Terminus, by Peter Clines

A sequel to 14, in which the Great Old Ones arrive to eat the world.


Kavach Press, 2020, 333 pages

Murdoch’s past has finally come crashing down on him. His former girlfriend. The Family. He’s been happily avoiding them for ages, trying to live something close to a normal life. But now he’s been drawn back into another one of their ludicrous attempts to bring about the end of all things.

Chase has spent the past year just trying to get away. Trying to escape the memories that won’t stop following him, the moment when his life collapsed. He’s traveled around the world trying to stay ahead of it all, but those final moments may be catching up with him at last.

Anne is tired of living in the past. She’s finally looking to the future and embracing her destiny. She’s going to lead the Family forward on their greatest and ultimate crusade: to destroy the hated Machine of their long-time adversary.

Their paths will intersect in the middle of nowhere, on an uncharted island where the walls of reality are thin...and an apocalyptic threat is tearing its way through.

Basically a Cthulhu Now RPG adventure.

Also by Peter Clines: My reviews of Ex-Heroes, Ex-Patriots, Ex-Communication, Ex-Purgatory, Ex-Isle, 14, The Fold, and Paradox Bound.

My complete list of book reviews.

Burr, by Gore Vidal

Aaron Burr in his own words... kind of.


Random House, 1973, 430 pages

Here is an extraordinary portrait of one of the most complicated - and misunderstood - figures among the Founding Fathers. In 1804, while serving as vice president, Aaron Burr fought a duel with his political nemesis, Alexander Hamilton, and killed him. In 1807, he was arrested, tried, and acquitted of treason. In 1833, Burr is newly married, an aging statesman considered a monster by many. But he is determined to tell his own story, and he chooses to confide in a young New York City journalist named Charles Schermerhorn Schuyler. Together, they explore both Burr's past - and the continuing civic drama of their young nation.

Burr is the first novel in Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire series, which spans the history of the United States from the Revolution to post-World War II. With their broad canvas and sprawling cast of fictional and historical characters, these novels present a panorama of American politics and imperialism, as interpreted by one of our most incisive and ironic observers.

The novel that might have given us Representative Michelle Bachmann.

My complete list of book reviews.
Golden Hair

Aria: The Masterpiece, Volume 2

Aria: The Masterpiece, Volume 2 by Kozue Amano

Further life on the wet Mars, now known as Aqua.

Akari helps a lost visitor, learns about the gnomes that keep the gravity up to the level of Manhome (Earth), participates in the long race of gondolias that is the last event of fall, joins various celebrations, meets snow-bugs while gathering firewood, and other adventures, including a few touching on magical beings.
Golden Hair

Tuscan Folk-Lore and Sketches

Tuscan Folk-Lore and Sketches, Together with Some Other Papers by Isabella M. Anderton

I read it mainly for the folk tales, which are listed up front and have some interesting variants on familiar tales. "Monte Rochettino" managed to thoroughly twist the ending of "East of the Sun, West of the Moon."
Golden Hair

The Domestic Revolution

The Domestic Revolution: How the Introduction of Coal into Victorian Homes Changed Everything by Ruth Goodman

In London, they were using coal for heating and cook during the Elizabethean era. It appears to have started then, too, and been very quick; a Star Chamber proceeding calmly states that "sea coal" (coal brought by sea) is the ordinary fuel of everyone. And it spread throughout the land. It had a lot of consequences.
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Never Goodbye and The Best Friend by Adam Mitzner

In two sequels to Dead Certain, Ella Broden and her father become continuing characters.

Never Goodbye

Thomas & Mercer, 2018, 341 pages

After her sister was murdered, Ella Broden meted out her own punishment, then abandoned her career to pursue her passion as a singer. But another murder that hits close to home draws her back to seek justice.

Dana Goodwin is the newly appointed deputy chief in the Special Victims Bureau, replacing Ella. For her, the case is also personal, but behind Dana's relentless pursuit, her motives might be running deeper than anyone can see. Her secrets, too.

