Becky’s Two Hundred and Eighth Book Review: “Running Blind” by Lee Child

“Running Blind” by Lee Child is the fourth book in the Jack Reacher series. It starts off the same as the rest of the Jack Reacher books – you are immediately pulled into the story. I like how the book opens with the bad guy narrating. “Suppose you wanted to kill people. You would need to know ahead of time how to do it. That part is not too difficult. There are many ways. Some of them are better than others. Most of them have drawbacks. So you use what knowledge you’ve got, and you invent a new way. You think, and you think, and you think, and you come up with the perfect method.” (Running Blind, pg 2). I liked how cold and detached this person was when describing killing people. It was evident from the start that this was a very intelligent – albeit fucked up – individual.

SPOILER ALERT: I’M GOING TO DISCUSS EVENTS THAT HAPPENED AT THE END OF THE THIRD JACK REACHER NOVEL, “TRIPWIRE”

In the last book, Reacher was reunited with a woman that he had grown to love when he was younger but always looked at as untouchable. They finally got over the idea that their feelings were one-sided and the book ended on a ‘happily-ever-after’ note. Reacher even found himself with a house that her father left him. He went from being out of the army for a few years and living the life of a drifter, to someone with a house, a girlfriend, and a life that he wasn’t sure he really wanted. It is a difficult thing to connect with, at least for me, to not want to be attached to any one place. I think this quote helps to show how Reacher feels about the house: “…but it represented a big problem. It anchored him in a way which made him profoundly uncomfortable. Being static disconcerted him. He had moved around so often in his life it confused him to spend time in any one particular place. And he had never lived in a house before. Bunkhouses and service bungalows and motels were his habitat. It was ingrained.” (Running Blind, pg 63). It’s something I’ve never really thought about, but if that is what you’ve known your whole life then it makes sense that you might not want anything different.

While dealing with the idea of owning a house and everything that goes along with it, Reacher finds himself pulled into yet another mess. I found this whole situation infuriating. The FBI pulls him in to help investigate women being murdered, and they threaten him until he agrees to help. The way that they went about everything just made me so angry, and the fact that no one would listen to him just added to that. At the same time, Reacher certainly made sure to push their buttons whenever he got the chance.

I really like how we are learning more about Reacher in each book. His character continues to develop as we follow him. “Reacher made no reply. It was a technique he had perfected half a lifetime ago. Just stand absolutely still, don’t blink, say nothing. Wait for them to run through the possibilities…wait for them to start worrying.” (Running Blind, pg 375). There are aspects that we as the readers already know and come to expect – such as this quote where Reacher is utilizing his perfected patience to get answers – but Lee Child continues to develop Reacher beyond that, which I really enjoy.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I think that there are many great things about the Jack Reacher series. One of them is that the books are a thrill ride that will hook just about any reader. Then there is the fact that the books, so far, continue to develop Reacher as a character and keep things interesting. Just when you think you know the direction the book is going to take, Lee Child throws a curve ball at you. “Running Blind” kept me hooked and once again, I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Becky’s Two Hundred and Seventh Book Review: “Crystal” by V.C. Andrews

“Crystal” by V.C. Andrews is the second book in the Orphan series. This book follows the orphan Crystal who is adopted into an interesting family. The father is a peculiar penny-pincher and the mother is a soap opera fanatic. The couple approaches Crystal very differently and she soon finds herself trying to help solve the problems of her adoptive parents – most specifically that of the mother.

