March 27, 2011

Review: Journal of a UFO Investigator by David Halperin

Journal of a UFO Investigator: A Novel

In 1966 sixteen-year old Danny Shapiro's world becomes too difficult to bear. His mother is terminally ill and his father is angry and doesn't understand him. On top of the stress at home his best friend Jeff has moved on to other friends and the girl he likes moves away.  To cope with his troubles he immerses himself into the world of UFO investigation and creates a new reality that he documents in his Journal of a UFO Investigator.

The majority of the book is told through the journal and Danny takes us on a wild, adventurous and sometimes mind-blowing ride.

I'm really on the fence about this one. It was a great story but it was so bizarre and jumpy that I almost gave up on it halfway through. I still can't get a good grasp on why I liked it because even all the way to the end I kept thinking, 'Why am I still reading this?'  The book has a 5-star rating on Amazon so I'm sure there was just something I couldn't see past. I would recommend this for anyone who loves sci-fi with an intellectual twist. 

March 20, 2011

Review: The Madonnas of Echo Park: A Novel by Brando Skyhorse

The Madonnas of Echo Park: A Novel

The Madonnas of Echo Park is a novel that gives us a glimpse into the lives of several Mexican Americans that live in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles from the 80's to now. Each chapter is told by a different character yet they all weave together throughout the whole book.

The book starts with an Authors Note that tells the reader the reason behind the book. During a classroom dance party Brando Skyhorse snubs a classmate named Aurora Esperanza and after thinking it over he feels remorse and he's ready to apologize but Aurora doesn't return to school. The book ends up being Brando's way to apologize to her 25 years later. (There is an interesting fact about the Author's Note but I'll leave that out to avoid any potential spoilers.)

I really found this book very intriguing. Initially the way the POV changed with each character was a bit disorienting but knowing that was coming I was quickly able to adapt and sort out who was who. The way the characters intertwine in and out of each others lives kept me glued to the book. Being a Mexican American myself I could totally picture the characters as if they were family and friends. It was also very interesting seeing how the different characters perceived each other. For instance one character Juan saw Duchess as a chubby plain girl with mushroom hair but Angie saw Duchess as a beautiful fashionista that she aspired to be just like. I recommend this book to anyone who loves urban fiction.

March 16, 2011

Review: Rasner's Revenge by Mark Rosendorf

Rasner's Revenge

Now that fifteen-year old Clara Blue has finally escaped the living hell that was the Brookhill Children's Psychiatric residence she has two goals. One is to control her own small band of mercenaries and the other is to break her informally adopted father Rick Rasner from the military asylum he's been placed into by his nemesis General Straker.

With only the help of a computer hacker and a few other teens that escaped Brookhill with her Clara is desperate enough to hire the one person who might be able to break Rick out. Unfortunately that turns out to be Jake Scarberry. The mercenary who has already tried to kill Rick twice. Together they form a tentative alliance but almost every single one of the ragtag group has an ulterior motive and Rick is growing more desperate with each minute he spends incarcerated.

Agh!! This is one seriously whacked out adventure. I love the action and the twists and turns throughout the entire book. It's hard to even figure out who is a good guy and who is a bad guy. Is it possible to write a book with no hero? Nothing about this book or even whole trilogy for that matter is predictable. If you love action similar to Jason Bourne or Mitch Rapp with a darker twist than this book and this series is for you.

Be sure to start out with The Rasner Effect and Without Hesitation since this is definitely not a stand alone read.