Archive for the ‘Adventure’ Category

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster

November 8, 2011

Author: Jon Krakauer

Title: Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of theMount Everest Disaster

Genre: Nonfiction, Adventure

Publication Date: 1997

Number of Pages: 293

Geographical Setting: Nepal; Mount Everest

Time Period: 1996 Everest climbing season

Series (If applicable): None

Plot Summary: 

After being asked to investigate commercial expeditions of Mount Everest for an article for Outside magazine, Jon Krakauer, himself an avid climber, joined Rob Hall’s Adventure Consultants Everest expedition in 1996—a year that turned out to be one of the most deadly ever on the mountain.  As Krakauer himself grows more and more determined to reach the top of the mountain, he chronicles the experiences of the other members of his expedition and that of the competing expedition run by Scott Fisher. A gripping account of death, near death, survival, heroism, and guilt, this heart-pounding read is made even more harrowing because it is nonfiction.

Subject Headings: Mount Everest—commercial expeditions, mountaineering, Adventure Consultants, Mountain Madness, survival stories

 Appeal: heart-pounding, first-person point-of-view, fast-paced, exotic setting, sense of place, exciting, accessible language, controversial, sense of danger, graphic, descriptive

 3 appeal terms that best describe this book: heart-pounding, strong sense of place, exciting

 3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest’s Most Controversial Season by Nick Heil

This chronicle of the 2006 climbing season, the deadliest since 1996, describes the conditions that allowed climbers to leave still-living colleagues for dead.  Like Into Thin Air, this book tackles the controversy surrounding commercial climbing expeditions and the personalities associated with them.

Surviving the Extremes: a Doctor’s Journey to the Limits of Human Endurance by Kenneth Kamler

Written by the doctor who treated survivors during the 1996 Everest climbing season chronicled in Into Thin Air, this book explores survival in all kinds of extreme environments along with case studies of patients who survived in the most difficult of situations.

Storm of the Century: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 by Willie Drye

The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 devastated the Florida Keys and caused massive loss of life, not the least of which was the result of a series of errors by government officials and the placement of large numbers of homeless veterans into work camps on Key Largo. This riveting, fast-paced tale chronicles the lead-up to the storm and shares the stories of those who survived.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Peak by Roland Smith

While this book is a young-adult novel, it’s premise is fascinating and nuanced.  Fourteen-year-old Peak, a boy raised by a father who runs a mountaineering expedition company, is trying to be the youngest person to reach the top of Mount Everest.  But climbing Everest is dangerous, unsettling, and even Peak’s father’s motives may not be what they seem.

The Ascent: a Novel of Survival by Ronald Damien Malfi

Tim Overleigh’s wife has died, and the only way he feels alive himself is when he is participating in extreme sports. So when an old friend asks him to join a mountaineering expedition in the Himalayas, he agrees—only to find that the elements may not be all he must contend with in order to survive.

Rapids by Tim Parks

When a fifteen-member kayaking club takes on the rapids of the Italian Alps, personal conflicts, obsessions, and the dangerous forces of nature make this adventure take a dark and disturbing turn.

Name: Shelley

Enders Game

August 1, 2011


Author: Orson Scott Card

Title: Enders Game

Genre: Sci Fi

Publication Date:  Jan 1985

Number of Pages: 352

Geographical Setting: Earth

Time Period: the future

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Ender has been playing simulated war games for years and believes he is just playing another game. Little does he know that this time the game is real. The battle

 Subject Headings: Science Fiction, other worlds, Aliens

Appeal: atmospheric, action-oriented, detailed setting, well-crafted, cinematic, violent, intriguing, suspenseful, hopeful, dangerous

3 terms that best describe this book:

Dramatic, well developed, layered

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1.         From Sun Tzu to Xbox: war and video games – by Ed Halter

Although non-fiction I found this book to be appropriate just from the gaming perspective. This is a book about the history and the relationship between games and military culture. It looks into the beginning of gaming from ancient times until the present.

2.         Operation dark heart: spycraft and special ops on the front lines of Afghanistan–and the path to victory – by Anthony Shaffer

This book again discusses cutting edge technology and how it was utilized during  the war in Afghanistan.

3.         Class 11: inside the CIA’s first post-9/11 spy class – by T.J. Waters

This book offers a sneak peek into the CIA’s training classes provided after September 11th. This was one of the most secretly guarded programs in the United States and this book gives the reader an inside view.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1.         The War of the Worlds-H.G. Wells

This is a classic book that involves the earth being invaded by Martians in 1894. This is the opposite of Enders Game where the character is unknowingly going to war with the aliens. The movie can also viewed preferably after reading the book.

