Archive for the ‘Action-Adventure’ Category
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
Dead Lions Synopsis
London’s Slough House is where the washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what’s left of their failed careers. The “slow horses,” as they’re called, have all disgraced themselves in some way to get relegated here. Maybe they messed up an op badly and can’t be trusted any more. Maybe they got in the way of an ambitious colleague and had the rug yanked out from under them. Maybe they just got too dependent on the bottle-not unusual in this line of work. One thing they all have in common, though, is they all want to be back in the action. And most of them would do anything to get there — even if it means having to collaborate with one another.
Now the slow horses have a chance at redemption. An old Cold War-era spy is found dead on a bus outside Oxford, far from his usual haunts. The despicable, irascible Jackson Lamb is convinced Dickie Bow was murdered. As the agents dig into their fallen comrade’s circumstances, they uncover a shadowy tangle of ancient Cold War secrets that seem to lead back to a man named Alexander Popov, who is either a Soviet bogeyman or the most dangerous man in the world. How many more people will have to die to keep those secrets buried?
I was an unabashed fan of the British TV series Spooks and will admit to having enjoyed an episode or two of the slightly less cool but charming TV series New Tricks. Add to that my penchant for satire and humour on the darker side, and it seems Mick Herron’s latest novel Dead Lions was made for me.
Thursday, April 18th, 2013
The Amber Amulet Synopsis
Please find enclosed this AMBER AMULET. That must sound unusual to a citizen, but you will have to trust me on this count because the science is too detailed for me to outline here. All you need to know is that the AMBER AMULET will eliminate your unhappiness by counteracting it with POSITIVE ENERGY. This should see you straight. Fear not, you’re in safe hands now.
The Masked Avenger
Meet twelve-year-old Liam McKenzie, who patrols his suburban neighbourhood as the Masked Avenger – a superhero with powers so potent not even he can fully comprehend their extent.
Along with his sidekick, Richie the Powerbeagle, he protects the people of Franklin Street from chaos, mayhem, evil and low tyre pressure – but can he save them from sadness?
This perfect jewel of a book by the award-winning author of the 2009 Book of the Year Jasper Jones will hold all readers in its irresistible power. (Booktopia)
At only 96 pages, and only 65 minutes in the audio format I consumed it in, The Amber Amulet is the most recent literary offering from talented Aussie author Craig Silvey. Although told from a child’s perspective, the mature vocabulary and the humour and poignancy of a child’s observations will be best appreciated by an adult audience.
Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore Synopsis
A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life — mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore.
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone — and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead “checking out” impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra.
The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he’s embarked on a complex analysis of the customers’ behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what’s going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore.
With irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan has crafted a literary adventure story for the twenty-first century, evoking both the fairy-tale charm of Haruki Murakami and the enthusiastic novel-of-ideas wizardry of Neal Stephenson or a young Umberto Eco, but with a unique and feisty sensibility that’s rare to the world of literary fiction.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave, a modern-day cabinet of wonders ready to give a jolt of energy to every curious reader, no matter the time of day. (Amazon)
Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore reminds me of a cult movie classic combo – Hackers meets The Goonies – with a helping of Gen Y style thrown in.
Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
The Girl You Left Behind Synopsis
The Girl You Left Behind is a hauntingly romantic and utterly irresistible new weepy from Jojo Moyes, author of the Richard and Judy bestseller, Me Before You.
What happened to the girl you left behind?
France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre must keep her family safe whilst her adored husband Edouard fights at the front. When she is ordered to serve the German officers who descend on her hotel each evening, her home becomes riven by fierce tensions. And from the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie’s portrait – painted by Edouard – a dangerous obsession is born, which will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision.
Almost a century later, and Sophie’s portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before he died. A chance encounter reveals the painting’s true worth, and its troubled history. A history that is about to resurface and turn Liv’s life upside down all over again…
In The Girl You Left Behind two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for what they love most – whatever the cost. (Amazon)
I really enjoy Jojo Moyes‘ writing style – I have always found her characters believable, their stories compelling and her prose smooth as silk. Her latest novel The Girl You Left Behind is more of the same high quality contemporary fiction I have come to expect from Moyes. The first chapter, where we are introduced to the indomitable character Sophie Lefevre, is an absolute cracker. (more…)
Monday, February 18th, 2013
As The Lightning Comes Synopsis
This fast paced adventure is like The Bible Code meets The Chariots of the Gods. It weaves together the fascinating themes of ancient astronauts, angel visitations, hidden Bible codes and end time prophecies, with an international conspiracy thrown in.
The story follows the quest of cynical lawyer John Marshall to locate the Tree of Knowledge and then to pass on the key to it to the one called the Son of Man. Marshall unwittingly becomes the last custodian of the key when he tries to come to the rescue of an elderly Eastern wise man.
He teams up with fellow American, evangelist and one time Middle Eastern linguistic expert, Marc Arnold. Arnold ropes in the assistance of longtime friend, Kirsty Gordon, a Scottish aristocrat and archaeologist. Their quest across three continents is thwarted by dark forces apparently hell bent on grasping the key from them for an as yet unknown nefarious purpose.
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
The Best of All Possible Worlds Synopsis
Karen Lord’s debut novel, the multiple award winning Redemption in Indigo, announced the appearance of a major new talent — a strong, brilliantly innovative voice fusing Caribbean storytelling traditions and speculative fiction with subversive wit and incisive intellect.
Now Lord returns with a second novel that exceeds the promise of her first. The Best of All Possible Worlds is a stunning science fiction epic that is also a beautifully wrought, deeply moving love story.
A proud and reserved alien society finds its homeland destroyed in an unprovoked act of aggression, and the survivors have no choice but to reach out to the indigenous humanoids of their adopted world, to whom they are distantly related. They wish to preserve their cherished way of life but come to discover that in order to preserve their culture, they may have to change it forever.
Now a man and a woman from these two clashing societies must work together to save this vanishing race—and end up uncovering ancient mysteries with far-reaching ramifications. As their mission hangs in the balance, this unlikely team — one cool and cerebral, the other fiery and impulsive—just may find in each other their own destinies . . . and a force that transcends all. (Amazon)
Saturday, February 2nd, 2013
Shadow of the Wind Synopsis
Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets — an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love. (Amazon)