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Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada)
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Hacker
Hacker
by Ted Dekker
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.99
22 used & new from CDN$ 9.02

3.0 out of 5 stars Great until the end, June 12 2014
This review is from: Hacker (Paperback)
From the cover to the description of the book I was hooked! The Back cover is: "My name is Nyah and I'm a hacker. I know things most people would never believe. Things that shouldn't exist, but do.

Seventeen year old Nyah Parks is a genius hacker whose world is unraveling. Deeply scarred from a horrific accident that killed her father and brother, and left her mother with irreparable brain damage, Nyah is barely holding the last shreds of her life together.Now, her mother's health is deteriorating quickly and Nyah faces the grim prospect of losing her, too. One last ditch hope exists-an experimental brain surgery that could buy her mother more time. But Nyah must scrape together enough money to pay for it before it's too late.

Desperate and with no other choice, Nyah turns her programming skills to cracking the firewalls of the world's largest corporations. She exposes their weaknesses, and then offers her services to secure their systems from hackers.

But when the most dangerous job of her life backfires and forces her to go on the run, she encounters an impossible reality that shouldn't exist, but does.

A hack unlike any other. A hack that will take her beyond the firewall of the human brain itself. A hack, which may be the only way to save her mother now.

What if there was a way to tap into the unseen reality that surrounds us all? Would you hack in? How far would you go to find the answers to your deepest questions? The answer lies deep beyond the firewall.

Tap in, strap in, and experience the mind-twisting ride with Nyah. What you find waiting on the other side of the firewall might forever change the way you see yourself and the world you live in."

But sometimes things do not go as we expect. I loved the book until the very last chapter. The pace was amazing, great action, excellent story, well written characters. But then at the last chapter, everything get's tied up too nicely and cleanly. Too perfectly it felt like a cheap ending where the author did not know where to go and just tied off all the loose ends as quickly as possible. It really felt like it did not fit with the rest of the book. And that left me very disappointed with it.

In the Afterward it walks about the loose series: "The Outlaw Chronicles consist of Eyes Wide Open, Water Walker, and Hacker. Although related through one common character, Stephen, they can be read in any order. Written in the vein of Ted's thrillers like Thr3e and Blink, these are transformational stories that take the reader on an intense ride full of twists that unravel the deep mystery or reality in ways rarely seen.

To discover the profound origin story of how Stephen came to live out of the law of darkness, read Ted's novel by the same name: Outlaw.

Read The Outlaw Chronicles if you dare-you will surely never see the world in quite the same way again."

And maybe they can be read in any order but reading this one first I am not sure I would risk the others. Overall I was disappointed, no matter how good the story was until that last chapter. This likely would not bother most readers but it bothered me a lot. And I just can't get around it.

Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn
Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn
by Greg Leitich Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 13.36
16 used & new from CDN$ 7.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully the beginning of a series!, June 10 2014
With each new book published by Greg Leitich Smith I am more impressed with his writing. This book was a great fun story. It was humorous, entertaining and a little silly, but that being said it is a book kids will love. Greg is the author of the Chronal Engine and also the two books set at the Preshtigo School in Chicago: Ninja, Piranhas, and Galileo and Tofu and T. Rex. This book set in Cocoa Beach in South Florida is a mash up of Beach culture, UFO enthusiast, and Space Flight fanatics around the Cape.

Aiden lives and works at his parent’s hotel on the Space Coast, the Mercury Inn. His best friend Louis also works at the hotel and is definitely a UFO enthusiast, who swears he saw a UFO two years ago during the accident in which he lost his leg. The Mercury Inn is known for throwing huge parties during any space launches. And Aiden and Louis have seen a lot of weird stuff working at the hotel but things have just got a whole lot weirder. An actual UFO appears during a scheduled space launch and caused life for all at the inn to get even crazier.

What young reader would not enjoy a story with aliens, UFO’s, government cover-up’s, weird scientists, exuberant media personalities, and a couple of guys just trying to figure out the lengths that friendships can go, especially if one of the new friends ends up being a little less than human. This book is a great entertaining read, humorous, quirky and full of surprises. So give it a try and see where Greg will take your imagination!