Shortly after being adopted, Crystal starts to understand just how strange her adoptive parents are. The mother comes off as a bit of an airhead. “Isn’t it wonderful to have a husband like Karl who can keep you from making the wrong decisions?” (Crystal, pg 12-13). Statements like these give the impression that Crystal’s mother feels content to let her husband make all the decisions – easy and hard alike – so that she can continue to live a life run by the television shows that she is so dedicated to. She is constantly trying to rope Crystal into staying beside her on the couch so they can watch the shows together. Crystal realizes very early on that her adoptive mother is living through the characters on her soaps. Then her adoptive father is full of advice and guidance that for whatever reason, he cannot bring himself to extend to his wife. ““Balance, Crystal,” he explained. “That’s what makes life truly comfortable, maintaining balance. Assets on one side, liabilities on the other. Everything you do, everyone you meet has assets and liabilities. Learn what they are, and you’ll know how to proceed.” (Crystal, pg 25). I liked this quote and found it a little odd at the same time. He talks about balance as if it is so important, but does almost nothing beyond adopting Crystal, whom he had hoped would be a positive influence, to get his wife to stop obsessing over television shows.

It was an odd book, that’s for sure. Crystal was a likeable enough character, although a little overly serious for a child. But acting older than you are makes sense for someone that was raised in an orphanage. The relationships that she develops with other kids her age were interesting. She didn’t behave like most kids do when trying to forge friendships, instead she refused to conform and pretend to be someone that she isn’t and was therefore, able to bypass friendships that would have been hollow.

Would I recommend this book? Yes and no. I like V.C. Andrews’s writing to a point. It’s okay. For the most part, the books are easy to read, and there is the added bonus with this series that the books are very short, so it isn’t a huge time commitment. I found parts of “Crystal” to be mildly entertaining and I’m intrigued about the rest of the Orphans series. But this book isn’t for everyone. It is one of those books that when it was done, it didn’t linger. I wasn’t emotionally attached to it or any of the characters. That is what I really look for in a book – a full reading experience with characters that I care about. And that isn’t really something that I found while reading “Crystal” by V.C. Andrews. But if you’re looking for a book to stash on a chair that you sit in for a few minutes, “Crystal” will work quite nicely.

This one quote I just had to include: “I hated promises. They were like those balloons I had seen drifting in the wind. They had shape until the air escaped, and then everyone forgot them.” (Crystal, pg 163)

Becky’s One Hundred and Ninety-Eighth Book Review: “Don’t Tell Penny” by Anna Bell

“Don’t Tell Penny” by Anna Bell was a free short story that I downloaded through BookShout. It was very short, but it did give me a chance to sample the author’s writing and find out if it would be worthwhile to invest in more of her works. That is part of the reason that I have been reading so many short stories lately. I enjoy branching out in my reading and a short story is a great way to get a small taste without having to devote a lot of time in an author you do not know.

The premise for the story is a girl named Penny that is convinced that her boyfriend Mark is about to propose. “Don’t Tell Penny” is narrated by her best friend, Louise whom is simultaneously excited for her best friend and worried that Penny has misjudged all the signs and that tonight is not in fact the night. There is a big party that has been planned to celebrate the end of Mark’s accounting exams. At the last minute it was moved from a local low-key place to a swanky hotel. That combined with the fact that Penny read a message on Mark’s phone that said “Don’t forget ring” has her completely convinced that he is going to pop the question tonight.

Would I recommend this book? Probably not, the writing was nothing extraordinary and although I could relate to Penny, I didn’t like her at all. I personally do not agree with the idea of snooping on my significant other’s phone and I kind of feel that she set herself up for disappointment by expecting the proposal. I certainly could relate to her eagerness for the engagement – I’ve been there – but at the same time I thought it was overly presumptuous for her to get her nails done and her hair fixed and to tell others that it was going to happen that night. She got very pushy when things weren’t happening the way that she had planned out in her head. Her best friend tried to diffuse the situation as best as she could and in return has Penny force her company upon Louise and her husband Russell when they very clearly wanted alone time. Penny wasn’t a likeable character and I thought Louise was a bit of an enabler. Overall, I was left unimpressed and with no desire to read the rest of the series.

