Your Friday Fun Read 05/31/2019

BattleTech Legends: Decision at Thunder Rift: The Gray Death Legion Saga, Book 1 by [Keith Jr., William H.]

I started this book last night, and I am loving it. Come on folks, it is giant walking tanks at war! Think “Pacific Rim” before there was even a “Pacific Rim” and they go up against other giant walking tanks. This is like Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots supersized!

“Battletech” hit the scene as a tabletop game in the mid 1980’s. It has spawned several video games and multiple novels. Come on in and see why it is so popular!

Thirty meters tall, seventy tons of quick-striding death and destruction, the armored war machines called BattleMechs are the front line forces of the crumbling star empire locked in the horror of the endless Succession Wars. Their pilots are MechWarriors, 31st-Century knights riding armored machines powerful enough to take a city apart.

Grayson Death Carlyle had been training to be a MechWarrior since he was 10 years old, but his graduation came sooner than expected. With his friends and family dead and his father’s regiment destroyed, young Grayson finds himself stranded on a world turned hostile. Now he must learn the hardest lesson of all: it takes more than a BattleMech to make a MechWarrior…

But to claim that title, all Grayson has to do is go out and capture one of those giant killing machines…if it doesn’t kill him first.

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The Darkest Hour Review

The Darkest Hour

TITLE: The Darkest Hour

AUTHOR: Tony Schumacher

GENRE: Alternate History

PAGES: 422

I love Alternate History. The concept of “What if?” has always appealed to me, maybe it is the history buff in me. When they are done right, you have an exercise for the mind that cannot be beat. When they are just phoned in, you can tell and in some cases you want to throw the book at someone in anger.

The Darkest Hour was done well, very well.

World War II is, for all intents and purposes, over. Hitler won. Ex British Soldier John Rossett has a difficult job. He rounds up the Jews of London and makes sure they get on a train to be sent to France to work the farms. This is what he is told, and this is what he believes. Something happens that throws Rossett’s world upside down. One of the Jews he rounds up tells him about a treasure behind the dresser, and it is this treasure that will put Rossett on the run. The treasure is a little boy, about seven years old.

The true hook of this book is why John Rossett is so important to the Reich. As his back story develops, you will be suffering from conflicted emotions from “How can you?” to “Why can’t you?” to “Why the hell did you do that?” and everything in between.

This book is dark, gritty, and tense. It has all the hallmarks of a great thriller; a job that only the hero can get done, danger from all sides, no one to trust, narrow escapes and near misses, and a showdown at the end that will keep you thinking long after the book is done.

Strap yourself in and make sure the safety bar is lowered, because you are going on a ride you will not soon forget.

5 out of 5 bookmarks and a bookgasm to boot.

Ninetoes Book of the Week 05/26-06/01/2019

On May 5, 1897, author Bram Stoker published Dracula in London. With that little fact in mind, I have named Dracula as the Ninetoes book of the Week for 05/26/06/01/2019. If you have not yet read this book, I highly encourage you to do so. To miss this book would be a crime. Also, keep in mind if you say “But I saw the movie” I will personally kick you in the shins.

Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England so he may find new blood and spread undead curse, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing. Dracula has been assigned to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, the gothic novel and invasion literature. The novel touches on themes such as the role of women in Victorian culture, sexual conventions, immigration, colonialism, and post-colonialism. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, he defined its modern form, and the novel has spawned numerous theatrical, film and television interpretations.

Please, kick off your summer reading season by reading this book! You will not be disappointed.

Your Friday Fun Read 05/24/2019

A Noise Downstairs: A Novel

A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay is my pick for Your Friday Fun Read. I have been a fan of his for a very long time, and I introduced Mrs. Ninetoes to his work when we moved in together. How good is his writing? One night, I rolled over for some lovin’ and she said  “Not now, I’m reading Linwood.” I must concur, he is THAT good!

College professor Paul Davis’ life is turned upside down when he spots his colleague Kenneth driving in a suspicious manner along a deserted road. Curious, Paul follows Kenneth and catches him trying to dispose of two bodies.

That was eight months ago.

After nearly losing his own life that night, Paul is battling PTSD and depression. To cheer him up, his wife, Charlotte, gives him a present: a vintage typewriter—complete with ink ribbons and heavy round keys. Inspired, Paul writes about the terrifying experience that damaged his life.

However, the typewriter soon becomes a source of anxiety. Paul swears he can hear the keys clacking in the early hours of the morning. Charlotte and his son deny hearing any strange sounds. Only Paul hears the noise coming from downstairs. Are his claims real—or is he going off the rails as Charlotte fears? Paul believes that the typewriter is connected to the dark events that night on the Post Road, as implausible as that seems. After all, Kenneth is in prison and he worked alone. Increasingly tormented yet determined to discover the truth, Paul reinvestigates the deaths himself.

But maybe Paul should just get rid of the typewriter. Maybe he should stop asking questions and simply walk away while he can. Because if he doesn’t, his darkest nightmares just might come true.

The Ninetoes Book of the Week 05/19-25/2019

Born to Run

This past weekend I was at a library booksale. The library has a little gift shop that sits to the side and they have “newer used books”, and it was here that I found a copy of Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography Born To Run. Being the Springsteen fan that I am, I had to snatch this one up!

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began.

Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.

He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized.

Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.

Rarely has a performer told his own story with such force and sweep. Like many of his songs (“Thunder Road,” “Badlands,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” “The River,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” “The Rising,” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” to name just a few), Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography is written with the lyricism of a singular songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences

Your Friday Fun Read 05/17/2019

Mars (Grand Tour Series #1)

My choice for this weeks YOUR FRIDAY FUN READ is Ben Bova’s Mars.

I have always loved stories about the planet Mars. When this book came out in 1992, I read it in the span of three days. No, I devoured this book in three days. In the end, this book made me look up and wish.

“It is a world shrouded in mystery—a planet pocked by meteors, baked by ultraviolet light, and covered by endless deserts the color of dried blood.

To this harsh and unforgiving planet travel the twenty-give astronauts of the international Mars mission. Now, as the landers touch down and the base dome is inflated and the robotic explorers are sent aloft, they must somehow come together in a struggle of discovery and survival.

Battling deadly meteor showers, subzero temperatures, and a mysterious “Mars virus,” these intrepid explorers are on their way to the most incredible and shocking discovery of all.”