Category: Book Review

Book Review—Lock & Key by Gordon Bonnet

perf4.370x7.000.inddI recently took the time to read Lock & Key by Gordon Bonnet. While I don’t typically write science fiction (I’ve written a short story or two, but not a novel—well, not yet, anyway), I do enjoy reading it. I’m often leery about an unknown author in this genre, because if the storyworld isn’t properly developed, if the details of the fiction aren’t well-thought out, then the story won’t seem real and it’s a disappointing read.

Well, I don’t know if you’ve heard of Gordon Bonnet or not, but if you haven’t, pay attention.

Last year, I read a book of his called Kill Switch, and from the first page I knew I’d want to read all of his work. So when Lock & Key came out, I immediately added it to my to-be-read list.

It didn’t disappoint. In fact, it thoroughly impressed me.

Lock & Key takes place in the present. Sort of. Well, that’s where it starts. Protagonist Darren Ault is an unassuming bookstore owner who, after an ordinary day, meets his best friend, Lee McCaskill (a brilliant scientist) for an ordinary dinner. Then the extraordinary happens.

Lee shoots Darren in the head.

End of story, right? Wrong.

Lock & Key Teaser 1Darren doesn’t die. Instead, he’s whisked to the Library of Timelines, where the Head Librarian and his administrative assistant are more than a little upset that things have transpired the way they have.

Not only did Darren survive the shooting, the rest of the world has vanished.

The Head Librarian researches the problem and discovers there were three places in the past where timelines diverged, possible places where Darren can make things right and reset the balance of humanity.

With seemingly no other choice, Darren begins a journey through time and history to right the wrongs of temporal disorder and bring humanity back into existence.

So, like I mentioned earlier, if the intricate details of the science fiction world aren’t thoroughly considered, the story can fall apart. But Bonnet did a wonderful job of thinking through all the possible problems and pitfalls (and we all know time travel presents a lot of them) and providing the reader with a story that not only logically flows, it thrills.

Each era and locale visited evokes images of what those times were really like. Readers smell the odoriferous scents, hear the sounds of nature, taste the bland local cuisine. We’re transported there right along with Darren. And when he’s back at the Library, we’re treated to witty banter and technological wonders. All this while seamlessly advancing a wonderful plot that keeps the reader rapidly turning pages.

I read the whole novel in one sitting.

Here’s an example of the confusing situation Darren finds himself in:

“Man, this stuff makes my head hurt.”

“You should complain,” Fischer said, a little bitterly. “You only have to keep track of yourself. I have to keep track of everybody who ever existed, and also all the ones who don’t. You want my job?”

“No. But still… I mean, that doesn’t make sense.”

“What doesn’t?”

“If my grandma never existed, how can I be here?”

I thoroughly recommend Lock & Key by Gordon Bonnet. The characters are three-dimensional, the plot is well-developed, and the settings are rich and tangible. If you love sci-fi, you don’t want to miss this novel. And if you’re new to the genre, this is a great one to start with.

Book Spotlight: Deception, Book One of The Transformed Series by Stacy Claflin

I thought I’d mix things up a little bit, and talk about books this month.

Sure, you can go online and find hundreds of reviews for books by Stephen King, Nora Roberts, James Patterson… If an author is already a NYTBSA, he or she hardly needs a book review from me.

But what about the “little people” that New York has forgotten?

I’m taking books that I like from different genres this month and spotlighting them here.

Hopefully you’re looking for a book in one of these genres, and you’ll give my recommendation a try.

This week’s genre: Young Adult

Sub-genre: Paranormal Romance

the transformed series book oneDeception by Stacy Claflin is a story of a young girl’s transformation from “normal girl” (which she never was) to vampire royalty, and all the trials she faces as she embraces her new role with her people. Along the way, she finds love, family, danger, and deception.

Deception takes place in contemporary Delphic Cove, a small town in the state of Washington, where the girl Alexis grew up. But Marguerite, the vampire and the sonnast, was born in a castle. Time is spent there, as well as in the woods and in another vampire’s castle too. Readers are really given a sense of who the girl was and who the sonnast is, in part because of the locales Claflin creates.

Deception is an entertaining novel for teens and adults alike. This isn’t just another vampire novel. Claflin creates an interesting world and a compelling mythology never before seen in literature. The characters are easy to relate to, the plot is well-conceived, the pacing is strong, and the rules for the storyworld are new and first rate. I give this book 5 stars, and I’m certain if you give it a chance, you will too.

