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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Book reviews I promised last week

Well its been a full week and I'm finally sitting down long enough to think about blogging a little bit. That doesn't mean I'm actually blogging- just that I'm thinking about it... But I did promise a couple book reviews and its not too late and I'm not too tired right now, so I'll try to fill in the blanks.

Its been a real treat to just sit and read for the fun of it again this summer. Its something I've always done since grade school but my degree chase somehow sucked the habit out of me for a few years. Its nice to get back to reading for fun.

The first of the two books I read was Amazonia by James Rollins. Its a tale of adventure in the deepest reaches of the Amazon Basin with a group of researchers and soldiers trying to locate a source of a terrible disease outbreak that is spreading through out Brazil and into the US. Behind the researchers are a team of cutthoats being paid to track, kill and capture whatever solutions there might be to the outbreak. In front of the researchers are giant locusts, hybrid creatures with legs like frogs and the mouths and teeth like piranha that not only fill the rivers but can climb trees and cross land and 120 foot long crocodiles. There is danger at every step and in spite of a number of the party dieing from the hazards, a terrific secret is discovered, a tribe of people living in a hidden valley with a giant, ancient tree as the center of their culture.

There is, of course, a clash of cultures, a battle with the paid bandits, one of which is a beautiful, naked headshrinker and more surprises that involve the massive tree. Its quite an adventure. The book is fast paced and exciting due to its exotic location and a combination of believable characters. I was reminded of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea for its bigger than possible creatures and bizarre events that are just to big to be possible. But it is exciting and readable and I recommend it.

Next, I read The Righteous Men by Sam Bourne. Think of this book as The DaVinci Code but this time taking place in New York City and the secrets being revealed are part of Jewish & Kabalah tradition instead of the Catholic secrets of the DaVinci Code. There are believable characters and a fast-paced action that is all revealed in the final pages, just in time to prevent the end of the world.

I read it in a weekend, without feeling like I was struggling. Its pretty good, filled with riddles and chases and hidden meanings. I really did like this story and recommend it if you like adventure stories. This one was a good one!

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