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Ronald W. Maron "pilgrim" (Nova Scotia)
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CyberStorm
CyberStorm
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers CA
Price: CDN$ 11.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Every 'bump' that your mind has conjured up.............., Jan. 25 2015
This review is from: CyberStorm (Kindle Edition)
have had an extensive list of all the irrational and improbable things that may occur to cause the lights of planet Earth go out for the last time. And, being the 'adventure filled' author, he is included nearly everyone of these potential catastrophes in this dark tale, from head lice to cannibalism! And, he had them all occur within a fictional 36 day period!

In his defense Mr. Mather is a very fluid writer as he moves from one situation to another and, as stated earlier, his writing should appeal to the paranoid reading public whose numbers swell each day. His characterizations, however, are flat and incomplete and leave us with a diffuse understanding of who the characters are and who they were meant to represent. I, on the other hand, find dystopic tales that have a moralistic base and/or can teach us something about our present living situation to be much more engrossing................

The Bone Clocks: A Novel
The Bone Clocks: A Novel
Offered by Random House Canada, Incorp.
Price: CDN$ 4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It is difficult to believe that this is the same author who wrote 'Cloud Atlas'......, Jan. 17 2015
After reading and viewing 'Cloud Atlas' I felt that I had found an author who could dissect the three dimensional world from the metaphysical and then put the pieces back together in a cogent and gripping manner. Boy, was I wrong! Mr. Mitchell, once again, proves the theory that most persons have only one single good novel in their grasp and all their other attempts at writing are mere exercises in eye-hand coordination. After dragging us through a ghastly, boring series of individual lives over a four decade period of time the author thrusts us into the main focus of his novel; an unimaginable conflict between two warring spiritual factions. Other reviewers have likened this to a 'comic book treatment' camouflaged in the form of a formal novel. I, however, see it as a childish attempt to mimic Greek or ancient Hebrew mythology which is a waste of both the author's and reader's time. It is too late for me to apply for a refund for this travesty and I will never be able to retrieve the gruesome hours of my life wading through this adolescent treatment of what could have been an intriguing topic...................

The Theta Timeline
The Theta Timeline
Price: CDN$ 4.55

2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly disappointing..............., Dec 31 2014
Having read this author's previous works I was looking forward to another imaginative and thought provoking novel. Mr. Dietzel's concept of a dystopian future is well thought out and nearly parallels Orwell's world of George Winston. The political power hungry world has taken control and citizen's rights are being constantly stripped through the processes of both propagandizing and fear mongering. Those who resist are quietly imprisoned or simply eliminated. Unlike '1984', however, the author developed a unique manner in which this oppressive situation can be changed and made right once again; time travel. By sending someone back in time they can then influence and/or undo the factors that led to this oppressive takeover and restore society to the democratic system that it once was. I, like other readers, at this point anticipated our hero to be thrust back 50-60 years and, by doing so, could squelch the takeover before it engrossed all of society. I was sadly wrong and this is where the novel became 'extremely disappointing'!

Instead of having the hero return to a time where his actions could have influenced the change, he is transported 200 years earlier into a primitive and uninformed world of spears, mud huts and wilderness! There is nothing that can be done in this era to change anything in the future! In addition to that, and even more disturbing, a rebel assassin attaches himself to our hero at the point of time travel departure and goes back the 200 years with our hero. So instead of being able to do something constructive in changing the governmental structure, our hero spends page after page after page running from and avoiding the enemy who came back with him. And most disturbing is that our hero allows 4 separate towns to be totally destroyed and its peoples slaughtered without taking any responsibility for the fact that it was his initial actions that caused this maniac to come back with him and to thrust himself on an ancient and helpless world. All he does is to run, escape and then run some more. As the novel ends we find our hero fleeing to France never knowing what, if anything, he can or will attempt to do. And, of course, the assassin is once again free to come after him.

We are initially tempted with an imaginative and oppressive society wherein the author offers an idea of how to revert it back to its democratic principles. And then we are given a bath in ice water by the same author as he turns this scenario into a simple 'bad guy chasing a useless good guy' pseudo-drama that offers no real solution nor even a pleasurable reading experience.....................

