Posts Tagged ‘Good versus Evil’

The Strain

February 23, 2010

Author(s): Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Title: The Strain

Genre:  Thriller

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 401

Geographical Setting: New York (current day), Romania and Germany (flashbacks)

Time Period: Current day (2009) and 1940s, during World War II

Series: Book I of The Strain Trilogy

Plot Summary: Ephraim is the head of a special infectious diseases team of the CDC in New York City.  He is suddenly called to duty due to an unknown case that leaves its victims with symptoms that are difficult to explain.  As the virus quickly spreads across New York, the residents of the city begin to act in strange, erratic ways that become too fast to contain and too inexplicable to explain.  Eph must race against time in order to contain the virus and as he further investigates, the story unfolds as he learns that menacing and unknown dark forces may be at hand.

Subject Headings: Vampires, Virus Diseases, New York City, Suspense, Infection, Physicians

Appeal: suspenseful, loss of control, intense, urban, dark forces, admirable characters, good vs. evil, claustrophobic, daunting

3 terms that best describe this book: suspenseful, page-turner and enthralling

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

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

  1. Author: Elie Wiesel

Title: Night (unsure future, unknown journey, Holocaust survivors)

  1. Author:  Denise Grady

Title: Deadly Invaders: Virus Outbreaks from Around the World, from Marburg Fever to Avian Flu (communicable viruses, loss of control, fight to find a cure)

  1. Author: Richard Preston

Title: Panic in Level Four: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science (loss of control, unbelievable true stories, themes of impending doom)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

  1. Author: Cherry Adair

Title: Night Fall (themes of impending doom, unknown evil, and courageous main characters)

  1. Author:  Graham Masterton

Title: Death Mask (suspenseful, who-done-it story, mystery murder plot)

  1. Author: Stephen King

Title: Salem’s Lot (vampires, the fight against evil, good-hearted characters)

Name: Jillian

Sole Survivor

October 7, 2009

Title: Sole Survivor

Author: Dean Koontz

Publication Date: 1997

Number of Pages: 403

Genre: Thriller

Geographical Setting: Los Angeles, California

Time Period: Present Day

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Joe Carpenter, a Los Angeles Post crime reporter, suddenly finds himself without his wife and two daughters after a plane crash takes the lives of 330 people. He is told there are no survivors from Flight 353. Quitting his job, Joe walks around in a world of his own for a year. Then he meets a woman named Rose who claims to be the flight’s sole survivor. Rose shows Joe a picture and tells him that she will explain more later, and then suddenly disappears because the authorities are after her. Someone is after her, but Joe isn’t sure who “they” are as he sets off on a quest to find out if there are other survivors. Believing that there has been a cover-up, Joe is motivated by love for his family to find out the truth behind the plane crash. As the story unfolds, Joe methodically chases from one place to another, looking for clues along the way. Sole Survivor takes the reader on a fast-paced, emotional rollercoaster ride to the very end.

Subject Headings: Airplane accidentsColoradoAirplane accident survivors
Crime reportersLos Angeles, CaliforniaSuicideGenetic engineering
Government cover-upsGood and evil – Paranormal – Mind control – Mental Powers

Appeal: mysterious, psychological thriller, airplanes, complex, heart-wrenching, death, suicide, paranormal, espionage, good versus evil, catastrophic, unexplainable, paralyzing grief, heart-stopping, emotional, family, cover-up, investigation, hope, gripping, mythological symbolism, experiments, cults, conspiracy, corruption

Three terms that best describe this book: chilling, fast-paced, complex

Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Without a Trace by Colleen Coble – After the disappearance of a plane carrying her husband and son, Bree Nichols starts her own investigation and discovers a link to a violent crime that threatens to tear apart the peaceful town of Rock Harbor. (Intense action, personal investigation, search for missing family members, air plane mystery)

