Wednesday, April 28, 2021

In the Event of Contact

In the Event of Contact by Ethel Rohan
5/18/21; 192 pages
Dzanc Books

In the Event of Contact by Ethel Rohan is a very highly recommended collection of fourteen short stories. All of the stories focus on Irish characters who are lonely, vulnerable, different, and feel isolated and disassociated from other people. The writing captures the insecurity and alienation of the characters and their struggles with an ordinary life, in all of its complications and uncertainties. Rohan's stories also explore interpersonal and familiar relationships that can be fraught with emotions and repressed sentiments. The tone is quiet and somber in these short stories. The writing is exceptional and beautifully captures the story of these lives in all their subtleties and complexities.

contents include:
In the Event of Contact: A girl has a disorder where she experiences seizures if anyone accidentally touches her.
Into the West: A man, who is following the example of unfaithfulness his father set, has his complaining mother visit.
Everywhere She Went: A woman is still affected by the disappearance of her best friend when they were children.
Rare, But Not Impossible: A visit home for a friend's wedding stresses out a woman who does not want children.
UNWANTED: A teen who loves to read wants to be the next Sherlock Holmes.
Collisions: Two long time female friends have a night out.
At the Side of the Road: A young woman sells produce at a stand for the summer and wonders what she will do next.
Blindsided: A grouchy male crossing guard gets hit by a truck and hires a woman to help his recovery at home.
Before Storms Had Names: A farm family takes in a lodger and the son, Rory, is smitten. 
Blue Hot: A 17 year-old young woman dates an 18 year-old man who beat up some other teens on their first date.
Wilde: A woman has Oscar Wilde become her invisible companion.
F Is for Something: A priest with dementia is being forced to retire.
Any Wonder Left: Sister's clean out their father's house after his death and one of them finds help getting trash to the dump.
The Great Blue Open: A woman is experiencing a woman's health problem and needs a medical diagnoses.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Dzanc Books in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Plot

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
5/11/21; 336 pages
Celadon Books

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz is a highly recommended novel of psychological suspense.

Jacob (Jake) Finch Bonner is a writer who has had one well received first book and that has been it for years. He teaches creative writing at a third-rate low-residency MFA program at Ripley College in Vermont. His self esteem and self-respect are low and he really hasn't written anything for years. When an arrogant student, Evan Parker, claims he needs no help writing because his novel is so unique it will be a best seller, Jake doubts this until Evan tells him the plot of his novel. Jake spends several years bracing himself for the publication of Parker's novel - which never comes. He looks into it and discovers that Evan has died and never finished his book. Jake decides to write the novel himself and it is published to critical acclaimed and becomes a phenomenal bestseller.

Jake is now wealthy and a lauded novelist for the novel Crib. He is traveling on a book tour and speaking to packed crowds when he receives an email saying, "You are a thief." Concerned and increasingly suspicious that Evan told someone else about the novel he was writing before he died, Jake begins to look into Evan's life. It is clear that Evan told no one about his novel. It is also clear that Evan's plot wasn't his idea, he actually took it from someone's life story. As the emails and accusations slowly ramp up, Jake becomes increasingly desperate and paranoid

The narrative follows Jake's story with excerpts from chapters in his book Crib interspersed, which gives the reader an idea of the plot of the novel Jake wrote based on the plot Evan told him. Korelitz leaves enough clues that it is possible for astute readers to figure out what is going on. This reader was not shocked by the twist. I knew who was threatening Jake as soon as it was possible to figure it out. That is not to say that the journey reaching the big final denouement wasn't worth it, but it wasn't a shocking twist. It's also surprisingly, for a novel about a unique plot, not a unique plot.

The story of The Plot starts slowly and Jake is a commonplace character at the start as his struggles as a writer and his self-doubt is established. This is contrasted later with his success after Crib is published. He becomes more interesting at the point because that is when the guilt over the purloined plot enters the picture. Basically, The Plot is much more compelling in the second half of the narrative, after he marries and is filled with tension. Jake is a sympathetic character, but not very distinctive, and comes off as a conventional caricature of a man filled with guilt over his actions.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Celadon Books in exchange for my honest opinion

Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Final Twist

The Final Twist by Jeffery Deaver
5/11/21; 416 pages
Penguin Publishing Group
Colter Shaw Series #3

The Final Twist by Jeffery Deaver is a highly recommended thriller and the third novel featuring Colter Shaw.