2.         Dune- Frank Herbert

Paul Atreides discovers that he is the heir or Muad’Dib and is overthrown and cast into the desert to die. He joins a group called the Fremen and they begin to fight for what is rightfully his. This book is also a classic.

3.         Marsbound- Joe Hasldeman

A rebellious young girl decides to take a trip into the Martian wilderness and is almost killed. She is then rescued a a creature that if foreign to her.


Name: Juanita Fisher

Off the Mangrove Coast

July 30, 2011

Author: Louis L’amour

Title: Off the Mangrove Coast

Genre: Western, Adventure

Publication Date:  June 2000

Number of Pages: 277

Geographical Setting: Various settings including American West, a Parisian Café, and small town fight clubs

Time Period: Varies due to short story format

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Collected short stories. The premise of all stories is men and women fighting for justice and their dreams when the odds are far from favorable. The reader gets to experience many different adventures in one book.

Subject Headings: Adventure stories, war stories

Appeal: atmospheric, hard-edged, dramatic, action-oriented, detailed setting, well-crafted, cinematic, violent, intriguing, suspenseful, hopeful, dangerous

3 terms that best describe this book:

Adventurous, detailed, Gritty

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1.         Call of the Wild: My Escape to Alaska- by Guy Grieve

The author felt trapped and at a dead end. He hated his job as well as his commute. The author tells his story of moving to Alaska and the adventure that followed.

2.         Gifts of the Wild: A Woman’s Book of Adventure- another collection of short stories this time featuring women. This is the opposite of Off the Mangrove Coast because it focuses mainly on female characters but the theme is still adventure.

3.         The Edge of the Sea- Rachel Carson

This book explores the sea. The reader gets to explore the sea through the words eyes of the author.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1.         The Jungle-Clive Cussler

A story filled with action and adventure about the crew of the ship the Oregon. The crew encounters many trials and obstacles as they continue on  their rescue mission. This is another tale of survival that readers of Off the Mangrove Coast can enjoy.

2.         Bad Luck and Trouble- Lee Child

Murder, action, and adventure drive this book .A man is killed and the character Jack Reacher is on a mission to find out the truth.

3.         Edge- Jeffery Deaver

The action begins when police detective Ryan Kessler becomes a target of a “lifter”.  He and his family are immediately put under the protection of Corte. The question of Corte’s loyalty drives this suspenseful story.

Name: Juanita Fisher

Anansi Boys: A Novel by Neil Gaiman

April 13, 2011

Author: Neil Gaiman

Performed by: Lenny Henry

Title: Anansi Boys: A Novel (unabridged audiobook)

Genre: Fantasy/Adventure Fiction

Publication Date: 2005

Number of Pages: 8 CD discs unabridged 10 hours (book version 336 pages)

Geographical Setting: London; Florida; St. Andrews—a Caribbean island; and the abode of ancient gods

Time Period: Contemporary and the ‘beginning of the world’

Plot Summary: “Fat Charlie” has been living a somewhat pathetic and routine life in London. All of that changes after his father’s death leads to the revelation that Charlie is the descendant and relative of trickster gods. Just as Charlie thought he had passed into adulthood and escaped all ties to his humiliating childhood and obnoxious father, he begins a relationship with Spider—the brother he had never known. Although Spider’s pranks bring excitement and new people into Charlie’s sheltered life, they cost Charlie his job, his fiancée, his dignity, and a good deal of his sanity. At his wit’s end, Charlie naively seeks assistance to get rid of his brother and he makes an allegiance with Bird Woman whose dark realm is closer to that of his father’s world. Meanwhile, Charlie’s sociopath former boss has maliciously implicated Charlie in an embezzlement and murder scheme that leads to grave danger for him and all of his loved ones. Charlie, now all the wiser and braver, is compelled to save his mischievous, but non-malevolent brother, and to build his life anew.