Becky’s One Hundred and Seventy-First Book Review: “Mini Shopaholic” by Sophie Kinsella

“Mini Shopaholic” by Sophie Kinsella is the sixth book in the Shopaholic series where Becky is facing her wildest challenge yet – a toddler. It definitely makes for an interesting read to observe Becky as a mother. In a lot of ways, Becky Brandon née Bloomwood has always been a bit childish herself and part of what makes her so charming is her innocence and imagination. For example, she frequently finds herself swept away by her own daydreams. But there are some things that she does that make you question how well Becky would do having a whole other person completely dependent on her to exist. That being said, Becky does her best at being a mom and it is really entertaining to see all the challenges she faces with Minnie. Watching Luke try to juggle two shopaholics is even more enjoyable.

The book opens on Becky out Christmas shopping with her two-year old daughter, Minnie. Like her mother, Minnie is determined to get what she wants, especially when it comes to shopping. While fighting with Minnie about buying a toy pony Becky finds herself with an unwanted audience. In order to save face in front of a judgmental parent, Becky quickly determines that Minnie can buy the pony if she uses her own pocket money. After explaining the whole concept of saving up money to buy things you want, Becky tells Minnie that she can buy the pony but that she’ll have used all her pocket money up. Then the sales woman tells Becky that the pony is one of a set and asks if she wants the other one. Of course the judgmental parent observes all of this and makes a comment about how it is too bad that Minnie already spent her pocket money. “…she says to Minnie with one of those tight, unfriendly smiles which proves she never has any fun or sex. You can always tell that about people, I find.” (Mini Shopaholic, pg 14). I love how Becky reacts to such things. Instead of giving up on this, Becky explains to Minnie how overdrafts work and proceed to buy the pair of ponies based off this idea. Shopaholic in training.

In addition to dealing with the trials of raising a mini shopaholic, there is a financial crisis going on in England during “Mini Shopaholic” and because of this, everyone is being careful with their money. The entirety of the population of England is cutting back – including the Bloomwood family. It’s pretty funny reading about the challenges that everyone finds themselves in during “Mini Shopaholic”. At one point Becky’s mom, Janice, Becky, and Jess go shopping together at the pound shop and Becky finds herself in awe of her ever-thrifty sister, Jess. “I stare at her, gobsmacked. In fact, to be honest I feel a teeny bit affronted. Here we all are, feeling really virtuous because we’re shopping in the Pound Shop. And Jess has to trump everyone by not shopping at all, ever. That’s so typical of her. Next she’ll probably invent some form of anti-shopping. Like antimatter, or antigravity.” (Mini Shopaholic, pg 151). Becky’s reaction is after Jess reveals that she has begun bartering for goods or services when she needs them instead of spending any money.

Without giving anything away, I will say that at one point in “Mini Shopaholic” Becky finds herself in a rather humiliating situation. “…I’ve never felt so humiliated in my whole entire life.
Actually, on second thought, maybe I have. But this is definitely equal with all those other times.” (Mini Shopaholic, pg 297). I love this. Becky is really funny but also she speaks the truth. She constantly finds herself in embarrassing situations and always manages to save face somehow.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely – this book was just as much fun if not more so than the earlier books in the series. Watching Becky Brandon née Bloomwood grow as a character first into a girlfriend, then into a fiancée, then into a wife, and then into an expectant mother, it’s been really entertaining. Becky is full of life and wherever she goes, hilarity ensues. Reading about her dealing with a two-year old version of herself is really hilarious. I love the series and I am eager to read the next book in the series “Shopaholic to the Stars”.

Becky’s One Hundred and Seventieth Book Review: “City of Lost Souls” by Cassandra Clare

“City of Lost Souls” by Cassandra Clare is the fifth book in the Mortal Instruments series. The series is so enjoyable and as always I find myself devouring the book. I dove into the fifth book as quickly as possible to find out what happens next after “City of Fallen Angels” ended with a cliffhanger.

SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE FIRST FOUR BOOKS IN THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS SERIES (UNLESS YOU DO NOT CARE ABOUT SPOILERS IN WHICH CASE READ ON)

The fourth book in the series ended with Sebastian being brought back to life by Jace while under Lilith’s control. Clary left Jace on the roof to guard Sebastian without thinking about the fact that the mark Lilith had been using to control Jace would heal itself after Clary had destroyed it. Clary goes up to the roof to find that Jace and Sebastian are both missing.