Colter, a professional seeker of missing people for the reward money, finds himself in San Francisco. He is following clues his father left in his search for the missing courier bag containing evidence that will bring down BlackBridge Corporate Solutions, a firm responsible for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of deaths. While searching he knows he is being followed by operatives that are Blackbridge enforcers who are out to kill him. Shockingly a figure from his past surfaces, his estranged older brother, Russell, who has a team of his own. They work together to take down Blackbridge and save a family who is slated to die. If that isn't enough, Colter also begins searching for missing person Tessy Vasquez for her mother, Maria.

The first two novels featuring Colter Shaw are The Never Game and The Goodbye Man. Unfortunately, I haven't read either of these novels but that didn't curtail my enjoyment of The Final Twist. There is enough background information provided that you can follow the action and have all the background information you need. The action is non-stop and there are plenty of deceiving clues and twists to keep you glued to the pages in order to keep track of everything going on and try to figure out what exactly is going on. This is a complicated thriller full of action, mystery, and danger. It is a well-written thriller that you will be hard press to put down.

Colter is a well-developed character. Even without reading the first two books, I felt I had a good handle on who he is, his background, and what is important to him. Throughout the novel are words of wisdom his father imparted to his children. Some of these lessons and admonitions are surprising, but not in relationship to Colter's upbringing and they had a profound effect on his character and how he thinks and views the world.

All in all this is good escapism and an exciting thriller that will make the time fly by while reading.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest opinion.


Aftermath by Terri Blackstock
5/11/21; 336 pages
Thomas Nelson

Aftermath by Terri Blackstock is a highly recommended novel of suspense.

Three friends are attending a concert and political rally in Atlanta when a bomb explodes at the venue. Only one young woman, Taylor Reid, makes it out alive. A short time later Army veteran Dustin Webb is pulled over by the police on a nearby highway. They had a tip and a warrant on the way to search his trunk. Dustin allows them to search it, knowing there is nothing incriminating inside. He is shocked when they discover four boxes of explosives. Someone planted the boxes and is setting Dustin up. To make matters more incriminating, Dustin had installed the security system at an ammunition plant where explosives were recently stolen.

Dustin contacts criminal attorney Jamie Powell. They were neighbors and friends as children but haven't spoken for years. Jamie always wondered what happen to Dustin. Knowing him, she takes on his case and sets out to try and figure out who is framing Dustin and why. Meanwhile, Taylor is struggling with her OCD and trying to make sense of why her friends died. She wants revenge for her friends. She learns from the news that Dustin is a suspect and begins stalking him.

While the writing is very good and the suspense is kept high as far as the action and details are concerned, the actual plot and perpetrator is predictable. This doesn't mean the journey arriving at the denouement isn't worth the time, it is very entertaining and suspenseful following all the revelations getting to the ending. The real plus is that Blackstock writes novels of suspense featuring faith-based characters. They struggle with life in a realistic way, facing emotional turmoil and grim situations without resorting to expletives. The character development helps make this novel worth the time as Blackstock delves into the background of Dustin and Jamie with flashbacks to how they met and their relationship growing up. Both the characters of Dustin and Jamie are interesting and you will wish the best for them. The only real unpredictable actions are from Taylor.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions in this review are completely my own. 

Friday, April 23, 2021

National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky, 2nd Edition

National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky, 2nd Edition
by Andrew Fazekas, Howard Schneider
3/19/19; 288 pages

It is time to start star gazing as warmer weather approaches in my location and the 2nd edition of the National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky by Andrew Fazekas and Howard Schneider is a very highly recommended perfect companion to this pursuit. This updated guide is user friendly and well organized to aide the novice in learning about the night time sky. (Since my current guide was a much earlier edition, any update is an improvement because of the many advances in telescopes, photography, and knowledge.)

The National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky, 2nd Edition, is well organized, especially for educational purposes. It starts with the basics and gives the reader simple tasks, studying the phases of the moon, tracking the motion of the stars and planets over weeks, and learning to recognize some of the brightest constellations. This sets a foundation for future sky watching. There is also a wonderful opening illustration on Sizing up the Galaxy, which will help set the scope of the nighttime sky. Take note of the use of your hand to find your way while observing the sky. This is a great idea for beginners, especially children. Even more than that, before we even get into space, there is information on our atmosphere and tricks of light that many people have observed, like a green flash, light pillars, halos, sundogs, auroras, noctilucent clouds, and sprites, for example. There are techniques presented for making the most of viewing eclipses and meteor showers. Then there is information about the more esoteric phenomena such as black holes and supernovas.