Subject Headings: Anansi (Legendary Character), Fathers and Sons, Brothers, Adventure Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Trickster God, West African Trickster God, Spider-God, Mythology, Magic, Heroes

Appeal: likeable flawed characters, compelling secondary characters, gentle humor, playful, dialect-rich, plot builds in intensity, magical, menacing atmosphere, optimistic, fast paced dialogue, detailed, conclusive

3 terms that best describe this audiobook: a captivating performance of multiple dialects and voices of the young and old; memorable characters; and blurred line between heroes/anti-heroes and gods/mortals. Captivating, memorable, magical

3 Relevant Fiction Works:

Trickster: Native American Tales A Graphic Novel edited by Matt Dembicki (a graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales that almost parallel that of the West African spider-trickster god)

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark (another fantasy novel, albeit with historical accounts, that is set in London, questions human sanity, is humorous, and is character driven)

Dark Matter: Reading the Bones edited by Sheree R. Thomas (a short stories collection of sci-fi, folktales, and fantasy written by, or retold by, popular African American authors)

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works:

The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (a cross-cultural scholarly, yet popular look at heroes, at the recycling of ancient heroes, and at how humans express reality through myths)

Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama (a Grammy Award winning audiobook in which the author performs the multiple voices of his black Kenyon and white American relatives both young and old)

Read on Fantasy Fiction by Neil Hollands (a helpful, fun book for Neil Gaiman and fantasy fans to find, or to assist others with, their next great read)

–Jeanne Jesernik

Jack Absolute

February 16, 2011 C.C. Humphreys

Title: Jack Absolute

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publication Date: 2004

Number of Pages: 310

Geographical Setting: Present-Day United States/Canada, some parts in England

Time Period: American Revolution

Series: Jack Absolute (Book 1 of 3)

Plot Summary:  After many years in the American Colonies, and then several more seeking his fortune in India, Captain Jack Absolute returns to England.  He soon founds himself forced to flee London and return to his old army regiment in America, where, though he is sympathetic to the revolutionary cause, he finds himself spying for the British army.  In America, Jack fights not only American Revolutionaries, but also a secret society that seeks to kill him.

Subject Headings: American Revolution, Espionage, War, Historical Fiction, Adventure

Appeal: Intense, detailed characters, introspective, evocative, descriptive, adventurous, fervid, historical details, action-filled, detailed setting, sexually explicit, layered

3 Terms That Describe This Book: Adventurous, historically and geographically detailed, occasionally violent

3 Relevant Fiction Works:

Benedict Arnold: A Novel by William J. Wolf (Another historical novel based in the American Revolution)

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming (The first in a series of books about espionage and adventure)

A Matter of Honor by William C. Hammond (The first in a series of tales of American  Revolution maritime adventures)

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works:
The American Revolution: Writings from the War of Independence by John H.  Rhodehamel (A collection of more than 70 Revolution-era writers, on both sides of the  war)

History of My Own Times by William Otter (Autobiography and memoir of an average  citizen of colonial America)

Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia by Woody Holton (An account of the lesser-known groups that played involuntary roles in the founding of the United States)

Lee Sigman

The Graveyard Book

June 21, 2010

The Graveyard Book (Audio) Cover

Author:  Neil Gaiman (narrated by the author)

TitleThe Graveyard Book (unabridged audio)

Genre:  Fantasy, Mystery, Horror, YA fiction

Publication Date:  2003

Length: 7 CDs; 7.75 hours

Geographical Setting:  Great Britain

Time Period:  present day

Plot Summary:

On a dark, quiet evening a cold and efficient killer wielding a razor sharp knife- a man called ‘Jack’- is making quick work of his assignment: to murder a family of four in a small British town. All is going according to plan until Jack finds that the youngest, an 18 month-old boy, has left his crib and toddled off, out into the night. Following his keen sense of smell, Jack stalks up the hill and into the graveyard, looking for the child that got away. But Mr. and Mrs. Owens, deceased couple and graveyard residents, find the boy first. Sensing the distress of the boy’s recently dead mother, the Owenses hide and protect him, and the man called Jack leaves to look elsewhere.  With the narrow escape, a prophesy unfolds.

The ghost couple adopts the child and Silas, a mysterious character neither ghost or human, agrees to be his guardian. They name him “Nobody Owens,” or Bod for short. Bod is given “the freedom of the graveyard” and grows up walking a line between the worlds of the living and the dead. He befriends ghosts, witches, and werewolves, and learns the skills of haunting. For the most part Bod is safe in the graveyard, but he can’t avoid the outside world forever. The man named Jack is still looking for him, and will not rest until his mission is complete.