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel
All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel
Offered by Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
Price: CDN$ 11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In spite of all else, our spirit goes on................., Dec 14 2014
Congratulations Mr. Doerr for you have written, by far, the most captivating and neo-classical novel that I have read in the past decades. The numerous layers of your storytelling allows readers of varying abilities to gain as much as they can comprehend and savor it nonetheless. While most will stop at the fact that the title of the book is a parallel reflection on our blind heroine, there is more, much more to be gained through a concerted effort on the part of, you, the reader in this book of prose poetry.

Let us start with the storyline and title itself. Yes, the heroine, Marie-Laure, is blind and physically cannot visualize anything of the outside world. But, that being said, she has a deeper understanding of the reality that surrounds her than most could ever comprehend. The hero of the story, Werner, while having sight cannot see nor visualize that which is most important to him; the radio waves that surround him and everything else.

Another layer of this story is actually the subplot itself; the quest and importance of the the fire diamond. It is quite evident that the German officer believes in the superstition of eternal life that surrounds it but there are other characters who are caught up in its false importance. The museum itself endangers the lives of four people in order to protect its actual location and the father of Marie-Laure actually endangers his life to its fullest extent by making a feign attempt to travel back to Paris during the German siege.

The people that surround Marie-Laure and Werner expose another level. No, they cannot fully comprehend why these two persons are different from the norm nor why they have an aura of wisdom and emanate like ‘old souls’ but they do comprehend that a difference exists. Werner’s giant of a guardian returns his back pack to his sister, Jutta, many decades after the close of WWII, because he realizes that Werner’s possessions belong to his family and not to a simple soldier. Jutta, as a child, was fully aware of the multidimensional reality as shown by her insistence that Werner not join the Hitler Youth propaganda machine but through the years and horrendous physical neglect and abuse choose to shut this part of her awareness down and, therefore, make attempts at living a ‘normal life’. The return of the back pack, in the end, jostles her memories as she is left sitting through the night staring and thinking into ‘empty’ space.

The war itself, while showing man’s inhumanity to man, brings the foolishness of our asinine definition of ‘what is ‘life’ into clear focus. We strive, we argue, we fight and then we kill one another over things that universally are nonsensical; Who controls a territory? Who has possession of certain art work? Why are other races less than the one we have chosen to be superior?

Lastly, and most importantly, the full meaning of the title of “All the Light We Cannot See” is revealed as Marie-Laure sits with her grandchild at book’s end and reflects on her life that passed by so quickly. As she reflects on the electromagnetic waves that surround and encircle us each day she parallels the electronic devise that her grandchild plays with to the radio waves that enthralled Werner and others many decades ago and then realizes that............”...is it so hard to believe that souls might also travel those paths? That her father and Etienne and Madame Manec and the German boy named Warner Pfenning might harry the sky in flocks, like egrets, like terns, like starlings? That great shuttles of souls might fly about, faded but audible if you listen closely enough?” Thus the full definition of the title and, thus, we realize ‘that which we cannot see’. In conclusion, instead of pursuing diamonds, money and treasures, instead of listening to nationalized propaganda, instead of going to war and destroying other people’s lives or instead of any of the mundane, mindless and meaningless things we choose to pursue, why don’t we pursue ‘that which we cannot see’, to listen to “that which is faded but audible”. Eternity holds the ultimate meaning of life within itself, whereas the few decades we strut and fret upon this Earth does not..........

The Day it Rained Forever
The Day it Rained Forever
by Ray Bradbury
Edition: Paperback
9 used & new from CDN$ 1.79

3.0 out of 5 stars Even diamonds occasionally have flaws............., Nov. 24 2014
I have been, and will always be, a huge supporter of Ray Bradbury and his great imagination. This short story collection, however, leaves much to be desired. It was almost as if all the good to great Bradbury masterpieces were included in other collections and these were the ones that were, simply put, 'left over'. All of them rated only 'fair' or 'simply readable' ratings. This is not what we have come to expect from the narrative master of other volumes.............