Chapters are logically organized into:  Discovering Starry Skies; The Atmosphere; The Sun; The Moon; The Planets; Comets & Meteors; Beyond The Solar System; Beyond The Milky Way; Navigating The Night Sky; Sky Charts; Viewing The Naked-Eye Planets; Further Resources and an index. Since it is a National Geographic guide, expect beautiful photographs and illustrations, charts and graphics. There are also a plethora of tips and techniques to assist in viewing the night sky with your naked eyes, binoculars, or a telescope. Since we are closely related to someone who lives out away from light pollution and has the perfect place for viewing the night sky, this is going to be a well used guide.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of National Geographic in exchange for my honest opinion for TLC Book Tours.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Project Hail Mary

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
5/4/21; 496 pages
Penguin Random House

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir is a very, very highly recommended saving-the-world science fiction story. I love, love, love this novel and, in turn, Andy Weir for writing Project Hail Mary (and The Martian, and Artemis, which I enjoyed). After I read The Martian, I personally told everyone to buy it and read it, and I will do the same for Project Hail Mary. This will definitely be on my list of best books of 2021. I may even, gulp, love it more than The Martian, which is still way-up-there on my best books ever list.

Ryland Grace wakes up on a spaceship not knowing where he is, who he is, or what he is supposed to be doing while a computer is asking him what is 2+2. It becomes clear, after some time, that he is the sole survivor, and the task set before him is impossible. His task is to solve a mystery in order to save the Earth from an extinction-level event. Slowly Grace remembers that he was a junior high school science teacher. He also remembers that astrophage, a microscopic alien organism, is somehow eating the energy from the sun, causing it to dim, which will eventually lead to a new ice age on Earth in a few decades. Scientists have determined that all the other stars nearby seem to be suffering with the same affliction with the exception of Tau Ceti. The ship, named Hail Mary, has the task of identifying why Tau Ceti is immune and hopefully saving the Earth.  Before he taught junior high, he was a molecular biologist, but why would he, out of so many better candidates, be chosen to be on the task force studying the astrophage and then chosen be on this mission, which is a suicide mission with no way to return to Earth?

The un-put-downable, extraordinary, riveting narrative alternates between chapters following Grace in the present day on the Hail Mary with chapters of Grace remembering what happened before he woke up on the ship. Information about his past and the present is carefully disclosed and new facts are discovered as the plot unfolds. There is humor in the narrative; I experienced several laugh-out-loud moments while reading. Ryland Grace is an imminently likeable character. He is channeling McGyver, although not quite as much as Mark Watney did, as he figures out what to do. It becomes even more interesting when he discovers an alien spaceship near his ship that is on the same mission he is.

Naturally there is plenty of science and scientific speculation in Project Hail Mary. Yes, this is an outstanding science fiction survival tale, but it is also a story about friendship. Expect several plot twists, nail-biting suspense, jaw dropping moments, relentless tension, emotional reactions, and heart-stopping events in this perfectly paced novel. The final denouement is perfect, absolutely, positively perfect. It needs to be said again that I love Project Hail Mary. It is a phenomenal, remarkable science fiction novel that is sure to become a classic.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest opinion.


Oracle by Julie Anderson
5/5/21; 286 pages
Claret Press
Cassie Fortune #2

Oracle by Julie Anderson is a recommended murder mystery and the second novel featuring Cassie Fortune, following Plague (2020).

It has been two months since the events that occurred in Plague. Cassie is still reeling from those events and trying to recover emotionally. In Oracle Cassie has been sent to Delphi, Greece where she is representing the Prime Minister of the UK and is scheduled to give a presentation on tax policy. Her real purpose for attending is to secure a future meeting in London between a Greek government minister and the Prime Minister. The center where the conference is being held on the slopes of Mount Parnassus near the ruins of the Temple of Apollo. Helena, Cassie's interpreter, meets her at the center and the two work well together. Quickly, the narrative introduces clues even before the first murder happens and Cassie is asked to help with the investigation.

At this point the novel takes on the task of melding the tried and true plot device found in Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express with Classical mythology. Storms hit the conference center and phone lines are down. They are all isolated and the weather along with the terrain make investigating difficult. Basics of Classical Mythology are introduced in a visit to the Delphi Temple (so you won't need to refresh your memory). Complicating the plot are environmental protesters, the uncooperative and secretive way those involved in the investigation are behaving, the history of authoritarianism and justice in the area, and the group Golden Dawn.

