora-Bora (French Polynesia) — Fiction.
* Life change events — Fiction.
* Washington (State) — Fiction.

Appeal: romantic, suspenseful, unpretentious, flawed characters, historical details, straightforward, exotic setting, evocative, emotionally charged, compelling, poignant, vivid

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: romantic, emotionally charged, historical details

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):
3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand—The same time period, and it focuses on one man’s compelling personal experiences during the war.

Gauguin Tahiti, George Shackleford—Guguin’s work plays a large part is the story of The Bungalow, and this exhibition catalog examines his years in Tahiti, his work and Polynesian society and culture, with high quality illustrations and examples of his work.
Aphrodite’s Island: The European Discovery of Tahiti, Anne Salmond—History of Tahiti, focusing on how European influence has shaped the island’s history.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors
The Good German, Joseph Kanon—This is a historical mystery set during World War II, with a romantic storyline. It’s compelling and descriptive.
The Diplomat’s Wife, Pam Jenoff—This romantic suspense story involves lost love, is set during World War II and is thrilling and suspenseful.
The Lost Wife, Alyson Richmond—The storyline involves two lovers separated for decades due to Nazi invasion. While not particularly suspenseful, this book has a similar time period and romance storylines.
Name: Amanda

The Andromeda Strain

February 22, 2012

Author:  Michael Crichton

Title:  The Andromeda Strain

Genre:  techno thriller, medical suspense, science fiction

Publication Date:  1969

Number of Pages:  285

Geographical Setting:  Arizona

Time Period:  Late 1960s

Series:  N/A

Plot Summary:  When a government satellite lands in a small Arizona town killing all but two people, a team of four scientists are called upon to investigate the extraterrestrial virus that entered the earth’s atmosphere with the satellite.  From a top-secret military base in Nevada, they work to identify the virus, discover similarities between the two survivors, and find a cure before the virus causes millions to perish.   Maps, computer data, and details of microbiology sprinkled throughout the novel, add a feel of authenticity to this techno thriller that will both frighten and inform the reader.

Subject Headings:  Viruses, Microbiology, Extraterrestrial Life, Satellites, Medical Suspense, Medical Technology

Appeal:  fast-paced, suspenseful, foreboding, dramatic, cinematic, investigative, plot-centered, informative, jargon-filled, well-researched, accurate, details of microbiology

3 appeal terms that best describe this book:  suspenseful, investigative, plot-centered

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

The Coming Plague:  Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance by Laurie Garrett- The Coming Plague examines the outbreak of recent diseases and what can be done to preclude new plagues.  Both The Andromeda Strain and The Coming Plague have viruses as a main topic

First Contact:  Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth by Marc Kaufman- Using recent scientific research, Kaufman provides evidence for the probable existence of extraterrestrial life. First Contact will appeal to readers interested in the extraterrestrial microorganisms in The Andromeda Strain.

Virus Hunter:  Thirty Years of Battling Hot Viruses Around the World by C.J. Peters- A top official at the CDC recounts his career battling viruses.  Virus Hunter will appeal to those readers who enjoyed the individual experiences of the doctors in The Andromeda Strain.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors (why they are similar):

The Cobra Event by Richard Preston- Government officials attempt to stop a scientist who uses a new virus to depopulate the human race.  Both The Andromeda Strain and The Cobra Event are fast-paced, jargon-filled, medical suspense novels about viruses.

The Hades Factor by Robert Ludlum- An army virologist works to identify and cure an unknown virus before millions perish.  Like The Andromeda Strain, The Hades Factor is a fast-paced, medical suspense novel that deals with viruses.

Invasive Procedures by Orson Scott Card- A virologist works to stop a geneticist who is altering human DNA for evil purposes.  Like The Andromeda Strain, Invasive Procedures is a fast-paced, medical suspense novel dealing with a virus and a top-secret agency.

Elissa

The Book Thief

February 16, 2012

Author: Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publication Date: 2005

Number of Pages: 552

Geographical setting: Germany

Time Period: Word War II (1939-1945)

Plot Summary:  Liesel Meminger knows death.  It is the reason why she is in foster care.  After suffering the loss of her mother and brother, this young German girl develops a knack for stealing books.  Her talent is of even greater value when she learns to how to read, and can regale the stolen stories to her family and neighbors.  Her obsession takes her on a number of adventures to obtain what she desires most – books.  Set during the Holocaust outside Munich Germany, this haunting work of fiction is captivating and powerful.

Subject Headings: 1. Germany–History–1933-1945–Juvenile Fiction. 2. Books and reading–Fiction. 3. Storytelling–Fiction. 4. Death–Fiction. 5. Jews–Germany–History–1933-1945–Fiction. 6. World War, 1939-1945–Jews–Rescue–Fiction.

Appeal: haunting, moving, dark, absorbing, character-driven, intense, complex, compelling, lyrical, challenging, sophisticated, powerful.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: absorbing, haunting, sophisticated

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1. Night, Elie Wiesel – a narrative of a boy who survived the Holocaust in various camps.

2. Auschwitz: a new history, Laurence Rees – a historical account of what happened in Auschwitz.

3. A Lucky Child: a memoir of surviving Auschwitz, Thomas Buergenthal – an autobiography of wht it was like to survive Auschwitz at the age of eleven.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1. Auschwitz, Pascal Croci – a graphic novel that tells the story of two survivors of the concentration camp

2. Postcards from No Man’s Land, Aidan Chambers – similar in that it is character-driven, stylistically complex, compelling with to references Word War II.

3. Keturah and Lord Death, Martine Leavitt – a dark, gripping fantasy in which, Death is one of the main characters.