Books

Raising the Past, by Jeremy Robinson

raising_the_past_iconAnother great work from Jeremy RobinsonRaising the Past opens 10,000 years ago as an ancient Inuit woman struggles against a raging ice storm in an effort to reach a destination and save her people from a pervasive evil that is twisting the values of a long peaceful civilization.  As the storm builds, she realizes she might not reach her goal, and if that is the case, all hope might be lost.

Jump ahead ten millennia and an archeological dig in the frozen tundra of Canada uncovers a perfectly preserved mammoth buried in the ice.  An experienced team is assembled to recover the valuable specimen.  But without a proper team leader the expedition is already in peril.  The entrepreneur financing the mammoth recovery reluctantly agrees to bring on an old acquaintance to lead the expedition.  But the teams would be leader is reluctant to join the expedition, still traumatized after a failed archeological recovery that ended in disaster years earlier.
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Vulcan’s Forge by Jack Du Brul

Vulcan’s Forge was the first book in the Phillip Mercer series by Jack Du Brul.  It was first published in 1998.  I have read the Oregon Files series of novels by Jack Du Brul and Clive Cussler and had been eager to find out what Du Brul’s initial solo effort was like.  Not only am I eager to read the second book in the series, but I’m actually very excited that there are 5 more books in this series after that.

Vulcan’s Forge introduces the lead character, Phillip Mercer, a creative and high energy Geologist with a knack for getting into trouble.  The story actually starts in 1954 when a then state of the art transport ship is scuttled on its maiden voyage.  The plan behind the destruction of the ship turns out to be a Soviet plot that will be decades in the making.
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Vulcan’s Forge by Jack Du Brul

vulcans_forge_iconVulcan’s Forge was the first book in the Philip Mercer series by Jack Du Brul.  It was first published in 1998.  I have read the Oregon Files series of novels by Jack Du Brul and Clive Cussler and had been eager to find out what Du Brul’s initial solo effort was like.  Not only am I eager to read the second book in the series, but I’m actually very excited that there are 5 more books in this series after that.

Vulcan’s Forge introduces the lead character, Philip Mercer, a creative and high energy Geologist with a knack for getting into trouble.  The story actually starts in 1954 when a then state of the art transport ship is scuttled on its maiden voyage.  The plan behind the destruction of the ship turns out to be a Soviet plot that will be decades in the making.

Jump forward to present day and Phillip Mercer receives a telegram from an old friend that once saved his life.  The telegram explains that the recent sinking of a Navy vessel 200 miles off the coast of Hawaii was no accident and that the only survivor of that tragedy is in danger.  The survivor of that ship happens to be none other than his old friends daughter.  But the mystery thickens for Mercer given that his old friend actually died several years ago.

On top of that, political problems in Hawaii increase the tension as the United States approaches a possible civil war.  As North Korea and ex-KGB operatives manipulate the politics of the United States, a new chemical compound is discover to be the result of early underwater detonation of an atomic bomb.  This compound could lead to breakthroughs in modern superconductor technology and is exactly the type of technological breakthrough that any nation would kill to acquire.
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Kronos, by Jeremy Robinson

kronos-iconKronos was my first exposure to Jeremy Robinson’s work.  It introduces oceanographer, Atticus Young, an intelligent former Navy SEAL struggling with family issues.  His wife has recently passed away and his relationship with his daughter is not what he wants it to be.  In an effort to mend broken fences with his daughter, Atticus takes her diving off the coast of Maine.  A once in a lifetime dive to explore a pod of peaceful humpback whales turns out to be anything but expected.

Atticus and his daughter are nearly killed when the pod of whales suddenly stampede.  This leads to the shocking realization that there is an unknown super predator of the deep that even a humpback whale fears.  Though narrowly, Atticus escapes and becomes driven to hunt the newly discovered ocean predator.  In the process, his path crosses that of Trevor Manfred, an eccentric billionaire and a desire to claim the creature as a one in a life time prize.
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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

lincoln-the-vampire-hunterI expected Seth Grahame-Smith’s latest book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, to be a tongue-in-cheek look at the life of Abraham Lincoln.  I assumed it would be a parody of sorts attempting to use the timeline of Lincoln’s life as map and having a little fun with US history.  I expected vampirism to be an analog to slavery.  That was simply not the case.  Seth Grahame-Smith went well beyond all of that.  He took the biographical history of Lincoln, and the historically pertinent parts of US history from Lincoln’s time and wrote a compelling alternative look at one of the greatest presidents in our nations history.
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The Didymus Contingency by Jeremy Robinson

didymus_contingencyIf you could jump to any point in time and anonymously observe history, what time would you travel to?  Its a question many fantasize about.  And its the question on which Jeremy Robinson based The Didymus Contingency.  The book centers around two physicists: Dr. Tom Greenbaum and Dr. David Goodman.  Together they pioneer a new technology that lets them travel through time.

