Saturday, September 5, 2015

A Requested Title the Library Doesn't Own

A patron came in today and asked if we had a book. I had to say that we didn't but we have a similar title. The patron said they didn't want the new book by that author, they wanted the original book that was published in the 1950s called:
To Kill a Hummingbird.

The patron asked since we don't have it, could we order it. I explained no, and why. Even though it should exist, that book doesn't.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Straits of Hell = Pages of Paradise

Pages of Paradise may be a misnomer, trying to be too clever, but Straits of Hell (Destroyermen series #10) is an excellent book. Full disclosure, I received a free ebook pre-release copy for a fair and accurate review. However, by way of evidence of sincerity, I bought the audiobook from It's good enough to own twice, and I expect to re-read it, as I have done with previous titles from Anderson's Destroyermen series.

Matthew Reddy and his surviving Destroyermen are now stationed on different ships around the Alliance Fleets in this alternate Earth. They are battling on two different fronts with allies from indigenous peoples as well as humans from other arrivals from other time periods in Reddy's earth's history.

Enemies similarly include Japanese from World War II, where the old Asiatic Fleet destroyer USS Walker came from; sentient reptiles called Grik; and other humans from different Earths in the past, relative to World War II. The writing about these groups and their thoughts actions just grabs this reader and yanks him along. These enemy characters are complicated, not mere cardboard cutouts to provide opposition in the plot.

Obviously, at number 10 in the series, much has happened before the events of this book. All things being equal, I'd recommend that readers start the series with book 1, Into the Storm. Nevertheless, if a reader is willing to start "In medias res," this book can carry the extra weight. What are characteristics that make this a compelling and worthy read?

As mentioned before, the characters are interesting and complicated. They are put in dire situations and have to overcome being outnumbered, plans that are more clever than they expected at the time. Another facet of these books is research and re-development of technologies that existed in the World War II time frame, but were unknown in the alternate Earth that the Destroyermen arrive at. Much of the technology has been developed in previous books, but the struggle to improve and manufacture items needed for war goes on as a plot thread. Finally, showing characters working hard to create a more ideal civilization including multi-species interests and entertains.

Straits of Hell is worth your reading time and your book dollars--as is the rest of the series.