Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Department of Temporal Adjustment

Reviewed for Review the Book
Published by Sun Break Publishing

Now, this is an author with a great imagination and fun, too. The kind of person who would be a great friend. Certainly, I'm basing this on her book, but no one could write that way without having a great sense of humor and fantasy.  I refer, of course, to Veronica R. Tabares, the author of Department of Temporal Adjustment. With this title, I just had to read the book and I was not disappointed. Vanessa's life both in her reality and in her mental wanderings is hilarious in places, completely serious in others, and involves constant conversations with herself, a trait most mothers with small children pick up very quickly. I found myself identifying with Vanessa on all kinds of levels.

Vanessa is a very happily married mother of three little girls and a prince of a husband. She is working toward her degree in Archaeology. Between her hours and her husband's hours working on his degree, they are still able to have one or the other home with the girls.

The fun begins when the family sees a group of people dressed in clothing of other eras, but seemingly unaware of their surroundings. Though that is odd in itself, Vanessa begins to see these same people most evenings, sometimes in town, sometimes on campus. Considering she works alone at night in the basement at the university on her archaeology projects, her mind takes her through all kinds of possibilities, building from maybe ' acting group', right up to '...a bunch of terrorists'.  I said the author had a rich imagination!  Once she sees this impossible group emerge from the janitor's closet, she is dumbfounded, but also fearful.

This story is like deja vu in reverse. She suffers confusing memory losses, and though some things trigger a slight memory that wafts away on the wind, other memories at home seem to be normal activities that are forgotten, fortunately for short periods. Again and again she is told she has "been here before" but has absolutely no memory of it. Put it down to Vanessa's inquisitiveness, she goes where she shouldn't, and just what is that humming sound she hears every night she works late? What goes on in that closet? How can so many people get in there? This book reads as though it is all told from the mind. It's a mystery to be solved, a story of family love, a living potential, fantasy, and a secret that must be kept at all costs. A very enjoyable and quick read.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Immune: Book Two of The Rho Agenda by Richard Phillips

This second book of the Rho Agenda certainly kept my attention going at high speed. I suppose it could be read as a stand-alone, but because the story continues with no break and to get a real feel of understanding where the story has been and how it got to where it is, I do recommend that the first book in the series be read before tackling this one. You will be very glad you did because it sets up and prepares you for everything that is about to come.

Picking up immediately from where "The Second Ship: Book One of the Rho Agenda" left off, "Immune: Book Two of the Rho Agenda" is much more active and serious. A roller-coaster ride of a lifetime with no tracks! What is your talent or special ability? Imagine if it was increased a thousandfold?  This is one of the many facets of the book. What if you find out your enemy has also increased specialties a thousandfold? Although "Immune" is a much darker story than "The Second Ship", that darkness was carefully set up in the first book and follows through, building to threshold on threshold. There seems to be no stopping it.  Hang on to your hats, everyone, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

Our three teen protagonists, Heather, Jen and Mark, have become even  more in control of and more adept at their exceptional talents. Their focus and brilliance is amazing, but still they maintain the usual ups and downs of normal teens. I found myself wishing I had the same power of speed reading as Mark, one of his newly learned abilities. The speed reading would have made it possible for me to read this book without stopping to eat or sleep. In fact, I did forget to eat, but sleep overtook me. Richard Phillips has an incredible way of bringing his readers right into the story, one can't help but be involved. What an encompassing book, what a fantastic series! Tender moments between heart-stopping terror; horror and conspiracy, but at the same time a bonding between friends; death and new life; all there and more. There are constantly new things discovered on the Rho Ship, but Jen has shut down the Second Ship to save it. Everything from drug lords to heroes to good and evil in high places, even good and evil between the two ships, and our young heroes are on the run.

New characters are introduced, some old and new characters disappear, "poof"! Emotional ups and downs are enough to keep any reader on his/her toes. This is one very gripping tale. The story is hungry, it wants all your attention and devours you. This book crosses so many genres, or what we may think of as genres, I believe Richard Phillips could write about anything and fascinate the reader!  This series is an absolute winner! We're now left hanging, breathless, wondering what will come with the next book! One thing we know, it will pack a wallop.

My review on "The Second Ship: Book One of the Rho Agenda"