Through an interesting and compelling turn of events, Tom Greenbaum has suffered a lapse in his religious faith.  This leaves him somewhat at odds with his research partner, David Goodman.  Finally, Tom decides to prove to David that his faith is unfounded.  He jumps into the past arriving at a period several years before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  He plans to witness the supposed miracles of Christ and with a scientific mind, debunk them.  David ends up chasing Tom back through time in an effort to prevent him from interfering with history.  Together they spend a great deal of time witenessing biblical events first hand.

The novels biblical central plot almost turned me away from the book.  I’m not a particularly religious individual and I don’t tend to enjoy religious debate and have little patience for those who try to foist their ideals upon others.  Early in the book it became obvious that this was not the goal of the story.  Though the plot centers on biblical events, it does so from a historic perspective and is not the least bit preachy while finding a remarkable balance that both religious and non-religious readers can enjoy.
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Pulse, by Jeremy Robinson

pulse-iconPulse was my second experience with Jeremy Robinson’s writing.  An excerpt from Pulse was placed at the end of Kronos, and that alone was enough to send me scurrying online order Pulse.  And to put it plainly, it was not a disappointment.  Pulse is a wild adventure that spans the globe as it takes the reader on a journey through genetic manipulation and Greek mythology.

The novel centers around a Delta Force squad whose team leader inadvertently stumbles upon a series of mutated creatures while helping secure an archeological dig site.  The elite Delta troop is known as the Chess Team.  The team leader, King, calls in the rest of the Chess Team as they follow a trail that leads them to the multi-national corporation known as Manifold.
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The Silent Sea, By Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul

This is the seventh installment of the Oregon Files series by Clive Cussler.  The series started out as a spin off of characters created in one volume of the Dirk Pitt series, also by Cussler.  The characters turned out to be a perfect base on which to launch another successful series of books.  To date, I have enjoyed every installment of the Oregon Files series.  And The Silent Sea is no exception.

The story starts on a family owned island off the west coast of the United States.  For generations, the family members have struggled to reach bottom of a flooded shaft at the center of the island.  At the bottom of which is believed to be an abandoned pirates treasure.  But while the young men of the family line have struggled for generations to reach the bottom, none have yet discovered its secrets.
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Beneath, By Jeremy Robinson

Beneath was an extremely enjoyable read.  While NASA and SETI search for extraterrestrial life, many debate what that life might look like.  Recent exploration has been centered on the search for water on other planets assuming that where there is water, there may also be life.  If that’s the case, any life found is likely to be carbon based and simple cellular.

Jeremy Robinson’s latest book, Beneath, starts with a chance discovery of a meteor that points to the possibility of microbial life on Europa, the 6th moon of Jupiter.  This discovery is the precipitating event that launches an expedition into space.  Traveling deeper into the black than any humans in history, the team makes its way to the surface of Europa.

The story is as plausible as it is entertaining.  No liberties have been taken at expense of the story.  The technology used to launch the mission is based firmly in credible science.  No magical transported technology or phaser guns.  This isn’t a fast and lose sci-fi adventure.  Robinson does an artful job of crafting a credible and suspenseful adventure story that happens to be set in space.
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Heat Wave by Richard Castle

Back for the second season, ABC’s Castle is one of this seasons prime-time shows that I am most interested in.  Season 1 was compelling and sure to interest fans of Nathan Fillion.  Many will remember Fillion from his role as Malcolm Reynolds on the classic but short lived Firefly series.  Needless to say, Fillion’s roll as crime author Richard Castle plays to the actors strengths and makes for an amusing series.

So, here’s why I find this show interesting enough to warrant a post.  The shows main character, Richard Castle, successful author who decides to kill off the character that made him famous.  The plot explains that Castle is bored writing about the character because he knows him inside out.  He wants to create a new character.

Castle spends some time with the NYPD and finds inspiration for a new character.  He pulls some strings at the NYPD and the Mayors office and get assigned as a consultant to a detective on which he plans to based his new character.  The new character, Nikki Heat, is based on NYPD detective Kate Beckett.  Wikipedia has some interesting background on the characters.

At the beginning of season 1, Castle kills off the lead character that supposedly made him a house hold name and risks his career with a new book.  He starts investigating strange cases with Beckett.  Shortly into season 2, Castle is about to release the first book based on the Nikki Heat character.  This is the part that I find fascinating.
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