“Little Star” by John Ajvide Lindqvist (Thomas Dunne Books, 2012)

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From the international bestselling author of the chilling and horrific Let the Right One, Handling the Undead and Harbor comes a new novel that appears innocent and charming at first, but eventually leads the reader down a long dark path, covered in blood and filled with bodies.  Little Star will lull you into enjoyment and then terrify you all the way to the end.

Lennart finds an abandoned baby in the woods, left for dead.  He brings it home, feeds and looks after it, much to the reluctance of his wife, Laila.  A musical duo who have essentially disappeared into obscurity, Lennart finds a new lease of life with this baby who grows to become a beautiful young girl with a unique singing voice.  Jerry, the son, eventually looks after the girl, moving to Stockholm, after his parents suffer a gruesome end, and the child enters a national singing contest and becomes a celebrity, renowned throughout Sweden.  But she also has plans of her own, viewed through her fractured, distorted lens of a psyche, with an idea of what is good and right not shared by many others.

Lindqvist’s novel is an addictive read, much like his others, with a seemingly simple story that turns into something dark and sinister, combined with the harsh geology of Sweden, and his own unusual characters.  Little Star will keep you up late, and by then you’ll be too scared to go to bed.

Originally written on November 10, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Little Star from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

“The Death of Carthage” by Robin E. Levin (Trafford Publishing, 2012)

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Fans of historical fiction on the history and events of ancient Rome will find plenty to enjoy in Robin E. Levin’s The Death of Carthage.  The author has clearly done her research, filling the pages with crucial details of this past world that does a great job of immersing the reader in the time period and making them feel like they are really there.

The book is set during the time of the Second and Third Punic wars between Rome and the battle-hardened Carthage, divided into three separate stories.  The first, “Carthage Must be Destroyed,” is told in the first person from the viewpoint of Lucius Tullius Varro, who finds himself joining the Roman cavalry, serving in Spain under Scipio and playing a main part in the Second Punic war.  The second story, “Captivus,” is told by Enneus, Lucius’s first cousin, who finds himself captured by Hannibal’s general, Maharbal, and after a terrible Roman defeat, must now fight to stay alive.  In the final story, The Death of Carthage, told from the viewpoint of Enneus’s son, Ectorius, is serving as a translator who plays witness to the definite and final end of Carthage.

The Death of Carthage is stiff at times, and lacking in character growth and development, as things just happen for the characters, as opposed to emotions and experiences coloring the story; at times the story feels like a history book.  Nevertheless, the details are there to truly entrance the reader and make them remember this incredible time in the history of the world.

Originally written on June 27, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of The Death of Carthage from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

“Legion” by Brandon Sanderson (Subterranean Press, 2012)

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Anyone who’s read Brandon Sanderson knows he’s a prolific writer with a number of epic fantasy tomes under his belt already.  When done with a big project, Sanderson takes a sort of break from working on the next long book and works on something shorter and different.  Legion is exactly that: something very short and different from what his fans are used to, but at the same time it shows his breadth and ability as a writer.

Stephen Leeds (AKA Legion) is a troubled man who sees imaginary people.  They are hallucinations that only he can see, but when he has a question to answer or a problem to solve, these hallucinations (which are logically just figments of his imagination) are able to provide an answer to said question or skillfully solve said problem.  Legion is also able to create further hallucinations to fit his needs: if he needs to learn a specific language, he creates a hallucination who speaks it; if he needs to know a particular type of engineering, he creates that engineer.  And now Legion’s services are being required once more, as he must search for the missing Balubal Razon, who has a very special camera in his possession that could change the very world as we know it.

Sanderson has done what he does best: creating a compelling story, with powerful characters, and a riveting plot, only this time the stage is not that of epic fantasy.  Also in Sanderson’s classic style, while the main mystery is solved, the reader is left wanting more of this unique world and its fascinating characters.

Originally written on September 12, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Legion from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

You might also like . . .

Mistborn  Warbreaker  Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians  Way of Kings

“Fables, Volume 17: Inherit the Wind” by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham (Vertigo, 2012)

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A new storyline continues in the unique world of Fables, as we focus on our main story at hand: that of Bigby and his family.  The great North Wind was the one to finally slay the seemingly indestructible Mr. Dark, but has paid the ultimate penalty in losing his life.  Now a successor must be chosen to take the throne, and Bigby has renounced all intentions of this, so it will be up to one of his and Snow’s cubs to take the mantle.  The question is which one?  The parents get to watch as their children are subjected to a series of trials and tests by the North Wind’s servants, while the East, West and South winds hungrily watch, looking to seize this power vacuum.

Meanwhile, things continue along in the rest of the world, as Rose Red continues cleaning up and making sure everything is right on the Farm; the monkey Bufkin continues his attack against the new ruler of the Pan Ozian Empire; and deep in the shadows of Castle Dark, Nurse Spratt prepares herself for revenge, awaiting her first victim.

Inherit the Wind continues a number of Fables storylines, keeping readers riveted as to what is happening with some of their favorite characters.  Along with some secondary storylines, it makes for another great collection of entertaining plot and beautiful artwork.

Originally written on October 24, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Fables: Inherit the Wind from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

You might also like . . .

Fables Dark Ages  Fables Crossover  Fables Witches  Fables Rose Red  Fables Superteam

BOOK REPORT: Book News for the Week of November 18th

Big News From Jeff Carlson
Author of the bestselling Plague Year trilogy, Jeff Carlson has just sold his next novel, an apocalyptic thriller, Interrupt, to 47 North with a planned release date of July 2013.

Kindle Reading Share 

In a recent survey it was determined out of all ereaders, 55% read their ebooks on a Kindle device.

France Makes Tax Claim Against Amazon 

France the country has filed a tax claim in the amount of $252 million to Amazon for unpaid taxes.

Best Books of 2012 
It’s the time of year for “best books of the year” lists and Amazon has just released theirs.

[CONTINUE READING . . .]

“Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus” by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy (Viking, 2012)

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Rabies.  Rabid.  The words automatically conger up images and ideas; ravenous animals, primarily dogs.  Slavering at the mouth; demented and violent.  You’re probably also thinking about Cujo, whether it is the movie or the book by Stephen King.  All these ideas are correct, in a way, but few people know the whys and hows.  Few know that when someone is suffering from rabies, they have an innate aversion to water; just seeing a glass of it will make them turn violent as they try to get away from it.  Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus is the story of the hows and whys of rabies.

Authors Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy take the reader on a combined history, sociological and science lesson.  They go way back into the past looking at where the virus likely first originated, where it first appears in the written word, and how it has been used throughout history in writing.  How the word has changed and become part of our vocabulary.  Rabid is also a look at how society has dealt with the disease through time and across the globe.  And finally, the authors give you the science behind the virus, how it infects, how it affects, and what exactly makes it work.  It is a fascinating read on a disease that many know little about.

Originally written on October 23, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Rabid from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

BOOK REPORT: Book News for the Week of November 11th

 

Some Stores Back, Many Still Struggling 
While some bookstores are now open to the public, there are still others struggling after Hurricane Sandy.

As Sandy Loomed, the Book Industry Panicked 
A great article on the Random House-Penguin merger from New York magazine.

Booksellers Resisting Amazon Disruption 
With Amazon’s continue plans to put the rest of the bookselling world our of business, booksellers are doing they’re best to make their stand.

Staples’ Amazon Lockers 
Staples stores in the US will begin installing Amazon lockers where they can pick up their orders.

[CONTINUE READING . . .]