At the beginning of “City of Lost Souls” the search for Jace and Sebastian has been going on for several weeks. There has been no luck finding either and Clary is beside herself with worry. She hasn’t been allowed to be involved with the search teams and is going stir crazy from her inability to act. Then when it looks as if the council is deprioritizing the search for Jace, Clary determines to do something about it. She goes to the Seeley Queen and is told the payment the queen wants in order to grant any help is a pair of magical rings in the institute. Clary breaks into the library during a council meeting and goes after the rings. When she is about to retrieve them, she suddenly has company. After weeks of nothing, she sees Jace and Sebastian working together to steal something from the institute.

Shortly after this, Jace comes to Clary and tries to get her to leave with him. Clary realizes that Jace is no longer her Jace. He is connected to Sebastian in a way that allows Sebastian to have control over him. Their connection also means that any harm that comes to one of them affects both. Clary does not know how to get her Jace back, but she is determined to do anything.

Clary decides to keep the rings the queen wanted for her own use and goes after Jace alone – her only lifeline being the rings. Simon wears one and she wears the other and they can communicate through them. Of course Simon can’t help but use the rings for a casual question. “Her voice came through, tinged with alarm. What is it? What’s happened? Did my mom find out I’m gone?
Not yet, he thought back. Is Azazel the cat from The Smurfs?
There was a long pause. That’s Azrael, Simon. And no more using the magic rings for Smurf questions!” (City of Lost Souls, pg 207). I really do enjoy how Cassandra Clare inserts humor throughout the book. There are times when things get very dark in this series and I think that her humor helps keep a lighter tone to the books, which helps make them overall more appealing to a greater number of people.

I think that another great thing about Cassandra Clare’s writing is that she inserts a fair amount of wisdom into her characters. For example, at one point Maia is begging for help from the Praetor Lupis and makes a promise on behalf of another. “…his voice held a note of warning. “I hope you understand that when you make promises in other people’s names, it falls upon your head to make sure they follow through.”” (City of Lost Souls, pg 204). This is something that I see a lot of people do and it is interesting to have a character explain what it really means to make a promise like that.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I don’t think that you could possibly read the first four books in the series and not be dying to know what happens next. Cassandra Clare creates an amazing fantasy world that I can’t get enough of. As the series continues to evolve, so does Clare’s writing. This book was just as enjoyable as the first four books in the series.

Becky’s One Hundred and Sixty-Second Book Review: “Forever Amber” by Kathleen Winsor

“Forever Amber” by Kathleen Winsor is an unsung classic in my opinion. It was given to me by my mom only to be neglected on the bookshelf for years. I finally got around to reading it while on vacation this summer. Within the first few pages I knew that this was a book I would read again and again. Kathleen Winsor writes beautifully. Her world and those in it quickly captivated me. “She had never seen anyone like him before in her life. The clothes he wore, the sound of his voice, the expression in his eyes, all made her feel that she had had a momentary glimpse into another world – and she longed passionately to see it again, if only for a brief while. Everything else, her own world of Marygreen and Uncle Matt’s farm, all the young men she knew, now seemed to her intolerably dull, even contemptible.” (Forever Amber, pg 19).

The main character Amber can be challenging to like at times. She is young and foolhardy and quick to want things but difficult to please. There were times while I was reading “Forever Amber” that I just wanted to shake her and get her to see some sense. Still, I couldn’t help but find myself cheering her on in all her crazed adventures. One thing that Amber is without fail is opinionated. Her mind and her thought process was fascinating to follow. “She was already convinced that people had a better opinion of you if you pretended to be something more than you were than if you used them honestly.” (Forever Amber, pg 87). One thing that I found myself relating to in regards to Amber’s opinions were her thoughts on women. “But Amber had never believed that other women were important to her success and happiness, and she did not intend to let them trouble her now.” (Forever Amber, pg 173). I liked the way that Amber was upfront about her dislike of females. I don’t feel quite as strongly as she does, but nevertheless, I can relate.

