Origin by J.A. Konrath Book Review

originOrigin by J.A. Konrath is something else. What? I’m not sure. The story opens with Andy Dennison being offered/coerced into a job with the U.S. Government. In a secret underground installation, a creature has finally awakened from a coma 100 years after its discovery. Who knows how long it was there before then. But someone buried it eighty feet deep. That should have told the people who discovered it something. But people don’t always pay attention to the obvious. One other little obvious detail is that the creature looks like Satan. Raise your hand if you think this doesn’t end well.

So Andy is brought into the project because he is a great linguist and the creature is speaking a language not heard in thousands of years. As he and the two doctors, a geneticist, a rabbi, a priest, and one star general try to figure out the creature; he has already figured them out.

I was very much entertained and horrified at the same time. I could definitely see this as a movie. It has the character development of a Stephen King novel where they each have something in their past that is important to the plot. The personalities were a bit “stock,” but that’s what makes it work. Each character plays their part in the puzzle and the reader just watches waiting to see who or if anyone will survive.

The setting takes place in a secret underground facility that was built in the early 1900s. It grew extensively over the years while the Satan-creature was asleep. This place also plays a vital role in the plot.

The dialog is good. It does get a bit windy in places; but it is a “Techno Thriller” so there is a lot of medical, biological, and religious detail. A lot. Although, I did get the general idea of what the characters were saying in those places. I don’t know if all of it was correct, but the author sure does make it seem legitimate.

The book’s ending concluded in a satisfactory way, the expected outcome for a survival type book. However, there is a twist, and it does leave room for a possible sequel. I could see the movie version doing well and then a different director and different cast and different writers coming in to make B-movie sequels.

This original story is worth the read. I recommend for horror and supernatural thrillers. It’s a fun read if you liked being creeped out.

Rating 4/5

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Mirror Images by C. Michael Powers

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Mirror Images

Book 1: The Darkness of Man

When an average Joe’s reflection in the mirror switches places with him, he finds himself trapped in a strange mirror world, battling his way back to the other side so that he can stop his reflection from destroying the life he knows.

Mirror Image Cover

Title: Mirror Images: The Darkness of Man (Book One)
Author: C. Michael Powers
Genre: Psychotic Thriller/Horror
Length: 260 pages
Release Date: May 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0615766065
Imprint: Grimoire. A love story mixed with maniacs and monsters.

Available at Barnes and Noble, and Amazon

Book Description:
Gabe Cutter, an average paper pusher, has his life ripped out from under him when his reflection in the mirror switches places with him, hell bent on destroying the life Gabe knows, and killing his cheating fiance’. Now, stuck on the other side of the mirror, Gabe must join together with a band of stranded survivors and find a way to get back to his world before his reflection destroys it. Along the way he battles his way through maniacs, monsters, and ultimately his own heart, as he realizes that the woman he’s been trying to save…wasn’t worth the price of admission.

What people are saying…

“A delightfully intriguing story, “Mirror Image” captured my attention at the very beginning with its superb reader’s hook, and maintained my interest and intrigue throughout. Author C. Michael Powers deftly explores the inner personality and integrity (or lack of same) in his multitude of characters. He also cleverly illustrates how a chance encounter, or a wish slipping from the tongue without thought, can lead to danger, trouble, even fatality. Very fast-paced action and plotting keep this paranormal urban fantasy rolling on. Think of a boulder rolling downhill in an avalanche and you will get some idea of the pacing and implacability of this story.”

– Mallory Anne (Amazon)

About the Author:C. Michael Powers

C. Michael Powers (Christopher Powers) started writing at the age of 16 when his dad and younger brother were out fishing, and he was left alone, with only his thoughts, his sleeping grandfather, and an old typewriter. Since then he hasn’t been able to stop. Recently, he has focused his attention on contemporary fantasy; dark, action packed stories, the kind he’d like to read himself. Now, living in his wife’s beautiful country of Panama, with she and their four kids, he’s finally finding time to write. Living in Panama has given him the opportunity to write freelance about retirement locations all over the isthmus, and has even given him some time to work on his true passion…fiction.

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***BE ADVISED. THIS BOOK CONTAINS FOUL LANGUAGE, STRONG VIOLENCE, AND SOME SEXUAL CONTENT.***

 

The Trolls by Polly Horvath Book Review

Melissa, Amanda and Peewee spend a wonderful week full of stories with their Aunt Sally. thetrollsSome of the stories are scary and some are funny. But the children can not wait for a new one each evening after school.

Aunt Sally is the last resort babysitter for the children when their parents leave on vacation after their regular babysitter gets sick. Their dad has not talked about his sister Sally and the only communication is a yearly Christmas card from her. But the children get to know her and their family pretty well by the end of the week.

Melissa and Amanda are not very nice to their little brother Peewee, whom Aunt Sally calls by his real name Frank. Aunt Sally doesn’t say anything, but her stories tell the girls plenty about family and how important it is.

I listened to this as an audio book with my children. They enjoyed the stories even if not all of them ended happily, each one had a “sorta” lesson. I’m especially glad about the story that got my children eating more of their green beans at dinner.

I recommend this for ages 8 and up. There are some scary elements. After all, the title is The Trolls. But there is nothing too bad, and beware of one choice word (hell). Yes, in a middle grade book. I didn’t draw attention to it and my children didn’t seem to notice.

Rating 4/5