Posts Tagged ‘urgent’

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.

The Dark Side of Innocence: Growing Up Bipolar

March 30, 2011

Author: Terri Cheney

Title: The Dark Side of Innocence: Growing Up Bipolar

Genre: Nonfiction

Publication Date: March 1st, 2011

Number of Pages: 288 pages

Geographical Setting: Los Angeles, CA

Time Period: Late 1960’s – 1970’s

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Terri Cheney chronicles her life as a young girl struggling with bipolar disorder while growing up in a suburban Los Angeles home in this engaging memoir.  She eloquently retells stories about her childhood and teen years, pulling the reader in with a sense of urgency through every incident.  Throughout the book, she is hiding a secret that she herself is too young to understand, even though on the outside she was a smart and successful student, beloved by her father.  Candid and straight-forward, Cheney doesn’t hide anything that happened to her as a child, nor does she make excuses for why she did those things, other than the fact that a force inside of her, whom she named as the “Black Beast”, drove her into this destructive, manic lifestyle.

Subject Headings: Bipolar Disorder, Childhood, Dysfunctional Families, Self-Discovery, Sexual Experimentation, Spirituality and Religion, Writing, Suburban Life

Appeal terms: Intense, dramatic, ominous, sexual, volatile, urgent, hostile, bittersweet, angst-ridden, complex, uneasy, evocative, candid, character-centered, morbid, bleak, angry

3 terms that best describes this book: Disturbing, intensely dramatic, emotional

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Welcome to the Jungle: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bipolar but Were Too Freaked Out to Ask by Hilary Smith

A funny and insightful book that dives deep into a difficult issue with humor only someone who has been there can truly write about.

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir by Kay Redfield Jamison

A psychiatrist opens up about her life struggles with depression, varying from her personal stories to scientific knowledge about the disease that both distraught and thrilled her.

Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family’s Journey Through Bipolar Disorder by Karen Winters Schwartz

The teenage daughter of a psychiatrist is bipolar, and every member of the family is affected by her behavior, though they handle it in different ways.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

Written in free verse, this is the story of three psychologically troubled teens connecting after they are committed to a mental health facility after suicide attempts.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Largely seen as autobiographical, this is a fictional work about a young female writer in the 1950’s whose talent was overshadowed by her constant struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts.

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg

A young teenage girl struggling with schizophrenia has to fight for a way to live sanely and escape the torments of her fantasies.

Name: Lian Sze

A Grave Talent

October 28, 2009

Title: A Grave Talent

Author: Laurie R. King

Publication Date: 1993

Number of Pages: 342

Genre: Mystery

Geographical Setting: San Francisco, CA and Northern California

Time Period: Present Day

Series: Kate Martinelli mysteries, 1

Plot Summary: Two weeks before Christmas, the naked body of a young girl is discovered on the grounds of a small, reclusive community located outside of San Francisco. Over the next eight weeks, two more bodies are discovered. All three victims share similar traits. They are kindergarten-aged white girls with brown hair from upper-middle-class families who disappeared from their neighborhoods in the middle of the day. Veteran police inspector Alonzo Hawkins and newly promoted Detective Kate Martinelli of the San Francisco police department are assigned to investigate the case. Because the victims’ bodies were found on the property of a community that lacks electricity, telephones and also restricts vehicular access, Hawkins and Martinelli focus their search for the killer among the community’s unusual and eccentric residents, especially the haunted and enigmatic artist Vaun Adams who spent nine years in prison seventeen years ago for the murder of a six-year-old girl. Hawkins, known for being gruff and intimidating, and Martinelli, desperately trying to keep both her personal life and her lifestyle choices private from those she works with, forge a productive working relationship as they struggle to decipher the multitude of clues that will lead them to the killer’s identity in this complex and exciting mystery.

Subject Headings: Child murders – Northern California; Women painters – Northern California; Women detectives – Northern California; Lesbian detectives; Child murder investigation – Northern California; Serial Murders – Northern California; Police; Strangling; Murder suspects; Crimes against children; Northern California; Mystery stories, American.

Appeal: engrossing, urgent, fast-paced, compelling, detailed, eccentric secondary characters, intriguing, police detectives, series characters, lesbian relationships, feminism, strong, action-oriented, character-centered, intelligent, complex, investigative, resolved ending, detailed setting of San Francisco, detailed setting of a rural primitive community, dramatic, enigmatic, psychological, emotionally-charged, suspenseful, candid.

Three terms that best describe this book: Dramatic, Investigative, Enigmatic

Red Flags: violence against children, murder of children

Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Sacrifice by Clyde Phillips –Newly promoted Lieutenant Jane Candiotti of the San Francisco police department attempts to balance her private life and her professional life while investigating two separate but possibly related murder cases in San Francisco. (Mystery, character-centered, strong intelligent female protagonist juggling personal and professional life, San Francisco setting, series, police detectives, women detectives).

No Defense by Kate Wilhelm – Defense attorney Barbara Holloway agrees to defend a young widow who claims she is being framed for the murder of her husband in this legal thriller. (Mystery, fast-paced, detailed, complex, psychological, strong intelligent female protagonist, rural community setting).

Cop Out by Claire McNab – Australian Detective Inspector Carol Ashton investigates a possible case of fratricide while trying to keep her sexuality secret from her coworkers in the male-dominated Sydney police force. (Mystery, strong intelligent female protagonist, feminism, lesbianism, police detectives).

Relevant Non-fiction Works and Authors:

Lesbian Detective Fiction: Woman as Authors, Subjects, and Reader by Phyllis Betz – Examines lesbian detective and mystery fiction to see how lesbian characters are represented and how their public and private lives intersect in the stories.

Free Land: Free Love: Tales of a Wilderness Commune by Malcolm Terence – Anthology of stories from residents of the Black Bear Ranch, a community created for individuals who wanted to create a counter-cultural society.

Northern California: An Explorer’s Guide by Michele Bigley – Detailed description of Northern California including cultural attractions, natural wonders, and history.

Name: Maggie