Sunday, October 25, 2015

Return of the Bones: Inspired by a True Story - Native American Historical by Belinda Vasquez Garcia

Reviewed from e-book

"In 1915, 2,067 skeletons were stolen from the ghost pueblo of Pecos and transported to Harvard University for medical research...." quote from Belinda Vasquez Garcia's preface About Return of the Bones.

I loved this story, part fiction, part fantasy, but based on truth. It's all about the bones of ancestors, the gradual loss of tribes and nations of North America's indigenous people and the repatriation of the bones. In this mystical and arduous journey an elderly shaman and his granddaughter, last of their once large tribe, are on a quest for the bones of their ancestors. Travelling physically in an old truck, and paranormally via a dreamcatcher, this story is spellbinding.

Belinda Vasquez Garcia has a way of bringing reality to the past and present through images received by the granddaughter, a modern girl who is on this journey of discovery and recovery. Past and present are interwoven in such a way that I truly felt this in my own soul, legend becomes reality as Hollow-Woman begins to open her soul to the past. I found the book memorable and heartwarming as the connection between grandfather and granddaughter, ancient and modern, past and present grew. The author has done a wonderful job of working with history and keeping the truth while writing with a passion for the magical and spiritual feel through the centuries of the indigenous people.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dead Man Floating by Debra Purdy Kong

Published by Imajin Books
Reviewed from e-book
This novella is an interesting change from the usual heroes. An average working man and his on-site buddy work together to solve a murder. Evan Dunstan, a campus security guard is finishing an ordinary night shift when he unexpectedly comes across what he thinks is a bag of garbage floating down the river. So begins an intriguing mystery, first in series, that works up a frenzy of fear and regret in Evan's mind. If this is a murder scene will he be suspected? What will happen to him if it goes unreported? After all, it's the end of his shift and he should be leaving, the next guard arriving.

Evan is a new character, one that I think Debra Purdy Kong will have a lot of fun with in this series. I love the ability she has to select the most unusual heroes in her books and this one is no different. He wants to be a police detective, but at the moment this is just a dream. Now he is trying to make amends by solving the case of an unlikeable man in a bag. His overly anxious side-kick adds to both the humour and the fear of the situation. As a novella, this is a fairly quick read, but jam-packed with excitement, twists and turns, fun, desperation and so many thoughts running through Evan's head. I really enjoyed it and look forward to Evan's future escapades.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Incidental Spy - a Novella by Libby Fischer Hellman

 Reviewed from ebook

This novella starts at the beginning of the end, with nothing given away; then it quickly reverts to the beginning...a unique method that really pulls the reader into the book. The story takes place in a time I can remember and as such I can honestly say that Libby Fischer Hellman has absolutely captured the feelings and fears of that time of world war, as well as delving into the pressure cooker of the beginnings of the atomic bomb. Nuclear physics was at its highest priority, and Lena, a German Jew living in America, has already suffered the probable loss of her family to the concentration camps, and has just lost her husband, father of her young son. After this loss, and to support her son and herself, she finds herself back in the Physics Dept. of the university where she had worked prior to her son's birth, busily occupied with the humdrum portion, the paperwork. Now she works with famous scientists and government workers, albeit as a secretary. Everything in her life seems to have begun to return to some type of normal...or has it?

At this point, tension in the story takes a full swing into terror and brings the reader with it.Yet, though the tension builds, it all seems plausible. Once again, a time in my memory is revived when the world lived in fear, especially North America. What can one do in the situation Lena finds herself? The story is a classic good versus evil, but where and how will Lena be able to reconcile her thoughts, her shame and the trap she has set herself? This book pulsates with a life of its own, believable, memorable and deadly. The author has an amazing way with words and is exceptional at toying with our minds if we set to wondering "What would we do in Lena's situation?" I read this one straight through at one sitting, with the story still reverberating in my mind.