Welcome!


Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

booklore.co.uk
midwestbookreview.com
2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
Librarything.com
Goodreads.com
Bookwormr.com
Books-a-million.com
Reviewcentre.com
Onlinebookclub.org
Pinterest.com
and on Twitter
(seriously)

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Vic 6: Event

Vic 6: Event, Jerry Gill, Ann Darrow Co., 2017

This book is sixth in a series about Victoria Custer, your average resident of the early 20th century. The difference is that Victoria has the avatar of Nat-ul, a 100,000-year-old cave woman inside her. Under the pen name Vic Challenger, Victoria has become a travel and adventure writer for her local newspaper. Actually, Victoria/Nat-ul travel to remote places of the world, looking for Nu, Nat-ul's lover from all those centuries ago. If she "survived" all these years, why can't he?

In this book, the search for Nu has taken a detour. O. the head of a secret government agency, asks Vic, and her friend, Lin, if they wouldn't mind taking a trip. Specifically, he would them to go the site of the Tunguska meteor explosion in Siberia. All they need to do is look around, take some photographs and ask some questions of any local natives. Simple, no? Vic is ambushed by unknown people before she leaves. The plane taking them to the site is almost shot down.

Once they arrive, they make the acquaintance of a local tribe of nomads. Joe, Vic and Lin's translator, married one of them; they have many stories about the night the meteor came to Earth. They also encounter very alien creatures. They look like a cross between a boulder and a giant clam that walks upright. The creatures track their prey by sound. A mouth tube shoots poisonous spines that paralyze the prey. Then the mouth tube attaches to the prey, people included, and somehow liquifies the prey from inside, allowing the aliens to suck out the bones, internal organs and skin, leaving little more than a puddle behind.

Vic and Lin discover a weakness of the aliens; they can't be allowed to survive. Can they, and a bunch of nomads, communicate with gestures and hand signals (Joe did not survive), and battle some very evil and carnivorous aliens?

This is an excellent novel. It has plenty of action, and does a very good job with the adventure and weird stuff. After six books, the quality of the writing has not diminished at all. This easily gets five stars.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

London Eye

London Eye, Tim Lebbon, Pyr Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2012

First of a series, this teen SF novel is set in the very near future.

A couple of years previously, the city of London was suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world. The public reason was because of a coordinated series of terrorist attacks. Since then, no one enters or leaves London. A military force called Choppers patrols the streets looking for survivors for "experiments" (think Nazi Germany).

Jack and his sister, Emily (their parents were in London at the time), and a couple of friends undertake a harrowing, mostly underground, journey into London. They have help from Rosemary, who has come out of London, specifically to be their guide. She is a healer, with some "unique" abilities. Rosemary's reason is because is because Jack and Emily's mother is also a healer, with "unique" abilities of her own. Dad's abilities are a lot more destructive; he has become a leader of the "bad guys." Maybe Jack and Emily can change his mind.

During the journey into London, the group battles a pack of wild dogs in an underground tunnel; everyone survives. The rest of the world was told that London has become a toxic wasteland. It's deserted, with large parts of the city in ruins, but it's not toxic. The group walks over a hastily filled-in mass grave, with bones sticking out. Jack and Emily have a happy reunion with their mother; the reunion with their father is not so happy. Jack tries his best to convince Dad to join them and fight their way out of London. Does it work? Are Jack, Emily and their friends now trapped in London?

This is a very good and very dystopian tale. I guess that I liked the society-building a little bit more than the actual story. I am sure that teens will like the whole novel. Yes, it's worth reading.