Monday, April 27

The Noticer

How does one sum up The Noticer, for it is a story of life: life’s tragedies, hopes, and remedies.
Plot-wise, it is a story of a man named Jones, who goes about offering a little of what he calls, ‘perspecitive.’ He mostly stays out of sight, noticing things about people. Small things. And sometimes he comes out and lets the people know his observations. They are always helpful, and prod the people to think about their actions in ways they never thought of, never noticed before.
Andy Andrews has crafted an intriguing little book. It’s a quick read, at only a little longer than 150 pages. Still, it is a gripping tale. He has a way of writing fiction that really stirs the mind. Some of the ideas and themes I read in The Noticer, I have heard before. However, I haven’t heard them like this. There is something different than hearing someone dryly talking about the same issues as presented in the book. So tightly woven is the story and characters, that the themes are allowed to resonate with readers, allowing them to truly take to heart and ponder the message. This isn’t a book you can read expecting to be entertained and then lay it down and forget about. While you hopefully will enjoy the story, it will feel different than most other books. You won’t forget about what you read, and you will think about if for days on end. Even a week after I finished it, thoughts on the book keep rising to my mind, making me think about things I never quite thought of before.

Reviewed for Thomas Nelson's book review bloggers.

Saturday, April 25

Face of Betrayal

Cassidy (a reporter), Allison (a Federal Prosecutor), and Nicole (an FBI agent) are very close friends. They decide to call themselves the Triple Threat. All three of them become involved in the case of Katie, a missing senate page. Questions surround the disappearance: suicide, running away, or kidnapping. Who was responsible? Led in part by clues from Katie’s myspace page, the hunt is on. At each turn the three are startled by the possibilities…including the possibility of a senator’s involvement in the disappearance.

When I first picked up this book, I was excited. The cover was interesting, and the plot description made it sound like exactly my type of book. I jumped into the story right away and soon found out that I was wrong. As a whole, the book was very uninteresting. For one, the authors throw in random snippets of information or dialogue that has not relevance to the plot or characters, and actually serves to detract from the book. Often times I would read a paragraph and stop with a confused expression on my face, because there was absolutely no point in the description I just read. Beyond that, the book tries to tackle many, many themes. Most of them are quickly thrown in, and then a solution is given if the theme revolves around a life problem. However, all of these smaller themes detract from the main idea and theme of the book, resulting in more distraction. I felt that the courtroom scenes had many clich├ęs in them, and at least one of them made me groan outloud.

Sunday, April 12

The Rivers Run Dry

The Rivers Run Dry is the second book about Special Agent Raleigh Harmon. Though I have not read the first book, I had no trouble at all delving into this story.
Harmon has been transferred to Seattle, on what appears to have been disciplinary action. While she is in Seattle, a hiker goes missing. Was foul play involved? Harmon works on the investigation, trying to follow any leads and meets with a wide array of colorful people, from a shady man brandishing lawyers, to a young mother addicted to both gambling and alcohol, to a clairvoyant who takes special interest in Harmon. Eventually a ransom note comes, and Harmon finally has an idea of who she is dealing with. Now all that is left is to not only find the missing hiker (hopefully alive), but to catch whoever kidnapped her. The Rivers Run Dry is filled with suspense and mystery.
Well written, author Sibella Giorello managed to hold my attention throughout the story. While not reading did not seem to hinder my following and understanding of the plot, I feel that I did not always have as strong a grasp on Harmon’s character as I could’ve from reading the first book. Also, Harmon’s character is a geologist, and I felt a couple of jabs against evolution detracted from the story, as they felt forced and not need.
Still, on the whole, it was an enjoyable read, and I hope to pick up the first book. Maybe it will help clear up a few things and make the story even more enjoyable the next time around.
3/5 stars.