Tag Archives For: thriller

26 Oct, 2017

A Spoilerific Review of Origin by Dan Brown

/ posted in: Book ReviewReading A Spoilerific Review of Origin by Dan Brown Origin by Dan Brown
on October 3rd 2017
Pages: 461
Genres: Fiction
Published by Doubleday Books
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Setting: Spain

Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.

Goodreads

I swear Dan Brown is my soul mate.  I want the worlds that he describes in his books.  That may be concerning to other people.  The last few books have been dark and I love it that way.

I actually find his books to be frustrating to read the first time.  I just want to know what the point is.  I don’t have time for people beating around the bush.  Hint – If you are talking to Robert Langdon just tell him what you have to say.  If you hint and hem and haw and say that you’ll tell him the important point at a later time, you aren’t making it through the book.

If you haven’t read the book yet, I’ll just say that I appreciated the way this book played with the formulas of his previous books.  If you have read it, I have a lot more to say but first we have to give all the spoiler warnings.

Ok, we’re going to be talking about EXACTLY what happens in the book so turn back now if you don’t want to know.

You’ve been warned…….

…….Still here?  Ok. 

First of all, let’s talk about how he upended the expectations that he built in the previous books.

  • The art doesn’t mean anything except for Winston’s self portrait. 
  • The church isn’t involved at all at the end. 

Seriously, I loved that.  What seemed formulaic all through the book – “Here’s another bad priest manipulating a devout follower to kill people” – was all a red herring. 

  • He’s on the run with a beautiful younger woman AND IT ISN’T ROMANTIC AT ALL.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I am over the idea of young women falling over themselves for the hero of every book.

I do have a question about Ambra’s story though.  Her big secret is that she is infertile.  Is this a nod to Inferno (in which case it shouldn’t be a surprise at all) or are we living in a universe where the events of Inferno didn’t happen?  I loved the ending of Inferno.  I actually stood up and cheered.  I’m not talking about the ending of the movie version of Inferno which was an absolute abomination.  I’m talking about a plague released on the whole world ending of the book.  My love of the idea of (SPOILER) that a plague could be released that makes 1/3 of the world infertile leads into my appreciation for the ideas in this book.  I’m not a fan of the idea of unlimited human growth nor of the idea that humans have to be the dominant species on Earth.  Evolve away!

So, what do we think about the idea of life evolving as a way to control energy?  I think it is a cool (no pun intended) idea but I don’t know how viable of an idea it is.  As an agnostic/atheist person it doesn’t bother me theologically. 

I am a fan of the idea of humans melding with artificial intelligence.  Of course, the whole time I was thinking, “And then some fool drops an EMP…” because obviously, I’m a cynic.  I would love to live in a utopia of high technology that saves the planet.  I’m afraid to see I don’t see it happening though.

Winston 

I loved him.  I don’t even care if you are a murderous rampaging machine.  Ok, I sort of care.  I don’t mind that he killed his creator.  That was probably kind seeing what kind of death he was facing.  I’m a veterinarian.  Euthanasia is a huge part of my life.  I’m not happy about him killing the iman and the rabbi.  That was unnecessary.  Bad Winston!  Somebody is going to have to come up with some laws to control AI that work a bit better than the ones in I, Robot.  Maybe add in “humans are free to make their own decisions.”  Of course, letting humans make decisions leads to a whole bunch of really bad decisions like Donald Trump.  Somebody else needs to take a crack at making laws that don’t get us all locked up. 

So what did you think?  Do you want this world or not?

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Books Set in Europe
18 Dec, 2015

Mini Review – Excavation

/ posted in: Reading Mini Review – Excavation Excavation by James Rollins
on July 3rd 2000
Pages: 448
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers
Format: Paperback
Source: Owned
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)
Set in Peru

High in the Andes, Dr. Henry Conklin discovers a 500-year-old mummy that should not be there. While deep in the South American jungle, Conklin's nephew, Sam, stumbles upon a remarkable site nestled between two towering peaks, a place hidden from human eyes for thousands of years.
Ingenious traps have been laid to ensnare the careless and unsuspecting, and wealth beyond imagining could be the reward for those with the courage to face the terrible unknown. But where the perilous journey inward ends—in the cold, shrouded heart of a breathtaking necropolis—something else is waiting for Sam Conklin and his exploratory party. A thing created by Man, yet not humanly possible. Something wondrous . . . something terrifying.

Goodreads

 

I read this book for the #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks challenge.  It has been sitting on my shelf forever.  I don’t know where I got it.  I’m sure I picked it up because of the author.  He’s a veterinarian when he’s not writing and I have to support my people!

High in the Andes an Incan temple has been found with an intact treasure chamber.  An attempt to loot it sets off traps and then it collapses on the archeologists who go in to investigate the break in.  They are only able to escape by work their way through the puzzles built into the temple.  It is very Indiana Jones.