Connecting the two women is Ella's boyfriend, Gabriel Velasquez, who has teamed up with Dana to investigate the murder.

At first Ella thinks all she has to fear about this case is what she knows - that she could be the next target of a man's obsession. But the closer she works with Dana, the more she starts to believe that the most dangerous thing of all is what she doesn't know.

Multiple POV characters try to keep the reader guessing.

Also by Adam Mitzner: My reviews of A Conflict of Interest, Dead Certain, and A Matter of Will.

My complete list of book reviews.

The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945, by John Toland

A Pulitzer Prize-winning history of World War II from the Japanese perspective.

The Rising Sun

Random House, 1970, 954 pages

This Pulitzer Prize-winning history of World War II chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of the Japanese empire, from the invasion of Manchuria and China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Told from the Japanese perspective, The Rising Sun is, in the author’s words, "a factual saga of people caught up in the flood of the most overwhelming war of mankind, told as it happened - muddled, ennobling, disgraceful, frustrating, full of paradox."

In weaving together the historical facts and human drama leading up to and culminating in the war in the Pacific, Toland crafts a riveting and unbiased narrative history.

This classic is one of the best Pacific War books.

My complete list of book reviews.

The Rape of Nanking, by Iris Chang

In 1937, the Imperial Japanese Army committed possibly the greatest war crime in history.

The Rape of Nanking

Basic Books, 1997, 290 pages

In December 1937, in the capital of China, one of the most brutal massacres in the long annals of wartime barbarity occurred. The Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking and within weeks not only looted and burned the defenseless city but systematically raped, tortured and murdered more than 300,000 Chinese civilians. Amazingly, the story of this atrocity- one of the worst in world history- continues to be denied by the Japanese government.

The Rape of Nanking tells the story from three perspectives: that of the Japanese soldiers who performed it; of the Chinese civilians who endured it; and finally of a group of Europeans and Americans who refused to abandon the city and were able to create a safety zone that saved almost 300,000 Chinese. It was Iris Chang who discovered the diaries of the German leader of this rescue effort, John Rabe, whom she calls the "Oskar Schindler of China." A loyal supporter of Adolf Hitler, but far from the terror planned in his Nazi-controlled homeland, he worked tirelessly to save the innocent from slaughter.

A book so dark it might have driven the author to suicide.

My complete list of book reviews.
Golden Hair

Aria: The Masterpiece Volume 1

Aria: The Masterpiece Volume 1 by Kozue Amano

In the future, when Earth is Manhome, and Mars is a terraformed world called Aqua because the melting of the icecaps flooded it more than originally intended -- Akari leaves Manhome for Aqua, in order to fulfill her dream of being an undine -- a gondolier.

She has an apprenticeship, and during the long Martian summer, she learns why undine companies have intelligent Martian cats as presidents, buys a special wind chime and learns of their secrets, survives the annual high water and rain (though tides strike me as improbably -- it doesn't mention the two moons have been replaced), befriends another apprentice, is put to a test, and more.

A Killer's Wife, by Victor Methos

A prosecutor with a genius daughter who's hooking up with bad boy losers, and a serial killer ex.

A Killer's Wife

Thomas & Mercer, 2020, 362 pages

Fourteen years ago, prosecutor Jessica Yardley's husband went to prison for a series of brutal murders. She's finally created a life with her daughter and is a well-respected attorney. She's moving on. But when a new rash of homicides has her ex-husband, Eddie, written all over them - the nightmares of her past come back to life.

The FBI asks Jessica to get involved in the hunt for this copycat killer - which means visiting her ex and collaborating with the man who tore her life apart.

As the copycat's motives become clearer, the new life Jessica created for herself gets darker. She must ask herself who she can trust and if she's capable of stopping the killer - a man whose every crime is a bloody valentine from a twisted mastermind she's afraid she may never escape.

You might say she has some personal problems.

Also by Victor Methos: My review of The Neon Lawyer.

My complete list of book reviews.