Cassie is an interesting character and has to overcome a language barrier as well as cultural differences in her investigation. Admittedly, I still have not connected with her as a character after two novels, but I was able to overlook my qualms and enjoy the narrative. The action moves along at a quick pace with clues being provided almost right from the start. Classical Mythology has been a long time personal interest and I enjoyed the introduction of elements from mythology into the plot. I also liked the use of the plot device of isolating the characters. Some suspension of disbelief is, again, required as you follow Cassie's involvement in the investigation. Intermixed in the plot are current social and political concerns the author holds.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Claret Press in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Thirty-One Bones

Thirty-One Bones by Morgan Cry
5/18/21; 312 pages
Arcade Crimewise

Thirty-One Bones by Morgan Cry (pseudonym for author Gordon Brown) is a highly recommended mystery.

Daniella Coulstoun travels to El Descaro on Spain Mediterranean coast to bury her deceased mother, Effie. The two have had a distant relationship for twenty years so Daniella has little knowledge or information about her mother's life in Spain. She knows Effie left Scotland when Daniella was sixteen to move to Spain where she owned and ran a pub, Se Busca. Se Busca was patronized by British expats and certain criminals, and apparently Effie was the leader of the group of misfits who called themselves Expatriots. What Daniella didn't know was that the ExPatriots had a money making scam going on and had conned would-be-investors out of 1.3 million euros. The money was to be divided between members of the group to give them a new start in life. Now Effie is dead and no one knows where the money went.

As soon as Daniella arrives in Spain, her mother's friend and ex-lawyer, George Laidlaw, is surly and confrontational with Daniella. He wants to know where the money is and he is holding Daniella culpable for recovering it, under a threat of violence. Daniella, of course, has no idea what he is talking about so she must uncover not only what he is talking about but try to figure out where her mother, whom she didn't have a close relationship with, would have hidden the money. Threats and cons seem to be coming from all sides and Daniella quickly realizes she can't really trust anyone and she must rely on her own wits to find the cash.

This crime novel is really more of a madcap scramble of uncovering clues and fraud while facing lunacy and threatening physical intimidation. Thirty-One Bones is surprising lighthearted and humorous at times, even when physical violence seems an obvious conclusion to Daniella's search for the truth - as when she is threatened with having thirty-one bones broken if she doesn't provide the information sought. Daniella is a well-written character and likeable, so readers will hope she uncovers the truth, while also, maybe finding a new place for herself in El Descaro. Cry (Brown) does a credible job writing this novel through Daniella's point-of-view.

The writing is excellent. The chapters mainly focus on Daniella's search. In-between these chapters are brief excerpts of a police interview of the various players in the con. Humorously, these chapters all end with someone replying to a question, "It's complicated." The plot starts out at an even pace and picks up speed as Daniella's investigation begins to follow clues and uncovers new information. The ending wraps everything up neatly, almost too neatly, but it seems appropriate for this clever novel of misfits in the sun.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Simon & Schuster in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Lost Immunity

Lost Immunity by Daniel Kalla
5/4/21; 352 pages
Simon & Schuster

Lost Immunity by Daniel Kalla is a recommended medical thriller.

Lisa Dyer, Seattle’s chief public health officer, is suddenly facing a deadly outbreak of meningitis. The same strain broke out in Iceland six months earlier, with devastating losses. This outbreak explicitly emerged at a nearby camp and the virulent strain of bacteria is now infecting teens and children. Due to the Icelandic outbreak, a pharmaceutical company immediately began work on developing a vaccine and is currently commencing final-phase trials on it. Lisa contacts Nathan Hull, vice president of the pharmaceutical company that developed the new vaccine, and requests doses of it to release to Seattle's citizens in order to stop the meningitis outbreak and save lives. This decision is met with resistance from several fronts and tension increases when people who have been treated begin dying. Lisa must find out why the initial success is now resulting in fatalities.

Kalla is a well-respected writer of medical thrillers and, as a working ER Physician, he has insight into into the medical community that provide a realism to his novels. In Lost Immunity, Kalla takes observations from the current health crisis and applies his observations to a bacterial outbreak of meningitis instead of a viral outbreak. Controversy surrounding vaccines plays a major role in the plot. The believable plot moves along at a brisk pace, keeping the tension high and instilling a palpable interest in the outcome. In some ways this almost mirrors reality too closely.