The Bloodlight Chronicles: Reconciliation
The Bloodlight Chronicles: Reconciliation
Price: CDN$ 8.76

4.0 out of 5 stars Good read should be a great series, June 4 2014
This cyber punk story set in a very different future offers much for a first novel by an author and first book in the Bloodlight Chronicles trilogy. It took a while to get into the story but once I did I was hooked and am really looking forward to the other volumes in the series. Eternal's are people who appears almost vampire like, their blood rejuvenates them, they will live longer, be healthier. But in order to become eternal you must receive the alien virus, The internet can be plugged right into with wet ware. So we have Eternals, humans, virtual space, space travel and more all in a tightly written story packed with action.

Cast of Characters:
Zakariah Davis - Eternal, v-Space guru
Mia Davis - Eternal, wife of Zak, warrior
Rix David - human, son of Zak and Mia,
Jimmy - Zak's longtime friend and associate
Niko Davis - clone of namesake, sister to Zac
Phillip Davis - Zak's estranged father, power broker
Helena Sharp - rich, Director of the Eternal Research Institute
Dr. Silus Mundazo - Head researcher at the Eternal Research Institute
Colin7 - Clone of first human to have his intellect loaded into the machine
Colin McPherson - scientist, creator of wormhole technology, see above


This story revolves around Zakariah, and his story revolves around getting an activated sample of the virus for his son Rix. There is almost no length he will not go to; to protect his son in this way. Sometimes life get's far more complicated than we ever expect or plan and that is what has happened to Zak yet again. And as we will find out a number of people have been pulling strings to get Zak to help them with their plans and use the bait of the sample for his son. Zak is now partnered with Helena Sharp and the ERI on a trip across the galaxy.

The book is well written, especially for a first novel. It is packed with action both in the physical and the virtual world. There is a little romance, and some spiritual overtures. The book is almost a mash up between Alfred Bester and Robert B. Parker. Is it a William Gibson, no, but it is close and fans of that style will definitely enjoy the read. And with two follow up book there story has numerous places it can go. While writing this review I found numerous negative reviews of the book. I was very surprised, what also surprised me was that rates for each book in the series goes up. So overall a great beginning give it a try.

Saints Alive! New Stories of Old Saints: Volume II Celtic Paths
Saints Alive! New Stories of Old Saints: Volume II Celtic Paths
Price: CDN$ 5.42

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, June 2 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was asked to write a few words about this book. I received it months before it was published and just a straight typeset. I was hooked from the first story and immediately purchased Volume I Saints of Empire and have devoured both book three times in as many months. It is an excellent read and I really hope there will be more books in the series.

As iconography is to images so hierography is to stories of the saints. Seddon has a mystical way with words; he brings you into the stories of the saints and paints such a powerful picture with his words that you find yourself there. This book was an incredible read that I know I will read again often and share with friends and family. So journey back to the 5th and 6th Century for stories of saints both famous and lesser known and maybe the stories will impact your life and your path. The chapters, the twelve stories in this volume are:

1 Sleeping Dragons (Sts Adamnan and Columba) c.690
2 The Sun on the Liffey (St. Brigid) c.500
3 Guardians (St. Senan) c.540
4 Autumn Wolves (St. Ailbe) c.500
5 Colman and the Disappearing Dinner (St. Colman) c.616
6 The Hermit King (St. Tewdrig) c.610
7 Ordeal of the Dog (St. Ruan) c.540
8 Gold of Mercury (St. Leonore) c.540
9 The Mice of Y Gaer (St. Cadoc) c.526
10 A Matter of Thrones (St. Monynna) 6th Century
11 Digits (St. Cainnech) mid 500's
12 Far Voyager (St. Brendan) early 500's

Stories built on legends but told to teach lessons. These stories will evoke powerful images and they will surprise, encourage, enlighten and challenge a reader open to the examples of the saints of old. Seddon masterfully tells these 12 stories. C.S. Lewis stated in Letters to Malcolm "Though we cannot experience our life as an endless present, we are eternal in God's eyes; that is, in our deepest reality." These stories reflect that eternal to us in new and exciting ways.

I have 4 measures for what I consider outstanding books. First do I want to share it with my children as they grow? Second will I read it again? Third do I wish for e more books in the series? And finally I cannot stop talking about it. This book meets all three and I wish there was a way to give it more than 5 stars. I would love to see what Seddon would do with saints of other ages, Damien the Leper, Edith Stein, Pope John XXIII and more, if we are lucky maybe he will!

Danger Guys (Danger Guys, 1)
Danger Guys (Danger Guys, 1)
Price: CDN$ 3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, May 26 2014
I got a review copy of this book from NetGalley. And I enjoyed this book and think it will be a good series, but having read many of Tony Aboott's newer books I was surprised by the writing. I was looking for something a little more, I cannot really describe it better than that. I was looking for writing more consistent with his more recent works. The story here just seems a little soft. I did not realize it was a reprint of earlier works until I started to review it. It is a good story and will definitely entertain young readers. I can recommend it and know it will be enjoyed.