“Forever Amber” begins in the countryside. When Amber first sees Bruce, she begs him to take her with him. Theirs is a passionate love affair and one that never ends. Their desire for each other burns brightly and I believe that is part of what makes their love so difficult to maintain. “By now Bruce had been back long enough and she had seen him so often that the jealousies and worries that beset her when he was away had begun to encroach upon the pleasure she found in being with him. She had begun to feel more discontented over what she was missing than grateful for what she had.” (Forever Amber, pg 322). This excerpt is a great example of what Amber is like. She wants things so badly that when she has them she doesn’t know how to enjoy it. It is part of what makes her so charming and infuriating at the same time.

Would I recommend this book? I would, most definitely – but not to everyone. It is a book that would appeal much more to the female population. That is not to say that men would not also find this book enjoyable. It was a great read and after writing this review, I want to go pick it up and begin my first reread of “Forever Amber”. Alas, there is not time for that right now. Perhaps next summer.

Becky’s One Hundred and Fifty-Ninth Book Review: “Derpy Dirk and the Fight With the School Bully By the Flagpole At Lunch: A Derp Sandwich Chapter Book” by Jack Thomas

“Derpy Dirk and the Fight With the School Bully By the Flagpole At Lunch: A Derp Sandwich Chapter Book” by Jack Thomas was a free ebook offered at apple. Since I love collecting books – physical and electronic – I downloaded it with the smallest glance at the title just glad to have something to read. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was to continue reading it to the end once I realized I did not enjoy the book at all.

This is one of the worst books I have ever read. Really, I should have guessed from the book title that it was likely not going to be a winner, but I thought it might be a fun, quick read. It was quick, it wasn’t really fun, and I feel like I walked away from reading this book a little stupider. The disclaimer at the beginning of the book warning children and adults that this is not a book for children actually gave me hopes that this book would contain entertaining adult-level humor. Really, it was just a book written at an adult level, but with a severe lack of humor.

The book is about Derpy Dirk, a complete and total loser who is marked by the school bully for a fight. The whole book follows him as he worries about his imminent demise at the hands of the school bully. Meanwhile, all teachers and parents look on as if this is all in the natural order of things. His parents react to the news of his upcoming fight with the school bully as something he deserves. It was almost enough to make you feel bad for the character, except he was impossible to like.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely not. It was a terrible read and a waste of my time. There is a lesson here though, not all free ebooks are good ebooks.

Becky’s One Hundred and Fifty-Eighth Book Review: “Waking Kate” by Sarah Addison Allen

“Waking Kate” by Sarah Addison Allen is a short story that I got for free from BookShout. I really like the fact that a lot of authors are making short stories available for free, it gives you a taste of the author’s writing and allows you to decide if you want more without spending the initial money. You can find out if you like an author with a shorter time commitment as well.

I really enjoyed “Waking Kate”, especially for a short story. I think Sarah Addison Allen has a real gift for writing, which shone throughout the story. I found a lot of what she wrote to be relatable as well. This quote I really enjoyed when Kate is sharing her opinion on the television. “She thought it generated a buzz that made the hot air in the house seem hotter somehow. More crowded. Matt thought she was crazy, but it was true. Everything had a presence. Even small things. Even things you took for granted.” (Waking Kate, pg 1)

“Waking Kate” is about a housewife, Kate. Her daughter is away for the weekend and Kate is trying to put together a romantic meal for her and her husband Matt to share. As she goes through the motions, putting in the effort to make a really nice meal for her and her husband, it is clear that she is unhappy. “She wasn’t sure exactly when it happened, when she had realized that she could only make one of them happy. She only knew that she had chosen him.” (Waking Kate, pg 2). I found this sentence to be so sad. I can relate to it as well. I always find myself putting others happiness first, especially my significant other. It is something that I have always done. I just hope I never get to a point where I stop being happy because of it. It can be a difficult thing to keep a balance in your life when you have a personality like that.

