Solomon Creed – Simon Toyne

Solomon Creed – Simon Toyne

A friend suggested this to me, and while normally she is good with her reading suggestions she has bombed out a few times (she sneakily tries to recommend romance novels or stories with a huge romance plot even though i detest those books). For awhile there she was persistently bugging me to read “Kite Runner” to which i have absolutely no interest in reading. So i thought if i give this one a go it might get her off my back for constantly rejecting her previous suggestion. Grabbed it off her shelf and read the blurb on the back, it was enough to pique my interest so i ordered myself a copy. I’m not a big fan of borrowing books.

A lone survivor of an airplane crash in the desert, ooh i liked it already. Set in Redemption, Arizona, The setting conjured up images of the wild west and John Wayne movies. Solomon, the survivor from that plane crash has amnesia and the only thing he can recall is he feels he was suppose to come save a man. The problem is that man just died. His only other clue is a bible in his pocket, with a handwritten message to him from the man he was suppose to save.

What follows is a two pronged story, we follow Solomon as he tries to unravel who he is and why was he suppose to save a man. The other story follows the towns founder and the story of how he came to find a treasure and found the town. How are these two stories related? Many a time i have looked at a map and wondered why on earth did they build that town there. I also wonder why states have a particular border. “how the states got their shapes” was a great read filling that wonder for me. But on a smaller level this story of the towns founder fills that desire for me.

The Book bounces back and forth between the towns founder story and Solomon’s and sometimes it leaves the founders story right on a cliffhanger. Frustrating as it is, it forces you to read a few more chapters until we return to the founders story

I was really digging the story and couldn’t put it down. At one point catching the train home from work, I was so engrossed in the story i hadn’t realized the train i was on had terminated and was sitting at the station for a good 15 minutes (i later determined) before i had noticed.

All was well until as the plot began to reveal itself to the reader in popped something paranormal. I didn’t even notice it at first and then after a moment i click and went back and re read that part, nope that wasn’t some poor description it was a paranormal object. trying to avoid spoilers here. It was so casually put it there, as if to say so what it happens all the time no big deal. i re read the books genres on Goodreads, fiction, mystery,thriller,crime. Yep no paranormal.

So i just dismissed it as a Macguffen to help along the plot but then as it neared the end, in pops another one. Hmm, i finished the book and while the plots wrapped up nicely i was still a little  bothered about the *insert paranormal object* There is an Epilogue and in it there is a bit of character development that throws a spanner into everything which would well and truly shift this book from thriller,mystery,crime deep into fantasy

It is suppose to be the first in a series of books but i’m yet to determine if i will look out for the second one as this book just really didn’t meet my expectations

 

 

 

 

 

What If? – Randall Munroe

What If? – Randall Munroe

Man this is one hilarious book, it is a collection of answers to absurd and weird hypothetical questions he has been sent via his website for his comic strip. Having a degree in physics and previously working for NASA before leaving  to work on his XKCD comic strip full time leaves Randall in a unique position to answer these questions

There is an assortment of hilarious hypothetical questions such as

  • what would happen if the entire human population met at one place and then jumped all at the same time
  • From what height would you need to drop a steak for it to be cooked when it hits the ground
  • Is it possible to build a jet pack using downward firing machine gun
  • If a ten metre wide drain opened at the bottom of the ocean how long would it take to drain all the oceans

There are many more hilarious questions many of which he adds his signature stick figure drawing too. He takes the time to detail his research into these questions and walks the reader through the process to find the answer.

Good for a laugh and an informative read, best of both worlds!

 

 

 

The Pharaoh’s Secret – Clive Cussler

The Pharaoh’s Secret – Clive Cussler
There is something to be said about the excitement you feel when you hear one of your favourite authors is releasing a new book. Clive does have several different series going and i am a fan of and only read 2 of these series so far. As a result, for the last few years anytime he releases a new one, I’ve got it day one.
So when i saw a post on his Facebook page of the new book coming soon, i was straight to Bookdepository.com to pre-order it.
While many of his stories have similar themes (they are action stories after all) i do still enjoy them. This book was no exception. In this story the bad guy has found a way to hold several North African governments hostage and primed for a coup, allow his less than scrupulous friends to take over. well that’s his plan anyway. Fortunately our heroes accidentally get drawn in and prevent it.These books are much like James bond movies, Most feature a new baddie doing what baddies do and our hero saves the day.
I always do like how clive includes a little bit of history into all his stories. Another great read by clive and keen for the next one

Bad Astronomy – Philip Plait

Bad Astronomy – Philip Plait
This was an interesting book, i actually got it because while i have quite a passion for Astronomy it gets rather repetitive during conversations having to constantly debunk silly ideas people have about Astronomy. Ideas such as is their sound in space? to the most infuriating, confusing it with the ridiculous hogwash that is Astrology.   I thought if i could find a book that answered all these i could just give them out.
Turns out (obviously) its much more fun to share knowledge and talk to people and debunk silly or misleading ideas than to simply hand over a book. Nothing to do with the fact there are people who simply just don’t like reading – a concept i just cant fathom. Interesting point i noticed was that many of the people who don’t read are also the ones who believe in Astrology
But this book does serve a purpose. It has a wonderful collection of ideas and misleading things popular culture has about science. From bad science in movies featuring explosions and sounds in space and lasers that can be seen and dodged once fired . To dispelling rumours about why the moon looks bigger on the horizon or what causes the tides.
Its a great quick reference guide to helping understand the reality behind some situations.  While anyone with a science background will already understand the reasons behind most of the issues, like why is the sky blue, Does water really spin opposite directions when draining in different hemispheres, Did the moon landings actually happen and why astrology is complete hogwash. There are a few unique surprises in there such as my favourite. The optical illusion of the moon looking bigger when its near the horizon, actually disappears and it looks normal when you bend over and view it between your legs. I so have to try this!!!
It is definitely a book for all types, a fun and yet informative read.