Neil Gaiman’s narration delights, frightens, and engrosses, making the listener laugh while at the same time expressing the danger lurking. He effortlessly embodies characters of varying ages and historical periods, from ancient vengeful spirits and ghouls, to a sleek white haired businessman and teenager with a Scottish brogue. Each disk ends with a cliffhanger, leaving the reader clamoring for the next chapter.

Subject Headings:  Boy orphans, Supernatural, Cemeteries, Orphan Boys, Ghosts, Werewolves, Dead, Occult fiction, Fantasy fiction

Appeal: creepy setting, haunting, witty, dark, quirky characters, multi-generational, humorous, magical, adventurous, foreboding, heroic, coming-of-age, climactic ending

3 terms that best describes this book: humorous, creepy, coming-of-age adventure

Similar Authors and Works:


The Black Hope Horror: the True Story of a Haunting by Ben & Jean Williams and Bruce Shoemaker

Odd occurrences, violent storms, plagues of insects, and finally five swift deaths strike the Williams family upon moving into a quiet Texas subdivision, which, they soon discover, is situated on a graveyard.

Similarities: spooky, creepy, haunting, graveyards, nightmares, cinematic

Necropolis: London and its Dead by Catharine Arnold

Offers an historical narrative of the city’s attitude to going the way of all flesh. This blend of archaeology, architecture and anecdote includes phenomena such as the rise of the undertaking trade and the pageantry of state funerals; and public executions and bodysnatching. This book covers both anecdotal history and cultural commentary.

Similarities: graveyards, culture of death, Danse Macabre, British atmosphere and culture

The World before this One by Rafe Martin

This collection of 14 Seneca tales is presented through the retelling of one central story into which all of the others are artfully woven. The Author’s Note sets the stories in their historical context, relating the importance of the Seneca as one of the founding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. An introduction by Seneca Elder Peter Jemison sets the stage for Martin’s storytelling in the tradition that’s gone before.

Similarities: boy orphan protagonist, coming of age, storytelling, adventure


The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin

Jack sets out to seek his fortune in Toy City and hooks up with Eddie Baer as they try to stop a serial killer who is murdering old nursery rhyme characters.

Similarities: Humorous (British humor), dark, adolescent protagonist, quirky characters

A Brief History of the Dead Kevin Brockmeier

A city in the afterlife world is inhabited by the recently departed who are sill remembered by the living. Here Marion and Phillip Byrd fall in love again, while their living daughter, Laura, is stranded alone in an Antarctic research station. As souls disappear from the city in droves, it becomes clear that tragedy has swept planet Earth.

Similarities: contrasts/ explores the living world with afterlife, fantasy environments, imaginative

Nation by Terry Pratchett

After a devastating tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a small band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and all the things that are important in their lives.

Similarities: Witty, humorous, good vs. evil, similar characters, fantasy, adventure story

Name: Amy

The Road

May 26, 2010

The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy

Title: The Road

Genre: Adventure  / Disaster Stories

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 256

Geographical Setting: Post apocalyptic America

Time Period: Near Future

Plot Summary:

In this post-apocalyptic adventure set in the near future, all plants and animals have died, cities and towns have been destroyed, and a wind-driven grey ash covers everything. Among this charred and barren wasteland an unnamed man and his young son must to walk down out of the mountains to the ocean to find food and shelter in order to survive the oncoming winter. They carry with them all possession that will fit into a shopping cart along with one pistol and three bullets; everything else is scavenged from items left behind by the missing or dead. Along they journey they encounter marauding gangs, cannibals, prisoners and lone travelers, all who may or may not be bad guys: those who “eat other people”. All the while they are relentlessly moving forward to an unknown place and future. They reach their destination realizing that it was not quite what they expected or remembered and must choose what to do next.

Subject Headings:

Fathers and sons—Fiction

Voyages and travels—United States—Fiction

Regression (Civilization)—Fiction

Survival skills–Fiction





Fiction Read Alikes:

Richard Matheson

I Am Legend

This book has the stark and journalistic language along with the character being the last survivor on earth and waiting in abandoned building at night.  It has the same tone and similar themes.

Nevil Shute

On the Beach

Similar in the telling of what people do in the end of time when oblivion and death are inevitable. They just keep on living and surviving the way they always have.

S.M Sterling.

Dies the Fire Trilogy, 1

This story contains elements of the regression of civilization, survival after a disaster and what happens when the use of modern devises are of no use to the characters.

