Monday, April 19, 2010

Logging off by Caitlin McKenna

Logging Off
Caitlin McKenna
Virtual BookWorm
ISBN: 1589399188

(from her website) In 2095, every facet of society runs perfectly by computers and advanced technology. Citizens like Britannia Stone conduct their lives effortlessly with a genetically embedded barcode linked to Central, the world government. But this easy lifestyle, one without economical hardships, crime and disease, comes with a price - the freedom of choice.

Now world citizens are beginning to mysteriously disappear. John Ettinger, a society inactive and member of the underground group called the Starters, knows the reason why. With the help of Kendall Knowlton, a highly-gifted psychic child, it becomes a race against time as Britannia and John join forces before they are next to disappear. They must stay alive long enough to reach Central's mainframe and destroy the enemy before the enemy destroys all of mankind.

It is weird to see someone like Caitlin McKenna self publishing a book. With all her movie and TV credits you’d think a publisher would jump on the opportunity to do this book, but she went the independent route. And that’s why I picked up this book in a second hand store while on holiday in Japan.

I wasn’t sure if I should fork out the money for this title as I do recognize the name but I loathe Lost. Possibly the worst show in the world (everyone at work raved about it, talked about and discussed possible plot turns/reasons, etc)—but I digress.

As far as Syfy goes, this is an excellent books. The plot moves fast, the POV is (unfortunately) all over the place—head hopping takes a bit to get used to, though in this book each character is clearly mentioned and it is easy to follow. The ideas are rusty and used before but Caitlin uses it as a backdrop to the plot, not part of it.

The ending was stretched out. There were lines where I cringed (these are few and far between), example: She screamed in terror. He cried out in pain. The love interest formed too quickly, but I think Caitlin was going for the “love at first sight” concept. The characters are well formed and following their trials were easy.

This was a pleasant surprise and I finished it on the plane home.


Gideon by Russel Andrews

Russell Andrews
Warner Books
ISBN: 0751528900
©2000 Review of second edition

A struggling writer, Carl Granville, gets the opportunity of a lifetime. An editor offers to publish his books if he writes one special book for her. He has ghost written before and so (naturally) he accepts the project. There are stipulations and at first he finds them weird but gets used to them. He has a very limited time to get the book done. It’s time sensitive.

On the day he accepts, a new girl moved into the apartment above him and he helps her get a large seat into her apartment. They form a relationship.

Harry –one of the stipulations—watches him writing. He never speaks. He is there to ensure Carl works and that Carl copies none of the information handed to him in the form of a diary. He is allowed to make notes only.

He is part way through the book when the editor is killed.
Harry doesn’t show up at his apartment.
Carl’s laptop is stolen.
His new girlfriend is killed.
He is the suspect for both murders.
There is no proof of his assignment, no records.
He flees, determined to find out who is behind this and clear his name. The only person who can help him is his ex, a reporter for a major newspaper.

The book is a good and fast read. The many plots interweave into one hell of a story, though I feel it is a little over-written. Sometimes, there is too much detail and some clues he gets seem to be just plan lucky when they pan out.

I found I didn’t like Carl very much, nor his ex. Harry, I liked.

Overall, the story is good and entertaining. It is a thriller that ranks up there with thrillers of today and well worth the investment.