The book is the first adventure of Zeek Pilinsky and Noodle - aka Henry Newton. They are excited because a new store is opening in the local mall "Danger Guy" with all the gear a guy could want for adventures or exploring. But before they even make it to the store opening then have a rough encounter with two big brutes, nicked named 'Mustache' and the other guy. Soon the friends realize they have ended up in a back of a truck not a back room at the supply store and their adventure really begins. They encounter famous explorers Mr. and Mrs. Emmerson and together they must save the day or be trapped in a lost temple forever.

The book comes in at 70 pages with a number of wonderful illustrations by Joanne L. Scribner. It is a fun story with a fast pace. It is a good early chapter book. So pick it up and join Zeek and Noodles on their first adventure and you will be sure to return for more.

The Desecrator: A Tor.com Original
The Desecrator: A Tor.com Original
Offered by Macmillan CA
Price: CDN$ 0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, May 15 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is another TOR.com Original short story by Steven Brust. This one is part of the Draegaran series of stories. This story is set prior to the Vlad Taltos novels. There are three characters of focus in this story. First the story is told from the perspective of Telnan who is also known as Zungaron and is a Dzurlord, or more specifically as Zungaron Lavode but that is another story. We also encounter the Hawklord Daymar, fans of the Vlad series will appreciate the younger Daymar and his interactions with both Telnan and with our third player. And finally Nightslayer, a great sword and one of the seventeen Great weapons, Daymar wakes up Nighslayer. Telnal tries to negotiate with the weapon.

Readers of Brusts other works will recall Telnan an assassin we first met in Dzur. Daymar we have encountered a number of times and it always proves interesting. Telnar is here at the bidding of Sethra Lavode and the story is his recounting events to her. Daymar is here as a desecrator, he is performing an archeological dig of sorts on an abandoned Serioli dwelling.

It is a rather humerous story some some great dialogue. However if you are unfamiliar with the Dragaran empire, and other works of Brust it could turn you off. But I believe it has a strength and typical Brust appear that will be enjoyed by all who like a good yarn.

Peacemaker
Peacemaker
Price: CDN$ 5.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read, May 15 2014
This review is from: Peacemaker (Kindle Edition)
With the number of books I read it is seldom that a book or new author takes me completely by surprise. This was one of those books. The cover grabbed my attention, it looked like a mix of old school western, and classic science fiction. The story was even better than that. It reads like a cross between Robert A Heinlein and a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western. From the first few pages I struggled to put the book down. It was an addictive read. This book contains great characters, awesome storyline and stunning attention to details.

The two main characters Virgin Jackson a local park ranger, and Nate Sixkiller a US Marshall that has been brought in and Virgin is not happy. With a murder in the park and an attempted kidnapping of Virgin the book starts at a quick pace and does not let down. The story set in Australia, Virgin's father lobbied for a preserve. But he also died in a way that Virgin does not believe the circumstances. With a cop trying to pin the first murder on her, Virgin must trust some friends for help and consult with criminal elements to get to the truth.

This was a great read. It was my first book by Marianne de Pierres and I can only say it will definitely not be the last.

Iron Man, The
Iron Man, The
by Ted Hughes
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
13 used & new from CDN$ 2.13

4.0 out of 5 stars Good story my kids love it, May 5 2014
This review is from: Iron Man, The (Paperback)
I picked up this book to read for two reasons. First the movie The Iron Giant is one of my children's favorites and they ask for it often. The second is author Matt Haig posted an article on his top 10 Robots. That got me thinking about this book and I had to track it down. I was amazed by this short novel and have since read it to my son who loved it also. The book is a story in 5 nights. The nights are:

The Coming of the Iron Man
The Return of the Iron Man
What's to be Done with the Iron Man?
The Space-Being and the Iron Man
The Iron Man's Challenge

Now to be honest the book is so different from the move, The Iron Giant, that the book took me quite by surprise. It was a very pleasant surprise. The story does have an Iron Man that no one knows where he came from, or what to do with him, and a little boy name Hogarth. But after that the stories are so different, almost like a children's version of Blade Runner vs Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. But back to the book.