Non-Fiction Read Alikes:

Piers Paul Reed

Alive: the story of the Andes survivors

Not only a true story of survival and cannibalism but more a tale of how the survivors and others made judgments about the necessary actions.

Laurence Gonzales

Deep survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

A good comparison of how people choose to survive based on past experiences. Where McCarthy leaves this open, Gonzales tries to explain.

Jon Krakauer

Into the Wild

This is a must in the adventure / survival genre but it also deals with one person leaving his past and society behind to willingly live without secure sources of food and shelter and “be nomadic”.

John Talley

Zane’s Trace

May 26, 2010

Author: Allan Wolf

Title: Zane’s Trace

Genre: Adventure

Publication Date: 2007

Number of Pages: 177

Geographical Setting: U.S.A. (West Virginia and Ohio)

Time Period: Present day

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary:

17 year old Zane Guesswind, an epileptic who also suffers from hypergraphia (the overwhelming urge to write), finds himself driving a stolen 1969 Plymouth Barracuda to his schizophrenic mother’s gravesite in Zanesville, Ohio after believing that he has killed his grandfather by writing him out of the world with a Sharpie.  As the numbers on the mile markers dwindle, Zane also embarks on a journey through his past and starts to learn more about who he is and where he came from.

Zane picks up a mysterious hitchhiker at The Happy Days Diner, 288 miles from his destination.  Her name is Libba and although she has to have the last word in any discussion she does give Zane insights into his past that he never could have expected.  As the Barracuda eats up the miles, Zane also meets several other characters, some real and some imagined (or are they?), who also provide him with pieces to the puzzle that is his life.

Presented in verse form, this fast paced and energetic novel puts the reader in the back seat of that Plymouth Barracuda along with Zane and Libba.

Subject Headings:

Epilepsy; Orphans; Interracial persons; Family; Death; Automobile travel; Loss (Psychology); Grief; Guilt; Suicide; Mental illness; Self-discovery; Novels in verse


energetic, fast moving, engrossing, fierce, reckless, compelling, cynical/sarcastic, humorous, spiritual, earnest, melancholy, trippy, quirky, supernatural, cathartic

3 terms that best describe this book: tight; charismatic characters;  wild ride

Similar Authors and Works:


1)      Before and Again by Doris Mortman

Callie, the daughter of a schizophrenic who committed suicide, searches for answers after she begins having the same sort of disturbing dreams that destroyed her mother.

2)      Night of the Radishes by Sandra Benitez

Annie Rush has dealt with various family tragedies which prompts her to try and find her long lost brother.  Along the way she must decide who she really is.

3)      The Rhythm of the Road: A Novel by Albyn Leah Hall

Another novel involving road trips and hitchhikers, this one centers on Jo Pickering, who travels everywhere with her truck driving father.  When they pick up a female country singer, Jo’s life is forever changed.


1)      Flight of Passage: A Memoir by Rinker Buck

Two teenage brothers fly a plane over the U.S.  This adventure eventually brings them closer to their father and to each other.

2)      The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Brain by Alice Flaherty

Flaherty talks about how hypergraphia affected her as a writer and as a person.

3)      The Mourner’s Dance: What We Do When People Die by Katherine Ashenburg

Rituals of death are explored in this book and how different cultures deal with death is also examined.

Name: Valerie Kyriakopoulos

The Hungry Ocean

May 26, 2010

Author:  Linda Greenlaw

Title:  The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain’s Journey

Genre: Adventure/Non-fiction

Publication Date: 1999

Number of pages:  265

Geographical Setting:  Gloucester, MA and Northern Atlantic Ocean

Time Period: 1996

Series: N/A

Plot Summary:  This book is an autobiographical account of a 30 day commercial swordfishing trip in the North Atlantic Ocean by Captain Linda Greenlaw of the Hannah Boden, sister ship of the Andrea Gail which was immortalized in Sebastian Junger’s novel The Perfect Storm.  With humor and simplicity, Greenlaw, at the time the only female swordboat captain in the US, takes the reader through the entire journey from preparing for the voyage (groceries $3,500) to the selling of the swordfish ($2.61 per lb.) to the net pay made by the crew ($5,484.84).  This is not a tragic story, like The Perfect Storm, but the journey is filled with adventure and peril such as violent squalls and gales, sick crew members, subterfuge and politics between sea captains, and sharks.  In her story, Greenlaw, in great detail, portrays her crew and their relationship with each other and her.  Another topic visited many times throughout the book is Greenlaw’s gender and the impact it has on her career as a “fisherman” and captain.  After every chapter, a “mug-ups” or a short chapter with fishing information, biographies, or anecdotal fishing stories is included.  She ends with an epilogue which follows up on her crew members, an itemize account of the Hannah Boden’s expense, and a map of their journey.

