“Blood Infernal” by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell (William Morrow, 2015)

Blood Infernal
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Blood Infernal is the final book in the trilogy from bestselling authors James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell who have created a world that mixes Christianity and vampires together in a new and terrifying way.

While it takes a little while for the book to get going, the big plotline is revealed: Lucifer’s shackles are loosening and the Apocalypse appears imminent. It will be up to the three – archaeologist Erin Granger, army sergeant Jordan Stone and Father Rhun Korza – to search for a new Chalice and imprison Lucifer safely back in his bonds. Meanwhile, a demon named Legion is alive and free and able to take over the bodies of others.

Stone  has also gone through some sort of transformation and is now somehow able to heal incredibly fast and seems almost immortal, which seems free license for the writers to really try their best to push him as close to death as possible. This concluding book feels unbalanced with the first half heavily weighted with archaeological searches and discovery and plenty of puzzle and problem solving, and the second half, once the big baddie is revealed, with nonstop action leaving the reader little room to come up for air. Nevertheless, adding this volume to the first two makes the trilogy a complete story that ends in a high-tension climax.

Originally written on March 8, 2015 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Blood Infernal from Bookshop Santa Cruz, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

You might also like . . .

Blood Gospel  Innocent Blood

“Revival” by Stephen King (Scribner, 2014)

Revival
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Revival is the sort of book Stephen King would inevitably write, and I mean this in a good way. It’s classic King of the 2000s: not an outright horror story, but definitely with some terrifying elements that give you shivers, some memorable “Kingly” characters, and a story that just makes you wonder.

Revival is a coming of age story for Jamie Morton, unsurprisingly, in a small, quaint New England town where everybody knows each other, and expects to see each other at church on Sunday. And at the Methodist church there’s a new preacher in town, one Reverend Charles Jacobs. Jamie met him the other day and instantly took a liking to him, and soon pretty much everyone is a fan of the new preacher, making Sunday School now a well-attended event, while Mrs. Jacobs soon becomes the apple of a many a boy’s eye.

Revival also features magic, of a sort. The Reverend Jacobs has some interesting hobbies that Jamie gets to see in his special shed where he invents unique devices that seem to use a new form of energy and would likely be very popular if they were sold worldwide. Jacobs jokes about doing this one day, when his experiment is complete. It is then that Jamie starts to realize that his might be more than a hobby, perhaps more of an obsession. But then tragedy strikes the Jacobs family and when the reverend recants his faith and decries the inexistence of God to his congregation, he leaves town.

Revival then follows Jamie’s life becoming a guitarist as a teenager and playing in various bands through his twenties, living the life of a nomadic musician traveling from town to town. He also adopts the rock star life and becomes addicted to drugs, because he is a Stephen King character after all. He is at an all time low with his heroin addiction when he meets the Reverend Jacobs again.

Revival is a story of many things and the title aptly applies to many of them. It’s about Jamie’s life and life choices, and Jacobs and what he hopes to accomplish with his inventions. While the eventual reveal of Jacobs’s “quest” is somewhat disappointing (as is the case with a number of King’s endings), overall Revival is an exciting and contemplative read that will leave you contemplating numerous things.

Originally written on January 13, 2015 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Revival from Bookshop Santa Cruz, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

You might also like . . .

Doctor Sleep  Joyland  Wind Through the Keyhole

Book News: Downsizing Your Book Collection, Amazon Sends in The Drones, Amazing Bookmobiles and More!

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Harry Potter Pickup Lines
Some are terrible, some are gold; you need to try them all.

Reading is Good 
23 ways reading helps make you a better person in many senses of the word.

Downsizing Your Book Collection 
It’s a very hard decision to make, but here are some ways to help you get through this tough time.

[read more . . .]

“Future Arctic: Field Notes From a World on the Edge” by Edward Struzik (Island Press, 2015)

Future Arctic
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“Just the tip of the iceberg” is a painfully apropos metaphor for the state of climate change and how the Arctic and Antarctic zones of the planet serve as a sort of scrying stone for what the future may hold. While some evidence may be hard to come by for the current state of the world, what is happening in the Arctic is undeniable fact melting before our very eyes.

Edward Struzik is a hardcore explorer and journalist who has traveled across the limits of the Arctic and in Future Arctic paints a very moving picture about where it is headed. Along with plenty of research about the state of things, Struzik also provides lots of anecdotal evidence from the native peoples of the region recounting how their world has changed. The author even travels far into the past to a time when the region was warmer and how its flora and fauna fared.

Future Arctic is certainly bleak at points, but also enlightening as Struzik analyzes various possibilities about how the Arctic will appear transformed by climate change and what it means for the rest of the growingly fragile planet.

Originally written on March 18, 2015 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Future Arctic from Bookshop Santa Cruz, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

“Hansel and Gretel” by Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti (Toon Books, 2014)

Hansel & Gretel
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We’ve heard the story of the siblings Hansel and Gretel told numerous times throughout our childhood, often in slightly different versions, and often vastly different from that first version recorded by the Brothers Grimm long ago. And now bestselling author Neil Gaiman, of Neverwhere and American Gods, joins forces with talented artist Lorenzo Mattotti to provide a new telling for an old favorite fable.

You can tell from the opening lines that you’re reading another great Neil Gaiman story, as he does a great job of providing some back story to that of Hansel and Gretel , of the struggles their family has gone through and why their mother and father are looking to get rid of them. Eventually they end up lost deep in the woods and stumble upon a house made of gingerbread and candy. You know the rest of the story.

The artwork, which is on every other double page, is not your usual pretty fairytale scenes, but done in harsh black ink with sketchings and shadings that lend a tone that hasn’t really been seen with the story since the original Grimm telling. It is a powerful artwork that adds greatly to the story and keeps the reader fully engrossed. At the end of the book is a brief history of the story, enlightening the reader on its various changes and versions over time.

Originally written on January 1, 2015 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Hansel and Gretel from Bookshop Santa Cruz, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Book News: Little Libraries, George R.R. Martin Goes Retro For HBO, Top 11 Children’s Books & More!

76971-bookreporttelander

The nominations for the 2015 Hugo Awards are out and already stirring up quite a bit of ire.
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Little libraries seem to be taking the world by storm and are popping up everywhere.

“The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains: A Tale of Travel and Darkness with Pictures of All Kinds” by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Eddie Campbell (William Morrow, 2014)

Truth is a Cave in teh Black Mountains
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Neil Gaiman’s novelette “The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains” was originally published in the collection Stories: All New Tales edited by Gaiman, which went on to win an award. It is now reprinted and made available in this beautifully illustrated and collectible version. This four-color edition is illustrated by renowned artist, Eddie Campbell.

It is the moving story of one man’s journey with an untrustworthy guide in search of a specific cave in the black mountains of Scotland where they hope to find gold. Along the way they meet some strange characters and face daunting odds. Told with the powerful, haunting words of Gaiman showing his talent for the craft, the illustrations help to make the story fuller and more complete. Sometimes the illustrations show small scenes of the ongoing story, other times they simply add to the feel and emotion of the page. A mixture of media and color help to enhance the story and make a journey for the reader also.

Originally written on August 1, 2014 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains from Bookshop Santa Cruz, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.