My qualms about the book are two fold. Lisa wasn't a compelling protagonist for me and it was a challenge to overlook certain aspects of her personality. Secondly, keeping this wording spoiler free, I knew the antagonist almost from the start and what would be a major emotional plot point. So, this is a recommended medical thriller for the fast-paced plot, but parts of the narrative will be very predictable for many readers. It must also be said that I do look forward to Daniel Kalla's next book.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Simon & Schuster in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

The Last Thing He Told Me

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
5/4/21; 320 pages
Simon & Schuster

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave is a highly recommended domestic thriller.

Hannah Hall and Owen Michaels have been married for one year and they are happily living on a houseboat in Sausalito with Owen's sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. When Hannah receives a note from Owen saying simply "Protect her," Hannah knows that something is wrong because Owen is devoted to his daughter and he is not answering his phone. Owen is a coder at The Shop, a tech firm, and Hannah hears on the news that his boss has just been arrested by the FBI. When Bailey finds a bag full of cash that Owen left in her locker at school, the two are even more flummoxed. Hannah and Bailey have had a rocky relationship, understandable for a new stepmother and a teenager, but they know Owen is a good man and they need to work together to find out what happened.

When a US marshal and later federal agents arrive at their home, Hannah knows that something is seriously wrong. The US Marshall says Owen is not a suspect in the FBI investigation and he just wants to know Owen's whereabouts. She doesn't know who she can trust, so she contacts an old friend, a lawyer, who discovers that Owen isn't who he said he was. It is obvious that Hannah must try to work with Bailey to uncover what exactly is going on and who Owen - and Bailey - really are.

Hannah is a well developed character while Bailey is less developed and portrayed more as a stereotypical teen with an attitude. They both have some advancement in their character development. Seeing Hannah and Bailey work together, learn to trust each other, and form an honest connection helps keep the plot interesting, especially when Bailey's early childhood memories lead them to Texas.

The Last Thing He Told Me is well-written, although a little uneven in some sections. Chapters in the narrative follow the present day search for the truth and alternating chapters offer glimpses into the past relationship between Owen and Hannah. The past chapters provide insight into the current situation as well as providing some clues for Hannah and Bailey to follow. Hannah as a novice investigator is a bit less believable and the final denouement is a little improbable, but the lead up to it helps make it all work together to create an enjoyable novel with a touching final scene. This is a satisfying and effective domestic thriller that will hold your attention throughout.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Simon & Schuster in exchange for my honest opinion.

No Going Back

No Going Back by T.R. Ragan
5/4/21; 288 pages
Thomas & Mercer
Sawyer Brooks Series #3

No Going Back by T.R. Ragan is a highly recommended thriller and the third book in the Sawyer Brooks series.

Sawyer has been covering the female vigilantes dubbed The Black Wigs, but now it appears that there are copycats out there dispensing their own extreme and fatal justice to sexual predators and capturing their fear to share on social media. The police think that these copycat vigilantes are related to The Black Wigs group of women, The Crew, and their actions, but Sawyer is positive it is a new person and she sets out to uncover who is behind the crimes. Her investigation leads her to nefarious bullying by a group at a Sacramento children’s home and a gang rape at a fraternity party.

It was very enjoyable to return to Sawyer Brooks and her investigative journalism, setting aside the dark, disturbing content that leads to her investigations. Admittedly, I liked the second book a little more than this third installment in the series, but it still featured a compelling plot and returning readers, like me, will be invested in the novel. The first two thirds of the novel was gripping and much better than the ending in No Going Back. Since I felt book two, Out of Her Mind, did not have a resolution to one of the story lines, I was hoping for that this time around. There is more forward movement in character development and resolution of many of the story lines. It seems that the series may be continuing in a new direction and I'd be interested to see where it goes.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Local Woman Missing

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica
5/18/21; 352 pages
Park Row Books

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica is a highly recommended domestic thriller/mystery.

This thriller grabs your attention right at the start. First, young mother Shelby Tebow goes missing. Then Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, disappear in the same neighborhood. The narrative then jumps to eleven years later and follows the thoughts of a girl who has been trapped in a dark basement for years who is planning her escape. At this point the novel begins to alternate between the present day where Delilah’s younger brother, Leo, now 15, narrates the chapters. Chapters set in the past following Meredith, before she disappears, and the search for her after she disappeared. The chapters act together to create a complex, complete picture of what happened to the two missing women and ultimately who was responsible.