Synchronic: 13 Tales of Time Travel
Synchronic: 13 Tales of Time Travel

4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection written by novice authors............., Nov. 14 2014
Like most of the other aspects of our lives, we have good times that occur with an occasional 'prat fall'. The same can be said of this collection. At least ten of the stories are not only excellent short stories but offer a unique twist to the age-old theme of time travel. But, that being said, a couple of the tales fell very flat. I commend all of the authors for their fortitude in these writings and highly recommend this purchase for persons who seek finding out what happens when you put new wine put into the old wine skin called 'time travel'. Good reading!

Insurgent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 2)
Insurgent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 2)
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers CA
Price: CDN$ 11.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Coming of Age in Dystopia II, Nov. 7 2014
This is a moderately good adventure story written mainly for the young adult reader. It is dystopic in nature and views the existing world through five distinct life patterns, each one believing that their philosophy is both peaceful and inclusive. The twist of the story, however, is that each of these modes of living, taken to their extremes, are just the opposite; they become war-like and exclusive to the needs of others. While I view this as an excellent starting point for youths who are beginning to sort out which direction they wish their lives to move towards, the characters, themselves, are a bit too young and immature for a mature and adult reader.

Divergent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 1)
Divergent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 1)
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers CA
Price: CDN$ 11.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Coming of age in Dystopia............, Oct. 29 2014
This is a moderately good adventure story written mainly for the young adult reader. It is dystopic in nature and views the existing world through five distinct life patterns, each one believing that their philosophy is both peaceful and inclusive. The twist of the story, however, is that each of these modes of living, taken to their extremes, are just the opposite; they become war-like and exclusive to the needs of others. While I view this as an excellent starting point for youths who are beginning to sort out which direction they wish their lives to move towards, the characters, themselves, are a bit too young and immature for a mature and adult reader.

The Hauntings of Playing God (The Great De-evolution)
The Hauntings of Playing God (The Great De-evolution)
Price: CDN$ 4.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The questions that we constantly ponder but can never answer....., Oct. 13 2014
The author, Chris Dietzel, not only asks the questions that we all should be asking ourselves and does so in a capturing yet gentle manner. Who are we? Why are we here? Is there a God and, if so, why is life so cruel? Is this single life I am living all that I will experience? I highly recommend this book for everyone who has ventured beyond the day-to-day mechanics of mere survival and peered into the realm of philosophical reality, spiritual potential or the overwhelming vacuum of oblivion.....

Gone Girl: A Novel
Gone Girl: A Novel
Offered by Random House Canada, Incorp.
Price: CDN$ 12.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very readable but highly unbelievable............., Oct. 4 2014
While I am quite hesitant in posting any negative comments about a fictional novel that is receiving the accolades the 'Gone Girl' is gathering, out of good conscience I must do so. I will not disclose the thrust of the novel, but I must warn readers that a 'partial spoiler alert' is issued.

-Having worked in Mental Health for most of my career sociopathic persons are not the common element that this book supposes it to be. Furthermore, those who are diagnosed as such an affliction attain these characteristics from both their genetic makeup and the environment that they were reared in. While Amy's parents are less than desirable neither of them showed any sociopathic traits themselves nor would have created an environment where such traits would be reinforced. So the entrapment of such a personality in Amy's psyche is quite impossible.
- Although it is admirable to think that a homicide detective would continue to work on a case long after it apparent resolve, such is not the case. Police establishments are not terribly democratic, operate with tight budgets and if a supervisor had determined that a case was 'closed', there would be no more work done by anyone regardless of their individual feelings regarding the finality of the decision.
- Amy not only is projected as being sociopathic but also as being highly controlling and brilliant at the same instance. The year long plotting of the her disappearance is evident of that. What troubled me was the fact that she did not project the possibility of her money being stolen! This should have been #1 on her agenda; Have enough money to support herself for at least 5 years and have it in a place where it is safe from everyone but herself. Opening up to 'hillbilly strangers' would never have occurred.
- While Gillian Flynn is an excellent story teller, even though the story line in itself is somewhat unbelievable, she does so in a manner that is an easy read and quite griping. To be a good author, however, requires more than this. A good author creates poetic prose that is filled with symbolic analogies and breath-taking descriptions. You are thrust through the novel not only because the plot drives you onward but because you have become addicted to the writing flourishes.

My conclusion is that this will continue to be a well read novel and equally viewed movie. It is not without its flaws and bruises, however...............

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