If you’re looking for a fantasy with romance, intrigue, and action, you’ve found the story. Heck, you’ve found the series you should be reading. Deception, Book One of the Transformed Series by Stacy Claflin is your ticket to an exciting new world.

author stacy claflinStacy lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, their two sons, and their dog. She’s a homeschooler and owner of a daycare, and loves spending time with family and friends. But every spare moment she has is spent writing short stories or novels for one of her three series. Check out the vampire saga (The Transformed Series), the ghost series (The Mercy Series), and soon, her first foray into non-paranormal fiction, Gone (part one of a YA suspense/thriller series).

Connect with Stacy at her website.

Find Deception and all Stacy’s work on Amazon.

Book Spotlight: Finding Eliza by Stephanie Pitcher Fishman

I thought I’d mix things up a little bit, and talk about books this month.

Sure, you can go online and find hundreds of reviews for books by Stephen King, Nora Roberts, James Patterson… If an author is already a NYTBSA, he or she hardly needs a book review from me.

But what about the “little people” that New York has forgotten?

I’m taking books that I like from different genres this month and spotlighting them here.

Hopefully you’re looking for a book in one of these genres, and you’ll give my recommendation a try.

This week’s genre: mainstream literature

Sub-genre: historical

Mainstream fiction novelFinding Eliza by Stephanie Pitcher Fishman is a story of a woman’s quest to understand her family and to come to terms with a painful loss. At her grandmother’s behest, she attends a “genealogy party” only to discover there is so much more to her history than she ever thought.

Finding Eliza takes place in contemporary Georgia, but there are several flashbacks to the 1930s which accurately and poignantly depict the tribulations many faced in the pre-desegregation south. The author seamlessly traverses between the contemporary angst felt by her main character and the desperation felt by her ancestors.

Finding Eliza is an engaging and compelling novel. The plot is well-conceived and the characters are entertaining and memorable. In addition, the settings are so beautifully constructed, you can see the landscapes and taste the lemon squares. I’m giving this book 5 stars and know you will do the same.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must mention that I assisted the author with editing this novel, but my involvement in no way impacted my opinions of the book. If you’re looking for a getaway to Georgia and want to read a story that is so emotionally engaging that you’ll both laugh and cry as you turn the pages, look no further than Finding Eliza by Stephanie Pitcher Fishman.

Stephanie FishmanStephanie is professional genealogist specializing in Midwestern and Southeastern United States family history. She’s written seven family history research guides as well as several articles and blog posts for genealogy websites, and she also speaks on the topic.

Connect with Stephanie at her website.

Find Finding Eliza on Amazon.

Book Spotlight: Answering Annaveta by Lorna Faith

I thought I’d mix things up a little bit, and talk about books this month.

Sure, you can go online and find hundreds of reviews for books by Stephen King, Nora Roberts, James Patterson… If an author is already a NYTBSA, he or she hardly needs a book review from me.

But what about the “little people” that New York has forgotten?

I’m taking books that I like from different genres this month and spotlighting them here.

Hopefully you’re looking for a book in one of these genres, and you’ll give my recommendation a try.

This week’s genre: historical literature

Sub-genre: romantic suspense (contains Christian themes)

historical romantic suspenseAnswering Annaveta by Lorna Faith is book one of a trilogy that begins in 1913 Russia. The story follows young Annaveta and her journey to adulthood. She encounters great hardships, devastating heartbreak, and dangers few of us can comprehend. But she also discovers boundless compassion and unwavering love.

This book is an excellent combination of historical facts and character development. It shows the ups and downs of family life, the positives and negatives of living in pre-World War I Russia, and the best and the worst elements of society.   Continue reading

Book Spotlight: The Princess and Her Dress by Arthur Grimm

I thought I’d mix things up a little bit, and talk about books this month.

Sure, you can go online and find hundreds of reviews for books by Stephen King, Nora Roberts, James Patterson… If an author is already a NYTBSA, he or she hardly needs a book review from me.

But what about the “little people” that New York has forgotten?

This month, I’m taking books that I like from different genres and spotlighting them here.

Hopefully you’re looking for a book in one of these genres, and you’ll give my recommendation a try.

This week’s genre: Children’s Literature

Sub-genre: Christian Fiction

The Princess and Her DressThe Princess and Her Dress by Arthur Grimm is a children’s book written in the classic fairy tale style. There are castles, kings, a princess in peril, a prince coming to her rescue, a moral learned, and a happily ever after ending. All of the major elements were met for a successful fairy tale, and it was a fresh story (if you’re looking for a change from the traditional stories from our youth).

Where Grimm differs in his approach is in incorporating a Christian element. This book not only will entertain young children, it has a positive and faith-affirming message woven seamlessly into the plot. Often secular stories lead children away from God’s message; this one reinforces it. Continue reading

Last updated by at .

© 2017

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: