Bookbanter’s Best Reads of 2017

 

Reviews:

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Paradox Bound by Peter Clines

The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson

Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan

Darkness of Evil by Alan Jacobson

Change Agent by Daniel Suarez

Book News: Rickman’s Literary Roles, African Comic Creators, Book Obsessions & More!

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Rickman’s Bookish Roles 
In memory of the great Alan Rickman, here are some of his more “literary” roles.

The X-Files 
With the return of this fantastic show, here are some recommended titles to get you in the “I Want to Believe” mood.

City of Mirrors Trailer 
There’s a cool new book trailer for the conclusion to Justin Cronin’s post-apocalyptic vampire trilogy.

[read more . . .]

“Pines” by Blake Crouch (Thomas & Mercer, 2012)

Pines
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There are two keys to good storytelling: 1) have a good story, 2) don’t give it all away early on. Blake Crouch skillfully adheres to these keys in the first volume of the Wayward Pines series, Pines, clueing in the reader to a dramatic story and sucking them right in, and then slowly giving information away so they can’t help but keep reading, turning those pages, burning to know how it all ends and what the big secret is.

Two secret service agents have gone missing in the small and idyllic town of Wayward Pines, Idaho. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke gets called in to investigate and find out what happened to his fellow agents. He also has a personal stake, since one of the agents is a former lover who he still cares deeply for, even though he’s a happily married man with a son. Burke wakes up to find himself in a hospital bed barely remembering who he is. As the pieces of his past and reason for being in Wayward Pines are slowly put together, he learns that the agent traveling with him was killed in the horrific car accident he was involved in. That’s why he doesn’t remember much.

But Burke is a good agent. He knows not everything is as clear as it seems, and there’s something really weird going on with the supposed perfect town of Wayward Pines. Everyone acts nice and courteous around him, but all a little too nice. And things seem in perfect condition, a little too perfect. Burke knows things just aren’t right, and when he can’t get hold of his ASAC in Seattle or get the sheriff to give him a straight answer about what happened to his wallet and ID, he starts to get scared for the first time. That’s when he grabs a car and tries to get out of town, but as he follows the main road out, he somehow finds himself driving right back into town. Apparently Wayward Pines won’t let him leave.

While the storyline is somewhat familiar, Pines is anything but predictable. Crouch cites the likes of Twin Peaks and The X-Files as inspiration for the series, as he keeps the conflict and adrenaline high. As for the true story of what is going on in Wayward Pines, you’ll have to read to the very end of the book, and you’ll have no clue what’s coming.

Originally written on September 29, 2014 ©Alex C. Telander.

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

“Jack: Secret Circles” by F. Paul Wilson (Tor Teen, 2009)

Jack: Secret Circlesstarstarstar

In the first of the young adult trilogy, Jack: Secret Histories, Jack and Weezy discovered a very unusual secret pyramid in the Pine Barrens.  And now Repairman Jack is back in Jack: Secret Circles, where another strange structure has been discovered, once again in the Pine Barrens.  But this time they’re not going to tell anyone about it, as Weezy knows the government is behind it all, or at least has something to do with it.  Their friend Eddie thinks it’s more likely the work of the Jersey Devil.  And then Jack’s five-year-old neighbor goes missing, even though Jack told him to go home, and he needs to get him back.  Finally there’s the guy who comes out of the Barrens, supposedly lost for days, on the run from some big and terrifying monster.  F. Paul Wilson continues the trilogy of his popular character, Repairman Jack, as a teenager.  The story is a combination of the Hardy Boys and The X-Files, with an excitement-infused voice that brings out the adventuresome kid in every reader.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally written on December 11th 2009 ©Alex C. Telander.