As the plot unfolds you will see the characters making a lot of assumptions and you will realize that you have also made assumptions while reading. Kubica uses this to her advantage as she introduces various characters who could be suspects. There are several very believable, appealing characters and several suspects. The reliability of any of her characters is never questioned - unless she wants you to. Let's be honest, Kubica is a pro at manipulating what you think as you read. As the narrative alternates back and forth in time it develops the story line, and this writing device also assists in controlling who you suspect.

The writing is very clever, complex, and the end will likely be shocking to most readers. I didn't find the denouement completely believable, but it certainly did surprise me. My dissatisfaction with the ending is because the guilty person really left no clues that they were suspect and the actions didn't seem realistic in terms of what we know about the character. This certainly makes the ending a surprise, but it does not necessarily mean a completely satisfying conclusion.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Park Row Books in exchange for my honest opinion.


Sunday, April 4, 2021

The Other Side of the Door

The Other Side of the Door by Nicci French
4/27/21; 400 pages

The Other Side of the Door by Nicci French is a highly recommended who-dun-it and a re-release of 2009's Complicit.

The novel opens with Bonnie Graham seeing a body on the floor, but instead of calling the police, she calls a friend to help hide the body and clean up the crime scene. Then the novel flips back and forth in time between the present in "After" chapters referring to events after the body was taken care of and "Before" chapters following the events that happened before the death. Bonnie is a music teacher who, before the death, gathers together a group of musicians to form a band to play at her friend's wedding. Hayden is a professional musician who joins her band and the two become involved. Hayden is the man found dead in the opening and the investigation is in the After chapters.

The unfolding of the plot is a complicated knot of interpersonal problems, misinformation, and misunderstandings in both timelines. The alternating between before and after helps keep the suspense up and the tension high. In the after chapters we follow the investigation into the death but in the flashbacks also learn more information about the characters in this book and the events that lead up to the death. There are actions by the characters and abuse that is tolerated that seems questionable, but as more information about all the characters is carefully presented there is a lot of satisfaction in the final twist. Since this is a renamed re-release of a previously published novel, I'm uncertain if the original novel was rewritten or revised before publication.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins in exchange for my honest opinion.


Voyagers: Twelve Journeys through Space and Time by Robert Silverberg
4/20/21; 448 pages
Three Rooms Press

Voyagers: Twelve Journeys through Space and Time by Robert Silverberg is a very highly recommended, excellent collection of twelve science fiction stories of voyages. Science Fiction Grand Master Robert Silverberg has selected a sampling of twelve short stories/novellas that span his career from 1957 to 2021. All of the stories represent voyages of various kinds and are set in a wide range of time periods. The variety of stories are well-chosen and riveting, as well as thoroughly engrossing and entertaining. The quality of all the stories is excellent and Silverberg has chosen well from the plethora of choices found in his writing career. As with any collection of stories, some will resonate with you or capture your imagination more than others, but they really are all outstanding. Each story begins with a brief opening introduction by Silverberg.

Contents include:
Introduction by Robert Silverberg
In Another Country: This novella is set in the world of Vintage Season written by C.L. Moore and interweaves Silverberg's story in the world she created.
Travelers: A group of intergalactic tourists who visit various worlds visit a nightmare world of monsters.
Chip Runner: A young man wants to live in the subatomic space between electrons.
Looking For The Fountain: An alternate history story featuring Don Juan Ponce de Leon.
Ship-Sister, Star-Sister: A ship that is 16 million light years from earth can only communicate with Earth through the telepathic link of a twin with her sister who is still on Earth. He expanded the idea into a novel in 1996, Starborne.
The Changeling: A man on a vacation in Mexico suddenly finds himself in the life of a man in an alternate universe.
We Are For The Dark: A novella where a religious order chooses who leaves Earth to spread their beliefs through the universe.
The Trouble With Sempoanga: A tourist destination known as the most beautiful planet in the galaxy harbors a parasite which places you in permanent quarantine on the planet should you contract it.
The Sixth Palace: Two soldiers of fortune travel to a world where a treasure is guarded by a robot.
Why?: A team of two men who joined the External Exploration Corps and spend their time endlessly visiting and documenting new planets begin to question their career choice.
The Pleasure Of Their Company: A leader fleeing a junta only has AI copies of family, friends, and historic figures to keep him company as he journeys in space to his place of exile.
Thebes Of The Hundred Gates: A time traveler goes back to ancient Egyptian in search of previous travelers who didn't return.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Three Rooms Press via Library Thing in exchange for my honest opinion.