Since it is a short story, I do not want to go much further into the plot because that will give it all away. But I will say that Kate meets someone who gives her some advice and tells her a story. It helps Kate see things differently. “Some people simply have the ability to make it seem like they need you. All they really want is the attention.” (Waking Kate, pg 16) How true this can be. I have had many people come into my life that I believed were my friend until I realized they just wanted people around them. My friendship was a collectable to them. It’s a tough lesson to learn.

Sarah Addison Allen’s writing reminded me of Alice Hoffman. It’s beautiful and truthful. I couldn’t help from devouring it despite the fact that I like to savor writing when I find it this good. I really enjoyed this quote as well, “She felt disoriented, the way sleep that crosses from daylight to darkness always seems to confuse you, making you wonder what time it is, what day, what year.” (Waking Kate, pg 17)

Would I recommend this short story? Yes, I believe a lot of people would be able to connect with it as I did. It opens your eyes up a little; helps remind you what is important in relationships. I loved Sarah Addison Allen’s writing and was very pleased to find out there is more of it out there. I am looking forward to reading her novels and already have one ordered!

Becky’s One Hundred and Fifty-Seventh Book Review: “The Silver Linings Playbook” by Matthew Quick

“The Silver Linings Playbook” by Matthew Quick was another instance where I found out after seeing the movie that it was based on a book. Since I enjoyed the movie so much, I thought that I would most likely enjoy the book even more. My instincts were correct; I did enjoy the book more although the movie was really well done.

I think part of what I really enjoyed about “The Silver Linings Playbook” was how real the main character, Pat, was. The book begins with him just getting out of a mental institution. He has no idea how long he has been away and is obsessed with making things right with Nikki, his wife. He is working on being kind rather than right. His re-entry into the world outside of the institution is pretty fascinating to read about. The way that he tries to cope with things and work out situations is very well captured. “I’m so confused that I’m speaking and thinking and worrying all at the same time, not really knowing what to do or say.” (The Silver Linings Playbook, pg 51). There is a focus on his mental illness in the book but at the same time, a lot of what he says is more honest and even healthier than those that are considered ‘normal’.

There is one part in the book when Pat is having dinner with his friends Ronnie and Veronica and Veronica’s sister Tiffany. Ronnie pulls Pat aside and warns him about Tiffany. I really enjoyed Pat’s reaction to this. “…but he never once tells me what Tiffany thinks or what is going on in her heart: the awful feelings, the conflicting impulses, the needs, the desperation, everything that makes her different from Ronnie and Veronica, who have each other and their daughter, Emily, and a good income and a house and everything else that keeps people from calling them “odd”. What amazes me is that Ronnie is telling me all this in a friendly manner, as if he is trying to save me from Tiffany’s ways, as if he knows more about these sorts of things than I do, as if I had not spent the last few months in a mental institution. He does not understand Tiffany, and he sure as hell doesn’t understand me, but I do not hold it against Ronnie, because I am practicing being kind rather than right, so Nikki will be able to love me again when apart time is over.” (The Silver Linings Playbook, pg 79).

I also really enjoyed the way that Pat talks about Tiffany. Their connection and relationship is so different from most that you can’t help but find yourself cheering for them. They both are so messed up that they are a really good fit, because they can understand the difficulties that they each are having. “She looks sad. She looks angry. She looks different from everyone else I know – she cannot put on that happy face others wear when they know they are being watched. She doesn’t put on a face for me, which makes me trust her somehow.” (The Silver Linings Playbook, pg 116). Pat finds it easier to open up to Tiffany because she doesn’t put on an act. She’s frank and he finds that refreshing and necessary for him to trust her. I really enjoyed the complex relationship between Tiffany and Pat.