The story begins with the Iron Man's arrival. He just appears strolling across the countryside. The opening chapter is very humorous, with him rolling down a cliff and the parts reassembling themselves. In the second encounter the Iron Man ears, cars, tractors and other machinery so the town's folks plan to trap him. Hogarth plays a role in this and as soon as he does he regrets it. But sometimes what we fear most is what we need most. And when the earth is attached by a space-bat-angel-dragon Hogarth believes that the Iron Man might be able to save us.

As stated earlier this is a great little book. And the best news is there is a companion volume called The Iron Woman to continue the adventure.

The Iron Man: A Story in Five Nights (FF Childrens Classics)
The Iron Man: A Story in Five Nights (FF Childrens Classics)
Price: CDN$ 6.15

4.0 out of 5 stars Good story my kids love it, May 5 2014
I picked up this book to read for two reasons. First the movie The Iron Giant is one of my children's favorites and they ask for it often. The second is author Matt Haig posted an article on his top 10 Robots. That got me thinking about this book and I had to track it down. I was amazed by this short novel and have since read it to my son who loved it also. The book is a story in 5 nights. The nights are:

The Coming of the Iron Man
The Return of the Iron Man
What's to be Done with the Iron Man?
The Space-Being and the Iron Man
The Iron Man's Challenge

Now to be honest the book is so different from the move, The Iron Giant, that the book took me quite by surprise. It was a very pleasant surprise. The story does have an Iron Man that no one knows where he came from, or what to do with him, and a little boy name Hogarth. But after that the stories are so different, almost like a children's version of Blade Runner vs Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. But back to the book.

The story begins with the Iron Man's arrival. He just appears strolling across the countryside. The opening chapter is very humorous, with him rolling down a cliff and the parts reassembling themselves. In the second encounter the Iron Man ears, cars, tractors and other machinery so the town's folks plan to trap him. Hogarth plays a role in this and as soon as he does he regrets it. But sometimes what we fear most is what we need most. And when the earth is attached by a space-bat-angel-dragon Hogarth believes that the Iron Man might be able to save us.

As stated earlier this is a great little book. And the best news is there is a companion volume called The Iron Woman to continue the adventure.

Tiassa (Vlad)
Tiassa (Vlad)
Offered by Macmillan CA
Price: CDN$ 10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Series keeps getting better, May 5 2014
This review is from: Tiassa (Vlad) (Kindle Edition)
This is the 13th novel directly in the Vlad Taltos series and when you include the Khaavren Romances and the short stories set in Dragaera there are over 20 works to date. I have been reading them since Jhereg came out in 1983 and still find them amazing stories to read. In fact Jhereg is the first book that I can recall purchasing for myself, and attribute it and Brust's writings for much of my love and enjoyment of reading. If you are not familiar with Vlad Taltos and his familiar Loiosh you are missing out on some great fun, a little bit of magic, weapons, weapons and more weapons, and an assassin with a wicked sense of humor and often a big heart. This book is written in three sections that spread across the most of the other novels and links it to characters from The Khaavren Romances. Every now and then a Vlad novel comes out that is so good, I end up going back and rereading the whole series, either in the order they were published or the Chronological order. This is one such book.

The stories in this volume focuses around a an ornate silver Tissa, "It is described as a tiny sculpture of a tiassa, all of silver, with sapphires for eyes." And also "-about the size of my palm, all of silver, except for the eyes, which appeared to be very tiny sapphires. The wings were thin, and filled with a multitude of tiny holes so the light shone through, and there were whiskers around the mouth." Yes it is a beautiful piece of artwork, it was crafted by the goddess Mafenyi and stolen by Devera, and from time to time Devera passes it on to someone who needs it for a specific purpose. It features in this story and in its history Vlad appears to be the only person who has possessed it twice. Other than Devera but she currently dances in and out of time, playing with this and that as the mood takes her.

The Second section takes place many years later. Vlad is on the run from the Jhereg. This story follows many characters but Vad is not directly involved. The Countess of Whitecress, wife to Khaavren and mother to the Viscount, and Cawti - Vlad's ex-wife and a certain hair to the throne. Again many things are not as they appear but the resolution and it's after effects are very surprising.

The third section is written by Paarfi within the story and told as a popular fiction. It follows Khaavren as both the Captain of the Phoenix Guard and leader of the Special Tasks Group. This story begins with Vlad being found nearly dead floating in the river and Khaavren must find out why, and why Vlad lied about how and where he sustained his injuries.

All in all it was a great story that filled in some pieces, tied together some different stories and characters and as always left us wanting more. Thankfully Hawk is due out soon.

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