The Brueck Equation by Simmons Norwood – While working on a project for the eccentric mathematician Antoine Brueck, graduate student Steven Brooks discovers that one of the professor’s chaos theory formulas appears to predict airplane crashes. Steven’s own life is thrown into total chaos as he races against time to understand what is happening…and to prevent the next disaster. Can Brueck’s equation really predict plane crashes, or is there a more sinister explanation? And can Steven unravel the mystery in time to save the lives of 437 passengers on final approach to disaster? (Airplane crashes, theory, disaster, mystery)

Phenomenon by Sameer Zuhad – Vikrant Vasan, an enigmatic parapsychologist, demonstrates psychic feats and explains the underlying facts of the mysterious phenomena of life and the universe. (Parapsychology, mysterious phenomena, paranormal activity)

Relevant Non-fiction Works and Authors:

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell – Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to be very close to Bin Laden with a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive. (Survival, secret mission, government)

Cloning and Genetic Engineering (Life in the Future) by Holly Cefrey – Science fiction becomes science fact in this intriguing series that explores the extraordinary scientific advances modern man is making – and their impact on society, economics and our future. (Science fiction, scientific advances, experimentation)

Mind Control, World Control by Jim Keith – Is mind control technology linked to UFO activity and UFO abductions? A little-known and controversial subject, mind control is thoroughly examined by veteran author and investigator Jim Keith. Exploring a startling amount of information, Mind Control, World Control analyses the technology used to control human minds. It reveals the methodology of implants and exposes mind control assassins and couriers, as well as famous mind control victims Sirhan Sirhan and Candy Jones. Among the many revealing chapters in this shocking work are those on early CIA experiments such as Project Artichoke and Project RIC-EDOM. (Mind control, controversy, technology, implants, victims, government experiments)

Name: Maurine

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

May 27, 2009

 

 

Author: King, Stephen

Title: Gunslinger

Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction/Western

Publication Date:  1982

Number of Pages:  315

Geographical Setting: All-World, a kind of dystopia similar to the Old West

Time Period: Undetermined future?

Series: The Dark Tower Series (Book 1 of 7)

Plot Summary: Roland Deschain is the last gunslinger in a parallel universe very similar to the Old West. He is on a quest to catch “the man in black,” the one who will lead him to the Dark Tower. Roland recounts, to a farmer, his visit to Tull, a town of people who didn’t trust him and Roland was forced to kill them all, including his love, Alice. Roland continues his journey in the desert and is helped at a station by a man named Jake. Roland finds out Jake’s past before he died in our universe. They travel together, and Roland rescues Jake from an oracle and then proceeds to bond with the oracle to find out more about the Dark Tower. Additionally, details about Roland’s past are revealed. Roland and Jake travel together, but Jake does not trust Roland. When Roland is faced with a decision to continue the pursuit of “the man in black” or let Jake die, Roland decides to pursue “the man in black,” letting Jake fall to his death. The action culminates when Roland and “the man and black” have a confrontation at “Golgotha” where “the man in black” tells Roland of his future, revealing snippets and events that will occur in subsequent books. Roland wakes up next to a pile of bones and a black cloak and continues his journey.

Subject Headings: Fantasy Fiction – American, Good and Evil – Fiction, Roland (Ficticious character – King), Adventure Stories

Appeal: Dark, Brooding, Suspenseful, Dystopic, Survival, Betrayal, Fast-paced, Multi-layered, Intricate setting, Horror, Bleak hero,  Tragic, Good versus Evil, Archetypal

3 Terms: Macabre, Survival, Betrayal

Relevant Fiction: Weaveworld by Clive Barker would be a good choice for fans of The Dark Tower, it combines adventure and fantasy with the same dark undertones used in The Gunslinger. Watchers by Dean Koontz also combines a suspenseful chase with supernatural elements. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, though intended for younger readers, would definitely satisfy a lover of The Gunslinger, with its supernatural, suspenseful, and horror themes.

Relevant Nonfiction: Tales of the Wild West by B. Byron Price is a collection of real stories of the old West.  The Road to the Dark Tower: Exploring Stephen King’s Magnum Opus by Bev Vincent is companion material to the Dark Tower series explain its origins and development

Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: A Concordance by Robin Furth is another companion material explaining the words, terms, and phrases used in the the Dark Tower series.

Name: Stephen Koebel