At the same time, a mummy removed from the area turns out to be not Incan but a Spanish priest.  Inquiries lead to the kidnapping of the lead investigator by a group of priests.  Seriously, if priests or monks show up in a contemporary story is it ever a good thing?  These guys have a wacky theory about some metal hidden in the temple and go about trying to steal it too.

I’ve read several other of his books and enjoyed them.  This isn’t one of my favorites. It can be a fun read but nothing memorable.

07 Oct, 2014

The Heist by Daniel Silva

/ posted in: Reading

The Heist (Gabriel Allon, #14)The Heist by Daniel Silva

Thriller

Gabriel Allon has one year of peace and quiet before he is slated to take over Israel’s intelligence service. He plans to spend it in Italy restoring a painting and spending time with his pregnant wife. But then his friend, English art gallery owner Julian Isherwood, finds a murdered man at a house in Lake Como and needs Gabriel’s help.

This is the 14th book in the Gabriel Allon series and one that probably could stand alone as long as you understood the idea of the series. Allon is a trained art restorer who was recruited by Israeli intelligence after the Munich Olympics killings. He has become a legendary figure and has been pressured into eventually leading the service.

The murdered man that his friend finds is a dealer in stolen artwork and a former spy. Investigating his death leads the Italian art police to link him to the Caravaggio Nativity, one of the most famous stolen paintings of all time.

Michelangelo_Caravaggio_035

The police want Gabriel to use his knowledge of the art world and his abilities as a spy to help find the painting. To do so he’ll need to tap into his network of spies and criminals around Europe to follow the money – wherever it leads.

I love this series and this book was a really good addition. The events in it are up to the minute and I like the character growth that is happening as a spy ages and needs to rely more on his brain than on brawn.

19 May, 2014

Hypocrisy

/ posted in: Reading

HypocrisyHypocrisy by D.M. Annechino

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Dr. Lauren Crawford is a brilliant research scientist who discovers a revolutionary treatment for cancer that not only extends life, but much improves the quality of life for terminal cancer patients. The treatment, in some instances, can even cure certain cancers. On the evening before Dr. Crawford holds a press conference to announce that the FDA has given preliminary approval of her new cancer treatment, somebody follows her to her car and puts three bullets in her head. Was it a planned murder with a motive, a mugging gone badly, or merely a random act of violence?

Two New York City homicide detectives, Amaris Dupree and T.J. Brown, are assigned to the investigation. The detectives evaluate the circumstances surrounding Dr. Crawford’s death, and follow a trail of clues that exposes a sequence of startling facts. One by one, the detectives carefully examine each suspect and piece together a puzzle with unimaginable implications. As the investigation gets more intense, and the detectives get closer to solving the murder mystery, someone threatens Dupree’s life. The detectives now realize that Dr. Crawford’s murder was much more than a homicide. And if they don’t arrest the murderer soon, Dupree might be the next victim.

I have a copy of this book to giveaway if you are intrigued by the premise.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My thoughts – This book confused me.  In the early part of the book there is so much discussion of the main character’s breasts that for a while I was wondering if this was supposed to be satire and I was just missing the humor. 

The other thing that is almost completely left out is what this cure that everyone is fighting over is.  There is a page that gives a cursory discussion of it but really doesn’t even attempt to make a scientific case.  It is mostly –  There’s a cure.  We have it.  Moving on.

There are attempts at character development that just drop into the story at weird times.  The characters go off on long discussions about their deepest darkest secrets that seemed totally irrelevant to the story.  These are interesting but stop the forward progress of the story cold.

The idea is interesting but could have been better executed.

I received this book from IRead Book Tours to review.  Here is the rest of the tour to see if they agree with my assessment or if I totally missed the charm of the book.

May 12 – Peeking Between the Pages – review / giveaway
May 13 – Every Free Chance Book Reviews – review / giveaway
May 14 – Bound 4 Escape – review
May 15 – Reviews From The Heart – review
May 16 – Omnimystery News – guest post
May 19 – Based on a True Story… – review / giveaway
May 20 – Back Porchervations – review
May 21 – Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks – review
May 22 – A Blue Million Books – book spotlight / author interview
May 23 – The Pen and Muse Book Reviews – author interview
May 26 – Bookaholics Must Read – review
May 27 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review
May 28 – Let’s Talk About Books – review
May 29 – The Things We Read – review
May 30 – Views From the Countryside – review
June 2 – A Nook of Blankets and Books – review
June 3 – Omnimystery News – author interview
June 4 – By Book or By Crook – review
June 5 – All Things Bookie – review
June 6 – Lizzie in Wonderland – review
June 9 – Brooke Blogs – review / author interview
June 10 – Book Loving Hippo – review / guest post
June 11 – Peggy Ann’s Post – review / giveaway
June 12 – Back Porchervations – guest post

 

 

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