Subject Headings: Non-fiction, Adventure, Autobiographies, Deep Sea Fishing, Female Fishing Captains, Gender Roles and Identity, Interpersonal Relationships, Fishing Laws, the Culture of Fishing and Fishermen,

Appeal:  Compelling, Candid, Informative, Violent, Details of Deep Sea Fishing, Colorful, Earthy, Exciting, Character Oriented, Action Oriented, Layered, Vivid

3 terms that best describes this book:  Informative, Engrossing, Entertaining,

Similar Authors and Works


The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger  – A biography of the Andrea Gail and her crew on a commercial swordfishing trip in the North Atlantic Ocean during a violent and “perfect” storm.  Along with sharing the setting and premise, the book also is rich with detail and well researched.

The Blue Planet: A Natural History of the Ocean by Andrew Byatt – A reference resource for information on the ocean environment.  Special focus is given to the animal life found in the various different climates in the ocean.

Seafaring Women: An Untold Maritime History by David Cordingly – This title looks at 300 years of female maritime history.  The author uncovers women pirates, captains, seafarers, and explorers in this male dominate area.


Moby Dick by Herman Melville – Based off of actual events, Moby Dick is an adventure story of a whaling captain obsessed with killing the white whale which attack his ship and bit off his leg.

Crazy in the Cockpit by Randy Blume – This is a story of a woman in the male dominated field of aviation.  A story of fiction, author Blume is also a female pilot who tells of the discrimination and harassment women suffered from men in this career.

Atlantis Found by Clive Cussler – Book 15 of the Dirk Pitts Adventure, an adventure series frequently involving the sea.  U.S. National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) Special Projects Director Dirk Pitts must save the world from an army of evil who are attempting to flood the world.

Name:  Summer

The Last Testament

May 26, 2010

Author: Sam Bourne

Title: The Last Testament

Genre: Thriller

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 436

Geographical Setting: Middle East

Time Period: Modern Era

Series: N/A

Plot Summary:

An ordinary Sunday morning in Washington, D.C. turns into a wild ride with global implications as a mysterious man enters Maggie Costello’s home.  The man is there to talk, which is after all Maggie’s profession.  Formerly a powerful political negotiator she has since given up that life for a more mundane foray into settling divorce negotiations, he poses an opportunity for Maggie to reenter the world of negotiation on a massive stage; a peace treaty between Israel and Palestine.  When she boards her flight, she has no idea that she will soon be in constant danger for her life, and will aid in tracking down one of the most meaningful and priceless artifact in the world.  The narrative moves rapidly and uses flashbacks to masterfully veil the truth in this suspense.

Subject Headings:

Adventure, Ancient Civilizations, Archeology, Islam, Judaism, Murder, Religion, Suspense, Thriller, Web 2.0

Appeal: Relentless; Engrossing; Dramatic; Dangerous; Action Oriented; Cinematic; Plot-Centered; Contemporary; Accessible; Direct; Political; Multiple Perspectives

3 terms that best describe this book: Engrossing; Cinematic; Action Oriented

Similar author and works (why are they similar?):


1)       Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

A suspenseful thriller entwined with religion draws many parallels in pacing, storyline, and the storytelling.

2)      Alexander Cipher by Will Adams

This novel draws on the components that may appeal to fans of The Last Testament, such as suspense archeology, and artifacts.

3)      The Book of Q by Jonathan Rabb

Tracing clues through different cultures and centuries and connecting them with modern day issues will endear readers who enjoyed the setting.


1)       Dark Hope: Working for Peace in Israel and Palestine by David Schulman

The fictional peace treaty between Israel and Palestine in the novel manifests in this account of how peace can be achieved.

2) The Mythic Past: Biblical Archaeology and the Myth of Israel by Thomas L. Thompson

Readers with interest in the archeological aspects of the story will be eager to learn more about the religious history and the artifacts that may offer a connection to the past.

3)     Palestine: A Personal History by Carl Sabbagh

Offers the discovery of a culture through the lens of an outsider which might invite readers who lack knowledge a perfect opportunity to learn about Palestine’s past.