I think that Matthew Quick does a great job of illustrating just how much can change in the world when you step out of it for a while, as Pat does. He is in the mental institution for several years and when he comes out he has no idea that it had been that long. He believes that he was away for a few months. When he finally does realize how long he was away and how much he missed, he can’t comprehend or handle it. There are many things that cause him to lose it after he gets out. His ups and downs are all over the place. His insanity is harsh and comes out at the slightest provocation. The way that he experiences life after the institution is raw. Reading about his breakdowns and more importantly his ability to pick himself up made this book such a good read.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I really enjoyed this book. It is a good way for people to glimpse into the world of mental illness. This book has the ability to help people understand more fully just how challenging things can be for those with mental illnesses. Not to mention that it is just entertaining. I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to work my way though the rest of Matthew Quick’s novels.

Becky’s One Hundred and Fifty-Sixth Book Review: “The Tommyknockers” by Stephen King

“The Tommyknockers” by Stephen King is one of the books my little brother insisted that I read. As today is his birthday, it seemed appropriate to make this book the subject of my review today. “The Tommyknockers” is one of Stephen King’s longer books, but you barely notice that when reading. It is yet another book that I just found myself devouring. Although there was still a significant influence of the horror genre in this book, it is more correctly categorized as a science fiction book.

Bobbi Anderson in Haven is patient zero in “The Tommyknockers”. One day while out walking the woods, she trips over something. It is seemingly such an insignificant event, but it changes things forever. Bobbi becomes obsessed with unearthing the object that she tripped over. Bobbi is a writer and I found myself connecting strongly with her untainted self in the beginning. I especially liked this quote: “She had been amazed – and a little relieved – to discover that she was not concealing some private neurosis; almost all imaginative people heard voices. Not just thoughts but actual voices inside their heads, different personae, each as clearly defined as voices on an old-time radio show.” (The Tommyknockers, pg 40). I can relate. As she is unearthing the object, it becomes clear that it is an alien spacecraft. During the excavation of the spacecraft, Bobbi and the whole town change. The changes are slow and subtle at first, but it becomes apparent that things are not changing for the better.

The main character is a good friend and sometimes lover of Bobbi’s nicknamed Gard. He is very different from what you usually expect from a main character. Instead of having one or two little quirky flaws, he is chalk full of them. Gard is an alcoholic, he happily alters his state of mind in any way that he can, he is also a conspiracy theorist, a hard-core protestor, and is always up for some mischief. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call him scum. He has no qualms at making women cry by spouting his truths about anything and everything. He is not an easily likable individual. Likable or not, Gard was certainly entertaining with a fair amount of actual deep thoughts to his name. “He had been raised to believe God was love, but you had to wonder how loving a God could be when He made men and women smart enough to land on the moon but stupid enough to have to learn there was no such thing as forever over and over again.” (The Tommyknockers, pg 70).

I think one of the really interesting things about “The Tommyknockers” is how advanced all the technology appeared to be. To the casual observer, it would seem that the knowledge that was spreading across Haven after Bobbi began excavating the spacecraft was superior in many ways. It took Gard to point out to everyone what the obvious answers were to the problems they were encountering. “All the intelligence and determination in the world cannot create art without a bit of talent, but intelligence and determination can create some great forgeries.” (The Tommyknockers, pg 260). And although the changes that were happening gave the appearance of superiority, things were not better. “Mental communication had not fostered a sense of peace and harmony in Haven; in fact, it seemed to have done exactly the opposite.” (The Tommyknockers, pg 325).

Would I recommend this book? Yes, especially if you are not usually a fan of science fiction. The way that I enjoyed this book made me realize that science fiction is a genre that is almost completely unexplored by me. Considering all the other books that I gravitate towards, it is surprising that it took this long for me to read and enjoy a science fiction novel. I look forward to branching out more. And as always, I cannot wait to get my hands on some more of Stephen King’s work.

“Real terror is the most physically debilitating of all emotions. It saps the endocrines, dumps muscle – tightening organic drugs into the bloodstream, races the heart, exhausts the mind.” (The Tommyknockers, pg 578)